Hi everyone! Not sure about you, but I could do with some goal setting, a little accountability, and some good old fashioned cheering on!
For at least the next nine months I’ve set some pretty hefty personal deadlines. A lot of these are writing related, and so I need to up my game and attack them. I’ve always worked best when cheering others on, because a sense of so many others being in the same boat and wanting to meet their goals is a fantastic thing.
The site isn’t back up and running again, but we are taking sign ups for June goals for the next few days, even though June starts today. Feel free to sign up and make a social media post, or a blog post on Wednesdays to see how you’re going with your goals and where you are with them for the month!
Also – tomorrow (Tuesday June 2nd), I will be sending out my first Newsletter! Make sure you sign up for it if you haven’t already and you’ll get to see an exclusive Newsletter excerpt from Chameleon (The Domino Project #1).
Here is to a fantastic June, and a great and turned around 2015! Come join me!
is, until Arik, a leather clad hottie in the Boston Athenaeum, suddenly
disappears. While examining the book of world libraries he abandoned, Gia
unwittingly speaks the key that sucks her and her friends into a photograph and
transports them into a Paris library, where Arik and his Sentinels—magical
knights charged with protecting humans from the creatures traveling across the
gateway books—rescue them from a demonic hound.
Jumping into some of the world’s most beautiful libraries would be a
dream come true for Gia, if she weren’t busy resisting her heart or
dodging an exiled wizard seeking revenge on both the Mystik and human worlds.
Add a French flirt obsessed with Arik and a fling with a young wizard,
and Gia must choose between her heart and her head, between Arik’s world and
her own, before both are destroyed.
About the Author
Brenda Drake, the youngest of three children, grew up
an Air Force brat and the continual new kid at schooluntil
her family settled in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Brenda’s fondest memories growing up is
of hereccentric, Irish grandmother’s animated tales, which gave her
a strong love for storytelling. So it was onlyfitting that she would choose to write young adult and middle grade novels with
a bend toward thefantastical. When Brenda’s not writing or doing the social media thing, she’s haunting libraries,
bookstores,and coffee shops or reading someplace quiet and not
at all exotic (much to her disappointment).
The weight of the world feels heavy on my shoulders. Desperation touches everything. Memories forgotten, truths untold. Humanity is threatened. Their safety granted in exchange for me. But I won’t go without a fight.
With strange occurrences taking place in the city, it’s up to Elsa and her team to discover why. But an odd encounter at an abandoned warehouse leaves the team with more questions than answers. Just when the team least expects it, Alexander returns, and he’s not alone or without demands: the world’s safety in exchange for Elsa. They have only one week to decide while the world falls under Alexander’s wrath and his powerful army of followers. Avalon seeks help from every Nepherium that can be spared and hope it will be enough to stop Alexander.
Coming July 2015!
About the Author
A Kansas native, Samantha LaFantasie spends her free time with her three kids and arguing with her characters. Writing has always been a passion of hers, forgoing all other desires to devote to this one obsession. She’s primarily a fantasy writer but often feels pulled to genres such as sci-fi, romance, and others.
Samantha became a bestselling author with the Pandora Boxed Set (which includes Made to Forget: Nepherium Novella series–Part One) on both Amazon and USA Today.
Samantha loves to take time to enjoy other activities such as photography and playing her favorite game of all time, Guild Wars 2.
Want more from Samantha? Keep up with her at any of her digital hangouts.
Artwork is an amazing thing. My cover artist S.P. McConnell is closing in on the finished wrap for my book: Chameleon (The Domino Project Book One). And I have to tell you – his rendition of the main character, Sai? It’s amazing.
When you write, you have this vision of your character in your head, and Sai has been in my head longer than most. When I received the initial sketches of Sai, I was happy, but when I got the more refined ones – I was flabbergasted. She’s better than I imagined.
Release is fast approaching. I’ll have my copy edits back shortly, and begin edits on book two once the first is off at formatting. After that? It’s time to do a Cover reveal and get the book up for preorder.
To that end – I’m going to put my sign up sheet out there. I’ll have a cover reveal and preorder coming up in June, and release is on August 4, 2015. If anyone would like to help spread the word using any medium at all, please sign up!
If you’d like to be a part of the Street Team – I’ll have exclusive excerpts, and special Street Team only swag. The Street Team will be restricted in numbers, so if you’d like to join, please request to do so in the link in the form below!
Thank you! I can’t tell you how excited I am
Have an Angel dance as a thank you!
I went to Disney World for the first time ever last week. My lovely mother-in-law treated my little family. It was a beautiful time, an amazing and unforgettable trip.
Naturally, with a book release coming up in August, I decided – Hey! I’ll take my laptop with me and get some much needed work in after the baby goes to sleep.
Did I mention HAHAHAHAHA?
You see, they had fireworks and amazing things that meant the toddler didn’t fall into bed until well after 10pm. She also napped during the day, which is virtually unheard of. Needless to say, I got absolutely no work done at all. But I did have an amazing time and am already plotting a trip back.
The trip back was not a happy one. Our plane was on time leaving Florida, but had to circumvent some bad high spiraling weather in order to get to Dallas. Still, we landed with 35 minutes to spare… only 17 left by the time we all shuffled out of the airplane. The six of us in our party raced out (I carried my sleeping toddler), and got to our gate probably within about 8 minutes. Two people from our plane (who were ahead of us in rows) were already there, still panting from the run, and the door was already closed.
Now I get that they can’t just hold the plane for anyone. But this was a tiny 4 seats per row plane. Which means that with our 6 people and the other 2, there were two full rows of seats. Since it was the same airline, and we already had our boarding passes, they knew we were coming. That we had already landed. And while people might say – oh they couldn’t have kept it open… I know full well that since they always overbook these days – they gave our seats away and probably a couple to standby so they COULDN’T hold it for us. That plan sat on the tarmac for another 20 minutes while we tried to sort something out.
Anyhu – with six people in our party, you can imagine finding us another flight was virtually impossible. So we rented a minivan and drove home. Got in about 9:30 last night…
The good thing was? It ended up being a bit of an adventure and a lot of fun. So all in all? The vacation ended on a positive note, and I will never fly American again.
Now I have to dash and do all that cool panicking stuff.
That up there ^
It’s been causing me no end of stress, excitement, anxiety, and frantic planning. But there you have it. The first book in my YA science fiction trilogy: The Chameleon (The Domino Project Book One) will go out into the world on August 4th, 2015.
On August 4th.
A lot of things have led to this. It was the book that got me my first agent, the first book that went out on sub. The first book has been polished and pretty since 2012, but what with it being set in a world rebuilt after the aftermath of massive asteroid devastation – my timing was off. Books two and three have been in first draft form since 2011. As a whole, it’s been shelved since mid 2013.
By the time it comes out, it’ll have been gathering dust for 2 years. Well, not really. I’m just finishing up its last developmental pass (because, let’s face it, I’ve grown as a writer in the last few years). In a couple of days it will be sent out for copy edits. The cover is being worked on by a fantabulous artist – and all engines are go.
Don’t get me wrong, I still plan to pursue traditional publishing with books that haven’t been through sub hell. But for the books that have weathered that storm: My timing is always off, my luck is never quite right, my books never land in front of the right editor at the right time. And that’s okay. I’ll keep putting in the hard work, I’m not about to stop writing, and I definitely don’t want to stop the learning curve.
But at the same time I believe the whole point of stories is to be read. Whether it’s by a handful, or a few hundred thousand people – stories should be read. And because I’m a bit of a stickler for well edited books, I’m going to make sure mine’s as polished as possible before I put it out. But I will put it out there and up for preorder by the beginning of July.
The Domino Project is set in the future. It’s filled with psionics, alien/human hybrids, political intrigue and mayhem. Think of it as a sort of mix of Bladerunner and the X-Men (Genosha Island arc).
How can you help? I’m so glad you asked!
If you want to help spread the word, you can sign up for my street team HERE. Like my Facebook Page or add the book on Goodreads. If you enjoy it once you’ve read it, please leave a review in places like Amazon, and Barnes and Noble, or wherever you buy your books. The best thing you can do to help any author, ever, is review and spread the word.
Last but not least, I’ll have a monthly newsletter.
So there you have it. August 4th 2015. Mark the date. In the meantime, just send corgi pictures & cat videos. I’ll be over here freaking out
AKA: How I realized I’m actually a crazy cat lady.
See – this weekend I had the best time. I went to Oklahoma City with one of my best friends Heather Cashman for the OWFI 2015 conference.
I finally got to meet Brenda Drake, L.L. McKiney, and Trisha Leigh, and caught up with Sarah Henning. It was fantastic to meet and hang out with Brent Taylor, Melissa Nasson, Natasha Hanover, and Dawn Allen.
These people have a wealth of knowledge between them, and are some of the kindest loveliest people you’ll ever meet. Generous with their time and expertise – it made for the best conference I’ve attended to date.
And I know, right? Those are actual pictures of me too. Don’t worry, that won’t happen too often.
So OWFI 2015 was fantastic. But now I’ll get to the serious information that I’m sure everyone is dying to hear – how did I find out that I’m actually a crazy cat lady?
This was the first time I’ve left my daughter over night. She got to facetime with me, and that was great. Things were going well and she was dealing. Her grandmother helped my husband out with her, and it was all pretty great.
But you see, I forgot about the cat.
To rewind, my cat is pretty attached to me. He was a rescue, and has been my little baby ever since the first night we brought him home. His sleeping place is the crook of my knees.
And I wasn’t here.
So he terrorized my husband and daughter, woke the little up at 2:30, and she didn’t go back to sleep until 5am… threw up all over the dining room because he got all stressed.
This is how I found out that I am actually a crazy cat lady – and by crazy cat, I mean I literally have a crazy cat. He hasn’t left my side since I got home.
He’s really quite adorable.
And May the Fourth be with you
Never judge a dragon
by her human cover…
Sixteen-year-old Kitty Lung has everyone convinced she’s a normal teen—not a secret government operative, not the one charged with protecting the president’s son, and certainly not a were-dragon. The only one she trusts with the truth is her best friend—and secret crush—the über-hot Bulisani Mathe.
Then a junior operative breaks Rule Number One by changing into his dragon form in public—on Kitty’s watch—and suddenly, the world knows. About dragons. About the Draconic Intelligence Command (DIC) Kitty works for. About Kitty herself.
Now the government is hunting down and incarcerating dragons to stop a public panic, and a new shape-shifting enemy has kidnapped the president’s son. Kitty and Bulisani are the last free dragons, wanted by both their allies and their enemies. If they can’t rescue the president’s son and liberate their fellow dragons before getting caught themselves, dragons might never live free again.
About the Author
Sarah is a 30-something YA author who currently lives in Orlando, FL. She believes that some boys are worth trusting, all girls have power, and dragons are people too.
She’s a proud member of the Gator Nation and has a BS in Mechanical Engineering, but has switched careers entirely. She now works as an Event Coordinator for a County Library. She also blogs at YAtopia.
This is very true of everything. How many times do you, or someone you know, mutter the excuse: I don’t have the time?
In light of recent events, I sincerely believe we have to make the most of our time. Not tomorrow, next month, or sometime next year.
It’s especially true of writing. Because that’s what writing takes. It takes perseverance, guts, ideas, and a bucketload of time dedicated to making it work. Making it work entails, draft after draft, edit after edit — until that bloody thing shines as brightly as you can make it.
And then, it’ll probably need another round of edits, just to make sure.
While some people always want to be a writer, but don’t have the time for it, others sacrifice sleep, outings, food, or a portion of sanity to make the time they need to pursue their dream.
Okay, let’s face it, most of us sacrifice a portion of our sanity anyway.
I digress. The point is, that if you aren’t willing to figure out how to make the time, then the odds are that you either don’t want it enough, or aren’t quite ready to want it that much. Time is constant. It’s always there, ticking down, counting like a pendulum about to cut that rope. You can’t adjust it, because only the Doctor has a Tardis on tap. And you can’t increase it.
The only way you can do it, is to manage your time. Simple, right?
Not so much, because life has this awful way of happening to us. But regardless of this, if you seriously want to write you will make time.
You’ll make time because otherwise that whole talking to yourself might get you locked up.
You’ll make time because otherwise those stories will keep you up every night shouting at you anyway.
You’ll make time because you can’t not
And really, you’ll make time because you owe it to yourself to get those words out, to get that story down, and be the writer you want to be.
So, whether it’s 10 minutes a day you manage to squeeze in before bed, or it’s ten hours a day you have to sit your butt in a chair and hammer out words because you have deadlines and overlords and must write all the words before sundown lest they steal your cat…
You are a writer. Time is there. Make it work with you.
I was going to title this post “Believe in yourself”
But then I realized, as creative types, that’s a bloody hard thing to do. In fact – it’s a difficult thing to do as a human being. Society throws all these different norms at us, all these expectations that have been bred into it over hundreds of years. Finding yourself in all of that kerfuffle? It can be debilitating.
Society even has this cool new trend of not wanting to pay creators for their work… but I digress and that’s a rant for another day, and not what I intended to write here.
If you can’t bring yourself to believe in yourself, or perhaps even your writing – then believe in your story. It’s in your head, and it wants down on paper. It is YOUR story, to be told in a way that only you can tell it. You are its vessel, and the reason it popped into your head is that only you can tell it in the way best suited to it.
Sure – you might need to practice and research, and edit and read… but it’s all part of it.
You may have critique partners, beta readers, editors – but at the end of the day, it’s your story. Don’t just blindly dig your heels in and refuse to make changes, because sometimes suggestions can lead to bigger and better things and make you smile in all sorts of new ways.
But whatever story you’ve chosen to write (or if you’re me it’s the one that bashed all the others into submission and fought to be put down first), remember the reasoning. And whatever your reasoning – it is yours.
If you can believe in nothing else – believe in your story. It is a part of you, and it wants to be written.
And maybe, it’ll help you believe in yourself.