Do you like vampires with bite? Do you enjoy a mystery with plenty of twists and turns? Do you like strong heroines who face adversity and come out the other side stronger? Then it's time to check out The Hunted, a highly rated paranormal suspense series. Both All the Pretty Bones and Blood, Spirit and Bone are only $0.99!
See what reviewers are saying:
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In addition to the sale, I have a contest running for a $25 (US) Amazon gift card. You can enter below:
Good luck and I hope you enjoy the world of The Hunted!
by Camela Thompson
I've talked about my reality check after publishing. The odds of having a hit out of the gate (much less a hit at all), are slim. It takes years and multiple quality releases to build a career as an author. Because this means years without an income, authors must choose to tighten their belts and supplement with any work they can get related to writing or keep their day job and work around a full time schedule. I chose to continue working as an analyst because I enjoy making companies more efficient and pointing to tangible results. That and the pay is good. I felt like a climber with the right equipment and environment. Now that I've hit a health crisis, I'm back to questioning everything.
Before you think I'm a wimp, let me explain what I mean by health crisis. I have been diagnosed multiple times by rheumatologists with systemic lupus. You'll notice my phrasing is a little odd. Systemic lupus is a thing that can come and go, and lifestyle changes can have a huge impact on symptom manifestation. If I manage my stress, eat an insanely healthy diet, and exercise daily, I can lead a normal life and forget about lupus. At these high points, my doctors question the diagnosis. Unfortunately, stress isn't something people can eliminate from their lives. Every couple years the symptoms come back, always with new variations and months of tests. Lupus is scary--it's an autoimmune condition that translates into organ systems being targeted by your own cells.
This summer, I made the decision to start a new job with a smaller company. The great thing about small companies is the potential for one person to institute a great deal of change. Most corporations have moved towards leaner development cycles, but companies with established infrastructures and multiple overlapping systems require more planning and more people to buy off on the change, which takes time. Smaller companies are more nimble and the influence of a single person can fuel or hinder success. The down side to small companies is that the strain on the individual trying to implement change is greater with less people to help tow the line.
Changing jobs carries risk for someone with a chronic health issue. Change is stressful, even if it's positive change. I knew the amount of writing would go down initially while I adjusted to new expectations. I suspected the autoimmune would kick up, but I couldn't be sure what that would look like.
I did okay for the first five months. My writing suffered, but I finished book three and revised it with feedback from beta readers. January marked the point when my health got in the way of meeting book related deadlines and I had to back out of participating in a convention panel. I not only felt like a bad co-panelist. I was angry I couldn't get on a plane and weather a few days in a different city. That was bad. February and March brought challenges that impacted my ability to get to work. Spinal pain interferes with my ability to sit and write or edit. My stomach issues made it impossible to go on vacation. My energy goes into making it through my work day without wearing my issues on my sleeve. By the time I get home, I can make it through eating before I crawl into bed. I no longer felt like a climber ascending a mountain. I felt like a climber dangling from a cliff space suspiciously eyeing a warped carabiner.
While I weather the coming deluge of blood tests and medical procedures, I'll need to cut back. I don't know what that looks like yet. My podcast has already suffered from infrequent posts, but my cohost has been patient. She's known me since we were eight or nine, and understands this happens every few years. For the first time, I may have to push back a book release. Only my publishing team is impacted by this change since it's not public facing. It bothers me, but I'll get over it. Writing will happen when I feel well enough. I joke that authors need a little bit of misery to fuel their stories, but too much hinders creativity.
The big questions encompass my day job. Perfectionism is destructive and causes harmful stress. Can I back off the throttle? Did I set expectations at a level I can't maintain? The potential for improvement drives me, but I need to pace myself. There are negative aspects to every job, but I realize the largest hurdles are self-inflicted. I love writing, but it's not feasible to lose a regular source of income.
What comes next?
by Camela Thompson
Last week I stood on a sidewalk in the shopping district of Seattle while a pickup truck rolled to a stop at the light. Beat up trucks are rare in Seattle, but that didn't hold a candle to the man belting Italian opera in a beautiful tenor from the cab. Last night we went out with friends to a shady little bar that could be straight off the pages of my upcoming novel. The decor hadn't been updated since the seventies, and the tabletops were as sticky as they were drab. The real scene stealer sat at the bar in a shimmering gold dress with a bow. The thirty-something man sitting next to her did his best to take her home, but the poor guy was left in the dust as she worked the rest of the room before leaving early. She had to be at least sixty-five.
You go, girl.
Extraordinary inspiration springs up in the most ordinary places. If I take the time to pocket my cell phone and pay attention to my surroundings, I'm typically rewarded with an idea for a character. Sometimes a scene unfolds that is too unbelievable for even my brand of fiction, but it could be fodder for a new spin later. The trick is finding a large group of people and allowing your imagination to run away.
Here are some of my favorite people watching spots.
Living near a city makes finding new characters easy. Look for facial features, tics, and traits that are interesting with the right backstory. Observing demographics can help give balance to your books. The world has a lot of variety walking around on it that likely expands beyond your peer group.
If you're on a normal commuter line, there are still interesting things to see. Almost daily I observe a petite woman wedge herself between an entitled oaf who sits with his knees going east/west and a slob with his laptop bag on the seat. Most riders put their noses in a phone or book, but occasionally you get a talker. The downtown lines are even more interesting. I spent forty minutes stuck in traffic next to a guy so out of his mind he repeatedly set his stolen coat on fire instead of springing the security device. Avert eye contact and take notes.
The woman reaming her boyfriend over his shampoo selection may have finally hit the last straw after months of bigger problems stacking up. Who knows? Clerks witness the strangest behavior and this is just grocery shopping. Malls can be amazing people watching territory, particularly if there's a food court known for table top gaming meet ups.
This is a chance to watch family dynamics or a date in progress. I love going to restaurants with friends and weaving backstories for the people around us. I'm certain we're completely off base 99% of the time.
Second only to public transit. If you sit in an urban coffee shop long enough, you will see and hear some disturbing things. It's also a chance to observe at least one or two earnest writers trying to hit their word count for the day.
Keep in mind, this isn't about making fun of people. It's about observing and exercising your imagination. Anywhere you go could lead to your next great character or a new twist in your story. If you already have a character but don't feel like you know them yet, hang out where they would go and watch the crowd for a while.
Do you have any places that bring you inspiration for characters?
Freelance writer and Dark urban fantasy author featuring vampires with bite.