If you're an urban fantasy reader, and especially if you like a bit of paranormal demon romance, you need to read Annette Marie's Steel and Stone Series. The first book of the series grabs you by the collar, and you find yourself taking out your phone while you're standing in line at the bank, or hunching over your kindle to brush your teeth just to read it.
Piper is a demon-wrangling heroine of the ass-kicking variety, and she's got two super hot daemons at her side to make things a little more interesting.
Annette Marie published Chase the Dark in November 2014, and sales took off. She's been topping the charts in Urban Fantasy ever since. Since I'm a fan of the books and she hasn't done many interviews I'm excited to get the chance to ask her some questions.
Ryan Boudinot’s article about teaching writing has been ruffling a few feathers. There are those who approved of his frank assessment of writing ability (you either got it or you don’t), and those who found it obnoxious. Here’s what it says:
"Either you have a propensity for creative expression or you don't. Some people have more talent than others. That's not to say that someone with minimal talent can't work her ass off and maximize it and write something great, or that a writer born with great talent can't squander it. It's simply that writers are not all born equal."
Chuck Wendig does not agree. In fact, he’s angry.
ON THE WHOLE, FANTASY WRITERS THINK A LOT ABOUT THE PAST.
There are classic medieval-inspired epic fantasies, of course, but even contemporary urban fantasy draws on ancient folklore in the form of vampires, demons, and fairies. As Michael Moorcock pointed out in his often-quoted essay about epic fantasy, there are different ways for a fantasy writer to approach history.
A writer can romanticize bygone days of rolling hills, round wooden doors, and leafy forests. Or, an author could go the other way, scouring history’s dark side—picking over the bones of bludgeoned kings, botched executions, and the frenzied witch-hunting mobs—the murky days before modern science, when feeding a urine-cake to a dog could identify a witch.
. . . and that brings us to dark fantasy.
Sever Bronny is the debut author of a fantasy adventure novel called Arcane, just published in November. Arcane is an epic fantasy story about fledgling warlocks; a coming-of-age tale in the magical tradition of Harry Potter and The Once and Future King.
Though Bronny is a new voice in the field, and so far, he's been successful at getting his story to the right audience—something usually very difficult for debut authors. Arcane ranked number one in its category, and it has consistently ranked in the top 10 in a few YA fantasy subcategories. In fact, it's even selling better than some Harry Potter books at the moment!
For anyone wanting to dampen the mood at their Thanksgiving dinner, you can always interrupt the discussion of tryptophan to tell the story of what happened after the friendly feast between Massasoit and the Puritans. You can tell the story of the later Thanksgiving - the one with the severed head:
The war that no one ever talks about.
Nat Russo is the author of Necromancer Awakening, a debut dark fantasy novel that reached the top ten in a number of categories, including contemporary fantasy and horror. Given his success and that we're writing in the same genre, I was very eager to get his take on marketing, and delighted to find that he'd put a lot of thought into this very topic.
If you're a fan of epic fantasy, you need to check out M.A. Ray's Menyoral Saga. She's got three books out so far, and in a short period of time, has developed something of a cult following. Her fans praise the complex characters and humor. And the food description at the start of Oath Bound was enough to make this lifelong vegetarian crave a plate of grilled beef with mashed potatoes.
Anyway, because she is a self-published author who is developing a dedicated fan base, I wanted to find out what she did to get the word out. I also wanted to know a little about the emotional side of publishing.
In the process of getting our book ready, we've been starting to learn about the marketing aspects of self-publishing. Sure, writing a book is hard. But getting people to actually read your book - that seems even harder.
So we thought how better to learn than to ask someone who's already completed the process?
To start with, I contacted Katie Cross, author of Ms. Mabel's School for Girls. I'm reading her first book, and it's a beautifully written book about a girl in a mysterious school for witches. Her second book in the series, Antebellum Awakening, is coming out in October.