Tuesday, October 28, 2014

M.O.B Edits and Comic Con!

(Unknown artist)

Happy Tuesday everyone! I am still reeling from the most exciting of weekends! But more on one particular event later.

MISTRESS OF BLACKWEN edits are going well! I will be starting from Chapter 20 today. I will be finished with the first run of edits this week and then I shall go over it all again just to make sure that everything is indeed going the way I want it to. Once I'm through with that, I will transfer all the hard-copy edits to the electronic version. Afterwards, it'll be off to the readers! Meanwhile, I am saving up for its publishing.

Fun Fact #1: any money I make from CHILD OF BLACKWEN, whether it is from the paperback edition or the Kindle version, will go to book two of the Artemis Ravenwing novel's funding. Fun Fact #2: leaving a review helps me sell the book to marketing sites, which will help my exposure AND future funding. In other words, support your authors! :)

I am still collecting photos of readers of CHILD OF BLACKWEN. If you would like to be featured in the photo album, you can send a picture to my Facebook Author Page or my Twitter account (both which can be found under my "Check it out!" side panel here on the blog). Don't forget to add me on Goodreads too! If you're an author as well, I'd love to check out your work!

And now...the tale of my first Comic Con!

I have never been to a Comic Con before. As obsessed as I am with costumes and shape-shifting, I was never brave enough to go cosplay and check out such events. Something about this year made me braver in SO many aspects of my life...why would a Comic Con be any different?

So I did it. And I went as a character I have loved since I was a kid.

The first Legend of Zelda game I have ever played was Oracle of Ages for the Gameboy Color. I have seen A Link to the Past sometime before, thanks to a gamer cousin of mine, but I myself started on the Gameboy Color. Many of you surely know the many incarnations of Link, stemming from A Link to the Past to Hyrule Warriors.

Mine? With the help of a friend and the Author Mama, we came up with this:

I did find the outfit online (I cannot sew...yet), but we tinkered with a few things. My friend made the shield for me and I found a replica Dark Link Master Sword online. We found some nifty elf ears (which I put on "sort of backwards" because Link's ears point outward like that), and I have successfully learned how to use Spirit Gum (woohoo!). I added the tights (do you have ANY idea how hard it is to find white tights, let alone any good ones?! I had to settle for brown. It looked great though!), threw on some shorts under the outfit because I knew I would take some action shots, and I stretched out the strings to my "gauntlets" so that they would actually fit me. I even got a Sharpie marker to draw the Triforce on my left hand (Link is technically left-handed. He only "stopped" being so once the Wii games came out, because the majority of people in this world are right-handed). That was NOT easy, by the way. And I had to use a bronze one because the gold Sharpie in the pack was dry! It worked out in the end, so I can't be too upset. As for the event itself, the only inconvenience I had was the hat; it would slide back during the day and even off my head a few times. I blame that on the bobby pins though. I will be using the clips I once wore during my sports seasons for Halloween. That should work nicely. I also invested in some gel soles for my boots, considering how long I was on my feet during the Saturday Comic Con. I did add on a necklace too; I bought a Zelda pendant at the event which featured the symbols for Din, Nayru and Farore.

Mini note: save a lot of money for Comic Cons because you want EVERYTHING. I even found a sweet pair of sai, the weapons I mention in the Artemis Ravenwing novels. *sighs* One day!

Speaking of which...I may or may not have been scoping out booth sizes for a future Blackwen book booth. I may or may not have planned some character costumes for the day it'll happen.

How was the rest of my experience? Fantastic. This was definitely my world. It's like writing...how could you not love becoming a character? Well, let me be a bit more specific. It is fun to dress up as a video game, television, movie, novel and comic book character. That suits me well. I leave the creation of characters to my writer self (and will have no problem dressing up as them to promote the book). I already have a plan for the next Comic Con in Albuquerque during January: Tauriel from The Hobbit movie trilogy. A friend suggested her, and I've been on fire concerning the planning process for it. My pattern for her dress shipped this morning *cue the squeals*. I already have costume ideas for other beloved characters, but I will not tell just yet.

Before I head off to editing MISTRESS OF BLACKWEN, I would love to share some photos from the Santa Fe Comic Con. Please enjoy!

Links everywhere!

I bumped into Midna (Elle Graves)! Yay for Twilight Princess!
You can check out Elle's Cosplay page here, by the way: https://www.facebook.com/tlozEruCosplay

Sailor Mars! Fun Fact: she is technically my favorite of the Sailor Scouts.

My fantastical Steampunk buddies. Don't they look amazing???

Battling Wolverine.

A really fantastic Skyrim cosplay.

Yet another duel.

Zelda! Yay! I actually commented earlier in the day that if I did not find a Zelda cosplay, I was going to be sad. Can't go to a Comic Con and not have the iconic pair for a picture!

Found more of my friends!

Now, Sharpie time.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Work, prep, work, prep.

I love October. I can't say that enough. That is my attempt at carving Link from Legend of Zelda into a pumpkin (not bad, hmm?). My friend did a sweet carving of Batman, Batgirl, and Robin for her pumpkin. We might carve some more before Halloween, we shall see...

CHILD OF BLACKWEN went through an Amazon promotion last week; for five days, the Kindle version was free! It did really well too, it found 731 new homes. An audience is important, especially for a newbie self-published author. I am pleased that CHILD OF BLACKWEN's free promotion took off the way it did. For a while, I was in the top 10 in the Top 100 Free Kindles in Epic Fantasy. I had a minor stint in Top 100 Free Young Adult Kindles as well. The hope now is that this helped bring in future fans.

Even though CHILD OF BLACKWEN is no longer free, you can now buy the Kindle version for $3.99! As always, happy reading!

Speaking of which, I really should go back to my own reading list. I snagged a bunch of free Kindles in my genre recently, and I need to get on that and review. All in good time, I suppose!

In the meantime, I am editing MISTRESS OF BLACKWEN. It's going rather well! I will be starting this week's session from Chapter 15. I originally started out editing three chapters per day, but I have now reached the point where the chapters are larger than the rest, so it's back to two per day. I had to start using a new Sharpie too! The previous editing Sharpie died early last week. It lived a good life, full of use and purpose. Ideally, it would be fantastic to publish MISTRESS OF BLACKWEN next year. Kickstarter will be helpful this time around. I will keep you all updated on when that will start.

I bid you all adieu and happy reading/reviewing!

Monday, October 13, 2014

The busy bee.

Two more days until the special Kindle deal for CHILD OF BLACKWEN! It will be free from the 15th through the 19th. If you prefer the paperback, there are still plenty left to buy directly from me (or you can buy via Amazon). Did you tell your friends yet? :)
In the meantime, I am working on my media kit. I have some bios I need to work on, scope out some places where I can send the book to be reviewed (all of yours would be greatly appreciated too!), and take more notes on websites that could market my book. Right now I am testing the waters and seeing what does and does not work. I will try my hand at one website I recently signed up on and will see how that goes. Some other particularly helpful things will have to wait until the next CHILD OF BLACKWEN Amazon promotion, but that's fine. I believe the upcoming promotion will still help the exposure of my novel.
I started editing MISTRESS OF BLACKWEN, volume 2 of the Artemis Ravenwing novels last week, and will start up from Chapter 7 today. I suspect I will go through the revisions a couple of times before I'll send it to my readers. I went through numerous changes after the copyedits of CHILD OF BLACKWEN, and I need to make sure that book two will be cohesive. I am excited though. This was a fun novel to write as well. I love immersing myself in this book's universe (as people who have met me within this year are now realizing, heh). I'll keep everyone updated on how the edits are going.
Even though Workaholic Mel has been unleashed yet again, I am working on some other fun stuff besides my books. I will finally get myself to a belly dancing class this week, and I am working on my Halloween/ComicCon costume. I am going to be Link from Legend of Zelda! He is one of my favorite video game characters of all time, and I am more than ecstatic to be able to cosplay him. There'll be pictures, I promise.
And now, I must work. Lately I've been muttering, "Use the Sharpie, love the Sharpie, be the Sharpie!". We of the writing world are crazy. I wouldn't change it. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Here we go.

This is technically an old picture. By old, I mean that I took it back in April. I attempted to start editing MISTRESS OF BLACKWEN at the time (apparently I did a lot more than I thought) as a part of my cohesion edit, and then I chose not to. This was a month before I sent out CHILD OF BLACKWEN to be published and decided that once all of that was done, I would give my attention to book 2 of the Artemis Ravenwing novels. Today is that day.

And it feels good!!! I enjoy the writing and revision part, especially now that there is so much more to revise after how the copyedits for book 1 went.

Marketing book one has been stressful, but we're doing what we can. I really can't stress enough how important reviews are! Some marketing outlets need a handful of reviews in order to consider showing off the book to their subscribers. So please review when you can! Be honest in them! Thank you! :)

By the way, I am still collecting pictures of readers (both human and animal) with CHILD OF BLACKWEN. If you have any and would like to send them my way, please do so via my Twitter account (@ravenwingwriter) and/or my Facebook author page, Melanie A. Rodriguez.

I can also tell you a little bit about a special Kindle deal coming up on October 15th. Starting on the 15th through the 19th, the Kindle version of CHILD OF BLACKWEN will be...*drum roll*...FREE! So mark your calendars, tell your friends, share the news on social media and nab your copy then! Remember, I'm on Goodreads too, so you can find me and leave some reviews there! And the Barnes and Noble website works just as well.

On another happy note, I made it to a high school in the Bronx. Isn't that fun? It feels rather special actually, considering I was born in the Bronx.

Now, it is Sharpie time. Happy reading everyone!