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Cover Art for next fantasy book

The next Aegis of the Gods book is almost ready. There’s something to be said about good covers, and I have worked to try come up with covers that will draw my reader in. I hope my fans appreciate the effort. Covers have always been a drawing point for me, even now when I read primarily on my tablet. When browsing, I always go cover first before I read the blurb and a sample. I just feel the cover is important. Not as important as the contents of the book, as you truly can’t judge a book by it’s cover (sorry, I had to), but a good cover might tell you that the author or publisher cared about what his book looked like to his potential reader.

having said that, here’s some early work on my latest cover.

 

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Notes from the Founders

From the notes of Jenoah Amelie – First of the Exalted

Prelude to War

I must make these notes before the voices call to me again. Of late, I cannot tell which of the essences they are. Is it light or heat? Or gods forbid, the shade? Does the earth beneath my feet speak to me? Is the very air around me whispering in my head? Or the water I drink? Maybe, it is not the essences within the elements of Mater at all. Maybe, it is all my imagination.

What they promise is so overwhelming. Twice, I have almost given in to their call. Is this what the others experienced when the madness took them? I must defend our actions while I am still capable of coherent thought.

Some would argue that the formation of the Pathfinders was a desperate act, that the men and women who make up their ranks are nothing more than murderers. Some would say we think of ourselves as gods for doing as we did. What were we supposed to do? Sit back and watch the world burn? Again? Did not the war between the gods and the Eztezian Guardians destroy enough of the world?

We, all Matii, are appointed with protecting and saving the people of Denestia first. The same mandate the gods gave to the Eztezians when they created them. When we use Mater—the very essences and elements that drive our world—to destroy, we are betraying the sanctity of our forefathers, and blaspheming against Ilumni himself. We realized the fear of insanity and eventual death when wielding Mater is not enough to deter those who crave power. A more definitive action needed to be taken.

The formation of the Tribunal has worked well for a time. However, the volatile change in Mater has brought about a rift with our brother and sisters. We once held all the descendants of the Eztezians who form the Matii we know today: the Ashishin, the Alzari, the Namazzi, the Svenzar, the Skadwaz, the Desorin, the Rendorta, and the Toscali, under our roof. They each had a position and title of honor here from which they could govern.

But they have not agreed with the need for harmony. Thus, they have broken away and ventured off to form their own kingdoms, the majority of them across the sea in Ostania. We fear nothing good will come of this.

Already the separation and those dedicated to individual gods and religions are beginning to show. Wars have been declared. Crusades for one religion or another have sprouted. We, the Ashishin, must a find a way to sever ourselves from this strife.

 

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Deathspeaker – New Fantasy novel

This is an excerpt from my newest WIP that I started today. A nice little tease if I do say so myself. It’s set in Denestia but several thousand years after the current events in Aegis of the Gods.

Deathspeaker

 

When the dead spoke to Marius, he listened. Not that he often had much choice. They were persistent that way. And annoying.

Today, they’d told him whom he needed to visit here in the city of Pante. They seemed to enjoy these trips and the ensuing results as much as trying to goad him to take the power they offered without the necessary protection. He always resisted no matter how enticing he found the proposition. After all, if he partook of their temptation, one like himself would be paying him a visit, maybe even his own brother. If that happened, someone would die.

He smiled. What a dilemma. Tricky bastards.

For a moment, he waited for their agitated whispers in rebuke of his thoughts. He cocked an eyebrow when none came. Unusual for them considering they were as pompous and overbearing as most monarchs. Still no response. Not even a muted rustling in his head. He frowned as he stored that tidbit of information.

His old mentor would have scolded him for considering the voices to be something as mundane as the dead. Master Dorn would have said they were the murmurs of the essences that made up the world. Marius found it easier to accept them as random lost spirits able to speak in his mind. Much simpler than to believe the rainbow bands and swirls of color he saw, which represented the essences, were somehow alive. Talking colors. Imagine that. He gave a derisive snort.

 

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The Shadowbearer, new epic Fantasy, released


After much hard work, here it is, the finished book. Thank you all who have supported me and do support me, and enjoy my books. I sincerely hope you enjoy this one.

Knight Commander Stefan Dorn, leader of the Unvanquished, has known only war, death and, victory. All in the name of his loyalty to King Nerian the Lightbearer, a man he idolized.

Until now.

Everything he thought he knew about the King, his people, and his world is coming to an end. At a time when there should be peace, he’s once again called to war.

Torn between shocking changes at home, his family, loyalty to his men and his King, Stefan wishes only to enjoy life away from the battlefield. But with the new campaign comes a rabid, unforgiving enemy and a potential cataclysm.

Follow him as he fights to save his family, his people and his birthright from the grips of the shade. When failure is not an option, which will he sacrifice for a chance at victory?

The Shadowbearer is a rousing and engaging prequel to Etchings of Power and a worthy addition to the Aegis of the Gods series.

Purchase The Shadowbearer from:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

 

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Author Interview: M. J Neary

Today’s interview features M. J. Neary. Sit back and enjoy.

Terry C. Simpson: What is your book about?

M.J Neary: “Martyrs & Traitors: a Tale of 1916” is a historical novel telling the story of the Easter Rising in Dublin through the eyes of Bulmer Hobson, a discredited patriot who had tried to prevent it, because he believed it was a waste of human life.  Because of his controversial split from his former comrades, for decades his name had remained swept under the rug and his contributions to the nationalistic movement largely downplayed. He was branded a traitor by the Republicans and spent the next fifty-some years of his life in a state of silent rage.

Terry C. Simpson:What inspired you to write this particular story?

M.J Neary: Shortly after “Brendan Malone: the Last Fenian” got accepted for publication, Bulmer Hobson came to me in my sleep and complained that I had given him so little time and space in the first book.  He suggested that I should write an entire novel about his adventures.  Of course, I woke up with heart palpitations and rushed to the computer to get a copy of his biography on Amazon.  His first comprehensive biography was written by a Canadian-born professor Marnie Hay, who has since helped me a great deal with research.  Her book is the first comprehensive biographical source on Hobson.  For the reasons described above, he had been off the radar for decades.  As I browsed through his biography, I uncovered fascinating romances and feuds that would provide perfect foundation for a historical novel.

Terry C. Simpson:What writer influenced you the most?

M.J Neary: Boring as it sounds, my literary mentors were Victor Hugo and Charles Dickens. I gravitate towards that heavy mid-19th century style. That was before the ADHD epidemic.

Terry C. Simpson:Tell us a little about your main characters. Who was your favorite? Why?

M.J Neary: In my novel I have a mixture of historical and fictional characters.  You can take liberty with both.  They are all “my children”, hideously flawed, some borderline grotesque, but loved. I create them all with love, even if that love is rooted in fury. I can despise the real historical figures, but I still love them as literary characters.  Having suffered from depression, anxiety and body dysmorphic disorder, I understand Ugly very well.  I can work with Ugly.  I can create convincing, three-dimensional characters with a string of delicious ridiculous flaws that will make readers feel good about themselves.  If you read about larger-than-life heroes, it’s easy to feel inadequate next to them.  But if you see the less heroic side of popular idols, then the revelation may prove to be strangely encouraging.  There is one character that I particularly connect with – Edith Malone, a depressed, hysterical, sexually confused, self-centered English widow who joins the Irish nationalistic cause.  A girl after my own heart!

Terry C. Simpson: How long did it take you to write your book?

M.J Neary: This 450-pager took me about 4 months to write.  It wrote it at a rather trying time in my life, when I was running on caffeine, alcohol and adrenaline.

Terry C. Simpson: How much of a story do you have in mind before you start writing it?

M.J Neary: When you write about real historical events, you know how things end.  There are no surprises.  You know who is going to die on the barricades, and who is going to get executed.  The variables are not in the destination but in the journey.  It’s the ideas you get from reading between the lines of history books.

Terry C. Simpson: What is your goal for the book, ie: what do you want people to take with them after they finish reading the story?

M.J Neary: For one, I hope they learn something new about the Irish history, about the nationalistic movement in the Edwardian era. That goes without saying.  That’s the purely factual benefit of reading the book.  There is also a spiritual and philosophical benefit that I hope my readers will reap.  I also hope that they re-evaluate their own idols and villains.  I’m not saying they should reverse their loyalties 180 degrees.  Just ask yourself: “Whom do I admire/despise and why?  Do I really know the truth about this person, or do I just go by what the media tells me?”  We should have enough faith in our own judgment and put it above rumors and propaganda.

Terry C. Simpson: What was the most difficult part about writing the book?

M.J Neary: I absolutely hate writing love stories and love scenes.  I’m a very cynical, crude person in real life, and it’s hard for me not to laugh when I write about romantic infatuations.  At the same time, I do not want my own personal cynicism to spill into my fiction too much, because there are, apparently, people who become infatuated earnestly and irrevocably. Sometimes I need to separate myself, the writer, the narrator, from my characters and see the world through their eyes.

Terry C. Simpson: What’s your writing schedule like? Do you strive for a certain amount of words each day?

M.J Neary: As a working mother with plenty of “secular” responsibilities, I cannot predict how much time each day I will be able to devote to my work. So, whenever I have a free moment, I ask myself whether I should do boring domestic chores or use that time to advance my craft. Inspiration and productivity come in waves, in bursts. There are moments when the creative drive is so aggressive that I become deaf and blind to everything else around me. I have lost count of how many pots I’ve burned in the kitchen.

Terry C. Simpson: What’s been the most surprising part of being a writer?

M.J Neary: If you are asking me about the publishing industry, I must say, there have not been that many surprises.  If you do your homework, if you research the market and polish the manuscript, then you will spare yourself many, many rejection letters.  Don’t go into the battle unarmed.  I went into the market with a strong manuscript and a strong query letter.  “Martyrs & Traitors” is not my first novel.  My first novel took 16 years to write and just a few weeks to secure a publisher for.  Now I have lasting relationships with two small presses, and they are very enthusiastic to hear that I have a new manuscript.

Terry C. Simpson: What advice you would give to an aspiring author?

M.J Neary: I could give a mile-long list of tips.  Not all aspiring authors are at the same place.  Some are only toying with the idea of writing the first draft of their first novel, and others are already on the verge of submitting their first query.  I encourage writers to contact me with specific questions.  Find me on Facebook and send me a message.  I’ll be happy to provide guidance.

Terry C. Simpson:What advice would you give other novelists about book promotion?

M.J Neary: It’s very individual.  Casting a wide net does not work for everyone.  If your novel is genre-specific or topic-specific, reach out to publications that specialize in this topic.  Reach out to the communities that already have an existing interest in your topic.  Promoting a book about lip gloss vampires is different from promoting a book about Irish revolutionaries.

Terry C. Simpson: How have you marketed and promoted your work?

M.J Neary: Even though my work revolves around a specific ethnic group, it appeals to a broader audience.  You don’t have to be Irish or a history buff to enjoy my books. There is enough universal appeal – at least I try to make it so.  I have reached out to various Irish-interest publications in North America and on the other side of the Atlantic.  I have a built-in audience.

Terry C. Simpson: What words would you like to leave the world when you are gone?

M.J Neary: “The darker the past – the brighter the future”.

Terry C. Simpson: Have you written any other books

M.J Neary: Yes, I am the author of “Wynfield’s Kingdom”, “Wynfield’s War” (both via Fireship Press) and “Brendan Malone: the Last Fenian” (All Things That Matter Press)

Terry C. Simpson: Where can people learn more about your books?

M.J Neary: Please visit my author site: www.marinajulianeary.com

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2011 in Announcements, Authors, Epublishing, Interviews

 

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Author Interview : Keta Diablo

Today’s interview is with Keta Diablo. A writer of Fantasy romance. One of the things that drew me to Keta was her covers and the fact she had trading cards. Now how awesome is that? You’ll find a couple after the interview.

Dust and Moonlight

Terry C. Simpson: What is your book about?

Keta Diablo: Dust and Moonlight is a time travel fantasy novel. Criminal profiler, Kira Barton, has a lead on a serial killer and follows him into an abandoned building. When he attacks her, a woman from another world descends to save her. Kira awakens in a strange land, one filled with sorcery, wizards, shape-shifters and a prince that makes her heart thrum.

Terry C. Simpson: What inspired you to write this particular story?

Keta Diablo: I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of time travel. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could travel into the past or into the future through mysterious venues? I’m particularly intrigued by history, would love to experience firsthand an era in early Wales, Scotland or Ireland. I say for a short time – lol – because times were hard, living conditions rudimentary. While the visit would be intriguing, I’m thinking a short period of visitation would be ideal.

Terry C. Simpson: What writer influenced you the most?

Keta Diablo: I must say Harper Lee because To Kill A Mockingbird was the first novel I remember reading and remembered long after I put it down. I suddenly realized I could go anywhere in the world simply by turning the pages in a book. I loved the vivid depictions of her characters. Everything seemed so real  – the sultry heat of the South, the bitter taste of prejudice and the fascinating adventures of Jem and Scout’s childhood. Even the names she choose for her characters – Atticus and Boo Radley – were well suited to the overall ambience of the novel.

Terry C. Simpson: Tell us a little about your main characters. Who was your favorite? Why?

Keta Diablo: I liked writing about Kira, the heroine. An only child, she sort of floated through an idyllic childhood, yet knew something about her parents seemed strange. She wasn’t really prepared to be thrust into another world, yet rose to the occasion through determination and grit. As the alien, dangerous world unfolded around her, she kept her wits intact, didn’t collapse into hysterics – which I think many of us might have. She isn’t a perfect character – she has flaws, an annoying habit of comparing a situation or a person to something visual from her past. I think characters, like every day people, should have flaws and weird nuances whether physical or as a result of life’s experiences. Perfect characters are boring and unreal in my opinion.

Terry C. Simpson: How long did it take you to write your book?

Keta Diablo: Dust and Moonlight started out as a published short story. So many reviewers and readers wanted to know more about the world of Locke Cress and the people who lived there. They also wanted to know what happened with Kira and Prince Balion. I expanded the short story into a full-length novel that seemed to write itself. I knew Kira and Balion quite well after writing the short story. This helped in the journey to lengthen their story.

Terry C. Simpson: How much of a story do you have in mind before you start writing it?

Keta Diablo: That depends on where the idea originates. At times, I find an idea for a story through research. A good example of that is my novel Land of Falling Stars. I read a true life story online about cousins who fought on opposite sides in the Civil War, yet lived only miles apart. That led me down a path of “what-ifs”. What if two men who loved the same woman fought for opposite sides in the War? What if one died and the other came home to tell her the horrific news?

And like many authors, at times for ideas stem from a dream. I’m a vivid, virtual dreamer and keep a notebook on my nightstand in case I wake up from a dream. And finally, I get ideas by people-watching. This is a great way to invent your next character. I look for peculiar expressions, and again nuances/quirks in their persona. It’s amazing to watch two people hold a conversation – forget the words, just watch the expressions and the gestures.

Terry C. Simpson: What is your goal for the book, ie: what do you want people to take with them after they finish reading the story?

Keta Diablo: With all my books, I hope for two things: That for a short time I was able to remove them from their every day struggles and worries. Of course, authors want readers to remember the book when they’re done reading. I’ve read hundreds, perhaps thousands of books but distinctly remember only a handful years later. If one accomplishes the above, the author has done his/her job.

Terry C. Simpson: What was the most difficult part about writing the book?

Keta Diablo: Always the pacing for me. I have a tendency to rush through scenes at times– my mind working much faster than my fingers. We all hope to improve with every book we write. Knowing what we need to work on is half the battle. The other thing is to know your characters well. You have to stop and ask yourself if your character would really say or do such a thing. Yes, it’s fiction, but it still has to be believable.

Terry C. Simpson: What’s your writing schedule like? Do you strive for a certain amount of words each day?

Keta Diablo: I wish I did strive for a certain word count each day, but that doesn’t work for me. I’m a binge writer once I get the story down in my mind. I think about the plot, the characters for weeks – run through every scene and conversation in my mind long before I sit down to write. When I have things squared away in my brain, then I might write for eight hours a day. If inspiration is still with me in the following days, I’ll do the same until I’m done.  That’s the first draft. Then I go back and look for plot holes, wrong words, bad writing, that sort of thing. And finally, I run through it a third time for typos and spelling errors. It’s a long process writing a full-length novel, and the first draft might not look too much like the final.  At least not my first drafts.

Terry C. Simpson: What’s been the most surprising part of being a writer?

Keta Diablo: Two things: Freedom to do what I love without someone looking over my shoulder and the sense of satisfaction when someone likes your book – really likes “your” book. To me, that’s amazing.

Terry C. Simpson: What advice you would give to an aspiring author?

Keta Diablo: I don’t know that I’m qualified to give advice. I think every writer needs to find their own path during their journey. What works for one, will not work for another. Some authors outline or use note cards before they attempt the next novel. Some write by the seat of their pants. I think you can’t listen to what everyone tells you – find what works for you. Be persistent and persevere. Writing is hard work; it’s a craft you must learn if you want a following. There are no shortcuts, but there are lots of rules. Learn the rules and then have the courage to break them when you know you should.

Terry C. Simpson: What advice would you give other novelists about book promotion?

Keta Diablo: Promotion and marketing is never-ending. Again, there are no easy answers here. You need to discover what works for you. How many hours a day do you have to devote to marketing? What are the best venues for your type of book? What can you afford to give time- wise so it doesn’t prevent you from writing the next book? There is no easy way around promotion and marketing. You must have a plan and again, persistence and determination eventually pays off.

Terry C. Simpson: How have you marketed and promoted your work?

Keta Diablo: I’ve run the gamut to see what works best. I have a large following on twitter (@ketadiablo) and my Facebook page is very active (http://www.facebook.com/KetaDiablo.Author). I post regularly on both and think they work well for me. I make sure my books are current on Goodreads, Shelfari and my Amazon author page is up to date. I do belong to Nings and other social networking sites but there’s no way of knowing how well they work when it comes to actual sales. I have a large blog following (http://ketaskeep.blogspot.com) and post regularly to the blog. I also have an author home where all information is updated on a regular basis. (http://www.ketadiablo.com)

Terry C. Simpson: What words would you like to leave the world when you are gone?

Keta Diablo: If I truly did the best I could in all aspects of life, then I’ll be satisfied. To not try to improve no matter what role you play or what path you take is a mistake. We can always work harder at being a good person. We don’t always succeed, but what’s important is that you keep trying.

Terry C. Simpson: Have you written any other books?

Keta Diablo: Yes, thank you so much for asking. I think I have about 21 books on the market now. You can view my books at my Amazon Author page here (http://amzn.to/qsrw5D). In 2009 my novel Decadent Deceptions finaled in the RWA Molly contest. In 2010 one of my stories finaled in the Scarlet Boa Contest and in 2011 my paranormal shifter Where The Rain is Made was nominated for a Bookie Award by Authors After Dark in the BEST enovel category.  Be sure to check them out at the link above.

Terry C. Simpson: Where can people learn more about your books?

Keta Diablo: On the links I’ve listed, Amazon, Keta’s Keep Romance Blog and my web site.

Terry, thank you so much for hosting me on your lovely blog. It’s so kind of you to support your colleagues in this manner. Sending lots of good thoughts your way for your kindness.

Keta Diablo

Terry C. Simpson: You’re most welcome Keta. And thank you for the thoughts. Here’s a couple of Keta’s trading Cards for Dust and Moonlight.

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Individual Card links:

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2011 in Announcements, Epublishing, Interviews, Writing

 

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Amazon ups the ante in 2011.

With its release of four new kindle versions this year, including the touch and the tablet, Amazon is digging in and daring others to step up before they put more of a strangle hold on the ebook market. Lets run them down, shall we?

Latest generation Kindle – Lighter, faster, and more affordable than ever – only $79

The Kindle Touch : Ringing in at $99, it has an IR touch system, similar to the latest Nook and Kobo, and there’s no physical keyboard . It’s slimmer, smaller and lighter than the existing Kindle, and looks almost nothing like your usual Kindle. The UI is different and the Eink is supposed to be the latest tech. There’s also a 3G enabled model for $139


Kindle Fire Tablet: 

Boasting a 7-inch IPS panel, Gorilla Glass coating, a dual-core 1GHz CPU, 512MB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage. Not bad. Considering the $199 price point and the fact that most of your media is synced online anyway it makes it even better. There’s also access to Android Appstore but not Google’s Android Market. As usual Kindle books, magazines, and the like via Amazon Cloud Storage. Whispersync now works with movies and TV shows so you can start your movie at home where you left off by syncing it with your TV. The Ui itself is different, not looking much like your typical Android UI. There’s also possibly a 10 inch version coming.

The device will also run a custom-built “split browser” called Amazon Silk, which “accelerates the power of the mobile device hardware by using the computing speed and power of the Amazon Web Services Cloud,” according to a statement provided by Amazon.

“The Silk browser software resides both on Kindle Fire and on the massive server fleet that comprises the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2),” Amazon’s statement also reads. “With each page request, Silk dynamically determines a division of labor between the mobile hardware and Amazon EC2 (i.e. which browser sub-components run where) that takes into consideration factors like network conditions, page complexity, and cached content.”

Of course all this is what Android was built for as an Open source project. Now, let’s see how many developers jump on board and see if the Amazon’s app market will make having an Android based tablet not as lackluster as it seems for me as this point, being an owner of a Motorola Xoom. Will it trump the Ipad? No. I don’t think so. Apple has the market locked and I myself often gaze at my wife’s IPAD 2 with envy. Will it trump the Nook, which it seems to be where the target begins along with offering a well priced tablet option? Possibly. Time will tell.

See videos here on Engadget for Kindle Touch

 
 

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