Monday, December 28, 2015

Monday Mishmash 12/28/15



My first Monday Mishmash! I recently found out via Medeia Sharif's blog that this fun theme is hosted by Kelly Hashway. I'd been seeing the topic floating around the blogosphere this past year and thought I'd join in on the fun. What a great way to kick off the week! Coincidentally, it's the last Monday of the year...crazy. Just plain crazy how time flies.

So here's what I'm up to:


  1. Crimson Earth released this month and I'm continuously working on promo materials and editorial reviews. As you've heard across all industries, marketing is tough and can be costly in both time and money. The old adage, "Build it (or in my case, write it) and they will come" is simply not true--at least in the self-publishing realm. Thus I'm looking for more cost-effective ways to promote without having to throw a money in the wind where it might land nowhere. 
  2. Winter Cleaning: Every year, I like to do a big cleaning sprint and declutter. I go through my closet and every nook and cranny of the apartment to find things that I don't need anymore and and can donate. 
  3. Reading: I haven't been reading as much as I'd like to, but I hope to finish at least one book before my holiday break ends. Right now I'm engrossed in #GIRLBOSS by entrepreneur, Sophia Amoruso. 
  4. Fresh Air: Yes, I literally wrote that in my to-do list for this week. LOL. I don't get out enough. And when I do, it's always to run errands or to accomplish a task. I want to enjoy the outdoors and commit time on my calendar to do so. I'm on the second week of my two-week break and I'm only just beginning to unwind. :) 
  5. Editing: And of course, what writer isn't writing/editing? I'm going back to another of my finished novels to do a major scrub. One huge task is changing the POV. This 100,000+ word novel is going to be a monster to edit but if there's anything I learned during this break, it's that time is my friend. I don't have a deadline, so I'm going to pace myself so that I get this novel done right. Then it's off to hunt for an agent. Earlier this year, I queried 30+ agents; 6 asked to see the full, and 5 asked to see a partial. I got some tough but important feedback, and my gut tells me that I'm on to something with this story--it simply needs more work. Wish me luck! 
Hope you guys had a wonderful Christmas/Holiday celebration!

Happy reading, 
Anna 



For a limited time, Violet Storm, Book One of the Modi Series is 99 cents! Check it out!



Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Storyboard Your Novel

Hello Friends!

I've been meaning to write this post for some time. I originally tried to write my latest novel, Crimson Earth, on the fly. I wanted the process to be filled with as much discovery as I had endured--uh, I mean, enjoyed--when I first wrote Violet Storm. Unfortunately, the anxiety of a looming deadline (a seriously ambitious deadline) stunted my ability to be as fully creative as I had been in the past. The fun factor didn't exist now that it felt more like work rather than a pastime. I did everything I could to get out of the creative rut. One idea that made the whole experience and process fun again, was Storyboarding.

How does creating a storyboard help? 

If creating a storyboard is too much like outlining for you (and that's not what you're interested in), then try creating a mood board (this is simply art, objects, scene-cards that you want to display). 

  1. Visual: I'm a very visual learner. If you're like me, storyboarding will help you see the landscapes, environments, and cultural nuances that you might be having a hard time visualizing clearly, which will come across in the writing. If you're struggling, it's likely your readers will struggle as well. 
  2. Pacing: Storyboarding can help you see each scene a little more clearly. What will happen and when it will happen. If there's not much happening, there won't be much to put in its place on the board, and it might mean removing altogether if that scene doesn't contribute much to the overall story. 
  3. Plotting: You can see your major plot, your subplots, and yes...your plot holes. 
  4. Immersive: Storyboarding is a great way to fully immerse yourself in the world and in your work. One glance and you're back there again, ready to dive into the adventure. 
  5. Creative: Writing is a great creative outlet for me, but sometimes I need to stretch that fun-factor a little more. Creating a mood board or a storyboard is a great way to do that. I try to plug in prints/photos that help inspire the unique aspects of the culture, the people, the architecture. 
You can create so much depth to your work with the help of a storyboard (or mood board). You can spend as much or as little time on this, but regardless, I highly recommend trying it out!

Happy creating, 
Anna

Here is a sample of my story-board. I tack and untack the note-cards when I sit down to write my scenes (chapters). Next time, I plan on using multi-colored notecards to denote the beginning, middle, and end of the story.


BTW - Violet Storm, Book One of the Modi Series is on sale for $0.99 cents for the month of December! 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Crimson Earth - Release Day!

Yay! It's finally here! 

Okay, I won't take up too much of your time. I'm sure you're tired of seeing every single one of my blog posts talking mostly about my book. (But I mean, wow, it's my second book! Who would have though I'd be able to write a sequel??) So here's something a little different--a video! (I included details on how I created the video at the end of this post.)






Thank you so much for all your support.  It truly means a lot to me. :)




Book Description:

Aeva Storm finally has the answers she’s been looking for since the night she was struck by lightning. She knows who she is—and more importantly, what she is. But her secret isn’t hers alone to keep, and some of those who know the truth will do anything to control her.

In the sequel to the acclaimed Violet Storm, Aeva must decide how far she’ll go to protect her identity and to find her missing sister in a world she hardly recognizes. She must embrace her new life—and her strange new body—if she hopes to save the only place she and her family have left to call home.

Filled with action, mystery, and heartbreak, Crimson Earth finds Aeva, Ruven, and Karth on opposing sides as the war between The False Alliance and the Monarchy draws near.

Can they band together to fight against the evil threatening the City? Or will they destroy each other before the war has even begun? 


Order your copies today!!


Kindle | Kobo | iBook | Nook | Paperback Signed Paperback


*Extras: 

  • If you're curious about how I made the video (including the other teaser trailer), I did all the editing myself, using iMovie (which came free on my iMac, you can also download it from the App store if you don't have it). After watching a few YouTube how-to videos, I was able to do a decent enough job editing. For the setup: it was literally just me, my DSLR camera, tripod, lamp (removed the shade for brighter lighting), and a small poster I had printed on VistaPrint (size: 11x16) to add some color in the background. 


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Crimson Earth Book Blitz!



Woohoo! We are getting closer and closer to the release date of CRIMSON EARTH. How exciting!

Today, I'll stick to the fun stuff: 


  • VS Discount: To get more readers interested, I'm setting the price of the digital copies of VIOLET STORM (Book 1 in the Modi Series) at $0.99 for the entire month of December. Yep. I want you guys to have the chance to fall in love with the story as much as I--and many other readers--have. Check it out and let us know what you think by writing a review on Goodreads and Amazon!


CRIMSON EARTH Excerpt: 


Ruven’s lips twitch into the distant echo of a smile—a rare sight these days. He moves to the other side of the wide corridor. He’s hard to ignore. As a whole, Ruven is jarringly present in the space he occupies. Mostly because of his unique modifications, making him incomparable to any other human on this earth. And when those crimson eyes lock onto you… it’s like being ensnared in a dream you’re not sure will turn into a nightmare.
Since I woke up from my near-death experience, there never seems to be enough distance between us, and yet, for some reason he’s always around. Some people are gluttons for punishment.
Don’t pretend you don’t care about him, Aeva.
How the heckfire am I supposed to do anything else? These days, my entire life revolves around pretending. Before the Monarch died, Ruven had been my friend—my closest ally. And then things got a little too intense. He told me how much he cared about me, and that he wanted more than just friendship. But I struggled with the idea of us, because there were more pressing issues occupying my mind—and my heart. I couldn’t give him what he wanted and now things have changed between us.
I hate it.
I hate it for so many reasons that just thinking about it makes me want to hurt someone.



Releasing Thursday | December 10, 2015


Pre-order your copies today!!





Crimson Earth (Modi, #2)


FUN: Enter the raffle for a chance to win some awesome prizes! 

(Limited to U.S. entries only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Check out this cool video I did for Crimson Earth. It started out as a simple quote, and then I got ambitious...








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