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Posts Tagged ‘urban fantasy’

Ten years ago, I wasn’t writing. I still listened to the voice in my head that said I would never do anything close to good enough for a publisher, so it wasn’t worth trying.

And so my muse stayed quiet, locked in her cage.

We’d been playing in a Dungeons and Dragons game for over 2 years. With no warning, the entire party was either killed or imprisoned. Saving rolls weren’t allowed, escape impossible. Characters that had been part of our lives once a week for over 130 weeks were suddenly no more.

It hurt. For all of us in the group, it was a shock. We mourned not just the game closing but not spending our Saturdays together any more. My husband, who did a smaller scale campaign, invited everyone over to our house. We used that second session as a way to take the bitterness of the night out of our mouths.

A few weeks later, he worked it so that my character was resurrected in his game. In the context of the day, we couldn’t really explain everything that went on. As we headed to bed, I said I’d write an email the next day to everyone so they were brought up to speed.

When I finished the email, I was terrified. What started as an explanation ended up being a short story. From that one short story, a career was born.

Last week, my 20th title went up for sale. “Guarding Amber” is out. My first book came out in March of 2012. My only regret over the last decade is listening to those who didn’t know what they were talking about.

We can’t go back and change the past. Even if that was possible, I wouldn’t. The past is what makes today possible. The things I experienced, good and bad, shape my writing today.

If you’re discouraged, keep trying. If sales suck, shrug it off. If your family or friends try to cut you down, find the strength you have inside. You have to find your faith in yourself, in your talent, to weather the storm of being an author. Having a way with words isn’t enough. You’re going to have years where you’re wondering why you started on this road. This is not a job for everyone. Because you’re not going to be paid enough to support yourself for close to a decade.

Over the last decade, I’ve come out of my shell. I’ve stopped listening to those who said no and found the way to say yes to myself. I’ve gone from someone who hid in the shadows to being able to talk to a room full of people who wanted to get where I was. I’ve been told I inspire people to keep trying.

I’ve learned so much since I found the key to unlock my muse from her cage. I think ‘Guarding Amber’ is an example of how much I’ve grown as an author. I hope you will as well.

myBook.to/guardingamber

Guarding amber v 10

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Okay, I need your help. Each and every person who follows this blog!

‘Guarding Charon’ is up for Preditors & Editors Best of 2016 as a scifi/fantasy novel. Right now, it’s sitting in 3rd. It’s hit the top spot off and on during voting, so I know it’s close. Which means every single vote counts.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Go to this site: http://critters.org/predpoll/novelsf.shtml
  2. Vote for ‘Guarding Charon’. It got listed twice, so be sure to hit the first one so we don’t split the votes.
  3. Enter your name, email address (you can vote once per email address), and do the captcha to prove you’re human.
  4. Go to the email you used and click on the link to make your vote count!

Solstice Publishing is in the running, too, for best publisher! Please help!

I’m done groveling and begging now, so here’s the teaser for the week!

Guarding Charon-001

“Mr. Dixon, is this a safe place to talk? After what happened with the limo…” her voice trailed off.

“Very secure and safe, I assure you. No one would’ve been allowed to come close enough to the plane to put any sort of devices on the exterior, let alone gain access to the inside. Bruce will not be listening in.” He smiled. “If you like, you can call me Larry. Mr. Dixon is extremely formal. ‘Stuffy’ is what your great aunt called it. We will be working closely for the next several months, getting the estate transferred to you. There is no reason to be formal when we’re alone.”

He leaned back, his face taking on a more serious appearance. “Grace, this is a hard thing to ask right now, but it must be discussed. You have the chance now to reinvent yourself, disappear in some ways. Amanda knows what Bruce tried to do, and how he was forcing you into a corner so you’d have to marry him. She was making plans to bring you to her home herself, when she passed away. If you want, everything is in place for me to create a new identity for you. A new name, new social security number, new driver’s license. We can get the paperwork started now, have it all in place by the time we arrive in Cavendish. I only need your permission, and a name you’d like to be known by.”

She stared at the bottle in her hand. To truly disappear, become someone else, would guarantee Bruce would never find her again. Even if she didn’t stay in Maine after her six months were up, he would never find her.

“What about my parents?” Her voice was hushed.

“They accepted a check. Enough to guarantee your father can retire; their debts are paid in full if they choose to do that. But the money is conditional that they tell no one where you went. They know it is likely they’ll never see you again, and traded the money for contact with you.”

Grace slouched in her chair. Her entire body shook. They abandoned her, cut her out of their lives forever, for money. She knew she should be shocked, upset. But she felt numb. “I think I need a drink,” she whispered.

She kept staring at the bottle of water in her hands, fascinated by the motion of the water as the tremors continued. Distantly, she heard ice hitting the bottom of a glass, followed by liquid being poured. It appeared on the edge of the table.

Shaking, she put the water on the table and grabbed at the glass. Amber liquid swirled around a giant ball of ice. Before she could stop herself, she downed the scotch. It burned as it traveled down her throat, numbing her stomach to match her emotions.

If they were ready to be done with her, then she would be done with them. “Let’s do it.”

“Very well. What would you like your new name to be?”

She stared at the glass in her hands. “Did she have any family with her last name?”

“No. She was the last Cross. Her sisters took the names of their husbands, and she had no brothers.”

“That’s it, then. I’ll be Amber Cross.” She raised her glass. “Here’s to new beginnings.”

He raised his as well, “To new beginnings, Amber Cross.”

Swallowing some more of the alcohol, she began to try and adjust to the new name. “So, this house. What’s it like? And why’d she choose me?”

myBook.to/guardingcharon

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Hey, everyone! I know, it’s Friday, but this is important to me.

I need your help!

Preditors and Editors runs a ‘best of’ poll every year. ‘Guarding Charon’, among other books, has been nominated for Best Scifi/Fantasy novel!

I REALLY want to win this!

It’s easy to help me out. You don’t have to buy anything, sign up for an email list, or anything like that. It’s this easy.

  1. Go to the contest website: http://critters.org/predpoll/
  2. Scroll down to ‘Print/Electronic Novels’ section
  3. Click on ‘ Science Fiction & Fantasy Novels
  4. Check the box next to the top entry for ‘Guarding Charon’ (it got listed twice, but we don’t want to split the voting!)
  5. Add your name and email address
  6. Go to your inbox, click on the confirmation link to have your vote count.
  7. You’re done!

Solstice Publishing is listed under Print/Ebook publishers and could use votes, too. We won the category last year and want a repeat win! My editor with Solstice, Cynthia Ley, is in the running for best editor, too! She’s the one that helped make ‘Guarding Charon’ so good, so throwing a vote her way would be great.

There’s a lot of great books listed in all the categories – so spend a few moments of your day and help those authors out.

You can vote once per email address you have access to. But do it soon! Contest ends in like two weeks, so spread the word!

And thank you! Post a comment when you’ve voted. When the contest is over, I’ll select one commenter at random to receive a .pdf copy of 5 of my titles – winner’s choice which 5!

BB

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One should always read the fine print…especially with an inheritance from a relative you didn’t know existed.

 

In a rut doesn’t even begin to describe Grace’s life at 22. Her ex is using his position as a cop to stalk her, getting her fired from every job she finds. Her parents, not knowing how abusive he could be, believe all her problems would vanish if she’d simply marry him.

After losing yet another job, a lawyer arrives. A relative has died and left her entire estate in Maine to Grace. Eager to shake the dust of Bruce and small town Texas off of her for good, she leaps at the chance. She even changes her name.

Then she learns that her great aunt was a Witch…and the house has some big secrets. Secrets that she has to protect for six months if she hopes to inherit the entire estate and truly be free of her past.

Guarding Charon-001

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Good morning!

Well, the next book is DONE! Written, comments by beta readers read and fixed, and under contract!

“Guarding Charon” is now in the inbox of my editor at Solstice, waiting for her to work her magic and help me get it into shape for all of you to read!!!

To give you a teaser or two, here’s the first draft of the blurb:

In a rut doesn’t even begin to describe Grace’s life at 22. Her ex, now a cop, is getting her fired from every job she finds. Her parents believe all her problems would vanish if she’d simply marry him.

After being fired yet again, a lawyer arrives. A relative  has died and left her entire estate in Maine to Grace. Jumping at the chance to reinvent herself, she agrees to live in the house for 6 months. Eager to shake the dust of Bruce and small town Texas off of her for good, she even changes her name.

Then she learns that her great aunt was a Witch…and the house has some big secrets. Secrets that she has to take care of for six months if she hopes to inherit the entire estate and truly be free of her past.

One should always read the fine print…especially with an inheritance from a relative you didn’t know existed.

BB

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Good Morning!

And welcome to a new thing I’ll be doing each month. On the last Monday, I’m going to feature another author! Going to strive to keep it within the sci-fi/fantasy genres for now.

Today, we get to meet a Solstice Shadows author and all around amazing author, Margo Bond Collins! Her latest release, “Fairy, Texas” is a great read!

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  1. What’s the title of your latest release? Link?

Fairy, Texas (http://www.amazon.com/Fairy-Texas-Margo-Bond-Collins-ebook/dp/B00I7BTMJ4/ref=sr_1_1_bnp_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1393254186&sr=8-1&keywords=Fairy%2C+Texas )

2, Why do you like writing in this genre?

I love writing paranormal mysteries because they allow me to examine our mundane, everyday existence through the lens of the unusual.  I get to play “what if” all day long.

3.What do you like to read?

A little bit of everything! I have favorites in almost all categories of books. I’m a college English professor in my other life, so I read fiction and non-fiction. But I’m particularly fond of fantasy in all its incarnations. I love books by Neil Gaiman, Robin McKinley, Carrie Vaughn, Janny Wurts, Rachel Vincent, China Mieville, and Holly Black.

4. Favorite movie?

I like storytelling of all kinds and I watch movies almost as much as I read, so I doubt I could come up with a favorite. I am a huge sci-fi fan, though—the cheesier, the better! Right now, I’m eagerly awaiting the Veronica Mars movie, due out in March.

5. What are your writing habits? Music or silence? Daily regimen or spurts of creativity?

Generally, I prefer silence. I’ve tried both a daily regimen and just going with the flow of creativity, and I have ended up combining them. I force myself to write for at least an hour a day, no matter how I’m feeling; but if I have a burst of creativity, I go with it!  I have a home office dedicated to work; I write best when I’m sitting at my desk. But when I get stuck, I go for a walk or a drive to shake out the cobwebs.

6. What was the most surreal moment you’ve had as a author?

Getting fan mail. I had a lovely email message from a writer who loved my first novel, Waking Up Dead, and told me it had encouraged her to keep writing. I was incredibly excited!

7. How can readers find you?

Connect with Margo

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/margobondcollins

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/

Manic Readers: http://www.manicreaders.com/MargoBondCollins/

 

Be sure to add Fairy, Texas to your Goodreads bookshelves: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19502285-fairy-texas

8. What do you know now about being published that you wish you’d known before submitting?

Honestly, I only wish that I’d had the courage to submit to indie publishers sooner—I’m loving the experience of being a published fiction author!

9. Favorite snack/drink while writing?

Coffee until noon. Tea in the afternoon. Decaf coffee and/or tea in the evening.

10.Look at your writing area…what’s the item you keep to inspire you (piece of artwork, figurine)? 

I actually have copies of the first pages of my publishing contracts thumb-tacked to the wall in front of my desk! Having them in view helps keep me focused on my goals.

 

Thanks so much for having me here, Kate! 

 

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