Three years after the Nero Plague turned 80% of the world’s people into flesh eating zombies, most humans barely
understand what is happening around them. Our people are struggling to survive. Amongst this madness (and through the ages), a race known as the Others or the Family visit to watch the Earth die, out of a twisted pleasure.
I am eighteen.
So that makes you a Junior or Senior in High School or finishing off your A-Levels?
School, no. We’re not like humans. We absorb a lot of knowledge very early in life. After ten years of education, we have learned more than twice as much as a human our age. My main concern is completing the Great Walk, so I will treated like a man when I return home.
When you found out you and your best friend, Bach, were coming to Earth for your rite of passage [the Great Walk] were you excited?
By Earth, you mean Terra?
Er… yeah, I guess so.
It is supposed to be an honor to go on the Great Walk with your best friend, but seriously, Terra! I was furious when I found out. I do not understand why Bach selected this realm. Especially now. Not only is Terra infested with humans, but also with flesh eating biters.
I know Bach regrets coming here, but he is too proud to admit it. And leaving the Great Walk early is a sign of great weakness.
What are flesh eating biters?
(Enric laughs) Zombies, you call them that right? Most of Terrans I meet are infected by the Nero Plague and now are flesh eaters. It is quite sad and I almost feel sorry for them.
You talk like you’re not human.
No, I am NOT human. I thought I had made that extremely clear?
You look, sound, smell and walk just like a teenage boy. What are you?
We do not have a name. We are simply called the Family, but some Terrans call us the Others. We are faster, stronger, physically more appealing, more intelligent and …
And more humble
(Enric scowls) I do not like your tone woman.
Tell me about your home realm. What is it called?
Why are you humans so concerned with names? My home is called home. It is land after the Jade Ocean and it is one of the most beautiful places you will ever see. I come a region of white mountains. The mountains are so amazing, just looking at them, can make a woman cry for days.
Speaking of women, do you have a girl back home?
Several (Enric laughs)
Would you ever consider dating a human girl?
Never, never, that is just sick and wrong. No honorable one of our people could ever sink as low as to consider … a human.
But Bach is your best friend, isn’t he seeing Wisteria? She is human.
Wisteria is the biggest mistake, Bach ever made. She is dangerous. How the hell did you find out about her? Who the hell are you?… Tell me. Tell me!
Er.. thank you for stopping by. I wish you all the best with the Great Walk. SECURITY!
Wisteria will be out in August 2012.
Three years after the Nero Plague turned 80% of the world’s people into flesh eating zombies, most humans barely understand what is happening around them. Our people are struggling to survive. Amongst this madness (and through the ages), a race known as the Family visit to watch the Earth die, out of a twisted pleasure.
I just want to say, I’m really glad you could find the time to talk to me.
Sure, no problem
How old are you?
Where are you from?
My parents are from England, so yeah that makes me English (laughs). My dad travelled a lot for work when I was growing up, so I’ve lived in New York, McShane, Paris and even Africa.
What the most interesting place you’ve lived?
New York was the greatest. I mean have you seen fifth avenue?
The most interesting would have to be McShane City. Those people were really weird. They think they’re so cool, because they live on a mountain. But they’re just strange and I’m fairly sure they marry their cousins or something up there.
Er Yeah, how do you enjoy living on the Isle of Smythe?
I’d like to say I hate living here, but I’m alive right?
Everyone I grew up with is dead or a zombie and I’ve lived in worse places since the Nero madness broke out . I mean really bad places. Sure we don’t have running water or electricity here, but I’ve finally stopped sleeping with a weapon under my pillow.
Does your family like it here?
Er… my mother and younger brother died in a car crash a few years ago. My dad doesn’t really talk to me much about what he thinks.
I’m sorry about your mother.
Thanks. I’m just glad she wasn’t here to witness Nero. Can we talk about something else?
Of course, is there anyone special in your life?
Well (smiles) kind of
Yeah, he’s kind of got a girlfriend. His name’s David Kuti.
Oh Wisteria’s brother? Are you friends with Wisteria?
Well… I guess. She saved my life, so I owe her. You know I’d say we are friends when she’s not totally infatuated with Steven Hindle.
I don’t see why she’s so into that boy. He’s got a serious girlfriend, a seriously crazy one at that.
But aren’t you dating boy who’s got a girl too?
That’s different. David promised, he was going to break up with Poppy, so I’m just waiting until the time is right. Don’t look at me like that, don’t judge me. You don’t know my life and you don’t know what I’ve been through.
I am a good person and not the kind of girl who steals boyfriends. It just happened.
Right so tell me more about Steven Hindle, I thought Wisteria and Bach had a thing?
Bach, no he’s with Hailey. Or at least Hailey’s told everyone to steer clear. Besides there’s no way Wisteria could ever date a guy like Bach. Have you seen him? I mean seen him in real life, he’s hot. I love her, but she’s got a better chance landing Steven, if you ask me.
I have a final question. Do you think we’re going service the Nero virus?
Honestly, I can’t let myself think about that.
Wisteria will be out in August 2012.
For a chance to win $10 amazon.com gift certificate, answer the following question in the comment box below;
1. What is the name of Wisteria’s brother?
2. How old is Amanda?
3. Where is Amanda from?
Make sure to include your email address in the response.
Contest closes Wednesday 15th August 2012 at 5:00am GMT (London time) or 0:00am EDT (New York Time).
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Winner: Andrea Diaz
Detective Benedict: Lisbeth, we know you had something to do with what happened. We know you were there when the explosion occurred. What we don’t know is who else was there. There had to be someone else there, Miss Harrington.
Lisbeth: I have nothing to say that is of any use to you. The ghosts did it.
Detective Mordan: Ghosts? Is that supposed to be funny? You’re a little smart-ass… why don’t you tell us and let us decide. We are detectives in case you didn’t know.
Detective Benedict: Tell us about your relationship to Liam Rider.
Lisbeth: He is my man, we have sex. A lot of sex. In fact, we were doing it so hard that it caused the explosion. Taggert? He was a peeping Tom. He liked that sort of thing; you know how those boys are. Is that what you were looking for?
Detective Mordan: Miss Harrington, you are trying my patience. Answer the question or you’ll spend the night in jail.
Lisbeth: Yea, not likely.
Detective Mordan: What’s that supposed to mean girl?
Lisbeth: What it means, copper, is that you can’t keep me without a charge. And my relationship with Liam is none of your business but he had nothing to do with any of it.
Detective Benedict: Roger, can I have a minute alone with Lisbeth?
Detectice Mordan leaves the room
Detective Benedict: Lisbeth, it’s just you and me now. I know about your parents leaving you when you were little. I know about your aunt sending you to military school where you’ve don’t quite well. You need to give us what you know on this. We can charge you with obstruction of justice and keep you here. Do you know what that will do to your chances of going to college? I don’t want to do that but you aren’t leaving me with much choice.
Lisbeth: You don’t know anything about my parents or me. They didn’t leave me! Go ahead put me in jail it doesn’t matter anyway. I was tied up and kidnapped and I escaped, I can do it again.
Detective Benedict: Kidnapped? By who? The guy who did this? Tell me Lisbeth, let me help you.
Lisbeth: Yes… I mean no… Look, you seem nice but what do you want me to tell you? That Liam and I are lovers? We aren’t. The bag? It’s candy; if you taste it you’ll see that it’s just flavored sugar. Or did you think I was some kind of witch and that was my magic powder or something ridiculous like that? And the next thing you’ll believe is that Liam is some kind of special spirit that can see dead people. Good luck with all that.
Detective Benedict: Candy you say?
Lisbeth: Yes, candy. And the stick as big Roger put it? It’s my magic wand if that’s what makes you happy. Seriously, I arrived late to the party. I found Liam and Taggert hurt so I called for help. So if I can have my wand back I’ll find my black cat and fly home on my
broom if that’s okay with you.
Detective Benedict: That’s your story?
Lisbeth: That’s my story.
I mentioned before that forums are important for learning from others who have gone before you about pretty much anything related to writing. I particularly enjoy Absolute Writers forum where I visit as a fly on the wall, but one place you do not hear a lot about is Facebook.
Facebook’s groups more than the forums have been my deliverance. I find them easy to navigate and great for getting answers for simple or complicated questions, provided you find the right groups. As with forums you take part in the conversation. The best think is FB prompts you when someone responds to your comments and posts.
A word of caution about FB groups: Not all groups are equal, and most are really a waste of time. There are three types of FB writers’ groups I’ve encountered more often than not.
- The graveyard: These groups are functionally dead. No one posts, not even the owner of the group. It may have a lot members, but not much is going on. I joined several of these because I loved what the group was about, but it ended up being a waste of my time
- The spam lot: As the name suggests, the groups is just a series of links to authors’ books, like a mini-amazon.com without the sort function. So I suppose you could post about your book here if you want, and someone might stumble across it. However if you’re looking for help and insight, you won’t get it here.
- The I’m-so-great group: This is similar to the spam lot, but instead writers post random comments, thoughts and articles. The writers here have no interest in engaging with anyone. I assume they’re trying to get their names out by showing us, the readers, why they’re so smart. Again, feel free to post if you have something to say, but don’t expect much.
But, Bisi, I thought this was a blog about why FB groups are great, you ask.
Well, actually, it’s a blog entry about three FB writers’ groups I think are pretty good and are wonderful communities for self-published and indie-published writers.
If I had to describe this group, I’d say they mean business. They have more than 1000 members, which gives you a large pool of writers to talk to. Of course, not everyone is active, but this group is the most active writers’ group on FB; that, I know.
Conversations are great and challenging, and writers are honest. What I really like about it is people really respond, and the responses are quite well thought out. A few times I’ve been overwhelmed with answers to my questions and sometimes they ignore me. I also find there’s always some question I can comment on the page. Even if it’s to say, I don’t know.
Normally, I try to post my more serious questions and leave my idea of writing butterfly werewolves’ stories to the paranormal romance guild.
The fine women (and men) in this group are like my sisters. Even if you’re not a paranormal romance writer, it’s a great place to meet and hang out with writers who are serious about self-publishing or independent publishing. I learned about blog hops a week ago from a woman I chatted with in the group.
I go to the girls when I need insight on editors, book designs, the layout of my FB page and blog. They’re a friendly bunch, and most of the time I do get answers to questions, even if it’s just an “I don’t know”.
The group has fewer than 200 members, so you start seeing the same people around and that helps when you need to ask someone a quick question. This is romance site, so no under 18s.
Again, not really gonna be much help if you don’t write historical romance, but if you are new to writing, there are lots of people here dying to give advice. You also get to encounter a lot of readers too.
The level of conversation is not as high as the first two groups, but it’s miles ahead of most FB writers’ groups I’ve joined. I call this group and the other two writer resource groups the best because by just taking part you’re equipping yourself.
Please check them out for a week and let me know what you think.
If you’ve heard of any more great FB writers’ groups please, give me a shout, I’ll add them to the blog.
I’m in the process of readying my first novel for publication. (Click here for details.) As I work, there are a few things I’ve picked up as on this journey I’d like to share. They were instrumental in getting me this far.
1. Assess your options and consider the independent electronic publishers
Going it alone is not for the faint-hearted but don’t think because you opted out from the big six publishers, you have
to do it alone. There are tons of small publishers (independent publishers) who can offer you great royalties and some support.
You still have to do a lot of your own promotion, but they sort out things like book design, editing, formatting and online distribution. A few will even set up online events for you too. So if you don’t know where to start, try those.
I didn’t realise these guys existed until six months ago, and while ultimately, I decided not to use them, I definitely recommend checking a few out before you go it alone.
2. Gather allies and avoid haters
Surround yourself with people who think you can succeed. Yes, this might sound like you’re deluding yourself with a crowd of yes women, but you’re a writer, you’re supposed to delude yourself. Never underestimate the power of your cheerleading section.
Okay, you might think I’m suggesting that you just surround yourself with people who tell you your writing is awesome, but that’s not what I’m saying (see next point).
As a writer who has chosen to go with an indie publisher or alone, you will face a lot of judgement from some writers, some reviewers, the literary media and readers. As we know, many people consider indie publishing akin to literary moonshine. I’m advising you stay away from people who are going to put you down because they don’t believe in your choices.
Do not stick around in forums where people attack you and don’t friend people on Facebook if they’re only going to put you down for self-publishing. Why punish yourself? Where do you find the time? Shouldn’t you be writing? Listen, not everyone will agree with you, I mean, wear white after Labor Day and not everyone likes it, so tell them to deal with it.
Instead, find people who will build you up and help you on your journey. When you find them, hold on to them.
3. Get as much feedback as you can on your writing
I’m not talking about the mechanics of your writing (for example, spelling, syntax and consistency. Please invest as much as you can in getting your work edited, proofread and beta read.) I mean getting input about the plot. I’m a talker. I love talking people through the ins and outs of my stories. I find this helps me develop my plot significantly.
Some writers know they should get a reasonable amount of feedback on your actual writing and story. The challenge is finding people to give you the feedback. I accept not everyone I talk to likes it when I do that. I’ve burnt out three of my sisters and one brother (but I’ve got three more siblings to go).
I never understood the power of forums and online groups until I became a writer. I used to think,what can a bunch of unpublished writers know? Well, they know a lot. If you’re not using forums of any kind, stop what you’re doing, open another tab on your browser and Google “writers’ groups” (or let me Google that for you, lol).
Are you back?
There’s almost no question you have that someone on a forum can’t answer. Find a few and stick with them. You’ll be surprised at the valuable nuggets you can pick up. For instance, I only found out what a blog hop was a week ago from a woman I met in a Facebook group.
5. Above all write
This is the same for all writers except you don’t have an editor chasing you with a deadline. So, you have to chase yourself. Write in the morning, evening and night. Dump the boy/girl messing with your head and get your book done!
“So Bisi, why did you did you go Indie (I hear you say)”
When people learn I’m writing a novel, most want to know whether I’ve found a publisher as is common with a lot of writers. My answer to this is an honest no, and most of my friends seem okay with it. Then I met Suky, a friend of a friend, who’s a fiction editor.
Suky convinced me to look for an agent and go the traditional route because no self-respecting publisher would touch me if I was self-published. And why would I self-publish? It’s not as if I’m writing a book on polygamy. She sat down and took me to school on how much better it is for me to publish through a publishing company.
So I followed her advice, and I ended up second-guessing myself and being utterly miserable with the experience even before I sent out my first query. Eventually, I stopped writing altogether and started taking guitar lessons. Then, a few months later, I remembered I never wanted to go the traditional publishing road, and that was a big part of my motivation to write seriously in the first place. I asked myself why I wanted to self-publish in the first place.
This is what my inner voice said to me:
1. The freedom
The bottom line is I get to write what I want and as much as I want. Not everyone will like it; some will hate it. Don’t get me wrong; the path of freedom isn’t easy, but at least I’ll enjoy the walk. I also write a lot, so I can get a three-book series out in a year if I want to.
2. It’s a life lesson
Maybe one day I’ll decide never to write again. At least, though, some people will read my book. Even if only three people do, that’s still three people I don’t know who have a piece of me in their heads for the rest of their lives. How awesome is that?
Life’s about learning, and in this journey I’m discovering myself. I couldn’t do that sitting at home just waiting for some publisher to pick me. That’s how I see it.
3. I can always try to get a publisher later
In the future I can still try to sell a new series to a publisher if I want to. I don’t see how the experience of going it alone is a disadvantage. I can promote my book better because I now have a major in Paranormal Romance with a minor in getting stuff sold from the University of Self-Publishing.
4. I love writing
Honestly, if I didn’t need to sleep, I would write all the time. I don’t enjoy writing queries and printing reams of paper to send to my agents all around the world. I understand that’s required on the traditional route, and I respect those who do it. Given the choice, though, I’d rather get my book written, then write another and another. The time I don’t spend writing, I’m happy getting out to the market and meeting people like you guys and girls. It’s just who I am.
5. This works for me
At the end of the day, win or lose, I’m happy I did it my way.
So, I put away my guitar and took out my laptop and wrote a 90,000-word novel. I no longer talk to Suky about my writing, but we do go out for coffee now and then.
* Disclaimer: I accept many people prefer the term self-published, so I mean no offense, but I like freelance novelist. See this giveaway for more on this subject.