Writing Announcement: My Brand

Hey everyone,

So it has been a bit since I’ve updated this blog. If you didn’t already see the announcement, I’ve built a special blog that is snippets of thoughts from Charlotte’s life (my heroine in the Of Light and Darkness Series). It is her journal of sorts and it includes some pretty fantastic art (that I do not own), so I advise you all to go check it out if you’re in the mood for some light reading before you dive in again to the world of the Occult cities and magic folk! (book 3 is coming soon and I can’t believe it!!!)

There have been some things happening in my personal and professional life of recent – most of those things I cannot share until a little later. But you all are used to me being a tease – so hopefully, I can talk about it soon.

I am in the midst of writing book 4 in the Of Light and Darkness series. I have several ideas also for companion novellas and spin-offs, but I have made a decision about something, and I’d like to discuss it with my readers…

I have so much fun in my own head, sometimes. I have so much fun in this world of magic and mayhem, and I really don’t wish to leave. There are some plot bunnies floating around in my notebooks for some sic-fi novels and such, but for now, I’d like to write continuously within this world I’ve built. Of course, I am not only referring to the Of Light and Darkness series, but any new series ideas that I begin to toy around with. I’d like to continue to play within this surrealism sort of fantasy realm that so many of the people that I look up to also like to favor, (people like Miyazaki and Del Torro).

I’ve decided (for now) that each of my books (even my new, non-OLAD ones) will take place in the Czech Republic. Why? Because it means something to me, and each provence of the country seems like a vastly different world. I figure this way, I get to introduce you to all of it. And I may choose to explore some surrounding countries too…

I’ve also decided (for now) that my heroines will continue to have some variation of red hair (strawberry blonde, auburn, or…glow-in-the-dark, like mine.) Why? It’s not because I am some ego-maniac. It’s because I believe that writing should feel organic – and for some reason, the color of my central character’s hair makes her easy for me to identify with. Argo, my writing comes more organically. Maybe this seems silly to you, but it works for me to be able to place myself in the heart of the story. And also because I’d like to see more redheads in literature – perhaps, I am biased.

So in a nutshell, I am very inspired. I am writing like crazy. There are many more things coming soon. They will almost always deal in dark, surreal fantasy of some kind. They will almost always take place in Europe (Czech, specifically), and they will almost always include a redhead.

So, tell me your thoughts. Are you game? Are you interested? Are you reading?

 

Best,

Shayne

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COSPLAY CONTEST & CATCHING FIRE

Hey everyone! Sorry for the bout of silence, but rest assured, we have not disappeared on you! Shayne has been busy, busy, busy as usual. She’s been prepping her next book, Of Light and Darkness: The Vampire’s Hourglass for its impending release and has been in the studio busting out ballads! That unfortunately is all that I can tell you for now, but don’t fret, good news will soon be coming your way!

So, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire opened in theatres and I have seen many premier pictures on Facebook and pictures of avid fans waiting outside the theatres and even dressed as their favorite character. And that has me thinking: what if Shayne’s fans come to the opening night of the first Of Light and Darkness movie dressed as their favorite characters and camped out for hours just to get in the doors? That would be such a great accomplishment on Shayne’s part and what a great honor! Fans definitely make the experience and I know that Shayne thanks every one of you!

But all this aside and back to the point I was getting at: This gave me an idea for all you OLAD fans, and I have a question for you tonight: If you could dress up as or role play as ANY OLAD character, which would it be?

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Personally I am torn between Charlotte and Evangeline. I like both characters and my like for Charlotte is obvious: what girl wouldn’t want to fall in love in a handsome, sexy vampire, let alone live with and be taken care of by one? And my like for Evangeline, is well, she is described as being beautiful, which as a woman, I always want to be beautiful BUT also because she is a witch! Sexy, beautiful and powerful—yes, please!
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So, while I decide which character I would like to portray, tell us you’re answers! And until next time,

Keep Calm and Re-read Of Light and Darkness!

Editing in the Indie World

Hey again everyone! Hope you’re all well on this day? Today we are going to go through the steps of editing. Rather you want to edit yourself (or attempt if you’re like me) or know the process. Editing is a lot of work and takes a lot of time. There is a lot more to it then one might think, and I used to think it was mostly just keeping an eye out for grammar/tense, punctuation and character perceptive—which is a big problem that I have. Through Shayne, via her editor, Rie Langdon, was able to compose this list of key points in editing and here I present them to you!
The editing process is probably done best in the order I will present it, but it’s all about how you personally review your work. If you are unaware of where to start, follow this guide:
First review the plot. Does your story follow a tight arc? Every story should have a beginning-where the problems are presented, middle-where the characters are forced to face the problems, and the end— being the climax where the problem is resolved. The same follows for books series and episodes-though there is generally a single issue that affects the entire series, each book or episode has its own story arc that it starts and completes within it. Start off by asking yourself, “Does my story have a central theme or issue?” When you have established a plot, consider the happenings in between the beginning and the top of the arc, which is when the characters are forced to face the problem(s) at hand and then the happenings that will occur to reach a resolution. Anything that does not move the story forward should either be cut or moved to another place along the arc.
Second is characterization. Each of the main characters should be specific and “tight”, meaning they are doing what *they* need to do in the story and not what the story needs them to do. Having fully developed characters is essential to any story. You want your characters to be realistic, relatable and natural. This will also help the story arc to flow more naturally. To do this, you might want to do one pass through for each character one by one and think about how they got to where you want them to be in the story. Why are they doing what they do? Why do they act like they do? Develop a back story for your characters- a history. This will make them more real to you and it’ll show in your writing. Remember, this can take a long time, but be patient. In the end it’ll make a more rounded and satisfying read.
Next is dialogue. Each line of dialogue should be reviewed and the easiest way to do this is to read the story out loud. Read it the way your characters would and even in their voice- do some acting! This helps you make each character sound unique; no story is pleasurable when all the characters read the same and are flat, seeming like all the characters are replicas of one character. This is usually done, and easiest done, in a first draft or early draft, because it’s often in the author’s voice (written the way the author would say something rather than how a character would express it). This is another way you can develop your character’s personalities. Once all that’s in a place where you like it, then it’s time to look at,
Mechanics. The big three here are,
1. Repeated words- you can easily pick these out by using a word counting program or reading the piece out loud. When editing it’s never advised to read in your head because you know what you’ve written and how you want it to sound. When your read in your head, your mind automatically corrects (and skips most mistakes) what you know you meant to write, so if you read out loud your more likely to catch your mistakes because it take a little longer for your mind to register what your actually reading.
2. Verb tense. When writing it’s easy to forget in what perspective you are presenting your characters and the story, especially when you are set in a certain way of writing, which is often not proper. It’s also easy to skip using the proper tense of a word, because sometimes things sound nicer the way they are said apposed to the way they are written. Always remember past, present, and future!
3. Grammar and punctuation. This might be the place to check for the multiple adjectives for commonly used and over used words such as cool, bright or dark, stormy, for example. This will spruce up your writing and even extend your vocabulary! Writing is an art itself, but when your link a well rounded story with a verity of words, you create a beautiful world full of imagery that can be labeled as a true masterpiece!
All of this might sound daunting and even horrific, but applying all these steps will make any story livelier and improve your editing skills. Especially if you want to be a writer, it’s essential to be able to edit work at a decent pace and almost completely as to not hold up the much more lengthy processes of publishing. And it’ll help make anything you write much more appealing and unique! And remember, if you are ever unsure of how to edit or fix something in your work, you can always utilize the internet and even check out books about editing, grammar, and punctuation!
Good Luck and happy writing, and remember, Keep Calm and Write on!
~Asya

An Update from the Darkness…

Hey everyone, sorry about the silence! A lot of amazing things have been happening that you’ll definitely be excited about! Shayne would like to start off by saying that we set a plan to post on the blog at least once a week so that we can keep you all updated on everything that Shayne is doing and especially about the anticipated release of Of Light and Darkness Book 3: The Vampire’s Hourglass!

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Shayne had gone on a two month trip with her husband, and Of Light and Darkness star, Frantisek, to the Czech Republic to focus on the completion of book 3. She said, “I felt being within the surroundings of my story would benefit my writing.” I know you all have been excited about the next release and after having waited in much anticipation for Book 2: The Vampire’s Reflection to hit the stores after a two year wait, Shayne is excited to announce that Book 3 will not have nearly as long of a waiting time, though no release date has been set yet, she is currently working with Decedent Publishing to put the final touches on Book 3 and are knee-deep in official edits. And the title: The Vampire’s Hourglass and the book cover have been already been released. So if you haven’t yet, go check them out!

So many of you might be thinking, “What happens in Book 3?” “What will become of Charlotte and Valek?” “What happened to Aiden?” Well, we can’t say (and yes, these are hints that will leave you in even more anticipation for the release of book 3) but what we can tell you is that we will see a LOT more of Nikolai and also Aden who was pretty absent in the second book. Oh and did we mention that The Vampire’s Hourglass opens with the point of view of Francis – giving more insight to the night he created Valek?! Oh yes! Who doesn’t love a good back story?

ALSO! As we near the release date of book 3 Shayne will be releasing the book’s playlist and prologue as a special sneak peek! So keep your eyes peeled for the music that helped inspire that last part of this amazing series!

Lastly, Shayne would like to thank all of you for making the series a great success! Of Light and Darkness Book 1: The Vampire’s Daughter and Book 2: The Vampire’s Reflection both hit Amazon’s best seller list! And Book 2 hit the list within a few days of its release! Talk about amazing! I don’t even think any of the Twilight books hit the best selling list as quickly! And it’s all thanks to you amazing OLAD fans! As cliché as it is, Shayne couldn’t have done it without you and can only hope that you all help Of Light and Darkness Book 3: The Vampire’s Hourglass have just as much successes, if not more!

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Just a few reminders:

Shayne would like remind everyone of her up and coming book tour. Shayne met Shelly Crane, the author of the tantalizing book series Significance, at an Indie book fest and Shayne announced that Shelly will also be there! So mark the dates on your calendars because this is one tour you won’t want to miss!!
Tour Dates:
April 2014 – April is for Authors in West Palm Beach, FL
June 2014 – UtopYA in Nashville, TN
August 2014 – Indie Bookfest in Orlando, FL
More dates and locations to come!

And as you may know, the movie adaptation for Of Light and Darkness: The Vampire’s Daughter is still in development and we’ll be posting a blog shortly discussing the film’s process…

Until next time, “Keep Clam, and Love Of Light and Darkness!”

~ Asya

The Sun Will Come Out….Tomorrow! (Aint that a bad thing?)

Hey everyone! So we are FINALLY at our release day! “The Vampire’s Reflection” comes out TOMORROW at all major online book outlets including Amazon and B&N!

I am so excited to finally be able to share the second installment of Of Light and Darkness with you guys! It has been a long road to get here, but not to worry! Book 3 won’t take nearly as long! And you’ll thank me…you’ll see. :D

I am writing here to invite all of you to the online, virtual RELEASE PARTY! It is being held 6pm EST. exclusively on my UStream channel! A am calling it The Festival of Monsters. It’s just going to be us hanging out in our coziest Occult outfits with snacks, book 2, and a WHOLE lot to talk and laugh about! I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend the evening than with all of you!

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Also, after you read the book, please don’t forget to spread the word, post to GoodReads and Amazon, and most importantly, drop me a line and let me know what you thought of it!

What comes after the big release? On Wednesday, the 3rd, I will be making ANOTHER appearance on The Jimmy Star Show! That should also be a lot of fun!!! If you want to drop by for my interview with Jimmy and Ron, stop by W4CY.com at 3pm EST. I will also be discussing my new EP with Spectra Records!

If you’re looking for a live experience, I will be attending the Indie BookFest August 3rd in Orlando, FL! Also attending are super star authors like Shelly Crane and Isaac Marion!

Anyway, enough with the chit chat! I am on pins and needles for tomorrow!!!! If you are just as excited, don’t forget to leave some love! Lets bring OLAD back!!!

Fatally yours,
Shayne

Music Playlist For Book 2

Playlist: Book 2

Songs are in order of chapters in the novel!!! Enjoy!!

1. “Escape” by 30 Seconds to Mars
2. “Winter Song” by Sarah Bariellis
3. “Stranger In A Strange Land” by 30 Seconds to Mars
4. “Lies” by Evanescence
5. “Heavy In Your Arms” by Florence and the Machine
6. “Tonight Is What It Means To Be Young” by Fire inc.
7. “Bring Me To Life” by Evanescence
8. “Keep the Streets Empty” by Fever Rey
9.”Lost In Paradise” by Evanescence
10. “Paper Flowers” by Evanescence
11. “Hanging On” by Ellie Goulding
12. “9 Crimses” by Damien Rice
13. “Pearl of the Stars” by Coheed and Cambria
14. “Seven Devils” by Florence and the Machine
15. “Sound of Pulling Heaven Down” by Blue October
16. “Uninvited” by Alanis Morreset
17. “L490″ by 30 Seconds to Mars
18. “Gravity of Love” by Enigma
19. “Hello” by Evanescence
20. “Call Me When You’re Sober” by Evanescence
21. “Libera Me” from the Interview With the Vampire Soundtrack
22. “My Immortal” by Evanescence
23. “October” by Evanescence
24. “Overture” by Within Temptation

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