What a fantastic summer this has been so far. I can’t thank everyone enough for all of the tremendous support for my first picture book, Jake the Growling Dog. It has been a #1 New Release in multiple children’s books categories, including books about tolerance, dogs, intermediate readers, and social skills. My illustrator, Kerrie Joyce, and I are overwhelmed with excitement for what is happening and for what is the come. (I may have sent some books to Today and The New York Times Reviewer 😉 )
Guest Blogging Fun!
We continue to collaborate with some awesome momma, family, & literature-loving bloggers.
It’s been a busy year so far. I’ve published two new books, both in two new genres, and two school years are ending for my little ones.
I’ve been busy reaching out to other bloggers to set-up guest posts to spread the word about my new children’s book, so I am sharing them with all of you as they post.
This journey has been marvelous, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that it has also been difficult. Publishing, creating, illustrating, and promoting an indie title isn’t for the faint of heart; yet, it is worth it to bring a story of kindness, mindfulness, gratitude, compassion, and diversity to families, schools, teachers, counselors, and children.
I know some people are confused about the name on the cover. After publishing books, for 5 years, I decided to use my real name for the first time with my children’s book. Since it’s an entirely new genre, I thought it would be the best plan, and there’s something about this story linking to my legal name, Samantha Shannon that feels right. After all, my kiddos don’t call me Parker.
Check this first one out on our friend Valerie’s site, Three Clementines, and give her a follow!
Thank you, and I’d love to hear what you think about the guest post, about the book, and about my dual personalities.
A Fantasy, Paranormal, and Sci-fi Love Story Continues
Last month I discussed the sources that inspired my love for magic. This topic poured over into our first podcast. I mostly discussed movies that inspired me when I was a young child, I’ve decided to continue the topic by moving it to up in years, which to me is still in the ’80s and ’90s (two of the best decades I might add), and relating to books I’ve read or written as well.
Let’s jump right in!
The NeverEnding Story: 1984
The gloriousness of The NeverEnding Story still translates with my kiddos today. This magical movie touched on bullying and loss as well as the power of believing and letting those you’ve lost still live in inside of you even when it can be too hard to even think of them at times.
The movie opens with our lead character, Bastian, being bullied to the point where he has to hide in a dumpster. Later, the boy received a book and found a place to experience the story. While in his world he only appears to be reading, the viewers are sent through a portal into another world where the “nothing” is hellbent on destroying all of Fantasia. Without giving away those dreaded “spoilers,” I’ll just reveal that the story progresses and this normal human boy somehow has power over a place so magical. He doesn’t even believe it himself and makes fantastic friends along the way.
And I have to talk about Falcor: Yes I have a dog that looks like him, how did I not name him that? He almost got named Walker after looking like those formidable dark side, ground assault monstrosities, but we settled on Bodhi. Hey, I was going to name my youngest daughter Anakin if she was a boy, would have been awesome, right?
Magical Worlds and Dimensions in Fantasy Novels
Other worlds, other dimensions had always fascinated me, especially when a seemingly unimportant human became a part of it before realizing their strength, power, and heart when they never thought any of it was possible. While re-reading A Wrinkle in Time, written in 1962, with my oldest, it had me thinking of how the book also sparked the interest in dimensional travel. I knew I loved the novel, but the deep science in those pages was something I had completely forgotten.
Aside from A wrinkle in time, Running with the Demon by Terry Brooks, stars a 14-year-old girl from Illinois, Nest Freemark has a connection to the darkness that may impact the future. In this story, another normal kid has the power, magic, and a crucial impact on the future. It as the also the first time I read something from Mr. Brooks that had such a strong female as his main character. Something that is now the “it” thing. Finally!
Paving the Way for the Powerful Female Lead
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: 1996-2003
We can’t talk about powerful female leads without focusing on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. No one comes to mind sooner that Buffy when I think of a character I related to, grew alongside, and rooted for every week. I also have all of the DVD’s, and it’s my go-to when I’m bummed or sick.
Buffy was a normal, albeit somewhat shallow (I mean most teenagers are at one time or another, I know I had my moments) high school cheerleader. When she becomes the next Slayer, everything changes. What doesn’t change is the camaraderie with her amazing best friends, AKA Scooby Gang, and she doesn’t give up, even after experiencing heaven.
Human Experiences in a Paranormal World
Joss Whedon and the writing team conquered deep topics on the show. No wonder it’s getting an excellent Buffy sequel to the show. From losing your virginity and the guy turning into a complete “monster,” to losing a loved one, studying for tests, moving, oh and saving the world, the covered it all. I cried alongside Buffy, Xander, Willow, Angel (wait, do vampires cry?), and I continue to love, talk about, and reverently recommend the show to this day.
Buffy also jump-started my love for vampires and werewolves. I admit I am more of a lover of a good vampire/paranormal story in book format, but that may just be due to the trickiness of putting the pictures readers, and the writers, form in their heads to something decent on the big screen. Well, Buffy did it perfectly, as well as a few others. Though when asked who my favorite vampires are I easily list Angel and Spike. Oh, and this guy…
In the film, Blade (1998), was one of the movies that captured another form of the vampire world that I truly enjoyed. Not to mention Stephen Doff’s, Deacon Frost and it’s based on a Marvel comic (don’t get me started on Marvel, but we will discuss soon. We must!).
Though, since I said it already (now I can’t stop thinking about it), Ryan Reynolds was in Blade: Trinity where he proved to be a badass before becoming the Merc with the Mouth, Deadpool. Ahhh, Marvel is everywhere. And I love it!
Lastly, bringing the female lead back into the picture and adding in those werewolves, Lycan, is Underworld. Though this one moves into the 2000s, it was released in 2003, it does star Scott Speedman who was in Felicity, 1998, a very non-paranormal/fantasy/horror show, but worth mentioning nonetheless. I’ve digressed, Underworld stars death dealer vampire, Selene, who thought of all Lycans as the enemy until realizing she’s a tool in a war that started well before her time and over power feuds. Her strength, speed, and glowing blue eyes make her my favorite female vampire of all time.
Paranormal & Urban Fantasy Novels
Continuing forward in time to show the evolution of magic in my life, it was 2012 when I first read The Weird Girls by Cecy Robson. Cecy is the paranormal/urban fantasy author whose characters’ remind me of the female strength and friendship in Buffy. Along with the romance, mystery, and suspense, the novels are pages turners for sure. The Wird Sisters each have powers of their own after being cursed, and they are joined by other creatures, heroes, villains, and those on that blurry line sometimes, werewolves, vampires, ghouls, witches, etc.
I could go on forever, I’m sure, but I’ll button this up for now in hopes that you all will share your favorites in the genres that mingle and intersect on many levels. Let’s focus on science fiction next time so I can give my other faves, Star Wars and Star Trek, some love as well.
Thank you for your continued support and stay tuned for the next podcast that you can find right here, as well as another guest blog by Author Jessica Ozment.
Oh, and Happy Birthday to my dad, the one who inspired by love for all things science, fantasy, and magic!
I wanted to introduce everyone to my partner in crime, my artist with the mostest, my talented co-author and creative master, Jessica Ozment. She’s agreed to jump on the crazy train with me some more and create a podcast. We recorded our first show this week. Right afterward, yes cause I know you’ll love what she brought to the show so much, I wanted to have her put her portion of the show into words for the blog. Below she touches on why she wanted to create a podcast and shares her own experiences that led her to write in the fantasy genre.
You can also listen to the full podcast below. Be gentle, it’s our first time.
Most who know me know that I’m guilty of writing and devouring fantasy novels like there’s no tomorrow and that I’m a graphic designer who enjoys building my business, The Magic Quill Graphics…but there’s actually another side to the indie book world I haven’t tapped into yet, which is odd for me because I’ve dipped my feet into just about everything to do with books. I’ve made it my mission to try my hand at anything I can to make connections with readers who might enjoy the things I not only have to say about the books I read and review, but also the projects I put my blood, sweat, and tears into creating from the ground up.
Expanding our reach
For me, establishing Lit Musings, alongside my incredibly talented co-host, Parker Sinclair, was about allowing me to keep up with my amazing readers in a different way, about gaining those crucial new connections in our community that are geared toward the fantasy genre, and to push the work I’ve stolen countless hours from my family time to create. I like the idea of us not only speaking about books here at Lit Musings, but also many other topics that pop up in the indie world we see from day to day.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who believes the indie community is oversaturated with politics, vague booking, and childish conflicts… for this very reason, it is my goal to steer our listeners into more positive issues that actually have something to do with our profession. I’m looking forward to meeting new fantasy and paranormal authors and having them on the show to speak about what drove them into the Indie pool, and how they’ve grown since then. You’ll also find that I will be doing my best to collect trade tips to help you guys on the road to publishing so that we can grow as a team in this community, rather than every man for himself.
A mother’s lasting gift
The last reason I really want to go this direction with pushing myself to be more transparent in the community is because I lost my mother at a very early age, 14. She always nudged me to put my best foot forward and to develop the creative side of my brain that was always trying to take over anyway. She taught me to read, to write and to love myself. She introduced me to my favorite writer, Stephen King…and through that small action, I was able to connect with her even now, with her being long gone. This show, for me, is dedicated to her memory because without it, I wouldn’t be here today.
Igniting a love for fantasy
THE LITTLE MERMAID
I chose to talk about The Little Mermaid in our first podcast. The biggest reason for this is, I’m a water lover. Anything that has to do with underwater worlds and magic really just draws me in, no matter what it’s about. I think I have probably over 50 fish in my house right now that can attest to this fact! I find it interesting that we still have yet to explore most of the oceans, and that we may find so much more if we just put our minds to it and show a little initiative. I love the story behind the little mermaid because it teaches us to love who we are, to not change who we are because we love, and that there are so many people out there that will take what you love away from you to gain the upper hand. It’s such a strong coming of age movie that I think every girl should watch, young and old.
1.) Did you know that the original story about Ariel actually took off the coast of Denmark, where it is said Arendelle (from the movie Frozen, is set to be closely located.)
2,) Unlike most people I’m sure, I haven’t seen the second movie… which apparently explains that Captain Hook is the one who killed Ariel’s mother…
3.) When designing Ariel, artists used Alyssa Milano’s body as inspiration!
4.) Animating a film is a lot of work, and Disney didn’t have the manpower available. Disney hired the Chinese animation studio Pacific Rim to draw over one million bubbles by hand. Wow!
Another amazingly written series I easily fell in love with is the wonderful wizarding world of Harry Potter. Yes, I’m a nerd, haha! There are so many factors that pushed me to read the books and watch all of the movies, like the fact that a 10-year-old boy who had no idea he was magical suddenly has an entire world at his fingertips. A world which opened its doors to a misguided boy as if he never left. His struggles to gain acceptance from his peers and learn the truth of his past hit home with me, and from there, my love of fantasy first bloomed.
1.) J.K Rowling came up with the names of the Hogwarts Houses on the back of a barf bag, yikes!
2.) Dementors actually represented Rowling’s struggle with depression.
4.) And Rowling wrote the final chapter early on while writing the books.
Thanks for letting me jump in and guest blog today. Be sure to check out my latest publication featured in, Where There’s Murder, There’s Mystery: A Suspense Thriller Anthology. Now available for pre-order at the low price of .99 cents! Click here to pre-order today!
Listen to our first Lit Musings podcast right here!
I hope everyone had a lovely weekend. My family and I had some serious sun, and subsequent heat time here in Virginia Beach. My kids were like little fishes the whole time, and I was in the water bringing them back each time the current took them down the shore. Parenthood isn’t for the faint of heart.
Forbidden is done with its re-edits and will release Wednesday, June 6th. I hope you love Sandra’s story as much as I do.
The cover for Only is complete. I hope you love it as much as I do.
The Full Spread
Update on the madhouse!
Lucas, our black barn cat, is back outside and has changed from winter roley poley, to fit and trim wild cat. Of course, when it rains, he likes to be inside, and I think he gave me one of his rare smiles.
That is a smile, right?
Bodhi thinks his smile is better! LOL
Only: The Alex Conner Chronicles Book Three
I am plugging away at Only re-read/re-edit, and it will be to the editor end of June. The plan is for a July re-release, so before that time comes, I’ll be dropping some excerpts and poems that I wrote a long time ago. The poems open each chapter in Only, which is a different set-up than the flashbacks found in Trustand Truth.
Please enjoy an excerpt from Only.
WARNING: Some spoilers may be included below, so if haven’t read Truthor Forbidden, tread carefully. Oh, and there’s some “colorful” Alex language as well.
Blinds drift back than forth as the wind shapes their destiny. Flicker across my face—unending beams of sunlight. Rainbows are seen upon damp eyelashes, kaleidoscopes surrounding. Clarity of pastel colors, bright sparkles, slight heat. Smoke rises, dancing, then disappears as it rides waves of wind and light. Serenity fills this room. I am happy falling asleep … inviting in the night.
If I didn’t have to keep my mouth shut and play along right now, I would tell the damn Fae king exactly what is on my mind. It would be something poetic and beautiful, something like: Listen, ass hat! Your evil lies and treachery will not work! I can see right through your lame-ass tactics. Do you really think you can take me down with some fairy dream dust? I am Alex fucking Conner, the strongest of my kind, so stop being a pussy and give it to me straight. What in the hell do you want from me?
But yelling into the dark, dank coldness of my jail cell will only give him the upper hand and probably have him deciding to starve me again, or maybe send his goons in to rough me up for real this time. Crap, I know I have to keep my new knowledge of what he is trying to do to me secret, but I’ve been down here for nearly two days since I saw Ryan, which could be weeks of worry back in my world, and the only people I have seen are the soldiers bringing me scraps for food and a medic making sure I’m not dying or dead. Their poking and prodding nearly had me choking one of them, but one’s kind of helpless when Fae bodyguards on steroids overtake me and I don’t have my power at my disposal.
I think it’s safe to say that I’m worried his minions could tell I was on to them; Nic’s eyes on my back could have burned a hole right through me. Plus, I might be using all these bold, brave words in my head, but the truth is, I only recently started reconnecting with my power in my own world, and I’m only mimicking what I’ve been told about my strength and heritage. I’ve only had a taste of what I am truly capable of a few times. Once when I was fourteen and shoved Steven into a hell dimension, another when I brought Shane back from the brink of death, and then just recently when I helped my father break free from the Demon who had possessed him, the fiend having succeeded in making my dad do terrible things before I even knew he was still alive. That was back when I thought my next step in protecting our world was to find the puppeteer behind my dad’s entrapment. All of that changed the night I thought the only action I’d be seeing was to do with finally having Ryan’s naked body in my bed. Boy, was I mistaken.
Okay, enough dwelling and pouting. It’s time to figure out how in the hell I am going to get out of here. I can’t risk my friends getting caught, which is why I warned Sandra that dream-Nic was asking about her through our barely holding on, crazy telepathy-thingy. Apparently Ryan had already told her; how he knew when he wasn’t there is a mystery to me. Sandra and I agreed to lay low and not contact each other. Who knows if the king could use it against us? At least Ryan and Valant gave me another tool to help me fight the king’s attempts to take my memories, my life, from me. The weight of the small metal bead where it lies attached to the feather in my hair is nearly as light as the feather itself, but I know it’s there and it’s saved me more than once. Touching Ryan in the Fae dream, his skin, his body pressed against me was as real as the last time we held each other; it makes sense—our minds are the reason we see, feel, and taste anything. Too bad that, for the most part, mine is being hijacked by King Douche.
The door at the top of the stairs opens. Its wood-and-stone body dragging against the floor makes my skin crawl with its grating chorus. I think I may have gotten daddy-dearests attention. He deserves the nickname. The King rarely speaks of Lestan, but he made sure that I knew he blamed me for his son’s death. Although it seems he wants someone else in his world. Whois the puzzle, oh, and why. Maybe it’s time to ask for forgiveness again. Ask to try to bring Lestan back? Hard to think that will work when it’s pretty obvious that the king does not care. Goddess, what in the hell do I say to someone who’s crazier than I am?
Footsteps, from more than one person, clump down the steps. I look at the world’s worst friendship bracelet there on my wrist, ready to burn my ass to shit if I try to escape. No, I won’t be busting out when the cell door opens, especially now I can no longer reach Gaia’s power to send me home. That connection has been severed, though I know its raw energy flowed into me in the dream. Must have been coming through Ryan, just as it was when we stood together against the Demon in my father. Not to mention, and I mean really this is bullshit, I am a dimensional traveler, which is super cool, but when I really need to use it, can I? No, I can’t. Fricking sweet.
My pity party is cut off when two medics, one a burly older woman who’s been the main angel of death for me the last few days leading the march, while a new and much younger assistant follows with her head down. I try to get a better look at the newbie but not only is her face hidden by long red hair, it also appears to be shifting. She’s using a cloaking spell. Well, I’m familiar with that trick. I’ve used it on many occasions. Wonder rises to the surface, along with curiosity about what’s going on here and if her companions know what she’s doing. I keep my mouth shut for now. Something pokes at my awareness, something calming and reassuring, but also teeming with suppressed vengeance.
Stay tuned for more excerpts from Only, and from Synced, my new Sci-fi fantasy novel coming Fall 2018.
Let me know what you think about the new cover for Only, and don’t forget that Forbidden releases next Wednesday, June 6th. Join my newsletter for a FREE ebook & a FREE sample today by clicking here.
Thank you for all of your support, encouragement, and the lovely reviews from you all. I love hearing from you, so keep the emails coming.
I hope everyone is finally warming up in your neck of the woods. I think we’ve gone straight from winter to summer in Eastern Virginia. I’m sorry that I’ve been off of my blog for a while. Changing careers, writing, focusing on re-branding my urban fantasy/paranormal romance series, The Alex Conner Chronicles, and the reorganization my life (does this really ever end) have interrupted my blogging plans. My plan for the next few months is to highlight some of the authors who have inspired me in the fantasy genre. So let’s get to it!
Amazing Female Authors
It still shocks me when I think back to the books I’ve read. I don’t think I noticed that mainly men wrote the fantasy books I poured over, but, maybe I did. Perhaps subconsciously I thought about it, and it’s why I never believed I could do it. Then I found Robin McKinley, Kim Harrison, Jeaniene Frost, Patricia McKillip, and Cecy Robson. I watched True Blood on HBO and had to pick up Charlaine Harris’ books and started to feel like; you know what, I can do this. I had been writing all of my life, my mind created worlds, characters and creatures non-stop. I just had to do it.
The sassy, strong, powerful female leads in these novels are alive and kicking ass in these contemporary, epic fantasy, urban fantasy, and paranormal novels. All my genres of interest had light touches on my first three, and very messy, chapters that I had put together. These female authors continue to motivate me to do and to get better at my craft, so I wanted to highlight the ones I feel have brought me to where I am now. Though many of them may have a newer series and books out, I am focusing on the books that moved me, that set my butt into gear, and brought my stories to life.
May’s highlighted author is: Kim Harrison.
Kim Harrison: The Hallows Series
I own most of the paperback and hardbacks for this series, and I’m on my 2nd read-through. Yes, they are that good. Rachel Morgan is an earth witch and a runner, think paranormal bounty hunter. The series starts out with Rachel leaving a government agency where she’s being treated like to crap to work on her own. Little does she know she’ll soon have two partners, a smart-mouthed pixy and a vampire who loathes herself.
Magic and Action
You’ll immerse in a world that exists after humanity was nearly wiped out by a virus, and the supernatural species came out of hiding. This series packs loads of action, humor, some romance, and magic. The books introduce more and more details about the other species as you move through it, and lots of baddies for Rachel to face off against in ever novel. There’s something for every paranormal lover with witches, demons, werewolves, pixies, vampires, fairies, elves, trolls, and others.
Below are only some of the books, but I wanted you to see her first one, Dead Witch Walking, and then the progression. There are 14 books in all, one of them is a prequel. Rachel also pops up in Kim’s new series about Peri Reed.
Kim has been truly inspirational in my writing and was the first writer to show me all the badass main character can be, strong, weak, clumsy, and unstoppable. Don’t miss this series, Rachel Mariana Morgan is one of the best Urban Fantasy characters out there.
June’s author highlight and another author who has strongly impacted me and my writing will be, Jeanine Frost, and her “The Night Huntress Series.”
Thank you for taking the time to read over my blog. I love hearing from fans, so please contact me at any time!
For free books and samples, join my newsletter today by clicking here.
How is everyone? I hope some of you are seeing buds and unfurling leaves on the trees, though I know we’ve been in freezing rain, so our daffodils are season confused.
I’m plugging away at Truth’s re-edits. It should be in my editor’s hands next week and ready to re-release the end of March. If I’m going see any of you at my events this year, I’ll have it with me! Woohoo. In the meantime, I have a new excerpt for you below.
My cover artist and I are also working on re-doing the cover for Forbidden, the next in the series and Sandra’s first novel. I’ll send a sneak peek in a couple of weeks, but one hint, this one is steamy!
At the crazy house, the cats have been taking over our room and now our bed. Lucas is quite the ham for the camera! He scares me a little, his teeth and claws are huge and extremely sharp. LOL
“Meow Meow, I won’t hurt you, I purrmise”
(Yeah, right! I’ll keep my digits thank you.)
Scroll down for a new excerpt from Truth which is re-releasing the end of this month, 2 giveaways with over 25 other authors from paranormal mystery, thrillers, sci-fi, & fantasy.
OH, and don’t miss the FREE book link for the newly re-released and rebranded version of Trust: The Alex Conner Chronicles Book One.
Here’s a new excerpt from the re-releasing ARC version of Truth. (Alex finally finds out about mom’s past.)
We whoosh in a circle within the magical dome; I grip my chair with white knuckles as we spin around like Disney Tea Cups. I seriously think we are going to take flight, but instead, the world around us begins to fade, and a new one drops around us reminding me of a Star Trek simulator. I can see the familiar surroundings of the Colorado National Monument, near Grandmom’s land. Towers of rock loom over us and the sun is beginning its true display of color in fantastic desert sunset fashion. I’m just getting my bearings when I hear voices and instinctively take a defensive tackle’s crouch behind my chair. Ya, like its vinyl measiliness is going to protect me.
“Ease up there, Bruce Lee, no one can see or hear us. We’re merely observers on this ride.” She cackles at me and places Silver-Vex in her bag before removing a canteen and taking a long swig, of what I do not know. She offers it to me, but I shake my head emphatically. This is already trippy enough. I don’t need any of Dana’s special anything at the moment. Besides, I have a few words for her chuckling ass.
“Well, maybe a little heads up on how this is going to work would have been nice!” I snap, standing out of my crouch and furiously brushing off my clothes, though nothing is there. “It’s not like we just did this yesterday. Or ever, for that matter.” I know it’s the anticipation making me tense. Even though I may get bruised and battered from time to time, I know I am always safe with her. I think… The voices come from over a small rise, so Dana and I begin to walk toward the ebb and flow of the excitedly happy tones. I am pretty sure that we are far into a trail of the Monument, so there is no mistaking what lies ahead. Muted reds, pinks and gold’s surround us as we walk along the trail flanked by rocks, cactus, brush, and the occasional skittering lizard.
This is the Devil’s Kitchen Trail, the rock formations unique and powerful. I tingle from the distinct and familiar ebb and flow of Gaia’s Earthen energy, not only in the desert floor, but also from the four figures huddled together on the massive rock centerpiece. Towering over a boulder that is big enough to easily fit the four young adults are natural pillars forming the desert’s skyscrapers. It is both awe-inspiring and, at this moment, unsettling as some of the power signatures on that boulder are wired so hot that it is obvious that they are capable of great and terrible things. My mother’s blond hair drifts above her head, forming a stunning vision of twinkling golden stars amongst sunlight-tickled strands. A strong, tanned hand smoothes down the strands before resting on her side and pulling my mom close. She eases in comfortably, and my breath catches. This is my father; I know it in an instant.
I can’t help myself, and apparently my feet can’t help me either as the bumbling idiot that I am nearly bites it into solid rock as I make my way down the trail to get a closer look. I mean, can you blame me? I have never seen this man in the flesh, this man of my flesh. I find another large boulder and clamor atop it to get a better look my parents. My dad’s long dark hair tumbles around his eyes, thick locks of brown. I touch my own hair knowing that I am his child; I have his hair, his lips and his…I gasp at the sight of his green eyes. Those familiar orbs are intensely staring at my mother and the feeling of love he is giving off toward her is enough to take my breath away and to understand what this man means to her, and why she fell apart when he was gone.
“Okay, lovebirds, do you think you two can focus on something other than each other for a second? Are we going to do this or not?” The source of the voice grates on my nerves, not only for its interruption, but also for the obvious fact that the bad and powerful mojo I am picking up is primarily radiating from him, the other guy. Why are my parents here with this creep? Can’t she tell he is bad news?
“Why is my mother here with that guy? Can’t she sense that?” I speak out loud, shaking my head and berating my mom with my eyes. A hand lands softly on my shoulder. I jump at Dana’s touch even though I knew she was here.
“The redhead next to your mom is her best friend Gillian, and that boy whose intentions you are rightfully questioning is Gillian’s boyfriend Bryan. Your grandmother was never a fan of your mother’s friends, aside from your father, Alexander that is; perhaps she sensed something in Bryan as well. These four were inseparable since they were kids; all very bright, but like most young adults they could be reckless and stuck in their own worlds and desires.” Part of me knows she is also talking about me and my teeth gnaw at the side of my lip. His name, so close to my own, continues to make my longing to meet him fanned by a tumultuous flame.
“You have to remember that you’re a very strong, observant Earthen Protector, and a Healer. You can sense things that others, who may have been the strongest of us at the time, couldn’t even pick up on. I agree that Bryan appears to be more than just an annoying twit, but regardless of what we think now, they were close friends and they obviously trusted each other. Plus, your mother has a lot of mixed wiring going on at this moment.” Dana glances at my mother. I follow her gaze and see my mother carefully hold and at times, caress her stomach. She is glowing and smiling, I mean really fucking smiling like I have never seen her smile before.
“Are you kidding me? Am I in there? I’m here? Well, I guess kind of here right now? Aren’t two worlds going to collide into cosmic destruction or something?” Dana places her hand on my arm, attempting to calm me. Feeling my legs quiver, I lower myself onto the large rock we’re standing on.
“Easy there. You’ve seen way too many movies. You’re like a little zygote in there, so there’s no chance of you meeting yourself; not today at least.” Ha, ha, isn’t she funny? I, on the other hand, can’t stop staring at my mother, at her hand touching where I would continue to grow, and my stunned realization that whatever happens right here, right now, I was a part of it on some level.
Truth: The Alex Conner Chronicles Book Two coming March 2017
Today, I have a fun surprise that I’d like to share with you. I’ve teamed up with 25 fantastic authors to give away a huge collection of paranormal mysteries & thrillers to 2 lucky winners, PLUS a brand new eReader to the Grand Prize winner!
Oh, and did I mention you’ll receive a collection of FREE ebooks just for entering? ;D You can win my novel, Trust, plus books from authors like Duncan Simpson and R.S. Broadhead
I’m often asked when and how I started writing. When I think back, most of my writings were either journal entries or poems and lyrics. I love music, something my family ingrained in me from birth. Perhaps that’s why my writing often has a lyrical tone. I enjoyed poetry, still do, and I have used my previously written poetry books in my newest novel, Only: The Alex Conner Chronicles Book Three, using entire or partial poems to begin each chapter. It was incredible to go back in time by using writings that both brought back memories and reawakened raw emotions.
When I released Eve of the Exceptionals, I was able to go into local middle and high schools to speak to students about my journey to becoming a writer and to read from the new YA epic fantasy adventure/happily ever after romance. After working in education in some capacity since I was eighteen years old, it was nice to come back to the schools and have left a lasting impression. From book clubs with fifteen students to multiple class filling an auditorium, each presentation carried a special message about chasing your dreams, following your heart, overcoming even the toughest of roadblocks, and finding your way back.
At the end of each program I took questions, and nearly every time I was asked what guidance I can give to anyone hoping to write a book. The best advice I provided, and still choose to today, is just to let your inhibitions or any feelings of perfection go, and just write. Don’t get stuck on finding the right word, or describing a scene as descriptively as possible. Get it all down first. The story is in your head and I’ve found the process is very organic, so you will get to where your going, and even make some fascinating detours along the way.
The other common question was about how I deal with writer’s block. I’ve found that the more agitated I got with myself for not writing, the worse my wrier’s block became. I think the block can sometimes be our mind telling us to take a break. After the block had gone away, I found my ideas and creativity was overflowing. Other times, I switched to another story idea, or blog, and then came back to where I was stuck–that also seemed to shake things loose.
Whether you are a writer, or dreaming of becoming one, I think we are happiest when we are writing in some capacity. That can be in a journal, writing poems and songs, working on a book, or writing a blog. Just as with the students I visited in my city, I hope sharing my story can help you write yours!
Parker Sinclair is the Author of Trust: The Alex Conner Chronicles Book One, Truth: The Alex Conner Chronicles Book Two, & Forbidden: An Alex Conner Chronicle Novella adult contemporary fantasy novels and my first YA Epic Fantasy novel: Eve of the Exceptionals. Only: The Alex Conner Chronicles Book Three available now for pre-order. Official release date is July 14th! Check out samples for all of my books on Amazon, Smashwords, BN, Kobo, & iBooks.
As promised, here is part two of the adventures of a newbie author, and it’s all about–Street Teams.
What is a Street Team?:
You may already have your team set-up and you don’t even know it.
Your team is comprised of your die-hard fans who like and share all of your social media posts.
They pass out info to people about you, and your books.
They’ve read everything you have written, some of them may have been your beta readers, and they write awesome reviews!
They attend your events passing out swag, wearing your gear (t-shirts, buttons, stickers), and talking to future fans.
They get lots of free stuff! Books and other cool swag.
They truly go above and beyond to help spread the word about you and your books.
How do I make my Street Team Legit?
I’m so glad you asked! That is what I am doing, right now!
First: Come up with a catchy name! Mine is PSST! The Alex Conner Chornicles Crew
The name should reflect your books or a certain series. Since I am going to write a wide range of books, I made this one Alex Conner Specific under the larger umbrella of PSST (Parker Sinclair Street Team). My new book, The Eve of the Exceptionals will have the Eve’s Ryzing Stars.
It’s all in the name! These are the loyal fans who help you get to the top, don’t the deserve a sweet name? Exactly!
Once you have the name and you’ve spoken to some members, blog about the new Team so you can get even more members.
Share the blog with everyone and to everyone.
What to send your team:
I am currently working on a lot of cool swag for me team: t-shirts, I’ve had buttons made, and I plan on making stickers and buttons to provide each member.
I have lots of cards to pass out, and codes for discounted books.
Before a major event that they will be attending with you, stock them up on all of the swag items. Maybe you pre-make goody bags for them to hand out, or let them do their thing.
Free books! Whether its eBooks or paperback, your team gets them when they first come out, sometimes even earlier!
So there it is, in a nutshell. I love my Street Team! You know who you are, and if anyone would like to join The Alex Conner Chronicles Crew, please comment below or message me.
Author of Trust: The Alex Conner Chronicles Book One,Truth: The Alex Conner Chronicles Book Two, &Forbidden: An Alex Conner Chronicles Novella adult contemporary fantasy under the name Parker Sinclair.