Shout-Out Sunday: A New Blog for 2015

SHOUT-OUT SUNDAY

SHOUT-OUT SUNDAY is a blog post meant to highlight other authors/writers and/or their books. I’m all for getting the word out on fledgling writers, especially those that have written engaging and interesting work. These posts will range from book reviews, to Q&A sessions, to guest posts. I’m even happier to feature you if you specialize in horror/sci-fi/fantasy fiction. I will not feature erotica fiction on this blog. If you have an interest in being shown on Shout-Out Sunday, please send an email to info@voxthebook.com. As this is my blog, I do have the right to decide who gets featured and when they are featured. If you have a requested date to line up with a blog tour or for a book release, I will try to make it work but I won’t guarantee it. I’d like to start posting Shout-Out Sunday blogs as soon as February.

Thanks!

~KSilva

2015 and Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes Are Happenin’!

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2015 is here and the Monstrum Chronicles Blog is undergoing a Re-Vamp!

Well, I’m about fifteen days late for saying “Happy New Year” but I’m going to say it regardless. “HAPPY NEW YEAR!” It’s been a bit of a rough one for me as I’ve been recovering from a nasty kidney infection. I’m finally getting back into the swing of things and am diving right into my plans for 2015. As some of you may remember, I’ve dedicated 2015 to the pursuit of writing, blogging, and enjoying myself versus struggling to try and publish anything new. I’m standing by that assertion about 85% of the way, ha ha.

I have plans to release a paperback copy of “Memento Mori: Book 3 of the Monstrum Chronicles” which released for Amazon Kindle in December of 2014. I don’t have a release date on that at the moment but I’m hoping it should be out within the first quarter of the year (January-April). In addition to the release of a paperback Book 3, I’m currently working on a short story chronicling the adventures of a minor character from “Memento Mori”. This, too, has no release date but it will only be available as an e-book when it’s finished.

And now, for the blog! I will completely admit that I slacked off majorly during the last quarter of 2014. I was so busy trying to get that book published, and once the holidays set in, it left me with little to no time to write blogs. Therefore, since I have more time to have fun with the blog this year, I’m going to return to some blogs that I’m sure have been missed as well as some new ones…

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Why I’m Not Publishing Another New Book Next Year

Admit it: if you are an author or a professional writer in any capacity, then you have probably spent several nights (or days) looking like this while sleeping in a puddle of drool next to your computer:

Lately, I’ve been feeling like that a lot. This fall in particular, I’ve been feeling it hard. And it’s my fault, of course. Having booked five events practically back-to-back (three of which I was organizing) while working full time and trying to finish a manuscript to be published by December 7th… It kind of sounds like I’m becoming a literary masochist. I didn’t want to admit that it was too much to handle but here’s me admitting it now. I stressed myself out to a point where writing, editing…everything about writing a book hadn’t become fun anymore. It was just an obligation. And that isn’t why I wanted to become an author. It isn’t why I pursued that passion. This ended up being much more than just a “healthy dose of stress” and it got to a point that while on vacation…I couldn’t make myself relax enough to enjoy it. I had temporarily forgotten about how fun it is to be an indie author, to make connections with other authors and fans, and to continue aspiring to be a better writer.

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Inspiration Through Music: Trailer Music

Movie trailers have one goal: to capture your attention inside of a minute and make you want to see the film. They do this through clever tag lines, through showing some key scenes, and of course, through some emotive or pulse-pounding music. Several movies use music from the scores to introduce their premises and give you a preview of what to expect in the film. However, there are also those who compose 2 to 3 minute songs for the sole purpose of being used in a trailer. Some are extremely successful at it. Some of these songs have been used dozens and dozens of times over for numerous movies, each time exciting viewers as if it were brand new. These pieces can also work while writing a tense scene in a novel or when you are trying to write your back cover blurb or describe your book on your website.

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Jules Verne Liked to Party

Good morning, folks!

Next week, my friends and I will be throwing our first annual birthday bash for author Jules Verne. The idea was created last year on his birthday, February 8th. (We are throwing the party a couple days later.) Plans involved cupcakes, snuggies, giant squid, yellow submarines and steampunk photoshoots. It promises to be quite a fun event and hopefully, it will become a yearly tradition. There is a possibility of this being a year of author tributes. I hope we are able to plan more!

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Vox: Inspiration Through Music

Good evening folks!

Well, I realized today that it’s impossible for me to choose only 5 songs to talk about for Vox. My first book is incredibly special in that I listened to so many varied songs and artists while composing each chapter. Allot of music isn’t even listed on the website under the soundtrack list. What I’d like to do is choose the songs that had the most meaning to me (which will definitely be more than just 5) and explain what it was about them that inspired certain things in the book. So relax back in your computer chair, get a warm mug of tea, and venture forth into Inspiration Through Music!

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Aequitas: Inspiration Through Music

Good evening, readers!

As promised, I’ll be talking about a few of the songs I’ve listened to that have inspired key scenes in “Aequitas”, the upcoming sequel to “Vox”. I’ve also decided to make a permanent “Inspiration Through Music” weekly post in order to focus on one song and/or musical artist that has inspired my writing in some way. I will be creating a page where all of the links will be posted. It will be located on the blog roll in the right hand column. I have also placed my “Food Adventures” page there for you to find the links to those. [I’ve decided to try making a cheesecake for this week’s project! Hopefully it goes better than the pastitsio…]

I will be discussing five songs which I listened to in order to help inspire certain scenes in “Aequitas.” All of them are very different from one another, but are incredibly expressive and always drop me into the scene with ease while I listen to them. I don’t want to give too much away as to what happens in these scenes so I’ll be doing something that my favorite writer, Anthony Bourdain, did for a chapter in his book “Medium Raw.” The best way to do this is to open the link in a separate tab and listen to it as you read the vignettes below. Once you’ve read them, feel free to check out the corresponding youtube videos (especially the one for #3).

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Aequitas! A sneak peek at what’s ahead!

Good Morning!

The last two days, I’ve been able to do get out of bed. Migraine, head cold, sore throat… it’s been a miserable time. Even today, I’m still not back on my feet completely. I’ve successfully used up two boxes of kleenex, drained a pot of chicken soup, and was successful in making my cat sympathetically sick as well. He left little presents for me on my carpet yesterday.

Dreadful as I feel, I have returned to the blog to do what I said I was going to do, update you on what you can expect to see in “Aequitas”.

I don’t want to give too much away but I do want to give you a brief synopsis of who will be returning, the new characters you’ll meet and some of the bloodlines that feature prominently in book 2.

MAIN CHARACTERS RETURNING!

A few times, I’ve mentioned that Reid and Torrent will both be back in the sequel. Unlike “Vox” where we went back and forth between three pov (Torrent’s, Eileen’s, and Sean’s), “Aequitas” will slingshot between Reid and Torrent, whose stories will come together eventually. Torrent was the major protagonist in “Vox” and it was his story that we got to know the most. In “Aequitas”, it will be Reid who we learn the most about.

Aside from Reid and Torrent returning, we will see the return of Eileen (though not as a principal protagonist), Vinh (Akane’s childe), and the Councilmen. Sean and Jill will both return for a short period.

NEW CHARACTERS!

An old ex-Council friend of Reid’s will join him in his adventures. Sassy, charming, and dangerous, Cardea is a Nephythys not to be trifled with. Will she and Reid be able to trust one another after the terrible events that shattered their friendship years ago?

Harper is Torrent’s first fledgling and the one who reported him to the Council of Thema after he destroyed Seraphim City. Harper has been elected as the replacement Citius judge on the Council. But does he have more sinister intentions with his new post?

We’ll also meet Reid’s sire, The Artigiani di Alta, a group of Kume artisans with connections to both Reid and Torrent, and the mysterious Leach, a figure with connections to a series of macabre murders occurring all over the globe.

LOCATIONS!

For fans of “Vox”, you already know how I love to send my characters globe-trotting in my books. In “Aequitas,” the characters will travel to several exotic and dark locations including but not limited to:

Linz, Austria

 

 Montreal, Canada

 

Istanbul, Turkey

and finally,

MAINE!!

(P.S. Epic stuff happens here.)

BLOODLINES!

In “Vox,” we learned allot about the Citius, Amalric, Savaric, and Haru bloodlines because the characters spent a bunch of time in their home territories.

In “Aequitas,” we will learn more about:

The Elias (Reid’s bloodline)

The Kume

The Nephythys

and The Rain!

AND THAT’S JUST THE BEGINNING…

A dangerous monstrum unlike anything Torrent and Reid have faced before, zombies (or as Torrent would say “Aegruses”), giant man-eating fish, an underground red market, big guns, more blood, lots of water, and plenty of fire…

Oh yes. It’ll be one thrill-ride of a book.

Next week, I will reveal a few songs from the Aequitas Soundtrack! I’ll also treat you to the “If The Monstrum Chronicles were to be a movie, who would play the main characters?” post. And I’ll be sure to keep you updated on tips, tricks, and other writing-related blog posts as I see fit!

Now, off to revise (and then probably nap!) Hopefully this cold will mostly gone by the end of the week!

KSilva

[EDIT: There was apparently an issue with the source of some of the pictures that I posted. Everything should be fixed now.]

The Dastardly Cold…

I have a cold.

What’s worse is that it is sucking the life out of me one tissue at a time.

In spite of my sluggish beginning this morning, I’ve done some running around: grocery shopping, organizing the disaster under my sink, fixing my outside deck light, and doing some social media stuff. At the moment, I’ve got a squash and spinach soup simmering on the stove, a glass of orange juice, and Florence and the Machine’s ‘Breaking Down’ serenading me in my living room. Outside, the sky is bright blue with puffs of white clouds and the sun is bright. Its radiating straight through my kitchen door and warming the apartment nicely.

It’s also about 50 degrees out there. In January. In Maine. I, for one, am excited about this.

This week, I’ve decided to kick off my “international cooking resolution” with Pastitsio! It’s a noodle casserole-type dish made with something called béchamel sauce. It doesn’t sound too complicated and I’ll have some fun making it. I’ll post pictures (and an update) on Friday!

Also in news today, one of my good friends, Kale Poland, an ultra-marathoner and fellow coffee-fanatic, has posted a link to The Monstrum Chronicles on his website. Once again, thank you a million, Kale. If you’re interested in checking out his website, it can be found here. It probably has one of the coolest intros ever, ha ha.

In additional news, I have a book-signing/discussion/reading coming up in March! It will be March 6th at 7 pm at the Union Town Library, located on the Common Road in Union, Maine! All of the details haven’t quite been worked out yet but I’m very excited about this. It will be a great way to help relaunch Vox as well as introduce Aequitas, which (hopefully) should be published soon thereafter.

If you haven’t had a chance to read the first book of the series, Vox, please hop on over to Amazon here and download a copy for Kindle! Don’t have Kindle? Now there’s an application you can download to your computer so that you can read any e-books for sale through Amazon!

Or, if you prefer the good ole fashioned book with crisp pages and that new book smell and you live in Maine, check out one of these book stores:

The Owl and the Turtle

The Reading Corner

Gulf of Maine Books

Longfellow Books

Sherman’s Bookstore

Tomorrow (I promise), I’ll write an evening post about somethings you can expect to see in “Aequitas”.

Until then, have a fantastic day!

~KSilva

Goodbye 2011! Hello 2012!

Good morning, readers!

Today marks the end of 2011. And though this year was a year of wonderful opportunities and many crazy happenstances, I can happily say that I’m ready to see it go.

2011 was a year of many firsts for me. First book signing, first time having a book on Kindle, first book-reading… etc. All of these experiences have opened my eyes to how truly great the world of self-publishing really is. It’s the latest and greatest thing. A few years ago, I never would have dreamed of being an author or having the opportunity to get my book out there, not only in paperback form but digitally as well. I couldn’t have done this though, without help from my friends, family, and fans of the series!

In the last two weeks, The Monstrum Chronicles has grown by leaps and bounds. On December 14th, when I posted the infamous I Need a Christmas Miracle post, I had 108 fans on Facebook. I had 26 Twitter followers. 1 review on Amazon and no likes. ‘Vox was in 672,oooth place on the Kindle best-sellers market. ‘And I had 2 subscribers on the blog.

Since then, here are the stats: On the facebook page, there are 115 fans. I have 70 followers on Twitter. There are 5 reviews for the Kindle version of “Vox” and 2 for the paperback. There are 4 likes for the book (and two for me!) “Vox” is now at 234,194th place on the Kindle best-sellers market. (At one point, it was at 97,000!) I have 5 subscribers (but several other readers) on my blog. I’m absolutely ecstatic! Thank you all so much for everything you’ve done in the last couple of weeks! You truly are some awesome people!

In 2012, I’d like to take it up a notch! (Sorry, Emeril, not trying to take your catch phrase or anything.)

My New Years Resolutions for 2012!

  1. Better management of time: There aren’t enough hours in one day, to be true. So I need to learn how to organize all of my activities better so that I can do more without stressing. (Such as blog before work!)
  2. Money management: In order to really market “Vox” and its upcoming sequel, “Aequitas”, I’m going to need to crack down on the way that I spend money and lay out a budget for buying ads and such.
  3. Read more!: I don’t read enough. In the last couple months, I’ve gotten back into it and would love to get to a point where I can fly through research books while gleaning valuable information from them as well as enjoying genre and literary fiction without taking 6 months to get through a book.
  4. Write more!: It’s true. I say I write in all of my spare time but more often than not, I’m so tired that I just sleep! Or slip into a vegetative state on my couch, while staring out my window. This fits in with my “time management” resolution as well. I hope to write more short stories and upload them to Kindle next year in addition to finally finishing “Aequitas” and uploading that, too!
  5. Exercise program: This is about energy! I collapse when I get home from work every night. In the mornings, I never want to get up. At night, I’m so restless I can’t sleep. My solution? Exercise. It will tire me out before bed, invigorate me in the morning, and keep my muscles from feeling like goo.
  6. Don’t be afraid to try new things!: Yes. I am a homebody. I don’t go out much and yes, I am hesitant when approaching things I’ve never done before. I’d like to try and come out of my shell more this year and do things I’ve never done before! (okay, a bit dramatic, I apologize.)
  7. Try cooking different recipes!: Here’s a secret: I practically cook the same stuff every week. Its easy and it’s usually cheaper. But its also boring. I’d like to do a new recipe once every two weeks, if I can. And definitely try some international dishes. Any endeavors I take in that area, I’ll post here. And if it’s not too much trouble, I’d love to learn how to bake. Oh yes, some of you know how I excel in crumbling cakes, creating “grunge cakes” (the long-lost, black sheep cousin of the cupcake) and burning cookies. I’ll be working on this.
  8. Lastly, I’d like to put away some of my resentments, turn the burner down on my anger, and attempt to leave the past in the past. Everyone holds onto unnecessary bad mojo. It’s time I said “Au revior!” to mine.

And I need to figure out how to tame the wild, demon that I live with; Lemon Jelly.

He may look all cute and fuzzy... but...

He’s actually mellowed out quite a bit over the last year. However, he’s still capable of douchey things. Last night, one happened to be leaping across my laptop, while I was holding a mug of tea and making me spill it on the keyboard. He did the same thing with a cupcake I was holding at the beginning of the month when I was having a particularly bad day.

And my time is up for the morning. To one and all, have a Happy New Years!

~KSilva