Posted on

Pictures from SVScon 2013

SVScon Author

As I didn’t want to fill everything into one blog post, I decided to post pictures from this year’s SVScon here! I attended as an author, selling and promoting my Angel’s Voice series. You can read about my weekend here!

If you were at SVScon and have any great pictures you would like to share, post a link in the comments and I will upload them! I would especially love pictures of you if you came to talk me in Artist Alley or if you have a great one of your costume!

Artist Alley

SVScon Author

Books Artist Alley

Artist Alley Stand

Qulr Artist

Costumes

Night Elf Cosplay

The lovely Skymone in her Night Elf costume from the game World of Warcraft!

Check her out on her Facebook-site!

More pictures will follow when I get sorted through them all!

Unfortunately, I got no good pictures of people in costumes, so I would really love it if you would send me some!

Posted on

Interview by Kevin Rau

Book Quill WritingI had the pleasure of talking to author Kevin Rau on Twitter not too long ago. He is the author of the H.E.R.O. books and asked me to do an interview for his blog. Normally, I find most author interviews to be dull and repetive, but I really enjoyed this one and thought I would share it with you to apologize for my absence lately!

The interview is the perfect mix of author questions, ebooks and superheroes! You can find the original one at Kevin’s blog and read his commentary!

– 

When did you start writing, and was there a significant event that prompted you to do so?

I have always loved writing, and I have written short stories ever since I could craft sentences properly together! As a young kid, I used to write stories in Danish, but as soon as I started learning English in school, I quickly grew to love the language. I would write horror short stories as my written assignments and I still stumble across some of them when I go through my old backup files. It’s a wonder my English teacher didn’t force me into therapy! Some of those things should not have been written by an 11-year old girl…

If you could have one superpower, what would it be? (Assuming said power would be reasonably “powerful.”)

Oh, I love this question! As a big fan of superhero movies, there are so many things I would love to do… It’s hard to pick just one! I think I would like to be able to go through walls like Shadowcat from X-Men… Then I didn’t have to crawl over all the garbage in my room!

Do you have a favorite superhero from novels, comics, or movies?

As I said, I love superhero movies, so that’s a really tough question… My favorite universe is the X-Men one, and there’s just so many great characters! If I have to choose, I think it’s a tie between Rogue and X-23… Nothing like a tough girl with a tough story!

Where do you get your inspiration for writing? What motivates you?

Music, movies, comics, books… There’s a ton of inspiration, you just have to look for it! I carry a notebook with me at all times, and I have experienced inspiration striking in the middle of a movie at the cinema. It’s very hard to write down notes in complete darkness!

And I wish I knew what motivates me… It would make it a lot easier to seek it out. Most of all, I think it’s my mind’s hatred of standing still. I have to keep it active, otherwise I get restless. This is also why I never get any sleep. Ideas always wait until I’m in my bed, and they won’t leave me alone before I get up and write them down.

Do you pre-plan your stories, or are you a by-the-seat-of-the-pants style writer?

My first book, Resounding Echo, was actually just an attempt to start writing again, after many years break. I asked a friend for an idea to something I could write about and he said: “What about something that begins in a monastery?”

That’s all I had, and still it became a full-length book. I just started writing, with no idea where I was going. I do write ideas to plots and characters down as they come and somewhere along the way, I’m able to make something resembling an outline out of them, but I’m not one to really plan ahead. I write to keep my head from exploding, so I just plan as I go!

Do you write only when inspired, or do you have a set schedule where you sit down to write?

I tried the schedule thing, 500 words a day and all that. It doesn’t work for me. At all.

Somehow, every time I sit down with the intent to write, I’m completely empty for inspiration and motivation. On the other hand, all the times when I don’t have the time to write (or when I should be doing something else…) I get inspired out of nowhere. Large part of my books are written during classes where I’m supposed to listen to some teacher going on about Hemingway(or was it Scottfitzgerald?)

Do you have a favorite genre to write in? To read?

Definitely fantasy. Both reading and writing, though I mostly keep to writing high fantasy, while I will read anything within the genre as long as it doesn’t involve High Schools(I can’t take another one of those books… I’m sorry, I just can’t.)

What do you enjoy the most about writing?

Except from not going insane? I think it’s immersing myself in a story and getting to know my characters. Before, it would all be in my head and it would never be properly explored, but writing it down forces me to evolve the ideas and actually create something.

Is there any part of writing that you don’t enjoy?

The feeling that you’re never going to finish a book while you have writer’s block! It’s a horrible feeling!

Can you tell me something odd about yourself?

I could write a book(Haha…) about the oddness that’s me! Let’s just leave it at the fact that I have a wooden dragon figure called Oswald and that I dream of beating up Edward from Twilight with a bat…

Do you write one story at a time, or do you have several novels in the works at one time?

I used to have 5 different projects at once, but lately I have been more committed to one work. I think the world of my current book series has become too dear to me, and it prevents me from wanting to work on different stories while working on those books.

Have you ever wondered why evil people want to take over the world. Why not take under it?

Maybe they have more airplanes than they have shovels?

Where do you see the future as far as paper books versus digital e-books?

E-readers are still a mostly unknown thing in the little state of Denmark, but more and more bookstores are beginning to sell ebooks even here. Ebooks are definitely becoming more and more common, but I’m not one of those that believe paper books are dying out. But then again, I’m one of the few persons who still don’t want iPhone even when people throw it at me, because I like my phone to be a PHONE. But the rest of the world loves them, and I think more and more will switch to reading e-books, when they own a Smartphone or a tablet anyway.  

What are your current projects?

The second book in my epic fantasy series, Silent Sound. It has been at a stand-still for a long time, because of lacking motivation, but now I’m too busy to write and the motivation is suddenly everywhere! Typical…

Do you have any advice for others about self-publishing?

Don’t let it ruin your love of writing! It’s all too easy to be caught up in formatting, editing, marketing and book sales, and it will destroy what made you love writing in the first place if you let it. Do it, but don’t let it become your world.

Do you have any online sites where readers can find out more about you (and your books)?

I can be found just about anywhere: Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Tumblr, Pinterest, DeviantART, YouTube, you name it. But I can’t even keep track of those, so come visit my website to avoid all the confusion! You can find it here: http://michellelouring.blog.com/

My books can be found at almost any online book retailer as well, but most notably on Amazon and Smashwords!

Posted on

Indie Publishing vs Traditional Publishing

Heart Book

——-

Let me start out by saying that I have never sent a manuscript to a literary agent or a publisher. From the beginning, I knew that countless rejection letters would quickly kill my love of writing and I would rather have the dream of seeing my book on the shelves remain a dream, than go through that.

Which is why this isn’t the bitter talk of someone who was never able to publish the traditional way, but merely the view of someone who never tried. 

Self-publishing has a bad reputation and it has been that way for a long, long time. There’s still many people who refuse to call independent writers for “real” authors. They believe that all indies are people whose writing is just not good enough to be published.

That is far from the case for many indies.

Just because you never got accepted by a traditional publisher doesn’t mean that you don’t have a great piece of work in your book. After all, J.K Rowling was rejected many times when she sent the manuscripts for the Harry Potter books to different publishers. How many books have she sold now? 450 million copies was the last number I heard.

The fact is, agents and publishers only accept books that have worked before. After Twilight became a success, the market was stormed with supernatural YA fiction and vampire novels, both good and bad. They all had that in common that the publishers knew they had a market for those books.

Many, many, many books have been rejected because, though well-written, were too original or far-fetched. Publishers need to earn money like everyone else, and they are rarely willing to take a chance on something. Which is why so many great books never see the light of the book store.

Don’t get me wrong, some indie books are horrible. The both good and bad thing about indie publishing is that everyone can publish anything. That means that there is no quality control. Poorly edited books with grammar so bad that it makes your toes curl, and plots where nothing make sense at all, find their ways to the online retailers because there’s no one sorting through the trash.

It’s perfectly understandable that readers may hesitate before buying a self-published book, because there’s no guarantee it isn’t a piece of garbage. But on the other hand, indie books give you the opportunity to find books so mind-blowingly unique that you’re willing to swear off traditional books forever.

Exactly because there’s no one sorting through the books, the original ideas that agents won’t take a chance on are now within your reach. If you want an urban fantasy story, you can actually find books that aren’t rip-offs of Twilight, because indie authors doesn’t have  to write something that’s already been written. There has been no one to tell them that there isn’t a market for their kind of stories, so books are no longer restricted by trends. Now only the imagination of the writers set the limit.

Many writers also choose the way of indie publishing, not because they can’t get published by a traditional publisher, but because being an indie gives you all the freedom and control a publishing contract would take away from you.

A publisher decide your cover, they can make you cut or rewrite entire chapters of your book if they doesn’t think it should be there. It could be the most important scene in the book in your mind, but it would have to go.

You wouldn’t have full control of how and where your book was sold either, because the rights would now be with the publisher.

And even if you get accepted by an agent, would you really want to wait years before your book hit the stores? Just because someone believe your work is suited for publishing, there’s so much that needs to be done before your book gets into print. Choose a Print-on-Demand service and have your book in your hands within a month.

The only thing traditional publishing really gives you is the backing of their name and easier access to a proper editor. For that they take most of whatever income the book will gain and at the same time depends rights to do what they like with the book.

I’m sure there’s a lot of authors who will disagree with me, and they are welcome to! But looking from where I stand, being an indie seems to be a better deal these days.

The war between traditional publishers and indies still rages, and I think I will just sit back and watch what the outcome will be.

Posted on

New Facebook Page

Facebook IconI finally made a proper Facebook page and I must say I’m already enjoying it.

Their new page design and Timeline update really open up for some great opportunities to create a unique and interactive site. Gone are the generic and boring Fan pages as you can now personalize the design within seconds. I’m in love.

Never really liked Facebook much before(Properly because I really don’t care what people had for lunch an hour ago…), but I’m really positive about my new page! I’m pretty sure it’s because I can make the header purple now…

Go check it out and join me to talk books or whatever else you might want to chit-chat about(It IS Facebook after all…)! I’m also dying to talk to some other fantasy authors, and I’m currently looking for books to feature on the page and I would rather showcase indie books than ones everyone knows already.

Check it out:  http://www.facebook.com/MichelleLouring