Author secrets—from world-building to a writers’ residence exchange—ALWAYS

Our November 2014 tips from established writers attending the
Alliance of Literary Writers, Authors and Yabbering Scribes (ALWAYS) gathering.
Read ’em and reap.

I was asked by one of the ALWAYS authors to share some world-building tips with our tribe, on the heels of publishing my new fantasy adventure Song of the Ocarina.

For a copy of my handout, visit the Files link on the ALWAYS Facebook page. Here are the high-level points from my wee presentation*:

1. Pick a unique idea or set of ideas to frame the world.
Mine centered around:

  • Noel Stone, newly Noble Fae, musician, and sometime sheep shearer. Image by John Taylor. ©2013 VUPublishing

    Noel Stone, newly Noble Fae, musician, and sometime sheep shearer. Image by John Taylor. ©2013 VUPublishing

    Noel, a 6-1/2′ tall character who came to me in a dream

  • A New Zealand-type realm influenced by the Maori culture
  • Fae names:
    • Noble Fae all natural (Lark, Glenn, B’rook)
    • Dark Fae based on burned-out rock stars (Mikk, Kert, Axyl)

2. Rules – establish logical rules for your world (especially putting limitations around magic, or developing cultural activities)

3. Rituals – structure a set of set activities in the world’s culture (greetings, birthdays, weddings/funerals, art/music, sports)

4. Power – develop a series of hierarchies (government, education, communities)

5. Place – more than setting, describe the place from a character’s perspective

* Malinda Lo’s blog provided world-building inspiration for my comments.

Additional tips from our authors:

  • Support indie authors by buying their books rather than sharing or free downloads. Your support means they can continue creating the stories you love.
  • Looking for a place to write? Check out Poets & Writerswriter’s residency exchange. I am SO excited about learning more about this!
  • The 3-Day Novel Contest. This writing challenge  has happened every Labor Day weekend since 1977. “Entrants pre-register, grit their teeth, lock their doors and try to produce a literary masterwork in 72 short hours. A panel of experienced judges reads the results and the winning novel is published.
  • To see what readers like about a genre, look at Amazon reviews about similar books.
  • Write a series rather than a one-off. Consider making the first book in the series Perma-free (permanently free ) on Amazon to allow readers to sample your writing and get hooked on the series.
  • Read Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them, by Francine Prose
  • Write more than you read about writing. Ah, the temptation!

…………………..

Write on!
Ann Narcisian Videan
Write • Edit • Self-publish • Word-of-mouth
avidean@videanunlimited.com

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Share an evening with award-winning authors, books, and music… even award-winning cookies!

Award winning books and authors

Cheryl’s and my books are both filled with music and love. Her romance, A Friend Request, will appeal to adults (18+), while my fantasy adventure, Song of the Ocarina, is geared to new adults (ages 15-25+).

Join in our book celebration!

The music-filled, fantastical world of Delfaerune awaits your exploration in my newly published novel Song of the Ocarina. I’ll share the spotlight with Cheryl Gillmore, author of A Friend Request—an adult story of first love rekindled online—which I had the honor to edit.

Capture 12 Photo Gallery
417 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix, AZ

Sat., Nov. 22,  4 p.m.–8 p.m.

What’s in it for you? Everything award-winning!

  • Win a free 5-page sample edit of your writing.
  • Earn an entry for my drawing for a free signed copy of Song of the Ocarina, a Top Five Finisher in the”Realizing The Dream Contest.”
    Just bring proof you found the special image identified in my blog’s Delfaerune Rhapsody section.(At the event, show me a screen capture, Instagram photo, my live blog page on your mobile device, etc.)
  • Meet at 7 p.m. with other “new adults” to discuss forming a tribe geared to leveraging your creative works.
  • Meet Cheryl Gillmore, author of A Friend Request, which I had the honor to edit. Her poetry book, Of Roots, Shoes and Rhymes, won the Sixth Annual National Indie Excellence Awards in poetry. Her first novel, Uncommon Bond, won the 2012 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards for Fiction-Romance.
  • Hear the playlists associated with our books, both of which are filled with popular music references.
  • If you have no other reason, come on down for a taste of my family’s award-winning Molasses Crinkles cookies. (Really, the annual ZooTeens cookie baking contest, thought our cookies were “Most Like Grandma’s.”)

Another opportunity for a book-drawing entry…

Independent authors rely on loyal supporters like you to allow them to continue writing the stories you love. Can you help by spreading the word? If you bring evidence of posting or re-posting any announcement for this book signing, I’ll add a second entry into my book drawing for you, and send you home with a bag of those delicious Molasses Crinkles.


Write on!
Ann Narcisian Videan
Write • Edit • Self-publish • Word-of-mouth

P.S. Learn more about my novels on Google+.


Musical, fantastical novel debuts: Song of the Ocarina

IMG_0550Today, the post brought to my door a large box filled with copies of my new novel—Song of the Ocarina, book 1 of the Delfaerune Rhapsody series. I experienced an absolute, glorious, Back to the Future George McFly moment! (You remember the character receiving his box of books in the 1985 film?)

That moment… opening the box and lifting out your creation… well, it’s an indescribable. Definitely worth a movie score subtext… if only!

You can currently find my music-filled, fantastical, new-adult novel on Amazon—in both paperback and Kindle format, but…

You may want to consider purchasing it in-person between noon and 4 p.m., Nov. 1, 2014, at the Author Palooza Book Signing Release Celebration at Dog-Eared Pages in Phoenix. [She grins, hoping to see you there. C.L. Gillmore, a wonderful author friend, will also participate with her book A Friend Request, which I edited.]

I’m also staging a one-day “Amazon Rank-Up” sales event, probably on Tuesday, Nov. 4. Watch my Facebook page and this blog for more details.

Another amazing image of secondary characters Axyl Thorne and B'rook Turehu as envisioned by Stacy Lefevre.

Another amazing image of secondary characters Axyl Thorne and B’rook Turehu as envisioned by Stacy Lefevre.

So, what’s it all about, you wonder?

My Song of the Ocarina manuscript won a Top Five Finish award, in the “Realizing The Dream Contest” at the RWA Desert Dreams Writer’s Conference in April 2014.

A great start for something I began writing during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in 2010, even before I self-published my first novel Rhythms & Muse.

Four years later, here I sit with a new book and great gratitude for input from:

  • Seven critique partners
  • Three beta readers
  • Three Maori/New Zealand expert resources
  • Two Fae culture creative consultants
  • Three vegetarian recipe providers
  • Nineteen song aficionados
  • One content editor
  • One generous production designer
  • Two brilliant character illustrators

In a companion post, I list the names of all these contributors… Many more lovely people helped make this book possible. A humble thank you.

About the Novel

Desperate to understand her place in the world, teenage musical prodigy Lark Tūrehu unwittingly follows her handsome music teacher Noel Stone into the parallel realm of Delfaerune. With her extreme height and long, silver-white hair, she already considers herself a freak in her Queenstown, New Zealand university, so how can she possibly deal with the added burden of her role as the Noble Fae’s leading musical spell caster? Not only must she retrieve and master the Kura Ocarina to earn the title of the realm’s “Maestra,” but the faefolk expect her to use the ancient wind instrument to save the human race from extinction at the hands of the Dark Fae.

♫♫♫♫♫

In Delfaerune, you’ll discover a lush world where music joins with Earth energy to conjure balance among all creatures, extinct and mythical creatures talk and live peacefully, and the Dark Fae pattern themselves after burned-out human rock stars.

Explore the Playlists

Song of the Ocarina is filled with music. Listen to and/or watch videos of all the songs mentioned in the novel on my YouTube or Spotify playlists.

Praise for Song of the Ocarina

“Ann N. Videan’s writing, descriptive and engaging, pulled me into the imaginative story she created with all my senses. Lovable characters, vivid descriptions, a truly magical, musical world. I eagerly await the next installment!”
—Jennifer Hartz, author of The Future Savior Series

“Teens and adults alike will find Videan’s story and characters appealing. I enjoyed the Fae musicians’ original lyrics, the animal personas—kiwi, moa, even the dragon—and the New Zealand flora and fauna enhanced the narrative.”—Sara Rebennack, bookseller

About the Author

Ann at Carmel's Cafe in Phoenix, AZ

Ann at Carmel’s Cafe in Phoenix, AZ

I live in Mesa, Arizona, with my awe-inspiring husband and two college-age children. As a Literary Architect, I book-shepherd authors through the writing, editing, self-publishing and word-of-mouth marketing of fiction and non-fiction titles

My women’s fiction novel Rhythms & Muse, along with its complementary soundtrack of five original songs inspired by the story, debuted in 2011. I now create fantastical adventures for new adults in my Delfaerune Rhapsody Series.

A professional writer since 1981, I opened my own award-winning home-based marketing firm, vIDEAn Unlimited, LLC, in 1996. I have served as an editor for corporations, visionary entrepreneurs, and national publishers.

My most joyful moments involve filling pages with words, exploring music, documenting memories in photos, gathering people around me with a cup of green tea in my hand, and rolling smoothly down new pathways on my in-line skates.

Explore blog posts about writing, my books and music CD, and my writing community here on this site. You can always contact me at avidean@videanunlimited.com.

So, could you possibly want to know anything else? I doubt it but, just in case, feel free to ask away!

__________________________

Write on!
Ann Narcisian Videan
Write • Edit • Self-publish • Word-of-mouth

B’rook Tūrehu: Final Reveal (#3)

The bratty wild child character in Song og the Ocarina by Ann Narciian Videan

Here she is! B’rook Tūrehu, as envisioned by Stacy Lefevre.

Delfaerune Rhapsody series’
bratty wild child
B’rook Tūrehu,
full character profile.

Age: 17

Stature: 6’2” tall

Race:
Noble Fae, a tall, wingless, magical people sometimes called the “Goodies” by their unscrupulous Dark Fae “cousins.”

Residence:
B’rook lives on a plane parallel to Queenstown, New Zealand, in the Fae land of Delfaerune. There, in Queens’tyn, the animals talk, extinct and mythical creatures thrive, and sentient foliage lends magical glamour to the Noble Fae.

Family:
Daughter of the Magister of Karakia (good magic) Knyt Tūrehu and Magistra of Music Fern Tūrehu, and sister to Lark Tūrehu (the heroine).

Job:
She’s been a captive of the Dark Fae for three years but, in better times, she spent her time as a student.

Strengths: Harassing her older sister, and tempting famous rocker Axyl Thorne.

Flaw: Her infatuation with Axyl, and the Dark Fae.

Quirk: Her penchant for human rock music and fashion. Also, she and Lark are the only two Noble Fae with silver-white hair.

Animal familiar(s): At some point, probably in book two, she’ll acquire a gremlin named “Vexi.”

Love interest: Axyl Thorne, Delfaerune’s famous rock star.

…………………………………………………

Learn more about B’rook in the Delfaerune Rhapsody series—my new-adult, fantasy-adventure trilogy-in-progress. Her story begins in Song of the Ocarina, the first book in the series, due out soon.

Watch in the coming days for more character information about the trilogy. Also, watch Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Back to Reveal #1             Back to Reveal #2             To Mikk Stone Final Reveal
To Noel Stone Final Reveal      To Lark Tūrehu Final Reveal

B’rook Tūrehu: Reveal #2

Brook Tūrehu

Another glimpse of Delfaerune Rhapsody character B’rook Tūrehu, as envisioned by Stacy Lefevre.

B’rook just turned 17, a coming of age in Delfaerune, and her edgy attitude is about as tall as her 6’2″ height.

Her penchant for human rock music makes her seriously jealous of her sister Lark’s iPod. But she has one thing her sister never will… famous Fae rocker Axyl Thorne.

See B’rook’s Reveal #1

…………………………………………………

Learn more about B’rook in the Delfaerune Rhapsody series—my new-adult, fantasy-adventure trilogy-in-progress.  Her story begins in Song of the Ocarina, the first book in the series, due out soon.

Watch in the coming days for more character information about the trilogy. Also, watch Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

B’rook Tūrehu: Reveal #1

Partial image of B'rook Turehu, character from Song of the Ocarina

First glimpse of Delfaerune Rhapsody character B’rook Tūrehu, as envisioned by Stacy Lefevre.

B’rook Tūrehu… sister to our heroine Lark. Both girls, daughters of the Magistrates of Magic and Music in the Fae realm of Delfaerune, are the only two Noble Fae with silver white hair.

Can you tell from her boots she’s a bit of a wild child? Maybe that’s why she’s fallen for famous rocker Axyl Thorne.

…………………………………………………

Learn more about B’rook in the Delfaerune Rhapsody series—my new-adult, fantasy-adventure trilogy-in-progress.  Her story begins in Song of the Ocarina, the first book in the series, due out soon.

Watch in the coming days for more character information about the trilogy. Also, watch Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Axyl Thorne: Final Reveal (#4)

Delfaerune Rhapsody series’ famous Fae rock star
Axyl Thorne
,
full character profile.

Axyl Thorne illustration

Debut of Delfaerune Rhapsody rocker Axyl Thorne, by Stacy Lefevre.

Age: 28

Stature: 6’10” tall

Race and class:
Axyl’s unique lineage affects his Fae race, but you’ll need to read the book to find out why. Though he currently prefers to hang out with Mikk Stone and the dark class of Fae—the tall, wingless, magical residents in the realm of Delfaerune—
Axyl remains neutral.

Residence:
Our rock star lives in a plane parallel to Queenstown, New Zealand, in the Fae world of Delfaerune.  There—in Queens’tyn, Zealynd—extinct and mythical creatures thrive, sentient foliage energize the Noble Fae, and speaking animals lend magical spell casting to the Dark Fae.

Job:
He’s a famous musician and leader of a band with the eponymic name “Thorne.” His raw talent and exceptional sex appeal draw women who follow him everywhere, and he makes it his job to keep them happy.

Strengths: Musical skill and the only Fae with the special power to meld stone silently with hand movements.

Flaw: His secret lineage.

Quirk: His soft-hearted love for one specific, notable, young woman of Noble lineage.

Animal familiar(s): His fangirls.

Love interestB’rook Tūrehu, our heroine’s sister.

…………………………………………………

Learn more about this bad-boy rock star in the Delfaerune Rhapsody series—my new-adult, fantasy-adventure trilogy-in-progress. His story begins in Song of the Ocarina, the first book in the series, due out soon.

Watch in the coming days for more character information about the trilogy. Also, watch Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Back to Reveal #3             To Mikk Stone Reveal             To Noel Stone Final Reveal
To Lark Tūrehu Final Reveal