I haven't linked it to the Kindle version so the versions and reviews display, but hopefully that will happen this week. Be sure to show some love and hit that "like" button! It's also available in the UK, so do an Amazon Search. Please feel free to recommend to readers you know who don't own a Kindle or Nook, or who just enjoy owning paperbacks.
Here is the size of the book in comparison to standard paperback (far left). It's about a quarter of an inch shorter lengthwise than Chloe Neill's series. So it's a great size, and I'm really excited to see paperbacks getting bigger. They fit easier in your hand and the pages feel less gritty than some of the smaller books.
I'll be working on Twist in January. As stated before, I have to design the full cover and review proof copies before they'll go live. But hey, it gives everyone something to look forward to between now and the release of Book Four.:-)
I don't know that I'm really in a qualified position to give advice, usually that's reserved for those bestsellers who churn out 50 million books a year. But I have experienced a successful beginning as far as Indie publishing goes, exceeding far beyond my expectations, as well as the norm. I decided to close out the year with a little advice for those who are published or are considering publishing. Take it for what it's worth, this is just based on my personal experience through the past 15 months.
It's a long post, but really directed at those who are considering publishing, or are already in it.
THE COVER IS EVERYTHING.
Don't let anyone tell you that the cover doesn't matter. If your book is that great and word of mouth circulates enough that your crappy cover makes the bestseller list, you're an exception. Most of us browsing on Amazon don't have time to click on every single book to read the blurb. The only thing you see initially when doing your quick scroll are:
A. The Cover (better make it good)
B. The Author name (if nobody knows you, this doesn't count)
C. The Price. Seems simple if you're a 99 cent book. But if every other book in your genre is also set at the same price, who cares? Then where are we at? The cover.
The cover is enough to get a reader to click on your book and find out more. It doesn't guarantee sales, or even that they'll like your book. But it's no different than stores who gussy up their window displays, or car lots who put the best cars in front by the street.
TWIST's cover is the first. The model has that very urban fantasy feel, and I added a few items to pique the interest of the consumer. What's up with the key? What's up with the shooting star? What is she looking at?
The second cover didn't work out. The title was bad, the males head was cut off, there's too much dead space in the middle, and the author font is horrendous. It had potential, it just wasn't pulled together.
It's never too late to get a new cover. If what you have isn't working because it doesn't represent your book or could be better, then redo it. It won't guarantee your book will sell, but it won't hurt to have a new and improved version.
YOU ARE NOT AN EDITOR
Most of us graduated high school and may own a few English books, but does that mean we have a firm grasp on the English language? No. Editors do not come cheap, but they will help get your book where it needs to be. As many steps as I go through with edits, my editor makes my books bleed red ink. There are different types of editors, so do your research. I speak from experience because with Sterling, I couldn't afford an editor, nor did I have the resources on where to find one. Honestly, I thought only 10 people would buy the book. Who knew?
Don't go into publishing thinking like that or only 10 people will read your book and give it 1-star ratings based on your editing that you can never erase.
What can you do?
1. Get a team of beta readers together, some with experience. Lots of eyes catch different things that you don't. Do not rely on beta readers to edit your book. They are not qualified editors. You should also have plenty of books on grammar on your bookshelf.
2 Purchase editing software. It won't make you write better, but it will identify homonyms, typos, glue words, slang, English/British usage, etc. Don't always trust the suggested change - do your research if you're not sure.
3. Text to speech software. Your eyes see what they want to see, and even read what you think it says. Hearing someone else read your words is enlightening.
4. Hire an editor. Try different ones to see who fits your style. Yes, genres have certain writing styles. Usually you have to book them weeks to months in advance, and most editors do not come cheap. Do not bypass the editor. If you take your writing seriously, this is not an optional task.
5. Hire a proofreader. Your editor is not your proofreader and neither is your spouse.
On the above: whenever you pay for services, be sure to look at their portfolio. Go check out those books and read their sample and reviews. Also, accept the fact that not everything will be caught. These are all steps in producing quality work, which is as equally important as the story.
YOU WILL NOT BE THE NEXT E.L. JAMES
Just accept it.
Hug your pillow and cry a little bit when you've published your book and it doesn't soar to the #1 spot on Amazon. There are millions of books on Amazon and it's immensely difficult to get noticed. Learn to be content with where you are at, and just keep writing. When that one fan mail comes in, that one review, that one comment that totally makes your day, then you'll see how much it was worth it. Do we all want to be able to quit our day jobs and make a living doing this? By all means - YES! I'd love nothing more than to tell my boss to shove it after working as a corporate bottomfeeder for the past 10 years, but a reliable paycheck is what I need to make sure my bills are paid. It puts added pressure on me to be able to publish as a side job, but that's how passionate I am about writing.
WRITING IS EASY, PUBLISHING IS NOT
I could write a whole book on this topic, because there's this perception that all you have to do is write one book, get famous, sit back and watch the money roll in, doing little else outside of a little Facebook promotion. I work 18 hours a day. How committed are you willing to be to this profession?
When you are self-published, you don't have a publisher taking care of everything.
That's ALL you.
1. You're in charge of editing, hiring an editor, locating betas, adhering to a schedule, and not going nuts.
2. Social networking means more than a few Facebook ads. You should be interacting with your readers on a daily basis, as well as making sure other sites are kept up to date, like Goodreads, Twitter, your Blog, etc.
3. If you do a blog tour, hire someone to organize it for you. It's still going to be work because you have to sit down and write up guest posts, answer interview questions, or do other things.
4. You're in charge of your cover design. Either doing it yourself, or working with a cover artist by negotiating the price and discussing the design concept. If you go on your own, then you have to purchase your own stock art and know about photoshopping.
5. Organization. I am a series writer so I have to keep my stuff in detailed tables (Bios, world building info, chapter descriptions, etc).
6. There IS a constant need to rush, because if you're fortunate and gain popularity, you want to maintain the momentum and not have too long of a stretch between book releases. Sure, Gena Showalter can do that because she's a NY times bestselling author and has a publisher marketing the crap out of her. But you are a small fry.
7. Oops, don't forget writing! You always have to be working on your next novel. But who has time to write when you're busy doing all of the above? (And then some)
That doesn't even scratch the surface of everything going on. This is a full-time business, so you need to be familiar with federal and state tax laws. You'll need to know how to negotiate contracts (should they be offered), and will spend an excessive amount of time each day doing tasks that "you didn't sign up for". Writing is only half the battle.
This is not to be discouraging, but don't make the assumption that all you'll be doing is writing by a sunny window at your own leisure. You have schedules to stick to. It's hard work, but worth it if you really love this job.
DUCK AND COVER
So your mom and three cousins read your book and said it was going to be the next big thing. Prepare for a cold splash of reality: Not everyone will like your book. There's a lot of talk about "Sock puppets" in the publishing world (which do exist) where other authors rate down each other's books through fake accounts, but aside from stupid behavior like that, some people will just genuinely dislike your book. Some may even loathe it. Please try to find a book that has no low star ratings. Most people only post reviews when they have something to say, and that's usually when it's really good or really bad. Don't spend too much time reading reviews. You can get 100 fantastic reviews and that 1 star is going to make you question what the hell you're doing with your life. They're also eye opening; if you happen to have a lot of low ratings because your story jumps around or typos, then those are things you can work on with another edit, or future books. The point is to improve your craft.
But seriously, don't have any illusions that you are worth the marks you get from reviewers. I wish more people would post reviews, but if you don't have thick skin, you'll never survive reading those on a daily basis. Just step away. Reviews are for readers to help one another in making informed decisions on their purchases. If someone wants to contact me directly, I'm easy to find.
The above is one reason I'd strongly recommend against children publishing, as some teens may be going into this. I don't know of any, but it will bury their self-esteem. Work hard in school, keep writing, and remember that publishing is not something you should be in a "hurry" to do.
At the end of the day, be proud of your work no matter where it does (or doesn't) take you. I had a saying on my sidebar I made up that said, "Art is not a competitive sport." The line came to mind when I was seeing how competitive writing really has become - watching other author's take off while you're in the dust. Authors shifting genres due to the current trend. Maybe genre switching and writing to a formula will propel you into the bestseller list, but just be sure that you're proud of your work. I talked about this with a couple of friends of mine and decided that I only wanted to write the story that was in my head, even knowing that my books will never launch like others, simply because UF/PNR genres are not a huge seller. They are in their own right among readers, but when I'm talking about the bestseller list, those are reserved for YA and contemporary romance. Many readers will have issues crossing over to the darkside where vampires and shifters lurk.
I hope this helps someone, even if one piece of advice sticks. Think of your book like a car. Tune her up, make sure she runs good, give her a fresh paint and polish, shine the tires, and just know that maybe she won't be the fastest car on the block, but her next owner may think she's the shit.
And that counts for something.
My final piece of advice?
Appreciate everything that comes your way, but don't expect it.
DRAFT 1 OF MAGERI BOOK FOR IS COMPLETE
As of this minute, the first draft is done. I feel like throwing confetti or kissing a sailor, but I'll contain my enthusiasm and leave that to the readers. No publication date is set, however the book is scheduled to go to the editor in April.
BOOK WHITE HAS AN APPOINTMENT
I decided to go ahead and pencil this book in with the editor in June of 2013. See my WIP page. Eventually, I'll think up a title for this book, but I also want to let it marinate and decide if I'm going to go ahead and make this a series. There's potential for it to go that route and if so, I'll need to come up with a series name.
MY BETAS ARE GOING TO HAVE A HEART ATTACK
I usually hit up my betas to make sure they're available when it gets near that time, but now I have two books lined up which need their review, so hopefully they are up for the task. If not, I may have to find replacements. It's hard work, so please don't send inquiries so you can get an early read. I expect the betas to complete a detailed questionnaire, in addition to spotting an editorial issues, and the beta read is as clean as it gets. But it is NOT the final version. Two more revisions occur after this: Mine and then the editor's.
I will accept serious inquiries with detailed information about yourself, your skills, any experience, etc. Something I can put into my backup plan folder.
STERLING IN PAPERBACK
I've been getting lots of inquiries about the books in paperback, and just a reminder I'm doing one at a time. I'm trying to manage all of the different tasks that I'm doing. The book is formatted, but I have to redesign the entire full cover, so that takes a weekend. I'm also waiting for my third proof of "Sterling". The interior is perfect, but the printed copies have a dark cover. The first two were perfect but for whatever reason, the third was ridiculous. I've been told that the printing company that handles these books are unpredictable, and that sometimes batches come out super dark. Sigh. I truly hope this isn't the case, but regardless I would hope that readers still enjoy the story. I'm just super picky, because I designed the covers myself and I take pride in what goes inside as well as outside.
Is it wrong that I'm praying the streets are iced over tonight? It's thunder-snowing as I speak (making this my very first White Christmas). I have to go back to work tomorrow which is why I didn't go out of town (Had I gone, I'd be trapped in an Arkansas blizzard). I have a feeling that ice or not, I'll be going in. The last time I did that, I fell on my back and almost broke my elbow, but my company stays open no matter what.
Meteors could be colliding with earth, creating cataclysmic tsunamis and super-volcanoes right before the aliens landed and exterminated the human race....
Today the first draft of Mageri Book Four will be complete. I'm excited to be at this point because everything afterward will be editing. So far, the book length is the exact size of Impulse, which is my largest book to date at around 130,000 words. This is why I've committed to writing a book five, because the story cannot be crammed into MB4, and I have no intention of writing a book that could be used as a weapon. I'll leave that to Stephen King. ;-)
I'm up pre-dawn (big surprise) and have been listening to thunder crashing and hail beating on the windows all night. We are actually supposed to get snow later! This is actually my favorite kind of weather for writing, although I can write regardless of the weather.
I held a few contests during the past two days on my Facebook page, and I hope those who participated had fun. There were some really great message responses to some of the questions I asked.
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year.
I'd like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Or a Happy Holidays, depending on what religion you practice. :-) This is my Mia, helping me wrap.
And this is my Christmas corner. I make no apologies; I simply did not have time to decorate my house this year. So I took my fiber optic tree (light bulb burned out the other night, megasigh) and draped a red throw over a table. At least it will be a snap to clean up.
I've already celebrated an early Christmas with family, receiving gift cards, a Kindle cover, and a book on Characters & Viewpoint. Friends sent me thoughtful gifts, and I saved a few gifts from extended family so I'll have something to open this evening. I'm not in any hurry, because I've enjoyed staring at this little corner, even though it's not as beautifully decorated as some homes. It just reminds me that I have family who loves me, and I hope to God none of them stressed out filling up those packages...lol
If we get a surprise flurry of snow tomorrow, I'm really going to be stoked. I'm in Texas, so that's a big deal. We do get snow down here, but usually it's in Jan-March, and not around Christmas. If anything, it will probably just be a few flurries.
I've been writing up a storm this weekend, and I'm closing in on the last chapter of Mageri Book 4 (Draft 1). It's a tough one compared to the previous three because some of the story is shifting over to book five. Many details have been taken into consideration.
I have to admit it feels good to be closing the series and moving on to new projects. 2013 will be a very interesting year.
Hop over to my Facebook page today as I'm running a couple of giveaways!
This is a topic that seems to become a stronger point with each book released in a series, as I'm finding out. With book one, there is little stress outside of whether or not readers will like it. By book two, readers have an idea of where they want the series to go, and you hope that they go along with it. When Book three comes around, readers are invested in the story, and each has a specific way they want the plot, characters, relationships, and story to go.
It seems like beating a dead horse to repeat that you cannot please every reader. As I'm closing out the first draft of Mageri Book 4, I get those butterflies once again. I see comments, reviews, and receive emails from readers who give me their opinions on characters, storyline, and direction. It becomes very evident that I will not be pleasing everyone. Some may be upset by the direction the series goes, while others are all for the ride and willing to go wherever I take them.
By no means am I giving up spoilers here, but it's quite a challenge to stand in the line of fire with every book release, and it only becomes more difficult with each book. The bottom line is that the story told itself. I can't explain how this process is done, only that while writing, it feels right. I hate to think that I'm playing God and deciding the fates of my characters, because in a strange way, they are deciding their own fates. There are times when I am upset or angered by a character or scene, or sometimes I'm bawling like a baby, but that's because I care about them. In a strange way, I love them because they're all a part of me, or maybe I kind of see them like children that sprang forth from my imagination onto the pages. It's tough to watch your kids get hurt, suffer loss, struggle, and find their way in life.
It's also difficult to watch others pick on your kids because of it.
It would seem like a cheat to complete rewrite something to please the masses (although, there is no way to even predict what the masses want). I could have removed Logan and kept the focus on Silver and Justus. I could have elevated Adam's position among his kind so that he had the perfect life. I could have left Sunny behind at the train station in book 1, so that her story would never be told. I could have made Silver a kickass, sword wielding, heartless heroine. I could have made her submissive to obey. I could have hooked her up with Simon in book 1 for realz.
The Mageri series is really a journey, and at some point, you just have to let go and trust. I may have lost readers by book two, who didn't like the Twist. And some might have fallen out after Impulse. It happens. But for those of you who will stay until the end, I hope that this world, these characters, and this story become closer to your heart. One that holds meaning.
Our lives will always be filled with obstacles, villains, heroes, love, loss, family, friends, tragedy, and joy. If the only purpose of a story is plot, I think that you miss out on the rich and textured lives of the characters. This is a character-driven series, and for the rest of their lives they will have outside influences trying to tear apart and take away what they have, but it's not about slaying the dragon. It's about holding your breath with tears on the edge of your lashes, praying that the dragonslayer makes it out alive. It's about caring for the characters.
At least, that's how I have written the books. With heart.
This series will always have a special place on my shelf because it was the first. I hope that each book and series that I release going forward will find a way on your shelves, and bring you laughter and tears.
Because at the end of the day, I want readers to love the characters enough to feel their pain and share their joy.
I thought this video was a great example of how a song can be translated into emotions through a visual story.
Check out my Facebook page today (Dec 23) as I'm going to have three opportunities for readers to win a copy of "CLOSER". Just some holiday fun since I'm hanging around the house, writing, and watching Facebook contests. Winners will be randomly selected. The first one is already up, and the way to enter is SUPER easy. No Rafflecopters or liking anything or jumping through a hoop. Just reply to the message with whatever I'm asking. :-)
The holidays are already upon us! Are you ready? I had my early Christmas today and will be relaxing for the remainder of the holidays alone, so it will be a very peaceful vacation and the first time that I've spend the Christmas holiday alone. No, I won't be pulling a Bridget Jones sad scene with a bottle of wine and a sappy 70's song.
Tempting, but no.
I have a lot of writing that I'm going to get done. I may go to a movie, use some gift cards I received for the early Christmas we celebrated, and treat myself with takeout. Where you won't see me is sitting in a dark corner of IHOP with my laptop and a plate of chicken strips. It's just not going to happen. The really cool thing is I've never experienced a white Christmas, and there are rumors afloat that we might have a wintry mix that evening. THAT would totally rock.
Because I'm sappy and sentimental like that.
It was brought to my attention that I'm up for a few Reader's Choice Awards! Such an awesome thing to discover and an honor, so if you feel like throwing a vote my way, here are the categories:
2012 Readers Choice Hottest Couple (Logan & Silver) 2012 Readers Choice Most Memorable Book (Twist) 2012 Readers Choice Favorite Author 2012 Readers Choice Most Engaging Author
So I finished reading "Edge of Never" (Indie author) and will be perusing the books this weekend for more discoveries. It was more engaging than "Easy", and I think because it felt less YA than Easy did, if that makes sense. YA is popular, but I do have a disconnect at times when trying to relate to the characters. Reading is always a personal journey, and we each relate to books and characters in different ways.
I liked the twist ending and yes, it will tug your heartstrings, but part of the ending I raised a brow on, mostly due to the age of the girl in the book. I couldn't help but end the story wondering what future lies in store for this very young girl. Won't just be looking for the bestsellers in my genres and the top 100, but also I like to check out the new releases. Be sure to stop by my Facebook page and be active on the messages I post about book chat. What I'd really like are a few good novellas.
Hope you have a safe and happy holidays. I was just thinking about previous years that stand out, and they're always the years where things went awry. My nephew was born close to Christmas and because it was an emergency C-section, my mom had to stay with them to help out. We ended up driving down with our presents in large, black trashbags and stayed at a hotel. It was a quaint little room with a kitchenette, and we put a miniature tree on the table. Another time was spent in an ice storm on the way to Little Rock, bumper to bumper traffic in the middle of the night in BFE. Funny how the unexpected moments in life are the ones you remember more than the planned.
As of last night, I completed the first draft of "Book White" (see my WIP page because I color code my projects until they're given a name). It was a wonderful feeling to jot down the last scene which I had envisioned weeks ago.
What I can tell you is that this is a book about Shifters. I've written another series about Shifters, but this one is different in that it is a spirited book, if I can call it that. There are some dynamic relationships between the characters, and a lot of humorous moments, so the tone is quite different than the Mageri Series. It does get a little deep, but it's not dark urban fantasy. It's more of an urban fantasy romance (imagine that!).
This book has the potential to become a series, if I want it to. I do not want to force it, but I know how it would play out and it would be in PNR fashion (Not following the same protagonist in each book). This book is going to sit on the side so that I can focus on MB4. I hope that it will be a published book in 2013, but my concern is that if readers want a sequel, that I'll be tied to doing it, so I'm a little uncertain at the moment with what I'm going to do at this point, because I have an Urban Fantasy series lined up to be my next set of books. Another thought that rattled through my brain is if I end up writing a sequel to this, then perhaps this can be the inbetween book I can publish after The Mageri series which will allow me to focus on writing the other urban fantasy series with no pressure on release dates.
Some days I wish I just didn't have to waste all of my valuable writing time doing that day job gig.
I have made a decision to change my plans. I can't keep writing two books at once (Or at least writing one and drafting the other). My concern is I am in a total ZONE with "Book White" (See my WIP page for more info), and if I put it aside half written, it's not going to be finished the way I want it to. I simply cannot put aside a half written story and pick it up months later and it be the same story that I had originally conceived.
Mageri Book 4 is scheduled to be with the editor in April. This means the betas get it around March, because I'll need a couple of weeks to work on it prior to the editor. THAT means I have two full months of drafting. If I can manage to snag a week off of work during this time, that will help tremendously. I'm actually 92% done with the first draft, and that is the most work because this is when you're shifting the story around, adding and removing chapters, etc. The rest is just fine tuning
I've decided to finish writing book white first. I have 92,000 words and I'm very close to the end. I know how it's going to end, I just need to get there. Once I have the first draft, I can put it aside with a calming breath and start focusing on MB4. I'm not sure when this book will be published, but it's on fire at the moment, demanding my attention. I'm literally sitting here at my bar with 7 post-it notes with details written on front and back that I jotted down today for Book White.
What is this book about? Top secret stuff..haha. All of my books are Mageri world based. They may not take place in Cognito, but they focus around the same Breed types. This book started out as straight fiction and derailed. Sorry about that, the paranormal world interests me far too much. This one is very different in that it's not as dark. There is humor, heartbreak, love, sexual tension, friendship, and all the good stuff that makes a book readable IMO. As well as action and a bad guy. ;-) The protagonist is sassy, funny, and a loving girl. There's also a unique little girl in this book that just stole my heart. This will feel different than the Mageri series, but what I love about writing is that I get to take the reader on new adventures. This will be a book I'm one day proud of, because I've enjoyed every single time I've re-read it, chapter at a time. If it sucks me in like that, I know there's an audience out there for it.
I will give myself a firm deadline of January 1st to complete, however I'm really hoping to wrap this up by Christmas, because of the time off. I'm going to get a lot of writing done over the holidays because due to last minute decisions within the family and my work schedule, I'll be hanging out at home and the family is going off to another state to visit with my grandma. I'd rather that they be with her, because she's 90 and having family around during the holidays means more to her than anything.
I wanted to let everyone know what I'm doing, because part of me feels like I'm having a literary affair with my own book. It's really not fair to write two books at once, because you cannot headhop like that and really stay focused. 2013 is going to be a great year, and I'm looking forward to unexpected news, such as book releases that weren't planned!
The winner for the Impulse Blog Tour giveaway has been selected!
Congratulations to Sandy Lion!
The winner will be contacted via email, and announcements posted publicly so as not to be missed. The winner will have 48 hours to respond and collect their winnings, or another winner will be chosen.
So Sandy Lion, check your email!
I want to thank everyone for following the tour and enjoying the fun! You got to visit some awesome book blogs, read some interesting and hilarious posts & interviews, and show your support for The Mageri Series. If you didn't get a chance to follow, please visit the link on my blog that says "BLOG TOURS" and click on the links to read some of the interviews, excerpts, and guest posts.
Please keep checking in on my blog and Facebook page in 2013 for new book releases, blog tours, and other fun announcements or giveaways! I'm looking forward to an exciting year. :-)
A big thanks to Viviana for organizing this tour and handcrafting these awesome keychains! Please stop by her blog and Facebook page and show her some love.
Thank you all for following the IMPULSE BLOG TOUR!
It's been an amazingly fun time, and a huge thanks to Viviana (Enchantress of Books) for coordinating this event.
I hope that everyone has enjoyed reading the fun posts, interviews, and of course entering the Giveaway!
I'd also like to thank all of the bloggers and for participating and giving me a spot, and I hope that those who are new to The Mageri Series will enjoy the books, and find me on Facebook.
If you aren't lucky with the giveaway, I hope that you have the opportunity to check out The Mageri Series books at their affordable prices. Paperbacks are also on the horizon.
Now, for the final post I have chosen to do a character interview with one of the mysterious new faces of Impulse. Many readers are talking about him, and maybe part of that is the Vampire allure. Although why that is I’m not entirely sure, because Mr. Poe is a very
brash and arrogant Irishman.
He’ll dish it like it is, treading over feelings like
they were tiny little flowers beneath the tire of a Humvee.
I've invited Christian to my home, although I'm admittedly not accustomed to letting Vampires in the house. He's assured me that he ate before he arrived (I'm sure that's a Vampire joke) and will be honest with any questions that I ask. He's quite amused by the request, and has selected my beige reading chair to sit in, as opposed to the bar where I had set up some drinks and snacks. (Do Vampires eat?)
Dannika: “Can I
offer you something to drink?”
Christian: His wry smile makes me uneasy. “I’d love a cocktail.”
Dannika: “I guess
we should start off with introductions. Could you tell me your name and a
little about yourself?”
Sitting in a beige chair with his legs wide open, he drums his fingers on the armrests and watches me. “Christian Poe. Vampire. Guard.”
Dannika: “Is that
Christian:His fangs punch out. “Isn’t that enough,
lass? I’m sure you don’t want to hear me rabbit on about what my favorite hobby
is or what music I listen to," he says in a thick Irish accent.
“Actually, I’d like to know. Favorite song?”
Christian: His tongue slides across his bottom lip,
lingering at the corner. “Nine Inch Nails – that animal song. I have to say that the
twentieth century blessed us with some charming melodies.”
it like being a guard to Silver?”
is a pain in my arse. Never guarded a woman before. A Mage, yes. Can’t say I
care for the opinionated ones.”
Dannika: “So you
don’t date strong women?”
Christian: Smirks and lowers his dark brows. “I
don’t think what I do with women would be considered dating. Women bring
nothing but trouble, and in a world of immortals, that’s a long fecking time to
be chained to someone. I like my freedom, and my job isn’t the kind that allows
for such nonsense.” Hisblack eyes
glitter with excitement. “I don’t get serious; I just get laid.”
Dannika: (Attempts to steer the interview in a more
positive direction.) "What is your best memory from before you were turned?"
Christian: Crosses his legs and scratches his jaw,
looking thoughtfully at the clock on the wall. "When I was a boy, a neighbor of
ours—about my age—had a horse. They lived a quarter of a mile up the road and
one night, I walked the horse out of the stall and took Cassie on a ride.
Dannika: “Cassie… the neighbor?”
Christian: “No,” he says wistfully. “My younger sister.
She was blind, and it didn’t matter that we rode that mare on a moonlit night.
It was her first time on a horse, and her face lit up like the sun. Jaysus, she was
the sweetest thing,” he murmurs.
Dannika: “Do you
regret being made a Vampire?”
a choice, and all choices come with regrets, to be sure. I like my life, and
I’m rather fond of walking on the dirt instead of being covered in it. Wouldn’t
politely, noticing his fangs are retracted. “Tell me a little bit about Vampire
blood. Silver had some, and it seems like she had a lot. Doesn’t the well run
and crosses his legs. “There’s magic in all Breed. Things you can’t explain.
Bleed me slow and my body compensates, but if it’s a sudden blood loss, it
takes me more time to recover. We don’t give our blood to just anyone; it’s not
like your Vampire movies where we become the sprinkler of youth. If anyone is
going to suck on me then it’s going to be—”
Dannika: “Can you
make someone a Vampire if they ingest too much blood?”
Christian: Stands up and pulls out a piece of striped
candy from his pocket. “There’s more to it than that, and it’s not
something that I can discuss with the likes of a human.”
Dannika: “How did
you feel about Silver having to drink from you for such a long time?”
Christian: “Now I
know what a teat feels like. I’m obligated to those I guard to protect their
lives, and sometimes that means doing things that end up on my list.”
The “Things I wish I’d never done" list. He sits beside me and drops his feet on the
coffee table. I shift to my left and he just scoots right with me. “Nervous?”
he asks in a dark voice, breath warm against my ear.
with my wooden pencil,” I say, tapping it against the notebook. “Mind sitting
in your chair?” He complies and walks
across the room, taking a seat while crunching on his candy. “You’re a
“That’s not the adjective that most women use when describing me but yes, I am.
I protect lives and I’m treated like a second-class citizen. I’ve guarded one
too many dolts who didn’t deserve to grace the earth with their presence, but I
do it because I’m hired to, and I take my job seriously. It’s a privilege to
guard a life, and sometimes I think I value it more than they do. If I’m
difficult, it’s because I have to be. It’s how the job gets done.”
Dannika: “Do you
think you’ll be doing this for the rest of your life?”
up the candy wrapper and places it in his pocket. “Forever is a long time. If the
opportunity for something else came up, I can’t say I’d turn it down. This is
what I know, what I’ve been doing for a long time. Why?” he asks, brows
knitting together. “Do you have another offer?”
Dannika: “Not at
this time, I’m afraid. I’d like to thank you for the interview and allowing my
readers to know more about you. As a guard, do you have any words of wisdom
that you want to part with?”
his legs and laces his fingers together behind his head.
“Do whatever I say; no
Thanks to Christian for taking time out from shagging a stewardess for this interview.
"Kane was faced with making a choice, and each
came with a consequence that would wreck him forever."
What I loved about writing this book was that all of the layers were stripped away to the core of the story because of the unusual circumstances, and the location.It forced two individuals to take a hard look at themselves, and come to terms with who they are and what they value in life. What matters.
I can't say that it's an easy sell, because #1 it's a novella, and you get the typical feedback that a reader wishes it had been longer. But I wanted to take out all the additives and make this story concentrated. Writing it was effortless, but in retrospect, it was one of those books that I wondered how readily readers would accept because of the unusual set of circumstances that these two find themselves in, as well as the central location where most of it takes place. There may be questions on how this is possible, and that is where making this part of the Mageri world imperative. There is sometimes magic beyond our understanding, but it would have only been possible with this Breed type. For me, it was a very visual story to write. I can still so vividly see the scenes in my head, including the very last scene as the camera pans back and takes us away from this world. It's also one where after I wrote it, I kept hearing these songs on the radio that made me think of it. And yes, I was a bit of a wreck writing out one of the scenes on my last draft. I'm very proud with how it turned out, and am happy to see that it had a very good launch day. It's nice to know it's out there now, and that every so often, someone will step into Kane and Caroline's story. AVAILABLE ON AMAZON AVAILABLE ON BARNES & NOBLE ADD TO GOODREADS I hope when you finish the read, it will be with a bittersweet smile on your face.
I have completed the publishing process for "Closer". The book should be available tomorrow (Friday) on Amazon as early as the a.m. - evening at the latest. Barnes & Noble takes longer, so their average time is 1-3 days. "Closer" will be offered at a discounted price of $1.99 for a limited time. The average cost of novellas is $2.99, and I want to offer a low price for Mageri fans who have been supporting me from the beginning! This price will run through the weekend.
Once the links are live, I'll be posting them on Facebook, my blog, and sending out a newsletter for those who do not follow either.
The great part about this process is I'm on to the next book. What I have on my laptop right now has been exciting (both MB4 and Book White), so I'm looking forward to each publication reaching new readers.
I'm really proud of "Closer" because I've managed to write and publish a book in 2012 that I never saw coming. It's also my first novella, and to be honest, I don't think this book would have worked at a larger size. It would have been filler, and I liked getting to the meat of the story. I hope this inspires you to give more novellas a chance; there really are some good ones out there when you don't have time to get sucked into a long novel or series. This one is a longer read than most, so I hope that you enjoy it.
If you really want to drive yourself crazy, you can keep searching on Amazon and hitting refresh on my author page. But trust me, I'll be doing that for everyone. I do not anticipate it will be live until 12 more hours (or the wee hours of the morning when I'm asleep). But, I do usually wake up at 5am...
Thanks to those who continue to support me with kind words and a passion for my characters and world.
I should be ordering round 2 of proofs for STERLING this week. I had to make some modifications to the formatting, and prior to submission, I'll be giving the cover another once-over.
It's not an easy task to sit down and do one of these. When I say I design my own covers, I actually design them. All of my original covers are in GIMP format, so I was able to utilize the background by itself for the back cover vs making it solid black.
Blending was a nightmare. I'm so picky that I was blowing things up to 200% so I could properly clone and smear. The template they give you helps keep your text within the markers, so it doesn't get cut off during printing. The cover is going to come out great. Proof #1 was a touch dark, but I lightened it up just a little bit. I like the contrast going on and only worked to correct the heavy ink that occurs in printing. Overall, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but it was a lot of work and gave me a tiny ulcer. ;-)
So, this is the semi-complete version (revisions may be made to text)
I feel better about the process and will be anxious to work on Twist when I get a free moment. I think once I finish up with the first draft of MB4, I'll probably give it a day of my time to get started. I'd love for Sterling to be available before Christmas, but I'm not holding my breath. I don't think that will happen, but I'm almost certain it'll be in January. So good news for those of you who love paperbacks!
I'm not going to lie, having my book on one of my bookshelves is a very cool thing. My plans are to give them their own cube, and to fill it.
Be sure to check out my blog post as the blog tour is still underway! You can go back on previous stops and enter each giveaway to increase your chances to win the cool prize package! We are also planning a tour for "Closer", so keep an eye out for that one.
What I'm listening to this morning:
I pushed working on paperbacks until next week. I still have a few things to do with 'Sterling' and to be honest, I have so much going on right now that I'm trying to prioritize so that I can focus more of my free time on writing. So many small things are starting to eat up my day, so I'm having to find a way to manage it all so that I'm allotting myself more time to write-edit. I'm not one of the fortunate powerball lottery winners last night, nor do I have the option to even stay home.
I hope that things get easier in the future, and that I can look back on this time and know that it was worth spending every waking hour on. I did manage to squeeze in reading three books over the past two weeks (Rock Chick), which is pretty good, but I'm going to put that on pause because as mentioned before, I'm trying to find a balance to get the actual writing done. Books on audio is something I should check out sometime; it might work out better on my commute to/from work vs reading in the car. (I swear, I only do it at lights)
It's a little disturbing to think that Christmas is almost here, so I should probably try to be festive and decorate this weekend. Sigh.
I'm unstoppable. Once I got home from holidays with the family, I spent the entire time working on two books as planned, and a LOT was accomplished.
The reader response has really been phenomenal, and I can truly promise that the very last book in this series will wrap up tight with a great ending. You may experience joy, sorrow, anger, and other emotions along the way, but hopefully at the end of the journey, I'll have a Mageri fan for life. Then we can start plugging this for TV (ha). No, actually I have more projects on the back burner (I almost typed back burger, because I'm hungry).
I'd love for Book White to be the dark horse and make a surprise appearance on Amazon next year, but it's a "wait and see" thing.
I've been thinking about buying a new laptop. This one has had miles put on it and I'm embarrassed to admit I actually have scotch tape holding one of the slots closed. I'm picky when it comes to electronics, so I'm going to be scoping out different models and sizes for a while. I'm undecided because it's not a necessity - not like fixing the air conditioner that went out in my car this week.
At least it's November.
And the POLL! Check out the poll on my blog (Left hand side) and cast your vote for your favorite characters in Impulse! Some of the results are quite...interesting.
PS: Support Indie authors you love in every way you can.
I just looked at the countdown and realized that there are only twelve more days until "Closer" is published. It's going live on a Friday, which means I'll be hitting the publish button on Thursday night, so that there's plenty of time for the Amazon machine to gobble it up and spit it out. Anyone who picks it up should have it read by the weekend as it's a novella (on the meatier side), so I hope you have a chance to post a review!
Thanksgiving was very low key and I ate way too much pie. You see, I have a weakness when it comes to apple pie. I'm surprised that I didn't replace all the donut scenes in "Twist" with apple pie, because that's how much I love it.
I also spent time writing.
Yes, writing. As of yesterday I wrote 5K words in "Book White" (see my WIP page), but as of this morning, my holiday count is now up to 14K. The book is now around 40K, and that's pretty impressive. The story just flowed and I kept getting ideas. But I really like pausing and revisiting it. Also, it gives me time to comb over previously written chapters and keep refining it.
MB4 is my priority.
Not as much word count, but the drafting process is meticulous. It's like taking a slab of clay and shaping shoulders and a head, but you haven't quite carved all the details out so that it resembles a person.
Over Thanksgiving, we were talking about typewriters. Mom was contemplating selling her old one that was up in the attic. The one that the keys would get stuck together, and you'd have to put liquid paper on your document and back it up one to correct. I know this because as I've mentioned before, I got a typewriter for my sixteenth birthday. Mind you, I'm only in my thirties, so it's not like typewriters were all the rage when I was a teenager. My friend were getting cars or guitars. (Well, I did get a guitar, but that was the previous year). At the time, I think we had an old IBM, but I don't recall having a printer which may be why I wanted one, so that I can write on it and save all of my stuff in a folder. Anyhow, back then anything you printed came out on thin paper with holes on either side.
I have several movies to watch this weekend. Promethius vs Magic Mike. Hmm. I don't do the Thanksgiving weekend shopping; I hate fighting the crowds. I'm going to tweak my cover today, submit it for another proof run, and then edit MB4 for the remainder of the weekend. I feel like the first draft is my big hurdle.
I hope everyone is following the blog tour! It's been a lot of fun with some great posts, not to mention the giveaway you can continue entering.
TOP FIVE MOVIES I'VE WATCHED OVER 20 TIMES AND I'M NOT AFRAID TO ADMIT IT
1. "Grease". Okay, maybe I'm afraid to admit it. I don't watch this movie anymore, but I went through a serious Grease phase in my teens, mostly because me and my BFF would sing along and make fun of Sandy. She even bought me the collector's edition VHS. Yeah, VHS, because that's how long ago I was into Grease. *cough*
2. "Last of the Mohicans". Same as above, really. Every time it came on TV, I'd call up my BFF so we could watch it on the phone together. I never liked Lewis's story as much as I enjoyed his Indian brother, whose name I can't remember but I would bet dollars to donuts that my BFF knows. Seriously, the scene where he dies for her? By then, we would have had too many wine coolers, and would declare that love isn't real unless he jumps off of a cliff for you.
3. "Pulp Fiction". I'm a Tarantino fan and I'm not afraid to admit it. While riddled with the F-word, this movie has great dialogue that outdoes any of the "action" scenes. That's great scriptwriting. Plus, everyone is just "cool" in this movie.
4. "The Matrix". This one hasn't been dusted from my shelf in a while, but I must have seen it so many times that I probably thought that I was living in the matrix. The concept was really unique, and at the time, the FX were groundbreaking.
5. "The Breakfast Club". And if you don't know why, you are a neomaxizoomdweebie.
This is one of those uber cool moments as a writer: when you get your book in paperback. Today, I received my first proof of Sterling. I needed to check out how the saturation levels of the artwork would be, as well as how the size of the fonts. Sometimes what you see on the virtual proof will differ from the printed copy. I didn't want to waste time stalling because I hadn't ironed out the back description, so I went ahead and ordered the proof. My expectation was I'd have some major adjustments, but I'm THRILLED with how it's turned out. Only some minor tweaking to the title on the spine, a little lightening in spots, and of course that pesky back text.
What sucks is that I can't really enjoy them, because just as soon as I got the books, I had to pack my backs and come to my parents house for Thanksgiving. So here I am, without my book. But I have way too much else going on and I can focus on it better when my vacation is over.
My guess is after the second proof, I should be ready to roll. I want to sit down and read through it, just to make sure nothing wonky happened during their printing. It would be a huge surprise if I could get this out in December, as my goal was always the first quarter of 2013.
It's an amazing feeling to actually hold my book in my hands, and especially knowing that it's mine from exterior to interior content. I'll keep this first proof as a memento (It has a big stamp of PROOF on the back page), since it's sentimental, even with it's flaws and not being finalized.
I feel more confident with how the Twist cover will turn out, now that I know my way around full book cover design. Impulse will require some work, because I need to resize i properly, so those books I'm going to tell you right now won't be ready until early next year. Which isn't that far off.
So now, for the first time, I get to empty one of my bookshelf cubes and make that mine. Home to my books.
1st person: The Narrator is a character within the story. Easy peasy.
2nd person: (rare): Narrator refers to one of the characters as "you", making the reader part of the story.
3rd person: The Narrator refers to characters as "he", "she", "they", but never says "I". They are often like a witness to the events, or could be told from a specific characters perspective, although again, not told in the 1st person.
1st and 3rd person being the most common, each has their pros and cons. Third person appears to have more flexibility, because it allows you to move around to different characters without getting stuck with one. When you are in 1st person mode, you have to follow that character in all their scenes, and never (or rarely) get to know what's going on elsewhere. However, sometimes third can be limiting. The narrative voice can convey feelings and thoughts, but sometimes readers like to be immersed in "being" that character. Sometimes the "I's" have it.
Usually, each genre seems to go with the flow and follow a norm. Urban fantasies are mostly told in 1st person. Paranormal romances (series books, in particular) seem to mostly be told in third person. There are outliers, of course, but that has been the norm from my reading experience. Usually an author sticks to their guns.
The biggest complaint of 1st person I've heard is that readers feel a little cheated. They'd love to be in another characters head, or at least know what they're feeling. Sometimes they get a little restless following the protagonist around. I feel the same way. That's why I've decided to write the story, the way I'd want to read it. All of my first person stories that I've written have third person POV. I think it adds depth, gives the reader a break, and allows you to part part of someone else's story.
I do them on either a break (indicated by ***) or a new chapter. This is another style which I considered may be a risk, but then again, this whole damn series has been nothing but a risk. Personally, I love writing my books this way. I do it only in a scene where the protagonist is not present, or they're unconscious. Otherwise, it's just weird.
In "STERLING", it allowed us to get in Adam's head. I wondered, "Who is this guy?" and "What was he thinking when he saw this woman running like crazy down a small town road?". Then in "TWIST", we not only got the side story of Knox, but we also got to see what was going on in Logan's head, and felt the protective emotions in a scene with Marco. So maybe in that scene, we felt a little more of his intent with her. In "IMPULSE", we get some Logan and Justus. I have to admit, writing Justus's scenes were the most difficult. Emotionally, that is. But I adore writing this man.
You will see more of this, and I hope it's a part of the read that you gain something from. We all have a story to tell, a point of view, and I want to allow the reader to experience that.
The third person books I've written always seem like more of a challenge than they should be. I am basically the outsider, writing what's going on. At first it flows easy, but then I always get a little frustrated because I'm so used to first person and switching. However, switching POV's in a third person story doesn't work. I have never done it, and I don't think I would. It would be far too confusing, and I might as well write it in 1st person if I were going to do that. It would seem like third person is the most preferred in romance writing, because the reader gets to know what's going on in both the male and female's head. We gain insight from each of them, feel their emotions, and are along for the ride.
So which do I prefer?
Oddly enough, first person. When I wrote a few books in first person, I decided to challenge myself with the third person books. Those seemed to fall more under paranormal romance, although my books in those genres don't seem to follow a formula either. But I would get a little antsy, and want to jump to another 1st person book. I feel more connected writing a 1st person POV book. It's like choosing to either be an actor, or be the narrative voice in the story. But some POV's just work better for certain stories. It's hard to say how I decide, but usually it's determined by whether or not I'm going to follow the same person in each book, or if if book in the series will be completely someone else's story. Those can be 1st person as well, not to say I'll never try it because I'm always up for a challenge.
I've never contemplated this before writing a story. Oddly, I just know how it should be written - what feels right. I can't recall having written anything and gone back to switch the POV.
Some readers have mentioned a preference, and often stick to that, or complain if a book goes out of their comfort zone. But aside from what you may be used to, some books are just told better from another perspective.
And now, Dannika Dark will close this thoughtful post so that she can turn on the coffee maker and get started with her day.
I really like how this turned out, and it made me realize that I don't spend enough time creating digital art. I'm also busy writing or editing, but this is the sort of thing that makes me unwind and relax.
I've released a description for the book and a few images, but I'm not sure readers really know what this is about. Frankly, I'm not sure how to categorize it. It's a novella, but it falls within a paranormal romance type of genre. This is not erotica, so if you're looking for BDSM or the like, keep on truckin'. If you like character-driven books, this one may be for you. There's a lot of emotion going on in this little book and several betas and test readers really fell in love with it.
So I'm really looking forward to introducing you to Kane. He's that persistent bastard that kept pacing around in my head when I was busy editing "Impulse". He just demanded my attention, so that I could tell his story. I'm glad I lent him an ear, because sometimes your characters are hanging around for a reason. He was a definite left-fielder.
The blog tour is going amazing! It's been so much fun stopping off at all of these great book review and blogger websites. I have a lot of fun guest posts planned, and you can visit all of the previous stops and enter for a chance to win the swag!
So click on BLOG TOUR at the top of my page to catch up on all the stops we've had so far!
And check out those custom keychains and car charm: you know you want one.
If you already own the Mageri series books, we will convert that to a gift card of equal value.
Then there's that fun surprise gift from Justus. Oooo
MB4 PROGRESS REPORT (Mageri Series: Book 4)
I'm 50% through the first draft. It's rough, and my eyeballs hurt. As with every single book that I've released in this series, I keep thinking to myself that readers may never know what's coming. I can't predict if that's a good or a bad thing, but I've felt an overwhelming amount of support for the series, so I guess that means you guys have faith that despite whatever your expectations, the story will be worth it.
You just might need a seatbelt for Book 4.
I'm trying really hard not to think about the cover I'll be designing at some point. The right cover always stresses me out!! I think I know exactly what the insert image is going to be, because I've been planning on that one for a year. As I continue editing MB4 (I swear that will change as soon as I pick a name for the book), I can't help but wonder if a novella is going to be necessary. I have several reasons for this I can't elaborate on. The cool thing is while sifting through my notes, I found the final paragraph of the last book that will be written. I know exactly the tone and scene that I want to end this series on. And I can't tell you how many times I read it over because I loved it that much.
I guess it's time to start Christmas shopping soon. Keep in mind that ebooks can also be given as gifts, and scheduled for a Christmas delivery to anyone's Kindle. If you know anyone who might enjoy the Mageri Series who hasn't read it, feel free to tuck it in their stocking.
If you have a moment this holiday season, zip over to Amazon and write up a review. The reader support has placed "Impulse" on the top rated book list (#10 in Contemporary fantasy, and #21 in Fantasy). That visibility is a tremendous leg-up for an Indie. So reviews count more than you realize, aside from helping new readers determine if this series is right for them.
Currently, IMPULSE is holding it's own in Contemporary Fantasy at the #3 spot.
I was joking with a friend because they have author rankings, and mine is #20. Stephen King was #21, and I felt like a bolt of lighting was going to strike me in the arse. You just do NOT rank above Stephen King. I did another check and now he's at #18, and I feel like I can sleep more soundly tonight.
I've been really blessed with the book release, and I hope this series continues to find its audience. That "Book White" has really been on my mind lately because the flow was very different from the Mageri series (not so serious) and that was a refreshing pace, because the Mageri Series gets a little heavy. Not that Book White won't get there at some point, but I've paced it differently. It's going to be fun to work on it again when I have free time. I'd love for it to be a surprise release for 2013, but we'll see.
She wasn’t listening as her kiss moved like fire
burning away the edges of paper, and Kane was about to become a pile of ash.
A secret society exists
among humans, comprised of immortals and gifted supernaturals. Kane is a
Sensor, able to experience emotional energy through touch. Despite his
good looks and easy-going personality, Kane lives a solitary life
because unlike other Sensors, he is unnaturally hypersensitive. Touch
Fate throws him a curve ball and in a most unusual
set of circumstances, Kane must make a decision, each with its own moral
Two strangers collide, and a unique link brings them closer together as they grow further apart.
Release date: December 7, 2012 "Closer" is a 30,000 word novella. Add to your Goodreads bookshelf HERE. I'm working on the book jacket for "Sterling" this weekend and hope to have it finished up. The big question mark is when the paperback will be available, and I'm still saying next year. Once I receive a proof, I'll need to carefully review it. Right now, I have to pick my brain and write up a description for the back. WHY is this so important? This is the part where I stomp my feet like a two-year-old. If it were sold on bookshelves, then that would be the grab for someone to open it up or buy, but if readers can see read the description on Amazon or Nook, there's no need. Buggar. It has to look professional. Pffffttt. I'm thinking of going the silly route: When Zoe Merrick became an immortal, she discovered that not only did she have special gifts that were unique to a Mage, but she would never have to suffer through PMS again. Bam. Gold star. Total win. Right? Yeah, I'm working on it.
This is what's currently on my Kindle. It's a fun guilty pleasure read, although it's going a bit long for me. I'm not sure if it's the story or the fact I have a million other things happening at the moment. I can't strongly relate to the protagonist because her maturity level is a bit of a constant, but it has some funny moments and good tension between the couple. Will I continue the series? I'm undecided. I may try out another one of this Indie author's series because it's something refreshing. I wish I could write as many books as she seems to have out; I don't know how some of these Indie authors manage it! Five questions on Friday: WHAT I'M WATCHING THIS WEEKEND: "Prometheus" WHAT I'M DRINKING: Vitamin Water (Acai-blueberry-pomegranate) WHAT THREE ITEMS ARE NEAR ME: Flash drive, outdoor thermometer, and a salt shaker. (I swear, that salt shaker travels with me) WHAT SONG I HOPE I NEVER HEAR AGAIN: I love Adam Levine, but if I have to hear the "payphone song" one more time...
THREE CLASSIC ACTORS I LOVE: Sidney Poitier (Seriously, I love this guy!), Cary Grant for sure, and...wow, who gets the third slot? I think it's a tie between Jack Lemmon and Rock Hudson. Comedy is so underrated, and I've always adored actors who could make me laugh, and also do the dramatic roles. Happy Friday! Hope you have a good book in hand.