Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year Observations

Hi,

"Goals are dreams with a deadline" (I don't remember who said this, but (s)he was right. Therefore, I began setting goals for myself years ago. In 2012, my main goal was to loose 10kg in weight. It was hard, but I did it. As to writing, I met nearly all my goals there too. I would have liked to do more promotion but didn't manage to get my head around that. I will in 2013)

"Control and freedom. A real golden age in writing for writers." Dean Wesley Smith (see the last line in Authors)

I go with Dean's words. I've never felt so free and positive about my writing as last year. I translated my German backlist, some 350K words in total without breaking a sweat and will continue to write the stories I love. They will be all over the spectrum of fantasy and history but they'll always be YA or Upper MG. That's what defines me (it also means a happy ending for most of my stories ;-) )

So, it's fairly easy to define my goals for next year:
I will try to build my list of subscribers (to this blog and my HP) which means I’ll have to develop a working marketing strategy (I’m currently on it)
I will write a short story of 10-25K each month to publish in bundles of 2 stories when I run out of novels.
I will finish writing (only 5 scenes to go) and revising my current WIP, Juma’s Rain.
I will translate the 4 novels I’ve written in English (ca. 230K) words back into German and publish them as well.

I think with these steps, I'll be pretty busy throughout 2013, but I*'m determined to become a real author/publisher and not one of those who quit when sales don't hit their expectations. I'll be around for many more years to come.

How about you? Do you have any goals for 2013? Are they writing related?
Enjoy the next year,

Cat

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Surprise



I wish you all a wonderful time with the people you love. May peace and good food be with you, and may your kids be happy about their gifts. Avoid stress and get into 2013 safely.

BTW, on Sunday, the day before Christmas Eve, my historical novel "Victor's Rage" will be available as eBook on Amazon or Smashwords (as usual, the other distributers will take their time). So if you're short of a great read for a family member with an eRader, check it out. I'll post the links here.
Copyright Pictures (c) 123RF Stock Photos

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Big Trouble

Hi,

for a whole week, I've been busy rescuing stuff from my dead PC and putting it onto the new one. Then, I watched TV for the first time in a long while and got slapped in the face by the fact that far worse events happen in the world than a dying PC.

I find it hard to understand how a young man can kill little children without a second thought for their families. I try not to imagine what it has to be like to live through a Christmas with the beloved child gone. Because if I think about it I wouldn't be able to watch my kids enjoy their presents. If I did, I'd probably lock them in their rooms and never let them out again -- and that wouldn't do them any good.

If you want to show your support for the children's families and the school, you can send a letter or postcard to
Sandy Hook Elementary
12 Dickenson Drive
Sandy Hook, CT 06482
USA

I hope you can have a blessed Christmas despite the fact that there are incalculable dangers in the world.
Have a good time. I'll see you in the new year,
Cat

Friday, December 7, 2012

The crap life throws at you...

Hi,

there I was, thinking I could write the final 20K of Juma's Rain comfortably before Christmas, and then my PC began to falter. First, the sound died, making it impossible to Skype with a couple of fellow authors. Next, the PC began to crash whenever I had more than one program open. Now, there are hickups when I boot. It's very obviously trying to tell me that a 10yr. old PC needs its retirement. Well, a new one has been ordered (although it's a stretch financially) and will hopefully arrive soon. Of course, I will then need even more time to reinstall all the programs I'm using and to move all my data. Sigh.

If you want to help, tell your friends about my books (History: Ann Angel's Freedom, 4 & 5 star reviews; Fantasy: Urchin King & Amadi-Trilogy, 5 star reviews; Horror: Flesh&Blood, 5 star reviews; Non-Fiction: 33 Mistakes Writers Make About Mother Nature what can I say, I like to write different genres, but my favorite is still fantasy) and send them to my amazon page to buy one. I'd appreciate that very much since it would alleviate the financial strain. If you don't have friends, please like the books, or tag them, or leave a review (if you read them that is).

Thanks a ton in advance,
Cat

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I did it!

Hi,

I did it and wrote 50,000 words with two days to spare.


but I'll keep writing until Juma's rain (first draft) is done.
Cat

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Third week NaNoWriMo

Hi,

my third week of NaNo was an uphill struggle. I caught a cold, and suddenly everything I wrote seemed disjointed and lacking. I blame it on my mushy brain.

The day before yesterday, I went to bed at 2pm. for a short nap and slept until 5pm. My husband woke me because he discovered some really stupid mischief my youngest daughter did. We've got tiny boats that you can float in the bathtub. They're actually toys for toddlers, but my youngest loves playing with them. When I slept, she filled three boats with shampoo spilling generous amounts on the floor too and having a lot of fun.

As hubby and I worked to clean up (luckily the bathroom floor is tiled), I thought how fitting the picture was for the progress of my novel during the third week of NaNo. In my novel too, lots of elements spilled all over the floor. I'm not sure if I will keep all of it during revision, but at least it was fun.

Happy NaNo-ing for those of you who joined,
Cat

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Feedback needed on cover art

Hi,

I took some time off NaNoWriMo tonight and made a preliminary cover for my current project "Juma's Rain". The novel is currently half done (slightly over 46,000 words), and the downhill exhalaration is setting in. I'm so looking forward to next week, when I start the half that will bring me to the big showdown. Here is a very short description of what's going on in the story:


During a drought, apprentice witch Juma needs to wake the rain-goddess before her suitor is sacrificed to heat-daemon Mubuntu and with him her only chance to become the tribe's leader.

I haven't bought any of the pictures I need (yet) because I'm still not sure which one I like best. Could you tell me your opinion, please? Here are the candidates:




Thank you for your help,
Cat

Monday, November 12, 2012

Week two of NaNoWriMo

Hi,

I had a great start into the second week of NaNo. So far, I've been right on par with my wordcount (I've got to build a buffer so I can take off the day of my middle daughter's birthday), but today, I found myself faltering. I'm so tired, my head spins.

I guess a little cold is reaching for me. I've got two choices. a) I can go to bed and use the 1 1/2 hours before my kids come back from school to get some sleep, so I feel better tomorrow, or b) I can keep working and hope the cold will pass me by.

With my fingers stumbling on the keyboard, I think my prefered option is a).
Sleep well, my frineds,
Cat

Monday, November 5, 2012

First week of NaNo

Hi,

usually, it takes me quite a while to start a new project, but not this time. On the 31st of October, I re-read what I had written last NaNo, and on the first day of November I dove right back in. It is a glorious feeling to be writing new fiction and not translating my older stories (although I still love them). I wrote slightly more than 8000 words (coming up to 25% of the novel!) since the first, and there was no hesitation. If it hadn't been for my family, I would have gone on and on and on.

Have you ever experienced the elation of doing something you haven't done for quite a while but that you just love doing?
Enjoy your life,
Cat

P.S.: For those who don't know what a NaNo is, it's an abbreviation of National Novel Writing Month. During November, novelists from all over the world try to write 50,000 words of their novel in 30 days. That amounts to 1,667 words every day or ca. 2,500 words if you take weekends off. That's a lot of words, but doable.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Another publication and a running start

Hi,

just before Halloween, I published two Horror short stories on amazon and smashwords (in German and English). So, if you still need some dark humor or an adapted nightmare (in case you haven't got enough nightmares of your own), head over and grab your copy.

Also, I decided to finish writing last year's NaNoWriMo project (which was sitting at 15000 odd words after lots of cutting), and my first day was very good. I managed to write 2259 words. If I can do this for the whole month, I can take the weekends off. Yay!

Enjoy the autumn,
Cat

Monday, October 29, 2012

Happy Halloween

Hi,

over here in Germany, we don't celebrate Halloween. At this time of the year, a lot of kids go with their lanterns. In some areas, they go around "trick or treat"-ing in November but not where I live. In my little village, the kids visit the houses for sweets in February during "Karneval" when they dress up as gaudily as possible to scare away the winter. It's been said to help. ;-)

Still, I got into the whole pumpkin carving business when I lived with my adopted Scottish family. My brothers always wanted a pumpkin, but (back then) weren't allowed to use a sharp knife. So, it became my duty to carve the pumpkin when I was around. I loved it so much that I carved pumpkins for many years. Only the last few years have been so busy that I never found the time for it.

This year was different. With my yearly goal nearly reached (only 2300 of 324.000 words left), I took half a day off and asked my kids what kind of pumpkin they want. They insisted on a friendly cat.



May it ease you into the season of darkness and spook.
Cat

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

Hi,

I've been nominated The Next Big Thing by fellow author Peter Cruikshank (thanks for this). I put up my answers on my homepage blog since I thought they might be interesting for reader too, not only for authors (and this blog is primarily aimed at authors). Feel free to go there and leave a comment.

You'll get a first glimpse of all the books I translated this year and that I'll be publishing from December on. If you want, you can tell me which one you'd like to see in shops first.

See you over on my other site,
Cat

Sunday, October 21, 2012

NaNo, here I come

Hi,

I'm participating in NaNo for the 5th time this year, and I will try to finish writing a project I started last year during NaNo. It's tentatively called "Juma's Rain".

Logline:
During a drought, apprentice witch Juma needs to wake the rain-goddess before her suitor is sacrificed to heat-daemon Mubuntu and with him her only chance to become a tribe leader.

Blurb:
Juma joins the young women in the tribe's main village's training camp. She's determined to claim her right to become chieftess, a "job" her mother declined when she followed Juma's father to the border of the tribe's land. Of course, her cousin Kandra, the current chieftess' daughter, will do her best to stop her. And it doesn't help that Juma is slowly falling for Kandra's brother.

During one training session, Juma discovers that she is magically talented. To get her out of the way, Kendra arranges that Juma is apprenticed to the aging village witch. While the two witches desperately try to call rain, Juma discovers that heat daemon Mubuntu has captured the rain goddess in an eternal sleep, and she's the only one who might be able to wake her.

Things get really desperate when neighboring tribes invade and the water-deprived tribe members request the sacrifice of the chieftess' son to appease Mubuntu. Together with her love, Juma sets out on a journey to wake the goddess before things get out of hand.

I'm writing this one in English first and will then translate it back into German because it's much faster that way. For this story, I've got a small imprint of a medium sized publisher in mind where it would fit perfectly. But first, I need to get it finished.

Good NaNoing to all of you who will take part too.
Enjoy November for allof you who don't. ;-)

Cat

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Givaway and Interview

Hi,

I'm giving away five copies of "Urchin King" over on Sher A. Hart's blog. All you need to do is to leave a comment on my interview with her.

Cat

Monday, October 8, 2012

How comes...

 
... I can still cry over Bright Eyes by Art Garfunkel?

Some songs jut touch my heart. It doesn't happen with many songs but this one sure qualifies. Ever so rarely it happens with books to. I cried over "Joe Jacoby" by Junius Watson, where a mistreated dog is rescued by a young boy who gets into deep trouble over it. To me, it hardly ever happens with films. The only one I can think of was a version of Charles Dickens's Christmas Carol, and I'd cried over the book before.

So what makes a son, a book, or a film cry-worthy to me? I think it's the way the author pulls me into the story, the way I can identify with one of the characters in the story. I truly believe that the most gifted authors are those that manage to pull their readers in so well they forget the world around them.

And I think, true sorrow and humor are the two emotions hardest to write since the triggers for either are different for every single reader. I bet you cried over other books, might not even have heard about those I read. I am always happy when a reader tells me (s)he couldn't put down my book because that means I managed to make the real world disappear for a while. For me, that's the greatest compliment I can get.

How about you? Do you cry over books, music, or films? Do you think that stories affected you more in your youth than they do nowadays? I'd love to know, so leave me a comment.

Cat

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Harper opened its doors

Hi,

Harper Voyager, publisher of authors like George R.R. Martin, has opened its doors to unsolicited manuscripts. You can submit as many as you like but they need to be finished. They are looking for speculative fiction for adults or YA only. The doors are open from 1 October through 14 October, 2012. Accepted manuscripts will be published as eBooks.

I know, it's short notice but if you've got something ready and feel like trying the traditional route, go ahead. Good luck,

Cat

P.S.: I might try, but I'm not sure. After all, I won't be able to publish some stories before January anyway, and they said they'd read all submissions till then. Hmmmmm

Monday, September 24, 2012

pricing adjustments for Indies

Hi,

on Dean Wesley Smith's blog (it's mostly about his books but with valuable advice for Indie authors), I found another argument for higher prices for eBooks. The times where readers thought 2.99 too high for a digital file finally seem to be of the past. Of course, in his article, he gives many reasons that I don't want to repeat. But they seem logical. That said, in Germany, the eBook revolution is not as far as it is in the US, so I'll kep the prices slightly below what he suggests. From late October on, my prices will be as follows:

— Novels                                                                                          English   German
Front list, meaning brand new. Over 50,000 words.                              $7.99        5,95 €
Shorter front list novels, meaning 30,000 to 50,000 words.                   $6.99        4,95 €
Backlist novels, meaning already published by a traditional publisher.  $6.99        4,95 €
— Short Books
Short books, meaning stories from 8,000 words to 30,000 words.         $3.99        2,99 €
— Short Stories
Short stories … 4,000 to 8,000 words.                                                   $2.99         1,99 €
Short stories under 4,000 double with another bonus story…                $2.99         1,99 €
— Collections
2 stories (no bonus)                                                                                 $1.99        0,99 €
5 stories                                                                                                  $4.99        2,99 €
10 stories                                                                                                $7.99        5,95 €

I believe these prices are fair, considering all the work I put into creating quality eBooks (also with slightly higher prices, I can afford to get another proof-reader to look at Amadi, since a reviewer pointed out some mistakes my first proof-reader obviously missed. Nasty surprise for me). I will keep "Urchin King" and "Amadi, the Phoenix, the Sphinx, and the Djinn" at their current prices until Halloween. Then, they will go up. So, if you haven't already, get yourslef a copy. And if you like the story, please leave a review. They are essential for Indie authors like me.

How do you price your novels? Do readers value the value they get? Do you get feedback and/or reviews? Tell me.
Cat

Monday, September 17, 2012

spreading yourself thin

Hi,

I was wondering if anyone of you is experiencing the same problems I had lately. With my kids on holiday, I barely managed to keep up my wordcount, but I'm still on track (thankfully). Everything else fell to pieces. I hardly posted to my blog or my website (new posts in German and English are up now), I haven't tweeted for months (except for my wordcount). My proof-reading didn't get done and my promotions? Oh, I was supposed to do those as well?

The funny thing is, I'm not sorry about all this. I enjoyed the time with my kids and husband. We went horseback riding one week, decorated a bedroom for a friend of mine, and went canoing on a small but rapid river near us. it was all fun. Plus, we had six week of sunshine with hardly a drop of rain. There weren't many places beside the swimming pool where I wanted to be. The kids will be grown so fast, I didn't regret a single moment.

The only drawback is that it feels I have to start from scratch promotion-wise. Any advice?

BTW, thanks for being here and listening (I mean reading).
Cat

Monday, September 3, 2012

GUTGAA - Meet and Greet

Hi,

Deana BarnhartGUTGAA (gearing up to get an agent) is a blog-event where authors can pitch to agents and small publishers. It's also a great way to get to know more authors in my field (which is why I'm participating). I've been asked to answer the following question. I hope you'll like the answers.

Where do you write?
I've got a tiny room (1.6m x 2,0m) with a desk, two hang-up shelves, and 5 bookcases (not for books, they are in my attic because you can't fit 2000 books in a room that size and still have enough room to write).

Quick. Go to your writing space, sit down and look to your left. What is the first thing you see?
Chaos (no, not the Greek God, but pure creative chaos -- the kind I need when writing. Once a project is over, I clear up and start a new chaos aka project)

Favorite time to write?
Mornings, when the kids are in school

Drink of choice while writing?
Tap water.

When writing , do you listen to music or do you need complete silence?
 Silence. It's hard to concentrate on new words when there are too many noises. That'S why I'm glad the kids are going to school in the mornings, not the afternoons. ;-)

What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it?
I supported a kickstarter campaign for an editor turned small publisher (Stacy Whitman) who wanted to further speculative stories with multi-cultural background. Just before she reached her goal, I was assaulted by a story idea about a young woman in a Stone-Age-like African fantasy setting. Things went crazy from there (as always, see comment above about chaos). I already wrote half the story, but need to finish it during NaNoWriMo this year and polish it after x-mas.

What's your most valuable writing tip?
BIC = But In Chair (sit down and write, quit whining about wanting to write. You'll never learn/improve if you don't write, no matter how many courses you take or how many "How To" books you read)

I hope you liked the answers,
Cat

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

free for the last time

Hi,

from tomorrow onward, and for the last time ever, I will give away free copies of my historical novel "Ann Angel's Freedom" on amazon. The promo lasts from the 30th of August to the 1st of September. Tell as many of your friends as you can, and if you download it yourself, please leave a review.




Here are some more informations:
At the end of the 18th century, living on a rich farm like the one of the Waldmann family means lots of hard work and little time for privacy. Still, as long as Adam is working near her, Ann Angel Waldmann is happy. However, everything changes when her father decides to buy their freedom and starts a lawsuit to get it. How can life change for the better when Adam starts courting her mother?

This novel is based on the true history of the Waldmann family. It covers the time from 1799 to 1803 in the area of Osnabrueck, a time of world-wide changes. Beside the everyday worries about friends and families, people of the rural community have to cope with the results of the first and second Napoleonic wars. Even if they aren’t involved yet, war casts its shadow over the peaceful village.

US-Author Holly Lisle judged the book like this:
"Ann Angel’s Freedom is an amazing, beautifully researched, well-written tale of a world and a time far different from our own, but one that still resonates with the struggles we all face today. I found myself suffering with Ann and those she loved, hoping for her, and in the end cheering with her. It’s a wonderful story, made more wonderful because it’s true."

I'd love for you to enjoy the book. The sequel is scheduled for October.
Cat

Monday, August 27, 2012

Cover Reveal for William Hahn

Hi,

speaking of covers, my friendWilliam Hahn approached me with a cover a few days back that had a great background. But the drifting clouds and cracked ground made it difficult to read the title or the author's name, so he had put gray boxes under them. Needless to say, it didn't look nice. So I took out my good old graphic-program and added a few text effects to make the letters stand out some more. I am rather pleased with the effect, and so is he. What do you think. Does this cover suggest weird dreams, epic adventures and heroes in distress?




If you want to know more about the novel, due on Labor Day (in America, not Germany since that would be the 1st of May, a rather long wait wouldn't you agree?), head over to my publisher, the Independent Bookworm, tomorrow. He'll post a blurb ans some information about the Land of Hope where he sets all his stories.

And if you like it, please support him by liking his FB page, or even buying his books. I've read them all and although I'm no fan of epic/heroic fantasy myself, I loved every single one of them. I'm soooo looking forward to Labor Day (and I've had a head start on this novel since I'm beta reader).

Enjoy the day,
Cat

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Not winning and more about cover design

Hi,

I have been participating in NaNoWriMo for a couple of years and wet to NaNo-Summer-Camp last year and this year in June. Nearly every time, I won. I loved the exhilaration of chasing words and getting the first draft on paper, and I liked the prospect of revision (my favorite part of writing novels). So I took up the challenge again this August, although I'm currently not writing anything new but translating my backlist from German into English.

I thought it would be easy to win because I usually get many words per day out of translating. Wrong. First, I was ill, then my PC was hit by a virus. It took me days to figure out how to get rid of it. Of course, I was frustrated but last night, I had a revelation. I looked at my overall wordcount this year (more than 220 000 words so far with one more 90K novel to translate before November) and realized I had never written so much in a single year. Also, my August NaNo-Camp count isn't too bad either, slightly below 40K with 5 more days to go.

I could still make it if I wanted to. But I'll take it slow instead. I'll enjoy the last few holidays with my kids and see that we have all the necessary books for school. There are some things that are more important than writing, no matter how urgently I need to make a living out of my passion.

That said, I got the preliminary sketch of the cover of my next release (a Fantasy with Scottish setting and loads of mythical creatures from my favorite country). I won't post it here (yet) but I'll make a proper cover reveal when I get the final art some time in September. I'm soooo looking forward to it.

Enjoy the rest of the summer,
Cat

Friday, August 17, 2012

Something to think about when creating covers

Hi,

do you feel like making a cover for your newest eBook? Watch this before you do. It ain't easy!

Cat


Monday, August 13, 2012

Back again

Hi,

Looking at the header of my last post, you can see how tired I was. Posting something in German without even noticing -- I must have been more knackered than I had thought. But now I'm back and well rested (if slightly sore from horse riding). I answered 300+ eMails yesterday (with surprisingly litllte amount of spam), revised a short story that might get published in an anthology next year by a traditional publisher, and dove right back into transalting. Did the full 2K today. I think I can be proud of me.

What have you been up to this sumer?
Cat

Sunday, July 29, 2012

mal eben weg...

Hi,

I'm going horse riding with the kids. Afterwards, we'll have a friend over from Slavakia. I'll post when I have the time for it after my return.

Enjoy the summer weather, turn off the computer and go outside. RealLife(TM) is great at this time of the year.
Cat

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Violating copyright without knowing doesn't save you from punishment

Beware!

As another writer found out the hard way, using someone else's pictures on your Blog isn't always a good idea. Since we writers always want to improve our blogs by adding pictures, it's absolutely essential to check out this blog post:

Experiences Roni Loren made using pictures from the net.

Now, I'll go and chcek the pictures on my site to remove everythign I don't have the copyright for, and I suggest you do the same.

Have fun reading your old posts... ;-)
Cat

Monday, July 16, 2012

Several things to celebrate

Hi,

first and foremost, one of my short stories was accepted for an anthology that will be published early next year. The best thing is, that they'll pay for it -- not much but I will get free copies too. It's my first ever paid publication in the USA! Hah! I was so delighted, I spend my weekend (plus a few days before that) on making a book trailer for my novel "Urchin King".




I'd love to put it on the product page on amazon like I did on the Smashwords site, but I haven't got any idea how to do it. As far as I can see, I can only upload pictures. Hmmm. I think I'll send amazon support an email. Let's see what they suggest.

For those of you interested in ecology or world-building, my well loved "33 Mistakes Writer's Make About Mother Nature" is back up for sale. You will find all of the "33 Mistakes"-books as eBooks on amazon.



How about you? Do you like the trailer (BTW, the voice in mine and I DO have a Scottish accent -- nee bother)? Have you ever made one yourself? Have you got a favorite booktrailer? I loved the one for "Mrs. Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children". That was a really awesome trailer. Unfortunately, I can't do video, so the slides had to suffice.

I wish you a wonderful time,
Cat

Monday, July 9, 2012

KDP Select: First month

Hi,

so, the excitement of the first week is over, any my novel "Engels Freiheit" is still selling relatively well in Germany. The American version fell back to where it was before the promotion, but I think that's probably due to less exposure. The German version got much higher in its category then the English version did. That is something to take into consideration.

Also, I see more sales of my fantasy novels. It seems that at least some readers of historical novels enjoy the occasional fantasy (or the other way round). Maybe the semi-finalist status of "Urchin King" has added to the increase in sales too.

Now, if I can raise the income with my next release, I'm on the right track. ;-)

Enjoy your day,
Cat

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Big Surprise = Partial Success

Yippee!

some time in May, I entered my novel Urchin King in The Kindle Book Review "Best eBook 2012" competition. Today, they informed me, that my book is a "YA Semifinalist". From the 260 books that had been entered into the competition, 240 made it past the screening process (they looked for quality in writing, editing, and overall appearance). From those, 166 entries were chosen as semifinalists (I counted them). I believe the overall number of semifinalists is quite high, but they have all been considered worthy of the honor. So who am I to argue? In my category, there are only 16 entries, and they all seem to be high quality. I'm looking forward to reading some of them.

The good news is that I can now put a wonderfully shiny badge on my cover. Here is the result. Hopefully, it will draw many readers to the book.



I'd love to celebrate but aren't allowed to eat some cake just now. I got to find something else...
Now, I hope the book is good enough to be judged on of the best. ;-)

Enjoy your day. Sometimes unexpected surprises are the best,
Cat

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

KDP-Select: first week results

Hi,

The first week after my fee book promotion on Amazon has finished, and I'm taking stock.

Sales ranks:
The German version, Engels Freiheit, rose to rank 35 in its category the day after the promo and has been on 45 consistently for the last few days.

The English version, Ann Angel's Freedom, reached rank 97 for a while and dropped out of sight again.

Sales reflect the same. While sales on the German site are at least 10 times higher than before, sales on the British and American sites are still slow. I believe this is due to the greater visibility on the German site. After all, there are less reasonably priced eBooks available in German on the German site, and many Germans don't like to read in English.

For my next campaign (I've got 3 promo days left), I will try a different time window. Maybe, it is better to include one weekend day in the free period. Also, I will have to check out how I can promote the free days better. If readers don't find my books, they can't buy them.

Does any of you, dear followers, have experiences with using KDP-Select's free days?
We'll see how it goes.
Caz

Thursday, June 21, 2012

new verve - Thank you all

Hi,

I was blown away by the download numbers on my free Amazon Campaign for Ann Angel's Freedom (and the German Engels Freiheit). I gave a way several THOUSAND copies. It seems that the new cover raised much more interest than the first one. Thank you for all your advice.

This partial success invigorated me a lot and I decided to change my schedule and posting habits to become a bit more reliable. I thought long and hard on what I want for this blog and all my other online presences and came up with a plan.

Since I didn't get many comments on the reviews I posted on this blog, I decided to put reviews exclusively on my Homepage. The front there is a blog too. I hope to attract readers that way. On this blog, I will keep chronicling anything writing related, which means stuff writers might be interested in.

The next few weeks, I will monitor and comment on what results I had from using the KDP-Select program. Then, we'll see what comes up next, but I think it could be about marketing since that's what I'm currently struggling with the most.

I hope to see/read you along this journey,
Cat

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Interview with me

Hi,

John Byk interviewed me about my eBook Ann Angel's Freedom and about publishing in Germany in general. If you've wondered what I sound like, here's your chance to listen to me interrupting the moderator all the time (yes, it's really hard to shut me up when I start).

Also, remember, that my eBook Ann Angel's Freedom is still free on amazon (any amazon site) until midnight US time (that's roughly 9 am tomorrow morning in Germany). So if you want it, go and get it before time runs out.

Enjoy the interview,
Cat

Monday, June 18, 2012

Ready -- Steady -- Go...

Hi,

I nearly forgot to remind you that my YA historical novel "Ann Angel's Freedom" is free for Kindle today and tomorrow. So go to Amazon and grab your copy in English or German.

About the Book

At the end of the 18th century, living on a rich farm like the one of the Waldmann family means lots of hard work and little time for privacy. Still, as long as Adam is working near her, Ann Angel Waldmann is happy. However, everything changes when her father decides to buy their freedom and starts a lawsuit to get it. How can life change for the better when Adam starts courting her mother?

This novel is based on the true history of the Waldmann family. It covers the time from 1799 to 1803 in the area of Osnabrueck, a time of world-wide changes. Beside the everyday worries about friends and families, people of the rural community have to cope with the results of the first and second Napoleonic wars. Even if they aren’t involved yet, war casts its shadow over the peaceful village.

This is what US-author Holly Lisle said about it

"Ann Angel’s Freedom is an amazing, beautifully researched, well-written tale of a world and a time far different from our own, but one that still resonates with the struggles we all face today. I found myself suffering with Ann and those she loved, hoping for her, and in the end cheering with her. It’s a wonderful story, made more wonderful because it’s true."

Enjoy the read,
Cat

Guest Post: Michelle Cornwell-Jordan


Hi,

To write a good novel, an author needs to get to know the characters. A good way to do that, is an interview. Here is a fun one Michelle Cornwell-Jordan had with her main character Angel after her book was finished. I hope you will enjoy it just as much as I did.

have fun,
Cat



Michelle: Angel, I am so glad that you are joining me and helping me out today.

Angel: Oh, no problem.

Michelle: I wanted to first start with the question, how does it feel to have an entire book written about you and your experiences? Now that the book’s going on tour, that will be even more eyes on you?

Angel: It was weird at first, so many people talking about well… I don’t know my life. I mean… I was just trying to keep myself and my brother alive, (you know…Vamps can be hazardous…); trying to be a normal kid, when all of a sudden, I have an audience! But its okay, everyone has been pretty cool, so I’m getting used to it.

Michelle: I can only imagine…wow...okay, next question…Have you always known that you were this phenomenal, wicked, Vamp Hunter, and that with your special essence, it’s believed, you are destined to change the human and supernatural world forever!..(Um, take your time with that one:)

Angel: Okay, wow…you just put that one right out there huh? Um, no… I didn’t know that I was to be the key in some type of apocalyptic, battle with mankind…thought I was just a normal kid that had luck that sucks…But the perks are awesome!…now that I am trained, I’m getting faster and stronger and learning more moves…I can even take on Ismet..

Michelle: For our readers, now who is Ismet again? And also how do you get along with the other girls?

Angel: Ismet is one kick butt Jinn (Genie), she’s not from some bottle that crosses her arms and blinks on command; She is from an old race of beings that evolved from Fire…they are the protectors of the Divide…

Michelle: The Divide?

Angel: Yep, I just learned about all of this too…the Divide is the barrier between the supernatural world (unseen to us) and ours. Ismet was one of the greatest warriors amongst her people...

Michelle: How did she end up at Ame’ Academy? There must have been a great threat to warrant such a fighter to be here???

Angel: It was. Me.

Michelle: Oh…okay…well, how about my second question, do you get along with the other girls? I believe you all have made somewhat of a team, correct?

Angel: We’re a team now, but at first…I wasn’t sure… I’ve always liked Elin (she’s half Vampire/half Human) the sweetest kid you’ll ever meet, unless you threatened someone she loves…then wow, she’s scary…and I already told you about Ismet, I have much respect for her mad skills:)

Michelle: And?

Angel: (Sigh)…and yep, there’s Belladonna, a stuck up Natural- Born Vamp that I am surprised I haven’t staked yet!

Michelle: Is it the fact you’re a Hunter and she’s a Vampire? Even though, the Natural-Born Vamps pose no threat to Humans?

Angel: No, it’s from the fact she’s a snob, and always trying to give me a makeover!

Michelle: Lol….well, I’m sure ALL of you make a great team, you are really cleaning up Kincaid Texas:)…but aren’t you’re leaving out someone….Rafael? What IS your relationship with him?
 

Angel:O-o-o-kay…didn’t think you would bring him up! Well, he’s just Raf…he’s my friend...He sort of just showed up at Ame, and well that’s when things got really weird! Then things got really bad…dark, and when I didn’t think I had anyone, well Raf was there…

Michelle: Alright:) What is Rafael? His mad skills?

Angel: Um, I rather not say…he just is…

Michelle: Fair enough, thanks for the interview!

Angel: See, not so bad right? Even though, you threw in some tough questions!

Michelle: Lol, well, you’re a good sport! I guess will wrap this up…see you around Ame’ Academy.

Angel: Yep, me and all the other creatures of the night! Lol!




Michelle Cornwell-Jordan is a book lover, with YA paranormal adventures as her favorite genre, although she can be a glutton for any young adult title. Michelle’s other love is writing, Michelle has been writing about as long as she has been a bibliophile! Losing herself in a fantasy world that she or others have created is how she loves spending her spare time...
One last thing about Michelle, she believes that she has her own secret powers:)


Night School

Fifteen year old Dasheen Bellamy’s world is turned upside down, when she is accused of killing her father and godmother. Dasheen cannot remember the events of the night her world turns upside down, but she feels inside that she is innocent; due to lack of evidence against her and with no other family; Dasheen and her younger brother Jordan, are sent to the elusive and mysterious Ame’ Academy ; a residential school where all is not what it appears.

There all goes well, until Jordan, begins to become distant and behave strangely as if he is afraid of something or someone. Jordan is transferred to Ame’ Academy’s Night School track, which is usually only open to special cases.

In order to discover what is happening with her brother, Dasheen is finally allowed to also transfer, attending classes in the evening while the rest of the world sleeps. Soon Dasheen’s world changes again as she discovers that things out of fairytales and horror stories exist, that she has ancient powers and is the major player in a mystical prophecy; and then she falls in love with a boy, whose mission is to see that she is destroyed before her destiny is fulfilled.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

free historical novel

Hi,

I'm starting my first round of giving away "Ann Angel's Freedom" (English) AND "Engels Freiheit" (German) for free on Amazon. It starts on the 18th of June (at 0:00 Pacific Standard Time which is 9am in Germany) and ends on the 19th a minute to midnight (which will be the 20th at8:59am in Germany).

Also, a podcast with an interview with me will go live in the afternoon of the 18th (evening in Germany). I'll post the link as soon as I have it. You'll be surprised how weird my English sounds. Check it out.

Please tell as many friends about this as you can reach. Download freely and spread the word. I'd appreciate a review but it's not obligatory.

Thank you,
Cat

P.S.: See previous post for a description of the book

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Ann Angel's Freedom available but...

Hi,

my historical novel "Ann Angel's Freedom" is now available on amazon, and this time, I am trying the KDP-Select. So, for 90 days, the novel will be available to amazon Prime members for lending. After that, I will most likely not continue using KDP-Select because I want my novel to be available in as many places as possible. You never know where a customer might stumble upon your books.

For those interested in buying the novel, there will be a five days in total to snatch it up for free. I will announce the free days on this blog a day or two in advance (there will be an interview-podcast with me some time soon, and that'll be the first fee day). If you pick up the novel for free, please leave a review on amazon and/or goodreads. I'd apprechiate that very much.

About the book:
At the end of the 18th century, living on a rich farm like the one of the Waldmann family means lots of hard work and little time for privacy. Still, as long as Adam is working near her, Ann Angel Waldmann is happy. However, everything changes when her father decides to buy their freedom and starts a lawsuit to get it. How can life change for the better when Adam starts courting her mother?

This novel is based on the true history of the Waldmann family. It covers the time from 1799 to 1803 in the area of Osnabrueck, a time of world-wide changes. Beside the everyday worries about friends and families, people of the rural community have to cope with the results of the first and second Napoleonic wars. Even if they aren’t involved yet, war casts its shadow over the peaceful village.

Have a great day,
Cat

P.S.: Don't wonder about the reviews already on amazon's site. They are from the paperback version which has been out for a few years now. I'll re-publish it soon with a much lower price tag.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Final cover -- what do you think?

Hi,

I rummaged around shutterstock and stumbled over this picture. It encompasses everything (historical time period, young farm girl) but the romance. Still, I think it makes a lovely cover. What do you think?



Ann Angel's Freedom will be available first week of June at Amazon and Smashwords. Links will follow.

OK, that's me back into the swing of things. It seems that the pills (tiny pink ones) help with my blood pressure very well. So I can run full steam ahead. Yeah!

Enjoy the day.
Cat

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Which one? Help please

Hi,

I am currently converting my historical romance novel "Ann Angel's Freedom" into eBook format. The cover I used for the print books will not do since it doesn't look good enough as thumbnail. Now I made two tile-dummies to see which one I should take. I realized that many historical covers have people on it (although less dressed than on mine). On the other hand, with the first cover, the title is much more visible. What would you say?

Here are the dummies:

Tell me your opinion. If you think I should try something totally different, I'll listen to suggestions. Here are some more information about this story:

Based on facts, the novel tells the story of Ann Angel Waldmann whose father decides to accept their Counts offer to buy their freedom. It is set in the rural area around Osnabrueck at the turn of the 18th century, a time when old values are questioned. In spite of new ideas, individual freedom is a frightening dream for most people. It is a time of change, where Ann Angel Waldmann, daughter of a rich farmer, has to cope with the obstacles life puts in her way. Distracted, she overlooks her growing attraction to the reeve who is in charge of investigating unsettling events in her home.

I really need your help.
Cat

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Health issues

Hi,

I just wanted to let you know that due to my blood-pressure, which is through the roof, I will have to see the doc more often than I like. I've always been an impatient patient, so it's going to be tough ... for him. It also means that my already erratic update schedule will be even more so.

Still, I won't stop translating. I'm planning to bring out my two historical novels (with strong romantic subplots) as eBooks by the end of the month or the beginning of the next. No fixed date yet.

I hope you're all enjoying the summery days,
Cat

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Review: Dragonfriend by Roger Eschbach

Hi,

since I write for kids and teens myself, it is no surprise that I love to read YA and MG stories as well. So I filled my eBook-reader with many stories aimed at readers from 8 to 17 years of age. One novel for the lower end of this age group is Dragonfriend by Roger Eschbach:


I picked up the book because the blurb intrigued me. I like new takes on the Arthurian legend and this promised to be fun. I didn't regret the decision. This is a wonderful story with nicely rounded characters and many interesting twists on details of the Arthurian legend.

I liked the main character immediately. He was just the kind of boy I used to be (except that I was a girl). I liked the way he planned nearly always ending up with unexpected results. The fantasy creatures fitted the world without feeling artificial.

The only real problem I had was with the language. In the beginning, it was aimed at middle grade readers with a humorous undertone that worked very well. Once Leonard, the dragonfriend, entered the magic forest, the tone changed, became darker, and Leonard began to sound much more grown up. Toward the end of the novel, the story had changed to one for the lower end of the YA reading range. This did not stop me from enjoying the novel thoroughly but might be off-putting for other readers.

I hope Roger Eschbach will write a sequel featuring the spunky Maid Glennys (the one Leonard fell in love with) and the Brownie (my favorite character).

Try it. You'll be surprised how much you will enjoy it.
Cat

Friday, May 4, 2012

Amadi, the Phoenix, the Sphinx, and the Djinn

It's finally there (after telling so much about it on Twitter already).

Image

Genre: YA fantasy

About: Thief-in-training Amadi has to steal the phoenix, befriend a sphinx, and rescue a djinn to fight a power-hungry sorcerer before she learns that women are not inferior to men.
Amadi realizes how much she hates being a girl when her half-sister is unwillingly engaged to an elderly gold-smith. She manages to become apprenticed to a thief where she lives as a boy more often than not. But when her Helping Hand is murdered, her oath of revenge lands her smack dab in the path of an assassin hired to kill her and a jackal-headed god with the same purpose. Now, her only defense is the threadbare tunic of a young man and her training as a thief.

The story is available in one volume or in three separate volumes. It is also available in German.

Publisher: Independent Bookworm
published: October 2011
Price for the full trilogy: $6.99
prices for singe volumes: $2.99 (Vol 1), $3.99 (Vol. 2&3)

eBook available at: Amazon, Smashwords

Contact the author at: http://www.katharinagerlach.com

P.S.: isn't the cover simply amazing?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Review: The Alchemist of Souls by Anne Lyle

Hi,

over the Easter holidays I had a little free time that I used for reading (more on the holiday's when I sort my pictures) I decided to do a few more reviews of books I enjoyed reading (I don't accept any requests. I'll just be reviewing the ones I buy with my own money) since I have fun reviewing. I hope you'll enjoy it too. I'll mostly review Indie authors with the traditionally author thrown in once in a while (I simply will have to post a review on one of Diana Wynne Jones' titles one day). So, here we go, The Alchemist of Souls by Anne Lyle:

 

This book has been traditionally published, and I picked it up for two reasons. First, I loved the cover and the backcover blurb. It sounded like a story I would enjoy (isn't that the most important fact for buying books anyway?). Second, I know the author from a forum I am posting in. She was helpful for other writers but also a little stubborn, but that is a trait a writer has to have these days to succeed with publishing, right? I read it in more than one setting, mainly because I was too tired to read more than a few chapters at a time. The story is very well paced. The events unfold in just the right speed. The characters and the world are incredibly believable. I really, really enjoyed the book.

Although it is labeled historical Fantasy, it is more historical than fantasy. There is very little magic in most of the book (with some more at the end). But the time period is very well researched and Anne Lyle chose just the right amount of detail as not to drown the tension. As a history geek myself, I loved it. The writing style is fluent and the language vanished as the world comes alive from the first page on (meaning, I didn't really notice the language because I was too busy enjoying the story). I did notice one or two minor spellos which makes me relax. It shows me that even professionals (and the editors of Angry Robots are professionals) do make mistakes too. ;-)

One single notice to be aware of when you buy it: it has homosexual love scenes (handled very well and not at all graphically). If you're adverse to this kid of love (which I'm not, I think everybody has the right to be happy the way (s)he wants) you're better off not buying the book.

All others: go get it.
That's an order ;-)
Cat

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Finally, the donation

Hi,

I finally got the last revenue from "The Campaigner Challenge 2011" eBook/PoD-book from Rachael Harrie's 2011 Write Campaign. All in all, we managed to raise 127,83 GBP and I rounded it up. Today, I donated the sum of 130 GBP (slightly more than 200 USD) to "Help Harry Help Others" cancer research fund. I am very pleased that we managed to raise that much money. Thank you all participants.

You can still see your donation on Harry's donate-page. It's currently on the 1st page but it'll move down with every new donation, so here is a snapshot of the site after our donation:


Thank you fellow campaigners.
Have a great day,
Cat

Friday, March 30, 2012

Do you believe the dragon

Hi,

this is an end snippet for the "Choose Your Own Adventure Bloghop". If you want to read the whole adventure (or at least a whole path of it, since there are more than one), please click on the start logo.



Do you believe the dragon and run to the dojo to search for the relic?

You allow the dragon to take you to the dojo. A weird blue light surrounds the house, and your knees shake when you pass it. Nothing happens. Inside, you find Sensei on the ground in a fetal position. He snores gently. Gingerly, you step over him and walk into his office. You close the door. Somehow, it doesn’t feel right to search his belongings while he’s sleeping so close.

You are thorough in your search but you don’t find anything resembling a toothpick. On the other side of the wall, the dragon’s deep rumbling voice hollers.

"See the picture of the woman at the wall? There is a secret compartment behind it. Maybe, it’s there."

You turn to the picture. It showed a beautiful young woman in traditional garb in a zen garden. The snoring in the neighboring room increases in volume as you reach out for the picture. Wasn’t it a portrait of Sensei’s wife? You remember he told you she left him years ago.

Your fingers touch the bamboo frame. It swings sideways, and everything goes black. When your senses return, the dragon is calling.

"Oh, come on. Hurry up. We’ve only got a few minutes left."

Feeling dizzy, you kneel. Breathing the way Sensei had taught you, you manage to stand up. There must have been a protective spell on the picture. You focus your gaze on where the picture had been before. The compartment was hardly an inch deep and lined with black velvet. Two toothpicks hung in loops – one as long as your arm, the other shorter than your index finger. Why two? You wonder why the dragon hadn’t told you about the second one. For a moment, you ponder which one to take when you realize the snoring had stopped.

"Hurry up, he’s waking." The dragon says.

You pull the big toothpick from its hold. What would a dragon do with a pick the right size for a human anyway? In a few strides, you’re out of the room, hurry past Sensei, and leave the dojo. The dragon is waiting outside.

"Stop!" Sensei comes running after you. The blue light that surrounded the dojo wraps around you and holds you prisoner.

"Throw me the relic," the dragon calls.

You look at the toothpick with the carving of a beautiful woman curled around the top. Then, your gaze travels to Sensei who’s approaching fast, and to the dragon eagerly reaching out for the relic. Now is your last chance to reconsider. Should you believe the dragon or Sensei?

Your resolve hardens; your arm draws back and flings forward in a flash. The toothpick sails through the air and lands in the dragon’s outstretched hands.

"No!" It screams as blue mist swirls around it.

"No!" Sensei cries and drops to the ground beside him.

The blue mist falls in on itself, leaving a human figure spread face down on the ground. The blue light that captured you dissolves setting you free. You hurry over to the unconscious person. The woman is naked. Sensei steps beside you with a blanket.

"Cover her with this. She’ll be furious when she wakes." He’s smiling at you. "I didn’t think you had it in you."

Not grasping the meaning of his words, you stutter, "I thought it was a man. The voice was so deep."

"Don’t you know a thing about physics? The longer a cord, the deeper the sound. And a dragon’s vocal cords are much longer than a human’s. Even in mind-speech." Sensei picked up the naked woman and wrapped her gently into the blanket. When he turns her, you gasp with surprise. It’s the woman from the picture – Sensei’s wife.

"I’m really glad to have her back, but she won’t like it one bit," he says. "How come you took the pick that would turn her back into a human? I’m sure she showed you the one with the dragon curled around the top. It would have sealed her in dragon form for good."

You remember the tiny toothpick. Laughter bubbles up inside of you. Well, it was the woman’s own fault for putting so much pressure on you. With more time, you’d have picked the right one. You watch Sensei carry his wife into the dojo. It’s so hard to stifle your laughter.

The End

Go Back: Dedicate Yourself to the Dragon’s Cause
Go Back: Run to tell sensei about the dragon instead
Start Over: Begin a new story

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Another Choose Your Own Story Bloghop

Hi,

Year of the Dragon


I'm happy to announce that on the 29th of March (yes, next Thursday) I will put up two snippets of Kerri Cueva's Choose Your Own Adventure Bloghop. This year, it will all be about a dragon (and believe me when I say that the story-lines are really great).

Promise you will look in.
Cat

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

review giveaway

HI,

over on Megan's blog, she's giving away one 50 page critique. All who enter have a chance to win it.

You get additional points for telling others about this and for commenting. I personally think getting a review is always worth a little time spent on following the guidelines. Megan is a young girl who reviews for Inkpop (a writing site for young authors), and a reading-addict. If you write MG or YA, this is a great chance to get an insight from your traget audience. So what are you waiting for? Enter!

Cat

Thursday, March 15, 2012

My first offical review on this blog

Review of the Veiled Rider (Book one: Turning of the Wheel)

BEWARE: This book is not for kids, and not for narrow-minded people.

The novel tells the story of a young man trying to save what family he has. His only help is a demon-god (The Veiled Rider) who might need his help more than the young man needs him. In this first installment of the series, the reader gets to know many interesting characters that will be interesting to follow through the next novels. Most characters (aside from a few minor ones on the side) are well thought out and three dimensional. I especially loved the way the Veiled Rider didn't seem to know what to do with the human he got, and the clueless stumbling of the main character when he realized he couldn't get away from the Veiled Rider no matter where he went.

I found the story well written with captivating characters and a story line interesting enough to keep reading. There were a few rather quiet chapters (especially after the main character recovers from his first adventure) where I would have loved a more prominent hint or two at the bigger conflict. It would have made sense had the main character felt more threatened, maybe watched by unknown deities/daemons or at least an itch about “something not right”. As it is, he seemed blissfully unaware of the problems he was facing until near the end. But maybe that was the author's intention. It was definitely nothing that hindered my reading pleasure.

The only (minor) drawback I had were some missing explanations. A few events and their backgrounds could have used a little more explaining (the mother’s secret visitor for example). For the reader, some things were difficult to understand because the main character didn't explain, and neither did anyone else. But this was a minor point and one that'll surely be alleviated in the next books of the series.
I'm looking forward to the sequels.

You should really check this out. It's available on Amazon for only $0.99.

Enjoy the day,
Cat

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Interview with Roger Eschbacher

Hi,

I've had the pleasure to get to know Indie author Roger Eschbacher. Currently, he is a professional television animation writer who's worked for Warner Brothers, Nickelodeon, and Cartoon Network. He's been traditionally published (with the picture books "Road Trip", and "Nonsense! He Yelled" both for Dial Books) but decided to go Indie with his MG novel DRAGONFRIEND

If you think it was all good deeds and fancy ideals back in the days of Camelot, think again. Most people don't know this, but for a time things went seriously bad; Arthur was imprisoned, Merlin had vanished, and a vile demon had taken over the throne. Young Leonard, page to a poor but kind knight, finds himself in the middle of this mess and now must do whatever it takes to set things right - even if that means doing battle with dangerous monsters, trying to outwit Camelot's dark overlord, or taking a bath!

I found Roger to be a fascinating person, so I had him answer a couple of questions for you. I hope you find his answers just as interesting as I did.

How did you get started? Was it a childhood dream?
I think I always knew, at least on a subconscious level, that I would write books someday. I’ve been an avid reader all of my life and absolutely love books. After college, I moved out to Hollywood and eventually worked my way into writing jobs for television, mostly animation. I was working on a cartoon where a number of the artists were aspiring children’s book illustrators. This inspired me to try my hand at writing a picture book. I sent my first manuscript out to a bunch of publishers and, to my delight, an editor at Penguin bought it. I did another picture book after that. I’m very proud of the books, but let’s just say the sales on both were modest, so publishing and I parted ways for a while. Then in 2007, I ran across NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), a wonderful event where you’re challenged to write fifty thousand words in the month of November. I signed up and a month later had the nearly completed first draft of DRAGONFRIEND, my middle-grade fantasy adventure novel.

Why are you focusing on speculative fiction?
To be honest, I only read fantasy and science fiction. They’ve been my go-to genres for pleasure reading from the very start and I have a depth of knowledge of each category from reading so many books over the years. Naturally, my first novel had to be spec fic.

Are you comfortable being categorized as a fantasy author?
Yes, I’m quite proud of the label, as a matter of fact.

Is there a kind of character, or an activity-like description, or dialog, which always seems alien to you?
Adverbs seem alien to me. I avoid them unless absolutely necessary as, to my eye, they’re a writing crutch. I’m also not a big fan of over description when it comes to character and location. I tend to write lean and think my best writing is when I can fully describe someone or something using as few words as possible. Not big on the flowery stuff.


What formats do you offer your readers?
DRAGONFRIEND is available in paperback and as an eBook (Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords).

What experiences have you had promoting your work. How about a highlight, an uplifting moment?
When my first picture book came out, I learned quickly that, aside from sending out review copies, publishers don’t really do a lot of promotion for unproven children’s authors. This was the case on my second book, too (although they did spring for some nice promotional postcards). What that meant was that I had to scramble to get any kind of attention for the books at all. I learned how to write a press release, how to set up an author website, who to talk to at bookstores to set up a signing, and which of the local newspapers were willing to do a story on me and my book. I’m a somewhat reserved individual so much of this took me out of my comfort zone. The uplifting part about all of that is that I found I really liked doing it! It was actually fun getting out the word about my books and easier than I thought because I was “selling” something I was very proud of. As you can imagine, those early experiences with promotions and marketing are really paying off as I move into self-publishing (and as publisher, I made the executive decision to print postcards and bookmarks).


What’s your greatest obstacle in writing?
Getting started. Once I type that first word, I’m golden. But there always seems to be something that needs to be done beforehand, doesn’t there?

Who is your favorite Indie author?
There are so many talented Indie authors out there these days. It’s truly an embarrassment of riches. One of my favorites is an author named Keith Robinson. He has an excellent YA fantasy series called Island of Fog about a group of “modern” shape shifter kids who travel into a dangerous world of magic and mythological creatures. A great read.

Who is your favorite traditionally published author?
Living: J.K. Rowling. Dead: J.R.R. Tolkien. Apparently, I’m fond of initialed authors as I’m also a big fan of C.S. Lewis and P.D. Eastman.

Tips for other Indies?
Make yourself and your book available for potential readers. I’m always surprised at the number of Indie authors I run across who don’t make the effort (whether through shyness, laziness, or lack of knowledge) to connect. Don’t be afraid to market your book. It’s all about getting your story, the story you worked so hard on, into the hands of a reader, right? That won’t happen unless you, the Indie author, make it happen.

Enjoy the day,
Cat