GIVEAWAY

20 Jun

GIVEAWAY- every purchase of Humans In My House or Acephalous (Kindle or paperback) will earn 1 entry to WIN 2 TICKETS to AUTHORS INVADE COLUMBIA ($24 value), a signed and numbered editor’s proof copy of Acephalous ($12 value), and a personalized poem written on the spot in the cover of your book if you bring it to the signing ($5 value). To receive your entry, email a screenshot or photo of your book purchase invoice to amanda@redinkenthusiast.com. A winner will be selected August 31, 2017, 5pm eastern.

Fine print: 1 entry per book purchased, any format, any quantity, void if book returned/refunded. Contest managed by Amanda Marsico. Prize supplied by Amanda Marsico via Authors Invade Columbia. Entrant information will be kept confidential by Amanda Marsico. Winner email and name will be supplied to Authors Invade Columbia for ticket generation. Winner will receive tickets via email from Authors Invade Columbia. Amanda Marsico reserves the right to revise contest at any point.

Convention Schedule

17 Feb

Want a signed copy of Humans In My House? Want to talk writing? Want to adopt a #pocketkitty and join in #Kepler’s fun? Come see me at my upcoming appearances.

MARCH:

  • March 3-5, 2017: AgamaCon, H.O. Weeks Activities Center located at Virginia Acres Park in Aiken, SC (1700 Whiskey Road)
    • Info booth, all weekend
      • I will not be selling books or merchandise at this event
      • If you would like a signed book, please purchase a copy ahead of time and bring it with you
    • Ask An Author panel, Saturday @ 11:00am, Room #1
    • Round Table with the Author, Sunday @ 11:00am, Room #1
      • Also featuring author Dacre Stoker
    • http://www.agamacon.com/content–schedule.html

APRIL

MAY:

  • May 19-21, 2017: XCON 10, Myrtle Beach Convention Center 2101 North Oak Street Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

JULY:

AUGUST:

  • August 12, 2017: Cape Fear Halloween Con, Coastline Conference Center, Wilmington, NC
    • As a Halloween Con, I will have extra stock of black cat merch to celebrate Kepler, Humans In My House, and to raise awareness that black cats make up about 33% of stray intakes, but are less than half as likely to get adopted. ADOPT, DON’T SHOP, and LOVE A BLACK CAT!
    • http://capefearcomiccon.com/

OCTOBER:

  • October 20-22, 2017: Cosplay America 2017, Sheraton Chapel Hill Hotel, 1 Europa Dr, Chapel Hill, NC 27517

Buy Now!

12 Aug

Cover.jpg

Humans In My House is NOW AVAILABLE on Kindle and in paperback via CreateSpace and Amazon.

Thanks so much to everyone who has watched my journey and cheered me on. You rock.

Next up, final revisions of Acephalous, which I aim to publish in early 2017.

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Pacific Northwest

15 Jun

Image may contain: people riding bicycles, tree, outdoor and nature

I just got back from a two-week hiking trip in the Olympic Peninsula. It was an amazing experience. The sheer size of the wilderness–I’d never seen anything like it. You grow up on the east coast thinking our mountains are high… what a joke that turns out to be.

I’m not going to bore you with a day-by-day recount of each and every little thing we did (although let me know if you’re interested in that because I’ve considered starting a dedicated blog for our adventures), but I will say that I went out there as a writer expecting to be inspired for Humans In My House 3 and Acephalous 3 (and I was), but I came back feeling like I should be a painter instead. Words don’t so often fail me as they did there. It’s just one of those places you have to SEE.

Regardless, if you’re interested in seeing a little bit of what I experienced, follow me on instagram @KeperSeesTheWorld. I photograph my little clay Kepler in new places as a way to document and market Humans In My House (Kepler is the main character, if you didn’t know). Some of the places he ends up will make it into future installments of the books series.

**Side note: @We_Go_Hiking is my rarely used adventure insta, which I will take up using again if I do create a travel-based blog here. My Pacific Northwest trip is not shown there because I primarily focused on Kepler,  but I may double post in the future.

Limited Edition Merch

1 May

 

For X-CON 10 (Myrtle Beach Convention Center, May 19-21) and while supplies last:

Due to printer error, I have 150 proof copies of Acephalous.

Of the 150, I signed and numbered 50 copies of Acephalous to sell as a LIMITED RUN ($12/e). The other 100 are also available for purchase (unsigned $10/e).

And, of course, the publication-ready versions are for sale at full price ($15/e).

Add a personalized 4- to 8-line poem, written on the spot, to your signed copy (any print version) for $5.

  • Side note: In both the proof and publication editions of Acephalous, the plot is the same. If you opt for one of the more affordable versions, you will not miss out on  story-line or events. The proof versions have mostly formatting-related errors resulting from file conversion during the publication process, plus some minor typos that add character. The printing company mistakenly fulfilled my order using the old proof file rather than the finalized text.

Kepler has some new friends in the Pocket Kitty world. In anticipation of Humans In My House Book 2, coming winter 2017, 3 sets of limited edition PLANETARY POCKET KITTIES will be available for purchase at each convention for the remainder of 2017.

These sets come with 9 Pocket Kitties, each representing a celestial body of our solar system. (Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.) Sorry, Pluto 😦  I will add Pluto to the set if there is a demand for the teeny tiny pocket kitty, so let me know in the comments! Sold as full sets only ($40/e).

Image

Official Cover Reveal! Take 2.

28 Mar

Canada - Edited - Sized - Final - 200 dpi

If you saw this post about a week ago, I’m sure you noticed the cover art was vastly different. Well, after receiving the proof print, it was clear the black background had to go. It was COVERED in fingerprints. This is what the cover will look like on publication day.

Join me for a release party/book signing for Acephalous and Humans In My House on the 15th, from 11:00am to 4:00pm, at Book Warehouse Myrtle Beach, located in the Tanger Outlets on 501. If you can’t get one in person, buy it in print. Coming soon to kindle.

Thanks for you support, interest, and patience!

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Pro-Tip: What Makes Strong Writing?

10 Mar

Across all genres and purposes, writers want to know the one thing they can do in order to ensure readers consider their writing “good writing.”

My first piece of advice is to get rid of the notion of “good writing.” Pitting yourself against other writers in order to determine if your creative vision is “good” will get you nowhere. Writing, even in the academic and professional fields where creativity might sometimes be limited by style sheets and strict requirements, is a deeply personal endeavor. It’s not just the final product that author’s judge, but their journey to get that product. Trying to put worth on an experience is like saying your dream vacation is only worth as much as the airfare costs. It discounts everything you get out of travel on an intellectual, spiritual, and physical level. Writing a text is a trip–maybe not always a vacation–but a trip nonetheless.

So, why would you try to qualify your path against someone else? And why would you settle on the achievement of “good writing” when that’s based on how similar your process and product is to someone else you consider “good?” Isn’t that just good mimicry? You want to be “good,” or rather strong, at what YOU do and how YOU do it.

Strive, instead, for strong writing, writing that holds it’s own regardless of how similar (or not) it is to the work of others you admire. Yes, we first learn by mimicking, in speech as babies, and as authors. But, at some point, you start to sound like YOU, and if you go around trying to decide if your writing, and therefore if YOU, are good enough, you’re likely to have moments of doubt. You might feel like you don’t measure up, like an imposter, like someone who isn’t REALLY an author because you haven’t done x, y, or z thing that some other person who uses the title of author has done.

Strong writing is original, written with pride (but not necessarily confidence because you can be proud of your effort and still worried about its outcome. Confidence takes time), and organizationally sound. Above all of the basic prescriptive grammar and mechanics rules, the tenets that say writing SHOULD be done a certain way, is organization. If you’ve got a solid structure that readers can follow, if it’s logically arranged, if it’s thoroughly explained and balances detail without crossing into the condescending, then everything else you do after that will fall into place. Proper grammar and following the rules (which you can purposefully break once you know them) is only useful if your thoughts are linked together in a coherent way. Every sentence could be perfectly constructed according to the textbook way to use punctuation marks, point of view, and tense, but a text still won’t make sense if the overall structure doesn’t carry your thoughts clearly.

What I’m getting at is this: You want strong writing, not “good” writing because strong writing is not a matter of opinion. A text either makes sense or it doesn’t. A text is either organized or frenetic. (Don’t confuse the organized or frenetic nature of a text with the same qualities of a character. Even pieces with chaotic characters are still organized as a whole, although let’s not get into the unreliable narrator discussion. It’s often an exception). “Good” writing will be different to every author and reader. Stop comparing yourself to other authors, and start holding your writing up to your past work. Are you improving?

Pro-Tip: Copyright

3 Feb

Copyrighting is the legal process of filing your original creation (literary works for the purposes of this discussion) with the U.S. Copyright Office (or the office responsible in your country). This process of registration is the only way to fully protect your original content. By virtue of creating a text, saving it on your computer and/or keeping handwritten originals, publishing online through a blog or other platform, and/or publishing electronically or in hard copy for sale, the work is copyrighted in your name (or the pen name/alias used when publishing it) just because it exists. However, the only way you can pursue legal action against someone for violating your ownership of the text is if it is formally registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. Only a registered work can be defended in court.

Many people think copyrighting their work is difficult, expensive, and requires a lawyer’s assistance. Not true (at least not always). Now, take this information with a grain of salt, as it’s reflective of my own self-publishing experience, I’m not a lawyer, and certain projects cost more and risk more than my fiction novels. However, I’ve copyrighted two of my own projects so far, spending $35 each, and find it to be one of the easiest parts of the publishing process. I log in, choose the online form for literary works, answer the questions that determine whether my project is eligible for online registration (my type of texts-a single item, novel, with a single author/owner-always are), fill in information about the novel and my personal/business information, pay, and submit the text as an attached word document.

If you’re ready to start this process for your novel or other text, go to the U.S. Copyright Office website and make sure your text belongs in the literary works category. Then, begin the online application by clicking “Register a Literary Work” under the eCO section on the right side of the screen.

To file, you must be the creator/owner of the work or the legally responsible agent for the piece (meaning publisher, agent, lawyer, or other responsible party that has the author’s permission to file for and/or hold the copyright). In my opinion, it’s best that authors own their own copyrights. It gives more control over your intellectual property. This won’t always be a possibility in certain publication scenarios, so decide the level of involvement and ownership you wish to maintain as author before signing anything for anybody.

If you decide to proceed with the process, you must have the most current, closest to publication-ready version of the text as you can. You will be required to submit that text online as an attachment or by mail as hard copy (which they do not return to you) after payment (via credit/debit or direct withdrawal from a bank account).

A lot of people worry that they cannot make any changes ever to the text once it is copyrighted. This is a misconception. The general rule of thumb is that minor changes to your manuscript after it has been registered (things like editing for grammar and typos) do not require you to resubmit for updating. However, large creative changes, like adding a chapter or creating an updated edition with a new forward or new footnotes, will require re-submission because the copyrighted product then differs too greatly from the publication version of the product. At that point, they are no longer the same text. This is why it’s important to be as ready to publish as you can before submitting.

After that, it’s a waiting game. Assuming there are no errors with your application or file submission, there will be a long silence and then the copyright will appear in your mailbox. They say this takes around 8 months. My first copyright came in 2. If something is amiss, it will take longer, as you’ll have to resubmit to fix any errors. They’ll let you know if anything is holding up the process. Essentially, no news is good news.

If you have any questions about the process, I highly recommend visiting the FAQ page on the Copyright Office’s website. Everything I know about the process and have shared with you here I learned from reading the materials and guidelines they provide. You can also comment with your questions or advice, or email me: amanda@redinkenthusiast.com.

As a writing services provider and fellow author, I can help familiarize you with this process and send you to helpful resources, but please remember that I’m not a lawyer. I do not provide legal services or advice regarding copyright infringement, libel, et cetera. I do not provide financial services or advice regarding marketing, sales, or the publication process. All information given is based solely on my personal experiences as a scholar and fellow self-publisher and is not to serve as the sole recommendation on which to base your writing and publication practices.

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