Monday, December 31, 2018

2019 Vision & Goals

It's that time again!  We're all making promises to ourselves for the upcoming year that we can only hope we'll actually end up keeping.  I have a theme that I'd like to carry through 2019: Mindfulness. More on that in a minute.  First, let's revisit my goals for 2018 and see what I actually stuck to!

2018 WRITING GOALS: ACHIEVED


This was one of my best years as a writer since it saw the first publication of one of my books through a traditional publisher.  ROAM was released by NineStar Press in October and I signed the contract for the second book in the series to be released next year.  Prior to this, my books had been self-published.  I had also set forth to complete the second book in my YA series, THE DEAD OAKS, and succeeded in getting it out into the world.  I would say that I even went beyond my own expectations by managing to get halfway through the first draft of another novel.  Overall, I'm extremely proud of what I accomplished in this area in 2018.

2018 ART GOALS: ACHIEVED-ish(?)

I began this year intending to sell more art than the previous year through my Etsy and Redbubble shops, which I did.  A design that I created of "Call Me By Your Name" sold more than any other piece of art that I've produced in my entire life.  That being said, I don't think that what I accomplished overall was quite what I'd pictured at the beginning of the year nor was I left with the feelings that I'd intended to have.  So, while I was successful in my goal on paper, it has all left me thinking differently in a way that I will delve into more as I reveal my 2019 goals.

2018 PERSONAL GOALS: FAILED

Of course a writer would fail in this area!  Bring on the ROTFL emojis!  I was terrible at pretty much all of these goals.  Eat Healthy And Exercise: NOPE.  Learn To Relax: NOPE.  Not Push Myself So Hard: NOPE. Read At Least 20 Books: NOPE.  In fact, the only thing I did do right was go on the vacation that we had planned in advance; which I am insanely thankful for because I definitely needed to take a break and reset.  Hopefully, I'll do better this coming year to take time for my personal goals.  Now that I know I have an issue with that, I can make it a point to prioritize it.




Now that that's out of the way, here's what I'm feeling heading into 2019.  I stated that my theme is "mindfulness".  My intention with this is to have a constant reminder that I want to "act intentionally".  Everything that I put time and effort into should be of value to my overall life vision.  If it hurts it or doesn't fit it then I'm not wasting time on it.  A decluttering of the soul and mind, if you will.

2019 WRITING GOALS

A huge thing I'm looking forward to is the release of HUNTER through NineStar Press in the Spring.  My goals for this year are to finish writing the third (and final) book in the ROAM series and to write the next DEAD OAKS book.  After these, I hope to start working on a new novel.  I also have some ideas for short stories that I might release periodically throughout the year.  Two lofty goals are to attend some sort of convention (maybe...) and toy with the possibility of finding an agent.  This is a lot for one year, I know.  I hope to achieve at least two to three of these things.  Wish me luck!

2019 ART GOALS

NONE.  Zip.  Zilch.  Can't and won't be bothered.  Contrary to the picture above, I have no real art goals.  This doesn't mean that I won't create art.  I know myself better than that and I do have some little things that I'd like to work on.  I also have some new art interests other than just drawing that I'd like to explore but I'm viewing this area of my life as more of a "leisure" category this year that will probably morph and change quite a bit.  No need to place expectations here.

"Don't half ass two things.  Whole ass one thing."  Thanks, Parks & Recreation!  That quote has also been stuck in the back of my mind for quite a while more than I'd care to admit.  A big reason that I'm changing my attitude toward my approach with art is that I want to be able to mainly focus on my writing because that's where my passion lies!  Drawing is fun and a great way to defrag at the end of a day which is why I'm viewing it more as a hobby now. 

So, after I made this list, I realized there was no need for art goals starting out 2019.

2019 PERSONAL GOALS

Okay!  This area has to be more of a priority this year as I had mentioned.  I don't want to be a failure at it again. :)  I really will try to be healthier (*cringe face*) and I'll let myself have time to relax (even if I have to literally schedule it in); in conjunction, during that relaxation time, perhaps I'll actually manage to read 20 books.  A simple goal I have is to get the house organized from top to bottom; I'm sure that will take all year.

Another big goal is: Cultivate Healthy Friendships.  Some of you are great friends already and I plan on keeping you around, don't worry!  But that isn't the case for everyone in my life. . . Nor have I freed up enough time for some of you.  So, I want to focus only on the friendships that I have (and that have been seeking me out) which really add purposeful and positive value to my life.  Without getting too personal and wordy, I'll just say that my goal is to make time for the people that I think actually deserve that time.

Well, there you have it!  My 2019 vision.  Basically, I just want to write and chill and share worthwhile conversations with worthwhile people.  Hopefully that's not too hard to live up to.

Have you shared your goals for the new year?  If so, leave a link in the comments so I can check them out!

Have a Happy New Year!!

Mindfully Yours,
- Dez -

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Top 5 Favorite Reads of 2018

Continuing a new tradition!  Last year, I shared my Top 5 Favorite Reads so I wanted to do the same again this year.  To be clear, these books did not have to be published in 2018; they are just stories that I read this year.  I've included links to their Goodreads pages in case you'd like to add them to your TBR lists.  Here goes!

5.  ACE OF SQUIDS by Elliot Cooper




It's surprising that this one made my list.  Not because I didn't expect it to be good.  Elliot Cooper is a fantastic author.  But because it was a short story that came free with a newsletter signup.  Nonetheless, the concept was right up my dark alley and I enjoyed it immensely.  Definitely go take the time to sign up so you can receive a copy.  The concept is very Lovecraftian but also calls out Lovecraft's racism by featuring a POC main character.  It's also great LGBTQ Paranormal representation.

4. THE ALCHEMIST by Paulo Coelho




Let me preface this by saying that I am decidedly non-religious.  When asked, I will usually just tell people that I'm a "free thinker".  I don't tend to like books with religious overtones.  However, I think I found this one engaging because it's a period drama told in a traditional older style that you don't see often anymore.  Coelho masterfully leads you through the character's journey and keeps you anticipating what will happen next.  I liked that it was nothing that I had expected it to be nor anything like everything else that I read this year.

3. ON WRITING: A MEMOIR OF THE CRAFT by Stephen King




I am so glad that I took the time to read this one.  I feel as though there are so many different blogs and resources online with random people telling you how you should be conducting yourself as a writer and my jaded side is very much, "Oh yeah?  Who even are you to tell me what to do?  What have you written to give you such credibility?"  That may sound terrible of me but I figure if they knew what they were talking about then maybe they'd be more well-known?  Send me hate mail on this if you wish. I will own my unpopular opinion.  Conversely, I will take advice from Stephen King who obviously knows a thing or two about the business of successfully writing books!  And he does give great advice in this book, even providing examples of his work.  I highly recommend this one for all writers looking to improve their craft.

2. THE STRINGS OF MURDER by Oscar de Muriel




This book.  THIS BOOK.  Oh my.  It was so good!  It had everything that I love about gothic Victorian stories.  As you can probably guess by the title, it's a murder mystery and involves one of my favorite things: supernatural violin history.  The main characters, at times, are as clever as Sherlock Holmes but they are not the compatible duo that Holmes and Watson were.  They can't stand each other and butt heads at every turn, which makes them a brilliant pairing in the end.  I was excited to learn it's the first in a series and I'm very much looking forward to reading the rest!

1. CALL ME BY YOUR NAME by Andre' Aciman




This was the first book that I read this year because I wanted to read it before I watched the film.  I love to compare/contrast movies to their books.  Obviously, both were insanely good as everyone already knows.  The book was incredibly powerful and so very well written.  I can easily see myself re-reading this multiple times.  It's such a beautifully crafted piece of literary art.  So much so, that nothing else that I read this year after it could knock it from the top spot.

So, there you go!  I hope you'll give some of these a read in 2019 or if you've already read them, I hope you liked them as much as I did.  What are your thoughts?  And, based on these, do you have any recommendations for books that I should read this coming year?

Yours With Her Nose In A Book,
- Dez -




Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The Julbock In Review


"The Julbock is equal parts adorable and sexy."

 ~
"Aubrey and Patrick are like the two sides of the holidays, the enthusiast and the skeptic."

  
While romances play a large role in the plots of my books, The Julbock is the only official Romance genre story that I've written so far (although, I am working on more).  As we head into the final few weeks of this holiday season and wrapping up our 2018 Reading Challenges, this short story provides a quick read at 26 pages.  Grab a cup of hot cocoa, find a cozy place, and dive into this magical M/M Yule hygge romance.

What You Can Expect:


  • Dapper Reporter meets Boho Witch
  • Adorable Yule Goat
  • Holiday Festival
  • Witchcraft in the Woods

Writing reviews for a living has trained Patrick Moon to internally criticize everything to the point where he rarely enjoys anything. That is until he takes on an extra assignment which whirlwinds him into the good graces of Aubrey Blackwood, a local craftsman and occult dealer. With the help of a rambunctious little goat and his - very tight knit - circle of friends, Aubrey opens Patrick's eyes to the magic of the world around him and shows him that the spirit of the holidays resides in your heart and not in your head.

As an added bonus, it contains some ROAM-related easter eggs. (Hey, wrong season!... 
Did I really just type that cheese?  *puts coal in own stocking*  I'll see myself out.)

If you've yet to read The Julbock, you can find it on Amazon (Kindle).  And if you have already read it then please consider leaving a review!  It's the best gift you can give an author.

Festively Yours,
Dez

- Be sure to stay updated with special announcements and new releases through my newsletter!  You can sign up on the main page of my website.
- If you're interested in my daily life and writerly musings, you can also follow me Instagram and Twitter.


OUT NOW


Amazon | B&N | NSP

It's time to face your nightmares.

Soon To Be Released

HUNTER (ROAM, Book Two), coming April 2019 through NineStar Press.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Dacey Sinnett's ROAM Inspired Etsy Gift Guide


Welcome, delicious readers!  I've noticed a lot of holiday gift guides going around so I decided (was forced by my author) to create one especially for ROAM lovers!  These Etsy finds are unrelated to the book officially but I feel they would be fantastic casual references to incorporate into a readers home.  I'm generously offering to place them there myself if you'll invite me in...

(above) This Star Gazer Teacup & Saucer is ideal for Grady's go-to favorite, lemon balm and lavender, or any magical concoction Vivian might whip up to put you out of your misery.  Is that not the right choice of words?  Hmm...


Exhausted from nightmares of menacing monsters?  Try this Beaded Boho Dreamcatcher for a restful night!  Just beware of werehuahuas eager to share your bed.  They drool in their sleep and have fleas; or so I've been told.


It's important for all children of the night to be well versed in their moon phases.  This Moon Phase Wall Hanging is more than eye-catching aesthetic decor.  It's also a simple but effective educational tool.


I speak for all vampires when I say that we are easily lured in by fashionable holiday party guests.  Add this  Vampire Bat Bracelet to your seasonal crimson evening wear and you're sure to get a bite.


Ready to enhance your own dream magic?  Try a light massage of Mugwort Dream Oil before bed and see what new realms await you.


Have you spent half your life trying to hunt down a werewolf?  Look no further!  One has been caught for you.  This Werewolf In A Can may not satiate your thirst for vengeance but it is sure to be a howl with guests.

I hope you found something dreamy for your supernaturally-inclined friends or even for yourself.  Holiday shopping can be a lot of things but it doesn't have to be a nightmare...unless that's what you're going for.

Frightfully & Festively Yours,
~ D.S. ~


Tuesday, November 20, 2018

ROAM ~ Casting Fun

A few weeks back I posed the question, "If ROAM were a film, who would you cast to play each character?".  As promised, I've compiled your answers and included my own imaginary casting choices!

ETHAN ROAM


Logan Lerman - The number one suggestion from my long-time readers.  This is certainly to do with the fact that, early on, I made many mentions about how I'd love to see him in the role.  I'm happy that it stuck with so many of you!

Tom Holland - This suggestion came totally out of left field for me but now that you've put the idea in my head, I LOVE IT!  There are so many of Ethan's mannerisms and quirky expressions that I could imagine Tom pulling off brilliantly.

Darren Criss - Another one I never would have thought of!  I like this idea because you know he'd be able to pull off Ethan's musical prowess.  My only concern would be that he's outgrown the part by a few years.

Author Wild Card
Jeremy Shada - That's right!  I'm throwing in my votes as well.  As much as I initially loved the idea of Lerman, I think he falls under the same category as Criss in having outgrown the role now.  I follow Jeremy Shada online and I think he has such a vibrant and youthful energy and physically fits the part as well.  I could definitely see him as Ethan.


DR. GRADY HUNTER


Benedict Cumberbatch - Again, a favorite of my long-time readers for similar reasons but also, not surprisingly, suggested by new readers as well.  He was the top mentioned name for this part.

Jamie Dornan - Okay, guys.  Confession:  I have never seen any of the 50 Shades films.  I honestly have no clue what this guy's acting style is like.  I'll leave it up to you all to decide if he'd be a good fit for Grady or not.  Though, I can see why you'd think that simply from his hair and cheekbones.  :)

JJ Feild - JJ would make an adorable Grady.  I support this nomination.

Author Wild Card
Evan Williams - Let me tell you something.  I absolutely ADORE Evan Williams both as an actor and as a human being existing on this planet.  PUT HIM IN ALL THE THINGS!


DACEY SINNETT


Ezra Miller - WOW.  You guys really love you some Ezra Miller!  Everyone that gave a suggestion for Dacey suggested him.  Save for the one other vote.  lol  Look, I get it.  Ezra would be fabulous.  BUT, for me, I actually already have him in mind as a perfect casting of another of my characters (Wes from The Dead Oaks, for those curious).  I can still totally see it, though.

Timothee' Chalamet - I feel like this particular reader suggested this simply because they have a crush on Timothee' and that's perfectly acceptable.  The funny thing is, I can sort of see it working in both ROAM and The Revelation of Dacey Sinnett.  But since I have that special "Author Knowledge" of what's to come in the series... he doesn't quite fit the bill entirely for me.  Great actor, though.

Author Wild Card
Reeve Carney - Another throwback to the beginning.  I've long said Reeve would be my Dacey and I stand by that to this day.


These were the only characters that I received any responses about.  I do have my own ideas for the others but I might save those for a different post.  Thank you so much to everyone that took the time to send in your picks!  It was quite fun finding out all of your choices.

I may be biased (*smirk*) but I would definitely watch this film.  What do you think about these selections?  Have any more suggestions?  Also, someone please contact Netflix because we need to get this in motion.


Happy Reading!
- Dez -

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

NaNoWriMo 2018

(Equipped and ready!)


I participated in NaNoWriMo for the first time in 2016 when I wrote the first draft of HUNTER (scheduled for release April 2019 through NineStar Press) but missed out on joining in last year.  I've yet to determine if NaNoWriMo is really for me so I wanted to give it another try and it just so happened to be coming around right as I'm delving into writing the final book in the ROAM trilogy.  The timing is convenient and I'm hoping all of the fuss surrounding NaNoWriMo will help keep me on track.  My goal for November is to see how much writing I can actually accomplish during certain time frames of a day so that moving forward I will better know how to schedule my time and set personal deadlines for myself that I can realistically adhere to.

What Book Will I Be Writing?

As mentioned, I'll be working on the third ROAM book, DREAM WEAVER.  

What Prep Work Have I Done?

I have a general outline of the story and I've already written the first 1,500 words because laying down those intial lines is always the hardest part for me.  Like an artist with a fresh canvas; but thankfully writers have delete buttons if we don't like our first strokes.  I wanted to have this part down before November that way I would know exactly where I was jumping in at and I wouldn't waste time mulling over it.

I've also brushed up on my two previous stories and made a list of loose ends that I want to tie up.  With this being the final book in the main series, I need to try and give it as much closure as possible.

I'm looking forward to participating with the writing community surrounding NaNoWriMo and seeing how much I can accomplish.  If you're also planning to join in, let me know!

~ Dez ~


- Be sure to stay updated with special announcements and new releases through my newsletter!  You can sign up on the main page of my website.
- If you're interested in my daily life and writerly musings, you can also follow me Instagram and Twitter.


OUT NOW



It's time to face your nightmares.

Soon To Be Released

- HUNTER (ROAM, Book Two), coming April 2019 through NineStar Press.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Mechanics of Sleep Travel: How Dream Travel Functions in ROAM



ROAM is as much an introduction into the mythos of its multiverse as the fictional guide The Mechanics of Sleep Travel which is featured within it.  If you've yet to read ROAM then I recommend bookmarking this post and coming back to it after you have in order to avoid spoilers.

Dream Travel has its own real world history with followers that study the abilities of  lucid dreaming and astral projection.  I took liberties with both of these practices during the creation of how the sandmen in my universe would be able to utilize their powers.  Essentially, I combined them and took things a few leaps forward.  If we're accepting that humans can lucid dream or project their "spirits" outside of their corporeal forms then a celestial being, such as a sandman, needs to be able to do more.  

Within the pages of ROAM, we see that Ethan does exactly that.  His corporeal form remains tethered to Earth while his spirit travels to a specific astral realm, the Dream World.  As he stretches his supernatural muscle and hones his power, he begins to realize that he can morph his abilities in new ways to affect the world around him and, eventually, to rip open veils in the fabric of the universe and perhaps even to other dimensions.  By the end of the book, Ethan has a basic understanding of how to create these portals on a small scale and the greater realization that his potential is, seemingly, limitless.


Is it possible that a tether isn't necessary for a dream creature?  Could he one day travel without even having to leave his corporeal form behind?  Time will tell when Ethan returns in the next book, HUNTER, coming April 2019.

Can't wait?  Curious to find out more about the ROAM mythos?  The Revelation of Dacey Sinnett is a prequel that features an important look into the past and a few cameos; including the introduction of one mysterious and charismatic doctor.

Happy Reading!
~ Dez ~


- Be sure to stay updated with special announcements and new releases through my newsletter!  You can sign up on the main page of my website.
- If you're also interested in my daily life and writerly musings, you can follow me Instagram and Twitter.

OUT NOW


Amazon | B&N | NSP

It's time to face your nightmares.

Soon To Be Released

HUNTER (ROAM, Book Two), coming April 2019 through NineStar Press.

[Images sourced from Pinterest]

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

ROAM Book Launch Recap


ROAM has finally traveled from my dreams into the real world!  Thank you so much to all of you that made the release week such a wonderful experience either by purchasing a copy, sending a lovely message, or both!  It was the busiest week my notifications have ever seen and I truly appreciate all of you taking the time to show your support.  It was also a week full of interviews, guest posts, and features.

With any big event there are always a few hiccups and one was entirely my fault.  I scheduled a Launch Party for ROAM on Facebook and it was my first time to host an Event on that platform... I didn't realize that it was set up as a "private" event.  Oops!  So, to anyone that had a hard time accessing it or even figuring out where to go, I do sincerely apologize.  I think next time I host a similar event, I'll just do it out in the open on Twitter.  But to make up for it, I've compiled all of the segments from the Launch Party here in case you missed out!

*~ Launch Party Recap // Topics & Answers ~*

Discussing the Synopsis of the Book:

For those that are here to get familiarized with the book, ROAM is a M/M Dreampunk novel published through NineStar Press. I'll talk a little more later about the Dreampunk genre but here's the synposis of the story:

Ethan Roam suffers from night terrors and vivid daydreams, which lead him to the doorstep of the eccentric Dr. Grady Hunter, who thrusts him into a world of supernatural misfits. Ethan quickly learns that there’s more reality to his dreams than he suspected.
As Ethan unravels the truth behind his nightmares and falls into his first experience with love, he also finds himself the target of a sinister plan.
Ethan’s trust in his new companions will be tested and he’ll have to decide who he can rely on and who he must defy in order to survive a fatal Halloween night.”
ROAM is about self-discovery and self-acceptance...also werewolves and vampires. :) It also takes place around Halloween so I'm thrilled it was able to get an October release.  


Character Introductions:

Ethan Roam is the main protagonist of the story. He knows there's something different about himself and he's been struggling to bottle it up and ignore it but reaches a point where he conceeds that he will finally have to open up and face his fears. That's where the mysterious Dr. Grady Hunter comes in. Fascinated by his charm and the supernatural world he's engulfed in, Ethan becomes obsessed with unraveling the truth about his new companion and, in turn, learns the truth about himself.

A friend of mine said that they are a “Power Couple” and I love that idea. They do compliment each other very well. I think that's because they're virtually opposites in every possible way except in what matters most. Which is that, at their cores, they both want to do great good for the world. They're both have unique strengths and, as a team, that extrapolates. Grady is an endless resource of knowledge and has deep connections to the supernatural world. He's charismatic, quick-witted, agile, and calculating. I don't want to give away spoilers, so I'll just say, Ethan brings a lot to the table once he figures himself out. Grady's personality is much darker than Ethan's. Ethan is, essentially, the light in the darkness. He's this big ball of eternal optimism but he's also na├»ve and insecure. By accepting and trusting one another, they balance each other out and make each other better men than they were before they met.

ROAM's Supernatural Side:

ROAM is filled to the brim with supernatural creatures. From sandmen, to vampires, to werewolves; there's also a healthy dose of witches and ghosts. I really wanted to emphasis the level at which Grady had immersed himself into the paranormal at this stage in his life. He's not only constantly surrounded by these beings but, in many cases, they defer to him. I want the reader to ask themselves the same questions that Ethan is asking along the way. “Why is that? How can an ordinary human command such obedience from creatures, essentially, more powerful than him? And most importantly, why does he want to?” I hope that reason ends up be as shocking to the reader as it is to Ethan.

I pay homage to my favorite time period in literature in this way. That Victorian era with Gothic notions was enthusiastically explored. Monsters morphed into metaphors and humans transformed into predators. The most influential books to my own writing are “The Picture of Dorian Gray” (1890) by Oscar Wilde and “The Vampyre” (1819) by John William Polidori.   

Discussing Dreampunk:

One of the settings of this book is the Dream World. In the ROAM mythos, the Dream World is a real (or surreal) place that serves as a gateway to not only the universal subconscious but also other planes of existence. It functions much like an alien planet and is pulsing with magical energy. It's the first stop on a journey for any dream traveler.

Writing Dreampunk is incredibly satisfying because it's still a relatively young subgenre and there aren't many established rules. In fact, “no rules” is essentially one of its rules since, just like dreams, the only limit is how far you can push your own imagination. For a story to constitute as Dreampunk it only needs to have its plot or setting centered around dreams in some way. A few people feel that it needs to utilize dreams as a form of science but, overall, most fans of the genre don't feel that's absolutely necessary. However, Dreampunk does tend to show up most in Science Fiction with Horror as a close second. ROAM utilizes dreams as a supernatural element and dream travel as a superpower.

* ~ End of Launch Party ~ *

Other things you may have missed during release week:


To receive monthly updates on all of my shenanigans, please be sure to sign up for my newsletter on the website.

If you'd like to join the ROAM Readers Group on Facebook, we'd love to have you!

Thank you again for showing your support on release week!  If you've already finished reading ROAM, please consider leaving a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads.  The amount of reviews a book gets (no matter what star rating) helps authors immensely with getting the book in front of more readers.  I appreciate all of you that take the time to do this.  It doesn't have to be a long review.  One sentence.  Even one word helps.  :)

And if you still need to grab a copy, I've got you covered!


~ Dez ~

Monday, October 1, 2018

New Release ~ ROAM


Greetings, darklings!

ROAM is officially out in the world today!  I'm so happy that this story is finally able to reach a larger audience.  I hope you all enjoy it!

If you'd like to celebrate with me, tomorrow I'll be hosting a Launch Party on the ROAM Readers Facebook Group at 6:30 P.M. (CDT).

Later this week, I'll have several features and interviews coming to you through the blogosphere.  Follow me on Twitter or Facebook for those updates.

You can find ROAM available now at:

Amazon (ebook)
Barnes & Noble (Print & ebook)
NineStar Press (ebook)
Other print editions are available through most major retailers.

ROAM is also on Goodreads to add to lists and review.

Happy Haunts & Reading!
~ Dez ~


Friday, September 28, 2018

ROAM Facebook Launch Party


Hello, darklings!

I'll be hosting a Launch Party for ROAM on Facebook!  It's a private event so you'll need to join the group ROAM Readers in order to participate.  I'll be sharing details about the book and answering questions.  The Party will be on Tuesday, Oct. 2nd from 6:30 P.M. - 7:30 P.M. (CDT).  I look forward to hanging out with all of you!

If you pre-ordered ROAM through NineStar Press then you should be receiving your copies today!  Perfect timing for #FridayReads.  Speaking of hashtags, if you'd like to have a tag to use for the book, I generally post under #ROAMseries so feel free to utilize that one.

Also, pre-orders are available on Amazon and the book officially releases on Monday!

Enjoy, dreamers!

~ Dez ~

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

ROAM Available For Preorder


That's right, darklings!  ROAM is now available for preorder AND if you order any time this month you will receive the book 3 DAYS EARLY!  (Sept. 28th)

Preorders are a huge help to authors, so many thanks to those of you that have already placed your order.  If you're unable to purchase a copy but would like to show your support for the book, remember that you can always submit a request to your local library to order a copy for their shelves!

GOINGS-ON:


  • THE DEAD OAKS: GHOST STORIES is Wattpad YA's September Book of the Month!
  • I've had some questions about a potential book signing.  The answer is yes, I am working on this.  I have three prospective locations but have not decided which to go with or finalized a date yet.  I will definitely let you know once it is scheduled.
Much Love,
x D.S.

______________________________________
What's Next?:
- HUNTER: ROAM Series Book Two (2019 - NineStar Press)
- DREAM WEAVER: ROAM Series Book Three (TBA - Outlining)

Saturday, September 8, 2018

ROAM - COVER REVEAL


This weekend has been incredibly exciting as I'm finally able to share the official cover for ROAM! (Out Oct. 1st through NineStar Press)

I am beyond thrilled with the amazing job that cover artist Natasha Snow did in encapsulating the atmosphere of the story and her spot on depiction of Ethan Roam.  I was already a big fan of her design work and when I heard that she was assigned to my book I knew it was going to be phenomenal!


If you're a Book Reviewer/Blogger, Bookstagrammer, or BookTuber and are interested in receiving an ARC, I have both epub and mobi formats available.  Please contact me at dezschwartzauthor [at] gmail [dot] com for more information.

BOOK SYNOPSIS:
(Dreampunk / M/M Paranormal)
Ethan Roam suffers from night terrors and vivid daydreams, which lead him to the doorstep of the eccentric Dr. Grady Hunter, who thrusts him into a world of supernatural misfits. Ethan quickly learns that there’s more reality to his dreams than he suspected.
As Ethan unravels the truth behind his nightmares and falls into his first experience with love, he also finds himself the target of a sinister plan.
Ethan’s trust in his new companions will be tested and he’ll have to decide who he can rely on and who he must defy in order to survive a fatal Halloween night.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

ROAM Trilogy News


If you follow me on other corners of the internet then you've probably already heard my most recent news regarding the ROAM trilogy but in case you haven't, here's a quick overview:

  • The Cover Reveal for ROAM is coming soon!
  • I recently signed the contract for the second book, HUNTER, with NineStar Press!
  • I'll delve into writing the third installment for NaNoWriMo this year!

I can't wait for you all to see the cover for ROAM!  It was designed by the amazingly talented Natasha Snow and she somehow wielded her graphic designer (aka wizard) wand and created the most spot on depiction of Ethan Roam that I ever could have hoped for.  I love it and I know you will too!

Getting this pun out of the way now, but it has been a dream come true (*winky vampire smile*) to have the opportunity to bring this Dreampunk story to as many readers as possible.  If you read ROAM in its original self-pub release, not only do I thank you immensely for all of your support, but I think you'll also enjoy reading through the new traditionally published release.  

There's not a set date for HUNTER yet but it will most likely be out in mid to late 2019.  I am definitely excited to dive back into writing in the ROAM-verse for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).  It's been far too long since I last spent a good deal of time with these characters that I love so much!  Looking forward to a month of scenes with Grady and Marcus.  *giant grin of a plotter*

I hope you're as excited as I am.  Be sure to sign up for my newsletter on the homepage of my website if you'd like updates sent directly to your inbox.


x, Dez

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Midnight Monsters & ROAM Meets Dreampunk


As you already know if you subscribe to my newsletter or follow me on social media, The Dead Oaks: Midnight Monsters is now available on both Amazon & Wattpad.  Huge thanks, love, and appreciation to everyone that has gotten a copy!  If you have a chance, please consider leaving a review either on Amazon or Goodreads.  Reviews help authors more than you know!  They increase our chances of reaching new readers and if you enjoy my stories then I hope you'll want to share them with others who might also like them.  :)

The first two chapters are currently available on Wattpad and a new chapter will be uploaded every Friday.  Or you can read the entire thing at once by purchasing on Amazon.  I won't do this with all of my books but it works best for YA titles such as this since some YA readers don't have the ability to purchase books on Amazon.

I hope you all have been doing well!  I've been posting all of my updates through my newsletter which has left this space a little barren.  So, my question is, what sort of content would you like to see here?  Would you like more behind the scenes and extras on my books and characters?  Would you prefer writing tips?  Would you like for me to obsess and rant about the paranormal in general?  All valid options.  Let me know if you have any preferences.


In other news, with the re-release of ROAM coming toward the end of this year, I've begun the process of delving back into the series and refreshing myself on my own dogma and taking many MANY notes.  I'm working on outlining the final book in the trilogy (Don't worry.  I still believe in prequels and spin-offs.) and I hope to begin writing it within the next month.  It's been a lot of fun to revisit these characters and to really sharpen my focus on how I approach the Dreampunk genre.  If you get a chance, I suggest reading this Dreampunk article by Cliff Jones Jr.  He's done an excellent job of documenting this ever-evolving genre; and if you scroll to the bottom, you can find me there with an interview!

Do you have any favorite Dreampunk stories?  

Have a great weekend & Happy Reading!

-Dez-

Friday, May 4, 2018

'The Dead Oaks: Midnight Monsters' Cover Reveal & Release Date


It's coming!  

The Dead Oaks - Book Two: Midnight Monsters will be released on Amazon on June 19th!

The Wattpad release date will be July 7th and it will be released in weekly chapter installments.

"The Dead Oaks Paranormal Society finds themselves on their first official case. A haunted house seems like a promising place to capture conclusive evidence that the paranormal is real; but like all plans, nothing goes the way that they intend.


Unwanted tagalongs, misunderstandings, and a malicious not-so-ghostly entity all collide to put the strength of Jasper and Wesley's bond to the test. This monster hunting sleepover could end their team, and possibly their lives, faster than they'd come together."

I'm thrilled to share the second novella in this YA M/M Paranormal series with you!  Obviously, I recommend reading it at midnight.  ;)


Saturday, April 7, 2018

Join The Newsletter!



Hi, friends!

Just wanted to let you know that this weekend is your last chance to join my new newsletter before the April edition goes out!  If you haven't heard about it yet, while I continue to post normal blog things here I plan to move my monthly updates to the newsletter format.  There will also be opportunities in the future for sneak peeks and giveaways.

If you'd like to join, please stop by the home page of my website www.dezschwartz.com and enter your email into the form on the right hand side.  I hope you all will join and look forward to sharing more with you soon!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Author Q&A: Querying, Word Counts, and Series



It seems about every six months or so ends up being a good time to do another Author Q&A.  I've had enough questions roll in recently that now it's time for another one!  I plan to round these all up into a F.A.Q. section soon.

So, without further ado, here's what you guys have been wanting to know!

Q1.  What tips or advice do you have for querying books?

There are a lot of great resources already out there on this topic that will guide you through a professional structure for actually writing a query.  So, my advice is to do a little research first.  Write a "generic" one and then put the rest of your time into really exploring different publishers or agents that you'd like to contact.  Don't just send them out to everyone you find.  Truly make sure you feel that your book and their company or agency would be a good fit.  DON'T send them the "generic" query.  Make it personal from there.  Tailor your query to that publisher/agent in a relevant and meaningful way.  Almost always, they will have guidelines on their website that they want you to follow.  After you've done that, be sure to include why you want to work with them specifically and how your book will either fit or even improve their catalog of titles.

Q2.  I read both ROAM and HUNTER when they were originally posted on Wattpad.  With the re-release of ROAM coming, I have to wonder, do you have a time-frame for a release on the third book?

First of all, I want to say a huge THANK YOU with many hearts and hugs to you (and anyone else) who has stuck with me over the past few years.  It's extremely exciting to have you all along for this journey with me!  Now, onto the answer... It's probably not one that you will want to hear.  Most of you may have noticed that with the announcement of ROAM being picked up by NineStar Press for an official re-release later this year (October 1st), I pulled both titles from the market.  For now, ROAM is contracted as a stand-alone novel but I do hope that they will end up picking up the entire series.  If such occurs, it is reasonable to expect HUNTER will have a re-release date another year out from ROAM's and, in turn, the third book would be at least another year out from that.  However, if I end up self-publishing the rest of the series then there is a chance you might get it sooner but, even then, you're still looking at sometime around Autumn 2019-Winter 2020.  I hope that isn't too discouraging!  I'm just trying to be realistic.  But there is a silver lining.  While waiting for that final book to reach fruition, I do plan to publish another ROAM series prequel (The draft is 75% complete as I type this.) and several short stories that include the same characters.  So you will still have fresh ROAM universe material to read while you wait.

Q3.  I really enjoy your M/M books but do you have any plans to write F/F?

The short answer is: YES!  But when?  I can't give an exact date.  I do have two F/F stories on my TBW (To Be Written) list that I am excited to tackle in the future.  One is YA and the other is Gaslamp Fantasy.  And while we're on the topic, I suppose I'll go ahead and divulge that I also have another Gaslamp Fantasy novel about an asexual main character in the works as well.

Q4.  The word count per chapter for my story is 1500-3000, with some shorter ones sprinkled around.  For Wattpad & Tapas, is this scroll hell, especially on the phone?  This contest I entered has a 500 word min. per chapter, so would 500-1000 be more ideal for every story?

In general, posting chapters on a platform like Wattpad is definitely a different beast than self-publishing an ebook.  With an ebook, I think anywhere from 2500-4000 words is acceptable for a chapter but, in my experience, Wattpad readers insist that they prefer shorter chapters so that they can get their fix in smaller doses.  So, for Wattpad, yes.  I would say 1000 per chapter is probably the sweet spot and, if more are needed to flesh out the scene, then I'd try staying under at least 2000.  That is my opinion anyway.  Other authors might have a different point of view.

Q5.  How many books do you plan to write for the Dead Oaks series?

As of now, it's looking like it will be a five book series.  But I am open to writing more if I feel inclined to after that fifth book is released.

That's it for this round of questions!  I'll do more Q&A's in the future and I'm also planning on doing a few "writer tips" style blog posts.  So, if you have more questions to send my way then please feel free to contact me any time on social media or through email at dezschwartzauthor[at]gmail[dot]com.  I always love to hear from you guys!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Character Highlight: Jasper Jelinek

(Fan Cast Inspiration)

Jasper Jelinek, aka "J.J.", is a supernaturally obsessed teen swathed in melancholy and misanthropy.  He only recently has begun to come out of his shell after meeting Wesley Shain.  He's one of the founders of the Dead Oaks Paranormal Society, which doesn't do much to help him dispel his unwanted local nickname "Casper".

His OOTD



What's On His Playlist
(Links to YouTube)



Favorite Book





Favorite Movie





You can get to know Jasper better in: 



The Dead Oakes: Ghost Stories - Available on Kindle and Wattpad