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Posts Tagged ‘the raven chronicles’

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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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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Well, it’s out. “Wielder of Tiren” is up for sale. Both the paperback and the ebook. Don’t worry, I’ll provide links at the end of this post.

Arwenna’s story is now over. I’m waiting for reviews (always) and hoping I didn’t disappoint my readers with how her story ends. She’s been with me in various forms for a decade now. It wasn’t easy for me to let her go, but it was necessary.

Because of her, I’m now a published author.  Because of her, I’m now the COO of a growing indie house. Because of her, I found the strength in me that I didn’t know existed.

Because of her, I’ve come out of my shell.

I learned a lot writing her story. About myself, my friends. Of what I can accomplish, how to inspire others to reach beyond the lessons we were taught far too young. The ones that say we’re not going to be good enough to reach our goals. That, yes, there will be obstacles put in front of us. But it’s how we work to get past those obstacles, the people we are when things suck, that’s what matters.

And that we tried in the first place.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. There’s a lot of me in Arwenna. Too much in some ways. As she grew, healed, and found her strength so did I.

Thank you to each and every one of you that’s gone on the journey with her. Because of her, my muse is now dancing outside and free. No longer locked away and the voice silenced.

May you find the key to unlocking your muse as well.

BB

ebook: http://www.amazon.com/Wielder-Tiren-Raven-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B01CIS1DKM

print: http://www.amazon.com/Wielder-Tiren-Raven-Chronicles-3/dp/1625263422

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I’m soooo excited!!!

I get to go to Book Expo America!!!

Are you going? Do you live near Chicago? If so, come by the Solstice Publishing booth (#2320) and say hello!

I’ll be there the entire 4 days of the convention, and am so jazzed! I’m already plotting out my strategy. What booths I should visit, how best to see other things in Chicago. But, above all, I’m looking forward to meeting readers.

On the last day, during BookCon, I’ll be selling my books. ‘Wielder of Tiren’ is now under contract and with my editor, with an eye for a release prior to BEA. You should be able to pick up all three books in The Raven Chronicles series directly from me!

And, to make you even more curious, here’s the cover!

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New postcards for BEA have been ordered and will be there for the handing out! So, please think about adding a stop by the Solstice Publishing booth to say hello when you’re at BEA! I promise, we’re working hard to make you want to visit us.

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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Happy Winter Solstice, everyone!

‘Wielder of Tiren’ is moving forward. I spent most of Friday working on it. Put down over 3,000 new words, added a plot twist or two, and am about halfway with the first draft.

It’s a good feeling to know the wheels are turning again, the ideas are flowing. I know I’m not alone in having times where I just don’t want to write. Or the ideas aren’t coming. The twists and turns escape me. I truly think this happens with every author.

All we can do is keep trying. Do whatever you need to do in order to get the wheel moving again. I see it a lot like an old water powered grain mill. You need that wheel moving in order to grind the grain. The water’s right there, ready to supply the power, but the wheel’s stuck. Sometimes it’s a simple fix, other times it’s going to require a lot more to get it free.

But it’s worth the effort. Because then the words flow as fast as the water.

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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