Monday, June 28, 2010

Monday book and writing updates

Reading - nothing yet!
Listening to - Amy Winehouse, Frank

This weekend was crazy busy. I had household chores, book proofreading work, book art work, grocery shopping. The children finally returned from their grandparents' house too. I am worn out.

Lady editor now has most of the witch book. I ran out of paper, so I couldn't print out the whole thing, which is really a sort of not so intelligent thing to do. I need to learn to plan ahead.

I really like the witch book. It was easy for me to write, somewhat easy to edit. I think it's really easy to read. That one will be out the door before I know it.

That leaves me to decide what to write next.

There's the short story collection. I've had this list of stories in my head and on my computer for about three years. I might work on it this fall. Some of the stories are pretty creepy, so the season for death would be a good time for writing them.

I have a synopsis laid out for the sequel to She Who is Vengeance. That project will be more daunting than the short story book, for sure. The first installment took over four years for me to read, edit and rewrite. The next one absolutely will not take that long. I worry about getting myself back in that way of thinking and writing. I will probably be okay once I get moving on it though.

Also on the agenda for this week, selecting an indie book to review. I'm excited about it, like I'm venturing into unknown territory where anything is possible. I am going to read something that has not been approved by the corporate publishing man. I feel like a literary rebel already.

Another item on the to-do list for this week is updating my mess of a website. I have old events listed and no cover art on my home page, which is weird because I swear I posted some there. I also need to put together something resembling a virtual press kit. I've been putting that task off for too long.

Um, I have nothing more to share at this time and no witty closing remarks. Live on.

Other places to find me:
My Lulu storefront
Amazon Author Page -
Twitter: @LeaRyan1

Friday, June 25, 2010

Trying Something New

I sometimes write about books on my blog, whatever I'm reading, which is usually mainstream best selling fiction.

I'm tired of reading what everyone else is reading. James Patterson does not need (or probably want) my help selling his books. I've decided to review self published or indie published books.

I was thinking one a month to start, here on the blog. No, I'm not charging, other than a copy of the e-book itself.

And since I'm doing this primarily out of the goodness of my heart, I get to make the rules.

Length - 100,000 words or less
These genres only - horror, sci-fi, paranormal, suspense, humor/comedy, mystery, fantasy, or action, YA is ok as long as it fits into one of the above categories.

Please DO NOT submit - anything shoddily edited, poetry, romance, soap opera type dramas, fan fiction, nonfiction, memoirs or biographies, erotica, religious propaganda, anything boring or that features werewolves and/or vampires.

If you are interested in having your book reviewed here, visit the form via the link below. I will give special consideration to anyone who follows my blog and/or follows me on the Twitter (@LeaRyan1), so please be sure to include your id.

No sales pitch other than the synopsis is necessary. I don't care about anyone's resume or how deep their narcissism runs.

I'll choose the first book some time before July 1st and announce it on the blog and my Twitter.

The submission form is on the Book Reviews tab on my website.

Have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

random wednesday updates

current project - transferring changes from the witch book manuscript printout on to the word document on the computer.

Today is wednesday. Only two more work days until glorious weekend time!

You will never believe this. I might actually finish what I planned to before one of my self-imposed deadlines! Cue the parade! Release the doves!

I finished a readthru of the witch book for this fall and I am handing it over to lady editor this weekend. I have already done most of the cover art. I have something resembling a synopsis written. It's almost like I've become something resembling a responsible adult.

What else. Oh the bad movies. Yes, my husband and I watched two pretty bad movies this weekend. They were so bad that I didn't even want to dedicate an entire post to them. I only feel obligated to mention them here as a warning to others.

First, Bad Lieutenant with Nicholas Cage and Eva Mendes. They should have just called it Bad Movie and saved some people a whole lot of time. The plot is all over the place and never really ties together. Plus there are these weird scenes that are supposed to be hallucinations, but they are really just kind of laughable. One involves a gator cam.

The other movie was A Scanner Darkly, which is from 2006, so nobody but us is probably watching it anyway. It has a kickass cast: Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder, Woody Harrelson, and Robert Downey Jr. But the animation made me nauseous and the story was pretty weird.

Off that subject.

The illustrations are on hiatus for a while. I have some other major projects going on and no time for that brand of fun. I have some old stuff like this bird thing that I will probably still slap up here on ye olde blog. I liked the birds but wasn't really sure what to to with them.

That's all for now.
Other places to find me:
My LuLu storefront -
Amazon Author Page -
Twitter: @LeaRyan1

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Book of Eli

I finally saw The Book of Eli this weekend! I feel like I waited forever to see that freaking movie.

The movie is set in post apocalyptic America, which looks a bit like the old west but scorched, and more junk lying around. The bad guy, Carnegie, is looking for a book that he thinks will help him control people. I'll give you two guesses as to what that book is. Eli has the book.

The filming in the movie was a little different. There wasn't much color and the lighting was stark. There was a lot of slow motion too. Wait for it...

And even in this Mad Max-esque setting, product placement abounds. We counted: ipod, Motorola, The Davinci Code (book), and Kentucky fricking Fried Chicken.

Regarding the acting.

I sometimes say that Denzel plays the same character a lot: intelligent, charismatic, heroic in some kind of way. He's a good actor. He just plays similar roles.

This role, Eli, was a little different. He wasn't as outgoing as his usual character. Plus, Eli totally kicks ass. There are some action, fighting sequences and they were really good.

Gary Oldman was in this too. He plays such an awesome bad guy. I love that he can go from playing Commisioner Gordon in Dark Knight to Carnegie in The Book of Eli. That is versatility.

Mila Kunis played a character named Solara. She did really well too, I thought, which given her experience, she should. She played Jackie on that 70s Show and does voice work on Family Guy and Robot Chicken and probably did some other things I didn't name. The character had a kind of damaged innocence and Kunis carried it perfectly.

Overall, I liked this movie a lot. I give it an A.

Other places to find me:
My Lulu storefront
Amazon Author Page -
Twitter: @LeaRyan1

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

answering a question

current project: editing the witch book, due out this fall

Ok, I had a question about my lulu store and I thought I would go on and answer it here.

There are currently two editions of the print version of She Who is Vengeance on lulu. The first edition is $13, I think, and the second edition is $16. The question of the day is, what is the difference between them?

The first edition of the novel (the $13 one) is only available through lulu and will probably only be available at lulu until I decide to take it down. The only differences between the first edition and the second edition are a slightly altered cover and a different ISBN number. The story is the same.

Now, why does the second edition cost more? When you submit a book for the published by lulu option and their distribution, they adjust the price for retailers like amazon who probably want to make a profit. I can't blame them for that. Also, I think lulu might mark the retail price of the book up so retailers can mark it down later if they so desire, but that's just a theory.

Even though the second edition costs more, I (as the author) will actually make about 1/3 less per copy sold than I do with the first edition. Lulu authors can manually adjust the amount of the royalty. However, if you nudge that amount too high, you risk putting your book in too high of a price range.

Other places to find me:
Lulu storefront, which lists my debut novel She Who is Vengeance -
Amazon Author Page -
Twitter: @LeaRyan1

Monday, June 14, 2010

enjoying a quiet moment in the house

Yes. This usually doesn't happen...ever. I am alone in my house! It's so quiet. I know it won't last.

I'm editing the witch book (the actual title will be revealed at a much later date) and as I get back into slash and burn mode, I find that I'm burning a lot less than I did with the last book.

There are familiar frustrations though: the search for that perfect word I can't quite dredge up from some wine-washed portion of my brain, descriptions of settings that I spend forever trying to get just right, important details and story points that should have been added in the first round, repetition extraction.

But for the most part, this project feels...easier for me, which is very nice. I'm getting to a point at which the whole writing thing is less strenuous. Getting comfortable in my own fiction writing skin (yes I know that doesn't make much sense) has taken me around six years.

Ah, child number one has returned. End quiet time.

Other places to find me:
Lulu storefront, which lists my debut novel She Who is Vengeance -
Amazon Author Page -
Twitter: @LeaRyan1

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Brown County and Shutter Island

Still vacationing. We went to Brown County State Park today. It was just as pretty as I remember it being. I think the kids enjoyed it too. Here’s a picture of the view from the amphitheater near the nature center.

As for movie time, we watched Shutter Island the other day. The story gets off to a slow start, a really slow start. I really liked the movie, but my husband and I agreed that they could have cut thirty minutes from it without damaging the story.

I thought the movie was kind of predictable. I won’t spoil the ending, because that wouldn’t be very nice. But I called it almost from the beginning. I didn’t know quite everything about the ending, but the primary issue, yes.

The visual effects were great and there were some genuinely creepy parts. However, in the end, we decided that we were glad that we didn’t pay to see the movie in the theater. It was worth a rent though.
Other places to find me:
Lulu storefront, which lists my debut novel She Who is Vengeance -
Amazon Author Page -
Twitter: @LeaRyan1

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

wanna hear it, here it go

I am SO tired! I went to Chicago today and it was so awesome. I seriously need to visit more often. The sky was clear and the water in Lake Michigan was this deep, turqoise color. The parts of the city we drove through were so clean.

We visited the Museum of Science and Industry. The museum remodeled since the last time I was there. They added a new storm exhibit, which was really cool. There were tornados and waves and wind. There was also a giant tesla coil hanging from the ceiling that, every so often, made lightning-like sparks and a severly disturbing electrical noise that seemed to upset my boy.
Overall, with the exception of having to pay 16 freaking dollars for parking at the museum, it was a good trip.

illustration time. I didn't upload this one to the zazzle gallery. I might in the future, but not right now. The sketch for this one actually predates my other illustrations.


Other places to find me:

Twitter: @LeaRyan1

Amazon storefront -

Lulu storefront, which lists my debut novel She Who is Vengeance -

Friday, June 4, 2010

bigshot ME! on the AMAZON!

Here is a screenshot of my novel! on Amazon! in ebook form anywayz. I am totally geeking out!

Other places to find me:
Twitter: @LeaRyan1
Lulu storefront, which lists my debut novel She Who is Vengeance -

Thursday, June 3, 2010

uber creepy thing in my house that is totally freaking me out

In March, my adorable son went to Florida with his grandmother. He came home with a severed reptile head in a bag, specifically a baby alligator. fantastic. He seemed to like it, so I let him keep it.

It sits on the top of his armoir. Staring with black, plastic ball eyes. At me. When I dust the furniture.

Now, I touched the head when it first arrived. I put it on the armoir. However, I'm finding that the more I spend time with the severed head, the less I like it...and I am becoming less willing to touch it.

There's bad juju in dead things, probably moreso in severed youngling heads. It totally freaks me out. All I can think about when I see it is how it used to be attached to a living being with a brain that thought little gator thoughts that didn't involve the notion that its noggin would later serve as a decoration in my son's bedroom.

I no longer move it when I dust because I can't handle the heebie-jeebies I get from touching it. In six months, it will probably look like it's sitting in a pile of fuzzy snow.

But, my baby likes it, and so the remains remain.


Other places to find me:

Twitter: @LeaRyan1

Lulu storefront, which lists my debut novel She Who is Vengeance -

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

lulu headache, plus illustration

I have a love/slight dislike relationship with my POD printer, lulu. For the most part lulu is user friendly, but there are other the moon, Alice.

I spent some time in the last few days, trying to add the ISBN to my book. I first uploaded the files to lulu as a private draft. I then made eight or nine revisions for various reasons, two of them being that I am indecisive and generally picky with myself, another one being that I excel at screwing things up.

I am finally ready to assign the ISBN, as it is registered on bowker. I spent a fair amount of time searching help articles and message boards trying to figure out how to add the damn number to my book. Finally, late last night, after finding every bit of information I didn't need, I found the one I did.

As far as I can tell, you have to register the ISBN when you first create the project. I'm 99% sure that it can't be done otherwise.

So, I must create a new project, which isn't a huge deal, but sort of a pain. I need my ISBN registration info, which lady pubisher has to send me.

Then I have to update every link to the book I posted on various websites. Most of that last part is finished, I think. I just replaced my book link with my lulu storefront link. Hopefully I got all of them.

Does anyone else's head hurt?

Any links to the current print version of She Who is Vengeance will die a quick death within the next couple of days.

Also, I want to sincerely thank anyone who has bought the book and/or mentioned my book to other people or linked me or whatever else I might have missed. If I could clone an army of you, I would hit the best seller list in around ten minutes.

Also today, we have an illustration from the weekend. Prints are available in my zazzle gallery, hopefully, if my categories are fixed now.

Other places to find me:
Twitter: @LeaRyan1
Lulu storefront, which lists my debut novel She Who is Vengeance -