Thursday, February 27, 2014

My Blog is All Dressed Up in New Duds. Check it out!

I've been preparing my website and blog for my eventual press release. The truth is, I'm procrastinating working on my bio, because I hate my bio and I feel it needs to be done before the press release goes out. It is, after all, a key part of the media kit.

I've heard you need a very short professional bio, a fun bio, and a longer bio. No one has explained if the longer bio needs to be fun or not. Do I really need three bios?

So! Now that my website and blog are all bright and spiffy, I need to return to work on my bio. Just kidding! It really means I need to find some NEW way to procrastinate.

But GOOD NEWS! I have something else that requires being done. Something I'm very glad to do in fact. I am heading out to an office center to package up and send three books to three lucky Goodread Giveaway winners! It is very exciting.

I've got to run now, but please, while I'm out, take your time to examine my spiffy new duds. Both the website and blog are linked to each other now. Isn't it grand?


Shameless Self-Promotion 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

An Empty Fridge

So, my Dad looks in my fridge this morning and says, "Man, you're not getting nuttin out of here but a cool breeze!" (My parents drove three hours yesterday to visit with me and spent the night.)

 The photo is not my fridge, but the contents in mine are somewhat similar. Apparently, the freezer contents were even worse... I won't repeat what he said about that.

Thankfully, my fridge isn't empty because I'm broke. It could be worse. It is empty because I am unbelievably busy. Or perhaps it is empty because it is lower on the priority list.

This week I've listed my book for a Goodreads giveaway, and LibraryThing giveaway, did a submittal for Bookbub (yet to be approved), sent my book to a TON of reviewers who all have different submittal requirements, accidentally deleted all my blog photos, reattached all my blog photos, sent numerous twitters, deleted 500 twitter people I was following who hadn't signed on for 30 days, had a birthday, revamped my book description, wrote up a press release, started on my media kit, and cleaned my house from top to bottom for my parents' visit.

All of that work was on top of a 40 plus hour day job. This book promoting work takes so much time, yet is so important that I just let other things fall off the list.

Let me just say that if I didn't have a day job my fridge would look worse than what is above so I must work on promoting the book. Yet, I suppose I should go shopping today.

My response to my father was, "You can choose. You either get a clean house with your visit, or a full fridge. I do not have time for both."  But I know what will really happen. Next time he will either bring groceries or his own food! I have to stop blogging right now because I'm laughing too hard.


Shameless Self-Promotion 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Book Giveaway! The Light Who Shines ($18.99 value)

(Please share this posting!)
I am currently offering three FREE print copies in a Goodreads Giveaway. 

Title: The Light Who Shines
Author: Lilo Abernathy
  • Autographed Copy
  • 447 pages (over 136,000 words)
  • Debut Novel
  • Goodreads rating is 4.56 stars
Deadline: Midnight on February 25.

Requirements: You simply log into your Goodreads account and click to enter. Available to participants in the following countries:
  • United States
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • Australia
Goodreads Entry Link:  click here

The first ten chapters are free on my website: click here


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

News: The Light Who Shines Now Available in Print!

Things have been pretty hectic lately. I've created two print versions of my book on, which are now being distributed by Amazon, their parent company.

I've learned a few lessons about writing in the process. The biggest is that I wrote too many words! Almost 140,000 words! The consequence is that it costs a lot to print. Therefore, my price is not as low as I wished I could offer. Apparently, most commercial books are preferred to be between 60,000 and 80,000 words. I hope my potential customers will factor this in when they consider purchasing it or will turn to the ebook version. Meanwhile, I've resolved to do better for Book 2.

So far, the book is averaging 4.5 stars on Goodreads and readers are asking me for Book 2 already. Considering this is my debut novel, I'm sure you can understand my excitement!

6 x 9 version: This one is formatted very nicely with 12-point easy to read font, a little spacing between paragraphs (.3), and nice size chapter headings. It is my favorite!
Click here for this version. 

5 x 8 version: I created this version to offer a cheaper option for those who want print. It is printed in 10 point Times New Roman as that is a bit tighter. It has been tightened as much as possible and relieved of the Author Bio and the Preface.
Click here for this version. 

Both are beautiful books with a glossy cover and white pages! I searched forever to find a cool looking unrestricted use font to use as the chapter headings.

Ebook Version: This is obviously the best value (as always).
Click here for this version.
It is also available on Barnes and Noble and on Smashwords.

My most cherished details about the book itself (not the story) are the chapter names. I love chapter names! Each name received thoughtful consideration so that it would hint, but not reveal the contents of the chapter. Each chapter is a different scene in the book.


Shameless Self-Promotion 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Who Else Wants a Mind-blowing Epic Hero?

Now, don’t get upset men, I am talking about fiction books or film of course, fantasy really. 

Physical Attributes

I struggled with what picture to place with this blog because I know everyone’s has his or her own ideal physical attributes. While searching, I found men of every race, height and size, all with their own appeal. So I opted for some male eyes. And they are quite male! I think we can all agree there are many men who would fit our requirements, so let’s just generally say we want our heroes to light our fires! 

Heroic Actions

The heroes in our novels are often mildly heroic. Maybe they save the heroine from a bad guy or two or fight in a few small battles. But we aren’t talking your standard run-of-the-mill hero here. We are talking about a staggeringly mind-blowing epic hero. I want a hero who staggers across an entire continent, escaping capture from villains and overcoming obstacles to drop the ring into the Mount Doom. (The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. By the way, thank you Frodo for doing that!) When, an alien mother ship and its daughter ships hovers over the earth with plans to destroy the human species, I want a hero who will fly into the ship in a kamikaze attack to annihilate it, saving the world from imminent destruction. (Independence Day film script co-written by Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin). In short, saving the world is essential. 


I am really tired of heroes who are jerks. A hero who starts out sleeping with every woman in eyesight is no hero at all. A hero who treats the heroine with disrespect sucks as well. Heroes should be decent chaps, okay? At least the epic hero we are talking about here should be. Do what you want with small time heroes. This hero doesn’t lie, doesn’t get mad for idiotic reasons, and doesn’t change his personality as the story moves through. He is kind, works hard, cares about people, is hopefully brilliant, and we like him from start to end. 

My mind-blowing epic hero usually starts out as a common man who stands up to do great things when great things need to be accomplished. I’m sure that many of you men would be that hero if the necessity arose.

What is your hero like? 


Shameless Self-Promotion 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Disparaging of Indie Authors and Why it is Dead Wrong

Author is a fancy word for storyteller and storytellers have been around since before the written word. In no time in our history as a species have we ever before claimed that storytellers can only be those of the most educated and perfect at their craft. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Stories have been carved into trees, painted on cave walls, printed on bone and bamboo, etched into clay tablets, inked onto skins, and finally written on paper. Even while all this was happening stories were still be told orally in the market, around campfires, around the dinner tables and the family hearths, and in small gatherings after church. In fact, storytellers have been so intrinsically woven into our culture we have developed a multitude of words to describe them; bards, gossips, teachers, historians, singers, preachers, writers, poets, wise men, and even liars.

It is true that until recent modern times, and even now in developing countries, only the most educated were able to write at all, let alone to write proficiently enough to produce novels. Even as publishing came into own in the early 21st century, most people in developed countries were only educated to an eighth grade level. Now almost all people in developed countries are skilled enough to write, or type as you will. Among those who are, there is an entire gambit of skill levels with both the weaving of tales and the elegant usage of grammar and punctuation.

At what point did someone decree that only those most proficient at both the weaving of a tale and the editing of their work should be allowed to tell stories in book form? Is there a new law written that I was unaware of in existence? Did the Angels come down from heaven and sing this truth into human hearts? Perhaps it is simply that some publishers and their contracted authors are upset that their bookstore and internet ranking is being cluttered by independent authors telling their own tales?
Storytellers have never been restricted to the most educated. Even my Great Grandmother with her broken English told stories worth hearing while she crocheted on her back porch. I assure you those stories were worth more than $4.99 and I would have paid that, had she asked. She wasn’t polished, but that doesn’t mean her stories didn’t have flavor and value. It doesn’t mean her stories didn’t entertain and enrich my life.

The only real problem I see with Indie Authors is when a reader expects polish and doesn’t get it. They expect polish because in recent history published books have been screened, revised, and shined up to gleam like gold perfection.

I see two ways to solve this problem. The first is that the reader simply look to see if the author and publisher are one and the same. If so, they should beware. They may get a tale written by a master story weaver, or they may get a folktale written by a common hand. Remember, Indie Author is short for Independent Author, not Unskilled Author. The second way, the option I prefer, is that independent rating agencies come into common existence that will rate an Indie Author’s work against a couple of different aspects; such as plot, character development, voice, grammar and punctuation, formatting, etc. That rating could be displayed on the work when it is sold. The Indie Author would have the opportunity to share their story and the reader would understand what they are getting for their money. This would also be an excellent way for the Indie Author to get an unbiased opinion of their work prior to the market place so they can decide if they are ready to publish or if another revision is necessary.

Just remember, we are all storytellers in our own way.


Shameless Self-Promotion
•Read chapters 1 - 10 of my book ‘The Light Who Shines’ here: 
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Monday, February 3, 2014

The Gorgeous Crazy Hat Lady (and why you want her in your book.)

Fiction is primarily an escape from the mundane reality of our normal existence. We are trained to behave as robots, pushed by societal consequences into walking a narrow and predestined path. Often for many, for at least some small space of time, an abhorrence of our monotonous existence begins to fester. Or at the very least, we tire of always meeting expectations and obligations. Let’s face it, life can be boring. However, our books don’t have to be!

Not all stories, but many stories would benefit from the Gorgeous Crazy Hat Lady. This eccentricity isn’t typically a ploy for attention; instead, the character simply dances to their own tune. The rules of society seem to have little impact on them. When an idea pops in their mind, they just do it without inhibition. They exhibit the kind of freedom we sometimes wish we had.

This character is usually colorful in dress or personality, which creates wonderful visuals. However, the truly fun part is that their behavior is unpredictable and electrifying to the story. Sensational scenes or circumstances can be written around the Gorgeous Crazy Hat Lady because she is the most malleable character of all.

Of course, the character doesn’t have to be gorgeous or crazy or a lady, the hat is optional as well! Sometimes these extraordinary characters only display their unusual proclivities in one aspect of their personality. Imagine a tough burly man who cuddles with kittens or sings opera. What if the uptight secretary goes home to engage in a threesome? Perhaps the Spock-like brainy computer geek has a secret beanie baby collection. The wonder of creative writing is that the possibilities are endless. Even so, we more often then not see characters whose behaviors are limited to the norm.

In my book, The Light Who Shines, one of the supporting characters is a wiry, feisty older woman with enchanting green eyes. She also happens to change her hair color every other day. And by hair color, I mean fuchsia, ice blue, fire engine red, peach sherbet, and etcetera. She coordinates her hair dye to match her outfits and reads fashion magazines during her leisure. She doesn’t cook, but makes outstanding southern beverages instead. The time she saves by avoiding the stove is used to think of outlandish pranks to play against her would-be suitor.

She is in a word, interesting. Isn’t that what a fiction story should be?


Shameless Self-Promotion 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Weak Female Character Rant

Why do so many novels feature a weak female Heroine? I DESPISE them! Often the powerless female is paired with an Alpha Male or at least a Studly Hard-ass. I’m not talking about physical strength here. I’m talking about strength of personality, willpower, and circumstances. So many times I have read about the woman who is an abuse victim and the man saves her, or the woman who is poor and a rich man comes to the rescue. Then there is the ever-popular woman who is abducted or pushed around by a man yet ends up in love with him. Let’s not forget the woman who vacillates over her love for the man and stagnates in indecision. Variations on the theme are endless and authors keep writing it into their stories while readers keep buying those stories.

So what is it about people who want to envision a weak woman with a strong man? Is this just the survival of the species instinct where women desire stronger men? Do we women enjoy reading about a woman who is weaker than we are and therefore feel superior? Do we seek validation for our own weaknesses? I really would like to hear your opinions on this!

One of the main reasons I love reading and writing Urban Fantasy is that the heroine often gets to be strong and kick some ass. Give me a woman who knows her mind. Give me a heroine who saves the day. Give me a female character who meets her man on equal footing with comparable strengths. This doesn’t mean that the hero and heroine can’t help each other. They can! Just please stop with the one-way ‘man saves poor weak needy woman’ plots! Uggh! A weak heroine is hardly heroic at all!

I believe that reading about strong female heroines helps empower us in our real lives because we get to pretend we are them for a while and eventually we get used to being them.


Shameless Self-Promotion 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Alpha Male Character

Who is the Alpha Male? Well, I went hunting for photos of the alpha male and ended up surprised. I expected to land on a photo of a half dressed muscle bound god of a male model that was completely drool worthy and spiked up everyone's libido. I ran into plenty of them, sure. However, none of them said alpha to me. Why? It was in their face, their boyish quest for approval, their preening for the camera, their seeking of attention. The alpha male doesn't seek attention. He simply receives it. (Don't worry; I'll do a post on the muscle bound god in the near future. Just hold onto your drool for a little while.)

So what makes an alpha male? To me it is not physical strength alone, nor is it beauty. It is intelligence, self-possession, confidence, and the ability to accomplish goals. In my estimation, an alpha character is strong internally and doesn't vacillate between decisions. He doesn't jump to conclusions. He is admired by other characters and drives the plot.

The image I chose is not a man who is smiling for the camera. It is a man squinting at the camera in a thoughtful way. He is not waiting to see what you think of him. He is not trying to please you. Instead of troubling himself with the frivolous, he is assessing you instead! In return, you are concerned with what he concludes about you. That is why he has your attention. That is the alpha male.


Shameless Self-Promotion (I need all of your support!)