Thursday, April 27, 2017

Shifting Seas Short Story

I've been working on a side project for a couple of weeks now. It started as a challenge to myself and grew from there. Since it has been so long since I published Dragon-Ridden, I wanted to write a short story set in the Dragon-Ridden world that featured a side character from the first book. For whatever reason, Jost and how he first met Tate got stuck in my head. It led to all sorts of questions about Jost and his crew that I hadn't considered before.

The more I thought about doing a short story with Jost as the main character, the more excited I became. One of my favorite things about today's era of publishing is how authors have begun to explore the worlds they've created through short stories or extra scenes from other characters points of view. I'm not going to lie, there are a few authors that I cyber stalk under the hope they will post one of these shorts to their blogs or Facebook feeds. I've wanted to do something similar in my own series for a while now.

Surprisingly, it was a lot more difficult to write a short story from Jost's POV than I thought it would be. I'm still trying to figure out how that could be considering that the short story I wrote is less than a quarter of the length of a full book. It took me way longer to write this than I had first allotted. 

For the next couple weeks, I will release a chapter a week through the blog. At the end, I will create a page on my website that people can go to read the full book. I hope you enjoy Jost and his adventures as much as I have. To read the first chapter, click on the link below.

Shifting Seas - Chapter One


Happy Reading!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Odds and Ends

For the most part, I am happy being an independent author, and I am grateful that I started writing at a time when the opportunities for indies have never been better. There are many benefits to being an indie. For me, a big part of the reason I gravitated to this route is because I enjoy having the ultimate control over my books. No one is going to put more effort than me in ensuring that I'm putting out the best product possible. That being said, there are times in the publishing process where I would give my right arm for the ability to off load the book onto a team who would take care of the necessary tasks so I can get back to the business of writing.

For example, finding a title. That might seem like an easy thing to do. After all, it's only a few words. Wrong. That's so far from the truth. For whatever reason, it seems that the fewer words there are, the harder it is to find the right ones.

For Dragon 2, I spent a whole afternoon coming up with names and then crossing them out. Every time I thought I had something, friends and families pointed out a flaw. Cue the frustration. Then when I did find a name I liked, I sat on it for several weeks because there was just something about it that didn't feel right. When all was said and done, it took me over a month to come up with just a few words.

The second part, the one I hate even more than finding a title and the part I'm at now, is writing the book blurb. The piece that is supposed to convince a reader to take a chance on you and the manuscript that you've put months/years of work into. Since publication, I've rewritten Pathfinder's blurb four times, and I still don't feel like I came up with the best option.

It would be so nice to tell someone 'here, you do it.' Time is the ultimate resource for a writer. Especially one who has a full time job and would like some semblance of a social life. There never seems to be enough of it. That being said, when I am able to find a name or write a blurb I like, I feel like I could take on the world. It's a catch 22. I'd like someone to take the task off my plate, but I feel so accomplished when I succeed.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Snippet Saturday

Because someone asked so nicely for a snippet I decided to release a short passage from the second book in the dragon series. Happy reading on this beautiful saturday.



Why is it that everyone we run into in this city wants to pick a fight with us?”

Night didn’t answer, remaining focused on the potential enemies.

“I think it’s your lack of charming personality,” Dewdrop told Tate seriously. “You’re like sandpaper. You just rub people the wrong way.”

“I take offense to that. I am very charming.”

“Umi.”

“She was a deluded, love sick fool intent on betraying her people and destroying a peace treaty. It would have been more worrisome if she had found me charming, because it would mean I was the kind of charming that appealed to traitors and cowards.”

“The Red Lady.”

“Psychotic doesn’t count.”

“Lucius.”

“Hey,” Tate said with outrage. “Lucius found me very charming.”

Dewdrop gave her a get real look. “He knocked you unconscious and threw you in a cell.”

“But he didn’t kill me.”

“I’m sure if you’d given it time he would have.”

Monday, March 13, 2017

Discipline and Laziness

I admit it, at heart I'm an extremely lazy person. The kind of person who spends more time figuring out new and brilliant ways to luxuriate in doing nothing productive than it would take to finish a task. Unfortunately, this type of behavior isn't conducive to writing books. It can lead to whole tangents of distraction as my brain tries to escape the herculean task of putting words on paper. This is why I've developed a process designed to prevent or delay my worst trait from derailing my progress.

The first step in my process, and the one that I've finally managed to bring to a close today after two weeks of work, is rereading the previous book and taking notes on all the characters and world devices I created. You would think that as the writer I would remember every detail I put down, but that is far from reality. Many times I've come across passages or nuggets of information that I've totally forgotten about. Sometimes that forgotten passage lays the seeds for future plot threads. 

I do this by creating note cards of character sketches or details on the world and putting them up on my magnetic wall. Right now my wall is papered over with the notes that now need to be sorted through, and these are only for Pathfinder's Way. I can't even imagine what this wall is going to look like once I get a few books in the series.

Oh man, I just gave myself the chills thinking about it.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Gasp... Podcasts!

I've recently discovered Podcasts. That's not to say I haven't known about them. I have. Many of my friends listen to them and have done so for years. However, until now I have not jumped on the Podcast bandwagon as my imagination has a penchant for wandering off right in the middle of listening to people speak necessitating for me to start again. That's changed in the last few weeks,

Perhaps my most exciting discovery concerning podcasts are the ones that are considered drama podcasts, which usually tell a story. I've taken to listening to Welcome to Nightvale, King Falls, and The Deep Vault. They help pass the time when I'm cleaning or doing a task that doesn't require a lot of concentration. I still loose track occasionally, but its relatively easy to go back and find what I missed.

What fascinates me about these drama podcasts is the unique way they tell a story. I'm a very visual person which is one of the reasons why I love reading and watching TV and movies. All three of the above podcasts tell a story in a different way. With Nightvale, its told in a format very much like a community updates broadcast but its so totally absurd that I can't help but love it. King Falls is told by two late-night radio hosts and explores the kooky, paranormal happenings of their little town.

At heart I'm a storyteller which is why happening on new and unique ways to tell a story has always fascinated me. It's why I got so in to manga and anime when I was in college. It was a new to me way to explore a world and its characters and it just sucked me in. For a period of a few years, I consumed every type of genre of manga and anime out there. To the point where I stopped reading the massive amounts of books I'd been devouring.

The nice thing about discovering some of these Podcasts so late in the game is that there is tons of material out there for me to explore. I'm almost excited for my next road trip, which is pretty impressive given how much a loathe being trapped in a car for hours on end.

What podcasts are you listening to? I'm always up to find new ones to follow!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

There Will Be Giveaways!

These next few weeks are going to be pretty exciting for me. To celebrate, I have a lot of goodies that need to find new homes with book lovers. The first giveaway will be five print copies of Shadow's Messenger.

Hop on over to Goodreads if you're interested. Click on the link to enter.

Stay tuned for giveaways over the next couple of weeks as I post the links for giveaways for an audio book to Pathfinder's Way and a print copy of Midnight's Emissary. 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Shadow's Messenger by T A White

Shadow's Messenger

by T A White

Giveaway ends February 06, 2017.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Midnight's Emissary Teaser

A little over two weeks until the release of Midnight's Emissary. Here is a short teaser to tide you over until it comes out. Happy Reading!

“He will see you now.”

Jerry was seated behind a mammoth desk, twice the size of Beatrix’s. If you put the two desks beside one another, hers would look like something built for a child whereas Jerry’s was built for a man-sized giant.

When a person saw Jerry for the first time, they were often struck dumb at his size. His muscles had muscles and one oversized hand could engulf my skull and probably crush it with barely a thought. He couldn’t walk more than a few feet down the street without getting asked what football team he played for. People gave him crazy eyes when he acted like he’d never heard of the sport before.

His face and body weren’t the type you’d want to meet in an alley after dark or in the day or pretty much anywhere for that matter. Despite a face that said he could rip out your spleen and feed it to you without ever losing a minute of sleep, he was attractive enough in an intense, could kill you by breathing on you, kind of way. His brown hair never looked brushed and stuck out in weird tufts from his head.

For all that he could kill with one frown, he was a good boss. Probably the best I’d ever had. I owed him, even if he didn’t give me this job out of the goodness of his heart but as a favor to someone he owed. The result was the same. Protection from what would have been even more monumental changes to an already upended life and a paycheck, that while it wasn’t going to have me rolling in luxury, at least allowed me to be independent and take care of myself. What more could you ask for?

“Sit,” his deep voice rumbled.

I sat without saying anything. Jerry was a little intimidating at the best of times and judging from the tense set of his shoulder’s this wasn’t going to be one of them. It would be wise to walk softly until I knew a little more of what was going on.

He continued reading the papers in front of him, turning the page and carefully reading the next. My lips quirked at the sight of a pair of black framed glasses perching on his nose.

I practiced the patience I learned standing in countless formations while in the military. I held still, thinking about nothing in particular. That was the trick to waiting. You didn’t focus, not on the time, the frustration or that itch that was nagging at the middle of your back. You just existed. The alternative was to compose mental lists of ways to escape your mom’s attention on your failed career prospects. They both accomplished the task of taking you out of the endless tedium of waiting.

“I have a job for you,” Jerry said, without looking up from his papers.

I figured. It’s not like we got together outside of work and went looking for teenagers to mug.

When he didn’t seem inclined to continue, I prodded. “And that job is?”

“I took a big risk when I pulled you into my company.”

I digested that statement. It didn’t tell me what he wanted from me. It also didn’t give me warm fuzzies about this job, with him starting the conversation by mentioning the risks he’d taken to shelter me from the vampires finding out about my existence. That’s the sort of statement you usually made when you were planning to call in a favor. Especially since I was supposed to stay off the radar. That went topsy turvy last fall.

We’d both been waiting with baited breath to see what the vampires would do once they found out a vampire who hadn’t been through the one hundred years of indentured service to a clan was running around free and unrestrained. It definitely didn’t help that they now knew I’d never received any training in how to curb my appetite for blood or deal with all the other challenges being of the fanged variety presented.

Liam, the enforcer who’d run across me in an investigation, had nearly blown a gasket when he discovered my existence. Evidently, the bite and run was frowned upon. My sire was in a lot of trouble if Sir Cranky Pants, the name I gave Liam, ever caught up to him. Or so I’m assured. Not sure how much I believe that, but I’m willing to keep an open mind until it happens.

“I’m aware,” I finally said.

“Now that the vampires know of your existence, it changes things.”

Hold up a minute. Was he firing me? That couldn’t happen. That could NOT happen. I’ve never been fired before. Never. Not once. I wasn’t prepared to be fired now. I needed this job to survive.

“Jerry, you know I appreciate everything you’ve done for me, and if it’s the vampires you’re worried about, I’ve got the sorcerer’s mark to protect me.”

“Only you would think a sorcerer’s mark is there to protect you.” He gave me a put out look from beneath his bushy eyebrows.

I gave a mental shrug, conceding his point. It might not have been placed there to protect me per se but I’d managed to manipulate events enough that the effect was the same.

“You may be protected, but everyone who gave shelter to you or hid your existence is not. The vampires could decide to claim recompense from myself and the Captain.”

Yes, I could see how that would be worrisome to him. At the same time, he’d known the risks. Better than I did even.

This also still didn’t tell me why he was bringing this all up now. Months after my run in with Liam.
He took a deep breath and slid a square piece of paper to me. “I have a job for you.”

Puzzled, I took the post-it size piece of paper and glanced at the name and address on it.

Sunshine Diner
9:00 p.m. tomorrow night, third booth from the back.
Don’t be late.

I didn’t get it. What was all the seriousness about if this was just another job? There had to be something more.

“This run will require a little bit more from you. It’s not the average pick up and drop off.”

“What does that mean?”

He was silent, his face creased with lines. He seemed almost worried, which was a little scary. Jerry didn’t get worried. For the most part he was as calm and steady as a rock. Nothing fazed him.


“You’ll see when you get there.”

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Pathfinder's Way Audio Book is HERE!!

Look what arrived in my mail today!!! Copies of the audiobook to Pathfinder's Way. And just in time for its release tomorrow.


I must say, I'm pretty excited to see it. I may be biased, but I think the narrator, Christa Lewis, did a great job giving life to the world in Pathfinder's Way. Its hard not to drop everything and just spend the rest of the night listening.

For those interested in audiobooks, you can find a copy at Tantor, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Words As Presents

The English language is this amazing thing. It can surprise you even when you least expect it. I consider myself a fairly well read person with a wide vocabulary, bu today I was surprised by not one word but three.

My diversion into word searching began when I decided I didn't like the term Matriarch. It's a fine word, but just seemed to lack a certain oomph. It didn't quite capture the essence of what I wanted to convey. Often while writing I will use words that are almost right but not quite so that I don't interrupt my flow. During edits, I go back and put thought into finding the exact term that I wanted but couldn't quite think of at the time.

This is where my trusty friend the internet often saves me. It took searching a thesaurus for alternatives and clicking on several random sites before I found it. The link that opened my eyes to words that tickled my inner word geek.

I might have to figure out how to use some of these in normal conversation, just so I can instill in other people the same love for words that I have.




Monday, January 9, 2017

Facebook Account Hacked

My evening so far has been just great. A regular roller coaster of fun. I, despite having sat through many trainings over the years that outlined the different methods hackers use for phishing, still fell for one of their most basic scams. I opened a YouTube video that looked like it was from my cousin. As a result, my Facebook account was hacked and that same message I received was sent to my entire friend circle.

You would think I'd know better, but nope, evidently not. I've spent the last two hours finding my way back into my account, because of course Facebook locked it, fielding many messages from friends informing me that they thought my account was hacked, then going through my contacts desperately trying to warn them not to open any links that came from me. This was only mildly successful.

I've also spent a considerable time ensuring my other social media accounts were not using the same user name and password as my Facebook account. Most of them had been changed over after google data was compromised last year, but there were a few remaining accounts that never received unique passwords.

The takeaway here is not to open sketchy links that ask for your Facebook user name and password. Definitely don't do it twice because you thought you did it wrong the first time. :-| 

P.S. Not sure this will affect my author's account, but in case it does - don't open any YouTube videos that appear like they're coming from me. Learn from my mistakes.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Hello 2017

2016 was a good year for me. I released two books, both of which doubled the goals I set for them. My real world job is going great and I'm dating an amazing person. As great as 2016 was, I'm hoping 2017 will be even better.

I have a lot of goals for 2017 so it's already shaping up to be a very busy year. I'm hoping to publish three books and a novella. Just typing those words has me stressing out about being behind.

To give you an idea of what I'm facing, here's a glimpse at what's coming this year.

Pathfinder's Way will be out on audio book on Jan. 18. I'm also planning a print version of this book sometime in January.

Midnight's Emissary, the sequel to Shadow's Messenger, will be published on Feb. 7 in both print and ebook.

Dragon-Ridden 2 is already written and I'm working on the second draft. A novella set in the Dragon world featuring the character of Jost has been plotted out. Both of these are looking at a summer release.

I'm also intending to write and release the sequel to Pathfinder's Way in late fall. This is the item I'm really worried about. The story for Shea tends to be a lot more complicated than the other worlds. Pathfinder's took me three years to write. Trying to cut that time down to six months for a first draft is giving me nightmares. Granted, I took an extended break in the middle of writing the first book, because I got so stuck that I couldn't figure out how to end it. Hopefully, I've learned from that experience and can stay on task this time.

I also need to move my website and blog to a different platform as the functionality in my current platform is not as robust as I would wish. I meant to get it done before the first but it just wasn't happening with all the other things on my plate.

I'm also contemplating attending a writer's conference in May. I'm waiting to hear back about my travel schedule for my real world job before I register.

That's it. That's my road map to making 2017 even better than 2016. It's going to be busy and stressful, but I think worth it at the end.