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Where the Sun Always Shines

We are proud to share that our very own Crystal L. Kirkham has taken the reins of a new anthology project aimed at collecting uplifting, feel-good, happy ending stories to shine some light in these dark times in which we are living.

We will be partnering with Crystal to help bring this project to the world. In addition to providing the cover shown, we will be organizing the licensing, copyrighting, ISBN, and other publishing details. We will also be hosting the finished product on our website for free. This is a volunteer-based project, and as such there will never be a charge for the book.

To find out more about submitting to this anthology, please visit Crystal L. Kirkham’s website, HERE.

To ensure timely processing, please do not submit queries or stories to our email. We are only handling the back-end production and distribution, while Crystal is leading the way from the front on this. Any questions should be directed to the email address listed on the page linked above.

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Transcript: Our Twitter Chat with Michael D. Nadeau

Our chat with Michael D. Nadeau, author of The Darkness Returns, A Lythinall Novel: Book One begins now! Thank you for hanging out with us on your big day! What else do you have planned to celebrate your release?

Michael: I’m having a book signing at my local Barnes and Noble (Manchester, NH) with some other authors (a lot more famous than myself I might add) and generally having a great day handing out coloring pages to kids there as well!

Us: That’s right! We wish we could be there to support you. We will be in spirit! 🙂

Michael: I could use a good couple of ghosts there with me to keep things light – LOL.

Us: Getting right into it, here’s a question submitted by Sam Hendricks. “The characters in The Darkness Returns are so real, and the world is so lived in, that at times I forgot I wasn’t really there with them. How long did it take you to build such a realistic world?”

Michael: I’ve been building worlds for so long in our weekly games that it just kind of happened without much thought. Steal a piece from this adventure, a castle from that one and it just fell into place. So really if you fall in love with Lythinall, you’re actually playing in all of our games and worlds reimagined in book form. Kind of surreal now that I think of it.

Us: That’s actually very surprising. Everything fits together so well, I would never have imagined it came together like that!

Michael: All I had to do was draw a rough map and it was like…”Oh yeah, I’ll use that piece here, and OH that story with the faeries I sent to my friend Kevin would fit there…”

Us: Your answers to that last question apply to this one as well, so maybe you can expand on it. This is a question submitted by one of your editors, B.K. Bass. “I know you’ve done a lot of tabletop roleplay gaming. How did that influence your writing and worldbuilding?”

Michael: It’s a huge influence. That’s how I started to tell stories after all. Once I started running games and realized I had to come up with details for the players I kind of found my little piece of heaven. It was like breathing clean air after living in smog. It was so much fun to create taverns and cities that sometimes that’s all we did, and when I learned to create Gods and pantheons, along with entire worlds…well let’s just say we went through our fair share of burning them down as well. And the fun part is that even my wife played. That’s who Shyi is in the beginning of the book. My beloved Shyi was her character. We had so much fun that writing just came as part of the deal. I started even writing short stories for my friends for gifts and such.

Us: That’s amazing. Speaking of characters, here’s a question submitted by another one of your editors, Sarah LaChance. ” If you had to pick only one of your characters to have a drink with, who would it be and why?”

Michael: Wow… Ok, I would have to say Karsis. Even though he is the personification of my oldest character, mixed with all the sarcasm I have bottled up inside of me at any three moments, I would love to just talk shop with him and see what trouble we could get into… epic.

Us: The Darkness Returns is the first novel in the series. Without giving away any spoilers, what’s next? Is the whole series already written? Do you have a plan for how many there will be? Will you ever open the world and let others write in it?

Michael: LOL! Well yes, the main story is all written so don’t worry I won’t let anyone hang. The next book is The Darkness Within where we see the rest of the Companions of Everknight and everyone meets in that great city. Then I have a set of short stories based on side characters and tertiary characters. explaining some of the little things in the other books. Then we move on to the finale, The Darkness Falls. War, bad guys, and a finish that gave me goosebumps and tears. I honestly can’t freaking wait for all of you to see it, and I have plans to pull a Star Wars thing. Go back and tell the companions stories and then jump back forward to the Kings messengers as well, maybe expand to the other nations around Lythinall.

Reader Questions

*We’ll try and keep this updated as new questions are posted on Twitter (July 12th, 2019).

DK Marie: What inspired you to write The Darkness Returns?

Michael: Besides the role-playing? Well, I was telling a friend to find a job that included the things he liked to do and he turned it back on me saying that I haven’t done that. So I took a step back and said, “Shit he’s right.” So I decided to try my hand at a fully fledged story. Viola!

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Author Advice Blog: Points to Remember as You Begin the Journey to Literary Fame

Written by: Aisha Tritle

Wouldn’t it be great if your book could do all the interviews, signings, parties, podcasts, guest blogs, and newspaper articles…while you stayed at home, drank tea (or beer), and worked on the next book?

Oh, well.

An author’s job encompasses more than just brainstorming, writing, and editing. You’re the face of your book (aside from the cover, of course). You’re also the voice – not just the voice within the pages, but the public voice. Outside of writing, author life is all about outreach, presentation, and publicity, baby.

Below are some points to remember as you embark on your journey to literary fame:

1. There will already be lists online. Because there are already lists online for practically everything.

What sort of lists? General book bloggers, Sci-Fi book reviewers, blogs looking for authors to interview…I guarantee someone else has already done the research for you. Take some time to google and you’ll find lists composed with the contacts you need. Here are some examples below:

https://blog.reedsy.com/book-review-blogs/

https://kindlepreneur.com/book-review-blogs/

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1258171-bloggers-looking-to-interview-authors

Use these lists to book your own blog tour. Bloggers love hearing directly from authors.

2. The Pitch.

Sometimes your book is enough to get you in, sometimes not. Make sure you know how to pitch yourself along with your book. You are your book’s ambassador, after all. Are you able to drive significant traffic to their blog through your social media profiles? Let them know. Did you just win a writing award? Mention it.

Another thing, though – when it comes to pitching your book to the people on your list, make sure you point out why their reader demographic will be interested. Is the blog name “A Court of Thorns,” with a roses theme? Is your book stylistically in the vein of A Court of Thornes and Roses? Connect the dots for them.

3. Play up what makes you…you.

Whatever makes you unique outside of writing can increase the amount of attention your writing gets. Are you an entrepreneur? Apply to be on a podcast focusing on entrepreneur stories. Do you have a beetle collection? Approach the editorial staff of a magazine for coleopterists to discuss a feature. You get the idea. People who connect with you on one level will normally take interest in what you do outside of that.

4. Play it up on social. Really play it up on social.

Are you on social media? If not, get on it. You don’t have to go all out and join Tik Tok (unless you want to, of course), but make sure you have the basics: Instagram, Twitter, and a Facebook page. Not only will your readers enjoy connecting with you, but social media is a great tool in building your author brand (a story for another time).

This is where presentation comes into play.

Were you featured in that coleopterist magazine? Don’t be shy. Promo the heck out of it. Squeeze every last bit of content you can get out of it – tastefully, of course. Don’t make it seem like that feature is the only feature you’ll ever get.

But this is your life now. You get featured in magazines. Let the people know.

5. Prep. See if you can get questions beforehand for any recorded interviews.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve definitely given answers I’ve regretted. Your fans won’t want to hear silence or incoherent bumbling when you’re asked what your “process” is or what exactly spurred your journey to becoming a writer. Prep for as much as possible – and if the interviewer is willing to give you a list of questions beforehand, get them.

Even better if the interviewer wants to review your answers beforehand to catch any kerfluffles. This will help you avoid situations such as when I told an interviewer that my dad was from “Iowa,” and we went through the rest of the interview with her thinking my dad was from Ireland.

6. Publicity leads to publicity.

Just like one publishing deal helps lead to the next, publicity leads to more publicity. Your cred is being established. The more cred you have, the more people will be interested and take you seriously.

Once you get the ball rolling, the interviews, features, and followers will start picking up. The initial push is the hardest, but once you get through that, things will get easier and the success rate for your outreach efforts will become higher. I promise.

You’re here to sell books and build your career as an author. Are you ready?

***


Aisha Tritle is a novelist, playwright, actress, musician, marketer and tea fiend. She has studied with famed acting coach John Kirby and at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. Turning her hand to plays, she completed two One-Act Comedies in 2016: of which, one was recently performed and published in the U.K. Aisha spends her days in sunny Los Angeles producing films, marketing for innovative tech companies, and working on her true passion of writing novels.

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Q&A with Anthony D. Redden, Author of “Dead Boat” on Friday 10/26 at 12PM ET!

Hello readers!

As you might’ve noticed, “Dead Boat” by Anthony D. Redden comes out on Friday! We’ll be posting about it all day Friday, giving away free copies and merchandise, and holding a question and answer session with the author on Twitter.

 

Q&A

At 12:00 PM ET, we’ll begin asking Anthony a few questions on Twitter. You can follow along, ask your own questions, and otherwise engage with us about horror stories, fark fantasy, and all things Dead Boat! We’ll recap the Q&A on Facebook as well.

Speaking of interviews with Anthony, have you seen the one he did for us when he first signed his book deal? Check it out below!

 

An Interview with Anthony D. Redden

1) What are your favorite kinds of stories to read?

I like to read stories that engage and tantalize my senses. Especially dark science-fiction and horror that explore believable yet unpleasant truths. I love to be shocked by what lies behind the dirty cracks of futuristic utopias.  

2) Who are your favorite authors?  

I grew up on a diet of Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett and James Herbert. I devoured their every word and continue to be inspired by the worlds they created.  

3) Other than what you are already publishing, what else do you enjoy writing about?  

I write short stories. Horror, science-fiction, fantasy, even the odd bit of poetry and children’s stories. I also write movie reviews for an online entertainment magazine which is a great way to unwind. I’m currently working on a number of YA novellas and co-author of a hopefully soon to be released extreme horror novel.  

4) What books and/or authors would you count among your primary influences?  

Pretty much anything written by the late and great Douglas Adams or James Herbert. They had such unique voices and styles that I can’t help but be enamored by their talent. Mix them up with a bit of Terry Jones, Terry Pratchett, Clive Barker and Roald Dahl, and you have a cocktail of my literary influences.  

5) Do you have an overall message you wish to convey with your work?  

Even in the darkest depths of despair and oppression, a tiny spark of light can exist, and that possibility excites me. I thrive upon the what-ifs and maybes. If I can evoke an emotional response, get a reader to question their own understanding of things, create a lingering thought or uneasy feeling, or simply entertain, then my job has been done.  

6) What is it about speculative fiction that draws your interest?  

I love the endless possibility of speculative fiction. The freedom to explore and create unique and amazing worlds and characters. The blank canvas that begins with every new adventure, and the mystery for me as a writer, as to where I am going to end up.   

7) Do you have any interesting hobbies or pursue any other artistic endeavors?  

I work a full-time job, am currently studying toward an MA in creative writing, write movie reviews for a magazine, have a wife and three children, not forgetting two cats, and all of my other writing projects, I barely have time to sleep at night let alone pursue other hobbies or artistic endeavors. Would be nice, but no.    

8) Outside of books, what is your favorite format of storytelling?  

Writing is my medium of storytelling; however, I absolutely love movies. Whenever I write, I imagine the scenes playing out in my head as if I am watching a private movie. I also like to listen to music which I find can help to stir the create juices, however, it’s really got to be movies, everyone likes a good movie.