Sunday, September 26, 2010

Welcome, Mary Andrews

Ginger, I love what you’ve done with your blog site. There’s some mighty fine reading on these pages. Thank you for inviting me to post.

Hi, my name is Mary Andrews. I’m the author of The Fireborn Chronicles, a Sci Fi series which first saw the light of day because of our fearless leader, Lea Schizas.

I think I first heard of the first Muse Online Writer’s Conference from a crossover post on the Write Right Critique Group list all those years ago. It sounded great and to my delight, it met my primary criteria for attendance—it was free. So I scurried over, signed up and went crazy pouring through page after page of unbelievable writing classes until I’d whittled them down to a mere thirty hours worth of learning and live lectures tightly crammed into a barely doable schedule.

Since I hadn’t looked into the book market since the 1980’s I knew a few things had to have changed. Things like the existence of the internet, for example. It was a brave new world out there and I had a lot of relearning to do. I had no website, no blog, no concept of online marketing or anything. In fact, the first Muse conference was the first time I’d ever even ventured to use a chat room. The whole situation was overwhelmingly new to me but there was such an amazing wealth of information being given freely by professionals and accessible even through my meager internet dial up services.

My first book, The Fireborn Chronicles, was one last rewrite short of completion. I’d spent ten years, off and on, writing and refining it. I must’ve totally rewritten my first chapter at least 4 times and that wasn’t counting the never ending tweaking. So, still not fully satisfied with it, I decided to try to get a professional opinion.

Imagine how excited I was when I discovered that Dindy Robinson, head of Swimming Kangaroo Press, was offering to critique the first 5-10 pages of a WIP (work in progress) for her workshop. Since my game plan for this conference had only been to acquaint myself with the current market, I only saw this as a great way to open future contacts and see how my work stacked up in the field.

For a solid week I attended back to back lectures and classes. My poor husband fed and watered me and taped television shows we usually watched so we could do so together afterwards. I’ll tell you, it was a furious schedule but by the end of that week I realized how much I was really capable of accomplishing.

My strategy had not been to make any kind of presence, but to quietly listen and learn. I signed up for every/any class taught by publishers or editors. I wanted to know what they were looking for—not as individuals, but on the whole. My God, I learned a lot that week and during the weeks after, Lea’s Yahoo conference group continued sharing information on everything. (That’s where I discovered how to set up a website, a blog, all kinds of things.)

But the biggest surprise of all was when Dindy, not only liked my ten page submittal to her class, but asked to see the whole manuscript—even though I had told her I still had one more rewrite to do.

Despite all I had learned, I was still dumb as a rock though. When Dindy, the head of a publishing company, asked to see my manuscript, I was flattered but didn’t recognize it as a solicited submittal. I just thought she wanted to look at it. It wasn’t until she told me her people would get back to me within four weeks, I think, that my feeble brain realized what had happened.

Swimming Kangaroo published The Fireborn Chronicles (book I) and contracted for book II as well but eventually they got sideswiped by the economy and returned my contract for book II. As things worked out, when Lea announced she was opening up a publishing house, I had finally figured out how to write a synopsis and book summary, so there I was with a ready-to-go manuscript.

I was ecstatic. For years I’ve stood in awe of this human dynamo. Her organization, connections, ethics, talent.... I could go on forever. Suffice it to say that I signed on with MuseItUp Publishing for both The Fireborn Chronicles: Resonances and book III mainly because I wanted to work with Lea.

And boy-howdy has she put us to work. She’s provided us with so many promo ops that she actually had to tell us to pace ourselves so as to not stop writing in the process.

Thing about being a writer is: you’ll never know everything, you’ll never see everything, and you’ll never stop working, one way or another. So it’s really great to be part of a writing family like MuseItUp Publishing.

Now the blurb:
Chapter One

“Get away from that door!” Lord Deshon’s dark voice rumbled after Alandra.
With every step, she fought his smothering presence, felt her life force being ripped away, her senses seared. He engulfed her.

Heart pounding, Alandra threw the hatch open and dove out into the freezing sky. “I’ll die first,she shot back into his mind.

Eyes clenched against the wind’s frigid blast, she held her breath to stave off the terror until Deshon’s corrosive assault evaporated and her senses reawakened.

Alandra floated, high above everything, slipping gravity’s bonds for one glorious moment before beginning her descent; she swam through cold currents of air, allowing herself to fully experience the caress of the wind on her face...through her hair...along her body. It was intoxicating.

As the deafening grumble of Deshon’s airship receded, she opened her eyes to the blue sky, white capped mountains, the blur of landscape rushing ever closer, rocks jutting dangerously from crystal-blue water, the impending impact growing closer and closer and….

* * * *

Tristen bolted upright from the dream, her racing heart throbbing. “What was that?”

Her husband drew her into his arms and held her tight.

She felt his fear subside, taking hers with it.

Ira Haze relaxed his grip, and smoothed her long, tangled, black hair. “I’m sorry. It was my dream. It felt so real you must’ve picked up on it.” He gave her another, gentle hug. “That was my sister, Alandra. We haven’t talked since Rael set her up with PSI Ops—maybe five years ago.”

Tristen nestled comfortably into him. “The one who could not handle the Overlord’s presence when he compu-linked?”

Ira frowned and spoke aloud as if to distance her. “Why must you call him that? Only the Archangels call him Overlord.”

Tristen pulled away enough to force him to look into her sightless sea-green eyes. “He is known across the universe as The Corporate Overlord, but he will always be my master and your commander no matter what we call him.” She steeled herself against his frustration as it washed across her. “Why are you dreaming of your sister?”

“Something is wrong.” He gently pushed his wife to the other side of the bed. “I need to find her.”

“Now? You do not want to link to the Overlo...uhh Rael? I could connect us from here...”

“No. Just let me do this, and don’t follow me.” He closed his eyes, slowed his breathing, and visualized his sister: her flowing black hair—as long as his own with the same raven luster—her blue eyes, the way she smiled, the softness of her thoughts. As her image solidified, he shifted his sight. Her form coalesced into a silvery, flowing pattern, alive with the warmth and rhythm of electronic motion. This was her appearance in the ethereal universe.

Ira absorbed its feel, inhaling its tempo until his own form began to resonate and slowly match it. Having donned his sister’s pattern, he called out across the ethereal plane in her ‘voice’ and waited until he felt the inevitable draw of like-unto-like. Ira surrendered himself and careened toward it without hesitation until, overtaking it, he allowed his forged engram to overlap hers and fuse.

* * * *

He opens his eyes to nothing: No sounds, no visuals—only darkness.

* * * *
End of excerpt

The Fireborn Chronicles: Resonances (book II of the series)
will be released in eBook format on November 1, 2010 by MuseItUp Publishing.

Or check my website:


Cathi said...

Ok, I am hooked, I will have to find book one

Mary Andrews said...

Now that's the kind of thing that authors live to hear. =]

Thank you. You've cheered me up on a really loooong bad day.

I have all the links to find book one on my website (for both eBook or trade paperback) OR just check out Amazon or Fictionwise.

Larion aka Larriane Wills said...

I love both of them and am looking forward to the third. how have i already read the second? hey, volunteer to do a free edit and you get to read all kinds of books for free. oops, guess that might cut down on some sales for some people. nah, that's only one and then we get to tell people how good the books are. A-1 Mary!

Karen McGrath said...

What a great excerpt, Mary. And I hear you on stumbling into the Conference and finding Lea. We are blessed.

J Q Rose said...

Thank goodness for the Muse Conference. It fired me up for sure for writing fiction. So happy to join Lea and all the authors at Muse It Up Publishing. What a fantastic opportunity.

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