Tag Archives: igraine

Ygerna a Hot New Release!

Yes! I haven’t even started the big ad push for Ygerna yet, and it is already a Hot New Release in Arthurian Fiction on Amazon! Here’s the screen shot to prove it:

Ygerna Hot New Release

And you saw right — that is Stephen King behind me. ๐Ÿ˜€

I was a bit worried about this one, given that the material is not exactly easy. But the description makes it clear enough that Ygerna’s journey from victim to warrior begins with rape, so hopefully those who do not want to deal with that kind of darkness will stay away. Many of us have had to live through that experience, though, and I wanted to tell the story of a woman who learns to become the hero of her own life, despite having been a victim.

Of course, once again I was unable to write something that would be easy on potential readers …

I have another project up my sleeve for Nanowrimo, where I’m hoping to restrain my dark side a bit more than I usually do. More on that in a few weeks. And yes, I’m trying to bend my imagination to the more commercial. Eventually I want to make a real living from this writing gig, after all. And I have slowly come to the conclusion that the kinds of books I most want to write (and read) aren’t going to do it.

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Ygerna Available for Pre-order!

I am thrilled to announce that Ygerna has been approved for pre-order on Amazon — in record time! It will be available for a special launch price of only 99c through October. After that, it will go up to $2.99.

Ygerna

Uthyr destroyed her life. Now she wants revenge.

When young Ygerna first meets Uthyr, Pendragon of Britain, she is dazzled by the handsome and famous warrior. But when Uthyr interprets admiration as consent and takes her by force, Ygerna’s hero worship turns to hatred.
And she will do anything to get revenge on the man who got her with child and ruined her life.

It will officially be published on Amazon on Oct. 2. I did that to have a bit more time to arrange for some additional publicity in October, since it would be cool to have a Hot New Release again. ๐Ÿ™‚

Strangely enough, other venues have been much slower publishing. The only other one I have so far is Kobo:

https://www.kobo.com/en-us/ebook/ygerna

I have not yet done the extra work to make it available for print — which also involves getting a new version of the wraparound cover from my cover artist once I have the PDF done. I have to see if it’s possible to test the Vellum print add-on — otherwise it’s cut and paste into my print template …

I would be very grateful for shares and tweets and reblogs! There’s too much going on at the moment for me to invest the time in anything like a Facebook launch party, so ads and word of mouth are all I have to rely on.

But one very nice thing — before I even noticed that it was already available, Ygerna had its first pre-order. ๐Ÿ™‚

Ygerna

More excuses and more from Ygerna for #WIPpet Wednesday

The last week has been filled up with marketing business and Christmas shopping, and my word counts have suffered accordingly. I had two 1000 word days in the last week, but I also had a couple with next to nothing, when I was formatting Looking Through Lace for Createspace, and everything else surrounding the new cover. The new ebook cover is now live, but the paperback is not yet available. I will let you know when it is.

I also managed to get a BookBub ad for Chameleon in a Mirror in the UK only, and I spent some time on various discussion boards, trying to figure out if it would be worth it. Pretty much everyone agrees it is, so I plopped down my $100 for an ad on January 5th. Maybe it will even get my sluggish UK sales going a bit. ๐Ÿ™‚

Summary for the week: formatting, marketing, and 2900 words. ๐Ÿ™‚

With that out of the way, I can offer you a little more fiction for WIPpet Wednesday. Today, I’m giving you 6 short paragraphs for the 6 in 16. This snippet comes directly after the one I gave you last week from Ygerna:

“My third eldest daughter, Ygerna,” Erbin said.
She stretched out her hand. “It is good to see you again. Welcome to Dyn Tagell.”
Uthyr took the proffered hand with both of his, hands so large they engulfed hers. “We have met before? I find that hard to believe. I am sure I would have remembered a young woman so beautiful.”
Ygerna felt herself blushing yet again โ€” and wished her complexion did not always betray her so. “Several times, Dux. But if I remember right, the last time was over two years ago now, at the funeral of my brother.”
Vortigern’s chief commander released her hand and tilted her chin up with one forefinger. “Ah, yes, I think I recall a red-headed hoyden who might have been you. But now you are a woman grown. Forgive me for not immediately recognizing you.”
She stared into the Pendragon’s eyes, flustered, confused, and strangely happy, her heart beating so fast she could feel it in her chest. Her betrothed, Gurles, had never made her feel this way.

Tintagel, Wikimedia Commons
Tintagel, Wikimedia Commons

Emily Witt is our host for the snippet sharing session, in which we post an excerpt from a WIP on our blog, something that relates to the date in some way. If you want to play too, add your link to the Linky.

On Words, #WIPpets, and Freedom for #Nanowrimo

I haven’t posted on my blog for over two weeks, oh dear. But I had a good excuse: Ygerna and Nanowrimo. ๐Ÿ™‚

Portrait of a Woman by Charles Allen Winter, often cited as Igraine

After I finished the translation of the second Viking book, I plunged into the Pendragon Chronicles prequel with a passion. (I can do alliteration!) And with the help of Freedom, an app that turns off the Internet, I actually managed to make the 50,000 words, for the first time in several years.

I bought Freedom quite some time ago, but this is the first time I’ve used it extensively for writing purposes. It is now definitely going to become part of my writing routine. With Freedom and no distractions, I can get 500 words written in 30 minutes when I’m on a roll. Of course, many 30 minute sessions I only got 250-300 words, but most days, I didn’t need more than 4 sessions (2 hours) to get my daily word count — and I was way behind as a result of the translation.

Of course, being a winner doesn’t mean I’m done with the novel. It’s still full of notes to myself and research ideas. At some point I will have to do a major slash and burn session. But with Freedom, I suspect the loss will be less than usual, since I couldn’t access the Internet during many of my writing sessions. I kept trying to remind myself that most readers won’t care if the historical background isn’t as accurate as in the other books — and many will be relieved. *g*

Besides, with this prequel, I have the advantage of all the research that has gone before. Of course I don’t remember everything, but often an earmarked book or an Internet search will bring back a lot.

That means that progress for the last two weeks was well over 25,000 words. And during that time I also did (a rather neglected) promo for Yseult — which still managed to get it over 100 sales and boost its rank to #4 in Arthurian fiction. ๐Ÿ™‚

On to WIPpet Wednesday! Emily Witt is our host for the snippet sharing session, in which we post an excerpt from a WIP on our blog, something that relates to the date in some way. If you want to play too, add your link to the Linky.

My math for today: 12 sentences for the month, plus the last sentence from the last post for the sake of continuity, since I haven’t played for a while. Ygerna and her little brother Geraint are watching the guests arrive arrive for the wedding of their older sister:

“Do you think one is Uthyr, leader of battles?” he asked.
She squinted, trying to see the wedding guests better. Not that it would help much โ€” it had been nearly two years since she had last seen Uthyr, the Pendragon of Britain, not since the funeral of their older brother, Tudwal. Nonetheless, she well remembered his commanding presence and golden blond hair.
Then a figure neared the land bridge that matched her memories. She pointed. “There, I think that could be the Dux Bellorum.”
At that moment, the blond warrior looked up and spotted them. He grinned and nodded in their direction. Now Ygerna was almost certain it really was Uthyr. She blushed and lifted Geraint back off of the wall. “Come, we should join the rest of the family to welcome Argante’s wedding guests. Race you!”
How embarrassing to be caught spying on the arriving guests like a child! What would the Pendragon of Britain think of her? In a matter of months, Ygerna would turn fourteen, the age of choice for a woman. She was betrothed to Gurles, a neighboring prince from the stronghold of Dimilioc. They were to be married at Christmas in front of the impressive basilica of Isca.
And Argante had barely spoken to her for a week after the announcement was made.

All comments welcome!

On splitting up a big book: Turning Yseult into episodes

As many of you following this blog know, I started my career as an indie author after I got the rights back to the original English of my novel Yseult, which was published in German as Flamme und Harfe by Random House Germany in 2009.

Flamme und Harfe, Ruth Nestvold

I published the English original in January 2012 on my own with this cover from the talented Derek Murphy of CreativIndie Covers:

Yseult, Ruth Nestvold

Since the original publisher of Yseult / Flamme und Harfe, Random House Germany, told me they were interested in a sequel (which they decided they were not interested in after all), when I published Yseult, I already had the next doorstopper waiting in the wings, Shadow of Stone, which I published in June of 2012.

That too sold quite well, and I began to imagine that I was on my way to a wonderful career as an indie author.

Halt.

Readers started wanting to know when the next “installment” would be available. Of books that were both close to 200,000 words, or over 500 pages long. Unfortunately, I don’t write fast enough to produce novels of that size every year, and I lost readers.

I started writing a prequel to The Pendragon Chronicles, Ygerna, hoping to make it free and attract more readers that way, but I soon noticed that the story of Arthur’s mother was too complicated for me to finish off in a couple ten thousand words, and it ended up on the back burner. I do have a free short story from the second novel available, Gawain and Ragnell, and that has helped my sales somewhat, giving potential readers a taste of the world of The Pendragon Chronicles. So I know for a fact that permafree can help your sales.

Then at some point I started noticing something new happening in ebook publishing: it seemed as if a lot of the most successful indie authors were publishing their ebooks in episodes or as serials, in chunks from between 50 to 200 pages. Like with a TV show, each episode might bring a single plot thread to a conclusion, but there was also often some kind of cliffhanger to make sure the reader came back for the next installment. An added advantage of the episode format is that the author can make the first “book” of the novel free in order to entice readers to give it a try.

Slowly an experiment started to take shape in my mind. I had these two Big Fat Fantasies, after all, together close to 400,000 words. But in the era of ebooks, when the reader can’t judge a book by how heavy it is in her hand, books seem to be getting shorter. And while the true short story has yet to make a comeback, readers appear to be increasingly accepting of novella-length books. (This is all totally subjective and unscientific, so don’t quote me on it.)

Anyway, as a result of these observations, I have decided to launch an experiment. I am going to take the four books of Yseult apart — which, btw, is how I organized the novel long before the advent of ebooks — and offer them separately. I will try to make the first book free on Amazon as quickly as possible. Here is the pricing structure I’m considering for the serial version:

Part I: FREE
Part II: 99c (my take, 30c)
Part III: 2.99 (my take $2)
Part IV: 2.99 (my take $2)

My goal is not to make more money than with the complete novel, although that is what would happen if readers were only to buy the individual parts. But when I do this, I do not intend to unpublish Yseult. That will still be available for 4.99 for anyone who is enjoying the series enough to want to buy the novel. Mostly I’m just hoping that with parts 1 & 2 at free and 99c respectively, a few more readers will try out the series.

So recently I’ve been working on a template for the covers of the individual episodes. I wanted to use the cover of Yseult as a basis, to make sure that no one bought any of the episodes thinking it was a new story in The Pendragon Chronicles. At the same time, the covers should be distinctive enough to stand out from each other. Given those considerations, here’s the template I came up with for the series:

Yseult template

And here’s my first attempt at a single title:

Yseult-Part-1

My thought is to use different colors beneath the “celtic fringe” *g* on the left / west side of the cover as a visual signal of the differences between the books. And now, as I write this, it occurs to me that the color for the first book, which takes place in Ireland / Eriu, should be a dark green rather than the dark purple I have now. *g*

Anyway, I welcome any thoughts / feedback you have in the comments below!

I might land flat on my face with this experiment, but I’m not out of much more than a couple days worth of work making the new covers, formatting the individual sections, and uploading them to the various venues. Wish me luck. ๐Ÿ™‚ And do please let me know what you think!

An interview, some words, and more goal sorting

Yesterday, Randomize Me posted an interview with me, revolving around my (at the time of the interview) most recent publication, Beyond the Waters of the World. Check it out! ๐Ÿ™‚

Since my last post, I’ve gotten about 2,000 more words done on Chameleon in the Mirror. That’s not quite where I would have wanted to be, but on the other hand, I spent most of my writing time today reading up on pre-Arthurian legends, taking notes, and deciding on the project I’ll tackle for NaNoWriMo this year. I’m shooting now for a prequel in The Pendragon Chronicles series, my version of Arthur’s conception, which isn’t particularly romantic, since it revolves around rape. I took my inspiration from some early stories of Uther and Igraine, most of which emphasize Uther’s lust for Igraine and his determination to have her by any means. Didn’t seem too far-fetched to me to make out of that a story of abuse, rather than the standard masquerade-seduction story (which I never bought in the the first place *g*). Hey, how would you feel if someone used magic to masquerade as your spouse, sleep with you, and kill your spouse in combat while you were having sex with the impostor? Would you then marry the asshole on the spot? I didn’t think so . ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, contemplating the above psychological idiocies led me to some of the implied details in Yseult. Which I hope to explore in more detail in my version of the story of Ygerna.