News

Tuppence: A Fairy-Tale Retelling – Beta Readers Wanted

 A farmgirl. A goat.

And a song that will change her life.

Her whole life, Tuppence has dreamt of leaving the hillside to make a life in the Kingdom. When the King hosts a grand ball, she finally sees a way out, only to have her dreams squashed by her bitter mother and two sisters, Uma and Tertia.

With only a goat and her gift of song, Tuppence begins to develop her own plan to escape…only to discover the true nature of the Kingdom beneath the Hill.

Inspired by the Grimm Fairy Tale, One-Eye, Two-Eyes, and Three-Eyes, venture from the hillside with Tuppence and her sisters to discover where true magic lies.

Introducing Tuppence: A Fairy-Tale Retelling.

I started writing Tuppence back in October, and after a couple drafts, it is just about ready to be passed out to beta readers! 

With a word count of approximately 12K (50 pages), the goal is to release this short-story sometime this coming spring! 

But, before I hire an editor to help me go through the writing itself, I need a handful of individuals to beta read this story! The goal here is simple: help me identify good areas, areas that need work, and inconsistencies. 

If you are interested, please fill out the form below. I’ll be sending out copies to all beta readers on January 29th, 2021…with the hope of getting it back by mid-to-late February. 

Don’t think you can commit to beta reading? That’s OK! The short-story will be released on Kindle Unlimited AND will be available to newsletter subscribers FOR FREE. So if you haven’t subscribed yet, now is definitely the time to do so! 

Looking forward to hearing from you!

News

Did You Know I have a Newsletter?

Hey there!

Have you been hanging out around my blog for awhile? Or have you only just popped in?

Well did you know I have a newsletter? 

This newsletter pops into your inbox between 1-to-3x a month, providing you with details about my upcoming projects, thoughts, and more!

But what else?

Starting this month, January 2021, I am including free content to newsletter subscribers!

What? Free content? Like what?

Quite a bit actually! 

The moment you sign up, you’ll receive an email with a downloadable link to the first 3 chapters of my debut novel, The Mist Keeper’s Apprentice!

But wait? What if I already read The Mist Keeper’s Apprentice? Why else should I sign up? 

Great question…because every month, subscribers will get a new reward! These include, but aren’t limited to: book outtakes, book previews, short-stories, cover previews, and more! 

Interested now? I thought so! 

Sign up below and start reading today! And don’t forget to refer a friend!

Insights, News

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly of Self-Publishing – Authors Wanted

One thing is evident: self-publishing is hard.

But often times, people only celebrate their successes on social media. This makes sense. Who wants to share their dismal sales numbers or terrible reviews? 

Unfortunately though, self-publishing is riddle with obstacles like this. 

So I want to throw together a series of blog posts to discuss topics that might not be so readily explored so those getting ready to self-publish know what they are in for as they prepare their novel. 

So, I am looking for people to answer questions about the following subjects: 

  • Editing 
  • Cover Design
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Reviews 
  • Imposter Syndrome & Self-Doubt
  • And more!

I want candid answers that cover the good, the bad, and the ugly. Let us find out your marketing plan and what has worked! Tell us about the heartbreak you have suffered along the way! We want to know. 

We’re not racing against each other to be the best. We’re a team. Authors aren’t each other’s competition. We all write different stories.

So why not talk about these hurdles…and maybe, help each other overcome them?

If you are interested in participating, please fill out the form below! I’m looking for both people to be interviewed as well as guest blog posts.

I cannot wait to see your responses. 

Until next time,

ESB

News

99c Sale and Store Announcement!

Can you believe it’s almost December? This year has been a chaotic one, but I hope everyone has been finding a way to weather this storm. 

With the holiday season upon us, I have a few announcements! Check it out below!

I have officially launched a Square Storefront! You can purchase signed copies of my book directly, as well as some other merchandise!

I currently have a deal where you can get a discounted hard cover copy, due to a change that I made a couple months ago.

If you purchase from the website, I’ll probably throw some other goodies in for free! Over time I’ll be adding in more products as well, so check back regularly!


The Mist Keeper’s Apprentice is on sale through the end of the year for only 99 CENTS! 
 If you’ve been meaning to get a copy of my debut novel, now is the perfect time! Check it out! 

You can also purchase a copy through my Square site!


And finally…

I’ve added some new swag to my Teepublic shop! More will be coming over the weekend so it is definitely worth checking out!

That’s all for now.

Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season!

Until next time,

E.S. Barrison

Insights, News

Insights: Why I Take Time to Promote Other Authors

A question has been posed to me on multiple occasions: why do you take time to promote other authors and review their books?

The answer to this is simple to me, and it comes down to a simple statement children are taught since childhood: treat others how you want to be treated.

What does that have to do with my author promotions? Simple. I personally believe that it is not fair for me to go out and ask people to review my book, or to promote me as an author, if I am not doing it myself.

Not every author has the time or energy to do this. But I think, especially for Indie Authors (who typically have smaller street teams or marketing budgets), it is our job to stick together and support other Indie Authors. Do I expect the authors I read or feature to do the same for me? Absolutely not. But from a personal standpoint, it’s how I am.

Do the benefits of doing this equal the effort though? Maybe not from a review or sale standpoint (not that I’ve run the numbers), but from an enjoyment standpoint… ABSOLUTELY! Authors aren’t competitors. Sure, maybe ten years ago when I was a silly teenager I might have thought that. But really, we’re all running the same race. Sure, some people might win a prize at the end, or get more support…but we’re all just trying to tell a story.

So while I could just beg for reviews, submit my book for features, or post on social media, I have decided instead to focus in a way I know I can help other indie authors: reading and featuring them instead.

This also falls into my own type of anxiety. For me, personally, interacting on social media takes a lot out of me. It comes down to social anxiety: even in real life, I’m not one to interact much with others. So it is far easier for me to offer features or to go read someone’s book. It’s support for the authors, since after all, reviews are a type of currency for authors.

That’s why I focus so much on these initiatives. While yes, they can be cumbersome, they’re less draining (for me) than actually commenting on social media posts. Instead, I see a book I like, and I add it to my TBR list. Or, by featuring authors, I discover new books as well!

We’re all a part of a community of reader and writers. So why not build each other up? I think it’s worth it.

Featured Author, News

A Discussion of Creativity & Writing: An Interview with Chloe Gilholy

Today we are talking with Chloe Gilholy about her creative process. Chloe Gilholy is the author of Game of Mass Destruction.

About Author

Chloe Gilholy was born in Staffordshire and is a healthcare worker from Oxfordshire. She had her first poem published in an anthology when she was eight and hasn’t stopped writing since. She is the author of Game of Mass Destruction, Drinking Poetry and Fishman. She also writes fanfiction under the penname, Chloboshoka.

So let’s get into the questions!

First, tell us about your book!

Game of Mass Destruction is a romance between dystopian sci-fi and black comedy.

How did you come up with this idea? What inspired you?

I came up with the plot to Game of Mass Destruction as part of an English assignment where we had to write a science fiction story. I got carried away and started a fan fic where couples from many fandoms were put into teams and had to destroy loads of robots. At the time it was called Paranoia Wars Community. I was only 15 when I started it and it became too much for me, so I never finished it.

Battle Royale is one of my favourite novels and I loved the movies and the manga series as well. Getting into Hunger Games, The Lord of the Flies, Ready Player One and The Running Man eventually made me want to try the story again. Paranoia Wars Community was changed to Game of Mass Destruction. After writing the fic version, I thought I would have more freedom with it if I created my own characters.

Tell us a little bit about your main character(s). Were you inspired by anyone particular when writing them?

Yuzuko Shikumi is widow with an infant son and a girlfriend. She loves her country and is very close to her grandfather. Yuzuko shares a name with one of the main characters from a manga called Citrus.

What about your setting? What inspired you to choose where the story took place?

The main setting for the story is an island under constant watch. Various reality tv shows like Big Brother, Survivor and I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here. I still haven’t watched a single episode of Love Island.

Obviously, stories change from their initial inception. How has your story changed while working on it?

Other than the fan fic inceptions, there were plenty. It was so much more than just name changes. The robots have more personality and Sia or Bobby would have been the main characters.I never used to edit my work cause I was obsessed with getting right the first time. Now it’s one of my favourite parts. I like sharing my work too.Other than the fan fic inceptions, there were plenty. It was so much more than just name changes. The robots have more personality and Sia or Bobby would have been the main characters.

What is your writing process like?

I have no routine. There are days I can write thousands and days when I’m lucky to reach a page. I put all my brainstorming and plotting on pen to paper first, then start the first draft in my notebook, then write it up on Word, the tidy it up as I go along.

What part of the writing process do you enjoy the most?

I never used to edit my work cause I was obsessed with getting right the first time. Now it’s one of my favourite parts. I like sharing my work too.

What was the most difficult part in writing your book? How did you overcome it?

Refining my work and getting understood.

Now let’s talk personal inspiration: did anyone or anything inspire you to be a writer?

Reading lots of books made me decide to write books too. My nans on both sides of the family encouraged it.

Finally, do you have any words of inspiration or tips to new authors?

Just do it, but don’t feel bad if you can’t do it everyday.

Thank you for joining us today! If you’re interested in Chloe Gilholy, check out the links below!

Social Media

Books

Until next time,

E.S. Barrison

Featured Author, News

A Discussion of Creativity & Writing: An Interview with Valerie Evans

Today we are talking with Valerie Evans about her creative process. Valerie Evans is the author of the Anberlin Chronicles.

About Author

Valerie Evans has been writing since she was in middle school and started the first book of the Anberlin Chronicles back in 2012. All three parts were published earlier this year in a staggered timeline. She has always loved fantasy and bringing stories to life so she’s excited to share more stories from Anberlin as well as a new project involving werewolves.

So let’s get into the questions!

First, tell us about your book!

Kindred Spirit focuses on Aria Tate who is a witch that sees ghosts and lives in a very supernatural town. Vampires, werewolves, witches, an occasional demon, and the many unaware and aware humans call Anberlin home. The trouble starts when she saves an injured man’s life only to learn that he’s a hunter of people like her then worsens when her childhood imaginary friend, Faith, returns in adult form. Suddenly, the pranks of her childhood and Faith’s current behavior seem malicious and alienating which leads her to wonder if maybe it was more than just an overactive imagination and what Faith wants from her.

How did you come up with this idea? What inspired you?

Funnily enough, a movie called Imaginary Friend starring Lacey Chabert started me on this path. It dealt with an imaginary friend coming back as an adult and her questioning her sanity. However, I was disappointed to learn it wasn’t supernatural so I began crafting a story of my own where it’s definitely supernatural but the what isn’t so obvious. Who better to draw things dark and malicious than a witch with some strange hobbies?

Tell us a little bit about your main character(s). Were you inspired by anyone particular when writing them?

Aria Tate comes from a long line of witches but also has an unfortunate side effect of seeing ghosts. She runs a junk shop with her brother’s girlfriend and tries to be as normal as possible. While I didn’t have any particular real life person, her appearance as red hair and green eyes was inspired by my Irish ancestry. I translated my love of thrift stores and all things strange into creating her store.

Jeremy Hayes came from far too much Supernatural. The idea of hunting supernatural creatures intrigued me, but I also wanted to play with the idea of can people change when given all the facts? He grew up with a limited view of the supernatural then gets dumped into the middle of it by crossing paths with Aria. He’s forced to face supernatural creatures are more than he realized and begins to question if he can continue to kill them so indiscriminately.

What about your setting? What inspired you to choose where the story took place?

In a lot of ways, Anberlin is like the town where I grew up. It’s small and everyone knows everyone. Strangers are rare and the businesses are locally owned. It’s a lot more interesting with its supernatural citizens, though!

Obviously, stories change from their initial inception. How has your story changed while working on it?

It was originally intended to be a stand-alone novel except new questions arose. Hints were dropped, and I found myself learning more about where Aria’s magic came from. An event took an unexpected turn and gave me a chance to explore “magic comes at a price”. It wasn’t intended to have such a romance angle, but Jeremy and Aria’a chemistry popped up almost immediately so I had to explore it deeper.

What is your writing process like?

I’m an outline person, but I normally do it in chunks of 5-7 chapters with basics ideas or hints then write the meat of it freehand. I try not to edit as I go unless I left off unsure of a scene. I’ll sometimes write scenes out of order then have to find where they fit into the rest of the story.

What part of the writing process do you enjoy the most?

I love the writing phase because I finally get to see all these choppy notes become a cohesive story. It always takes me fun, unexpected directions, too, so it’s like an adventure where you don’t have to leave the house.

What was the most difficult part in writing your book? How did you overcome it?

The most difficult part was the confidence part because I’m overly critical. I’d had people praise my work in school assignments or writing fanfiction but making an entire world and characters of my own was new. I actually overcame it through conversation and a supportive network in my real life so I took the step to finish and publish.

Now let’s talk personal inspiration: did anyone or anything inspire you to be a writer?

I’ve read so many great authors but Holly Black started my fantasy obsession; however, I’ve shifted away from fairies to more mainstream fantasy species. A close friend and my sister inspired me, too, because both had early access to the first draft of Kindred Spirit and encouraged me to make that push toward self-publishing and getting my stories out. And the rest is history!

Finally, do you have any words of inspiration or tips to new authors?

Write the story you want and be true to your own vision. Don’t be afraid to write something new and strange!

Thank you for joining us today! If you’re interested in Valerie Evans, check out the links below!

Social Media

Books

Until next time,

E.S. Barrison

Featured Author, News

A Discussion of Creativity & Writing: An Interview with Cynthia Vespia

Today we are talking with Cynthia Vespia about her creative process. Cynthia Vespia is the author of Karma, Kobra, and more!

About Author

So let’s get into the questions!

First, tell us about your book!

It’s a superhero series called Silke’s Strike Force. Book 1 is Karma. 2 is Kobra. 3 is Kaged and 4 is Khaos. I did the spelling that way with the “K” on purpose just to have a theme.

How did you come up with this idea? What inspired you?

When I started, superheroes on the big screen and TV were all the rage. I’ve always loved superheroes and comics so I decided to make up my own.

Tell us a little bit about your main character(s). Were you inspired by anyone particular when writing them?

My main character is Silke (silky) Butters. I got the name when I was working at The Wynn in Las Vegas. Someone checked in using it. We get a lot of aliases in Vegas hotels! I wrote Silke to have a good heart and pure intentions so I could challenge her. She starts out a little naïve and as her powers grow she does as well. I also made her American Indian to change things up from the norm.

What about your setting? What inspired you to choose where the story took place?

The story takes place across New York and Los Angeles. Isn’t that where all superhero stories are based? Heh heh

Obviously, stories change from their initial inception. How has your story changed while working on it?

Silke’s Strike Force started out way different! Originally it was a story about female investigators. Silke was a Caucasian blonde. It evolved into this massive superhero story with military and sci-fi undertones. Crazy stuff happens when you’re a writer.

What is your writing process like?

I used to be a panster but I realized it was hurting my story. Because Silke’s Strike Force is my first big series I needed to plot it out more to have a throughline between all 4 books that links them up. But I don’t over plot either. It stifles creativity. I just put down the nuts and bolts then let the characters surprise me.

What part of the writing process do you enjoy the most?

Character creation is my favorite for sure! I’m also partial to developing villains. I guess because you have more freedom. For instance, my villains The Sin Squad are full of a bunch of powered people named after the Seven Deadly Sins. In writing them I got to explore each of their unique stories and what brought them all together.

What was the most difficult part in writing your book? How did you overcome it?

I wrote part 1 Karma in 2017. Then life kicked my ass. So the hardest part was trying to get back in the mindset to finish the rest of the series. Part 2, Kobra was so hard to write. But I got through it and I’m very pleased with the outcome.

Now let’s talk personal inspiration: did anyone or anything inspire you to be a writer?

Dean Koontz. I read a book of his called Intensity when I was in school and wanted to create stories like that. I met him a few years later!

Finally, do you have any words of inspiration or tips to new authors?

Learn the rules of writing and then break them! Don’t be afraid to take a risk with your writing. It’s your story, have fun!

Thank you for joining us today! If you’re interested in Cynthia Vespia, check out the links below!

Social Media

Books

Until next time,

E.S. Barrison

Featured Author, News

A Discussion of Creativity & Writing: An Interview with S.W. Raine

Today we are talking with S.W. Raine about her creative process. S.W. Raine is the author of The Techno Mage.

About Author

Raine is Canadian, born and raised, and constantly moved in between Ontario and Quebec with her military family. She moved to Michigan, USA, in 2004, where she currently still resides with her husband and son.

She has always had a vivid imagination and loved reading and writing from a very young age. She took courses in Children’s Literature through ICL in Illinois, and released her debut New Adult Steampunk adventure in 2020. She has participated in NaNoWriMo for over a decade and is currently a Municipal Liaison for the Detroit region.

So let’s get into the questions!

First, tell us about your book!

The Techno Mage is about a trio of friends, a mythical man, and a mission to destroy the mythical airship Faugregir.

How did you come up with this idea? What inspired you?

I’m a total Pantser, and the only inspiration I had was an image of an airship that appeared as a floating island instead.

Tell us a little bit about your main character(s). Were you inspired by anyone particular when writing them?

I had originally created the trio (Ikarim, Arteus, and Magaliana) for a Steampunk Role Play that never really took off. The only inspiration I had was a random image of a blond man as my avatar for Ikarim, and a woman with long blonde dreadlocks wearing tan overalls that I had seen long ago.

What about your setting? What inspired you to choose where the story took place?

When I created the trio for the RP, all three were mechanics. And since Arteus was the son of Doktor Gesselmeyer–a wealthier scientist–it just made sense to have them be in Germany, working as a side-gig for the old man.

Obviously, stories change from their initial inception. How has your story changed while working on it?

I deleted a few scenes, but I also ended up deleting an entire character, as well! It broke my heart, but he’ll make his reappearance proper in the spin-off. 😉

What is your writing process like?

As stated earlier, I’m a total Pantser. I cannot outline to save my life. I like to think of myself as simply following the characters around and chronicling their journeys.

What part of the writing process do you enjoy the most?

The actual writing. Putting pen to paper (or fingers to keys) is my favorite part because I can just let the ideas flow.

What was the most difficult part in writing your book? How did you overcome it?

Revision and Editing were the most difficult parts. I had originally written The Techno Mage back in 2012 for NaNoWriMo, and every time I’d try to edit, I’d end up giving up after chapter 3 or 4. It’s because I didn’t truly understand how to properly edit, nor did I know that editing and revision were two separate things. It took years of trying and giving up off and on before I found myself up until 3AM learning about revision, macro edits, and micro edits via Pinterest.

Now let’s talk personal inspiration: did anyone or anything inspire you to be a writer?

I have always loved reading and telling stories. I’ve had a wild imagination since I can remember, and creative writing was always a favorite at school. I’d have to bargain with the teachers to let me write over the max word limit! I’ve had many different favorite authors as I grew up, and even took courses with ICL in Chicago, but I can say that even though I didn’t know the awesomeness of Neil Gaiman until the early 2000s, he is definitely my biggest inspiration. His storytelling is amazing, and the fact that he writes for all different ages was a definite win in my books.

Finally, do you have any words of inspiration or tips to new authors?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and don’t be afraid to invest in yourself.

Thank you for joining us today! If you’re interested in S.W. Raine, check out the links below!

Social Media

Books

Until next time,

E.S. Barrison

Featured Author, News

A Discussion of Creativity & Writing: An Interview with S. Courtney

Today we are talking with S. Courtney about her creative process. S. Courtney is the author of Bound to You, Bound by Destiny, and Unapologetically Nessa.

About Author

S Courtney is new to the published writing community but has been a lifelong writer and began creatively writing in junior high. She is the author of the paranormal romance, Bound to You, a fast paced read full of action that will make you both smile and sigh. The dynamic between Kayden and his wolf Phoenix is awesome, while the relationship between him and Kamari is sweet enough to melt a heart. Trouble is coming and it may be more than Kayden can handle. But not if Kamari can help.

This is book one in the series, Bound by Destiny, the second book of the Bound Series is available now and Unapologetically Nessa will be released in November of 2020.

So let’s get into the questions!

First, tell us about your book!

Bound to You is a paranormal romance about a local artist who has an obsession with drawing a particular wolf she always dreams about and an Alpha leader who also enjoys painting a woman whose face he never sees but he knows, she’s the one. During a turn of events he comes into town for supplies and catches her drawing this wolf, but wait…that wolf…is him! It is a tale of two people “drawn together” by fate.

How did you come up with this idea? What inspired you?

After extensive reading on Wattpad, I noticed a pattern that I wanted to break. I wanted the heroine to be strong and fearless, not timid and weak and I wanted the hero to be strong but soft hearted, not smug and arrogant.

Tell us a little bit about your main character(s). Were you inspired by anyone particular when writing them?

Kamari Lee is a representation of myself, she’s independent but also a big sweetheart who can be a bit naive, she is supported by her best friend who constantly reassures her that her true love is coming even after her most recent heartache.

What about your setting? What inspired you to choose where the story took place?

Lovenshire was made up in my imagination, I never say exactly where the town is located but I always think Wyoming or Montana. It is a small town at the base of the mountains and lots of forestry.

Obviously, stories change from their initial inception. How has your story changed while working on it?

It constantly changed, especially while editing you have to make sure everything connects and that the story flows smoothly. The plot twist in the middle of the story came out of nowhere and it seems to be everyone’s favorite part.

What is your writing process like?

I don’t plan or outline, I literally begin writing and then I go back and read. I may make notes in my phone but I like free writing, it works for me. I write any chance I get unless my characters are quiet then I don’t force it. It is their story I’m just writing it down.

What part of the writing process do you enjoy the most?

Intertwining the stories from the other books whether it be a line, a scene, or more. I enjoy people realizing that this is another POV to a particular moment in the story.

What was the most difficult part in writing your book? How did you overcome it?

Trying to explain a new creature not known outside the book and their power and characteristics. I took some time to think about how I wanted them to look when in power and once complete I was very proud.

Now let’s talk personal inspiration: did anyone or anything inspire you to be a writer?

I’ve always loved writing but a lot of friends and family encouraged me to publish.

Finally, do you have any words of inspiration or tips to new authors?

To be yourself and be open to talking with others about their experiences. Don’t be afraid to ask questions because they are the very same questions we asked and finally, be confident in your writing! It may have been done a million times but none of those are from you, tell us how you would write it!

Thank you for joining us today! If you’re interested in S. Courtney, check out the links below!

Social Media

Books

Until next time,

E.S. Barrison