Sunday, June 25, 2017

Cover Reveal: Dark Devotion - e-book

Here's the new e-book cover for Dark Devotion, the final book in the Dark Trilogy. I hope you like it!


Blurb

The time of Odin is over.

The Aesir gods now live among the humans in their bustling modern cities. Their brutal dominion over the other beings of the Nine Worlds may have ended, but their actions have not been forgotten.

Beneath Rhys’s skin lies a legendary and feared beast. His daily struggle to contain the ruthless, cold-blooded creature sharing his body sees him edging closer to his breaking point. It’s the disappearance of his best friend which finally breaks him. An undeniable devotion sees him risking it all and striking up a reluctant friendship with the only god who knows the truth about his dark past. 

Will he succeed or will he condemn himself to a lifetime of imprisonment?

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Oz Comic Con Melbourne 2017 - Exclusive Deal



For those of you who don't know, I will be attending Oz Comic Con Melbourne this year! I'm so excited to be part of this great event, which is being held at Melbourne Convention and Entertainment Centre (MCEC) on July 1 & 2

I will be at table 91 in the Alley (see the floor plan below) 


AND I hope you'll stop by and see me because I have an exclusive deal available only at Oz Comic Con. You will be able to purchase the entire Dark Trilogy for only $30.00. Yep, you read that correctly - only $30. That's only $10 a book when they're normally $20 each. Of course, there will only be limited stock available so make sure you get in early!



There are so many TV and movie star guests going this year, including Jason Momoa, Alyson Hannigan, as well as some literary one - Queenie Chan, Isobelle Carmody, Shane W. Smith and Kylie Chan.

It's going to be an awesome weekend, and I can't wait. 

Need ticketS? Get there here:

http://www.ozcomiccon.com/tickets/

Hope to see you there!




 


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Review: Soulless by Jacinta Maree

Welcome to Soulless. We are the generation that laughs at death. 

Reincarnation; what once was a gift of immortality is now an eternal nightmare. 

Nadia Richards lives in a world plagued by reincarnation, a system of recycling souls where all past memories, personalities and traumatic events are relived daily in disjointed sequences. Trapped within their own warped realities, not even the richest and most powerful are saved from their own minds unraveling. 

In a society that ignores death things become complicated when Nadia appears to be the one exception to the reincarnation trap. Born without any reincarnated memories of her own, the hot tempered 19 year old quickly becomes the grand prize to all those wishing to end the vicious cycle, or for some, to ensure they could evade death forever.


Set in a dystopian society far into the future, Soulless is the story of Nadia, a nineteen-year-old woman who was born without any reincarnation memories. She is a blank slate – a fresh soul – and that makes her valuable in a society where reincarnation and the memories of their former lives has driven people to the edge of their insanity.

Nadia was born without a soul imprint in her eyes—an identifying mark that, when scanned, reveals the identity of a person. And in her society, being printless is a dangerous thing. Her life is quickly turned upside down when her parents agree to trade her to the authorities in exchange for life-saving food and life-altering medicine.

This is the start of the ultimate struggle for survival for Nadia.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I loved the concept of a society where immortality is a reality and death is just a dream. It made me wonder what human beings would actually be like after thousands of years of this new evolution. If you don’t fear death, would you be more willing to do things perceived as dangerous? If your life was filled with poverty and despair, would you just end it all, knowing your soul could come back again? Would you have the courage to take your own life, and if so, did that mean life was not a gift anymore, but something taken for granted? 

This book is very much a plot-driven story. Right from the beginning, action fills the pages as the world building begins. Nadia is a product of her surroundings; she scared for her life most days, but she chooses survival over fear. Seeing unimaginable cruelty around her, she hardens herself to things such as corpses lying on the streets and watching on impassively as someone is electrocuted and beaten. It makes sense for her to lose her sense of empathy, trust and compassion in her bleak world of deadened senses and lost emotions. If she were to show anything other than detached curiosity, she would become the target.

The descriptions in Soulless are on pointe, and Maree paints a striking and vivid picture of a society that is scary to imagine. As I was reading, I kept thinking this would make a great movie or TV series.

Nadia is such a broken character, and it’s easy to see why. Her parents treat her like a stranger – suspicion and distrust is the only thing they show her because of her printless eyes. She’s learned the only person she can trust is herself, and simply surviving is her first priority. In saying that though, I didn’t feel completely connected to her or her plight. I almost felt as if I was watching her from a distance, rather than being fully immersed in her life, or standing next to her as she suffered and fought for her next breath. 

The only real issue I had with the book was with the dialogue. Although this has been classed as a new adult book, I found the dialogue – especially when it came to Nadia – to be a bit immature. This is a book that takes on adult concepts and has ‘adult’ characters, so I struggled a lot with Nadia’s outbursts and her choice of language on occasions.

I found the concept and the world Maree built in Soulless far outweighed the few small issues I had. It was fast-paced and kept me turning the pages, and I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series.  
 

Friday, June 9, 2017

Dark Deceit - Paperback Cover Reveal

I've been doing some sprucing up of the new paperback cover for Dark Deceit. This is the final! 
Thoughts??


Friday, May 26, 2017

Beta Readers Needed

I feel like this is some sort of weird 'Help Wanted' ad, and I guess it is.

I need help! If you're a lover of the Helheim Wolf Pack series, you'll be hanging out for the final book in series. It's been a long time coming, but I promise it it. It's so close in fact that I need an army of beta readers to help me perfect it.

Sounds like something you'd like to do? All you'd need to have is a pre-existing love of my books and characters and the ability to give constructive criticism.

Does it still sound like something you'd like to do? Then send me an email with BETA READER HALF BOUND in the subject line and the following information, and we can get things rolling!


1) Name
2) Number of Helheim Wolf Pack books you've previously read
3) How quickly you can read and give feedback (approximate only)


Send your email to:

authorlaurendawes[at]gmail[dot]com

Saturday, May 20, 2017

How many books a year does an indie author need to write to be successful?



“I need to produce at least three or four new books a year to remain seen and sought after by readers.”

This is a statement I’m sure many indie authors have uttered in their writing careers. 

I was speaking to a friend and fellow indie author the other day and, as we often do, we were discussing what projects we were working on. She has a comic-prose novel in the works and I have the final installment in the Helheim Wolf Pack series that I’m working on. But then she said that exact statement to me: “I need to produce at least two or three books this year.”

My first reaction was: I need to compete with that, because, let’s face it, the self-publishing industry is nothing but competitive.

But my second reaction was: “How on earth am I going to do that?”
I’m not sure what other authors’ lives are like but mine is B-U-S-Y. I have a nearly three-year-old. I have a husband. I run the household. I buy groceries. I clean the house weekly and tidy up daily. I cook dinner every night. I try to squeeze in some ‘me’ time at the gym. I write when I can (usually after all my other duties are done for the day), but I struggle to find a couple of good, solid usable hours in which to be creative a produce something decent.

So when this statement was made, I recoiled. Yes, I’d love to write 2-3 books a year, but the reality is, it’s never going to happen. You’d be lucky to get one book out of me. But it did get me thinking…

On average, it would take me around 6-8 months to write a book. That’s one book. Add another 3-5 months to go through the editing and proofreading process and to get promotion and social media campaigns in place, and you’re left with approximately 13 months of work that goes into one book.

Can anyone else see the problem here?

Unless you’re happily unemployed, unmarried and without children, I just don’t see how a target of 2-3 books a year is feasible. 

So I did a little digging to see whether this figure is truly accurate…

Let’s take Stephen King for example. He has written 54 books in a span of 43 years (1974-2017). If you average all that out, Mr. King is producing 1.25 books per year.

Seems weird, right? All right, take JK Rowling as another example. Harry Potter was release in 1997. She is still actively writing, with her last release in 2016. She has written a total of 22 books in 19 years, so she’s averaging 1.15 books per year. 

Still not convinced? John Grisham. His career spans from 1990-2017. He has had a total of 36 books published in his 27 year career. The average? 1.3 books per year.

Here are some more startling stats:

Stephanie Myer (2005-2016) – 10 books ~ 0.9 books per year

Neil Gaiman (1984-2017) – 26 books (novels only) ~ 0.78 books per year

Jodie Picoult (1992-2016) – 27 books ~ 1.1 books per year

Nicholas Sparks (1990-2016) – 21 books ~ 0.8 books per year

Liane Moriarty (2004-2016) – 10 books ~ 0.8 books per year

Of course, there are a few freaks of nature out there who do produce more:

J.R. Ward (2002-2017) – 47 books ~ 3.1 books per year

Dean Koonts (1968-2017) – 115 books ~ 2.3 books per year

Even with these two examples, their yearly production of books is not ridiculous (4-6 books a year, for example; however, some indie authors are producing this many books a year).

So my question is this: where are indie authors getting the idea that they need to become slaves to their readers and churn out books so often? As a reader, I’d rather quality not quantity. 

Wouldn’t you?

Share your thoughts in the comments below, and let me know if you think this notion is crazy or not.