Wednesday, November 28, 2012

E.B. Black's Early Christmas Giveaway!

It's almost December, which means Christmas is coming. Holidays mean lots of spending. Save a bit of money by winning a $20 Amazon giftcard (and a free copy of my book!) No purchase necessary!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 26, 2012

One Lovely Blog Award

Hello Everyone! Recently, I was nominated by Tricia Drammeh for the one Lovely Blog Award. She's an author, like me, with a book out called The Claiming Words. It has a beautiful cover! You should check it out.

She also interviewed me recently on her other blog, Authors To Watch, and has been a wonderful person to get to know! I'm thankful for her nominating me!

Here are the rules for the One Lovely Blog Award:
  • Include the blog award logo in your post.
  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Provide 7 random facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 7 other bloggers and let them know you have done so.
Seven Random Facts About Me:
  1. I love to watch professional wrestling and have seen several popular professional wrestlers in person! (I have a shirt signed by Dolph Ziggler.)
  2. I love ebooks and reading the news online. I hardly ever read anything on paper anymore.
  3. I have a liberal arts degree.
  4. I'm very close to my mother and father.
  5. I live in the middle of nowhere.
  6. Because I live in the middle of nowhere, I'm not on a sewer system. We use a septic tank and it's disgusting because it constantly overflows, no matter how much we try to fix it. So we pump most of our bath water and laundry water outside with a hose, instead of letting it go down the drain.
  7. I didn't get my driver's license until I was 25 years old.
Seven nominees for the One Lovely Blog Award:

This list is made up of a varied group of bloggers. Some are new at blogging, some have been blogging for a while. But they all have one thing in common: they are LOVELY. (Click on the names below to be magically transported to their lovely blogs)
I'd like to nominate anyone reading my blog. You're all lovely people and if you'd like to participate in this, I think you should!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Your Life Can Change In A Day - Medusa's Desire Available on Kindle!

Yesterday, I went to bed thinking that all I was going to do today was help my mother cook Thanksgiving food, feel guilty for eating too much when I'm supposed to be on a diet, and go on a long walk.

It was enough. I'm thankful to have all my loved ones here with me today. I love writing and talking to people on AQConnect. I've been meeting new people as of late and improving my outlook on life.

But fate had other things in store for me...I waited in long lines for the ingredients my mother forgot to purchase at the grocery store, laughed at my dogs cowering under the table to get away from the vacuum, and published my debut novel!

Everything fell into place in just the right way for Medusa's Desire to become available today.  Whether you purchase it or not, I'll still enjoy talking to you about writing, reading, and life, but for anyone who is interested, I thought I'd let you know it is on Amazon.

It all started the day her god raped her.

She transformed into an abomination through his touch. Her skin grew scales. Her eyes turned red. She screamed for help, but all who saw her became stone.

Medusa thought she would be alone forever, until the day a man came to kill her and fell in love instead. Now Perseus is running from those who hired him as he continues to love a girl who could kill him with a glance.

Buy on Amazon for $0.99

If you'd like to to read a sample of my writing before you purchase, I posted Chapter 1&2 of Medusa's Desire on my other blog:

Read Chapter 1

Read Chapter 2

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Twilight Series and Role Models

There's a lot of concern among many people about the Twilight novels and movies. Some view Edward's attitude towards Bella as abusive and controlling. They see Bella as weak because of her lack of supernatural powers and inability to leave Edward. They are worried because they see Bella as a bad role model. The topic has become a lot more popular lately because of the release of Breaking Dawn: Part 2 in theaters.

When people talk about role models in entertainment, it always gets me thinking. When I write novels, most of my characters are terrible role models.

Medusa (in Medusa's Desire) has a jealous rage that's strong enough to make her attack innocent people.

Perseus (in Medusa's Desire) is so obsessed with perfection that he'd rather hurt someone he loved than make a mistake.

Pandora (in Pandora's Mistake) willingly enters into abusive relationships.

Prometheus (in Pandora's Mistake) watches his brother abuse women and does nothing to stop it.

Sisyphus and Tyro (in Revenge for Sisyphus) had a relationship so unhealthy that it involves insults and physical harm to themselves and others.

Pegasus (in Love for Pegasus) is racist towards humans. Animals are superior in her eyes and we're the evil beings that make life harder for them.

I write these characters because they are easier for me to relate to. They aren't perfect. They do horrible things that make me cringe as I read about it. I don't want people to emulate them and their unhealthy behaviors.

I'm not going to give my opinion on whether or not Bella and Edward have an abusive relationship other than to say this. I'm a twenty-six year old woman. Most of my real life friends are well into their career and married. They have a stable life that I've always craved, often with children. And most of my author friends online are in very similar situations.

Right now, I don't even own a car. How embarrassing is that?

It makes me feel behind and immature. I'm supposed to be the strong successful woman who has her life together, but I'm struggling to put together a career in writing, balance my relationships, and get my life on the right track.

When I read New Moon, it was a breath of fresh air to me. Edward leaves Bella and she handles it as badly as she could handle it. She avoids her friends, wallows in misery, does suicidal things in order to hallucinate his presence, almost kills herself . . . . . .

And suddenly, I didn't feel so stupid for struggling with my own problems and worries. I'm not the only one who handles things badly.

Yes, I want to be strong like Katniss in the Hunger Games. I admire her abilities to take care of her family, control her emotions, and face death. I like that she doesn't care about her appearance and puts all her effort into the important things of life, like family and community.

But I'm not Katniss. I'm not strong all the time and sometimes when I'm comparing myself to her, I feel miserable because there's so many areas in my life where I still need to improve and feel like I *should* have improved by now. That's why I like "weak" characters and characters with faults to balance it out. So I don't feel foolish all the time.

The beautiful thing about literature is that it can give us people to look up to and people to relate to. It can show us the best in humanity and the worst. There's times to look up to a character and times to let that character's weaknesses touch your heart. There's times to be shocked and disgusted by their attitudes and other times to empathize.

Literature is a unique study on the world surrounding us right now. It shows us our values as a society and our weaknesses. It shows us what we strive to be and what we despise. It's what I love about fiction. The good kind gets into the deep and sometimes scary parts of society. It shows you parts of yourself that you don't want to think about and gets you to think.

It may not have perfect prose or perfect dialogue, but it reaches you just the same.

Friday, November 16, 2012

How To Get Lots Of Followers On Twitter

While I don't have the most followers on twitter, I've been able to almost double the amount of followers I've had in the past month (I went from 2,500 to 4,500 & counting.) Here are some tips to increase your followers quickly. (All of them are free, they just take up time.)

1. Follow Back - Let's face it. Unless you already have a large fan base outside of twitter, no one is going to want to follow you, unless you promise them something in exchange. So write on your bio that you "Follow Back" and then regularly follow back people who follow you first.

More people will find you and follow you without any action on your part if they know you'll follow back and they'll stay your followers for longer. But if you promise to follow back, make sure you do so promptly. Don't lie about it. That's how you get blocked. And don't unfollow them later if they follow you back, in order to "trick" them. That makes people really angry.

You don't have to follow back everyone. I don't follow back porn stars and porn sites that try to follow me regularly, for instance, but you should follow back 99% of people.

Don't ask for a shout out in order to follow back people. That's an extra step that people might not be willing to take, not to mention, I've given shout outs to enough people (and followed them), who didn't want to follow me back that people like me don't want to bother trying anymore.

2. Give Back - When you are following thousands of people, you won't have time to read all their tweets, even if you sit around all day, every day, doing nothing but reading tweets. But you should still make time, a few times per day (if you're short on time, you do it at five to ten minute intervals inbetween doing other things through out the day) to read tweets on twitter and interact with the people you are following.

I used to be stingy when I favorited tweets. I thought they had to be truly superb before I did so. Now I use the "favorite" button like the "like" button on facebook. Any time I see something funny or intelligent or something I can relate to on twitter, I favorite it. I retweet things that I think my followers might find interesting. I respond to people and start conversations.

Every time you do this, you make the person you responded to feel special. They'll be happy they decided to follow you because of it and more likely to buy your products (if you're selling something) or to want to talk to you (if you're just there to socialize).

3. Look at people with lots of followers - If you find someone on twitter who has 40,000 followers and is following around 40,000 people, then you can tell this person is good at finding followers who, in turn, follow them back.

This is something you need to do as well. Twitter has limits about the amount of people you can follow, but every time you gain a follower, that number rises. What I do, is follow around 500 people, wait a week to see how many of those people follow me back, and then unfollow the rest. Then I start all over again.

I find these people by looking at the followers of people who have thousands of followers and are following thousands of people as well. A higher percentage of those people follow me back than random people I find on twitter.

I also keep the number of people that I'm following who are not following me back, relatively low, like 100 or so, otherwise twitter won't let you follow people back or add people.

4. - I use this site almost every day. It helps me keep track of who I need to unfollow and who I haven't followed yet. I couldn't use twitter as well without it.

There are similar sites and you can try using those, but this one has been the best I've found.

5. Don't advertise all the time - As people get to know you, they'll eventually find out about your book or product as well. They'll be more open to buying it if they like you as a person first. If they never interact with you and all they see is advertisements coming from your account, they're likely to get annoyed and block you instead.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Six Things About Greek Mythology That You Probably Didn't Know

1. In some versions of the Medusa mythology, she had wings.

2. Perseus didn't ride Pegasus. Bellerophon did. Pegasus was born when Perseus chopped off Medusa's head out of the blood. He rode to chop off Medusa's head wearing winged shoes Hermes gave him.

3. The Titans were gods who ruled during the Golden Age, when humans couldn't die and could tell the future. By comparison, the ages when the Olympians ruled were not as good for humans. Yet the titans are usually portrayed as barbaric.

4. According to greek mythology, most of the world was destroyed by a flood, just like in the Bible. Deucalion built a chest, sometimes called an ark, to be rescued from the flood.

5. Prometheus, the man who was chained to a rock and forced to have his liver ripped from his body over and over again as punishment by Zeus for giving humanity the gift of fire, eventually escapes.

6. Artemis is not the goddess of the moon. Selene is.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Daydream Attacks

I've been reading many jokes on facebook from authors about how they hear voices in their head, the voices of their characters, and that the only reason they aren't in an insane asylum is because they are in a profession that values this quality.

I don't so much hear voices in my head as have daydream attacks.

For instance, my Mom was talking to me recently about one of her favorite television shows right now, Adventure Time. I'm always teasing her about liking it because my Mom is a goofy person and most of what I've seen of the show is random. She started talking to me about how one of the characters was in a candy land of some sort and how there was a zombie apocalypse during it. She started imitating some of the characters' voices changing as they transformed into zombies.

Instead of responding, I had a daydream attack where I imagined two people falling in love, getting married and vowing that they'd rather die than ever be apart from one another. Then there's a sudden scene change where three years have passed. The world has been thrown into a zombie apocalypse and they are running from a giant horde. There's pain in the husband's side because they've been running for awhile and he holds a gun in his hand. He knows it's the slowest people who die and not the fastest, so he shoots his wife.

I sometimes wonder if there was a zombie apocalypse who would be loyal to their loved ones and who would choose their own life over theirs.

I chuckle as I realize part of this idea was inspired because my brother is always joking about how if there was a zombie apocalypse, he'd want me to tag along with him because I'm slower than he is and I'd be the first to die. I always glare at him when he does that.

Then I blink, realizing time has passed and I haven't listened to a word my mother has said for awhile, but she's still chattering away because my Mom is capable of holding a conversation with herself.

Like I said, I have daydream attacks. I hate it especially when I'm supposed to be paying attention to stuff people are saying and a daydream attack nudges me and I go,"No! Not right now! I'm supposed to be listening!" But it's very persistent and nags me until I give into it. "This is important! You might want to make it into an outline later!"

Sometimes it's inspired by the people surrounding me or things they tell me and other times it just happens when I'm tired. Since I've been a teenager, daydreaming about stories has always been a way I can lull myself to sleep or recharge mentally after a tiring day.

So, do you have daydream attacks or "hear voices" of your characters or both?

Saturday, November 3, 2012

New NaNoWriMo Rules

This is a fun tag I came across on twitter: it's #newNaNoWriMorules.

If you don't know what NaNoWriMo is-it stands for National November Writing Month. It's a spree where writers across the world vow to compose a 50,000 word novel by the end of November, starting the first day of the month. The important part is not to write a perfect novel, but to meet your word count.

Lots of writers are talking about it on twitter and adding their own new set of silly rules. Here are some entertaining ones I've seen:

@danialexis: This year, you must replace all uses of "said" with "ejaculated."

@chuckwendig: -- This year, to "win" NaNoWriMo you must kill and eat five other aspiring authors.

@arogers907: You must write each of the 50 shades of your novel to win.

@chuckwendig:  -- Your novel must be fanfiction based on fanfiction.

@MauStCha::#newNaNoWriMorules 5 gazillion bonus points to peeps who write the entire manu w/out ever hitting 'Save As'

 @FebruaryGrace: In order to win you must let your mother read your entire, unedited manuscript. Aloud. To your grandmother.

 @JonathanDalar: To increase word count, up to 5 adjectives per noun may be used. "The road to hell is paved with adverbs" be damned! .

@schafecast: Yes I am using to make it a drinking game. For example take a sip everytime the delete key is pressed.

@awkwardjimmy: drink every time your protagonist has an emotion

@GamergrrlESL: : Get a shin kick in the shin for each redundancy. 

Any of you participating in NaNoWriMo? Or read something funny about NaNoWriMo online?