Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Falling for #SpecFic: Untethered Realms / Wattpad Wednesdays: Reborn Chapter 23

You may write or read speculative (spec) fiction (fic) and not even know it. Speculative fiction dwells in the realms of the what if and encompasses genres such as science fiction, alternate history, fantasy, horror, and more.

I'm part of a great group of SpecFic authors over at Untethered Realms. And this month we're taking part in the A-Z Challenge. So you may find a new book or two to add to your reading list. Today is my day, and I have a teaser from Once upon a Nightmare: A Collection. Although I'd hoped to have the collection published by now, it's almost ready. The virus from doom--or it may just be a cold--has attacked me and slowed my progress in my goals.

So head on over to Untethered Realms!

Chapter Twenty-Three is here or start from the beginning here.

Join us for #SpecFicChat on Twitter!
What happened to the future? The flying cars and time machines?
Hosted by @UnRealms and @EllieMGarratt
Next #SpecFicChat Fri. April 17th, Noon EDT.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Bookworm News

Above Us Only Sky by Michele Young-Stone

Above Us Only Sky by Michele Young-Stone
Prudence Vilkas yearns to understand what it means to be born with wings and who she is in Michele Young-Stone's Above Us Only Sky. Although I love fantasy, I don't read much literary magical realism, but the idea of women born with wings intrigued me. Young-Stone weaves a tale told from multiple characters spanning from the 1800s to more modern times. The main character is Prudence, a woman born with wings, ones considered a birth defect and removed. My heart went out to her and the other characters. They all longed for what was taken for them, from wings, to family members, to their Lithuanian homeland during war. Like a bird, the story touches down into a current timeline to only fly off again into the past. Although a little confusing and slow at times, the plot ties up well, all the little pieces coming together into a beautiful story. I also thought the bird imagery was perfect. Above Us Only Sky by Michele Young Stone sends the reader's imagination flying and is the wonderful read for people who enjoy history (World Wars and Eastern European) and complex family relationships with a touch of fantasy.

Title: A Change of Mind and Other Stories
Author: Nick Wilford
Genre: Contemporary speculative fiction
Cover Design: Rebekah Romani
Release Date: May 25, 2015

A Change of Mind and Other Stories consists of a novella, four short stories and one flash fiction piece. This collection puts the extremes of human behaviour under the microscope with the help of lashings of dark humour, and includes four pieces previously published in Writer’s Muse magazine.

In A Change of Mind, Reuben is an office worker so meek and mild he puts up with daily bullying from his boorish male colleagues as if it’s just a normal part of his day. But when a stranger points him in the direction of a surgeon offering a revolutionary new procedure, he can’t pass up the chance to turn his life around.

But this isn’t your average surgeon. For a start, he operates alone in a small room above a mechanic’s. And he promises to alter his patients’ personality so they can be anything they want to be…

In Marissa, a man who is determined to find evidence of his girlfriend’s infidelity ends up wondering if he should have left well alone.

The Dog God finds a chink in the armour of a man with a megalomaniacal desire to take over the world.

In The Insomniac, a man who leads an obsessively regimented lifestyle on one hour’s sleep a night finds a disruption to his routine doesn’t work for him.

Hole In One sees a dedicated golfer achieving a lifelong ambition.

The Loner ends the collection on a note of hope as two family members try to rebuild their lives after they are torn apart by jealousy.

Nick Wilford is a writer and stay-at-home dad. Once a journalist, he now makes use of those rare times when the house is quiet to explore the realms of fiction, with a little freelance editing and formatting thrown in. When not working, he can usually be found spending time with his family or cleaning something. Nick is also the editor of Overcoming Adversity: An Anthology for Andrew. You can find him hanging out on his blog or on Goodreads or Twitter.

Preorder Links: Amazon US, Amazon UK

Summer Queen by Amber Argyle
Dragon of the Stars by Alex J. Cavanaugh
The Horse Healer by Gonzalo Giner
A Crown for Cold Silver by Alex Marshall
All the Rage by Courtney Summers
Losing Faith by Adam Mitzner
Once upon a Nightmare: A Collection by Cherie Reich
Within These Walls by Ania Ahlborn
The Adventures of Blue Ocean Bob by Brooks Olbrys
Boko Haram by Mike Smith
Ivory Ghosts by Caitlin O’Connell
Medium Dead by Paula Paul
Officer Elvis by Gary M. Gusick
House of Echoes by Brendan Duffy
The Mercy of the Night by David Corbett
Threshold by G.M. Ford
Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys) by Amy Spalding
Strangled Silence by Oisin McGann
Don’t Stay Up Late by R.L. Stine
Ghost of Death by Chrys Fey
The Calling by Joseph Eastwood
The Turner House by Angela Flournoy
Liar's Bench by Kim Michele Richardson
Paradise City by CJ Duggan
Rogue by Julie Kagawa
The Whitechapel Fiend by Cassandra Clare
Very Good Lives by J.K. Rowling
Bye, Bye Love by K.J. Larsen
Fury by Steven James
Last Call by J.A. Konrath
MirrorWorld by Jeremy Robinson
Enticed by J.A. Belfield
Salem's Fury by Aaron Galvin
Undercover Empath by RaShelle Workman
Uncharted Territory by Betsy Ashton
Beware the Little White Rabbit by Various Authors

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

#IWSG: In the Red / Wattpad Wednesdays: Reborn Chapter 22

IWSG was created by the Captain Ninja Alex J. Cavanaugh. To visit the IWSG participants, please click here. The co-hosts are Suzanne Furness, Tonja Drecker, Toi Thomas, Rachna Chhabria, Fundy Blue, and Donna Hole.
Sales aren't where I'd hoped they'd be. I haven't made back the past couple years what I've put into my writing business. I can't keep publishing at a loss.

A lot of that is my fault. Social anxiety in combination with a lack of confidence means I don't market my work like I should. I blame no one but myself, but that means while I take steps to increase marketing, I also have to make my work support itself. The day job barely pays the bills, after all, especially while I still have car and student loans to pay off.

I will use my own money to finish up the book covers of The Fate Challenges, which means I'll only be publishing in ebook format at first and using a cheaper cover artist. If sales don't pick up, I won't have my own money to put into publishing new work until 2020.

It doesn't mean I won't be writing. I have many things in the pipeline for years to come. Yet it makes me nervous to have to take some time off from publishing. I know it may hurt my sales now not to keep publishing more regularly, but eventually it'll turn around. Maybe.

What are your insecurities this month?

And good luck to all participating in the A-Z Challenge. I'm participating with the authors over at Untethered Realms. My days are M and S.

Click here to start at the beginning or here to go to Chapter Twenty-Two.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Writing Update: April Goals

Happy Wednesday!

A while back, I mentioned I was going to the doctor about my wrist. Well, a couple weeks ago, I had a nerve conduction study. It's confirmed I do have carpal tunnel. The good news is it's mild and hasn't caused any permanent nerve damage yet. My day job is working to make my work space more ergonomic. I also discovered I have osteoarthritis, which accounts for my joint/back pain. Because of these problems, there will be times that I'll have to go slower on my writing/editing and have already removed Destined (The Fate Challenges 3) off my 2015 goals list.

As for the progress on my March goals, I've been pushing through the pain to get things done. I finished editing my friend's novel (It was so good, and I think people will enjoy it!). As for Once upon a Nightmare: A Collection, I completed the content edits, line edits, and Kindle proofread. Starting today, I'll be formatting the collection for print. I haven't made much progress in writing "On Day 168," but I'm still hoping to finish it by the end of March or early April.

Here are my April goals:
  • Once upon a Nightmare: A Collection - I have the print proofread, incorporating changes in the print and ebook documents, final formatting, and publishing. This collection will be published in April.
  • Once upon a Nightmare Blog Tour - A few people inquired about promoting the collection. I plan to create a promo post with options for them. Also, I am going ahead with the you-choose-your-horror-ending type blog tour. My goal is to write up the story and find hosts (I have a list of those who have said they'd be interested in helping out). You'll see the blog tour sometime in May.
  • Revamp the Blog - A while ago, I decided my author tagline should be "Feeding your inner bookworm." I've been meaning to change the blog to reflect my tagline, but I haven't quite gotten around to it yet. A lot of the images I want to create involve drawing them too. If I want to get them done at some point, then I have to add them to my to-do list.
  • Marked - If time, I want to get back to writing Marked (The Fate Challenges 1.5).
If you're interested in helping promote Once upon a Nightmare: A Collection (paranormal horror/thriller; approx. 46,000 words) or review it and haven't already told me so, please let me know. I must admit I'm so proud of the progress I've made with this collection and am so happy I decided to create a second edition and republish it. I've added over 8,000 words to it since January and think the stories are now told the way they should've been all along.

What are your goals for April?

2015 Stats (1/1/2015-3/24/2015): 14,131 words written and 811 pages edited