My Writing Process–Blog Tour #2

I was tagged by author D. R. Johnson to take part in the Writing Process Blog Tour. Debra and I both wrote a short for the horror/paranormal anthology Off the Beaten Path. Debra’s zombie series The Phoenix Curse is getting rave reviews, and the first title, After – Part One is currently free for the grab, if you want to give it a try.

Now, I’ll answer my 4 questions for the second time—I was tagged the first time a few months back:

1) What are you working on?

I am currently writing The Hidden Demon, the fourth title in The Immortals series. At the same time, I am waiting for my editor to send me back the third in the series, while I am preparing the ARC copy of the second. Meanwhile, I am marketing, marketing, marketing my existing titles. Little sleep and tons of espresso.

2) How does your work differ from others of its genre?

The Lost Centurion was compared to Gena Showalter’s paranormal novels, but I guess what makes my stories in The Immortals series different is the Roman setting. My flawed heroes live and fight in modern days Rome, and the city is as much a character as the immortals, vampires, and shifters populating it.

Love is Love Always3) Why do you write what you do?

I love writing about tormented love stories, and passions so pure they are everlasting. I like to dream with my eyes wide open.

4) How does your writing process work?

With The Immortals series, I have changed the way I write. I used to sit down and let the Muse inspire me. Now, I plan the story chapter by chapter, outlining everything from characters’ development to plot. It takes me days, if not weeks, to define the whole project, but when I’m done with the outline, I am able to write from 2k to 6k words a day.

My Writing Process–Blog Tour #2

The Priest is Permafree! Long Live The Priest!

576x768_thepriestSince yesterday, The Priest is available on Smashwords for free. As I explained in previous posts, I am working on widening my readership, and it seems that having a series of three or more books begs for a permafree. I am not sure what to expect exactly from this experiment, since The Ginecean Chronicles are a hard sell to begin with, but if I gain one more reader it would be worth it. At the moment, according to my Smashwords’s page stats, it seems that The Priest was downloaded 34 times. I’ll keep you posted, if anything noteworthy happens. Meanwhile, many happy readings to all of you, and have a fantastic week.

The Priest is Permafree! Long Live The Priest!

New Marketing Strategies for The Priest

My book was featured on BookGiftGuide.com

New month, new promotion strategy. As some of you know, the biggest obstacle an indie author meets in his/her journey regards visibility. Unless your book has received a certain amount of reviews collectively over four stars, the chances you can promote said book anywhere are slim. Among my three full length novels, The Priest is the only one I can push throughout the various sites that offer promotional services. It takes so much effort to raise your numbers that sometimes it feels like climbing uphill both ways. But, rest assured, I shall climb those suckers.

This coming holidays, The Priest is one of the books promoted in the science fiction section on Book Gift Guide. It is matched with The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. I liked the idea behind this promotion, and the page stays on for the entire length of the holidays. Also, the price for a science fiction spot was the cheapest. Sometimes, it pays to be the lepers of the literature genres.

Tomorrow, The Priest will be featured on two different sites: The Fussy Librarian, and Read Cheaply. They are both mailing list based services Badge Read CheaplyI contacted a few months ago. By coincidence, they have given me the same date. I haven’t used them yet, but so far the communication has been great with both. Big bonus, both sites accepted my book for free.

On Tuesday, The Priest will be featured on Kindle Books and Tips in the spotlight section. This would be the third time I use this blog/mailing list’s services. In the past, I sold almost two hundred copies at 99 cents in two different promotions with them and repaid the cost of the add. For the spotlight add, I have discounted The Priest from $4.99 to $2.99.

After much consideration, and having sold three copies of Linda of the Night thanks to the Kindle Countdown Deals, I have removed Pax in the Land of Women from the program, but kept I Fantastici Viaggi del Principe, the Italian version of The Prince’s Day Out, enrolled. Since it is free add, I want to give the Amazon program one last chance.

New Marketing Strategies for The Priest

Blurb Time for Gaia

Girasoli

I was going to call this post a Friday Snippet, but then I reconsidered and decided to be honest about the content of today’s blogging endeavor. Gaia is ready for proofreading and I am having abandonment issues. Plus, I had to write Gaia’s blurb, which for an author is the equivalent of giving birth without epidural, a long and painful affair. After several hours of deep cogitation, this is what I could manage. I expect to work on it some more, but that is always the case with anything I do.

Gaia & Elios

While vacationing in Greece, Gaia locks eyes with a stranger, twice. Two years later, back in Rome, she should be enjoying college life, instead, the memories of his lapis lazuli eyes and Mona Lisa smile still haunt her. Gaia longs to meet him again and unwittingly sabotage her romantic life by refusing to move on. Only her anthropological studies about the mysterious Etruscans make her feel alive. A chance to breathe new air is presented to her when she wins full scholarship to study abroad at the University of Washington. In rainy Seattle, Gaia finally meets the man of her dreams, but he proves to be… otherworldly. Meanwhile, in her field of studies, what starts as an interesting archeological finding about a six-fingered human image, soon evolves in the discovery of the millennium, but not where Earth is concerned.

Blurb Time for Gaia

Science Fiction is the pariah among literary genres

Science Fiction Authors Do It BetterI have subscribed to several mailing lists to receive book deals. I only read a few genres and I like to receive offers regarding only those specific genres. One of the mailing lists I subscribed to is called Bookbub which is famous among indie authors because it has become the next gatekeeper. Bookbub is a finicky creature. It accepts books with four reviews, half of them attesting the book isn’t worth your time even if it’s free, and rejects books with thirty reviews and impeccable ratings. As a full disclosure, I was rejected by Bookbub thrice, but I can live with that. The person in charge of the new version of the publishing slush pile has decided in three different occasions my book isn’t Bookbub material. My series isn’t for everybody and I can understand an established marketing colossus doesn’t want to risk its name with a controversial title. Said so, I know I am not the only one submitting science fiction works to Bookbub, and yet I seldom see scifi titles in my daily mail. Why, I wonder? And so, I asked:

Hi, as a reader, I signed to receive deals in a few genres, among them science fiction. I understand that the largest amount of your subscribers want different genres, but days go by before I see a science fiction title among your offers. I believe that there must be dozens if not hundreds of science fiction books submitted to you every day. I find hard to believe that you can’t find a slot for at least one of them in your daily mail. I am very picky in my reading habits and only buy specific genres, science fiction being my favorite. Also, I only read historical romance, not contemporary. Since you have the two categories together, I had to change my preferences and remove romance altogether. Thank you,
Monica La Porta

Bookbub asnwered not even half an hour later:

Thanks for emailing BookBub. The selection varies from day to day depending on what publishers and authors make available, but we’re constantly expanding our selection, so stay tuned!
Please let us know if we can be of further help, and thanks again for using BookBub.
Best regards,
BookBub Support

Well, shame on you science fiction authors, start making your titles available. Must say, Bookbub does answer rather promptly, though. Now, if they could separate historical romance from the rest of romances they would make me happy.

*And no, I didn’t send them my picture.

Science Fiction is the pariah among literary genres

Julia Hughes

The Griffin Cryer web useToday, I have a special guest on my blog, author Julia Hughes. She just released a YA fantasy novel, The Griffin Cryer, which I recently read and highly recommend. One of the many five stars reviews this novel has already received says: Among the vast sea of titles labeled for young adult readers, The Griffin Cryer is a gem worth discovering. Julia Hughes’s novel is a fresh take on griffins’ folklore, and her fifteen years old heroine, redhead Frankie Shaunessy, is fierce and full of life. The story flawlessly intertwines the expected drama of a teenager in high school with the unexpected factor of parallel universes temporarily opening into ours. By calling her dog, Frankie accidentally summons a griffin and his Rider. What happens next is a ride full of action that will make you laugh and cry along the way. I couldn’t put the book down. For young adults and adults young at heart.”

Now, let’s read Julia’s answers to my eight questions.

When you were a kid you wanted to be…?

An Explorer! I wanted to find lost pyramids, discover the resting place of the Titanic, and be the first woman on the moon.

The first book you read was…?

I’m pretty certain my first ‘read alone’ was “One Rainy Night” written and illustrated by Pelagie Doane. It’s about a little girl who couldn’t resist the gentle patter of rain falling, and slipped out of her bedroom in her nightgown to explore the dark and rainy night.

 

You discovered you were quite good at writing when…?

My English teacher kept embarrassing me by reading out my work to the class. It wasn’t until recently that I had time to write a full blown novel, then I discovered just how much I still had to learn!

As a reader, your favorite genre is…?

In fiction: Thrillers – I’m also a proud beta reader for Stephen Spencer, an indie writer whose Paul Mallory Adventures are in my opinion amongst the best. Non fiction: I’m currently reading Bill Bryson’s “A Short History of Nearly Everything.”

No, really, what’s that title you’re hiding in your kindle…?

LOL my last kindle read was “Linda of the Night” an excellent fairy tale, and I’m not hiding anything!

 

You write…?

With more passion than expertise – There are three Celtic Cousins’ Adventures – “A Raucous Time“; “A Ripple in Time” (check out the beautiful artwork on this one’s cover!) and “An Explosive Time“. “The Bridle Path” is my romance, I was enormously pleased when someone commented it read like an old fashioned Mills & Boon but with an edge!

Finally, “The Griffin Cryer” is my latest title, written for the YA audience, but suitable for anyone who’s ever dreamed of riding on the back of a griffin.

The praise about your writing you like the most is…?

Any! Seriously, I cherish each and every positive review – from the one liners “enjoyed this book!” to the most amazing readers who really make a connection and want to express more fully what they took from the story.

What’s next…?

“The Griffin Cryer” is to be published as a paperback, and should be available at all good bookshops, as well as your favourite online stores round about the 20th March. To celebrate, a free promotional run of “The Griffin Cryer” in ebook format is planned for 26th – 30th March. I hope your readers will grab a copy for their kindles – there’s also a free contest to win a signed paperback copy of “The Griffin Cryer” and entry couldn’t be simpler. Anyone leaving a comment on this post at your site will be entered automatically, or your readers can enter by ‘liking’ and leaving a comment on the Griffin Riders’ facebook page. Tweeters can follow and retweet Griffin Riders on Twitter for extra entries. In addition to the first prize, there’s also runners’ up prizes up for grabs – including all three “Celtic Cousins’ Adventures” in ebook format, and some very special prizes donated by the griffins of Ella-Earth.

Julia’s website: Julia Hughes

Tweet to @Tinksaid

The Griffin Cryer” is free from 26th March – 30th March – why not download a sample on your kindle now so you’re ready to roll with Frankie and friends!

Julia Hughes

Behind the fictitious world of Ginecea, the real Earth

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Several decades ago, there was this girl who hoped she was a boy. Not because she didn’t like being a girl, but because she had been taught boys could do everything they wanted in life. It deeply angered her, but she didn’t think she could do anything about it. And so she grew, ugly duckling she was, with a black and white sense of right and wrong. She couldn’t stomach the injustices dealt on daily basis on the weaker links. She knew first hand.

The girl became a woman and had kids, a girl and a boy. She raised them to believe they could reach the moon and beyond if they wanted. Then, one day, she woke from a long, fuzzy dream and realized she could too travel to the end of the universe and back if she only dared. So she started writing. The first attempts were laudable, but lacked in fire. She needed to dig inside her soul to find the spark to ignite others’ minds. The answer was there, before her eyes. Kids were being bullied nowadays not because of belonging to the wrong, lesser gender, but because their affections were seen as sinful. Kids her children’s age lost the will to live in a society that wouldn’t accept them. Some of her dormant anger woke. She knew that society rules change and what is accepted now wasn’t a century ago.

What if, she thought, our world had evolved in a different way?

While listening to a woman standup comedian talking about the imminent demise of men due to the possibility of cloning oneself, several questions formed in her mind. What if our Earth was ruled by a matriarchal society? What if heterosexual love was considered a perversion? Who decides what’s right and wrong then? What happens to life as we know it?

Ginecea, the land of the women, was born that day. And with it the people inhabiting it with their hopes and dreams, strengths and flaws. Mauricio, the slave, and Rosie, the President’s daughter. Pax, the young, wealthy socialite, and Prince, a man who despite his name can’t decide of his own life. Couples who met by mistake and couldn’t help to fall in love. Men and women who have to fight to obtain the most basic right: the freedom to live their lives. But society is a behemoth whose power is gained and maintained by herding people, making them believe there is only one way to live. You are either in or out.

Thankfully, there’s always someone who thinks fighting for human rights is important. Or so the girl who turned to be a woman who went on writing believes. Even when the wrongs are made up.

Behind the fictitious world of Ginecea, the real Earth