Red August Quote – Healing

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Find out where to order Red August HERE

Red August Quote – Heart Holes

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Find out where to order Red August HERE

Red August Quote – Be Yourself

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Find out where to order Red August HERE

Smashing Words and Other Adventures

RedAugust_lowres_800wideWE DID IT!  Between my editor and my proofreaders and many reads and re-reads and re-re-reads (I could do that about ten times and it would be about right), the manuscript for Red August was uploaded to Smashwords.  I uploaded a previous copy, but the formatting was a bit off and we hadn’t linked the Table of Contents – SO MANY THINGS – so Will futzed with all that stuff and VOILA, I got it uploaded.  And guess what?  You can read 1/3 of the book on Smashwords for free RIGHT NOW, before it’s even released on August 19th.  You can also pre-order the book through Barnes & Noble, Kobo and iBooks.

Yesterday was kind of a magical day.  We got up super early (Will got up super early, I got up an hour behind him).  By 12:30 the specially formatted for ebook manuscript was uploaded to Smashwords.  Then, we got ready to head down to a birthday party for my beautiful, smart and amazing friend Tracy, who lives about an hour south of us.  We were a bit late to her party, but we stayed extra late to make up for it.  I had SO MUCH FUN.  First of all – BOOK UPLOADED without errors.  So YAY.  THEN I got to see my wonderful friend for her birthday at a lovely bistro with tasty food and wine.  During the party one of her friends pulled into the parking lot in a sexy new red Corvette convertible and I started singing “Little Red Corvette” and then I met the woman who owned it and she took me for a drive.  WHICH WAS AWESOME.   Did I mention that the weather here in Maryland was BEAUTIFUL?  Well, it was.  It was the kind of day you would order, if you could order weather, for convertible driving.  Everybody was sweet to me and I think I made a couple of new friends.  AND somebody pre-ordered my book right there in front of me.  Then, on the way home we found out that my friend, talented playwright Audrey Cefaly, won a pretty amazing Samuel French contest in New York city with her play The Gulf — which is now going to be PUBLISHED by them!  She’s kind of a big deal, y’all!  When we got home my favorite parking space was empty at a time it normally wouldn’t be.  I was exhausted from not enough sleep all week and all the fun, but I was excited too, so I had a hard time getting to sleep.  So what do ya do?  You pull up the social media.  I  looked at Instagram because it’s the social media choice with the least amount of dissonance and nightmare material.  And lo, a nice comment from an instagrammer said they were really looking forward to my book.  I finally made it to sleep not long after that.

It’s been a busy and fulfilling week.  I’m hoping to get things working on Amazon in the next couple of days and I will be able to just focus on marketing and book 2, Red Archer.

Raven Heights Radio – Red August Podcast Episode

It’s up!  It’s up!  Erica posted episode 48 of Raven Heights Radio podcast and I am the guest – talking about my book, Red August.

It was a nice thing to see pop up in my feed because frankly, Will and I have been working our asses off.  Glued to our seats, editing, editing, editing.  And then there is the spending money – on marketing materials, on webservers and domain names and advertising.  So to have this lovely chat with Erica posted was kind of rewarding.  It’s the little things.

We discuss Red August and some of the aspects of the story, such as the main character’s interests and what the story is about – kind of! – without giving too much away.  We also get off on a Star Wars and George Lucas tangent, so be prepared for that bit.  Erica does manage to get us back on track, tho.

http://ravenheightsradio.podbean.com/e/048-hl-brooks-presents-red-august-1437074649/

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One aspect that is discussed is the erotic and sexual element of the book.  At the time this was recorded, several weeks ago, I was still classifying it under the genre of Erotic Romance – but further research lead me to Sexy Romance and Fantasy Romance.  There are many different ideas about how to place a book in a genre, but some of them are a bit fuzzy.  Ultimately my book has too much non-sexual story to be considered erotica, even if it has some very sexy bits in it.  It was helpful for me to discuss that and as of just a couple of days ago I’ve officially switched to Sexy Fantasy Romance.  There is the possibility that some people will have suggestions for other genre classifications, but for now that’s what I’m sticking too.

One funny thing is that when I was reading up on the genre classifications, I was concerned about it being classified as erotica because I didn’t want to disappoint erotica fans by not delivering what they have come to expect.  It turns out that some people really don’t enjoy erotica and they will avoid anything within the genre.  So, I would have been hurting myself two different ways.  A sharp tweeter helped give me some insight about the differences, as well.  Jorie also has a review website if you’re interested:  http://jorielovesbookishblogs.com/

Thanks for stopping by and please go give the podcast a listen!  ❤

Keeping The Company of Wolves

Lookie what has come to a local (for me) bookseller!  Daedalus always has great prices on books – I mean, you can get every gift you need for an entire year at this place, but I am pretty excited about this bad boy.  This shall soon be mine!

Here is the blurb from the Daedalus site:

A storytelling sorceress, Angela Carter has often been named as a literary godmother to Neil Gaiman, David Mitchell, Audrey Niffenegger, J.K. Rowling, Kelly Link, and other masters of supernatural fiction. Along with her James Tait Black Memorial Prize–winning novel Nights at the Circus, she is most often recognized for this pivotal collection of stories, from 1979. The Bloody Chamber mines some of our most enduring fairy tales—”Red Riding Hood,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Puss-in-Boots,” and “Bluebeard” among them—and includes the story that inspired Neil Jordan’s 1984 film of the same name, “The Company of Wolves.” Carter extracts hidden themes and parts of the tales that went untold, giving them new life in a gorgeous prose style steeped in the romantic trappings of the gothic tradition. “Since I first came across The Bloody Chamber, I have kept a copy with me wherever I have been living,” writes Link in her introduction. “Reading Carter, each time, was electrifying. It lit up the readerly brain and all the writerly nerves…. The girls and women in The Bloody Chamber remake the rules of the stories they find themselves in with their boldness. And Angela Carter, too was bold. I have tried to learn that lesson from her.” This handsome trade paperback edition celebrates what would have been the tragically short-lived author’s 75th anniversary.

“Sex isn’t a subtext in The Bloody Chamber, but the text itself…. Carter produced … fiction that was lavishly fabulist and infinitely playful…. Salman Rushdie, who became her friend, described her as ‘the first great writer I ever met.’ Yet her legacy has been a slow and stealthy one, invisible to many of the readers who have benefited from it…. Most contemporary literary fiction with a touch of magic, from Karen Russell’s to Helen Oyeyemi’s, owes something to Angela Carter’s trail-blazing.”—Salon

“She was, among other things, a quirky, original, and baroque stylist, a trait especially marked in The Bloody Chamber—her vocabulary a mix of finely tuned phrase, luscious adjective, witty aphorism, and hearty, up-theirs vulgarity.”—Margaret Atwood
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Where Writers Work

What does your writing space look like?

I used to like to share images of my art studio and read about the way other artists organized their spaces and decorated.

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Although I still do art and still have plenty of art supplies and use my tiny apartment as both a writing and art studio, this blog is about my writing.  This is where I spend a large portion of each day, blogging, tweeting, tumbling and currently I am writing the second in my Red August series – a modern Red Riding Hood tale set in the 1980s.

I have two screens because I’m also a photographer and do a lot of photo processing.  It actually comes in really handy when writing too – to have documents and research in my left screen and my work in the main screen.

I keep my notebooks nearby.  The Moleskine notebook that says “Ideas” on it is for whenever I have a random writing idea.  For example I had some inspirations about how to frame a modern Cinderella story.  I just grab it and jot them down.  I have a notebook for Red August and a notebook for general erotica and one for the short stories I want to podcast with Will.

I’m hoping to get into vlogging, but I have been somewhat reticent about it.  I’ve found it difficult to just get blogging.  Maybe this week will be the week!  I’m happy to hear any of your vlogging tips!

Below are more images of my space.  Under all of the images are links to some of the stuff in my space – like the composition notebook and where I got that cool “Heather” drawing.

Please be sure to share your studio space with me!  I would love to see it!

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Mermaid watercolor in gold frame – Ching Chou Kuik

Heather graphic art (hand drawn) – Shelly Cusic

Inspirational Clay Tiles – Tammy Vitale

Clay Moo Mini-Card holder – Gina Mai Denn Pottery

The Gilded Tongue – this book is fantastic.  It’s full of all kinds of wonderful words!

Writer’s Market – required tool.

Woe is I – For the grammar phobic.

Moleskine – great for sketching, jotting ideas.  Has a nice vintage feel with its simple design and stitched pages. A trusted medium for decades, for artists and writers to store their ideas.

I wish I could remember the name of the artist who made my mirror.  I’ve long since lost the card.  It was purchased at Main Street Gallery in Prince Frederick, MD, which has closed.

Composition notebook, with its sturdy cardboard cover in black and white splotches is also a trusted medium for writers.  They store nicely and fit well on bookshelves.  The heavy cover means it’s easy to decorate to your liking.

There is a lot of other stuff – but it would take me a while to list them all.  If you have a question about anything specific, let me know.

*** To vegans who have found this studio space blog entry through my Gypsy Siren website – I’ve had the feathers for over ten years.  I don’t buy feathers anymore unless they are synthetic.