Brutal Doom = Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

One of my favorite video games now has three number 2’s associated with it: today Doom 2 is 22 years old. I think that calls for a post!

Doom is a classic video game with many versions, and Doom 2 is my favorite iteration.

The first first-person shooter game I ever learned, I still love it, and now they have BRUTAL DOOM, a version more bloody with updated, more fluid controls, new fatalities, better weapons, and heavily updated graphics. It keeps the feel of the original and brings it into the 21st century.

Why am I telling you about this transition from 1990s cutting edge computer game to revamped and updated classic video game (with many versions in between)? Because it’s something happening constantly with books today. Take Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

This classic book has had many rebirths as films and through alternate tellings, including the strangely popular Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

This is a prime example of taking something people already love and giving it a spin that’s very popular today. I remember when everyone was joking about Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, but it became a bestseller and will be a film in 2016.

My point is that you never know what will inspire you to write, to imagine. And you never knowFeatured Image -- 1269 what piece of creativity is going to hit the mark with your audience. I’ve read historical fiction books for a long time, but I literally (and I mean that in the literal sense) never thought I would write historical fiction. My exact thoughts: I could never write historical fiction, it’s too complicated. Way too much research. And yet here I am. My first published book is historical fiction, and not only that, I enjoyed writing all the tiny historical details from life in the 1800s. I mean…wow. I went from “never ever” and “impossible” to having a 5-year publishing plan based almost entirely on dark historical fiction writing.

This should teach you one thing: never feel silly for hanging onto a kids’ book or playing an outdated video game. You just don’t know how it will positively affect your present – or your future.

 

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“Desensitization” Poem Published in The Andromedae Review

Very exciting news! A poem of mine called “Desensitization” was recently published in The Andromedae Review‘s premier issue! You can see it here for free. It was put into three columns, but just read one column at a time.

“Desensitization” was inspired by a time that I drove past a car on fire that was parked right up against a building. I pulled over and called the cops right away, and of course they’d already had plenty of calls about it. Once the call was over, I sat there feeling strange. I had never seen something like that before, and it struck me how scary it would be to be the owner of that car or the building next to it (the fire was starting to pop and sending fiery bits all over the place at that point) and have no idea what was going on. I could be happily shopping at the mall, meanwhile my car is on fire and starting to destroy something else around it.

This made me think of the difference between watching similar things (or much worse) in a movie and feeling no real connection to them versus seeing them in person. There is an extreme difference. The level of desensitization we have to shocking, frightening, and life-changing events is higher than we realize. I hope this poem expresses that fact.

Anatomy of a Darkened Heart Launches Today!

The day has finally come! Anatomy of a Darkened Heart is now available on Amazon for digital and paperback purchase. Celebrate with me on my new Facebook author page, where I’ll post giveaways, chats, and other fun things all day.

Anatomy of a darkened heart 3D

Anatomy of a Darkened Heart is just the first book of five in the Dark Victoriana Collection. Three novelettes will launch in 2016 followed by a final novel in 2017, so go ahead and get addicted! Plus October is the perfect month to read this dark and disturbing piece of historical fiction.

Want a signed copy of the book? No problem! I’ll even personalize it for you. Buy Anatomy of a Darkened Heart directly from me and pay the exact same amount as on Amazon – only more special. Check out the details here.

See you at the Facebook celebration!

 

Why #IndiePrideDay Was (And Is) So Important

There’s no question about it – Indie Pride Day was a major success, way beyond what I expected. TONS of indie authors participated and, as usual, everyone was extremely kind and ready to cross-promote. I can’t tell you how happy I am to be able to call that sort of behavior “the usual” in any group of people.

In case you weren’t there, the idea was to take a picture of yourself with your book and post it on Twitter and Facebook so that we could all take pride in our work and the fact that we chose to independently publish, and also to put indies on the “trending” map on social media. This further enables those participating to spread the word about their own and fellow indie authors’ works in a way that isn’t advertising. I thought this was a brilliant idea. It was the second annual event, and I’m already looking forward to next year’s!#indieprideday

One of the things I thought was so nice was that I could participate without having published my book yet. Anatomy of a Darkened Heart (AoDH) comes out in October 2015, yet Mark Shaw (creator of the #IndieBooksBeSeen movement) went out of his way to tell me I could still post my picture with the name of my book, just so I could participate along with everyone else. In what other community besides the indie author community can you find people who make exceptions to the rules for you and go out of their way to gather participants when they’ve already got loads? Between the Get Down With The Awethors Facebook group and the IBBS peeps, I’m convinced indie authors are the most dedicated and friendly community around.

Indie Pride Day was not just important in terms of showing the world that indie authors aren’t stuck with self-publishing – we choose it willingly. It was important because our community was strengthened by a snowball effect with a hashtag that gathered writers and readers together. Don’t think that sounds like such a big deal? Many times author events end up gathering fellow authors, which is wonderful, but it’s tough to get readers involved. This event brought people who’d never heard of the group or the event itself into the mix, something that’s hard to accomplish. For that alone, I congratulate every single person who helped put the event together and every single person who participated, even just by retweeting one other person’s tweet. I was thrilled to see random people joining in and tweeting that the event sounded cool and that they were behind it, never mind how awesome it was when readers named their favorite indie authors and the new ones they’d now try. I got the chance to discover india authors I’d never heard of and follow them on Twitter and Facebook as well as promoting their books. It was fantastic to expand my network exponentially in just one day.

Let’s not consider this a one-day thing. Let’s consider this a clear and welcome sign that there are more of us out there than we could ever have dreamed – and we’re all waiting to support each other. We are really just one giant community, and there is room for every single author out there. Welcome. Please bring your friends.

Oxygen Defined Published by Ginosko Literary Journal

One of my short fiction pieces, “Oxygen Defined”, was published today by Ginosko Literary Journal! Check it out here, page 113: http://www.ginoskoliteraryjournal.com/images/ginosko13.pdf.

There are lots of great works in this volume as well as past volumes, and I’m very excited to be among the authors published in this journal.

Tell me about your experiences being published, whether the first time ever or the latest time. What kinds of efforts have you made or are you making to get published? Let’s chat!

Beta Reading Special Offer!

In 2013, I will be opening my own beta reading business dedicated to the meticulous proofreading and editing of independent authors’ works. Before I open my business, I would like some testimonials. What does this mean for you? I will beta read the first 10 fiction manuscripts I receive before March 31, 2013 for free, in exchange for one testimonial. (Manuscript must be no more than 300 double-spaced pages, approximately 75,000 words.)

For all the details, check out this page on my website: http://bit.ly/WRAxXy.

This is not only an exciting opportunity for you to get your work beta read by a professional proofreader for free, but an exciting opportunity for me to read authors’ works before they are published.

Check out my offer and leave your thoughts in the comments section!

Recipe Book Sneak Peak: Holiday Blondie Cookie Squares

One of the recipes from my upcoming book was just published: http://naturalhealthinforum.com/2012/11/27/gluten-free-dairy-free-holiday-blondie-cookie-squares/ Check it out for a sneak peak of the kind of yummies you’ll find in my recipe book. These blondie cookie squares are gluten free, dairy free, sweetener free, and extraordinarily healthy. Lots of healthy recipes don’t taste good, but that’s why my recipes are different – they’re healthy and so tasty, you’ll think you’re eating something naughty 🙂 What a great, guilt free holiday treat! In my book, I’ll have a great faux caramel recipe to go on top.