Fresh on the shelves!
In case you hadn’t heard, Michelle Hauck and I are working together as freelance editors.
Today I’m proud to announce that not one, but two of our clients just hit the shelves!
Kyoko M. just came out with her first book, The Black Parade, an urban fantasy NA thriller with a holy twist.
One bullet is all it took to transform eighteen-year-old New Yorker Jordan Amador into the last hope for souls of the dead. However, it also transformed her into a cantankerous asocial waitress with a drinking problem. Jordan accidentally shot and killed a Seer: a person who can communicate with ghosts, angels, and demons. Worse still, she did so on the eve of her own awakening, making her the last Seer on Earth with no one to guide her. As penance, God gives her two years to help one hundred souls with unfinished business cross over from Earth to the afterlife or she will go to Hell. Just as she approaches the deadline, Jordan finds her hundredth soul: a smart-mouthed poltergeist named Michael whose ability to physically touch things makes him distinct from her usual encounters with the dead. However, the deeper she delves solving his sudden death, the more she realizes something sinister is on the horizon. With time running short, Jordan stumbles across a plot that may unravel the fragile balance among Heaven, Hell, and Earth. Her life is plunged into chaos as she is hunted by demons that want to use her valuable Seer blood to bring about the end of the world and discovers that these creatures have a frightening connection to her family bloodline. Plus, the budding romance between Jordan and Michael makes it harder for them to let go of each other so he can become part of the eternal black parade.
Kyoko M is a recent graduate from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. She hails from Riverdale, Georgia, a metro-Atlanta city, and currently lives in Ocala, Florida working on her novels. She has written articles for toonaripost.com, and is a 2011 winner of National Novel Writing Month for her title The Starlight Contingency, as well as being a first round finalist for the 2013 Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Contest for her debut novel The Black Parade. She has a passion for urban fantasy, science fiction, high fantasy, supernatural, and paranormal works. She is also known for being a sarcastic nerd whose influences include comic books, anime, movies, and various novel series.
Kyoko is joined by Nikolas Lee and his debut, The Iron-Jawed Boy, the first installment of The Sky Guardian Chronicles. It’s a cross between Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, set so far in the future that it curves back around and starts looking like the past.
Nikolas Lee was born in Evansville, Indiana, moved with his family to Las Vegas, Nevada, when he was eleven, moved back to Indiana when he was fourteen, then moved back to Las Vegas when he was sixteen. No, neither he, nor his family are under the witness protection program. Though that would be much cooler than the real reason. He currently resides in Santa Monica, California, where he’s usually watching anything with Tina Fey in it, or writing. He and Ion have been friends since he was eight years old, when Ion’s name was Thunder and Nikolas’s concept of proper comma usage was poor at best.
Both of these books are fantastic reads, so what are you waiting for? Hurry up and grab a copy!
The case for creativity
Next weekend I’ll be going to Chicago to see Team Starkid’s Twisted with my husband.
For those who didn’t know, Starkid Productions started off as a student group in the University of Michigan, who created the Very Potter Musical just to goof off– and now they’re touring nationwide, and the star of their first production is People Magazine‘s #3 Sexiest Man Alive, in part because his part as Harry Potter helped get him a role on Glee.
The same can be said for the crew of Channel Awesome, many of whom began as hobbyists critiquing movies and TV shows and
uploading them on Youtube. The famed “Nostalgia Critic” Doug Walker has since been able to quit his job to become a full-time content producer for Channel Awesome.
Only one road
If you’re anything like me, you’ve grown up being told that creativity is a hobby– but don’t quit your day job.
You’ve been told that there’s only one way to become a singer/actor/model/artist/photographer/writer/film critic/Broadway star, and since every other creative person is rushing down that same road, it’s a one-in-a-million shot. With that comes an unspoken (and sometimes not unspoken) expectation that we’ll eventually burn out because of the pressure, becoming drug addicts or alcoholics.
If you’re a writer like me, you’re told that you need an agent. You’re told you need to impress the Big Four publishing houses– and wow them so much that they give you all the advertising you’ll need to be seen around the world.
That isn’t the case anymore.
A whole new world
Proponents of self-publishing have been beating this drum for a long time, and that drumbeat is growing louder with each passing day. More and more writers are able to make a living off their income– that elusive one-in-a-million shot is suddenly a lot more attainable. An industry that was once famous for its secrecy and murky numbers is becoming more transparent, thanks to the willingness of people like Phoenix Sullivan to publicize their findings, so that other writers can learn from them.
The same goes for actors, comedians, singers, songwriters, artists– everyone with a creative bone in their body.
Thanks to the internet you can now connect with your audience and market directly to them through Facebook, Twitter, DeviantArt, Youtube, GoodReads, BandCamp, and other sites that I haven’t even heard of.
That doesn’t mean success is suddenly instant or guaranteed. It still takes a degree of luck— rather than impressing that one agent/casting director/talent scout, we need to impress thousands of complete strangers. It still takes a lot of work– some would argue that it takes even more work than if you’d just been ‘discovered’ by chance, especially since we can’t trust in a single break-out hit to skyrocket us to fame and fortune.
But we’re no longer confined to what some executive deems is marketable, or what a think tank perceives to be the up-and-coming trend.
We’re in an age where we can make our own trends.
Choose your own adventure
You can still go the traditional route– I’m not here to demonize that road– but when you do, walk that road knowing that it’s the choice you made.
No matter which way you choose to go, or even if you decide to forge your own path, look around the internet. Read blogs, talk to people, and do your research. Learn from other people’s successes, and from their failures.
Work hard and practice until you’re the master of your craft.
Your success depends solely on what you’re willing to put into it.
Standing at a fork in the road
When you want to publish, there are generally two roads: self-publishing or going with a traditional publisher.
A lot of people will tell you which way is best, but some things you have to decide for yourself.