Thursday, April 29, 2010

I cried. (crosspost)

Yeah when you open up a rough draft you have not seen in months, that can be the reaction.  Along with the Lucas story (half done) and my fantasy story (half done, don't want to see it end), I have started to edit my second book in the Coiree series: Killer.

Here is an example of what I found.  This WAS the opening.  Notice I said 'was'.:


Vincent Hugh studied the worn cloth at the top of his canopy bed, the blood stain was still noticeable, even after all these years. He rubbed his beard. Last night had been a bust. She had been pretty though. Unfortunately, she had drank more than she should have, and passed out. Too bad, Vincent thought.
He sat up and stretched. His bed was a canopy bed, that instead of having curtains around, Vincent had put walls up. It was basically a room with in a room. Vincent could never sleep in a coffin, he never had one. He opened the small door that was the only entrance to his bed. He slid out and stood up. Vincent was naked, but he didn't care. There was nobody else in his apartment. Vincent walked over to his closet and pulled out an outfit for the night. There was a live band tonight. So Vincent chose and outfit that could be Gothic, yet looked like a serious business man. Vincent got dressed.

BORING:
The opening I am working with:

“Sorry man,” Vincent said handing Swen a rag.
Swen took the rag with a sharp flick of his wrist. “If you were to spray this place down with luminol it would glow like a god damn disco.”
“It was a slaughterhouse,” Vincent said. He shook the spray bottle.
“You are the slaughterhouse.” Swen blotted the blood on the wall. “Who was this?”
“Huh?”
Swen motioned with his head toward the dead body laying in the hallway.

Better?

I cried

Yeah when you open up a rough draft you have not seen in months, that can be the reaction.  Along with the Lucas story (half done) and my fantasy story (half done, don't want to see it end), I have started to edit my second book in the Coiree series: Killer.

Here is an example of what I found.  This WAS the opening.  Notice I said 'was'.:


Vincent Hugh studied the worn cloth at the top of his canopy bed, the blood stain was still noticeable, even after all these years. He rubbed his beard. Last night had been a bust. She had been pretty though. Unfortunately, she had drank more than she should have, and passed out. Too bad, Vincent thought.
He sat up and stretched. His bed was a canopy bed, that instead of having curtains around, Vincent had put walls up. It was basically a room with in a room. Vincent could never sleep in a coffin, he never had one. He opened the small door that was the only entrance to his bed. He slid out and stood up. Vincent was naked, but he didn't care. There was nobody else in his apartment. Vincent walked over to his closet and pulled out an outfit for the night. There was a live band tonight. So Vincent chose and outfit that could be Gothic, yet looked like a serious business man. Vincent got dressed.

BORING:
The opening I am working with:

“Sorry man,” Vincent said handing Swen a rag.
Swen took the rag with a sharp flick of his wrist. “If you were to spray this place down with luminol it would glow like a god damn disco.”
“It was a slaughterhouse,” Vincent said. He shook the spray bottle.
“You are the slaughterhouse.” Swen blotted the blood on the wall. “Who was this?”
“Huh?”
Swen motioned with his head toward the dead body laying in the hallway.

Better?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Preview Wednesday: Chapter 16

*Formerly WIP Wednesday. But since the ebook is out, it's no longer a WIP.

****WARNING VIOLENCE AHEAD****



 
The stupor took Beka, but she did not dream. Instead, she felt pulled into one of Steopa's memories. At first the images were not clear, but then they came into focus. All she could smell was death.
She stood on the crest of a hill alongside Steopa. In the far distance a large fire burned. It looked like a second sunset on the horizon. In the distance, tanks were moving, and over their heads, bomber planes flew.
“Leningrad,” Steopa said, nodding toward to the fire. “It has been a year since the siege began. This was the first night I met Jalmari.”
Steopa pointed toward the city. There he was, walking out of the city coming toward them. A large dog padded alongside Steopa Rodovitch.
Beka thought the dog's gait was familiar. “That's Teodor,” she said.
“Teodor and I would hunt away from the city. Too many people starving there to feed us,” Steopa said.
Teodor changed into a form that was a combination of human and wolf. “Where are we going, Rodovitch?” he asked.
“They took the children,” Rodovitch said.
Teodor growled.
Rebecka turned back to Steopa. His face turned dark, like Vincent's had the night of the meeting. “Over there,” he pointed toward the tanks.
Across the torn-up ground walked a short man in a military uniform. Behind him were three other men. They walked toward a small farm with two rows of barbed wire fencing surrounding it.
Rodovitch and Teodor also headed toward the same farm house
“That was Jalmari and his compatriots. You have to see what is in the house to understand,” Steopa said, taking Beka's hand.
“Children?” Beka asked.
Steopa did not respond. She followed Steopa down to the house. Jalmari and his small group had entered the house. Beka could hear crying inside. She walked through the fence; it faded around her as she passed through. The cries turned to screams inside the farmhouse. She pressed her face against the glass. Beka tried to go through, like with the fence. Steopa placed his hand on her shoulder.
Jalmari's men were feeding on children. Jalmari stood to the side, not feeding. He patted the man next to him on the chest and pointed to a very young red-headed girl, with tears streaming down her face. The man grabbed the girl and tore into her neck. Jalmari stepped back and watched. Beka turned her face away.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Hurry up and wait.

There were two mistakes on my proof. One was the aforementioned spelling error. The other was the interior margin. At first it didn't bother me. But I don't like bending back a spine to read a book, and I had too.  So that was changed.

Now I wait again, to see if the files are ok. Then I can order a new proof. Crossing my fingers that it's ok. DEADLINE IS APPROACHING!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

First review, from a buyer.

One of the two people that have bought the ebook were kind enough to review it.  I hope they don't mind I will post a copy here.

"Review by: unimportant name on Apr. 25, 2010 : star star star star
What Mari Miniatt has created is a character driven story that holds no compunctions about what it is. Like the characters in her story it's honest about who it is, and makes no angst ridden apologies for it. Fledgling Coiree Guardians - Book One leaves me wanting more. I could fill this review with a lot more nonsense. I couldn't tell you how much I enjoyed reading this book without giving allot away. However, as Steopa would say "Vampires are cruel." I hope more people pick this story up and read it."

Advice Please!!!!!

I posted this on a group, and got no answers. I am hoping some one out in the Interwebs will be able to give me a little advice.

I am doing my first book signing event. I need to figure out how many books I should aim for.

Here are some things to consider:

Possible negative:
  • It's my first book, so no name recognition.
  • It's just before a major travel holiday weekend (Memorial day).
  • It's not being held at a bookstore.

Possible positives.
  • The owner of the place has sent out over 200 emails about the event, already.
  • I have personally invited over 30 people.
  • The fliers at the coffee shops had to be refilled twice.
  • The venue is right next to one of the hottest, busiest places to eat in town. People often come into this shop while waiting for their tables.
  • Being the start of a holiday weekend, it will be packed and there are posters in the restaurant about the event too.
  • The book signing is turning into a major event, prizes, games (most offered by the shop owner, I love her!)

So when this first started I was thinking 30 books, then 40, now 50. Am I being too optimistic? Or should I bring more? I am not too worried about having extras after wards, I have a list of people that are getting free copies, because of their help. I am more afraid of running out.

If I do run out, I am offering the people a chance to put a dollar down to hold a copy for them and a discount.

Any advice is appreciated.

Ancient History of Fledgling: part 7


I wish we would have done color plates. This is a close up of Steopa's eyes. They can change color from dark green, to burning red-yellow.


This scene went through some changes, but Beka still sees Steopa and Vincent talking, while everyone thinks that Vincent is out hunting Steopa down.  Here Beka still has the straight hair, and different color as well.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The proof is in hand (cross post)

I picked up my proof copy today. And other than the spelling error on the cover (that has been fixed), it's perfect. My opinion.

I almost cried when I saw it. It's real. It looks like a book you would buy in the book store. I gave myself a hug. First time ever.

I stopped by the store that will be having my launch party and the shop owner could not put it down. I had to fight to get it back. Great sign!

I got to talk to a few other people there. It is sounding like it's going to be bigger than I thought. Along with the signing, there will be door prizes, costumes, and music. So even if you don't buy, you should have fun.

Besides we are next to the best BBQ in Syracuse, so if you are really hungry just run next door.

So soon the soft cover will be released to the world. I hope the right people find it and love it. I can't wait to find out.

The proof is in hand.

I picked up my proof copy today. And other than the spelling error on the cover (that has been fixed), it's perfect. My opinion.

I almost cried when I saw it. It's real. It looks like a book you would buy in the book store. I gave myself a hug. First time ever.

I stopped by the store that will be having my launch party and the shop owner could not put it down. I had to fight to get it back. Great sign!

I got to talk to a few other people there. It is sounding like it's going to be bigger than I thought. Along with the signing, there will be door prizes, costumes, and music. So even if you don't buy, you should have fun.

Besides we are next to the best BBQ in Syracuse, so if you are really hungry just run next door.

So soon the soft cover will be released to the world. I hope the right people find it and love it. I can't wait to find out.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

WIP Wednesday: Chapter 15: What is down there?

The same old warning about WIP. May change, etc.


What was down here?” Steopa asked.
Ah, the employees didn't know about this place,” Vincent said. “It was only for the owner and a select few.”
But what was it?” Beka asked.
Most of the offal and viscera ended up here,” Vincent said.
How did they get it out of here?” Beka asked.
They didn't,” Vincent said. “We are talking before health codes.”
Gross,” Beka said.
She took Steopa's hand. Vincent glanced at her holding Steopa's hand and smiled. He turned his head away. Steopa grasped her hand tighter. Beka rolled her eyes.
She noticed something odd about the walls and the floor. There were stained channels in the walls that joined with the ditches on each side of the hallway. She tried to map out where they were in her head. They were under the dance floor; that had been the main killing area when the building had been a slaughterhouse.
On the ceiling, old bolt holes arranged in pairs and ran the length of the hallway. Something had been suspended above the paths in the past.
Can't you feel it yet?” Vincent asked.
Steopa snarled.
What is it?” she asked.
Can you not smell it?” Steopa asked.
Beka sniffed the air. She could smell the stench of old blood mixed with the smell of herbs and smoke. It smelled like Cassie's shop, but not as strong. In the past, it must have reeked.
Yeah, Good ol' Joshua. He was a strange one,” Vincent said.
Beka heard the bitterness and anger in Vincent's voice.
Vincent smiled, a smile of someone trying not to strangle the person who pissed them off. “He had a 'select' group of friends and they would meet here.”
The hallway ended with a large archway made of stone. The channels on the floor went through a small clay culvert at floor level. Beka grimaced; the smells intensified in the room beyond.
Vincent paused, covering his mouth. He lowered his hand and coughed. Motioning them to follow, he walked through the stone arch. The room on the other side had been carved out of a small cave.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Rules to Self Pub. and when to break them.

First rule you should never break. GET AN EDITOR! I know they cost money, but it's well worth every penny.

I broke the "Do not get your friends to design the cover" rule. Excuse me, the people that came up with that rule had good intentions. They assumed that you would find some crafty person to make your cover. Well, my husband is an artist. And I personally know at least four professional graphic artists. If you have that sort of connections, why not use them.
So my husband designed the cover. We sat down and discussed the color layout, how we wanted to make each cover in the series related to each other. And how to make the cover stand out on the computer screen and on the shelf.
I am very happy with the work. And with the latest typo meltdown, his artwork must be good, BECAUSE NO ONE SAW THE MISTAKE FOR MONTHS! In fact, I was the one that discovered it on the cover, after my friend pointed out the mistake on the sell page.

A rule I would like to add: Find a off-line place to sell your books. Not just a regular bookstore. Think outside the box. There are other places that sell books, that are not "bookstores". Mine is going into a art/metaphysical type of store. If you make a cookbook, see if an independent grocery store will sell it. If you write horror, look for a costume shop. The internet is fine, but most of the people that want a copy, are people I have actually met. From them I hope the interest grows.

Any other rules worth breaking or adding.

need a break

After I am done with this book in the series I am working on, I am taking a break from that series. Three reasons.
One: I have to really plan out the last part of the series. That means (gasp) outlining!!!!
Two: A friend asked me, why stop with the current series you have planned? She is interested in some side characters.  I might try work out some side stories on them.
Three: A fantasy story  that popped in my head, is too much fun to stop with.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Typos again, not mine!

According to this article Cookbook pulped over 'ground black people' typo You can see what a typo can do to a book. In this case a cookbook.

The one that caused me to pull my hair out wasn't as bad.  In fact, I picked up some copies of a flier for my book launch that had the same typo (still usable) and the printer didn't see it.


You see why you need a second pair of eyes to look over your work (better yet, four to five). Not everyone is going to catch everything.

Well, even the professionals mess up sometimes, makes me feel a bit better.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Ancient history of the Fledgling: Part 6

This another of Steopa and Vincent talking from the scene that was cut. Steopa was also a bit shorter at this time. Still a large guy, but not the giant he became.


This is what happens when one of my vampires have not eaten in a while.

Major breakdown moment

I had a major breakdown moment, but I think I have recovered.

There was a MISSPELLING on my cover. GAWWWWWWHHHHHHH!!!

This was the cover I and my husband had been working on for months. I thought I had caught all the mistakes. But after I put the book up for sale as an ebook. A friend of mine points out the mistake. I thanked her. Believe me I would have hugged her through the Internet. I was glad she found it, less than 24 hours after I put it out.

BUT

Now I had to change all the files. I hope I found all the ones on the internet.  GRRRRR. 
Still a breakdown. How could I have missed that word? It was one I always had to catch myself on.  I had shown the cover to a lot of people. NOT ONE said anything. There could be many reasons for that.
  1. To shy to correct me.
  2. Didn't notice, like the artwork too much (good reason)
  3. It is a common misspelled word.
  4. I don't want to think about four.

But it is now fixed. I only pulled out part of my hair.

Too early for wine, but I will have some later.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Ebook is out!!


This morning, I have uploaded and made for sale, Fledgling. It is at Smashwords. It's only 99 cents! If you like it please put a review up at Goodreads.



The softcover will be out soon. And remember for those of you in Syracuse, the book launch is May 27th. I am working on a way to do a virtual book launch. Any ideas?

The Ebook is out!!

This morning, I have uploaded and made for sale, Fledgling. It is at Smashwords. It's only 99 cents!  If you like it please put a review up at Goodreads.



The softcover will be out soon. And remember for those of you in Syracuse, the book launch is May 27th. I am working on a way to do a virtual book launch. Any ideas?

The Ebook is out!!

This morning, I have uploaded and made for sale, Fledgling. It is at Smashwords. It's only 99 cents!  If you like it please put a review up at Goodreads.



The softcover will be out soon. And remember for those of you in Syracuse, the book launch is May 27th. I am working on a way to do a virtual book launch. Any ideas?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Goodbye Greenman


 From HERE

Peter Steele is dead.

Some of you are saying, “Who?” The rest of you are agreeing it sucks.

Peter Steele was the lead singer and bass player for the Band Type 0 Negative. Once you saw him, you would not forget him. Standing at six feet seven inches he was intimidating to begin with. His presence on stage was like watching some primordial being belting out the songs. When he rolled his eyes back, you could believed that something had possessed him.

What was it about the music? The stuff he wrote could range from the romantic to the homicidal. Lyrically some of the songs were very simple. Burnt Flowers Fallen was only a couple of lines, but each one was sang with such emotion that it sounded fresh and not repeated. My favorite lyrically was In Praise of Bacchus he took you on a tour of New York as only a drunk moaning about is ex-girlfriend could. There were the ultimate angry breakup songs :Unsuccessfully Coping With The Natural Beauty Of Infidelity and Xero Tolerance. (sorry scremo bands you will never top the image of Peter with a pick ax).

The songs could be sensual, sexual, and like having aural seduction: Love You to Death, Girlfriend's Girlfriend, Their cover of Summer Breeze, the cover of Cinnamon Girl becomes wild.

His songs touched upon emotions Creepy Green Light, is more than a ghost story song, its about not dealing with loss. Death did play heavily with his themes. When I first heard Red Water: Christmas Mourning. I was shocked. He gets it I lost my mother around Thanksgiving. And to this day November and December do not excite me at all because of the holidays. He got it, he knew what it was like, and it was a relief to hear. Everything Dies, sums up the frustration with being surrounded by death. Perhaps it's only a large family thing, but it seems when there are times when everyone in your family is dieing.

I tried to listen to World Coming Down as soon as I could after I heard. Tears came to my eyes. 

But now he's gone. He will be hard to replace. Not just in stature, but in his singing style; from deep rich notes to screaming like a barbarian on a raid. And no one can rip the bass strings off a bass like he could.

I am sure the rest of the members will go on, Johnny and Kenny have their own band on the side. But now a part of life has ended. And one of the forerunners to gloom metal is gone. It saddens me to think that not many people beyond his fans will care. But then he was always quick with a big “Fuck You” to anyone that felt that way. So be it.

Who am I? Just a fan. Just someone that heard the music at a time in my life when I needed to hear it. Thanks for all of it.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

WIP Wednesday: Chpater 14

WIP means Work In Progress. Things may change, you have been warned. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

“Some of them got away,” Steopa said.

“Do you think they will be back?”

“Yes,” he said. “They are trying to move into every vampire's territory in this town. They will come back to try to attack us again.”

“Paulette said she was looking for something.”

Steopa looked down at his feet, then behind him. “Where was Paulette?” he asked.

“I felt her,” Beka said.

Red lights flashed among the trees. The service truck flew past them on the access road. When it had passed, they hurried to the main road.

“I can't believe that woman has gold-plated fangs,” Beka said. “What type of person would do that?”

“It was foolish,” Steopa said.

“Where would you find someone to do that? Think about it, what type of dentist would do that job and not make a comment about it?”

A rustling noise came from above them, in the still trees. A large bird flew out of the tree and over their heads. It looked like a hawk, but not like one that Beka had ever seen.

“What type of bird is that?” Beka asked.

“A buzzard,” Steopa said.

"A buzzard?”

“Odd.”

“Very odd,” Beka said.

The buzzard flew in the direction of the massacre, then flew back, following the tracks. It circled around Steopa and Beka, then over the tops of the trees. Steopa shook his head.

“Very strange,” he said.

They made it to the street as someone far behind them started to yell. Sirens were coming closer. Steopa scaled the side of a tall office building. Beka almost beat him to the roof. The corners of Steopa's mouth went up in a little smile.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Ancient History of Fledgling: Part 5

This is Vincent and Swen. Unfinished sketch. I think it was about this time that real life made it impossible to continue the comic. Swen (left) has gone through some major changes. One he is slightly larger now, and two that jacket he would not be caught dead in. Too bad it's not in color.

Beka again with straight hair. Her bite.  That is a major change. At first I kept it very Hollywood, the two small holes, like above. As I went through the MANY rewrites I really thought about how a real bite would look. When a human bites another human, it can look nasty. So why would a vampire bite be two, small, neat holes?  In the novel, her bite isn't.  But that may also have to do with how and why she was bitten...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Old RPG memories.

Random thoughts have been flying around my head this week. I had been thinking about the old D and D campaign we used to run. We had a lot of fun with it at the time. And all the old notes and maps are sitting around gathering dust.
Then I was reading a few articles about some rock musicians I really admire and somehow those two lines of thought crossed.
Did minstrels have to put up with the same stuff modern musicians have to?
Grrr. Another WIP just reared it's head.
I tried to shove it back, I really did. I am working on another WIP and have a entry for Script Frenzy to write. And this one wakes me up today with the names of the principle characters, what they play, and the main conflict.
I love it / hate it when this happens. Love it because the story is really in my head, ready to come out. Hate it because when do I find the time to work on all of it?
It will be easier if I did not have to work to survive, but needs must and all that.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wednesday WIP: Chapter 13

WIP means Work in Progress, things may change you have been warned.

Beka's skin felt hot. She watched the women walk away from the table. Vincent watched them as well. Steopa reached over the table and took Beka's hand. His green eyes glowed. Beka could feel that Steopa wanted to be away from the crowds.
“Hey Vince, we are going upstairs,” Beka said.
Vincent grinned, “You want some privacy?”
Steopa gave Vincent a look like he was an idiot. “You should know better,” he said.
Vincent laughed.
Beka stood up. Steopa got up and waited for her to lead the way. They left the night club via the back hallway. At her apartment, Beka turned to Steopa.
“I have to invite you in?” Beka asked.
“Yes,” Steopa said.
“Come in.”
Steopa waited until Beka had entered, then he walked inside. He looked around the apartment, but didn't say anything. Steopa walked over to her little work area. It was covered with computer parts, technical books, and a scanner. He picked up a DVD drive, turned it over in his hands a few times, then set it down.
“What is all this?” he asked.
“My hobby,” she said. “Actually, I went to school for computer systems and networking, but never could land a job in the field.”
Next to her work area sat her computer. Parts of it had been replaced so many times that it was no longer the original computer she had bought. Laying on the table next to it was her latest project, a new motherboard.
Beka pulled another chair next to table. She patted the seat. Steopa sat down next to her.
“Okay, Can you give me any names you know Jalmari has used?” Beka asked as the computer booted up.
“Jalmari, of course,” Steopa said. “Jason Fletcher, and Hans Brandt.”
Beka typed the names into a search engine, opening a separate tab on the browser for each name. She opened up her IRC client. Two of her hacker friends were online. She put her headphones on and pulled her microphone closer. She glanced at Steopa; he watched her with his head tilted.
"I'm just getting some really talented people on this too,” Beka said.
“Do you trust them?” Steopa asked.
“Well, they have never attacked my computer, and they could.”

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Big news again

Finished the rough draft of book seven. It ended very sweetly.

Rewriting the one I stopped writing to do seven.

Working on Script Frenzy.

And the thing that is making my stomach turn. Sending out copies for review. Right now only to places that accept ebooks, because my softcover is not complete yet.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Ancient History of the Fledgling: Part 4


Steopa in his lair. I love this one. The fireplace is gone now. His lair has moved from an abandoned mansion to a vault underground. But he still has the same taste in decorations.


There is a fight in the novel in which this happens. What you see is Vincent's hand coming through Steopa's chest. In the novel this attack happens to a not as lucky vampire. Beka with straight hair too. That has changed as well.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Script Frenzy

I wasn't going to do it this year. I thought I would be too busy with my other works. But The Fledgling has moved into the formatting stage. Soon to be book stage. Opening up some time for me.
So I dusted off my notes to a movie idea I had and hit the ground today. 25 pages!!! WOW!
Unlike my stories, I do outline my script ideas. It really helped focus me this morning.

Friday, April 2, 2010

ALMOST THERE

Just got my last chapter back from my editor. This means this weekend the novel is DONE!
All that is left is to get the file to the publishers. After the illustrations are done (only 6 more)
HAPPY DANCE!!!!

update again

So close on finishing The Fledgling. Down to 24 chapters now. two chapters were short and were related. they became one.

Kat's coming along good. It took a major twist yesterday, one I didn't plan on. But I have the way out. Damn subconscious driving me again.