#TheFourFriday

Here are the results of the September Q&A about my books, blogging, reading, etc.

Thanks to those who submitted questions.  These were interesting to think about and answer.

#TheFourFriday

Well’p, I finished reading the original version of The Kota today.  This was really cool to do after a decade or so of not looking at it.  It was so fun, in fact, that I’m going to dig around for the original versions of the rest of the series, which I wrote in high school.  So, check in next week for the first part of “EBON,” as Book 2 was known back then.  🙂

Here’s the last part of The Kota, read by yours truly with minimal laughter at my younger self this time…but still some.

#TheFourFriday

Okay, this isn’t about “The Four” but it’s certainly about one of my books, so…

A bright spot of news in my otherwise crappy week — The Woman of the Void audiobook is now available!  The reader did a great job and makes a perfectly horrifying factor noise at one point.  🙂

TWOTV Audio

Check it out on Amazon

#TheFourFriday

So what’s my Kota bookish thing for this week?

Well, the life of an author can be extremely frustrating – often fun and creatively fulfilling, but frustrating.  There’s more to do once a book is published than most readers are aware of, and running around in the maze can leave some with no will to continue author-ing.  There are countless times when our work isn’t acknowledged as that – work – and our art is treated like something that doesn’t really matter and certainly doesn’t have $$ value.  Often the most encouragement and validation comes from complete strangers (I’m looking at you #Awethors) rather than our close circles of friends and family.

And Lord forbid you be a woman who writes science fiction, but that’s a whole other thing.

So, anyway, when something comes along to boost my author-y feelings of self-worth, I’m deeply appreciative.  Sometimes discovering a 5-star review can brighten a whole day.  And sometimes, as happened this week, I learn that my book has been especially honored – I’m a finalist in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards.  I absolutely do not expect to be anywhere near a winner, but being a finalist is pretty great.

This honor means a lot because it’s not just one of those contests where whoever has the most friends to vote for their book wins.  The adult books are judged by two reading groups, one in London and one in Stockholm. The books are marked according to editing, theme, style, and cover.  It’s always great to get REAL people reading your book, and I look forward to hearing their feedback.

Promo B1 stars

#TheFourFriday

I bought a new toy that has resulted in MANY hours of digital drawing…sketching…painting…whatever it’s called.

Exhibit A!

WarriorsPromo

#TheFourFriday – Phantasya

Every Friday, I’m posting something about how the real life “The Four” overlap with the fictional four Kota Warriors.
As some of you know, The Kota Series is based on what “The Four” (myself, my brother, and our childhood best friends Kaly and Luke) played as kids.  Each of us is represented by one of the four Kota Warriors (Bullseye, Rave, Tigris, Whitewolf).  So, I’ll be sharing personal quirks that carried over into fiction, fun/weird stories we played as kids, our childhood drawings, pictures related to The Four and The Kota, etc.
Should be fun, and it’ll give you an idea of how weird or little minds were as we created this story that, years later, turned into my book series.  🙂

⊕⊕⊕⊕

This week, Phantasya.
I’ve been reading my books out loud to my boyfriend as part of a deal I made (he “reads” my books; I take up running).  If you’ve read Pharmakon, the book centered around the world of Phantasya, then you might understand why I think it’s funny he risked making any kind of “deal” with me.

…But anyway…

I like rereading my books every so often, and doing so aloud (to a somewhat captive audience) especially makes it interesting.  These books are based on childhood stories, and I keep coming across things that I forget have real-life origins.

This time around, I realized that Phantasya in particular is a planet where the world-building came pretty naturally from our childhood play.  Where we lived as kids had a giant sand pit dug out from when they did construction on our house.  This sand pit was surrounded by the forest that we played in 10+ hours a day.  The contrast was really cool – you could play on fresh sand one second and jump off into maple leaves and ferns in a single bound.  I’m QUITE sure this is what inspired my brother’s basic idea for Phantasya – a desert planet but with a rich forest running around it.

I’m also quite sure Tatooine was an inspiration.  😉

Aside from our kick-ass fort (our Kota Warrior base), the sand pit was the one constant “setting” we used when we played.  I think that might be why Phantasya/Pharmakon always holds a special place in my heart.

Alas, I have no pictures of the sand pit, but here you can see the woods that definitely inspired Phantasya’s forest.

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I was pretty darn cute. My brother was a butterball. Yes, I know I look like my mother. 🙂

#TheFourFriday – Abduction

Every Friday, I’m posting something about how the real life “The Four” overlap with the fictional four Kota Warriors.
As some of you know, The Kota Series is based on what “The Four” (myself, my brother, and our childhood best friends Kaly and Luke) played as kids.  Each of us is represented by one of the four Kota Warriors (Bullseye, Rave, Tigris, Whitewolf).  So, I’ll be sharing personal quirks that carried over into fiction, fun/weird stories we played as kids, our childhood drawings, pictures related to The Four and The Kota, etc.
Should be fun, and it’ll give you an idea of how weird or little minds were as we created this story that, years later, turned into my book series.  🙂

This week, Abduction.
Kaly is responsible for the original creation of this character.  I think he was part genie, part demon, or something…hence the costume.   When we played, I remember he was always the ultimate creepy Bad Buy.  He was the evil Dominion minion who could possess any one of us at any given time (assuming it was convenient to our storylines), and it was handy that anyone could play him because he could take on anyone’s body.

Over the years and as The Kota evolved, Abduction became more and more important in my head.  I think the fact that he always creeped me out gave me an excuse to make him a worse and worse person in the books.  And, how I eventually use him (avoiding spoilers) is one of my darker plotlines, I think.

But this is what he looked like in the beginning.

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#TheFourFriday – Beathabane

Every Friday, I’m posting something about how the real life “The Four” overlap with the fictional four Kota Warriors.
As some of you know, The Kota Series is based on what “The Four” (myself, my brother, and our childhood best friends Kaly and Luke) played as kids.  Each of us is represented by one of the four Kota Warriors (Bullseye, Rave, Tigris, Whitewolf).  So, I’ll be sharing personal quirks that carried over into fiction, fun/weird stories we played as kids, our childhood drawings, pictures related to The Four and The Kota, etc.
Should be fun, and it’ll give you an idea of how weird or little minds were as we created this story that, years later, turned into my book series.  🙂

This week, Beathabane.
I remember being really interested in twins when I was little. (Confession: I might not have grown out of this.)  The idea of “good twin” and “bad twin” obviously stuck as far as Cruelthor and Beathabane are concerned.  I’m pretty sure my brother helped me develop Beathabane’s character, although I’m totally to blame for this character drawing:

25175_425515570920_1847746_n

Yeah… He’s undergone a bit of modification over the years.  Name changed.  Shrunk him.  Changed nationality.  And good lord, why did we think 24 was old?

Sometimes I’m asked who my favorite character is.  Everyone naturally assumes Bullseye – and that’s partly true – but I’ve always really liked Beathabane.  And, since not a lot of his story gets told in the main series (he has an appearance in The Kota and then [spoilers] 😉 ) I decided early on that he would be the main character in one of the Kota Shorts.

So, now that’s happening.  It’s still a work in progress, but I like it already.  The Poet Heroic will be released on Christmas and is available for pre-order on Amazon now.

Poet Heroic Cover Front

#TheFourFriday – Collaboration

Every Friday, I’m posting something about how the real life “The Four” overlap with the fictional four Kota Warriors.
As some of you know, The Kota Series is based on what “The Four” (myself, my brother, and our childhood best friends Kaly and Luke) played as kids.  Each of us is represented by one of the four Kota Warriors (Bullseye, Rave, Tigris, Whitewolf).  So, I’ll be sharing personal quirks that carried over into fiction, fun/weird stories we played as kids, our childhood drawings, pictures related to The Four and The Kota, etc.
Should be fun, and it’ll give you an idea of how weird or little minds were as we created this story that, years later, turned into my book series.  🙂

This week, Collaboration.
Kaly and Luke contributed in many ways, but the more…obsessive, perfectionist creative tendencies definitely lie with my brother and myself.  And we’re both rather stubborn.  And we both tend to think we’re right.  Which, when working together on a creative project, can result in arguing and disagreeing to the point that other people feel the need to leave the room.

But we DO see eye to eye from time to time.  And usually the end result works out, with each of our creative flavors thrown in.

Enter current Kota project: A video trailer with “Trok” narrating the basic outline for The Kota: Book 1.   For this project we also enlisted the help of our father, which added a whole new dimension…especially when he had a beer beforehand (“9.5%!”).   It helps that I knew what I wanted for the video and did it myself, and I have no idea what I’m doing with audio and so am leaving that entirely (ha, we’ll see) to Christian.

Fingers crossed, people.

Check out a behind the scenes look here.

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