Friday, March 24, 2017

“Do your art every day, no matter how crappy your day is.” ~Ksenia Anske

Hi friends,

The quote in the title of this blog post, and at the start of this Tiny Buddha article resonated with me today.

I love how the author of the article described himself as having a "rich inner life" as a kid. I was like that, too. I'm STILL like that, actually. You should hear the voices in my head, and ride the trains of thought that go every which way. It's like Jim Henson's The Labyrinth - the part in which Jareth is walking around on stairs upside down. Sometimes it gets darker and sucks me into an abyss in which I can't control where my thoughts go. In those times, I have to literally physically shake my head to jump off the dark pathway into the light.

I was told once that I have a very free associative mind, as I'm sure most creatives do. Sometimes I forget where my initial thought that led me down the tunnel started from, and sometimes I can trace it back. Usually when I voice the final thought out loud to Fishubby, I have to retrace the steps so he knows where I started for context.

Sometimes I only say the second half of a conversation or question out loud.

I'm lucky to have such a patient, caring, and understanding spouse!

But, this post is about creativity. It's about practicing your art. It's about doing something creative every day, and connecting with other creative types. We need to stick together, especially in this day and age in which little emphasis is put into creativity. I mean, schools are cutting funding to arts and music. PBS may also lose funding (or maybe it already has? I haven't been watching the news since the election).

In a world full of hate and racism and stereotyping and even more hate and violence... Let's band together and make a change in this world through our art. Let's fill it with art so people come together to talk about their favorite things and find they share the same likes as someone completely different from them.

Let's build a world full of "sames" not "differences."

I didn't mean for this to get political, but I go where my fingers take me.

Peace and Keep Writing,

Claire L. Fishback

Monday, March 20, 2017

Chapters are up!

Hi friends!

As promised on my lovely (read: goofy) Facebook Live video, I have uploaded readings of the first two chapters of THE BLOOD OF SEVEN to YouTube. You can access them at the links below!

I wanted to also take this time to send out a sincere and gratitude filled THANK YOU to everyone who has nominated my book so far. I'm back in the Hot & Trending status as of sometime yesterday. Let's keep up the momentum! Five days left! Let's do this!

I did both of these readings in one take, so please excuse any pauses, flubs, or "wrong" way of saying the dialogue. I hope you enjoy them! I do voices... and it's fun.

Chapter One
Chapter Two

Feel free to leave a comment here or on my YouTube channel to let me know what you think!

And... yes... don't forget to NOMINATE my book! 

Peace and Keep Writing,
Claire L. Fishback

Friday, March 17, 2017

LS Hawker Asks the Author this time!

Hi friends!

I had the pleasure of being interviewed by LS Hawker, author of three Harper Collins/Witness Impulse thrillers on her blog this week! Check it out!

And, if you enjoy thrillers, consider buying her books, available from all book sellers, but I've linked to Amazon below, for ease of access. :)

They said she was armed.
They said she was dangerous.
They were right.
Petty Moshen spent eighteen years of her life as a prisoner in her own home, training with military precision for everything, ready for anything. She can disarm, dismember, and kill—and now, for the first time ever, she is free.
Her paranoid father is dead, his extreme dominance and rules a thing of the past, but his influence remains as strong as ever. When his final will reveals a future more terrible than her captive past, Petty knows she must escape—by whatever means necessary.
But when Petty learns the truth behind her father's madness—and her own family—the reality is worse than anything she could have imagined. On the road and in over her head, Petty's fight for her life has just begun.
Fans of female-powered thrillers will love debut author LS Hawker and her suspenseful tale of a young woman on the run for her future…and from the nightmares of her past.

He wants to destroy her reputation.
He wants to destroy her life.
He wants to destroy . . . her.
Nessa Donati used to be a happily married mother with a successful music blog and satellite radio show. But that was before her husband John relapsed on drugs and went missing. That was before he was presumed dead. And before she was framed for his murder.
When a commenter on Nessa’s blog starts harassing her online, Nessa shrugs it off. Trolls are a part of internet life. But eventually the troll begins threatening her safety and releasing personal details . . . details only her husband would know.
As Nessa’s life is dismantled piece by piece, her only option is to find John and put a stop to the lies. But when their son becomes a pawn in his twisted game, she must face a disturbing truth: Maybe John isn’t tormenting her, after all. But if he’s not . . . who is? And how far will this monster go to exact revenge?
Great minds can change the world...
or leave it in ruins.

When tech prodigy Jade Veverka creates a program to communicate with her autistic sister, she's tapped by a startup to explore the potential applications of her technology. But Jade quickly begins to notice some strange things about the small Kansas town just beyond the company's campus--why are there no children anywhere to be seen, and for that matter, anyone over the age of forty? Why do all of the people living here act uncomfortable and jumpy?

On the way home one night, Jade and her co-worker are run off the road, and their lab and living spaces are suddenly overrun with armed guards, purportedly for their safety. Confined to the compound and questioning what her employers might be hiding from her, Jade fears she's losing control not only of her invention, but of her very life. It soon becomes clear that the threat reaches far beyond Jade and her family, and the real danger is much closer than she'd ever imagined.

Peace and Keep Writing!

Claire L. Fishback

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Ask the Writer: An Interview with MYSELF!

Hi friends,

Instead of obsessing over my Kindle Scout campaign (which is going awesome, by the way), I decided to dedicate today's post by answering a few questions about myself. It only makes sense since I tend to talk to myself, and answer myself's questions, when I'm alone (I SWEAR I'm talking to my dog). I do hope you find my answers interesting.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I honestly cannot remember a time when I didn't associate myself with the title of WRITER. I penciled my first story at the age of six. SIX. At that age, my stories were about pets and animals getting into some kind of shenanigans. I remember writing a story about my family and using photos to illustrate. I also drew some of my own illustrations. I think it helps to have various creative outlets. When one well dries up, I have another well to pull from. If I'm not writing, I'm painting. I got really off track here!

What book are you reading now?

I recently finished CALL ME ZHENYA by Katriena Knights. It wasn't something I would typically read, but I had nominated her book during her Kindle Scout campaign and got a free copy. It was a really good book. I loved the characters and everything. You can probably find my five-star review of the book on Amazon, so I won't say too much more here. Check it out. It's really well written, has a fantastic plot, and a really unique idea I haven't seen anywhere else.

Now I'm reading THE SILENT CHILD by Sarah A Denzil. It's a good book so far. The writing could use a little finessing, but the story is solid. UPDATE: I just finished it last night and WOW. What a twist!

Do you have any advice for new writers?

These are all the things I've learned in my nearly 30 years (what... thirty? How did that happen?) of writing:

Practice makes perfect (okay, not perfect, but it helps anyway), and really, it takes more than ONE MILLION words to "get there." I've written well over a million, and I still feel like I'm learning as I go! Every story is different! My approach to starting something new has changed over the years and between even depending on the type of story I'm writing. Short form vs long form. Horror vs Fantasy. You have to find your way of doing things.

Learn from your "mistakes." Mistakes here means the stories you never finish, the stories you give up on. Why did you give up on them? Did you lose passion for the idea? Did you get lost along the way? Figure that out and learn from it.

Don't listen to what the books say. I've tried so many times to follow someone else's method in a book they wrote, only to find I stall out or become paralyzed by too much too soon. I like to discover the story as I write. Which is probably why it took me so long to get my shit together with THE BLOOD OF SEVEN. I finally found a method that allows me the freedom to discover, while reigning in the side of me that wants to follow ALL THE TANGENTS!

Attend conferences. There are two in Colorado that are decently priced and amazing. Pikes Peak Writers Conference (PPWC) and RMFW's Colorado Gold. You'll meet other writers, rub elbows with agents and editors, drink too much, and maybe even pitch your work if you're ready! Regardless, you'll learn SO much from the class offerings.

Don't give up. I spent eight years, EIGHT YEARS, off and on working on THE BLOOD OF SEVEN before I finally felt like it was ready to get out into the world. I really hope my next book doesn't take that long!

Get out of your own way. If plotting isn't your thing, don't plot. If pantsing isn't your thing, don't pants. If you want to find the big plot points and write toward those, do that. If a technique isn't working for you, abandon it (the technique, NOT the story!) and find something that DOES work. When first drafting, don't stress about the small stuff. Never stress about the small stuff.

Give yourself permission to suck, at least when writing the first draft. Because if you stress over whether you're using the right word, or wondering what would happen if you took the story in a different direction back on page fifty and you're now on page two-hundred, go back and see what happens if you write it in that direction. Explore all the nooks and crannies of the story.

I think that's plenty of advice for new writers. :)

Thank you for tuning in! And, you know I can't help myself, if you haven't yet, check out my Kindle Scout campaign and give me a nomination (if you like what you see). If you love what you see, please share with your family and friends!


Do you have any advice for writers? Any questions for this aspiring author? Please comment, and your question may appear in a future episode of Ask the Writer!


Peace and Keep Writing,

Claire L. Fishback

Friday, February 24, 2017

Kindle Scout - Help a Writer in Need (with a couple mouse clicks)

Hi friends!

TODAY IS THE DAY! My Kindle Scout campaign for THE BLOOD OF SEVEN has launched!

This means I need your help! As you may recall from my previous posts, Kindle Scout is a sort of crowdsourcing approach to publication based on reader nominations. The more nominations I get, the higher the chance Kindle Press will consider my book for publication.

On top of that, when it gets published, you get a free copy*!
*With this free copy, I hope you'll read it and leave a glowing review. :)

What to do: Read the book info and excerpt, then click NOMINATE!
What ELSE to do (if you feel like it... which I hope you do): SPREAD THE WORD! Friends, family, co-workers, distant relatives, pets, strangers!

What people are saying about THE BLOOD OF SEVEN:

"If you enjoy genuinely creepy tales involving ancient tomes, mystery cults, and secret knowledge, look no further. Claire L. Fishback delivers a brave new voice in horror with this modern-day take on the timeless battle between Good and Evil.” - Michael F. Haspil, author of GRAVEYARD SHIFT (available for pre-order now!)

"I am not normally attracted to this genre but I was immediately drawn in by the characters and depth of this fascinating story line. I was engaged from page one and didn't want to put it down. I have found myself imagining what could happen in a sequel (Please, Ms. Fishback!). I can't wait until the official release so I can do more than tell people about it - I can tell them to buy it and set aside the next few days to read it - you won't want to do much else!” - Amanda Keil

"This book is brain candy. The story is so intriguing, I consumed it feverishly, like a delicious vat of ice cream. It was THAT addicting. Settle in and enjoy! Worth every word." - Melissa McMurphy

Please let me know if you have any questions! Thank you so much in advance, and please also forward to everyone you know!

Peace and Keep Writing,

Claire L. Fishback

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Blood of Seven Kindle Scout Campaign Launches Friday, February 24th!!!

Hi friends!

Remember my last post? I thought I was desperate to think about submitting my book to the Kindle Scout program? Well... I did it.

After reading a BUNCH of blog posts about different peoples' (I never know how to punctuate the plural of people's) experiences, I decided to take the risk and submit.

And now... my book, THE BLOOD OF SEVEN, has been chosen for a Kindle Scout campaign!


Now that that... and the celebratory cabbage patching... are out of the way, here's what you can do to help me.

I'll post another post on launch day with the live link to nominate my book. I'm also going to send out an email to my entire contact list (well, not the whole thing, because there are people in there who wouldn't give a rats ass about this whole thing).

Here's where you come in, my faithful fans and followers! When the link is live, if you would be so kind as to click it, then click nominate? I mean, obviously, you'll want to read the book details and what not before you decide. Also, and somewhat more importantly, help spread the word. Send the link and the details to everyone you know.

The way I *think* it works is, the more nominations I have, the higher chance I'll have of Kindle Press taking a closer look for consideration for publication. From what I've read, all the nominations in the world doesn't equal immediate publication. The book still has to go through a committee.

If my book is chosen for publication, everyone who nominated it gets a free copy! So, the next step would be, read it! And, maybe, if you wanna, I hope you do, leave a nice little review. :)

This is all very exciting. Thank you so much in advance for your support! You'll be helping me achieve my life long goal!

Peace and Keep Writing!

Claire L. Fishback

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Kindle Scout - Am I desperate?

Dear faithful followers,

I know I begin every post this way, but IT HAS BEEN A LONG TIME. I really ought to get better at keeping up with my blog.

The latest news is such:

Evil Never Sleeps has one last agent who is looking at it. All others have rejected it, including Pandamoon publishing, who I thought for sure would be a shoe in. I don't know why. I just had  high hopes.

So, one last agent who has taken almost a year so far to look at it. In the meantime, several people have read it and LOVED it. I'm not ready to take the self-publishing route just yet, but there is this thing called Kindle Scout that has intrigued me enough to start the submission process.

First step, create my book campaign. I actually painted a picture of my book cover for this, because I couldn't find anything free or cheap on the internet that I could muck about with in PhotoShop. I painted the painting, plopped it into PhotoShop, adjusted some levels and whatnot, and added the text. This is what it looks like:

I'm pretty darn pleased with the way it turned out, if I say so myself!

I have everything ready to submit my book campaign to Kindle Scout, after which, they'll review the submission, and let me know if they like it enough to include in the next campaign.

After that, it is up to you, my faithful friends and followers and maybe even fans. I'm counting on you to go to my campaign page and nominate my book. Or not. It's up to you! If you like what you see on my page, please nominate me. If not, I totally get it. My book isn't for everyone.

I'm hesitant to click the submit button, however. Part of me feels desperate. Part of me is terrified it will do horribly. Part of me just wants a cookie and a nap. It's the fear that's giving me pause, and the slight possibility that I might be desperate... To me, this is a step above self-publishing. It's a route that is for readers who love to read. All the people who have read my book so far are readers who love to read, and they all loved it. Said it was like reading a movie. They could SEE the things I was writing... Am I desperate? Maybe... this is my dream. If I can kick start my book on this path without self-publishing, I'm gonna do it.

I'll write again when my campaign is live. I do hope you'll help me reach the next level.

Peace and Keep Writing,

Claire L. Fishback