Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The Farloft Chronicles and the Dragon Who Tweets!

My relationship with Farloft, my dragon muse, started in 1996. My nephew, James, was nine years old and having a problem with the concept of ownership. It wasn't that he stole, it was that he made some really poor trades. Let's just say you wouldn't have wanted him on your corporate bargaining team.

He would go to school with a new winter coat and come home coat-less, with a transformer toy. His mother would have to go to school to retrieve the coat from the student he struck the trade.

James just didn't seem to get it. His parents talked to him, his grandparents, I even took a stab at it, but it was a concept he was having real issues with. I wondered, 'who would a little nine year old boy listen to?'

Saturday, December 16, 2017

A Book Series is Born out of an Accident - The Star Traveler Series

Most authors will tell you they have been writing all their lives. I am no exception. My mother started me writing a diary in my early teens. That progressed to 'journaling' as I grew older. This eventually grew into shortstory writing and on to blogging, which landed me a biweekly column in our local newspaper for four years.

However, it was an accident, a physical accident, that prompted me to write my first book, The Helavite War.

I broke my foot.

The doctor said there was a direct ratio of how fast my broken heel would mend, to how much time I spent off of it. I had to work my 8-5 job, but once I got home, I sat down to take the pressure off. I wanted out of that clumsy boot.

This was in 1990 and long before I had anything like Netflix, Roku or Amazon Prime to keep me occupied. I can't remember the exact moment I decided to write the book. I do know that it had been peculating in my brain from the time I was a child.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Why did I write the In2Minds Series with David Stevens?

I find life so full of pleasant surprises. One of the nicest ones in my years of being a published author was meeting and becoming friends with David Stevens. Though we live an ocean apart, we often joke about being twins separated at birth.

I met David early in my career (2013) when I first started out on twitter. He was so kind and supportive. Even though I ran a printshop and protested the expense, he had calling cards printed up for me and sent them to me to advertise the first two books I self-published, The Helavite War and James & the Dragon.

David and I both had an affinity for dragons. I have Farloft, my muse, and David has a young dragon named Robert, who is constantly getting into mischief. Farloft, being an older dragon, took Robert under his wing, and except for a slight indulgence one night over a cask of sherry, the two have been well behaved. *grins*

David and I started beta reading each others manuscripts. I found David to be a great one to catch little bloopers I make when I am deep in the dialogue and forget where I am. For instance, in Shifting Agony & Ecstasy he challenged my use of a refrigerator in The Realms, where there is no electricity.

I, on the other hand, often put 'words' in David's mouth, or should I say, his character's mouths. He hates writing dialogue and I love it. So he will often send me the narrative and I will expand on it.

That is basically what happened in early 2015 with the first In2Minds book. David sent it to me and asked me to give him my opinion. He thought it was one of the best things he had ever written. I agreed, but wanted more dialogue to draw the characters closer together, so we decided to work together to write the In2Minds trilogy. We just finished the final installment and it will be up as our first book in 2018.

I'd like to show you the new cover alongside the two previous. I think they are stunning - created by Sherry D. Ramsey. The graphic is also new and put together by the talented Carol Marrs Phipps.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Author Recap of 2017 and Goals for 2018

It is about this time each year when I begin to reflect on my past year’s accomplishments as an author. I have been a self-published writer for four and a half years as of this month – originally published in May of 2013. A lot has happened in that time. As of this writing, I have twenty-six books in print, in four different genres.

As I have stated in my recaps in the past, I like to set goals for the upcoming year rather than making New Year’s resolutions. Some of these goals I achieve, some I set aside and some roll-over to become renewed goals because they were just so ‘darn good’ in the first place.

Marketing is always a challenge for an indie-author, and I tried many new things this year, which I would like to share. Some worked. Some did not. I try to keep in mind that in 2015 (the most recent year they have stats) Bowker, the folks who issue ISBN numbers, stated there were over 700,000 books self-published. It is hard to stand out in such a huge crowd. Marketing your books is like Dory’s advice in the Pixar film, ‘just keep swimming.’