Ephemera: Life Lessons Learned Available Now!

Ephemera: Life Lessons Learned, the latest anthology that I contributed to is available now! Click the link and get your copy today! My story, Bunker 2253, is an apocalyptic tale of survival for a family of three. What would your survival plan look like? A stock of dried food? Access to weapons for defense? An underground bunker, perhaps? You never know what you might need, who you can rely on, and who may be a threat!

Every story has a lesson…

…Every lesson has a story

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Book Review: The Lost Legends

This review comes on the heels of Cait Marie’s debut novel, The Lost Legends.  I’d seen a lot of promotional material leading up to its release, and I was familiar with part of the backstory, thanks to The Lost Warriors short story that was included in Circle City Publishing’s Fun Size Anthology.  Other than that, all I knew was that there was something about cursed pirates, war, and all the good stuff, but that was more than enough to get me excited to check out the full story. Continue reading

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Easy & Cheap Ways to Support an Author

This article originally appeared on CircleCityPublishing.com.

Previously, we shared how to support an author for free. You can review those articles here and here. This time we’ll offer some suggestions on how you can help support your favorite authors if you have a few extra dollars to spend. These are pretty simple and straight-forward, so this post will be pretty short. Continue reading

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The End – 5 Ways to Effectively End Your Story

The opening line of any novel is arguably the most important sentence in the entire story. There are many effective ways to start a story, and there are countless articles with advice on where to start. I’m including some pretty comprehensive guides here, here, and here.

There’s a reason why the beginning is so crucial. Without a hook to draw in readers, then people aren’t likely to stick around for the end. Here’s the flip side though: how many stories have you read that have ended on a disappointing low note? A good story builds tension and excitement throughout to the final conflict. However, building tension is a lot easier than coming up with a satisfying end. Describing a satisfactory conclusion is the ultimate pay off, but it’s also one the hardest parts of drafting the story. Here are a few of my personal favorite methods to end your story.

The happy ending – this is actually not a favorite of mine at all, but readers have come to expect that the characters they fall in love with throughout your story will have a satisfying ending, comparable to what we see coming out of Hollywood.

The tragedy. Now this absolutely is one of my personal faves. How many stories end happily in real life? Life is hard, and I like my stories to reflect those difficulties. I love the struggle and anguish.

The dream – this has become a pretty big cliche in recent storytelling. The reader gets invested in characters and events that technically never happen. When stories that I’ve enjoyed turn out this way, I usually feel pretty bitter. It has the ability to be a clever way to explain some pretty outlandish plots, but at this point it can also be super predictable.

The cliffhanger – I’m going to describe a couple different ways that cliffhangers can be successful endings.

One: leading into the next entry in a series.

Two: leaving the story with an open ending for the reader to interpret. This one is a lot more difficult to do effectively, but when executed properly, it can be a thing of beauty. Each reader then has the ability to interpret the events in their own way, kind of making them part of the creative process. They get to decide how they subconsciously want the story to end, even though it could be completely different from somebody else who read the exact same story.

Lastly, I’ve seen some novels that just end in mid-sentence. This can be super frustrating for a typical reader who needs to have that resolution. If not done well, it can come across as a total cop-out. It could appear that the author couldn’t think of anything good, so they just stopped writing. And of course, the initial reaction is “where’s the rest of the story? Did I get a defective copy?”

As with anything, when executed properly, these can each be a thing of beauty. At the same time though, without adequate planning, each one of these can also turn into a train wreck and be unsatisfying for your readers. A little bit of planning to figure out what works best with your story goes a long way.

Thank you, that is a

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Easy & Free Ways to Support an Author, Pt. 2

Last time we shared the simplest, free-est ways to show some love to your favorite authors. Since then, we’ve put more thought on the topic and have been able to come up with a few more suggestions. If you’re looking for a way to spread the word for your new favorite author, and you’re willing to take a few minutes out of your schedule, these suggestions could offer massive amounts of support. And who knows, it may just be what it takes to push an unknown author more into the mainstream. Continue reading

This article originally appeared on CircleCityPublishing.com.

Last time we shared the simplest, free-est ways to show some love to your favorite authors. Since then, we’ve put more thought on the topic and have been able to come up with a few more suggestions. If you’re looking for a way to spread the word for your new favorite author, and you’re willing to take a few minutes out of your schedule, these suggestions could offer massive amounts of support. And who knows, it may just be what it takes to push an unknown author more into the mainstream. Continue reading

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The Lost Prince Cover Reveal

As an author, one of the most exciting parts of releasing a new novel is laying eyes on the cover art.  That’s when you know it’s all coming together and your project will soon be a finished book.  With that, I’m happy to be able to be part of the cover reveal blitz for my friend, Cait Marie‘s latest release, The Lost Prince – the sequel to her debut novel, The Lost Legends.

A mythical healing flower. A fractured kingdom. A curse unbroken.

 

Cait Marie’s long-awaited sequel, The Lost Prince, is releasing November 11! 

 

First, let’s see the cover! Continue reading

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Literary Locations: Indianapolis Bookish Sites

I don’t know about you, but for me, this quarantine has been a drag.  Staying holed up inside my house all day every day has taken a toll on me, and I have a feeling I’m not the only one.  With that in mind, I decided to play virtual tour guide once again.  Inspired by my last bookish tour around Indianapolis, and even more by my trip to New Orleans, I decided to rock out to some literary tunes, and see what other bookish sites I could come across.  I’ll kick it off with a scholastic location, then we’ll check out a few places that are more social in nature. Continue reading

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Easy & Free Ways to Support an Author

This article originally appeared on CircleCityPublishing.com.

One of the most difficult parts of being an author is finding readers. Unfortunately, nobody tells you that up front. A lot of first-time authors have the idea that their friends and family will read it. Even if they don’t read it, they’ll at least buy a copy to be supportive, right? They’ll help spread the word once the book is released, for sure. Maybe a friend of a friend will like it and I’ll find new readers no problem!

Not so fast. It is remarkably difficult to find support in the most logical of places. For whatever reason, friends and family don’t always share the same excitement level for your accomplishment. Maybe they’re not aware of the time and effort that goes into becoming a published author. Some people hesitate to support something that isn’t established and/or popular for fear of judgment. They’re worried that if they recommend something, and people don’t react to it the same way they did, then that person will judge them for liking something “inferior.” As much as people like being the first to like something, the fact is, there’s just too many products out there to be discovered. There’s too much noise to drown out your attempts at publicity.

And with the rising number of self-published authors, it’s nearly impossible to know what quality level is being produced by a first-time writer. I hate to say it, because I want to be supportive of the indie, self-published industry, but there are endless numbers of bad books out there. Readers are also hesitant to spend their hard-earned money on something they don’t know is worth it. Without experience, and without a traditional publishing company supporting these authors (and without those traditional publishing company’s funds to pay for editing, cover design, advertising, etc), new authors get lost in the sea of nameless books.

Which is why this topic is so dear to our hearts. As an indie label, intent on supporting authors who are starting out, and are still trying to develop a readership, we want to inform and educate writers and readers alike. For authors, if our point hasn’t been clear enough already: temper your expectations. For readers who want to offer as much support as possible, or for readers who aren’t sure the best way to help, let’s get into it! Continue reading

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Ephemera Cover Reveal

Edited by Cait Marie and published by Unicorn Nightporium, LLC., Ephemera: Life Lessons Learned is an anthology like you’ve never seen before!

First, let’s see the cover!

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Blurb

Every story has a lesson.

People constantly learn throughout their lives. It creates history. It defines the future.

Is the grass greener on the other side? Do the ends justify the means?

Eleven authors have come together to bring you tales of adventure and romance, loss and gain, family, friends, and everything in between. From arranged marriages to dates in haunted houses to androids infused with human memories. Fairy tales, dystopians, apocalyptic worlds.

Every lesson has a story.

Pre-order here on Amazon. Paperbacks will be available internationally on release day as well!

Click here to add to Goodreads

The Prompts

Each author was paired up and given a prompt that included:
– Genre
– Lesson for the character to learn
– A random word or phrase to be used

The Authors

Cait Marie
Heather Dowell
Victoria Anders
Marissa Allen
Charles Kelley
Abigail McCarty
Steph Wyatt
Najela Carter
Xander S. Lee
Rebekah Olson
B.L. Koller

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Writer’s Block: the Struggle with Motivation

I’ve previously written about writer’s block, as most authors have, but I’ve been fortunate enough that I’ve never had to fight through a crippling case of it. I’ve certainly had periods where my writing habits come to a standstill and I’m not sure how or when to get back to it, but so far it hasn’t been from a lack of ideas.

Alas, that’s where I find myself again. I have enough ideas to keep me busy writing for the next decade, but I definitely don’t seem to have the energy or motivation to actually do the writing. It’s not even an inspiration issue. That part even seems to be there in abundance right now. No, I just simply can’t force myself to sit down and be creative. Continue reading

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