Friday, June 29, 2012

Beautiful Blogger

 Siggy Buckley gave me this award a couple days ago, saying: "She is also a reliable follower, passionate tweeter and FB friend to many other writers- but the only one I know in Alaska."

I'm so flattered. Siggy is one of the busiest people I know. I'm flattered to think she has the time to notice little old me. haha

Here's what I have to do since I was awarded this:
• I must write seven facts about myself (see below)
• Link to the blog of the person who nominated you (see above)
• Link to seven bloggers who you think deserves the award (see below)
• Let those bloggers know they have been nominated! (that'll take some time)

Seven facts about me:
1. I'm a much better shot with a rifle than I am with a pistol
2. I have a small collection of rock found along the river
3. I am a serious creature of habit - I hate change
4. I drive a boat to work every day.
5. I'm pretty good at skinning critters large and small
6. I don't hunt for my meat (anymore)
7. I love roses
how's that for random hahaha

Seven bloggers who deserve this award.
1. Healing Morning
2. John Mountain
3. Derek's Home and Business Blog
4. Thoughts on Writing Blog
5. Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent
6. Alisha Paige
7. S.M. Carrriere

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Thrill of a Sale

Not really so long ago me becoming a published author wasn't even a tickle in my imagination. Even after I started writing, the thought of publishing, though a thought, was nothing more. I had no idea how, and no clue how to find such a thing out. Google, you say, but Google requires an internet connection and I had none at the time.

Today I took some books to work - what was there had been sold. The other day a guest met me and told me his wife bought my book - I was more than thrilled to sign it for her. This morning, another guest told me he had bought my book too, though I don't think he bought one through the lodge (not sure though). Each sale is such a rush, such a thrill. That book was published in '08, but still, each sale I hear about is exciting. I mean really, someone I don't really know is reading something I wrote, and they're reading it because they want to, not because they met me first or because they are a member of my family or a high school friend.

Something I wrote is a real book. It is still a concept that is alien to me, and look at me, I have a second book out there now; and even more astonishing, it's a trilogy, which means two more are sure to come out in due time. Every once in a while someone on Facebook will tell me they have, will, or want to buy my book. I mean, yeah, I keep links to buying my books active every day, but I have never asked anyone to buy one.

When I was a kid, you never heard about authors. Someone who paid attention to names much better than I ever did might buy further books by certain authors, but authors were never on TV or in the paper, not that I ever heard of anyway. Blame it on the lack of internet at the time, I suppose, but even so it seems that the big authors are still untouchable. I've tried, though I confess I didn't try very hard really, but still I've looked up one or two authors of books I like. Never once did I get any kind of a reply. I certainly don't intend to follow suit. There's room for comments nearly everywhere on my website, though most comments are spam of a sorts - not blatantly, but still I suspect. And then there's my blog(s). I've read blogs who get upwards of a hundred comments on every post. Will I ever get that kind of a following? Only time will tell. In the mean time, I'm just happy someone is buying and liking my book(s).

Friday, June 15, 2012

Life gets in the way - sometimes

It does. I've been working at my summer job for roughly three and a half weeks now and I'm tired. Start-up work is always the hardest part. Cabin walls get washed, all the beds get made up. And then there's lots of other things around the yard to clean up, and flats of flowers and herbs to plant. That's not so bad really. I had plenty of time. All I needed to do is tick off the chores, one cabin at a time and keep the flowers watered. But what made it so tiring is the fact that I get up at four in the morning to check emails and do my advertising.

Last year I got up at five to do all that. What's changed? I get more emails every day. I subscribe to more blogs. My list of things I post has probably doubled. In an effort to compensate I've merely saved most of the emails to read later, and my blog novel is finished now. I've even downgraded how many games I'm actively playing :-( Ah well, summer is short. Sorry I haven't been around much but I'm never very far.

Now at work, all the start-up chores are finally caught up. Tomorrow marks the first full 'normal' day and Sunday will be my second day off; I'm so ready for it.

On my list of things to do this summer (other than work) is to get a cover for my blog novel, meaning I need to send the guy a check since I still don't have any money in my PayPal account. Or maybe I'll put some in there myself; I haven't decided yet.

I also have plans to have The Trials of the Youngest Princess published, but the editor/publisher is currently busy getting her mother moved so that won't start until a little later. That's also another reason to get money in my PayPal account since that's the only way she will take payment.

I got an awesome idea for the cover for book 3 of my Making of a Mage-King series, so I need to see what I can do. I loaded Paint for Mac a couple weeks ago; we'll see. I drew what might be used for the cover for book 2 on Paint.

Starting a little later this summer is, I'll be sending book 2 of my Making of a Mage-King series off to the editor. Crystal was so excited to be doing book 2; she really liked book 1.

And always on my mind, The Speed of Dreams will come back after a visit to the editor and I'll need to work on that. That book isn't due for release until February, and I hear they like to make things happen kinda all at once so I might not get that until sometime this winter.

I'm sure I managed to forget to mention something, but that's the bulk of it. It's still daylight out but it's 9:30 at night. Good night, folks. Bear with me; I will be reading all your blogs eventually. Help me think of things to write each week; come Friday nights I'm usually rather brain-dead. haha

Saturday, June 9, 2012

White Star - Book 2 of The Making of a Mage-King

A hundred and forty-eight mages had survived his coup. Most of them had been the sleepers he had shielded while they slept; a handful had been completely snuffed of their magic. There were also twenty-four non-magical survivors. They were the men who had fought Laon, or at least they would have, when they won through the door. Laon was responsible for an additional nineteen dead men at that door.

Laon had vouched that Sean likely wasn’t interested in taking prisoners, so the survivors were sent home, but home wasn’t an option for some of them. Like the one girl that had spoken to him, all these nearly twenty children either had no families, or their families refused to take them back. Shielded or not, their families and friends feared them. For that matter, Sean was sure the entire town feared them all.

Sean turned to his friends gathered at the table for ideas. All the ideas, few that there were, were unsatisfactory, so he went to talk to the kids.

The innkeeper had housed them in what he called the common room up in the attic. It was a room where guests could buy a bed for the night rather than a whole room. The innkeeper had insisted that their door was locked and guarded, or else they could go somewhere else. Sean had the guard unlock the door, and, followed by Cordan, Larry and Laon, he entered the room.

Sean’s entrance didn’t cause much of a stir. Only a few of the room’s occupants could bring themselves far enough out of their shells to raise their heads and see who had entered. The rest of them were in varying degrees of coil as they wallowed under Sean’s shield and struggled with the sudden lack of guild control.

Nineteen small bodies were here; all of them were dressed in the same plain gray shift the girl yesterday had worn. There had not been enough beds for all of them by half at least, but the room was warm, so they didn’t seem any worse for their confinement. Sean saw that more than one bed held two, three and even four children as they huddled together like lost puppies.

Sean had a guard remove the chamber pot from the corner and stepped farther into the room to sit down on the foot of the nearest cot.

The girl he had talked to yesterday seemed to be one of the few in the room capable of functioning; she might have been the oldest one in the room too. “You didn’t use any magic,” she said, as she watched the guard disappear with the chamber pot.

“I use quite a lot of magic during the normal course of events; I don’t need to use it for the little things too,” said Sean, when he noticed where her eyes had looked.

One of the youngest boys shuddered and started crying. The girl pulled him into her arms. “What are you going to do with us?” she asked, as she rocked the boy.

“What do you want me to do with you?” asked Sean.

She looked around at her companions. “We can’t stay here,” she said simply.

“Why can’t you go home?” asked Sean. “You said your father was afraid of you.”

“Yes, that’s the way it is for some of us. Some of us don’t have any family left. Some of us have the unfortunate memory of destroying our family.” She looked down at the boy in her arms. “Some of us… Our families fear for our safety if we try to stay.” She took a deep breath. “We didn’t have a choice. We couldn’t stop what was happening.”

“I know,” said Sean. “I’m sorry.”

“You could take us with you,” she said hopefully. “You’re a stranger here. You’re not staying – are you?”

Sean was afraid she was going to get to that. The alternative was to turn them into a cluster of street urchins forced to sell their bodies for food, or forced to steal, and if they were ever caught, their fate would be so very much worse than a common thief or whore might expect. Sean toyed with the idea of talking to their families; he might be able to decrease the numbers here by a few, but that still left the rest of them.

He looked at the little boy in the girl’s arms. Had he been instrumental in the destruction of his family? Sean saw a delicate red glow streaked with light blue. Had he been able to fan his flames wherever he wanted? It was likely, yet he hadn’t been able to protect them.

“You’re just kids,” Sean said, agonizing over the dilemma. “How old are you anyway, twelve, and I can’t afford to remove your shields, not yet anyway.”

Tears glittered in her eyes, but Sean could tell by the set of her shoulders that she would take whatever he dished out and cry later.

“We can still work,” said an older boy, as he pulled himself upright on his cot. His voice was horse and strained. “My…” he struggled with himself. “My ma… She used to insist…” Sean watched his jaw clench on a memory that was laced with pain. His face was thin and aged beyond his tender years. He might have been twelve – maybe thirteen.

Sean looked around at them. The youngest, the boy who was crying, looked to be about eight – maybe. He looked at Cordan. More than likely, he would be the one who had to deal with them most of the time.

Cordan shrugged. “We might be able to find them apprenticeships in other cities. We might need other mages too somewhere along the line.”

Sean looked back at the room full of kids. “Okay, we’ll leave in the morning.” He turned back to Cordan. “See to it that they are properly dressed and mounted.” Sean stood up and looked at the two who had spoken. “I have to cover a lot of distance in a very short amount of time and I’ll tell you the same thing I’ve told others who wanted to follow me. If you can’t keep up, I’ll leave you behind.”

“We’ll keep up,” said the boy, as he sat up straighter.

Sean looked at him. “The shields stay.”

“Fine,” he said. Sean didn’t think he was too willing to take up the magic again, not for a while anyway. He’d want it soon enough, earth magic could be very useful if you were used to it.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Prince in Hiding - Now on Amazon

What an exciting ride this publishing business is. My second book, Prince in Hiding, is now on Amazon. I sold five books during the week of pre-order status. I have no idea who bought them. Some twenty people joined the event on Facebook. One person said shipping was too expensive to the UK. I can understand that. She was excited to learn that an eBook version would be available. I heard from another person in a Facebook group I am a member of; she told me she had order the book and was anxious to start reading it. Now comes the next part of the publishing adventure. I know five people will have my book in their hands very soon, now I have to wait to see if they post any reviews. I SO want to know what they think, and I want to know what they REALLY think. My ego doesn't need stroking with good reviews. I want to EARN the good reviews by having told a good story well.

This summer I decided to sell my books from my website. The only time I can do that is during the summer. Today, I learned the prices for my ordering Prince in Hiding, and though it's predicted that it will take up to four weeks to print up and get here, I've received books sooner. Regardless, that still means Prince in Hiding may be available from me by the middle of next month. Would you like a signed copy of my book?

Of all the used books I've read over the years, I have never found a signed one. Does that mean that relatively few books are signed? I suppose considering the vast number of book actually printed, that is probably true. But I prefer to think that if a reader went to all the trouble of getting a book signed by the author, it remained in their possession to be handed down to the next generation. The very thought that a book of mine would be treasured in such a way by even one person is a humbling thought. I can only hope such a thing will happen.

What about you? Have you published a book, or two? Or more? Is it still exciting for you? Do you still thrill at each sale, not because of the royalty check, but because someone will be reading something you wrote? That is just the best, if you ask me.