Interweaving Multiple Tones

🗓 14 Mar 2016

Life is filled with humor and sadness. Tragedy and absurdity. Drama and dullness. Everything is a part of everything. So my work reflects that. I think saying that a work should have x tone or be 'dark,' is kind of silly, unless you are going for a specifically genre-defined work. And I think it is just too restricting. I can write whatever I want to how I want it to be. So I have humorous sections and really tragic sections. I'm going to use book two, Harmonic Waves, as a primary example of interweaving multiple tones into a coherent work. How to Stop Wildfire really shows this too, but I feel like talking about Harmonic Waves, because I think it shows the maximum applications of my world's humor and tragedy. I'll try to talk about the scenes generally, and not reveal too much spoilers, but there will be spoilers for...

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Authorial Intent and 'The Upgrade'

🗓 26 Oct 2015

Okay, so I wrote a thing called 'The Upgrade.' Which people apparently liked. I feel sort of uncomfortable posting it here, because The Spine of the Empire is an Empirian thing, part of the world I have made. THE WORLD. As in the ones that 99% of my work exists in, save it being from reality, and now this little short piece. And 'The Upgrade' pisses me off slightly because it isn't part of the world, and it feels dirty in that way. But whatever. The Spine holds all things mine. I can do what I want, dammit. But back to The Upgrade. People have responded to positively to this little short story thing I have a love/hate relationship with. And have, I think, completely missed the point of. A relevant response is here, which I too responded to. I feel like Ray Bradbury with Fahrenheit 451. It wasn't about...

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Being off beat (and loving it.)

🗓 01 Oct 2015

So, How to Stop Wildfire was reviewed by T.R Briar, an author of a series called Realm Wraith that I liked a lot. The point that really stuck with me was how he said the book was off beat. Which is kind of obvious if you have read it. But it wasn't really that obvious to me. I mean, I knew it was out there, but sometimes I forget how...bizarre it is to the uninitiated. Off beat. I'm so used to it because I have been dreaming it up and imagining it for a decade, but others are not. The stories really are a blend of well, everything. Comedy. Tragedy. Science-fiction. Fantasy. Thriller. Mythology. Little bit of everything in it. Magic, tech, gods, history, and so on. All tied together under my massive world-building. It's probably a lot to take in and acclimate to. Hard to pin down the tone...

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If you use DRM, I hate you.

🗓 11 Sep 2015

Also published on Medium

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Genre Expectations

🗓 06 Aug 2015

The expectation that when reading a humor book you are going to laugh. That when reading a women's fiction novel women are going to be portrayed strongly. That a mystery book is going to have a mystery. Genre expectations are basic ideas about a book's premise that you can ascribe to it based solely on knowledge of genre. Not all of these ideas are going to be correct, some of them are most certainly going to be wrong. But we still have them, because each genre has its own 'cliches' and 'tropes' that the novels of the genre typically follow in one way or another. There are trope-killer books, like Game of Thrones. In GRRM's novels, the 'hero' doesn't get magic-plot armor, and the 'good' guys die (a lot.) Or there are books that are basically 100% cliche, of which I cannot name because they are not that memorable.

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Lost in Amazon(ia)

🗓 25 Jul 2015

How I am getting screwed by an erotica novelist with the same name as me. I posted this on Medium first. Please recommend it there.

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Just to be clear...

🗓 24 Jul 2015

Hi. This is a strange post, but I feel like I need to say something about this before things get any weirder. So right now on Amazon there is another author using my name who is writing erotica novels, and it can be confusing and may potentially seem like I am writing them. I am not. I AM NOT WRITING EROTICA OR THESE NOVELS. They were even showing up on my Goodreads account, but that issue has been resolved going forward. I don't know exactly what I'll do in regards to this problem, after Amazon gets back to me with seeing if these novels can get off of the general search. If anything...interesting happens with me or the author using my name, I'll update here. I'm also writing a Medium Post on the experience, which will be cross-posted. Thanks.

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Book Cover Design: The Struggle is Real

🗓 21 Jul 2015

Book cover design is a ridiculously important part of the self-publishing process. The book cover design is important to attracting readers. Readers, although they are named such, don't read the blurb or first few pages to decide if they want to read your book, they just look at the cover. I am guilty of this, so I am not complaining. It is just how we as Humans operate.

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Elemental Themes

🗓 13 Jun 2015

After getting the first draft of the second book (title still undetermined) done I realized something. Water was a theme throughout and when I was trying to figure out the title I was angling for a water-themed title. Similar to how fire is a central component in How to Stop Wildfire and the title is a direct reference to that. So book two is going to be something like At Water's Edge or The Heart of the Riptide. The basic elements are representatives of the works themselves. Then another idea that played on my mind came to front: that the main characters and first four books match up. One book to each main character of the Trinity and the One. An origin story of sorts. I debated over which character was How to Stop Wildfire's 'origin.' I know that general interpretation would have it be King Fla'neiel, but I intend...

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Titles and Names

🗓 22 May 2015

I hate the titling and naming process. Okay scratch that: I DO like naming characters. Only certain characters. Most notably the non-Human characters. Humans. Ugh. Back in the day (years, years, years) ago, I gave all the Humans super-generic names. Like Bob. Mary. Sue. John. Terrible, terrible names (no offense to anyone with said names, but when the two main characters are named Bob and Jill, well it seems like a children's book.) I have zero creativity with those types of names. None. I basically picked out two random names to rename the characters of Marcus and Jessica from HTSW. They sound 'nice' and they stuck. When the names stick they STICK. Thankfully I don't have many Human characters or else I would definitely be naming them with simple names to save myself from the painstaking process of naming. The Empirian/Alien characters used to be similar. Like, Fla'neiel was not...

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The Woes of Createspace and Formatting

🗓 30 Apr 2015

I said I was getting back to editing/writing the second book. That lasted a grand total of two days. I was wooed by the prospect of creating PRINT versions of How to Stop Wildfire through Createspace. Having a physical copy...just sounds too good. So being the type of person I am I delved into the world. The interface is simple enough. What to do with it is much trickier. Unlike the realm of ebooks, where conversion is easy and you only need a mildly terrible cover that requires minimal effort, print is more demanding. You need a cover that you know...is an actual cover. Front, back and spine. Fancy stuff, right? That just makes everything more complicated. More design. More thought. The good thing about having to rethink the cover is that I have to rethink the cover. Let's be honest: the cover for How to Stop Wildfire is pretty...

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Getting Back to Writing

🗓 26 Apr 2015

I have been so caught up in the self-publishing process that I have been lax on continuing to write the series. I essentially took a 1-2 month break and wow does it feel both weird and good to get back to writing. Been so long since actually writing these characters, but it doesn't feel unfamiliar. I guess it is like riding a bicycle: never really forget how to, it just is a little bit rusty at first. The only problem is writing the 'fluff.' By fluff I mean anything that isn't an explanation or dialogue. Like...description. You know the boring stuff. I am a strange reader, I only really pay attention to dialogue. Environmental description and long paragraphs bother me. It reflects through my writing style: shorter, choppier paragraphs and back-forth dialogue. I don't have the attention span for anything else. I understand the appeal of sweeping narratives and verbose...

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On Book Pricing

🗓 19 Apr 2015

Pricing. How much does a book cost? Or, how much is How to Stop Wildfire worth? This is a question I spent about 15 minutes on some serious time thinking about. The answer I came up with is $2.99...but with an asterisk and clauses and so on. First off: Why $2.99? Sarah, I thought you were a believer in openness and that you weren't really doing this for the money. I thought you wanted people to read it. Not throw money at it. All true. But I do want some money for it, at least initially (I'll get to this in a bit.) I am not...er...financially stable or....well have much, so I'd like some for like, things. Yeah. So not free for the moment. Then what? It basically came to $.99 vs $2.99. Any higher is just silly and overpriced from my perspective. I read a few studies and articles...

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The Great Genre Confusion

🗓 13 Apr 2015

So in the process of getting ready to publish How To Stop Wildfire (I'm projecting late April...post the 20th) I have been setting up the Amazon details for it. Things like title, series, edition number, and etc. The one piece of detail that has been hanging me up for a few days has been category, or genre. Being the ignorant book reader that I am, I just assumed I would slap it into Science-Fiction and be done with it. I was wrong. So wrong. When did all of these genres come up? The ones I remember were: Apocalyptic, Time Travel, Urban, Cybernetic, Military, Steampunk, and Paranormal. Just for Sci-fi. I get that some books need these classifications. Broad is bad sometimes. I get that, I really do, but with have a handful of very specific options I feel even more at a loss of what How To Stop Wildfire is....

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