All posts by Sephira

About Sephira

Born and raised primarily in Northern Virginia, my family and I moved to North Carolina in 2006. Married for over 20 years, my husband and I have two boys and a gaggle of cats. For me, writing is a great stress reliever. I can let my mind wander and let my emotions run free in a way that is generally not possible in my normal everyday life. My writings run the gamut in terms of style and genre – for instance my first novel is a historical romance set in the Civil War, but some of the other things I have in the works are fantasy or thrillers, among other things. It probably goes without saying, but my poetry is somewhat eclectic in nature, and again while some may feel the need to stick with a particular form, I tend to write just whatever comes to mind. Let the winds of inspiration lead me on… I’m always interested in comments and feedback. So please feel free to share your thoughts with me!

Best Laid Plans…

So… apparently (even though it said it would take 6-8 weeks), there are print copies of IPS available in various places. I’m waiting on an email to see what can be done to reverse this (if anything) – because I really, really wanted the release date to be August 7th. For REASONS!!

If not, I’ll eventually get over it, but either way, you may want to wait a bit before buying a physical copy. I mean, as much as I would LOVE for you buy my lovely little book (GO RIGHT NOW>>> BUY IT!!!), I don’t want any of you to pay the $14.75 sticker price that is currently listed.  Eww!

On release day (August 7th) or shortly there after, the Amazon price for the paperback will be just under $10. It’s still a bit higher than I want it to be, but that’s just the way the cookie crumbles. I had to split distribution (hence the early release hiccup), because if I did it all in one place, I would have been stuck with just the higher price and honestly – I wouldn’t pay that much for a book (I mean… potentially I would… but it would really depend on the book). And I know I’m awesome, but $15 is a lot to ask for an unknown author’s first book. So yeah, just hang tight a little longer!

Obviously, the Kindle version, which is currently up for pre-sale*, is the best deal (I have so much more leeway with that pricing). But I also know that some people really, really like having a physical book in their hands. In the meantime, I just want to make sure that you aren’t overpaying.

🙂

 

* Don’t forget – 50% of all pre-sale royalties are being donated. (read more about it here)

A Little Fundraiser

L and V
Credit: Shot in the Dark Photography

I recently had a friend who passed away after a long battle with stage IV breast cancer. She was an amazing woman and a true fighter, and though she was very much not ready to go (nor were any of us ready to lose her), sometimes cancer just doesn’t care about our own desires.

My primary way of dealing with grief has always been to just keep as busy as possible, all while not talking much about it – and this is pretty much what I’ve been doing. However, I have also been wanting to do something to help raise funds for her fiance because I know he’s still got a lot to take care of even while struggling with his own grief. So I got to thinking, since my debut novel In Plain Sight is coming out on August 7th, and with the Kindle version currently available for presale on Amazon, I am going to donate 50% of all presale royalties raised between now and August 7th to her fiance’s GoFund Me campaign.

I invite you all to help me make this an epic gift in Larissa’s honor!

 

Simple Musings Gets An Update

While we all wait with baited breath for the August 7th release of In Plain Sight, I have taken this opportunity to do a little update for Simple Musings (an eclectic collection of poetic thoughts on love and loss, life and death, nature, spirituality and so much more) as well.

Simple Musings

To celebrate the gorgeous new cover art, I’ve released a Kindle version and this week only – it’s available for FREE!!

I’m not going to lie, in addition to poetry dealing with the grief and loss I experienced when my mother died, there is a lot of angsty love poems from the days before I was married. What? It was 25+ years ago… don’t judge me!! XD

 

Release Date for In Plain Sight

In Plain Sight preorder

My debut novel, In Plain Sight, will be released on August 7, 2018!! The Kindle version is currently available for pre-order on Amazon. Print copies will also be available by that date (not sure about pre-order yet).

For those of you who have been working with me on this project over the years, you may recall that particular day is a significant one in the book. Once I realized how close I was to getting everything together and ready for publishing , it quickly became clear that was the perfect day to launch Ry and Eli’s story into the universe.

I’m still working on pricing for the print copies – that’s my main hold up at the moment, now that I’ve finished all the last minute editing. My original set up is pricing a lot higher than I want it to (due to some of the distribution options I’ve picked), so I’m going to fiddle around with it some more to see if I can’t get the price down some. Either way, the Kindle version will be $3.99 when it’s released, and for those that don’t have a Kindle, there is a free Kindle reader app that is available for almost any device. But if you are like me, having a physical book in-hand is a lovely thing, so I will definitely continue to look for a solution that allow that happen in the best possible way.

I’m so happy the way this all worked out and I really can’t wait to share my book with you all.

 

An Editor’s Work Is Never Done

Take notice… this is why we always order a proof copy first!!

corrections

I really thought I was done editing, but as I was reading through, I found a lot more issues than I was expecting. Thankfully, most of it was minor stuff – spacing, a few random typos, duplicated words in short proximity, etc… I mean, it was probably fine as it was, but if I noticed them, I’m sure someone else would have too.

I expect that there are still things I’ve missed (and once it’s released, if you find something please let me know), but at this point I really think I’ve done just about as much as I can to it. Of course, I thought that before too.

What? I’m a perfectionist. I can’t help it. XD

 

Proof In Hand

IPS proof

I have the proof copy in my hands. THIS IS NOT A DRILL!!!

I may have done a happy dance. Ok, I totally did a happy dance. No… there is not a video. XD

Still working on a few last minute details, but I will be posting all about the upcoming release within the next few days.

Hope you all are as excited as I am!

 

Cover Art Revealed…

Despite earlier predictions, I’ve been a busy little bee these last couple months. Not only was I able to complete the editing of In Plain Sight, but after considering all my various options, I have decided to go ahead and publish it myself, rather than continue to attempt a more traditional route. While there are benefits to traditional publishing, as an author, you still end up doing a lot of the same things (in terms of marketing) and so, if I have to do most of the work anyways, I’d rather not share the rewards with anyone else. While I’m getting everything ready to go – and I will announce the release date very soon – I thought I’d give you a little teaser and reveal the awesome new cover art for the book.

I am so thrilled with this. I don’t even have the words to express myself properly. I was so worried, because I knew what I wanted (in my head), but had no idea how it would translate to the finished look and the artist – it’s like they could read my mind. It’s perfect, and I hope you all love it as much as I do.

So, without further ado…

In Plain Sight

Read an excerpt.

Life’s Little Detours

So… on my way to getting IPS edited and completed for publishing (and continued work on the other two novels I have in progress), life sort of got in the way. I’d like to say that I’ve gotten it all back in order, but that is not the case in any way. But figured it was a good time to at least check in.

My youngest is autistic (if I haven’t mentioned it before) and a couple years ago his teenage hormones started to do what every teen’s hormones do – go all funky – except since he’s non-verbal and has very limited communication skills in general, it’s hard for him to understand all the ups and downs and craziness that comes with being at this stage of life (that often are even difficult for anyone to understand). So, unfortunately, he started having some pretty seriously aggressive behaviors which prevented him from continuing to go to school. With him always at home with me, it leaves very little time to work on writing. Hard to come up with witty sayings when there is someone interrupting you every few minutes with a need for assistance with something. So writing got put on the back burner for a while. The good news is that eventually most of us grow out of this stuff, so here’s hoping in the next couple years things settle back down. But until then it’s going to be really slow going as I continue to focus on my son’s health and well-being.

Thank you ever so much for your patience. ❤

In Which I Have A Life…

So… I’m very much a homebody, which suits me rather well most of the time. However, this weekend, I spent three whole days going Illogicon, which is a SciFi convention that was being held not too far from where I live. Typically I don’t go to such things, but my favorite author (Jacqueline Carey) was one of the guests of honor, so I HAD TO GO!!!

I’m not going to fangirl too much here, but if you are interested in how that part went, you can read about on my Tumblr (here and here).

In addition to various SciFi topics and authors, there were also some panels on writing and publishing, so I thought I would share some of the highlights.

On Friday I started at the All Roads Lead to… panel, which was a discussion about the various options we have for publishing: self-pub vs small/independent pub vs traditional/large pub houses, along with the pros and cons of each. Lots of great information, and probably one of the most important things that I learned, was that no matter which route you go, you are likely still going to have to do a lot of your own work, in terms of marketing and promoting. A thank you to author Michael G. Williams and Lynn McNamee of Red Adept Publishing, for their insight.

Also on Friday, I went to a reading by author Natania Barron, who I had not heard of before, but highly recommend others go and check out. The reading that she did was a submission from the Kaiju Rising anthology, but she also has a several other books, including Pilgrim of the Sky, which is now on my “to read” list.

Saturday I had to work, so didn’t get to do much other than go to a reading by Jacqueline Carey <insert fangirl swoon>, but Sunday, again had several panels on various topics, two of which revolved around “worldbuilding.” The first was more focused on the use of religion and mythology when writing (and doing it well vs epic fails), the second was worldbuilding in general and what sort of things are essential to ensuring that the readers are fully immersed in the world that you are creating. In both, the key seems to be research and making sure that (as the author) one knows all the details, even if those details are never used on the page, and not to ignore logistics. Things don’t just happen, and there are a million little things that we do and see daily that are essential parts of our world, even if we don’t fully acknowledge them – these are important when building a cohesive world for your readers.  In addition to Jacqueline Carey, also big thank you to authors Debra Killeen, Natania Barron, Misty Massey, Ada Milenkovic Brown, Gail Z. Martin, Clay Griffith, Thomas A. Mays and Chris Kennedy for giving such great discussion on the topics presented.

Also on Sunday, was the You’ve Finished Your First Draft, Now What panel, which discussed editing and getting feedback, along with the pros and cons of using critique groups. Another big thank you to authors Clay and Susan Griffith, Terri-Lynne Smiles and Betty Cross for their insight.

Anyhoo… had a lot of fun, but now I’m going to go sleep for a week to recover!! XD