Wednesday, November 19, 2014

THE LIEBSTER AWARD: 10 QUESTION BLOG HOP

Kathryn Trattner tagged me in the Ten Question Blog Hop about my Work In Progress.  Kathryn writes the most beautiful flash fiction I've ever read 1, 2.  You can also check her out on Twitter . If you stop by her blog, tell her I sent you.

1. What is your WIP about? 
Book 2 of my first novel is about a boy who spent most of his life in the fey realm.  Now he's in the human realm trying to fit in with human teenagers while looking for his parents.

2. What is your main character's greatest strength?
He has a strong sense of right and wrong.

3. What is your main character's greatest flaw?
Coal's greatest flaw is his greatest strength. It challenges his loyalties because most things aren't completely right or completely wrong.

4. Name your main character's favorite food and drink.
Butterfinger. He associates the candy bar with memories of his mother.

5. What animal would your main character be and why?
Lion, he'd be perfectly happy to sit and  be served, but when he's pushed he protects his own.

6. If you and your main character were in a coffee shop, what would you discuss?
I'd ask him what is the biggest difference between the fey realm and human realm. He'd probably ask me why I let his ass get kicked so much in Book One.

7. Who would your main character like to date/marry and why?
Even after all of the lying, the betraying, and the fighting, Coal still imagines that he'll marry Chalcedony. He fell in love with her the moment he saw her. But don't tell anyone. After all that's happened, he thinks that's a pretty horrible fact to admit. 

8. What superhero does your protagonist act like? Why?

He is obsessed with the hulk. He wishes he could go crazy and let his anger guide him.

9. If you made a music video starring your antagonist, what would be his or her song?
I don't have an antagonist in COAL.  At some point, you are going to both love and hate all of my main characters. But the closest person I have to an antagonist would probably say she liked "Turn down for What?" By Lil Jon because she doesn't believe you should mute yourself. Life is too short for that.

10. What fictional character do you like the most and why?

I love Ged from the Earthsea Series by Ursula K. Le Guin. He is a strong mage, but he never boasts about his strength.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Check Me Out Writing For Someone Else

I wrote my first guest post (guest blogging? I'm not sure of the term) over at Katie Cross's blog. I'm comparing Crossfit to Writing. It's a pretty awesome post. 

Please check it out and comment. 



Monday, November 17, 2014

Tablo and the Spirit of NaNoWriMo

There is a new Wattpad-ish like site on the interwebs called Tablo.  It's distinguishing itself as a start up and as a site for writers by initiating a writing contest for the best nano:

"If you publish your NaNoWriMo progress on Tablo and attract a following, you could score
a publishing deal with Momentum, the digital imprint of Pan Macmillan."

My initial reaction: Tablo's contest is not in the spirit of NaNoWriMo. National novel writing month is about finishing a novel and fostering the "I can do this" attitude most new writers don't achieve until they've finished their first nano. 

Anyways, I made up my mind to do a big rant about how the contest goes against the spirit of NaNoWriMo because it fosters the "I must edit attitude" which will kill most nano-ers. Well, I should have of created the post when I was thinking about it, because Tablo has extended their deadline.  You now have a full month after NaNoWriMo ends to refine your 50,000 words.  You hear that? A WHOLE entire month. Good luck with that.

After I've complained about it,  I want to give a shout out to Philip Overby. +Philip Overby is getting it in. He is writing his nano, The Bloody Unicorn, on Tablo and it looks good.  He might even meet the 50,000 word goal. No Pressure, +Philip Overby.  

Full disclosure: I won a contest and a character created in my likeness is in Chapter 7. See if you can tell who I am, and cheer a brother on by liking his page.  Maybe his nano will win and he'll get a publishing deal and then he hook me up. 

Aside and random:

While researching this post, I learned Tablo is also different from Wattpad because it can publish novels, short stories, or whatever you want directly to Amazon and iBooks for a 20% commission. That might be a good deal if you can get around the commission you have to pay to either site, but alas, you still have to pay:

You accept and understand that this commission is on top of any commission sought by distributors and retailers such as the 30% commission received by the Apple iBooks Store and the Amazon Kindle Store.

For example, if you set your list price to $9.99 then Apple will retain ~$3 of this list price, Tablo will then receive a ~$2 commission from this sale, and the author will receive a ~$5 royalty. Pasted from <https://tablo.io/terms>

So if you use Tablo you lose an 20% more of your profits instead of going directly to Amazon and iBooks yourself.

This post turned out more negative than I planned it to be. But ultimately any platform that gives authors a way to connect with new readers can't be all bad. And the site looks beautiful! Once I get more time, I might go over there and work on a story. Until then please hop on over to Philip's page  and check out Khanee the Big-Eyed Corpse Eater.  

Please explain to me why anyone would do this? Seriously. Let's discuss.


Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween. Medusa Is Live



Happy Halloween!!


In honor of my favorite holiday, I've posted my short story Medusa onto Amazon and Smashwords. (I get a bigger cut if you use Smashwords).


And don't forget Chaos is free on Amazon right now. For every honest rate/reviews of Chaos, you'll get Medusa for free in the format of your choice from Smashwords if you send me the link or a snapshot.



Saturday, August 30, 2014

Chaos Created by Me

Constance Burris Allen Chaos Short StoryIn honor of my birthday and because I've been given the precious gift of time, I went ahead and published my short story CHAOS to Smashwords and Amazon.  And because its my birthday, I made it free on Smashwords for today.

I always thought that if I was going to publish something it would be my novel first, but ebooks have created a big demand for short fiction. Something than can be read in one sitting or two.

The short story can be found here:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/471453

I'm hoping to get 100 ratings/reviews of the book.  So if you read the book can you please rate it for me.  Good or bad, all ratings are welcome. The book blurb is below:

Dr. Michael Chauncey is a naval psychiatrist who uses his secret ability as a telepath to help his patients, but when a suspected AWOL and fellow telepath walks into his office, he’ll have to go to extraordinary lengths to learn where this woman has been for the past seven years.

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes

Synopsis:

The girl who wouldn’t die – hunting a killer who shouldn’t exist.
In Depression-era Chicago, Harper Curtis finds a key to a house that opens on to other times. But it comes at a cost. He has to kill the shining girls: bright young women, burning with potential. He stalks them through their lives across different eras, leaving anachronistic clues on their bodies, until, in 1989, one of his victims, Kirby Mazrachi, survives and turns the hunt around. Source


I first heard of Lauren Beukes when Zoo City popped up on Siren's suggested reading list a few years ago. I loved Zoo City! It had a bad-ass Black female protagonist and I felt like the book was a modern, black retelling of  Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass.

As much as I loved Zoo City, there was nothing special about the writing style.  So I was shocked and blown away by The Shining Girls. The Shining Girls was a pleasure to listen to (I used a Playaway). The details, the settings, and the language was nothing short of beautiful. I felt like I was watching/listening to an artist paint a masterpiece.  A

Beukes was not afraid to use her brush strokes to paint exquisitely horrific pictures.  The scenes were so gruesome at times that I had to turn the player off because I was sick to my stomach. In that respect, she'd give George R. R. Martin a run for his money on crazy gruesomeness.

The antagonist in The Shining Girls is a serial killer with the ability to travel through time to kill his victims. Because of the the time travel angle, I thought it would be more science-fictioney.  But Beukes never fully explained how time travel possible.  I didn't mind that time travel was never fully explained, but  it could throw more critical readers off.

It was definitely a great book.  I highly recommend it.

Deep Thoughts:
-I wonder if the the little mix of sci-fi and the mainstream literature counts as magical realism.





Monday, April 7, 2014

Playaway


So this is more of a public announcement than a blog post, but anyways here it is:

Put away your eBooks and downloadable audiobooks and get to know Playaway. 

What is playaway you ask.  Well a playaway is a small device that plays pre-downloaded audiobooks. They are the size of a deck of cards and all you need is a AAA battery and some headphones to enjoy them.  I love playaways because I was growing tired of downloading the audiobooks from the library.  Depending on my internet connection, it took a while to download.  I know downloading something isn't a big deal, but it was an extra, cumbersome step that had mostly stopped me from using my library's digital selection. 

  
 I had been passing the playaways at the library for years. I never took them serious until I saw Lauren Beukes' The Shining Girls (review coming soon) on a playaway.     


I love playaways, but depending on the library there is a limited selection. And unlike an audiobook that can be downladed onto a phone, a playaway is an extra thing to keep track of and I'm scared I'm going to lose it. I'm also addicted to my bluetooth headphones, and so I do not like to be attached to headphones.  But, I put up with the headphones, because In the long run I'm saving time.  

So yeah. Playaways.  One more reason to hangout (or atleast visit) your local library.