Celebrate the Small Things — My First Novel Has Arrived!!

EDIT: Thank you to everyone! I’ve discovered some formatting issues with the e-book, and I’m working to resolve them. I’ll visit and reply to everyone as soon as I get this ironed out.

 

Celebrate the Small Things is a weekly celebration created by VikLit and now hosted by Lexa Cain to celebrate the happenings of the week, however small or large. You can learn all about it and sign up for it here. CelebrateSmallThings_Badge

It’s here!!!!

This week I’m celebrating a very BIG thing — my first novel is being released today!

Whoo, hoo!! I’m so excited! To think that after all these years, my book is finally in print. Well, sort of. It’s currently available in e-book form, but will be out in print form very soon, if all goes well. The color issues have been fixed, and the print cover file is being processed. All my fingers and toes are crossed that it goes through this time.

Either way, I’m going to celebrate!!!

9781942015000-Perfect-lady-thy-name-is-trouble_EbookCover

 

Trouble is Tara Triannon’s middle name. As swords for hire, Tara and her sister Laraina thrive on the danger. But a surprise invasion throws them into chaos… and trouble on a whole new level. Pursued by the Butcher, a terrifying assassin more wolf than man, Tara and Laraina must get a prince marked for death and a young, inept sorceress to safety. There’s only one problem – eluding the Butcher has never been done. Aided by a secretive soldier of fortune, they flee the relentless hunter.

Gifted with magic and cursed by nightmares that are all too real, Tara must stop an army led by a madman and fend off an evil Being caught in a centuries-old trap who seeks to control her magic and escape through her dreams – all while keeping one step ahead of the Butcher.

 

Available at:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lady-Name-Trouble-Lori-MacLaughlin-ebook/dp/B00TT8NERU/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1425178824&sr=1-1&keywords=lady+thy+name+is+trouble

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lady-thy-name-is-trouble-lori-l-maclaughlin/1121255932?ean=9781942015017

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/lady-thy-name-is-trouble

 

 

What other celebrations are going on out there?

 

 

 

© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2015. All rights reserved.

 

ISBNs!

I’m so excited! I am now the happy owner of a block of ISBN numbers! I know it sounds kind of silly to get excited over a bunch of numbers, but these aren’t just any numbers. These numbers bring me one step closer to my dream of being a published author. I can look at the row of digits and picture them on the back of my soon-to-be book cover — the cover that will wrap around my creation and hopefully entice potential buyers to take a look. The ISBN that I assign to my book will be registered in the Library of Congress and will appear in book listings worldwide. Whoa! Deep breath…

I purchased the ISBNs from Bowker Identifier Services at www.myidentifiers.com/isbn/main. In the process, I discovered that Bowker also has a Web site at www.selfpublishedauthor.com with information for those embarking on the self-publishing path. I haven’t gone through much of it yet, but on first glance, it looks like it will be a useful resource. On the bottom right side of the home page, I found a list of a dozen links to more great resources for writers: The Book Designer, Writer Beware: The Blog, Writer’s Digest Blog, and the Independent Book Publishers Association, to name a few. Well worth checking out. I know I’ll be back soon to read more.

But for now, I’m going to go look at my ISBN numbers again and smile for the rest of the day. 🙂

IWSG / Paranoia

Today’s the day for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) where, on the first Wednesday of every month, writers get together to share their insecurities and offer encouragement. The IWSG was created by Alex J. Cavanaugh, and you can learn all about it and sign up for it here.

This will be my first IWSG post and as an aspiring author on the verge of self-publishing my first book, I’m finding myself in the insecure category more often than I’d like.

I write in the fantasy genre, and recently I’ve been reading some old fantasy novels I bought back in the 1980s and ’90s that I’d never gotten around to reading before. Every so often, I run across a name or a place or a plot circumstance that is similar to something in my book, and I get really paranoid that I’ll publish my book and then someone will read it and say one of my characters or a part of my story is just like some other novel published years ago (that I’ve never read) and accuse me of plagiarism or of being a copycat and ripping off other authors’ stories or… well you get the idea.

For example, in the book I’m currently reading, Aurian, by Maggie Furey, (published in 1994), I discovered that part of the backstory/history of the main character’s world includes a clash of magical beings referred to as the Cataclysm and Mage Wars. Now my story, that I’ve been working on in bits and pieces for almost thirty years, also has a clash of magics called the Cataclysm. Granted, the Cataclysm in my novel happens on a much smaller scale, but it does similarly involve an ancient race of magical beings whose magical battle also changes the very fiber of a part of my fictional world. And there are Wizard Wars in my novel’s history, as well.

I know Mage/Wizard Wars and magical clashes are not original by any means. But when I read something similar to events or characters in my book — like the use of the word Cataclysm — I get paranoid. Is it just me or does anyone else ever worry about this kind of thing?

The Turning of a Page

At the end of March, the proofreading will be done on my fantasy novel, Lady, Thy Name Is Trouble, and all that will be left to do in the writing phase will be one final going over to correct any mistakes the proofreader noted on the manuscript. Then the novel will be finished… complete… ready to move on to the next phase of the publishing journey. Once the formatting begins, there’s no going back. The words must stand as they are.

Strangely enough, I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about that. Excited — definitely. Hopeful, of course. Nervous — very. And a little sad — or maybe nostalgic would be a better word. This story has been building and growing for almost thirty years. I don’t think I’ve ever reread it without changing something — replacing a word, tweaking a sentence, or sometimes, in the earlier stages, rewriting whole passages. Soon, I won’t be able to do that anymore. The story will go beyond me, into the world. I’ve often read that to authors, the publishing of their books is akin to giving birth, and I would have to agree it’s an apt comparison. In the not-too-distant future, my book will leave the nurturing home of my imagination and take its place on solid and cyber bookshelves everywhere, out there for the masses to read and hopefully enjoy.

All the typical insecurities gnaw at me. What if no one buys it? What if people buy it, but then don’t like it? Or what if they buy it and do like it and it becomes a best-seller and someone makes a movie out of it and things get crazy and… Okay, okay, I know only a few ever get to that point, but hey, I can dream. Whatever the result, I will be happy — and proud of myself — for having reached way out of my comfort zone and accomplished what had always seemed an unattainable goal. I’m almost there.

What I Love

I write fantasy adventure. That’s what I love best — stories with lots of action, strong female characters, a bit of levity, and sighs of romance. Not the jump-into-bed-every-five-minutes type of romance, but the kind where the attraction builds into a true, caring relationship that, if given the chance, can transcend all the challenges the heroine and hero must face.

But love is not what the heroine of the story wants. Tara Triannon and her sister Laraina are swords for hire whose exploits across the Westlands are legendary. The one time Tara let her heart be touched, love burned her badly, and she has no intention of getting caught again by love’s fickle ways. However, when things go terribly wrong, the one man whose help she needs is the one man who can threaten her resolve. Jovan Trevillion, though, is a man of many secrets and accepting his help may be even more dangerous than keeping to the perilous path she and her sister already follow. But with the Butcher on their trail, their choices are limited.

Captain Natiere, the Butcher, an assassin with a tortured soul and the heart of a wolf, pursues them relentlessly. Harboring secrets of his own, the Butcher wants only to kill Tara and her companions to discharge a debt, and then he will be free to return to the wilds and perhaps find some way to fill his empty existence. Much to his surprise, his fate becomes more and more entangled with Tara’s with every passing step.

I never think of Tara and Laraina, Jovan, or Captain Natiere — or any of the other people in my book — as characters. They are as real to me as if they were made of flesh and blood. I love sharing in their lives and adventures, and it will be fun bringing them to a larger audience. Hopefully, they will be as inspiring to others as they are to me.

It’s Time

Writing has always been a part of my life.  It began with creating stories in my head for fun when I was young.  Or rather, creating characters who wrote their own stories.  I never told them what to do.  My characters took care of that themselves.  They lived their adventures, fought, loved, and sometimes died, in my mind.  It was like watching a movie in my head, seeing and hearing the characters as if I stood beside them, holding my breath, along for the ride.

As I grew older, my mother suggested I write my stories down.  Such euphoria ensued, sparking a dream of one day being a published author.  To hold in my hand a book of my own making would be the greatest nirvana.  But life being what it is, with the necessities of having a steady income to pay the bills, and later the beloved obligations of family, the dream stayed just that — a dream.  Writing remained a hobby, though in my head my characters’ stories still clamored for release.

Until now.  Now, circumstances are such that my dream might actually be within reach.  I am going to self-publish my novel.  There… I said it.  I’m going to self-publish my novel and set my characters free.  Wow.  Just writing the words and putting them out there is enough to make me laugh and cry at the same time.

I know this will be a huge learning experience, and there will be bumps along the road, but I will persevere until I hold my book in my hand.  It may not be the best book ever written, but that’s okay.  It will still be nirvana to me.

This is my journey.  I invite anyone who wishes to share it with me.