Stormy Knight is set to debut May 1st, but Amazon.com has already begun shipping orders for it. I just checked rankings of the paperback version and as of this morning, it’s ranked at 35,214 out of over 8 million books! The stats change regularly, but it’d be awesome to end up on one of their Bestseller Lists. To those that have been spreading the word through Facebook and Twitter and word of mouth, thank you! I’ve made it super easy to do so – click on the BUY THE BOOK link to the right – - – -> near the top (next to my picture) Once you are on that page, you can scroll down under the video book trailers and there will be little icons for Facebook, twitter, etc. Click on one of those and it will allow you to write a little blurb and then share the direct ordering link right on Facebook, or other social media websites. You can also print out free Stormy Knight bookmarks from that page, too!
Stormy Knight: Prom Queen of the Undead is now available to download at Smashwords, too! You can also read a sample for free.
Stormy Knight Prom Queen of the Undead is now available as an e-book for the Barnes and Noble Nook! The other e-book versions (Kindle, etc.) will be available in the coming days. The e-book version is only $3.99!
Stormy Knight for Nook (e-book)
Stormy Knight: Prom Queen of the Undeadis also available for download on Amazon for the Kindle! Also, $3.99 there!
If you click on the BUY THE BOOK link to the right, you’ll see the newest book trailer at the bottom of the three!
Purely for entertainment and amusement…
Please welcome the author of Odonata: City of Night Author, Jessica Zellman. I recently interviewed Jessica about her new book available for instant download (yay!) and her writing process. Without further ado…
Q. Writing a book is no easy task. How long did it take for you to complete Odonata: City of Night, before it went off to the publisher?
A. The whole process took about a year and a half. I started writing it on November 1st 2008. (yup, a starting date for NaNoWriMo) Several drafts followed. I started sending query letters in early 2010. Finally, in March of 2010, I met Renee Rocco from Lyrical Press at a writing conference. She invited me to submit the manuscript and a few weeks later, offered me a contract.
Q. Is writing your full-time gig?
A. I wish! But I do have a day job. I work as a customer service representative for a plastics company. Fortunately, I work with a fun group of people who enjoy my baking. Abbey is definitely drawn from that side of me. I love to bake goodies and brighten everyone’s day.
Q. Finish this sentence, ‘The one thing I know now about publishing that I wish I knew a year ago is…’
A. How necessary it is to build an audience before the book is released. I waited until after my book was published to start promotion. At that point, I had just started a new job and was overwhelmed by it all. Just buying ad space isn’t enough. You have to get out there to create a buzz.
Q. I enjoyed the many food references in your novel. Do you have a favorite recipe of yours that you can share with readers?
A. In Odonata: City of Night, Abbey makes cinnamon apple bread. It’s Katrina’s favorite.
Here’s the recipe I use:
1 stick butter
1 Tbsp. Milk
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. white vinegar
2 beaten eggs
½ tsp. Salt
2 cups flour
1 tsp. Vanilla (Actually, Abbey and I always double the vanilla so 2 tsp.)
2 cups peeled, finely chopped apples
1 tbsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Cinnamon
2 tbsp. Sugar
2 tbsp. Flour
2 tbsp. Butter
1 tsp. Nutmeg (this is Abbey’s added ingredient)
Preheat oven to 325F. Mix butter and sugar. In a separate bowl, dissolve baking soda in milk and vinegar before adding to mix. Add eggs. Stir until blended, then add rest of ingredients.
Pour batter in greased bread loaf pan (9×5). In a separate bowl, mix ingredients for topping. (mix will be crumbly) Sprinkle topping over batter.
Bake for 50-60 minutes.
I like this bread fresh out the oven with a little butter. It’s good toasted for breakfast the next morning too… if it lasts that long!
Q. When you wrote Odonata: City of Night, did you plot out the story first and then start writing the first draft or did you just write freely and then piece it all together?
A. I’m not much of a plotter. I usually have an idea about how everything will end, but no clue how to get there. In this case, I wrote the rough draft for NaNoWriMo. That’s National Novel Writing Month, where lots of writers gather online with the collective goal of writing 50,000 words in a month. You just write, focusing on word count and nothing else. There’s no time for revision, and that is the key. There was no second guessing my premise or plot. Good thing too, because I would’ve never had the nerve to create a “new” part of the vampire genre otherwise. By the time I’d written 50,000 words, I cared about my characters too much to let them drift off into the ether or be forgotten in some lost corner of my hard drive. I had to work out the rest of the story and get it out there.
Q. What are your 3 favorite author/writer themed websites you visit most often?
A. www.savvyauthors.com is a great site for networking. They have very affordable workshops and marketing tools for members.
The Liars Club is a local group of writers who do all sorts of events. They have signings at indie bookstores and a monthly “coffeehouse” to discuss the writing life. Open, friendly discussion with professional writers is a rare and wonderful thing. This group provides it on a regular basis.
Finally, I enjoy reading Laurell K. Hamilton’s blog. I love her writing style, and frankly, she makes me laugh.
Q. What’s a normal writing day for you like?
A. I wish I could be one of those writers who gets up and churns out a thousand words every morning before work, but I’m not. For one thing, I hate getting up early. For another, my brain refuses to function that early.
I usually write for forty minutes during lunch. This involves sitting in my cubicle with my laptop open and earbuds in place. I MUST have music while I write. It drowns out everything else and gets me in the zone.
I try to get in more time during the evening with varying success. In On Writing, Stephen King recommended blowing up your TV. I really need to do that.
Q. Your next book is already in the works. Do you have a publisher and release date set for it, yet?
A. I had a really good experience publishing with Lyrical Press, so I plan on sticking with them for Odonata book two. No release date yet, I’m still in the early draft stages.
Q. Thank you for taking a moment for us to do the interview. Do you have any words of wisdom to share with other aspiring writers out there?
A. “Don’t give up,” sounds cliché, but that really is the way to succeed. How not to give up when you have rejection letters stacking up is another issue. I’ve found that a good writing group works wonders, both with motivation and encouragement. Networking is always a good idea, be it through conferences or workshops. I am still in contact with a writer I met at my first conference. We always sign off our e-mails with “Keep Writing!” and that’s the way I’d like to sign off here.
Thanks for having me on your site, Shannon! This was a lot of fun.
My Review of Author Supplied Review Copy:
Giving vampires a run for their money,e-book Odonata: City of Night introduces a change up from the normal vampire novel. An Odonata (they prey on vampires) named Katrina saves human Abbey from becoming the next meal of a vampire as she leaves a night club one night. Abbey quickly learns that Katrina didn’t do it out of compassion, but for an all around dislike of vampires. The novel is sprinkled here and there with food references and humor amongst a dark storyline and I consider both to be a plus.
When I was working on Stormy Knight, I did the majority of my writing in my writing office/craft room surrounded by 12 bookcases full of books and craft supplies. There was a little bit of it I wrote while sitting outside enjoying the wildlife that would pass by the the back yard. Lately though, I’ve been doing a lot of writing sitting in the living room on the couch, or in the bedroom sitting on the bed. I have every intention of going into my little writing spot each morning, but I just haven’t quite made it there these past few weeks. My comfy chair keeps beckoning for me to come back in there, so I don’t know what the deal is. I have had a lot going on in recent weeks though, so I haven’t been able to fully concentrate on my writing as much as I would like. If you are a writer, do you have a favorite spot you like to write at, or can you just write anywhere?
You’ve seen his work here on my site… now listen to the podcast interview! Thanks, Elgin! Want your own caricature art drawn by him? Stop by his website and send him an email. He works quickly, he’s very approachable and he has skill! Check out this two-part interview Elgin did with questions I submitted to him! Then send him an e-mail and tell him how much you enjoyed what he had to say.
I just discovered this cute site: Writers and Kitties.
Check out this catchy, short Book Trailer for Stormy Knight Prom Queen of the Undead.
LYRICS to STORMY KNIGHT
Stormy Knight had an average life except she was half vampire queen/
she lives in Littleton and goes to Littleton High/ with her friends Marco and Cory by her side/high school can be hard without the added bizarre but she does a good job of fitting in/ and Candi the vampire queen who enjoys eating way to many ghost has appeared/ well everything was fine until about the time that the undead started popping out the grave/now in stormy knight’s life nothing seems right/ as these things seem to threaten all her dreams/
My kids and I have always been huge fans of caricature art. In fact, every couple years we have a piece of artwork done… it’s become a family tradition. I recently discovered a great artist by the name of Elgin “Subwaysurfer” Bolling. I commissioned him to do a piece for me to hang up in my writing room and he used the picture to the right as his reference. I told him about all the zany animals here in the desert that have sort of found their way to me and he incorporated them into the art! He’s very nice and approachable. Elgin is located in New York, so if you live around there, he can also come to your office or event and do art on the fly for your employees or guests! His work has even appeared on BET! Hmmm… I wonder if I can talk Elgin into doing an interview for my site? : ) Anyway, if you stop by his site – tell him Shannon sent ya’! Oh, by the way… he made this on his iPad!
Here’s a piece I wrote for another website, but thought I’d post it here, too:
My new book is set to release next month and it seems like it was ions ago that I sat down and started working on it. I remember running into the occasional “minor” writer’s block here and there. Then of course, there was the editing and editing and yes, more editing that took place between my publisher, my co-author and myself. Months of that. Now that the book comes out soon, it seems like all that was the calm before the storm. It’s all about getting the word out about the book and getting it into as many stores as possible; doing interviews – rinse and repeat. Everything has kicked into high gear. Most nights I’m not going to bed until 1AM and even then, my body is physically wiped out, but my brain won’t shut off and relax for a while longer. Then… like clockwork, back up at 5:30 AM – answer emails that came in throughout the night, then get the kids ready for school and work twice as hard as I did the day before.
When you break it down to what authors actually make per book sale… it’s quite literally pennies on the dollar – unless you are one of the lucky, chosen few, that go bigtime and land a huge publishing contract with one of the big New York houses. Those deals are out there, but they are few and far between. So, in the meantime, authors such as myself, with a publishing contract with a smaller publishing house must come up with random ways to both entertan and amuse myself in this world of book promotion while hopefully entertaining and amusing a kid or two along the way enough to make them want to read my new book. With that in mind, I came up with an idea to commission a recording artist and music producer to go into the studio and record a catchy, kid-friendly song that tells the basic story of my book. It’s a hip-hop beat with a little bit of rhyme, so be forewarned if that isn’t your cup of tea. However, if you’d like to humor me for a moment, feel free to watch the new (cough, cough) ‘world premiere’ of my latest book trailer in a post, below. I have others being released in the coming weeks.
A recent review, “A quirky support cast, a reluctant heroine and a spell caster who doesn’t know the consequences of his actions makes this a character driven charmer.” – Harriet Klausner, Alternative Worlds
So, I have to ask – for the other fellow authors out there, how involved were you with the actual promotion of your book(s)? Is that something you left up to the publisher to handle, or did you roll up your sleeves and dig right in?
Stormy Knight: Prom Queen of the Undead is aimed at the YA (Young Adult) group – primarily 10-14 year olds. So, I commissioned a recording artist and music producer to go into the studio and record a catchy song for the release of the Stormy Knight book. This will be part of my author presentation at schools. Anyway, here it is! More to follow in the coming days, weeks… Please share this link with others! Or you can just link to my site http://www.shannonmarieduffy.com You can now order the book on Amazon.Com
and Barnes & Noble. Due for release in May, but it looks like Amazon may already be ready to start shipping! Yay! In the video below, it shows the book as hardcover. It’s not in hardcover, only paperback. : )
You can now place your order for Stormy Knight: Prom Queen of the Undead over on Amazon! The book is softcover (not hardcover like in the picture though). : )
Are you in need of some fancy schmancy art for your project? Check out Quincy’s work. Just like me, he’s from Ohio and now lives in the LA area. Small world. Anyway, check out his online work samples. You’ll drool. He is a talented individual for sure! Tell him Shannon (the Stormy Knight author), sent ya’!
Head on over to Alternative Worlds to read a review of Stormy Knight: Prom Queen of the Undead (Due for release May 2011). Thank you, Alternative Worlds for the cool write-up!
“A quirky support cast, a reluctant heroine and a spell caster who doesn’t know the consequences of his actions makes this a character driven charmer.” – Harriet Klausner, Alternative Worlds