Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Hunter is getting closer and there's now a cover!

Oh, crap, has it been that long since I posted? Yikes! Sorry about that. I've changed workplaces and am working on an online art course. Plus I didn't really have anything official to say and I can't really believe any of you are here to hear about the rest of my life.

There's now cover art. It went through a few iterations. I rejected Amazon's first suggestion for reasons I don't want to get into (if you can't say anything nice...) and the second one they had trouble getting the model rights to. For the third one, they let me pick the image (I'm still stunned I have any input in this. Woot!) and this is the one I liked the most out of the options they gave me.

The cover is by Anne Cain, just as with the first three books. I really like that they have continuity between the books of the series. Here is the full front and back image, with the description on the back:

I really hope everyone likes this book when it comes out, and if you do, tell all your friends. Whether book five or any later books come out is directly dependant on this one selling enough for Amazon to want to buy them. Not to pressure anyone, but it is a fact of life.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Amazon Promotion for QUEEN OF THE SYLPHS

I just found out the other day. QUEEN OF THE SYLPHS has been made part of an Amazon kindle promotion.  Here's what I was told:

I’m very excited to let you know that we have selected Queen of the Sylphs to be in our month long Amazon Publishing Kindle promotion! The titles selected for this promotion are all priced at $0.99 and are being promoted with high visibility to Kindle customers. The promotion will run for an entire month, from September 23 through October 23. You can view all the titles included in the promotion here: We can’t wait to see the results!

So, if you haven't picked up the kindle version of that book, or know someone who wants to, now's a good time to do so. I'd have mentioned it before the promotion started, but I literally just found out this week. Yeah, whoops.

In other news, from the sound of it, THE SYLPH HUNTER is going to be released in early March.

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Hunter's getting closer

For those who are wondering what's been happening, yesterday I received the write-up for THE SYLPH HUNTER. It's the blurb that goes on the back of the book and once I have the okay, I'll post it up here.

Today, I received the copy edited version of the manuscript. I get two weeks to review and return it. This is one of the steps to make sure that the book is as tight as it can be, with no continuity or grammar errors. The copy editor's made their adjustments, now I get to make sure I agree with them.  It's a lot of work and it's very important. It's also one of the final stages before the book is turned into a galley proof, which is how it'll look published.

For now, have some drawings.


pencil and copic markers

pencil and copic markers

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Sylph Hunter is on its way

Well, I've signed the contract for book four of the Sylph series. It's called THE SYLPH HUNTER and takes us back to Meridal, where Devon Chole goes with his air sylph Airi and runs into all sorts of things he wasn't expecting. Remember Devon Chole? The air sylph master formerly from Eferem? The one with the phobia about battle sylphs? Oh yeah, gonna have fun with him.

I'm not sure at what point the book will be released. Amazon would like it to come out in March 2014, but I have a full time day job, so unless the edit process goes swimmingly well, it'll be delayed some. We all want the book to be at its best.

I do know that it will be released as an ebook in the US, Canada, and the UK, all at the same time, and also as a trade in all three countries. So it will be easy to get. I hope you grab it when it does come out and let all your friends know about it. The better it sells, the more likely that Amazon will pick up the next three books in the series.

Yeah, I said three.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Cage of Burning Light is available to read

Hey, good news. My Kindle Worlds story, "A Cage of Burning Light", is up on the US Kindle site. It's based on "Vampire Diaries" and you can buy it here.

As far as I can tell, it's only available in the States so far. I'm trying to find out about the Canadian distribution.

Here's the cover, which I had no input on, but rather like.

They also asked me to remind everyone that Kindle Worlds is open for anyone to submit stories in. If you're trying to break into the publishing world, this might be a good way to get started.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Kindle Worlds has been announced

A couple of posts ago, I said there were a few things I was up to, not all of which I could talk about. That's now changed. Here's a cut/paste from an email I received from Amazon this week.

Greetings, Amazon Publishing authors: 
We have some exciting news to share with you: Amazon Publishing has launched a new program – Kindle Worlds.  Kindle Worlds is the first commercial publishing platform that will enable any writer to create fan fiction based on a wide range of original stories and characters and earn royalties for doing so. As with Kindle Serials and Kindle Singles, we hope to open up new ways for authors to write and provide readers with an innovative way to experience great writing.
Amazon Publishing has secured licenses from Warner Bros. for Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars and Vampire Diaries, and plans to announce more licenses soon. Through these exclusive licenses, Kindle Worlds will allow writers everywhere to publish authorized stories inspired by these popular Worlds and make them available for readers to purchase in the Kindle Store. In June, the Kindle Worlds Store will launch and at that time, the Kindle Worlds Self-Service Submission Platform, where any writer can submit work, will also open. We encourage you to visit Kindle Worlds ( to learn more.

As part of this launch, Amazon asked fifty some odd authors back in March to write stories in one of the universes they had the rights to. Obviously, I was one of them. Sounded like fun, so I agreed.

I've written a 24,000 story set in the Vampire Diaries universe titled "A Cage of Burning Light". Amazon liked it, and once the official release date rolls around and it's available for purchase, I hope that all of you do too.

Monday, May 20, 2013

I'm inflicting art on you!

Nothing new on the writing front. Nearly done the second serial in FOR THE LOVE OF A SYLPH. Ten thousand words sounds like a lot until you realize how much you have to cram in there. Gah.

I've been on vacation the last two weeks, so between writing and building a rocket launcher, I've done some painting.

The rocket launcher, btw, is a prop. It's for a steampunk costume. I'll post pictures when it's done if anyone cares.

Monday, May 13, 2013

I have reached a new first

Wow, even for me, this is a long time to go without saying anything. Sorry about that. I haven't posted because there hasn't been anything happening that I can really talk about.

That does mean that yes, things have been happening, but no, I still can't talk about it. Not much. Well, I'll try.

Moving to Amazon has been interesting. They actually pay on a regular basis, which is quite amazing. They also give me breakdowns on where my books are being bought. I'm apparently doing okay in Germany. Yay, Germany!

Amazon is also a lot more proactive at poking authors (at least they've been poking me) and going "Hey, we want to do 'this'. Are you interested?" So far, the answer to this question that I've been asked twice is to say "Sure!" Whereupon they reply with "Great, give us a synopsis and a first chapter and we'll decide whether we want to buy it."

One of these days, my dream is to have someone suggest I write something and actually pay me BEFORE I do it. Dreams....such nebulous dreams...

Project #1 I flat out can't talk about. It doesn't involve just me, so the announcement about it has to wait until Amazon releases it. Yeah, I have no idea when that's going to happen. "Soon," I think.

Project #2 I can give a few details on. It's not solid yet. I'm still getting that synopsis and first chapter to them, so a contract isn't 100% guaranteed and I don't want to jinx it. Call me paranoid. However, it's very likely it will be.

Amazon has asked me to write a new sylph book, separate from book 4 (which they say they're buying anyway. No, I haven't got the contract yet). The format of it is a little different. They want an 8 part serial, each serial being ten thousand words long and ending at a cliffhanger. It's to be released electronically, each serial coming out two weeks apart and then the whole thing being released as a novel afterwards.  The reader only pays once for the whole thing. They're called Kindle Serials and it's the same idea as the ongoing stories in pulp magazines back in the day. Amazon has some of them out already and they're quite popular, but I'm their first stab at a fantasy serial. So I'm busily at work on this one, which from what I understand, they want to release this fall. For publishing, that's an insane turn around.

Given that they also want the book to be able to stand on its own with new readers, I've had to put book six aside while I write it. Six has way too many spoilers for other books, like five. Five of course can't come out until after four, and four they're paying me for anyway, so I'm not interested in turning that one into a set of serials.

The book is called FOR THE LOVE OF A SYLPH and is set after book three and four. I'm not saying what the plot is, but I will say that anyone who remembers the water sylph and battler who were friends in ALPHABET SOUP FOR SYLPHS is going to recognize the leads. This is very much going to be a first as the entire book is written from the point of view of a water sylph. I've always wanted to try something like that. Usually just the battlers get focused on.

So that's what I've been up to, along with working full time, having fun with digital art, and spending way too much time in Minecraft PE or Real Racing 3.

To close, something that's never happened to me before happened yesterday. I was at the Ottawa Comicon and chatting with one of the artists doing commissions there. We got to talking about art and writing and he asked if I was someone he'd have heard of. I said probably not and told him my name.

He'd heard of me.

Forgive the squealing, but NOBODY's heard of me. Not standing face to face. You guys read my blog because you came to find me. This was like meeting one of you randomly on the street.

Yeah, I ended up flailing uselessly. It was great. :)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Amazon Bought Goodreads (and other stuff that blindsided the crap out of me)

I received an email today from Amazon.  I get heads up on some stuff since they own some of my books, but I gather this one is out there in the world anyway, so I can talk about it.

Dear Friends,
 I wanted you to be among the first to know that Amazon has reached an agreement to acquire Goodreads, a leading site for readers and book recommendations that helps people find and share books they love.
 Amazon and Goodreads share a passion for reinventing reading, a love of books, and an appreciation for the authors who write them. We both work every day to help authors like you reach a wider audience and make a better living at your craft, and together with Goodreads we intend to build many new ways to delight authors and readers alike.
 We’re excited to help create an even more powerful offering for all of our authors, and we hope you are too. You can read more in the press release here and the blog post from Goodreads here.
 If you have any questions, please let me know.

Amazon press release: here
Goodreads press release: here 

 I really didn't see this one coming and as of right now, I have no official opinion about it, just some personal musings of my own. I figured I would let everyone know, though, in case they hadn't heard.

In other news, I'm up to something for Amazon. Sounds terrible, doesn't it? :) I can't say what it is, but when it's finally announced, I think it's either going to be seen as an awesome thing and a tremendous opportunity, or as a horrible disaster. Or both. Maybe. I can see it going either way and it's driving me vaguely nuts that I can't say what it is. It's Amazon's news to release, however. I'm just involved in my own little way. 

I don't know when Amazon will announce it, but my deadline is April 6, so I think it'll be sometime around then, or later.  Once I can talk about it, I'll let everyone know what I've been up to.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Almost there now

Well, I haven't signed the contract just yet, but Amazon's offered to buy THE SYLPH HUNTER, which is book four of my sylph series. Depending on how well it does, they'll buy more. We tried for a three book deal, but as far as Amazon is concerned, I'm untried to them, so they want to make sure I'm worth it. Eek, no stress there. :D

I don't know how Amazon does it just yet, but when I was with Dorchester, it was a good year from a contract being signed to the book hitting the shelves, so THE SYLPH HUNTER won't see bookstores until 2014. Sorry about that. Theoretically the first three will be coming out again in 2013, and Amazon will be doing some promotion of them. So that will hopefully mean more sales, and more interest when THE SYLPH HUNTER comes out. The more I sell, the happier everyone will be.

For the first time in my life, I'm getting regular royalty statements and I'm selling at a steady rate, but I have no frame of reference to know if it's considered a good amount or piddly, and I'm somewhat afraid to ask. :) But the more of book four I sell, the sooner Amazon will be willing to take a chance on five and six, as well as anything else I write, so tell your friends, I guess.

Book Six, btw, which I'm still calling THE LONELY SYLPH is already over 17,000 words, and would progress even faster if I could get off Tumblr or stop painting. Also if I didn't spend a sickening amount of time at my day job every day. Heh.

Speaking of painting, here, have a picture.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

My Kingdom for a Font!

Well, not really, but I would like some....

I'm getting ready to start writing THE LONELY SYLPH. Tossing ideas around, playing with characters, and spending way too much time deciding on a font to use.

I'm a bit of a font lover. I edit in Times New Roman to make it easier when I'm flipping manuscripts back and force with the editors, but when I'm typing the first draft, I like to do it in a new, funky font. Something that looks handwritten but still readable. I wrote THE BATTLE SYLPH in Comic Sans, I believe. I wrote a bunch of the others in Morning Limerick. But I'm getting tired of them. I want to use a new font.

There are a lot of free fonts out there, but the problem is finding ones that include an italic (or oblique) version. I'd love to write my next book in Jellyka or Noteworthy, but they don't have italic versions, which is really awkward when I write sylph speak in italics.

By any chance, are any of you out there font lovers who know a site that has free brushstroke or handwriting style fonts that come in regular and italic? I'm not having any luck searching.

I guess I'll go back to researching medieval sailing vessels. That's being a pain too. :)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Look out! Looks like The Sylph Hunter might be heading our way

I didn't realize until I came on tonight that I hadn't posted for a while. Oops. Sorry about that, just life getting in the way, I guess.

I have some news. Nothing confirmed of course, as I haven't signed anything yet, but Amazon wants to buy THE SYLPH HUNTER. This is good news in my mind, of course, and my agent is trying to make it even better news as she's hoping to turn it into a three book deal. Which would mean WAR OF THE SYLPHS being released too, as well as a third book.

I've spent the last few days tossing around ideas for that third book (sixth in the series). I'm starting to get an idea of who's in it and what they're up to. It's set somewhere we've been before, if not spent a massive amount of time in, and it will have romance. I think someone might hurt me if it didn't. :p It also features one particular character readers met in ALPHABET SOUP FOR SYLPHS.

I don't promise that I'll get the three book deal as that would just be jinxing myself, but it is looking good at least for THE SYLPH HUNTER and I'm starting to get enough plot worms wiggling for the next book that I may just end up writing it regardless.

Its working title, by the way, is THE LONELY SYLPH.

Here, have a painting. I don't know who this is, but hopefully he'll introduce himself to me and tell me his story. :)