Monday, December 15, 2014

Free e-Stocking Stuffer Tips

As the holiday crunch closes in on us, I thought I'd share some of my favorite freebies, in case you're in need of another stocking stuffer, or just want to get a little something for yourself. Free e-books are all over the internet, but if you're looking for some quality free e-books, I think these suggestions stand out above the crowd. I've read the books below and found each of them valuable:

Smashwords Book Marketing Guide By Mark Coker
An easy-to-implement guide on how to market ebooks. My rating; 5 stars.

The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success By Mark Coker
The 30 best practices of bestselling self-published ebook authors. My rating; 4 stars.

Put the Cat In the Oven Before You Describe the Kitchen By Jake Vander Ark
Twenty writing tips for novice (and intermediate) writers. My rating; 4 stars.

How to Write More Words More Easily (Fiction Writing HELP) By Terrance Field
Guidelines for writing an interesting, page-turning story. My rating; 4 stars.

Slow Your Prose: 25 Tips on How New Authors Can Improve Their Craft By James W. Lewis. Showing vs. telling, passive/active voice, point-of-views, and more. My rating; 3 stars.

And, of course, what would a blog about free e-book be without a little self-promotion? For the epic fantasy adventure lover, Crimson & Cream is free on Smashwords through New Year's Eve with this coupon code: HB78A. I can honestly say, I've read this book over 15 times, and it gets better every time.

Wyrd Worlds II, an anthology featuring 17 independent authors of science fiction and fantasy, including the short story Sasha and the Collared Girl by fellow G-Plusser and Saturday Scenes contributor Stan Morris.

And, if you're feeling lucky, there are always these websites to check out:

Free eBooks Daily

Ereader News Today, Free and Bargain eBooks

Pixel of Ink, Free and Bargain Kindle Books

My best wishes to everyone for a happy holidays and a wonderful new year!






2014 - Hello Reader of 4concpoesiaecsps, In the article you read this time with the title 2014, We have prepared this article for you to read and retrieve information therein. Hopefully the contents of postings We write this you can understand. well, happy reading.

Title : Free e-Stocking Stuffer Tips
link : Free e-Stocking Stuffer Tips

Read Also


2014

As the holiday crunch closes in on us, I thought I'd share some of my favorite freebies, in case you're in need of another stocking stuffer, or just want to get a little something for yourself. Free e-books are all over the internet, but if you're looking for some quality free e-books, I think these suggestions stand out above the crowd. I've read the books below and found each of them valuable:

Smashwords Book Marketing Guide By Mark Coker
An easy-to-implement guide on how to market ebooks. My rating; 5 stars.

The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success By Mark Coker
The 30 best practices of bestselling self-published ebook authors. My rating; 4 stars.

Put the Cat In the Oven Before You Describe the Kitchen By Jake Vander Ark
Twenty writing tips for novice (and intermediate) writers. My rating; 4 stars.

How to Write More Words More Easily (Fiction Writing HELP) By Terrance Field
Guidelines for writing an interesting, page-turning story. My rating; 4 stars.

Slow Your Prose: 25 Tips on How New Authors Can Improve Their Craft By James W. Lewis. Showing vs. telling, passive/active voice, point-of-views, and more. My rating; 3 stars.

And, of course, what would a blog about free e-book be without a little self-promotion? For the epic fantasy adventure lover, Crimson & Cream is free on Smashwords through New Year's Eve with this coupon code: HB78A. I can honestly say, I've read this book over 15 times, and it gets better every time.

Wyrd Worlds II, an anthology featuring 17 independent authors of science fiction and fantasy, including the short story Sasha and the Collared Girl by fellow G-Plusser and Saturday Scenes contributor Stan Morris.

And, if you're feeling lucky, there are always these websites to check out:

Free eBooks Daily

Ereader News Today, Free and Bargain eBooks

Pixel of Ink, Free and Bargain Kindle Books

My best wishes to everyone for a happy holidays and a wonderful new year!






Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Book Review: Techniques of the Selling Writer

Although Dwight V. Swain's Techniques of the Selling Writer is older than I am (which is pretty darn old), it stands the test of time and remains a valuable read for writers, especially beginners and those still striving to perfect their craft. So, you may be asking, why bother reviewing a 49-year old book? Fair question. It's one of the most cited and referenced books on writing I've encountered, and after reading it, I can understand why. If you haven't heard of it, or given it a try, I'll attempt to convince you.

Techniques of the Selling Writer focuses on the premise of understanding your reader’s motivation for reading. With that goal in mind, the book then provides instructions on how to successfully assemble your story to give your readers a powerful emotional experience. Dwight V. Swain's book can be thought of as a builder's manual for crafting a satisfying and rewarding story.

Possibly the most well-known concept Swain presents in this book is the Motivation-Reaction Unit (MRU). The core building block of storytelling, MRUs are comprised of something that your point-of-view (POV) character experiences (sees, hears, thinks, or even tastes or smells), which motivates him/her to react to. At its basic level, a story consists of a character experiencing life (and its inevitable conflict) and reacting to it, over and over again. Techniques of the Selling Writer explains MRUs in fine detail and provides a plethora of examples. Swain then shows you how to take MRUs and use them to build scenes and sequels using structure and simple patterns, which in turn comprise chapters, and, ultimately, your novel.

Swain's scene pattern consists of Goal-Conflict-Disaster combinations, followed by a corresponding sequel, which is comprised of a Reaction-Dilemma-Decision trio. If this process seems formulaic and too structured for your taste, understand there is nearly an infinite amount of flexibility in how you can apply and interpret these suggestions. They are guidelines to help you build your story without gaps that leave your reader confused.

For me, Techniques of the Selling Writer was not a quick read, as the concepts and multitude of examples required time to digest, and I found myself reading much slower than I do with a fiction novel, for fear of skimming through something important.

And, as nothing is perfect, I found a few issues that could be potentially off-putting. I think the book offers more examples than most people probably need. I felt like I understood Swain's points after reading about half of the provided examples. In addition, as can be expected with a book published in 1965, some portions are outdated, based on today's technology, markets, and culture. I would recommend focusing on the storytelling advice and not worrying about the dated content (it comprises only a small part of the book).

Techniques of the Selling Writer is recommended by Randy Ingermanson - "the Snowflake Guy." Mr. Ingermanson has an excellent page on his website detailing some of Swain's concepts in much more detail than I go into in this post. If you're interested, Mr. Ingermanson's excellent summary can be found here.

Author Update; I received my final editor comments last month and have now prepared Mirrors & Mist for beta reading. If you're interested in getting your hands on a complimentary pre-published edition and providing me some feedback, I'd be happy to have you beta read. Just say the word and I'll get an e-book to you in whatever format you prefer. For any new readers, Mirrors & Mist is the second book of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy, the follow-up to the epic fantasy coming-of-age adventure story, Crimson & Cream.


2014 - Hello Reader of 4concpoesiaecsps, In the article you read this time with the title 2014, We have prepared this article for you to read and retrieve information therein. Hopefully the contents of postings We write this you can understand. well, happy reading.

Title : Book Review: Techniques of the Selling Writer
link : Book Review: Techniques of the Selling Writer

Read Also


2014

Although Dwight V. Swain's Techniques of the Selling Writer is older than I am (which is pretty darn old), it stands the test of time and remains a valuable read for writers, especially beginners and those still striving to perfect their craft. So, you may be asking, why bother reviewing a 49-year old book? Fair question. It's one of the most cited and referenced books on writing I've encountered, and after reading it, I can understand why. If you haven't heard of it, or given it a try, I'll attempt to convince you.

Techniques of the Selling Writer focuses on the premise of understanding your reader’s motivation for reading. With that goal in mind, the book then provides instructions on how to successfully assemble your story to give your readers a powerful emotional experience. Dwight V. Swain's book can be thought of as a builder's manual for crafting a satisfying and rewarding story.

Possibly the most well-known concept Swain presents in this book is the Motivation-Reaction Unit (MRU). The core building block of storytelling, MRUs are comprised of something that your point-of-view (POV) character experiences (sees, hears, thinks, or even tastes or smells), which motivates him/her to react to. At its basic level, a story consists of a character experiencing life (and its inevitable conflict) and reacting to it, over and over again. Techniques of the Selling Writer explains MRUs in fine detail and provides a plethora of examples. Swain then shows you how to take MRUs and use them to build scenes and sequels using structure and simple patterns, which in turn comprise chapters, and, ultimately, your novel.

Swain's scene pattern consists of Goal-Conflict-Disaster combinations, followed by a corresponding sequel, which is comprised of a Reaction-Dilemma-Decision trio. If this process seems formulaic and too structured for your taste, understand there is nearly an infinite amount of flexibility in how you can apply and interpret these suggestions. They are guidelines to help you build your story without gaps that leave your reader confused.

For me, Techniques of the Selling Writer was not a quick read, as the concepts and multitude of examples required time to digest, and I found myself reading much slower than I do with a fiction novel, for fear of skimming through something important.

And, as nothing is perfect, I found a few issues that could be potentially off-putting. I think the book offers more examples than most people probably need. I felt like I understood Swain's points after reading about half of the provided examples. In addition, as can be expected with a book published in 1965, some portions are outdated, based on today's technology, markets, and culture. I would recommend focusing on the storytelling advice and not worrying about the dated content (it comprises only a small part of the book).

Techniques of the Selling Writer is recommended by Randy Ingermanson - "the Snowflake Guy." Mr. Ingermanson has an excellent page on his website detailing some of Swain's concepts in much more detail than I go into in this post. If you're interested, Mr. Ingermanson's excellent summary can be found here.

Author Update; I received my final editor comments last month and have now prepared Mirrors & Mist for beta reading. If you're interested in getting your hands on a complimentary pre-published edition and providing me some feedback, I'd be happy to have you beta read. Just say the word and I'll get an e-book to you in whatever format you prefer. For any new readers, Mirrors & Mist is the second book of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy, the follow-up to the epic fantasy coming-of-age adventure story, Crimson & Cream.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Book Review: Self-Editing for Fiction Writers

I previously posted about helpful free e-books on the craft of writing, and promised to share any additional worthwhile books I read. I recently finished Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Second Edition: How to Edit Yourself Into Print, and although it's not a free e-book, it is an excellent guide, and one I recommend checking out. I think the title may be unintentionally limiting, as this is not just a guide on self-editing, but a valuable resource for avoiding many common writing mistakes in the first place.

Published in 2004 by two professional editors (Renni Browne and Dave King), the guide teaches techniques that transform promising manuscripts into published works by taking the reader through the same processes an editor goes through. The book targets common mistakes and explains how to edit what you've written. The points are illustrated with an abundance of 'before' and 'after' example excerpts drawn from works of famous writers and/or books Browne and King have edited.

Below are brief summaries of the chapters and contents:
  1. Showing over Telling (How to use action and immediacy instead of narrative summary).
  2. Characterization & Exposition (Avoid pausing your story for description).
  3. Point of View (Through which characters' eyes does a reader 'see' your story?)
  4. Proportion (How to avoid undermining the essential story with minor details).
  5. Dialog Mechanics (What your characters say, and how they say it).
  6. How the Text Sounds (Is your dialogue realistic, or stilted and artificial?)
  7. Interior Monologue (What your characters think, and why it's important to reveal).
  8. Easy Beats (What are beats, and how to use them effectively).
  9. Sentence/Paragraph/Chapter Breaks (How to use white space and break up you work).
  10. Repetition (Why you should avoid it, and how it can sneak into your writing).
  11. Sophistication (Stylistic tricks and constructions to attain sophistication).
  12. Voice (Tips on attaining your own distinctive, strong, authoritative, writing voice).
The book also provides editing exercises in each chapter, and in the appendix, suggested solutions to those exercises, along with a list of recommended Top Books for Writers.

The two minor criticisms I have are that the authors could be less self-referential and the example passages could be shorter and more to the point, while still being effective. Not everything presented in Self-Editing for Fiction Writers will be new to you, but you may find fresh insight as to why certain issues are deemed problematic and the reasons behind why it's best to avoid them.

If using a selection from The Great Gatsby as an example of showing how certain passages can be improved is a turn-off, beware, for this happens. However, if you can approach this book with an open mind and focus on the words (and not the legendary baggage that comes with them), it can be a valid and rewarding learning experience as well as a handy reference guide.


2014 - Hello Reader of 4concpoesiaecsps, In the article you read this time with the title 2014, We have prepared this article for you to read and retrieve information therein. Hopefully the contents of postings We write this you can understand. well, happy reading.

Title : Book Review: Self-Editing for Fiction Writers
link : Book Review: Self-Editing for Fiction Writers

Read Also


2014

I previously posted about helpful free e-books on the craft of writing, and promised to share any additional worthwhile books I read. I recently finished Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Second Edition: How to Edit Yourself Into Print, and although it's not a free e-book, it is an excellent guide, and one I recommend checking out. I think the title may be unintentionally limiting, as this is not just a guide on self-editing, but a valuable resource for avoiding many common writing mistakes in the first place.

Published in 2004 by two professional editors (Renni Browne and Dave King), the guide teaches techniques that transform promising manuscripts into published works by taking the reader through the same processes an editor goes through. The book targets common mistakes and explains how to edit what you've written. The points are illustrated with an abundance of 'before' and 'after' example excerpts drawn from works of famous writers and/or books Browne and King have edited.

Below are brief summaries of the chapters and contents:

  1. Showing over Telling (How to use action and immediacy instead of narrative summary).
  2. Characterization & Exposition (Avoid pausing your story for description).
  3. Point of View (Through which characters' eyes does a reader 'see' your story?)
  4. Proportion (How to avoid undermining the essential story with minor details).
  5. Dialog Mechanics (What your characters say, and how they say it).
  6. How the Text Sounds (Is your dialogue realistic, or stilted and artificial?)
  7. Interior Monologue (What your characters think, and why it's important to reveal).
  8. Easy Beats (What are beats, and how to use them effectively).
  9. Sentence/Paragraph/Chapter Breaks (How to use white space and break up you work).
  10. Repetition (Why you should avoid it, and how it can sneak into your writing).
  11. Sophistication (Stylistic tricks and constructions to attain sophistication).
  12. Voice (Tips on attaining your own distinctive, strong, authoritative, writing voice).
The book also provides editing exercises in each chapter, and in the appendix, suggested solutions to those exercises, along with a list of recommended Top Books for Writers.

The two minor criticisms I have are that the authors could be less self-referential and the example passages could be shorter and more to the point, while still being effective. Not everything presented in Self-Editing for Fiction Writers will be new to you, but you may find fresh insight as to why certain issues are deemed problematic and the reasons behind why it's best to avoid them.

If using a selection from The Great Gatsby as an example of showing how certain passages can be improved is a turn-off, beware, for this happens. However, if you can approach this book with an open mind and focus on the words (and not the legendary baggage that comes with them), it can be a valid and rewarding learning experience as well as a handy reference guide.


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Pro Writing Aid & AutoCrit Revisited

Back in March of last year, I compared the online editing tools AutoCrit and Pro Writing Aid (PWA). Since then, there have been changes to both programs, so I thought I'd revisit the comparison with a brief update. If anything, the two programs are less similar than they were in 2013. Also, since 2013, I allowed my AutoCrit subscription to expire and signed up for the PWA premium version at $35 a year.

So even though I think the 19 reports available with PWA's free online version are outstanding, the premium package perks tempted me. For example, the premium version allows you to install the PWA tool directly into Word (and Google Docs), which allows you to edit within your document file (as opposed to cutting and pasting into the online editing screen). The PWA add-in appears in your Word toolbar and provides all the editing features of the website, without leaving the page, or toggling between Word and your web browser.

I also like the added feature to choose from suggestions for grammar and spelling issues. Click here to see the entire list of PWA premium package perks. At $35 a year, it's a pretty affordable upgrade, but while the premium additions save time and increase the tool's efficiency and flexibility, the core editing functions are all available in the free version. If you're considering using PWA, I would suggest mastering the free version before jumping to premium. Once you're familiar with the free PWA tool, judging whether the perks are worth the additional cost should be pretty clear to you.

The other noteworthy development from PWA is the new user guide available in pdf form. This instruction manual is a great tool for PWA beginners and an excellent resource for learning everything PWA offers. I recommend browsing the manual first if you have any interest in trying PWA. This will give you an idea of the output capabilities of the tool.

Regarding AutoCrit, the website and editing program were retooled this year to provide a more fiction-writer-focused experience. Back in June, AutoCrit offered me an online 'sneak peak' of their redesigned program, and I must say, I was intrigued by the changes and improvements. Check out their video to see the new AutoCrit (you can skip the first 2.5 minutes of promotional material if you're in a hurry). Two other new features in AutoCrit are The Writer's Library, which features articles on improving your craft, and the AutoCrit Support Center, which is available for getting help with the editing tools.

I recently ran some text through AutoCrit's free sample service and received a pdf report of the results. One interesting new feature allows you to compare your text to published fiction. AutoCrit compares your usage statistics for adverbs, passive verbs, cliches, generic descriptions, showing vs. telling indicators, redundancies, filler words and more against their published fiction averages. This gives you the ability to gauge how many of these grammatical liberties are generally acceptable.

The latest AutoCrit pricing options list the most affordable package at $5/month billed annually ($60/year) and allows you to process 1,000 words at a time. Personally, a 1,000-word limit is not enough for me, as I prefer to edit in chapter-sized chunks (or larger). You can crunch 8,000 words at a time with the Platinum package ($8/month, i.e., $96/year).

Although I'm happy with the PWA Premium package, and am curious about the new upgrades at AutoCrit, I'm still undecided on what I'm going to do when my current PWA premium subscription runs out. Ideally, I'd like to see shorter-duration, lower-cost subscription options from both. As a novel writer, I alternate writing and editing, and sometimes go months without needing a comprehensive editing program. So, even though I'm paying for an entire year, I'm really only using the tool less than half that time. For me, a one-month, or even 3-month subscription would be ideal. I mentioned this to AutoCrit during our chat, but I haven't seen it implemented (yet).

Disclaimer: I'm not going to repeat myself, but if you're interested in my opinions on self-editing tools, the subject is explored in more detail here.

Author Update: Not much has changed since my last blog post. While patiently awaiting my editor's final pass on Mirrors & Mist (due any day now), I've been polishing the latest draft and also outlining/storyboarding/planning book three. I'm getting antsy to deliver Mirrors & Mist to my beta readers.



2014 - Hello Reader of 4concpoesiaecsps, In the article you read this time with the title 2014, We have prepared this article for you to read and retrieve information therein. Hopefully the contents of postings We write this you can understand. well, happy reading.

Title : Pro Writing Aid & AutoCrit Revisited
link : Pro Writing Aid & AutoCrit Revisited

Read Also


2014

Back in March of last year, I compared the online editing tools AutoCrit and Pro Writing Aid (PWA). Since then, there have been changes to both programs, so I thought I'd revisit the comparison with a brief update. If anything, the two programs are less similar than they were in 2013. Also, since 2013, I allowed my AutoCrit subscription to expire and signed up for the PWA premium version at $35 a year.

So even though I think the 19 reports available with PWA's free online version are outstanding, the premium package perks tempted me. For example, the premium version allows you to install the PWA tool directly into Word (and Google Docs), which allows you to edit within your document file (as opposed to cutting and pasting into the online editing screen). The PWA add-in appears in your Word toolbar and provides all the editing features of the website, without leaving the page, or toggling between Word and your web browser.

I also like the added feature to choose from suggestions for grammar and spelling issues. Click here to see the entire list of PWA premium package perks. At $35 a year, it's a pretty affordable upgrade, but while the premium additions save time and increase the tool's efficiency and flexibility, the core editing functions are all available in the free version. If you're considering using PWA, I would suggest mastering the free version before jumping to premium. Once you're familiar with the free PWA tool, judging whether the perks are worth the additional cost should be pretty clear to you.

The other noteworthy development from PWA is the new user guide available in pdf form. This instruction manual is a great tool for PWA beginners and an excellent resource for learning everything PWA offers. I recommend browsing the manual first if you have any interest in trying PWA. This will give you an idea of the output capabilities of the tool.

Regarding AutoCrit, the website and editing program were retooled this year to provide a more fiction-writer-focused experience. Back in June, AutoCrit offered me an online 'sneak peak' of their redesigned program, and I must say, I was intrigued by the changes and improvements. Check out their video to see the new AutoCrit (you can skip the first 2.5 minutes of promotional material if you're in a hurry). Two other new features in AutoCrit are The Writer's Library, which features articles on improving your craft, and the AutoCrit Support Center, which is available for getting help with the editing tools.

I recently ran some text through AutoCrit's free sample service and received a pdf report of the results. One interesting new feature allows you to compare your text to published fiction. AutoCrit compares your usage statistics for adverbs, passive verbs, cliches, generic descriptions, showing vs. telling indicators, redundancies, filler words and more against their published fiction averages. This gives you the ability to gauge how many of these grammatical liberties are generally acceptable.

The latest AutoCrit pricing options list the most affordable package at $5/month billed annually ($60/year) and allows you to process 1,000 words at a time. Personally, a 1,000-word limit is not enough for me, as I prefer to edit in chapter-sized chunks (or larger). You can crunch 8,000 words at a time with the Platinum package ($8/month, i.e., $96/year).

Although I'm happy with the PWA Premium package, and am curious about the new upgrades at AutoCrit, I'm still undecided on what I'm going to do when my current PWA premium subscription runs out. Ideally, I'd like to see shorter-duration, lower-cost subscription options from both. As a novel writer, I alternate writing and editing, and sometimes go months without needing a comprehensive editing program. So, even though I'm paying for an entire year, I'm really only using the tool less than half that time. For me, a one-month, or even 3-month subscription would be ideal. I mentioned this to AutoCrit during our chat, but I haven't seen it implemented (yet).

Disclaimer: I'm not going to repeat myself, but if you're interested in my opinions on self-editing tools, the subject is explored in more detail here.

Author Update: Not much has changed since my last blog post. While patiently awaiting my editor's final pass on Mirrors & Mist (due any day now), I've been polishing the latest draft and also outlining/storyboarding/planning book three. I'm getting antsy to deliver Mirrors & Mist to my beta readers.



Tuesday, September 16, 2014

My Magnificent Seven (Writers, That is)

Early this summer, I wrote a guest post on Lovely Reads as part of my Crimson & Cream blog tour. My post detailed my seven favorite writers and I shared why their work resonated with me. Why seven? Other than it being a lucky number, the eight spot proved too difficult to decide on, so I stopped at seven. I've polished up the post a bit and am re-sharing it here, to give you a little glimpse into what I enjoy, and the writers I strive to emulate. Over the years, I've had the privilege of hearing three of them speak about their craft.

To be clear, these are my personal favorites, not my opinion on the best writers of all time, or anything like that.

7.  T. Coraghessan Boyle
Equally excellent at challenging satirical novels as he is at short-stories, T.C. Boyle’s characters are studies in tormented complexity. My favorite tip from Mr. Boyle is “My standard advice for aspiring writers is to come from a wealthy family.” My personal favorite Boyle novel; The Inner Circle.

6.  Robin Hobb (Margaret Astrid Lindholm)
Robin Hobb was one of those authors I never seemed to get around to reading. However, once I picked up Assassin’s Apprentice, I couldn't manage to read anyone else. My favorite piece of writing advice from Ms. Hobb is “Don't listen to people who tell you that very few people get published and you won't be one of them. Don't listen to your friend who says you are better that Tolkien and don't have to try any more.” My personal favorite Hobb novel; Assassin's Apprentice.

5.  J. R. R. Tolkien
Tolkien invented a genre and set a standard for world-building that may never be met. My favorite piece of writing advice from Mr. Tolkien was “To a story-teller a journey is a marvelous device. It provides a strong thread on which a multitude of things that he has in mind may be strung . . .” My personal favorite Tolkien novel; The Return of the King.

4.  George R. R. Martin
The first time I encountered Mr. Martin’s writing was with a short story called The Hedge Knight from the Legends anthology, and I was hooked. Little did I know that story would suck me into a world I’m still engrossed in 16 years later. My favorite piece of writing advice from Mr. Martin is “In order to get inside their (his character’s) skin, I have to identify with them. That includes even the ones who are complete bastards, nasty, twisted, deeply flawed human beings with serious psychological problems. Even them.” My personal favorite novel; A Game of Thrones (I also seem to recall hearing about a TV show of this name).

3.  Kurt Vonnegut
Kurt Vonnegut wrote stories with an imagination so wild and a style so unique, that I couldn't help but be mesmerized. My favorite piece of writing advice from Mr. Vonnegut was “Be a Sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them-in order that the reader may see what they are made of.” My personal favorite Vonnegut novel; The Sirens of Titan.

2.  Ray Bradbury
My youth was spent reading every Ray Bradbury book I could find. The undisputed King of the Short Story, his rich, imaginative plots filled my mind with wonder. My favorite piece of writing advice from Mr. Bradbury was “Write. Don't think. Relax.” My personal favorite Bradbury story (a very difficult decision); All in a Summer Day.

1.  Elmore Leonard
Although I write fantasy, I love a good crime story as much as the next guy, and to me, the Dickens of Detroit was the best. His gritty characters and realistic dialogue jump of the page and pull you into the story. My favorite piece of writing advice from Mr. Leonard was to "try to leave out the parts that readers tend to skip." My personal favorite Leonard novel (also a great movie); Out of Sight.

Author Update: I'm patiently awaiting my editor's final pass on Mirrors & Mist, due the 2nd week of October. Once I receive it, I'll start the mad scramble of preparing the final manuscript for my beta readers. My self-imposed late 2014 publishing deadline is looking tenuous.


2014 - Hello Reader of 4concpoesiaecsps, In the article you read this time with the title 2014, We have prepared this article for you to read and retrieve information therein. Hopefully the contents of postings We write this you can understand. well, happy reading.

Title : My Magnificent Seven (Writers, That is)
link : My Magnificent Seven (Writers, That is)

Read Also


2014

Early this summer, I wrote a guest post on Lovely Reads as part of my Crimson & Cream blog tour. My post detailed my seven favorite writers and I shared why their work resonated with me. Why seven? Other than it being a lucky number, the eight spot proved too difficult to decide on, so I stopped at seven. I've polished up the post a bit and am re-sharing it here, to give you a little glimpse into what I enjoy, and the writers I strive to emulate. Over the years, I've had the privilege of hearing three of them speak about their craft.

To be clear, these are my personal favorites, not my opinion on the best writers of all time, or anything like that.

7.  T. Coraghessan Boyle
Equally excellent at challenging satirical novels as he is at short-stories, T.C. Boyle’s characters are studies in tormented complexity. My favorite tip from Mr. Boyle is “My standard advice for aspiring writers is to come from a wealthy family.” My personal favorite Boyle novel; The Inner Circle.

6.  Robin Hobb (Margaret Astrid Lindholm)
Robin Hobb was one of those authors I never seemed to get around to reading. However, once I picked up Assassin’s Apprentice, I couldn't manage to read anyone else. My favorite piece of writing advice from Ms. Hobb is “Don't listen to people who tell you that very few people get published and you won't be one of them. Don't listen to your friend who says you are better that Tolkien and don't have to try any more.” My personal favorite Hobb novel; Assassin's Apprentice.

5.  J. R. R. Tolkien
Tolkien invented a genre and set a standard for world-building that may never be met. My favorite piece of writing advice from Mr. Tolkien was “To a story-teller a journey is a marvelous device. It provides a strong thread on which a multitude of things that he has in mind may be strung . . .” My personal favorite Tolkien novel; The Return of the King.

4.  George R. R. Martin
The first time I encountered Mr. Martin’s writing was with a short story called The Hedge Knight from the Legends anthology, and I was hooked. Little did I know that story would suck me into a world I’m still engrossed in 16 years later. My favorite piece of writing advice from Mr. Martin is “In order to get inside their (his character’s) skin, I have to identify with them. That includes even the ones who are complete bastards, nasty, twisted, deeply flawed human beings with serious psychological problems. Even them.” My personal favorite novel; A Game of Thrones (I also seem to recall hearing about a TV show of this name).

3.  Kurt Vonnegut
Kurt Vonnegut wrote stories with an imagination so wild and a style so unique, that I couldn't help but be mesmerized. My favorite piece of writing advice from Mr. Vonnegut was “Be a Sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them-in order that the reader may see what they are made of.” My personal favorite Vonnegut novel; The Sirens of Titan.

2.  Ray Bradbury
My youth was spent reading every Ray Bradbury book I could find. The undisputed King of the Short Story, his rich, imaginative plots filled my mind with wonder. My favorite piece of writing advice from Mr. Bradbury was “Write. Don't think. Relax.” My personal favorite Bradbury story (a very difficult decision); All in a Summer Day.

1.  Elmore Leonard
Although I write fantasy, I love a good crime story as much as the next guy, and to me, the Dickens of Detroit was the best. His gritty characters and realistic dialogue jump of the page and pull you into the story. My favorite piece of writing advice from Mr. Leonard was to "try to leave out the parts that readers tend to skip." My personal favorite Leonard novel (also a great movie); Out of Sight.

Author Update: I'm patiently awaiting my editor's final pass on Mirrors & Mist, due the 2nd week of October. Once I receive it, I'll start the mad scramble of preparing the final manuscript for my beta readers. My self-imposed late 2014 publishing deadline is looking tenuous.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Saturday Scenes; A Writer's Movement

#SaturdayScenes is a writing event that occurs weekly on Google+ (G+). Dreamed up by John Ward, the leader of the 20,678-member Writer's Discussion Group, Saturday Scenes is a hashtag-connected collection of writers from all over G+ sharing excerpts of their work. Since May 2014, this event has featured well over a hundred indie writers (145 and counting on the G+ group) and countless scenes from all genres of writing. In its May 3rd debut weekend, #saturdayscenes crashed the G+ top 10 trending list, camping out with such other heavy-hitters like #kentuckyderby, #MayweatherMaidana, #TheAmazingSpiderman2, #JustinBieber, and, of course, #Caturday.

There are no rules, other than to use the hashtag #saturdayscenes. Reveal your latest never-before-seen passage, or share something from an already-published work. Post your poetry or prose. Share fiction or non-fiction. Saturday scenes is about sharing your work with the G+ world (and beyond). By posting your writing publicly to your personal profile, the G+ community will start to follow and connect with you as an author.

I enjoy Saturday Scenes for a variety of reasons. I often share a selection of my work (both published and works-in-progress) and enjoy receiving feedback and interacting with the community. I also love to read what my G+ friends are writing, and of course, I'm hooked on discovering fresh compelling scenes and new talented authors.

Want to learn more about Saturday Scenes? Explore the G+ community, or search #saturdayscenes on G+. If you are a writer or a reader, I urge you to check it out. And don't forget to enjoy my hand-picked epic fantasy selections from Crimson & Cream and Mirrors & Mist.

Author Update: Once my editor returns from her well-deserved Vegas vacation, I anticipate receiving her final comments on Mirrors & Mist. Then I expect a busy fall as I try to polish the manuscript, deliver it to my beta readers, complete a final pass, and publish by year's end. And finalize the book cover. I suspect Christmas will be here before I know it.


2014 - Hello Reader of 4concpoesiaecsps, In the article you read this time with the title 2014, We have prepared this article for you to read and retrieve information therein. Hopefully the contents of postings We write this you can understand. well, happy reading.

Title : Saturday Scenes; A Writer's Movement
link : Saturday Scenes; A Writer's Movement

Read Also


2014

#SaturdayScenes is a writing event that occurs weekly on Google+ (G+). Dreamed up by John Ward, the leader of the 20,678-member Writer's Discussion Group, Saturday Scenes is a hashtag-connected collection of writers from all over G+ sharing excerpts of their work. Since May 2014, this event has featured well over a hundred indie writers (145 and counting on the G+ group) and countless scenes from all genres of writing. In its May 3rd debut weekend, #saturdayscenes crashed the G+ top 10 trending list, camping out with such other heavy-hitters like #kentuckyderby, #MayweatherMaidana, #TheAmazingSpiderman2, #JustinBieber, and, of course, #Caturday.


There are no rules, other than to use the hashtag #saturdayscenes. Reveal your latest never-before-seen passage, or share something from an already-published work. Post your poetry or prose. Share fiction or non-fiction. Saturday scenes is about sharing your work with the G+ world (and beyond). By posting your writing publicly to your personal profile, the G+ community will start to follow and connect with you as an author.

I enjoy Saturday Scenes for a variety of reasons. I often share a selection of my work (both published and works-in-progress) and enjoy receiving feedback and interacting with the community. I also love to read what my G+ friends are writing, and of course, I'm hooked on discovering fresh compelling scenes and new talented authors.

Want to learn more about Saturday Scenes? Explore the G+ community, or search #saturdayscenes on G+. If you are a writer or a reader, I urge you to check it out. And don't forget to enjoy my hand-picked epic fantasy selections from Crimson & Cream and Mirrors & Mist.

Author Update: Once my editor returns from her well-deserved Vegas vacation, I anticipate receiving her final comments on Mirrors & Mist. Then I expect a busy fall as I try to polish the manuscript, deliver it to my beta readers, complete a final pass, and publish by year's end. And finalize the book cover. I suspect Christmas will be here before I know it.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

How to Solicit Indie Book Reviews Effectively

So you want to know how to convince people to read and review your self-published book? Here's my secret:

Ask nicely.

Okay, now that I've shared my genius strategy, I'll provide you a bit more detail. Why should you listen to me? I've sent requests to hundreds of reviewers and have refined my approach and found better acceptance rates as a result. This is not rocket science, but having a plan can make your soliciting more efficient. By being polite, friendly, professional, patient, and informative, you may not only obtain a book review, but may also receive valuable advice, build a network, gain a fan, or even discover a friend.

If this sounds like simple common sense, understand that an army of bridge-burning self-published authors have come before you, alienating reviewers en masse. Their legacy has left you, today's indie author, an uphill battle in finding reviewers. In their mad scramble to success, many self-publishers forgot to treat people how they'd like to be treated themselves. Admit it--that's easy enough to do. After all, common sense is often exceedingly uncommon.

In 2012, I released my epic fantasy novel Crimson & Cream, and tackled my first attempt at requesting book reviews. Last month, I released the second edition of Crimson & Cream, which followed my second concerted attempt at securing legitimate book reviews. What I learned between these two events appears to have increased my likelihood that a review request will be accepted. In 2012, as a total, floundering newbie, I averaged about a 10% hit rate on review requests. This year, with a little more polish and planning, I received reviews from about 20% of the people I asked. One potentially significant difference between the two events is that the first time, I anticipated rejection, and the second time, I planned for success.

The main fact to remember is that you are asking someone for a favor. Just because you're offering them your free book does not change this fact. They likely receive more free book offers than they can ever read, and unless you're paying them, your request meets every definition of a favor. That being said, the easier you can make it for a reviewer to say yes to your request, the better. Therefore, before requesting a review, do the following:

Prepare ahead of time: When a blogger agrees to review your book, they often ask for additional materials for their post. At a minimum, have the following promotional materials polished and ready to e-mail: book cover image, author bio, book blurb/summary, author photo image, and a collection of your Internet links (social media pages, your website, blog, sites where your book can be purchased, and your author pages - Amazon, Smashwords, Goodreads, etc.).

Read their review policy. If it doesn't jump off their web page in glowing, blinking, neon font, search for it. Most reviewers have a review policy on their website somewhere, but they're not always easy to find. The review policy is your instruction manual. Don't ignore it. Ever. The reviewer explains what they want and how they want it. If you search and still don't find their review policy, look one last time. If it's still not there, then do everything below:

Research what the reviewer likes to read: Read the reviews posted on their blog. Find the reviewer on Goodreads, use the 'compare books' function to see how your taste compares with theirs, and definitely read their book reviews. Do they read the genre of book you've written? Did they enjoy books similar to yours? Do you enjoy their reviewing style? Answer these questions first, and then decide if you want this person to review your book. If the answer is yes, follow their reviews on Goodreads, expecting to see your book featured in their future stream. Following them on Goodreads is also a great way to keep track of the book reviewers you've discovered.

If they blog, follow them: There are a variety of ways to follow a blog, and it certainly won't hurt your chances if the reviewer recognizes you as one of their readers. Plan for success and assume they will say yes and review your book. You'll be sure to notice when they post your review if you're already following their blog.

Learn about the reviewer: Assume the reviewer will say yes and review your book. You'll want to know who they are, so you can ask them again for your next book, no? View their facebook, G+, twitter, and other social media pages. 'Like' them, follow them, add them to your G+ circle. Keep track of this person who is doing you a favor, and stay in touch with them.

Personalize your request and be polite: Address the reviewer by name and explain how you found their site and why you're contacting them. Don't cut and paste generic form e-mails and don't assume every e-mail they receive is a review request. Explain what you would like them to do for you. This leads to the next item:

Answer Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How: Introduce yourself and your book, politely ask for a review, indicate where you would ideally like the review to appear (their website, Amazon, etc.), list any deadlines you may have (release dates, blog tours, etc.), explain why you think your book appeals to the reviewer, and offer to provide the book in a reviewer-friendly format (epub, mobi, print, etc.).

Compliment them on their work: I'm not suggesting you fabricate compliments or become a sycophant, but if you've examined their website and read their reviews, and haven't found something appealing, you may want to ask yourself why you want their review in the first place. And if you did see something you liked, mention it to the reviewer. After all, what you're hoping they do is compliment your work.

Offer to Reciprocate: Offer to do a guest post on their blog, or a giveaway, or any other feature they may be looking for help on. Many bloggers enjoy extra content for their page, and the extra exposure won't hurt you, either.

Suggest a Plan B: Often, when a reviewer can't review your book, they may still be amenable to a guest post, a book feature, excerpt, author interview or other exposure avenue for you. Consider mentioning this in your request, or as a follow-up if you receive a rejection e-mail.

Maintain a list: Tracking who you've asked for reviews serves many purposes. Maintaining an organized list helps prevent duplicate requests, which are time wasters for both you and the reviewer. Your list should contain relevant contact information, so when a reviewer asks you for a book or blog information, you can send it to them quickly, to the proper address, in the correct format. Keep track of what you send and who you send it to. Don't lose a review opportunity because an e-mail got lost in the shuffle or you missed a deadline. And when you go to request reviews for your next book, the list will provide an excellent foundation to build on.

If you found any of this post interesting, fellow indie author and book reviewer, Sadie Forsythe, has an excellent article with tips from a reviewer's point of view, and it's worth a read: Tips for Submitting Ebooks to Bloggers for Review.



2014 - Hello Reader of 4concpoesiaecsps, In the article you read this time with the title 2014, We have prepared this article for you to read and retrieve information therein. Hopefully the contents of postings We write this you can understand. well, happy reading.

Title : How to Solicit Indie Book Reviews Effectively
link : How to Solicit Indie Book Reviews Effectively

Read Also


2014

So you want to know how to convince people to read and review your self-published book? Here's my secret:

Ask nicely.

Okay, now that I've shared my genius strategy, I'll provide you a bit more detail. Why should you listen to me? I've sent requests to hundreds of reviewers and have refined my approach and found better acceptance rates as a result. This is not rocket science, but having a plan can make your soliciting more efficient. By being polite, friendly, professional, patient, and informative, you may not only obtain a book review, but may also receive valuable advice, build a network, gain a fan, or even discover a friend.

If this sounds like simple common sense, understand that an army of bridge-burning self-published authors have come before you, alienating reviewers en masse. Their legacy has left you, today's indie author, an uphill battle in finding reviewers. In their mad scramble to success, many self-publishers forgot to treat people how they'd like to be treated themselves. Admit it--that's easy enough to do. After all, common sense is often exceedingly uncommon.

In 2012, I released my epic fantasy novel Crimson & Cream, and tackled my first attempt at requesting book reviews. Last month, I released the second edition of Crimson & Cream, which followed my second concerted attempt at securing legitimate book reviews. What I learned between these two events appears to have increased my likelihood that a review request will be accepted. In 2012, as a total, floundering newbie, I averaged about a 10% hit rate on review requests. This year, with a little more polish and planning, I received reviews from about 20% of the people I asked. One potentially significant difference between the two events is that the first time, I anticipated rejection, and the second time, I planned for success.

The main fact to remember is that you are asking someone for a favor. Just because you're offering them your free book does not change this fact. They likely receive more free book offers than they can ever read, and unless you're paying them, your request meets every definition of a favor. That being said, the easier you can make it for a reviewer to say yes to your request, the better. Therefore, before requesting a review, do the following:

Prepare ahead of time: When a blogger agrees to review your book, they often ask for additional materials for their post. At a minimum, have the following promotional materials polished and ready to e-mail: book cover image, author bio, book blurb/summary, author photo image, and a collection of your Internet links (social media pages, your website, blog, sites where your book can be purchased, and your author pages - Amazon, Smashwords, Goodreads, etc.).

Read their review policy. If it doesn't jump off their web page in glowing, blinking, neon font, search for it. Most reviewers have a review policy on their website somewhere, but they're not always easy to find. The review policy is your instruction manual. Don't ignore it. Ever. The reviewer explains what they want and how they want it. If you search and still don't find their review policy, look one last time. If it's still not there, then do everything below:

Research what the reviewer likes to read: Read the reviews posted on their blog. Find the reviewer on Goodreads, use the 'compare books' function to see how your taste compares with theirs, and definitely read their book reviews. Do they read the genre of book you've written? Did they enjoy books similar to yours? Do you enjoy their reviewing style? Answer these questions first, and then decide if you want this person to review your book. If the answer is yes, follow their reviews on Goodreads, expecting to see your book featured in their future stream. Following them on Goodreads is also a great way to keep track of the book reviewers you've discovered.

If they blog, follow them: There are a variety of ways to follow a blog, and it certainly won't hurt your chances if the reviewer recognizes you as one of their readers. Plan for success and assume they will say yes and review your book. You'll be sure to notice when they post your review if you're already following their blog.

Learn about the reviewer: Assume the reviewer will say yes and review your book. You'll want to know who they are, so you can ask them again for your next book, no? View their facebook, G+, twitter, and other social media pages. 'Like' them, follow them, add them to your G+ circle. Keep track of this person who is doing you a favor, and stay in touch with them.

Personalize your request and be polite: Address the reviewer by name and explain how you found their site and why you're contacting them. Don't cut and paste generic form e-mails and don't assume every e-mail they receive is a review request. Explain what you would like them to do for you. This leads to the next item:

Answer Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How: Introduce yourself and your book, politely ask for a review, indicate where you would ideally like the review to appear (their website, Amazon, etc.), list any deadlines you may have (release dates, blog tours, etc.), explain why you think your book appeals to the reviewer, and offer to provide the book in a reviewer-friendly format (epub, mobi, print, etc.).

Compliment them on their work: I'm not suggesting you fabricate compliments or become a sycophant, but if you've examined their website and read their reviews, and haven't found something appealing, you may want to ask yourself why you want their review in the first place. And if you did see something you liked, mention it to the reviewer. After all, what you're hoping they do is compliment your work.

Offer to Reciprocate: Offer to do a guest post on their blog, or a giveaway, or any other feature they may be looking for help on. Many bloggers enjoy extra content for their page, and the extra exposure won't hurt you, either.

Suggest a Plan B: Often, when a reviewer can't review your book, they may still be amenable to a guest post, a book feature, excerpt, author interview or other exposure avenue for you. Consider mentioning this in your request, or as a follow-up if you receive a rejection e-mail.

Maintain a list: Tracking who you've asked for reviews serves many purposes. Maintaining an organized list helps prevent duplicate requests, which are time wasters for both you and the reviewer. Your list should contain relevant contact information, so when a reviewer asks you for a book or blog information, you can send it to them quickly, to the proper address, in the correct format. Keep track of what you send and who you send it to. Don't lose a review opportunity because an e-mail got lost in the shuffle or you missed a deadline. And when you go to request reviews for your next book, the list will provide an excellent foundation to build on.

If you found any of this post interesting, fellow indie author and book reviewer, Sadie Forsythe, has an excellent article with tips from a reviewer's point of view, and it's worth a read: Tips for Submitting Ebooks to Bloggers for Review.



Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Crimson & Cream Blog Tour, with bonus DIY Tips!

As you may know, I released a second edition of Crimson & Cream last week and also kicked off a blog tour in conjunction with the e-book launch. If you somehow avoided my deluge of gratuitous self-promotion thus far, Crimson & Cream is a classic swords and sorcery coming-of-age adventure set in a traditional fantasy world.

This is where you can find me on the interwebs the rest of the month:
Now, as promised, my simple tips for blog hopping (from a rank amateur, admittedly):
  • Plan in Advance - Two months before your target date is not too early. Blog spaces fill up quickly. If you don't give yourself enough time to pull everything together, you've painted yourself into a corner before your tour is off the ground. Not the way you want to start.
  • Consider a Blog Tour Service - Most of these services are fee-charging, since they are doing the work of contacting and scheduling instead of you. Shop around--make sure the service you select has a track record of successful tours, has bloggers that cater to your genre, and has prices within your budget. If you do it yourself, study other blog tours for books in your genre and solicit the blogs that impress you with their presentation and readership.
  • Prepare your Materials - At a minimum, have the following polished and ready to e-mail to bloggers: book cover image, author bio, book blurb/summary, author photo image, a selection of book excerpts (vary the lengths, as some blogs have word count limits), a collection of your internet links (social media pages, your website, blog, sites where your book can be purchased, and your author pages - Amazon, Smashwords, Goodreads, etc.), and giveaway information (Smashwords coupon codes, KDP select days, etc.).
  • Get Organized - Keep track of what you send and who you send it to. The requests for promotional materials and guest posts will add up quickly. Don't lose a blog opportunity because an e-mail got lost in the shuffle or you missed a deadline. 
  • Follow-up - Don't just e-mail your promo materials and then forget about it. Follow up with your blog tour promoter and bloggers. Ask if all of the attachments worked for them. Ask if they need anything else. Offer to do an interview, guest post, or other feature they may be interested in hosting. Thank them. 
  • Co-Promote - Bloggers love readers, too. Don't leave all the promotional work up to them. Use all your social media platforms to co-promote their blogs on the days you're featured. It's a win-win.
  • Keep Track of Everyone for Next Time - This will make your next blog tour much easier. Seriously.
Did I forget anything? Do you have any questions? Please let me know. And go buy a copy of Crimson & Cream. I know you want to.

    2014 - Hello Reader of 4concpoesiaecsps, In the article you read this time with the title 2014, We have prepared this article for you to read and retrieve information therein. Hopefully the contents of postings We write this you can understand. well, happy reading.

    Title : Crimson & Cream Blog Tour, with bonus DIY Tips!
    link : Crimson & Cream Blog Tour, with bonus DIY Tips!

    Read Also


    2014

    As you may know, I released a second edition of Crimson & Cream last week and also kicked off a blog tour in conjunction with the e-book launch. If you somehow avoided my deluge of gratuitous self-promotion thus far, Crimson & Cream is a classic swords and sorcery coming-of-age adventure set in a traditional fantasy world.

    This is where you can find me on the interwebs the rest of the month:

    Now, as promised, my simple tips for blog hopping (from a rank amateur, admittedly):
    • Plan in Advance - Two months before your target date is not too early. Blog spaces fill up quickly. If you don't give yourself enough time to pull everything together, you've painted yourself into a corner before your tour is off the ground. Not the way you want to start.
    • Consider a Blog Tour Service - Most of these services are fee-charging, since they are doing the work of contacting and scheduling instead of you. Shop around--make sure the service you select has a track record of successful tours, has bloggers that cater to your genre, and has prices within your budget. If you do it yourself, study other blog tours for books in your genre and solicit the blogs that impress you with their presentation and readership.
    • Prepare your Materials - At a minimum, have the following polished and ready to e-mail to bloggers: book cover image, author bio, book blurb/summary, author photo image, a selection of book excerpts (vary the lengths, as some blogs have word count limits), a collection of your internet links (social media pages, your website, blog, sites where your book can be purchased, and your author pages - Amazon, Smashwords, Goodreads, etc.), and giveaway information (Smashwords coupon codes, KDP select days, etc.).
    • Get Organized - Keep track of what you send and who you send it to. The requests for promotional materials and guest posts will add up quickly. Don't lose a blog opportunity because an e-mail got lost in the shuffle or you missed a deadline. 
    • Follow-up - Don't just e-mail your promo materials and then forget about it. Follow up with your blog tour promoter and bloggers. Ask if all of the attachments worked for them. Ask if they need anything else. Offer to do an interview, guest post, or other feature they may be interested in hosting. Thank them. 
    • Co-Promote - Bloggers love readers, too. Don't leave all the promotional work up to them. Use all your social media platforms to co-promote their blogs on the days you're featured. It's a win-win.
    • Keep Track of Everyone for Next Time - This will make your next blog tour much easier. Seriously.
    Did I forget anything? Do you have any questions? Please let me know. And go buy a copy of Crimson & Cream. I know you want to.

      Tuesday, July 1, 2014

      Crimson & Cream (re)releases Today!

      The 2nd edition of Crimson & Cream releases on Amazon & Smashwords today! Crimson & Cream is a Classic Epic Fantasy; A Swords & Sorcery Coming-of-Age Adventure set in a Traditional Fantasy World.
           
      RELEASE DAY SPECIAL - FREE CRIMSON & CREAM E-BOOK IF YOU:

      • OFFER TO POST A REVIEW
      • SIGN UP TO BETA READ MIRRORS & MIST
      • SHARE THIS POST
      • ASK NICELY

      Hounded by watchmen, trolls, goblins, and a relentless bounty hunter, thirteen-year-old Jetsam dreams of the day he’ll no longer have to run for his life.  A victim of circumstance burdened with an interminable unlucky streak, each sunrise ushers in more difficulty for the resilient adolescent.  An avalanche of life-changing events forces him to boldly decide his future.

      In the mountain city of Dwim-Halloe, Eidryn and Elvar were born twins to teachers at the city’s revered School of Sorcery. When the new king outlawed magic, the boys’ parents were murdered. Their deaths forfeited the siblings' magical birthright and made them homeless fugitives.

      Rescued by an orphan gang, the water-logged twins were nicknamed Flotsam and Jetsam. To survive as outcasts, the orphans scavenge and pilfer nightly. Their last risky foray sent them fleeing into an unfamiliar cavern. Now the brothers are lost deep underground where they encounter a strange beast that will change their lives forever and begin a harrowing journey for their ultimate survival.

      Crimson & Cream recounts Jetsam’s adventurous tale of flight and discovery as the fugitive orphan unravels the tangled mysteries his tortured past while securing his tenuous future.

      ". . . this book is an amazing example of the quality that should be expected from any self-published novel . . . Crimson & Cream is a great first novel from an author, and a series, that shows a lot of promise."
      Fantasy Book Reviews 
        -
      "The action in this novel was written with a sense of urgency that invests the reader in the plot . . . The negative aspect of this novel is that I couldn't put it down." - Rabid Readers Reviews

      "Absolutely wonderful reading and the perfect cornerstone for a new fantasy trilogy!" - Dii Amazon Top 500 Reviewer

       

      2014 - Hello Reader of 4concpoesiaecsps, In the article you read this time with the title 2014, We have prepared this article for you to read and retrieve information therein. Hopefully the contents of postings We write this you can understand. well, happy reading.

      Title : Crimson & Cream (re)releases Today!
      link : Crimson & Cream (re)releases Today!

      Read Also


      2014

      The 2nd edition of Crimson & Cream releases on Amazon & Smashwords today! Crimson & Cream is a Classic Epic Fantasy; A Swords & Sorcery Coming-of-Age Adventure set in a Traditional Fantasy World.

           
      RELEASE DAY SPECIAL - FREE CRIMSON & CREAM E-BOOK IF YOU:

      • OFFER TO POST A REVIEW
      • SIGN UP TO BETA READ MIRRORS & MIST
      • SHARE THIS POST
      • ASK NICELY

      Hounded by watchmen, trolls, goblins, and a relentless bounty hunter, thirteen-year-old Jetsam dreams of the day he’ll no longer have to run for his life.  A victim of circumstance burdened with an interminable unlucky streak, each sunrise ushers in more difficulty for the resilient adolescent.  An avalanche of life-changing events forces him to boldly decide his future.

      In the mountain city of Dwim-Halloe, Eidryn and Elvar were born twins to teachers at the city’s revered School of Sorcery. When the new king outlawed magic, the boys’ parents were murdered. Their deaths forfeited the siblings' magical birthright and made them homeless fugitives.

      Rescued by an orphan gang, the water-logged twins were nicknamed Flotsam and Jetsam. To survive as outcasts, the orphans scavenge and pilfer nightly. Their last risky foray sent them fleeing into an unfamiliar cavern. Now the brothers are lost deep underground where they encounter a strange beast that will change their lives forever and begin a harrowing journey for their ultimate survival.

      Crimson & Cream recounts Jetsam’s adventurous tale of flight and discovery as the fugitive orphan unravels the tangled mysteries his tortured past while securing his tenuous future.

      ". . . this book is an amazing example of the quality that should be expected from any self-published novel . . . Crimson & Cream is a great first novel from an author, and a series, that shows a lot of promise."
      Fantasy Book Reviews 
        -
      "The action in this novel was written with a sense of urgency that invests the reader in the plot . . . The negative aspect of this novel is that I couldn't put it down." - Rabid Readers Reviews

      "Absolutely wonderful reading and the perfect cornerstone for a new fantasy trilogy!" - Dii Amazon Top 500 Reviewer

       

      Monday, June 30, 2014

      Crimson & Cream New Cover Reveal & DIY Tips

      Below you'll find the 'new and improved' cover for Crimson & Cream, which I'll be (re)releasing tomorrow, July 1 on Amazon and Smashwords. I re-worked the cover based on input from readers of the 1st edition, as well as my wife and sister, who both have much more graphic design experience than I do.

      The bloody sword and hand were carried over from the original cover, along with the font and general text layout. The hand and sword has a double meaning in the context of the story and the shield's coat of arms represents the Mirrored Peaks (of the Oxbow Mountain Range) flanking the Wizard's Tower in Dwim-Halloe's Citadel, with the Serpentine Pass snaking into the city from below.  I added a crescent moon, just because.  And if you think it slightly resembles a dragon, well, that's just a coincidence. Maybe.

      And as a reward for reading through my self-indulgent intro, below I share some tips for making your own e-book cover, for the DIY-inclined among you. Not that I recommend it, mind you, but until you can afford a professional artist, it can be an indie author's best option.

      My tips are contingent upon your ability (and mandatory required patience) to manipulate images in a software program (like Photoshop). You can find excellent image editing software for free online (but beware bloatware and malware), such as:
      • GIMP, which I have not used (yet), but appears to be the most popular free image design program on the internet.
      • Paint.Net, which I've not used either, but comes up right behind GIMP on most online lists.
      • Photo Pos Pro, which I do use and like (although I picked up some malware recently which may have been attributed to an upgrade of this program, but I don't know for certain).
      If you're still reading, here are some of my e-book cover design tips (but there are loads of good tutorials and professional opinions just a Google search away).

      1. Study other popular books in your genre and get an idea of what style of covers readers are conditioned to recognize as being indicative of the genre. It's no accident that specific graphical styles are popular with certain genres.

      2. Select a font that is readable. With e-books, customers will often be looking at thumbnails. Design for this size. Not everyone will zoom in to read the fine print. CreativINDIE has a great example of genre-grouped fonts, if you're looking for some ideas.

      3. Explore royalty-free imagery as a way to gap your artistic talent. I've linked some popular ones below (there are many more), but please, always read the licensing description, regardless of which website you find an image on:
      4. Learn how to use layers. With your editing software, you can keep different parts of your cover on separate layers (one layer for the title, one for the imagery, etc.), which allows you to modify a layer without affecting the rest of your cover. You can see through transparent layer areas to the other layers, so you can view your entire cover at one time. It might sound a little complicated, but it's easier to use than it is to explain. And it will save you headaches galore.

      5. Ask for feedback. Share your cover with beta readers and your social networks, and ask them to critique. People love to give opinions on art. You don't have to follow every bit of advice you receive, but often a fresh set of eyes can point out problems you've grown blind to.

      6. Save files at every stage of your work, both backups and progress milestones. You may want to go back to a previous version, and the undo button only goes so far. I've learned this one the hard way, believe me.

      Best of luck to you! And if you haven't heard, this is available tomorrow on Amazon and Smashwords (if you want a free copy to review, let me know and I'll hook you up):


      2014 - Hello Reader of 4concpoesiaecsps, In the article you read this time with the title 2014, We have prepared this article for you to read and retrieve information therein. Hopefully the contents of postings We write this you can understand. well, happy reading.

      Title : Crimson & Cream New Cover Reveal & DIY Tips
      link : Crimson & Cream New Cover Reveal & DIY Tips

      Read Also


      2014

      Below you'll find the 'new and improved' cover for Crimson & Cream, which I'll be (re)releasing tomorrow, July 1 on Amazon and Smashwords. I re-worked the cover based on input from readers of the 1st edition, as well as my wife and sister, who both have much more graphic design experience than I do.

      The bloody sword and hand were carried over from the original cover, along with the font and general text layout. The hand and sword has a double meaning in the context of the story and the shield's coat of arms represents the Mirrored Peaks (of the Oxbow Mountain Range) flanking the Wizard's Tower in Dwim-Halloe's Citadel, with the Serpentine Pass snaking into the city from below.  I added a crescent moon, just because.  And if you think it slightly resembles a dragon, well, that's just a coincidence. Maybe.

      And as a reward for reading through my self-indulgent intro, below I share some tips for making your own e-book cover, for the DIY-inclined among you. Not that I recommend it, mind you, but until you can afford a professional artist, it can be an indie author's best option.

      My tips are contingent upon your ability (and mandatory required patience) to manipulate images in a software program (like Photoshop). You can find excellent image editing software for free online (but beware bloatware and malware), such as:

      • GIMP, which I have not used (yet), but appears to be the most popular free image design program on the internet.
      • Paint.Net, which I've not used either, but comes up right behind GIMP on most online lists.
      • Photo Pos Pro, which I do use and like (although I picked up some malware recently which may have been attributed to an upgrade of this program, but I don't know for certain).
      If you're still reading, here are some of my e-book cover design tips (but there are loads of good tutorials and professional opinions just a Google search away).

      1. Study other popular books in your genre and get an idea of what style of covers readers are conditioned to recognize as being indicative of the genre. It's no accident that specific graphical styles are popular with certain genres.

      2. Select a font that is readable. With e-books, customers will often be looking at thumbnails. Design for this size. Not everyone will zoom in to read the fine print. CreativINDIE has a great example of genre-grouped fonts, if you're looking for some ideas.

      3. Explore royalty-free imagery as a way to gap your artistic talent. I've linked some popular ones below (there are many more), but please, always read the licensing description, regardless of which website you find an image on:
      4. Learn how to use layers. With your editing software, you can keep different parts of your cover on separate layers (one layer for the title, one for the imagery, etc.), which allows you to modify a layer without affecting the rest of your cover. You can see through transparent layer areas to the other layers, so you can view your entire cover at one time. It might sound a little complicated, but it's easier to use than it is to explain. And it will save you headaches galore.

      5. Ask for feedback. Share your cover with beta readers and your social networks, and ask them to critique. People love to give opinions on art. You don't have to follow every bit of advice you receive, but often a fresh set of eyes can point out problems you've grown blind to.

      6. Save files at every stage of your work, both backups and progress milestones. You may want to go back to a previous version, and the undo button only goes so far. I've learned this one the hard way, believe me.

      Best of luck to you! And if you haven't heard, this is available tomorrow on Amazon and Smashwords (if you want a free copy to review, let me know and I'll hook you up):


      Tuesday, June 17, 2014

      How Not to Release a Self-Published Novel

      Technically, this is more of an article on what I failed to do, as opposed to what I did wrong, upon self-publishing my first e-book, but that's splitting hairs. Basically, this is a list of the main initiatives I would have, could have, should have undertaken before self-publishing Crimson & Cream back in 2012, and the things I'm doing now in preparation for the second edition release of Crimson & Cream and its follow-up, Mirrors & Mist. Mind you, there are a lot more things I failed to do than what I've listed below, although these are the ones I feel are most important.
      • Ask for feedback on your work in progress. I'm quite independent by nature, and it was very hard for me to clear this hurdle. Even now, it's one of my most procrastinated activities. But it's been a difference maker thus far. Reach out to communities on Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter and any other social network you're involved in. Ask for beta readers. Beg for beta readers. Participate in groups and forums. Offer to swap critiques (although I don't recommend swapping reviews, as that can be a slippery slope). Find people to read your work who are willing to provide feedback and engage them early. Although I'm a thorough self-editor, it amazes me all the little things that slip through, even after multiple re-reads. Beta readers are invaluable.
      • Scrape up some cash for a professional editor. I realize for many indie authors, extra cash is a luxury. However, if you can afford an editor, it's money well spent. If you have any budget for your self-publishing effort, hiring an editor should be your top priority. Use your social networks to shop for an editor that can work within your budget. Ask around for recommendations. Search for someone who works with your genre and check their references. Then cut them loose on your baby. I can't stress how important this is.
      • Investigate Amazon's KDP Select program. Although KDP Select is an exclusive program that prevents you from selling your book anywhere else for a 90-day period, it offers benefits many authors swear by. I dismissed KDP Select because of the exclusivity, but after doing my homework, I think this was a mistake. Amazon is notorious for its ever-changing policies, and the KDP Select of today may not be the KDP Select of tomorrow, but for now, I intend to use it for at least one 90-day period when I release Mirrors & Mist. And instead of rehashing what I've read elsewhere online, I'll point you to a couple excellent posts about KDP Select that explain the pros and cons in detail.
      • Make a plan (then try to follow it). There is no shortage of free advice available to the indie author, which is both a blessing and a curse. You're not going to be able to execute every marketing and self-promotion strategy out there. Pick your battles and select the strategies you're comfortable with. Write them down. Make a checklist, draw a flow chart, populate your calendar, whatever works for you, document it somehow and form it into an action plan. Update, tweak, and re-arrange your plan, but have a plan. Don't bank on remembering all the moving pieces of the self-promotion machine. Click here to see an example one of my plans.
      • Solicit ARC reviewers. An Advance Reading Copy (ARC) is a polished, finished-product, pre-release version of your book that you want select reviewers to read and review prior to publishing. It's important to have reviews (hopefully positive) already posted on Amazon when you 'officially' release your book. Again, instead of reinventing the wheel, I'm going to refer you to my go-to blog, Indies Unlimited, for an excellent post on the ins and outs of ARCs:
      • Consider a blog tour/hop. I've heard authors report both good and bad results on blog tours, but it's not something I tried the first time, so I'm giving it a shot this time around. You can solicit and schedule your own blog appearances, or hire someone to do it for you. Currently, I'm pursuing both options. Often, a blogger who cannot review your book will be willing to host a feature on their blog if you provide them the promotional materials (excerpt, cover, author bio, book links, giveaways, etc.). So if you're soliciting book reviews, remember to mention that you're also interested in other promotional options the blog may feature. It's a way to salvage a promotional opportunity from a declined review request.
      Author Update: If you're interested in reviewing or featuring Crimson & Cream on your blog, or becoming a beta reader for Mirrors & Mist, please let me know--I'm always looking for more help. Below, I'd like to share a new map from the upcoming second edition of Crimson & Cream, available July 1, 2014, on Smashwords and Amazon.com.








      2014 - Hello Reader of 4concpoesiaecsps, In the article you read this time with the title 2014, We have prepared this article for you to read and retrieve information therein. Hopefully the contents of postings We write this you can understand. well, happy reading.

      Title : How Not to Release a Self-Published Novel
      link : How Not to Release a Self-Published Novel

      Read Also


      2014

      Technically, this is more of an article on what I failed to do, as opposed to what I did wrong, upon self-publishing my first e-book, but that's splitting hairs. Basically, this is a list of the main initiatives I would have, could have, should have undertaken before self-publishing Crimson & Cream back in 2012, and the things I'm doing now in preparation for the second edition release of Crimson & Cream and its follow-up, Mirrors & Mist. Mind you, there are a lot more things I failed to do than what I've listed below, although these are the ones I feel are most important.

      • Ask for feedback on your work in progress. I'm quite independent by nature, and it was very hard for me to clear this hurdle. Even now, it's one of my most procrastinated activities. But it's been a difference maker thus far. Reach out to communities on Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter and any other social network you're involved in. Ask for beta readers. Beg for beta readers. Participate in groups and forums. Offer to swap critiques (although I don't recommend swapping reviews, as that can be a slippery slope). Find people to read your work who are willing to provide feedback and engage them early. Although I'm a thorough self-editor, it amazes me all the little things that slip through, even after multiple re-reads. Beta readers are invaluable.
      • Scrape up some cash for a professional editor. I realize for many indie authors, extra cash is a luxury. However, if you can afford an editor, it's money well spent. If you have any budget for your self-publishing effort, hiring an editor should be your top priority. Use your social networks to shop for an editor that can work within your budget. Ask around for recommendations. Search for someone who works with your genre and check their references. Then cut them loose on your baby. I can't stress how important this is.
      • Investigate Amazon's KDP Select program. Although KDP Select is an exclusive program that prevents you from selling your book anywhere else for a 90-day period, it offers benefits many authors swear by. I dismissed KDP Select because of the exclusivity, but after doing my homework, I think this was a mistake. Amazon is notorious for its ever-changing policies, and the KDP Select of today may not be the KDP Select of tomorrow, but for now, I intend to use it for at least one 90-day period when I release Mirrors & Mist. And instead of rehashing what I've read elsewhere online, I'll point you to a couple excellent posts about KDP Select that explain the pros and cons in detail.
      • Make a plan (then try to follow it). There is no shortage of free advice available to the indie author, which is both a blessing and a curse. You're not going to be able to execute every marketing and self-promotion strategy out there. Pick your battles and select the strategies you're comfortable with. Write them down. Make a checklist, draw a flow chart, populate your calendar, whatever works for you, document it somehow and form it into an action plan. Update, tweak, and re-arrange your plan, but have a plan. Don't bank on remembering all the moving pieces of the self-promotion machine. Click here to see an example one of my plans.
      • Solicit ARC reviewers. An Advance Reading Copy (ARC) is a polished, finished-product, pre-release version of your book that you want select reviewers to read and review prior to publishing. It's important to have reviews (hopefully positive) already posted on Amazon when you 'officially' release your book. Again, instead of reinventing the wheel, I'm going to refer you to my go-to blog, Indies Unlimited, for an excellent post on the ins and outs of ARCs:
      • Consider a blog tour/hop. I've heard authors report both good and bad results on blog tours, but it's not something I tried the first time, so I'm giving it a shot this time around. You can solicit and schedule your own blog appearances, or hire someone to do it for you. Currently, I'm pursuing both options. Often, a blogger who cannot review your book will be willing to host a feature on their blog if you provide them the promotional materials (excerpt, cover, author bio, book links, giveaways, etc.). So if you're soliciting book reviews, remember to mention that you're also interested in other promotional options the blog may feature. It's a way to salvage a promotional opportunity from a declined review request.
      Author Update: If you're interested in reviewing or featuring Crimson & Cream on your blog, or becoming a beta reader for Mirrors & Mist, please let me know--I'm always looking for more help. Below, I'd like to share a new map from the upcoming second edition of Crimson & Cream, available July 1, 2014, on Smashwords and Amazon.com.








      Wednesday, May 28, 2014

      I'm Releasing a 2nd Edition. Here's Why:

      In August 2012 (about 20 months ago), I self-published my epic fantasy novel Crimson & Cream, first book in The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy. Since then, I've written book two of the series; Mirrors & Mist. Because Crimson & Cream was originally edited in the late 1990s, I needed a new editor for Mirrors & Mist. Since it's the second book of the series, I asked my new editor (the talented +R.J. Blain) to read Crimson & Cream in preparation for the second book. Not surprisingly, she had plenty of great suggestions for Crimson & Cream, which I decided to incorporate into a new edition of the novel.

      Although the core plot of Crimson & Cream remains the same, the way the story is told changed in many subtle, but significant ways. With the guidance of my editor, I addressed the following major weaknesses:
      • Replaced the abundant 'head-hopping' with consistent point-of-view (POV) scenes. 
      • Removed a large amount of information dumps.
      • Improved immersion by replacing much of the 'telling' with 'showing.'
      • Removed the purple prose.
      • Developed the secondary characters more fully.
      • Increased the conflict and tension, primarily in the first half of the book.
      I also solicited several beta reviewers and have incorporated their feedback. In addition to the editorial improvements, a new cover, glossary, and world and regional maps are included. The maps and cover improvements were also prompted by reader suggestions.

      I honestly believe what was a pretty well-received novel in 2012 (by the few who read it) is now a significantly better read. Crimson & Cream is still a classic swords and sorcery coming-of-age adventure set in a traditional fantasy setting. However, the second edition is less cliche and derivative. Even though the world still contains familiar creatures like trolls and goblins, Crimson & Cream is a character-driven novel, and the characters--not the monsters, setting, or magic system--are the story's focus.

      When I released Crimson & Cream almost two years ago, I was a newbie and novice in every sense of the word. I had tried traditional publishing around the turn of the century and even had an agent for about a year, but nothing ever materialized. So when I decided to self-publish, I was not only low on self-confidence, but also very uneducated in self-promotion. I was too worried about failing and not prepared enough for success. 

      I had no idea how to market a book (and I'm not sure I do now, but I have tons more things to try). My first release launch consisted of me telling my wife "Hey, I just self-published an e-book." Even with the non-existent launch and marketing plan, I sold a few books and received several decent (or better) reviews.

      So in conjunction with the upcoming release of Mirrors & Mist, I'm going to re-release the new and improved version of Crimson & Cream, and launch and market it like I should have done the first time (cover reveal, ARC reviews, blog hops, and more). My plan is to be as transparent as possible (hence this post) and not try to 'trick' anyone into thinking Crimson & Cream is a brand new book (just new-to you!). Anyone who purchased the first edition of Crimson & Cream can receive the new version for free just by asking (although it's not necessary to re-read Crimson & Cream, as the plot resolution and character outcomes are unchanged).

      My schedule is to release the second edition in mid-July 2014, and follow up by releasing Mirrors & Mist later in the year, with the intent of finishing the third book, Warlock & Wyrm, in 2015. If you're interested in reviewing the ARC or getting involved as a beta reader for Mirrors & Mist, please let me know, as I appreciate all the help I receive. I'm grateful all the support I've received from the indie community and look forward to learning and sharing into the future. 






      2014 - Hello Reader of 4concpoesiaecsps, In the article you read this time with the title 2014, We have prepared this article for you to read and retrieve information therein. Hopefully the contents of postings We write this you can understand. well, happy reading.

      Title : I'm Releasing a 2nd Edition. Here's Why:
      link : I'm Releasing a 2nd Edition. Here's Why:

      Read Also


      2014

      In August 2012 (about 20 months ago), I self-published my epic fantasy novel Crimson & Cream, first book in The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy. Since then, I've written book two of the series; Mirrors & Mist. Because Crimson & Cream was originally edited in the late 1990s, I needed a new editor for Mirrors & Mist. Since it's the second book of the series, I asked my new editor (the talented +R.J. Blain) to read Crimson & Cream in preparation for the second book. Not surprisingly, she had plenty of great suggestions for Crimson & Cream, which I decided to incorporate into a new edition of the novel.

      Although the core plot of Crimson & Cream remains the same, the way the story is told changed in many subtle, but significant ways. With the guidance of my editor, I addressed the following major weaknesses:

      • Replaced the abundant 'head-hopping' with consistent point-of-view (POV) scenes. 
      • Removed a large amount of information dumps.
      • Improved immersion by replacing much of the 'telling' with 'showing.'
      • Removed the purple prose.
      • Developed the secondary characters more fully.
      • Increased the conflict and tension, primarily in the first half of the book.
      I also solicited several beta reviewers and have incorporated their feedback. In addition to the editorial improvements, a new cover, glossary, and world and regional maps are included. The maps and cover improvements were also prompted by reader suggestions.

      I honestly believe what was a pretty well-received novel in 2012 (by the few who read it) is now a significantly better read. Crimson & Cream is still a classic swords and sorcery coming-of-age adventure set in a traditional fantasy setting. However, the second edition is less cliche and derivative. Even though the world still contains familiar creatures like trolls and goblins, Crimson & Cream is a character-driven novel, and the characters--not the monsters, setting, or magic system--are the story's focus.

      When I released Crimson & Cream almost two years ago, I was a newbie and novice in every sense of the word. I had tried traditional publishing around the turn of the century and even had an agent for about a year, but nothing ever materialized. So when I decided to self-publish, I was not only low on self-confidence, but also very uneducated in self-promotion. I was too worried about failing and not prepared enough for success. 

      I had no idea how to market a book (and I'm not sure I do now, but I have tons more things to try). My first release launch consisted of me telling my wife "Hey, I just self-published an e-book." Even with the non-existent launch and marketing plan, I sold a few books and received several decent (or better) reviews.

      So in conjunction with the upcoming release of Mirrors & Mist, I'm going to re-release the new and improved version of Crimson & Cream, and launch and market it like I should have done the first time (cover reveal, ARC reviews, blog hops, and more). My plan is to be as transparent as possible (hence this post) and not try to 'trick' anyone into thinking Crimson & Cream is a brand new book (just new-to you!). Anyone who purchased the first edition of Crimson & Cream can receive the new version for free just by asking (although it's not necessary to re-read Crimson & Cream, as the plot resolution and character outcomes are unchanged).

      My schedule is to release the second edition in mid-July 2014, and follow up by releasing Mirrors & Mist later in the year, with the intent of finishing the third book, Warlock & Wyrm, in 2015. If you're interested in reviewing the ARC or getting involved as a beta reader for Mirrors & Mist, please let me know, as I appreciate all the help I receive. I'm grateful all the support I've received from the indie community and look forward to learning and sharing into the future. 






      Friday, May 16, 2014

      Release Day Shenanigans: Inquisitor by R.J. Blain

      In this post, I showcase indie author R.J. Blain, whose latest novel "Inquisitor" releases today, which also happens to be her birthday (Happy B-day!).  R.J. is the author of the novels The Eye of God and Storm Without End.  R.J. is also a mainstay on Google+ and hosts an excellent blog called "On Writing," which is packed with great content.  Below, please enjoy the blurb, bio, and an excerpt from Inquisitor.  And then buy a copy for yourself!

      Inquisitor Book Blurb:
      When Allison is asked to play Cinderella-turned-Fiancee at a Halloween ball, the last thing she expected was to be accused of murder on the same night. She has to find the killer and quick, or she'll be put to death for the crimes she didn't commit. To make matters worse, the victims are all werewolves.
      On the short list of potential victims, Allison has to act fast, or the killer will have one more body to add to his little black book of corpses.
      There's only one problem: One of the deaths has struck too close to home, and Allison's desire for self-preservation may very well transform into a quest for vengeance...

      Author R.J. Blain Bio:
      RJ Blain suffers from a Moleskine journal obsession, a pen fixation, and a terrible tendency to pun without warning.
      When she isn't playing pretend, she likes to think she's a cartographer and a sumi-e painter. In reality, she herds cats and a husband. She also has a tendency to play MMOs and other computer games.
      In her spare time, she daydreams about being a spy. Should that fail, her contingency plan involves tying her best of enemies to spinning wheels and quoting James Bond villains until she is satisfied.


      An Excerpt From Inquisitor:
      Caroline was either the best actress I’d ever seen, or she was really dead. I crouched next to her, torn between touching her neck to feel for a pulse and running away before the sweet scent of a fresh kill overwhelmed my restraint.
      A clock chimed ten. The power of the full moon slammed into me, tugging at my heart, and tightening my chest. The need to embrace my inner beast and become one with the night quickened my breath.
      Scents flooded my nose. Strong perfumes mingled with cologne, and the sweat of hot, living bodies stirred my hunger. I licked my lips, and for one brief moment, imagined the salty sweetness of fresh blood on my tongue.
      There was another hunter in the room with me, and they taunted me with their kill. Their prey was either dead or left to die. It was a challenge to the scavengers, to the hunters, and a warning to the prey.
      “What do you think?” Mark’s mother asked.
      “I think she’s an amazing actress,” I replied, careful to keep my tone light. I rose to my feet. If I grew a tail, I could only hope my gown would hide it long enough for me to slip from the party and find a place to gain control over myself.
      Or complete the change and go on a rampage.
      Another minute passed in silence. I shook my head. “This would be why I’m not a police officer.”
      The Wicked Witch of the West giggled. I shivered at the sound. “I see. Very well, Cinderella. Shall we mingle with the other guests and learn about this terrible, terrible deed?”
      “I thought this was when Mark was supposed to come rescue me from a fate worse than death,” I muttered.
      Oops. So much for keeping civil. I guess it was inevitable. Bodies brought out the worst in me. Especially when the body wasn’t one of my making. To make matters worse, I couldn’t exactly raise the alarm.
      If I did, I’d reveal to those who knew the truth about werewolves and witches that I wasn’t just some human girl after a wealthy boy. Then the Inquisition would find silver old enough to kill me or reduce me to ashes to make certain they purged the world of one more rogue werewolf.
      “Why can’t you be wealthy?” Mrs. Livingston lamented.
      The old woman’s question caught me by surprise. Had she heard me? Did she think it an amusing quip?
      Was it possible the woman actually liked me? Confused at the question, I answered honestly. “Ma’am, who says I’m not? I’m your son’s accountant. Do you really think he’d trust someone who didn’t have access to at least some money with hismoney?” I glared at the old woman. At least the brewing fight between us distracted me from Caroline’s body a little. “Don’t forget I know exactly how much he makes a year, where he transfers his funds, who owes him how much, and whom he owes. I know how much he’s paid in taxes, and I know how much I saved him last tax season.”
      The witch’s mouth dropped open. “Just what—”
      “I paid more in taxes than he did last year. I’ll let you do the math. Unless, of course, he learned how to count from you.” I pivoted on a heel and stalked my way towards the refreshment stand.


      2014 - Hello Reader of 4concpoesiaecsps, In the article you read this time with the title 2014, We have prepared this article for you to read and retrieve information therein. Hopefully the contents of postings We write this you can understand. well, happy reading.

      Title : Release Day Shenanigans: Inquisitor by R.J. Blain
      link : Release Day Shenanigans: Inquisitor by R.J. Blain

      Read Also


      2014

      In this post, I showcase indie author R.J. Blain, whose latest novel "Inquisitor" releases today, which also happens to be her birthday (Happy B-day!).  R.J. is the author of the novels The Eye of God and Storm Without End.  R.J. is also a mainstay on Google+ and hosts an excellent blog called "On Writing," which is packed with great content.  Below, please enjoy the blurb, bio, and an excerpt from Inquisitor.  And then buy a copy for yourself!

      Inquisitor Book Blurb:
      When Allison is asked to play Cinderella-turned-Fiancee at a Halloween ball, the last thing she expected was to be accused of murder on the same night. She has to find the killer and quick, or she'll be put to death for the crimes she didn't commit. To make matters worse, the victims are all werewolves.
      On the short list of potential victims, Allison has to act fast, or the killer will have one more body to add to his little black book of corpses.
      There's only one problem: One of the deaths has struck too close to home, and Allison's desire for self-preservation may very well transform into a quest for vengeance...

      Author R.J. Blain Bio:
      RJ Blain suffers from a Moleskine journal obsession, a pen fixation, and a terrible tendency to pun without warning.
      When she isn't playing pretend, she likes to think she's a cartographer and a sumi-e painter. In reality, she herds cats and a husband. She also has a tendency to play MMOs and other computer games.
      In her spare time, she daydreams about being a spy. Should that fail, her contingency plan involves tying her best of enemies to spinning wheels and quoting James Bond villains until she is satisfied.


      An Excerpt From Inquisitor:
      Caroline was either the best actress I’d ever seen, or she was really dead. I crouched next to her, torn between touching her neck to feel for a pulse and running away before the sweet scent of a fresh kill overwhelmed my restraint.
      A clock chimed ten. The power of the full moon slammed into me, tugging at my heart, and tightening my chest. The need to embrace my inner beast and become one with the night quickened my breath.
      Scents flooded my nose. Strong perfumes mingled with cologne, and the sweat of hot, living bodies stirred my hunger. I licked my lips, and for one brief moment, imagined the salty sweetness of fresh blood on my tongue.
      There was another hunter in the room with me, and they taunted me with their kill. Their prey was either dead or left to die. It was a challenge to the scavengers, to the hunters, and a warning to the prey.
      “What do you think?” Mark’s mother asked.
      “I think she’s an amazing actress,” I replied, careful to keep my tone light. I rose to my feet. If I grew a tail, I could only hope my gown would hide it long enough for me to slip from the party and find a place to gain control over myself.
      Or complete the change and go on a rampage.
      Another minute passed in silence. I shook my head. “This would be why I’m not a police officer.”
      The Wicked Witch of the West giggled. I shivered at the sound. “I see. Very well, Cinderella. Shall we mingle with the other guests and learn about this terrible, terrible deed?”
      “I thought this was when Mark was supposed to come rescue me from a fate worse than death,” I muttered.
      Oops. So much for keeping civil. I guess it was inevitable. Bodies brought out the worst in me. Especially when the body wasn’t one of my making. To make matters worse, I couldn’t exactly raise the alarm.
      If I did, I’d reveal to those who knew the truth about werewolves and witches that I wasn’t just some human girl after a wealthy boy. Then the Inquisition would find silver old enough to kill me or reduce me to ashes to make certain they purged the world of one more rogue werewolf.
      “Why can’t you be wealthy?” Mrs. Livingston lamented.
      The old woman’s question caught me by surprise. Had she heard me? Did she think it an amusing quip?
      Was it possible the woman actually liked me? Confused at the question, I answered honestly. “Ma’am, who says I’m not? I’m your son’s accountant. Do you really think he’d trust someone who didn’t have access to at least some money with hismoney?” I glared at the old woman. At least the brewing fight between us distracted me from Caroline’s body a little. “Don’t forget I know exactly how much he makes a year, where he transfers his funds, who owes him how much, and whom he owes. I know how much he’s paid in taxes, and I know how much I saved him last tax season.”
      The witch’s mouth dropped open. “Just what—”
      “I paid more in taxes than he did last year. I’ll let you do the math. Unless, of course, he learned how to count from you.” I pivoted on a heel and stalked my way towards the refreshment stand.


      Wednesday, April 30, 2014

      Mind Mapping for Authors

      Before I start, I want to thank everyone who responded to my last post. Four kind souls volunteered to beta read Crimson & Cream, and two of them already finished (thanks +Lee Lyte & +Dominique Goodall!). I also received valuable feedback on the three potential book covers. If anyone else is interested in beta reading some epic fantasy, please let me know. Thank you!

      Now, on to our regularly-scheduled program . . .

      Mind mapping (aka concept or mental mapping) is a process designed to organize ideas into a visual outline format. Mind mapping is a way to capture and organize your concepts on a chart that can be expanded, modified, prioritized, and rearranged as you need. Mind mapping is conducive to:
      • Organized Brainstorming
      • Radiant Thinking
      • Dynamic visual diagramming
      Why would mind mapping be a useful tool for an indie author? For the following reasons, and more:
      • Mind mapping is what you make it; there is no rigorous right or wrong with mind maps.
      • Outline your story visually.
      • Capture ideas and relationships grown from a central idea.
      • Create a framework for your chapters and scenes.
      • Create groups (characters, settings, story arcs) and subgroups.
      • Make placeholders for rogue ideas and save them for later integration.
      This is not a "How To" post about mind mapping, rather a "Why To." There are plenty of great resources on mind mapping without me reinventing the wheel here, but below are some ways I've used mind mapping to help organize my storytelling:
      • Use shapes as placeholders for chapter ideas, add 'sibling' boxes for scenes, goals, characters, conflict, setting, and other components that make up your chapter.
      • Order and re-arrange your chapters (or scenes, etc.) with connecting arrows.
      • Use lines to connect dependent or related items.
      • Plop down ideas as fast as they come to you and sort them out later.
      • Create a 'template' and use it as a checklist.
      There are plenty of free mind mapping programs available online. Currently, I use a program called VUE, but I've also been experimenting with MindMup, which lets you save directly to Google Drive.

      Below is a flowchart I made in VUE for my upcoming book release. I started with a mind map of marketing ideas that I organized and refined and re-organized it until I had a step-wise road map I could use.

      Author Update: I'm still finalizing the 2nd edition of Crimson & Cream in conjunction with addressing beta reader comments, while also finishing the latest batch of edits on Mirrors & Mist.

      2014 - Hello Reader of 4concpoesiaecsps, In the article you read this time with the title 2014, We have prepared this article for you to read and retrieve information therein. Hopefully the contents of postings We write this you can understand. well, happy reading.

      Title : Mind Mapping for Authors
      link : Mind Mapping for Authors

      Read Also


      2014

      Before I start, I want to thank everyone who responded to my last post. Four kind souls volunteered to beta read Crimson & Cream, and two of them already finished (thanks +Lee Lyte & +Dominique Goodall!). I also received valuable feedback on the three potential book covers. If anyone else is interested in beta reading some epic fantasy, please let me know. Thank you!

      Now, on to our regularly-scheduled program . . .

      Mind mapping (aka concept or mental mapping) is a process designed to organize ideas into a visual outline format. Mind mapping is a way to capture and organize your concepts on a chart that can be expanded, modified, prioritized, and rearranged as you need. Mind mapping is conducive to:

      • Organized Brainstorming
      • Radiant Thinking
      • Dynamic visual diagramming
      Why would mind mapping be a useful tool for an indie author? For the following reasons, and more:
      • Mind mapping is what you make it; there is no rigorous right or wrong with mind maps.
      • Outline your story visually.
      • Capture ideas and relationships grown from a central idea.
      • Create a framework for your chapters and scenes.
      • Create groups (characters, settings, story arcs) and subgroups.
      • Make placeholders for rogue ideas and save them for later integration.
      This is not a "How To" post about mind mapping, rather a "Why To." There are plenty of great resources on mind mapping without me reinventing the wheel here, but below are some ways I've used mind mapping to help organize my storytelling:
      • Use shapes as placeholders for chapter ideas, add 'sibling' boxes for scenes, goals, characters, conflict, setting, and other components that make up your chapter.
      • Order and re-arrange your chapters (or scenes, etc.) with connecting arrows.
      • Use lines to connect dependent or related items.
      • Plop down ideas as fast as they come to you and sort them out later.
      • Create a 'template' and use it as a checklist.
      There are plenty of free mind mapping programs available online. Currently, I use a program called VUE, but I've also been experimenting with MindMup, which lets you save directly to Google Drive.

      Below is a flowchart I made in VUE for my upcoming book release. I started with a mind map of marketing ideas that I organized and refined and re-organized it until I had a step-wise road map I could use.

      Author Update: I'm still finalizing the 2nd edition of Crimson & Cream in conjunction with addressing beta reader comments, while also finishing the latest batch of edits on Mirrors & Mist.

      Wednesday, April 9, 2014

      All About Me (or, A Desperate Plea for Help!)

      Today, I'm going to veer from my normal formula where I share a helpful, writing-related tidbit with you. Instead, I'm going to talk about my writing, and ask for some assistance. Truth be told, the reason I started blogging is because everything I read said authors need to blog. So I blogged. Turns out, I enjoy it and think I've helped a few people out over the years, but at the heart of it all is my writing.

      If you've been following my brief author updates at the end of each blog post, you know I plan to self-publish a second edition re-release of my first novel, Crimson & Cream, as well as debut the second book of the trilogy; Mirrors & Mist.

      Since Crimson & Cream's release in 2012, I hired a wonderful new editor (R.J. Blain) to review my second novel. However, because it is book two of a trilogy, I also enlisted R.J. to review Crimson & Cream, so she wouldn't have to start in the middle of the trilogy. R.J. provided some fantastic feedback and ideas and I decided to incorporate those revisions into a second edition, and re-release Crimson & Cream with new cover art, a world map, and a glossary, along with the newly-edited text.

      Now, here comes the part where I ask for help. While I'm incorporating R.J.'s edits and suggestions into Mirrors & Mist, I'd like to get the 'New & Improved' version of Crimson & Cream in the hands of some beta readers (of which, I currently have none). This is where you come in. I want to start my 'casting call' here on my blog, to give those most familiar with me and my writing the chance to get involved.

      So here's my pitch: if you're interested in a free e-book of Crimson & Cream and are willing to provide me your feedback, I'll also give you free advanced copies of Mirrors & Mist and the final book, Warlock & Wyrm (working title) for free (when they are finished), regardless of your continued role as a beta reader (although I hope you would continue beta reading throughout the trilogy, and beyond).

      Crimson & Cream is the first book of a character-driven, epic fantasy trilogy that takes place in a traditional fantasy setting. If you'd like to know more about Crimson & Cream before deciding, my web page is the place to find it: http://cmskiera.yourresearchhelp.com/  I'm also happy to answer any questions you may have. There's really no commitment--even if you don't read the book or provide feedback, I won't ask for the e-book back. Also, if you know someone who might be interested, please pass the information along.

      Also, below, I've included three versions of the potential new cover, and would love to hear your opinions. Thank you!



      2014 - Hello Reader of 4concpoesiaecsps, In the article you read this time with the title 2014, We have prepared this article for you to read and retrieve information therein. Hopefully the contents of postings We write this you can understand. well, happy reading.

      Title : All About Me (or, A Desperate Plea for Help!)
      link : All About Me (or, A Desperate Plea for Help!)

      Read Also


      2014

      Today, I'm going to veer from my normal formula where I share a helpful, writing-related tidbit with you. Instead, I'm going to talk about my writing, and ask for some assistance. Truth be told, the reason I started blogging is because everything I read said authors need to blog. So I blogged. Turns out, I enjoy it and think I've helped a few people out over the years, but at the heart of it all is my writing.

      If you've been following my brief author updates at the end of each blog post, you know I plan to self-publish a second edition re-release of my first novel, Crimson & Cream, as well as debut the second book of the trilogy; Mirrors & Mist.

      Since Crimson & Cream's release in 2012, I hired a wonderful new editor (R.J. Blain) to review my second novel. However, because it is book two of a trilogy, I also enlisted R.J. to review Crimson & Cream, so she wouldn't have to start in the middle of the trilogy. R.J. provided some fantastic feedback and ideas and I decided to incorporate those revisions into a second edition, and re-release Crimson & Cream with new cover art, a world map, and a glossary, along with the newly-edited text.

      Now, here comes the part where I ask for help. While I'm incorporating R.J.'s edits and suggestions into Mirrors & Mist, I'd like to get the 'New & Improved' version of Crimson & Cream in the hands of some beta readers (of which, I currently have none). This is where you come in. I want to start my 'casting call' here on my blog, to give those most familiar with me and my writing the chance to get involved.

      So here's my pitch: if you're interested in a free e-book of Crimson & Cream and are willing to provide me your feedback, I'll also give you free advanced copies of Mirrors & Mist and the final book, Warlock & Wyrm (working title) for free (when they are finished), regardless of your continued role as a beta reader (although I hope you would continue beta reading throughout the trilogy, and beyond).

      Crimson & Cream is the first book of a character-driven, epic fantasy trilogy that takes place in a traditional fantasy setting. If you'd like to know more about Crimson & Cream before deciding, my web page is the place to find it: http://cmskiera.yourresearchhelp.com/  I'm also happy to answer any questions you may have. There's really no commitment--even if you don't read the book or provide feedback, I won't ask for the e-book back. Also, if you know someone who might be interested, please pass the information along.

      Also, below, I've included three versions of the potential new cover, and would love to hear your opinions. Thank you!



      Saturday, March 29, 2014

      Free ebooks on the Craft of Writing

      There are probably millions of books offering advice to writers. That's both a blessing and a curse. How do you sort the good from the bad, and find writing guides applicable to your needs? If you're looking for helpful free resources (outside of your local library), here are a few free e-books that are pre-screened (by me) and well-rated (on Amazon and or/Smashwords) with helpful information for writers.

      These ebooks are brief and concise, and include descriptive examples, which are three of the main characteristics I look for in guidance documents. I'm not an expert writer, so I'm not looking for super-advanced or theoretical help, just guidance with fundamentals and basic concepts of writing and self-publishing.

      I've read each of the books below and found each of them valuable:

      Smashwords Titles
      Smashwords Book Marketing Guide By Mark Coker
      An easy-to-implement guide on how to market ebooks.  My rating; 5 stars.

      The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success By Mark Coker
      The 30 best practices of bestselling self-published ebook authors.  My rating; 4 stars.

      How to Edit, Revise and Rewrite Your Novel--A Quick and Simple Guide By Gordon Kessler
      A rule-of-thumb style guide for editing your writing.  My rating;  4 stars.

      Put the Cat In the Oven Before You Describe the Kitchen By Jake Vander Ark
      Twenty writing tips for novice (and intermediate) writers.  My rating;  4 stars.

      Amazon Titles
      How to Write More Words More Easily (Fiction Writing HELP) By Terrance Field
      Guidelines for writing an interesting, page-turning story. My rating; 4stars.

      I also picked up The New Author by R.A. Barnes for free, however, it's no longer free, but a still-reasonable $3.82.  However, if you're going to spend a few bucks, I would recommend paying an extra dollar for Martin Crosbie's How I sold 30,000 e-books, which is similar to The New Author, covers a lot of the same ground and is more comprehensive, in my opinion.  Either way, they are both good resources.

      Author Update: I sent Mirrors & Mist back to my editor and received surprisingly good feedback, which is an excellent motivator.  So along with watching a lot of college hoops, I'm finalizing the 2nd edition of Crimson & Cream before I jump back into finishing the latest batch of edits on Mirrors & Mist.



      2014 - Hello Reader of 4concpoesiaecsps, In the article you read this time with the title 2014, We have prepared this article for you to read and retrieve information therein. Hopefully the contents of postings We write this you can understand. well, happy reading.

      Title : Free ebooks on the Craft of Writing
      link : Free ebooks on the Craft of Writing

      Read Also


      2014

      There are probably millions of books offering advice to writers. That's both a blessing and a curse. How do you sort the good from the bad, and find writing guides applicable to your needs? If you're looking for helpful free resources (outside of your local library), here are a few free e-books that are pre-screened (by me) and well-rated (on Amazon and or/Smashwords) with helpful information for writers.

      These ebooks are brief and concise, and include descriptive examples, which are three of the main characteristics I look for in guidance documents. I'm not an expert writer, so I'm not looking for super-advanced or theoretical help, just guidance with fundamentals and basic concepts of writing and self-publishing.

      I've read each of the books below and found each of them valuable:

      Smashwords Titles
      Smashwords Book Marketing Guide By Mark Coker
      An easy-to-implement guide on how to market ebooks.  My rating; 5 stars.

      The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success By Mark Coker
      The 30 best practices of bestselling self-published ebook authors.  My rating; 4 stars.

      How to Edit, Revise and Rewrite Your Novel--A Quick and Simple Guide By Gordon Kessler
      A rule-of-thumb style guide for editing your writing.  My rating;  4 stars.

      Put the Cat In the Oven Before You Describe the Kitchen By Jake Vander Ark
      Twenty writing tips for novice (and intermediate) writers.  My rating;  4 stars.

      Amazon Titles
      How to Write More Words More Easily (Fiction Writing HELP) By Terrance Field
      Guidelines for writing an interesting, page-turning story. My rating; 4stars.

      I also picked up The New Author by R.A. Barnes for free, however, it's no longer free, but a still-reasonable $3.82.  However, if you're going to spend a few bucks, I would recommend paying an extra dollar for Martin Crosbie's How I sold 30,000 e-books, which is similar to The New Author, covers a lot of the same ground and is more comprehensive, in my opinion.  Either way, they are both good resources.

      Author Update: I sent Mirrors & Mist back to my editor and received surprisingly good feedback, which is an excellent motivator.  So along with watching a lot of college hoops, I'm finalizing the 2nd edition of Crimson & Cream before I jump back into finishing the latest batch of edits on Mirrors & Mist.



      Wednesday, March 12, 2014

      I'll Watch Over You by Angeline Trevena

      One of my goals for this blog was to help showcase fellow indie authors of speculative fiction.  However, it's been a while since my last feature, so today I get back on track by presenting Angeline Trevena, whose latest short story "I'll Watch Over You" is included in the the anthology titled A Chimerical World: Tales of the Unseelie Court, published by Seventh Star Press and edited by Scott M. Sandridge. The anthology is available as paperback or ebook from Amazon http://authl.it/B00IAHTVSC

      Angeline is one of the many authors in the wonderful Google+ Community Fantasy Writers that I'm a member of, and I'm happy to present a glimpse of the author, her short story "I'll Watch Over You" and the book where it can be found; A Chimerical World: Tales of the Unseelie Court.

      The Fey have been with us since the beginning, sometimes to our great joy but often to our detriment. Usually divided (at least by us silly humans) into two courts, the second volume of A Chimerical World focuses on the Unseelie Court: the court we humans seem to view as the “evil” faeries. But “good” and “evil” are human concepts and as alien to the Fey as their mindsets are to us.

      Inside you will find 19 stories that delve into the world of the faeries of the Unseelie Court, from authors both established and new.

      But don’t be surprised if these faeries decide to play with their food.


      AUTHOR BIO:
      Angeline Trevena was born and bred in a rural corner of South West England where she still lives above a milkshake shop. She is a fantasy and horror writer, poet and journalist.

      Her short stories have been published by Mirador Publishing, Crooked Cat Publishing, Angelic Knight Press, Horrified Press, Seventh Star Press and Sirens Call Publications. She has also had stories accepted by Emby Press and Fringeworks for future publication.

      Some years ago she worked at an antique auction house and religiously checked every wardrobe that came in to see if Narnia was in the back of it. She's still not given up looking for it.  www.angelinetrevena.co.uk

      GUEST POST BY ANGELINE:
      I've always been fascinated with fairies and, growing up on the edge of Dartmoor in the South West of the UK, I was surrounded with fairy folklore and legends. Be it fairy rings, shadowy groves, or the infamous residents of Pixieland, Dartmoor is filled with little folk ready to help or hinder you.

      But not all fairies are into granting wishes or swapping your baby teeth for money.

      My love of horror originally started in my teens, with my brother and I watching every horror movie we could get our hands on. We devoured the likes of 'Nightmare on Elm Street', 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' and 'The Shining', although it wasn't until my late twenties that I actually picked up my first Stephen King novel.

      I still adore horror movies, and I'm working my way through Stephen King's bibliography, despite being one of the most unlikely horror fans ever. I am a wimp. I'm scared of everything. I've even been known to have nightmares after watching an Eddie Murphy film. Sad but true. In turn, I'm also not what people would expect from a horror writer. I'm chatty and upbeat, I love kittens and ice cream, my writing desk is bright pink. But somewhere deep inside me, resides something dark and twisted with a truly sick imagination, and I let it out whenever I write.

      My short story, 'I'll Watch Over You', is a tense and atmospheric changeling story, which sees a new mother, Ellen, desperate to save her child from the evil creature trying to steal him. Of course, her husband thinks it's nothing but her hormones gone haywire.

      I wrote 'I'll Watch Over You' shortly after giving birth to my own son, and I set the story in the small Devon town I grew up in. It was all very personal. One of the aspects of the story revolves around the baby monitor. Ellen hears voices through it, ominously promising to take her son, to claim him as their own. Largely writing late in the evenings, I spent much of my writing time with one suspicious eye watching my baby monitor. I found myself scared to listen to it closely, paranoid that, if I held it to my ear, I might hear something terrifying. This is a feeling that still hasn't entirely left me.

      It's not the first time I've managed to spook myself with my own writing. A previous story about soul-stealing felines, left me somewhat wary of my own cat for months.

      While writing 'I'll Watch Over You', atmosphere was a big consideration. I used silence and the slow passing of time facilitated by Ellen being home alone with the baby. Her increased feeling of isolation allows her paranoia to build, and her husband's denial feeds this even further. The story tracks Ellen's slow descent into obsession and apparent madness; feelings that, in many ways, mirrored my own as a new mother.

      They say 'write what you know', and this is one very close-to-home story that I feel is all the better for it.

      2014 - Hello Reader of 4concpoesiaecsps, In the article you read this time with the title 2014, We have prepared this article for you to read and retrieve information therein. Hopefully the contents of postings We write this you can understand. well, happy reading.

      Title : I'll Watch Over You by Angeline Trevena
      link : I'll Watch Over You by Angeline Trevena

      Read Also


      2014

      One of my goals for this blog was to help showcase fellow indie authors of speculative fiction.  However, it's been a while since my last feature, so today I get back on track by presenting Angeline Trevena, whose latest short story "I'll Watch Over You" is included in the the anthology titled A Chimerical World: Tales of the Unseelie Court, published by Seventh Star Press and edited by Scott M. Sandridge. The anthology is available as paperback or ebook from Amazon http://authl.it/B00IAHTVSC

      Angeline is one of the many authors in the wonderful Google+ Community Fantasy Writers that I'm a member of, and I'm happy to present a glimpse of the author, her short story "I'll Watch Over You" and the book where it can be found; A Chimerical World: Tales of the Unseelie Court.

      The Fey have been with us since the beginning, sometimes to our great joy but often to our detriment. Usually divided (at least by us silly humans) into two courts, the second volume of A Chimerical World focuses on the Unseelie Court: the court we humans seem to view as the “evil” faeries. But “good” and “evil” are human concepts and as alien to the Fey as their mindsets are to us.

      Inside you will find 19 stories that delve into the world of the faeries of the Unseelie Court, from authors both established and new.

      But don’t be surprised if these faeries decide to play with their food.


      AUTHOR BIO:
      Angeline Trevena was born and bred in a rural corner of South West England where she still lives above a milkshake shop. She is a fantasy and horror writer, poet and journalist.

      Her short stories have been published by Mirador Publishing, Crooked Cat Publishing, Angelic Knight Press, Horrified Press, Seventh Star Press and Sirens Call Publications. She has also had stories accepted by Emby Press and Fringeworks for future publication.

      Some years ago she worked at an antique auction house and religiously checked every wardrobe that came in to see if Narnia was in the back of it. She's still not given up looking for it.  www.angelinetrevena.co.uk

      GUEST POST BY ANGELINE:
      I've always been fascinated with fairies and, growing up on the edge of Dartmoor in the South West of the UK, I was surrounded with fairy folklore and legends. Be it fairy rings, shadowy groves, or the infamous residents of Pixieland, Dartmoor is filled with little folk ready to help or hinder you.

      But not all fairies are into granting wishes or swapping your baby teeth for money.

      My love of horror originally started in my teens, with my brother and I watching every horror movie we could get our hands on. We devoured the likes of 'Nightmare on Elm Street', 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' and 'The Shining', although it wasn't until my late twenties that I actually picked up my first Stephen King novel.

      I still adore horror movies, and I'm working my way through Stephen King's bibliography, despite being one of the most unlikely horror fans ever. I am a wimp. I'm scared of everything. I've even been known to have nightmares after watching an Eddie Murphy film. Sad but true. In turn, I'm also not what people would expect from a horror writer. I'm chatty and upbeat, I love kittens and ice cream, my writing desk is bright pink. But somewhere deep inside me, resides something dark and twisted with a truly sick imagination, and I let it out whenever I write.

      My short story, 'I'll Watch Over You', is a tense and atmospheric changeling story, which sees a new mother, Ellen, desperate to save her child from the evil creature trying to steal him. Of course, her husband thinks it's nothing but her hormones gone haywire.

      I wrote 'I'll Watch Over You' shortly after giving birth to my own son, and I set the story in the small Devon town I grew up in. It was all very personal. One of the aspects of the story revolves around the baby monitor. Ellen hears voices through it, ominously promising to take her son, to claim him as their own. Largely writing late in the evenings, I spent much of my writing time with one suspicious eye watching my baby monitor. I found myself scared to listen to it closely, paranoid that, if I held it to my ear, I might hear something terrifying. This is a feeling that still hasn't entirely left me.

      It's not the first time I've managed to spook myself with my own writing. A previous story about soul-stealing felines, left me somewhat wary of my own cat for months.

      While writing 'I'll Watch Over You', atmosphere was a big consideration. I used silence and the slow passing of time facilitated by Ellen being home alone with the baby. Her increased feeling of isolation allows her paranoia to build, and her husband's denial feeds this even further. The story tracks Ellen's slow descent into obsession and apparent madness; feelings that, in many ways, mirrored my own as a new mother.

      They say 'write what you know', and this is one very close-to-home story that I feel is all the better for it.