Friday, 27 May 2011
Chaz has been thinking (and working) hard on restyling the visual identity of his current series of steampunk-flavoured fantasy adventures of late. The web poster above is the first of his new attempts at adding some depth and distinctive design elements to the books, as well as hinting at their medieval occult and magical origins.
Tuesday, 24 May 2011
Introducing a brand new guest blogger this week, Erin has compiled a collection of lupine links for fans of wolfish writings, in tune with this very blog's own mascot...
'Fenriswulf is the perfect name for a publisher of quirky, eerie, dark fiction. The Norse myth of the terrifying son of Loki who is unleashed at the twilight of the gods, after his fellow wolves have devoured the sun and moon, fascinates and terrifies. Fenris even appears in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. The wolves in my writing tend to be less horrifying and more sensual, but they also refuse to be leashed or tamed. In honor of fiction’s nocturnal, howling canines, I present these short bites of some of my favorite wolf tales.
“The Bella Coola Indians believed that someone once tried to change all the animals into men but succeeded in making human only the eyes of the wolf.”
-- Barry Lopez, Of Wolves and Men
“I noticed her when I went to the bar to refresh my Manhattan. She stared at me. Her eyes were piercing. They were green, I think. If not green, then yellow. Lupine…She wore a silvery gray dress with black spots. It must have been an animal print, because I could not (indeed, still cannot) shake the impression that she was covered in a silvery gray fur.”
-- “Animal Appetites” by Erin O’Riordan, Encounters Magazine Fall 2009
Are wolfish, bloody, starved and ravenous.”
-- William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice
“Badhu shook her head. ‘Hairy, with eyes the color of honey. His teeth are too large for his mouth, and sharp. He bites, and he makes wild noises. He’s one of those men who shifts between the worlds of humans and of animals. In the land where I was born, we know of men who live in the village as men, and in the forest as elephants. He is one of them, Raven. Only not an elephant, but a wolf.’ Raven snorted. ‘You sound like a Polish peasant woman, talking about werewolves. There’s no such thing. He’s just a fisherman, one who happens to like to bite.’”
-- “Fall of the Estrela” by Erin O’Riordan, Midnight Times Summer 2008
“Quand on parle du loup, on en voit la queue.” -- “Speak of the wolf and you see his tail,” French proverbial equivalent of the English “Speak of the devil”
“The most curious legend about my nautical ancestress, however, regards her third child, a boy named William, also called Guillermo after the Spanish fashion. William was born later in Rachel’s life, when she was in her forties. Family legend has it that while raiding a Portuguese slave vessel, Rachel took as her prisoner a crew member who spoke no Portuguese. His name was Milos, and he was impressed by the Portuguese from the Adriatic isle of Vis, now part of Croatia. The Croatians recognize Vis for two things: its superior fisherman, and the strange legend that claims the inhabitants of Vis are werewolves.”
-- “Olivia Going Native” by Erin O’Riordan (unpublished)
“Darling it is no joke, this is lycanthropy
The moon’s awake now with eyes wide open
My body’s craving, so feed the hungry…”
-- Shakira, “She Wolf” lyrics
" ‘I’m never too tired to cook for your kind,’ Oliver said. ‘Werewolves are my favorite customers. Do you know why?’ Matthew shook his head. ‘Because you’re omnivores. You have the sophisticated palates of modern human beings, and the raw instinctual thirst for blood of ancient predators. No ingredient is off the list. It brings out my…’ He paused, looking Natalie up and down. ‘…Creativity.’”
-- “Oliver’s Famous Clam Chowder” by Erin O’Riordan. Love Bites, Torquere Press, 2008
Video trailer for “Oliver’s Good Night Kiss:”
Guest blogger biography: An adolescence of staying up late on Fridays nights, eating junk food and watching films such as Satan’s Cheerleaders has influenced Erin O’Riordan. She reads obsessively and writes compulsively. Her favorite lycanthrope is Werewolf Flanders. Erin says, "Howl at ya girl at www.aeess.com, preferably at midnight while the moon is full." '
Many thanks for that, Erin. It was great to see something new and different.
Be sure to drop by Erin's places online, or contact her, via the following:
Visit her Pagan Spirits blog
Find Erin on Facebook
and on Twitter
Sunday, 22 May 2011
In the meantime, here's a sneak preview from one of the aforementioned scenes from Episode 3, wherein Mr Sundancer and Miss Claudia, in ever-desperate attempts to evade the clutches of the Constabulary, inadvertently find themselves on stage during a Royal Command Performance...for an excitable male-only audience.
Friday, 20 May 2011
She posed some very interesting questions, and the full interview is now up on her blog, right here. There's talk about Chaz's earliest days as a writer, as well as details of Maranatha and The Wish and the Will.
Be sure to check out her other pages and interviews while you're there.
Tuesday, 17 May 2011
I feel the first effort was a bit too epic and ambitious for its own good, so I'll be making shorter, snappier clips in future. In any case, it's great to have somebody else on board the Fenriswulf boat who's enthusiastic about the projects and getting involved.
(If any browsing reader is interested in Mr. Allison's voice talents, he's readily available for all occasions, including weddings, birthdays, and bar mitzvahs.)
Sunday, 15 May 2011
Whether personal experiences, advice, or anything interesting relating to the world of writing and self-publishing, we'd be interested to hear it.
Generally we'll accept mostly any pieces that are on-topic: self-publishing, fantasy/sci-fi/thriller writers, graphic artists who also write - graphic novels, writers' experiences when it comes to dealing with Print on Demand suppliers, etc. Feel free to contact us with ideas for content.
All-out promotional items won't be considered at this stage but if you can give it a spin and tell an interesting story of creative development, discovery or personal advice along the way, then feel free to include links, images and such. Also if anyone's interested in banner or link exchanges - as a graphic designer I've no problem throwing together a banner for someone who wants one, so long as we can add our banner to your page in return.
Wednesday, 11 May 2011
When Rainy Kaye isn't plotting world domination, she enjoys coaching others about it on her blog. She also likes fluffy kittens.
The word "platform" is making authors squirm more than ever. Because publishing houses are cutting costs, writers are turning to self-publishing, and the internet is becoming the primary avenue for marketing, artists are becoming aware of what it means to create their own platform. For some, a platform is the matter of pinpointing where their art belongs and then amassing followers of the genre.
But what about those who are carving out their own niche? Where do the entrepreneurs of the artistic world begin? Creating a platform with defined followers is hard enough, but it requires even more creativity for those who aren't following a well explored path. More work, yes. Impossible, no. Here are a few ways to get started:
What is it at the essence? No matter how creative your project is, it's still something familiar at its core. For example, it's still electronic music, a comic book, or handmade art. Forget the enthusiasm (or horror) that you've created something never seen before, and strive to find its most basic foundation.
What makes it different-and why does anyone care? Now that you've concluded what makes your project like everything else on the planet, decide what makes it different. Write down three points that make it unlike anything else you've seen, and what that means to your potential audience. These are your selling points. Even artists with a fairly common niche has to understand what makes their work the same, and then what makes it different, than others on the market.
Now, sum it up. I've talked many times about how important it is to be able to explain your work in 140 characters. This has nothing to do with Twitter; it has everything to do with the short attention span of your potential audience. If you're marketing something extremely different, you should be able to tell someone what it's like, why it's different, and why they should care, also in about 140 characters. Work this into your normal pitch. You do have a pitch, right?
Once you've completed the above-and I do mean, completed it, not just skipped down to the next steps-consider where to find your people. I know, you want to get right to the people, but if you don't know how to pitch your idea to them, then you're only going to annoy them. And depending how different your work is, you may have a limited audience, anyway. Have a perfected pitch before you even think about talking to people. Then try these ideas:
Branch out your partnership. You may feel like there are no partnerships available because your work is so different. Wrong. Check out the first step above, when you concluded what your work is at the core. Now find others who also fall into that simple niche. Remember, most people are also trying to promote their own endeavors, so they are often willing to exchange links or other promotional activities even if your projects are slightly different. Ideas don't have to be identical to be successful together.
Consider your audience's other interests. This one is not fool-proof and certainly doesn't apply to all artists. However, for some, it might be the golden ticket. Consider what other entertainment your potential audience might like. For example, what movies and TV shows would they watch, what music would they listen to, what book they would read, what locations would they hang out at, etc. Not sure what your audience would be into? Chances are, many of these answers will be the same as your own.
Go get 'em! Now that you have a solid pitch and can answer what your project is like and why it's different, as well as have an idea of who your potential audience is, go seek them out. Join standalone forums and community groups (GoodReads, Facebook, Ning etc) on not just your "essential" niche, but ones pertaining to your audience's potential other interests. When you find someone who enjoys your work, mesh into their world. Get to know their friends (don't spam!), comment on their blog (don't spam!), follow them on various social networks (don't spam!).
Finding, and then creating, your platform is never easy. Take the time to understand a few simple rules of thumb, such as why a pitch is so important, and that people usually have a pattern to their interests and tend to hang out with like-minded individuals. Then you'll not only be able to develop your platform, but meet interesting people along the way.
Thanks again, Rainy.
Additional: Rainy asks - "What creative ways have you found an audience for your project?"
Feel free to post a comment and share your views.
Sunday, 8 May 2011
And the first two episodes of The Wish and the Will: Sundancer's Regret have just joined them:
Unfortunately, the limits of the Kindle platform have meant that we are unable to present these editions with the full-colour illustrated steampunk experience that is The Wish and the Will - however for those hungry for more, information is provided in the Kindle e-books to obtain these (free of charge).
And for good measure, here's the brand new promotional trailer for The Wish and the Will, which has just debuted on Youtube:
Busy old weekend so far, really.
Thursday, 5 May 2011
Due mainly to the long-term holdup with Lulu's ISBNs, Chaz got cracking on with the steampunk fantasy serial...and has rather forgotten how to stop. Episode 3 is now well under way, with a good number of illustrations for that, and the fourth and final episode now in the bag. The entirety of Book 1: Sundancer's Regret will, at this rate, be completed inside the next couple of months. In truth, Chaz is enjoying working on this project immensely, and we hope this shows in the final product. Episode 1 is due out on Kindle in the near future, inspired by recent sales of Maranatha and The Black Flag (the latter which was seen to be sitting at #82 in the top #100 for Graphic Novels in the sci-fi and fantasy categories last week!)
However, due to the limitations of that platform, it has had to be shorn of all the full-colour illustration work which has become such an integral part of the stories - however, the complete, unexpurgated versions are always available from this very website, in PDF format. Just click on the WatW banners on the left.
In the meantime, we hope you enjoy the sneak preview image from the fourth episode of Sundancer's Regret. There'll be many more to come soon...
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