What’s your favorite fantasy genre?

Dear voracious reader!

I’m currently conducting a poll on fantasy genres. As you may have already read in my monthly newsletter, once a month I add/change free & 99c promo books to my promo landing page. This is a great free promo for writers, but also a great way for readers to come across new writers or maybe new books from writers they already know.

So, to determine which kind of books you guys appreciate most I’m having a poll on this subject. I would greatly appreciate it if you would take a minute to fill in this poll

Thanks in advance!

How does one start writing a book?

Writing a book is only half of the work. A lot of authors even believe that most of the work starts after the first draft. I am among those authors. See, once I have written my story, (after pleading to my characters, arguing with them, smiling with them etc), I send my manuscript to my editor. She then “shreds” my baby. Aaargh, the horror! The heinous act! Of course, that’s her job. My editor has a critical eye that is absolutely necessary since after writing a book, and having it read a dozen time, I just can’t really “see” the story anymore. I’m simply oblivious to anything in it that doesn’t add up. Also, I believe every single one of my stories became better from the editing process.

I will write another set of posts about editing, but this post is about how to start writing a book.

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Travel blog: Japan part 2

Welcome to part 2 of my travel blog to Japan. For the first part, you can click here.

Day 4. Kanazawa

Today we took the train to Kanazawa. It was the first time we used the bullet train (Shinkansen) to go to another city (the JR ticket train is for tourists only and a must have if you want to travel in Japan). On the platform, it said  ‘reserved’, which we found weird. Was this the right train or not? We took it anyway hoping for the best. Apparently, we should have taken the next train, because this one had reserved seats only. My friend had looked it up before online but she hadn’t read anything about it. Anyway, the train conductor asked us to follow him (through a mostly empty train) to take other seats, which I assume were not reserved. Again, we literally don’t speak the same language so I’m just guessing here. We did not get a fine for sitting at the wrong place or kicked out of the train, so that was a win.

In Kanazawa, it was our lucky day because they had their 66th annual festival called the Hyakumangoku Festival. It had a parade, people dancing on the streets etc.

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Mythology: my fountain of inspiration

I have always loved a good story. As a kid, I loved fairytales and basically any story with a hero and villain. I remember on my birthday wearing a pink princes dress with a plastic sword around my waist. See, I didn’t want to be just a princes, I also wanted to be a hero. Sadly I never learned to wield a sword or any martial arts, but luckily I have my fictional heroines to draw from.

In my new urban paranormal series, I have strong female characters, which doesn’t always mean they are bad-ass and kick some ass (though most do) but they are strong-willed. A great source of inspiration to me is world mythology. Though the Mythos series takes place in modern times, the battles are ancient. Especially the war of the gods which is one of the subplots in the series. 

If you’ve read The Amazon and the Beast then you know it ended in a happily ever after, but as some readers already pointed out, it’s more of a happy for now. So, what can you expect for the second book in the series?

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Book covers: Before and After

Most people buy books with their eyes. At least, I do, unless I read about a book-or already know the author-and don’t particularly care about the cover. However, for a baby indie such as myself, it’s important to have a great, professional looking cover. For The amazon and the beast I had a cover from fiverr first which was fairly cheap (the more professional looking artists on fiverr were quite expensive which is only normal considering the quality). But then I stumbled upon a great facebook group for indies and saw other covers and was like… umm okay, my original cover just won’t do. At all.

I was lucky to come across Andrew Dobell’s Creative edge studios and had a new cover made. The end result was fantastic and I get a lot of positive feedback. Lesson: save up for a professional cover!

So, how did the cover for The Amazon and the Beast come to life?

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Travelblog: Japan in 14 days (Tokyo)

Hi there, travel lover!

Took me some time to put this blog together, but here it is. I absolutely loved Japan. The views, the people, the food (omg the food!), the temples, the toilets (yeah, nothing beats a Japanese toilet) and the all over hygienic lifestyle over there. This beautiful country is definitely on my “Must visit again” list.

So, after a really really long flight (there’s just no way around that when traveling from Europe) we first had a stop-over in Taiwan.

Tip: keep on walking in the airport until you find the massage chairs. They are free to use. Just get some coins from the store nearby.

Also, I will be covering this trip in two posts, starting with Tokyo, because it’s near impossible to cover everything in just one post.

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Instafreebie excerpt

 

Hi there,

I’m so excited to announce that the editing of the Amazon and the Beast is almost finished. I’m hoping to publish within a few weeks. The first pre-orders were already flying out the door while I was in Japan. A travel blog about this beautiful country will follow later this week.

In the meantime, if you want to enjoy reading some kick-ass paranormal romance, here’s the excerpt on Instafreebie.

Enjoy!

Going to Japan! Tokyo, Kanazawa, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Osaka.

In about a week I’m going to Japan. I’m so excited! I’ve been wanting to go there forever and now it’s almost happening. I’m going with the same friend with whom I took the Mongolian express to Russia, Mongolia, China and Tibet (I can’t believe it’s been over 7 months and I haven’t even taken a weekend trip– been busy writing).

So, where are we going and, of course, how did I plan this trip?

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Indie book marketing

The horror of every new indie: how to sell your books also known as book marketing. Now, since I haven’t published my first indie book yet I can’t give you any personal advice. I can, however, tell you that I’ve been doing a lot of research on the matter for the past several months and I wanted to share this with other indies.

There are endless sites about this subject, but here are my favorite sites so far:

1. The Creative penn. A must read. Don’t question it, just read.

2. Creative indie: Lot’s of useful articles on it, (though less search friendly as the Creative penn).

3. Jane Friedman: Great blog, lots of info.

4. Instafreebie: maybe you’ve already heard about it since it seemed like (almost) everybody but me already knew about this site. But, if you’re a newbie like me, then check it out. It’s a great way to gather an e-mail list and put your book out there to a large audience.

5. Just Publishing Advice: great resources about marketing but also about various things like publishing.

6. Facebook groups: I haven’t added a link to a specific facebook group because there are so many of them and you should just search the one that appeals to you most. You have groups for indie authors of urban fantasy, thrillers, romance etc. This is the place I’ve learned the most so far. So, join a facebook group today!

Hope these sites will be of some help to you. Have other useful links? Please drop it in the comments or mail me.

Book cover designers

There are two things as a-first time-indie author I knew I shouldn’t do myself.

  1. Editing. Always, always hire an editor. I have a great one I worked with previously and she finds mistakes I was sure of weren’t there (but of course they were).
  2. Book cover. I know there are writers who are skilled enough to design their own book covers (I’m not one of them).

So, today is about book covers within your budget. Where do you find a good book cover? The first thing I did is simply google ‘indie premade book covers’. I specifically searched the term ‘premade’ as these book covers are usually (not always) cheaper and for every budget.

So, here are a few sites I found very helpful. Of course, it depends on your budget and genre which one suits you.

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