Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
A lot of people have grown weary of the sparkly vampires, the romantic hero vampires, the angsty vampires, and the vampires who are just human with fangs. The TV series True Blood has done a very good job of combining the angsty, romantic vampire hero with the blood-thirsty monster of old. I think that is why it has been so popular.
Pretty When She Dies: A Vampire Novel is a modern vampire tale where the vampires are NOT nice. It has plenty of blood and gore to satiate the horror fan while incorporating humor, solid characters, and dangerously sexy moments to round out the tale.
If you're nervous about reading my vampire novel, here is your chance to read it for FREE. If you like it, awesome, if not, I understand. But if you do like it, please write a review on Amazon.com, tell your friends, and/or buy a paperback copy.
And if you like Pretty When She Dies: A Vampire Tale, you may want to read my upcoming novel from the Library of Horror Press, The Tale of the Vampire Bride.
Read Pretty When She Dies: A Vampire Tale for free HERE.
And thanks for your continuing support.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Check out the cover!
Though the theme is werewolves and war, my short story is not a shoot 'em up, blow 'em up tale. It's a little tale about a soldier being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I really love it, and I hope you will, too.
Friday, October 16, 2009
I was at work on day, about to take a break, when a vivid image appeared in my head. It was of a woman in an ugly pink bathrobe standing on her porch, looking down at the bottom of her front door where tiny little fingers were reaching for her. It was an intense image. Stark. Powerful. It demanded my attention. I had never thought about writing a zombie story before, but I could not resist the inspiration. I immediately wrote the first mini-chapter of book one called "Tiny Fingers" and posted it as a short story on a forum. When the readers asked, "Is there more?" after a bit of hesitation, I realized there was. A whole lot more.
And As The World Dies was born.
What I learned: Follow my inspiration and see where it leads.
Because As The World Dies was on a forum with regular readers, I was pushed/forced/urged to keep writing and not disappoint the fans of the story. Up until this point in my life, I had fooled around with story ideas, but it took forever for me to get to the finish line. Having the story online being read regularly, and having constant feedback, kept me writing on an almost daily basis. It still took two years to finish the story, but it would have been done sooner if not for some personal tragedies in my life.
What I learned: I can start a huge project and finish it. I have the discipline and ability to write a series of novels. It takes a daily commitment to the work and I can't slack off.
Note: I finished the rough draft for Pretty When She Dies in a month after I finished As The World Dies. Revising and editing took a few more months, but I proved to myself once again I could turn out a book and not falter before the end.
When the story was online, I had nearly daily reviews. Some people were avid fans and loved everything about the story. Others were clearly not fans and did everything they could to tear down the story and me. At first my mood was greatly influenced by this constant feedback. I would be ecstatic when the reviews were good. Depressed when they were bad. Finally, I realized I could not let them have that much power over me. I just had to do the best job I could.
What I learned: Read the reviews, glean from them important information (writing strengths and weaknesses), and determine if it is constructive criticism or someone trolling. Reviews can be powerful tools for helping fans find authors who produce work they enjoy, but as a writer, I cannot allow them to control my writing or my moods.
When I began writing As The World Dies online, I did not really think about the fact that I would end up with a fan base. In fact, my first piece of fan email completely floored me. But after awhile, I came to realize the story did have fans. Something in the story was resonating with them, and they were very open about sharing their thoughts. Of course, there were the naysayers, but the majority of responses were extremely positive.
It was those original fans that helped me recognize my own worth as a writer and inspired me to keep going. They were the ones who pointed out my strengths and weaknesses and urged me on to find a way to publication when all I could do was cry and consider giving up.
I do try to respond to all my fan email (though I'm way behind right now) and thank each person for their support. I know that the fans are the main reason the trilogy has been so successful. Word of mouth is a powerful tool.
What I learned: Fans can be an amazing asset to keeping me on the writing path and encouraging me to higher aspirations.
They can also end up being great friends. (Here's to you, Uno and Morris!)
Thursday, October 15, 2009
As this list expands, I will update it.
The Tale of the Vampire Bride from Library of Horror Press November 2009
Living Dead Boy from Library of the Living Dead Press 2010
"The Two Mothers" Vampology from the Library of Horror Press
"Fleeing" Wolves of War edited by Eric S. Brown from Library of Horror Press
"Vengeance" Ladies of Horror from Library of Horror Press
"A Terrible Moment" Zombology VI-Flash Fiction from Library of the Living Dead Press
"BeHexed" Witchology: Tales from the Cauldron from Library of Horror Press
The Zombie Wilson Diaries by Timothy Long (Novel) for Library of the Living Dead Press
Witchology: Tales from the Cauldron (anthology) for Library of Horror Press
Wolfology: Tales of the Full Moon (anthology) for Library of Horror Press
I am doing a lot with the Library of Horror and Library of the Living Dead Press at this time, but I hope to submit to a few other anthologies in the near future.
In addition to the books and anthologies I'm already committed to, I will be writing the following in the near future:
Pretty When She Kills (the sequel to Pretty When She Dies)
The Last Bastion of the Living (a new zombie novel set in the future)
Untitled supernatural post-apocalyptic novel
I almost feel overwhelmed.
As things develop, I will definitely keep you informed.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
You write for months and months on your novel until at last you are done. But you're not really done because you have to:
1. Rewrite, revise and edit
2. Have your test readers dive in and point out where you screwed it up
3. Seek out qualified people to edit your work
4. Hire an artist to create a beautiful cover that will leap out at readers
5. Format the book yourself and work endless hours fixing any errors
6. Deal with the POD company you select whenever there is a gaff and deal with the headache of frustration while doing so
7. Promote the hell out of your upcoming book
8. Publish your book, sit back, and watch the sales trickle in
And I do mean trickle.
It can take awhile for an Indie book to find its audience sometimes. Even though As The World Dies had a big fan base, the first month As The World Dies: The First Days was out it sold 25 copies. It would take two more months for it to get its legs and take off.
I know I've been very blessed. As the first book plows toward 3,000 books sold and the two followups continue to rack up sales, I know that this is not the norm for an Indie book. If anything, it is highly unusual. Of course, all expenses to publish and the promote the book have been paid out of my own pocket.
So then how does it feel when I see my books on the bit torrents or other similar sites?
I hope the downloaders like the book and buy the paperback version.
My husband uploaded the books for me for one simple reason: someone was going to do it. It might as well be us. We might as well make sure it's a good copy, with a good cover, and contact information for those who enjoy the book.
Piracy is going to happen. We can't stop it. So we decided to use it as a promotional tool to build up my reader base.
Has it worked?
Sales continue to grow for the books we released on the torrents. Recently, I began posting Pretty When She Dies: A Vampire Novel for free on its own blog. Sales have picked up slightly. I was ticked off when someone posted it for free on Scribd, but mostly because I felt it stole my thunder in posting the novel for free on blogspot.com.
I did find a yahoo question a week or so ago asking for a download link for As The World Dies. The person who responded said they had bought it off Smashwords and uploaded it. They actually seemed quite pleased with this, as though they were somehow giving it to "the man." Though, in this case, it would be "the woman." The question has since been deleted. (I had nothing to do with that, btw.)
One of my friends, a fellow author, was upset by all of this. He felt I was being robbed, since I an an Indie, and I do want to be a full time author one day. He was afraid that by having my work out there for free, I am losing money. I told him not to worry That it is okay.
And it really is.
The reality is this: people buy books all the time and loan them to friends. Libraries have been doing that for years. If someone buys an electronic copy and passes it on, I can't argue that its not the same thing. All I can hope is that the person downloading the free copy will like the book enough to snag a paperback for their shelf the same way people have bought a book after reading their friend's copy.
Do I lose sales because of the downloads? I think I probably don't. People downloading any type of media are usually A) broke or B) they have never heard of the book/film/show/band/game and want to see if it sucks C) they were not going to buy what they believe should be free anyway.
Frankly, I believe having a strong, loyal readership will benefit me in the long run and if it takes free copies on the bit torrents to build that readership, then that's okay by me. As The World Dies grew its fan base while it was free online.
But...I do hope that one day they buy a book. :)
What you will need to join the class:
a headset with a microphone
any notes you have on your writing project
Download yWriter 5 here: http://spacejock.com/yWriter5_Download.html
Download Skype here: http://www.skype.com/ and sign up for a FREE account
I am an organic writer, not a plotter, but yWriter still helps me immensely. For you plotters, you'll love this program even more.
yWriter helps you:
track your word counts
build a character database
easily move scenes around from chapter to chapter or inside of a chapter
create an outline
create a synopsis
keep track of your deadlines
..and countless other important writing tasks.
If you plan to join us, please email me at gothgoddessrhia at gmail.com with your Skype user name so we can call you the night of the class. I believe ZombieFarmer will be taping the class for her podcast.
Monday, October 12, 2009
After a quick breakfast, we headed into the dealer room and got settled in. It was packed as soon as convention opened and I sold quite a few books that day. There was a lot of joking going on throughout the day.
My arch-enemy (not really), Robert Best kept saying, "Hey, Rhiannon Frater!"
To which I would respond, "What?"
"YOU SUCK!" he'd chortle.
"Not as much as your book!" I'd yell back.
Later, I snagged a photo of Rob buying As The World Dies; Siege to use against him on my blog. His wife handed him the money and made him buy it. It was awesome to see him embarrassed. Then he was a smart ass and said, "I need toilet paper anyway." To which his wife said, "Rob, be nice."
Dr. Pus had made up a really awesome poster with plenty of space for people to get autographs. The convention goers didn't seem to understand what these posters were for, but the authors went nuts buying them and passing them around. Also, since so many of the Zombology I and II authors were in attendance, people were snatching up the books and having them autographed. It was chaotic and fun as books and posters were flying back and forth along the tables.
Ken Foree came by my table for a little visit. I asked him sweetly to pose with NomNom, my zombunny. He took NomNom and I snapped the picture as he said, "Why the fuck am I doing this?" And I said, "My best friend made it and I want her to see NomNom with you." He laughed then I took a picture of him with Eric S. Brown. I think Eric almost collapsed from excitement.
Later, my husband watched my table as I ran off to the Ken Foree panel. It was freaking hilarious. I don't think I have laughed that hard in a long time!
I came back to my table and my husband took a little break. I was chatting with Rob Fox when all of the sudden Dr. Pus started podcasting "live" from his table. The next thing I knew, people were running to our corner of the room to witness the magic of The Library of the Living Dead Podcast. Dr. Pus was almost immediately on a roll, roasting all of his good librarians. Everyone was holding up their phones, cameras, and video cameras to catch the action.
Doc was on a total roll when he introduced me. Sadly, I was having trouble with my asthma and leaving to get my inhaler when he called me over. He was sweet as peaches to me when I told him, then he roasted me once I left. LOL
Check out the "live" podcast here.
All through the day, Steve, the producer who bought my series, kept checking in with me before rushing off to the next panel. We were waiting all day on our final contract from the lawyers and we were both anxious to sign. We received the document Saturday evening, but we couldn't get the printer to work at the hotel. Despite our frustration, we decided to go ahead with the party in Steve's room to celebrate the signing.
That night after the vendor room closed, we went upstairs to the nefarious Rm. 711 for the Permuted Press pizza party. We hung out for awhile, chatting and having a good time. The room was so packed, people were spilling out into the hallway. Steve arrived and we headed downstairs to celebrate the signing with a quiet meal. To my surprise, Tony Todd stopped by the table to congratulate me and asked to keep him in the loop in the tv show gets made. I was floored.
We caught the American premiere of "Zone of the Dead" starring Ken Foree after dinner. He actually apologized for the movie! Frankly, I thought he was the best thing in it other than the zombie gore and some really good zombie makeup. It had a few really good moments. Yeah, it was over the top goofy fun most of the time, but watching it with a room full of zombie fans made it a blast. I have to admit we were all making sarcastic comments and I even got shushed! At least one person took it seriously.
Afterward, we all headed up to the producer's suit and it was packed instantly. It was the honeymoon suite, so several people sat in the huge hot tub in the center of the living room. It was fun and a little crazy. We got two complaints from the hotel and finally had to shut down the party.
We ran around for the rest of the night meeting up with friends in other rooms before finally heading back to our own room.
I fell asleep almost instantly despite being excited that the next day was the final day of Horror Realm and that I would finally sign the TV/Film option for As The World Dies.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
The Library of Horror will be releasing my new vampire novel this November! "The Tale of the Vampire Bride" is inspired by the old Hammer Films and the original Dracula tale. It is chock full of gothic atmosphere, seductive vampires that will tear your throat out, opulent Eastern European settings, and bloody feasts. I'm very excited to have Dr. Pus releasing this novel.
I will keep you posted the closer we get to the release
Trapped in the power of her new Master, she fights for her freedom, revenge against her creator, and the chance to be with the one she truly loves.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
A snippet from the blog:
Normally, this blog is a just a list of the books I’ve read, but on the
blogosphere recently I came across a story that’s so amazing, I just have to
tell you about it. Self-publishing fiction is said to be waste of time. This is
a story of one writer who made it work.
I'm still trying to figure out exactly how we "made it work," but I do know a huge part of the books success has been the fans.
Again, thank you for all your support. I really do appreciate it. The fans of the As The World Dies Trilogy have a lot to do with its continuing success. I am forever grateful.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Three hours later, I'm headache free and full of energy. I literally jumped out of bed raring to go. Friday was the first day of the official convention and I couldn't wait to set my table up and get into my new burgundy spiderweb dress I had bought from Secret Oktober (secret-oktober.com)
Dr. Pus was hosting a brunch for all the authors, so my husband and I headed down to the dining room. We ended up sitting with D.L. Snell (author of Roses of Blood on Barbwire Vines and my favorite story in a Cthulu Unbound) and Travis Adkins. It was a nice breakfast, but halfway through I lost all my energy and just wanted to lay down and go to sleep. I excused myself and told Doc that I was going to lay down.
"Still hungover, huh?" Dr. Pus teased me.
"No, I'm just so tired from not sleeping for over 30 hours," I told him.
"Not all that liquor you drank?"
Hehehe...it was like being quizzed by your dad!!
"No! I'm tired...very tired..." In fact, I was so tired, I almost fell asleep on my feet.
So the hubby and I crashed out for around 5 hours. I woke up, full of energy again, and hurried downstairs to set up my table. Steve, the producer showed up, and together we decorated my table and chatted. Rob Fox (author of the fabulous "Z Day is Here") was right next to me. Robert Best (author of "Lakewood Memorial") and his fabulous wife, Laura, were next to Rob and his wife Darcy. Across from me was the fabulous Dave Dunwoody (author of "Empire"). He's really very nice and so cute. Everyone ended up with a crush on THE Dunwoody. Catty corner to Dave was Scott Johnson, my fellow Texan (author of "Deadlands" and "City of Demons") and one of the funniest guys I've ever met. Stephen North and Eric S. Brown (authors of "Barren Earth") were across from Rob Fox and Robert Best. At the end of the row, Kody Boye (the 17 year old author behind "Sunrise") would occasionally make an appearance when not running off with friends, and Derek Goodman (author of "Apocalypse Shift") manned Doc's Zombology I and II tables. Derek sold out of his books either Friday or Saturday. I was bummed. I wanted a copy so bad!
So we had this corner of insanity in the big vendor room. Friday was very busy. I sold more books that day than the next two days. People were constantly coming by to chat and it was a blast. One of the best things about the convention was finding out that all the people I had talked to online were just as amazing in real life. It was so much fun, greeting people, catching up with the latest goings on, selling books, talking...etc. Just so much fun!
Edited to Add: One of my favorite moments was when Vic and Ben showed up with my zombie heels fixed!!! I was so excited! They were awesome to steal my shoes and fix them.
After the convention, the partying began. I changed my clothes and headed downstairs with the hubby. We ended up hanging out at the bar briefly with the notorious Vic (best buddy of short story author Patrick Rooney) and Tony Todd. Then we got sucked into a vortex of socializing. Room 711 was the base of Greg of Bravebluemice and the Funky Werepig show. It was packed with people, beer and cookies (Zombie Zak of the Funky Werepig Show was in there..he loves his cookies) and we hung out for awhile chatting and having fun.
I had a lovely time and when we finally fell asleep, I couldn't wait for Saturday...
Saturday, October 3, 2009
About Pretty When She Dies...
This is a modern tale of an unwilling vampire dealing with her new nature as she travels across Texas while being tormented by her powerful creator. It includes vampires, necromancers, vampire hunters, and zombies! It's more in the vein (hehehe) of True Blood than Twilight. No sparkly vampires here, but there are dangerous, sexy vampires, lots of action, hot sex, plenty of blood, and a form of zombie.
I hope you enjoy this free novel and if you do, please purchase a paperback copy at either my online store (click the cover of the book in the sidebar on the blog) or at Amazon.com.
Please share this link with your vampire-loving pals!
Thank you and enjoy!