When Stars Die Available for Pre-Order!

When Stars Die Available for Pre-Order!

when-starsWhen Stars Die is now up for pre-order! Currently it can only be pre-ordered through my publisher’s website, and it’s in paperback and hardback for now. Check it out here. It is a young adult dark fantasy. Edits weren’t drastic at all. It was simply getting rid of typos and fixing a few errors. The cover has also been slightly altered.

The City of Malva is rife with puritanical hatred for witches.  It is said they embody the Seven Deadly sins of mankind.  

Amelia’s only chance of saving her brother Nathaniel, a born witch, is to become a professed nun at Cathedral Reims.  Enduring a series of trials including starvation, isolation, physical abuse and blood-sucking leaches, she will sacrifice all that she is to save him.  

Complicating all of this is the fact that Amelia can see what is lurking in the shadows.  Shadowmen,  seeking witches like Nathaniel to join their ranks.  This group of Shadowmen begin planning.  The results could be devastating.

Oliver Cromwell, a dashing priest at Cathedral Reims, is the only one who can protect Amelia, her brother and save Malva.  Yet, he may prove to be more dangerous than the shadows themselves.

It’s official release is November 21st

Cover Reveal Sign-Up!

Cover Reveal Sign-Up!

fireandfeathersNext Wednesday I’m going to be revealing the full cover for my short story titled “A Treacherous Flame.” It’s going to take place in The Stars Trilogy universe and will be told from the viewpoint of a boy named Benjamin Fairchild. I don’t yet have a formal summary for it, but I can tell you he is an interrogator at a placed called Usiburn Tower. He is in charge of extracting confessions from witches–then killing them afterward. What’s unique about him is that he isn’t afraid to use torture to get what he wants. So, like When Stars Die, it’ll be a brutal, gritty dark fantasy. It’s going to be available for free on Amazon on October 31st!

By helping me out with this cover reveal, you will be eligible to win a first-edition copy of When Stars Die, back when it was with AEC Stellar Publishing, Inc. I tried to create an official sign-up form to help me out, but since my job has taken up too much of my time and I just feel so burnt out anymore, you can either leave your email in the comments or email me at thedancingwriter@gmail.com if you’d like to help out! You’ll then be entered into the drawing.

For those on Tumblr who happen to see this, you can just message me your email.

 ***News***

  • When Stars Die now has a release date. It’ll be November 21st of this year! You can add it on Goodreads here.
My Book Re-release Fears

My Book Re-release Fears

I don’t yet have a release date for When Stars Die, but that doesn’t keep me from being nervous about its re-release. I’m both excited and terrified, excited because my trilogy is getting another chance, and terrified because I’m worried about how successful it’s going to be the second time through. Here are some of my top fears:

  1. Sales. How are the sales going to be for my book? Are they going to be worse? Better? I want this book to be so much more successful than its initial release.
  2. Reception. Is the book going to be well-received? There are going to be new readers who will jump on board, and I’m nervous about whether or not it’s still going to receive good reviews and ratings. I know it’s such a shallow thing to concern myself with, but how the first book does will determine the course of the rest of my trilogy.
  3. Platform. Is my platform better built to help engage new readers? I know it could be better. I know I should be regularly blogging at least three times a week on WordPress and at least once on Tumblr–even though I have been uploading picture teasers on Tumblr almost daily. You always feel like you could do better, of course.
  4. Spikes. Will my book have any moments when there is going to be a sudden spike in sales? WSD unfortunately did not have that opportunity with my last publisher, but I’m hoping with my new one, it’ll see spikes in sales throughout the year. Some months your book does bad, and other months it picks up. Seeing a dramatic spike in sales from time to time is encouraging.
  5. Events. My publisher actually attends events and brings its books along. Will my book do well at events? Will it attract new readers? How’s the traffic going to be for each one? If I’ve learned anything from my job as a marketer, it takes really good foot traffic to get even one sale. And bravery.
  6. Excitement. Am I going to be able to drum up more excitement this time around? It may seem like I’m just after the sales, but I want the sales because I want people to read my book, to be able to enjoy it, to be able to take something from it. We authors don’t write for the money. We can’t. We do it for the love of the craft and the warmth we feel when a reader has enjoyed our work, wants to interact with us, and wants to become a fan. I truly want my book to change readers’ lives in some way.

cropped-silhoutte2.jpg

***NEWS***

  • I’m writing a short story called “The Treacherous Flame” that I plan to publish on Amazon and hopefully Smashwords. It’s going to take place in the Stars universe so that way you can get a general idea of what to expect for The Stars Trilogy.
  • I plan to blog three times a week: one post talking about my writing life, chatting about my favorite books, and a critique of anything I find in the world of writing. I can’t set any days, as I have to blog around my work and ballet schedules.

shadow

My Writer Confessions

My Writer Confessions

I have several confessions I need to make. About seven of them. Really these confessions are so you can get to know me better–and know that I’m not the author most people dream to be, you know, the one sitting on a beach and sipping chardonnay (which I don’t even like), or buying ten million books at a bookstore, or sipping tea while typing away on a well-groomed desk with lots of inspirational trinkets.

I’m far from someone you want to idolize. At least I think so, anyway.

  1. I don’t consider myself a poet. Despite having a poetic writing style and having some poetry published in the future, I just can’t bring myself to attach the “poet” label to my author resume. I guess I can’t do it because I don’t regularly write poetry. I still don’t fully understand poetry, even though my writing style is poetic. The poems that I did write and am having published were only written because poetry was therapeutic for me during my eating disorder struggle. Other than that, I didn’t actively seek publication for them. The only reason they’re even being published is because some people pointed out the places I could submit to, and I subbed to them, because, why not? And, yes, I did manage to get lucky to be accepted by both places, the only places I subbed to.
  2. I’m a slow writer. I can do a draft in about a month, and I can even think I can revise in three months, but it’s more like over a year–unless you’re the sequel to When Stars Die. Then it’s half a year.
  3. I prefer amusement parks to libraries. I saw this article circulating around my Facebook feed about how libraries are more fun than amusement parks. I’m going to have to shyly raise my hand and admit that I’m an amusement park junkie, and the only time I’m ever going to love a library more than Six Flags is if that library turns into an amusement park with literature-themed rides. Plus, I’d rather own my books–and not have due dates. But I will fight for the continual funding of libraries.
  4. I haven’t written a book in a year. You see, I wrote this one book last summer in two weeks, and I seriously thought I’d have it subbed by December of last year. Well, life gets atrociously busy, and I’ve had to put it on hold. I am slowly, SLOWLY trying to copy edit it.
  5. I’m not really doing anything with my lit degree. The only useful thing I see my degree doing is getting me paid more when I start out as a personal trainer. Besides being a writer, I don’t really have any desire to do anything else in the writerly/English field. I just want to be an author.
  6. I prefer my e-reader. I don’t get the romanticization of books. They’re lovely and all. I did buy a paperback today. But e-readers, for me, are much more convenient. E-books are cheaper. I can read in whatever position I want. I can read on any device where you can download a Kindle app (like reading on my phone at work so that I don’t get caught doing so). My e-reader has a rocking battery life. I can read in the dark without having to turn on a lamp. I can carry an infinite amount of books around with me. And you can adjust the size of the font.
  7. I sometimes spend more money on make-up than books. Well, at least lately I’ve been spending more money on make-up than books–particularly nail polish and lipsticks. But, hey, I did buy a book today! And I still have plenty of books on my Kindle to read.

********************

gothic_winter_by_azathmariel-d35uoqu

Edits I’d Love to Make for When Stars Die

Edits I’d Love to Make for When Stars Die

trees dark deserts gothic_wallpaperswaWhen a book is published, every author feels like he or she could have made that book better. Yet, by the time that book hits the shelves, it’s too late. Well, my book has a second chance, so I thought it’d be interesting to write a post on changes I’d like to make to When Stars Die, even though I know–or am hoping–my publisher, or whatever path I choose, will have edits for me. (Of course, I’d still like to make these edits regardless.)

  1. I would like to edit some of the dialogue to make it richer and give the characters more unique voices than they already have.
  2. I want to make Nathaniel’s–Amelia’s younger brother–character much stronger, primarily through dialogue, emotion, and action.
  3. I want to sweeten the romance between Oliver and Amelia more. Though this is not something I originally wanted to do because I didn’t want the romance to be the focus, I don’t think it’d kill the book to add some nice sugar to it.
  4. More back story for Amelia. I’d like to reveal bits and pieces of her life before Cathedral Reims. It won’t be too much, as she’ll have plenty of this in the third book, but it can serve to make her a richer character than she already is.
  5. Darkness. The book is already dark enough, but perhaps adding a smidge more will add more literary depth to it. I’m a combo commercial-literary writer, so it makes sense to me. I already have a few ideas in mind, such as focusing more on Amelia’s psychological state. I want to show her instability more, because she isn’t stable when the book begins, which is obvious, of course.
  6. My own experiences. I’ve gone through so many things this year, one of those things being a suicide watch at a mental hospital. I understand Amelia more now, and I feel like I can make her much richer by being able to use these experiences and feelings I’ve gained to add more to the situations she finds herself in. After all, I understand those situations now because I have been in them, when, before, I hadn’t been.
  7. Beauty in darkness. There is a lot of darkness, but I’d like to show that beauty can exist in it, even if there are no lights.
  8. More relevance on a certain character. Yeah, I want to shine a spotlight on a certain character a tad bit more. After all, she will be the protagonist for The Stars Are Infinite.
  9. The trials at the beginning of the book Amelia goes through. I want to make these more symbolic, possibly a way of beating the Seven Deadly Sins out of the girls going through trials to become professed nuns.

Well, these are pretty much all of the changes I’d like to make. Hopefully you guys find this interesting. And hopefully if you’ve already bought the book and enjoyed it, you’ll snag a copy of the second edition!

When Stars Die Quotes

When Stars Die Quotes

Although my novel is still in publishing purgatory, this doesn’t mean I can’t entice you with a few quotes. I hope you’ll add it to Goodreads and follow my newsletter. You’ll find the link to that on the home page of my website. This newsletter will keep you updated on my publishing journey, offer writing advice, recommend books, and have a main article helpful to both readers and writers

pretty-gothic-angels-timeAmelia: “Marriage won’t make me happy, but I feel like I need it.”

Colette to Amelia: ‘”You have to clear your mind of everything, every bad feeling, every good feeling, every doubt.”‘

Oliver to Amelia: ‘”This is why I love you Amelia, your ardent passion, your willingness to do something. So you should understand why I will not turn back.”‘

Nathaniel to Amelia: ‘”Why did you take us away from Mother and Father three years ago?”‘

Amelia: “My life should fly out on a film reel. It stays locked in the prison of my mind.”

Mother Aurelia to Amelia: ‘”If I didn’t care, I would have kept you here [Cathedral Reims], making you endure trials with the knowledge that you weren’t ready for them. I don’t put my girls through the trials knowing they can’t handle them.”

Amelia: “The nuns are allowed to beat us. Most don’t, but some do.”

Keep in mind that no matter what path my book goes through, there will be some editorial changes.

The Journey of Finding a New Home: Part Two

The Journey of Finding a New Home: Part Two

Frankly, there isn’t much to report on this end; however, I did receive another full request from Clean Teen Publishing. Bookfish is still reading over my manuscript, but I’m heavily leaning toward Clean Teen, as they are more established, have a bigger catalogue of books, impressive covers, a strong staff, and a beautiful website. In fact, when I subbed to them, I heard back from them the same day, most likely due to a tip from an author I  know who was accepted by them. I’m very excited. Two fulls from two houses is a big deal. I’ll also starting working on second revisions for a book I plan to submit to Harmony Ink Press, one I think will be ready after these final revisions–and proofreads and all that junk.

I just can’t wait to hear back. My gut says at least one of them will want it. It’d be great if both could offer me a contract. Then I could read over both and choose the best one.

In any case, I think it’d be interesting to write about why I’m still continuing with small presses, despite their fold rate.

  1. I like small presses. This is a no-brainer. You’re closer to its publishing staff and authors. You can support one another.
  2. The wait times aren’t ungodly. It should take about 6-8 weeks for me to hear back, but Clean Teen could be sooner, as my tipped-author seemed to have received representation in less time. I know I sent off to Bookfish sooner than she likely sent off to Clean Teen, as she was still working on preparations by the time I was done. But finding an agent? It could take a year. Then you’re still waiting to find a publisher. I have an author friend with a lit agent. Her book still hasn’t found a home. Personally, I’d dump the agent and either self-publish or go the small press route. I know another too who’s book is still floating around after five years. I wonder if she dumped her agent?
  3. You can still become a bestseller. Just as you can become a bestseller in the traditional market, you can become one as a small press author. It’s rare, just like bestsellers among the big leagues, but it does happen.
  4. More control. You can help in the final decision for a cover and edits. The big houses offer no such deals. You have to gently argue with them about edits.
  5. Less stressed. You aren’t pressed for time like you are with the big leagues.
  6. Better chances of being accepted. It’s not any easier, but small presses are open to a variety of books big leagues are tired off, like paranormal books. So small presses are far more willing to give done-trend books a chance.
  7. Support. I want to support small presses because they can change the face of the industry and allow more authors access to their dreams. Small presses are usually very friendly and inviting. There is full transparency.
  8. Royalties. Your royalties are bigger, sometimes taking the place of an advance. Some presses offer advances, but your royalties are still higher than big-press books. When I was with AEC, I earned a little over a dollar per book and about 3 for print. That is SUPER good.
  9. They’re more willing to give folded books a chance. The publishers who have accepted my full know I’ve been published before; yet, they are willing to give it a chance. Agents wouldn’t do this. Not even medium-sized publishers would do this.