Friday, August 29, 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
For more information click here.
Monday, August 18, 2014
Friday, August 15, 2014
Coming September 1 - CIRCLE OF DEFIANCE's cover reveal. Be sure to check out Carla's blog then.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Monday, August 11, 2014
At first I was going just for the experience. My big kid/ husband loves Dr Who and is going to see one of the doctors attending. Colin Baker was the sixth doctor for any of you who are fans.
As I looked further into the line up for the weekend, I found there will be a couple of authors I'm familiar with, Sherrilyn Kenyon and Laurell K Hamilton with their own booths. Cool.
Next, I found a writing seminar program hosted by New York Times best selling author, Michael A Stackpole. There are actually sixteen hour long sessions on everything from plotting to social media to writing YA fiction. I have chosen ten one-hour classes spread over three days and will hopefully come away with a ton of useful info.
As for promoting myself, I've had T-shirts made and will be wearing my business cards in addition to handing them out to anyone interested.
Friday, August 08, 2014
On the advice of some successful indie authors, I decided to get my name out there and try to find some readers who enjoy my voice. Is it working? Too early to tell, but I've jumped in with both feet and a lot of faith.
Are there any other authors out there who feel "called" to write romance? I do. The characters and stories in my head are there for a reason. They need an outlet, and if they make the world a little happier for just one person, then I've succeeded.
Without further ado, check out the cover for Winter Formal. The story still has a little humor, but it deals with a bit more serious subjects. That's why I love the serenity of this couple- finding peace and each other though hard circumstances. To me, the blue sky is a sign of hope. (And the pine trees scream Southern Alabama.)
Wednesday, August 06, 2014
This brings me to my point. In looking around that room full of items that authors spent a lot of money and time to purchase, I started to question the real benefit. Does swag sell books? None of the greats that I mentioned in the first paragraph had anything in that room. Only other authors were “shopping” in that room. So how does swag get out to the general public where the bulk of the readers are? What’s the purpose if only other authors see the swag?
Alright, let me say this again, “I’m unpublished.” BUT, I’m an avid reader and the swag did not sway me to want to purchase any of those books. What sways me to read someone’s book is reviews. Would it be more beneficial for authors to give gift cards to purchase their book with a requested honest review as the only return? Or would it be more beneficial to spend the money and hire a freelance editor to help ensure the story is the best it can be? Maybe hire a publicist to place adds in magazines or build and promote a website? In my humble opinion (which you know what they say about opinions) any of those suggested would be more beneficial than spending money on swag.
Respond to this post with your opinions, leave me a way to contact you (email preferred), and one lucky person will receive a free box of books loaded with swag. The books are: Avenge Me by Maisey Yates; Scandalize Me by Caitlin Crews; Expose Me by Kate Hewitt; Atonement by B.J. Daniels; and Rev It Up by Julie Ann Walker.
Philisha Byrd Stephens
Monday, August 04, 2014
Man is not what he thinks he is, he is what he hides
One of the key elements to creating a three-dimensional character that leaps off the page is to give them a secret. It becomes instant conflict--what if someone finds out? What if they are confronted about it? What if it derails their life as they know it?
A secret affects a character's growth. It separates your character from those around them and stalls their relationships. Their secret will brand them as "other" both in their mind and in the minds of those around them.
Secrets are hard to keep. People are naturally curious and they know when you have something to hide. Because a secret, even a well hidden secret, will make itself known. It will change the way a character reacts to certain circumstances. It will encourage superficial conversation because what is most important cannot be spoken. Your character will run instead of facing the problem, thereby making relationships impossible.
There is also the possibility that a character may not be able to tell a secret because they don't know it themselves. Unknown scars from previous relationships lead to treating current love interests poorly. Was it something the love interest did that caused that argument, that separation? Or was it that thing that happened the last time the hero or heroine was in love? And if your character discovers the secret, will they tell it and reveal that they have a vulnerability?
On the opposite end of the spectrum, if the character is actively keeping the secret, he or she is expending energy to do it. It's on their mind, in their heart, coloring everything they say and do. They cannot stop thinking about it and what kind of consequences it will bring if it's revealed.
So what about you, have you ever given your character a deep dark secret that changed the way they reacted in your book?
Aidee Ladnier, an award-winning author of speculative fiction, began writing at twelve years old but took a hiatus to be a magician’s assistant, ride in hot air balloons, produce independent movies, collect interesting shoes, fold origami, send ping pong balls into space, and amass a secret file with the CIA. A lover of genre fiction, it has been a lifelong dream of Aidee's to write both romance and erotica with a little science fiction, fantasy, mystery, or the paranormal thrown in to add a zing.
Friday, August 01, 2014
That means you have time to buy candy, eat the first batch you buy, then go out and buy another bag (or two - how much candy corn did you eat anyway??) and hide it away from whoever is eating it. Or from yourself.
You also have that much time to get your outfit together for Trick or Treating. Lucky You-Who-Cosplay, DragonCon, WorldCon, ComicCon, and every other fantasy conference imaginable is about to take off for a Halloween dry run. Here in Atlanta, it's exactly one month to DragonCon and its downtown parade, where children of all ages, shapes, sizes, and superhero persuasion dress in blue tights and body paint and masks (which is a good thing) and flaunt their hero worship for the world to see.
What do we and the characters we create do to ward off the odd bad mojo?
Our neighbors' kids yell "Trick or Treat!" and we pitch candy in their bags to protect ourselves from soapy windows and toilet paper'ed front yards.
And how about our superstitions?
Spill salt, pitch a pinch over your shoulder.
Today is the first day of the month - did you say "RabbitRabbit" before you said anything else?
My wip (tentatively titled The Flour Girl) opens with my heroine Lori Grace up before dawn, already on her third cup of coffee pondering the sky's red glow, and an old saying of her grandmother's (and mine) pops in her head - "Red sky at dawn, sailors take warn". It's a portent of a day she wishes was already over.
Her front door is painted "Haint Blue", a color commonly found on doors and porch ceilings in the south to confuse spirits and make them think it's water they cannot cross. (It's also a natural defense against wasps for the same reason. ;) )
In Anna Steffl's Solace Trilogy, she uses glass blue eyes to mark the hants as a warning because supposedly the ancient Judges stole the soul through the eyes and they used the Blue Eye relics. This is based on Turkish beliefs. (hm... blue again) She also uses Spiritbanes - stinky sachets tied around peoples' necks - to ward off spirits in the Hants, much the same as garlic wreaths were used to ward off vampires.
Do you give your characters superstitions? Do they have legends or landmarks (like kissing the Blarney Stone) to help them find love or protect them from spirits?