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Writing, reviews, and the rocky road of publication.

I wish I was the type of person that could let things just roll off my back. I wish I was care free and easy going, and took each day in stride. But, I’m not.

I am overly dramatic, obsessive, and constantly worrying about every tiny detail. I can create problems for my problems. Seriously, being me is exhausting at times.

So when I decided I wanted to be a writer –for real– my problems began to tangle themselves together into one giant problem: the road to publication.

Oh how many times are you sitting around with friends, family or coworkers and someone sprouts out the words, “I could write a book!” Really? Can you? I would love to see you try.

I have written three complete novels, and have begun about a dozen more. This was not something that I did after a few glasses of wine or a vent fest with my friends. I did it because if I didn’t get these characters and their stories out on paper it would eat away at me. I was losing sleep over the dialogue in my head. I was no longer showering alone, because my characters were handing me the soap and telling me their side of the story. It was hard to concentrate on highway driving because I was mentally present at a birth or a funeral. I wrote the book because I had to, and writing down the words released the beast. Completing a chapter was completely euphoric and I was at my happiest when I had satiated all literary desires.

After years of writing the stories I transitioned into the role of author. I needed to send my books out into the world and see how they stood against “real” authors.

Well, the road to publication is not an easy one at all. In fact it’s dark, cold and very lonely. One thing you need in this business (and I do hate that art is now business) is thick skin. I’m talking dragon scales, chain mail, nothing can penetrate you kinda thick.

Rejection letters hurt. Form rejections suck, and no answer at all is the worst. Waiting in the tunnel of hope for an email that will never come.. shudders.

Then there is what happened to me:

I got an offer! After careful research, I signed! I worked my ass off on edits for months! My book was published!

Three weeks later the publishing house closed. True story.

Now, because it is VERY difficult to sell a book that was previously published, I decided to go indie with this trilogy. Which brings me to my latest anxiety: Reviews.

We all need reviews. They help sell our books, but they can also be the sword that knocks us right out of the competition.

I knew when I chose the devil as my main character that I was walking on thin ice. Some people would love my take, while others might be highly offended. It was a gamble, but I have never written stories because I felt “that is what people would want to buy.” I wrote stories that I wanted to read. I try to take old tales and make them new, make people think, and if at all possible, make them smile.

When my reviews first started to appear, I peeked through my fingers afraid of the results. The results were GOOD. I couldn’t believe how good. So good in fact that when I got a few terrible reviews, I wasn’t prepared for how it would make me feel. Well let me tell you… it hurt. Knife in gut, anxiety driven shaky hands kind of hurt.

That’s the thing about writers, artists, musicians and actors. We put ourselves out there and allow ourselves to be judged. How many professions can say they do that? Do you give a rating to the secretary at your child’s school? To the cashier at the supermarket? To the mailman or crossing guard? We can’t just get up and go to work like everyone else. Our work is displayed, hopefully for your enjoyment, but it also leaves us very vulnerable to criticism and verbal lashings.

What reviewers fail to consider is that a writer does not agonize over their story. They agonize over every word in every sentence of that story.  A book isn’t written overnight, it is written and rewritten.  It is the writer’s literary child. It is something we created out of love.

And that is what writing is. A labor of love, a long tedious journey that has more bumps, twists and turns than you can imagine.

But to hold that book in your hand… that printed copy that began as a thought and blossomed into an adventure…

There are no words for that.

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April 25, 2014 · 7:10 pm

Happy Book Birthday: Taming Darkness

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As you all know, I wrote a little trilogy about the devil and guess what? Book one, Taming Darkness, releases today! I cannot begin to tell you how thrilled I am to finally have my baby out into the world.  I have been living with these characters for many moons and I am so happy that you can finally meet them. As a special treat, guess who is here today… that’s right, you met him a week ago, The Dark Haired Man from Barbara Garren’s book, Phasms Infinite Potential. Care to guess who he brought along? If your answer was the devil, then you are correct!

Here for a rare appearance, Lucas Starr, answers some questions and gives us his thoughts on public image, war and that one woman who got into his head.

Interview With The Devil: Taming Darkness by Kat Daemon

I agreed to meet Lucas at his penthouse apartment on New York’s Upper East Side. I wasn’t disturbed or suspicious about his request of venue. He’s a business man, with pressing demands on his time and resources and the request made imminently more sense than asking him to traipse over to my location. Not that I have a location, shifting between alternate planes of reality and all.

But I digress. I was introduced to Lucas by an industrious young acquaintance who, while not necessarily currying favor with either of us, would certainly benefit from the details of our conversation. Poor thing, she neglected to first ask the price of our cooperation.

Having set the meet for this particular evening, I arrived to find an exceedingly large number of beautiful men and women exiting the apartment. Lucas met me at the door, waived me in and proffered a drink. I had to refuse, as it was difficult for me to maintain my corporeal form as well as imbibe. The main room was large, with a massive fireplace and black, granite bar. A balcony overlooked the city, affording a spectacular view of Central Park, and one entire wall displayed a quaint collection of swords, knifes, armor and other such items.

We settled into a pair of comfortably heavy oak chairs, detailed with gothic carvings of gargoyles, imps and such. The place was charming beyond words and Lucas was an attentive host and subject.

DHM: So, Lucas – you seem quite the gentleman. Articulate, erudite, with excellent taste. And yet, you have such a horrible public image. All those horns , fangs, pitchforks and a tail. Why do you believe the public with this campaign of vilification?

Lucas: I think we can both agree that people fear that which they do not understand. Ignorance stirs the imagination, folklore gets interwoven with truth and the facts seem too far fetched to be believed. They want to hate me and condemn me, because I had the courage to carve my own path. They paint me as being uncivilized because accepting me as civil makes me too much like them. Imagine how hard it would be to look in the mirror and see me staring back. (Not that they’d protest, I am beyond beautiful.) Then who would they point a finger at? Creating a monster has given them a false sense of security.  They don’t even need me. They are their own demons.

DHM: Wouldnt it be easier to utilize your prowess and slant public perception in a more positive light? I mean, look what Ghostbusters did for that heinous lot of puerile, amateur exorcists

Lucas: I’m a business man, not a politician, although I know more than my fair share. I’m not about to run a campaign persuading the public to adore me. I do my dealings in the dark, and I want my clients to come to me of their own free will. The world has become one big carnival of bandwagons, and I am not handing out horns and a lifetime membership to those willing to fight for my cause. My time will come, and if nothing else, I am extremely patient.

DHM: So, man to man here what WAS it about this particular human female; Maria, that made you so, well, whipped? Surely, in the length of time youve existed, youve come across truly exquisite females who didnt require such sacrifice. The challenge wasnt all that, was it? Werent you really looking for a way to tangle with Michael and prove you were the better, uh, Angel?

Lucas: Like all my conquests, it began as a game. A beautiful, twisted game to pass the time. When you’ve seen as much as I have, nothing phases you anymore. Every action is propelled by the need to amuse yourself. Sacrifice is a word that I don’t feel is part of my vocabulary. I carry out decisions in ways that I feel are in the best interest to me. With Maria, it was no different. When I looked at her, I saw myself shining back in her eyes. You can call it reckless narcissism if you’d like. Perhaps my judgement was jaded by her, dare I say it? Light. Either way, as you said earlier, I have excellent taste. As for Michael, there is no question that I am the superior being. We have “tangled” many times, it’s a healthy way for me to release my pent up anger and eternal frustration with the monotony of this crumbling rock I have come to accept as home.

DHM: How about something a bit more plebian, for the masses if you will: If you could change any one thing in your past, any single decision or outcome from your millennia of existence, what would it be and why? Other than the whole cast down from Heavenbit, of course.

Lucas: (laughs) I don’t regret the rebellion. I did what I had to do. I made my choice and Michael made his. The outcome was rather unfortunate, but that’s just one battle of the great war. Trust me, that story is not over. If I could go back to any moment, I think I wouldn’t have waited so long to tempt that famous carpenter. I went after him when he was in his thirties, and lets face it, in ancient times that was the equivalent of  retirement age. It’s not as much fun to bully the elderly. I didn’t really have my heart in in it either. I should have gone after him when he was a teenager. Teens are so much more persuasive. What can I say? You live, you learn.

DHM: Anything you wished your adoring fans and minions knew about you? Any last words, heh, heh?

Lucas: I think it’s time we put away such tedious labels as good and evil. I did what I had to do to survive, and unlike my former brethren, I have the ability to evolve. So I think at the end of the day, the people must ask themselves who would they rather have by their side? An army of angels that can’t break away from the old regime, or a figure who can introduce them to the possibility of a brighter tomorrow? After all, I am always willing to make a deal.

You can add Taming Darkness to your to-read list on Goodreads;

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18779536-taming-darkness?from_search=true

Information about the book:

Title: Taming Darkness (Taming Darkness #1)

Author: Kat Daemon

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Release Date: March 3rd 2014

Publisher: Entranced Publishing

Blurb:

Since he was sentenced to earth eons ago, Lucifer has always lived by three simple rules: Humans are toys that are meant to be played with, love is a useless emotion, and the only creature worth fighting for is himself. To him, nothing matters but his own enjoyment, whether it be manipulating those around him, or indulging in the sins of the flesh with Lilith. Then he found young, sweet, and innocent, Maria, who is everything that Lucifer detests. She has devoted her life to her one true love, God. Unable to resist a challenge, Lucifer sets his sights on tempting Maria away from his enemy. Disguising himself as Lucas Starr, he creates a world that not even Maria can resist. He never planned on having the tables turned on him. Imagine Lucifer’s surprise when Maria brings him to his knees and shows him a glimpse of heaven once more.

Blinded by his arrogance and an unlikely vision, Lucifer falls again, this time forgetting that some lines should never be crossed. When his greatest opponent, Michael, shows up, all Hell breaks loose. Will Maria be able to accept Lucifer for who he truly is, or realize what Michael already knows: some destinies can never be changed?

About the Author (Incase you didn’t already know me):

Kat Daemon grew up in New York where her imagination always seemed to get the best of her.  When she’s not hanging with demons, she’s usually armed with a strong cup of coffee and dreaming up her next tormented character.

You can find out more about Kat and her books at www.katdaemon.com

Website. Twitter. Pinterest. Goodreads.

There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of Taming Darkness.

Here is what you can win;

Prize pack #1  A Red Heart Necklace & a $15 Amazon Gift Card

Prize pack #2 – Essie “devil’s advocate” nail polish and a $10 Amazon gift card

Prize pack #3 – $5 Amazon gift card

(All prize packs will also include a signed postcard from the author)

Enter the rafflecopter below for a chance to win.
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March 3, 2014 · 12:03 pm

The Music behind Phasms: Guest post with Barbara Garren

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I am so happy to have Barbara Garren, author of Phasms: Infinite Potential on the blog today! I asked Barbara about the music that inspired her while writing Phasms. Here is a sneak peek into her playlist:

Music is a huge inspiration when I write. Although the original concept for Phasms: Infinite Potential stems from an incident in my real life, it’s the music I listen to while writing that makes the story, the characters and the concept come together.

Once I have the premise ironed out, I build a playlist of songs that propel the story forward. Sometimes it’s the rhythm, sometimes the lyrics. Sometimes it’s something so intangible, I just want to grab hold and convey the feeling in the words I’m writing.

For Phasms, I had the dilemma of making sure the reader understood the depth of Kelsi’s loss without bogging the book down in so much grief, they wouldn’t want to read on.

The book really took off when I pulled two songs from the band FUEL. The first, “Leave the Memories Alone,” is a soulful ballad of love lost but not forgotten. It’s about remembering what you’ve lost and finding a way to savor those memories without falling into total despair.

The second song, “Falls on Me,” is a song of hope, of learning and building from the beauty of love, no matter how ugly or jaded the circumstances surrounding the end of that love. It’s about allowing your self to fall into the black hole of depression and climbing back out. About finding the strength you need to carry on.

I think most people are surprised when they find out the music I listen to and how important it is to my story and character development. I have a mix of Staind, Burn Season, Nickelback, Shinedown, Social Distortian, Tantric, Stereoside and Oleander on the playlist for books 1 and 2.

I’ve added some and taken some away, but when I heard “Is Your Love Strong Enough” by How to Destroy Angels (from The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo soundtrack), I knew it would set the theme for the final book in the trilogy. It’s achingly haunting, eerily beautiful and absolutely the song I needed to finish things up. And no! That’s not a spoiler!

Infinite Potential by Barbara Garren
Entranced Publishing
February 24, 2014

Blurb:

Kelsi always Knows when bad things are coming, but even she never thought she’d lose her husband at only twenty-three. Since he died, she’s been living her worst nightmare.

Her nights are filled with dreams of a Dark Haired Man, but her days are full of guilt, because the Man fills her with longing and confusion, promising to give her all she needs, all she wants, all she feared she’d never have again.

If only the dreams would stay in her head where they belong.

Kelsi starts seeing the Dark Haired Man in her waking life, shadowing her wherever she goes.  And when her mysterious new neighbor, Aiden Hardt, knows about the Man in her dreams, Kelsi worries she can’t trust her own mind.

He’s not what he seems.

But even Aiden’s cryptic words don’t frighten her as much as the way she feels around him. Kelsi must sort through her emotions and figure out what’s real before she can ever hope to have a normal life again.

About the Author

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Barbara was born and raised in Southern California, but left to explore the world courtesy of the U.S. Navy. After traveling the world, she forced herself to live a humble life in in San Francisco, New York and Norfolk, Virginia. She now calls San Diego home and you won’t pry her out with a crowbar.

She would be the first  to tell you her husband, Henry, is the inspiration for all the romance, and the real Charlie – who is as cute as he sounds in her books – is a terrorist. When not working for the U.S. Navy, she can be found running, reading or writing. She firmly believes a well rounded diet consists of coffee, scotch, chocolate, popcorn and Luna Bars. In that order.

She’s a graduate of CUNY and Penn State – and manages to write a decent line here and there despite those burdens.

Social Media Links

https://twitter.com/bak229

http://nofilterinstalled.blogspot.com

https://www.facebook.com/NoFilterBetweenBrainandMouth

http://www.bgarrenwrites.com

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If you would like a chance to win one of the lovely prize packages seen above, check out the rafflecopter link below:

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March 1, 2014 · 1:48 pm

Cover Reveal! Princess of the Light by N.N. Light

You guys! I have a great cover reveal for you today! A fellow author and friend, N.N. Light has signed with Anaiah Press and will be releasing her first book in August! The title of the book is Princess of the Light, and from the look of this cover, our heroine can handle herself! Check it out and see what I’m talking about!

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I am LOVING that sword! Did you see that angelic background? There is definitely some struggle with good and evil going on here! ( You guys know how I love angel/demon conflict!) Scroll down to the blurb below to find out more about Princess of the Light, and the wonderful N.N. Light!

Blurb:

Miriam Miller likes the simple things in life: a good book, close friends, and a healthy relationship with God. But, destiny comes calling, and her neat, little life turns upside down.

Ethanial, an angel of God, has been sent to reveal Miriam’s true calling -– she is the Princess of the Light, the woman chosen by God Himself to vanquish the demons intent on infusing the world with evil. And her first assignment: restore the soul of a homeless man known only as The Walking Man.

Enter Joe Deacons, a man intent on stealing her heart. But as Miriam embarks on her journey to save the Walking Man and fulfill her calling, it becomes clear that Joe isn’t what he appears to be. Miriam must decide: Is she willing to risk her soul to save those she loves?

Release Date: August 26, 2014

Author Bio:

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N.N. Light was born in Minnesota, lived in Southern California only to move to chilly Ontario, Canada to marry her beloved husband, Mr. N. She is blissfully happy and loves all things chocolate, books, music, movies, art, sports and baking.

Website: princessofthelight.com

Blog: Princessofthelight.wordpress.com

Links:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20885910-princess-of-the-light?ac=1

Anaiah Press: http://www.anaiahpress.com

 

3 Comments

February 28, 2014 · 11:51 am