Archive for the ‘the willow branch’ Tag

My Thunderclap Has Reached Its Threshold   Leave a comment

I needed 100 supporters to send the Thunderclap. I’ve got 101 with a potential audience of a half-million.

Thanks to anyone who gave it their support.

I wouldn’t object to any other support. It doesn’t hurt the campaign to hit more social media.

Watch for it November 3.Willow Branch Blue White Recreation Cover

Final Days of the Sale   Leave a comment

Willow Branch Blue White Recreation CoverThe Willow Branch is on sale through September 31. Get a great fantasy for $2 off.

Posted September 28, 2015 by aurorawatcherak in Writing

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Now On Sale   Leave a comment

Willow Branch Blue White Recreation CoverThe Willow Branch is now on Sale $1.99 through September 30.

Posted September 23, 2015 by aurorawatcherak in Writing

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Announcing Upcoming Sale   1 comment

Willow Branch Blue White Recreation CoverThe Willow Branch will on On Sale September 23 – 31. You will save $2. Or it’s FREE right now with Kindle Unlimited.

Reporting on the Thunderclap for The Willow Branch   Leave a comment

Willow Branch Blue White Recreation CoverSo, one day in, I’ve gathered 10 supporters (which is 10% of the way there. They have a combined social media reach of 86,000. If I were to sell books to just 1% of that audience, that’s would be 860 books.

I still have 46 days to meet my goal, so I’m pleased with what I’ve accomplished so far.

Support My Thunderclap for The Willow Branch   7 comments

Willow Branch Blue White Recreation CoverI’m trying to draw some more attention prior to release of Book 2 (Murklin Wood) early next year.

Give a great fantasy some applause.

Here’s the truly exciting part of this. It costs you, my supporters, NOTHING. You don’t have to buy the book (although I wouldn’t object if you did!), you don’t have to donate any money. You don’t even have to write a post or tweet. All you have to do is agree (through a simple one-time app) to allow my Thunderclap to go out over your social media network on November 3.

On that date, there will be a single message pushed out over the social media networks of all participants. You can even read the message I am sending out.

That’s it!

I need 100 supporters by November 3 for the Thunderclap to be broadcast. When I tried this several months ago, I didn’t manage to raise the needed support, but I learned a lot about promoting since then, so …

Well, this is the part where you come in.

I’ve participated in about a half-dozen Thunderclaps in the last year and I haven’t had any problems so far and I don’t know anyone who has experienced problems with Thunderclap. It is simply a means to create a single, one-time automatic SHOUT to the world. For those of us without much of an advertising budget, it’s worth a try.

So I hope you will give it a try and let’s see where it takes us.

Support My Thunderclap   3 comments

Willow Branch Blue White Recreation CoverI’m trying to draw some more attention prior to release of Book 2 (Murklin Wood) early next year.

Give a great fantasy some applause.

Writing   Leave a comment

You might have noticed that I’ve been hit and miss the last couple of week. I hope some people will be pleased to know that I am not suffering burnout.

I’ve been writing and making good progress on Mirklin Wood. Being totally inspired by a fantasy world has taken my head out of the blogosphere for a bit. I’ll be back soon.

Be patient with me. If you’ve read The Willow Branch, you will be pleased with what is going down on paper for the next installment.

Although I had originally intended to publish in October, I’m aiming to finish the draft by then and probably publish in the spring. That’s not bad for a fat fantasy — 15-18 months between installments with another book published in between. In the meantime, look for a short story set in the land of Daermad as part of a Breakwater Harbor Books anthology this fall.

Posted August 7, 2015 by aurorawatcherak in Writing

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Book Club Meeting!   Leave a comment

Willow Branch Blue White Recreation CoverTuesday is Speculative Fiction genre day in the Booktrap Chat Room, and this week I have offered The Willow Branch for discussion. I’ll be hanging out answering questions and the suchlike — questions like “What’s up with the odd way these people speak?”

If you want to join us —

The Agony of Criticism   Leave a comment

Willow Branch Blue White Recreation CoverThere are writers and there are authors. Unlike some in the publishing field, I am not convinced that all that separates a writer from becoming an author is publishing a book. I think some unpublished writers are authors in progress while some published writers will never be authors.

It’s a painful truth, but one does not simply sit down and write a good novel. There’s research, there’s writing, there’s rewriting and editing … and more than anything else, there is critique.

How you accept critique is part of what separates writers and authors.

I’ve been scribbling stories since I was 12. I had some critique on my fiction in high school from my teachers, but for most of the decades between then and publishing my first novel I was writing fiction for my own amazement. Then I decided I really wanted to advance a book to publication and I started to submit it to friends to read.

I guess my friends love me. They all said pretty glowing things about the manuscript that would become the seedbed for Daermad Cycle. Somehow I knew that wasn’t completely honest. I went one step further and submitted it to the writers site Authonomy. Mostly I got good reviews and that felt a little bit more honest because these people didn’t know me. Some of the reviewers gave minor critique — moves a bit slowly, takes a long time to get to the point, it’s awfully long — but I wasn’t really sure what to do with that critique.

Then it happened. Somehow I attracted the attention of a notorious misanthrope on the site and he (or that iteration was a she, I think) decided to critique my book.

If you’ve never been run over by a Mac truck, I don’t recommend it.

I knew this was a mean, mean person, but her words bit deep. She (or he) really hated my book. Worse, though a truly miserable human being, this person was also a great writer.

There are three ways to handle that sort of critique:

  • throw the project in the trash bin where the critic suggested … thereby proving that you’re a writer and not an author in progress;
  • ignore the critique and keep the project as it is … also suggesting that you may not be an author in progress;
  • learn from the critique what is worth learning.

The author in progress does the third thing. After I got done being mad and sad in cycles, I resolved to come back to the critique in a while (that turned out to be three months) and mine it for what was worthwhile. Because this person had a history of being deleted from the site, I printed out the critique and put it away for later consumption. In the meantime, more nicer reviews came in that sort of agreed (in a nice way) with the mean review. I recognized that this mean critic had given me solid advice in a truly despicable manner and her critique was really not substantially different from the more soft-soap critique of the nicer reviews. He was brutally honest and that was exactly what I needed.

I went back to the book and applied the critique in a reasonable manner. I broke the manuscript into smaller more manageable portions (thereby creating a series, which is almost never a bad thing in epic fantasy). I was honest about how slow it was and I resolved to change that. I included death and mayhem much earlier than I was comfortable with. I excised the info dumps and limited the beautifully detailed descriptions I like. I added more complex characters, including some actual bad guys. And I got a better book, which got better reviews, but I also gained the confidence to pick a date to publish. You see, buried in that really mean review, was a off-hand statement that I had to mull for a long while and when I came back to it after the rewrite of the book that would become The Willow Branch, Book 1 of the Daermad Cycle, I realized that it was a very subtle compliment. Nasty guy actually thought there was a kernal of something in the book worth saving.

But if I’d done what I thought he was advising — burn the manuscript, eat dirt and die — I never would have come to that realization and either one of two things would have happened. Either The Willow Branch never would have been published or … I shudder to think this — the book entitled that would have been a mediocre book that should not have been published.

One of the major things separating writers from authors in progress is how they handle critique. All critique is useful to those who are willing to use it.

Lela Markham is the author of two published books The Willow Branch (Book 1 of Daermad Cycle), an epic fantasy, and Life As We Knew It (Book 1 of Transformation Project), an apocalyptic headed toward dystopian.

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