Blood Child

A Book Out and A Short Story on the Way

Blood Child
Coverart by Steven Warrick

February 13th is fast approaching and with it comes the one year anniversary of Blood Child‘s release.   Over seven hundred people have it in their hands and on their devices.

Thank you, because thanks to you, dear readers,  I made it on an Amazon Best Seller list.   For those of you who haven’t had a chance to pick up a copy, it is .99 cents for a limit time on Amazon.

“This is an amazing book! As the story progressed and more pages were turned I was beginning to wonder if this was going to be part one and I’d have to wait for a second book to find out what happened but then right at the end it all came together and was an ending I never saw coming. Excellent work Lucinda! Can’t wait for your next work!” – Amazon Reader

“Blood Child will keep you on your toes until the very end. You will not want to put it down. Grab a refreshment and cozy in for a good read.” – Marie Arminger

“Excellent. Grabbed my attention from beginning to end. I devoured it and now I’m craving more.” – Amazon Reader

I have begun work on the next book, Blood Ties, which is set to take place five years after the first book.  I won’t say much as it is very much a work in progress.

What I can talk about is Shadow Cat which is currently in the hands of my lovely editor, Zee.  It is a short story about a rather spectacular specter of feline making his rounds on All Hallow’s Eve.  ShadowsTale

Here is a brief taste of that Shadow’s Tale has in store for you.

The Florida air on All Hallow’s Eve isn’t crisp or chill, but muggy and dank giving way to a proliferation of minuscule costumes for all ages and sexes, although the ubiquitous robe with accompanying mask are still a favorite for the adolescent crowd. In days past, every neighborhood had houses with their porch lights lit declaring their intention to pass out candy.  But neighborhoods change.  City ordinances restricting teens from roaming the streets left some parts of the City Beautiful virtual ghost towns with only a few hearty souls daring to search out the few houses dispensing confections. The streets of these neighborhoods are far riper with ghosts and ghouls than one would imagine, but that is really neither here nor there since they are also well-suited to a black cat slinging his way home when all the good little kittens are tucked into bed or sleeping on people’s heads. A black cat not on a mission from some demeaned witch or demon, but one who has a story to tell.

Book Review: Enchanted by Alethea Kontis

Read this book today... seriously go to Amazon and buy it.
Read this book today… seriously go to Amazon and buy it.

Several months ago, I brought Enchanted by Alethea Kontis in anticipation of reading shortly after I had the pleasure of meeting her at a Barnes N’ Noble event in Orlando, Florida.  Needless to say that life intervened and I didn’t crack open the book until this past week.

I wish I hadn’t waited so long. I have been waiting for a book like this. A book to spark the imagination of both myself and my students. I told them about the book shortly after I started reading it and now they are eager to read it.

So let’s get to the good stuff.

Enchanted is the tale of Sunday Woodcutter who lives in the magical kingdom of Arilland where fairies and fairy tales are woven into everyone’s lives.  Sunday is the seventh daughter of the seventh daughter and being the youngest of the youngest has left her feeling like she is the leftover child in the family.  She and her other sister are each named for a day of the week by their mother, Seven Woodcutter.

Each sister takes on the attributes of the day on which she was born.  Kontis weaves the stories of the Woodcutter family together seamlessly hinting at the mysteries and secrets that all families have.  They may live in a magical land where talking animals are common place, but they have real problems and concerns.

Monday’s child is fair of face,
Tuesday’s child is full of grace;
Wednesday’s child is full of woe,
Thursday’s child has far to go;
Friday’s child is loving and giving,
Saturday’s child works hard for its living;
But the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.

From the beginning of this enchanting tale (punt intended) to the last line, you are taken on a journey through everything you think you know about classic fairy tales isn’t just turned on its head, but pulled into reality.  And it all begins with a lonely girl named Sunday sitting by a well and reading her journal to a frog named Grumble who will become her friend.  But what happens when that friendship turns into love?

The blending of classic Fairy Tales and modern humor carries the reader to a new realm where the Princess and the Pea meets Cinderella, the Frog Prince and reality head on for the win.

Visit her website and you can find out more about her and her books.I promise you that you won’t regret it.  You can also purchase the books from Amazon or Barnes  and Noble 

 

A Note Before The New Year

A lot of awesome things have happened this year.  And some not so awesome.  It’s the Saturday before Christmas and the only decoration up at my house is a Darth Vader door knocker that I found at the dollar store. just haven’t felt like making the drive to storage to get everything.  And I am fine with it.  I am not going to have a Crank level Christmas rejection of the season, but I think it is alright to take a break from what is expected to do what is best for yourself.

My mobility has been composed for the last couple of months by tendonitis. I am mostly better have been clear to go back to some of my usual activities. I just can’t jump back into them at full speed. I am not so good at standing but I can walk my dogs and go for a swim when I want. Now, all I have to do is find a pool.

As I slowly make my way back to a healthier and happier year, I hope to get things going on this blog again. I have already scheduled two blogs for the upcoming year and between then and now when I get stuck on my next novel, I will be working on this blog. reviewing books, sharing scattered bits of poetry and my thoughts about life.

The New Year brings hope, but so does every dawn. We have the power to change our lives everyday not just when the calendar fits.

If you are not happy, then do what makes you happy. Find a way to bring happiness back into your life.  I started this year by changing my own story and getting out of the house and doing stuff. I also gave away a ton of stuff that I didn’t need or want.  It feels good, but I have a lot more work to do.

For myself and my life, less stuff means more time out and about with friends and love ones.  I don’t have any miraculous resolutions for the coming year.  2015 was better than 2014 for me and 2016 is going to be better than 2015 because I am going to make it so.

See you next year, my friends,

Lu

A New Day Another Page (April Page 19)

It seems like today is going to be a two page day since yesterday’s page was published today by accident, sorry. A page a day and no excuses. Next month, I plan to continue this exercise until it becomes a habit and that habit become the next book.

One thing I also need to do is organize my home office aka the dinning room so it works better as an office, not just a dumping ground. So a new book case and maybe a new vacuum if the old one can’t be fixed. My office needs to be a place where I can work and if I can’t work there then I will go to a bookstore or a park.

There will be lists of chores, a bad days, colds and family events and everyday I will need to sit down and write. Everyday I will sit down and write. It is the only way, I can be a better writer and a successful writer. I need to write and I will write.

This week is the last of a series of hard weeks where my weekends disappeared in the blink of an eye. Math class on Saturday, second job on Sunday and back to work on Monday. Monday’s and Wednesday’s are my long days so I write and write in between my classes.

A friend reminded me over and over that I did it. I am a published author and that is an amazing thing. I put my energy into writing the next book and the one after that and the one after that.

If you’d like more information on Lucinda’s work subscribe to this blog, follow her on Twitter or like her page on Facebook.  Her new novella, Blood Child is available on Amazon.

3 months (April Page 13)

A new day. April 13th. Two months since Blood Child came out and I have three five star reviews, which is awesome. As of today, nearly two hundred copies of Blood Child are out in the world. It is weird, wonderful and still completely surreal.

The book is selling.  My book is selling.

I am a published author.

The reviews are good. There just aren’t enough of them, yet. It is the bane of every author’s existence. You write a good, maybe even great book and the reviews just aren’t there. It doesn’t take off.

You lose hope.

But you are a writer. So you keep on going. And going.

I am working on my second book.

My second book and it isn’t easier than the first.  It is hard to manage everything I have going on in my life. I want to be able to write for a living and the more I think about how things are going the more I know that I need to make some sacrifices. Stop working so hard on maintaining my income and do what I love.

I love writing and telling stories.  I love interacting with readers and working on this blog.

The only way to get better is to write more and put myself out there more. The only way to sell more books is to write more of them and perfect your craft.

Do what you love. Find a way to be happy today and don’t wait for tomorrow, because all we have is today.

If you’d like more information on Lucinda’s work subscribe to this blog, follow her on Twitter or like her page on Facebook.  Her new novella, Blood Child is available on Amazon.

 

April Page 3

So what is happening in April with all these pages? Everyday in April, I am writing a page a day. No excuses and no delaying or trying to make up pages after the fact. A page a day.

Simple right? If it were that simple then my next book would be out by the end of this year. Lots of things get in the way of a regular writing schedule especially when you work more than one job or have a family or that little thing called life.

Life throws all sorts of things at you. It has a list of needs like sleep and the desire for substance.  There is love and heartbreak both of which can throw you off of a writing schedule. Although, I have found heartbreak to be quite energizing when it comes to writing and not just for sappy love poems or teen angst.

Life throws colds and cancer at us. And we have no choice but to keep going.

Last night, I had the beautiful opportunity to attend the launch of Oye What I’m Gonna Tell You – a collection of short stories by Cecilia Rodríguez Milanés.  The book is incredible as is the woman who wrote it. She has been called a “spellbinding storyteller” and her book is recommended as one of the top ten reads on Cuba.

The launch was in a cozy bookstore, Writer’s Block Bookstore, in Winter Park. When I arrived, she was engaged in a conversation with readers. The biggest thing that I took away from conversation at the launch was that you need to write those things that you are afraid to write about.  When you get nervous that is the time to push further and go off the cliff.

Most of my life, I have drifted towards fiction because I have been afraid to tell some stories. Afraid to expose myself to the world. There is a comfort in being a storyteller.  Truth can be weaved into entertainment and there is a deep value in giving people an escape into fantasy worlds.  I have learned so much from fictional characters and through the writing process. But to grow as a writer, you have to push your boundaries.

The other big thing was be yourself.  Be genuine and be nice. I have know  Milanés for a while through mutual friends. She was completely herself yesterday. A beautiful and fierce Latina that has so much to teach and share with the world.  She talked about her daughter and how proud she was of her being the first s.  She talked about her Cuban heritage and what it means to be the “good girl”.

Growing up, I always tried to be the good girl. The responsible one. The good student. The respectful daughter. Always doing what I was suppose to do and never actually understanding what that was. Missteps were bound to happen and I ended up feeling like a failure. Never good enough… unworthy of love.

Good girls do grow up and find the fierceness of their mothers and grandmother.

Then they become women who write.

10 Publishing Lessons From A Newbie (Part 1)

1. IWritingt pays to hire and editor, but know what you are paying for first. 

The best and worse thing that I did when I finished Blood Child was hire an editor.  I had read over and over again about how poorly edited some independent authors published works have been and how it gives a bad name to all of the self-publishing folks. So I hired an editor which was smart. The problem was I could only afford one round of edits and questioning and really didn’t know what questions to ask. I took everything my lovely editor told me (Stephanie, you really were a dream) and thought I was done. Nope, not even close. After I made those changes my sister, Zee, found twenty-one errors in the manuscript right before I was going to approve publishing.

Twenty-one errors.  Twenty-one things that would have taken away from the story that I worked so hard to create.

Those errors ended up delaying publication by two months and costing me over $200  since I had to reformat the book again. It was a nightmare. Still, I would pay for the professional editing again if given the chance. The feedback I received was invaluable.  The notes I received became the basis for the synopsis, helped me focus the book and gain confidence.  The only thing I would and will do differently is give the manuscript to my sister sooner. Her keen eyes were beyond helpful and if I had done it when she first offered I would have saved myself a lot of money and grief.

If you don’t have a sister like mine who can spot typos and other errors then it is worth it to pay for a second round of editing. Yes, it is expensive and there is no way of getting around it. Poor editing will cost you readers.

2. You may not want to tell anyone what you are doing. 

Seriously, you may want to keep your impending book to yourself until it is actually impending.  Your friends and family are well meaning and want to encourage you, but the last thing you want when you are stuck is someone asking you when it is come out every time they see you. It is pure torture. Trust me on this.

It will also help when you are going through the editing and revision process.  It took me more than a year to complete that part of the process.

Now, this doesn’t apply to you inner circle of friends. I don’t think I could have made it through this process if it wasn’t for their support. There were times when comments made by folks outside that circle made me question what I was doing or feel bad about how long the process was taking. Things will always take longer than you think.

Don’t ask me what to do about the second book, I am not there yet.

3. You really do need a marketing plan. 

There are a lot of great books out there and many of them never make their author millions.  Many only make a couple hundred dollars a year. Some make nothing at all. To be successful, you have to a plan.  So do you research and talk with other authors. See how the people who are successful have done it and follow their examples.

Their examples will likely include a whole bunch of work as well as rejection.

Don’t just assume that if you put a good book out there that readers will follow. Yes, you will get a few, but if you don’t market it then no one is going to know about it. Marketing is more than just asking or begging people to buy your book.

Making connections is now a part of the deal.  You are going to talk to people not just flood on-line forums with your books.  I have a satchel by next that I am filling with copies of my book, business cards and book flyers. My regular purse is going to have business cards in it with all my important information, i.e. ways to connect with readers.  Do you have a writer’s blog? Do you at least have an author’s page? Are you on Twitter and Tumblr? Instragram? Should all of the accounts be linked?

These all all questions that I am working on. I do have an author page and instagram, but using them effectively is another story.

4. You will make a mistake (several, if you are lucky) 

Mostly likely more than one.  It may be a big one or a little one. In my case, I made several mistakes. The first was making an unrealistic publication plan. I thought I could finished everything in a two month period.  A year and three months later, Blood Child was published on February 13th. 2015.  Not on October 31st, 2013. It is hard seeing that first release date pass me by, but as a good friend and author of my mine say “Take your time and do it right.”

I learned from that mistake as well as letting my fear paralyze me.  Take it from some of the great writers of our times, typos happen. If they happen to folks like John Green and Neil Gaimen, they will happen to you.

5. You are not only an artist, but now a businessman as well. 

Your dream was to write your book. Now, it is done and you need to get it out there without going broke.  This is not the same as number 3. It is a result of living number 3 and some very direct conversations with friends, a nosy neighbor and family.

Yes, the dream is important.  You wouldn’t have gotten this far without dreams, now that your book is in your hands you want to sell it.  Admit it, you want to make money off of it.  My Kindle is filled with free books. I love them and every time I finish a book, I do review it on Amazon the problem is that not everyone is going to do that.   My own reading schedule has come to a slow crawl between three jobs, writing and well, life.

Business have goals.  Set them and work for them just like you did when you writing your book.

Reviews will help move your book, so how are you going to get them? You can’t assume that your friends and loved ones will put up a review for you. They are more likely just to give the comments to you.  I am still working on this one with Blood Child.  I have gotten good feedback from readers so far two weeks out I don’t have any reviews to use as marking or as feed back.

Part of getting your book out there is knowing when to give it away, how much are you going to charge for it and where to sell it?

Yes, you can sell it on-line via Amazon, but there are other book sellers out there.  How do you get a hold of them?

Should you give away your book on KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) every time it is eligible?

What are the pros and cons of selling your books off your own website?

All good questions.  Now go and find the answers.

6.  The Scary Step… 

One thing you need to do and do it sooner than later is let someone read your book. Some one you trust and listen to their feedback.  A book is a precious thing, but it isn’t an actually baby. You can’t protect it and you may need to change something to make it more marketable.

The world and internet are filled with tales of writers who didn’t give in to publishing pressure and were successful.  I admire those people. I really do, but most of us need feedback and we need to know when something doesn’t work.

So listen to the readers and writers you know, consider what they say and then make a decision.

This lesson was brought home to me after my boyfriend read the prologue to the next book. He said “Interesting.” and I had to get the answer out of him.  The prologue made the protagonist sound like she was suicidal, which she wasn’t. He wasn’t the first to tell me that; his answer was the final straw that made me go back and read it like an outsider, not the beloved creator.

And Rae was coming across as if she was on the verge of killing herself. She wasn’t so o I changed it and fell in love with the story again.

7. Writing will change the way you read. 

Today, I was re-reading one of my favorite books and I realized that there was a huge plot hole.  Then I started seeing typos. I have been paying attention to how authors shape stories and create imagery. It is amazing and doesn’t ruin the reading experience; just makes me think.   Basically, I have been reading to improve my own writing. Is it working? I don’t know, but it is making me think and reflect on my writing.

Short quick sentences in an action scene can quicken the pace for the readers.

Chapters don’t have to be a certain number of pages. I actually worried about this when writing and editing Blood Child.

8. It isn’t going to get any easier. 

Your next book isn’t going to write itself and your current book won’t promote itself.  So you have to get started and do something.

One my idols, Amanda Palmer, is a year younger than me. One year younger and she is out there making her dreams come true. I don’t begrudge her a single thing. Not one single thing. She has earned her accolades and awards. And one day I might earn some as well. In the meantime, I have to write and do the work like she did.  Like every person who I admire has done.

So I write. Everywhere I am, I write. Everyday. I write. Maybe not a lot, but words go on to paper or into my digital recorder everyday. Even the days that I say I am taking a break. I do some writing.

9. Be Nice

You are going to get frustrated with all the do’s and don’ts but before you take your aggression and frustration out on-line.  I followed another Indie author for more than a year on twitter when he had a melt-down about editing costs and how he couldn’t afford it.  The rant turned nasty all by itself. I am not sure if anyone else followed.

The copy editor or assistant of today could be the editor tomorrow. Publishing companies go through transitions and the person you think is unimportant now could be the one making the decision on whether to except you book tomorrow.

10. Luck is a part of the game.

In life, you can never discount the importance of luck in life.  So if you get lucky... share it. Pass on the things that helped you get where you are and keep working.  The amazing thing about luck is that there is a component of hard work to it. You need to do the work so when the door opens you are ready to go through it.

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P.S.  Blood Child is available on Amazon in both paperback and kindle formats.

 

 

Shy Lu and the Book Signing

My new books.
My new books.

The hardest thing for people to believe about me is that I am actually shy. The powerful voice I use on the stage or in the classroom isn’t a constant in my life.

This evening, I had the great opportunity to listen to and meet with two fabulous ladies, Leanna Reneee Hieber and Alethea Kontis.  They were bright and answered questions from the crowd and were both incredibly personable. They took their time and talked with everyone that was there.  But that voice of mine wasn’t there.

I was just in awe of these two women who are working authors. They are in many ways living the dream that I hope one day to achieve.

Tonight they gave me hope and four more books to add to my reading list.  A writer always needs a pile of inspiration. Tonight, they also earned a loyal reader.

They also reminded me how grateful I am to have the support that I have in my life. It wasn’t always there in a tangible way.  So please believe me when I say that I am so incredibly thankful for all of your support.  It may not seem like much to like a page or write a comment, but it can mean the world to the person receiving it. It does to me. At the same time, I can’t let myself get caught up in the numbers game (counting each and every like and share).

As of today, Blood Child has sold 49 copies, which might not sound like a lot, but coming from the point where I honestly believed that I would never write  or publish a book; it is awesome.

Just like the women who I met tonight, I am going to continue being nice, working hard and getting myself out there. I will be working on the last one.

 

Book Release Party – February 22nd

I am proud to announce that on Feb. 22nd from 1pm to 3pm at SMASH Comics in the Seminole Towne Center in Sanford, Florida.

I will have some books available for signing as well as some freebies.

Check out their Facebook page and show them some love.

Blood Child is available on Amazon in both e-book and paperback.