cosmic chaos

cultivating calm & creativity in my corner of the world

Archive for the month “June, 2013”

There’s no turning back

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks.

After years trying to get my first novel Blood Adversaries published, I decided to release it myself as an Amazon Kindle Edition. It took a little longer than I thought to learn the formatting and to re-edit my manuscript. Then I decided to design the cover myself. After researching how to create an e-book cover, I picked GIMP as the program to use. I have never used a photo manipulating program so I had to learn all the basics and then some. After multiple trials and errors, I got the book cover I wanted.

Blood Adversaries went live on Amazon.com on June 9th.  It was thrilling to see my work as a real book — one that others can purchase and read.  Finally, I was a published author!  I walked around on cloud nine for the next two days.  I checked Amazon.com at least two or three times during the day to make sure that my book was still there.  Each time, I was filled with bubbling happiness.

Then, people started talking to me about my book.  People who did not know I was a writer.  People who only knew my professional persona.  My writing is much different.  Much darker.  I love stories of the supernatural so that is the genre I tend to write.  Vampires, demons, ghosts,mystic healers.  Areas that are not in line with the logical, analytical program director that most people see.  Suddenly, I felt overexposed and a little vulnerable.

But one thing I’ve learned over the course of years is that a writer has to develop a thick skin.  It is the only way to survive when you put your work out to literary agents and publishers to judge.  It is the only way to survive when you get rejection letters over and over for the story and characters you love.  And so you do.

Many years ago at a workshop I attended, the  icebreaker activity was to pick one word that described yourself.  I chose multifaceted.  There are many parts to me — some that I choose to share with the public, some that I share only with people very close to me and some I keep totally private.   Up until now, the paranormal writer side of me was shared with only a few people.  Mostly people who loved the genre as much as I do.  People who gave me feed back about story lines.  Or people who could help guide me with editing and the publishing process.  Now I am opening this side of me for the public to see.

In truth, I feel like I’ve gotten on an amusement park ride not actually knowing what it is.  I found myself at the top of a roller coaster.  I don’t like roller coasters.  Sudden drops terrify me.  But here I am and the reality is that there is no getting off now.  I’m holding on for all I’m worth, not knowing what is to come.  I’m screaming in terror then laughing in wonder.  It’s an adventure.  Let’s see what comes next.

 

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Creative Collaboration

I’m working on a favorite project.  Last year, I was one of the coordinators for a collaboration of the local writers guild and artists guild.  The result was the exhibit “Mirror Images:  Art to Words | Words to Art”.  Nine local writers and artists were paired for a total of 18 participants.  The writers gave a inspiration piece to the artist who created an original artwork in response.  The artist did the same for the writer who then created a new poem or one page narrative.  The results were spectacular.  So we are repeating the exhibit this year.  The underlying theme for the exhibit — creativity sparks creativity.

We have many repeat participants this year and a few new ones.  As a coordinator, I get to pair the artist and writer.  The rule this year was that participants can’t have the same partner as last year.  The reason is simple:  part of the collaboration is to stretch ourselves in our craft.

As a writer it is easy to get into a rut — the same storylines, the same type of characters, the same themes.   “Mirror Images” challenges both the writer and artist to find inspiration in something new.  Even when the artist and writer have different styles.  In the end, the lesson is that our work doesn’t always come from sudden inspiration.  It truly is a craft that needs to be practiced and honed.  Once we start looking around us, we find the things we need for inspiration whether that be from nature, current events, grief or other creative souls.

Blood Adversaries released

I’m very excited to announce that my first novel Blood Adversaries is now available on Amazon.com as a Kindle Edition.

Here’s the description for Blood Adversaries:

Small southern cities are known for being close-knit communities where everyone’s family histories are known and information spreads faster than the speed of light. Being a newcomer can be challenging. When you’re also a blood drinker, it can be downright impossible to keep your secrets.

Victoria Hampton made a name for herself instantly in Henley, South Carolina when she bought a dilapidated plantation house and restored it. She seems like the perfect resident: young, attractive, wealthy and civic minded. However Victoria is also an Enforcer, an ancient creature who feeds on the blood of wicked humans beyond redemption in order to maintain the balance between good and evil. It doesn’t take Victoria long to make her first kill. Trouble is, soon someone else starts committing copycat murders that are too accurate for Victoria’s comfort.

Jonathan Kirkguard never imagined himself as an adventurer. The doctoral candidate only wanted to be a respected scholar but his knowledge of history and ancient languages made him a valuable asset for a group of corrupt Enforcers known as Fallen Ones. Jonathan discovers a mystical book called the Munimentum Codex which would give the Fallen Ones invincible power. It doesn’t take Jonathan long to realize that he has more to fear than just Fallen Ones. There are also other supernatural beings who want the Munimentum Codex. He escapes to Henley, South Carolina to find the Enforcer who can keep the Codex safe.

The Munimentum Codex brings Victoria and Jonathan together. Now can they stop the evil that is coming?

An urban fantasy set in the heart of the South, Blood Adversaries takes a new twist on the vampire mythology with the introduction of Enforcers and Fallen Ones.

If you like contemporary, paranormal fantasy stories, please give Blood Adversaries a try.

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