I know, I know. Too much promotion here these days, right?
I promise I’ll be back with something else when I have anything interesting to share with you. Right now I’m buckling down, trying to avoid wasting time on social media, and working on getting the first three books I’ll be releasing under my pen name ready for publication. There’s a lot going on here… it’s just behind the scenes.
I do have one bit of excitement to share, though! For the first time ever, Bound is free on all of its regular ebook retailers! Whether you read on Kobo, iBooks, Nook, Kindle, or those smaller ones whose names I can never remember, I’m giving the ebook away.
I wish I could say I had a big strategic reason for doing this, but honestly? It was the end of winter, I was in a funk, and not much lifts my spirits like giving something away. And between this and the paperback giveaway I just wrapped up with my newsletter type people*, I’m having a pretty good time.
Besides, we’re coming up on Bound’s third anniversary as a published book. Why not invite some new people in to explore this world and get to know my beloved characters?
So if you haven’t started the series yet, check out the links at books2read.com/bound. If you have read and enjoyed these books, why not offer a recommendation to a book-loving friend? This offer is only going to be on for a few weeks, and when it’s over, I don’t know whether or when it will happen again.
*Newsletter subscribers get the VIP treatment. Giveaways, bonuses, free stuff… want to join in? Visit my site to sign up, then watch your inbox (or spam folder) for the confirmation email. Add me to your contacts so you don’t miss anything, and enjoy!
Leave a comment | tags: books, dragon, ebook, ereader, fairy tales, fantasy, free book, ibooks, kindle, kobo, magic, mermaid, nook, promotion, writing, YA, ya fantasy | posted in books, Bound, promotion
I’m going to keep this short, because I have places to be. Things to do. People to create.
Yep. Starting a new project today. This one is a story concept that came to me as I was falling asleep one night back in the fall (summer? I dunno), and I somehow hung onto it until morning. I made notes and had to set it aside to get Sworn finished and then to participate in the Skeleton Key book series. No regrets about either of those things, obviously, but I’m SO glad to finally be getting to this one.
And yet… It’s always hard to start. No matter how much preparation I do, how solid my outline is, how well I think I know my characters, or how excited I am about this story, it’s hard. My brain wants to procrastinate.
One more cup of tea.
I should call the insurance company about the thing and probably make that optometrist appointment I’ve neglected for three years.
I should work on that character’s motivations more.
I could start tomorrow…
Nope. I’ve done this enough times to know that it won’t be easier tomorrow. That blank page is going to be intimidating no matter how prepared I am. My characters are going to surprise me and take the story places I didn’t expect, even if I plan every scene down to fill-in-the-blanks level.
It’s not going to come out the way I want it on the first draft if I start it today, tomorrow, or two weeks from now.
And the best way to get over this fear is to just start writing.
Wish me luck.
6 Comments | tags: fantasy, first draft, getting started, inspiration, procrastination, stories, writing, YA | posted in Fiction, the Phoenix Game, writing
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.
**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!)
5 Comments | tags: achievement, book release, bound trilogy, bound trilogy book three, emotions, fantasy, gratitude, indie publishing, publishing, reading, release day, self-publishing, Sworn, writing, YA, young adult | posted in books, Bound, publishing, release party, Sworn, Torn, writing
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!
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…
Leave a comment | tags: books, bound trilogy, fantasy, giveaway, party, release party, romance, Sworn, YA | posted in books, Bound, promotion, release party, Sworn, Torn
It’s WIPpet Wednesday again! So that means it’s time to share a snippet from a work in progress that relates in some way to today’s date.
Let’s see here… *flips through papers, disappears into filing cabinet*
One paragraph for the first month, from chapter 17 (7-1=6). Zero context.
We’d sworn we would do everything in our power to be together, that nothing would separate us. But perhaps fate or the gods didn’t care what we wanted. What were the promises of two people when compared with the needs of the entire world?
Um… *checks notes again* Well, that was ominous.
Oh, but before I go, here’s the link to the rest of the WIPpeteers. Stop by and see what kind of shenanigans they’re up to! And big thanks to Emily Witt for once again taking up hosting duties. Feel like maybe this is the week you’d like to join in on the fun and get to know some fellow writers? Say hi to everyone else, post to your blog, and link back! It’s really easy.
11 Comments | tags: fantasy, romance, YA | posted in Sworn, WIPpet Wednesday
I asked my Facebook reader group/street team last week whether they wanted me to post chapter one for them. Opinions were divided. Some said “absolutely,” while others felt it would be too frustrating to read it and then have nowhere to go from there.
So I’m posting it here under “free fiction,” as I did with the first chapters of Bound and Torn. If you want to be teased, it’s there. If not… less than a month to wait for the whole thing!
(Sworn releases January 29 on Amazon, Kobo, Nook, iBooks, and other select ebook retailers)
3 Comments | tags: chapter one, fantasy, free, indie, indie author, kate sparkes, magic, potioner, sample, Sworn, trilogy, YA, young adult | posted in Bound Trilogy Book 3, Sworn, Uncategorized
Time for WIPpet Wednesday again! Our numbers may be small right now, but it’s always fun to see what the other WIPpeteers are up to. Romance, action, magic, mystery… writers do lead exciting lives. 🙂
So we need a short snippet from a work in progress relating to today’s date. Hmm.
WIPpet math: 12/30/2015 = 12 paragraphs from chapter 17 (30+2+0-15). Rowan’s POV again, slightly edited to avoid spoilers. All you need to know is that they’re in a barn, it’s very dark, and they’re not alone.
“You all right?” Aren asked, and sat beside me.
“Just sore from trying not to fall off a flying horse.”
“Anything I can do?”
I spread my blankets out and lay on my back. “My legs are really stiff.”
Aren moved through the darkness, and a moment later his hands were on my thighs, pressing hard. I gasped. “Ouch.”
“You want me to go easier on you?” The slight challenge in his voice made me shiver.
“No. It’s fine.”
He worked in silence, pressing and kneading. I gritted my teeth through the sore spots, and my muscles relaxed even as my heartbeat insisted on doing the opposite. He bent my knee and pressed it to my chest, stretching out the stiffness in my backside, first on one side and then the other.
I nodded, then remembered he couldn’t see that in the dark. “Yes. Thank you. Anything I can do for you?”
He chuckled, and the sound made my heart jump. He lay down beside me and ran a hand over the outside of my jacket, then opened the buttons and slipped his fingers inside. I bit back a gasp.
“Nothing I’d want anyone else to wake up in the middle of.”
For more WIPpet Wednesday fun and to catch up with the other WIPpeteers, visit this link. And feel free to join in! Just post your own snippet on your blog, make the math work for you however you can, and link back.
Thanks for Emily Witt for hosting!
7 Comments | tags: bound trilogy, fantasy, indie, romance, snippet, YA | posted in Bound Trilogy Book 3, Sworn, Uncategorized, WIPpet Wednesday
Yes, the day has FINALLY arrived! I’ve had this cover (created, like the first two, by the incredibly talented Ravven) since early this past summer, but wanted to save the big reveal for a time closer to the release date.
And we now have a release date. *whee, party!*
And so much exciting stuff going on, including a SALE! Yep, to celebrate this cover reveal day, the Bound ebook is on sale for 99 cents on Amazon, Nook, Kobo, and iBooks! I don’t do this often, so if you know someone who’s been waiting for a sale to grab the book and start the series, today would be a great day to let them know about this little treat. 🙂
Visit my website here for the links.
But enough about that.
We’re here about a new book. An exciting book. A massive, twisting, thrilling, heart-pounding conclusion that some of you have been waiting rather impatiently for.
And it’s coming on Friday, January 29, 2016.
Are you ready?
Not every fairy tale ends with “happily ever after.”
The plan was simple: Find Ulric, the lost king of Tyrea, then return him to Luid to reclaim his throne from the tyrant who stole it. But though Aren, Rowan, and Nox accomplished the first part of their task, the rest is proving to be more complicated than any of them imagined.
Severn won’t give up his throne without a fight. Worse, it seems Ulric did not fare as well during his years in captivity as he’s led everyone to believe—and Rowan may not have escaped unscathed, either.
If Nox doesn’t find a cure for the king’s mysterious ailment, Aren will be forced to challenge Severn for the crown. It’s a battle Aren has little hope of winning. And if he does, it will cost him the love and the freedom he’s fought so hard to gain.
Please share this post anywhere you’d like–the more, the merrier!
3 Comments | tags: book, book three, Bound, cover reveal, fantasy, indie, indie publishing, sale, Sworn, YA | posted in Bound Trilogy Book 3, cover reveal, Sworn
Yes, that’s right. It’s almost time.
I’ve finished my first post-editor round of revisions on Sworn, which means I’ll soon have an official release date for you. And what better way to make the announcement than by revealing the gorgeous cover? Ravven has worked her magic again, and it is AMAZING.
Maybe we’ll even throw a sale on Bound in there. Because why not? This has been a hard road for me. I’m not at the end, but pausing to celebrate in a big way will make the rest of the journey even better.*
The cover reveal will be happening FRIDAY, DECEMBER 4, though newsletter subscribers will get a super-secret sneak peek the evening before. We’ll have the reveal here, and on my website…
And anywhere else people care to host it. HOORAY, PARTY!!!
If you’re interested in helping out by posting the cover, description, and details on your blog or site, I’d be ever so grateful (and you’ll be on the list for an advance review copy, if you feel so inclined and have time to read before release). Just e-mail me at kate.sparkes (at) live.ca, and we’ll get it done. I’ll have the post info ready to send out a few days ahead of time.
And if you’d like to do something fun around release time, just let me know and we’ll work something out.
If you don’t have a blog, or if cover reveals don’t fit your theme, no worries! I’d love to just have you drop by to say hello and get the information you need (and gawk/drool, of course). And if you feel like sharing via Twitter or Facebook, that’s a huge help, too.
It’s coming soon, guys… I can almost taste it.
*Meaning another editing pass for small changes and continuity checks, then several weeks with beta readers, then a polishing pass and proofreading. Just for anyone who’s keeping score at home. 😉
Leave a comment | tags: book 3, book three, bound trilogy, cover reveal, fantasy, indie, release date, Sworn, YA, yalit | posted in books, Bound Trilogy Book 3, cover reveal, Sworn
I know you’re patiently waiting (okay, some of you not so patiently) for a release date for Sworn. And I’m here to tell you…
That I don’t know yet. *ducks rotten eggs and tomatoes*
I had planned to make the announcement early this month, and to have the book out by Christmas. I planned this based on the fact that I expected it to be back from editing by now. But due to unforeseen and unavoidable circumstances, my editor couldn’t take the book until last week, and I’m not sure when work started. It’s a big book, and I don’t have guarantees on when it will be back.
So first, the bad news:
- I can’t make promises until it comes back and I see how much work it needs. I’ll never give my readers anything but my best work, and I learned on the last release that setting a release date too early = rush and stress, and I don’t want to risk it turning into a situation where I cut corners to meet a deadline. I’ll tell you that you’ll have a book to cozy up with in the depths of this coming winter (if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere), though. The delay won’t be that huge. It might just mean no Sworn in your stocking.
I know. I’m at least as bummed about that as you are. I’m looking at the opportunities here and staying positive, though, and there is a lot to be positive about (grey hairs are pretty, right?).
The good news:
- My kids are now able to stay at school for lunch, which gives me a little extra work time every day. Once Sworn comes back from my editor, I’ll be working on that and nothing else.
- Cover art is ready to roll, formatting shouldn’t be a big issue (knock on wood), and I’m in the process of lining up beta readers who can get this thing back to me quickly. That will cut down on my production time, and hopefully get the book into your hands sooner.
- I’m keeping release plans, including pre-orders, flexible. I won’t do anything that might delay getting the book into your hands.
- The book is going to be amazing, and absolutely worth the wait. And I will have a release date for you in the next less-than-a-month. Promise.
And one other thing.
I mentioned last week during my WIPpet Wednesday post that this delay has given me time to work on another little project. That project is a prequel novella for the Bound trilogy that takes place a few decades before. It’s the story of a Sorcerer king and the young woman with no magic who nonetheless enchants him, an ill-fated romance if ever there was one. It answers some questions for readers of the trilogy, and will make for an excellent read while you’re waiting for Sworn. I’m in the process of finding an editor for that one.
And the best part? To say thanks for your patience, this book (when it’s ready) will be available FREE just for subscribing to my newsletter. If you’re subscribed, you’ll get it automatically, and new subscribers will get it (and The Binding) as well.
I’ll keep you updated on that one.
Thanks again for your patience. I assure you that the wait is every bit as frustrating for me as it is for you, and I can’t wait to share the conclusion of this story with you.
Leave a comment | tags: at any cost, book 3, bound trilogy, bound trilogy book three, fantasy, free, kate sparkes, prequel, release date, romance, Sworn, update, YA | posted in Bound Trilogy Book 3, Sworn, writing