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Posts Tagged ‘A Rocky Path’

I’ve been a fan of horror ever since my high school librarian first introduced me to Stephen King. She suggested I read “Carrie”, and I’ve been a fan ever since. Stephen King is the master. The KING. No one has ever been able to touch me quite like he has. He has a way of making you feel like you’re right there in the story and that you know all the characters intimately. King’s characters are his strongest point.

But then there’s the horror. The scary stuff, the stuff that gives you the chills. What is it that makes us want to read this? Why do we want to be scared? I’ve found, the older I get, the harder it is for me to watch scary movies, especially alone. But I LOVE reading the books. The horror fascinates me. I’m not as crazy about the slasher stuff, even though that’s sometimes part of it. It’s the supernatural, eerie, ghostly stuff I love. Or sometimes the horror isn’t supernatural, but the horror of the human psyche. There are some sick people in some of the horror books.

I’ve sometimes wondered if there was something wrong with me because I like horror. Is there something twisted in my mind? And what about the people who actually WRITE this stuff? They have to be kind of twisted, right? But, honestly, the horror writers I’ve met on the internet have been normal, well-adjusted husbands and dads or wives and mothers. Horror writers are usually just ordinary folks. So I may never know the WHY of it all. Maybe someone can give me some ideas of why we like horror.

That brings me to my writing. The first novel I ever wrote and published, A Rocky Path, was a ghost story/love story. I don’t know why I was compelled to write paranormal romance. My second novel, Starfane, was a fantasy romance with wizards, elves, etc. in a land the heroine stepped into from a mural. I then did three novellas, one ghost story and two vampire stories. But even in paranormal romance, there is an element of horror sometimes. My ghost story novella, See Me, was criticized by a fellow author because I had mixed humor and violence in the same story. See Me is kind of snarky, with some funny things that happen, but there is a pretty violent scene in it. I don’t see anything wrong with mixing humor and violence. Even in this story, I had a tiny bit of horror. Then along came The Gnome. It was my first attempt at an actual horror story. I wasn’t sure how I would do with the fight scenes, but one of my beta readers said I nailed it, so that was a relief. Two readers told me that the story creeped them out and one of them actually dreamed of a giggling gnome. Good. That means I did my job. The story stayed with them.

So, after saying all that, I’m wondering if I’m going to end up writing horror instead of paranormal romance. My last book, Soul of a Vampire, actually was paranormal romance, but there was a little element of horror, I think. And, now, my current WIP is looking like it’s going to be horror. This one, honestly, was supposed to be a paranormal romance about a ghost. Now the ghost is kind of secondary in the story, and there’s a truly horrible thing happening in the town. This story just took a different turn than I originally imagined. There is going to be a supernatural element to the horror. So I’m wondering if my whole genre is going to change. Or am I going to dabble in more than one genre? Am I really going to end up being a horror writer? Or are The Gnome and my current WIP just me veering off my normal path for awhile? And do I have to really know the answer right now? Or can I just enjoy the journey and see where everything goes? That’s part of the fun, right?

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Most of us, when we’re writing a story, have at least a vague idea about what our characters look like. Some writers have a particular look in mind and make up someone completely from scratch. But many of us see certain actors in our minds when we think of our characters. It’s hard for me not to do that. So I thought I would let you see what I saw when I wrote some of my books.

I’ll start with Guardian Vampire since that one is still my best seller. I honestly didn’t see an actor in my mind for this one until I started watching The Vampire Diaries. When I saw Ian Sommerhalder, I knew this was my Logan. And I imagined Hilary Duff as Kendall.

Ian Sommerhalder

Ian Sommerhalder

Hilary Duff

Hilary Duff

One problem I’m having with Ian is that I also want him to be Ethan in Club Blood. LOL

There was never any doubt as to who I wanted to be Patrick in A Rocky Path. Hans Matheson was the one from the very beginning.

Hans

Hans Matheson

I think the hardest character to cast is John in Haunted Lake. I think he may be my favorite character. So much happened in his past and he’s scarred both physically and emotionally. I can’t make a connection between him and any actor yet. Those of you who might have read Haunted Lake, what do you think? I do have some ideas for Daniel, though. These two:

Archie Kao

Archie Kao

Tim Kang

Tim Kang

And Adam from my Libby Fox Series. It has to be Alex O’Loughlin!

Alex

Alex O'Loughlin

Who do your characters look like? Or do you make up everything about them? I would love to hear who you see when you write!

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I published my first print book, A Rocky Path, with a vanity press. I paid about $450 for the privilege of publishing with them. At the time, ebooks weren’t an option, and I don’t think affordable places like CreateSpace were available. My biggest beef with this vanity press is that they charge $19.99 for my fairly short paperback novel. The only people who have ever bought one have been family and friends. Since the time I published with them, they bug me constantly, wanting me to pay for this or that, mostly marketing. But how do you market a $19.99 book by a fairly unknown author?

The advantage of using the vanity press was all I had to do was send them a word document and a picture that I wanted on the front cover, and they did the rest. The inside looks fine, but the cover wasn’t that great. I had my cover artist redo the cover for the ebook. When I published a book recently with CreateSpace, I had a great cover done by my cover artist and I did all the formatting myself. And it only cost me $39! And it wouldn’t have cost anything, but I wanted the expanded distribution.

Anyway, what got me really going on this today was that I got an email from them saying they would do a book trailer for me for ONLY $999. Yeah, right. And not long ago, they offered to pay half for shopping my book for a movie deal. My half was only $1500. How can I make these people leave me alone? I don’t answer my phone when they call, but they keep trying.

When I published with this vanity press, they assured me that I could remove the book at any time since I had all rights to it. But I wonder if that will be as easy as it sounds. I’m filled with a sense of dread every time I think of dealing with these people. I want to republish it eventually with CreateSpace after I have all of my other ones done. Has anyone else had any experience with taking down books from vanity presses, or are all of you so young that other options were available when you first published? 🙂

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Sales?

Just a quickie post today. I’m pondering on why the first novel I published, A Rocky Path, and normally the one with low sales, is suddenly picking up in sales. Not hugely, but enough to notice. I’ve googled it and can’t find any unusual activity. So what would suddenly cause the sales of a certain book to go up? This one is about a ghost and my ghost stories never sell as well as my vampire stories. Who knows? I just wish I could figure it out.

My sales are picking up in the UK on Amazon. Is anyone else experiencing that?

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