woensdag 19 november 2014

Fan letter to my readers

I was forced... erm... asked to do a guest blog by my publisher. It ended up being a piece that was very much from my heart, so I wanted to share it here as well. You know, in case my readers find me here.

This is the link to the website the blog was originally posted: http://nblo.gs/11sbwI

Anyway, here it is:

Fan letter to my readers.

Not since Romeo and Juliette has there been a romance so great as that between a writer and a reader.
*coughs* ehm… okay, that’s utter nonsense, sorry about that. I went for a nice dramatic opening… artistic license and all that.

First of all, I don’t think Romeo and Juliette are all that romantic. They were very young, barely knew each other, and if my memory serves me correct, Romeo was trying to get it on with some other bird first. Also… it resulted in unnecessary death, which sounds rather foolish to me.

But I digress. What I’m trying to say, in my own rather clumsy manner, is that readers are very important to the author. We’re always telling each other that we need to write for ourselves, but we don’t really… we write for an imaginative audience.

shameless promotional pic
I have recently released my first full length novel. A horror book called Angel Manor, through Horrific Tales Publishing. This meant I had to do that which I dread most: get my book noticed. It really got me to think about readers, and how absolutely vital they are to writers; we can’t live without them. The same way that readers can’t be readers without writers, writers are really not worth much without readers.

Finding an audience is a challenge for us. Unless we’ve broken through and
have made our claim to fame, the writers have an ongoing quest to search for the holy grail: their readers.
We’re a funny lot, authors, most of us (not me) are introverts who prefer to stay well away from the public eye. Yet at the same time, we want our books to be read by millions. Not just for the money, mind you. Though getting paid for… you know… work… is quite pleasant. We really want readers because they breathe life into our stories and our worlds. A story is a flat entity until it gets an audience. Look at what the readers of Harry Potter have done. Without his public, he wouldn’t be what he is today. There would be no theme parks, no movies, no merchandise, nothing. Just words on a page that no one has read.

That wasn’t JK Rowling who created the hype. If we writers had that power, all our books would have their own theme parks *sits back and fantasizes about Coyote world* and movies. It’s the fans that make all this magic happen. Their combined love for a book can move mountains.

We writers dream about readers. We talk to them in our work, hope to seduce them, lure them into our realities, and we want them to love us. We have a bit of an exhibitionistic streak in us. Not that we’ll end up flashing people our naughty parts (some might, but most of us prefer to stay fully dressed), but we like to ‘flash’ our minds. One could argue that that’s a naughty part too *cheeky grin*.

Unfortunately not all readers are kind to us. There are a good many Trolls out there who would quite happily destroy the career of a budding author, for whatever reason. We fear those readers. Writers whisper about them, the way children will talk about the monster under the bed. All of us know that not every reader can like your work, and we’re prepared for the one and two star reviews, they are a
part of life. But on occasion you get that one star review that makes no sense, or that is just spiteful.

One of my author friends has been openly attacked for having a racist character in his horror book.
Just because we write bad characters, doesn’t mean we’re bad people. It’s painful to be called names by strangers. Most of us take it to heart; we’re often extremely sensitive souls, we creative

Authors thrive on reviews, they get us through the darker parts of the creative process. Writing can be a lonely process, and a review can make you feel very loved, or at the very least noticed. Plus they are vital, they actually help us make more sales. The best way to help us build our careers is to talk about us, recommend our work. This is what keeps us sold and keeps us sane. Luckily most readers understand this. It’s difficult to get people to write reviews, so when they do, we tend to be very grateful. I have to admit, there have been a few reviews that have made me cry happy tears. In fact, whenever I’m feeling a bit blue, I read those again. It’s like reading a love letter. They are a testimony of my words touching another human soul out there, and it’s magical.

So, in light of all these wonderful readers, I want to write a little fan letter. I know it’s usually the reader who writes to the writer, but I thought I would mix it up a little.

Dear reader,
I’ve been a fan of yours ever since I started writing. Though we’ve never met, I actually feel very close to you. We share something, an understanding of the world I created in my books. That’s pretty special to me.
Your kind / honest review has really made an impact on me, and I was thrilled to read it. I love that you made the time to give me your opinion on my work. That was pretty awesome.
I have to admit, I think about you a lot. Know that whatever I write, it’s all for you. I long for your approval. Nothing makes me happier than you smiling, crying, or gasping with horror when you read my work. If my words can reach you, can make you think or just provide you with some pleasant entertainment… I feel more fulfilled.
Thank you for existing, dear reader. You are so very special to me, and I feel a deep admiration for you.
With love,


dinsdag 18 november 2014

Launch party shenanigans and nun selfies

It’s been three days since the launch party for my first full length novel Angel Manor, and it’s been a roller coaster ride.

I want to thank everyone who in the past few days has shown my their support by buying my book, sharing the links, talking about my writing, putting reviews up on Amazon and Goodreads… you people are truly amazing, and I’m humbled by your kindness.

For the first time I got to see my book have that little orange tag with #1 bestseller. I know it was in a sub-sub-sub category. You know, the kind that says kindle >horror > haunted house > on a solstice > with naked nuns.

I won’t be going around telling people I’m a bestselling author quite yet, but in all fairness, I did quite well in those first two days. The initial hype has died down a bit, but the book is still doing okay.

The launch party was utter madness. Thanks to one of my Facebook friends, Matty-Bob, people started dressing up as nuns and taking selfies. It damn near went viral, and I saw nuns popping up everywhere, even among friends of friends. I can’t tell you how much that pleased me. The best comment was when someone said:
"Is this the new ice-bucket challenge? The Lucifer Falls challenge? Are we all expected to dress up as nuns now."

The party was an absolute hoot. I may have covered my eyes a few times and whispered ‘we’re all going to hell’, but I can’t remember the last time I laughed as loud as I did. The tears were running down my cheeks.

It was rewarding to see my book having such a moment of success. In both sales and attention. The work we put in this book has been incredible, so this felt extremely rewarding.

I felt so loved, appreciated and special. The reviews and the feedback I’ve gotten so far have been really good, so I can’t help but hope that it will continue in this fashion.

Thanks again everyone. You’ve really made this author extremely happy.  

woensdag 5 november 2014

Gifts of the Magi

Since I started writing novels, I don’t have a lot of time to write short stories anymore. But when RJ Sullivan told me about the upcoming anthology Gifts of the Magi, I was enthused. Once in a while I like to write something for a charity anthology, and this one really struck my fancy.

First of all, it was a holiday related anthology, and I shall tell you something about myself: I LOVE CHRISTMAS! I love it with a childlike passion. 

When RJ asked me to write a Christmas story in the Coyote-verse, I was sold. I just had to try it.
To be honest, it was quite a challenge. At the time I was writing a horror
novel (Angel Manor) and turning my dark thoughts into fluffy holiday spirit wasn’t as easy as I had hoped. I must have started this story over and over at least eight times. Then finally it came to me, and the story let itself be written.

I set the story after Coyote: The Clockwork Dragonfly, which is the second novel in the series.

It’s quite difficult to write a story from a series, without giving too much away. It would be great if people who read it will be interested enough to find out more about these characters and about the setting.

All I can hope now is that it will be a Christmas tale for all to enjoy. If you’re curious to read my story or any of the other wonderful stories in the Anthology, you can buy a copy here: http://amzn.to/13IXKDw