Hashing out my stories

Posts tagged “fantasy

Read my new weekly Fantasy series!

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A weekly fantasy series with time travel, alternate universes,

reincarnation and much more!

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My Books For Free!

From Fantasy to Romance to Erotica –

get all my books Free (Kindle Editions) for a limited time!

Get Them Here!

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My new contemporary romance – Juneau Dreaming – will be out very, very soon!
(I know we’re not allowed to use the word “very” but I don’t like being told what to do, so – there’s that!)

Stay tuned for news about the release of Juneau Dreaming. It’s a novel about a young woman called Lilith, who loses her parents in a freak accident and decides to pack up and relocate to Juneau, Alaska.

Wanting to start afresh in a new place with a new job, she doesn’t count on having to deal with two men – essentially polar opposites – as well as her kaleidoscope of emotions that weave throughout the story.

Lilith’s dreams guide her through her new life as her grief threatens to propel her into fleeing once again. Will she overcome the tidal wave of emotions so she can settle into the wonderful community of friends and her new family?

Can she effectively choose between the reserved and moody Lachlan and the charming and earnest Stephan – or should she stay true to her initial conviction of staying single, since her fiance left her on the day of her parent’s funeral?

Juneau Dreaming is a romance filled with wonderful characters, magical imagery and a journey that leads a woman from the depths of despair to a promising life where the healing can truly begin.

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The Storming Archives Book Trailer

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Delwyn, Varun and the Portal Stormers (by Maratam at Fiverr)

Delwyn is in the center – clockwise from the top:

Prem-Luss (Planet-headed – two characters in one!), Purrsula (the cat-headed warrior), Drade (computer program entity), Fleat (feathered Stormer with a deadly Third-Eye) and Varun (half-man, half-seahorse and Guardian of the Dreamworld.)

Here’s the Book Trailer:

Watch here


Updates, Bits and Pieces

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In a better head-space lately but still feeling like I’m spinning my wheels and going nowhere, however – I think I finally found the fantasy genre my writing falls into. It took me a long time to find the one that feels right – wading through many sub-genres that became more and more confusing. Apparently new ones are added every year!

Read about it here

I have a Goodreads Giveaway currently running – for my erotic novel “The Ninth Window.”

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I’d like more reviews – so if anyone wants a free copy in return for an honest review on Amazon – please let me know. I currently only have two – as different as chalk and cheese. I love the first one – but the second one left me baffled and annoyed.

 

R1

“This is a story with several other stories nested within – each very different from the others. The book has a really fresh premise. I liked the writing style, and appreciated the fact that it was nicely edited and proofread.

It’s difficult for me to review this without including any spoilers. I can say that every story within the book is really sexy (although Chapter Six was my least favorite.) The ending was really unexpected. An overall enjoyable erotic novella – one of the best I’ve read lately.”

(I was very happy with this review and didn’t expect to hear why the reader didn’t enjoy Chapter Six. With erotica, it’s even more so about personal preferences. If he had said that Chapter Six was slow or ill-fitting – I would’ve understood – although the fact that it was about a woman dominating a man could’ve had something to do with it. Still – it was an honest and unsolicited review – which I was very grateful for.)

R2

“Not interesting.”

(This stumped me. I don’t know what the reader expected and would’ve liked to have heard why they thought it wasn’t interesting – but then – everyone’s entitled to their opinion. I’d like to say that at least I’m happy they bought the book and “took their time” writing a two word review. What baffles me is that they still gave it two stars. One star would’ve been more aligned with their comment. Oh well!)

Here’s something exciting! I’ll be interviewed by the lovely hosts of the Deadly Reads show – Linda L. Barton and Lisa Vandiver – on Blog Talk Radio this coming Thursday night! These ladies are also authors – so check out their work! (Deadly Reads also offer author services.)

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I received a great review on Goodreads for “Portal Stormer” – Book 2 in The Storming Archives!

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I also updated my Author website – still a work in progress! See my review of my favorite film – “Withnail and I”.

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And finally – my contemporary romance (if that’s the right genre – see the reviews below the Ad!) “The Willow Lake Group” will be available for free (Kindle Edition) on Amazon from Monday to Friday next week!

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Vicki also reviewed the Audiobook on Audible:

TWLG Audio review

*If you’d like a free Audible code for “The Willow Lake Group” – in return for an honest review – let me know!

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If you’re interested in my upcoming Fantasy/Horror novel “City of Gargoyles” – which includes living gargoyles and flying zombies – watch it unfold here:

Inkitt Grand Novel Contest

If you feel so inclined – vote for it!

I know that some authors see these kinds of websites/services as predatory. I’ve read articles where it was stated that some sites trick fledgling authors into submitting their work, only to fish for free content – and I am wary of this nefarious element. I tried posting “City of Gargoyles” on WriteOn (an Amazon service) – where you can get feedback as you write – but it seems to be a dead end. I just wanted to try the “show as you go” routine for the development of a novel, so – we’ll see.

I’ll be updating my Shapeshifting blog – where I’ll be talking about my temporary departure from healthy living – due to becoming a full-time, Freelance Author! (Notwithstanding my “dark night of the soul” routine – where I took a nosedive and am still clawing my way out of it!)

So – lastly – an update on being a freelance author. Apart from a few regular clients and some interesting jobs, it’s incredibly annoying when you have to chase them for payment! From students who want their homework done to big projects – these clients have made my foray into the world of freelancing a pain in the butt. Fair enough – it’s usually the bigger jobs that pay the most – but just like the business world, they take their time to pay.

I’ve been getting awesome feedback and steady work (including ghostwriting ebooks, screenplays, memoirs and data entry etc.) I’m still trying to develop a workable structure – but my time is operating on another plane of existence. I could be writing (as I am now) well into the wee hours of the morning. Night is day and day is night. What I’m struggling with is juggling my own writing with the freelance work. Hopefully I’ll strike a good balance soon!

Finally – to close this post – here’s a series of fun visuals to illustrate the ups and downs of being a Freelance Author!

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Till next time – take it easy!


Looking for Reviews

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Looking for honest reviews!

See my Amazon Author Page for links to books: 

Contact me here:  or here on WordPress!

 


Tentative Tempests: Lessons Learned in Self Publishing

Storming Books

2015 was a big year for me, in terms of finally becoming a published author – notwithstanding the fact that I am self-published. I have three of the four planned books from my Storming Archives available on Amazon (Kindle Editions and paperback), with the fourth currently being written, as well as a novel planned for release in early 2016.

I have a total of ten writing projects slated for 2016, including fiction, non-fiction, short stories, poetry and other stuff and nonsense! I’m lucky to be in a position where I can finally say that I’m a full time author – with 1/4/16 being my last day in a traditional job. I am very grateful to have a wonderfully supportive husband, who has afforded me this awesome opportunity to live the life I’ve always dreamed of.

Now, I want to advise that I do not intend to sound like I’m doing the dying swan routine, but 2015 was very much a case of trial and error in regards to navigating the world of the self-published author. As I was impatient to get my books out, I ventured into the realm of self-publishing after sending only five query letters out. (They were all very gracious in their rejection letters – stating that, whilst they enjoyed reading my synopsis and sample chapter, they felt that it wasn’t what they were looking for.)

I knew early on that my Storming Archives would present a challenge to anyone (including me) in terms of promoting and marketing, as the genre and style is a hybrid of various elements. I market the series as a fantasy, with a twist of horror, but it’s also very surreal and in the realm of consciousness.

There are many reasons for this. Firstly, the protagonist is a thirty year old woman who (like me) “suffers” from a series of mental afflictions – namely sleep paralysis, hallucinations, astral projection and vivid dreams. In “Delwyn of the Realms” (Book 1), we follow Delwyn through a mirror portal to the realm of dreams (known as Onesol). There, she has to face her Shadow in order to properly integrate – in preparation for becoming a “Portal Stormer” (Book 2).

In the second book, Delwyn escapes into the “Realms” – where she meets her fellow Portal Stormers and discovers that she has to face her Last Sorrow in the hellish realm of Nidar. After being initiated as a fully fledged Portal Stormer, she and her troops have to learn how to shapeshift, in “Totem Shift” (Book 3). This is where Delwyn and the Portal Stormers go on their ultimate mission, to secretly infiltrate the realm of animal spirits (known as Erankorun), so that they can persuade the Ural to join with the other realms. A united front is needed to face the Founders – who are coming to destroy the realms (our galaxy – known as Kendanerum).

In most cases, fantasy and science fiction stories are set in physical realms, whether past, present or future. They can also be alternate or parallel worlds, on other planets as well as earth. They are sometimes slotted into fantasy genres such as slipstream, portal, epic and so on. The bottom line is that they are actual/physical places, or at least – if they are “imaginary” or unreal – it’s an aberration and the resolution is usually dealing with hallucinations, dreams  and alternate realities.

I found it difficult to define the fact that my stories were set in the “inner” realms, which are usually mental or spiritual places considered non-physical. Sure, there have been many stories set in the dream world or imaginary places – such as hell, heaven, etc. The difference with the Storming Archives is that – on the one hand – the realms/worlds involved are usually considered imaginary, but on the other hand, they can be visited by a chosen few, in physical form.

This might not be a stretch for some people. To give you an idea, here’s my “map” of Kendanerum:

Kendanerum

Here’s a legend or key to the realms in Kendanerum:

  • Onesol is the dream world – the realm of the Collective Unconscious
  • Alusol is the realm of hallucinations – where visions and inspiration come from
  • Meditar is the realm of meditation – a place for contemplation and revelation
  • Akasha is the realm of Karma – the Hall of records and hub for transit to the Seven Heavens
  • Nidar is the Underworld – once the source of Dark Matter; now a hellish realm of retribution
  • The Seven Heavens is just that – where good souls cycle through on their way to Nirvana
  • Erankorun is the realm of animal spirits – a safe haven (heaven) for animals
  • Aletheia (Earth) is the material realm – where Aletheians (humans) reside

Only those, like Delwyn – who have the ability to traverse all realms (given her mental “afflictions”) – are allowed to visit these worlds in physical form.

I’ve drawn on my own experiences, as well as inspiration from surrealism (literature, art, music). What I’ve found quite annoying, is that the majority of novels being produced (traditional or self-published) rely heavily on the aspect of romance and/or sex when it comes to selling their stories.

Of course, we all know that sex sells, but I consider myself very altruistic when it comes to telling (and reading) a good story. What I mean by this is, I don’t feel that every bloody story has to have a romantic vein running through it. I’m probably setting myself up for ridicule – but there’s more to life than finding your soulmate or electrifying sex! I understand completely that the majority of humans are drawn to sex and romance. It’s not like I didn’t include a romantic interest – and sex – in the Storming Archives. It’s just not the main focus.

Not wanting to boast, as a side note – I have my soulmate and good sex – so I don’t have a burning desire to live out a fantasy in order to make up for something I don’t lack. Having said that, I totally enjoy good erotica and a story that involves romance, blah blah blah. It’s just frustrating to feel the need to promote my work along those lines.

I will say – that hasn’t been my only problem with getting more sales. I am a complete novice when it comes to promoting and marketing. I hate Facebook, so there’s that – but I do my best on platforms such as Twitter, Google+ and here on WordPress, to name a few.

I purchased a Snowball microphone, for the purpose of recording an audiobook. I’ve been practicing, so we’ll see how that goes. I’ve also entered a short story (unrelated to the Storming Archives) – in the Neoverse Short Story competition. Winners will be announced on 1/15/16. (Fingers crossed!)

I loathe the idea of “buying” followers, so I have that against me too. I am still learning about other formats and procedures – which I will be incorporating in my promoting and marketing plans for 2016. (Such as book blog tours, readings, more radio interviews, Youtube videos and slideshows, better advertising, etc.)

I utilize Hootsuite and Crowdfire, as well as giveaways and campaigns on Goodreads and Amazon. I also have profiles on Shelfari, Bookbuzzr, Mythic Scribes and many others I’ve probably neglected or forgotten about. It’s just so daunting, time-consuming and frustrating – to say the least. (Especially if you’re working full time and running a household, on top of that.)

I don’t mean to piss and moan. I understand that, even if traditionally published – I’d still have to do a lot of the legwork myself. The thing I’ve discovered is, it doesn’t matter if you’re using services you have to pay for (who promise the earth!) or whether they’re free. You have to find the nerve and strike while the iron’s hot.

The daunting thing (whether self-published or not) is that there are millions of other authors scrambling just like I am. It feels like being a tiny, insignificant drop in a ferocious tempest – inside an endless teapot. When I’m “spruiking” on Twitter etc – I get the image of myself clamoring over a sea of bodies. Most of us are drowning – occasionally reaching out and waving frantically – only to be absorbed by the teeming throng. (Melodramatic piss-ant that I am!)

The things I know I have to do better with include:

  • Finding and targeting my audience (who and where in the hell are they? I’m not asking – I know now – and it’s great to finally have the time to focus on this.)
  • Flowing on from the above – engaging my readers and keeping them engaged (*sigh*)
  • Creating meaningful giveaways and prizes to “lure” my audience.
  • Swallowing my pride and side-stepping my altruistic tendencies (to a degree. I don’t want to have to “sell my soul”.)
  • Doing away with frittering away resources and money where it is not doing me or my books any good.
  • Being more intuitive in regards to trends.
  • Getting more reviews!!!!!
  • Dealing with my shyness and learning how to believe in myself and my work (Lordy, I’m trying!)
  • Being more open about constructive criticism – but at the same time – knowing how to sort the wheat from the chaff (as I have received some hair-brained feedback and even personal attacks!)
  • Entering more writing competitions
  • Figuring out what else I have to do to – working smarter AND harder!

Having the time to organize and execute a solid marketing plan is key. After 1/4/16 I’ll have no excuse! Even though I’m doing some freelance work to make my own money (as I’m not one of those women who like to ask their husbands for a handout) – I have structured my “routine” to include time every day for my own writing.

Robert (my husband) said something totally sweet the other night, after I advised my plans re: housework, cooking and errands (just to reiterate that I would keep it all together).

He said, “I do not want you to turn your back on your creative urges just to do the dishes or laundry. If you feel the flow – let it out and focus on your writing. I’m working less hours for more money now and I’m quite happy to pick up the slack, if it means that you get to produce solid work. Do not allow the mundane to thwart your creativity!”

How’s that for romance?!

 

 


Pretty please with sugar on top!

Please nominate “Totem Shift” for an Amazon Kindle Scout publishing contract! (Read an excerpt – follow link to read and nominate!) 

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The Storming Archives is the story of a woman who has always possessed “Storming” abilities. She travels to the dreamworld through a mirror in “Delwyn of the Realms,” then meets her fellow Stormers and faces her Last Sorrow in “Portal Stormer” – preparing for the ultimate mission in “Totem Shift.”

About Kelly Proudfoot:

An Aussie living in the USA and author of “Delwyn of the Realms” and “Portal Stormer” (Books 1 and 2 in the Storming Archives). Kelly gains inspiration from her own narcoleptic experiences – as well as astral projection, the dream world and her over-active imagination!

*Get Delwyn of the Realms and Portal Stormer free until 11/23/15 (Kindle editions – Books 1 and 2 in the Storming Archives.)

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Stay posted for giveaways – coming soon!

 


Sequel to Delwyn of the Realms

Just finished writing the first draft of Book 2 in the Storming Archives – sequel to Delwyn of the Realms! Trembling and excited!


Soundcloud ad for my novel “Delwyn of the Realms”

Here’s the link to my ebook on Amazon – $3.95:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TD0RF7E

Here’s the link to the books’ website:

http://www.delwynoftherealms.com/

and here’s my Author website:

http://www.kellyproudfoot.com/


Chronicle Schmonicle – Here’s Delwyn!

It’s been so hard – as any self-published author knows – to deal with marketing and promoting on multiple platforms, especially when working full time. But it’s finally paid off – my first review and it’s 5 stars! Yay!

Delwyn of the Realms (Storming Archives – Book 1) – is the culmination of my chronicles – realized as a fantasy novel. As explained previously – I decided not to write a memoir and started channeling some of my experiences into a fantasy novel. (Which was a young adult novel at first – but it was so much more fun changing it to an adult fantasy – about a woman who deals with hypnagogic hallucinations and astral projection, and finds a mirror portal to the dream world.)

Realms

I’m almost finished with the first draft of the sequel – which has become a wild ride – to say the least. It was exhilarating to discover how easy the sequel flowed, once the first book was done. I started a group board on Pinterest – called “Storming” – where fellow (invited) pinners help to inspire me with images regarding the themes in the sequel.

What is daunting is the marketing and promoting. The platforms I’m using are Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads and Goodkindles, Shelfari, Tumblr, Pinterest, Google+, Youtube – and others! I’ve used Fiverr for the book cover and advertising. I’ve paid for Twitter blasts and ad campaigns on Goodreads, Facebook etc.

However I knew that reviews would be the number one selling point – and my Beta readers (who say they’re loving the book!) – are taking their time putting reviews on Amazon. I am humbled by the amount of support they are giving me and understand that it takes time to first read a book and then review it. I’m just impatient – and seeing as I am not tech savvy – it’s been a giant learning curve.

Would I prefer to be going through a publisher instead? (Should I be so lucky? Is lucky the right word?!) I’d have to say – No – as much as the idea of someone picking it up and producing it for me is enticing. The problem is – especially these days – it could take an eon to finally get a deal with a publisher (or hook an agent), and after all is said and done – you still have to put a lot of legwork into the marketing and promoting.

So – for me – I find that having control over the book, and stretching myself thin and driving myself crazy with the promoting etc – has been a rewarding experience, after all is said and done. I released the novel as an ebook on Amazon in early Feb this year, and have only sold three units – but I started a freebie campaign today and I already have a 5 star review! (Oh Lordy – wiping sweat off my brow – teeth gnashing momentarily paused!) As at 9:19pm on this first day of the freebie campaign – 23 people have downloaded it.

I used to baulk at the idea of giving away my hard work for nothing – but the cloud has a silver lining. The great review was worth it’s weight in gold. It wasn’t selling that well without a review – so the freebie campaign has become a viable option. (The campaign ends on 3/10/15.)

What was bizarre – was that some of my Beta readers emailed me with glowing reports – but they weren’t putting the reviews on Amazon! (Sometimes it’s like herding cats – you have to be respectful and patient – not a strong point for me!) But it’s paying off and I’m learning as I go. The trick – I think, for any writer – is to persevere and not give up. Keep your eyes on the prize and remind yourself that your hard work is worthy of the struggle. (Pant, pant!)

Review

I have created the paperback version on Createspace and am waiting for the proof to arrive so I can review it before I finally release it. I’m looking into creating bookmarks to take to bookshops, libraries etc. It’s amazing just how much is involved with promoting and marketing. AND IT NEVER ENDS! But I wouldn’t have it any other way! Once the sequel is ready for release, I will continue offering the first book free – occasionally – to keep pushing the units!!!! Where’s the vodka?