Touch of Fire: First draft is almost done!

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It had been years since Enona left the tower, years since she’d met anyone new. When her father arranges a marriage to find the cure for her deadly curse, the princess must learn how to survive on her own.

Of course, things go terribly wrong right away and Enona can’t help but feel trapped in her new home. Little does she know, a servant named Soren is going through the same thing; he needs out, but he doesn’t know how to leave.

After Enona causes another death, a friend organizes an escape for the two of them, giving Enona an alias as mill’s wife as they slip away during a tournament in honor of the royal engagement.

Both soon find that the journey was nothing like what they expected.

I’ve hit the three-quarters point in the “first” draft and know exactly how I want to finish it. It’s taken this long because I kept losing motivation then rewriting it. However, I love where the story went. It’s a little personal, as much as a book about fairies can be.

My goal when I started writing was to make something that others enjoyed. I lost sight of that for a while, but now I’m excited to share what I think will be a fun, thoughtful, and grounded read.

I’ve also started a great new job, so that’s nice. If anyone thought I was dead, I wasn’t. Just living under a rock. But now I occasionally emerge to wear pencil skirts, so that’s nice.

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An Author’s Meltdown

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So I’ve posted before on how to handle bad reviews and multiple times I have mentioned that an author should never respond to a review unless the reader is asking a genuine question (such as when is book 2 coming out). For those of you who missed it, there was a significant meltdown on Goodreads a few days ago. (Sorry I’ve been late about posting it, but my own book was just released and I am now working two jobs.)

The author went back and deleted his comments but I have the link to an archived page. I’ll provide the best snapshots then link to it below so you can see for yourself this hot holy mess. This is mostly for entertainment purposes since I don’t know of anyone who would react so badly and needs to be warned against it.

This was just…so unnecessarily wordy and pretentious. I just did not enjoy it at all. Which makes me sad because the summary says it’s for fans of Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, and World of Warcraft. Aka three of my favorite things. So how did I loathe this so entirely from page one? I don’t know.
-Reviewer

Sorry that my book evoked such a horrible response… I’m an indie author. I work over 100 hours a week to get my books to succeed so that I don’t have to be a slave anymore. This review is not good for my business, so unless your desire is to ruin my dreams, it would mean a great deal if you could remove this review from my work and forget about it. But if it’s your desire to hurt me financially and ruin my business, then it’s understandable why you would post such a harmful review
-Author

The book has a number of good reviews so far so obviously plenty of people enjoy it, I just wasn’t one of them… I hardly think one review by a single person who is in no way affiliated with any company or big name blogs is going to ruin you financially or otherwise…I think we both know being an author is going to come with positive and negative attention… I personally did not like the story, it wasn’t for me… My one review is not going to sink your life’s work. If you are only here to police your book, only allowing good things to be said about it, I think that says more about you than the reviewer… I’m not going to remove my review because that would be a lie. I read it, I did not enjoy it, I’m within my rights to say so.
-Reviewer

I’m not here to “police” Goodreads…. Leaving a 1 star review on a book says much more about what kind of person does such a thing, and then attacks it for being “pretentious,” which is an erroneous statement that is defamation at best…. I’m happy I could be your Ego’s stepping stone… I’m just always amazed that someone would go out of their way to slander someone’s work like this. [Goodreads] is like Yelp, where essentially the only people that use it for negative reviews are those that have nothing better going on in their lives… I would’ve rather you got your money back than curse my book with your toxic opinion of it because it’s “in your rights to do so.” Do you have empathy? …Or do you just look at other people like they’re automatons that you can slander as though your actions don’t manifest consequences? …400,000 children go missing each year in the US alone. Do you know where they’re going? Do you know who’s behind it? Do you know why the media is silent about it? Do you know how much a person risks to confront the evil that’s running amok in this world?…
-Author

Alright, a minor break. WTF is he bringing up kidnapping for????

For all the people that observe this exchange, when you leave a negative review on someone’s work, you are potentially driving away a person that could have had their life changed for the better by that work. For someone to leave such a toxic review on a book that contains so much gnosis, that people had to die in order to learn in the past, is an utter disgrace to the human condition… So again, by all means, leave the review up if you feel like it’s the moral thing to do, if you must have it on your Goodreads profile so people can see how relevant your low opinion of “The Tale of Onora” is. The review mocks the reviewer, not the book….
-Author

You do realize that every author in the entire world has had their work negatively reviewed, right? Like literally all of them. The best writers in the entire world have had their books torn apart on a much more public platform than Goodreads. Why do you think you are above that? Why is your work above criticism when others aren’t?
-Reviewer

Then other people caught sight of this exchange and started chiming in. Obviously, a lot of them were against the author’s behavior.

And all of you who are taking [reviewer]’s side, what you’re doing in the bigger picture is waging war on the consciousness of humanity. The end… What bothers me is when people that operated at a low level of consciousness defame the work of people that are trying to help humanity, and no one helps humanity better than artists…. You’re immoral for defending this 1 star review. What is wrong with your POISONED WORLDVIEW where you cannot understand the damage that [a 1 star review] does???
-Author

Um, okay. He’s like literally saying that he’s God’s gift to humanity.

There aren’t any sides, [author]. I’m not trying to fight with you or defame your work. I just simply, on my own, did not enjoy the book… Maybe, like you said, I’m not at a high enough level of…intellect or consciousness or whatever else to understand it the way you meant it to be read…. I’m just a reader. That still doesn’t change the fact that you don’t need to come on here and threaten me over it… No one would have even noticed this review if it hadn’t been turned into this giant argument over nothing.
-Reviewer

The reviewer feels threatened but is still staying calm. She’s not doing anything to escalate this.

You know what it feels like to… see someone write that about you? Wow. No shame. All of you that have commented on this thread are EXACTLY what is wrong with this world, and EXACTLY what is ENABLING what is wrong with this world by CONDONING it… I hope you contemplate what it means to tear someone’s work down on a public forum and have the cognitive dissonance to believe it’s anything other than bullying. You’re unraised.
-Author

Talk about cognitive dissonance.

This continues for some time, continuing to say how immoral giving a one star review is while others chime in to agree with “WTF” to the author.

What I stand for, what [my book] stands for, and what the people that read it on every continent represent is SELF-EVIDENT and needs NO defense. What you stand for is all that is IMMORAL, HARMFUL, and WRONG.
-Author

So there you go. The archive only lasts till page 2 of the comments, so I don’t know if he posted anymore because all his comments have been deleted.

Kids, if you’re confused, always avoid engaging with readers. Even if someone leaves a one star review saying “John Doe is a bag of dicks and I used his book to wipe my ass” you do not reply. You flag it and report it to Amazon/Goodreads and they’ll take it down if it’s pointlessly hateful like that. (Also, readers usually avoid reviews like that when looking for pros and cons of the book before buying.)

Archived link: http://archive.is/rFgtE#selection-5187.0-5187.216

Wildflower Crown is now available for purchase!

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Wildflower Crown is available on Amazon in eBook and paperback! Until Amazon gets around to joining the pages, here is the eBook link and here is the paperback link.

I’m super excited to share this with the world. I really like the story and I think you guys will too!

For those of you without money who are interested, I’m looking for reviewers and will give a free PDF or MOBI of Wildflower Crown in exchange for an honest review to be posted on Amazon, Goodreads, and your blog. You can comment below or use the contact form on my “contact” page to ask about getting a copy.

Planning Ahead – Author Update

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I got four calenders for Christmas. FOUR. There are four rooms in my apartment, counting the bathroom. I have a calender surplus.

With the pug calender my boyfriend got me, I’ve written in important book dates from February to October. I’ve planned out when I need to finish writing Wildflower Crown (cough… cause that’s still not done… cough…), when I need to have the first and second rounds of editing done, when I need to start hyping it, when I need to have the second round of editing for Only in Whispers done, when I need to order my proof copies, when I’ll release them…

If all goes well, Wildflower Crown will come out this summer. Yes, I wrote it after Only in Whispers, and it’s further behind, but it takes place during the summer, and Only in Whispers takes place during fall, so I want to release them in their respective seasons. I know that I said some time ago that Only in Whispers was supposed to come out this month or so, and I lied, so hopefully my new plan works out better. It leaves ample time to get stuff done, and this summer is pretty much open to whatever I decide to write next.

At this point, it’s a toss up between Vica’s story and Enona’s story. Vica’s would be set in the same kingdom as Kiss of the Fey, but before Johara’s time, and Enona’s would be set in a new kingdom. Neither have titles, because the only planned books with titles have to wait. One is a sort of sequel to Wildflower Crown, but I don’t want it to seem like a sequel, since it can stand on it’s own, so I’m waiting a little to start it. The other is Kasmira’s story, so hers will come last after I’ve expanded ALL the ideas for the Fairy Curse Novels.

Beyond that, I have two more books planned, which would make for a total of nine (I think nine) books in the universe. It may end up being way more, who knows. I have sketchy plans for another medieval fantasy trilogy about a witch and a transexual vampire possibly set in the same universe as the Fairy Curse Novels so that I don’t have to make up another continent, and I have more solid plans for a modern paranormal series that I will give no details on >:D

-Charlotte Cyprus