My First Video!

I tried to avoid this as long as I could, figuring I already had way too much to do (not counting writing!) but this year I saw it was inevitable so…

Here is my first book video!

Since branding is in, I made the first one of myself and quick flashes of the books.

Had to wait till my logo was finished and have gone through much technological agony. (I swear it’s like I am cursed!) But stubborness has persevered and so — voila! Video! (Now I have to dry my eyes out looking for stock pics for the four more I need to make – one per book – ugh)(Try finding stuff for Fantasy too – double ugh)

If you have time, please take a look!

Gloria Oliver Video

April 2008 Newsletter

April Showers are upon us! (As evidenced by some huge storms this past week! Eek!)

Index
1) News
2) Marketing Madness
3) Latest Appearance Schedule
4) Upcoming Appearances
5) What’s Up?

1) News

“Cross-eyed Dragon Troubles” is now out in Trade Paperback! Woot! The day is finally here. Available at Amazon and directly from the publisher HardShell Word Factory.

The Anthology, A Time To…Volume 2, which includes my story “Mentor for Hire”, is now OUT! Not quite yet listed on Amazon, but can be purchased through Lulu for the trade paperback version. Also available in Kindle and other ebook formats. More info can be found here

No real new updates on The Phoenix Project anthology to help the Louisianna libraries. Still no cover that I know of, but the project is proceeding. There will be illustrations for the stories too, which should be fun.

Now on version 3 of the essay on Supernatural for trying to get into the Smart Pop book they are organizing for the TV Show. Didn’t help that the first two months of 2008 I had ZERO time for writing. Was twitching in withdrawal. Had to dump #2 as it was too broad in scope, I’d hit 5K words and still had half more to go, so…picked one vein out of that and hopefully #3 will be the one. Hopefully I won’t be too late getting this done. I want in there BAD! lol. :D

Have received a couple of reviews for “Willing Sacrifice ” and “Cross-eyed Dragon Troubles “. The one for “Willing Sacrifice” comes from MyShelf.com and the one for “Cross-eyed Dragon Troubles” is currently posted at the Mist and Stars blog on an entry for March 26th and should make its way eventually onto the Enternal Night website. Just click on the two review name links if you’d like to see what they had to say.:p

2) Marketing

Have been going nuts the last couple of days trying to catch up with the promo to do list I made from the last EPICon. Way too many items to follow up on and too many still not done from before. Just as I did last month I still need to set up bookmark templates for Cross-eyed and make the postcard templates for it and Willing Sacrifice. Also need to remember to do my flyer for Cross-eyed too. Realized I was definitely missing stuff when I set up shop at AggieCon last weekend. Eek!

No news on the new logo yet. I am frothing a little in eagerness as it looks like I will need to break down and try to do some book trailer promos but can’t get going on them till I have the new logo. No point in branding myself with something I plan to drop. So it’s the waiting game for me. Not like I don’t have plenty to keep me busy in the meantime though.

Spent an hour or so Saturday putting up info on the books at Free Ad sites. Seems it is one of the newest gimmicks for promotion. No idea if it will do anything, but most let me upload the book covers so couldn’t hurt.

Even as I was working on this, I came up with at least three items I’ve forgotten to do! lol. Marketing is never ending. I rather be writing!!! lol.

3) Latest Appearance Report

In the first part of March I got to attend EPICon. This year’s event was held in Portland, OR. The day I left, I was thinking to myself that I was going from sunny warm Dallas to probably cold and or rainy Oregon. Life, as usual, likes to show humor in torture. That morning, we had an ice storm come in, which hit hours earlier than expected, so not only did the wings get caked with ice, but our engine actually froze. We got to sit in the plane for 3 hours before we were able to leave for the 3.5 hour flight. While it was way cool seeing them go through the process, it did make for a long day. When we got to Portland, it was a totally gorgeous day there. Also found out 300 or more flights got cancelled in Dallas, so we were lucky we got to leave at all!

Jeff Strand was making a stop over in Dallas, and we ended up on the same flight. This was a good thing for me, as he was able to tell me the gate had changed, because I’d not heard the message over the PA. Since he had started out at 5am or so that morning, it was a TRULY long day for him.

I had expected to help out with voluntary functions and whatnot at this convention, but ended up not having to. I was also surprised because we did get some new blood on the panels and this got me a huge to do list from the Promo Track! Also found the coolest, evil, warped looking tree ever in the park across the street. Another treat was the field trip to Powell’s, the US’s biggest new and used bookstore. The place was awesome!

And as always the banquet night was a blast! Jeff’s MCing was a thing of beauty, as always! (I teased the heck out of him all weekend too – which is not my normal self – don’t know what got into me!) I got up there and read my assigned category and the winners and didn’t fall, trip, or make a total fool of myself, so the evening was a total thumbs up! Even had great company at the table and much fun ensued. Also Kathy Sullivan got kudos from the podium for doing volunteer work despite having a broken ankle. Go Kathy! And, believe it or not, I took pics !

The other convention I attended in March was AggieCon. The hotel was even farther from the University than last year, so I was quite thrilled I got assigned a driver! Lance picked me up from the airport and would make sure I got back to the hotel at night, so that was awesome.

A lot less guests this year, but I thought attendance was as good if not better than last year. I sold six out of the eight books I brought with me (being so far from the hotel making lugging things around a little more restrictive) so I was thrilled! Got to spend some time talking with Rachel Caine, Darlene Bolesny, and Mel White so that was great! Saw friend Tom Knowles again, and he was pushing a new Texas non-fiction book as well as the opening of Lone Star Publishing and Dark Star Books . Also had a really entertaining panel with Todd McCaffrey, Steven Brust, and Rachel Caine. This is where the sentence of the weekend came up and was used and abused throughout (it’s a little racy so figured it would be best not to repeat it), and also a point of contention was brought up having to do with the art show and censorship. What was fun about the censorship part was that a number of the guests and congoers put blue tape X’s on their chests at strategic places. One gentleman, who was costumed as an ogre, (darn nice job too!) proved he was an ogre to the core as he put his giant X on his belly button, totally missing the point as an ogre would. It was great!

Main media guest was actress Ellen Muth, who played George in the TV series “Dead Like Me”. A new movie based on the series will be coming out on DVD in July 2008! She was incredibly sweet, beyond skinny, and looked to have had a good time. Also JM McDermott was making a big splash pushing his author cards toting them as “dangerous and that they could cut you”. He was having way too much fun! Heh.

It just occured to me that Mary, who was running the con suite, messed up her ankle during the convention (got attacked by a couch). That’s two people in two cons with messed up ankles. I hope this is not some kind of new trend! (Like Kathy, Mary was a total trooper going beyond the line of duty and sticking it out all weekend making sure people were getting fedf! Heck that morning she was making waffles! Kudos to her!)

4) Upcoming Appearances

I’ve got no more conventions till the end of May, which is awesome as I have way too much to catch up on before then. A-kon falls this year on May 30 – June 1st. My understanding is that this year they are asking as many people to come in costume as possible as they will be trying to get the con on one of the world records books! That should be a blast to see.

5) What’s up?

Finally was able to get a little writing done this month but not as much as I would have wanted. Still, grateful for whatever I can get! Work is getting more and more…ugly? As unexpected issues with one of the major projects came up and the nasty stuff looks to be hitting the fan. It is very possible the company will not come out unscathed if even in business. The next week will say alot. Need to make sure to polish up my resume. Eek! Not looking forward to any of this at all! (Need to win the lotto more than ever! lol

The Citizen’s Police Academy is over. Very well worth it and would recommend it for anyone. My understanding is that some sort of program of the same type is available at most cities, so if you have any interest, do it! Learned lots of fascinating stuff. I think one of the more eye opening statements that people don’t think about is the fact that police enforce the laws, they don’t make them. So there’s no point berating them for it. Heh heh

On the reading front, finished Dume Key by Stepehen King – the total bomb as usual! Terry Pratchet’s Night Watch, love those characters! And am currently reading an older book called “She” by H Rider Haggard.

May the April showers not wash your home away! Have a great month all!

Gloria Oliver
http://www.gloriaoliver.com/
Unveiling the Fantastic

Cross-eyed Dragon Troubles NOW AVAILABLE in Print!

HI, all!

 

 

 

Just wanted to annouce real quick that “Cross-eyed Dragon Troubles” is now available in Trade Paperback!

 

 

Cross-eyed Dragon Troubles by Gloria Oliver - Young Adult Fantasy novel

 

Can be purchased at Amazon or for a bigger discount directly from the Publiser at Hard Shell Word Factory

 

“Harry Potter meets the Dragon Riders of Pern”

 

Talia didn’t want to be apprenticed, not even to the prestigious Dragon Knight’s Guild. She is taken to the school by a cross-eyed dragon and his partner, Kel. A dizzying, madcap ride that leaves her less than eager to be a knight, but soon she finds out the guild has need of many types of people. Running into the dragon and squire again and again, she comes to realize the unlikely pair are outsiders in their own school—participants of the dragon-human pairing ritual, which in the end didn’t work quite as intended. They are stubborn loners who are determined to overcome the obstacles in their path and make a true pair, as was intended. Or are they?

 

As Talia’s first year at the guild evolves, she must deal with the quirks of the Administrator, her lessons, the odd rules of the school, the students, the mystery of Clarence and Kel, and somewhere in there, possibly decide what it is she wants for her own future.

 

Sample Chapters

 

 

 

 

The Worst Promo Idea EVER…and yet…:P

Stress has been high this year what with work going full tilt, needing to do Promo for myself and the new books (which is far far behind), scraping time to write, and dealing with getting all the stuff done for my daughter’s upcoming wedding. So I’ve been a little on edge of late.

As hubby and I were ridding around from place to place getting things for the wedding, a thought came to us of such awesome scope and so horribly tempting…I must now share it with you. (Just remember, the temptation is purely due to stress levels. No…really!)

Step 1 – Place postcards for my books inside the invitations.

Step 2 – Call the cake decorator and have her change the cake color to green with purple to match the cover of my latest book. Write my web address on one side.

Step 3 – Place my banner on the gifts table.

Step 4 – Make the bouquet for the bride be made of my book covers.

Step 5 – Have books available for sale!

Step 6 – Do a signing during the wedding reception.

Step 7 – Decorate the car with “Buy My Books!” and post my url. The cans can be made to show the different book colors.

Step 8 – Write off the whole wedding as Promotion and Marketing for Taxes! Booyah!

Life can be sweet! 😛

(No I am not doing it. Not quite that far over the edge…yet…) 😛

Willing Sacrifice – YA Fantasy – Now Available!

Well, after a long wait and battling the Curse of the Cover – Willing Sacrifice is finally out!!!

Willing Sacrifice by Gloria Oliver - Young Adult Fantasy novel

Willing Sacrifice

To save the world she must die! Or does she?

For as long as she can remember, La’tiera has known her purpose, her destiny. As the Bearer of the Eye, she will wait until the appointed time then sacrifice herself to the demons so the lands will be safe.

Yet as the time approaches, she is snatched from her home by strangers and is told it is for her protection. These strangers tell her she is not to be a sacrifice, but must fight to live in order for the world to be saved.

La’tiera will not be swayed, however, her duty clear. Despite their clever lies, she will follow through on her destiny and do what is required. Her every effort will be put to freeing herself from her kidnappers and meeting her fate as planned.

 

 

Teaser

 

La’tiera was left alone with the two men who’d kidnapped her. She rose to her feet, feeling tense, and stood near the wall. So she was quite startled when Rostocha dropped to one knee before her and bowed. Dal followed suit.

“Bearer, please allow me introduce myself. I am Rostocha of the fifth tier of Watchers, son of Lalu and Nathan.” He lifted his head, his eyes seeking her surprised ones. “I earnestly apologize for our methods, but they were necessary. We needed to make sure we could take you safely from your prison and could privately explain ourselves to you.”

He appeared earnest, but La’tiera didn’t believe him. “I don’t care to hear your explanations. I only want you to take me back where I belong.” She tried to make her expression hard, though in truth she quivered inside.

Rostocha looked away. “I’m sorry, but that is not possible. Our world is in peril and you are the key to our salvation. It is our duty to educate you, to keep you safe, until the time comes. Then after the danger is past, if you still wish to return, we will do as you ask.”

“What lies!” La’tiera felt a flash of anger bring heat to her face. “If you honestly wanted the world to be saved, you wouldn’t be making these promises to me.”

“La’tiera, what are you talking about?” Dal asked her.

She pierced him with a hard stare. “I could hardly choose to go back home once I was dead, could I?”

This brought Dal to his feet. “Dead? Why would you be dead?”

“Because it is required!”

Rostocha followed suit, a look of comprehension dawning on his face. “You believe you have to be a sacrifice.”

Dal spun to stare first at him then at her. “What? That’s insane!”

His utter shock at the fact confused her.

“You were expecting to die? You were going to allow yourself to be killed?”

She possessed no idea what to make of the horrified expression on his face. “Of course. I will do what is necessary, what I was chosen to do.”

“The Eye is not a mark of Death!”

 

ISBN : 978-1-934135-27-3

Sample Chapters

Available at Amazon.com – Trade Paperback

and Fictionwise.com – e-book format

 

The Curse of the Cover

Being a writer tends to involve a lot of time spent waiting. Waiting to get distant enough from a project to edit the manuscript, waiting to hear back on submissions, waiting to get a manuscript back from a beta reader or editor, waiting to actually move up the cue to get the book published. It’s all part of the process, and you grin and bear it as much as possible. But no one ever told me I would have to deal with curses too!

My first book, In the Service of Samurai, actually went pretty smoothly from acceptance, editing, and print. No real problems. But, Vassal of El, on the other hand, was plagued after it went to print with odd category placements! On Fictionwise it got dumped into Dark Fantasy, something which it is definitely not. But on Amazon, by some fluke of nature, it got slated as a Scientific Experiment Text! Who knows what it got dumped under elsewhere. And let me tell you, after you get stuck in the wrong category, it is hard, very hard to get you put into the right spot! (The publisher and myself going at it, it still took more than a year to fix Amazon! Eek!)

I sold two other manuscripts, one to another publisher, and a new one to my main publisher. The new publisher got me edited right away, and it was awesome. But they got cursed with some truly terrible personal catastrophes (on multiple members of the staff!), which trickled down, so that book was delayed along with many others for over a year. I have my fingers crossed that Cross-eyed Dragon Troubles will see print sometime around Christmas, but who knows! (I don’t think of this one as cursed per say, but then, I’ll have to wait and see till it is released!)

I had much higher hopes for Willing Sacrifice. But little did I know! Back in 2006 the specs for the cover were sent off to an artist, and there was a proof by January 2007. I liked the proof a lot, and so did the publisher, and after compiling some minor changes to bring out a couple of aspects, the publisher contacted the artist and waited for the changes. And waited, and waited, and waited. Despite repeated attempts to get a hold of the artist, there was no response. Suddenly the release date is looming and the book has no cover! (Hadn’t had an edit yet either, so all I could think was doom and gloom!) Publisher found another artist. The edit got done. I did the final manuscript pass through. We did miss the original publishing date, but the artist did get a first cover pass out. The cover was totally different from the first one, but was pretty good. Did need some changes, (I’m sorry, Dal doesn’t have a goatee!) and the comet needed to be placed on the front rather than the spine (some weird placement issue thing), but once fixed I was sure it would kick!

I wait and wait and finally bug the publisher. Well, the proof got looked at by the partner, who is also the cover layout person, and she didn’t like it. Decided she would take the project on herself. But she is swamped. So now I wait, and wait, and wait. Maybe 2007 just isn’t my year to publish books…

Want to take bets on whether a fourth artist will have to take a crack at it?

The Curse of the Cover is here! 😛

Psst!

Psst! You there. Yeah you! The one reading this blog. Answer me this…how do you do it? How do you find the time to go trolling around and read this stuff? Tell me, please! I really need to know! I can barely scrape the time to do an entry, and yet you somehow found time to be reading it!

Now, don’t get me wrong. I REALLY appreciate you being here. Honest! I just don’t have the faintest idea how you’re able to do it. Share your SECRET! Pretty please?

I bet by now you’re wondering why, if I have so little time, do I even do a blog? Necessity, kind reader, purely for necessity! As an author, I am more obligated than ever to market myself as well as my works. With business being what it is anymore, all marketing efforts are on the shoulders of the authors instead of on the publisher. Only the big names get a marketing budget and possibly professionals to do it for them. Little fishes like me are on our own!

With the World Wide Web, marketing possibilities have widened. But you can stretch yourself really thin that way, because there are just too many to pursue! A website is a must, gotta have it, no choice. A little changing content like news and whatnot is good too, so people have a reason to keep coming back. (Sample chapters are a must as well, so people can get a feel for your writing. If you can pitch in a free short story or too, even better!) Blogs allow for continuous new content, if you can get into the discipline of doing it at least a few times a month or more. I won’t even get into the tons of groups in places like Yahoo, Yahoo 360, Ning, Beepo, Frapper, My Space, Live Journal, etc that are out there on the net where you can post info, links, blogs, forums, and who knows what not. Then you have your marketing groups, specific genre marketing groups, publisher marketing groups, newsletters, online interviews, guest blogging, the list is endless!

So maybe now you can see why I am asking how you find the time to read this! I need your Secret! I know I don’t have any time to go read posts what with trying to do all this stuff, go to work, keep the family and pets happy, carve a little time for myself (Writers need relaxation too!), and heck, make time to WRITE! lol.

So if you would, take pity on me and tell me how to do it! Even better, if you have a formula by which I can either redo time, replicate myself, or get the powers of Superman, do share! I’ll appreciate you forever!:P

Being an author is not the cakewalk people think it is! Eek!

P.S. If you still have time, come on over to the site. I have tons of sample chapters and some free reads too! 😛

Mother’s Day Contest at the Madten Blog

WIN A FREE AUTOGRAPHED NOVEL…VISIT OUR AUTHOR’S BLOG!

In honor of Mother’s Day, The Ten Mad Authors Blog is giving away
free autographed copies of the authors’ most recently published books.

Simply visit the blog at:

madten.wordpress.com

The contest will run from May 7th until May 13th with winners
announced on Mother’s Day.

Books range in genre from mystery to fantasy to alternate reality
to young adult-fantasy. Titles include: Arturo el Rey, by Joan Upton
Hall
, Lady of the Lake, by J.C. Hall, Death Game, by Cheryl Swanson,
and Vassal of El, by Gloria Oliver.

Moms, we’re doing this to honor you, but you don’t have to be a
mother (or even a father) to win. Don’t miss the chance to discover a
great new author and get a free autographed copy of their latest novel.

Tags: ; ; ;

Marketing Madness

The first of this month’s featured author’s is JC Hall. Her upcoming book is called Lady of the Lake.
Publisher: Zumaya Otherworlds, SF/F Imprint of Zumaya Publications
Publishing Date
: March 2007
Genre
: Fantasy
Subgenre
: romance, sword-and-sorcery

“She knew only the importance of duty and honour. He understood that devotion could transcend time, space and worlds.”

Unwittingly burdened with a devoted new squire, Jess Lochlen must teach him the skills he must have in order to be of any use to her. For she is on a double mission—to recover her captured infant cousin, and to determine if treachery is stalking the Rogrovian throne. Her cousins and brothers-in-arms turn out to be more hindrance than help, and she’s in dire need of all the help she can get. But as her young squire’s feelings turn from loyalty and devotion to love and desire, and their journey across his homeland becomes a race against time—to save not just her infant cousin but the Rogrovian King—she finds herself wondering if he’s any help at all.

Just a song. Just another sad, love song, that was all, naught more. But a song that made a grown man’s color fade from his face. A song that made his lady cry. A song that spoke of love and loss, and more, of worlds where time was a factor gone astray. Where a traveling stranger went away for a hand of years and returned to find half a century gone by.

Different worlds kept different times, he supposed that was the moral behind the tale.As if there were truly worlds and worlds, as natural as lands and lands.

Land and land, world and world—she had once said, long and long ago—one is much like another.

He chewed his knuckles to the bone, thinking and thinking himself to sleep. Dreams assailed him throughout that long night, dreams of him and his lady separated, rent apart by the vagaries of time and space.

And in his dreams, he kept losing her, following and searching the heavens from afar. And in his dreams, the Argentene no longer shone, less the one significant star.

And in his dreams, his lady’s footsteps faded into the Lakes, the unhallowed lakes through which he could not follow. And in his dreams, the seasons slowly passed, till the fertile earth turned fallow.

And still, still, still he found her not.

And in his dreams, he feared he would grow old while searching his world for her. Till he threw himself in one unhallowed lake, and passaged his way to the stars.

Tags: ; ;

Marketing Madness

I’ve joined a new marketing group comprised of Zumaya Authors

We are called (no idea where the name came from) Fellow Golden Rule Authors. We now have a blog some of us will be maintaining with writing info, life, any craziness that comes up, maybe even themes. The blog is called Mad Ten “It’s a Mad, Mad World – Writing Confessions of Ten Mad Authors . My assigned day is Thursday. (Thursday’s Child has Far to Go!) I honestly have no idea what the hey I will be putting up there – heck I have a hard enough time keeping up with this blog! – but we’ll see.

The ten authors (who are sometimes 8 and sometimes 5!) are in genres all across the board. So if nothing else, will bring some variety to readers looking for a taste of different things. ;)

Another thing we’re doing with the group is trying to boost each other by doing reviews, posting info, and highlighting members on a monthly basis. For February, we’re pushing Joan Upton Hall and Mayra Calvani. Both of them have new books that are being featured this month.

Joan Upton Hall – ‘Ghostly Tails From Americas Jails – Curl up with 36 stories, complete with photos, of historical hoosegows from all over the U.S. Each jail or prison is now a location for good guys like you to visit, transformed to museums, offices, a theater, even a B&B where the long-deceased sheriff locks up at night.

Mayra Calvani – Embraced by the Shadows – Against the exotic backdrop of Istanbul and San Juan, Alana is a young woman torn between a vampire she cannot resist, and a life she cannot understand. Endowed with her new preternatural powers, she sets out to reveal the identity of her mother’s killer… But is she ready to discover the truth?

Mayra is from Puerto Rico, like me! What are the chances of two Puerto Rican Spec Fic writers ending up with the same publisher? It boggles the mind! So it sounds exciting for this book to be set in San Juan. (Sigh – something else for the TBR pile! Wheeee!)