June 24, 2011

Sheer Entertainment!

I posted this awhile back in facebook, but I also wanted to upload it here. It's one of the most correctly portrayed scenes of an author's life that I've ever seen, which is what makes it especially entertaining. Enjoy!

June 16, 2011

Free Giveaway of Beholders: Insight!

We're doing a drawing for a free copy of BEHOLDERS: INSIGHT. Click on the "Contests" tab above for details!

A contest for a new prize will be held every month, so keep checking back!

June 11, 2011

Insight Available for Pre-order!

Yes, BEHOLDERS: INSIGHT is now available for pre-order!

If you aren't familiar with the layout of this website, take a look at the tabs at the top of this page (Home, World of Appernysia, Reviews, Store, Services, Calendar, About the Author).

Obviously, you should click on the Store tab to place an order for your copy of the book, along with other merchandise.

I also want to draw your attention to the Reviews tab. While there are some reviews already posted on that page, everyone can add their own review as a comment at the bottom of the page. If you are one of the many who have helped proofread INSIGHT, please take a moment and add your review for everyone else. Thanks!

The pages are still under construction, so check back often to see what's new!

June 8, 2011

The Hidden Power of Twitter

Up until just a couple months ago, I always believed twitter to be a downgraded version of facebook, with people making obnoxious posts that relate to nothing of importance. Twitter also seemed very difficult to understand or navigate.

Then I discovered two invaluable tools: hashtags and Tweetdeck.

Simply put, hashtags are classification labels you can include in your tweets. They must be one word with no symbols, and must be preceded by a # sign. For example, every tweet I make regarding my fantasy novel series includes the hashtag #Beholders.

So you can add a label to your tweets. So what?

Sooo, that's where Tweetdeck comes in. Tweetdeck is an AWESOME tool which turns twitter into a live-streaming, interactive community. See my screenshot below:

As you can see, I have multiple columns showing at a time. Each column is streaming a specific thing that interests me. You can stream a list of your followers (we refer to our twitter friends as "tweeps"), the tweets that all of your tweeps make, hashtags, or a list of specific search terms (like "Terron James").

By utilizing twitter through a program like Tweetdeck, you have joined a free, worldwide community of people with similar interests. As an author, some of my favorite hashtags are #yalitchat, #amwriting, #amquerying, and #pubwrite. There are also friend-sharing hashtags like #ww and #ff ("writer Wednesday" and "friend Friday"), which are great tools to connect with new tweeps.

If you use programs like Tweetdeck, twitter becomes a gigantic chat room. #yalitchat hosts a international chat session every week to discuss all the young adult literature circulating through the world. A lot of these hashtags have their own websites set up to manage their community and post their chat schedules.

Through twitter communities like #yalitchat and #amwriting, I have received free help with my query letter from strangers on the opposite side of the world, obtained free advertising for my novel series, and most importantly, made lifelong friends.

I expect that, as with myself, twitter has suddenly become extremely valuable to you. How could it not?

In the infamous words of Darth Vader, "Join me, and I will complete your training."

June 2, 2011

Beholders Vinyl Stickers

The vinyl logos have arrived for advertising Beholders!

If you would like to help advertise Beholders, I'll give/send these vinyl logos to you for free and, if possible, put them on myself so you don't have to worry about it.

If you haven't already volunteered to have one of these placed on your car(s), I still have 18 left to share! :) Please let me know.

Kudos to Scott Humphries for designing it and to Swortz Designz for providing such an amazing product!

Writing is What?

I don’t usually participate in blog tags and awards, but the lovely Jen tagged me in a post that I couldn’t resist.

Writing is NOT like a box of chocolates, so what is it REALLY like?

This statement isn’t true with a lot of people. There are people who dive into a writing project with no idea what they’re going to get out of it. Some projects are successes, while others are miserable failures.

For myself, it depends on the project. I’ve written nearly 30 short stories this year using writing challenges from Brian Kiteley’s The 3 A.M. Epiphany. Although I had an outline of how to write the story, I didn’t think the plot through before my hands engaged the keyboard. With most of the stories, I was surprised to see where I ended up in the plots and VERY pleased at what I got out of writing them.

In retrospect, I spent 4 months creating a detailed outline of BEHOLDERS before I began writing the actual manuscript for the first book, INSIGHT. A ton of details need to be streamlined for a high fantasy novel (magic, races, language, history, theology, etc.), so I think flying by the seat of your pants for such a project is a horrible idea. I would have painted myself into a corner on many occasions had I not known what/where I wanted to “get.”

That brings up an interesting point. What and where are two very different terms that interact constantly in writing. While “where you get” might include plot or success as an author, “what you get” is a lot more personal.

So what do I get out of writing?

Boy, what a question. I don’t know where to start or end, so I’ll keep it short. A sense of fulfillment, the chance to verbalize my imagination, the opportunity to explore new emotions and circumstances. Through the past 3 years of intensive writing, my identity has changed dramatically. I am a better and smarter person because of it.

I pass this post onto 3 of my writing buddies. Check out their websites. They're fantastic!
Paul Greci
Daryl Sedore
Paul Joseph