Saturday, October 1, 2011

It's Official! You can now buy "Honor the Pack!"

First, I'l like to send out a huge thank you to Denise Bartlett and Charlotte Holley for making the process of publishing my first ebook such a fantastic experience! You ladies are fabulous! :-)

And another big thank you to all of my friends (online and off) and family who suffered through my constant updates on the process and endless worrying over if my story was "good enough." I appreciate you all so much.

Now, for the important part. ;-)

Honor the Pack is $3.99, and available for download from the following websites.

If you decided to buy the novella, I'd love to hear what you think. Please leave a comment here, or on my facebook page -!/pages/Kaycee-A-Looney-author/146253352115254

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Finished Cover Image and Second Round Edits

Ok, this is really late, but those of you who know me are aware of my big move and that I start law school on the 22nd of this month. So I hope you forgive me. :-)

Where to begin? Let's go chronologically, shall we?

The Cover Image

Through the patience and skill of Charlotte Holley, I now have an incredible cover image for “Honor the Pack.” Gypsy Shadow Publishing did use the two images I found on the stock image website, and Charlotte found a third to represent my female MC in human form. For those of you who haven’t seen it yet, check out my “Author” page at GSP. When the novella is released, the page will also include an excerpt from the piece and a link to buy it. (I’ll figure out how to put up a picture and link in my sidebar when the time arrives so it won’t get buried in the old posts.)

The Second Round Edits

This was the easiest part of the process for me – and the toughest. The edits went quickly, only a couple of hours over the course of a few days. (Again, I like to let things sit for a bit before I make my final decision if I keep it or not.) So, time-wise, it was a cinch.

The emotional side was much tougher. Over the past couple of months, as I’ve gone through the publishing process, I’ve been excited. I still am! But as I sat at my laptop getting ready to send off the “final” version of “Honor the Pack” I was plagued with doubt. Had I really done the best job I could? Will people like it? Oh my God, what will I do if people hate it? :-O

I know that both will likely happen. It’s a fact of life. Not every person has the same view of what makes a good story. But, that didn’t stop my last minute panic and self-doubt.

So, how did I overcome this fear and click the send button on that email? I took a deep breath and reminded myself that this novella is the result of over a year of hard work on my part. I am proud of it. Damn proud. And this is what all that hard work was for, so that people could read it. This is a goal, no a dream, I’ve had for a long, long time. People have told me that I couldn’t do it, that it was a waste of time. They encouraged me to quit and “do something practical” with my time. But you know something? I can’t think of any better way to spend my free time than by creating. Maybe someday it will pay the bills, but even if I never publish another work of fiction again in my life I’ll always know that it wasn’t impossible. I worked hard and reached my goal.

If I, a girl who grew up in a tiny speck of a town in Southeast Alaska, can make one of her dreams come true then there is never any reason to doubt life’s possibilities. :-)

Friday, July 8, 2011

All in the Name of Research.

I've read some form of this comment dozens of times, from a variety of authors, expert advice givers, etc. "The best way to research a book is to go to the places you're writing about."

That's all well and good, if you are writing about your hometown, or state. But what about someone who lives in New York and is writing about Montana? Or a story set in a foreign country? I don't know many aspiring authors who have an unlimited travel budget. Do you? Exactly. So, this sage advice can feel like a slap in the face, right? Absolutely. But, all you need to do is get a bit creative. It is, after all, your forte.

As an example, I am writing a YA pirate tale set in the Caribbean during the 1730's. The story begins in Cuba and my chances of going there are pretty slim. (Pesky U.S. embargo and all.) And, unless Michio Kaku or Stephen Hawking really can figure out how to break the barrier in the time-space continuum to make time travel possible, I'm in trouble.

Or am I?

True, I can’t afford to visit the Caribbean, though I’d love the chance. And I can’t travel back to the 18th century. Well, that point is debatable. I happen to be lucky enough to live in Washington State, just a couple of hours from the home port of The Lady Washington. (Many of you may know the ship as The Interceptor from The Pirates of the Caribbean: the Curse of the Black Pearl.) The ship is a replica of a tall ship that would have sailed the seas around 1790.

I was able to take a three hour sail aboard The Lady Washington on July 1st. I went with notebook and camera in hand. Watching the crew work together gave me a real taste of what life on a tall ship would have been like. The amount of rigging was mind-boggling, and I couldn’t help but imagine what it might have looked like during a storm. I felt transported back in time. I was inspired.

But, wait – you may be thinking – I don’t have *fill in the blank* near where I live. What am I supposed to do to research my novel? That’s where thinking outside the box will be your best weapon. Sure reading books on the subject/area/technology/whatever is a good place to start. But ask yourself what other resources may be available to you. If you’re setting your story in a place you’re unfamiliar with, do you know someone who has been there? Are you writing about futuristic technology? What about talking to a techie friend who is an authority on gadgets? Try a visit to a local museum/zoo/arboretum with an eye toward observation of flora and fauna. (You don’t have to be writing about tigers, but the movements of the big cats can be borrowed for a creature of your own imagining.)

As you already know, the internet is a great source of information – and videos. Never been to Rome? Don’t know anyone who has either? I went to YouTube and typed in “Rome vacation” and got 4,810 hits. Seeing the sights virtually will give you an idea of the atmosphere, which will lend your descriptions authenticity.

So, if you can’t visit the places you’re writing about in person, find other creative ways of “going” there. Be imaginative and enjoy the research process.

Embrace nature's beauty. It feeds the soul.