Tag Archives: Alaska

“The Leaving Sweater” finally free on Amazon!

After repeated attempts, my short story “The Leaving Sweater” is now finally free on Amazon!

The Leaving Sweater: Tales from far Beyond North

The description:

So you think magic isn’t necessary in order to leave? Think again …

Victoria Askew doesn’t want to leave remote Rolynka, Alaska when she finishes high school; it’s all she’s ever known. At least not until her mother knits her the most beautiful sweater she’s ever seen, a sweater imbued with magic — a leaving sweater…

Even if you’ve already read “The Leaving Sweater” on Strange Horizons, where it was originally published, do please download the ebook! I’m hoping that with a permafree story in the series “Tales From Far Beyond North” I might be able to sell a few more tales in the series, which in turn just might inspire to me to write more about the oddball community in Rolynka, Alaska near the Bering Strait, with its strange forms of everyday magic.

The stories were inspired by a combination of my mother’s background in Nome, Alaska, and my love of the brilliant TV series, Northern Exposure. So I guess the stories are a sort of fanfic, even if several of them have been published in professional publications already. 🙂


Trailer for Tales From Far Beyond North

And if you are so inclined, please tell your friends to download too!

A new book trailer, and a request for help in making books free

As I mentioned in my last post, I got my Aphra Behn time travel, Chameleon in a Mirror, off to my critique partner on Monday, so that’s a big chunk out of my to-do list. Now that CIAM’s off, I’ve returned to Island of Glass, and am trying to address a number of critique points in the rewrite.

On the marketing front, I’ve taken advantage of my Animoto subscription to make another book trailer, this time for my short story series, Tales From Far Beyond North:

Let me know what you think!

And, yes, several people have already told me I need to find different music. In my own defense, I was looking for something reminiscent of the old cult series Northern Exposure, which was my inspiration for these stories. For those who don’t know it, here’s a still with the intro music:

Anyway, fiddling with my Alaska stories reminded me that I have long wanted to enlist help in making The Leaving Sweater free on Amazon. It’s available on Strange Horizons (for free, of course), and I never meant to make money off the ebook version, but Amazon still hasn’t price-matched iTunes or Kobo. From what I’ve learned on the Kindle Boards and elsewhere, Amazon doesn’t care much about Kobo, but they will (maybe) respond to lower prices on the Apple bookstore.

So if anyone who reads this would be so kind, could you please go to The Leaving Sweater on Amazon, and click on the link “Tell us about a lower price” in the Product Details. A box will open, asking where you saw the lower price. Click on “Website” and enter the following URL from the iTunes store, with 0.00 for the price and shipping cost:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-leaving-sweater/id609737889?mt=11

I’ve also been trying to make Never Ever After free on Amazon, so for anyone who would be inclined to do me an additional favor, here are the appropriate links:

Never Ever After on Amazon

Never Ever After on iTunes

Thanks in advance for your help! Hope everyone has a great rest of the week. 🙂

Over 2,000 sales (and other self-pub news)

Sometime the end of last month, I passed the 2,000 sales mark for my ebooks. Even though I knew I was getting close, I don’t know exactly when I hit the second thousand, since I wasn’t adding up totals daily. It might be slow progress, but it’s still progress. It took me about five months to make the first thousand, and less than four months for the second thousand. While I am uploading new ebooks on a fairly regular basis, which of course helps with the increased sales, those four months also covered summer, notoriously bad for ebook sales (at least according to all the savvy folks on the Kindle Boards, who have way more experience than me). Even though I make a fair amount of money with the borrows, I don’t include that in the sales figures. (If anyone is curious, I’ll be happy to share some more specific numbers at some point.)

The other day, I also finally got the first short story in my Alaska series up (my Northern Exposure fanfic *g*):

This is the first time I’m publishing a short story individually rather than in a collection, so I will be quite curious to see how it goes — and how many negative reviews I get because it’s short. *g* If this works, my idea is to get at least one short in this world up a month, and once I have several published, start bundling them. For the collections I can then ask 2.99, so I can get the 70% royalties rather than only 35%. Once I have a couple of Alaska stories up, I also intend to make at least one of them permanently free, to hopefully generate some interest in the series.

When I wrote the book description, my creativity was waning, and I would be happy to hear any thoughts anyone might have:

Jordyn has brought the birds of sorrow with her to Rolynka, Alaska, where she hopes to start over after a tragic accident.

But in Rolynka, nothing is quite the way it seems, and the help of neighbors takes very strange forms.

“In the Middle of Nowhere with Company” is a short story of about 5000 words, or 20 pages. It is the first in the series “Tales From Far Beyond North.”

On the weekend, my daughter and I also worked on a new cover for the next story in the series, “Misty and the Magic Pumpkin Knife”:

Misty and the Magic Pumpkin Knife

Thoughts? Reactions? Suggestions?

Wishing everyone a lovely October!

Cover for first Alaska story, etc.

Chameleon in a Mirror is coming along nicely, despite all the cooking and harvesting around here at the moment (see my last post). It’s presently at 71,000 words. I’m consistently getting about 1,000 words a day done on the new version, pretty good for this time of year, with a fairly typical August tomato glut. What isn’t as typical is all the chili peppers we have this year. I already made jalapeno jelly, and it’s a big hit.

Jalapeno jelly and BBQ sauce

Next I will have to try pickled jalapenos. I did that last year; the whole chilis were strangely bitter and had to be tossed, but the sliced chilis turned out great.

I’ve also been spending a lot of time recently working on covers with my daughter, since I have several things scheduled for publication in the next month or so. And now I’m finally ready to share the first cover in the series “Tales From Far Beyond North,” set in fictional Rolynka, Alaska. My Alaska stories are magic realist, contemporary fantasy style stories, where the magic tends to be very subtle. So although the setting is contemporary, the series is very far removed from paranormal. 🙂

In the Middle of Nowhere With Company

What do you guys think? Our idea is that the top and bottom frames will stay the same through all the stories, just with varying colors, picking up on one of the colors in the cover image.

I’m tackling this series with a certain amount of trepidation, since the short stories are exactly that — short stories according to the literary definition of the term, none of them much longer than about twenty pages. I intend to only charge 99 cents per short story, and once I have several out, start bundling them, but readers of ebooks are notoriously unforgiving of works that are not novel length (as I recently experienced with Never Ever After.)

Speaking of which, my short collection of short stories, regularly only 99 cents, is FREE tomorrow and Tuesday. Do me a favor, and get yourself a copy. If you’re so inclined, please pass the word along!

Working on Chameleon and Covers

On the weekend, we took a short trip to the Mosel, which is why there hasn’t been an update from me for a while. I’m hoping to get some pics up soon so that I can give an illustrated report.

On the writing side, I’ve been making great progress on Chameleon in a Mirror, over 5000 words last week, and 3000 so far this week. Things are slowing down a bit now, though, because I’ve reached a section where I need to write completely new material — which I have not sufficiently brainstormed or researched yet. 😐 Tomorrow I have the granddaughters, so probably won’t get much done then either. They are off on vacation on Monday, though, so I need to get some Grandma time in before they’re gone for two weeks.

On the writing business side, today my daughter and I did some work on new covers this evening. Nothing I want to show yet, but I will eventually be posting some designs here on my blog. These are mostly for a series of magic realist short stories set in the fictional town of Rolynka, Alaska. My mother was from Alaska, and I grew up hearing all kinds of whacky tales of gold miners and honey-buckets and tundra and permafrost, and a lot of those second-hand memories fed into these stories. That and my love of the old show “Northern Exposure.” The first story is entitled “In the Middle of Nowhere with Company,” but that’s a bit long for a series title, so I was thinking of give the series the name “Tales from Far Beyond North.” How does that sound?

Hope everyone has a lovely rest of the week!