Friday, August 30, 2013

Published Author. And so it Begins

The earthquake wasn’t his fault. Not this time.

I wrote those words three years ago as the beginning paragraph to Wilder Mage. Then I deleted them, added them back, changed them, deleted, added...ah well. If you are a writer, you know what I'm talking about.
"I spent the morning putting in a comma and the afternoon removing it.” - Gustave Flaubert

Justus Aubre is a wilder
A mage unbound to the Imperium, and therefore a dangerous wild card in their eyes. The Imperium wants him, wants his power, but Justus has hidden for many years and now has some semblance of a normal life. All that’s about to change when Sable Rounds walks through the door of his antique shop, looking for work. Justus instantly knows what Sable is, he just doesn’t know the danger he’s in.

Alone, also on the run from the Imperium, Sable longs for a normal life. For somewhere to belong. She finds this when Justus hires her, but she knows it’s temporary and fragile, an illusion. Though she hates to think about it, she knows that one day she will have to move on.

The Imperium is always behind her, waiting. When they finally find Sable, they find Justus. And all hell’s about to break loose.

CD Coffelt lives outside Maryville, Missouri with a bemused husband and way too many cats. She adores all things fantasy with a special love for urban and epic.

With a passion for good writing and Doritos as companions, locating Middle-Earth on a dusty road in rural Missouri wasn’t difficult. All it took was a little Magic, hours of reading, and an overactive imagination.

Wilder Mage
CD Coffelt, Huntress

Question: Keep my original Photoshopped shot made by my little brother? (That IS me, top right, at the age of 18 months). Or post my Author Photo? 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Wilder Mage Released, Amazon, and a TV Show for Patrick Rothfuss

Musa Publishing announces their newest author. Me!

* * * * 
Fantastic news about Patrick Rothfuss, one of my favorite authors. He wrote The Kingkiller Chronicles, a series of epic fantasy books starting with The Name of the Wind. Wise
Man’s Fear continued the series with the last book coming out next year.

Fox announced that they have optioned the trilogy as a television show. If they keep to the storyline and give the author creative control, they will have a winner.

* * * * 

Movie quotes. Who said this?

"I'm a little busy at the moment."

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

It is a Puzzlement: Genre Identification

Defining fantasy reminds me of that old commercial for Parkay margarine. 

Fantasy is many things.  Query Tracker has one take on the genre:
Fantasy. Fantasy stories are set on other worlds or in other realities. You can have vampires, werewolves, or fairies, but in general, fantasy creatures tend to be more…fantastic, mythological – dragons, gryphons, three-headed dog beasts. Magic is a huge element of fantasy stories. Here is a little test: if you can take away the “weird” in the story (i.e. the beasts, the magic) and the world you are left with is still not the normal, everyday world you know, it’s a fantasy story. Lord of the Rings is a fantasy. 

Urban Fantasy. This genre is actually closer to a paranormal than a fantasy. These stories deal with magical or paranormal elements in a real world, contemporary (or urban) setting. Many paranormal books could also be classified as Urban Fantasy, including Twilight, Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake and Merry Gentry series, and The Dresden Files.
In the interest of keeping my sanity, I've compiled the following: 
  • Epic or High. Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien, The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss
  • Arthurian. Mary Stewart’s The Crystal Cave
  • Swords and Sorcery. Gauntlgrim by RA Salvatore
  • Bangsian (about the afterlife). The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
The discussion is personal since my drug of choice is a sub-genre of fantasy.  That is where my confusion starts.

Wilder Mage is set in the real world about events that can’t possibly happen. So what is it?

The categories are:                                                            
  • Paranormal. Nope. The romance is a part of the canvas and not the whole paint.
  • Urban Fantasy. Trying to nail this term down has resulted in a bleeding forehead and mangled keyboard. Some say it is the modern world in a city setting, note the above QT quote. Others say it is any time period as long as it is this world.
  • Speculative Fiction. This one *really* confuses me. Since my publisher, Musa, defines Urania imprint as Spec Fic, I use the term also. But really? I mean isn't all fiction speculative?
  • Contemporary Fantasy. I like this one best. To me it says it all.

Excellent sites that helps to clear/create the fog:

SFSite. Invaluable. Definitely bookmark material.

So what genre is Wilder Mage if it is about a wizard living in Iowa?

Monday, August 26, 2013

Query Con

School's in Session at UnicornBell

I am one of the moderators at UnicornBell, a writer’s critique site. 

Last year we held a contest called School’s in Session, or Query Con. Editors judged the final products.

N.W. Harris participated with his query for Joshua's Tree. He received a contract and is now a published author. And *drum roll* came in first in the GoodReads 2013 Summer Reads. 

Well folks, we are doing it again. Query Con or School's in Session, 2013.

We currently have three judges ready to roll up their sleeves:

The plan:
  • First week: Posts about building a successful query.
  • Second week: A week of feedback on submissions
  • Third week: Queries for finished/polished manuscripts only.
  • Week One: The Man Who Needs No Hyperlink (but here it is anyway), Alex J. Cavanaugh, our Ninja Captain, will give us insight into his career as writer and musician. 
  • Week Two: Anyone can submit their query for review.
  • Week Three: Only queries (20) for completed manuscripts, please. Our judges will give their opinion on what works for them and why. They may even ask for more pages.
We are capping the total completed/polished queries at 20 for our judges. 

Call for submissions! Get those queries ready.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Are You Looking for a Review Site?

Matthew Keith is the kind of guy who oozes ambition. And Great Ideas. Below is just a snippet of his bio. Go here to continue.
Back in high school, I was a 6'3" bean pole with long scraggly hair, a jean jacket that I wore nearly every day of my life, and drove around in a loud, busted-up '76 Cutlass that I bought from my big brother and thought was the greatest thing on four wheels. Guns 'n' Roses, ripped up jeans, radio way too loud - I was that guy.
 He has a blog that promotes writers, gives them a venue to show the world what they can do. Matthew is also a big proponent of Pay It Forward. Writers are asked to help promote other authors and books through Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and other social media.

From time to time, I will post his interviews and reviews.


Interview of M.R. CORNELIUS The Ups and Downs of Being Dead

Fifty-seven year old Robert Malone is the CEO of a successful clothing store chain and married to a former model. When his doctor tells him he is dying of cancer, he refuses to go quietly. Instead of death, Robert chooses cryonics. He knows it’s a long shot. His frozen body will be stored in liquid nitrogen for the next seventy-five years, and then he’ll wake up in the future. Maybe. If technology figures out a way to bring him back.
He’s willing to take that gamble.


Review of Valley of Thracians by Ellis Shuman

This is the story of Simon, a retired professor whose grandson went missing in Bulgaria while there as a member of the Peace Corps. Three years have passed and everyone, including the majority of his family, assumes the young man is dead. Simon refuses to believe it and heads to Bulgaria on his own, intent on finding his grandson, but with no real plan on how he's going to do it.



Interview of Cornell Deville, The Golden Disk

When Richie Armstrong’s mother was murdered, his father went into seclusion, only coming out when he learned of a legendary time-travel device known as the Golden Disk. Sorrow turned to obsession
as Richie and his father traveled the world looking for the one thing that could help, but even with the vast Armstrong fortune and an array of invention prototypes at their disposal, the disk continued to elude them. 

Until, on the eve of his father’s death, they learned the disk was in Peru, part of a cursed stash of Incan treasure. 

Now alone in the world, young Richie Armstrong sets out on the adventure of a lifetime, crossing continents and oceans to find the fabled disk. But Richie’s not the only one looking for it, and if his sworn enemy finds it first, Richie could lose something far more precious.



Great idea, huh. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

So You've Signed the Contract. Now what?

Here is a checklist of what you’ll need to do or consider. Some might apply. Others might not be your cuppa. 

Remember: It is YOUR book, YOUR story that you want to tell. The one person showing the most enthusiasm should be YOU.

After signing the contract:
  • Create a Facebook, twitter, and a Blog/website.
  • Send a News Release to local Newspapers and Radio stations announcing your contract.
  • Join Loops that have authors and readers in your genres. Get involved so that when you have something to promote readers won't think you are a spam and run author.
  • Blog! Practice, practice, practice.
  • Build you Brand.
  • Start Hosting authors on your blog to drive traffic there.

Tip: While waiting for edits, start searching for books similar to yours to find the best genre slots and tags for your books.

Once you have your Release date:
  • Find review sites interested in reviewing your book and let your publisher know so they can get an ARC to them ASAP.
  • Start lining up Blog slots/ interviews with Blogs outside your publisher for your release date and after.
One Month before release or when authors have cover art:
  • Work on trailers if author is interested.
  • Line up guest slots on Radio Shows
  • Start signing up for blog hops.
  • Post Cover art on Blogs, Twitter and Facebook.
  • Contact local artsy places see if they will host a book reading.
    Set up a Google Alert
  • Set up your Author Accounts at Goodreads.
Note: You can’t make an author page at Amazon until your book is released.

Week of Release:
  • Make sure all your Blogs are out to the Guest Blog sites you are blogging at. Thanking them for hosting you.
  • Send out Press Release to local papers and radio stations follow up to see if they will interview you.
  • Talk up your book. (Remember there is a fine line from Promotion and Spam)
  • If the Book is available for presale push people to your publisher’s site to get their copy.
  • Double check your tags, excerpt and Blurbs

Day of Release:
  • Talk up your book!!! Have a Release Party.
  • Make sure to visit the Blogs who are hosting you and leave comments and answer questions.
  • DO NOT ask people to TAG until all Amazon sites are live. Usually 48 hours after Amazon US goes live.
  • Add book to Goodreads (use the ISBN number)
After Release:
  • Keep Writing.
  • Keep Blogging.
  • Keep Promoting.
  • Get readers to leave reviews on Amazon. (Honest reviews) and tag your books.
  • Get Involved with Blog Hops.
  • Update Amazon to make sure all your books are showing up on your Amazon Author Page.

Remember The Golden Rule: if you help other authors they will help you.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Ah Shucks – It’s my First Interview

I like to read ‘em. 
I like to give ‘em.
Now, I’m the subject of one.

Fourteen days and counting. SQUEEEEEEEEEEEE

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

L. Blankenship and Disciple, part 3

True epic fantasy is hard to come by these days. Even with Game of Thrones creating such a stir,envisioning a different world then fusing it with good writing and an excellent storyline is rare.

L. Blankenship has achieved that with her Disciple series. I know. I am one of the lucky few who got to read the whole series. 

Disciple, Part III back cover

Kate fought for her place as a healer in the war’s front lines. Serving her homeland has been her goal since her magical gifts earned her a coveted apprenticeship with the kingdom’s greatest healer. She believes she’s prepared.

But nothing’s simple when defending a besieged capital city — or her heart.

She loves the prince, who means to protect her even though his duties as a knight keep him on the battlements, fighting the enemy’s monstrous army.

Kate’s husband is the one who checks on her, lingers over dinner, and slowly but surely charms her. She’s all too aware that her beloved prince threatened to kill him if he touches her.

As the enemy thunders against the city walls, the kingdom needs more from Kate than just her healing magic. All disciples must put aside their tangled feelings and stand in the homeland’s defense.

Kate believed she's ready for a war. She isn't.

The official cover reveal and "Next Big Thing" post are over at Disciple of the Fount.

Disciple, Part III arrives September 1st, 2013!

Part I and Part II are available at all major retailers

Excerpt from Disciple, Part III

(Kate and her teacher, Elect Parselev, are readying the infirmary near the city gates. The enemy army is just outside, preparing its first attack.)

“The king! The king!” I heard the shouts only a few moments before the company of banners and black-garbed Guardsmen arrived at a canter. Many banners, and I spotted the prince’s among them. The warhorses kicked up dust in braking, and shunted to either side of the gate to work their way to a stop. All the riders wore full gear, helms included. The king’s bore a simple gold crown around its brow.

Atop the tower, a yell and the catapults thrummed, sending loose shot over the wall. The crews were at them in a heartbeat to winch the long arms back down. I looked back to the royal company at the foot of the towers and saw half the horses standing with riders, half without.

“I must…” I began, looking about at the rows of cots, the stacks of bandage rolls waiting. The nurses and orderlies stood waiting, too, watching the wall as I did. Waiting for someone to bleed. “Should the orderlies be in the gate towers?”

“When the rhythm’s set,” Parselev answered, though that only puzzled me.

“Is Saint Woden here?”

“His concern, not ours.” Through his hand on my shoulder, I felt kir pulse into me and my next breath came easier, deeper. “Take a little more.”

“But you —”

“Drew all I could hold from the Pool this morning. Don’t worry.”

The catapults, once reloaded, shot again. The tower’s trumpet announced something new and behind me, on River Road, orders were shouted.

From the tower came a scream: “Cover! Cover!”

A black cloud rose over the city wall, peaked and began to fall. My feet froze as the arrows plunged toward me, hissing, striking the kir shield and shivering from the effort. They thudded everyplace else, on wood and earth. Then men scrambled up from under their shields, on the wall, and resumed their work. I realized the enemy had largely missed; our archers were further up River Road.

From there came an order: “Loose!” Our smaller flock of arrows answered, cresting lower over the parapet above the gate itself and vanishing.

And again: “Cover! Cover!”

The cloud rose more sharply, this time, and fell onto the wall and towers. Screams followed. But still, the moment the storm passed, they were up again. Most of them. Our archers answered, as well as the catapults.

“Orderlies!” Parselev shouted. “When their next volley falls!”

Thers were ordinary men, most of them Saint Aleksandr’s disciples, who’d taken an oath to serve the Mother and Father through serving others. No armor, not a sword among them. When the next cloud of arrows rose over the wall and thudded down, our Thers sprinted for the nearer gate tower with their sling stretchers. They made for the open door and vanished inside.

Those of the royal company who’d stayed with the horses were out of the saddles and holding the animals close to the lee of the towers. There was a space in the shadow of the gate itself where arrows weren’t falling, and they’d sidled into it. Impossible to see if Anders was among them — I couldn’t make out the details on their tabards at this distance, and there were a few dappled greys among the horses.

There should’ve been another volley, but it didn’t come. Someone shouted, “Elect!” behind us and my teacher’s hand left my shoulder. I turned, spotted a wagon-driver with an arrow-studded friend slung on his shoulder. My frozen feet thawed; this was something I could help with at last. And our Thers would be back soon enough —

A thud against the city gate shook the earth. Then a second. Lower and heavier than any thunderbolt. Horses screamed. My mind shot back to the earthquake at Ansehen and my blood turned to ice. The third blow shuddered the massive timbers and I looked to the gate towers, searching for cracks, for falling stones. A clutch of the warhorses bolted across Wallside Street, torn loose from their knights.

Our enemy knocked. Like a giant.

Contact L. Blankenship at her blog, Notes from the Jovian Frontier

Monday, August 12, 2013

Anti Blogfest

Admit it. Some blogfests suck plaster dust.

Here are a few examples:

Dance Off Blogfest
Yo! Lovers and bloggers, here is your chance to get jiggy with the best of them. YouTube versions of yourself getting down with the masses and mosh pits.

Old English Recipes Blogfest
Scrumtious recipes ready for the modern cook. Example:
Biskets: Yolks of two dozen egges, two handfuls of Anniseeds, a little yest, one pound of butter, one quart of creame, foure ound of fine wheat flowere. Roll and bake but not throughly. Let them stand out a day or two until hard.

How to Blog While Drunk Blogfest

It works like this: write the first word of your post. Take a drink (Long Island Tea in my case). Continue to rite another sentence. Take a drink. foLow up with another sentence and
then drink some more. Som mor drink that is. Continue writg until that post thing is done then dink.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Really? Another Blogfest? REALLY? Are you craZy?

The Anti-Blogfest, er Blogfest

Hey, I’ve got a book coming out at the end of this month, and time (as the previous IWSG indicates) isn’t freakin’ growing on trees around here.

So why, in the name of all that is holy, am I doing this bit of lunacy? Must be too much sun.

The hosts (at least I didn't create this monumental—emphasis on ‘mental’—time suck) are:
The rules:
On August 12th, create the titles of three PG-13 blogfests you would never join and then add a descriptive sentence or two.

Look for examples on the blogs of the nutty bunch listed above.
*so gullible*

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

IWSG - Time

IWSG—Writers, coming together on the first Wednesday of every month for a virtual pat on the back.

If only I could purchase time in a store. Or get it online like window blinds. I’d even purchase a lottery ticket if the prize were Time.

If I could make more Time to write, it’d be like a crocheted afghan. Or a painting. Form it into a paper airplane and keep it from flying away with every insignificant breeze.

I need Time, more hours in the twenty-four allotted to me to get done what needs to get done.

And all those little tasks vying for my attention, waiting to drain me of my Time. Fixing fence when the cattle get out, feeding the dog that begs, cleaning a toilet, answering the phone. Life keeps interfering with my teeny tiny portion of Time.

I need to find the Time to do the necessary stuff that keeps the house semi-tidy, groceries in the cupboards, bills paid, and toilet paper in the bathroom.

Exercise is important but It. Takes. Time.

Who can find Time to write a new novel when there are other literary tales that need spun. Like editing, blogging, critiquing, answering email, promotional intrigues, book reviews, and checking other blogs.

And, gee, maybe every now and then I *might* want to take the Time to read what someone else has written.

Is there a pocket of Time buried like in a coalmine? A seam of Time like silver waiting to be mined? Like a field of wheat waving its golden heads in anticipation of harvest?

How do you find the Time to write?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Belated-Imagination Sparks Blogfest

*I apologize to the Imagination Sparks participants. I totally forgot*

If your MC has stopped talking or your insight into their character traits has gone dry, try an interview.
Marcy of MaineWords clued me in on this idea. 

My publisher, Musa Publishing, furthered the concept along by providing a cool format. The results of that interview is scheduled for posting on Sept 12 on their blog.

Questions will get, your mind working. Such as:
  • Why do you think the author chose you to write about?
  • Tell us a little about yourself?
  • What do you do to relax?
  • What event changed you the most?
  • Is music a big part of your life?

Think up other questions that you most want answered. It might break your character’s silence and get them to talking.

Yeah, I know. The Voices again. *BG*

Monday, August 5, 2013

Pop Travel Review

At what price is fast transit? What is the lure? Convenience? Speed?
Certain suicide?

Pop Travel by Tara Tyler is a novel that starts with a disappearance and ends with a private detective’s assessment whether pop travel, a teleportation device that gets you there fast, is safe.

Cooper doesn’t want the case. He believes his wannabe client is going off the deep end. But his superficial investigation turns up evidence that grabs his attention. And then he can’t let go. For the safety of his life as well as those around him.
* * * *
Ms. Tyler’s debut novel is a gem among sci-fi enthusiasts, a whodunit combined with science, definitely a winner. The action pulls the reader in from the first page and never gives up until The End appears. In my case after midnight. All the elements were there to ruin my sleep and leave me bleary-eyed the next day.

Excellent read. A fine new author. Do not miss this one.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Short Story Reviews

The Break In is about Gordon and Antonia, one a follower the other an instigator. Angst and teenage hormones goads them to break into the principal’s office to check their school files. A childhood prank, started on a whim, which turns into a life-changing event.
* * * *
Excellent writing combined with great storytelling makes this short story a delight. Carrie Russell paints the scenes with words that immediately involve the reader, hooking me like a fish on a line. A truly great read.

And even better, The Break-In is a prequel to Ms. Russell's full length novel Drowning Cactus, a poignant, funny and touching story about the ache that comes from fighting into adulthood, busting out of too small boxes, and tearing away from friendships that don't fit anymore.

Don’t miss it. Highly recommend!


Lothar is a sorcerer bent on self-destruction. He knows his drug addiction is a death sentence but still he can't stop.
Desperate clients hire him to find their daughter and Lothar decides to take the case, do the minimum necessary, and use the money to further his addiction. But for the first time in years, the drugs take second place in his life and finding the young woman becomes paramount. 
But, always, around the corner, in a weak moment, the lure of nepenthe is there, calling to him in a soft, luring voice. Finding the woman will save two lives: hers and Lothar's as well.
* * * *
What a supreme read this is! It pulled me in from the start by giving me a likable character with great flaws. Lothar had to change. I wanted him to change. So much so, that I bonded with him and then was absolutely hooked. My investment was unconditional.

Sean McLachlan's world building had all the elements of a master storyteller. Excellent reading with very few (if any!) problems. Truly a delight!

Big Thumbs UP!
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