Archive for October, 2013

Someone once told me they were my “#1 fan”. And I talked with them at length about that. Why? Because I want readers, not fans.

A fan is the groupie at the rock concert, the screaming person on the rail as the stars walk the red carpet. A fan shoves a pencil and piece of paper in your hand. A fan borders on obsession with you, your work, your characters.

A reader is that…they read your books. They email you and ask in depth questions about the character’s motivations. They follow your blog, twitter, FB, and snatch up the newest book on release day. They’re polite, inquisitive, and intelligent.

They engage you in conversation on FB. Answer questions you’ve asked about topics ranging from box sets to new releases to possible sequels. They laugh with you, celebrate with you, and always remember you are more than just an author.

I’m trying to expand my promotional base in an attempt to attract  more readers. I’ve started separate pages on FB for my books. I’d be honored if you’d find a way to stop by and like one or two that are connected to your favorite books of mine.

My main author page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/KateMarie-Collins/217255151699492

For The Raven Chronicles: https://www.facebook.com/theravenchroniclessolsticepublishing

For Mark of the Successor: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mark-of-the-Successor/597094723670141

For Kick the Can: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kick-the-Can/245633632256478

What’s new on some of these pages? Well, links to the books themselves. I’m trying to get a discussion going on the ‘MotS’ page about a sequel. There’s a teaser for book 3 on the Raven Chronicles page. And news about some upcoming books on my author page. Take a look…you’re going to get more information there, and faster, than you would be here!

Authors can never have enough readers. That’s what keeps us writing, knowing we’ve got people out there wanting to read what comes next. And I’m honored to count each and every one of you among them.



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Now, Michael and I go way back. Far enough that I don’t always like remembering how far. LOL.

As is often the case, we spent a period of time where we weren’t in contact with each other. Thanks to the wonder that is FaceBook, we’ve reconnected and discovered we’ve each been very busy since last we sat down.

We’ve both become published fantasy authors!

If you’re a fan of fantasy with a healthy dose of military tactics, pick up his book. Great read!

“It may seem a fine thing in song or story to be ankle-deep in the blood of your enemies but in reality it’s slippery, smells bad and is nearly impossible to get out of your socks afterwards.”  From the diaries of Engvyr Gunnarson



In Diaries of a Dwarven Rifleman (http://www.amazon.com/dp/1482637057) magic, science and technology work hand-in-hand to create a new kind of fantasy world with an underlying logic that makes it as real as a handshake from an old friend. Told with humor and humanity, it is a story of sweeping events seen from a ‘ground-level’ perspective by real people living and helping to shape the unique history of their world.



Engvyr’s father gave up on the miner’s life to move the family back to their ancestral home in the far north. But the journey is fraught with perils the young dwarf has never imagined, and when tragedy casts him in the role of hero, well, what’s a dwarf to do? The events of that fateful journey have shaped and ruled his life, but now Engvyr wants nothing more than to make a place for himself, perhaps settle down and raise a family. But when a new enemy rises in the North he finds himself at the center of the conflict, with not merely the freedom of his people but the fate of all of humanity hanging in the balance… and the habit of heroism is a hard one to break.


“Impressive work, and great fun!” — Greg Bear, Author of Hull 03 and The Forge of God


The description is at the link above so I won’t repeat it here. At the Clarion West mixer last summer I was asked for an ‘elevator pitch’ for this book. I thought a moment and said, “Hard-science Science Fiction set in a medieval fantasy world as written by Louis L’Amour.” That sums it up pretty well but it’s much more than that. In this post I’m going to discuss the stuff behind the scenes, as it were; a look behind the curtain.


The basic premise is that Dwarves and Goblins were created from humans by an evil overlord in the ancient past to work his mines. The Dwarves discovered how to use blasting powder as a weapon and rebelled against the overlord and killed him, freeing both themselves and the goblins. Once free the dwarves fled north through the ‘human’ nations and discovered that Battlemages could detonate their blasting powder at a distance rendering their make-shift guns not only useless, but a danger to them. Fleeing into the deep mountains they established their own kingdom. Determined never to be enslaved again they learn to make guns that magic cannot effect- powerful large-bore air rifles. Fielding elite regiments of riflemen they are able to keep their freedom against the encroaching ‘Tall Folk’ and the Goblins. The ‘Tall Folk’ are unable to match the dwarves technology and military prowess and over the centuries settle into a sometimes uneasy peace and establish trade. This is the world the protagonist is born into.


The dwarves have their own magic, shaped to serve the needs of their creator to help build his evil empire. Their abilities to work stone, metal and wood are supplemented by magic.


The Dwarven and Human cultures in the book have a Norse background, and their ancient tongue is a corrupted form of Old Norse. Nordic values and the values of the Hävamal are woven through their culture. The races share variations of a religion based on this background.


The reason that I liken this to hard-science Science Fiction is the painstaking research that went into the book. I did a lot of math working out the Dwarven technology and the battle scenes in the book. The air rifles are based on solid math and science- they would work in reality (I hope to be able to make one some day!) Guns often work badly in fantasy, because once they are introduced in a world the technology would eventually, inevitably spread until everyone used them. I took special pains to insure that the technology used would be pretty much impossible for the other races to duplicate given the magic, social, commercial and political make-up of the world.


More of this is implied in the story than is explained; this is mostly ‘deep background’ and we took care to avoid ‘data-dumping.’ The information that is conveyed in the story is done naturally as part of the story, in the appropriate places and we reveal no more of this than is needed to advance the story.


‘Diaries of a Dwarven Rifleman’ is part of a continuing series that so far includes the novel, a short-story and a novella. I hope that you’ll have a look.


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I’ve had a busy week or two! And all of it very good!

First off, the paperback for ‘Son of Corse’ is available! A good month ahead of time! Why? There’s the possibility of me doing a book signing event in December and my publisher decided to go ahead and get that one done just in case.

If you’ve been waiting for it, here’s the link: https://www.createspace.com/4460283

It’s available on CreateSpace currently, and should be listed on Amazon sometime this week. 

Next up, Solstice made some very exciting announcements over the weekend!

We’ve taken another publishing house under our wing! Alpha Wolf Press is now under the Solstice name as a separate imprint. Yes, this means a bit of extra work for me this week as I help merge those books into the fold, but it’s going to be a good thing for both Houses.

If that wasn’t enough good news for Solstice, we’ve had a second production company approach us regarding movie deals for some of our books! The first company optioned over 20 titles, and this one is looking to acquire the rights to another 5-10! None of the titles are mine, and I’m fine with that. 

Why? Don’t I want to see my books come to life in celluloid? Of course I do! But everything comes with time. I’ll be the first to say that my books aren’t going to be something you can put together as a movie easily. They all have some aspect in which special effects come into play. A shadrim, the magic flying from Arwenna’s hands, the rings at the end of ‘Kick the Can’. 

I waited a very long time to find my voice as a writer, and the confidence to trust my words were worth reading. I can wait a bit longer for the movies to happen.


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It’s been a super hectic week around this house. Most of which I’ll wait until Monday’s normal post to share with you. LOL!

Today, I’m honored to host a new Solstice author, Margo Bond Collins! (No relation that we know of LOL). Her debut novel with Solstice, a paranormal thriller titled “Waking Up Dead”, is releasing on October 8th! Take it away, Margo!

Hi, everyone! First I want to thank KateMarie Collins (no relation—honest!) for hosting today’s stop on my pre-release teaser tour. I’m discussing my new paranormal mystery Waking Up Dead. It’s forthcoming from Solstice Publishing and available via Amazon on October 8, and I’m pretty excited!


Be sure to add Waking Up Dead to your Goodreads bookshelves: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18428064-waking-up-dead


When Dallas resident Callie Taylor died young, she expected to go to Heaven, or maybe Hell. Instead, she met her fate early thanks to a creep with a knife and a mommy complex. Now she’s witnessed another murder, and she’s not about to let this one go. She’s determined to help solve it before an innocent man goes to prison. And to answer the biggest question of all: why the hell did she wake up in Alabama?






Ghosts don’t really sleep. This one doesn’t, anyway. Never having met another ghost, I can’t speak for anyone but myself. I do, however, just sort of drift. It’s a little like daydreaming–I’m aware of what’s going on around me, but I don’t really pay attention to it. If I wanted to, I could spend days and days like that. In fact, sometimes I did.

This time I didn’t seem to have a choice. I had probably expended too much of my spook energy–or whatever it is–keeping Rick out of trouble.

Or so I thought.

I think I drifted for about three days. In that time, I have a vague recollection of police officers moving through the house periodically. Crime scene techs vacuumed up everything that might be on the floors and took all the trash bins with them.

When I finally regained full consciousness, the house was empty. I realized that Rick had never come home.

That worried me.

So I put my hand on the television and concentrated until it came on, then worked at flipping through the channels until I found the Birmingham news station.

I didn’t have to wait long. A gruesome murder like this one was big news, not only in Abramsville, but in all the nearby towns and cities. It might even hit the national news soon. A still photo of Rick flashed across the screen, then a picture of Molly, taken at her wedding. The photo receded to a corner of the screen, replaced by a moving image of Rick, in handcuffs, being shoved into a police car.

“. . . Rick McClatchey, indicted today for the strangling murder of his wife, Molly McClatchey,” the blonde newscaster was saying, “due to the presence of his DNA on the piano wire used to kill her.”

I turned the television off. I didn’t want to hear any more.

All my hard work, for nothing.

Had the crime lab even tested the blood drop from the real killer?

Apparently the evidence I had arranged wasn’t going to be enough.

I know it wasn’t my problem. Not really.

It’s not like I’m some sort of guardian angel or anything. Ugh. Just the thought of all that responsibility gives me the creeps.

But Rick hadn’t done it. Some other scumbag had. And that scumbag was walking around having a grand life while Rick was going to jail.

That just wasn’t right.

I went back and forth, considering.

I wasn’t sure what, if anything, I should do.

But the McClatcheys were the closest thing I had to friends in Abramsville.

Not that I could help. I could barely turn on a television.

Not alone, anyway.

In the end, I made up my mind.

I needed help.




About the Author


Margo Bond Collins lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, several spoiled cats, and a ridiculous turtle. She teaches college-level English courses online, though writing fiction is her first love. She enjoys reading urban fantasy and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about vampires, ghosts, zombies, werewolves, and other monsters. Waking Up Dead is her first published novel. Her second novel, Legally Undead, is an urban fantasy, forthcoming in 2014 from World Weaver Press.




Connect with Margo


Email: MargoBondCollins@gmail.com

Website: http://www.MargoBondCollins.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MargoBondCollin  @MargoBondCollin

Google+: https://plus.google.com/116484555448104519902

Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/vampirarchy

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/MargoBondCollins

Facebook Novel Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Waking-Up-Dead/502076076537575

Tumblr: http://vampirarchybooks.tumblr.com/

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/mbondcollins/






Book Trailer



Be sure to enter the giveaway for a chance to win one of four copies of Waking Up Dead or a $10 Amazon card–and follow the tour or come back here once a day for even more chances to win!
Thanks for stopping by, Margo! We all wish you the best with your book!

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