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Friday, August 31, 2012

How to Read PRETTY WHEN SHE KILLS Before the Release Date

It's been such a long time since the publication of the first book. Four long years. But, at last, the sequel is just about hit the online bookstores!  For the die-hard fans, I have provided two different ways for you to secure an early ebook copy (in either mobi, epub, or pdf) for your reading pleasure.

Note: I will start emailing the ebook of PRETTY WHEN SHE KILLS tonight at Midnight (central time).


Early Start Pre-Order -- PRETTY WHEN SHE DIES eBook


Pre-Order the PRETTY WHEN SHE DIES ebook from my site and get an early start on reading!

The Early Start Pre-Orders purchased in August will be emailed on September 1st.  The official release date is September 7th.  You'll get a week head start!

Also, you'll get a small discount from ordering directly from me. The retail price for the ebook will be $3.99, but the Early Start Pre-Order is just $3.50.

This offer is available world-wide until the September 6th at midnight.  Your book will be emailed to you within 12 hours of your order using the email you list on your Paypal purchase.

Click here to order!



Pre-Order the Paperback


All pre-order paperbacks will shipped after the September 7, 2012 release date when the first shipment of books from the printers arrives.

The price is $12.00 plus Shipping and Handling. Retail price will be $12.95, so you get a small discount.

You will receive:

1 Autographed PRETTY WHEN SHE KILLS Paperback
1 Autographed PRETTY WHEN SHE KILLS Bookmark
1 eBook in the format of your choice delivered via email ONE WEEK before publication (you get an early start)

Click here to order!

10 Things About THE VENGEANCE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE

I wrote a post a while back called "Ten Things about The Tale of the Vampire Bride." I thought it might be a little fun to revisit that idea with its sequel THE VENGEANCE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE.

WARNING: Do not read this post unless you have read the book, or don't mind being spoiled.

1. The title is actually not a reference to Glynis. Though she is a vampire bride, she's not the bride in question. It's actually a certain blonde bride who would like nothing more than to see Glynis dead.

2. Laura's presence in the sequel was hinted at in the first book.

3. One theme of the book was "the constraints of society." Glynis tends to chaff against societal rules and she lives within two distinct and dangerous societies. The aristocracy and the supernatural. She knows how to maneuver through the world of the aristocracy, but she is incredibly naive about the supernatural world.  Without Vlad to protect her, Glynis flounders her way through this book. By the end, she finds a way to stand on her own two feet within the supernatural world in a very dynamic way.  She also makes a bold move as to how the mortal world will regard her. The aftermath of both these decisions is the premise of the third book THE LAMENT OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE.

4. For Glynis to become her own woman/vampire, she needed to be free of the two vampire men in her life, her creator and her lover.  Both are deliberately not in the book very much because it was important for Glynis to create her own support system. (I know a few peeps didn't like this, but it was on purpose and for a reason.

The Vampire Bride series is all about Glynis. It's not about Vlad. Though he's her creator, he will never have the center stage of the series.  Though his shadow casts a pall over her life, Glynis's story will continue with him on the fringes.  That being said, I may write a story about Vlad and his one true love, Erzsebet, sometime next year. It will be called THE TALE OF THE IMPALED BRIDE.

I stated this in the previous list, but I'll reiterate here.  There is no love triangle in this series. Ignatius is the love of Glynis's life and her relationship with him will continue to evolve. Whether or not they can stay together or will be torn apart by forces greater than they is yet to be seen, but they will never willingly part from each other.

5.  Astir's genderless/sexless state of being was grand fun to explore, both for the character and for me. S/He will continue to slide effortlessly back and forth between the two identities. Though angels are the hot stud muffins of YA right now, Astir is decidedly not a romantic hero.  If anything, I think Astir regards him/herself as a snake in the vampire garden and rather likes it.

6. I can only imagine one person playing Astir in the TV show.  That person is Tilda Swinton.  I think she could perfectly capture Astir's intensity, naughtiness, and androgyny to a T.

7.  The big shift from the brutality/sexual violence of the first book to the second was an enormous relief for me and for Glynis. At last Glynis could be her own person and not be constantly beaten and afraid. There will never be a return to the brutality of the first book because Glynis is free of Vlad Dracula. The tonal shift was deliberate. The third book will have a new tone as Glynis takes her place among the court of Ilinca and Gavril, establishes herself as a divorcee in the world of the aristocracy, and faces a brand new threat to her new found freedom. Meanwhile, she'll discover more about her great love Ignatius and deal with the reality of having her own vampire fledgling.

8.  Katya was in the first book, but was never intended to be anything more than a one-off character. She surprised me, and Glynis, by worming her way into the story. I don't see her going away any time soon either. At least, not willingly.

9.  One of the difficult things Glynis has to deal with in the sequel is the reality that the best laid plans for revenge can easily go awry. She's thwarted in her great plans for revenge by the fact that she has to live in the shadow of the mortal world and deal with the dangers of the supernatural world. One of the most loving things Glynis does is abandon her quest for revenge against Sir Stephan out of love for Laura. I feel this choice is her greatest moment just about. It was a huge step forward in her maturity.

10.  The battle between Vlad and Glynis took weeks to write and multiple rewrites. There were several things that needed to be very clear in that scene: 1) Vlad is a raping/murdering bastard who wants to quash the very thing he loves in Glynis 2) Glynis will fight to the very end to be free of him.  I told a book club once that Glynis could chop Vlad into a billion pieces with an ax and it would still not be enough to assuage her hatred against him.  For Glynis, the scene was her revolution, her fight for freedom.  For the series, it was the establishment of the new reality between the two as great adversaries.

And a freebie:  10 episodes has been written for a possible TALE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE TV series. Of course, whether or not it will ever get the greenlight is a whole other story, but it's exciting nonetheless.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

PRETTY WHEN SHE KILLS Early Start eBook Pre-Order

Pre-Order the PRETTY WHEN SHE DIES ebook from my site and get an early start on reading! 

The Early Start Pre-Orders purchased in August will be emailed on September 1st.  The official release date is September 7th.  You'll get a week head start!  

Also, you'll get a small discount from ordering directly from me. The retail price for the ebook will be $3.99, but the Early Start Pre-Order is just $3.50.  

This offer is available world-wide until the September 6th at midnight.  Your book will be emailed to you within 12 hours of your order using the email you list on your Paypal purchase.

Read PRETTY WHEN SHE KILLS early!!


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Reader Expectation Versus Reality

The other night I was on goodreads when I saw a DNF (Did Not Finish) of Christopher Moore's BITE ME.  I was surprised, since I love the insanely wrong humor of Moore's books.  I've never met anyone who didn't like his work. Plus, the first book in the series, BLOODSUCKING FIENDS, is one of my all-time favorite reads of all time.  So I clicked on the DNF review. It immediately became apparent that the person reading the book was expecting a whole other type of book. She was put off by all the things that make a Christopher Moore novel a joy to read. It was clear she wasn't anticipating a black comedy with all the wrongness of films like Superbad.  I added a comment to her review explaining that the series is a comedy and supposed to be very tongue in cheek.  She said she might read the first one (since she started with the second) and keep that in mind. Quite honestly, I don't blame her for being WTF if she thought she was getting a vampire paranormal romance and ended up with Christopher Moore's really evil sense of humor. I would have been totally freaked out, too!

Reader expectation versus reality has been a popular discussion in my house of late. Kody Boye (my gay boyfriend, co-conspirator, and co-author on my YA novel) and I have both dealt with scathing reviews that were written by readers who definitely had a completely different idea of what our book should be about.  I've seen a lot of reviews where people were let down by their expectation of what a book should be versus the reality. And I'm not talking about bad writing, horrible plot lines, or the such. I'm talking about the disconnect between what the reader believes the book is about versus reality.

Of course, we're not the only authors who have to deal with reader ire over their viewpoint over what they expected our novels, or characters to be about versus the reality of our plot lines and characterization. 

Are covers to blame? Not only do covers brand an author, but an entire genre. Lately, there has been a bit of a blurring going on between the genres of YA, PNR and Urban Fantasy. I've faced this dilemma myself. THE TALE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE is gothic horror. Pure and simple. It's biggest influences are Bram Stoker's DRACULA, Sheridan LaFanu's CARMILLA, and Charlotte Bronte's JANE EYRE. Most of the time the book gets rave reviews, but every once in awhile someone gets very upset that the book isn't a lighthearted vampire romance.  The book's description clearly lays out what the book is about, but I'm starting to realize that people don't often read them. They just look at the cover. This is one of the reasons for the new cover change.  We went for a much more haunting gothic look this time around.

Yet it goes beyond just assumptions based on covers and the like. Writers are well aware of the fact that there are about ten (some argue three) basic plots. The trick is to make them unique with your own writing voice, characters, scenarios, etc.  Add in the basic tropes and stereotypes in specific genres, and readers begin to anticipate certain plot points to appear when reading in certain genres.

Examples from my own novels:  
  • Amaliya is the heroine of PRETTY WHEN SHE DIES.  She is the central character that all the events in the trilogy will revolve around. Since Cian is her love interest, his ex-girlfriend Samantha gets categorized almost immediately as the "villainess" even though she's a very loyal, courageous, and spunky young woman.  Samantha is in fact the secondary female protagonist in the trilogy and a vital part of the plot.
  • Since Katie is bisexual in AS THE WORLD DIES, the expectation among a few was that she would hook up with Jenni, even though Jenni's a straight woman.  I was raked over the coals more than once for having "heteronormative" relationships for the women. Yet, I saw the friendship/sisterhood of Katie and Jenni as the most important of the loving relationships in the story.
  • Vlad Dracula is Glynis's creator. He's a sociopath: charming, manipulative, self-centered, and incredibly cruel. He rapes and murders Glynis, makes her into a vampire, then enslaves her to him as one of his "brides." THE TALE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE is all about Glynis's struggle to escape him and get revenge on those who conspired against her and her family. I have seriously considered abandoning the series due to the emails I get from women who love Vlad and hope Glynis ends up with him. It has been pointed out to me by several people that in a lot of fiction nowadays the villain ends up the love interest. The expectation in the minds of readers is that Vlad must somehow be a potential love interest because of this common trope.
So what is an author to do?  I'll admit I worry about letting down my readership all the time. I want them to enjoy the stories I write, but I also recognize that sometimes they may not like the direction of the storyline, a character's personality,  or a plot point.  I have die hard fans that don't like certain things that I've had in my novels. I know that is inevitable.  I have struggled when I recognized that what I was about to write might upset a few people.  Yet I have to write the story that is in my mind.

I do try very hard to make certain that readers understand what each of my books is about, that I do consider myself to be a horror writer (though I know I bleed over into other genres sometimes), I do kill characters, and I'm not always very nice to them as a whole. Even with the covers of my Indie books I try to convey exactly what the reader will be getting when they crack open one of my novels.

In the end, a writer can never truly fulfill every reader's expectation.

Yet, should a reader be angry with a writer for not writing they book they anticipated when they looked at the cover? Should they write a negative review because the book they thought was a YA romance is really a horror tale?  I have faced this very conundrum myself and struggled with what I should do.

What are your thoughts?
   

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Audio Book Fans! Big News!!

This last week was pretty exciting for me.  Two new audio books went on sale on audible.com and itunes.com!

First off, get ready for PRETTY WHEN SHE KILLS by listening to the awesome new audio book narrated by  Kristin Allison. She did such a great job with the voices and action sequences. You're going to love this audio book!

PRETTY WHEN SHE DIES remains one of my favorites simply because I got to mash up zombies, necromancers, and vampires and plunk them in the middle of my home state of Texas.


Check out reviews of the book:
The Bookish Brunette
Xpresso Reads
Book Chick City


Purchase by clicking links.


Pretty When She Dies: A Vampire Novel (Unabridged) - Rhiannon Frater







I strongly feel that the zombie book I wrote for my nieces and nephews is one of my best.  It was truly a challenge to write about the zombocalypse from the viewpoint of children. It was immensely nerve-wracking to find the balance in the action/violence/gore quotient, since my goal was to write a book for children that adults would also enjoy. The narration for the book is perfect. Erik Sandvold just nails the voices of the kids and the adults.





Check out reviews of the book:
Contagious Reads
Unabridged Andra
Living Dead Media

Purchase by clicking links.



The Living Dead Boy and the Zombie Hunters: A Young Adult Zombie Novel (Unabridged) - Rhiannon Frater

Thursday, August 23, 2012

PRETTY WHEN SHE DIES Audio Book Available NOW!

Exciting news!  The audio book for PRETTY WHEN SHE DIES is now available at Audible.com. In the next few weeks it will become available on itunes and amazon.com.

 I know a lot of fans have been asking me about the audio book versions of my novels, so I am very pleased that several of my self-published works are in production, or have just been completed.

I'm thrilled that PRETTY WHEN SHE DIES is the first of the new audio books to become available. Kristin Allison does a great job with the narration and the accents of the characters. She truly brings the story to life in a very dynamic way.

You can click here to to go the purchase page at audible.com and listen to the sample of the book.

Upcoming Releases in Audio Book
The Living Dead Boy and the Zombie Hunters
The Last Bastion of the Living
The Tale of the Vampire Bride

Full Cover Reveal for PRETTY WHEN SHE KILLS

As we swiftly approach the release date for PRETTY WHEN SHE KILLS, I thought I would share the full cover for the paperback version.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

THE VAMPIRE BRIDE SERIES Paperback Interior Revamp


The new covers for THE VAMPIRE BRIDE SERIES enjoyed a wonderful cover reveal on Monday and the feedback has been extremely positive.  The eBook formats already have the  updated covers, but the paperbacks will continue to have the old covers until September.  This post is all about the new versions of the trade paperbacks, how they will look, and how to purchase them.




Why The Changes?
Since I regained the rights to the first book, I've been wanting to update the interior and make the trade paperbacks fancier.  Ebooks are very popular due to the lower price, which is completely understandable, so I wanted to make the paperback versions special for those readers willing to pay a little more money for a physical copy. The interior of the trade paperbacks have been undergoing a revamp as well under the skillful hand of Kody Boye.  Utilizing vintage artwork, he's been creating a whole new look for the interior.  The new artwork and formatting style has created a much more dynamic reading experience.

How Will They Look?
The boosk now have a much more otherworldly feel from the very beginning of the first book. Check out the new title page and the opening page of Glynis' journal.


Also, the diary/journal entries, letters, and other correspondence in the novel have a fresh look.  Each character now has their own handwriting style. We felt this added a nice touch and made the book a little more engaging.



Kody has added other little tweaks throughout the novel making it beautiful to just flip through, let alone read.


Where To Buy?
I understand that a physical copy of a book is an expensive investment and I want to make sure that the fans of this series will be able to purchase beautiful versions.

My own personal estore (on this blog and on my website rhiannonfrater.com) will have both books available and you can have them autographed to your specifications.  We don't have a price set yet, but as soon as I have worked out all the details on Createspace (the printer) I will let you know.

Amazon.com will also have the updated books immediately.  The books are POD (publish on demand), so a book is printed when you order and shipped to you.

Note:
Book Depository, Barnes and Noble, and some other online retailers may not have the new copies available immediately. They may have older stock that they will send you before they begin selling the newer versions.  So be aware you may end up with an older version.

Also, second-hand retailers will most likely only carry the older versions as well.

In Closing
The Vampire Bride Series is very close to my heart and I'm very excited about the revamp.  I hope you will enjoy it, too.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The New Covers for THE VAMPIRE BRIDE SERIES

Again, I want to thank Claudia McKinney of Phat Puppy Art, Helena Cruz (photographer), and Megan Young (model) for bringing Lady Glynis and her world to life in such beautifully haunting new covers.  I'm thrilled to death!

In case you did not see the new covers yesterday during the cover reveal, here they are for your viewing pleasure!

What are your thoughts on the new covers?



Monday, August 20, 2012

The Vampire Bride Series New Cover Reveal

The old saying "Don't judge a book by its cover" is quoted often, but doesn't reflect the reality of today.  People constantly do judge a book by its cover. The cover is the initial hook that draws in a reader's potential interest, the thing that makes them take a peek at the book description and maybe read the first paragraph or page.  Covers are vitally important in the very competitive book market of today.

The book series nearest and dearest to my heart is THE VAMPIRE BRIDE SERIES.  I absolutely adore Lady Glynis Wright and love writing about her struggle to find independence in the very dangerous world of the supernaturals in Buda, Hungary in the 1820's. I love her feisty nature and her tendency to get into the worst situations.  She's dear to my heart and hands down my favorite character.

Yet I feel the series has suffered because of one thing: the covers.


When I started self-publishing, the covers created for the first AS THE WORLD DIES trilogy and THE TALE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE were images that I loved. They appealed to me and were an accurate depiction of the stories inside the covers. Detra created all four covers and I loved them.  The AS THE WORLD DIES covers garnered great reviews, but people were not as excited about the cover for my vampire novel. When reviews kept citing the "awful cover" while praising the story, I knew I had to do something different.



With great reluctance I changed the cover, hiring Philip Rogers, who had done a great job on my zombie short story collections (AS THE WORLD DIES UNTOLD TALES) to do a brand new cover for the first book.  I loved the gothic feel of this second cover. I especially loved Vlad Dracula's shadow on the snow reaching out to snag Glynis.  I loved the second cover just as much as the first and was excited to reveal it to the world. I also commissioned the cover for THE VENGEANCE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE.  Philip outdid himself by tracking down a photo of Buda Castle during the time period of the book, before it was reconstructed after a terrible fire.

Philip Rogers well-received
zombie cover
Detra's cover for
THE FIRST DAYS
To my great dismay, the covers were slammed again. Readers who loved the books spoke of their great dislike of the covers in their reviews. It was frustrating that the vast majority of the reviews for the novels were five stars, but the sales were slower than expected.  I spoke with readers, reviewers, bloggers and my own friends and slowly came to the realization that while graphic covers work for zombie novels, they don't work for a horror novel that has crossover potential with PNR and UF fans.  Detra and Philip Rogers work on my zombie novels were highly praised, but their work on The Vampire Bride series was heavily panned.

Studying the covers of books online and in bookstores, I realized that the biggest sellers also had covers that were stock photo manipulations.  Many people I talked to stated that they felt "painted" covers were cheap-looking.  If a cover had a photograph that was digitally altered or digitally painted upon, they regarded it as looking professional.

I had discovered Claudia McKinney of Phat Puppy Art because of the beautiful cover she did for J.L. Bryan's JENNY POX.  I perused through her gallery on her website and my husband glanced at a few of my favorites.  "That's who you need to be hiring," he said.

Over the last year, Claudia has created several book covers for me (some have yet to be revealed) including the cover for my bestselling book at this time, THE LAST BASTION OF THE LIVING.  I spoke with Claudia about rebranding THE VAMPIRE BRIDE SERIES and we discussed the look I was going for. She suggested that I have my own photoshoot so that the covers would have a unique look and not be from the regular stock art available online.

My friend, Helena Cruz, agreed to be the photographer for the photoshoot and my fan (and now friend) Megan Young of San Antonio, Texas was excited to pose as Lady Glynis Wright.

Megan as Glynis
Photo by Helena Cruz
Much to my delight, the photos were amazing. I couldn't wait to see what Claudia did with the photos. I was further thrilled when a benefactor stepped in to handle the cost of the covers (I had blown my self-publishing budget for the year already).








Megan as Glynis
Photo by Helena Cruz
So today is the big cover reveal!  Claudia McKinney unleashed her artistic prowess on the photos that Helena Cruz took of Megan and created amazing digital artwork for the new covers.  Ashley of Bookish Brunette Designs created a lovely typography for the books that fit the gothic feel of the stories within.









To see the beautiful new covers for THE TALE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE and THE VENGEANCE OF THE VAMPIRE, please click on the links below.

I would like to thank all the bloggers participating in the cover reveal (both today and tomorrow).
Note: Some bloggers may have the reveals later today or tomorrow, so keep clicking until you find the covers.

My Parahangover (plus a giveaway!!)
Fabled Crossroads (Kody Boye talks about his experience "behind the scenes" of the new covers)





Thursday, August 16, 2012

Scaring Myself

A long time ago I have a crisis of faith. Not faith in God, or my personal spiritual beliefs, but faith in myself, my writing process, and my own imagination.

Though I always knew I wanted to be a storyteller for as long as I can remember, I reached a point in my creative life where I wondered about my own mind.  For as long as I could remember characters and stories were always rattling around in my mind. I dreamed up wondrous and fabulous adventure stories when I was a kid.  I would fall asleep at night to stories playing in my mind. I would day dream of other worlds, other lives, and places I had never been.
I assumed everyone in the world was just like me.

One day when I was probably in junior high someone asked me what I was thinking about. I had zoned out, thinking about some other world, and I told them. They were shocked at my response.

"When you daydream, don't you imagine other places, people, and stuff?"

"Uh, no. I think about what I'm doing when I get home or going shopping," was the reply.

I quickly realized that my imaginary worlds were not the norm. That what was going on in my head was seen as weird, odd, and downright crazy.

It would probably take another decade before I became so bothered by my creativity and its source that I stopped writing altogether.  The movie screen in my mind was always running, tossing up new adventures for me to watch, but I started to ignore them.

At about the same time I was reading about other writers and their writing process.  A lot of them spoke about meticulously constructing their plots, worlds, and characters. They spoke about basing their characters on themselves or other people they knew, brainstorming to come up with stories, and how they struggled to create worlds.  I had no idea how to process this information because characters, worlds, and stories were always traipsing into my mind to say hello, take up residence and wait for their turn to be written.

"Where are is it all coming from?" I wondered.

And had no real answer.

"You're fine as long as you don't hear voices in your head, " a friend joked when I told her my concerns.

I got a chill down my spine. "I hear many voices in my head, I see different worlds. Whole universes are inside of here," I said, pointing to my head.

"Well," she said diplomatically, "as long as they aren't telling you to kill someone, I think you're fine."

I suppose everyone in their twenties has to screw up to learn life lessons. I set aside my writing off and on, afraid of my own mind.  I was also worried about why all the stories banging in my head were horror stories.

Diagnosed with PTSD after a severe car accident, my anxiety attacks were pretty severe and sometimes downright crippling.  I also ended up having to deal with the aftermath of my very horrible childhood about the same time and went to counseling to find some relief. I set aside my writing completely to concentrate on rebuilding my life, moving to a new city, and starting over again.

A few years later I met my future husband.  I told him about my dreams about one day being a full-time writer and how I had set them aside to concentrate on making a "real" life for myself.  I confessed that I missed it. I felt half-alive because I wasn't writing anymore.  With his encouragement, I began to reclaim my creativity.

Once I started writing again, it was like a dam burst inside. Everything came flowing out.I was almost overwhelmed with the creative energy that filled me.  I had asked for years, in a fearful way, where did the stories come from? The characters? The worlds?  Once I started writing again, I realized I didn't really care.  Maybe my process was different from other writers, but it worked for me.

The good thing about this time period was that the internet was solidifying into the cyberworld it is today. Many more writers were online sharing their thoughts and I found out I wasn't actually alone. Many writers talked about discovering stories in odd ways. One writer talked about hearing a conversation in the back of her head and how she listened in to uncover her next novel. Writers talked about sudden inspiration, or unearthing stories from dreams.  I realized I was not the only writer with worlds in my head. Not every writer was a meticulous plotter.  Some writers were just like me.

Last night Kody Boye and I were talking about our creative process and he told me that he doesn't see a 3-D movie in his head like I do.  He sees words.  When he sees visuals, they're like still photographs.  Again, I was boggled by this. Overwhelmed even.  I couldn't imagine not having the massive movie in my head not running while I write.

A conversation I had years ago with a friend always gives me a strange comfort. It was during my crisis of faith in my writing and I shared with her the fear that I was somehow crazy.  She thought it was funny and said, "I think that maybe every story written is true somewhere in another world. Maybe you being crazy is being able to pluck it out of the ether."

As nutty as that sounds, it actually comforted me. Maybe my mind is unusual. I have no idea how my imagination works. How it processes everything in my life to spin out these stories that I translate to paper for you to read.  All I know is that it does do just that.

I like the movie screen in my head. It's entertaining.  I like watching my characters and translating what I see into novels. Of course, the movie in my mind sometimes scares the crap out of me just like any good movie, but those are the exciting, happy moments for me.  It's when the writing process feels wondrous and magical.

My crisis of faith ended when I realized that every story I write is true in some other world. The world of my readers' imaginations. For a short period of time, we explore that world together and enjoy all it has to offer.  Our emotions may run the gamut from terrified to happy to sobbing messes, but for a time that world...that world born out of my crazy imagination...is real.

I still have no idea how I end up with all the wild ideas that float around in my head, but I accept that this is just how my mind works.   Maybe I am some kind of nutter, but I'm okay with that.  I have a happy life and write stories that I enjoy. I truly believe I was born to be a storyteller and I am blessed to have an audience.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Desperately Seeking Bloggers and Reviewers

You may have noticed the blog tour banner announcing the PRETTY WHEN SHE KILLS blog tour. It spans an entire month and will be chock full of giveaways, guest posts, interviews and reviews.  There will also be one big giveway hosted by The Bookish Brunette.

I sent invites to bloggers who had been on my previous blog tours and I have an awesome line-up for just about every day of the tour. But I do have four tour dates still open.  If you would like to join the tour, please email me at rhiannonfrater at gmail.com.  Include your name, blog name, and let me know which of the following dates you're interested in:


9/15/2012
9/22/2012
9/26/2012
10/5/2012

I will add you to the tour and send you a tour packet via email that will include all the information you need along with ebook copies of PRETTY WHEN SHE DIES and PRETTY WHEN SHE KILLS.

I realize it's a bit late to possibly have a review ready for the tour, but you can post reviews later than the tour. If you can't join the tour, the ebooks are still available for review.

I'm also hosting a big cover reveal for the new covers for THE VAMPIRE BRIDE series on August 20th.  If you're interested in that as well, please let me know via email.  I'll send you an email with all the information you need for that.  Ebook copies of both THE TALE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE and THE VENGEANCE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE are available for review upon request.

Other books that are available in ebook for review upon request are:

THE LAST BASTION OF THE LIVING
THE LIVING DEAD BOY AND THE ZOMBIE HUNTERS

If you're interested in my future cover reveal and blog tour for my paranormal YA with Kody Boye entitled THE MIDNIGHT HOUR, please email me. We're looking at a November publication date, so the tour will be in November as well.

Thanks again for your support!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Early Buzz for DEAD SPOTS!!

I'm a night owl. I do my very best writing in the middle of the night. It's far more peaceful at night and it's a lot easier for me to get lost in my imaginary worlds without a lot of distractions that the day provides.

Sometimes the non-writing parts of being a writer eat up all my writing time. Last night I spent most of my time prepping for the PRETTY WHEN SHE KILLS Blog Tour and the VAMPIRE BRIDE SERIES New Cover Reveal.  So even though the sun was already up by the time I opened up yWriter to work on DEAD SPOTS, I was determined to get some work done.

Then I saw this on my Twitter feed.



I was immediately intrigued and followed the link. I was completely thrilled to to see that DEAD SPOTS was listed under PIQUING OUR CURIOSITY.

It's listed as Paranormal Fiction (is that a fancy way of saying horror?) and this is what they have to say:
Paranormal Fiction - Dead Spots, the upcoming paranormal tale by author Rhiannon Frater, will bring readers the story of a woman caught in a world that lies between life and death. To get home, the story's protagonist will need to face her own fears - which come startlingly to life. Talk about creepy and compelling! -- FOREWORDS: THE BOOKS BEFORE THE BUZZ
Oh, my gawd! I'm so excited!  That DEAD SPOTS would already have some interest is awesome!

I'm zooming along quite quickly in the rough draft. I'm ten chapters in and have over 30,000 words of the story already written.  To say I'm inspired to keeping chugging along and working my fingers to the bone would be an understatement!

The only thing I would add to the synopsis above is that Mackenzie (my lead character) is stuck in the world of dreams and nightmares, which is the world between the living and the dead.

So now you know what DEAD SPOTS is all about.

Check out the images that are my visual inspiration for the book at my Pinterest board for the book by click here.

So are you excited about my new project for Tor?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

By Popular Request -- My Publishing Guide


I've taught a few workshops on self-publishing in the past and I often get emails from writers wanting some advice.  The following information was posted over a year ago following one of these workshops and has advice for both traditional publishing and self-publishing.  It also includes my own self-publishing team information.

I am going to try to break this down into simple bites and hopefully this will help anyone hoping to self-publish (or go the traditional route) to find the resources to succeed.

First Stage


1. Write your book!
This will be hard to do, but write the darn thing. You may have to disconnect from your life for a few months, but warn everyone that you will be very selective about your social activities because you will be writing. When you are done with your manuscript it should be around 70,000 words when you're done (give or take). Most publishers do not want to see books that are over 100,000 words, but if you are already set on self-publishing you can push this number. Just remember: the bigger the book, the more expensive it will be.

2. Take a break!
Set your book aside and do not look at it for around two weeks. Go and reconnect with your neglected life. Have fun. Relax. And make sure to celebrate your huge accomplishment of finishing your book. Most people will never do what you just did. Be happy! Once your are done with your writing vacation, grab a red pen and get ready. This is the hard part.

3. Revise your book!
Print out your book and get ready with your red pen. Read your book and be prepared. You will both love and hate what you wrote. At some points you may pat yourself on the back because you did such a great job and at other points you may flinch with embarrassment.

What you are looking for as you do your read through:

  • Punctuation and grammar errors. (below are helpful websites)
    • http://dictionary.reference.com/
    • http://thesaurus.com/
    • http://www.grammarbook.com/english_rules.asp
  • Continuity errors
    • Example: You have someone pick up an object, but later the object vanishes from the scene.
    • Example: Someone's clothing keeps changing in the same scene.
    • Example: You establish a "fact" in your book then disregard it entirely later on.
  • Often repeated words or phrases.
    1. I am so guilty of this at times. It sucks. But use a thesaurus if you're not sure how to ditch your favorite word.


  •  Plot cohesion. Does your plot make sense? Does it have huge plot holes?


Once you're done marking up your manuscript, go back into your original document and make all the new changes. Then walk away from it for two weeks again. Repeat. If the manuscript feels solid, it is time to find a test group to read it. If it doesn't, revise again.

4. Build your author platform.
Create an online presence for yourself by establishing a blog using wordpress.com or blogspot.com. Create a facebook account just for your book. Blog about your dream of becoming a writer and your progress or about any other subject that connects to your fledgling writing career or your writing. Connect with other writers in your genre. Remember to be positive and attempt to keep a regular schedule (if possible) with your posts.


5. Get some Test Readers
At this point in the process, you will need a group of test readers. You can pick friends, but they should be friends that are willing to kick in your teeth if the book isn't up to par. They should be able to give you constructive criticism. You can also connect with a local writing group or find one online.

The website Absolute Write has a very valuable forum for all writers that you should check out. You can find a lot of support there and important information. I strongly advise all writers to join if you are just starting out.

After you receive all the feedback from your test readers and address any issues they pointed out, read through your darling one more time. If it feels solid, it is time to move on. If it doesn't, revise again.


Second Stage (If you are going the traditional route)


1. Make sure your book is in manuscript form.
http://www.shunn.net/format/story.html

2. Write a cover letter.
http://www.underdown.org/covlettr.htm

3. Create a synopsis.
http://www.sff.net/people/karenh/writarch.htm#indexcard

4. Subscribe to Writer's Market so you will be able to find an agent or publisher
http://www.writersmarket.com/

5. Compile a list of agents (or publishers) that represent your kind of book. Follow the guidelines to the T. Do not send your full manuscript if it is NOT requested. I cannot stress this enough. Follow the guidelines exactly.

6. As each rejection notice comes in (and you will get some), cross that agent off your list. Keep on going until your either find an agent or run out of your list.

7. Make sure the agent you sign with understands your novel and is someone you can get a long with.

8. Understand that having an agent does not mean your manuscript will sell, but your chances just got a lot better.

Good Luck!

Second Stage (If you are self-publishing)


1. Be realistic with your expectations.
Sit down and write out your goals and aspirations. Determine how much time and effort you are willing to exert in making your dream come true. Be realistic.

2. Establish your budget.
Self-publishing will cost you money. If you have enough money to go to a turn-key company that will do everything for you (editing, cover, formatting, etc), and you don't want to deal with doing anything yourself, make sure you do plenty of research to find the right company for you. If you only have limited funds, you will need to work out your budget carefully. Editing will cost you the most money and is worth the investment.

You will spend the most money on a good editor and decent cover artwork. Do not scrimp on either of these items!

NOTE: If you self-publish, it will not matter how well your book is edited, you will still get criticized for the editing. I know people who spent a lot of money on a professional editor and readers still attacked the editing. It is an almost automatic response by readers when they see a book is self-published.


3, Publish Your Book!!
Once your book is in perfect order (cover, editing, interior), you can use Createspace to publish to all the amazon online stores. Createspace provides publish on demand publishing. In other words, someone orders your book and it is made just for them. Createspace also publishes Kindle. If you want to publish your book to all ebook formats, go to smashwords.com.

I highly recommend Createspace because they are affordable and you get more bang for your buck. But it will be up to you in the end.

Remember, bookstores rarely sell self-published or small press books. If you really want to see your book in a bookstore, you may need to work a consignment deal out with them.

4. Market!
Be creative and go for it. If you wrote a non-fiction book about a particular subject, attend shows or events that fit into that subject. Rent a booth and promote yourself. You may not make your money back, but people will begin to remember your name and may buy later. Pass out flyers, excerpts from your books, and be friendly and nice to everyone. Contact blogs or online blogtalkradio shows that talk about your subject. Offer to be a guest blogger or a guest on their show. Keep your blog updated.  Post on your twitter and facebook. Connect with online groups that enjoy your book's subject matter.

Good luck!


My Publishing Team


Editing
Felicia Sullivan at Indie Editor

Cover Artwork
Claudia McKinney at Phat Puppy Art 

Philip R Rogers at Art by Philip

Cover Typography

Interior Design

Cover Reveals and Blog Tours (worth every cent) 
Note: Though I handle my own blog tours, Ashley helped me put my first one together. She knows what she's doing!


Important Resources
The Indie Author's Guide
Absolute Write
Writer's Digest

Free Software To Use (Make sure you do the tutorials)
yWriter (the best writing program I have ever used)
Open Office (it's like Microsoft Word, but free!)
GIMP (it's like Photoshop, but free)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

My Writing Projects-Updated

Here is a quick update on my writing projects for 2012.  I know many of my fans try to keep track of what is coming out in order not to miss anything.

Books Published Since January 2012

As The World Dies Untold Tales Volume 2
Released March 19, 2012

Blood & Love and Other Vampires Tales
Released March 7, 2012

Siege: As The World Dies Book Three
(from Tor)
Released April 24, 2012

The Last Bastion of the Living: A Futuristic Zombie Novel
Released June 12, 2012

Confirmed For Release 2012

Pretty When She Kills (Pretty When She Dies #2)
Release Date September 7, 2012



The First Days: As The World Dies Book 1
Mass Market Paperback
(Tor)
Release Date October 30, 2012


Upcoming Releases
(dates yet to be confirmed)
The following releases have all been bumped due to  my new book contract with Tor for my horror novel DEAD SPOTS.  I'm currently writing that novel, so my self-publishing projects have been placed on the back burner. DEAD SPOTS will most likely be released in 2013.  I will keep you updated as Tor provides information.

As The World Dies Untold Tales Volume 3
(Final Short Story Collection in ATWD Universe)
Estimated Release in Fall/Winter 2012

The Midnight Spell (YA Paranormal Fantasy)
(co-written with Kody Boye)
Estimated Release in Fall/Winter 2012

Cthulhu's Daughter and Other Horror Tales 
(Short Story Collection)
Estimated Release in Fall/Winter 2012

The Lament of the Vampire Bride 
(Vampire Bride #3)
Bumped to 2013



Tuesday, August 7, 2012

PRETTY WHEN SHE KILLS Pre-Order Details

The pre-order page for PRETTY WHEN SHE KILLS is now available.  You can order your copy directly from me and get some extra perks by doing so.


The price is $12.00 plus Shipping and Handling. Retail price will be $12.95, so you get a small discount.

You will receive:

  • 1 Autographed PRETTY WHEN SHE KILLS Paperback
  • 1 Autographed PRETTY WHEN SHE KILLS Bookmark
  • 1 eBook in the format of your choice delivered via email ONE WEEK before publication (you get an early start)

 Please check out the pre-order page for all details.

Also keep an eye out for the PRETTY WHEN SHE KILLS Blog Tour beginning September 7, 2012 at The Bookish Brunette blog.




Friday, August 3, 2012

Entering the DEAD SPOTS

Now that PRETTY WHEN SHE KILLS is with the editor who works on my self-published novels, I can concentrate on my new project for Tor.  Like most of my novels, DEAD SPOTS was born in a very, very vivid dream that scared me so badly I forced myself to wake up. The idea for the story intrigued me, but I was swamped with other obligations and couldn't fully develop it.

The publishing world continually fascinates and surprises me on a regular basis. The business can be very rough, but also very rewarding and full-filling. Rejection is a big part of being a writer when you're dealing with the big publishing houses. I was blessed to have my zombie trilogy picked up after I originally self-published it, but I had no idea what my next project with Tor would be. I knew my editor enjoyed working with me and believed in my writing abilities, but we had never discussed anything beyond AS THE WORLD DIES.

For a while I toyed with the idea of selling PRETTY WHEN SHE DIES or THE TALE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE to Tor, but shelved that idea after experiencing the burnout that comes with revising a work you've worked on for years. I didn't want to go back and revise yet another self-published work. I wanted to move forward and write something new.


I nervously told my agent of my decision and to my surprise she wholeheartedly agreed.  She was going to have lunch with my editor soon and told me she'd let me know what my editor thought of my idea. To be great relief, my Tor editor was in agreement.

So toward the end of last year, after SIEGE had finally been put to bed, I spoke with my agent and editor about several ideas I had bouncing around in my head. The concept that my agent and I love was tabled pretty quickly (I'll still write it though..one day!), and another idea intrigued my editor, but she wasn't too sure. She wanted something very different from AS THE WORLD DIES. Something much more challenging that would show the world that I wasn't a one trick pony.  Panicking, I rummaged through my half-formed ideas  and started blathering about DEAD SPOTS.

"That's it," she said.

"Oh!" I was stunned. The story that was least-developed and that I hadn't really planned to pitch was the one she loved.

I immediately had to flesh out this wisp of an idea into a full-length synopsis and a first chapter.  Burned out after the final revision of SIEGE, I struggled.  Our first submission was returned for revision. My editor provided some great feedback that helped me gain the clarity I was struggling to obtain. I reworked the synopsis, rewrote the first chapter, and sent it back to my agent.  My agent made some additional suggestions based off the editorial letter from Tor. I thought her idea was great and suddenly I felt I had something really solid.

Flash forward a few months and I have a brand new deal with Tor for DEAD SPOTS.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea. It's a challenge to write. Not only is the main character a complicated person to portray sympathetically, but the visuals in this story are going to be epic. I know this story is going to push me in a way I find exhilarating.

As of tonight, I'm over 10,000 words into the story. The world is growing richer and more exciting as I write. I can't wait to share this novel with all of you when it hits bookshelves in 2013.

For a peek into my inspirations for DEAD SPOTS, check out my pinterest board.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

THE LAST BASTION OF THE LIVING Giveaway

While going through the closet where I keep all my book stock and bookmarks, I came across a "proof copy" of THE LAST BASTION OF THE LIVING.

A proof copy is the version of the paperback you review to make sure everything is the way it should be for publication. This proof copy had a minor error. The page numbers were on the wrong side of the page.  We fixed the error, uploaded the new files, and ordered a new proof copy.

So I have a perfectly good copy of THE LAST BASTION OF THE LIVING with only the page numbers on the wrong side of the footer, but it doesn't feel right to sell it. Therefore, I'm offering it in this new giveaway.

The only MANDATORY requirement is that you have already purchased an ebook of THE LAST BASTION OF THE LIVING. You will need proof of purchase to enter.

Please read the Rafflecopter carefully to find out how to enter to win.

Also, this is US  Only. If you are an international fan and are willing to pay the additional cost for shipping via paypal, you can enter the giveaway. (The additional shipping will be any additional cost beyond the $4.00 shipping I will pay to send the book)

Good luck!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

PRETTY WHEN SHE KILLS First Draft Is Done

After a ten hour writing spree to complete the manuscript, PRETTY WHEN SHE KILLS is one step closer to publication. The first draft is done and clocks in at around 80,000 words. I'm incredibly pleased with this story and really feel it's a solid sequel to PRETTY WHEN SHE DIES.

The second book in the trilogy is quite dark and the death count ended up slightly higher than expected even though one character was spared until PRETTY WHEN SHE DESTROYS.

Now I just need to revise it before send it off to the beta readers and my editor.

Whew!!

Of course, I'm about to start writing DEAD SPOTS, so there really is no rest for the wicked.

I can't wait to share this book with all of you!

Remember to add it at Goodreads!