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Friday, September 30, 2011

Public Speaking -- Part of the Writing Job

I'm a published author with a well-respected publishing house (Tor), and I'm working very hard to make this writing gig stick.  A lot of writers believe that all they need to do to be a successful writer is just write a book, but that is not the true reality of a modern day author.

I work hard at promoting my published novels by doing everything from podcast interviews to guest blogposts to book signings to speaking at events.

Yes, my dear fledgling writers, I do the one thing most writers dread doing:  I speak in public.

Yep, this is how I feel right before a speaking engagement.
I really never imagined that public speaking would become a part of the writing gig until I was invited to my first author panel in 2009 at Horror Realm.  I wasn't even sure how I would fare.  Even though I had done a lot of public speaking for my previous day job, I did not realize I would have to transfer those skills to my writing life.  I was relieved when I survived that first panel and realized that despite my dread of the event, I could speak about writing and my career before an audience and do just fine.

In fact, I have come to enjoy sitting on panels.  Panels are fun because I get to sit with other people in the industry and listen to various points of view.  I do have to remind myself to shut up and let the others speak because once I get rolling it's hard for me to stop.  I am passionate about writing and get carried away. I have learned to get to my point and keep it as short as possible.

I am now starting to participate in workshops and other speaking engagements.  Strangely, people have been contacting me to do these type of events, not vice versa.  It is very flattering to be asked to speak at events and I take these gigs very seriously. It's a great opportunity for me to connect with other writers and hopefully encourage newbie writers as they embark on their careers.  I also enjoy meeting fans and speaking to them about my work.

I am told I'm very good at these type of events and I do enjoy them immensely.

Except for the first five minutes...

The first five minutes of any speaking engagement is sheer hell.

I am always terrified when I stand before a group of people (large or small) and I literally have to force myself to start talking. Despite my absolute fear and anxiety in the first moments of a speaking engagement, I make the mental choice not to let myself freeze up.  I concentrate on positive thoughts before I so I have a genuine smile on my face before I start.   And I basically fake it for the first five minutes or so when I start talking.  I pretend that I am capable and able to speak intelligently and that I am not scared out of my mind.  At some point, I relax and my negative emotions vanish.  I then enjoy the rest of my time at the engagement.

Though I was originally afraid of public speaking engagements, I have no come to embrace them as an opportunity to give back to starting writers and the fandom.




Friday, September 23, 2011

THE VENGEANCE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE is Now Available in Ebook Formats

Yesterday I announced that you can order the paperback version of the second book in the Vampire Bride series through my estore.  If you like having a physical copy of your favorite books, you need to snag this one.  It's absolutely beautiful with a glossy cover thanks to Philip Rogers and a lovely interior layout thanks to Kody Boye.

Today the ebook versions are starting to go live.  At Smashwords.com you can order most ebook versions of the book.

On Amazon.com there is a listing for a Spanish version of the book, but this is an error.  There is only the English version.  You can order the Kindle version by clicking the widget.



The Kindle version may become unavailable when they fix the listing error, so grab a copy quick.

As soon as the paperback version of the novel becomes available on amazon.com, I will post an update.

I hope that all the fans of the original enjoy the sequel!  I look forward to your thoughts.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

THE VENGEANCE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE Available Now!

I have good news!  The paperback of THE VENGEANCE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE is now available at my estore for $12.95.  It will most likely become available at Amazon.com within a week and at other retailers soon thereafter.  Please disregard the estimated arrival dates that are listed on my estore.  They are greatly exaggerated. Most people who purchase from the estore get their books within a week's time or less.  I get a 20% higher royalty when books are purchased through my estore, so I definitely appreciate it when fans order from the estore.

The ebook versions should be available in the next few days.  I will keep you posted.

Also, don't forget to enter the VAMPIRE BRIDE giveaway!  I'm giving away two sets of the vampire bride series.  Make sure you enter by the deadline.

You can also purchase my other vampire novel, PRETTY WHEN SHE DIES for $10.95 at its estore.  I'm offering a 15% discount off the regular $10.95 price.  The code is 7AGHXRZA.  Feel free to post it on your blogs or other social network to share with your other vamp loving friends.  The discount only applies to my personal estore.  The code will be valid until September 30, 2011.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

On The Other Side of "THE END"

This morning I finished with the final tweaks on my latest novel THE VENGEANCE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE. At last it is truly finished. No more revisions, no more touch ups, and no more test reads.

My husband finished yesterday and gave me some great insight into one small troublesome spot.  I wholeheartedly agreed with him and tidied up the scene last night. After triple-checking the formatting, I uploaded the files to the publisher.  We need one minor tweak on the cover and then the book will be ready to publish.

I am so happy to be finished, yet I will  miss the world of Glynis.  My only solace is that I will return to her world again.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

For My Vampire Fans...An Update, A Giveaway, and A Special Discount Offer

The publication date for THE VENGEANCE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE is drawing ever closer.  I received the proof copy of the novel this week and it's beautiful. The cover art by Philip Rogers looks extremely beautiful. The trade paperback is really stunning. My jaw literally dropped when I pulled it out of the box.

My husband, my final proof reader, is making good progress on the proof copy.  He has always helped me with this final step to publication and I value his opinion.  I have to give my husband major kudos because horror is not his thing.  He loves science fiction novels. His support and help with my novels is very appreciated.

Hopefully, the book will be for sale in the next week or two.  It will first be available at Createspace and Smashwords (in most ebook formats).  About a week later, it will become available in Kindle and Amazon.  It takes a little bit longer for it to become available at other online retailers like Barnes & Noble.

I am holding a special giveaway of both the first and the second book.  Two winners will receive a copy of both books in the Vampire Bride series.  For more details and to enter, click here.

The Vampire Bride series is not my only vampire series.  I also have a modern day vampire series that takes place in Texas.  I wanted to write a very different vampire tale from the gothic world that Lady Glynis Wright inhabits and found the perfect story to tell when I had a very vivid dream about Amaliya.  In many ways she is the opposite of Lady Glynis, but both ladies are strong young women determined to find their own way after being savagely changed into a vampire.

The first book in my modern vampire series is called PRETTY WHEN SHE DIES.  The second one, that I hope to write by the end of the year, is called PRETTY WHEN SHE KILLS.

PRETTY WHEN SHE DIES not only has vampires, but necromancers and zombies.  The Fatally Yours blog described it as "Pretty When She Dies is a bloody good time filled with violence, vampires, passion, Texans AND zombies...Rhiannon Frater has crafted an engaging and addicting novel that I HIGHLY recommend!" 

As a special treat to my fans, I'm offering a 15% discount on PRETTY WHEN SHE DIES through my personal estore.  You will need a special code to get the discount off the regular $10.95 price.  The code is 7AGHXRZA.  Feel free to post it on your blogs or other social network to share with your other vamp loving friends.  The discount only applies to my personal estore.  The code will be valid until September 30, 2011.  A quick word about the shipping date estimates:  they are totally off.  Most fans who have ordered from my estore were worried about the estimated arrival times, but were pleased to get the books usually within a few days.

Thanks again for all your support!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Review of the Novel JENNY POX--Which Blew Me Away!!


Where do I start? I guess with "WOW!!!"

I'm wasn't too sure what to expect from this book. It was highly recommended by the Bookish Brunette Blog and I was intrigued by the premise. There is a glut of books out there with teenagers with special powers, so I was a little leery. But this novel is something altogether different and refreshing.

I would not define it as a young adult novel, or paranormal romance in any way. I wouldn't call it Urban Fantasy either. Honestly, it reminded me of Stephen King in his heyday. I'm sure people would compare it to the novel CARRIE, but I like this book so much more. It resonated with me in a very deep way, whereas CARRIE never really did.

The lead character's power is terrible and devastating, not only to her own life, but the lives of others. Seeing her suffering and struggling to survive the pitfalls of her life AND high school was quite painful at times. Anyone who has dealt with bullies will sympathize with her immediately. She not only suffers from her gift, but also the isolation caused by it. Her father, though a loving man, is also an alcoholic, so Jenny's life is not ideal in anyway. Her character development was very well done and I enjoyed how she evolved from a girl who tried to disappear from view, to someone who stands up for herself and the people she loves.

Though the villain of the piece is the popular girl in school, she is not a cookie cutter creation. Ashleigh has a power of her own and wields it with cruel intentions while hiding behind the guise of a beautiful, perfect, angelic Christian girl. I knew a few girls just like her growing up, so I found Ashleigh particularly frightening. She so effortlessly plays those around her while using them it is quite disturbing. I liked her as a villain and I never felt her character was a cliche.

Seth, the boy both girls fall for, was a little more difficult for me to connect with at first. But as the book progressed I came to understand why as he broke away from Ashleigh's influence and began to show his true character. Seth suffers from being manipulated by Ashleigh and it alters his personality significantly at times. There is one particular scene where she uses her power to ensnare him that was chilling and disturbing. But Seth does show his true colors and by the end of the book, I really did like his character.

The supporting cast of characters in the book are also well-defined. The description of the town, the school, and the people that surround Jenny was very well done. I was completely engrossed in the narrative and reluctantly put the book aside a few times when I needed to eat, sleep, or take care of my own writing. I finally gave up reading the book in increments and devoured it in one big reading marathon. It was worth it.

Though the book does feature teenagers, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone under 17. There is drug usage, sexual content, and graphic language along with some very intense, violent, and horrific scenes that stole my breath away. This book is a powder keg of vivid imagery, wonderfully drawn out characters, and superb plotting.

I highly recommend it.

Buy the paperback


By the Kindle

Monday, September 12, 2011

THE VENGEANCE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE GIVEAWAY

To celebrate the upcoming release of the second book in THE VAMPIRE BRIDE series, I'm hosting a book giveaway of the two books in the series. Good luck!



Sunday, September 11, 2011

How 9-11-01 Influenced Me and AS THE WORLD DIES

I wasn't going to write anything about 9-11 today.  The last ten years since the fall of the two towers has had a devastating toll on this country.  As the recaps on the news of that terrible day play out, I'm not watching.  I don't want to see people dying again. I saw that ten years ago, and I will never forget the footage of people jumping from the towers, or the planes crashing.  Those images are forever burned in my mind.

Thankfully, so are the images of firefighters rushing into the doomed buildings to save the lives of complete strangers, or of shopkeepers handing out water and food to people covered in ash trudging out of Manhattan.  I read an article just today that reminded me of just how amazing the people in the armed forces are and how proud of them I am.  It was the noble heart of ordinary people who did extraordinary acts of heroism beyond the call of duty, or were willing to give their lives to save others (Flight 93) that I feel is the true legacy of 9-11.  Never have I felt more proud to not only be American, but human.  In the face of terrible evil, good stood its ground and stared it down.

My own 9-11 experience has had a huge impact on my life.  I was home sick from work with the flue. At the time I was living with my mother as she underwent treatment for a medical ailment.  I was asleep in my room when the door opened and my mother cried out, "America is under attack!  They've already hit New York and Washington D.C.!"  She vanished from the doorway, hurrying back to the TV in the living room.

Sitting up groggily, holding my swimming head, I sat in shock.  As a child of the Cold War and the 80's, I instantly believed that we were under nuclear attack.  I felt completely numb and overwhelmed with my impending death.  I mentally calculated how far we were from San Antonio and Austin and realized we would probably have just a few minutes after the bombs dropped to live.  I thought of my brother in San Antonio, so close, but so far away in that moment, and of my other brothers and their family further away.  I remember thinking that maybe they had a chance to survive.  My legs could barely carry me to the living room where I collapsed onto the sofa and wondered how long I had to live.  I wondered how much it would hurt.

Then I looked at the TV.

To this day, I feel guilt over the immense relief that flowed over me when I saw the plane flying into the second tower.  Suddenly, I wasn't facing the end of not only my life, but the world, but a much different crisis altogether.  One that neither I, nor anyone else could have ever imagined.   I burst into tears as a mixture of horror and relief flooded through me.

A month later, I stood at Ground Zero with a dear friend of mine, the air full of ash, the sound of the machinery the only real sound in the muted, empty space where the two towers once stood.  I had been in NYC a few weeks before the attack and returning was both frightening, but important.  The subway trip to the stop that would leave us off near the place where the towers once loomed was quiet.  It felt like a funeral procession and I wasn't surprised when nearly every person on the subway exited and trekked toward Ground Zero.

It was the strange silence that affected me most that day.  Despite the whispered conversations around me, the sounds of the city in the distance, and the machinery at work, there was a stillness and quiet that was disconcerting.  It felt as if a wound had been torn into the fabric of the world so violently, that it had yet to recover.  Where the two towers had stood,it felt like there was a void.  I wiped my eyes on my gloves that were flecked with ash and knew I was on sacred ground.  Later,  we walked away from the place of so much death and sorrow and reentered a world that was full of life, sound, and color.

Years later, when I wrote AS THE WORLD DIES, I drew on my personal experiences of 9-11.  The fear I felt when I thought I was about to be vaporized in a nuclear strike and my conflicting emotions after I found out the reality of the attack would become the foundation I would build upon for individual characters.  The goodness and heroics of common people on a terrible day also infused the characters of the fort.  My visit to Ground Zero, where I stood in the grey solemnity of a terrible disaster, then returned to the land of the living, became the basis for the fort's inhabitants determination to continue on.

9-11 has had a profound affect on everyone.  Ten years later, all of us are living in a world shaped by that terrible day.  No one has gone unscathed from that horrific terrorist attack.  We have all done our best to move on from the tragedy and rebuild.  Of course, some have had a much worse time of it than others.  My heart weeps for them.

In the end, it is what we do in the aftermath of tragedy that determines the people we are.  Do we rise above?  Or fall?

In my own personal life, I have tried to enjoy my life and appreciate those around me.  I have also pulled upon my personal recollections to help shape an imaginary world where common people have to overcome extraordinary loss.

May we never forget the goodness and heroism of the people of 9-11.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Fans Have Spoken!

The poll results have spoken. As of today, the results are 60 votes to 27 votes in favor of my futuristic zombie novel THE LAST BASTION OF THE LIVING. It seems I can't escape the zombie hordes!



By the way, this new zombie novel is NOT related in any way to the AS THE WORLD DIES TRILOGY.  It is a whole new world, completely different characters, a new setting, and a very different kind of zombie.  There will be no crossover between the two worlds.

That being said, I already have around 100 pages written on this novel, so I will be reacquainting myself with that world before continuing. I'm pretty pumped about this idea and the feedback from the people who have read the first part was really positive.

What does that mean for PRETTY WHEN SHE KILLS?  That book is up next. Once I'm done with THE LAST BASTION OF THE LIVING, I'll leap back into the world of Amaliya and Cian.  I'm looking forward to it.

You can keep track of my progress on the new novel in the right hand sidebar of my blog.  At this time, I estimate that the final novel will be around 90, 000 words.  If I end up going over this number, I'll adjust the tracker.

Thanks again for voting!  You really did help me decide which book to write next!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Rhiannon Frater Book Signing at Barnes and Noble in Round Rock

Time:  Saturday, September 24 · 2:00pm - 4:00pm

Location: Barnes & Noble 2701 Parker Road Bldg. A. Ste. 700 Round Rock TX 78681

More Information:          
Award-winning writer Rhiannon Frater, author of The First Days (TOR) and various other novels (The Tale of the Vampire Bride, Pretty When She Dies, The Living Dead Boy and the Zombie Hunters, As the World Dies: Untold Tales v.1) will be signing at the Round Rock Barnes and Noble starting at 2:00 PM. There will be copies of THE FIRST DAYS available and you are welcome to bring any other book of Rhiannon's you would like signed.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What Should I Write Next?

Follow the link to vote on my facebook page.

I'm undecided, so this will really help me out.

Thanks!

Friday, September 2, 2011

THE TALE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE - An Update on Sales and Rank

THE TALE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE was a novel that I wasn't sure the vampire fans would embrace.  It is a gothic horror tale with a return to old school vampires who don't sparkle in sunlight, drink human blood, have a tendency to be really bad, and cannot venture out in the daylight.

I was pleased when the Library of Horror Press picked up the novel for publication, but I wondered if it would find its audience.

I am happy to say it has!



In the month of July, THE TALE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE was in the top 5 selling books at Twisted Library (the parent publishing house of Library of Horror).


1. "Beyond the Dark" - Patrick D'Orazio
2. "Comes the Dark" - Patrick D'Orazio
3. "Into the Dark" - Patrick D'Orazio
4. "The Road To Landsford" - Brad Zipprich
5. "The Tale of the Vampire Bride" - Rhiannon Frater

I was thrilled to find out that a vampire tale was holding its own against all the zombie books book out by the publication.

The amazon.com stats are pretty amazing, too.  It has often made it onto the top 100 Vampire novel list for the Kindle and the reviews have me blown away.  I finally looked at the stats for the reviews and my mouth dropped open.

Customer Reviews

81 Reviews
5 star:
 (67)
4 star:
 (10)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:
 (1)




Out of 81 reviews, 67 are five star reviews.  I'm just stunned.

THE TALE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE has definitely found its audience and I'm so excited.  Soon the sequel will be out and I'm anxious to see how fans of the original receive it.

Thanks again for all your support!