Some Quotes and Some Books To Check Out

Tags

, , ,

I’ve been having a little fun with GIMP lately, trying to take images from the Rider’s covers and pair them with some of my favorite quotes from the books. There are a handful more quotes that I like, but this is what I came up with so far:

First to Stand 2

Riders Quote6

RR2 quote stand alone 1

You can tell what events were happening in the real world when I was writing those novels, can’t you? Or maybe just I can.

Anyway. Those were fun to do. Feel free to share if you like them.

More importantly, if you’ve been looking for a new author or new book to read, there is a big promo this weekend: http://pattyjansen.com/promo/ that has 100 different SFFH books available for 99 cents. It’s worldwide and there should be titles available on every platform. (Rider’s Revenge is included, but I’m assuming you’ve already read it at this point which leaves potentially 99 other titles to choose from.)

(And if you haven’t finished the entire Rider’s series, this is the weekend to pick up books 2 and 3 for $3.99.)

Rider’s Resolve Is Now Available Everywhere!

Tags

, , , , ,

First, apologies to anyone who was reading the Rider’s Revenge series through KU since it’s no longer in KU.

But…

For all of those who were waiting for the ebooks of the series to be available on platforms other than Amazon, they are! Yay.  (I would’ve made this announcement earlier in the week but the books were hung up at Nook and, to a lesser extent, Google. Technology is wonderful and horrible all at the same time.)

And, because I wanted to make sure everyone had access to the same promotional price, Rider’s Resolve is currently $2.99 (or whatever the equivalent to that is in other currencies).

So links:

Books2Read (should take you to the books on your chosen platform in your chosen country)

Nook (B&N), Google, iTunes (Apple), Kobo, Amazon

Also, if you haven’t yet bought book 2 there will be a promotion on the entire series the first week of October and book 1 will be 99 cents and books 2 and 3 will be $3.99 during that week.

For those of you who have already read the entire series and really don’t care about any promotions on books you’ve already read…

You’re probably wondering when the next book will be out.

Hard to say. I have a weird working style that involves thinking a lot about a book before I sit down to write it and, perversely, writing non-fiction while I’m doing so.

Good news is I’m about at the end of the non-fiction portion of that process. (If you have any interest in Microsoft Excel I just published four titles related to it under M.L. Humphrey. No? That doesn’t sound as interesting as flying horses? Fair enough.)

I have one more non-fiction title to write and then I’ll turn back to novels at the end of the month. At that point it’s probably six months until I’ll have the next novel ready to publish.

But no promises. Life is tricky and unpredictable and full of curve balls.

Borrow Now or Forever Hold Your Peace

Tags

,

The Rider’s series is rolling out of KU at the end of the week. So if you’ve been reading the books through Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program and think you’ll want to finish it, borrow the books before September 8th. You don’t have to read them before then, you just need to borrow them before then.

(As long as you have your KU account you can read a book you borrow months and months after it’s out of the program. But you can’t borrow it once it’s out. And if you close your KU account you’ll lose access to any of the books you borrowed.)

That means that for those of you who wanted to read the Rider’s books in ebook format and on a platform other than Amazon that you’ll be able to do so in less than a week! As promised, Rider’s Resolve will be priced at $2.99 for the first couple weeks so you can get the same discount people on Amazon got when the book launched.

Also, there will be a sale on the entire series likely in early October. I will give dates as I know them, but at this point the plan is 99 cents for Rider’s Revenge and $3.99 for Rider’s Rescue and Rider’s Resolve. So that $2.99 release price is going to be the best you can get on Rider’s Resolve but if you still need to buy Rider’s Rescue you’ll be better off waiting until early October.

Hope you are all doing well, and for those in the U.S., enjoying a nice holiday weekend with friends and family.

That Was Fun

Tags

, , ,

A fellow author has started a new YouTube channel called The Bookshelf and she read an excerpt of Rider’s Revenge as part of the first video she did.  I really enjoyed the reading.  Makes me think I should do an audio version of the book sooner rather than later.  (But they’re not cheap to do, so no holding your breath on that.)

Anyway, check it out. There’s a brief intro to YA fiction at the start and then the Rider’s Revenge part starts around the 3:00 mark and if you stay to the end there’s a cool giveaway and some bloopers.  Overall just a fun, light-hearted video to watch.

Also, since I’m on here…

Probably not relevant to all of y’all, but I’ve started a new website for one of my other pen names, M.L. Humphrey.  You can find it at www.mlhumphrey.com.

Basically, I’m doing a presentation at my local writer’s group this year that pretty much tied the Alessandra Clarke name, M.L. Humphrey, and one other together because of the bio I provided and I decided that the pen names aren’t really a big secret to anyone who knows me anyway, so why not consolidate a bit?

If you’re interested in Alessandra Clarke books and announcements, stick with this page.  If you want to see what else I get up to, maybe check that one out.

I will be posting pictures of Miss Priss (my dog) each Monday, so for those of you who liked the photo of her I posted on FB for the release of Rider’s Resolve you can get more of her there if you want.  The rest of what I post there will be focused on self-publishing with the occasional random thoughts about non-writing issues thrown in. (Here’s the photo for those who didn’t see it already.)

IMG_4190 - Copy

Rider’s Resolve is Live!

Tags

, ,

Today is the day. My first fantasy trilogy is not only completed but live and available for you to read.  So if you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber who couldn’t pre-order, it’s there to borrow now.  Paperback is live, too, for those who are old-fashioned like myself and still prefer to read that way.

It’s a nice feeling to have finished such a massive undertaking.  I still don’t know why I write–I’m not one of those people who lived and breathed writing from the day I could walk–but there seems to be something about it that gives me a great deal of satisfaction.

What’s next? One week to rest.  Two weeks to attend a writing workshop where I’ll learn how to make the next series even better.  And then it’s on to the next one.  Hope to see you there when it’s ready.

RidersResolve_3D

Rider’s Resolve Is Here!

Tags

, , , , ,

The final book in the Rider’s Revenge Trilogy, Rider’s Resolve, is here!  Well, almost. It’s up for pre-order on Amazon, so you can reserve an e-copy now and get it when it’s available for sale on June 11th.

The paperback should be live by the weekend, too. I just need to receive a physical copy of the proof tomorrow and make sure the cover looks as good in print as it does on my computer, but I trust that Kirk knows what he’s doing and it will be gorgeous just like the other two have been.

Because it is, isn’t it?

RidersResolve_3D.jpg

The reason I’m posting this today instead of waiting until June 11th is because I’m also running a sale this weekend to celebrate.  A BIG one.  So if you aren’t caught up on the series yet, now is the time to do so.

Rider’s Revenge will be FREE from June 8th through 11th. (A good chance to get a copy if you borrowed through KU but didn’t buy it yet.)

And Rider’s Rescue will be only $2.99 during that time.

That’s a savings of over $10 between the two, plus if you get Rider’s Resolve at its special introductory price of $2.99.

(And, as I’d mentioned previously, for the first three months the ebooks will be exclusive to Amazon.  If you’re one of the small number of people that impacts, reach out to me and we’ll find a way to make it right for you.)

Book 3 Release Date Set and Thoughts on Romance

Tags

, , , , ,

Alright, I’m procrastinating a bit, so figured it was a good time for a blog post.

First, I think we’re far enough along with book 3 that I can announce a release date of June 11th.

Also, I’m planning on a short pre-order period and introductory sale price for book 3 as a thank you for those who’ve stuck with me, so keep an eye out.  I’ll announce it on FB, Twitter, here, and through the newsletter when book 3 is live so pick your poison in terms of where to look.

And, finally, because I’m also starting to think about “what do I write next”, I thought I’d talk just a bit about the Rider’s series and romance.  Possible spoilers follow so if you haven’t read the series, might want to stop reading now.

Okay.  So…

There is a romance in the Rider’s series.  K’lrsa does meet Badru and they do fall for one another and they do have some challenges to their relationship that keep them apart, both big and small, and they do overcome those and get together.  (At least once…)

But, at the same time, when I was writing this series, I wasn’t writing it as a romance.  I was writing a coming of age action-adventure fantasy novel.  My focus was on K’lrsa and her growth as she learns about how different the world is from what she thought it was and how her mastery in the world she knows is challenged when she’s put in a new setting.

I wanted her to be strong, to solve her own problems, and to be the heroine, but I also wanted to explore how what made her successful in the tribes could be harmful when she was put in the setting of the Daliphana.

And I was also exploring, hopefully on a second level of the story that doesn’t get in the way of the main adventure story line, issues of women’s roles in society and how they’re treated based on where the men around them place them or how the men around them perceive them.

And, of course, I touched on other issues like grief and parental relationships and friendship and being young but trying to be a leader and (in book 3) trying to integrate people from two very different cultures and how people aren’t necessarily bad, they just have different perspectives, and on and on.

So the romance in these novels was not my focus.  I wasn’t spending most of the time on the page trying to show why these two should be together.

I do write romance novels under a different name (contemporary, not fantasy) and in those novels I take a very different approach.  Even though the characters are dealing with something else (grief in this latest one, cancer in the one before that), how the main character finds her happily ever after with the hero is the focus of those novels.  Everything else that happens in the books is just part of those two people finding one another.

That’s not the case in the Rider’s novels.  In the Rider’s novels, the focus is on K’lrsa and her journey. Badru is a very important part of that journey, but he’s not all of it.  Large portions of her journey don’t include him.  (Which doesn’t mean they won’t end up together, so if you were reading for the romance, don’t hate me…I’ve got it.  Trust me.)

Anyway.  This is my long-winded way of saying, I’m not sure which direction I’m headed yet for the next series.  I can write another one like this where there is some romance, but it’s secondary to the story, and the focus is on the main character’s journey.  Or I can write a more traditional romance structure, likely in the spirit of Nora Roberts’ fantasy novels, where one couple gets together in each book of the trilogy and you follow all three couples.

I have about ten different ideas, a few that are stronger candidates than the others.  All of that may change after this writing workshop I’m headed to which I hope will up my writing game to the next level.

But…If you have strong opinions about what you liked or didn’t like in the Rider’s series or what you like or don’t like about fantasy novels in general, let me know.  Drop a note in the comments, send an email, leave a review, whatever way works best for you.

I can’t promise it’ll happen, but knowing what my existing readers like or don’t like, helps. A lot.

While You’re Waiting

Tags

, ,

Good news is that the third book in the Rider’s trilogy is coming along nicely and should be out relatively soon.  Definitely before mid June when I head off to a two-week writing workshop, but likely earlier than that.

Right now it’s resting between drafts so I can go back to it and see all its flaws and fix them and make it a better book.  (Okay, not all of its flaws, but some of them.)  Then it’ll go off to a couple of folks to make sure I “nailed the landing” so-to-speak.  And then it’ll be ready for the world.

Now, in the meantime, while you’re excitedly waiting for the third book (I hope), there are many many other wonderful, great books out there.  And because I’m waiting for this current draft to age, I even get to read some of them.

This week I devoured the latest Juliet Marillier book, Den of Wolves.  I have to say it’s so nice to read a master at work.  She’s a brilliant storyteller and great at writing real, vivid characters.  Fortunately for me, my mother now loves this series, too, so she bought the hardcover and gave it to me to read when she was done with it.  (She never got into the Sevenwaters series, but these she likes a lot.)

Another set of books that are blowing up my also-boughts right now are the Black Mage books by Rachel E. Carter.  I haven’t had a chance to read them but the covers are gorgeous and what’s not to love about a magic school premise?  Plus, people who buy my books seem to have also bought these books, so maybe check them out if you haven’t already.

As an author (and nerd), I also like to read some non-fiction here or there.

On the writing front I recently enjoyed The Fantasy Fiction Formula which was recommended by Jim Butcher at a conference I went to earlier this year.  (Although if you haven’t read Techniques of the Selling Writer, I’d start there.  I think they deal with some of the same concepts but Swain wrote about them first and reading his book was a real aha moment for me.)

And as a fan of psychology, I really enjoyed reading You Are Not So Smart.  I don’t remember much from my undergrad degree in psychology, but I do remember the concept of heuristics and this book talks about them so it gave me a warm fuzzy feeling to see that because a while back I tried to google for the concept and nothing came up and I wondered if I was losing my mind.

Anyway.  A few ideas for those of you who don’t already have enough to read.  (I have two full bookcases of to-be-read books…Some have been there for over a decade now.  Oops.  Never enough hours in the day it seems.)

 

 

Writers and Politics (and a 99 cent sale on Rider’s Revenge)

Tags

, , ,

First, let’s get the “good news” out of the way.  The ebook of Rider’s Revenge is on a 99 cent sale through Tuesday, so if you are somehow reading this blog and haven’t yet bought it, now is the time to buy it for a nice discount.  That link above should take you to a page that will get you to any of the major stores anywhere in the world, but if it doesn’t work you can try the Rider’s Revenge page on here which also has the U.S. links on it.

Alright, now down to the topic of the day: writers and politics.  (I figure most of you reading this blog have already read Rider’s Revenge, so it’s not very nice to come on here, announce some sort of sale, and then not give something to people kind enough to support me, but if you’re sick of political talk of all stripes then carry on and apologies.)

Obviously, this past six months has led to lots of people talking about politics.  And lots of reaction against creative types who’ve poked their nose in and voiced an opinion one way or the other about what’s happening these days.

I used to have the rule that you should never talk religion or politics because it never ends well, but my personal Twitter and FB pages these days are pretty heavy on sharing and RTing political news. That started happening about three months before the election because I wanted the people I knew to be informed.

I try to keep it off my author sites, because that’s not why folks are there, but a little slips through on Twitter and for that I apologize.

But what’s most interesting to me is that it doesn’t matter if I post or tweet or blog about my politic views.  Because they are there all throughout my books.  At least thematically.  Issues like women’s rights and how women are treated based on how they dress or act.  And my belief that for evil to be done requires the support of thousands–not just the person who orders the act but those who make it happen and those who stand by and let it happen and those who go along rather than resist.  And so so many other ideas.

By writing and putting my words out there I can’t help but address politics and religion and psychology and economics (another strong theme in the Rider’s books) and how people relate to one another and all those other things that make a world real.

I’m sure there are books out there that manage to avoid those subjects (the Shopaholic books come to mind), but I’m pretty sure I’m not capable of writing one of them.  And that most authors aren’t.  I loved Tolstoy’s books when I was younger but that man had whole paragraphs in there about his religious beliefs.

And in times like these I think that will become even more prevalent for all authors.  Writing is how we tackle what’s floating around in our minds.

For example, after I finish the last Rider’s book I have a book I want to write about the different forms of resistance and how we judge one another for our chosen way to resist.  (Of course, if I do my job right, that will all be there, but for most readers it’ll also just be a good entertaining story.)

Same with movies and t.v. shows.  We live in a certain environment and it impacts where we focus our attention and the stories we choose to tell.

Anyway.  Hope you’ve enjoyed the Rider’s books so far.  Book three is coming along nicely.  Still aiming for a mid-June release.  (And need to hit it because pup and I are going to take a road trip that includes a two-week out-of-state writing workshop and then, hopefully, touring the dog parks in the region afterwards.)

Ah, Book Three…

Happy holidays!  Hope you’re enjoying the season and getting to spend time with your favorite people.  Also, a quick reminder for anyone who reads the Rider’s books through Kindle Unlimited that they’ll be rolling out of KU at the end of the month, so borrow them now or wait another six months or so before they do another spin through KU.  (And if you don’t like that, tell Amazon to not make authors be exclusive to Amazon just to list their books in KU.)

On Twitter today I saw someone giving Patrick Rothfuss (a great author, you should read his books), a hard time because his third book isn’t out yet.  Granted, the last one came out in 2013, so I get it as a reader, you want to read that next book.

(Poor George RR Martin gets a lot of that, too, and he’s written about how that kind of pressure can just shut him down in his writing process which just makes it worse.)

What I’ve come to realize as an author that I never understood as a reader is that sometimes it’s not that easy to just write the next book.

I usually alternate between pen names so after I finished the last Rider’s book in July I turned to a romance I needed to finish.  It was a second-in-series book about a woman who lost her husband and is now finding love again.  I thought it would be easy to knock out and I’d have it published by September at the latest.  I knew the character, I knew the world, I even knew the story and who she falls in love with.

But…

Writers, or at least the type of writer I am, plumb our own emotional experiences to fuel the emotions of our characters.  So, I, for example, draw upon the death of my father to fuel the scenes I write about losing someone you love.  And sometimes going to that same emotional place too many times in a row is just too hard to do.  Most people experience a loss like that and then find a way to shove it aside so they can keep living.  They don’t keep going back there and revisiting those feelings over and over again.

So after writing about grief in Rider’s Rescue, it turns out I wasn’t able to write about it again in this romance novel.  Which means I stalled out with my fiction writing and ended up writing a cookbook instead.  (Seriously.)

I’m now setting aside that romance that just doesn’t want to be written right now and turning to RR#3.  There’s some heavy lifting to do there, too, but not of the same kind.  Book 3 will have conflict but it’s about resolution and triumph this time around, so yay.

But given my process we’re probably looking at June for release of that one.  (I know, sorry.  But it’ll be worth it, I promise.  Or at least I hope.  A little early to promise anything, although I’ve been thinking about book 3 since I finalized edits on book 2 and from what I know of it, I think it’ll be enjoyable if you liked books 1 and 2.)

I’m sorry it isn’t going to be out sooner but at the same time that should still be less than a year after book 2 came out, which is better than Rothfuss, right?  Right.

And I know you’ll still have plenty to read in the meantime, because there are so many other great books out there.  (You should see my kitchen table right now.  I keep buying them even though I don’t have time to read them!  If my next story is about cloning, you’ll know why.)  For example, I recently enjoyed Thunderlord by Deborah J. Ross.

And if you are still at a loss for things to read (how is that possible, please let me know), you might want to check out this list here.  Through the end of the month it includes links to SFF books from authors who donated to help out their follow authors this holiday season so you can find a great author to read and help out someone you know helped out others.  Sort of a win-win-win.  Right?  Right.

Now.  Back to RR#3.  Because if I don’t write it, no one else will.