Sometimes, we kill them. Author-play.

Authors must be the most boring people in the world. We post books, share author links, retweet auto-correct fails, laugh at memes correcting grammar, and when we reach our maximum level of being sociable, we write.

I would say this is wrong, but it is true, but…. but, there is more. Authors are the most intense, outrageous, twisted little suckers in the world. We create people, give them life. We pick names, and towns or worlds. We give them history and attach you to them. We make you love them. THEN, we break their heart. We burn their houses. We kill their parents or loved ones. Sometimes, we kill them. We create things, torture them, and share with you in hopes that you will enjoy it. We are twisted and so are you or else, there would be no books.. and books exist! Oh Lord Almighty, books exist!

Here is a chance for you to see a bit closer how “interesting” we are. Well, in this case, me. I’m interesting, darn it! Yes. I am. Right? Yes. YES! Yes.

I was tagged in a blog post by a fellow author, Laurie Lyons. (Check out her Amazon page!) 1lyonsThe challenge is to answer the following questions and then tag other authors. Because we can be quite the ornery sort, this is a vehicle to pull authors away from their imaginations and get them to tell the world about what is going on in their heads. Here goes nothing….or something… I hate that phrase.

Shelly, what are you working on right now? The second edition of Livian is nearing publication. In the back of that, you will find the opening of BOOK TWO in the LIVIAN series, Inennious. If you like steampunkery, dragons, fantasy beings, and possessed unicorns, keep up with me. I also have a short story in an upcoming 7DS Books collection based on dragons and multicultural faiths. I write Antonia, the dragon of Satanism. She’s probably not what your first thought suggests. It was an honor to work with these six other authors and I am proud beyond words of what we’ve created.

How do your stories differ from others in its genre? I don’t create in depth fantasy languages. There are no love triangles. Happy endings are never certain or promised. My fairies and elves could kick your butt. I add steampunk to dark fantasy with a spine carrying faith, doubt, loneliness, and my words bleed sarcasm.LIVIANTCPEBOOK

Why do you write what you write?  I only write what I wish to read and cannot find. Somewhere in the process of it all, a sort of obligation creates a nagging, dream-seeping tick until I make it a reality in fiction.

How does the writing process work? Before I start a new work, I form it well mentally and spend days, sometimes weeks, acting the character traits physically. Bless my family, friends, and strangers for dealing with my voices, accents, quirks, traits, and flaws for each character. Sometimes, my children are called fictional names of character that may somewhat resemble them. Sometimes, they answer.

I character map. I plot scenes and chapters. I wonder if I would cry if a character dies, and if my eyes get a bit soggy, I begin to plot their death. Sometimes, those fully plotted deaths make it on a page. If so, I drink and mourn and get back to it so my characters can do the same. I write in pajamas with sweaters on top. I forget and twist pens in my hair and fuss at anyone around for stealing my pens. Someone plucks a pen from my head and I usually apologize. I make a youtube soundtrack for the book, and I chair dance when I am proud of a scene…

Finally, after sleepless nights and mid-day naps, I write the final words and I get silly with some wine. The next step is months and months of revising, revisiting, reacting, reaching out to a round of beta readers and repeating revisions. Then, I return to a bit of wine and truly breathe…until edits, at least. LOL! This pretty much sums it up. I am a wreck when I write. I do hope the internet never sees an actual image of my pen-head, jammie-wearing, sweater covered- multiple personality-speaking writerly self. The mental image should be enough to scare you or convince you to buy the crazy chick’s book. You can guess which one I’m rooting for, right?

Now, the fun part. TAG! Here are three authors I think you MUST know and I want to know the behind the scenes of their books. Click, like, follow, and buy books from these authors and soon, I hope to see a similar blog post from each of them.

1SAJSARAH ASHLEY JONES– I was lucky enough to not only meet this lovely lady, but to cover panels with her at Nashville Comic-Con this past year. She is a rainbow firecracker author making one heck of a name for herself. Click here for her Amazon page. 

1JenWel

JENNIFER WELBORN– A fellow, N.C. author, I have had the pleasure of working with Jennifer as an author with 7DS Books and as an editor. She is sharp, snarky, and you never have to wonder what she is thinking. LOL. Click here for her Amazon page. 

And…

1Katd

KAT DAUGHTRY– The wordsmith of Romance & Revolution, Steam & Steampunk,and so much more. She is a 7DS Books author and her novels are with Twisted Core Press. She even released dual books (Steamfate & Imbroglio) with the same epic plot, but one for Erotica readers and one for New Adult. Lots more coming from her in the future. Click here for her Amazon page. 

Now, check out these authors. Like them. Love them. Buy their books. Leave reviews. And soon, you should see these authors post about their work and tag three more authors each for you to discover!

Home is where your book is.

I think this may be the root of truth for an author. Home is where your book is.

Sure, many authors have more than one publishing home for their works, and I highly encourage using multiple outlets for every author. I want to go in depth on this topic, and I will- in the near future and likely through a vlog. If you know me or my work at all, you know my debut novel was previously published with another publisher and is now in the process of becoming a second edition through Twisted Core Press. Let’s take a moment and celebrate this new cover.

LIVIANTCPEBOOKThat is what home looks like to me. Yes, the previous cover was very nice and the artist was top notch, but authors are these stubborn, obtuse, critical perfectionists. We have things in our mind a certain way and like minds with true communication are the only ways to fully capture the magic.

We hear so much about bad author/publishing deals.. We hear about scams. We hear about diva authors. But sometimes, it isn’t that dramatic. Sometimes, it is like a decent date. You meet someone. You are attracted to them. You checked them out, and they aren’t felons but you don’t realize until you go on a date, that no matter how perfect the match may seem, the spark and the long term goals just do not exist. Publishing is like dating. You have to get that right match and the right match for you, may not be the one you thought it would be. Sometimes, sadly, you do not know, no matter how  good it looks on paper.

As I said, I will go into this much deeper very soon and it will be a conversation you’ll want to check out. The main point of this, is Livian. She is home. If you have never read Livian, I do hope you keep an eye out and grab a copy. If you have read it previously, it will be different. It will be worth reading again. It will be my vision. The ending is darker, twisted, and sends you straight into a part of the world you didn’t see in the first edition.

So here is to the warrior fairies, the tattooed elves, the dwerger beneath the dirt, the hidden dragons, the demonic unicorns, and the dreamers. Livian is home.

 

 

Blog Worthy LIVIAN News

Now in paperback print!

Now in paperback print!

I hold my head in ultimate shame. I have been the worst writerly blogger, possibly in the universe. Well, minus those “wordsmith” sorts that blog “abt thr new buk an how it got 2 b a Ny bst sllr when a gud pulblishering hizzouse sees da potental” Ha. Sorry for cracking on all you bloggers out there that roll that way, but publishers do check you out and your blogs. How do I know this?

Well, simply because I got popped by my publisher for my lack of internet workings and blogging. We all know I exist via facebook, twitter and even linkedin but this has to be done as well. I suppose I assume I post something on facebook and it gets various shares equals to what I need to do for online marketing. My hands are still stinging from the pop (haha) but here we go- I am officially back to blogging and will even do this blog tour thing. (I swear, if I am going to tour, I am going to need sweet tea and brown m&ms at every stop- and of course, groupies. You guys can make that happen, right?)

You know what, I may even pop on one of my wigs an some eyeliner just so I look up to par and send a vlog out soon. That would be a wonderful way to catch you up to speed with everything going on in my own little literary world.

Bless Burst Books and my publisher, she wanted me to blog and I have to say, she gave me something WONDERFUL to blog about to you all. Many of you have asked one question over and over. When will LIVIAN be a “hold in your hand actual paperback?” Guess what? Get those debit cards out so all of my whining and claims of people stating they were waiting for an old fashioned book to be released doesn’t look like a diva author move. Seriously now, buy it. Don’t make a liar out of me. I will also now be reconnecting with the schools that were interested in a speaking session and pre-ordered book signings- as well as any new ones with interest (hint hint.)

The paperback book is officially released on the publisher’s website (I do make more money via those purchases) and will be released in print soon on other book worthy vendor sites.  PURCHASE LIVIAN PAPERBACK EDITION HERE!

Chasing Dreams- (To each, his own)

I have been blessed during this writing journey when it comes to connecting with other writers- of all sorts- Authors of all genres, poets, song and script writers-

I have had this little dream of writing books since I was a little child- I do not recall ever wanting to be a doctor or a lawyer- just wanted to tell my stories. I always knew that there were millions of others out there that wanted to do the same- but honestly- I never knew how wide the spectrum of that one dream could be.

There have been so many posts lately revolving around the changing times- self publishing- e-publishing- small publishers- and everyone has an opinion. Who is right?

We all are. To each his own-

Every writer has a different mission for their works. Some want to be the next Rowling, King, or Rice- Millions of dollars- a movie deal- becoming a household name. Some just want to be able to consider themselves published and are willing to fork over the money to make that dream happen. Many writers are loving the nook/kindle evolution, and e-publishing fits them perfectly. There are some that are so in love with the craft of writing- that they offer the manuscript to each and all- for free. Just to know that it is being read and loved is enough.

As for me? All of the above and none of the above? Is that even a logical answer? Most likely not- My dear husband had my book printed- mingled in with the fan art submissions in all of the right spots. It is the greatest non-living thing that I have ever held in my arms. My words. In print. With such beautiful drawings of these people- that I created. It may not have proper binding, or a publishers marking- but it is my words, in print- and to me- It’s simply beautiful. I do want my book binded with a publishers marking on the spine- I have had vivid dreams of working/arguing with Tim Burton over the production of my book. I have seen what stars I want for each character that once only existed in the deepest realms of my own mind. I honestly have pondered the thoughts of millions of dollars- though I always see myself living humbly as I do now- and most of my money going right towards charity. I simply have no use for high end purses or shoes- and if I ever made it to an awards show- I would surely go back to NC to the Bridal Outlet to purchase a dress- So excess money has no use for me. I wouldn’t mind my book in e-form- if someone could just as easily get it in print… But you know, my big dream of writing- well, that is already coming true.

Not too long ago, probably someone that I consider my dearest lit friend messaged me. Her daughter- a beta reader for my book; loved it. She stated that her child fell asleep reading my book. I felt like I had won the lottery. The thought of someone that is nowhere near me- that has never met me- loving Livian, Inennious, Asher- enough to fall asleep while caught up in my world. I wondered if she dreamed that night. Was it about fleeing the army of charred eyed unicorns? Was she exploring the crystal lined caves where the Dragons dwell? Was she exploring the folklore of the Elves, Sirens, or Dwergers?

That is my drive. My dream. To know that I am writing one of those “must take to bed” sort of books. Creating the worlds and characters that show up in your dreams- having people read and draw the characters that exist only through the pages of my book- and yes, eventually (hopefully sooner than later) that book being binded with a publishers mark, and on the side tables of people all over the world as they too, drift into dreamland and mesh their imagination with my own.

Chasing dreams- that is what is all about. And as long as a person is chasing their own dream, can there really be a wrong way to go about it?

Evaluating the Christian Elements in Literature

A bit of a ramble. Buckle up and enjoy the ride.

As many of you know, not long ago, I was offered my first publishing deal not long ago- A deal that would place LIVIAN strictly on the Christian market- and I turned this deal down. I have gotten some feedback since then that has almost made me question my decision as well as my dedication to my faith.

I am making it clear that I did not turn this offer down due to thinking I am going to get a million dollar deal nor was it because I am in any way denying my faith. LIVIAN is a book of faith. Real faith- the desire to know why one exists, the dealing with teetering faith, the not understanding the bad things that just happen.

I debated long and hard- and honestly, when I submitted to this publisher, I didn’t think my book stood a chance due to the darkness of the story and the obvious doubting of faith through out- which will continue through the series. But my decision to turn the offer down is not something that I regret. As faith based as the book may be- I recall a conversation that my husband and I had with my sister in law some time back. Her husband is a pastor- sometimes- and they both attended Christian college. She is the sort of Christian that will randomly send you a greeting card telling you that you and your family will burn in hell because you do not worship God the way that they do. You know the type. Anyway, in this conversation all things evil in modern movies were the topic. I recall that Harry Potter was the start of her rant (rolls eyes) and then it went onto a rant about Narnia. My husband and I were shocked- as readers of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe- the thought of this being “of the devil” was laughable to say the least. We explained to her the plot of the story, the characters, and the faith. We must have been lying because it was a topic at one of her little church groups about the witch-craft and how demonic the story/movie is. I am by no means saying that all Christians are this way- I am a Christian and minds can’t get much more open than this one right here- but still. I know that my book will be judged, torn apart, loved, hated, and then some- but the one thing that doesn’t bounce off of me is when someone questions my faith or how I display my faith. Placing one of my books on the Christian market alone simply will not give LIVIAN the chance that it deserves. This has nothing to do with God- just many of his followers.

Every single book that I have in the works (9 if you count the entire LIVIAN series) happens to be faith based books. Faith is the most important part of me.  And I thank God every day for my imagination and love of writing.

Another example as proof of my point of view-

I have a pastor that I talk over lots of my religious pondering thoughts with. I value his opinion deeply- though, I always come to my own conclusion after our conversations- Recently, I was lucky enough to discuss one of the books currently pounding at me to get into print. Another YA novel- more modern, and comedic- As I discussed this book- and even one scene that has been hounding me to write- his response was,

“You will be branded as a pagan by the Christians if you write that book.”

He is absolutely correct. 100% and more. I will. I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about that. “Branded.”  Ouch.  My faith -my morale- all of me- will be judged and most likely banished. I can not write that novel. I have to trash the thought of it. But wait……

I talk over every spec of writing that I have ever done- from editorials, to the articles that I did as a journalist- poetry-and most surely- my books- with the one that it matters most- God.

It may sound insane- but he lets me know what to put out there and what to leave alone. If it is good, I normally get a warm breeze- no matter the season- and a familiar smell- my dad’s burnt popcorn- my grandmother’s sanitizer and Avon parfume- or those soft orange peanut candies- My great Aunt Missy used to share with me when I visited her in the nursing home.

If it is a bad idea- I normally feel sick to my stomach- or God gets more obvious- and a random acorn may fall from the sky and hit me square between the eyes. No joke.

So, what is the conclusion?

Normally, those that judge usually do so from a lack of understanding and/or lack of being properly educated on the topic. My book will be judged by readers, reviewers, other authors- for my grasp of plots, characters, twists, and use of the English language- A writer sends a book into the hands of the public expecting this. My faith- that is my own.  As long as acorns stay away from my forehead- my thoughts will be written. I have one judge. Everyone else is free to brand what ever fills their own voids.

Moving along

It has been a bit longer than I had anticipated since my last post. For those of you that did not know, I have recently been in the middle of a move. We are now in the new home completely, and most of the boxes are even unpacked at this point. My study is still a bit of a mess. Everything is out of boxes, though it seems that the majority of “study items” are stacked several feet high and possessing what should be my desk.

I have decided to lean away from the route of literary agents and push more towards the search for a publisher. I am well aware that with this being my debut novel, this is a bit against the grain- though, I feel that in my heart, this is the path for me at this time.

While I seek for a publisher for Livian, I will also continue with the adult novel that I call, “Anna” until a better title sticks.

Thanks for reading. As I become a bit more settled into the new home, I will continue blogging  on a regular basis once again. Stay tuned!

Livian, A Fairy’s Tale – A visual synopsis

 

I would like to continue my thanks to all of the wonderful artists that contributed the wonderful submissions that made this project a reality via my Facebook Writer Page. I would also like to say that this video would not have happened without the savvy computer skills of my husband, Daniel.

Enjoy, Share it with your friends, comment via youtube…. A millions thanks for your support. Let’s hope that the right literary agent takes a peek!