A very sincere thanks to the lovely & talented Valarie Savage Kinney for allowing me on her blog to post the A-Z basics of Livian!
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!) The 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.
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.
SARAH 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.
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.
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!
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!
I do not blog in a dedicated or routine manner. I like it. If you don’t expect it on a regular basis, maybe you are more likely to read when I do post! (Right?)
Lots of things going on. I have been truly busy. I am getting grey hair and I barely have time for my evening wine (except on special occasions). In case you missed it plastered all over the internet, I HAVE MY OFFICIAL BOOK COVER FOR LIVIAN!
I am blown away by the detail both obvious and hidden with this cover. I can’t wait for you to read this! I have worked with a most fantastic editor to bring my dear book up to par. I’ve learned so much to carry on even bigger and better for the rest of the series. (Thank you for being a blessing, dear editor!)
Champagne Book Group is a remarkable digital publisher. They have really impressed the heck out of me. Be sure to check out their other titles- So many talented authors under one house-
LIVIAN isn’t far away at all now!
SEVEN DEADLY SINS is also doing very well. We have smoked the charts- the charts I wasn’t sure we would ever touch. LOL. The feedback alone has been worth its weight in gold. I love hearing people enjoy something that we all created together. The wonderful things that have blossomed from this project, and continue to do so, soar past my wildest dreams. Have you checked the SINS out yet? Of course you have….but if not, click the photo…
I do have lots more interesting 7DS and publishing news and updates for you. Stay tuned! Thanks for reading!
If this isn’t blog-worthy, nothing is. I have to share with you- with the world- what I was lucky enough to receive in the mail. This beautiful piece of art was created by my favorite author and illustrator. If you pay any attention to me at all, you have heard me talk/type about Professor Barrister’s Dinosaur Mysteries. This series happens to be a normal read in my house. We all love the Professor and his enlightening adventures. The illustrations have amazed me since the first book. Now, I have the world that resides inside of my own imagination on canvas. Stephen Penner has given me LIVIAN- in full color, down to the finest detail. He has told my story with his paint brush. I can not take my eyes off of this painting. This scene is exactly the world of LIVIAN that I see when I close my eyes. It’s perfect. Thank you, Mr. Penner. You amaze me.
I have been rather slack about blogging lately. My literary journey has been rather busy. I couldn’t be much more blessed.
Taking a look back at my previous blog, you are aware that I’ve dived in, head first, into the Seven Deadly Sins project. All of the writers seems to be rocking each story & making waves with the hype on this book. The outlook for this book is already appearing to be very promising. Of course, with such talent coming from all directions, I really can not claimed to be surprised by this.
Even though I had followed each of these writers for some time before this project ever came into play, and assumed I had a grasp on the six personalities, I am still learning and continuing to have my mind blown by these authors. I can personally take a step back and see how my friendship has evolved with each one, but to take another step back and see how the same evolution is taking place between them all- Ah, it is better than anything on television. We are really starting to feel like our own little family. Looking out for one another, deeply supporting one another, even asking where someone is and if anyone has talked to them should one of us vanish for a few days. Shockingly, I have found such comfort inside of this sinners tribe. I look forward to giving you updates as the project continues.
As for my original baby, “LIVIAN”, I have received so much positive feedback over this novel, I have permanent pudding face. I must share this lovely blurb on LIVIAN with you.
” ‘Livian,’ by Michelle Picarella. You won’t get any spoilers here, by the way. Anyway, ‘Livian’ is a high fantasy tale about growth and a young girl’s development. Michelle’s crafty design of the tale is so clear that the words flew by and I wasn’t able to savor each page long enough. Additionally, the way she wrote the story leaves no question unanswered, no stone unturned, and I literally felt for the character’s well-being from the very first page. Humph! And she calls herself a newbie. Yeah right.” A.T. Russell (To continue reading what he had to say, including The Seven Deadly Sins, the wonderful Dawn Kirby (lust of Sins) as well as other authors- click here. or here….
LIVIAN is still in the waiting game process. I know I haven’t been in this submission game long, but in “writer’s time” it feels pretty close to forever. I know that it is well worth the wait, and will be in the end of it all. “She” is currently in submission to a small group of publishers. I have not heard back from all, but several that I have had contact with have requested full manuscripts after reading the partial, have told me a time frame that I should hear back within, & one even referred to me as a future best seller on my Facebook. Sigh. So, to be sure, good things are a’coming. Patience is a virtue. I am getting my zen on and just waiting for the blessings to continue.
I will be blogging more often, and as I mentioned before- as soon as LIVIAN gets a deal that I sign, I shall become a “Vlogger”. Scary, eh? Have a blessed day, everyone.
(With the Dreamers)
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!