You asked for it. THE SOUL SUMMONER is now available on Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble Nook, Kobo, and all other major online book retailers! Continue reading “The Soul Summoner now on Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and More!”
The Angel of Death is finally here!
The Angel of Death, the third installment of the bestselling series The Soul Summoner, is now available on Amazon for Kindle and in Paperback! Over a thousand fans have already claimed their copy. Have you gotten yours??? Continue reading “The Angel of Death IN STORES NOW”
The Angel of Death is coming! Pre-Order it now!
The long wait for book 3 of The Soul Summoner series is almost over, and Sloan, Warren, and Nathan are back with more mystery, suspense, and sexual tension than ever! The Angel of Death drops in two weeks! Continue reading “The Angel of Death – The Soul Summoner Book 3 – #giveaway”
It’s been two weeks, and my head is still spinning from my experience at the Barbara Vey’s Reader Appreciation Weekend in Milwaukee, WI. I’ve got pictures and a GIVEAWAY (Amazon Gift Card) to celebrate, so hang with me while I tell you a little story. Telling stories is what I do after all… Continue reading “My Bookiversary during the Barbara Vey Weekend 2016 – #giveaway”
*photo courtesy of Rebecca Sky
The Imagines book is here today! You guys know how much I love Wattpad, right? Well, this book features the best of the best! Check out some of my favorite Wattpad writers and friends in this MASSIVE fanfiction book published by Simon & Schuster. I’m so proud of this crew, and this book is so much fun!
Continue reading “#ImaginesBook RELEASE DAY! #wattpadcommunitytoast @MichelleJoQuinn @RebeccaSky @imaginator1dx @DebbieGoelz & MORE”
I am SOOOOOOOO excited about this new book coming from my dear friend, RK Close. I had the pleasure of reading this months ago, and you should totally be jealous. Never fear! The first book of the Red Night Trilogy will be available on Amazon for pre-order on April 29th! Mark your calendar!
For five hundred years I have feasted on the blood of the innocent.
For centuries I have seduced beautiful victims into my bed.
And all this time, I have never gone without.
I am Zachariah…
Don’t forget to enter her giveaway also! She’s giving away a Kindle HD! Yay!
Barbara Vey is celebrating the 5th anniversary of her annual Reader’s Appreciation Luncheon, and I am HONORED to be hosting a table. You don’t want to miss this event with 60 authors!
April 29th – May 1st, 2016
Clarion Hotel Airport
5311 S Howell Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53207
Bingo Party with Author Winnie Griggs and Sharon Sala, Holly Jacobs, Liz Talley, and Lenora Worth! Prizes and refreshments.
6:30PM – Friday Night Live! FREE
Q&A MEET & GREET session with the authors. Open to the public. Cash bar.
April 30th, 2016 – SATURDAY LUNCHEON – SOLD OUT
60 authors will attend the afternoon luncheon filled with fun, gift bags full of books, and door prizes.
Enjoy lunch at an author table, and attend a book signing with NYT best seller Eloisa James and the 59 additional best selling, award winning, and debut authors attending. The book signing is open to the public from 3:30-4:30 pm.
Proceeds from the raffle will benefit Juvenile Diabetes and Cynthia’s Breast Cancer Giving Circle.
What readers get:
- Keynote by New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James
- One hour meet & greet with the authors before lunch
- Lunch with an author
- Tote bag filled with books and other goodies sent by authors
- Gifts from your author
- Chance to win door prizes donated by authors
- $5 Gift Certificate to be used at Barnes & Noble book signing following lunch
- Opportunity to win raffle baskets
- Book signing event
5:30PM – FANtastic Pizza Party
Following the book signing Saturday evening. All the pizza you can eat and all the soda you can drink for $10. Mingle with your favorite authors during in a casual setting.
7:00PM – AUTHOR PARTY – FREE
The authors are sponsoring is special event to get to know the readers even better. Come and see what they have planned.
Enjoy breakfast with an author at this relaxing end of the weekend final celebration.
The Siren is finally here!
The wait is finally over. The Siren is live now! Sloan, Warren, and Nathan are back.
“The second book of the series was even better than the first.”
“Sexy & Supernatural”
“I finished this one so fast I am sure to have withdrawals.”
All the missing victims of North Carolina’s deadliest serial killer have been found, all except Rachel Smith. When the FBI produces a photo proving Rachel is alive and well in Texas, one case is closed but another one is opened. Either this is a case of mistaken identity or there are more people than just Sloan Jordan and Warren Parish who seem to walk the earth without a soul.
Along with Detective Nathan McNamara, Sloan and Warren travel south to find Rachel and solve the biggest mystery of all: determining who—or what—they really are.
Get it now exclusively on Amazon!
Borrow The Siren from the lending library
Try it now FREE for 30-Days
Put on your party hats peeps! It’s time for a Twitter Party!!!
In case you haven’t heard…my new book, The Siren, launches TOMORROW (3-15-2016)! I’m so excited, I just can’t sleep!
For helping me spread the word, I’m giving away one $5 Amazon e-Gift Card each day for the next 3 days! Entering to win is simple. Just TWEET or ReTWEET about #TheSoulSummoner2!
Each day, I will pin a new tweet to the top of my Twitter page. Feel free to ReTWEET it! You can also make up your own or use the ready made tweets below! TWEET as much as you want about #TheSoulSummoner2. There’s no limit! The more you tweet, the more chances you have to win!
BE SURE TO USE #THESOULSUMMONER2 HASHTAG.
I will announce the daily winner ON TWITTER each evening.
Who doesn’t want to fall in love with a movie star…I mean, for real, and have them totally love you back? I love Ara James’s book Cherries because that’s exactly what happens to her heroine, Lia, during the Sundance Film Festival. Of course, romance is always a wild and harrowing ride, so there are many bumps and bruises along the way–not to mention cocktails and hangovers.
Cherries is a featured story on Wattpad and is currently ranked at #7 on the Chicklit Hot List! I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for this amazing storyteller!
Reading tip: This book totally deserves fuzzy socks, a cozy blanket, and some hot cocoa.
Lia has a dream job in Park City as a ski instructor to two amazing young girls. When the girls and their family leave town on short notice, they gift Lia two free passes to the Sundance Film Festival, which makes it hard to stay upset for long. With her best friend Callie in tow, Lia vows to enjoy the festival to the fullest – which includes crashing premiere parties and rubbing elbows with one of Hollywood’s hottest bachelors, Wren Ellison.
A week of carefree partying turns complicated when Callie starts disappearing, Wren pops up around every corner, and Lia realizes that the aspects of her life that she considered most stable are starting to shift out from under her feet.
Lia knows how to handle herself when things go wrong on the mountain. But can she manage when things start to go wrong on the ground?
What sparked the idea for Cherries?
Truthfully – sitting at a bar at a ski resort, bored out of my mind. I wondered: what would it look like to be hit on in a funny way, no sleaziness or blatantly ulterior motives? I first imagined Wren (the leading man) drunkenly stealing cherries from Lia’s drink and being escorted away by a caring friend. When I started writing, Lia’s voice was so strong that I knew the story would be about a lot more than a drunken hook-up. Park City, her job, and her best friend were her world, and I wanted them to carry through the whole story.
In your book, your leading lady falls for a movie star. What movie stars have you fallen for? (I’m a big fan of Thor myself.)
One detail Lia shares with me is her first celebrity crush: John Cusack in ‘Con Air.’ See also: Grosse Point Blank. Nowadays I’m a pretty big fan of Naveen Andrews, John Cho (RIP, Selfie, you were gone too soon), and any of Jane’s romantic interests on Jane the Virgin.
As for Thor – one of my readers envisioned Wren as Chris Hemsworth. It’s hard to go wrong with any of the Marvel actors, honestly. 😉
Are you a pantser or a plotter and why?
When it comes to short stories, I’m definitely a pantser. I’ll start with a scene, concept, or even a first sentence, and just see where it goes from there. Usually I can ride that wave for the appropriate several thousand words, and the story chooses its twists and turns (or so I think). Some stories grow bigger as I write them, and as I go along the skeleton plot I imagined turns into something much larger and intricate.
Cherries was a pretty straightforward story until I took an hour-long drive one day and figured out the finer points of the plot and learned some character background I hadn’t known until then. I scrawled out short notes for every chapter on a giant piece of posterboard as soon as I got home.
True story: There were only fifteen planned chapters. I need to learn some self-control.
If you could write in a different genre than your normal one, what would it be and why?
Although my larger ‘plots’ (they’re not books because they don’t exist yet!) have always been YA or NA, I never really saw myself as a Chicklit writer. I don’t prefer to read Chicklit or Romance – instead, I’m a sucker for fantasy, sci-fi, and epics of all sorts. I would really like to write either fantasy or sci-fi in the future, but as I’ve learned on my latest attempt: it involves a ton of world-building. Since I’m used to figuring out the finer points as I go, I need to sort a lot of these things out before I can dive in as much as I’d like. I got to write a fantasy ‘excerpt’ within Cherries which I really enjoyed! I think half the trick is pretending to be a middle-aged classically-educated British man. Preferably writing during World War II, but that part is optional.
How are we going to celebrate when you hit the best seller list?
Oh man! First I will need a mental health check to make sure I’m not hallucinating. After that, I might need to get some comfy shoes for my happy dance. And finally, it would seem only appropriate to toast with some well-made whiskey sours and some delectable baked goods. You can always tell when I’ve been writing hungry, my chapters will be full of amazing sounding food, and Cherries was a whole year’s worth of writing before dinner. 🙂
A couple of weeks ago, I asked several of my writing groups this question:
If you could ask a Big 5 editor a question about the industry, what would it be?
I had the amazing opportunity to sit down with editors from some of the biggest publishing houses in the world this past week, as well as a few different agents. To be honest, I was a little terrified going into it. I feared I would be viewed as the outsider who self-published, ICK! That couldn’t have been further from the truth. Here’s what they all had to say…
Self-publishing has lost the stigma it has carried for so long. All of the editors were very open to submissions from self-publishers. With that being said, there was still quite a bit of eye-rolling about self-publishing, but that’s fair; there’s a ton of crap out there, and you know it. However, self-publishers who have worked hard to be professional, have invested their own time and money into the process, and have been successful with sales and reviews have a much higher probability of getting picked up by a publisher. Why? Because they already come with fans, and they’ve proven they are dedicated to making writing a long-term career.
Now, that doesn’t mean they are going to jump at the opportunity to REPUBLISH your self-published work. I wouldn’t count on that at all unless you have hit the sweet spot of sales numbers. By sweet spot I mean your book has sold enough to prove it’s marketable but still hasn’t exhausted its market.
But for new work going forward, it is a good idea to let them know how your self-publishing endeavors have fared. Unless, you know, your sales numbers have been abysmal. You should probably keep that to yourself.
You asked. They answered.
Here are some answers to specific questions:
Where do you see big publishing houses in 5 years especially in light of print on demand and eBook options?
This was incredibly interesting to me. We all know the tides of publishing have changed. Barnes and Noble is really the only bookstore left standing, and the big publishers are all working together to help keep them standing. It’s only a matter of time before major print runs become obsolete, and big publishing is bracing for it. For the time being, in an effort to keep Barnes and Noble afloat, one publisher told me they won’t buy your book if they know Barnes and Noble won’t buy it. She even went so far as to say she has incredible, future best sellers from proven authors stuck in a drawer because it’s not what is marketable at the moment.
The lesson from this for you? Remember this when you get those rejections. It doesn’t necessarily mean your book isn’t publishable.
Why do literary agents think they are worth such high prices?
There were some amazing literary agents at this event. And the biggest realization I had is: ALL AGENTS ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL. Some, like the ones I met with, don’t stop at simply selling your work to publishers. They help with branding, marketing, planning, editing, brainstorming…the list goes on and on. They would certainly, in my opinion, be worth their commission.
On an almost-unrelated note, Janet Reid wrote a great article over the weekend explaining this. You should read it. Why don’t big name authors just self-pub and make more money?
Does self-publishing a good product that gets good reviews (though not stellar sales due to limited marketing reach) negatively or positively impact how they view potential authors?
The literary agents I talked to said they pay most attention to the reviews. Publishers and agents realize new authors don’t have a platform to market to right away. An existing platform is certainly a bonus, but they are realistic about newcomers to the business.
Would you change your mind, if you knew I was a ghost writer for three of your best-selling authors?
I didn’t ask this one specifically because it doesn’t apply to me, but it was clear whatever experience and credentials you can present will help your query stand out among the masses.
Are you willing to work with authors who publish with multiple companies and also self-publish?
This was an overwhelming YES which completely took me by surprise. I think everyone I talked to actually encouraged hybrid authors because traditional publishing still takes (at the very minimum) a year to get a book into print. Hybrid authors can self-publish in the interim to keep their platform “hot” and active. I hope it goes without saying that the self-published stuff needs to be up to par with the quality of the traditionally published work or this just won’t work.
What type of story or voice gets you excited? What tense/person do you prefer for fiction/fantasy?
This definitely varies from person to person, genre to genre, and is heavily dependent on the target audience.
Do they simply look at the story itself or do they take a close look at the author themselves?
They look at both, but as I said before, they are very realistic when it comes to new authors. They focus heavily on the MARKETABILITY of the story, not just if it’s good or not.
What I Learned
- The best thing I took away from all this was the big, scary, intimidating mask I’ve always seen on the big publishing world was stripped away. These editors are amazing. They’re fun, down to earth, and incredibly kind and gracious.
- Attending conferences is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL if you want to publish well. Even if you’re self-published–no, especially if you’re self-published. Why? Because you’re your own publisher, and you need to keep up with the big boys. Learn all you can from them if you want to compete.
- Barbara Vey is amazing. You should look her up. She’s the queen of selling yourself as an author, in my opinion.
- Always carry business cards. (Thanks, Barbara!)
- Liz Pelletier (CEO & Publisher) of Entangled Publishing is brilliant. If you ever get the chance to sit in on one of her lectures, DO IT. You’ll thank me later. (Side note: I’m convinced Entangled is an excellent publisher who is on the cutting edge with hybrid authors. They accept unsolicited submissions.**)
- Choose your literary agent wisely. A big name can be far less valuable than someone who is willing to get in the trenches with you and be a huge advocate for your work. Check out The Seymour Agency.
- Join writers’ associations like RWA, Thriller Writers of America, etc. If I heard this once, I heard it a million times from everyone at the conference. Publishers and agents want to know you are invested in this business.
- Sourcebooks is a great publisher particularly for Wattpad writers. They accept unsolicited submissions and don’t require the author to remove the story from Wattpad**. (Funny story. My friend Juliet Lyons just signed a 3 book deal with Sourcebooks, and her editor was one of the editors I met with! Small world!)
I’m forever grateful to The Seymour Agency for providing me with such an amazing opportunity. I can’t wait until next year!
**Note: I have not worked with these publishers. I’m only giving my overall impression. ALWAYS DO YOUR HOMEWORK.
Yesterday, I told you the story behind why I chose to self-publish. My reason for sharing wasn’t to brag or to get sympathy and praise. I simply wanted you to be able to FEEL this story…
One week before I received the bad news about my cancer diagnosis, I flew to Nashville for my best friend’s birthday. I was still recovering from the biopsy surgery with a big ugly incision across my neck where they removed a tumor the size of a foosball. I wasn’t doing so great mentally because cancer’s bark is even worse than its bite, in my opinion. Not knowing was the worst part, and that day I had 2 hours of solitude to obsess over it.
And the flight was terrible, figuratively and literally. The sky was black and ominous with the deep rumble of thunder and bright flashes of lightning. It was like a scene from a Stephen King novel. (Ha!) At one point during all the turbulence, I thought for sure the plane was going to break in half and cancer would no longer be an issue. But then something amazing happened. We broke through those dark clouds, and on the other side was blue sky. Bright, blue, sunny sky.
I don’t get philosophical or overly spiritual very often, so believe me when I say I know God spoke to me. “You’re in the middle of the dark clouds, Elicia, but blue skies are on the other side. I promise.”
I have tears as I write this.
That was February. A couple of months later, in the middle of chemo, I bellyflopped into self-publishing with The Bed She Made. And in November, I published my beloved book, The Soul Summoner and it went to #1, right up there with Stephen King.
This moment meant so much more than just ranking against a superstar author. Stephen King wrote a book called On Writing that I read religiously once a year like I belong to some weird one-woman cult. In that book he talks a lot about writing honestly. Specifically, he says to write “without regard to what the Legion of Decency or the Christian Ladies’ Reading Circle may approve of.” I never intended to publish The Bed She Made because of its content. I worried about offending people. I worried about hurting feelings. I really worried about making my mother cry.
But Stephen King told me every single year: WRITE HONESTLY. So I tossed The Bed She Made out into the giant sea of readers…and she floated.
Needless to say, Stephen King is a big deal over here in the Hyder house.
Now for the story you’ve been waiting for.
Two weeks ago, my husband, Chris, came home from work and said, “Did you know Stephen King and John Grisham are going to be at some writers’ conference near Tampa in a couple of weeks?”
I shook my head. “That can’t be true. If it was, I would’ve heard about it.”
“Seriously, my buddy’s wife is working it. He said she might be able to get you in.”
I immediately began scouring Google. I was right and very wrong. They were coming to Florida, but it wasn’t a writers’ conference; it was a benefit for a library foundation. A small event. A sold out event that I couldn’t afford to go to even if I could get tickets. My brain started spinning. Could it be possible that I might get in?
But reality quickly began to settle. The event was on a Tuesday night, two hours away from home. The kids had mid-term exams. My husband would be working in Washington. Heartbroken, I told Chris to thank his friend profusely, but I didn’t want them to go to any trouble since there was no way I could make it.
He didn’t listen to me.
A week later, he was working in D.C. when he called me on Skype. The conversation went something like this:
“I need you to not make plans on Tuesday. You’re going to Bradenton to meet Stephen King and John Grisham. I’ve arranged for the kids to be taken care of, and your best friend is taking off work to go with you.”
And I cried like someone had just died.
Stephen King is my husband’s most favorite author. We own all of his books, most of which I’m too scared to read. And even though my husband couldn’t go, he moved mountains so I could. Did I hit the marital jackpot or what? Eat your heart out ladies, he’s all mine. I love you, babe.
There is no doubt in my mind that everything happens for a reason, which is why I told my self-publishing story before I told this one. Had I not been diagnosed with cancer, I wouldn’t have self-published my book. Had that tumor not been malignant, my husband would still be a cop and we would never have met the awesome people who made this night happen. Had I not gone through chemo, I never would have made this amazing new sister-friend who went with me. She was my oncology nurse–she literally saved my life.
How beautiful is the view of hindsight? You never know what brilliant light may be waiting on the other side of your darkest, most ominous and terrifying moments. You could be on the verge of all your dreams coming true and you just don’t know it yet. Never give up hope. Blue skies await.
On January 19th 2016, a boggling mix of Chris Hyder, Wendy and Eric, fate, a library, and Jesus made one of my biggest dreams a reality.
I got to tell Stephen King this same story and thank him–in person–for helping me get to that #1 spot just above his book. He hugged me and said “Congratulations.”
THANK YOU to everyone who made this night possible: Chris, Wendy (the awesome photographer), Eric, Rena, Luis, Becky, Natalie, Stephen King, John Grisham, my kiddos, and the Manatee Library Foundation. And THANK YOU to everyone who has read and supported my books over the past six months. Who knows? I might not be here without YOU!
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Photos by Wendy Dewhurst at www.blahblahblahonline.com/