I seem to have a LOT of writer-news to share lately. Which makes my life feel pretty weird, seeing so many projects come to completion at the same time. This is not my normal at all.
My normal is more like, la la la, I’m drinking coffee and staring at the same page of a Word doc for three hours straight, trying to edit one paragraph, isn’t life awesome, la la la.
As in, I generally feel the opposite of productive.
So here are a few announcements I need to make, because I kind of have a lot going on.
First, the paperback for Mark of the Pterren is now available. I’ve even updated my page for this book — which makes me feel super proud. Nothing like updating my website to make everything feel official.
The paperback book, however, is rather expensive, and I apologize about that. The biggest drawback of publishing a book via print on demand is that customers pay a much bigger premium for the product. It’s a lot cheaper to market a book when a company can have a large print-run of a title. Mark of the Pterren is a big book, with a lot of paper, and paper is super expensive. The price listed for this novel was the lowest CreateSpace allowed me to set, so I wanted my readers to know I didn’t suddenly decide to raise the price of this book through the roof so I could go buy a truckload of cheese. (Mmmm…. cheese.)
My Reading Angel, April Duclos, ordered this book and shared this photograph with me on Facebook, which turned me into a puddle of mushy joy splattered all over the floor —
Yes, that is Totoro sitting beside The Etiquette of Wolves in her lap. Can you tell how much bigger Mark of the Pterren is from my other two books?
Here is another picture April shared, so you can see the dimensions of the new paperback even better —
Totoro is guarding my books on April’s shelf, which makes me super-giggly. I could stare at these two photos forever.
Starting in June and July of 2016, I started waking up in the middle of the night with anxiety, a condition a lot of other people suffer from, so I don’t claim that this makes me special. I end up with insomnia some nights, and as 2016 drew to a close and 2017 began, my cure has been to just push myself to stay awake longer and longer, working as far into the night as I can. Some nights, this has meant I go to bed around 3:30 or 4:00 a.m. It’s created a lot of stress between me and Greg, as he is not a fan of my new work habits. I don’t know what my problem is, other than the root of it seems to be an irrational fear that I have unpaid bills, triggered by the terror that I haven’t been paying my student loans.
In June of 2016, I paid off the last of my student loans — so I have no more monthly payment to make — and that’s why I say the root of my anxiety is completely irrational. I have the house payments for my mom’s house to oversee, I have the constant threat that my mom is going to lose her home — but I’ve managed that stress for years now. It didn’t suddenly crop up in 2016. But every time my anxiety gets really out of control, and I grapple with it, the root is always, “I forgot to pay my student loans!” And I have to tell myself, over and over, “Remember though, remember, you paid off your student loans, and you’ve logged in to that account two hundred times to make sure, and that’s over now, that bill isn’t there anymore.” But the anxiety just comes right back, waking me up in the middle of the night. “I didn’t pay my student loan bill this month!” Repeat, repeat, repeat.
All I can say is, there is so much pressure, financial strain, on my life all the time, coupled with the overwhelming sense of failure — that I’ve failed my life, that I’m not doing anything “useful,” that I’m wasting my precious time on this earth, that I made the wrong decisions at every point when the stakes were the highest, and that’s why those threatening foreclosure notices keep arriving at my door, provoking my anxiety to attack me —
And then I see Mark of the Pterren sitting on a shelf next to Totoro, and that intense pressure eases a bit, enough that I can breathe, or at least feel a little less miserable as I face the newest pile of foreclosure paperwork on my table. This house hasn’t been lost to the bank for four years now. I’m hoping 2017 is another win against the forces of destruction.
My second big piece of writer-news is that Bloodshade of the Goddess is now available as an ebook!!!
My friend Gus Reyna bought the book for his kindle, and sent me this picture of the cover on his e-reader this morning —
I tried to make this ebook FREE on Amazon, but the site wouldn’t let me. But I WAS able to make this book FREE on Smashwords!! So if you want to download this one for zero monies, you totally can! Here is my page with the links for this book, to find the book on Amazon and Smashwords. I’m hoping to have the ebook available on Barnes & Noble soon, too. I ran into a problem trying to upload the cover image yesterday, because Barnes & Noble changed their file size requirements, so I have to reformat my cover for their site, and then that book will be available there, too.
Bloodshade of the Goddess is urban fantasy — and I know that genre isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. In my own writer-brain, I think of urban fantasy as “novelized comic books,” because the main characters of urban fantasy are a lot like traditional comic book heroes — versions of Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, X-Men — and in modern urban fantasy, there’s been a huge push-back from fans of the genre for more diversity in the characters. Instead of white, middle-class, heterosexual characters, readers are asking authors to deliver stories that represent characters with different skin colors, different socioeconomic backgrounds, different sexual orientations and gender expressions, different body sizes, different physical attributes and abilities, and different types of neurodiversity, too.
Bloodshade of the Goddess is a book written for those kinds of readers — fans of urban fantasy who want the genre to be more inclusive of society as a whole. As an author, and as a human being, I keep searching for places where I can push boundaries and expand my own thinking, both in my personal life and in my art. Bloodshade is a book in which I made attempts to push myself. This is a “novelized comic book” that delivers something a bit to the left of the norm.
My third writer-announcement today is that my cover for my fifth novel, Kinned to the Sea, is finished, and here it is making its official debut on my blog —
Friends who saw me share this on Facebook have said it’s my “best cover yet,” and that makes me so happy to hear!! I love all my book covers, but not everyone thinks my covers are as spiffy as I do. We all know that books sell BY their covers — which means, they are also read FOR their covers. And I really hope people read Kinned to the Sea. If this cover is pretty enough to make people look at the first page of this book, then it has achieved the fantastic. There is no greater honor for a piece of cover art than to entice someone to look at page one.
For those of you who might be curious about how the Standing on the Side of Love March went on Saturday, January 21 — it was SPECTACULAR. And covered the front page of the local newspaper, The Durango Herald, the next day. I would share more about that event, but I wanted to get some of this writer-news off my chest, so my readers know that I’ve launched a new ebook they can download for free and enjoy.
I share my thanks in advance to anyone who can leave a review for Bloodshade of the Goddess on Amazon or on Goodreads. (You do not need to purchase the book on Amazon in order to leave a review — just reading the book and leaving an honest opinion is all that’s required.) Please feel free to share the Smashwords link for the ebook with everyone you know who might have an interest in fantasy — I made the ebook available for free to encourage readers to download the book and enjoy it, not because I put any less work into my fourth novel than my other books. Bloodshade was another time-consuming labor of love, though I’m still really grateful that it’s only one-third the length of Mark of the Pterren. Pterren was such a monster to write! ^.^
I hope all my Thought Candy readers have a great weekend! And thanks for staying tuned in to my blog! Happy reading!