Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Title, 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 Asarlaí 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!
 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Victorious Dead: COVER REVEAL!

     Last week I mentioned celebrating everything. Well, one thing that is extremely fun to celebrate is a new cover! I have a wonderful cover artist for both The Lost Ancient Series as well as The Asarlaí Wars trilogy. Aleta Rafton. And she's done it again!!!

     Even though I don’t make the covers (clearly ;)) they are part of my heart and vision. When you work with a professional cover designer—a good one—you give an idea of what you’re thinking.  Aleta will ask the genre, what the character looks like, costuming, ideas on setting, weapons, etc. They give some roughs, you pick, choose, and add changes until it becomes part of the book itself. It is the face of your book and you have to do all you can to make it look great and represent the book. Not everyone will love it. But, not everyone will love the books either ;).



I am proud to present the cover for the second Asarlaí Wars book—Victorious Dead.



Estimated publication- Summer 2017.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Celebrate EVERYTHING

Writing is hard--life is hard. So many times both in writing and in life, we don't celebrate our accomplishments. Either we feel they are too small ("No one would celebrate THAT, I'm not famous yet after all.") or feel it's bragging- and we all know we're not supposed to do that ;).

I'm here to say that no accomplishment is too small to be celebrated--even if it's only in our own head. And it's not bragging to tell people you've hit a personal goal for yourself. We should always celebrate each others' accomplishments.

We worry too much about our end goal, how we can get where we want to finish up. Why? An end goal is just that, an end. It's the journey that we take to get there, with all the bumps, dumps, and jumps we go through along the way that we should focus on.

I've mentioned before I see a ladder as my writing career journey. The top is lost far above me, and the bottom as well. But each accomplishment I've made: starting a book, finishing a book, letting people read a book, publishing, sales, signing events, rankings--all of those are rungs I've climbed. 

Whatever happens with my end goal, those rungs will always be there. My lost in the clouds goal might be different than what I think it is now. I might never get where I dream to be. BUT, those rungs are mine. I climbed them. I celebrated them.

Enjoy the journey, celebrate your accomplishments and those of folks around you.


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

#IWSG- NEVER GIVE UP!

Welcome all, to another monthly round up of writers hopping about from blog to blog!  Also known as the Insecure Writers Support Group blog day! Join us!    http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/p/iwsg-sign-up.html



Today there was a question proposed of digging out really old work and what did you do with it. Well, I have been writing a VERY long time, so I have a lot of old work lingering about.

My very first book will never see the light of day (seriously- don't even know where it is) but over the years I have stolen names and characters from it for other books.

However, a not quite as old book has definitely made a splash. Warrior Wench was written over six years ago folks. I had planned to publish it after The Lost Ancients series finished, but got it out there earlier. It's done very well in sales and professional and fan reviews. I'm not saying that to brag--I still am nowhere near quitting my day job, but just to point out that you should never give up on a work you've done. 

Find your older pieces--can they be buffed up and put out as they are with some editing and spit shine? Or should you rip the pieces apart and pick out elements for other work?

Nothing should ever be wasted :).

Happy IWSG DAY! 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Just Do IT

Yeah, yeah, yeah--there's some sort of sports product that says that as well.

Just do it.

Now, the slogan is referring to getting out there and taking on the world in sports--providing you wear their gear ;).  I'm stealing it as a life quite (borrowing...only borrowing ;)).

Most of us live in a state of longing, "Life would be better IF...." fill in the blank: I could lose the weight, I made more money, I had a bigger house, better job, was better at betting on the ponies. A lot of these "IF"s revolve around things we'd like to do--but can't (usually because of time). Write a book. Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. 

Pretty much it's a bunch of hooey. 

In the first grouping, those things aren't going to make you a happier person by themselves. You might have more things, but if your happiness is only based on external items or actions or perceptions of others--you are always going to be chasing the next thing. Gotta come from inside YOU or you'll never have enough to be happy.

The second group, the "I wish I had time to....." are also hooey. Massive Hooeyness.

We all have the same amount of time, and most of us are far more busy than we'd like. Yet, somehow we all think WE'RE far busier than everyone else and that's why we can't just do it--just go for our dreams.

Grand master hooey of epic proportions!

If you want to do something, you find the time. I've said it here many many times, but it needs repeating (as I again had someone say, "I wish I had time to write."). You make time, you find a way, you do whatever needs to be done to get your vision, your words, your WORLDS out there. Doesn't have to be writing, it can be anything that your heart needs. While I have not, nor do I want to--ever-- climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, my sister has. She's also gone to Antarctica and even kayaked there--why? Because she wanted to! 

You MAKE IT HAPPEN. Don't give into fear (Chuck Wendig talks about fear far better- and with more swear words-than I can- http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2017/02/21/writers-are-best-when-theyre-always-on-the-edge-of-failure/).

This is your life, if it speaks to you, find a way.

Just do it! And along the way, celebrate all the steps of the journey :).


PLUG! Okay, so in just doing it, I have ended up with a great book release party at the most awesome bookstore in the land, Mysterious Galaxy! http://www.mystgalaxy.com/event/marie-andreas-signs-san-diego



AND if you can't be there- up through the 24th- you can order a signed and personalized copy and have it mailed to you! 

http://www.mystgalaxy.com/upstream-our-universe-marie-andreas




Wednesday, February 1, 2017

#IWSG- Where do we go from here?

Welcome to another monthly installment of the Insecure Writers Support Group. A band of intrepid writers from across the land who gather monthly to share, hopes, dreams, and fears.

Join us! http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/p/iwsg-sign-up.html



I've been thinking about the next step for my writing career. Just writing isn't enough, we also need to be marketing, be worried about ROI above all, and monetarily break up our time (so we know how much we're losing by doing certain things instead of others). There's also trying to figure out how to make ads and newsletters. 

It seems like everywhere I turn, there is something else that "must" be done. You HAVE to have a blog OR you shouldn't have a blog-it takes away too much time and therefore not a good ROI. I feel that at any moment someone is going to come up and tell me the secret to being a successful author is to be able to rub my tummy while patting my head and chewing gum.

AKA- there is ALWAYS something else to do to succeed (beyond writing ;)).

I'm all for goals, and yes, I would love to make more money at my writing--but it seems that as of late I've been spending too much energy on all of that. Or at least trying to figure that all out.

I need to find a way to balance, to move my career forward, but not lose what I love to do. If anyone out there has some clues to obtaining that balance, please share!

Happy IWSG Day!




Monday, January 30, 2017

CONTEST!

Hi folks!

For one week, and one week ONLY, you have a chance to win over 45 SF/space opera ebooks! Including Warrior Wench! AND a grand prize of a KINDLE FIRE!

Head on over and enter now, there are some awesome looking reads in this group:   bit.ly/scifi-adventures



Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Why I Write

I am lucky enough to belong to a number of writing groups and count many very talented writers as my friends. Being around all these writing folks has made to look at why we write. Why I write.

I've realized that just as no two writers write the same, no two writers write for the same reason.

Some of the groups I'm in are all writers-aka non-genre specific. So I see many of the "meaningful writers" on some of these groups, authors who write to make an impact, to change the way people feel about something, or express a deep secret of the human condition. They write heavier works with great depth.

Even though I hold a Master's degree in psychology, I'm not one of those.

Some writers are more business oriented. They love to write, but to be honest, the bottom line is more important. "Don't write the book of your heart, write what will sell." It's numbers and building a business for them.

Even though I deal with numbers all day during my day job, I'm not one of those.

Some writers are story tellers. They just love to find out what is going to happen to these made up people in their made up worlds just as much as any story they read--only in this case, if they don't write it, there won't be a story.

This is the type of writer I am. I am interested in the human condition, obviously, but I use it more as an accent for my stories, "What would someone feel if this happened to them?". Writing is a business for me, but the business aspect is second to the heart of it. I decided to go Indie after years of "Loved it, BUT--" rejections so I COULD get the stories of my heart out--not so I could become rich. Would I love to make enough to support myself without my day job? Of course I would. But it's a difficult road for any writer, and if I were writing stories that didn't speak to me--I'd stop within a few weeks.

I'm posting this for the other writers and creative folks out there. There are different paths for each person. And along the way other folks might try to nudge you to their side, to become like them and share their path.

Think long and hard before you do that--make sure it's where your heart is. There are no wrong paths, just paths that might not be the best for you.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Reader vs Character

Okay, not in a fight club, battle to the death with Original Star Trek fight music blaring in the background type of way--but still, a fight of sorts.

Writers need to always keep in mind what the reader probably knows from the real world. This can be a problem of focus: don't step by step me on how to start a car unless there is something new or unique about it, or the car is going to blow up, fly, or vanish. Most people know how cars work. When an author focuses on a mundane, everyday thing, I'm waiting for something NON-mundane to happen. When it doesn't, I become peeved. Peeved readers bad.

Another problem with reader knowledge is common and assumed myths. Even though the author has created a world different from ours, they can't shut off what readers know. I just read a book where the main character (who knows vampires) can't figure out why the vamps keep insisting she invite them in. This popped up four times--each time I kept saying in my head, "No, don't go there, author--everyone knows you can't invite a vampire in your home!" I was annoyed that something that is common myth to most readers was going to be a plot point.

And it was.

Now, first off, vampires don't exist--yes, I do know this. But, for folks who read or watch stuff with vampires--having to invite them in is fairly common. So, me as the reader "knew" what an expert in vampires didn't in the book.

Also to be fair, at nowhere in the book had that topic been introduced, and it appears to be limited to a type of vampire. Logically, the author was fine to do what was done. She didn't break her story mythos. But it still bugged the crap out of me as the reader because I knew what was coming.

The author could have found a better way to make the character be in the same pickle, without annoying readers.

Even when you make up your own worlds, you can't shut off reader knowledge.




Monday, January 9, 2017

The Sapphire Manticore is LIVE!!!

Okay, the eBook version is, hopefully there really isn't a manticore made of sapphire roaming around the countryside. That would be bad.

BUT, if you're a fan of The Lost Ancients fantasy series- Book four is ready and waiting! The print version will take longer due to proofs, mailing, and whatnot.




AND if you know someone who hasn't read the first three books yet, there is an ebook set of the first three for only $4.99! Just for a few days only!


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

#IWSG-Hanging on to the good

Welcome to another monthly meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group! We gather once a month to post our hopes, dreams, and fears- join us!

http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/p/iwsg-sign-up.html


The beginning of a year is always a great time to look forward, figure out what awesome and amazing things you're going to do in the next 12 months.

For me, a big part of that is examining the good that has already happened. Writing is hard. Just plan hard. I can't imagine my life without it, but that doesn't make it any less brutal.

You are creating worlds from nothing, characters from nothing, EVERYTHING from nothing. You're forging a path that is both very well trod, but also unique to you. Even writers in the same genre, time frame, etc are not going to be on the same exact path as each other.

But there are always chances for celebrations. Last year I had some pretty awesome thing happen in my writing career. But, it could have been easy to discount them as "not enough". And in the past, I might have discounted them. I might have felt that I wasn't hitting the same goals and kudos as other writers.

Lately though, I'm holding on to each one--each good review, each time someone really loved one of my books, goals I've reached. I'm hanging on to all of them. No mater how small, each one is part of my path, part of my journey. Each one will help defend my soul from the sometimes brutal world of publishing.

So, whether you're a writer or not hang on to all the little rewards of your journey--they do count.

Happy IWSG day!