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.

Rising from Darkness

I am super excited to announce that after four years of fighting for this story I will be self publishing my first scifi action romance, Queen of Spades, in late 2020!

 

QoS Cover Reveal

 

Cover credit to the FABULOUS Violeta who has gone above and beyond to make these amazing and true to the aesthetics’s of the books, with a true tone for the power that Ayla wields in spite of what befalls her…

What is it about?

Feel free to check out the page I have dedicated to the story and its characters, as while it is a trilogy the books will be released in short succession.

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 discovered 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 dangerous one another are, so too grows a lustful bond that comes with rules of its own. Fighting to learn why she was frozen, Ayla’s dragged into Leith’s past with a criminal organization seeking to take over this sector of the galaxy. In order to survive, Leith will need Ayla’s help, but Ayla doesn’t know if she’s willing to pay what it will cost her…

QSA collage

 

The trilogy is in its final stages of being ready to polish, in the careful hands of Editor Marcus Vance and Proofreader Jenn Jarrett, both wonderful to work with and have made me super excited to bring a polished piece to you.

 

I am especially grateful to Jen and Heather, my initial CP’s and who have made this story all that I wanted it to be. 2020 has had a rocky start and the people that have helped make this book become a possibility have my eternal thanks and I’m excited for what more 2020 has in store.

 

 

Patreon Page Shenanigans

PATREON

 

 

Yep. I’m doing it.

 

I’ve had a Patreon page set up for over month now I haven’t launched. I have been planning it now for about a year. I didn’t do it because asking people to support me in my writing journey from a financial point of view felt crap.

 

But after spending a year doing nothing but give I’ve come to a point where I need to ask.

 

Why?

 

Because writing is expensive, and it doesn’t matter who you are.

 

There are many accounts for writers, artists and musicians to support what they do and now I’m making changes to my life to be more devoted to my writing career its time to take that leap into Patreon.

 

And in good Patreon fashion there is stuff you get for supporting my writing journey too.

 

TIER ONE: One Word

This will be an video update on the month’s journey, where I’m up with my work, and also helpful tips and advice I put on my blog post will be devoted more now to my Patreons to say thank you. I post heaps of stuff about self publishing, marketing, writing tips, and will always be happy to share with you what I’ve learned, mistakes I’ve made, and what worked.

 

TIER TWO: One Line

This tier gives special access to my Patreon only Discord Channel, where you can join in writing sprints with me, talk about writing, ask questions and generally have a place you can go to that’s solely about our lives as writers, and mine too. It also has the previous tier rewards.

 

TIER THREE: One Paragraph

All previous rewards and an e-copy of my self published books as they come out. I hope you get to be the first to see the kinds of stories I write first off the bat when they are released and I hope you like my stories and writing style.

 

I also have some stretch goals including a Youtube channel to talk about writing, but also to review books and some other fun stuff I don’t normally share.

 

Every cent counts for me and everything goes into getting my work out there. I am a deep believer in making my stories as polished as possible and this by far is the hardest thing for me to budget, as the editors I work with are talented and deserve what they charge on their invoices. But while it encompasses the greater cost it doesn’t take into account all the other things needed to get a book off the ground.

 

I also want to keep encouraging other writers, beta reading and reviewing books and to help build a community of online writers out to support and help each other get their stories down. There is a lot to be said for these communities and I’m a big believer in giving as much as I can of my time and experiences as a writer.

 

Wolf at the Door

Wolf at the Door

 

I’m having a rant. Want to know why? Because people are being bullied. Being threatened. Being made to feel unwelcome and unwanted in the #WritingCommunity.

 

I wish this wasn’t the first time I’ve spoken about how I’ve seen or been guilted in the #WritingCommunity about what I do with my Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages, but I’d be a damn liar.

 

Anyone who’s followed me would know I have been very verbal on the reasons why I do not follow everyone who follows me.

 

I follow people who interact, who talk to me, who have interesting things they tweet, and some of these people none of you know. I like them, they talk to me, we help each other out. No, I’ve never met them, they aren’t on my webpage, we just have a good connection and I like what they have to say.

 

You know, what social media is for?

 

But when I first joined I didn’t know that.

 

I joined in on these follow trains and met heaps of great writers. And then I met some writers who weren’t so great.

 

So break out the popcorn, and take my hand as I walk you through my most reviled Twitter experience that has made me the person I am today.

 

I had a small following of less than 2k followers about 2 years ago now, when I got a message that went something like this;

 

Hey! I see you’ve got a book out, that’s cool! I do too, we should follow each other!

 

Great! Thinks I, anther person to interact with, talk about writing and books and all that good stuff.

 

Oh, and if we buy each other’s books, we can swap reviews!

 

Wait, no, what? You can’t do that, its against Amazon’s T&Cs I’m pretty sure (I am now very sure and talk about how people game and manipulate Amazon in this blog post based on a personal experience. It also prompted me to give more reviews but be honest about them). I declined the invitation to swap, stating the rules and why I made that decision.

 

Aren’t we supposed to be helping each other? What are you doing if you aren’t helping the writing community?

 

This was before the #WritingCommunity tag had become as prolific as it has now, *especially* in the self/indie publishing industry on Twitter. I felt really bad, but I had to stick to my guns, because if we reviewed swapped we’d get into deep, deep, dodo. I could lose my whole eight reviews!

 

And then it got really scary.

 

If you don’t follow me back and review my book, I’m going to buy your book and give you a one star review and everyone will know what a trash person you are.”

 

Ellen gif

 

What now? You will fucking WHAT?!

 

I panicked. I legit burst into tears and sat there for about an hour debating what to do. Do I break Amazon T&C’s and begin down a dark and twisted path that I’d previously condemned? All to save my measly reviews from being down graded just that little bit further?

 

But I had to ask myself a question. Was caving into the threat going to be worth it? I didn’t want to review swap because of Amazon’s rules, but also because to be honest their book looked terrible. From the cover to the sample read it was clear this person had done little to no work. And I knew they’d want me to give them a great review and I’d have to lie about it.

 

It’s a subject I’m very passionate about, but if you expect someone to PAY for your book you better damn well do what you can to make it the best it can be.

 

My book wasn’t perfect, but I’d gotten a professional cover, a professional editor, beta readers and I had worked my substantial ASS off to afford it all because I wanted to do the right thing. It had taken me YEARS.

 

I dried my tears, girded my loins and said something akin to the following;

 

“Do it. Do it. I fucking dare you.”

 

Go ahead

 

I wish I was that cool. *sigh*

I sent a short apology that I wasn’t willing to involve myself in the communication, blocked him, and then got really freaking angry. And I wrote a tweet about it. I wish I still had it because I was getting likes for it over a year later, but it was something along the lines of THIS ENTIRE BLOG POST.

 

You don’t have the right to black mail people into review swaps.

 

You don’t have the right to bully people into following you.

 

You don’t have the goddamn right to make people feel guilty for following you and those of you that do, you are the underbelly of our community. You are the wolf at the door. You are the corruption, the ones who will cheat to make a buck. You are happy to scare a novice away from Twitter with your lies, your bullshit and your fake famous accounts.

 

People in the publishing community no longer give nearly as much of a shit about your public follower account, and ask me, I know. I have been doing this for years. I have watched accounts with less than a hundred followers get a big five deal and do you know what? I’ve been fucking HAPPY for them because it proves that it doesn’t matter what you do on Twitter, what matters is that you write a good story.

 

Yeah but Ejay, you have like, 12k followers? Doesn’t that make you, like, an attention whore?

 

I wish this was a god damn joke but that was pretty much the private DM I got about 6 months ago I decided NOT to tweet about because I wasn’t going to give THEM the attention.

 

I am grateful for those of you who follow me, I do what I can to enrich and help your writing lives, either with how silly I can be, writing encouragement, sharing my failings, or sometimes, my success. And I try to celebrate yours too. I buy your books, some of you have never heard of me and I buy your books and review them. Self-pub all the way through to traditional. I review them all. I offer book tours and author interviews. Blog posts on my journey, marketing tips, how to get reviews. I do as much as I possibly can and it takes away time from my own writing and editing and I don’t care because I want to help you get there. I genuinely do, and I don’t believe a follow is how you do that.

 

And if you’ve ever noticed in the comps I throw I don’t ask people to follow me to be a valid entrant, because I don’t believe in follow for follows anymore. Yes, you can follow for follow while you get used to the community, but its okay to pick and choose who you follow when you are more familiar with everyone’s opinions and how Twitter works.

 

You should never be made to feel like you don’t belong or that you are alone…

 

You can always reach me, through a tweet, a DM, my website, for whatever you need. I might not follow you, but to be honest all that noise gives me anxiety and I hate muting people. I think its wrong to follow someone and mute them because why are you following them then? No, REALLY, why are you bothering? You follow someone to see what they say.

 

I follow back accounts I know, who I interact with, who’s opinions I want to read, and not all of them follow me. But its my feed, just like this is my social media platform. I will do what I damn well please with it, and while I’m grateful for all of you who do follow me (still amazed), who you follow is up to you.

 

Its your feed. Its your time. Its your life.

 

So the next time you feel attacked, guilty or threatened into following someone, remember this;

 

YOU DON’T HAVE TO.

 

And the person who is making you do it? Those of you out there guilting people? Blackmailing them into following you only to mute them because you aren’t interested in them as a person, and you gloss it up with the bull shit like publishers only take writers with large platforms seriously?

 

You’re fucking lying.

 

Go ahead. Unfollow me. Block me.

 

I dont care

 

But don’t you damn well threaten me, and don’t think I’ll allow you to get away with threatening newcomers to the community. I will speak out. I will not let the real people behind the tag feel like they need to join an amorphous thread of follow for follows for their voices to count.

 

There is so much more to being a writer than to be demeaned by the abstract and unnecessary pressure for a follower count that when it comes right down to the publishing mark… doesn’t matter.

 

Your writing matters. That’s what I’m here for. What the fuck are you here for?