Expanding Your Horizons

As  Indie Authors, we are always looking for exciting things to add to our writing careers.  While writing books are our first passion, learning exciting new things can make writing a never-ending thrill ride.

Next Move, You're Dead by Linda L Barton
I didn’t make this cover.

When I self-published my debut novel, Next Move, You’re Dead seven years ago this month, I never expected I would discover so many fun things to do which would make my writing career so exciting.  Of course, some of them were a way to save money. LOL

Being a bit tight with my money, and wanting my books to get out of the red on the earning scale, I taught myself how to format my books for ebook and print, and then I moved on to learn how to create my own book covers. After hours of pure insanity and pounding my forehead on my desk more times than I want to admit, I may not have mastered the craft, but I can do a pretty good job. Heck, I’ve made the covers for all of my books except for two of them.

Then one day I had the bright idea of doing a podcast. I’d never done anything like that before, but I thought, heck, if others can do it why can’t I, right? So, with my partner, Indie Author, Lisa Vandiver at Dead Reads, we started the Deadly Reads Radio podcast.  We started out on Blog Talk Radio, but last year we decided to leave and move directly to Youtube. If you want to check out our little podcast go HERE.

Next, Lisa and I decided to dive into the world of Author Services. Heck, we had learned how to prepare a book for the reading public, so we decided to offer our services for a reasonable price. We’ve had so much fun helping first-time authors get their books ready to publish. If you ever find yourself in need of our services you can find us on our website Author Services page. We offer a wide range of services.

  • Our Twitter Blast Service
  • Premade Book Covers
  • Custom Covers
  • Book Formatting for ebook and print
  • Editing and proofreading
  • We will even bundle services for a discount price
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I made this cover for Lisa

While doing all that is fun, Lisa and I can’t seem to stop wanting to learn more. Our latest adventure is in the world of screenwriting. I must admit I was a bit nervous at first, but as I go along, I’m finding it to be not only fun but also easier than I had initially thought. Lisa has already finished her short story, The Moon People. which is available as a FREE download on Amazon. She then wrote a skeleton version of my short story, Sacrificing Souls so I could have it to learn. I must admit using the Final Draft software practically writes it for you. I was a little nervous when we purchased it because it’s a little pricey, but as I go on, I’m finding it is worth every penny.

Writing a screenplay is SO different than writing a novel. In a novel, you are supposed to show not tell, BUT in a screenplay, it’s the opposite. Everything is done in present-tense, and you only give the bare minimum description in the action statement. Yeah, I know, it goes against everything we do as authors, but, hey, rules are rules.

Over time, Lisa and I plan to put most if not, all of our books in a screenplay version and see where we go from there. Keep your fingers crossed for us.

The other thing I’ve decided to learn is how to do computer-generated imagery or CGI.  I found an open-source program called Blender. While it’s free, it’s loaded with options. The only problem is IT’S LOADED WITH OPTIONS. I found a YouTube channel with some great tutorials, but the learning curve is still tough. Whenever I finish my first project, I’ll share it with you, but until then I’ll keep watching the tutorial videos and stumbling through the Blender program.

Here’s a video created using the program. Who knows, maybe someday soon I’ll be able to create something just as good. Teehee…

Pretty cool, huh? I see some AWESOME book trailer videos and short movies ahead for Deadly Reads.

Well, I need to get back to work. I just thought I’d share what all I’ve been up to lately. Take care, and if you’re a writer KEEP WRITING, and if you’re a reader grab a great book from an Indie Author. That always makes us smile.

You can find my books on Amazon. Lisa’s are available on Amazon, too. Lisa and I have several FREE ones for you more frugal readers.

See y’all later!

 

The Tuesday Tease – Week 2

Last week I began a series of post with a few chapters of my current work-in-process. Return to Walandra is the sequel to The Dragon’s Blood Key. Here is this week’s tease:

cover 2 for return to walandra 1“Stop fighting,” David growled in a low and menacing tone as he tried to regain his grip on her.

“Cassy, what’s happening to me.  I feel strange,” Melissa cried out.

“Let her go!” Cassy shouted as she reached for Melissa again.

“Stop fighting, and I promise she will wake up in her bed safe and sound.”  David wrapped his arm around Cassy’s waist when suddenly an agonizing pain shot through him.  “What have you done to me?”

“Look at her eyes, they’re green!” Ralph shouted.  “Come on, we need to go before it’s too late.”

A burning rage built up from deep inside Cassy as she reached for Melissa again.  “Melissa, take my arm!”

It was then Cassy realized Melissa appeared transparent.  “Melissa, please look at me.”

“Stop wasting our time,” David grabbed Cassy again, but this time the pain he experienced from her touch knocked him back several steps.

“Leave her!  We’ll take her sister, that way she’ll come to us,” Ralph yelled as he faded away as well.

Realizing he had no choice, David released his hold on Cassy.

“I will see you soon, Champion,” his laughter filled the air as the three of them disappeared.

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It’s getting exciting now. Come back next week for another Tuesday Tease.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s teaser from Return to Walandra. If you haven’t read book 1 it’s available on Amazon for only $2.99 or free on Kindle Unlimited.

 

Cover Reveal!

Nothing is more fun than a Cover Reveal.

Yesterday, I told you about my current Work-in-Process, Return to Walandra, the sequel to The Dragon’s Blood Key. I hope you enjoyed reading the tease and watching the Book Trailer Video.

Today I thought I’d share with you the cover I created. I believe it captures the feel of this exciting story. Drumroll…

cover 2 for return to walandra 1

I’m having so much fun writing this continuation of the Dragon’s Blood Key saga. I love the characters and I’m sure you will too. I have brought many of the favorites from book 1 and have even introduced a few new ones.

 

 

 

The Tuesday Tease: Week 1

I have been neglecting my blog for some time. With other projects and the everyday events of life, consuming all my time this little blog has been shoved to the side. Well, I decided it was time to show my blog some attention.

Between some of the crazy things I’ve been doing the last few months, I’ve somehow managed to squeeze in some time to work on the sequel to The Dragon’s Blood Key: Return to Walandra.

This story holds a special place in my heart. The morning I woke up a couple of years ago with a wild story about Dragons and magical creatures burning in my mind, it opened a whole new writing experience for me.

I had been one to write dark, twisted thrillers, so I must admit the desire to write a YA Fantasy came as quite a surprise to me. That morning, I climbed out of my bed, sat in front of my handy laptop computer and to my surprise two weeks later I had written The Dragon’s Blood Key. I must admit it was a crazy two weeks. My husband was still driving over-the-road, so I was home alone.

I barely slept, I even forgot to eat (which wouldn’t hurt me to do more often. LOL), but it didn’t matter; the voices in my head had a story to tell, so I was held captive.

I must confess the voices haven’t been so chatty with the sequel. They have come to me in bursts. However, as I sit at my laptop, I find myself amazed how so many questions posed in the first book are somehow answered in the second one. I didn’t know there were even questions while writing the first book, but as the voices dictate this next story to me, I find sub-plots filling in the gaps. If you are a writer, I know you’ll understand what I mean. LOL

So, back to the reason for this post. I decided to begin a series of posts titled: The Tuesday Tease. Each Tuesday I will share a few paragraphs of my current work-in-process. While I hope you will enjoy the posts and look forward to the book’s release, I’m also open to suggestions. Writing is a growing adventure, so I feel input from others can be a benefit. Just remember, this is unedited so you may see issues the editor will find later. Okay, let’s get started…

Here is the book trailer video for The Dragon’s Blood Key

Isn’t that a fun video? It sets the mood perfectly for this exciting story. Now that I have your attention, here’s a taste of book 2.

Return to Walandra: Book 2 – The Dragon’s Blood Key

The morning sun shone brightly over the mountains to the east as Frier returned to the castle.  The feel of the sun on his wings and the wind on his face was comforting, yet it was unable to help him forget the pain in his heart for even the briefest moment.  Since Cassy had returned to her realm, Frier had spent many nights at Roupert’s hut deep in the forest, hoping to force the memory of her from his mind.  He knew it was wrong of him to leave the palace, but it was the only place where he could find peace.

While walking to his chambers, Frier heard a voice from behind him.

“Good morning, son.  It’s nice to see you looking well this morning.  Did you have a nice flight?”  Queen Privlana had worried about Frier since Cassy returned to her realm.  It seemed he would stay to himself far too often, and then vanish for days at a time.

“Good morning, Mother.  Yes, it was quite enjoyable.”  He turned to meet her gaze.

“Your father has been looking for you.  He has important business to discuss.”  The Queen knew this was not welcome news by the expression on Frier’s face.

“I’m sorry; where is he?”  Frier hoped this discussion was not the one he had been trying to avoid over the last few weeks.  He was in no mood to hear of royal responsibilities and other such things.

Privlana saw the dread in Frier’s eyes.  She understood the feelings he had for Cassy, but she had hoped over time he would come to grips with them and somehow find the strength to move on.  “He waits for you in the Conference Room.  The generals are discussing some distressing reports.  He needs you to join them as soon as you can.”

Frier had hoped he could take more time to become acquainted with the Royal responsibilities, but it looked as though he was mistaken.  “Thank you, Mother.  I will join them now.”

Queen Privlana’s heart broke as she watched Frier walk away with his shoulders slumped. It was as though the weight of their kingdom rested upon the young Prince.

“I’m so sorry for your pain, my son.  To give your heart in love only to say goodbye is a pain no Dragon should be forced to endure.”  Privlana whispered, fighting the anguish stirring in her heart.

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I hope you enjoyed this week’s tease from Return to Walandra. If you haven’t read book 1, it’s available on Amazon for only $2.99 or free on Kindle Unlimited.