Worldbuilding Wednesday #64: How Do I Do This Thing? (Part 2)

Welcome back! I’m still working on explaining how I do this self publishing thing that I do. Today’s focus is on the exact process I use to get a print book ready for publishing. And hopefully I’ll manage to do it in just one post. Hopefully.

Once again, please remember that I am not a professional at this. In fact, this is the shoestring, make-it-up-as-you-go, down and dirty version of publishing a book. There are whole classes on publishing books, degrees, in fact.

What I’m describing is purely the simplest, most direct route to accomplish a print book of your writing, with the understanding that yes, there are way better ways to do it and that I’m still learning. Just so you know.

Onwards to the details!
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Novel Monday: Artifacts of Awareness – Chapter 36

Artifacts of Awareness Ebook Cover
Description:
Being enslaved was better than dying but only barely. Kennet did what he had to in order to survive as a slave with the knowledge that freedom would risk being found by the people who drove him into slavery. Kennet saw no reason to do anything extra for the men who bought him. They didn’t care about him and he didn’t care about them.

That was true until the royal family of Penhale purchased Kennet guard Prince Didymos. Protecting Prince Didymos from the assassins seeking to kill him dragged Kennet into the world of national politics and onwards to face an enemy that threatened to destroy not just Kennet but the whole world.

Kennet didn’t want to deal with any of it, the assassins or the magic that lurked around him but if he wanted to survive, Kennet would have to not just face down the threats surrounding them but also track the assassins back to their shadowy leader.

What he found at the source of the chaos changed Kennet in ways he could never have anticipated, taking him in all new directions. Hopefully Kennet’s new skills would be enough to let him save the world, his lovers and himself.

Artifacts of Awareness

By Meyari McFarland

36: A Princess’ Vengeance

“Fuck my life,” Kennet groaned.

Princess Tahirah’s eyes glowed with magic, the same blood magic that she’d used to heal him before he found Na’im. This time when she reached out to seize control of his body the crawl of her magic across his body didn’t make his skin crawl. In fact, he barely noticed it. Na’im was too quiet in the back of Kennet’s mind. He barely twitched at the contact with Princess Tahirah’s magic. Kennet was immensely relieved that Princess Tahirah’s couldn’t seem to get a grip on him. Her magical touch slid off, unable to find any purchase in Kennet’s body.

“Surprise, Highness,” Kennet said as Princess Tahirah’s eyes went wide.

He kicked her in the stomach with the leg that didn’t feel like it was going to fall off sometime in the next couple of minutes. She grunted and stumbled backwards without falling on her ass which said one hell of a lot about tired he was. Normally he kicked hard enough to send a man Oren’s size flat on his back.

It still gave him enough room to roll to his feet, or more accurately it gave him room to try to roll to his feet because his dislocated arm wouldn’t support him and the other leg tried to collapse under him as he scrambled to stand. There was no chance of Na’im helping him, not as drained as Na’im felt at the moment, but Kennet had just enough magic to be aware that his allies were running towards them. Oren, Dimi and Toma were cutting their way through Princess Tahirah’s troops. All he had to do was hold out just a little longer and he’d have backup.

“You act like you’re surprised that I’d take any opportunity to survive,” Kennet said. He set his back against the ruined cart he’d crashed into, using it to prop himself up and protect his back.

“You stole my son!” Princess Tahirah snarled at him. She had one hand wrapped around her belly but her magic was swirling there to heal the damage he’d inflicted.

“Actually, he stole me, Highness,” Kennet said. “I was staked down in the sun to die, if you remember?”

“He has switched sides,” Princess Tahirah countered as she waved at her very frightened men to move to surround Kennet. She had to do it twice before they would move and most of them looked like they’d rather be anywhere else doing anything other than pointing weapons at Kennet. “Somehow you convinced him to abandon his family.”

Kennet snorted, more than a little amused by that one. “Highness, you did that yourself. The kid didn’t like it when he found out you intended to slit his throat on coronation day.”
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Free Fiction Friday: From the Night

POD From The Night Ebook Cover 04

Description:

Eashana knew, to the core of her being, that something was wrong. Her sisters were never this silent. But as she drifted towards the airlock, silence echoing in her ears, she also knew that they might not survive this disaster even if they worked together.

From the Night is a SF story of family, history and facing danger when your home becomes the greatest threat to your survival.

From the Night

By Meyari McFarland

Eashana licked her lips. Maalai’s green curry tingled on her tongue, mixing with the sweat and stink of fear that filled Eashana’s helmet. Static echoed in her ears. The faint rasp of the universe’s birth curdled its way down to her stomach, sending acid burning up Eashana’s throat.

Too quiet. Her sisters were far too quiet. The glory of the nebula around them, baby stars burning bright here and there, planetesimals forming as they slowly swept like giant mining ships through their orbits, gathering debris to their bosoms, lurked in the back of her mind. They were hidden here from rivals, yes, but they were also trapped if anything went wrong. Or she was. Would be. Could be. Why weren’t her sisters answering?

She tapped the jet, carefully reorienting herself to match the airlock, slowly drifting closer, closer. No quip about wasting her jet fuel came over the hissing comms. Eashana clenched her teeth while holding her limbs loose, easy. No flailing. No shouting. It would only spiral her out of control, away from her destination.

“Come on,” Eashana whispered. “Say something, Saashi.”

Silence. How many times had she prayed to their grandmother’s Hindu gods for silence while she worked? Eashana couldn’t count. She regretted every single instance now. Where was Maalai, complaining about work interrupting her precious cooking? There should be grumbles from the engine room as Saashi worked to fix the minor quirks of their old ship’s engine, the scratch of her nails against her perpetually buzzed hair echoing through the comms.

Even Yachana was silent and that was completely unnatural. Little Yachana wasn’t quiet even when she slept, kicking her sleep sack and muttering under her breath as she dreamed. None of her sisters were ever this quiet. Even when Grandmother had told stories of their long-dead mother and how each of them had been born from stored embryos created from her genetic data did her sisters stay this still.

Not clones, no, not like Tuwun and his clone-brothers, all as alike as peas in a pod. Grandmother had ensured each of them had unique genetic data, mixing their mother’s DNA with carefully chosen men’s to create embryos that would grow into brand new children. She never had thought that the quick and easy method of producing children by cloning was safe for people living permanently in space. Too much likelihood of a fatal trait being replicated, too little flexibility in a crew with clones.

“Saashi, report!” Eashana said much more firmly. “What’s going on in there?”

Nothing. Eashana jerked her right hand around the jet handle, sending herself spinning to the left. Another quick tap of the jets righted her but it sped her up as well. Too close, too fast, too bad. She hit the airlock door and grabbed for the handle, almost bouncing back out into space to drift free.

“Open up, Maalai,” Eashana said, heart pounding faster because by this point she didn’t expect a reply. Fortunate that, because she didn’t get one.
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Worldbuilding Wednesday #63: How Do I Do This Thing?

So, a friend over on Tumblr asked for information about how to start publishing their short stories. And, since I am always willing to talk about it and always have way too much to say, have a post. Maybe a series of posts about how I’ve been going about the self publishing thing so far.

Now, bear in mind, I’m new at this.

My very first book to be bought by a publisher has yet to be released (Secrets of the Artificer Mages, don’t ask, can’t discuss it, very long story). That contract was signed in January, 2012. It was what gave me the impetus to start releasing my other stories. I mean, if that story was good enough to be bought, why not the other stories? :D

The first one went live almost two years ago, November 2012. Then I started publishing things regularly in 2013, with the goal of putting out a short story, novella, novel or collection once a week for an entire year in 2013. I did that, only missed 2 weeks out of the whole year which is pretty awesome. This year’s goal is to write a novel for every single one of my ‘verses and put out short stories in-between.

I am prolific. Unapologetically prolific. But I’m still very, very new at this publishing thing, both traditional and self publishing. So please do bear that in mind as you read further.
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Now Available: From the Night!

POD From The Night Ebook Cover 04
Description:
Eashana knew, to the core of her being, that something was wrong. Her sisters were never this silent. But as she drifted towards the airlock, silence echoing in her ears, she also knew that they might not survive this disaster even if they worked together.

From the Night is a SF story of family, history and facing danger when your home becomes the greatest threat to your survival.

Find This Story:

On Amazon $2.99 ebook
On Smashwords $2.99 ebook
On CreateSpace $10.99 5″ x 8″ TPB

A day late but hey, I got it up! *cheers* I’d sort of planned to submit this one to a magazine but once it was done I realized that it just didn’t suit. Lucky for you because that means I got to release it right away. Hope you enjoy if you choose to read!

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Novel Monday: Artifacts of Awareness – Chapter 35

Artifacts of Awareness Ebook Cover
Description:
Being enslaved was better than dying but only barely. Kennet did what he had to in order to survive as a slave with the knowledge that freedom would risk being found by the people who drove him into slavery. Kennet saw no reason to do anything extra for the men who bought him. They didn’t care about him and he didn’t care about them.

That was true until the royal family of Penhale purchased Kennet guard Prince Didymos. Protecting Prince Didymos from the assassins seeking to kill him dragged Kennet into the world of national politics and onwards to face an enemy that threatened to destroy not just Kennet but the whole world.

Kennet didn’t want to deal with any of it, the assassins or the magic that lurked around him but if he wanted to survive, Kennet would have to not just face down the threats surrounding them but also track the assassins back to their shadowy leader.

What he found at the source of the chaos changed Kennet in ways he could never have anticipated, taking him in all new directions. Hopefully Kennet’s new skills would be enough to let him save the world, his lovers and himself.

Artifacts of Awareness

By Meyari McFarland

35: Magical Battle

“I’ve had just about enough of you,” Kennet shouted as he stalked towards King Rihab, his bubble of water and ice protecting him from the heat and molten rock surrounding them.

“You cannot win!” King Rihab shouted back at him. “I have had centuries to plan this, Na’im. You will finally be destroyed and the world will belong to me. Not even the Immortals will be a threat. They died while you slumbered in your stinking pool!”

“I don’t need to win,” Kennet said because Na’im was too busy growling in the back of his head to say anything coherent. “I just need to kill you.”

The sheer surprise that radiated off of King Rihab made Kennet grin. That seemed to be the one thing that King Rihab had never been able to understand about Kennet. Death wasn’t a problem. He wouldn’t object to dying as long as he accomplished what he wanted to. There was no way to stop the damned volcano, no way to prevent the warped magic that had always surrounded Spider Mountain from affecting things here, but Kennet could kill King Rihab and prevent the bastard from ever hurting anyone else.

Forming a sword blade was very different with the water surrounding Kennet. It moved as easily as he did, flowing around him as though it was air, but it’s sheer presence added a good yard to the size of Kennet’s body. The flame surrounding King Rihab did the same thing, hiding the physical body inside a rippling corona that made it difficult to tell where Rihab actually was. As Kennet’s sword formed, bigger than normal given that his body felt bigger, King Rihab formed a weapon as well. He chose a spear of fire that extended from his severed hand.

“You will die before I do,” King Rihab declared.

“We’ll see,” Kennet replied.

He swung at King Rihab, testing both King Rihab’s reflexes as well as his own. King Rihab blocked the blow easily, moving as though they were having a perfectly normal spar. Instead of a counter-blow, King Rihab blasted at Kennet with his coherent light. It impacted the water surrounding Kennet and dissolved in a blaze of rainbows that lit up the dark storm surrounding them. Kennet smiled. Nice to know that he had another sort of shield against that particular attack; King Rihab’s snarl was obvious even with the fire hiding his face from view.

A hard blast of ice and wind made King Rihab’s flames gutter for a moment, giving Kennet a glimpse of where his physical body was. Kennet dove in and stabbed at him, just barely managing to cut King Rihab’s upper arm before the fire was back. King Rihab shoved at Kennet, his flame making the water surrounding Kennet boil hard enough that steam roiled up from him and Kennet staggered backwards. He slipped on the ice, cursing as he rolled away from King Rihab’s predictable stab at his heart, bouncing back to his feet with help from Na’im.

“This must be done quickly,” Na’im warned Kennet.

“Doesn’t seem like quick’s going to happen,” Kennet said as he tried again to stab King Rihab and missed because he misjudged where the man’s actual body was. “Seems like it’s going to be a slog.”

“The lava has completely encircled us, Kennet,” Na’im explained. “If it builds too much more we may be entombed in the rock.”
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Worldbuilding Wednesday #62: Eeep!

Today’s Worldbuilding Wednesday is short. Really short. And different.

Why?

Well, I’m embarking on a new adventure. I’m starting a publishing house. *ducks and hides from everything that needs to be done*

Once again, why????

Well, I actually always intended to.

I’ve always loved being a writer. There are few things as fun as as creating new worlds, writing stories about them and sharing those stories with people. I’ve loved reading and writing since I was a little girl and I always knew that I wanted to be in the publishing business in some fashion. Writing was the logical place to start.

But one thing I’ve learned over the almost two full years since I started putting my stories out is that I also love helping other writers get their stories to readers. I like the process of creating covers. I actually enjoy formatting books to make them look good in print or electronically. And as tedious as it can be to upload stories sometimes, there’s a deep satisfaction in seeing that story out there and available to be purchased.

Don’t even get me started on the thrill when someone buys a book! *laughs*

It’s fun. I have two writer friends that I’ve helped on publishing matters. One has already released her book and it’s doing pretty well for a first book. The other is working on her book and considering her options. I really enjoyed helping with feedback, formatting, uploading, all of that.

And well, there just aren’t enough books out there that have women, POC and LGBTQA characters in lead roles. Or any roles at all, honestly.

So, my plan has always been to create a publishing house that specifically puts out stories with women, POC and LGBTQA characters in them. SF, Fantasy, Romance, Mystery, with an erotica line, too. Maybe YA or children’s books but I don’t know for sure yet about that.

I just figured that it would come somewhere in the next 2-5 years, not right now.

BUT!

I decided to create a second penname for erotica stories. It seemed like a good idea.

My initial plan was to have it be a secret identity, one not connected to Meyari McFarland at all. Because, you know, erotica. And well, I was curious how it would sell compared to my other stories.

Amazon and CreateSpace were no issue. I was able to upload the story under the new penname and there was no connection that readers could see. The only place it showed was on my dashboard for the two sites. Wonderful!

Smashwords, not so much.

To have two authors on one dashboard you have to have a Publisher account.

I didn’t know that at first. Tons of error messages when I uploaded the story with the new penname! I had to put it to archive until I could figure out what happened and how to fix it.

Which I did. My Smashwords account is now a Publisher account rather than a regular Author account. That means that I can have multiple pennames and everything is fine. It also means that, should I choose, I could put other people’s stories up just like a real live actual publisher.

Which means that I might as well go ahead and get the whole thing running properly right now, just without opening submissions until I understand how contracts work and accounting for royalties properly and eek, so much to learn!

*flails*

This means that the publishing house is starting up right now. This week. Well, it’ll probably take this month and into next month to get everything straightened out and all the books and sites updated. O.O

Which pushes me into setting up a Publisher website which means that I have to have a PO Box as using my home address for the publishing house isn’t a good idea. And I need to look seriously at getting a Doing Business As legal thing for the state. And eek, there’s figuring out how to do hardbacks and audio books and and and!

Yeah, I’m kind of flailing about at the moment, thus no proper Worldbuilding Wednesday post. *deep sigh* Maybe I should just switch it to discussing what’s going on on that front. Except I probably won’t.

Anyway, I hope that we’ll be ready to let people submit stories by the end of 2015 at the latest. It’ll probably be more like 2016 or 2017 if I’m honest with myself. I do have a huge amount of stuff to learn and set up before I’m ready to do that.

But plans for the future are starting to come together. I’ll let you know what I’m up to once I have something a bit more firm. Wish me luck!

Oh yeah, what’s the publishing house going to be called?

MDR Publishing

:D

(I wonder if I can create a logo with the initials… *wanders off with lists of things to do fluttering*)

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Novel Monday: Artifacts of Awareness – Chapter 34

Artifacts of Awareness Ebook Cover
Description:
Being enslaved was better than dying but only barely. Kennet did what he had to in order to survive as a slave with the knowledge that freedom would risk being found by the people who drove him into slavery. Kennet saw no reason to do anything extra for the men who bought him. They didn’t care about him and he didn’t care about them.

That was true until the royal family of Penhale purchased Kennet guard Prince Didymos. Protecting Prince Didymos from the assassins seeking to kill him dragged Kennet into the world of national politics and onwards to face an enemy that threatened to destroy not just Kennet but the whole world.

Kennet didn’t want to deal with any of it, the assassins or the magic that lurked around him but if he wanted to survive, Kennet would have to not just face down the threats surrounding them but also track the assassins back to their shadowy leader.

What he found at the source of the chaos changed Kennet in ways he could never have anticipated, taking him in all new directions. Hopefully Kennet’s new skills would be enough to let him save the world, his lovers and himself.

Artifacts of Awareness

By Meyari McFarland

34: Wrath of Fire

As much as Kennet wanted to charge in immediately, he couldn’t. Dimi wouldn’t let go of his boot until Oren had gathered about thirty men to ride with him. Toma stayed with the rest of the army but only because Dimi latched onto his boot once he let Kennet go. All of the men with Kennet were older. He recognized a bunch of them as men whose families had been killed by Rihab and Tahira, who had nothing left to lose. It made a certain amount of sense for them to be the ones to join his charge at King Rihab.

“Go and destroy them,” Oren said. “Do you need any weapons?”

“Nope, I’ve got it covered,” Kennet said as he made Na’im’s sword appear in his hand. “Hold the line as much as you can. Run like hell if something really dramatic happens. I won’t be able to protect you guys if Rihab lets loose on me. See if you can keep Didymos and Idris safe, too. Idris’ll try and protect Didymos because he’s an idiot in battle.”

“Hey!” Prince Didymos complained even though, or perhaps because, Idris was nodding agreement with that.

“Thank you,” King Barabbas gravely said to Kennet. “I appreciate the care for my sons.”

“Hey, I haven’t forgotten the offer,” Kennet said, smiling wryly. “Just don’t think it’s going to work out the way you had planned.”

Kennet didn’t expect a reply though King Barabbas’ surprise made him smile a little bit. Apparently he thought Kennet had forgotten or hadn’t believed it, which never had been the issue. As far as Kennet was concerned, the issue had always been that he and Prince Didymos weren’t very well suited for each other. A prince’s puppy love wasn’t ever going to be enough to get around Kennet’s inherent cynicism and distrust. None of that mattered right now though. All that mattered was killing King Rihab.

The heat under the sand was getting closer to the surface with every second that passed. As it got stronger it put up plumes of heat that were actually starting to push the storm away from their area just by the sheer force of the heat radiating up from the sand. Na’im cursed quietly in the back of his head, doing his best to reinforce the storm. They had to act now, before King Rihab had the chance to do anything more to block the storm that strengthened Na’im’s powers.

“Let’s go!” Kennet shouted.
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No Free Fiction Friday today

2014-07-17 Port Thomas Trail Pic
(FYI, the picture is one that I took during my July vacation with my husband up to Point Roberts, WA. There was this awesome trail right behind the place we stayed and this is the part just before you start climbing back up from the beach. It was a lovely vacation! *happy sigh*)

Sorry guys, but no new short stories to share. I suppose I could put up an older one but I still haven’t decided if I want to do that.

At least it’s Friday, right? I’m always happy when Friday rolls around, not because I get more writing done on the weekends. I don’t. My husband has a head-lock on my weekends for things like groceries, laundry, vacuuming, cleaning the house. You know, all that stuff that doesn’t get done during the week.

Nope, I like the weekends because it’s a chance to take a break from work, both my day job and the writing / publishing side of things.

My weekends tend to be just as busy as my weeks, just with different things. *shrug*

Anyway, I hope that you all have a wonderful weekend! *waves*

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Worldbuilding Wednesday #61: Random Inspiration Rant

Welcome back to another Worldbuilding Wednesday! Today’s a little different because I felt inspired to rant about something that’s been bugging me. Kind of a lot.

What’s that? ‘Inspiration’ and how people think writing works. Rantypants under the cut because well, this does get me annoyed.
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