Losing Hold Update: Cover and Synopsis

Hello all! So last Friday I tried something a little different and had a Facebook event for my cover reveal. It went well, and I’m so excited to show off the cover to Losing Hold, the second book in my Cicatrix Duology!

losingholdebookcover300dpi

I’m thrilled with how it turned out. The colors are super vibrant, it meshes amazingly with the first cover, and it works well with a lot of different aspects of the story. I want to thank Rachel from Rachel George Illustrations for her lovely work on this cover. She does amazing art, and I’m so blessed to have her talents once again. I also want to thank Desert Palm Press for publishing my book! They’re a great company to work with.

Here’s the synopsis for Losing Hold:
After escaping Donavin’s grasp, Mia Foley and her crew crash on a prison planet and need to deal with its inhabitants, beast and criminals alike. Mia hears Donavin in her mind once again and knows the transformation into one of his drones isn’t far off. Trapped in her own body, lashing against Donavin each chance she gets, and fearful that she’ll lose it all, Mia has to rely on her crew—on Cassidy—to save her. But she’s not the only one transforming in her little group, and things never go as smoothly as they could out in the black.

This book will be published in April – NEXT MONTH! – and I couldn’t be happier. I’ll post more about it the closer we get to the pub date! (Getting more and more excited as it gets closer.)

Hope you’re having a wonderful Wednesday!
Warm regards,
Kellie

 

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#FavoriteSciFiStory – Last Day To Enter!

Hey guys!

I’m doing a bunch of social media giveaways—one on Instagram, one on Twitter, and one on Facebook—for free signed copies of Finding Hekate, three total. I wanted to share the love of science fiction by having this giveaway feature the hashtag #FavoriteSciFiStory.

SciFi.jpg

There’s only one day left to enter, so do it soon! Here are some specific information about how to enter for each platform as well as a link:

Twitter – Tweet what your favorite science fiction story is and why, use the hashtag #FavoriteSciFiStory, and tag me at @Kellie_Doherty.

Facebook – Like and Comment on the #FavoriteSciFiStory post about what your favorite science fiction story is and why.

Instagram – Like and Comment on the #FavoriteSciFiStory post about what your favorite science fiction story is and why.

Sooooo….go do it right now! The contest ends at midnight today, and I’ll pick the winners and announce them tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon. I look forward to reading the responses and sharing the love of science fiction with everyone!

I hope you have a fabulous Saturday!
Warm regards,
Kellie

#IndieAuthorDay

Today is #IndieAuthorDay. It’s a day where publishing professionals (writers, agents, librarians, etc.) gather together and celebrate independent authors. It’s a day where folks talk about the hardships and successes of being an independent author. It’s a day that shines a light on them and their community, while also celebrating local libraries in North America.

And it’s a day that I didn’t hear about until today.

Granted it’s brand new (today was the inaugural launch) and I’ve admittedly been entrenched in following the political pulse of the nation this past week instead of the writing pulse (which is a fault of my own).

But I’m a bit sad that I didn’t hear about it until today.

I would’ve wanted to join in on this celebration and conversation. And I did, a little bit. While I missed the local event here at the Portland library, I was able to catch the presentations on YouTube and retweet some key messages from others. And there’s always next year! (On that note: Mark Oct. 8th on your writing calendar, guys, because its something we should all celebrate!)

It seems like a great idea, though, and with all the other stuff happening in the world right now (and not just political stuff, but also Hurricane Matthew and various amazing cons that I’m currently not at), I’m happy to have heard about it at all. It appears like the inaugural event was a success, too, which is awesome, and I’m quite glad it was trending on Twitter so I can take part in it, in my own small way. (Social media connectivity, FTW!)

Good luck, indie authors, and keep on writing!
Warm regards,
Kellie

Flight Anthology Pubbed Today!

front-coverHello everyone!

Guess what? The 2016 Queer Sci Fi Flash Fiction anthology Flight is here, and I have a story in it! My scifi piece is entitled “A Sub Mechanic’s Panic.” It’s surrounded by some other amazing stories; I’m so happy to be included!

Here’s a bit about the competition:

A 300-word story should be easy, right? Many of our entrants say it’s the hardest thing they’ve ever written.

Queer Sci Fi’s Annual Flash Fiction Contest challenges authors to write a complete LGBTQ speculative fiction micro-story on a specific theme. “Flight” leaves much for the authors to interpret—winged creatures, flight and space vehicles, or fleeing from dire circumstances.

Some astonishing stories were submitted—from horrific, bloodcurdling pieces to sweet, contemplative ones—and all LGBTQ speculative fiction. The stories in this anthology include AI’s and angels, winged lions, and wayward aliens. Smart, snappy slice of life pieces written for entertainment or for social commentary. Join us for brief and often surprising trips into 110 speculative fiction authors’ minds.

Other important details and links:

The book is available in eBook form (4.99), and will soon be available in paperback with b/w illustrations inside (12.99) and in a special collector’s edition with color illustrations (24.99).
Publisher (info only, no buy link yet)
Amazon
ARe
Kobo
Goodreads
Goodreads Series Page
Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, and Apple: Coming soon

If you like speculative fiction in the LGBT sphere, check out this anthology! I said it earlier but I’ll say it again, there are some amazing stories in this book, and I’m so happy to be among them.

(Also, writing a 300-word story is tough; fellow writers, you should try it sometime.)

I hope you’re having a lovely Wednesday!
Warm regards,
Kellie

35 Thoughts I Had While Reading Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind

Patrick Rothfuss is a fantasy writer. A good one. A great one even. I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things about his work. And since I’m currently working on building a fantasy series, I decided to give his first book The Name of the Wind a read. Here are 35 thoughts I had while reading his book.

*SPOILERS*

  1. Man, I love fantasy. Time to get lost in another world.
  2. Wow, he uses a lot of similes.
  3. Is this omniscient POV?
  4. Hmm, this is starting out a little slow. I’ll keep going, though.
  5. Demon SPIDERS? Juuussst great. I hate spiders…
  6. Oooo, I like Bast!
  7. Wait, wait, wait, don’t tell me the guy is called Chronicler and he’s a SCRIBE? *sighs* Please tell me he has an actual name later on…
  8. Chronicler has an actual name—yay!
  9. Of course Chronicler is going to write down this Kote/Kvothe’s story. It’s the perfect vessel to have backstory on this character.
  10. Wait, THREE DAYS? This guy’s a bit full of himself, isn’t he? This isn’t going to take forever is it?
  11. Ughhhh, I don’t want to know Kvothe’s backstory anymore! What about the demon spiders? What’s going to happen to this little town? Put me back in the present!
  12. Abenthy is pretty cool, though.
  13. Learning magic is hard…and a bit tedious to read about. Hmmm…
  14. So this kid’s a child genius then? Okay.
  15. Ooo, I stand by my earlier liking of Bast. He is EVEN COOLER! Some kind of Satyr creature? I love it.
  16. Man, I want to skip these backstory parts and just get to the present already. But no, Rothfuss wrote this story specifically like this so I will continue reading.
  17. Cute family and such, but let me guess, this whole trope AND the parents are all going to die?
  18. Yup.
  19. Why can’t there be a main character who has a good backstory, with great parents and friends and family who don’t die?
  20. Okay, so maybe the backstory is interesting.
  21. I like this guy’s descriptions! Like poetry. Or, like music. Rothfuss = new writer goal!
  22. Don’t really like how the women are being portrayed in this.
  23. Amended #22: Danna’s pretty cool, though.
  24. Okay, I get that he’s obsessed with her already.
  25. So apparently “nice young ladies” without families can only be the servant-type of character? Hmmm…
  26. Okay, gotta love the descriptions. Sometimes they’re repetitive, but I don’t mind at all at this point.
  27. So after making light of common story-like instances and then intentionally going the opposite direction, he just manages to find Denna, the “only survivor” of this horrible attack? I call bull!
  28. Sometimes calling attention to the “story-like instances” and then deliberately going the opposite direction, makes the times this story is like other stories way more apparent. I like it and I don’t like it.
  29. Exciting times for this kid! And he is just a kid, a teenager, so I can forgive him for his horrible mistakes.
  30. Dragons! No, of course not dragons. I wish it were a dragon.
  31. Ughhh, too many similes, dude! Stop it!
  32. Nice flourish of an ending to the backstory, though. A bit too quick of a summary of the fall term but not bad.
  33. Oooookay, so Bast is my now my FAVORITE character of the WHOLE BOOK!
  34. Overall, this is a good story. I can appreciate the hype. Nine out of ten stars.
  35. Well played, Rothfuss, well played.

Honestly, I had a good time reading his book. It’s an unusual (but almost classic) format, with interesting characters, and a twisting plotline.

Should you read The Name of the Wind? Yeah.
Will I read the next one? Of course.

I hope you’re having a lovely Friday evening!
Warm regards,
Kellie

Working on Fantasy Races [Help!]

So, now that Losing Hold is in the beta readers hands I have some free time to work on my next series—a five-book fantasy! I’m in the process of worldbuilding right now.

One thing I’m struggling with, though, is creating fantasy races, and I’d love some feedback on the basics I added in this post below. Originally I wanted to have the common races—elves, nymphs, humans, were-people—living in my world, but then I got to thinking how they’re done so much at this point it’s hard to transform them into something different. (And that’s coming from a person who absolutely adores those races.) So I developed a history of my world where there had been those ancient races—elves, nymphs, humans, were-people— and all four races had every type of magic—nature, spirit/religious, animal, and energy—because they were blessed by the goddesses. Something terrible happened (of which I’m still working on) and those races were destroyed. A new generation of races appeared in their place, each one remembering their old race and having some qualities of their old races, but each race can only use one type of magic. Essentially, the magic was splintered.

I like this idea, but now I need to come up with the different races and it’s a bit of a challenge. Thus far I’ve come up with the following:

Race: Nemoras, descendants of the Nymphs
Magic Type: Nature
History: The Nemoras were born of the ashes of nature after the (whatever I’m calling the Big Bad Event). They are powerful folk, grove-dwellers, curators and protectors of all the natural resources, save the animals. In order to get any resource—trees, stone, water, fruits, vegetables, metals—the other races must come to the Nemoras. Because of this, the Nemoras have a good working relationship with the other races, save for one, the Divus. Each grove—regardless of its type—has at least three, if not more, Nemoras.
Physical Traits: Nox (they alternate between change genders as they age); Multi-colored skin representing the grove they protect (poison grove = purple skin, tree grove = green skin, stone grove = gray skin); Narrow eyes; Short hair
Characteristics: They are generally gentle creatures who deal (relatively) fairly, but they can become fierce when needed, especially when trading and protecting their groves.Their gender changes through a connection with their groves and they have no control over it until they turn a certain age when they can choose which gender they would like to have. They are able to come and go as they please, wandering as far away from their grove as they wish. They tend to be a bit haughty, because they feel like they have a lot of power holding the resources (and they do). The power gets to their heads, sometimes.
How they are similar to the Nymphs: They protect certain places in nature, and are associated in some way with that location.
How they are different from the Nymphs: They are not deities; they age with their particular grove; they can transfer from grove to grove (as long as it’s in the same type); they do not sing/dance (because they don’t have time for that kind of nonsense); they can choose to be male.

Race: Divus, descendants of the Humans
Magic Type: Spiritual/Religious
History: Originally from the islands where the ancient Humans lived peaceful lives dealing fairly with everyone and always asking for less than they needed, the Divus are explorers. They are seafarers and land roamers, always on the move, always staying in the darkness. (The daylight is dangerous after all, but they are seen as cowardly.) They rarely trade with the Nemoras because they can harvest food from the sea and are the only race that can do so. (Though they do feel like the Nemoras are greedy and the groves should be equally shared with everyone.)
Physical Traits: Male and Female; Very thin-skinned (get cuts easily); Nearly translucent; Overly bright eyes that seem to glow in the dark; Thin hair of varying colors; Thin build
Characteristics: Divus always wears armor (of some kind) so they don’t get cut. They worship the moon goddess. They will steal from the towns to get better food, weapons, clothing, but they are the traders of the world, who have tenuous deals with each major city and transport major goods back and forth.
How they are similar to the Humans: The roaming aspects are very human-like and the resourcefulness of getting things from the sea.
How they are different from the Humans: They have translucent, thin skin and overly bright, glowing eyes.

Race: Elu, descendants from the Elves
Magic Type: Energy
History: The Elu want to regain their place in the high towers like their ancestors. They are seen as lower class, hard workers, and do the grunt work of the towns and cities. They are the famers and the cleaners. They are out in the daylight doing the dangerous job of transporting minor resources to and from the groves. They want to move up in the world, but because of how they look it’s hard for them (which makes them annoyed).
Physical Traits: Male and Female; Dark-skinned; Tall; Very muscular; Tiny ears; Wide eyes (differently colored); Bushy hair (usually black or brown)
Characteristics: They are usually happy folk, getting joy from the friends and family around them, but they tend to grow sour when working. They learn quickly and are well known for their hard work ethic. They are very smart. They have a great relationship with the Nemoras and tend to protect them from the Divus. Their voices are light. Only a few have ascended to power.
How they are similar to the Elves: Their voices are similar, they are tall and smart, and they like working with nature.
How they are different from the Elves: They have dark skin and bushy hair, and are usually in the working class.

Race: Vagari, descendants of the Venators (were-people)
Magic Type: Animal
History: The Vagari are beast-tamers, held in high regard since the beasts of this world are highly dangerous (dragons, wyverns, basilisks) and usually hold high positions of authority in the cities. They cannot transform into the beasts like their ancient races could, but they do have characteristics of the beasts (strength, speed, scaled skin, tail, claws). Because of this, they also choose the path of guardians and warriors.
Physical Traits: Male and female; Light brown skin; Varying beast attributes
Characteristics: Even though they can be dangerous, they are usually friendly, loyal, and smart. They treat everyone fairly, even in battle. They like being around people.
How they are similar to the Venators: They have animalistic characteristics and can talk to animals. They also like being in “packs” or around a bunch of people.
How they are different from the Venators: They cannot turn into the beasts; they are not “wild” but are in positions of power and are at home in the city.

So…yeah. That’s what I have thus far. It’ll probably change as I write the characters and the story, but I wanted to get the basics down so I can see how they work together, where conflict would arise, and what kinds of plotlines could work.

I’d really love some feedback and some help in fleshing these out. What do you think of these races? What works and what could be changed? Comments, critiques, helpful suggestions are all welcome!

Let me know in the comments!
Warm regards,
Kellie

Graduating From Ooligan Press

Two years ago I uprooted my life and moved to Portland, Oregon, in order to pursue a Master’s of Science in Book Publishing from Portland State University. This weekend I’m graduating from that program and moving on to the next chapter of my life. It’s exciting. It’s wonderful. It’s something I’m proud to have accomplished. And…it’s also a little sad.

I loved my time here at PSU, especially at Ooligan Press, the student-run publishing house attached to the program that grad students have to be a part of in order to get their degree. Ooligan has been such an experience. I’ve learned so much working with Abbey, Per, Kathi, and the other professors here, who I’m happy to call mentors and even friends. I’ve learned so much working with my fellow students, too, and the class of 2016 has formed a merry little band that I’ll be loyal to and keeping an eye on, as well as cheering for, as the years progress. I’d be thrilled to work with them again and look forward to seeing them around the publishing sphere later in life. I’ve also learned a lot about myself during my time in this program. I’ve faced wonderful highs and terrible lows. But I’ve never been happier here at Ooligan, and that’s why I’m a bit sad to leave. It’s been wonderful here and I’ve learned so much about the business that this weekend will be a bittersweet moment.

I know that exciting things are in my future, though, and I’ll be happy to apply the knowledge I’ve gained at Ooligan and PSU to a job. (I already am, too! I had an interview this week and I understood every word he said even though it was industry speak! Abbey would be so proud.)

I’m also looking forward to updating my professional website on Sunday with how I’ve obtained my degree and redoing my resume to reflect that. I’m going to reorganize the website a little bit as well. I got some constructive feedback during my defense, especially concerning my design aspects. My committee mentioned how my designs weren’t my strong suit and how, compared to others, it might actually be a detriment. I’ve been thinking about that conversation quite a bit over the past few weeks, and I’ve acknowledged that design is something I’m still learning and my skills will grow in time. (I even say that on my website.) I don’t have a design degree or an art background so I know, compared to some other fabulous people at Ooligan, my skills are limited for now. But I also give myself some credit. Considering I didn’t know anything about the Adobe software two years ago, I’ve learned quite a bit and have come quite far. I’ve even got a reoccurring summer freelance job, so my design chops can’t be that bad. But because of that feedback, I will rearrange my website to reflect that better and I know my portfolio will be stronger because of it.

Ooligan was an amazing experience. I’ve made mentors and friends in this program that I’ll have for life and the skills I’ve obtained will help me land a job in the (hopefully near!) future. This weekend, though, I’m going to celebrate this achievement with my friends and family. My fellow Oolies and I deserve to bask in the knowledge that we’ve successfully completed this program, and I’ll raise a glass for us all!

I hope you have a lovely weekend! Mine’s certainly going to be a busy one.
Warm regards,
Kellie

Blogpost Giveaway – Winner Announcement!

Hello everyone,

My Finding Hekate Blogpost Giveaway officially ended today, and the winner is: Crazy Grad Mama.

Congratulations, Crazy Grad Mama!!

The winner was chosen randomly, but I got some amazing responses to my question of What makes you fall in love with a book? Here’s what Crazy Grad Mama said:

“Hmm, good question. It depends on the type of book (fiction vs. non-fiction, etc.), but I’d say the one constant that really appeals to me in a book is good pacing. Not too slow or with too many extraneous details. It doesn’t have to be full of cliffhangers or anything, but I love it when I’m always excited to turn the page.”

I wanted to thank everyone who participated, too! I loved reading through all the comments. If you would like the chance to win some free signed copies of Finding Hekate, there are still two more giveaways going on over on my social media accounts:

  • A Twitter/Facebook Giveaway: Follow @Kellie_Doherty and retweet my Giveaway post today to be entered into my #bookgiveaway! You can also enter on Facebook by Liking my Facebook Giveaway post and Author Page. Two of my followers will win signed copies! I’ll announce those winners on Thursday, May 12th.
  • An Instagram Giveaway: Everyone who follows me and Likes my Giveaway post on Instagram will be entered to win a free book! This post also went live on today, and the winner of this one will be announced on Thursday, May 12th, too.

Good luck to everyone and again, congrats, Crazy Grad Mama! I look forward to sending you your signed copy of Finding Hekate!
Warm regards,
Kellie

 

Blogpost Giveaway Starts Today!

Hello everyone!

As promised I’m going to give away a signed copy of Finding Hekate this week to a fellow blogger. Here’s how it works: I’m going to ask a specific question below; you, my lovely readers, will answer that question in the comments; and then on Monday, May 9th, I’ll announce the winner! And, yes, new readers can enter, too, just make sure to subscribe to my blog first!

(This is a fast turn-around, I know, but this box of books is burning a hole through my table. Plus my cat keeps chewing on the cardboard, and I want all the books to be out before she gets in.)

GIVEAWAY QUESTION:
What makes you fall in love with a book?

I’m also announcing the Newsletter Giveaway winner tomorrow! I’ll be picking a winner first thing tomorrow morning, so there’s still time to enter. If you’d like to, head on over to my website and subscribe. Additionally, I’m going to be doing some social media-specific giveaways next week, so keep an eye on my Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts.

I look forward to reading your answers, and I hope you have a lovely weekend!
Warm regards,
Kellie

Book Giveaway Brainstorming Day

So, I want to do a book giveaway. Last week a box of Finding Hekate books got shipped to me, ten total. Four of them are already claimed, so really there’s six. (I could always get more, though.) I left the box on my table where I can see it everyday, but it’s been a whole week and I haven’t figured out what kind of giveaway I’d like to do. (I’ve been working on my graduate thesis and trying really hard not to get sick, tbh.)

BUT I REALLY WANT TO DO A BOOK GIVEAWAY! AND WHO DOESN’T LOVE A FREE BOOK SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR?

IMG_3451
Look at all the books I can sign and give away!

To that end, I’ve decided that today is my Giveaway Brainstorming Day. Here’s what I’ve come up with thus far:

  • Fanart giveaway – where I give a character description/scene and give folks one (or two) weeks to complete it and pick the best one to get a free book
  • Newsletter giveaway – where someone at random from my newsletter subscribers gets a free book (if you want to join my newsletter, you can do so here! Burst go out on Saturdays!)
  • Social Media giveaway – where one of my followers on social media (on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, or Instagram) who likes/shares/comments on a specific post about my book gets a free book
  • Blogpost giveaway – where I give a book to a follower on here who answers a specific question I post on this blog in the comment section

I’d like to come up with a few more and then pick the ones I like best.

To that end, my fellow authors, bloggers, and readers, I ask you: What kinds of giveaways do you do for your books/merch or partake in as a fan? And, if they were contests (like the fanart), did you receive many submissions or submit your own work?

Please leave a comment. I’d love to get some more ideas!

I hope you have a lovely Friday!
Warm regards,
Kellie