Life can be very giving sometimes. I would have never guessed that my old boss from five years ago would drop me a line on LinkedIn to see how my writing was going. We exchanged a couple of messages and it turns out that he has published a couple of novels himself. He had been a journalist and newspaper editor before starting a couple of different companies. Lo and behold, he has offered to edit my short story for me free of charge over the next few weeks.
Editors often charge very high rates (Once I paid $1,000 to an experienced editor for a novel I chose to self-publish. I am never doing that again). Even affordable editors can be a stretch to your finances when you’re in a low paying job and trying to save money to, you know, do life. This has reminded me (And hopefully you) that networking is key in any industry for your own success, and it can save you a lot of time and cost as a writer.
So, now that I have my short story, Eve & Adam, in the hands of an editor for free, I can start to see the publishing date in the horizon. I will keep you posted on the release date for Eve & Adam.
My sister, Jessica Kjeldsen, has designed my book cover for a short story I’m planning to publish soon. I’m really excited that Eve & Adam will be live soon – probably in November! The cover design’s whimsical, hopeful appearance is what I had hoped it would be, because it’s both ironic and symbolic. We’re both into covers that shy away from the cliche of a woman looking off into the distance. I am very grateful that she could really grasp the feel of my story and be able to design it.
So, here is the cover! Let me know what you think, if you wish. :)
My newest ebook The Red Coat and The Red Head will be free for five days, starting today! Now is your chance to download a historical adventure short story free of charge.
What is it about? Two young free thinkers who are caught in the middle of a revolution.
The Red Coat and The Red Head is a short story set during the American Revolution. A young British officer, Jon, deserts the army when he cannot cope with his best friend’s death. He runs into a Colonial girl named Jil who is against war, despite her patriot loyalties.
When three British colonels surround Jil’s home, she and Jon ride away. They long to escape from the terrible violence that has soaked the atmosphere in Boston and turn their misfortune into an adventure.
But will the war catch up with them and quench the freedom that they long for?
Please let me know what you think and feel free of course to leave a review on Amazon or Good Reads. :)
I was hoping to make the promotion last longer, but at this point, the longest free promotion you can run on Amazon is 5 days.
After some thought, I thought that it would be better to publish each of my short stories as separate entities. I may do a book of multiple short stories in the future, but my story about two young people trapped in an era of revolution and war will be a stand alone.
Here is the cover for The Red Coat and The Red Head. It was designed by my talented younger sister, Jessica Kjeldsen. You will be seeing more of her in the future.
I love how she captured the mood of the tale, and the setting mirrors that special place they had away from the violence.
I plan to publish The Red Coat and The Red Head by the end of this week. Best of all, it will be FREE!
With a few short stories under my belt, I have been giving a great deal of thought to publishing a book that features a collection of short stories. So, I am going to take the plunge and do this! I really want to get two of my most cherished short works out to the world and I am going to sell it for free in the beginning. I am actually really excited for this! I never thought I would be a short story writer, but after dabbling in some flash fiction contests, I realized how much I enjoy the brief but intense style of writing.
I will include more details about the two short stories within the book, the cover, and the launch date.
For now, I have come up with a title!
It is called:
“It Burns Until You Take Flight.”
Both of the stories focus on the concept of freedom – freedom to be yourself and pursue your dreams despite the obstacles that people put in one`s way. I also like to illustrate in my writing the negative effects that prejudice and suppression does to people. Sometimes, the outcome is very bleak.
I appreciate everyone`s support!
So, what have you all been working on these days? Do tell. :)
Well, it has been just over two months since my novella, Followed was released. It has already made more sales in the amount of time that it took a year for By the Sword, my first novel, to make about the same. I took down By the Sword because I felt that the writing was not matured enough yet and my beliefs had changed so much that I did not feel like it properly represented my writing enough.
Anyway, I have been pretty lazy when it comes to the marketing of Followed and I realized that I need to sit down and figure out an intelligent marketing plan. I blogged about it, of course, created a Facebook fan page, and Tweeted about the free book promo. But so far, that is the extent of my book marketing.
So, this is what I plan to do once I have a few other things down pat so I can focus on book marketing:
1) Contact 10-12 book blogs in the gothic/historical fantasy avenue to have author interviews and book reviews with
2) I am going to run a Facebook ad for one day to see the effectiveness
3) Run a contest on my blog of some sort to help spread the word
4) Do another free book promo to help boost downloads and gain popularity
5) Start writing the sequel! ;)
So I am going to be a busy writer this summer, writing and marketing and blogging, but I am really excited. This fresh mountain air (I moved from Ontario to Alberta three months ago) has done wonders for my inspiration and creativity. There are so many great places to sit and write with a notebook.
On that note, here`s a little treat! A picture from one of my wanderings in the lovely town of Canmore, Alberta.
Followed has officially been launched today! You can order a copy of my gothic novella on your Kindle now for only $1.99.
If you want to pick it up for free (And I’ll bet you do!) I am running a free promotion on Amazon starting tomorrow and it ends on Saturday.
Adeline assumes that her life is on track when she befriends her spirited governess, Julia, followed by her ex-midshipman cousin, Gabriel. But when her great aunt passes away after revealing a terrible secret, she is torn away from Julia by her new guardians.
After their home in Bath is set aflame, Adeline and Gabriel flee to the woods. Separated from Gabriel after being chased down by a strange horseman, Adeline is then approached by a madman and is given an ultimatum to follow him – or to die alone in the forest
Also, a huge thank you to my wonderful fellow author and friend, L.E. Waters. She was my beta reader!
Here is an excerpt from Chapter Four:
Mr. and Mrs. Mornington’s heated discussion brought Adeline out of the dark musings. She sighed and rested the back of her head against the cushioned seat, pretending to be asleep. Their personalities had come to life since Aunt Victoria’s passing.
“I hope we never go back there,” Gabriel muttered.
“Because of the ghosts?” asked Adeline.
“Don’t be ridiculous,” said Gabriel. “What I heard in the room was obviously just the wind.”
“You didn’t seem to think so when I saw you in the forest right after you heard them.”
Gabriel leaned close to Adeline.
“Well, they aren’t real,” he said.
“Are you sure about that?”
“Aren’t you a little too old to believe in ghosts?”
“I don’t know what I believe yet, but I do know that my aunt was horribly afraid of someone as she was dying. She was convinced that something was in the room to take her. I saw it in her eyes. She did see something.”
Adeline’s flesh was covered in goose bumps as she quietly related the story to her cousin while Mr. and Mrs. Mornington’s bickering continued.
Gabriel shrugged nonchalantly and he focused his attention back to the landscape outside his window.
“It still doesn’t mean there was something there.”
Adeline blinked back tears.
“Well, you weren’t there. I know what I saw. Besides, after knowing what I know about our great uncle, I don’t think I would ever want to go back there.”
Gabriel’s eyes returned to Adeline.
“How do you know about him?”
“Aunt Victoria told me,” she said, lowering her voice to a whisper. “She killed him after she caught him murdering a man that she knew.”
Gabriel’s brown eyes widened. Now she had his interest.
“I didn’t think she had it in her. Well, she did the right thing. Who knows how many lives she probably saved?”
“That is what I told her, but she felt so guilty. Do your parents know about it?”
“I don’t know. They don’t tell me much of anything. I didn’t tell you this before, but I went back into the room that night. I found some of Uncle Henry’s old journal entries. He was a madman. He recorded all ten of his murders and claimed that he heard voices ordering him to go about doing it.”
Adeline’s mouth dropped open.
“I know what you’re thinking,” Gabriel said. “I’m telling you that there was nothing in that room. I didn’t even hear them the last time I went in there.”
“Whatever you say. Did you read about all of the murders he wrote about?”
Gabriel shook his head.
The carriage stopped abruptly. They were already in front of Julia’s house.
Adeline felt her stomach knot.
“Take all the time you need, dear,” said Mrs. Mornington.
As Adeline stepped out of the buggy, a lump formed in her throat, and she tried in vain to swallow it away. She suddenly despised her aunt and uncle for making her leave one of her only friends behind.
Julia, with her unbound hair falling down to her waist in soft curls, stood on her porch smiling.
I think referring to myself as a “novella-ist” might be a more accurate way to describe myself. With the exception of my first YA novel (By the Sword), my other two books have ended up at novella length, even after much editing and “beefing up” of the plot line. I don’t know what it is, but writing tighter with fewer characters just works better for me.
I do envy the novelists, of course. But I don’t really think that is what I am. Perhaps one day I will write a 500 page novel to call my own, but right now, if my books turn out to be shorter than average, then why be concerned?
My opinion is that a writer has a story to tell. Period. Word count is irrelevant so long as the story and its characters are of excellent quality.
So, are any of you chronic novella writers? Do you know of any publishers that do accept novellas? I am curious.