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 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.
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.
…………………………………………………..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.
Yes, read this book. Check out the blogs listed below. I shall return. Be prepared. 🙂
- Twisted Core Press & 7DS Books Post Awards Blog (twistedcorepress.wordpress.com)
- Wizard World Nashville Comic Con 2013 (twistedcorepress.wordpress.com)
- Wizard World, Sinclair Group Announce Media Partnership For Nashville Comic Con, October 18-20 (focusonthe615.com)
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.
My Official “Must Have Books of 2012” List.
Something for everyone. I will post another list for short stories. This is novel length only. There are plenty more WONDERFUL books on the 2012 debut list. I kept this narrowed down to 10 books. I wish I could list them all, but nobody would read that post. I will post more must reads very soon and catch the ones I missed on this list- not to mention all the highly anticipated December releases still coming! Until then, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays- and SUPPORT AUTHORS. BUY BOOKS!
NEW ALPHA RISING: ASCENSION PART 1 Author: A.T. Russell Published by: Twisted Core Press, LLC. Urban Fantasy Countless years ago, measured in thousands, the Gods came first. Monstrous creations were born of their frivolity. Like the Gods, some of the creations were peaceful, others not. Their duty to preserve the earth completed once more, however, the day came that the Gods had to leave earth. Unleashed and with loose regulation, the abominable creations left behind multiplied. In their midst, another conception came to be, and his kind would exist absolutely outside of the God’s purview.
Unmated, alone, and untrusting of others, Chatran was charged to go to a place and protect the father of a great child, yet unborn. This duty, however, was unknown to the most cognizant part of Chatran. Only the Beast, who resided within him, knew. As a result, the Beast led Chatran to Walhalla, North Dakota. Although his initial charge was to protect the father he found there, Chatran also gained a mate and Pack. With them, Chatran also found a new way forward, and started on a course that would lead to – New Alpha Rising: Ascension.
Vaalbara, Visions & Shadows Author: Michelle Horst Published by: Twisted Core Press, LLC. YA Fantasy- Aislinn is most definitely not just the “Weird Girl” everyone thought she was. Plagued by dreams so vivid she can barely breathe at times, she turns to Sid, her imaginary friend, for comfort. When a stranger appears in Aislinn’s life and her dreams begin to unfold, she soon finds herself stepping through a mystical and haunting waterfall where on the other side waits a brand new destiny. As her real identity is finally unveiled, the future will become twice as hard now that Aislinn is Alchera… Vaalbara’s lost princess.
With a handsome guardian named Raighne by her side, Alchera soon realizes that this new fate is not about saving a dying planet or an uncaring race; It is all about saving the “Chosen Ones” who hold the future of humanity in the palm of their hands. When Carter, the son of a monstrous immortal appears, the question of whether or not Alchera will lose her true self and succumb to the shadows that are threatening to suffocate her very soul hangs in the balance. Will the true love of her guardian be enough to save her or will the darkness that Carter carries with him be the end of Alchera’s hope?
SECRETS Author: Dawn Kirby Published by Dark Dragon Publishing Paranormal Fantasy They say the truth will set you free, but for Leah it kills.
DRAGON’S LEGACY Author: Jude Johnson Published by: Champagne Books Historical Romance Looking like his Mexican mother, Jamie Jones struggles to find his place in an increasingly Anglo Tucson, Arizona Territory, in 1904. But his stubborn Welsh half is determined to be accepted, so he sets his sights on winning the affection of Miss Iris Crawford, an aloof beauty with motives of her own.
Percy Kindall lives the life of a privileged rogue in San Diego—until the day of his father’s suicide. Percy’s only clue to motive is a letter sent to a mysterious Mrs. Reyna Jones in Tucson. When he arrives there, he recognizes a kindred spirit in Iris Crawford, and makes clandestine arrangements for their mutual satisfaction.
Unaware of the avaricious manipulations of Miss Crawford, Jamie and Percy’s lives collide and intertwine in a web of secrets and destiny—a Dragon’s Legacy.
DEATH OF A MATADOR Author: Everett Powers Thriller Mystery In the dusty little Central California city of Stevinson, a matador enters a bullfight arena to face twelve hundred pounds of muscle and fury. He engages the bull and leads it through his cape with grace and flair, until his legs and arms go numb—he’s been drugged. When his paralyzed arms drop the cape, the bull rams a horn into his liver and that’s it for the matador. The killer didn’t mean for the man to die, but oh well. He wasn’t about to go to jail for it, though, so he tracks down the guy he paid to give the matador the spiked water, bashes him with a piece of rebar, and dumps him into a ditch. No witness, no jail. Imagine his surprise when his picture shows up in the paper later that week. Now he’s gotta kill someone else.
Instead of attending the bullfight, the mayor of Stevinson, Manny Dutra, is negotiating with pot growers who want to grow their quasi-legal product in his city. He squeezes three hundred grand out of them, a nice “commission,” but he’s gotta get the ultra conservative and religious city council to approve the deal. He’ll get it done because he knows who’s been doing what behind closed doors. When one of the council figures out what he’s up to, Manny kills her to save the deal. As the week progresses, the cops are all over him and his constituents, hardworking religious Portuguese farmers and dairymen, are on his case because they can’t believe he wants to let someone grow drugs in their town. If he can just hold things together for six days he can collect his graft and split.Too bad for Manny and the matador’s killer, Detective Grant Starr is asked to help the Sheriff’s Department solve the murders. Can Grant, his beautiful girlfriend Detective Amber Whitehall, friend Detective Ralph Bensen, and Detective John McKay of the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department bring the killers to justice?
In his follow-up to the thrilling THE MIGHTY T, Powers takes his readers for a wild ride inside a close-knit Central California Portuguese community, with their religious festivals and bloodless bullfights. A world rich in tradition.
LIVIAN Author: Michelle Anderson Picarella Published by: Burst Books YA Dark Fantasy Beneath the orbit of the tri-moon dusk, a world sets unbalanced between good and evil. Each being fears the loss of their soul as one mysterious creature hunts the Alpha of each tribe in order to possess the entire colony. Unaware of her royal warrior lineage, wingless Livian struggles with the unaccepted gnarling of her genetic roots and the questionings of her own twisted purpose of life, while keeping her existence unknown to the soul possessing hunter. Her destiny holds the decided fate of the world and the battle begins within her own soul before the first slash of bloodshed.
ROBYN’S EGG Author: Mark Souza Dystopian Thriller In a dismal future driven by corporations, where most citizens are human billboards focused on status and entertainment, Moyer and Robyn Winfield struggle to attain a baby. Moyer doubts he will make a good father. His wife Robyn, however, is frantic for a child, and Moyer wonders how long his marriage will survive without one. In an age when babies must be cloned and purchased, the high cost almost makes the point moot.
When his wife learns their friends negotiated the price of their baby, she sends Moyer to Hogan-Perko, a corporation with a monopoly on human cloning, to negotiate for their child, and Moyer finds himself face to face with Viktor Perko – The Father of Mankind. The cost for their baby, all of their savings and the promise of a favor. Moyer agrees and is soon asked to spy on Perko’s enemies.
THE GODLING CLUB Author: Stephen Penner Published by RoF YA PARANORMAL ADVENTURE. What do you do when your mother is kidnapped, your house blows up, and a mysterious boy appears to tell you that you’ve just doomed all of reality–all on your birthday, no less? You grab your best friend and embark on the adventure of a lifetime. Jeni Tanaka was meant to be the “godling” to a powerful creation goddess. The only problem is, no one told her. To regain her birthright, Jeni travels to Brazil, China, India, and more to rescue her mother, save the world, and join THE GODLING CLUB! (Let’s be real…considering 2012 and the ending of it all, if this were not truly a good book, it wouldn’t be here- but above all, I am honest. So, yeah. It is worth the read.)
DEADLY CONSEQUENCES Author: Lori Gordon SUSPENSE
The Sam Black series of suspense novels feature the detectives of the fictional major crimes unit working out of 18th Precinct… the Gold Coast…where the rich and fabulous live…and die.
Nothing good ever happens on Saturday nights. Not in a city the size of Chicago, and not for the detectives of the 18th Precinct. Detective Sam Black and partner Alec Winters respond to a chilling call. A dead body’s been discovered near the lagoon in Lincoln Park Zoo, one of the city’s largest tourist attractions. The Superintendent of police and Mayor are screaming for a quick resolution before the media creates a frenzy.
Sharp twists and unexpected turns force the detectives to put personal animosity aside when another girl goes missing. With the suspect pool quickly eroding, Sam follows a hunch that leads her to the killer’s lair and brings her face to face with a mad man determined to make her his next victim.
UPRISING Author: Dawn Jayne Published by: Time & Tide Publishing EPIC FANTASY
Heralds are the most powerful of all angels, secretive and feared, created for a single purpose. Only those most courageous and worthy earn a place within the elite choir, and only by breaking ancient oaths held sacred can the honor be stripped. It’s a punishment that hasn’t been imposed in over two-thousand years, until a single reckless act sets off a firestorm, threatening to consume all creation.
Rise Hawke never suspected she’d been marked to play a role in the deadly events unfolding in the spiritual realm. Independent and resistant to authority, she isn’t thrilled when she meets Dominik, an angel with new wings, an old grudge, and a mysterious agenda he’s determined to impose.
Vowing to uncover the secrets kept from her, Rise soon learns that knowing what you are isn’t nearly as dangerous as discovering why. Hunted by those who want to destroy her, and controlled by those who would see her fulfill her purpose, she is forced into a brutal battle set in motion long before she was ever born. It soon becomes clear that what one angel will risk to earn the title of Herald, is matched only by what another will do to keep it.