Category Archives: Writing
Tomorrow is the big day and I am STOKED.
I’ve spent the past week and a half on overdrive and I’ll finally get to see the fruits of my labor.
OR WILL I?
Tomorrow is the first day of MANY years that Communion will be available to the world. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to be a stellar first day that proves to everyone I’m going to be a successful writer. In fact, most people who buy Communion tomorrow will be you faithful readers of this blog and friends I’ve met since becoming more active on the internet.
More readers and fans won’t come until later, some of them much later than tomorrow. Despite all my blogging and tweeting and commenting, the internet is a big place. It’ll be a LONG time before even a fraction of the internet knows Communion even exists, let alone considers buying it.
TOMORROW IS THE FIRST STEP
At this point, I’m getting tired of first steps. I thought planning the novel was it, then writing the first page, then revising it. But no, all of that was just the warm-up. Tomorrow, I cross the line from being unpublished to published. I’m out there. There’s a chance that strangers I’ve never met before will find me and come to know who I am (or what I say of in my ABOUT section).
But just like novel-writing is a marathon that took a great deal of time to complete, so is a successful writing career. Regardless of how well or how terrible Communion does tomorrow or even this month, I have to keep pushing on. I have many more books to write. Maybe I’ll see a return on my time and money invested with this first book. Maybe not until the third. Either way, I have to keep writing.
SOMEONE IS GOING TO DISLIKE THIS BOOK
Actually, I can think of at least 3 people who told me Communion wasn’t their cup of tea. All three were older (30+) women, which is completely outside of my target audience. Two of these three said they liked my writing style and want to see more work for me, but Communion wasn’t it for them.
There are going to be others who aren’t so nice. All of the greatest books I’ve ever read have 1-star reviews. Sometimes I read those reviews and think, “there’s no way this guy read the same book I did.” Regardless, it is what it is. You can’t please everyone.
So, I’ve spent the past two weeks going over Communion in my head, scene by scene, trying to predict what people will dislike. I’ve done calculations in my head to come up with how much I need to sale to become a full-time writer.
But enough is enough. The world gets its first taste of my dhampir tomorrow. I won’t sit back and wait. Instead I begin a month of aggressive marketing (release day party, blog tour, tweets, etc.). I’ve been watching the book market for over a year now, waiting for my chance to compete. Tomorrow, I enter the fray.
I’ll be attending Creatures, Crimes, and Creativity in Baltimore, MD in September.
No, this isn’t to promote my debut novel Communion. Maybe one day I’ll have that kind of following, but right now I’m simply going as an unpublished author and a fan, looking to network.
There are a bunch of panes I’m looking forward to. Some are easy choices, such as
What makes a hero
Building a great series
Magic in “real life” and fiction
But, like all conferences, there’s always that hour that has TWO panels you want to attend at the same time. I’m torn between ‘What to Expect from Publishers and Editors’ (has a lot of business implications) and ‘Handling Sex in Crime/Fantasy Fiction’ (let’s just say things get steamy in the Communion sequel).
I’ll also be looking for booths ran by any authors who have self-published their books as ebooks only. I’m interested in doing this at some point in the future, but it would be nice to get some ideas on how it’s done first.
I won’t purchase a table for myself, but I will be giving out Communion bookmarks to anyone I happen to talk to.
But, it’s the first conference I’ll be attending… EVER. Any tips?
With Communion in the hands of Beta-readers and my most recent project Sparkle ready to be published on Wattpad later this week, I’m not sure what I should write next. Although, it will likely involve vampires.
To give a little bit of background about myself, I always told myself I would NEVER write a vampire story. Then I worked on a story called Lamia’s Dream, which uses succubi. My succubi drain a person’s emotional energy, kind of like a psychic vampire. While on break from that story, I wrote Communion, which centers around creatures called dhampir.
Now I can’t get enough of the blood suckers and I’m thirsty for another vampire story. To figure out where I should go with vampires next, it’d be helpful to know what’s been done with the night time terrors before.
Here are some common vampire storylines:
Romance: A female (usually human) and a male (usually vampire). In Lamia’s Dream, I tried to switch it up by having a human male and female succubus pairing.
Love slave: This falls under romance, except the human (usually female) is a slave to the vampire.
Revenge: Vampires killed the protagonist’s family. Now the protag is gonna make those fang faces pay!
Vamp/Human Hybrid: Protag is has a vampire parent and human parent. Is often a vampire hunter.
Rebellion: The vampires are the reigning authority and someone has the stop them.
Horror: In the spirit of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the humans have no special abilities but have to fight a supernatural foe.
Comedy/Parody: Some vamps just wanna stay out of trouble, but trouble has a way of finding them!
Coming of age: This one also isn’t vampire specific. But a younger vampire “grows up” (so to speak) to become a more mature vampire.
Fledgling: This is like the coming of age story. But it usually focuses on the human who was first turned into a vampire and they’re struggle to adapt. Communion would fall under this category.
This list isn’t meant to be all-inconclusive. In fact, I might be missing some. Can you think of any other examples of the vampire storylines?
Not sure what everyone else uses for their first blog post, so I’ll take some time to introduce myself:
I’m 25. I’m a graduate of North Carolina State University where I majored in Psychology and minored in Japanese. I currently live in Southern Maryland.
I wrote a lot as a kid. I began a new story (or 3 or 4) every school year but rarely completed them. I finally finish one when I was 16. It was about ninjas. It was really bad.
Communion, my first completed novel worth self-publishing, will be released October 1st. Writing it was a labor of love (sometimes more of a labor), but I’m eagerly looking forward to writing about Les and the other dhampir in the near future.
My values as a writer include:
Write High-Quality Books
Notice I didn’t phrase it as a “writing a good story.” While this is paramount to having a good book, another aspect writers need to think about is the quality of the book. A riveting story can easily be ruined by typos and poor editing.
The Young Adult fiction is in desperate need of more stories from a male perspective. Even more scarce are male protagonists of minority. Communion and my other current project (which is still untitled) both center around African-American males in high school. I use a cast from different racial and religious backgrounds, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status.
What does this have to do with writing books? The books that you write say a lot about you as a person. I want my books to have a good message. That doesn’t mean that I always use morally good characters or non-offensive content. But even the worst of us have something to say that could benefit the rest.
If I didn’t have fun writing it, I doubt you’ll have fun reading it.
So that’s all for now. I have a condensed version of this in the “About” section. Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to know or see added to that section.