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Made a Sale!

Okay, it was a tiny sale. To a tiny market. And it’s more of a re-sale, since I sold two stories to this tiny market and they had to go on hiatus before publishing.

But the market is run by a friend of mine, and I want to support her. Plus, I want to see my work in print lots of places, not just in my self-published e-books. Sometime in January, I should be able to publish a link to my stories!

If you might be interested in submitting to a tiny market, it’s The Lorelei Signal and their guidelines are up.

Anyway, I’m calling this a win!


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web site, Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

Scheming, Part 2

After you were all so helpful with my question about color schemes for the cover of my next book, now I have a question about the general text format. I was all ready to show you an image with some possibilities. Unfortunately, my computer decided it wasn’t going to turn that into an image. Nope. No way.

So, I’ll just have to ask you. Drop caps — yes or no?

A drop cap, if you don’t know, is when the first letter in the first sentence of a paragraph is very large and prominent. Usually, the drop cap is set into the body of the paragraph, but sometimes it stands above the first line. A drop cap can also be a different font, or it may be enclosed in a box, or followed by bold text… There are lots of style possibilities.

This will be a printed book, and maybe it feels a bit more important than an e-book. I want to get it just right. So, what do you think?

Should I drop the idea of drop caps, or go big with them?


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web site, Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

Scheming

Three possible styles for Minstrels of Skaythe.

Color schemes, that is! As I work on collecting the Minstrels of Skaythe novellas into a trade paperback, I’m pondering some options for the cover. The image here shows three possibilities for the title colors against the background art.

#1 is basically the same metallic-reflection I used on the three e-books. That has the advantage of visual consistency and identifies this as part of the same series.

#2 is a variant color with the same metallic-reflection concept.

#3 is a brighter, solid fill. This isn’t an e-book, after all, and readers looking at it may not be using the title style to identify the series.

I’d love to know what you think of these possibilities! And I know you’re all not shy, so I look forward to hearing your thoughts.


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web site, Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

Word Question 4

School is back in session online for me, and it’s every bit as weird and stressful as I expected. Some kids don’t show up for online groups. Or they don’t know how to click out of one group and into another. It’s a lot for all of us to learn.

So anyway, you all get another word question. The phrase I’m wondering about now is “wet” your appetite. I had always heard “whet” your appetite. Either way, the phrase indicates piquing someone’s interest or making them eager for whatever the subject of the sentence is.

“Wet” does conjure an image of someone salivating with hunger. That’s not too bad if we’re talking about making someone more hungry. However, it doesn’t seem very connected to generating excitement about something.

On the other hand, “whet” indicates sharpening a tool with a whetstone. If you “whet” someone’s appetite, you are sharpening their hunger.

I think it’s interesting that our “hone in” discussion last time also had to do with sharpening as a metaphor for increased interest. In the past, tools were important and good quality ones were carefully maintained so they would last. These days, if our tools get dull, we just toss them and buy new ones.

Anyway! What do you guys think? Do you prefer to sharpen interest, or make it droll?


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web site, Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

Word Question 3

It’s more of a phrase, actually. I hear people talk about “honing in” on something. As in, they’re going to focus intensely on a specific topic or object.

Hone = sharpen. Why would we use sharpness to indicate focus?

I always thought the phrase should be “home in,” as when homing pigeons return to their roost.

What do you guys think? Should we “home in” or “hone in?”


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web site, Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

The world of the Dawn Fangs is about to explode into chaos thanks to Desirae Duvall.

Cover Art by Alison Hunt

In the shadows of Windemere, fangs are sprouting from the least likely of maws.

News is spreading that wild beasts with vampiric natures have been attacking mortals and carrying off random victims. With the Dawn Fangs still a secret from mortal society, Clyde fears that these strange creatures will reveal his peoples’ existence before they are ready. Old enemies and trusted friends begin to disappear as the investigation goes deeper into a business that has been lurking in the shadows of Windemere for decades. Those who return are beholden to a new master whose cunning is matched only by her primal desires. As his allies disappear, Clyde is left with the one he trusts the most in all of the world to help him solve this mystery. Too bad Mab has her own secret that can cause more damage to Nytefall than any vampiric beast.

Is this how the Dawn Fangs will be revealed to Windemere?

Still need more to wet your appetite?

Then enjoy this excerpt:

Titus shrugs the girl off his shoulders and grips his blades, but refuses to draw them to avoid causing a scene. The warriors around him are on edge from overhearing Lost’s words and seeing his reaction, but they follow his example and keep their weapons sheathed. The Vengeance Hounds know that it is only a matter of time before the mortals with weaker wills lose control and drive the others into panic. They can hear the rumors of a deadly beast stalking the hunting party ripple through the crowd, each telling more gruesome and bone-chilling than the previous version. Several warriors ignore the warnings of their companions and draw their weapons, but keep them out of sight. Two of the casters begin to chant, which is revealed by the sparkle of magic on their lips. One by one, the lines of warriors stop walking and assume various defensive formations. Frustrated by the collapse of her army, the priestess turns around and tries to assure everyone that they are safe. Standing in the middle of the blossoming chaos, the Vengeance Hounds can only watch as the woman loses her temper and shouts at the archers who were supposed to maintain control.

The warriors go silent when a booming roar erupts from above and a large shadow passes over the area. With a gurgling scream, the priestess collapses in a heap and stares unblinking at the sky. The archers move away from the drooling woman, whose breathing has stopped as if she has been instantly turned off. Landing in front of the hunting party, a crimson-scaled Verenstone Dragon unfurls its muscular tails with one to each side and the other arching over its reptilian head. The thick ridge of black hair going

down its back rustles and shivers in the breeze, which heats up as the monster bellows once more. Curled against its side are wings composed entirely of blue flame that licks at the trampled grass, but they are not hot enough to ignite the emerald blades. Leaning forward, the terrifying predator sniffs at the braindead priestess and chuckles before swallowing the body whole. In the brief moment that its mouth is open wide, the Vengeance Hounds notice that two of its teeth are changing as if they are stretching out of the gums. The plaque-covered ivory is curved in a way that makes it clear that they are fangs and the beast is in desperate need of a fresh meal. Its eyes scan the mortals and stop on the three Dawn Fangs for a moment, but it is enough to tell them that the cunning creature recognizes their true nature.

“A vampiric dragon,” Titus mutters under his breath.

Get War of Nytefall: Ravenous on Amazon for $2.99!

Add it to your Goodreads To-Read Lists!

*****

Need to catch up? Then, check out Volumes 1-4 of War of Nytefall!

Cover Art by Alison Hunt

Interested in more Windemere? Then don’t forget to check out Charles E. Yallowitz’s first series: Legends of Windemere

All Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

About the Author:

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After spending many years fiddling with his thoughts and notebooks, he decided that it was time to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house with only pizza and seltzer to sustain him, Charles brings you tales from the world of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you and drawing you into a world of magic.

Blog: www.legendsofwindemere.com

Twitter: @cyallowitz

Facebook: Charles Yallowitz

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cyallowitz/

Enjoy the adventure by clicking here!

Woman at Work, Part 7

What’s Happening. School is back in session, and my extended summer break is over. My schedule has been upended, as happens every year. Currently, our district is learning remotely. We are going through many trainings. Some are related to health and safety, while others involve the technology we’re using for the said remote learning.

Wearing a mask for 7 hours straight is a bit of a pain, but not actually difficult. The one little annoyance is that when I take off the masks at the end of the day, they can cause my earrings to fall out. So far I have lost one earring from two different pairs. Clearly, I need to develop a strategy to prevent this.

What I’m Working On. The second draft of Prisoners of the Wailing Tower is complete and off with some beta readers. I am taking the time to spiff up my promotions for all the current novellas in the Minstrels of Skaythe series, in preparation for Plan B (see below).

What’s Next. Rather than push myself to publish Prisoners before it’s truly ready, I’m falling back on Plan B. That is to collect the first three novellas into a printed book, to be released in mid-November. Since the texts are already complete, it should come together fairly easily. Interior text on printed books is more finicky than e-books, but there’s plenty of time. My current task is to select cover art, make the titles, and begin to lay the cover out.

Fun and Games. Animal Crossing goes on. This is a relaxing game without a fixed end point — perfect for when things get tense. I am also beginning a playthrough of Fallout 4, a post-apocalyptic adventure. My husband and son have both started this game but abandoned it. We’ll see if I can last any longer.

This is Labor Day weekend, so I wish you all a relaxing holiday.


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web site, Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

Last time, I mentioned how the comics in my local shop were pushed back from their original publication dates, and that issues meant to arrive in spring are just now coming out. There have been a lot of titles cancelled, too. It’s unfortunate, but predictable. Casual reading can’t be the first priority when people are under a lot of financial stress.

Something else struck me in reading the actual issues. So many of these tales have become very dark, almost nihilistic. For instance, after decades of fighting injustice, the X-men have given up on peace and become tyrants themselves. At the end of the latest Thor, it was revealed that the upcoming villains will be Marvel Zombies, one of the most grisly and horrific creations in comicdom.

My point isn’t that the writers and illustrators “owe” me a certain kind of story. It’s that the world has changed so much. We have a deadly pandemic, protests and rioting across the country, the approach of an incredibly tense election. Plus, massive fires and hurricanes! In this setting, the thought of Marvel Zombies is unbearable to me. I can’t read that stuff right now.

Could the comics writers have known, when they planned those titles, that all this hell would break loose? Maybe they might have realized the election was likely to set people on edge. That fires and hurricanes come every summer. But for the protests and the pandemic, these publishers, editors, writers and artists are caught in the tides of history just as much as the rest of us. Nihilistic storytelling isn’t going to work in this setting. They are going to have to find a new tale to tell, and fast.

Again, this isn’t to chastise a particular company and its creative staff. For all of us who are writing in the midst of this, we do really need to plan ahead, extrapolate, and make sensitive choices.

What world will our stories be born into? And how will our work help readers get through it all?


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web site, Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

Tale Out of Time

Every tale springs from its time. The underpinnings reflect many social, emotional and personal things that are happening in the author’s life, and in the world around them. I’ve been thinking about this after a trip to my local comic shop.

Like a lot of things in our pandemic era, what’s on the shelves has been significantly delayed. These titles were meant to come out in April and May, and they were intended to kick off a summer-long multi-title crossover event. Seeing them “start” in August carries a funny kind of discontinuity. You just have to smile at the ads that say the next issue will appear in June.

But, there’s a whole planning process that stretches back months before a particular issue arrives on the shelf. Editorial meetings for these issues probably took place in the fall of 2019. Then there was the process of assigning writers, scripts being written, editors approving them, followed by artists being assigned, their work approved, followed by inking, coloring, and the actual process of printing the magazines.

Being a writer in whatever genre or format requires you to be a little bit psychic. The comics staff were looking ahead, from fall 2019, to predict what readers in spring 2020 would want to read. (They missed the mark, but that’s a subject for another blog.) We prose writers do a similar thing. The stories we work on now, in fall 2020, also face a time lag. If you self-publish, your story might come out this winter. But if you work with traditional publishing, your book might not appear until 2022 or later.

It kind of makes you wonder, doesn’t it? The world may change wildly before your story even comes out.


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web site, Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

Endings, Part 3

First, I appreciate all of you who responded to my question about what makes a good ending. Blogging can be a bit like talking to oneself, so thanks!

I am still, in fact, working on the ending for Prisoners of the Wailing Tower. Not the “grand finale” with its running battles, but the aftermath. Those last reflections that show how the characters have changed during the course of the story. To me, these quieter moments of thought are almost as important as the outcome of the plot. And, since this is fourth in a series, there’s also a bit of looking ahead to the trials that remain.

It isn’t perfect yet. However, it is good enough to print out and give to my first readers. We writers get scolded a lot that we mustn’t let anyone see our work until it’s ginger-peachy-perfect. I think that’s a mistake. Writers can’t guard our stories like they’re the Hope Diamond. We have to let them out into the world. Anyway, I can continue tweaking those last five pages without affecting the first readers.

So — Yahoo, the second draft is finished!


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web site, Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.