Friday, November 30, 2012

Tour spots open! Obsidian Blog tour!

I have one more spot open on the Obsidian Blog Tour in January. They are on the 22nd, 23rd, and 24th.

If anyone would like to help out and host me please email me at lil87blue (at) hotmail (dot) com! Hosts will receive a digital copy of Obsidian if you don't already have one.

There will be one giveaway that everyone will post and I will have the posts made up for you, so all you have to do is copy and paste and place a few pictures!

This tour is going to be different from most tours, with lots of fun stuff to see along the way!


I have filled all the spots! Thanks to everyone who has agreed to help!

NaNoWriMo! The Final Day!

Well, do you want the good news or the bad news? Just kidding, that's something my husband always says. I'll give 'em both to you and let's start with the bad news otherwise the good news won't make any sense!

Bad News: I'm not going to hit 50,000 this year. It just isn't going to happen.

Good News: I'm not really that disappointed. I predict that I'll get to around 40,000 words before today is over. That's 40k in 30 days! That is awesome and amazing! Sure I won last year and I wanted to win so bad this year, but at least I got a really good head start on book three.

I'm not making excuses, but let's take a look at why I didn't hit 50,000.
  • 3 month old baby. Yep, there he is just kicking around on the floor. He's chewing on his fingers and cooing up a storm. This time is his life is a time I can barely take my eyes off him.
  • 3 year old boy. He's learning new things and loves to play pretend. What kind of mother would I be if I didn't pet invisible kitties when they were handed to me? He is an awesome kid who doesn't get into much trouble, but he also doesn't take naps like he did last year.
  • 25 year old husband. Sure he sleeps in a lot, but when he's awake and home I am one of those wives who like to spend time with her husband and his parents. We go to their house a few times a week so I don't go crazy from being a stay-at-home mom.
  • Nanoartisans and 99designs. Recently I've gotten into cover design. So throughout the month when I'd feel that creative vibe start to whither away on the Language Art side of things, I'd head over to Nanoartisans forum and make a cover. It was through this forum that I found which is a site when people in need of designs for book covers, merchandise, logos and all sorts of other stuff post contest for designers and if you win you get prize money.
  • Birthdays and Holidays. This month I had three birthday parties (which pretty much turn into an all day event when you have kids) and of course Thanksgiving. We had 3 Thanksgivings. So, yeah.
Anyways, as you can see I'm a very busy woman. I have tons of stuff on my plate and I don't even have a "real" job. Which reminds me. Marketing my book is a "real" job. I just don't get paid to do it. Not hourly anyways. Eventually my hard work will pay off, but in the mean time I have a checklist of stuff I have to do everyday, every week and a big project each month. NaNoWriMo was my big project this month. In December I'll be finishing up edits on Moonstone (book 2) and sending it to my publisher.

So how did you do? Even if you didn't hit 50,000 you still got words on the page and that is what matters. Congratulations either way, because not everyone can do what we do. Now that NaNoWriMo is over, be prepared for lots of Christmas posts with a Paranormal twist of course! Christmas is my birthday, so this time of year is my favorite! This year is even my "Lucky" birthday since I'm turning 25 on the 25th.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Character of the Week! Sydney from Thief of Hope!

Character of the Week



Book Sydney appears in:
Thief of Hope by Cindy Young-Turner


19 years old

Are they human, vampire, other? Or is it a secret?
Human (and partly secret)

Short description of Sydney:
She is a pickpocket and child of the streets trying to overcome her past. She’s given the chance to find hope for a better future by joining the fight against a repressive regime. But doing so means facing her worst fears and putting her life on the line.

Five words that describe Sydney's personality:
Independent. Opinionated. Suspicious. Defiant. Passionate.

A quote from Sydney:
“We’ve got nothing to lose. The Guild’s ruined our lives. You’ve given us hope, and we’re ready to fight. Even if we fail, we willing to take the risk.”

Author links:


Monday, November 26, 2012

NaNoWriMonday! Update on the race to the finish!

This is Kayla Curry reporting to you from the front lines of NaNoWriMo. Stuff has happened. Crazy stuff. Scary stuff. Fun stuff.

Okay. I'm way behind. My word count took a huge hit from Thanksgiving week and now I need to write about 3,000 words a day to catch up. I can still do it, it's not out of reach. The problem is my plot is also running out of steam. It moved too fast and I figured out an awesome way to go back and add another POV, but even after that I'm still too close to the end to get 17,000 more words. Something big needs to happen, but I'm not sure what yet.

I may post another update later this week and I'll post also on the 30th.

My current word count: 33,387

So how is it going for you? How are you feeling about your NaNo novel so far?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving! What I'm thankful for . . .

Okay, I know there are probably a TON of these floating around the Blogosphere, but I just HAD to tell you all what I'm thankful for this year.

1. I'm thankful that my newborn son was brought into this world by my doctor. Doc pretty much saved his life after a bit of a traumatic event of having the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck.

2. I'm thankful for my amazing husband who supports me and my writing. He works a job that stresses him to no end so that I can write.

3. I'm thankful that both of my boys are so healthy and happy. They make my days bright and joyful.

4. I'm thankful for everyone in my family who has been so supportive, from my mother to my mother-in-law and everyone in between.

5. I'm thankful for all the wonderful authors I've met online. Without you guys, I'd seriously consider just shutting my computer off for days on end.

6. I'm thankful to Martin Sisters Publishing for picking up my book and guiding me through the process of publishing.

7. I'm thankful for this entire year. Some amazing and some sad things have happened, but I have grown as a person.

There is so much that I've left out, but it would be a long blog post if I kept going.

So, what are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Shout-out to the NP Bulldogger

As a high school girl who had just figured out that she liked to write, I signed up for Beginning Journalism the first term of my sophomore year. At my school, you had to take Beginning Journalism and pass with a C or higher to be on the Newspaper. (I got an A)

The newspaper was actually a class you could take that was the last period of the day and you could take the class as many times as you wanted. I was in that class for the remainder of my sophomore year and the entirety of my Junior and senior year. I learned so much and even became Ad Editor as a junior and Layout Editor as a senior.

My teacher, Mr. Burkle, was perhaps one of the most influential teachers I ever had in high school. I don't think I would have been able to write Obsidian without taking his class.

Last month, I had the honor to be featured in the very same school newspaper I wrote for: The Bulldogger. The students interviewed me and had great questions. The atmosphere in the room brought me back to my days of being in Newslab. (That was the name of the class)

The students were all very different, yet had something in common. It was just like when I sat in that class. We all had our differences and debates were not uncommon, but we were all in it together. We were like a family. Here is a picture of one of the first groups of Newslabbers I was in.

As I said, I was honored to be featured in the paper again, not as a staff member, but as a story. I hope that my story encourages the students in that class and in my old high school to reach for their dreams.

You can find their articles online at:

And here is the article they wrote on me and another author from Nebraska, Becca Fitzpatrick!

Awesome cutout, right? We were always better at that than the Yearbookers. Ha ha, just kidding. Kinda.
My free short story, Journey in an Unknown Land, was featured on! It's still free until the end of Friday, so grab you copy if you haven't already and check out the other books that are featured alongside mine!

Character of the Week! Llona Reese from Fractured Light and Fractured Soul!

Character of the Week
Llona Reese

Books this character appears in:
Fractured Light and Fractured Soul by Rachel McClellan.



 She’s an Aura, which means she has the ability to manipulate light.

Short description of Llona
Llona is different looking from most girls. She has long, very blond hair that can’t be colored or cut. This makes her self conscious. She also has pale skin and blue eyes. Her friend’s brother once described her as really pretty in a Tim Burton sort of way.

Five words that describe Llona's personality:
Feisty, sarcastic, fighter, guarded, survivor

A quote from Llona:
“When it comes to matters of the heart, rules don't matter.”

Here are some links to Rachel and her books!

For more information on Rachel McClellan and other awesome authors visit The Fiction Bookshelf!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Technorati test


FREE Journey in an Unknown Land!

No, sorry, I am not giving away a trip to Mexico or anything like that. BUT you can get my short story, Journey in an Unknown Land for FREE today through Friday. Grab your copy HERE!

It's actually pretty appropriate for Thanksgiving in some ways. Here is the blurb:

A troop goes into a land they've only heard of to gather food for their families. Little do they know the stories they've heard don't do it justice. The land is terrifying and strange with danger lurking beyond every corner. Will they survive this fateful trip?
Grab this story and read it to your family at Thanksgiving, I'm sure you will all get a laugh!

The cover was designed by . . . myself. You'll understand the cover once you've read the story. If you like Journey in an Unknown Land, feel free to pick up my horror short story Oomph! and my paranormal fantasy novel Obsidian: Mystic Stones Series #1.

NaNoWriMonday! Update on the 50,000 word goal!

The good news: I have hit the halfway point at 25,000 words!

The bad news: I'm still a little behind.

Current word count: 26,238

I'm slowly but surely catching up. I know I will make it, but that last few days will probably be a big push. I think I'm doing pretty good considering I've had two birthday parties and a Thanksgiving dinner so far this month. I have another Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, hopefully after that I will be cleared to write til my keyboard goes out.

How is it going for you guys? Anyone actually hit 50,000 yet?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Join the Mystic Stones Street Team!

Hey everyone! I've just launched my street team promo for Obsidian and the Mystic Stones Series!

There will be opportunities to get swag and even free books! Learn more about it HERE!

Here are some more awesome street teams you can join:

The Forever Girl Street Team

Boyce's Street Team (For the Grimoire Trilogy)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Embers At Galrilene Re-Release!

Get The Re-release Of "Embers At Galdrilene" By A.D. Trosper For Only .99 Cents From 11/17/12 Through 11/24/12 - Don't Miss The Dragon's Call!

Embers at Galdrilene has undergone a huge transformation! It now sports a beautifully redesigned front cover, spine and back cover. It also has an awesome custom designed interior and has been professionally edited. All thanks to the incredible team at Blue Harvest Creative. And as an added bonus, when you read the final page of Embers at Galdrilene, you'll get an exciting sneak peek for the prologue Tears of War, the second book in the Dragon’s Call series.

In celebration of its re-release, Embers at Galdrilene will be available for only $1.99! But this price only lasts from November 17th to November 24th. Embers won’t turn into a pumpkin at the end of its re-release promotion, but it will return to its regular price of $3.95. Don't miss out on this bestselling fantasy book. Wrap up the holidays with the gift of reading!

HERE to buy at Amazon


“A ray of light, a stain of shadow, shall endure to breathe life and death into the future”

The war between the Guardians and the Shadow Riders ended in total devastation. The final battle killed all the dragons and left nothing but fields of ash. A small clutch of dragon eggs was all that remained to provide hope for the future.

Five hundred years later, the ability to use magic is a death sentence and dragons are remembered as a curse. But the unhatched dragons sing for their riders...and soon six lives will be changed forever.
 The elements of magic are drawn together as the dragons’ call leads them on an epic and dangerous journey of discovery. They soon learn everything they’ve been taught to believe about magic and dragons is wrong.

With the last of the dragons and the world at stake, they will risk everything to heed the call.

But an evil from the past soon threatens their discovery and newfound joy. Shadow Dragons ride the dawn once more...


“Evil lurks at every corner and eventually bursts, bringing forth a vivid confrontation that kept me at the edge of my seat, turning page after page.” ~ Annamaria Bazzi

“The characters are well thought out, and the plot is great. I loved Galdrilene itself, and the idea of the dragon eggs singing to those who are meant to hatch them.” ~ The Crooked Word

“I was so impressed by this excellent story! The characters and setting were vividly detailed, and the storyline was unique and enticing. I loved that the characters had strong bonds and connections to other beings, and Trosper did a magnificent job with pacing and stringing together the plot.” ~ Katie Jennings (author of the Dryad Quartet and When Empires Fall)

“There is something about dragon stories that is truly captivating and Trosper has certainly encapsulated this in her novel. This story follows the lives of young men and women as they escape a life of control and fear to find their true talents and true selves… Expect to be entertained with dragon fights, romance and witty comebacks in Trosper's creation of an idyllic world. You are even given a rare insight into the workings of a dragon's mind.” ~ Elizabeth Wright of

“Anne McCaffrey's Legacy… I was extremely wary when this book was immediately evocative of every story Anne ever told about dragons, their 'Impression' on their destined riders, and the immutable bond between the two. Like Asimov's laws of robotics, Pern's dragon lore is indelibly etched as 'fact' in my psyche and anything markedly different does not sit very well with me at all.

I am immensely pleased to say that A.D. Trosper did not let me down. There was enough of Pernish dragon-lore to satisfy my need for continuity, whilst at the same time enough differences to make this clutch of dragons her very own. Well done Ms. Trosper!” ~ Richard King



Here is where I'm supposed to talk about myself in third person for whatever reason. But, even though there are a lot of people in my head, referring to myself in third person still sounds too strange.

Born in Kansas, I spent a lot of my childhood moving around. I lived in Kansas, Oklahoma, Washington State (around Seattle), and southern California. I had many great adventures growing up. I'm now settled down in Kansas with my wonderful husband, three children, my wonderful dog Katie, assorted cats, and small flock of chickens.

I've been an avid lover of fantasy since I was young child. Dragons, elves, fairies, dwarves, and other denizens of the fantasy world as well as magic have always fascinated me. As I grew up, I developed an interest in vampires, zombies and my interests branched out to take in paranormal and urban fantasy.

I don't have any special writing credits to my name other than a wildly active imagination and the ability to form that imagination into written stories.

Want to know more or connect with me? Follow the links, I promise there is no wicked witch of the west at the end…most of the time.






Friday, November 16, 2012

Breaking Dawn Part 2 is here . . .

 . . . and I'm not going yet! Don't tell me anything about it. I am waiting to see the movie with my Best Friend who lives on the other side of the state. Which is only 4 hours away, but she is busy and I am busy and we can't go see it together yet. We have seen these movies in theater together since I dragged her to Twilight a few years ago. She hadn't read the books and I got her hooked on the series. (She still hasn't finished reading the books no matter how much I whine and complain that she needs to before we see the final movie.) She's only on New Moon, so I don't think she's going to get them read in time. She HAS read my book, Obsidian, and can't wait for the next one, so I forgive her.

It kinda sucks living so far from your best friend. We talk a lot on the phone, but we haven't seen each other in a while. Did you go to the midnight show of BD2? If not, but you still plan to go, who are you going to see BD2 with?  Do you have friends in far away places? Sucks huh?

Do you have all the movies? Are you going to watch them all before going? I totally am. Even though for some reason I'm just not as excited to see this one as I was for the last ones. Are you having the same feelings?

Maybe you just hate Twilight. That's okay! Everyone is entitled to their opinion! Leave a comment on why! I just love to see conversations going in the comments!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Character of the Week! Dylan Brice from Wednesday's Child

Character of the Week
Dylan Brice

Book Dylan appears in:
Wednesday’s Child by Alan Zendell




Short description of Dylan:
Mild-mannered international business analyst by day, he’s also part of a secret anti-terrorist team. Other than that he’s just a regular guy, except – he lives his days out of order.

 Five words that describe Dylan's personality:
Smart, passionate, imperfect, principled, protective

A quote from Dylan:
"You have no memory of these events because we were able to reset the clock and undo them before they occurred."

Buy Wednesday's Child on Amazon

Buy the paperback edition

Monday, November 12, 2012

Cover Reveal! Fractured Soul by Rachel McClellan!

Today we are revealing the cover of Rachel McClellan's Fractured Soul, the sequel to Fractured Light!
What a beautiful cover!

Llona will do whatever it takes to protect her new found friends and home, but the dark plot that is threatening Lucent Academy, a school that’s supposed to be a safe place for Auras, may be too powerful for even Llona to defeat. This fast-paced tale of love, loyalty, and overcoming the darkness will keep you on the edge of your seat until the last page!

Website | Blog | Goodreads | Amazon | Facebook

NaNoWriMonday Update!

Hey guys! sorry the post is so late. I was too busy writing last night to remember to do this post!

Anyways, I have 12,079 words so far. I'm a little behind, but I plan on getting caught up over the next few days. I worte like a crazy person yesterday.

Some great news: I have a new found direction. Things have FINALLY clicked into place and I know how the book I'm working on and how the series is going to end!! I am so excited about that. I think anyone who reads the Mystic Stones Series will LOVE how it ends.

I struggled for a few days because I was feeling inspired in a different way than writing inspired. It's something that I deal with all the time. I start a project and then I just have an idea or a desire to do something else. Eventually, I was able to vent the other creative side of me and then I put down about 4,000 words after that.

So, how are you doing? Have you gotten stuck? How did you get unstuck, or have you yet? A great way to get inspiration or seek help is to go to the forums! NaNoWriMo is about helping out each other!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Challenge Me! Cover Design!

I've been feeling in a creative mood lately, but I have no where to vent my creativity. Sure I'm doing NaNoWriMo, but I'm talking about the urge to create a piece of visual art. The problem is, I have no direction. That is what I need from you.

Send me your covert art challenge. This can be a cover for your upcoming work or a cover for a  book that doesn't even exist. I need the title, the author's name, a description of the story and your concept of the cover.

I will pick one of these concepts and create an original cover to the best of my abilities. Whoever comes up with the cover I choose will get to work with me through the process. I will send you mock ups and you can tell me what changes to make and once the final cover is complete you will take ownership of it for FREE!

So, send in your concepts to pepperpress (at) hotmail (dot) com and I will be choosing a cover within a week or two!

In honor of Bram Stoker

Today would have been Bram Stoker's 165th birthday!

So in honor of Bram Stoker, I pulled out Dracula and skimmed over some of my favorite scenes. I've read Dracula a few times in my life and of course seen the movies. Stoker was a great novelist and had a great mind.

His many novels are now considered classics and I believe he is responsible for the vampire we see in literature today. I know he didn't invent them or anything, but Dracula is perhaps the most famous vampire story there ever was.

Have you read Dracula? Have you read other Bram Stoker works? What do you think about Bram Stoker and his work?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Character of the Week

Apparently, I somehow skipped Character of the Week this week. I think it's because I had someone who was unable to do Character of the Week, so I moved someone up and never filled the blank spot.

So, instead of doing a specific character this week, I want to hear from YOU! Who is your favorite character of all time? Mine is Sherlock Holmes. I think Sir Arthur Conan Doyle did a great job in creating a memorable character who has lived in the minds of so many people.

So, let me know! Who is your favorite character and why?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Cover Reveal for Robert Zimmermann's From Where I Stand

Today we are taking a little break from the paranormal and instead we'll be helping with the cover reveal of From Where I Stand, a book of poetry by Robert Zimmermann. Rob is a very kind and talented guy who is always eager to help others, so when he was looking for people to reveal his awesome cover, I jumped at the chance! He's been very hard at work on this project, and I can't wait until it's finally released!



From Robert Zimmermann comes From Where I Stand, an emotional debut poetry collection. Zimmermann explores strained parental relationships, loss of life, and the despair associated with grief. Alongside these darker themes, he delves into the small areas of life that often go unnoticed but become the hope we are searching for.

Expected release November 2012

Example’s of Robert’s poetry can be found in the
poetry section on his blog. He also has poems published by Albany Poets.


"Rob writes with an incredible sense of observation and feeling made all the more poignant by his struggles. Every verse is genuine and every poem is a journey toward understanding the soul of a poet." –
Ben Ditmars, author of Night Poems

“Zimmermann has achieved something rarely seen in modern poetry. Each poem is a personal and detailed story that will strike the heart of the reader with a torrent of emotion. Zimmermann balances the dark and light beautifully and without a hint of hesitation.” –
Jessica Fortunato, author of The Sin Collector Trilogy

"Rob's poetry has a very real tone to it and in some ways creates a tragic yet poetic story." –
Paulina Ulrich, author of the Flightless Bird Series

"Honest, heartfelt and moving" – Amber Jerome~Norrgard, author of In The Gloaming


Robert has been writing poetry since the eleventh grade. His writing started as impulsive rambling, but soon became a passion. A few years later he attended SUNY Potsdam where he received a B.A. in Creative Writing.
His main focus is poetry, but at times you can find him dabbling in short fiction. Robert has also created the blog
A Life Among The Pages, where he posts his writing as well as book reviews.

When he’s not reading or writing, Robert enjoys spending time with his dog, Deuc. Deuc ran out of the woods in August 2011 and that have been inseparable ever since.



What Kills Me . . . kills some trees.

What Kills Me...kills some trees. Wynne Channing’s top-rated bestselling novel, What Kills Me, has being released as a paperback! Since its debut as an ebook this summer, it has shot up to #1 in occult last month. Wynne decided to put out a book version so more people could go on the adventure. (She says: “Maybe finally my father will read the book now that it's in a form that he recognizes.”)

Check out the new book trailer:

Buy What Kills Me

For your E-Readers:
Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N | Kobo | iTunes | Goodreads

About the book: An ancient prophecy warns of a girl destined to cause the extinction of the vampire race. So when 17-year-old Axelia falls into a sacred well filled with blood and emerges a vampire, the immortal empire believes she is this legendary destroyer. Hunted by soldiers and mercenaries, Axelia and her reluctant ally, the vampire bladesmith Lucas, must battle to survive. How will she convince the empire that she is just an innocent teenager-turned bloodsucker and not a creature of destruction? And if she cannot, can a vampire who is afraid of bugs summon the courage to fight a nation of immortals?

About Wynne: Wynne Channing is a national newspaper reporter and award-winning young adult novelist. Wynne loves telling stories and as a journalist, she has interviewed everyone from Daniel Radcliffe and Hugh Jackman to the president of the Maldives and Duchess Sarah Ferguson. The closest she has come to interviewing a vampire is sitting down with True Blood‘s Alexander Skarsgard (he didn’t bite). She briefly considered calling her debut novel “Well” so then everyone would say: “Well written by Wynne Channing.”

Connect with Wynne
Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Google+ | Pinterest |YouTube |Amazon Author Page

Monday, November 5, 2012

NaNoWriMonday My weekly update on how it's going!

Okay, so I've been pretty good. My current word count is 7362. I made my goal on Day 1. Didn't do any writing on Day 2. Day 3 and Day 4 I played catch-up.

So far it is going well. I did run into a little snag when I was trying to write a scene that I hadn't fully researched, but I used the AWESOME forums and posted a question after finding nothing in a google search. Less than 30 minutes later I had an answer. Which is amazing because it was a really difficult and specific question about infrared and amethysts, so THANK YOU to the man who answered my question, you rock!

So, NaNoWriMo is definitely helping me get a good start on book #3. I can't wait to see what the rest of the month holds for me. I did a really basic outline that I'm sticking to pretty well so far, but I usually hit about 10,000 words before I come up with other directions for stories to go.

How are you coming along on NaNoWriMo? Remember, any word count is better than no word count at all!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Obsidian is going on tour!

Hey everyone! I'm organizing a blog tour for Obsidian: Mystic Stones Series #1! I have some spots to fill on the tour, so if you want to be a part of it please let me know! I'm planning lots of fun posts that go off the beaten path, so to speak. I just finished making digital character cards for all the key characters and they'll be revealed on the tour!

I'm also working on a few video type "tours" for the blog tour and some awesome guest posts! I'll have one giveaway for everyone to post and it should be tons of fun!

If you'd like to host me, please contact me at lil87blue (at) hotmail (dot) com! Thank you! Oh! The tour begins January 7th!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Today we have a guest post from Brooklyn James, author of Vigilare, Vigilare: Hell Hound and The Boots My Mother Gave Me. She's here to tell us about how she created her awesome new book trailer for Vigilare.

BOOK TRAILERS are a relatively new concept, following the promotional success of the movie trailer. Without a movie trailer, advertised on national television, how else would we know of the latest blockbuster or quiet Indie film coming to a theater near us?

By virtue of movie trailers, we get an average of two and a half minutes to determine whether the concept, actors and overall theme appeals to our film palate. I LOVE a good movie trailer! One movie in particular I want to watch, REACHER, is based on the fantastic Jack Reacher novels by Lee Child. I was not aware they were making such a movie until I saw the movie trailer. From this movie trailer, I can deduce the film involves the city of Pittsburgh, a red Chevelle with black racing stripes, mystery, suspense and a kick butt antihero played by Tom Cruise. As a Pennsylvania native, a Steelers fan and a lover of all things with horsepower, the city and the car alone, are enough to stir my curiosity about this film.

Some authors and publishing companies have taken to promoting their books in much the same way, by virtue of a book trailer. Usually these book trailers are quite short, on average thirty to ninety seconds in length. From the modest to the grandiose, I have viewed book trailers of all sorts. Some even include real actors. I am inclined to believe most of these 'higher-end' book trailers are produced by larger publishing companies. As the majority of author produced book trailers I've watched simply depict images, illustrations, animation, narration and/or a musical score to get the general point across.

My curious nature winning out, I had to attempt a book trailer myself. After several months of imagining a storyboard, contemplating the worth of a book trailer in my promotional efforts and tracking down an illustrator, I've released my first official book trailer for my supernatural thriller trilogy, VIGILARE:

I hope you enjoy, as it took a good dose of time, and a little cash from my operating budget in producing. As most Indie authors, once I try something, I like to share with other authors, readers and inquisitive minds my experience, with the intent to offer some insight and my overall impression. For those of you interested, I have outlined below my experience in producing my first book trailer.

Step 1: I researched book trailers, simply by googling the term. I found numerous productions, from the most simple to what appeared quite complex. Some of these book trailers had very few views, while others, more popular, such as the Hunger Games and Twilight series had upwards of 300,000+ views. This is quite understandable considering their popularity and promotional machines. However, there were some self-published authors who attained reputable views, such as Ley Mesina's 'Reborn' book trailer. 'Reborn' enjoyed 11,000+ views, and is a great example of a very basic book trailer, featuring a haunting musical score with only words and background images depicting the story line. No complicated graphics, animations or actors. 'Reborn' is a successful example of what an Indie author may be able to create on any home movie editing system, such as Windows Movie Maker. You can watch this book trailer here: Researching was enough to drive me to attempt making my own book trailer.

Step 2: Coming up with the idea, the storyboard, so to speak. I sat down with my book description, from the back cover of Vigilare, and began drawing a storyboard. I am no artist, so my storyboard consisted of stick figures and a general idea of how I saw my characters and their environment. Vigilare is a supernatural thriller, inspired by movies such as The Punisher, V, Batman and Sin City. It's dark and comic-esque. Therefore, I figured black and white illustrations would suit it best. You know, the images one may see in a graphic novel or a comic book. I knew I was working within a budget, therefore, I figured I could allocate enough resources to cover 7-images/illustrations. Most illustrators will charge per illustration. From my research most illustrations range from $20-$70/each, depending on the detail and the time required to draft them.

Step 3: Once I had my 7-illustrations in mind, I began researching illustrators and graphic artists. Calling on an acquaintance from PR By The Book, here in Austin, Texas, I was referred to Jeff Hebert of AFD Studios, otherwise known as Hero Machine. Jeff has quite a nice portfolio. You can view his portfolio at or visit his site at, where you can experiment with making your own superhero visuals. There is a Contact Us section on Hero Machine, where you can submit an email for inquiries, quotes, etc. Jeff and I met at a nearby Starbucks to discuss the book trailer. I shared with him my humble storyboard, talked about how I saw the characters and the city in general. I gave him a copy of Vigilare, so he could envision the characters, their motivations, etc. All of this was necessary to effectively convey what I had in mind.

Step 4: Jeff constructed drafts of each of the 7-illustrations based on my initial storyboard. From there we went back and forth over a period of a few months in locking in the illustrations, the characters and their mannerisms. Mind you, this process could have turned around much sooner...we simply did not set a deadline as both of us were busy with other projects at the time. We agreed upon our first meeting that this would be something that would resolve over a few months. Therefore, depending on your time frame, that will gauge the urgency of the book trailer production.

Step 5: After the 7-illustrations were finalized in their complete form, a decision which Jeff and I were in agreement upon, as both illustrator and client, Jeff transported them into a Flash program which is the factor that gives them their animation...their movement within the frame. I know nothing about illustrating and Flash animation. Therefore, this responsibility was Jeff's, essentially the service for which I paid. Jeff exported the Flash movie as a Quick Time file for me. That was the end of his responsibility. To recap, I paid him to illustrate and Flash animate my 7-illustrations/images.

Step 6: From there, I took the Flash movie, imported it into my very basic, free, home Windows Movie Maker program compatible for my PC. In that program, I was able to add my book cover, titles, captions, transitions, musical score, narration and credits. I then exported my Windows Movie Maker file to the recommended YouTube mp4 movie, which I then uploaded to YouTube. This is the version you viewed above as the OFFICIAL book trailer for Vigilare.

Step 7: Weighing my odds. Time will tell as to whether the book trailer is worth the promotional expense. I've included the link on my Facebook fanpage, my Blog, my Website, Goodreads, Twitter, etc. I am currently looking into book trailer promotion services, to see if there is a way I can capitalize on the efforts in promoting the video. No one will know about it unless they know where to find it.

Obviously book trailers come in many forms, some produced completely by the author, others by large production companies. I hope you enjoyed the OFFICIAL book trailer for Vigilare, and my commentary here. My advice would be do what you can, and outsource the rest per your budget and promotional goals. As a singer/songwriter here in Austin, I am quite accustomed to the DIY mentality. However, seeing how I do not have the gift of illustration nor Flash animation, I outsourced what I needed to, while kicking in my own experience where I could. In doing so, it made the production of this book trailer affordable for me as an Indie author.

One more piece of advice: If you decide to make a book trailer, somewhere within your video or on the description section in the YouTube upload, make sure you offer the link where folks can find your book (ie.

If anyone has any questions or advice about book trailers (production, promotion, etc.), please feel free to join the conversation.

For those of you may want to see the collection of all 7-illustrations before Flash animation was applied to them, as you viewed in the book trailer for Vigilare, here they are (Illustrated by Jeff Hebert of AFD Studios and

Thursday, November 1, 2012

NaNoWriMo. How to use it to your advantage . . .

Okay. I have done NaNoWriMo one year (2011) and I'm doing it again this year. I did "win" last year, and I've been pretty happy with what I wrote. I had a lot of re-writes to do, but that is not related to NaNoWriMo. It was my own fault for not checking dates and not having a definitive plan for the witches in my series.

I've seen that a lot of people who do NaNoWriMo are having problems with what they have to work with AFTER NaNoWriMo is over. I've heard that they have "won a mess" of a manuscript and they aren't sure what to do with it.

Here is my advice on NaNoWriMo:

Don't push yourself too hard. If your writing seems to be coming out like crap, pace yourself. You don't have to win. If you happen to hit the 50,000 mark, then that is great! If you don't, then that's okay! At least you have a start. NaNoWriMo is about motivation.

USE the forums! If you get stuck, take it to the forums! While you're there answer question other pepole have posted. One of my favorite things about NaNoWriMo is the support in the forums. NaNoWriMo is about supporting eachother.

Once you have written that 50,000 words, or at least have gotten a start on that total, keep in mind that the approximate length of a novel is 70,000 or more. That means you still have some writing to do once you hit that mark whether it be during or after NaNoWriMo. Don't fret! That's okay! Any number is good and will give you a foundation to work with. NaNoWriMo is about writing.

I'll be letting you know my progress each Monday (I'll be calling it NaNoWriMondays: A Progress Report) this month, and I'll do a wrap up post on the 30th, so make sure you return to see progress and additional advice!

Oh, and my username is lil87blue if you want to become writting buddies!