Final Sneak Peek

Witty Bard Publishing’s first Science Fiction Anthology was released. Look for it on Amazon for e-reader. I’m hopeful the paperback edition will be up soon. In the mean time, why not read on for a final sneak peek into my short story, We Will Not Go Quietly?

Natalie was standing in the bathroom doorway, one hand clutching her stomach. “Are they gone?”
Kennedy nodded. “Yeah. Steve just got home, he scared them off.”
“I’ve never been so afraid in my life.”
Kennedy reached out and hugged her. “Me either.”
“I hate it, Kennedy. I hate being stuck here, I hate being afraid. I’ve always been afraid and I’m tired of it.”
Kennedy helped Natalie to the living room and fetched what was left of their wine and some candles from the kitchen. “What do you mean you’ve always been afraid? What did you have to be afraid of? You grew up in the suburbs with a good family and enough to eat!”
“There are things to fear here too. Like failure. And fathers.”
“Did your father beat you? Or rape you? Because where I grew up, that was reality.”
Natalie shook her head. “My mother was a World War II historian so I was always exposed to those stories and images. There was something about their pain that was so much more than the stories could tell that I tried to capture it myself. My father saw what I was working on and told me they were awful, ugly things, that I was corrupt and ugly inside, like my mother was. He said we were both wasting our time with a war that was eighty years in the past and completely irrelevant.”
“Stupid bastard,” Kennedy said, her voice quivering with anger.
Natalie huffed. “You’ve never seen them, how do you know he wasn’t right? And who actually wants to paint such awful things? I grew up thinking there was something wrong with me. I truly believed that if I painted what I loved I’d fail somehow at what I had set out to be.”
“I think you’ve got it backwards,” Kennedy said. “I think you fail when you stop trying to be the best you that you can be. I would love to see your paintings, if you kept them.”
Natalie nodded and led Kennedy to the attic door. They climbed up, taking the flashlights with them, and Natalie uncovered the stack of canvas.

Want to see what Kennedy sees when she pulls back the protective sheets? Pick up your copy of Witty Bard Publishing’s first Science Fiction Anthology, available tomorrow, on Amazon.

We Will Not Go Quietly is a story of a world silently at war and two women who have the courage to stand up for their believes against all odds. Come see how they overcome fear and step up to fight for a world on the edge of darkness.

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Of Stars and Science: Tales of the Multiverse Release

The Witty Bard Publishing anthology, Of Stars and Science: Tales of the Multiverse, was released today, a whole two days early. Here’s the Amazon description.

Whether you like space travel or robots, there is something for you in this anthology! And, with a splash of romance here and there, it makes for a great read!

The stories and authors featured in this anthology are:
“Peace Talks” by Tristan Chambers
“We Will Not Go Quietly” by Casia Schreyer
“Maid in Ink” by Rie Sheridan Rose
“Faster Than Light” by Erik Schubach
“The Sin of A.D.A.M.” by John Kaniecki
“Landing Procedures” by Susan Bianculli
“Vacation” by John Haas

So far the collection is only available for Kindle e-readers and apps but the first two anthologies from Witty Bard are also available for paperback so hopefully, by Monday, the paperback edition of the Science-Fiction collection will also be available.

My story, We will not Go Quietly, is featured in this collection. I have been releasing sneak peeks this past week (with the last one coming out tomorrow). I also just downloaded my prize copy. I’ll start reading that in the car today while I’m driving around looking for lawn mowers.

(Clarification, my husband will drive, I will read).

Expect reviews on the other stories as they are finished.

http://www.amazon.ca/Stars-Science-Tales-Multiverse-ebook/dp/B00N5JNDS4/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1409404999&sr=8-6&keywords=of+stars+and+science – here’s the link to the e-book edition on Amazon.

Please help support 7 talented writers by spreading the word.

Nothing Everything Nothing Cover Reveal

Photo provided by Evan Wilman.  This is the cover for my upcoming novel.

Photo provided by Evan Wilman.
This is the cover for my upcoming novel.

Here is the cover for my upcoming novel: Nothing, Everything, Nothing. The original photo was taken by Evan Wilman. The text was added by me. Copyright for the image belongs to Evan Wilman and I’m using it with permission.

I’m really happy with how the cover turned out. More accurately, I’m happy to have found the perfect image. I was really going for minimalist with this cover, something understated with a bit of punch to it. Like I said, I think this is perfect.

Nothing, Everything, Nothing. is a book about a teenage girl who is dragged into an terrible social situation which leads her to battle depression and attempt suicide. It is based on my own cousin’s struggles, as well as the cases of teens driven to suicide by harassment and bullying. Part of the proceeds will be donated to Kids Help Phone in honour of my cousin. The release is scheduled for late October, 2014.

Shares are appreciated – depression and suicide are issues that need to be explored and discussed. Thanks for your support.

Witty Bard Anthology Sneak Peek #2

Only one week until the release of Witty Bard Publishing’s Science Fiction Anthology. My short story, We Will Not Go Quietly, is being included in the anthology. Want a little sneak peek? Keep reading.

They kept the phone plugged into the living room dock so they could at least try to work on their art while they listened and could switch to video if anything big came up. The stations played no music or entertainment programs now, even the daily soap operas were put on hold; the reports were too numerous and being updated too frequently for any interruptions.
Every state capital was infected. Every American city over ten thousand people was infected. North of the border Montreal and Ottawa had now been hit but because of the greater distances between large cities the Canadians were having better luck with the quarantine zones. Europe was nearing a state of political collapse. No one had heard anything from Australia in the last day. The death count in China was rising faster than anywhere but there were rumours of police violence.
Locally the looting had started. Employees were being taken to hospitals with various wounds, taking up beds that were already needed. Police were stretched thin. A curfew was put in place.
It was a week later in the middle of the international news that the entire house shut off without warning. Natalie sat in the dark, her heart thumping painfully in her chest. Kennedy reached out and gripped her hand, tight, and together they waited.
“I’m glad you’re here,” Natalie said.
“Natalie, I’m sorry I lied to you.”
“Lied? Kennedy, what are you talking about?”
“My boyfriend doesn’t exist. I don’t have a boyfriend or family really. I’m on my own, but telling people that lets them know they can waltz right in and take whatever they want because they know I’m not there. So I tell everyone I have a boyfriend who works weird shifts and sleeps lightly. No one bothers me.”
“If you’re asking for permission to stay here indefinitely, the answer is yes.”
The lights flickered back on and the television hummed to life. Some international reporter was relating more about the situation in China. “This is getting scary,” Kennedy said.
Natalie just nodded.

Natalie and Kennedy are unlikely roommates, staying together because the world is falling apart around them. But together they will find the courage to share some of their deepest secrets and face the ugliest realities.

We Will Not Go Quietly is a story of finding courage where and when you least expect it. It is about inspiration from the darkest places. And it is about finding your voice.

We Will Not Go Quietly will be featured in Witty Bard Publishing’s first science fiction anthology, available September 1st. Look for it on Amazon in print and for e-reader.

We Will Not Go Quietly

Psst! Want to a sneak peek at my winning story? We Will Not Go Quietly will be published in Witty Bard Publishing’s Science Fiction Anthology on September 1. Read on for a sneak peek.

“Good morning Chicago. Our top story today: the outbreaks. It has been less than twenty-four hours since the initial reports. Detroit is plagued with an unknown virus which has spread to the surrounding smaller towns. They are fighting to get it under control before it reaches Chicago or crosses the border into Canada. Las Vegas and Houston are both reporting severe flu viruses. Medical reports released early this morning suggest they are different strains. The list of infected cities has increased overnight with Washington DC, New York, Seattle, and Atlanta all reporting out-breaks. All flights in and out of the United States have been grounded. We have nothing new to report internationally at this time.
“This morning the government released this statement: ‘the wide spread nature of this outbreak suggests malicious intent. We received no threats and no one has stepped forward to claim the attacks in the name of any movement or organization but we cannot rule out terrorism. We don’t know where the viruses came from or even where they were released. People are advised to stay home.’
“Here in Chicago there is still no sign of an outbreak. Local police are asking everyone to remain calm and to go about their business like normal. They are supporting the government’s suggestion to avoid large gatherings to reduce the number of release points and minimize the chance of spreading the viruses.”

Natalie Peters wakes up to that very news cast Sunday morning. Follow her for the next two months as she faces rampant viruses and gangs of teenagers with dangerous intentions. Watch as a chance friendship grows into something beautiful and inspiring. And witness a Chicago art teacher overcome her darkest fears.

We Will Not Go Quietly is a story about fear and choice. It is about choosing to use your talents for the greater good. It is about standing up and making governments take notice.

We Will Not Go Quietly will be featured in the Witty Bard’s first Science Fiction Anthology, available September 1 on Amazon in print and for e-reader.

The Next Step

Hello Casia!

Congratulations!  You are one of the winners of Witty Bard Publishing, LLC’s first Science Fiction Competition!

 

So that’s what I find in my junk mail folder when I got back from vacation. No, this is not a prank, or a vanity press. I actually submitted a story with them and then forgot about it because I’ve never had a story accepted by a magazine before, or had one win a contest before. Okay, I’ve had a few e-zines pick up the occasional story, but never anything that pays.

So when I opened this yesterday morning (and the other two emails, one with the Author Profile questions and one with the revisions for my okay) I had a bit of excitement overload to say the least. The good news got posted on the Nano Facebook group, my author page, and my newsfeed. I told my grandmother because I was shopping with her yesterday. My husband called his mom and told her. We celebrated with steak.

Definitely excited and that excitement is feeding into my other projects. My short story for the AuthorAuthor fantasy anthology is complete (see previous blog entry). I’ve outlined the edits for my teen suicide/depression novel titled Nothing, Everything, Nothing. I’m 2/3 done converting the short story that just won into a screen play for another competition. And I have a hand-written rough draft of a novel (book one in a series, the AuthorAuthor short happens to be the prequel) waiting to be typed.

Needless to say the sweater I’m knitting for my sister is taking a long time.

But it’s full steam ahead with three projects to complete before Nano in November. Then two months of non-stop knitting as my creative brain resets. 

Oh, and the Witty Bard anthology will be released September 1st. I don’t have a title or any info on availability yet but as soon as I do, everyone will hear about it!

AuthorAuthor Fantasy Anthology

August 19th is the due date for short stories for the AuthorAuthor fantasy anthology, the first anthology being released by the Facebook group AuthorAuthor. If you missed the post on who/what AuthorAuthor is you can find it here: https://casiaschreyer.wordpress.com/2014/06/12/authorauthor/

We are hoping to have the book edited, with a cover and blurb, by September 19th, the proposed release date. We have 6 or 7 writers participating in this anthology: myself, Rebecca Palmas, Neil Burke, Chris Ticehurst, Marie Price, Melissa Velez, and Martin van Houwelingen. Each writer is aiming to provide an 8,000 to 10,000 word short story in the fantasy genre. These may be stand alone stories, prologues, prequels, or novel excerpts. Each author will be able to include a bio and links to their blogs/Facebook pages/websites/Twitter. I’m even hopeful for an author photo but that’s just me.

The book will be released on Amazon Kindle for certain. We’re still discussing other venues and formats. The book will be FREE. Always. The writers are not making a profit from this but we are hopeful that people will download the book, check out the stories, and maybe come looking for our personal projects. If we release a paperback it will be at cost, no profit to the author.

Buying a book is always the biggest support you can give an author. 7 writers are giving you the chance to sample their writing risk free. Please support indie authors by downloading this book when it becomes available and leaving a review. If you like a particular author look them up, follow their blog or Facebook page, look them up on Twitter, and if they have a book available you could always buy it.

In a few weeks I should have a cover design and story blurbs to share with you.

The Art of a Good Cover

We’re told never to judge a book by its cover – but of course that’s a metaphor for life. People are not what they seem. Situations are not what they seem. But books? Honestly, I like my book cover to relate to the book content. I like being able to judge a book by its cover.

I support indie writers and that means I’ll often download a “hey my first book is free this weekend” book even if the cover is solid blue with white text in a plain font. I’ll download it with a poorly hand drawn picture. I’ll download it with a poorly photoshopped picture. So why does the cover matter?

Because, when I’m browsing at a book store, or online at Amazon or Kobo, it’s the cover that first catches my eye. The title is important, but you can have a mystery called “Runaway”, a thriller called “Runaway”, a teen angst drama called “Runaway”, and a book of poetry called “Runaway.” Looking at the title tells me nothing. Of course I usually browse by genre so that clears up some confusion.

The cover can tell the reader many things. If it’s a fantasy novel the cover might reveal if it’s contemporary fantasy or medieval fantasy, if it has wizards, dragons, or vampires, etc. It won’t reveal everything about the book, but it will help set the tone. A cover tells the reader if it’s a light fluffy book or a dark twisty book. The cover sets mood and tone.

I want to take a moment and make a few things clear. I support indie writers. I read just about every genre (INCLUDING erotic romances). I’ve written in many genres (INCLUDING erotic romance). I understand that romance goes from inspirational (all love no sex) to steamy (love and sex but tastefully and modestly done) to erotic (love and graphic sex) and yes I’ve read and written all three.

I recently joined several Facebook groups aimed at promoting books by indie writers. They’re basically places where you can post a link or pic or promo for your book. The idea being that you should check out what else is being posted from time to time. Since I’m editing my book right now I wanted to start supporting others, commenting on their posts, generally getting my name out there as someone who’s involved in the community. I’ve stumbled across a few books that made it to my wishlist. Overall it’s been a good experience.

Then today I’m scrolling through Facebook on my tablet and I get a full screen image of a guy, dress shirt unbuttoned and pulled back, nothing else on but a pair of white gitch (and not even boxers, we’re talking tighty-whiteys here). He’s sitting on a chair or bench or something, and it’s just chest, arms, and crotch with a dirty caption.

This is not what I want to see. This doesn’t get me interested in the book. Neither does pictures of girls stripping or people making out, half dressed (or less), or people basically in the act of having sex.

Like I said, I read the genre, I write the genre, but these images are such a turn off.

Anyway, rant aside, what does make a good cover?

Besides being an offense to my slightly prudish tastes (considering how raunchy I can write that’s meant to be a joke) that cover was professionally done. It was neat, no obvious photoshop masking lines, obviously semi-professional model, at least. It’s a well made cover. And I’m betting it suits the book.

A good cover needs to suit the book, if it portrays a character that portrayal needs to be accurate (the covers for the edition of the Black Jewel novels I have bug me because the MC is in her early to late twenties in book 2 and 3 but looks older on the covers), the font needs to suit the tone of the book, and be readable (in print, on screen, in thumbnails, etc).

Better quality will always attract more readers, such is the way of the world, so cutting out a pic of your friend posing in a period dress and pasting it over an image of a castle and typing your title on it might not catch everyone’s attention. It screams “mediocre” and “rough draft” and people will think that your text will be the same. It’s not fair, but it’s truth.

I feel that sometimes this is a hot topic for writers. It can cost a lot of money for a professional cover, money we may never make back. I’ve discussed the costs of art before so I won’t do it here.