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Topics - CynthiaClay

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Writers' Cafe / Type of Fantasy Not Violence Laden
« on: May 10, 2018, 04:57:34 PM »
Since the finish of my last book in my fantasy saga is in sight, I am thinking about what I should write next. Everytime someone mentions that their fantasy type of book is doing well I go read its blurb, one to see what is to market, and two to see if I want to read it. Frequently the books are just laden with violence, and that is not my cup of tea. Don't get me wrong, I'll put some violence in since so many readers want that and I have an expert in street fighting and martial arts to help me, but the major thrust being violence, nononono.

So folks, if your fantasy books (any type of fantasy and sf too) are not so violent, would you mention them (if you don't have the links in your signature) and say why you think they are doing well?

I'd appreciate it a lot, both in terms of writing advice and also in terms of finding more books to read.

I really want to support Indie authors, so who do you consider the absolute best in their genres? For instance, I think Gene Doucette is tops in sf for plotting and language ability. James H. Clay is tops in historical (not that I'm biased; he did get promoted to full professor on the quality of The Joshua Machine). :P

Please only list Indie authors.

Thanks so much! ;D


In this third book of The Saga of the Dragon Born, Tristabé-airta, banished from her father’s kingdom of Allsongs, must find a mentor so that she can advance in her training in magic. But no one wants to teach a miscreant, especially one who pulled from the ocean ten waterspouts and destroyed a village with them. On the road alone and prey to griffons, ruffians, and a frightening god who lusts for her, Tristabé-airta must find a way to improve her control over her magic.
And Allsongs? Allsongs must prepare for a truly terrible winter, having banished the one person with the magical ability to right the weather–Tristabé-airta.  The poets have always said Tristabé-airta is Allsongs’s best defense, so having her driven her out, the new heirs of Allsongs must protect Allsongs from enemy kings and their own dragon natures on their own. Despite the king’s decree, Tristabé-airta’s milk sister Em keeps in touch with Tristabé-airta and gives her what help her magic can provide.

Writers' Cafe / Cover Reveal: Curtis did it again, another great cover
« on: December 05, 2017, 01:34:57 PM »
I just love these covers Curtis has made for me.

Thank you so much, Curtis!

Writers' Cafe / Proof Reader Anxiety
« on: November 29, 2017, 08:46:50 AM »
As I'll have a new book up in week, I was again hit with Proof Reader Anxiety. That is, how to find a proof-reader who I can trust to do it right. This might seem silly, but let me tell you I know lots of people who ought to know their punctuation and spelling and don't. For instance, I have a wonderfully talented author friend who does not know how to punctuate dialog. He is convinced I do it wrong, but, hey, not only did I go to good schools in 2 different countries (and he went to a public school system notoriously bad) but I also taught remedial grammar, punctuation, and composition for a community college for five years. When you have to teach it you have to learn and get it right. Then there is the other writer who doesn't know comma rules for the life of her. I mean, spend the fifteen minutes to learn them, geesh. Then there is the editor who changes how I spell my made-up character names. Now I spend a lot of time with these characters, and I know how they insist they spell their names. So thanks to this experience, I get lots of angst when needing to find a proof-reader. My last editor was super, but she went off to work on a Ph.d.

I'm writing this post very carefully, to avoid errors. Normally I just dash my posts off without a worry towards spelling and punctuation perfection. Being dyslexic, my writing gets full of all sorts of weird spelling mistakes, and it takes me much longer to proof my writing than it does to write it. Nevertheless, there is always something I miss, dang it.

However, I have found a proof-reader. I always find one, but I still get very anxious about it. Anybody else get these after-the-book-is-written types of anxieties?

Writers' Cafe / Indie Authors Wanted
« on: November 27, 2017, 06:24:13 PM »
I run a boutique theater/art gallery/bookstore, and I need books. I specialize in selling Indie Author paperbacks. Basically you rent shelf space and send your books to me, and you keep 80% of your sales. For more information go to storycrafter studio dot org  Be sure to browse the site. We have photos and films up. I hope to hear from my fellow Indie authors!

Writers' Cafe / Hey wolves, please gnaw on this blurb
« on: November 26, 2017, 11:47:49 AM »
Blurb for Banishment: Book Three of the Saga of the Dragon Born:

Banished from her father’s kingdom of Allsongs, Tristabé-airta must find a mentor so that she can advance in her magical training. But no one wants to teach a miscreant, especially one who pulled up ten waterspouts and destroyed a village with them. On the road alone and prey to griffons, ruffians, and worst of all a frightening god who lusts for her, Tristabé-airta must find a way to do penance and improve her control over her magic. And Allsongs? Allsongs must prepare for a truly terrible winter, the worst the mild, warm climate has ever faced, and its new heirs to the throne must protect Allsongs from enemy kings and their own dragon natures.

Thank you for your comments!

Writers' Cafe / Hurricane Affected Authors
« on: September 18, 2017, 11:03:49 AM »

I've made a post on the readers forum for readers to hear about what those of us affected by Harvey and Irma are experiencing.,255502.0.html

I find it cathartic to post about my experiences and I think it important other authors post too so that people know that just because your house wasn't wiped out there is still plenty of physical, emotional, and financial cost. Having no power when the temperatures are 90+ degrees is horrible.  Make mention of  your trials to get it off your chest and to let readers know support is often simply a sympathetic attention.

Be sure to have your book cover links in your sigs so that if reader want to they can help you financially by supporting your writing.


I live in Miami, which did not receive the brunt of Irma, still had 100 mph winds for about 30 hours. As a result my family and I had no power for a solid week in the sweltering 90+ temperatures. In Miami it often is 90+ degrees in the middle of the night. During that week there was a boil water order but we had no power to boil water. (Yes, I got diarrhea before I knew of the boil water order).The storm tore off roof tiles downed all the branches from our trees, smashing the windshield of our car. A side fence fell down. My mother is  91 and often has "accidents." She got frightened of the dark and so decided to poop in the hallway. Imagine cleaning up a floor covered in feces and urine while the wind rages and the roof begins to leak. We have insurance, but there is a $7,000 deductible. Our damage was not enough to warrant a claim, but near it. Plus we had to buy hurricane groceries, stay a night in a hotel when we could not endure another night of no sleep, buy gas at price gauging prices and hire people to put up the wood around our windows and help clear away the tons of branches all over our property. And we are among the lucky ones! In Andrew we had neither power nor water. Let me tell you having water makes a big difference, even if you can't drink it or brush your teeth with it.

So I am starting this thread to alert readers the best way to help those of us affected by the hurricanes but don't need the FEMA, Red Cross, or other disaster assistance is to support our writing. Also, having a space hurricane affected writers can tell about what they have endured helps to relieve the intense stress. Writers don't add a new link to your books. Let the book covers in your signatures be enough for readers who like your genre to find your books. Let's just identify ourselves as hurricane affected writers and tell of our experiences.

One of the best things about getting the power back is being able to get back to writing!

Thank your everyone for letting me express what I've been coping with and for supporting me in my writing.

Writers' Cafe / Harvey and Floods Affecting your sales?
« on: August 28, 2017, 12:09:45 PM »
With tens of thousands of people displaced, is it affecting your sales? Such a monumental catastrophe, I feel so sorry for the people in Texas. I hope in future they will elect people who will work to fight these climate catastrophes caused by global warming.

Writers' Cafe / Amazon hiding my free book
« on: August 18, 2017, 05:47:56 PM »
I bought an ad for a book of my which I currently offering for free as a promo. The ad place listed all these place that would run the ad, so I published the book at Smashwords as well as Amazon. Amazon matched the free price after I asked them too. The problem is that as soon as they listed it as free, it does not show up in their search engine. Also, even though the book is ranked as #20 in fantasy, if you look at top 100 in free fantasy my book is not in the 20 spot, a Kindle unlimited book is. I think this is very unfair.

Also a book I took off of Smashwords so I can get it into the Kindle Select however, that option has yet to appear on my bookself. Anybody have experience with that problem? If you got it back to Amazon exclusive to put in Kindle Select, how long did you have to wait for Amazon to accept it?

If you are wondering which book is the #20 in free fantasy, just look at these covers and chose the one where the title begins with a C and the woman is wearing jewelry.

 :-[ :(

Writers' Cafe / Pirate Warning!
« on: August 09, 2017, 11:10:49 AM »
I just found that a site called is listing one of my novels for free when that book is not free. You have to sign in with a credit card, which I did not do, and warn you not to do. I called the credit card company and told them they were supporting a pirate site and to desist and decease pirating my book. is the credit card company; their email is supposedly


I wish Amazon would do a class action suit on our behalf!

Writers' Cafe / Wolves, please have at this fantasy blurb
« on: June 27, 2017, 12:43:37 PM »
All comments on this blurb will be greatly appreciated:

In an age when dragons hoard treasure, bad kings steal what little wealth the small kingdom of Allsongs has and plot the day when they will overcome it. But Allsongs is a haven for poets, giving it a power the evil kings do not expect. So a second attempt on the life of sword and king souled Princess Burta, is thwarted by the magical Talent of the poets. And Burta comes to realize she must prove her friendship to the Princess Royal of Allsongs, Tristabé-airta, even though Burta keeps a secret close to her heart that she does not realize will be a rending betrayal to Allsongs’ best hope and defense, Tristabé-airta.

Writers' Cafe / What's the market want today?
« on: June 20, 2017, 05:49:15 PM »
Admittedly, trying to figure out what is trendy or marketable makes my head spin 360, and I then promptly vomit pea soup, and Latin insults spoken backwards also issue from my mouth after the expelling of the pea soup.  :'(

I thought epic fantasy was still a marketable market. I am in the midst of writing the 3rd book in the series and expect to write 4 in series. Even though sales have tanked, I want to finish the series because I can't just leave it unfinished, but then I'll move on with an aim to writing for market. (Even though I thought I had written to market.) And the book has such a great cover too!

Those of you who are really good at figuring out by the Amazon ranks what are market niche's would you please take pity and list some? They don't have to be your own niche, just some genre niche or five that is definitely wanted by the market.

How about funny time travel? I keep finding lots of these books and love them.

Any kindly soul willing to spill the beans about what market wants at this point? :-*

Readers don't hesitate to jump in with your likes.  :D

Thank you!  :-* :-* :-*

Writers' Cafe / How Quick is the Kindle Price Switch?
« on: June 14, 2017, 09:59:52 PM »
The Kindle dashboard said it could take 72 hours for a book to appear on Amazon, so I planned my strategies (when to send out newsletter, update web page, request reviews, post on FB, time an ad) with that 72 hours in mind. But my book went up right away! Now the problem is, I want to have a discount day or so and have an ad for that but now the timing is all switched and do I need to worry that when I change the price manually it'll take 72 hours or will go up ipsofacto. That is, can I lower the price and see the low price happen immediately, which would allow for choosing a specific date for the ad for the sale promo price?

Writers' Cafe / Surprise to Cynthia: It didn't take 72 hours
« on: June 13, 2017, 03:31:09 PM »
 :DLook below. I'm launched. But I got a big surprise about an early launch because I expected to have to wait 72 hours.

Writers' Cafe / Audio books what makes them sell?
« on: June 06, 2017, 01:06:26 PM »
Createspace and Amazon recommend you have audiobooks as well as ebooks and pods. There's a thread here about audio rights with mention of the big bucks some others earn on them. I've never listened to an audiobook. I'm told it's just one person reading the story, sometimes the author reads it. Is that right? What makes a good audiobook? What do readers want from audiobooks?

Thanks so much for your replies!

Writers' Cafe / Marketing Plan Comments Wanted
« on: May 25, 2017, 02:24:25 PM »
So reading all I can on the Kboards as well as Chris's book on marketing, I've devised the following plan. Being a Nervous Nellie, I am hoping for some feedback before I launch this. My budget is really limited. My newsletter has 4 people on (waits while the derisive laughter dies down).

The marketing plan is for my fantasy Foreshadow: Book One of the Saga of the Dragon Born

Cover reveal on my FB and personal website June 1 and send out newsletter.

Launch at full price (I think its 5.99 or 4.99) June 7. Lower to 99. on June 8 for AwesomeGang Ad, June 13 Book Barbarian ad (99.), send out newsletter

June 17, ENewsToday Ad or FussyLibarian (if I get the reviews needed on one of my books by then), Cover reveal for The Contender Book 2 of FB, personal website, and newsletter sent out

June 21, raise price to full price and  Launch The Contender Book Two of the Saga of the Dragon Born for free (temporarily) with Bookbutterfly ad and send out newsletter

Then have book 3 out within 3 months, in between perhaps putting up ad about Zollocco to keep my name in people's heads.

Whacha think?


Writers' Cafe / new cover for sf novel
« on: May 22, 2017, 03:09:50 PM »

My sf novel Zollocco needs a new cover. It's about a woman running from planet to planet trying to escape an interplanetary corporation which wants to sell her. She first landed in a forest which is sentient, from then on that forest helps her. I'm sort of veering toward the first one. Is it sfy enough?

Thank you for your comments!

Writers' Cafe / UPdating a sf cover
« on: May 16, 2017, 02:41:59 PM »
From all I've learned here on the kboards, it's clear I need to have new covers for my back list.

Here are two I am thinking about.


Or this one: Consider it in light of what the story is about and please compare it to the old cover

Zollocco: A Novel of Another Universe

Thanks Muchly!

Writers' Cafe / Wolves, pleas, chomp on, gnaw, or worry this blurb
« on: May 09, 2017, 10:52:50 AM »
“I am Princess Royal Burta, and I call out your challenger!” bellowed Burta. I am no longer Princess Royal, and I must give up my title to a mere poet, a princess not trained in arms? Well the day will come, when I am heir to the throne, not her, and she will owe me deference, so thought Burta, dangerous she.

The gods frowned. "That lass is in for some disappointment because Princess Royal Tristabé-airta’s magic never fails."

Writers' Cafe / Things I do to improve my writing; what are yours?
« on: May 05, 2017, 02:05:36 PM »
In addition to going to college and reading voraciously and critically, these are things I do to improve my writing. Please add yours!

For years, whenever I run across a word that is new to me, I look it up, write its definition on a post-it note, and post in on my computer so that I see it every time I write.

I regularly look up poetic devices and incorporate those into my writing.

I try, at times, to write following the logic of a proof in geometry. I heard Lincoln did this, and being a big fan of the Gettysburg Adress I keep trying to write like a proof. I don't think I am so successful with this one.

I was super curious about plot structure, so I taught myself vector theory (with a little help from someone trained in engineering) and then wrote a book on how vector theory can be used to write stories.

Learned to spell. A gruesome task as I am dyslexic.

I memorize passages of Shakespeare as examples of fine writing.


Your turn!

Writers' Cafe / Fantasy Covers, Comments please
« on: May 04, 2017, 02:28:35 PM »

The above are the cover for the first and second books of my fantasy saga. Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks!

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