I want your opinion….

on my blurb. Yeah, I know, exciting stuff, huh?

Anyway, here it is:

With Kateesha dead, there’s no one to hunt Katelina and Jorick. That means it’s time to face the consequences – in both worlds.

When Katelina accepted her new life of night and vampires, she left behind a worried mother and an abandoned apartment. However, instead of wrapping things up, a trip home starts a chain reaction. First, they meet Verchiel, a strange vampire who seems too eager to befriend them. Then the police arrest Jorick for kidnapping. Even worse, the vampire’s government may want to question Katelina concerning Kateesha’s death.

And they do. Despite Jorick’s best efforts, he and Katelina go from being prisoners of one world to prisoners of another and must go before Malick, the oldest of the vampires and head of The Guild. Does Malick want to punish Katelina for killing Kateesha, or is he after something else? And why does Verchiel keep popping up? What is he up to, and why can’t Jorick read his mind?

In the third installment of the Amaranthine series, events are set into motion that could change both Jorick and Katelina’s lives, if not the world.

That’s the longer version for the back of the book. I’ll have to tighten it up into 80 words or so for other places.

If you’re an Indy author with your first book there’s a tip: always have different length blurbs – have your long one, one that’s around 100 – 80, and one that’s around 50 or so because different people and sites want different things. The more you have ready, the faster you can advertise. I learned the hard way with my first book.

Anyway, let me know what you think. Good? Bad? Too melodramatic? Not melodramatic enough?

Chance to win a free copy of Target Identified by Lindsay Downs

T

Target Identified by Lindsay Downs

I’m late posting this, but if you hurry there is still time to enter Lindsay Down’s contest to win a free ebook copy of Target Identified, her new Thriller/Mystery novel.

To enter, follow this link to her blog, read the blurb and answer the question in a comment.  The first ten correct answers win a free ebook. SImple as that.

Go. Enter.

http://murdersandmysteries.wordpress.com/2011/06/01/contest-to-win-an-ecopy-of-target-identified/

Who is Your Audience?

My 101 Tips for Traveling with a Vampire is still free on Amazon. I’ve given away over 11,000 copies of it and though I know those numbers probably aren’t much in the scheme of “real” authors, it’s mind boggling to me. Up to now I’ve only ever managed to give away and/or sell 437 through Smashwords and all of its markets (Barnes & Noble, Kobo, etc). I guess this shows the importance of being on Amazon, too. That’s not to say that I don’t think Smashwords will catch up to those kind of numbers or that people can’t do fantastically well there, I just think that if you do minimum advertising (like I do) it makes sense to have the book in as many places as possible so  more people are likely to stumble on it.

Of course, with free has come the bad reviews, but they’re mixed with good ones, so not too big of a deal. The bad ones mainly seem to be from people who expected different genres (One lady has reviewed only romance novels besides that book) or else expected it to be longer, despite the fact that the description says it is exactly what the title implies.  No fault to them, though. They just didn’t like it. Not everyone can. But then, I’m not really writing for everyone, anyway.

Which leads me to a point – not “my point”. “My point” is right on top of my head, which makes wearing stocking caps hard – hahahahaha! Get it? See, now not everyone thought that was funny. But, I digress.  The point is that I’m not writing for everyone, I’m writing for “my audience” and, as Ruth pointed out in a post on SPAL earlier this month, that’s the most important thing. I guess I’m just lucky in the fact that “my audience” is probably ten eleven people.  So long as they like it, then I’m happy because they’re the ones I have in mind as I’m writing or editing.

Does that make me short sighted?

And who exactly is this audience of ten eleven people?

Without naming names, I will say that most (though not all) of them like anime. They also generally find my jokes funny, or at least pretend to.  And the female portion of said audience seems to like pretty boys. They also tend to like the alpha-get -your-hands-dirty-in-the-blood-of-your-enemies kinda guys.  It’s even better if they can be that AND pretty at the same time. Oh, and men who take care of their women (much to the chagrin of some of the more radical women’s rights kind of readers). I firmly believe that women can do anything they want to and are capable of the same things as men, but frankly, why should they spend their time doing it all if they don’t have to? If the guy wants to take out the trash – or protect the damsel in distress from a horde of blood thirsty killers – I don’t see how that diminishes her as a person. Let him handle some of it. We don’t have to do it all just because we can. It’s not a contest.

Also, my target audience of ten eleven people like some gore or violence in between their romantic moments, seem to enjoy stretches of conversation as well as the odd overly dramatic setting (the old warehouse I compared to a bloody eyed monster in book 1 springs instantly to mind) and they like vampires that don’t sparkle.

Frankly, they sound like a fun group. No wonder I’m writing for them!

So here’s a big thank you to my audience, I believe you all know who you are.  And also a thank you to those of you who are in my audience without my realizing it. After all, if you’d asked me last year I’d have told you my audience was only about five people, so there’s plenty of room for growth.  Heck, I’ll even say thanks to those people who aren’t in my audience at all and left scathing reviews on Amazon.  Some of those reviews are so bad they’re good. And isn’t that what we’re all striving for?

You can check out 101 Tips for Traveling with a Vampire on Amazon and Smashwords

(edited per the comments below – thanks Juli!)

Interview with Ellie Bourke


Hello! My name is Katelina, and welcome to Weekend Character Interviews. Using state of the art-mumbo-jumbo author magic, Jo has temporarily bent the laws of fictional space and time to allow various literary universes to converge long enough for me to ask different characters a few questions. Since I spend a lot of time in the Amaranthine series quizzing vampires on what they’re doing, where they’re going and why,  Jo thought I would be the perfect interviewer. 

 

Today we have Ellie Bourke, the blonde 23 year old main character – heroine, even – of G’Day L.A., a suspense/thriller by Tony McFadden.  This promises to be fun, so let’s get started!

Katelina:  Hello, Ellie and thanks for being here! Wow, if you don’t mind my saying so, you’re tall! 

Check out that cool cover!

Ellie: I’m almost six foot.

 K: And is that an Australian accent?

 E: As a matter of fact, I’m Australian, but acting moved me to L.A. a year ago.

K: Oh wow! An actress! You must be really confident.

E: Actually, I start out pretty insecure about myself and my acting abilities. Self-doubt is a constant companion for those of us in creative work. Actors, painters, even, I’ve been told by the author, writers. With some really good advice from a couple of good friends, plus having to fight for my life on more than one occasion I’ve come to believe in myself a lot more.

K: Fighting for your life will do that to a person. Though I have to ask why did you move from Australia to L.A.?

E: I was in a schlocky B-Grade Horror movie called Beast of Bondi filmed around Sydney, Australia, where I’m from. I was one of the few that lasted to almost the end before I was killed off. Bart Sweeney was the director and he thought I did a great job in the movie. It was he who suggested I move to LA. I’m living in his guest house in the San Fernando Valley while I’m trying to make it as an actress.

K: Well I bet you won’t have too much trouble! (whispers to audience, Take a look at that cover! Yeah, that is what she looks like! Some people have all the luck, huh?) *clears throat* I bet you have to beat off the men with a stick! That is if your boyfriend doesn’t do it for you!

E: No, no boyfriend right now. Way too busy. I’m lousy at relationships anyway. The thing I find most appealing about guys is their ability to make me laugh, though.

K: Fun guys are – erm… fun. *glances at Jorick, who is hovering in the background* Change of topic! What would you say is the most life changing event that happens to you in G’Day L.A.?

woulda worked for a motel bathtub - oh well

by Jo Naylor

 E: That would be discovering that my roommate and best friend died in the bathtub. Totally rocked me to my roots.

K: OMG! I bet! I hope there’s not too many more horrible surprises for you!

E: Oh, there are.  I definitely have an enemy. No names though; I don’t want to spoil the book. I can tell you it comes out of left field at me. Completely shocked me.

K: Oh wow! Well, at least you don’t have a nemesis, too!

E: As for a nemesis I guess Constable Larry ‘Life-Time’ Perkins would qualify. It took almost forever to convince him that my best friend Joel didn’t commit suicide and was actually killed.

K: Your author sounds as mean as mine! Hopefully he takes it easy on you after that!

E: Not really. I spend a lot of the book trying to stay alive. Once the killer knew that I knew he was a killer he did everything in his power to kill me. I had to avoid that while I attempted to Nancy Drew up enough evidence to convince Constable Perkins that I was right.

K: Are you these authors don’t know one another? That sounds familiar… *eyes Jo*. Speaking of authors, if you could say something to Mr. McFadden right now, what would it be?

E: Do you have a sequel planned? Because, despite all the fighting I had to do, this was fun.

Tony McFadden: *whispers from off stage*  Yes. Early next year.

K: Wow, instant answers. I’m impressed! Talk about a well-organized machine!  Well, while we’re doing shout outs, would you like to say anything to your readers?

E: Something I was told. “Every time self-doubt crawls into your skull, grab it by the throat and kick it’s head in.” Seriously.

Moore Hotel ninja kick

Hi-yah! “Every time self-doubt crawls into your skull, grab it by the throat and kick it’s head in.” (image by Seth Sawyers)

K: That is fantastic advice. Do you mind if I write that down? *digs randomly through pockets for a pen*. Okay, well, maybe not. I’ll just have to remember it, I guess. Though I think we’re almost out of time. Before you have to go, though, what is the one thing you want the most in the whole world?

E: World peace? Ha. Just kidding. No, really, world peace would be great, but it’s not achievable. What I really want the most in the whole world is to be able to be financially comfortable while I pursue acting. Financially comfortable means I can choose what I want to do and not have to show for auditions for roles that are so not like me that I want to head back to Australia.

K: That seems pretty reasonable to me! Ellie, thanks so much for stopping in! You’ve been a great interviewee (Unlike some vampires I know!) and I wish you the greatest of luck in your sequel and hope that someday I’ll turn on the TV and see you there! (Not like I ever get to go to the movies…)

You can find Ellie Bourke in G’Day L.A., available at Smashwords ( http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/55698) and Amazon ( http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004XWC0AO)

Also a special thanks to Tony McFadden for playing along!

If you’re an author and would like your character(s) to be interviewed by me, then check out this very cool page that has all the details:

https://joleenenaylor.wordpress.com/character-interviews/

Do you…..

Like polls? Yeah, I do, too. There’s something about voicing my opinion that just makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. If you like it too, then read on, as there are not one but three chances for you to chime in!

I’ve been trying to decide whether to publish my short Vampire Morsels on Amazon or not.  So, I thought I’d get the opinion of the world at large about short stories and prices in general!

and…

and…

and…..

Thanks for stopping in and – hopefully – leaving your vote 🙂

101 Tips for Traveling with a Vampire Free on Amazon

Get 'er while she's free!

Amazon sent me a notice about this a few days ago and I completely forgot.  So, fast forward I hopped onto Amazon tonight to check my sales and had over 3,000 for 101 Tips. Considering I haven’t sold any of those for the last two months, I immediately though “this is a mistake”, and then I remembered the mail from Amazon and it made sense.

Of course, free means I’m not making any royalties off those sales, but I don’t mind since it’s already a free book at Smashwords, anyway, and would have been free on Amazon if they allowed for it.

Right now you’re asking yourself “WHat’s the point of this post?”  It’s to tell you that if you haven’t gotten 101 Tips for Traveling with a Vampire from Amazon, now is the time to do it coz it’s a freebie, and we all love a freebie!

If you don’t have a Kindle, you can still get it for free on Smashwords as a document or PDF. it’s only about 9,000 words total, including the preview of Legacy of Ghosts, so it’s not too bad to read on a computer screen.

Who Art Thou…

Did you know that:

  • I’ve never killed a vampire?
  • I’m obsessed with anime?
  • I once wrote an 800 page book that some of my friends hidden in it as reworked characters?

You can find this and more on Reena’s blog, including who I think my top four fans are!  Author and blogger Reena Jacobs is kind enough to host different author interviews on her Who Art Thou Thursday , and this week I’m making an appearance! So go check it out!  And check out her work while you’re there!

On a side note, David Kubicek’s novel In Human Form is now available in Paper back. Check his blog for the details, and don;t forget to look for his short story collection, Moaning Rocks!

Taking Over Reena’s Blog!

Okay, I haven;t really taken it over, but Reena Jacobs, author of the intriguing Shadow Cat, has been kind enough to feature and excerpt from Legacy of Ghosts on her blog.

pooling blood

By me

“It was a nightmare.

Blood; there was blood everywhere -“

To read the rest check out her blog and be sure to leave a comment! 

Also, look for an interview with yours truly on the fifth of this month!

Tuesdays with Terry – Part 11

*As this is the last of the series, I want to take a moment to say a special Thank You to Terrance Foxxe for contributing posts for out Tuesdays with Terry segment! If you’ve missed it, be sure to check out the previous installments as it is jam packed full of information that any writer can use! Also, be sure to check out his books, and don’t forget, he has his own blog, too!

Now on with the show!*

Notes From a Twenty Year Almost Career. The guest musings of Indie Author Terrance Foxxe

 

Part Eleven

 

You want me to pretend I’m in front of an audience, and read it aloud? You’ve got to be kidding!

Nope. Believe it or not your ears will pick up on mistakes in grammar and pacing and sentences that don’t work, faster than your eye will. Reading may be done with the eyes, but the brain actuallyhears the words.

Silently, as you read any book or magazine, your brain hears it as if you are reading it out loud. Try to skim over the words of a favorite author, and see if you remember half of what was said five minutes later. Now relax, and read for the pleasure of it, imitating the voice the author has set down for you with sentence construction and punctuation. How much do you remember after five minutes?

I resisted doing this for the longest time, simply because I felt stupid doing it. Now I feel exceptionally stupid for not doing it.

I live in a house with very little privacy, and my wife and sons are not interested in what I do. Not really. Plus, well, as I said, I felt stupid.

There are writer’s groups, and you may be asked to read for them.

I don’t know. Me, I don’t do writer’s groups. I tried a writer’s group once, but I found a bad one. I arrived at the first meeting with high expectations, only to find most there were talking about writing, and not doing any writing. Okay, I thought, I’ll see about reading something I’m working on. Not to lead the group, but to get something productive done. I craved feedback.

I read, and then I was raked across the coals so hard . . . For forty-five minutes, I timed it, this little guy ranted about how my Horror should have humor, and basically, be just like his stuff. I told him it was my sandbox, and I’ll play in it any way I want. I left so angry I couldn’t see straight. I tried again, another meeting, and was sucker punched. I was told I was uncooperative. That sandbox remark came back to haunt me.

I never went back, and didn’t bother to look for another writer’s group. I tried to start one of my own.

The first question I was asked? “Are you published?” The answer then was no, and my small group never showed up for a second meeting. The all wanted me to give them the secret. The Magic Formula.

I was on my own, no computer, no feedback other than my many rejection slips. Hell, I would have killed for “The Magic Formula!”

Online writer’s groups can be a bad or good thing. Ghost the posts for a while, see what’s what, then decide for yourself. A good group doesn’t meddle with content, understanding that this is your sandbox, and you’ll play in it however you want. They should concentrate on the mechanics of good writing. Style, not content. Style is grammar, punctuation or logical progression. Too much detail? Not enough detail? The mechanics of writing.

I’m very happy with my content, but want to know if I missed something.

“I can’t see where you’re going with this.” Of course you can’t, and you should know that yourself. Hell, if someone out there can tell where a novel is going in just three fucking chapters, I want to meet them and kiss their ass.

I try to limit my own comments on how they can make their own writing better. If the writing is great, but they misspelled a word, I let them know about the typo and tell them it’s great. So . . .

What is The Magic Formula?

To be truthful, there is no such thing.

The magic to all this is a matter of knowing just what the hell it is you’re doing, and why the hell you’re doing it. Knowledge is power. That’s the magic.

I hope you enjoyed my series. Now, go buy my books! Find out for yourself if I’m full of shit. I might surprise you with a great, provocative novel.

******

Terrance Foxxe is crazy enough to share everything he knows about catering to readers, because readers matter most to the Indie Author of today, and tomorrow. He had two books published under his real name, only to discover publishers really suck. After being royally ripped off and then some, he is the Indie Author of A Post-apocalyptic Story of Love,$2.99 USD & In The Dreaming, $0.99, both for the Kindle. Links provided. He’s now a happy man. Buy his books. Read them. Write reviews.

Post Apocalyptic Love Story

The Dreaming

He blogs at http://terrancefoxxe.blogspot.com/

Tuesdays with Terry – Part 10

Notes From a Twenty Year Almost Career. The guest musings of Indie Author Terrance Foxxe

Part Ten

 

Proofreading is tedious. Editing is hard.

Yes it is.

I used to write a story and be done with it. Well, doing it that way makes for a bad story.

Before I edit a story for the first time I let it rot in a drawer for as many months as I need to forget my story. When I pull my story out for the first time, I’m looking at it with new and fresh eyes.

The miracle that is new and fresh eyes! You have no idea how formidable on your ego it is to look at your own hard work with new and fresh eyes. Words that work jump out at you and inflates your pride. Linguistic bombs detonating in your face inflates your sense of stupidity.

I may repeat this process as often or as little as needed. Only I know when I’m done, and I’m done when each novel reads as good if not better than what you find coming out of the big six, mainstream publishing houses. 150% effort to be the best, 99.8% mistake free. A professional read.

You ever labor over a paper, getting everything perfect, set it down, come back to it, look down and see a typo you swear to God was not there an hour ago? It took a while, but I finally figured out what does that. Your brain. My brain, too.

How? Your eye takes in thousands of bits of information each and every second. Your brain processes the information into your reality, but there are always gaps in the information you receive. Your brain automatically fills in those gaps. It gives you continuity.

A wonderful gift, continuity. It keeps you sane. Unless you happen to be a writer. Then what your brain has been doing all of your life seems to work against you. Insidious, isn’t it?

Here’s a tip I’ll pass along to you, dear reader. You can break up the continuity your brain uses to give you that annoying typo when you least expect it. Yes, you too can learn to outsmart nature.

EDIT IN REVERSE!

Start with the last paragraph first. It works amazingly well. I find I can concentrate on individual sentences, every mark of punctuation, catch every typo and grammar gaffe. It takes practice.

Editing in reverse also gives you a very good idea when to kill them babies you suffered through. What I mean by this are sentences that read good when you were constructing the story, but now read poorly when you edit in reverse. Sentences or words that are stuck into your story like a pencil stuck into your eye. Delete them. In fact, if you have a three thousand word story, pretend your job is to cut three hundred words out of it. That’s story, minus ten percent. You’ll have a better story in your hands when you’re done. Even if all you managed to cut were a hundred words, you will have a better story.

When you proofread, you want every sentence constructed to say what you mean. Every comma and period in place. Every single word spelled right. The right word used (affect or effect) for the meaning you intend. That takes practice.

Knowledge and practice, that is. That again is where reading for fun and self-education comes in handy. Let other writer’s published works teach you writing that works.

Again, a good book on editing is: Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King. Illustrations by George Booth. Subtitled: How To Edit Yourself Into Print. Harper Perennial.

******

Terrance Foxxe is crazy enough to share everything he knows about catering to readers, because readers matter most to the Indie Author of today, and tomorrow. He had two books published under his real name, only to discover publishers really suck. After being royally ripped off and then some, he is the Indie Author of A Post-apocalyptic Story of Love,$2.99 USD & In The Dreaming, $0.99, both for the Kindle. Links provided. He’s now a happy man. Buy his books. Read them. Write reviews.

Post Apocalyptic Love Story

The Dreaming

He blogs at http://terrancefoxxe.blogspot.com/

 

  • Tales of the Executioners

    Short stories from the world of Amaranthine; a universe of blood and darkness where vampires don't sparkle and night is eternal. Each is about a member of the Executioners squad; the special vampire "police" force. Members both past and present share stories of assignments, origins, and more.

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    Joleene Naylor

    An independent author, freelance artist, and photographer for fun who loves anime, music, and writing. Check out my vampire series Amaranthine at http://JoleeneNaylor.com or drop me a line at Joleene@JoleeneNaylor.com

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