Friday, You Arrived Too Fast

Bad-Cake-Decorating-2

Friday? AGAIN? Where the hell did the rest of the week go?

Busy is good, so a former boss used to say, but at this rate it will be ten years from now next week. No, don’t bother trying to figure it out. I’m confused, too.

I can blame some of it on having a birthday this week, causing a huge rift in the space-time continuum. Or maybe the fact I ate some of Paula Deen’s ooey-gooey butter cake and about passed out from a sugary carbohydrate overload. Damn, but that stuff is evil.

Seeing as it’s the 26th time I’ve turned 29, I think I’m getting good at this. It prompted me to write a short status on Facebook:

You know, one thing about a birthday, especially when you pass the halfway mark, it encourages you to take a good look at where you’ve been and where you are now.

I did that. And you know what? I have walked through fire. Several times. Been burnt to ash, at times with no hope of ever recovering. Of times wishing I wasn’t even here. And when I look at my life now, I am so, so grateful I didn’t quit. I never, never quit. I just kept on going and the result is, I have everything I could have ever hoped, wished, or dreamed of. Two daughters who are the light of my heart. A bubbe who is the joy of my soul. Friends who are the best people I’ve ever met and who are my family. A career that brings me more satisfaction, exhilaration, and challenges than I ever thought possible, a career I love with every last cell of my body.

When I look back, I can see how my journey took me into many dark places, but I can also see I couldn’t have arrived *here* if I hadn’t been *there*. As painful as it was; as close to the brink as I have been, it was all worth it. It was all worth it because today I am the happiest I have ever been.

I am a blessed and grateful woman. In spite of Paula Deen trying to kill my pancreas yesterday.

***

I had an absolutely amazing birthday. We’ll put that in the WIN column.

***

In addition to the birthday thing, there have been releases of new books, and I love that. I believe all links have been updated on my Editing Work page; feel free to check them out. Hunter of Demons by Jordan L. Hawk: Prolusio and Games of Fate by Kris Austen Radcliffe; Ashes and Ice by Rochelle Maya Callen.; Dark Promise by Patti Larsen. Amazing talents, and amazing stories. Proud of each and every one of them. There’s more coming, and I’ll post them as soon as they hit.

Also this week I started a class at Coursera and it’s been fabulous. Go ahead and take a look. Some interesting courses and subjects from universities all over the world–I have a feeling me and Coursera are going to have a long and fruitful relationship.

And last, but not least, I have discovered Windows Movie Maker and fun like this should be illegal. I actually made two book trailers and it was a blast.

All-in-all, it was a Very Good Week. Wrap it up, I’ll take it.

How did your week go?

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Bits and Pieces

Ah, Friday. Although Fridays don’t have the same connotation to someone self-employed as they do “normal” people who work a five-day work week, I don’t think I will ever lose my affection for the day. People seem to lighten up a bit in anticipation of the weekend, and that’s always fun.

It’s been another busy week, but I kicked Monday dead in the taco and punched the guacamole out of Wednesday, so I call that a win. Of course, I could just have a craving for Mexican food.

Mmmm. TACOS!
Mmmm. TACOS!

*Photo courtesy of jdurham from morguefile.com

On Tuesday, I was very happy to be the first guest poster on Patti Larsen’s new “Who’s That?” feature on her blog. I’m really looking forward to reading about the fascinating people Patti will have featured in the coming weeks.

Also on Tuesday, my own designated guest post day, I was thrilled to present an outstanding copy editor, Jennifer Wingard. I’m also firming up February’s lineup, and that’s exciting for me. I love giving people full reign and seeing what they offer. If you’re interested in guest posting for me or having me guest post for you, give me a holler and we’ll see what kind of trouble we can cause.

Wednesday I guest posted for Catie Rhodes on her Blue Light Special. Catie and I share a love for music, and when she asked me to post a playlist for Pallas, the main character in Athena’s Promise, I was all over it. What fun! It was a blast to finally put together the videos and songs which have inspired me along Pallas’s journey.

Speaking of Pallas, I have slowly but surely made significant progress on Athena’s Chains, the next book in the trilogy. And Athena’s Release is all outlined—an amazing feat for a dedicated pantser. I’m hoping to have Chains out as a summer release, and then I’ll get right on Athena’s Release, the final book and work on having that out by the end of the year. In the meantime, I plan on finishing up the second novella in the Sally Mae Riddley series, with two more to go. I also have a working outline for Broken Arrows. So many delightful words!

Now all I have to do is write them and keep them in order!
Now all I have to do is write them and keep them in order!

*Photo courtesy of dhester at morguefile.com

I realize this is a pretty ambitious production schedule for me, especially since I’m also juggling production schedules for other writers, but I’d rather shoot for the stars and end up on the moon than just running in place.

And, just to keep things interesting, I’ve signed up for a couple of online courses through Coursera, a site which offers free classes. ERMEGERD! I first learned of this educational candy store through Billie Sue Mosiman, and let me tell you, I had to physically restrain myself from signing up for more. I mean, it’s like crack for the terminally curious. Don’t say I didn’t warn you! I signed up for Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World to start the end of January and The Ancient Greeks to start in March.

This is what my brain feels like right now. Including the fork.
This is what my brain feels like right now. Including the fork.

*Photo courtesy of MaxStraeten of morguefile.com

In the meantime the works schedule remains heavy and I love busy. Now tell me what you’ve been up to in the last week!

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Anything Goes Friday–Nominations And Awards For The Best of 2012

Well, all I can say is 2013 has started with a bang. HUZZAH!

Hang on, poppets. Shit's about to get REAL.
Hang on, poppets. Shit’s about to get REAL.

*Photo courtesy of xandert via morguefile.com

But we’re not done with 2012 just yet, even though January is looking really busy, and busy is good. Everyone I know seems caught up in productivity and it’s a glorious thing to behold. It’s also that time of year for awards and nominations, so I hope you’ll take a few minutes out of your busy day to nominate and/or vote for your favorite independent authors and artists. Next to word-of-mouth, it’s one of the most supportive things you can do for someone whose work you have enjoyed or admired in 2012.

Personally, I’ve been nominated for Best Editor in the annual Preditors and Editors Reader’s Poll. I’m really honored to be nominated, but I’d be a damned liar if I said I wouldn’t love to win. But even if there’s an editor you love more than me, you really ought to show your support and nominate and vote for your favorites in all categories. These awards really do help your beloved creatives continue to do what they do best. Support, support!

And while you’re at it (it really only takes a couple of minutes, promise) the eFestival of Words Awards are open for nominations as well for the Best of 2012. Every category you can imagine regarding independent publishing is represented in both polls, from cover artists to editors to writers. As I said, this support can really make a huge difference in the career of any of the people working their heinies off to bring you the absolute best for your reading pleasure.

Gratuitous butt shot. We're working them off, people. FOR YOU.
Gratuitous butt shot. We’re working them off, people. FOR YOU.

*Photo courtesy of carygrant from morguefile.com

Not only is this a chance for you to acknowledge your favorite author, but also the artists behind the scenes. If you are a book lover, forget about the Oscars, the Grammys, the AMAs or CMAs or Kanye West’s “I’mma let you talk”. THESE are the award ceremonies for book nerds to cast their votes and have them count.

Yes, I’d love it if you voted for me as Best Editor. Yes, I’d love to have Sally Mae nominated as Best Novella or Best Short Story. But honestly, most of all I’d love it if you showed your support to ANYONE who has brought you pleasure through the written word. They deserve a nod, they deserve to be acknowledged for their passion, dedication, and talent. It only takes a few moments of your day to vote, nominate, and spread the word. Not only is it appreciated wholeheartedly, it is motivating, validating, and just plain COOL.

Our hearts beat for YOU! Because we love our readers and supporters. Please love us back!
Our hearts beat for YOU! Because we love our readers and supporters. Please love us back!

*Photo courtesy of imelenchon of morguefile.com

It’s a hard row to hoe on your own, and easy to take the work for granted. Many, many thanks to all of you out there who know what a difference fiction can make in someone’s life. Here’s a chance for you to say thank you for the indie books of 2012 that made you laugh, cry, scream, sigh over the cover, or appreciate good grammar and a strong story line. Go forth, ye book lovers! Nominate and vote, Tweet, Facebook, G+, call your mother. The more the merrier, and I bet she has her favorites, too :)

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Writing The Script For Reality

“Writers are, in a way, very powerful indeed. They write the script for the reality film. Kerouac opened a million coffee bars and sold a million pairs of Levis to both sexes. Woodstock rises from his pages. Now if writers could get together into a real tight union, we’d have the world right by the words. We could write our own universes, and they would be as real as a coffee bar or a pair of Levis or a prom in the Jazz Age. Writers could take over the reality studio. So they must not be allowed to find out that they can make it happen. Kerouac understood long before I did. Life is a dream, he said.”

~William S. Burroughs in “Remembering Jack Kerouac” (1985), included in The Adding Machine : Selected Essays (1993), p. 180

Dreaming You have the power. Now write it.
<3[/caption] *Photo courtesy of Morguefile.com

*Quote courtesy of Wikipedia.

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Monday Heat Thanks To Eden Baylee

First of all, there will be an update posted tomorrow about the continued Insanity of Car Cookies. Or maybe Wednesday. All I can say is I don’t remember ever laughing so much in my life, which is a good thing because that’s all the exercising I’m getting these days. I bet I could bench press at least two pounds with my Laughing Muscles.

This is what my Laughing Muscles have been doing for the last several days. I’m hoping I look more feminine than this.

But that’s not really why I’m here today.

You may remember Eden Baylee from this interview. You might also recall she was the driving force behind raising money to help out a fellow indie author whose son is fighting a battle with leukemia. This group of indies (of which I was honored to be a part) met and exceeded our goal, due in large part because of Eden’s tireless efforts. She is a Most Impressive woman; intelligent, loving, funny, talented, and one of the most loyal friends anyone could ever have. That’s awesome enough, right?

Look at her. It’s hard to believe that much Awesome can fit into such a tiny body, but it does! And she looks so sweet and innocent, too!

Wrong. This woman is packed with so much Awesome it defies the laws of physics as it applies to stuffing that much awesomeness into one person. Eden is also an outstanding writer of erotica.

For the record, erotica is not normally on my top five list of favorite genres, and that’s because the writing is usually not to my taste. There’s no plot, no story, just Ninety Shades of Turquoise (meaning badly written) or a few hot, sweaty bodies getting it on. I need more from my fiction, erotic or otherwise, and I just never really found it in the erotica genre so I gave up. Until Eden.

I won a copy of her first release, Fall Into Winter and loved it. Here was erotica I could really enjoy. Heart, story, and an overwhelming urge to jump into a snowbank to cool off my nether regions. Total win.

When she asked me to edit her new collection, Spring Into Summer, you can bet I was all over that like a bitch on cookies. And HOLY SHAZAAAM.

See this? Hooo, doggy. You’re going to thank me later. Probably MUCH later, because you’ll be quite busy both during and after you read this.

But here’s the thing: the erotica parts of this book did force me to place ice packs on my lady bits. Several ice packs, in fact. Scorching. However, this collection of novellas is so much more than that. It also has HEART. This collection has story, plot, heartbreak, love, lust, intrigue, sacrifice, discovery, loss…man, it has it all.

Finally! Well-written, totally fabulous, exotically erotic stories for grownups. HUZZAH!!

Don’t take my word for it. Check it out yourself. I promise, I just did you a big favor. If you’re a fan of erotica, you’re going to love this. If you’re on the fence or not usually a fan, give this collection a chance. It will not only touch your heart, it will blow the panties (or boxers) clean off your body.

Bio
Eden Baylee writes literary erotica. Her stories are both sensual and sexual, incorporating some of her favorite things such as travel, culture, and a deep curiosity for what turns people on. Spring into Summer is her second collection of erotic novellas.

Links
Website
Blog
Twitter @edenbaylee
Facebook
Youtube
Pinterest

About the book

In Spring into Summer, a collection of emotionally-charged erotic novellas, four women explore their sexual limits, marked by love, lust, and loss.

Life for Claire Pelletier is changed forever when she meets a professor who teaches her a most important lesson in “A Season for Everything.”

Evelyn Sutton goes in search of a man in “Unlocking the Mystery” and discovers the key to her own heart.

With an open mind, Ava Connors attends a party but wonders if reality can ever live up to her hottest fantasies in “Summer Solstice.”

In “The Lottery,” Sierra Zhao sacrifices herself to numerous men to help a friend, fully aware of the consequences.

With locations in London, Dublin, Cape Cod, and Bangkok, these four women will seek pleasure to alter their lives and push their sexual boundaries.

Spring Into Summer — you think it’s hot now, wait until you read this. Enjoy!

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Fabulous Fiction Friday — Meet Peter Giglio

Before I introduce you to Pete, I just want to give you the head’s up a lot is going to be popping this holiday season here on Word Webbing. You already know about the Creepfest, for which I’m very excited, but I’m also participating in a Debutante Ball for authors which will provide even MORE opportunities for you to fill your Christmas Kindle with lots and lots of free stuff! Very exciting, and I hope you will all pop by to visit and enjoy the work of some very fine writers.

Now, about this Pete guy — I met him through his submission of “A Spark in the Darkness” to Etopia Press. I was lucky enough to be his editor on this project, and I just fell in love with the story. It’s a return to vampires who actually act like vampires, with a very human story at the core. It’s really quite special, and I hope you check it out.

Now, enough rambling by me — you’ll have a lot of that coming in the future. Heh. Check back on Monday for an explanation of Creepfest, why I chose to participate, and what goodies you can expect.

1. What were some of your favorite books growing up? When I was a really young guy, I read mostly movie novelizations. I’ve always been a big movie buff! When I got a little older—again, because of my love of movies—I started working through all the Ian Fleming Bond novels, and I was struck by how different they were from the films. I was about eleven or twelve when I started reading Stephen King and got hooked on horror. My favorite books as a young man were The Fury by John Farris, Firestarter by Stephen King (though it’s not even in my top ten King books now), and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

2. What is it about the horror genre that attracts you? I read all genres, and I see elements of horror in almost everything I read. I like the horror genre—the act of admitting my work is horror—because it gives me a lot of leeway when it comes to articulating notions of fear. Speculative fiction allows me to work in metaphor. Nearly all children, for instance, are afraid of the dark—many adults, too—but I actually get to (in The Dark, the novel I’m writing with Scott Bradley) make the dark a sentient entity, and that’s pretty damn cool! But my work, I hope, aspires to transcend genre. I’m most interested in the human condition, and everything I do is an endeavor to illuminate us. As long as I can keep doing that, I don’t know that I’ll need to write about monsters forever.

3. You are Senior Editor at Evil Jester Press. What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in this position? Time is the enemy. I have so much on my plate that I occasionally get overwhelmed. I wake up in the morning, make coffee, then sit down and start working. When I look up, it’s almost midnight. I need longer days! But I like to stay busy—keeps me out of trouble.

4. What is your writing process like? It varies from project to project. I outline. I think. I put things away and come back to them later with fresh eyes. But once I get into something, I just go, go, go! I keep chipping away until I’m happy with the outcome. I spend more hours re-writing than writing.

5. What advice would you give to writers who have been at the game for a while? Stay at it. Never give up. Write the thing that screams, write me! Listen to others, but always stay true to yourself. And read when you’re not writing.

6. What do you like about the editing process? Editing is like painting a room. You put up one coat at a time. I like watching things take shape. Editing allows this. You go over a work once—it’s a little better. And so on. It’s very rewarding when you look at a finished product and have that wow moment. Editing is also collaborative. I love working with other authors! Also, editing makes me a better writer.

7. Where, in your opinion, is the safest place during a zombie apocalypse? Dead.

8. What is your favorite horror movie and why do you love it so much? If I have to pick one, I’d go with Kubrick’s The Shining. I love everything about that film—the performances, the music, the directorial choices. What’s not to love?

9. Everyone has one book which has scared the living daylights out of them. Which book is it for you? Pet Sematary, hands down!

10. Tell us about your up and coming projects. I’m wrapping up a novel with Scott Bradley. He and I are also trying to get our feature-length, screen adaptation of Joe R. Lansdale’s “The Night They Missed the Horror Show” made into a film. I have several novels planned for 2012, including a sequel to A Spark in the Darkness.

Synopsis: On the final day of her second life, Edie returns to the family she abandoned five years earlier. Edie is not merely a vampire, she’s a Goddess…one of the vanishing race of beings the vampires need to keep their kind alive. But being dead has taught her much about life, and Edie’s determined to destroy the evil thing she’s become. For something has changed within her, something almost alive in her dead soul. But can a single spark in the darkness be enough to save all she holds dear?

Author bio: Peter Giglio is the author of the horror novel Anon (July, 2011, Hydra Publications) and the co-author of “The Better Half: A Love Story”, appearing in the anthology Werewolves and Shapeshifters: Encounters with the Beast Within, edited by John Skipp. He lives in Lincoln, Nebraska with his wife and three cats, but spends a lot of time in Los Angeles, something of a second home, working with his friend and writing partner Scott Bradley. Several of his short stories can be found in anthologies, and two novellas–A Spark in the Darkness and Balance–will soon be published. Editing an anthology, co-writing a screenplay, and working on his next novel, he stays busy, but always has time for readers at www.petergiglio.com.

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Twisted Festivities and Other News

I never thought I’d say this, but I’m actually excited about the holiday season.

I know! How weird is that?!

Why am I so excited, you may ask. No, Santa has not put me on the Nice List (har!) but Rebecca Treadway (whom you might remember from this interview) has invited me to participate in the Twelve Days of Creepfest Blog Hop.

OMG I am SO EXCITED!

For twelve glorious December days, I will be introducing you to some of the most cutting edge and talented artists in the horror genre, plus exposing a peek at my own dark side. I am so excited about this I can’t even tell you. I often experience horror at Christmastime — did you see the videos of people losing their damned minds on Black Friday? Pepper spray, beatings, absolute barbaric behavior over a $2.84 waffle iron, for the love of Jaybuz — so a good dose of REAL horror is just the ticket to get into the mood of the season. Heh.

Keep your eyes open! And you might want to bring a change of underwear. You know, just in case.

The Creepfest Blog Hop starts December 13th for twelve glorious days. Don’t miss it!

As a reminder, you have a couple of weeks to enter the giveaway for “Athena’s Promise” right here:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Athena's Promise by Annetta Ribken

Athena’s Promise

by Annetta Ribken

Giveaway ends December 15, 2011.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Three autographed copies are up for grabs and all you have to do is enter. Wheee!

Now I have to get back to work. I have some dark, nefarious deeds to plan and execute and YOU’LL reap the benefits!

MUAHAHAHAHA!

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Meet The Peerless Eden Baylee

In this business, you meet a lot of different kinds of people, some good and some…challenging. And then you meet the kind of writer who goes above and beyond; who is not only talented in her chosen genre but supports other writers with a genuine desire to help which is very rare.

I met Eden through a Facebook group, and then won a copy of her book, Fall Into Winter. I don’t normally read erotica, but I am really happy to say I didn’t let that stop me from enjoying Eden’s work. Hers is a cut above erotica I’d experienced in the past; solid characters, solid plots with some extremely hawt bits included for spice. And baby, she’s spicy!

Please welcome a dear friend and a lovely person all the way around — Eden Baylee.

How gorgeous is this woman? Inside and out :)

1. Your chosen genre is erotica, and hawt it is! Have you written anything in a different genre?

Thanks Annetta, that’s so sweet of you to say! As a matter of fact, I just completed a story for a holiday anthology that is completely non-erotic, and I’ll be writing outside of the erotica genre for other collaborative projects coming up.

Additionally, I post flash fiction on my blog, and many of my stories have erotic elements, but I wouldn’t necessarily classify them as erotica.

2. Why did you decide to write under a pen name, and how did you come up with it?

I chose to use a pen name because I intend to write in different genres, and it’s a good idea to differentiate identities. It was purely a business decision at the time. Whether I decide to use my real name in the future will depend on the project. Most readers know my writing isn’t just erotic, so I may even stick with Eden Baylee because I’ve built up a following under that name.

Coming up with the name was easy. I’ve always loved Eden and the letter “e,” (that’s quite obvious from my tagline, heh). I also wanted the name to look a certain way on my website, so it came about visually at first. Of course, it had to sound right and roll off the tongue, and I think I accomplished that.

3. What are your favorite genres to read and why?

I read everything—from autobiographies to thrillers to women’s literature. I can’t really say I have a favorite genre as much as a favorite author, and that’d be Charles Bukowski. I tend to be attracted to the crotchety old men, even in real life!

I’ve read almost everything he’s written, including all his poetry. The reason I love his writing is because it kicks me right in the gut. His book Ham on Rye is one I refer to often just to see the simplicity of his writing and how it elicits so much emotion from me. Of course, his poetry is always a great inspiration as well.

4. You decided to self-publish “Fall Into Winter”. What were your reasons?

I didn’t set out to self-publish at first, but it evolved into that as a result of rejections from publishers. That, coupled with my own impatience made me go the self-publish route, and I don’t regret it one bit.

I knew I could write and that I had good stories, so I took the critique of editors to structure my stories better, but I didn’t change the plot. As an example, my second story “Act Three” has a scene that conventional romance/erotica publishers would never buy—it borders on a taboo that is against their submission guidelines. I was told to change it before they’d consider it. That was fair, but in the end, I really didn’t want to change my story, so…

I think most writers have to contend with losing some control if they go the traditional route. By being self-published, I am totally in control, but there’s a lot more I have to do because of it.

I love this cover!

5. What has been the most difficult aspect to self-publishing, in your opinion?

Ha! Great segue—doing it all. I write, promote, design, and develop my own marketing plan. I pay for a professional editor because there’s no way I can edit my own work. I truly believe writers have to pay for this if they want their work to be taken as seriously as those published by traditional houses.

6. Please describe your writing and editing process. Inquiring minds want to know!

Ha! I’m a pantser, bar none. Don’t ask me to explain my process. It will make no sense whatsoever because I don’t know how I do it. It’s akin to me asking my mother how she cooks a particular dish. She can’t explain it to me because she’s never had to think about it. There’s no recipe, and she measures nothing.

I must say I hate talking about the “craft” of writing, and I don’t deconstruct what I do. It’s not to put down those writers who have a plan, who use an outline, etc., but for me, the best way to learn how to write—is to read—a lot.

As for my editing process – I keep doing it until I’m sick of reading my words, and then I give it to a professional editor and pray it doesn’t come back splattered in red ink.

7. You have been incredibly supportive to other writers. How do you find the time?

Firstly, it’s my pleasure to be supportive of other writers, so I make the time to do it. I’d go crazy if all I had to think about were my own stories and thoughts, and just “me, me, me.” Writing is a solitary profession, and the last thing I need is to be wrapped up in my own ego 24/7.

8. What do you think has been the most help in selling books? What would you recommend to other writers?

Write a good book and get it professionally edited. If you don’t start off with this as a foundation, then everything else you do afterward will fail. If a reader cannot get through your book, then you’ve lost that small window of opportunity to win over a fan. The bottom line is nobody wants to buy garbage, regardless if it’s $4.99, $1.99, or free.

Once the book is ready, then do the social media, promoting, networking as much as your time permits, but first and foremost—you need a good product.

9. What is the one myth or inaccuracy about erotica you would like to dispel?

It’s only sex. Some people consider erotica just to be sex scenes strung together by a few commas and periods. That would be as interesting as watching paint dry. Good erotica incorporates plot, characterization, and all the elements required to tell a good story, not unlike any other genre. Sex is an important backdrop, but by no means can it stand alone and still be considered an erotic tale.

10. Tell us about your upcoming projects.

My follow-up anthology called Spring into Summer is scheduled for early 2012. It will have the same formula as Fall into Winter: 4 novellas – two will take place in the spring and two in the summer. I’ll have all the seasons covered (heh), and then I’m moving to full-length novels. I enjoy horror/thrillers with strong erotic elements, and would love to write something à la John Fowles’ The Magus – another of my favorite authors.

I also have stories scheduled for independent publications and will apprise once I know their release dates.
Thanks so much for having me on your fabulous site, Annetta! ‘Twas a pleasure!

Author Bio:

Eden writes erotica incorporating all her favorite things: travel; culture; and sex. She enjoys weaving together stories with edgy themes, and sex is but one way to do it. Her first book, Fall into Winter, a collection of four erotic novellas, is currently available on Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other sites located on her website.

He second anthology entitled Spring into Summer is due out early 2012.

Connect with her via her Website, blog, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

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Woohooo! “Athena’s Promise” In Print!

Okay, so the Kindle edition of “Athena’s Promise” has been available since October 28th, right? And it’s gotten some amazing reviews, for which I am very grateful and overjoyed to see.

Athena’s Promise held my interest from the cover page to the end page. Pallas, the central character, rocks!!! ~Denise Battista

This book was funny, sassy, pro-woman, suspenseful, funny, and much more. I just had to find out what was on the next page until it was finished. ~B. Decker

I devoured this book! The heroine is fun, sassy and kick-butt with an attitude that doesn’t quit. The author has a unique voice, full of wit and snap. Her characters and setting are distinctive. ~Laura Eno

Ribken’s writing is very strong, full of snarking sarcasm that made me snort and giggle while tearing my heart out with Pallas’ need to protect the vulnerable ones she calls friends. ~Patti Larsen

w00t!

But like any true bibliophile, the reality doesn’t hit until I have a physical copy in my hands. To wit:

SHINY!!!

How pretty is THAT?? I just about peed my britches when the UPS guy pulled up and unloaded. “They’re heavy,” he said.

“Not a problem,” said I, as I toted the box practically one-handed. Okay, it really took two hands, a lot of grunting, and there may have been sweat involved, but work with me here.

So. Excited!

If you want an autographed copy, I still have a few left from the pre-ordering process. You can snag one by following this button right here:



Athena’s Promise Autographed



The price is $11.99 plus S&H, a dollar off the price once it goes live on Amazon. This would make a great Christmas present to the urban fantasy lover on your list!

Probably not as great as this. But close! And a lot cheaper!

The first two chapters and part of the third are available to sample on Amazon if you want an idea of what you’re getting. Go ahead and take a look, and while you’re there, if you like what you read please hit the “Like” button on the page (it helps with rankings so people can find the book). Every little bit helps :)

I am so grateful for all the support and the great reception. There’s even a bonus first chapter included of the next in the series, “Athena’s Chains”, which I hope to release in Spring 2012, the gods willing and the creek don’t rise.

THANK YOU! I HEART YOU ALL!

You make me so happy! *MUAH*
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The Incomparable and Eclectic Rebecca Treadway

Although I can’t remember the exact circumstances of our first meeting, I can say once you meet Rebecca you’ll never forget her. A fellow Aquarian, she and I hit it off from the beginning. She has that quirky sense of humor I hold so dear, coupled with an honesty that is both refreshing and bracing.

On top of that, the woman is mega-talented. Not only is she a writer with a twisted imagination I find fascinating, she is an amazing artist and the one behind the cover and the trailer for Athena’s Promise. Rebecca is fabulous to work with, and an amazing friend. Here’s a peek inside her unconventional and intriguing head. I’ll just leave the light on for you. Heh.

1. Your roots are in dark fantasy and sword and sorcery, but you work a lot in horror. What is it about horror that attracts you as a writer?

Both genres offers examinations into the human condition – touches deeper into the human psyche’s dark side. From religion or politics, to that inner monster we all possess. I don’t speak of slasher-style fiction or movies in that vein – for me, horror is more psychological than gore.

2. What do you think horror offers that other genres may not?

A catharsis, utilizing horrific imagery or words in real life instances where you’ve experience real horror, has been used in therapy. There’s also of course, the self-reflective approach. You can’t go around hurting people, so you create a character and whack them in the nastiest way possible.

3. Who is your favorite character you’ve created and why?

That’s a tough choice to make. I’ll go with what “type” of my character is my favorite, they tend to crop up in most of my stories, is the anti-hero. They tend to personify our own reality. Ordinary people who become something extraordinary (sometimes not) who do what needs to be done to “save the day”. It doesn’t mean they have to like it, or even volunteered for it.

This is my favorite character so far. And look at that cover!

4. What is your writing process like?

I write on regular note paper with a real pen. :) Most of which are brainstorm sessions from either a notion in my mind, or a dream I’ve had. The longer I brainstorm, the more ideas generate. Sometimes it’s a scene between nameless characters, sometimes a short story. If it blooms into a novel, I create a basic structure for the plot and will fill in the gaps with these ‘scenes’. I still have “homeless characters” and situations with no story. Yet.

5. Who are your writing inspirations?

Michael Moorcock, George RR Martin, and of course – Tolkien. I will have to say however, my first inspiration – Robert E. Howard’s “Conan” – followed up with artists such as Larry Elmore, Linda Bergkvist, and Alan Lee.
Musically, very inspired by the now defunct duo Dead Can Dance, and a horde of Classical composers and music. A Night on Bald Mountain, Deis Irae from Mozart, classical music and operatic scores such as Carmina Burana almost always create mini-movies in my head.

6. What actually scares you the most?

I’ve been asked that a lot. Aside from the surface fear of spiders – the deepest fear is the inability to move, speak, see, or hear – and be completely conscious of this fact.

7. Name the scariest movie and book you’ve ever seen and read.

Vincent Price’s “Last Man on Earth” scared me as a child, and as an adult – Will Smith in “I am Legend.” Both storylines scared me, in that each character was utterly the last of their kind. And both scenes, having to kill their dog. That was just so sad..lol. I haven’t read a book yet that I could call the scariest. One scene in Raymond Feist’s “Faerie Tale” creeped me out. The parts about the “bad thing” were really spooky. But no, to date – I haven’t read a book that made me want to sleep with the lights on. I’d settle for the creep or spook factor!

8. What is your opinion regarding the indie or self-publishing movement?

I’ve been involved in the Indie/Self-Pub movement longer than most people realize. It started out for me in the early 90’s when I made a “zine” – quarterly, and accepted submissions for short stories, art, poetry. California’s had a stable Indie movement in this regard for longer. Back then, I wasn’t online – it was through U.S. Mail, including networking. I fell out of the loop in the late 90’s and about a year and a half ago – came back into the loop to see its growth through electronic media. I jumped back into the shallow end with publishing poetry I had lying around, then a short story. I’m a novelist at heart, however – and don’t have the patience to sit around waiting a year for a novel to go to print. It’s a great opportunity for writers and personally, I don’t see it any different from Indie bands who put out their own labels. If the powers that be in the “market” don’t want you – you create your market. Back then, and in the now – I think it’s great. It’s not so much the “control” and “royalties” but the creative force behind it. “It” being “your product”.

9. You’re both a graphic artist and a writer. Which appeals to you most and why?

Even though I’ve been into drawing since I was allowed to hold a sharpened pencil 😉 (age 3, my first piece of art was Flipper followed by Fingerpainting in pre-school) writing is the greater appeals. It’s easier, to tell the truth -to write down what my head visualizes, than attempt to draw it. haha!

10. Tell us about your upcoming projects.

I just finished type-ups on all of my handwritten mess regarding a novella turned into a novel “I Chiang”. Now I need to assemble them into chapters and do the first round of edits before I toss it to you – the editor 😉 “I Chiang” is going to be the first in a series which I’m calling, for now at least – The Unfailed Series. Each novel is planned as a stand alone with recurring characters – leading up to events that I will keep under wraps. :-) That part is still being fleshed out. Book 2, titled “Project 4: Unfailed” was originally Book 1, Project 4 was going to be my debut and in the middle of a second round of self-editing, the character Chiang started to talk. A lot.

I also have several short stories, some short-shorts that I’m compiling into a anthology tentatively titled “The Little Book of Weird”. They’re all supernatural or psychological horror based in and around my childhood, or simply things that came off the top of my head from mundane circumstances. One such a story, called the S(t)ink – is about a horrible odor exuding from the bathroom sink in an upstairs apartment, taking a life of its own. Another, based on where I live – called The Tenant, is about a woman who hears the veiled threats coming from the air conditioner unit outside her bedroom window. You know how sometimes, you get those evil little thoughts in your head towards somebody who peeves you? In the case of this short story, it’s our old apartment manager whose going to get it. Through a story, of course. This is why I love horror 😀 Where else can you get away with being creepy if not downright unpleasant? After the Unfailed Series I’m transitioning to my original love – Dark “Epic” style Fantasy with elements of Sword & Sorcery. (More emphasis on the Sorcery, of course) My “personal epic” – the “Lord of the Rings” in my life, is the “Book of the Accursed”. It’s taken close to 10 years, off and on – to see the conclusion.

Author Bio: I’m a writer and artist, all else is self-explanatory.

Blog: RL Treadway

Rebecca’s Fiction: Chilly Eye Callie

On Amazon

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