Posts tagged ‘fiction’

November 25, 2015

Author Beth Warstadt’s tells about Megan’s Christmas Knight

Beth Warstadt is the author of Megan’s Christmas Knight, which was released about a week ago. I’ve been meaning to blog about this for a while now, and I’m glad to finally get the chance to spotlight such a fun and inspiring person.

Readers can find out more about Beth Warstadt and her writing journey here on her web site. You can also find her books on Beth Warstadt’s Amazon page.

Beth was also kind enough to answer some questions for me to share. For your enjoyment, here it is!

Tell us about your new book, including where readers can find it for sale.

Megan’s Christmas Knight is a romantic Christmas fantasy. Megan is a woman running away from her life because of something terrible she has done. She is rescued by a mysterious stranger, Nick, who sends her on a quest that helps her learn about love and forgiveness. At the same time that he is helping her he begins to question some of his own rules about his life, especially the ones that keep him alone. It’s available through Amazon.com in both e-book and print formats.

Would you like to share a passage from your new book?

Megan has been saved by a mysterious stranger who would not let her see his face and then vanished through back of a man-made cave called a fogou. When she goes back to where she met him she sees him again.

She went back to the windswept cliffs, back to where she now knew the ancient fogou lay silently concealed in the peaceful countryside, back to where her adventure began. There was no storm today, no need for rescue. There were only her tortuous memories and the cliffs that offered their different kind of escape.

When horse and rider surprised her this time, they came without a whisper. She jumped at the warm hand on her shoulder and spun around to find him standing there, head still concealed under the black hood, leading the now serene white horse by reins he scarcely held. Her soul thrilled, but she couldn’t tell if it was excitement or terror that set her heart pounding. When he reached up slowly to push back the hood, her breath caught as she waited, wondering what was hidden underneath.

He was not a decaying, skeletal Ghost of Christmas Future. His face was young and handsome, and his blue eyes were at once merry and sad, as though he was glad to see her but knew the burdens of her heart. She could not tell his age, because he seemed to have the enthusiasm and wonder of youth and the wisdom and serenity of old age.

What kinds of works do you write, and how long have you been writing?

Like many writers, I began making up my own stories when I was a child It was when I turned 40, however, that I figured that I was probably about halfway through my life, and if I was going to write, I had better get started. I write romantic fantasy mostly, with touches of paranormal and history thrown in for good measure.

What is the most rewarding thing about writing?

I love feeling like I am in some small way contributing to the literature of our time. Who knows? Maybe someday something I write will be included in an anthology of American literature of the 21st century!

What is the most challenging experience you’ve ever had writing?

I guess you would call it writer’s block. I have a book that I have been working on for two years, and I still can’t get a hold of it. I write two or three pages, sometimes more, and wind up discarding it.

What would you recommend to new writer?

I’m going to steal the advice I have heard from so many others, so many times. Just do it. If you want to write, then sit down at the computer or with a blank pad of paper and put words on the page. You can never finish if you don’t start.

How would you describe your personal creative process?

I enjoy doing lots of research, even though it isn’t always necessary for what I am writing. I have found that the world is truly an amazing place, and that almost anything I can make up, there is something even more incredible happening in reality. That is the great thing about fantasy. There is no need to stop writing because your story has become too hard to believe. Reality can be even harder to believe.

When is the best time for you to write?

Saturday mornings after my husband has gone to work is my prime writing time. I enjoy having coffee in a cup without a lid, and I sit at the computer for hours completely immersed in whatever story I am working on. My sons are grown and in college, so my house is a very quiet place on the weekends.

What kinds of things inspire you in your writing?

I am inspired by the amazing things I see in the world all around me. It is incredible to see what people can do, whether on a big scale like art and architecture, or on a smaller scale like cross-stitch or knitting. I also get the writing bug when I read something so beautifully written that it moves me deeply, either viscerally or spiritually.

Do you have any other books or other writing you’d like to talk about?

I’ve written another book called Soul Lost that I self-published for Amazon Kindle. It is a romantic time-travel fantasy about King Alfred of England and the mysterious woman who was his wife. I’m also on my seventh edit of a book about a great, ancient civilization that is discovered buried here in Forsyth County, Georgia. Its tentative title is People of the Green Hills.

I find that I write mostly about women who discover that there is so much more to them than they think, whether because she finds out she was supposed to be a princess, or because she is able to complete a difficult quest, or because she is the one person who believes in a cause and can make sure it happens. I write fantasy because that is what I love, but there is a truth that transcends the fantastic elements. People are so much more than they think they are. Put us in extraordinary circumstances, and we will find out how exactly extraordinary we are.

Advertisements
November 4, 2015

Kevin L. Nielsen, author of Sands and Resurgent Shadows

I had the privilege of meeting author Kevin L. Nielsen about six weeks ago. By then I had already heard of his first book, Sands, which was released in July. (As of today, Sands has 83 reviews on Goodreads and is #4 in the Amazon paid store in the myths and legends category for teens and young adults.)

My first impression: Kevin L. Nielsen is the kind of person you want to meet no matter what the situation is. It’s easy to celebrate successes with people who are as kind and fun as he is.

I’m delighted to be able to feature him in a question-and-answer format. It’s the first big post I’ve published in a long while, which makes it all the more fun.

Here it is:

Please describe the fun successes you’ve had with your first novel, Sands.

I’ve had a lot of fun with my first novel, Sands.  It is a fun novel with lots of twists.  I’ve been able to be on panels at Salt Lake Comic Con, had my own solo signing at the King’s English Bookshop, and even been on TV.  It has been pretty amazing.

When did you first start writing Sands, and how long did it take you to finish?

I started writing Sands in February 2014. It took me about 95 days to finish the first draft.  From there I did a couple more drafts over the next few months before ending up meeting Helena Steinecker from Future House Publishing at the LTUE convention in February 2015.

I understand you have another book coming out soon. What is it, and what would you like to share about it?

I’m very excited about this book.  It’s called Resurgent Shadows and it is essentially the story of how the fantasy world and the modern world came together in cataclysmic events that rendered electricity useless.  Dragons fill the skies and creatures some call goblins and trolls travel in massive hordes.  The race of man is on the brink of extinction.

It comes out on the 12th, so stay tuned for additional information – for the most up to date news, sign up for my newsletter at http://eepurl.com/buUhMT– you’ll get updates on all my book releases.

Who is your publisher, and what makes them great to work with?

Future House Publishing is my publisher.  They are great to work with because they have a great team that truly treats you like family.  They are a small, local pressed based here in Utah, but they’ve got a great presence and the potential to become one of the stronger presses here in Utah.  They also do great covers.

What do you do to find time to write?

Mostly, I just stay up really late and get little sleep.  I find time to write during the small moments each day, early in the mornings or even during my lunch breaks at work.  You just have to learn to monopolize on the small moments you have each day.  It also helps to have a super supportive wife who will watch the kids when I need extra writing time.

What is your favorite writing experience so far?

Outside of just publishing my first novel in general, my favorite writing experience so far is tied between meeting Jason Lyle Black, a musician I have admired for years, who wrote several songs based off my novel and being able to be a panelist at Salt Lake Comic Con.  Those were both great and amazing experiences.

When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

I realized I wanted to be an author when my reading ability surpassed the library’s capacity to supply books.  This happened when I was in the 6thgrade at Patterson Elementary in Gilbert, Arizona.  I’ve been writing ever since.

What plans do you have for the future?

I have a lot of plans for the future.  The sequel to Sands, called Storms, will be out in December or January.  The Sands series will have five total books and Resurgent Shadows is book one of the Successive Harmony Series.  That will be four books (for now).  I’ve also got several other novels I’m working on at any given time.  For a complete breakdown of my current projects visit my current projects page on my website at the following link:http://kevinlnielsen.com/current-writing-projects/

I hope to be able to review some of Kevin L. Nielsen‘s work here in the future, and also to follow up with some of the great things he’s doing. He is one author to watch.

Kevin Nielsen, author of Sands and Resurgent Shadows

Kevin L. Nielsen, author of Sands and the soon-to-be-released Resurgent Shadows

 

October 30, 2014

Ghost Moon Night is available–just in time for Halloween!

 

Just a  very quick post to let people know Jewel Allen’s book Ghost Moon Night is finally available. I wasn’t able to go to the release party last night, but I downloaded the book last week and couldn’t put it down.

The ghosts/zombies are really scary, and the island culture is so woven into the story that readers learn a lot about the Philippines, as well. There was a sweet romance subplot, great friends and a terrific main character that I really couldn’t help liking.

If you’re looking for a great Halloween read, check this one out.

October 30, 2014

#lukecallindor grows so much in ‘Allure of the Gypsies’

 

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

I didn’t get to blog last Friday, and I’m still playing catch-up. While there were no new entries to the #burgersandbooks giveaway, I did have a chance to read The Allure of the Gypsies by Charles Yallowitz.

Here’s a moment of thoughts for the character Luke Callindor:

I enjoyed his character development in the first two books of this series, but I would say his personality deepened quite a bit in this book. For most of the book he struggled with pain and how to deal with it, but by the end, I began to feel that the pain was making him grow, and he was becoming a better person because of it. Nicely done.

I was surprised at how strong Luke Callindor became during the battle scenes, too. Some new powers developed, which surprised and delighted me.

Now about the rest of the book.

My favorite scenes centered on the battles as Sari the gypsy, Nyx the caster and Luke Callindor fought a vampire caster. This was about halfway through the book, but there was so much more to enjoy. Luke’s greatest growth came after these battles during other fight scenes, and Sari’s ability to accept what had already happened to her life didn’t play out until the very end.

Oh, and one more favorite thing: In Allure of the Gypsies readers find out something important about Selenia Hamilton, one of my favorite characters from Beginning of a HeroI found that one bit of information completely rewarding.

This is a fun fantasy adventure!

 

October 3, 2014

Burgers and books #free #giftcard #giveaway #promo

October is here! Celebrate with me!

October is here! Celebrate with me!

I had so much fun with last month’s giveaway that I decided not to wait to November for the next one, so I’m celebrating October with a gift card promo of a different kind!

My family and I love reading parties (in fact, we’re planning one for this Saturday evening). These are simple to plan and lots of fun. All you do is 1) stock up on good books, 2) stock up on yummy foods, and 3) sit in the same room together, reading and munching to your heart’s content.

Since I wanted to promote the idea of family reading parties, I settled on the following idea:

Each week in October, I’ll  give away a free book to whoever wins the drawing for that week. For this promo, I’m focusing on the Charles Yallowitz’s Legends of Windemere series. I’ll draw a name for electronic versions of book one on October 10, book 2 on October 17, book three on October 24, and book 4 on October 31. If you already have these books and you win, let me know–I’ll gift the book you won to a friend of your choice and send you an electronic version of Trusted, by Krista Wayment or Dark Birth by Scott Bryan instead.

Also on Halloween day, everyone who has entered during the month of October will have a chance in a drawing for a $15 Burger King gift card. Food for your personal reading party!!!

Sound fun? Here’s how to enter:

OPTION ONE:

On your blog, post a story, poem or opinion on this prompt: What makes a good fantasy character? Ping back to this article so I know you’ve entered.

OPTION TWO:

If you don’t have a blog, you can like my author page on Facebook and respond to the status with the same prompt. What makes a good fantasy character? Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorGwenBristol.

Wishing everyone a Happy October, Happy Reading and a truly happy day!

 

 

September 24, 2014

Impostor syndrome, writers and self-publishing our fiction

visit http://jewelallen.blogspot.com to learn more about this talented writer and her new book

visit http://jewelallen.blogspot.com to learn more about this talented writer and her new book

Last night my husband and I discussed Impostor Syndrome. I’m afraid I’ve got a case of it. I can never read my published work and not feel like somehow, some way, I could have done better.

Imagine my delight when I came across this paragraph in the blog post of one of my local writing friends, the talented Jewel Allen:

Having taken a leave of absence from the Tooele Transcript Bulletin, I’d missed writing articles. I also felt a little rusty. My confidence was shaky as I started with a blank page. Could I do this again?  But, like other deadline-driven times, I typed in my byline, and threw down the words like clay on a pottery wheel, shaped and molded them, shaped and molded them some more, threw out a chunk, put it back in, threw out more chunks, until I was satisfied. Even after I hit send and the editor complimented me on a “terrific and well-written story,” the perfectionist in me came up with a couple more ways to switch the paragraphs around.

Me! That’s me! I do that all the time!

It’s why I have a hard time promoting my own work. I can hardly stand to look at it once it’s actually published. I think I might be my own worst critic, and I’m working hard to develop a thicker skin where I’m concerned.

Here’s an example: During the free promo of The Night Ones last week, 237 copies were downloaded. My book shot up to the top ten in one Amazon category for free books and to the top 100 in another. Even now (two days after the promo ended), my book is still in the top 100 for its category for paid books, which isn’t something I expected. I’m delighted to see that, but I still wonder–why? Do people really like my book that much?

I’m pleased, but it makes me feel shy. What if, now that they have my book, they decide they don’t like it? Was it really ready to be re-released?

Deep down, I know the only answer is yes.  Whether I really agree with myself or not, I have to cut my teeth sometime, and the sooner I do, the sooner I can start working on all the other projects that spin around so happily in my mind.

Jewel Allen currently has three upcoming booksBlemish, The Spanish Exile, and Ghost Moon Night. Guess what she has to say about this subject as she prepares for the October launch of Ghost Moon Night?

Maybe I have the mentality of a journalist and memoir publisher, but sometimes, your work isn’t the best it can be no matter how much you’ve edited it. I’ve submitted pieces before where I flubbed majorly on details, or left out information, and, guess what? Life still goes on. You will always find something wrong with your story, or have a better way of phrasing.

I’m not saying I shouldn’t get GHOST MOON NIGHT to the best shape it can possibly be. And novels do have a bit more shelf life than a news article. But, there has to be a balance.

It’s a comfort to read words like this–especially now, when I’m writing the sequel to The Night Ones. I’ve discovered I struggle more with myself than I do with the details of writing. Sometime I’ve just got to get over myself and let my books fly or fall on their own.

That means not worrying about whether my writing is good or not while I’m working on the first draft. It also means not concerning myself so much about what other people think of my fiction when I self-publish it or send a query off to a traditional publisher.

Meanwhile, there’s still journalism to fret over–and I’m so glad I’m  not the only one who rethinks her entire articles every time she submits one. Thanks, Jewel Allen, for making me smile today! I’m looking forward to Ghost Moon Night!

Oh! One more thing before I publish this post–this is the last week to e-mail me to let me know you’ve reviewed The Night Ones on Amazon if you want to be entered in the $25 Amazon gift card drawing/contest thing.

 

 

 

September 15, 2014

The evolution of a book cover: why I will always hire a visual artist now

I think of my self-publishing experience with The Night Ones as a learning exercise and, right now, as a demonstration of why self-publishing writers most often should hire someone else to do the artwork for their book covers.

Here’s the first book cover I tried to make, on my own.

book cover possibility three point seven five

Here’s the second book cover, also made on my own.

Second book cover

Second book cover

Here’s the third, also on my own, that I made for the re-release while I waited for a final book cover. (More on that another time–the artist I hired works fast. I was waiting on other things.)

green ebook cover red print cropped resized

And, finally, here’s what artist LaRae Monroe can do.

The Night Ones has a new look!

The Night Ones has a new look!

LaRae and I had a great chat about what separates writers and visual artists. Both she and I keep notebooks. The biggest difference is what we keep in our notebooks. Mine is full of words, describing my ideas in detail. Her ideas are mapped out with pictures, more like story boards.

I’ve gained a new respect for all visual artists because of LaRae. In some ways, she can see what I write about better than I can.

If you’re intrigued by the beautiful new book cover, check out the e-book! It’ll be free on Amazon from Sepember 18-22. Also–check out the $25 Amazon gift card giveaway!

Wishing you all the best!

September 14, 2014

Beautiful new book cover for #thenightones

The Night Ones: Book One of the Legacy of the Night Ones finally has a new cover.

The Night Ones has a new look!

The Night Ones has a new look!

It’s been uploaded to Amazon. I expect it to go live sometime early Sunday morning.

Just a quick note about the artist, LaRae Monroe–she did an excellent job of seeing what I couldn’t see and pulling this book cover together in just about a day. It’s a beautiful thing.

Check out LaRae’s blog page here: http://laraelxdesigns.blogspot.com/ She is one talented lady!

Meanwhile, don’t forget about the $25 Amazon gift card giveaway. Book two is on track for a December release. LaRae will be doing the cover for that book, too.

August 31, 2014

New drawing for $25 Amazon gift card #contest thing

Prizes for The Night ones Legacy contest

Enter for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card! by reviewing the Night Ones. (See below for details. 🙂

I’m so excited about this!

While I wait for the final book cover for The Night Ones, I decided to host another $25 Amazon gift card drawing. (Some of you may remember when I did this a few years ago. I’m really happy to be doing it again.)

Here are the rules:’

1. Read The Night Ones, by Gwen Bristol

2. Post a review of The Night Ones on Amazon–here’s the link: http://www.amazon.com/Night-Ones-Legacy-Book-One-ebook/dp/B00N505O94/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1409461305&sr=8-1&keywords=gwen+bristol+the+night+ones

3. Send me an e-mail at gwenbristol@gmail.com letting me know you posted a review. If you win the drawing at the end of the month, I’ll contact you by e-mail to get a physical address so I can send you the gift card.

Here are a few more things to consider:

1. If you read my last post, you’ll remember that The Night Ones was previously published as The Night Ones Legacy. I recently re-released it under a new name to prepare for the sequel, but if you already read The Night Ones Legacy and left an Amazon review, you have a head start. It’s the same book with some minor editorial tweaks–so just go ahead and review it again, and send me an e-mail letting me know! (Of course, I would love it if you liked the book enough to read it again anyway.)

2. If you feel this is worth sharing, please pass it around! If I get more than 50 entries, I’ll buy another gift card and host two drawings…and if I get more than 100 entries, I’ll buy another one. You get the idea.

3. You have almost all of September to post a review and e-mail me. I’ll stop receiving entries by midnight (MST) on Friday, September 26. I will notify winners on Saturday, September 27 and I will post about the results of this promotion/contest thingy then.

4. If, by my writing style tonight, you guessed I’m a bit tired, you guessed right. I may think of other things to say about this contest/promotion thingy later this week, but for now, that’s it. Go read, and review, and e-mail me, and most of all, have fun!

Wishing everyone a wonderful upcoming week!

August 30, 2014

Re-release of The Night Ones

The Night Ones is a re-release of The Night Ones Legacy (see picture below)

The Night Ones is a re-release of The Night Ones Legacy (see the picture below this post). This book cover will hold the place of the final book cover, which is coming soon.

Early this summer I finally began working hard on a sequel to The Night Ones Legacy and decided I really needed to re-release the first book to prepare for the release of the sequel in December. I used the month of August to gather feedback and re-edit the book. Yesterday I re-released it as The Night Ones  with another place-holder cover.

I finally bit the bullet and hired a designer for the book cover, but it wasn’t ready yesterday and I didn’t want to wait on the re-release. I’m thinking about hosting an official launch party when the book cover is finally finished. For now, I’m sending the new version out quietly into the world. If you feel like it’s worth passing on, please share it!

Someday soon, when the final book cover is in place, I’ll post about the evolution of this book, why I’m doing things in small steps  and why I’m finally moving on.

Wishing everyone a great day!

%d bloggers like this: