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Messages - Evenstar

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Cover porn or "oooo, shiny!"
« on: Today at 07:45:43 AM »
Love and hearts should be thrown at it  :D

Writers' Cafe / Re: Anthony Bourdain - Imposter Syndrome and Authors
« on: June 10, 2018, 11:26:57 AM »
It's so true, when I mention depression as an illness with any group I'm talking to, it's always amazing to me how many people say they've had it or someone in their family has. It's like this great big disease that is everywhere on the scale of cancer, but no one is saying anything until I bring it up first.

I don't have depression and sometimes it's very hard for me to recognize it in the people close to me. I'm getting better at spotting the signs, but everyone is different. And people can be whatever they feel like when online, which makes it even harder.

I think as a profession that ours is probably one of the biggest for sufferers, so just say something to someone if you feel it's all too much, please!

Writers' Cafe / Re: New release 1st book series flop = series flop?
« on: June 10, 2018, 09:34:07 AM »

Not a pure flop, flop as in didn't sell any. It's just it didn't performed like I hoped to.
Maybe my expectations were way too high....

This is your issue. You only have one book, right?

I'm not saying that three is the magic number but when I released my third book in my very first series and I made book one free, that was when I started to get some traction. That series is now 8 books deep and I'll probably write some more of them. It's still my bread and butter series even though I started it in 2013.

Just keep writing
really is the only advice that matters when you first start.

Writers' Cafe / Anthony Bourdain - Imposter Syndrome and Authors
« on: June 10, 2018, 05:01:41 AM »
Hi all, this is a depressing post because I'm so upset about Anthony Bourdain. But I wanted to say something to you all.

I know he suffered a great deal from 'imposter syndrome' because he never felt like he was the real deal. He was constantly surrounded by Michelin stared chefs and he never hit that height and some times felt like a fraud because he was so famous and maybe didn't deserve it as much. He hasn't made any secret of feeling that way and I have no idea if it was a catalyst for his suicide. But I want to reach out to authors because it is definitely a 'thing' in our industry too.

I belong to groups with best selling authors who constantly wow me and overwhelm me with their amazing books and (to be completely honest) their income. I'm grateful to be included by them and to learn from them and they are all fantastic people, but sometimes we all get depressed that we aren't them. Comparing yourself to others is a rotten way to live your life and I try not to do it. But there is a flip side. And that is imposter syndrome, feeling like you don't belong in the club or you don't deserve your success.

Most of the authors I know seem strong and capable and inspiring. But you don't always know, do you? You don't know how crippled they are underneath wondering how they managed to pull it off, if it was just luck or one great book they can't ever follow up. Self doubt is actually one reason a lot of people become writers. It's a way to hide from reality and live in a safe world of your own creation, or to express the truth of your internal pain. So.... I think it needs saying that you are not alone. We all have it to varying degrees. Never be afraid to get help, even if you have an image of huge success, just reach out to someone. The Samaritans, your group, or me, if you want. x

If someone could post a link for the U.S. I'd be grateful. If you're in the UK this is the helpline: 116 123

Writers' Cafe / Re: Do Americans say gobsmacked?
« on: June 08, 2018, 01:49:25 AM »
I love regionalisms!

For a very short time, I lived in the Quad Cities area of Illinois/Iowa (Bettendorf and Davenport on the Iowa side of the Mississippi, with Moline and Rock Island on the Illinois side). There was the soda/pop thing and the grocery cart/buggy thing, but the one that really confused me was stool. That's what my born-and-bred-in-Moline friend called the toilet. My first thought was, "Then what do you call the tall, swiveling seat one perches on at a bar/tavern/pub?"

As she was a teetotaler, it seemed rude to ask.

This one had me giggling. Are you sure you understood her 'stool' reference correctly? A stool is a poo. As in "please provide a stool sample when you come for your medical checkup". Do you not use that one in the US?

We do have bar stools as well though. So, technically you could do a stool on the stool.

Grocery cart : Shopping Trolley

Soda/Pop : Fizzy drink

I use 'bloody' on a daily basis, and gobsmacked occasionally, but also poleaxed if I'm confused as well as shocked.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Any one on here from U.K.?
« on: June 08, 2018, 12:16:59 AM »
Welcome to the mad world of self-publishing and this forum specifically. I'm UK based and my experience, for what it's worth, is that UK-centric books probably (not all but mostly) don't do as well in the US as similar books that are set there and written in US English. The market is just so much bigger. Having said that, in certain genres, UK based books do pretty well in the US. As for the writing, just keep plugging away at it and before you now it, one day, you'll type The End and your first book will be part way to being finished.
Good luck with it all.

Yes, all of this. My first book in my sig below sits at around #40,000 in the US store, but camps out around #2,000 in the UK store. I think I just write too British! I'm from the South West.

I also write teen romances and the US teens email me all the time say they love the British stuff OR they leave reviews saying my grammar and spelling are terrible because I say things like 'colour' instead of 'color'.  ::)

I too am an overworked mum, so you have my sympathies. Best thing you can do is wait until after bedtimes and just get that book finished!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Is this name for a novel ok?
« on: June 06, 2018, 03:19:45 PM »
Call it The Hobbit of Obedience and add some BDSM and you've got it made  ;)

Cos other peeple are dumb.

Its there fault. My boooks are like amazebulls

Writers' Cafe / Re: 2018 Premium Book Covers
« on: May 29, 2018, 02:55:50 PM »
Just popping in to the thread to say that I really recommend joining Sherry's facebook group. I managed to snag this cover before anyone else and at her special members discount, ha ha  :P

I haven't actually written the book yet, but I loved it too much to ignore it! And now it is mine  ;D

Writers' Cafe / Re: Opening lines
« on: May 22, 2018, 03:55:10 PM »
I think we had this thread recently and someone posted my absolute favourite:

“Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-eight million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.” – Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams

Writers' Cafe / Re: Ice Tea or Iced Tea?
« on: May 22, 2018, 03:52:22 PM »
So you guys use real tea? Do you make it properly first, then wait for it to cool down before adding the ice? Otherwise I'm imagining it would simply melt the ice and you'd end up with "Lukewarm Tea".

And Lukewarm Tea just sounds disgusting. In fact, it is!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Author Central for Australia?
« on: May 22, 2018, 01:07:00 AM »
Are there any other author centrals apart from .com and

Writers' Cafe / Re: Ice Tea or Iced Tea?
« on: May 22, 2018, 12:10:16 AM »
But be warned that in the UK we would expect it to be alcoholic

Good grief, this is a fun argument from a British point of view.

The average salary in the UK is around 27k GBP ($35k ish?), so even half of 100k is nearly twice the average income.

Of course, we don't pay for health care so I'm sure that saves a chunk.

I want to tell some people to take a reality check, but it's a tomatoes tomatoes argument. It's all relative!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Covers – Premade... but unique!
« on: May 15, 2018, 03:18:13 AM »
Hi Steve,

So glad you did this. That couple on the cover of Above Everything Else really come out at you, that would stand out extremely well against a lot of the usual 'flat' romance. But the one with the little boy actually tugged my heartstrings. You just know it's going to be incredibly moving and heart-aching! I really hope that whoever buys it writes a happy ending for him otherwise I might cry, a lot!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Cover Design by Perie Wolford + Premades Sale
« on: May 14, 2018, 04:00:49 PM »
Just dropping into the thread to say that Perie just started working on a YA series for me that was totally last minute and he made all my changes super fast! Thanks Perie.

I haven't loaded the book covers anywhere yet but here is the banner he did to go with book one that I'm using as a teaser on my website.

Hi Sparling,

I'm just here to give you a "solidarity" fist bump because your YA books and my YA books have nestled together for a few years now.

I went through this same thing a year ago and decided that YA was no longer profitable and that I had to switch genres. Well, I did, and it's been really hard! New pen name, no list etc. It's a slow process to start over, but I quickly realized something - even that $500 a month from the YA books was better than nothing. It wasn't what I used to make but it was still too much to just throw away. So now I'm running two names and it's still a lot of work and still hard, but diversifying is good and so is sticking with what you had. Are you in a position to do both? That would be my recommendation.

Either way, I really hope it works out for you, the main thing is not to give up  :-*

I have a new series coming up, I'll certainly take your offer for a free cover to see if it hits the mark, but it would be great if you could PM me with what you think you'd charge for subsequent covers in the same series (no point in switching designers once you have book one sorted).

Well, I think it's pretty good now and we're just being over picky!

I like the one on the right, though either would do well.

Only please please ask the artist to get rid of that girl's adam's apple. She looks like a man pretending to be a woman. They don't stick out like that on women!

Writers' Cafe / Re: I am having a senile moment
« on: May 11, 2018, 02:08:24 AM »
It's a really tricky one actually.

I've said this several times but it never hurts to say it again  ;)
I am British and all my YA books are written in British English, but there are a lot of reviews on them from U.S. teenagers complaining about my spelling and my incorrect word usage. (Even though I have a bolded statement at the front of every book telling them it is British English!)

I've tried to compensate by always having an American proofreader who also looks out for unfamiliar words or phrases. But the reviews still happen.

So, when I started my new pen name I switched to using American English. And surprise surprise, not a single review so far complaining about it! It's kind of sad actually...

Writers' Cafe / Re: Slogan for a vampire hotel/bar
« on: May 11, 2018, 01:08:31 AM »
RIP Here

Writers' Cafe / Re: Romance: The (not-so) Gentle Heroine
« on: May 11, 2018, 12:37:52 AM »
Ooh, I do love the blue-stockings! I searched for those characters when I was a younger teen and wanted to do nothing but read.

My passion was Greek and Roman Mythology and I would have been thrilled to find "intellectual" heroines in the romance books I read, there seemed to be a distinct lack of it back then. Still isn't enough of them....

Writers' Cafe / Re: News Covers... I Just Don't Know...
« on: May 10, 2018, 02:11:58 PM »
Take a nap, then consider re-visiting image 3. It is way more 'atmospheric' than the one you have right now. It says that the book will be thrilling as opposed to romantic.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Romance: The (not-so) Gentle Heroine
« on: May 10, 2018, 02:06:42 PM »
I'm pretty sure that most modern women are quite eye-rolling at the 'perfect' heroines.

Virginal, fine. They ought to be because of the era. And kind and patient, yes, as Usedtoposthere says, those are strong qualities. Also, goodnatured is good, I personally hate negative moaning 'snarky' stroppy heroines, I'd much rather have one that has a great sense of humour and laughs easily. But sweet? Ugh... No. Definitely give me someone with a glint in their eye, someone who does what they think is right even if it is against the grain, someone who will turn on their heel and walk away from the hero if he is being a PITA.

It sounds to me like your books are going in the right direction. Carry on!

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