Been busy, exciting things are happening!

Been busy, exciting things are happening!

I’ve been super busy with revisions of my manuscript. I have been picked up by Booktrope (check them out HERE) and they are going to re-release Six Points of Light: Hook’s Origin sometime in January if everything goes to plan. New edits, new cover, my team is amazing and I’m so excited! I am also 95% done with my first draft of the follow up novel to Six Points of Light.

I appreciate all of the support I have received from my fellow authors, family and friends. The main thing I’m taking away from all of this is that so many things are possible when you put your head down, put in the work and chase your dreams like a zombie chasing brains. For real ya’ll. I wonder what would have happened if I had had this mindset a few years ago, but everything in it’s own time right? If there is something you want to do. Do it. And don’t let anyone tell you can’t. Period. Especially in the world of writing where it seems you’re never good enough or popular enough, or your themes are too different or not different enough. Cut out all of that chatter and do what your heart is telling you to do. It’s what you were made to do.

I love to support my network, so follow me over on Twitter @KalynnBayron, I will follow back. Need a beta reader? Message me and I’ll let you know if I can help out. Need anything else in support of your book/author page/WIP, let me know! I’m here for ya’!

Now, it’s time to go track down some pumpkin scones because Starbucks was slacking this morning!

Peace!

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Print vs eBooks: Is There A Happy Medium?

Print vs eBooks: Is There A Happy Medium?

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I love books. I have loved to read since I was a little girl. I grew up in the 80’s and while technology was making huge strides (floppy disks were on my school supply list which I thought was sooooo futuristic…lol) when it came to books, there was nothing that could compete with a real book. No iPads or Kindles. I grew up loving the look and feel of books. It’s a part of who I am just as much as my other love, music, is.

Recently there has been this huge discussion about whether or not real books are “dead”. It seems crazy to think about right? The popularity of various eReaders and eReader apps have made books accessible to anyone, everywhere, all the time. There is no downside to that particular fact in my opinion. What is hard for me to accept is that people seem to think that the eBook will completely overtake it’s ink on paper counterpart. That people will simply stop printing books. Silly rabbit….

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Change is hard. I get it. Do you know how frustrating it was for me to transfer all of my CD’s to MP3s? For a while I was the only one with a portable CD player when everybody else had that other amazing little device called an iPod. Those were dark days ya’ll. Eventually I warmed up to the idea and got on board. Did I ditch my CD and vinyl all together? Well…let me explain. I think this situation is analogous to the current tug of war between eBooks and print so bear with me. When I used to buy CD’s I loved opening the case pulling out the insert and reading lyrics, reading the artist’s dedications. I loved the album artwork. I liked that I had something to display in my CD rack. To this day, when I want the totally immersive experience of buying and listening to a new a new album I go buy the actual CD. This is what I think has not been addressed through digital publishing and it’s why I feel that book lovers like myself will never turn our backs on the printed book. There is something profoundly personal about a book. There are editions on my shelf that are tattered and worn and I remember exactly what I was going through or what I was doing when I read it.

When my favorite author, Anne Rice, released her novel Prince Lestat, I went and scooped up the hard cover copy. Its matte black background and blood red lettering made me feel connected to the story printed within. The pages themselves were thick and and as I looked down the book at an angle I could see how the pages dipped at regular intervals. (I’m really into books ya’ll…don’t judge me) I can never get that from a eBook. It doesn’t even come close. Nothing will, as far as I can see, take the place of those beautifully bound editions of classic novels like Jane Eyre, The Catcher in the Rye, and The Grapes of Wrath. And I feel like authors such as Toni Morrison and Langston Hughes deserve to have their titles bound carefully and displayed in a manner befitting of the gravity and influence of their work.

Is print dead? Is traditional publishing dead? No. Not by a long shot. It is, however, undergoing a drastic and somewhat jarring change. There was a massive shift towards eBooks and producing them and after several years my view is that it’s starting to level off a tad. People are beginning to realize that eReaders are convenient and maybe more practical than lugging your entire Anne Rice collection around, but there is still room, and a real demand, for printed works. There are a myriad of issues that need to be tackled in order to reach a happy medium but I am confident we will see it through. My suggestion would be for authors, especially indie authors like myself, to understand the value of your work and price it accordingly. Free promos are great but we are conditioning readers to expect that books should be free. That’s a whole other issue so I will leave that for another time(tomorrow?).

Printed books also serve to keep my favorite places on earth up and running. The book store. Oh the bookstore! That haven where I can browse the stacks for hours and sip coffee and watch my kids pick out their most favorite titles. Where I, with my writer’s cap on, can write and be inspired. I remember watching Boarders go out of business and feeling like the world was changing in a way I didn’t like. Barnes & Noble seems to be weathering the storm but the real winners are Indie bookstores. Indie stores are a safe haven for printed works and if there is an indie shop in your city, support it by all means necessary. Places locally, like Tattered Cover in Denver not only keep new and used books in stock, they also allow local indie authors to showcase their work and have the unbelievable experience of seeing their book on the shelf.

There was an article in the Huffington Post recently that showed that print was steadily regaining some ground. Hopefully the future of publishing will encompass a well rounded and diverse array of options for indie and traditionally published authors alike. As for me, I will continue to stock my shelves with the titles that I love.

Making Beta Readers a Part of Your Team

Making Beta Readers a Part of Your Team

Beta readers are an invaluable resource, especially for all of us indie writers. I have come across some comments from my fellow writers who have had some really terrible experiences with beta readers. I feel bad because over all, my experiences have been positive and I’ve gotten really good at not taking things too personally. I try to remember that in the end, it’s my vision of what my story is about that counts.

That being said, how do you handle a beta reader who thinks you have brought them aboard to be the end all, be all authority on your novel? How do you handle comments like “This book was terrible!” or “Your plot sucks!” (I have not seen this but I know at least three indie authors whose betas used these exact phrases.)

I dove into the internet and came up with this article which lays out a specific code of etiquette for beta readers. I think it’s extremely helpful. It also has guidelines for how you, the author, can respond to your beta readers in a way that promotes clarity and creativity.

A Quick Guide to Beta Reader Etiquette by K.M. Weiland

via HelpingWritersBecomeAuthors.com

The main thing I took away from this is that you have to be clear about what you expect from your beta readers. Understand that they are doing you a huge service by reading your book cover to cover. Show gratitude, but be prepared to grow a thick skin and roll with the punches.


I am currently building a small group of beta readers, preferably 5-10 individuals who love YA fiction and who would like to look over my next novel which I expect will be ready by the end of the year possibly a little later, January 2016. If you are interested, I’d love to chat with you! Head over to my website lala.bayron.wix.com/kalynnbayron and shoot me an email or sign up for my newsletter which goes out once a month and will have more info on beta readers as the time draws a little closer.

Thrift Shop Haul…Books, Books, and More Books

Thrift Shop Haul…Books, Books, and More Books

I am a huge fan of the thrift store. To quote Macklemore “Savin’ my money and I’m hella happy that’s a bargain.” Okay, don’t judge my quotebles. My point is that as a book lover and an author I find myself searching the shelves of my local Salvation Army, Goodwill, and antique stores for great reads or titles I want to add to my collection. This week I struck gold!

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I found a vintage copy of Interview With the Vampire. If you know me you know I love Anne Rice and I buy her books anytime I see them. I have multiple copies of Interview from different print runs. This haul included not only Interview but also a copy of The Vampire Lestat and The Vampire Armand. Score!

I also found the first three Harry Potter books by JK Rowling. When I tell you that these things are hard to find on a thrift budget, I’m not kidding. I picked up books 4 and 7 about two weeks ago at the Salvation Army for a buck each and almost lost my mind. (Just FYI I have the whole collection in paperback that I purchased from B&N. I contributed to the author as any fan should and now I enjoy “rescuing” copies from the thrift store.)

A bonus find (for me anyway) was the addition of two Twilight Saga books, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn. I know, I know. Some people see it as sacrilege considering how much I love Anne Rice. Let me just say that I feel as if the only thing the two series have in common is the word “vampire”. That’s it. I enjoy both series for vastly different reasons and I think both authors would agree that you can love them both. Bam.

Finally, I picked up a copy of Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. I have always been fascinated with the Geisha culture. I find it intensely interesting and I have read Geisha of Gion by Mineko Iwasaki whom Arthur Golden interviewed for his book. I haven’t seen the movie based on Golden’s book or read the book itself so I am curious.

All in all I think I racked up and I cant wait to see what treasures I find next week!

The Importance of Reading to Children

The Importance of Reading to Children

I have loved books since I was a child. I remember reading The Hidden Staircase, a Nancy Drew mystery when I was about seven and not being able to put it down.

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I knew that I had discovered something that I would cherish my entire life.

The world within a book can be so many things. It can serve as an escape, an adventure, a learning experience. I get lost in those worlds and from the time my children were babies, I have read to them. 

I can’t tell you how happy it makes me when I see my 8 year old curled up in the corner with a book. My kids love to read and I have seen how it benefits them. Their scores in reading are through the roof and their expressive language is always improving. The love I have for literature and music has been passed on to them and I think it’s one of the most important things I will ever do for them.
So,why read to your kids? Other than the fact that it’s thoroughly enjoyable, reading aloud to your children has a wide range of benefits.

Academic Aptitude
Studies have shown that children who are exposed to reading prior to kindergarten are more likely to excel in all areas of formal education.You’re literally giving your child a head start when you read to them. The ability to listen and interpret information is invaluable in a classroom setting.

Quality Time
Reading to your child can help foster strong family bonds. Of course there are many ways to build strong relationships with our children but sitting down to read a book before bed with my kiddos is something we always look forward to. I think I enjoy it as much as they do! We could all use a little quality quiet time with our kiddos. Try reading one chapter of a kid friendly novel each night. It will give your kids something to look forward to at bed time.

Expanding Basic Language and Self Expression Skills
As your child listens to you read, they will be exposed to words and expressions they may not hear on an every day basis. Expanding your child’s expressive language allows for better communication. Children often struggle with expressing themselves and when you read to them you are giving them the tools they need to do so more effectively.

Reading Can Be Fun!
Your child’s school days will be filled with reading and while not all of it will be fun or exciting, reading to your child can show them that reading can be enjoyable. Reading can be an opportunity to lose yourself in a whole new world. A child who is a strong reader will be less likely to dread reading at school.

If you yourself have a love of reading, share it with your kids! It’s a gift that will last a lifetime.

The Zero Antigen Theorem Cover Art

The Zero Antigen Theorem Cover Art

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The Zero Antigen Theorem

My series The Zero Antigen Theorem has  new cover art! Yay! I loved the original cover but because it’s a series I wanted some continuity between the covers. Book 1 is available on Amazon & Smashwords, Book 2 will be out in mid August! I’m excited!

When I wrote Book 1 it was an experiment. I’m a vampire fan (don’t judge me) and I have always wanted to write a vampire series. So I wrote the short and put it up and the response has been wonderful! I didn’t think I would sell a single copy but I have, many times over and I’m thrilled. So, thinking that I may be in this series for the long haul I revamped the covers and interior files and have outlines for the series up to Book 4. The process is what I enjoy most. Learning what works and what doesn’t can be frustrating, but it’s worth it in the end.

Cheers to all my fellow indie authors, keep up the amazing work!

My foray into short fiction continues…

My foray into short fiction continues…

My first attempt a serial fiction was The Zero Antigen Theorem. It’s about 10,000 words and I wrote it in an attempt to write short “weekend read” that one would enjoy like a TV series, with each short book in the series representing an “episode”. I was really happy with the response to The Zero Antigen Theorem. As experimental as it was, I enjoyed writing it and I’m working on book two in the series.

My latest title is another work that will run in a series. I wrote it a while ago but only recently dusted it off and cleaned it up a bit. I really enjoy this style of writing and I don’t understand why people are so against short fiction. Granted, at 10,000 to 11,000 words I don’t think it technically qualifies as “short fiction” it’s probably more “novelette” length.

Any-who, I’m loving this way of writing right now and I think I’ll finish up these two series before I dive back into the world of Captain James Hook for part two of my “real” novel, Six Points of Light.

Drasal Lands

Princess Erelia Starsinger is heir to the throne and her father, King Aasulf Starsinger, is fading fast. Erelia is a warrior, she is strong willed and confident, but her father’s advisors would see her married off and control of her kingdom handed over to someone with more experience.
While riding her midnight black mare, Zepher, in he woods surrounding Castle Drasal, she happens upon a withered and stooped old man who seems to have lost his way. She accompanies him home only to find out that he is the soothsayer, Ozemis, and he has a secret to share with her. Erelia’s life and kingdom are both in grave danger and she must decide who she can trust and who is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
With the help of her childhood friend, Sharian Waterarrow, Princess Erelia must deal with the impending death of her beloved father while keeping watch for the mysterious sorceress from Ozemis’ vision.
Can Princess Erelia change the future that seems so bleak? Can she reconcile her feelings for Sharian while staying true to who she is? Will the mysterious Sorceress get to Erelia before she has a chance to stop her?
In the fantasy land of Drasal, there is magic, there are beasts, and there are secrets. Join Princess Erelia on her quest for the truth in Drasal Lands:The Ozemis Prophecy, Book 1.
(Approx 11,400 words)