New Books and New Zealand

No musings today, but a couple of big announcements:

First, The Fettered Flame, the center installment of the Shkode trilogy, is available for pre-order. It starts with several big plot twists and I’m so excited to hear what you think.

If you haven’t read The Banished Craft, you’ll want to start there. Which you can start reading today. : ) And if you do, don’t forget to leave reviews on Amazon and/or Goodreads – reviews are the winds to an indie author’s sails, so I really appreciate your support.

Second, we have a new campaign online to publish an urban sci-fi duology about a girl who cons her way into a virtual psychoreality program in order to steal back her voice. The author, E.G. Wilson from New Zealand, is very talented and so I hope you’ll check it out. Every pledge helps the project gain visibility, and copies of the book start at $4. All the info is on the campaign site at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/atthisarts/voiceless-duology and you can ask us any questions there.

I hope everyone is doing well! Cheers, E.D.E. Bell, 14 August 2016.

An Adventure for the Kids

I want to let you know about a sort of wild idea we came up with at Atthis Arts, and ask you to spread the word – we only have less than three weeks to fund it, so I’m hoping for some buzz.

Behold: The Lyric Poets Project

lpp_logo2_transparent_smallWhat is it? Kids help edit a fantasy book during the summer. Then they get the book.

Who is it for? Upper elementary kids (also known as lower middle grade), approximately 8-10 years old. Middle school kids who are interested in writing or publishing would also enjoy. Or your genius toddler. I mean, I don’t know.

Why would they enjoy this? I think being part of a book sounds sort of awesome. (Says me as I wrap up my third novel.) Anyway, there’s no pressure to participate if they decide they aren’t into it. And they’ll still get the book at the end. On the other hand, maybe they’ll love it.

What author is this? Check out the Kickstarter for details, but it’s a book by K.J. Quint. He’s a debut author who we picked for this because of his vibrant and unrestrained imagination. His characters are alive, big, and bold. I dig it.

Where did you get this idea? When we were looking at an early manuscript I asked my son, Vance, to read it and provide his thoughts. He provided these really insightful, fun edits that brought the introduction to life. My husband and I thought – wow – what if we had a whole group of kids providing these sort of big imaginative edits. So we are giving this idea a chance. We hope it succeeds, and we hope you let people know who might enjoy.

One more time! The Lyric Poets Project ! Specifically: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/atthisarts/lyric-poets-project

If you know people who might enjoy: people raising kids, people teaching kids, people who like to give presents to kids – please share the link and let them know! This project supports several artists and small businesses and we hope we’ll teach some kids some skills in the process – thanks so much.

Cheers – E

P.S. I’m still looking for dust jacket reviews for The Fettered Flame. ARCs/Galleys available 1 May – please email us at atthis@atthisarts.com if you know someone who’d be willing to review.

 

Waiting to Take You Away

When I thought about different mid-Winter blog themes, I started with Valentine’s Day. Love! Charm! Cutesy themes came to mind. I looked up the history of St. Valentine’s hoping to base the blog around some fun facts. Thus I saw that Valentinius—if he was even a single person—was tortured and probably beheaded, leaving a note for a woman on the day of his execution signed, “Your Valentine.” This didn’t inspire me, so I moved on to loosely-linked predecessor holidays, like Lupercalia and Februa. Apparently these involved young women asking to be whipped with strips of leather to enhance their own fertility. I gave up on this line of thought entirely.

After considering a whole series of other topics that just didn’t fit my mood, I focused on the idea of happiness. What makes me happy? What makes my readers happy? Well, I may not know you, perhaps — but I do know me. And I asked myself: what moments in life would I relive if I could? Right now? Which were the most memorable? And the answer surprised me. Of course my time with family is always my richest—both at home and on special journeys and adventures which are too numerous to recount—but when I really think about times of unique memory, it’s the time spent alone in different places that leaps to mind. Not sightseeing, visiting, or exploring—but just existing.

Sitting alone on a California beach, ignoring the unanticipated chill. Writing a chapter while sitting on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Walking through the rain to get a personal tour of 70s warning systems from a volunteer in Colorado Springs. Watching the sun set in Waikiki with a fresh natto roll. Being the only non-native at a Catholic fiesta in Albuquerque, and having the locals insist that I stay and enjoy a cob of corn and a dance. Standing on an antique sailboat gazing at the deep blue waters of Lake Superior. And so many more. I don’t travel too often, really, and so these memories are spread over many years. But they are bright in my mind, and each can be revisited, the sights, sounds, tastes, textures, and smells clear in my memory.

My husband and I love the song, Cool Change by Little River Band. “If there’s one thing in my life that’s missing, it’s the time that I spend alone.” It reminds us that life is short and unpredictable, and we should never miss our own special moments. We should find them, wherever we are. I can’t go to those places today, not in person. But I can stare at the stars. I can sit and relax as people I’ll never meet walk past. I can watch the snow flutter past or the clouds float by. And I can breathe, even if just for a minute.

That’s why I love to read fantasy. Fantasy transports us to another land, but without the need to set an agenda or find our way. We arrive, watch, and wait, as life happens around us – surprise, intrigue, and triumph. And then we return home, another memory captured.

I hope there will be more cool change to come. Maybe, with your help, I can travel this big, beautiful world and bring my stories to you. For now, I can dream about it, from my own little nook in Centerville, Ohio. I hope you will join me, just for a bit, in my place of dragons, wizards, and the undying spark of hope.

The second book of the Shkode trilogy, The Fettered Flame is up again this month on Kickstarter. I hope you’ll give it a look and let others know who might be interested. This little project has a special magic: it holds my heart, soul, and the hope that you will enjoy it.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/atthisarts/the-fettered-flame

And that’s all from Teirrah for today. See you around. – Cheers, E.D.E. Bell, 1 February 2016

My Fantasy

There are two questions I often get about my writing:

1) Why do you write fantasy? I don’t read that stuff.

There is often this sense that by putting a dragon on the cover, the book must be for “someone else” – someone who “likes that stuff” – that nephew they have that hangs out at the gamer store. I think it’s a shame that people limit themselves that way. This buys into a restrictive, cool kid mentality that I reject. Fantasy is wonderful and magical and fantasy is for everyone. Fantasy throws out the rules and the restrictions that confine us in our normal life. It lets us discover magic, or see the future, or befriend a dragon. In fantasy, everything is more vibrant, because we are unconstrained. We are free. It is a glorious way to write and to read.

The next sculpture was so low to the ground they almost didn’t see it. It was a field of low waves, like those upon the ocean near the coast. Cor was drawn to its grace. “This is beautiful,” she whispered.

Iohn studied it a long moment. “I don’t care for it,” he said at last in a decisive manner. “It’s exactly what the water was like before it froze. It’s pretty, but it’s not art. That’s just imitating what nature already did. If I wanted to see the ocean in summer I would just wait until summer, then go to the ocean.” He winked at Cor.

– The Banished Craft, Chapter 12: Heartbloom

2) What are you genre-bending? Bending fantasy and what?

Just as fantasy isn’t constrained by the realities of our world, I believe fantasy shouldn’t be constrained in the type of storytelling it undertakes. I’ve had people tell me my dragons are not accurate! Inaccurate dragons! I think they have forgotten: Fantasy is unconstrained. I believe in this. So in many ways, what I write is contemporary fiction. It’s relationships and social themes and dilemmas our world faces today. I just want there to be dragons and magic too because it’s more fun that way. The Shkode trilogy is fantasy and contemporary fiction. It’s also ripe with satire and philosophy, has a little humor, and toys with a little mathematical fiction. It’s all of that because I think the blend is more interesting, and has something for everyone. P.S. If you misread this and still think I’m talking about gender-bending, you’re not wrong either. I love that too.

“Ok. Maybe he’s you.” Iohn’s face twitched, as if saying it out loud didn’t make it any more plausible. “Why do you make him dislike women so much?”

“People enjoy it. Keeps them reading. But really, haven’t you heard of satire? It’s actually a thing now. Very popular. I figured if most women read it long enough, it would start to tick them off. Maybe they’d finally stand up for themselves.”

– The Banished Craft, Chapter 20: Until We Meet Again

In that case, what is the Shkode trilogy, anyway. Who’s it for?

To me, it’s about passion. The word shkode means fire in Anishinaabemowin, the native language in the Lake Superior region. It is a word that speaks to me, and symbolizes passion and struggle and glory. This trilogy is about characters who struggle to see their own potential. It’s different. It’s thought-provoking, satirical, and sometimes just silly. And it’s a piece of me that I want to share with you. Who is it for? It’s written for adults, appropriate for mature young-adults, and I’ve found that it’s liked by a fairly diverse audience. Some people like the fantasy setting, others like the social themes, and others enjoy the unique world-building and rich character development.

Jwala knew she should not speak, knew she endangered herself as her mouth opened. She begged herself to stop. But her body burned with rage, and in the decision to act, she felt the weight of her burden shatter—its invisible shards flying from her, clattering to the ground. It was enough.

– The Banished Craft, Chapter 06: A Change of Plans

If any of this interests you, here are a couple things I’d be humbled for you to check out:

The Fettered Flame Project – I won’t be able to continue editing, illustrating, and printing the Shkode trilogy without your help. It’s that simple. We need all levels of backers, from $5 e-books (these get us more visibility) to larger backers (there are some cool rewards like naming a character!). Please join me.

Mase: The Modern Dwarf – I wrote this short serial on Wattpad. It’s free and it’s ridiculous. If you like it, click the ★ to give it a vote.

Cheers, E.D.E. Bell – October 2015

Book 2 Title Reveal !

Let’s do this! Here is the trailer to Shkode: Book 2, the sequel to The Banished Craft. Click this magic link to reveal the book’s title! Many thanks to a great voice actor Anthony Sardinha for his fantastic rendition of Atesh.

Bottom line / TL;DR – Follow this link to Kickstarter. Pledge an amount. Get a copy of the book (and/or other cool rewards) when the book is done.

So, we are launching a Kickstarter project to run throughout October 2015. Here are a few things I’d like you to know about it:

Book 2 is better. Book 2 is better! It’s the best thing I’ve written yet – by far, I think. The characters are developed further, the flow is better, and there is more action. Yes, still two worlds and lots of characters, but that’s part of what makes it different and interesting. I am really excited about this book and I want to give people the chance to read it.

Argh, I don’t know what any of this is! I’ll explain it! The bottom line is I’m not making enough money with my writing yet to pay for continued illustration and editing of the series. But many fans of the series love the high-quality production, including the beautiful custom covers and offset-printed hardcovers. And they are telling me to keep writing! So what I want from you is to pre-order the book through Kickstarter.com between 1 and 31 October to provide enough money to get it edited and produced. You’ll be the first to get the book, and if it’s a hardcover it’ll have a first-day signature date. Which is fab.

Why am I giving you money? You’re actually pledging for cool rewards so I have money up-front to fund the project. Think of it as pre-orders, or just being completely awesome so I can produce this book. Your pledge helps me a great deal (really!), but it’s not a donation. All the money goes into the project, and you get rewards in return. It’s like a pre-order with extra love.

Why did you raise the Kickstarter amount from last time? There is no trick here. I won an award through my company in 2014 and I invested the award money into the production of The Banished Craft. There is no award this year, nor can I continue to afford to invest the same amount I have been. I need readers as well as general supporters of my type of genre-bending fantasy. I need you! The base amount of $7500 (remember, that includes fees, reward costs, and shipping – it’s a significantly lower amount we actually get) will cover the combined illustration and editing costs. What we’d really need to reach in order to fully cover our up-front costs (including minimum print set-up and basic promotion) is about $15,000. (Again, that’s the Kickstarter total, not the amount we’d get.)

Why should I support this Kickstarter again? If any of these reasons apply (doesn’t have to be all), I’d love to have your support.
– You’re supporting my dream! I love to write!
– You’re supporting indie writing. The Shkode trilogy provides readers something different.
– You’re supporting several other small businesses including editors and artists.
– You support integrating gender themes, equality themes, or LGBTQ themes into fantasy writing.
– You support integrating vegan, animal compassion, and non-violence themes into fantasy writing.
– You like to read books! This is a story! Read the Goodreads or Amazon reviews of The Banished Craft – people have enjoyed it and I hope you will too.

Thanks for your support! I appreciate it so much, and I hope you enjoy The Banished Craft and…well, Book 2. Go watch the video!

Cheers, E.D.E. Bell, 24 September 2015

Writing Adventures

I’m really tired. So that blog title will have to do.

Fortunately the reason I’m tired is that I’ve been hard at work. Here are a few updates –

The Banished Craft: Release date of 1 September is getting closer! Ah! We’ve got some fun events lined up for release, and we are sending the hardcover to print in just a few days. If you are interested in pre-orders (we sure appreciate them) the book is on Amazon (and Amazon Smile) and can be ordered signed and personalized at atthisarts.com/shop. Have you seen the Goodreads reviews lately? They are awesome! I’m so humbled!

Shkode Book 2: I’m over half-way through writing the sequel to The Banished Craft and I am loving it so far. I hope you will too! It starts with big plot twists in each of the first three chapters. When will I tell you the title? When we release the trailer as part of a new Kickstarter campaign, probably 1 October. We’ll offer cool rewards, so please stay tuned!

Spireseeker: Hardcover editions want to be purchased. Just sayin’. So the pacing had its issues – but everyone loves the characters! Join in! Don’t forget, they can be signed and personalized at our shop and I think they make a pretty interesting gift. P.S. Genderless elves.

Atthis Arts: We have two works currently in the editing phase. One is When They Come Calling, a modern ghost story by Sarah Fleming Mountford, and the other is a surprise yet to come. A tiny preview? Tween fantasy that is big on imagination.

Wattpad: So I am going to try and release a free (all the way free) serial on Wattpad late this summer. I am already designing the story and it’s cracking me up. It will, in essence, be a comedy. For updates on this and other projects, just follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, or Instagram.

Ann Arbor Book Festival: A special thank you to the organizers of the Ann Arbor Book Festival Street Fair and Moonlight Book Crawl. I enjoyed the events, and met so many great readers, authors, and others in the business. Had some seriously good local food too – thanks to Seva Ann Arbor, Detroit Vegan Soul, The Blue Grill in Milford, and The Lunch Room in Ann Arbor.

Hope you are having a great summer (or winter) –

Much love, E.D.E. Bell, 10 July 2015

WritingAdventures

The Last Two Weeks

Ha! The title means two things! Words are hilarious that way.

What have I been doing over the last two weeks:

Working and Living: Job. Management. Hug kids. Pet cats. Hope for thunderstorms. Same same.

Writing: I am 85% done with the first draft as of today. This is only the beginning, though. I have tons of notes, and foresee many more rounds of editing before I even think of putting this novel into your hands. I want it to be awesome! Whether you backed the project because you’re a friend, a fantasy fan, a vegan, or just like to read – I’m working hard to have something you’ll love about this story.

Reading: I snuck in reading a book I received via a Kickstarter project – it’s called The Book by Roger Jarman. It was filled with indie love, was exceedingly British, and had some very exciting moments. I am always so proud to be a part of fellow indie writer’s creative endeavors.

Lumberjacking: Ok, not really, as I adore trees, but I did go to the Farwell Lumberjack Festival in mid-Michigan with a pocket full of vegan jerky and a heart full of lumberjack street cred. And I did watch people throw axes at each other (really) and log roll. And I got an eagle carved out of white pine with a chainsaw. So that’s one more life goal achieved.

Also, let’s talk about the last two weeks of my pre-order campaign:

The End is Near: The campaign runs through 11 August so if you’re interested, don’t wait! Signed hardcovers are fun to have, and fun to give as gifts. Know someone for whom it’s impossible to shop? Well, I promise they won’t already have this.

Be a Bro: Please spread the word. I’m nowhere near what I’ll actually need to spend on editing, so every pre-order is a tremendous help to me. Remind your friends that it’s worth the entertainment value alone of watching me write about dragons, for only the cost of a fancy coffee. And besides that, you’ll get a cool book! I’m hitting refresh looking for you right now!

Artwork: Anna Rettberg has been working on the cover and I’m in love with it so far. I’m hoping to get you the early artwork soon – who knows maybe even the finished cover reveal. And the $4000 stretch goal introduces chapter title illustrations, eek – I hope we can get there!

Excitement: I’ve been working really hard on this story, and I’m determined to make it the best that I can. There is world-building, dragons, wizards, art, drama, fighting, sex (oh my!), totally dysfunctional people, and even a touch of mathematical fiction. It’s like getting invited to a fantasy potluck. I can’t be sure to what extent you’ll like it, but I sure hope it’ll be worth giving it a try.

Pre-order The Banished Craft – and thank you!!!

E.D.E. Bell

30 July 2014

Getting By with a Little Help

I’ve spent a lot of time talking about the people with whom I collaborate, including other writers, illustrators, editors, reviewers, bloggers, printers, and retailers. I also talk about my cats, probably since they are at my side for every nearly word I write. But I would not still be pushing forward without the support of the people around me who keep urging me to continue. So, you wonderful people who won’t let me give up, here is my brief but heartfelt tribute. To you:

My Husband: I couldn’t do any of this without Chris’s constant support and encouragement. Period. It probably seems like I don’t give him much credit, but that’s because there just aren’t enough hours in the day. If I started to tell you about it, I’d never have time to get back to Chapter 17 today. In Spireseeker I thanked him for “everything.” While I giggled at the understated nature of the remark, I meant it.

My Friend, Meghan: You may not know this, but I have an amazing friend in Virginia, Meghan, who reads everything I write before it’s released – often multiple times – and gives me wonderfully insightful feedback. She also points out additional opportunities to honor cats in my work. I don’t know what I would do anymore without her.

My Mom: My totally amazing Mom was one of the first people to encourage me to actually publish what I had written. She told me, “What’s the worst thing that can happen? Everyone will hate it and you’ll be completely embarrassed. So?” My Mom tells me to believe in myself, work hard, do what I love, and not to worry so much what other people think. I couldn’t ask for more. I feel comfortable being myself because I have a mom who taught me how to do it.

My Kids: My kids sacrifice the most for my evening career. I know it. They know it. But when I ask if they want me to stop they all insist that I can’t, because they want me to be happy, and they know that I love doing this. It’s all a little Cats in the Cradle, but we make it work.

My Mother-In-Law: Nancy has sold more copies of my books than anyone except maybe me. At a recent signing in Kansas, a gentleman bought a hardcover of Spireseeker. Nancy handed him a copy of Stonecrop and said, “You want the companion novella too, right?” Of course he did. Sorry, Mom B, about the unicorns. Want to know a secret? I think they’re ok.

My Father-In-Law: Tom earns the distinction of being the only person outside of my house to have read Spireseeker three times. He claims he likes it better each time.

My Brother: Art, despite his busy job, has been one of the first people to read both of my books and provide feedback. He even invented an amusing name under which to post a review. He’s always had my back as long as I can remember, and this is no different.

My Friend, Barry: I just happened to mention to Barry once that I was writing fantasy. Not only did he jump in with a generous backing pledge on the Spireseeker Kickstarter project (I’m still trying to make your #01 print worth a million dollars someday), he’s offered to beta read everything I write. Not to mention that I credit him with saving the ending of Stonecrop.

My Boss: My boss at what I like to call my “paying” job is basically the opposite of anyone who would ever like my writing. Culturally and otherwise, it would be safe to call it not his thing. Yet, he has continuously told me he is proud of me. He submitted the publication of the book to the newsletter, when others I work with were just plain uncomfortable about it. And he even bought a copy, just to show support. It’s hard to express how I feel about this.

My Fans: Thanks to those of you who have generously backed my Kickstarter project, including people I’ve never met who simply say that they believe in me. Thanks to those of you who have taken the time to write a review. Thanks to the amazingly supportive vegan community. Thanks, Ann and Aimee. To those who’ve attended my attempted signings. Thanks Gregory (aka Tul). Thanks, Scout. Thanks, Waywards. Thanks to the man who backed at the “Emperor” level and then upped it so I’d pass my base goal. Thanks to all of you. You humble me and make me work harder.

If you’re interested in pre-ordering a copy of The Banished Craft, the campaign runs for three more weeks. Thanks again for your support. And as you can see, I have a lot of it.

Link to Preorder Campaign: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/506671/the-banished-craft-a-fantasy-tale-of-dragons-and-w/

Link to Chapter 2: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/506671/the-banished-craft-a-fantasy-tale-of-dragons-and-w/posts/919484/

E.D.E. Bell
20 July 2014

Firestarter

I am hard at work on Book 1 of the Shkode trilogy, and have a Kickstarter campaign in the works. More to come on that, including a title reveal. In the meanwhile, let’s start talking about it. Since, you know, I think about it daily. Time to bring you in on that.

Five Things I Love About Shkode

1) It’s better than Spireseeker. This is no knock on Spireseeker – I am so proud of that story, and have actually been disappointed how many people don’t get what I was trying to do there. (And even more thrilled by so many of you who love it!) But I wrote Spireseeker with no editor (initially), no writing training, no experience, no beta readers — you get the picture. I’ve heard your feedback loud and clear, and know what to work on this time. And I’m a fast learner, which you’ll see when this series starts to come out.

2) It’s about wizards and dragons. Breathing and conjuring fire, and making cool stuff happen! Even I was astute enough not to burn this subject on the first try. But now I’m ready to give it a shot, and you know I would do everything I am able to give it justice. Wizards. And. Dragons. I’m even inventing dragon slang, like get out of the way before you get wingslapped.

3) I’m already in love with the characters. Even the misbehaving ones. The one consistently positive feedback I get on Spireseeker is that people love the characters. Great. Well, I’m determined to make sure you’ll really love these ones. I want you to know them, cry with them, and celebrate with them.

4) It’s crazy and quirky. My mind is a strange place, and I really hope I’ve come up with at least a few scenes, a few ideas, that you haven’t heard before. And that you enjoy! Sometimes, I just forget to follow the rules. And I hope you’ll join me for the experience.

5) It’s about hope, passion, and perseverance. Shkode means “fire” in the Michigan dialect of Anishinaabemowin, and this story, in the end, is really about the Shkode that burns inside each one of us. And to write with such a goal in mind—it’s a fulfillment all its own.

I look forward to the journey. Hope to see you there.

E.D.E. Bell
04 June 2014

What’s The Buzz

Happy April everyone! I’ve got a lot of irons in the fire, and wanted to let you know the latest:

Thank you: First, thanks to everyone who has read, shared, or reviewed Spireseeker or The Taking of Stonecrop. Art can only exist through experience, and there are few things that bring me greater joy than hearing that someone read and enjoyed my words and stories. So, in the words of Beryl, “Thank you for your friendship. I promise I will not forget it. You have my loyalty and that of the Spire.”

Underground Book Reviews: I’d really like your help. I want to win this pitch contest, which would earn a review and interview for Spireseeker. It only takes two clicks: Click this link, then “like” the post that pops up on Facebook. No strings attached – you are just liking the post. Thank you! (Votes only count until the end of April, so please vote today.)

Reviews and Awards: I am thrilled about this glowing five-star review of The Taking of Stonecrop written by Bil Howard of Readers’ Favorite. Also, Spireseeker has been announced as a finalist for the MIPA Midwest Book Awards in Fantasy/SciFi/Horror/Paranormal! This puts it in the top three, and we will find out who won in May. (How exciting!) In addition, at least two super-cool bloggers are currently reading Spireseeker. We’ll let you know via social media when their reviews are posted.

Book Clubs: A couple of book clubs have said they are going to read this, including an LDS book club in Nevada (shout out!) and some guys that are way cooler than I am in Dayton (sorry that my book doesn’t have enough bazoongas, guys, but thanks for being bros anyway). I hope both groups enjoy it. If your book club is interested, just drop us a note at atthis@atthisarts.com. We offer discounts on group purchases as well.

Wichita: I am honored to be featured at Watermark Books & Cafe in Wichita Kansas, during the Local Literary Festival on Saturday, June 14th, signing copies of Spireseeker. I will post more updates to my Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads pages as they become available. If you’re in the area, we really hope to see you there!

Ionia: Spireseeker is also available at Second Beginnings in Ionia, Michigan. Stop by if you’re in the area. We are looking at opportunities to get up there for a signing.

Reddit: Now that I am hip enough to grasp what Reddit is, I am entirely excited to be the /r/Fantasy Writer of the Day June 18th. This is just like an AMA (that’s “Ask Me Anything”) which means, well, just what it sounds like. So be sure to hop onto http://reddit.com/r/Fantasy on June 18th (beginning around noon Eastern) and ask me a question! Not sure what to ask? How about stuff like: fantasy, writing, independent publishing, Spireseeker, parenting, being an engineer-turned-writer, veg and gender themes in my writing, on and on. Show up and ask away!

Kickstarter: We are gearing up for a June/July Kickstarter run to fund illustration, editing, and printing for the first book of the Shkode trilogy. Dragons and Wizards! No that doesn’t mean the book is done; it means I’m broke and if you want to ever read this thing, I’m going to either need some fan support via Kickstarter, or a magic wizard to buy all the copies of Spireseeker stacked in my basement. Pending the latter, we’ll plan for the Kickstarter. I really want to make this worth your while, though, so we are working some ideas for really cool Kickstarter rewards.

Sister Authors: Had the pleasure of meeting Anne Weisgarber, author of The Promise – a lovely historical fiction novel set in Galveston, Texas during the deadly hurricane of 1900. Also, if you have tween kids, you won’t want to miss the Jack O’Rourke Series, by my high school classmate Kristi M. Washbourn.

Mothers’ Day: Look, I don’t know how else to break this to you, but your mom wants a signed copy of Spireseeker for Mothers’ Day. It’s my job to tell you these sort of things.

Newsletter: If you like these sort of updates, they will mostly be posted to our newsletter. Want in? Subscribe on our new Atthis Arts website.

And please do follow me on: Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads. I’ll see you there.

And hey, isn’t this about writing? Let’s end with an excerpt from The Taking of Stonecrop:

Klev looked at her thoughtfully. “Rarely are those who clamor for power unblemished. It is a delicate game that enables people of motivation to stay in power, yet finds those motivated for the best reasons. There is never a perfect solution, only a never-ending struggle for balance. The night’s events will inflame great passion, and move that point of balance even further out of reach. Nobody even knows which side they are on anymore.”

Byrn stared at the torches burning on the walls of the spacious underground room. “I wish we didn’t have to pick a side, that we could just work together.” Klev did not respond. Around her children sniffled, and their parents as well, perhaps imaging what it would be like to see your family killed before you. For no worthwhile reason. “We can’t let them go to war. These are my people.”

“If war could be prevented by will alone, then there would never be a battle fought.” Klev stood a little straighter, and now spoke in a whisper for Byrn’s ears alone. “And, your Highness, despite our unyielding loyalty, you will lead us best when you learn we are our own people.” Byrn’s cheeks flushed, and Klev softened his tone. “But, still, Byrn—we’ll try. Together.”

Cheers, and enjoy a well-deserved Spring!

E.D.E. Bell

16 April 2014