Weekend Warriors

Welcome to my first installment of Weekend Warriors eight sentence teaser.

 www.wewriwa.com

This is from my current WIP, the 2nd book of the Dominion.

I don’t want this,” she said, appalled at how fragile her voice sounded. What the hell had just happened?

That predatory smile played across his face. “Baby, I may have been the lips, but you were tongue.”

Parry shrieked and flew at him, swinging a punch. He ducked and grasped her wrist, his fingers digging through her leather cuffs into her skin. He spun her and slammed her back against the building. Once again she was pinned in place by his huge frame. 

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Brand me biatch.

 So I’ve been thinking a lot about marketing of late and how us indie authors have to learn to market ourselves as best we can. This does not come naturally to me.

In fact, I’ve been so naive about it that I basically did nothing to promote my debut novel. I didn’t connect with any author promotion pages on facebook, I didn’t find out who my readership was likely to be. I barely gave the cover a second glance, figuring that the publisher knew the market better than me. I didn’t know about blog hops, in fact I barely knew about blogs and, like most artist/authors, I was far too busy writing to bother with that sort of thing.

Oh boy have I learnt.

My recent push to blog regularly stems from finally understanding that I need to keep myself out there on this wonderful thing called the social network, or I will fade into obscurity. Yet another forgotten indie author who never made it past one publication. My dreams forgotten, my life given to a nine to five that I can hardly stand.

Well I say no! I say I want to write, I need to write. I want my fans to look forward to my releases. I want the people who read my work to be transported away from the monotony of daily life. I want my imaginary friends to keep speaking through me.

So my next focus on my ‘learning to self promote journey’ is branding. How do I brand myself in a way that is clear, concise and attracts the kind of readership that is going to enjoy what I write ?

This is something else I don’t find easy, mainly because my personal taste has to stay out of it.

I have jumped around various PNR authors pages, studying and assessing the way they are presented. There are definitely pages that you know from the instant you land what the author writes. These are the ones I want to emulate. I want people to take one glance at my web page/blog/facebook and know that I am a paranormal romance author.

Unfortunately my personal taste runs to the more obscure.

For example: below is an image I created of how I see one of my characters.

Image

 Just screams sexy, modern, paranormal romance/urban fantasy set in a city environment. NOT!

So I finally get it. I can’t brand myself with the images that match what I see in my head. I have to think about my readership. I have to communicate in a way that is clear, that says what it is I actually do.

So with that in mind I have been playing with my website.

http://eviejayne.com/

Tell me what you think. Have I cracked it, am I way off or am I moving in the right direction? 

I’m sure this will be an ongoing journey, but I am pleased to say I am finally on the train.

 

Two (or more) tracked mind.

Image First thing’s first, the above sexy image has nothing to do with this post. It’s there because I like it and I thought you might too. I also thought it might make you pause for a moment and consider reading what I have to say.

So here is today’s humble post on the nature of my muse. Hope you enjoy.

 Staying on track with a story. How to do it when so many other ideas intrude, so many other imaginary friends clamour to tell their stories and so many snippets of life and myth spark my muse.

I am two thirds of the way through the sequel to Lunacy and have been loving it, when suddenly an idea that has been percolating in the back of my brain for the last few months has hijacked me.

So how then, do I keep on track? How do I stem the bombardment of thoughts and ideas that are taking up so much of my creative life without strangling the story that is asking to be told? 

Artists, authors, creative types? Your thoughts would be appreciated.

Imagine that

tumblr_lgvvquhriq1qarksao1_500

I’ve been thinking about the power of imagery of late, mostly bought about by an obsession with Pinterest. Which made me wonder if I’d ever shared my boards with you all. Of course I hadn’t. So here’s a peek into the images that seem to fit the Dominion and the creatura’s that inhabit it.

http://www.pinterest.com/eviejayne/luna-character-board/

http://www.pinterest.com/eviejayne/aveon-character-board/

http://www.pinterest.com/eviejayne/dominion/

Dragon Kings by Lindsey Piper

 

 

In honour of the recent release of Lindsey Piper’s Blood Warrior, I thought I’d do a bit of a plug for this fantastic series.

I’m not much of one for reviewing other people’s work. I’m too much of a hard arse and far too judgmental, but these books and the intriguing characters sunk their hooks in and gave me the kind of reading shake up I love.

The Dragon Kings, an ancient race of demons, were once worshiped as earthly gods. Centuries later and facing extinction, they fight at the whim of human cartels for the privilege of perpetuating their bloodlines.”  Taken from Lindsey Piper’s website.

I picked up the first book, Caged Warrior, based on its cover. As I’ve said before, I don’t love a lot of romance covers and anything that has bodice ripping connotations is an instant ugh for me. The cover of Caged Warrior lacked that god awful cheese factor and seriously appealed to my aesthetic. The grittiness, the raw aggression in the heroines gaze and, lets face it, the heroes body is about as beautiful as a man can get.

After a quick read of the blurb I was in and boy am I so glad I did.

The story begins when Nynn is released from a laboratory where she has been treated as a lab rat for the last year. She is given over to Leto to train as a cage fighter. Their relationship begins as warden and prisoner in a violent confrontation that sets up an aggressive dynamic. As the time progresses their dynamic shifts to trainer and trainee, then cage fighting partners and eventually, friends to lovers. The journey is anything but easy, both characters are deeply affected by each others presence, both are woken to truths about themselves, their histories and their lives that they would rather not face.

I just love books that break rules and Caged Warrior sure does that. The heroine, Nynn, is staunch, stroppy and intelligent, as many good PNR genre heroines are. Her journey from broken woman to powerful Dragon Warrior is awesome, her devotion and commitment to her stolen son is something every mother can relate to.

Leto really breaks the hero mold. He is not a nice guy. He’s violent and abusive. He shames, degrades and hurts Nynn all in the name of training her to fight. You’d think this would put me off him as a hero, but his behavior is so in keeping with his upbringing and his position as a slave/gladiator that I couldn’t help but have compassion and empathy for his broken life. I really understood why Leto was doing what he did, could see how it damaged him, even when he couldn’t. To see him wake to the truth of his slavery was both beautiful and painful.

I think this is Lindsey’s skill. She is unafraid in her characterization and doesn’t shy away from her characters faults. She also doesn’t try and tidy them up or make them more appealing. It’s this fearlessness that I love. Her writing is unsanitized, gritty and brutally honest and I adore it.

In Silent Warrior, book 1.5,  we get to know Hark and Silence and are swept into the whirlwind of their meeting. Two characters could not be more opposed. Silence is, well, silent and Hark talks, thinks and moves at a mile a minute pace. Lindsey writes in my favourite style, switching POV between the hero and heroine and it couldn’t suit this book or these two characters any better. As Hark speaks the language speeds, becomes chaotic and cluttered. As Silence speaks it slows, becomes sharper more cutting. The effect is to leave the reader feeling as unbalanced as the characters feel, as bombarded, as ripped open, as ungrounded.  Perfect!

It took me a little longer to get into Blood Warrior, but once in I was immersed. So much about the Dragon King culture began to unfold as Tallis and Kavya began their journey towards each other. My god, talk about clash of the arrogant. I loved watching these two climb slowly down from their high horses as they learned about each other and their different cultures. I love that neither was toppled, that both retained dignity, and chose to climb down. So often in PNR the main characters are whacked down. Not Tallis and Kavya, they wake each other, lift each other, learn to move past ego and prejudice so that they can love each other as they are clearly meant to. Lindsey did it again. Two well rounded, complex, likable despite their faults characters who I just fell for.

The language in Blood Warrior is more poetic that in the previous two books and that is one of the things I love about Lindsey Piper’s writing. Her language is informed by her characters.

Leto and Nynn are cut and dry people, hard and edgy. The language of Caged Warrior is the same. Hark and Silence? Well I’ve already told you about the language in their story. As for Tallis and Kavya, they are a pair of dreamers and their books speaks in the language of their idealistic souls.

I have a very short list of favourite series/authors. The Dragon Kings takes pride of place among them.

I recommend this series for anyone who loves Stacia Kane’s Downside Ghosts series or the Black Dagger Brotherhood. While they are three distinctly different series thay all have a level of honesty and rawness that put them in the same category(in my opinion anyway.)