Category Archives: Indie Writers Unite Blog Tour

Rewriting history with Sarah Woodbury

Sarah Woodbury is an accomplished and prolific author. On her Amazon author page, the list hits 14 books with her name on them and she has 4 kids on top of all that writing! I’m not sure how she does it. Without further ado, Sarah takes on how to put a little fantasy into Historical Fiction.

Writing Fantasy into Historical Fiction 

Wales … snow covered mountains, deep lakes, hundreds of miles of coastline, and a long and brutal history of rebellion and conquest.

I love history and reading about history, but real history often ends badly for the heroes.  Consequently, when a story involves a main character who dies an unpleasant and premature death, it can be difficult to craft a tale that is an enjoyable read.  This is particularly true of books set in medieval Wales.

One of the most compelling stories ever told is the tale of King Arthur, in all of its permutations and manifestations.  Arthur, whether a real person or not, was conceived in Wales, and played a key role in holding back the Saxon conquest of Britain.

My novel of King Arthur, Cold My Heart, begins with a vision of Arthur’s death at the hands of Modred and asks—what if?   What if King Arthur survived to rule and pass his kingdom onto a worthy successor?  That sounds like a more fun story to me than the typical French version where everyone dies in the end.  It also is more in keeping with the genuinely Welsh tales in which Arthur survives Camlann.  And who should know that better than the Welsh?

Similarly, as with the death of Arthur, few endings have had a greater impact on the progress—or lack thereof—of a country than the death in 1282 of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, the last Prince of Wales.

With his death, Edward I of England set about eliminating Welsh language, culture, and history to the best of his ability, even to the point of expunging any mention of the Welsh royal court from public documents.  He took the crown, the piece of the true cross, and even the title, Prince of Wales, which from then on would be bestowed on the eldest son of the King of England.

My After Cilmeri series takes the ambush and murder of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, throws in some time travel, and also asks what if?  What if he survived?  And what might happen to the two teenagers who save him?

 

Orson Welles once said, “If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.”

My problem is that I don’t want the story to stop where it does—with the death of the hero.  The history and death of these great Welsh heroes are tales that desperately needed someone to rewrite them.  Or at least I thought so.

And so I did.

~*~

Thanks Sarah, for stopping by for the Indie Writers Unite Blog Tour! Here’s where you can find all things Sarah Woodbury.

Web page:  http://www.sarahwoodbury.com/

Twitter code is:  http://twitter.com/#!/SarahWoodbury

On Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/sarahwoodburybooks

Links to Sarah’s books:

Amazon and Amazon UK
Smashwords

Barnes and Noble

Apple

 

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Filed under Indie Writers Unite Blog Tour, writing

Kristy Carey shows her stuff!

I’ve always felt that writers are a multi-talented group of people. They are able to fabricate stories out of pure imagination, so it comes as no surprise to me that writers have other ways of showing their creativity. Today I’m hosting Kristy Carey of KAC Sales on the IWU blog tour. Kristy has a couple pans in the fire at the moment – a book being edited and a line of jewelry she’s creating as her other artistic outlet. We’re going to talk a little bit about both, the similarities and differences between these two art forms.

~*~

Hi, Kristy, thanks for stopping by my blog for the tour. First off, tell us a little bit about yourself.

I always stink at this part… Never have any idea what people would like to know.

Me too. I mean, I could tell you my life story, but there’s probably not room, right? How about the basics? Stuff you like? What you are up to?

I’m 29, and just starting to figure out who I am, while trying to get several aspect of my businesses going. I enjoy a variety of things, from Art Deco style, Victorian stylings, Steampunk, SciFi and Fantasy.  I like to watch old musicals, vintage film noir, modern action films, and romantic comedies, and avoid horror and drama like the plague.  Being creative is the way I keep myself sane. 

How did you get started making jewelry?

About October of 2010, my mom and I were at Fashion Bug and I saw a necklace that looked kinda cool.  However, it was all silver and I don’t really wear silver.  I thought I could make one I liked even better.  A few weeks later, I went about making a few necklaces.  Over the next few months, I made jewelry on and off, looking at it more as a fun side thing.  In March 2011, I lost my job.  Then in April, after 7 years with cancer, my mother passed away.  At her celebration of life, I reconnected with an old friend and she encouraged me to push myself with my jewelry. I started to take it seriously, which marked a change in myself and my future. 

I’m sorry to hear about your mother. That must have been a difficult time for you, but it’s also wonderful that the connection you made at the same time has moved you into this creative field as a serious business. I’m curious, how does the process of coming up with a new piece of jewelry compare with, say, creating a new story, or does it?

I’m a… I guess, Organic creator. I don’t tend to start things with an exact end in mind.  For me, both work the same… Except that I tend to be able to make jewelry all year round, and my writing often takes special circumstances to actually happen… Circumstances like NaNoWriMo, an offer to write a short narrative for a photo or school.  

You mentioned you had a book with an editor. Tell us how you found your editor and how is that going?

Well, I found my former editor at an Etsy Power hour.  The event is one where for an hour, this team I’m a member of at Etsy, The Time Travelers Team, focuses itself on one member of the team.  It was during this, that Samantha offered to edit my book for me.  She’s a semi professional editor.  However, she’s also in the middle of school and recently told me she won’t be able to continue the project, as she can’t focus on it like she should.  So, I’m once again in search of an editor, who’s willing to work for free or for in store credit at my Jewelry shop. 

Do you have a timeframe for when your book might be ready for publication?

I’m hoping to have it ready for publication by the end of the year.  A loose goal I know, but with my Jewelry line and my finishing school, it seems like the best option. 

Are you going to go traditional or Indie? In either case, why or why not? 

Indie. I decided years ago that I didn’t have the strength to take on traditional.  I can handle crit, but rejection tends to send me into a funk.  I know Indie publishing isn’t easy, but I’ve always been more likely to take the odd option over the traditional. 

Between the two art forms, writing and jewelry making, do you have a favorite? What’s your focus now?

Not sure I could pick one I like more. It’s more that between the two I’m seeing the dream I had as a 12 year old, coming true.  When I was 12, I knew that I wanted to own a bookstore.  It wasn’t a childish dream, but instead a specific dream I wanted.  About two year ago, I realized that my dream might need to have some alterations.  My own bookstore changed to my own business.  Then I did my first NaNoWriMo and wrote my first novel.  I don’t think I realized that between Vintage Fusion Jewels and publishing a novel, I was seeing my dream come to life.  >.>  What was the question again? 

That’s a great answer! How long does it take you to create a piece of jewelry to your satisfaction where it’s ready to sell? 

Depends on the piece. Some of them come together pretty quickly, but on average its about 30 minutes for an earring and closer to an hour for necklaces. They’re often sworn at repeatedly along the way. 

You spoke about a site I’ve never heard of before, ESTY. What is that and how did you get involved with them?

Etsy is very much like a giant Craft Fair/Flea Market.  Etsy.com is just one large community of shops, almost all of which are owned by small business people. I have two shops there, KAC Sales and Vintage Fusion Jewels. I’m staff at two groups, Time Travelers Team and Etsy Gems.  I stumbled upon it a few years ago, and after my summer spent at craft fairs, I took my jewelry live there. 

Lots of people have trouble with promoting through social networking without getting into trouble with spamming various groups or twitter feeds. Do you have any tips or advice on how to go about it?

Shameless Promotion, within reason.  I have friends who post every single new item they post to etsy at FB and Twitter.  It seems a little excessive, as I’ll get inundated by 10-20 posts in a row, right to my page.  To me, the best option is to pick your favorite and post it, saying ‘This is just ONE of the new listings.’ and let others go look.  A local shop, Glamarita [where I have items for sale] tends to post something about the shop, perhaps twice a week to Facebook.  She posts from her Page and from the Shops page.  That’s it, just a comment about the shop or a new item there. I tend to repost at least one of them to my own pages.

I think the key is to remind people about you, but not annoy them.  Think about how many postings would annoy you, and do only one more or less. 

I know I’ve felt quite self-conscious about getting out there and promoting myself. When you’re new at this, it feels a bit odd. How has it been for you to promote what you do?

Promoting that I’m a writer isn’t as easy as promoting my jewelry.  I tend to wear a necklace out and about, so I get comments and hand out cards that way.  Sort of a free promotion.  

Speaking of promotion, please tell us where we can get more information about your jewelry and future projects!

I have two blogs, which I am bad at updating.  I’d love to be a blogger, but some how that seems to be something I just…Can’t get.  I blog hop, interview and randomly post.

www.howmanydaysinayear.blogspot.com

www.kristysvintagefusion.wordpress.com

There’s also my FB pages…

http://www.facebook.com/KACSales

http://www.facebook.com/KristyCareyAuthor

and my Etsy shops.

www.KACSales.etsy.com

www.vintagefusionjewels.etsy.com

 

And there you have it. Please take a moment and check out Kristy’s incredible jewelry collection. That is some very nice stuff! Thanks for stopping by, and good luck with all your future endeavors, Kristy!

 

 

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A real doctor, dealing with blood diseases, writing about…yes, Vampires.

Introducing Arshad  Ahsanuddin, coming to you via the Indie Writers Unite Blog Tour. Welcome Arshad. We’re going to get right to it. First up – 

1.     Tell me a little bit about yourself.

I’m a hematopathologist, which is a physician who uses microscopic and laboratory data to diagnose diseases of blood, bone marrow and lymph nodes, such as leukemia and lymphoma.  I was born in Canada, but lived in the United States for most of my life.  I only recently moved back to Canada for work.  I started writing seriously in October 2009, and have realized how steep the learning curve really is in my drive to be independently published and find a readership.

2.     Do you have a preferred genre that you read? Is it the same as what you write?

I tend to read science fiction and fantasy for pleasure, and romance novels to unwind after a long session of writing.  My own writing is a synthesis of the two.

3.     Are there any aspects of writing you struggle with?

I’m better at plot and dialogue than setting and characterization, so I tend to blow through the first draft concentrating on plot and character interactions, and then go back and integrate the more descriptive elements.

4.     What’s the title of your book? Tell me a little about it.

The title of my first book is Sunset, which is a moment of duality between light and darkness.  My novel is set in a world where vampires and vampire slayers battle by night in secret, but are about to be exposed to humanity.  The plot of the book deals with the aftermath of that exposure, after a vampire intervenes in 2040 to block a terrorist attack that is being broadcast on national television.

5.     Tell me something about the story that isn’t in the blurb.

It’s mentioned in the blurb, but most of my main characters are gay, and involved in relationships, though I don’t describe any explicit sexual activity.

6.      Where did the inspiration for your story come from?

Vampires have always intrigued me as a concept, but in counterpoint, those that hunt the vampires are equally interesting.  So I used both in my writing as the backdrop for my character’s supernatural society.

7.     What is the location of your story setting and why did you choose that place/time?

The story is set in North America of 2040.  Since my story incorporates science fiction elements, I wanted to place it far enough in the future that we could expect some of those elements, but close enough that the society of that time would remain accessible to our era.

8.     Who is your favorite character and why?

Nick, my main character, is probably my favorite.  He is a flawed character, dealing with a history of violence and is emotionally withdrawn.  Part of the so-called “Hero’s Journey” that defines the character development arc of the book, is his ability to overcome his past and seek new opportunities that are offered to him.

9.     Did the story come out the way you envisioned it?

The finished product is vastly different from what I originally envisioned.  The original manuscript, which I finished in Dec 2009 was over 180,000 words and had twice as many characters.  After I showed it to an editor, he suggested I merge a bunch of characters, and start the book with action, at the beginning of what was originally Act 2.  The material that I deleted from Act 1, I eventually fleshed out and made into a prequel, which is Sunrise, the second book of the series.

Thanks so much Arshad for stopping by my blog!  It was great to talk with you. And now for the goods:

Author Bio:

Arshad Ahsanuddin is a practicing hematopathologist, a physician who specializes in using microscopic and laboratory data to diagnose diseases of blood, bone marrow, and lymph nodes, such as leukemia and lymphoma. Yes, a blood doctor writing about vampires. The irony is not lost on him.  It certainly amuses his colleagues.

For more information about Arshad, or for more information about the series, check out his website at www.pactarcanum.com and leave him some feedback.

Social Media:

Website:  http://pactarcanum.com/

Blog:  http://pactarcanum.com/blog/

Facebook Page:  http://www.facebook.com/pactarcanum

Goodreads Profile:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4759071.Arshad_Ahsanuddin

Twitter Handle:  @pactarcanum

Book links:             

Kindle version:  http://www.amazon.com/Sunset-Pact-Arcanum-ebook/dp/B005SIXXB2

Nook edition:            http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sunset-arshad-ahsanuddin/1030617301?ean=2940012314819

Smashwords edition (multiple formats):  http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/61128

Print edition:            http://www.amazon.com/Sunset-Pact-Arcanum-Book-One/dp/145635485X

Video Trailer:            http://youtu.be/zdvchNFqSu4

The Book:

Los Angeles, 2040. The terrorist Medusa and her followers threaten to destroy the metropolis with a nuclear bomb. One individual, the vampire Nicholas Jameson, comes forward to oppose them. As Nick takes on the terrorists, the fragile peace between the races hangs perilously in the balance as the supernatural peoples are exposed.  Can Nick lead the four races into peaceful coexistence, or will the final war destroy them all?

With millennia-old magic, emerging romance, and ever-shifting allegiances, this inventive new series unveils a scintillating, homoerotic world of Nightwalkers, Daywalkers, Sentinels, and Humans, who battle for world dominance in the not-too-distant future.

 

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