ideas take life in Words
A blog following the works (and shenanigans) of J.E. Klimov
"Come write with us!" Literative is a hub for readers and writers alike. They have a large following and host writing prompts, contests, and author Interviews. #writerslife
And guess what? "The Aeonians" scored an interview!
Ps: They do a great job with interviews. From an author's perspective: they were quick to respond and asked fantastic questions. They were fantastic to work with!
Authors, you've come this far. You slaved away at your novel/short story/poems, edited it over and over, and now you're ready to share it with the world.
Whether self-published or through a small press, here are my "Top 5 Mistakes" not to make when the day of book launch arrives (especially, debut works).
1. Not having your "platform" up and ready beforehand.
"If you enjoy a good fantasy, I recommend spending an afternoon with Isabel and Bence."
Heather Hayden, author of "Augment" and multiple short stories in the JLA anthologies, has written a book review on my debut novel in her blog under her "Magic Monday" series.
Please check it out by clicking on the button below!
(And check her blog out in general when you're done)
And don't forget, you can now subscribe to my email listing where I will start sharing exclusive content from "The Aeonians", sneak peaks to the sequel, and writing tips! Sign up on my home page at the top bar!
Yes, folks, I have a double whammy of wicked awesome authors for you this week.
Tis the new year, and my goal is to provide as much fresh content as possible so you can
curate your own to-read list for 2018!
Today, I introduce C. J. Wright, author of "A Dead Man's Shoes: And Other Strange Tales". I recommend this to anyone who likes to read a good horror story, or thirteen. As a collection of short stories, a reader can sample C.J. Wright's works and maybe pick up something they like.
But wouldn't it be more interesting to hear from him?
J: Hi there! Please introduce yourself to the world!
I'm C J Wright, and I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I met my first author when I was eight when she came to visit my school. I was captivated with the idea that books didn’t just appear out of nowhere, but there was someone behind them...and I wanted to be one of those people.
Since childhood, horror has been a fascination to me, and seems to be the genre that all my stories fall into. I’ve always loved to write things that scare people. Being disabled, (I have suffered from Elhers-Danlos Syndrome Type 3 and Fibromyalgia all my life), I find that the main thing that keeps me going is my writing. It gives me something to get out of bed for, especially when I’m feeling down and have no motivation. Though sometimes it gets too much and I have to rest, I still keep my mind active with thoughts of what I am going to write next, what horrors are going to lurk in the pages of my next project.
[Julian's comment: Wow, that's incredible motivation. Those conditions can be challenging, but I feel that it really only makes your writing stronger. Great inspiration story that I hope people can take away from!]
J: Speaking of inspiration, what was the spark behind "A Dead Man's Shoes"?
"A Dead Man’s Shoes" is the first story in the collection, though it wasn’t the first story I thought of, or even wrote. The idea came from the phrase about walking in another’s shoes and my wife’s habit of frequenting the local charity shops. Putting them together created the question “What if someone bought a pair of shoes from a charity shop that turned out to be haunted by the previous owner?”, and the story grew from there.
[Julian's comment: *note to self* don't buy used clothing.....]
Pretty much all my story ideas come from the twisting of a mundane idea into something horrifying, and the thirteen stories in this collection all have that similar seed that they grew from.
In the beginning, that was all there was. Seconds, minutes, hours pressed together, forming a mask of illusion that could never be dropped. A wall of steel grew around their hearts, one that couldn’t be broken. The United Misfits image could never be distorted.
It was wrong. It wasn't right. No matter what her heart told her, it was wrong. Every flutter that skated through her stomach. His every skipped heartbeat, meant nothing. She was nothing. He was nothing. They were nothing.
It had been said many times, by many different people, the most broken person in the world could hide behind a perfected smile and a fake laugh. This could carry out a person's persona, something that never even existed to begin with. That would never exist. Laughter and smiles filled with fake truths and real lies could hide what that person wanted to show, or to tell, the truth.
In the end, she wanted to break free, but chains restrained her, blocking each move before she could make a single one, turning her into a prisoner, a captive in her own life.
Those chains squeezed tighter and tighter, never loosening their grip. They choked her from the inside, wrapping her tighter with every deceitful accusation and fake persona they put in her life. Deadly thoughts clouded her vision and stomped through her mind. Both of their minds.
Their hearts were noosed, yanked in every which direction. Like a snake. Until it all stopped. Until they both stopped fighting.
And when the fight dissipated, she could no longer turn away from the deceitful ways they had so graciously bestowed on her."
These were all the things that you would expect from being famous. The bait that the producers of the industry would tempt you with to get you on their side.
What they don't tell you though are all the inner tragedies that come along just as quickly. They don't tell you about the heartache that occurs when you realize that this wasn't what you wanted at all.
They don't tell you about the pressure that's always on the verge of crushing you when you're forced to do everything that the public demands for and not what you truly desire.
They don't tell you about the self hatred that would soon take over your entire being at the thought that you will never be good enough.
No - they don't tell you these things at all.
But, Lilith Rose will.
When Lilith Rose, lead singer to one of the most famous rock bands around gets tired of all the lies and secrets that comes with being famous, she decides that it's time for all of it to stop and ends up revealing everything on a Facebook live stream.
"Part of me wants to die tonight, part of me wants it to be an accident, and part of me wants someone to notice and save me." - Lilith Rose.
Hi guys, you're knee-deep in episode 7 of Authors Supporting Authors!
Now that's a title that just reaches out and grabs you. This YA novel by H.L. Roberts, published by Cadava Publishing, is a must-read. In fact, I'm reading it right now and will follow up with a book review before January is out, so stay tuned.
OH. Speaking of staying tuned... I have a special treat. Come back and visit my blog tonight, and I will post an excerpt from this novel! That's right! A SNEAK PEAK. Follow this blog and you get an insider's look into this thrilling, dramatic read.
Of course, if you're already hooked, the links for purchase as available below.
Days before 2017, I whipped out my gigantic wad of sketch paper. I debated with various people on whether I should make New Year’s resolutions or not. Most responded that they didn’t even bother making any, because, well, they all fall through.
Well, yes, if you say you want to lose 50 pounds and you're clinically addicted to Ben and Jerry’s and hate the gym, that goal may be easily side tracked. (I certainly will NOT part with my pistachio ice cream, thank you very much).
But this post isn’t going to be a super-chipper go-get-em motivational speech. I just wanted to share my story. So, pay attention, especially if you dreamed of publishing a book but always found an excuse not to.....
When I pulled out my large sketchbook, I asked myself, What do I want to achieve in 2017?
I figured I would call them goals, rather than resolutions. Some were:
Let me keep this brief- I did publish my debut novel, “The Aeonians”. I did it. I made my resolution/goal come true.
But publishing “The Aeonians” wasn’t magic, nor was it easy. I’m not a sophisticated hasher of words, and I’m no literary genius. All I had was a dusty manuscript, a laptop, and a die-hard motivation.
So, how did I follow through with a New Year’s resolution? I scoured my old copy of Writer Digest’s “Writer’s Market” for publishers that accept fantasy novels and didn’t require an agent. After educating myself on the high rejection rate, I carefully selected about a dozen publishers that I felt best suited my work. I crafted query letters, asked a few people to review it, and sent my submissions in February without looking back. I had to shove the thoughts “It’s not good enough”, “I’ll never get accepted”, and “I should’ve read my manuscript over one more time”. Then, I documented all my submissions and the approximate date that I may hear from them (or not hear from them at all).
Responses trickled in over the month. Rejection after rejection. However, it didn’t sting as badly as I thought because I mentally prepared myself for this...And they were pretty nice about it too.
(PS: Names removed; for educational purposes only, and above all else, I appreciated their time reviewing my manuscript)
Rejection doesn’t mean you are a failure or not good enough
One misty day, I strode to my mailbox after work and saw a letter from Silver Leaf Books. I opened the letter with shaking hands, and screamed at the top of my lungs that I have been accepted into Phase One. Mind you, Phase One meant they liked my first three chapters and were willing to look at the whole manuscript.
The rest is history- “The Aeonians” was accepted, edited, and published in November 2017.
For my fellow writers out there, amateur or professional, New Year’s resolutions aren’t crap. Make them reasonable and only jot down ones you’re passionate about to see through to the end.
It will happen.
You have no idea how many people approached me during the first two events I attended after my novel was released and asked “How did you do it? I/my daughter/son/friend etc likes to write but doesn’t think I/he/she can publish.”
If you have a story, write it. If you have a manuscript, edit the crap out of it until you’re sick of reading it. If you have a final draft, do your research about how you want to publish. When you’ve decided…what are you waiting for?
My logo is Dream. Write. Share. This has expanded beyond my wildest dreams. I want to inspire any willing writer to get his or her ideas expressed. I want “The Aeonians” to be proof that you can publish a book if you pour your heart and soul into it.
The whole publication process from start to finish was like having a baby. And you should treat your work as such- with utmost love and care.
So, what will be your resolutions for 2018? I’ll share mine (writing and non-writing related):
********************J.E. KLIMOV’s 2018 NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS********************
Please share your New Year resolutions! I'd love to hear 'em :)
"Your Side of Midnight"
By: K. Baldwin and Lyra Ricci
“Nix had a few thorns in his side—and they all happened to be dead. The first thorn came when he moved into his brother’s haunted house, another happened to be his best friend, who thinks it was Nix who murdered him. Pulled between the two, Nix also has to deal with a young autistic son, a sister in law and two nieces, all of whom he has to protect from an entity hell bent on revenge.”
After reading that heart-pounding summary, I eagerly sought out the authors and asked them to tell me more about it!
[KB: K. Baldwin and LR: Lyra Ricci]
Please introduce yourselves, and tell me how you operate as a team.
KB: My name is K. Baldwin and my co-author is Lyra Ricci. We’ve been best friends for nearly ten years and our writing, much like our friendship, works like a well-oiled machine. I often finish Lyra’s sentences, and she often yells at me to pick a subject and stick with it! LoL
Those friendships are rare and the best to have! I bet the dynamic really influences how the book is written.
What was the inspiration behind "Your Side of Midnight"?
KB: Midnight came about as a desire for us to bring our characters to life. Billy, the lead Ghost in the book, has been a part of me for a very long time. I’ve written stories since I was a little girl, and he decided to pop up around the time I was getting bullied in middle school. His last name has changed several times over the years, but in essence, he hasn’t.
LR: Nix, the main living character is kind of an evolution/manifestation of characters I’ve had over the years and K said Midnight was a good opportunity to bring him into the real world. She liked him in some of my other stuff, so we wrapped the Midnight world around them.
It says book 1. How many books are you anticipating and when do you think book 2 will be released?
KB: I’m thinking perhaps at least four books, Book 2 is halfway through right now, and Book 3 is showing interest in wanting to form a plot. Sometimes we have to stop because Lyra battles depression and anxiety…it can really help or hinder us. So, don't feel bad if you're in her shoes and feel you aren't able to get anything written, just know it's normal, you're going to be okay, it's NORMAL.
LR: Sometimes you got to fight through it, eat the pain and come out the other side and use the experience.
That’s such a positive message, and I can relate/understand. I hope those out there are inspired by this!
What was the most fun part of writing Midnight?
KB: The most fun of writing this are the cut scenes that will NEVER see the light of day! And I swear, Lyra has the best ideas, too. A lot of the really dark humor in the book comes from her.
What was the most challenging aspect?
KB: The most challenging part of the book was the ending. [Ever since] the first time we wrote it, it has gone through many re-writes, and it was 190,000 words long. We were just that green! We cut down a lot of it, and began the arduous process of editing and polishing, editing and polishing, and while we were doing that, letting Midnight rest, we wrote another novel called "Ink~Blood~Fire" that we’re hoping to have shopped out soon. We’re not too sure how that’s going to go because it’s been to two small pubs and both are out of business as of today.
LR: The editing and polishing was like BIRTH, multiple times! Like we were the Octomom, but didn’t know it! “We got it out! Oh wait, there’s another one!” “Keep pushing, there’s more!”
Haha! That’s the best answer to this question I’ve ever asked, and yet, it is SO TRUE.
You've done fairly well on Amazon- I'm impressed with the reviews. Any tips to other authors?
KB: So far we’ve gotten 13 wonderful reviews, and we appreciate all of them. Tips for writers? Never give up and don’t take no for an answer.
LR: Let your imagination run wild and build your world. The best characters are the flawed characters. Flaws make the characters more real. That’s why villains like Loki are so popular.
What are your hopes for your readers to take away from this book?
KB: We want them to love our characters and our world as much as we do. We want them to finish the book and turn around and start it over again. We want them to know that there are people out there who care about them, who have their backs and that you can find friendship in the most unconventional ways.
LR: I want to think of something semi-inspirational, but I can’t pull anything out of my ass. I can’t top K’s.
KB: That’s because I was speaking for the both of us. XD
Who is your target audience?
KB: Our target audience? Daydreamers like us!
LR: Anyone. Anyone who likes a good read and let their mind go.
...And in my opinion that should be just about anyone! I would like to thank K. Baldwin and Lyra Ricci for taking the time to stop by and chat. If this interests you, go ahead an get a copy asap!
Until next time,
SUPPORT INDEPENDENT AUTHORS! SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER!
Sheer panic. That was my first emotion as I drove down route 24 to my first event as a published author.
It's one thing to research how to prepare and be successful at them, but what everyone needs to understand is that EVERY event will be different. Some will be book-specific, some will be generalized craft fairs, and others will be local town events. Each event will attract a different age groups and/or audience. With that in mind, I tried to keep an open mind as possible.
About New Bedford Children's Bookfest: Groundwork! is actually a "co-working space" for freelancers, entrepreneurs, small business owners, and creative professionals. They have run Bookfests before, although for all age groups. This event placed a heavier focus on possibly the best readers: kids! I really loved Groundwork and the people who worked there- they provided such a friendly and fun atmosphere! The sign up and set up was simple, and I didn't feel bad asking questions.
Scenario: About 20 vendors. One room. Open space. SNOW on Saturday. Sunny Sunday.
One of my best friends (and supporters), Becky and I arrived about a half hour early on Saturday to set up. That was the easy part. We taped my brand new banner on the purple table cloth and tried to display my works in an appeasing manner. (I forgot my bookstands!) I brought three books: my debut novel, "The Aeonians", and two anthologies I participated in from the Just-Us-League. I put out a bowl of candy and a list of recommended books. Yes. Recommended books that I didn't write. My approach was to appeal to anyone walking by. If they didn't see what they liked, they could possibly find one on that sheet. All but one are written by indie authors.
My next step was to introduce myself to all the other vendors- this was worth while because I met some of the most wonderful, talented authors and illustrators. Over the course of the two days, I had learned a lot from some of them. In particular, an author/illustrator named Eric, was my neighbor to the left, and he provided such amazing advice. He shared his previous experiences: what worked, what didn't work, and how he made each event a learning experience.
So, who came? Because of the weather and possible other factors, the foot-traffic was a little light; however, I was able to engage with some amazing people. It ranged from grandparents buying Christmas presents to families bringing their little ones. One soft-spoken girl in particular hung by my booth for a good chunk of Saturday. She looked at each of my books and shared with Becky and I some of her favorite reads. We were impressed by her love of reading and genuine interest in all three books. Because of her, I am inspired even further to continue writing and also encourage the creative spirit to anyone who'll listen. I've had other wonderful conversations from families. Many were impressed with the anthologies-a collaboration of short stories with a particular theme by authors from all around the world (I humbly am only one author out of many). It was also encouraging to see people genuinely interested in hearing how I came up with my debut novel, "The Aeonians". This event taught me that I shouldn't be so self-conscious- that I'm not a greasy salesman. 99% of folks loved hearing about the stories and how they came to be.
In the end?
A BIG thank you to those at Groundwork! (and the amazing food by Destination Soups)! I will be back! Thank you to Becky for all your help. Thank you to all the amazing people I met.
My next event is this weekend! Saturday and Sunday 12/16-12/17 in Kingston, MA called "Make it Local". This will be a completely different experience, and I can't wait to see what's in store!
This segment is on FIRE! So, let's cool it down with a close look at "The Arctic Fairies of Oylara", the third installment of a fantasy series by Johnathan Fontenot. (With my typical, invasive commentary!)
But first, let me back up. For those who have yet to come across this delightful series, here is what Fontenot has released thus far (in this series):
Book #1: The Desert Fairies of Oylara,
Book #2: The Rainforest Fairies of Oylara
Book #3: The Arctic Fairies of Oylara (just released!!!)
Audience: Early readers who are ready for the transition to chapter books. Each book is approximately 30 pages long and feature 6 full page illustrations to enhance the story. The action/adventure focus of the story is universal; however, the emphasis on the female leads is meant to appeal to young girls who want a faster paced story.
About: The series is based on an Earth-like world of Oylara. Oylara is a beautiful landscape made up of many different environments. It is abundant in natural resources and home to strange and wonderful plants and animals. Fairies, shaped and adapted to their particular home environment, protect the planet from harm. They are the guardians who work to keep the planet healthy and beautiful. However, the planet is now under threat from an alien race called the Pollutoids.
[Julian's comment: Uhoh, don't like the sounds of that!]
They arrive at Oylara because they have destroyed their own home world due to their careless ways and their greed. The Pollutoids want to take over Oylara and steal all its natural resources for themselves. Each book introduces a new fairy group and an action adventure story of how they battle to protect Oylara from this new and crafty adversary. The books also feature strong female lead characters and an environmental message for us all.
I really love a great book with 1) diversity in landscape and characters and 2) a purposeful message. I hope people read this and take a good look at how they can prevent themselves or others to become "Pollutoids" ! After learning about the books, I asked Johnathan a few questions...
What makes this book/series stand out?
The stories move at a rapid pace and culminate with a climatic ending that will make your pulse quicken!
What was your inspiration?
I was inspired to write these stories because I personally think that our young girls are under-served when it comes to strong female action role models. [Julian's comment: I AGREE. Great perspective and mission!] I come from a background of military aviation and have seen young girls flock to our female pilots at airshows with a look of surprise and awe on their faces. [Julian's comment, again: That is AWESOME. To be honest, I always wanted to be in the Airforce. Seeing female officers in the military was inspiring] While I think that is wonderful, I also think that it should not be so unusual to these young girls to see such strong female role models. So, I'm trying to do my small part to hopefully make them feel empowered and invincible. I also believe that we need to pay attention and take better care of our planet. My environmental message is subtle but hopefully it will encourage awareness and inspire future engagement to make our home a little better.
Can we expect more from the fairies that live in Oylara?
In the current format and genre, these three books are all that are currently planned. However, I'm using them to establish the baseline for another set of books that are planned for the next level reader. I'm nearly halfway through my draft for a chapter book that brings all the characters that have been introduced, along with a couple of new ones, on an adventure together in the spirit of the first three books.
So, let's get down to the facts, when is your latest installment, The Arctic Fairies of Oylara, available?
Book 3, The Arctic Fairies of Oylara, has just been released December 7, 2017. It is available, along with the first two books, on the Archway Publishing Bookstore website, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks. You can get it in hardback, softback, or as an e-book.
Johnathan Fontenot grew up with a love of reading and a desire to explore the world outside his small hometown of Ville Platte, Louisiana. His adventurous nature led to a career as a fighter pilot in the Air Force that took him all over the world. Now retired from the Air Force, he shares exciting stories that inspire children the same way he was inspired as a child. Johnathan currently lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.