The Warrior of My Dreams

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I’m going to be honest, I haven’t touched Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series but from the looks of it…I’m going to have to start, haha.

Jamie Fraser just sounds like my type of guy: intelligent, dreamy, a natural leader. And all I’ve seen are the gifs of Sam Heughan portraying this hunk of burning love but I have not had a single complaint since I came across him.

Looks like I’ll be updating my Goodreads books tonight…

Pirates’s Life For Me…?

Ahoy mateys! It is I, Captain of the HRM ship, here to tell you: PIRACY. IS. NOT. OKAY.

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I love a good Captain Jack Sparrow gif…but hey, he’s a pirate too.

We’ve been seeing complaints online and receiving alerts from our own authors about “piraters” uploading whole e-books and audiobooks onto various platforms across the web, which is both frustrating and saddening. No one wants to see their work uploaded onto book platforms like iBooks or Google Play Books without their approval, especially if it is being sold for even the smallest amount of money. But most pirated material is put out for consumption for free,  that’s even more of a reason to freak out as an author. People downloading their books for free when they depend on this money to support themselves and their families (not to mention all the hard work and long hours they put into it)?! This is blasphemy!

Yeah, okay, a lot of people try to reason out the pros and cons of   piracy across all platforms…but at the end of the day…someone is making dirty money. Take a bath, why don’t you?

The theory goes that if it is free, shouldn’t you be happy that the book is at least getting some exposure? And if someone reads your book, becomes a fan, and wants to support your writing career, they’ll start to contribute to your newer titles…I suppose that is a good thing? At the end of the day though, it’s just not the life for me.

Is it worth putting up a fight to save your titles? In my opinion: Yes. It. Is. There is this incredibly detailed article talking about the steps to taking down a pirated book. Read it if the pirate market is bothering you to the Nth degree, it certainly has been here at HRM recently.

Since most of our agency’s authors have audiobooks through a publisher, it’s important to know that audiobook piracy happens as well. We have been finding full books up on YouTube and iBooks (make sure to check the podcast section as well, many free audiobooks end up there). Each publisher has their own process for getting these audiobooks taken down. They use sites such as DMCA, Digimarc, and MarkMonitor.  It also doesn’t hurt for you to send a Takedown Notice to the website you found your pirated audiobooks on either. We could use all the resistance we can get.

Protect the booty!

Building Your World

*We had to repost this blog, yay for technical difficulties!*

Hello dear subscribers!

A couple of months ago, one of our authors wrote a eye-opening article on world-building and fantasy. As a preface: it is not particularly about the physical world-building, our author focuses more on the concept of sexual intercourse and the relationship it has with fantasy. Since I’m not trying to spoil anything for you, go read it for yourself!

Beware: there are spoilers for his novels in this article. Can’t say I didn’t warn you.

Check out his debut novel here.

The Sweetest Sound

Since we live in such a technology-driven era, are there any writers out there who choose to listen to their favorite records while they type away?

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I, for one, love to write with music to further inspire my story to unfold. Meaningful lyrics is a plus. Sometimes I’ll write a chapter entirely based on the lyrics to a single song. I don’t think I would listen to the same tunes between genres, though. I think it would mess with the flow of a story if I was blaring one of my favorite rap songs while trying to write a regency novel.

If I were to write a cute scene with my OTP, I would play Electric Feel by MGMT. I always thought that song (even though it’s about the guy’s guitar) really accentuated the relationship between two people. I could listen to it while writing a sensual sex scene, but it’s up to what mood I’m in. With a scandalous and steamy scene, I choose Love Lies by Khalid. Outside of the lyrics, I really like the flow of the song and I think it could really inspire a lot of…things.

Or I would definitely listen to the theme song to Pirates of the Caribbean by Hans Zimmer if my characters are on a journey to save some villagers from a fire breathing troll…that’s the perfect adventure song, in my opinion. Any film scores help me envision more action in some scenes. I end up imagining myself sitting among my heroes (or villains, no judging here) while the scene unfolds around them.

I’ve seen around the internet that some authors don’t like to listen to music they are familiar with. I didn’t see any reasons why, but I can assume that it might have something to do with being reminded of events or people they don’t want interfering with their art of writing. Rather than listening to their favorite album from 1993 (like me), they’ll listen to random songs that might inspire them to write but are not attached to!

As much as I might enjoy it, listening to music while writing isn’t for everyone. Sometimes silence can be the sweetest tune.

A Deadly Mystery!

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We received a package last week that contained a nice bunch of recent releases in physical format. One of them being this mystery by Kathleen Concannon. 

A body.
A sacred national park.
It’s classified…

Park Ranger Dana Madison isn’t a homicide detective anymore, or is she? Singled out by the President to investigate a string of mysterious deaths in the country’s national parks, Madison has no idea why she was selected, or why she’s leading an unlikely cast of characters in a frantic search for answers.

When the chase leads her deep into the Rocky Mountains, Madison discovers potential motives that shock her. Is there a link to Native American tribes as the President suspects? Will she find a chilling connection to the case that ended her career as a homicide detective?

Interested? Check it out here!

Interview with a Fictional Character

A great way to build realistic character development is to interview your characters. There are many different ways to go about interviewing a character. You could do a very basic overview (from the outside, looking in) and answer basic questions in a simple character template format.

Full Name

Birthday

Eye Color…etc.

So basic.

It’s like you’re filling out the census for them,  except you don’t have to worry about bubbling your answers in. . But, let’s say your character goes beyond that straightforward template, especially if it’s one of your main stars. What would you ask yourself about your character?

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Do they have a goal?

What’s their biggest flaw?

Do they have a religion?…etc.

You get the idea. We’re starting to dive a bit deeper here. Now you’re starting to take a step back and are starting to put yourself in their shoes to better understand their fictional life. They’re starting to come to life…THEY’RE ALIIIIIIVE!

Interview your character like I would interview Chris Hemsworth (as Thor) about Asgard or Gal Gadot (dressed as Wonder Woman) about forming the Justice League. Sorry (not sorry, it’s very relevant because of Infinity Wars) about the comic book/film references… moving right along!

Envision your character sitting across from you. Catch a glimpse of their mannerisms and body language in reaction to the personal questions you may ask.

Are you lying to yourself about something?

How did you meet your best friend?

What do you want your tombstone to say if you don’t survive this mission?…etc.

The more realistic the character becomes, the more you’ll question whether they exist or not. Make your reader believe!