Monthly Archives: May 2011

Ways Change

I spent this past holiday weekend in North Carolina for a maternal-side family reunion. My aunt passed away a few months ago and we firmly decided that we really did need to see each other at times that aren’t just weddings and funerals, so we made it happen. We’re awesome like that. It was a great time (aside from some airport fiascos that I’m trying not to think about any more), and I was sad that we couldn’t stay longer. I felt like there, surrounded by loved ones, having fun and relaxing… that is real life. Not this (I’m writing from my cubicle at my day job while I’m on hold on the phone). This office job, this working for someone else doing things I don’t care about… that’s not life. But it does no good to dwell on how much I’d rather not be here, so let’s move on to the other thoughts I had this weekend. We’ll get back to this, kind of.

I was able to work on my upcoming winter book release, The Hierophant, a lot while I was there. I’m in the process of some heavy revisions, but I’m so excited about it again that I can’t stand the time apart from it. It’s all I think about–well, that and it’s sequel, The Tower. And also, I think a lot about how I’m going to publish this one, where I’m going to get cover art, how it’s different from The Poppet and the Lune, what I learned from publishing the first time. And then sometimes I step back and look at myself, and I see how happy I am, how I enjoy sorting these things out, solving these problems, brainstorming ideas, breaking apart my draft and putting it back together again, experiencing these great epiphanies about parts that just “didn’t fit” before. And every time, I know without a doubt, even when those epiphanies aren’t coming, and things aren’t getting sorted, and the draft doesn’t want to fit back together… this is my career. This is what I love to do, what fills me with passion, what consumes my thoughts at all hours of the day and night. I am meant to do this. And even before I decided to self publish, I knew that. It pained me to go out and get a crap job after college because I knew my writing was good enough, and I knew I should be doing nothing but getting my writing out there and publishing some how, some way.

My family is full of creative people. Several of us are active artists, educated for our paths, aggressively pursuing our dreams (and if you’re not pursuing your dreams: why not?). Most of us don’t really consider that we’ve “made it” yet. Most of us are working other jobs so that we don’t starve, working on our craft on the side. And that’s good, and fine. But we get restless after a while. After a while, we wonder: if we haven’t made it by now, when will we?

I reached that point again and again until finally I couldn’t take standing on the precipice of a spiraling depression. Something wasn’t working, wasn’t right with my equations. So I looked more closely at what it is I really wanted. Did I want to sell the rights to my work for money, but lose autonomy and creative control? Did I want to risk a terrible cover that would completely misrepresent my story? Did I want to be a part of the game of Publishing? Is that what I need to be happy with my writing?

The answers aren’t cut an dry. Yes, I’d like an agent. No, I don’t want to lose creative control. Yes, I want someone to invest in me with their money. No, I don’t want to become a brand. But the fundamental answer is this: I want to tell stories. Then it expands to this: I want to make a living from telling stories. And I think most artists feel that way. “I want to [art form], and I want to make a living [doing art form].”

The thing is, the world is a very complicated, byzantine mess of interconnectedness that is swayed way too much by money. I won’t get into the politics of that, but things are huge messy mess. The Way It Is Done (creating a career in [art form]) has been established and agreed upon by those already living that life for many years, but things have changed dramatically in my lifetime alone (and I’m just over a quarter of a century-years-old). So, staring in the face of a system that is not working for you, and doesn’t appear to be working for a lot of talented people, sometimes you have to look at The Way It Is Done and say ways change. You can do it with a shrug or a shout or a whisper, but once you recognize it and know it… get ready for the rest of your life begin.

When I realized that my thoughts about the publishing industry and self publishing were not just my ego telling me “they don’t know what they’re missin’!” it was like being re-born. The day I really stepped forward and confirmed my plans to begin self-publishing, I was on a cloud. I was there for weeks, gleeful as all the straggling rejection letters filed in, laughing at each one. And I am still absolutely thrilled with the path I am on.

Now, I’m not much of a poster child for self-publishing. I published one book, and one short story, neither of which are mainstream enough or niche enough to gather readers quickly. I knew that at the outset. I know that my success is going to have to come from a slow-build, and lots of work on my part to figure out inexpensive ways to get people to know about my book. But that’s okay. Because when you’re following your heart, the work on your path doesn’t seem like work, it seems like play, like an adventure, like baking a cake or climbing a mountain. No one loves stirring batter until their wrists ache, or skinning their knee, but these things don’t hurt so much when you’re on your way to living your dream. In fact, you’ll probably find yourself bragging about those things later. “I got this sweet scar doing this thing I love.” Then the pain becomes much more than just an inconvenience or a means to an end, it becomes a reminder: you’re not working hard because you want to “make it.” You’re working hard because you love the work you do.

Look, I’m not saying that following your dream is easy. It’s not. Finding a crap job and working 9-5 for a steady paycheck is easy. Coming home every day and parking it in front of the television is easy. And if that’s what you want, then enjoy that ease. But if you want more, if you want to make a living doing the thing you love, then you have to get creative. Stop looking at how it was done, or how it is done. Do it the way that makes sense to you, and see what follows. See what you’re inspired to do next. But above all, don’t do anything just because someone else has told you that’s how it must be done.

Anyway, that’s what I’m doing, and it seems so be working out so far. I’ll keep you posted on how things turns out.

One Week Later!

The Poppet and the Lune (or TPaL as I sometimes call it, dreaming of the day BPaL might make fragrances based on the book… *dreams wistfully*) has been out for just over a week now, and things have not settled down one bit! I had some delusional idea that after releasing the book life might go back to “normal,” but it has dawned on me recently that I don’t know what that is. So, here I am, already booked for every single weekend till August, scrutinizing my daily life to find time to finish revising my next novel, The Hierophant.

But, I did find time last night to finally figure out how to do this thing I’ve been wanting to do for you…

Remember how TPaL was originally a free web serial, and some of you read it as I posted it, as I wrote it? Well, I wanted to get back to those roots, because it was that same spirit that helped me decide to self publish, which has been one of the most satisfying experiences of my life. So…

You can now read The Poppet and the Lune for free, here.

Sure, I hope you’ll buy the e-book or the paperback, or leave a little donation. But if you can’t, and you missed out on the web serial, and you really want to read this story, I ain’t gonna stop you. I’ve been there, and I know what it’s like to desperately want a book when you really don’t have a cent to spare. Or, you know, maybe you don’t desperately want it, you’re just bored at work, or really want a good chunk of a sample before you invest. Whatever your reasons, (I mean, so long as they are honest), I am giving TPaL to you for free, again. I hope you enjoy it.

 

The Poppet and the Lune

“Five stars is not enough.” Sarah E. Diemer, author of The Dark Wife

“…atmospheric and wonderful and so, so well done… Franklin’s writing is beautiful.” The Bookworm Shelf

 

The Poppet and the Lune

An original fairy tale about a patchwork girl and a boy who cried wolf… and became one.

Watch the book trailer for The Poppet and the Lune

Available in print from createspace.comamazon.com, OR by request at most book retailers.

Also available as an ebook for

Or, read it for free here!

Description: The witch who made the patchwork girl died before she could give her creation a name. Stitched together from the remains of the villagers’ dead children—whose memories still live in her flesh—and held together by a ring made of moonbeams, the patchwork girl is a spell as yet unfinished. She can never be what her parents wanted her to be: a replacement for the children they’ve lost. So when the poppet grows up, and grows tired of being a disappointment, she decides to embark upon a journey through the Everwood Forest in search of her real name.

In the forest she meets Faolin, a newly made wereman (a man trapped as a wolf except during the full moon) running from the beasts who killed his father, and stole his throne as Wolf King. He joins the patchwork girl on her journey, and she promises to help him become human again and return to his fiancée. Together, they face the dangers of the forest as their paths wind together: Faolin running from his destiny, the patchwork girl in search of her own, and both of them bound by moonlight.

But Faolin, afraid of the beast he has become, has known all along what he must do in order to lift the curse and return to his fiancée. In fact, it is the very reason he sought out the patchwork girl to begin with—and now the only reason he is willing to leave her side: to save her from himself.

Read the prologue and the first six chapters of The Poppet and the Lune

“The Poppet and the Lune” is LIVE!

Happy Birthday (to me, and) to my debut novel: The Poppet and the Lune!

The Poppet and the Lune is now available as an e-book for $2.99 at:

And it’s available in print for $14.99 at:

 ~*~

You guys. YOU GUYS. This is the best birthday ever. My very first published novel is really published and really for sale in real stores to real people!

The only thing that sucks is the internet where I work is no longer allowing me to access any of the fun social networking places where I would normally be able to share this information. But that’s not going to spoil the day for me! I’m just going to bask in the warm fuzzy feeling of a dream-come-true, because my novel is out in the world today, a brain-child all grown up, ready to become what it is meant to be.

Happy reading!

One Week.

(I was going to do a heartfelt entry on Release Day, but I figured I’m going to be frantic next week. So here it is now…)

Eight months ago, I finished the rough draft of The Poppet and the Lune. It took me 21 months to write. I wrote it abroad, in a cafe called Puccino’s, tucked away in a cobblestone nook in Oxford, England. I wrote it at home as a college student finishing her bachelor’s degree. I wrote it in a bachelor pad two hours from home while waiting for my fiance to come home from work. I wrote it while I was an unemployed graduate planning my wedding and desperately seeking a job. And I finished it as a married woman, just beginning a new adventure of the 9-5 variety.

The Poppet and the Lune was never supposed to be The One that got the agent, or the publishing contract. It had been, from the beginning, something I did because I loved it, and something I shared because others seemed to love it too. It was free as a web serial, and when I finished the first draft last fall I knew that I wanted to self publish it. It wasn’t a book written for The Publishing Industry, or The Market. It was written for the people who I know will love it.

The book has been read by agents, and editors, and consumers. They’ve all told me the same thing: “I. Love. This. Book.” But on the business end, they had a little something extra: “But I just don’t think it’s very marketable.” And instead of hurting, or feeling offended, I felt a huge sense of relief and purpose and freedom. As if I had needed it, I felt like they were giving me permission to go ahead with my plans to self publish, despite the huge and inherent risks of total failure and damaging my (future) reputation as a respectable and competent novelist.

And I haven’t regretted it for a moment.

I don’t know how well The Poppet and the Lune will sell, or if I’ll even make back all of what I’ve invested. I don’t know anything about what the future holds for me as a career novelist. All I know for certain is that at the end of the day (next week, Tuesday), my very first published novel will be available to the public at large, and I was dependant upon no one but myself to make that happen.

And holy shit does that feel good.

Is that wrong? Is it wrong that I don’t even care if I’m successful, that I’m more interested in being in control of my life than in following established paths to success? I don’t think so. In fact, it feels very, very right to me.

So a week from today, when The Poppet and the Lune goes out into the world as a real and published thing, I will be officially done with a novel for the first time in my life as a novelist. I’ll be letting her go. Soon, she will no longer belong to me alone, but to the world. She’ll no longer be my child, to shape and create, and dress in a pretty cover, and clean up her formatting, and help her shine. She’ll be Real.

We’ve had some crazy times together, but The Poppet and the Lune has always stood strong and fast and bright, a novel that was as honest with me as I tried to be in telling her story. She has shined for me since day one, and I hope she will shine for you, too.

Look! Things to view and/or READ!

Okay. So, after many weeks of fighting with Final Cut Express, and then re-learning Adobe After-Effects, and then realizing it was almost (almost) uselss for what I was doing, and then discovering Live Type and being very disappointed in what it could do, and then staying up way too late for many nights and neglecting my poor husband…

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you: the official trailer for The Poppet and the Lune.

 

(best if viewed with sound!) 

 

 

And also, now that I’ve (hopefully) whetted your appetites: 

 

A FREE SAMPLE! : D

Let me know what you think! And enjoy!

Also, so, oh my god you guys this is FOR REALZ. My first proof should be arriving in the mail TOMORROW and I have a book trailer that I’m (mostly) thrilled with, and a fancy pdf sample for you guys and and and… YOU GUYS.

XD

*’splode*

12 DAYS LEFT!

Tagged , , ,

Heh. Heh.

Rob Brezsney says this is my horoscope this week:

You’re an animal! And I mean that in the best senses of the word. Your vitality is heading toward peak levels, and your body is as smart as it gets. If you were ever going to act as if every move you make is a dance, now would be the time to do it. If you ever wanted to explore the righteous blending of grace and power, this is a perfect moment. Give yourself permission to be a fluid bolt of ingenious fun, Taurus. Play hard and sweet, with sublime ferocity.

Hee hee. I like that.

In TPaL News: I should have my first proof copy on Friday. FRIDAY! :D Also I swear to you that I will probably have the book trailer finished tonight and up tomorrow afternoon PROVIDED I can remember how to get a video file from my computer, to the interwebz. Also, there will be a downloadable sample of the novel. HEEEEEE

I’m so excited I feel like exploding XD

Delivery Failure

I have failed you. I promised a book trailer, and I have not got one to give you today :( I don’t know if I’ll have one tomorrow, either. I spent ALL WEEKEND formatting The Poppet and the Lune for several kinds of ebook and again for print (it ended up being a little over 360 pages!), and then put together the cover template (which, frustratingly, didn’t meet the print standards so has to be re-worked tonight after work).

I had a grand idea for what I wanted my book trailer to be, and it should have been SO SIMPLE to do, but for the mysteries of Final Cut refusing to let me do simple fade-ins and fade-outs, for no apparent reason. So.

So.

No use crying over it, I’ll make SOMETHING happen, and at the very least I’ve got the words I want to use and permission to use the music I want. So there is that.

Also, the final cover template for front/spine/back? FREAKING AWESOME if I do say so myself. ;D Just needs some slight adjustments for printing, then I can order the proof.

15 DAYS!

A Lover and its Ghosts

A Lover and its Ghosts

a short work of possible fiction

Available for $.99 as an e-book at the following retailers:

  • Smashwords.com (for most e-reader devices)
  • Amazon.com (for Kindle)
  • BN.com (for Nook)
  • …and most major e-book distributors

Also available in print at CreateSpace.com and Amazon.com

Description: Where do I know you from?

A simple question causes two souls to recall several past lives in which they knew each other. After many incarnations where the two were kept apart, is this finally the life where they can be together? And even in death, are they ever truly apart?