Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wednesday Ramblings

Am I the only one who hates the phrase "Hump Day"? There's nothing magical about Wednesday; it's the middle. It's the in-between. It's the "you're not quite there yet". Thursday is even worse, masquerading as the prequel to Friday, but not living up to the hype.

I'm trying to get through the week with a tension headache. I never used to have them until my dentist suggested I grind my teeth (which I adamantly objected to). I think she planted the seed in my head, and now my subconscious mind is actually wanting to do it. Either that, or I need to buy a new pillow.


Well, first let me say that I'm blown away by the response to "Twist". The reviews I've seen popping up have been exciting to read. Can't lie; I think all writers chew their nails a little on the release. I get asked it a lot so it bears repeating: I have four books written in this series. It's a matter of drafting them (which sometimes takes numerous drafts) and then editing to get them ready for publication. I can't wait, either. Lots in store.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRtW1MAZ32M
Here's a little Ah-Ha. I always loved the concept of this video for its time, because back in those days videos had little substance. They were cliche, and usually consisted of doves being released, glass shattering, a random woman in a white gown running, and the band singing in an abandoned warehouse. I have a wide range in music taste, and my current faves are Muse and Florence and the Machine (among many individual songs by artists). But I love stuff from all decades, and I am in an 80's mood this morning for some reason; was even listening to a little Prince and Howard Jones. Don't even get me started on my love for some Jones.

 Here's a little fact for the day, as I've been going through some of my images and cleaning them out. I created a number of mock-ups for the cover, and usually I tested out different titles. Twist was almost "Enthrall". The title didn't settle with me, however. No more than "Lightwalker" did for "Sterling". Some things are meant to be, and others are not.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Twist purchase link

Twist (Mageri Series: Book 2) can be purchased here for $1.99 on Kindle! It's also available in the UK, and should be available on the other sister sites within 36 hours. Please be sure to spread the news to anyone you know who enjoyed "Sterling" that may be not be following me on a social network. What can you do?
  • Tweet it
  • Facebook it
  • E-mail it
  • Recommend on Goodreads

Let's get the news out! Be sure to visit the link below and click on the "like" button to show your support. Scrolling down, if you agree with the tags listed, or add your own, it will help people find the book doing various searches. Your support has been awesome, and I hope that you enjoy the read!

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007E50SJC

Adult Urban Fantasy Romance
Book 2 of the Mageri series

Months after moving to the mysterious city of Cognito, Silver is developing her gifts as a Mage, and learning how to live under new laws. Forced to give up her old life, she must now live in secret among the humans. She finally has hope of leading an ordinary life . . . until Logan Cross walks into it.

Their chance meeting leads her close to discovering the identity of the nameless Mage who once stole her light and discovered the unique power she possesses. That knowledge poses an unimaginable threat to Silver, fueling her search to find out who he is, before he finds her first.

Lives are at stake. Truths are revealed. And an unexpected passion ignites.

Twist is a 99,700 word novel.
“Sterling” is the first book in the Mageri Series, available on Kindle for 99 cents

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Twist release date: 2/26/2012

I will be publishing "Twist" within two hours. I'm currently building the file and will need to complete the publication process on Amazon. They usually give an alert that indicates the book will be available within 12 hours (usually longer on the UK, DE, etc sister sites)

However, with "Sterling" I was surprised to find it was available much sooner than that. It depends on how long it takes them to process the document. I'm so excited, and it's been a long journey because this was the worst time of the year for me to publish a book. My day job during the winter months requires additional overtime and is very busy, so the time just wasn't there to get the book out sooner.

Thank you to everyone for your support; I can never express my gratitude enough. Each book will bring something new and different, so I'm anxious to begin getting those out! Please don't ask me when, this girl needs a break for a little while so I can catch up on reading and real life! It should be easier this next time around.

Wow, is the phone really ringing now? Is someone trying to disturb me from publishing? Okay, wow, I'm getting an unexpected visitor in the next half hour. Great timing, but I will not fail you!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Happy Friday

Don't fall down on the dance floor.


Friday has a lot going on

I will be very busy this weekend wrapping up the loose ends for Twist. I'm going to do something a little different with this book and add an image at the very end, so be sure to look for that. With e-books, you don't get those front AND back covers, or insert images on the flap. So I decided it would be fun to have an image in the back (which looks fine in B&W as well as color, depending on your Kindle).

I'm fired up for this release, and it's still looking good for a February release. You will be the first to know if you read this blog or my facebook page. Be sure to let your friends know who read "Sterling", but may not follow me on a social site!

Other than the book stuff, I have nothing new to report outside of the fact my apartment is in dire need of a cleaning. I have new neighbors downstairs who like to show off their surround sound television, and on weekends I like to show them that mine is much better. ;-)  I'm actually a great neighbor who is mindful of the noise I make in my apartment and that it could travel through walls, but some people just don't care. Especially the kids next door who scream at the top of their lungs every night around 8pm.

Is anyone else a little put off by all this warm weather? I live in the south, and our summers are hot enough, so I actually enjoy the shift to cold weather. I also have no problem with calling in work because it's sleeting outside, either. That's always more believable than trying to pull a Ferris Bueller. ;-)

Keep your eyes peeled for news!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sequel to Sterling Release Date

Please be sure to follow this blog or the Facebook page for the latest updates. I will have a better idea by mid-week, but it's looking pretty good that "Twist" might be released into the universe before a March 1 date.


How do you like them apples?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Q&A

I receive questions via e-mail or private message, and I thought others might also want to know the answer. If you have any questions, pop over to my blog on the CONTACT ME link at the top. I thought about compiling these into a post. I've actually had a couple of inquiries about Max. :)  I think once "Twist" is released, there may be more questions to come, so I'm just keeping the lines open.

One thing I cannot do is divulge in the direction of the characters or series. Keep this post in mind when "Twist" is released, and I look forward to your comments and reviews!



Question: If the sun gives them energy and helps them heal... Why are their living accommodations in the dark?

Answer: I think we'll learn more as the series evolves. Justus feels the need to protect his home by keeping it hidden. The sun is very powerful, and can be tapped for healing light by an experienced Mage who knows how to measure the energy, but Justus isn't the type of man who believes any small injury requires healing. He might fall under the old school motto of 'suck it up'. Yes, he must train Silver of all the new abilities she now has, but he also has to teach her control and moderation in how she uses them. He treats her differently than how he would have treated a male Learner, and perhaps in that, we see a gentler side to him. There is a lot of power in energy, and one must learn not to abuse it or it will ultimately control them.


As the series progresses, I think the reader will have a better perspective about certain elements in the book, including the motives behind each character.

I'm currently reading "Cry Wolf" by Patricia Briggs, and it's an enjoyable read, as I've read the Mercy Thompson series. If you're looking for a movie to watch with a different type of theme, try "In Time" with Justin Timberlake. I thought the concept of a futuristic society living on borrowed time, where all things are bought and sold using the minutes of your life, was interesting.

I've been tapping my fingers, wondering when I'll get busy with the second draft to book three, but I still have some reading I need to get in. I need to formulate some notes and review the outline before I begin. I'm really excited about it, and that scares me a little, because once I start, I may not come out of my foxhole for months. :-)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Popular Highlights

When you are reading a book on Kindle, do you use the popular highlights feature? Amazon stores on each book page, the most common highlighted areas of text. For awhile, they went AWOL (glitch), but they have since returned. I enjoy looking at these, because it's a very cool inside peek at blocks of text that hooked a reader.

Every so often, I go to some of my favorite book sites on Amazon and review the highlighted text. Sometimes, they're sentences/scenes I had forgotten about, and make me want to read the book all over again! While I have put up a few quotes on Goodreads, I'm more interested in the quotes and lines that the reader enjoys. I'm very excited about TWIST, and look forward to seeing which parts end up with the most highlights.

Release date is soon! I can almost taste it on my tongue.


Popular Highlights (currently) for Sterling:


it is not the easy road that makes us capable of great things. It is the hard journey that leads to a greater destiny. You can never rise if you never have anything to rise above.”


There are few things in life that are worth waking up to: sex, the dark spices of freshly brewed coffee, and bacon."


Dying isn’t the hardest thing you’ll ever do—it’s living. There are many choices that determine the direction of your life, but death only has one outcome."


I looked down at my drink; he was very charming in every gesture but something about him intimidated the hell out of me behind the fa├žade of calm and collect. It was not unlike having a conversation with a grenade."


“So what is my last name? And so help me, if you tell me it’s Ware, I’ll drop kick you where you stand."


If Justus had a formula, it would be 1% sensitivity and 99% jackass."


He was the sun…my sun. He was the center of my new life and I basked in his light and protection."


just remember, love—a scar will always mark you, but never let it define you.”


I’ve learned something far more valuable since I was given a second life, a second chance, and a new beginning—live each day of your life like it is your first."


When the only tongue you’re getting is from your cat…it’s time to get out more."

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Cars and Attitude

I think we get a lot of impressions about a person by the type of car they drive. Where vehicles are involved in my story, I try to select one that is the most suited for the character; it doesn't matter if its a top of the line luxury model or something that just rolled off of the used car lot. Their attitude is in that car. You can often sit in traffic and stare at a car in front of you, from the scuffs on the tires, the bumper stickers and decals, the model and condition, to how clean its kept, and make up an impression of who is in the drivers seat. At least, that's what people like me do when they're stuck in five o'clock rush hour, wishing someone would invent teleportation machines.

I stumbled across this vid and thought of Justus; it's one of his favorites. Before I write any car into my book, I research it. I want to know what the key looks like, how the seats fold, and what sound the engine makes. It helps give me a full visual sense of their places and possessions, whether I write them in detail or not. I like to know who I'm writing into my story. Full background checks are required. ;-)




I feel spoiled for all the reading time I'm getting in! I haven't decided when I'll begin drafting and editing book 3, but I know I need a pause inserted between releases. I also need to wrap my head around an alternation to the story that came to mind during the rewrite of Twist.

There's a drive-in theater about an hour away from me. I'm going to stick that on my agenda for this spring. I need to find someone with a pick-up truck that has a large bed. ;-)

Friday, February 3, 2012

When is Twist Coming Out?

This - by far - is the top question I get asked. I am VERY anxious to release the sequel to "Sterling", and it's exciting to see that others are too! Hopefully anyone who lands on this blog after doing a search will have a few answers.

I cannot set exact release dates. There are variables that can affect this, and it wouldn't be fair to anyone who was promised a date. This occurred just recently where things fell through with the first proofreader, so I had to put on my big girl panties and deal. It meant pushing things back from my anticipated January release. Yes, I'm as bummed as anyone about it. On the other hand, It's given me ample time to slow down, and work on a few things in real life, and the book, now that the hard editing is done.

What I can tell you is that I anticipate the release date to be in February, barring no unexpected catastrophes, meteor impacts, train wrecks, rabid dogs, spilled milk, or alien abductions. The very moment that my proofreader hands me back the script, I'm going to work my tail off to get it updated and ready to go.

But the good news is that time flies! Here we are, almost on Valentines Day. I have a book or two I need to catch up on reading myself, because it's going to start all over again once I get my hands on Book 3. It's hard work. Editing is not fun, and I've said this before. It's taking large chunks of your story and deciding what's good, what's not, and what needs major rewriting. It's especially hard when you've already written out the series, careful not to extract anything that will be important for the future book(s).

Thanks for all the great reviews! I've finally gotten an opportunity to read them now that the editing is completed, and it's so nice to see how many people enjoyed the book and want more. Not to mention the individual emails I've received (and thank you to those who told me they would pimp me out to all their friends..lol)



What have I been thinking about lately? Having my books in print - at some point. I would love to be able to hold a copy in my hand, and see my covers. That in itself is something that would require research and time - but I never let anything stop me once I set my mind to it. But it's on my radar. I've had nook readers reach out asking for availability, and that's on my radar, too. I'm excited about editing book three, and jumping ahead of book four, I've had ideas for a storyline behind a possible book five. I'm undecided if I'll write that as soon as I'm done with book four, or start publishing another one of my series. I'm excited to start something new, as well.

"Sterling" is still holding it's on on the top 100 charts on Amazon for its genre in the US, UK, Germany and France. Ah, so here's a bunch of links you might find useful!

AMAZON PURCHASE:
Click on the links below for respective country

AMAZON US
AMAZON UK
AMAZON DE
AMAZON FR
AMAZON ES

TRACK THE SERIES ON FICTFACT:
http://www.fictfact.com/authordetails.aspx?author_id=8967

FIND ME ON GOODREADS
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5181752.Dannika_Dark

FIND ME ON FACEBOOK
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dannika-Dark-official/148451945238628

FIND ME ON TWITTER
Ok, I don't do Twitter much, but any news on book release information will be tweeted, if you are a religious follower :)
https://twitter.com/#!/DannikaDark

And of course you can follow this blog by adding your name to the box on the left menu bar. For anyone who's sent me an email, my apologies if I've not responded. I probably don't check it as often as I could and it backed up on me.

That's a lot of info! But I have a lot of visitors who find me doing a search on the internet, so hopefully this list will provide you with a way to keep in touch with me. I don't bite.

Often.

EDIT 2/13/2012: "Twist" has been submitted for the final pass. They are scheduled to begin their proof review on the 15th. We're almost there!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Movies

Just checking out some movies coming soon, and really liked the looks of this one!




Of course, because I'm a fan of Chris Hemsworth, I have to see this one:




I just don't go to the movies as much as I used to. The quality of films hasn't ben the same - it seems like they're either a sequel, a remake, or a remake of a sequel. Or, a prequel. I like to be swept away by a new story, not going with a sense of a deja vu. Ticket prices are reasonable during the right time of the day, but the food is outrageous, and portion sizes ridiculously small for what you pay for. Not the experience it once was.

Reading

I have a few books I started but stopped midway due to writing. They're on the agenda to finish, but I wanted to grab something from my TBR list first, before hitting any PNR, as I want to delve into some UF.

So this is what I'm reading.

Indies Need not apply

The first day of my vacation I wanted to post something that's been on my mind since I saw a discussion thread going on about indie books. The argument was that they should all be burned, completely removed from Amazon, and unavailable for anyone because they were not real books.

Meaning, unless a major publishing house produces it - the book cannot be "real". The perception that indie authors are rejects who are littering the world with unwanted stories. Well, I'm just here to say that this is not the case. Many of us are entrepreneurs, taking our creativity and fate into our own hands. Imagine how many hundreds of query letters a publisher receives daily. One single page, to summarize your book, and they decide by that small blurb if they think its marketable. They meaning, whoever reads the letter. There are a number of authors who were turned away, only to eventually be picked up and their book become a bestseller. It's a lottery. Why? Because it's the READERS who decide what is a great book.

Another point I'd like to make is that just because something is traditionally published, does not make it a better book. I have read a lot of dull books over the years I wish I hadn't wasted my $25 on.

Then last night, I stumbled upon a site where the reviewer specifically stated "Indie authors need not apply". This rubbed me the wrong way. I realize it's the reviewers & readers choice, and that with indie authors they might be inundated with books, but I felt segregated. I haven't approached review sites to look at my books, as I've been too busy writing them, but I enjoy reading the websites, and would like to think the door is always open for an indie author to have the same fair chance as a traditionally published one. This is not uncommon. Many sites won't even spotlight your cover if you are indie.

Imagine if the only art you were exposed to were through museums, and not from individual artists, or street artists. Imagine if the only food you were allowed to eat were from chain restaurants, and not mom and pop shops, or cooked by family and friends. Imagine if the only music you could listen to were from major record companies, and not the local band in your favorite bar or that up and coming band who opens for major acts (and is better than the act) but hasn't gotten a contract yet. If you look at some of my previous posts or on facebook, you'll see that I promote a lot of indie artists. Or if you never saw an indie film - you would have never seen "Taxi Driver", "Good Will Hunting", "pulp Fiction", or "Citizen Kane"..and there would be no Sundance Film Festival. Imagine a world where the only creativity you saw was filtered by what others would allow you to see. How much do you want your free choice to be dictated?

Yeah, maybe I'm a little serious for my first day of vacation when I really need to be out there putting on my bowling shoes and eating some pizza. But as an indie author, I work extremely hard in all aspects of writing, editing, cover design, and publishing. I decided not to play the lottery, and share my stories with the world. I decided to take full creative control of my writing. If you choose to carve out creative art in your life based on standards of who produces it, then you are missing out on the soul of creativity. Publishers are driven by sales. I am driven by inspiration.

http://www.listmyfive.com/5a57c55e/The-Top-Five-Famous-Self-Published-Books
http://www.filmsite.org/independentfilms.html

Thank you, to each of you, who have chosen to give this indie author an opportunity. Thanks for the support and enthusiasm you have given in all forms, and thanks for opening doors, and not closing them. <3





WHERE every bird is bold to go,
And bees abashless play,
The foreigner before he knocks
Must thrust the tears away.

-Emily Dickinson

Highly interesting article!