#FirstLineFriday (Chapter Nineteen)

FLF

feel free to snag this for your own posts!

And it’s time for First Line Friday – the day when you share a first line from something you’re working on, have published, or maybe just jotted down. To participate, title your post #FirstLineFriday (hashtag and all) and feel free to share your link on my blog or on Rami Ungar’s (the brains behind #FLF)

Today’s first line is from Chapter Nineteen of my novel in progress, Masque of the Vampire.

A quick check revealed all their suspects were at breakfast, except William. Katelina wasn’t sure how much more proof Jorick needed.

This is another of those sort of “mid thought” beginnings where you really need the chapter before to know what’s going on, but it’s not mind numbing, anyway.

Or is it? What do you think? What’s your first line for the week?

Have a good one!

signature for white

FRONT COVER smallAnd don’t forget that you can pre-order book 8, Masque of the Vampire, from all major ebook outlets:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple iBooks |Kobo

 

#FirstLineFriday (Chapter Seventeen)

FLF

feel free to snag this for your own posts!

It’s Friday, and that means it’s time for First Line Friday – the day when you share a first line from something you’re working on, have published, or maybe just jotted down. To participate, title your blog post #FirstLineFriday (hashtag and all) and feel free to share your link on my blog or on Rami Ungar’s (the brains behind #FLF)

Today’s first line is from Chapter Seventeen of my novel in progress, Masque of the Vampire.

Katelina woke when Jorick bolted upright. She blinked tired eyes against the vague knowledge there’d been a sound.

This is okay. Not 100% happy with it, but it’s not terrible. What do you think?

What’s your first line for the week?

Have a good one!

signature for white

FRONT COVER smallAnd don’t forget that you can pre-order book 8, Masque of the Vampire, from all major ebook outlets:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple iBooks |Kobo

#FirstLineFriday (Chapter Three)

FLF

feel free to snag this for your own posts!

Though I’ve missed a few of these, I still enjoy First Line Friday – the day when you share a first line from something you’re working on, have published, or maybe just jotted down. To participate, title your post #FirstLineFriday (hashtag and all) and feel free to share your link on my blog or on Rami Ungar’s (the brains behind #FLF)

Today’s first line is from Chapter Three of my novel in progress, Masque of the Vampire.

Katelina reflexively pulled to her feat, but Jorick pulled her back down. “They’ll handle it.”

Obviously chapter Two cuts off mid scene with the “dum, dum, dum!” exciting moment, so it makes it hard to judge, I know. Let’s just say someone pulled a sword on one of Katelina’s buddies.

So with that in mind, what do you think? What’s your first line for the week?

Have a good one!

signature for white

Inspiration, from where does it spring?

Dream girl

Dream girl (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

That’s the question I attempt to answer today on Michael Brookes’ blog. Michael has been kind enough to host me as a guest, and I hope that you will stop by and say, “Hi.” While you’re there, check out some of his other great posts!

http://thecultofme.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/guest-post-where-did-idea-for-your-book.html

Guest Post: The Mortality of a Writer by Shaun Allan

 

Shaun Allan, author of Sin  is here to share his thoughts with us! Let’s give him a warm welcome!

 

The Mortality of a Writer

I wonder if one of the reasons I wanted to write a novel – and all the stories and poems I’ve produced along the way – was because I longed to be immortal.

I realise that medical science hasn’t quite advanced to the stage where I can live forever, or at least until the end of an episode of Emmerdale (which feels equally as long), so perhaps my novel is my attempt at achieving that in other ways.

One of my favourite films is Highlander.  Immortals that live forever, unless they are beheaded by another.  Luckily, writers are not so blood-thirsty, especially as we’re told the pen is mightier than the sword.  With no Fountain of Youth spewing forth from my kitchen tap or mystical painting hidden away in my attic, I must succumb to the will of Time and all her minions.

And she is a hard task-mistress.

So.  I have written for as long as I can remember.  Since I could hold a pen, I’m told.  I remember, in school, trying to write my first book.  And failing.  But the stories were there.  English was my favourite subject and I did well at it.  Words have been my friend and kindred spirit almost all my life.

And then there’s the computer.  It is so much a part of life, today, that I’m surprised even a bacon sandwich doesn’t have a built in micro-chip to tell you the fat content, calorie intake and hyperlinks to where you can by the ketchup to go with it.  I have been using computers for only around 8 years less than I have been writing.  My class at school was one of the first to get computers back then, a good 30+ years ago.  You had to take an IQ test to get in – and, yes, they still let me play.

Since then, it’s a rare day when I’m not at a PC.  My full time job is heavily computer based.  My smartphone is almost surgically attached to my hand.

My eyes take a battering.  Staring at a screen all day – and, as much as I tell those I work with about taking breaks, I don’t myself – isn’t a good idea but it can’t be helped.  Add to that the time I spend on my phone.  Plus the fact that I like to relax on an evening, usually later on when I’ve done everything I need to do, and watch a bit of TV.  And I write.

I suppose there’s no wonder that I now need glasses.  Not for close up work, which surprised me as my world is mostly in-my-face, but for distance.  I notice I can’t so easily make out the details on the on-screen Sky guide.  At a concert, the singers and band are a little less distinct.  It was a subtle change.  I didn’t notice I was missing tings.  I put it down to tired eyes after a long day.  It’s not though.

It’s time.  And age (though I’m loathe to admit it).  At 45 years of abuse, my eyes are telling me I need to calm down.  Of course I can’t.  Of course I still need to work and I still HAVE to write.  My eyes must be, I suppose, casualties of war.

I’m not blind, nor am I close to being so.  The thing is, if I couldn’t do my job, well, fair enough.  If I couldn’t write…

So.  Given that Time and Age, two sides of a certain two-pence coin, play roulette with my body and my life, I wonder if I write to stick two fingers at the haughty pair.  I wonder if, by producing a book (especially one so well liked as Sin), I have joined Connor Macleod of the clan Macleod in achieving immortality of a sort.

I might lose my eyesight over it, but at least I won’t lose my head.

Sin by Shaun Allan

 

Sin is available at: http://www.amazon.com/Sin-ebook/dp/B00883KV3C/

Also be sure to check out the interview Katelina did last weekend with the main character of Sin, Sin himself!

 

 

Rough Draft

Had no net over the weekend (yay!  <– sarcasm) so I got a few things rough drafted, like the cover to book 4… (the tag line is the same as last book’s because I can’t change it until I have a title.)

rough

That is Malick, by the way.

And I also have my possible names whittled down:

  • Shadows of Wrath
  • Ashes of War
  • Casualties of War
  • Web of Illusion
  • Web of Shadows
  • War of Ashes
  • War of Wrath

I wish I could say I have a rough synopsis, but I only have this:

(yes, it is a blank line – as in I got nuthin’ 😉 Hee-hee!)

And now that I have net I need to get to work!

Questions Every Writer Asks?

I got these questions from Barb’s blog, who got them from – well, go check her blog and see where she got them from 😉 *

10. Why is it so much easier to write about writing than to actually write?

I don’t really write about writing. Well, I mean I like to chat about things I am going to write or have written, but I’m not into the “you should do this or that” kind of posts. I’m afraid I don’t consider myself expert enough to tell anyone else what they should or should not do. However, when I am supposed to be writing, anything is easier than writing simply because it’s that old “I don’t want to do what I am supposed to do” mentality.

9. Why is my writing in my head so much better than the writing on the page? 
This is because in your head you don’t notice things like repetitive words, cliché phrases, etc. In fact, generally as I’m writing I am not paying attention to it and think it is literary gold until the dreaded read through. That’s when all those not-so-perfect things jump out. When writing in your head there is no read through.
8. How does time seem to fly by when I’m writing well, but yet crawl when I’m struggling to write one decent sentence? 
Time drags when I’m not in the mood to write because I am bored, and being bored always makes time move slowly, but when you’re in the zone, you’re not bored.
7. Do I have too many characters? Too few? 
I always have too many. I already know that. I try to kill some here and there to knock the numbers down.
6. How did I manage to forget that subplot that I began on page 20 and appears to have vanished without a trace? 
As Barb said, this is what read throughs, beta readers, editors and of curse editing in general is for. I know why I forget them, because in draft one everyone tends to focus on the linear storyline.
5. Good grief. How many more editing passes is this manuscript going to need? 
Finally found one I actually DO ask myself. Ha! The answer is usually “several”.
4. When will I ever consider myself a success?
This is also a good question, though I don’t have an answer for it. I guess it’s when I can stop making book covers because I am making enough from my books.
3. Will anyone really want to buy this book? 
I know there are 14 (yes, I added a new one! ha!) people who will want to buy it, not counting family. my question is: Will those 14 people LIKE it?
2. Will I ever have another good idea? 
Of course I will. I can churn out one novel idea a day. That’s the easy part.
1. What happens next? Really. What happens?
And out of the ten this is the third one I actually ask because I have no outline! Ha!
How would you answer these? do you ask these questions of yourself?

*(okay, okay, it was from The Blood-Red Pencil)

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?

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!)

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 🙂

  • 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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