SALE ENDS TOMORROW

Howdy, readerinos!

Just a quick post in case anyone missed it in the newsletter or on my Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram: $2.99 USD pricing on the books in the Bound trilogy ends TOMORROW. As in, the prices will start creeping back up on Monday.

If you’ve been putting off grabbing Sworn and finishing the trilogy, now would be a great time to do it and save yourself a couple of bucks. Or to pick up the set if you’ve been holding off on starting. Visit my website (www.katesparkes.com) or click the images in the sidebar for links and details.

Okay. I think I’ve warned everyone.

Hibernation time!

sworn sale end twitter

 


Snobbery*

Hey, guys! I’m going to start doing Throwback Thursday posts here. I’ve posted a lot of things over the past few years that deserve to see the light of day again, and this is one of them. I still stand by this. I’m happier promoting what I love than I am making people feel inferior for loving what I hate.

disregard the prologue

“I’m a coffee snob. Starbucks tastes like crap, and if you drink it, I’m laughing at you.”

“You listen to One Direction? Gross.”

“I’m super kinky. If you’re vanilla, you must be a boring, lifeless person. Sorry.”

“You say you like My Little Pony, but you collect VINTAGE ones and have only seen season one of Friendship is Magic? Poser.”

“You’re not a gamer if you haven’t played x and y. Noob.”

“You’ve watched Game of Thrones, but not read the books? You know nothing.”

“Fantasy? Really? Why don’t you read a real book?”

You all still with me? I’m sure you could come up with more examples. Whether it’s fashion or food, comics or current events, pop culture or ponies, you meet them everywhere.

Snobs. People who judge and exclude those who know less than them, whose tastes are less sophisticated, who haven’t been members of the community…

View original post 1,000 more words


So, what’s next?

It’s hard to believe that the Bound trilogy is in my rear-view mirror. It was a crazy journey. Each book challenged me in new ways (and threatened my sanity with astonishing consistency), and made me a better writer in the process.

The question as I approached the end of the journey was, “What’s next?”

I’m certainly not short on ideas. I have a gorgeous notebook that I keep them in, and even if I only look at the “gotta write it now” stories, I’m booked through 2018. The difficult thing was that I’ve grown used to deadlines. I didn’t have one with Bound, but as soon as it started finding an audience, I found that I had a whole lot of motivation to get the rest of the series done. Readers wanted more, I wanted to give them more… it worked.*

But suddenly the story is done. If there’s more of it (*cough*), it won’t be ready to be written for a few years. And I’m ready to take a little break from that world. Much as I adore the characters, they need room to breathe and grow, and so do I. When we meet again, they’ll be a little older and wiser and ready for new adventures, and I’ll be a better writer and ready to meet whatever new challenges they** throw at me.

The question was what would come next. And thanks to a message I received from a fellow indie author in early December, I have an answer.

And it’s here.

I needed a challenge, and this project is delivering. I have a very restricted word count allowance, and you all know how I love to write a big, beautiful book. I’m not willing to sacrifice character development or worldbuilding, so this is a good challenge. I also have a tight deadline. I have time for my full draft-revise-alpha readers-revise-send to editor-fix-beta readers-fix again-proofread routine, but not for much more. And I have a group of authors relying on my to uphold my end of the bargain, just as they’re busting their asses to uphold theirs.

It’s going to be tight, and the pressure is already on. And I don’t even have a title for it yet.

This project is pushing me to produce a kick-ass book with almost none of the advance planning time that I’m used to. I don’t get months or years to get to know the characters and mull over the plot before drafting. This is me jumping off a cliff and trusting my muse to catch me.

So far, so good. I adore the story and characters. In fact, it took me exactly eight chapters to fall for… someone.

Screenshot 2016-02-01 13.20.58

Do I want to do this all the time? Definitely not. But I think the lessons I learn will help me with future books, and I’m already so grateful for that.

I think that’s all I can say about the project for now, except that you should definitely watch for snippets and clues about what it’s all about on WIPpet Wednesdays. You’re going to see monsters and magic, a perfectly average fish-out-of-water heroine whose world is turned upside down, moral ambiguity, risks and regrets, romance and excitement and…

Well. You’ll see. And it will be available in June.

JUNE, GUYS. And then there’s this lovely little semi-dystopian project with vengeful gods that’s been eating at me for a few months now…

Wish me luck!

*yes, 9 and 10 months between books was me pushing myself to my productivity limits. My family says they’re not willing to let me disappear into my office ten hours a day, so I’m doing what I can. :)

**Or their ancestors. Hmm.


The End of the Adventure.

series

So today is Sworn’s release day.

How am I feeling?

Excited. I’m more proud of this book than anything I’ve done before, and I’ve never released anything I wasn’t 100% in love with. I can’t wait for readers to see how the story ends. Those who have read it have been extremely enthusiastic about it, which makes me even more excited. Sworn is already creeping up the Amazon charts, which is pretty damned cool.

And I feel drained. Yesterday’s release party was a total blast, but eight hours at the computer does take it out of you (thank heavens for guest authors who popped in for giveaways so I could eat!). And I probably don’t have to explain why I haven’t been sleeping well for a while, with everything I’ve had to do to get ready for the release.

And proud. This has been the biggest project I’ve ever taken on, and I’ve done it without a boss or a publisher breathing down my neck. This has been my baby from start to finish, from draft to editor selection to cover design to proofreading. And I did it. Hell yes, I’m proud of my easily-distracted and procrastination-prone and self-doubting self for pulling this off.

And sad. I’ve been working with these characters for five years now, and we’ve grown a lot together. I’m not ready for this to be over. I’m going to miss them and their world.

And thankful. I say this has been my baby, but I wouldn’t be here without my critique partners, my beta readers, my editors, my cover artist, the blog friends who have shared posts and supported me…

…and the readers. I’m so overwhelmed with thankfulness for the readers. The people who buy books, read books, recommend books, review books, share books, and above all LOVE books. The people who bring characters and worlds to life in their imaginations, who carry parts of their favourite characters with them even when they story is done.

My stories would just be words without them.

And okay, I’m a little scared. I feel like I’m standing at the edge of a cliff. I have to jump into a new story (already started and going swimmingly, due out in June… with an actual outside deadline this time). And that’s fine. It’s exciting. And it’s terrifying.

But I’ll get through it. And I’m glad you guys will be here with me to see this adventure through.

And the next.

And the next.

Thank you.

**Sworn purchase links available at www.katesparkes.com 

(PS- thanks to everyone who has helped spread the word about the sale! The full trilogy is now available for under $10 USD, at least on retailers that don’t adjust prices upward. Not too shabby!)

sworn release pricing promo


WIPpet Wednesday: Five Measure Pot Edition

This is it. The last time I get to share a snippet from Sworn (and therefore from the Bound trilogy) for WIPpet Wednesday. As of Friday, the whole thing is done.

Crazy.

So for this blog hop we share a snippet of a work in progress that relates to the day’s date. For the 27th, I’m going flip the date around and share 5 paragraphs (7-2)

Aren’s POV, in a conversation with Kel.

“You don’t want this because it’s your right, or because you crave power. This is actually a selfless act on your part. Mostly.”

“Who’d have thought we’d see the day?”

Kel frowned at my facetious tone. “Admittedly, you went through a bad time there. You didn’t help Severn because it was the best thing for Tyrea. You did it to cover your own ass, to make a good place for yourself, to… whatever. You didn’t care who you hurt, as long as you were safe.”

I winced. “True, and a lovely summary of my character. Thank you.”

“But now.” He paused. “Actually, you’re still seven measures of asshole in a five-measure pot, but you’re getting there.”

Such a good friend.

So that’s it. Man. Crazy.

Don’t forget that we’re having the release party tomorrow (January 28) on Facebook. You can find the event here. And the official release of Sworn is on Friday, but I suspect we’ll see it up on most retailers at some point tomorrow.

I’m so excited. This book was the hardest thing I’ve ever written (logistically, emotionally, and even physically), but it’s been completely worth it.

Thanks to everyone who has helped spread the word about Bound and Torn being on sale!

Okay, enough babbling. Want some more WIPpet Wednesday fun? Visit this link and make some new friends. And then, should you feel so inclined, join in on your own blog and link back! Thanks to Emily Witt for hosting.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go get ready for a party. Take some more prize photos, wrangle some guest authors… EEP!

sworn_full

 


PARTY!!!

One week to Sworn’s big release day!

And I’m throwing a party to celebrate. How could I not? The Bound release party was small (as hardly anyone knew about the book), but a blast. The one for Torn was a little bigger, a little crazier, and STILL a blast.

This one’s going to be even better. We’ll have more giveaways (signed paperbacks, bookish goodies, and special little gifts to go with e-book giveaways), guest authors giving away THEIR books, a big (spoiler-free) Q&A if anyone has questions for me about the books, writing, what’s next, yadda yadda…

It’s going to be fun.

And the best part is that it’s happening on Facebook, so you don’t have to travel to Newfoundland to join us! I’ll be there from 3-10 PM my time (1:30 to 8:30 eastern), but some of the giveaways will stay open overnight for people on the other side of the world who can’t drop in during party hours.

Here’s the event link. Click to say you’re coming (and to get notifications of early-bird posts and/or giveaways), and drop in any time when the party’s on. Grab a fictional friend or date to bring with you (it might be worth a prize, you never know), find a comfy chair and some snacks, and we’ll see you on the 28th!

 

Screenshot 2016-01-22 10.12.33

My prize bucket a few months ago. It’s overflowing now. We’ll see how much we have time to give away during this event…


Nope

  
^This was my cat Lucy’s morning. Big plans to go out and conquer the world, but she walked out the door and found it was too cold, too windy, too harsh. That was a big “nope,” which was  followed by an immediate retreat back into the warmth of the house.

This is basically how my morning went, too. Ready to focus, to work… And finding out that Alan Rickman has left us. Not a personal friend of mine (unfortunately, our paths never seemed to cross), but an actor I admired. And I’m not ashamed to admit it, a huge celebrity crush. 

Yeah. I fantasized about him reading to me. That voice, man. That talent.

So I’ve retreated, much like Lucy did, from a world that seems a bit colder and darker than it did yesterday, having lost one of its bright spots. I’m working, but in bed, surrounded by dogs and blankets and chocolate. We all are allowed to mourn these losses. 

To those who say, “you didn’t even know him”: That’s not the point. It never is when a celebrity passes and fans mourn. They were a part of our little worlds, and their deaths leave holes. It hurts, and we need to grieve and to heal, to mourn as we would any loss.

The fact that people we’ve never met can inspire us, touch us, and leave their marks on our hearts is something beautiful and uniquely human. Even when it hurts.

Take care, guys.


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