Posts tagged ‘author maria antonia diaz’

A Dreamer

I dream more books that I can write. I am a dreamer in every sense of the word. Today I wrote the last chapter of Sunrise Souls, the end of the trilogy – The Dinorah Chronicles. It took longer than anticipated, moving the December 2014 deadline to March 2015, and going past that deadline to the last week of April, today. This is the first draft, and now the hard work starts – rewriting, editing, and going through several drafts until it is ready for publication. I am very happy, and the last chapters have been written while I am going through excruciating lower back pain, taking breaks here and there, as the chair feels like a torture device, and my bed turned into a nail bed. Hey, it is all good.

The cover has been finalized, and I even ordered promo cards. Originally, I had a deadline of May 2015 for publication, pending for now, of course, due the amount of work that needs to be done. The experience of writing the last book in the trilogy was a bit different. I felt the pressure of the ending, as I became more critical of my writing. In addition, my health was challenged last year, my mood declined, and it added to the anxiety of meeting my expectations. Thinking of every roadblock I encountered, I don’t think that I performed too badly, as far as having the first draft ready today. I am grateful for that.

My next novel is waiting for me, and I think that I’ll put trilogies aside for a while. I have several novels waiting to be written, but I am letting the one that speaks louder to me become my next project. It is a process that I’ve learned to recognize as it filters to mind during my day, and captures my thoughts in the evening, sometimes making its way into my dreams. It demands to be written, thus muting the voice of the other possible novels.

I’ll share my progress here, and for now, here is a lovely picture of the first draft of Sunrise Souls.

SUNRISE SOULS

First draft – Sunrise Souls. Photo by M.A.D.

 

The Book of Sharon Excerpt

Here’s a short excerpt from The Book of Sharon – book 2 of The Dinorah Chronicles – that I wanted to share with you. I hope you enjoy it. If you’d like you can read the first two chapters on Amazon here. Just click look inside.

This excerpt is from Chapter 3 – A Letter to the Lost. It is an excerpt from Dinorah’s book, as she is inspired to reveal the ancient tome’s secrets, without revealing her ancestry or the actual book. Her book is called The Book of Sharon. I wrote The Book of Sharon as if it was a book inside a book inside a book. A bit different but I am happy with the effort.

Chapter 3 – A Letter to the Lost (excerpt)

Dear Child,

     Know that what you are asking has been done long time ago. All I ask of you is that you do what you know you have to do, in your heart. It is the plan inside you; you created it, and the spirit knows more than the flesh. The spirit knows the nourishment the flesh needs. Follow your heart wherever it leads you, and know that I am here. If you hold back you will not prosper – right now, you are holding back.”

 

And here is my demanding assistant (more like boss) Chanti, making sure that the shift runs smoothly.

Photo by M.A.D.

Photo by M.A.D.

 

 

The Blue Lily Society

I am back to posting. Thank you to all of you who visited the blog during this past weeks. I am always grateful. For today’s post, I want to feature The Blue Lily Society, a ladies club mentioned in my novels. I made the BLS up. When writing about this group, the name just came to me, and I just named it. It wasn’t until I researched the symbolism of the lily flower in many cultures throughout history that I was pleasantly surprised at how fitting the name was, and how it tied perfectly with the story. Almost eerie, because when I named the group, its purpose had not evolved in the story, and I had not researched the various meanings of the lily flower.

Depending on the culture, the meaning varies, but overall, it alludes to spirituality and the love of God or the sacred. In christianity, it is tied to the Virgin Mary, and many other saints and angels (Gabriel). Therefore, what seemed to me a lovely name for this ladies club, ended up having a strong symbolism throughout the story, and not planned, at least by the conscious mind.

Although I don’t think that there are blue lilies in nature, except for the blue Calla Lily and the Lotus also called Blue Lily or Sacred Lily, the general meaning applies to these, even in Greek mythology referring to the White Madonna Lily that sprouted from the milk of Hera. Hera was the Queen of the Gods. In Christianity, Virgin Mary would be the Madonna. In other ancient cultures, it is associated with deity, purity, the soul, and other meanings. Today, depending on the color, the lily flower represents friendship, purity, prosperity, wealth, devotion, humility …

A few weeks ago, I came across a piece of vintage jewelry that immediately reminded me of The Blue Lily Society in my novels. It is a vintage brooch from France. As soon as I saw it I thought, “this would be something the ladies of The Blue Lily Society would wear at their meetings. I ended up buying it as inspiration for my novels. Here is a picture of the brooch.

Photo by M.A.D.

Photo by M.A.D.

 

The color blue, the shield, the cross, and the Lily flower relate to the Blue Lily Society in my novels. How awesome and serendipitous is that?

 

Spread the Word – Postcards DIY

I am ready to send postcards to announce the release of The Book of Sharon – book 2 of The Dinorah Chronicles trilogy. I designed these using Vistaprint, and I am very happy with the result. I have to say that I have used this service for a lot of my promotional and business material and it is great. I am always happy with the result and quality. It is also economical. Just sharing one of my ideas; I am not affiliated with this service. It is a great way to spread the word, and you can even place them inside your books, as bookmarks.

Here is what it looks like, front and back.

Post card (front) - The Book of Sharon

Postcard (front) – The Book of Sharon

Postcard - The Book of Sharon (Back side)

Postcard – The Book of Sharon (Back side)

In addition, Moo.com is a great alternative, although they are a bit more expensive, in comparison, but offer more flexibility in creativity. They have mini cards that you can carry in your pocket, and double-sided cards perfect to create hand-out book cards. You can create an image of your cover for the front of the card and a small description of your book on the back of the card. I made mini cards for all my novels; however have not made any of the regular size with the description, but I’m planning to do so. Here is a picture of a mini card for The Book of Sharon. The back just shows my business information and logo. The mini card is about 2.75 x 1 inches.

The Book of Sharon mini card

The Book of Sharon mini card

 

There you have it, just sharing a few ideas for indie authors. Hope it inspires you.

 

The Dinorah Chronicles – The Book of Sharon

I am very happy to announce  the release of the second book of The Dinorah Chronicles trilogy – The Book of Sharon.

It is available through Amazon and CreateSpace in paperback and Kindle edition.

By now, you already know how much I love to find theme songs/videos in YouTube for my novels and what better opportunity than this one to leave you with this awesome song by the Editors – I want a forest. The youtuber is frogfromnz.  When I heard this song, I could not think of a more perfect song for the novel. The Youtuber did a great job with the video as well, and I certainly love this song by the Editors (by now, you probably know that I love the Editors).

I hope you enjoy it, so here it is.

 

PS – Thank you to all of you who have liked and follow this blog; it means a lot. Sometimes, it may take a while for me to catch up, but I always try to do my best and visit as well 🙂

 

 

Novel or Novella?

I have been immersed in the editing process of The Book of Sharon for the past couple of months. I have changed, cut, rewrite, added, pondered, ignored, and have been guilty of neglecting this blog a bit (mea culpa). In the process, I reviewed my writing habits, and what is truly important to me as a writer. I found that I needed to eliminate a few things, and strengthen others, so I could use my writing time more efficiently – in short, editing leaked from the story to my life.

I discovered that I need to tend a bit more to my author website, as well as this blog (the venues I love most), but I also discovered that I do not want to Tweet, but will continue to enjoy meeting people on Facebook, so I closed my Tweeter account. I thought about other issues that were clogging my brain, such as joining Goodreads, Shelfari, and other sites that I have pondered about too much for too long, and concluded that I don’t want to join now, despite all the advice I’ve heard for indie authors to join as many venues and be everywhere to gain exposure. I felt that I needed to get back in touch with the writer in me, and keep up the activities that I enjoy most while ignoring every sound advice out there for indie authors. At one point, it seemed overwhelming. I discovered that the only few venues I wanted to keep up at this time were Inkspeare, my website, and Facebook. I decided to offer my books through Amazon/Createspace only at this time. And while that may seem extreme, it is what I need to do to get in touch with the writer again. Finally, I gave  myself permission to accept that I do not have to follow all the trends, and understand that it is okay (however it plays out). I’d rather do more of the few activities I love, than do less in tons of other venues/activities, so I adjusted my focus.

After I sorted all this out and emptied my scattered brain, I realized that I had to make a decision about The Book of Sharon, and that is to publish it as a novella, which suited best the story, and not follow the earlier pattern of my other books, which are novels. I listened to my gut, and decided to make it a novella. It will be available through Amazon and Createspace in a few days. In the meantime, I will give you a peak at the cover.

 

THE BOOK OF SHARON

THE BOOK OF SHARON

Dinorah Sandbeck, half-Human/half-Anarth, has been chosen to deliver a message, one entrusted to her by birthright. However, she must not reveal her Anarth ancestry. The pages contained in the ancient tome may alter the path of the human race.

 

The Book of Sharon follows a different style from the other two novels, and it was a bit of a challenge to write because it included Dinorah Sandbeck’s (main character and a writer/librarian) book, as well as pages from her old tome – an ancient book that guides her and that she must protect, but those had to be weaved in the story – the story I wrote. So there are three main components to this book, as well as three voices throughout – Dinorah’s, the ancient tome, and me. Think of it as a book inside a book inside a book. To help the flow of it, as well as the tone, I felt that making it a novella suited best the style. I am happy with the decision.

Food for thought – As an independent author, how do you cope with all the advice offered and the new trends developing? 

 

Heartless Dissection Ready

I hope I didn’t scare you with the title of this post. Almost a month has gone by since I put aside the first draft of The Book of Sharon. The time away is necessary for what comes next – a heartless dissection of it, and I’m ready.

As writers, we pour our heart and soul into our work, then the time comes to forget about it, followed by a cold stare before we are ready to slash it into pieces – heartless and purposely, not an easy thing to do but necessary. From this dismemberment a second draft is assembled. The process goes on until the story is as ready as it can be.

During this time, emotions run wild – from doubt, insecurity, uncertainty, and not wanting to let go, to perfectionism, pride, fear, doubt again, restlessness, exhilaration, incessant questioning … all of it culminating in exhaustion, and all of it necessary. Sounds painful and not too enticing, but it is what writers subject themselves to repeteadly, and beyond scrupulous consideration, and all for the love of the story.

A love affair with words, a crime of passion?

 

My next victim.

First draft of The Book of Sharon

First draft of The Book of Sharon