What Dreams May Come

 

I imagine some piece of every human heart broke with the tragic news of Robin Williams passing away. I have to admit, I’d hoped it was one of those cases where twitter trends “kill” someone that is still very much alive. But it wasn’t. I was visiting with my mother when the news broke, and you would have thought we lost a close family member with the way it stunned us into a silence, followed by tears. Here in the south, I think our first instinct to cope with deal is to cook and/or eat. Something about frying chicken, making a cake, or some other southern dish and taking it to the home of mourning takes the sting away, at least a little bit. On the other side, something about caring people showing up with fried chicken or a cake when your home is the home of mourning makes the moments feel less like shattered glass beneath bare feet.

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But in this case, I think the house of mourning was every home in America, if not the world. It is easy to say that this brilliant man was in some way, a part of most of our youth. He was why we all tried to sit on our heads. He was a rapping bat. He was a genie. This man was Peter Pan. He was so many things, and he gave us the freedom to imagine, pretend, act, and for some of us, we wrote words and prayed someday, he, or someone like him, could make our words come alive for the rest of the world.

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But the fact of it is, Robin Williams was not just the vision of our youth, but the understanding of our adult realities. Some of these need no explaining, just titles. Dead Poets Society. Good Will Hunting. Jack. Patch Adams. A million times during stressful kid moments, I’ve turned to my kids and said, “POOF! Whaddaya need? POOF! Whaddaya need?”

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Jack made me appreciate life. I remember the local casting calls for this movie called Patch Adams, set in the 1970s. My (then) boyfriend at the time and I sent in our photos for a shot at being in a Robin Williams flick. We weren’t 70s enough, though with both of us having hair past our bottoms, I never understood. I recall us being upset, but quickly stating, “Well, I guess Robin Williams had nothing to do with extra casting, or we’d be in!” Because, come on, we all felt like he was our buddy, our pal, one cool fella.

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Our kids are raised with Williams. Maybe a board game gotten out of hand, or some happy feet, or why we leave RV vacations to Papa.

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Most recently, very recently, I saw Robin Williams in a role again for the first time. Let me explain. I was still pretty young when Mrs. Doubtfire came out, and being a child with parents that just did not work out as a couple, I loved this movie. I could see so much of my dad in the character of Daniel. I wanted to smoosh Robin Williams and Sally Field together at the end in one of those, “Now kiss.” moments but I understood when it didn’t end that way.

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Remember the boyfriend that wasn’t Patch Adams 70s enough with me? Well, he became my husband, Daniel. Seriously, his name is Daniel just like Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire. We married young and we made it though years and years and then we became one of those couples that just didn’t work. Not from lack of love or trying. It just didn’t work. We firmly agreed to remain friends, which as anyone can imagine, is work as well and some moments would be fit for reality television. Le sigh. Through all the tense moments and not seeing eye to eye and sometimes, not even feeling like we lived in the same world, we work on friendship.

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Not long ago, likely not even a month ago, he came over and we were in one of those tense, working really hard to get along moments and when he showed up, Mrs. Doubtfire was on. We didn’t speak, but he ended up caught up in the movie and we sat in silence. Come on, you know it is easy to get caught up watching Robin Williams, even at your ex wife’s house But, as I said, I saw him again for the first time. Robin Williams wasn’t playing the role that reminded me of my father. He was playing the role of my ex husband. My mom wasn’t the Sally Field. I was. It hurt in a way I cannot put into words, and words are my life. And not just because Peirce Bronson is not my rebound, but because I could feel the side of the movie as I did as a child. And now, I could feel the role of Sally Field, and there is no “now kiss and make up” moment there.

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I don’t talk about my personal life too often, not in detail. But I’ve been sick since before the end of my marriage with an undiagnosed illness. I’ve been blessed with a fantastic group of specialists that work with me constantly and try to figure out this grand mystery that has transformed my entire way of life. I’ve struggled with the single mom thing with a lack of mobility and days of constant pain. Little things have become big things. Field trips, awards, talent shows, trips to the park- all these things have become major events with the mystery illness. Sickness also brings about the truth most of us would be better off not knowing. The truth of the people in our life and what happens through thick and thin. Promises are broken. Wonderful people fall from the highest of pedestals, but then other people surprise you. Some people flake out when being in your life or loving you isn’t easy and some people you never expected to surprise you, do and they come with support and love and just knowing you are not alone.

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During a long run of heartbroken and pain-filled nights, I’ve bonded with my oldest daughter. She has helped me so much. She helps make sure the youngest ones don’t see me as anything other than Wonder Woman. A gift I can never repay. She’s gone without a lot during this as well. She has taken on many responsibilities I’d prefer she not have just yet, but life happens. Summer break has given us lots of late nights for her to stay up while I could not sleep and I was proud to share with her something of my own youth. We had our own escape from everything- the stress, doctor visits, busy schedules, pain, etc, etc, etc. We had Mork. Mork and Mindy became a normal relief from our problems. We’ve come close to seeing all the episodes now and we’ve even joked about the perfect men were probably Orkan. Oy. Shazbot!

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Throughout my life, Robin Williams has been one with wisdom, comedy, and comfort. How could anyone not feel like they’ve just lost one of the best friends a person could know. Depression. How heartbreaking it is to know that someone dedicated their life to entertaining others, cheering them up, making them laugh at the worst of times, and inspired so many of us not only in the arts, but life in general. If only we’d had the chance to make him laugh, to make the sadness take a step back, if even for a moment as he’d done for us.

Depression is real. It has been passed by for far too long as a mood or a weakness that could be gotten over if the person really wanted to get over it. Depression can strike anyone and until you battle the beast, you have no clue how deep his claws are. It is not something to be ashamed of, nor is it a form of self consumption. Depression can make you wish you were the one person in the world you could forget. Depression comes with emotional weight and physical pain. Depression is a condition. A sickness too often ignored for fear of sharing our emotions, fears, and pain. When someone battling depression thinks of suicide, it is not a quick escape for them, it is this ripping pain in the pit of your soul that makes you feel like not being around would be better for everyone else. It has nothing to do with feeling unloved. It is knowing people love you and feeling like your existence is a weight and burden. It hurts, but just like A Christmas Carol, you zone out and picture what life would be like for each person you love if you take yourself out of the picture.

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Of course, depression is cruel enough to let us create our own illusions of what their life would be like. It is a beast, after all And once those thoughts exist, they will always exist. Even during good times when you think depression has been slaughtered from your mind. It creeps. It pops back in when you feel like you could have done more for someone or even a happy moment full of laughter with children opening gifts. You laugh. You smile, but you look right past reality and imagine a better one for those kids. The beast becomes your shadow and mocks every great moment in your life, making you relive it in your mind and showing you where you weren’t good enough; for anyone, anything, at all. You can push it back. You can remind yourself of the beast and know it is just out to get you, but sometimes, the shadow consumes.

I am not saying suicide is a good thing. We feel the loss. I am saying if the world became more open to the reality of depression as a condition, not a mood, maybe we could save more people by simply saying, “It’s okay. I get it. We’ll get through it.” Because it is okay. I do get it… and I bet most anyone reading this gets it, too.

Like my mom said, “If you know someone you haven’t spoken to in a while, why not call and just ask how they are. It never hurts to reach out. Most people struggle with depression without anyone knowing. Reach out. Know.

She’s right. So I am going to wrap this up. I have some calls to make. God bless, everyone. Go hug someone. Hug them tight as all get out. It’s a cold world out there. Spread some smiles and warmth.

 

 

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. 

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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…

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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!

A Comic Con, A Man’s Promise, & General Shenanigans

I’ve said it before, so don’t act shocked. I can be a fairly horrid blogger. I know this. I do. But you have to give it to me, when I do blog, very rarely is the dullness content high enough to register. Right? Right.

Literary-wise- So much has been going on. I highly suggest/push/nudge/urge/nicely demand you check out the blog for Twisted Core Press. If I am shady as me it is usually because I am being somewhat sociable for Twisted Core & 7DS Books. This post is a perfect example.

Wizard World Nashville Comic Con 2013.  STOP! Don’t click it now! We’ve just started. Don’t leave me. I’m just kidding. Go. Read it. Yes, now. I’ll wait…

…………………………….waiting..

…………………………………………………..Sings Frasier theme.

……………………………………………………………………….mmmm scrambled eggs would rock right now.

Hi. Welcome back. I know, right? Yeah, it was a blast. Thanks. Yeah. I know. I plan to go back next year. Yes, you can share that blog link. How nice of you!

In other news, as shocking as it seems with all we have accomplished together, Twisted Core Press is almost a year old! What a year! I could go on, but I could also save that for another blog post and look rather blogger-snazzy. Yes. Let’s go with Option B.

Also, along with several new releases lately for our imprints, I have a new short story released in A Man’s Promise. We have some serious talent and a wide range of plots from love, vengeance, parenting, secrecy, and beyond. This is one hell of a collection. Pick it up and give it a read.

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Yes, read this book. Check out the blogs listed below. I shall return. Be prepared. 🙂

Literary Happenings Spring 2013

Two questions I hear more than somewhat often lately: What have you been doing? Where is book two of LIVIAN?

I will answer these in opposite order. Where IS book two of LIVIAN?

Well, some of it is written. All of it is plotted down to the finest of detail. Things have been so busy, life has been spinning my right round, baby, right round- I have yet to even order my own paperback copies of book one. *Gasp* I know, the shame I feel as an author over this horrible confession. I do get thrilled each time I see a photo of someone with a paperback. I want to slow- motion run across an unpolluted beach and embrace them with this “You love me! You really love me!” sort of hug.

I will say, as in love as I may be with LIVIAN– book two knocks MY socks off and I will have it complete soon. I want the public to have it- to love it- but things need to line up just right for me to do so properly.

I will tell you this much. Livian gets her Loci on. Imagine a tribal warrior wooded land of tattoos, belly dancers, fire breathers and one Inennious- loving young steampunker. Throw in some dragons, dwerger and those blood thirsty unicorns and you have the setting for book two, Inennious. And if you think you love Elsa now- just wait.

I will tell you this; IF you have not read Seven Deadly Sins II, SLOTH- Claim Your Fate is a connecting tale of the Dwerger- the clan of “soil sifters” that live just blow the ground of Loci. The series shows them as the bad guys- but everyone is the bad guy in someone’s eyes.

NOW- What have I been doing?

We all know my passion, above my own novel writing, is 7DS BOOKS. I love the art of the short story. I was raised on those twisted tales of fables, foes, rhymes and Poe. Wrapping an entire plot and character building within a limited word count is nothing less than an art.

I love working with other authors. Networking and helping build platforms is a good portion of my everyday. I do not think passion pumps through the veins in other professions as hot as it does in the creation of an artist. Wordsmiths have something about them. To say that they are mere dreamers is an insult. Everyone is a dreamer. An artist creates a world and, in most cases, they strive to create that world- be it on canvas, in words, in mechanics- but so many artists embrace the fact that with enough love and hard work, those dreams can be reality. This makes me feel alive.

Sure, we all say, “I want to be able to quit my day job and do (insert art) for a living. I want to be comfortable. I want to afford the time to do this.”

BUT, that is not the truest of the dream chasers. I get tickled at some people that say this as if they are maybe 10% of the population that strive for this. No. We all want that. The ones that pump me up are the ones that want to change not their world, but the world of other people through their art. Oh, those people make me feel as energized about the literary world as Richard Simmons is about sweatin’.

Thanks to 7DS, I get to work with these people every single day. THAT is my dream come true. Authors and illustrators amaze me. The imaginations and visions they carry every moment of the day; the thriving confidence outweighing the fears to share their heart with the world; The plans they toss and turn all night thinking of to make their dreams flourish- I love them.

And these authors, when I become inspired by them, fall in love with their work as well as their passion, and they accept an invitation to write on a 7DS Book– I know something magnificent is in the works.

We have re-released Seven Deadly Sins as Seven Deadly Sins II featuring new stories by Wolf Scott & Michelle Horst (Wrath & Gluttony). Both have received such wonderful feedback and the collection has a fresh appeal with the addition of sci-fi and angels/demons. I cannot express my gratitude for both of them joining the re-release of this book.

We have also recently released Seven Deathly Soles– seven short stories with the only common connection of death & shoes. Each story is as unique as the author, yet they come together so well in a collection. Beyond running 7DS & working with these grand authors, I also have a story included in this one. The Boot is a southern comedic who-done-it based on a local southern festival.

Coming next, we have Seven Dwarf Stories– These are not your typical kid-friendly dwarf stories. Before living together and before Snow White, these seven small people had their own lives- and guess what? They were dark, morbid and highly entertaining. You will never look at a storybook dwarf the same way again.

We have several more coming, but before I get into too much detail, I want to save those for another blog debut.

Also, a huge chunk of my time is dedicated to Twisted Core Press, L.L.C. I have been blessed with amazing partners and together we have locked in our notch in the ever-changing industry and we are providing something top-notch and brand new. So many houses open up over night and are gone before you can say the name, we have taken our time to secure the proper methods of author publication. We will be continuing the release must-read titles throughout the year from some of the best new and previously published authors around. I will have more on Twisted Core Press in future blogs as well- much more. I love writing. It is in my blood, but publishing is my calling. This is what makes me feel alive in the literary world. If you don’t love what you do, you aren’t living right. Thanks to my partners and these masterful authors, my career path feels like a thousand dreams coming true, every single day.

I do appreciate the pondering emails and chats of what I have been doing and why book two of LIVIAN is not out yet. I hope this answers those questions in a most satisfying manner. I do promise this much: I will show you some of the best authors your will ever discover through 7DS and Twisted Core Press & Inennious will come. Soon. Thank you for your support and interest.

-HBIC

Shelly

The December girls birthday adventure & finding a part of my childhood fairy tale.

Yesterday was a much needed break from reality- and all in the name of December birthdays. I am blessed enough to have some of those great long time friends that are more like family. My mom’s best friend, a friend of hers, the best friend’s daughter and boyfriend ( a heck of a man and our wonderful d.d.) enjoyed an all day birthday month outing.

We started our day at Adalia’s house (my mom’s best friend) for snacks, champagne and pictures. We loaded into the car and from there- our journey began- a day of wine tasting touring. Between personal life, medical life, writing and opening a publishing house with my partners (which is not an easy ho-hum task if you do it properly.) – A break from the norm was exactly what I needed. I savored the heck out of it.

The first winery, I knew was made for me when I spotted a steampunkish top hat tree topper. If I were rich, that baby would have come home with me. Since I am NOT, I am going to attempt to connect with my crafty side very soon and create it myself. Pray I have one somewhere in there. The wine tasting was a blast. Mister makes everything fun. If normal people could be like him sober, and love life the way he does- nobody would need to drink.

Adalia is like a second mom to me. I have known her my entire life and talking with her, she is so vibrant and strong, next to my own mother, she is what I strive to be. I cannot tell you how honored I felt to be invited on one of their adventures. No matter how weak your heart or body may feel, this group of people radiate strength, happiness and enjoying every moment of life.

Melanie- Oh Lord, this sweet woman. She is a slight bit older than I am- not much, but still, she beams this beauty of youth and I swear, if she wasn’t so damn sweet, her beauty would be enough to hate her. HAHA. I always looked at her as the sister I always wanted. I didn’t get to see her often as I grew up, but when I did, it was like a kid getting to see Santa (after the fear of him goes away kind, not the kicking screaming, ‘I don’t wanna sit on his lap!’ kid and Santa experience.) Getting the chance to be around her for an extended period of time was a birthday present in itself.

We laughed. We told stories. We were loud and we lived. After this slump since September, my God, laughing like that was a gift. This group of people don’t just tolerate real raw me- they love me. All of me. All my personalities are welcome in their company. That kind of comfort is priceless.

Our second stop, though- on this wine tasting tour- That is the core of my tale.

Something about this place pulled me in from the moment we parked. I love old unique buildings, as is- but this castle appeal- the door knockers the wooden beams and brick work- My heart pulled harder the closer we came to entering. We walked into the lobby- and this table of horsd’ourves seemed so very familiar, as if I was walking into a dream.

We were led toward the bar/winery area for the tasting and as we passed through a small dining area, my eyes locked on the tables- the tables held by old black chains connected to the ceiling. I knew what it reminded me of- this place I only ever went once with my mom- and with my dad, aunt and uncle (the last three have all passed away)-  I tried to shake the thought off and went to the bar area. The wine tasting was divine. Very well blended wines and the winery shoppe was perfect. If I were rich, I would not have been when I left there- Instead- someone lucky on my Christmas shopping list is getting a fine jar of moonshine jelly.

After hearing the history of the establishment, that was not only a winery- but a fine dining establishment and Inn- we had to walk around and see it. You know, above all- I believe in fate. The more we walked, the faster my heart raced. The rooms- the antiques- the everything….It was like being awake and walking through a dream I visited often. Then- BOOM- I saw it. The tree growing in the middle of the room. A real tree in this beautiful room that went straight up with the roof built around it. I thought I would faint. I was there.

I was in this place I’d only ever been once as a child with family members. It was one of my favorite memories of spending time with my family and even then, I just wanted to move right into the place. It was like a fairy tale in my youth. Honestly, still- It was my fairy tale place. We walked into one of the dining rooms (lots of separate dining rooms) and there it was. The table my family and I were at over twenty years ago. The torches on the wall, the perfectly folded napkins, and there- the tapestry… When I was at this table with my family, I recall fidgeting with it. I walked over and touched each chair- fell into the memory, remembering where my sweet mother was…my father…my aunt and my uncle and that unforgettable cackle he had. I wanted to cry. Touching the chair that was mine, for that one meal, I just wanted to lean down and whisper into the ear of the memory of childhood me and love her…and tell her….I don’t know what I’d tell her. Maybe nothing at all. Maybe not risk ruining that night- that for some reason, she held onto so dearly. Sweet Mister took photos of so many things for me. Of the mural on the wall, of my tree, of a sign I loved walking in, even of me at the antique writing desk.

I didn’t want to leave. Not just then. Not ever. When I die, I hope I can become a ghost and roam this fairy tale place for eternity. I wanted to share it with the people of my soul, those closest to my heart. I have talked of this place so often, not knowing a name or a location- I never thought I would see it again outside of my dreams- and to share it with such great people yesterday- what a birthday fated blessing. I know I will never get married again, but if I did, when I dream about it- it will be here. Something about my heart just pulls in this place.  And here is the kicker, guess what is all over this place? Guess? Okay, you are taking too long. Apples. Apples! My dear calling card. Everywhere- fresh, real perfect mounds of apples. You know how at home I felt. I want nothing more than to stay in the Inn. Here is a link to this most wonderful place I thought I would never see again. Scroll through the photos, but I promise, it is nothing as grand as seeing for your own eyes. You have to bucket list this place. It is worth it.

After that, we stopped by a bar called Whiskey Dicks. Come on, it has been a while, it caught my eye. This place was nothing like it appeared from the outside. Another lovely hidden jewel. We had a great time. A bar right on the river, it was a stunning moonlit vision. A good shot of tequila and listening to one of Mister’s fascinating stories as he chatted with the owner of the bar- It was a short stop, but we will return.

Finally, we rounded our day off at a redneck Christmas bonfire party. Nobody parties like southerners do- sorry- Just a fact. There is no such thing as a stranger at a southern get together. I knew absolutely no one there beyond the people I came with and I had a wonderful time. I fought to not focus on the fiery ring of the bonfire as the flames refused the middle, but some thoughts will not vanish no matter how good of a time I may have. We talked books and festivals I’d never heard of in my life. Lots of great food and jello shots for all, great music, karaoke and the most colorfully entertaining folk to kick off the holiday season- Not to mention watching Mister and Adalia dance better than any twenty year olds I’ve ever seen. My body grew very weak as the day caught up with me and the pain took over but, my goodness, it was worth it. Mister did a great job of trying to talk some sense into me and my heart on the way home, which like the other male important influences in my life, he made perfect sense. Logical. Blunt and loving breaking it down for me. Everything my mind knows, everything my heart refuses to hear.

I came home, whimpering in pain and smiling from the best time I have had in a long time. I love these people. It was an honor to be a part of the December birthday girls outing. Days and people that great are what make aging worth while. Now, back to work.

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!

7DS- More than Sins

7DS

Seven Deadly Sins..

Yes. This collaboration has done well beyond my expectations. I knew people would love it,   IF they gave it a chance, but I never knew people would give it a chance. We may not be on the NY Times Best Sellers list, but we have had so much Amazon love. Every single time the rankings start to dwindle another spurt hits and we are better than before.

Wow.

I had the chance to talk to a very inspiring author that has graced that good old NYT list and he said so simply, “So what is next? You have this book and you do marketing and publicity, so tell me… What is next?”

My stomach would have knotted and I would have held my head in shame IF I didn’t have a reply. Thank God for a reply and a good friend like A.T. Russell that asked me this same question several months before.

7DS is no longer just a book. Nope. 7DS is an official invitation only collaboration. Several books featuring seven authors and a theme. 7DS.

Lots of books are in the works and luckily I learned so much from the Sins. The next 7DS project I would like to debut to you is………………………Are you ready? Of course you are.

SEVEN DWARF STORIES

Tall tales of the short people that made Snow White what she is today. Who are they? What sort of lives did they live before living in the house together? How did they end up in one house together? This is not your run of the mill fairy tale. Be prepared to be, as one story would show, blown away.

I would like to officially introduce you to the authors of this new 7DS venture;

Stephen Penner– The wonderful author of Wrath (Seven Deadly Sins) as well as the official 7DS illustrator. If you listen to me at all, you already know all about this guy, dontcha?

A.T. Russell– The main man behind Greed and that Thingy (Seven Deadly Sins)- The author that feels like my long lost brother. It wouldn’t be a 7DS without him and his elaborate visions for future 7DS projects.

Everett Powers– Author of Canals and The Mighty T. I heard about him from the two guys above and WOW! I see why others hype this man. He is everything an author should be.

Dawn Jayne– The wild imagination behind the debut novel, Uprising. This woman has a personality to match the electricity of her mind. I had to have her.

Mark Souza- Here is one of those authors that you have to sit down with one day and ask, “How in the world did you ever come up with that?”  Read the synopsis of his debut novel, Robyn’s Egg and you will fully agree.

Michelle Horst– Oh, Michelle Horst, a.k.a. Sunshine is just that. She lights up every virtual room. A fellow fantasy author, she snagged my heart from the start. I’ve never been intimidated by very many people in this world, but this woman, author of VAALBARA: Visions & Shadows, makes me want to be a better everything I can be.

And me. Yes, HBIC returns for another short and I was lucky enough to snag these fantastic authors to join this 7DS project.

Stay tuned for updates on this project as well as the announcement of more 7DS projects in progress.