I have not been silent on my support of the Black Lives Matters movement and I’ve been doing that by one action alone; sharing and retweet the voices of those it affects most.

Today some of those words were lost. A clear screen shot on Taia Dominique’s Twitter can be seen that she posted the whole poem, but that later other parts of it were taken down.

This is not right, the words she’s spoken are true to what she feels and those are the words we need to hear right now.

Take the time, read the words, learn to listen.

I find that it is easier to die in this world than it is to live here Along with having the life squeezed out of you, like a fresh fruit for its juice, you can be told that your life is worthless. You won't be told t(3)

Red Sofa

This is an essential read for any author, regardless of your path. The actions of Red Sofa in the wake of the George Floyd murder and subsequent riots is terrible, but this is its own kind of awful. Many writers aspire to getting an agent, but please keep in mind that the actions of Red Sofa both now and then, is not acceptable behaviour.

shattersnipe: malcontent & rainbows

This is not a post I ever thought I’d be writing, and I certainly didn’t expect to be writing it now, when there’s so many terrible things going on in the world. But the SFF writing and publishing community is not an island: we impact and are impacted by the world in turn, and it’s because of this relationship that I’m speaking now. This is a small matter in comparison to the ongoing protests over the extrajudicial murder of George Floyd and the egregious police brutality with which those protests have been met, but it is still, to me, an important matter, as how the SFF community responds to racism and bigotry in other contexts will always relate to how it deals with internal gatekeeping. After what’s happened, I don’t feel that I can in good conscience continue to remain silent.

Last week, Dawn Frederick of Red Sofa Literary, who…

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I started writing a seriously in 2014 and consequently, self-published called the Last Prophecy Series. My reason remains sound; it was a twenty-one novella and book fantasy steampunk series. Not exactly a trendy topic, succinct series, or the kind of project that would be over in a few years.

But I was determined and it remains to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Getting an editor taught me a lot about my writing and how to write better. I moved on from the series to do other work. My scripts outside that series since then have had requests from agents. I have a publishing contract with Literary Wanderlust for Behind the Veil. I’ve gone on to self publish another series called Queen of Spades – a sci-fi action romance trilogy.

 

Here is what you need to know about this process and why it’s not something that lasts a year or two, but a lifetime.

 

The Product

 

Writing books take time. With many successful self-published authors who you may have never heard of, they attribute the full-time writer dream to releasing a book every six months. But when you have to write the damn thing, spend ages editing, and then get others to help with that process too it can be daunting. With families, jobs, and other things taxing time the idea of a book in a year let alone two is impossible.

The second thing to consider is do you have a stand-alone book? Is it a good fit for a specific genre? Is it the ONE book inside you? Many writers find once they have written a book that’s it, they’re done, and there is nothing wrong with that. Many writers have dozens of stories, can write often, and do. The thing to figure out is what kind of writer you are, and what you want from your stories.

Don’t kid yourself on movie deals and insta-fame; like any artistic endeavor, this should be about the soul. Because without a lot of luck, marketing, and constant work, and time, that’s not realistic.

If you have just one book you love and have spent years working on, why not query it? Don’t be scared of querying or an inevitable “no”, because I’ve seen authors with no social media presence and no contacts get agents. Research carefully and if you’re sure this is THE book, and you want to get it to a traditional publisher, then do try querying first. You’re going to know the quality of your work and the marketability of your idea pretty quickly with their reaction.

Do you have a lot of ideas? Can afford the time, savvy, and dedication needed to self publish? Because it requires a lot of work and that’s one of the most underestimated parts of self-publishing.

It’s a piece of creative work, but you are the person who decides the right path for you, and because they’re side by side you can move between the two, just be sure you know what you’re getting into.

 

The Work

 

I often see authors publish with self-made covers, no editing, and no marketing plan wonder why their book isn’t selling.

Imagine going to a café and seeing sandwiches on the shelf; are you going to pick the pickle and anchovy on lumpy weird looking bread, or the focaccia with smoked salmon, cream cheese, baby spinach, and capers? I mean, maybe not, that’s my favourite and I’m hungry but you get the picture.

Getting a professional-looking cover is not hard with research into the genre, some good stock photos, and getting comfortable with programs like GIMP. Having a good developmental editor is easy with many authors on social media offering beta and critical partner readings if you don’t want to hire a professional. Seeking out places that advertise your book, creating social media platforms, and avenues to advertise is easy with a bit of research.

But all this takes work, and it’s endless, it never stops and you are never not doing that.

When you take into consideration that you still have to write a book every six months that’s a lot of work. It’s constant, you do some every day, and some times it sucks away whole weekends. I’ve dedicated weeks of annual leave from day jobs for this and I wouldn’t have it any other way because I’m happy doing what I do.

Be sure you’re ready for the kind of work needed, and what’s involved, and if you like the idea of it. Because if you don’t, or are finding it hard, it might not be for you.

 

The End Goal

 

What do you want out of life?

It’s one of those questions you get asked in random quizzes and occasional in job interviews when they want to be sadistic. Heck, lots of money, love, and to live happily ever after? You can’t magic those into existence. Money takes business savvy, luck, saving, and accrument few of us possess. Love even in long term relationships is not always an easy task or a life long one.

Happiness? The most annoying old adage of finding it within yourself is, unfortunately, true and nothing could be more right than when talking about your writing journey.

I’ve seen so many writers give up after their book didn’t sell. They throw the towel in and disappear. Many writers perceive it is a “make it or fail” industry. They forget that this is like any other hobby; a creative outlet. You need to decide what you want for you, for your stories, and for your time.

If you have a single story you love with your whole heart, have poured years of work into, and just want to see out there, don’t be afraid of querying. I saw one writer query seven hundred agents, over five years before landing an agent that got her enviable big five publishing contract. She had another book, but it was in its drafting phases and she was happy with that. But she didn’t quit on what she wanted.

If you have heaps of stories and you have the determination to make it work, self publish. It’s very rewarding to get your books out there, your way, on your time, and finally in your hands. Yes, it’s a lot of hard work, but my god nothing is better than waking up to messages stating people loved your book and can’t wait for the next one.

The other thing to remember is the tendency for emerging writers to think it’s either self-publishing or traditional publishing, without taking into account the number of small presses out there. Literary Wanderlust has been nothing but supportive and wonderful to work with, and I’m very happy to be publishing with them. There are hundreds of small presses out there that do sell books and a lot of them.

There is no one place for your book to end up, or your career, but the most important thing to ask yourself is what you get out of the time you spend doing it, and if it doesn’t make you happy then ask yourself why.

This doesn’t make me happy all the time. I’ve cried, raged, lost hope, and faith over my writing career.

Nearly given up a time or two myself.

But I didn’t because when I asked myself why sit down and go on it’s because I love what I do. Ask yourself what you want, because no one else is going to make you happy. You figure this out yourself, you don’t give up at the first sign of defeat, and you do it knowing whatever comes, it’s time well spent.

You figure this out yourself, you don’t give up at the first sign of defeat, and you do it knowing whatever comes, it’s time well spent.

A Pinch of Bookdust

Awakening
Queen of Spades Book 1
by EJ Dawson
Genre: SciFi Action Romance
Ayla is a villain. With a gift that allows her to see when anyone will die, she’s remorseless in her profession as the perfect assassin. When she wakes up in a cryo-tank three thousand years in the future, and no idea how she came to be there, all that matters is survival.
Rescued by Leith and the crew of the Nuria, Ayla discovers a far evolved world of space ships and galactic colonization. But everything comes with a price, and though Ayla is no princess locked in an icy tower, she still has to pay for the rescue she didn’t know she needed.
Given over to Leith, a darkly handsome man who reads Ayla far easier than she’d like, they must work together if Ayla is to repay her debt. As the pair come to learn how…

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Refilling Your Tank

In everything that’s going on at the moment I know some of you are more scared than you’ve ever been before.

 

There are a million things going on outside our control. Fear eats a hole in our stomachs as we twitch aside window curtains and wonder if just one more visit to the store will bring home a fatal virus.

 

We lived with our parents and grandparents dread of another global war, and this isn’t nearly so awful, but it doesn’t change that it’s a trial. Its hard. Its scary. And the most frustrating thing about this is that we are helpless.

 

We can stay at home but some of us have to work to pay bills.

We can lock ourselves inside but when you’re jobless, like I am, its stressful.

We can pretend that it will be alright even as we do all the right things and it doesn’t change the anxiety.

 

With all this time in doors we should be reading and writing and being creative with our free time.

 

Except everyone is stating they don’t have the capacity to write or create and then blaming themselves like they’re lazy or can’t be bothered.

 

So this is a nice reminder to all you to STOP DOING THAT.

 

You have a tank of emotional gas and you have run out.

 

That you have forgotten the emotional commitment to your projects is no surprise, so here is your reminder; you can’t invest what you don’t have.

 

 

Joy, sadness, grief, despair; when we can control these emotions and funnel them into our creation we are building on past trauma and experiences. We are dealing with these things in safe spaces. You don’t feel safe, you don’t even know what to feel anymore.

 

I know cause I’m there too.

 

I’ve been writing during the lock down but I have a confession to make.

 

None of it is on relevant projects.

 

Its all trash. Half baked ideas I’d never publish. A sex scene between two of my favourite characters. A conversation two of my characters wish they could have had and never got the chance. A random idea that I don’t think will go anywhere. I’ve started about six different novels. Written a novella.

 

And all of its trash.

 

Garbage words that I may be able to salvage but honestly, I just indulged in what I wanted to write. All of its in snapshots and time not well spent but it helped me to keep on creating, but more importantly give me something to do that isn’t worrying.

 

So, write that fanfic you’ve always longed to. Just start a fresh page and write about how angry, upset, and stressed out you are. Write that letter to your high school bully, or the first time you fell in love. Tell the person inside the words are still there, they’re just waiting for you to fill up the tank.

 

Th first few days were hard to do, but it’s been nice to be able to sit and know I’ve put in writing time. I’m not losing the habit. I’ve kept working despite everything even if it wasn’t specifically on the goals I wanted.

 

For all the time I’ve had at home I’ve also spent it doing things like the final proofread on Queen of Spades Awakening which has already garnered a few five star reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

 

I didn’t want to do it but I had a release date, so I played solitaire and listened to the entire book twice to be sure there were no mistakes. It was good because I got writing related work done, ensured the script it was the best it could be, and distracted myself from the enormity of the task by playing solitaire. All the little wins made for a huge win on the day.

 

Don’t look for big picture wins.

Look for the time you did the dishes. Posted on your blog. Joined a Twitter event. Wrote a review. You are contributing to the joy in the world. You are refilling other people’s tanks with your attention and your time.

 

We’re all locked in our homes together, but we can do that, and doing that for many of you has made my life better.

 

You guys refilled my tank.

 

Tell me what I can do to help you, and we will get through this together.

 

 

REFILLING THE TANK(1)

Scatterbooker

queenofspades Queen of Spades Trilogy by E.J. Dawson: Awakening, Darkening, Reckoning 

The first book in the Queen of Spades Trilogy, Awakening, will be available 10th of April 2020 and the pre-order is only 99 cents!

A scifi action with a side of romance, it has all the violence, banter, and tension of great character driven scifi with psychic abilities giving it an edge that keeps the story on its toes.

Ayla is a villain. With a gift that allows her to see when anyone will die, she’s remorseless in her profession as the perfect assassin. When she wakes up in a cryo-tank three thousand years in the future, and no idea how she came to be there, all that matters is survival.

Rescued by Leith and the crew of the Nuria, Ayla discovers a far evolved world of space ships and galactic colonization. But everything comes with a price, and…

View original post 128 more words

Cover on AllAuthor!

I know everything is stressful right now and we all have stuff we need to focus on but I’m taking the wins, the little ones, and this is one of them.

The cover for Queen of Spades; Awakening is on All Author and up for cover of the month!

 

Cover of the Month

Queen of Spades: Awakening

Hey Everyone,

I’m excited to tell you that my book has been nominated for the “Cover of the Month” contest on AllAuthor.com. This will help me a lot if I could see some votes coming in, so please remember to vote my book.

Vote Now »

Thanks,
EJDawson

 

Massive shout out to Violeta who worked so hard getting the trilogy of covers just right for me. For those of you who can, get her to do your covers she is amazing!

 

If you’ve got the time please give it a vote, I’d appreciate it!

I wrote a book four year ago when a man told me that if I was writing I should write sex because it sells.

The angry protagonist that came about from that one encounter was not about to put up with that sort of behaviour and I wrote an action fueled scifi romance in sixty days.

But this romance wasn’t about a hero who comes in and makes demands, assumptions or uses arrogance to get his own way. Because Ayla wasn’t going to take that shit from anyone.

It was the first book I was to write in less than a year. It only took sixty days.

At the time I was far outreaching my publishing goals, focused as I was on my fantasy series.

Then last year the time came that I no longer wanted to leave Ayla on the shelf I decided it was time to give her a voice, and a platform on which to do it.

I’d like, very proudly, to announce that Queen of Spades; Awakening will be available on the 10th of April 2020.

 

 

This will be the first book I’ve released in three years, and its been a long journey to get this far but I’m hoping this will be the first of many books to come over the next few years.

As of right now only the ebook is available for order on Amazon, however in the coming weeks the paper book will be available for order, along with other platforms aside from Amazon.

 

I want to thank Jennifer and Heather for spending so much time with this book and helping it be the best it could be.

 

To my sisters and Angela who first thought I had something with this story four years ago.

 

To Marcus and Jennifer who are helping me polish this series to make it the best it can be.

 

And to the man who told me what I should write sex without even listening to what I was writing, who in fact never listened to me, this wasn’t ever for you.

 

This was for my husband. This was for the men who don’t make demands, who can be sexy and strong, while respecting a woman’s personal space. I think you’re hot, and I always will.

I am a coward…

I’m not brave.

 

If I were being honest with myself, I’m a coward.

I fight when I know I can win and I’m defensive when I know I’ll lose.

That’s a hard thing to admit but this week its been so important to be able to say and here is why; you are rarely the presumption you put upon yourself.

 

Discussing the motivations of Letitia to my mother she criticized my analysis of the heroine of Behind the Veil.

 

“Yeah, Mum,” I replied. “Its because she’s a coward. She’s afraid and hiding behind self-preservation so she doesn’t have to face the truth.”

 

“No, she isn’t.” My mother cuts me off, and she’s adamant, she doesn’t give a shit it’s my story, she has her own theory. “Letitia’s so very brave. She’s willing to face what she’s most scared of, what terrifies her beyond all other things, in spite of her fear, that’s what makes her brave. No one else can do this but her, no one else risks as much as she does, and she does the right thing. She’s the bravest one of them all.”

 

I’d never heard my mother talk about a fictional person I created with so much emphasis. Or felt like my cowardness, my excuses, my depression and anxiety, mattered so little. It wasn’t because it didn’t matter. And it was because I was brave.

 

Bravery isn’t when you know you’ll win.

 

Courage isn’t there for the confident.

 

And valour isn’t for those who don’t doubt themselves.

 

But that didn’t change I was all of those things. And none of them.

 

I was a coward.

 

I kept a 9 to 5 job under the conviction that’s what it was to be safe. I wanted to be me, but I had to have someone else’s approval.

 

I was the lion in Dorothy’s story.

 

I was hiding behind the shadow of social media’s self-importance to pretend I had something worthwhile.

 

When all that time I had something more.

 

Do you know I’ve written over twenty books.

 

TWENTY BOOKS.

 

When I do a tally, novellas included, its closer to twenty five books now, but that’s not important.

 

Do you know I found within me the strength to self-publish three when I had no idea what I was doing?

And do you know that they sold well?

 

Being brave and courageous is never about the moments you’ll know you’ll win.

 

They’re about the moments you think you’ll fail.

 

I just quit my job without another one to go to because without details I thought I was doing the right thing. It turns out that wasn’t the case and I still don’t regret my decision.

 

I could be scared, terrified, left wondering if I’ve made the right choice.

 

Like Letitia, the coward. Except according to my mother she isn’t.

 

I’m a coward.

 

But I’ve let go of convention to do something I never thought was possible. I gave up security to find myself, and the part of me that knows my stories *MATTER*.

 

I was brave when the lights went out, the beasts are coming, the darkness has my soul and I don’t know if I’ll ever escape, if I’ve given the light up on a dream that will morph into a nightmare reminding me of all the stupid decisions I’ve ever made.

 

That’s what bravery looks like.

 

That’s what it is, to be a coward… and follow your dreams anyway.

 

The next time you’re scared, the next time you’re letting fear hold you back, you remember this, the grit in my teeth, the panic failure is at my door, and still is, the dread I will drag my life down into fiscal regret and half imagined dreams…

…and despite all this my stories matter. No one can take that away, from me, or from you, so while I’m down here, I’m smiling, because I have something no one else has, not hope or false promises.

 

I have conviction.

 

I am a coward…

 

…but I am still here.