Thursday, October 29, 2015

Interview with Cathrina Constantine, Snow on Cinders, and Short, Do You Have Goals? Update

Please Welcome Cathrina Constantine, extraordinary author of Snow on Cinders!

1. Where did you get the idea for Snow on Cinders?

It never occurred to me to write a sequel to Tallas. It was almost a year after the Tallas release that my fellow author Nana Prah insisted I write a sequel to tie up the loose ends. I got to thinking about her idea, and went for it. Hence, Snow on Cinders is born.

2. What's one of your favorite parts of Snow on Cinders? (If you can tell without spoilers.)

I truly love the Big Blue Bear, his name is Tibbles, and his bravery to shield the children and help the community. He's like a their furry savior. There's a scene where Tibbles must say good-bye to someone he loves very much, and it broke my heart to write it.

3. The cover looks amazing and magical. Do you use photos or images to help you with story ideas or for writing inspiration?

I wish I could say exactly where my inspiration comes from. Perhaps one day I'll figure it out. I'm a true pantser and I just hope ideas pop into my head. I love movies, and that's how I write, like I'm watching a movie. But sometimes it's hard to put into words what I'm imagining. 

Hooray for pansters! (Tyrean's insert)

4. If you could sum up your main character's attributes in three words, what would those three words be?

Love ~ Family ~ Tenacity

5. If you could take your main character out for coffee, what do you think she would order? (and what would you order?)

Since they live in a post-apopalytic world, pastries and coffee are a prized gifts. So I'd imagine Keeyla would order everything and anything off the menu. And I have a terrible liking for Starbucks, white chocolate mocha.


SNOW ON CINDERS

How far would you go to protect your family?

A peculiar metamorphosis has taken shape since the final days. And the planet is in the throes of healing.

Fulvio McTullan leads his family and a band of misfits to form a new settlement, far from Tallas and it’s nefarious Elites. Their journey takes them into uncharted territories where strange creatures are lurking. It’s a battle of survival, not only from the creatures, but the mutated earth as well.

Meanwhile, Pomfrey Addler, an oppressive Elite squashes the insurrection in Tallas. Suddenly, citizens begin to vanish in the middle of the night and his daughter, Paniess is hell bent on revenge.

Fraught with mishaps, Fulvio finally locates the perfect place to settle. They begin to rebuild until they receive a call. A call which will lure them back into the clutches of Tallas.


Cathrina Constantine
Amazon Author's Page
Facebook
Blog
Twitter: @cathconstantine
     


Do You Have Goals? is an excellent blog hop hosted by Misha and Beth.

I'm a little behind this month. And, since it's late Thursday night as I write this and I know I will be pressed for time on Friday, I'm going to make this short for now.

I have three short stories that I'm trying to wrap up in the next two days - I'm not sure I'll make the deadlines.

Champion's Destiny is still lurching to a finish point and release date, but I wish I had more time or less need for sleep.

I'm concerned about a particular novella I wrote for a small press series . . . and it's been delayed.

I went to a book far and made it mostly work for me, although I still had bouts of shyness that had me hiding behind my table.

I don't remember if I invited anyone anywhere, except to Realms Faire - coming next week!

I didn't bike at all this month, but I did walk about 30 miles, and I kayaked about 10K.

And, I went on an Alpha weekend and have continued to volunteer on Tuesday nights with Alpha - it's a Christian program for people with heavy questions about faith.

So, this isn't a complete rundown, but I'm continuing to make progress. I'm neck deep in teaching, tutoring, home-schooling, and just life, but I keep squeezing in some writing, too.

Have you read Snow on Cinders? Do you know Cathrina? And, do you have goals?

Monday, October 26, 2015

Listing Blogfest

To celebrate 8 years of blogging by Bish Denham, Bish and Alex are hosting the Listing Fest!

The rules are: 
Sign up, grab the banner and make a list. 
Keep your list to between 5 and 25 items. You can list whatever you feel like (except for adult type content.) 


Book Fair Smarts That Go Beyond the Elevator Pitch

(Or, Lessons I Re-Learned Just Last Saturday)

1. Come prepared with everything you need: books, bookmarks, square reader, change, eye-catcher/poster, business cards, giveaways (candy, short story on one page, writing prompts, buttons), and a light snack (or lunch, depending on the time).

2. Follow all the rules, sign-in procedures, etc.

3. Smile. Be positive. Make the best of whatever table you've been assigned.

4. Walk around and meet your fellow authors. 

5. Love on your fellow authors - compliment them on their book covers, book blurbs, or their set-up. 

6. Give yourself a book budget to spend before the event and buy at least one book from a fellow author. (Maybe two, especially if someone looks like they've had the toughest day ever.)

7. Walk around the room a second time and/or third time. 

8. Make the book fair rock with conversation. This is a good attention draw for readers who might be scared to approach authors sitting by themselves at their tables. Plus, it helps everyone's nerves. 

9. Help other authors sell their books. If another author gets up to walk around and someone approaches their table, give them a smiling welcome for that other author and even a little blurb of their book (this actually will help your sales, too). 

10. If you are approached by a writer who hasn't been published yet and they want to tell you about their writing, listen and ask questions. Encourage them and don't hard sell your book. (The more you converse about how much you both love writing, the more likely they will pick up your book. Writers are often readers.)

11. Say thank you to the host of the event at least three times: upon arrival, on leave-taking, and after the event via mail or e-mail. (You can also add in a fourth or fifth time, if the host walks around the book fair and takes pictures.)


Bonus(sorry, more paragraph than list):
Something I learned at last weekend's event
A university bookstore offered to carry author books for the event - meaning that they would take care of the cashier/check-out details. I worried that as an indie author that I might look bad for not using this service. 

It turned out that the bookstore check-out area was in a different room at the event. Most authors carrying books through them didn't have more than one sample book at their tables. These authors sold zero books because the customers had to meet the author in one room, go to another room to buy the book, and then return to the author room to have their book signed. Customers didn't make that journey.

The most experienced author in the room had books with the university bookstore and books at his table. He hand-sold books from his table but also told customers about the bookstore. He writes full time, has books through a large publishing house, books through a small press, and books that he's self-published. He knew all the angles. (I took notes.)



Sorry, I never quite finished this post and I haven't been around for comments today - had a busy day with an afternoon of exhaustion and a headache that can only be described as "my brain hurts." I'll make the rounds in the next few days.



Monday, October 19, 2015

Going #FREE



Going #FREE

I sat on the fence about making Champion in the Darkness permafree for e-book.

Finally, I looked through my sales data for this year. I hadn't had a single copy of it sell as an e-book for four months, and before that, I only had about five sales. I guess that's better than no sales, but it's been a bit disheartening, and Champion in Flight has been pretty slow, as well.

So, since, I'm preparing to release Champion's Destiny, I decided to set Champion in the Darkness free in the hopes that I will gain more readers for the whole trilogy.

So far, with just a week of twittering, I've had over 200 free downloads!

I'm hoping this will translate into sales for Champion in Flight and for Champion's Destiny.

Many thanks to all of my tweeps who have helped so much with my crazy twittering!

If you would like to help out, here are a few tweets:

Sword, Sorcery, Faith + Fantasy novel Champion in the Darkness is #FREE at Smashwords http://tinyurl.com/nonkhux

Sword, Sorcery, Faith + Fantasy novel Champion in the Darkness is #FREE for Nook http://tinyurl.com/nonkhux

Sword, Sorcery, Faith + Fantasy - Champion in the Darkness - #FREE for Kindle http://tinyurl.com/ofvz8yl



Or, go download your FREE copy of Champion in the Darkness

Kindle

Nook

Smashwords

If you like it, please consider continuing the trilogy with Champion in Flight

Reviews are also wonderful! :)



Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Guest Tara Tyler and the Pros and Cons of Writing a Sequel

Please welcome the amazing, wonderful, super-talented Tara Tyler!!!


Sequels

Very rarely does the second story match the intensity and awesomeness of a great first story. Unfortunately, our expectation level is usually set too high and we want the next one to top the first one. So writing a sequel has a lot of pros and cons... Here are my humble thoughts about sequels. (Watch Jimm Falon? Pros and Cons and Pros and Cons and Prose!)

Pro - Fans of the first book will want the second and probably tell their friends - I can't wait for the next one to come out!

Con - Or they could go the other way, if they didn't like the first one and might tell their friends about it...

Pro - Most of the characters are already fleshed out and familiar to you. Most of the world/setting you've already created as well.

Con - You have to remember things about them AND they need an awesome new story and interesting new characters to keep it fresh!

Pro - More books means more readers.

Con - Or not... An accomplished writer I met had over twenty books out there. Is that what it takes? I better get moving!

Pro - One more story out of my crowded head!

And Tyrean asked for a quote from SIMULATION. Here's one of my faves...

She wished she had Santa powers to fly up the chimney. Most uncomfortable situation ever.

Thanks so much for fitting me into your busy schedule, Tyrean! I'm very excited for your upcoming release and looking forward to helping you promote it! She knows all about sequels =)

SIMULATION
by Tara Tyler
Release Date: Sept 14, 2015

In 2082, androids are an essential part of daily life. Some are helpful, some would make better toasters, and some are so human-like they're creepy. Back in Atlanta, Detective Cooper takes a case to uncover an illegal clone android simulation operation. He hopes it will take his mind off his recent break up, but he winds up crossing paths with his ex, FBI Agent Geri Harper.

As Cooper closes in, Geri is kidnapped. But when she resurfaces in Washington and goes on a killing spree, he knows it isn't her. Now under suspicion himself, Cooper must find the real Geri to prove her innocence, not to mention hunt down the powerful villain behind it all. Never a dull moment.

SIMULATION delivers more technology, more intense action, more humor, and more, distinct new characters. Come along for the ride.


Available Now!

Tara Tyler writes sci fi and fantasy action-adventures from her little corner of the world in Ohio as she tries to keep up with her three boys and coach husband. Always making time to write, she sometimes puts off chores and lets laundry pile up... hence, she's also the Lazy Housewife, offering advice and tips to other gals out there trying to do it all without going crazy. She and her housewife friends blog at The Really Real Housewives of America.


And don't forget the Rafflecopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

IWSG: Surround Yourself!




Do you surround yourself with goal-orientated people who inspire you, challenge you, and encourage you? 

I do, and I think it makes a difference in how much I have hope to finish my goals, how much I actually get done every month, and how good I feel whether or not I've actually accomplished everything.


In my every day life, surrounded by awesome family and friends, I am inspired, challenged, and encouraged by:


My parents live life fully, even with disabilities and age. 


My husband, who works full-time as a supervising engineer at a local power company, also makes time for: bicycling to and from work, designing and programming new software, making videos for dance studios, helping out at local canoe and kayak team with chase boat repair, and doing 90% of the sound and media tech at our church. 


My daughters, who both have huge dreams and goals, who put in work every day and every week, and who are sweet enough to include me in conversations about their lives.



In my blog-life, this strange part of reality, I am inspired by so many people that I know I'm going to miss 90% of you - meaning I'm going to miss mentioning most of the people who are awesome because then my post would be as long as the IWSG list, or longer. For now, I'm just going to list a small smattering, who you probably all already know:


Alex J. Cavanaugh - Ninja Captain of Light-house Endeavors like IWSG and awesome author. 


Milo James Fowler - Speculative Fictioneer of everlasting persistence and excellent writing. 


Misha Gericke - the Queen of Dream Goals, who has inspired me in my goal-making and keeping. 


Cherie Reich - Amazing Word Count Goal-Maker and Keeper. She has strategies that work! 


M Pax - Speculative fiction author, amazing goal-keeper, and inspiring blog-writer. She knows her science and her fiction. 


L. Diane Wolfe - She has her ear to the industry heartbeat. She's a writer, a speaker, and photographer. 


And, every single blogger involved in IWSG! Yes, you! You inspire me, challenge me, and encourage me to be a better writer, blogger, and blog-buddy. You inspire me to exercise, to read, to get creative, and to live life fully.

Thank you.

Do you surround yourself with people who inspire, challenge, and encourage you?


Special Events:


Realms Faire!


Realms Faire is Coming in November! Please support with Thunderclap!
And, please join us in the fun that week!

Book Celebration:



SIMULATION
by Tara Tyler

In 2082, androids are an essential part of daily life. Some are helpful, some would make better toasters, and some are so human-like they're creepy. Back in Atlanta, Detective Cooper's latest client has him searching for her boyfriend who she thinks was replaced by a simulation, an illegal clone android. The guy also happens to be a popular new congressman.

As if the case wasn't frustrating enough, Cooper keeps crossing paths with his ex, FBI Agent Geri Harper who's looking for the same guy. As Cooper closes in, Geri is kidnapped. But when she resurfaces in Washington and goes on a killing spree, he knows it isn't her. Now under suspicion himself, Cooper must find the real Geri to prove her innocence, not to mention hunt down the powerful villain behind it all. Never a dull moment.

Amazon Barnes & Noble



Tara Tyler writes sci fi and fantasy action-adventures from her little corner of the world in Ohio as she tries to keep up with her three boys and coach husband. Always making time to write, she sometimes puts off chores and lets laundry pile up... hence, she's also the Lazy Housewife, offering advice and tips to other gals out there trying to do it all without going crazy. She and her housewife friends blog at The Really Real Housewives of America.




And, Remember the IWSG Anthology!!!

Eligibility: Any member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group is encouraged to enter – blogging or Facebook member. (Must have a blog post this month or last or join the Facebook group by today to qualify.) The story must be previously unpublished. Entry is free. 
Word count: 5000-6000
Theme: Alternate History/Parallel Universe. That’s right, we’ve decided to go the speculative route. This theme has plenty of scope and we’re open to pretty much anything along these lines, except erotica or graphic violence. 
Story deadline: November 1st 2015
How to enter: Send your polished, formatted, previously unpublished story to TheIWSG at gmail dot com before the deadline passes. Make sure to include your contact details. 
Judging: The IWSG admins will create a shortlist of the best stories. The shortlist will then be sent to our official judges. 
Prizes: The winning stories will be edited and published by Freedom Fox Press in the IWSG anthology next year. Authors will receive royalties on books sold, both print and eBook. The top story will have the honor of giving the anthology its title. The winners will also receive an exclusive badge to display on their blog. 

Do you have your story done yet?