Sunday, June 30, 2013

Camp Nanowrimo

I've been doing Nanowrimo every November for years, but this is the first time I'm participating in the summer program.  For those of you not privy to Nano, that's National Novel Writing Month, which challenges you to write a 50,000 word novel over the month of November. 

Really, I should be using the Nano goal as a monthly goal, regardless of what month it is. So this is a good starting point.

I'm going to be writing multiple projects instead of just one novel. Deadly Liaisons #4, Bloodlines, is going to be the main one. I suspect it will clock in at around 20k.  Other than that I have two 1/2 finished short stories and two 1/2 finished novellas that I plan on working on and hopefully finishing off.  Hopefully there will be lots of new releases soon! 

In other news, I quit my hellish job. It was a crazy thing to do, but it needed to be done. I'm going to be focusing big-time on my writing, and possibly starting a career as a street performer or foot fetish model. :/ Support is appreciated--buy books! I've got some money saved up and sales were good this month--hoping for the same next month. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Print Release/Mailing List News

Hi everyone!  So here's the dealie-o. Deadly Liaisons Vol. 1 is going to be coming out in PRINT this summer. I knows, blows your mind, doesnt it? Right now I'm working on formatting, getting a final editing job done (edits will include no major changes, just grammar, typos, and I wanna smooth out a few random sentences). Here is the beautiful cover!  Nice, huh? I think its kinda manga-ish.

SO. I want everyone who likes Deadly Liaisons to buy the print version (it will be $7 or less, plus shipping), give it to friends, that sort of thing.  There will be special gifts! Firstly, I will autograph them and there will be a special bookmark with pictures of the characters on them (Damian, Jamie-boy, Marcello). I wanted to do three separate trading cards but its not in my printing budget. Maybe if the series really takes off.

I'm not sure when all of this stuff will be ready, so I wanted to put together a mailing list so I can just contact everyone directly. I'm trying to find a way to put a form on here, but I'm feeling rather Luddite-like lately.  (For the record, when I was in high school I could have coded an entire website by hand--times they are a-changing.)  There's a form on your right, or you can email me with the info below.

Send me an email here: [those are zeroes, not 'O's, btw] It can be blank, just type something along the lines of "Join Mailing List" in the subject. I will figure it out. :)  If you want to tell me how awesome I am in the body, that would be cool too.

What will you get with this amazing mailing list? I'll give you a code for smashwords to get "Addicted to the Bite" for 99 cents (thats 30% off!) just for signing up. Once I have 25 people I will give away one free *ebook* copy of Deadly Liaisons Vol 1. I will write a free story *just* for mailing list participants once I'm up to 50 people (so get your friends to join).  The mailing list will get extra excerpts from new releases.  You will be informed when the print book is available, and Deadly Liaisons #4: Bloodlines. (I've started it and am planning a late august, early september release.)

There will be more too, much more. So drop me a line, get your friends to join.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Why I Went Indie

A few posts ago I mentioned that I had many reasons for going indie.  Gonna talk about it a bit here today.  We'll just dive in with the list.

1. Politics.
I support independent movies and independent music, so it only makes sense that as a writer I decide to go indie as well. In any deal made with the "industry" (book, movie, music, whatever) the creator is the one who's going to get screwed, and the company they work for is going to get the bulk of the $. Yes, there are usually multiple people involved in the production of a product, but the most money is going to go to some jerkwad middle-aged white guy in a suit who probably hates whatever it is that's making him money.  I'm against middle-aged white guys in suits (you know, The Man). I don't want my hard work to end up in their too-fat wallets. Screw that.

2. $$$.
When it comes to traditional publishing the writer is lucky to get about 4% royalties from each book sold. The standard for most ebook companies is around 40%, though some go as high as 60%.  Many times with novella works and shorter the author will get a one-time payment of $25 to $150, regardless of how much money the publishers make. Even if you're picked up by an ebook company you're still encouraged to do your own promotion to sell books. No one else is gonna do it for you. With each novella length and longer book I make 70% of the sales, which makes me pretty damn happy. Now, lots of people make plenty of money both traditionally and with ebook publishers, but I'm just as likely to go unnoticed in one of those places as I am self-pubbing.

3. Story Length.
I write best in the short form. I think it's mostly because I like TV shows so much. I wanna write lots of short stories about the same characters that I get to know over a long period of time. As a result, my best works usually fall into the 12k to 30k word-length. This is too short for traditional publishing, and that's just fine now that ebooks are a thing.

4. Distribution.
This is mostly in regards to ebooks. When you go with a company you are likely only going to see your book on their site. Besides Amazon my books are available at Barnes & Noble, the itunes store, kobo and more. (Thanks Smashwords!) My free stories are scattered across the internet on sites like Fictionpress and Literotica, all of them linking to my website where people can *gasp* buy more books! I love giving away free copies because the feedback I get means more to me than the money. As an Indie I can choose to give away as many copies as I want, where a publisher is gonna look at the bottom line.

5. Creative Control.
Am I a control freak? Maybe. But I like having 100% control of the finished product of my book. I can't blame anyone but myself if something doesn't go right and everything will be exactly the way I want it. I've been published in two anthologies with covers that make my want to retch. I'm glad I was paid a flat fee instead of royalties because I wouldn't have made any with those hideous covers.  In one case I wonder if they sold enough copies to cover paying the writers.  (Covers sell books, you can't convince me otherwise.) Anyway, I like designing my own covers. I'm pretty good at it and love making art out of text and layout and photos.

6. I Have Issues.
As you may have noticed if you follow me on twitter, I have depression, anxiety, and god knows what else. I don't like interacting with people, especially about 'official' things.  I go weeks between checking my email, especially if I know there will be something important in it. Editors freak me the fuck out.  Paperwork sends me into panic attacks. Negative experiences will turn me off of something completely. Now this isn't healthy, but until I live in a society that takes care of its citizens, I gotta deal with my brain-sick on my own. If I'm self-publishing there isn't gonna be any emails or phone calls freaking me out because something is over-due, or that they wanna completely change the ending of my book because "its too depressing." Yeah it's depressing. I'm mentally ill over here! Get over it! (Sorry, I'm back.)

7. Moar $$$.
Self-publishing used to cost a small fortune, and very likely the books would end up sitting in boxes in the author's garage. It's different nowadays. An e-book costs me between $0 and $10 to produce, depending on whether or not I need to purchase a cover image. On-demand printing only costs a few dollars.  You can pay an editor, or between computer programs and your friends you can find any problem areas with a book on your own for nothing. There is literally NO RISK in self-publishing your book these days. So why not do it?

So there you go--7 beautiful "Pros" to going indie. Personal, monetary, and creative. To be fair I will chat about the "Cons" as well.

Yes, there are often HUGE quality control issues with self-publishing, but lets look at the real publishing world for a moment here. Twilight? 50 Shades? I won't even talk about the mass-produced garbage I read as a kid.  Yeah, my books might have one or two errors and an awkward sentence here and there, but the over-all stories and writing are solid, which is more than I can say for at least 1/2 of the drivel the publishing companies put out every year. Put out a good product and it will speak for itself.

It's not so easy to get into book stores when you're self-publishing. When Deadly Liaisons comes out in print the very last thing I want to do is hoof it to every book store and porn store in the city (we have lots of both, luckily). If I decide its too scary, that'll be my loss, but it can be done.

If you do get into that big wide world of traditional publishing there is a shiny $5,000 check waiting for you, but chances are thats the only money you will ever see. When your first book doesnt sell (it probably wont) its really hard to get that second book out with one failure under your belt, and the publishing company will decide when you get your rights to your own work back.  That's right, they own your ass (that is, your book) for however many years before the rights revert back to you and you can go publishing somewhere else (or on your own).  But, that is $5k you didn't have before, so it's something to consider.

Okay, so those Cons still sound like Pros for self-publishing...I must really care or something. :) Cheers.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

FREE: The Summoner and the Satyr

"The Summoner and the Satyr" is free for a whopping 3 days, because I gotta use up my KDP select days before I add this to my Smashwords page.  So if you're up for some sloppy creature sex, this is definitely for you.

CLICK HERE to download from Amazon US.  Also available on amazon anywhere else you happen to be. Just do a search for Leigh Wilder, or there's an link to the right.

Amazon blurb:
Stepping away from the Romantica genre, Leigh Wilder writes a short erotic fantasy of pure lust.

Asyra is a Summoner, bringing forth creatures from other worlds to do her bidding. Since taking a position as a professor at the Dracon School of Magic she hasn't had a man, and as she lusts over her students she knows she's getting desperate. Asyra decides to summon the most sexual of beings--a satyr--to sate her growing needs. Can she handle the masculine beast, or has she taken on more than she can handle?

This is a 3,000 word short story in the PWP (porn without plot) genre. It contains rough sex, sex with sentient fantastical creatures, and anal.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Tools For the Indie Writer

I've been meaning to do this for a while now, and that's compile a list of online tools I've found tremendously helpful for writing and publishing independently.  All of these are free, which makes them even more awesome.

Writing: is the best application I've ever found for getting the words on the screen.  It's been around for years and I've been a fan for forever. It times you while counting your words, and if you stop typing for too long it starts playing obnoxious noises at you, or, in kamikaze mode, starts deleting what you've already written. Great motivator.

Written?Kitten! gives positive reinforcement instead of negative. For every 100 words you write you get a new kitten picture.  (It can be adapted to give you pics of puppies or porn too.)

Pro Writing Aid This free online editing software is beyond awesome for someone who doesn't have the money for a professional editor.  By running your text through the program it picks up over-used words, awkward sentences, pronouns, grammar errors, cliches and more. Sees things your beta readers miss.

Cover creation:
Stock Free Images This site used to be better. You used to be able to download unlimited large-file images and now you can only have 10 for each account. (They don't seem to stop you from making multiple accounts with multiple email addys though. Bwahaha!) All the same, almost all of my cover images have come from this site and their only condition is attribution, which is a nice thing to do for your cover artist anyway.

Pic Monkey Totally helpful if you don't have Photoshop, this online photo manipulator gives you a lot of options for dressing up your images that other free paint programs don't have. Also really great if you have zero experience working with images. If you have a bit of graphic experience I suggest this freeware.  It's pretty basic but gets the job done, and duh--its free!

1001 Free Fonts For all of your free typographical needs.  Some fonts do have limitations (non-commercial use only for example) but most are 100% free. The ones with restrictions have readme files attached to the downloads.

So, look at me being all helpful and altruistic. Love me. Also, go buy something. :)

Monday, June 10, 2013

5 Tips for New Writers

I've been a writer for more than half of my life. I have 2 filing cabinet drawers full of my middle and high school notebooks alone, not to mention all of the computer files that have been saved or lost over the years.   (I used to keep my stories on yellow floppies because that's where Jenny Calendar stored the curse for Angel's soul on Buffy.) I know a lot of people scoff at me for being a self-published writer, but its not because I'm not any good. After 18 years I better be. :) But my reasons for self-publishing are for another post.

Because someone actually asked me for writing tips (hi @MsVSterling), here are some for new and aspiring writers.

1: Write for yourself first.  Write what you want and how you want because if you don't love what you're writing it will not have any soul, and it won't be any good.

2: Good writing comes with practice. Just because you can publish a novel on your first try doesn't mean you should. *coughtwilightcough* When I look through that filing cabinet and read what I considered brilliant at 12, 16, 18, or even 28 all I see is un-publishable garbage.  You get better every year that you write, so why not present at your best? It takes time to become good at something.  (I'm not suggesting that you throw out all you write for the next 18 years, but writing steadily for one or two before attempting publication might not be a bad idea.)  Take that time, and treasure it.

3. Expose yourself to good art. Not just books, but television, movies and music too. Read books that are well-written. Avoid cheap reality television--watch smart comedies and well-crafted dramas.  Listen to music other than the top 40. Watch a movie that challenges your perception of the world.  When you're immersed in good art it will reflect in your own work.

4. Don't be afraid of fanfic. Disapprove if you will, but Stephen King started by re-writing movies into comic books as a child. There are authors who've made entire careers out of re-working public domain stories.  When you write fanfic you learn different styles and different voices. Your writing becomes adaptable and flexable. Also its a lot of fun and despite what naysayers think, doesn't really hurt anybody.  It's a great way to 'practice' writing.

5. The phrase "write what you know" is garbage. If that were true all of my stories would be about borderline Aspie girls depressed about working in the restaurant industry.  (Instead of sexy gay vampires.)  Write what you're interested in and the knowledge will come with practice and research. (Yeah, you still better research.)  Writing is about exploration and learning. There is always more to learn about the world and yourself.

So there's my inspirational speech for...probably the year. Hope it was helpful.  If it wasn't, well, I'm just a self-published nobody.  (But ask anyone--my fanfics kick ass.)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

New Release: Club Midnight

It's finally here! Despite depression and forgetful beta readers, "Club Midnight" is finally launching. Now, you have two options to buy "Club Midnight".  If you're already a fan of the series, you can download just Club Midnight for $2.99 (yes, we have made it into the 70% royalty rate!).  If you're new to the series you can save 50 cents on all 3 stories by downloading Deadly Liaisons vol 1, which includes Drain Me Dry, Addicted to the Bite, and Club Midnight for $3.99.  Drain Me Dry is still FREE to try out the series first.

Also, a print version of the 3 collected stories is in the works. It will be pretty cheap (less than $7.00 I hope) and if you order it directly from me I'll sign it and have other IRL goodies to go with it. (A kickstarter might be involved.) I'm still fussing with formatting and cover options. If you wanna vote on whether or not to go with the designs I've been using, or something else, there is a poll on the right.

So, links:

#1 Drain Me Dry (FREE download)

#3 Club Midnight

Deadly Liaisons vol 1

Description from Amazon:
Jamie-boy and Damian are settling into an odd life together, but money troubles force Damian to ask for assistance from his sire. While he's away Jamie-boy is introduced to Club Midnight, a sadistic sex club catering to Daybreak, the anti-vampire group responsible for the destruction of Damian's bar.

What Jamie-boy sees there ignites a passion in him, but there's more to Club Midnight than kinky sex. The leader of Daybreak is cruel and manipulative and the fledgling vampires of New Franklin are in over their heads without Damian. Lives are at stake, but can Jamie-boy and Damian rescue their people, bring down Club Midnight, and still have time to get it on?

Contains: graphic m/m sex, BDSM (bondage, flogging, blood-letting, CBT, toys, spanking, and more), graphic violence and abuse.

Overhead the banging of hammers and the whirling sound of power tools made Damian’s ears ring and the stench of smoke refusing to leave his office addled his senses. The figures swam on the papers in front of him as he tried to squeeze just a little more money from empty accounts. It wasn't very often that his emotions got the better of him, but bringing his club back from the dead…it was stressful.
Damian closed his eyes and leaned back in his chair. Whatever had possessed him to think that he could run a coven of vampires without trouble? Ten years he had been in charge, and things had only gotten worse with every one of them. He needed a vacation.

He heard the door open and footsteps on the stairs leading down to his basement office. Jamie-boy appeared, dropping a backpack on the floor next to the door. It was summer now. The long daylight hours were annoying, but the views…Jamie-boy wore short-shorts and a black tank top. The clean white bandages he wore around both wrists were more of a vamp tramp fashion statement than anything else. The only wounds they covered were the old scars from the months-past vampire attack. Jamie-boy had gotten over his humiliation of almost getting killed, and wore the scars with pride. He was sucking on a rainbow colored Popsicle as he entered the room.

“Come here, Jamie-boy,” he said. When the teenager wasn't being needy he was excellent company—especially when his mouth was full. Jamie-boy crossed the room and sat on the edge of the desk. Damian rested a hand on his lover’s thigh.

“What are you doing?” Jamie-boy asked. He ran his tongue up the length of the Popsicle and sucked hard on the tip. Damian felt his cock harden in his jeans and he clutched at Jamie-boy’s thigh. Jamie-boy grinned, knowing how he affected the old vampire.

 “Business things,” Damian replied. His hand casually skated across Jamie-boy’s crotch. “I found a man with the antique ceiling tiles I want, but the price…”

“Why don’t you just throw some cheap drop ceilings up there?” Jamie-boy suggested. “My dad has a friend who will do it on discount.”

Damian sighed. “I do not want my club to look cheap.” The insurance company hadn't even given him enough money to repair the structural damage the fire had caused to Sanguine Moon, let alone replace all of the antique fixtures and furniture. Between repairing the building and keeping his job-less people afloat, the Daybreak attack had been devastating. His wealth was finite…and gone.

“I’m sorry,” Jamie-boy said. He tossed his melting confection into the wastepaper basket. “What can I do?” He hopped down from the desk and Damian grabbed him by the waistband of his shorts, pulling him over. Jamie-boy grinned and straddled him in the chair. “You need a break.”

“Yes,” Damian muttered, burying his face in Jamie-boy’s neck and breathing in the smell of tantalizing human flesh. His fangs itched to unsheathe, but he resisted the urge to bite. Instead he kissed and nibbled, and Jamie-boy thrust his hips in Damian’s lap, the friction inciting erections for both parties.
Jamie-boy slid off Damian’s lap to unbutton his shorts and pull them off. His skin glowed nearly as pale as a vampire’s, but he wasn't quite as skinny any more. He’d had a birthday in the four months since they met and he was twenty. His age couldn't be perceived by the human eye, but sometimes Damian felt like his youth was slipping away at an alarming rate. Humans were always growing older. They could never be truly young. But Damian didn't dwell on the future.

 He watched Jamie-boy undress with a sexual hunger. Blood and sex. He could never get enough of either. Fortunately neither could Jamie-boy. Damian didn't need to tell Jamie-boy to bend over on the desk—he took the submissive pose naturally, raising his ass in the air and spreading his legs. Damian ran a hand over each round cheek, giving Jamie-boy a playful smack on each.

Jamie-boy pretended to be affronted. “What was that for?”

“I’m sure you’ll do something exasperating at some point,” Damian said and this was true. The young man could get clingy. “Consider those your warning spanks.”

Smiling, Jamie-boy wiggled his ass invitingly. Damian spit into his hand and slid his palm between those soft, perfect cheeks, finding Jamie-boy’s tight opening and receiving an appreciative moan from the boy. He liked to make noise and Damian liked to hear it. He pushed one finger into the boy’s willing ass, stroking and opening him up gently before adding another.

There were other lovers Damian liked to be rough with—human and vampire alike. But with Jamie-boy he felt a tenderness he wasn't sure he had experienced since his death. Even if he was purposely hurting Jamie-boy, cutting or biting him to get to the sweet, sweet blood in his veins, he was never rough or harsh. Maybe it was the way Jamie-boy flinched whenever Damian raised his voice around him, or the way he seemed to disappear into himself when Damian was angry, even though that anger was rarely focused on him. Maybe he just cared for him a little bit more than he did anyone else, but Damian didn't dwell on it.

The time they spent together was pure joy, and that was all that mattered.