Entries are posted from Jan - Dec and excludes giveaways/contests/special events posts


Novels, Fame, and Pirates? Oh My! [Feb 1, 2012]

I never thought I'd ever have to write a post like this, but I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later, though I would have preferred later.

I have recently had the pleasant *lol* and surprising experience of having my novels Werelove Midnight Revelations and Werelove Dusk Conspiracy pirated. Yep, you heard me, pirated.

Before this happened to me, I didn't really give much thought to the whole thing. I mean, I'm an indie author in a sea of indie authors. Who in the world would want to take my novels? I know right now that my friends and confidants are all pitching a fit about my opinion on my writing worth, but I was content to be a small fish in a big pond.

However, that does not mean that I will allow myself to be eaten by pirates fishing for things to grab. It's not like my ebooks are so outrageously high. 99 cents is the cheapest at that any of the major ebook distributors will let you get away with, pricing -wise. I don't include free because that doesn't count because you're giving it away.

Imagine my surprise when I followed the google alert (Authors you should set them up HERE) to Scribd, who I use to post excerpts of my work and that's it. A user had not only uploaded Werelove Midnight Revelations, but fourteen other novels by YA novels, many of them indie but some from major publishing houses.

My initial reaction was surprise. Seriously, someone thought me worthy of a steal to give away for free. I wasn't even going to make a fuss either because, I'll admit a vain moment. I mean, really, I always equated pirates of ebooks to those with success, bestsellers, etc. It never occurred to me to be in that category.

But, after talking with several authors who pointed out the financial downside to the piracy I had to adjust my thinking. I'm a single parent who is writing 1) because I absolutely do love it and 2) to get a little income in to be able to give my kids something besides, "sorry, we're poor, and you can't have that." I hated hearing that when I was growing up and I so don't want to do that to my two wild ones.

But, I digress. Back to the topic. I went through Scribd's process and got it removed. I also let the other authors know what had happened. What they did, I have no idea, but at least my conscience was clear.

Which brings us to the latest bit of piracy that was discovered by my editor. A website, Epub Bud, had Werelove Dusk Conspiracy uploaded. I filled out the copyright infringement complaint form and I'm waiting to hear back. If I don't hear something by Monday, I'm going to get a little bit aggressive.

Because of these two incidents, I'm now going to be applying DRM to my books which I really, really didn't want to do but I was taught that stealing is wrong and I'm not going to condone it.

If you want my books, keep visiting this blog. I'm doing so many blog hops, giveaways and more that there are more than enough chances to snag something.

Which brings me to my last question, now that I've been pirated twice, does that make me famous? Just wondering.


You write like... [Feb 12, 2012]

While cleaning out my bookmarks yesterday, I stumbled across a link to the "I Write Like" website that came out last year and had a lot people in a tizzy. It's a fun little game where you copy and paste some of your story to be analyzed. When it's done, it tells you what famous person you write like.

Since I was in a goofy mood, I thought I give it a try on three of my latest WIPs.

Drum roll please.....And here are the results:
YA/Sci-fi 
I write like Arthur Clarke

I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

 
MG/YA Fantasy
I write like L. Frank Baum

I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

 
Unnamed WIP (Fantasy/Paranormal)
I write like Jonathan Swift

I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

 


2011 Final Ebook Figures [Feb 23, 2012]

It's taken me a while to compile all my stats because I use two platforms, Kindle Digital Publishing and Smashwords. But, here are my ebook final figures for 2011.

Totals by Title

Title Kindle Smashwords
Jewels 1581 171
Werelove Dusk Conspiracy 296 166
Moonbeams 44 38
Werelove Midnight Revelations 113 45
Moon Feast (free short story) 1 1436

Kindle (all titles) - 2035

Smashwords (all titles) - 1856

**Ebook Totals (all publishing platforms) - 3891 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Fun facts:

Most ebooks sold in a month (Kindle): Jewels

Highest selling ebook for the year (Kindle): Jewels

Most ebooks sold in a month (Smashwords): Jewels

Highest selling ebook for the year (Smashwords): Jewels

(figures for freebies were excluded for the fun facts section)


New Release Day [May 25, 2012]

Genre: YA/Science Fiction/Adventure/Soap Opera

How far would you go to save your people? Shinjiro Waylin is about to find out when his first Space Fleet mission goes from ordinary to dangerous.

Sometimes, it's better to keep one's hands to one's self.

Available in Ebook formats (paperback coming soon)

Kindle

Smashwords


This Is Why I Write [Jun 10, 2012]

There are moments in a writer's life when we have to sing out with joy and let the cosmos hear how exuberant we feel. That day came for me on June 8, 2012 when I received in the mail my first contract, from Turkish publisher Artemis Yayinlari for Werelove Dusk Conspiracy and Werelove Midnight Revelations.

I also have to thank the Nurcihan Kesim Literary Agency for being the contact that made this possible. Special thanks to Filiz Karaman from Nurcihan for putting up with my endless questions. I appreciate all that you've done.

To all my readers of this series, thank you for all your support. To get the full details, hear my special announcement message on the Werelove Series Facebook page.  


Interview for The Next Big Thing [Sep 27, 2012]

What is the working title of your book?

Werelove: Night Betrayals

Where did the idea come from for the book?

This is actually the third book in the Werelove series but the original idea for the Werelove series came from my desire to to write a shapeshifter story and to write something for young adults.

What genre does your book fall under?

I love to mix genres so the series is a mix of paranormal romance and science fiction.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Wow, I have no idea. Hmm maybe have John Travolta play Henry because I love his acting as a villain.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

With a life in flux, unexpected abilities and a society she doesn't understand, Laylah must navigate this minefield to find her own happiness.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Indie all the way, baby!

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I'm still working on this but so far I've been chugging away on it for about six months.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I don't like comparing my books because I don't think there's one quite like mine that I've read yet. But if you like shapeshifter stories try authors Lilil St. Crow, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Ivy Devlin, Lora Leigh and others in those genres.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

Myself. No, I swear I'm not being conceited. I really wanted to take my teen experiences and turn them into a story.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

Werelove is a series with the first five books focusing on Laylah Le Croix. The story is strong on characters and plot and I like to twist you.

Other Author participants:

Flossie Benton


Let the Madness Commence [Nov 5, 2012]

This post is a little belated but I thought, what the heck? Post it anyway. So here you go.

It is that time again, ladies and gentlemen, when the writers (published and unpublished) around the world lose their minds. That's right, it's NaNoWriMo time!

Now, if you are new to the NaNo landscape, here are some things for you to learn:

  1. You are not alone. Worldwide there are other NaNo participants laboring away at that 50,000 word count goal for the same 30 days as you.
  2. Pace yourself. It's really easy to get burned out if you overdo things.
  3. Don't edit. The point is to get all your thoughts down. Editing/Revising will come in time.
  4. Enjoy writing and don't forget to take a break. All work and play makes Jack/Jill a dull person.
  5. Make sure to backup your work. It's all well in good to save to your hard drive but keep a copy on a flash/jump drive as well as a cloud server (Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.)
  6. Last, but not least, have fun and enjoy the company of other NaNo participants. Don't forget to use the forums and attend write-ins and other NaNo-related events. Writing doesn't have to be a lonely person's occupation.


NaNo Check-in [Nov 20, 2012]

This is going to be a bit on the short side, but I wanted to check-in. So far this NaNo season has been rather good to me. I'm only a two days off my progress which I hope to be getting back with a few really goo d days of writing.

I'm feeling a little strange about writing the sequel to my 2010 debut novel, Jewels. When I had written Jewels, I hadn't really planned anything beyond that first book. But, thanks to readers and the Kindle bestseller list that Jewels has continued to be on since Sept 2011, I've had a chance to rethink doing a sequel.

The goal is to write and enjoy this sequel as much as I did with the first. Here's hoping it will be good.


The Next Big Thing: Werelove Series [Dec 5, 2012]

Visit the official Werelove Series site

1. What is the working title of your book? Werelove: Night Betrayals (just finished it)

2. Where did the idea come from for the book? The idea for the Werelove series came from my desire to write a story for older teens and adults that deals with life in all its aspects both light and dark.

3. What genre does your book fall under? Dark paranormal romance with touches of science-fiction

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters? Never really thought about it, lol

5. What is the one sentence synopsis of your book? Third book in the Werelove series that takes the saga in a dark direction.

6. Will your book be self published or represented by an agency? Indie all the way, baby!

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? This particular novel took 8 months to write.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? I don't. Each writer's story is unique.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book? People in general and the struggles they face both seen and unseen.

10.What else about your book might pique the reader's interest? It is part of the Werelove series and this is a shifter book. So you don't just have werewolves, but felines, birds, etc.  

I would like to thank and tag Flossie Benton-Rogers for inviting me to jump on the bandwagon. I always enjoy riding during a hop ;)

I'm tagging an amazing writer, Brenda Cothern, who wanted to jump on the bandwagon, too.


To Write a Series, Or not...That is the question [Dec 14, 2012]

As the year winds down, and I look back at the incredible journey my writing has taken me on, I've taken time out to ponder some topics that have crossed my mind during 2012, as well as address some of my fears in regards to my writing.

When I was first getting started back in 2008, my goal was to write stand-alone novels. No way was I EVER going to do a series. The very thought terrified the living daylights out of me. I've read many authors in my time who have series (Anne McCaffrey, Laurell K. Hamilton, Andre Norton, Anne Rice, Robert Jordan [to name a few]) and I've seen what happens when a series loses steam.

I was afraid that if I wrote more than one or possibly two books about a character/universe, that I would fall into the same pitfalls as some of my favorite authors.

Some of the failings that I've noticed about series writing:

  1. Main characters sometimes change too drastically instead of having a nice paced evolution.
  2. Overall plot of series gets lost in the shuffle.
  3. World building gets a little stagnant.
  4. Characters the reader no longer cares about.
  5. Sloppy writing technique (more on that later).
  6. Long winded books/too short books.

I'm going to take a moment and look at each one.

Main characters sometimes change too drastically instead of having a nice paced evolution. Let's say, for example, that your main character starts out as a kick-butt, no nonsense superhero. However, by the time you get to book seven, she's turned into a doormat who can't save herself and must be request by her main squeeze. One word to someone up that silliness: UGH! Now, granted, if there's a reason that your heroine has such a drastic personality change, such as she got hit with a "turn into a wimp spell," then, okay, I'll bite. If there's no obvious reason for the change, then I've now become a very unhappy camper.

Overall plot of series gets lost in the shuffle. You had a great plot but you didn't think you could finish it in one book. So you decided more were needed. That's great, just don't lose sight of what you were writing about to begin with. That's where outlining can come in handy. You can always adjust it as you go along. The great thing about it is that your theme/plot will always be in front of you.

World building gets a little stagnant. This is always a hazard for science fiction/fanatasy/paranormal stories. Your world building doesn't have to be too complex but it needs to breathe. Changes in setting and locale are a must.

Characters the reader no longer cares about. If your character(s) start out three-dimensional but then suddenly become two-dimensional, your readers will desert you. Once again, unless there is a reason [see #1's explanation on this list], losing sight of a character's motivations, emotions, etc. is a big no-no.

Sloppy writing technique. Unless you have a point to prove by having rambling paragraphs or over the top sweeping prose, make sure your writing style is A) readable and B) properly edited. Small editing mistakes happen. However, using the wrong character name or having a drastic change in appearance in a character are glaring errors and can throw readers out of a story.

Long winded books/too short books. You want to write your grand opus, your masterpiece and you feel you have to use as many words as possible. Um, caution sign ahead. Know when to stop. You may be rambling and could have stopped 100 pages ago. On the other hand, you think you're done only to realize that the story needs to be fleshed out. Regardless of which extreme, don't be afraid to stop. Remember, you're writing a series and can always put material in the next book.

Once you get over your fear, writing a series can be fun. I'm enjoying the challenges and the rewards of series writing.

There were so few post in 2012 because of the massive blog hops I participated in each month.



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All blog entries for Dec 2013 and forward are on the main blog site here.