Meanwhile, back in lalaland

Finally, editing for The Empath is done. Well, at least my part. My dear editor Pam is finetuning as we speak for the final round. Next up is my proof reader Lisa Gilliam to let me know if it’s any good or complete and utter crap. Always a nail-biting moment for me.

Working on The Empath made us realize we would have to make some changes in The Elemental as well. In theory, you should be able to read them both as a stand alone book. During the editing process, that came back to bite me in the arse. Pam and I had a whole discussion on how to explain some things more properly. 

I really think you should change the dialogue.

That’s what Pam said to me and I actually agreed, but I couldn’t change the dialogue because of this tiny little detail; the conversation is also in The Elemental. So, what to do? After several back and forth emails with my publisher, Dragon Moon Press, they gave the okay to go ahead and revise The Elemental. Yay!

Come February The Empath will be released and the revised edition of The Elemental. For those of you who’ve actually read The Elemental, nothing shocking will be changed, but I wanted to avoid those fanatics out there who would rub my face in any inconsistencies. I know I would 😂

Right now I’m very busy working on the new book trailer for The Empath and the revisions in The Elemental. Oh, and did I mention the cover is absolutely stunning? It is! You’ll have to wait till Midwinter to actually see it, be patient. I’m also very proud to have found the perfect person to model for the front cover, but I promised him to remain anonymous, so I’ll keep my promise. If you recognize him on your own, I’m not to blame 😉

Between writing and editing, I hardly have time to listen to my favourite band and inspiration, Placebo. Thankfully they’re coming to Holland this November and I’m very much looking forward to that. 

Samhuinn is coming up, another year has come and gone. I have so much to be thankful for. I found another publisher, I have an amazing team and very loyal fans, even in Japan. There have been times of doubt and you all helped me remember why it is I write. To share some of my world with you, to make the supernatural natural. To always remember, life is beautiful and so are you. Thank you!

Author Awareness Day – Ramblings of a modern druidess

So this entire weekend is #Awethors weekend. Yesterday twitter and facebook both exploded with the awethor-logo and posts using the hashtag #awethors It was wonderful to see, though I’m sure some of my facebook friends who could care less when I write my next book, were slightly annoyed with all the #awethors posts. My apologies. Just one more day and then everything will be back to normal. We can all enjoy another round of food, cat and dog spam 😉 And just a heads-up, this is going to be a very long blog, with lots of authors being mentioned, so if that’s not your thing, you might as well give up now.

Still reading? Nice, but remember, there actually is an ‘I told you so dance’. Fair warning.
It all started on April 12, when we held the first Get Down With The Awethors event. Well, in truth, it started before that, but this was the first big event we hosted as a group. It was an amazing day and a very long day. I was both ecstatic and exhausted.
I met so many wonderful people since I took my first baby steps in the world of writing. 

Jack Croxall, author of The Tethers Trilogy and Wye, was there at the beginning. Always willing to give me feedback and guide me on my way. His writing has inspired me to step out of my comfort zone and write my first short-story. 

Holly Martin, author of The Sentinel Series and One Hundred Proposals, is another author who I could rely on for solid advice and a friendly word. Even now she’s a best-selling author, she still finds the time to connect. Such a friendly spirit.

Then there are the two ladies who expanded my own reading. Natasha Ahmed and Michelle Diana Lowe. Strong women who are not afraid to write about cultural differences and the problems we have and face in today’s society. Butterfly Season and Unshatter Me both took my breath away. Natasha’s blog Dear Rumi is really something else and Michelle is just the epitome of love. She’s got such a big heart.

Mikey Campling, a very talented author and always the gentleman, helped me on my way with the do’s and don’ts on twitter and how to present yourself to the public. He has some very helpful thoughts on this topic. His series, The Darkeningstone, is mind-blowing. And did I mention on sale the next couple of days. 

Last, but certainly not least, DM Cain and Stewart Bint. Always there when you need them, whether it’s for advice, proofreading or just to talk, you can rely on them. And I’ll never take it for granted. It always amazes me how much time and effort they put inti the world of writing, while living such full and busy lives. R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

Now, only a few months later, we have hundreds of authors in our group and our first anthology will see the light of day this November. It’s great to see how these things work. The #IndieBooksBeSeen movement, set up by the wonderful Mark Shaw, is another example of how things can take a spin and really achieve something.

It’s not always easy, this whole world of (self-) promotion. When is it too much? Or, as some people claim, is it never too much? 

My promotion campaign would be nowhere without the aid of those wonderful people I refer to as the ‘reviewers’. Some are authors themselves, some blog, some are on YouTube, some do all of the above. And I feel very lucky to know some of the best. To name but a few; RC Bean, Janet Emson, Erin’s Choice, Victoria Loves Books, and a special mention to Benjaminoftomes, who supported me from the beginning. Without reviewers, we authors would be nowhere. They are like our oxygen. Without it, we can’t live or breathe. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

On that note of self-promotion…. Coincidentally (there was nothing coincidental about it, just careful planning, I confess) my new booktrailer for The Elemental saw the light of day as well. Now how to make a YouTube trailer go viral? That’s a tough order. One can always ask for help though. So that’s what I’m doing. Be a dear and like the trailer. Yes, liking this post is also nice, but it won’t help the trailer. So please like the trailer. Leaving comments will also help. Good or bad. It doesn’t matter. I learned a long time ago that bad publicity is also publicity 😉
Sharing the trailer, obviously. You’ll have my undying devotion. Anywhere will be fine. I’m very curious to see how far it can go. Help me out? Pretty please? Love you so much! Okay, enough with the sucking up. 
Without further ado, the trailer. Drumroll please…..

Ramblings of a modern druidess – to wait or not to wait, that is the question

IMG_1889So, life as an author with a publishing house is pretty exciting. I feel very fortonate to have such wonderful team members.

Elizabeth, my book manager, is always there when I need her feedback and we’re now going back and forth over a possible release date.

Waiting can be a hard thing to do. To release it too soon, may damage my marketing options. Yes, yes, these are things to be considered now. My book is set round Samhuinn, more commenly known by it’s American counterpart, Halloween. So the end of October would be kind of perfect.
All the time in the world to set things up, get some teasers out there in the build up to Samhuinn and then release it to the world.

But, October! I mean, I actually have to scroll down on my calender to reach it. It’s so far away! Nonsense of course, time flies and there’s plenty of things to be done. Like, I don’t know, finish the second book or something *coughs*.

We’re a little ahead of our time-schedule, but not quite enough to make Midsummer, which was another serious option. At least, I think we won’t make it. Printing will take at least a month and not everything is done yet.

So, all in all, a lot of signs are telling me to be patient, to wait. I know a lot of my author friends are in the same predicament right now. And I’m sure everybody has been in a situation where you have asked yourself: wait, or not wait? Which is the wiser option?

Tell me, what are your thoughts? What would you do? Or, what did you do? Would love to hear from you!

The Hourglass Ring 

If you’ve read The Elemental, the first part of The Fire Trilogy, you will know that the protagonist, Catherine, wears jewelry with rubies. A ring she inherited from her grandmother and a necklace with a ruby she got from her father he bought for her on his last trip. 

I’m very proud to reveal to you that the Hourglass Ring Catherine wears in The Elemental, has come to life by MB Creation! It’s a sterling silver ring with little gold settings with a real ruby on each side to form the hourglass. It looks delicate and sophisticated, just like I imagined Catherine’s grandmother.  

 

Here’s an excerpt from the book where the ring is mentioned.

Kate looked at the ring on her left hand. Her mother had given it to her on her twenty-first birthday. Her uncle had no daughters and they had both decided that Kate should inherit it to remember her grandmother. It held two rubies shaped like a diamant set in gold like a little hourglass. Kate always thought the rubies resembled her grandmother’s Fire and the hourglass the future, she loved it very much and like her grandmother, wore it every single day.

Deborah looked at it as well. “I love that ring, it is so beautiful.”

Kate smiled. “Yes, it is. I played with it as a child, one of the few memories I have of her. I loved how the ruby catches the light and I always said to her: “I feel like the ruby, nana. Then she would smile at me and say: “No my sweet, you are so much more than the ruby, always remember that.”

“When I grew up, I thought she meant that I was more important than the ring, but later in life I began to wonder if she already knew what I was, what I would become.”

Deborah took Kate’s hand, to have a good look at the ring. “Well, she probably did. I mean, she was a Seer, it’s probable she would have seen something of your future, don’t you think?”

Kate laughed. “Yes hon, that would be ‘probable’.”

  


Want to know more about who made the Hourglass Ring? Check out MB Creation’s facebook site by clicking here.

Welcome to the Booktrope family

So I didn’t want to post this yesterday, as people might think it’s a joke. A little over a year ago I published my first novel, The Elemental, albeit through self-publishing. But I was very happy. I had a book signing in my local bookstore, the newspaper wanted an interview with me, I got to babble about myself on the radio for half an hour, online sales were going well and the reviews were mostly positive. What more can a girl want?

Well, self-publishing is certainly a gift to any new writer who wants to give it a go, but it has one down side. You have to do it, and you alone. And that means everything. Every little detail, every promotion, it’s all up to you. I think one of the main reasons we keep trying to get accepted by a publishing house.

Booktrope Publishing is what people would call a hybrid publisher. You get to pick your own team and we all start ‘making money’ when and if the book sells. So no big advances, but certainly very fair royalties and a wonderful crew! Like with many other publishers, I sent them my manuscript. Of course I got my hopes up, but I was also ready for dissapointment. Rejection is something you learn to deal with in this business. You improve yourself and your book whereever you can, but other than that, it’s you and thousands of others just like you out there. It’s not personal. There are more writers than publishers, it’s as simple as that.

To my complete astonishment, however, a mail with attached documents for me to read arrived. At first glance, I thought it was my manuscript returned, but it was not. It was a contract for 5 years! I must have looked really silly, mouth wide open and some non-coherent sounds. I remember my husband asking ‘What is it?’

‘I think I’ve been accepted.’ 

Epic words. At least to me. Next morning when I woke up, first thing I did was check to see if the documents were still there or if I just dreamed it all. Thankfully, they were still there. So now I find myself having a book manager, an editor, a proofreader and a cover designer. It’s a whole new world. My editor is scratching away with her red marker as we speak *bites nails* and my book manager has tons of experience, so I couldn’t be more happy. Even if every page comes back filled with red. I don’t care, my book can only benefit from it.

So now what? Well, I’m still working on The Empath, part II of The Fire Trilogy, that will continue as usual. It might take a little longer to see the light of day, because first we will re-release The Elemental. That’s okay though, gives me more time to perfect the story and think about the final book.

  

I don’t know when The Elemental will be released, but I’m aiming for this Summer. Also very exciting is the upcoming Get Down With The Awethors event on April 12th. Over a hundred authors will participate for you to chat with, ask questions and win books, merchandise and other cool stuff! So don’t miss it. Just log in on facebook and you’re good to go. 

Leading up to the event, the lovely and talented Christie Stratos from Proof Positive interviewed me. You can read all about it here. She will be interviewing other authors these next few days, so be sure to check those out as well.

It’s been an exciting few weeks and I’ve got a feeling I’m just at the beginning of this great adventure. Can you feel it? There’s magic in the air!

Ramblings of a modern druidess

The Summer Solstice is almost upon us. I feel very fortunate and blessed with the weather this year. We had so many lovely nights, outside on our rooftop terrace, talking with friends, as the sky only began to darken after eleven, it’s rare in Holland. Most years we have a pretty good Spring and September is usually a good month, but a real Summer? Not so much. We still have to begin of course, which always strikes me as odd, as the days get shorter after June 21, but I have high hopes for a good Summer.

As a Summer Solstice gift, my book The Elemental will be free for download at Amazon on this day. If you go to my website, you’ll find the UK and US links there, but it’s also available in other countries.

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As I’m jotting this down, waiting for a friend to arrive, I’m surrounded by trees and heather and I feel close to nature, looking forward to greet the morning Sun, beating my drum to celebrate the Light in all its glory. Each celebration reminds me of the circle of life. It is a moment of reflection, which is good, as so many things are changing, sometimes slowly, sometimes rapidly, in the blink of an eye. Suddenly I’m an OBOD alumni, having just experienced the most beautiful, magical camp one could ever want and I ran my second Nike ‘We Own the Night’ run. The only thing missing is a concert by my favourite band. Unfortunately my muse is doing an excellent job of being somewhere I’m not, because there’s no way it can be my fault, as if 😉 So even when I’m visiting London, Sweden, Belgium, France or Russia, it never coincides with one of their concerts, how annoying. Oh well, one has to have something to dream of, right? 🙂

I wish you all an amazing Summer Solstice. May the turning of the wheel bring you many blessings.

Love and Light,

Lisa

Want to support me and my book? Then follow me on twitter or facebook! You can find my website at www.the-elemental.co.uk
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Ramblings of a modern druidess

Today I decided to answer one question that has been asked quite a few times and can’t be answered with just a few words. So especially for Susan from California, Carlos from Brazil, Petra and Kimberley from the Netherlands and Meg and Caroline from England (god, I hope I didn’t forget anyone. If so, my humble apologies!), today the answer to the question:

“How did Placebo become the inspiration for The Elemental and what do they mean to you?”

Well, as some of you may have found out already through my website www.the-elemental.co.uk it began at Pinkpop 2009. Placebo were headlining and the weather was lovely. When they began to play, the sky started to turn a pinkish purple, it was really pretty. Brian said the next song came to him in a dream, while they were on a tourbus. I think his exact words were “I bullshit you not” 😉 And they started to play Come Undone. The beginning has an almost dreamlike quality and looking to the sky, images floated before my eyes and I was in another world for a couple of minutes. I don’t think I heard a single word Brian sang of that song. That came later.

I think, looking back, those were the first seeds of The Elemental. The images were of a group of friends based in London. Years later I dreamed the same images and that moment at Pinkpop came rushing back to me. That’s when I decided to change my life and become a writer. As I started to write the outlines of The Elemental, I listened to Battle for the Sun. I did that for weeks and weeks, driving my family and friends, not to mention our dog, completely insane. I swear, whenever Miss Ginger hears Placebo, she raises her head, gives a big sigh and looks at me accusingly. I think she likes them secretly though, because whenever I have a live performance on, she wants to watch it as well.

Anyway, that’s how they became my great motivator and inspiration for things in the book. Not just the lyrics, but Battle for the Sun has a great mood-changing vibe to it, musically. Which created great scenes in the book.

The final editing was done when Loud Like Love was just released (which I love, by the way, I don’t care what the critics say) and that’s how Scene of the Crime got a special mention at the end of the book. I actually rewrote one of the last scenes because of that song.

As for the what do they mean to me part. I think it’s fair to say, a lot. To me, they are The Healer, The Anchor and The Sun. You figure out who is who 😉 I see them, maybe Brian in particular through his lyrics, as a sort of muse, who inspire me to write books, so that’s pretty important.

I used to work in the music industry and while I loved many things about that world, it happened just a bit too often that a band I liked, were, well… complete arses, to be frank. That didn’t matter much professionally, but I did notice me liking a band, has a lot to do with how they present themselves to the world as well. And once I had worked with them, I stopped buying their music. I just couldn’t listen to it anymore without thinking ‘you’re a complete diva’ or ‘what an arrogant arse’. It spoiled my listening experience, so I just stopped listening to them.

So that’s why I’m a bit wary of actually getting to know Placebo. Real life is always different and I’m realistic enough to realize Brian most of all, isn’t actually the epitomy of an easy-going, sociable person. So I think it’s safer to admire their qualities from a distance, if you will. That way I won’t be let down and they can remain my source of inspiration. In short, they are too important for that.

Otherwise there might not be a book two and three and we can’t have that, now can we? 😉

Well, I hope this answer was to your satisfaction. Looking forward to answer your questions on Valentine’s Day. You can tweet them to me or comment here on my blog. You can also post them on my facebook page. Be sure to mention your name and the country you live in, so I get it right and thanks for all the support so far. Love you guys!

Until next week peeps!

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