Saturday, April 21, 2018

Weekend Writing Warriors April 22

Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly blog hop where participants post eight to ten sentences of their writing. You can find out more about it by clicking on the image below.
http://www.wewriwa.com/

Continuing a scene from my first book, Ghosts of Innocence.

Shayla has stolen the identity of a newly-appointed senior public servant, and infiltrated the Palace in disguise. She has previously fallen foul of her new boss, Mabbwendig ap Terlion, Master of the Emperor’s Domestic Household, and is confronting her again in the cavernous staff dining hall.

Mabb has been tormenting a series of unfortunate individuals among the hundreds of people crowding the hall. Shayla rescued one of them from humiliation but in turn is expected to provide entertainment. She has chosen to perform a knife dance to music from a popular opera.

=====

Slash left, slash right, right again ...The sword and the knife weaved patterns about Shayla's body. She was oblivious to her audience now, fully immersed in the dance, and the story of betrayal and quest for revenge.

The music's tempo quickened. The sword spun in the air above Shayla's head while the knife pointed an accusing finger of steel at Mabb.

Shayla leaped and pirouetted from one side of the central aisle to the other. She whirled ever closer to the high table, blades an almost invisible blur about her face. She now danced mere feet from Mabb, who sat wide-eyed with palms down on the tabletop as if she were pushing herself away from the dervish in front of her.

As the music climaxed, on the final beat, the knife and the sword flew from Shayla's hands and buried themselves an inch from Mabb's outstretched fingertips.


=====

Reminder: Ghosts of Innocence is now on special offer for just $0.99 in all major e-book formats.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Talks ... talks ... talks

It’s been a while since I gave a writing-related talk at the library. Now I’ve got two coming up next month.

Just on a whim I contacted the Victoria Writers’ Society a few weeks ago to see if they’d be interested in The Critique Survival Guide. Seems they would, and I’m now booked in for their regular monthly meeting on May 2 (7:00 at the central branch of the Greater Victoria Public Library if you happen to be in the neighborhood)

That means I have to dust off my speaking notes from 2014, when I first gave this talk at the Sidney library.

OK, then last week I got an email from the librarian in Sidney to see if I could fill their May monthly slot. Way back before Christmas I’d mentioned I could run an evening on worldbuilding if they wanted. Nothing further was said, and I’d forgotten all about it, but the program this year has been going from month to month without much forward planning because they’ve been waiting on library renovations to start, which would put a stop to normal meetings. That hasn’t happened yet, so it seems they needed someone to fill in the next meeting.

OK. I’ve got a bit of time to prepare. No worries ...

I think ...

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Weekend Writing Warriors April 15

Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly blog hop where participants post eight to ten sentences of their writing. You can find out more about it by clicking on the image below.
http://www.wewriwa.com/

Continuing a scene from my first book, Ghosts of Innocence.

Shayla has stolen the identity of a newly-appointed senior public servant, and infiltrated the Palace in disguise. She has previously fallen foul of her new boss, Mabbwendig ap Terlion, Master of the Emperor’s Domestic Household, and is confronting her again in the cavernous staff dining hall.

Mabb has been tormenting a series of unfortunate individuals among the hundreds of people crowding the hall. Shayla rescued one of them from humiliation but in turn is expected to provide entertainment. She has chosen to perform a knife dance to music from a popular opera.

=====

All grace and perfect balance, her raised leg extended behind while her arms closed in again, drawing the points of the weapons down her body.

Shayla had chosen one of the more dance-like routines in her martial repertoire. It would not do to advertise her full mastery of the Shohan Calinda, but she hoped this would not arouse comment. The Palm Tree...lean forward into the Hawk, then the Cobra, back to the Hawk... She recited the set poses, letting the sequence unfold from years of training as the lyrics sang of the poison coursing through the doomed Serpent's veins, and the agony of his awakening.

And hold ... ready for the acrobatics ...

Three forward flips and Shayla planted her feet in a wide fighting stance. The languid grace of the stylized poses gone, she was now the hunter, circling the room. Her blades were fangs seeking their prey.


=====

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Promotion

Now that the second installment of Shayla’s misadventures is out there, I’m branching out for the first time into some actual promotion.

Yeah, this is new territory for me. The very thought of selling and advertising affects me like fingernails on chalkboards.

A whole screeching symphony of them.

*Shudders*

Nevertheless, it would be nice to see a little interest in my work beyond the occasional sale once in a while, and to do that I need to be more active in my promotional activities. So I’m going to try out a few of the paid promotion sites.

When I started researching this avenue I had no idea how many of them there were out there. Bookbub, probably the best known, is out of my reach just yet. By all accounts they are very picky and expect dozens of reviews on Amazon before they’ll even look at you. I also suspect that some sites are more effective than others in generating sales, and some are to be avoided. I’ve tried to research by reading up on authors’ experiences and looking for some consensus on results.

So far I’ve signed up for an entry in Bargain Booksy later this month, and have submitted to Ereader News Today (which may or may not get accepted). And I’m looking into at least one or two more sites to try over the coming weeks. I’ll let you all know how things turn out.

These kinds of promotions seem to work best when they are associated with a discounted price. My efforts therefore will be directed at Ghosts of Innocence, in the hope that readers who enjoy it might follow on and pick up The Ashes of Home.

Ghosts of Innocence will be reduced from $3.99 to just $0.99 in all e-book markets from mid-April through to mid-June.

Fingers crossed :)

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Weekend Writing Warriors April 8

Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly blog hop where participants post eight to ten sentences of their writing. You can find out more about it by clicking on the image below.
http://www.wewriwa.com/

Continuing a scene from my first book, Ghosts of Innocence.

Shayla has stolen the identity of a newly-appointed senior public servant, and infiltrated the Palace in disguise. She has previously fallen foul of her new boss, Mabbwendig ap Terlion, Master of the Emperor’s Domestic Household, and is confronting her again in the cavernous staff dining hall.

Mabb has been tormenting a series of unfortunate individuals among the hundreds of people crowding the hall. She called on a very reluctant member of Shayla’s staff to sing to the crowd. Shayla rescued Tanya from humiliation but in turn is expected to provide entertainment. She instructs one her colleagues to find an operatic piece to play on the public address system.

=====

A lieutenant sitting nearby in full ceremonial regalia leered at her. With a murmured "Thanks," Shayla leaned over and relieved the startled soldier of his short sword. She held it in her right hand, appraising the balance. The gleaming weapon was anything but ceremonial. With her left hand, she drew her own knife.

Shayla strode to the center of the hall, and nodded to Bo. She stood, barefoot and head bowed, with the blades crossed over her heart.

The first chords of the aria filled the room like a distant lament carried on the wind across a wilderness of ice.

Shayla slowly slid her left foot up to her thigh, while spreading her arms wide, blades outstretched.


=====



The Ashes of Home, sequel to Ghosts of Innocence, is now available!

Friday, April 6, 2018

Aaand ... it’s out there

Yes, The Ashes of Home is now on sale. I uploaded and published last weekend, but it takes a little while to become visible at online stores. The e-book and paperback are now available for sale at most outlets.

http://www.iansbott.com/the-ashes-of-home

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Weekend Writing Warriors April 1

Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly blog hop where participants post eight to ten sentences of their writing. You can find out more about it by clicking on the image below.
http://www.wewriwa.com/

Continuing a scene from my first book, Ghosts of Innocence.

Shayla has stolen the identity of a newly-appointed senior public servant, and infiltrated the Palace in disguise. She has previously fallen foul of her new boss, Mabbwendig ap Terlion, Master of the Emperor’s Domestic Household, and is confronting her again in the cavernous staff dining hall. Mabb has been tormenting a series of unfortunate individuals among the hundreds of people crowding the hall. She called on a very reluctant member of Shayla’s staff to sing to the crowd. Shayla rescued Tanya from humiliation but in turn is expected to provide entertainment.

=====

"That, I will provide." Shayla leaned across the table to Bo Branson. "Access the public music library for me."

Bo's scroll appeared from the depths of her sleeve. She unrolled it on the table.

"Find 'The Serpent's Passing' from The Dragon Prince."

Jojo smiled. "My favorite opera."

"Be ready to send it to the dining room's public address when I say so." Shayla removed her boots and threw off her heavy robes, to reveal leggings and a close-fitting tunic.


=====

Exciting news! Nearly there! The paperback proof copy of The Ashes of Home arrived last week. I’m working through it this weekend, and if all looks good I am ready to hit ‘Publish’.

Ghosts and Ashes side by side 

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