Two days from the end of the year, Bloodmines has been sent to the Publisher for final review of the format changes. Depending on this review, Bloodmines will release either tomorrow night or on New Year's Day! I am hoping later today, to be able to do a cover reveal. I am waiting for my illustrator to make some final tweaks of her own. The team that works with me has worked very hard to help me meet my -by year end goal. My beta readers have all reported back and the consensus is that this is better than Book 2. I hope this is true for all of you and not them just being kind. However, a couple on my beta team are pretty critical so I feel fairly confident in their reviews and feedback. I did use some of the ideas presented by readers. So once I get all the publication formalities finished, I will be connecting with those readers that gave input and getting an address to send a signed copy. It has been a wondrous year. It is hard to believe that at this time last year, I was just figuring out how all the publishing hoops work. Here are some things that I learned this year.
I wish more people would understand that sometimes the most merciful thing you can do is to allow someone to reap what they have sown.
As a writer, you are encouraged to read. This series is one of three that I have been reading as I write. Mr. Chambers has a unique style that incorporates literature and history; so well embedded into the story that it does not detract but only adds to the tale. By reviewing the glossary when I hit a work or historical point with which I was unfamiliar, I found myself only further drawn into the world of Grace and Gordon. I must say I learned a thing or two.
However, it is the story for which a review is written. I found myself entranced by the insight and belief systems of the core characters. If we could raise more of our children with this strong of a belief system our world would be a much better place. I have been following the protagonist since he was a baby. Mr. Chambers weaves a magical tale of growing up in the real world with the fae and mystical. I loved the development and the interaction of the four friends. This is a tale that will entrance children of all ages, even those of us that are children at heart.
The only constructive point I have to make is that the protagonists seem to triumph just a little too easily for their age. I totally understand the concept that they are graced, but I would have liked to see it be a little harder. Hopefully this will be the case as they continue to grow up.
A few readers have contacted me both through the blog and email and reported that my teaser was far to short and they wanted a better glimpse. So I chose a pivotal chapter. However, for those of you that don't like to know what is coming, do not click to read more. This definitely has, for those that don't like such things, some possible spoiler content.
Here is a short excerpt from the soon to be released Bloodmines. There was a problem in edit that slowed down the release but it will still be out before the end of the year. Still shooting for before Christmas, but to be honest it may not make it.
Alador took a measured breath and continued to speak slowly. “I am as much Lerdenian as I am a Daezun and I am a Guldalian. I cannot trust my father and wish no further association with him other than as necessary. It is time that I accepted my circumstances.” Alador took a deep breath. “If you don’t mind, please get out of my head. It is taking everything I have not to lash back at the intrusion.” Alador had been careful to make sure every word was truth.
Luthian looked a bit taken aback and sat back. He released the spell of seeking and eyed his nephew. “And if I asked you to cast the storm spell in Daezun lands?”
Alador knew this was what Luthian wanted most and chose his answer carefully. “If I felt it was for the greater good of the people in the long run, I would cast your spell.” His soft answer held an edge of doubt.
“Are you sure?” Luthian pressed.
“I would have only one request. I would make it as your nephew and not a member of your guardsmen.” Alador’s eyes dropped in deference.
“Curious. What would that be?” Luthian sounded genuinely surprised.
“I would ask that you not make me cast it in a way that would harm Smallbrook. Despite my casting out by the elder council, my siblings and my mother still reside there. They did not reject me and I wish no harm to them.” Alador knew he was daring to show a bit of weakness, but he had hope that Luthian would grasp it as a way to manipulate and manage his nephew.
“And if I agree to this, that never will I ask you to harm your family you were raised with, then what?” Luthian’s tone held a triumphant edge.
Alador bowed low as he spoke, both arms out wide, palms towards Luthian. “Then I am ever your servant to command.”
To those of you that write, you will know what I mean when I say that this novel took on a life of its own. It is turning out to be much longer than I wanted, and yet I and the editor agree that what I have written needs to remain. I guess that just means the series will be a bit longer than the four books I had originally mapped out.
I posted in October that I was taking input from readers on what they would like to see in the next book. I am pleased to say that some of the readers will be getting free copies of this novel as I did incorporate some of the requests and ideas. I may still incorporate more of them in the next novel.
I have loved my reader interactions through email, Twitter, Goodreads and here. It makes writing so much more fun to have the feedback, even the negative feedback.
As many of you now know, I had quit my job to write full-time. Excited by the huge sales, great feedback and reader interaction; I gave my notice at work. But things did not go as planned and so I had to back-step. A diagnosis of cancer led to almost immediate surgery, followed by some unforeseen complications.
I am my own publicist and so I lost momentum and sales, despite good reviews, began to drop. I was unable to put Bloodmines out when I had originally planned as I lost almost six weeks to just being very ill. I do not share this for sympathy. I am six doses into chemo. I have continued to write despite days were the cold cramps ones hands into claws. (A strange side effect of the chemo I am on) Today, I finished Bloodmines. I am proud to have written this novel in the face of severe sickness, travel, and many telling me to just give up and deal with cancer only. I also achieved the 50k goal for NaNoWriMo2014. A goal I was determined to make.
I think that giving in and being "sick" is the worst thing I could have done. It would have been easy to lay in bed doing nothing and watching T.V. or sleeping. Don't get me wrong, there have been many days in bed, but with my laptop and hand warming. I want to beat cancer as badly as Alador wants to complete his geas.
Book 3 is now in edit! It is written. When the editors get done with their red pens, we will proof and release!
Some things to expect in book 3 without giving too much away:
Dragons in person - not in dreams!
Better explanation of the Geas Stone as requested by readers
Anything more would give to much away. I hate spoilers.
I love you all! You make each day at my computer a joy.
I did not realize the importance of writing a book review on a purchase site or Goodreads until I, myself, became published. Even a simple star rating with a "I liked it or I didn't like it" is important. For me as an author, I want to know what people don't like as well as what they do. I am having Outcast reproofed as many reviews have stated my proof-reader and I did a horrible job on the first book. I would not know to do that if readers had not told me.
Why are reviews important? Several reasons come to mind, but here are my top four.
1. We live in a world where people are quick to vent what they don't like but not share what they do. It is just a fact of our digital age. Trish Milburn shared that, "if you have 100 people read a book and 98 love it but only the two who thought it was garbage post a review, guess what. People who come across that book on a retailer’s site are going to think it’s garbage. They won’t know about the 98 people who thought it was a wonderful story with engaging characters. Those negative reviews could keep people who might enjoy the book from buying it, depriving the author of sales that are necessary to help pay his or her bills." This has been my experience as well.
2. Many advertising sites and reviewing sites will only pick up books that have a certain number of reviews. In today's market, with so many small publishing firms and independent authors, the cost of publicity lays squarely on the author. If you don't get your book out, you don't get read.
3. Amazon uses algorithms to place books where they will be seen. How many reviews you have are a major part of these algorithms on if a book even gets seen.
4. Even if a person doesn't leave a review, but shares with friends about the power of a book they have read, this is helpful.
If you really like an author who is not able to write full time, reviews may give them the income to write faster for you. I know that had been my plan. I had quit my job to give my readers what they were asking for, Bloodmines out faster. However, Cancer decided to run interference on that plan. A friend of mine often tells me, "if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans." I don't know if that is true or not, but I do know that the best laid plans do often go awry.
Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and all the love from your frenzied writer....
Such a subtle mistress,
so gentle in her gliding touch.
Her hands move over my body,
my mind, my heart, my soul.
Her glance incites my racing heart,
her tongue soothes the ravages within,
twisting, turning, tendrils of suggestion
worm their way throughout the whole.
Such a subtle mistress bending my
thoughts, my vision to her ways. I look
within the mirror and no longer see
the being I once was, but now her creation.
My words are not my own, they spill from
my mouth as if pulled by teasing lips. Even
words to myself are tinged with her gentle
caress till there is no life satiation.
Once within her power, that gentle touch
turns harsh. Her grasp upon my heart,
wrenches in pain as I seek to find that elusive
truth within that she has hidden from me.
Every attempt to break free of the tendrils of
lies, brings only pain and shame and I recoil much
more comforted by her tender embrace. But to
live here, is an illusion that I look in the mirror and see.
The darkness within is so sublime, so complete that
the illusions suckles the very life from my soul. Happiness
eludes me and she whispers in my ear that is never mine to
have. I rage against the shackles of silken lies that binds all.
And so it is within, that the subtle touch of a lie
not told to others but within, steals my very life breath.
Darkness so complete that it's embrace is no longer warmth
but a cold soulless night where tears do not even break its pall.