Blog Tour: Huzzah for the Bookminder!

You may recall that a little while back I did a Slice of Pie post on my friend M.K. Wiseman’s debut novel… well guess what? It’s finally here!!!!

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The Bookminder by M. K. Wiseman

We’re celebrating the release of THE BOOKMINDER by M. K. Wiseman with a blog tour and Rafflecopter give-away! Visit each blog each day for more chances to win lots of great prizes. If you like epic fantasy, you’ll love this coming-of-age tale of magic and wizards set in the Renaissance era.

January 9-16, 2016

Saturday, 01-09 Bookwhizz
Sunday, 01-10 M. K. Wiseman
Monday, 01-11 Perpetual Chaos of a Wandering Mind
Tuesday, 01-12 Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Wednesday, 01-13 Belart’s Book Reviews
Thursday, 01-14 Dreams to Become
Semi-short Chic
Friday, 01.15 JD Spero
Books in the Spotlight
Saturday, 01-16 Creativity from Chaos
Rambling Reviews

Don’t forget to enter our blog tour Rafflecopter give-away below,

on the blogs above, on our Facebook page, or on Rafflecopter,

with daily chances to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

How I Met My Publisher (And Other Writer Questions Answered)

Upon learning that I am a Published Author, fellow writerly types often ask How I Got Published. I’m happy to answer, and to save on even more time, I thought I’d trot this out as a link that can be referenced anytime the story is prompted.

“How did you get published?”

In 2012, I was up to my waist in short stories, ideas for short stories, and the never ending hunt for places to submit them. Twitter was my happy hunting ground, finding contest after contest, anthology after anthology, and calls for submissions left and right. I would bookmark things diligently, schedule things out for myself so I had deadlines and opportunities scrawled all across my calendar. Amid the small lake of rejection emails (or lack of communication altogether) I finally got a positive response – Xchyler Publishing’s steampunk-classic literature anthology wanted my short story!

“Lavenza, or The Modern Galatea” was published in Mechanized Masterpieces: A Steampunk Anthology in April 2013. I was thrilled to finally have gotten something I wrote into a real live book that people could order and buy and read with their hands and faces. It was thrilling. A few weeks after the release of Mechanized Masterpieces, I got an email from the editors at Xchyler (whom we lovingly refer to as The X) – they had liked my work, and liked working with me. Did I have anything else ready to publish? A novel, perhaps?

Well, the truth is, I had three novel drafts that could potentially be worked on and prepared for publication, but of the three, there was one that stood out to me as being “more ready.” On the Isle of Sound and Wonder was a fantasy, kinda steampunk retelling of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest that I had written only a few months before, as my National Novel Writing Month project in November. It was poised to be reworked into something cohesive and really fun. So I sent them a note back and pitched them a synopsis and an outline of OISW. They liked it – a lot – and the next thing I knew I had been sent a contract and off we went.

Of course, I had a good friend who worked professionally as an editor/contract person for a big house educational publisher look over my contract with me and make sure I wasn’t about to get taken for a ride. She assured me it looked like I was in good hands, and so I signed it and the game was on.

Hours and hours and weeks and months of work and editing and revising later, OISW came into the world, and I unlocked the achievement of Novelist. Like any debut novelist ought to be, I was/am aware that my book has flaws, but it will always be special because it is my first.

Now the secondary question that inevitably follows:

“What are you writing now?”

Or perhaps worse:

“When does the sequel come out?”

Or even:

“When can I buy the audiobook?”

Shudder.

The answers currently are as follows:

  1. Yes. Several things. Slowly… Verrrrrrrrryyyyyy ssssslllllloooowwwwwlllllyyyy.
  2. Never. OISW is a stand alone. I may revisit the world or feature some characters in short stories. But no sequel.
  3. Uh. I love doing audiobooks – and I love listening to them. I would love to have someone amazing do this audiobook. I would likewise love to do it myself. I don’t know which I’d love more. But also, I have zero time to dedicate towards recording and producing it, and I have zero money to spare towards hiring someone else to do so. So, as of right now, never. Or at least no time soon.

Other queries of the burningly curious public include:

“Do you have an agent?”

Nope. I would LOVE one. As soon as I have another manuscript ready to shop, I will be querying for an agent. But I’m 100% open to suggestions and introductions between now and then.

“Can you get me published, too?”

Nope. That would be awesome if I could. But I don’t have a publishing company, nor do I hold any real sway in The X – except for whether or not confetti cannons will be used at our next convention booth.

“Will you read this thing I wrote and provide detailed feedback?”

Mmmmmm. Again with the not-enough-time thing. I will usually politely tell you I am unable to read it because of time constraints and scheduling. Sometimes I will make an exception because I Really Really Really Want To Read That Thing You Wrote. But I’m not an editor, and I’ve never been a terribly structured Critique Partner… I’m probably not your best bet.

“Why isn’t your book in stock at Barnes & Noble?”

If you ask a bookseller to order it for you, they can and will. It will probably make them happy that you are asking for help with something, if you are super nice, and it will make me happy because you’re shopping in a real book store. Better yet, go to your favorite indie bookstore and ask them to order it. Most bookstores will not have it in stock automatically because our press is so small that we don’t have mass produced stuff yet. But you can always ask, and they can always try to order it for you. Otherwise, you can go to my Published Works page, and click on the book to buy it from Amazon. I get extra bonus money when you order it through clicking on my site! Amazing!

“Your first short story is based on Frankenstein. Your novel is based on The Tempest. Will you be adapting other classic literature for modern readers?”

Currently I have no plans to adapt anything else… but the lure is always there. I am really hoping to do something “completely original” soon. There are just so many options!


 

I am fully aware that my path to publishing is not the same as everyone else’s paths. And vice versa. Everyone seems to do things differently, and that’s okay. I’m happy to answer any other questions you might have, to the best of my ability. The other thing to remember is that just because I got published doesn’t mean I’m ‘done’ or I’ve ‘made it.’ I have so much further to go, and so much work to do! Also I just read Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy and now I’m a hollow shell of a human being that thought she was a writer…He’s too brilliant. I’ll never live up to that. 

At any rate, that’s pretty much it. And there’s a long way yet to go. 🙂

Slice of Pie: M.K. Wiseman’s spicy-savory Bookminder is going to be delicious!

Behold! Another pie has appeared!

~A Slice of Pie!~

A tasty sample of something fresh cooked up by an artist of my choosing.

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Who are you?

M. K. Wiseman, author. I can be found at mkwisemanauthor.com!

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VOILA L’AUTEUR

 

What’s your thing right now? That thing. You know. That thing over there. What is that?

That would be my debut novel, a YA historical fantasy entitled The Bookminder.

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What do you love about this thing?

It’s my first novel so there’s a lot to be excited about. The project has been near and dear my heart for just over ten years now. Like most authors, I am an avid reader, and this book just ‘fits’ neatly into that ‘what I like to read’ corner . . .

What do you hate about this thing?

. . . which is terribly intimidating. Because I fear saying such things in case people think I’m off my rocker. I mean, who am I to add a book, an honest to goodness book, to the mix. The authors whom I love are rockstars! So I hate putting myself out there. (Which is only partially the fault of the book, I suppose.)

When/how/where can people read the thing?

ARC’s for The Bookminder are out now. The novel will officially release January 9, 2016 and will be available for purchase through Amazon and Barnes&Noble. (Or via special events as they are scheduled . . . At present I have planned Goodreads giveaways.) Also, we are looking to get Bookminder into libraries.

What thing would you do if you had all the money and time in the world right now?

All the time and the money? Whew . . . Okay, bear with me on this because I actually have an answer that comes to mind immediately but it’s kinda like the “you get three wishes” workaround that people try with a genie. e.g. Probably not what this question is asking.

I would work at completely eliminating world hunger and make sure that everyone has access to clean water. We are talking all the time and money, right? But that would be what I want to do with that. If I had that kind of power and means. (Note: this is not to say I’ll just sit on my thumbs in the meantime . . .)

What’s your new favorite thing that someone else has done/made?

CloudRise. A quasi-steampunk animated short that I stumbled upon earlier this year and promised I would share the heck outta because it is just gorgeous. Click to watch!

 

Possibly the most important question… If your thing was a pie, what kind of pie would it be?

140g | 2/3 cup dark brown sugar

90g | 1/2 cup sultanas

90g | 1/2 cup raisins

90g | 1/2 cup currants

75g | 1/2 dried cranberries

75g | 1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped

2 large cooking apples, chopped into small cubes

60g | 2 oz unsalted butter, cubed

60g | 2 oz whole blanched almonds, roughly chopped

Zest and juice of 2 oranges

Zest and juice of a lemon

2 star anise

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp mixed spice

1 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground cloves

2 tbsp brandy (or dark rum)

2 tbsp cherry brandy

Directions

Put all the ingredients apart from the brandy into a large bowl and mix together thoroughly. Cover the bowl with a large plate and leave overnight.

Preheat the oven to 110C  | 225F. Spread the mincemeat onto a large baking tray, cover loosely with foil and cook for about 3 hours. Cool completely. The butter, which will have melted in the oven, will solidify again and make the mincemeat look a little gross… this is how it should be! Put into a large sterilised jar (or two smaller ones). Pour in the brandy. Seal and keep in a cool dry place (no need to refrigerate). If, after a few days, the mincemeat is looking a bit dry add a bit more brandy.

Brandy butter *Optional but does taste delicious smeared over a warm mince pie!

85g | 3oz unsalted butter at room temperature

85g | 3 oz icing sugar

2-3 tbsp brandy

zest of half an orange

 

Method

Beat the butter and sugar together by hand using a wooden spoon (or use a mixer). Mix the zest and brandy in. Keep in the fridge for up to a week or pipe into little star shapes and keep in the freezer until you are ready to use.

When ready to use, thaw and bake in your favorite pie crust.

Vegetarian mincemeat filling recipe found through www.supergoldenbakes.com


(Note: Now, there’s a reason—other than sheer cheek—for my having shared my answer in this way. Amongst the ingredients list is an item that inspired the name of one of Bookminder’s main characters.)

*            *            *

M.K. Wiseman is a fellow author whom I met through Xchyler Publishing. Her short story “The Clockwork Ballet” (based on Gaston Leroux’s The Phantom of the Opera) appeared in Mechanized Masterpieces: A Steampunk Anthology alongside my own short story “Lavenza, or the Modern Galatea.” She and I are both regular attendees of Teslacon in Madison, WI, and were the first two Xchyler Publishing authors to be located in the Midwest region. She’s a right smashing lady and owns a jackalope puppet! The more you know!

 

 

Con Wrap-Up: Salt Lake Comic Con 2015!

Oh my goodness. Salt Lake Comic Con was HUUUUUUUUGE.

It was my second time being in Salt Lake City – I traveled there in 2014 for Salt City Steamfest and had a great time. As a loyal attendee of C2E2 I fully expected a similar setup. The setup was indeed similar… but on a much larger scale. The attendance was through the roof, guys, and the guest list was unbelievably outstanding. I attended as a vendor, sharing a booth/table with several fellow authors from Xchyler Publishing to sell our books, but I also made sure I was participating as a cosplayer and attended at least one panel. You know. The full con experience.

So official!

I was struck by how friendly and diverse the SLCC crowd was. Cosplayers as simple as Pokemon kigu suits and as complex as gigantic oversized Doctor Octopus armor and arms wandered the halls. There was a lot more animation cosplay here than at C2E2, I thought; I saw tons of Steven Universes and anime characters milling about, which made me happy. I started playing I Spy with Mistborn and captured at least five separate Brandon Sanderson superfans in their own homemade Mistborn cloaks, and one fine sir decked out as Pattern from Sanderson’s Stormlight Archives.

Epic. Just epic. Really nice guy, too!

 

 

The vendors ranged from artists to authors to anime wigs to fine leather goods, with outrageous appearances by live snakes, an escape room, a haunted house display or two and some awesome food stalls as well. The panel schedule was jam-packed with cosplay help and discussion, writing advice, fan-driven debates and nostalgic explorations of a broad spectrum of topics.

I attended a writing panel about fantasy lit, given by such greats as Terry Brooks, R.A. Salvatore, Jessica Day George, Jim Butcher, David Farland and James A. Owen. Our booth was next to that of wrestling legend Ron Simmons – super nice guy. I glimpsed Chris Evans with my own two eyes (and screamed involuntarily), and I shook hands with Felicia Day and Hayley Atwell. And I met tons of amazing fans and con-goers, and sold a few copies of my novel in the process.

 

with superfans Arianne and Theresa! LOVE these girls!

Everything was awesome.

If you’re thinking about hitting up the third-largest con in the nation (not to mention in the utterly beautiful state of Utah) when it swings around for 2016, I highly recommend doing so.

Now, I’m off to research fabric for my own Mistborn cloak. ❤