Monthly Archives: February 2017

How I Survived My First Live Reading

I’m just going to say this, in case there’s anyone who hadn’t picked up on it: I’m an introvert.

Beyond that, I’m also shy and socially awkward, and I’m non-confrontational to the point where introducing myself to someone or asking for something over the phone sends me hightailing it for the hills.

So when a lovely woman from the library board called me and asked whether I’d be interested in doing a live reading from my books during our town’s winter carnival, the answer was obvious.

“Of course!”

I mean, I started a YouTube channel so I could get more comfortable with speaking, didn’t I? And I have to get out there and do these things if I ever want to expand my comfort zone (or at least get used to stepping outside of it).

So yeah, I agreed. And then I freaked out, second-guessed myself, prayed for a blizzard, and hid my head in the sand before actually thinking to ask for help from people who do this a lot.

Thanks to help from those lovely people and readers who helped me choose passages to read, I survived. And I decided to pass along their fine advice and tips in a video, just in case anyone else can use it. 🙂

(here’s the link in case you can’t see the embedded video)

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COVER REVEAL: Beast & Beauty by Kate Sparkes

Hey! That’s me! 😀

Here’s the story. I mean, not the story… that’s coming February 23. But the story ABOUT the story.

I’ve been hard at work on my vampires since October (and before that, but that’s another story). I love them. They’re wonderful. They’re dark and delicious and bloody and sexy and fast-paced and they’re TOTALLY my front-burner project right now.

But isn’t it fun to play in another sandbox sometimes, just to get a break?

Back in December, I was asked whether I’d be interested in participating in a fairy tale romance short story anthology. Word count under 8,000 words, due in January.

WOULD I? I love fairy tales! I love romance! And the kicker was that I could do whatever I wanted, including setting it in one of my worlds.

It would have been perfect had I been able to come up with a story I thought I could do justice to in that small word count, but I couldn’t. I mean, I could have told the story, sure. But the one I wanted to tell would have felt really sparse and rushed at that length.*

But once those ideas start bouncing around, it’s hard to set them aside. Especially when it’s Christmas, you’re supposed to be “off work,” and you’re itching to write something a little different from that Urban Fantasy you’re working on.

Or maybe that’s just me.

In any case, Beast & Beauty was born. It looks nothing like the original concept I came up with for a twist on Beauty and the Beast, but I’m totally in love with it. It’s set in Elurien several years before Into Elurien, in the midst of the monster revolution. Queen Verelle is very much alive and showing her true colours, and a timid cervid named Nava is about to get way more adventure than her heart ever desired.

beast-beauty-kindle

Can’t wait for a bit of sweet fairy tale romance, big adventure, and another visit to Elurien?

Well, I’ve got good news. This gorgeous little novella is coming on February 23, 2017… and it’s going to be absolutely FREE.

Yep, this one is a newsletter exclusive, and I’ll be sending the links out on my birthday (because hey, I like giving gifts as much as I like getting them).

Not signed up yet? Visit my website and click the newsletter tab at the top. Once you’ve confirmed your subscription (check your spam and promo folders), the gears at Mailchimp will start turning, and you’ll get two free Bound trilogy prequel stories in about 24 hours.

…and this story on the 23rd.

See you then!

*truth be told, there were two I wanted to tell. The other, a revised and expanded version of my flash fiction story “Cinder Ella” will be next, and will likely go out to my pen name’s newsletter list… when she has one.


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