Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Cold Moon Press’

As an author whose 6 books have been published by Indie publishers (Lite Circle Books, Vegetarian Resource Group, Cold Moon Press, and Mockingbird Lane Press), I’m always interested when I hear of someone starting a new Indie Press.

Founding an independent press requires optimism, a willingness to learn, hard work, and a love of books – not to mention luck and a little bit of money. A friend who founded an Indie press said she was motivated by a desire to publish the kind of books she liked to read. Another friend began a press to publish her own books just the way she wanted them to be published, then began accepting book manuscripts from other writers. Still another friend founded an Indie press because she was interested in books that promoted certain ideas in which she believed.

I just read a good interview of Bacon Press Books founder, Michele Orwin, on writer C.M. Mayo’s blog. I think you’ll find it informative.

For those who write speculative work, a good source for locating Indie publishers of genre books is Ralan.com.

If you want to check out my Indie press published books (Owl Light, The Greener Forest, The Enchanted Skean, etc.) – you can see them (and maybe purchase one or more) on Amazon and elsewhere.

Read Full Post »

1 Clockwork Owl large This is the thirteenth blog in a series of owl-focused posts to promote Owl Light, my new YA-friendly collection of stories featuring owls. Each post features a mix of owl art, facts, folklore, quotes, and links to owlish sites. If you’re a fan of owls, or know someone whooo is, follow my blog, buy my book, and be kind to these beautiful birds.
Owl art: One of my owl pen and ink sketches from Owl Light. I had great fun creating this “Clockwork Owl” to go with the book’s opening story of the same name.
Owl fact: Unable to move their eyes very much within their sockets, owls instead must move their heads to see. And wow do they! They can turn their head up to 270° (but not all the way around 360°).
Owl saying: I live too near a wood to be scared by an owl.
Owl link: For fans of Snowy Owls, Paul Asimow’s Snowy Owl Page is a must see, and a fact-filled Snowy Owl video.
And, of course, here’s a buy link for Owl Light.
Or buy it from The Owl Pages and help out owls.

Read Full Post »

I’m really excited my newest book, Owl Light, has been published. I’ve added owl information and videos to Whimsical Words, but I need help from my friends and readers to make Owl Light a success.

My publisher, Cold Moon Press, is indie. What that means is their marketing budget is tiny, but YOU, my friends and readers are mighty.

I’ve compiled a list of things you can do (#1 requires spending money, but the rest are free) to help promote Owl Light. (And, if you choose, my other 2 recent books, The Enchanted Skean and The Greener Forest, also from indie presses).

I’ve tried to make the tasks on this list as easy as I can – in some cases, a simple cut-and-paste. But, as easy as these tasks seem, each and every one of them will have a huge impact.

I hope you’ll consider taking a few minutes and choosing one task from this list (or more!) And if you do, scroll all the way down to the bottom of the post for the bribes – ah, rewards – I’m offering. Thanks for your help. – Vonnie

Costs some dollars:
1Buy Owl Light. Of course. Then…
1aWrite a review and post it somewhere (your blog, Goodreads, Amazon, etc.)

Free to do:
2Contact your local library and ask them to purchase copies of Owl Light (and also, The Enchanted Skean and The Greener Forest, for that matter). This is usually pretty simple. In fact, most metropolitan area library systems have an online form where patrons can request a book. Then…

2aCheck Owl Light out, read, write a review, and post it somewhere (your blog, GoodreadsAmazon, etc.)

3Copy one of the below icons, and use it for a day as your user picture on social media, with a post explaining what it is:

For Twitter:
My icon today is @VonnieWCrist ’s new book, Owl Light, a collection of dark fantasy & science-fiction tales: http://tinyurl.com/Owl-Light-Vonnie-W-Crist-Amazn

small owl light

 

 

 

 

 

For Facebook:
My user picture today is the cover of Vonnie Winslow Crist’s  new novel, Owl Light, a collection of dark fantasy & science fiction tales. Check it out at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and elsewhere.

Maybe6 owl light cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Pinterest:
Pin Owl Light or one of Vonnie’s other books.

3a– Post about Owl Light, skipping the icon. That’s great, too.

4Bookmark Owl Light on sites such as Delicious/del.icio.us, Digg, or add it to StumbleUpon, or Reddit:
http://tinyurl.com/Vonnie-Winslow-Crist-Amazon
http://tinyurl.com/Vonnie-Winslow-Crist-B-N

5Freely post this specially-written blog post as a guest post on your blog. You don’t have to ask permission or anything. Just copy, paste, and publish.

6Tell a fellow reader about the book, face to face or in email.

7Chose Owl Light for your readers’ or book club’s selection. Contact me using the form on my website and I’ll be glad to Skype with your group. Discussion questions are on my website, too.

8– Are you a middle or high school teacher or home schooler? Chose Owl Light to read with your students. Discussion questions are on my website. Contact me using the form on my website and I’ll be glad to Skype with your group.

9Organizing a sf/f con or writers’ conference? If you’re nearby, it would be an honor to attend and participate on writer and/or illustrator panels. Or if you’re looking for an Artist Guest of Honor, I’ve had over 1,000 illos published, and for travel expenses, room, and con fees, I’d be happy to appear. Contact me using the contact form on my website and let me know if you’re interested.

10Create! I’d love for you to draw/paint something from Owl Light or create a youtube video dramatizing a story (or the whole book). I only ask 2 things: credit Owl Light as inspiration, and let me know about it (so I can link to it).

11Put an affiliate buy now link for Owl Light on your website, using a program like Amazon Affiliates (doesn’t cost $ and you may make some $).

I’d like to show my gratitude to anyone who does any of the above on my behalf. Please email me using the contact form on my website and let me know!

– If you complete tasks 1 – 4 from the list, I’d like to publicly thank you on my social media, so let me know your handle or user name.

– Complete tasks 1-5, 6, and (either 7, 8 or 9) from the list, I’d like to send you an e-copy of one of my books, and publicly thank you.

– Complete 1-5, 6, (either 7, 8 or 9), and 10 or all 11 tasks, I’d like to mail you a paperback copy of one of my books, and, of course, publicly give you my thanks.

PS. Thanks to Caren Gussoff for the idea for this post.

Read Full Post »

This is the fourth blog in a series of owl-focused posts to promote Owl Light, my new YA-friendly collection of stories featuring owls. Each post features a mix of owl art, facts, folklore, quotes, and links to owlish sites. If you’re a fan of owls, or know someone whooo is, follow my blog, buy my book, and be kind to these beautiful birds.

13 Three Owls extra Owl art: One of my owl pen and ink sketches from Owl Light.

Owl fact: Mice, voles, rabbits, insects, birds, and even fish are on the menu of owls. Since owls cannot chew their food, they swallow chunks of their prey. Later, owls regurgitate pellets of bone, fur, teeth, feathers, and other indigestible material.

Owl folklore: According to folklore, if you hear an owl hooting, count the hoots for a peek into the future:
1 hoot for impending death
2 hoots for success in a venture
3 hoots a woman will marry into the family
4 hoots for a disturbance
5 hoots for travel
6 hoots for guests arriving
7 hoots for mental distress
8 hoots for sudden death
and 9 hoots for good fortune

Owl link: Here’s an interesting article, How to Attract Owls (And Why You Want To)  and a video of four species of owls hooting.

And, of course, here’s a buy link for Owl Light.
Or buy it from The Owl Pages and help out owls.

Read Full Post »

I’ve always found the number 13 to be lucky. I know many of the people reading this post will disagree, whether they suffer from Triskadekaphobia (fear of the number 13) or not.

Maybe it’s because my daughter was born on the 13th of the month – though I liked #13 long before then. Perhaps it’s because a baker’s dozen gives the buyer one extra donut to eat. As a writer, maybe it’s because there are 26 letters in the alphabet (2 times 13). Or perhaps it’s simply because the number 13 is unloved by others.

Skean copy Two thousand and thirteen has been a good year so far in my writing life. My fantasy novel, The Enchanted Skean, was published by Mockingbird Lane Press, and a collection of speculative stories, Owl Light, is due out from Cold Moon Press within a year. Plus I’ve gotten to interact with my readers at the Bel Air Authors Day (Maryland, USA), Balticon (SF/F con), the Black-Eyed Susan Book Celebration at the Towson Library (Maryland, USA), a Harford Writers Group meeting, and I’m due to speak at several other events including meetings of various branches of the Maryland Writers Association.

And June 13th has turned out to be a good day, too. I have a guest post up on writer Anne E. Johnson’s Jester Harley’s Manuscript Page: http://anneejohnson.blogspot.com/2013/06/vonnie-winslow-crist-on-using-fact-in.html I talk about using fact as the beginning place for writing fiction. You can read about several of the facts that were incorporated in The Enchanted Skean.

I also have a new interview up on Lindsay and Jane’s Views and Reviews: http://lindsayandjaneviewsandreviews.blogspot.com/2013/06/interview-with-vonnie-winslow-crist.html I really appreciated the thoughtful questions posed by Romina, the interviewer, and I hope my answers will prove to be interesting to readers. And thanks to Romina for reviewing The Enchanted Skean. A brief excerpt of her review: “The book evolves around a mystical world that in such a well-written descriptive is easy for the reader to imagine. The characters are fun and defined well in the story…This is a book full of creatures of folklore and…fantastical moments that will appeal to a…reader with a passion for this genre.”

Happy June 13th everyone – and in my next post I’ll tell you about one of my fears and how I was forced to confront it on May 31, 2013.

Read Full Post »

Vonnie2 The end of May is always a busy time for me. Why? Balticon, the Baltimore Science Fiction Society’s annual convention, is held on the Memorial Day weekend: http://balticon.org For more than 20 years, I’ve helped with the Poetry Workshop with the encouragement of my friend and this year’s con chair, Patti Kinlock. (Of course years ago, Balticon was held on the Easter weekend – and I must say I’m grateful it’s in May nowadays).

Many writers don’t bother to attend conventions and conferences, but I find it’s a good idea to interact not only with readers (and fans), but with other writers. Sometimes you just chat and listen to what others have to say about writing, publishing, and editing on the various panels, but often writers have the opportunity to network. In my case, several invitations to submit to anthologies have come about because I attended a con.

I encourage writers (and would-be writers) to attend conventions and conferences. Soak up as much information as you can and take the time to network. I encourage readers to attend cons where authors and illustrators are talking about their craft, autographing their books, and happily meeting their fans. Maybe one of your favorites will be there, or perhaps you’ll discover a new author whose books are just up your alley!

As for me, this Saturday and Sunday, I’ll be at Balticon in Hunt Valley, Maryland. I’ll be reading with 2 other Young Adult authors at 10AM on Saturday, May 25th and autographing at 5 PM. Plus, I should be at the Broad Universe table www.broaduniverse.org for most of Saturday if you’re interested in chatting or purchasing one of my books. On Sunday, May 26th I’ll be participating in the Broad Universe Reading at 9 AM, leading the Poetry Workshop at 12 noon, attending the Poetry Awards at 1:50 PM, and spending an hour with Cold Moon Press at 8 PM. So please stop by and say “Hi!”

For those who can’t attend Balticon, here are links to 2 guest blogs by me on the Young Adult Cross-Over Market: http://patriciastoltey.blogspot.com/2013/05/the-young-adultcross-over-market-by.html and The Wisewoman Archetype: http://sandywriterblog.wordpress.com/2013/05/20/guest-post-from-vonnie-winslow-crist-the-wisewoman-archetype/ I hope you enjoy the guest posts.

Skean copy I’ll be doing more guest posts and interviews this spring and summer as I promote The Enchanted Skean. And I’ll be hoping for good reviews from readers, bloggers, and reviewers alike. As for cons – I’m planning on participating in Hallowread: www.hallowread.blogspot.com , Darkover: www.darkovercon.org and maybe one more. Have a Happy Memorial Day Weekend and keep on reading!

Read Full Post »

The Enchanted Skean – Book I of The Chronicles of Lifthrasir, my Young Adult coming-of-age adventure novel filled with magic, miracles, and mystery, is finally in the hands of the printer. Hooray! Now, here’s Part I of the journey from a jumble of ideas to a published book:

The Enchanted Skean was begun in Feb. 2006, 1st draft completed in June 2006, novel signed with a reputable NY agent in Sept. 2006, 1st major revision 2007, 2nd major revision 2008, literary agency closed in 2009 without warning after doing little for me or my book. Sigh. Luckily, I’d continued to write short stories, two of which won Honorable Mentions in L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future contests.

So, in August 2009, I set aside The Enchanted Skean, and focused on writing short stories – 3 of which were published as ebooks by Echelon Press. Still focused on short fiction, I wrote, revised, and had multiple stories published in 2010, and I pulled a collection of fantasy tales together, titled the book The Greener Forest, and sent the manuscript to a new publisher. After revising the manuscript according the the editor’s suggestions and adding illustrations, the book was published in spring 2011 by Cold Moon Press.

The Greener Forest 300 dpi cover With the publication of The Greener Forest, I decided to pull out and dust off my Young Adult novel. Unwilling to put all my eggs in one basket, I also wrote and found publishers for short stories. For a year, I sent query letters off to agents and publishers alike looking for a home for The Enchanted Skean. I came close twice to finding a publisher, but at the last minute, they decided to go with someone else’s book. Still, I never lost faith in my writing or the quality of my YA fantasy novel.

In spring 2011, Mockingbird Lane Press responded to my query with a requested to see sample chapters and a synopsis. I’d been through this before, so with only the smallest pinch of hope, I sent off the requested materials. A few days later, I got a letter from Mockingbird Lane Press asking for the complete manuscript. Again, this wasn’t something new – several other publishers had requested the full manuscript only to say, “Sorry.”

Two weeks later, the acceptance letter arrived: “We want to publish The Enchanted Skean.” Whoot! My journey had finally come to an end. Wait a minute – not so fast. My journey from a few scribbled pages to a printed book had only just begun.

First lesson learned from my Novel’s Tale: Faith in the quality of your manuscript is one of the most important things a writer can have.

Stop by this weekend for another Reader’s & Writer’s Recipe, Monday for a guest author, and next week for Part II of my Novel’s Tale.

Read Full Post »

As 2012 draws to a close, I look back on a year filled with professional highs and lows.

pillywiggins My young adult novel, The Enchanted Skean, once represented by a successful New York literary agent found itself homeless when the agency closed. Due to family obligations, I couldn’t go to a science-fiction/fantasy convention I wanted to attend, and another con didn’t even acknowledge my desire to participate. My 2nd collection of speculative short stories, Owl Light, needed at least 2 more stories and I couldn’t seem to write the right tales. Plus, I had to wait my turn in the publishing schedule (not always easy to do when you’re anxious to see your work in print). A fantasy painting accepted for a magazine cover was not used when the editor left her position. Several stories I thought well-written were rejected from what seemed to me to be perfect markets. And I could go on.

But wait, before I cry in my tea, for every setback, there was something positive in my author-illustrator life.

My young adult novel, The Enchanted Skean, found a home with the wonderful folks at Mockingbird Lane Press, and is due to be published in early 2013. I was able to attend and participate on writer panels at the Library of Congress,  Balticon, and Darkover. And I had several unexpected book signing opportunities at the Bel Air Authors & Artists Holiday Sale and the Carroll County Farmer’s Market Authors’ Day. Ideas for the 2 tales I needed to write for Owl Light sprang into my head like nibble sprites, and my turn to be published by the excellent Cold Moon Press is rapidly drawing near. Though that one painting hasn’t made it to the cover of a magazine yet, 2 others were used for the covers of Bards & Sages Quarterly and Scifikuest. Perfect markets accepted and published several of my stories: Tales of the Talisman, Ocean Stories, and Zombies for a Cure. And I will go on!

Harford’s Heart Magazine featured one of my paintings as a cover and did a feature article on me as an illustrator. Bards & Sages accepted another painting for a 2013 cover. I had 2 ebooks published by Cold Moon Slivers and, yeah!, I got to do the cover art. I had the opportunity to appear as a guest on several blogs. The reviews for my 1st Cold Moon Press book, The Greener Forest, continue to be good. Broad Universe, a fabulous group that supports women who write speculative work, featured me 3 times on their Broadpod podcast, and once on Broadly Speaking. The beginning of an unpublished YA fantasy novel won the Silver Award from Maryland Writers Association. I felt honored to judge both a poetry competition and an art contest.

I’ve gotten to meet many readers and writers in 2012, both in-person and via Facebook, Goodreads, etc. And I was lucky enough to have a poem in the final issue of EMG-Zine, an online speculative magazine. Yes, I said final issue. Though the archives are supposed to remain available, EMG-Zine has closed its doors to new poems, stories, articles, and art work. The editor may be gaining time to work on her own creative endeavors, but readers and writers will surely miss this lovely publication.

And so, 2012 draws to a close. On this last day of the old year, I have an interview up on Highlighted Author- http://highlightedauthor.com/2012/12/welcome-vonnie-winslow-crist/ Thanks, Charlene A. Wilson for allowing me to finish 2012 on a high note. (Okay, that was a little punny.)  I look forward to 2013 with all of its ups and downs, unexpected curves, and joyous surprises. And may 2013 bring good things to each of you.

PS: Though I try to count my blessings accurately, I’m sure I’ve over-looked a publisher or 2 who has used my work. Thanks to them, too.

Read Full Post »

   Guest blogging is both terrifying and rewarding. But I believe if an author wants to raise the visibility of her books, she has to grit her teeth and push herself into the blogging world. So I’ve stepped outside my comfort zone once again, and revealed a good deal about myself and my career in an Author Tale post on Indie Ebook Review.
   I’m thankful to writer David Lowbridge for both hosting me and for his comments on the post:  “Our first ever Author Tales has just gone live over on the blog! I would like to thank Vonnie Winslow Crist for being the brave soul who took the first spot. Its not easy being first. What she has written is a clear and brilliant piece of advice for all authors.”
   I encourage you to check out the article and share your thoughts on what I’ve written:
http://indieebookreview.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/alls-well-that-ends-well-cautionary.html
   Now, to bravely push myself to do even more guest blogs!

Read Full Post »

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop is a chance for authors around the world to tell you what they’re working on. The author answers 10 questions about their next book, and tags the person who first tagged them, plus at least 5 other authors. So, I was very happy when I was tagged by Jennifer Allis Provost: http://www.jenniferallisprovost.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-next-big-thing-blog-hop.html So here goes…

 What is the working title of your book? Owl Light. I stumbled across the word while reading, and instantly fell in love with the idea of a group of tales united by their connection to the dusky time of owls. Of course, coming from a background in art and creative writing, I had to toss in a few theme-appropriate poems and illustrations.

Where did the idea come from for the book? Each of the stories had their own beginning place. Often a scrap of folklore or fabulously strange news article inspired me. The mermaid story began with an article about a girl born with sirenomelia or Mermaid’s Syndrome. There’s a Day of the Dead story which includes lots of traditions that are used today – but it’s set in the far future on a distant world. And there’s a different take on the Rumplestiltskin fairytale. The remaining stories feature a clockwork owl, a selkie, a trow and his faithful buggane, ghosts, a future-seeing margay, the Daughter of Winter, an ancient sea giant, and other magical folks.

What genre does your book fall under? Speculative – which means that each tale is either fantasy or science fiction, though I did add in a couple of ghost stories. A little darker in tone than my 2011 collection, The Greener Forest, Owl Light is still Young Adult appropriate.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? Since there are a dozen tales, there are lots of characters to cast. There are a couple of characters Johnny Depp would be perfect for. I can see Cate Blanchett, Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Lawrence, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Cicely Tyson in some of the female roles. And Nathan Fillion, Alan Rickman, Elijah Wood, Christopher Walken, and Warwick Davis in some of the male roles.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Owl Light dares the reader to step into a world where owls wake from slumber, shadows appear where shadows ought not be, dreams change to nightmares, and dawn is more distant than you know.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? Owl Light will be published by Cold Moon Press. But because CMP is a small publisher, as the author/illustrator, I have to take a lot of responsibility for promoting the book.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? Some of the stories were written a year or 2 ago, and some last week. I think a collection of stories begins to come together before an author realizes she’s writing a book. Then, once she’s determined to pull a book together using her short fiction, the author focuses and writes additional tales that complete the overall concept of the collection.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Perhaps a collection of stories from Charles de Lint or Neil Gaiman or Andre Norton would have a similar vibe. Of course, these writers are so amazing, I can only dream of reaching their level of skill.

Who or What inspired you to write this book? Owls and moonlight! As I write in the beginning of the book: “In Owl Light, that darksome time when creatures of the shadows move amongst us, how easy it is to believe in the mysterious and magical.”

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? Several of the stories have won awards, including a Writers of the Future Honorable Mention. I’m the book’s cover artist, and in the print version, there are over a dozen black & white illos of mythic creatures that populate the stories. And I did lots of research on owls to add in accurate details about these amazing nocturnal birds.

And now, on to some wonderful writers and their Next Big Thing (I’ll post direct links as soon as I get them):

Douglas Cobb- http://douglascobb.wordpress.com/2012/10/23/the-next-big-thing-blog-hop-article-douglas-r-cobb/

Laura Shovanhttp://authoramok.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-next-big-thing.html

Dianne Gardnerhttp://dragontargeseries.blogspot.com/p/next-big-think-blog-hop.html

Christine Stewarthttp://www.therealwriter.com/my-weblog/2012/10/the-next-big-thing-blog-hop.html

Fernando WordPimp Quijanohttp://thewordpimpspits.blogspot.com

Craig Alan Loewen- www.literary-equine.livejournal.com

Tami Coxhttps://www.facebook.com/spiritsofgettysburg?fref=ts  (Scroll down to Oct. 13 entry)

Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to make comments and ask questions.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »