Monday, December 3, 2012
I know I have a lot of short story lovers out there that are looking forward to more. I had planned to write a free short every year. I still want to do that, but I am looking into submitting stories to literary magazines. This could help me to reach a much larger audience later on. However, most magazines want stories that have a small word count and have never been published before. So, I cannot submit the stories I have already written. That means I have to write some more and submit them without publishing them.
I have collected a list of magazines that seem right up my alley. I am currently writing a short that is based on a dream I had. It is based on a Scottish castle and has to do with the legend of the Green Lady. Right now, the project is entitled The Collector, but that title can be subject to change. I plan to submit that story. If it were to get rejected, then I would release it to the public around the time I release Malcontent. However, release date will vary because response time for a magazine submission can take weeks or months.
Update everyone soon.
I just posted a three chapter preview of, my upcoming novel, Malcontent. The preview is free. As I understand it, there is no need to make an account with Feedbooks if you don't want to. You can just download the pdf.
I am very early on in the writing process, but I was eager to share with everyone what I have written. The preview is located on Feedbooks.com (see the link below).
For those who do not know what Malcontent is about, it is the story of Louise May Reynolds before she elopes with William Carter. I hope that this book will have horror, suspense, and more romance overall.
Raised in a world where the first born are often sacrificed, Louise May Reynolds believes it is her destiny to appease her family by entering into an arranged marriage. However, Louise May struggles as she finds marrying Bryan Froster, a powerful and ruthless vampire prince, revolting. In her discontent, she tries to devise a way out of the union, fearing the only way to truly be free of Bryan Froster is death. Scared of turning her back on her family and the clan, Louise May struggles inwardly between what others expect of her and what she wants for herself. Until, she rebels against everything she has been raised to believe. Secretly vowing to escape a life of servitude, she risks disturbing the balance between vampire and servant which can cost her more than she can even imagine. Can Louise May turn her back on her family in order to follow her heart?
Saturday, November 17, 2012
So, I wrote five chapters of Malcontent and passed them onto my editor. I like to edit as I go and get her feed back. She loved it so far which is great. If she didn't love it, she would definitely tell me. She has been looking forward to Malcontent for a while.
Once corrections are made, I will post a preview of the book on Feedbooks.com. Just put my name in the search and it should come up after I post it. I like to publish the first chapters to tease my audience, but also so readers can decide if it is for them.
Look for the Malcontent Preview on Feedbooks.com soon. The Restraint and Lament Previews are already up if you haven't already read those.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
I just wanted to update everyone on what I have been up to. I have started to write Malcontent. I am about five chapters into the projected thirty. I hope to really get the ball rolling on it this month, because I would like to have it out by January. I am really eager to end the Restraint Trilogy. I have been imagining these characters in my head for years, and I am ready to move onto some of the other ideas I have.
I have also written some of Wicked Chemistry. This is a Weeping Willow short that will only be available in paperback form with the two original stories. Although I haven't established a projected publishing date, I am eager to get a new short story out there. I have a lot of ideas for shorts, and I want to try something different. However, I don't think I will get started on that until I am finished with Malcontent.
Remember that your feedback is valuable. I do read your reviews so don't forget to leave them! I love all of the great reviews for Weeping Willow, but if you have read the other shorts or novels, please leave a review. You might encourage someone else to read the work or write a review. Thanks!
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Monday, October 22, 2012
A: It is important to remember that you are not a flat or one dimensional person. You have a multitude of feelings, and each one is like the facet of a diamond. Just like you do not have one emotion all the time, your character should not have one emotion all the time. During the highs and lows of the plot, your character's emotions should reflect that.
It is important to create a life history with your characters. Who are they? What have they lived through? Where did they come from? What are their dreams and aspirations? These are things you should have an idea of. You should know everything about their physical appearance. The way their eyes glitter when they smile... The way they crinkle their nose when they laugh... These are things you should keep in mind when describing the character within the story.
You should also have a good grasp of the physical or emotional struggles of the character. Think of your life. All of your relationships aren't always pleasant. Use that in creating your character. If you can use one of your relationships as an example, then it would make the plight of the character more realistic.
There is a lot of talk in reviews about showing, not telling, a character's emotions. That means instead of saying the character is scared, you should depict what they are physically going through. The accelerated heart rate... The blood pumping through their veins... The sweat dripping from their brow... Showing is the best way of capturing your audience and pulling them into the story. They will feel they are apart of the story which is exactly what you want as a writer.
Aspects that give your character a sense of reality is capturing their habits or quirks. For example: In Weeping Willow, when Willow gets frustrated, she rakes her hands through her silky hair. You may have a few habits or quirks that can be incorporated into your character. A habit can be seeking a quiet place when things get tough or slamming doors. A quirk can be pursing one's lips. It is just something a character does without realizing it which makes it more believable.
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
It has been a little while since I have posted. After finishing Wicked Magic, I got sick and decided I needed a break to rest. I took practically the whole month of August off from writing to just get that extra rest I needed from being physically drained. Now that I am rested, I intend to begin writing Malcontent and Wicked Chemistry.
Malcontent is the third and final book of the Restraint Trilogy. It is due out early next year. Maybe earlier if I am hit with divine inspiration.
Wicked Chemistry is a new Weeping Willow short that takes place between the original shorts and the novel. It will only be available in paperback format with the other shorts. No projected release date for that yet.
Sales for Wicked Magic have been great, but for those that have read the new novel, I ask that you please leave feedback. It is not only to let others know how you feel but for me to gauge what I can do better. So, please don't forget to leave feedback and spread the word.
Friday, August 10, 2012
I just finished the trailer for Wicked Love which I attached to the bottom of this post. I love it because it has more to do with love than my other novels. Perhaps even a little obsession. As dark as Wicked Magic is, I hope to make Wicked Love just as dark with a more feelings of love and destiny. So, hopefully it will be more romantic.
However, before I start work on that novel, I have to get started on Malcontent and possible a new short. After a long awaited break from writing, I am eager to get back to it with fresh ideas. So, we will have to wait and see what the future holds.
Thanks for your positive energy and support. Hopefully we can enjoy more great reads together soon! Keep you posted.
Monday, August 6, 2012
I just finished working on the Malcontent Book Trailer. I posted it on my website and Youtube for your viewing. I also posted it below.
I haven't been feeling well so I took a short break from writing. But I hope to be writing again soon, because I want to get started on Malcontent and probably a new short.
I just wanted to let everyone know that Josie Epping from Josie's Haven Blog will be reviewing Wicked Magic on her blog soon. She posted a short review on Goodreads (CLICK ON THE LINK TO CHECK IT OUT). So, keep leaving those reviews. I do read them, and I am loving the positive energy!!! I know many people want the short stories to be longer, but I see that as readers wanting more. So, that means I am on the right track. So, sit tight and look out for more works later this year and early next year.
Sunday, July 22, 2012
I finished making the editing changes to Wicked Magic, and it was now in the process of being published in various online bookstores. It should be on Barnes & Noble and Amazon within the next 24 to 48 hours. It is currently for sale for $2.99 on Smashwords.com.
It will be reviewed soon by Josie Epping, and her review will be posted on, her blog, Josie's Haven. So, look for that soon.
I just want to thank all of the fans who waited patiently for this book. It was truly the hardest book to write for me, because the Willow saga has been out of my realm of comfort. But I got through it, and I am happy with the outcome. I hope you are, too. Remember to leave a review!
Monday, July 9, 2012
It has been a long journey. Wicked Magic has been the hardest book I have ever written, because the fantasy/action/adventure genre is still so unnatural to me. But I am very proud of the outcome. It is darker than the original stories because I drew my inspiration from Dante's Inferno as well as a dream that I had a year ago.
I had planned to release the book back in May of this year, but in order for the book to match my vision, I had to expanded past the 60,000 word limit that I had set for it. The outcome is about 80,000 words. This book might be the start of a long series if the response by the readers is positive so be sure to write reviews. It may not seem like it, but I do read them, and I take what everyone says into consideration.
I am releasing the Wicked Magic within the next week or so in ebook format. I will also be releasing it in paperback within the next two weeks. So, be on the look out for that.
Monday, July 2, 2012
Monday, June 11, 2012
I hope to have Wicked Magic done and edited by the end of the month so that I can publish it by next month so stay tuned.
Thursday, June 7, 2012
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Received my soft covers in the mail today. Overall I am please with the look. I plan to publish Wicked Magic and the original Willow stories in the same fashion soon. I have all the cover art and the back cover blurbs done.
If you don't have a copy, pick up yours for about $7.00 at BarnesandNoble.com.
I have been writing like crazy, but I still have about nine more chapters to write for Wicked Magic. Already wrote 2000 words today. I expected this novel to be about 60,000 words, but it may be closer to 70,000.
It will be a crazy but great ride that I hope the fans of the story will enjoy!
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
I just wanted to update all of my readers that are anxiously awaiting the release of Wicked Magic. I am currently writing the last ten chapters. I hope to release this novel withing the first two weeks of June. I know it has been a long wait, but I am striving to create a novel that fans of the Weeping Willow stories can enjoy. Sometimes that takes a lot of time and imagination, but the final chapters are planned out and all I need to do is put them down on paper.
I have already contacted Josie Epping from the Josie's Haven Blog about writing an honest review once it is done, and she agreed. So, I hope to have a link to her review after the book release. I am sure she has a long backlog of other books to read, but I am very pleased that she will make time for a review.
I hate to give release dates, because life never goes according to schedule. I hate to miss release dates, but I am usually never more than two weeks off. Sorry for everyone who was interested in reading the novel now, but I hope to have it for you come June.
I am really flattered when I hear that Weeping Willow has become an all time favorite read for someone. I knew when I wrote it that I was writing something special. Even though it was only meant to be a short to show my range and to dabble in the fantasy genre, Weeping Willow has become a huge hit with readers, and I couldn't be more happier. I am writing Wicked Magic for those that want to read more about Willow and Nalin, and if all goes well, I wouldn't be apposed to making it a series. We'll see....
I have read the comments from people that had problems with the pacing and have stated that they couldn't relate to the characters. Some even suggested that I could have drawn it out and made it more descriptive. And... it's true. I could have flushed it out into a full length novel, but it wasn't meant to be a novel. It is a short story. The purpose of Weeping Willow was for me to try something new and introduce myself to my audience as kind of a preparation for, my novel, Restraint. If I had decided to make the original stories a novel, it would have been more flushed out and paced perfectly as Restraint was.
But there will always be someone who will like something and another who will not. You just can't please everyone. I can't make someone relate to the characters. You either do or you don't. You either read the words and get lost in them or you don't. That is just a matter of taste. I have read books that critics gave perfect ratings to that I just couldn't finish. It happens.
I believed the best way to tell Weeping Willow was from the point of view of two soul mates whom were struggling to find one another. I also wanted to test my skills writing from a guy's point of view which was interesting and different for me. I don't regret the fast-paced action because it was in keeping with Nalin's desperation to reach Willow before Callan. Regardless of criticism, I was really happy with the outcome.
Wicked Magic will be a full length work so expect more detail and dialog, but hopefully it is in keeping with the original stories and it is something fans will enjoy.
Monday, May 7, 2012
Since Wicked Magic will be out in both paperback (via Create Space) and e-book format, it makes sense that I should publish the original shorts as well. So, I will publish the original shorts in paperback format most likely with an additional unpublished story. This short will be about what happened between the second short and the novel. It will be called Wicked Chemistry. If I do release Wicked Chemistry, than it will only be available as part of the paperback version of the stories. I will NOT release it in e-book format.
Right now, these are just ideas, but I hope to make them into reality. We'll see in the next few weeks, because I am anxious to begin work on Malcontent.
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
When I did the original cover, I had a concept in mind which I loved. Willow looks deeply into Nalin's eyes after being reunited. However, the image I had in my head of Nalin did not quite match the cover. Nalin is a warrior Elf. He looks mean. He is a cold blooded killer. He has pointed ears and so does Willow. They don't look exactly human, but the old cover made them look ordinary.
The old cover is too romantic... too light when the story is dark and has a number of dark themes. So, I had to change the cover art to best match the Elven characters.
I kept the black and white theme, because it plays on the two Elven races, but I made Nalin appeared more masculine. Willow, in turn, looks more Elven with large eyes and ears.
Give me your feedback and let me know what you think.
I have been having a problem uploading RESTRAINT and was told that the problem was on my end. I fixed what they told me to fix and the alert messages did not go away.
Well, today I got a alert message concerning WEEPING WILLOW, saying there was a hyperlink in the product description. Of course, this was not true so I had to upload a new version. The problem was Smashwords was not uploading the document I was sending them. No, the program was uploading RESTRAINT instead. So, basically my work could have been downloaded for free. Good thing I caught what was happening. I unpublished everything, and I won't republish until everything is fixed.
Saturday, April 21, 2012
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Thanks for your interest and support!
Book Links to Creative Space:
Monday, April 16, 2012
"Sandra Madera impressed me with these books. I like the fact that all her stories were completely different... It is wonderful to read stories from an author who's very versatile in her writing." - Josie, Josie's Haven Blog
Special thanks goes out to Josie for taking the time to read and review all of my work. It is always exciting to have your work reviewed, but it is wonderful to hear a positive voice through this journey. Thank you!
Sunday, April 15, 2012
A: Todays topic is one that I have experienced in my first year of being published... Criticism. Some can be positive... Some can be negative, but both can have affects on the creative person's ego.
When someone out there in cyberspace shares your view of how great your work is, it can be amazing. You feel validated. However, when someone tears your work apart, it can be devastating! You may question your abilities, and this may stifle your creativity.
Positive and negative criticism is found everywhere and in every profession. You will always find people that both love and hate your work. What is important is that you love what you are doing. As long as the work resonates with you, odds are it will find its way to the hands of someone who will appreciate it as well. Never give up, and never give in to critics.
History has been filled with countless success stories, and you know what all of them had in common... Those that succeeded never gave up. They didn't pay too much attention to the naysayers. They believed in their own abilities and success followed. Mark Twain wrote, "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great."
While I read both negative and positive reviews, I don't let it stop me. While some negative criticism can be constructive, I am talking about the ones that take personal jabs at your craft and character. The truth is that you will always have people that don't get it. It is their right not to like your work, but things get personal is when there is name calling. NEVER write a response to those critics. You may want to jab back, but it shows that you have more class if you keep your mouth shut! Always conduct yourself with class! Smile and bear it as they say. Your time to shine will come despite what they say.
You will have those that don't want to get it and will do everything possible to pick apart your writing. There will be a time when you receive the worst review ever. Then the next day you may have three awesome reviews. Peoples opinions vary, and you shouldn't give up on a dream because someone may not like your work.
Some of these extra negative reviewers may write something about you that seems to like overkill. They may write comments that go below the belt. Ignore them and push forward. You have to think why someone would say something like that... Perhaps, some of these reviewers are writers themselves. I usually find that those people feel the need to downgrade really great work to make their own skills seem superior. Their motive is to eliminate the competition. I have always been supportive of other authors, and I love following Indie authors on Twitter. Most are wonderful and supportive. Seek out those. I think that variety is fun as a reader. As a writer, I know that no one has my writing style, because everyone's style is as different as a fingerprint. So, I don't mind new writers in the field. I enjoy them and, obviously, have no problem dishing advice.
I have had some hostile critics. I have had people write that I chose the wrong POV for a story, that I lacked skill, that my writing is flat, that my characters had no depth, that my writing is vulgar, that my stories are bloody and heartless. Someone even blogged that they doubted they would hear more about my work in the future. Someone wrote that they wanted the time they spent reading my work back. I am not writing this to acknowledge these comments, but to show that everyone has a critic. The point is that there are always people who see the glass as half empty and are use to being negative. There will always be people who are stuck on the traditional way of publishing and don't want to read anything from an indie author. What matters is that you do what you love and have fun doing it.
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Right now, I am hard at work reformatting Restraint and Lament for soft cover distribution. I have been getting some inquiries as to whether I was going to release any of my titles in other formats... Especially, from those that don't have e-readers or like to read things on the computer.
I have wanted to, but I didn't know what it entailed, and well, the amount of work involved. So, I did my research... I chose to go ahead and create an actual book using CREATESPACE.com.
As always, I like to do everything myself. So, I put together this book cover and formatted my book into a 6x9 book. However, the process takes many steps so I hope to have Restraint and Lament out in two weeks or so.
When I am done with Wicked Magic, I will publish in both formats; however, the soft cover will include both shorts so that reader doesn't miss reading complete story, because Wicked Magic begins where the shorts left off.
Eventually, I will add to my list of short stories. When I have enough to compile, then I will make a soft cover book entitled Series (as in series of shorts). Some of which, I will reserve only for the actual book. But right now this is only an idea. So, when I make this dream into an actuality, I will be sure to let everyone know.
Just wanted to give everyone who prefers an actual book a heads up. Stay tuned!
I have also been working on wallpapers for Malcontent. Above is one that I created with a quote from the ebook which is due out in December 2012. I am going to make another. I will probably get started on that tomorrow. Then I will get started on the book trailer. As soon as that is done, I will post that to my site and blog.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
A: I am writing this post, because I was disgusted by the way certain authors acted on social media websites. While these types are a minority, I felt it necessary to discuss this topic.
Like many of you, I follow various authors on Twitter and Facebook. I tend to add anyone who is aspiring to be a published author like myself. Most indie author's fall into that category.
When I was on one of these websites, I witness authors asking followers for money, ranting about how miserable their life is, and begging followers to purchase their ebooks while threatening to quit writing.
It could be my pride, but I would never beg my twitter followers to donate money. I don't think it is appropriate. If they donate that money, they don't know if it is really going to your writing business or anything else you may want to spend it on. I don't ever ask for money! If one wants to buy my book, that is fine. That is why I write, but to ask for handouts seems wrong to me. Don't do it! And don't get angry when people aren't willing to donate either!
I want to be clear about this. While it is okay to post a friendly reminder that your book is available, it is important to conduct yourself with class. I don't expect to be bombarded with a hundred messages to download your ebook. Nor do I want to follow someone that only tweets that. Tweet about your life. Be positive and inspirational. Let the fans get to know you. No one would read a book without either sampling the author's work, hearing rave reviews, or getting to know them as a person of authority within the field.
For authors, your books are your business, and you are the image of your business. There is never a time when cursing is acceptable! Cursing at fellow authors and fans who are trying to help you is contradictory to your focus. One is never truly an expert in your chosen field. The point is we keep learning as we go on, and the best way to learn is from someone who has been there. Listen to your fellow authors!
Now in the case where a fan is asking for your work for free, it is not correct to unfollow them or write unsavory things. Just remind them that your work is available at all online outlets for the price which is set. If you have shorts available online, remind them of those. Unless someone is nasty, there is never a time when threatening to unfollow people is appropriate!
Remember that once something is on the web, it is there forever. Conduct yourself with some decorum.
One chapter of WICKED MAGIC can be read at FEEDBOOKS where I have posted a chapter preview.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Sunday, March 11, 2012
So, I have read posts from a lot of Indie authors about how to write a short story or a novel. These tips are pretty interesting, but I think it is better to write organically. This means to have a general outline and fill in the details as you write spontaneously. This allows you to come up with new ideas as you write and the ability to integrate them into the story without ruining your precise plans.
So, with the way I write, I know people may wonder what inspires me. Many writers draw inspiration from the world around them. This is true for me, but there is also another gold mine for inspiration... Your dreams.
When I was thirteen years old, I dreamed of two sisters, one blonde and one brunette, in love with the same man. So, I decided to write about these characters and for a while I wrote a few chapters of a love story. The name of the main character was Laura. Her sister was named Linda. With my limited thirteen year old mind, I envisioned these characters, but was unable to developed them enough to finish the story.
Fast forward about thirteen years, and my mind still knew these characters. Choosing to change up the story to a genre that was more my style, I added vampires, rewriting my old concept into my novel entitled Restraint. And Laura remained the same rebellious girl I had thought up years ago.
Dreams are a wonderful source of inspiration if they make sense. The best dreams are the ones that leave you thinking about them way into the morning hours. So, dream on my fellow writers. There are many stories waiting to be told and many characters waiting to be thought up.
Saturday, March 3, 2012
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
So, my editor finished up editing Lament. I have to make the changes and then I can publish it. Look for it on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and Smashwords.
For those that posted comments, I could not choose so you both get a Free copy of Lament! Look out for my email to the address you commented with. Thanks!
Right now I am in the midst of writing Wicked Magic. For a one chapter book preview, go to Feedbooks.com and search "Sandra Madera."
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Thanks for all of your positive feedback on Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and other sites. I do try to read them, and take everything into account. So keep posting!
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
I was not really happy with the clarity of a bitmap image over time. The writing starts to look blurred. It was a challenge to change the format but needed. I wanted the image to be clearer than just a regular bitmap image. I learned how to do this using a PowerPoint-like program from Open Office. I hope to update all the bookmarks on my site so that they could be just as clear, but everything seems to take more time than I would like.
Also, for those waiting for the release of Lament, I hope to release it later this month. Sometimes I think I will have a book done way in advance and then life happens and things get in the way. But despite all distractions, I will be releasing it as soon as possible.
Thank you to all the fans that have posted reviews!!! I have read some of the wonderful feedback, and I hope to continue to write books that will surprise and captivate your attention. Thanks!
P.S. DON'T FORGET TO ENTER TO WIN A FREE COPY OF LAMENT. LOOK AT MY BLOG POST FOR INFORMATION.