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!
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.
That 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.
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.
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.
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.
The interaction with readers was overwhelming. This is not an event to do alone- not that it cannot be handled alone, but there are too many people to have wonderful conversations with for a single person to master. I met some “interesting” people- even a psychic that informed me of where I lived and how many children I had. (creepy) I decided to get smart and ask him what I was having for dinner. “Chicken…and you’re cooking it.” he whispered. What a let down. Well, he was half right. Thanks, Bojangles. I did not feel like cooking.
I loved the interest readers carried in the back story of each book on the Ring of Fire table. The conversations came back to back to back. Seven Deadly Sins was a huge hit right along with Stephen Penner’s SCOTTISH RITE. (Everyone loves that book.)
I also autographed my first book for a non-friend or family member. I don’t know if it is normal, but I will never forget the name. God Bless Kermit- the sweet fella that asked for my first stranger autograph. What a kick-butt name. Kermit. I like that guy.
Above and beyond the wonderful experience with readers, I must mention the biggest factor I see in attending a book event and why you must do it. Networking. Always the number one key- networking.
I made some fantastic connections, including library services, warehousing, book clubs, reviewers, and etc.. But my favorite connections were other publishers and authors working the event around me. I grew rather fond of some of these booth holders. You will see me promote them on facebook and twitter. I would like to especially point out the lovely ladies that spent the weekend across from me. While I was setting up my booth, my first booth ever- these ladies came in like storm troopers. Oh, the swag and set up they brought and put together quicker than Chuck Norris could slap a biscuit from your mama’s mouth. They made me sick. LOL. I would easily say they had the best booth for an author at this event.
Not only did they entertain me better than cable ever could, they taught me so very much and helped. I know my next event will be an even better experience and I will always be truly thankful to them for the insight and suggestions. So, here’s to you, AJ Scudiere and her right hand lady, Eli Jackson. I must do another event near you guys.
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!
I have made it clear that this literary journey is, to say the least, a learning process. Beyond the books, blogs, bewares, and Bransford, I find most of the true valuable learning assets is the company of other writers. I do not mean the endless free advice that many are more than willing to shower you with. I am talking about connecting to someone else as they travel down their own path. I have decided to highlight some of these wonderful people who I have been blessed enough to stumble upon. Please welcome Dawn Kirby, Author and friend, to my humble little blog as she allows me to interview her about books and life.
-What non-religious book would you say has influenced your life the most?
Dawn: I would have to say it was To Kill A Mockingbird. I read it when i was
in 7th grade. It touched me deeper than any book ever has. There are
so many life lesson within Harper Lee’s words it’s hard not to take
away something new each and every time I read it.
-What character that you have created is currently your favorite? Why?
Dawn: Raine, without question. He’s big, he’s gorgeous and he’s unlike any
man I’ve ever met. He smells like a storm and the passion he has for
all things is just as strong. He’ll protect those he loves to the
death and won’t hesitate to bring Hell down on anyone who dares cross
him. On the other hand, he can be as sweet and loving as a child. What
woman doesn’t want a knight in shining armor by day and a fiercely
devoted lover by night?
-What aspect of the writing journey do you consider to be the most
Dawn: Having patience. It’s an important part of any writer’s journey
throughout the process. Once you get your story written you have to
edit it, let others critique it (not everybody reads at lightening
speed), edit it again, write a query, wait for a response, get
rejected, write another query….you get the point. Without patience
being a writer becomes a thorn in your side rather than a way to get
your “voice” heard.
– Somewhere, someone is sitting down to write for the first time.
What advice would you offer them?
Dawn: Just do it. You never know what you can accomplish if you don’t try.
Even if it’s just writing your thoughts down to share with a few close
friends. You’ll always be able to look back and say “I did that”.
-What are you currently working on and what can we look forward to in
Dawn: I’m currently editing my first book, SECRETS in the Serenity Series
for publication and writing “LUST” for your fabulous “Sins”
collaboration. As soon as those are completed I’ll start editing book
two, DECEIT and writing book five. In between I write a weekly serial
called TURNING for Sabrina Ogden’s book blog.
– What do you enjoy consuming your non-literary free time doing?
Dawn: Anything that gets me out with my family. Movies are nice, but getting
out of town and seeing them happy and recharged would be grand.
*LUCKY 7*- Give us seven random book titles from your book shelf.
To Kill A Mocking Bird ~ Harper Lee
Much Ado About Nothing ~ William Shakespeare
NightWatch ~Sergei Lukyanenko
Harry Potter (you name it) ~ JK Rowling
The Black Lyon ~ Jude Deveraux
Pride Mates ~ Jennifer Ashley
Heart Shaped Box ~ Joe Hill
I would like to thank Dawn for her time and allowing me to share her with you! If you would like to keep up with Dawn Kirby follow the links below.