FREE on Amazon September 25!

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For another few hours only, you can still get this awesome book FREE!

Hidden somewhere in the High Alps is a mysterious Crystal that gives incredible power to whoever possesses it. The Shifters Alliance has one final chance to find the Crystal before the murderous apes and their evil master get their hands on it.

But as Carter guides the Snow Bears into the lost lands to recover the Crystal, they discover – too late – that they’ve been betrayed. The heroes have walked right into a trap.

With the Crystal on its way to the evil one, it is left to Kerri to rescue Carter and the Bears and prevent the evil forces from using the Crystal’s power to destroy their world.

The Shifters Alliance prepares for a final stand in this gripping chapter of the Changing Times series.

I’ve begun reading this book and it’s a great read. It drops you immediately into the action and Shaun Griffith makes you feel immediately what relationship there is between the characters. The love between Kerri and Carter, the camaraderie between Carter and the Snow Bears, the urgency to get the Crystal to a safe place. Can’t wait to find out how it all goes.

You can get Part 3 of Changing Times on Amazon.

Writing Update – 14 days

I promised to give you updates on my writing of Book 3 of the Suckers Trilogy, but I find it hard to find the time. Even though I’ve begun writing Book 3 a fortnight ago, I’ve only written a full four days. In that time, I’ve gotten halfway to Chapter 9. I’ve set myself a goal of 1200 words per chapter (as this is the average in the other two books), and I’m well above this with 10,399 words so far. I’m happy with that.

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So far, Charlie has gone missing and Kate just found out who’s behind it. She’s met the DI in charge, Grayson (see images above), and there is a spark between him and her sister, Julie. I had so far kept Julie’s love interest rather vague as I didn’t know what to do with it. She ran an all-girls pack during Black October, but never got involved with one of the girls. Duncan was interested in her, and she strung him along, but she never got involved with him. There had to be a love interest for Kate in this book and I thought for a moment it was going to be Grayson. It didn’t feel right, rather awkward actually. And when Julie and Grayson met, the puzzle pieces fitted. Julie falls for older men!

Don’t worry, I have already found that love interest for Kate. Yes, she still loves Charlie, and I’m not saying she’s making the same mistake as she did with Caleb. She learned her lesson. So what’s going to happen is going to be a surprise 🙂 .

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So, which is your favorite Grayson image? His characteristics are the gray hair at the temples and being an ‘older’ man (keeping in mind that Julie is in her mid-thirties). I actually think No.2 and No.3 are the same man at different ages. I have no idea who they are. I could have put George Clooney in there as well, but I didn’t want to be that cheesy. If you have any other suggestions, let me know!

Trent Erwin

It’s official! Book 3 of the Suckers Trilogy is being written!

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This morning I turned my social media off and opened Scrivener to begin writing the last installment of the Suckers Trilogy. Two hours later, chapter one is written.

It is such relief. I have waited so long to do this. The main story line exists in my head, but I can’t wait to flesh it out ‘on paper’ and find out where my characters are taking me this time. I may have the ending plotted, but that doesn’t mean I’ll get there. Kate may take a completely different route. Who knows?

I’ll try and keep you up to date (without any spoilers) of my trials and tribulations on this final epic journey of Kate and her family.

If you haven’t had the chance yet to get acquainted with Kate, now is your chance. Book 1 of the Trilogy is on SALE, but only until the 16th of September. You can get your copy on Amazon or KOBO.

Book 1 of the Suckers Trilogy Now On SALE

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Header image by Aris Sfakianakis

Killing A Vampire – Playlist

The Music I’ll be listening to when writing Book 3

I’m on the brink of writing Killing A Vampire and I’ve made a playlist to get me in the mood. I’ve written Book 1 and 2 with music from the albums Just Great Songs 2014 and 2015. I was amazed how many of those songs fit my stories.

Killing A Vampire is going to be a lot darker than the previous installments as it is the final of the Suckers Trilogy, hence the music is a lot darker too. My favorite is Arsonist’s Lullaby by Hozier at the moment (I play it so often until I will come to hate it 🙂 ). Drink the Water by Justin Cross is coming in at a good second place. The song has nothing to do with the story. I just like the tone it sets. The songs are not in a particular order, they don’t ‘tell the story.’ Let me know if you know any of the songs and what your favorite is.

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Header image by Diego Sulivan

What If I Tell You Vampires Really Do Exist?

Genetic mutation turns people into real-life ‘vampires’

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You can read it all in this article by Lizzy Parry that I saved in my Flipboard magazine.

The vampire stories There exists a gene mutation that blisters people’s skin when they go out in sunlight. This is caused by a condition, called erythropoietic protoporphyria (EPP) which prevents them from making heme/haem (the component of haemoglobin responsible for binding oxygen), which also makes them anemic and hence lethargic and pale.

In the olden days, they combatted the disease with drinking blood and only going out at night, which probably led to the vampire myth.

The disease still exists.

Vampires live on.

Raising A Vampire Review

A Monster of All Emotional Rollercoasters!

I just saw the review I received from Sandra Vattimo, a person I don’t know but who apparently read Book 1 and now Book 2. It appears she liked it, so I must be doing something right 🙂 .

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Here’s what she wrote:

“Book two of the Suckers Trilogy was filled with just as much excitement as the first, but was laced with more emotional turmoil. The cause of the turmoil is a huge spoiler so I’ll try my best to share my anxiety carefully.

**If you haven’t read book one, the following will be considered SPOILERS**

I hope you all paid attention to the end of the first book because this one begins 10 years later. The world was provided with vaccinations against the virus which had caused all the problems to begin with. It doesn’t take too much imagination to realize not everyone has been located for vaccinating. It also doesn’t take further imagination to understand it won’t work on everyone.

But what about the babies?? Early on in this story we learn the answer to that question. Baby Sue is now a 10-year-old young lady. A series of awful events lead to the heart of the story. I spent most of the read on the monster of all emotional rollercoasters. I was angry, then hopeful. Frustrated beyond belief, then confused and hopeful again. Throw in some heartbreak and a bit of relief.

I loved reading this book. The ending was a mix of happy and sad. Sue’s future looks … Kate and Charlie appear to be … I was sad when “he” died. I was happy when the other “he” died. I will continue to mourn until the final book in this trilogy comes out.”

Thank you so much for your review, Sandra! It made my day and all my sweat, grit, and love worth it! 🙂

Raising A Vampire is available on Amazon

Fantastic Song As Powerful As A Novel

Arsonist’s Lullaby by Hozier

As I’ve just finished Book 2 of the Suckers Trilogy, I’ve already been looking out for songs to play while writing Book 3. As it’s going to be the grand finale of the trilogy, it’s going to be a lot darker than the first two books. Hence, the music is going to be dark as well.

I hadn’t heard of Hozier until his song Take Me To Church, which always reminds me of the Amazon series Preacher. I don’t know how I came upon the song Arsonist’s Lullaby, probably a follow-up on the YouTube list of Brothers Bright. It just sang out to me.

The song starts with two verses, followed by the chorus, and alternating a verse and chorus twice thereafter. If you follow the structure of a novel, this is comparable with the beginning, the middle, and the end. However, the beginning has two verses instead of one. That’s the hook. The story told in those two verses draw you in. What happens next? You want to hear the next verse.

Each verse can be seen as a chapter and has a character arch. Next to this, the verses tell the story of a man as he grows up. ‘When I was a child…’ is the start of the first and second verse. ‘When I was sixteen…’ is the opening line of the second verse, and the final verse starts with ‘When I was a man…’ Chronological story telling, working toward the climax of the present. What is he now, if not a man?

The chorus is the bit that intrigues me the most.

All you have is your fire
And the place you need to reach
Don’t you ever tame your demons
But always keep them on a leash

The first sentence speaks of a very deep loneliness, the second of a need that helps to fill that loneliness. Why is he lonely? What is that place he needs to reach? The third and fourth sentence tell you about the darkness that surrounds this man. Why is he in this dark place? Why doesn’t he want to kill his demons?

The music begins with the acapella humming of a choir, quickly replaced by a powerful beat that stays steady throughout the whole song. It’s the backbone and gives the song its strength. When the chorus starts the first time, only angelic singing is added in the background, giving it an ominous feel. At the start of the third verse, maniacal piano tunes replace the choir and as the singer talks about the birth of an arsonist, it gives the song a destructive edge. Last verse is intensified by the voice of the singer, but ever so slightly, and the addition of cymbals. The drama of the song ends in the simplicity of only the voice of the singer and the beat, back where it began but with a history that is tangible.

You like Hozier’s voice or you don’t. I think it is perfect for this song as there is a lament to it that not everyone has. It adds drama and depth.

All in all awesome!

If only I could write a book as good as this song.

Kudos to VeritasProductions who edited her video (season 2 of Daredevil) to the beat. Her timing is perfect. I’m definitely going to watch the episodes now  🙂 .

 

10 Things You Shouldn’t Do When Launching Your Book (Online)

I have just published my second book on Amazon. The first book disappeared into the Amazon abyss in no time. I was a complete novice then and didn’t advertise. This time, I was going to shout it from the rooftops and make my book get to #1 in its category on Amazon! Right? Wrong. Here’s what I learned from this experience.

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  1. Don’t go on a two-week holiday during the month before the launch

    There is so much that needs to be done in the weeks before your book goes ‘live.’ Communication with your launch team members, finalizing your text, organizing advertisement. Don’t waste that time by not being there.

  2. Don’t launch your book when it’s not in tip-top shape

    I was still changing words, sentences, paragraphs the day before the launch. I’m still not done. Try to make sure the book is exactly what you want it to be before even contemplating putting it out there. It’ll save you a lot of stress.

  3. Don’t assume your launch team has read your book

    I knew some team members had other books to finish first, but I assumed they all would have read it by the time the book was due to be published. I reminded them a month before launch and a week before launch. I didn’t want to be too pushy. It only takes about four and a half hours to read it, yet, when I contacted them personally the day before the launch to tell them their review was wanted in a day’s time, there were still those who hadn’t even started reading. You need to contact them sooner, individually, to make sure they read it. Or scrap to them from your ‘people to count on’ list.

     

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  4. Don’t assume your launch team members read your posts

    I knew there were a few people in my launch team new to the whole experience and I wrote a post with guidelines on how to write a review. Don’t assume they read it. Or follow it. Even when I posted where and how to find the place on Amazon to write the review, people still contacted me to ask how to do it. Just smile and explain it to them, again. When they write a review and give away the plot, contact them asap, drop to your knees and produce those crocodile tears, anything, to make them take that one sentence out of their review.

  5. Don’t order a BargainBooksy promo if your book is free

    I made that big mistake. I thought BargainBooksy and FreeBooksy were two completely different entities. They’re not. BargainBooksy contacted me on the day to say they couldn’t run the promo as my book was free and not between $0.99-$2.99. They offered to switch me over to FreeBooksy, but FreeBooksy couldn’t run my promo on any of the days my book was actually free. Day 1 wasted.

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  6. Don’t assume all launch team members are there for you

    There are some people that are there for you every step of the way. Love them to bits. And then there are those that join your team and are never heard of again. Why they joined the team, I don’t know. I understand that everybody lives busy lives, but when you sign up for a launch team, people count on you. I know I’ve been one of those, and I still feel guilty about it, even though I always tell people I’m a very slow reader. What I don’t understand it that they don’t reply after you contact them personally. At least a word of ‘Sorry, I was busy’ would be nice. Now I keep wondering if they got hit by a train or something.

  7. Don’t use Fiverr if you don’t know how it works

    It was the first time I used Fiverr. I did so much wrong. I  ordered a promo by a girl that said she needed three days to set it up (I opted for ‘the whole hog’ package). I didn’t realize you actually had to order it three days before you wanted it, not 5 days in advance. I managed to contact the girl and ask if she could do it later, on 1 or 2 September. No problem, she said, not mentioning what day she was actually going to do it. I had to try and get a response from her again. I finally did. 1 September she said. Okay, sorted, I thought. She didn’t do it on 1 September. She contacted me on 2 September to ask for the text of the tweet (I thought I had given her enough info (and money) for her to sort this. For some reason or other she didn’t run the promo on the 1st and assumed the 2nd would be okay. Not. I never got my money back as Fiverr keeps it’ in my account for future use.’ As if I ever want to go through that again. Lesson learned. Day 2 wasted (and my money).

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  8. Don’t assume your launch team members write reviews that make your book rise in the Amazon ranks

    Even though the word ‘launch’ should make it clear that a launch team is there to help your book upward, some people have a problem understanding the system. They insist on rating the book according to how they compare it to other books they’ve read. Obviously, I can’t dispute their rating, but being in a launch team is not about ‘them.’ Team members are there to help the author rise in the Amazon rank to be seen by more people and hence be able to get more people to see and read your book. You can ask team members to contact you if they have a problem giving it four or five stars, but like I said before (see point 4), not everyone reads your posts.

  9. Don’t think Facebook ads are your savior

    When I already missed two days of advertising, I quickly made a video for my book and advertised it on Facebook (it took me half a day to make, more time of my promo time wasted). I still have no idea how it works, but I paid over £20 for five people to click on the ad. There is no way I can check if they bought it afterward. I stopped it as soon as I realized that this was a very expensive way of advertising.

  10. Don’t give up!

    Even though your ranking will plummet into the abyss immediately after the free days ended (I ranked #2557 the day after the promo), don’t give in. Don’t give up. Keep at it. Keep promoting your books and keep writing more! Remember that perseverance is stubbornness with a purpose 🙂 .

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Reading image by Thought Catalog

Running image by  Clem Onojeghuo

PS: The header image was taken at a book fair in 2016, showing my first book

Grit, Sweat, and Love

You can’t stop this train!

The launch and promo of Book 2 of the Suckers Trilogy are over and I’m exhausted. It is done. People can finally enjoy the fruits of my grit, sweat, and love of the past six months. Would I do it again? Of course! Just different…

I’m not a religious person, but I love this song. It’s so empowering. Grit, sweat, and love by the Brothers Bright. Get out of my way, you can’t stop this train!

From a young age, I have always used music as a way to steer my emotions. It calms me down when I am upset, it stimulates me when I need more energy, and it is a way to express my feelings ad hoc. Red Hot Chilli Peppers music has been blasting many a time from my student flat.

After the launch fiasco (see my next post), this song is just what I need to persevere!

 

Train image by Romain Peli