Cover Reveal and
When it comes to covers, I always want authenticity. I not a fan of stock photos. I do use them to advertise, and then notice the same image on an author's book cover and cringe. I wouldn't want that to be me. Luck on my side, I'm married to an artist who has a degree in illustration. The combined efforts of his artwork and my wonderful publisher's (Authors 4 Authors Publishing) digital prowess create the unique covers (see my prior book Fyr's cover here). When it came to this new series, The Immortal Transcripts, I wanted a cover that defined the book's mood: sweet, youthful, romantic, yet imposing and dangerous. I wanted the characters represented as well. Here my cover is: heart and arrows for my main character Archer, the god of love, and the lightning for the antagonist, the almighty and foreboding Zeus.
I also had made a faithful promise to the writing community that I would post queries and pitches to help others who would like to study examples. I'm no novice when it comes to pitches. In fact, pitches on Twitter pitch days are how I became published through two publishers.
Lately, I'm on good terms with my publisher not needing to pitch or query, going straight to submissions, and I kind of miss making pitches--because I'm some sick masochist, I guess. Honestly, I think creating queries and pitches are a great way to wrap your head around your story and to help market. So I created this pitch as a social media friendly blurb about my book. Here it is.
Callie doesn't believe in myths. Archer doesn't fall into love but creates it. When she begins to unravel the very fabric of Archer's godly existence, gleaning deadly knowledge, what lengths will they go to be together?
Some notes about it: I introduce two main characters and the fact I'm talking about mythology where one of my MCs is the god of love. The stakes are her life, "love" and "be together" indicate the romance genre. The question shows that they most likely will go through a lot in the name of love including the possibility of her death. I left out a lot that can be covered in a hashtag such as #YA for young adult, #paranormal to show what type of romance, #greekmythology to show which mythological world I've adopted. What I did not include were the other important characters, the multiple side plots, the villains, etc. When limited in characters, space, or your audience's time, stick to the main plot and be concise.
Hope that helped you in your pitches. If interested in this novel, you can preorder here.
Anthology Review Time:
From the Stories of Old
I'm a sucker for fairy tale retellings, so I bought this anthology hoping for a fresh take on old stories and was not disappointed. It wasn't quite what I expected with a couple gruesome stories and a few bittersweet endings, but these were still enjoyable and balanced well with the happily ever after tales. They are in fact truly the stories of the old, with hints of Grimm's gruesome and harsh realities, bittersweet lessons, and heartwarming tales of friends or lovers overcoming the odds to defeat evil. There were hints of cultural criticism wrapped up in future worlds where mankind's destruction or devolution propels the plot. There was love, loss, friendship, family struggles--all your timeless themes--imbued throughout, creating an enriching experience for the reader.
It has a bit of everything with recognizable tales such as The Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Mulan, Snow White, and Rumpelstiltskin--but of the originals or earlier versions--not Disney--to less widely read tales about Silkie or Krampus creatures, clever fables such as The Peasant's Wise Daughter, and other tales that I didn't quickly recognize, adding diversity from non-European cultures. These more obscure ones I found refreshing, but the truth is none of them are straight up retellings but stories that hold strength on their own. They are still told in the style of fairy tales, but the authors manage to slip in more characterization that the old stories could provide. Due to the genre, this appeals to teens and any adult who thoroughly enjoys fairy tales.
I enjoyed them all, but I don't want to explain any of the stories in detail and spoil them. The fun is in figuring out which tale it is based off of, then the enjoyment in seeing how it plays out in comparison to the former versions. Just know that you're getting new spins on old tales that are refreshing, current, and of multiple genres in world like or unlike our own, past, present, or future, and some are culturally inspired. If this sounds like your cup of tea you can purchase the anthology here.
Tales in Publishing:
To readers, I imagine the publishing world seems very slow. You read a great book to find out it's part of a series and have to wait a year or more for the next novel. Waiting can be brutal. And then you see your favorite author announce their novel was accepted for release a year to eighteen months in the future and you're like...
As an author, that year flies by. It doesn't seem long at all because we are busy perfecting and prepping that book to send it out to the world. That is what my publishers and I have been doing. We have put Quiver through about four rounds of editing, got the marketing and supplement materials together, wrote the back cover blurb--all those little things some take for granted. In short, my book is ready for the world on my end, with the publishers dotting the I's and crossing the T's and such.
In a couple weeks, book I of The Immortal Transcripts, Quiver, will launch. I've had some concern that this will mean The Celestial Spheres will take longer to come out or won't continue, but the truth is I've been writing so long and so much that clearing two books a year is doable. Therefore, Draca, book 2 of Celestial Spheres will be out July 2020. We already had a couple rounds of edits for it.
As for Quiver, it is a young adult paranormal romance novel that follows four first-person points-of-view of three Greek gods and a mortal who inadvertently upends their lives. Apollo, Eros, and Aphrodite are showcased in this book letting us into their world that seems to be on the cusp of great change. I don't want to spoil too much, but I will be posting information on the blog here on out, so stay tuned.
All about Deidre
When she isn't writing, Deidre works full-time in the local shipyard, decked out in safety gear and getting her hands dirty. She lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest, enjoying the changes in seasons year-round. When she isn't working either job, she's catching up on the stack of books on her dresser, kicking it with her children, or playing RPG video game
With Jeff Young’s fantastic grades, he should be a great tutor. But he’s terrible with human interaction. “You’re an asshole,” is not a unique phrase to him. Jeff’s all right with that. His past proves most people are assholes.
Even with his reputation, he takes it too far when he uses a textbook to save the track star, Braeden, from a goose attack. Braeden is everything Jeff is not. Tall. Charming. Has 20/20 vision. And would never, ever wipe his mouth after a girl kisses him.
Braeden insists on getting to know Jeff. Jeff vacillates between wanting to know him and wanting to punch him in the mouth. Then he discovers the darkness rippling beneath Braeden’s deceptively easy-going persona. As Braeden confides his secrets, Jeff does the one thing that’s socially suicidal:
He falls in love with the very popular, very straight Braeden Britely.
A MODERN GREEK MYTH trilogy
Azalee wants a home—one that isn’t a cold, dirty prison deep within the earth. Even if she wanted to escape, she can’t walk in sunlight. Her skin will burn and flay, blistered by a god.
Defying the Fates
Joel wants to get her somewhere safe. Both are outcasts, shunned, and forbidden from taking proper Greek names. He breaks her out of an underground prison, and they flee toward Mykonos.
Angering the Gods
The battle-worn Kurios sends Niribelle after them. She’s gorgeous, she’s cunning, and she seems to have a thing for Joel. She arrives armed with Hecate’s magic, and blessed by Aphrodite’s beauty.
Inciting the War
Soon the three teenagers discover one horrifying thing: Mykonos will be no paradise.
Check out the trilogy bundled here.
SECRETS OF THE SEQUOIA trilogy
Devastated by her mother's terminal diagnosis, Rachael struggles with day to day existence as her family's cheerful facade splits stitch by stitch. Amidst her crumbling home life, she manages to make few new friends. One in particular, Holden, makes her question if she can even consider love while her mother's life hangs in the balance.
But Aaron Moreno, a lycan alpha, has a another idea: he wants to introduce Rachael to his and Holden's secret lives. And if what Holden says is true, Aaron will have no regard for what havoc this will wreak upon Rachael.
Check out the trilogy bundled here.
MOONLIGHT WARS trilogy
But when she lands in Las Vegas, Rachael is kidnapped by a new face from the pack of an old "friend;" her first love, Holden Cavanaugh. Holden is now the alpha of a group of poly-amorous betas, and he has every intention of convincing Rachael to join him.
After killing Aaron, of course…
Check out book 1 The Alpha's Hostage here. Book 2 here. Book 3 here.
What made you become a writer?
"I can’t really say. I’ve written stories ever since I got positive feedback on a story about my guinea pig in second grade. But I kept at it, to the point my grades suffered in high school… and for me, it’s more than a passion. It’s a calling. I write stories I wished I saw more of as a teen, and even what I wish I could see more of now. There is a lot I want to say to the world, and story form is the easiest, most productive way for me to express those thoughts, especially through fantastical settings and means."
How has the querying process gone for you? Any tips?
"I’ve been querying for at least four years now. At first I didn’t get any positive responses, but each year and each new project I get more and more interest from agents. Small presses like Evernight Teen have seen merit in my stories, for which I feel grateful, but I’m always aiming to get an agent and punch my way into the Big 5. For the past year I’ve fallen into this weird pattern where I have no fewer than 5 agents reading one of my works at any given time. So it’s a lot, a lot of rejection, but each full request has been a valuable experience overall.
"As far as tips, if you have a predisposition to taking criticism well, the process will be much easier. I have the grim joke that ever since someone told me to kill myself over my writing in my teens, no agent can possibly reject me in a way worse than that person. It’s important to remember that agents hate rejecting. I follow a lot of them on Twitter, and it’s surprising to see how many of them lament near misses or take abuse for rejecting an author.
"In short, keep querying, keep writing, and always be graceful no matter the answer. Being grateful for feedback as kept many an agent door open to me, and I’m at the point I can query the same agent with a new project and almost be guaranteed a positive response to read. In this industry, it pays to be kind and gracious."
Marketing is vital for authors. What works best for you?
"A mixture of Facebook ads and organic interaction on Twitter. FB nets me the most traction for my money (and it fits my tiny budget quite well), and Twitter has flooded with other positive authors who are happy to cheer you on. Cultivating a positive audience helps. But the other thing is behind the scenes—I keep writing, I never accept my craft as perfect, and each new book I release has done better than the last."
Where you can find Deidre:
Barnes N Noble
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