My Books, you gotta read

New Release: Wandering

It’s time to celebrate, friends! I finally found Rory and now you can find her, too. Her story continues in Wandering, a brand new release in The Wanderer Series that’s out today. To celebrate my new book release, I’ve put the first book in the series on sale. If you haven’t yet read Seen, you can grab it for just 99cents, this week only, on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and iTunes. Grab it while they’re hot! This deal won’t last long.

Wandering front cover

When you’ve traveled between worlds, there’s nowhere left to go but home.

Rory has never been so cold in her life. But the biting wind only reminds her of another pain that grows more intense with each passing day. Each night Jaron’s beautiful voice sings in her dreams, and each day her footsteps draw her closer to his side. Danger and intrigue at every turn, no distance is too far when you’re returning for true love.

Rin has spent the last five years searching for Rory across two worlds. Now a series of visions have him convinced he’s growing closer to finding her. But when Rory slips through another portal, taking his visions with her, he finds himself back at square one. To find her now he’ll need the help of an old friend and a little otherworldly magic.  This time he intends to bring The Wanderer home for good.

Wandering

Available on Kindle, Nook, and iTunes

My Books

Help Us Find Rory!

Where's Rory?Rory is missing! This crazy character of mine fell through a portal at the end of her book, Seen. Now the sequel, Wandering, is coming out in just 8 days (Squee!) and I need your help finding her!

Maybe you’ve seen the posts other author friends of mine have been leaving around the internet these days. They’ve been doing their best to help us narrow down the search by telling us where Rory definitely is NOT going to be found. They’re such great friends, that they’ve even decided to offer a reward. Will you join the search? The clock is ticking and we could really use your help!

All you have to do is follow the clues left behind by the other authors. You’ll find them all on the Where’s Rory page. Then, come back and leave a guess in the comments on the Where’s Rory page. Anyone who leaves a guess that gets us closer to finding Rory will be entered to win one of the ebooks offered by our authors.

Hurry! The search ends on June 24th!

My Books

Cover Reveal: Wandering

When I asked my cover artist, Kate Gardner, to design a cover for Wandering, she disappeared with the book and her sketchpad for a few days. What she came back with was incredible. I took one look at her notes and said, “It’s perfect! Do it just like that, it’s perfect.” Then, I went on with life and she went back to school for the spring. A few months later I was putting the finishing touches on Wandering when I got the call. “It’s finished. When do you want me to bring it by?” I nearly dropped the phone!

Here is what she brought me:

Wandering painting

I promise you, the photos do NOT do it justice! Rory’s hair has an auburn sheen to it that shimmers in the light. The mountains hold both texture and depth. But my favorite part is how the air above her sparkles. It reminds me of when we lived in Maine and the air was so cold one winter morning that the moisture in the air froze into tiny crystals, making the air literally sparkle in the sunlight. You would hardly believe it until you saw the beauty of it for yourself. Looking at this painting, I almost can imagine Rory’s expression of wonder as the wind lifts her hair and the snow swirls around her feet.

After the painting was in my hands, I had it photographed and then the images were sent to my cover designer, my incredible sister, Shannon Iverson. She’s the talent behind all of my other book covers, but for this one I wanted the painting to really shine. So, the design was simple this time: focus on Rory.

Wandering front cover (548x800)

I hope her expression captures your attention as it does mine. I hope you can feel her longing and sense the enormity of the journey she’s on and, most of all, I hope it makes you want to know more. If you haven’t met Rory, you can find her story in Seen. Discover why we’re all searching for her now as Wandering hits the shelves later this month. Then, join us in our search for The Wanderer.

All week we’ll be searching for Rory and following the clues some very talented indie writers have left for us along the way. You can join the search HERE. A new clue will be posted each day and you can leave your guesses in the comments on the Where’s Rory? page. We’ll end the search with a big giveaway from some of our participating authors on the 20th. A whole stack of ebooks will go to our readers who guess the closest answer to Rory’s actual location.

Think you know where Rory is hiding? Join the search. Follow the clues, find the Wanderer, and win great books from fabulous indie authors. Want to follow the action? Don’t miss a single clue! Share the fun with friends on Twitter with the hashtag #WheresRory.

writing advice, YA Author Club

Word Count Madness

YA Indie CarnivalMany first time authors struggle with word count. How long should my novel be to get published? Is my novel too long? Is it too short? What the heck is a novella and what’s the difference between that and a short story? If you’re an indie author, does it even matter?

Excellent questions. The YA Indie Carnival decided to tackle this confusing topic this week in our Indie Author Series. When I was starting out, I didn’t even know it mattered. Seriously! I had no clue about things like word count and publishing industry standards. Why would it matter how long a book is? Well, like most things, it’s all about the money. Word count in the publishing world affects both the cost of the book to print, and it’s likeliness to be sold to readers. I won’t go into too much detail on this topic because my fellow indie author club member, Bryna Butler, has already covered the basics in her article Do Word Counts Count?

I’ll tell you that I really struggle to get a book over the 60K mark. My stories tend to be action packed and fast paced. My editor always turns in a stack of notes on where I can expand scenes instead of the standard cut and slash method most authors have to endure. In real life I’m obnoxiously verbose, but in my writing I tend to race from one plot point to another. That keeps my word count down. The day I finish a book above 100K, I’ll be calling it “epic” whether it deserves the title or not!

In my opinion, this is just one of the many fabulous reasons I call myself an indie author. I don’t have to worry too much about word count. I get to tell my story, mold it and sculpt it into something I can proudly share with all of you, and then set it free. I don’t have to worry about whether it is meeting some marketing team’s standard, or the printing budget. I know authors who are traditionally published sitting at their desks right now trying to find an extra 30,000 words to cram into their story or a sum of 50,000 to tear out just to meet that industry standard for a publisher. In the end I think the reader suffers most because we don’t see the story as it was meant to be. What a shame that we let business people determine how our stories are crafted. At least if it is a professional editor, we can trust that they care about the integrity of the story, but what does a CEO or a financial team know about our stories? They’re job is to watch that bottom dollar.

Let me tell you how indies are using this freedom to do incredible things for readers in this modern age. We’re seeing the resurgence of the short story and the serial novel in the literary world thanks to indie authors around the globe. With ebooks, authors can share their work so easily, that a reader can now get shorts without having to buy an anthology or search through literary magazines to find them. Some of my favorite authors are even including short stories in their marketing plans these days, fitting them in between their longer novels in a series. For instance, Aaron Pogue has published several short stories to go along with his Taming Fire series, including back story and short stories to give more detail into side characters from the series. As a reader, I love this concept! If I’m engrossed in a world of characters, you can bet I want more of it! This is an area I think I’ll be dabbling in this year as I fill in the missing years between Seen and Wandering in The Wanderer Series.

Another concept I’ve been watching is the use of the serial novel in the ebook world. Once upon a time many of the world’s best stories were written this way and published in local newspapers or magazines. Now we’re seeing this traditional form of story telling reemerge. Wool was crazy successful from author Hugh Howey, netting the author millions of dollars and a ground-breaking publishing contract. Now my friend, author Susan Kaye Quinn, has created her own incredible serial titled The Debt Collector. I’ve been watching her progress very closely as I consider how I might use that model in my own work. She’s set a crazy pace, releasing a new episode in the series every few weeks! Wow! I’m not sure I could keep up with that pace, but I’m inspired to look at my list of future writing plans and see what might work best as a serial. I especially like the value this offers both to the reader and to the writer. Readers can catch smaller chunks of a story at a low price or choose to purchase the entire series for a discount. It’s amazing how this old form is making a new comeback on the modern stage.

What do you think? Does word count matter in this modern age and in the indie publishing scene? What trends are you seeing? Do you have a word count preference? Let us know what you think and then check out the opinions of other indie authors in our YA author club.

Take a few minutes to hop around to the authors’ sites and find out their preferences as well as their rationale behind them.
1. Laura A. H. Elliott 2. Bryna Butler, author Midnight Guardian series
3. T. R. Graves, Author of The Warrior Series 4. Suzy Turner, author of The Raven Saga
5. Rachel Coles, author of Into The Ruins, geek mom blog 6. K. C. Blake, author of Vampires Rule and Crushed
7. Gwenn Wright, author of Filter 8. Liz Long | Just another writer on the loose.
9. Ella James 10. Maureen Murrish
11. YA Sci Fi Author’s Ramblings 12. A Little Bit of R&R
13. Melissa Pearl 14. Terah Edun – YA Fantasy
15. Heather Sutherlin – YA Fantasy 16. Melika Dannese Lux, author of Corcitura and City of Lights