In October Milo James Fowler hosted ‘Creepy Freebies’ in which I gave away issues of Niteblade as well as a Halloween-themed goodie bag. This month he’s back with a holiday themed giveaway and I’m participating again.
And have I got goodies for you!
First there is Niteblade. Our issue #23, Blodeuwedd is available for you to download completely free. Pick your preferred format and enjoy:
I had so much fun putting together the last goodie bag that I’m going to raffle off another one. Where the first was Halloween themed this one is going to have a secular Christmas (I like to call it Giftmas) theme. All things considered it is unlikely to reach the winner before December 25th, but hopefully it will provide a smile and some fun when it does arrive anyway 🙂
The goodie bag will definitely include a physical copy of Niteblade’s special poetry issue (.pdf and print) as well as a proof copy of my book, Aphanasian Stories. Beyond that it’s a mystery. The goodies may include contributor copies of publications I’ve been included in (publishers often send two, I only need one), bookmarks, crafty bits, candy or… well, anything I think is awesome that will fit in the envelope.
I will also give away some copies of the latest issue of Niteblade. That would be Issue #26: A Fixer-Upper. Which is also known as our ghost story issue 🙂 I’ll draw the name of one winner of a copy of Niteblade for every 5 people who enter the draw (people, not entries). The more people who enter, the more will win, so please spread the word.
We’re going to take a short break from Metastasis interviews today to talk about Fall Into Fantasy giveaway. Hosted by Ash Krafton, Fall Into Fantasy is a huge book (and swag) giveaway. More than 50 writers participated this year, which makes for a HUGE selection of goodies that you can win.
There are so many prizes being offered that the Rafflecopter can look a little intimidating (at least to me) but there are a lot of really easy entries to get. You get three entries every day you tweet about this giveaway, for example, and if doing giveaway shout outs aren’t your thing you can also earn entries by leaving a blog comment, following me (or Niteblade) on Twitter, checking out Niteblade Magazine or hooking up with me on Goodreads. Also? There are 50+ other authors who you can earn entries by friending/following/whatevering. And who knows, maybe you’re friends with some of them already. So try not to get overwhelmed by the Rafflecopter and enter. You can’t win if you don’t enter, and here are just some of the books that are being given away:
That’s just a FEW of them. Personally I donated a bunch of stuff to the swag bundles plus copies of Aphanasian Stories and Niteblade. So take a look at the Rafflecopter below and earn yourself a few entries because, free books. 🙂
Last year Milo James Fowler hosted an event where he gave away stories every Friday in October. This year he’s invited some of his friends to come play too. I am pleased to announce that I am one of those participants 🙂 Who else is playing along this year? Check it out, in addition to myself and Milo the following people are all also giving away goodies each Friday:
I’m also hosting a raffle to give away a grab bag full of awesome. This bag is guaranteed to have a proof copy of my book Aphanasian Stories and a copy of Niteblade’s special poetry issue:
There will also be all sorts of other goodies. There may be books, pens, postcards, download codes for other books, candy, handicrafts, bookmarks… you just never know what I’m going to toss in there. I promise though, that when you open up this grab bag it will be the same sort of adventure as when you would dump out your candy bag after trick or treating 🙂
I’m also going to give away a copy of the latest issue of Niteblade Magazine. If we have lots of entries I will give away more than one copy… let’s say one copy for every ten people who enter. So the more people who enter the more issues I’ll give away. And you can enter to win in several different ways (plus, you can earn one entry every day just by tweeting about the giveaway). Good luck!
Now that you’ve visited me, downloaded your copy of Blodeuwedd & entered for your chance to win my Grab Bag of Awesome, be sure to head over to Milo’s blog for directions to the other people giving away fun things. You don’t want to miss out 🙂
Remember when I announced the Bewitching Book Tour and I said it was the first tour I was doing? This is the second 🙂 Enchanted Book Promotions is also responsible for running a one week tour for Aphanasian Stories. The itinerary looks like this:
I’ll be sure and let you know how both tours go and do a comparison post of some sort when they are through. in the meantime, I hope you’ll pop by some of the places I’ll be hosted at in the coming week.
I wanted to do a virtual book tour for the release of Aphanasian Stories but April was so crazy I knew I wasn’t going to have time to set it up, so instead I booked a couple tours with websites who would do all that stuff for me 🙂 The first is the Bewitching Book tour. I’m going to be all over the interwebz on this one 🙂
But wait! There’s more! I’ve set up a giveaway that will run tour-wide over the next week. The winner will receive an autographed copy of Aphanasian Stories along with whatever Niteblade goodies I feel like tossing in. That’s likely to include postcards with free download links, magnets, pens–all sorts of things. You can earn entries for the giveaway by following me on Twitter (easy entry right there if you already do LoL), tweeting about the giveaway or leaving a comment on the blog which is hosting me. Perhaps best of all, you can get credit for leaving a comment everyday of the giveaway. Yay!
Please enter. I’ll feel unloved if no one enters and that wouldn’t be fun at all.
Aphanasian Stories Available at:
Amazon.com (Physical and ebook) Amazon.ca (ebook)
Also available on other Amazon sites, just search for ‘Aphanasian’.
Coming soon on Kobo and other formats.
I’ve bundled up three of the stories I’ve written which were set in Aphanasia into a collection I have cleverly titled Aphanasian Stories, and it’s now available for you 🙂 Including in this collection of re-released stories are Lost and Found, which was originally given away here on this blog, A Love Story, which was originally published by Sam’s Dot Publishing as Shades of Green and Sister Margaret which was originally published by Wild Child Publishing.
A Love Story: Z’thandra, a swamp elf living with the Reptar, discovers a human near the village. When she falls in love with him, she faces the most difficult choice of her life, a decision that will affect the Reptar for generations.
Lost and Found: Xavier, the escaped subject of a madman’s experiments, and Colby, a young lady on a mission to save her brother, must combine their efforts to elude capture and recover the magical artifact that will save Colby’s brother before it’s too late.
Sister Margaret: A vampire hunter and a half-incubus swordsman are hired by a priestess to kill the undead pimp that is extorting, torturing and murdering vulnerable girls.
The physical copies of these books are fan-freaking-tastic, no word of a lie. The original art is the illustration I commissioned from Darek Zabrocki long ago for Lost and Found and Jo (my husband) had turned it into the sort of wrap around cover that dreams are made of (mine anyway). However, if you like to read electronic books I’ve got good news for you. The Kindle version of Aphanasian Stories is available for free for May 15th and 16th.
This post is about video games. I was originally going to write about the video games I play these days, but then I had a better idea. Let me tell you about a fantastic video game that was never made.
Abbadon’s Curse is a game I wanted to create over ten years ago. I looked over the main game description document that I gave to the developers and it looks like it was created in early 2002 and I’d been working on stuff for the game long before I began that file.
Abbadon’s Curse was going to be fantastic. It was an MMORPG with all of the usual MMORPG-type things in it, but there were a lot of other cool things that I hadn’t seen done in games up until that point. Night and day, for example, with certain spells and abilities only being able to be used in one or the other. Capes which could be designed (like tabards are now in WoW) to have a unique look for each guild (or character). It was also going to be very story-centric, very lore-based.
The game was set in the world of Aphanasia. A place where, upon the death of her son in battle, she blessed that land so that any who died in battle would not remain dead but rise up once more to fight again. Unfortunately, despite the fact her intentions may have been good, in reality her blessing turned out to be more like a curse. Dun dun dun.
Moonberrys were also very important in that world, as was the magical tree they came from. They were especially important to a race of lizard-men called the Urbagdú or the Reptar who used them in every part of their society. The wise men used the berries for medicines, the mages for magic and the warriors used shed boughs from the trees for weapons. Moonberries were even the closest thing the society had to a currency.
In developing the game and it’s storyline we focused a lot on the reptar because they were going to be our first set of adversaries (you know, after everyone was done leveling off rats, and moving on to wolves, and then…) and we needed to give them depth and story. We had several other races in mind we were going to use as spice in our first release and make more important in the future. The Reptar were found mostly in and around the swamp, but the mountains were home to a race of shadow elves, and pirates tended to prowl the coastlines. And of course, what kind of RPGMMO would be complete without vampires? We had them too… In fact, one of our important, named NPCs was a vampiric pirate 😉
In addition to our races and plots and maps and game design documents, we also had a series of gods for the denizens of Aphanasia to worship (the icons for each are along the bottom there). Abbadon, Calamyr, Rakkir (named after a character I used to RP with), Xaphan and the Dragon Gods.
Alas the game fell apart. I totally blame myself. I was the lead on the game, the story was mine, the bulk of the world development was mine, and it was my work that filled the game design documents, but I can’t program. Not even a little. I wasn’t able to provide strong leadership to the programming team and I think it was largely because of my ignorance in programming. I couldn’t set reasonable timelines or expectations and I didn’t know how to crack the whip.
I’m still very sad this game never got to become a reality, but I was determined not to allow the insane amounts of work I’d put into the world development for it to go to waste. That’s why, if you’ve read any of my Aphanasian stories, a lot of this stuff will sound familiar to you.
The moonberry tree got a bit of a makeover, and I set my stories in a time after Abbadon’s curse has ceased to exist (so far anyway LoL). I tweaked my races and my world to suit the world of fiction better than that of video games, but the skeleton of that world definitely comes from what I developed for a video game.
All the above stories are set in Aphanasia, and most of them can be read for free, if you’re interested. It looks like the e-zine that published The Legend of the First Reptar is no longer in existence, but the other stories are all still available (except Shadows which I just finished LOL)
So, yeah. While I’m terribly sad that Abbadon’s Curse will never be a game you can download and play (barring a minor miracle anyway LoL) I’m pretty pleased with myself that I managed to continue to use the world I’d created for it, making it even more lush, detailed and populated than I had for the game.
This blog post is part of the Blogging from A to Z challenge over the month of April and was brought to you by the letter V for Video Game. Tomorrow my husband Jo will be doing a guest blog. He won’t even tell me what it’s going to be about except that it has something to do with chickens. I hope you’ll stop by, it ought to be entertaining 🙂
Last weekend was spent at my parent’s in southern Alberta. It’s often rather tricky to find something for all of us to do and enjoy, but my mom hit on a wonderful idea when she suggested we go to the Birds of Prey Centre in Coaldale. I will totally be going back, but in the meantime some of the pictures I took on that trip will decorate this post.
So far I’m doing very well at my goal to write more consistently. I’ve not been allowing myself to play World of Warcraft unless I’ve written that day. Occasionally I’m not very good at the whole self-denial thing, but so far I’m pulling it off. That means less naps, and a more regimented daily routine in order to get everything I need to do and some of the things I want to do done, and I really like it. I’ve mentioned that I do very well if I have a routine? Well, that one resolution is helping me establish one.
I’ve been using a couple aps to help me stick to this. The first is called ‘Streaks’ and is really just a calendar where I can tap any day I’ve written on and it puts an X on the day. It keeps track of my streaks and if I miss a day that ends the streak and I have to start again. If you’ve got a brain like mine it’s surprisingly movitating to be able to make that little X appear on the screen, as well as not wanting to miss any days LOL The other ap just came out last night and I love it already. It’s called ‘Epic Win!’ and basically it lets you add your chores into a list and then as you do them you gain expirience points so your little avatar dude gets to level up and get gear. It’s like the ultimate nerd to-do list. I love it already.
So, yeah — so far so good. I’m getting a fair amount of writing done. I’ve written, revised and re-revised Chapter Eight of Lost and Found, for example. It’s done — I’ve sent it to Bill to work his magic on, that means no more changes for it. Chapter Nine has also been written and revised and is just waiting for me to send it to my critique group for their feedback before polishing it and calling it done.
Chapter Ten on the other hand…oh, chapter ten.
Happily my aps and my new routine will help me write it, and if it’s really bad, write it again, and again until I get it right. After all, I really need to get Lost and Found finished up, and then move on to Shadows. I’d been hoping to have the first draft of it finished and resting by November so I could work on something else for NaNo. I don’t think that’s going to happen now, but maybe. And either way, like the tortoise I’m making my way to the finish line. Slow and steady — because that’s how you win the race.
P.S. I got 50 expirience points for writing this blog post 😉
I hate missing deadlines, but I’m going bump the release of Lost and Found back a little bit. Not long, possibly November (it can be your NaNo reading!) but I’m hoping for October. The re-writes are going a little slower than I’d hoped because I’m actually making some major plot changes. Wheee! I blame my critique group and their wonderful feedback. The story will be better, but a lil later.
The other reason the re-writes are going slower than I’d hoped because I’m failing at monotasking. I’m working on it. Honest.
I’d like to do a blog post that isn’t all ‘Me, me, me enough about me, what do you think about me?’ but I haven’t any good ideas atm.
This poor story has gone through so much and so many names. The very first scene I wrote for it, the one that inspired the rest, was a meant to be a stand-alone story (it failed) called “What Makes a Man”. Then I expanded on the story and it was called “On a Mission”, then that story became a section of the novel-in-stories called “Swamp Story”, which was then renamed “Blood and Stone”. I eventually decided it didn’t work as a novel-in-stories and ripped it apart. This story got the title “There” with its sequel (which is now part of the same story) being called “And Back Again”. Interestingly, another part of that novel-in-stories was recently published as “Shades of Green”. But I digress.
I”ve got a new title. A good title. This tale’s forever title. For better or worse, till death…you get the idea.
Just came from a wonderful meeting with my critique group…where we pretty much decided that the story currently known as ‘There’ can not really stand on its own and it needs the sequel in order to work.
All this time I’ve been struggling with the question ‘What is this story about, really?’ and the question I should have been asking is ‘Whose story is this? Colby’s or Xavier’s?’ The thing is, my critique partners (one in particular) has been asking me that for ages now but it never clicked in my brain until tonight. The short spoiler-free version of the answer is, this is not Colby’s story it is Xavier’s story. Colby’s mission is the sub-plot, Xavier’s escape and the man who held him are the real plot.
That changes things. A lot of things.
I’m happy to have come to this realisation now as I’m beginning another round (hopefully the last) of revisions and not once I was done them again, but at the same time, that means I need to come up with a title in very little time, and the wonderful suggested ones may not work.
I know that flexibility and change are pivotal to writing and revision and I know this is the right thing to do, but I feel a little bit flakey…and not a bit silly for not figuring this out sooner and for wasting everyone’s time and creativity today. Thank you for the suggestions, I am keeping them all in mind as I frantically brainstorm for the right title for my now, much longer, story.
Heart of the Swamp
Lost and Found
Those are the ones I still think might work…or they might not.
I’m going to go take a bath, they help me think and right now my brain could really use to stop spinning quite so quickly.