Saturday, December 29, 2012

Sterling in Paperback

Woohoo! There it is :-)
Sterling is in Paperback.

I haven't linked it to the Kindle version so the versions and reviews display, but hopefully that will happen this week. Be sure to show some love and hit that "like" button! It's also available in the UK, so do an Amazon Search. Please feel free to recommend to readers you know who don't own a Kindle or Nook, or who just enjoy owning paperbacks.

CLICK HERE FOR YOUR PAPERBACK COPY!

Here is the size of the book in comparison to standard paperback (far left). It's about a quarter of an inch shorter lengthwise than Chloe Neill's series. So it's a great size, and I'm really excited to see paperbacks getting bigger. They fit easier in your hand and the pages feel less gritty than some of the smaller books.



I'll be working on Twist in January. As stated before, I have to design the full cover and review proof copies before they'll go live. But hey, it gives everyone something to look forward to between now and the release of Book Four.:-)

2012 Closing Advice

I don't know that I'm really in a qualified position to give advice, usually that's reserved for those bestsellers who churn out 50 million books a year. But I have experienced a successful beginning as far as Indie publishing goes, exceeding far beyond my expectations, as well as the norm. I decided to close out the year with a little advice for those who are published, or are considering publishing. Take it for what it's worth, this is just based on my personal experience through the past 15 months.

It's a long post, but really directed at those who are considering publishing, or are already in it.

THE COVER IS EVERYTHING.
Don't let anyone tell you that the cover doesn't matter. If your book is that great and word of mouth circulates enough that your crappy cover makes the bestseller list, you're an exception. Most of us browsing on Amazon don't have time to click on every single book to read the blurb. The only thing you see initially when doing your quick scroll are:
A. The Cover (better make it good)
B. The Author name (if nobody knows you, this doesn't count)
C. The Price. Seems simple if you're a 99 cent book. But if every other book in your genre is also set at the same price, who cares? Then where are we at? The cover.

The cover is enough to get a reader to click on your book and find out more. It doesn't guarantee sales, or even that they'll like your book. But it's no different than stores who gussy up their window displays, or car lots who put the best cars in front by the street.
TWIST's cover is the first. The model has that very urban fantasy feel, and I added a few items to pique the interest of the consumer. What's up with the key? What's up with the shooting star? What is she looking at?

The second cover didn't work out. The title was bad, the males head was cut off, there's too much dead space in the middle, and the author font is horrendous. It had potential, it just wasn't pulled together.

It's never too late to get a new cover. If what you have isn't working because it doesn't represent your book or could be better, then redo it. It won't guarantee your book will sell, but it won't hurt to have a new and improved version.



YOU ARE NOT AN EDITOR
Most of us graduated high school and may own a few English books, but does that mean we have a firm grasp on the English language? No. Editors do not come cheap, but they will help get your book where it needs to be. There are different types of editors, so do your research. I speak from experience because with Sterling, I couldn't afford an editor, nor did I have the resources on where to find one. Honestly, I thought only 10 people would buy the book. Who knew?

Don't go into publishing thinking like that or only 10 people will read your book, and give it 1-star ratings based on your editing.
What can you do?
1. Get a team of beta readers together, some with experience. Lots of eyes catch different things that you don't.
2 Purchase editing software. It won't make you write better, but it will identify homonyms, typos, glue words, slang, English/British usage, etc. Don't always trust the suggested change - do your research if you're not sure.
3. Get text to speech software. Your eyes see what they want to see, and even read what you think it says. Hearing someone else read your words is very enlightening.
4. Hire an editor. Try different ones to see who fits your style. Yes, genres have certain writing styles. Usually you have to book them weeks to months in advance.
5. Hire a proofreader.

On the above, whenever you pay for services, be sure to look at their portfolio. Go check out those books and read their sample and reviews. Also, accept the fact that not everything will be caught. Or you'll have a reader who spots something the average person wouldn't, or points out a character is not speaking in proper English. These are all steps in producing quality work, which is as equally important as the story. If the story is that good then yes, readers will overlook an abundance of grammatical errors, missing words, etc. But do what you can to clean it up before publication, and even after.

YOU WILL NOT BE THE NEXT E.L. JAMES
Just accept it. Hug your pillow and cry a little bit when you've published your book and it doesn't soar to the #1 spot on Amazon. There are over a million books on Amazon and it's very hard for Indies to get noticed. Learn to be content with where you are at, and just keep writing. When that one fan mail comes in, that one review, that one comment that totally makes your day, then you'll see how much it was worth it. Do we all want to be able to quit our day jobs and make a living doing this? By all means - YES! I'd love nothing more than to tell my boss to shove it after working as a corporate bottomfeeder for the past 10 years, but a reliable paycheck is what I need to make sure my bills are paid. It puts added pressure on me to be able to publish as a side job, but that's how passionate I am about writing.


WRITING IS EASY, PUBLISHING IS NOT
I could write a whole book on this topic, because there's this perception that all you have to do is write one book, get famous, sit back and watch the money roll in, and do little else outside of a little Facebook promotion. I edit/write from 5am to 7am. I go to work for 8 hours. I come home and will edit for another 6 hours. On top of everything else.

You don't have the Big Six behind you, taking care of everything.



That's ALL you.

1. You're in charge of editing, hiring an editor, locating betas, adhering to a schedule, and not going nuts.
2. Social networking means more than a few Facebook ads. You should be interacting with your readers on a daily basis, as well as making sure other sites are kept up to date, like Goodreads, Twitter, your Blog, etc.
3. If you do a blog tour, hire someone to organize it for you. It's still going to be work because you have to sit down and write up guest posts, answer interview questions, or do other things.
4. You're in charge of your cover design. Either doing it yourself, or working with a cover artist by negotiating the price and discussing the design concept. If you go on your own, then you have to purchase your own stock art and know about photoshopping.
5. Organization (OMG, my obsession). I am a series writer so I have to keep my stuff in detailed tables (Bios, world building info, chapter descriptions, etc).
6.  There IS a constant need to rush, because if you're fortunate and gain popularity, you want to maintain the momentum and not have too long of a stretch between book releases. Sure, Gena Showalter can do that because she's a NY times bestselling author and has a publisher marketing the crap out of her. But you are a small fry.
7. Oops, don't forget writing! You always have to be working on your next novel. But who has time to write when you're busy doing all of the above? (And then some)

This is not to be discouraging, but don't make the assumption that all you'll be doing is writing by a sunny window at your own leisure. You have schedules to stick to. It's hard work, but worth it if you really love this job.


DUCK AND COVER

So your mom and three cousins read your book and said it was going to be the next big thing. Prepare for a cold splash of reality: Not everyone will like your book. There's a lot of talk about "Sock puppets" in the publishing world (which do exist) where other authors rate down each other's books through fake accounts, but aside from stupid behavior like that, some people will just genuinely dislike your book. Some may even loathe it. Please try to find a book that has no low star ratings. Most people only post reviews when they have something to say, and that's usually when it's really good or really bad. Don't spend too much time reading reviews. You can get 100 fantastic reviews and that 1 star is going to make you question what the hell you're doing with your life. They're also eye opening; if you happen to have a lot of low ratings because your story jumps around or typos, then those are things you can work on with another edit, or future books. The point is to improve your craft.

But seriously, don't have any illusions that you are worth the marks you get from reviewers. I wish more people would post reviews, but if you don't have thick skin, you'll never survive reading those on a daily basis. Just step away. Reviews are for readers to help one another in making informed decisions on their purchases. If someone wants to contact me directly, I'm easy to find.

The above is one reason I'd strongly recommend against children publishing, as some teens may be going into this. I don't know of any, but it will bury their self-esteem. Work hard in school, keep writing, and remember that publishing is not something you should be in a "hurry" to do.



At the end of the day, be proud of your work no matter where it does (or doesn't) take you. I had a saying on my sidebar I made up that said, "Art is not a competitive sport." The line came to mind when I was seeing how competitive writing really has become - watching other author's take off while you're in the dust. Authors shifting genres due to the current trend. Maybe genre switching and writing to a formula will propel you into the bestseller list, but just be sure that you're proud of your work. I talked about this with a couple of friends of mine and decided that I only wanted to write the story that was in my head, even knowing that my books will never launch like others, simply because UF/PNR genres are not a huge seller. They are in their own right among readers, but when I'm talking about the bestseller list, those are reserved for YA and contemporary romance. Many readers will have issues crossing over to the darkside where vampires and shifters lurk.

I hope this helps someone, even if one piece of advice sticks. Think of your book like a car. Tune her up, make sure she runs good, give her a fresh paint and polish, shine the tires, and just know that maybe she won't be the fastest car on the block, but her next owner may think she's the shit.

And that counts for something.

My final piece of advice?
Appreciate everything that comes your way, but don't expect it.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Updates

Thought I should share some news:

DRAFT 1 OF MAGERI BOOK FOR IS COMPLETE
As of this minute, the first draft is done. I feel like throwing confetti or kissing a sailor, but I'll contain my enthusiasm and leave that to the readers. No publication date is set, however the book is scheduled to go to the editor in April.



BOOK WHITE HAS AN APPOINTMENT
I decided to go ahead and pencil this book in with the editor in June of 2013. See my WIP page. Eventually, I'll think up a title for this book, but I also want to let it marinate and decide if I'm going to go ahead and make this a series. There's potential for it to go that route and if so, I'll need to come up with a series name.

MY BETAS ARE GOING TO HAVE A HEART ATTACK
I usually hit up my betas to make sure they're available when it gets near that time, but now I have two books lined up which need their review, so hopefully they are up for the task. If not, I may have to find replacements. It's hard work, so please don't send inquiries so you can get an early read. I expect the betas to complete a detailed questionnaire, in addition to spotting an editorial issues, and the beta read is as clean as it gets. But it is NOT the final version. Two more revisions occur after this: Mine and then the editor's.
I will accept serious inquiries with detailed information about yourself, your skills, any experience, etc. Something I can put into my backup plan folder.

STERLING IN PAPERBACK
I've been getting lots of inquiries about the books in paperback, and just a reminder I'm doing one at a time. I'm trying to manage all of the different tasks that I'm doing. The book is formatted, but I have to redesign the entire full cover, so that takes a weekend. I'm also waiting for my third proof of "Sterling". The interior is perfect, but the printed copies have a dark cover. The first two were perfect but for whatever reason, the third was ridiculous. I've been told that the printing company that handles these books are unpredictable, and that sometimes batches come out super dark. Sigh. I truly hope this isn't the case, but regardless I would hope that readers still enjoy the story. I'm just super picky, because I designed the covers myself and I take pride in what goes inside as well as outside.



Is it wrong that I'm praying the streets are iced over tonight? It's thunder-snowing as I speak (making this my very first White Christmas). I have to go back to work tomorrow which is why I didn't go out of town (Had I gone, I'd be trapped in an Arkansas blizzard). I have a feeling that ice or not, I'll be going in. The last time I did that, I fell on my back and almost broke my elbow, but my company stays open no matter what.

Meteors could be colliding with earth, creating cataclysmic tsunamis and super-volcanoes right before the aliens landed and exterminated the human race....

But they'd still expect me to show up.



Merry Christmas

Today the first draft of Mageri Book Four will be complete. I'm excited to be at this point because everything afterward will be editing. So far, the book length is the exact size of Impulse, which is my largest book to date at around 130,000 words. This is why I've committed to writing a book five, because the story cannot be crammed into MB4, and I have no intention of writing a book that could be used as a weapon. I'll leave that to Stephen King. ;-)

I'm up pre-dawn (big surprise) and have been listening to thunder crashing and hail beating on the windows all night. We are actually supposed to get snow later! This is actually my favorite kind of weather for writing, although I can write regardless of the weather.

I held a few contests during the past two days on my Facebook page, and I hope those who participated had fun. There were some really great message responses to some of the questions I asked.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year.




Monday, December 24, 2012

A Dark Christmas


I'd like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Or a Happy Holidays, depending on what religion you practice. :-)  This is my Mia, helping me wrap.



And this is my Christmas corner. I make no apologies; I simply did not have time to decorate my house this year. So I took my fiber optic tree (light bulb burned out the other night, megasigh) and draped a red throw over a table. At least it will be a snap to clean up.

I've already celebrated an early Christmas with family, receiving gift cards, a Kindle cover, and a book on Characters & Viewpoint. Friends sent me thoughtful gifts, and I saved a few gifts from extended family so I'll have something to open this evening. I'm not in any hurry, because I've enjoyed staring at this little corner, even though it's not as beautifully decorated as some homes. It just reminds me that I have family who loves me, and I hope to God none of them stressed out filling up those packages...lol

If we get a surprise flurry of snow tomorrow, I'm really going to be stoked. I'm in Texas, so that's a big deal. We do get snow down here, but usually it's in Jan-March, and not around Christmas. If anything, it will probably just be a few flurries.

I've been writing up a storm this weekend, and I'm closing in on the last chapter of Mageri Book 4 (Draft 1). It's a tough one compared to the previous three because some of the story is shifting over to book five. Many details have been taken into consideration.

I have to admit it feels good to be closing the series and moving on to new projects. 2013 will be a very interesting year.

Hop over to my Facebook page today as I'm running a couple of giveaways!

Merry Christmas.

Writing for the reader or the story?

This is a topic that seems to become a stronger point with each book released in a series, as I'm finding out. With book one, there is little stress outside of whether or not readers will like it. By book two, readers have an idea of where they want the series to go, and you hope that they go along with it. When Book three comes around, readers are invested in the story, and each has a specific way they want the plot, characters, relationships, and story to go.

It seems like beating a dead horse to repeat that you cannot please every reader. As I'm closing out the first draft of Mageri Book 4, I get those butterflies once again. I see comments, reviews, and receive emails from readers who give me their opinions on characters, storyline, and direction. It becomes very evident that I will not be pleasing everyone. Some may be upset by the direction the series goes, while others are all for the ride and willing to go wherever I take them.

By no means am I giving up spoilers here, but it's quite a challenge to stand in the line of fire with every book release, and it only becomes more difficult with each book. The bottom line is that the story told itself. I can't explain how this process is done, only that while writing, it feels right. I hate to think that I'm playing God and deciding the fates of my characters, because in a strange way, they are deciding their own fates. There are times when I am upset or angered by a character or scene, or sometimes I'm bawling like a baby, but that's because I care about them. In a strange way, I love them because they're all a part of me, or maybe I kind of see them like children that sprang forth from my imagination onto the pages. It's tough to watch your kids get hurt, suffer loss, struggle, and find their way in life.

It's also difficult to watch others pick on your kids because of it.

It would seem like a cheat to complete rewrite something to please the masses (although, there is no way to even predict what the masses want). I could have removed Logan and kept the focus on Silver and Justus. I could have elevated Adam's position among his kind so that he had the perfect life. I could have left Sunny behind at the train station in book 1, so that her story would never be told. I could have made Silver a kickass, sword wielding, heartless heroine. I could have made her submissive to obey. I could have hooked her up with Simon in book 1 for realz.

The Mageri series is really a journey, and at some point, you just have to let go and trust. I may have lost readers by book two, who didn't like the Twist. And some might have fallen out after Impulse. It happens. But for those of you who will stay until the end, I hope that this world, these characters, and this story become closer to your heart. One that holds meaning.

Our lives will always be filled with obstacles, villains, heroes, love, loss, family, friends, tragedy, and joy. If the only purpose of a story is plot, I think that you miss out on the rich and textured lives of the characters. This is a character-driven series, and for the rest of their lives they will have outside influences trying to tear apart and take away what they have, but it's not about slaying the dragon. It's about holding your breath with tears on the edge of your lashes, praying that the dragonslayer makes it out alive. It's about caring for the characters.

At least, that's how I have written the books. With heart.

This series will always have a special place on my shelf because it was the first. I hope that each book and series that I release going forward will find a way on your shelves, and bring you laughter and tears. Because at the end of the day, I want readers to love the characters enough to feel their pain and share their joy.



I thought this video was a great example of how a song can be translated into emotions through a visual story.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Win a free copy of Closer

Check out my Facebook page today (Dec 23) as I'm going to have three opportunities for readers to win a copy of "CLOSER". Just some holiday fun since I'm hanging around the house, writing, and watching Facebook contests. Winners will be randomly selected. The first one is already up, and the way to enter is SUPER easy. No Rafflecopters or liking anything or jumping through a hoop. Just reply to the message with whatever I'm asking. :-)

MY FACEBOOK PAGE

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Holiday Wishes

The holidays are already upon us! Are you ready? I had my early Christmas today and will be relaxing for the remainder of the holidays alone, so it will be a very peaceful vacation and the first time that I've spend the Christmas holiday alone. No, I won't be pulling a Bridget Jones sad scene with a bottle of wine and a sappy 70's song.

Tempting, but no.

I have a lot of writing that I'm going to get done. I may go to a movie, use some gift cards I received for the early Christmas we celebrated, and treat myself with takeout. Where you won't see me is sitting in a dark corner of IHOP with my laptop and a plate of chicken strips. It's just not going to happen. The really cool thing is I've never experienced a white Christmas, and there are rumors afloat that we might have a wintry mix that evening. THAT would totally rock.

 Because I'm sappy and sentimental like that.

It was brought to my attention that I'm up for a few Reader's Choice Awards! Such an awesome thing to discover and an honor, so if you feel like throwing a vote my way, here are the categories:

2012 Readers Choice Hottest Couple (Logan & Silver)
2012 Readers Choice Most Memorable Book (Twist)
2012 Readers Choice Favorite Author
2012 Readers Choice Most Engaging Author

CLICK HERE TO VOTE



So I finished reading "Edge of Never" (Indie author) and will be perusing the books this weekend for more discoveries. It was more engaging than "Easy", and I think because it felt less YA than Easy did, if that makes sense. YA is popular, but I do have a disconnect at times when trying to relate to the characters. Reading is always a personal journey, and we each relate to books and characters in different ways.

I liked the twist ending and yes, it will tug your heartstrings, but part of the ending I raised a brow on, mostly due to the age of the girl in the book. I couldn't help but end the story wondering what future lies in store for this very young girl. Won't just be looking for the bestsellers in my genres and the top 100, but also I like to check out the new releases. Be sure to stop by my Facebook page and be active on the messages I post about book chat. What I'd really like are a few good novellas.

Hope you have a safe and happy holidays. I was just thinking about previous years that stand out, and they're always the years where things went awry. My nephew was born close to Christmas and because it was an emergency C-section, my mom had to stay with them to help out. We ended up driving down with our presents in large, black trashbags and stayed at a hotel. It was a quaint little room with a kitchenette, and we put a miniature tree on the table. Another time was spent in an ice storm on the way to Little Rock, bumper to bumper traffic in the middle of the night in BFE. Funny how the unexpected moments in life are the ones you remember more than the planned.

So live life for the unexpected.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Accomplishment

As of last night, I completed the first draft of "Book White" (see my WIP page because I color code my projects until they're given a name). It was a wonderful feeling to jot down the last scene which I had envisioned weeks ago.

What I can tell you is that this is a book about Shifters. I've written another series about Shifters, but this one is different in that it is a spirited book, if I can call it that. There are some dynamic relationships between the characters, and a lot of humorous moments, so the tone is quite different than the Mageri Series. It does get a little deep, but it's not dark urban fantasy. It's more of an urban fantasy romance (imagine that!).

This book has the potential to become a series, if I want it to. I do not want to force it, but I know how it would play out and it would be in PNR fashion (Not following the same protagonist in each book). This book is going to sit on the side so that I can focus on MB4. I hope that it will be a published book in 2013, but my concern is that if readers want a sequel, that I'll be tied to doing it, so I'm a little uncertain at the moment with what I'm going to do at this point, because I have an Urban Fantasy series lined up to be my next set of books. Another thought that rattled through my brain is if I end up writing a sequel to this, then perhaps this can be the inbetween book I can publish after The Mageri series which will allow me to focus on writing the other urban fantasy series with no pressure on release dates.

Some days I wish I just didn't have to waste all of my valuable writing time doing that day job gig.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Writing schedule

I have made a decision to change my plans. I can't keep writing two books at once (Or at least writing one and drafting the other). My concern is I am in a total ZONE with "Book White" (See my WIP page for more info), and if I put it aside half written, it's not going to be finished the way I want it to. I simply cannot put aside a half written story and pick it up months later and it be the same story that I had originally conceived.

Mageri Book 4 is scheduled to be with the editor in April. This means the betas get it around March, because I'll need a couple of weeks to work on it prior to the editor. THAT means I have two full months of drafting. If I can manage to snag a week off of work during this time, that will help tremendously. I'm actually 92% done with the first draft, and that is the most work because this is when you're shifting the story around, adding and removing chapters, etc. The rest is just fine tuning

I've decided to finish writing book white first. I have 92,000 words and I'm very close to the end. I know how it's going to end, I just need to get there. Once I have the first draft, I can put it aside with a calming breath and start focusing on MB4. I'm not sure when this book will be published, but it's on fire at the moment, demanding my attention. I'm literally sitting here at my bar with 7 post-it notes with details written on front and back that I jotted down today for Book White.

What is this book about? Top secret stuff..haha. All of my books are Mageri world based. They may not take place in Cognito, but they focus around the same Breed types. This book started out as straight fiction and derailed. Sorry about that, the paranormal world interests me far too much. This one is very different in that it's not as dark. There is humor, heartbreak, love, sexual tension, friendship, and all the good stuff that makes a book readable IMO. As well as action and a bad guy. ;-)  The protagonist is sassy, funny, and a loving girl. There's also a unique little girl in this book that just stole my heart. This will feel different than the Mageri series, but what I love about writing is that I get to take the reader on new adventures. This will be a book I'm one day proud of, because I've enjoyed every single time I've re-read it, chapter at a time. If it sucks me in like that, I know there's an audience out there for it.

I will give myself a firm deadline of January 1st to complete, however I'm really hoping to wrap this up by Christmas, because of the time off. I'm going to get a lot of writing done over the holidays because due to last minute decisions within the family and my work schedule, I'll be hanging out at home and the family is going off to another state to visit with my grandma. I'd rather that they be with her, because she's 90 and having family around during the holidays means more to her than anything.

I wanted to let everyone know what I'm doing, because part of me feels like I'm having a literary affair with my own book. It's really not fair to write two books at once, because you cannot headhop like that and really stay focused. 2013 is going to be a great year, and I'm looking forward to unexpected news, such as book releases that weren't planned!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Impulse Blog Tour Winner

The winner for the Impulse Blog Tour giveaway has been selected!

Congratulations to Sandy Lion!

The winner will be contacted via email, and announcements posted publicly so as not to be missed. The winner will have 48 hours to respond and collect their winnings, or another winner will be chosen.

So Sandy Lion, check your email!

I want to thank everyone for following the tour and enjoying the fun! You got to visit some awesome book blogs, read some interesting and hilarious posts & interviews, and show your support for The Mageri Series. If you didn't get a chance to follow, please visit the link on my blog that says "BLOG TOURS" and click on the links to read some of the interviews, excerpts, and guest posts.

Please keep checking in on my blog and Facebook page in 2013 for new book releases, blog tours, and other fun announcements or giveaways! I'm looking forward to an exciting year. :-)

A big thanks to Viviana for organizing this tour and handcrafting these awesome keychains! Please stop by her blog and Facebook page and show her some love.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Last Stop (Impulse Blog Tour)

Thank you all for following the
IMPULSE BLOG TOUR

It's been an amazingly fun time, and a huge thanks to Viviana (Enchantress of Books) for coordinating this event.

I hope that everyone has enjoyed reading the fun posts, interviews, and of course entering the Giveaway!

I'd also like to thank all of the bloggers and for participating and giving me a spot, and I hope that those who are new to The Mageri Series will enjoy the books, and find me on Facebook.


If you aren't lucky with the giveaway, I hope that you have the opportunity to check out The Mageri Series books at their affordable prices. Paperbacks are also on the horizon.



Now, for the final post I have chosen to do a character interview with one of the mysterious new faces of Impulse. Many readers are talking about him, and maybe part of that is the Vampire allure. Although why that is I’m not entirely sure, because Mr. Poe is a very brash and arrogant Irishman.

He’ll dish it like it is, treading over feelings like they were tiny little flowers beneath the tire of a Humvee.



I've invited Christian to my home, although I'm admittedly not accustomed to letting Vampires in the house. He's assured me that he ate before he arrived (I'm sure that's a Vampire joke) and will be honest with any questions that I ask. He's quite amused by the request, and has selected my beige reading chair to sit in, as opposed to the bar where I had set up some drinks and snacks. (Do Vampires eat?)

Dannika: “Can I offer you something to drink?”

Christian: His wry smile makes me uneasy. “I’d love a cocktail.”

Dannika: “I guess we should start off with introductions. Could you tell me your name and a little about yourself?”

Christian: Sitting in a beige chair with his legs wide open, he drums his fingers on the armrests and watches me. “Christian Poe. Vampire. Guard.”

Dannika: “Is that all?”

Christian: His fangs punch out. “Isn’t that enough, lass? I’m sure you don’t want to hear me rabbit on about what my favorite hobby is or what music I listen to," he says in a thick Irish accent.

Dannika: “Actually, I’d like to know. Favorite song?”

Christian: His tongue slides across his bottom lip, lingering at the corner. “Nine Inch Nails – that animal song. I have to say that the twentieth century blessed us with some charming melodies.”

Dannika: “What’s it like being a guard to Silver?”

Christian: “Woman is a pain in my arse. Never guarded a woman before. A Mage, yes. Can’t say I care for the opinionated ones.”

Dannika: “So you don’t date strong women?”

Christian: Smirks and lowers his dark brows. “I don’t think what I do with women would be considered dating. Women bring nothing but trouble, and in a world of immortals, that’s a long fecking time to be chained to someone. I like my freedom, and my job isn’t the kind that allows for such nonsense.” His black eyes glitter with excitement. “I don’t get serious; I just get laid.”

Dannika: (Attempts to steer the interview in a more positive direction.) "What is your best memory from before you were turned?"

Christian: Crosses his legs and scratches his jaw, looking thoughtfully at the clock on the wall. "When I was a boy, a neighbor of ours—about my age—had a horse. They lived a quarter of a mile up the road and one night, I walked the horse out of the stall and took Cassie on a ride.

Dannika: “Cassie… the neighbor?”

Christian: “No,” he says wistfully. “My younger sister. She was blind, and it didn’t matter that we rode that mare on a moonlit night. It was her first time on a horse, and her face lit up like the sun. Jaysus, she was the sweetest thing,” he murmurs.

Dannika: “Do you regret being made a Vampire?”

Christian: “It’s a choice, and all choices come with regrets, to be sure. I like my life, and I’m rather fond of walking on the dirt instead of being covered in it. Wouldn’t you say?”

Dannika: Smiles politely, noticing his fangs are retracted. “Tell me a little bit about Vampire blood. Silver had some, and it seems like she had a lot. Doesn’t the well run dry?”

Christian: Snorts and crosses his legs. “There’s magic in all Breed. Things you can’t explain. Bleed me slow and my body compensates, but if it’s a sudden blood loss, it takes me more time to recover. We don’t give our blood to just anyone; it’s not like your Vampire movies where we become the sprinkler of youth. If anyone is going to suck on me then it’s going to be—”

Dannika: “Can you make someone a Vampire if they ingest too much blood?”

Christian: Stands up and pulls out a piece of striped candy from his pocket. “There’s more to it than that, and it’s not something that I can discuss with the likes of a human.”

Dannika: “How did you feel about Silver having to drink from you for such a long time?”

Christian: “Now I know what a teat feels like. I’m obligated to those I guard to protect their lives, and sometimes that means doing things that end up on my list.”

Dannika: “What list?”

Christian: The “Things I wish I’d never done" list. He sits beside me and drops his feet on the coffee table. I shift to my left and he just scoots right with me. “Nervous?” he asks in a dark voice, breath warm against my ear.

Dannika: “Not with my wooden pencil,” I say, tapping it against the notebook. “Mind sitting in your chair?” He complies and walks across the room, taking a seat while crunching on his candy. “You’re a difficult man.”

Christian: “That’s not the adjective that most women use when describing me but yes, I am. I protect lives and I’m treated like a second-class citizen. I’ve guarded one too many dolts who didn’t deserve to grace the earth with their presence, but I do it because I’m hired to, and I take my job seriously. It’s a privilege to guard a life, and sometimes I think I value it more than they do. If I’m difficult, it’s because I have to be. It’s how the job gets done.”

Dannika: “Do you think you’ll be doing this for the rest of your life?”

Christian: Wads up the candy wrapper and places it in his pocket. “Forever is a long time. If the opportunity for something else came up, I can’t say I’d turn it down. This is what I know, what I’ve been doing for a long time. Why?” he asks, brows knitting together. “Do you have another offer?”

Dannika: “Not at this time, I’m afraid. I’d like to thank you for the interview and allowing my readers to know more about you. As a guard, do you have any words of wisdom that you want to part with?”

Christian: Widens his legs and laces his fingers together behind his head.
“Do whatever I say; no questions asked.”



 Thanks to Christian for taking time out from shagging a stewardess for this interview. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

A Novella of the Heart


"Kane was faced with making a choice, and each came with a consequence that would wreck him forever."


 What I loved about writing this book was that all of the layers were stripped away to the core of the story because of the unusual circumstances, and the location.It forced two individuals to take a hard look at themselves, and come to terms with who they are and what they value in life.

What matters.


I can't say that it's an easy sell, because #1 it's a novella, and you get the typical feedback that a reader wishes it had been longer. But I wanted to take out all the additives and make this story concentrated. Writing it was effortless, but in retrospect, it was one of those books that I wondered how readily readers would accept because of the unusual set of circumstances that these two find themselves in, as well as the central location where most of it takes place.

There may be questions on how this is possible, and that is where making this part of the Mageri world imperative. There is sometimes magic beyond our understanding, but it would have only been possible with this Breed type.

For me, it was a very visual story to write. I can still so vividly see the scenes in my head, including the very last scene as the camera pans back and takes us away from this world.

It's also one where after I wrote it, I kept hearing these songs on the radio that made me think of it. And yes, I was a bit of a wreck writing out one of the scenes on my last draft. I'm very proud with how it turned out, and am happy to see that it had a very good launch day. It's nice to know it's out there now, and that every so often, someone will step into Kane and Caroline's story.

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON
AVAILABLE ON BARNES & NOBLE
ADD TO GOODREADS

I hope when you finish the read, it will be with a bittersweet smile on your face.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Closer is Live

Closer is now available on Amazon! Grab your copy while it's at a discounted $1.99.

US LINK
UK LINK

Check your respective country by doing a search using the following keywords:
Dannika Dark Closer

It takes a while for it to show on the Amazon pages and searches.

Please hit the LIKE button on the product page!






But this one went live in record time - about 8 hours? I hope that you enjoy the story.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Closer = Published

I have completed the publishing process for "Closer". The book should be available tomorrow (Friday) on Amazon as early as the a.m. - evening at the latest. Barnes & Noble takes longer, so their average time is 1-3 days.

"Closer" will be offered at a discounted price of $1.99 for a limited time. The average cost of novellas is $2.99, and I want to offer a low price for Mageri fans who have been supporting me from the beginning! This price will run through the weekend.

Once the links are live, I'll be posting them on Facebook, my blog, and sending out a newsletter for those who do not follow either.

The great part about this process is I'm on to the next book. What I have on my laptop right now has been exciting (both MB4 and Book White), so I'm looking forward to each publication reaching new readers.

I'm really proud of "Closer" because I've managed to write and publish a book in 2012 that I never saw coming. It's also my first novella, and to be honest, I don't think this book would have worked at a larger size. It would have been filler, and I liked getting to the meat of the story. I hope this inspires you to give more novellas a chance; there really are some good ones out there when you don't have time to get sucked into a long novel or series. This one is a longer read than most, so I hope that you enjoy it.

If you really want to drive yourself crazy, you can keep searching on Amazon and hitting refresh on my author page. But trust me, I'll be doing that for everyone. I do not anticipate it will be live until 12 more hours (or the wee hours of the morning when I'm asleep). But, I do usually wake up at 5am...

Thanks to those who continue to support me with kind words and a passion for my characters and world.
<3


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Sterling Cover Sample

I should be ordering round 2 of proofs for STERLING this week. I had to make some modifications to the formatting, and prior to submission, I'll be giving the cover another once-over.

It's not an easy task to sit down and do one of these. When I say I design my own covers, I actually design them. All of my original covers are in GIMP format, so I was able to utilize the background by itself for the back cover vs making it solid black.

Blending was a nightmare. I'm so picky that I was blowing things up to 200% so I could properly clone and smear. The template they give you helps keep your text within the markers, so it doesn't get cut off during printing. The cover is going to come out great. Proof #1 was a touch dark, but I lightened it up just a little bit. I like the contrast going on and only worked to correct the heavy ink that occurs in printing. Overall, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but it was a lot of work and gave me a tiny ulcer. ;-)

So, this is the semi-complete version (revisions may be made to text)



I feel better about the process and will be anxious to work on Twist when I get a free moment. I think once I finish up with the first draft of MB4, I'll probably give it a day of my time to get started. I'd love for Sterling to be available before Christmas, but I'm not holding my breath. I don't think that will happen, but I'm almost certain it'll be in January. So good news for those of you who love paperbacks!

I'm not going to lie, having my book on one of my bookshelves is a very cool thing. My plans are to give them their own cube, and to fill it.