Category: Writing

The Existential Author Syndrome

emo-dark-wallpapers-10So there’s been this empty space in my heart for the past few months. I hit a point where writing and publishing had lost its vice grip on my soul and instead of feeling passionate wanderlust I felt bitter annoyance.

I didn’t like it anymore, none of it made me happy.

I had no inspiration, no desire to tell readers about my books, no excitement about my latest release, no rush of pride when fans asked me to sign their books, no curiosity or motivation to read another book, nothing. I was an emotionless void of apathy. And when something you used to love stops making you happy and it’s not something that pays your bills, you really have no choice but to stop doing that thing.

Months went by, I wrote my second non fiction book, went on a family vacation, dedicated myself to three days at the gym to feel something — anything (pain, fatigue, and chemical highs for the win) but none of it restored my love of books. I attended my first two events as a Word Fire Press Author, Emerald City and Dallas Comic Con, the latter of which was the beginning of being shaken out of my perpetual book void.

Days before taking off to Dallas I bought my first hard cover book in ages. It was an off the cuff young adult book about a girl growing up in a cult and her liberation from said family lifestyle. It was an interesting, easy read by an author who has done nothing but dedicate her life to literature.

Shortly after that I found myself in Brandon, MB. for a Rock and Mineral Festival where I spent too much money and ended up at the bookstore. In the months of the void bookstores made me miserable. I’d walk into one, wonder why my books would never, ever, ever be on the shelf (like, ever) and I’d look at the books that were on the shelf and wonder how their books ended up on the shelf and mine did not. There’s really no good explanation to this because for all intents and purposes the people whose books are on the shelf endeavored to write great books and succeeded to some degree and then there’s me whose books are bestsellers and just as well written and popular as the books on the shelf.

The only difference is that Barnes & Noble does not stock my publisher’s books.

Bookstores always ignited this sort of sanger (sad anger) that would choke me up and force me to buy nothing because it was impossible to buy anything once the eternal debate began in my brain. However, when I was in Brandon I returned to a Coles I had once done a book signing at. The signing was during my first year as a published author, and it was so charming that a kid with a large McDonald’s drink asked me to watch his drink so he could go look at the Manga section. He left it on my table because he wasn’t allowed to bring it into the store. I wended through the aisles to the back of the store and bought two John Green books. Paper Towns because it’s becoming a movie soon and Will Grayson, Will Grayson because it had a new cover and looked interesting and because I really like John Green and David Levithan.

Paper Towns was incredibly insightful, but it was also just a book about teens doing stupid teen things and philosophically analyzing the stupid teen things they were doing so that in the grand scheme of the universe, those silly things actually meant something and helped them come to epic conclusions about their small existence in the giant universe.

And that’s when I realized that’s the sort of author I want to be.

My issues with writing and publishing stem from becoming a monkey in a box, churning out meaningless novels in a pointless attempt to keep up with the demands of the publishing world. I know the landscape of publishing is changing and that readers are demanding a book every nine months. I’ve listened to various talks on the state of the publishing industry and how authors can navigate these choppy waters. I’ve felt pressured to fall in line with every other author out there, chain myself to my computer and write until I bleed. The only problem with that is that when my heart isn’t in it, I can’t write. And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that authors must write everyday, and that to truly be successful you have to get your butt in the chair and write.

But writing requires thinking, and thinking takes time.

I thought that since I didn’t want to be the mold, it meant I wasn’t cut out to be a published author. I’ve been withdrawing because I’m not like the other folks, I don’t like crowds, parties, people, promoting, and I don’t celebrate the small successes because things like bestseller lists mean very little to me. What matters most to me are reviews, fan feedback, support, and admiration for the actual book I wrote (not the cover or the bazillion copies I sold or the thing I posted on tumblr or the vlog you watched, but the booooook you read and loved).

I’m quiet and comfort. I will never have a youtube channel or post a lot on twitter or facebook. I will never be the kind of literary leader a fan base needs because I am an incoherent introvert.

Paper Towns made me realize that I could easily be a paper author living in a post apocalyptic publishing landscape, or I could be me and I could think, dream, and be.

The types of books I’ve always tried to write were the ones that made readers stop and think about the frailty, beauty and imperfections of life, told through the eyes of young people who haven’t been tainted, jaded or turned apathetic by those same imperfections.

Strip away the mystical island, the hidden abilities, prophecies and magic, and you’ll find behind most of my books is a startling central philosophy. If you like so many others were swept up in the romantic fantasy drama, you may have missed these messages, but they’re all over my website like testaments to the actual importance of the books.

“Life DEMANDS your participation”
“Your destiny will ALWAYS come for you.”
“You cannot know JOY until you know SORROW.”
“Sometimes it takes evil to DESTROY evil.”
“Sometimes the villain is YOU.”

I will never be a commercial author. I won’t write for the sake of writing, for the bonus paycheque, or the glory and fame. I will always write because I have a story to tell and wisdom to share.

I’m a bit like George R.R. Martin in that I frequently kill my main characters and it takes me forever to release a book, but if George R.R. Martin is my author patronus, then John Green is my spirit guide because my books will always carry an important message about life, love, and what it means to exist in this chaotic universe.

And right now I have no stories I want to tell, but I can tell you this — the next story I write will be treated differently because my stories were meant for bookstore shelves and literary awards and international tours and one day I will write something worthy of those things.

– Rhi

The Evolution of The Ferryman & The Flame Covers

I’ve seen a few posts on this subject as of late and thought since the fourth book in my The Ferryman & The Flame series is hitting the shelves in a few days, that I’d write a post about the evolution of my covers and the thought process behind each of them. These are in chronological order, since if you can believe it, I released SURRENDER in October of 2011!

2011

Covers by Parajunkee Design

Rachel and I had a plan, use the models from the fandom photo shoots and make something epic and pretty. I loved both of these covers so much. You’ll notice that my publisher at the time, Coscom Entertainment, preferred the three word titles as opposed to single words. You’ll notice that in publishing, some publishers prefer certain things when it comes to titles. Always, always be prepared to workshop your titles when you publish.

 

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These covers served me well, they were stunning, creative, dark and they captured the essence of the story. Unfortunately, sometimes authors end up having issues with rights and soon, the two models on these covers began dating, had a messy break up, and revoked the rights they had given me to use them on my covers.

2012

Cover by Marc Wolfe and Ash De La Rosa

I tried something new. I went to an artist friend of mine, and asked him to make me his version of my main characters. I liked one of the pieces so much I tried to use it as a cover for a short period of time. At this time I had also revoked the rights from Coscom Entertainment and was self publishing the work on my own.

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Marc Wolfe did a fantastic job of capturing Kaliel, but the art was difficult to work with, without the title blending in too much with the cover. I also tried a newer cover designer who did her best to make the cover look like a real book cover. Needless to say this is unfortunately my least favorite attempt at a SURRENDER cover.

2013

Cover Designer: Regina Wamba, Mae I Design, Emma Michaels

After stalking Regina online for months, I decided to talk to her. She was fantastic, suggesting that we take my existing covers and start from scratch. I helped with the stock photo hunt since we had a hard deadline, and we came up with something aesthetically pleasing. At this time I was also working with Linn Borscheim on adding interior art to the books because I didn’t like self publishing without offering something more in the books. So I was getting maps, interior art, and creating a guide for readers. Regina finished some of the most amazing covers for me over the course of the next few months, enough to cover the whole series.

You may have noticed that Parajunkee only did Surrender and Justice, because nobody had ever gotten further into the series than that. Regina was the first to do covers for all the books in the series.

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Other than VILLAINS, Regina was the mastermind behind these epic covers, which really defined my books and set the stage for SURRENDER selling over 100,000 copies and making me a national bestseller in Canada!

Emma Michaels made the fantastic VILLAINS cover you see in the middle of this collage, but this was after she had created five novella covers for me. The novellas tied into the series, but I wasn’t sure how to handle them. Because they weren’t paperbacks I wanted to release them as ebooks, so people could pick them up individually between the other books.

When I was picked up by WordFire Press however, we wanted to make an omnibus of the novellas, so we created VILLAINS and put all five of the stores into it with their respective covers.

Here are the five novella covers Emma Michaels made for me

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Emma is the designer I like working with the most. Sure, I’ve worked with a few others, but Emma and I were fast friends and the fact that she shared my vision for the books always helped. I always breathed a sigh of relief when I needed a cover and I could work with Emma on it.

2015

Cover Design – Emma Michaels

Cover Art – Galia and Kitty

That being said, even though these covers were gorgeous, when it came to releasing MERCY (aka my favorite book of all time) I was conflicted about the covers. Regina’s and Emma’s earlier covers were fantastic, but the use of stock images bothered me. Anyone out there could use the same stock photos and I’d see the model on someone else’s books. At the same time, the heavy photoshopped feel of some of the covers made me feel like this was just too much. We were trying to manipulate stock photo far too much.

I was also at a crossroads with the second artist for the interior art, and I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to get art into the books anymore. I was searching Deviant Art for an artist who could work with me and work fast on producing more pieces for MERCY, ASYLUM and CHAOS. I knew I might have to start from scratch but I was willing to take that chance if the art would stun the readers.

Then I found Galia and Kitty. Their redraws of Elsa and Anna were hard to look away from, and I had to work with them. I didn’t know WHAT we would work on, but an idea struck: redo the TFTF covers. Since Galia and Kitty specialized in redraws, I thought, take the original covers and have them redraw them in their style, which was anime, but closer to the artwork inside the books than anything else.

I waited weeks for Galia to begin, and was posting on my group Incoherent Introverts and other places that we were getting new covers.

When I showed  the art to some of my fans, they both loved and hated them. I guess I understand, but I truly loved the new direction. I wanted these covers to attract a younger audience, to match the interior art, and to be something that would stand apart from all the other covers out there.

I think what I got was exactly what I was looking for.

I asked Emma to be on board to do the typography and design bits for these covers, because she’s really the only person I want working on my book covers ever. We waited together on a number of things because I was being really picky. This was the first time I’d have to sell a publisher on a cover, since nope I didn’t have the blessing of Kevin or WordFire Press behind me to get these covers.

Emma and I waited on the art, loved some of it, hated some of it, had to have some of it redone a bunch of times, but eventually it was perfect. Then we waited on the guy who owned the font we wanted to use. After testing a lot of other fonts I chose Dust Serif, which we couldn’t use without a proper license. So the guy took forever to get back to us and then charged us for it and we went on our merry way.

If that wasn’t enough, I decided I wanted accents and we went through the book store looking at cool covers similar to mine and decided what we wanted my new ones to look like. Both of us thought the tree of life, or some kind of emblem would be fantastic. I did the stock photo searching and came up with the image, and some other cool celtic knot corner pieces.

Once we had all the pieces together, Emma was able to layout and design the covers within a few days. I’m never worried with Emma because I know what she’ll produce will be amazing. And then we often sit back and have our own private little SQUEEEE moments until we’re allowed to show the world the pretty cover.

How did it go with Kevin? Well, when we did show him, he wasn’t sure about their saleability, but he was willing to give them a chance and hope it opens me up to a new market of fans.

And if you haven’t seen them at the top of my page here they are again, minus CHAOS because we’re still working on that one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In the end I might very well be that crazy author that’s addicted to redoing my covers a bazillion times, or it just goes to show that when you find a cover designer you like working with, you should thank your lucky stars and never look back.

Either way, I’m 100% in love with these covers and cannot thank Emma Michaels enough for putting up with all my crazy throughout the process!

Cheers,

Rhi

 

 

REVIEW: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

aka the book that finally made me realize that I needed to cut ties with someone who obviously didn’t have my back, no matter how many times they tried to say they did. Sadly, this review is for you.

I liked Eleanor & Park, just liked. I don’t know how to love a book that didn’t deal with the issues it presented, that didn’t develop the characters past even one of their flaws, and that took the easy way out. I’m going to make you not like this book with this review aren’t I? 
But there are some things I loved about it.
I loved the hand holding. I loved the imperfectness. I loved that it didn’t answer all the questions or solve the abusive step father problem, and most of all I loved Mindy.
There’s something sacred about having a Korean mother. It reminded me of my Gilmore Girl days, though Mrs. Kim was far more scary than Mindy ever was. Mindy was the type of Korean that got under your skin though, and made me laugh. Her dialogue was written in exactly the way I’ve heard many of the customers at the McDonald’s I worked at speak. Rainbow Rowell was even pertinent to add how Mindy pronounced all v’s like b’s. Perfection.
It’s small details that make me like a book. I couldn’t understand how Park was this scrawny ugly weird asian kid on a bus one moment and then the next he wasn’t half bad. I mean he was still that weird asian kid on the bus, but Rainbow allowed us to see him differently in that moment. 
I liked Eleanor about as much as I could. I really wanted her to improve her clothes, even just a little bit, and maybe let Mindy fix her frizzy hair, but it was the 80’s and that wasn’t going to happen. I suppose in not changing the way Eleanor was, Rainbow was also explaining that there was really nothing wrong with Eleanor’s wardrobe of baggy men’s clothes with pins and other weird things hanging to them in all manner and fashion. That there was also nothing wrong in wearing men’s ties around her wrists. 
Still, that little voice in my head that always told me to blend in, kept saying, blend in Eleanor …
The ending caught me off guard. It was anticlimactic. They spend all of this time getting close, Eleanor learning to trust Park, trust his family, a middle class family that was still not well off but better than hers, and then at the end of it, it just ends. There’s no real crisis, no wrap up at the end to tell us what might have happened next, nothing. 
Three little words, and that’s it.
So I liked it, I tried to love it, but I couldn’t. And this entire Eleanor and Park thing is what prompted me to talk to my critique partner who I’ve been friends with before I had the first draft of Surrender finished. Someone who read the very first draft of Surrender and told me what was wrong with it, the person I spent countless hours on gchat with pouring out my literary soul. I’d have panic attacks in her presence over my publishing journey and now it’s over. 
I think it’s unfair to say why in a blog post, but let’s just say that talking about Eleanor & Park lead into talking about other things, and other things lead into me feeling like crap for being successful. I don’t need people in my corner who are only going to tear me down for the things I’ve fought for. 
Eleanor didn’t really tell Park if she’d call or stay in touch once the end came, it just came and like that it was over between them. Eleanor didn’t call Park and I’m not going to call or talk to the person who didn’t really have my back all along. It’s just over. 
And it saddens me.

Brandon Mull knows who I am

O Hai!

You may not know this but I’ve been traveling a lot, so much that I’ve only spent three Saturdays at home in the past six weeks. Part of this was because of my epic plan to chase my dream and be the kind of author I want to be. The other part had to do with boring things like booking Ron Perlman for Central Canada Comic Con, meeting Ian McDiarmid, Zachary Quinto and Shawn Ashmore and talking to people about Polar Bears. (Yeah I guess it’s not that boring after all.)

So . . . Brandon Mull knows who I am. I think we should start there because of all the cool things that happened to me in August that was the one thing that gave me goosebumps . . . in a good way. It was a very seamless meeting, I walked into panel room #1 at Salt Lake Comic Con on Friday (I was almost late due to the crowd) and there was a bunch of guys all chatting with each other. I recognized Brandon right away but the others introduced themselves to me (I can’t remember who they were now, sorry, at the time I was like OMG it’s Brandon Mull like a silly twelve year old fangirl.) BUT and this is where it gets cool because I’m all fangirling and Brandon turns to me and says, “You’re Rhiannon, right?” Right . . . and I was also the only other girl on the panel so essentially by process of deduction I must be Rhiannon. And then he leans in and says, “You can read minds right?”

In my head: HOLY CRAP HE KNOWS WHO I AM.
Out loud: “*laughs* Yeah I can.”
In my head: You can stop fangirling now, also check out how the room is full to capacity, find your brain and your tongue and say something smart.

I didn’t say anything smart.

That was by far the coolest moment at SLCC (Salt Lake Comic Con) until Saturday when I was on another panel with Brandon Mull, Brody Ashton, Larry Correia, and Obert Skye. I ended up moderating purely because I wrote notes the night before and nobody else did. I backed that up with something like, “I wanted to be more prepared today so I did the homework.”

Anyway, I’m taking questions from the audience because there were a lot of them and one woman asks us what we think of Self Publishing v.s. Traditional Publishing, to which the panel groans and I say into the mic, “That panel is at 4pm, I don’t think we have time to discuss it here.”

Brandon pops up and he’s like, “But I do have something to say about that and that is, unless you’re prepared for all it entails, it will be really hard.” (I’m not quoting directly, but you can probably find the panel online somewhere, they were filming it.) Larry Correia starts to say something like, “I don’t think anyone on the panel is self published, I began that way but as soon as I got that contract I was in.”

And I piped up, “Uhh, actually I’m self published.” To which the panelists were like, “Oh . . .” and Brandon piped up and said something else I didn’t quite hear about how you really need to know what you’re doing to be self published or you will fail. And I said, “I love you Brandon, but I didn’t fail.”

Another “Oh” moment for the rest of the panel, and then I announced that my book Surrender has hit 30,000 copies sold. That resulted in a round of applause from the again, full to capacity room.

I have say that it was great that nobody thought I was self published. Getting respect from so many authors I basically fangirl on has been one of my dreams I’ve been chasing for awhile. So I can put this in the checked box of things-I-wish-would-happen-to-me-because-I’m-an-author list and continue on to more awesome things that happened.

I got more fans. The SLCC fans were awesome when they were at my table. They took pictures of my banner and salivated over the books, the art, and the props. Too many of them picked up my props and tried to make off with them. Three of those fan peoples thought Shezeel’s wand was a unicorn horn (it’s a wand) and whenever they did that I cringed and said in a high pitched squirrely voice, “please don’t touch the props!” Which only resulted in sheepish looks, red faces, muttered apologies and NO SALES.

You can’t sell books if you’re yelling at people.

But you can sell books if you’re cute, you let people read the back of the book, and you have epic deals. I think I sold more books because mine aren’t available at Barnes & Noble, a question I was asked a lot. I was also asked if they were online, of course they’re online, go get them.

The coolest fangirls of the whole weekend however, well actually there were a lot of you, Keela, Jessi, and Chantelle you all come to mind. Keela and Jessi because you posted on my wall on facebook and Chantelle and Jessi because you bought the first book on Thursday, and loved it so much you had to have the other books and came back on Saturday to get them.

Seriously, that’s never happened before.

Kevin J Anderson hugged me, which is completely off topic but when I arrived, he came by my booth and hugged me. He’s very cool, I hope we have more time to catch up sometime. Also his wife Rebecca Moesta commented on a facebook post asking if I would be there. I think it’s cool they know who I am, and follow me the way I follow them.

And this has nothing to do with SLCC but at Wizard World Chicago I had a couple of fans come up and one of them mentioned that her class is reading Last City on Earth (another check mark on the list) and then the guy began talking about feorns like he knew what they were and I stopped him to tell him that I am the only person who writes about feorns, I know because I checked. He seemed a bit flushed, wondering where he had read about feorns and then he says, “Wait, what book is this?” so I handed him the book and he read the back and was like, “Holy crap I’ve read this book!” And then we talked about the alternate cover . . . so he was a really EARLY fan boy for my stuff, and I think it’s awesome that a complete stranger came up to me and was like, “I’ve already read your book!” (another check on the list.)

I’ve come to learn a few things since being at Wizard World Chicago and Salt Lake Comic Con:

1) Being a Guest is always better than just having a table.
2) If you have a panel, don’t wing it.
3) People don’t buy books if you yell at them, if the ATMs are down, or if there’s a bunch of people trying to take photos of a Wookie in the aisle.
4) Random people will hand you cameras and ask you to take pics of themselves with pretty chicks in costumes if you’re not paying attention.
5) If you’re staying with someone, find out how far they are from the airport before you book a 7am flight.
6) There’s a difference between being good enough for everyone else and being good enough for yourself.

After Salt Lake Comic Con, I am now good enough for myself.

I wish you all knew how incredibly difficult that was.

Tamora Pierce, I have finally found the success and cool fans you hoped I would find last year when we met at Convergence. Thanks for writing those words in my copy of Alanna, my oldest daughter is reading it now.

To everyone else who has liked me on facebook, downloaded my book, messaged me, put something on my wall or just generally been there for me throughout this journey, I <3 you all.

I made it!

Cheers,
Rhi

Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry

After reading Pushing The Limits I was hooked to Katie McGarry’s writing style. I read Pushing The Limits in two days, and while Dare You To took me a little longer it was definitely not because I wanted to. Things like work kept getting in the way and I kept having to put it down when I didn’t want to.

Dare You To happens after Pushing The Limits, but it’s not about Noah and Echo. This book is about Beth, and the horrible life she’s had to endure. This book is much stronger, more edgy, and resembles real life situations in a scary accurate way.

Without giving away the plot too much, Beth used to like getting drunk and high with Noah and Isaiah. She lived with both boys at her aunt’s house until something bad happens to her mom and custody of Beth goes to her Uncle Scott. Beth is forced to move from Louisville to Groveton where she used to go to elementary school. She doesn’t expect the kids to remember her, but they do. To make matters worse, there’s Ryan, all star baseball pitcher who keeps annoying her.

To be honest, I thought Isaiah and Beth were a better match, despite him being wrong for her. Ryan was good, but he was all american good, and too shiny. This isn’t really a book about a straight laced guy saving a girl whose fallen off the rails in her life. It’s actually the other way around. Beth ends up showing Ryan a different side to life that baseball and listening to his parents can’t give him. Beth pushes him to do things he’d never do. Yes, they dare each other to do things but that dare game started long ago between Ryan and his friends.

It’s so hard to explain in a review why this book is so good, but once you’re reading it you’ll understand. McGarry is effortless in her descriptions, dialogue, and plot. She paints her characters with such simple brushstrokes that while you can see what makes them stereotypical, you can also see where they bleed between the lines. Beth is no cookie cutter badass girl from the wrong side. At times she’s insecure, and skeptical. Ryan isn’t just great at baseball, he’s not your typical jock. Sometimes he’s got deep emotions.

It’s all of these things that make the words jump off the page and attack you. It makes it a very hard book to put down and one I constantly found myself going back to even when I was supposed to be doing other things.

Read this one, I dare you to.

Cheers
Rhi

P.S. I received this book off netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

My BIG news . . .

At first I was like:

and now I’m like:

Okay so here’s the news . . . SURRENDER and JUSTICE are getting a cover makeover care of Regina Wamba of Mae I Design!

When can you see these beautiful covers? March 19th. There will be a cover reveal going around, if you want to be part of it, please comment on this post!

And everyone?

Stay awesome, you know I love you and all the support you throw my way!

Cheers,
Rhi

Top 5 Reasons Reviews Don’t Matter

Hi Folks!

I’m not prefacing this because the title speaks for itself.

1) One person’s opinion is only one person’s opinion.

Most of the time, even if one reader hated it, others will still pick it up because opinions on fiction are subjective, not fact.

2) Even if a lot of people hated it, people will still buy it.

See E.L. James.

3) It got published.

Which means an agent, editor, book blogger, or reader loved it at some point. I realize this doesn’t safeguard against some self pubbed titles, but for the most part, someone read the book before the author put it on the shelf, and that person thought it was great. (But it doesn’t count if that person was your mom.)

4) People remember what’s wrong with something more than what’s right.

I speak from experience on this one, after years of running events with my husband, it doesn’t really matter what went well, people will still tell us all the little things that didn’t go well. Nobody will ever say something is 100% perfect.

5) You liked it, otherwise you wouldn’t have wrote it.

You’re the one that spent months, years, and countless hours slaving over your manuscript. At the end of the day the only person you need to please is yourself.

“It is better to write for the self and have no public than to write for the public and have no self.” – Cyril Connolly

Cheers,
Rhi

Formatting ebooks is evil and I suck at it.

Oh Hai!

So the biggest conundrum I’ve come up against why trying to publish SURRENDER on my own is ebook formatting. I’m great when it comes to making a paperback look pretty, but condense that awesome word file into an ebook and everything comes out crunchy.

After wrestling with the files for awhile, I decided to go online and grab myself some help.

Turns out the biggest problem I was having was using a PDF. PDFs are like poison to ereaders, they mash them up and spit them out all “Put that in my mouth again and it’s going to end up on your face.”

Thankfully after much web surfing and eye soreness (I hate reading tutorials) I finally came up with the answer I was seeking. Here’s my step by step process on how to make an ebook look pretty.

HOW TO MAKE YOUR EBOOK NOT LOOK LIKE CRAP:

1) Format it like it’s going to be a paperback. (You can grab templates from Createspace)

2) Save it as an HTM file. (That’s right, all ebooks are just really long webpages people.)

3) Insert page breaks. (You can do this in microsoft word even if it is an HTM file, and you can insert the page breaks where you need them, title page, copyright page, dedication page, ends of chapters, etc. etc.)

4) Save again and name it something so you remember it’s the KINDLE edition (you wouldn’t want to send this file to a printer because it’s an ugly baby.)

5) Upload to the KDP platform and watch them do that conversion thing. (Insert evil laughter here.)

6) Preview your book through the Kindle Previewer (you can go look for that on Amazon, it’s somewhere I promise.)

Your book should look like a book, and it should be much easier for readers to read. As a sidenote, I have updated ALL my kindle books to reflect these changes, so if you downloaded some of my books last year, and they look like a seven year old’s homework, I’m really sorry, it’s fixed now.

If you haven’t downloaded any of my books, you can view them all over here: Rhi Paille Amazon Author Page

Review: Redemption by Veronique Launier

Title: Redemption
Author: Veronique Launier
Published: September 8th 2012 by Flux
ISBN: 0738730742
Links: Goodreads
Received: Received on Netgalley
Rating: 5 of 5

Blurb:
Guillaume: For five hundred years I’ve existed as a gargoyle. Perched atop an old Montreal church, I’ve watched idly as humanity wanders by. With the witch Marguerite gone, there is no one left to protect, nothing to care about. I never planned to feel again. But then a girl released me from my stone restraints, allowing me to return as a seventeen-year-old human boy. I must find out all I can about this girl’s power…

Aude: Getting attacked twice in as many days is strange in itself, but even stranger is the intriguing guy I keep running into. There’s something so familiar about him, like a primal drum rhythm from my dreams. But spending time together only raises more questions—about my heritage, a native Mohawk prophecy… and an unearthly magic threatening our city…

My Thoughts:
It takes place in Canada, yay!

When I began this book I thought, it’s good, and then I got to Aude’s POV and was like, uh oh. The author made a very bold move with the writing style. Guillaume’s POV is told in past tense, where as Aude’s POV is told in present tense. I wouldn’t be able to survive keeping that straight and so I spent most of the book looking for instances where the tense was wrong. The verdict: Veronique did NOT slip up!

I also enjoyed the story too. These four gargoyles are remade into humans by Aude because she’s an essentialist, basically a witch who can make them immortal. The story follows Guillaume and Aude who have a weird romantic relationship. He’s a bit stalker boy and she’s a bit off men forever because of her mother’s less than discreet taste in relationships. Guillaume does everything he can to win her over but it doesn’t work and because of that they stick more to the mystery of how she managed to give these four guys enough essence to make them human again.

Aude is also in a band, and loves guitars. Guillaume is trying to get used to a much different Montreal. He’s also mourning the loss of his friend Garnier’s lover Margaret. Through some sleuthing and genealogy, they find out that Aude is a descendant of Margaret and that’s how she’s an essentialist.

Launier is a fantastic write who gave details where they were needed and gave us spot on dialogue when it mattered most. She explained her metaphysical theories well, and I’m glad she did her homework. Gargoyles are different, done right they can be very awesome, done wrong they can be a disaster.

What I liked most about this book was Aude, she’s a very believable and real character that jumps off the pages. I love that she’s as quirky as Lola in Lola and the Boy Next Door, but also adventurous like Lena from the Castor Chronicles. All in all I think everyone who wants a paranormal romance back dropped by Montreal architecture and French culture, should read this book.