Cyber Monday Book and Art Sale! 20% Coupon

I am offering 20% off coupon codes on my art and writing for Cyber Monday, so enjoy!

inthemomentweb

Fine Art America Gallery – FNDZGR

Little Book of Insurrection cover

Print version of The Little Book of Insurrection or the Poetry of My Discontent on Amazon- ZW7PQU3K

SMALL-penumbra-cover (2)

Ebook of Penumbra on Smashwords – GZ97E

First Amazon Review of “Penumbra” is Up!!!!

Lookey here!  At some point (May 4th, evidently), “Penumbra” received it’s first review!  4 stars, woohoo!

4.0 out of 5 stars Mysterious fairy tale! May 4, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
I downloaded this title to my kindle for a road trip and I’m glad I did! It’s a dark fairy tale that starts with a seemingly fragile woman and transforms her into a true heroine. Very interesting characters and descriptive writing make this a fun and fast read…almost too fast!
And of course, my brain being what it is, I immediately started thinking “oh my goodness, it’s too fast a read, people are going to hate that it’s so short” but that’s how the story progressed, and I don’t know if the characters would have been served better by more time or not.  My readers will have to be the judge of that!  I will say that the pace it moves could mean that it is very easily adaptable for other media options, and I kind of like that.
Yay first review!

Excerpt from “Penumbra”

Here is an excerpt from my soon-to-be-released novella Penumbra.  Hopefully the ebook version will be out by the end of this week!

Outside the pizza joint, there are men.  Men in suits that reek of power.  Their eyes glint red, and their teeth shine bright and sharp in the streetlights.  The largest of them steps toward her.  “Hello, I am Kristoph.  And you… you are in major trouble.”  He leans in close to her.  “You broke my brother’s nose.  You really shouldn’t have done that.”  The men surround her menacingly as her giddiness fades.  She feels the danger again from the previous night, the source now standing around her.  The streetlights flicker one after another down the block as the men move in slowly, deliberate in their attack.  They shift their faces as they close in, monstrous shadows taking hold of their features.  As one reaches out a hand to grab her, there is a low growl from the shadows.  A blurred movement knocks over one of the men who screams in terror.  There is a whirlwind of motion.  The other men turn and join the fray.  Howls and shrieks fill the air.  The girl steps back.  The men in suits run away, the leader giving her a backwards glance of hatred.  And lying on the bloody sidewalk is Rags.

            “Rags?  What were you doing?  Are you hurt?”  She helps him stand up, and as he rises, she realizes that he towers over her by several feet.  “What’s going on?”

            Rags reaches up and exposes his face to the streetlight.  He is not human, but a strange creature.  Hairy face, bulbous nose, large black liquid eyes.  He is injured, but not badly. 

            “Beauty, you must come.” 

            “What?”

            “You must come.  It is time.”  He holds out his huge, fuzzy hand and after a moment’s hesitation, she takes it.  While they stand still, the world moves around them, and she finds herself looking at a completely different city.

 

“Penumbra” Cover Reveal

Here’s the cover!!!

penumbra cover

Any comment or suggestions?  I’m pretty sold on this design as is, but I’m willing to entertain constructive criticism.

Plus, any thoughts on author bio pictures?  I recently chopped my hair (I sold it to an extension maker to pay some bills and buy some art supplies), so I don’t even have long hair any more, and a lot of the images are a little too dramatic.  Should I go with an uber-casual shot or is a touch of drama okay?

Expect sample descriptions and such later this weekend.

We have a title!

A novella title, that is.  And it is (drum roll…) Penumbra.  Here is the dictionary definition, if you need it:

pe·num·bra

[pi-nuhm-bruh] Show IPA

noun, plural pe·num·brae [-bree] Show IPA , pe·num·bras.

1.Astronomy .

a.the partial or imperfect shadow outside the complete shadow of an opaque body, as a planet, where the light from the source of illumination is only partly cut off. Compare umbra (  def 3a ) .
b.the grayish marginal portion of a sunspot. Compare umbra (  def 3b ) .
2.a shadowy, indefinite, or marginal area.
Origin:1660–70;  < Neo-Latin,  equivalent to Latin paen- pen- + umbra  shade
I also have a tentative idea for the cover that I am going to sketch out tonight.  I’m thinking of one that’s more graphic-oriented than picture-oriented.  But we’ll see how it goes.
In further updates, my illustrations are coming along finally!  I don’t know how long it will take to finish, since I have a set of eight to complete and I want them to be very detailed, but I’m going to see what I can get done this week.  I may need to make the decision to get Penumbra out before The Little Book of Insurrection, or the Poetry of my Discontent, but we’ll see.  I really wanted to release both ebooks simultaneously and then both paperback versions side by side as well.
I’ve also been thinking about my next big project after that, which will be attempting to raise money to complete my first music album including the songs that are included as part of the poetry collection.  I worry that if I stick with songs only in the vein of the ones in my collection that people will get really depressed listening to the album, but if I include any upbeat songs, it will detract from my message.  Maybe play around with some of the music behind the lyrics?  I feel like I need to include SOME songs of beauty and hope, but a lot of what I write lyrically along those lines comes across as schmaltzy or preachy, and I do NOT want that to happen.  But I’ve got some time to percolate.
Also, I’ve got a post brewing about violence towards women and rape and our current culture, but that needs time to percolate a little too.  It kept me up a while last night thinking about it though.

Final edits are a go!

I am on my final edits for my novella and will hopefully be ready to announce a title (and maybe a rough cover design) very soon!  I will give this particular edit for a strictly grammar/typo editor, then I will go through it one more time for the same and begin the publishing process.

I’m excited but at the same time I’m beginning to hear the ugly doubts in my head as I get closer.  I worry it is too short or not interesting enough or that thematically it falls short.  I know I’m not bored with it yet, but it’s kind of my baby.

Hopefully I will gain more confidence as I get closer to a definitive release date.

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop: Kat Micari on her as-yet untitled novella

I’ve been tagged to take part in The Next Big Thing Blog Hop, a way of connecting writers together and driving their readers to new material and new writers.  I was tagged by my amazing writer friend Peter Tarkulich.  You can read his answers here.

What is your working title of your book (or story)?

My novella currently is without a title, but hopefully inspiration will strike on the next pass of edits!

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I wrote a short story over a decade ago, and the main character stuck with me for a long time.  I also really enjoyed playing with the writing style.  After percolating in my brain for a long time, I realized the character needed a chance to grow more.

What genre does your book fall under?

It is an urban fantasy, and while I didn’t set out to do so, falls nicely into the YA genre.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Complete unknowns for the leads, although I’d love to see Cillian Murphy as Kristoph (the villain), and maybe I would have Christopher Plummer for the Controller and Kathy Bates for the Birdwoman.  I’ve never really given it much thought before.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

I really haven’t perfected the elevator pitch yet, but here goes: “A disenchanted young model living alone in the city finds herself drawn into a strange reality where magical beings battle for humanity’s future.”

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I will be self-publishing this and an illustrated poetry collection at the same time (soon!).  I’m not ruling out ever working with an agency, but at the moment, I am trying the self-pub route. 

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Longer than it should have!  Seriously, it took about a year.  I’ve been working under massive time constraints, which is why I went with a novella-length story rather than continue plugging away at my novel.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I really don’t like to compare books.  It makes me feel nervous and superstitious.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I started out wanting to write the story of a young woman’s internal journey into finding personal strength and depth of character.  She does find inner strength, but the outcome isn’t quite what she expects it to be.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

All of my magical creatures hide themselves in our modern day world, some in very unique ways.  There is one chapter in particular where I chuckled out loud writing parts of it.

And now I’m supposed to continue the hop, but I again don’t like to call anyone out.  If anyone wants to pick up the mantle of the survey, please do so, and I’ll edit this blog to include a link to your site!

Second round of editing/rewrites is done!

I finished the second round of rewrites.  Still no closer to a title, but hopefully a brilliant idea will strike soon. 

I’ve got a commission to do over the next couple of days, and then I will be focusing on the illustrations for my poetry collection while my husband is taking another pass at the novella, so expect some art updates in the next weeks. 

 

Progress on my Novella-in-progress

My husband read my manuscript, and we had a long discussion about it during our holiday travels.  He confirmed a couple of things my beta reader had picked up on and then expanded on those ideas.  He asked me questions, some of which I need to come up with the answers to still, and after thinking about our conversation and going over his notes, I have a rough idea of what I want to do for this story.

Firstly, I’m keeping it in the tense that it’s currently in, and I will be attempting to lift the remainder of the story to the level of polish and style that is in the first chapter.  Secondly, elements that I introduce in the first chapter will need to be reintroduced throughout the story.  I spend a lot of time building up my female protagonist and then don’t really touch it during the action of the story.  Thirdly, I need to uncover the magic and personality in one of my supporting characters.  Right now, he’s a guardian/protector for a group of other magical creatures, but beyond that role of guardian, I don’t really know who he is or what he was in the past.

We are going on a writers’ retreat this weekend (with my son, so my husband and I will be tag-teaming and maybe relying on DVDs/Netflix a little to get work done), and my hope is to completely finish the next draft by the end of the weekend.  We’ll have to see how it goes.