Friday, January 29, 2016

Writer Quote of the Day

“Who wants to become a writer? And why? Because it’s the answer to everything. … It’s the streaming reason for living. To note, to pin down, to build up, to create, to be astonished at nothing, to cherish the oddities, to let nothing go down the drain, to make something, to make a great flower out of life, even if it’s a cactus.”—Enid Bagnold

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Have Your Ordered Your Copy of The Brazen Shark Yet?

Pick up the latest Steampunk masterpiece by David Lee Summers!

Pirate captain, inventor, and entrepreneur Onofre Cisneros sweeps his friends Fatemeh and Ramon Morales off to Hawaii for their honeymoon. Once there, a British agent makes Cisneros an offer he can't refuse and the captain must travel to Japan. Wanting to see more of the world, Ramon and Fatemeh ask to accompany the captain only to find themselves embroiled in a plot by samurai who steal a Russian airship, hoping to overthrow the Japanese emperor.

“Airships battling! Samurai fomenting war with Russia! Historical characters and powerfully drawn fictional ones mixing it up with political intrigues make David Lee Summers’ The Brazen Shark a steampunk novel not to be missed. Put it at the top of your reading list. Now!" Robert E. Vardeman, author of Gateway to Rust and Ruin

“Pack your goggles and your telescope and your atlas because the Clockwork Legion is taking us on another whirlwind adventure. And this one covers the globe in the air, on the sea, on terra firma, undersea … and even into space!” David L. Drake and Katherine L. Morse, authors of The Adventures of Drake & McTrowell 

Ebook $4.95 Print Book: $15.95 Preorder HERE NOW!

Available February 1st!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Writer Quote of the Day

“Making people believe the unbelievable is no trick; it’s work. … Belief and reader absorption come in the details: An overturned tricycle in the gutter of an abandoned neighborhood can stand for everything.”—Stephen King

Monday, January 25, 2016

Monday Guest Author: About Series Continuity by Joyce Reynolds-Ward

Joyce Reynolds-Ward is our guest author this week. Joyce Reynolds-Ward is a speculative fiction writer who splits her time between Enterprise and Portland, Oregon. Her short stories have appeared in First Contact CafĂ©, Tales from an Alien Campfire, River, How Beer Saved the World 1, Fantasy Scroll Magazine, and Trust and Treachery among others. Her books include Netwalk: Expanded Edition, Netwalker Uprising, Life in the Shadows: Diana and Will, Alien Savvy, Seeking Shelter at the End of the World, Netwalk’s Children, and Pledges of Honor. Besides writing, Joyce enjoys reading, horses, skiing, and other outdoor activities.

So you have this well-behaved trilogy or series where the writing has taken off. You have your series bible, your timeline, and your list of characters at hand so you don’t have contradictions in continuity. Your fingers fly over the keyboard as the words pour onto the screen, the dialogue pops, the sequence of events flows smoothly, then—oops. You realize that what you’ve just had one character tell another about a past event is—the wrong thing. It doesn’t agree with what you’ve already written, though it fits characterization and the situation. You have visions of the screaming hordes of fandom coming down on you Because Things Don’t Match, and it needs a fix that you can’t just use Find and Replace to repair. What to do?

In some cases you will need to rewrite. But another tool to consider in dealing with this type of continuity issue is to use it as a tension builder and character developer. In real world history, a person’s perspective of even the biggest, earth-shaking events can significantly contrast from of that of another eyewitness from a different angle or viewpoint. Perspective can also be shaded by how honest a character is with themselves about their motives and performance. Even a reliable character has things about themselves that they may not be completely honest about. Or they may need to lie about past events for legitimate reasons.

No matter what reason, congratulations. You’ve just handed yourself a means to complicate and deepen your story even further. Is your viewpoint character unreliable? This sort of discrepancy helps to establish that person’s unreliability. Does the event pack a significant meaning for those involved, enough that even a reliable character might have a reason to be untruthful? Recalling a past event in a different manner from what has been previously told adds to the tension surrounding it as well as establishing a motive for that character’s behavior—and it may emphasize how important that event is. Does difference in ideologies shape a differing recall of past events? More plot and world building elements right there. If played right, a discrepancy in event continuity can add to your plot tension.

But there are some key elements to make this work for you, not against you. First, make sure it doesn’t happen too often, unless you have a justifiable explanation within the story (examples: amnesia, time travel, magic, forgetfulness, encroaching senility). Second, work with this discrepancy. Who wins with each version? Who loses? Third, call attention to the explanation for the discrepancy close to when it happens. Someone calls your character a liar. Or they observe (to themselves or another character) that “this isn’t the version I heard.”

If handled right, a mismatch in continuity can improve your story by adding depth and complexity that might not have been there previously. It can help you establish a character’s reliability or emphasize the importance of an event. Used mindfully, it can be an asset to your story.

Good luck!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Falling From Grace -- a New Gift of Grace Book By Frog and Esther Jones!

We have an awesome new book by Frog and Esther Jones called Falling from Grace which should be available for preorder in the next few days -- and the book should be out February 12th -- just in time for Radcon!  Check out the cool new cover by Nathan Reed!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Writer Quote of the Day

“Cheat your landlord if you can and must, but do not try to shortchange the Muse. It cannot be done. You can’t fake quality any more than you can fake a good meal.”—William S. Burroughs

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Writer Quote of the Day

“Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.”
—Virginia Woolf

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Rough Magic Now in Paperback!

When Worlds Collide 

Twenty years ago, the modern world collided with the world of Faerie, leaving behind its denizens in a world of cold iron. Unable to work in the modern world of steel, those of the Fallen have been forced into welfare, prostitution, or thievery. Once the proud Queen of Air and Light, Sathyllien works with the Los Angeles police department to solve the murders of elves and human prostitutes.

The clues lead to a 5-year-old, cold-case murder—that of her daughter. But can she find the killer before a race war starts? Buy Rough Magic (The Fallen) (Volume 1) at Amazon!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Writer Quote of the Day

“The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.”—Samuel Johnson

Monday, January 18, 2016

Nobody Gives a Damn that You Wrote a Book – Unless You Give Them a Reason


Everyone wants to write a book.  Some folks have actually written books.  Some have gotten their books published, either by themselves, through a small press, or, if they’re exceedingly lucky, through one of the big New York houses.

At this point, many authors are convinced their work is done. The reality is their work is just beginning.

Nobody Cares that You Wrote a Book.  Really.


 Nobody gives a damn you wrote a book, except maybe your mom.  Your writing buddies and friends may say they care, but how many of them have actually bought one of your books? The people on the street don’t care. In fact, they are inundated with other things that occupy their attention such as the Internet, movies, video games, and other entertainment, there’s very little time or inclination for them to actually read a book.

When they do buy a book, it’s because they know about the book, or are looking for a book on a particular subject. If your name isn’t J.K. Rowling or Stephen King, chances are they haven’t a clue that you wrote a book they might actually enjoy reading.

Some Facts to Back This Up


The Bureau of Labor Statistics backs me up on this. In 2013, the average person spent a whopping $29.20 on physical books that year, not including sales by book clubs. If you do count the book club sales, the number soars to $32.23. If you look on Amazon, that’s maybe two or three books out of nearly two million. E-books that year fared better than physical books, with the average amount sold being $30.18. That includes everything from the 99 cent books somebody put out, to the big houses selling their e-books at nearly 15 bucks a pop.

If This Didn’t Depress You Enough


If this didn’t depress you enough, you’ll be glad to know that book publishers cut their employees by 18 percent. This means that even the big houses don’t have enough staff to promote your book. Small publishers rely on authors to promote their books.

What You as an Author can do to Buck the Trend


First, consider yourself one of the enlightened. Your book won’t sell without you promoting it, unless it wins the book lottery and becomes a best seller.  Be realistic: you’ve got a far better chance at getting hit by lightning while riding a unicycle on a sunny day.
As an author, promoting your book is paramount.  Yes, writing is very important, and you need to write every day, but promoting is just as important. Take one day’s writing time out of your already busy week and do something to promote your book. The following are no cost ideas that can promote your book better than you think.

How you get people to care about you and your books is to get them aware that you exist. To do this, you have to get your book in front of readers.

Ten No Cost Ideas to Get Your Book in Front of Readers

 

  1. Create a Facebook page for you and your work. If you don’t have a Facebook account, you better have one. Post about the latest works and status reports about things you’re doing as a writer.
  2. Join promotion groups and announce your book.  One promotion group, in particular, you should join is Goodreads.  Find authors you love and follow them. 
  3. Start a blog and post to it regularly. You can talk about anything as a writer. Livejournal and Blogger offer free blog pages. 
  4. Offer to do guest posts for other writers on their blogs who have books similar to yours. Offer the writers the ability to guest post on your blog in exchange. 
  5. Contact your local library and request that they carry your book. If they won’t order it or can’t purchase it directly, consider donating a copy. 
  6. Start an e-newsletter for your fans. Both Constant Contact and MailChimp have free e-newsletters for low numbers of subscribers.   
  7.  Run a contest which requires sharing your blog or Facebook page in social media to enter.  Try Rafflecopter for this.
  8. Create a small e-book with short stories set in your book’s world and offer it free on Amazon and other e-book venues. Include the first chapter of your book and links where to purchase your book. Post it on Weebly and other places where fans are always looking for new voices
  9. Volunteer to help out with local book conventions or science fiction conventions. Not only will you get your name known, but you may be able to put books in the hands of those who are bellwethers in the reading community.
  10. Offer to exchange book reviews with other authors. More book reviews means more exposure and more opportunities.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Writer Quote of the Day

“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.” —Ernest Hemingway

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Writer Quote of the Day

“Not a wasted word. This has been a main point to my literary thinking all my life.”—Hunter S. Thompson

Monday, January 11, 2016

Monday Guest Post: Adopt a Book by Rebecca McFarlane Kyle

Today's guest post is from Rebecca McFarlane Kyle or Becky Kyle. Born on Friday 13, Rebecca developed an early love for the unusual. She currently lives between the Smoky and Cumberland mountains with her husband and four cats. She has three young adult novels and a mystery novel currently in the works.

Firsts are difficult. This week, I learned that I’ve been invited to a local author event at a nearby bookstore. I worked for this. I solicited the store’s customer relations representative, and even got her names and email addresses of other local authors.

Self-promotion is a necessity for authors. Even big-name authors who have a publicity department working for them get out there and press the flesh. My problem is that I’m a shy introvert, with low vision, which only worsens the problem. So the Snoopy Joy Dance when I first heard the news was followed pretty quickly by a near panic attack. Times like these, you have to remember to breathe. You can either panic or think, but to think, your brain’s going to need some oxygen.

Actually, I’m an excellent public speaker. Back in college, our speech teacher assigned us to do a ten-minute talk in which we were required to outright lie. I had the class convinced that a notorious lumber company should indeed damn the spotted owls and strip the old-growth forests out of the Northwest. After the applause, both the teacher and I had to remind them that I was supporting a cause I did not believe in.

That was frightening. My professor actually told me to use my powers for good instead of evil. So, I have the skills and I actually do believe in my book. Fanny & Dice was in the works for two years. I’ve read through the text countless times, and I still like the characters, the setting, and the story. But what experiences can I use to help me through this challenge? Where else in my life have I been outgoing enough to pull this off?

The answer came amazingly fast. Yes, indeed, I’m that pet adoption volunteer who stands beside the cages, making pleas to every passing customer in the pet store to look at the cute dog or cat, hey even if you don’t have time or space for a pet, maybe you could donate a couple of bucks to the cause?

This I can do. Fanny & Dice has similarities to a pet, without the responsibilities. Think about it; a book gives hours of entertainment and amusement and you don’t have to feed it, walk it, or clean up after it.

So in five weeks, when I’m sitting at the table in my local bookstore, making friends with the local authors I do not yet know well, I’ll be selling my book just as I would an animal: as a valued and enjoyable addition to their lives.

As part of our book promotions, we're offering authors (Sky Warrior Books and authors from other publishers) a platform to provide a Monday Guest Blog. We do a bit of promoting their book and even offer a guest post to the author in exchange for their insights into writing, publishing, and anything that they might be interested in sharing with our readers. 

If you find this post helpful, consider purchasing a book by the author. If you already bought a book by the author, write a review on Amazon or whatever review site you prefer about his or her book. Every little bit helps. Even if you can't afford to buy a book, ask your library to get copies of the author's book so you and others can enjoy them.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Writer Quote of the Day

“Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.”—George Orwell

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Writer Meme


Building Brands...

I ran across this nifty blog post on building brands. While you're a writer, you should consider yourself a brand as well.  Don't believe me?  Let's take a look at some brands and authors who are brands:

Stephen King
Tom Clancy
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter)
Stephenie Meyer (Twilight)
J.R.R. Tolkien (Lord of the Rings)
Star Wars
Star Trek
Doctor Who
Babylon 5

I'm sure you could name off other brands that are either authors or enterprises.  If you want your books to do as well as those I've mentioned, check out building brands and see if any of the ideas might work for you.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Writer Quote of the Day

“To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard.” —Allen Ginsberg

Monday, January 4, 2016

Looking for Guest Authors

This is something I'm going to try out with the Sky Warrior Books Blog.  I know that there are plenty of smart, witty authors out there who are chomping at the bit and would love to tell their story on how they write, how they got published, how they publish themselves, how they promote their books, etc. So, why not give you, the authors, a chance to speak out?  I'll even promote a book or two of yours right here.

And if you have a blog, I'd love to be a guest poster there as well.  Never a bad idea, really.  So, send me a quick comment with your email and I'll get in touch. Alternatively, you can go to our Facebook page and send me a quick message.