Achievement Unlocked: “3 Years as a Published Author”

The Necromancer's ApprenticeToday marks the day that I hit that ‘publish’ button on Amazon, and sent my very first book, The Necromancer’s Apprentice out to the world. It was very frightening as I came to realize that this was no longer a childhood dream. I had achieved one of my many goals in life, and it felt good.

Sales were slow at first, and I didn’t know what to expect. I advertised on social media sites and readers/writers forums. Of course, I was a new fish in this giant ocean, and I knew as an unknown author I wasn’t going to be the next Amanda Hocking, as much as I had secretly dreamed. I was writing in a very niche genre (gothic fantasy). It was discouraging at first because  I didn’t see the results like everyone else around me had seen with their books, but that didn’t stop me from writing or promoting myself. I did book signings—lots of them. My very first book signing was at a local Starbucks in town. The owner there was very nice and welcoming of local authors. I was scared at first, sitting there all alone dressed up in my gothic dress, wondering if anyone will stop at my table. For a while, no one had, but then, little by little, people started to get curious about what was going on in my little corner. Then I had my first sale. After signing my name in my book for that first customer, I knew that I’d finally reached that point that I could  call myself a real ‘author’.

That  was 2011.

Now, three years later, The Necromancer’s Apprentice has received many reviews, features on blogs, and in 2013, won first place in the Royal Palm Literary Awards. This was a pinnacle point for me as an author, because I’ve never had my work recognized like that before.

I look back on that long road I’ve traveled in the self-publishing world. Thanks to the internet and the power of networking, I’ve learned so much about the industry, and have grown, by writing several more books after The Necromancer’s Apprentice. I’ve learned that writing is not just a hobby, it’s also a business.

My story isn’t like others who have sold millions and/or quit their day jobs from becoming an overnight sensation. I never had any of that. Perhaps I never will. But that doesn’t discourage me. I have a day job, a good one that I enjoy. But of course, I’d love to get to that point where I can live off my writing. Who doesn’t want to work from the comforts of their home? But realistically, I’m the other 99% whose writing is not paying for itself. But that’s okay. I’ll still keep writing. Even if I have 100 books out, and I’m still not able to live off my writing, that’s okay. When I initially got into this writing business, I never figured I’d make enough to ever quit my job. I just wanted to share my stories with the world, and that’s what I’m doing.

I love getting fan mail, and I’ve gotten just a few since 2011. But I’ve kept every one of them and on those days I feel discouraged, I go back and read those emails. It motivates me to know that there are people out there who enjoy my writing. I actually have fans! I’m a nobody, and there are people out there who like me!

This writing business has been a long world, and I, in no way, consider myself an expert. A wise man once said, “a master never stops learning.” As long as I keep writing, I’ll keep learning something new, whether about the craft, the industry, or anything else. The day we think we know everything is the day we realize we know nothing. As an author, I am hungry for knowledge about the art, the industry, and ways I can better myself. I go to conferences and ask authors as well as readers. I regularly ask questions in some of the writing communities I’m a part of. I try to give back to the community whenever I can, helping other authors who are just starting out, giving them tips so their journey won’t be so rough and scary as mine had been.

My personal thanks goes out first and foremost to my God for giving me this special talent to write. Without Him, nothing is possible. To the GothNoWriMo program, because without them, I wouldn’t have had the courage to write The Necromancer’s Apprentice, and I wouldn’t be where I am today. The NaNoWriMo program, because without them, I wouldn’t have had the drive and the ‘kick in the pants’ motivation to write more books. The Kboards community, because I’ve learned a wealth of information on that site when it comes to writing, and have many friends with readers and authors. My critique group, The Dragon’s Sandbox, because without them, I wouldn’t have learned so much more about the finite details of writing, nor would I have developed thick skin to take harsh criticism. Last, but certainly not least, I want to thank my readers every single one of you who took a little time out of your busy schedule to check out my work. I’ve achieved my goal in sharing my writing with the world because of my readers.

For a limited time, The Necromancer’s Apprentice will be on sale for 99 cents. Tell your friends, if they haven’t read the book yet! Help spread the word! Here’s to many more years of more books and more great readers.

Thank you.

YA Fantasy Sale and Giveaway!

We are kicking off 2014 with a brand new sale and giveaway of YA books, sponsored by IRF (I Read Fantasy). The sale features books at 99 cents (including The Necromancer’s Apprentice), and $125 worth of Amazon Gift Cards!

Check out the offerings below!

Fated Saga Fantasy Series Book Bundle, 1-2, Awaken and Shifting
by Rachel Humphrey-D’aigle
average Amazon rating is 4.8 (17 ratings)

     

Telepathic thirteen-year-old twins, Meghan and Colin Jacoby, have until the rising of the Blue Moon to save the life of a young man whose caravan is forced to flee through a magical portal to another world, without him.

In the process, they have a dark awakening when their typically predictable world collides with the complexities of the magical world. The twins face unimaginable dangers, thrusting them into an unexpected choice: to live as they always have or to learn the truth about their past and enter a world that is equally thrilling and terrifying.


Angel in the Shadows (Book 1)
by Lisa Grace
average Amazon rating is 3.8 (110 ratings)

     

Fifteen-year-old Megan Laughlin has a gift–or what seems like a curse at times. Megan sees angels and demons.
Megan knows her destiny is to protect her friends against dark angels who try to sway them into situations that can destroy their lives, their souls, and their eternity.

At school, she recognizes Judas, an über popular boy, as an evil angel hell-bent on destroying her and everyone she loves. As Judas spreads horrible rumors and overdoses two of her classmates at a rave, Megan realizes the enormity of his power. While classmates die, Megan, with the help of an angel, Johnny, and a team of friends will face the fight of their lives as they battle Judas.


FREE! Myriad (Prentor Book 1)
by Mona Hanna
average Amazon rating is 3.7 (12 ratings)

     

The warlock Myriad has returned to exact his long-promised revenge on the Royal family. Only Kalin has the power to stop him — but using that power shows Kalin that he is connected to Myriad in a way that he never suspected. Even if Kalin finds the strength to challenge Myriad, can he survive learning the truth about himself? A tale of Kalin learning to use the gifts inside of him, gaining the trust of new allies, and breathtaking first love.


The Necromancer’s Apprentice
by R.M. Prioleau
average Amazon rating is 3.8 (16 ratings)

     

Jasmine Na’Darod lived a simple life with her parents and older sister on the family’s farm. She never strayed far from home until the ill-fated Blood Moon arose, basking the country of Caristan with a terrible, sickening drought.

When her mother falls ill, Jasmine and her family are forced to leave home in desperate search of a cure. During their journey, a series of tragic events will change Jasmine’s life forever.


Everwinter
by Elizabeth Baxter
average Amazon rating is 4. (19 ratings)

     

The powers of old and new are on a collision course in the land of Thanderley. Ancient gods have broken free of their imprisonment and cursed the lands with a terrible winter, a scourge that is sweeping science and the new ways from the earth. In the city of Ral Tora, Bramwell, a young engineer, battles to save his home from the encroaching ice. But there will be no exceptions. The gods will reclaim what was theirs and destroy any who oppose them.

Once more, the balances are tipped. Magic and science cannot exist in peace, yet Bramwell must master both to save everything he loves from destruction.


Twin Souls (Nevermore, Book 1) 
by K.A. Poe
average Amazon rating is 4 (92 ratings)

     

Seventeen year old Alexis finds herself on the eve of her eighteenth birthday. What generally means a step into adulthood instead opens its way to a terrifying truth about not only her family, but herself. She comes from a long line of vampire hunters, and her real dad wants her to carry on the family quest. At the same time, she is falling for a new boy at school who has his own secret. He is a vampire. Alexis is forced to make a decision from which there is no turning back. – Will she deny this newly discovered heritage, or embrace it.


Deception
by Stacy Claflin
average Amazon rating is 4.2 (39 ratings)

     

Alexis Ferguson thinks she has everything figured out, but has no idea how wrong she is. Set up on a blind date, she meets a gorgeous stranger and feels that she’s known him her entire life, but she has never seen him before.

He awakens in her long-forgotten dark memories, and now she must face the one who ordered her death years ago. Will she learn to use her strange new powers in time to save herself? Will she let him help her? Should she trust him?


The Five Elements (The Alchemancer: Book One) 
by Scott Marlowe
average Amazon rating is 4.1 (21 ratings)

     

Aaron–scholar, alchemist, and sorcerer’s apprentice–wants nothing more than to study his tomes, perform his experiments, and spend time with his closest friend, Shanna. Substitute the occasional romp about the city for the books and plenty of games of crutchit for the smelly alchemicals, and Shanna is just fine with that too.

Their routines–and their lives–are thrown into chaos when an elemental attack is launched against their home. Aaron thinks Shanna killed, while Aaron himself is forced to flee for his life. For Shanna, who survives that fateful night, the greatest adventure of her life is about to begin. Only the worst of nightmares awaits Aaron: pursued by dwarves, hell hounds, and a demon who will not stop until he is dead, the only thing keeping him alive is his own resourcefulness and an eslar mercenary whose reputation as a killer might make him the worst threat of all.


Elei’s Chronicles (Books 1-3) 
by Chrystalla Thoma
average Amazon rating is 4.3 (17 ratings)

     

In a world composed of seven islands in the middle of the ocean, the all-women Gultur race rules. Parasites create new human races, decimate towns and cities, killing the repressed mortals.

Rex Rising (Book 1):
Elei, a young aircar driver, leads a peaceful life until a mysterious attack on his boss sends him fleeing with a bullet in his side. Pursued for a secret he does not possess and with the fleet at his heels, he has but one thought: to stay alive. His pursuers aren’t inclined to sit down and talk, although that’s not the end of Elei’s troubles.

Rex Cresting (Book 2):
Still recovering at a hospital on the north coast of Dakru, Elei is convinced that his part in bringing down the Gultur is over. Rex has infected the other race and their dictatorial system is starting to collapse. Not every Gultur, though, has been affected, and on top of that, inside Elei’s body, Rex has matured and goes through another transformation.

Rex Equilibrium (Book 3):
With the help of his friends, Elei has managed to disorganize the regime run by the all-women race of the Gultur, and he’s on a mission to bring peace to the Seven Islands.
Old secrets come to the surface, friendships are forged and betrayals discovered, and a girl, Alendra, has managed to take hold of Elei’s feelings.


Gift of the Destroyer 
by Jeroen Steenbeeke
average Amazon rating is 4.4 (11 ratings)

     

Arek is destined to turn the world into a desolate wasteland, draining the life out of everything on the planet. Future warrior Brenor must cross the Forbidden Lands to reach him, but no one’s ever returned from such a journey. Only farm girl Lianna’s powers can help him. First, he must convince her he’s from the future not the madhouse, and that she can control her Gift, the Destroyer’s mastery of the elements.

But a predator stalks them, hungry for the energy Brenor’s journey from the future unleashed. If Brenor and Lianna can’t escape him, their mission will end before it’s even begun.


NEW! Girl with Flying Weapons 
by Aya Ling
average Amazon rating is 5 (2 ratings)

     

Most people know Hong as a soft-spoken servant girl who works at the governor’s house. Few know her as a skilled martial artist who trains in secret by a blind assassin.

When the governor’s son, who has a crush on her, is accused of murder, Hong risks not only blowing her cover, but also her own life when trying to discover the real killer.

FREE READ!
The First Book of Demons
by Raquel Dove
average Amazon rating is 4.2 (121 ratings)

     

After a blood soaked nightmare, Alexandra’s life begins a spiraling downfall. From the untimely and brutal death of her Aunt Tamy, to discovering the untold powers flowing through her veins, her life will never be the same. A not so chance encounter in the woods thrusts her into a world of demons fraught with deadly power struggles, where she meets an overbearing and annoyingly attractive demon prince.

Lord Balthazar is trying to hold his new kingdom together and the only thing that can help him do that is a human.  As fate would have it, one lands fortuitously in his lap, complete with a mouth that doesn’t know when to stay shut. Alexandra soon proves to be almost more than the stoic demon lord can handle, and by the time Balthazar realizes just how much Alex means to him, it may be too late for the both of them.


FREE READ!
Amethyst (#1 of the Guardian series) 
by Heather Bowhay
average Amazon rating is 4.4 (318 ratings)

     

College-bound Lexi Adams leads no ordinary life. Premonitions dictate her every move, compelling her to rescue strangers day and night. After years of self-sacrifice, she decides to ignore one, but innocent people die. So, when the next premonition depicts her own death, Lexi is faced with the decision of a lifetime. As if an ill-fated future isn’t enough to deal with, a series of strange illnesses and murders devastate her small town, and co-worker Jessica Nelson insists Lexi can help.

According to Jessica, everyone is born with an inner energy called Essence. Only a select few, Amethysts, can control Essence and heal people. Jessica claims to be an Amethyst and asks Lexi to join her and a group of her friends as they track the murderers. Despite her personal plight, Lexi considers joining them.

Series Suggestions

Need a need new series to dive into?


The Wicked Lovely Series 
by Melissa Marr

Rule #3: Don’t stare at invisible faeries.
Rule #2: Don’t speak to invisible faeries.
Rule #1: Don’t ever attract their attention.

But it’s too late. Keenan is the Summer King who has sought his queen for nine centuries. Without her, summer itself will perish. He is determined that Aislinn will become the Summer Queen at any cost—regardless of her plans or desires.

  1. Wicked Lovely     
  2. Ink Exchange     
  3. Fragile Eternity     
  4. Radiant Shadows     
  5. Darkest Mercy     
  6. Desert Tales     

The Curse Workers Series 
by Holly Black

Cassel comes from a shady, magical family of con artists and grifters. He doesn’t fit in at home or at school, so he’s used to feeling like an outsider. He’s also used to feeling guilty—he killed his best friend, Lila, years ago.

But when Cassel begins to have strange dreams about a white cat, and people around him are losing their memories, he starts to wonder what really happened to Lila. In his search for answers, he discovers a wicked plot for power that seems certain to succeed. But Cassel has other ideas—and a plan to con the conmen.

  1. White Cat     
  2. Red Glove     
  3. Black Heart     

The Hex Hall Series 
by Rachel Hawkins

Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It’s gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie’s estranged father�an elusive European warlock�only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it’s her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect. As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

  1. Hex Hall     
  2. Demonglass     
  3. Spell Bound     
  4. School Spirits     

 

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