5.0 out of 5 stars Can’t wait for the next installment… August 25, 2013

Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
This is a delightful story and one which I wish had been around for my mother to read to me before I went to bed at night. Rose creates a very real universe — albeit a fantastical one — and one that I enjoyed sharing with the characters.

This first episode sets the stage for the rest of the story and introduces us to the main characters and what exactly it is they’re trying to do. And she brings them alive and makes you care about them and hope they win!

This is a very refreshing little tale, both entertaining and enlightening, and one that I feel can be enjoyed by both children and adults. I can’t wait to find out what happens next, so I hope you don’t make us wait too long for Episode 2, Ms. Lightning!

Reviews from Readers5.0 out of 5 stars Such a great story!, August 21, 2013
By Katie Bell
Amazon Verified Purchase
This review is from: The Flame of Magic – Episode One: The Dragon and The Prince (The Sound of Magic) (Kindle Edition)

I just purchased this yesterday and I’m already 1/4 of the way through! The story really pulls you in and I’m having a hard time putting it down.
The blend of fantasy with real world has me thinking I’m going to turn a corner on my way to work and see something wondrous. Great read, highly recommend!

5.0 out of 5 stars This intriguing story pulls you in from the start!, August 20, 2013
By Trevor Lerreaux
Amazon Verified Purchase
This review is from: The Flame of Magic – Episode One: The Dragon and The Prince (The Sound of Magic) (Kindle Edition)
As I began reading “The Flame of Magic – Episode One” I wasn’t quite sure where the story was going to take me, which was quite intriguing! As I read on, the story developed a faster and faster pace, with characters introduced along the way that run the spectrum from evil to heroic to quirky to magical, and that’s ultimately what makes this book enjoyable.
This is a very good story, full of imagination and fantasy and was a fun and fast-paced read for me. The authors do a great job of weaving the “magic” and “normal” realms of the main character, Davey, and how he learns of who he really is. Like any good fantasy novel, there is the obligatory struggle between the forces of good and evil, but the characters also struggle with their own internal conflicts which adds another nice layer of interest to the story. The authors do a good job of setting the background of the story so that the reader can understand the struggles within and between characters. The writing is very straightforward and solid, and I think that supports the message that the author is trying to convey…”magic” is available to all of us if we believe in ourselves and our dreams.
All in all, I really liked this book. It was very fun to read, with fast-paced action involving interesting and diverse characters in a very imaginative story world! If you like fantasy, I think you’ll enjoy this book!

dracula_2Promoting a book as an independent author can harder than it seems.  It is frankly a lot of work and much of the “help” that is offered is simply the bogus attempts of others who have failed to become big name authors and have now become consultants.

These are recognizable almost instantly.  Click on their link and their free advice is clouded in promo for their own books and articles (which you pay for) or programs that promise to give you the edge on everyone else.  There is another trait that almost all of these guys have and it is why I have dubbed them Author Vampires.

The first or second piece of advice that they give to the new or struggling author is to give up on trying to be the next J. K. Rowling or Amanda Hocking.  If you listen to that advice, they have you.  While you struggle through their articles and programs they suck you dry of life without a commensurate increase in your sales.  If I am going to give you my life blood and put my future in your hands, you had better give me something in return, like a book contract with a pay check.

Why should I give up my dreams before I even start?  If Stephen King had taken this same advice he would never have written his dozens of earlier stories and books which eventually led him to being Stephen King.  Amanda Hocking became Amanda Hocking specifically by NOT taking such well-meaning advice which she had received in abundance.

Who is to say that you or I won’t make it big?  Who is the judge of whether it will take us one book or twenty?  And why on Earth would someone want to take our dreams away?

The answer is the Author Vampires.  They are making their living, not by really helping new and struggling authors, but by controlling them.  By bringing authors under their control they create their own tribe of followers who, because they have already been discouraged and accepted this sage advice, will not question the lack of real or minimal results.  If you are a real success you will slip out of their control and make them look bad.

Now, not all those out there offering help to authors are Vampires.  My best example of this is Ryan Deiss and Perry Belcher.  I did an on line course with their Number One Book System, joined their Number One Book Club and went to two seminars. It did cost me something but it was not an outrageous cost.  The big difference is that I was actually taught real stuff on how to get my book published and some basics on promotion to the point that in less than a year I went from zero books written to two books on line and have two more books and an anthology waiting in line for their turn to be published, as well as a whole list of ideas for future publications.

So there are good guys out there too.  But they will not tell you to give up your dreams and they will give you real data that helps.

Not all Author Vampires are found on websites.  They can be among your own family, friends and associates.  They haven’t read your stuff yet, but they tell you about their Uncle George who failed at being a writer, or give you advice for story plots which they are too chicken to write themselves, or remind you not to give up your day job, or tear your writing apart with their “critique” or, or, or, or.

Some may actually believe that they are well-meaning.  They are not uniformly bad people, but they can still suck your creative energy dry.  Don’t Let Them!

My point is that anyone who tries to make less of you as an author does not have your best interests at heart.  They are making a living off you or justifying their own inability to make it big as authors or are getting some sadistic pleasure out of your pain.  When you encounter such people, know them for who they are.  They are the destroyers of your dreams.  If you confront them with this they will most likely blow up and then blow off.  They cannot confront your real intention to accomplish something good.  Well, good riddance.

This does not mean that if someone is actually teaching you how to write, that you should consider them your enemy.  You do have to learn your craft.  This includes understanding elements like plot, story arc, suspense and characterization along with how to best and properly use the English language (or whatever language you are working in.)  You wouldn’t expect someone to design and build a skyscraper without learning at least the basics of engineering.  Just the same an author does need to know the craft of writing.

I have spent an enormous amount of time studying various artistic professionals from film to stage to written works in an effort to understand the craft of art, which is getting the idea in your mind to travel via an aesthetic medium into the mind of another who then understands something from it.  To the degree that you can do this and to the degree the image you created in that other mind is a duplicate of the image in your own mind, to that degree you are an artist.  It can seem like the best story in the world, but it is the audience who decides on any work of art.

Right now I am spending an enormous amount of time learning about promotion, not from unheard of self-professed Gurus, but from tried and true marketers who understand sales copy, ad design and come-on tactics.  And I am applying each thing I learn as I learn it so that I will eventually know it well and have a promotional machine of my own.

What I have learned that I want to communicate to you for your own survival as a writer is:

  •   If you want to be a writer you must write. 
  •   The more you write the better writer you will be. 
  •   The more elements of writing that you understand and can apply to your writings, the better writer you will be. 
  •   The more you get yourself out there to promote your writings the more financially successful you will be as a writer. 
  •   The more you encourage others in their efforts to write or perform their own art, the more encouragement you will receive in return.
  •   The better you are able to recognize Author Vampires and ignore or eliminate their comments and any influence over you, the more your   own creative energy will come to fore. 

The more you do each of the above, the more people will join your audience to experience the story that you have to tell.

And who knows, maybe we will both make it to the top.

See you there!

 

 

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Here is the Truth About Leprechauns.

Rose Lightning, author of The Flame of Magic – Episode One: The Dragon and the Prince, discusses Druids. The book is available on Amazon Kindle 15 August 2013.

An interview with Rose Lightning

The writer is almost always describing a world or events that are not exactly like what we are used to in the physical world. Whether it is a hero who dashes through the scene with guns blazing on all sides without even minor flesh wound, a private eye who is able to out think both the police and the villain or the magical transportation of an historic figure to modern day, the reader, listener or watcher must be temporarily willing to accept these things and suspend his normal tendency to disbelieve.

This is the actual craft of the writer. You can have excellent dialog, description of characters, etc., but if the audience is not willing to suspend their disbelief and enter the universe that you offer him, he is not going to enjoy what you have to offer.  While some writers and performers assume that the suspension of disbelief is the burden of the audience, I tend to think otherwise.   It is the burden of the artist and is in fact his stock and trade.  If he engages his audience they will suspend disbelief and forgive numerous errors in order to enjoy what you are presenting to them.  In short they will enter your universe.

How does one achieve this?

The first thing that you have to do is to engage the audience. Give them something that they can agree with, some one to care about and sprinkle in a bit of suspense.  If done well the audience will want to be part of your universe and see the characters through to the end of their story.

You should know what is real and what is not in your created universe. It should be consistent within itself. Otherwise you could confuse your audience and the are no longer willing to suspend their disbelief.  If you are dealing in a world that is pretty much like our own, then you must have your technical details and facts down pretty well.  Research out your technical details and have a knowledgeable person look over anything that you are not totally sure of.

In my own case, someone who had been trained in martial arts and weaponry read something that I had written and he noticed a tactical error that in his mind was unforgivable.  Even though the back story had plenty of reason for this and the individual making the tactical error was not trained in that aspect of martial arts, it was still more than he could stand and he could not enjoy the rest of the work.  Another person not trained in martial arts read the same material and enjoyed it despite a number of fantastic elements.

Another experience was when reshaping part of a story, I suddenly had evil characters who were just too evil for no reason.  I needed to have some characters within the bad guys that could be identified with.  Well, you can’t identify well with someone who is just blindly evil.  So to suspend my own disbelief I redid the back story and gave the villains a real reason and a viewpoint of their own.  They became not so much evil as they were trapped into a “rock and a hard place” situation that they could not escape from.  So of course they were evil.  From their point of view they were trying to survive just like everyone else.

All that said, if you run into someone who so completely refuses to suspend disbelief that he picks your stuff apart, turn a deaf ear and carry on. He was never your audience to begin with.  Find the audience who can and will identify with your characters or other elements of your world and give them your story.  If you really talk to them, they will suspend disbelief and enjoy.

 

 

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