LGBT

First Draft of Book 5 Started!

I have begun writing the first draft of book 5 in the Dragonlinked Chronicles series. In fact, I finished the last scene of the Prologue yesterday and started on Chapter One today. I’m looking forward to all the interesting stuff coming.

In the meantime, happy reading!

Categories: Books, Dragonlinked, Dragons, Fantasy, LGBT, Update, Writing | Tags: | Leave a comment

This Man Gets It. Why Can’t Everyone?

The world already has hurdles built in, and some get more hurdles put in front of them right from the get-go, right from birth. One of the reasons I decided to include LGBT characters in prominent roles in my books is because LGBTQ people, young people especially, need representation in media. In songs, art, movies, television, and in books. What they do NOT need is people who don’t understand, who don’t seem to want to understand, adding more hurdles to their lives. Dale Hansen says it better than I can, so please read the article I linked below about a video of his posted to Facebook concerning student wrestler Mack Beggs, then watch Mr. Hansen’s full video which is included at the bottom of the article.

Sportscaster Dale Hansen defends trans student wrestler Mack Beggs in amazing takedown

Categories: Books, Dragonlinked, LGBT, LGBTQ, Life, Trans | Leave a comment

For Christmas, it’s Freebie Time!

Dragonlinked coverDid you give a Kindle? Get one? Know someone who is getting one? Or, do you know someone who reads eBooks and likes fantasy, magic, or dragons? How convenient!

It’s the perfect time to get started on Dragonlinked Chronicles, because starting tomorrow, December 24, 2016, and running through December 27th, 2016, the Kindle version of Dragonlinked, volume 1 of the series, will be FREE on Amazon!

Here are some direct links: US — UK — AU — CA — DE — JP — IN

Not from one of those regions? No worries, the book is also available at the Amazon sites for Brazil,  France,  Italy,  Mexico,  Spain, and the Netherlands. Note that, currently, the book is only available in english.

Merry Christmas, everyone, and Happy Holidays!

Categories: Books, Dragonlinked, Dragons, Fantasy, LGBT, Sale, YoungAdult | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Of Gods, Trees, And A Sapling Now Available in eBook Format!

It took some time, but the eBook version of the latest book in the Dragonlinked Chronicles series, Of Gods, Trees, And A Sapling, is now available at Amazon.com (and all amazon sites, actually). The trade paperback version will be available within the next couple of weeks, depending on shipping times and whether I have to make adjustments based on the sample.

Many apologies for how long it’s taken. There are two main reasons it took as long as it did for me to finally finish this book. The first is that my life has been ridiculously hectic these past eighteen to twenty months or so. I won’t bore or bring you down with the details, but suffice it to say I wore black a lot and made a few trips to visit relatives in the hospital. There were a lot of days where I struggled to write.

Now, the biggest reason it took so long–and I mentioned I had suspicions about it in a previous post (which turned out to be true)–is the length of this book. In between uploads to Amazon after tweaking the format and fixing the two spelling errors that somehow sneaked through, I started work on another document, the trade paperback version. My preliminary pass at formatting that version indicates that, in print, this book will be seven hundred and seventy-three pages long. That’s more than double the length of book 2. I suspected it might be longer than book 3 based on how long it was taking me to complete a read-through, but it didn’t feel that long to me while I was reading it. My test reader’s only comment that was even remotely related to the length was that she couldn’t stop thinking about getting back to reading it in between her job as a substitute teacher, working on starting her business, and picking up her kids. So, she apparently didn’t think it felt long either.

At any rate, here you go. ENJOY!

(And for those of you who want a physical copy, I will continue working on the trade paperback version tomorrow, I swear!)

P.S. OH!  If any of you followed me on my Amazon author page and you did NOT get notified about the release, could you please post a comment below? If some of you were not notified, I want to speak with Amazon and find out if there is anything I can do to fix it. Thanks!

Categories: Books, Dragonlinked, Fantasy, Lethera, LGBT, LGBTQ, New Release, Update, YoungAdult | Tags: | Leave a comment

Draft of First Few Chapters of Book Four Complete

A quick update for everyone. I just finished a read-through of chapters one through six. I normally do that every five chapters, but in this book, the events in chapter five lead right into six and I didn’t want to lose the writing momentum, so I kept going until I had finished chapter six.

Things are looking good, so far. I found that I needed to add a scene to expand a bit on a character and her actions, which is another reason I do read-throughs. The outline is a great guide, but it is in the writing and re-reading of the draft where you will often find better ideas or discover a better flow. I also find that re-reading the manuscript from the beginning every time I finish writing another five chapters helps keep the events in the book alive in my head and allows me to catch mistakes, duplications, and better judge the pace of the book overall.

Now on to chapter seven!

Categories: Dragonlinked, Lethera, LGBT, LGBTQ, Update, Writing | Tags: , | Leave a comment

The Bond on Sale for Limited Time

The Bond cover

The Bond

If you have friends who haven’t read it yet—or if you haven’t, The Bond, book 2 of Dragonlinked Chronicles (an lgbt-friendly YA fantasy series), is on a Kindle Countdown Deal promotion at amazon.com until the early morning of April 14th, 2015, and at amazon.co.uk until the early morning of April 12th, 2015 (early morning eastern time). These deals work by offering a larger discount at the beginning of the promotion period, which drops as the deal runs. So, the earlier you buy, the bigger the markdown you get from the regular price.

The UK deal runs a shorter time because amazon only allows minimum discount increments of 0.99, and those increments are in the currency of the host website. For the UK site, that’s GBP. Because of that, there are fewer increments at the UK site (GBP are higher value than USD, and my book prices at the various amazon sites are all based on a USD price converted to equivalent native currency price). But enough weird financial babble.

Happy reading!

P.S. Fan extra! The hand/arm on the cover image? It’s mine. I only wish I could bond with a dragon for real!

Categories: Books, Dragonlinked, Fan Extras, Lethera, LGBT, Sale | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Dragonlinked on FREE Promotion for a Limited Time

DLeBookCover_Storefront

Dragonlinked, the first book in Dragonlinked Chronicles, is free for a limited time. Now’s a great time to get started on the lgbt-friendly young-adult fantasy series.

I’m trying some advertising with this promotion as an experiment to see how it goes. I’ve got the promotion listed at GoodKindles and at Freebooksy. As much as I’d rather spend all my time setting words to paper (or keying them into a computer, as the case may be), this is part of being an author, too. I’ll report back on what I find.

Categories: Dragonlinked, Lethera, LGBT, Sale, Writing | Leave a comment

An Advantage of eBook and On-Demand Publishing

In traditional publishing, it takes a while to get your book published. You may have a signed contract, but there are months to go before your book sees the light of day. There may be manuscript edits, galley proofs to do, cover art to get contracted and completed, reviews of that art, marketing to get planned and in-place, and on and on. So it could be a year or more before your precious book gets on the shelves. But, what if you want or need to make a change afterwards? It’s going to have to wait until the next reprint. And it will have to go through the editorial review process again. Which means the updated book won’t hit the stores for perhaps another year, or at least several months if your books are flying off the shelves and reprints are needed sooner.

An ebook, on the other hand, takes as much time to update as the click of a couple of buttons. Same with on-demand trade paperbacks. In both cases, there is no stock sitting on shelves waiting to be moved by retailers before they will order more.

Case in point, my first novel, Dragonlinked. When I wrote it, I was passionate about telling the story of this kid dealing with life and the surprises that can come along to kick you in your butt. I was blithely unaware that I was making a few mistakes, most of which I didn’t learn about until I wrote the short story Moonflower while attending a critique group.

The first mistake was a much too loose point of view. I knew what PoV was, in general, but I didn’t fully understand it at the time. For example, there were instances where I switched PoV willy-nilly during a scene. Not good. Many times I do shift the PoV character from one scene to another, but within a scene (for the most part) I keep the PoV character the same. There are instances where I do shift away from a PoV character if that character leaves the scene and I want to continue the scene a bit, but there are tricks to smoothly shift PoV that I take advantage of in those cases.

Another mistake I made was with speech tags. If your tale is told in past tense (as mine are), for the most part, say 99.98% of the time, you will use ‘said.’

“Exactly,” Master Doronal said.

Every now and then you can toss in a ‘whispered,’ or ‘added,’ or ‘noted,’ or ‘mumbled,’ or even ‘shouted’ to emphasize a bit of dialog. But by and large, you will want to use ‘said.’ Why? Because readers pretty much ignore it. Their mind just slips right over it and they continue enjoying the read. If you throw in too many other speech tags, it can yank them out of your world. You don’t want that.

There were a few other mistakes that bugged me, too. So what did I do? Well, once I had a moment to spare, after getting the third book in the series out, I went back to Dragonlinked and started editing that sucker. I snipped, I fixed, I tweaked, I even moved a scene to another spot. All in the interest of making it better. The book is now eight pages shorter. The only issue that drove me nuts was whether to call it a second edition. If I told Amazon it was, they would have wiped all customer reviews out. While that would have eliminated the one-star reviews (many of which sound like they are from people who hated the fact that the protagonist was not straight–not a valid reason for a one-star review in my opinion, but, whatever), it would also have removed all the four and five-star reviews, several of which sound like they are from the main audience of the book, teens/young adults who are not straight. I couldn’t do it.

I also added something to the Kindle version that is absolutely not possible in a regular book: clickable product links to the other books in the series and to the short story that is set in the same world. After the last page of the book, I added a Dragonlinked Chronicles section (just before the About the Author section) thanking the reader for reading the book and letting them know that if they enjoyed it, there are more books in the series. I get to thank them, and I get to point them to more books they might like. Pretty nifty. I also added a clickable link to this blog in the About the Author section so they can check out the fan extras in the Library, should they so choose.

With all that out of the way, I was now ready. If Dragonlinked had been traditionally published, I’d still have a wait before the revised edition was available. But it took less than a day for the updated Kindle version to be available on Amazon, and I just have to wait about a week for the paperback proof to arrive so I can verify that the cover is still aligned correctly with the change in page count. It was that fast and that easy to get a better version of my book out.

And that’s my point. If you are publishing ebooks and on-demand paperbacks, why not revisit your previous works and make them better? Don’t be stuck in the mindset of ‘traditional’ publishing. Take advantage of everything you can in this digital age.

Categories: Books, Dragonlinked, Lethera, LGBT, Tips, Update, Writing | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Moonflower FREE for Limited Time

My short story, Moonflower, a sort of prequel to the Dragonlinked Chronicles series, is FREE starting today, for a limited time. This is a great opportunity to get a peek into the world of Lethera, to get a taste of the magic and the monsters, if you haven’t yet! Included is a bonus mini-story, Brilliant Points of Light.

 

Moonflower ebook cover, 2015 version.

Moonflower ebook cover, 2015 version.

Categories: Books, Dragonlinked, Lethera, LGBT, LGBTQ, Sale, Short Story | Tags: | 2 Comments

Another Reason Pauley Perrette is Awesome

I’ve always liked her character on NCIS, Abby, but this news shows how amazing the actress herself is. She’s written a song in support of LGBT youth, letting them know that even though it may not seem like it at times, there are people who love them. She also hopes the song and video can spread awareness of The Trevor Project, a place where LGBT youth can get assistance if they’re ever in a situation where they feel down or suicidal. The song is called Beautiful Child.

People deal with tragic events in different ways. When Ms. Perrette learned that the younger brother of a friend had killed himself, she took her feelings and channeled them into writing this uplifting song. With assistance from fellow actors from NCIS and other CBS shows as well as friends in the music industry, Ms. Perrette put together a music video for the song which premiered on Entertainment Tonight.

You can read Ms. Perrette’s interview about the song on ET Online here (the video for the song is below the story), and you can see the video here.

Categories: LGBT, LGBTQ, Life | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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