Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

Hey all!

Just wanted to drop by and wish you a happy 2014. I hope it's full of blessings and great books to read. 

I think my year will be busy, since I'll be working to get my guest house off the ground. Added to that, I've set the most ambitious year-goals to date, and to make those goals a reality, I'm going to be doing a ton of writing and editing. 

I'll be back in January to tell you more about the War of Six Crowns series, though. I figure most of you are taking a break from reading blogs anyway. See you around the 10th! 

Monday, December 16, 2013

More on The War of Six Crowns: The Title

I've been thinking that this blog should have a bit more of a purpose, or else there's not really much of a point for it to exist. 

Since this is the War of Six Crowns blog, linked to the War of Six Crowns website, I thought I should maybe keep things relevant. 

So yes, I'll still be talking about me writing the series (and maybe some other stories), but I'm not really one for talking about me all the time. I thought writing about the story itself might be interesting, as long as I don't put spoilers out there, right? 


So today, I thought I'd handle first things first and explain where the title came from. Well basically, it started back when I was still thinking of writing the story. In fact, I still thought I'd write the whole thing in a single book. 

I'd wanted to do things differently from what I'd been reading and thought I'd do a story about more than one hero in more than one country. Each country would have different cultures, power structures etc. and they'd all have some sort of conflict with each other. 

One of the countries would, for some reason, threaten all the others and they'd either stand together and fight or the one country would win and destroy the rest. 

As I wrote, I realized that the aggressor country would be Icaimerith. It used to be one huge nation rivaled only by the elves, but after one wise king, a succession of foolish ones lost bits on bits of the country in a variety of ways. (More on that later.) The last three kings have been looking to expand the realm to more than its former glory, no matter what the cost. 

The countries being immediately threatened are: 

Alfen Cairn: Land of the elves. In fact, the oldest realm in Tardith. They were the first line of defense able to stop the original Merithian expansion. But after decades (heck, centuries) of complacency, Alfen Cairn is now at the greatest risk. 

Ladrien: The country most recently split off from Icaimerith. Ruled by three kings, whose families used to be Merithian nobility. They'd split off in a rebellion, being the only area able to hold Icaimerith back for long enough for its king to "give up" and have been existing on a dagger point ever since. 

Then, there's Nordaine. It's not really being threatened. In fact, none of the others know it even exists, let alone where it is. But it's powerful, efficient and a huge power player outside of Tardith. It's the only country that could counter balance Icaimerith's strength. Problem is that it won't. All of the other countries leave people to die in Nordaine's wastes, which means that the majority of the population would feed the other five kings to wolves before actually helping them. 

But as the title suggests, Nordaine will be dragged into the conflict (willingly or not). I won't tell you how that happens, though. To find out, you need to read the books. *evil laugh* 

Any questions on the book or the series? Feel free to ask in the comments. I might not answer if there's a spoiler directly involved, but if not, I'll definitely get around to answering. Also, feel free to ask anything else. If you keep it clean, I'll answer that too. 


Friday, November 29, 2013

Just checking in.

Well now, the move is made. I'm busy unpacking and settling into the new house.

But how are the revisions going?

So far, so good.

The changes I've made are amazing so far. I really love where the story's going, and hope you will too. :-)

Other than that, I'm still a bit rushed off my feet.

So really, this is just a quick stop to wish a belated Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American readers.

Will be back soon with something more substantial, I hope.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Coming Soon: The Heir's Choice

That's right, ladies and gentlemen, I'm officially editing War of Six Crowns: The Heir's Choice. 

Hopefully these edits will be a lot faster and smoother, because I'm looking forward to seeing the whole Volume 1 of the series published. I have a lot to do, though, since I need to reread The Vanished Knight and The Heir's Choice as it is right now.

Last thing I want is to leave gaping plot holes and strings unattached. Couldn't possibly do that to you.

November will be a busy month for me though. Along with editing, I need to draft and move house in November, because I'm not sure as to how much I can do during the Christmas season. So I might be a bit absent around here.

Will do my best to post updates, though.

In the meantime, I thought I'd tell you a bit about what will be my new home. It's still in the Western Cape, South Africa, nestled in mountains that belong to us. The house itself is a rambling two hundred year old mansion with thick walls, wooden floors, a sitting room that'll fit a hundred people and a back yard the size of a football field.

Also awesome is the fact that it has a cellar that we're turning into a guest house, a swimming pool, a tennis court, a soon-to-be-existent jacuzzi and soon, horses. So it'll be one awesome place for you all to kick back or come get married. And to hang out with me, of course.  ;-)

I'm very excited about this move. It's a change of lifestyle for me. And who knows? I might even be able to write more now.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Why I Need Your Help, but Won't Demand It.

Thanks so much to the people who nominated me to some Goodreads lists. You picked some ones that really made me blush with pride.

The first two lists are sort of obvious, since they're my publisher's: The Vanished Knight is 11th on Fantasy and Paranormal Fiction from Etopia Press. It's 8th on YA Books from Etopia Press.

Awesomely, though, someone AMAZING (and yes, I checked who you are) went and put The Vanished Knight on the Best Books of 2013 and Best Books of October 2013 lists. It's 1791st and 60th respectively.

I must say that this was a pleasant surprise and really it's icing on top of me publishing The Vanished Knight. 

What to do with this, though, I don't know. You see... I'm really trying to not pressure people into voting for me and writing excellent reviews. To me, it's about having people read and enjoy my book. If they don't, that's okay too.

Call me an idealist, but I want my reviews to be honest. I want people to vote for my book on the lists because they really enjoyed reading it. Maybe that's foolish of me to say.

It's just that I want to make an honest connection with my readers. I want to know who enjoyed the story and who didn't. And why. With social networking and technology as it is, I think we do have space as writers to form deeper bonds with our reader.

But we can't do that if we expect readers to fawn and squee about the stuff I've written.

So yeah, I'm leaving this one up to you. If you read my book, think it's awesome and deserves some exposure, please please please DO leave a review, or DO vote for The Vanished Knight on the lists. ESPECIALLY please tell your friends about the story. As many people as possible.

I'm counting on you. *grins* It's so funny saying this when I know a very few of you are reading this post. But it's true. I've written the best book I can. I'm blog touring the heck out of it. But the point is, my reach, while going farther than most bloggers and writers, can only go so far.

The rest is you spreading the word if you care enough for the story to want it read. And for that, I have to trust you, mystery Wo6C fan, even if I'm not even sure if you exist yet.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Who I am and what I'm working on right now.

Hi again!

Sorry for being so sporadic in my postings. I'm still busy finding my stride with blogging (both profiles and all four blogs), writing and... well, living a life.

Good news is that at least I'm getting into the writing swing again. After I put up my previous posts, I had some issues with getting back into the groove.

Now, though, it's getting better. I'm just giving myself a bit of a break, reading as much as I can while still writing here and there. Slowly but surely, I'll shift my priorities back into their normal order, where writing is higher up than most of my other activities.

So what, you might be wondering, am I working on at the moment?

Not the sequel, just yet, although I'm expecting edits to start quite soon. The sequel to that's drafted already as well, so please please please tell your friends to buy The Vanished Knight! If sales are good, I'm pretty dang sure I'll get a contract extension to cover the rest of The War of Six Crowns. 

Right now, though, I'm pretty much working on getting a slew of different stories, ranging a variety of genres. I decided to put priority on a spy school story, which I'm enjoying as well. Then there's a YA Pirate story (a bit like Pirates of the Caribbean, but without the supernatural aspects), a Time Travel Sci Fi which I might just end up publishing under my current pseudonym and what might become a YA urban fantasy that would definitely be published under it.

Incidentally, in case you were wondering, my name's Misha, and yes, that's what the M. in my pseudonym stands for. You'll probably be able to find my real identity profile with a bit of smart googling. Or, if you're a writing blogger, odds are, you found this blog through my other one.

I basically picked a pseudonym as a branding strategy, so that readers could figure out which of my books are in the same vein and which ones aren't.

Now I'll be stopping, but before I go, what sort of stories do you like to read? What are your favorite books? Feel free to list ten, if you can't pick one. ;-)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Getting back to writing...

It's an odd thing, being published.

After years of work on The Vanished Knight, I thought that finally publishing would be a great buzz.

Honestly, it's not.

The buzz came from actually finishing it. From knowing I had an editor who understood me. And now, from getting great reviews from people who read my books. Some from supportive friends (These give me the warm and fuzzies, by the way), others from people I never met before.

At the moment, I constantly feel like I should be checking my Amazon sales rankings. As if that would make any difference whatsoever. I can't really. It's not healthy. And it's stealing time.

So starting today, I'm going to get back to writing. Yes, I'll still visit blogs and I'll still respond to comments on guest posts etc, but I need to focus on my first love.

Creating stories is it. I still hope that The Vanished Knight will do well. Part of me believes it will. But I can't get transfixed by the scent of money.

Getting enthralled by a new story... Now that's another thing altogether...

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Welcome Welcome!

Hey all! Welcome to my blog on the War of Six Crowns. At the moment, the look isn't quite what I want it to be, but as soon as my full blog is up and running, I'll have a back-ground and banner for the blog that'll match.

In the meantime, I thought today is as good a day as any to get started. I guess the best way will be to start at the very beginning... a very good place, to start.

Come on, don't tell me you didn't just hear Julie Andrews.

Anyway. I think the best place to start is... well. Me.

My official bio says that I live in South Africa close to Cape Town. (True) And yes, I can see Table Mountain from here. Today's sunny, so it looks like I can touch it. Of course, I'm actually about an hour away.

I started writing when I was thirteen, but it took me years to actually finish a book. I finished the rough draft to what would become The Vanished Knight and its sequel The Heir's Choice when I was 22. The rewrite was done by the time I was 23, and I signed with Etopia Press when I was 24. Incidentally, I had the idea for the book aged 19 and started writing it about six months after that.

You'll be relieved to know that, now that I'm out of university, I write a lot faster. And the sequel to The Heir's Choice has already been drafted.

I guess I learned how to manage my time better. And... in a way, finishing my first ever book made me see how it all worked, so I've been able to finish books repeatedly since.

I think this is a good place to stop for today. Wouldn't want to make your eyes glaze and all that. But if you have any questions, please feel free to ask. And let me know what you think of my book!