yeah, I am having some of those moments. they're mainly about my wip. suddenly it is going in another direction. I guess that's the chance you take when you don't have an outline. I was cranking out a super scene and then the end didn't seem to fit. it was anti climactic. the story wants to go another way and I'm not sure how I feel about that except for WTF. I had no idea that was going to happen. damn you compelling characters and interesting action! I had to send it off to a reader to see how she felt about the ending. she's a pretty good with feeling that stuff out. I'll keep writing on the track it's on. maybe it will work out.
Thank you so much, Alison, for having me here! I’m really excited to be visiting your blog and sharing a copy of Purpose.
Tell us about Purpose.
Purpose is the second book in the Soul Savers series that picks up in present day (Promise started 9 years ago). Alexis is going through some pretty rough times and in an unstable state of mind. Much is going on that only exacerbates her condition and she’s faced with a tough decision. Hoping to clear her head and find the answers she needs, she takes off on her own to the Florida Keys, and ends up as the center of another battle between good and evil that requires her to face real-life demons, her own demonic blood…and the worst opponent imaginable.
Was it easier writing a sequel than the first?
Heh, I didn’t exactly write a sequel. I’d originally written Promise and Purpose together as one book. It took a year with many revisions to finally realize that I had two major plotlines. Once I separated the two, Purpose was left as about 2/3 of a book, so I did have to make some new additions. In a way, it was easier because I knew where the story was going and even what happens in book three, so I knew what to add. It was also more difficult because I had to add those new layers within an existing framework, trying not to mess up what was already there.
Your journey to publication is inspiring and different. What led you to that decision?
When it was all one book, the original Purpose, I sent out queries and received some requests for partials. I had already started researching self/indie publication, but wanted to give the traditional route a try. The more I learned about publishing, however, the more frustrated I became. I heard over and over that publishers don’t like college-age main characters. Although readers were still screaming for more vampires, more angels, more paranormal romance, agents were sick of them and wanted something new. My stories are definitely unique, but I could never get that across to agents. Part of the problem was trying to query something that had two different plotlines going on. Then partial responses came back, with most of them saying, “I just can’t market this.” And the number of reports of fewer debut authors being taken on at virtually non-existent advances increased every day, along with publishers saying they expected authors to take on the majority of marketing. eBooks were taking off and the publishing industry, already suffering from the economy, became even more volatile. Finally, I just couldn’t believe how much everyone else gets from a book sale and how little authors are paid. The whole system just seems backwards to me. Add in the facts that I’m an entrepreneur by nature and that I already had a fantastic business partner in another business, we decided to see if we could turn the industry chaos into our advantage. About that same time, I realized the book needed to be split in two. So I never queried what are now Promise and Purpose. Now I have two books released, receiving fabulous reviews and sales numbers growing daily, when they might still be in the querying or submission stages if I’d stuck with the traditional route. I like the idea of earning a bigger share, when the story is the main product and the author has to do the majority of their own marketing anyway. I think authors are sadly taken advantage of and are left powerless to do anything about it – except publish on their own. Finally, I LOVE the idea that readers get to choose what books they want to read – not agents and publishers choosing what they THINK readers want.
Promise is award winning!Congrats! Do you have the same expectations for Purpose?
Thank you! Promise’s award was a surprise to me. I submitted for the award just to see how it would do and to get feedback on the story. I really didn’t expect it to take first place. I don’t know about having the same expectations for Purpose, but I can say that I think it’s a better story, better writing, better everything. So far, reviewers and readers agree. So we’ll see if we enter it in any contests and then see how it does.
Your fan base is remarkable for an indie book. What do you attribute that to?
My background is in marketing. A long time ago, I wrote resumes for a living, which is basically personal marketing. At that time, I had to coach my clients that they MUST learn to sell themselves. I had to drill into their heads that they can’t be afraid to discuss what they’re good at and toot their own horn about their accomplishments. Because no one else will. Promoting your own book is kind of the same way and I had to take my own advice. Authors can’t be afraid to promote and market their books. We can’t be afraid to talk about them. We can’t be afraid to be excited about an award or good review and share it with others. It’s not bragging. It’s marketing. Once your book is going to be published, it becomes a business and all businesses need marketing. So, I reached out to others – other writers, reader sites, book bloggers – and asked them to give my book a chance. Fortunately, the vast majority loved Promise and shared it with their family, friends and followers. So that’s the other key – having a book people enjoy and want to talk about.
If your series was made into a movie who would you cast in the leads?
Don’t be disappointed, but I won’t go here. For one, I’ve searched and searched and can’t find anyone who quite embodies Tristan. He’s just too otherworldly. But, more importantly, I don’t want to give readers a preconceived idea about the characters. I want them to imagine their own version of what “Mr. Beautiful” looks like and form their own idea of the main character that draws them into the story. That’s what reading is all about, why it’s more engaging and more personal than TV or movies – being able to take the parameters the author has given us and using our own imagination to fill in the blanks. Of course, I won’t complain if a movie is ever made and I hope to have say in the selection of the cast. But until then (as if it’ll ever happen), I’ll let you read the books and make up your own cast. It’d probably be different than mine and everyone else’s.
Thanks again, Alison, for having me!! Good luck to everyone who enters the giveaway!
Thank you Kristie! Okay everyone! I'm throwing in a copy of Promise too so there you go! I'm also giving away a $10 iTunes gift card. The give away is as follows:
leave a comment anytime this week on this interview and receive +3 entries
link my giveaway +2
tweet it +2
if you are a follower+5 ((you don't have to be but I sure would love it!)
do the math for me(you know why) +3
REMEMBER!!!YOU CAN ENTER ALL WEEK!!! previous winners and overseas followers are eligible. I'll draw the winner on december 26th.
since I don't have a drum for a drum roll I'll just go WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
the winners of the signed book by Alex Bledsoe are:
Aik and Alicia Gregoire! congrats ladies! I will email you to get your addresses and then Alex will sign your book!
the sauce winner is:
Steve Bossenberger (I love his name almost as much as his blog.It makes me think of an epic hamburger) I'll email you to get your address and the sauces will be on their way to you.
just so you know I used the wonderful random selector tools at random.org to choose. there was no fix or whatever in the contest. cheating is bad.
come back tomorrow for an interview with Kristie Cook, author of Promise and Purpose. I'll be giving away a signed copy of each of her books and a iTunes gift card on 12/26 (I get Christmas off) you can enter all week, not just the day that I post the interview! former winners are welcome too.
so I'm plugging away on the follow up to Life in Moonlight, Blood of New Beginnings and I have introduced a few new characters as well as further developed the old familiar ones. one of the new characters is a historically well know evil doer. it isn't Darth Vader but the above pic is pretty funny. this guy makes anyone in the Empire look like a sweetheart. I haven't revealed this character to anyone but a trusted beta reader and friend because this character is icky. however, as the story progresses he becomes attractive because let's face it...the bad guys are cool. I'm left with mixed feelings about this and I certainly sympathize for my character who has to endure him. I've done quite a bit of research about said evil doer so I could have a base to build his fictional life on. that's a good thing and a bad thing because in doing this research I have gotten creeped out several times. like I have wanted to remove him from the story. I haven't done it and I won't because it is such an interesting plot element. so I'll endure the icky feelings because they are thought provoking. He says some interesting and intriguing things and that makes for fun reading.
y'all I'm so excited to have Alex Bledsoe with me today!I love love LOVED his vampire books! so without further ado...
Alison: Your world building in BLOOD GROOVE and THE GIRLS WITH GAMES OF BLOOD was amazing. The reader really feels the atmosphere. Were those areas in the books areas you were personally familiar with or did you research? Alex: There was some research, but I was 12 years old in 1975 and grew up an hour north of Memphis, so I have a pretty good memory for what it was like on the ground in that time. There is one glaring, deliberate anachronism in BLOOD GROOVE but since no one's spotted it yet, I'm not going to reveal it here.
Alison: The vampires in your books are sort of anti heroes. They're fringe elements but you really feel for them. Was that intentional or did they turn into that? Alex: It was deliberate in the sense that I spent a lot of time thinking about how a vampire would truly interact with his or her world after a hundred years or so. Nihlism became the guiding principle: after all, if these characters were divorced of any of the consequences society deals out for bad behavior, why should they continue to worry about it? The obverse of that is they grow extremely paranoid (especially Zginski) about attracting attention because they understand it's the only thing that truly leaves them vulnerable. So they both ignore society and hide from it. And I think that's a key to making them sympathetic despite their horrendous deeds: underneath it all, they are entirely motivated by fear.
Alison: These were your crack at vampire fiction. Was it easier to write about vampires as opposed to fantasy? Alex: The challenges were different. Vampires may be fantasy, but they exist in a "real", historical world that if it is not done right, will take the reader right out of the moment. What's interesting is how many readers and reviewers mention the books' Seventies "cliches". I'm embarrassed to say that we did dress, talk , and act like that. Some of it *is* cringe-inducing and has become a cliche over time, but calling someone a "jive-turkey" was as au currant then as using "OMFG" is now. You have to accept the reality of the moment, not the future's perspective on it.
Alison: If your books could be made into movies, do you have any casting ideas? Alex: I've always pictured Robert Carlyle as Zginski. Recently a fan mentioned Cillian Murphy and that would be good casting as well.
Alison: What's next for you? Alex: My third Eddie LaCrosse novel DARK JENNY comes out in the spring and next fall my "rural fantasy" (as opposed to urban fantasy) THE HUM AND THE SHIVER will be released. I'd like to do a third Memphis vampire novel, to tie up loose ends, but that depends on sales of the first two.
Wow, thanks again for being with us and sharing. We appreciate it soo much!
Alex has kindly agreed to sign a copy of each of his Memphis vampire books for two lucky readers. You get your choice of Blood Groove or The Girls with the Games of Blood. Another lucky winner will win a gift pack of Memphis barbeque sauces. Yummy.
To win, leave a comment on this entry with your name and email in the usual at and dot format.
Bonus entries for following my blog +5
Linking to my contest +3
Doing the math(you know I HATE it) and totaling up your points +3
okie dokie the big winner of a signed copy of Scott M Baker's The Vampire Hunters (as determined by Random.org) is... Ashley!!! I'll email you later today so you can provide me with your details so Scott can get your book to you.
the winners of the $10 dollar Border's gift cards are Kim and Kitty!! ditto on emailing you.
Congrats to everyone and thank you Scott! You all are awesome!
tomorrow is my interview and giveaway with Alex Bledsoe so don't forget to come back. winning is soooooooo easy. all you have to do is comment to be entered!!! this includes all my wonderful overseas followers!!
look at those cards. orange and blue gators making up a Christmas tree. why now THAT'S art. no not really but I wish I had those. today I did my Christmas cards. they weren't gator cards they were a mix of cards that I had accumulated over the years. well, I had set up a system for addressing stamping stuffing and then sealing the cards. all went well until I noticed that several of my cards (older ones) had been "written" on by Maddy when she was two or so. there were scribbles on the inside. no doubt I had given them to her to do while I was trying to get mine done back then and then just put them in the box and forgotten about them. so I ended up with a bunch of stamped and addressed envelopes with no cards. I found some that would fit but you can clearly tell that they don't go with the envelopes. and this year I was trying to be more orderly and together. so much for that. instead some people are getting the "it'll be alright" version of my Christmas card. hopefully they will read this and understand. I suppose I could have sent the ones Maddy wrote six years ago concocted some story about it but I just did my best. hey, it's the thought that counts.
next year, I'm getting those Gator cards.
HEY! don't forget tomorrow is the drawing for the giveaway for The Vampire Hunters. don't forget to enter! tell your friends. sunday I will be interviewing Alex Bledsoe author of Blood Groove and The Girls with Games of Blood. there will also be some nifty giveaways with that interview as well!
yes I wanna talk about this because I am a ginormogantuan Gator fan. our head coach Urban Meyer is leaving. I don't know where he's going all I know is he's going. and that's bad. I have Gator coach abandonment issues. I was not happy when my favorite coach Steve Spurrier left in...whenever. I was pregnant with Maddy so it was 01 or 02 (I rooted for him this season when they played UF. He SO deserved it). then his replacement left. and now Urban Meyer is leaving. I don't think I'll be as upset at this leaving as I was when the Old Ball Coach left because I feel like Coach Meyer gave up on the Gators. that's my opinion only but I do. it seems like he felt that they couldn't win so he gave up. and I admit it has been a season of average. there was no Made of AWESOME Timmy and that left the team without a leader and a motivator and things just didn't go well. maybe the coach didn't know how to deal with that. I don't know. but I do know that leaves a team with a crappy problem before finals and before a bowl game. poor Gators. poor kids. maybe it's karma punching the Gators in the face for all the obnoxious fans and so on but dang. there's no joy in the Gator Nation today. or for a bunch of days.
okay, back to my normal foolishness. make sure you comment to be entered in the giveaway with author Scott M Baker. good stuff being given away!!
This is the first of my author interview/ giveaways this month and I'm so pleased to have with me today Scott M. Baker author of The Vampire Hunters. Scott, thanks for being here. Let's get started.
Alison: I know you describe yourself as a monster kid. If you could be a monster, what would you be? Scott: If I had to choose, I'd be a vampire. If I'm going to be evil, I might as well be immortal, powerful and sexually uninhibited.
Alison: Do you "write what you know"? Scott: Yes, as much as I can. I'm a firm believer that the only way to write a truly compelling story is to pour some of your heart and soul into it.
The underlying theme of the The Vampire Hunters is the war on terror, or more precisely how those who fight it come to terms with the never ending nature of the conflict. The comparisons between vampires and terrorists are obvious so I won't belay the point. Neither shows remorse or compassion. They attack their victims indiscriminately and for every terrorist or vampire destroyed, several more take their place.
The hunters take up stakes to combat evil and fight the good fight but they don't have the same level of commitment. Drake Matthews is the dedicated, gung ho leader of the group that wants to fight until every last vampire is wiped out, even if such an outcome takes years. Alison Monroe is a realist; she joined with Drake out of loyalty but after a while comes to the realization that this war will never end and wants to move on and start a life of her own. And finally, there's James Delmarco, the engineering student drafted into the cause. He does whatever it takes but is biding his time until his tour of duty is up.
Alison: Did you always know that you wanted to be a writer? Scott: As far back as I can remember. When I was about ten, my father brought home an old typewriter from work and I set up an "office" in the family room where I typed out a weekly monster magazine. I was a writer, editor, art director and publisher. Granted it only had a circulation of one- my mother. But it planted the writer bug in me and I never looked back. Of course, I hope the quality of my writing has improved by now.
Alison: First book in print...initial reaction when you found out it was going to happen? Scott: Signing the contract was awesome. It was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. However, the real excitement came the day my copies of the book showed up at the front door. Sure I had already approved the artwork and read the proofs so I had an idea what it would look like but nothing compared to opening that box and seeing the finished book staring back up at me.That was a thrill ten years in the making.
Alison: Any hints about what's next for you as a writer? Scott: I'm shopping around a finished novel titled Rotter World about vampires and humans trying to survive a zombie apocalypse. I'm currently working on a novel about something monstrous stalking the deserts of northwest New Mexico. Future works include a sequel to Rotter World and a possible series about OSS officers combating demons summoned by Nazis dabbling in the occult.
Alison: People say vampires are done, do you agree? Scott: Hell no.True because of the craze for vampires, publishers and movie studios have pumped out an endless stream of titles that have saturated the market, most of which no one will remember in a few years. But there is still plenty of quality vampire fiction. The Anita Blake series is still popular. True Blood is one of the highest rated shows on HBO. Hollywood is reimaging classics such as Fright Night and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. There are still a lot of die hard fans who keep the genre thriving and will continue to do so for years.
Alison: If they made your novel into a movie, who do you see playing the leads? Scott: I can see Nathan Fillian of Serenity playing the lead character Drake Matthews. If Hollywood wanrted to go campier then Bruce Campbell would be perfect. For the part of Alison Monroe, I've envisioned either Ali Larter or Christa Campbell.
Thanks again for stopping by, Scott! We appreciate it. Good luck with The Vampire Hunters!
And now, I'm giving away some swell swag. Scott has generously agreed to sign copy of The Vampires Hunters for one lucky reader. Also, two other readers will win 1 ten dollar gift card to Borders each.
Here are the rules...
Leave a comment about what kind of monster you would like to be in the comments section along with your name and email address. Don't put the at sign in. Put the word "at" instead. + 1 entry
You can also get more chances at winning by linking the interview back from your blog. + 2 entries
Tweet about the interview and giveaway + 2 entries.
Follow my blog and get +5 entries.
Do the tedious math for me +3 entries (man I HATE math)
That's it! Easy! I'll draw the winners saturday afternoon and post them then.
so I'm sitting there watching the movie Indecent Proposal, which I stinkin LOVE, and I started pondering the deeper issues. This was brought on probably by reading a blog post about Gilligan's Island being some kind of existential allegory for hell and the 7 deadly sins. yeah. it worked. go check out El Blog de Steve and see for yourself. thanks Steve.JK.
I started to wonder about would I really do it. take the million bucks. in the movie it's a no brainer. the guy is rich, charming, awesome. but is that enough? are you selling your soul to the proverbial devil? (thanks again Steve) do you ever recover from it? Or is it really a problem?
as writers we get the wonderful opportunity to ponder these questions and their countless outcomes. I like that. no I love it because we can do the things that we wouldn't normally do through our characters. we get to take the money or not. and we get to have a good time or not.
y'all let's help out fellow blogger and super awesome Brit Chick Talli Roland's, debut novel THE HATING GAME hit the Kindle bestseller list at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk? it's uber simple. all you have to do is spread the word today! a few sales in a short period of time on Amazon will help push the book up the rankings, making it more visible to other readers.
it's a great read!!one that you could dive into to escape from holiday craziness or enjoy while snarfing holiday cookies!
and even if you don't have a Kindle, you can download a free app at Amazon for Mac, iPhone, PC, Android and more!