Last weekend, I offered free downloads of my first novel, Loki Bound, through Amazon. I was hoping with the upcoming Prime Day, that more people would be surfing Amazon and would take a look at my book.
I'm pretty excited at how many downloads I saw. If you're one of my new readers: Thank you! It means a lot to me that you want to check out one of my books. Also, when I say I would love to hear from you, I mean it. I love feedback. I love reviews -- even something less than five stars is great because hopefully you're telling me why you gave me the rating you did so I can improve my work. It's a small thing that means so much.
And speaking of which: Please review books! All of you! Review every book you read. You have no idea how much reviews mean to authors. Your review not only helps us get better, but it helps our books get to more people. It helps others decide if our book is something they would enjoy or not. You help our books climb and help us find new readers. You, the reader, are the reason we get to do this and we are thankful.
I think my brain may be in overload. I have a to-do list and it has three novels on it right now (not including Frost and Flame book 2: Winter Born).
What are these new in-the-works? Ice Burns 3, a new fantasy tentatively titled Queensland, and a short story that seems to not want to let go of me! Can we say clingy stalker? Oh yes we can!
So, what's a girl to do? I'm not sure how to shut out all of the voices but for one and I want to get some good work done here. Have you ever tried to get something done with four or five voices yelling things in your ear? It really doesn't work. So, back to misery and selective hearing, I guess.
Also, I thought I would throw a gift out there for some of you lovely darlings: Free Loki Bound ebooks! Yes! Rejoice! Your summer reading list just got longer if you haven't picked up this humorous, mysterious, and sometimes romantic romp! Go to Amazon and get your free copy today Here. It will only be free for a little while. Hey, a girl's gotta eat.
Something about conventions either kicks me in the head or kicks me in the ass. LibertyCon usually does the latter. This year's LibertyCon 31 was no different.
When I got home after a grueling 9+ hour drive from Chattanooga, my brain was humming. No, not the audible type of humming (I would see a doc for that), but buzzing with new ideas and a desire to get moving.
Prior to this year's LibertyCon, I finished writing Ice Burns 2, titled Frost Flame. I was high on that sense of accomplishment but knew I still had a ways to go before I rest my weary head (or keyboard). Ice Burns 3, currently untitled, is burning a hole in my head and I had still needed to complete first and second edits on Frost Flame before sending it to my new editor.
During edits, short stories started tugging at me. It's been a while since that's happened, so I paused to take a listen and ended up writing a Sci-Fi/Fantasy/SteamPunk(ish) short story that was really fun. I actually finished that with full edits yesterday and have sent out a few feelers to see if anyone wants it. It was a fun write, though which I haven't had in a while.
Something happens when you finish a work or two though: you're either empty because you aren't actively writing, or bummed because a part of you is...absent. I'm feeling a little of both. I'm also feeling the crunch of my day job to get some items prepped and going for the upcoming school year.
Writing is an emotional journey; I guess that's my point. It has ups and downs like anything else. Some writers, me included, don't know that early on. You won't always feel high from writing. You won't always feel confident or worthwhile. You will have that drive mixed with a heady dose of procrastination trying to pull you in another direction -- don't let it. To write is to reach a sense of self; a sense of accomplishment. Even if that writing is crap and it ends up stored on your computer for years to come, it still needs a voice, and you need to speak it. If you want to write, do so. Don't let things stop you. Don't let anyone stand between you and what you want. It might take years (sadly) before you can truly hone your craft and feel at one with your art, but take that time to do so. Make your time to put the ripples in the water and watch them turn to waves. I'll stand on the shore and hand you another rock.
A good friend of mine, Toi Thomas, has written and published a few children's books. When she finished them, it seems that she decided that instead of spotlighting herself and her books, she wanted to spotlight teachers.
When she told me that, I wanted to be part of it. It isn't because I teach that I appreciate what she's doing; it is because I wouldn't be who I am without the amazing teachers that have been concentric to the person I've become. I had support systems that seemed invisible, but they were there and I know I can never do enough to thank them for that. Since I can't, I want to draw your attention to your teachers and all of the amazing things they do for your and/or your children. Teachers are not an endless resource and we must work to cherish the ones we have. Here's what teachers have done for me and I would love to hear what they've done for you in the comments:
Did a teacher ever introduce you to a book; which one(s)?
I've had a lot of teachers (thankfully) recommend books to me. One that I remember in particular was in middle school: White Fang by Jack London. It is still one of my favorites.
What was your favorite book(s) as a kid?
I've had so many favorites over time. Books have touched me in so many ways and changed how I look at the world around me. One of my odd-ball favorites was Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. I've read it at least a dozen times because I cannot help but admire the main character, Scarlett O'Hara, for her realistic heroism. She never fit the hero archetype, but she was one just the same.
Who was your favorite teacher at any point in your youth; why?
Again, so many! One that sticks with me is Mrs. Anderson. She taught my high school Journalism classes and let me come in during the summer to use the computer there to write my first "novel". I never finished the book because I just wasn't sure. I guess I wasn't ready. At least I can't say I wasn't supported, though!
What popular book have you never read and or faked reading?
The Hobbit. I know, I know. I hang my head in shame.
Did you ever do any creative projects in school based on a book; what?
I honestly don't remember. I rebelled against a lot of the literature we read because I never understood what was underneath characters I considered vapid or idiotic to see what they really were.
What book(s) has had the greatest influence in your adult life?
I would say either Pen on Fire or On Writing. Both are about writing and the life of a writer. Without them, I don't think I would have ever considered myself good enough to call myself an author.
What words or advice from a teacher has had the greatest influence in your adult life?
I don't know that there were specific words so much as general intent. My high school teachers honored me with an award for trying to write my first novel. They told me what an amazing thing it was and encouraged me to write at any time I could. I honestly didn't even know that any of them saw me doing it except for my Journalism teacher. It was a shock that they were all there quietly cheering me on!
What book have you read as an adult that you wish you’d read as a child or teen?
The Chronicles of Narnia. I would also say that I wish Harry Potter books had been around when I was younger.
If you were a teacher, what book would you recommend to a student and why?
Ha! I recommend books to my students all the time! I can't say one because I try to discuss interests and help students find books they will love and that will have an impact on them. I will say, for my fantasy kids, I often recommend The Sin-Eater's Daughter. Excellent novel.
What would you write about or have you written about in a children’s book?
I have. I wrote it during a class as part of a project. I created a children's book based off the Celtic myth about the Brown Bull of Cooley. I illustrated it as well. Mythology has so many interesting takes on the world.
This blog tour and giveaway is sponsored by Toi Thomas. Toi Thomas is a teacher and author who wants to support other teachers. Please consider buying one of her books and or entering her giveaway to support a teacher of your choice. BUY BOOKS HERE and or ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE.
Its so hard to believe that we're at that time of year again: Publishing Time!
I wish more time was available to me during the year, but hopefully you won't mind waiting now and then. The Gods know that there are some amazing books out there by my fellow authors that you can read in between. They aren't me, but don't hold that against them! They are pretty fabulous. Make sure you check out my new "Authors of Interest" page if you need some new reading. First though, you might want to take a look at my book...
Ice Burns, my newest and first epic/dark fantasy is up for pre-order on Amazon and will be coming out in August. This novel is something I'm incredibly proud on and have spent years writing. Yes, I said years.
Chandra, the main character, has been raised with the idea that she will one day be the most powerful mage alive. Her Master took her in and declared her his one apprentice on the premise. Unfortunately, that's not something her magic has promised.
Chandra has almost the age when mages peak and can access all of their power, but she can't do more than make a mess of anything she tries. Just at the point where she believes that she has reached the end of any hint of hope for her future glory, an unusual visitor arrives and pushes her to rethink everything she knows.
Put to an impossible decision, Chandra finds herself on the run from the only home she's ever known, pursued by those who had once had the same goals as her, with a strange, silent companion and no idea who she really is. Chandra must come to terms with what life has given, taken, and forced upon her if she ever hopes to own her own life.
I can't wait for you all to read this and hear what you think. Chandra's journey was amazing for me to be a part of and I think you'll be as sad to leave her as I was.
Can you believe it??? I know I can't. This work was a lot of blood (not Cleo's), sweat (Cleo's and mine), and tears (Rocky, stop crying!). Oh, and upholstery stuffing, of course.