Wednesday, December 28, 2011
With this comes the idea of new beginnings. Folks resolve to make changes and start new projects to celebrate the start of a new year. Typically I don't make New Year's Resolutions at all, but this year I've been forced to consider a drastic new path for my YA writing career.
You see, Sapphire Blue Publishing, the publisher of my YA Hell House series, decided rather suddenly to close its doors December 1st. The news came as a shock to all of the authors, especially those of us who'd been with the company since it began in 2008 (like me). The company wasn't in any kind of peril, but there were just things outside of the scope of control of the authors that led to the closure.
I, myself, was devastated. I felt like the proverbial rug had been yanked out from under me. However, the publisher was speedy in returning the writes to us authors for our works, and even threw in the rights to the wonderful cover art as a way to sort of take the sting out of what was happening.
Which left me with a predicament. Do I begin the entire query process again, or should I take the leap into the world of self-publishing? I mean, I had completely edited stories and cover art at my fingertips, so why not?
That being said, I took the plunge and decided I was going to take control of the situation, and put my beloved stories back out there myself. After a crash course in formatting and cover art editing, the first book in the Hell House series, Holiday Hell House, is back up on Amazon and All Romance eBooks. It's definitely more work, and in no way means I'm through with querying publishers, but I am proud to have taken charge of my path and excited to see what new things lie ahead in this new year. Hopefully, I'll be able to get the next two books back up and available soon, and move on with writing even more stories starring this great cast of characters.
Until then, you can purchase Holiday Hell House with a sneak new preview of Fairy Fury at Amazon and All Romance eBooks published by...ME!
And it's only 99 cents!
Have a fabulous New Year!
Monday, December 26, 2011
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
I watched the second Sherlock Holmes tonight (it is Sunday as I write this post). It was a really great movie, full of action, intrigue, fun visuals, entertaining Holmes deductions. It was exactly what I had hoped for. As my boyfriend and I walked out of the theater we discussed the movie, and then some of the movie posters on the walls, such as the new Underworld movie. As we approached the exit my brain switched gears and I literally stopped and one of those scenes from the movie flashed through my mind. The ones where everything slows down and Holmes suddenly knows the next moves in a fight, both his and his opponents. Except it wasn’t a scene from the movie… it was a novel. The story unfolded just like Holmes’ fights. My boyfriend asked me what was wrong and I started to giggle. I did eventually explain to him why I was laughing maniacally and told him the story I’d envisioned on the ride to Wal Mart where the sales associates were treated to little bits and pieces of my insanity as I laid out my story.
I’m not sure what really triggered this explosion but it has happened to me before. Things unfold much like the scenes from the movie and then I have a novel. Perhaps not as complete as the fights that Sherlock Holmes envisions, but it’s a start. And of course there is plenty of work left to be done before I tackle this project. I’ve been working on how to retell a novel I wrote way back when. By working on, I mean pondering every now and again, not seriously considering, but now I have a plan, and perhaps in six months, after I finish my current round of projects, I’ll start in on this project. Yay for brainstorms.
How do novels unfold to you? All at once or a little at a time? Do you have to tear every bit from the page, or does it all explode into place? For me it’s usually a little of both.
As a side note, apparently “Elementary Dear Watson” never actually appears in the books, but came into usage in one of the movies.
Now for a little pimpage. I recently completed reworking (with tons of help from others naturally) and publishing my Vampire-Hunting Dog stories into a single novella. It’s available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble and if you want to know more, you can go to my website.
Doc is a Border Collie who hunts vampires with his human, Kevin. In this adventure they face their first fight and their most dangerous foe. It’s man’s best friend vs. his worst enemy…
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Ava O'Brian is dealing with more than a teenager's typical temptations of right versus wrong. Ava is unaware she possesses a rare and unique gift, a soul with the ability to influence. Unfortunately, Satan will stop at nothing to gain control of her special ability.
Ava's faith is seriously shaken when she is the sole survivor of the car accident that kills her father and twin brother. When she relocates and faces the ultimate temptation in Samuel Perry, her mysterious classmate living on earth since 1798 to tempt and damn mankind, Ava isn't sure she can resist.
Sam must decide if he will lead Ava straight into the devil's trap or place his immortal existence on the line in order to keep her alive.
What ultimate price is Ava willing to pay for love? What if it means giving up her life or turning over her soul straight into Satan's hands for the boy of her dreams?
Now, you've gotta earn your chance at the prizes, which includes an eBook reader! Read over the post and think really hard. Then, answer this question:
Okay, Readers, keep hopping for more great posts, authors, and PRIZES!
Here are the other Hop Stops, just in case-
Friday, December 16, 2011
It's about a woman who's almost thirty and who has been working very hard all her life at acheiving Happily Ever After, but all her efforts have been a bust. Then, she takes a risk and seeks out a little old lady who can find the perfect guy for every girl just by looking at his car or truck. At first, she's told the lady is psychic, a psychic car-reader! But, she turns out to be something quite different.
Here I am conducting research for this story a decade and a half and five babies ago with my husband on our engagement day-
My YA girl liked this story a lot, so you all might too, even though the heroine is a decade beyond high school. She's one of those adults who didn't figure something out that most teens do before they graduate. This story is for the Sweetheart Line at Noble Romance, so it doesn't have anything in it that would freak out the moms. I'm hoping it will have wide appeal.
Am I leaving Young Adult? Heck, no! This was just for fun. Short Stories are like yummy little nibbles.
The other funny thing about this story is that it is totally in the Here & Now. No lightsabers, no invisibility cloaks, and no blood-sucking dead guys. Weird, huh?
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Saturday, December 10, 2011
And Obi Wan Kenobi of Star Wars fame?
And I know she’s not the first to kiss a vampire either.
But, she is the first to addict one to Nintendo DS.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Monday, December 5, 2011
Hello everyone! Now that it is December (can you believe it? Where did the year go?) I wanted to take a moment to wish all of you a happy holiday season and a wonderful new year! Let’s see what happens to all of us in 2012!
As for me, I am rapidly making my way through my writing list and completing lots of projects that I am excited about. For a while, I was sidelined (well slowed) by a lot of negative energy that I couldn’t seem to remove from my life. But, fortunately that seems to have gone away and as soon as I was free from it—boom—the writing came back.
How about all of you? How do you brainstorm? What keeps your writing from BOOMING?
Saturday, December 3, 2011
"It only takes one yes." This is the advice a fellow writer and good friend of mine told me once, and she's right. It does only take one "yes" to make your dreams come true. But its finding that "yes" that's the challenge sometimes. I enjoy hearing stories from other authors sharing how they got their big break, but as much as I enjoy hearing of their success, I just as much enjoy hearing about their failures. No, I'm not cruel and sadistic, although misery does love company, but I believe there is a lot to be learned in those rejections.
Rejection teaches us patience, and perseverance, while developing growth and character. It's easy to quit, easy to give up, but it takes strength and courage to repeatedly put yourself out there, hoping to catch that one "yes". You pray that your work will find its way into the right hands, of the right literary agent or publisher, who's in the right mood, at the right time.
It's taken me almost a year to find the right home for my novel, Until Darkness Comes, tentatively scheduled for release March 21, 2012. To the published, I'd love to hear your experiences breaking into the literary world. To the unpublished, I'd just like to remind you to never give up. It only takes one "yes" :)
Have a great week!
Monday, November 28, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Thanksgiving is upon us! The turkey is dressed, the pies are baked, and families are flocking together to spend the day eating and shopping. But through all the full stomachs and "Black Friday" deals, it's good to pause and remember why we have this holiday in the first place.
To give thanks.
Sounds simple, right? But can you remember the last time you stopped and took the time to really count your blessings? Our lives are so busy these days, with day jobs, kids, spouses. We've become masters at multitasking in order to get everything done we need to. Conference calls at home while making dinner. Cramming in writing time while sitting in the doctor's office. Every single second of every day gets counted and used to its fullest extent.
So I know how difficult it can be to take a moment and just feel gratitude for everything you and your family have. Difficult because it forces you to think about what your life would be without these blessings. And that can be overwhelming to think about. But even the little things deserve recognition. The smile of a stranger when you need it. The words of a friend when you're down. The bad - yet funny - joke from a co-worker. These little things deserve gratitude just as much as the big ones, for they make each day different from the rest.
And it's so easy to get caught up in things this time of year, the whirlwind of the holidays. Through the gift giving and the big meals, we tend to forget the little things and breeze through the days until each one blends into the next. And before you know it,another year has passed.
So I ask that you always take a moment to give thanks, not just for the holiday, but every day. For every single day holds a blessing. All you have to do is stop and recognize it.
Have a Blessed and Wonderful Thanksgiving!
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Friday, November 18, 2011
We're the adults. We need to be part of the solution.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
I’m going to back up just a touch. A year or so before this birthday (I remember the birthday vividly but I don’t actually remember how old I was) my dad discovered I’d never seen Star Wars. He was surprised and a little appalled… He promptly rented all three of them. That was back in the days of VHS and before the remastered versions came out. Then we set up the “movie” experience in my living room. That basically meant I got to eat dinner in the lazy chair that we pulled up in front of the TV. I proceeded to watch all three movies. I can’t remember if I watched them all at once or got through two of them and had to take a break, it was a while ago. Maybe even close to twenty years. I was hooked.
Now back to this birthday, and those books… Dad didn’t wrap my presents, he just put them in a bag. No big deal for me though. So they handed me my first gift, which was the VHS trilogy of the remastered Star Wars movies. I was thrilled. Then they handed me three books. I studied them, as I’m wont to do with books, noted the Star Wars big across the top of all of them, and was super excited. Those books were Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command. (Looking at the dates of publication, it must have been 1994 or so. I was probably 13 or 14.)
I still have those books. I love those books. They are still some of my favorite. Many of my favorite fictional characters stemmed from those books and Timothy Zahn is still my favorite author. I’ve read a ton of books since then, including a bazillion Star Wars books – but they still hold up as some of the best.
When I was in the bookstore the other day (Incidentally just a couple of days after my most recent birthday earlier this month) my boyfriend, the Irish Sailor, pointed out a hardback Star Wars book with a nice shiny silver cover and the words Heir to the Empire on it. I grabbed it of course and my hands almost started shaking – for several reasons. It was the 20th anniversary edition of a book that had literally changed my life, and I couldn’t believe it had been 20 years since it was published. That last bit kind of hurt my brain.
All else forgotten I sat down on the floor of the bookstore and started to read through the special introductions, the new novella, and the really interesting author/publisher notes in the margins of the book. I had to have it.
My copy arrived yesterday and I carried it around for a while, much like a kid does with a blanket, then I put it on my desk and gazed at it with tears in my eyes, then I carried it around a little more. I read the novella last night.
I’m a nerd, I know, but still… Books have the power to change lives… My first attempt at a real novel was set in the Star Wars universe. I had my own characters, but I used that huge setting. One of my all time favorite characters of my own (she’s making me say she is my favorite character ever, it’s true, I won’t deny it) started as a Star Wars character. I managed a few hyperspace accidents and brought her back to earth so I could actually write some of her stories too. I’m not sure I’d be on the writing path that I’m on without Star Wars and the ideas it has inspired.
So Happy Anniversary Heir to the Empire. Mr. Zahn, thank you for writing such an amazing book and propelling the Star Wars Universe into the written word.
Monday, November 14, 2011
I'm the queen of procrastination. For those of you who models of self discipline and are unfamiliar with procrastination here's the definition ~ to put off intentionally and habitually. When I'm not growling like a polar bear because it's cold and snowy my favorite place to hide is the beach but currently the temperature is 30 degrees so that isn't working out. So as the queen I've come up with many clever inside ways to avoid the dreaded task whatever it may be so I thought I would share a few of my favorites:
(1) Looking for fun entertainment to make you smile before tackling whatever you're avoiding. Games – on facebook – the bubble witch saga. Hidden object games (HOGS for short) there are so many of these but Sherlock Holmes is by the far the best one out there.
(2) Want something a little more constructive to build the concentration before leaping into the work at hand? Since I'm a writer here's one that is fun and useful - http://seventhsanctum.com/index-char.php I can almost say this isn't a form of procrastination because, well, I need characters – right? Anyway, it makes a jumping off point especially for secondary characters. Here is one I generated for a creepy bus rider - This confident gentleman has slitted brown eyes that are like two tiger-eye gems. His fine, wavy, soot-black hair is long and is worn in a dignified, uncomplicated style. He is tall and has a graceful build. His skin is dark. He has prominent ears and thin eyebrows. His wardrobe is complicated and classy, with a lot of brown.
(3) Another 'useful' website that I send a lot time at for characters and also just to see what people do with their time - http://www.notsoboringlife.com/. It has over 200 hobbies listed with details. The hobbies include everything from cigar smoking to collecting James Bond toys to belly dancing.
Anyway, these are my top three ways of avoiding laundry, edits, or taking my dog for a walk. What are some of your favorite? Or maybe I should ask what are some of the ways you remain on track?
Saturday, November 12, 2011
I remember going on a romantic stroll with my husband once. A story popped into my head and I had to jot it down. So, I whipped the tiny notebook out of my purse and discovered, to my horror, that my pen was missing! I just about lost my mind! My poor husband didn't have one. I was like a junkie or something. "We gotta stop in there and ask if I can borrow a pen now! Now!" We couldn't snag a pen anywhere and it was a half hour before we could get home and find one there. What a nightmare.
Actually, it's pathetic, I guess.
But, that's one way to know.
What other ways are there?
Friday, November 11, 2011
Jen Gave It Four Stars
She said, "We also meet Victoria, The girl's Grandmother - who is also Empathy. And she is the Funniest - most awesome grandmother i have ever met :) Loved her! She's also set out to teach the girls everything she knows in order to survive their upcoming 18th birthday - it's the only way to get their lives back." You don't have to be young to kick butt!
Nayu Gave It a 10/10
She said, "I think it shows Kimber An's growth as a writer, because I couldn't find anything I wasn't keen on." This is a fab compliment because I've known Nayu a long time and she's read all my published stuff. We reviewed together at Enduring Romance and I learned from the author/mentors that all the best storytellers never stop trying to learn.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Monday, November 7, 2011
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
My treat is a free short story (Pdf format)called SATANSTORM
The members of the metal band Satanstorm have been trying to put their days as child singing sensations “Band of brothers” behind them. They hope their next video will propel them to the top. All they need is the right spooky place to film it…
If you'd like a copy Click Here to pop on over to the handy dandy form on my site and drop me a line.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
This is the pattern Bianca used to create their matching costumes, as she is an accomplished seamstress. http://www.simplicity.com/p-1951-costumes.aspx
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
But 25 years ago, there were only so many young adult books available. Judy Blume, Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley High - these are what I read the most of because that's what girls my age were supposed to be reading. And there's nothing wrong with those books, it's just that, well, I craved...MORE.
Every summer I would spend a few weeks at my aunt and uncle's house. They were book lovers as well, and truthfully, passed that passion on to me through many a trip to the library or out of the way bookstore. They had loads of books at their house, so one summer, I decided I was going to read some grown-up books.
What did I pick to start with? Salem's Lot by Stephen King. Probably not the best choice for a 12 year old, but I was determined and could not be swayed.
The book scared the crap out of me.
I was mesmerized, and read it all in one day. I read until my eyeballs felt like they would pop out of my head and every noise that house made was a vampire about to get me. I was frightened and exhilarated, and...couldn't wait to read the next one.
Thus began my love affair with horror and the paranormal. I became obsessed, and that summer I also read Cujo, Carrie, Christine, and Firestarter. The world of horror and the paranormal opened up and swallowed me whole. Something about finding fear in the everyday or that there's more to this life than we know totally appealed to 12 year old me and made my imagination take flight.
That's when I really started writing my own stories, filling notebook after notebook, all the while devouring books like a person starved. I specifically became obsessed with vampires, and to this day have one bookcase in my house devoted entirely to vampire fiction.
I owe that "horrific" summer the credit for steering me onto this path of a writer, showing me so much more than I could ever have imagined. Books are and always will be what sustains me. And I pray they continue to inspire and entertain generations to come.
Who knows? Maybe even one of my stories will spark a light in another 12 year old...
All I can do is hope!