Something I Wrote Today (SIWT)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

My Demon Episode 2 Published!

What the heck is Damien's deal?

Sarah's strange relationship with Damien causes her unexpected problems. Threats appear that confound her and put her personal safety at risk. And strangely, Damien is hellbent on protecting her.

This second installment is 15k words.


I would like to thank everyone who took a chance on episode 1 and bravely preordered episode 2. I hope you think it's money and time well spent.

I'm about to do something that all the wise authors say not to do, but I'd like to reply to the wonderful reviewer who has left reviews on both episodes. First and foremost, THANK YOU! I really appreciate the time and effort you put into them. One thing that you highlighted that I'm still struggling to address is the expectation that My Demon will have paranormal elements. I knew I was going to possibly confuse readers by titling the work My Demon. That sounds like it might be paranormal to put it mildly. This is supposed to be a high school drama without any fantasy elements. I don't want to bluntly say in the blurb that this serial has no fantasy elements, but I'm not sure otherwise how to convey it.

Now to address some of your other questions...They will be answered in future episodes. *Very Evil Smile* Honestly, I'm not being flippant. The episodes addressing your questions are written, but still need editing.

And again, thank you for your honest and passionate reviews. I adore them.

Footnote: Generally, I do not read reviews of my work. As the wise authors say, reviews are not meant for the author, they're meant for other readers. I've seen a number of online disasters where authors forgot this simple fact. I'm peeking at reviews for My Demon though because this is still a work very much in-progress, and I think reading reviews and reactions to the episodes could help inform the direction the story takes. My Demon is a big experiment. I have five episodes still to publish, but even as I put those out, I'll be working on future installments and could possibly be inspired by reader input. I'd like this to be a dynamic project. I don't know if that's possible, but I'm willing to give it a try.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

My Demon Episode 1 Published!

The wait is over! My Demon Episode 1 is now available at Amazon! I really hope you like it. This is a pretty big leap for me. I sort of wish I were releasing the episodes faster, but I know that I wouldn't be able to keep up that pace. I hope the wait isn't too long for anyone. If you check it out, please let me know what you think! I'd love to hear from you!

Here's the blurb again:

Sarah Smith doesn’t want to go to Noble Academy. She has grown up in its shadows and knows she doesn’t belong. Noble is the school for the children of the richest and the most influential in the Western hemisphere. Her father is a handyman, and her mother a cook. They work at Noble. Because they cannot afford to send her anywhere else, Sarah is admitted to this rarefied institution. She doesn’t expect to fit in or to have an especially good time, but then again, she doesn’t expect Damien West either.

From their very first meeting, Sarah knows Damien will be the bane of her existence. He’s rude, loud, and possibly homicidal. She fears he will make her life a living Hell and be her personal demon.

This first installment is 17k words. Each episode will be between 10k-20k words and priced ninety-nine cents or the regional equivalent. A new episode will be released at the start of every month.

This work is considered young adult, but there are instances of strong language and some mild violence.

And here are the first few pages of the story:


My Demon Episode 1
Monday, Day 1


Today was my first day at Noble Academy, the most elite academy in the world. Only the richest and most powerful teens were ever admitted. Well, until today. I was neither rich or powerful. I was enrolled because my family couldn't afford to send me anywhere else. If that wasn’t irony, then I’d get that question wrong on the SATs. I was admitted as special compensation. I was not here on any academic or athletic scholarship. I was here because my father fixed the toilets, and my mother cooked the meals. They were servants. No, excuse me that wasn’t PC anymore, they were staff. Too bad everyone still treated them like servants. I would have rather enrolled somewhere else. Anywhere else. But there just wasn't anywhere else to send me. So here I was starting my first day at Noble Academy.

I knew the campus by heart. I'd been wandering through it my whole life, but only ever as a shadow. The Academy was the only home I'd ever known, but I'd never felt like I belonged. Now I was wearing one of the navy blue jackets with the gold N embroidered on front, and I felt like a stranger in my own skin. The collar of my white blouse was too tight, and I thought they’d given me the wrong-sized shoes, but I tried to ignore these small discomforts as I slipped into my very first class. Most of the other students were already there, though they hadn't taken their seats yet. The seat in the far corner looked unclaimed. I slipped into it and stowed my books. No one greeted me or made eye contact. They all knew each other. Had probably known each other since birth. I was a stranger. Someone to close ranks against. That was fine. I just wanted to be left alone.

Prof. Edwards arrived a minute after me, arms overflowing with papers as he balanced a coffee cup precariously on top. His dress shirt already sported a coffee stain on the front. He was bald with a halo of wispy gray and black hair. His eyebrow were monstrous. I suspected he purposely combed them up in the morning. It gave his black rimmed glasses the appearance of fringe on top. He had taught at Noble for twenty years now. He liked red wine. Lots of red wine. I'd helped collect the empty bottles from his doorstep. He started making noises for everyone to settle down without actually asking anyone to take their seats. I saw him see me in the back, but he didn’t appear to recognize me. I wondered if he would recognize my parents. A shadow fell across me. I looked up at a guy, who was frowning down at me.

"You're in my seat."

He hadn't been in the room when I came in. From the looks of him, he appeared to have just arrived. Like literally. He wasn't wearing a school uniform. He had no book bag or satchel. He was dressed all in black with silver studs in his ears and a silver Rolex watch on his wrist. He had a great poof of curly brown hair and narrow blue eyes. He was handsome, but there was a malevolence about him that put me on edge.

"There’s no assigned seating," I said. I didn't want to give up my seat just because he told me to.

The smile that curled his lips put me on edge. It was condescending and self-assured.

"I think you're mistaken. You see whatever seat I want is mine. So this seat is mine. If you want, you can sit on my lap."
Was this guy for real? I scanned the rest of the room. All of the other seats have been taken. Where was I supposed to sit? His lap was not an option.

"No," I said.

"What?"

People were beginning to notice us while Prof. Edwards took attendance.

"I said no. I'm sitting here, so ipso facto the seat is mine.”

“Is that so?” He grabbed the desk and flung it across the room.

It landed with a crash and all of my books spilled out of it.

“What’s going on?” Prof. Edwards shouted.

I turned to the guy, my mouth hanging open in disbelief.

“Get up.”

He didn’t give me a chance to move. He leaned down and grabbed me by my jacket lapels and dragged me up.

“I will have no fighting in my classroom!” Prof. Edwards shouted.

The guy turned and flashed a smile at the professor. From my vantage point of hanging from his fists, I got a good look at his canines. They were pearly white and very sharp. “Sorry, professor. There appears to be a shortage of seating, and I was discussing with my friend here the best way to rectify that.”

“I don’t believe I called your name, young man.”

“Oh, maybe that’s the problem. My parents only registered me this morning. I’m Damien West.”

Friday, January 9, 2015

Interview with Girls With Books

Hey, I did an interview with Lisa and Sarah over at their blog Girls With Books. They review books, host author interviews, and book promotion. I want to thank these lovely ladies for kindly hosting me. Check out the interview. I talk about my work process and what inspired me to write Scary Mary.

Friday, January 2, 2015

What's Coming 2015?

My New Year's resolution is to WRITE MORE. So what does this mean for you? It means I am starting a new serial project called My Demon. I shared a bit of it in a Nanowrimo post. I plan to release an episode every month that is between 10k-20k words. This project is different for many reasons. Here's a list why:

1. It's a serial, which means it is an ongoing story. I am not writing this in chapters but breaking it up by days. I will release a day or more in each project. Generally, each episode will cover two days.

2. Episodes will be released on Amazon only. This was a tough decision, but I wish to try out Kindle Select to see how well the project does. I admit this decision was purely based on financial reasons. I won't bore you with all of the details, but Amazon is my primary income source, and they've shaken things up in such a way that going exclusive with them may be very beneficial with this project. It also means that if you are in Amazon Prime or subscribed to Kindle Unlimited, you can read the episodes without having to buy them. I think I'll upload older episodes on more channels later in the year, but I can't say for sure until I see the results of this experiment. Scary Mary and other longer works will continue to be distributed to multiple platforms. Not just Amazon.

3. Playing with preorder. Preorder has become an option on many platforms. I'd like to try it out on Amazon. Every episode will be available for preorder the month before it is published.

4. No paranormal or fantastic elements. Unlike my other works, I don't plan to have any fantastic elements in this story. (I say I don't plan for this b/c it is an ongoing project and who knows where the story might end up? Never say never and all that.)

5. Open to reader input. While I have several episodes pre-written, this project is a work in-progress and I would love to hear what readers think and how they'd like the story to go. That doesn't mean I'll do what you say, but I'll definitely have it mind while I'm writing.

I really hope you like My Demon. It is a huge undertaking, and I hope it does well. But don't worry, I plan to work on a number of projects this year, not just My Demon. There is definitely another Scary Mary book in the works, along with a couple of other things.

Here is the current blurb for My Demon:
Sarah Smith doesn’t want to go to Noble Academy. She has grown up in its shadows and knows she doesn’t belong. Noble is the school for the children of the richest and the most influential in the Western hemisphere. Her father is a handyman, and her mother a cook. They work at Noble. Because they cannot afford to send her anywhere else, Sarah is admitted to this rarefied institution. She doesn’t expect to fit in or to have an especially good time, but then again, she doesn’t expect Damien West either.

From their very first meeting, Sarah knows Damien will be the bane of her existence. He’s rude, loud, and possibly homicidal. She fears he will make her life a living Hell and be her personal demon.

This first installment is 16k words. Each episode will be between 10k-20k words and priced ninety-nine cents or the regional equivalent. A new episode will be released at the start of every month.

This work is considered young adult, but there are instances of strong language and some mild violence.

And here is the preorder page.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Strange Girl Published

Strange Girl, Book 4 in The Scary Mary Series is finally published! This is amazing to me. I can't believe I'm on book 4. I dreamt of writing this series for so long and now it is a reality. It's a real series.

This book was quite the solo adventure for me. Due to my general lack of planning, I designed the cover myself, did all the proofreading, and the formatting. With past books, I've managed to at least hire someone to help with some of these, but this time, I decided it would add too much time and generally slow the process to a halt. So if you see some typos, don't like the cover, or your ereader has a meltdown trying to load the book--It's all MY FAULT. I'll be here for you to scream at. (Hope you enjoy the book!)

So, Strange Girl, what's it about? Well, here's the blurb:

*You look awesome.*

This is a typical text from Jake, the mysterious guy who saved Mary from the Shadowman. After everything had settled down, he started sending little messages to her. They brighten her day and make her feel special. She likes Jake. He's different like her. A freak. They send texts back and forth frequently, and Mary hasn’t told anyone about him. He's her secret friend.

When the TV producer Regina Smith comes to ask Gran for help, Mary pushes Gran to take her up on the opportunity. Regina wants them to go to Alabama to help a group of paranormal investigators, who are making a reality show. They've stumbled onto a real haunted house, and if no one steps in, they're going to get themselves killed. But Mary doesn't really care about that. She wants to go because Jake lives in Alabama. And she hopes to meet him. But when Gran’s kidnapped, Mary no longer hopes to meet Jake, she has to meet him. He’s her only hope of rescuing Gran. But mysteriously, he has stopped answering her texts.

To save Gran, Mary not only has to contend with two malevolent ghosts but also the paranormal investigators who will stop at nothing to capture evidence of the paranormal. If they have to, they’ll put Gran and Mary at risk. They will get the ghosts one way or another.

You know how ghosts are made, right?

The ebook is now live at the following vendors!

Amazon     Barnes and Noble     Smashwords     iTunes    Kobo

And as usual, here is the first chapter of the book as a sample. I hope you like it.