Tag Archives: new

Beta-reading Bliss!

Here’s part 2 of Facebook Lives… I just finished beta-reading a novel by another one of the Authors Critique Group writers. He is also in the process of beta-reading my novel, Summer Blood. I can’t wait for the feedback! In the meantime, I thought I should write a bit about his story.

It was an inventive look at wizards called Foundling Wizard. The first in a 3 part series, I believe. The author is James Eggebeen. James is a software designer from San Diego, California who has turned to designing books.

Foundling Wizard, to be released soon, is about a young wizard’s journey and how he learns and grows. He not only learns to use his powers, but also learns about life and responsibility. The journey is exciting and fraught with danger. The wizard comes to know himself and others in his journey, and yes, he has a mentor, a snarky old wizard that doesn’t always tell him everything he needs to know.

I also got a sneak-peek at the book cover which is startlingly beautiful. With the great cover and fresh writing, Foundling Wizard stands to be a success, so keep your eyes out for it!

For more on Foundling Wizard: http://www.jameseggebeen.com/

Follow James Eggebeen at:  @JamesEggebeen

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Are you relevant?

Apparently, I’m not. What?! How can that be, you ask! Well, I have no idea. How does someone just starting out become relevant? Further, don’t you lose your relevance if you are trying to be relevant? That’s like an oxymoron or something, right?!

I think that I’d much rather write what interests me, than to try to be something I’m not. If I cross the line over to relevant somewhere along the way, good on me! If not, I’m not sure I’m going to be overly concerned. Afterall, I think there are a lot of people out there like me that want to be entertained or read something they are interested in, maybe check out a new perspective, and I don’t think they are concerned about whether it’s relevant.

If you’re looking for relevant, maybe check out some political sites. I’m going more for, uh, you know…  fun!

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Query This?!!?

With my novel, Summer Blood, finally finished and sitting with my Alpha-Readers, I’ve decided to write a query letter to send out to potential agents. So, what goes in a query letter? How do I capture the attention of a good agent when I know 50,000,000+ other writers are trying to do the same thing? I have to stand out somehow, right?!

So, I google’d it. Of course…. I found a decent website right away. Thanks Google!

http://www.writing-world.com/basics/query.shtml

This site says there are five points to a good query. They are as follows:

  • The hook
  • The pitch
  • The body
  • The credentials
  • The close

I think the hook is the most important. If you don’t grab the agents attention in the first two sentences, I think you’re screwed. RIGHT~?!~!?

So, what’s my hook?  According to the writing-world website there are many ways to grab the agent’s attention, and many ways not to.  The “don’t do this” section seems pretty common sense to me. So, what about the “do this” part? None of these really work for me. These seem to be good ideas for non-fiction writing. But, I get the idea.

Be real, be interesting, but don’t come across like every other ding-dong writer begging for attention.  Then, the right agent will pick me!

Here’s my first paragraph:

Stories like True Blood and Twilight have been breathing life into the old classics making vampires HOT right now. My adult novel, Summer Blood, takes some elements of the classic vampire stories and adds new twists. These vampires leave blood, violence, and sex in their wake, and readers that love that will also love Summer Blood.

Does that grab your attention?

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Read this one yet?

I recently finished reading Chimera by Rob Thurman. It was a 5 star book on a 4 star scale, and if you haven’t read it you should.

I find it difficult to give a good summary of Rob Thurman’s books because they all have such incredible plot twists and surprise endings. Unlike some books I’ve read, Thurman’s surprise endings are credible and they work because she builds them up unbeknownst to the reader throughout the entire novel. That makes it very difficult to summarize without spoilers and I hate spoilers. But, I’ll give it a try…

Two sons of a Russian mob boss are riding their horses on the beach in Miami when they are attacked. The older boy, Stefan, falls and is pinned under his horse as he watches his brother’s kidnapping. Stefan spends the rest of his life searching for his brother, Lukas. Finally, he succeeds. This is where it starts getting interesting! Lukas has changed. He doesn’t remember Stefan, he goes by the name Michael, and he has a special power (as in supernatural power). He has been a victim of biological and genetic experimentation!

I can’t give any more of the plot without running into spoilers. I can tell you that Stefan and Lukas/Michael are fabulous characters that the reader will want to care about. Stefan is head strong, confident, but never fools himself about who and what he is and what his capabilities are. He tries to understand all the risks before taking a chance, but will take that chance anyway if it means saving his family. He has a very strong sense of family. Lukas/Michael spends his time in this book discovering who he is and becoming a teenage boy. Despite all of the horrors that have happened in his life, he remains true of heart. With Stefan’s help, he learns what it means to be family.

Together Stefan and Lukas/Michael drive the story and provide interesting and fun reading. Now, I can’t wait to find out what the heroes do in the sequel, Basilisk.

For trailers, more info and ordering:

http://robthurman.net/

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What the heck am I doing?

I’m still so new at writing that I often wonder if I’m doing this right. There is so much more to writing than just telling a story. Of course telling the story is the most important part. Without that, I wouldn’t really be doing any of this… so, what am I doing exactly? Well, I’m writing, promoting, and learning about the craft of writing.

The first part, like I said, is writing, telling the story. I’m getting better at that, but I still don’t have a novel published. I have two written, but both are in the editing stages and are not ready yet to be published.  It takes a lot to get a story from the first inkling of a tale to a published novel.

First, you have to think about it for a long time and work it out in your head. Then, you have to start writing things down, and that isn’t even the story yet. You have to write out character sketches, outlines, research notes, and more… I suppose these things are not always necessary, but I don’t know how to write a novel without doing this. I keep a notebook on my stories and jot down ideas, plot lines, and other details constantly.

Then, I start getting serious about a chapter outline. The chapter outline keeps me going and keeps my plot on track. It is not permanent, however. I’ve learned that the best stories have characters that take on a life of their own, and when that happens they change the plot. So, I change my outline. But, the outline helps keep things from getting too far off the original track.

Once I have a pretty good start on a chapter outline, I’ll start detailing the chapters. I start with a loose outline and just start adding more and more details. This is the most flexible part. I don’t put any rules on it. Whatever I think or feel I write, keeping it free and easy. This is where the real creativity comes out, and this is what is turned into the novel.

After the novel is finished, what am I going to do with it?  I’m really interested in self publishing and being and indie (or independent author), but I still don’t think I know enough about it.  I’m learning. A lot of what I’m learning has been found on Twitter. I follow a lot of other indie-authors and resources for indies like the following:

 @WoMensLitCafe 

Indie_Kindle

Indie_Kindle

@IndieKindle

 @IndieBookIBC

@AuthorNetwork

and others…

They help.  I also like following book bloggers that do book reviews and other bloggers that help indie-authors promote their work.  Some are:

@PattiRoberts7

@Tynga

@piercebooks

and many others… too many to mention them all.  The point is there are so many people out there willing to help. It is a network of people helping people and returning that help.  I’ve been very surprised to see so much support and such a robust community. So, I’m learning a lot! Thanks all!!

So, now I’m editing my novel and soon will be publishing, and in doing so, I’m sure I’ll learn even more!! And, somewhere along the lines, hopefully, I will figure out what I’m doing!!

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Hot Vikings and Independent Women

Let me start this blog by saying that I do NOT read romance novels, and particularly NOT historical romance novels. (My MOM reads historical romance.) Although, I did love Wuthering Heights in High School, but that’s a secret, and so is Loki’s Daughters by Delle Jacobs.

http://www.amazon.com/Lokis-Daughters-ebook/dp/B0033WSKA4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1320806449&sr=8-1

I do really like romance books that have some kind of paranormal twist, but Loki’s Daughters does not fit in that category.  It is about hot Vikings that invade Celtic land wanting to find a home of their own and, oh yeah, wives!  The main character Arienh is a strong independent woman and she is not about to let these invaders push her around. She never gives up, even if it costs her what she most desires.

Even though there were no demons, aliens, vampires, or other paranormal activity (except potentially one ghost scene), I really enjoyed this novel. It was not overwhelmingly stuffed with sex, but sex was used where it belonged within the story. Oh yeah, and some of it was really funny!  I always think that historical romance is going to be all sex and frail women being swept off their feet and probably ravaged on the moors of Scotland or something, but Loki’s Daughters did not fit that mold at all.  Well, there were hot Vikings ready to sweep women off their feet, but the women were having none of that! It made for a brilliant story.  And, you just can’t go wrong with HOT Vikings!

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In search of Trailers

So, I have content, a story, nearly completed. What next? I’m starting to think about some of the marketing aspects of writing. What do I need to do to promote the book?

I started looking at other writers’ websites, blogs, book covers and trailers. Yes, trailers. Authors are now making video trailers for their books. I’ve seen some really good ones out there too. I’ll post some of my fav’s (their books are awesome also!):

This one has several on one page. A different trailer for each book. Each one has a different feel that represents the different styles of the novels.  http://www.smreine.com/ 

This one has one trailer that shows all of her work. It is a little longer and a bit different, but visually, it is very distinctive. http://www.penelopefletcher.co.uk/video

This one is really cool; she actually did the animation and recorded the music herself… very talented:  http://maggiestiefvater.com/

So, that kind of gives a brief  idea of some great video trailers, and gives me a high bar to measure up to!  (Kudos ladies!) 

So, I’ll be thinking about what I can do for a trailer over the next few months (wish me luck).  I need to have good images that represent my story. I also need great music that has inspired me while writing. Then, I need some text to explain my story without giving too much away, but enticing the public to read my book.

This is going to be a fun challenge!

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I have sales!! Woot!

Woot! It really isn’t much, but the fact that I have sales is really exciting! It means that there are a few people out there that actually purchased my writing for the first time ever AND it is more than just my family! 

In this new journey to become a real author, I published a book of seven short stories called, Stories to Fight Demons By. These are twisted/surreal stories about different kinds of demons; perfect for Halloween! You can purchase this on Amazon or B&N.  I’ll include the links here:

http://www.amazon.com/Stories-Fight-Demons-ebook/dp/B004RH3T46/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1319329943&sr=8-1

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/stories-to-fight-demons-by-sherri-jordan-asble/1030426408?ean=2940012183842&itm=1&usri=sherri%2bjordan-asble

I hope those that purchased the book liked it. I don’t have any reviews on Amazon or B&N yet, but I’m hoping I’ll get one. So, if you purchased the book and are reading this… hint, hint!

I also have a teaser for my first novel posted on my website and a plug for it in the back of  Stories. Website:

http://sjordanasble.com/Page_2.html

So, this is truly another awesome step forward in my writing journey. I hope that others will celebrate with me – go ahead, raise your hand in the air and give me a “Woot!”

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Legacy of Kings by C.S. Friedman

I’m finally reading the final book in this awesome trilogy! Yeah!

Friedman’s trilogy begins with Feast of Souls. The second book is Wings of Wrath.  Then, the final book is Legacy of Kings.  I had thought I was going to leave all my book reviews on my website, but this one is worth blogging about…

The Magister Trilogy by C. S. Friedman http://csfriedman.com/  is one of the best fantasy/speculative fiction novels I’ve had the pleasure of reading. Her characters are strong, yet flawed. They make mistakes, they learn, and they go on. They feel human.

Her plot is intricate with over-riding themes, and interesting unforeseen twists. I like my fiction unpredictable.  When you think the story is going in one direction, it jumps in another.  She keeps the pages turning!

So, what is the Magister Trilogy about?  Imagine a world where witchcraft exists, but there is a high price to wield it. The witches in this world pay for their craft with a little piece of their life force every time they cast a spell.  Then enters the Magisters. They steal the life force from others  for their magic, making them all-powerful… well, almost.  It turns out there are monsters invading the land, souleaters, and they will destroy humanity if left unchecked.  The heroes, the lyr, have to fight the beasts.  Woven throughout these overarching story lines are sinister plots and back stabbing traitors.  Who can be trusted? 

One thing I admire in Friedman’s writing is how she develops her character, Kamala.  She slowly unfolds depth throughout the three books. This is a young woman who learns to survive in a man’s world, and not always too successfully. She learns how to be human and how to care for others, even when they might not necessarily deserve it, as the reader learns about her.

The first two books were excellent, and now that I’m reading the long waited for third and final installment, I have to say I’m even more interested than I was when I first started reading the first book.  I think I need to go back and read the other two again!

Check this one out! A great read… 5 of 5 stars!

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good reading = good writing

I’ve noticed that I tend to write better when I’ve been reading really great books! So, as part of my writing  journey, I thought I should mention and share some of what I’ve been reading. I’ve posted a few book reviews on my website that you may want to check out…

http://sjordanasble.com/Books__Reviews___Links.html

I’m also going to share the latest awesome book I’ve read, Blood Song by Cat Adams. This was a fast read. I read the book in a day and a half and I cannot wait for the sequel.  The book is about a tough body-guard who is half turned into a vampire (yes only 1/2 way!) It is partially a mystery to find out who did

 this to her and why, part kick ass vampire book, and there is a nice little surprise twist at the end leaving the reading drooling for the sequel.  The author’s style of writing is easy flowing, easy to read, and gets your attention quick and keeps it.  I highly recommend it and rate it 4 1/2 out of 5 stars. I have to take off 1/2 a point because she had so many characters in the book that I lost track a couple of times.  I had to say, “Who? Who was that?” a couple of times.  Otherwise, excellent read!

So, these are the awesome books that I’ve been reading lately. You can enjoy them to and hopefully, see their influence positively reflecting in my writing.

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