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My name is Sandy. I am Catholic. Besides religious topics, I am interested in politics. This profile is really to showcase my ideas. In the words of St. Bernadette, "My job is to inform, not convince."

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Preview Restraint


I just posted a three chapter book preview on Feedbooks.com of my upcoming novel Restraint. The book is about a girl named Laura who loses everything and is sent to England to become a governess. It isn't long before strange things seem to happen...


I am continuing forward in the editing process and hope to release it at all major online ebook retailers next month. There is no telling how long the editing process will take, but I set a deadline, and hopefully, I can meet it. The whole process is bitter-sweet since I never thought I would get the opportunity to share my writing and this novel in particular with the public. The manuscript has been sitting on my bookshelf for two years, collecting dust. Now I am looking at it with a fresh pair of eyes which makes the editing process easier. I just hope that everyone enjoys reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!


You can preview Restraint at Feedbooks

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Editing... Editing... and More Editing...

I have been spending my time lately editing my first YA fiction novel, entitled Restraint. It is about vampires in the Victorian era. I hate the editing process, but, then again, who doesn't? I am finding so many errors that I must have been writing it in the dark! But fixing errors and adding more detail will benefit the story, give the reader more insight. I might get a critique partner later to help me and give me their take on the plot.


I have also been working on the teaser trailer for the book which took me about three hours total, but looks amazing! I can't wait to post it, but I think I will save it until I get my website up and running which shouldn't take too much longer. Stay posted...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Just Released Weeping Willow 2!!!


I just released the second installment of my short story Weeping Willow which is packed with action. The idea came to me as I was watching Hell Boy II: Hell Boy and the Golden Army and I watched Prince Nuada's fight scenes. I think Nuada made the whole movie for me... Hence, why I continue to watch it to this day.

From the movie, I got the idea to make a story about Elves. But not like Santa's or Keebler's Elves! I wanted to write about warrior Elves. I made a rough outline of characters and events, but the story needed an added element... I didn't know how to go about the conflictual elements of Elven society. I looked up myths online and I found a small page about the mythology of Dwarfs and Elves (http://www.mythencyclopedia.com/Dr-Fi/Dwarfs-and-Elves.html). Within the article, I found a mention of a Norse myth about dark Elves, named D√∂kkalfar, and light Elves, named Ljosalfar. The D√∂kkalfar dwell in caves and dark places and the Ljosalfar dwell above ground in light places. That got my creative juices flowing, because a conflict over race and territory could evoke that feeling I was going for. Two kingdoms, one reigns above ground and the other below, caught in a battle over race and, another plot twist, a girl named Willow.


Willow's storyline came to me in pieces. I knew I wanted her to be an Elf. I knew I wanted her to have no knowledge of her Elven roots, but how to form a story where she was unwanted among her race evaded me. I played with the idea that the war was started because of her attempted murder, but the idea really took flight when I thought of cloning. Willow's character is considered an abomination, because she is neither race. She was in fact created through dark means. Her creation was borrowed from other creation myths; a woman created from the flesh of a man...

It does seem like a lot, but the ideas seem to hit me at just the right moment in the plot. It is delicately woven together so the reader doesn't feel these revelations are outlandish. I have to say I am really happy with the way the story developed and I hope the readers enjoy it.

Find Weeping Willow (Part Two) for FREE at Smashwords.com: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/45508





Saturday, March 5, 2011

Druming Up Attention

So, basically, I have been writing stories since I was young and, even though, I have another profession, I decided to try my hand in the self publishing world. Not unlike other people before me...


So, I decided I needed to drum up some attention by releasing some short stories I wrote for FREE before releasing my novel (which I expect to charge for). I found several websites that offer these services and quickly published some of my short stories. They have been selling well - by well, I mean better than I expected but not great... Yet, I have been wracking my brain about how to get the word out there so my stories are available to others on a broader scale. I am sure others have had these problems when starting out and it is a natural part of the process. But I am an impatient New Yorker. What can I say?


I think it is important to be proactive whether your book has been out there two weeks or a year. My advice, from my limited experience, set your book apart from others within the retail site. I made little promo videos for each short story I released, posting them on youtube. Every time I log onto my channel, the views of my teaser trailers have gone up. A teaser works because it really brings the book alive, but you need some artistic ability if you don't want to spend a pretty penny.


I am fortunate to have some artistic ability with different mediums. My advise, for those that draw, is to get familiar with Twisted Brush. Twisted Brush is a digital art program that can be downloaded for free at download.com. It is useful in many ways. One such way is it can be used to create covers for your ebooks or create slides for book teasers. But like I said, you must have some artistic ability to be able to draw with Twisted Brush. Copyright free images can be purchased, but be prepared to spend some dough to put a entire video together. Once you have your image slides, windows has a great program called Video Maker which should be on XP and Vista automatically. It is incredibly easy to use and create effects such as fading from one image to another. Dabble with the program. Sometimes I learn more by playing around with a program than someone telling me how to work it. So play on...


For inspiration check out my channel on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/smadera23
You can download my short stories for FREE at: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/sandramadera
Follow me on Twitter (screen name: S_Madera)