A lot of people knock it at times, but I do love Creative Commons. Sometimes finding good images that are relevant to what I need to do with them is a headache, but I always come away with something. I’ve also found some of the best free music… and some of the worst, lol. This makes me get into debates with myself when it comes to paying for images and software. I’ve seen great stock images, but they can be as limited as the free images when it comes to being exactly what you need. Same with the music. So, do I invest in a subscription, pay for individual images or stick with what’s free? For now, I’m going with free.

On that note, I also choose to use Windows Movie Maker (free) over Animoto, and GIMP 2 (free) over Photoshop. I also use Audacity for mixing music. Still definitely going to pay someone to make the real book trailer, but I like my little homemade teaser trailers. As I make them, I get more excited for the release of The Fourth Piece. I can’t wait to see my words on a printed page.

Now, you know what’s coming next. You guessed right. Another teaser. This is teaser #5, introducing Lawrence “Lawrie” Ladreth, my semi-crazy character who loves gadgets, stunts, and challenging death on a daily basis.

Let’s kick this teaser off with a little Q&A:

Question: How did you come up with some of the slang used in The Fourth Piece?

My answer: It’s all word play. The Earth slang is a combination of modern slang, some retro stuff and some silly words my friends use sometimes like “shiggity” and “shizz”. Then, there are terms like “vulatto” which is a combination of the word “Visitor” and “mulatto”. “Mulatto” means you’re of mixed descent, half Black, half White. “Vulatto” means you’re half human, half Visitor. The term “Vader” is a derogatory term humans in the story use when insulting a “Visitor”. It’s a play on not only the word “invader”, but, you may have guessed it, Darth Vader. (My bestie helped me come up with that one.)

Now, coming up with slang and phrases for the Visitors to use is a lot more fun, because I can be even more creative. I like making up words and then coming up with conjugations and different ways to use them in a sentence. You won’t see so much Visitor slang in The Fourth Piece, as is mostly takes place on Earth, but you’ll see it in the next book.

But hey, even without the Visitor lingo, the Earth slang used by certain characters in the story is still fun.

Meet a Ladreth brother who loves to use his own words for things:

Lawrence Ladreth – sixteen years old, a genius and fearless adrenaline junkie who gets off on the fact that his friends think he’s insane and who can’t wait to say his life was so epic that it inspired a cinematic trilogy.

Lost? I would be too, if I hadn’t written the story. Find more information about The Fourth Piece (coming soon) on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29058267-the-fourth-piece, like me on Facebook: facebook.com/EArdell. Thanks!

 

 

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!

 

 

addicted to pinterest

This article could also be titled “How Pinterest Can Be Addictive”. After choosing models that I think are good visual representatives of my characters, I couldn’t let them go. No, I can’t use those people on my book cover, though I wish I could. But I don’t make enough money to pay any of those gorgeous people to grace my cover. So… this is where Pinterest comes in. I created a board of my cast, pinning up pics of models and actors and labeling them. It was really fun.

Now, ask me what I’ve written.

Uh… well, you see. What had happened was…

I’ve turned into a couch potato, lol. I know I need to write. I know I’m behind. I signed up to do a writing marathon with a group of writers I’ve never met before, out in Oakland. I really need to get back on the ball, and off Pinterest and Tumblr, and Twitter, and Goodreads, and whatever else I will find to distract me between the marathon and now. But honestly, I’m so excited about what’s going on with The Fourth Piece, I can’t concentrate very well on other things.

It’s like now I finally feel comfortable talking about the story. If you want to see a write-up for it, visit: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29058267-the-fourth-piece . That’s right. I have my own Goodreads Author page! I won’t have my own Amazon Author page until the book actually comes out. But, man, I feel legit. I’m doing things to self-promote, like starting an Author Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/eardell/. If you guys click on some of these links, and feel so inclined to like me or follow me or rate me, I’ll give you gummy bears. Well, imaginary gummy bears. That way you can pretend they’re all cherry or whatever flavor you prefer. It’s the thought that counts, right? 😀

So, anyway, I wrote this post, because I wanted to share my Pinterest board for my characters with you all: https://www.pinterest.com/eboniardell/orders-last-play-characters/ . I’m such a nerd, I know. Don’t ask me what I’m watching on Amazon Video right now. You don’t want to know.

Yeah, okay, so I might be watching Ninja Turtles, the Nickelodeon version that turned incredibly dark in its last few seasons. (Hey, it’s funny and it’s got the spirit of the cheesy 80-90’s Turtles I grew up with.)

All right, so wish me luck on my writing marathon. I do still want to meet my goal of finishing the sequel to The Fourth Piece in my birthday month of April. Here’s a plus, I really like how the sequel’s going and maybe I’m afraid to write more because I think I’ll mess it up, lol. Silly, right? Eh, it happens.

Next time, I hope to be popping in to tell you about some sequel-writing progress and giving out further publication details. I can’t wait to be able to unleash a cover for people to see.

Take care!

 

 

toot my horn

I turned in all my edits on Sunday, and on Monday and today (Tuesday), I updated all of my social media accounts, submitted a head-shot and an author bio, established my pen name and sent in a summary to go on the back of the book. Here’s what I have to say about all of that: EEEEEEEEEEE!!!

Profound, I know. Soon, I’ll be up on the publisher’s website, and hey, I can post the link so all of you can see it too! I can’t wait to start discussing marketing and… COVER ART! Who doesn’t get excited about cover art? Do I get cover models, do I get a symbol, I don’t know. I think I do have some say in it all, though. And here’s my say on all of this right now: AAAAAAAAAA!!!

So, yeah, I’m tooting my horn. But you know, people put such a negative spin on tooting your own horn. There’s nothing wrong with acknowledging that you’re doing cool things. Sometimes, if you don’t, no one will ever know what you’re doing and how strongly you feel about it. Feel good about yourself people. If no one else pats you on the back and tells you “good job”, you should. Only you truly know what you went through to accomplish certain tasks.

Okay, so I really didn’t have all that much to say in this post aside from sending off all those materials. It just makes it all feel more real. In the words of Jessie Spano from Saved By the Bell (there I go dating myself again!) “I’m so excited…I’m so excited… I’m so excited.”

Now, I need to get back to sequel-writing. I’m SO very glad of my decision to bring the second story to a good stopping place before going on with the edits for Book I. It has been more than two weeks since I touched the sequel and now I’m starting cold. I’ll get back into the swing of it, but I’m going to need to reread and do a little editing.

That said, I’m going to sign off, so I can do some rereading. Take care and thanks for keeping up with me!

 

 

 

 

Image

Query letters…. Okay, so Writers Market gives you a standard cookie cutter format.  Looks good, easy even, but then you think EVERYONE AND THEIR MOM HAS THIS SAME BOOK!  Do agents really want to read the same format over and over?  Maybe they will grab the letter that dared to be different.  OR maybe they will take the letter that dared to be different and say: MUHAHAHAHA! One to burn for not following the rules!

Time to do more query research, unless anybody out there has any advice?  I pay in… uh… let’s see… stale organic chocolate chip cookies. 🙂

I know I sound like a hick, but I will fix it so that I sound more like a nerd in my next statement.  Before this blog, I’ve only had blogs for class.  I know, fun, fun stuff, right?–uh yeah, no.

So, if anyone is reading this or following me, you might know that I fancy myself a writer.  I went and got fancy degrees that say I’m a writer, but they don’t say if I’m any good.  If you ask me, I might say I suck on Wednesday, but I was hot on Tuesday.  I’m biased; so hey, I want to ask you!

This blog is to show people what I’ve been working on FOREVER (okay, so for the past few years).  I finally, finally finished a novel that I am brave enough to share with anyone who wants to read it.  I’m going to be checking in here and letting you all know what I’m doing to get this publishing thing going.  I’ll post rejection letters, YOU SUCK letters, and anything else, along with book trailers and chocolates and pies, and cookies (and now I’m just trying to see if you’re still reading :D!)

Keep up with me and my journey and drop me a line some time.  I love talking to other writers and readers and lurkers, and whoever else is out there!

Take care!

Ebs