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!
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.
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.