Browsing Tag

dreaming death

Cover Reveal: In Dreaming Bound

Shironne and Mikael are back!

Their next story, In Dreaming Bound, is scheduled to be out by the end of April, and here is the first look at the cover!

 

But there’s more!

There are two other books in this series, planned to come out late 2018/early 2019.

The new covers for the series are by Kate Marshall Designs, (I cannot recommend her enough!) and once I have rights back* to Dreaming Death, she’ll be putting together a matching cover for that book as well when I reissue it.


And with that, I’ll let you get back to your day ;o)

*I do not know when that will be, unfortunately…

New Cover for Shared Dreams, plus a Paperback

Available at: Amazon, B&N, Apple, Kobo, Others

 

For anyone who’s previously picked up a copy of my collection of 3 short stories from the setting of Dreaming Death, the book now has a new cover. So if it looks like a new book to you, it’s actually not. (You have to wait a couple more months.)

However, in a week or so, it will also be coming out in paperback. It will be a thin (novella length) volume–about 140 pages–but I know there are some people who want books in paper (including libraries.)

This volume includes three short stories: A Mention of Death, Touching the Dead, and Endings. There’s also an excerpt from Dreaming Death (which comes after those stories chronologically.)

This is part of getting ready to reveal the first sequel for Dreaming Death, In Dreaming Bound. The new cover links to the covers of the upcoming Palace of Dreams novels, so it will simply fit in better.

I am still hoping that In Dreaming Bound will be out in by Summer (I’m close, you guys!), and I’ll put in a date as soon as I know.

(And when I’m ready to do a cover reveal for IDB, I will definitely link it here!)

 

 

 

 

Running like my hair is on fire…

I haven’t been posting as often as I’d like here, but life circumstances have been busy recently. However, I wanted to touch bases with readers on where various projects are, so here we go!

 

The Truth Undiscovered is my current Patreon serial, a prequel to The Golden City where the four members of what I secretly called ‘my Torchwood’ meet and work out their first case. This December I will put out Book Two for my Patrons, hopefully before Christmas.  So I’m scrambling to get that last chapter written and format the things for ebooks.

Then in the new year I will work on the last part of the story, which in my tentative plan would take me into May. At that point I’ll hand the book over to my patrons and work on getting the novel version up for sale in the summer. I have been toying with cover ideas, and have been looking at this one, which is meant to depict how Gaspar sees a specific bit of magic.

Interestingly enough, this illustration, in turn, inspired the final chapter of the book. So perhaps one day all the stuff in the sky will make sense.

(Non-final cover possibilites below.)


 

 

My other serial, The King’s Daughter, is currently paused as I try to get the edit pass on Book One done. Once I finish that, I’ll start posting bits from Book Two.

My current plan is to wrap up the first three books of this  and publish them summer of 2018. I’m hoping to have all three edited and ready to go by then.

(Also non-final covers)

 

And I’m feverishly working on the Dreaming Death sequels when I’m not editing. I’m hoping to publish at least one of them next year, with the best case scenario of getting all three done IF life doesn’t interfere too much.

My cover artist, Kate @ Kate Marshall Designs has been working on the covers for those, and we’re almost done, although I won’t be revealing the whole cover for a while, I’ll show a snippet of an earlier version….

 

So just an update, so you know where I am with things…

Now Available for PreOrder: Overseer, The Horn~Book 3

Special Preorder Price: $2.99

Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Others

Those who hold the secrets of the Fortresses

can remake the world…

A new player has arrived at Horn Keep, and it’s up to Amal to decide whether he’s the key to keeping her people safe, or the threat they’ve feared the most. Aulis is, like Dalyan, a version of the same long-dead engineer, a Founder of the Salonen Fortress. That alone should make him worth keeping alive.

But he’s served the Cince Empire for almost two decades, the very people who want to steal Salonen Fortress. Now Amal is faced with the task of deciding whether he’s even capable of telling the truth, whether he can lie to Dalyan. The question is…are they the same man or not?

And is buying Aulis’ loyalty worth the risk of giving him the one thing he wants more than life itself? It’s within Amal’s power, but she knows that doing so will forever change her people’s world…

 

 

Also on sale*

Oathbreaker, The Horn, Book 1

Only 99¢

Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Others

 

*prices good though 10/22/17

More Obsessing about Fantasy Book Covers

I’m still going back through and rereading posts on Nicola’s blog Thoughts on Fantasy, and working through what works for me for my future covers. (There are some wonderful posts there.)

I find that I share a lot of tastes with her, so going back and looking, I see this post: 5 Features that Make Me Fall in Love with a Book Cover.

Now, without putting in all the pictures she did, here’s the list.

  1. Glowing Magic or Fire
  2. Texture
  3. Patterns or Patterned Borders
  4. Silhouettes
  5. Rich Contrasting Colors

Nothing on that list is particularly unusual, but it’s how they’re applied that makes them interesting.  I will likely drop one of them…I’m not big on the silhouette thing. And for the Dreaming Death series, fire probably wouldn’t apply since it’s winter in the stories. The glowing part came in in the first book, as do the texture, the border, and the rich colors:

However…however….

I frankly don’t know how well this cover actually served this novel. Don’t get me wrong, this is a gorgeous cover and I really love it, however…I know the book struggled to sell. (The cover was done in glossy, and I think it would look far better in matte.) But I also think people might think this is a YA book.

This is where it gets awkward.

I’m writing a series that is not YA, but one of the POV characters is 17.  It’s not YA.  It might be better to call it NA (New Adult), because POV2 is 23. (POV3 is 44, which is far too ancient for a YA reader to read about, right?)

So, in contemplating what I want for the next 3 books, I’m working on a list.

  1. Striking Titles that would work with Dreaming Death
  2. A bolder, less busy cover.

There are three titles to come.

  1. The first book is mostly about how Shironne and Mikael are exploring the binding between them. I’ve been toying with either Bound in Dreams or In Dreaming Bound (hat tip to Michelle Muenzler).
  2. Book 2 is about Mikael going back and, with Shironne’s help, solving the ten years past murder of his father. So potential titles need to cover that it’s a combination of memory and dreaming, so either In Dreams Remembered or Recalled in Dreams. Neither is particularly awesome.
  3. Book 3 is about Mikael and Shironne being dragged back to Lee Province, and getting separated, so I was considering In Dreaming Found or Hunted in Dreams. Again, I’m not wild about these.

 

FWIW, the “____________ in Dreams” trio sounds a bit like Urban Fantasy titles to me, which might give the reader a wrong impression. In Dreaming Found sounds weird to me as well. Meh.

I’m about at the point of crowdsourcing these titles, in hopes that someone can come up with something better.

And what about the covers? What do I want the covers to show?

Here’s the list I’ve come up with:

  1. Snow
  2. An isolated image–just one. Not the buildings AND the hands.
  3. Easier to read script…something that looks ‘exotic’, but larger and bolder.
  4. Lighter colors
  5. Maybe a fancy design or border, but I want most of the noise to come from snow

Will my artist be able to do all these things AND make me happy? Well, that remains to be seen.

 

So if you have better titles than:

1. In Dreaming Bound / In Dreams Remembered / In Dreaming Found

or

2. Bound in Dreams / Recalled in Dreams / Hunted in Dreams

Let me know.  ;o)

 

 

Fantasy Cover Art: Is it Changing?

Over on one of the forums I’m on, a few of us were discussing (at my instigation) whether or not fantasy/sci-fi cover art is changing.

Here’s one of the things that makes this seem the case for me:  these are the covers of the books for Kirkus Reviews’ “Best Bets for Fascinating Fantasy SciFi Horror reads in July.” 

No space ship, no alien, no elves or swords, no men in hoods or glowy sparkles. These are alternate history, future dystopia, superpowers…and yet nothing about these covers says that. These covers look pretty…well, mainstream. Literary.

What was more interesting? These are the covers from the same list that Kirkus DIDN’T SHOW.

Tentacles? Alien life forms? Fantasy worlds? Space city?

Why were these the covers left out?

Frankly, I don’t know the answer, but I thought it was a very interesting thing to have a page recommending genre fiction…with covers that did not really look like ‘genre fiction.’

(Now, for full disclosure, I should say that a) there is one more novel cover (at the top), but it also doesn’t look ‘genre’. b) there is a horror short story collection at the bottom, which DOES look like a horror cover. and c) Sand has more than one cover, and the other one I’ve seen looks slightly less genre, but still fairly dystopia.)

The whole reason that I’m discussing this at all because I’m considering what I want for my next three book covers, and I want to go to my artist with some firm ideas.  These books will be sequels to Dreaming Death, and maybe instead of a clearly ‘fantasy’ cover:

Maybe I should go with something more mainstream:

I’m not really serious with these…I just threw them together using Canva templates…but is there something here?

I can put in some glowy magic (like the first), but I have to admit, I actually like the clean ‘literary’ covers a bit better. They’re not as fussy. They’re simple.

The question then becomes, how do readers find them? How would using covers like this affect my ‘brand’?  Will they know it’s a fantasy-ish novel?

In fact, how does that work for the five authors at the top? Can one look at the cover of the new Carrie Vaughn novel and know that it’s a dystopian mystery?

I suspect I’ll be rattling on about this for  a while, a debate that I’m having mainly with myself.  But I have some theories:

Possible influences for this:

  1. Indie books (and thus their covers) are becoming more prevalent.*
  2. Customers are relying more on category and ‘also boughts’ to tell them what to look at. (Not the same as browsing at a book store.)
  3. Publishers are trying to reach out to non-fantasy readers by having more ‘mainstream’ covers.

So over the next few Wednesdays, I’ll be looking at the trends of cover art in F&SF. If you know of a pertinent (RECENT) article, I’d love it if you would leave me a link. I’m curious to see what people are saying out there.

 

*I’ll talk about why that matters at all, later.

July: Upcoming Story, and Free Story

While I’m working on Overseer, the final book in The Horn trilogy, I’m also working on several other things, so I thought I’d give a rundown very quickly on what’s going on:

  1. The Horn trilogy is almost finished, and I’m aiming for a release in August.
  2. I am still trying to update The King’s Daughter at least twice a month.
  3. My Patreon story set in the Golden City setting, The Truth Undiscovered, is being updated once a month. This is a story about the initial case handled by Inspectors Gaspar and Anjos, the Lady, and Miss Vladimirova. If you’re interested in following along, you can join my Patreon group for as little as $1 a month!
  4. I am working to make all my old short stories available as ebooks. To that end, I’m trying to publish one per month (except August, since I have Overseer coming out.)  Next month I’ll be putting out The Stains of the Past.(This is only a tentative cover). This was my very first published story (2006!) and it ties into The King’s Daughter. Although this story takes place a few years later, it involves some of the same characters.
  5.  In that vein, Fleurs du Mal is now FREE at most etailers….except Amazon.  I have not been successful in getting Amazon to lower the price to free, but I’ll keep trying!  Click on the picture to see a list of retailers:

6. And if that’s not enough to keep me busy, I’m also putting together a plan for the next three Dreaming Death stories, with Shironne and Mikael returning. The first of those, tentatively called “Bound in Dreams” should be out late this year.   I will have to have titles and cover ideas worked out for all three before I hit up my cover artist, Kate Marshall…

So I’m really really busy these days, and hope that I can get everything out on time!!!

 

New Story Coming Out in Ebook

Later this month (6/22?), I’ll be putting out one of my short stories in ebook format. The Bear Girl originally appeared in WolfSongs, Volume 1, an anthology choice which makes sense only to when one had read the story!

The cover is one I created myself, depicting the first scene in the story, and I hope it looks enticing enough to draw readers in!

GUD Magazine (in their review of the anthology) called this story a ‘gentle coming-of-age story’, which I thought was particularly apt description.

 

In addition, I wanted to let people know that I’m on track for a August release of Overseer, the final book in the Horn trilogy, after which I’ll tackle the first sequel to Dreaming Death.

I still don’t have a name for that book, but I’ve got about 70K of it written now, and I’m excited to get it out there!

For those who are unsure how the two series relate to each other, it’s easiest to see it as a dichotomy. Most of the people inhabiting the world of the Dreaming Death (and Shared Dreams) stories are living in a world with magic and mystery. The Horn is populated by people–the Oathbreakers–who know the true origins of their peoples, what the Fortresses actually are, and what capabilities they have.  In essence, they live in a world that’s closer to science fiction….

The two halves sometimes cross, but social pressures generally keep the knowledge of the Oathbreakers under wraps.

Whether or not that will change may come into play when the king has to choose his heir, the person who will one day decide how much of the Oathbreakers’ science has to be used to keep Larossa safe from the Cince…but those stories are fairly far down the line at this point (2019ish!)

 

 

 

Update on the Dreaming Death sequels…

Last week, I had someone over at Goodreads ask when the sequel for Dreaming Death would be coming out.

As is probably evident by now, my publisher isn’t putting out the sequel. First week sales weren’t good enough to consider continuing the series, and therefore I’m no longer with them. Which leaves me with an incomplete story, something that rarely makes people happy!

Therefore, I thought I’d let people know I DO have a plan.

Due to some niggling contract issues, I could not immediately launch into producing the sequel. (If you run into me sometime, I’ll explain that, but otherwise it’s too complicated.)

I had the old sequel that I produced after I originally wrote Dreaming Death…but that was no longer valid*. And as I didn’t want to rewrite the whole thing with no guarantee that my publisher would even look at it, I worked instead on outlining and producing The Horn series. Those novels are set in the same world, but in a very different province, one that holds more knowledge about that world itself.

The first two books of that series are out now, and I’m hoping to finish up Book Three by the end of the summer.

THEN I’ll be working on the first of the Dreaming Death sequels.  Now, admittedly, I have a bunch done. I’ve been working on that intermittently this year, so I’m hoping to get the first sequel out by the end of 2017 or early 2018.

I have not yet decided on the titles for the three books*, but as soon as I do, I’ll be getting with my cover artist and working on the covers.

I will probably not use the series title that the publisher did (Palace of Dreams Novels) because it doesn’t quite work for me, so I may have a new series title. I’ve actually been calling these the Dreaming Death World online, and may stick with that, or I may call it something totally different. Titles aren’t my thing, so it will be a struggle to decide what’s best.

(FWIW, the original short version of The Golden City was called “Of Ambergris, Blood, and Brandy“.  The publisher bought the book with that name, but later changed it to Of Blood and Brandy and then finally to The Golden City.)

But back to the topic…as soon as I have made decisions on that, I will post about it here, and will definitely let you guys see the covers as soon as my artist (Kate Marshall) can grind them out.

So don’t give up! I’m typing as fast as I can…

*Because of changes that my editor asked for in Dreaming Death, the original sequel that I wrote long ago (2005?), is no longer valid. Its name was The Sins of the Fathers, mostly because it dealt with the lingering death of Shironne’s father.

 

 

Original Available for PreOrder

The Amazon preorder page for my newest book, Original, has just gone up. This is the second book in The Horn trilogy (after Oathbreaker), and although preorders will be at 99 cents, the book’s price will go to $3.99 afterward.

Blurb (I am still working on this–as I’m told it’s a bit dry):

Dalyan was created by his Cince masters to find and resurrect an abandoned Fortress…but he never chose to serve them. Now he’s free from the implanted device that tied him to them. He’s ready to begin a new life, one beyond their vision for him.
Amal, Lady Horn is just grateful that Dalyan survived. But his very existence portends a new future, one with their long-time foes, the Cince, using ancient knowledge—learned from the time of the Originals—to invade the country of Larossa and their Fortresses. Now Amal’s Family must convince the Oathbreakers of the other Families that to protect themselves and their country, their Fortresses must be woken. And Salonen, the abandoned Fortress, must either be resurrected…or killed.

PREORDER ON AMAZON!

(An FYI for people who visit here: Oathbreaker will also be on sale the 15th through the 27th for 99 cents, and then go back up to regular price.)