The Lost Door is now available on Kindle.

I’m excited to announce that The Lost Door, volume 2 of The Door Keeper Trilogy is now available on Amazon Kindle and Kindle Unlimited! The paperback will be following soon. Thank you all so much for your patience and I hope you enjoy the continuation of Eden and Gabby’s story.

Sequel Update.

Hey everyone! Sorry, it’s been a while since my last blog. I had mono for a couple of months and tried my best to rest, allowing my mind and body to heal. But now I’m back at it and ready to continue working on the sequel.

So, here is the update. My manuscript is finished and currently with my new editor! Once she gets her edits back to me, I’ll do some re-writing and send it back to her for a final look over.

My cover art is also with my new graphic designer and she is working on digitizing the cover. So that is also out of my hands for now.

So what am I doing???

I’m working on putting together my marketing plan and promo materials. I’m compiling lists of potential ideas, blog tour options, blogging schedule, etc. So if you are interested in being a part of the blog tour, or promo in any way, please let me know! I will keep you updated on opportunities to help, giveaways, and discounts here, so keep a look out.

As far as a time frame goes, I would LOVE to put the sequel out in December, but I’m still unsure if we can make these dates work. It just depends on editing timing, etc. But, this is the goal!

Tentative dates:

November 1st: Cover Reveal

November 14th: Presale

December 5th: Sequel goes on sale!

December 5th – December 12th: Blog Tour

Thank you guys for all of your support and encouragement! I can’t wait for you to see what is in store for Eden and Gabby.

 

The Awkwardness of Self Promotion.

self-promo

If I’m being completely honest, this part of the job is the weirdest. I’m not even going to say hardest, because it’s not especially hard, it’s just…weird.

I wrote a story and I think you might enjoy it. Unfortunately the only way for you to find out about it, is for me to tell you. So here comes the dilemma. I have to go around saying:

Buy my book! Buy my book! Buy my book!

I’ll try to say it a bunch of different ways so you don’t get annoyed…but chances are, you will still get annoyed. And just so you know, I’m sorry. I don’t mean to.

But I need you to know, it’s not about the “buy.” If you find someone to lend you my book, that would be awesome, and sounds great to me.

It’s not about the “my” either. I would like this story if it were someone else’s. I think it’s a fun, entertaining story that people my age who is wrestling with being a mom and making her mark on the world, will love and relate to.

It’s simply about the “book.” It’s about The Door Keeper and Eden and Gabby. For me, it’s all about the characters and their journeys. So maybe I should change my chant to:

Read Eden’s story! Read Eden’s story! Read Eden’s story!

Important question, how can I promote this story with out you feeling like I’m self promoting? I would love to know how to better connect to you as a reader. How do you pick the stories you read? What is my best chance to get this story into your hands?

Pre-order The Door Keeper today!

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Today is the day friends! 

Starting today, you can order The Door Keeper to arrive on your Kindle (or any device connected to your Amazon account) on February 20th. *Cue dance party break*

Here is the Link: Amazon

BUT, before you click and go buy it, (and share this post with your friends so they can buy it too), make sure you take a screen shot of your purchase, because starting today I’ve opened my first giveaway!

If you email me a picture of your receipt, or a copy of it, I’ll enter you to win an amazing Launch Party gift bag. I am hosting a party for all my beta-readers after my book officially releases and will be giving them a bag of goodies themed “Eden’s favorite things.” (Almost $40 worth of stuff ranging from bookmarks, key necklaces, Caelum bath bombs, etc.) But I want to extend this fun prize to ALL my readers, hence the contest! I will pulling the winner’s name on January 24th, so you have one week to enter.

Now, don’t worry, if you are more of a hard copy reader, I’ll be doing many more giveaways including you after the official launch when you will be able to purchase a print copy. I’ll also be doing promotional giveaways on social media and other really fun stuff over the next few weeks, so stay tuned!

So, click HERE, go pre-order The Door Keeper, then make sure you forward a copy of your purchase to me at steen@thedoorkeepertrilogy.com.

Good luck and thank you so much for all of your support! Don’t forget to share with your friends so they have a chance to enter the contest.

Author Interview: Steen Jones — Coffee with Architects of Worlds Afar

Looking for your next fantasy read? Perhaps you’ll find what you’re looking for in The Door Keeper. This novel seems intriguing on multiple levels. Check out its blurb to see what I mean: Eden Saunders is a single mother who has learned to accept tragedy in her life. Her mother died during childbirth and her husband […]

via Author Interview: Steen Jones — Coffee with Architects of Worlds Afar

Last week was intense.

Last week, I locked myself in my house, was completely anti-social, and wrote. Then I wrote some more. I spent the week creating a new world. All of the worlds that I have built/wrote up until this point have grown organically, over the course of weeks or even months. A small detail here and there, jotted down in the notes section of my phone. This one I attempted to crunch out in a couple of days to move my writing schedule along.

And man, it made my brain hurt!

The world’s history, inhabitants, science, creatures, legends & mythology, landscape & geography, and even weather patterns.

Yikes.

How does magic work in this realm? I better figure that out.

Why is it so cold? There has to be a reason.

Why does that deer have giant oak trees for antlers?

Yeah…try explaining that.

All of that being said, I love world building so much. It was a fulfilling and satisfying week of writing. The opportunity to allow my imagination to run wild and just accept whatever cockadoo thing it creates as fact, is a fantastic game.

A game I hope to keep playing for years to come.

Just a teaser…some inspiration I used for my world…

Salus

 

How you can help!

For the first time, I have been a small part in helping a friend launch a book, and am genuinely invested in wanting it to be successful. I’ve seen first hand just how important friends and family are to getting books out there. (And how much fun it is to see someone buy it that otherwise might not have!)

I guess the one thing I never thought about is how authors are just someone’s friend or family member. It’s easy for me to think about all of the big name authors and how they just write a book and BAM it’s a bestseller, but that’s not how it works; and it’s especially not how it started. They had a ton of help, which is why I have so much hope.

Because you guys are flipping amazing.

I have already had so much encouragement and support surrounding my upcoming book release and it’s still 5 months away! But just in case you want some tangible steps to help me, or any other of your author friends, here are 5 ways you can help us!

  1. Buy our books. Buy on pre-sale, Amazon, or at the bookstore. If it’s not in your local bookstore, feel free to pitch a hissy fit because they don’t carry it. Even better, have someone film it so it can go viral, like that poor lady wanting to find Paul Sheldon’s new book. “How can you not know Steen Jones?!” 😉
  2. Review our books. Reviews are super important, especially on Amazon (although, you can’t review books on Amazon until they are released…so you will need to wait until The Door Keeper comes out. Also, you can’t say you are my friend or they will pull the review.) But you can review it on Barnes and Noble, or Goodreads if you have an account. Just copy and paste that junk, easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy.
  3. Follow us on social media and Share! I will tell you right now, I plan on doing some fun things involving social media, giveaways, and special offers leading up to the book launch. So if you want your friends to have the opportunity to win some free stuff, you will need to share it all with all of them.
  4. Recommend us. If you have a Goodreads account, a blog, or you’re part of a book club, or your small group at church. Recommend our books to your friends. I’m way more likely to buy a book because my friend told me I’d love it, than any other reason. Well, that or I saw the movie, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. 😉
  5. Offer to help! Most all of you have done this already, so thank you! I will most likely put together a launch team to help plan and execute my Book Launch Party and help promote for my blog tour, etc. If you would want to be a part of that team, shoot me an email at steen@thedoorkeepertrilogy.com

I’ll make a deal with you, if you complete all 5 tasks on this list, I’ll make sure you have the opportunity to be an extra in the movie when it comes to film in Woodstock.

Now who’s getting ahead of herself?! Lol

Author interview w/ The Salonniere’s Apartments

Thank you so much to Marilyn for featuring an interview with me in her “Writing Room” part of her online apartment. She has curated an interesting, and quite frankly, awesome new online environment. (At least new to me!) She has created a space for you to browse, learn, and simply enjoy reading about everything from writing, art, health, food, and her favorite subject; books.

I encourage you to check out other parts of her blog after reading our interview! The link to the interview is here!

Interview pic with Salonniere

 

How it happened.

I’ve had a few people ask me how I got a contract. So here is the condensed version of the process of the last seven months.

I finished my first draft of my novel in the fall of last year. My first draft was only 50,000 words, which for a fiction novel, is very short. After I had some friends, (way smarter than me), edit it for me, I started querying. I knew that self publishing was a viable option for me, but I wasn’t in a hurry to get my book out there and just wanted to see if I could do it the traditional route. (Find an agent, let the agent try to sell it to large publishers, etc.) Now, I got some great advice from a couple of author friends. (And all of this goes for querying publishers as well.) They told me to:

Query to a handful of agents at a time.

Try to find agents that fit your style and were people you would want to work with.

Query your letter to them personally. (Why are you querying them?)

Every rejection you get, send another query out into the world.

I sent out my first query letters in January. I picked 4 agents that represented authors like me, and slowly the rejections came. Some were in the form of emails, and some were just deadlines crossed. (FYI, most agents/publishers will just tell you if you don’t hear from them in 6 weeks, they aren’t interested. How’s that for testing patience! 🙂 I always had 4 or 5 queries out at any given time.

Also, I found the agents I queried by looking in some of my favorite novels and saw who their agents were. Some I found online by simply googling “fantasy fiction agents.” As my husband always says, “When in doubt, google it.” I’ve done more googling in the past year than I ever imagined possible!

Through this entire process I had started writing the sequel to The Door Keeper. It wasn’t long before it was finished also. It too, was short, finished at just under 50,000 words.

In the spring when I wasn’t getting any traction or feedback, I talked to a friend of mine who had written an awesome trilogy and had it published. She said something that changed everything for me! She was honest enough to tell me the book was too short, that I needed to consider putting my 2 books together, and to not be afraid I would run out of ideas. She was right! I had wanted a trilogy so bad and was afraid I would run out of story. So I decided to try it…what could it hurt? If nothing happened, then I could just self publish eventually and re-seperate them.

During this same time, I had also decided to quit focusing on trying to query agents and attempt to query straight to publishers. Side note: most publishers will not accept unsolicited material, but a few of the smaller ones do. Also, some publishers will open their gates for a short, determined amount of time to read unsolicited manuscripts, so you need to keep a look out.

Around this time I also decided to start a blog and Instagram just in case I ended up self-publishing. I wanted to set myself up to be able to build a platform for my writing and have a place promote my book. My first follower on my blog was Royal James Publishing. They were in the first batch of queries I sent with my 2 manuscripts together, and the rest is history.

The main reason I decided to start looking for a smaller publisher was I wanted a partnership. I wanted collaboration. Having lived in the non-profit, social enterprise, small business, and start-up world for the past 5 years…I’m super comfortable here. I watched tiny business explode, watched some grow slowly, and always work hard to achieve success. I enjoy watching and being a part of that process. Plus, I have a weird obsession with getting in with things on the ground floor. I love being able to say I was apart of something back when it wasn’t big or important. (I guess it’s the deep rooted hipster in me.)

Honestly, I was prepared for this process to take years, but thankfully it didn’t. I think the main thing to learn from my journey up until this point is: learn as much as you can about a process and then tailor it to fit you. I’ve learned that the writing world is full of many different ways to get to one final result: a book for sale. Don’t be afraid to go traditional, or to be a trailblazer, or simply do something in between.

And when in doubt, just google it.