One of the short-short stories I wrote in March is now edited and posted. Paint It Black is about an artist who is paralyzed by her fear of the dark. It's maybe a little strange. And yes, I know that's the title of a Rolling Stones song. You can't copyright titles, and it's also the name of a band and a novel. This story originally had a different title that came from the prompt I used to write it, but as I wrote and edited, I kept thinking that Paint It Black would be the perfect title. So I changed it. Also, that song would make great background music while you read the story. It's free to read on the site until I have enough other stories for another collection (with these short-shorts, I'll probably put five in a collection), at which time it'll come down and go up for sale on Amazon in the KDP Select program.
Today my Camp NaNo Cabin held a word war, so I did extra writing, 2,532 words, to bring my total to 25,879/30,000. Poor Silas is having a very very bad day, but it might start to get better soon.
Last night I finished the Estelend story I was working on. It ended up at about 9,600 words, but will probably get longer when I go back and flesh out some things. My jury duty is postposed to April 2, so this week I think I'll do the companion short story, the backstory on one of the major characters. The whole thing is written out in my head, so it's just a matter of typing it. Once it's actually written, I'll go back and start editing/revising the short fiction from this challenge (three short-shorts, a long short, and a medium short) to make them suitable for human consumption.
Prep for the manuscript markup on Chosen of Azara should be completed tomorrow, so I'm right on pace with that.
I participated in a blog fest put on by Indies Unlimited yesterday, and found some good new reads. From music commentary to exotic travel to expat life to fantasy adventures to lolcats to the joys of being a woman of a certain age, you can probably find something fun to read in the links and blog roll, over to the right in the sidebar.
Urdaisunia is now available for the Nook at Barnes & Noble. Also, Chapter 4 is now available on the site for your free sampling enjoyment.
And a reminder - "The Peach Tree" and "Can't Take It With You" will be coming down in a day or two in preparation for going into the KDP Select program on Amazon. It will be available through the Amazon Prime Kindle Owner's Lending Library, and I'll be doing a five-day free giveaway sometime in the next few weeks. Watch for it!
My proof copy of the paperback edition of Urdaisunia came today. It's beautiful! Once I give it a good looking over and approve it, it should hopefully become available very soon. It's a trade-size paperback, and will be priced at $10.99 (U.S.). I'll update the Amazon buy link once it's available.
In other news: I'm still waiting for Urdaisunia to make its way through the Smashwords sales channels to the Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple, and Sony online stores. I'll add buy links as it goes live on those sites.
In the meantime, Chapter 3 of Urdaisunia is now posted for your free sampling enjoyment. I'll continue to post 2-3 chapters a week, with three chapters available at a time, for sampling and free serial-style reading.
I'm working on a short story collection which will include "The Peach Tree" and "You Can't Take It With You," along with a previously-unpublished story, "A Cure For Nel," which is set in the same world as my forthcoming novel Chosen of Azara. (Completely different story and characters, though.) I'm going to experiment with putting this collection in Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing Select program, which will allow me to offer it for free five days out of a ninety-day period, and will also make it available in the Kindle Prime lending library. The downside is that the work has to be exclusive to Amazon while it's enrolled in the KDP Select program, which means that "The Peach Tree" and "You Can't Take It With You" will have to come down from this site. If you want to read them free online, you've got a few more days before they disappear. After that, I'll announce when the collection will be available for free from Amazon, and when it isn't free it'll be only $0.99.
But, you say, I don't have a Kindle! Never fear: here are a couple of different solutions. One is that you can download the free Kindle reading app for your computer, tablet, or smartphone (Android or Apple) and read through that. The other is, my ebooks are free of DRM, meaning that you can buy them from Amazon and use free Calibre ebook management software to easily convert them to your preferred format (epub for most other e-readers).
I'm curious to see if the KDP Select program offers any advantages as far as promotion and visibility are concerned. So I'll keep this collection in the program for a couple of 90-day cycles and see how it works. After that I'll decide whether to keep it in the program or make the stories non-exclusive again.
And in other news, The Lost Book of Anggird is out to the test-readers, and Chosen of Azara is undergoing a quality-check revision pass. It's already been pretty well worked-over, and I had it posted on my old website for a long time. I'm not finding too many problems, but it could still use a little work to bring it up to a more professional level. I'm not planning on sending it out to test-readers, and will hopefully have it ready to release in May or June.
I've also started writing Book 2 (as yet untitled) of Daughter of the Wildings. For months now, Silas and Lainie have been jumping up and down, waving their arms at me and going, "Hey, did you forget about us?" So it's good to finally be paying attention to them again. Like the first book, Beneath the Canyons, this one is kind of scary because I have a vague idea of what it's all about and where it'll end up but not nearly as many details as I would feel comfortable with to fill out a whole novel. I'm hoping that like with the first book, it'll all come to me as I write. It's a fun setting to write in, and Silas's voice is also a lot of fun. I read the draft of Beneath the Canyons last weekend for the first time since I wrote it a year and a half ago, and I had forgotten how very cool it is.
Thanks to digital self-publishing and print-on-demand, this is a tremendously exciting time to be a writer, and it's a dream come true for me to be able to share my stories with other people on my own terms without having to wait for anyone else's approval. I hope you'll join me on the adventure, and enjoy reading my stories as much as I enjoy writing them!
The first of the Urdaisunia book extras is now posted, the Cast of Characters. (This list will also be included in the ebook and print editions.)
In books with more than a few characters, I always appreciated having a who's who to refer to, especially if there are complicated family relationships, which Urdaisunia has. Also lots of gods - you'll notice on the list, I've separated out the gods who actually make an appearance or are mentioned by name from all the others. There are a lot more from the list I could have mentioned by name in the novel, but I figure the twenty or so I already have are enough to keep track of. The rest are included because you can tell a lot about a culture by the gods it worships, plus I put a lot of work into making up this list. A lot of the names and gods are either taken more or less directly from Sumerian mythology, or heavily inspired by it. (The Sumerian influences on Urdaisunia are another topic for another blog post.)
Enjoy this extra sneak peek into the world and people of Urdaisunia!
Hello, and welcome to my worlds! I'm Kyra Halland, fantasy author, and I'm excited for the chance to share my stories with you.
I've been writing since late 1989 or early 1990. At that time, when I finished my first novel, I dabbled in the traditional publishing process a bit, and though the feedback I got wasn't too discouraging, I quickly realized that this process just wasn't for me. So, for many years, I kept my writing to myself, or posted it for free on a small website I had, Worlds Apart, which few people ever looked at. But now, with the rise of e-books, print-on-demand, and the ease of publishing independently through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, and other outlets, I've found the perfect opportunity to put my stories out into the world where other people can read and (hopefully) enjoy them. As of this writing, I plan to release my first independently-published novel, Urdaisunia, in February, with two or maybe even three more novels to follow this year, and even more to come after that.
This site is mainly directed at readers, with release and purchasing information, background info and other fun stuff about my novels and short stories, and things to read right here for free. I'll share a little bit about my creative process, background on the worlds and characters, the playlists I listen to to set the mood for my stories, and other things that have inspired my writing. Also, for the occasional writer who might stop by, and since I believe everyone should try writing a novel at least once, just to see what it's like, I'll make a post every once in a while on writing.
I hope you'll take a moment to look around the site, and that you'll find something you like. And please come back again soon!
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-The Story Grid
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Let's Get Digital
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-A Lawyer Who Would Rather Write Music Commentary
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