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What I’m Learning… Part 2

If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you probably know that it took me a long time to get to this Part 2!!  But, I did it! I wrote part 1 while I was still in school. Now that I’ve graduated, here is part 2…

If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you also know I’ve been going to school at SNHU for my Masters in English and Creative Writing.  I’ve finally finished the degree!! WOOT!! April 1!

So, that means I’m finished learning right?!? HA! I don’t think so. I’m still writing and learning every day. I’m very thankful for the prescribed degree plan that led me through the education I needed and wanted. But, every day, I want to learn something more. Maybe that’s the best lesson that I could get?

In any event. My overall education at SNHU taught me a lot about details, editing, patience, persistence. I’ve learned that it takes a lot to get things just write. The balance of descriptions and dialogue are crucial. Finishing projects is paramount. Most important, I’ve learned that I better not give up on my dreams and believing in myself.

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paranormal vs supernatural

I’ve been thinking about genre classifications.  I used to think paranormal meant ghosts and poltergeists, and supernatural meant creatures that were super… vampires, werewolves, zombies and such.  I’m not so sure about that anymore.  It seems like the market is using these terms interchangeably.  Sometimes they are accompanied by other adjectives like dark and urban.  So, what does it all mean? And do I need to care?

As an author, I think I do need to care. I need to understand how my readers are going to find my work. It is important to label the work in a manner that truthfully describes the work.  If it is a vampire love story, it’s paranormal romance right? Wrong? Maybe it’s dark urban supernatural? What?

A search on Amazon for paranormal romance (kindle store only) gives us a Dark Wolf, Dark Angel, vampire, and Immortals in the first 4 books. Book #5 has shifters and witches, and then there  is a demon slayer who is a biker witch (this one is in my queue!)  No ghosts or poltergeists here.  So, paranormal has all kinds of “monsters” and beings that are supernatural in nature. So, what’s supernatural?

That same search done with “supernatural” gave me a couple of books based on the TV series of the same name, and one empathy book. Still no ghosts.

Dark Urban Fantasy gives similar results, but there is a slightly different flavor to these. Check out S.M. Reine’s Descent Series for an example:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Descent-Series-Books-ebook/dp/B009YADS38/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1377740808&sr=1-2&keywords=descent+series

The Descent Series has paranormal creatures: angels, demons, and more. The primary setting is urban. There is some romance, but it is secondary. Reine’s series is one of the best written examples of Dark Urban Fiction out there.

Kim Harrison’s Hallows series with Rachel Morgan is another example.

The main thing that seems to differentiate these genres is romance as a primary element or not. If it is primary, it is paranormal romance; otherwise, it is dark urban fantasy, supernatural, or just paranormal. You could just search for whichever flavor your want in your moster: angel, demon, vampire, werewolf, or whatever…

So, where does my book fit in? It is definitely closer to Dark Urban Fantasy. Romance is a secondary element and it has vampires in it (and more…) So, check it out with these others:

http://www.amazon.com/Summer-Blood-Desolate-Incubus-ebook/dp/B00EH1WLHS/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1377740268&sr=1-1&keywords=summer+blood

Whether you dig vampires, werewolves, or bears… romance or not… urban or whatever…. you can find tons of great books out there that will satisfy your paranormal/supernatural urges!

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I have sales!! Woot!

Woot! It really isn’t much, but the fact that I have sales is really exciting! It means that there are a few people out there that actually purchased my writing for the first time ever AND it is more than just my family! 

In this new journey to become a real author, I published a book of seven short stories called, Stories to Fight Demons By. These are twisted/surreal stories about different kinds of demons; perfect for Halloween! You can purchase this on Amazon or B&N.  I’ll include the links here:

http://www.amazon.com/Stories-Fight-Demons-ebook/dp/B004RH3T46/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1319329943&sr=8-1

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/stories-to-fight-demons-by-sherri-jordan-asble/1030426408?ean=2940012183842&itm=1&usri=sherri%2bjordan-asble

I hope those that purchased the book liked it. I don’t have any reviews on Amazon or B&N yet, but I’m hoping I’ll get one. So, if you purchased the book and are reading this… hint, hint!

I also have a teaser for my first novel posted on my website and a plug for it in the back of  Stories. Website:

http://sjordanasble.com/Page_2.html

So, this is truly another awesome step forward in my writing journey. I hope that others will celebrate with me – go ahead, raise your hand in the air and give me a “Woot!”

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Legacy of Kings by C.S. Friedman

I’m finally reading the final book in this awesome trilogy! Yeah!

Friedman’s trilogy begins with Feast of Souls. The second book is Wings of Wrath.  Then, the final book is Legacy of Kings.  I had thought I was going to leave all my book reviews on my website, but this one is worth blogging about…

The Magister Trilogy by C. S. Friedman http://csfriedman.com/  is one of the best fantasy/speculative fiction novels I’ve had the pleasure of reading. Her characters are strong, yet flawed. They make mistakes, they learn, and they go on. They feel human.

Her plot is intricate with over-riding themes, and interesting unforeseen twists. I like my fiction unpredictable.  When you think the story is going in one direction, it jumps in another.  She keeps the pages turning!

So, what is the Magister Trilogy about?  Imagine a world where witchcraft exists, but there is a high price to wield it. The witches in this world pay for their craft with a little piece of their life force every time they cast a spell.  Then enters the Magisters. They steal the life force from others  for their magic, making them all-powerful… well, almost.  It turns out there are monsters invading the land, souleaters, and they will destroy humanity if left unchecked.  The heroes, the lyr, have to fight the beasts.  Woven throughout these overarching story lines are sinister plots and back stabbing traitors.  Who can be trusted? 

One thing I admire in Friedman’s writing is how she develops her character, Kamala.  She slowly unfolds depth throughout the three books. This is a young woman who learns to survive in a man’s world, and not always too successfully. She learns how to be human and how to care for others, even when they might not necessarily deserve it, as the reader learns about her.

The first two books were excellent, and now that I’m reading the long waited for third and final installment, I have to say I’m even more interested than I was when I first started reading the first book.  I think I need to go back and read the other two again!

Check this one out! A great read… 5 of 5 stars!

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Facing the Challenges

I started writing this blog to document and share my experiences with writing/publishing.  So, I thought I’d take a minute or two to hash out some of the challenges I’m dealing with at this stage…

One of the most difficult and challenging parts of writing fiction is coming up with the names for my characters. I want the names to be appropriate to the character. The name has to fit. If  I have the wrong name, it doesn’t work well. Sometimes it is very difficult. Sometimes it comes easy. It is also a lot of fun. It is part of creating that character. What is that person like? What are their idiosyncracies? What makes that person who that person is? There are times when that is really hard, especially when that person is an alien or is alien like. It is also difficult when you try to name someone within a historic context. If this character comes from ancient Ireland, they can’t be named Fred, right?!

The other big challenge hitting me right now is getting stuck on little things. I keep getting stopped flat by small things that might not even matter, but I get so hung up on them, that I can’t move forward.  This is what I was stuck on this week:

*A different word for canteen.
*Where did I put my notes on a different story entirely than the one I’m trying to work on.
*I needed to buy a new cushion for my chair in my office where I write

Seems like small things, but I’ve wasted a long of time on these things! Gave up on the thesaurus problem, finally found my notes, and bought a seat cushion (on sale at Kohls!) So, now I’m ready to write… what am I working on today?

I need to do some yoga and focus!!

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What are they talking about?

OMG My BFF Jill, I read the best WIPline yesterday… had me ROTFLMAO…

I love Twitter – but sometimes I don’t know what they’re talking about.  I had to figure out what the heck a hash tag is… #wth. And how to retweet. And how to mention someone… @someone.

It has been challenging, but also fun. It is very fast paced. There is some new thing to read like every 2 seconds! The more followers you get, and the more people you follow, the faster it is.  I also found out that the more people you follow, the more people will follow you back! Ha! #funfollowing

If you leave it on while trying to work on other things (like #blogging or actually doing some serious, #amwriting or #amediting) it can be very distracting… Oh gotta go check out 3 new tweets…

#justsayin

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