Tuesday, December 20, 2011

WIN a free copy of Lament!!!

I have been hard at work writing and juggling my everyday life. Being so close to the holidays, I find that I am in the Christmas spirit. After a hard year, I wanted to give back to my readers. So, I decided I am going to give away a FREE copy of Lament in the ebook format of choice. The winner will be chosen once the book is done, but before it goes on sale in online bookstores.

So, what do you do? Easy... Write a sentence or two about why/what you like about one of my works. Be sure to name the work and post it below as you would a comment. A winner will be chosen from the posts and they will received a FREE copy of my book Lament by email.

This book will retail for $2.99 US at Smashwords, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Click JOIN THIS SITE on the right side of the screen to keep abreast of the details. If this is a success, then I plan to do more free giveaways in the future. So, please join in. Happy Holidays!!! Good luck everyone!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Finishing Up Lament

Hi, everyone.

I am currently finishing up writing Lament. I am up to the last few chapters, and then I will be ready to send it off to, my editor, Susan. I would have been finished earlier, but I took a few weeks off of writing due to the death of my beloved Brownie.

So, it is almost ready, and I hope to release it for purchase at all major bookstores in the first week of January. Sorry for the wait. No one can really predict the tragedies that life puts in our past. We can only really find a way to overcome them.

Thank you to everyone who has read Restraint and posted reviews. I do read them, and I sincerely hope that Lament will be equally as loved. I can wait to share it with all of you.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Library Thing

Hi, everyone.

I just wanted everyone to know that I created a Library Thing account. I am just learning to work it, and I probably wouldn't have joined if it weren't for the users cmorr and MyBear. They added my books.

I am still learning to work everything, but it is a great site to rate my works and the work of other authors. So join up. You can use your twitter or facebook account to sign in.

Profile Page: http://www.librarything.com/profile/Sandra.Madera
Author Page: http://www.librarything.com/author/maderasandra

P.S. Don't be afraid to friend me on twitter. I always follow back the people that follow me. For all those that have chosen to follow me, thank you for your support!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Wicked Magic Teaser Trailer

So, I just finished the Wicked Magic teaser trailer, and I hope that everyone likes it.

I have gotten a lot of mixed reviews for Weeping Willow, and it was a difficult decision for me to consider writing a full-length novel. For the most part, fantasy is not my genre of choice. I wrote the short stories with the intention of proving to myself and to others that I had a wide range to my work. I loved the way Weeping Willow turned out, but in writing it, I did leave my comfort zone.

I have read many of your reviews... Most people seem to think it is too short! For a short story, I can say with confidence that it is not as short as others out there. The story seems to suck the reader in and before one can really make sense of what is happening, it finishes. Such is the tactic writers use to get you to read the sequel...

But thanks to all of your feedback, I have decided that the demand for a longer work is strong, and although it forces me to leave my comfort zone, I am happy to write it. I hope the novel version will give some of these characters some resolution. I know it will take you on a longer adventure that will be both heartbreaking and thrilling.

Monday, November 14, 2011


I have finally gotten around to adding wallpapers to my site. I started off with desktops for Restraint, Lament, and Wicked Magic. I hope to have at least one for each of my works so stay tuned. I will be adding one for Sangre Falls and both parts of Weeping Willow.

I also have to work on a video teaser for Wicked Magic which will be posted soon.

If you have any other suggestions on what I should post, let me know by posting a message. Don't  be afraid to be vocal!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Bookmarks and Wallpapers

Hello, everyone.

I just posted a new bookmark on my site for Wicked Magic. "The quote is something that I plan to add to the novel. It is something Willow will say about Nalin to justify her search for him.

I plan to add more bookmarks and wallpapers in the future for all my works. I have many ideas and I will hopefully have the time to execute them in the near future.

Stay posted to this blog and my website to see all the things I will be adding to my website.


Wicked Magic, A Weeping Willow Novel

Can love truly conquer all? Even death? Willow is about to find out.

Just when Willow and Nalin were ready to bind their life forces in a marriage ceremony, their time of peace has ended. Willow finds out a secret that is both the cause of their union and exile. Daphne, Nalin’s evil sister, has gathered a group of powerful allies in her quest to regain the Ljosalfar kingdom and overthrow their newly formed government. Hoping to separate Willow and Nalin forever, Daphne casts her brother into the darkest and deadliest realm imaginable... Hades.

However, Daphne never expected Willow to delve into the depths of hell to reunite with her lost love and try to set things right. Rules have been broken... Deals have been made... How much is Willow willing to risk to save Nalin’s soul?

For more details, stay posted.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Upcoming Projects

Hello, Everyone.

I wanted to keep everyone posted on where I am with everything. Currently, I have taken a short break from writing because of my loss. My heart is broken, and I struggle with the desire not to do anything at all. When you love anything whether it be a family member or a pet unconditionally, it is hard to mend the hole in your heart once they are gone. It is a struggle, but I am slowly moving forward.

Once I am ready, I will continue to write Lament. I have many ideas which have been placed on the back burner and I can't wait to put to paper. The first half is already being edited and I have the second half to write so I will keep all the readers posted from week to week.

I have thought long and hard about whether to write another extension to Weeping Willow. Many wish the story was longer... Weeping Willow was always intended to be a two-part short story, and I never considered writing another extension before your reader feedback. I have decided that I am going to write a full-length novel based on the Willow stories entitled Wicked Magic. It will take place where the stories left off and it will be based on a dream I had. I don't want to give too much away, but I will place a book teaser on my website after I create a book cover and video teaser. Its release date will be sometime next year as I want to finish Lament before I start on this novel.

Thank you to everyone who loved my short stories and those that posted comments. I really do try to read each one and take them into consideration. I have so many ideas for other novels in my head, but due to your feedback, I realized the requests for more Willow/Nalin drama was increasing. So, those works will stay on the back burner until I can meet your demands. Stay tuned to my official website for information of upcoming works.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sleeping With The Angels

Today I had to make the worse decision of my life. My heart is broken and part of my soul is missing. My beloved dog, my baby, my son, Brownie expired at 3am. He was suffering from kidney and liver failure. It may have been brought about by age as he was a ten year old Yorkshire Terrier. I had to make the horrific decision to end his suffering and put him to sleep. I truly feel that if I didn't make this decision, he would have died painfully in the night. I couldn't allow my baby to suffer.

He lived a happy ten years with me, and our bond will never be forgotten. He was my child, and no one can ever understand the bond between us. We could truly understand one another with a glance. He was everything to me, and I to him. I have had too many experiences with the paranormal to doubt his presence is with me and will continue to watch over me in heaven.

I love you, Brownie. Sleep with the angels, my beloved friend. Rest in eternal peace with all of my friends and family that have past before you in heaven.

Brownie Coello
February 28, 2001 - October 12, 2011

Sunday, October 2, 2011


 Hey, guys!

Since I know the majority of readers read the old fashioned way, I have added bookmarks to the About Me page of my official website, using some of my favorite quotes. They are 2x6 which make them easy to use in both small paperback books and large hardcovers. So, check them out.

They are easy to make. Save the image and print on card stock or photo paper. If you are using card stock, use clear book protectors which is a sticky clear liner that comes in a role to protect the ink and paper.

I will be adding more bookmarks in the future as well as creating wallpapers for each of my books. So, look out for future materials. Thanks!

Thursday, September 22, 2011


So, I was so happy editing Weeping Willow with Write Way Pro that I decided to re-edit Restraint. It is amazing how any mistakes I caught while listening to MS Sam reading my manuscript. I have come to the conclusion that no matter how many times I read something, there will always be some kind of mistake. However, having another voice read my work aloud was a huge help.

I have already posted the newly edited version of Restraint to Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and Smashwords. All other sites are not under my control, and I must wait for Smashwords to update iBooks, Sony E-reader, etc. That takes up to two months! So, if you are thinking of buying Restraint, please do so at B&N, Amazon, or Smashwords.

Now I have to continue to write Lament. Keep you all posted.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fixing Old Mistakes Takes Time...

So, I have been writing my latest novel, Lament, and I realized that little mistakes are so annoying while I was reviewing it. Despite reading something over twenty times, I still found mistakes each time. It was driving me nuts!!!

I am lucky enough to have a volunteer editor for my future works, but the short stories I had already published were bothering me... haunting me. I noticed my biggest mistake was reading what I thought was there rather than reading what was actually written. The misstep is that, as I am the writer, I know what is supposed to be written. So, when I am reading, my focus drifts and I believe I wrote sentences as they are in my mind. When in actuality, there is an error.

Finally, I downloaded a manuscript software called Write Way Pro . Although I basically set up character profiles and outlines by hand anyway, this program reads the chapters that I have written individually or it can read me the whole book. So, I am hearing it as if my reader were reading it! Genius!!! Now I can catch those annoying little spelling errors.

So, I have tried it out by going over Weeping Willow. I have found plenty of foolish errors which I fixed. I put the newest version on Smashwords . Since Smashwords is the vendor that delivers my short stories to the other online bookstores, it will take about two months to update in those secondary online stores. So, if you can live with the errors while reading, that's fine. Otherwise go onto Smashwords and download a fully revised copy for your e-reader today. Thanks and keep reading!!!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Short Stories

Hello, Everyone!

So, I spent the morning hours updating my website and blog. I added more links to places where my work can be downloaded. But the major change was the addition of my short stories to this blog. So, they can be viewed and read online for those that don't have an e-reader. Feedback and reviews can be left under each individual tab.

I will continue to update my blog here and there as I become familiar with the Blogger interface.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Published Overboard!!!

For all of those that have been anxiously awaiting, I published Overboard last night on Smashwords and Feedbooks for FREE. It should be on Barnes and Noble and other sites within a few weeks.

I hope everyone enjoys this short story even though it is quite different from the others. This one is a psychological thriller which I first thought up when I was in the fifth grade. After a failed attempt at writing it, I finally decided to give it another go, and I am happy I did.

Thanks, everyone!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Currently Editing...

I finished writing Overboard, and I can't wait to share it with everyone. It is a departure in that it is a psychological, murder mystery. The story is a bit crazy and confusing, but I love the end product. I hope you do, too.

I plan on publishing it within a week, because right now it is going through the editing process. Special thanks to Susan Blevins for helping me out with the task.

Please don't forget to leave reviews on bookstore websites, this blog, or my personal website. Your opinion is important and I take every criticism as advice for the future.

Check out my updated website (www.sandramadera.com) and stay tuned for more news on Lament and future works.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Feedback and Reviews

I wanted to take the time to thank everyone who has posted reviews or sent me emails. I appreciate the feedback and kind words. I do take into account what the readers say, and thankfully, most of the reviews are quite positive. 

For those that have not left reviews, please take the time out to leave feedback. Whether it is positive or negative, I take what you think into account when I come up with other works. What you think is important as my target audience, and no voice is too small so start reviewing!!!

Thank you to everyone that has written. I hope you don't mind that I share your writings... There are so many more I want to share so look out for more posts in the future.

Some of Your Words:

- 5 stars - Weeping Willow 1 and 2
Weeping Willow was "An intriguing though short tale after reading both I know I love these characters and the story behind it this was a fun read and I look forward to more like it. Honestly a sweet short lovely two books if you haven't yet these are a must read."

"You do such a good job of putting down a story and not a bunch of unneeded blah! You know what I mean. (You) get to the story and tell it!!!!! Cannot wait for more! Congratulations. Wonderful storyteller. Hope you can post this somewhere for reviews."

- 5 stars - Weeping Willow 1
"Action at its best! Madera could give Stephanie Meyer a run for her money with Weeping Willow."
-5 stars - Weeping Willow 2
"A must read!!! Awesome! The only regret is that it is over, I could keep reading the Willow Saga for as long as possible. Thank you!"

- 4 stars - Weeping Willow 2
"Should be a movie!!!!! ;) Awesome nice twist in the middle just short. But some times the shorter it gets the better it is! ;)

- 5 stars - Weeping Willow 2
"OMG. Read it my only complaint is that it wasnt longer jst read it and hope she start to write longer books."

-5 stars - Weeping Willow 2
"A must read. A good storyline, developed characters that keep you interested. My only complaint is the book is too short! I can't believe this book was free."

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Perhaps... Weeping Willow 3???

I have gotten some emails about Weeping Willow. Most readers write about how they fell in love with the characters of Nalin and Willow. Others ask me if there is going to be another installment.

I always intended Weeping Willow to be a two part short story and I never intended to write another installment. I wouldn't exactly know how to go about writing another installment right now. But you never know... Maybe in the future. Perhaps Daphne will stage a rebellion!

However, I think that if I do write it than it will not be distributed as freely as I have made the others. I think it would be an exclusive short story for members of my blog. Or maybe I will start up a newsletter and make the short story a perk of joining. I am still kind of toying around with the idea so nothing is set in stone. Right now, I am engrossed in writing my novel Lament so I don't have any plans for more short stories at this moment.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Painting a Self Portrait in Oils

A lot of people don't know this, but I paint. Well, comparing my painting to a seasoned artist is like comparing a kids drawing to a Picasso, but I do paint none-the-less. I have painted with watercolor, but I prefer oils.

In any case, I have always loved self-portraits of the Regency and Victorian eras. I wanted to do one of my niece, wearing a Victorian gown, but I didn't have a large canvas on hand so I decided on a head to shoulders shot. Deciding to go with the Flemish style of portraiture, I drew out my figure which resembled my niece (at least at first) and covered the whole canvas in an sheer burnt umber.

I left it sitting there to dry for a few days since the oil had to be thinned and I used seed oil to do that. Then the next step is to outline and shade with burnt umber. Which I did, but I noticed that with color the portrait started to look more like me than my niece. So, I just decided it would be a self-portrait rather than fixing it to look like my niece.

That step of the painting process took two weeks to dry, but everyone who saw it thought it looked like me and thought I had it painted for me. I laughed, because no one ever guessed that I painted it myself. The next step in the Flemish process is the moonlit layer. In this step, you completely cover your umber layer with shades of gray.

The painting appeared completely transformed. I shaded the face severely and the neck area which didn't matter, because I knew in later steps I could brighten it. The shades of gray gave it a creepy feel. I was going to paint color on that layer which was the next step, but there was still burnt umber undertones in some areas. So I decided it called for another moonlit layer and some more shading.

The end product was more realistic and looks so much like me it was like I intended to do a self portrait to start off with. My dilemma is whether I should leave it as is or do the final color layer over it. I am having a hard time deciding, because I love the way it looks and I would hate to ruin it. I am still debating it. What if the color makes it look more realistic, but then again, the gray tones match my decor. Decisions... Decisions...

My favorite youtube video on the Flemish technique is Portrait of Anna by Artpapacom
For more on the Flemish technique visit Explore Drawing and Painting and Oil Painting Techniques

Egyptian Hieroglyphs Project

A few months back, my niece was learning about Egyptian culture in school and I had to help her with a project. She had to write a sentence which included her name in hieroglyphs. So, we decided on something simple like "My name is Jennifer ________." Simple.

The Egyptian alphabet seems simple enough, but in drawing them out, I realized some of these characters are detailed animals... On top of that, I was doing this on papyrus paper which you can buy at any art store. Papyrus is very bumpy because it was made by hand and it is not perfectly square. It isn't the best surface for paint to be used on either.

So I drew it out and went over the lines with black oil paint. It tended to look blotchy in some areas and I second guessed whether I did the right thing using black oil paint. Yet, I forged ahead. Then I painted the animals  in dull colors using my bright colors sparsely to give it an aged appearance. The end result was beautiful!!! I am thinking of doing one for myself, but it is something anyone can do for a little bit of money.

To write your name in Egyption Hieroglyphs go to Hieroglyph Typewriter

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Overboard Short Story Teaser

(FREE short story, coming soon!)

Brenna Maren just graduated high school and is in desperate need of some fun and relaxation. When a group of her closest friends decide to spend their summer sailing to the Florida Keys, Brenna is all in... Until tragedy strikes. When she learns her best friend, Marissa, is lost at sea, she instantly suspects foul play. Now Brenna will do anything to find out who pushed Marissa overboard.

Today I was writing part of my short story, Overboard. I am probably a third of the way through it.

It is actually an idea I conceived when I was in the fifth grade, but I couldn't execute it. I remember typing some of the story on my typewriter and creating a cover, but I never actually finished the story. As a child, I was full of ideas, but hardly saw those ideas through to the end.

This time around, however, my ideas for Overboard are much more fluid. Finding the perfect time to write is a problem, because I have so much going on in my life right now. Yet, finding time is the challenge presented to any writer. I am lucky not to have writers block, but I do have personal barriers that are preventing me from finishing this task. But like so many times in the past, I will overcome and deliver this story to retailers this summer. Hopefully, I will have it done by late August so that I can start editing Lament.

Although I am finding it much more difficult to write, the key points of the story are taking shape, and I can't wait to see them through to the end.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Restraint Reviewed!!!

Books Complete Me blog reviewed Restraint!

Restraint received 4 out of 5 stars, meaning they loved it!!!

"Indie, or self-published books, are doing good in the book world. Madera's book is no different! I enjoyed reading this book, and the best part, the story isn't over. Lament will be published late this year or early next year!" - Books Complete Me Blog

To Read the Entire Review, click the link above.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


I updated the look of my blog and added links to my book on the aide panel. I also added links to the sites which carry my work at the bottom of the page.

My life has been chaotic lately and I am finding it hard to squeeze in some alone time for writing. I set a deadline for my newest short story, Overboard, and I would hate not to honor it.

However, tomorrow is another day and I might just push threw the chaos and write some new material. The biggest test for a writer is to create in the midst of ones life going on around them. So, like most others, I struggle daily to find the time to so what I love. Keep you posted.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Published Preview of Lament

I just posted the preview to Lament, the sequel to Restraint, on Feedbooks.com  I just wanted to give everyone a taste to wet your palate until it comes out later this year. Click the link above to download the three chapter preview for FREE. Enjoy!

Lament, A Restraint Novel

After the horrifying experience of fleeing for their lives, Linda Carter and her sister, Laura, are on a mission to reclaim what is rightfully theirs. However, they never expected their past to follow them. Betrayed by those closest to them and left at the mercy of those they fought to escape, everything they planned goes horribly wrong as Linda is captured by her enemy and held captive in an attempt to lore Laura into a trap. Can Linda escape without being bitten by the very beast she both feared... and loved?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Working on Lament Preview

I was feeling under the weather today which totally interfered with my plans...
Although I am hard at work writing my upcoming novel Lament and it is not due to be released until later this year, I am working on releasing a three chapter book preview which I will post on Feedbooks. Like all of my stories and my novel, it will also have a book teaser trailer, but I haven't even started on that yet...
Lament will take off right where Restraint left off but through another character's point of view. I promise it will all make perfect sense...

Finally, I am going to be working on another short story entitled Overboard which I would like to release this summer. I know what I want the story to be about, but I have to make a sequence of events and perhaps a timeline. It will be dramatic... Because if it weren't, it wouldn't be me! :)

I'll write back again soon with updates... so stay tuned.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

New Publishing Outlets

I have been taking a short break from writing, but I have been coming up with new ideas for books which I am happy about.

I just submitted Restraint to Barnes and Noble so it should be for sale there later this week. At this time, it is on sale at Smashwords.com for $0.99. Amazon will probably be the next online bookstore that I will submit my book.

I am also thinking of adding my short stories to other sites to increase readership and possibly increase my fan base. So it will be a busy week. Keep you all posted...

Barnes and Noble

Sunday, May 22, 2011


After many months of editing, I have finally published Restraint via Smashwords.com. Thank you for your patience and kind words of encouragement. It has really been a trying couple of months and there were so many delays in the publishing process which were frustrating. However, I am just happy that I can shut the door on this project and open the door to another.

Now, I can get started on a short story I have in mind and finish working on the sequel to Restraint, Lament. Please be on the lookout for the video trailer of Lament as well as the three chapter book preview that I will post soon on Feedbooks.com.

As for my short story, it will be free as always, but will probably be released in a month or two. The preview trailer will be posted on my website.

Remember to leave feedback for any of my writings, because I do try to take every critisim to account when working on future works.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Publishing Restraint

Hello, Everyone.

First, I have been getting a lot of messages about Restraint. The editing process is nearly finished and I plan on publishing it this week. It will be submitted via Barnes and Noble, Amazon and Smashwords at first. I know that everyone that has read the preview has been patiently waiting to read the whole novel... I am sorry for the delay. No one will be happier than me when I submit it!

Secondly, I would like to thank everybody for their positive comments and letters. I read every comment that is sent to me via twitter, my blog, email, youtube, and even reviews. I try to respond to each one. If I didn't, I would like to say that I am grateful for all of your input and positive words. Your feedback is exactly what I need to gage whether I am going in the right direction with my writing.

Look out for Restraint in online bookstores this week!!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


I have been spending my days getting ready to move. So, naturally, I have done more packing than editing. As a result, the release date of my novel has been pushed back to early May 2011.

A lot of change has occurred in my life over the past month. Some good and some not so good... But life is full of these obstacles and I have to learn better methods of how to continue to edit under these demands of my time.

Once I have been settled in my new place, I am hoping to release Restraint and within three to four months release its sequel, Lament. So, stay posted to this blog and to my website, www.sandramadera.com, to find out about this upcoming trilogy.

For those that are interested in emailing me, I do enjoy the feedback. Feel free to email me at smadera23@yahoo.com.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Website is Up and Running!!!

In case you were wondering, my website is now up and running!!!

I never thought the day would come that I would have my own website, but I'm tremendously blessed to have the support of my family. Thank you to all the readers for your praise and well wishes. Your feedback is important to me and helps me to move forward in the writing process.

For the latest information on my upcoming novel Restraint and for its sequel Lament, please go to  www.sandramadera.com

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Problems Publishing Website

My website is all but complete. I am so excited, because I never expected to have a website. But I found a way to have a website where the costs of running it aren't through the roof.

I find that it is better to customize a website than stick to a template. Even though my website and blog have a "home-made" feel by adding my own art, I like it better than using a sterile template. As I learn more about website design, I hope to have it looking a bit more professional, but, for now, I am really satisfied with the look of it.

I am ready to post it, but I am having problems publishing it to the web! Drives me nuts, but I am trying to talk to techs to solve the problem. So, look out for my website. It will probably be out as soon as this week.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Creating My Website

So, before I release my novel, I wanted to set up my website. Every writer needs a website...

I decided to make it using Intuit's Website Services, because I am not really knowledgeable in building webpages. I know nothing about computer lingo. I was a little lost using their website builder, but I quickly got the hang of it after a few tries.

My website is completely custom, because I couldn't find a template that was exactly what I needed. I am happy with the result though. There are certain things I wished looked more professional, but I still like what I created.

I definitely recommend using Intuit, because their customer service is excellent. However, it you know a lot about website building then you can really make your website stand out. Mine is a bit plain, but it is a start and I can always edit it. I just can't wait until it is up and running.

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)