What you can learn from Conventions

Last weekend I attended Supanova Comic-con in Brisbane, it a great learning experience with each convention I attend. How it can help promote yourself, to network with some fantastic creatives or just introducing someone into the world of writing and publishing. Then there are cons being at a Con, being ignored or laughed at, periods of times of boredom and desperation and can sometimes affect your manner of how you interact with new readers. Here are some observations I gathered from the Nova.

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Next, to me was Clive Johnson, an experienced non-fiction writer who is now cracking into the fiction side of writing, in the genre historical fantasy. His first and second books in the series Eye of Egypt are The Pharaoh’s Greatest Gift and The Mirror Chamber; soon his third will be coming out, which will be called All will be Black. As this his first convention I was surprised in his understanding how these things work. I could assume that his past experiences in the field of writing gave him an edge. Having book bundles, a television having your book trailers playing also offering a prize through an email entry. Marvelous ideas. I am going to borrow some of these for April’s Cons.

Across the way was Avril Sabine, a speculative author with over fifty titles to her name. That wasn’t the most impressive part, the attention to detail of the booth she set up in Artist Alley. Solid pine desk, cupboard, bookcase, table and chairs. Also, the whole group were dressed up in steampunk costumes. It was an incredible sight; I felt like I was transported to her books and could relive them in this reality. During the weekend she had a least two interviews and a large number of pictures. As it isn’t right to ask how people go, I would assume that this would have benefited sales.

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Then to my booth, it had one pull-up banner, one book also was my fellow author’s book Caligation by Brhi Stokes. I had posters of my ebook covers, designed by Julia Raymond of ShootingStarShooter, and had new flyers to help promote my books. This no means a horrible set up, as there were others set up similarly to me. As there is a lot to take in, you need that edge for people to come over and interact with you.

Looking forward, I can still improve, costumes, book trailers, new banners and more books. This Supanova is my third convention and each one I take something away so I can develop the next.

Conventions are an essential step for any author who writes in the speculative genre. It allows you to connect with new readers and expand your connections. You do also need to walk into this with an open mind; you might not break even or feel depressed by how people ignore you. Just remember this is a journey and you have taken the first steps, believe in yourself and great things will follow.

                                                                                                                                                                  

I am taking orders for my book Lake Merrin, head to www.samuelcolbran.com

The Protagonist is a half-human, an average guy looking for work and a roof over his head and food on the table. And of course, something happens that could rock the Duchy. As there are Adventurers/heroes everywhere, he has to ask ‘should he stand up to be a hero? And would it matter?’

Lake Merrin is a city in the North-Western part of Western Duchy, Favinonia. It is also known as Iron Dukedom. Duke Trahern Isenhart III is the ruler of Iron Dukedom, and his third cousin Count Darel Isenhart is the ruler of Lake Merrin, and it’s county.

Lake Merrin is home to twenty thousand people, and it has the second oldest Adventuring Hall in Favinonia; nearly nine hundred years old.

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The Subjects’ Aim Book Review

I sit in front of the computer reflecting on this amazing story. It is strange how a piece of literature can be a mirror to your past experiences.  The relations of emotional turmoil the two main characters, especially Subject B, can just hit the right nerve that takes you back to a time of pain and hurt but also of hope and triumph. This is like a second birth for me, seeing that not only am I over past experiences but also can reflect on how they build my life. I, thank you, P. R Castle, for your gift, The Subjects’ Aim.

This one will be hard not to spoil, but I will try.

I do sincerely connect with both of the main characters, Subject A and B in different ways. is my past anger and revenge, I too have been haunted by a past presence that affected my mental stability. Seeing this person behind every tree, or just lurking around a corner. That planning and need to remove said person to alleviate this constant anxiety.

On the other hand, A is my present self, reflected as my acceptance and growth. Oh yes, the pain and fear were there at the beginning, but through training and recognition, you can move towards being free. Some think that forgiveness is the one that wrong you, no it is always for you, to free you from those emotions of anger and fear.

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

 – Yoda

Like a wise old puppet said, there are two paths, one of hope and one of darkness. It is you who chooses the path before it chooses you. This book connected to me beyond most others. The duality between and  is fantastic, hats off again to P.R Castle’s novel. I look forward to her next book!

P. R Castle Website: https://www.prcastle.com/

Amazon link: The Subjects’ Aim

Being free! Kayla: Genius, I mean.

Still not a hundred percent sure how this whole thing will go. I’ll sum it up to experience, try posting it in groups, on my page, Twitter account, excreta. By Friday I should have a clear understanding what works and what doesn’t.

So stats as of 27/6

In Australia

In the US
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,440 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)

In the UK
Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #10,698 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)

So 89th for Urban Fantasy is really good, it was about 279th just yesterday. Let’s try and get that Free number down too. Just click down below for your copy!

Pick up your free copy of Kayla: Genius US|CA|UK|JP|AU

So now it is the 28/6

In Aussie Land!

And now the UK

Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #7,425 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)

A vast improvement on this day, but as I want to be part of a future book launch held by Brhi Stokes, https://brhistokes.com/ I am finishing it on the 29th, which will be one month until the launch of Caligation!

To pick up Kayla: Genius head to these links,  AU Link, CA Link, US Link, UK Link

For Briana: Knight, just click these links,  AU|CA|US|UK

 

Why Stranger than Fiction is a must watch for Writers.

Stranger than Fiction written by Zach Helm is one of my most favourite movies of all time, as I write this blog I am watching it as well. I have seen it at least ten times, and every time it inspires me to write and create.

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A little bit about the movie, it is about a man Harold Crick (Will Farell) who is a tax auditor who wakes up hearing a voice narrating his life. And in this movie, again not wanting to spoil it, he finds outs something, and this drives the plot along. To understand what is happening he goes to a Literature Professor (Dustin Hoffman) who helps him figure out what is going on. Unless you have seen this movie, I don’t want to go into the whole thing, but it is fantastic.

Why I think this is a must watch, is the blurring of the illusion between the author and your character. We talk about as writers that our characters can surprise us and cause us, the author, to go down a path that we did not plan for. Being a freeform writer over a planner, this is more natural to run on the whims of your characters.

This movie makes me think if my character was real; one he would hate me because I am a huge dick to what is constantly happening to him. But this allows my imagination to go on a tangent as if one of my characters changes their mind and change the direction of the story. Like when he is talking to the unconscious Stinky Pete in the first chapter to him just standing in line thinking of drinking a few ales. It always felt that he did this, I just merely tapped into this reality and words flow.

So Stranger than Fiction shows the complex relationships between the writer and their creations, and at that moment you realise you do not have full control over said characters. All you can do is just enjoy the journey.

The future for Samuel Colbran- Author

You might have seen that I have delayed my book, it has been hard to realise why, and I have taken a break from a lot of my promotion and creative work, but now it is time to get back on that horse again.

The first five chapters I have up already will be re-written, I found after listening to the recording of these sections that I knew where my MC was but did my reader? The answer was no. I had some brilliant people helping me realise this, but in the end, it was my decision to delay Lake Merrin.

The things I will be concentrating on will be the delivery of the world and story. This seems to be easy, but due to my use of stream of consciousness, the painting of the world can be a little muddled.

Over the next few months, the updated chapters will be released. I will have a secret page for these and only for my subscribers and pre-orders, so they can comment and suggest what should happen. I really want my readers to be involved in my world as they are it’s life’s blood.

Also for everyone else, I will be writing a series of short stories not set in Favinonia. It is the prelude to my young adult series in which there is are two worlds, one real and the other mythical. My six main characters tap into this mythical world and gain an archetype of a hero, and they will manifest from the legends of yesterday and today. It will be set in Brisbane, Queensland (as this was my primary school days).

I am really excited to write these stories and finish off my book. Keep an eye on this page, exciting things are happening!

Unexpected Discoveries: The Dreaming, the Phoenix and the Sisters.

The eighth of December will go down as one of my best days. So many things happened, and sights were seen. Reflecting on each event, I don’t think that a single post could express my feelings for the day. The best way to start is at the beginning.

On the seventh of December, I had my last face to face contact for the year with my publisher, Ocean Reeve from Inhouse Publishing. Sometimes it can be overwelling the direction and pace for my book launch next year, while it feels like that I am still moving at a snail pace too. He needed something from me so we could move forward; that was a sketch of my front cover.

The next morning at  5 am, I awoke thinking about my idea for the front cover. I’m no artist, but I knew what the cover should look like. Pass it on to Ocean, I was satisfied. Looking at my Facebook wall, I saw a fellow Southportan author, Livia York was doing a book signing down at a local cafe, called the Bank Cafe. So I wandered down and spoke to her at length, about my contact with bookstores. Enquiring with selling my book instore and possible book launch/signing days. To tell you the truth it’s hard to break into that market. Livia said to me, ‘Don’t let it get to you Sam.’ and she was right. The path of an author is just another trial which will lead to triumph.

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After my chat with Livia had to make sure my mother was good for my absence going to the book launch, Dreaming in the Dark. This was going to be my first interaction with people of the speculative genre outside of Gold Coast Novel Writers. As I was travelling up, deciding to do some more editing of my book. Two points going through it, the first one, made me laugh but the other, was me tearing up over an emotional scene. Even thinking about it now gives me, understand the gravitas of that scene and how it affects the characters in my book.

Arriving early into Brisbane, it was time for me to hit up Pulp Fiction Bookstore. Roll the dice and see if they are willing to stock my book. Not to insult the lovely lady behind the desk, as I can not for the life of me remember your name; I call her ‘Janet’. Janet and I had a little banter about, books, authors, them being there for two and half years and me not knowing. When it came to my book being on the shelves, it wasn’t a no or a yes because as Janet said, she was on the bottom of the Pulp fiction food chain. One discovery was an author that I follow has just released a new book, Wesley Chu; if I weren’t going to this launch, I would have so bought it!

So off to Dymocks! No book for me! As I arrive, the sight of all those books and wondering if I should build a house to store all these lovely books. Or is a just a tumble of rooms around a library? One day I will find out, but back to the Blog!

The launch itself was fant-bloody-tasic! Music, by Sarah Calderwood and one of the authors in this anthology Paul Brandon. The song about the ‘Troll’ restaurant owner was so funny! Warning to anyone pissing off a creative person, your exploits will live forever in a form. The lovely host from Dymock’s, a name that escapes me introduced us to Jack Dann. I have a thing about emotion connection with people, Jack like my publisher Ocean Reeve matches my passionate levels. I could feel that he cares about having someone’s vision out there, as it has to be read.

So we have had music, but we have some reading too! Each was an insight into their creative world, I was drawn to some of the stories than to others, Jason Nahrung being one of them. A shout out to all of the authors that came to their launch, Angela Slatter, Janeen Webb, Kim Wilkins, Venero Armanno, Kirstyn McDermott and Kim Westwood.

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So after an encore from the talented Sarah, it was book signing time! Even with my large size, I don’t like to push my way into lines or crowds. So I waited, and the wait was worth it! I had the pleasure meeting each of the authors, even if it was for a brief time. A few of them I mentioned that I was being published next year, and the reaction was formidable! Each of them congratulated me, and wish me the best. This is why I love the written word, the people who might have been doing it for years are still emphatic to any new author. It brings tears to my eyes, with the support of my colleagues. I left Dymock like I was on cloud-9, an enjoyable experience. Thank you.

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So back to Central station, thinking my night was over. As I was eating an unhealthy dinner, I spied a huge billboard. One of my fellow authors from Inhouse Publishing, A.Jane! I have heard a lot about this book from Ocean, but seeing a full advertisement, wow! I could never afford this, but it is so great! I will be buying this book, as you need to support your fellow authors!

My day was over, since I started full-time writing I don’t think I have had a day like this before. Meeting all different walks of life from the writing world was beautiful. I am content.

Unexpected Discoveries: My Childhood Stories

Last Friday I was revving myself up writing some more blogs. I started to think after I wrote the blog, was this a ‘blog’ or was it more? The more I thought about analysing the language and structure of the blog I realised that it was more an outline of a story than a blog. This made me believe that it would be better to write about my blog than post that one.

I began with something dear to me, my stories that I told as a child. The first one that I thought about was a boy named Pluto. This was about being the planet Pluto coming down to Earth as a kid so I could learn about what it was like not being lonely, as he only talks to his brother Neptune every twenty years, so he is very lonely and is here to find a friend. Then he meets twin boys that he tells the story to and they become friends. Again I am distracted by the things I made up as a child. Back on track, let us talk about the one that I wrote a blog on.

The other which I wrote that blog on was about three tribes of ghosts, one White cloudy Ghosts that hung out in the sun and helped the kids to have fun, the Green studious Ghosts, that spend time at the library learning and watching. And the Grey shady Ghosts, that hung out in the shadows, and they played tricks on the children. As this was based on me re-telling, I was the boy that gave the small children a \magical ideal solution for them to see the World of the Ghosts. Throughout the journey they meet the Great White Ghost King, he was on a throne of clouds watching over the children playing on the oval. Thinking about a unseeing force encouraging kids having fun and playing outside really make me smile. Then that special boy takes the group to meet the Learned Green Ghost King; there he was surrounded by books and stories. Some of the stories were wisps of children’s imagination, he watched and learned how they have fun. As you can guess this story is about children being children, them going out and playing as there were invisible ghosts there to protect them from being hurt which could lead on to not having fun.

There is more that I wrote on the blog, about the story itself but one of the things I noticed was that I reverted back to being six years old. My speech patterns and writing style was more like a six-year-old than myself at thirty-seven. How did I tap into this mindset, I can tell you it was not my intention to do it, but I did and created something wonderful. I have kept this memory of these stories in my head as it represented me as a child. I was lonely, due to being in a new school and some previously bad experiences of being in foster care, also my treatment from the hand of my step-mother. Being able to escape reality was part of the reason I started to tell tales about ghosts, boys being planets and so forth. I do have more, but these two narratives echo to me as a small six-year-old child. It doesn’t matter where you find it, creativity and imagination can hit you at any time.