Today is the day! Feel free to open the link for the press release. Deadbeat is live today at a special release price of $4.99. Available at Smashwords, Amazon and other e-book retailers.
I want to thank you all for sticking by me as I dealt with all that Life has thrown my way. While we are still in the thick of change, the ideas are still churning. I hope that you enjoy reading this fun, comedic take on the paranormal at least half as much as I enjoyed writing it. l am really looking forward to revisiting Megan, Clarence and the gang soon.
After a honestly brutal heart to heart with my editor and betas I decided that I could not release Deadbeat just yet. You all deserve my best and that is exactly what I am going to give you.
I want to thank you for your continued support and patience. This story got away from me. This universe has so many unique personalities and they all want my attention. To be honest, they distracted me with how fun each one is.
In the meantime, to make up for the delay AND give everyone an opportunity to submit an honest review of my first book, I am lowering the price. From TODAY, December 17th, until January 31st you can purchase the digital version of Unexpected : A Viator Legacy Novel for only $0.99. This price is available on Smashwords, (for Kobo, Nook, iBook, PDF, etc.) and Amazon (for Kindle.)
This weekend I am baking cookies, decorating and spending time with my family. I hope you all are enjoying this Holiday Season with the people you love.
Happy Chanukkah, Blessed Yule, Happy Kwanzaa, and Merry Christmas!!
Phoenix Comicon totally snuck up on me. Luckily it was while I was getting ready for Phoenix Comicon. I have passed the point of stressing over the details and am super excited. I mean in TWO days I will be geeking out with friends and making new geektastic friends. Who wouldn’t be excited?
I have scheduled release dates, which I’ll be announcing at the con first, for the next two novels. So keep an eye out for news after this Pop Culture extravaganza we call Phoenix Comicon.
If any of you will be at the convention come by my table and say hello! I love meeting readers 🙂 Plus I will have all the current books on-hand in print ready to sign. See you there!
I love seeing progress. There are many times when it seems nothing will ever be finished, but after this month, I’ll have completed five projects total. Three done for my alter ego Amie Archer, and two for Erin. I really can’t explain how good it feels, but I have promised several people I will never let the backlog gather like it has this year. One project at a time! I swear. Ok, maybe two. Or three. But no more than that. Really. I mean it. Honest.
You may have noticed by previous posts Unforeseenis available, YAY, and that was a huge deal. It was one of those books that hung around in my head for too long. And now that it is out in the universe, I am excited about it again. I miss Grace and Lucius already. I guess I will just have to include them in Unrepentant: Viator Legacy Book 3. But I miss Carlo more, so he gets top billing in this book.
And I would jump right on that, except I have some unfinished business with a certain Lady and Cowboy (Slim—Love him, Seriously. I mean, who else could flirt with disaster so unabashedly and still come out on top? With a grin and oozing charm? Only Slim. Le sigh.) Cibola’s Revenge is on its way to the finish line, just a few more tweaks and we’ll be ready for the victory lap. Christmas is looking to be very good for release. I am extremely excited about this new book in the Cibola Universe, and about the adventures the next year will provide as I visit various steampunk events to share the series. If you haven’t checked out Wild Wild West Con yet, take a look. It is a fabulous event at Old Tucson. Steampunk in the old west, really you can’t do better. (Well in my mind, since I dig that kind of thing!) I’ll be there with a table of signed copies of all my available books, and will also be presenting on the topic of Steampunk Archaeology. Yes, you heard right. Steampunk Archaeology. Come to the con to find out what I’m up to (evil grin).
Once Cibola’s Revenge is off my plate, I will definitely be ready to work on Unrepentant—except that I’m not. I am working on Deadbeat. I have had Deadbeat in my head since 2010, so really, it is way overdue and I have had several requests to see those words put down in print.
So there you have it. I am finishing up the last bits of what I have finished, and starting new projects. I’m excited about the New Year!
And I promise, I WILL be writing the Viator Legacy Book 3 in 2014. It may come out in the Summer/Fall rather than Spring. Hang in there folks, we’ll know what happens to Carlo and Lisa soon enough. First, we have a buck-toothed vampire to contend with.
First and foremost – Thank You! I know you have all waited and waited and waited. We were almost there, then the gremlins hit! Those little buggers conspired with some brownies I’m sure. For there was my beautiful manuscript, or at least the pathway to it, but I could not open it. Corruption most horrid! This heroine, however, persisted and perservered. I won’t bore you with the gory details, they don’t matter anymore. What truly matters is Unforeseen is here!
I promised, and promised, and promised… Finally, it’s happening! Book Two of the Viator series is on its way. Unforeseen follows the story of Grace and Lucius as they discover the depth of the conspiracy facing their peoples and confront threats that just might hit a little closer to home than anyone expected. The E-book will be available November 20th at top online bookstores and watch for the Print book to be released by the first week in December. I’ll have links available on this blog and my website at http://erinlausten.com as soon as the books are available.
To tide you over until then, here’s a look at the cover and a sneak peak at the book:
“You say that a lot. I am not certain what you mean,” Grace said.
“I say what?” Hailey said.
At that Hailey burst into a loud laugh. Several passengers across the aisle looked over. “Dude is by far the best word in the English language.”
“I know that it has had numerous permutations through history. But you use it in ways I have never read.”
“Well. It used to mean a city slicker. It was a derogatory term for men from back east that didn’t fit into the west. But it was picked up by the California surfers and then teenagers. When I grew up, dude was required to be said in every sentence. That and certain swear words that I have tried to use a little less. I just can’t seem to get rid of dude.”
Fascinated, Grace gave a tentative smile. “But what does it mean?”
“Well. It can mean just about anything. Mostly a feeling. For instance, let’s say you said something I wasn’t expecting. I would say ‘Dude’,” the word came out short and changed in pitch toward the end. “But if you said something I didn’t agree with I would say ‘Dude’.” This time the word was said low and long.
Grace giggled. Then tried it herself, “Duuude.”
Hailey threw back her head and let loose another of her hearty laughs. Lucius peeked over her head. “Tell me you are not teaching her to speak your language.”
Both girls fell into a fit of giggles. Grace hadn’t had this much fun in…well, ever.
Ultimately the biggest relationship is established between the story and the reader. However, beyond that there are relationships between the narrator and the characters, characters with other characters, the characters with their situations and the characters with their environment. Each of these aspects creates a unique perspective. For the author, the challenge comes in presenting these perspectives effectively in unique and authentic voices.
People are people. And there are so many different kinds of people. An author is only one person, with their own personality, worldview and perspective. Some of the greatest stories present that perspective in an engaging and dynamic voice. This drives the reader to absorb the story and experience as something new and fabulous.
But within a story, an author must also present perspectives that may not be their own, as illustrated by their various characters. The most talented writers can create characters with vastly different perspectives that build a story arc which is both believable and fascinating. We want authenticity in our stories, and authenticity relies on a world that mimics our own. No one person sees the world exactly the same.
So how does the writer do it? Not without some serious work.
It is easy for all of us to become insolated. It is more comfortable to surround ourselves with like-minded people. We strengthen our confidence in our own worldview by accepting those things we like and disregarding those we do not. We watch the news we like, read the websites that justify our feelings, and discuss politics with others in our political party.
Things get interesting when we break beyond the safety of our perspective and seek out those that think differently or even directly contradict our ideas. Even more difficult is stepping away from what we know and believe to try to understand the thoughts and worldview of another in a way that is objective and not qualitative. The question is not to see if the person is right, but to be able to see how that person may react to any given situation.
When an author can create a unique personality with opinions, belief, history and experience so vastly different from themselves, it is an amazing feat. It is one that I strive for with varying degrees of success.
So, why is this on my mind today?
I have gone beyond my comfort zone in my latest manuscript and I have learned so much. In general I have limited my characters with control over the story’s perspectives. In the Viator novels, I have had two characters with points of view that the reader is privy to. In other stories, I have limited it to one. But in the latest Cibola novel, I have five active points of view. Is it overkill? Possibly. But I have been able to explore the motivations, philosophies, needs and desires of five extremely different personalities. Some are dark while others are optimistic. Some navigate the world with morals that leave me uncomfortable and others have personal challenges I do not have myself.
As I draw near the completion of the first draft, I am struck by how vivid the relationships between these characters have become. I have seen growth and challenges I could not have seen otherwise. They have taught me so much and I find I am looking forward to the end, when I can step away for a while, then return to look on these fascinating people with a new eye.
This is why I write. This is the magic of stories. How fabulous.
It is easy, as a writer, to be insulated. Stories are extremely personal and writing them is a very internal process. We may pull our inspiration and content from outside sources, but ultimately we look inward and pull out a completely unique perspective. There are so many worlds possible inside the human mind it is amazing that we can keep them contained within such a measly container. But, pardon the Doctor Who reference, “It’s bigger on the inside”.
Because we spend so much time internally, sometimes it is hard to pop out and see the world around us, let alone truly feel a part of it. Is it any wonder that so many authors have/had strained, dysfunctional relationships with their loved ones?
Honestly, it is amazing anyone puts up with us.
That brings me to what I really want to talk about today–Finding people that you can depend on. Ultimately, we want someone to read our stuff. Well, most of us do, I think.But when it comes down to it, having someone read something that just came from a very lonely brain is terrifying. We go from the statement “Yes, I am going to write it this way because I like it that way” to the question “will anyone like what I wrote?”
It’s as frightening as a performance, group presentation, wearing a new fancy dress, and introducing the new boyfriend to the folks. We start to niggle at the details, picking out the faults before someone else can, and in some cases, just putting that boyfriend back in the car (or in the case of the book, back in the drawer).
And don’t think that with this grand ego of mine that I don’t have the same problem.But I found something that helps, and I can only say it has helped me jump that bridge and put my stuff out there.
I have the best Beta readers in the world.
These are the people I give my manuscripts to when I’m done, ready for feedback, and desperate for eyes beyond mine to see the world I’ve created. While my eyes look in, theirs look out.
It took a while to find people I could trust to give me the feedback I needed. I have had many help me, but the best all share one very important trait–They don’t tell me they love it. Well they do, but not just that. They tell me when it sucks or where it is confusing, or where I could do better. And it hurts, oh how it hurts to hear I did not score on that first hit. But it makes me think and puts the story into a new perspective. It works.
However, being a Beta Reader is just as rough on the reader as it is on the writer. There is a relationship. If you are a regular reader and critique a book, there is no direct relationship, so it doesn’t feel like a big deal. But I now have a personal relationship with each of my Betas just by building this trust and position. They don’t want to hurt me. But sometimes you got to cut off the leg to stop the spread of gangrene.So they do it, gritting their teeth the whole way. That is the mark of a great Beta and something I admire more than anything.
I really couldn’t do this without them and I hope they know how much their brilliant eyes mean to me.