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Posts Tagged ‘Daughter of Hauk’

Nine years ago, something happened in my life. For most people, they’d wonder why a D&D character would make any sort of impact in real life. Perchance I was a bit TOO connected to her. The thing is, that group of friends had been meeting every single Saturday for about 2 1/2 years. We too these characters from game infancy (level 1) to fully fleshed out characters with personalities.
 
When the group wrapped up, in rather unexpected and bad ways (we were all killed or imprisoned), we mourned the loss. We were bitter, hurt, and felt cheated.
 
Out of that experience, my muse was unlocked. I finally started to write ‘Daughter of Hauk’. And I got encouragement from friends and family that gave me the confidence to keep at it.
 
Without that party wipe, I wouldn’t be writing now.
 
As such, I’ve got a certain fondness for The Raven Chronicles and Arwenna’s story. That was my character, after all. I invented her, borrowed (with permission) other people’s characters from the group. Threw in a few of my own imagination. Changed a few things so the makers of D&D wouldn’t sue me. And used writing Arwenna’s story as a way to deal with some of my own issues.
 
So, yeah, it hurts when it goes months without a sale. Because it’s more than a good story. It’s my baby. I’ve written other stories that may be better told, or more engaging, but that trilogy will forever be my favorite. For very personal reasons.
 
What makes things nice is that the wait and patience is paying off. I’ve seen pages read or sales for all 3 books for 3 months running now. Even the fan fic has gotten some love.
 
Will it ever be on the NYT best seller list? Probably not. But my baby’s getting a little bit of love right now from readers. And I’ll take that.
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Hey!

Yep, it’s a Saturday. And, you know what, that’s just fine. The last week has been interesting on multiple levels.

You often hear people say that, after someone you love passes, you’ll know when it’s time to let go and move on. To stop grieving. This point is different for each person who suffered a loss, and who it was that died. I think I finally got there.

I spent time this week selling off some of my mom’s jewelry that no one wanted. I’m doing a more active search to find a legitimate buyer for a couple of books she’d had. And I spent a lot of time yesterday rearranging and cleaning my office.

My desk is now near a window, on the far side of the room, and not where I can actively watch the tv while I sit here. My focus has shifted. I’m no longer feeling like I’m treading water and waiting for the next shoe to drop. I’m regaining my sense of wanting to write, to promote.

One of the things that came to me during this transition is how well I interact with readers and authors here on this blog. I’ve tried gimmicky things – like the teaser Tuesday or Last Monday interviews. To be honest, that’s not what you guys like to get from me. Without question, the posts that are liked the most, shared, or commented on have to do with my thoughts on being an author. About book store signings, how to be a decent author that’s loved and not hated by readers, that sort of thing.

So, yeah. I’ve heard you. That’s not to say I won’t make an odd teaser post or anything like that. I may not even have a scheduled day to post. But what I do write here will be what matters to me, the message I think you want to hear.

Five years ago today, my journey began. I signed my first contract and ‘Daughter of Hauk’ began to go from words on a computer screen to a book you can read on your Kindle or put on your bookshelf. I have 18 titles out now. Goal for the year is to make that number 20. I have no illusions that the almost 300 followers here have bought all of my books. Most of you haven’t even bought one. I’m sure it’s on your ‘one day’ list. If it wasn’t, then why are you following this blog? LOL

If you want to know where to start, go with ‘Guarding Charon’. I’m immensely proud of that one and have hopes that it will be the book that gets me ‘found’ at last.

Five years that encompass 18 titles, the death of my parents, life changes for my oldest daughter, new pets in my life, a new career that I adore, and it’s all because of one event in my life that woke up my muse.

As I cleaned and moved things, I was cleaning up some emotional clutter in myself. Things that I put in front of promotion, in front of writing, in front of things I care about a great deal. My office is more open now. Muse is sitting on the windowsill to my right.img_0123

And I’m back to writing for me. For my readers. If I’m lucky, you’ll have my back and buy my books, write a review, tell your friends.

If nothing else, the last five years have taught me that this business isn’t all promoting and writing. There’s a lot of luck involved.

BB

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My first book. The one where my muse woke up and demanded attention. And I listened.

“Daughter of Hauk” will forever hold a special place in my heart. If not for this story, I wouldn’t live the life I do now.

Enjoy.

         “Arwenna, honey, wake up.” There was urgency in her mother’s voice. Sleepily, she sat up and rubbed her eyes. It was still dark, her mother’s face barely recognizable. “Honey, we have to leave right now. Hurry and get some shoes on.” Lyssa stood as if ready to run at any moment.

            Arwenna slowly got out of bed and put her shoes on. Before she had time to grab a cloak, the house lit up with a reddish glow. Looking out her window, she saw the house next door explode into flames. The roar of the explosion made her cover her ears.

            Lyssa grabbed her hand and began to run out of the room as more explosions went off.

            Outside there was confusion and panic. The air was thick with smoke and screams. Arwenna shrank in horror as she saw creatures beyond comprehension attacking all around her. Her mother pulled her along the back side of a barn, trying to shield her. Arwenna bumped into something and looked up, screaming.

            It was tall, at least as tall as a grown man. The legs were more like an animal’s, with hooves and knees that bent the wrong way. The skin was grey, as if death itself had touched it. A massive chest and pair of arms that looked like they could tear a person in two made her eyes go even wider. The face was nothing but a contorted snarl of hatred, with tusklike teeth. Red eyes looked down at her.

            Lyssa turned swiftly and shoved Arwenna behind her. She was holding a short sword in the manner of one well versed in self-defense. “Run, Arwenna!” She glanced back for a moment at her daughter. “Run! Now!” Arwenna stumbled, then obeyed the command of her mother and began to run blindly.

            She did what she could to dodge arrows streaming her way, as well as the bodies of the fallen. She stopped behind a wagon and looked back to see if her mother was following. Her eyes widened in terror.

            The creature had Lyssa in his grip. Her feet dangled off the ground as he pulled her up to face him. It ignored the sword buried within its shoulder. With a roar, he broke her in half and tossed the pieces aside like kindling. Arwenna screamed, but the creature did not hear her.

            More villagers were being slaughtered; others were being corralled into the center of the village. Most of them were her playmates. A lone horseman approached them. The visor of his helmet was down, but she could see wisps of smoke coming out from the bottom.

            “Is this all of them?” a voice demanded of one of the creatures. The voice was inhuman and grated down Arwenna’s spine like a hot knife.

            “All we can find, Lord Corse.” The beast sounded worried that his report would be found lacking.

The creature on the horse looked at the group of children, searching. He dismounted and started to examine the faces of the children. With some, he pulled aside the neck of the tunic as if searching for some kind of mark. He finished his examination and mounted his horse again.

            “The child is not here. Kill these, and keep searching.” He turned his mount and walked away, oblivious to the screams of the dying villagers.

            Arwenna turned away, unable to watch the slaughter of her friends. After a moment or two, she scrambled towards the fields in front of her. The corn was tall; it should hide her at least for a while. She ran blindly, tears streaming down her face. It seemed like an eternity before she reached the main road on the far side. She collapsed in exhaustion and grief behind a group of boulders.

daughterofhauk300frame

myBook.to/Daughterofhauk

BB

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Morning, everyone! I know, it’s Tuesday. I didn’t post yesterday. There was a reason. Any post I would’ve made would’ve been whiny, petulant, and a pity party. You see, for all my preaching about staying upbeat in the face of bad sales, etc, even I fall off the wagon and have a bad day. Yesterday was one of them.

I write good books, worth the money it takes to purchase them. Most are $0.99. The most expensive ebook, Daughter of Hauk, is $4.99.

You try to tell yourself not to take a bad sales day/month personally, but it’s hard not to. Authors pour our souls into these creations for the enjoyment of readers. Most books take months to write. Add into that editing, proofreading, etc. If you don’t have a publisher or aren’t self-publishing, you’re adding onto that time searching for the right home for your book. It’s almost impossible for an author to sit down for a couple hours at night, finish the first draft, and start revisions in a single day. A short story, under 10k words, maybe. A 60+ k word novel? No way.

I’m back on track today. For a variety of reasons. One being I may well be making an appearance at Book Expo America in May now. Should that happen, I want to have The Raven Chronicles trilogy done and up for sale. And I won’t get there by sitting on the couch with a pint of ice cream letting bad sales determine the worth of my writing.

Now that I’m off the pity train, I have questions for every single one of you that follows my blog. What makes you buy a book? If you’re following this and haven’t bought one of my titles, why not? I’m not looking for you to rush out and buy one, but honest feedback. Most authors never hear what doesn’t work. They just see zeros on a royalty statement. Here’s your chance to help me grow my marketing focus. I can’t know what’s not working if I don’t know why my books aren’t selling. So, tell me. LOL. What’s kept you from taking the step from following my blog to buying even one of my titles?

BB

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I know, I didn’t make my post last Monday. I was kinda busy. We left town on Wednesday to attend my mom’s memorial service.

I spent most of the last week saying goodbye to her. Finding the best way to help my dad and older sister move forward. Reconciling myself to her passing. And resting from the emotional/mental drain from the week.

On a good note…”Alaric’s Bow” released on Dec. 1st!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018SSJO1Q?%2AVersion%2A=1&%2Aentries%2A=0

So, now I’m in a mode to refocus myself. Move forward again. I’ve never had a big fear of death. Life goes on, even if those we love don’t. Words need to be said or written. Children still have birthdays. Holidays still happen.

Once my work time is done and lunch is done, it’s off to work on Arwenna’s final adventure for a bit.

BB

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Morning, everyone.

Last week, I found out my mother passed away. I’ve spent a lot of time since then coming to grips with her passing. While I think I’ll still have difficulties at the service itself, time moves on.

We didn’t have a perfect relationship. There were more times than not where one of us would dig in our heels when we should’ve given some slack to the other. The fault was as much mine as hers. She was, however, my mother. For that I loved her.

Needless to say, I didn’t write much last week. Too many phone calls that needed to be made, etc. My sister has to deal with more than I do, and I wanted to help her as much as I could. By Sunday, the stress was enough. I spent the day either sleeping or huddled under blankets watching football. And fighting a cold that’d crept in unnoticed. I spent the day being a cat instead of an adult, and it was good.

Now, though, now I think I’m ready to write again. I’ve got ‘Alaric’s Bow’ with my editor. ‘Arine’s Sanctuary’ is out for your reading pleasure (I hope). It’s time to go back to Arwenna’s world, wrap up The Raven Chronicles.

‘Wielder of Tiren’ will be the end of the series. I’d always planned it that way, and now I know that’s what’ll happen. Arwenna’s tale will come to an end, like every story must. Her world is dark, forbidding, and mirrored parts of my own life far more than I like to admit.

As I let go of my mom, I’ll do the same with Arwenna and Y’Durkie.

That’s not to say I’ll stop writing. Nope. The muse is out of her cage and refuses to be locked away. I’ve got two more stories for the Amari and their world ahead of me. Plus, I said something in passing to a friend the other day, “traipsing the beach of the river Styx”.

Yep, there’s a story hiding in those words.

BB

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Good morning, everyone!

I’ve got a confession to make. I haven’t written my 500 words for a good week. It’s been too hot. Yes, I know it’s a relative term. This area doesn’t see the blistering temperatures other parts of the U.S. do, but we’ve been warm. And, when you rarely see temps in the 90’s, air conditioning isn’t a high priority on your home comfort needs. Except for the days where you end up doing the laundry and dishes after the sun goes down. Cook things that don’t require the oven (the microwave and our grill are our friends). And stay off the computer because it’s just one more thing giving off heat.

I have, however, been working! ‘Arine’s Sanctuary’ is done with editing, and moving towards being able to give you guys a release date. Here’s the great cover!

Arine's Sanctuary

As a lead up to release date, I’m going to be holding a contest on my FB author page. It’s not quite ready to start yet (hoping it will be by next week), but be sure to start following my page to have a chance to win! https://www.facebook.com/pages/KateMarie-Collins/217255151699492

The contest is going to be super easy to enter. When I do the post, you simply have to like the post AND leave a comment. That’s it. The only restriction is there needs to be at least 10 entries by the end of the contest or there won’t be a grand prize winner. I’m putting up a lot of stuff for one lucky reader to win!

The grand prize will include:

Print copies of ‘Daughter of Hauk’, ‘Son of Corse’, ‘Mark of the Successor’, and ‘Challenges Met’ (signed to a person of the winner’s choosing)

A tote bag with the cover of ‘Fin’s Magic’

A t-shirt with the cover of ‘Daughter of Hauk’ on the front and ‘You’re tough, you can take it’ on the back.

Signed postcards and business cards.

SAM_1721

So, head on over to my FB page and hit the ‘like’ button! And I promise to work on another book once this heat goes away!

BB

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