Friday, 28 February 2014

WiP: The Movie Bloghop

I enjoyed this bloghop so much the last time, so when I heard Kyra Lennon and Rachel Schieffelbein were hosting another, I couldn't help but jump in. I mean really, who can resist this:

"Almost all of us have imagined who would play the characters in our WIPs if they were ever made into a movie. On February 28th, we want you to “cast” your WIP, and post photos of the actors/actresses you would choose to play the characters in your latest manuscript. You don’t have to cast everyone if you don’t want to, just show us your MCs and tell us a little about them.
Also, we’d like you to tell us which songs you’d have on your WIP Movie soundtrack! This can be one song that fits the main theme of the story, or several songs that make you think of your story."

Last time, I tried to make a cast for Dark One's Mistress only to draw a blank when it came to any one beyond the heroine and fell back on doing voices for the main characters of The Rogue King.

But there's no backing out this time! I've been through the story and I'm still working on it's sequel, I know who I would portray the main character and a handful of the cast.
But let's focus on the sequel, Dark One's Wife...



Playing the main character, Clara, would be Selena Gomez. No question there. She has been my choice for ages. I look at Selena and wonder who dyed Clara's hair black.
Of course, on the flip-side, seeing her with blood-red hair would be ... interesting. She'd pull it off, I'm sure.






Lucias, the Dark One himself, would be portrayed by Tom Hiddleston. If only for his ability to do wounded hotness so well. He swayed me to Loki's side in Thor and I was completely sold when Avengers came out (it's surprisingly fun to root for the bad guy).
Not convinced? Then is seems I must pull out the big guns *ahem* his first appearance in Dark One's Mistress would be of him dripping wet and in nothing but a towel.

Go on, tell me that's not a win.





As Thad of Endlight, Chris Pine comes pretty close. Lighten his hair and I can easily see him mouthing off to his lord (both when he's drunk and in a rage/depression-fuelled rant after the final battle) and being scary serious.








And then there are the agonists...



Anjelica Huston would be perfect and awesome (not to mention a little on the scary side) as Lenora Raven. Like Selena was for Clara, this is really my only choice for Lenora.

Honestly, just seeing the pair of them scrapping it out over a dagger whilst trying to kill the other would be worth it.




And lastly, there is the barbarian. I admit, I had some trouble with casting him. I thought maybe Vin Diesel, but Alexander SkarsgĂ„rd really does fits the profile better.
I ask you, would he not make a damn fine, nine foot tall barbarian? Of course he would!




So there you have it. A good portion of my main cast. I still have no idea who'd I'd cast for Farris.

As for the songs, there's only a couple right now that scream Dark One's Wife to me...
Titanium for when Clara and Lenora meet. (This was going through my head as I wrote the scene ^_^)
Hero for the big battle. (I see the gates exploding every time that music starts)


Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Well now ... that was less than ideal ...

It seems a certain paperback is already up and has been since yesterday.
My bad.
So much for the April release. Sucker didn't even make March.


So... seeing the paperback's out, should I just say 'fuck it!' and release the eBooks, too?

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

To glossy or matte...

So after finding one tiny error in my proof, I sent out for another one for a single purpose ... to decide whether to make the cover glossy or matte.

Because this:
Old Proof

Looks way too different to this:
New Proof (Matte)

Ever since Createspace gave the option, I've been bouncing between the two choices. Looking at the verdicts already on the web, it seems the vote is divided evenly between the two camps, no major marks off for either cover style. Personal preference is in play here, but being that I'm a grab as I find sort of buyer, glossy or matte rarely comes into it.
If any thought flashes through my mind, it's often: "Hey! I am pretty sure I'm missing that one!" *yoink*

So, it seems the deciding factor comes down to a few points:
Preserving image quality
Cover durability
Feel

Matte
Glossy



So...





Hmm...

Unlike the old proof, both the newer versions appear to preserve the image. This is likely due to me figuring out what setting to use on the PDF.

Cover durability is a worrying factor. I'm afraid the glossy might peel on the corners or bubble along the spine where the wing is the darkest. Apparently this is an issue in some covers with dark images due combos of heavy ink and the laminate not sticking properly. And, after two hours, it already has scratches.
On the other hand, I'm constantly brushing things off the matte and it seems to me picking up my fingers prints a little to readily. Not major issues to me.

Like I said, feel doesn't concern me. They don't feel like most of the books I own (which are somewhere between Createspace's glossy and matte) but they both feel like books.


So after some general consensus around the household. I'm going with Matte.

Step right up, we have a winner!

Well, technically, we've three. But I digress...
Winners!




Congrats to all three of you! You should be getting some alerts.
And a big thank you for those who entered.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

'Tis my birthday and I'll...

Okay, truthfully, it's not... yet. Just a few days away now. I'll be 29 on the 22nd of the 2nd.
That's a lot of twos.

So, to celebrate my last year in the twenties, I'm giving everyone a chance to win one of three Dark One's Mistress ebooks. Because, yes, it's my birthday!


Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Introducing...

Name: Kyra
Story: The Shadow Prince
Status: Roguess

So, when I broke The Rogue King into its four novels, I (naturally) wound up expanding on the story. Chapters started popping up all over the place.
I was halfway through one scene when this little lady hopped into my noggin all brazen, inexperienced, yet flirty, and with her sights set firmly on one of my Main Characters. She demanded to take over the whole chapter (making certain I scrapped what I'd written, of course) and well ... how could I refuse that face?


All things considered, it's her tongue that I adore the most. I mean, does it not look like a tongue?

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Beyond Darkness Release!

The long anticipated novella sequel to The Storm and the Darkness is now available across most major online retailers!
  BeyondDarknessNowAvailable
Coming Soon: Itunes, Sony, Diesel
Anasofiya Deschanel fled to Maine to escape her mistakes. She learned quickly, and violently, you cannot run from what’s inside you. Following a series of unfortunate events, Ana finds herself drowning in the consequences of actions which left her heart cruelly divided between the St. Andrews brothers. Jon’s embrace of darkness soon turns to dangerous cruelty, while Finn’s kind heart offers a promise of love she does not feel she deserves. Between all three of them lies a secret with the potential to change everything. When the truth comes crashing down, Ana is forced to face the same demons she once ran from. As she learns more about who she is, and the situation she’s created, these realizations drive her to a desperate decision that will change everyone’s lives, forever.

Character Teasers

finnteaser_shattered anateaser_shattered jonteaser_shattered  

The House of Crimson and Clover

The Sullivans, a family of hard-working Irish lawyers, came from nothing and built a life they can be proud of. The Deschanels amassed incredible wealth by siding with the North during the Civil War, betraying their people. Both New Orleans families have a dark and rich history, painted with secrets, treachery, and colorful, supernatural abilities.
The House of Crimson and Clover unravels the mysteries surrounding both families, pulling us further into their tangled, enigmatic lives.
While the series is meant to be treated as one long narrative, each book can stand alone and be enjoyed without having read the other books. I’ve created pages for each of the books in the series, with story descriptions and other info.

Recommended Reading Order:
Book 1.5- Beyond Darkness: Shattered
Book 2.5- Beyond Eventide: Bound
(More on the horizon…)

Friday, 14 February 2014

This is it...

If the proof of The Rogue King comes back clean, this will, hopefully, be the last time I touch the first piece of the saga. All will then be needed is to wait.

It feels rather surreal. I can't believe this is actually happening. I already have Dark One's Mistress out there, but to take that first step with this novel... it'll been seventeen years come the 22nd, that's over half my life with this piece. After all the changes, the expanding and division that led to more expansion, it's coming down the last stretch... my stomach does all sorts of weird bubbly things in a mixture of excitement and trepidation when I think on it.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Introducing...

Name: Arbur
Story: Dragon
Status: Knight

Originally Arbur was a more prominent presence in the old version of Dragon with him and Laiyn (along with the dragons) being the ones who made the decision to search for Maayin, the now current Main Character. The old version even started in his PoV.
But as I changed the focus, he got pushed to the back until he took on a minor role. A pity as I sort of liked him. He's been through a lot.


In the old story, this was an actual scene at the beginning where the Main Characters arrived too late to stop the agonists. While it remained the catalyst for my characters, the act now happens before the story starts.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Let's see how fast I can read

So I've got my final edits for The Rogue King (yay!) and that means going through the story one last time before formatting. And there are the ARCs I must find reviewers for...

I've given myself a set amount of time to get through 65,000 words (day one and already a third of the way through) and basically ensure everything is all good before I have the printed proof sent over. I keep thinking that maybe if things so smoothly, I could release sooner. But it really all depends on how the new print looks as they're no telling me something's up with the cover and I've yet to decide on if I should go with matte or glossy.
Heh. It's sort of funny. I've been waiting and worrying over so many things and now I feel so busy. I already have the page set up on Smashwords.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

I Got Swag!

These just arrived this afternoon...

Obviously, it's not out ... yet.

So gorgeous. I have to stop myself from touching them.




Now I just need to work out the final proof and get the print version sent to me and I'll be ready...


Hee!

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Branded Blog Tour

As part of Katie Hamstead's stop for her Blog Tour of Branded we have an interesting tale of how the story came to be...


How Branded Started

In Branded, there is a scene where Ali runs through a field of canolas to draw the attention of the enemy soldiers. This scene, although about two thirds of the way through the book, was the very first scene for the book.
Back in eleventh grade English, our teacher hung several pictures up on the board and asked us to write a short story based on one of them. I remember the image clearly; a field of yellow flowers, blue sky. So, I through carnage into it. Dead bodies, a girl being hunted while only wanting to find her husband from whom she’s been separated because of the war. Add some guns, explosives and grenades, some graphic description and I’d finished.
I remember my teacher reading it and being concerned about my mental state.
Over the years, other scenes formed; her first capture and branding, the “gang chain”, the four horsemen and the bushfire.
Then for NaNoWriMo of 2012 I put it all together. Several years in the making and here you have it.

Thanks, Aldrea, for having me on your blog today!


You are most welcome, Katie, and I'm certain many authors have garnered worrying looks from their teachers. ^_^


Title: Branded
Author: Katie Hamstead
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Genre: New Adult Romantic Suspense


Blurb:
Terrorists have invaded Sydney, and Allison King barely escapes her brother’s wedding reception alive. She and her siblings flee, but their parents are killed by firing squad.
Now Ali’s on the run and terrified. While searching for other survivors, she is captured by the General who leads the invasion. He’s smitten by Ali, and when she refuses to submit to his whims, he brands her for death. In a wild act of defiance, she snatches the branding rod and sears the mark onto his face. Marking not only him but also sealing her fate. Ali manages to escape and flees into the bush once more where she finds a group in hiding. Even with the scars left by the General, Ali learns to love and falls in love with the young man who found her—Damien Rogers. 
But the General is hunting her. When he discovers their location, and finds her with another man—Damien—his wrath is kindled and his obsession is inflamed. Ali must put herself on the line or the General could kill her family, those who help her, and most significantly, the man she loves.




About the Author:
Born and raised in Australia, Katie’s early years of day dreaming in the “bush”, and having her father tell her wild bedtime stories, inspired her passion for writing.
After graduating High School, she became a foreign exchange student where she met a young man who several years later she married. Now she lives in Arizona with her husband, daughter and their dog.
She has a diploma in travel and tourism which helps inspire her writing. She is currently at school studying English and Creative Writing.
Katie loves to out sing her friends and family, play sports and be a good wife and mother. She now works as a Clerk with a lien company in Arizona to help support her family and her schooling. She loves to write, and takes the few spare moments in her day to work on her novels.



Rated Across the Board - Goal Achievement

I'm not one to check my book's stats religiously everyday or even in a week, so I never really know where it's at. I might check my dashboard to see how it's going when I get a friend request on Goodreads. So when I saw Dark One's Mistress had jumped from two ratings to five, I had to peek. Combined with the results at Amazon, I have a rating for each of the five stars.

Yes, that means they're not all glorious fives, but I've no problem with that. As the title says, I see it more as an achievement. It means actual people (people I have no connection to) have read it and given their opinion based on their tastes.
Before it was published, I had quietly amassed a few reasons why some people might be disappointed in Dark One's Mistress. At the top would be the lack of sex and not liking the characters. I wouldn't change either one of those and, even if I did, both points are subjective.


But I do find myself a little puzzled by the one star. Not because it is one star. Not even because they didn't list a reason. Although it would've helped, I can also see the reason for not wanting to say a word.
My bewilderment originates from what I found after I clicked on the name. I can only conclude that they must've read those six books in the past and have only now gotten around to marking them. It's possible and I'm willing to believe it.
That five out of six were given a low score ... I'm not sure what to think of that.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Introducing...

Name: Perjarno daNova
Story: The Forgotten Queen
Status: "Lady"

I've more than a few criminals pop up in The Rogue King Saga. There's practically at least one group in every city, really. I like to spread them out, as well as have a bit of variety between them. Which is why one place has Scarp, whilst another is run by two women, and a third by young couple.
And then there's this particular lady. It's rare that I get a character who gets nastier the further I delve. I figure there would always be one particular person that even the underground wouldn't want to mess with.
To put it simply, she's the matriarch of her family-run crime ring with dealings in ... well, it's probably safe to say that if it's illegal, she's sniffing about. And I'm pretty she that wasn't born with a noble title.
It's probably a good thing she remains the reason behind a few going ons (especially in A Game of Cat and Horse) and never actually shows up in any story.


Even though I only needed to define her background and personality, I still like to get a visual reference for the character, just so that if she ever did show up, I know she'd look something like this.