24 Days of Writing, Blogging, Book Love, writers life, writing, Writing Submission

On the 23rd Day of Writing: PORTALS

ancient antique architecture building
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

December 23rd 

Hi friends! I’m currently in Nova Scotia visiting family. I love any kind of travel, even if it’s only a few hours away. I find when I drive, I’m able to think about life and the stories I’m working on.

Today’s opportunity is for PORTALS. Keep reading to learn more!

PORTALS

They seek fantasy or science fiction stories that contain a portal between two different worlds. They want stories that feature twists on typical portals and interesting settings. Try not to write a story about a door in the back of a wardrobe 😉

They also aren’t seeking stories that open a portal from one time to another. They’re interested in stone archways in the middle of the forest, cracks in reality, and wormholes. They seek both humorous and dark tones. Read more here!

Submission Guidelines

Stories shouldn’t be longer than 7,500 words and must satisfy the theme.

The deadline is December 31st, 2018. Decisions will be made by the end of February 2019. Send your submissions to: contact@zombiesneedbrains.com

Any questions you have may be directed to: contact@zombiesneedbrains.com.

Happy Writing

Hope you have fun with this prompt. Tomorrow is the last day of this blog series!

Until next time,

Loie xo

 

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24 Days of Writing, Book Love, writers life, writing, Writing Submission

On the 19th Day of Writing: Beneath Ceaseless Skies

December 19th

Hi friends,

Do you write literary adventure fantasy? Then this opportunity is for you ❤

Beneath Ceaseless Skies

Beneath Ceaseless Skies seek stories with traditional or classic fantasy with a secondary-world setting.

What is a Secondary-World Setting?

Tolkien called it this. It’s a world that’s different from our primary world. It might be different in terms of ecology (climate), zoology (non-human creatures), or physical laws, AKA, the presence of magic.

The story could be set on Earth but a different Earth in terms of history (alternate history) or time (pre-modern historical past). Pre-technology levels of technology like magic, steampunk technology, or anything not as advanced as modern technology. The setting should have an element that’s fantastical.

People in this world should have developed their own culture. The people should fit in the culture.

They aren’t seeking urban fantasy or other stories in our modern real world.

Characters

They love stories focused in on character. Characters should yearn for something, internally or externally, driving the characters towards it.

Beneath Ceaseless Skies love characters who are ’round’. Ones that change and grow, instead of remaining the same.

Prefer limited or close POV. It can be 1st or 3rd.

Originality 

They prefer original stories. Stories featuring elves, barbarian swordsmen, or opening in a fantasy tavern, unless done uniquely, are unlikely to catch their eye.

Good Luck

Good luck with this submission opportunity! This is a SWFA qualifying site. Read more about their submission guidelines here.

Until next time,

Loie xo

Author Interview, Book Love, writers life, writing

Author Interview: M. Dalto of TWO THOUSAND YEARS

Hi everyone!

architecture business city classic
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Please welcome the funny and lovely, M. Dalto, soon to be published author! Her debut novel releases tomorrow, December 11th, with Parliament House Press! I was lucky enough to be mentored by MB during #WriteMentor from the months of May to August. MB mentored me with Amber R. Duell (author of Dream Keeper) and it was a blast.

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Welcome MB! I’m so happy you are here, today. Can’t wait to hear more about your journey with TWO THOUSAND YEARS and what’s next for you 🙂

Let’s get started!

Loie: When did you start writing TWO THOUSAND YEARS and what inspired it?

MB: The inspiration for TWO THOUSAND YEARS actually came to me in 1993 – and now I’m probably dating myself. Billy Joel released his album entitled River of Dreams and on it was a song called Two Thousand Years. My best friend and I had very active imaginations and often wrote our own stories, roleplayed, and the like — there was something about Two Thousand Years that called to me, even then, telling me there was a story there, and it needed to be written. They melody was moving, and the lyrics were inspiring- battles to be won and love that spanned centuries. It was just begging for a story to be told.

I socked the idea away for many years later, until 2014 when something in me felt the need to write a story for NaNoWriMo. So, using the same song for inspiration so many years later, that’s exactly what I did.

Loie: Wow! Love the story behind TTY. That is so cool, MB! Now I’m going to go and listen to that song 😉 

Can you tell readers what Wattpad is? When did you decide to post TTY on it?

MB: Wattpad is a website where millions of writers and readers can come together, from all over the world, and share their stories and experiences. I had heard about it from a friend when I was looking to do more with TWO THOUSAND YEARS. What brought me there didn’t start out as happy though…

I finally decided to share my first chapter on one of the NaNoWriMo forums. And the person who read it, a total stranger, messaged me and told me that it may have been one of the worst pieces of writing he ever read.

I was devastated.

So much so that I was ready to just stop- no more writing, throw the story away, that was it.

Until a friend of mine mentioned Wattpad. I never knew it existed until she told what it was, where I could upload as much or as little onto it as I wanted, where the feedback I could get there would be far more diverse than one unknown person’s opinion.

So I finally joined in February 2016.

Loie: Super important to receive diverse feedback compared to one person. I’m so glad your friend mentioned Wattpad to you ❤

Did you have the novel finished before you started posting on Wattpad or did you write a chapter a week?

MB: TWO THOUSAND YEARS was fully drafted when I decided to post it to Wattpad, but I was still in the process of my first round of edits and revision. So once I had a chapter completed, I would post it to Wattpad. I tried to get at least one up a week at the time, sometimes there would be two. I remember when I was about 10 chapters away from the end I went on a posting spree and put up one a day, but because I wanted to mark it as ‘complete’.

Loie: Oh, that’s neat 🙂 How fun! Your readers must have been thrilled about the posting spree, hehe 🙂 ! I used to post on Fanfiction. I wrote Sailor Moon and Harry Potter fanfic (featuring Harry’s parents :D) and I remember how fun it was to receive reviews and feedback on my writing.

Can you share your journey with Two Thousand Years getting published?

MB:  confess I had not interest in publishing when I started writing it. I merely wanted to write a story, and I did. But once I posted it to Wattpad and it won the Watty, I started to consider that maybe there was something more I could do with it. So I started querying it to agents. A lot. And it was rejected. A lot. I tried on SwoonReads and it ebbed and flowed in its popularity, but nothing came of it. It got some interest a Pitmad or two from indie publishers, but at the time I was focused on traditional publishing. I even tried throwing it into 2017’s PitchWars but it got me nowhere.

I soon lost count of the rejections, but for this one I was okay because it, and the rest of its series, was still extremely popular on Wattpad. But eventually the frustration got to me and I was seriously considering myself as a writer (don’t we all?) until a friend of mine whom I met through an ACOTAR FB group started posting about her new book coming out with a Parliament House Press. After talking to her about it and her experiences, I began to realize that TWO THOUSAND YEARS as a story I wasn’t going to compromise to sell, so maybe an independent small press was something to consider. So I queried them and they enjoyed what they read enough to request my full manuscript a month later, and a week after that I was sent the contract!

Loie: Writing is a journey and I agree, I think every writer doubts themselves. I’ve been there. So cool that you met a friend through your love of ACOTAR ❤ I love Parliament House Press. I’m so glad they’re releasing your book. Also, your cover is amazing! 

What is your favourite 2018 read?

MB: This is hard because I can barely remember what I read! If you’re asking me what my favorite 2018 release was, it would definitely be A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas because her ACOTAR series is my favorite, with A Court of Mist and Fury still up there as my most favorite book ever. I know a lot of people were upset with this book, but it was a novella and it was a fun novella and I’m okay with the romantic fluff every once in a while, especially where Rhysand is involved.

Now, if you’re asking me about books that I actually, finally read in 2018, the favorites there would be Lady Midnight and Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare. Though I guess I can now throw Queen of Air and Darkness into the mix, as it’s a 2018 release though I haven’t finished it. Yet…  But those books redeemed her Shadowhunters franchise for me and I absolutely love them. Almost as much as must as the ACOTAR series.

Loie: Eep! I haven’t finished ACOFAS but maybe I will in the next few weeks. Also, I need to get caught up with the Shadowhunters books so I can finally read this new series. It sounds amazing!

When you’re not writing, what do you like to do In your free time :)?

MB: What’s free time? 😉

Other than writing and wrangling my 8-year-old daughter, I love to read. YA and Adult fantasy are my favorites, though I’ll drop everything for the Outlander series. I also love playing video games – RPGs are my preferred genre, and I’ve been playing World of Warcraft for what feels like forever. And sometimes, when the mood arises, I’ll practice yoga- basic Hatha is my go-to.

Loie: Hahaha 😀 ! Outlander! Love it. Also, I haven’t played video games in ages but I would love to again. I was inspired by my love of Legend of Zelda to write my own fantasy novel.

Okay… now for a super important question: why is Jamie Campbell Bower the best :D?

MB: *HAHA* I see what you did there…

Okay, so let’s start at the beginning.

Hi, my name is MaryBeth, and I adore Jamie Campbell Bower.

I don’t want to use the term ‘obsessed’ because it still remains a healthy infatuation. For the moment. The man can do no wrong – he can act, he can sing, and he’s gorgeous… I mean…a very successful model. He’s well spoken, hilarious, and did I mention gorgeous?

So, Jamie is one of those actors who you know without realizing you know. He was in Sweeney Todd, Harry Potter, played the most amazing Jace in the City of Bones, and then there are those damn movies about sparkly vampires that we don’t talk about. He was also the front runner in Camelot for the one season it was on Starz and played the most amazing Kit Marlowe in TNT’s Will. He’s incredibly talented, and not only on the screen. He actually started his career in music before acting, and his band, COUNTERFEIT., is coming out with their second album in 2019. AND I can attest that he is as genuine in person as you may see in his interviews because I was fortunate enough to have met him in 2018.

But I digress….

Loie: Hahah! Thank you for sharing! I’m sold on JCB! I have yet to listen to COUNTERFEIT but I will sometime this week. Yes, I’ve seen a few interviews with him and he does seem really genuine. So neat that you got to meet him! 

What does 2019 hold for you? Do you have any new projects on the horizon?

MB: So the beginning of 2019 will bring the release of the first two companion novellas for the Empire Saga, REYLOR’S LAMENT and TREYAN’S PROMISE. After that, there’s rumor’s Book 2 could be coming out later in 2019, but we’ll see what happens there 😉

Other than that, I have a couple of other projects I’m working on, both with myself and others. A manuscript or two I’m trying to focus on finishing and polishing, and maybe a couple others that are ready to start from scratch. We’ll just have to see how the year goes!

Loie: Wow! I’m so glad there’s more on the horizon. Can’t wait to read the novellas! Congrats, MB! One more day until TWO THOUSAND YEARS releases 🙂 It’s one of my top reads from 2018 ❤

Thank you so much, MB, for visiting the blog today! You can connect with MB on her Twitter, Instagram, and Wattpad 🙂 

Pre-order here! It releases tomorrow! 🙂

Until next time,

Loie xo

24 Days of Writing, Book Love, Country Life, Nature, Uncategorized, writers life, writing

On the 3rd Day of Writing: Enchanted Conversation Magazine

December 3rd

Hey everyone!

Hope you’re having a good week so far ✨❄️

Here is a fun place to submit: Enchanted Conversation Magazine.

Are you able to tell a myth, fairy tale, folktale in 100-500 words? Check out some examples:

Beerwood Stew – 364 Words – READ HERE 
Stepsister – 214 Words – READ HERE 
Beloved – 178 Words – READ HERE
Email submissions to EnchantedCSubmissions@gmail.com
The subject line of the email should be: FAIRY TALE FLASH – your last name – title of your work. Example: FAIRY TALE FLASH – Dunn – “Your Title”
Write a short cover letter with the approximate word count of the story. Pen a brief author’s bio written in third person and up to three links to your personal website or social media accounts. Don’t summarize your story in the cover letter. 
Include a Paypal address.
Paste your submission in the body of your email.
Single spacing. No indents on paragraphs. Double space between paragraphs. Use Arial as the font. Try to use American English word forms and punctuation.
Have fun with this submission! One of my stories was accepted through Enchanted Conversation. Check it out here!
What story will you write for this submission? I would love to hear below 🙂
Until next time,
Loie xo
24 Days of Writing, Book Love, canadian authors, Nature, writers life, writing

On the 2nd Day of Writing: Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide

December 2nd

Here is a fun place to submit! ❄️✨

Submission Tips

MC that is age 8-12.

-A diverse cast of characters.

-Fun to read and encourages love of science fiction.

-Adventures in space with robots, rockets, or alien encounters.

-Steampunk, weird west, and time travel are fine.

-Word Count should be between 3,000-6,000 words.

-Science fiction, not fantasy.

Particularly Looking For:

-Adventures!

-A MC from an underrepresented population.

-MC has agency and isn’t just along for the adventure.

Don’t Write:

-Stories about female characters who need rescuing or are a prize.

-Stories where the subplot or main plot is romantic in nature.

-Graphic violence or swearing.

Submission Deadline

-December 15, 2018, with a reading period of January and February 2019.

-Don’t put identifying information on your manuscript.

Have Fun

I hope you guys enjoy this submission opportunity 🙂

I think I’m going to write about a robotic dog named Mag, of course inspired by my 16-year-old Jack Russell Terrier 😉🐕

What will you write about? Find out more, here!

Until next time,

Loie xo

Book Love, Giveaway, writers life, writing

Rockstar Book Tours: Excerpt from Drakon’s Tear by N.J. Walters

Drakon'sTear_500x750

Title: DRAKON’S TEAR (Blood of the Drakon #6)

Author: N.J. Walters

Pub. Date: November 26, 2018

Publisher: Entangled Publishing. LLC (Amara)

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 288

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NiBooks

 

Dying isn’t an option. I’ve survived a kidnapping and now I’m on the run from the Knights of the Dragon who want my gift. I’m Abigail Owens and I can sense gemstones. There’s nothing a dragon loves more than treasure. But when I find a beautiful stone at a tiny shop in Moscow, I have no idea it’s a drakon tear, or that I’ve just put myself in the middle of a war between the Knights and a Drakon.

 
I guess I’m just lucky like that.

 
The only person I trust even a little is Vasili Zima, which is weird since I’m not sure if he wants to kill me or protect me. I’m drawn to him in a way I hadn’t thought possible, and he feels the same way, or he wouldn’t be risking his life to help me. He’s wanted by the bad guys just as much as I am, and staying with me, well, there’s a hundred percent chance I’m about to get us both killed. But I will not be going down without a fight.

 

Excerpts

It seemed crazy to be considering such a thing, but deep in her heart Abigail knew it was the truth. Vasili was a drakon. She had no idea why he could touch the bracelet and not be trapped by it. Or maybe he was. Maybe she was the trap.

Horror snaked through her. Was that the reason he was kissing her, touching her? Was it because of the curse or spell or whatever it was. She stared at his broad back, wondering how to address the subject. He obviously didn’t want to talk, but this was far too important to ignore.

“What if I’m the trap?” she blurted.

Vasili tensed and slowly turned around so he was facing her. The frown on his face would have scared her if she didn’t know him. Come to think of it, it did scare her. A little. Okay, a lot, but she wasn’t about to back down.

“What do you mean?” He set his mug back down on the tray, but stayed away from her.

Abigail shrugged and looked at the bracelet. It seemed so harmless. If the silver were cleaned up, it would simply look like an expensive piece of bling. But it was so much more.

“You aid it yourself,” she pointed out. “I was attracted to this.” She held up her arm. “And you were attracted to me. So what if the Knights are using me as a trap.” She swallowed heavily, her heart aching. “Maybe that’s why you’re attracted to me, why you kissed me. Maybe you don’t have a choice.”

And that part hurt more than it should. Whether Vasili kissed her again or not should be low down on her list of priorities. The most pressing ones were staying alive and getting out of the country. But somehow their kissing was at the top of the list. She hated to think that what they felt for one another was nothing more than some spell the Knights had conjured.

And it was weird to think that was even possible. Magic and spells happened in books or movies, not in real life.

Of course, most people didn’t think drakons existed outside of myths and books, but she knew differently. And she’d learned firsthand back home in Vas Vegas that magic was not only real but extremely dangerous.

The temperature in the room seemed to drop. Maybe it was her imagination, but she didn’t think so.

“What are you suggesting? That I’m so weak I’d be drawn in by some spell.”

God save her from the male ego.

EXCERPT #2

“Why? Why were you drawn to the bracelet?” She lowered her voice and leaned in. “Are you one of them?”

He had to admire her discretion, even though they were seemingly alone.

“Why would you think that?” he asked. He was curious to see how her mind worked and how much she actually knew about his kind.

Frustration flashed across her face, and she crossed her arms over her chest. “Fine. You want to be all mysterious, don’t tell me.”

“Answer my question, and I’ll answer yours.” Maybe he wouldn’t tell her everything, but he’d give her some kind of answer.

She gave him a look that told him she knew he was tricking her somehow but was willing to go along.

“That tattoos for one. I’ve seen similar ones.”

On her brother-in-law, most likely. “What else?”

“You’re big and strong, and there’s something about you.” She shook her head when he started to smile. “Yeah, you don’t need your ego stroked.”

But he did, at least by her. He leaned forward and propped his forearms on his thighs and linked his hands together. It pulled the material of his sweater up, exposing his tattoos. “Don’t stop now.”

Abigail huffed in pure frustration. “Then there’s the bracelet.” She slipped her sleeve back and stared at the silver band with the embedded drakon tear. The more he saw it, the less he liked her wearing the tear from another drakon.

Abigail was his treasure.

“You were attracted to the bracelet, not me. Admit that much.”

Vasili nodded. “I did sense the bracelet, but once I saw you, it no longer mattered.

“Yeah, right.” She pulled her sleeve back down. “You wanted to know where it came from, how I got it, and if I was working for a certain group who shall remain nameless.”

“You’re right. I did want to know all of that and more.” Once he’d seen her, he’d wanted to know everything about her. That had concerned him at first, but now that he knew her better, he was coming to realize just how special she was.

“What I can’t figure out is, if the bracelet is a trap…” She looked to him for confirmation.

“It is,” he assured her. Even now, there was no denying the pulsing power coming from her wrist.

“Then why doesn’t it affect you?”

Vasili knew he was at a crossroad. He’d always had a sense about such things. This moment and what he said would affect the rest of his life. He knew if he didn’t share something with Abigail, she would leave him as soon as possible. If he couldn’t build some kind of trust between them, he would lose her.

His dragon roared inside him, and the skin on his forearms rippled. He desperately wanted to shift and barely managed to control himself.

Abigail gasped and sat back on the bunk. She glanced at the door of the cabin, but it was closed, giving them privacy. She wasn’t afraid of him. Not his Abigail. She was afraid for him.

That stung. He was a drakon, mighty and powerful. She should trust him to take care of her, should recognize his strength.

He knew he was being totally irrational. That, too, was out of character. What was it about Abigail that pulled at all of his senses?

About NJ:

Once upon a time N.J. had the idea that she would like to quit her job at the bookstore, sell everything she owned, leave her hometown, and write romance novels in a place where no one knew her. And she did. Two years later, she went back to the bookstore and her hometown and settled in for another seven years.

 

One day she gave notice at her job on a Friday morning. On Sunday afternoon, she received a tentative acceptance for her first erotic romance novel and life would never be the same.

 

N.J. Walters is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has always been a voracious reader, and now she spends her days writing novels of her own. Vampires, werewolves, dragons, time-travelers, seductive handymen, and next-door neighbors with smoldering good look will vie for her attention. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to live it.

 

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | BookBub

 

Giveaway Details:

 

1 winner will receive a $15 Amazon Gift Card, International.

Rafflecopter link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2853/?

 

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

11/26/2018- Stormy Vixen’s Book Reviews– Review

11/26/2018- Angel’s Guilty Pleasures– Excerpt

 

11/27/2018- Bookriot– Excerpt

11/27/2018- Loie Dunn– Excerpt

 

11/28/2018- Reese’s Reviews Review

11/28/2018- Two Chicks on Books– Excerpt

 

11/29/2018- My Books-My World– Excerpt

11/29/2018- Dena Garson-Real… Hot… Romance– Excerpt

 

11/30/2018- BookHounds– Excerpt

11/30/2018- Parajunkee– Excerpt

 

Author Interview, Book Love, Uncategorized, writers life

YA Fantasy Author Interview: S.M. Beiko

As the winter ice begins to thaw, the fury of a demon builds  all because one girl couldn’t stay dead . . . 

Roan Harken considers herself a typical high school student ― dead parents, an infected eyeball, and living in the house of her estranged, currently comatose grandmother (well, maybe not so typical) — but she’s uncovering the depth of the secrets her family left behind. Saved from the grasp of Death itself by a powerful fox spirit named Sil, Roan must harness mysterious ancient power . . . and quickly. A snake-monster called Zabor lies in wait in the bed of the frozen Assiniboine River, hungry for the sacrifice of spirit-blood in exchange for keeping the flood waters at bay. Thrust onto an ancient battlefield, Roan soon realizes that to maintain the balance of the world, she will have to sacrifice more than her life in order to take her place as Scion of the Fox.

American Gods meets Princess Mononoke in this powerful first installment of a trilogy sure to capture readers’ imaginations everywhere.

*

Welcome, S.M. We are so happy to have you here! Congratulations on your latest release, CHILDREN OF THE BLOODLANDS 🙂 Let’s dive into some questions.

Loie: I love Roan. I love her personality, her cleverness, and her spunk. Did you have an initial idea about Roan? Did you learn more about her during drafting?

S.M. Beiko: Roan was really interesting to write, especially because her voice comes from first person perspective. Because of this, a lot of my own mannerisms and interests came through—though she’s of course much taller than me, and a bit more athletic 😉

Whenever I create any character though, I try to put myself in their shoes and their situation, and I wanted her to headstrong, the type who rushes in, a bit emotional but also practical, and level-headed enough to be reluctant about the hard choices she had to make. At first, she was a pretty simple Chosen-One hero type, but the more I wrote her, the more it came out organically that nothing was going to be that easy for her, given the circumstances she ends up in. What came out of that were evident character flaws, which I feel are very important to making a protagonist believable! Now that I’ve finished a draft of book 3, Roan has changed quite a lot from an idealistic can’t-do-wrong prototype, and I hope everyone likes where her journey ultimately has led her!

Loie: Wow, that is so interesting! I love how you learned more about her as you wrote. Her voice is so strong and that’s one of my favorite parts. She feels three-dimensional and real. I can’t wait to read the final book 🙂

Where did the story of the Fox come from?

S.M. Beiko: I live in the far west side of Winnipeg now, but I used to live more centrally, near the Assiniboine River and Wellington Crescent. In fact, a lot of Scion was planned during my frequent walks to and from work from River Heights into Wolesley. One night, walking home along the river in late winter, a fox ran in front of me on the sidewalk, threw me some wicked shade, then bounded off into the night. A wild hypothetical popped into my head—what if that fox followed me home and gave me a cool mission? A lot of my stories crop up from random questions I ask myself, and I keep asking them until suddenly a whole novel—or three of them—have formed in my head.

Loie: Yay, Canada! Love it. It’s magical when a question or idea pops into your head and the story unravels from there.

Have you always been drawn to fantasy? Are there any other genres or styles you would like to try?

S.M. Beiko: Fantasy is definitely my bread and butter, and what I was ‘raised’ on. A lot of that influence stems from magical girl animes, or Hayao Miyazaki films, as well as comics and video games like the Final Fantasy series, and films like Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, Lord of the Rings, and hundreds of others. I love magic in all its forms, and pushing the limits of what is expected beyond the mundane. I’d like to someday try High Fantasy, where the world-building is much more extensive, or Historical Fantasy, which entails way more research and immersion.

I’m also very keen to start a comic/graphic novel (probably still in the fantasy genre!) that is a little more light-hearted than what I’ve been writing lately. Before I got into writing/book publishing, I was actually studying for a Fine Arts degree. I found the way my program was structured to be a bit stifling/confining, so I switched into Literature. As a result, art has been something I’ve ‘done on the side’ but I’ve let it go far too much. While I’m also a comics editor by trade, I’d like to hunker down and learn another dimension of comics by creating one. We’ll see!

Loie: I love magical girl animes as well ❤ Sailor Moon is still my favorite 😀 Wow! A graphic novel/comic would be fantastic.

I read that you work in the Canadian Publishing industry. Can you share a little bit about how it differs from the US? Or can you share about your experience working on the industry. What’s it like? Being on both sides?

S.M. Beiko: The general North American market is quite similar in terms of structure, but I’ve found (with a few exceptions) that fantasy, and all other Speculative Fiction genres (Sci Fi, Horror, Graphic Novels, romance, etc.) have a much livelier market in the USA than they do in Canada. The Canadian market is still quite focused on General Fiction, meaning the themes and characters take place in the modern, real-life world (often referred to as ‘Can Lit’), and as such, spec fic hasn’t thrived. I think a lot of it has to do with major publishing awards like the Giller and the Rogers Fiction Trust Prize being focused on the Can Lit experience, as well as population density; there’s just more people in the USA who are hungry for spec fic!

My experience working in the industry has been great, though. I’ve been working as a book and comic editor, as well as a packaging graphic designer and typesetter, since 2010, and at this point I’ve virtually worked in every part of the field as I’ve journeyed to full-time freelance sustainability. As a writer, my publishing education gives me insight and tempers my expectations for my own work, as well as buoying me forward when it comes to representing myself and knowing what I can ask for. It has definitely made me a much more proactive author when it comes to promoting myself, because I know how much work goes into getting a book to press, let alone making sure its visible on the shelf. The author has to take an active role in assisting the publisher rather than relying on them to do everything.

Loie: Wow. That is so cool that you’ve worked in all parts of publishing. Love it. That would really provide you with valuable insight. Thanks for sharing about the industry. I thought that might be a reason – re: larger population reading more spec fic in the US 🙂

Do you participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)?

S.M. Beiko: Unfortunately I don’t. I always say I’m going to every year, but the reality is that by the time November rolls around, I’m just coming down from either handing in a manuscript or resting after book touring. However, I do try to apply the principles of NaNoWriMo to my every day writing ethic and schedule, and while I won’t be Tweeting or updating constantly about where I am on a project, I do aim to write every day in November, even if it’s not 50,000 words, or the project isn’t complete by month’s end. November 9 is my last travelling book event—a book launch for Children of the Bloodlands in Calgary—and I can’t wait to just be at home, making things, for the rest of the year!

Loie: Thank you so much, S.M.! It was so interesting to hear you talk about the Canadian Publishing industry and also where your inspiration came from ❤ I hope you have a blast on tour!

Also, for my maritime friends, check out this tour that SM and Kristen Ciccarelli will be going on. They made a beautiful banner 🙂

Maritime+Tour

I hope you enjoyed the interview ❤ Thanks again, S.M.

Are you guys participating in NaNoWriMo this year? What are your goals? I would love to hear below ❤

Loie