Friday, November 15, 2013

AN A TO Z OF CREEPY HOLLOW FAE gets a makeover!

I'm not sure why it took me so long to get around to this, but I finally made my Creepy Hollow companion ebook FREE. And along with that, I thought it was time for a new cover (and some new formatting inside the ebook). When I did the first cover for An A to Z of Creepy Hollow Fae, it was something I threw together pretty quickly. But I've since decided that it might draw more attention with a person on the front.

So A to Z went backstage, had a makeover, and here she is! The new and improved Creepy Hollow companion ebook!

New Covers for the Creepy Hollow series

And this brings me to my next announcement. For a while now (since before I revealed The Faerie War's cover!), I've been planning to redo ALL the Creepy Hollow book covers. This was a difficult decision because there have been many people who've said how beautiful they find the series' covers, and other people who've said they've picked up the book purely because they were attracted by the cover.

BUT I also feel as though people searching through the Kindle lists for something to download may see the Creepy Hollow covers and think the pictures represent stories that are more juvenile than they actually are. I think perhaps this series would attract more readers of the YA fantasy/paranormal genre if they looked a little more like the new A to Z cover up there.

BUT I still love the original covers, and I think they look completely gorgeous in print.

SO, here's what I plan to do: I'm keeping the original covers for the print versions and doing new covers for the ebook versions.

Do you want to help reveal these covers?

I'll be revealing these new covers on Thurs Dec 5. I know there are so many cover reveals going on all the time, so if you're tired of them and don't want to take part, I totally get that. But if you do want to help out by sharing the new covers, please leave your email address in the comments below.


If you'd like to share this image anywhere online, please feel free!
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On a much sadder and more serious note ...

A red balloon for Andrew McNaughton, the stepson of Nick Wilford
Sadly, Andrew passed away recently and his funeral is being held today.
Andrew is the boy who inspired writers across the globe to write 
an anthology of stories entitled Overcoming Adversity.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Push Past Your Fears - Just Hit Publish! (An #IndieLife Post by @PiperPunches)

Indie Life is a monthly feature hosted by the fabulous Indelibles where we get to share something related to indie writing life.

And this month, my Indie Life post is a guest post written by author Piper Punches. Thanks for stopping by to chat about indie author fears, Piper!

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Six months ago if you had asked me what my two biggest fears were, I would have said snakes and spiders. You would have nodded your head at that clich├ęd answer and gone about your day not giving one more thought to my irrational fears of the common household arachnid or the backyard serpent. As you walked away, I would have been congratulating myself on keeping my secret. Of not telling you what I dreaded most in my life was hitting the publish button.

Was I a writer? Yes. I spent every single moment of my existence for years wrapped up warm and toasty in a daydream of other people's lives; characters that needed that one final breath to be brought to life. I ate words for breakfast. I dreamed dialogue when I closed my eyes, but the one thing I didn't do was commit to the actual process of writing. Why? Well, that is easy enough to explain. I was afraid of being wrong. I was afraid of letting my so-called book baby out into the world where it would be subjected to judgment. I was afraid of being called a fraud – a wanna-be writer with little talent to stand on. Were these fears as deadly as spider bites and snake venom? Actually they were worse because they as they pounded in my chest and ate away at my reasoning, they killed that part of me that knew I could succeed. So, instead of hitting publish I hit the snooze bar on my ambitions and dreams of being a novelist.

What changed? Honestly, I'm really not sure. Maybe it was getting older and realizing that I had the power to write what I wanted, when I wanted. I didn't have to wait for a swanky publishing house to agree I had a story to tell. The term "independent author" didn't have to be a dirty word. Instead, it could be a term that stood for me. Once I made that connection, I started putting one foot in front of the other towards publishing my first novel.

Have there been bumps in the road? Of course, because what road is pothole-free? The first major speed bump was when I sent my finished manuscript to the editor convinced my book was an utter disaster. She disagreed, but I was still ready to scrap it. Self-talk, booze, and my husband telling me to stop acting silly helped me navigate this hurdle. The second major hole in the road came when I finally hit publish and found a slew of typos I had overlooked. Self-talk, booze, and a supportive husband couldn't help me get over this fatal blunder as easily.

So, what advice can I give you as an Indie author when I have only made it to home plate once? Here it goes.

Write From Your Heart

If the story you have to tell comes from your soul, readers will fall in love with your words and your characters. They will be invested in the storyline and keep turning the pages. I have been overwhelmed with the response that I have received from readers that have told me they felt connected to the character in The Waiting Room.

Be Human, but Proofread

The truth is we all make mistakes. Even bestselling authors produce books with typos, but they have the publishing house to blame - you don't. So, if you see a typo or two or a hundred after you hit publish, scold yourself for only a second and fix it. Own the mistake, but don't let it own you or ruin your accomplishments.

Don't Be Critical

Promote your book and be proud of your success. Hitting the publish button will open up your novel and your talent to judgment. This is when you put your big-girl or big-boy pants on and brush it off. If someone leaves a less than glowing review, don't let it stop you from pursuing your passion and publishing again.

Don't be afraid to hit the publish button. Embrace it instead. Save the fear for the little things like those furry spiders with the beady eyes and snakes that like to sun on your driveway.

Piper Punches lives in the far west suburbs of St. Louis with her husband and two daughters. The Waiting Room is her debut novel. Piper is excited to connect with her readers and encourages everyone to stop by her website and say hello. In the meantime, she is currently working on her second novel, 60 Days, which will be available April 2014 and a short novella, Missing Girl, available January 2014.

a novel by

Waiting rooms tell stories. They are a medical purgatory. Some sit in the waiting room for hours to be shone the light, graced with blessings. For others this is the final holding room before they are delivered into hell; facing uncertainty, despair, sadness, even death.

When Charlotte receives a note on the day of her mother’s funeral containing a cryptic message, she is confused and intrigued. Although she knew that waiting rooms told stories, she never realized that part of her own story resided in this seemingly neutral environment. But, then again, why should she be surprised? Her mother had secrets. Charlotte knew this. She just didn’t know how life-altering those secrets could be...

A stunning debut novel from Piper Punches, The Waiting Room weaves a tale that reveals the complexities of family, the invisible bonds that connect people, and the pain that can reverberate through the choices we make. Told from several points of view the story becomes clearer and clearer with each turn of the page that the secrets we keep aren’t always ours to take to the grave.

Available as a Kindle edition and paperback edition on Amazon

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

What Happens When Authors Change Genres?

This post is brought to you by the Insecure Writer's Support Group, an online group where writers can express doubts and concerns, and those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance.

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I'm not sure if this counts as an insecurity exactly, but it's a question that I'm sure many writers have asked themselves, and one that I've been pondering for some time.

So here's the bottom line: I've been writing fantasy for the past several years. I've published those fantasy novels. People have loved them. Now I'm moving away from fantasy to write some contemporary romance.

What's going to happen? Will my Creepy Hollow readers not really be interested in picking up my new novels and thus "forget" about me? Or (hopefully), will my Creepy Hollow readers cross over to try my contemp books? Will my new contemp readers cross over to try my fantasy books?

I have no idea! Honestly, I think it'll probably be a mixture of those options I've mentioned in the paragraph above. Some readers stick to one genre only. Others like to read across various genres.

And here's the other thing to think about ... Some writers will only write in different genres if they use a different pen name. I've decided not to do that. I'm Rachel Morgan and I can't imagine "being" anyone else! And I've seen writers who use the same pen name across genres go on to become fantastically successful in each of those genres (ahem ... Susan Kaye Quinn), so I know it can be done!

What do you think? Do you have experience of this?
 Have you published in multiple genres? Do you use different pen names?

Monday, November 4, 2013

New Books On The Block: LOUISIANA'S A - Z plus STORY SPROUTS

Today I'm excited to present to you two books that I've been involved in the production of (formatting-wise). The first is a collection of 26 stories that mingles history with personal anecdotes, told by the talented Kittie Howard. The second is an anthology of stories and writing exercises by a group of writers, the CBW-LA.

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Growing up in Louisiana meant strawberries from my grandfather's garden on top of homemade ice cream, listening to elders tell stories on the stoop, and carefree days beneath a cornsilk sky. Parents were old -- really old! -- and grandparents who lived across the pasture were at least a million years old. 

In an era when a child was a child and clocks ticked too-loud in the rural quiet and calendars hung on kitchen walls, other than finding a doodle bug that wanted to play, my biggest worry was Santa Claus wouldn't come to a white-sided house without a fireplace. "Santa doesn't need a fireplace in Louisiana," my mother would say, then kiss my freckled cheek. Soothed by her words, I'd snuggle into Mama's skirt and embrace love's warmth. 

As time passed and I stepped into life, love's warmth remained the common denominator, but I also realized growing up in Louisiana was a unique experience. Most kids didn't eat crawfish or boudin, avoid alligators in bayous, or come from a family that has been in what is now Louisiana since 1679. Nor did most kids have a grandmother who was half-French and half-Spanish and spoke French as a first language, a grandfather whose English-Welsh ancestors had emigrated in 1700, and a mother with 1800s German roots. 

It was all so normal -- one great-grandmother speaking German, the other French -- that I didn't appreciate until later how my family traveled Louisiana's colonial history and into today. Louisiana's A-Z wanders much like a lazy river, from alligators to Zydeco music, a gumbo of personal and historical seasonings that infuse the soul.

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Nineteen talented children’s book authors accepted a challenge to workshop, write, revise, polish, and submit two stories - in public, under the pressure of a six-hour deadline, with the promise of publication. Their work is revealed with the global release of Story Sprouts Anthology 2013.

In a revolutionary new approach to writing and publishing, the Children’s Book Writers of Los Angeles turned convention upside down with Story Sprouts: CBW-LA Writing Day Exercises and Anthology 2013.

A fresh take on an old classic, the Anthology uncovers the creative process in its raw form, celebrating the seeds of story generation. Framing the authors’ contributions are the 10 writing exercises that guided them along their journey, as well as tips and techniques shared at the workshop.

Friday, November 1, 2013

#NaNoWriMo Kicks Off! What's Your NaNo Wish This Year?

I've had this contemporary romance idea (upper YA/NA) chilling in my head for over two years. Now that I'm finally finished the Creepy Hollow series, I can write this contemporary story! So ... that's my NaNo wish. (And my other wish is that I won't be too tired from my recent book release and all the Morgan Media work I have to actually write these 50,000 words!) Here's a slice of the book cover. (Yeah, I've already designed the cover for a book I haven't written yet. In fact, I have at least four book covers done for books I haven't written yet!)

And this blog hop is in honour of...

All proceeds from this book go to NaNoWriMo
(because they're doing awesome stuff to encourage writing,
and they operate on donations)