29 October 2011

3 in 1- Guest blog + Giveaway + Contest

Author Kandie Delley is visiting with us today to share the importance of the Internet and how we can use it to our advantage. Not only authors, her suggestions cover other lines of business as well.


On to you, Kandie!

 

 Make the Net Work for You!
The internet has created several viable means to make a profit for nearly anyone.  It doesn't matter how unique your gifts, products, or interests are, there is bound to be someone in the world who will use, buy, or share your contribution with the world (if you’re getting the word out –Marketing). Put those people—consumers, readers, customers, etc—on the internet and they are more accessible than ever before. 
I learned to utilize information gained from hobbies, past creative pursuits, and newly developed skills towards my writing career. You really have to think outside the box. One of the best  experiences that helped me on my path to publishing was my actor's journey.
As an actor, I learned about having my own space on the “information super-highway.” By displaying demo reels, headshots, and resumes, this self-promotion increased my marketability and expanded my networking circle. I even acquired a film agent for representation! 
On the whole, using my experiences in film, music production, and freelance writing has provided me with imaginative ways to market my books and run a business. The main lesson I learned is, the world is your oyster. An idea or concept will take time, determination and, great promotional and marketing skills, but eventually, you will find your pearl.
Overall, technology is FABU—online videos, social media, podcasts, interactive forums, movies, and in some cases 3D! However, it can be TABOO if you’re not decisive. You’ll need to:
·       Maximize your time and resources using the least amount of manual labor.
·       Plan ahead by pre-scheduling blog posts and newsletters.
·       Strategize the marketing and promotions of your product by building your network & deciding who complements your style, product, and beliefs.
·       Recognize that you are a business from product development, admin and operations to customer service and public relations. 
Know your product and think about the five keywords that describe it. Use those key words in marketing and follow the tips I’ve given in my previous blogs (see Spooktacular Web Tour) to combine all that information to manage your digital brand! 
Happy Halloween! 

About Tempestuous Tales:
 
An urban legend becomes a nightmare when three women face tragic consequences:  an unexplainable vanishing, a sadistic marriage, and a visit from beyond the grave, after an ancient talisman grants their wishes. Tempestuous Tales  adds a modern twist to three classic short stories: The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs, Night Drive by Will F. Jenkins and Bluebeard’s Bride by Sarah Holland, based on the works of Charles Perrault.


Paperback coming November 2011. Download a free Tempestuous Tales mobile phone or desktop wallpaper here.
Tempestuous Tales is available on:
·  SMASHWORDS 

GIVEAWAY
Su has chosen a free MP3 music download of the song Breathe. You can listen to a sample here.
You can download Breathe here.
CONTEST
Leave a comment with your email address on this blog and be entered into a drawing to win free graphic design services worth $50 courtesy @KanDel_Media on twitter. For samples click here.
I will announce all winners on Nov. 1st on my blog.
Thanks again Su, for allowing me to visit your blog and have a blessed holiday season.

AUTHOR BIO
Kandie Delley 
Mystical lands, adventurous, kick-butt divas, and super-hot romances are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to author Kandie Delley's imagination. With the release of her paranormal suspense short story compilation, Tempestuous Tales, she is definitely capturing readers' attention. Her stories feature strong, witty, and successful women, their adventures and the men who love them. Kandie lives in North Texas and takes care of two rambunctious dogs, Isys and Ramsey. She works as a commercial accountant for a Dallas-based media company during the day. For more information visit:  http://www.kandiedelley.com

26 October 2011

Guest blog by Sean A. Lusher

Author Sean A. Lusher is taking over the blog to share with us how his novella, Liberation Road, came to be. 
Over to you, Sean. 

Two Failures and (hopefully) A Win

After Damnation Books picked up Stricken, I felt halfway decent about my own writing for once. It was June, everything was signed and things were looking up. This is probably what attributed mainly to the writing spree I went on.

For most of June and July, I sat down and wrote. A lot. More so than I ever had before in my life, as far as I can remember. And, at the time, I felt good about it. Amongst all the things I spit out were two novellas, a tragedy and a romance/paranormal/horror. I thought they were publishable.

And then my wife got hold of them.

My wife is a grammar Nazi to a T and worked in a library for five years straight. (Can you see why I married her?) She knows books, she's intimately familiar with how a story should flow and how to judge a book by its cover. She offers an excellent balance of both literary criticism and the mechanics of grammar. On top of all that, she is entirely unafraid to tell me what she really thinks with a complete and total disregard for my feelings.

Obviously, this is a good thing, since we can learn more from criticism than we can from praise. She told me both of them were pretty far from being ready for people to shell out money for, even just a few bucks. Naturally, I didn't take well to this, but eventually I realized she was right.

It took me about a month and a half to get back up and try writing something else. This time around, I took more time and focused harder on the writing. From a strange cocktail of inspirations, Liberation Road was born.

It starts out with a twenty something heading across the vast, boring plains of Kansas, on his way to meet his online girlfriend for the first time. Naturally, he's nervous. Then he starts running low on gas.

Forced to pull in to an isolated gas station, nervous tension quickly turns to genuine fear when he can't find a single soul. What started out as a simple pit stop morphs into a grim tale of survival when his car dies and something entirely inhuman begins hunting him.

Liberation Road is a twenty two thousand word Horror/Mystery novella that I self published on the Amazon Kindle.

My main inspiration for writing this was frustration at a lack of quality monster fiction in several media avenues. Be it books or movies or video games, horror is an underrated genre. What's worse, most of the horror that is out there nowadays concerns a human element: the psycho stalker, the serial killer, the crazy hillbillies. And even of the few horror pieces out there that do have an inhuman antagonist, they typically fall into the 'safe zones': zombies, vampires, werewolves, demons.

I wanted something different. I wanted something that didn't fit into the rigidly defined notions of what a 'monster' is. Coincidentally, that's the same reason I wrote Stricken. It's going to serve as the inspiration for future works.

Which reminds me, what am I doing next? Of course, I'm completely contradicting myself and writing about zombies in a Sci-Fi setting.

Author Bio:
Sean A. Lusher lives in Missouri with his wife, some roommates and a couple of cats. He's been writing for nearly fifteen years and enjoys reading, gaming and (obviously) writing.
You can find him online on his Blog and Facebook.
Liberation Road can be purchased on Amazon.

24 October 2011

DARK HUNT blog tour - Character Inteview

Today, I'm interviewing author Naomi Clark about Ayla, one of the main characters in her urban wolf novel, Dark Hunt
  • Naomi, thank you for visiting Vivid Sentiments. Where does your character live? Where is she from? How does it relate to the overall setting?
Ayla lives in the UK, in an East Anglian city not dissimilar to Cambridge (where I live). In terms of the overall setting, I feel like the Urban Wolf series is a very British urban fantasy, and that British-ness comes through in the city and the people who live there and interact with Ayla. My own observations of life in the UK make up a big part of the series – issues like drug use, gang violence, politics – but it's all filtered through the eyes of a werewolf!
  • Who does she live with? Friends, family, roommates, etc...
Ayla lives with her girlfriend, Shannon, a private eye.
  • How does Ayla define "family"?
For Ayla, family is first and foremost her nearest and dearest – her girlfriend, her parents, and her best friends. But for werewolves there's also family in the sense of the Pack – all the werewolves living in the city. There's a sense of duty and responsibility to the Pack that's supposed to override everything else, and Ayla struggles to balance that with her personal life.
  • What's the most important and/or influential person in Ayla's life?
That's a tough one, but I think it's probably Shannon. Before Ayla and Shannon met, Ayla was pretty directionless. Shannon's a very grounded character and she helped Ayla settle down and want to find a direction in life.
  • What does Ayla do for a living?
At the moment Ayla works in a tattoo shop but her hope is to join the police force as a Community Support Officer. She's been very motivated by the murder of her cousin – an unsolved case.
  • Name one (or more) things that are unusual about Ayla from others in her society/setting. Do others notice this right away?
Ayla is a lesbian, which has caused a lot of conflict with the Pack and her parents. Werewolf birth rates are very low and the Pack sees it as every female's duty to have children if they can. Ayla's sexuality means there's always an undercurrent of tension in her interactions with certain Pack members – she's seen as something of a black sheep.
  • Where does Ayla see herself in 5 years?
Ideally she'd love to be in a better paying job, doing something she thinks is worthwhile and makes use of her abilities! She'd want to still be with Shannon, and hopefully living a slightly quieter life than she is now!
  • Is Ayla an introvert or extrovert? What makes her stressed? What makes her relax?
Ayla is a bit of an extrovert, but she tends to live in her head a lot too. Her imagination runs away with her when she's nervous or upset. Her werewolf instincts are easily triggered by threats to her loved ones – she's a bit more careless about her own safety. Stressy situations might make her a little snappy (literally and figuratively!)
  • What is Ayla's strength?
Ayla's biggest strengths for me are her sense of justice and fairness – she always wants what's right and she'll fight for it whatever the odds are.
  • What is Ayla's weakness?
Ayla's quite emotional and sometimes she lets that get the better of her common sense! It leads her to make decisions that sometimes expose her to danger.

Dark Hunt
 Ayla Hammond is taking on Paris.
 
Hoping for a romantic getaway in the City of Lights with her girlfriend, Shannon, she finds a city under the dark thrall of Le Monstre.
 
Getting caught up in mystery and murder was the last thing Ayla and Shannon expected to find in the City of Love, but as the body count grows and tension rises between Parisian werewolves and humans they find themselves stalked by an unknown terror.
 
What is Le Monstre and why does it make Ayla's wolf want to turn tail and run? Can it be stopped before they become its next victims?

Buy Links:

Contest Time:
We're giving away plenty of swag in the DARK HUNT blog tour. There are daily ebook giveaways and hampers of goodies up for grabs at the grand finale of the tour including ebooks, limited DARK HUNT t-shirts, personal horoscopes and tarot readings by Naomi Clark, as well as postcards from Ayla, Shannon, Vince, Joel and Glory (urban wolf series characters). Leave a comment here (ask me a question or just say hellowith your email address to be entered. Enter at each point along the tour for more entries and more chances to win.
Contest winners will be announced at the end of the blog tour (first week of November).
Naomi, thanks for stopping by for the chance to chance to win those goodies and good luck with your book.

Author Bio
Naomi Clark lives in Cambridge and is a mild-mannered office worker by day, but a slightly crazed writer by night. She has a perfectly healthy obsession with giant sea creatures and a preference for vodka-based cocktails. When she's not writing, Naomi is probably either reading or watching 80s cartoon shows, and sometimes she manages to do all three at once. You can follow Naomi at Twitter; Facebook  or on her Blog

12 October 2011

And the Winners are...

  • LadyVampire won the $25 Amazon Gift Card
and
  • Julie Witt won a PDF copy of Seeker.
Ladies, thank you for taking part in the giveaway. I will be in touch with you shortly via email.
Congratulations

Seeker's tour is over, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who participated in it. I came across lots of love and positive feedback, and for that I'm grateful.
*Sniffle sniffle*

10 October 2011

Seeker Tour - Final Stop


This is it, the final stop. Today I'm interviewing Adoria, Andrew's love interest in Seeker, over at Dark Angel's Writing Tools:
http://www.darkangelwritingtools.com/2011/10/character-interview-and-book-giveaway.html

Follow me on Twitter, my blog, and leave a comment on these stops for bonus entries in the draw and you might win a $25 Amazon Gift Card or a PDF copy of Seeker.

If you haven't been following the tour, here's a chance to visit the stops. 


Winners will be announced here on October 12th.

09 October 2011

Seeker's Tour: Stop 8 - Twinkle Twinkle Little Star


I'm talking about the Northern Star and its major part in Seeker.


Fill in the form and follow the instructions for bonus entries in the draw and you might win a $25 Amazon Gift Card or a PDF copy of Seeker.

08 October 2011

Seeker's Tour: Stop 7 - Halloween themed post

Today's stop is at Roxanne's Realm:
http://roxannesrealm.blogspot.com/2011/10/halloween-guest-blog-and-giveaway-with.html


I'm discussing the relation between Halloween and the paranormal and how much of each is in Seeker.
As usual, fill in the form and follow the instructions for extra entries in the draw and you might win a $25 Amazon Gift Card or a PDF copy of Seeker.

07 October 2011

Seeker Tour and Giveaway - 3 stops

Yes, today I'm using my super powers to hop between blogs with a bonus sweet review.

  1. On Lisa's World of Books I'm discussing the topic of being SH. You'll have to read it to know what I'm talking about: http://www.lisasworldofbooks.net/posts/author-guest-post-and-giveaway-seeker-by-su-halfwerk/
  2. Journey with Books has kindly reviewed Seeker. Read more here: http://journeywithbooks.blogspot.com/2011/10/seeker-by-su-halfwerk-blog-tour-book.html 
  3. And on Fangtastic Books you'll get a glimpse of Andrew Taylor, the hero in Seeker, through an interview with him: http://fang-tasticbooks.blogspot.com/2011/10/character-interview-and-giveaway-with.html

Fill in the form and follow the instructions for extra entries in the draw and you might win a $25 Amazon Gift Card or a PDF copy of Seeker.

Good luck and happy hopping around.

06 October 2011

Seeker Tour - 3rd stop


Today's stop is at Coffee Beans and Love Scenes:
http://coffeebeanslovescenes.blogspot.com/2011/10/giveaway-seeker-by-su-halfwerk.html

Fill in the form and follow the instructions for bonus entries in the draw and you might win a $25 Amazon Gift Card or a PDF copy of Seeker

05 October 2011

2nd stop - Seeker's Tour and Giveaway


 5th October:
Today's post is about the importance of having a goal and the focus it requires to reach it. But at what cost?
This is part of a one-week tour. On October 12th I will announce two winners: One will win a $25/- worth Amazon electronic gift card and another will receive an e-copy of Seeker. Follow the tour, fill in the form, and follow the instructions to enter the draw.

03 October 2011

Bewitching Book Tour



To celebrate Seeker's release, I'm starting a one week tour at the end of which I will announce a winner of a $25/- worth Amazon electronic gift card and another winner of an e-copy of Seeker. Follow my tour, fill in the form, and follow the instructions to enter the draw…you might be one of two winners.

1st stop:
October 3rd --> Getting Naughty Between the Stacks: http://gnbstacks.blogspot.com/2011/10/su-halfwerk-guest-blogging.html

I'm talking about greed and envy, and how we need a tinsy-winsy bit of them in our lives.

I will post here all direct links to my stops so that you can participate. Last stop is on October 10th, winners will be announced on October 12th on my blog.

Good luck.