Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Book Swag and Gift Card Giveaway

It's that time again: July marks the 4 year anniversary of Frey. Most days, I can't even fathom that, despite the fact that writing has changed my life (in the best way). I've just finished revisions on the entire series and the updates will soon be published in ebook and print. There will be a few new Frey Saga announcements coming soon, but I'm most pleased that book four is finally not on the Secret Projects list.

You can find THE FREY SAGA BOOK IV: VENOM AND STEEL up for preorder at iTunes now, and other retailers very soon.

To celebrate, the giveaway winner will have a chance to win some very limited Frey Saga swag (including choice of playing card decks featuring Frey, Ruby, or the whole gang).



In another collaboration with author R.K. Ryals, we've created a book trailer for IN THE LAND OF TEA AND RAVENS, featuring The Raven Song performed by Nicole Willard. You can check that out in the video below.


The watercolor birds make an appearance alongside The Story of Awkward art on some mini-prints and mugs at Society6, which is also a prize option for the giveaway winner.


But enough of that... News to come later, here are the

GIVEAWAYS


Open internationally where allowed by law.

BOOK SWAG GIVEAWAY includes CHOICE of playing card deck, art mug or mini print from Society6, or signed paperback from author Melissa Wright.



GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY includes Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble gift email (or Paypal payment) for $25.


Thanks for sharing!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

What I've Learned - A Post for Writers

This July marks four years since I published the first edition of Frey. I came into publishing at a time when things were changing drastically, and though it might be leveling out, there are still days where we all wake up to something terrifyingly new. I'm grateful for the luck that got me where I am, but luck is luck and what means so much more is the help I received along the way. I'm no expert. I've done a lot of things the hard way, the wrong way, and more than once stumbled as I went. But through the thousands of desperately clicked links, through trial and error, and by the precious time of others, I've managed to pick up a few bits of advice/knowledge that I will happily pass along.

What I've Learned:

1. You have to write. 

Being a writer is fun. Actually writing, not as much. Don't get me wrong, I love what I do, but one of the hardest lessons to learn is that you have to keep your butt in the chair. No amount of talent, skill, or awesomeness can make you an author unless you're getting words on the page. Chapter after chapter, page after page, book after book. You have to do the work.

2. The middle is hard.

You don't just have to write it. You have to keep writing it. The worst part of any book is slogging through the swamp once the excitement of a new idea wears thin. When you start a book, chapters will flow out of you like magic, creating characters and worlds and brilliance willy-nilly. And then, somewhere around the 40% mark, you find you can't swim. Your arms are heavy, seaweed tugs at your legs, and you can't even see the shore. You have to keep going. There's no giving up. Climb on that liferaft, Jack. There's plenty of room.

3. Don't be that guy.

You wouldn't* walk up to Michael Jordan and ask him how to play basketball. You wouldn't call Mario Batali at home to ask him to come watch you grill cheese. So don't email/tweet/repeatedly DM your favorite Internationally Bestselling Author to ask him/her to read your book.

*shouldn't. Really, really shouldn't.

4. You have to learn the hard way.

This is also called the right way. Get used to it. If you want to play piano, you learn the basics and practice, practice, practice. Sure, you can probably bang out a pretty fantastic rendition of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star in a few days, but that doesn't mean you're good. And who doesn't want to be at least a Good Writer. If you want to be a Great Writer, or anything ranking above, you have to put in the time. You have to do the work. (Yes, I said that already. It's kind of a theme.)

There are many, many writers who have posted FAQ or Writer's Help pages on their blogs and websites, as well as those who Tweet useful tips, advice, and inspiration. Find those writers. Read their pages. Learn. Write. Repeat.

5. Read.

There's no question the top two tips for improving your craft are to write and to read. Read wide, read often, and read because you love it. If you don't have time to read, if you don't enjoy reading, then this is the wrong business for you. And oh yeah...

6. This is a business. Act like it.

You might be surprised to realize, even if you are traditionally published, writing isn't bouncing on clouds all day long. It's work. It's a business. No matter how things start out, no matter how much fun you have, at the end of the day you aren't just creating art. You are selling a product. You are a brand (I know, it makes me feel yucky, too). You need to be professional. Always. Don't sell a crappy product. Hire an editor, only put out your best work, proofread it until your eyes cross and then read it again. Don't engage with readers who hated your book. Ever. It's their right. They can hate Nike, they can hate Kool-Aid, and they can hate you. You are an author, which is the reading world equivalent of the company who sells that product. If you don't want Taco Bell cursing you on the internet for saying their nachos gave you heartburn, then don't argue with readers for disliking your book. The internet is a public space. Don't say anything there you wouldn't want on a billboard in your hometown. With your face on it. Forever.

7. Enjoy it.

This is one of the best jobs in the world. You are your own boss, you make your own hours, you create your own worlds. Own it. Love it. Live it. And every now and again, go outside.

None of it means anything if you can't see the good in it, if you don't let the process give you something in return.

8. Other authors are not and will never be your competition. 

Don't be petty. Don't be jealous. Don't base your life on what another appears to be. It's just a crappy way to live. As far as books go, this is especially true. Here's a secret: anytime a book does well, it's good for all of us. Any book. Not just yours. Be supportive. Help authors. Love readers (no matter what they read). In the end, it only builds this thing you want to be a part of. And that's saying nothing of karma.

9. Kill your time-sucks.

Nothing cuts down production like weekend binge of Netflix, but you have to know yourself and make the calls on what's important to you. If you're going to be a Serious Writer, you need to learn to manage your time. Delete Candy Crush, unplug the television, stop watching cat videos or living on Twitter. Take a hard look at how you spend your day and be honest about what you should be giving up.

Better yet, do the math. Many authors average 500+ words per hour. If you only make 500, you can write a 100,000 word novel in 200 hours. That's less than an hour per day over the course of a year.

Maybe you don't want to give up your favorite shows. Maybe you want to spend every waking moment being present for your kids. That's fine. Awesome in the second case. But look at your day, cut what you don't need. That fifteen minutes of your lunch break where you zone out facing a blank screen, that thirty minutes before work where you stare into the abyss of your coffee mug, the six times per day you check social media. Make those your hour. Make those your days.

They add up. If you let them, they will be your novel. Time is precious. Use it wisely.

10. There's always more to learn.

Always. Embrace it, use it, become a better person. Er, writer. Whatever.

Now what are you doing here? Get back to work!




P.S. If you have any specific questions, I'd be happy to (try to) help. Just post them in the comments or email me through the contact form on the web or sidebar. Happy writing :)







Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Frey Saga News: Book Four

I know I've been teasing Big Book News for a while now, but it's time. For the last few months, I've been working on a new chapter in The Frey Saga: something I've been calling BOOK FOUR. Today makes it official, and so I have to assign it a name. Introducing...

The Frey Saga Book IV: Venom and Steel



Here's a peek at the title page:

Okay, that's all you get for now. I have writing to do.

The tentative release date is set for 2016, but things may happen much sooner. Watch for news and updates in the coming months, as well as some actual teasers. Can't wait to share this with you guys, thanks for all the support!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Artwork News, Book Swag

Hey all! Just a quick note to give you an update on happenings. Big book news to come soon, I promise.

For now, The Story of Awkward artwork for Perri's Sketchbook is live in ebook at Amazon (coming soon to iTunes and Barnes & Noble editions). You can check out some of the progress on Instagram, where I post random pics of art, books, and pets. I've got another (minor) collaboration with R.K. that I'm stoked to share, but I have to wait until it's finished. Not to worry, I can be patient. O.O

Here's a sample of some of the art in the book...


Which is also available in a few prints and mugs at Society6...


And on cool stuff at Zazzle...





Where you can also get FREY SAGA swag like this...
Frey Poker Deck
Frey Poker Deck by MelissaWright


Author R.K. Ryals will be launching her webstore soon, with lots of new goodies and swag through http://www.authorrkryals.com/

I'd love to hear what you guys think of this; it could be something we add more of in the future. July is my four year publishing anniversary, so watch for giveaways and goodies :)

Happy reading!




Sunday, April 12, 2015

Art Project Giveaway

The artwork for Perri's sketchbook from The Story of Awkward by R.K. Ryals is being processed so it can be added to the ebook and print versions of the book. It was great fun to recreate main character Peregrine Storke's imaginative creations, watching as the sketchbook she fell into became a real, tangible thing. I'm happy to announce select artwork from both The Story of Awkward and In the Land of Tea and Ravens are available at Society6.

To celebrate, I'm giving away the winner's choice of a coffee mug or mini print. You can check them all out at any of the links below, but here are a few examples (Rafflecopter below).







The Story of Awkward is currently free at ebook outlets, where the sketchbook will be available as an update upon its release. Print books will not have the sketchbook until later this year. You can watch for that announcement here or from author R.K. Ryals.


Find The Story of Awkward at Amazon, iTunes, and Barnes & Noble

Thanks to everyone who followed this project and cheered us on. You can see some of the art in progress for this and upcoming projects at my Instagram.

Enter below to win a mug or mini-print of your choice. Open to all countries Society6 ships to and where allowed by law. Bonus entries for follows and reposts :)



Friday, February 13, 2015

Reign of Shadows Audiobook Release

Descendants Series book three Reign of Shadows is available now at Amazon, iTunes, and Audible. I'm thrilled to have narrator Khristine Hvam tell Brianna and Aern's story, which you can sample through the video or links below.



Descendants Series
Book Three
REIGN OF SHADOWS
Cover Art by Gene Mollica

Brianna can see her future, but it's the past that haunts her. Plans laid in place centuries ago are threatening not only her and her sister, but all of the Seven Lines. As the shadows plot their way to old rule, the visions shift again. Her power has led to some hard choices—and the occasional stab wound—but this set of futures holds nothing but darkness. 

Unable to bear the idea of losing the footing they've so recently gained, she turns the soldiers of the Seven. But with shadows hidden among the ranks, can she overcome the path they've set in place, or is she blindly following their lead?

Available now at Amazon, iTunes, and Audible.

Happy listening!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

King of Ash and Bone Release Day Blitz and Giveaway

Prism Book Tours is hosting the release day blitz for King of Ash and Bone! Check it out below and join the giveaway or sign up for a free review copy. Thanks for reading!


We're Blitzing the Release of
King of Ash and Bone
By Melissa Wright
The first book in The Shattered Realms Series.

Writing a book or series of books is a substantial commitment. Authors spend a lot of time and effort avoiding the temptation of shiny new ideas, because chasing other stories will never get you a finished manuscript. But the best inspirations hang around, waiting in the corners of your mind, tugging at your attention until they've grown too monstrous and delightful to be ignored. These are the stories that are most fun to tell, the ideas that will not be turned away.

I'm happy to report my newest title is just one of these monsters. King of Ash and Bone began niggling at me about midway through the Descendants Series as a simple idea: a magical apocalypse. A heroine with steadfast determination came in next, followed quickly by the handsome anti-hero who just might have what it takes to break her resolve. And of course he would have something to hide that might test them both. I found myself researching end-of-days scenarios in my spare time, gathering images of winged beasts and deserted cities as this new world grew and grew, forming its own brand of chimera and bursting into a second realm, complete with problems of its own.

The Shattered Realms series is certainly lined up to be the most complex I've ever written, and I can only hope it catches readers' hearts and imaginations the way it has mine.

Would you like to sign up to review King of Ash and Bone
Do so HERE!

King of Ash and BoneKing of Ash and Bone
(Shattered Realms, #1)
by Melissa Wright
YA Urban Fantasy, SciFi
February 2nd 2015

When flying monsters break through the veil into her world, Mackenzie Scott has nothing left to lose. Her brother has been taken, her future has vanished, and all that remains is a desperate need for revenge. After discovering the breach the creatures used as a gateway, Mackenzie devises a plan to stop them, whatever the cost.

When she finds an injured stranger in the street, he just might be the key she needs to succeed. What Mackenzie doesn't know is that this stranger isn't the helpless boy he appears to be. He's one of the monsters. And he's got plans of his own.

Thrown into a dying city in another realm, Mackenzie is powerless to get back. With the gateway closing, time is not on her side. But the stranger is, and if they can escape execution, this girl and her monster might be able to save both their worlds.

You can read a teaser here.

Melissa Wright is the author of the Frey Saga and Descendants Series. She is currently working on the next book, but when not writing can be found collecting the things she loves at Goodreads and Pinterest.


Blitz Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card
Open internationally
Ends February 9th


Prism Book Tours