Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Some Really Cool Feedback!

I had something really cool happen the other night at cards. Yes, I play poker, specifically Texas Hold’em, in a local league, and I’m not that bad at it either. Anyway, an older gentleman sat down at my table. He told me he had finished reading my book, Guardian of Atlantis, and wanted to know a couple of things. He wanted to know what was in Raven’s dad’s journals and what the key she had in her pocket was for. (I will tell you this, it’s not the key to Atlantis.) He even tried bribing me to get the information.  A little later, another guy told me his daughter was already on chapter five and his mom was “patiently” waiting for the granddaughter to finish the book so she could read it.

This is actually the first feedback I’ve received on the book, and yes, it made me feel really good.

We, authors, for the most part, work in solitude when we write. We pour our hearts, our guts, and even our souls into our creations.

And then we send it out into the world.

And we wait. We wonder. Do the readers like it?  We bite our nails. Do they want more? And we hope the answer is yes, and we start the next project, which is usually the next book in the series we’re writing.

If you read something you like, let the author know. We like to hear from you, the readers.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

What Am I Working On???

I started writing book 2 of The Children of Atlantis series, and already I've got notes to myself on the outline about clues and tie-ins from Guardian of Atlantis, that I want to make sure to touch upon.

I'm also editing a collection of short ghost stories. My goal is to have them ready to publish as an ebook by the end of next weekend. I worked on the book cover this weekend. Here it is...

What do you think about the cover?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Story Outlines and Ideas

Coming up with an idea for a story has never been a big problem for me. In fact, I’ve been working on three different story outlines. Yelp. That’s right—three.

One outline is for a story about a boy and a not so nice zombie incident. This outline is finished and waiting for me to start writing. I’ve got an idea for a second book about the same boy—another story about his zombie filled world, but it’s just that, a spark of an idea. I’ve jotted it down in my ideas book so I won’t forget it while I work on other ideas.  What’s an ideas book, you ask? Hang on. I’ll talk about that more in a minute.

The next outline is for the first book of a trilogy that is about girl, the Fae (or fairies), and the fate of both worlds. When I started working with this idea, it was just one book, one story. But I quickly realized there was no way I could tell it in just one book. So it has grown into at least three. I’ve still got some work to do on the outline for the first story, but the bone structure is there.

The third outline I’ve been working on is for the second book in The Children of Atlantis series. As guardian of Atlantis, Raven is definitely not getting any breaks. She’s got a very angry uncle (and that’s putting it mildly) who wants something back. I can’t say much more, but if you’ve read the first book, you’ll know exactly who and what I’m talking about. Okay, so you’ve got a little incentive to read the first book. Oh, and another hint, the second book picks up not long after the first story.  The idea for the third book is rolling around in my head, and it will pick up where the second book ends. Yeah, Raven is definitely not getting any breaks.

Ideas for stories have never been a problem for me. They’re everywhere. The spark may be in a strange story I read or hear. It may be a combination of two or more stories that come together. It may just simply be my asking, What if? I never know what’s going to spark an idea. The news stories on the Internet are a great source. I’ve got a collection of strange stories that I’ve printed out over the years. Other ideas come from the shows I watch or rather listen to, which includes the local and world news. When I hear something interesting, I write it down in an ideas book. I may not use it immediately, but it’s there, in my notes waiting for me.

My ideas book, and I’ve got several, are just spiral notebooks or composition books that I jot down things I see or hear that spark my imagination, or that I think are cool, unique, or odd. It’s kind of like my strange story collection, except no printouts. Sometimes I’ll jot something down and then go look up more information about it and add that to the idea. I may or may not use it, but it’s there. And just having it to read later, can spark a whole new story idea. It also doesn’t hurt that I’ve got an over active imagination.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Excerpt from Guardian of Atlantis

Here's a teaser from Guardian of Atlantis. Check out the Kindle edition at Amazon if want to read the more.

I remember asking my mom why we had to move again. But she never gave me a reason.
“This is the last time we’ll move,” was all she told me as she wrapped the dishes and put them into a cardboard box.
That was five years, four houses, two apartments and six schools ago. But hey, who’s counting?
     --Raven Weir’s journal

Raven chewed on her bottom lip. She hated the first day of school, even more so when it fell in the middle of the school year like so many of her past first days had. But today was worse. Today was her sixteenth birthday. In all the books and movies, sixteenth birthdays were magical. Girls discovered they were princesses of lost countries, or fairies with wings, or they had powers that no one else did. They didn’t start new schools in the middle of the school year on their sixteenth birthdays.
“How about we go back home and I help you unpack?” Raven asked her mom. She tried the birthday strategy last night, but her mom shot that down really quick, telling her she’d already missed too many days because of the move.
“There’s not that much to do. Besides, you might as well get this over with,” said Suzanne Weir. “Do you want me to go in with you?”
Raven shook her head. It looked like she wasn’t getting out of going to school today, but she didn’t need her mom walking her in like she was a little kid. She stared at the students walking toward the huge two story brick building and sighed.
“Are you okay?” asked her mom.
“Unicorns? For a mascot? Mom, are they serious?”
“And what’s wrong with unicorns? They’re cute.”
“That’s the problem. School mascots shouldn’t be cute. They need to be tough and mean looking. Really! Pinewood High, Home of the Fighting Unicorns. My new mascot is a unicorn? How pathetic is that!”
“Does it really matter that much, or are you just looking for something to stall the inevitable?” asked her mom. “What’s really wrong?”
“Are you sure I can’t stay home? Just for a couple more days. It is my birthday. My sixteenth birthday.” Raven crossed her fingers, hoping maybe the birthday strategy would work this time. “I just don’t think I should go to school today. My stomach feels funny,” she added.
“You’re just having first day jitters. Go have a great day. You’ll be fine. And Raven, happy birthday.”
“You’re no help,” mumbled Raven as she got out of the car and slammed the door shut. “Just what I wanted, to be stared at on my birthday.”
Suzanne waved, but Raven just stuck out her tongue, even though it was a childish thing to do, but she was playing the new kid on her birthday. So much for a date for the prom or anything else. At least she had a chance for a date at her other school, but here? Not likely. She was the new oddity, but more so because her dad taught here before he died. Raven adjusted her book bag and stepped into the flow of students heading toward the building.
At least she already had her schedule and didn’t have to sit in the office waiting for it. One embarrassment off the list of embarrassing first day stuff she’d have to endure. Raven glanced at three girls standing just outside the glass doors. They were laughing and hugging each other.
“Maybe…” but Raven shoved the thought to the back of her mind as quick as she could. No use wishing for things like that even if it was her birthday. It wasn’t going to happen. She pulled the schedule out of her back pocket as she entered the building. Biology in Room 212 was the first class listed. Raven glanced at one of the doors on her right. Its number started with a one. “So I’ve just got to find the stairs,” she told herself. “Great, the new morning workout routine.”

The Ugly Head of Doubt

Doubt is a nasty monster, and it will show its ugly head when you least expect it. It tells us we aren’t good enough, that we can’t win. Doubt cripples us, makes us believe we don’t have talent, or that we aren’t worth the effort. It makes us give up or not even try.
While I was writing Guardian of Atlantis, doubts came at me from what seemed like every direction. It made me question whether or not my writing was good enough, and why I thought I could be a writer. It made me wonder if anyone would even want to read my story and if they did read it, would they laugh at it? Or would they tell me how bad it really was? At one point I seriously wondered why I was even attempting to write a book. Why was I setting myself up for failure? But somehow, I kept writing, and I finished the story. And the best part is I finally have seen my dream come true. I’m a published author. So, doubts shouldn’t be plaguing me, right?


Tonight, as I started coming down from the high of seeing my book actually in print, doubt made a huge return. And the nasty, doubt filled questions started. Did I do the right thing? Should I have waited? Should I have only published it as an ebook? What if no one buys it? What if everyone thinks it stinks? What if the next book is even worse?

I’ve tried pushing the thoughts aside, telling myself that I’ve got a good story. I know, I do and I’ve got several more stories to tell, but doubt has a way of making you think otherwise. Will the doubts ever really go away? Probably not. But doubt is helping me do something right. It’s making me think about the things that I could have done better. And you know what? Next time, I will improve. My writing will be stronger because I will have grown as a person and a writer.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Guardian of Atlantis is NOW Available at Amazon

Book Description:

Sixteen-year-old Raven Weir has a somewhat normal life until she receives a mysterious necklace…a necklace others are willing to kill her to get because it contains the key codes to Atlantis. Now she finds she’s the only one standing between Atlantis and those who want to use the power hidden there to take over the world.

And Zeus is at the head of that line.

On top of worrying about social acceptance at school, Raven has to get control of her growing powers before she harms someone. And it doesn’t help that the alpha Hellhound at school is attracted to her while members of his pack are trying to kill her. And then there’s the whole biological parent issue. Finding out you're adopted is huge, but discovering you’re actually the daughter of Medusa and Poseidon will definitely cause problems.

Will Raven find the inner strength she needs to survive?

Will she be able to protect Atlantis?

Friday, July 20, 2012

When Your Characters Run Amuck

Hi guys.

First I need to tell you that no authors—namely Ms. Cole—were hurt when I took over writing today’s blog. She wasn’t exactly happy with giving up control of her first blog, but I was very, very persuasive. Besides, she really needs to finish going over the proof thingies for my book. That is definitely way more important than spending all that time worrying about this blog. So actually, I’m doing her a really big favor by taking away the stress she was under.

Wait! You don’t know about my story do you? That means you don’t know who I am. (Sounds of a head banging on a wall.) Ms. C, you were supposed to have already told people about me. What have you been doing? (Sounds of muffled words.) My name is Raven Weir and the story Ms. C wrote about me is called Guardian of Atlantis, because, well…I’m the guardian.

Elizabeth: You tied Ms. C up with duct tape? You don’t tie up authors with duct tape. I don’t care if that’s use #922. You don’t do it.

Raven: What are you doing here, Elizabeth?

Elizabeth: I came by to talk to Ms. C about my story.

Raven: You don’t have a story. So, go away. We’re working.

Elizabeth: Ms. C would’ve told my story if you hadn’t of showed up. The whole guardian thing…give me a break. There’s nothing special about that.

Raven: You’re still just jealous.

Elizabeth: Me? Jealous? NOT! (She rolls her eyes.) I still can’t believe what you did to Ms. C. I think you should untie her so she can start working on my story.

Raven: She’s doing…research. Besides I didn’t do that, the nymphs did. They’re looking at the fruit trees in the backyard. I think they’ve still got some duct tape. Do you want me to find out?

Elizabeth: Those twitty nymphs are here? I’ll come back, when you’re not here. (She leaves.)

Sorry about that. Elizabeth is…well she’s…you get the idea. As I was saying before we were interrupted, I’m Raven Weir and Ms. C’s book, Guardian of Atlantis is all about me. You probably didn’t realize it, but the people and creatures in the Greek myths you read in school, they’re real. The myths are really huge exaggerations, but that happens when stories are told over and over and over.  Some of your class mates may even be descendants of gods and creatures from the myths. It’s kind of scary if you really think about it. Anyway, what you’ve heard about the fights, the tricks, and the power struggles are all true. In fact, Zeus is on this huge power trip right now. He’s tired of everyone ignoring him. So he’s decided he wants to take over the world and make everyone worship him and to do this, he needs the power hidden in Atlantis.

(Sounds of garage door opening.)

I’ve got to go. Either Ms. C’s husband or son is home. Watch for my story Guardian of Atlantis. Ms. C did a really good job telling it. Oh, by the way, Ms. C is okay. She wasn’t in any way hurt by the…uh…research she was conducting.