Kindle Vella Reviews, Project Updates, The Explorers, Under A White Moon Paranormal Mysteries

So much is happening in ten days!

It’s so hard not to spoil what’s coming. I know that I’m being asked when things are going to start picking up in this slow burn.

They are! What I can tell you is that I’m kinda wishing it wasn’t such a slow burn. There’s a strange yearning to fulfill my editor and beta reader’s requests to have the bodies start hitting the floor.

What I can tell you, without spoiling things, is that things are ramping up. You’ll soon be learning why X and Z are the way that they are. It’s important to the story that everyone knows what happened and how and why this wound is lingering.

And to answer the question before it is asked, no! We have not gone Randonauting in Yellowstone or the Targhee National Forest. It could be an interesting thing, but considering what I’ve seen content creators wander into on YouTube and TikTok, I am more than happy to live out Randonautica and Scarenoia vicariously through my characters.

You can find The Explorers on Kindle Aps for iOS and on Amazon’s website. Like with Kindle Unlimited, we haven’t seen a wider released. I have a feeling we’ll see things open up to Android devices before we’ll see them open up internationally.

If you’re an international reader and looking for assistance accessing The Explorers, please reach out to me. There are ways to get around localization. *caugh caugh* NordVPN *wink wink*, though I do believe you would need a billing address in the US. That said, you can still access free Kindle Vella episodes and use some of those free tokens that they provide new readers. I believe the number is still 200.

Exile is the first installment of The Chronicles of Eden which take place in the Under a White Moon Paranormal Universe. There are more stories in this universe to told than Eden’s.

This universe is my Passion Project. It’s had years of background development due to it’s nature as urban fantasy. This world within a world serial takes place in modern times and it took a lot to figure out how the different supernatural creatures and their various species worked.

What I can tell you is that our heroine, Eden has an amazing sidekick. That sidekick isn’t Detective Sean Willingham, it’s her mastiff hound mix, Boscoe. I don’t know, there’s just something about dogs that draw me into a story.

Atticus had Oberon.

Timmy had Lassie.

Shaggy had Scooby.

Akamaru had Kiba.

Eden has Boscoe!

Who wouldn’t want a Boscoe of their own? I know I want one, though Mr Wizard has said no to larger breed, wet mouthed dogs. We loved our Little Joe Friday, but slobber was a thing that we never really were able to keep up with.

What should you expect from Season One of Under a White Moon Paranormal Mysteries? Werewolves, hunters, a vampire or two, a wicked step sister and serial killers. Don’t forget the serial killers.

Unfortunately, links to Exile won’t be available until they go live on August, 30th. I’ll make sure to post them with that day’s blog which will include something else that is also just as exciting.

Kindle & Coffee Kindle Vella Serial/Web Serial Reviews

This new series of reviews will pop up almost weekly. They’ll include a write up carefully crafted to give you an idea of what the story feels like without spoilers, information on where to read, how to find the author, and possibly a TikTok video reviewing the serial. We’ll see how well that goes. I’m not really the greatest at editing TikTok Videos or Instagram Reels.

I’m good at finding music to go along with the videos I’ve shot and I really haven’t put myself into the videos yet. So we’ll see how that goes.

I promise to put my NoBS pants on and do my best.

Is it possible that there may be a review that isn’t the greatest or that I might not enjoy a serial I’ve reviewed? It happens, but that doesn’t mean what I’m reading isn’t something else someone to enjoy.

For example, I’m not that big of a fan of things that include a lot of sex, but that doesn’t mean that others won’t enjoy it.

There will even be a quarterly Is Kitty Still reading It? Blog. But I’ll be frank. I gave up on Doctor Who for way too long after Billie Piper left. Kill or otherwise hurt a character I’m attached to and I may have to put something down for awhile. It wasn’t until two Doctors later that I went back to Doctor Who, still butt hurt over David Tennant’s departure.

That said, if there is a serial on Kindle Vella or another platform like Good Reads or Tapas that you want to see reviewed, leave a comment and I’ll add it to the list!

*yes, Kayla! I’ve got a lot of reading to do for you :D*

And finally, the question I’ve been asked more times than I thought.

Okay, I’m going to say my words. I’m a writer, it’s what I do. Hear these words, or see them. And pay attention to what I have to say.

When Kindle Unlimited soft launched it was a nightmare. Luckily this soft launch, while hiccupy hasn’t gone too terribly.

Was there frustration that free tokens were given to readers to entice them to the platform? You bet! Especially since part of the platform includes providing readers three free episodes.

But this is all part of the growing experience that Amazon will experience as they move the Kindle Vella to other devices and regions. At this moment, there aren’t as many readers as many of us would have liked. Let’s face it, serial readers are a different audience than those who read novels.

Some readers specifically chose to stay away from serials because they’ve been ‘burned’ by authors who embark on projects and then drop off the face of the earth leaving stories unfinished forever.

Can we all be real and understand that when something like that happens is pretty, well shitty. That’s the best way I can explain it.

That said, I don’t want to be an author that leaves people hanging. It’s one of the reasons I have so much work done on the serials I’m releasing. There are 40+ fully outlined episodes of The Explorers, twenty three of them written. The last five in a state of rewrite until I’m 100% happy with them. Luckily I have a little bit of time to work out the kinks before I continue on.

Under the White Moon Paranormal Mysteries has three full epic length novels complete. Each novel represents a season. That means I have a lot written material for all of you.

If something happens to me, I can promise that the rest of the episodes will be posted and in the worse case scenario, outlines will be posted of what wasn’t completed to give you an idea of what would have happened to your favorite characters.

Moving on… The good news is that the platform, like all things, will grow. The market for it author wise isn’t super saturated. Getting in during the early months is something that is great for writers looking to build or expand their brand. And we all need to face the fact that writers are their brand.

As the platform grows, there will be more readers. Authors need to do what they can to self promote and advertise. This isn’t any different from traditional publishing, self publishing or just dumping random poorly formatted work out onto KU in hopes of someone reading it.

I’ve got a few ads that I’m planning in order to increase visibility after Exile releases. It’s important to use social media and ads to drive readers to your work, even if what you write isn’t what they like. That’s why readers have three free episodes and that pocket full of free tokens to get started. In a sense, readers get to try before they buy.

Do I think the platform will grow? Yes!

Do I think it’ll be worth the risk to get involved in this new experiment by Amazon? Sure do. Worse thing that happens is the service fails and I take my work down while retaining my rights and release it again in novel format. Sure there’d be a bit of work involved, but that’s what happens when you’re self employed.

This isn’t a review of the service, this is simply a ‘it is what it is’ moment.

To be honest, we’ll need to wait and see what happens after the full roll out to be able to fully review and take a stand as to how effective a service it is.

What I can tell you is that I believe there will be a lot more to come.

Well, that’s it for today. If I don’t end things here, I’ll never stop.

Until next time!

Project Updates, The Explorers, Under A White Moon Paranormal Mysteries

So you want to be a writer… Now what?

You want to what? Typewriter banner

Writing is a work of passion. Not everything you write is good or even great. Most of the time, when you write, you doubt your words and when you go back you can’t help but wonder what the hell you were thinking.

I can’t tell you how many times I thought I was on to something and realized later what I had was a nightmarish ball of shite! At least I’m not afraid to say it or admit it. Yes, there have been so many false starts, horrific stops and a lot of words that ended up cut, deleted or otherwise destroyed as they were better left forgotten.

But what does all of that mean if that’s your passion. If writing is the one thing that will fulfill your soul, what do you do?

Do you ignore it? Do you day dream about it? Do you tell people about the stories you’ve been ‘working on’ but never do anything with?

Or do you ‘bite the bullet’ and do something about it?

Vampires have the craziest teeth and since I write about them, why not?

In my case, thinking of biting bullets brings to mind vampires or werewolves attempting to dodge their imminent demise using their teeth. It’s an image that both inspires creativity and makes me laugh due to it’s mildly inappropriate visual.

In my case, I bit the bullet a long time ago. Even while working full time jobs in the corporate world, (yes, once upon a Big Blue was a thing), I still wrote. I scribbled down ideas during breaks, when I woke up and during long daytime hours that I should have been using to sleep.

I’m not afraid to say that i have several manuscripts that were completed in their second or third drafts. While I never did anything with them after those drafts, they’re still stories and passion projects that may come to fruition on the future.

What got me writing again and actually taking my writing seriously? Was it the pandemic? Was it the stay at home orders and not having anything else to do? Or was there some sort of inspiration that got me writing?

If I was to be really honest with everyone, including myself, there was a combination of factors. Lock down was definitely a big one, but another was I really wanted to finish NaNoWriMo again. I’d made it through three Novel writing months and two Camp NaNo events in the past. Add lock downs and the threat of covid in addition to being out of work and I found myself in the middle of the perfect storm.

It was a make it or break it moment. On November 2, 2020 I sat down at the computer and started writing. The first day wasn’t as productive as I would have liked. I was easily distracted and in another moment of honesty, I actually gave up on my Day One.

My first day lagged and lagged. I had an amazing story to write. I had notes. I knew how the story was going to end, I had my character flushed out and the world within a world urban fantasy setting I had created was vibrant. It was clear in my head that I could almost see it.

But the words just wouldn’t flow.

Worse, the next day when I reread what I wrote, I was more than done. I’d quit. But something had happened in the NaNoWriMo Discord server I’d found myself in. Something crazy. Something I’d never done before or experienced before.

Thanks to Discord, I discovered… AUTHORTUBE!

While I can tell you that Pomodoro Sprints work for me, I know that they don’t work for everyone. But those sprints, with an audience of people watching someone else as they honed their craft was life changing. I was suddenly writing, not rewriting what I wrote, just writing. and I was accountable to the timer and the groups I was writing with. Here’s a link to Devin Cutting’s Daily play list. These lists have someone live at almost every moment of the day hosting write ins.

Some of my favorite hosts are on primarily on Twitch. You can find them under the Writers tag.

On my Day Two I hammered out over eight thousand words. Despite my journal saying otherwise, at the end of the day I had all but forgotten my miserable start. Over the course of November I wrote 125,000 words. I wrote the first draft of a book and started the first draft of it’s sequel.

I’m not going to say or even pretend that everything I wrote during November was amazing or keepable. But that is what editing is for.

So, now for the now what. What’s next now that you know you want to be a writer? Just do it. You don’t even need to have a plan or an outline. Just get it done. You can go back and edit later. You can find critique partners and even editors when it’s time.

But what if you don’t know where or how to get started? You have a story and the characters in your head are just as real as the people you talk to everyday in person, via text or in the virtual world.

The good news is that in addition to Author Tube has more resources than you can throw a book at. If you need something more hands on, an actual class, there is a Master Class for that.

You want to write novels for young readers, Judy Blume has a class for that. Poetry Bill Collins. Mysteries and Thrillers leads you to David Baldacci, Dan Brown and James Patterson (even though his writing has gotten a weeee bit Hokey since he started working with Bill Clinton IMHO). NK Jemisin teaches world building for Science Fiction and Fantasy and I have to tell you her class is amazing! If screenwriting is your thing, Aaron Sorkin also has a class and so many more.

I’m actually getting ready to to take the David Baldacci class. While I have a serial to finish that is already a thriller, I have a feeling that his class could help nudge me in the write direction to make sure that The Explorers has an end it deserves while starting another project. Keep in mind I five months of The Explorers and nearly two and a half years of Under the White Moon Paranormal Mysteries Episodes almost ready to go and just needing a little bit of polish before they are posted. It’s absolutely crazy!

What is your next step? Is it research? Is it an outline? Is it a short story? Is it writing a one sided conversation? Is it something that will change your life or the world around you?

If you want to write, do it! Never be afraid of it. Quality comes with editing and practice and we have to start somewhere.

If you’re looking for a friend out in the virtual world to take a Thriller/Mistery Master Class with, then I’m your girl. I’ll be starting on Sept 1 and posting about my experience on Instagram, TikTok (yea that will be a thing) and maybe YouTube, though I’m not sure I’ll be able to get somewhere that I’ll be able to upload content of that kind of length for a bit.

The moral of the story is that if you’re passionate about something, be it writing, photography, hiking, exploring, skating, singing, dancing… no matter what it is. Do it.

Maybe we can do some of that learning part together.

SO! If you’ve made it this far and you’ve decided that writing or something else is your thing, tell me about here or on Instagram. Maybe we can hold each other accountable.

Until next time!

Project Updates

Why write a book?

I think this question came up more than a dozen times over the last year. At first the question was, why write? Why waste the time? Why focus on writing? Why not try harder to find another job?

It is one of those questions. One that leaves my brain spinning. Why write a book?

I have so many stories to tell! That is the answer.

Another reason to write

Can you imagine? You’ve lived the life of your protagonist in another world filled with magic and monsters or adventures in outer space?

If my main character’s life was really my own in a parallel universe, well efff.. that would be insane! Being a detective hunting serial killers and werewolves? OH MY! I’m not even sure if I could fathom what something like that would be like in real life.

Why write a book?

For fun? To declutter your brain? To express yourself? To pretend to be someone else? To be an actor without having to be in front of the camera?

There are so many reasons to write. It is hard to even just pick one.

Why would you write a book? Why would you share your imagination?

The answer? Why not.

I’ve committed to this process and seeing what comes of it. Where does that leave this sparkly unicorn of a person?

Project Updates

We’re going through changes

This weekend, we escaped RV Resort Land. Resorts serve their purpose. They come with concrete slaps, paved roadways, pools and amenities we’d never use. The best part about all of this for me was getting my new desk set up organized… though my funkopop dolls are not on their shelves right now.

I love the view!! TREES!!!! Not concrete and campers, but trees!

We have quickly learned that resort life is not for us. The last place we parked at full time was amazing. We would have enjoyed more if we weren’t on the ‘kid row’.

Don’t get me wrong, I adore children. We’re still going through the medically necessary steps to transfer our last embryo. While we feel that we’re blessed to live in a time that IVF is possible, it doesn’t come with emotional pitfalls.

In this case nearly twenty of them running wild, unsupervised. The worst thing that happened while we were there included a young man leaning against the patio of our rig and kicking, YES KICKING!! Mr Wizard’s motorcycle.

I probably don’t have to explain why that environment made it hard to focus in and write. 

During our last few months in Resort Land I finished HB90 Bootcamp and Publish and Thrive. Two courses offered by Sarra Cannon that help you get focused in and get shit done.

And it helped. Hello Q2 KanBan board!!! And check it out!!! I’ve got one of those major projects complete already!

I finished the rewrites of my first novel and sent it off for proof reading on Friday.

There is still a sense of ‘Did that really just happen?!?!?!?’ It did. And now I am anxiously awaiting news from my editor who is making a last pass through the changes, commenting on loop holes I may have missed and proof reading.

What does this mean now? It means that my new office set up now comes with a view of trees and an occasional campfire.

It means that there is still a lot of work coming. I need to make a decision on cover art, go through the rewrites of my second book and so much more.

This is where those changes I mentioned last week are coming in. 

I got organized. Crazy? Yes!

In doing so, it’s getting easier to get shit done. I have six blog posts, two news letters and social media posts planned in addition to setting up a series bible to help keep things inside of the White Moon Paranormal Mysteries Universe as concise as possible. 

I guess this means I need to set up a News Letter service?

What else will you find here? That’s not hard. Life as a writer who camps full time can be as boring as it can be exciting. We’re even working out the particulars to host a writing productivity stream that will include a live campfire and maybe me sneaking out to make s’mores. I’m currently running a poll on Instagram in order to determine which chocolate makes the best s’more. I am torn between classic Hershey’s Milk Chocolate and Hershey’s White Chocolate Peppermint Candy Cane.

We’ll see how that goes.

Project Updates

Pet Peeves – Day 4 – And Insanity!

That’s right, it is actually day four of these insane edits. I made it through to the end of my last round of developmental and line edits… only to move on to a list of words and phrases that I over use and ones that I use incorrectly.

Running through this list of words and phrases will complete my work on Exile, my debut novel. From here it goes off to my editor for one last proof reading.

While Exile will be done, I’m afraid to say it won’t be released until the fall. I’ll have my cover and formatting done, get author proofs, but then things will wait for a bit as I plan to rapid release the first three books in this arc of White Moon Paranormal Mysteries.

This does change a few things for me moving forward.

What are those changes?

You’ll be hearing about them soon! I promise! Let me get through these crazy edits and I’ll tell you about all of the coming changes in our lives.

Project Updates

Can it be spring?

Fall and winter months in Texas are normally my favorite. After months of adventures in our house on wheels, we’re back and trying to enjoy the cooler weather, roosting season and everything it brings, and taking care of medical needs before we’re on the road and exploring again. The hardest and also most amazing part of this winter is knowing that we may not be cleared by our doctor until next fall!

Somewhere in the Teton Valley near Yellowstone......
Somewhere in the Teton Valley near Yellowstone……

Luckily for us, COVID has not been a factor. My husband Mister J works from home and my job right now is to write, edit, copy edit and get my first release ready for publication. I have to say that the creative process is insane and our adventures have definitely helped.

What I can tell you is the start of cedar season and the hurry up and wait that comes with IVF and all of bells, clicks and whistles that these winter months that I normally enjoy have been nothing but exhausting. Luckily this exhaustion isn’t stopping me from writing.

Now for some updates!

Chronicles of Eden

Supernatural mystery toeing the line with suspense/thriller themes. There are plenty of werewolves, vampires, serial killers and more trying to disrupt Eden Fox’s life. There will be a chance for horror, a chance for gore, and maybe even a little bit of romance on the way.

The final draft of the first installment of these series is off to pre-readers for comments and nit picking before final edits are made and we go out for copy editing.

Comments on the state of Eden’s current adventures include the following:

Portals

In development is an adventure that stems from the rabbit hole of conspiracy theory videos that have been a source of fascination and laughter for me for years. This actually stemmed from videos about particle accelerators ripping hole in the fabric of space and time and even sent me on an adventure to Cornell to explore the particle accelerator hidden beneath the soccer field.

This project will be a long time coming, but the adventures the research will bring could be fantastic as I’ll be sharing bits and pieces of research here and there which will hopefully include another trip to NY once travel and quarantine restrictions have been lifted.

This project will likely be stand alone and has read to other research binges that include topics like Randonautica, UFOs, BigFoot, the Paranormal and more.

MilWordy

My start date for this MilWordy was November 2, 2020. With 294 days remaining I’ve completed 272,704 of 1,000,000 words. I really want to create some sort of widget that can show my progress. Maybe a gage or a thermometer?

Write With Us Community Calendar

There are so many amazing writers and authors out there sharing their craft and encouraging old and new writers alike to conquer the blank page. We’re working on building a resource that will allow authors to post their live streams to a community calendar that will be viewable on our site.

From write ins, live reading of their work, workshops and even just hosting live streams while they write, this is a chance to put as many of us out there in one place as a resource to the community. It’s a bit of an ambitious project, but we’ll see what happens with it.

Camp Fire at Lake Georgetown

Coming up:

While we await the completion of the Write With Us project and get our calendar up and running I will be posting a list of streams that I plan to attend during the week or in the case of Monday next which ones I would attend if I wasn’t wrapping up some IVF shinanigans.

A review of Daisy Chains by Blue Coutell and Blow Out, a Sheer Disaster by Terri Reid. I’m excited to share with you my thoughts and how and where you can find these amazing reads.

Sneak peek Saturday is almost here and I’ll be sharing a blurb from somewhere within the Chronicles of Eden Universe.

Until next time, have an amazing time creating.