30 Days of #MamaWriteLife

Have you tried Periscope?

I found a new platform – actually, Bethany Jett of SeriousWriter.com tried it, posted in Jon Acuff‘s 30 Days of Hustle group, and I grew curious. Several members use the mobile app, and it has been great fun. It’s a lot like people watching, but more specific and a lot more interactive than Youtube.

On this Monday, June 1, 2015, I’ve decided to give Periscope a try – for the first time… EVER. I’ll look like a dork, but why not?

Over the next week, I’ll decide on the best daily time to Periscope, and I will try to stick to that time from there forward. I’ll let you know when I know.

Periscope uses Twitter handles, so find me – @msbbrumley

Today begins 30 days of a daily #MamaWriteLife Periscope broadcast.

Next month, via Periscope, I’ll be counting down to my first ever writer’s conference, and everything I will be doing to plan for a pitch session.

Invariably, we love platform. We’re writers. We have the audacity to believe that we have something to say. So here we are: saying it. And with Periscope, I can say it and read commentary – and answer what you say or ask.

InterviewMelanieKarsakImage.docx

Find me – I’d love to meet you!

~B

Interview with {Melanie Karsak}: Part One

I met Melanie online when I joined Falling in Deep. I’ve had the opportunity to read some of her previous work, and I really enjoy her character, Lily. In preparation for Melanie’s new novella, Ink, I was able to catch her mid-run and ask a few questions.

Unrecognizable human with face covered by hairs in the deep cold water.

Tell us about you. What are some of your previously published projects?

I have three series. The Harvesting Series is my dark fantasy/horror series. It is a zombie/fantasy mashup. It’s a fun series and takes the genre in a different direction. My other series is The Airship Racing Chronicles. This is my steampunk romantic adventure series. I totally adore the characters in this series. Lily, my airship pilot, is a hot mess. An opium addict, Lord Byron’s lover, and an airship racer, she’d a great character to write. I also have my Scottish series on Lady Macbeth, retelling the classic Macbeth tale from the perspective of Lady M.

When did you start writing? When did you start publishing? What is the hardest thing about writing?

I’ve written since I as a kid. Like many other authors, I’ve been to the rodeo with literary agents, had near-misses with publishing contracts, etc. In the end, I opened my own publishing imprint and got serious about my works. I invested in me. The hardest thing about writing for me is simply having time. With two small children and a full-time job, finding time to write is tough.

What has been your favorite character that you’ve written so far?

I mentioned Lily previously, and she really is my favorite character, but I also loved writing her lover George Gordon, Lord Byron. He was interesting to write because 1) he was a real person 2) I had to fictionalize this real person and 3) he is a he. I generally don’t write men very well, but there was something about Byron that was special…maybe because Byron is special. I also enjoyed writing Grandma Petrovich from The Harvesting Series. It was fun to write the bossy grandma type. Ink, my new character, was fun to write because I’ve just never even thought about the perspective of a mermaid before. It was fun to get inside her head.

Where does your inspiration come from? What do you do to break through a block?

I can barely contain all the ideas floating around in my head. It’s maddening at times. They come from anywhere and everywhere. Much of my steampunk is inspired by steampunk visual arts. My mermaid was inspired by my environment. I moved to the coast of Florida 5 years ago and the landscape just sucked me in.

Has there been a progression through genres with your writing, or do you mostly stick with one genre?

Well, I really see myself as a fantasy writer. I just write in different subgenres of fantasy. I think readers see my line tend more dark fantasy/steampunk as I go forward.

Part Two of my Interview with Melanie Karsak will post on June 2, 2015!

A bit about Ink:

A mermaid princess destined to wed a handsome king… 

It sounds like a fairy tale, but the reality is far murkier. 

Ink, Princess of the Florida Atlantic mers, is slated to wed the ancient enemy of her tribe, the King of the Gulfs. After years of war that led to countless mer deaths, as well as the genocide of aquatic shapeshifters and the freshwater mers of Florida, Ink’s marriage will bring lasting peace. 

Or so it seems. 

Mere hours before she’s supposed to leave the ocean for her customary year as a drywalker, Ink meets Hal, an alligator shifter who warns her that a storm is brewing. There is malicious intent behind Ink’s marriage—and worse, meeting Hal has also caused a storm to rage in Ink’s heart. Nevertheless, loyal to her tribe, Ink will put aside her feelings and journey to Miami to marry the decadent King Manx. 

Ink soon learns that her only hope of surviving the crashing force swelling around her is to tap into a power deep inside—a forbidden power that might destroy them all. 

Ink
Aaaah! Love this Mermaid (:

About the author: Melanie Karsak is the author of the Amazon best-selling The Airship Racing Chronicles, The Harvesting Series, and The Saga of Lady Macbeth. She grew up in rural northwestern Pennsylvania and earned a Master’s degree in English from Gannon University. A steampunk connoisseur, white elephant collector, and zombie whisperer, the author currently lives in Florida with her husband and two children. She is an Instructor of English at Eastern Florida State College.

Keep up with Melanie: Blog  Twitter  Facebook  Pinterest  Email

Pre-order Ink here


Love mermaids? Looking for a great beach read? The Falling in Deep Collection, a collection of 15 unique tales of creatures of the deep, is rolling out the first novella in their collection at the end of May.

From mermaids to sirens, Miami to Athens, dark paranormal romance to contemporary stories with steam, the fifteen award-winning and best-selling authors of the Falling in Deep Collection are bringing you mermaid tales like you’ve never seen before.

Every week beginning May 26th, 2015, we’ll be releasing one unique, never-before-published novella! Each novella will feature our favorite creature of the deep: mermaids.

The Falling in Deep Collection (May – September Releases)

Scales by Pauline Creeden

Ink: A Mermaid Romance by Melanie Karsak

Of Ocean and Ash by A. R. Draeger

Deep Breath by J. M. Miller

At the Heart of the Deep by Carrie Wells

The Mermaid’s Den by Ella Malone

The Water is Sweeter by Eli constant

The Glass Mermaid by Poppy Lawless

An Officer & a Mermaid by Blaire Edens

How to be a Mermaid by Erin Hayes

Cold Water Bridegroom by B. Brumley

A Beyond the Sea Prequel by Emily Goodwin

Immersed by Katie Hayoz

Siren’s Kiss by Margo Bond Collins

To Each His Own by Anna Albergucci

Never miss a release! Join our newsletter for behind the scenes information and release updates:

Join the Mermaids!

Interview with {Pauline Creeden}: Part Two

I met Pauline Creeden earlier this year, and she graciously agreed to an interview. Pauline’s release, Scales, a mermaid novella, is a part of the Falling in Deep collection and is available TODAY. (Be sure to enter the giveaway!) Wooo!

Read Part One

A woman standing in the deep waters with her head above the surface.

What is your favorite writing music?

I usually choose 2 or 3 songs by Red and play them on loop. If you’ve never heard of Red. Here’s a sampler.

Where is your favorite place to find inspiration?

While I’m working – like mucking horse stalls – it’s quiet and takes little thought, so my mind wonders and creates worlds.

What was your inspiration for Scales? Tell me about your heroine.

The 80’s movie Splash starring Tom Hanks and Darryl Hannah was my inspiration once the Blazing Indies decided to do a summer mermaid novella. So Verona uses television to help her understand humans better. She is a beautiful, smart young woman who was told she’s ugly and stupid. So she has to overcome these issues and find herself.

Does Scales lead into another novella? When will Salt be out?

Salt was my original story for the Falling In Deep Collection, but it’s turned into not one novel – but two and a prequel novella. I’m hoping to finish the first draft of Salt this month – so that it can be released before the end of summer.

Any advice for new writers (like me)?

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, and the journey of a seventy-thousand word novel begins with one word. Keep typing and get your stories on paper. Don’t worry about what you can sell, and what will even make it to market. Everything is a learning experience, even when the editor makes your manuscript bleed red.

Read Part One of my time with Pauline Creeden.

Scales is live TODAY!  Make your library happy! (:

Here is an excerpt from Scales:

TO KEEP FROM SCREAMING, I bite hard on my lip. The copper mixture of blood and saltwater mingles on my tongue. Mer claws rake against my back. The barnacles on the post to which I’m tied stab me in the chest. Pain sets my body on fire. Everything burns. I squeeze my eyes shut tight and keep my silence.

“Ugly.”

“Repugnant.”

“Unsightly.”

“Ignorant.”

“Bottom Feeder.”

Each word cuts as deep in my flesh as the physical wounds my clan inflicts. It can’t last long. I can endure this. As soon as the sharks catch scent of my blood they will come, and the Mer will scatter.

The world spins around me like a whirlpool. My breaths come quick and shallow, my heart pounds faster in my ears. Each second is an eternity, until I realize fresh wounds are not adding to the burning in my skin.

The elder’s sharp tongue whispers in my ear. “Now you will be measured.”

My wrists fall free of the post as he cuts the ties.

Exile. My Reckoning has begun.

Seriously... Look at this gorgeousness!
Seriously… Look at this gorgeousness!

I was able to get my hands on an ARC copy – you’re going to love it! 

About the Author:

Pauline Creeden is an award-winning author, horse trainer, and overall book ninja. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long. Her debut novel, Sanctuary, won 1st Place Christian YA Title 2013 Dante Rosetti Award and 2014 Gold Award for First Place YA Horror Novel.

Keep up with Pauline!

Website      Facebook      Twitter      Instagram


Love mermaids? Looking for a great beach read? The Falling in Deep Collection, a collection of 15 unique tales of creatures of the deep, is rolling out the first novella in their collection at the end of May.

75 gift card graphic

From mermaids to sirens, Miami to Athens, dark paranormal romance to contemporary stories with steam, the fifteen award-winning and best-selling authors of the Falling in Deep Collection are bringing you mermaid tales like you’ve never seen before.

Every week beginning May 26th, 2015, we’ll be releasing one unique, never-before-published novella! Each novella will feature our favorite creature of the deep: mermaids.

 Enter the Giveaway

The Falling in Deep Collection (May – September Releases)

Scales by Pauline Creeden

Ink: A Mermaid Romance by Melanie Karsak

Of Ocean and Ash by A. R. Draeger

Deep Breath by J. M. Miller

At the Heart of the Deep by Carrie Wells

The Mermaid’s Den by Ella Malone

The Water is Sweeter by Eli constant

The Glass Mermaid by Poppy Lawless

An Officer & a Mermaid by Blaire Edens

How to be a Mermaid by Erin Hayes

Cold Water Bridegroom by B. Brumley

A Beyond the Sea Prequel by Emily Goodwin

Immersed by Katie Hayoz

Siren’s Kiss by Margo Bond Collins

To Each His Own by Anna Albergucci

Never miss a release! Join our newsletter for behind the scenes information and release updates:

Join the Mermaids!

#FeelinFlashy

Every Friday.

This happens every Friday. 🙂

I get sucked in to all the Flash Friday invitations.

I never win the contests, but it’s like wind sprints. I’m awful at those, too, but I’m a huge fan of wind in my face… and the challenge… and dumping everything you’ve got at that moment.

Besides, I’m a writer. I have an obsession with doing the same thing over and over again. The no’s are just another challenge, right? 😉

If you, too, are feelin’ flashy on this fine Friday, here are some of the contests I’ve found.

This is what it looks like when I write - two monkeys on my back. (:
This is what it looks like when I write – two monkeys on my back. (: #MommyWriteLife

Flash!Friday Goal: 200 words (190 – 210 allowed)

Splickety’s Lightning Blog Goal: 100 words or less

#FlashMobWrites Goal: 300-500 words

See you in the flashies!

~B

Interview with {Pauline Creeden}: Part One

I met Pauline Creeden earlier this year, and I recently had the opportunity to interview her. Pauline’s upcoming release, Scales, a mermaid novella, is a part of the Falling in Deep collection and will be available on Tuesday. (Be sure to enter the giveaway!)

Available May 26, 2015
Available May 26, 2015

Tell me about you. What do you write?

I’m a work-from-home mother of one fourteen-year-old boy, horse trainer, blogger, and author. I write hopeful fiction from a dark prospective. My characters go through hard times but always come out stronger in the end.

When did you start writing? When did you start publishing?

My father gave me a typewriter for Christmas when I was about 9 years old, because I wanted to be a writer. I wrote several short stories for classes in Creative Writing, a few of which were published in e-zines and newsletters. My first novel was written in 2011, and that’s when I also started my self-publishing career. It wasn’t until after I started self-publishing that I also began submitting works to publishers and presses. That first novel I wrote in 2011 wasn’t the first one I published, but it was published by Prism Book Group in 2014.

Has there been a progression through genres in your writing?

Whatever story hits me hardest is the one that I write. It’s easier for me that way. I don’t limit myself to reading one genre, and though my editor tells me I need to stick with one, I can’t write in one, either.

What authors do you like to read?

Tommie Lyn, Sheila Hollinghead, Susan Ee, Amy Bartol, Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, C. S. Lewis – my tastes are pretty eclectic.

You have something coming later this month. Tell me about that.

Scales is coming out later this month. It’s a mermaid fantasy story from the Falling In Deep Collection. The mermaids in the story are written from a more realistic marine biology prospective – with claws – and have Vulcan-like personalities. I originally was writing a different story for the Falling In Deep Collection, but it turned into a novel – so Scales is actually a prequel story for the novel.

Part Two of my interview with Pauline Creeden will post on May 26, 2015. 

Here is an excerpt from Scales:

TO KEEP FROM SCREAMING, I bite hard on my lip. The copper mixture of blood and saltwater mingles on my tongue. Mer claws rake against my back. The barnacles on the post to which I’m tied stab me in the chest. Pain sets my body on fire. Everything burns. I squeeze my eyes shut tight and keep my silence.

“Ugly.”

“Repugnant.”

“Unsightly.”

“Ignorant.”

“Bottom Feeder.”

Each word cuts as deep in my flesh as the physical wounds my clan inflicts. It can’t last long. I can endure this. As soon as the sharks catch scent of my blood they will come, and the Mer will scatter.

The world spins around me like a whirlpool. My breaths come quick and shallow, my heart pounds faster in my ears. Each second is an eternity, until I realize fresh wounds are not adding to the burning in my skin.

The elder’s sharp tongue whispers in my ear. “Now you will be measured.”

My wrists fall free of the post as he cuts the ties.

Exile. My Reckoning has begun.

Buy Scales for your library (:

Seriously... Look at this gorgeousness!
Seriously… Look at this gorgeousness!

I was able to get my hands on an ARC copy – you’re going to love it! 

About the Author:

Pauline Creeden is an award-winning author, horse trainer, and overall book ninja. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long. Her debut novel, Sanctuary, won 1st Place Christian YA Title 2013 Dante Rosetti Award and 2014 Gold Award for First Place YA Horror Novel.

Get up-to-date news and information on Pauline’s latest releases!

Website: http://paulinecreeden.com

Facebook: http://facebook.com/PaulineCreeden

Twitter: http://twitter.com/P_Creeden

Instagram: https://instagram.com/paulinecreeden/


As a part of the Falling in Deep Collection, we’re offering a giveaway!

75 gift card graphic

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Love mermaids? Looking for a great beach read? The Falling in Deep Collection, a collection of 15 unique tales of creatures of the deep, is rolling out the first novella in their collection at the end of May.

From mermaids to sirens, Miami to Athens, dark paranormal romance to contemporary stories with steam, the fifteen award-winning and best-selling authors of the Falling in Deep Collection are bringing you mermaid tales like you’ve never seen before.

Every week beginning May 26th, 2015, we’ll be releasing one unique, never-before-published novella! Each novella will feature our favorite creature of the deep: mermaids.

The Falling in Deep Collection (May – September Releases)

Scales by Pauline Creeden

Ink: A Mermaid Romance by Melanie Karsak

Of Ocean and Ash by A. R. Draeger

Deep Breath by J. M. Miller

At the Heart of the Deep by Carrie Wells

The Mermaid’s Den by Ella Malone

The Water is Sweeter by Eli constant

The Glass Mermaid by Poppy Lawless

An Officer & a Mermaid by Blaire Edens

How to be a Mermaid by Erin Hayes

Cold Water Bridegroom by B. Brumley

A Beyond the Sea Prequel by Emily Goodwin

Immersed by Katie Hayoz

Siren’s Kiss by Margo Bond Collins

To Each His Own by Anna Albergucci

Never miss a release! Join our newsletter for behind the scenes information and release updates:

Join the Mermaids!

DFW Writers Conference, and then That Day I Lost my Mind

I did it.

I signed up. I think I can pitch.

I’ve been talked into attending the DFW Writers Conference in Dallas, July 24 – July 26, 2015.

Woot!

394

I’m terrified.

It’s is a lot of money in my world. It’s a weekend away from home.

Is it the best choice right now?

I’m working on a SciFi novel. It’s clean, no cursing, might be salable as a Young Adult. I’ll be hustling to get it done-enough to pitch the best I can.

I’ve chosen Susan Chang with Tor Publishing and Laura Maisano with Anaiah Press as my options for pitching.

What if I do it wrong? What if I fail?

What the heck was I thinking?

Available Agents and Publishers at DFW Writers Con

Strange & Beautiful – The Hybrid Author

 

It’s the first Thursday of the month. I always spend this Thursday of every month, in particular, thinking about writing and the business of writing.

I love to plan. I dream about all the what-ifs. A lot.

I’ve been up early today, off to do a segment on behalf of the Cisco Writers Club at the 97.7 KATX studio with Dr. Stace Gaddy. An accomplished playwright, he’s been great to offer us a regular spot on Good Morning, Texas!

And, of course, tonight 7:00 PM at the Mobley Hilton, we’ll have our May CWC meeting. Topic for discussion is “Publishing.” It’s a broad topic. My associate, A.R. Draeger, has written a series of four articles covering the pros/cons of self publishing and traditional publishing for the CWC Column, Rendezvous with Writing, published each Thursday in Eastland County Today. Throughout the process, she’s been feeding me information.

I, also, recently attended an online workshop by Jeff Goins. He offered two free workshops related to Art of Work. One was a general workshop, the other – the one I attended – was for want-to-be-so-bad-it-hurts writers.

During the session, he received lots of great questions. Many of them were related to the query “Which path is better?” The short answer, as always, is whichever one works best for you.

However, Jeff Goins recommends the hybrid approach. He said that his first book, self published (You Are a Writer – which I embraced after 25 years of dreaming), sold about $50,000 worth. His second book, published traditionally, sold about $6,000 – thanks to the standard royalties contracts offered through traditional publishing. In short, he likes the hybrid idea.

It’s like this:

When you say, “I write books,” people automatically assume that you must have a publisher. If you don’t, most people think you aren’t a “real writer.” Recently, I was talking with a friend about my upcoming novella release. I had been in discussion with a small press, considering contracts and the like. Her words were “Congratulations, that is the next step to becoming a ‘real writer.'” I expect it, so it’s not bothersome to my ego. What they don’t know is that the climate is changing – the way to make a living as an author is changing.

In the writing world speaking to the non-writing-is-my-business world, traditionally published is the regular colored peacock. When I say, “I’m an author,” people expect me to be able to tell them which press bought my words. When I say, “I love peacocks,” people automatically assume I mean the blue/green ones. But those blue/green ones typically only pay newbies around 20% of earned royalties.

But that white peacock of the publishing world – or self publishing – is quickly overshadowing the traditional method. If I – as an author – want to pay my bills ASAP and have some left over, self publishing is appealing. The expenses are mine, but the royalties are mine 100%, not to mention that word I’m in love with – “control.”

I want to be a piebald writer – little bit of this one and a little bit of that other one.

The benefits of self-publishing include the higher royalty rate. The benefit of traditional publishing is that it can quickly grow that platform. As writers, we all need “platform.” Self published authors work for years to accomplish what a half-hearted attempt by a large, reputable publishing house can accomplish within six months.

As I rush forward (hoping desperately that my skill catches up to my intentions – arriving in decent condition at the same opportunity at the same time), I am learning the self publishing method from a great bunch of authors this year.

And since I am winding down production on my self published novella, Cold Water Bridegroom, due out August 4, 2015, I am currently writing a suspense romance to pitch to Love Inspired (a Christian imprint of Harlequin) later this year. I might not get any traction on that – competition is fierce and their selection process is specific – but it’s enough of a dream to keep me writing. It’s a great way to pursue my piebald / hybrid dream. (:

Thanks to Erin HayesMelanie Karsak, Pauline Creeden, AW Exley and Margo Bond Collins, to name a few. As well as we three building our own road through the jungle – my girls! A. R. Draeger and Anna Albergucci

 

P.S. I’m only a control freak when it comes to my work. Mostly.

P.P.S. I do prefer the blue/green peacock variety (just ask my hair). Kung Fu Panda 2 sort of cemented that for me.

P.P.P.S. You can blame my friend for today’s shameless exploitation of peacocks. She surprised me with a drive-by visit this morning, and she brought new peacock goodies for my makes-me-ridiculously-happy collection (a peacock nightlight and a peacock fridge magnet).