Amazing Fan Art

Yay, the Exper­i­ment in Ter­ror Series has some amaz­ing fan art com­ing in. Check out what these read­ers did below:

Dark­house Dex and Perry and Dex and His Tooth­pick are by the immensely tal­ented Stepha­lope (check out her Tum­blr here and her Deviant Art here — she does fan­tas­tic  draw­ings of all my favorite books too, like Hunger Games, etc!). When I saw these draw­ings, I nearly cried. Really, tears came to eyes. Oh, they are just so won­der­ful, it makes me feel so HAAAAAPPPPPY.

ALSO MAKES ME HAPPY. This beauty was done up by the won­der­fully kick-ass and cool Savan­nah. I loves it! Dex’s tat­toos! Gah!

And finally, I drew this lol. What? I can sub­mit my own art! Sur­pris­ingly enough, she looks like the art above. I guess I describe her pretty well!

The Great Experiment

Back in Decem­ber I thought I would try out the Ama­zon Kin­dle KDP Select thingy. You know, where you put your book exclu­sively (at least in e-format) for Kin­dle and in exchange, over the course of 90 days, you can offer your book for free for five days and your book is included in the lend­ing library (which you still get a cut of).

I fig­ured it wouldn’t hurt — after all, in MY par­tic­u­lar case the e-books being bought through Apple or Kobo or Nook were FEW. Kin­dle is where most of my sales were com­ing from.

Any­way, Jan­u­ary and Feb­ru­ary, my sales were THROUGH THE DAMN ROOF. I gave thou­sands of books away for free and the inter­est­ing part was that my books con­tin­ued to sell well afterward.

Then March came, and, well sales are pretty slow. They are a mil­lion times bet­ter than they were back in Decem­ber (oy, all of last year was pretty dry) but com­pared to the fan­tas­ti­cal months of Jan and Feb, it looks pretty dis­mal. C’est la vie.

I think this hap­pened for two rea­sons. One, I’m hear­ing over all that March is a slow month for books. Two, I’m sure the mar­ket is now flooded with a shit ton of free books, most of which are actu­ally quite shitty, which in turn turns off poten­tial read­ers.  Also, peo­ple are just over­whelmed — I know I have gone absolutely bonkers with my Kin­dle, pur­chas­ing books left and right over the last month. And have I read any of them? I’ve barely made a dent.

Now I am out of the 90 day con­tract with Select and I’m pon­der­ing when to go back to it (with Dark­house — the rest of the full books won’t be included, as I have no plans to ever give them away for free). Notice I say WHEN because the pro­gram has helped out my lit­tle series more than any­thing. Say what you want about Ama­zon and how they are a hor­ri­ble, unfeel­ing, cap­i­tal­ist con­glom­er­a­tion from hell, but this method TOTALLY. WORKED. FORME.

Now I doubt I’ll be using all of my free days this time around — I actu­ally see a lot of return with the Lend­ing Pro­gram. But I’ll be re-signing up just the same.

But not yet. I’m going to wait until the Easter Week­end (approx­i­mately) until I do it. Until then, Dark­house will be back at Barnes & Noble for the Nook, back at Chap­ters for the Kobo, back at Apple for the iBooks. And of course, back at Smash­words for all of the above (and other for­mats too): <———-click here. do it.

I’m doing this to give other e-reader users a chance to read the book (espe­cially with its new cover) but as I closely watch my sales, I pre­dict I’ll see that a large per­cent­age of peo­ple don’t actu­ally use Kobo/Nook/etc. I invite you to prove me wrong of course, and if sales and inter­est shoot up, I may be inclined to leave the books out of the pro­gram. But until that hap­pens, Kin­dle is where I’ll be mak­ing an income. You have to go where the action is.

*of course, no mat­ter WHAT e-format Dark­house ends up being in, you can always buy the book in paper­back from B&N, Book Depos­i­tory, Pow­ells, etc. PAPERBACKS NEED LOVE TOO! :)

Cover reveal: On Demon Wings

Ta-da! The shiny, sparkly, ethe­real cover of Exper­i­ment in Terror’s Book #5 - On Demon Wings (pub­lished May 13th 2012). (click on image to view larger)


I sup­pose it loses some of its magic if I tell you how I made it…but…I’m going to any­way. I’m pretty ter­ri­ble at keep­ing secrets.

First of all, I wanted some­thing that rep­re­sent­ing demon pos­ses­sion, because that’s really what the book is about. And what’s your first thought when you think of demon possession?

PEA SOUP! Thank you, Linda Blair.

OK, aside from pea soup vomit and bloody crosses (egad!) you think of levitation.

So I wanted my poor lil’ Perry Palomino to be lev­i­tat­ing. Only, how to do this?

First I chose a roy­alty free, free to use stock photo. I wanted some­thing pretty yet creepy, like this for­est.
Then I tweaked the photo myself with pho­to­shop to cre­ate this aqua green/blue colour I really wanted.
Then I super­im­posed some creepy stuff into the image (if you look for it, you can see it).
Then I took my friend, put her in a white dress of mine, made her bend over awk­wardly on her couch till we got just the right, believ­able posi­tion.
Then I took pho­tos, cut her out, inserted her in the pic­ture, threw in some font and sent it to my artist Bret Tay­lor, telling him I wanted the cover to look like this, but bet­ter, obvi­ously.
He went ahead, did his thing. I asked for MORE SPARKLES AND FIREFLIES cuz you can never have too many.

Per­son­ally, I think it’s the best book cover in the series :)

Metal Blonde, the music journalist

Some­where around the same time I started writ­ing the Exper­i­ment in Ter­ror Series, I became a music jour­nal­ist. This meant gal­li­vant­ing around the world cov­er­ing fes­ti­vals, con­certs and inter­views for pub­li­ca­tions such as Con­se­quence of Sound and Mxdwn. I say gal­li­vant­ing because even though it was “work”, let’s face it, 90% of the job is hav­ing a fuck­ing great time (the other 10% is tran­scrib­ing inter­views — HELL). There was a lot of pho­tog­ra­phy involved, more than enough writ­ing, and oodles of hang­overs, sweat-soaked clothes, and great sto­ries. GREAT stories.

Behold, geeky pho­tos of myself geek­ing out over peo­ple I admire (except Jes­sica Simp­son and that girl from Gos­sip Girl who I think looks like Ada Palomino…cuz I no haz admire for dem).

Some of my high­lights include being back­stage with Faith No More in Fin­land, hang­ing out on the Slayer tour bus in Seat­tle, swoon­ing dur­ing Mondo Cane in Poland, Inter­view­ing Chris Cor­nell, catch­ing an inti­mate Queens of the Stone Age show in Seat­tle, hav­ing drinks with two of the biggest man­agers in the indus­try (and lis­ten­ing to them blab­ber about every­one you could imag­ine), fan­girling over Jerry Cantrell, annoy­ing Danny Devito, hav­ing cof­fee with Liz Phair, being able to have a one-on-one convo with Mike Pat­ton for 30 mins, almost get­ting in a fight in the Slayer mosh­pit, ran­domly hang­ing out with James Mur­phuy after LCD Soundsys­tem, being on stage at FNM a few times, going for din­ner with Dub Trio, watch­ing Brian Pohsen fangirl(boy) over Rob Zom­bie (after I did the same), get­ting John Stanier to sign my copy of Red Fox, and then him ask­ing me to sign his, dis­cov­er­ing that most musi­cians are actu­ally the coolest peo­ple ever…

But noth­ing com­pares to the great­est moment of my life.…

baha­ha­ha­haha. oh MAN. JUST LOOK AT MY FACE. I hate weddings.

Any­way, if you’re inter­ested in read­ing some of my (other) writ­ten work, you can find oodles of it here:

Hope­fully I’ll find the time to do more of it in the future :)

Darkhouse — New edits, new cover

Well here it is, the new cover for Dark­house!

My thoughts:
Isn’t it pretty? Pretty and spooky and creepy and a whole bunch of things. Like PURPLE!

Why I did it:
Well, though I liked the orig­i­nal cover a lot, it didn’t con­vey the youth and fresh­ness (and some­times, silli­ness) in the novel. I wanted some­thing that would say “Hey, look at this book it’s all sparkly and fun but I’m kind of scared and intrigued. Must pick it up!” I’ve been get­ting a lot of com­pli­ments on it, so I know I’m on the right track.

Dark­house also got edited. Yes, I edited it before — as did a few beta read­ers — but I’m a shitty edi­tor (I can see most of you nod­ding your head) and my GOODNESS is it tough to edit your work! But Dead Sky Morn­ing and Lying Sea­son were both edited pro­fes­sion­ally by Robert Helle and I think he did a great job, so I decided to give Dark­house a lil makeover (Red Fox is next).

Self-pubbed books get a bad rap, mainly because many writ­ers don’t bother with an edi­tor (or they can’t tell a story, which is another issue for another time) but I really didn’t want to add to that with Dark­house. I wanted some­thing to be proud of, inside and out. It’s a tough, cruel world out there and I needed every chance to stand out.

Sure, Dark­house is not for every­one. Some read­ers will be irked by her voice, her way of look­ing at things. Perry Palomino is who she is and she’s unapolo­getic about it. But I didn’t want to give read­ers a headache with bad edit­ing. I mean, it’s your money and it’s your time and I wanedt to do my hard­est not to waste it.

So a big, BIG thank you to every­one who has already read Dark­house and — gasp — liked it enough to read Red Fox and the rest of the series. I get a lot of feed­back from fans here and on my Face­book page (see side­bar) and it means a lot to me that you’ve weath­ered through my debut novel, con­tin­ued on with the series, and have gone on to become big fans. Thank you for tak­ing a chance on me, Perry and Dex. Seri­ously, I really appre­ci­ate it.

How I did it:
The cover design process is SO much fun! Well, for me, not for my graphic artist Bret Taylor.

Me: Use this light­house stock photo! Add in Perry! Make her look more organic. How about we add stars! Now I want light­en­ing around the name! And clouds! And neb­u­las! I want more stars on the bottom…she’s in a place in nei­ther time nor space! Now I want eyes on the cover, Dex’s eyes, really faint! Now I see eyes every­where, scary. Oooh that’s pretty! Can we jazz up the spine? Let’s put stars on it!! More stars! ALL THE STARS IN THE WORLD.

Yeah, it goes some­thing like that. The man has the patience of a saint!

When it’s available:

The new ver­sion of Dark­house should be avail­able on Ama­zon and other usual retail­ers next week. I’ll let you know. Mean­while, the Kin­dle ver­sion is ready to go!

What else?

ON DEMON WINGS cover will be revealed on March 14th at the fol­low­ing blogs:

See­ing Night Reviews

Unput­down­able Books
Attack the Stacks
Hacka­roos reviews
Tales of an Inner Book Fanatic
Paw­ing Through Books

There might be an ARC give­away for On Demon Wings at a few of them too ;)

I am also super, duper excited about this one. And yes, the man­u­script is com­ing along. Scary stuff here peo­ple, scary stuff.