Tag Archives: novel

A Writer’s Struggle

I often read articles about writing as a business: how to get sales, how to market, is it worth it? Some of these articles say the same thing, and though I would hope against the truth, much of what I find is the same.

No. Published or otherwise, a writer may not be able to support herself just by writing books. If you’re making money as a writer, it’s not because you’re writing fiction. You’re writing non-fiction How To books and freelance articles for blogs, dealing with subjects that don’t matter to you at all.

I’ll be honest: Lately, I’ve been thinking about giving up. In fact, I’ve been at that place many times in my life. It’s always just a phase, but the truth remains: I’m not able to support myself as a writer, and I may never be.

Writing has been a struggle for a while now. I’d say it has been for the past 2 years since I started my current job. It’s not always a question of what I should write – I do have a few ideas put back – but it’s finding the time and focus when there is so much else going on. At some point you realize that you’re an adult with an adult life, and no matter how you slice it, a part of having an adult life is always going to be bills.

The honest truth is that what you do with your life all comes down to money – the stress of needing money from somewhere and not making enough to pay those dreaded bills. And this applies to doing anything you love. Sometimes you just can’t manage to get paid for it.

In the midst of these thoughts, I was out one night after work, thinking that I just couldn’t do it anymore. I wondered if all my effort was worth it, and if I gave up writing, could I move forward? What else was out there? I looked at my phone and saw that someone had tagged me on Twitter. I checked it out and there was a link that led me to Instagram. There, I saw a picture of the books in my Nevermor trilogy. A book blogger was doing a post challenge, and when asked which author she would like to meet, she chose me.

I actually started tearing up. It just meant so much to me to see my books like that, in print and in someone’s possession. To have someone say that they love my work certainly makes me feel that I don’t regret what I’ve done and am doing.

It really does seem that every time I start feeling down, something like this comes along to lift me back up. What I am doing is not at all for naught, though it has been difficult to find time for it.

Things are harder now. My day job requires so much attention that I can’t even think about anything else, develop plots or ideas. I have approximately one serious writer friend, and now we have both become so wrapped up in having day jobs that we barely talk, let alone write together. Lately and for a while, the only thing my brain can think about is making money. How can I make money with my books, and do people really do that? From what I’ve read, even most published writers struggle.

The truth is, I don’t need too much to live right now. That may mean a downgrade from the life I’m currently living, but I believe I could do it. I think I could be perfectly happy without a job, but how to get there? What is enough for happiness?

I have 10 books for sale right now – 10 beautiful books – and a few more that I wrote in my twenties and haven’t released yet. I honestly want nothing more than to be able to support myself with writing.

The night after the Instagram pic, I dreamed an entire plot, and I was so excited about it! It felt so good to know that there was still something there, almost like a sign, that my own mind was telling me ‘we’ve still got it’.

I’ve started thinking: maybe writing can still be accomplished if I try to make time in my life for everything. A schedule. Everything has a time and place. Because of how inspiration strikes, this may not be completely possible, but there must be some way to organize this instead of me wasting so much time moping because I’m unhappy and worrying that the spark is gone. That happens with you overthink everything.

I’m happy to say that I’m writing again, and it feels good. Does it erase all the stresses that life in modern society brings? No. But maybe with more effort and learning, I can finally get to a place where everything balances out. I’m looking forward to finding that.

Shadow Sun Book Trailer and Preorder Info

First I have to say: Happy Anniversary to Project Nevermor! I missed it (again) but it has been 3 years (wow) and that deserves some recognition.

For those who haven’t seen it yet, the book trailer for Shadow Sun has been released! It’s simple, but it does the job. I’m pleased with it, and I think it sets the mood for the book very well. Feel free to share it if you’d like. That helps get the word around, you know. 🙂

Instead of simply promoting my book and leaving it at that, I thought I’d give a little info about how I made this trailer, for any who are interested in making trailers for their own books.

First, I’d just like to say that this trailer cost me absolutely nothing to produce. I used Windows Live Movie Maker, which is a program that was already on my computer. The images are my own, the music was free, I added my own voice, and I put it together myself. If you’ve also seen the trailer for Nevermor (I didn’t make one for Forsaken Dreamscape), you may not know this, but I probably spent about $100 on images to put the thing together. This time, I didn’t do that. I had my book cover, and I told myself I was going simple. That’s what I did.

I didn’t really have a plan when I started it.  I had already created a few images in a photo-editing program that I have, and so those images for the end of the trailer were already created. Of course I also had my book cover at the ready, which is all I really used to make this trailer. I like the way it looks like it’s animated, but actually it is only a few still images that I cropped from the book’s back cover image, and ran them together quickly with a slight animation effect. Ta-da! It’s snowing! Then it was just getting my vision together, finding the right music (which I had already downloaded a while ago, and was lucky enough to have on my PC already. Also, if you are using music, be sure to follow the rules of whoever created it. If they are giving it away for free use, they may ask you to mention them or link to their site.) I had to be sure that I placed all the proper information about the book in the trailer, so that it can stand on its own and let people know what it is, and then there it was! Finished!

I had to mess with it for a while to get it right, and it took me several hours, but I’m happy with the end result, so the time was worth it.

This video is linked in directly from my YouTube channel. Did you know I had one of those? Okay, so there isn’t too much there yet, but I’ll be adding a few video interviews and readings in the near future to give it a bit more life. Anyway, you can follow me there to see all the videos that I post. HERE

In addition, Shadow Sun is now available for preorder on Amazon! HERE Why is this a good thing? Because you can get the special preorder price, which is only available through this offer. Plus, all preorder sales are counted as first day sales, so it helps to push the book further up on the bestseller list. As for other online sellers, I haven’t arranged for that yet, but the print book and Kindle versions should be available on the day I announced: 11/3/15. It’s possible also that soon, the ebook will be available for preorder through B&N, Smashwords, and iTunes as well, but for now it can only be found on Amazon.

Once again, be sure to add the book to your reading list on GOODREADS: HERE

Lots of links to follow in this post…I have a lot more planned on the road to Shadow Sun’s release day. I’ve got more videos and ideas to share. Very soon, I’ll begin posting sample chapters of Shadow Sun on Wattpad, and I’ll begin posting those weekly until release day, so that should get you six chapters as a preview before release.

In the meantime, be sure to follow me on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Wattpad, Goodreads and this blog for more info on this and all my other projects.

Thanks again for your support, everyone!! I couldn’t do this without you!

THE NUTCRACKER BLEEDS Hardback Edition is here!

It’s been a while since I’ve written a post, and I apologize for that. I’ve been busy, and unfortunately only part of that has been with writing, but I’m hoping that I can do a little better in 2015. I know there are a few things I really need to address – mostly about the Nevermor trilogy – but I’m going to save that for another post and stick to the matter at hand.

I have not yet shown any pictures on the blog of The Nutcracker Bleeds hardback copy, so I’m going to do that now!

IMG_0478[1]IMG_0484[1]IMG_0480[1]IMG_0485[1]As you can see, the book looks great! It’s 6×9 black linen casewrap with gold foil lettering on the spine, with matte dust jacket on the outside.

The binding is sturdy, the printing looks nice, and I’m very happy with it overall. In fact, if I can find the time, I plan to sit down with it myself and have a read to get the full experience on Christmas.

This edition of the book is only available through Lulu.com, and can only be purchased by US buyers. but the ebook and paperback have both been set up for extended release, so those should be widely available by now. If you want to find it, (or my other works) just try doing a search for ‘Lani Lenore’ at your favorite online bookstore and see if I show up. (If you need links for different countries, let me know and I’ll see what I can come up with.)

A reminder: there is a coupon code for Lulu right now that will save you 25% now through Christmas! Enter KTP4 at checkout to get this deal (also may have to set up an account with Lulu).

Each time one of books is printed and sitting on the shelf in front of me, I feel so excited, and I just hope that others have that feeling as well. I know that some of you do. 🙂

Another year is winding down, and it has been another great one for me and my books. Thanks to all of you for your continued support, and I hope I can make next year just as great! I’ll be back with more Nevermor news as soon as I can get my affairs in order. (I’m moving soon, so my life is in a bit of disarray, but I hope to be back to normal after the holidays.)

If I don’t manage to post again before the end of the year, I hope you all have a great one, and you’ll hear for me again soon!

The Nutcracker Bleeds release date set for December 3rd

Hello all! Back with the exciting news that my lovely, horrific and wild spin on a classic, The Nutcracker Bleeds, is going to be released on December 3rd!

Yes, I do mean this year. And yes, I do mean in 4 days!

Some of you have read it, some have not, but it is – I think – one of my most intricate stories. If the amazing and dark world of rodents and toys is not enough, the characters are some of the best I’ve created, each one having his/her place in the plot, their lives woven together so well that this novel was not a burden to write in any respect. This is one of the longest, but possibly the easiest books I have written, at 165K. One thing I love most about this story is how surprising it is, and since that is the case, I won’t spoil it for you by giving more details. You’ll just have to see for yourself.

** I’d just like to say officially that while some of my work might borderline on YA, this story is definitely for mature readers. There are many adult themes, not to even mention the violence and gore, but actually, much less bad language than Nevermor. **

Here’s the lowdown on the different formats that will be available: (And I’m afraid I can only speak for US)

EBOOK: Currently, the ebook version is available for preorder on Kindle and Smashwords, which will branch out to other channels (Barnes and Noble, Kobo, so on) by the release date (hopefully). The price of the ebook version is $5.99.

PAPERBACK: The CreateSpace paperback is still in the works. but I hope to have it ready to be ordered by December 3rd, and will probably be listed for $14.99. The paperback will be listed on Amazon and will be enrolled in Kindle Matchbook, which means that if you purchase this paperback version from Amazon, you can get the Kindle version as well for only $.99.

HARDBACK: With this release, I’ve done something a bit special, and I mentioned it earlier, but I’ll say it again: I’m releasing a hardback version of The Nutcracker Bleeds. This is my first time for this, so I’m pretty excited. It’s ready, and will be for sale on the release date. I hope to have a special deal for this version, and I’m going to show it off as soon as I get my own copy, but for now, I can only speak of it and let you know that it’s going to happen. Due to limitations in my production of the hardback version, this version will only be available to purchase through Lulu.com, and also as of right now, it is for US only sales. I’ll let you know the price soon. I made mention of ordering copies and selling them myself, but I think that will be too much of a hassle for me right now.

You can read a sample of the newly revised beginning on Smashwords, and should be able to view it on Amazon at least by the 3rd. I’ll also be listing the book on Goodreads, so please look for it there and add it to your lists!

I’ll get back here soon with more info on the print versions. And by soon, I certainly mean in less than 4 days. :p