Roxanne Bland

I am a genre-bending novelist of fantasy, science fiction and romance. My motto: Reality is highly overrated.

Finalist!

Just a quick update…The Underground: Second Edition placed as a finalist in the Readers’ Favorite Book Awards. I’m chuffed!

In other news, the manuscript for Invasion (and Forever Bound) is finally finished. I’ve tweaked, tweaked and tweaked, and I think I’ve caught everything. No spelling errors (never are) grammatically perfect (well, let’s hope). I will copyright it today, and then it’ll be ready for formatting.

After Invasion is published, I’m taking a break from writing. I’ve been going at this great guns for years now, and it’s time to take a rest. I’d rather write than work, but writing doesn’t pay the bills (at least not yet). And there are other things in my life that need attention right now. So I’m looking at, say, six months, but if I know me, I’ll probably last for two before I’m back at the keyboard. Regardless, a rest is in order. Give some ideas time to percolate. Like for the next Tehi and Teger book. The only things I know right now is that 1) the red fever has mutated, 2), she’s pregnant, and 3) she loses the baby because of it. And I’d really like to write about a dystopian society starring my psychiatrist. And I’d like to do some “prequels,” if you like, of the main characters in The Underground and Invasion. The rest time will give me a chance to get the books in order, too, I think.

To close, here’s a mock-up of the cover for Invasion.

Update

So, the ms is back from the editor. Went through the suggested changes. She certainly likes semi-colons. Or maybe that’s the way I write. Well, I can tell you that semi-colons don’t belong in dialogue. So, I rewrote the text to get rid of them. In fact, I rewrote all of them except for one, I think. Anyway, going through the ms one more time. And then it’s time for formatting.

Now we’re working on a cover for Invasion. I’m going to switch the werewolf and the vampire. Werewolf looks too effeminate. Vampire looks too rugged. It’s supposed to be the other way around.

Will be getting the physical proof of The Moreva of Astoreth with its new cover, soon. I already know it’s going to be fucked up. The front cover is going to spill over onto the spine. This is why I asked for a wrap-around cover. Don’t know what’s the matter with CreateSpace, but this isn’t the first time it’s happened to me, and I know other authors to whom it’s happened to, too. He just didn’t listen–went his own merry way. Well, he’s going to get a formal reprimand from me. “It’ll be what YOU want,” he said. And he didn’t give me what I wanted.

In other news, Harvey is now a Cat 4 hurricane. And it’s moving slow. Texas is gonna get fuckin’ hammered.

And here’s a pretty picture of the moon.

The Moreva Of Astoreth Has A New Look!

Check it out! Note the six fingers…

Here We Go Again

So I get a phone call from the publicist and they want to do another round. I tell them I have a new book coming out in a few months. They get all excited, and want to do the round focusing on the book in time for the Christmas buying season.

Okay–so far, so good. Then they want to know if I can have the book out by the end of September. Now, I’ve already told them I’m not going to get the edits back until late August. And then I have to incorporate the edits into my manuscript. Because I have a demanding day job, it might take me up to two weeks to do that. So now we’re at maybe the first week of September, possible sometime during the second week. Meanwhile, I’m having the book cover made (it’s mid-August). That takes time, a lot of back and forth. Tony, my illustrator, has other clients. He cannot spend all of his time on me. So let’s say we get a book cover completed by the second week of September. Then there’s the formatting. My formatter (the best in the business) can work quickly, but she also has a busy life. She has to make room for me. I can’t even tell you when the formatting might get done. But, for the sake of this exercise, let’s say the formatting is complete by the third week in September (this is assuming that I’m unable to get the edits completed… Continue reading

Tornado A’Comin!

Okay! The marketing folks called me today, and said they’re about to launch me to the world at large. I have a feeling that between my job and this venture, I’m not going to get much sleep. Ah, well. It’s for a good cause–developing a market for my novels.

Speaking of novels, The Moreva of Astoreth is getting a new look. Why? The current cover, though I like it, is earning me demerits in the marketplace. One reviewer actually took a star off her review because of the cover. So instead of a five-star review, I got a four. Another reviewer said to please look beyond the cover, because there’s a really good book inside. We’re not talking Amazon reviewers, either. These are pros. So it behooves me to take notice, and do something about it.

The Underground: Invasion is at the editing stage. I may change the name to just Invasion, because in working will my illustrator, I can see how it could be confusing. It certainly confused him, until I started referring to it as Second Edition and Invasion. But I rather fancy U:I. Still, Underground doesn’t figure in this book, so it may be inappropriate to have it. We’ll see.

So here’s the new cover for The Moreva of Astoreth.

Whatcha Up To?

Been a busy month. The CUTV News Radio shows ended at the beginning of July (had another show on the 23rd but that was something entirely different). I’m working with a computer graphics artist on a new cover for The Moreva of Astoreth. This will be the third one. Why, you ask? Because as much as I like the cover that’s there right now, I’m getting demerits in reviews and contests because the reviewers and judges think a better job could have been had. Not getting such issues with The Underground: Second Edition. So you do what you gotta do.

Finished the first draft of the manuscript for The Underground: Invasion. Did an editing pass and sent it off to the beta. Now doing more rounds of editing (completed one this morning). One more pass–I thought of the stuff I’d like to change–and it’s ready for the pros. If all goes well, I’ll have this book out by January 2018 at the latest. I’d like to have it out before Christmas, but I’m not going to rush it. Besides, when you’re working with other people, you never know what delays you’ll come across.

I think I’ll try my hand at a short story as a bonus in Invasion. My idea isn’t enough to make for a novella or even a novelette, much less a full novel. Anyway, it’s set about a thousand years in the future, maybe just 500, I haven’t decided. Haven’t decided whether I’ll do it, either. We’ll see.

Ciao!

Just Askin’

I’ve had any number of reviews for the Moreva of Astoreth–eighty-something, by my last count (there have been a few more since then). Most of the reviews are excellent. A few are outright stunning in their praise. That’s great. That so many people loved my story makes me feel that writing is worthwhile.

That said, I’ve received four bad reviews. I don’t mind bad reviews in general. They can make many good points, which can only help a writer–especially this one–to improve the next time around. What gets me about bad reviews is this: Why does the reviewer have to be so damned snarky? If you didn’t like the book, or see there’s room for improvement, say so, and that’s it. That’s enough. The snark detracts from the review, detracts from its helpfulness. What writer wants to read a snarky review? I certainly don’t. If I’m a bad writer, say so. If I’m a good writer, but I need to learn some things, say so. The snark is unnecessary. To my mind, it also says something about the reviewer, and it’s not positive.

So again. Why do reviewers handing down a bad review have to be so snarky?

Just askin’.

 

All About Me

Today’s radio show was interesting. The host called me about a half-hour before and said he wanted to talk not about my books, but me. My childhood, what it was like. What my high school was like. What college was like. Law school. Did I have regrets about not staying with music (yes).

I think I was as open as I’ve ever been. I’m normally a very private person, and talking about myself like that makes me uncomfortable. But I wasn’t this time. Maybe it was because I was by myself. I mean, I was on the phone in my office, not in a studio. I can’t imagine saying those things if I was on TV, or being videotaped.

So what was my childhood like? In many ways, it was wonderful. Living in Washington, D.C. in the 1970s was such fun. I used to save my lunch money and take the bus downtown. I’d wander through the Smithsonian, I’d wander through the federal buildings. And it was all in my backyard. Mind you, I was 10-12 years old. A kid. Can you imagine letting your child do that these days? Absolutely not. But it was a different time, and the world was a different place.

For high school, I went to Duke Ellington School for the Performing Arts. By then I was an accomplished pianist, and it was a no-brainer that I’d get in. Again, in many ways, it was wonderful. Playing music almost all day. I learned to play… Continue reading

You’ll Either Love It Or You’ll Hate It

Just had to share this.

I received a 5-star review on Goodreads for The Underground: Second Edition. The review was thoughtful and insightful, the way all reviews should be. In it, the reviewer said “you’ll either love it or you’ll hate it,” depending on  whether you can “meld” with my world and find something “strangely different” about my characters. Later, she said pretty much the same thing–you’ll either love it or you’ll hate it–depending on whether you can stomach the profanity, violence and graphic erotic content.

This is what I have been trying to tell readers with the warning posted on all online descriptions, and the warning–in big red letters–on the book itself. In short, if you can’t handle it, move along.

I’m also running a giveaway on Goodreads. When the review appeared, the number of entries shot up. I suppose the entrants’ curiosity was piqued by the review. But whoever wins, if they hate it, they can’t say they weren’t forewarned.

A Different Kind Of Review

The Underground: Second Edition, just received another 5-star review. But this one was different. The reviewer, instead of focusing on the writing, the plot, and the characters, focused on the story itself. Her observations were insightful. What I’m especially pleased with is that she said, point blank, “you’ll either love it or hate it” depending on whether a reader can “meld” with my world, and accept that there’s something “strangely different” about the characters–not to mention the profanity, violence and graphic erotic content. I feel a sense of relief that someone is telling readers that this book is not for everyone. This is what I tried to do with my warning in the description. In short, if you don’t think you can handle it, move along, move along. I don’t want any one and two-star reviews because the reader couldn’t take it.

I’m also running a Goodreads giveaway. Why I keep going back into that shark pit, I don’t know. But I find it interesting that after this review went online, giveaway entries shot up. I’m sure it’s because the review has piqued readers’ curiosity about the book. Speaking of reviews, I’m trawling for them on The Indie Reader. Mostly for The Moreva of Astoreth, because, well, I don’t think most of these reviewers are ready for The Underground: Second Edition. Only one reviewer so far has asked for it. I hate chasing reviews. It’s so tedious. But it must be done.

I’m also entering both books into a contest.… Continue reading