Friday, 20 March 2015

An Infinity Dreams Blogging Award from the Lovely Jane Hunt

I've been been tagged for the Infinity Dreams Blogging Award by my friend, the talented author, Jane Hunt, and author of the Dragon Legacy series.

Here are the rules:

1. Thank and follow the blog that nominated you. Click on the link to read Jane's Infinity Dreams Award post

2. Share eleven facts about yourself

1. I was 6 years old when I decided to become an archaeologist.

2. When I was a girl I used to pretend the garden shed was my TARDIS. My second-great ambition was to become Dr Who's assistant. Decades later, I'm still waiting, lol! 

3. I have a double-jointed thumb on my right hand. Fun at parties and teasing my nieces with. 

4. I love living in Australia, but if I had to live elsewhere, I'd choose the south of France because of the wonderful Mediterranean climate and lots of lovely Roman ruins nearby.  
The Bridgeman Art Library/Getty Images 

5. I'm a south paw (left handed)

6. I can read and write Egyptian hieroglyphics. 

7. When I was on a dig in Israel, several Middle-Eastern men offered my male companion a price for me. He refused, of course, and took me to safety.

8. My family had our genealogy traced by the Nazis in 1939 when they occupied our country—the Czech Republic. Everyone had to report to the town hall and have their ancestries traced. We learnt my family had noble blood—we are a minor branch of the Hapsburg Dynasty who had ruled Europe for 800 years until the First World War brought about their demise.

9. I'm not keen on heights. And as far as I know, I'm the only person who took the lift to the top of the Eiffel Tower, in Paris, with my eyes shut. They were still shut when the doors opened at the top.

10. I love butterscotch and apple pie, and Czech potato pancakes (which are to die for!)

11. One of my hobbies is embroidery and making soft furnishings. It helps me relax. 

Answer the questions set for you by the nominator.

1. Do you believe in dreams?

No, not at all. I'm too pragmatic.

2. Why did you start blogging?

When I was told every author should have a blog so that fans have somewhere to find out about you.

3. Are you an extravert or an introvert?

A bit of both, I think.

4. Do you think authors make good bloggers?

Some do, and they're brilliant at it. I don't regard myself as a blogger, as I prefer to spend my time writing books instead. But I enjoy using my blog as a showcase for my writing, and to share with both my readers and other indie writers, my publishing journey. If it helps new authors, then my humble little blog has done its job.

5. Do you remember any of your dreams?

Very rarely. 

6. Are you interested in the meaning of dreams?

Not really. To me, dreams are just images in the subconscious.

7. Do you dream in colour?

From the occasional dream I do remember, it was in colour.

8. Do you find writing a lonely occupation?

Not at all—I spend too much time on Facebook, lol! When I can tear myself away from it, my characters keep me well occupied.

9. Are animals an important part of your life?

Unfortunately, I have allergies making keeping a pet impossible. 

10 Do you listen to music when you write?

Not very often as I find it distracting. Silence works best for me, for that way I can best hear my character's voices. They don't like competition.

11. Do you devise playlists for your books?

Only after I've completed the book. As I go through my chapters the music suggests itself to me and I find it fits the scene. One day I'll put one together for the first two books in my Dantonville Legacy series and save it on DVD.

Nominate 11 bloggers (if you can) for this award and set 11 questions (if you can think of that many) for them to answer.

1. Cate Russell-Cole

2. Lindsay J Pryor

3. Dionne Lister

4. Fiona Chapman

5. Sherry Ewing

6. Claudette Melanson

7. Debbie Johansson

8. Lorraine Carey

9. Jade Reyner 

My questions: 

(Since this actually takes such a long time to get through—and for the sake of everyone's sanity—I've decided to only ask 7 questions. You're welcome, ladies.

1. If you could have another profession what would it be?

2. Are there any authors who have influenced your writing? If so, who?

3. Do you have a particular dream?

4. If you could travel back in time, which era would you choose?

5. What's your favourite fashion era?

6. If you could have any animal as a pet, which would you choose? Even if it's mythical. 

7. List your dream foods.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Bring Your Fantasy World To Life

One of my all-time favourite authors is JRR Tolkien. Not only do I admire him for writing the greatest fantasy epic ever (well, in my opinion anyway), but as all Tolkien fans know, he also created the many heraldic symbols of the noble Elven houses—the Noldor. I could imagine him doodling these images while listening to his tut students, or in a lull while marking endless piles of exam papers. His make-believe world was as real to him as the desk at which he sat.
As a university student (many, many, many moons go), I copied his designs onto my notebooks and folders, so while some of my lecturers droned on, I could gaze down at these beautiful pictures and imagine myself in Lothlorien or Rivendell. 

I discovered then, that a fantasy world can be made truly believable by providing readers with tangible evidence of its existence. 

So, taking my inspiration from Tolkien, I created an ancient chronicle as described in my second Dantonville Legacy book, Bloodpledge. My character, Laura, is introduced to her ancestor's journal that documents the origins of her family's frightening legacy.
This is how I describe it in the book: "Resting on an eagle-shaped lectern, like some massive, old church Bible, was a large red leather book. The figure of a golden coiled serpent with blood-red eyes was emblazoned on the front …"

It's amazing what an old journal, a photocopied pic of the serpent ring, some beads and glitter glue can achieve. Open the pages and inside are my own fantasy drawings based on Celtic illuminated manuscripts of the early medieval period. (Apologies to my history professors in whose classes these colourful doodles came to life. But I knew they'd be of use one day.) 

Now I'll be adding to these pages with the recollections of Marcus Antonius Pulcher - Roman military commander, Dominus of the Antonii clan, vampire.

Should be fun.

Have you read BloodPledge yet? Get it here - Amazon (US)  Amazon (UK)  Amazon (AU)  Amazon (CA)

Saturday, 7 March 2015

St Patrick's Day Giveaway.

It's March and in honour of St Patrick's Day, I'm giving away a lovely shamrock-green pendant (with "B" for Bloodgifted). All you have to do for a chance to WIN it, is leave a review of either Bloodgifted or Bloodpledge on Amazon and/or Goodreads. Please leave a comment and your name will be added to the draw. The winner will be announced March 17th.
Bloodgifted (Amazon US)
Bloodpledge (Amazon US)
Good luck!

Friday, 6 March 2015

How NOT to Promote Your Book (Re-blogged from Trish Maria Dawson)

Yes, I'm re-blogging another article, because this actually happened to me the other day, and I was sucked in. I was contacted by the same spammy "author" and given the spiel. Just wish I'd answered the way Trish did.

Read and have a laugh: Re-blogged from Trish Marie Dawson's blog

How NOT to Promote Your Book

I love writing, even the publishing myself part. Yes, yes…I admit it’s hard to get your name out there and to share your stories with the world. But there’s a right and wrong way to promote, and guess what, I have a stellar example of what I consider one of many ‘wrong ways’ below.
But first, a quick explanation (and disclaimer), though this did just REALLY happen to me, I don’t want to list the name of the other person involved or the represented author’s book title, because that would be well…it would just be mean. And I don’t like to see myself as a mean person. So, as you read the exchange below, maybe you’ll laugh. I mean, shoot, I did.
The following messages took place on Facebook. The dates and exact words have not been changed, only the original sender’s name and one book title ‘she’ mentions.  I’ll just call her ‘S’. This ‘conversation’ started December 15 of 2014, and sadly ended today, March 5. S’s posts are in red, mine are in blue. Just to make it easy for you. *wink*
Conversation started December 15, 2014
12/15, 4:46am
I would love to share your book with my FB friends. PM if interested
December 15, 2014
Trish Marie Dawson
Trish Marie Dawson
Hi S – you are welcome to use whatever link I’ve put up. *grin emoticon* IHYFM and DtF are free so I love getting it out there. *smile emoticon*
12/15, 10:00am
My author has an ebook called BEEP. Would you be interested in providing a review on amazon in exchange for me sharing your book with my 3000 FB friends? I can send you the ebook if you can provide your email. If interested, let me know
December 26, 2014
I would still love to share your book with my FB friends
December 26, 2014
Trish Marie Dawson
Trish Marie Dawson
You are welcome to, but I don’t do review exchanges like that. I leave honest reviews on books when I can, but that isn’t very often because I’m spending most of my time writing books.
January 29
I would love to share your latest release with my Facebook friends.
I would still love to share your latest release with my Facebook friends.
Trish Marie Dawson
Trish Marie Dawson
You keep sending the same message to me. 😐
Except Im not looking for a review
For a short time I’m offering indefinite shout-outs in front of my 4700 Fb fans to help promote YOUR book, when you purchase a small ebook (or free w/ for less than the price of a Starbucks coffee. All proceeds support our charity.
Trish Marie Dawson
Trish Marie Dawson
So you are selling an eBook in exchange for promoting one of mine to your FB followers?
The ebook is called BEEP and is only $5.99. You’ll get the book and an indefinite shout-out! Upon request I’ll even give you proof of our shout-outs giving publicity to YOUR book and I’ll even leave the shout-out up indefinitely. Proceeds go to support the Adrenal Foundation. Click the link to purchase and get your promotional shout-out now!
Trish Marie Dawson
Is called I Hope You Find Me. Have you read it?
It’s follow up is called Lost and Found.
Then there is my Station series, with six books so far. Heard of them?
I also have a sci-fi fantasy.
Do you read those genres?
All my friends love that genre
Trish Marie Dawson
Trish Marie Dawson
Well, that book is for sale on Amazon and B&N. Would you like to buy it? It is cheaper than your author’s book. By a dollar it two.
Sorry, Im doing this to support my charity
Trish Marie Dawson
Trish Marie Dawson
Actually, you could download ALL of my eBooks for under $20. Would you like the links?
Oh! Charity! Yes! I have two stories in two important charities.
I’m offering indefinite shout-outs in front of my 4700 Fb fans for only $5.99
Trish Marie Dawson
Trish Marie Dawson
One is for an author friend with cancer. The other is for no kill shelters. Which would you like to purchase to support?
Both are awesome books, I promise.
Have a great day
Trish Marie Dawson
Trish Marie Dawson
And cheaper than $5.99.
You aren’t interested?
I would love to share your latest release with my Facebook friends.
Trish Marie Dawson
Trish Marie Dawson
I love charity’s! I fully support them!
I’m a Vegetarian and did you know that you can buy a thing of hay for The Gentle Barn as a donation?
Are all the profits of your books going to charity?
Trish Marie Dawson
Trish Marie Dawson
Or you can donate to Esther the Wonder Pig. Both do wonderful things for animals. Great organizations.
Good luck with your book
Trish Marie Dawson
Trish Marie Dawson
My books mostly pay my bills, like my 2014 Escape payment. Did you know that new cars are expensive as hell?! But we need two vehicles in my family because I have to take my daughter to classes and my son to therapies. He has APD. He doesn’t process what we say to him very well, which makes him seem to others like he’s very misbehaved. But he’s a sweet boy. But yeah, we need to drive around town a lot. So my writing pays for our second car. And his gluten free foods. It’s an expensive diet. Oh! We have three rescue dogs so we also have a lot of dog food to buy every month, so I pay for that too. And we live in San Diego, where you basically pay for the weather, the views and the warm air you breathe. So I guess that not ALL of my work goes to charity. But two of my stories do.
Trish Marie Dawson
Trish Marie Dawson
Thank you for the well wishes! I truly appreciate it!
I work very hard on my writing, publishing and marketing. It’s not easy, as you probably know.

At this point, the text becomes grey, which made me think that I was ‘blocked’. But I kept writing on my phone. Unfortunately, she really HAD blocked me, which meant that my messages only show on my phone screen where I wrote them, not on FB. But I’ll still share them here…

My continuation:
But it’s the best job in the world! I get to meet awesome people every day! Like you! Thank you for sharing your author’s $5.99 story for charity. I wish you the best with promoting. But do you mind me offering you a promotional tip?
Oh shoot. Did you block me? That’s a bummer. I was going to tell you that spamming inboxes is probably not the wisest way to share.
Yes. Yes you did block me. So unfortunate. We were just getting to know each other!

So. There you have it. This is how NOT to promote your book (or another’s book), because it’s spammy. Very, very spammy. It’s one thing to share your stuff on your social media sites, chat in PM’s with readers when they seek you out, and offer up sales and freebies when they come around via word of mouth, newsletters, etc… but to repeatedly hit someone up you don’t know (nope, don’t know this S girl aside from these messages) that’s just not professional. And it gives the awesome people out there, sharing the right way, a bad name. It only takes one bad apple…right?
I hope she learned a few things today: I don’t like getting ‘BUY THIS BOOK!’ messages in my inbox from strangers, and that despite what she might think, I have a sense of humor. *wink*
Promote smarter, my friends. Happy Thursday!