Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Links -- Volume 54 and Cover Reveal for Walking Shadow

It's Friday, thank goodness.  I'm tired of driving two hours back and forth to work in the snow.  Fortunately, if all goes the way the weathermen say it will, the snow will be gone by the weekend.  Yay!

Friday is also a special day for Emma Adams, since it's cover reveal day for her new book, Walking Shadow.  So be sure to check it out along with this week's links.

Have a great weekend!

ChemistKen


Free Day Book Promotion Checklist

Creating Strong Characters—Some Typical Challenges

Should Authors on the Traditional Path Pay an Editor?

Everything I Need to Know About Character, I Learned From Buffy

Pen Name Launch: What worked and what didn’t for marketing

Choosing Which Thoughts to Italicize

Nanowrimo: Midpoint


Walking Shadows Cover Reveal






When you have a connection to the Darkworld, nowhere is truly safe.

Ashlyn has found a new home in Blackstone, but when a spate of grave robberies across the country spark fears that someone is practicing illegal sorcery, she comes under the radar of the Venantium, the protectors of the Barrier between her world and the Darkworld, who are suspicious of any sorcerer unaware of their origins.

The trouble is, what Ash does know might just get her killed.

Sufferers of the dangerous condition known as the vampire’s curse are being brutally killed, and the latest victim is Leo’s guardian, the ex-head of the Venantium. Ash determines to help Leo find out what’s really going on, but it isn’t long before events are spiralling out of control. The dead are rising from their graves, and the barriers around Blackstone are threatened by a demon which looks exactly like Ash herself…


Release date: 1st December 2014

Add on 
Goodreads!


And here's more information on the first in the series, Darkness Watching  (Darkworld #1)

Eighteen-year-old Ashlyn is one interview away from her future when she first sees the demons. She thinks she's losing her mind, but the truth is far more frightening: she can see into the Darkworld, the home of spirits– and the darkness is staring back.

Desperate to escape the demons, Ash accepts a place at a university in the small town of Blackstone  - little knowing that it isn't coincidence that led her there but the pull of the Venantium, the sorcerers who maintain the barrier keeping demons from crossing from the Darkworld into our own world.

All-night parties, new friendships and a life without rules or limits are all part of the package of student life - but demons never give up, and their focus on Ash has attracted the attention of every sorcerer in the area. Ash is soon caught between her new life and a group of other students with a connection to the Darkworld, who could offer the answers she's looking for. The demons want something from her, and someone is determined to kill her before she can find out what it is.

In a world where darkness lurks beneath the surface, not everyone is what they appear to be...
 

Reviews

“In the vein of Buffy and Supernatural, DARKNESS WATCHING found that perfect balance between the freaky and the fun.” - YA author Jen Estes

"Demons, Sorcerers, evil, and secrets. Could you ask for a better supernatural suspense set-up?...It's full of suspense, danger, evil and dark humor. The plot is original, and completely gripping. From the first page, this book had me hooked." - Rose at 
Desert Rose Reviews

"A suspenseful first part to an intriguing new fantasy series." - 
Sharon Stevenson, supernatural author

“The story is extremely well-written with effortless, flowing prose, and the original magic-user mythology and Darkworld creatures are very entertaining. The author took what might have been over-done premise and twisted it into something very fresh and exciting.” - Lexa Cain, author of Soul Cutter

"This is a wildly different story than any I have read about demons...I loved it!" - Kathy at 
Bookmarks, Spoilers, and Happily-Ever-Afters


https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/images/cleardot.gifFear's Touch: A Darkworld Novella is also available now!

This is a standalone novella, intended as a prequel to the Darkworld series. As it takes place one year before the events of Darkness Watching, it doesn’t contain any spoilers (although it does hint at things which will come into play later in the series).

Freakish powers and staring demon eyes aren’t part of Claudia’s plans for the future – and neither is ending up stuck at the gloomy, isolated University of Blackstone. But bad life decisions are the least of her problems, when a split-second decision to help out another magic-user puts her in the crossfire of both the shadow-beasts and the creepy organisation which hunt them down.

Claudia’s never had to worry about making the right choice before, but every decision matters when you have a Darkworld connection. Soon, she’s going to have to make a choice: turn her back on the crazy and try to live a normal life, or take the monsters down.

But in a world where everyone seems to have secrets, can she really trust her fellow magic-users – or even herself?




Emma spent her childhood creating imaginary worlds to compensate for a disappointingly average reality, so it was probably inevitable that she ended up writing bizarre, fantastical stories. She was born in Birmingham, UK, which she fled at the first opportunity to study English Literature at Lancaster University. In her three years at Lancaster, she hiked up mountains, skydived in Australia, and endured a traumatic episode involving a swarm of bees in the Costa Rican jungle. She also entertained her creative writing group and baffled her tutors by submitting strange fantasy tales featuring dragons and supernatural monsters to workshops. These included her first publication, a rather bleak dystopian piece, and a disturbing story about a homicidal duck (which she hopes will never see the light of day).

Now a reluctant graduate, Emma refuses to settle down and be normal. When not embarking on wild excursions, she edits and proofreads novels for various publishing houses and reads an insane number of books. At the age of 21, she signed a publishing contract with Curiosity Quills Press for the first book in her creepy urban fantasy Darkworld series. DARKNESS WATCHING was published in October 2013, the first in a five-book series.
Emma’s books tend to contain monsters, magic, and wildly inappropriate humour.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

How Important is Deep POV? Really?

Last week, Angela Quarles posted about deep POV and the problems that can occur when using the words “before” and “until.” In many cases, these words tell instead of show, which often distance the reader from the character. She presented three passages from her latest WIP where she’d used those words and then explained how she’d fixed them up to keep the reader in deep POV. All good stuff.

Except for the fact that in all three cases, I preferred the original version.

Now I admit I’m not an expert on deep POV. Heck, I still struggle with showing and telling. I don’t read many romance novels (where deep POV is most widely used) and the fantasy stories I read rarely utilize deep POV. To be honest, my reader’s palate may simply too immature at this stage of my writing career to fully grasp the concept.

Let me give you an example from her post.

Before: He angled up toward Dauphin Street, and she waited until he disappeared around the corner before she set off after him. She peeked around the corner. His tall form weaved through a light crowd.

After: He angled up toward Dauphin Street, and disappeared around the corner. She scurried to the corner and peeked around. His tall form weaved through a light crowd.

I understand the first version is a little telling, but personally I don’t have much of a problem with that. In fact, I preferred the telling version because it gave me a better understanding of her interior thoughts and motives during the sequence of events, as opposed to the second version, which seemed more like a formal recitation of the events.

Now I’m sure Angela’s fans enjoy her writing style and will love the changes. But I suspect my stories will always tend more toward the first version. It's what I'm most comfortable with.

So is there any hope for me as a fantasy writer?


Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday Links -- Volume 53

Sorry for not posting on Wednesday.  Too many things were going on in my life, including my hurried attempts at rewriting a scene so I could share it with my local crit group on Thursday night.

The response from the crit group?

The scene needs work.

Not too surprising, really.  I'm still unsure with how the scene should unfold, and when I'm not comfortable with a scene, my prose goes into the tank.  Too much explaining.  Details out of order.  Poor descriptions.  Normally I would have spent another week polishing the words before submitting, but since I didn't submit anything at last month's meeting, I felt obliged to turn something in this month.

My takeaway from all this?  Sometimes I just have to bounce ideas off my crit partners to get me out of a writing rut.

Have a great weekend and enjoy the writing links!

ChemistKen
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Getting Reviews

10 Things to Know About Pitching Agents and Editors

Conflict and Series Characters

Three Tips for Creating Evocative Prose

Nanowrimo: Act Two questions and prompts

6 Key Terms in Amazon’s KDP Contract — A Digest for Busy Writers

Sometimes, Two Rights… Make a Wrong

Friday, November 7, 2014

Friday Links -- Volume 52

It's Friday again, and this week I'm not sleep-deprived from working on costumes.  Does this mean I'll get any more writing done this weekend?  Hmmm.....

While cold, dark nights are great for putting me into the mood for writing fantasy stories, they're also great for making me want to curl up in bed and read my Kindle.  I never know which way I'll go on the weekend.

And for those of you who have taken time out from NaNoWriMo to read this post, I hope you enjoy the writing links.

Have a great weekend!

ChemistKen



Basics of Print Interior Design

Sometimes You Gotta Suck It UpAnd Write the Darn Outline

Writing Successful Fiction: When What You Don’t Know Trumps What You Do Know

7 Tension-Building Tips for Writing Action Scenes

Scene Breaks: Why Your Story May Not Have Enough of Them

Nanowrimo: Act One questions and prompts

[Insert Annoying Self-Promoting Message Here]

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Insecure Writer and the Slippage of Time



Today is November's contribution to Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group.




Why am I an Insecure Writer this month? 

Because time seems to be slipping away from me.

As we enter the month of November, I can’t help but recall how much I originally planned to have written by the end of this year. Needless to say, I’m nowhere close to the goals I set back in January. And my biggest question is: Where did the time go?

While I’ve had bouts of good productivity here and there throughout the year, there always seemed to be a constant succession of life events that diverted me away from writing. Working on Halloween costumes, dealing with a sick cat, helping my wife start up a new business, etc., etc. It never seems to end. I know this kind of problem affects all writers, but until I finally write “The End” on one of my books, I’m always going to wonder if it will ever happen. I’m tired of telling myself, “Just wait till next year.”

On a happier note, my daughter’s Enderdragon costume worked out way better than expected. We had to solve many, many problems to make them functional, and even though we were still applying last minute fixes as late as 5:30pm on Friday, she was able to wear them during the Halloween party and partly through the actual trick or treating. (She had to remove the wings once the winds began gusting outside.)



In a month or two, we’ll start working on the next generation of these wings, since she wants to wear them at the Midwest Media con in the spring. Give me strength!

ChemistKen


Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday Links -- Volume 51

Friday couldn't come quickly enough for me this week.  I've spent almost every night this October helping my kids work on their Halloween costumes.  My son is dressing up as Scout from Team Fortress 2, and that required building lots of props using EVA foam.  My daughter is dressing up as an Enderdragon from Minecraft, so I've been building a pair of 3 foot long folding, reticulated wings to give the appropriate effect.  I'd post pictures, but as of this morning, the wings still aren't quite finished.  (Although I hope my wife finishes them before I get home from work.  Oh please, please.)

And to top it all off, I'm suffering through a major head cold which leaves me thinking about how comfortable my bed is all the time.  Halloween is my favorite time of the year and usually I'm disappointed when it passes, but this year I can't wait for it to be over so I can drop into bed and stay there for an obscene length of time.

Anyway, here are the links.
Have a great Halloween weekend and use the extra hour of sleep  wisely.

BTW, Crystal Collier's book, Moonless, is free today.  Snag it if you haven't already.

ChemistKen


7 Tips for Staying Safe on Twitter — Guest: Marcy Kennedy

Using Layers to Pre-Write Your Scenes

Media Kits - Easy as 1.2.3.

The March of the Adjectives

15 ways to promote your book with a book trailer

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Soulless Book Tour

Six years ago, when I first began my journey into the world of writing, I didn't know what I was getting myself into.  During that time, I've experienced many ups and downs, but one of the things I've always enjoyed is making friends with other writers. 

One of those writers is Crystal Collier.

Earlier this year, she released Moonless, the first book in her Maiden of Time series.  Today I’m honored to be a part of the blog tour for her second book in the series, Soulless.

Enough of my blathering.  On to the important stuff! 

BTW, you can still snag a free copy of Moonless!  See details below.

******************************************


Title: SOULLESS
Series: Maiden of Time
Author: Crystal Collier
Pages: 263
Pub Date: October 13, 2014
Publisher: Raybourne Publishing
ISBN: 9781629830032

The Soulless are coming.

Alexia manipulated time to save the man of her dreams, and lost her best friend to red-eyed wraiths. Still grieving, she struggles to reconcile her loss with what was gained: her impending marriage. But when her wedding is destroyed by the Soulless—who then steal the only protection her people have—she’s forced to unleash her true power.

And risk losing everything.


BUY


What reviewers are saying:

"5 Stars." - Invincible Love of Reading Book Blog

"I LOVED it! So good. Seriously...exceeded my expectations." -Kristin Smith, advanced reviewer

"Entirely unique and chilling." Gabby @ What’s Beyond Forks

"Unputdownable." T.C. Mckee, BookFish Books

Excerpt:

Kiren sprinted faster, glancing up. The hollow loomed just ahead. Wind whipped in his ears, the rich scent of grain masking his own perspiration. Hisses whispered through the frosted breeze, nearing.

Searing heat raked across his back. He whirled and slammed a fist into the creature’s jaw. It flew off to the side.

He kept moving and reached back to examine the flesh, still intact, but his jacket was shorn. Midnight writhed toward him from all directions. His heart sank.

Reaching down, he found a dead tree branch and hefted it. If they wanted to take him, they were going to see a fight like they’d never known!

He turned at the crunch of stalks, swinging the branch upward. It rammed a creature’s chin and threw it back into a mass of blackness. Creatures toppled like wooden dolls.

Kiren lumbered past them, toward the pitiful copse of trees. Twenty feet more.

The enemy circled in, cutting him off. He bit down. His muscles tightened. His knuckles popped.

He swung!

Two bodies thudded to the ground. Weight slammed into the back of his legs. His knees crunched into the earth. Pain shot up his legs. He couldn’t move, weighed down by multiple enemies. He flailed around, swinging blindly. The wood connected again and again, but he couldn’t free his legs. The branch was yanked out of his grasp, raking a trail of splinters across his palm.

Bodies crashed down.

Blackness consumed the world.

Giveaway:

Get your free copy of book 1, MOONLESS, October 13, 20, 27, 31 or Nov 7.

Author Bio:

Crystal Collier is a young adult author who pens dark fantasy, historical, and romance hybrids. She can be found practicing her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, four littles, and “friend” (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese. 

You can find her on her Blog, Facebook, Goodreads, or follow her on Twitter.



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