Listening to the Sounds of the Midway [Playlist]

It’s been a month since Sideshow was officially launched and I cannot thank you all enough for the amazing response my little book has received so far. I poured a great deal of my heart into that novel and I’m so glad to see that it has resonated with so many of you as well. For this week’s blog post I’ve put together a little thank you gift.

Mixed tapes used to be one of my favorite ways of expressing myself back in the pre-ipod days. I used to spend hours and hours deciding exactly which songs fit the mood and message I was trying to convey, putting them in exactly the right order, designing the label with my giant set of different colored Sharpie markers, etc before bequeathing it to the intended recipient. Those days are pretty much gone now as most people I know wouldn’t have the means to play a mixed tape/CD, but that doesn’t mean I can’t still gather songs into a playlist and obsess over creating the exact right message with them. So, without further ado, I present to you the playlist I have been obsessing over for the past month: “The Sideshow Soundtrack!”

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The Dawning of the Age of Aquarius

One of the traits commonly assigned to people who fall within my particular zodiac sign is a certain kind of flightiness in which we have a lot of ideas, but find it difficult to focus on just one. I don’t necessarily believe in astrology, but I’ve got to own up to this one. Ideas come in abundance and I have a very hard time deciding what I want to work on next.

This is part of the reason I struggle with blogging regularly.  My brain goes off on so many tangential directions and I struggle to pin down a focus.

I want to write a blog about my gardening efforts.

I want to write a blog about my genealogy work.

I want to start a podcast.

I want to write a blog about home renovations.

I want to open an Etsy shop to sell paintings…and knitwear…and aromatherapy soaps…

And don’t even get me starts on the 30 different books (both fiction and non, in all sorts of different genres) and stories, I want to devote all of my time to.

On and on and on and on…

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, about how I have so many different interests and how, in our specialization-style world, I feel as if I’m expected to dedicate myself to only one thing forever and am completely unable to do so. It’s enough to drive a person mad.

Of course, I know I’m not the only one, so I’d love to hear from you guys about your struggles and triumphs with the specialization expectation. Do you chafe at the idea of having to have multiple social media accounts for separate identities or does this come more naturally to you (and if so do you have any tips, pretty please, I’m begging you)? Did you change your major 8 times in college and still end up with a career unrelated to any of them? Do you find yourself showing different aspects of your personality when around different people and sometimes wonder which one is the authentic you? I’d love to hear your story. I can’t guarantee I’ll ever do any further work on this subject (as evidenced by its very nature), but at the moment, I would very much like to explore it.

 

Big August Announcement!

It’s August! Can you believe it? Where does the time go?

 

In a few short weeks, volume five of Season of the Witch will be released (that is, if I ever decide on a title). I’ve already begun work on volume six (hopefully due out in October): The Chaos Gate.  My hope is that I can begin work on the first print book in October and include all the material from the first year. But there’s something more important that I need to announce to Season of the Witch  fans:

 

Yep! That’s right. I am launching a Patreon campaign.

Now, this took a lot of thought on my part about how I planned to handle the Season of the Witch series after my pricing realizations. To those who supported me and purchased Jaclyn of the Lantern  and Bethania’s Broomsticks, I am immensely grateful. I didn’t want to lower the price on those items initially because I worried I would seem ungracious to those initial fans who were willing to pay $1 for my work.  However, reaching a wide audience is critical if I wish to continue writing, especially if I wish for it to be more than a hobby, and as a person who is very shy (even on the internet), I have to come up with different ways to build my platform.

For those who don’t know, Patreon is a crowdsourced service where fans become patrons of their favorite creators. Unlike other services (such as Kickstarter) which raise money in one lump sum, Patreon raises money as the artist creates. This provides the artist with recurring funding and the patron the sense of power that comes with being somewhat like the Medicis of Florence. This is their FAQ if you want to know more.

For my campaign, the baseline donation is $1 per novella with two bonus categories. The novellas themselves will remain free, but those who wish to support me further can add a “tip” of $1. At $2, I will publicly thank the supporter (and link to their twitter, blog, books of their own, if they so wish) here on this blog with the release of each novella as well as including them in an acknowledgements section in the book. I added a $5 tier for those who want bonus content, which at this point is sneak peeks and maybe an audio reading or two, but if people sign up at that tier I’ll determine some better goodies based on their requests.

At this point, I have two stretch goals: If we reach the point where $100 is pledged per novella (be that 100 different people or 10 – the glory of Patreon), I will begin work on illustrations for the “grimoires” which will be art books based on the series and if we reach $500, I will begin publishing And So It Was In The Kingdom as a free novella as well.  I will consider further stretch goals if we reach them. So head on over to my campaign page and check it out! I will be more than happy to answer any further questions.

And to those who have always supported me: Thank You! From the bottom of my heart. Please do not think your support is unappreciated by this move. I don’t know all of your names (because Smashwords doesn’t give me access to that information), so I cannot publicly thank you, but know that you are all in my heart.

Now Available: Red, Season of the Witch #4

CoverRedebookExciting News!

The next installment in the Season of the Witch series is available now on Smashwords and pretty much wherever you buy your ebooks!

Red tells the story of Clarissa LaRoux, a young nurse living in Detroit. One minute she is drinking coffee in her apartment in 1965; the next, she’s waking up in a hospital. It’s 48 years later, but she hasn’t aged a day.

With the help of her old school friend, Opaline, now in her mid seventies, she sets out to discover what happened to her and whether or not it had anything to do with the strange goblin that appeared at her window that fateful night.

Red, in true Season of the Witch fashion blends the trouble myth of Detroit’s very own lutin with the Eastern European legend of the fern flower and of course the brewing trouble between the witches of the Harvest and the Underland. It’s a can’t miss.

So get your copy today!

 

 

 

Continue reading “Now Available: Red, Season of the Witch #4”

Digital Publishing, Victorian Style

I’ve been thinking a lot about the blog as a medium for writing. I know that I don’t post here often and this mainly because I am still trying to find this blog’s niche. The original plan was to be about my journey from writing my novels to their (hopefully) eventual publication. This quickly fell by the wayside. The world has so many writer’s blogs, do we really need another blog chronicling the publishing process? I’m sure you’ve read enough about query letters to last everyone a lifetime at this point.

I have a couple ideas for continuation. One is based around the whole “Daughter of Rock in the City of Soul” concept a little more closely as a place to do Detroit and Cleveland history posts. Another is a forum for posting of my poetry.

And then…there’s a third…and I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it: A novel in blog form.

Now, wait, don’t run away, hear me out.

Webcomics made me think of it. Unlike many gag-a-day comics that I read in print, a lot of webcomic artists that I know actually have plots and story arcs that they intend to follow. In many ways, they seem to be graphic novels on the web. The wheels then began turning…how could I translate a novel to the internet? Maybe a blog, a blog with a chapter released weekly or monthly, like the Victorian authors once did with their serials in magazines?

I’m sure this has been done before. I’m just not sure how I feel about this as of yet. I am very much a devotee of the traditional publishing format (be that paper or ebook), but perhaps for some of my writing, this might be an interesting experiment, especially something less publishable. Not “lower quality” but more niche. I mean, I am rather comfortable with putting poetry into the blog, due to the unfortunate lack of poetry publication available in other formats and as the ebook slowly takes over, I often worry about niche publications’ ability to compete with “blockbuster” authors.

Cover of

So…leave me your thoughts, and stay tuned.

Video Killed the Radio Star

The process of acclimating to a new place is always complicated. I don’t even think I was entirely acclimated to the last apartment, but here I am again, in the process of learning all those little details: how to turn on the shower, where the light switches are, where the buses go from here…and, of course, trying to remember what I used to do before wifi.

I know that I did things. I was born into the digital age, but I have certainly not always had access. I spent a few formative years a little off the beaten path. However…it has been quite a long time, and while I spend this week waiting to be reconnected to the wired world (and I am not very patient as my currently in a coffee shop status will indicate), I’ve gotten to think a lot about that.

I use the internet for a great deal: keeping up with current events, checking the weather, communicating with my friends, my colleagues, my employers…making sure the bus is on time, preliminary novel research, trip planning. I suppose it might be safe to say the internet is more than a little deeply ingrained into my life.

Not to mention how that effects being a librarian nowadays. Several months ago, a nice gentleman came in, wandered about confused for a moment or two and asked me in a concerned voice, “where is the card catalogue?”

Vividly, I remember the little typeset cards. There isn’t anything like that in our library anymore. It really hits me with a wave of nostalgia. I love old things like those little typeset cards, but I’m not going to say the digital age is evil. As I’ve already established, I benefit a fair bit from it as well. Plenty has been written decrying it (for example: an article, I personally found more than a little elitist, but perhaps that is just my perception.), but as with all things…I suppose it just takes a little balance.

Speaking of which, the process of hand-printing my first chapbook will begin next week. After I have wifi so that I can look up a few things from home.

Current Reading: Roald Dahl’s Book of Ghost Stories