Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sample Sunday

I've never taken part before but I'll chime in this week with the first chapter of Wings of Evil:

Chapter One

Ostono: Stonecross

Liada hummed as she turned the corner onto Lansee Road towards home. The betrothal party had been fun. There had been baskets of sweets. She and her friends had danced and laughed. There had even been punch with a hint of wine in it. This was the first of the friends her own age to get betrothed. Liada wondered who would be next.

"See you later, Liada," Zeph called to her from in front of his house.

She looked over her shoulder and waved to him. "Oof!" she gasped and bounced off a man's pot-belly.

"Watch out," the man snapped. "Best go another way. Priests are after someone down there."

She pushed past him. It couldn't be at the inn. That was still four blocks away. Besides, the priests wouldn't be after anyone there.

In the middle of the next block, three priests stood in front of a dirty-gray wood shingled house, their red robes covered by a white surcoat with a red cross on the breast.

Liada edged closer to the small crowd of people gathered on the corner. A woman grasped her arm. "Stay back. They have a Quag with them."

"Merchant Dmitar, the Priests of Roganista demand you open the door," the tall, thin priest shouted, his robe with the silver trim of a senior. "You have been accused of plotting with the First Ones against the people of Ostono."

"I've never even seen a First One." The voice from behind the door quaked. "Merchant Kristis wants my business, so he tells lies about me. What proof did he give?"

"He said your wife knows. She will give us proof."

"She is here. Ask her."

"We will question her at the temple where you will not be able to coerce her."


"Alazizfaysal!" The silver-robed priest shouted, and a foot-long Quag became visible, floating above his head. "The door, Alaziz."

Fire shot from the ugly flying creature and engulfed the door. The Quag, covered with brown mottled scales, was no bigger than a large crow. A second blast of power tore the door from its frame and it flew into the house.

The two junior priests ran into the house. There was a crash and shouting.

Liada pressed her hand to her mouth. She'd heard stories about what the priests did to people who aided First Ones, but she'd never seen it before.

A priest dragged a woman out the door and shoved her face first into the dirt. Another priest yanked a man by a chain looped around his neck. Another yank of the chain made him fall onto his knees. He pulled desperately at the chain, his clothes torn and singed.

"Tell us, woman, how many First Ones is your husband helping? Who else is helping them?"

"None. No one!"

"Alaziz." The Quag zipped into the house. A second later, flames crackled around the doorway. The roof began to smoke and then the whole house burst into flames. The Quag whizzed back out and hovered above the senior priest's head.

The priest turned to the crowd. He raised his arms above his head for silence. "Alaziz found a First One and killed it." He motioned to the younger priests. "Take them to the temple. They will tell us where the rest are and what destruction they are planning against the people of Ostono." He turned back to the crowd. "Today, we have saved you from the First Ones, as is our sacred duty."

The woman who had grabbed Liada's arm snorted. "They may have saved us, but you can be sure we'll never see poor Dmitar alive again."

Heart thudding, Liada watched until the priests had dragged their prisoners around the far corner. Then she ran for the Hideaway Inn and home. She burst through the door and hurried into the Tavern. "Pa!"

He put a foaming tankard of ale in front of a customer and smiled at her. "What's all the excitement?"

He wouldn't be happy to frighten the customers so she went close and told him in a low voice what had happened. His brows drew together in a worried look, and he put an arm around her shoulder to hug her. "Thank Goddess Anu, you're all right."

* * *

Liada carefully placed a basket of eggs on the wooden table. Perhaps her mother wouldn't notice that she was late with her chores this morning. She had been sleepy after last night's party and then she had spent more time than she should making up a story about a strange land with flying sea dragons than gathering eggs to be used for the inn's cooking.

Her mother looked up from kneading the huge lump of dough. Flour covered her white dress, arms, and face. The white cap she always wore while cooking saved her hair. Her figure was round but solid. She booked no nonsense from anyone and could stare down the toughest men. "Liada, hurry. You're late. Get into the garden and finish your chores."

Liada hurried out. She knelt between the rows of vegetables pulling weeds and gathering carrots and onions, putting them in separate buckets. Her story needed an evil wizard to be the dragon's enemy. The weeds would eventually rot to become fertilizer for the garden. And her mother would use the vegetables to make today's meals for the inn's customers.

Humming as she worked, near the end of the garden beside the pine woods, she spotted a green spiky-leafed weed with a large yellow and red flower, petals spread like the fingers of a hand. She sat back on her heels admiring the flower, not wanting to pull it, and lowered her face to capture its scent. The flower smelled faintly like lilies.

A bug lay nestled in the flower asleep. She laughed. Liada didn't really like bugs, mainly because her pest of a little brother Tybes did, but this bug was different. It looked like a beautiful dragonfly with delicate wings but without the big eyes. The wings had a lavender tint and the tiny body seemed to have arms and legs.

Liada leaned closer. It looked like a tiny girl no more than six inches high with silver hair flowing around her shoulders. Liada sat stunned. After several minutes staring, she realized it hadn't moved. Was it…she dead? Liada gently eased her hand under the tiny creature to pick it up. It was warm but limp and didn't react to her touch. She took the cap she wore when cooking out of her pocket and wrapped the creature in it. Then she carried it gently to the barn where their two cows and twenty chickens lived. Early each morning, Liada milked the cows and gathered eggs as part of her chores.

Carefully, she set the creature down in a pile of hay. What is it?. But whatever it was, she should keep it secret.

Magic was banned in all three empires. Being caught with one of the magical First Ones meant a dungeon cell for the rest of your life. The priests of Roganista along with their Quag enforced the law. She'd seen the proof of that yesterday. She didn't think this could be a First One, but whatever it was, she would be in trouble if anyone knew about it.

What now? How can I help it? Perhaps she could feed it. That might help. Pulling a hair from her head, she dipped it into a bucket that still had a few drops of milk at the bottom. She touched it to the creature’s mouth. She couldn't be sure, but she hoped some made it in. She tried several more times then quit afraid she might overdo it. Carefully folding the creature's wings, she wrapped it in a clean cloth, added some chicken feathers, and tucked it inside her dress to warm it.

"Please Goddess Anu, don't let it die. Let it live to fly free," she prayed. Liada rarely prayed. Her prayers never seemed to be answered, but it couldn't hurt. Maybe the goddess of healing would have mercy on the little…creature.

"Liada, where are you with those vegetables?" her mother shouted from the kitchen door of the inn. "Bring them in here and help me with the cooking."


"Liada, how is the stew coming?" Liada's mother asked, smiling with approval.

"It’s been cooking for an hour. It looks fine, Ma."

"Do you think our customers might like the taste?" The smile disappeared but her lip twitched anyway.

"Yes. I followed Aunt Shara's recipe." Liada raised the small parchment covered with her aunt’s wispy handwriting. She liked learning to cook, but it could be boring especially when all she did was follow a recipe. I’d rather see new places, meet interesting people, and discover strange creatures. She made sure her restlessness didn't show on her face.

"You need to test it. Anyone can follow a recipe. That doesn't mean it will be the same. The meat, potatoes, onions, carrots, and herbs, will be different. Even the water can change the taste." Her mother dipped a spoon into the stews and sipped it. "Here, try it."

Liada sipped the broth. "It's bland," she said uncertainly.

"Yes, it is. It needs a pinch or two of salt, a pinch of peppercorns, a little more garlic, and maybe thyme. But be careful with the garlic, not everyone likes it too strong." Her mother collected the ingredients and put them on the table next to Liada. "Now I want you to add these a pinch at a time. Keep tasting it until it tastes right to you."

"But, Ma—-" Seeing the stubborn set on her mother's mouth, she began adding, then testing. After several minutes, it tasted much better so she raised the spoon to her mother who took a sip.

"Very good. You have created your first Shara Stew. Cooking is about creating interesting and tasty meals. If you just copy recipes, you'll never be a good cook."

Liada nodded. She had enough of the kitchen and wanted to go—anywhere else.

"Now go help your brother with his sums and your sister with her reading."

Anywhere except to tutor her brother and sister. "Ma—-"

Her mother glared at her.

"Yes, Ma." Tybes and Kesti would be outside, probably in the little yard between the cottage they shared with their parents and the vegetable garden. The small cottage was attached to her parent's inn, the Hideaway. The cottage had five rooms, a family room with a large hearth, sturdy wooden table and chairs, a storage room, and three bedrooms. One for her parents, another for her brother Tybes, and a third she shared with her sister Kesti, who was the youngest. She couldn't win. If she had been a boy, she would have had to share with Tybes. She wasn't sure which would have been worse. Tybes was four years younger and seemed to like everything she hated: bugs of every kind, climbing and rough housing, and grubbing in the dirt. And Kesti just wanted to play with her dolls.

Since her mother and father insisted they all learn, Liada had to oversee their lessons. It wasn’t fair, but it would do no good to tell mother and father that. They just asked her who ever told her life was fair.

Sure enough, Tybes dangled by his legs up in the big oak tree next to the cottage. And Kesti muttered to herself as she played with her two rag dolls.

"Time for lessons," Liada said. "Get inside."

Kesti looked at her but her face got that mulish look that made her face look like ma's.

"Not going to," Tybes said and threw an acorn at her. A good thing for him it just bounced off her foot.

"If you make me come up, I’ll swat you a good one. I mean it." She did too. Why did he think she liked this any better than he did? She must have sounded as grumpy as she felt because he dropped to the ground. She ignored the way he stuck his tongue out at her as she grabbed Kesti by the hand and led them inside. Tybes whined to go outside to be with his friends and sulked through his lessons. Kesti had an endless supply of questions most of which involved a present for her name day next week.

After two hours, Liada was ready to scream. It felt like trying to turn mud into stew. She would be glad when they no longer needed lessons and were old enough to help her with the chores.

But maybe even by then, she would be gone. There had to be more to life than milking cows, gardening, and teaching Tybes his sums, if only she could figure out how to find it.

* * *

Liada woke early. The thunk thunk of her mother's big knife came from the kitchen, and her father grunted as he brought up a barrel of ale from the cellar. Kesti was still asleep. Liada dressed quietly and tiptoed out of their room. Tybes would stay in bed all day if no one rousted him. In the barn, she dipped more milk into the small creature's mouth and rewrapped it in fresh feathers. She wondered if it looked better or worse but couldn't tell. It still didn't move. Well, she had done what she could. She had fed it—she hoped—and kept it warm. She collected some eggs, milked the cow, and headed for the kitchen to help her ma.

* * *

That night she returned to the barn, safe from prying eyes. She fed the tiny creature and spent time examining it. Only dim light filtered in so she found it hard to make out what it looked like. It was a little longer than her hand and light as a feather. Its body appeared exactly like a tiny human.

She wished she could keep it but that wouldn’t be fair, like making it a slave and keeping it in chains. Besides, how would she keep it a secret? That night she stared for hours into the dark instead of going to sleep. Her mind ran wild with magic and exotic adventures with her strange creature.

Another five days passed. Liada fed it and kept it warm, determined to nurse it back to health. It remained warm so it must be alive even though it didn't move. On the sixth night as she returned from the kitchen, tiny lights danced around the garden blinking on and off. The bugs left trails of light as they whirled in circles and flew in darting patterns. A fiery cerebration performed just for her. She clapped even though they wouldn't understand or care. As she walked toward the barn, the lightening bugs followed. Just maybe they did appreciate an audience.

When she pushed the barn door open, the fireflies swarmed inside. Her heart jumped. The bugs couldn't hurt her, but bugs don’t follow people. They flew around the shed, past the cow, to the chickens, and at last to where the little creature lay. They circled it and two landed while three hovered nearby. The two that landed seemed to help the creature sit up. Liada backed against the rough wooden wall. What was going on? After a while, the bugs flew out of the shed and disappeared in the night.

The creature stretched and lay back down. Liada gasped and ran to look at it. It was awake! She wiped her cheeks dry. She hadn't realized she was crying with joy.

She wrapped it and gently tucked it into the hay. When she did, it shifted around snuggling deeper into the covering. It was the best moment of her life. In the dark of her bedroom, she lay awake most of the night. The light creatures had danced and flown—just for her!

The next several days whizzed bye. Liada could hardly keep her mind on her cooking lessons with her ma, chores, or lessons with Tybes and Kesti. Whenever she found a few minutes, she sneaked out to the barn to check on the creature. Wonderful days. Each night the bugs returned to dance and visit and the little creature seemed more active.

Finally one night, it stood and launched itself into the air. It swooped around the barn, returning to hover above Liada's shoulder. She felt a touch on her ear. It tickled.

"I'm a Sprite, one of the First Ones. My name is Talibaprimitivasaltheasaria, which loosely translated means 'A Seeker of knowledge, first born, queen of my circle, healer, and wanderer.' You may call me Tali. It's easier," the little creature said in a squeaky voice.

Liada's heart was thumping in her chest. "You can talk…and I can understand you…Tali."

"We are gifted with an understanding of all human languages." Sparkling laughter tinkled from Tali. "My Circle and I owe you much for looking after me. I would have ceased to exist if not for you. The Quag attack left me near death. I was lucky to get away. With the Quag so close, my circle couldn't help. For your help, I will grant you one wish if it is in my power to do so."

"You’ve already granted my wish to see a magical creature. I’ll remember you forever. Anyway, you should thank Goddess Anu. I’ll find some way to thank her for answering my prayers."

"Granted," Tali said.

"I didn't make a wish, did I?"

"You long for a life with magical creatures. But be careful what you wish for, young one. Having me for a companion will be dangerous. The priests of Roganista will imprison or kill you if they discover you keep a First One. They hunt and kill us—and any who befriend us."

"Are you evil…Tali?" Liada asked. Whether evil or not the answer would be the same–no. But she had to ask.

"In the long pass, we did evil things, which all of the First Ones regret except the Quag."

"But aren’t the Quag First Ones?" Liada had always been told the Quag were the pure and true First Ones. The others were evil monsters that hated the true First Ones.

"The Quag were created at the same time as the First Ones, but the Quag were deformed and jealous of those who were not. They hated us. But they were few in number and couldn’t challenge us. When the wars started, the Sprites aligned with the Ostono Empire, the Firebirds with Gorlack, and the Seadragons with the Sporish Empire. Many of us were killed. After the wars, we still fought each other. Now the Quag out number us. And they have the support of the priests and people of the three empires."

Liada sat down, feeling sick to her stomach. "Hunted by everyone?"

"Perhaps you want to take your wish back?"

"Can I?" The little sprite the most beautiful thing she had ever seen. It seemed too honest about its past to be evil. But how could she endanger her family?

"You can't take a granted wish back, but—" The creature hovered in the air and looked into her face. "I can't repay you by causing your death. If you want me to leave—then I will."

A life of adventure with a magical creature! Her dreams come to life. How could she send Tali away? Liada chewed her lip thoughtfully. "I'd love to have you stay with me. It's something I've always imagined. But I couldn't keep you in bondage for a day, much less for always."

"I will not be in bondage since I linger of my own free will. My circle stays because I do. I said you could have one wish, and I will gladly grant it."

"But so many years. A few hours or a few days would be enough," Liada said.

"Those years you speak of are, to us, but seconds."

Liada frowned at the idea. "How old are you?"

"I was created when the continent Nilord was formed and will be here until it is no more. Unless I am destroyed by the Quag."

Liada sat stunned. They lived forever. They were more magical then even she could think up in her imaginary adventures. "Do you have magical powers?"

"All the First Born are invisible unless we choose to be seen. We can fly and are pure energy although you see us as having shapes. Sprites have the power to heal and to bring lighting to the ground."

Liada pressed her hand to her mouth to contain a gasp. These were the powers of the gods.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Reviews and the Hard Part

I'll try not to whine here, but getting reviews--or rather not getting them--is killing me. I don't quite know what I'm doing wrong.

What have I done?

Well, I emailed every blogger I could find who reviewed indie-published fantasy with a request to do a review. About 10 of them expressed interest in reviewing, so I sent out review copies. Now, it is too early to see results from that. Most bloggers have a back list of novels to review. I mean, I'd love results within the three weeks since Wings of Evil came out, but that would be pretty much a miracle.

What worries me a lot more is Amazon, Nook and LibraryThing reviews. As soon as the novel went live, I posted offering review copies. I gave away 20 on Amazon, 5 for Nook on Nookboards, and 5 on LibraryThing. After about two weeks, I haven't received a single review. Not one. I would expect them to trickle in. After all, a lot of people do have a TBR list, but not even one review out of 30?

Maybe I'm not realistic in thinking they would start this soon? Maybe 30 review copies isn't enough to get results? I'm really not sure, but the lack of reviews is really tough to get past.

I'm thinking over what to do, and I'm not sure of the solution.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Guest Post by Jennifer Hudock

Today I have my first Guest Post, and it's from my friend from the Kindleboards, Jennifer Hudock, author of The Goblin Market. I'll let Jennifer tell her own story and pop in for comments at the end. Here's Jennifer:

The Control Freak
By Jennifer Hudock

I'm a control freak. There, I said it. I'm sure they have twelve-step programs for freaks like me, but when it comes to my writing, I don't want to compromise. Okay, I guess that's not entirely true. I'll gladly compromise with my editor on elements of my stories that might not gel well with my reading audience, but there are things I will not sacrifice.

I watched a lot of my author friends go through traditional publishing houses, both small scale press and big six, and the process of getting published was more often than not, excruciating. Some houses had very specific rules about character names—including a long list of "DO NOT NAME" they handed out to their authors in the first stages of communication. If one of your characters had a name on that list, there was no compromise…your character got renamed.

Maybe it's all part of being a control freak, but the naming process for my characters if often very personal, and imagining having to rename them because a publisher doesn't like the name I chose kind of makes my skin crawl.

From the outside looking in, it often feels as if publishers don't look at our creative work in terms of story, unless they're looking for ways to make it sell. They often recommend hacking out important plot points and requesting entire manuscript rewrites that turn your novel into something you would never write. Again, I've got the creepy crawlies under my skin just thinking about it.

As an indie author I need to think about how to sell my story, but first and foremost I need to think about my story and my audience. I tell stories because I love them—the characters, their experiences, adventures and defeats…I feel a connection with the elements of those stories that often runs deeper than the connections I feel to the people in my life.

Maybe I'm just unwilling to compromise my characters and their stories, and that can certainly be a bad thing, but it can also be a good thing. My stubbornness pushed me to find and work with my own editors before I published my first full-length fantasy novel, The Goblin Market. Feedback between my editors was often conflicting, which helped me examine the scenes they referred and their suggestions with an even more objective eye. Why? Because the editor only had one person to impress with their feedback: me. There was no publisher breathing down their neck, just little old me.

While I can't stress enough how important it is to publish clean, well-edit work because an editorial eye can help us find plot holes and unnecessary scenes that help us clean up our novel, I operate under the wisdom that one editor's trash is another editor's treasure.

J. R. sez: You really can't argue with success since The Goblin Market is doing very well over on Amazon. Jennifer is right, of course, that a clean work is essential. If there is one thing that hurts indie authors, it is a reputation for not giving that, but the cream rises to the top. Authors like Jennifer who do give a clean work and a good story, as she does, are rising--fast.

Jennifer Hudock is an author, podcaster and freelance editor from Pennsylvania. Her first full-length novel, The Goblin Market, is currently available on Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords. For more information about Jennifer Hudock, including updates on upcoming fiction, visit her official website: The Inner Bean.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Traditional Publishing and EBook Royalties

There is considerable buzz about Joe Konrath's recent post in which he told the bare truth about what the Big 6 are doing to traditionally published authors on royalties. After repeating a recent conversation with a NYT selling author he commented on the royalties:

The 25% the publisher is offering is actually based on net. So you're getting 17.5% of the list price. (Amazon gets 30%, they get 52.5%--which is obscene)

When your agent gets her cut, you're earning 14.9% of list price on ebooks.

Read the whole blog post. It is a must read for all authors, traditional or not. Joe does some great number crunching for a wordsmith. But let me repeat what I think is the salient bit of that comment.

It Is Obscene.

Let me revisit the thinking behind the DTB royalties. The 15% was originally devised so that after allowing for the substantial costs that publishers had in editing, cover art, promotion, blurb writers, shipping, storing, etc. that the profit would be split about evenly. The publisher got about half. The person who produced the thing--the author--also got about half.

Under the Big 6 eBook set up the big hog at the trough, the publisher, gets almost all and the one who produced it--the author--gets a pittance.

Do we have a serious problem here? Let me answer my opinion on that. Yes.

My question, frankly, is why are so many authors putting up with it?

The times, my friend, they are a-changing. I suggest that we change with them.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Self-Publishing in the New World

As a lot of people have pointed out, in the last two years an entire new world has evolved in publishing: Self-publishing authors on Kindle and Nook. So I'm going to take that as a given for the moment. I'm not going to discuss whether it's good or bad. What I do want to do is take a couple of steps back from where I am now and discuss the process that my co-author, C. R. Daems, and I went through to get Wings of Evil ready and on sale.

So what do I think you need to do to have a chance to be successful publishing your own novel? What did we do to try to reach that goal?

The first thing, and I hope this is a given, is pay a lot of attention to advice from people like Joe Konrath, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, and Dean Wesley Smith. Joe and Kris particularly led the way in this revolution. They have great advice on their blogs. They are in my blog roll to the right side of my blog. I should also give a special word of thanks to Victorine Lieske who has been more than generous with her advice.

But once you've done your research, what then. You have that novel in hand. The first thing to do, (do I need to tell you this?) is edit that sucker until it shines and get some beta readers to give you feedback on it. Pay attention to the feedback. This is no time to be defensive. No, you don't have to take all the advice, but even the advice you don't totally agree with may have kernels of wisdom.

Then you need a good cover and blurb. The problem for writers is that these are really separate skill sets. Few of us have graphics skills and writing blurbs is very different than writing novels. For this, I went to a support system. I'm an active member of both Critique Circle and the Kindleboards. And let me tell you, people there have opinions and they will tell you those opinions. Everyone hated my first try (well, not mine in the case of the cover--I do NOT do graphics) at a cover and blurb. But I learned why. I was told what to look for in a cover. I tweaked. I reposted. I got more feedback.

Did I ever get something that everyone loved? No. But I got something that a lot of people did like or love. I decided that was as good as it was likely to get, so I went with it. One advantage of self-publishing is that after a while if I get negative feedback from readers or if I don't get sales, I can change them.

I would strongly advise something like this for anyone who is going to put their novel up for sale. Don't depend solely on your own opinion, just as you don't with your novel. You need other people's eyes and opinions, or most of us do anyway.

Then there is the whole formatting nightmare. It is IMPORTANT for your novel to be well formatted when people buy it. I didn't do my own formatting. It happens that my co-author, C. R. Daems, is a total guru about things computer. He did it. (He is a wonderful person. I don't discuss him much but I owe him more than I can begin to tell you. He is patience personified)

Then and only then after what probably took months, you can open accounts with Amazon and B&N, where they want everything short of your great-grandmother's maiden name to open an account, and upload your novel, cover and blurb. It took us from 24 to 48 hours to have them go live on Amazon and Barnes & Nobles.

Then--well, getting sales is a whole different post. Maybe a lot of them.

Monday, February 14, 2011

To Pseudonym or Not to Pseudonym

I write in more than one genre.

My historical novels are the ones my agent had been pitching until I parted ways with him recently. I intend to write several more, although they have been postponed while I polish the fantasies we have completed. I have always thought that it would be best to publish the historical novels under a pseudonym or at least under my birth name which is identifiably Scottish. *chuckle* Who would have guessed that?

All of my other novels are fantasies. There is a very real concern when authors switch genres about readers picking up a different genre than they expect and being disappointed. Obviously, this is a bad thing. On the other hand, while the number of people who recognize my name and look for my work is small, it is growing and who wants to give that up?

It is something that I debate a lot. My historical novels are still under consideration at one market. If they don't sell there, I will probably decide to indie publish them. I am still debating whether it will be under this name or another. Having to do promotion under a totally different name is -- daunting.

However, my co-author and I are working on another fantasy. The working title is The Kazak Guardians but I'm not very taken with that title. It has a female protagonist which we frequently do, and this one is an Urban Fantasy. Of course, our last, Wings of Evil, is an epic fantasy. It's probably within the young adult genre because the protagonist is young, but it is a lot grittier than our last.

I hope the new novel will be ready to go online in March, but it has a lot of work yet to be done on it. It's still in rough draft form with no cover designed. There is a lot of work involved in getting from rough draft to something I would let people read!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Cheap reads

First, let me point out for anyone who may not be aware of it, you don't have to own a Kindle to read Amazon's Kindle books. There is a Kindle for PC (and other devices) FREE here:

FREE Kindle for PC

Sure the Kindle device is great. I love it, but not everyone is ready to plunk down that much cash for an e-reader. However, there are great bargains for books on Kindle. Why pay $10 to $30 dollars for books when there are such great bargains on good books for the Kindle for under $5... some under $1? And you can download a sample for free, so you never get stuck with something bad!

Now I admit that I'm self-promoting here. I would love people to try out my Wings of Evil. But there are hundreds of other good books to try for Kindle as well, for little more than the price of a candy bar.

Take a look at this list of 99 cent books on the Excuse Me, Miss Blog. She also has a list of novels under $5. The world of books has changed with Kindle and Nook. Don't miss out on it!

Of course, I'd also love for you to read my Free short story Uncertain Harvest.

As an update to our progress with Wings of Evil, in addition to Amazon, it is now on Smashwords and is going through the process of being approved for Nook. We are about to put it into a paperback edition for sale on Amazon as well and that should happen within the next day or so. Becoming an indie author is a complex process I'd like to discuss further in future posts.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Some New Stuff

Wings of Evil is now up on Amazon for anyone who would like to take a look (or even purchase it ;) ). It is priced at 99 cents so all you have to give up is that candy bar. My co-author, C. R. Daems, is working on getting the novel on Barnes & Nobles Nook and on Smashwords. That should happen very soon. I hope people enjoy it. Of course, our Talon of the Raptor Clan, a finalist for the 2011 Epic Award for fantasy, is also still on Amazon.

However, I also have a free short story up on Feedbooks which you might enjoy. The Nameday Gift is young adult fantasy, and I hope you may find it a fun read.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Well, so much for my last year's resolution to do better. I'm going to try that again.

I've gone through a lot of changes since that last blog post. My agent tried and failed to sell a couple of novels. I wrote one and a half novels. My co-authored novel, Talon of the Raptor Clan, made it to the finals for an Epic Award.

Now I'm unagented again and have decided to try "indie publishing" along with C. R. Daems with our novel, Wings of Evil. It is a young adult fantasy, and I must admit, I think it turned out well. As of today, it's available in Kindle format from Amazon. I will be posting about how the indie author thing comes along.

Publishing has a new face now and I'm anxious to find out what kind of face that is. I'll share my experience with you.

It's nice to be back in the blogosphere.