Thursday, May 11, 2017

Riding the rollercoster

Eons ago--seriously, in the dark ages folks--I read Battlefield Earth. It's a huge book, and while I sort of enjoyed it  at the time, nothing sticks with me except really tall aliens and that L. Ron Hubbard was very verbose.

Except for the concept of rolling in a plot. 

That was the first book where I became conscious of the ups and downs in storytelling. At the time I thought of it like a roller coaster. Or what I call down time. We've all read books where things just keep building and building with no let up, no quiet moments. They can be exhausting! (Some folks love that--more power to you!)

For me as a reader, a book needs to have an ebb and flow as it works its way up to the "Everything has gone to hell and we're all gonna die" moment. I like those quiet moments in a book. I can breathe a bit (a good writer will have you racing alongside the characters), there's often a bit of humor, or character development that makes the characters a little more real. Then I'm ready when the next massive battle, attack, mission, or whatever, happens.

This is more noticeable for action heavy books. For me, if there's too much going on and not enough down time hanging with my peeps (aka book characters ;)) I usually don't enjoy the book. I'm all for a great plot, but I LOVE characters I can fall in love with.

But even more subtle stories can benefit from the roller coaster. They too, can benefit from stepping out of the story for a moment. The sitting around a kitchen, the club, the favorite diner. Just a chance for the characters to decompress and show sides that might not have been noticeable before.

 But please, don't just use that time for an info dump or recap of what just happened in the story ;).

Sunday, May 7, 2017

THE GLASS GARGOYLE IS FREE!!!

For a VERY limited time--the ebook version of The Glass Gargoyle is FREE! If you know someone who could use some mayhem, murderous mages, and drunken faeries- send them over to get started with the series now!

(It's the faeries who made it free---I can't get them to sober up enough to unlock my Amazon password!)







Wednesday, May 3, 2017

#IWSG Goals versus Desires


Welcome to yet another monthly round of the Insecure Writers Support Group. Join us on a blog trip around the world looking at our hopes, dreams, and insecurities.



Join us!

Lately I’ve been thinking about how to make sure I enjoy what I’ve done with my writing—and at the same time keep improving, growing, moving forward.

I’ve noticed that no matter what goal I reach, no matter how much I think, “OH! I want that to happen!” once it does, I’m no longer as thrilled. I’m still excited and happy, but I feel like it’s not as cool anymore.

Then if I have a hope (desire) and it doesn’t come through, I’m bummed and feel like a failure (there’s a timing component to this post folks—two contests I’ve entered books in will be announcing their finalists in a few weeks ;)).

My ‘desire’ for awards, recognition, sales, etc. is threatening to drown out my ability to enjoy what I have achieved and why I do what I do.

As I’m looking into this I’ve realized there is a difference between goals and desires.

A goal is something we aim for and control. I can have a goal to complete three new books in a year. I control it (within reason, I do have a full time day job ;)). There are no other folks involved. I do it, or I don’t. I am solely responsible for controlling that goal.

Now a desire is that I wish for lots of people to buy and love my books. To be well off and be able to quit my day job and write full time. There are a LOT of other people (whom I have no control over) involved with that. The room for disappointment for a failed desire is HUGE!

If I don’t make one of my goals, it’s on me, and I regroup and figure out how to get back on track to make the goal. But if something I desire falls through, there is really nothing to do but feel bad. About something I had no control over. And that failed desire can negatively impact my ability to achieve my goals.

So, after this long talk with myself, we’ve decided to focus on goals (the setting and reaching of them) and avoid desire. If I want something to happen (such as a book contest) I need to make it a goal to meet the criteria to submit the book (my steps, my goal)—THEN forget about it.

I have a feeling this is going to be a work in progress ;).

What about you? How do you deal with goals and desires?

Happy IWSG day!


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Titles, what are they good for?

I thought I’d bring up something I’ve always found interesting- book titles.

Some authors have all their titles set up before they dive in, series titles, individual book titles, etc. Yeah, me not so much ;).

My first series (which might come out some day- it's not my first ever book --which no longer exists ;)) is the Chaos series...yeah, doesn't really have a name. But the books do: Essence of Chaos, Division of Chaos, and Destruction of Chaos. Sort of a story arc in title form. Chaos in this world refers to magic and those titles fit.

The Lost Ancients series started out with a very long title for the first book: The Glass Gargoyle of The Last Elven King. Yeah, that got axed. I trimmed the title for an event before I published and realized that worked much better--and shows up in a thumbnail for the cover much better ;). The rest of the books all are named after other relics. The series name was just something quick to gather all the books--and the whole series does revolve around those long lost ancient folks ;). The faeries wanted to call it the drunken faery chronicles, but I out voted them.

The term AsarlaĆ­ is an Irish term that means sorcerer, wizard, or magician. I was looking for a term like that, and I liked the way the word looked. The accent over the ‘I’ is a pain as I have to adjust it everywhere I mention the series ;). (Note—might want to stay away from accented words ;))

The titles in the series are Warrior Wench, Victorious Dead, and Defiant Ruin. I wanted titles that were short and could hold double meaning. All three titles are names of  space ships in the books, and they also speak to what’s going on in the series.

My main character Vaslisha Tor Dain is not someone who would take being called a Wench lightly, but with a ship of that name it does happen. Victorious Dead concerns not only the name of her beloved ship, but people lost in the first book. Defiant Ruin sort of explains what happens when everything in the Galaxy goes to hell in a handbasket.

The steam punk that will be out later this year, is an open ended series-- not in a set number of books. I only have one title set so far—book one: A Curious Invasion. I wanted something again fairly short, but also that fight with the whimsy of a lighter steam punk (and there is an alien invasion as well ;)).


I see my titles as important as the cover in setting my brand. As a reader I enjoy books in a series that share a style of title. Adds to the cohesiveness for me.


What about you? What are your feelings about titles—both for series and for specific books?

Friday, April 7, 2017

Contest and STUFF!

Okay, first off- go over to my author FaceBook page https://www.facebook.com/marieandreaswriter/
and enter this week's "PRIZE-O-RAMA":

In honor of The Glass Gargoyle being out and about for TWO years as of last month- I’m going to have “Prize-O-Rama” Fridays for the entire month of April!
What are prize-o-rama Fridays, you ask?
It’s a chance for you—and I’m talking to YOU—to win prizes!
Each Friday this month, I’ll throw down the gauntlet and list a prize or two. Comment ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE ONLY!!! and you get one entry! The Monday after I’ll randomly draw the winner (so folks have the entire weekend to enter- you can even tag friends in the comments and if they enter as well- YOU get an extra entry!)
This week we’ll have two prizes- comment which one you’d like- or BOTH if you want to be entered in both of them. (Due to shipping costs, if someone outside of the US wins, I’ll have to have an alternative prize : (.)
1) Print copy – your choice of any of my five books- signed! (*non-US would be an ecopy)
2) A Teavana e-gift card for $15! (This is TEA folks ;))

************DON'T ENTER THE CONTEST HERE- YOU HAVE TO GO TO THE FACEBOOK PAGE FOR IT TO COUNT************

Secondly- The Sapphire Manticore is an April TOP PICK from RT Booklovers! Check out what kind things were said- then check out the book ;). https://www.rtbookreviews.com/book-review/sapphire-manticore

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

IWSG#Overwhelmed

Welcome to another monthly run of the world famous--Insecure Writer's Support Group!  Writers from across the lands join in arms and celebrate, freak out, whathaveyou, about their condition (aka being writers). JOIN US!


Today I'd like to briefly ramble about being overwhelmed--and the constant battle to not end up that way ;).

Being a writer is HARD-people only do it because they honestly can't figure out a way not to. And it seems that every time I turn around there is yet one more, "THIS will make you successful" miracle program out there.

But, guess what? Writing has always been hard. Even way back in the pulp fiction 50's. Most folks weren't making a living at writing novels then either. And I'm sure there were wheelers and dealers ready to help them out then too.

These programs, people, strange things that hit you at 3 am as to why you're not as successful as you should be, can overwhelm you.

They suck away the joy.

Writing is hard. Yes, we're like addicts looking for our next fix of words on the page. But it is also a joy. It's amazing, beautiful, and a gift. When we're overwhelmed by all the ways we need to make ourselves successful, we lose the joy.

If we work to grab onto the joy, remind ourselves how awesome it is that we do what we do (not if we're making a living--but that we DO IT), guess what happens? The joy shoves aside the feeling of being overwhelmed. We do what we can to get our words out there--but first and foremost, we have to hang onto our joy at writing.

Happy IWSG Day!  Go hug a writer!


Sunday, April 2, 2017

Contest winners!

Last Friday, I was part of a book launch party for my writer friend, Andy Peloquin. I told folks I'd post winners today.

Here they are!

Chandra Trulove Fry- 2 free ebooks from either of my series and $5 Star bucks card
 Rainne Atkins- Lost Ancients ebook  and $5 Star bucks card
 Philipp Kessler Warrior Wench ebook and $5 Star bucks card
Amanda Beth Steele – free ebook- choice- and $5 Star bucks card
 Shekeilah Besay Angawa- free Lost Ancients series ebook and $5 Star bucks card
 Linda ODea – free Lost Ancients series ebook and $5 Star bucks card
 Email me at Marie @marieandreas to claim!