Category Archives: E- Publishing

Non Sleazy Self-Promoting (Then a Promotion about a Promotion!)


One of the best things about e-publishing is the about of creative control you get over your narrative.  In the end you get to decide what you want to write about, how you want to write about it, and who you want in it.  The downside about this of course, is it’s up to you to make sure people know it exists.  Self-Promotion is the only promotion, and it’s a necessary part of being an e-book author.  How and where you decided to promote has a lot to do with how successful you are.  There are some right ways and wrong ways to do this.

Wrong way: Going onto Amazon and self-promoting everywhere.  Many e book authors are amazon exclusive, so it makes sense to go there. However, any amount of self-promotion or mentioning your own book outside of the Meet Our Authors forum is completely discouraged.  This might seem odd at first to a new writer, how else are people going to here about your book if you don’t talk about it?  The problem is, there are thousands of other authors with the same thing in mind, and soon the amazon forums get glutted with everyone only offering their own book any time asks for a recommendation.  It’s considered tacky if you relatives if or those involved in editing your book do it either for the same reasons.  So how do you get the word out with forums?

Right Way: First, if normally forums you used in your hobbies (such as gaming forums) have a miscellaneous section, you can always post links there (check those forums rules before you do so).  Doing this helped a lot with the initial launch of Fall of House Nemeni.  Second, you can go to writers forums that allow that sort of thing.  For example, the Genre Underground group on Goodreads,  http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/70802 has several places for new authors to write about their own books.  Other groups can be obtained from google too.

Wrong way with social media: Constantly spamming your normal friends, and only the people you already know to buy your stuff.  After the tenth post about your new book, Grandma might block you from facebook.  That would probably be humiliating.

Right way with  popular social media (twitter, google+, facebook) : Make new accounts for just you as an author.  If not using a pseudonym, then use one just for the “writing side” of you.  Of all of them twitter is probably the best.  It is easy to get a large following of other authors (follow e book authors and they will often follow you back).  In addition to social media, blogs can be used as a way of getting your name out, as long as you post frequent and original content that those besides just readers of your books would want to see (hint this blog is an example :))

Networking with other writers is a fantastic way to promote your book.  It is not acceptable to just say to other writers “tweet my book posts” or “put a link to my book on your site.”  Instead actual friendships with other authors can be beneficial to all.  Mention them at random times in other posts, and help them with their own book launches and other news.  In return, they will be more than happy to help out without you having to badger them when you need the same assistance.

This month the Genre Underground will have blog swap, with the last post of the month swapping mystery author’s blogs.  This event is called “Trick and Treat”.  The link to information about this is here:  http://www.genreunderground.com/GU_TrickAndTreat.html and I highly recommend reading the others blogs to get used to their style, so when it comes around you can guess as many as possible.  Prizes (including a HUGE one from Bookbaby) abound, and I am getting into the spirit of it by giving my own prize.  Besides the above link, tonight on twitter there will be chat about it with the hashtag #GUchat (8pmEST) and the @GenreUndergroun feed.

The winner will get a short story, written by my set in one of my worlds (of their own choosing).  The also will request what he main protagonist is like (it can even be based on you) and maybe a hint of what they want the story to be about.  Then I will write it for you, and post it here later (free for everyone).

Poll:

How do you feel about self-promotion

1)I have no problem with it.

2)Necessary Evil.

3)I hate it.


Reviews: Life Blood of Independent/Self Published Books


As per the title, without reviews independent and even more so, self-published books, wither away and disappear.  Without a giant media machine letting you know you should buy something, or buying reviews in Locus or other major review organizations the only way most readers know if they are truly interested in your work is in reviews.  The two most important for this are Amazon Product review and Goodreads.  Without these things, your book is lost amongst the glut of self-published fiction, with nothing but maybe your cover and product description to distinguish yourself.

In some ways the Amazon Product Reviews are the most important.  A prospective reader can tell if someone actually bought the product, and Amazon does a good job filtering out sock puppet accounts and false reviews.  There is also an immediacy to it, especially if you book is a Kindle only one, for they can scroll down and see the whole review right away.  If something happens to make it so that they are already reading your description (such as your cover catching their eye, a free promo day kicking you up in the rankings, hearing about your work on twitter) this is probably the best type of review to have.  However this does not normally help someone learn about your book and something had to already draw them to that product description page for it to do any good.

Therefore Goodreads reviews can be excellent to have also.  Many people like to use Goodreads, especially if their friends with someone, or someone has similar reading tastes to them.  The way a reader tags your book is good too, for it can show up in searches more frequently.  From my own personal experience my Goodreads reviews seem to be by people giving more in depth reactions to my book than my amazon reviewers, but that is only anecdotal evidence.

Other ways available for your book to be review include personal and professional blogs.  The more widely read the blog is the better it is for you.  However this sets up an issue that the very wide read blogs are often booked up and so it can either take forever for someone to review your book this way, or they may not even try if there are not enough reviews on your book already.  This is where it helps to have reviews on Amazon or Goodreads, to show that other people found the novel worth their time.

If you really want to thank an independent/self-published author for writing a book you enjoyed then write a review on one of the above places.  Even if it’s not perfect, any word of mouth and honest opinion does help, and it’s more genuine that way.  You do not have to give a glowing 5 star review to make an author very pleased that someone took their time enough not only to read what they wrote, but to give an opinion about it later.  All of this is of course because my newest book Mandatory Paradise is very new, and looking very lonely with no reviews anywhere.

Poll

If you read Reviews, where do you get them from? (you can choose more than one)

1)Amazon

2)Goodreads

3)Small Personal Blogs

4)Large Review Blogs

5)Libraryanything

6)Shelfari

7)Other, put in the comments below

 

World Tidbit – Allmother’s Fire

The Grand Laws of the Universe are often said just like that in one large unwieldy phrase.  The Grand Laws are not put in just one specific book, but are all the combined observations of scholars and philosophers throughout the Centuries of how the world normally runs.  Families with Domain over a certain aspect can Loophole them, but they still follow some sort of internal logic with a cost for what they do.

Many philosophers have thought of codifying what the Laws are so that they can be read in all of one book.  The Allmother’s church however has a distaste for the written word, and discourages such movements whenever they occur.  It is whispered that this may be because the Church is afraid that people will look to the Grand Laws instead of the Allmother to solve their answers if this was ever to occur.

In the darkest of locations it is rumored such a book does exists, and the Church has either destroyed it or acquired it long ago, never to be seen again.


Letting a Book Go (post publication)


So your book is done, it’s published and the world now has access to it.  What do you do next?  In my opinion, boot up the computer and start typing your next book.  That doesn’t mean you do not pay any attention to what you just released. You obviously need to talk about it, publicize it, and let others know it exists.  At the same time, right before a book is released you are living and breathing that book constantly.  You go over final edits, approve covers and formatting, and start setting up a support network for it.  All you can think of is that book day in, and day out.

If you are an e-author however your bread and butter is new books.  You don’t have the same publication machine as the large publishers, so you cannot be content to rest a bit before kicking out another book by the next year.  Not to mention in most cases your efforts have been more procedural based and you probably were not writing much while the book was about to be published.  Now is the time to hit they keyboard and move on!

The biggest advice I believe though is to not get caught up in the sales aspect of the new book.  It seems it takes 12-36 hours for payments to process, and it can make a person go insane if they just keep hitting refresh waiting for the latest sales reports.  Instead channel that fidgety energy into launching into the next narrative.

Another issues I have noticed is no matter how long you have a book in the editing process you can always think of little things you want to change or alter once it is out.  Unless it is important (like typos, grammar, major errors) then it is best just to let it go.  I have known several people who have written some great things but never tried to  publish it, for they could never find the “final” form they want it to be in.  Instead they clamp both hands on their manuscript down firmly and never release as they keep trying to perfect it into eternity.  I personally don’t think there is such thing as perfection, and if a majority of the people editing/beta reading like the product, it is time to let the world have it.

Not to mention one of the joys of e-publishing is if you really do need to make changes, you can do so after publication.  I would not recommend this with large story points, and of course you should thoroughly remove all spelling/grammar issues before hand.  If you really want to tweak that one piece of dialogue though, or add one sentence to a description to clarify intent, you can do that.  Don’t do it right away though.  Come back a month after your book is released, and then re-read it.  If you still have those issues it won’t be because you just could not let go, and then it won’t be a bad thing to make those alterations.

Poll

This poll is not completely related to this post.  It’s also different for me, because for once I am not starting a new book (still working on the second Allmother’s Fire book) or in the final process of getting another book out.  I am curious of something though, and it definitely ties into publishing:

Where do you hear about new books?:

1)Old Fashioned word of mouth.  My friends tell me about a great book, and I then try it.

2)Internet Retailers: I go to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc and look at their recommendations for me

3)Reviews: From magazines, Goodreads, newspapers, I read something proactively to hear about new good books

4)Social media: I see what options are out there on Facebook, Google +, Pinterest

5)Actively see out new books.  I don’t randomly read reviews, but I will google for books similar to ones I already like.

World Info will return with the next blog.  I need some catch up time, and will be writing a blog for Genre Underground soon that I will link to.


Mandatory Paradise is published today!


The new book, Mandatory Paraidse,  is published!

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008XM6ST4

Alnanla has not always enjoyed her life as a Priestess and a teacher, but she, like every citizen of the Island of Nimoa, has always had her needs met. At night she gazes up at the energy shield that keeps everyone safe from the flying monstrosities of legend, and she wants more than just to exist in her pre-ordained role. When hundreds of innocents are massacred, Alnanla finds herself to be the prime suspect. To clear her name, she teams up with a grieving Bureaucrat, an eternally optimistic Artist, a gruff Outsider and a sarcastic Spirit. As they begin to discover the details of what really happened, they find more than they bargained for. Should they expose the dark secrets they find and risk their society’s destruction? Or should they sacrifice their lives and let the lies continue in order to preserve the way of life that has given them all peace and safety for thousands of years?

One interesting aspect of the novels is each chapter is written in a style similar to the thought processes of the character it is showcasing.  Two of the characters have a rather flippant and sarcastic way of percieving the world, and it shows in their chapters.

Go and grab a copy today, and tell your friends as early sales are great for the life of a book!


Mandatory Paradise Cover Art (Fitting the tone of the Book)


Not the most creative title ever, but pretty accurate.  Here is the cover art to my new book below:

Cover art is very important, as often even before a synopsis is read a prospective reader will see the cover.  If you are in a list the title and the cover is all they have, and it must catch the eye and interests of a prospective reader.  It helps if it fit’s the book tonally too, so it is not jarring to a reader if they see an epic fantasy like cover then read a story mainly focused on economics.

The cover you see is not the first draft, and it is significantly different than the first.  The first had an authentic Minoan background, but it clashed a lot with the rest of the cover, and some people thought it would repel readers.  We chose the current background you see of a Labyrinth due too it’s importance to the story, and that it gave a neutral tone so the rest of the cover would “pop” better.

Also, the stark lack of details about book plot from the cover was done like many thrillers. The intent was to give more of a feel and less of a preview of what actually occurs in the book.  The only tone aspect that is not shown in the artwork is the “flippant” (think more Terry Pratchett) tone some chapters are told in due to who the characters are.  Each chapter is written featuring specific characters, and when that is happening the “voice” of the chapter synchs with who is starring in it.  So a chapter about a priestess or a bureaucrat will be more serious than one told from a rather frivolous artist or gruff outsider.

With all of those differences there was not a way to convey this on the cover without clashing in a very “busy” manner.  I do like the details in this cover and it holds up very well when increased in size, and I may eventually make this book available for print (there was resolution issues with my last one, and I will not be able to have that book ready for print until I can resolve them).

As for other final touches, the book will come out this week, most likely Wednesday or Thursday.  There will be a blog post when it comes up.  I’m just doing one last once over and all of the involved formatting before it is released.  The Sample Chapter available at the top of this website has been altered to match the edited text of the book.

The final Synopsis has been made by the way :

Alnanla has not always enjoyed her life as a Priestess and a teacher, but she, like every citizen of the Island of Nimoa, has always had her needs met. At night she gazes up at the energy shield that keeps everyone safe from the flying monstrosities of legend, and she wants more than just to exist in her pre-ordained role. When hundreds of innocents are massacred, Alnanla finds herself to be the prime suspect. To clear her name, she teams up with a grieving Bureaucrat, an eternally optimistic Artist, a gruff Outsider and a sarcastic Spirit. As they begin to discover the details of what really happened, they find more than they bargained for. Should they expose the dark secrets they find and risk their society’s destruction? Or should  they sacrifice their lives and let the lies continue in order to preserve the way of life that has given them all peace and safety for thousands of years?

Poll Question:

Which cover do you prefer?:

A) The Fall of House Nemeni

B) Mandatory Paradise

There were aspects I liked about both covers, but due to the resolution issues I might contemplate using a different artist for the second Allmother’s Fire book than I used for the first one.  I personally like this new one more, but I am curious what my readers think.

Next Blog: THE RELEASE OF MANDATORY PARADISE!  Woo  hoo!


Interview with Dave Meek


Today’s interview is with Dave Meek, author of Stalker Squadron a modern or slightly future techno thriller.  He is a member of the Genre Underground, and he has some great real world experience to bring to his exciting novels!

MD: There was a lot of precise military details, from tech to chain of command in this book.  What is your military background?

Dave:  I spent eight years as a naval flight officer.  I was a flight navigator and an airborne communications officer with over 2,000 flight hours.  That’s a lot for one tour with a squadron, but that was the nature of the work.  My first assignment was a unique squadron that flies highly classified missions.  Most of what we did was strategically, rather than tactically, oriented.  After that assignment, I rotated to an anti-submarine warfare training center, which was very different from my squadron.  It was there that I worked with ex-military contractors.  In short, I pretty much lived the foundation of what I used for the military material in the book.

MD: How much of the details in this book were from personal experience, how much was researched, and how much was fabricated?

Dave: What I find most interesting about the story’s technology is that it holds up so well.  I originally wrote the story in 1998, back when drones were basically remote-controlled post-war aircraft used for target practice for fighter pilot training and weapons testing.  At that time, people were just starting to suggest using drones for spying or carrying weapons.

In 1998, I had just finished a contract as technical writer for Intel Corporation, so I had a good understanding of leading-edge computer technology, the direction of development, and the future potential.  I also did considerable research into military aviation technology in addition to my own military experience.  Combined, what I learned was that by the time we see the “leading edge” technology, it’s actually old tech and nearly obsolete.  The pipeline that we don’t see is already full.  What we consider “leading edge” is often 5-10 years old.

So what I did with the story was to ask not, “What’s next?” but, “What’s after that?”  Basically, I assumed “what’s next” had happened and used that vantage point to better see what was after that.  I tried to imagine what was actually just entering the pipeline.  Based on what we’re seeing now, I think I hit the mark.

The downside was that when I finally got an agent in 2000 and shopped the story around, no one would pick it up.  We got several responses that the story was “science fiction” rather than techno-thriller or action-adventure.  My agent asked if we should rebrand it as science fiction, but I know science fiction well enough to know this story isn’t true science fiction, nor could I make it so.  Now, if one keeps up with this sort of thing, you’ll see that we are preparing to deploy drones that are almost at the level of the Stalkers in my story.

As for the people and places, I researched just about everything, and used my research as a foundation for fabrication.  So the technology was 90 percent research and 10 percent fabricated, which consisted mostly of how I combined separate technologies into a new whole.  As for the rest, it’s roughly 40 percent research and 60 percent fabrication.  Most of the fabrication comes from assembling something new from a variety of separate parts.

MD: Kate is a very original protagonist for a techno thriller, and very three dimensional.  What where you influences for her as a character (literary, real life, anything else)?

Dave: First of all, thanks for the compliment!  As a writer, it’s always a joy to hear that a reader has enjoyed a story and its characters.

Now, to answer your question, Kate’s character was influenced by everything you mentioned and more.  Frankly, I find a lot of “strong” women characters to be guys in drag.  But a woman doesn’t need to act like a guy to be strong.  In fact, the strong women I’ve known have all been strong in a very female sort of way.  I’m talking about women who have raised four or five kids on their own after being widowed.  I grew up near quite a few families like that during the time of the Vietnam War.  I also read stories written by women.  There’s even a little Sigourney Weaver thrown into Kate.

MD: All of the characters in this book have their own goals and drives, and most can even clash with their allies and friends.  As a reader, I loved this and it drove the plot in interesting directions.  Was it a conscious decision to do this, and as a writer did you let the plot change based on the individual drives?  Or where these goals each people had created when you made the characters for the specific point of reaching certain places in your plot?

Dave: I’ve been on a lot of teams and projects in the military, the private sector, and the public sector.  The reality is that people have shared goals and their own goals, and sometimes those different goals clash.  I wanted that sort of realism in my story.

I was very careful to ensure that each side, the good guys and the bad guys, had their own goals and drives that often clashed.  At the same time, the good guys’ differences were all focused in the same direction, and the bad guys’ differences were all focused on separate directions.

MD: For a very Political based book (as anything dealing with the White House and interactions with other countries is) you definitely stayed away from having the characters be from specific parties or even overall espousing specific political views.  Was this done intentionally to make the book itself be non-political?  Was it so that politics would not get in the way of the story or other reasons?

Dave: Politics is a very hot topic, especially these days, and emotions often run high. As a writer, I want my books to have as wide an appeal as possible.  On the other hand, Stalker Squadron deals with a conspiracy against the president of the United   States, and things don’t get much more political than that.  I felt I owed my readers a story that people from all parts of the political spectrum could enjoy.  So I tried to distill the common elements at both ends of the political extremes, which is basically, “grab power, push it to the max, and don’t compromise.”  That’s an oversimplification, of course, but the idea was to present things in a way that everyone relates to without being offensive to anyone.  It’s a tightrope walk.

MD: Your Chapters contained multiple character, time, and location viewpoints (separated by when and where each scene took place).  Taking this into account, what did you use to define when you wanted a new chapter to start?

Dave: I treated each chapter as a separate, small story within the larger story.  I felt that, within reason, each chapter had to be somewhat self-contained.  It wasn’t always easy to define the limits, and of course each chapter needed linkage to the rest of the story.  But this approach helped the story build step-by-step.  I also took advantage of chapter breaks to control the pace and build suspense.

MD: What is you writing experience/background?  Have you written anything before?

Dave: My interest in writing started when I was 14.  I enjoyed reading stories and watching stories told in movies and TV shows.  At some point, I realized someone had to tell those stories, and I was awed by the idea that a person could take the vaporous images in his mind, put them on paper, and have the same images appear in another person’s mind.  At that time, I tried writing short stories simply by writing the events as I imagined them.

In college, I took a class in which the entire semester was spent reading and analyzing Homer’s Odyssey.  It was then that I was introduced to the structure of story telling and the power of symbolism.  Good storytelling is more than stitching together a bunch of events.

Since leaving the Navy, I worked for 11 years as a technical writer, mostly in the computer industry for companies such as Intel and Hewlett-Packard, as well as with state government entities.  On the side, I’ve written a bunch of short stories, some of which I consider to be fairly good.  I’ve also written two novel-length stories, one of which was a 900-page monster.  Neither of those is worthy of publishing, but they honed my ability to write structured, consistent stories that hold a reader’s attention.  Stalker Squadron was the first story in which I did those things while simultaneously my writing began to come fluidly, without being forced.  (Well, mostly.)

MD: Are there plans to do more books with any of these characters?  Or do you prefer to write self-contained books?  Either way, why?

Dave: I always start by envisioning a self-contained book.  I find this approach helps me focus on the story at hand; otherwise, I’d get distracted too easily.  Also, although the idea of a series or spin-off always hovers around in the background, I figure that if the original story succeeds, those considerations will take care of themselves.  If the story doesn’t succeed, a series or spin-off probably won’t succeed either, so there’s little point in my thinking about it too soon.

Now that Stalker Squadron is done, I have plans for a spin-off with Major Eckland and his team facing off against terrorists.  I find the storyline very timely and intriguing, and I’ve made extensive notes.  However, I’m currently working on another story that suddenly grabbed my imagination and won’t let go.  But Eckland’s time in the limelight will come next.

MD: What writers or other media have influenced your writing?

Dave: Number one is Homer’s Odyssey, which is perhaps the greatest story every told.  It spans the entirety of human experience and psychology.  Our technology and mores have changed since Homer’s day, but basic human qualities have not.  The next greatest influence is Joseph Heller’s Catch 22.  It’s nearly a handbook on human psychology and behavior, although it’s definitely skewed toward the darker side of the human psyche.  After that, there are a number of influences, but none that particularly strong, except perhaps an ever-present but somewhat mild Hemingway influence.

MD: What is your next book and how far through into it are you?

Dave: I just started chapter 7 of my next book, and it’s a complete departure from Stalker Squadron.  It’s a fantasy about a secret society living within our society.  It’s a worldwide yet extraordinarily small society.  They have special powers, of course, but they aren’t strong enough to survive discovery by society at large.  An internal power struggle threatens this secret society and the outcome of that struggle will have consequences for them and the rest of us.

For a variety of reasons, I’m very excited about this next book.  First, M. Todd Gallowglas is helping me with it, and he’s an amazingly talented and creative writer.  I have some characters, and he has others that conflict with them.  It all makes for some very challenging but exciting writing.  Also, every story contains a “special world” in which the characters operate, and every special world has its own rules.

For example, the special world of Stalker Squadron was that of military pilots, computer experts, high technology, and politics.  The characters had to behave and react according to the inherent rules of that world.  It was a fun story to write.  But it was somewhat limiting too.  They couldn’t violate the rules of physics and aviation, the limitations of technology, and the realities of politics.

With this new story, we have created an entirely new society with its own rules of behavior.  Their powers have special rules as well.  It’s challenging but fun to see how we can manipulate these rules to achieve interesting effects.  And for me, the most fun is seeing how I can push the rules to the limit, to reach logical results that surprise the reader and yet are entirely consistent with the special world.  And I’m finding the story telling is so fluid that it’s completely unforced.  I can’t wait to see what readers think of it.


Very Important Nonexistent Back of the E book (synopsis)


Just because there is not physically the back of an e-book to look at does not make the description that occurs there with traditional books any less important.  The Product Description of an e-book, the Synopsis, is the main peek into your novel that a possible reader has.  Sure, in Amazon, they get a chance to preview a few chapters of your book; later on they may read reviews on Amazon or Goodreads.  The text that gives them the motivation to look at reviews or sample chapters however is the book synopsis, making it incredibly important.

I do not believe there is honestly any one specific way to do an excellent book synopsis.  At its heart what you want to do is obvious; create a desire for your prospective reader to read your book.  However different people respond to different things and each novel has its own unique challenges in how to give a compelling summary.

Some people only want to read a book if the characters sound like something that hooks them. However what if you are doing a novel with enough twists that you do not want who your protagonists are to be obvious from looking at the back of the book?  It might be due to rapid death of obvious protagonists, cases where the protagonists and antagonists switch, or even people who seem to be background characters at first are the true ones the spotlight will be on.  When this happens vague descriptions help, or focusing on the character aspects you think will hook people, even if it misrepresents the novel (such as focusing on someone who seems a hero but will be a villain, if the description of the person is compelling inside a synopsis).

Other times the plot itself has so many twists (think like the original Matrix) that an accurate description might ruin the impact of the narrative.  In these cases one must focus on the characters in a synopsis, point out the compelling points of the obvious narrative, and then give small hints of the hidden twists (enough to intrigue) without giving it away.

In the fantasy and sci fi genres (and modern horror or paranormal books) just talking about the world and the types of people might be able to help hook a reader, but only if it is unique enough.  Merely stating there is magic and an evil god that must be defeated won’t hook a fantasy reader any more than a paranormal reader really cares if you have a vampire werewolf romance.  This technique can be used in contemporary non supernatural novels too, think about how many movie trailers start with the phrase “ IN A WORLD…”

One of the best techniques, and it can combine several of the above focuses, is to have a description that makes the reader curious in general.  Make statements or ask questions that makes them demand to know more.  The larger the questions, or the more paradoxical the revelations seem, the more your reader will want the book just to assuage their curiosity.

No matter how good your book is, if you can’t hook your reader with at least one of three tools (good synopsis, great cover, positive word of mouth) no one will try it in the first place.  I will be covering some of the others in future blogs.  As for now, all of these things are on my mind as we get closer to releasing “Mandatory Paradise.”  Here are some possible synopsis. This may be familiar to long time readers of this blog, when I was getting close to releasing the Fall of House Nemeni.  Like before, pick which description you like below. However, please feel free to correct or enhance the current ones, or offer entirely new synopsis’ in the comments or PM/email to me.  You can also combine elements of multiple ones, but still please choose one of the below synopsis as where I should start my framework.

Synopsis for Mandatory Paradise

A) On the Island of Nimoa everything is seemingly perfect.  All of its citizens needs are met from shelter to sustenance to entertainment.  Everyone has a role assigned to and safety is guaranteed.  The monsters cavorting in the skies outside the city ensures no one desires to leave.  A massacre annihilates these absolutes for a Priestess, A Bureaucrat, and an Artist and they find themselves fleeing everything they trusted while they search for the truth. Will they be able to reveal a conspiracy that has existed since the foundation of their island bound empire?  If so, are they willing to give up their lives and maybe even their existence just to have the facts come to light?

B) Alnanla has not always enjoyed her life as a Priestess and a Teacher, but at least she has always had her needs met like all the citizens of the Island of Nimoa.  She has gazed at night up at the energy shield surrounding the sky of her island that keeps the flying monstrosities of legend out. Despite the fact this keeps her whole society free of strife, she has still wanted more. When a massacre occurs and she is the prime suspect she must team with a grieving Bureaucrat and an eternally optimistic Artist to find out what really happened.  In doing so they reveal a conspiracy wrapped around every aspect of their society.  Should they expose it and other dark secrets they find, risking their entire society’s destruction?  Or should they quietly disappear into the night in order to preserve their way of life?

C) The shield of energy that surrounds and protects Nimoa from the monsters outside of the island means that all the people’s needs are met and no harm can come to any of it’s citizens.  This truth is proven false when a horrific massacre occurs, and a teacher Priestess is blamed for it.  In her quest for truth and survival she finds allies in a wealthy Bureaucrat and an eclectic Artist as well as one who claims to come from beyond the shield. Can four people withstand a conspiracy and other dark secrets that have held their society together since it’s foundation?  More importantly, is it worth their own lives and a few lies to risk destroying a way of life that has given them all peace and safety for thousands of years?

As for other news:

Mandatory Paradise is now on it’s final editor!  It has been through several, and this last edit is not really encountering any of the typos or normal issues that my drafts have had, due to the large amount of editors involved, and I am getting seriously excited.

The next Allmother’s Fire book is getting to about the 40% mark for the first draft, and part of that has already gone through multiple editors, as I plan to keep that up the whole time so as to minimize time  needed between when I finish my first draft and final edits.  At its current pace I may even have the second Allmother’s Fire in time for the Holidays!

World Info:

This time it will again be about Mandatory Paradise, since that will be released earlier.

On the Island of Nimoa each person has a role, and the magical things they can do have to do with those roles.  There are also two types of ways to sue the mana energy that is on the island, through moving the whole body or just ones hands.

Artists , Bureaucrats, and Craftsman work the mana energy with their hands to accomplish effects based on their roles (Artists make illusionary displays, Bureaucrats store and access information, Crafstman create, etc).

Soldiers, Priestess and Priests, Laborers and others of that nature most move their whole body to harness the energy and complete their tasks.  Be it dance, a memorized fighting style, or even the ritualized way one stomps grapes, the whole body must move for these amazing uses of the island’s energy to work.

It is said it is impossible for anyone to use both forms of body movement and hand movement, as they are inherently separate ways to access the gifts the island has given them.


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