Monthly Archives: April 2014

Yes, Joe! YES!!

I just want to post this link to Joe Konrath’s latest blog post from yesterday, where he discusses trolls and writer reactions to reviews.

http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2014/04/suffering-fools.html

All I can say is AMEN!!!!!  A professional writer does not react. A professional writer writes, and lets everyone else say what they will about their books, engage in discussions or rants, etc. They do not engage, unless a fan emails them directly with a question.

And to any writer who can’t bear to watch others tear their “baby” apart, just don’t read it. Don’t. Walk away, and go back to writing. Read a few books on writing, join a writing workshop or critique group, listen to your beta readers. But don’t engage with reviews once you’ve hit that “publish” button. If your book has a low average and it’s not some unreasonable attack, then it means you have work to do to improve your craft. Suck it up and just do that, then.

That is all!

Now in bookstores! Okay, THE book shop.

book shop

So I took that first brave step.

I walked into a local independent bookstore (Called “The Book Shop”), browed the shelves to note that they had both a “Local Authors” section as well as my genre, and struck up a conversation with the man behind the counter. Was he the owner? Yes, indeed he was. I mentioned that I was a local author, and asked if he worked on consignment or with small publishers.

After showing him my book, Journey To Landaran and a touch of negotiation, I left him with the copy for a six week trial run to see if it sells. He looked it over and thought it might appeal to his customers.

So there you are. My first book in an actual bookstore. It actually wasn’t that hard.

Naturally I’m going to talk it up–so if you happen to be in Phoenix, Arizona, go check out The Book Shop on 16th Street and Bethany Home Rd.  http://thebookshopaz.com .  Here’s hoping to a sale there and many more sales there and in other stores in the future.

And also, last day to grab Journey To Landaran for only 99 cents/99p over at Amazon and Amazon.uk!  I won’t be putting this on sale again anytime soon, so take advantage!

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IO7IXSC

Kindle Countdown Sale! Journey To Landaran

Landaran ebook final copy 200

Today and tomorrow, you can purchase my YA fantasy novel Journey To Landaran: Book One of the Spirit Mage Saga for only 99 cents on amazon.com and amazon.co.uk . http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IO7IXSC

I’m also a featured Indie writer today! ; Indie Book Bargains

The blurb:

Aidah and her twin brother Tavish have always had a knack for getting into trouble. From pie stealing and pranks to hunting for magical creatures, they have always escaped notice in their tiny mountain village.

Until now.

Aidah begins seeing visions through her brother’s eyes. He’s a Firestarter, gifted with the Talent to control light and heat, destined to become a Sun Mage in the great city of Landaran. But he doesn’t want to leave without his sister. As storm clouds gather, Aidah dreams of a beautiful man, a frightening man, calling to her.

She fears the truth. That she may be developing a Talent of her own, one that will endanger everyone.

The power to read minds. To possess bodies. To travel inside dreams.  In the world of Ernid, Spirit is the ultimate power.

Nations will go to war over them.

An excerpt:

 

“Tavish!” Aidah hissed, nudging her brother with her foot. Her little gesture only earned her a wave of emotion from him of self-blame, despair, pain and grief. She doubled over with the force of it, clutching at her heart.

“It’s all right, Aidah,” Jardan said in a calm voice, as Aidah struggled to separate her emotions from her brother’s. Tavish looked somewhat horrified, realizing that something was wrong with her. Jardan continued. “It should still hurt you, Tavish, even if they were bad, as you say. It should never be easy to kill another person.”

“Aidah,” Tavish said, ignoring Jardan. Aidah knew that, because at the moment she was him; she was watching herself struggle with her Talent through his eyes. She was feeling his fear, his concern, and she was hearing his frantic thoughts. The separation wasn’t working; instead she was being drawn further and further into him. She could even feel his Talent. It felt like she could reach his hand out and make him use it. Control him…

“Don’t touch her,” She heard Jardan’s sharp voice, and stopped her brother’s hand that had been reaching out to touch herself. She—Tavish—looked in confusion to Jardan. “It wouldn’t be a good idea right now,” Jardan continued. “Everyone, keep a little distance.” Aidah watched Jardan look at her from Tavish’s eyes. “Aidah? Where is your aura?”

Probably all over the place, she thought, but she couldn’t bring herself to care at the moment. The realization dawned upon her. She had moved Tavish’s hand.

“What’s happening?” Her uncle asked, and just like that, she was in him, feeling his worry, and it seemed it would be even easier to control him, him being without any Talent, to cloud his mind and make him do whatever she wanted. Deeper down, she felt a powerful sense of despair, but that wasn’t from Brenton. Aidah wasn’t sure where that was coming from. Herself?

“Her powers are surging,” Jardan explained.

Pinterest Pictures for Earth Day

I recently started up some boards over on Pinterest after reading suggestions from other writers. One of the boards is pictures of places that look like the settings in my books. I’m kind of a nature freak, so it seems appropriate to share them today.

Some images that remind me of the Doane, where Journey To Landaran and other books in the Spirit Mage Saga take place:

The forests in the mountains near Thornton, through which Aidah and Tavish must travel, through the snow:

winter

This is the cliffs where the mountains of the Morgaine Range meet the Krimean Sea. This setting will be featured in Book 2 of the Spirit Mage Saga:

cliff

And then in contrast we have some pictures of the jungle near Harrow where Zerrick had to flee in Heart of the Witch:

jungle1

jungle2

Happy Earth Day!  Also, it’s my two year anniversary here on WordPress. Thank you to all my followers.

 

Book Review: The Shining

shining

Title: The Shining

Author: Stephen King

Publisher: Random House

Genre: Horror

Rating 5 out of 5 stars

I’ve seen the movie (both versions). But I wanted to read the book before reading the sequel that King recently published, Doctor Sleep. I had a feeling that there had been significant changes between the original book and the movie versions, and boy, I was right. I’m glad I took the time to delve into this Stephen King classic.

The first thing I noticed was the differences in endings. I can certainly understand some aspects (hedge animals) which would have been difficult to do well at the time the first movie was made. And you have to love a line like “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” But I really liked the expansion of Dick Hallorman’s character and his tribulations in trying to rescue a young boy with special powers. I also seem to recall parts of both movie versions which dragged. That was never a problem in the book–it grips you and holds on tight from beginning to end. Things deteriorate a lot faster in the book as well, at least they seem to.

While some of Stephen King’s books have endings which seem to utilize a Deux Ex Machina, this one does not. Every character strives until the very end, including Jack. And the hotel. I liked the concept of having a building or location as the nemesis, trying to draw power to itself and hold on tight.

What is also different about this particular book is that you actually feel sorry for the person who is supposedly the villain, Jack. He struggles with his temper and his alcoholism throughout the book. Is it his fault that the hotel is stronger than him? The true enemy is the hotel, created by nearly a hundred years of evil done within the structure by all sorts of baddies, many of whom died there.

There are a few themes that are overdone in the book–I’ve noticed this trend with Stephen King before. Wasps. Wasps. No really, I got it. Wasps. I don’t know how many time wasps are mentioned, but it’s way more than I needed. Clocks too, but I liked the cuckoo clock enough that I didn’t mind it.

I could try to take apart the book and look for ways in which the writer grew or changed, but to be honest, I don’t think I’d find a lot. King has a very definite style, and you either like it or you don’t like it. I like it.

I’ll be continuing to move through my virtual big stack of King’s books.

Things that go bump in the night

vampires

I find trends fascinating. I remember growing up in the 80’s and the fascination then with nuclear war, radiation, and another world war. In the nineties when the U.S.S.R. broke up and we became “friends” with Russia, it seemed other things became popular, like hackers, cyberspace, computers and artificial intelligence. (Remember Terminator?)

Nowadays it seems everywhere on television, the movies and in books, it’s all about the paranormal. Not ghosts so much–that already had its little heyday in the 2000’s with the ghost hunter shows and celebrity ghosts and The Ring and whatnot.

And lately it’s been all about vampires, werecreatures, demons, and the Fae.

Now I’ve heard psychologists say that what we fear holds a fascination for people, because something you fear is something that holds power over you, and the human psyche wants control over that. I’ve also read that we seek answers that are provable and reliant. We don’t have that with paranormal. You may watch that special about catching Bigfoot or the body that they found of a merman (the deep sea video was pretty creepy). But that’s not real proof that you can reach out and touch. You can’t trust it.

One other aspect is a fear of death. Many of the most popular paranormal forms are undead: vampires and zombies. Others are immortal or nearly impervious to damage:  werecreatures, elves, demons, other Fae. So perhaps the current popularity of such creatures is our own discomfort with our own mortality.

What’s interesting is that these are all very old fables and legends, hundreds if not thousands of years old. You don’t see a ton of robot movies (Iron Man notwithstanding). So as a society, I think we’ve lost faith in modern medicine or technology to bring us immortality, or even invulnerability. Either that, or we’re feeling overburdened by all the trappings of modern civilization and we’re yearning for simpler times, more mystical times. What’s the most interesting, however, is the popularity of urban fantasy.

That way we get to have our ancient myths and our iPhones at the same time.

A couple annoucements: Free downloads for review!

I have two announcements today. First, from now until April 25, you can sign up at Story Cartel for a FREE download of my YA fantasy novel Journey To Landaran in exchange of an honest review. I’m trying to garner more reviews for Amazon which will open up more doors to promote the book. The link is here:  http://storycartel.com/books/journey-to-landaran

And second, I’ve entered the book into the Indie Excellence Awards!  Here’s hoping it does well.

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