Be My First Chapter Beta Reader

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I am currently undertaking the daunting task of reading my entire novel out loud to myself.  As I’ve discovered with my vampire short story series, and even the second book to the Akasha Series, ‘Air’, this method works wonders for catching hard to spot grammar/spelling mistakes and awkward sentences.  Although ‘Water’ has been on the market since September 2011, I haven’t yet put it through this process.  I have vowed to have this done by the time we go to Canada for our kid’s spring break trip (better get a move on because that is next week). Anyway, by the time I finished reading the first chapter out loud, I decided it needed a complete rework.

Whether you have read ‘Water’ yet or not, I would very much appreciate your input on the short 637 word excerpt below.  Does it grab your attention? Do you want to find out more? Does the dragon analogy work? If you have read ‘Water’, should I just stick with what is already there? Please leave your comments and thank you!!!

Chapter 1: Avalanche 

I leaned forward.  The board strapped to my boots responded.  Slicing through the fresh powder, I made a sharp curve to the right.  A quick glance uphill showed the wave of snow had almost tripled in size, and it was about to catch up to me.

More than anything else, it was the noise that pumped me full of adrenaline.  Like the roar of an angry, unrelenting dragon; breath stinking of the earth churned up in its path.  The entire right side of the unmarked backcountry trail was a wall of thick trees, impossible to break through.  I pulled my toes up, arching back to the left side of the trail.  But I wasn’t going to make it.  The dragon’s spittle pelted me on the back of my neck, sending chills down my spine.  Instead, I pointed my snowboard straight downhill and put all my weight on my forward leg, hoping to outrun the beast.

I willed my board to go faster than I ever dared before.  The avalanche was faster.  The dragon opened its mouth wide, closing in on me from both sides and overhead, blocking out the bright blue sky and the trees to the side of me with its gray jaws.  The slope beneath me cracked and slithered forward, like the monster’s forked tongue.  As the force of nature dropped over me, I closed my eyes and threw my arms around my head.  My screams were lost deep inside the creature.

Completely engulfed, I moved with the dragon.  The whole of the trail had transformed into its body; an agitated, unstoppable river of churning snow and debris.  The world became darker and darker, the snow heavier and heavier.  Flashes of light were few and far between.

When I gasped for air, I was sometimes rewarded with a clear breath but more often than not I sucked in a mouthful of snow.  Hacking to rid my throat of the slush, I came to the awful realization that I was drowning on dry land.

My hands, flailing for something solid to hang onto, finally caught hold of a tree.  Small as it was, it held fast against the merciless rush of snow.  I fought against nature, literally holding on for my life.  I wrapped myself around the trunk as two large branches just above me ripped away and disappeared in the churning white waves, along with my screams.  I squeezed so tight the rough bark scratched at my arms and cheek.  The scent of pine was strong, and I inhaled deeply as though the scent alone would keep me tethered to the tree.  I willed the roots to be strong.

They were, but I was not.  My grip started to loosen as my tired muscles and numb fingers were unable to hold on against the rushing snow.  I lost the stable trunk and returned to the tumble of snow.

I came to a halt just like the rest of the debris of the Canadian mountainside.  A small air pocket had formed, allowing me to spit out the coppery taste of blood.  Suffocation couldn’t be too far off, encased in an immobile block of ice as I was.  Feeble attempts at movement proved useless.  Silence settled in on me as I heard the last of the snow come to a halt above me.  Tolerating its crushing weight because I had no choice, I was left as I always was – alone.  Most of the time I preferred it that way; people were nothing but annoying.  But annoying or not, having someone who at least knew of my vacation plans would have been welcome.

As the numbness slowly receded, pain returned to one hand.  I wiggled my fingers.  They were free, possibly above the surface.  I grimaced.  Great – at least the wolves would find me.  Closed casket for me.

March 22nd is World Water Day

This year, the focus is on the critical role water plays in food security. Some facts about the world’s fresh water supply:

From VOA

Water is scarce in some places because farmers are pumping it out of the ground faster than it can recharge, according to the head of water policy for the US State Department, Aaron Salzberg.

“The groundwater is getting depleted to the point where that will have an impact on food security,” he says. “If you look at India, for example, in the breadbasket up in the northwestern part of the country, over-extraction is a huge, huge issue and this is going to start to play a role in their ability to produce food and to meet their internal needs.”

Over-extracting groundwater for irrigation is also a huge issue in major farming regions of China, the United States and elsewhere.

From UNWater.org:

There are 7 billion people to feed on the planet today and another 2 billion are expected to join by 2050. Statistics say that each of us drinks from 2 to 4 litres of water every day, however most of the water we ‘drink’ is embedded in the food we eat: producing 1 kilo of beef for example consumes 15,000 litres of water while 1 kilo of wheat ’drinks up’ 1,500 litres.

 When a billion people in the world already live in chronic hunger and water resources are under pressure we cannot pretend the problem is ‘elsewhere’.

 

So what can you do about it? Here is a start:

  • follow a healthier, sustainable diet
  • consume less water-intensive products
  • reduce the scandalous food wastage: 30% of the food produced worldwide is never eaten and the water used to produce it is definitively lost!
  • do your part to empower and support farmers around the world
  • encourage your community to take the lead in securing their own water future
  • petition the private sector to do their part – many companies have core business interests that are related to water issues, but even in industries that seem disconnected from water can have a significant impact

 

The water that we use today has been circulating through the earth since time began, and it must sustain humanity for as long as we live on this earth. A sustainable supply of water is a priority for everyone on the planet. See the video below for more information, and please share this post and spread the word!

 

A Book Obsession

Time for another awesome book blogger interview! Mindy’s site, Forbidden Book Reviews, was created by team members of Books Complete Me and Page Turners Blog as a way to showcase all things ‘grown up’. Mindy recently reviewed ‘Water’ – see her review here. After sharing such an ecstatic review, I couldn’t help but get just as ecstatic over Mindy! Okay, that sounded weird – let’s just get on with the interview, shall we?

Q: First thing is first – how did you get into book blogging?

I became obsessed with the Twilight series. Seriously obsessed! Through this LOVE of all things Twilight, I met an INCREDIBLE group of gals on a twilight mom site. That is how the name Mindy Fangedmom came about because when I first fell in love with Vampires, they had fangs (the Twilight vamps do not have fangs but I love them anyway)! Fangedmom was my screen name in many forums.

Once my twimom friends started branching out to blogging, I of course, followed them. After following many blogs and being opened up to a WHOLE NEW WORLD of books, I was blown away by the SHEER talent that is all Indie and Self Pub authors!

Cindy, owner of Books Complete Me blog, asked me to join as a blogger. I was so excited. When Forbidden Reviews was created, I jumped on the chance to be part of it too. I am now the main blogger of Forbidden Reviews and LOVE IT!

A dear friend I met online gave me the nickname Brook. As in ‘babbles like a brook’. I love to talk. What a more perfect “job” for me than blogging.

Q: So now I have to ask – Team Edward or Team Jacob?

Team Jacob for sure from the very beginning.

Q: Tell me more about Forbidden Reviews. The creation, the concept, the…wine?

When Books Complete Me started, it was mostly focused on Young Adult reviews. As more and more authors started contacting us, we decided that it was not right to have our YA books being reviewed alongside books of a more adult nature.

We decided to start a sister blog for all adult themed books. We voted on the name Forbidden Reviews. When one of the gals came up with the header (the gal in the bathtub with a glass of wine: SHEER GENIUS) our rating system was born. I personally LOVE a glass (or bottle) of wine!

Q: White wine or red?

White wine and it has to be cold!

Q: What is your favorite part of the ‘job’?

Having someone tell me they read a book because of my review and that they loved it as much as I did!!!

THE AUTHORS…THE BOOKS…THE AUTHORS…THE BOOKS…I am absolutely blown away by authors. I have been since I learned to read. To have these stories, characters, settings and events in your head just blows my mind! I love to read a good book. There is NO better escape for me. Since I started blogging, I have met the most amazing Authors and read the most amazing books! Indie authors and Self Pub are my favorite! There is so much talent out there that once I discover it, I want to share it with the world!

Q: What is your not-so-favorite part?

Sometimes I want to just read. I wish some days I could just put “READ THIS BOOK. It is incredible and just trust me” and move to the next book. I don’t get as much reading done as I want because I cannot always write my reviews and post my reviews in a timely manner. I am a full time working mom, wife and my husband is self-employed. I am a busy gal! I MAKE time for blogging.

Q: How many hours would you say you spend on reading? How many hours on reviews and your blog?

*gets out calculator…* I work 8-10 hours a day, sleep for 5-6 hours, that is approx. 16 hours so that leaves about 8 hours a day that I am “free”. So in those 8 hours a day, I try to devote at least 2 hours to reading and/or blogging. Sometimes those hours all blur together in a reading/blogging marathon. It is nothing for me to start a good book and stay up all night to finish it. I have been known to read all night, sleep for an hour and go to work (I work in an office environment). I can also sit down to blog and say “I will only be a minute” and my husband and kids GROAN because “Mommy minutes” are HOURS long!

Q: What are your favorite genres?

Paranormal and Supernatural. Hands down. If there are mystical creatures, magic, witches, vamps, were’s, wolves etc. I will read it.

I am NOT a fan of what used to be known as Science Fiction. I am not sure if that genre really exists today. The genres have really changed since I was a young reader.

Q: What kind of book is worthy of five wine bottles?

Everyone has a different idea of what makes a good book. I am not an editor and I am not an English teacher. Therefore, if there are a few typos or a few mistakes..BFD…I am just grateful you wrote the book and I get to read it!

To me, a Five Wine bottle review means that I would tell you to read it. STOP what you are doing and read it. I have been told that I have a “fan group” that follows my reviews and reads what I review (talk about the ULTIMATE compliment)! THAT to me means I am doing something right as a blogger.

Q: Who are some of your all-time favorite authors? What about your favorite movies?

OMG there is no way I can answer that question. NONE. Usually if I am asked what my favorite book is, I refer to the book I am currently reading. I cannot pick one. Just like I cannot tell you which of my children is my favorite. They are all special and unique to me. I love a lot of different styles of writing, content…just way too many different ones to pick.

Movies: Another hard one. I just watched the Rebound and LOVED IT! I tend to watch movies over and over when I love them (seeing this obsessed personality much)??? Stargate, Lost Boys, Men in Black, 13 Going on 30, Twilight series, Harry Potter series, Hocus Pocus (again…I ramble…too many to name. These are the ones that just popped in my head).

Q: Coffee or Tea? Coke or Pepsi?

Coffee in the morning, tea in the evening (iced of course) and Pepsi.

Q: What is next for you?

Next? Maybe a bigger house with a built in library for all my books? I would be more than happy to let someone build one for me *giggles*

Seriously…I love to blog and I love to read. I will keep on doing both for as long as I can. Meeting new authors and meeting their “minds” is an incredible experience for me and I am very happy doing it.

Thank you for taking the time to complete the interview, Mindy! Book bloggers are amazing to me and you didn’t disappoint!

Thank you to Terra for my very first interview where I answered the questions instead of asked them. You should REALLY read Terra’s Akasha series. ‘Water’ blew me away and I am getting ready to start ‘Air’!

Check out Mindy’s book and movie reviews at: http://www.forbiddenreviews.com/

 

Where Have All the Bees Gone?

bee picture

They’re dead. Well, not all of them – but give it ten years. Please don’t get me wrong – I don’t mean to turn my blog into a consistent rant about environmental issues. I will only do that occasionally. This is one of those occasions.

In researching for the third book of the Akasha Series, ‘Fire’, I came across the plight of bees and will of course, highlight this in the book. So of course, I turned to Claudia Christian, author of the Alex the Fey Series, organizer of Twitter bookmarket chats, resident of my home state of Colorado, and beekeeper. Soooo many reasons to love this lady!

Anyway, on to the bees:

Question 1 – What is the cause of the disappearance of bees?

Claudia: It’s the pesticide. Period. The pesticide weakens the bees’ immune system so they are susceptible to all kinds of disease. People can’t say it’s the pesticide because the creator (Bayer) is protected by their employees (Congress). It’s a very frustrating situation especially when they banned the pesticide in France and the “mysterious” disease disappeared.

Question 2 – Is the problem growing or decreasing?

Claudia: The problem is growing. It’s hard to conceptualize but it’s not just bees. It’s all pollinators – wasps, hummingbirds, and bats are also ‘mysteriously disappearing.’ For example, there used to be many thousands of varieties of wasps in the US. These wasps have died out. Now there’s only a handful of the most aggressive forms of wasps live in the US. Another example is that the Bumblebee is expected to be extinct in the next 10 years. Further, the bat populations have declined at alarming rates. We hear about bees because they have ‘keepers’, but every pollinator on the continent is at risk.

Question 3 – Have you experienced these issues with your bees?

Claudia: Yes, we’ve been beekeepers for more than 10 years. The first 3-4 years were easy years. We had hives at 3 or 4 locations including my in-laws house in Durango, CO. Then it started, slowly at first, we saw some aggressive changes in our bees. We brought them back to our house and hive after hive died. We did everything we could think of, talked to everyone we knew, but fumbled over and over again. For the last 3-4 years, we’ve replaced hives almost every year. We lost all of our hives last year. Our healthiest hive was attacked by an aggressive feral hive (think about the wasp situation) and decimated. This is new behavior for honeybees, but not unheard of. I found beekeepers all over the country talking about this new aggressive robbing behavior.

Question 4 – Why are bees so important to the Earth’s ecosystem?

Claudia: Ok, think of it this way. Once upon a very, very long time ago, there were coniferous trees. They were fertilized by the wind. In somehow, some way, the ancestral bee was created. This bee and those who came, long before the alligator or the roach, created every single flowering plant in the world. Every. Single. Flowering. Plant. was created by the bee. Bats, hummingbirds, and the rest of the pollinators came after the humble bee created flowering plants to sustain them.

So, are honey bees important? Only if flowers are important, only if vegetables and seeds are important.

Question 5 – What would be your suggestions to helping Earth’s ecosystem by way of ‘bee’?

Claudia: Fix campaign finance. Seriously. I don’t mean to get all political, but Bayer owns Congress to the extent that at the Congressional hearings on CCD, researchers are not ALLOWED to mention the possibility that the pesticide is responsible for the death of pollinators in the US. And the first hear was AFTER the pesticide was banned in France and other European countries – and the bees had returned!

So… what do you do with that? The FDA and USDA are owned by Bayer. Congress is owned by Bayer.

And we continue to talk about it as if it’s a ‘bee’ problem.

So there you have it! The bee, *ahem*, pesticide problem. As with many other environmental issues, politicians and large corporations block the solutions. So what can we do about it? Make it an important topic with your local government representatives and in this year’s elections. Write congress, spread the word, buy organic. Get out there and save the bees! I need them for my stories…

A few extra websites that offer solutions are:

http://thehoneybeeconservancy.org/act-today-2/act-today/
http://www.helpthehoneybees.com/
http://www.buzzaboutbees.net/save-the-bees.html
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Help-Save-Bees/104550740016?sk=wall

About Claudia:

Claudia Hall Christian is the author of the romantic serial fiction Denver Cereal, Ft. Worth’s hottest mystery, The Queen of Cool, and the fast paced Alex the Fey thriller series. She is the founder of the Open Grove and the Twitter chat #bookmarket.

She writes books and keeps bees in Denver, Colorado.

Connect with Claudia at her website, on Twitter, or on Facebook.

Water Book Trailer

With the release of ‘Air’ and ‘The Kindred Curse Anthology’ finally done, I can focus on some fun, creative-type stuff. As if fantasy writing weren’t creative enough. Check out what I’ve been up to the past week – a book trailer for ‘Water’:

 

I’d love to know what you think!  Please comment or e-mail me.

And as long as we’re talking visual – check out my new Pinterest pinboards.  See where I get inspiration for the Kindred Curse Anthology and the Akasha Series, and my fav book covers!

Love you all!

(Okay that last line sounded creepy, but I’m in a loving mood having finally just made my Valentines Day cupcakes…)

Flash Fiction and Giveaway

Hi there everyone!  If you haven’t yet, hop on over to Can’t Put it Down Reviews where I am giving away six sets of the first two books, ‘Water’ and ‘Air’ in the Akasha Series, plus one grand prize winner gets to pick a t-shirt from my store.

I am also giving away the complete set of the Kindred Curse Anthology, not yet released anywhere, in the Follower Love Giveaway Hop. Oh – and did I forget to mention the $25 Amazon Gift Card?

Now on to my newest flash fiction.  This was recently featured on Can’t Put it Down Reviews.  It is some of the  back story on Kaitlyn’s (main character in the Akasha Series) parents.  Enjoy!

Good Luck Charm

Mary leaned forward, looking through the windshield of their small, blue Honda and up into the sky. “Do they know we’re coming?”

The sky was growing darker by the minute, and the wind was picking up.

Cato answered from the back seat, “No one knows.  Well, except Shawn. Boy probably doesn’t even remember, as involved in video games as he was.” Cato stared at the scenery rushing past. Corn fields. Acre after acre of the tall stalks; all leaning to the left with the growing wind.

“Oh, please.  Your son is gifted and you know it.  I’ve seen the spark on more than one occasion.” John smiled at Cato through the rearview mirror. He put his hand over Mary’s, attempting to calm her fears.

She smiled, but her eyes still wrinkled with worry. It began to hail. Small chunks of ice pelted the windshield and road ahead. Mary began rubbing at the charm around her neck.

It was a necklace given to her by their only child. John thought of their daughter Kaitlyn, at home probably working on college applications. She was all they really had, and he would give anything to make it a better world for her.  Which is why they were all here.  With far more confidence than either of his two passengers, he resolutely nodded his head. “Yes.  Everything is going to be –“

“John! Stop!” Mary cut him off with her screams. He slammed on the brakes. About a mile ahead of them, a funnel shot down from the cloud cover. It was already bending the sturdy highway signs with its force. John put the Honda into reverse.

“Don’t want to do that either, John.” Cato pointed out the back window. A thick formation of clouds were already spinning in preparation for another tornado vortex to emerge.

John and Mary locked eyes.  Their communication was almost telepathic.  This was not natural weather.

The corn stalks no longer leaned in one direction. They waved wildly, as if flagging away the trio. But it was too late; they were trapped with twisters blocking each direction of road.

“So now we know – there has to be a traitor with The Seven.” John and Mary each turned to look at Cato.

“Let’s just get through this. Then we can turn to who is responsible. If I don’t make it…” Cato trailed off.

“We’re all going to make it.” John didn’t give Cato a chance to finish. “And we will all go home to our children.”

Cato nodded at his lifelong friend, thankful he was here to help face their enemy. The three exited the car.

Mary’s long, red skirt whipped around her legs. The red was a stark contrast to the dark grey skies. She faced the first of the tornados, opening herself up to the warm, moist air being drawn in from the south.  She used her powers as a water elemental to diffuse the air of moisture. John stood by her side, commanding the cool, dry winds blowing in from Canada. Together they worked, forcing away the conflicting weather and trying to stabilize the atmosphere.

Though Cato could manipulate all of the elements, he concentrated on the wind speed.  He worked to slow it down, preventing any more updrafts. He was significantly stronger than the pair that worked behind him, but he was hindered, having to deal with chunks of road and now farm equipment being tossed at them by the tornado. He moved forward, certain he was the target of the attack. The least he could do was decrease the risk to his friends by angling away, further down the road.

Mary looked back to see their small car in a slow spin, gradually being lifted up. It was as unpredictable as the winds.  “We need to move!”

Without hesitation, she turned to the fields. The sharp, unharvested corn cut that might offer some protection from the wind, bit into her bare legs as she ran. John stayed close on her heels. “Where is Cato!” He called to her. But there was no time to answer.  He lunged forward, tackling Mary to the ground as the roof of a barn whipped by overhead.

Cato remained  on the highway, struggling with the wind patterns.  They were unpredictable.  He detected several threads of power being woven into the storm from two different directions.  There would be more than four elementals attacking – and no time to target them.  Cato had to settle for playing defense. He looked behind me, startled to find John, Mary and the car gone.

He ran back to where he had left them.  Dumbfounded, he looked to the right, at the slightly wavering speed limit sign, still planted in the ground. He peered closer into the fields, thinking he saw a flash of Mary’s skirt.  He took a step towards it, when a spinning, blue mass shot by, missing Cato by mere feet.  He could barely track it with his eyes.  It was their car, now bouncing end over end down the highway, taking the speed limit sign with it. Cato blinked, then turned back to the wind patterns in the sky and could only hope the same fate had not befallen his friends.

Gradually, his energy waned, and he was left only able to maintain a protective circle around himself.  The weather had grown too strong; almost like more elementals had joined in. The corn fields and his friends were on their own. Cato’s whole body shook with exertion until he dropped to his knees. His sphere was allowing the strong gusts to pass through, but it would hold against the more solid objects thrown at him by the storm, and it would keep him firmly planted on the ground.

The two funnels moved closer, then angled in – towards the path his friends took.  Shards of debris littered the air like feathers in a pillow fight.  Cato was still able to discern the funnels, large as they were, merging together. As they did, lightening lit the sky and thunder cracked in the air, barely heard over the freight train noise of the super twister.  It was a triumphant announcement; both sides knew who had won this battle.

Wind gusts did not let up. They grew stronger and stronger, pulling even more debris into the air, until Cato could not see past his protective circle at all. He was sure the large mass was coming for him next.

With a final burst of energy, Cato pushed himself to his feet. He wasn’t going to face death curled up like a coward. It would be full on, shoulders squared and eyes opened. And without his shield.

When the noise was unbearable – and Cato was sure the climax had arrived, he lifted his hands to dissipate his shield. Before he could, the world went silent. Stalks, corn, dirt, and fractured wood from nearby structures all fell to the ground at once. There was no wind. What cornstalks were left in the ground were still. In the skies, clouds moved away revealing a disturbingly peaceful blue sky in their wake.

The last of Cato’s energy fizzled out, and his protective circle vanished. Two loud, sickening thumps came from behind him. Cato swallowed the rising lump in his throat, then turned. Mary and John lay dead on the highway. All of their limbs twisted in unnatural, odd angles, except for one. Mary’s hand still clutched the charm at her neck.

Let me know what you think!  Comments always welcome.

From the Mouths of Bloggers

The best way to introduce my series is through the words of book review bloggers!  Because each reader interprets a story differently, I conveyed the story using bits and pieces of reviews by readers themselves.  See the Akasha Series introduction on Ritesh’s blog.

And if you haven’t read my post and voted for your elemental power of choice yet, now is the time!  Read this article and comment!

So…that’s all I really have to say.  Since I feel like this blog post is too short, and because I just figured out how to embed YouTube videos, and because I can’t stop thinking about the Hunger Games – I leave you with the awesome movie trailer. Can’t wait ’till March 23rd!!!

Cover Reveal!

I’ve been holding on to this one for a while, and I am soooo excited to finally be doing my cover reveal.  Props to the cover designer, Keary Taylor. You can see my interview with her here.

And now, bask in the glory that is ‘Air’ *imagine choir music here*

And, if you are not sufficiently basked – you may continue to bask in the glory that is ‘Water’ *more choir music*:

 

 

Now a mixed symphony:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok, yes.  They’re very similar.  It’s called branding.  When you see one of my book covers, I want you to know it’s from me!  For a fun, quick read on how ‘Water’ came to be, see my blog post titled Mormons, Vagina’s and Cover Art.

‘Air’ will be available for purchase within one month on Amazon, B&N and Smashwords.  If you have read ‘Water’, and are interested in an ARC of ‘Air’ to review, let me know!  In ‘Air’, while Kaitlyn continues to carry her secret, Micah must work to prove himself to her and Shawn turns his depopulation theory into a plan.

Stay tuned for my book trailer to ‘Water’, where I totally exploit the cover!  You’ll see how – follow my blog via e-mail so you don’t miss a thing!

See?! Dreams Can Come True!

Tomorrow is the cover reveal of the next book in the Akasha Series, ‘Air’.  But for today, an interview with Air’s cover designer, Keary Taylor.  I am so excited to be interviewing Keary, she is a very talented graphic artist and indie author.  She created the button on the right, by the way – feel free to grab it! Keary recently released some exciting news that more than trumps my cover reveal – and I couldn’t be happier for her!  Keary is an indie author of the paranormal romance ‘Fall of Angels’ trilogy and the post-apocalyptic thriller ‘Eden’.  Now on to the news:

Q: Ok, I’ll just come out with it.  The film and TV rights to ‘Eden’ were just negotiated.  Wha- what?!  Talk about every author’s dream – or many author’s dreams, anyway.  How are you not bouncing off the walls right now?  Tell us how this whole thing came about!

Haha, it certainly is beyond exciting!  I was contacted by KK&P on November 1st so I had to keep everything a secret for over a month!  But yeah, Kami Garcia (co-author of Beautiful Creatures/producer) read Eden, loved it, passed it to Mark Morgan (producer of Twilight and Percy Jackson) and he loved it too.  So they contacted me, said they wanted to represent Eden for film.  We went through some contract stuff and here we are!  And amazingly enough, KK&P wasn’t the only production company to contact me about Eden!

Q: When did you first self-publish Eden?

In June of this year.

Q:  For us author types, what marketing strategies worked best?

You have to be pretty smart about your advertising.  Whenever I have a new book come out, I send ARC’s to book bloggers and do a bunch of interviews and giveaways.  I also promote on Goodreads.com as well as Facebook ads.  Sometimes, you just get lucky I think and things take off.

Q: For us reader types, what can we look for from you next?

I just finished the first draft of a YA contemporary I’m hoping to release in the spring (I’ll be doing an announcement of the title and cover on my blog probably around the same time this interview goes up).  After that I have a science fiction I plan on working on.

Q: Will you send me an autograph movie poster of ‘Eden’, you know – when you have hit it big?

Haha, we’ll talk when it gets to that point 😉

Q: Ok – on to your graphic talents.  You’ve done an amazing job with your covers, my covers, and many other indie author covers.  Here are a few (more can be seen on Keary’s design page):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve gotta say, ‘Awakening’ is my favorite out of the bunch – after ‘Water’, of course! Does design come naturally to you?  Do you have professional training in graphic design?  How did you learn the trade?  Is this a part of the ‘job’ you really enjoy?

I guess you could say it comes naturally to me.  When I started reading so much, I really started paying attention to covers, picking out things I really liked about certain ones.  I have to admit, I don’t have any professional training.  When I started self-publishing I just started playing around in Photoshop and watching different tutorials and just picked it up!  I loved it!  And so I started offering other authors to do it for them and soon I had people coming to me!  I don’t know if I’d call the graphic design a “job”.  While I do make a bit of money from it, I mostly do it for fun and to help other authors out.

Q: Tell us your thoughts on the importance of book covers.

Oh man, I can’t stress enough how important a good cover is.  Being an independent author is hard enough without a bad cover working against you too.  A cover is what people see first and even though they say “don’t judge a book by its cover” people always do.

Q: Have you ever won any awards for your graphic work?

None that I know of, lol.  But I do get a lot of compliments and the cover for my book Eden was listed on a TON of best of 2011 covers.

Q: And back to the film rights for ‘Eden’ (because I just can’t stop thinking about it).  What are the next steps?  Is there a timeline?  What info can you give us?

I really can’t say too much right now.  There should be some more news to share in the next six months or so.  As of right now it’s about getting a screenplay done, looking for actors, and studios.  It is certainly exciting though!  A total dream come true.

A big thanks to Keary for doing the interview and an even bigger thanks for all my great covers!  Please check back in tomorrow to see her masterpiece!

About Keary:

Keary Taylor grew up in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains where she started creating imaginary worlds and daring characters who always fell in love. She now resides on a tiny island in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and their two young children. She continues to have an overactive imagination that frequently keeps her up at night. She is the author of BRANDED, FORSAKEN, VINDICATED, AFTERLIFE (Fall of Angels series), and EDEN. To learn more about Keary and her writing process, please visit http://kearytaylor.com.