Official Upcoming Release Schedule!
Due to changes in how my publisher assigns dates, I won't have release dates until I finish the book. I'm currently working on:
Taking the Realm which is book 3 of Sha and Connor's trilogy (previously titled Shaking the Balance)
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Monday, August 27, 2012
Becoming a writer is a ton of work. Sure there's the obvious work of coming up with your story, writing it, editing it, and getting it ready for publication. In some ways I think those tasks are the easier parts of being a writer. The real work begins when it suddenly hits you "OMG people are going to need to know about my book in order to read it!"
Now I've said this before but it bears repeating. Contrary to what anyone who follows me on Facebook or Twitter may think, I'm actually quite shy in person. I discovered a love for social networking sites because it makes it easier to be me. It just so happens that people also seem to like the real me, which is such a beautiful thing. My book is not finished yet, I'd say it's maybe 70-75% of the way there. My husband asks me how far I am and I don't know how to answer him because to be honest, I haven't made a whole lot of progress in the past couple of weeks. In part it is because my muse decided to run off with my strawberry rum and Sprite, but also in part because I've been working to build connections in the writing world.
I am by no means an expert on making myself known and I won't really know how well I've done until my book is finally released into the wild. My goal is to sell 20 books in the first few weeks. It's a very small goal and I think I can make it but who really knows? The point is making these connections and putting myself out there has been a blast. Since a very kind person helped me with the kickstart I needed, I wanted to do the same to anyone else who is writing their book and wondering what to do next.
Before your book is finished, you need to do a few things. First decide what name you plan to use. In my case, my real name is very hard to spell and pronounce so I knew I had to use a pen name to have any hope of readers finding me. Some of the authors I've met use their real names, some choose pen names similar to their real name, and others choose a name they just happen to like. Whatever you do, choose a name you like and then make sure it is not tied to anyone too famous or who is already published. A name I had liked originally was tied to someone who had just sold a screenplay so there were a good number of articles about it. I was afraid of my content being lost amongst hers so I thought of a different one. Plus can a name like Avalon be much more perfect for a paranormal romance writer? ;)
When you know what name you want to use, start creating accounts. You'll want email, a blog, and social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Try to have accounts that are easily recognizable. I hit the jackpot with Lindsay Avalon because I was able to create accounts for all of the different sites using my name. Want to find me on Facebook, Blogger, Twitter, etc? Just look for Lindsay Avalon and chances are you'll find me :) I also recommend having separate accounts from any personal ones you may have. It just makes life easier.
Consider having a website. For now I use Google Sites and while it's not ideal, it serves my purpose well enough until I have the time to custom build and host something of my own. Google Sites are free and you can set your own domain name. If you go the website route, I highly recommend purchasing a domain name. Mine cost me $20 for 2 years and now people can find me pretty easily. If you guessed my domain was LindsayAvalon.com then we have a winner! Once again you want an easily recognizable domain for better chances of your site showing up in search results. In all honesty, if you want to hold off on an official site you're probably ok in doing so. I post on my blog more than the site and it appears just as easily in the search results. When I hopefully publish many more books, my site will come in handy and allow me to present that content much easier.
So you've created all your accounts you have everything set up, what now? Start posting! Start interacting with people! Don't just start bombarding everyone with "Hey I have a book coming out!!!" I started by following my favorite big name authors as well as my favorite indie authors. Chances are far higher the indie authors will follow back. Be sure you've read some because not only are there a ton of indie authors out there, it's is a great ice breaker to be able to tell one how much you love their books. Be social, have fun, chat with people. Talk about your interests, respond to others' tweets, and don't be afraid to ask questions.
It isn't easy and it definitely takes work. I got lucky in meeting a few fantastic ladies who introduced me to others and it kind of cascaded down. As people get to know you more, start talking more about your particular book. Know how Twitter and Facebook postings work in terms of visibility. Above all else, be courteous to others. If you see people posting promotional stuff, repost it or retweet it. it's a nice thing to do and they're more likely to reciprocate.
The single most important thing to remember is this. Writing a book will NOT make you rich quick. I have been told, and have read this other places, that it can take 3 books to really get yourself known out there. One of the best pieces of advice I received was to have a book I could make free forever. I know I'm far more likely to read a free book than one I have to pay because who doesn't love free? Hopefully your readers like your book and want to read more so they'll buy the rest. But write because you love it and have a story to tell, not because you want to make money.
Are you overwhelmed yet? I know I can be. I spend hours some nights trying to build connections and talk to people. It's fun but it's hard sometimes and I haven't even gotten to the part where I do this to promote my actual book. If you don't want to put forth the work and want an easy solution, I'm sorry there isn't one. Indie publishing is a fantastic thing but it is hard just like everything else in life that is worth having. In the end I believe it will be completely worth it if even one person reads my book and loves it.
Hopefully this can help someone to not feel so lost in the whole process. I can't speak to what comes next because I'm still on this journey myself. I do know so far this is paying off in ways I never expected. I have met wonderful people, already learned to improve my writing, and I have affirmation this is what I'm meant to do. It may never make me rich but it sure as hell makes me happy!
Friday, August 17, 2012
Happy Friday everyone! I have a few people I'd like you to meet. These are four of the main characters from Breaking the Nexus! Well the men and women who inspired them at least. Special thanks to the people who helped me find the perfect pictures as well as Miranda Stork for tweaking two of them to give me exactly the look I wanted :)
This weekend I'm going to try very hard to put up either more bios on these characters or a character interview or two. So without further ado, let's meet some new people!
This weekend I'm going to try very hard to put up either more bios on these characters or a character interview or two. So without further ado, let's meet some new people!
The heroine of Breaking the Nexus
Sha is a Sorceri from Mythria and member of the elite Sentinels
who are entrusted with monitoring the Nexus separating the realms.
On a routine patrol with her partner Luca,
she finds herself thrown without warning into the Human Realm,
directly into the middle of a gruesome crime scene.
The hero of Breaking the Nexus
Connor is a detective on the Denver, CO police force.
When he responds to an unusual murder scene, he has no idea
that everything he knows about the world is about to be turned on its head!
Ian is Connor's longtime partner and friend on the force.
He comes from a large family with Irish roots
and has always believed in things like fairies, magic, and the unexplained.
Even so, nothing can prepare him for what happens next!
Luca is Sha's partner in the Sentinels and is a Southern Elf.
He and Sha may bicker like siblings,
but nobody is more loyal to those he considers his friends.
After Sha vanishes during their patrol, Luca and the rest of the Sentinels
must battle to keep the Nexus from falling.
I hope you enjoy this brief introduction to the characters of my upcoming paranormal romance! To celebrate the fact that it is Friday, here are 2 more snippets from the book :) Enjoy!! More details and snippets to come soon!
Snippet 1 (Sha and Luca):
Fire leapt towards the sky as a massive explosion rocked the earth. For a few minutes chaos reigned while animals raced from the blast zone and the night air was filled with a cacophony of panicked cries.
“What the hell was that?” breathed Luca, looking more than a little shaken as he picked himself up off the ground.
“If I had to guess, I’d say something went ‘BOOM!’” Sha replied drily, not even trying to hide her smirk. “What’s the matter, Luca? You’re looking a pretty pale there, which isn’t the best look for someone who’s supposed to be a fearless bad ass.” Truthfully since Luca was Elven and from the southern regions, his olive complexion showed only the barest hint of a pallor. But he did not need to know that, she mused. Although his moss green eyes still looked a bit wild with shock, Sha decided not to rib him too much about it. He could give back just as much as he received when he wanted.
“Very funny, Sha. I saw you dive for cover just like me. Don’t you even try to deny that was a prayer for forgiveness you were just muttering to the Seven Founders,” Luca snapped, impatiently. Normally he had no problem with his partner’s sarcasm, but right now he had more important things to worry about. Like where the explosion had originated. And figuring out whether he needed a change of clothes. “You do realize that you have leaves stuck in your hair right?”
“Crap, seriously?” Sha muttered to herself as she struggled to untangle the leaves from her thick, golden blonde hair. It was shot through with random streaks of blue and fell a little below her shoulder. Unfortunately, it had just enough curl to have her cursing at the snags. So much for keeping the intricate braid she had spent time working on this morning. With a sigh, she gave up trying to keep her hair tucked into the braid and focused on extricating the foliage. She just hoped she did not have any creepy crawlies hiding in the thick mass of hair. A slight shudder rippled through her frame despite her best efforts to contain it and her deep blue eyes glared daggers at Luca’s barely suppressed chuckle. “Shut up, Luca. I don’t see you relishing the thought of having bugs running through those pretty brown tresses of yours.” She grinned when he reflexively lifted his hand up to pat at his closely cut hair.
Snippet 2 (Connor and Ian):
“Well Connor, twelve minutes…I’m not sure if I should be impressed or worried about your lack of stamina,” Ian crowed with laughter as Connor grabbed a cushion from his couch and lobbed it at Ian’s head. “Hey man, it’s ok. I mean we all have our issues sometimes. Maybe you need a little blue pill?” he continued unabashedly, blocking the mock punch Connor threw at him.
“Oh shut the hell up Irish. You know twelve minutes would be a record for you for all time longest,” Connor returned good-naturedly.
Sobering a little, Ian sized up his friend. “Seriously though, I hope you at least kissed her? I know it’s completely against policy but she seems good for you.”
“You could say that,” Connor said vaguely. “Can we please get back to work now?”
“Anxious to get back to her, huh? I suppose I could accommodate you so you can return to more pleasurable activities,” Ian said graciously before giving his partner a lascivious wink.
“Yeah, yeah,” he replied with a long suffering sigh, glad that Ian had given his approval. Truth be told, Ian was probably Connor’s best friend and it would have complicated matters if he were against their burgeoning relationship, to say the least.
Happy Friday everyone!!
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
I haven't been the greatest about updating my blog lately but I have a good reason. For one thing I planned to do a couple of character interviews but instead I have gotten side tracked with actually writing. That's a good thing though right? :) There has been another thing standing in the way of my blogging, something I never really considered would be an issue. What is there to blog about when I talk to the people I want to reach every day? Now I'm sure that when Breaking the Nexus is finished, polished, has a gorgeous cover, and is actually sold I'll want to blog a bit more. Hopefully by then I'll have fans but in the mean time I'm absolutely loving the process and the new friends I have made.
Back in the fall when my sister told me she wanted to try NaNo again I was all for it. I had just gotten married so I didn't have that excust looming over my head. I knew my husband and I wouldn't be traveling for Thanksgiving so I didn't have that over my head. My husband was going to be away a lot that month so I'd be bored a lot of the time. I really had no excuse this time like I had the previous year so I wanted to give it a shot. I sat down and planned a little bit, but really I just put headphones and let the words flow out. I discovered you could plan out scenes to give yourself direction without feeling like you were doing an outline (something I always hated). I had so much fun with it and the rush of realizing that I was going to write 50k words in less than 30 days was beyond words. I say less than 30 days because in all honesty, I started late and did not actually begin writing until 11/6 I think. Looking back I have no idea how my hands didn't fall off but it was such an experience. I have tried to do it since but have had a harder time and I think it's because I want to recapture that momentum of starting a new book so my goal is to have Breaking the Nexus all finished so I can start a new book for the November's NaNo. But that's not really what I want to write about.
My husband was the first person to really push me to try writing. I read an insane amount and I jump around a lot, read multiple books at the same time, crazy stuff like that. Books are an escape from stress and a way to be transported into a new world. I set myself an absurdly high book budget a month and until I discovered independent authors, I had trouble sticking to it. Finding independent authors was amazing because now I realized I could afford so many more books than ever before and I was discovering fantastic new talent. Plus it made me realize that I am living in the perfect time. It has never been easier to get your voice out there and heard. I started reaching out to a few authors asking for advice and what they did to help realize their dreams. I always got responses and a few were quite helpful, especially those from Kaylea Cross (read her books if you haven't...they are some of my favorites). Then life and work interfered and I got discouraged so I shelved things for a while. The seed had been planted in my brain though and every once in a while I would ask my husband, "Do you really think I can do this?" He always replied "No, I know you can do it." Finally the voice telling me to give it a shot grew louder than the one telling me I would fail. I had no idea where to start, if you just publish on Amazon and hope for the best or what. So I reached out one more time to an author I loved but outside of my genre.
Kallypso Masters, I am so happy I emailed you that day. You gave me so much encouragement and practical advice, it was exactly the kick in the ass I needed. Before contacting Kallypso, I was able to tell myself I wasn't following through because I had no idea where to start. Well she gave me essentially a step by step guide on what I needed to do. One of the things she stressed was needing to get involved with social networking, particularly Twitter and Facebook. Believe it or not, I'm a shy person by nature so it was a little alien to really get active but I decided what the hell and dove head first in.
Then I met Miranda Stork and wow is she fantastic. Not only is she a wonderful author who is as insane as I am (go figure), she introduced me to a ton of new friends who write in my genre. Within the space of days I had met and become fast friends with so many amazing people who were encouraging me, joking with me, sharing man candy, and just welcoming me in a way I had never experienced before. The icing on the cake was connecting with several of my favorite authors and getting to know them. I know that when I am finished with my book I have a ton of people I can go to for advice on editing, cover art (FYI Miranda Stork is AMAZEBALLS and sells her work for cover art!!), how to go about actually getting my book onto the sites, and helping me spread the word about the book. A month ago I wondered how the hell anyone would know about my book. Today I know that even if only a few people ever buy it, even if I never write another book, I have made friends that have made this journey so much better. Plus I'm almost positive they'll want to read more when I'm done so there is little doubt I'll continue writing ;)
This was going to be a post about why I haven't fulfilled my personal goal of blogging about my book a lot, but really it's more of a thank you to everyone I've met. I do still plan to update this with either another excerpt from my book or a character interview soon. In the meantime, follow me on Twitter and friend me on Facebook. I'd love to meet even more amazing people!
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
This morning I got tagged on Facebook to give a little snippet of my story containing the word "look". Well I decided that the little snippet I put up there wasn't enough so here's an expanded look at the scene where Sha and Connor first meet. Enjoy!!
“Lady, are you alright? What happened?” a male voice asked with concern. Sha glanced up at confusion then her mouth dropped open in astonishment. She was not in the forest any longer. If she was not mistaken she was sitting in a crowded alley in the Human Realm.
“How the hell did I get here?” she mumbled to herself softly, earning her strange looks from a couple of people nearby who had overheard her. “Wonderful I bet they think I’m insane sitting her talking to myself.” Suddenly a woman standing a few feet away let out a shrill scream that sent a fresh lance of pain shooting through Sha’s head.
“Oh my God there’s a body over here!! Oh my God someone call the cops!!”
At that moment Sha realized something wet and sticky coated her hands, pants, and boots. A sick, sinking feeling settling into her stomach, Sha glanced down and could not control the wince. Wonderful, she was sitting in blood. A lot of blood, presumably not hers since as far as she could tell she had not lost any important limbs and she was also fairly certain she had not acquired any new holes. That could only mean it was someone else’s blood, which was generally a bad sign. She silently started counting the seconds and had only made it to five before the woman screamed again. “Oh my God she’s covered in his blood! She must have done it! Grab her!” Rough hands grabbed her, wrestling her down to the ground.
“Listen people I’m not exactly resisting here. Can you lighten up? I can explain—“ her breath whooshed out of her lungs as a knee dug into her back. She was not sure how it had happened, but apparently the Scray demon had shoved her through the open Gateway straight into the Human Realm. Inconveniently, straight into an apparent crime scene. Could this night get any better? Someone grabbed her arms and twisted them back. “Ouch! Ok I’m not resisting you people. Cut me some slack ok?” She rolled her eyes at whoever had decided he was the tough guy who was going to have a great story to tell all of his buddies later. Not that restraining her was particularly difficult considering she was all of five feet tall.
Sirens and lights filled the pre-dawn sky, distracting her from her depressing train of thought. Sha rolled her eyes as the oh so helpful good samaritan she had affectionately dubbed Little Miss Squealer ran up to the man stepping out of the unmarked police car. Maybe this would not be so bad after all she thought to herself. If that was the investigating cop at least he was easy on the eyes. He was tall, perhaps around six feet tall, with his dark hair buzzed short and a lean, muscular body that spoke volumes about his strength. Even in the dim light, she could make out definite stubble that gave him a very appealing rugged appearance. Sha was horrible at gauging ages, but if she had to guess she would put him somewhere in his late twenties. Perfect for her, she thought wryly. His steel gray eyes narrowed in annoyance as Little Miss Squealer babbled inanely, winning him a few extra points in Sha’s favor. Nope, this would not be so bad at all as long as this guy was the one to question her.
Now if you notice, Sha is short because let's face it, some of us are significantly vertically challenged but we can still kick ass! ;)
Hopefully my next post will be all about how I'm kicking butt with Camp NaNo!