Wednesday, May 5, 2021

IWSG May, Surprised by Positives, Kindle Vella, and Dark Matter: An Anthology

 This post became a bit long, so it's broken into three sections: IWSG, Burning Question about Kindle Vella, and Dark Matter.

The Insecure Writer's Support Group

Many thanks to founder Alex J. Cavanaugh and all of the awesome co-hosts for May's blog hop!
The awesome co-hosts for the May 5 posting of the IWSG are Erika Beebe, Pat Garcia, Tonja Drecker, Sadira Stone, and Cathrina Constantine!

Optional May Question: Have any of your readers ever responded to your writing in a way that you didn't expect? If so, did it surprise you?

I think I've written about this before, about some surprising negative reactions I've had, but today, I am going to focus on some surprising positives.

1. Having a reader so invested in a character that he was worried for her from book 2 to book 3 in The Champion Trilogy. It was awesome to hear that particular character came alive for him.

2. My father-in-law telling me he's amazed by my imagination after he reads each of my books. :) It's kind of ironic that he's read everything I've written when my husband hasn't, but I'm thankful he likes what I write, even my latest science fiction novella Liftoff which was originally meant for YA readers. 83-year-olds can be young at heart, too. 

As I hinted at above, I have overly focused on the negative stuff far too often, and I'm determined to focus on the positive. With that in mind, I have been following a blog entitled: Writing and Wellness. I recommend it. Some posts I liked recently: 5 Ways to Spring Clean Your Mind, and How to Rephrase Your Self Talk to Boost Your Writer's Confidence.

A great example is:

Instead of stating "I received a rejection letter," say: I received a redirect letter.

It's a pretty simple change, but I have been trying it and I think it makes a difference. 

Burning Question

In the industry: Are you considering Kindle Vella as a reader or an author? I wrote a post about it last week on Facebook and on my blog which stirred some interesting conversations and sent me down a rabbit trail of consideration. I even sent off a question to the Kindle Vella team at KDP about using a short story I had previously published as a base for a Kindle Vella series.

If you're interested in finding out more, go to last week's blog post and Kindle Vella's main page. A number of industry experts have created posts about the subject, including ALLi. Thanks to Christine Rains, I found Understanding Kindle Vella by Annalise Clark and Going Exclusive with Fiction Serialization by Medium author Monica Leonelle. Both of these articles were extremely helpful to my understanding of the serialization process and the other platforms already doing it.

And, after much consideration, I've decided to try it. It's not my main project at the moment, but I'm working on it in the wings (basically when projects A and B are both driving me nuts and I need something different). It will be based on this short story, which is old (2015) but has a new cover that I may use as a basis of a new cover for the series - still making some decisions about it. The title will also change slightly to show the difference between the short story and the serial.

Lane has readers to appease and stories to write, but she misses her family. Can she step away from the keyboard long enough to reconnect or is it too late? "Story Addict" is a short science fiction tale. 

It's 99 cents at Smashwords currently. It used to be free, and if you sign up for my newsletter, you'll find 100% off coupon for this story through May 15th only applicable on the Smashwords website.

Coming soon! 
May 15th Writing Class on Zoom.
Via Creative Colloquy!

Dark Matter: Artificial, an IWSG Anthology is here!

Dark Matter: Artificial

An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology


Discover dark matter’s secrets…


What is an AI’s true role? Will bumbling siblings find their way home from deep space? Dark matter is judging us—are we worthy of existence? Would you step through a portal into another reality? Can the discoverer of dark matter uncover its secrets?


Ten authors explore dark matter, unraveling its secrets and revealing its mysterious nature. Featuring the talents of Stephanie Espinoza Villamor, C.D. Gallant-King, Tara Tyler, Mark Alpert, Olga Livshin, Steph Wolmarans, Charles Kowalski, Kim Mannix, Elizabeth Mueller, and Deniz Bevan.


Hand-picked by a panel of agents, authors, and editors, these ten tales will take readers on a journey across time and space. Prepare for ignition!



Founded by author Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers support for writers and authors alike. It provides an online database; articles; monthly blog posting; Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram groups; #IWSGPit, and a newsletter.


Release date: May 4, 2021

Print ISBN 9781939844828 $14.95

EBook ISBN 9781939844835 $4.99

Science Fiction: Collections & Anthologies (FIC028040) / Space Exploration (FIC028130) / Genetic Engineering (FIC028110)



Artificial - Stephanie Espinoza Villamor

Space Folds and Broomsticks - C.D. C.D.

Rift – Kim Mannix

The Utten Mission – Steph Wolmarans

Sentient – Tara Tyler

One to Another – Deniz Bevan

Resident Alien - Charles Kowalski

Nano Pursuit – Olga Livshin

Resurgence – Elizabeth Mueller

Vera’s Last Voyage – Mark Alpert



Artificial - Stephanie Espinoza Villamor

Space Folds and Broomsticks - C.D. Gallant-King

Rift – Kim Mannix

The Utten Mission – Steph Wolmarans

Sentient – Tara Tyler

One to Another – Deniz Bevan

Resident Alien - Charles Kowalski

Nano Pursuit – Olga Livshin

Resurgence – Elizabeth Mueller

Vera’s Last Voyage – Mark Alpert

Congratulations to all of the Dark Matter authors! Well done! 

Are you picking up a copy of Dark Matter? Signed up for my newsletter yet? Going to try Kindle Vella? Have a surprising reaction to your writing?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Focus on the positive or you'll go nuts.
Serials do well so why not give Kindle Vella a try?
Bog congratulations to the Dark Matter authors!

Jemi Fraser said...

I focused on the positive as well - that's the best way to keep going!
I'm considering Vella as well - I've got a SF idea that's been waiting but I can't decide if going in that direction will dilute my "brand" - or if I care if it does :)
And there's my new romance series that could fit ... maybe...

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I'm trying to focus on the positive, too. And being grateful. :)

Thanks for sharing what you've learned re Kindle Vella. I haven't really looked into it yet. Good luck trying it out!

Rachna Chhabria said...

I'm trying to focus on the positive too. I love the fact that a reader was worried about your character, that's the best response we can get.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Focus on the positive and the negative will fade away.

Vella sounds like Amazon's answer to Wattpad.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Alex - Yes, I think focusing on the positive is the only way to truly have a full life.

Madeline - Gratefulness is definitely a way of focusing on the positive.

Rachna - yes, it is! Keep it positive, friend!

Diane - True. And I think it is their answer to Wattpad.

M.J. Fifield said...

I love that your father-in-law reads your work & then talks to you about it afterward (and that he's amazed by your imagination—the cherry on the sundae!). That's really great.

And hooray for getting readers invested in your characters! High five!

Tyrean Martinson said...

MJ - Yeah, it's pretty amazing and sweet. :)

Patricia Josephine aka Patricia Lynne said...

My father-in-law reads my stuff too. (He's in his 60s.)

Keep us posted about Vella and how it goes. I'm still on the fence about if that sort of thing is really something I want to contribute to in an instant gratification world.

cleemckenzie said...

Your father-in-law is a fan! Kudos to you. You are very lucky.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Hooray for father-in-laws!
And I will. I'm going about it slowly - too many other projects to rush it.

C. Lee - Thanks! I agree. :)

Natalie Aguirre said...

That's great that your father-in-law enjoys reading your work. My late husband didn't read fiction and never read what I wrote. And you're so right about the importance of staying positive.

Lee Lowery said...

It is amazing how a simple "redirect" change can affect how we see things.

Kindle Vella will be an interesting experiment. Serialization was really popular in the early 20th century. It will be interesting to see how many .99 (or whatever) readers are willing to pay for one story.

Cathrina Constantine said...

I have to rid myself of negatively, which has been building this past year. I never used to be like this, I was always the optimist...

I've been hearing about Kindle Vella, and don't know anything about it. I will have to check out your last post.

H.R. Sinclair said...

How adorable that your FIL reads your work! Awesome.

I'm still uncertain about Vella. I've had a serialized work in mind for awhile now, but always thought I'd just publish it in parts on KDP. Hum.

Jenni said...

I like you're it's not a rejection, but a redirect idea. I like to call it query revenge when I send out more queries after a rejection. :) We do need to stay positive in this business.

Laur said...

From two sources today I learned about Kindle Vella. I went to the site and watched the video. I think I am going to give it a close look. Thanks for the "heads up".

Nick Wilford said...

A redirect letter - I like that. It's another venue you can tick off as not being right for your book.

I just heard about Kindle Vella, here on this post, so thanks for that. I will have to find out more.

S.A. Larsenッ said...

Love that a reader was concerned about a character for the following books. Total investment there! Nicely done. I haven't heard about Kindle Vella. Huh? I'll have to find out more about it. I've been pondering joining the ranks of the hybrid authors.

And major congratulations for the anthology release!

Erika Beebe said...

I love how your father-in-law is a huge support for you! And I love your redirection statement. That's brilliant. I 'm not sure about Kindle Vella. I'll have to check out your last post. Happy IWSG day and cheers to a hopeful year of inspiration.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tyrean - that's great about your Father-in-Law ... so great to read. My uncle was supportive, as too my mother ... but everyone in the blogosphere has been great - always fun to read comments. It's always difficult to ignore negatives or those who don't engage ... but so much easier on our health to just get on with our writing. Congratulations to the Anthology and here's to the next one - cheers Hilary

Beth Camp said...

Wow, what a rich post this month -- and helpful on so many levels. Usually, I read through what people are up to, comment, and move on to the next, but your suggestions re writing health, new ways to reach readers (Kindle's Vella), and that tie to your newsletter are all inspiring. Thank YOU for giving us links to pursue! May the coming month bring you insight into those projects A and B in a very positive way!

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