Thursday, October 31, 2013
I'll try to come back later with something more meaningful, but for now, you can check out my post on C. Lee McKenzie's blog about my querying process.
...And now I'm back.
So there's two and a half hours left until NaNoWriMo starts. I've arranged my day tomorrow so that I can get more writing done in the morning. Because that's where I think I'm going to win time. The mornings, when no one's around to distract me.
But first, I need to get back into the routine of waking up early. But before that, I really really want to be here at midnight to get some words down. Even if it's just for thirty minutes.
I'll see how I feel, though. NaNo's actually a marathon, not a sprint. In the meantime, I'm playing more music to get into the mood, I'm rereading some of my projects, and I'll be drinking water like a fiend.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, will be the extent of my NaNo Prep.
Are you ready?
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Can Kaylyn figure out how to stop a spirit that has been looking for her since she was a child?
Fractured Legacy by Skye Callahan
Kaylyn Anderson's fascination with abandoned places and dark creatures kindled her work as a paranormal investigator. But when dreams begin to distort reality, she questions what is real and pulls away from everyone she trusts. The opportunity to investigate the Teague Hotel--a long-abandoned landmark that has always piqued her curiosity--provides a chance to redeem herself. Unraveling the hotel's secrets won't be easy, but Kaylyn soon finds herself the target of a dark entity that has been trapped in the building for decades. If Kaylyn stands any chance of defeating the spirit, she'll have to accept that her fears are real and convince fellow investigators that she hasn't lost her mind.
Buy your copy on Amazon. Read the first 3 chapters on Wattpad Follow along with the Release Tour for interviews, excerpts, reviews, and a chance to win a signed paperback (US), bookmarks and Fractured Legacy swag in the Rafflecopter giveaway.
About the Author: Skye CallahanSkye Callahan was born and raised in Ohio and has seen enough unbelievable stuff to feed a lifetime of paranormal stories. When not writing or working at the dayjob, she hangs out with her ethnomusicologist husband and pet ferrets, reads, and takes long walks through the cemetery.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Either way, although I waited all day for the link to go live, it hasn't.
So... uh... *does a random tap dance*
And now, on to a somewhat more regular posting.
I figured I'd do a post on something weird today. Or... not weird. Just different.
See recently, the stresses of my day-job with the magician fruit thieves *snarl* had a massive toll on me. Not only was I becoming about as snappish as a non-extinct and hungry TRex, but my creativity was suffering. As was every single other activity in my life.
It came to the point where I went to a psychologist, knowing I'd never faced this sort of stress before. I needed a way to deal with everything. A healthy way.
Not being one to pop pills, I was pleasantly surprised when he shared my sentiment. The surprise grew when he introduced me to this thing called Emotion Freedom Technique, EFT.
It's weird. Really weird. Basically, the premise is that our bodies build up with negative emotions until the result is quite similar to an electric short circuit. Our thoughts, memories, basically everything works on electric impulses running through our nervous system. Negative things like fear, perfectionism, anger, trauma etc. mess with the way the impulses flow.
And when that happens, we lose our capacity to perform certain tasks. Or any tasks, for that matter.
I think you guys know what I mean. That sucky feeling you get when you've had a bad day, followed by feeling as if you're writing through goo in your brain? Yup. That's what I'm talking about.
So far, so normal(ish). The weird thing is that tapping, or rubbing certain nerve points on your body can make it go away. It doesn't remove the cause or the memories of your problem, but it usually makes the fear and angst associated with it disappear. And when that happens, it's easier to deal with everything.
The best thing (for me) about it is that it can take as little as ten minutes to get rid of baggage. Sometimes it comes back, but I can get rid of it again, and again, and again.
This month, I basically dropped into the doldrums because of the magical fruit thieves, me not being able to write, the cat dying and all other manners of tiny but significant tortures. Usually I come out of the funk soon enough, but this time, it just kept on coming. So today, I decided to give the tapping a chance.
I'm already feeling a ton better. And I'll probably do it again closer to NaNo. In the meantime, I'm rearing to get back into my stories. Guess I should have done the EFT sooner.
Anyway, it's really easy to learn, but it is in a bit of an experimental stage, so if you think it might help you in some way (and it probably can), please go find a professional who can help you. I think it's safe, but I'd be irresponsible if I didn't refer you to those who know better than me.
Anyone hear of EFT or use it?
Monday, October 28, 2013
So, as I mentioned on Friday, I'll be doing NaNoWriMo again this year, but that at this stage I needed to re-evaluate how I was going to approach it.
I decided I'm going to let myself off the hook while pushing myself at the same time. Sounds crazy, I know, but here's how I look at it.
As far as drafting's concerned, I don't really care what my word counts go towards, as long as I write. So at the moment, I'm a bit too stressed to focus on my current WiPs, but it doesn't mean that I shouldn't write. Just means I can write without focusing on a given project.
Does it mean I'm wasting my time? Probably not. The way I see it, I'll be adding words to most of my projects, since I won't really be able to stay away from them. Maybe not 50k to one, but I'll finish all of them anyway.
Also, doing prompts will open up my thoughts again. It's been weeks since I could focus on writing, so I need to get back into the swing of things.
Besides, who knows? Maybe one or more of those random prompts I'll do will lead to an awesome story.
Who else is doing NaNo? If you want to buddy up, my user name's iceangel. What will you be working on?
Friday, October 25, 2013
And now, to the point. You know... This month started off on a high. The Vanished Knight got published, and I have a sneaking suspicion that it's doing pretty good for a debut.
But other than that, I can safely say the wheels have come off. See, the drafting in my down-time went to hell when my publisher let me know that hey, edits are done and I'd be published a week later. (Not really anyone's fault, and honestly, it turned out well, so I don't mind.)
What I do mind is that I'm simply not in a head space to write. Tried to kick-start it by writing 31k by the end of the month. I managed 10k. 8k of which were guest posts.
Then there were family trips, work issues (which I will continue to refuse to dignify with expansion on the internet) and this week, food poisoning. In fact, I'm only starting to feel human again now.
Except I'm feeling a lot like an injured one. Because today, one of my family's cats died. Just so you know, it wasn't one of the kittens. It was an older cat. Eight years old, but utterly devoted to my brother. His loss has been closely felt in my family. And I'm crying as I write this. Honestly, he was too young to die, and his illness was way too sudden. It took him in one week. We don't know why, but maybe we'll have some answers when the necropsy comes back. I'm just praying now that this isn't something contagious.
So yeah. I'm currently physically and emotionally tired. And I really need a rest. Blog hiatus is out of the question, though. And I'm NOT going to miss NaNo.
I will, however re-evaluate in this week before NaNo starts. I'm not sure if I want to work on any important drafts right now. Right now, I don't think I need to feel like writing is work. So I'll need to figure out a way to get me writing in a way that'll get me back on capacity. Without pushing me over the edge.
Where are you writing-wise?
EDIT: The necropsy came back. Seems the cat's cause of death was congenital. He had smaller than average kidneys and liver, and the longest small intestine either of the animal hospital's vets have ever seen. Looks like Sylvester had been suffering for some time without us knowing, and it was just a matter of time before his systems shut down.
We did see him before he died, and it seems as if he'd waited the whole day for us to visit. Because the vet found he'd died within an hour after that. Already missing him like hell.
Thursday, October 24, 2013
While her father, brothers, and people fight against the Kingdom of Apentha, tenacious eighteen-year-old Princess Magna can only watch the destruction of Amora, her besieged city and kingdom. Her mother, Queen Vyvian, has refused to allow her heir to join the fray.
But Magna won't take no for an answer. She seeks out an end of the war from Prince Cyrun of Apentha, their prisoner. If she can't persuade him toward peace, then Amora may fall.
This short story prequel includes a sneak peek of Reborn, Book One of The Fate Challenges, forthcoming May 2014.
YA Epic Fantasy
The Fate Challenges #0.5
A 5500-word Short Story
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
First, I'm doing an excerpt swap with Quanie Miller, author of the up coming book It Ain't Easy Being Jazzy. My excerpt is here. Hers is here. By the way, if you haven't met Quanie yet, I suggest you check out the writings she's posted so far. The lady has some kick-ass talent and I'm looking forward to read Jazzy.
Second, I'm visiting Rebecca to talk about writing a series.
Hope to see you there!
Okay, take it away Paul. Adore the cover, by the way.
Finally, my curiosity got the best of me. I went outside because the conference room had a window. I squeezed my behind through two bushes and squatted. Yes! The blinds weren’t down all the way, so if I turned my head to the right angle, I could see…Blondie’s ass? That was no good. Wait—why was she standing? Didn’t people normally sit down at meetings? Her goons stood too, and then so did Lynnette, Rudy, and Jack. I wondered if Lynnette could take this woman. Lynnette was small, but I’ve seen her beat the shit out of a vending machine that gave her a Kit-Kat instead of the Snickers Bar she wanted. Blondie had the height advantage. And Rudy - he looked like one of those guys who always got beat up by girls in school. And Jack…he wore Bill Cosby sweaters. I knew good and well he couldn’t whup no ass. What should I do? I ran back inside and went to the kitchen. Lynnette said to give her an hour before I called for her nun-chucks. Maybe if I saved the day, she would give me a raise.
The iron. Blondie and her goons were in for a surprise because I would take that iron and…what? Crease their clothes? Or worse, make them grilled cheese sandwiches? What if they had a gun? Then I would look silly, bringing an iron to a gun fight. I would never live that down. But the anticipation made me antsy. What in the world was going on in that room? Suddenly, the conference door opened. I knew that if I wanted to eavesdrop I would have to be discrete. Too bad I tripped on my own foot and went sprawling head first into the hallway, landing right near Blondie’s stiletto. I looked up. I swear she seemed thirteen feet tall.
She said, in her deep, gurgling, sexy chicken voice, “Thanks for the Pellegrinos.” She stepped over me and so did The Slick Back Kids. Inside the conference room, Lynnette, Rudy, and Jack were all scribbling feverishly on those notepads. When Lynnette sensed she was being watched, she hopped up and shut the door. I felt like they were Desi and I was Lucy Ricardo; why couldn’t I be in the show? I ran back to my office and peeped out the window, but Blondie and her entourage were gone. I sat at my desk for the rest of the day, wondering if they were doing something illegal, and if so, why didn’t they ask me to participate?
Jazzy secretly wants to get back together with her ex-boyfriend, Curtis, so when he calls and reveals that he’s got something important to tell her, she’s got no idea that he’s about to propose—to her first cousin and bitter rival, Mercedes.
The annual family dinner is coming up, and fearing that she will spend the evening seething while Mercedes flaunts her four carat engagement ring in her face, Jazzy asks Reggie, an Adonis she met at the mall, to accompany her. As fate would have it, not only did Reggie and Mercedes used to date; that backstabbing, leopard print wearing cow is still carrying a torch for him! Revenge. It’s never been so sweet.
But falling for Reggie? Holy crap! That wasn’t part of the plan! She’s got enough on her plate as it is; restaurant shootouts, a neurotic boss, a mother who spies on the neighbors, and a sister and best friend with man problems that could land them on Jerry Springer. Who has time to fall in love? So when Curtis comes sniffing around again—this time, with an accusation that sends her blood pressure shooting through the roof—the one good nerve that Jazzy’s got left has just about run its course.
Quanie Miller grew up in New Iberia, Louisiana. She fell in love with reading at an early age and spent most of her time at the Iberia Parish Library discovering new authors like R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike (she was often found walking back home from the library with a stack of books that went up to her chin). She holds degrees from Louisiana State University and San Jose State University. She has been the recipient of the James Phelan Literary Award, the Louis King Thore Scholarship, the BEA Student Scriptwriting Award, and the Vicki Hudson Emerging Writing Prize. She loves writing humorous stories about strong willed, sassy women who can’t keep themselves out of trouble. She lives in Charleston, South Carolina with her husband and is currently, as always, working on another novel. To find out more about Quanie and her works in progress visit quanietalkswriting.com.
Social Media Links:
Monday, October 21, 2013
1) I'm hanging out with Darrion and Gawain from The Vanished Knight at the A to Z Challenge blog.
2) I did an interview with Laura on writing on whether I prefer cake or pie. Answer is cake. Probably forever. See below for the reason.
3) Michael wrote a cool intro to The Vanished Knight.
4) I'm visiting Robin, talking about how I first started writing.
I hope to spot you at any or all of these. Probably later. Right now, I'm going back to sleep. Before that, though, you deserve an explanation, both about why I lack energy and why I now hate pie.
My haiku on pie.
There once was a pie,
I devoured without thought of
it poisoning me.
On that lovely thought, I leave you today. Anyone else wanted to die from food poisoning before?
Friday, October 18, 2013
Hey all! Sadly, another quick post from me today. You'd think that having time off would give me more time to write... :-/
Anyway, today I'm at Father Dragon's Cave talking about how goals helped me get The Vanished Knight Published.
Hope to see you there!
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Take it away, Jamie!
The art of self publishing, and by art I mean what you get after giving a hundred five-year olds finger paints.
So you’ve written a book, and you’ve decided to publish it yourself. You poor, misguided soul. Don’t worry, I’m just as poor and misguided as you. Luckily I’ve put myself through the wringer and am prepared to share what I’ve learned to help you in your current and/or future projects. For the purpose of this post, I’m going to assume you’re already at the final stage of your project. You’ve already gotten an editor, and your cover design is finalized (or on your way to it) and now you’re unsure about what to do in regards to self publishing. Allow me to help!
Let’s start with the obvious.
It goes without saying that Amazon is the top ebook retailer, and for good reason. With ebooks now outselling physical books for the first time ever, Amazon sits atop the heap for all things relating to the medium. They have a program called KDP Select (Kindle Direct Publishing) that’s set up to help authors promote their books and garner sales. Through the system, Amazon assists with promotion of your book through email suggestions to Kindle members and it also allows you to set up to 5 days during each 90 day period to give away your book for free. The hitch? While part of the KDP Select program, you can’t be listed through any other ebook retailer.
You opted to start with Amazon, but now your sales are dropping and your KDP select
exclusivity is up. What now?
You’ve got options. Lots and lots of options. Start by reviewing Smashwords.com to see if that’s something you’d like to consider. Their purpose is to help indie authors publish across many platform and to promote them. I haven’t personally done anything with them, but I’m still considering it. I went with four additional carriers aside from Amazon, and it’s been a...process.
What are the pro’s and cons of each?
I’ve heard that Nook isn’t terribly popular, though it seems to be a decent format. Their process was relatively painless, except when I had to go in and label each of my chapters, one by one. Their self publishing process is supposed to pick out the number of chapters you have and automatically label them, buuuuut it told me I had two chapter. Yep, twenty five chapters distilled into two. I spent the next thirty minutes labelling each chapter. Fun times. Then the book got hung up in “pending” hell for four days until I contacted customer support for them to fix that.
Kobo was even simpler than Amazon for self publishing. I’m not totally sure what Kobo is, but they have their own line of ereaders and I liked their site. However, the book has been available for a week, and I haven’t had a single sale. I have no clue how much traffic books on their site get.
Another fairly simple process here, though not as simple as Amazon or Kobo. Aside from Amazon, I think Google Play has the best potential for sales. The Play store keeps showing up on more and more devices, especially as Android continues to expand and tablets continue to fly off the shelves. Though I have no idea how it’s doing, since the site refuses to actually give me my sales numbers, after putting me through a three day ordeal where it kept telling me the book “needed action” on some unknown payment issue. Wrote to them, and still had to figure it out on my own after a vague issue.
Here’s the thing. I’ve never had any love for Apple. I have a thing about my products being worth the price of admission. Prior to a week ago, I hadn’t signed up for an itunes account. Not only was that a process (why the hell should I give them my credit card just to start an account?), but then I had to get approved as a vendor. So a few days pass by, and I get my approval email. I just need to log in and work with the book to publish it. Simple right? So I go to log in. Invalid password. I try a few different variations of my password, until it boots me out and prompts me to reset. Did I mention that this is the SECOND TIME it’s happened in as many days? I threw my arms up in disgust and decided the few meager sales I might get weren’t worth the hassle, because I had no idea what awaited me once I was able to log in.
I honestly don’t know if going off of the KDP Select program is worth it. Only time will be able to tell there. I don’t have a bright outlook on that. Amazon isn’t helping with promotion anymore, but the sales are still regular on Kindle. I’m hopeful that my own experiences here in self publishing will help you in deciding which way is best for you. Maybe you’ll decide to stick with KDP Select, or maybe you’ll just publish everywhere you possibly can from the get go. Find what works for you, and experiment!
It’s so easy to hate super heroes. They’re arrogant, they’re destructive, and they’re everywhere. Then there’s the spandex. My God…the spandex. Some want to be famous, some want to get rich, and some just want to dispense their own vision of vigilante justice.
Then there’s Dennis. Married forty something father of three who puts in long hours as a bank executive in Philadelphia. He observes these Supers (general term used for humans with exceptional abilities) daily, cursing as they trash the city, demolish landmarks, and wreak havoc on his insurance premiums.
Dennis’ biggest problem though, is that he’s one of them. He’s spent his entire life just trying to be normal. Getting married, raising a family, and having a good job are all he’s ever wanted. Is it really too much to ask to just live, love, and retire in peace?
Of course it is! Supers are easily monetized. Comic books, movie deals, television shows, public appearances, and well paid security gigs draw people with any kind of powers to join the limelight with the rest. Dennis comes to find that no matter how much you deny who you are, the world will never stop spinning, and you will eventually be dragged right along with it. Unfortunately for him, that dragging is bloody, painful, and unrelenting.
Superpowered is a first person fiction narrative from the eyes of a reluctant, power-wielding human being. Focusing not on super heroes or super villains, but instead on people with extraordinary abilities, this book will take you along for Dennis’ tense, thrilling, and gruesome journey through the highs and heartbreaking lows.
Google Play (where it’s discounted right now)
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
In the meantime, I thought I'd do a short post about a dream I had:
I woke up and read my e-mails first thing as I always do. In it were two e-mails from agents. I clicked on the one I've been waiting for with bated breath, and this was the message.
Dear Ms. Gericke,
Wow, I have to say this. At the beginning of the query, I was quite keen on your story, but by the end of it, I'd lost all interest in ever meeting any of your characters.
(Agent name forgotten)
I woke up smiling, quite grateful that I got either form rejections or nice let downs.
Any of you ever dream about queries you didn't send yet?
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Anyway, today I'm at two blogs. First, I'm at Scribbleweed to talk about setting big writing goals. By the way, if you're not familiar with Scribbleweed, do go check it out while you're there. Awesome place for fun writing exercises etc.
Then, I'm also visiting long time blogging friend Terry for an interview, discussing reading and more of my wacked out approaches to writing. ;-)
Hope to see you there! And I really will put up something more substantial tomorrow. Was planning to do so today, but I've spent about 28 of the past 48 hours traveling, so I can barely think straight. Besides which, I still owe some awesome people guest posts....
Monday, October 14, 2013
Hey all! Today, I'm visiting Aimee at http://aimeebeatricejodoin.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-vanished-knight-war-of-six-crowns.html. She reviewed TVK and interviewed me based on what she read. Hope to see you there!
P.S. Sorry for the untidy Iink. Am away from my computer and my tablet refuses to play along...
Friday, October 11, 2013
"Cavanaugh makes world building on the galactic scale look easy. The stakes affect the entire known universe and yet Cavanaugh makes it intensely personal for our hero. The final installment of this series will break your heart and put it back together." - Charity Bradford, science fantasy author of The Magic Wakes
Thursday, October 10, 2013
First of all, I just want to let you know I'm at Mel's today, talking about TVK's rather inauspicious beginnings. I hope to see you there!
But before you go, I just want to say thanks. Quite a few of you have put up the cover, or did reviews or even mentioned my book without telling me. And I think you're AWESOME! Thank you!!!
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
BTW, the Paying Forward Awards are on, and I'm collecting prizes. Please see here for details.
Some of you might be wondering what I'm up to at the moment? Signings? Press releases? T.V. interviews? Nope. I'm being a writer. I.E. I (supposedly) write.
At the moment, though, I'm struggling a bit. I'm so busy with writing blog posts, visiting blogs, checking my Amazon rankings (seriously. It's something I do compulsively.), responding to comments on guest posts and interviews etc. that when I do sit down to write, the words aren't there.
Which is annoying, because I know my muse is tapping her feet, waiting for me to get my butt into gear. But maybe I'm not in the right mental space to write. Which sucks, because deep down, I know I need to get writing again.
I need to escape the craziness that is being newly published and to focus on my real love. Yes, I'd love to be read. I want desperately for people to read The Vanished Knight. But first of all, I love creating stories. And I feel that if I lose sight of that for even a moment, my creativity will suffer.
So what I'm doing is this. I set a goal for 31k words this month. And every day, I'm sitting down by a blank page. If the words come, I write. Even if it's nowhere near my daily goal. I'm not forcing out more. But I am dedicating time to my muse.
Hopefully, the words will come easier as I fall into the new routine that comes with being a published writer.
How do you balance marketing with writing? Do you think I'm nuts for even trying?
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
1) As the title says, I'm at Screwing Up Time, doing an interview with Connie.
2) I'm still looking for tour dates and cover reveals until end January. If you're willing to let me post on your blog, please click here.
3) I'm also hosting another Paying Forward Awards. So if you have anything to offer to other members of your community, please go here.
4) If you'd like to check out what my book cover's about, please go here...
Okay that's it for today! And now it's time for me to visit some of your blogs...
Monday, October 7, 2013
Instead, I just want to ask, that if you haven't yet, you please find it in your heart to go to this post and let me visit your blog sometime between now and the end of January. Thanks to everyone who has offered to help already!
Also, I want to let you know that I'm talking about The Vanished Knight's cover on the lovely Ashley Nixon's blog today. If you've been wondering what it's about, and why my pseudonym is what it is, heading over is a great idea! ALSO! It's the first blog that'll show my new, shiny new blurb. Oooh!
But don't go yet! I have something else important to ask. I'm bringing the Paying Forward Awards back. Last month was a bit of a mad rush with visitors and then editing and publishing, but at least now, I feel I should do the Paying Forward awards again.
For those of you who don't know what the PFA's are: I regularly ask people to sponsor prizes. These prizes can be anything you think would be appreciated by other bloggers in our community. Once I have the prizes, I open up nominations for people who deserve or need to have their days made. And then, if there are more nominees than prizes, we vote for the winners.
But as you can see, I can't do it alone (although I always offer a prize). I need your help. Any prizes from crits to books to banners to survival kits to amazon vouchers are welcome. So please. If it's at all within your ability to offer something, do. We really can make some people's day a little brighter this way.
How to do it? Easy. You can either let me know in the comments, but please please please add your e-mail address. I need to be able to reach you. Alternatively, you can mail me at mishagericke(AT)gmail(DOT)com with "Paying Forward" as the subject.
Thanks in advance to all you awesome people!
Friday, October 4, 2013
But then the Black Knight vanishes.
Darrion and Gawain, two of his possible heirs, set out to find him, but after they rescue an earth-girl from Merithian soldiers, they discover she has possible ties to Nordaine. Not only that, but Callan Blair could be an Elvish princess. And war looms on the horizon…