Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Back to work

Well it’s been a fun month since my last blog post (or a little over that, it seems?) 

Everyone will hopefully be pleased to hear that I survived October not only intact, but feeling better than I have in about a year.  The main reason for this was the visit from the extremely talented Nicole Castle, who flew out to stay with us, whooped my ass at making blueberry pancakes, and got me out of my house often enough that it didn’t seem so daunting to keep up with the habit.

We had a lot of fun.  Filled a bathtub with blood, saw some witches up in Salem, visited Battleship Cove and I introduced her to the best chowder in the U.S., she rekindled my love for socks and showed me a song that I’m now constantly using for Calvin.  Oh, and she showed me a much better way to make dirty Shirleys  :D

On a side note, her visit coincided with a once in a lifetime embarrassing situation for my husband, who made a bet with a friend, lost, and had to wear a costume of his friend’s choice.  This is him here, hating everybody with a smile on his face.  :) 

More than a few of my friends have notified him that he’s been ‘added to the bank.’  But, he did score us some extra candy, and you’d better believe that Nicole and I made him work it too – we had as much candy as the kids because housewives started to throw it at him.  Personally, I think the choice of costume was kind because I would’ve chosen Harley Quinn for him and Nicole had mentioned a sexy Bo Peep costume.  Keep in mind it was under 50 degrees here on Halloween, and he couldn’t wear anything but underwear under that bobsledding costume.  See kids?  Gambling is wrong hahaha

I apologize for the delay in my blog update but I had a bet of my own that I needed to win.  Which I did.  In a video game.  Every one of my friends had been informed that I would be elsewhere (Azeroth) until I’d sped through all available content for the one game I can’t seem to permanently kick, and every single one of my friends called me, concerned that I’d died while playing because they didn’t see or hear from me after the night it came out lol.  But I was fantastic: my husband rearranged the living room and had me playing on the TV, supplied me with takeout and drinks and even took care of the kids so that I could kick some ass without interruption.  I was so immersed in smashing orcs and hunting rares that when I was as finished as I could get with the game for the time being, I felt incredibly refreshed.  Not everyone can enjoy a vacation at home, but I did and I even reconnected with my old team, not that I don’t have all of their contact info anyway, just felt nice to do something with them online again since most of them live across the country or in a different country altogether. 

Now I’m getting ready for Thanksgiving, making myself and my family look decent, getting a dish together to bring to my mother’s house, and baking a pie for my mother in law the racist bigot – a woman who has admitted multiple times with enthusiasm that she wouldn’t want to see me if I don’t bring her an apple pie.  Does she ask about her grandchildren?  No.  Does she ask about her SON?  Nope.  But, she asks about the pie, so I’m making a pie with the closest thing to love that I can, which happens to be apathy. 

I put a little work down on Playing with Tigers 3 and Swordmaster Dasan 3, but need to sort out a few things that would mess up either of the timelines before I can finish them.  Sadly, these books are not a top priority for me – The total earnings of all four of the published books don’t even cover a week of very light groceries and I truly want to rewrite them in the near future anyway. 

Cat & the Crow will have a print edition hopefully available by Christmas, we will see how that goes.

The Disassembled Life of Duncan Cole –
Despite the many statements and suggestions that I should split the book into two books, I will not be splitting Duncan at all.  Ever.  It’s two books that need to be read together in order to get the full story, two books packaged together because I wanted to cut the cost to the reader and ensure a better overall reading experience.  There should be no mistake about the fact that this was intentional on my part, because I was considering the readers who have a tighter budget and the readers who would’ve reached the end of part one and been unsatisfied.  I should mention that if I had split the books, that the first chapter of part 2 would’ve been tacked on the end of part 1.  You would meet Calvin, see what’s happened to Dan, realize that everything is falling apart for Duncan, and been told to wait a few months for the next one.  Some people would be okay with that, but I’m not one of them.  I’ve refused to purchase sequels before on the grounds that the first book did not tell a complete storyline and I will not be charged twice for one product – I won’t charge twice for one either.  ;)

As for future works regarding Duncan, I play around with ideas for promotional short stories every now and then, but I’ve been too busy working on the second Duncan book and a Calvin book to follow that, and they’ve been too fun to move away from for very long. 

I am off to go and murder my kitchen, cook some breakfast and jump back in Spannerdire – I left a house on fire in there and really should get around to dealing with that.

Anybody looking to contact me can find me at goodreads.com and as always I thank each and every reader who took the time out of their day to review any of my books – Love the book or hate it, that’s the best feedback in the world and I appreciate it. 

Happy Hunting  ;)

S. K. Hart

Friday, October 3, 2014

October keeps trying to kill me, but not this year! *mad cackle*

Once upon a time I would spend the entire year planning for Halloween, spend months on my costume, write a short story for the season and spend the 31st running through smalltown New England with a literal herd of younger cousins, toilet papering a certain tree in my hometown as tradition states and ending the night with a candy binge that threatened to give me premature diabetes. 

Sadly as time went by, stress intruded on my favorite night of the year.

When my oldest son was six we couldn’t go out because he took with the flu, so we also missed our family’s Halloween party.  Unperturbed, I put on a marathon of goosebumps and purchased about $30 of candy, and we spent the night cuddled in a blanket fort in our former apartment, wearing our costumes even if nobody could see it. 

The next year, my grandmother passed away in mid October.  My family is extremely large – the woman had twelve children, they all had children and every single surviving one of them lived in the same town.  Halloween was a big deal to her, but it wasn’t the same going to her house and not seeing her in the corner of her living room.  There was no homemade candy, there was no mountain of toilet paper set aside or directions on how to avoid the police while toilet papering the tree at the top of her street.  My son had never dealt with death before she died, but I don’t think it had hit him just how different it would be without her until then.  On our rounds from my grandmother’s house through all of my aunts and uncles homes that littered the town, I quite eagerly accepted what looked like a coffee, but that hot cup was in fact warm vodka.  Trying to preserve my love for the season, I clicked my Styrofoam cup with my older cousin, took a deep breath and carried on until we made it to the last aunt’s house.  This was probably the best year out of the last 4. 

At the beginning of October 2012, my son’s school insisted that they couldn’t manage him.  We thought at the time that he only had ADHD, but he clearly had some anxiety and depression.  Not wanting my son to be depressed at eight years old, I caved under the pressure of doctors and teachers and allowed him to be put on an antidepressant.  He attempted to kill himself at school a few weeks later.  In order to safely wean him off of the drug that he was reacting poorly to, he was committed to a mental health facility that didn’t allow parental visits aside from one hour of the day and wouldn’t allow children under 5 on the ward at all.  They discovered his Aspergers while he was there, so I suppose they helped, but I hardly saw him because I had a 2 month old boy at the time and nobody could watch him for me.  That October was spent with my 2 month old at home, worried for my son and unable to do anything about it except have his father stop there on his way home and share some dinner with him.  I wrote to him on Halloween, sat down with my infant, turned on a horror movie and started to hate October a lot more.

Last year upped the ante.  My uncle fell on the ice while playing hockey and while being checked for a concussion, they discovered an AVM.  He was born with a large knot of arteries in his brain, so many that it looked like a baseball on the images they showed us.  They were surprised that he’d survived to 50 because typically AVM’s rupture at a young age and once they do, you die.  Fifteen hours of surgery left him safe from that, with only mild seizures.  But, it’s hereditary.  A few of my mother’s siblings were checked and had minor issues, but you already know what’s coming, don’t you?  My mother did not have an AVM (thank you powers that be) but she did have 2 aneurisms that were ready to burst and very likely kill her, and one was in a place where they wouldn’t be able to go in through a vein.  They needed to operate on her.  I was living with my mother at the time while saving for the house I’m sitting in, but one of my aunts decided to come to the house to specifically tell me that the best thing for my mother would be if I wasn’t part of her life.   

On October 15th of last year, four things happened.  After twelve hours of surgery, my mother made it okay and unscathed aside from 51 staples across her face and enough swelling that she insisted she looked like chunk from the goonies.  My family decided that I didn’t look upset enough for them and started to make more statements about how I was the world’s worst daughter, which led to them physically circling me, in a hospital, blocking my husband, father and brother from coming to my side, and screaming at me like the pack of wolves that they are.  Security was called to get them off of me, and I was upset enough that I didn’t even get to see my mother because they stood in front of her door and stared me down.  Remember, there are TEN of them that are still alive, plus spouses.  My best friend of the last 21 years had her gorgeous baby boy, but  had some complications and I couldn’t be there for her because I was dealing with the brain stuff.  And my brother in law (one of them), who is 12 and severely autistic was physically assaulted at his school by his own teacher’s aid.  Can I get a, “WTF?!”

I was wondering why my anxiety was getting so bad as soon as the calendar said October, but after about 2 seconds of reflection, I remember now.  So far this month I only have poison oak over most of my body, and we’ve been shocked to see a man walk out of my garage after evidently sleeping there, although he was very polite when I explained that he couldn’t stay.  It’s day 3, and all things considered, that’s really not that bad compared to the last few years lol. 

So, October has become a very hard month for me, but this year is going to be different.  Because I fucking said so.  I am going to get my trick-or-treat on, although I’m undecided if I will TP that goddamn tree or not.  My family infests that area and about a year ago I realized that they’re all toxic for me and my own little family to be around. 

This year, my friend is celebrating her son’s first birthday with a Halloween themed party, I have both of my healthy and happy kids with me (they’re being ninjas and have been practice assassinating my husband all week), for ONCE my husband has Halloween off and is willing to let me dress him how I want so he’s going to be Marvelous Chester, and I will be seeing Miss Nicole Castle for the second time.  And thankfully she’ll be staying for Halloween because we can use my kids to get free candy.  We’re going to watch Thankskilling because she is the turkey overlord, eat far too much sugar and irritate my husband to the best of our ability, and when it’s all said and done and she has to go home, it will be November, which is a fine month in my opinion. 

Still trying to figure out what we should go as, though – costume suggestions welcome

If I can get my feet under myself again, then I might write a short story for the season, so wish me luck!

S. <3

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Ignore that eye twitch

So, a few years back, I was poking around in the self pub business.  I had just published Playing with Tigers 2 and Swordmaster Dasan, and during one of smashwords promotions figured I should try and help out others in the same boat as me, picked up a few books and got to reading.  There were a few that were pretty awesome, which should’ve been satisfying.  Then I went to one author’s blog before I reviewed and saw a comment that they’d made, calling the self pubs of the erotica genre, “Pornmongers.”

Look at that word.  Now, when you look at Pornmongers, does that make you feel that it is a term of respect, or mockery and possibly disgust?  I went with the latter, and reading down this emotional vomit session that this person had where they ranted that at least they weren’t one of us, I thought that they might be in that lovely part of the publishing process where they get frustrated.  There are a ton of them, I had been through quite a few of those already, and taking a deep breath, left the politest comment that I was physically capable of. 

I said that I enjoyed their short story.  I said that I would still be buying the other ones (at the time two other shorts were for sale from this author which I did purchase.  With money.) and that they had done an amazing job.  Then I recommended that they might want to refrain from talking ill about the pornmongerers, since they don’t always read the same as they write.  Somebody might take offense, that I was shocked to see it up on the blog that linked to their author profile.  I told her that people might not want to purchase her books based on that.

What I did not say was that it was fucking stupid to do that.  But it is, lol.  This is a mistake that too many authors make, and lately there’s been a lot of authors making mistakes.  We’re people, I was trying to help her not make that mistake.

And I thought I had helped. 

I am currently laying on my couch pretending to be dead when people talk to me, laid up with kidney issues, a stomach bug and the worst time of the month that I’ve had in about ten years.  While clicking randomly on things, I remembered this and went to check to see if she ever replied, because I never got a notification that she had. 

OH SHE DID.  Here is part of it.  I removed the stuff that pertains to her work, because lol done with her and not sharing my fanbase with her. 

“It took me a while to figure out what the hell you were on about”  <- not a good way to address a reader, just FYI.

“I love porn and whores and pornmongering and whoremongering.” <- sounds like it.  Why not describe your love for kids by describing them as uterus regurgitations or possibly parasitic disease sacks.  There are a hundred ways to describe an erotica writer.  This was nooot a wise one. 

“Also, look, I tried not to say this.  I really did.  But you can’t really threaten someone with “People might not buy your stuff” when I’ve opted in for my work to be free all month.”  <- should’ve tried waaaay harder not to say it because guess what?  You just did.  It wasn’t a threat.

There was more that can’t be put up here because it pertains to her work, which I’m not promoting.  Know what?  I will not respond to her on her blog, or link to it because I don’t want to give her the attention, but I will rant my rotten little mouth off here. 

I have a ten year old with ADHD and Aspergers syndrome.  Raising him, I’ve had to adapt to understand every side of everything, to take the numerous and amazingly insulting things that he says and go, “Now, what does he mean by that.  Probably this, he’s just (insert emotion here) and it’s coming out all wonky again.”  I had a friend ask if a pair of jeans made her look fat when he was 6.  His uninvited response was that they looked fine before she put them on, that he though she was making THEM look fat.  <- explain that one to a friend lol.  I am an unbelievably understanding person.  That blog post?  I must’ve read it a hundred times to make sure that I was right to be insulted because I go through about 10 anger checks to make sure that my feelings are the appropriate response.  If I didn’t, then my kid’s life would be miserable.  Which means that if I was insulted, then that shit was meant to be fucking insulting. 

She removed the post she was referring to, there’s no way to be sure.  But I remember being upset after reading it, and not just a little. 

It did cost money at the time that I wrote that comment, and that was intended to be a friendly suggestion from one self pub to another.  I bought the other ones.  They were great.

Here’s the thing, an author is a person just like their readers.  It’s something that everyone says “Obviously!” when they hear that, but really think about it for a second.  Spend a year taking an idea and laboring over it, find a cover artist and struggle to get a cover that suits your book, find proofreaders for content and editing, pay an editor if you can afford it knowing that you won’t make that money back, read it, read it, read it, read it until you don’t even know what you’re reading anymore, write the blurb, send the cover back because it’s disastrously wrong, pay for it again, read it again, more proofreaders, read it again, the blurb isn’t good enough so rewrite it, read it, take out six chapters because they weren’t good enough and write them again, now reread the whole thing again to make sure it still works, back to proofreaders, read it….  <- repeat that for awhile. 

It can get overwhelming.  Being an author isn’t for everyone.  But, under no circumstances does that make it okay to refer to any other writer with anything but respect.  Because all of that shit you’ve gone through that’s making you think the world has climbed up on your shoulders to stomp you down?  They’ve gone through it too. 

She didn’t know that I was an author when I posted that comment.  Which brings me to my next little twitching idea – she thought I was a reader.  That’s even worse, lol.  When addressing a reader, treat it like every pair of eyes in the world is on you, judging you on your behavior.  Because they are.  Is that hard?  Yeah.  I’ve had comments made that have hurt.  Often.  Go and see how many people I’ve offended.  I’ll wait.  One.  That’s all.  I had a friend who wanted to read Swordmaster Dasan even though I knew that she wasn’t into that sort of story.  I gave it to her anyway and she told me that it made her sick and that I was disgusting.  Which hurt.  So, in a moment of bitter pouting, I wrote in a blog post that anybody who could stomach the first one would probably like the second, and that offended a reader.  I will never make that mistake again, because that was poorly worded of me and every time that I look at the review where they mention that, I feel awful.  I made the mistake of thinking that nobody was looking because I was hurt, but as an author, mom and wife, I should’ve known better, and this author should’ve too.

So I wish her luck.  Her work is fantastic.  Hopefully, nobody who likes it will go to her blog lol

Bitchrant done, Kaeli OUT!  *flips table and exits the building whilst chain smoking, looking for something to kick*

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

On to something new!

Well, Duncan has been out for a month, so it's time for me to get my ass in gear on a few other projects.  The way that I work, due to rampant ADHD, is a bit odd.  Whenever I get an idea, I will write a portion of it out, which oddly ends up always being about 30 pages.  Honestly, one of them is 29 pages and one is 31, the rest all end at 30 because apparently that's all the energy I'll commit to a story that I don't know if I want to finish.  Then I see if it's worth pursuing.  The Cat & the Crow started as one of these story starters, although the story changed dramatically when I wrote it out.  Duncan was also one of the short stories that I was debating, and the instant that I wrote the part with the bed where Duncan gets all awkward, I laughed and went, "That's a book."

The only problem is that I happen to have about twenty of these little story beginnings that I wrote over the last year, figuring that I'd get to them when I was done with Duncan.  Well, I'm done with Duncan (for now) and can't decide which new project to work on next.  I have requests for a few of them, but haha, that's a problem too because having requests for three different stories means that I'd be spreading myself too thin and I would accomplish nothing.  Not to mention, I plan on putting work down on the long-awaited Playing with Tigers 3 and Swordmaster Dasan 3 & 4 while I write on something new, which means that I can really only pick one at a time.

Then there's the Duncan issue.  I wrote so much for the book that I was going to package it as two books, had originally planned to package it as three books (the draft of the third is with me, safely unseen by human eyes other than my own) but I decided to put the first two together because the second one takes place a few hours after the first, and together they have such a lovely snowball effect.  You start with someone whose day includes nothing more than being grumpy and smoking, and by the end of the book... haha.  Yeah.  The problem is that putting two books together makes for one very long book, and not everyone likes a long book.  So I am undecided on when I'll get to it.  I keep circling back around to it, we'll see.

So, I am working on wolf shifters this morning, some hardcore bondage this afternoon and putting humpty dumpty back together this evening (that's Keel from PWT.  I broke the poor guy haha, need some duct tape).

Let's see where the day takes us from there lol

S. <3

Friday, June 20, 2014

Free book promo -

The Disassembled Life of Duncan Cole will be free in the kindle store from Sunday 6/22 - Thursday 6/26.  If you haven't had the chance to check it out, this will be the last time that it is available at no cost for the foreseeable future so please take advantage of the opportunity and enjoy!

And a HUGE thanks to everyone who has taken the time to leave a review - I appreciate it more than you could possibly know. 

Happy hunting, everyone!  Anyone looking to contact me can find me at Goodreads.com

S. <3

Saturday, May 31, 2014

'Disassembled Life of Duncan Cole' is up at Amazon!

My newest book will be available at Amazon & the Kindle store later today!  For anybody who hasn't seen my updates for it over the last year, this is the blurb:

The Disassembled Life of Duncan Cole -
In which we meet Duncan: professional nobody who presents himself to the public as a scowling, smoking pile of contempt. Against his will, he meets Sam: a less than professional coal miner who inspires the worst in men. Together they take on one malicious train and a most insidious re-animator, and along the way Duncan remembers a few things that he’d previously forgotten.

I highly recommend it  ;)  

Going to go and pass out now- Happy reading everybody!
S. <3


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Can't sleep - Clowns will eat me

Well, I’m hauling ass getting this book ready, forgoing sleep and becoming one of those socially inept recluses that you see hissing at sunlight, lol.  But, it’s just about done.  The last two chapters are giving me trouble and I have one last round of editing to do…  over about 400 pages of book lol. 

Fear not – Everyone from my best friend to my husband and even people who have only heard me describe this book are calling me constantly to keep me focused when I run off to chase shiny things on a distraction detour, which means that it’ll be done in no time.

I’m rambling, time for one last cup of coffee before bed, methinks.

Cover for the new book was done my Miss Fang again:

Advance copies are going out now to friends, proofreaders and people who ask super nice.  

Again, anyone looking to contact me can leave a message here, or at Goodreads.com.

I should have a release date quite soon

S. <3

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Insert Creative Title for Post Here -

Update on all of my current work -

SMD Series -
Swordmaster Dasan Part 2 is finally at Amazon, I apologize for the wait.  Sadly I’m running into a minor problem on one of the sites that I use regarding the distribution of SMD2 which is holding up what I wanted to do with it, namely offer that one for free as well…  Thank you for the reviews and ratings, I’m glad that everyone is enjoying it!

Swordmaster Dasan Part 3
I wrote roughly three times as much on this as I did on the first SMD, and after I took a break and went back to it I realized that I had;
a)      rambled
b)      not put enough sex in it to call it erotica, and finally
c)      written it like a two finger chimpanzee with serious attention problems (possibly a sleep disorder as well). 
I’m debating the best course of action for book 3, because I sort of want to use every opportunity in the Playing with Tigers timeline to add Kyo, but then it gets aggravating.  I can’t say why, because that would spoil the books, but trust me, it’s enough to make me pull my hair out and swear religiously.  Not that I don’t tear my hair out and swear every morning anyway until enough coffee has been consumed. 

Playing with Tigers –
I have done some work on the third book, and I know the direction that I want to write in.  The problem is that I haven’t had the time.  (see the new book at the bottom of the page.)  The Playing with Tigers books need to be packed with erotica, adventure, tension and drama, and I’ve made the habit of writing them moderately long, which means that they require my full attention when I’m writing them.  I haven’t had the chance to do that yet. 

In which we meet Duncan; professional nobody who presents himself to the public as a scowling, smoky pile of contempt.  Against his will, he meets Sam; a less than professional coal miner who inspires the worst in men.  Together they take on one malicious train and a most insidious reanimator, and along the way Duncan learns a few things that he’d previously forgotten. 

That is not the official blurb, but it’s probably going to be moderately close to that when I’m finished with it.  This book is large, by which I mean that it’s the size of all of my previous works combined.  Well, the two Playing with Tigers books and then The Cat & the Crow, I think would be pretty close.  I was writing last year, I was just writing on one new book because I was having a hell of a time and I was having fun with the new setting and challenges that Duncan brought with him.  I made the character a hot mess because I was bored, I think the book is better for it.  I’m deciding if I’m done with it or not.  After that, I can give a release date. 

Wish me luck and coffee everyone, I will most certainly need it.

S. K. Hart

*For those that inquired, my mother came out of her surgery like a champ and has recovered beautifully.  Thank you for the well wishes!