Monday, September 24, 2018

Happy Birthday Blood Purple!

6 years ago today I became an officially published author. It was a huge deal for me to accomplish this, as it would be for anyone. My parents joined me for dinner that night to celebrate along with my hubby & two of my best friends. The writing community had welcomed me and it was the beginning. The beginning of my dreams coming true. It was by far one of the most memorable moments in my life, right up there with my wedding day, my children's adoption day, my graduation days, and the day I received my black belt in martial arts.

When moments happen in life that change you forever, you tend to remember those. Writing had always been an outlet for me, that wasn't anything new. The new part was letting the world read my writings, letting my work become judged, putting myself out there, exposed.

It's kind of like having that nightmare where you show up to school naked, everyone points and laughs. That's sort of what I was afraid of, when releasing BLOOD PURPLE. I was petrified I would be shunned.

I didn't understand why I had such trouble in English growing up. Grammar, spelling, conjugating sentences, you name it, I sucked. But what I could do was write a hell of a good story. I was very creative. In my debate class I wrote original oratory and the best part, no grammar involved as it was a speech. I loved it and I really enjoyed the whole process. I look at my writing sort of like that. The main difference is people DO see the written words this time around.

But, I took the risk. I sent my manuscript off. The first company I sent it to was an England based publisher who liked it, but didn't publish books in the genre I wrote so they suggested I find a small press who did. I next sent it to a small publishing house in Canada. I ended up contracting 3 books with them before it was over.

If I knew then what I knew now, I would still choose to not go into indie publishing straight away. I learned a lot signing with two publisher's. I ended up actually having 4 books total with small press before I went completely indie. Both publishers taught me something different and I am glad that I had that opportunity to learn.

The Faces Of Blood Purple

My debut novel has had a couple face lifts. I remember when I was emailed the original cover, I cried. I had thought it was the coolest thing since sliced bread! haha. Oh what did I know back then, I sold a lot that first month so hey, guess it had something right!

I have always had an affinity for swords and in my mind this book was represented best by my weapon of choice. I was once asked if I had any sword training in my martial arts and I hate that the answer is no. I would love to someday acquire sword training, if nothing, just to say I could do it.

Don't get me started on the idea of making my own sword, oh boy! One day my hubby will have his own forge shop for stuff like this, once we can retire on my novel revenue, LOL. Then I will make the KADIN sword.

I can picture it perfectly in my mind ...

When I separated with XOXO Publishing I had asked a friend who did graphic art to help make a cover. As you can see, once again, the sword is present.

"I'm not just a princess, I am a warrior." I love that quote. It gave me shivers when I wrote it the first time and every time I read it since then I still feel the goosebumps. Nikole in so many ways was me. Is me.

She's flawed, she's doubtful, she's scared. But she is also strong, loyal and willing to do what it takes to survive.

She's a warrior.

I love her, and everything about this character.

Many times in a books life cycle there comes a time when the author needs to re-brand. My sales had sort of died off and I wanted to change all of my covers. This time the sword came back to the focal point, and the blood, I love the blood.

The cover is similar yet different and I think it catches the eye.

This has been the cover I've used longest and yep, you've guest it, it's time for a new cover to come out.

That probably won't happen for a while as life is pretty hectic right now and I don't exactly know what all I want in it. I toss ideas back and forth in my head but I am sure you know the one thing that will for sure be present.

The sword.

When it's all said and done BLOOD PURPLE is at the core of my writing. I cut my teeth on the Algula world and there is nothing I would change about the characters or the stories. I think they are perfect as is.

I would however change some of the editing jobs that transpired back in 2012 but at some point you have to just accept, this was a first novel, there are mistakes. That's one thing as an indie author, I control the editing. With the publisher the editing went kind of haywire and I know that there are still issues left over from that first job.

But that's okay. I feel like the story can still stand on it's own, especially compiled with the other three books in the series. So I just have let it go.

Happy Birthday BLOOD PURPLE! You launched my writing career, you gave me something to be proud of as an adult, and you continue to give me courage to write, as often as I can.

One day you will be a household name, like Anne Rice, Twilight & True Blood. But until then, just know, you will always be my favorite set of characters, deep in my heart.

To Nikole, Zayn, Leigh, Haydar, Derrik, Dominic, Alec, Adara, Nasir & Mehmet - Happy 6 Years of literary life. Here's to another 6 more! Maybe by then you will all be on the big screen and then who knows what will happen from there.

If you haven't already checked out the Blood Series you can click the link below, happy readings! BLOOD PURPLE ebook is ALWAYS Free ....

Pick Me Up Here!

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