Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Thanks!

Thank you to all the participants in 2011's Blog Tour de Troops! I'm so glad that I got to "meet" you all, and I'm looking forward to sharing my work with you and quite a few troops.

By now, I should have sent a free copy of Seranfyll to each commenter. If you haven't received your free copy of the ebook yet, please email me at christinadaleybooks AT gmail DOT com and I'll get that to you straight away.

Thanks again for making this such a fun experience! Happy reading!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Blog Tour de Troops: Memorial Day 2011

Hello and welcome!

I'm so glad that you have joined me and over 30 other independent authors this Memorial Day to show our appreciation for the men and women who bravely defend our nation. You've probably just arrived from Tracy Bull, who writes literary and thrillers, and your stop after here will be with Richard Sutton, who writes historic and fantasy books and who also has a full list of all the author blogs participating on this tour. "Home base" for this tour, of course, is at the Indie Book Collective.

The U.S. Armed forces have a bit of history with my family. Both of my parents were refugees during the Vietnam War. My mother was a young woman in Saigon when it fell to the communists in 1975, and she was among those who had to flee, taking only a change of clothes and her memories with her. When she arrived with the lucky ones (alive) in the refugee camps, they weren't just homeless. They were country-less.

But despite the chaos, the terror, and all the awful things that happened in that difficult time, the armed forces helped get her and many others to safety, and America welcomed both of my parents' families to its shores. Life was far from easy for them here, but it was possible. They were given the opportunity to learn English, to get an education, to get jobs, to become citizens and contributing members to society, and to raise their children in a free nation. And they did. (Of course, they didn't forget where we came from. We still eat lots of Vietnamese food!)

I suppose that might be one of the reasons (among others) I wrote the young adult fantasy Seranfyll, because it's about a slave girl who is now free and must decide what she will do with it. Of course, even though the book deals with some serious subjects, I had to have some fun, hence the bits of goofball humor. Check out this review by one of the tour's gracious sponsors L. M. Stull, author and book blogger over at Between the Lines Bookclub.

I welcome your comments and questions. Every unique commenter here today will receive a free e-copy of the book, as will a troop. You can leave your email address in your comment, and you can also leave me the email address of a troop you want me to send a free e-copy to, if you have a specific one in mind. Or if you're uncomfortable, like I am sometimes about spam, simply send an email to christinadaleybooks [at] gmail [dot] com with your name, mention that you commented here, and leave the email address of your troop. But be sure to comment, because the more commenters, the more ebooks we can send to troops.

You can also visit and "like" my Facebook page. And if you like what you read in Seranfyll, please leave a comment on its Amazon page. And of course, please tell others about it, since I'm just getting started.

Thanks for stopping by, and let freedom ring!

ETA: Review link.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Western Conference Champs

The Mavs are going to the Finals.

Today is a celebratory day in Dallas.

Believe me, on the inside, I'm jumping for joy.

Conference finals and summer project thoughts


Game 5 of the Western Conference Championship is starting soon. Not that I have anything against OKC, but I live in Dallas, and I'd really like my boys to advance.

Actually, I'm hoping that the Finals this year will be a rematch between Dallas and Miami. And the way things are going, it looks like I just might get my wish. I was there (or at least, I was watching it on television) in 2006 when Miami came to Dallas and won that decisive Game 6. I didn't like it, not because my team lost, but because it was a stupid game. I don't mind my boys losing in a good game, but the lack of intelligence in that game was appalling. I want them to have another shot, and I'd like the refs this time to not be dolts.

In a totally unrelated vein, I'm in the middle of some freelance editing work, but once those projects are out the door, I'd like to get back to writing. Seranfyll is enjoying some very modest sales, which I'm okay with. I write because I like to. And I already have an idea for my next book. A couple years ago, I wrote a paranormal romance for young adults about a high school girl and a guy who's been possessed (though, not by a ghost or an alien or anything like that). It was a stupid story, but I learned some things from it:

1) I should not write romances. The only remotely romantic books that I've read were Twilight and A Walk to Remember. I liked both, and I can think romantically, but I don't prefer to write it. Plus, one look at Amazon shows the market is totally saturated, and I don't desire to add to it for the sake of going with what's popular.

2) I'd like to write from a dude's perspective. I did a little of this in Seranfyll and I've done it before in another story. It was fun.

In fact, as I was going through that old manuscript, I found myself more interested in the relationship between the guy and the thing possessing him. I didn't really get into it much on the first go around, but now I think of some of the conversations that they would have:

Lucas (guy): "What are you doing?"
Phos (possessing thing): "Just flipping through some of your memories. If I'm going to be you, I need to know what I'm dealing with. Huh, this one looks interest..."
Lucas: "No wait...!"
Phos: "Whoa!"
Lucas: "Put that one back! That's private!"
Phos: "Sorry. Who was that girl, by the way?"
Lucas: "Laci. She's my girlfriend. And she's off limits."
Phos: "No worries there. Do you mind flagging that one and similar memories? I feel violated now."
Lucas: "You're one to talk."

So, yes. I think that will be my summer project. A paranormal BROmance. Will I put it up for sale? I don't know yet. But I guarantee that I'll have fun writing it.

(Team logos courtesy of their respective organizations.)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Grammatical errors sucking and Brits reading Seranfyll

So, it's been about a week since Seranfyll first launched on Amazon.com as an ebook for the Kindle and Kindle app-enabled devices. And now it's on Smashwords.com (which will hopefully get it into the Apple and Sony Reader stores), and it will soon be available on BarnesandNoble.com directly for the Nook.

And I have to say, I'm a bit surprised. Not necessarily SURPRISED in the sense of just finding out that I won the lottery (I don't play, so that would be REALLY surprising), but surprised at all the grammatical errors that I allowed to get past me. Some editor I am, ne? Shame, shame.

But I was also pretty surprised that the book was selling at all. I mean, I'm not moving digital truckloads. But for instance, a couple of people bought it in the UK. And I don't know anyone in the UK. At least, I don't know anyone well enough to buy my stuff. And I'm a bit curious about these brave souls that decided to lend an eye to my work, since I wrote Seranfyll with lots of British voices in my head--including, but not limited to, all four Top Gear presenters (even Stig), the two younger Pevensies in the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe movie, Captain Jack Sparrow (okay, Johnny Depp is American, but still), Hagrid, Wesley from The Princess Bride, and Julie Andrews. I'm sure something southern of mine leaked out somewhere, but we'll see if anyone notices. And if they do, at least they're only out 69p.

In other news, my health and I haven't been on the best of terms lately. What started as a sinus issue became a fever that digressed into a throat thing that is now a cough that isn't cute. I'd like to reach a reconciliation with it, but it seems to not be in the bargaining mood at the moment. Hopefully, it'll see things my way very soon.

Or, maybe it won't matter, since the world is supposed to end on Saturday. That will also save me from having to pay my cell phone bill.

(Image courtesy of Walt Disney)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Seranfyll on Smashwords.com! And small update on print books...

Okay, a blatant one now. But Seranfyll is now available on Smashwords. This means that people with Nooks and Sony Readers can buy and download the ebook. Of course, Kindle users and Kindle app supporting devices can still get the ebook from Amazon.

I've also stumbled upon this great site called GoodReads.com. It's a pretty great place for readers and authors to interact and talk about books. I recently opened an account there, so if you happen to be a GoodReads troller, find and "friend" me :)

And I've been working on the formatting for a print book. It's deceptively easy until Word 2007 decides to pull weird formatting issues on you. Still working on it, but hopefully in the next few weeks, I'll have print books available to sell.

And that's the plugging for tonight. I'll try to come up with something more meaningful in the next post, lol.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Wilberforce and the Abolitionists

Now that the ebook is live, I figure it would be a good time to populate this blog with a few things other than the usual blatant, shameless self promotion. This time, it's a more subtle, shameless self promotion :)

Anyway, it was about four years ago that I started the scheming for Seranfyll (the actually writing took place about a year later), I was reading a biography about William Wilberforce. I don't normally read nonfiction, but after seeing the Amazing Grace movie starring the doctor dude from Fantastic Four, I wanted to learn a bit more about the man who spear-headed the movement to abolish the slave trade in the British Empire.

Unlike what the movie shows, Wilberforce wasn't exactly a saint. He was a spoiled youth who wasted a bunch of time squandering his inheritance on gambling, parties, and Cambridge. But by the time he was about 27 years old, he underwent a conversion and profession of Christianity. It was around that time that he considered leaving Parliament and wallowing in self-pity for wasting his younger years on nonsense.

Fortunately, after some convincing by several different parties, he stayed in Parliament and became the voice for the abolitionists. He was a gifted and witty orator, which was what they needed for their cause. And of course, he wasn't alone. Co-laborers included Granville Sharp, Thomas Clarkson, the author Hannah More, and many, many others. The prime minister William Pitt had his role, though his was more politically motivated than morally. Still, he served his purpose.

And after years of fighting and failing, the Slave Trade Act was finally passed in 1807. Then, three days before Wilberforce died, the Slavery Abolition Act went through in 1833.

I think what I like about Wilberforce was the fact that once he figured out what a clot he'd been, he turned around and devoted himself to a cause that would literally change the world. Not for gain or glory, but because he knew slavery and the slave trade were wrong. I would think for something that big to come about, it would've taken several generations. And it did. Many abolitionists died before they saw the fruit of their labor, as did many slaves while waiting and hoping. But Wilberforce got to see it to the bitter end, and I think that's pretty fantastic.

Anyway, if you ever wonder where a small bit of the inspiration for Seranfyll comes from, check out Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery by Eric Metaxas.

(Images courtesy of Bristol Bay Productions or Walden Media or somebody else and HarperCollins.)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

SERANFYLL ON SALE NOW!

Woohoo! After some delays and actually being sick yesterday (and still a bit today), Seranfyll is now up for sale on Amazon.com for the Kindle!

Don't have a Kindle? No worries! You can still read the book by downloading the free Kindle app for iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, Android devices, Mac or PC. Nook, Sony Reader, and print books will follow soon.

Buy it now!

Thanks and hope you enjoy it!