We all have that 1 "taboo" thing that we love. For me, it's serial killers. Don't ask me why, but it is. This post isn't about that though, it's about Pandora's Box. Want to know why .... just keep scrolling!
In my newest series, Pandora's box doesn't quite unleash sins - it alters DNA! The seven sins are reassigned to the supernatural world at large. Don't take my word on it though, here's a little teaser!
Some millennia ago, seven stupid humans opened the box and unleashed magic into the world. Instead of sins, the box actually created Supernaturals.
Want to know more? Well, you're in luck! Not only is this the start of my newest series - Hexed in New Orleans - but it's also OUT NOW in the Shadows and Sorcery Set. 20+ stories, 99¢ until Sunday, one-click today!
Now if you'll direct your attention away from the drool-worthy six packs (or the thick book he's holding ;)) I'll explain why this is important to an author. Reviews do so much more than give you a chance to voice your opinion - which is awesome anyway. They allow you to truly help an author. First and foremost (to me at least) is knowing that I've reached readers. Whether your review is talking about how much my books touched your heart or you're cursing me out for too much sex scenes, I love knowing that my books made it onto people's kindles and stirred a reaction in them. I will admit, I write because it's what it's my head and heart. However, without readers to enjoy my work, there's no point in pushing these ideas out from the space in my brain! Hearing from you in any fashion makes the dream so much better.
Of course, there is more than that. Reviews help with sales. When a review is posted on Amazon.com (or a blog) it reaches other readers. A great cover and a stirring blurb are wonderful, but people like opinions. Opinions good and bad help to sell books, which allows the author time and money to continue to write them! Always a plus, right?
It doesn't stop there though. Reviews are always required to help authors with promotion. Typically, it requires 10 with a 4.5 rating, but Amazon requires 50!!
Think it sounds easy? You're wrong.
I have a street team of 34 amazing people that review books early and most of my stories only have 4 reviews. Why? Because not everything will appeal to everyone of course! Sales could lead to more reviews, but it seems most readers don't know how important they are. I know I've sold more than 10 copies of each book ;). When a book hits 50 reviews on Amazon they start to include it to interested parties in emails, on your homepage as recommended and as suggested books on other pages. It's an important resource because not all readers live on Facebook or other social media platforms to see our ads.
Starting today (December 9th, 2015) if you leave a review of one of my books on any Amazon platform (does not include blogs or goodreads) and email the the link to it firstname.lastname@example.org I'll send you the next book in the series FREE!! Yes, you did read that properly. This will of course only apply once per series. Please note this is in no way seeking positive reviews. Review it however you want and all reviews count.
Guess that means there's only two things left to do - read and review!
Sometimes, as an author, part of the battle is staying ahead of the trends, not with them. Sometimes the battle is riding the trendy wave, and other times it's remaining 100% off trend and doing whatever crazy things your muse tells you. For me, I've always been blissfully off trend, doing the stories my muse comes up with. No, I'm not saying writing on trend means your heart isn't in it, just that mine seems to like to be an outlier :D
So, for me, I've accepted that I'll never be "marketable". I'll never be what the agents, and possibly even the readers are looking for when they're looking for it. I'm more a "stumble on to me" story teller with stories from paranromal romance to steampunk to Christmas. I don't fit in a box, and I'm cool with that.
As you may have already heard, I have a bad habit of lurking in cover groups and snagging beautiful premades - normally that I have no story for. June 1, 2018 was no exception. Little did I know what it would turn into for me. I happened to stumble on a premade cover in a contest. It was a blind contest, and only after the winner was selected were the artists revealed so you could bug them to buy the cover.
I fell in love with one, and the minute the artist was announced, I ran to message them. But who were they? Melissa Stevens from the Illustrated Author, of course. I bet you know where this is going already. Well, the cover was wanted by many and she wanted to be fair - so she told me a time the cover would be posted and the first person to comment would win it. I'm terrible at things of that nature because ... well ... toddler. Luckily for me, my other fantastic cover artist, was in my inboxing shouting at me to go!
And go I did.
With the cover purchased, my brain immediately started to weave the multi-book plot. Think the Mummy meets Laura Croft (which I've never seen but I assume this fits based on media knowledge) meets Indiana Jones. These would have some steampunk elements, but would be largely without the romantic elements you're used to from me. Yes, there was a love interest because it makes things more fun to be in love when you're on an adventure, but this series would be about action, adventure and saving the world.
Originally a 4 book series in my head, Melissa made the mistake of telling me about a show about hunting REAL relics - Destination Truth. Within 2 days I'd binged watched and had a problem, the series needed 3 more books. Due to that, the suspected publishing date of late 2019-2020 for the whole series got pushed back. I wanted to release them as close to back-to-back as possible, and that meant I needed more time to write, because I also had to keep writing my current works if I wanted the voices in my head to go away.
So, Melissa has slaved away for the last year making me the most stunning covers and an epic series logo. Five are completed thus far, and originally, the idea was to hold onto these bad boys until fall when all 7 would be done.
Remember I talked about trends? Well, imagine my shock last night while watching a show on CBS when my idea practically slammed into me on the television screen. A new show was coming (that sounds freaking epic might I add), Blood and Treasure. At first, I was simply excited the genre was coming back - since The Mummy is my favorite movie. Only, Melissa was working on cover 5, and that's when I realized something a little ... well, nerve wracking. The actors in the show looked exactly like the cover models Melissa selected a year ago!
Yup, my characters were practically staring at me, doing very similar things. On one hand, it feels amazing to be trendy AND the guy playing the male lead gave me all the goods if I needed inspiration for the already selected male lead in my series. On the other hand, I worried "what if it looks like I copied this?"
Now, I'm a fairly unknown author. That's a hard thing to admit, but it's true. The odds of someone seeing my covers revealed in fall or reading the books in 2021 and linking back to the show were slim to none. Yet, it could happen. When I brought it up to Melissa, her husband and mine both thought we knew about the show in some fashion beforehand.
So that leads me to right now, at 9:55 pm on a Saturday and this blog. I don't have all the covers. I don't have all the blurbs fleshed out, and I sure as heck don't have any idea of the release date, since this year is dedicated to my Hexed in New Orleans series which still has 2.5 books left to write. I do have the titles, the logo and 5 of the most amazing covers ever. Making the decision to share even any of this before I'm actually writing and release can in fact lead to ruin. It can lead to others selecting similar titles and ideas. So to protect myself and my cover artist, what will I show? The killer logo she created AND a shot of the covers that show off the models. I hope you'll understand and can be as excited to look at the pretties as I am!
Here we go, let's pull back the curtain and take a peek at my newest coming series Relics of the Lost Worlds.
I've already got these bad boys outlined, and while I'm a bit nervous to try to write them while juggling other projects, I can't wait to open the new world, the prophecy, and all the things living within it. Stay tuned for a release date - the journey will begin sometime in late 2020!
Stay up to date with any announcements and just general posts here!