Posts Tagged ‘Secret Legacy’

Publishing Isn’t for Sissies: A Team Approach to Digital Publishing

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Last week’s PIFS’s NetGalley post earned top billing in blog hits for a single article. There’s a world of authors searching for digital publishing and promotion information. Today, let’s look at the growing popularity of using a Team Approach to releasing books independently. It’s exciting to see groups of authors who would otherwise self publish on their own are working together to share knowledge and skill sets and experience.

Dorchester’s PR team will be back soon (I should have a schedule of their PIFs visits to share next week), discussing specifics about the amazing things they have planned for Secret Legacy and other direct-to-digital titles they’re spotlighting this spring. But that’s a hybrid NY publishing model.  What about the solitary author with a backlist he/she wants to re-release or a new work of fiction he/she wants to digitally distribute, when the traditional publishing route isn’t a viable option?


Jenni Holbrook-Talty is with us today (in her non-How We Write capacity) to talk about her journey into the independent digital publishing arena with business partner Bob Mayer. Last year, he asked her to put her business and IT experience to work to help him re-release his best-selling backlist on the digital stage. The result was Who Dares Wins Publishing (WDWPub). Their learning curve was steep. There was progress, mistakes, work and rework, and the frustration of dealing with a kaleidoscope vendors and formats and packaging requirements. Until they finally began producing quality product that fans are now snatching up daily through outlets like Amazon, Sony, and iBooks.

I asked Jenni why she thought their partnership worked, and why she’d recommend something similar to other authors thinking of digitally publishing independently.

She said,The team approach allows each member to utilize their talents to their fullest capacity. We used Bob’s years of training in the world of Traditional Publishing to begin the process of publishing his backlist. I had been published by a reputable ePublisher and understood some of the things about digital publishing that Bob’s background didn’t. He knows the business better than most, but he didn’t have the technology base that I had, so by merging the two together we were able to put his books, my books, and other authors’ books out there for our readers to enjoy. The team approach also frees up our time so we can both do the one thing we love the most: write. Right now, I know Bob is going through some edits of his next release due out 12-April while I’m taking care of some necessary business obligations by finalizing the copy edits for Devil’s Sea and put the book back into production.” (more…)

How We Write Wednesdays: Plot THIS…

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Jenni’s talking process this month, as we teach a blog series on plot. I sharing details from a critique she did for my soon-to-be-released Secret Legacy. She did the narrative structure  tap dance last Wednesday. Today, let’s get into what I did when her “I am a plotting maniac” analysis assured me that I had no plot at all…

plotting maniac

I just gave a workshop on the importance of planning. For those who are new to HoWW  because you heard my lecture last weekend and thought you’d pop over and see what all the fuss was about, let me fess up. I began writing Secret Legacy before a medical crisis, stopped a month in (for several months) while I dealt with surgery and the fall out, then took up the drafting again mid-recovery (when in fact my health was getting worse, not better). Which is my excuse for having NO PLAN (other than my intuitive understanding of of characters I’d written in Dark Legacy and the overall series and story arc I wanted to tell). I was drafting blind, which is how I know for certain, when I teach, that my students don’t ever want to be where I was when I asked Jenni to read the ugly first draft because I knew it was way off. 

I knew my characters and everything about what I wanted them to feel. I was feeling everything with them. I had 300 pages of feeling that was the best, most accessible emotion I’ve ever put on the page (did I mention I was a mess when I wrote the first draft???). I’d written, I kid you not, the dead-on, most amazing ending I’ve every pulled together, that resolved issues I’d written about for two books, leaving the door open for a sprawling series I hope to be writing into for years to come.

But, as Jenni pointed out last spring and in her last post, I had absolutely no plot reason for my principle characters to be emoting all over the reader or each other in key places in the book. (more…)

How We Write Wednesdays: Okay, Okay, Let’s Talk Plot

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Jenni’s talking plot today over on her blog. Or, more to the point, she’s sharing how often I have no plot when I first start writing because I spend so much time researching my characters (which you can hear more than you ever wanted to about, in our last month of  HoWW posts).

plot structure

She’s being gentle, pointing her “YOU NEED HELP WITH YOUR STORY, GIRL” finger at me–for now. I suspect that won’t last as we get deeper into things in March. You thought our shoe confrontations got aggressive–just WAIT until we start bantering turning points, and I’m not allowed to use internal character motivation or emotion in my debate…

Seriously, it’s a great post. You should all dive in, contemplate her sage advice and experience, ignore any pot shots she takes at sick little me (cough, cough, sniffle), and come back next Wednesday when I take my revenge turn at the story structure wheel.

Oh, and tomorrow. Come back here tomorrow, when I’ll kick off a Publishing Isn’t For Sissies series on online/digital/viral promotion,beginning with an in depth look at NetGalley, where Dorchester’s just launched their presence, including a feature of my to-be-released-in-May Secret Legacy.

Take a look at the link–Dark Legacy and Secret Legacy are both up there, in all their new sci-fi/fantasy glory, which is really cool, since I’m starting brand new in that genre and we need reviews and industry exposure to draw a whole new segment of readers to my metaphysical/parapsychological/psychic world ;o) Come back tomorrow and the next few Thursdays to hear more.

As for me, I’m taking my coughing self back to bed the rest of this morning, so I’ve got a shot at kicking this flu’s ass before I fly out Friday to teach and network and wear amazing shoes at the DFWcon in Fort Worth. I can’t wait to meet many of you there!

Take it away, Jenni!

The Psychic Realm: The “Us” We’re Born With

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Contemporary Fantasy authors–How do you decide what parts of humanity to explore and create around? How do you look at what others around you take for granted and say, “That’s interesting. What if…”

What is your inspiration?

contemp fantasy

For my first two Legacy novels, for me it was wanting to build a contemporary world that bleeds in and out of dreams. Which lead to studying dream theory and the para-science behind how they interact, react, and drive our waking lives. Which lead to the realization that dreaming is a life-long process. Which lead to the idea that as children, we saw and believed in and understood our dreams far better than we do now.

Which lead to my second book, Secret Legacy, being about not just the current psychic war being waged with dreams, but painting a tapestry of the protagonist’s dream symbols and memories since she was a child. And showing them driving what’s happening with her now, and with other characters who are sharing her dreams. Showing her childhood reality and psychic abilities foreshadowing what was to come, and her difficulty with facing what’s shaped her–even though she’s living the psychic reality in the here and now.

And THAT’s when the fantasy elements in my writing really began to take off. A good three-fourths of Secret Legacy plays out in dream sequences that span the time warp of how before/now/the future can all become the same things, if you see the thread that ties each experience to the other and understand what your mind is trying to tell you through your dreams…

Very cool stuff, especially since it’s lead me to study theories about psychic children in even more depth. THAT, as it turned out, was the key to the contemporary world I’d been writing about all along.

Believe it or not, the theories of psychic children blend well into the idea that we’re born with certain traits (nature) and develop others because of our environment and upbringing (nurture). (more…)

Dream Journeys…

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

I dreamed about storms last night.Well, this morning, actually, because my mind was racing when I tried to sleep, so that little feat took a while to come together, and that’s when dreams come strongest for me.

dream journey

A lot of blog readers have asked in comments and emails for me to share my dreams, since I typically remember them clearly, and I have fun puzzling out what I think they mean.I’m not a professional interpretor (though I play one in my books ;o), but over the years (like since I was a kid), I’ve gotten pretty comfortable weaving my sleeping mind’s fantasy imagining into my everyday reality.

So, here goes–we’ll talk dream theories at least once a week, when I wake with something fun on my mind, until you tell me you’ve had enough! Starting with last night’s nocturnal journey… (more…)

Dream Research

Friday, January 7th, 2011

Dog willing, the second book in my, currently, dream-theory based Legacy paranormal series from Dorchester (Secret Legacy) will hit shelves in May (Yay! Had a conference call with the PR team yesterday, and what they’re planning for the digital and trade release is really exciting!).

So, more dreams are coming your way than ever before. More fantasy (in fact, they’ll be shelving it in sci-fi/fantasy, since this time around we all agree that I haven’t, from the very start, been writing romance, even though Sarah and Richard’s relationship will blow you away in this Dark Legacy sequel). More of the rich, paranormal world I knitted together in the first book and got to wallow in while I wrote the second.

Which means, while I’m researching parapsychological gifts for a new “legacy” family to have to conquer in a three-book continuation of the series beyond this new release, I’m getting back to regular Dream Theories posts.Back -logged questions will be answered. More spooky, chilling, cool dream stuff to-be-spotlighted.

And to start–some pics that answer better than words can describe the question so many of you asked about how I came up with the dream dimensions I’ve drawn around the Temple Twins contemporary world.

I’ve  cleaned off my office shelves to make room for th thrity or so new research books I’ve bought as I contemplate new proposals. And before I boxed them up, I snapped some images of the early non-fiction reading that made Dark Legacy and Secret Legacy possible.

Dream Research 1

 Some basic “dreaming for dummies” books started me off. (more…)