Thursday, September 22, 2022

More Sleeping Prince Stats (Because I still think this is interesting)

I don't know why I'm so deranged, but because I am, I'm going to post how my readerships are enjoying my new scifi novel, 'Sleeping Prince'.  Enjoy!

So, these are sites where it is free to write and free to read.  Let's start at the bottom!

#4. Quotev - I got slapped with an M rating and this story will never recover from an M rating.  Most of the readers on Quotev seem to be well under 20, so they're too young for the system to let them access my book.  It's doing so poorly that I have short stories that are posted on Quotev that have higher hit counts.  I started releasing 'Hidden Library' there, so we'll see if that perks the place up, but this book will not win the day on this site.


#3. Booknet - These guys aren't doing too bad.  I'm simultaneously releasing 'If I Tie U Down' there and it's doing much better.  They'll both do better once I'm finished posting them.

#2 Inkitt - I got slapped with some lowish reviews, so that looks bad.  A reader can give star ratings for four different categories: overall rating, plot, writing style, and grammar and punctuation.  I have actually never received such low reviews on Inkitt.  Usually, I get showered with five-star ratings.  I actually don't mind getting slapped with lower ratings for writing style, plot, and the overall rating.  Those things are subjective, so that's fine, but when I get slapped with a low rating for grammar and punctuation, I wanna draw blood.  That is not subjective, that's technical... and technically wrong to give me anything lower than a four.  Not only that, but these are prose, not technical writing, so... yeah... I can hear my own blood pounding in my ears.  HOWEVER!  Inkitt has been so good to me in the past that I will overlook this treason and continue on.

#1. Royal Road - This is a HUGE surprise.  Royal Road hates romance, girl things, falling in love, and all that jazz.  However, they do love outer space, chase scenes, hiding, sneaking around, abuse, trauma, torture, spaceships, and unnecessary surgery.  So, I'm winning there.  I compliment them all the time.  It's amazing.  Reviews there are few and far between, but I got a very flattering one and that's helpful.  

It's also interesting to note that of the places where my books are available for download, I recently noted that GooglePlay has been kicking Amazon's pants for download figures.  That's weird.  GooglePlay is also kicking the crap out of Smashwords.  Now that is really saying something because my Smashwords account covers AppleBooks, Barnes and Noble, KOBO, and a huge handful of other download locations.  

I also recently decided to give Wattpad another chance.  It's hard to say how that's going to go.  Whenever I go to their site, they're always promoting the same stuff.  It seems like it's really hard to get noticed there.  

Welp, it doesn't matter much anymore which way the cookie crumbles.  We'll see how it goes.     



Friday, September 9, 2022

Getcovers

 

Hi Ink Drinkers,

Normally, I design my book covers myself.  But, I had seen millions of ads for a design company called Getcovers, and their covers were totally decent.  So were their prices, so I decided to go ahead and hire them for a cover for a novelette I plan to release on OBOOKO.  Here is the finished cover.  It took them two days to finish the order.  

First thing, they had me hit a stock photo/illustration site to choose a central image.  On the site, I made a vision board that had a bunch of pictures of glass bottles, terrariums, crystals, and the like.  Then I grabbed my daughter, who is wise beyond her years, and asked her which of the pictures she thought was the most impressive.  She did not choose this image, but she chose one by the same artist that was part of the same collection.  I told her that this picture was my choice and she said this one was better because it was more purple and less orange.  Normally, buying a license for an image like this goes from $1.50 - $20.00 depending on what your plan is.  You can buy plans that let you download hundreds of files per month and then the price for a single image drops.  However, I am not going to use hundreds of files in a month.  Using the sort of plans I usually buy, an image like this one would cost approximately $13.00.

Then I sent the designer this image with a note attached as to what sort of thing I wanted.  My description was that I wanted the title in black flourishing text with the image in the middle and my name on the bottom.  I wanted a gold geometric border and possibly grey smudges in the background.  It was going to be a hopeful romance.  I wished them luck.

Let's cut it apart and talk about it.  

If I bought a license for the geometric border, it would be part of a geometric bundle with a bunch of different shapes in it.  It wouldn't matter that it came with a collection of other design assets, I would probably never have a use for the other shapes.  The bundle would cost another $13.00.

There are three fonts.  The one used for my author name and the subtitle would not have cost anything extra.  Those fonts are free for everyone to use.  However, the font used for the title is a little more complicated.  This font effect could be achieved in two different ways.  Either it's a cheap font that has had those flourishes added, or it's a font that just looks like that.  If it's the font, no one gives that kind of font away for free.  Free font letters don't get in each other's faces like that.  Each letter keeps to itself.  If I had to buy the fancy font (that I would only have been able to use once), that's another $13.00.  If the flourishes are added, then they are part of a flourish pack that again costs me another $13.00.  OR the graphic designer was a careful girl (they had a girl's name) who knows how to make up symmetrical swishes like this on the fly, then they may have been free.

If I was a betting girl, and maybe I am, my bet is that it is a cheap font that has stolen flourishes from a more expensive font pack they had on hand.  I really like it.  I certainly would never have thought to mash up a serif font with a flourish.  One of the benefits of working with a company like this is that they can reuse certain design assets, so it costs them a lot less to produce something like this than it would cost me.

Lastly, I asked for grey smudges and they gave me pink.  The pink is better.  Those would have been free.  

So, if I made this exact cover, it would have cost me $33.00 (approximately).

With taxes and everything, working with Getcovers, I got it for $13.00 (and change).

That is exceptional.  

The most they probably had to shell out for use of the image was probably $1.40 and the rest of the stuff would have been assets they had lying around.  Given the instructions I gave, it probably took the designer ten minutes to put this together.  Maybe less.  All the same, I really like it.  

I'd hire them again.

As for the novelette, it's not ready yet.  Later.


Monday, September 5, 2022

Free Books

Hi Ink Drinkers,

One of the keenest frustrations of my life has been my inability to turn my writing career into what I have always expected it to be.  I never expected to rake it in like Stephen King, but I did expect to make a little scratch so I felt validated.  Yeah, that has been really hard for me.

I'm frustrated because I'm blocked.

One of the reasons for writer's block is that there is a gap between what the author imagines versus the kind of writing the author is actually able to produce.   That's in regard to a particular piece we're working on, not our careers.  The way to break writer's block is to give up what you initially wanted and to work with the reality in front of you.  The more you work on it (that particular piece and other writing projects afterward), the more you're able to create things that match your expectations and eventually exceed them. 

But what about a career?  That's not something you can do on your own in the same way.  I wrestled my demon for long enough.  In this case, the demon is the image of what I have always wanted for myself as a novelist.  The way to break the block is to let go of what I wanted.  It's over now.

Goodbye, Emily Loring.

Goodbye, Anne Rice.  

Goodbye, Victoria Holt.

Goodbye, Monica Hughes.

Goodbye, Margaret Atwood.

Goodbye, L.M. Montgomery.  

Goodbye to the novelist of every book I ever cracked a spine on and looked at their list of books and thought that I would one day be like them.  I won't be joining them in the halls of the bookstores of our times.  I have already published a book that had ten other book credits in it.  I wrote them all.  That book and the other ten books didn't make much money, so I'm done.  

This feels like a suicide note... and in a way, it is.  For months, I have felt that there was change in the air.  How would it come?  What shape would it take?  How would I be reformed?  

From now on, I will no longer try to make money as a novelist.  

I went on Smashwords and reduced all my fiction to free.  Then I did the same on Draft2Digital, DriveThru Fiction, and GooglePlay.  I went on Wattpad and Fictionpress, and started releasing chapters for books I never intended to give away.  I put If I Tie U Down on OBOOKO and Free-Ebooks.net.  I had someone message me on Facebook asking where they could buy one of my books and I directed them to a place they could get it for free.  

I'm not sure if I can give away all my books for free on Amazon without bringing an angry amazon down on me, but I'll try to find a balance there.    

In any case, it is time to do the same thing I would do with a story that wasn't cooperating.  I will examine it objectively and make decisions based on reality, not fantasy.

The reality is that in August (a hard month to peddle books), I had close to a thousand downloads and over eighteen thousand views for my free books.  That's when everyone is out enjoying the good weather.  No one is reading in August.  I need to build on that because that's reality, not some dumb idea of mine.    

*Yawn* Honestly,  I wanna go quilt something.  More book-making can wait for another day.

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Sleeping Prince Stats (because I think this is interesting)

I have been posting my novel 'Sleeping Prince' on four free ebook websites and doing two updates a week.  Two posts ago, I posted here how the stats were going.  They are different now.  Let's look at them.

#4. Booknet - As I said before, I took a break from Booknet because of the war and I'm being punished for it.  Winning back followers there is super hard.  But I have been getting a few likes and dozens of people have added the novel to their bookshelves.  When I finish the book, that may make the stats jump.

#3. Quotev - I got slapped with a Mature rating here, even though it is usually where I get my best stats, I'm unlikely to now.  I'm a little choked about the Mature rating.  I just watched 'Romy and Michele's High School Reunion'.  It was PG and had a ton of course language, adult themes, and smoking.  I love that movie but I am a little choked about the Mature rating when I compare my story with it.  Mature ratings mean that a lot of the readership there will not have access to the story.  It won't even appear unless they are over 18.   I don't know if very many people are over 18 there.  My story is not 18+.  I'm not sure what it is.  Gah!

#2. Royal Road - I got a very flattering review on Royal Road this week where the reviewer said that I was likely to get creamed there because my story is a romance and they don't like romances there.  True dat.  However, even so, my story is performing better there than on the other two and Booknet is a major romance novel site.  People who like romances don't like my books any more than people who don't.  I don't write erotica and I don't write hard action with no romance.  I'm in between and it makes me a little bit of a freak.   

#1. Inkitt - When I was choosing the cover for the book, I struggled because I had to choose between a book cover that would appeal to the audience of Royal Road or the audience of Inkitt.  No.  I would not have been able to find something that appealed to both audiences.  The one that would have appealed to the Royal Road audience was one of Gage wearing his blue and silver armor.   The one that would have worked for Inkitt was the one I chose.  Here's my reasoning: there is no reward for kicking butt on Royal Road that I know of.  If you get a high enough readership on Inkitt, you can land a contract with Galatea.  I did it before, but my book wasn't hot enough to keep the contract, so it was canceled after three months.  HOWEVER, three months of paychecks from Galatea paid all my writing debt and brought me back to zero.  That's pretty good for an uncompromising little brat who won't write even one detailed sex scene.  So, I chose Inkitt and Galatea because even though I'm unlikely to keep that contract, I could get one for three months if enough people come to read.  I'm really far from that threshold, but I still have twenty chapters to publish, so we'll see how it goes.

O.O  It's also summer.  Summer is death.  No one reads in August.  Things could really pick up all round.

Also, the scouts have come around.  That means I have been offered a collection of publishing contracts from novel aps for 'Sleeping Prince'.   Naturally, I have turned them all down.  The only one of these aps that I liked the contract for was Hinovel and I alienated them when I pulled 'Whenever You Want' from their site so I could give it to Galatea.  It was the right decision, but I handled it badly.  Why couldn't I have been cooler?  I'm so mad at myself.  Gah!

Anyway, don't take tiny contracts from little guys if you want to catch a big fish.  

Haha... ha... I'm actually crying.  It's so hard to do all this novelist stuff and not sell your soul.  

Getting on it with it now.  I don't know how much potential 'Sleeping Prince' has.  It's a scifi romance that is quite heavy in the action/adventure department.  That's not a super popular genre.  It's not like I wrote a billionaire romance, or a werewolf romance, or a shifter romance, or a reverse harem romance, or a BDSM romance.  LOL!  I'm joking.  All the other types of romance I just mentioned are all BDSM romances.  

It's like that amazing time on 'Daria' when Daria and Jane are giving new students a tour of their high school.  Jane's like, 'If you're good we'll tell you which of the shower stalls haven't been peed in.'  

And Daria is like, 'She's just joking.  They've all been peed in.' 

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Scarlett O'Hara was Autistic

Gone with the Wind has definitely gone out of vogue lately as it will soon be added to several lists of banned books, but before that, let's talk about Scarlett O'Hara and explore the idea that she was autistic before her time.

If you are unfamiliar, the three rings of autism are obsession, repetition, and misinterpretation of social cues. We're going to discuss them in reverse order. Let's begin.

Misinterpretation of Social Cues

Scarlet O'Hara was sent to finishing school where she was taught the rules of polite southern society. The truth is that she may not have been interested in much else except how to secure the attention of a young man and people with autism need to be taught what is expected of them socially. She liked romantic relationships and latched onto them as a methodology to help her get what she wanted.

However, even though Scarlett can flutter her eyelashes at every man she meets, she does things that are not socially acceptable at every turn even before her world catches fire. She wears the wrong dress to the BBQ because she knows that the low neckline will give her an added edge with the men. She doesn't care that it simultaneously infuriates the females. She's good at ignoring social cues, so the ladies' discomfort is of little concern to her. She was going to eat at the BBQ (amateur error), and only doesn't because Mammy scolds her using Ashley as the whipping stick (what gentlemen say and what they think are two different things, and Ashley hasn't asked to marry her). At the BBQ, Scarlett sneaks out of nap time, not caring who finds her.

Stepped back a bit, at the beginning of the BBQ when Melanie compliments her, Scarlett thinks she is insincere and calls her out on it. Melanie is sincere but Scarlett doesn't know the difference. What she knows is that women are cold to her and so why would Melanie be any different? It's also easy for Scarlett to believe because Scarlett doesn't like her.

When we get to the part where Scarlett gets Ashley alone in the library, she knows that he is attracted to her. She doesn't know much about a larger range of human emotions, but she's not wrong about him. He's attracted to her. He's just too much of a gentleman to explain his feelings to her because it would sound something like this:

"Scarlett, you are the most beautiful creature, like a long twisting snake with green eyes and black diamonds down your back. When I look into your eyes, I feel hypnotized, like I could forget who I am and what I stand for. In the next moment, I'm undoing your dress, unbuckling my pants, and having every bit of the fun your eyes promise. It's a seductive thought. If I let myself think it for too long, I feel everything I love about myself being devoured by you. I lose my honor, my nobility, and all the good that I dream of standing for. If I fell into that trap I would doom both of us for when I listen to you talk, Scarlett, all I hear is the meaningless hissing of a snake. After my trousers were pulled back up, after your dress was put back on, the only thing that would be left for us would be for me to rip them off again. I do not foresee liking myself that way or loving you the way I believe a woman deserves to be loved by her husband. Yes, I'm attracted to you and because of what I believe about myself I would rather call it love than lust, but I betray myself whenever I look at you that way. I don't want to marry you. I would rather never look at you again."

Anyone familiar with the time period would have justifiable concerns that Ashley would hurl himself into a land mine of trouble being that frank. He could end up married to Scarlett for honor's sake, speaking to a southern belle about ripping her clothes off (regardless of the context), or in a duel with her father over her honor. The time period discouraged honesty. Besides, he thought he had nothing to worry about. He was going to marry Melanie. What could be more definitive than him being married to someone else? He didn't count on the next problem with autism.

Obsession

As Scarlett was not given an answer she found satisfying, she begins to obsess over him (if she wasn't already) in a misplaced bid to continue their relationship without him as best she can. The best place to obsess over her obsession is to move in with her sister-in-law, Ashley's wife, Melanie.

There are many things that happen in the book during this time period, but the thing that illustrates my point the nicest is that Scarlett repeatedly sneaks into Melanie's room and reads the letters that Ashley sends to Melanie. Scarlett reads them and she is bored out of her mind. Ashley is writing to Melanie about the war, about what he feels about what is happening to him as he is willing to share his troubles with her. When Scarlett reads the letters, she has no idea what he's talking about and she doesn't understand why he isn't obsessing over Melanie with a letter full of 'I love you. I miss you. You are at the very core of my heart!' It serves as further proof to her that he doesn't really love Melanie because when Scarlett feels love it swings a lot closer to obsession. It fills up every crack in thought, every moment of repose, causes bones to melt, and hearts to pound.

This is exactly why Rhett falls in love with Scarlett. He'd had quite a collection of romantic interests over the years (he is a lot older than Scarlett) and I'm willing to bet he never had a proper Southern Belle pull him to a library and confess to a passionate love for him. Rhett was swept away by proxy as he was hiding on the other side of the room. His desire to have Scarlett's obsessive love geared toward him triggered his own obsessive tendencies. Let's not forget how often Rhett tells Scarlett that they are alike, so let's not dismiss the idea that Rhett is also on the spectrum. She tells him over and over again that she's only interested in Ashley and Rhett storms off over and over, only to come back because our little Scarlett snake certainly bit someone. Later, Belle tells Rhett he's poisoned with her. That was the author's way of describing Rhett's obsession with Scarlett.

Repetition

Scarlett displays her repetitive tendencies in a few ways. One is the way she repeatedly picks up little boyfriends wherever she goes. She enjoys the opening act of a love affair and garners tons of male attention before she's married, again when she's in Atlanta, and she's most displeased by how the war and the hundreds of dead men (sometimes on her doorstep) are spoiling her fun.

She also displays her strength for tolerating repetition in the way she handles Frank's business when she takes over. She's good at running figures and she never gets tired of it. With a constant influx of data, she becomes much better at running his business than he was.

However, the ways that an ASD person shows her favor of going through the same actions over and over again can be hard to show in a book. It's easier to see when watching someone sew, doing the same stitches over and over again. The author mentions Scarlett knitting bandages, playing the piano, going over numbers, and never learning new tricks on how to win over a man because the old tricks work just fine.

The Grand Misunderstanding of the Book

Many people think that the book is about Rhett, Ashley, and Scarlett in this tragic love triangle. What a shame it is that Scarlett only figures out what Ashley had on his mind during the very last day of the book when Melanie is dying, and when Rhett is leaving her. The reader wants Scarlett and Rhett to be together to satisfy the dream of Rhett's deep longing for Scarlett's love, and for Scarlett to finally love someone who will love her back. The ending seems unhappy because there does not seem to be a logical path for Rhett and Scarlett to take in order to give the audience that happily-ever-after they crave.

Let's not forget two things about their marriage. They lost a child together. A lot of marriages do not survive that. It's a marriage killer. Secondly, Scarlett fell down the stairs when she and Rhett were fighting when she was pregnant. She lost the baby. These incidents end marriages, even when no one would get a divorce because of the shame. The book is not supposed to end happily.

Also, if you go over the book page for page, Scarlett spends most of the book with Melanie. Melanie loves and defends Scarlett the entire book and Scarlett misses it, misinterpreting Melanie at every step. Scarlett thinks Melanie doesn't know that Ashley is attracted to her or that she is (obsessing) in love with him. Melanie knows. She gets it. As a matter of fact, she gets it much better than Scarlett does and she is less embarrassed by it than Ashley. That is why Ashley chose to marry Melanie. He knew that she was capable of forgiving his faults when he wasn't able to perfectly overcome them. He had to be an honorable man to the rest of the world, but he could just be himself when he was with her. And so could Scarlett have been.

This is a book that wasn't written for the delight of the characters. It was written for the education of those who MISS IT. They miss the love others have for them, they miss the feeling behind the action, the understanding behind the silence, and the heart of life that could have been saved if someone didn't wait for the explanation to move on with their life.

However, we can all enjoy things on different levels. So, for the you who want a happy ending, there's this:

"Where will I go? What will I do?"

"Frankly, my dear," Rhett says with his hat tipped toward one eye. "I can't be bothered with that right now. You and Ashley holding each other was more than I could stand to watch. I'll come back in a month. If you want a divorce, you need only ask, and if you want to get back together with me, I'm going to need to see something to show your determination."

"How can I do that?"

"You're going to have to figure that out," he says flatly before he disappears into the fog.

With that, Scarlett has her epiphany, returns to Tara, and devises a way to show Rhett what she can accomplish once she decides to obsess over it.  

Monday, August 15, 2022

Sleeping Prince

Hey Ink Drinkers,

Take a look at this little beauty.  Does it look familiar?  It should.  This is a Sleeping Beauty inc. book to follow up Rose Red.  I have always wanted to write more Sleeping Beauty Inc. books.  I don't know how many outlines for such books I have written and then dumped because I thought that no one was interested in reading another Sleeping Beauty Inc. book.  

Well, the thing is, I started really taking control of keeping track of my books' stats.  Without a doubt, my most popular book is Whenever You Want.  That feels natural.  It's a contemporary romantic comedy that should appeal to the largest audience of all my books.  HOWEVER!  Rose Red is a tight second.  There are several sites where Rose Red outperforms Whenever You Want.  This pleases me because most of the time, I would rather write a sci-fi than a contemporary romance.  The stats made me see that readers might be interested in more Sleeping Beauty Inc. books and I might as well have a good time at my laptop.

I started writing this book because I had surgery a few weeks ago and recovering from surgery is a fantastic time to crack out a book.  I am the kind of monster who can write an entire book in a few weeks.  Because I didn't want the hassle of going forward with a whole paperback publication, I decided to release it on a collection of free sites and just enjoy the ride.  But, it was interesting to see where a book like this would get the most attention.

#4. Inkitt - Inkitt has been fairly good to me in the past, except they have the longest story approval turnaround.  That means that even though I have been posting this story for a few weeks now, it has only been approved on Inkitt for a few days.  The hit count is low, but that might turn around in the coming months.  Let's see how that goes. https://www.inkitt.com/stories/romance/938646

#3. Booknet - I took a little break from Booknet because it's a Russian/Ukrainian site and it felt weird and wrong to post stilly books when there's a war going on.  I was punished sorely for taking a break.  What I mean is that all my readers there forgot about me.  Winning them back has been grueling.  https://booknet.com/en/book/sleeping-prince-b402470

#2. Quotev - Quotev has also been very good to me.  That is the site where I have the highest following.  However, it's summer and the traffic there has also been pretty slow.  https://www.quotev.com/story/15085957/Sleeping-Prince

#1. Royal Road - This is a website of lurkers.  I had lost confidence in Royal Road in the past because no one ever followed me, comments are rare and far between, but the hit counts are high enough for me to know there is a decent following for my stories, so I started posting again.  https://www.royalroad.com/fiction/57211/sleeping-prince

Because I think it's interesting to note where stories do the best, I'll post an update on this situation later.  

Let me tell you more about Sleeping Prince.  

Our hero is a spacecraft pilot named Gage.  He is owned by Sleeping Beauty Inc. and it is his job to move models to their different jobs between the moons of Jupiter.  Doing this means that he spends an incredible amount of his time in cryostatus as he floats between jobs, but that's what he wants.  He loves being asleep because he's waiting for a very long list of people to die.  If only Iona, a model he transports, hadn't taken a special interest in him and offered him a contract of her own.  Iona is the ninth most expensive model in the Jovian region.  She's something else and even though Gage would rather be asleep, he finds it impossible to turn her down.  Once he signs the contract, he's hers, and whether she means to or not, she brings an incredible amount of trouble with her. 



Friday, July 15, 2022

If Diamonds Could Talk Release

Happy release month!

Okay, it is totally not supposed to take a month to release a book.  I've never had a release go this slowly before.  But, it's coming.  I've got it up nearly everywhere.

Let's pretend that I am not a frazzled author with hair like a fraggle and instead that I'm sitting with my legs crossed, calm and composed, with smooth hair and a plastic Barbie smile in a TV studio with a posh interviewer in a pink pantsuit asking me questions about this book.  The camera comes on her, the lights are dazzling, and she begins.

Q: Welcome back!  I'm Chevron Phillips and with me is independent novelist Stephanie Van Orman.  She's here today to talk about her new book, the sequel to her novel 'His 16th Face'.  Stephanie, how long did it take you to write 'If Diamonds Could Talk'?

A: Thanks for having me.  It took a little over two years, but that was nothing compared to the eleven years it took me to write 'His 16th Face'.

Q: Wow!  That's a long time to write a book.  Does it usually take that long?

A: Not at all.  The biggest problem in 'His 16th Face' was that I was struggling with a way to end the novel.  I wrote five endings and couldn't decide which one to use.  It was a problem that was churning around in my head for years.  In the end, I discarded 80,000 words of material in a 90,000-word book.  Usually, I'm not paralyzed by the ending of a novel because the ending is known to me all along.  However, that wasn't the case with 'His 16th Face'.  It is one of my dearest novels.

Q: Is 'If Diamonds Could Talk' one of your dearest novels?

A: 'If Diamonds Could Talk' goes to a place I've never read about in another book.  It goes to a place that is hinted at with the endings of other books, but the other authors can't take you there.  They show you a rainbow in the arctic, or the expanse of space ahead of you, the flashing of the northern lights, but they can't take you to the place beyond where there's more information... they give you less.  They end the story and let the reader imagine whatever they will.  That wasn't what I wanted.  I wanted to show where that ending leads beyond a dream or wistful wondering.

Q: What were your influences?

A: I was very inspired by the first Highlander film, however as much as I loved that movie, put under a microscope, it needs a rewrite.  Of course, I can't rewrite that story.  Instead, I decided to begin a similar story in another place.  My wedding.

Q: Your wedding?

A: Yes.  At my wedding, I was aware that my husband's four-year-old niece was in love with him.  She wrapped her arms and her legs around him and wept like the damned for almost an hour.  My new sister-in-law came over and asked me if I wanted her to pry her daughter off him, but I said it was fine.  I stood there in my wedding dress swaying like a bell and watched her.  My husband is a very lovable man and her feelings were spilling all over the place.  She was miserable.  In her mind, he was married now and so he could never marry her.  He patted her back and bounced her back and forth like she was a baby or maybe a little bit like he was dancing with her.  And I wondered how much time and space would have to be rearranged for all her dreams to come true.  In the end, it was a lot as that is what the opening moment in 'His 16th Face' is all about, loving someone you have no right to love in that romantic life or death way. 

Q: Is Beth based on your niece?

A: No.  We didn't live near that family after we got married and we rarely saw them after that.  Beth begins as an unreasonable teenager who wants what she wants.  By the time we've come with her all the way to 'If Diamonds Could Talk', she's still screaming and throwing things, but she calms down and presses hard for what she wants in a way that is not childish. 

Q: Is Christian like your husband?

A: He's not not like my husband.  Christian is based on seven men and my husband is one of them.  He's the most complex and cleverly built man of the heroes in my books.  Christian's character ends up being more contrived than Beth's.  Beth is more natural to me because of her position and what she can see from where she stands is more obvious to me.  Christian is enigmatic, so he has to be built like a puzzle the reader can enjoy pulling apart.  There's still more of him to pull apart in 'If Diamonds Could Talk'.

Q: What's your next project?

A: I'm writing a full-on science fiction trilogy called Octavia Girl.  The first draft of all three books is finished, so the release for them might be sooner than anyone expects.

Chevron thanks me for coming in and turns to the camera to remind the viewers that a link will be provided in the description below to my website where bookstore links are provided.  Also, sample chapters are on Inkitt, Wattpad, Fictionpress.com, and Quotev.  A trailer for 'If Diamonds Could Talk' is also on YouTube.

Website:  https://tigrix1.wixsite.com/stephanievanorman

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYn5Hbily04



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