MeiLin's blog

How to make sure you see my Facebook posts

  • Posted on: 5 June 2012
  • By: MeiLin

Apparently if you've "liked" a page, you don't always see its updates on your feed. Facebook is trying to make those of us with pages pay to make sure all of the fans--fans we already have--see our updates. Seriously.

This is true not only of my page but any page you "like." Here's how to make sure you see not just my page but the others you want to see in your feed, courtesy Always Upward blog:

How to keep receiving posts from FB pages you’ve “Liked”

1. Find a page you’ve “liked.”

2. Hover you mouse over the “Liked” button. Which may or may not work.

3. Try clicking the “Liked” button. That also may or may not work.

4. After clicking “Liked,” try hovering over it again. This may or may not work.

(Sensing a theme? Access isn’t consistent…nor intended to be easy, I have a feeling. Please keep trying.)

5. Once you (finally) get a drop down menu, confirm “Show in News Feed” is selected.

In theory, this should put all more posts from the page back in your newsfeed.

Or not.

Hard to know, since the only way to test it is to keep visiting every page you’ve “liked” to compare their posts to your newsfeed.

(Which no one has time to do. We understand.)

Indeed. But if you wanna see what I'm up to via FB, this appears the only way for it to consistently happen.

Three boxes of awesome

  • Posted on: 24 May 2012
  • By: MeiLin

Lookie!



Crappy cellphone picture, but you get the idea! Somehow, my 11-year-old lugged these three boxes (2 filled with Son in Sorrow, the other filled with Lovers and Beloveds for those who got the 2-book set) into the house.

So now I get to schedule the mailing party! yay!

I have been asked about the high-res graphics photos. I'm workin' on it, kids. I've had an enormous confluence of an election cycle in which I have a candidate client, ongoing sick kids (one after the other on a continuous loop) etc etc blah blah blah where's my frickin' stuff, I know. I hope to have it out soonest.

Long-term Relationships: Web serials and love (guest blog by Cecilia Tan!)

  • Posted on: 14 May 2012
  • By: MeiLin

Today we have a guest post from Cecilia Tan, fellow webserial writer (Daron's Guitar Chronicles) and the person behind Circlet Press, my occasional publisher. Take it away, Cecilia!

A reader of mine once told me why she had switched from reading erotica (which is mostly short stories) to romance novels. "I'm tired of the one-night stand," she said. "I want more of a relationship from my fiction." And it's true. While the erotic short story often delivers a panty-soaking fantasy--at least when I write them--the novel gives the reader a chance to get to know the characters and become emotionally engaged with them. More importantly, readers can become emotionally invested.

But a novel can still be over in a night, if you read fast. Where does a reader turn for a real "long-term relationship" in fiction? One choice is the multi-book series. Was it a blessing or a curse to get hooked on the Harry Potter series and wait between volumes to find out what would happen? Or what about George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire which has been going on since 1996 and has had gaps of three to six years between books? That might be a long-term relationship, but it's also like a long-distance relationship where you only see each other once in a blue moon.

This is one reason I think many readers have fallen in love with the web serial as a form. One gets to enjoy the long-term emotional engagement with the characters while at the same time receiving regular updates on the story.

The web serial that I am writing right now, Daron's Guitar Chronicles, is my longest term relationship yet. I started writing about Daron when I was a teenager in the 1980s. I wrote about him on and off all through college and started part of what became the serial while in grad school getting a masters in writing. But I didn't jump into serializing until 2010, when I had given up finding a traditional publisher for the ever-growing monstrosity that was the manuscript. It simply was not a novel, and still isn't. It was always a long story told in snippets rather than a traditional novel told in chapters. The serial form suits it very well.

So does the subject matter, if one considers the emotional life of the characters to be the main thing the readers of a long-term project care about. Daron's Guitar Chronicles is a love story, but it's not a simple one. It tells the story of a young guitar player in the 1980s who is in the closet about being gay. It's an era of upheaval both in music and in the sexual politics of the US, and our character's journey is nothing if not a search for happiness in a tumultuous world.

It has been amazing, gratifying, and fun, to see how readers have become friends with and fallen in love with Daron over the years I've been posting the serial. He answers comments directed at him on the site, giving web readers an experience that a reader of a novel wouldn't have.

(Um, not that we wouldn't love to have a printed edition of the book for those who enjoy paper. In fact, we're running a Kickstarter through noon Eastern on May 22 to raise the funds to do a paperback edition of the serial-to-date. Please check it out at : http://kck.st/IlE7Bi)

There is an end to Daron's story, or at least I do have a stopping point in mind, (but for now, we're not terribly close to it). Daron and the people around him have a lot to learn about love and happiness before they can reach a point of satisfaction. And you can bet I won't be stopping until we've reached such a point. After spending all this time with me and my characters, I am quite certain readers expect to be treated as well as any other long-term relationship partners would! And I have always done my best to meet my partners' needs.

My only worry about bringing a story that I've literally been writing for over 30 years to an end is that I will be leaving some Daron-addicts high and dry. Yes, reading a serial can be highly addictive, and no one likes to go cold turkey. But a serial shouldn't go on merely for the sake of perpetuating itself. How many multi-book series can you name where it feels like the writer ran out of ideas, but kept getting contracts for more books? (I think I made it to the 6th Xanth book by Piers Anthony...) That's the equivalent of the relationship where the love is gone, but you soldier on. I promise not to let it be like that.

Who knows? Maybe this really is my "forever" relationship. I've been writing about Daron since we were both teenagers. Maybe as time goes on I will continue to find ways to serve that muse, and serve the many fans that he has gained in various media. In addition to the serial, multiple volumes have been packaged as ebooks, we're running a Kickstarter to get a print book out, and an audiobook is forthcoming from Audible.com, too. Maybe in the future the relationship will just have new forms of love.

Useful links:
Daron's Guitar Chronicles free website: http://daron.ceciliatan.com
Daron's Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/daronmoondog
Daron's Twitter account: @daron_moondog

Cecilia Tan's blog: http://blog.ceciliatan.com
Cecilia's Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/thececiliatan
Cecilia's Twitter account: @ceciliatan

Cecilia Tan is "simply one of the most important writers, editors, and innovators in contemporary American erotic literature," according to Susie Bright. In 1992 Tan founded Circlet Press, a category-busting independent press that mixes science fiction/fantasy with erotica, and which added an erotic romance line, Clasp Editions, in 2011. Tan is the author of many books, including the romances Mind Games, The Hot Streak, and the Magic University series. Her short stories have appeared in Ms. Magazine, Nerve, Best American Erotica, Asimov's Science Fiction, and tons of other places. She was inducted into the Saints & Sinners Hall of Fame for GLBT writers in 2010 and won the inaugural Rose & Bay Awards for crowdfunded fiction in 2010 for Daron's Guitar Chronicles. She lives in the Boston area with her lifelong partner corwin and three cats.

"Son in Sorrow" paperbacks ordered!

  • Posted on: 13 May 2012
  • By: MeiLin

Hey, pre-salers and Kickstarters! The "Son in Sorrow" paperbacks have been ordered! Which means I'll also be adding autographed paperbacks to the site. In other pre-sale/Kickstarter news, the poster mailers have finally been found at a price I can afford, and so I'll be whipping out the silver Sharpie and signing a bunch of those soon, too. I'll be letting everyone know as I send out books.

IF YOU HAVE CHANGED YOUR ADDRESS YOU NEED TO TELL ME NOW. Log into your account and update your address, PLEASE! Especially if you're international.

New Aria Afton Presents release: "The Mage's Toy"

  • Posted on: 11 May 2012
  • By: MeiLin

You want fluffy erotic romance? Of course you do! It's getting warm out, and everyone likes a quick summer read. So I've launched the "Aria Afton Presents" line for all the fluffy non-History/Gulch erotic romance I write. So far they're novella length, right around 20,000 words, and they're priced at $2.99.

Today's release is The Mage's Toy:

Runaway Jennia Wick has to marry her childhood sweetheart to escape a bad apprenticeship--if she can find him. Traveling mage Antony Onyx has grown cynical and bitter after a former lover took both his money and half his lifetime store of magic. But when they meet on the road, their instant attraction cracks his cynicism and her resolve.

Even though Antony has vowed never to be vulnerable again, he can't bring himself to let Jennia be re-captured. He offers her a job demonstrating his sex charms, enchanted toys that can satisfy any desire. He tells himself it'll be just like all his other models--strictly business. Even though she's already fallen for Antony, Jennia is determined to find her childhood love and agrees.

But Antony's toys only ignite their desire for one another. Passion may prove more than the mage and the runaway can resist, but when Antony finds Jennia's sweetheart, he must make a choice that could lead to happiness for her--and catastrophe for himself.

It's also available at Amazon, B&N, Smashwords and All Romance Ebook if there's an ebook store you prefer to buying direct from me (I give three formats in one purchase--PDF, mobi and epub).

If you're a patron, you get it free! Use coupon MAGEPATRON at checkout. That won't work if you're not a patron, friends.

Which name to use?

  • Posted on: 8 May 2012
  • By: MeiLin

I've written an absolutely ridiculous bit of froth, a traditionally structured erotic romance that is nothing like what I usually write. I got the plot idea, these things are quick to write, I'm always trying to get stuff out there making money for me, this is a business.

Thing is, it's totally different from my usual thing. You know, angst, awkward sex: that thing.

If I publish it as MeiLin, am I going to confuse people on both ends of the transaction--old readers thinking WTF? and new readers picking up, say, the History and thinking WTF? Or what?

My second pen name is Aria Afton, which I think is hilarious. I love it like I love the cover to "The Amber Cross" (which I wish I could have put out as an Aria Afton book but it was already out under MeiLin when I published it at Circlet Press).

What say you?

"Dalston Junction" coming out in audiobook!

  • Posted on: 4 May 2012
  • By: MeiLin

I'm still planning on reading the History myself (oy is that going to be a to-do), but several of my other pieces I can't do. I have read "Scryer's Gulch" at readings, but it really needs a Sam Elliot type to do it justice. A British accent is 100% necessary for "Dalston" and "The Amber Cross," and while I can do Received Pronunciation fairly well I'm not consistent enough for my own taste and I can't do Cockney and the other British accents worth a damn. (When I read from "Dalston" live I tell the audience, "Imagine Juliet Stevenson is reading this instead of me.")

So I'm taking Neil Gaiman's advice and trying out ACX, a service via Amazon and Audible (same diff) where authors can hook up with audiobook producers. I'm getting a sample from a voice actress/producer next week and I think we may have the audiobook up by the end of the month. If I like what we do and she'll read erotica (unsure about that), I may ask her to do "The Amber Cross" as well.

It's all very exciting, this modern age in which we live. Smile

I'm nominated all over the place at eFestival of Words o_O

  • Posted on: 2 May 2012
  • By: MeiLin

Nominations were released yesterday for the eFestival of Words awards. The eFestival is an indie/small press virtual book fair that'll be happening this August. I have to make this quick because I'm due somewhere, but this is all the stuff I've been nominated for somehow--I have NO idea who nominated me:

--Best Short Story: "The Gratification Engine" (SERIOUSLY? not my best work)

--Best Short Story Collection, single author: "Accounts"

--Best Novel: "Son in Sorrow"

--Best Cover: "Son in Sorrow"

--Harvey Award (book we'd like to see made into a movie): "Son in Sorrow"

I'll be surprised if I win in any of these categories looking at who else I'm up against, but as the cliché goes it's an honor just to be nominated--except I really mean it. Smile

"Son in Sorrow" paperback giveaway at Goodreads

  • Posted on: 1 May 2012
  • By: MeiLin

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Son in Sorrow by MeiLin Miranda

Son in Sorrow

by MeiLin Miranda

Giveaway ends May 31, 2012.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

From now through the end of the month, you can enter to win one of three paperback copies of "Son in Sorrow" at Goodreads! And if you don't follow me there, feel free to add me. That way you can see all the stuff I'm reading. Usually it's 19th century classic literature, but one never knows when I might break out the wacky.

Anyway, you've got from now till the end of the month to enter. Good luck!

"Son in Sorrow" cover nominated in the eFestival of Words

  • Posted on: 28 April 2012
  • By: MeiLin

Bea Gonzalez's cover for "Son in Sorrow" has been nominated in the Best Cover category at the eFestival of Words. Here are all the nominees. I have ZERO idea what this will mean for Bea (and Alice Fox, whose original work on the "Lovers and Beloveds" cover carries forward into the rest of the History series), or who nominated the book cover, but it's always nice for someone to notice your work. Smile

"Son in Sorrow" in paperback: Now at CreateSpace, soon at Amazon.com and from me

  • Posted on: 28 April 2012
  • By: MeiLin

"Son in Sorrow" is now officially available at CreateSpace, $14.95 just like "Lovers and Beloveds." It'll be at Amazon.com in about five days, and available directly from me in about two weeks. I've got to get the first batch of books ordered and mailed out to the pre-salers and Kickstarters first.

International buyers will be happy to know that in a couple of months you'll be able to buy "Son in Sorrow" (and in a couple of months after that, "Lovers and Beloveds") at your local Amazon. And if you like supporting your local bookstore anywhere in the world, you'll be able to order both books via a real live brick-and-mortar store, too. Not yet, though.

It's heeeere...

  • Posted on: 26 April 2012
  • By: MeiLin

Look what jut arrived! eeee! The cover this time looks good. I need to go through the interior, but so far it looks great. It's from CreateSpace. The books for direct sales, pre-sales and Amazon.com will be printed by CreateSpace, and international Amazon sales and brick-and-mortar sales will be printed by Lightning Source.

You can't tell from the photo how vivid the color is. It's gorgeous. And I compared the spines; book one looks very nice next to it on the shelf. Smile So! I'll be ordering all the copies next week! yay!

They like me! You like me! Jinkies!

  • Posted on: 24 April 2012
  • By: MeiLin

You guys! I'm #5 on Amazon Kindle's Most Popular Fantasy Series books! Look quick, who knows how long it'll last! Biggrin

This is the highest I've ever been ranked on any paid Amazon Kindle list. And yes, it's having an effect on sales. Since January my sales have doubled and my income has tripled. That's not counting the Kickstarter. I'm still not makin' the mortgage payment, but I'm makin' more than half of it.

Putting out new books helps, and I've put out two new ones in as many months. I have two more actively in development; one should be out in a month or so (quickie erotic romance novella called "The Mage's Toy") and another will be out by the end of the year ("The Machine God," about which more here). And that's not counting the "Scryer's Gulch" compilation, or the collection of prequel stories I promised Kickstarters.

Yikes! This is going to be a prolific year for me, and all of the above isn't even counting the work I'm doing on book three of the History.

*thud*

An interview with me and a heads-up: Free ebooks for tax day! (Updated)

  • Posted on: 15 April 2012
  • By: MeiLin

Kate Danley interviewed me at her blog today--thanks, Kate! Why the interview:

A bunch of fantasy writers, self and Kate included, are doing a free ebook giveaway for Tax Day (the US tax day, anyway). Among the books will be Lovers and Beloveds. It'll be free April 17th only at Amazon. LaB, like all my books, is DRM-free, which means you can pop it into Calibre and convert it to whatever format you'd like. (It also means for the next 90 days LaB will only be available at Amazon--it's a marketing thing I couldn't afford to pass up, though I'm not keeping it in that program past the 90 days.)

Watch this space on the 17th for details and descriptions of the books. There are at least a dozen, and they include some real knock-out stories.

Updated to include the frickin' link to the interview. *headdesk*

Free Fantasy for Tax Day, Including "Lovers and Beloveds!"

  • Posted on: 15 April 2012
  • By: MeiLin

Fantasy writers feel your pain. After all, we're self-employed; tax day is super painful for us! So we're helping take the edge off the day by giving you something: Free ebooks! All the books listed below are free 4/17 only at Amazon* (Lovers and Beloveds is also free 4/16, but I can't vouch for the rest) and many including mine are DRM-free so you can convert them to the format of your choice:

MeiLin Miranda: Lovers and Beloveds

When eighteen-year-old Prince Temmin comes of age and joins his father's court, he's unprepared for its politics, assassins and sexual intrigues--and even more so, the King's immortal advisor Teacher, the holder of the royal family's hidden magic. Teacher becomes Temmin's tutor, his lessons contained in a magic book. Through it, Temmin experiences everything each story's characters do, and he's forced to confront serious mistakes in the kingdom's--and his own--past.

His present is no easier. He's falling for beautiful twins--brother and sister--who are the human hosts of the gods of love and desire called the Lovers. Being with them is more than sex; it's a religious calling. But an ancient prophecy says if Temmin heeds Their call it may spell the end of the monarchy, and the King fights him every step of the way.

Temmin must choose: Serve the Lovers and lose his father--and possibly the kingdom--or obey the King and risk the wrath of the Gods.

Tristan J. Tarwater: Little Girl Lost
Tavera is a child passed from hand to hand as a source of cheap labor in the underworld of the Valley. When she finds herself at the mercy of the vicious sausage maker, the elderly Madame Greswin, she discovers secrets from the woman's past and the consequences leave Tavera fighting for her life.

"Little Girl Lost" is a short story and prequel to "Thieves at Heart", the first novel in the series "The Valley of Ten Crescents".


J. R. Tomlin: Blood Duty
In a remote mountain valley, a scout is tortured and killed in a brutal rite of summoning. An army of demons will soon be on the move. Fellow scout Jessup Inntour wouldn't care very much if the empire he reluctantly serves is attacked, but the woman he loves is another matter.

Tamra Dervon, Captain of the Guard of Wayfare Keep, thinks her biggest problem is her love affair with Jessup. The scout is holding things back from her, and she doesn't know what. But when the seemingly unbeatable army of demons invades, Tamra's personal problems look very small. Tamra and Jessup find themselves leading a last-ditch defense. Their army is defeated. Jessup disappears in the retreat. As Tamra continues the struggle to defend her homeland, she discovers that another duty lies ahead -- to face a demon horde alone.

Dave King: Betrovia (Land of Betrovia)
Patrik, a newly-married young man, turns down the safety of small town life to help his uncle manage a road-side inn many miles away. But before he can learn even the basics of running an inn, the uncle suddenly dies. If he had stayed where he was born, Patrik could have become a successful hunter, fur trapper, or even a successful artist. So why did he leave the comforts of home?

Not long after the death of his uncle, Patrik's wife dies, leaving him to mourn her death while struggling to be a good father to their two young daughters. Where can he find the inner peace he feverishly desires?

Tamara, boisterous, beautiful but often cantankerous, has turned down every man who has offered to rescue her from the pitiful routine of The Lonely Fox inn. Who, if anyone, could ever capture her love?

Kristof, The Lonely Fox Inn's stable hand, has attempted to earn Tamara's affection since he first set eyes upon her but has suffered a lifetime of rejection in the few months he has been employed there. What can he do to somehow make her love him?

Edward W. Robinson: The White Tree
Secrets don't like to stay hidden. In the kingdom of Mallon, all knowledge of the death god Arawn has been brutally quashed--but a teen named Dante has just found the dark god's holiest book.

Within days, Dante's attacked in the streets. Not by the city guard. By Arawn's own servants, long-hidden. Two things save his life: a big-mouthed bodyguard named Blays, and his own growing skill with the nether, the shadowy power that fuels the world.

But the attacks on Dante are just the first stirs of a larger threat. In the far north, Arawn's followers are rallied by a priestess named Samarand. Mallon is burning. To save their homeland, Dante and Blays will have to travel to a half-ruined city and assassinate the woman driving her people to war.

Cate Dean: Last Chance Jack

Jack is a guardian angel. A guardian angel who has failed every single assignment. For the past hundred years.

Now he has been given his final assignment, and he has one last chance - one chance to prove himself, one chance to change his fate.

But there is a catch: the assignment can't see him, unless he can find a way to break through, a way to touch her. Only then can he even begin to help her.

He has three days.

Colin Tabard: Fall of Ossard

Ossard is falling...

Growing up in a city of Merchant Princes, Juvela discovers she can see what others can't. The very currents of the celestial are open to her, and that includes the truths they hide: An escalating series of unsolved kidnappings have been haunting the city-state, leaving its shadows pooled deep with innocent blood.

Has Juvela been cursed with the Witches' Kiss - or perhaps something worse?

Yet, more is to come, for not only has she witnessed an abduction, but she will have to endure a role in the victim's ritual death. For Juvela is about to become forsaken, and that's before she learns the real truth of not just the crimes plaguing Ossard's bloody streets, but the wider world: A world at war, and governed by gods whose highest pleasure is to sup on the taste of death.

Matthew Musser: Jadeflies
An epoch has passed since the light of the divine last shone upon these harrowed lands. The gods that were have been cast out, and in their place has grown an edifice of depravity. A kingdom of corruption, abetted by an ancient order, balances precipitously above a clash of faiths. In the city of Borsad, a notorious gang of thieves known as the Jadeflies have carved a territory. They indoctrinate children of the street and orphans into ruthless thieves and killers to expand their reach. Miri is not ruthless, and is objectively less talented than her counterparts, but vies to prove her worth to the Jadeflies and earn her place. After a guaranteed simple job, from the hand of the boss, Taira, leaves her injured, Miri stands up against the punishment for failure she expects to receive. When Taira gets violent, Miri reacts, and the cold steel of her dagger finds itself in her mentors gut. As she flees the wrath of the Jadeflies she finds herself in the caring hands of a stranger, a priest of the ancient order who offers her safety and redemption if only she'll accept. Can the old gods truly shield her or is she just biding time?


S. M. Reine: Death’s Hand
Policing relations between Heaven, Hell, and Earth is messy and violent, but Elise Kavanagh and James Faulkner excelled at it--until coming across a job so brutal that even they couldn't stand to see one more dead body. Now they've been pretending to be normal for five years, leaving their horrific history a dark secret. Elise works in an office. James owns a business. None of their friends realize they used to be one of the world's best killing teams.

After years of hiding, something stirs. Bodies are vanishing. Demons scurry in the shadows of the night. A child has been possessed. Some enemies aren't willing to let the secrets of the past stay dead...

Brendan Carroll: The Red Cross of Gold
The immortal Knights of the Council of Twelve comprise the ruling body of the clandestine Order of the Red Cross of Gold, Poor Knights of Solomon's Temple. Some of them have been around since the Crusades in the Holy Lands, secretly directing, aiding and abetting world events that they believe will eventually culminate in the ultimate confrontation of Good and Evil at Armageddon. As Knights of Christ, they live, fight and die safely as God's executioners in the service of the Master of the Universe.


E. Stoops: Corner of a Round Planet
In an alternate universe where the twentieth century gave rise to individuals with psychic talents and World War II never happened, the Gulf Wars of the late twentieth and early twenty-first are fought with Great War tactics and equipment. The medics, a prime target for the enemy, are dying at a far greater rate than the other soldiers. War is in need a facelift. Meredith Clase, an electronics engineer, might have just the thing. But Sergeant Wens Lillenthal has been holding a grudge against Clase for almost eight years and he doesn't plan on dropping it soon. When Clase arrives and insists that he become the hero he plays to his men, Lillenthal is dragged along a path to fame he never wanted, and into a world he can't ever leave.


Christopher Bunn: Ice and Fire
A Tale of Rubies, Shadows, and Romance
When the King's miners discover a strange ruby filled with fire, deep under the mountains, the King is overjoyed. There's one problem, of course. The gem belongs to the shadows who live in the mine. The King, however, will do anything to get his greedy hands on the ruby, even if that means disaster for the kingdom. The chief miner's son, Peter Snow, is forced to save the day.

Ice and Fire is a short story of about 5200 words, complete with a hotheaded princess, an exceedingly wise cook, and a handful of moat frogs.

Kate Danley: Maggie for HireWhen monsters appear on Earth, Maggie MacKay is on the job. No one is better at hauling the creepy crawlies back where they belong. No one, that is, except her dad, who disappeared without a trace in the middle of an assignment.

Now an elf named Killian has shown up with a gig. Seems Maggie's uncle teamed up with the forces of dark to turn Earth into a vampire convenience store, serving bottomless refills on humans.

The only hope for survival lies in tracking down two magical objects and a secret that disappeared with Maggie's dad.

*TIP: If you're outside the US, once you get to the page of the book you want, substitute the TLD for your local Amazon.

Example: If the book you want is at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0043EX1S2 and you're in the UK, change the .com (the TLD) to .co.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0043EX1S2

"Scryer's Gulch" on Hiatus for a Time, Possible Kickstarter News, and more

  • Posted on: 10 April 2012
  • By: MeiLin

I'm going on hiatus with the Gulch for a while; I need to work hard on the draft of "The Machine God" if I'm going to have it ready for release at the end of the year (and have time to work on book three of the History). I'm about 10,000 words in, and it'll weigh in around 60k when I'm done--almost half the size of my usual books, OMG!

The good news about the break is, I'll also be working on compiling the first 53 episodes of the Gulch into both a paperback and an ebook. That means the original ebooks and paperback will be going off sale. I'm getting rid of the remaining four Gulch paperbacks in stock for the measly price of $4.95. I'm not sure how many pages the new Gulch paperback will come in at, so I can't give you a price point yet; I'm thinking in the $11.95 range. Dunno yet. Ditto with the ebook, though I'm thinking around $3.95. You've already gotten a look at the new cover; it's to the right in the sidebar, and it's on the home page as well.

That'll make four book releases for me this year: "Son in Sorrow"; "Scryer's Gulch 1-53"; "The Amber Cross"; and "The Machine God!"

Speaking of "The Machine God," I may be posting a (drafty) sample of it tomorrow in lieu of a Gulch episode. I'm considering running a Kickstarter pre-sale for it; it needs editing, and while book sales are going really well they're not going well enough to afford Netta's hiring. My royalties are budgeted for living expenses--I know, right?--though they're trending well enough that some day I won't have to depend on pre-sales to hire my production squad.

I worry about two things:

Going back to the well too soon. I know other people who use Kickstarter as their regular pre-sale channel and make their goals every time. I'm still not 100% confident that this tactic will work for me. I know, I know, shut up already!

No one's invested in "The Machine God" as they are in the History or even the Gulch. To that, I can only say as much to myself as to you: Yet. I'm really digging the characters and story I'm working on, and there will be four other books by four other writers connected with it and all released at the same time--yes, five novels, all in the same universe written essentially about the same period in time, and all really different though related. A whole series at once! We may even write more books set in this universe. Once the set of five is done, it's up to us as individuals whether we want to continue.

So I'd appreciate your thoughts on that.

OTHER BITS OF NEWS IN CASE YOU MISSED THEM:

Shopworn sale: I've got six copies of "Lovers and Beloveds" that have seen slightly better days, now on sale for $10.95. That's $4 off the usual cover price! ONLY six copies. When they're gone, they're gone. (By the way, I'm strongly considering selling two--maybe three, can't remember--copies of the original draft book one, the only ones left. It's out of print and will never be going back into print.)

Ebook drawings: I'm holding free ebook drawings for both my Facebook fan page and my email newsletter when they reach certain mileposts. I was going to do the drawing at 300 fans on FB, but that's not gonna happen any time soon so how about 250? Thirty more to go before that drawing, and two random winners will be announced. But your chances are better/sooner for the mailing list drawing! It's one random winner at the 100 member mark, and there are 91 people on the list at present. Join them both and get a chance to win!

Launch Day Update

  • Posted on: 29 March 2012
  • By: MeiLin

Son in Sorrow is off with a bang! It's in the 20k rankings at Amazon in all paid books--which sounds horrible, but is actually not bad at all! It means when it finally gets properly shelved it should be in a top 100 category. Here's hopin'! Four of you have left reviews at Amazon. Thank you! Please, if you've read the book, review it (honestly) there and "like" it on Facebook.

The book is now also at Barnes & Noble, if you prefer to buy books directly for your Nook there. And of course you can always buy direct from me and get three formats in DRM-free editions, which means you can then pop them into something like Calibre and convert them to practically anything. Oh yeah, and it's also at Smashwords for even more pre-formatted goodness.

There is now a Goodreads page for the book, where reviews and adds to your shelves (even "to be read") would also be extremely welcome and helpful, as would Facebook and Twitter mentions.

I promise to shut up about the book launch at some point soon. It's just been SO LONG in the making. I woke up this morning jangly as a housekeeper's keys, to the point that a friend whisked me off to the local sauna and calmed me down.

Transition--in the Labor Sense

  • Posted on: 27 March 2012
  • By: MeiLin

When you're in labor--labor, like having-a-baby labor--you come to a point just before you're ready to push called transition. Transition sucks. It's the darkest night of the soul imaginable. You feel like nothing matters and what if it did. You can't do it. You just can't do it. Make it stop already. You give up. Uncle.

That's how I feel right now.

Book two is probably going to drop tomorrow.

Temmin's Journey in "Son in Sorrow," in Two Songs

  • Posted on: 26 March 2012
  • By: MeiLin

I often think of songs as I work--not so much soundtracks, but inspirations. Sometimes I get story inspirations wholesale, as in the case of Iron & Wine's "Woman King"--that entire EP spawned dozens of ideas in me, and in fact Woman King is the working title of book three. Nickel Creek's Why Should The Fire Die? has the same effect on me, though I can't tell you exactly what songs track to what bits of book business.

And sometimes I associate songs with particular characters, or their particular story arcs. For Son in Sorrow, I kept coming back to these two songs, both favorites. I once thought one of them belonged to Tennoc, one of the main characters in the story-in-story, but on further reflection they both belong to Temmin.

Tem starts here, and ends up here just before the climax of the book.

I haven't found anything yet for Tem's state of mind at the very end.

(I must add that Sting is hotter than hell in that video. homina...)

(And I did try to embed but for some reason t'weren't workin'...)

Ask me questions

  • Posted on: 21 March 2012
  • By: MeiLin

Hey guys, I've decided not to do a book trailer. It's all the rage and stuff, but I haven't seen much evidence that it sells books and they're expensive to produce unless you do it yourself. I HATE the one I did for Lovers and Beloveds. The one I did for "Scryer's Gulch" still cracks me up but I don't think anyone's come to read the serial from that trailer.

So I've decided, on the suggestion of a friend, to try something different. I'm going to answer reader questions in a video blog of sorts--questions about my books or about my writing process, hopefully. I answer questions here on the site all the time, but I'm hoping this will bring out something different. I'm just gonna set up my web cam and my groovy mic and answer them off the cuff.

To do that, I need questions! Please ask me some here. I don't know if this'll sell any more books than a trailer will, but I think we'll all have more fun. Smile

Now We Are Four

  • Posted on: 21 February 2012
  • By: MeiLin

On February 21st, 2008, I posted the first item on MeiLinMiranda.com. I had no idea what would happen; I just wanted a place to post these racy stories I was writing, and I thought it'd be fun to have my own site to do it on. I'm a web developer, it's not hard for me to throw up a site, why not. I didn't really expect anyone to read what I wrote. I had a small following for my Dr Who fanfiction, but this was original; no one wants to read original fiction by some no-name. Ha! Not even no-name! I was using my Second Life name as my pen name! What a dork, eh?

That week, I posted the first episode of "An Intimate History of the Greater Kingdom." I had no idea what I was doing and didn't take my writing in the least bit seriously. Sure, I'd written professionally for thirty years, but that was all journalism and nonfiction. I was just having a bit of fun--and for fun, I did what some other webserial writers were doing: I put up a challenge. If I raised $10, I'd release an extra episode. Figured it'd never happen.

I got the $10 almost immediately. Like, within the hour. I sat up straighter. Maybe I'd have to take this a little more seriously.

Four years later, that first contributor is still a staunch reader, bless him. I've written two full-length novels in the History series, a bunch of short stories, a second serial, a new collaborative universe novel is underway, and the Kickstarter that ended on the 12th of this month raised $5,250. Floored ain't in it, my friends. I cannot believe what has happened since that first timid post. I have readers, readers who pay for my work, even. I take my writing dead serious--but I'm stuck with the goofy pen name! Biggrin

So much has happened that it feels like ancient history. That first little post changed my life so radically, but it was just four years ago. Thank you to everyone--those who've been with me from the beginning, and those who've come along for the ride in recent days. I love you all.

Now it can be told: The Drifting Isle Chronicles

  • Posted on: 14 February 2012
  • By: MeiLin

I've mentioned a project I'm working on with a bunch of other fantasy writers. Now I can talk about it more. We have a name for our series: The Drifting Isle Chronicles. The blog Shared Story Worlds will be writing about our progress throughout the coming year as we work on this project together. Up first is this interview with Joseph Robert Lewis, who organized the collaboration. The other writers working with us are Coral Moore, Katherine Tomlinson and Charlotte E. English.

As Joseph says in the interview, it's amazing how the five of us each gravitated to a particular section of the world we've created and said, "Right, I'll sort that bit out." The world we've created is part steampunk, part magic, and has some really interesting little quirks in it. We're still working out the magical rules, but we've come a very long way in a very short time.

We'll be releasing five novels--one by each writer--by the end of the year. Each will be stand-alone but interlinked with the others; you can read just the one, but reading all five will enrich the experience of each individual book. We will each retain ownership of our books, and if we want to write more in that universe, there won't be anything stopping us.

Mine is tentatively titled "The Machine God." It will, as my books often do, explore choice, agency, religion, mythology and relationships. But this time, there won't be any sex! I don't think there will even be kissing! I NO RITE?! As the project progresses, I'll be sure to let you know how it's going.

This is it! Last hour! (updated: We're done!)

  • Posted on: 12 February 2012
  • By: MeiLin

Soon you won't have to put up with these updates any more--we're in the last hour of the Kickstarter presale for book two. Right now, 100 people have backed me to the tune of $5,230. That's nearly 350% what I asked for. I'm so overwhelmed and grateful right now. Here's the link one last time. If you want a presale package, it's now or never.

Update: We're done! Final tally: 102 backers, $5,250, 350% funded!! I am OVERWHELMED with gratitude. So unexpected, so affirming, so...just...damn. Thank you.

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