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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Vampires! Vampires! And More Vampires! And True Blood!


It seems the world has gone vampire crazy. They are everywhere right now from movies to TV to books. I've seen them on t-shirts, bags, and magazines. Vampires are all around us and looking pretty healthy for being undead.

I recently talked about two recent vampire genre movies, Let The Right One In and Twilight . The first movie was flawless, amazing, and officially one of my all-time favorite movies. As for Edward and the Fangless Gang, it was fun, but nothing earth-shattering (except for Dr. Carlisle Cullen...yummmmmmmmmmy!!).

True Blood, the TV series, has been a guilty pleasure of mine for weeks now. I have read all but the latest Sookie Stackhouse books and I enjoy them tremendously. Charlaine Harris has not gone down the same road with Sookie that Laurell K. Hamilton did with Anita Blake where she has a harem of men (thank God!) and I enjoy that aspect of the books. Sookie is delicious, but her love life is not easy. I have to admit, despite the plot lines in the books, I'm still a big Bill fan.

But there has always been a few things that bugged me about the books. One thing was the severe lack of black people in Louisiana. That has been remedied in the TV series in spades and I'm relieved for it. It gives it that Louisiana feel that sometimes lacks in the books. There is a distinct vibe in Louisiana the second you hit the border and the show does a pretty good job capturing it. Also, the books are VERY chaste compared to the show. I was so relieved when they actually swore on the show and had sex scenes. Again, it felt more "real" in my perception. I love the casting, love the acting (the accents still suck though) and I am solidly on board for Season Two.

Frankly, Season One on DVD cannot come soon enough!!

But the one thing I do love most about True Blood and Let The Right One In is that these vampires are DANGEROUS. They will fuck you up. They will kill you or make you wish you were dead. They are not pretty humans with fangs. They are something different. Something to be afraid of.

When I wrote Pretty When She Dies, I wanted to get back to that danger. I wanted to get back to that feral, dark power. My vampires are sexy and alluring, but they will rip your throat out. They will rip you apart. They can act very human, but they are still killers at heart and not "safe" at all. Even with each other, there is an element of danger. Vampire sex and romance do have their place in Pretty When She Dies, but at its heart its a tale of terror.

I checked on Amazon.com today and it looks like the novel is going live there soon. I've had a few fans ask if its cool if they get it from Amazon.com and my answer is "of course!" I totally understand how its easier to buy from there if you're buying lots of other things from Amazon.com. I'm dying to hear your feedback, so please drop me a line after you get the book and read it.

I want to give a shout out to a cool blog I check out for really kick ass reviews on everything vampire. He usually has some really good insights into vampire movies (of all kinds) and I've added a few films to my "to view" list based off his recommendations. Check out

Taliesin Meets the Vampire


Meanwhile, I'm taking a break this week from writing (or at least trying to) and then its back to work.

Thanks again for all your support!

Monday, November 24, 2008

PRETTY WHEN SHE DIES IS NOW AVAILABLE!!!

If you like your vampires with a mix of deadly, sexy, fierce and bloody, you'll love Pretty When She Dies!!

It is now available at my online shop located here https://www.createspace.com/3355746 It will be available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle version within a week or two.

Check out the first four chapters for free here http://www.scribd.com/people/view/112721


Pretty When She Dies: A Vampire Novel
by
Rhiannon Frater

In East Texas, a young woman awakens buried in the forest. After struggling out of her shallow grave, she not only faces her terrible new existence, but her sadistic creator. Abandoning her human life, she travels across Texas hoping to find answers to her new nature and find a way to defeat the most powerful Necromancer of all time. Her only hope is to find one of her own kind and learn to harness the powers she has inherited from The Summoner.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

As The World Dies:Fighting to Survive Is Off To The Editors and Proof Readers

We're on our way to publication.

YAY!

Twilight Hits Some High Sparkly Notes and Some Low Ones

Well, I saw Twilight this afternoon with my friend Heather. I think anyone seeing us would know we were at the Alamo Drafthouse to see Twilight. I was in my top hat and carrying my bat purse and Heather's bright pink hair makes her stand out. Add to it we're both Goth and there ya go.

So we settled into our seats and I ordered up an artichoke heart pizza and a diet Dr. Pepper as we waited for the movie to start. We chatted a bit and I told her how amazing Let The Right One In was. The food arrived and the previews started and we settled in.

Heather is a DIEHARD fan of the book and she had goosebumps as soon as the movie started. I thought the casting was wonderful and though the "ethnic" choices made to fill out the cast of humans was surprising, it was a nice relief from the novel. It made the Twilight world a better reflection of America, I thought.

I thought RPatt was lovely as Edward. Kristen Stewart was the perfect Bella. In fact, I thought all the vampire "kids" were wonderfully cast. I adored Jasper's persistent look of terror. It made Heather and I laugh.

So what was my big goosebumps, screaming like a little girl moment?

Dr. Carlisle Cullen.
Photobucket

Holy shit! When he walked into the ER, Heather and I screamed like teenagers at a Beatles concert. But we weren't the only ones. The entire audience gasped, cheered, and swooned. I literally got chills. Oh my gawd. Peter Facinelli is gorgeous as it is, but he was simply BEAUTIFUL as the "father" to Edward. Every time he was on the screen, we were swooning fools.

Sadly, the movie brought on the guffaws quite a bit. RPatt played his part beautifully. His pathos was intense. But it was like he was in a drama and everyone else was in an after school special. His dramatic reveal of his diamond skin brought on great laughter in the theater and I felt rather bad about that. He played it wonderfully, but it just came across as cheesy. The special effects mostly sucked, which killed his mystery. The hunters moved better than he did, but even they started to look like they were puppets on strings. A lot of the audience laughed at scenes I really wanted to get into and care about, but something would just stand out awkwardly and send everyone into laughter.

The worst of these scenes was when Carlisle told Edward to suck the venom out of Bella. Edward, obviously terrified of doing this and draining her dry, agonized in this moment. And his expression sent the audience into rollicking laughter.

So how did I feel about Twilight the movie? It was fun to see with a friend. There were definitely parts I really enjoyed. Other parts that had me wincing. I loved the casting across the board. The movie made me even consider reading the rest of the three books.

But it also suffered from really horrible special effects and really awkward editing.

I hope the next time around they have a better budget and Edward won't look like a puppet on strings when he performs his vampiric moves.

Oh, yeah. LOVED THE VAMPIRE BASEBALL.

Let The Right One In was far superior as a film, as a vampire tale, and as a beautiful, heart-wrenching love story. I would recommend Let The Right One in to anyone who loves vampires. Twilight is a movie to see with friends if you liked the book. Otherwise, wait for the DVD.

A Vampire Movie That Made Me CRY!!


I cannot fully express how much I loved this movie!

It was absolutely amazing!! I walked out of the theater completely inspired and deeply touched.

It is a hauntingly beautiful movie in every way. Beautifully acted and wonderfully shot, it is a gruesome and yet touching story. It is hard to even put it into words how incredible this movie is.

I highly recommend this movie to anyone who loves the vampire genre.

I think this may be my favorite vampire film of all time. It was just that damn good!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Twilight and Pretty When She Dies-Are They Alike?



I wrote about Twilight previously and what I felt about the story. The book was definitely like crack and I ate it up. It definitely appealed to the 14 year old inside of me while pissing off the older version at the same time. I had real issues with Edward's controlling/stalker ways, but at the same time, I thought he was freaking HAWT. I am going to see the movie with a friend on Sunday and I cannot wait!

But as a vampire fan, Twilight was definitely a very different take on vampires. They sparkle in the sun, they don't fang out, they have reflections, crosses don't affect them, and they can live off animal blood. There aren't any coffins to be seen and they're not going to be turning into a mist to seep under your door to get you. On the other hand, they have venom like a snake and eyes that go black, not red. I was a little confused by all these changes to the vampire mythos until I read an interview with Stephanie Meyer where she admitted she doesn't like scary things, she hadn't read up on vampires, and she hates blood. I'm not knocking what she likes or doesn't like, but it did explain the radical difference in her vampires from all the vampire legends.

Recently, at Fear Fest, a man picked up the proof copy of Pretty When She Dies, stared at it, then asked me if it was like Twilight. He was looking for a book for his 12 year old daughter. I told him that, no, it was not, and that she should wait a few years to read it most likely. "It's horror," I said. "It has violence, gore, blood, sex, and vampires who are scary." He thanked me for being honest and was quite nice.

Pretty When She Dies is not a romance novel featuring vampires. Yeah, there is sex and elements of romance, but the story as a whole is the horrific tale of a freshly made vampire. Her creator, The Summoner, is a necromancer and he does some pretty sick things in the book. Amaliya (the main character) also has to deal with her hunger and the terrible things she does to sate it. There is a very alluring male vampire in the novel (my friend Ceres has it bad for him..hehehe), but he's not a classical romantic hero like Edward Cullen. And the vampires in this novel are very much in the vein (hehe) of Bram Stoker's Dracula. They have no reflection, they consume the blood of humans, they have the ability to influence humans, they will die in sunlight and crosses will do heavy damage to them.

If you read the excerpt on Scribd of the first four chapters of the novel (chapters 1-3 here, chapter 4 here) you will have a clear example of what I mean. Just in the first four chapters there is plenty of blood, violence, sex, and horror to start it off with a real bang.

Unlike Mrs. Meyers, I am a long time fan of the vampire genre. I've studied the mythos and read a lot of vampire fiction. I know Anne Rice changed the rules a bit with her vampires, but my favorite vampires are the classical ones in Stoker's tale and the old Republic and Hammer films.

In fact, I absolutely loved working with the concept of Amaliya not having a reflection and how it affected her emotionally. It was a lot of fun.

Of course, I do tweak a thing or two along the way, but not too much. The vampires are still dangerous and yet alluring, and I loved writing them.

If you liked Twilight will you like Pretty When She Dies? If you're looking for a vampire tale that is sexy, scary, horrific and fun, I think you will. If you are looking for a vampire tale that is heavy on the romance, maybe not so much. I do like the relationship that develops in Pretty When She Dies quite a lot, but its not an innocent teenage love. It's more lusty...and bloody.

Meanwhile, I'm gearing up to plunge back into the world of my Gothic vampire tale. It, too, has the same vampire rules as Pretty When She Dies, but takes place in Europe in the 1820's. It's definitely more lush, more romantic and more Gothic that its modern sister, but it still has strong elements of horror in it.

Vampires still scare me to death. But at the same time, I absolutely love them. And my writings about them definitely reflect this.

Pretty When She Dies is on target for release next week. In fact, it could be out as early as Monday night on my online store.

I will keep you posted.

The Hazards of Info Dumping

Another writer and I were talking the other night and he asked me about a portion of his story he was struggling with. He wanted to make sure one of his character's point of view was included in the story in, but in an interesting way. What he read to me was well written, but it was a huge info dump. I hated to tell him that, but I have a real issue with info dumping in novels.


What is info dump?


Have you ever read a book where right in the middle of a scene, a ton of information is revealed through the character's thoughts. Everything from where they were born to their favorite color gets mashed up and spit out in a jumble of words. Sometimes this exposition takes place just before a major conflict and it eats up all the tension and suspense as you wade through the massive amount of information suddenly dumped into the plot. Or sometimes when a new character is introduced, you get such a thorough description of them, you know their favorite color and what color their underwear is.


This is info dump. When a writer literally dumps a huge amount of information on the reader. Sometimes its very important information (like my fellow writer was trying to get across) or its just filler.

It's definitely a pet peeve of mine, but at the same time it can be horribly easy to do.

Recently, as I was rewriting As The World Dies: Fighting to Survive, I agonized over the first chapter. I know that its important to reintroduce the characters as the second part begins and remind the reader of the important points, but at the same time I didn't just want to drop a summary of the first book into the beginning of the second. What I attempted to do was write good solid scenes that had pertinent information sprinkled through them. It was nerve wracking. So much so, I sent off the first chapter to some people for some feedback. I'm happy to say their response was positive.

But it was still a total bitch to write!

Here are a few things I do to avoid info dump.

1. Let the reader know what your characters look like upon introduction. Sprinkle the other important information into the story as you go along. Let it come out naturally as your story progresses.

2. Lay the foundation for your big reveal throughout the story. You can weave hints throughout the plot without giving everything away. Also, don't treat your readers like they are stupid. If the big "reveal" is actually quite visible in the storyline, don't spend pages going over exactly what the big twist is. I've guessed the "secret" in novels before only to have it pounded home over and over again endlessly by the writer. I got it the first time, thank you very much.

3. World building is another place author's can info dump in a terrible way. Don't spend the first chapter of your book explaining every little detail of how the world works. Again, weave it into the story. I've slogged through books before only because friends said it got better once it was past the slow boring first chapters where everything was explained in terrible detail.

4. Describe things, but don't over describe. I read a book this year that had to describe a room the character entered down to what kind of plant sitting on a table. The character was in the room for around one page.

Trust me. I live in fear of my own info dumping. It's easy to fall into. But a writer needs to take the time to carefully weave the story together and not just get lazy and dump the whole ball of yarn smack dab into the middle and expect it to look good.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Second Preview of Pretty When She Dies is Up!!!

If you already read chapters one to three in the previous preview, check out chapter four now!! Also in the special preview is the projected release date of the novel.

Enjoy!!!
Second Preview of Pretty When She Dies

I Got The Final Edits for Pretty When She Dies!!!

The first comment out the mouth of the final proof reader was, "Love the sex scenes!"

*blushes and crawls under her desk*

So You Wanna Be A Writer-My Best Advice To You

1. Write.

Write a lot.

Write a lot and share it with other people who can critique your work and give you good advice. Don't be defensive about the advice. Embrace it. Learn from it.

2. Read a lot.

Read different styles, different authors, different genres. Figure out why a certain book worked for you and why another did not. Just don't learn from the authors that stun and amaze, but the ones that make you hurl the book across the room.


3. Decide What Kind Of Writer You Want To Be

What does this mean? Well, do you just enjoy writing for the sake of writing? Does the idea of posting your stuff online and getting immediate response from fans make you smile? Do you want to try and get in with the big NYC publishing house or would you settle for a small one? Do you like the idea of eBooks? Do you want to be an Independent Author and make all the hard choices yourself?

Whatever path you do choose, you need to understand that making the big bucks of Stephen King is probably not going to happen or at least not right away. Become a writer because you like to write and you want to share your stories with others. Not because you think it is the path to a million bucks.


4. Study the Publishing World

Read industry news. Read agent, publisher and writer blogs. Read everything you can about how publishing works from query letters to how royalties are paid. Find out how much you may actually get paid for your work (it's less than you think) and what the standard industry contract is.

Where do you find these links?

Google is your friend.

Google your favorite writer's name. Read their blog. Look up publishing houses. Read The Writer's Digest.

The Internet is a great resource and so is your local bookstore. You're going to have to do a lot of research and a lot of reading. Yes, a lot of it will contradict each other, but you will have a greater understanding of the publishing world as a whole. Most of it is, yes, contradictory. The trick is to find out what will work for you and create your own path using the knowledge you've gained.

5. Be Honest About Your Writing and Make It Your Best

I'm going to be very honest here. Your first works will not be your best. No matter how many times you rewrite them or fuss over them, they will probably be your weakest work. Sometimes, people get lucky and write something fabulous right off the bat, but this is not usually the case. So before you began sending out your writing, make sure it is the best you have to offer.

If you decide to submit your work, make sure it is as perfect as you can make it. Grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc. should be as professional as possible. You can find out how to properly format a submission online.

6. ALWAYS Follow Submission Guidelines

Before I became an Indie Author I did a lot of submitting to various publications. I have to admit, I didn't always follow guidelines and got stuff kicked back quickly. Later, I learned the error of my ways.

This seems so simple, but many writers ignore them. I have literally heard a writers say, "My story is so good I could sell it on the title alone" or "They just have to read the first line to be sold." The reality is that if your work is not submitted correctly, a great story title and a great first line will never be read.

And don't try to send romance stories to horror publications and vice versa. You're going to have to do your research and figure out the best market for your story.

7. Be Ready for Rejection

No matter how well your book is written. No matter how well it has been edited by you or people helping you out. No matter how amazing your plot is. No matter if it is the BEST NOVEL EVER WRITTEN...chances are it is going to meet a fair amount of rejection.

The publishing world is looking for what sells. Readers are looking for what they personally like. Reviewers have a list of likes and dislikes.

You will not make everyone happy. Be ready for this reality. And don't let it get you down.

8. Keep Writing

Even if you meet rejection after rejection or success after success, always keep writing. Don't sit back and just chuck your old manuscripts and short stories at editors. Write new fresh material. Keep moving forward.

And one final note for those of you who want to go the Independent Author route...do your research. It's not easy. It's not quick. And it's not a scheme to make a fast buck. There are plenty of resources online for people who are interested in the Independent Author movement. I strongly suggest reading Morris' Rosenthal's blog and book on self-publishing. Read up on all the publish on demand companies (Lulu, iUniverse, CreateSpace) and look at all your options very carefully. I cannot recommend a path for you. You have to figure out what will work for you. My husband and I chose Createspace because it suites our needs at this time. We may, in the future, change our business model and continue down a different path.

Also, As The World Dies has been a solid success so far because it had a buzz created by its existence online for two years. People that love the zombie genre discovered the story and spread the word. I'm VERY grateful for that. But that doesn't give ma a free pass when it comes promoting and marketing the book. You will have to buckle down and create buzz on your own works.

I do highly recommend to anyone wanting to take their writing seriously and who do want to create a solid readership, post free works online and maintain some sort of blog. If people know you can write stories they enjoy, they will be more inclined to buy your works.

And just in case you're wondering why I wrote this entry, I have received enough emails recently asking me about the writing process and how to publish/self-publish that I thought I'd take the time to try and address the basics.

Please feel free to ask me questions and I'll try and answer as honestly as possible.

Thanks!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Pretty When She Dies Update and More!!!

I handed off the proof copy of Pretty When She Dies to the final proof reader on Tuesday. She was pretty excited to get her hands on it and gave me the biggest grin. I anticipate her getting the final edits back to me next Tuesday. After that, I just have to make the changes and upload to the publisher. I believe we are on track to have the book out the final week in November.


I've been handling a few queries about Pretty When She Dies, which I find very exciting. The As The World Dies Zombie Trilogy was originally online, so it had a built in fan base. I was a little concerned about Pretty When She Dies because it did not originate online. But the response at Fear Fest to the novel and the queries I have received do give hope that readers will find it intriguing.

Update!
The proof reader is loving the book and moving through it swiftly. It looks like we're on track!

I do feel that Pretty When She Dies has something to add to the vampire genre. It's a break away from the paranormal romance and recent urban fantasy novels. I'm not sure what I would classify it as, but it has got its own pulse going.

Meanwhile, I'm almost done with the As The World Dies: Fighting to Survive rewrite. I hope to have it with the editors sometime next week. Which feels AWESOME!

All in all things are going well right now. I can't complain. If you have any questions about the Indie Author movement or about the books, please drop me a line at gothgoddessrhia at gmail.com.





Monday, November 10, 2008

Home from Fear Fest 3

I'm exhausted.

I sold 14 books at the convention. I had gone with 16. I probably would have sold more if not for people running out of money. I was in a room off to one side and people didn't know we were there. By the time they found us, they were either low on cash or out completely. I handed out pamphlets with the first scene of As the World Dies and the same for Pretty When She Dies to a lots of people. Many came back for ATWD and wanted more info on when it would be out and how to by PWSD.

If Pretty When She Dies was out, I would have probably sold 25 books. Seriously, everyone wanted it. Vampires are HOT right now. A lot of people just looked at the cover and said, "I want that." When I asked them if they would by a t-shirt with the cover on it, the answer was really positive. I'm feeling very good about my vamp book now.

One last story...

One teenager picked up an ATWD pamphlet, walked off to enjoy her day and reappeared right before closing. She had finally read it and wanted the book, but was out of money. Her Mom got the information on my blog, etc and said it may be a gift. I was really happy to hear the pamphlet was so successful. I'm going to make sure to do them in the future.


I'll go into a few more details later. A fan came by and made my day on Saturday and I'd like to share that and a few other stories.

Now I'm going to go collapse.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I'm Off To Fear Fest 3!!!

For those of you planning to come out, I will see you there!

A Brand New Interview!! This Time With STORYHACK:The Blog!!

I just did a brand new interview with Storyhack: The Blog! It was quite a lot of fun to do! I really enjoyed it.

There is a little bit of news in it that I have not shared with all of you. That news is that I received an offer for my zombie trilogy from a very well-known and kick ass publisher. It was a shock to my system, but also a tremendous honor. I took a week to consider the offer and discuss it with my trusted inner cycle. I was very anxious to make the right choice.

In the end, I decided to stay an Independent Author. I love working with my husband on the novels, I love working with artists on the covers, I love the ability to express my creativity, and I love the whole concept of being an Indie Author. I really want to do this as long as I can and we'll see what the future holds.

I will consider any and every offer made to me by a publisher. I'll weigh the financial aspects against the creative freedom I enjoy and see how it fits into my long term plans as a writer.

Again, this was not an easy choice, but I do feel it was the right one at this time.

I'm not opposed to working with publishers on new projects, but As The World Dies just means so much to me, I want to handle it myself.

Meanwhile, I do have a brand new zombie short story appearing in Zombology, a new anthology by Library of the Living Dead. It is about a seeing eye dog trying to protect her mistress on the first day of the zombie uprising. I will definitely keep you posted on when the anthology will be out.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I Love My Vampires!

The Pretty When She Dies proof copy has arrived. I can't stop looking at it. The cover looks so awesome! It's very striking and intense.

I'll announce a release date on here very soon.

I'm so excited!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Library of the Living Dead Presents As The World Dies: The First Days-Chapter 1, Part 3

Dr. Pus has done it again! The new audio excerpt is up and its awesome! I hope you enjoy it!

0:00 - Intro by Unoshato
1:02 - "Zombie" By Rusty Eye
4:49 - Dr. Pus Intro.
6:50 - Rhiannon Frater's "As The World Dies" Chapter 1, Part 3
18:17 - A.P. Fuchs' "Blood of the Dead" Chapter 3
33:03 - A new "Manic Minute"
35:16 - James Melzer's "Zombie Chronicles" Chapter 5
57:28 - Rob Fox's "Z Day Is Here" Days 70, 71, 72
1:09:48 - "What's Up Doc?"
1:28:44 - "Done In One" - "Germs"
1:33:44 - Fray & Dr. Pus present a chapter from "Sleepy Hollow"
1:49:44 - Out Comments
1:52:59 - Rob Best's "Chapter 10" - Rob Best

Here's the link: www.dr-pus.podomatic.com

Monday, November 3, 2008

Yes! I Am ALIVE!!

Last week was somewhat insane. I was not only anticipating my first anniversary on Halloween, but also rushing to get a short story into Dr. Pus' Library of the Living Dead in hopes of being part of the new anthology called Zombology.

Then came the weekend with both Halloween and Day of the Dead squeezed into it and I'm utterly exhausted today.

The good news is that I will be at Fear Fest 3 this weekend, Pretty When She Dies will soon get an official release date, and As The World Dies: Fighting to Survive is coming along nicely. To add to the insanity, I plan to start writing a new novel next week (about one of my vampires). I need to write something new. Something fresh.

I know this is a very short update, but I hope to have one with a little more meat soon.

Please drop me a line if you have any questions about my novels or would like to comment on them.

Thanks again for your support!