Book 2, Baby!

And just like that, the fundraiser is live! 30 days to raise the funds to publish my sequel.

As much as publishing Mornnovin was the culmination of a lifelong dream, I’m even more excited to bring Trajelon out into the world. This book is… very personal to me, and I feel like it genuinely adds something to the literary conversation. I just…

Yeah, okay, I’m in danger of waxing rhapsodic about my own damn book. But I mean. I wrote this thing and I’m intensely proud of it and now it’s time for me to give it to you.

So can you help me out with that?

Trajelon: The Way of the Falling Star Book 2 on Kickstarter

Patreon – Patreoff

Well, it’ll be three months on Tuesday since the official release of my debut novel, Mornnovin. I’ll admit to slacking off on the business side of things once I got all of my Kickstarter backers taken care of, but wow the whole thing was a lot of work. I’m a writer, not an entire publishing house including a marketing branch (except as an indie self-pub, that’s exactly what I have to be. Ugh.)

So, I said I’d look into setting up a Patreon creator account so that people who want to support my writing going forward into this series would have a way to do that with their money and not just with nice words of encouragement – which are also welcome. It was my nebulous thought that I’d begin releasing some of the Asrellion short stories I wrote as my 2015 NaNoWriMo novel this way. Buuuuuuuuut. When I decided to finally get serious and deep-dive into the Patreon ToS, I tripped over this:

Patreon tos

…yikes?

I’m no lawyer, but that looks like a bad contract to me. I certainly don’t have a good feeling about it. Like, I’m honestly sort of confused about how it is that they actually have creators willing to sign that…? They go on to explain that this is so they can market your work to potential patrons, but the language of the agreement is so broad. And I just can’t get past the “irrevocable” thing.

Unless that clause changes and becomes less yucky at some point in the future, Patreon is going to have to remain a big nope for me.

Which leaves me back at Square One on the question of monetization and how best to let people purchase my short stories/support me as an artist. I could add a PayPal button to this blog and release the hostages as password-protected posts – an inelegant but workable solution – but the cost of upgrading the blog to the minimum package necessary for that would mean an additional $60 a year, which could very well negate any payments that might come in.

In other words, I’m not sure at this time what to do. Needs more thought. Patreon off the table, other suggestions welcome.

And hey, while you’re here: you could buy my book (or review it if you already have?)

To close out on a high note, here’s a photo of my husky wearing my husband’s glasses.

Professor Snuggleface

MORNNOVIN is live today!!!

And it has been a veeeeeeeeeeery busy day, so for the moment I’m going to have to skip the dancing and champagne. Right now I just want to leave you with a HOORAY! and an OMG! and a couple links in case anyone wants to snag themselves a copy.

If you’re wanting to buy the book from as close to the source as possible, (and in so doing, put the most profit into the author’s pocket,) then that would be Aerio, which is the storefront arm of the IngramSpark publishing machine.

If you prefer to obtain your books through more conventional channels, Mornnovin is also available at every one of these retailers:

online retailers

Including, obviously, many people’s mostleast favorite source, Amazon.

I’m actually ready to pass out onto my pillow right now, but I still have to iron out some jackassery with the eBook download for my international Kickstarter backers. So.

Please carry on the OMG HOORAY!-ing in my stead.

(Holy shit, I’m a published author.)

Look what came in the post today!

We are six days to launch and I was expecting the first shipment of my books for distribution to my Kickstarter backers this morning. They still hadn’t come by the time I had to leave for my day job (dog walking), so I left a note for UPS and hoped for the best.

Naturally, when I got the delivery ping as I was driving between jobs, I had to do the whole steering wheel-throwing, tire-screeching course change and stop home to check.

And. Well.

author selfie

Please ignore my grungy dog-walking look. Dogs don’t need me to look fancy.

There are now dozens of books with my name on them sitting in my living room, and they look gorgeous, and I am so excited to share them with you.

 

Official-ish MORNNOVIN stuff and juggling all the balls

Confession time, internet: I’m a writer.

That is to say, what I am is a writer not a typesetter, a publisher, a business manager, a publicist, a social media coordinator, or any of the numerous roles I’ve taken on in order to get Mornnovin published and out in circulation. I absolutely respect the work that publishing houses do in order to fill the world with books. I’m just a storyteller, a painter-with-words.

In short, I really don’t know what I’m doing.

AND YET. Somehow, despite my ineptitude, physical copies of my book are being printed as we speak and will shortly be on their way to me, and I think they look pretty damn good. I’ve completed all but one last reward for my Kickstarter backers (and that one is only still incomplete because I was working on it and it broke and I had to start over.) I’ve set up my author profile on Goodreads. I’ve done the necessary official business with the copyright and my publishing imprint. I’ve set up an ad for the book in the upcoming Ingram Advance catalog that bookstores and libraries do their ordering from. I’ve already made contact with my local library about scheduling an author event. I’ve set up global distribution for the eBook through the following (rather extensive) selection of online retailers:

online retailers

The paperback book release is currently set for April 9th — just in time to be the best birthday present I’ve ever had. I was pretty damn excited when I checked on a couple of those sites to see if they’ve already gotten the listing memo and I saw this:

B&N listing

Apparently they have it on a special sale for some reason, so maybe jump on that.

So… this is happening. I’m publishing a book.

But because I’m just a writer and all of those other things are way, way out of my wheelhouse, I’ve been so consumed by the one primary task of making the physical book (and the eBook) happen that it has only just now entered my sphere of awareness just how profoundly I’ve neglected to do any of the sort of pre-launch publicity I ought to have been doing. Like. To the point where I don’t even know what pre-launch publicity I would even do. I just haven’t had the focus to spare for any thoughts of what would happen once I’d made the book become real.

Hey, I’m just a fantasy author, okay?

Holy shit, I’m an author!

I guess I’d better wander off and try to figure out how to promote this book in the little time I have left.

But not without a final squee.

*endless screaming*

The proof copy of Mornnovin was supposed to arrive today, so I was pretty excited as I checked the mail. In fact I opened the door, looked down, saw a package, and literally squeaked.

Let’s get this bad boy inside!

IMG_20190319_094246 privacy

Well that does look pretty book-shaped. Let’s see what–

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OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!!!!!

IMG_20190319_103751

*screaming*

IMG_20190319_095107IMG_20190319_095925

THIS IS MY BOOK. WHAT THE FUCK‽‽‽

So yeah. Um.

I made a book and I am not calm about it. You must excuse me while I go hyperventilate.

Friday morning thoughts

I knew before I started running this fundraising campaign that this is well outside my wheelhouse and I’d be groaning about existence before it was over. I’ve got 13 days to go and let’s just say I have mixed feelings about that.

Want to know what’s great? Being only $1514 away from your $4000 goal.

Want to know what’s really stressful? Still being $1514 away from your $4000 goal.

You know what, though? I really feel like this is going to happen. $1514 may be a lot of money, especially at Christmas, but it’s not an impossible amount. Just look what all those frightened xenophobes have managed to raise in order to keep the poor and the needy at arm’s length at the holiday season. (Imagine what they could have done to care for those poor souls with that same amount of money. But I digress.) There’s another $1514 out there somewhere for a hopeful, starry-eyed writer just trying to get her words out into the world. I have to believe that.

I might be feeling a bit maudlin today because of the grey weather, an immune system that’s struggling to fend off the crud my husband brought home from work, a puppy who has an upset stomach, the adrenaline crash of being done with all of my Christmas preparations, and the inevitable feelings of inertia you get when you receive word that something (in this case the arrival of a client) you were all geared up for is going to come later than expected. Tomorrow it’s fun goofing off and holiday parties and another update to the Kickstarter, but for right now I’m taking a moment to say, candidly, “Oof.”

And hey, you could help me shave that $1514 down a bit, eh?

MORNNOVIN: The Way of the Falling Star Book 1

A new friend, and an exciting offer.

As we near the halfway point, both in the campaign and in funds raised, I’d like to introduce you to another one of the characters you’ll find in MORNNOVIN.

I’ve chosen this particular introduction as a shout-out and thank you to Natasha Gonzales, who is not only a great friend but has also been one of the biggest supporters of my writing over the years. If you are of the fandom persuasion, it might interest/excite you to know that Tasha has offered to write custom Asrellion fanfiction for anyone who can show a receipt that they’ve backed this fundraiser.

This, friends, is Víelle Sívéo.

Gina Carano as Vielle 2

Gina Carano appearing as the author’s facecast

In Evlédíen, the elves’ hidden new home, the Royal Guard is no longer the almost ceremonial entity it used to be in more innocent times. Its members are respected even as the need for their work is a constant reminder that those innocent times are gone forever.

Guard member Víelle (pronounced vee-yell) is all too aware of the grim reality of the world her people now live in and she is committed to keeping them safe by any means necessary. Even if, say, those means are not strictly legal.

She’s into swords, leather, duty, music, deadpan humor, her wife, and doing her own personal best at whatever she tries to do.

You’re welcome, Tasha, and thank you!

Making the Dream

A(n actual, in person) friend of mine, Jamie Wyman, realized The Dream late last year: she published her first novel.

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I love it when things like this happen to people I know.  Not that everything is all about me, but it makes the possibility of realizing The Dream myself feel about 1000% more real.  Of course, I just love good things happening to people who deserve them.  And she deserves it.  Jamie is smart, kind, hilarious, and dedicated.

Because she loves what she does, Jamie has already finished the primary writing on the sequel to Wild Card.  And because she is taking control of her career and her future and shaping them into the reality she chooses, she will be publishing Unveiled her own damn self.  Get it, Jamie!

The reason I’m talking about it here, other than the fact that she is awesome and I like talking about my friends’ accomplishments, is because her Kickstarter campaign had a stellar launch but has since hit a plateau. Anything I can do to help get the word out, well.  Here’s me doing it.  If you love urban fantasy, trickster gods, technomancy, dry humor, a-hole satyrs, sharp-witted redheads, stories set in Vegas, or any combination thereof, you’ll be doing yourself a favor if you check out Wild Card.  And if you love it, or if you just love the idea of supporting art and new authors, please consider supporting the Kickstarter campaign to get the sequel into the hands of readers.

We can do this!

achievement unlocked: book love spReAd

Saturday ended up being a bit crazy, so I wasn’t able to make my book donation until today. When I told the spawn where I was going and why, he wanted to come along and make a donation of his own. On the way, we talked about what book he planned to share. His immediate, emphatic answer was Ender’s Game. All discussions about the very disappointing movie aside, he explained that it was the first book that went into him as more than words. I know just what he means.

At the book store, I was suddenly faced with an unexpected dilemma:

Holy cheese! Which one do I choose?

Holy cheese! Which one do I choose?

So many editions! Too many choices! I was at it for a while, but I eventually settled on a winner.

with Tolkien's original illustrations

With Tolkien’s original illustrations.

Although this one was a major temptation and made me think right away of Obscura and Servetus both.

You can breathe easy tonight, kids.

You can breathe easy tonight, kids.

While I was taking a year and a day flipping through all of the editions, weighing the merits of each, trying to make the difficult decision, I was approached by a very friendly couple who asked me excitedly if I was a big sci-fi/ fantasy fan, because they loved reading so much and just didn’t come across enough women readers of the genres. We had an enthusiastic conversation about books, and reading, and books on Kindle, and books as movies, and books for young readers. I told them what I was doing and got their joyful thumbs-up. At the end, the woman asked for my name so she could look for my books when I’m published. I gave her my card (and my inner five-year-old gigglesnorts every time I do that. So author. Such grownup. Wow.)

But then it was time to make our donations. The spawn found the edition he wanted (don’t mind the teenager face):

He flatly refused to donate any edition with the movie poster cover. Can't say I disagree.

He flatly refused to donate any edition with the movie poster cover. Can’t say I disagree.

Because apparently my local library has weirdly severe and restrictive donation policies, I elected to make our donation at Half Price Books. It was a good choice. They are proudly, prominently displaying their project.

Right at the front of the store.

Right at the front of the store.

 

So excited for some child to read you!

So excited for some child to read you!

Godspeed, beloved words! May you find your home in a willing heart!

SpReAd The Love Book Challenge: a Book-lover’s Dilemma

I know this is literally the last minute and I meant to do it earlier, and it’s technically no longer the 7th for me, but there are still a few minutes before midnight on the West Coast, so let’s hope this counts.

Like others who have done this challenge, I didn’t think I would be able to participate because I could not even begin to choose one book from among the dizzying quantity I read and loved as a child.  I was (am) a reader.  I was the kid whose poor mother was popping in at three in the morning to find her child with the light still on, reading instead of sleeping on a school night.  Pick just one book?  How?

There’s the first book I can remember having read to me, The Hobbit.  I’ve already talked at length about the way this experience is what kindled the love of story in me and made me want to become a writer.  It was the world-building; the way the characters leapt off the page; the knowing that I was experiencing, in a very real and solid way, something that had come out of someone else’s mind and that I could create that experience for someone else.  The power of words to build bridges across the gulfs between people that are almost more real than people themselves.

There’s the first book I ever read all by myself, Green Eggs and Ham.  I distinctly remember the experience: I was at my grandparents’ house, where I spent every weekend, in the rocking chair with my grandma.  She had been sitting with me all afternoon, helping me struggle my way through the book, which I was determined to conquer before my mom came to pick me up.  Ironically, I didn’t want to read the book in the first place because I was convinced it would be stupid and little-kiddish and that I wouldn’t like it.  (Talk about instantly-applicable lesson learned.)  But I did it, I finally did it, and in my moment of triumph I followed up by immediately also reading The Berenstain Bears: The Bears’ Picnic.  I was so proud I read them both over and over again, savoring this new skill (which I had been driving myself hard to acquire for the express purpose of being able to read The Hobbit on my own.)

There’s the first “real” book I tackled, after I had a solid handle on the little kid stuff: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.  I don’t remember exactly how old I was when I first read it, but I know it was at least before (or by the time) I was in first grade.  (My brother taught me to read at the same time that he was learning, which would have been when he was four/five and in pre-school, making me two-and-a-half or three-ish.  By the time I was six, I was such a fluent reader that my teacher would occasionally have me do the after-recess reading to the class if she had grading she needed to catch up on.)

There’s the first book that became my Favorite and stayed that way for years and years, which was The Silmarillion in fifth grade.

There’s the first book I remember really seeing myself in, really identifying with the protagonist in a way that made me feel I myself could be a character in the proceedings: The Dark is Rising.  Or the first book that made me cry: Ender’s Game.  The first book that made me love a character I hated at first, and accordingly made me begin to understand character arc: Taran Wanderer.  The first book that stripped bare my understanding of storytelling technique and made me think of writing in an entirely new way: Tigana.  The first book I finished reading even though I hated the beginning: Taliesin.  The first book I loved passionately despite hating its predecessor and might not ever have discovered if I hadn’t had the tenacity to stick with it: Merlin.  The first book that showed me how words could reveal the beauty in darkness: The Stone of Farewell.

Or, in a different vein, there’s the first book the spawn fell in love with having read to him, Oh My Oh My Oh DINOSAURS!  Over and over again.  Because dinosaurs.

I still remember when I finally felt he was old enough to have the patience and long-term recall for me to read him a chapter book over several nights, and I shared The Hobbit as it had been shared with me.  I remember having to keep my excitement and anticipation under control as I got to my favorite parts and hopehopehoped that he would love them as much as I had.  I remember developing a newfound appreciation for my mother – the dedication and skill she must have put into all of the very dramatic and engaging readings she did for us over the years, the love of books and reading and story she must harbor herself, the desperate need to inspire that love in her children, that she must have been playing down with the same kind of struggle I was experiencing.  I remember feeling closer to her, and to my son when I saw the joy of story kindling in his young face.

Basically, I just love books.  I love reading them, I love writing them, I love sharing them, I love talking about them, I love looking at them to see what makes them tick.  I love it when other people read them.  I love seeing other people discover their love of story for the first time.

Books, man.  Books.

So, even though I struggle with activities like this that require me to feel like I’m part of a community, I knew this would be the one I’d have to participate in if I ever participated in anything.

It’s a kind of agony to have to choose just one to donate, but it’s going to have to be The Hobbit.  Because when all is said and done, that’s the one that made the deepest mark.  I am the adult I am basically because of that book.  My local library will be receiving a copy tomorrow.