/> Witchblood: September 2012

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

The Problem With Names...

When I first started writing Witchblood one of the things I found most enjoyable was naming my characters. When thinking of names for my unborn babies it was rather more difficult because my husband had to agree with my choices! However naming characters is much more fun. I usually take into account their date of birth, then do some research on popular names around that time, then I take into consideration their personality and supernatural type.

It is only now I'm writing the third book I'm having problems. Firstly I've already used up a lot of favourite names, secondly names of friends or family often spring to mind and then think eek I can't use that because they'll get offended (especially as I have a fair amount of seriously evil characters in my books!)

The main problem I have just encountered is totally my own fault and comes from my start writing and see how things pan out style! I know authors are told to meticulously plan their entire book series but it doesn't work for me. I started out doing that in Witchblood, but then the characters got a mind of their own and started veering away from my plot, so in the end I gave up, let them do their thing and ended up with something better.

Currently I have plot lines for WitchLove up to Chapter ten and I still don't know how it's going to end... well I have an idea but... Anyway, a new character has just popped up and become a main character - Jess's aunt. Now for some reason in WitchCraft I mentioned Jess having an American aunt and without much thought, I called her Sally... and then I forgot about her! Move on five months and here I am writing WitchLove with a great new auntie character I've called Aunt Cora (yes I'm big into Downton Abbey currently!) and then six chapters in I suddenly find out I already named her Sally in the last book! Damnation! Now in my head she's Cora, but due to a couple of thousand people out there having a book that tells them Jess's aunt in Sally, I'm going to have to revert to Sally... and it's too twee. Why oh Why did I not plan?!

Saturday, 22 September 2012

On Making Money...

In a recent Amazon.com review for WitchCraft one reviewer put:

Ms. Mills, you need to charge more for your books. Great series. Likable characters. Fun adventures and much much more.

Now WitchCraft is actually my most expensive book priced at $2.99 or £1.53. Witchblood, the first instalment is only 99c / 77p and I've had many a raised eyebrow from friends and family at this pricing, when they see paperbacks on the shelves at £7.99. However, paperbacks cost a lot more to make as I'm just finding out. Currently I'm looking into using Createspace to turn the Witchblood series into paperback, which will hopefully be available on Amazon by the end of the year. The higher priced paperbacks are also generally well known names, classing themselves as 'published authors,' somehow when you self-publish this accreditation is much harder to come by and I do understand why!

However even compared to other indie authors my prices are indeed low, and especially with Witchblood I barely make any commission at all, but I think it's worth it. Currently I feel like a novice, I'm just learning my trade and hopefully gaining some fans along the way. It still amazes me every day, when I see 10 'likes' on a Wichblood Facebook post, from people I don't know and who live thousands of miles away. I think my writing is getting better with each book, I hope my proof readers, editors and such find less errors... that's the plan anyway! I'm trying to write the best stuff that I can, I'm spending much less time on marketing, twitter etc because I've come to believe that it's pretty pointless. I am much better spending my valuable time writing. You readers are my best chance of success, if you like my books leave me a review - I read all of them and try to learn from all of the constructive ones. Hopefully if you like my books you'll become a repeat reader or recommend me to a friend, and if you don't like it... well you've only spent 77p so it's not the end of the world is it?!


So maybe I will put my prices up a little in the future when I have a larger title list; but for now I'm just happy to have people trying my novels and taking a chance on a new, unknown author.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

WitchBlood Goodies...

Oooo look the WitchBood goodies have arrived! I have already nabbed one of the Witchblood bags and have been using it for shopping and school run. It says 'Half Witch' in green and looks great... In hindsight I should have maybe put the website or series title a bit larger, but never mind!


I've also got 50 bookmarks to giveaway to people which I'm really happy with as they are double sided.

I thought I'd run a Halloween giveaway (and it WILL be international so my friends across the Atlantic are included!) Any ideas? I was also wondering if people would be interested if I included an angel crystal pendant with the 1st prize?

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

The Look Challenge

Well, I've been tagged by the lovely Tom Winship, author of the Vaempires Series I reviewed in my previous post! Basically, he had done the Look Challenge and as part of it you have to then tag another five authors. What I love is that Tom chose me alongside Stephen King... How cool is that?!

Anyway the deal is I have to locate the first usage of the word Look in my current manuscript and then post the surrounding paragraphs as an expert of the book on your blog. Like Tom, I think this sounds like a good reason for a blog post, so here goes... it could be tricky as I'm only 2 chapters into my current manuscript WitchLove, and there is also the possibility of giving away too much... wouldn't want now would we?!

Okay, it's fine. I found a LOOK on the 2nd page of Chapter One so no surprises ;) Also be warned I only wrote this last week, and it's un-edited, un-proof read and was written all in a rush and is liable to change!


Everybody wanted a piece of me, but Luke and Daniel were the only people I felt I could trust and now Daniel was gone.
‘Hey you, don’t you want to wear something a bit more…’ Luke said, as I made it downstairs.
‘A bit more what, Luke?’ I said.
‘Erm… no it’s fine, you just… Well you look a bit…’
‘What?’
‘Tough? A bit Matrix meets Underworld. It’s not you Jess and we want the council to be lenient,’ Luke said, not quite meeting my eyes.
‘Yeah well, I want them to know that I can handle myself, that I kicked that vampire, rapist’s butt and set him ablaze… Well that was before your mate came in and decapitated him,’ I said, feeling the involuntary pull of my lips as they curled upwards. He looked up, met my gaze and grinned back.
‘Fine, come on then, but I’m calling you Selene, the vampire warrior from now on,’ he said, walking past me, intentionally bumping into me and knocking me sideways.

So, there you have it! Hope this has given you a taste for more :) Now I have to tag five authors:

Dianna Hardy
Patricia Lynne
Penelope Fletcher
My favourite Vampire Series Author Richelle Mead
and my soon to be published Romance Author friend Aurelia B. Rowl

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Vaempires Revolution: Review

You may remember that earlier in the year I did a blog swap with Tom Winship, author of the Vaempires series and having a pile of books to wade through along with a couple to write I hadn't got round to reading this series? Well over the summer I took my kindle on holiday and decided it was time to knuckle down, stop being squeamish and give them a go! I was glad I did. Here is my review:
 
Vaempires: Revolution (The Evolutionary War, Book One)
 
Blurb:
 
Cassandra’s boyfriend, Daniel, is late for the party. He’s still outside the city when all hell breaks loose. What he believes is an act of terrorism proves to be a full-fledged revolution. Væmpires—former vampires who mutated into warm-blooded creatures with an insatiable hunger for cold blood—have launched coordinated attacks across the globe, with three goals: the eradication of humanity, the enslavement of vampires, and the ascension of væmpires as the dominant species on the planet.

The vampire and human leaders are killed. Cassandra is missing. Daniel is the acting king. Desperate to find the princess, Daniel and his friends fight their way across the besieged city. With the hopes of the free world resting on the shoulders of four vampire teenagers, væmpires unleash their secret weapons—væmpires with special powers.

What can four teens do against an enemy that can shape-shift, fly, or walk through walls?
 
Review:
 
The vampire/supernatural books I read are generally all YA genre, this book is different. It is hard to class because it has a teenage hero & heroine, but in my opinion it is exceptionally violent, more so than the Hunger Games. This is a YA book written for adults... or maybe not, I'm not sure.

What I do like is the evolution of vampires and the ideas of a new (& very scary) future. The writing was brilliant and highly descriptive. I could imagine every drop of blood spattered and every wail and scream! At some points I had to skim over parts which were too violent for my tastes, but I'm a bit of a wimp and don't like gory action/war films, and this is a book of war. A war like no other. A war between vampires and vaempires.

Somewhere amongst the fighting there is a love story. I would have liked a lot more development of this, but then I like YA romance!

If you like vampires, war and lots of action you will pretty much definitely love this book.


****

Since I got back from my holiday unfortunately my reading has been paused to wite WitchLove so I haven't had time read the prequel, 'White Christmas, but I believe this has all the relationship history of the characters which I will enjoy reading in the near future.


Also for all Vaempire fans out there Tom is set to release the sequel, Vaempires: Zombie Rising next month!

Vaempires: Zombie Rising
Find Tom at:
http://www.vaempires.com

http://www.twitter.com/vaempires



Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Broken Destiny Trailer Release


So, last week an author friend released her book trailer for Book One of her 'Broken' series. She sent me the link so we could have a look, but first the blurb:

An amazing new sci-fi, urban fantasy series begins with The Broken Destiny: Book One of the Broken Series. Ava’s people have been exiled to the planet Poseidon where, through a series of awful events, Ava discovers that their existence has been fabricated by the Council and that she has a Destiny that could save them. Her soul is a key to a secret weapon that has been lost to an ancient race. To live up to her Destiny, Ava needs to go through a sequence of changes that will reveal her true purpose. Throughout her journey she will become what she hates in order to save the ones she loves; and through it all she will find herself – for that is her Destiny. The next in the series, Evanescent, is not to be missed. Carlyle Labuschagne lives in Johannesburg South Africa. She has always been a daydreamer, wanting to inspire others, and now finally her dreams have come true with her debut novel. Follow the author at http://twitter@CarlyleL and www.carlylelabuschagne.com. Publisher's website: http://www.sbpra.com/CarlyleLabuschagne

Here is the books trailer:
 

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Voices in my Head

Today two things happened, one good, one not so good. It's not bad exactly...just infuriating. But these things happen to teach us the error of ways and today I have learnt that no matter where I am or what I am doing I should ALWAYS carry a notepad and pen.

So I was driving home from the garden centre this afternoon, mulling over my plot lines for WitchLove and listening to Birdy on my cd player and track 10 came on, 'Without a Word'.
 
 
This song could be written about Jess, her feelings, her pain and what she's about to go through in Chapter two, WitchLove. It's perfect, if only I could use it for my trailer huh?!
 
Anyway, the song got me thinking and before I knew it the voices in my head were chattering away... yes I have voices in my head. I'm not sure yet if that makes me a writer or a lunatic, or maybe both, but as soon as I get any quiet time... well let's just say, I'm never on my own. I'm always joined by the full cast and characters from my WIP. Generally it helps, not so much when it's 1am but who I am to argue, I pop the light back on and write it down dutifully in my notebook. But guess who didn't take her notebook to the garden centre?
 
Yes, I was only 10 mins from home, I told myself I'd remember, but when I got home I did some gardening, then I picked the kids up from school. It was only when I was relaxing in the bath that I remembered my grand idea... except I couldn't remember what the damn thing was! I still can't remember and I spent the full 30mins racking my empty head and trying my best to remember.
 
So the moral of my tale is, Always carry a notebook, or more important, just a pen...you can write on my skin if necessary!
 

Monday, 3 September 2012

Back to School...

 


Well the summer holidays are over, hubbie has started a new job today, the kids go back to school tomorrow and the sun has come out to play... Typical! I hope you've all had a good summer, mine has been lovely actually. I took some time off to relax following my illness last June and luckily it coincided with my husband taking gardening leave before starting a new job, so we've had a lovely month together as a family, including our chilled out holiday in Corfu!

I was worried that my sales would dive bomb with me going AWOL, but instead they have only grown which is fantastic. It is so great to see people buying and enjoying my books. I can't wait to get started on writing WitchLove. I have all the chapter notes on my desk and come 09:30 tomorrow I will be sitting down and starting work! Though I have to say... I don't know about other authors out there, but I hate writing the first two chapters. It fills me with terror as excuses to delay and make more cups of tea, rapidly fill my brain, leaving no room for actual words! So click on Facebook tomorrow to see how many words I actually managed to write, and if it is above 1000 I will be extremely happy!