Tag Archives: sparkes

COMING SOON: Fall Into Fantasy

I know, I know. It’s been way too quiet around here.

I was on vacation. It was fun. But I’m back now, and hard at work on revisions. If all goes well, Torn will be out to beta readers next month (if we talked about you reading and I haven’t been in touch, please forgive my lack of organizational skills, and give me a slap in the head). That’s taking all of my writing time right now, leaving little for blogging.

Priorities, right?

That said, I have AN ANNOUNCEMENT.

I’ve been invited (squeak!) to participate in the Fall Into Fantasy promotion, along with a TON of fantastic authors! It’s humbling, a little intimidating, and very exciting. We’ll all be posting about each other’s work, offering giveaways, having A PARTY… you know what? I’m just going to share the post that Mara Valderran, author of the Heirs of War books, sent out to us. She says it better than I do, anyway, and made such pretty pictures. Click here to get to her site, say hello… she’s super nice. 🙂

Take it away, Mara, and thanks for your hard work in organizing this!


It’s August, and that means Fall is upon us! To celebrate the cooler weather and keep your mind off any back to school blues, we’ve put together the Fall Into Fantasy Tour. This tour celebrates the wonderful fantasy books that you can dive into–right now!

But what’s a tour unless we are giving away free stuff? That’s right! Each week, we will be giving away some awesome prizes from the author being featured. And to wrap things up at the end of the promotion in December, we’re going to have a huge Facebook party all weekend long featuring these authors and more!

Want to get an idea of what is ahead? Check out the calendar below!

August 25th: The Darkness & Light series by K.L. Schwengel
September 1st: How to Date Dead Guys by Ann M. Noser
September 8th: The Undead: Playing for Keeps by Elsie Elmore 


September 15th: Shadows of Serenity by Marsha A. Moore
September 22nd: The Curse Merchant by JP Sloan
September 29th: The Ragnarok Prophecies by Ayden K. Morgan
October 6th: The Daath Chronicles by Eliza Tilton
October 13th: The Heirs of War series by Mara Valderran
October 20th: Salvation by James Wymore

October 27th: Strings by G. Miki Hayden



November 3rd: The Shadow Series by Anna Hub
November 10th: Between by Lisa Swallow

November 17th: Darkness Watching by Emma Adams


November 24th: Bound by Kate Sparkes
December 1st: The December People series by Sharon Bayliss
December 8th: The Disciple series by L. Blankenship

December 15th: Evensong by Krista Walsh

Don’t forget to join us at the Facebook party here! And be sure to check out these awesome blogs that will be hosting the tour for us:

Bilbo’s Book Ends

Katie’s Stories

Book Crazy Gals


Read Me

Kelly P’s Blog

SW Fairbrother

Want to get involved with the Fall Into Fantasy promotional tour? 

  • If you are interested in joining up as a blogger, you can always sign up here. We are happy to welcome more bloggers into the fold. 
  • If you are an author or blogger and want to sign up to help with the party, please fill out this form.
  • If you are an author that wanted to take part, be sure to add Mara on Twitter or Facebook to hear about other promotions you can get involved with.



Back to Kate:

Doesn’t that sound FANTASTIC? Be sure to check those books out, and mark your calendar to come back for your chance to win e-book copies and more.

Can you tell I’m excited? I’ve only read a few of these books (so good), and my TBR list just exploded.



Pen Names (and also tangents)

nom de plume

I’ve never really thought about using a pen name.  I can see the benefit if you want to keep your personal and writing life separate (I know I wouldn’t want my grandparents to know I wrote smut, if I did that. NEVER happens. *cough*), but I want my own name on my work when it goes out into the world.

Well, kind of my real name… in real life, I’m not Kate. I’m Kathleen. I know, SHOCKING. The weird thing is, I spend so much time on this blog and commenting on others, with critique partners and at write-ins on Twitter that I now think of myself as “Kate” and have to stop to think when I introduce myself to people in real life. Do you know how awkward it is when someone asks your name and you have to stop to think about it? So much worse than forgetting your own phone number…

Anyway. I’ve wanted my own name on my books for a long time. Definitely since I started thinking about publishing anything. There’s just one teeny-tiny problem.

Quick, how do you spell my last name?

Did you have to look? That’s OK, everyone does. Please don’t feel badly if you’re someone who does/has done it in the past, because it’s not just you. Everyone writes my name as “Kate Sparks.”

It’s a fine name, if you ignore the fact that the name “Sparks” in writing leads you to thinking of sappy, tear-jerker romances. But it’s not my name. I’m Sparkes with an “ES,” and  like it. It’s not the name I was born with, but it’s actually a pretty cool name. It’s a shortened form of the word “Sparrowhawk,” for one thing, which is a tiny little badass bird. Fine by me!

So what’s the problem? If readers can’t remember how to spell my name, they can’t find me. If someone tells a friend, “I read this amazing book by Kate Sparkes” and their friend is all “AWESOME, I’m gonna look for that” and they search for “Kate Sparks”…


See the problem? Especially for someone just starting out, I mean. If Stephen King changed the spelling of his last name to “Kyngge,” we’d still find him. For me, someone not finding my work on their first Amazon search could equal them saying “screw it, I’m reading the Hunger Games again.” And who could blame them? Fantastic book.

I’m getting off track again, aren’t I?

I’m not changing the spelling of my name to make it more searchable. I’m not changing it to Tallulah Fandongola, even if that is the name I give when I call the pizza place and it might be more recognizable (and is spelled phonetically). Most people probably search for books by title, so I’ll be OK as long as those are easy to remember (not like these ones), but still…

Questions! Will you publish/are you published under your own name? If not, why not? Do you recommend authors to people, or just books? Do you think Kate Sparrowhawk would be a good pen name HOLY CRAP THAT WOULD BE THE BEST PEN NAME EVER! What was I saying? Oh, any other thoughts on pen names, weird spellings, searchability on Google or Amazon? Anything, really. Tell me all of the things. ALL OF THEM! I’m not so much looking for advice or reassurances, since I already know what I’m doing. I just want know what you think.

(Also, if the day ever comes when someone searches on Google for “Kate Sparks” and it says, “Did you mean Kate Sparkes?” I will throw a huge party. Just saying.)

(Also also, have you ever read your own name so many times that it stops making sense and you begin to wonder whether you’re spelling it right? That’s me, right now, editing this post.)

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