It’s Friday, Knights! And I’m celebrating with an author feature from Amy Braun! She’s sharing more on her recent book as well as how she got to where she is as an author today! Her “quest to authordom” if you will. But before you get to the guest post, how about a little teaser?
Amy’s Quest to Authordom
I’ve learned a lot about the writing industry over the last few years. I started off writing as a hobby, writing with one of my closest friends, indulging in a little bit of fan fiction, and eventually trying my hand at creating my own worlds and stories. I started writing short horror/paranormal stories for smaller publishers, and each one found publication. I had my name in books and was getting praise for my work. It was time to move onto the big leagues!
I’d done some looking into the best publishing paths for new authors, and boldly wrote Demon’s Daughter, an urban fantasy story that followed two sisters on the run from not only drug cartels, but from hordes of demons and angels looking to use the sister as a weapon. I figured, “It’s urban fantasy with demons! Super popular, a sure fire hit!”
Needless to say, it didn’t pan out.
So I tried again with Path of the Horseman, a post-apocalyptic novel where the zombie apocalypse was caused by Pestilence, one of the Four Horsemen. To this day, it’s a book that I still love with all my heart. I thought, “It’s a unique premise, has a guilt-ridden anti-hero, and will be perfect for zombie fans!”
No such luck.
I was still doing some work for independent publishers at this point, so I decided to offer yet another book in a new, steampunk/vampire fantasy epic called Crimson Sky, the book that has garnered me the most name recognition thus far.
No love from publishers or agents though.
At this point, I gave up on traditional publishing. What was the point? All I was getting were constant rejection letters. None of them were mean-spirited or hurtful, but it’s definitely not encouraging when you send so many books and get nothing but “sorry, try again,” if you get any response back at all.
So I said, “Screw it––I’ll independently publish! Elise Kova and Pippa DaCosta are highly successful indies, I can be the same!”
So I finished the series connected to Demon’s Daughter and Crimson Sky, I learned how to use promotional materials, got a new editor, reach out to new readers, created a newsletter, joined freebie promotions, set up giveaways, worked on formatting, dealt with the joy of good reviews and the pains of poor ones, bought various writing soft wares, began working with new book promotion companies, sought advice from professional authors, experimented with new ideas, and wrote, rewrote, edited, and edited again until my fingers nearly fell off. And in the end, it got me…
Well, some would argue, not very much. I’m not a household name. I’m not making earthshattering sales. I’m definitely not in the league of Elise Kova or Pippa DaCosta.
But if you asked me how I thought I was doing as a relative beginner with no degrees in writing, minimal to poor knowledge of business and design, and an absolute hatred of formatting? I would say I’m doing pretty damn good.
I’ve been published by seven publishers. I’ve got nearly two thousand email subscribers. I’ve written nine full length books and three novellas that I absolutely love. I’ve even been featured on Michael J. Sullivan’s website (which, coming from one of his biggest fans, literally brought me to tears of joy). I’ve learned from my many, many mistakes.
Most importantly, I haven’t quit. Storm of the Gods, my latest foray into urban fantasy and a story that I’ve been in love with for years, wasn’t a hit with literary agents and is getting mixed reviews that make me nervous. I wonder if my current work in progress, a young adult steampunk/fantasy/Gargoyle epic will be any different. I’ve gotten writers burnout in a massive way that I’m still recovering from.
But I still haven’t quit, and nothing could make me. I love what I do. I love letting my imagination flow from my mind to my fingers to the eyes of readers. I love getting a new concept and writing query letters and sending them to agents, even knowing I will get rejected, because so did every other author in existence. Most importantly, I love creating and experimenting and thinking, “How can I do this better? How will I grow? How do I turn this spark into a firework?”
Writing is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It’s also the most rewarding. It’s stress and joy, panic and passion, tears and smiles. I love it. People sometimes ask me if I ever thought of doing anything else with my life, and my mind goes blank because I know there is nothing else for me. This is my path, and I’m going to walk it to the end, rough patches and potholes and all.
Storm of the Godsby Amy Braun
Series: Areios Brothers #1
Published on August 28, 2018 by Amazon Digital Services
Genres: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Thirty years ago, the gods of Greek legend returned to the world. Their return restored their powers, which had been spent in a cataclysmic battle with the Titans. With the ancient deities imprisoned in Tartarus, the Olympians now reside in Néo Vasíleio, formerly known as California.
Twenty-four-year-old Derek Aerios is a war scion, a descendent of Ares, the God of War. He and his brother, eighteen-year-old Liam, capture mythological creatures and rogue scions as part of Ares’s elite military force. As he struggles to cope with his violent powers and the scars of a traumatic childhood, Derek tries to keep the two vows he has made: protect his brother, and never kill a human again.
But when Ares forces him to hunt and kill four rogue scions under Athena’s control—by threatening Liam’s life—Derek chooses to go after the scions in order to save his brother and keep his promise to himself.
Yet the closer Derek gets to the scions, the more he realizes that his orders are part of a deeper conspiracy that put him at odds with his mission and his conscience. Athena may not be the enemy, a traitor could be in their midst, and the Titans could be closer to freedom than ever before.
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