Short stories or novels?

Lately, I’ve been trying to pump myself up to the momentous task of completing my third novel. Why am I dragging my feet? Well, this is the final installation and part of me doesn’t want to say goodbye to these characters and also I know it’s going to be an emotional rollercoaster.

A Raven’s Touch is about Justice St. Michaels finding out some crazy things about her family and her own humanity. There’s a lot of self awareness the character delves into and she comes out of the ashes fighting. In A Raven’s Revenge, Justice is stronger for having lived through the first book, but literally taking on Hell with the help of her friends. She encounters demons, but nothing prepares her for when she comes across the suicide level of Hell. It’s particularly upsetting. Let’s say the ending is Game of Thrones inspired and it’s one heart ache after another. The third book, it’s going to be an all out war against Heaven and Hell battling it out in Acana (sort of a middle earth). How do I begin to encompass God’s army of angels? How can I describe their beauty and grace? Do I involve the Blessed Mother in this? Do I call upon her spouse, Joseph, Terror of Demons? How am I going to tie all of this together?

I also introduce a new character named Jan. She is special as she’s based on a real life person; Jan is the dearly departed wife of a friend. I absolutely love X-Men, so she’s given powers that would make any comic lover jump for joy. To work Jan into the story this late in the game is a task in itself, but I think I’ve managed to do that.

Needless to say, I’ve been procrastinating and entertaining myself with some short stories till I work up the courage to “slay my own dragon”. Some of these short stories also have the look and feel of a full length novel. So, where does it stop? Does everything go longform into a book or is a short story good enough? Hard to say. While I was writing A Raven’s Revenge, I started working on a dystopian time travel story and that’s 10 chapters long, roughly 10,000 words! Some short story. And it’s not even close to being done, so that’s on its way to becoming a novel for sure (at some point).

Currently, I have this short story that’s only 5 chapters and I absolutely love it. The main character, her name is Maddy, is clawing her way out of Hell and realizing her father may not be the man she thinks he is. It’s got a southern twang to it that I didn’t expect and I seriously cannot stop thinking about how much I love this character because she’s a good girl gone bad and she wants revenge. I sense a theme here…

Apparently, all I can write about is Christian girls who wants revenge. Good or bad, that’s what I’m doing and if that’s what excites me, well, I guess that’s my thing.

Anyway, if you want to read the first four chapters, feel free to join my reader’s group. I have it posted in the files. https://www.facebook.com/groups/lindasbloodletters/

This is the image that inspired me to write the story. It was a writing prompt in a horror group that I belong to on Facebook. At first, I wrote a few paragraphs on my phone while on the subway on my way to work, but when I got in front of a computer it just came flooding out. Something about this spoke to me and I couldn’t get the idea out of my mind. If you join the group, I’d love to hear your thoughts because it has a permanent home in mine.

How to write while having anxiety

First, let me state that I am not a professional of any sort when it comes to mental health. My only claim is that of one who experiences anxiety. For the first six months of the pandemic, I couldn’t bring myself to write. I honestly had freakouts when I allowed my brain to roam and my writing time was fertile ground for paranoia that sprouted into a panic. Six months of panic! Imagine that. The act of scrubbing hands, avoiding people like the plague (pun intended), and trying not to scream while in the grocery store was enough to make one flush with worry. I feel like it took so long because there was no plateau in sight. Things just kept popping up in the news and it fueled my imagination to epic proportions. It took me places I didn’t want to go.

Woman Holding Her Head
Image: Kat Jayne

Anxiety is a strange thing. It’s like hearing boss level music, but not realizing you’re even in a fight. Or how about that nagging feeling of did you leave the stove on and now you’re going to burn your house down. How about, did I lock the door, let me go check just to make sure because I’m absent minded due to my brain only focusing on one thing at a time. Yeah. Fun times! I’ve noticed it’s also manifested as sore throats. The minute we go out to our weekly grocery run I feel like a cold is coming on. During the week, I’m okay, I can manage, but once I get into the ‘outside’… things take a different turn mentally.

So, how did I finally get back to writing? Well, I finally sat down, re-read a few pages of my WIP and was like okay. Today is the day. I’ve written two books, I can write one more, and another, and another. I sat down, put on my head phones and chair danced to all the songs that usually get me out of my funk.

Low – Cracker (I’m a sucker for this song because I have green eyes)
Glycerine – Bush
Just a girl – No Doubt
Killing in the name – Rage against the machine
Possum Kingdom – Toadies (the song that inspired A Raven’s Touch)
Karma Police – Radiohead
Good – Better than Ezra
I’m Gonna be (500 miles) – The Proclaimers
I wish – Skee-Lo
Your Woman – White Town
Sexual (Li Da Di) – Amber
Dance, Dance – Fall Out Boy
Blow up the Outside World – Soundgarden

The list could go on, but these helped a lot. Some I listened to on repeat for a good 10 minutes, some just once, but they all played a fun part in helping me shake it off and reminding me that I do love writing, I love it so much I don’t ever want to live without it.

Maybe music will help? Maybe painting? Who knows whatever your kick in the pants is, but this is what worked for me.

13,040, just 100,000 more to go

Man, my first chapter is all tell not show. I have to fix this. I suppose that’s the beauty of first drafts, you find out what’s wrong with everything. It’s amazing to me how freaking hard it is to show not tell. It’s like all I want to do is verbally throw up all the ideas in my head and just get them on paper.

First drafts have these strange stages.

First, you’re all like okay, just barf it all up.

Second, you think, this barf is amazing.

Third, you realize it’s still barf and nothing you wrote is good.

Fourth, you think there’s a glimmer of hope in that goop.

Fifth stage, no, you’re definitely not good.

Sixth stage, you’ve given it some time to ferment and think you can salvage some of it.

Seventh stage, okay, you for sure have some nuggets in here.

Eighth stage, you’re crying because you can’t believe you’ve written so much and it never seems to end.

The ninth stage is when you’ve managed to really carve something out and you can see the light.

The tenth stage is not for beginners. It’s where you sit down and bleed at they keyboard and mildly hallucinate that you’re good.

Don’t think this is all roses. No, you for sure have some cringy parts, but there’s hope.

Hope is the most dangerous part, but sometimes it’s the only way to fuel any writing progress.

And everything was right again

I’m so grateful that everything worked out. Thank you to Ian, the most amazing, sympathetic, gentle listener I dealt with at Amazon for helping me with my account. The issue was resolved and it didn’t take that long either. I think three weeks was reasonable, I’m just slow at writing about it.

Honestly, it was such a stressful moment to think I would have lost my whole account. I did lose my sales history, but that’s okay with me. I’d rather have my books available globally.

Amazon, can you help me?

So, I recently changed my phone number and I forgot that I have a two step verification on my Amazon account. If you don’t know, Linda Bloodworth is a pen name. Now, I have no way to verify that I’m legally Linda. I called them and they said they’d help me. The next step is the fraud team to go through my account. I hope they see this blog post and realize the only real account owner could write a blog post that updates on my author account.

Amazon, please help me out! I don’t want to lose my books. Thank you!

Cover reveal: Halo by Olga Gibbs

Hello everyone! I’m glad to be helping out my friend Olga Gibbs. She’s a lovely author who has put out three books and today is her cover reveal!

Halo by Olga Gibbs

Here’s a little about her new book below.

Synopsis:

“I am Uriel: The Harbinger of Chaos, The Keeper of the Gates, The Begetter of Life, The Dam of The Ends and I’m coming to take what’s mine!”

The clash with Baza and his angels had demonstrated to Ariel that Earth (Apkallu) is not the safe heaven she thought it might be and it is only a matter of time before she’s dead. The only way to survive is to fight back and to accept her destiny.

But as Ariel, with Jess in tow, returns to Uras she’s rejected in her own domain, and needs to fight to suppress the revolt against her reign. The angels refuse her and her lead, abandoning her and Uras in favour of a new ruler.

She knows that without an army of followers she won’t stand a chance against Baza or Mik’hael, so now she needs to go into most unexpected places to find one

Halo Goodreads link:https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49677378-halo

Author Bio

Amazon Best-selling Author Olga Gibbs lives in a leafy-green town, nestled amongst the green fields of West Sussex, England. She was writing from the age of fifteen, mainly short stories and novellas and was a guest columnist for a local newspaper. When she is not dreaming up new adventures for her imaginary friends, she does outreach work with teenagers.

She is currently writing the final books in the “Celestial creatures” series and another stand-alone psychological crime thriller.

Please visit author website www.OlgaGibbs.com for more information on upcoming books.

Here’s a shot of all four of her books in this series:

Author, Olga Gibbs

Author links

Website: https://olgagibbs.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/olgagibbsauthor
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/olgagibbsauthor/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorOlgaGibbs/
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/olgagibbs
Bookbub Author Page: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/olga-gibbs
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17733283.Olga_Gibbs

Purchase Links:

Heavenward purchase link: https://books2read.com/u/bWzWlx
Hallow purchase link: https://books2read.com/u/m2vkw6
Harbinger Purchase link : https://books2read.com/u/bx8n1l
Halo Purchase Link: https://books2read.com/u/3nvW56

It’s paperback time!

Hello, my lovelies!
 

How have you been!??

I’ve been a busy bee. Did you know A Raven’s Touch and A Raven’s Revenge are now in paperback? It’s been a long time coming, but they are indeed very real. 

During the holidays I ran a paperback special and I *just* shipped the last two copies off. However, IF there’s any interest I’ll re-order more books. 

What do you get?

– 2 signed paperbacks (A Raven’s Touch & A Raven’s Revenge
– 1 bookmark (as pictured in the header image)
– 2 magnets (one of each book cover)
– A handwritten thank you note with a wax seal “L”
Each book is $12 UDS + $20 USD shipping

Here’s me opening my first shipment of A Raven’s Touch!

Here’s me opening my first shipment of A Raven’s Revenge!

If you’d like signed copies, reply back to this email to let me know. 🙂

If you haven’t already, do join my group, we have a pretty good time: https://www.facebook.com/groups/lindasbloodletters/

What’s it like to be an indie author?

This post is a test to see what I can do with this software I’m trying out. I’m curious to see if I can use all the required keywords to rank higher in google.

Let’s begin, shall we?

What’s it like being an independent author? Well, for one thing, you’re your own boss, and you have creative control. You’re in charge of your own writing career and if you have some funds, you can hire people who offer author services to help you out. What kind of services? Someone who can help you produce a quality product like a professional editor, personal assistant to keep you organized, and a promotional company to hype you in the book market. Mind you, most indie authors do everything themselves. 

Document with a red pen and red pen marks.

You can still be an indie author if you’re with an independent publisher. Most of the time, they work with you for your cover and editing, but you’re still on your own for promotions. Part of promoting means creating an author website. If you’re handy with that type of thing, you’re lucky! Not everyone is and that’s part of the process, discovering what you’re good at and what you may need help with. Publishing and being indie tend to go hand in hand unless, for some miraculous miracle, you were scooped up by a traditional publishing house/ publishing company. Mind you, your life is not a bed of roses either. 

Sure, it seems like the dream. Getting that contract and screaming while printing it out and steadying your hand while you sign away your life. There are many stipulations when it comes to contracts. All of a sudden things change. You don’t have control of your cover, your words, or pretty much anything. Sure, you may be selling more books, but at what cost? You’re doing events you didn’t want to, but now you’re under contract and have to oblige, you’re writing like a mad person to keep up with deadlines, and suddenly, all those Stephen King movies about crazy writers feel like they hit a little too close to home. When was the last time you changed out of that robe and took a shower? 

Everyone has a different experience, so hey, maybe things are better than this. Feel free to let me know in the comments. I’m very curious if anyone has experienced what I described. I’m mainly kidding, and my imagination runs away with me sometimes. 

The dream of every indie author is to have published at least one book. Whether that book is published on their own, with a small press, or a fancy publishing house, authors have to accept they are in the publishing business. It’s not good enough to say, I’m just going to stay locked up in my room and come out when I have a draft. Oh no, you’re a publishing author now, and there’s a whole business side to things. Writing and publishing become a vicious circle. You write you publish, you write some more, you publish again all in the hopes of being discovered. The hope is what keeps so many people going. I’ve met indie authors who have published over 30 books and yet no one outside of their circle knows them. Are they failures? Absolutely not. They’re champions in my books. Anyone who sits there with their nose to the grindstone is incredible. 

It takes dedication to sit there and churn out a book. Not everyone can do it. Think back to English class. If a two hundred word essay was a pain, just imagine what it’s like to write a book that’s 104,000 words. 

Man stands on a mountain with arms raised

When I first wrote A Raven’s Touch, it was almost 200,000 words. I had an editor who helped me scale it back to half that amount, but it was a chunk of a book. I think most first time authors make the mistake of overwriting. It’s so easy to do and again, that’s why you need an editor. When I wrote, A Raven’s Revenge, I scaled it back and it clocks in around 55,000 words. 

Being an indie author is more complicated than most people realize. Once you’ve written your masterpiece, you have to tell people about it. That’s where most people have problems, they’re introverted or they’re just not sure how to go about promoting. I’d highly recommend getting a promotional company to help you out. It’s painful to have your product not selling when you’ve put so much work into it. Once you get on your feet you can start to do things on your own. It’s a long road and some help along the way is never a bad thing. 

I could go on and on about this topic, but I don’t know if I’d stop! What’s your experience like? Are you an indie author in the making or have you already published? 

Harbinger by Olga Gibbs – Cover Reveal

“I’m no longer human. I am Uriel: The Harbinger of Chaos, The Keeper of the Gates, The Begetter of Life, The Dam of The Ends, and I came to take back what’s mine.”

The final battle has begun!

“HARBINGER” Goodreads link:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48200966-harbinger

Author Bio
Olga Gibbs lives in a leafy-green town, nestled amongst the green fields of West Sussex, England. She was writing from the age of fifteen, mainly short stories and novellas and was a guest columnist for a local newspaper. When she is not dreaming up new adventures for her imaginary friends, she does outreach work with teenagers. She is currently writing the final books in the “Celestial creatures” series and another stand-alone psychological crime thriller.

Please visit author website www.OlgaGibbs.com for more information on upcoming books.

Author links
Website: https://olgagibbs.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/olgagibbsauthor
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/olgagibbsauthor/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorOlgaGibbs/
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/olgagibbs
Bookbub Author Page: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/olga-gibbs
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17733283.Olga_Gibbs

Purchase Links:
Heavenward purchase link: https://books2read.com/u/bWzWlx
Hallow purchase link: https://books2read.com/u/m2vkw6

Amazon gift card contest!

Are you in my reader’s group? Is it safe for me to assume that most people who follow me have read my book(s)?

If you’re a fan, why not check out my group? I’ve got a small contest running. Check out the pinned post for details and your chance to win an Amazon gift card!

Here’s the link to join:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/lindasbloodletters/

Just for fun, let me know you came from the blog. 😉