Tag Archives: goodreads

Magical Places – Formal Gardens

Formal gardens make frequent appearances in my stories.  Perhaps it’s the riot of colors, or the topiary, or the symmetry of a formal garden that stirs my imagination. I’d like nothing better than to meander down the pathways, admiring the flowers and the pleasing arrangement of manicured hedges.  To me, a formal garden is one of the living embodiments of magic… but I wouldn’t want to trim the shrubbery.

What locations do you consider magical?

~ S.G. Rogers

 

Excerpt from The Last Great Wizard of Yden:

Clusters of sculptures decorated the pathways and grassy lawns. Some were of magical creatures, but there were a great many sculptures of people.

“I can’t get over the number of lifelike statues,” Jon said.

“Well, at least we now know where the party is,” Fred said. When he poked a fisherman with his finger, it left a fading blue imprint in the stone. “Hey, look, it’s a mood ring statue!”

“Thermochromism,” Casey said.

Fred gaped. “What?”

“The rock is heat‑sensitive,” Casey explained.

Jon circled a statue of an old woman. “The level of detail is amazing.”

The central pathway through the garden featured a carving of a man on his knees. His arm was flung over his head, as if to ward off some unseen danger. Another man was prostrate on the ground. Brett frowned. “They look afraid.”

Jon exchanged an apprehensive glance with Kira. She drew her sword.

“Let’s head back to the beach,” Jon said.

“Sissies!” Fred said. He leaped over the prone statue. “Scared of a bunch of lawn decorations.”

Kira scanned the garden. “Perhaps it would be wise to fear their maker.”
The Last Great Wizard of Yden, a full length fantasy novel. Buy the e-book NOW through Astraea Press, Amazon, BN.com and other fine outlets ($2.99 MSRP) FINAL DAY SALE $0.99  and then enter to win the paperback through my Goodreads giveaway HERE.

Watch the book trailer HERE!

How Breaking Into Publishing Is Like An Adventure Movie

For me, breaking into publishing was like a scene from the movie The Great Escape.  At times I was Charles Bronson, tunneling underground and trying to crawl my way through the soil.  Sometimes I was Steve McQueen, locked up in solitary but lots less cool. Right now, I’m James Garner, in a plane heading for the Alps. Hopefully my plane isn’t leaking fuel.

I used to think my writing career would go like this:

1)   Write brilliant novel;

2)   Acquire an agent for said novel; and

3)   Sign six-figure contract with a big publisher.

Um, no.  I soon discovered agents had no interest in me unless I was a proven moneymaker.  Fair enough, but that’s a Catch-22 isn’t it?  Fortunately, the rise of e-publishers finally gave me an alternative.  I learned I could submit directly to these e-publishers and have a better chance of breaking in than poor Angus Lennie (The Mole) had trying to climb over the barbed wire fence at the POW camp.

I used the author’s online resource Duotrope to narrow down a short list of publishers.  Then I crosschecked with Absolute Write Water Cooler and Preditors & Editors to see what the publishers’ reputations were.  Occasionally, I was cheeky enough to track down published authors on Goodreads and ask them their opinions of their publishers.

After I’d done my research, I began submitting manuscripts. Writing query emails and synopses are another topic altogether, but suffice it to say practice helps. Once I’d managed to place a few books, the whole process became easier.  The publishers I’m with all have supportive author loops where you can ask questions and learn the ropes.  Many experienced authors are more than willing to give advice or lend a helpful hand to the newbie.

Of course, my career didn’t just take off when I e-signed my contracts.  I’m having to learn the fine art and craft of promotion.  As Saturday Night Live’s Roseanne Rosannadanna used to say, “If it’s not one thing it’s another!”  But it’s an awful lot better on this side of the fence, I must say.

~ S.G. Rogers

(Hat tip to Roberta J. Gordon (@GeminiWitching) for asking me to write this post)

Thoughtful girl: © Dmitry Yashkin | Dreamstime.com

Open book magic: © Kydriashka | Dreamstime.com

Handful money: © Anatoly Tiplyashin | Dreamstime.com

Dragon and old book: © Frenta | Dreamstime.com