Monday, August 26, 2013

Indie antho will inspire you!

I'm super excited to be part of an inspirational anthology written and created by Indie authors, FOR indie authors. 

Do you need motivation and inspiration to self-publish or sign that contract with an interested smaller press? Have you done all the research you can, but still feel ambivalent about the idea? Indiestructible: Inspiring Stories from the Publishing Jungle celebrates the experiences of 29 indie authors—their passions, their insights, their successes—to help you make the leap into indie publishing.

It's been a while since I've written essay style, but in this anthology, I talk about how my contract with the Alberta Canola Producers Commission to write 12 educational, comic-style books on the Chase Duffy character was, in some ways,  the catalyst for a whole host of other opportunities including publishing a short story and novel with Leap Books, pending contracts with other publishers (announcement(s) coming soon), and even an option for development of a TV show based on one of my characters. 

Of course, this is not a how-to guide. This is the best of the indie tradition of experienced authors paying forward what they’ve learned, giving you information to help you on your journey. The personal essays in this book will leave you itching to get your work into the hands of readers and experience, first-hand, all the rewards indie publishing has to offer.

Not only is this anthology packed full of interesting and unique information, and totally worth the 99 cents (only 99 cents!!!), 100% of proceeds will be donated to, a movement which breaks the cycle of poverty, illiteracy, and low expectations through service and education.

Pretty amazing, huh?
What are you waiting for?
Buy Indiestructiblesupport the indie author and an amazing charity—TODAY!

eBook: $0.99 USD
Publisher: Vine Leaves PressISBN 10: 0987593102 ISBN 13: 9780987593108

Compiled & Edited: Jessica Bell

Contributing authors:

Alex J. Cavanaugh <> Angela Brown <> Anne R. Allen <> Briane Pagel <> C.S. Lakin <> Ciara Knight <> Cindy M. Hogan <> D. Robert Pease <> Dawn Ius <> Emily White <> Greg Metcalf <> Jadie Jones <> Jessica Bell <> Karen Bass <> Karen Walker <> Kristie Cook <> Laura Diamond <> Laura Pauling <> Laurel Garver <> Leigh Talbert Moore <> Lori Robinson <> Melissa Foster <> Michael Offutt <> Michelle Davidson Argyle <> Rick Daley <> Roz Morris <> S.R. Johannes <> Stephen Tremp <> Susan Kaye Quinn

I'm in some pretty cool company, huh?

Happy Monday!

- Dawn

Monday, August 19, 2013

So, this happened.

I can't remember a time I didn't want to be a writer.

It wasn't always the most popular decision with my more practical parents. Pretty sure my Dad wanted me to be an electrician, or some kind of tradeswoman. And my mom, well, despite her "Alice" nickname (a nod to Alice in Wonderland), she encouraged me to explore all sides of creative writing - like corporate communications and journalism.

Probably a good thing, since making a living writing books isn't easy.

The thing is, financial reward is only one part of the equation. My reasons for writing are varied, complex, confusing for some, I'm sure. (Hubs has a hard time understanding the voices in my head...) But something happened this summer that offered a much-needed reminder of the most important reason I write.

The cutie in the picture above is my cousin Brooke's daughter, Ellie. Much like her mother, she's beautiful, smart - and loves ice cream. It's kind of a IUS tradition.

When I was younger, Ellie's mom used to read over my shoulder while I tapped away on a primitive word processor. Brooke was the first to read Jack of Hearts, the first real book I ever wrote at the tender age of 14. It's crap - well, the actual writing is, but the story is still pretty solid. Anyway, I might say Brooke was one of my first "fans" - I actually cherished those moments at the lake because she was always so EAGER to read more. Talk about fanning a writer's ego.

This summer, I gave Ellie a copy of each of the four books in the Chase Duffy series I write for the Alberta Canola Producers Commission. Ellie read them all - several times, noting that her favourite was the most recent mystery/cookboook, TASTING MY STORY. Clearly, Ellie is following in her mother's footsteps of boosting my writerly confidence.

And then, this happened.

On the last day of my holidays, Ellie came to see me, notebook in hand. She had written two full pages, single spaced, of a complex mystery/adventure story. The protagonist was at the lake with her friends when they stumbled upon a bottle - and inside that bottle were the clues to a grand adventure.

Although the story wasn't finished, I could already tell it would be great. The characters were varied. The description spot on. She even had correct usage of dialogue tags. In fact, Ellie had set the stage for a wonderful mystery adventure - and in what she'd written so far, she had only one or two minor typos.

This was Ellie's first time writing a story.

While I certainly can't take credit for her exemplary reading and writing skills, I can claim a little bit of credit for her inspiration to start writing her own story. She told her Mom, "Now that I know there's an author in the family, I want to try it."

When I was Ellie's age, I was inspired by the likes of Roald Dahl and Dr. Seuss. I went on adventures with Lewis Carroll, and later found a love of horror through Stephen King. As a teen, I discovered romance with Nora Roberts, and explored fantasy with Tolkien.

Each of those authors has inspired my own journey of story.

I am absolutely honored and thrilled to be a catalyst for young Ellie's journey. Because THAT, my friends, is why I write.

- Dawn

Saturday, August 17, 2013

A killer trailer for a killer book

I'm super (super!) excited about Killer's Instinct, a creeptastic Young Adult thriller the "other me" wrote with the awesome Judith Graves.

The book launches October 2013 from Leap Books, the same amazing publisher that published my short story THREAD OF THE PAST in the SPIRITED anthology.

Here's the blurb:


Where there is no life, there’s HOPE

Hope has always been a bit of a freak. She sees beyond the veil to where the dead walk amongst the living, their semi-corporeal forms appearing like creepy flashes from a never-ending macabre dream. But when her mother crawls from the grave and her zombified corpse goes MIA, Hope's last thread of normal snaps.

Enrolling in a militia-style school for monster hunters seems her best bet for tracking down Mommy-dearest and putting what’s left of her to rest. But the stakes are raised when she’s partnered with three unique male recruits – each with their own personal demons to slay if they want to survive basic training.

But does Hope have a true killer's instinct? If she finds her mother, will she have the guts to do what must be done to save her soul? In a place like Le Manoir, all bets are off.

And here's the trailer:

Awesome, right? The trailer was done by the ever-talented Judith Graves.

But wait, there's more! Here's a link to an advance review from author extraordinaire Sherry Ficklin, who calls Killer's Instinct: A beautifully woven story about courage and trust and what it really means to be a 'monster'. 

Pinch me - I think I'm dreaming.

More news about Killer's Instinct in the coming months here...and at the home of the "other me."

- Dawn