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Posts Tagged ‘vampires curse’

I read a lot. And I read in a lot of genres. But I’m going to talk about romance specifically. Part of this applies to all genres, but some of it is specific to romance.

get-me-you_1I read quite a bit of romance, and I’ve read books I loved, books I disliked, and books that fell somewhere in between. The books I’ve noticed that fall flat for me and don’t entertain me like they should have something in common. There’s little or no real conflict. There’s nothing to make your heart hurt. Nothing to bring tears to your eyes or make you want to strangle one or more of the characters. Take Kait Nolan’s newest release, To Get Me To You. I wanted to slap both the hero and the shero for being so stupid. Why were they both being so stubborn? Couldn’t they just get together and talk about it? This book made me FEEL. It made me feel invested in the characters. I wanted things to work out, and I was frustrated that they didn’t seem to be. Kait did her job as an author. She made me care. And that’s done partly with conflict. With romance, you know you’re eventually going to get a happy ending. But while you’re reading, there’s always that little niggling doubt. That doubt makes it interesting. You know a romance author is going to make things work out in the end. Right? *bites fingernails and hopes*

Now there’s external conflict and internal conflict. External conflict is when outside forces hinder the characters from getting what they want or need. Internal conflict is when something inside the characters is hindering them. In my opinion, internal conflict is much more powerful. But external conflict can be heartbreaking, too, depending on what it is. Kait’s book had external conflict, too. You need to read it so you’ll know what it is. 🙂
Vampires' Curse
My Vampires’ Curse trilogy had both kinds of conflict. Libby loved Adam, but she couldn’t get past the fact that, as a vampire, he needed to feed either from her or from a blood donor. She didn’t want to share him, but she didn’t want to feed him. This continued through three novellas until it was resolved. It led to a lot of tension. Then there were external conflicts involving lots of bad guys.

What spurred this whole thing was a conversation I had with someone about lack of conflict in books. I started thinking about it. So if you’re a new author, think about what you can do to cause conflict between your main characters. You know, sometimes, this can be a lot of fun. Torture those characters! 🙂

Here’s where you can buy the two books mentioned in the post. *shameless promotion*

To Get Me to You

Vampires’ Curse

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I only managed to write 3 days this week. My goal is 5, so I’m not happy with myself. There was no excuse for not writing on Friday. It was pure laziness. It was me wanting to do other things. Bleh. Yesterday, I was having a pretty good writing day. I was in my office in my comfy chair. Then my son, his girlfriend, and her little girl came over and decided to stay in the room with me. My son’s girlfriend was very quiet, doing her own thing. But my son likes to talk. And he did. Here’s the thing, though. What my son has to say to me is SO much more important than what I’m writing. If you have kids, you understand. Although he’s grown, he’s precious to me, and if he wants to talk to me, then I’m going to let him. The book can wait. I still got almost 800 words in. So my total words for the week is 2417.

Weight loss and healthy habits are still going well. I try to keep that updated on “Fitness Friday” every week.

I have the print proof of Soul of a Vampire, but it looks like there are changes to be made to the spine. The title isn’t centered exactly right (CreateSpace fixed something and I think that’s why it happened), and the font is really too small to see well. Anya said she would fix it. I hate to pay for another proof, but in the long run, I think it’s better to get it right. I let my son and his girlfriend look at it yesterday. My son said he would definitely get it fixed. So I guess that’s what I’ll do. I’ll let Anya look at it tomorrow. This is the first time I’ve had to have a cover redone after seeing the proof. The measurements are SO precise when submitting a cover file.

SHAMELESS PROMOTION: Don’t forget…Soul of a Vampire, Vampires’ Curse, and The Gnome are all on sale for .99 through the month of February. These books are regularly $2.99.

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Drum roll, please. LOL. Anyway, the winner of the Soul of a Vampire giveaway is Kristina Haecker! Congrats, Kristina!

So here’s what’s going on for ROW80:

Writing: I’m about 1100 words along on my WIP. I’ve hit a few personal snags that’s kept me from writing as much as I’d like, but I think the rest of the week, and the weekend, will get back to normal.

Print book update: They’ve sent me the proof for Vampires’ Curse, so I’m just waiting on that. I’m also waiting on Anya to finish the print cover for Soul of a Vampire. I asked her to change something, so it’s my fault it’s not finished. LOL.

Health: I haven’t worked out yet this week. Monday I was having a major issue with one of my feet, and yesterday I used my lunch hour to write because I was going out to eat last night with a fellow author who lives here in town. (I think she would wish to remain anonymous, LOL.) I didn’t get in until late. I hope to return to my routine tomorrow.

So, what’s up with the rest of you?

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This is a very late post. I didn’t have time before church. Then, my son, his girlfriend, and her little girl were all here this afternoon. And THAT was more important than posting. Then there was church tonight, so I’m just now getting around to it.

There’s not a lot to report aside from the last couple of posts where I’ve already told everyone what’s going on. 🙂 But to summarize for those who haven’t kept up. I went to a cabin in Ellijay, GA with Anya Kelleye. While there, I got all my editing done on Soul of a Vampire. I got Vampires’ Curse ALMOST ready for print. Anya worked on some book covers. We both did some reading. We ate. We chilled out. It was a much needed retreat. And Soul of a Vampire is in the hands of beta readers.

For those of you waiting on pictures of our retreat, I think I’ll post them tomorrow. I didn’t think I should do it in a ROW80 post.

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Well, it’s almost time to go. Although I do miss hubby and the animals, I’m sad to leave this beautiful place. I won’t miss Mr. Roach, though. Nor will I miss his little brother who I found resting on my pillow before I went to bed last night. I slept with the light on again. 🙂 It’s been a good trip. I finally got Soul of a Vampire ready for beta readers. I tried to get Vampires’ Curse ready for print, but I’m still having trouble with page numbers. When I finally get one problem fixed, another one crops up. I finally got the numbers right. But then when I added the blank pages needed to make sure all the chapters start on an odd number, those pages had the page numbers and headers on them, even though I started them in different sections. I’m tempted to leave those blank pages out. I’ve noticed some traditionally published books aren’t staring all chapters on odd numbered pages anymore. And I think one of them was a Stephen King. I wonder if that even matters anymore. I think it looks better, but why beat myself up over it when big publishing houses don’t all do it anymore. What to do….

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I’m stealing Anya’s hot spot on her phone for a few minutes. I just wanted to give a quick update.

When we arrived at this cabin, I was completely in love! This place is absolutely amazing and beautiful. I’ll have pictures later. Maybe more pictures than anyone wants to see. LOL. I went around with my iPad snapping pictures like a crazy person.

Anya is sleeping downstairs in the master bedroom, and I’m upstairs. There’s also a loft bedroom. We each have our own bathroom. I haven’t seen any scorpions, but there is a roach the size of Texas that apparently thinks my bathroom is his own personal domain. He’s scared of me, though. When I come in the bathroom, he scurries behind a little container that holds towels, a candle, etc. Once, he peeked out from behind it, and when he saw me, he scurried back behind it. I did sleep with my light on last night since roaches like darkness. LOL.

I’ve been working on getting Vampires’ Curse ready for print. The page numbers, as usual, have been kicking my butt, but I’m using some pointers from Ruth Ann Nordin, and I think I might have figured out how to make it work. I ALWAYS struggle with the page numbers. That’s the only problem I have with formatting for print.

So I’m going to get back to work now. Later, Anya and I might go outside on the huge porch and sit in the rocking chairs and work. Or not. We can do whatever we want. 🙂

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I have a serious dilemma. Or should I say a series dilemma? Here’s the deal. I just finished the last chapter of Soul of a Vampire. But I think this book might have the potential of being the first in the series. I THINK. If it’s going to be a stand alone, I need to stop it where it is. But if it’s going to be a series, there’s an epilogue I need to write to hint at whose story might come next. I don’t know what to do. Many of you know my story of series writing. I wrote Guardian Vampire and a lot of readers wanted a sequel. But there was no sequel in my brain for it. So I wrote the Vampires’ Curse (Libby Fox) trilogy to please readers who liked series. It just doesn’t sell well. If it weren’t for Guardian Vampire and Haunted Lake, my sales would be TERRIBLE. Those two have always been my best sellers. And they’re stand alones. And they’re getting some age on them, so the momentum is slowing down. The only reason I hesitate to write a sequel to SoaV is because I was going to work on the book my husband thought of next. But I could put it off and write the sequel, then come back to the other one. However, I don’t want to disappoint my husband by putting off “his” book. Oh, what to do!

On the eating situation I was talking about earlier, I found that I can eat fish without the gag reflex taking over. I actually had for supper…sushi (not the raw kind), a few olives, and cheese & crackers. So I won’t have to revert to popcorn for supper again. LOL

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Nothing earth shattering has happened since Sunday. LOL. Good word counts the past couple of days. No exercise…my walking partner is on vacation…I’ve been a slacker. I haven’t felt very well, either, but I suspect exercise would make me feel BETTER. Silly me for not doing it.

I’m 2/3 through proofing Vampires’ Curse for print. A word about that. If it were just for my benefit, I’m not sure I would even put anything in print, although it’s nice to hold my book in my hands. But there are still readers out there who want a print book. It’s for them that I do this. It would be free if I didn’t want expanded distribution, but I pay $25 to do that. However, I make only about 50-75 cents per book when bookstores (other than Amazon) or libraries buy it (versus about $2.75 if readers buy it from Amazon). Is it worth it? I haven’t yet decided. I hate to limit where readers can buy my books, but it will take a long time, if ever, to make up that $25. It seems I spend a lot of time and money sometimes doing things to benefit other people. But…I sort of feel like that’s one reason we’re put on this planet. What do the rest of you think? Should I stop paying for expanded distribution? What would you do? It’s free to distribute to Amazon, since Amazon owns CreateSpace. But I have almost as many sales from the expanded distribution venues. I can’t decide what to do with this latest print book.

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Just a quick check in before I go to church. 🙂

Word count last week was: Mon-2129, Thurs-1928, Fri-911. I didn’t write as many days as I would have liked last week. Stuff just happened that got in the way, but at least it wasn’t that whiny “I don’t feel like writing” that was happening to me last round. Besides, my word counts are so much higher than they used to be, I’m still writing more per week even when I only write three days.

Exercise was so-so last week. Eating…also iffy, but not bad.

Proofing for print on Vampires’ Curse didn’t happen. There was a lot going on last week, but, hopefully, this week will be calmer. I’m also trying to use my time more wisely.

I hope everyone is having a great day!

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***WARNING*** Long post ahead

This post stems from the frustration of tanking book sales. I would like to at least continue to enjoy the little “extras” in life by working full time AND writing, at least for now. Eventually, I would like this to be my job, but things aren’t looking so good right now.

I started thinking I might be able to eventually do this full time when my January & February 2011 sales were so good that I made more money those two months than I did at my full time job. And most of that was from one 99 cent novella…Guardian Vampire. I’ve pondered the mystery of this book’s success for a long time, and I still don’t understand it. It’s actually still my best seller at Amazon UK, although the sales aren’t that great. Think about it though…I made a full time salary on one 99 cent book for two months straight.

I got some emails from readers wishing for a sequel. I know I’ve told this part before. There was no sequel to this novella. So I wrote a the Vampires’ Curse trilogy, thinking that readers wanted series. I’ve never had good sales on those novellas even though they are much better, in my opinion, than Guardian Vampire. After writing GV, I wrote a novel, Haunted Lake. It went months with few sales, but suddenly took off. It never reached the volume of GV, but it wasn’t shabby at all. I currently have 12 works published (one is a compilation of three of the others), and Haunted Lake is still the best seller in the US. Better than anything newer. In fact, the oldest novel is doing better than Vampires’ Curse. I absolutely do not understand.

Here’s the thing. Except for when GV was going crazy, I’ve been used to making a steady $500-$700 a month in sales across a few channels. (We know which channel has the best sales.) This has been less than enough for full time work, but it was really good for part time work. We had been buying essentials and paying bills with our full time money, and had been buying fun stuff and paying for vacation with book money. But in the last couple of months, I haven’t made much over $300. And it looks like July might be even worse. I can’t make a living this way. We’re told the only way to do this is to keep writing so you have a lot of books out there. But the last few things I’ve written are the ones I haven’t sold well. And I’m beginning to suspect that it’s because most of them aren’t 99 cents anymore. My old stuff is all 99 cents, but I refuse to price my later work that low. We, as authors, deserve to get paid for our work. So mine ranges from the 99 cent books, up to the 2.99 ones. I’m afraid, though, that as long as other authors keep pricing at 99 cents, it’s going to be hard to compete. Even if you have a good story, you have to get someone to read it first. Readers will download a bunch of 99 cent books at once. I know this because I’ve done it myself. It’s fun to get lots of stuff for your money. But if I really like an author, I’ll pay more. The key is getting someone to read your work to start with. Some of those 99 cent books don’t even get read, I’ll bet. I have honestly considered dropping all my prices to 99 cents to see what happens. But then I think about the hard work I put into the books and say no.

So we come to the present WIP I’m working on. I think Guardian Vampire did well partly because of the title when people were doing searches. I really feel like my WIP has an even better title. I’m not ready to reveal that title for reasons I’ll explain later. But I feel like this might be the book that brings my sales back up. I have a glimmer of hope. I just need to make sure I’m realistic enough to realize that there’s tons more competition in ebooks than there used to be, and that things may not work out like I hope. I’m a resilient person, though, and also persistent. So there’s always the next book, and the next one, and the next one….

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