A New Freebie!
I mentioned in my newsletter this week that I was going to put up a new free story in the freebie section soon, and… well, hey! It’s there now. This is a sweeter one, and some of you may have read it already, but for those who haven’t, I hope you’ll check it out and see if you like it. I won’t spoil what it is, because it’s kind of like a present, I guess? You know, like… it’s fun to find out what it is after you open it (after you go to the freebie page), and then you can either get really excited or bemoan receiving a fruit cake for Christmas (or whatever holiday, I guess. I kind of like fruit cake, though, so maybe that’s not a great example).
Anyways! It’s there, so go check it out.
For those who can’t figure out how to get on the freebie page (because I haven’t figured out how to put good directions for it yet. Sorry!), you’ll need to sign up for my newsletter, which you can do on the side over there somewhere (—->). I send out newsletters on a weekly basis, and include the password to access my freebies from there. You also get fun information about stuff! What kind of stuff? Well, it varies a bit. I’ll mention my new releases and how I’m doing on specific stories, or what’s coming soon, all of that. I like to talk about other random things, too, like what I’m reading, or what I think of book things. And, I include fun little tips and tricks about sexy things (or things I think are sexy, at least. They aren’t always strictly tips, I suppose).
So… yes! Newsletters go out on Tuesdays, generally, and I’ve got two freebies available as of now, so… if you haven’t signed up yet, what are you waiting for?
I wanted to write this post yesterday, but I thought it best to wait. Sometimes I get really excited about things and don’t think much on the specifics. It’s gotten me in trouble before, somewhat, where I think I can just jump right into something, do something, and… nope! Sometimes you just can’t do that, you know? So I thought I should just think a bit first, figure everything out and the logistics behind it, then go from there.
Anyways! Saying that, I basically ended up with the same conclusion that I had before, so I guess I didn’t really need to wait all that much, haha.
I write erotic things. I like erotic things. I think sex is fun to write about and talk about from a logical point of view. I’m kind of a strange person in those regards. In my personal life, I don’t really feel very comfortable with “sexy” conversations, but I’d be more than happy to have a conversation about sex. I don’t know how that works exactly, but let’s just go with it.
While I like sex and writing it and all of that, it’s not the only thing I like, of course. That’d be kind of weird if it were, I’d say. I like a lot of other things, too. To be honest, in general, I like writing. I think that’s one of the only constants in my life, for a long while now. I get really into it, and whenever I stop doing it for a day or two, I get kind of nervous to get back to it. I don’t like to not write and if there’s ever a time where I can’t write, I get antsy to get back to it.
I started writing a long long time ago. I don’t remember exactly when, but I’ve always loved writing. I never realized it exactly until later, but I think deep down I just always did. I mistook it for other things, somewhat. I knew I wanted to tell stories, but I didn’t link that with writing for awhile.
I started writing more seriously (much more seriously) after reading On Writing by Stephen King. I don’t really know what it was about that book that did it for me, but everything just sort of clicked in place after I read it. There are a few things that I really enjoyed about that book and that I’ll always remember.
First and foremost was that he never thought of writing as a job or a chore or anything like that. I don’t remember the exact specifics, but Mr. King likened writing to taking a nap. It’s a nice, relaxing thing that he enjoys doing. That shifted something for me, and afterwards I thought of writing differently. I liked it. I knew I liked it. And then why was I treating it like an arduous task? I don’t know.
Another was the concept of just writing. Sounds dumb, but you need to write, right? Yes. He suggested just going at it, doing 2,000 words a day, which he considered a good pace of things. I don’t exactly know if I agree with that now, as I think in general 2,000 isn’t too much, but in the beginning it was my milestone. I wrote 2,000 words a day, almost every single day, for a long time after reading that book. I don’t write 2,000 words a day now sometimes, but I try to do more when I can. I have editing and other writing tasks to take care of, which puts a damper into that, but it works out for the best. I think on my best day I wrote something like 9,000, though, so maybe it makes up for it? I write more than 2,000 a day now, when I can get straight to writing without worrying about other stuff, so it evens out.
And finally was something that I think a lot of writers struggle with. Again, I don’t remember the exact wording, but in the book he mentions that if you wrote something, and then sold it, and with the money you paid your electric bill, he considers you a talented writer. That last one is difficult for a lot of writers sometimes. We get stressed a lot. I think it’s an occupational hazard. Is our writing good enough? Do people like it? I still feel a sort of sense of relief when people tell me they like my writing, and my heart clenches a little when someone says they didn’t think it was good enough. I want people to have their opinions, regardless, and I want people to be able to freely say if they like or dislike something, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt a little bit, you know? We put our hearts and souls into writing something, worrying that we’re just some talentless hack, and…
But, well, Stephen King considers me a talented writer, even though we’ve never met, and I appreciate that. I’ve paid multiple electric bills with my writing money, and I hope to pay all the rest of my future electric bills with it, too.
I mentioned up above that I wrote 2,000 words a day for a long while. That was something like 2 years worth of writing. I guess I consider it my “dues” in a way. I never published any of that. Unfortunately I didn’t edit much of any of that, either. It’s not bad writing, and in fact I think the stories I wrote are wonderful, but they need some work in the editing department.
The other “unfortunate” part is that nothing that I wrote was really erotic. There were some sex scenes, sure, but not a lot and not really often. Mostly flirting and stuff like that. It was more standard YA in a lot of ways, with a fantasy hint. Some of it was with older characters, but even that was closer to what New Adult is now, though without a lot of the elements that are popular in current New Adult things.
I’d really like to do something with that writing, and I guess I’ve planned to all along, but I never knew exactly what to do with it. I don’t even know what my initial plans were, but I just wanted to write it. I wrote over a million words, and it’s just sitting on my computer, collecting digital dust.
My plan is to work through that slowly and release it. Back then, I had this huge issue with editing. I don’t really know how to explain it, except to say that editing really is work, and it takes a long time to get used to it. I tried a lot of things to get better at editing, and the only thing that really worked was just to do it, and do more of it. I’ve been doing it a lot for the past few years, preparing myself, and I have a good handle on it now. It takes time, but not nearly as much as it used to for me (mainly because it seems difficult and boring at times, but it’s not really, you know? I don’t know how to explain that very well. It’s more of an acquired taste that you -need- to acquire as a writer, so you just do).
I’m going to be branching out a little because of that. None of that writing belongs grouped together with my current writing, so I’m going to be starting a new pen name to do that. This isn’t really anything new and writers have been doing it for awhile (Nora Roberts and J.D. Robb is a great example that I can think of off the top of my head). If it were anything but YA stuff, I’d probably just go with it, but I don’t think YA belongs in the same catalogue as erotic things. Once I have my book(s) up, I’ll gladly let everyone know, though. I think some people who like erotica and erotic romance and all of that will also enjoy YA things, I just don’t think the YA crowd would/should know about the erotic stuff, you know?
I’m really excited about this, though. Excited and a bit nervous. Those original stories are kind of like my hidden secret, I guess. You know the type, where you don’t tell anyone, because you’re afraid of getting hurt? I want to share, and I want to tell that story and let people read it, but like I mentioned above, I’m scared of being considered a “talentless hack” still. A lot of me and my time was put into these stories (two years, and more by the time I’m done with them), and… I don’t know, if you spent two years doing something because you enjoyed it, and then you showed someone the fruits of your labor, and they said something mean about it, how would you feel? I guess that’s it, but it’s just something writers need to deal with, too.
So that’s where I’m at! This shouldn’t affect my other writing in any way. I’ll just be slowly going through my older writing and editing a little here and there. I actually really enjoy editing sometimes, and some days I’m like, “Ugh… I need to finish writing this thing I’m working on, because I really just want to spend a day editing…” And now I can! A lot!
What Romance means to me (Insatiable Reads Blog Hop)
Hello! This might be your first time to my website, and if so, I just wanted to say thanks for stopping by. I know you’re probably here for a chance to win some prizes, so I’ll put that info right at the top after this introduction. I hope you’ll consider checking out the rest of the post and some of my books, too, though.
Blog Hop Grand Prizes (2):
A Kindle Fire
A $50 Amazon.com Gift Certificate
My Blog’s Prize (1):
A $10 Gift Certificate to either Amazon, B&N, iTunes, or All Romance eBooks (Your choice).
To enter to win a prize, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post. The more participating blogs that you leave comments at, the more chances you have to win (and each blog has their own special prizes, too, so that’s ~150+ chances to win something!). The giveaway will end on 7/21 at 11:59pm EST. For more info, check out http://www.insatiablereads.com/
Not sure what other blogs are participating? Go here:
Isn’t that blue monster guy face cute? I think he’s cute. He looks so happy.
Now that that’s all set and I think you have a good idea of what to do to enter, let’s get on to the post!
I’m going to go at this kind of like one of those school assignments. You know the ones, right? What does mean to you? Well, seeing as a write erotic romance and erotica with some romantic themes, I thought it’d be fun to do that.
Romance is a really interesting genre, because it can include so many different ideas and concepts. Even erotica is similar, where it’s a general theme, with so many various sub-genres that it’s a little scary sometimes. How do you know what you’re getting or what to look for? It’s hard! (Sometimes literally. Those heroic men, oh my. *fans self*)
One thing you should find in most romances is a happy ending. I know some people might disagree and think that you don’t necessarily need one, but I think you definitely do. It doesn’t have to be the happiest ending, but it’s got to be pretty happy. This one’s kind of a given, though.
And what else? Um… well, that’s about it, actually.
Some people say that you can’t have the main lovers partake in sexual relationships with anyone else, but I’m not entirely sure if I agree there. Why? Because sometimes it adds something necessary to the plot and it makes the story a lot more real. If the heroine(h) and the hero(H) are having some rocky times, adding a little sexual tension with some other characters can enhance that a lot.
It also hurts. What do I mean by that? It makes the fantasy a little more and less at the same time. We want to see the h and the H get together, but… now the h is sleeping with another man. Is this a permanent thing? Is the story over? We’re supposed to have a happy ending, right? We need that, and I just told you we’re going to get it, but…
Sometimes a story is happier when there’s some trouble involved. Sometimes it takes making mistakes to realize what your true feelings are. It’s difficult, and sometimes it hurts to see people make mistakes like that, especially in romance books where we desperately want the h and the H to get together and be happy. If they don’t make mistakes, then the happiness isn’t as great, though. That’s what I think.
That’s not to say that the h or the H need to make the same mistakes all the time, because that’d get boring, too, but the whole point of mistakes like this is to make the reward at the end so much better. Kind of like some mental BDSM sort of thing, maybe? A little bit of pain can increase sensitivity and sensation and make the pleasure so much better.
And, honestly? I think that’s what romance means to me in a lot of ways. It’s about experimenting, maybe stumbling, and then finding that one person who accepts you and your mistakes and loves you anyways. They’re there for you, and while it might have involved some hurt in order to get to where you are in the end, it’s worth it because it made the happiness a lot better.
Romance is about perfection, but it’s not about being perfect. It’s about the characters realizing their flaws and then realizing that they like each other, flaws and all, and they’ll help each other move past that to become a better person. Together. Separate, life can be really difficult, but when you’re together with someone, sometimes you can grasp at a little bit of perfection.
What do you think? Do you agree, or do you think there’s something else to it? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
If you’d like to check out some of my romance-themed books, here are some of my suggestions. I adore plot, but as a warning my sex scenes are explicit, some more so than others.
Princess Miri: An Erotic Coming of Age Monster Romance Novel (Medieval Fantasy Erotic Romance, involves taboo themes)
The Billionaire’s Ultimatum: His Absolute Need (Contemporary Erotic Romance, with BDSM and forbidden love themes)
His Absolute Obsession: The Billionaire’s Paradigm (Contemporary Erotic Romance, the first in a completed series of novellas/novels, with BDSM and obsession themes, the standalone sequel to The Billionaire’s Ultimatum)
One Year Personal Review
I’ve been deliberating over actually writing this or not. I decided to go for it, because I don’t think it can hurt, and I think some of you would be interested in reading it.
Before embarking on my journey of self-publishing, I used to work in some not so fun places. Lots of customer service and all of that. Just plain, basic things, and nothing very entertaining, but I didn’t mind it. I didn’t really like it, though, and I’ve always wanted to write, so on July 10th, 2012, I published my first e-book. I think I did it on Smashwords first, then I put it up on the other places after, so those places didn’t have it until July 11th, but I like to think of my “official” indie author anniversary as July 10th. It’s a pretty nice day, generally speaking.
So, anyways! I’m sure everyone’s done them, but a lot of places I’ve worked at like to do those yearly reviews, you know? I never liked those, and I’m sort of argumentative about them. I once marked down that I thought I went above and beyond in regards to dress code, because I try to look nice, right? Except, no, I was told that it’s impossible to go above and beyond on dress code. If you come to work appropriately dressed, then that’s it. Why did they have little check marks for anything besides “acceptable” then? I have no idea, and I asked that, but no one gave me a good answer. Just because. That’s just kind of silly, but I digress…
Now, as an indie author, I’m going to evaluate myself. If you’ve been following me for awhile, feel free to chime in, too. Let me know if you agree or disagree. I’d be happy to hear it!
First off, I initially planned to just write erotica shorts. My very first stories were Princess Miri, Moonlight Secret, Burning Need, Princess Miri’s Wet Sticky Mess, all written within the span of a couple weeks. I kind of cheated there, because I’d written the Princess Miri and Moonlight Secret stories a long long time ago, but I fixed them up and changed some things, and *POOF*, published!
Out of all those, I honestly didn’t know what exactly I was doing besides with the Princess Miri stories. I love all my stories, don’t get me wrong, but Moonlight Secret and Burning Need were kind of difficult for me. I think they’re good stories, and lots of people have enjoyed them, but I probably won’t be writing much more in the same vein as those.
Mostly, what I noticed within a few weeks was that I liked to write longer things. Hunted by the Beast and Dominant Dreams came up soon after those first ones, and both of those are noticeably longer. They aren’t long by any means, but I got to delve into more of what I liked.
And, basically, what I really like is plot. I think plot is kind of sexy, you know? I don’t know if that makes a lot of sense. Some people like to just read stories with an idea, but I can’t do that very well. A decent, popular example is something like… let’s say, the barely legal babysitter and the single father (or maybe not single? Scandalous!). It’s just the idea that arouses people, which is perfectly fine, but I can’t really get into reading or writing that too much. Something like that is more writing towards kinks or fetishes.
I won’t lie, I do it sometimes. Generally I add some plot in there, too, though. To a lot of people, that’s weird, but it’s just how I like to write. I think I provide something different and entertaining for anyone who wants a little more with their story.
That’s basically when it began. After feeling things out and getting more accustomed to what I preferred and how I preferred to write it, I went on to continue the Princess Miri series, Hunted by the Beast, and I started The Billionaire’s Ultimatum. These were all great choices for me. I did write some standalones in there, and to be honest you can read most all of my stories as a standalone if you like, but the plot was what drove me onwards, and I think people like that, too. The characters can build upon themselves and their world and explore it more, you know?
Miri started out as a bratty princess who was targeted by the daughter of one of her father’s vassels, but she became something else entirely. I mean, sure, she’s still kind of bratty, but I like Miri. I think Miri’s a really fun character. Thump grew, too. Then Allysin came into the picture, and we got to learn a little more about the castle from her perspective. Fleur evolved into… well, we won’t talk about Fleur (she’s kind of a bitch). The King, the citizens, Roy, all of it.
I do that with all of my stories now, and I’m trending towards longer, which I think a lot of people prefer. I want you to know the characters and feel more intimately about them. When Miri clears out the dungeons and takes them over for her and Thump to use, and then she treats it like a very private place where they can hide together, be alone, talk and learn and explore their sexuality safely, I want you to kind of realize how Miri feels, you know? She’s a princess, and sort of a brat or a bitch, but she’s a human, too, and she’s not immune to weakness. She just doesn’t have anyone and she’s not sure how to relate to anyone, and so Thump being hers and exploring with her and letting her have her moments of being a spoiled princess while also being the dominant monster troll that he is, well…
I find that a lot sexier. Miri’s emotions and need and desires, and her shortcomings and fears and worries; it makes the entire scene more intense to me. It’s sexy and erotic, but it’s also something more, too. That’s how I feel about that, at least. You can’t get that in a quick barely legal babysitter story, you know? You can get the sexy and erotic part, but you can’t get the “more” that I personally want to go along with it.
I could give examples of this sort of thing throughout all of my stories, but if you’ve read them it’s probably easy to see, too.
In addition to all of that, I’ve started working more towards adding paperbacks, novelizing my serials, and working on audiobooks. The paperbacks and serials-to-novels are somewhat obvious, but one thing I’ve noticed is that I need to have a good schedule of this. I have a “Publishing Schedule” tab on my website, but I need to fix it up a bit. My general plan when I started, and what I want to do now, is to have a new novel for you all every ~2 months or so. The paperback first, then the e-book after. I have a lot of reasons for why I do it in that order, but they’re kind of boring marketing stuff, so I won’t go into that. What this generally will mean is that ~6 months after the start of a series, the novel version should come out soon after. That won’t always be exactly the case, but I should be able to stick pretty closely to that schedule for the foreseeable future.
Audiobooks are interesting and difficult, but in a good way. The thing with those is that I really want to find narrators that bring the characters to life, you know? Sometimes I go searching for the perfect narrator, and other times I’ll put a story up and let people send in their auditions. The audiobooks I have so far are good, but some of the auditions really miss the point. They aren’t bad by any means, and these are professional narrators, but I can tell when someone’s not really into the story and only wants to make money.
I want to provide you with an amazing experience, and so I will only produce audiobooks with narrators who can put the necessary emotion into the scenes. You’ll find a lot of audiobooks that lack this, and some of those audiobooks are alright. If you just want to “hear” the story, they’re perfectly great and I’ve got nothing against that. For what I do, because I want to provide you “more” in the e-book and paperback versions, I want to find narrators that will help you experience the story, too. Overall, I just want to give you more, because that’s what I would want.
And so! That’s about it. That’s where we’re at so far. I appreciate everyone coming on this journey with me, too. As an indie author, I think that the reader/writer relationship is a bit closer than with a big publishing house’s authors. I try to be a little closer, and like my stories I want to give a little “more” than what you’d get otherwise. I just want to let you know about what’s up and I like to provide you with as much as I can. I’m writing more, working on more, and will continue to try and discover ways where I can improve this in the future.
Also, my business attire is impeccable lately. Far above and beyond! (I like to write at night a lot while wearing pajamas. Shh, don’t tell anyone!)
What do you think? I’d love to hear your opinions. Whether as a new reader or someone who’s just started checking out my stuff, I think all opinions, feedback, questions, or comments are useful and valid, and I like to hear them!
On Ghostwriting and Jordin Williams
I usually do my best to try and avoid drama. In fact, I basically just ignore people who try to cause drama, or I separate myself from any excessively dramatic situations. I’m perfectly content with having the only real drama in my life be in the stories that I write, because that’s a fun kind of drama, you know? It’s not tiresome and it doesn’t get old.
My one main exception to this rule is when someone says something that’s harmful to others. If someone wants to be involved in drama on their own, that’s their prerogative, but don’t drag in hundreds (thousands, millions?) of people into your issues by making mean, false statements about other people. It’s not only rude, but it’s damaging.
If you’re unsure exactly what I’m talking about, here is the quick version. There was a “new” author named Jordin Williams who released a New Adult Romance book titled Amazingly Broken. This book did very well and got some great reviews right off the bat from a marketing program they had where they contacted a bunch of book bloggers to promote their book. At one point it was close to #50 in the Amazon Kindle Store, which is A LOT of copies sold a day.
This went on for approximately 6 days before someone realized that whole paragraphs (many, many, much more than one or two or “accidental” mistakes) were plagiarized from Easy by Tammara Webber and Beautiful Disaster by Jamie Mcguire. Basically, what it seems like is that this Jordin Williams person cut/pasted segments from each book together, did some minor additions for cohesion, and “created” a new story that… was basically the same as those other two stories. Amazingly Broken wasn’t just similar, it was exactly the same as -at least- those two books. The cover is also the same as HM Ward’s The Arrangement 3 (with extremely minor changes), but that’s at least somewhat forgivable under regular circumstances, since many indie authors purchase the same photos from photographers. We pay for the rights to use these pictures, so it’s different. It doesn’t change the fact that the book was basically a copy/paste job of at least three different books.
So, that’s the story. Lots of people have talked about that, and you can find a ton of posts if you want to search around. I think the most prominent is at the Dear Author site where I first heard about it. This might actually be the first place to release this info, too, though I’m unsure of that.
The thing that bothers me the most about this are some of the Twitter comments that Jordin Williams tossed up in some attempt to mitigate her blame. One in particular essentially said, “Most/Lots of New Adult Romance authors don’t write their own books and hire ghostwriters.” Their defense towards extreme plagiarism before this was that they “hired a ghostwriter” to write their DEBUT NOVEL and didn’t realize the person they hired had done what they did.
First off, this makes no sense. A ghostwriter is basically someone who writes something for someone else for a price, and lets the other person take credit for their work. It’s kind of shady sometimes, but it’s useful in quite a few cases. The most common example is a celebrity’s book, since… honestly, most celebrities probably have an interesting story to tell, but they probably couldn’t write to save their lives. That’s fine, and we want to know their stories, so they chat with a ghostwriter, who takes their life story and writes it up into a book. That’s a perfectly great use of a ghostwriter.
Other places use a ghostwriter for big campaigns, which is also fine. I can’t give any good examples of this, but fantasy books for kids sometimes do this. Basically they want to have an entire “fantasy world” and keep it written by the same author name so that kids can find the books easier. So they have one or two (or more) authors who ghostwrite these books. That example is more like a pen name, but not quite, since some of those authors move on to do their own thing, or quits writing, or (hopefully not, but it happens) dies, and another takes their place. There’s nothing wrong with this, either.
This doesn’t happen for new authors (because why would it? There’s no audience, and there’s no point), and it’s almost guaranteed not to happen with indie authors, either. Indie authors, myself included, work so hard to tell a story, write it to the best of our abilities, edit it, get cover art done, formatting it for e-books, and so much more that people don’t even think about. To claim that a lot of us ignore all of that and have our books written by a ghostwriter is extremely disrespectful and rude. To me, it almost feels like Jordin Williams slapped all of my books out of my hands and told me that none of what I’ve been doing for almost a year now is real. All of the work I put in is a sham, and everyone should know it!
It’s not, though. The work is real. I do all of this myself. I don’t hire out a ghostwriter to write my newest novel. First off, I’m kind of bossy and I micromanage a lot, and I really don’t think a ghostwriter would want to work with me (haha). They’d probably get tired of it fast. Besides that, though, I love writing. I love making the stories my own. I don’t copy/paste people’s ideas. Some of my books might seem similar to other books, and I might have found inspiration in something I’ve read, or watched on TV, or listened to on the radio, but every single word I write is purely my own, and I would NEVER want it any other way.
I think a lot of indie authors are like this, too. It’s honestly a lot of hard work, and some of us have been rejected by big publishers in the past. I’ve never sent a book manuscript into any of the big publishing houses for this reason, too. Lots of people in the world want to make you feel inadequate and bad, just because it’s their job. I doubt that any of the editors at Random House or anywhere have anything against me, but if they don’t think my books will sell hundreds of thousands of copies, then they don’t want to see them and to them, that’s not good enough.
I have books that have sold less than a hundred copies, and I have some that have sold hundreds of copies. I even have some special books that have sold thousands of copies. But, you know what? I like all of them, and someone, somewhere, has also enjoyed each and every one. A big publishing house might not care about a book that’s only sold 83 copies (just making up a number there), but the 83 people who bought that book enjoyed it, and I love that. I love that I’m able to do that.
I admit that I want to write books that more people enjoy, and I’d love to write books that thousands upon thousands of people buy, but I just love to write. I love the time and effort put into it, and it’s extremely enjoyable to me. I love everything about being an indie author, even if some of it’s difficult or confusing or it upsets me sometimes. It’s a good kind of upset most of the time, you know? It means it might be hard now, but I’m doing something right, and in the end it’ll be more satisfying.
Basically, Jordin Williams ignored all of that. They plagiarized some books and published it as their own, and if that’s what they felt like doing, I don’t want to be a part of the drama involved. But the fact that she came out and BASHED other authors, taking away all of their hard work and effort, all of the time they spent perfecting a story, hoping that readers would like it… just throwing it out the window and claiming that lots of us hire ghostwriters?
It’s rude and disrespectful and mean. Most of us don’t do that. Most of us love our stories as much as you love our stories, and we wouldn’t disrespect other authors or readers by trying to place the blame on someone else.
Why do you write in so many different genres and styles?
Hello! Happy Monday!
I don’t know if anyone is actually curious about this, but I feel like it’s an interesting topic, and one that you don’t see a lot of writers talk about or do. Mainly, why do I write in so many different genres and styles?
Well, honestly, I don’t think they’re all that different, but here’s what I’ve got so far. Monster stuff is a big one, and then contemporary romance is the next. I recently finished my paranormal romance series(Soulless, Heartless, Hopeless), which was fun. I’ve also got some fairytale stuff, too. Historical, romantic comedy, noir detective mystery, urban fantasy, and a few more things that probably fit into one of the above but are a bit different, too.
All of these have erotic content, though, so I guess that’s the thread that binds them? I don’t know if that’s a good reason and I don’t really accept it, myself, but it’s there.
Anyways! I write them because I like that. That sounds kind of like a cop out answer, I guess, but it’s just fun to me. I enjoy exploring new genres and taking my own spin on them. I think that’s what this boils down to, really.
If I’m being perfectly honest, I prefer medieval fantasy-style stuff. Or I used to prefer it, anyways. I don’t think that’s a good mindset to get into with this kind of thing. I mean, hey, if I just wrote medieval fantasy all the time, I’d have a lot of that, and that’d be great, but… then what? I know authors who do this and have read more than my fair share of books from authors who basically never branched out from any one genre. It honestly gets stale and you can tell in their writing.
One random example–and I’m only using her as one because I honestly really love her writing, so it was kind of a love/hate thing, but I’ve got tons of respect for her–is Elizabeth Haydon. The first three stories in her Symphony of Ages series were WONDERFUL. I absolutely adored them and I would suggest them to everyone and read them over and over again(and I think I have). They’re kind of fantasy romance with adventure and action and all of that. After the first three, though, it started going downhill. I believe I enjoyed the 4th, but the 5th was kind of lacking, and I can’t say I enjoyed the 6th at all.
After she “finished” that series(because honestly it just kind of stopped, and I’m not sure it ever really fully concluded anything), she started up a YA series set in the same world. I haven’t read those, but I think that’s an interesting thing to do. Mostly, the other books were VERY adult, with sex and violence and all of those kinds of adult things. I have no idea how her YA fantasy books are, but I’m sure they’re nice because she has a wonderful style and tells a good story.
That’s really the thing, though. She got herself stuck in the Symphony of Ages books and I think it showed. By the end of the 6 book series, I don’t think she was as into it as the first three books. It feels like she wrote more because she felt like she NEEDED to write more, and not because she wanted to. Sometimes this can work out, but I think a lot of times it leads to burn out and disappointment.
I’d still read her books if she continued with the series, but I’m not sure if that’s a good idea on her part.
In the same kind of genre, Jacqueline Carey does an excellent job of writing the same but switching it up, too. Her Kushiel’s Legacy books start with three wonderful books, then continue on with three more great ones(my favorites of hers actually), and there’s three more after that. They’re all in the same world, but each set of three switches the main character, and so provides a new and interesting fresh look at her world of Terre d’Ange. Though, to be honest, I’m not sure the last three worked out so well with that, but they -were- interesting, just not really my favorites. Or, I’ve only read the first on of there(the seventh overall), so maybe I’ll change my mind when I get to the last two? I don’t know.
And even still, she has other books that are great, too. Her more traditional epic fantasy books kind of fit with the Kushiel’s ones, and then she completely throws you for a loop with some urban fantasy/paranormal stuff later on. I think this is great and a good idea.
So that’s where I stand, really. For my own writing, I want to write interesting things and continue writing them. If I’m really into an idea, I think I’ll tell a better story than otherwise. I want you, as a reader, to love what I’m writing as much as I do. I do “force” myself to write things, also, but I try not to push it too far. I try to explore new genres and test out ideas because I want to. It’s more of a “forcing myself to do this because I want to” instead of a “forcing myself to do this and I hate it,” which I think is a key difference.
And, honestly? I think it’s turned out well. I never liked contemporary stuff much before, so I rarely wrote it, but I wanted to try one. My best friend isn’t really into reading anything fantasy and she sticks to just contemporary stuff when she reads(which isn’t a ton, but she does read a few books a year), so I wanted to do it for that reason, too. I wanted to write something that she would want to read, so I wrote my Billionaire’s Ultimatum series.
I didn’t really like it at first, truthfully. I didn’t like it because it was HARD for me. But, on that same note, I think it became a much better story because of that. It made me think and decide on different things and try out new ideas and a new style of writing. I never liked first person point of view much before writing that, either, but I thought I’d try that out, also.
Now? I like contemporary. I think The Billionaire’s Ultimatum is a fun story and I’ve received a lot of good feedback on it, so I think I probably did a good job writing it, too. I didn’t like how hard it was for me to write it at first, but I got better with practice and I really loved the idea of the story itself, so I kept up with it. It’s different, it tested me, and overall it was fun and a good experience.
The same with the Soulless series, too. The same with most of my stuff, honestly. The only thing I can’t really get too into is the gay shifter story I wrote, because it was just kind of difficult to really get a handle on the idea, but I think it turned out well. I’d like to write another gay male story in the future, or at least maybe bi-curious or something.
Anyways! I write in these different genres and styles because I like them and I want to try them. I don’t think any of my stuff is so far out there that you’ll be absolutely appalled if you see it in my catalogue along with something you’ve liked, either. I mean, some of it seems pretty far out there, but it’s still me writing it. I have standards and a general style and I promise to try to never disappoint any of my readers with sub-par, worthless junk.
Sometimes you just want to try something new, you know? Sometimes it’s easier to get eased into that new thing, though. If you like my writing, you’ll know generally how I write, and so it’s a nicer process trying something different as opposed to having to find a completely different author that you’re unsure about, and then reading their stuff, too. I know how much of a turn-off that can end up being, where you want to try, say, a science fiction book or something, but you end up finding the one that’s super confusing and weird and you have no idea what’s going on. Then you think you hate science fiction! And, honestly, I’m not actually a huge fan of science fiction, but I absolute love some of it.
It’s good to try new things sometimes. And maybe to take slow, baby steps, so you don’t get overwhelmed.
That’s the reason I do what I do, at least.
I’ve recently made a decision. It’s honestly a difficult one to make, because it involves a certain amount of risk, but I’m willing to do it because I think it’s a good idea. I had this in my mind the entire time I started this, but I was never sure if I’d be moving along as well as I have.
My writing has been going well, though. I’ve landed on some Hot New Release lists, a few best sellers(I need to update that, but so far it’s Fantasy Series, Gay & Lesbian, Comic Fiction, Fairytales, Erotica[Brazil only], and Fantasy Romance[Germany]).
I want to push it farther, though, and I think you, as my readers, deserve that, too. My catalogue will still mainly consist of fantasy, paranormal, and contemporary romance, with some other fantasy and paranormal things added in for fun, but I’m moving into something more.
I’m not trying to be vague there. What I mean is paperback books and full-length novel e-books. I’m working on some audiobooks, too, but those are mostly beyond my control. One’s available, though! (I’ll show that at the end)
Anyways! What does this mean for you, as a reader? Well, the first paperback book slated for release is the full-length Princess Miri book, “Princess Miri: An Erotic Coming of Age Monster Romance.” The title’s maybe a bit of a mouthful, but I wanted to sum it up in as few words as possible, and there it is. The paperback will be released with an initial price of $7.99, and the e-book will be released soon, too. I’m hoping to have both of them out in a week or two, but I need to wait on some outside things first.
And, next? The Billionaire’s Ultimatum series will be packaged up into a print book and e-book version. That’ll be a little farther down the road, in a couple months or so. I do most of this myself(and I still have to write new stuff, so there’s that).
I didn’t know where to price them, though. It’s honestly difficult. I think I’ve come up with a solution, though.
I’ll be pricing paperback books as low as I can for as long as I can, but I do want to reach a wider audience, too. I know most people use a Kindle and Amazon, but I have a lot of people who buy my books from B&N and iTunes, too. iTunes isn’t too important for this, but B&N sells paperback books, so I don’t want to leave them out. This is technical junk, but in order to sell to B&N, I need to raise the price a little. I’m -hoping- that the end price for most books will be around $9.99, but I can’t 100% guarantee that.
E-books are different, though! I can price those at competitive prices everywhere, with everything being relatively low. Herein lies the issue, though. The original Princess Miri series, bought as parts, is pricier than what I’d like to price the full-length novel version as. What I -want- to do is price it at around $4.99, with occasional sales dropping it lower. I’m almost positive this is what I’m going to do, but if anyone wants to offer comments or opinions, I’m willing to listen.
Mainly, the full-length novel is coming out approximately 8 months after the first Princess Miri story was released. The people who bought it then got to read it far earlier than anyone else. It’s the same story, and fully edited, everything professional, but I’m thinking for those people who wanted to read it early, it’s worth it. Anyone who waits and ends up wanting to read the full-length version can get it cheaper, but they need to wait months before that.
I wasn’t up front with this in the beginning, and I’m really sorry about that, but I didn’t actually know this was anything I was going to do, either. Going forward, my new direction, this is what I’m going to do, though.
Basically, if you want to read everything first, then you can buy all of my writing in parts. These will be full parts, with a story in each, with an estimated length of 8,000-25,000 words each(approximately 32-100 paperback pages). Once the entire story is done, I’ll wait a few months(at least 6 months, maybe more, after the release of the first “part” of any story), and release a paperback version and a novel-length e-book version.
I’ll make everyone aware of this in the future as best I can. The easiest way to learn about any of this is to follow my site(there’s a button on the side!) and/or sign up for my newsletter(there’s a link on the side!). Almost everything with multiple “parts”(though I’m transitioning to putting (#number) instead, because these are still full stories in their own right) will end up like this.
Again, I’m -VERY- sorry that I wasn’t crystal clear about this in the beginning. I completely understand that it might make some people upset. I know it’s not the best thing ever, but I’m working on getting some bookmarks and stuff like that to do fun giveaways, and if you’re angry about this, I’d be happy to send some your way free of charge. Just email me at cerysdulys (at) gmail (dot) com and let me know(they aren’t ready yet, but I’m going to get them set in a few weeks). You can also send me angry fanmail, or ask me questions, or just talk, and I’ll try to get back to you as soon as possible.
So! Again! Going forward, new direction. If you want to read something first, you can. It’ll cost a bit more, but it will be available to you FIRST. This, in my opinion, is pretty neat. If you like the idea of something but you’d rather wait and get it a little cheaper, or you prefer a paperback version? You can do that, too, but you’ll need to wait 6+ months or so.
I’ll also occasionally be holding book giveaways and things like that. I’ll do the book giveaways through Goodreads, so if you haven’t signed up there before, now is a great time to do it! I’m not very good at Goodreads(it’s misleading!) and I have no idea what I’m doing yet, but I’d love to make more friends there. Here’s my profile so you can add me: http://www.goodreads.com/CerysduLys
And, to end it, here’s a sample for the first audiobook in The Billionaire’s Ultimatum series! I think Lauren did a great job. Give it a listen and let me know what you think? =)
It’s Normal to Doubt Yourself (Weekly Sale)
I think everyone goes through phases of doubting themselves. You never really know, right? Are you doing the right thing? Could you do something better? What if you’re wrong?
Maybe it’s a depressing topic, but I think it’s an interesting one, too. That’s also the mindset I used when I started writing the Monster Within series.
Drop of Doubt is the 4th story in the series, and it’s also the one I decided to put on sale this week. I know it might seem a little odd to have the 4th story of a series on sale, but I have a reason for that, too. The 1st is permanently set at $0.99, the 2nd and 3rd are $2.99, and the 4th is currently $0.99 until the end of the week. Overall, if you want to grab all 4, it’s only going to cost you around $8. All four parts are close to ~220 paperback book pages in length, which is longer than a lot of romance novels nowadays. You’re definitely getting your money’s worth.
Saying that, the Monster Within series isn’t finished yet. There’s more to come for Solace and Bastion and their story is one that’s really close to me in a personal sort of way. Yes, they’re just characters, but I’ve put a lot of my heart into them and some of the themes I wanted to explore are ones I’ve had to deal with on a personal level. There’s a very large amount of emotion put into these stories.
They are fantasy stories with demons, goblins, ogres, wisps, angels, elementals and all of that. I understand that’s not everyone’s thing, but I tried to make it nice and accessible. I didn’t go too overboard with the magic stuff. If I had to compare it to something, I’d say it’s similar in vein to Brent Weeks’ Night Angel Trilogy(though not quite, but they do explore some similar themes and ideas now that I think about it). Brent Weeks is a great author, too. I really respect him and I love his writing. He doesn’t really write romance, but if you enjoy interesting fantasy stories with a bit of spice sometimes(not often, but sometimes), then you should check him out, too.
The Monster Within series is about doubt and hope, learning to trust, finding a glimpse of happiness and holding onto it as tight as you can. It’s about finding that one person who accepts you for who you are, no matter what, and is willing to learn and explore the world with you. I really think it’s a wonderful story.
I’m tearing up a little here because of how emotional this story makes me. I have a lot of doubts sometimes(a drop or more), and sometimes I doubt what I write. I doubt if anyone will enjoy something and I doubt if I’ve written well enough. I want to do better, always, and maybe it seems like a silly thing to admit here on this blog post, because, who cares, but there’s a point to it.
Drop of Doubt(and the Monster Within series as a whole) is somewhat of an autobiography of sorts. Not –actually– since I’m nothing too similar to any of the characters, but the emotion behind them is real.
Which, I think, is interesting! Many writers are afraid to put too much into their writing. They don’t think they can, or they are scared, or whatever. I don’t know the reason. It’s hard, though, it really is. But if you want to read that kind of thing, which I think is interesting and I think a lot of others might find interesting, too, these stories are definitely for you.
The fantasy, monsters, and all of that are a part of them, but the real story is about emotions.
Drop of Doubt is a Fantasy Erotic Romance novella and will be available for $0.99 until February 22nd, 2013 at these select retailers!
Amazon | B&N | Kobo* | ARe | Smashwords (Use Coupon Code: QP65X )
*Kobo is lagging behind in price changes for some reason. I went ahead and requested they do it again, so hopefully it’ll be changed soon. If you prefer their shop, I apologize for the wait!