eboni indie conThe last time I wrote an entry, I was telling you all about my Rone Award finalist status. Since then, I’ve put together a costume to cosplay one of my characters, Desiri Lilias (who you’ll meet in The Third Gambit), bought my first Square and cash box to take to conventions so I can sell my book, had book bling made (I’ll have pictures of that soon), will be on some author panels, will have a signing table at a convention, and… won two more awards :D.

Yeah, you know I wanted to say that last part first. The Fourth Piece, my baby, won Most Promising Series in the Red City Review Book Awards and a bronze medal for Young Adult Science Fiction in the Reader’s Favorite 2017 Book Award Contest. I received a real bronze medal (bit it and everything. It is real!) I am attending the award ceremony for Reader’s Favorite in November (it’s in Miami) and am still going to the Ind’Scribe Reader Con to attend the award ceremony for the Rone Award in a week. I’m so excited! I can’t wait to meet the authors I’ve been in contact with as we prepare for the convention. Woohoo! I’ve also lost my mind and am driving to the convention. Yes, Burbank is only six hours away, but ugh! I’m one of those annoying “Are we there yet???” people. Three hours in the car is my limit.

But wait until you hear the reason I decided not to fly–or rather, the decision was made for me. You can’t bring swords on a plane as a carry-on, not even wooden ones. Yeah, my costume has bokkens, real ones, and they are heavy! I have a back-strap carrier for them that makes me feel like Leonardo (if you don’t get that reference, you are too young to talk to me, lol).  Of course, after I bought said bokkens and realized that now I have to drive, I think “Oh, I should ask the convention leaders if I can bring these.” I can :D. And since my bokkens pass inspection, I will assume my bow and arrows will too (these are fake, but the bow looks great.)

Now that I’ve gushed about awards and swords and wigs, I want to share something else I’ve been working on: National Indie Author Day 2017. The library I work at is participating in this event for the first time, and I was given the task to organize it. It’s probably the biggest event I’ve ever had to put together. Sixteen indie authors will be in- house presenting panels and workshops. Figuring out ways to communicate and get them to communicate with each other was interesting; promoting the event was fun. I’m expecting a small article in one of the local papers about our Indie Author Day event. I can’t wait to share it with the authors involved, though I’m afraid of one thing. A photographer came out and took my picture, but didn’t let me see the shots. I’m afraid there will be a blow-up of me with my mouth half-open, eyes half-closed. Bad pictures seem to live forever.

Jumping topics again, because it’s late and my mind’s bouncing around, I want to end this with a little writing rant at myself. So, I am very excited about upcoming award ceremonies, and wish-wish-wish that I’d had it together and had my second manuscript done, so that I could maybe go to these events and say: The sequel’s coming out soon. Instead, I can’t. I wasn’t that mad about it a month ago, because I’ve really been struggling to get the story out and right. Then, I made a discovery that made me want to smack myself in the face with a brick. (Well, not really, because that’d hurt, but you get the point.) I’m writing multiple perspectives and most of the people are in different places with different arcs. When I switch perspectives, it’s almost like moving to a new story. So, every other chapter, I was writing a new story, and when I’d go back to a particular character, I’d lost touch with their arc. So why did I choose to keep jumping around? Stupid. I should have written each character’s arc straight through to the end, then shuffled the chapters like cards, so that the POV’s still alternate but I’d lose nothing. I would SO be finished by now, if I’d done that before. I’m doing it now. I smell an ending.

And all this talk of endings makes me think I should end this. It just gets more random as I go, and let me tell you, I can keep going. If you’ve read anything on this blog before, you know that last sentence is true. Pictures, of everything, to come!  But for tonight, in the words of Yakko Warner, “Goodnight everybody!” (And if you don’t get that reference, you are WAY too young to talk to me ;D ).

Take care!

 

 

microphones

I hear about other authors doing interviews and I think: that’s cool. I read them and get to know the author’s demeanor a bit and decide, hey I like her/him. We could be friends, therefore, maybe I’ll go see if I can find their book. So, if an interview can do that for other authors, could an interview I give potentially do that for me.

I don’t know. It’s just like when you start a new job or join a new meet-up group. You never know if people are going to get your humor or be off-put by you. So, when I did my interview, I was as “me” as possible, and we’ll see what happens.

Thank you to Magda from the Magic of Books blog for wanting to ask me questions, an if you all would like to check out my first author interview, here you go: https://maginibooks.wordpress.com/2016/07/10/interview-with-e-ardell/.

Until next time! Take care :).

 

The-Fourth-Piece-Promo-1

Is it almot the 7th? I’m about to jump out of my skin I’m so antsy. I’ve also been looking into more promotions. I joined this group AAYA that has great promotional suggestions. The new resources I looked into are: Book Barbarian, Book Discovery, The Fussy Librarian, K-Boards and another blog tour company called Chapter by Chapter. just confirmed dates for a Chapter by Chapter Blog Tour to happen a month after the YA Bound Book Tour. YA Bound likes for authors to wait 30 days before going on a tour with another company. They say it’s to avoid chaos. I’ll take their word for it, because I’ve never done this before, lol.

I also looked at Xpresso Tours and HEA Tours (I actually looked at HEA a few weeks ago), but I did want to share the feedback. Both of these places have excellent customer service, and I was informed that they do not really have a blogger market for YA Science Fiction or Fantasy, especially ones that aren’t romantic. Both places offered up other resources; HEA actually recommending YA Bound Books.

I also came across a directory of YA Bloggers. I haven’t started going through the list yet. I wonder how many people on it are still taking requests from new authors. This is fun and I love trying to figure out what else I can do to push my book. I even discussed the possibility of an audio book and listened to other authors tell me about their experiences with ACX.

Oh, and I planned my own little get together celebration for July 8, 2016. (Yaaaas!) Some co-workers and I are getting together after work. I will probably have some more small parties and then the real launch parties. I sent out an e-vite for the get together on Friday, telling my co-workers to meet me at a restaurant. They’d know me because I’d be the one wearing my book, lol. That kind of makes me kick myself, though.  I should have had a shirt made. Dang it.

Anyways, enough rambling. One more day! Tick…tick…tick…

Save the date! July 8, 2016

The Fourth Piece will be available through:

 

 

 

 

Hey!

I completed my fourth teaser in my “teaser series”, and I’m nerding out because the book is called The Fourth Piece, and this is the fourth teaser. This one was the hardest to make, because the character introduced in this one might be dead. I won’t explain too much, because it’d be a spoiler and I prefer for you to read the book *wink, wink, wink* to get what I’m talking about. So, anyway, this trailer was the hardest to make because I had to someone show alien terrain from the vantage point of a character losing consciousness.

A co-worker of mine is pretty techie and she mentioned a free software program that compares to Adobe Photoshop called GIMP. I know the name sounds mean, but the software’s pretty sweet to not cost me anything. I was able to manipulate my images, change the hues and add and take away layers. I’m still not a boss at using the program, but I think my end product turned out okay. So, yes, GIMP is my new toy. I’m also learning new, fun things about Windows Move Maker. I almost spent a lot of money on Animoto, and I’m glad I didn’t. Movie Maker works just fine for the purposes I need it for and it’s also free.

I’m having a great time scripting the trailers, playing with images, and even timing the music in the trailer to match the intensity of the words on screen. I feel like a director of an EXTREMELY low budget film, but I’m still empowered. I jump for joy when I check my YouTube hits and see the counter tracking more than just me coming back to peep at my videos. The videos are also doing well on Facebook and Twitter. Tumblr… yeah, every time I think I’m going to give up on Tumblr, I get a new follower (which makes a grand total of three, by the way, lol).

If you haven’t checked out any of my teaser trailers, please do so. All of them feature different aspects of the story. Some introduce single characters, some delve into the world building. Haha, look at me talking like all the trailers are done. So far I have three trailers about characters and one trailer about world building. I plan to have seven trailers total, so three will be about world building and the remaining four about character. So, I’ve got three more trailers to go!

Latest The Fourth Piece news, aside from the teasers, is that I’m looking at title pages and chapter headings. I get more excited by the minute. I told a friend: Gee, getting ready for a book release is like giving birth…without the gross stuff. 😀

Okay, I started this blog entry to bring attention to my latest teaser, so I’m going to leave you guys with that. I’d like to introduce you to my character, Evan Ladreth.

On THE FOURTH PIECE by E. Ardell…

Time to introduce another character with yet another book teaser for The Fourth Piece. I’m going to do this one a little differently this time, since this character has lived most of his life off-world. Here we go!

Have you ever had “just one of those days?”

Meet Evan Ladreth, who’s having THAT day.

Name: Evan Ladreth or Lauduethe

Age: 18

Occupation: Leader

Hometown: First Dome, West Central, Octagon 6

Planet: Rema

Hobbies: collecting rare knives, learning new musical instruments, cross-breeding plant species, trying new food, and working old magic

Pet Peeves: Being called short or cute, being petted, being underestimated, long meetings, having to wait, bad service…and crappy missions

Want to know what the heck I’m talking about? Guess you’ll need to follow this link and check out THE FOURTH PIECE (coming soon): https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29058267-the-fourth-piece.

Like this video, like me on Facebook.com/EArdell
Follow me on twitter: @E_Ardell

 

 

 

 

 

Oh man, let me tell you this teaser campaign is a lot of fun. It’s a little weird, because the teaser trailers aren’t actual book trailers. None of them give you the full scope of the plot; they basically go into world-building or introduce tidbits about the main characters. I really think I’m going to pay a company to do a professional book trailer for me when it’s time for the real thing.

I toyed with the idea of making my own book trailer. Some of the “professional” trailers look as good as some of the ones I’ve made in the past–but those trailers were made with copyrighted images and music. Also, book trailers have really stepped up their game. The really good ones look like movie commercials. I run a teen book group at the library I work at, and I play book trailers for the kids to help them decide what book they might like to read for the month. The kids all say that they may be on the fence about certain books and the book trailer can make or break their decision. Bad book trailers can hurt you. The kids actually critiqued a couple of the trailers I showed last month and compared the homemade ones to the ones put out by authors backed by Harper Collins or Random House, which isn’t fair.

Now, I did inform them on how much a good trailer costs, and told them to consider the author’s budget, but yeah. I’m starting to think a good trailer is something worth saving up for and investing in. And some book trailer companies have popular YouTube listings, so just letting them make a trailer for you will get you some positive exposure. I love this major learning curve I’m on.

Anyway, as with the last two entries, I wanted to let you guys check out my latest teaser. If you follow me on Facebook.com/EArdell, twitter: @E_Ardell, Goodreads, or Youtube, you may have already seen this video. But if you don’t, see it here first, and hey, follow some of my social media links and give me a “like” or three :D.

I will be keeping you all posted on release dates, giveaways, book events. I spoke to a lady who loves hosting events and just purchased a new office space. She wants me to give a book talk and maybe even do a writers panel with a few other local authors there. When I have more information, I will definitely share. And hey, if any of you guys are authors in North Cali, let me know!

All right, here comes the teaser!

Author E. Ardell on her YA novel: THE FOURTH PIECE…

Two weeks ago, I introduced one of the main characters, Devon Ladreth, as your sort of everyday kid who worries about self-image and sports and blending in with his peers. Meet his twin brother who couldn’t care less about any of those things.

Seventeen-year-old Lyle Ladreth is a psychic who hates most people in general. Who wouldn’t when you’re forced to listen to their thoughts day in and out. And to make matters worse, he’s in high school. His powers are a strain on his sanity and he hates putting himself out there for anyone besides family, but even that’s a pain in the butt.

Especially when your big brother’s dying and you’re the only one who can directly communicate with him.

What am I talking about? Well, guess you’ll have to learn more by checking out the book on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29058267-the-fourth-piece

 

 

My teaser campaign is doing pretty well so far, in my opinion. The first video has reached over 300 people and has had a lot of views, and the second video is doing even better. One of my friends with a lot of Twitter followers re-tweeted the second video, so it’s getting some Twitter buzz.

I’ve been trying to do Facebook ads with not much success. All of my ads get disapproved because they have too much text. However, Facebook did go ahead and promote the second video, which has MORE text than the first. Go figure. I looked into doing Twitter ads, but those turned out to be a little too rich for my blood right now. I’m saving my pennies for promotion when I have a book release date and an Amazon listing so people can pre-order. I’m basing this off of me, but I think people will forget my book as soon as the ad goes away, if they can’t go ahead and press a button to pre-order. I know I forget about books I wanted to read on a whim all the time.

Now, I really do want to share this second teaser with you guys, it’s up on my YouTube Channel, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr already. Here it is:

On The Fourth Piece by E. Ardell

A friend asked me: What is the world like in 2022?

My answer: Not that different from now. I kept thinking of The Jetsons and how people back in the day thought we’d have flying cars that fold up into brief cases and robot maids, and didn’t want to be that far-fetched. So, no one has a flying car or an android best friend, but there are aliens, some obvious and some as human looking as your next door neighbor. For all you know, your neighbor is a Visitor, but unless he tells you, you’d never know.

Truth is life’s a lot easier for Visitors who can pass as human. Just like in certain periods in history when some people passed for different races, so that they’d be treated better or at least equally. History often repeats itself in strange parallels.

Why’d I choose to set the story in a world like this? Why not a utopia where everyone gets along? I’ve always been told that science fiction often re-tells bits of human history if you analyze it closely. Plus, I do feel that these issues are still relevant in today’s world, and I want to talk to it. My characters learn that they want to make a different… though, this is ONLY a subplot. The main plot has yet to be revealed.

Guess you’ll have to learn more: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29058267-the-fourth-piece

Haha! Yes, that’s what I called it! So, it was recommended that I start promoting my novel by talking about the writing process and sharing interesting tidbits about the book. Because I can’t ever just do anything the easy way, I decided to make book teaser videos. I’ve got them posted to all of my social media accounts to see how well they do.

I shopped different programs, like Animoto and Powtoon, saw the cost, and remembered that I’m a little poor right now. I just moved and everyone knows the first couple of months in a new place are the most expensive, because of all the start-up fees and pro-rated rents. There’s always that week where you are paying rent for two apartments while you’re moving. Ugh. But hey, with all that said, I love my new place. I actually invite people over now! Inviting people over is an amazing feat for me. I’m like a bear in a cave when I get home. I rush inside and hope the neighbors don’t see me and want to–gah!–talk.

So, off my tangent and back to what I was actually getting at. I saw the cost of Animoto and Powtoon and said: “Um… Windows Movie Maker is still free, right?” I’ve dabbled and made goofy little things with the program before, so I figured for quick book teasers, I could play around with free stuff. I started surfing Creative Commons for free images and music and got started.

I’ve also been looking into all sorts of book promotion sites and twitter accounts and blog tours and book reviewers and readying my bank account. I’ve also joined author groups where I live (there are a LOT) that help out with promotion, getting your foot in the door in the local bookstores, and throwing book launch parties. It helps that I’m a librarian at an awesome library many people around here know and love. It really helps with making great connections.

All right, I want to show you guys what I’ve been working on. Here’s my first book teaser trailer!

It starts off with a brief interview:

People often ask why my main characters are boys?

My answer: They just are and always have been. These guys popped into my head in sixth grade and camped out there until I wrote their stories. They’ve grown and changed over the years, but yup, they’ve always been boys.

Meet one of them:

Devon Ladreth – seventeen years old, loves sports and fast cars, and has a crush on a college girl who treats him like jailbait. Has a twin brother who hates everything, maybe even him. When his parents go on vacation and leave him and his brothers to govern themselves, he throws a party, but…

 

View the next teaser: https://eardell.com/2016/04/25/the-world-in-2022/

 

 

 

THE FOURTH PIECE

thefourthpiececover

 

Yaaaaas, I can finally share it! This is the cover for my first novel, The Fourth Piece, Book I in the Order’s Last Play series. I love looking at it and seeing my pen-name on there. I mean look at that. That is mine. I really think I’ll cry when I finally have this book in hand. It has truly been a long journey. I almost didn’t think it would happen traditionally and that I was going to have to go the self-pub route, but here we are!

What is this book (my precious baby) about? Here’s the official summary on Goodreads! (Please click on the link and like, follow, or just look at it :).

Admitting what you are will end everything you know. Embracing who you are will start a war…

Life is great when you’re good-looking and popular…so long as no one knows you’re a vulatto. Being half-alien gets you labeled “loser” quicker than being a full vader. So it’s a good thing Devon, Lyle, and Lawrence can easily pass for human—until the night of the party. Nothing kills a good time faster than three brothers sharing a psychic vision of a fourth brother who’s off-world and going to die unless they do something. But when your brother’s emergency happens off-planet, calling 9-1-1 really isn’t an option.

In their attempt to save a brother they barely remember, Devon, Lyle and Lawrence expose themselves to mortal danger and inherit a destiny that killed the last four guys cursed with it. In 2022, there are humans and aliens, heroes and monsters, choices and prophecies—and four brothers with the power to choose what’s left when the gods decide they’re through playing games.

I don’t have an official book release date yet. I’m still in the final editing phase of the manuscript, but hopefully I’ll have a summer release date. I will definitely keep you all posted. I just wanted to share this cover with you! 😀  I’m so excited and ready to see this on Amazon with a pre-order link. And then will come the next stage in the journey: author visits and talks, doing paid ads and making book trailers. I can’t wait!

Until next time!

 

 

yaaas

…I didn’t mark up that much. The newbie that I am took those words to mean there just wasn’t that much to critique. So, naturally, I open the story to see the “final” round of edits to be done, and there are revisions EVERYWHERE, lol. I don’t think there was one page without notes, strike-through’s, or RW. They were all great and I made the necessary changes, but if that is an editor’s version of not marking much, I’d hate to see them mark a lot! 😀

I would get off from work and stay up late into the night and then wake up early the next morning to do more. The first 100 pages were tedious, but it got easier after I fell into the flow of things. But then I started noticing something wonky with MS Word. When you are in “review” mode and turn the pane on to view comments and revisions, the program moves slower than dial-up. (Oh yes, I am showing my age right now. I know all about dial-up.) And don’t try to add a comment; the whole file would freeze. When that happened, I prayed that MS Word would eventually start working again, because I usually hadn’t saved the last few pages. I had to redo so many revisions.

I did finish it all tonight and shipped the revised document back to the publisher. I hope I don’t get labeled as a “slow” author, lol. I always take a few weeks to return full-story edits. It would help if I didn’t need a full time job to do things like pay bills and eat and stuff. And it would also help if I wasn’t preparing to move to a new place and taking care of business. This month has been busy. Maybe April will be a little more chill.

Well, I really only came on to say: WOOHOO! I FINISHED MY REVISIONS AND SENT THEM AWAY! And now it’s late, so I’m going to say goodnight. I am so tired.

Until next time!

Someone's There

Admitting what you are will end everything you know. Embracing who you are will start a war…

Life is great when you’re good-looking and popular…so long as no one knows you’re a vulatto. Being half-alien gets you labeled “loser” quicker than being a full vader. So it’s a good thing Devon, Lyle, and Lawrence can easily pass for human—until the night of the party. Nothing kills a good time faster than three brothers sharing a psychic vision of a fourth brother who’s off-world and going to die unless they do something. But when your brother’s emergency happens off-planet, calling 9-1-1 really isn’t an option.

In their attempt to save a brother they barely remember, Devon, Lyle and Lawrence expose themselves to mortal danger and inherit a destiny that killed the last four guys cursed with it. In 2022, there are humans and aliens, heroes and monsters, choices and prophecies—and four brothers with the power to choose what’s left when the gods decide they’re through playing games.

Book I in The Order’s Last Play series
Publication date coming soon.

Published 2016 by 48fourteen