Update on My Author Kingdom

In other words- How the struggle goes to get my name out there.

My website visit chart. Very few zero days this month.

Newsletter subscribers: 608 contacts and 519 subscribers. The unsubscribes are due to contest giveaways who drop out after the contests. The newsletter goes out on the 21st of each month. I have developed a template to use.

Twitter 347 followers

Instagram- I am at 10 posts. 2 followers I had to change the name to katherineesotoauthor2 on Instagram. My old name was having problems with log in.

Author page on Facebook 239 people following me

Bookbub I have 1,022 followers. I also have 14 book reviews.

I have 2 story magnets on story origin I use for newsletter swaps.

Free download gift for my readers: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1WzRG13UoEi3aEE3EzAmh0SQZxdl1qEIz/view?usp=sharing

Have a great Holiday

Grandma’s Christmas Decorating

This is a piece I wrote thinking about my decorating and how it would look to my granddaughter.

The Christmas decorations were put up a little at a time if Grandma did not hire help. The Santa collection in its whites, blues and reds twinkled with lites she draped within the collection.  The handful of Santas were scattered throughout the snowmen like she could not make up her mind which to collect. Each is special and has memories of other Christmases wrapped around them.  Her box collection has reindeer, snowmen, and holly painted on the tops and sides. There are four Christmas countdown calendars boxes. Two with drawers and doors go in the box collection on top of the large redwood trunk that sits in the living room next to the case with the snowman collection. A wooden tree that has its own wooden ornaments in its bottom cupboards is placed on the silver cart. The silver is moved to another spot in the living room for the holidays. The front hallway greets guests with a small tree with tiny ornaments on it.  The decorations change as she adds to the small ornament collection. Nascar ornaments too big for the tiny tree take up space underneath, along with non-hanging decorations such as a wooden train.  The big tree stands five feet tall. It is prelit with lights, so there is not an early struggle to put lights on and off it. Grandma’s precious ornaments, each with its memory are on this tree.  The gifts her girls gave her. Things friends made or gave her.  Grandpa’s friend who made ornaments to go in her Christmas cards are placed among the branches. If you ask Grandma for a memory, she can tell you about each ornament. The tree is lit every evening and sometimes it is left lit up for days and nights. The three Christmas trees, the box collection the grandchildren could play with, and the Christmas tree are my memories of a Christmas at Grandma’s.  I can’t forget those presents, either.

2021 Goals

Goals are an important part of the beginning of a new year. Goals give you broad ideas to reach for during the year. They provide guides to where you are going during the year. They often give a jumping off place and a finish line.

My Goals for 2021

Author Goals

Publish Book 1

Market Book 1,

Book 2 into queue

Edit book 2-4

Anthology short story edited and turned in

Continue writing Book 5

Keep Author Platform running smoothly with weekly blog posts and daily media posts.

I want to learn how to write non fiction.

I am also a poet and would like to put my poems together.

I want to enter contests with my poetry.

Personal Goals

Organize my office and house

Stay as heathy as I can this year.

Exercise each day as you can

Go through Clothes Closet

Take already read books to Goodwill

Stay Mentally healthy, avoid depression

Watch anxiety, keep it low

Social Goals are on hold due to Covid 19 pandemic

Stay in contact with family and friends by phone and computer

December 2020- Featured Author of the Month: Krystal Pena

Author Interview

What is the first book that made you cry?

When I was in middle school, my only friend at the time gifted me a copy of Tara Janzen’s The Chalice and the Blade. Aside from it being a cherished book, there were parts of the book that tore at my little heartstrings and made me cry. This is also the book that inspired me to become a writer.

What is your writing Kryptonite?

My writing Kryptonite…hmmm… I think it would be information dumps or achieving deep point of view. I think cinematically, therefore I like to be very detailed with scenery and visual elements of the story. I always have to go back to add in deeper perspective for my characters or to visually depict how they are feeling without needing to state the feeling.

Who is one author are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

My bookish bestie is New York Times bestseller Margo Bond Collins and she is just the sweetest person you will ever meet. My first short story was published in an anthology she put together, and ever since she has been a great mentor to me. Margo has been really pushing me to publish my work instead of hoarding it to myself, despite my fears of it being ‘not good enough’ for readers. I truly appreciate her taking the time to edit my work and to give me pointers on improvements I can make in my writing. Three are so many ways she has helped me over the past few years, so it is difficult to name just one.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

I believe I would tell myself that I am good enough and to get those books finished, to actually publish them. I have spent so much time worrying about the wrong things and the truth is that I didn’t give myself enough credit. I chose not to believe in myself instead of going for it, and sometimes I wish I could get the time back.

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

My first book was actually a collection of poetry that didn’t do well. I put it up without knowing most of the things I do now. Seeing how horribly it did made me focus on writing with intention and to learn more about the industry. I now view it as a lesson instead of a mistake.

What was the best money you ever spent as a writer? If you have not made any money, dream about it?

There are a few things I am happy to have invested in. I have Vellum for formatting, which helps a ton. I also have PublisherRocket, which is worth more than its weight in gold, it is such an invaluable tool. I also invested in a Mac earlier this year, which has helped me write #allthewords easier. For the first four years of my author career  I used the Google Docs app on my phone to write.

As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

This is a hard one! I love elves so I imagine I would include an elf in there somewhere. Elves are so magical, mystic and mysterious. They’ve always held a special space in my heart.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Too many! But really I have about five works in progress at the moment with plenty of other ideas written down to explore later.

Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?

I have always been a huge fan of epic fantasy – my dad was super into it when I was younger. I like to think that fiction has different levels of complexity, fantasy being one of the most complex. It isn’t simply because of the world building but also the character development. In series like The Lord of the Rings (J.R.R. Tolkien) or The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant (Stephen R. Donaldson) I really appreciated the character development, especially the development of the more complex characters who had contradictory traits about them. It helped me to realize that there are both good and bad within each of us, and either can be what helps us reach our goals, depending on the situation.

How do you select the names of your characters?

I honestly use a lot of ancient Celtic names in my works. I also use random name generators by character type if  I’m in a true bind. Most times a character’s name doesn’t come to me until after I’ve figured out who/what/how they are in the story.

What is your favorite childhood book?

As a kid I read a TON of books. My favorites or go to rereads were the Amelia Bedelia stories, the Dear America seriesand also Ms. Piggly Wiggly. I was usually at a higher reading level than my grade, so it was often hard to find ‘appropriate’ books for my reading level. I think one of my defining moments as a kid is when I tried to read the Lord of the Rings series in fifth grade and found it too challenging, but upon attempting it again a year later I had little trouble understanding it.

Author Bio

USA Today bestselling author Krystal Pena resides with her four children near Boston, MA. She writes PNR/UF and fantasy, and enjoys writing stories about strong women who overcome the greatest obstacles to achieve their dreams or goals. 

Aside from writing, Krystal enjoys photography, archery, horseback riding and MMA. She loves history and art, and frequents historical sites and art galleries in her spare time. Above all else, she loves being at home, baking and cooking with her children, visiting her family and reading bedtime stories. She works as a personal assistant to other authors by day and writes late into the night, a strong cup of coffee always within reach. 

Book Blurb: The Cyan Huntress

She will avenge her husband’s death, even if she must kill every knight in Caerleon to learn who betrayed him. Anwyn thought she would finally enjoy comfort and happiness when she married a traveling psychic–that is, until Uthyr Pendragon unleashed a war on all magic-users and had her new husband burned alive. She’s determined to wreak her revenge, until a Druid boy’s prophecy convinces her to put aside her personal vendetta and learn to hunt the ones who want her dead–harder to do when she’s captured and taken to Caerleon to be tried as a sorceress. Now, if she can escape with the help of Caradoc, a man whose secrets rival Anwyn’s, she will have to fulfill her vow of revenge while on the run and attempting to find the one leader who can unite three broken kingdoms under a single banner. Assuming, of course, she can protect herself from burning at the stake, safeguard her heart from the enigmatic Caradoc, and complete her training as the Cyan Huntress. Fans of Jeffe Kennedy, Grace Draven, and Laura Thalassa will love the blend of Arthurian legend and exciting action in this romantic paranormal fantasy adventure!

Recent Book Reviews

These are four ARC books I was given and asked to read and write a review of each.

Fed by the Fae by AJ Mullican

See AJ Mullican’s Featured Author page: https://katherineesoto-author.com/index.php/2020/04/02/feature-author-interview-with-a-j-mullican/

Review by Katherine E. Soto

Lust that turns out to be soul mate love. Elven running around in skintight outfits.  A human who is at her wits end. The book Fed by the Fae by AJ Mullican is a fun adventurous romp through the Land of the Fae.

Molli is an average young woman in her early twenties. She is short is stature but is stacked in the right places.  She is on vacation in Ireland wandering from youth hostel to youth hostel, trying to stay one step away from starvation.  She knows no more money will come from her parents or ex-boyfriend. She wanders into the local woods on her way to the next town hoping the trees will keep the rain off her head, and maybe she will find some berries to eat. She stumbles across a Fairie Circle of mushrooms. The circle has berry bushes that look delicious.  She eats these berries, and her adventures begin.

The book is an adventure/ relationship story told from the main character’s viewpoint.  It reads from a twenty somethings view. Warning: Swearing and explicit sex scenes are in this book. However, the swearing is typical for a twenty-year-old to use in times of stress. The sex scenes drive the relationships between Molli’s three Fae and herself.  This book is a fun romp through Molli’s mistake of being Fed by the Fae to the ultimate end (or is it beginning) for her relationship with her three Fae.

Pact with the Pack by AJ Mullican

Review by Katherine E. Soto

I was given an ARC to read in exchange for this review.

Lycanthropy is the topic AJ Mullican uses to build relationships in the Pact with the Pack. Men that change into wolves and back again through the wolf magic.  They can also heal each other and themselves using the wolf magic.

Cherry gets mixed up with the wrong kind of boyfriend at the beginning of the book.  She breaks up with the controlling, freaked-out boyfriend who threatens to kill her. He can’t accept the breakup. Cherry ends up fleeing for her life to her Grandmother’s cabin in the mountain woods. Unfortunately, the boyfriend arrived first. He kills her Grandmother out of revenge and starts to kill Cherry. That’s when five wolves burst into the cabin to save her.  That’s when the real fun begins in this book.

The basis of relationships between Cherry and the five wolf/humans drives the rest of the book.  This is an erotic novel with X-rated scenes scattered throughout.  Swearing is also a part of some scenes in the book. If this bothers you, then do not read this book.   Otherwise this book shows how relationships can develop in a reverse harem involving five guys and one girl.

Will Cherry escape the threats to her life, or will the pack suffer the consequences of protecting her? Can she learn to control an Alpha wolf and his pack, or does she even need to?

 I have enjoyed both books I have read in this series.  Pact with the Pack is a fast-paced adventurous novel.

The Heir of G.O’D. Revelations by Harper Maze
Reviewed by Katherine E. Soto

What an odd book I said to myself as I began to read it. It took one or two chapters to bring the dystopian world that the main character Ana lives in into focus. Ana is a major game player in the Arenas and tournaments set up in the world they call Sol that has taken over the virtual world on the 3arth. Sol is a giant conglomerate run by two massive companies. One does the game play and runs it, while the other gives away the equipment to play it. It’s a fine mix of the two.

It is easily overbalanced when a year before the Heir is to turn 18 years old, the dying wishes of his or her father is given to the world in a threatening gesture. The dying father says that the Heir must decide to cut off Sol or leave it running for the world to continue to live in. Unfortunately, no one knows who the Heir is. The only thing they know is that the Heir was bind at birth. Of course, it is noted by the news that blind people are being kidnapped off the streets and are disappearing.

Did I not tell you Ana is blind? Ana can see in the world of Sol due to her implants and a VR machine in the game. She cannot see anything in the real world. This makes her terrified of the real world. Ana gets involved in trying to get a visor that will help her see in the real world before the world of Sol is taken offline permanently. Adventures follow her and anyone involved with her.
I know I said it is an odd book, but it grows on you. Ana is a likeable character who sort of falls into trouble even though she has the best laid plans. She is a capable warrior in the gaming scenes in the book. She is pitiable when she travels in the real world. Her friends try to protect her and go along with most of her wants. They worry about her obsession to be able to see in the real world.

This book is full of lights and darks, good characters, and ones you would not want to meet in a dark alley. The book ends on a cliff hanger. I look forward to reading book II in this series to see what happens to the world and to Ana. 

Review of the Sand Sea by Michael McClellan

Reviewed By Katherine E. Soto

This is a fantasy adventure. It takes the reader from one end of a different world to another in a beautifully written saga that concerns a prophecy. The prophecy pulls together people from foreign lands on a different world into the Desert Sea area to demand its fulfillment. An adventurer decides to take an expedition into the area where he runs into much trouble. Is hegoing to make the trade for the things his government wants? A young man who is indiscreet and a drunk, is kidnapped from the expedition and brought to the desert people to be their leader. Is he the prophesied leader? A young lady of proper breeding is along for the adventure with this expedition. Can she represent her father’s interests and stay alive? A young girl is almost thrown into the fire to be executed. She is rescued and on the run to the people in the desert to become their leader. Can she make the right choices? A leader of a land chases this girl across the lands, while his men plot against him. Who will survive? The prophecy brings this disparate band together to decide the fate of their world. I enjoyed reading this fantasy adventure story. I would recommend it to anyone who looks for a good read about a memorable world with interesting characters.

Media you need to Use as an Author

The list below is not an end all be all list for authors. It is a place to start developing your skills in using the web to make your author kingdom bigger and better a little each day, Develop each until you have a system in place so each one is visited at least once a week.

My calendar is writing once a week to the website. I post something to my social media sites each day.

I read ARCS for other authors and post reviews to Amazon, Goodreads and Bookbub. I also send my reviews to the author for approval and corrections.

My Featured Author blog goes out on the 2nd of each month.

The Newsletter goes out the 21st of each month. I work throughout the month on it.

I am in contact with my ARC readers on my team of readers at least once a week to say hello and remind them they have an ARC to read and review for me.

See the blog article about resources I use regularly to help me in my work. https://katherineesoto-author.com/index.php/2020/10/05/8-internet-places-i-use-regularly-with-examples/

Achieving A Life Balance

Achieving a life balance means you have time for all aspects of your life: work, relationships, writing, family, and recreation. Sometimes you get overwhelmed with everything you feel you must do to be successful. However, successful people use a system in order to create a life balance.

4 things to do right now.

  1. Write out your goals. Sit down with apiece of paper and pen or your computer and write down goals in each of these areas: work, relationships, writing, family, and recreation. Think about what you want to accomplish in each area in the next 6 months. Goals need to be attainable.
  2. List your daily schedule. You need to find time to work on each of your goals during the day or week. Listing your daily schedule lets you see where times are where you can work on a goal.
  3. Use your goal list and your schedule to prioritize your life and work goals. You have to make time to work on your goals.
  4. Stick to your new schedule unless you run into an emergency. Use your new planned time to work on your goals. If you put down gym time on your schedule for certain hours, then stick to it. Sometimes you can work into your schedule unsinkable days. These are days where you plan working on your goals all day. You can pick one or all of your goals. Schedule your work time during that day to work on one or two, or all of your goals.

Using these ideas and your own schedule and goals, you can begin to work on your goals. You will see a change as you attain goals and set new ones every six months. It takes work to make change in your life.

I need ARC Readers

Grey Dawn of Dharaven: Katz Island is now in its ARC phase. I am looking for ARC readers at this time.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSctFqmiCvZx-zt6py4dWfOGiVAMrfkTQCK9dcStupriMGbfxg/viewform?fbclid=IwAR1TyHIv9FH5Inv4pcxdE3hx_LXI4VVmv04BhHc_Ku8vp1kiP8_qX6D6-3M

You can now sign up to be an ARC reader for my first book. Use the link above.

What is an ARC Reader? An ARC Reader is someone who reads an author’s book before it is published and gives a review on it for the author and publisher marketing purposes. When you sign up you are added to my ARC reader list. I will send you the ARC of the book for free. You read it and then write a review on it. You can send the review to me at ksotoemail@yahoo.com or send it to Rhet Askew Publishing.


This is an exciting time for me as an author. My book is going to be read and reviewed by interested people. Soon we will be in preproduction and begin the process to publishing the book.

Featured Author Of the Month November 2020: Michelle Murray

Author interview with Michelle Murray

Q:  What is the first book that made you cry?

A: The first book that made my cry is a book called “A Child Called It” – I don’t even remember why I read that book, but this account of child abuse would make anyone cry.

Q: What is your writing Kryptonite?

A: I would have to say just doing it, just sitting down and writing. It sounds harder than it is or should be. Some days, you just don’t feel the mojo, or make excuses not to do it. That is one of the reasons I love National Novel Writing Month in November, it gives me the motivation, guidance, and fellowship to concentrate on my writing. Though, I have only completed a novel in a month one time, I love the fellowship and getting to know fellow authors. I will miss our meetings this year.  If anyone wants to be writing buddies, this year friend me on https://nanowrimo.org/

Q: Who is one author you are friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

A: None of my close friends write, but I do belong to the Kenosha Writers Guild. Having a place to share my writing and get feedback has been extremely helpful. They help me see things I might have missed, and give suggestion for places things can be clearer, or maybe is missing something.

I also had some beta readers read my work and give their feedback and suggestions. I highly suggest using/finding a writer’s groups, and beta readers.

It amazes me what other people interrupt/find in my work.

Q: If you could tell your younger writing self-anything, what would it be?

A: I would tell my younger self (and myself now for that matter) to keep at it, keep writing, keep submitting. Don’t give up. Don’t let others discourage you from your passion. Don’t let anyone tell you it is a waste of time. Anything that you enjoy is not a waste of time!

Look around and you will be surprised at the amount of creativity in your local community.

Reach out and become involved with them. Surround yourself with positivity and support.

The world can be negative enough, you don’t need to be around anyone that adds to it.

Q: How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

A: Well, I went from small poems to a book, so that was a bit of a change. I also learned to flesh out the story and characters more.

I created a world and characters out of my imagination and crafted a story, and that is something I will always be proud of.

However, some things still haven’t changed. I still handwrite everything first; I just can’t get into typing up my stories on the computer. It doesn’t have the same feel.

I do use a rough outline and sketch of where I think the story should go, which I don’t do with my poetry. Though, sometimes, the characters have different ideas!

Q: What was the best money you ever spent as a writer? If you have not made any money, do you dream about it?

A: I would say the best money I every spent as a writer is in marketing. Getting the word out about my book, and having people buy it and read it is the best experience I think I’ll ever have.

Good notebooks and pens are always an investment also, a writer can never have too many notebooks or pens. I have notebooks lying all over the house, my husband always sighs at me, but you never know when inspiration or a story idea might come.

Before Covid, I used to bring a notebook with me and write on my lunch hour, but that’s a little harder these days if the weather isn’t nice.

I have made some money off my books, but not enough to quit my day job.

I do dream of more people reading my books and poems, and hopefully enjoying them. I never started this to be famous, and that is not my intention, but would always like more fans/readers.

Q: As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

A: I think I would choose a dream catcher. The power of dreams inspired me to write my series, and there is such a mystery about them. Why do we dream certain things? Why can we remember some and not others? A dream catcher is supposed to protect you from shadows and bad dreams. I am a positive person, and I think that would be powerful protection to avoid negative energy at night (and during the day if possible)

Q: How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

A; I have one fully completed unpublished book, a continuation of my Dream Walker series. One of these days, I will get it edited, find a cover, and publish it. I really think I have come a long way since the first book. I also have started Lightning’s Journey a prequel of what the white wizard Lightning was like before being turned into stone.

I have also started another similar book where a girl goes to another world to fight the darkness.

So that makes one completed unpublished, and two in progress.

I also started a short story about my main character and a vampire, so I guess that’s four.

If we are counting short stories, I wrote one called Rif the Snow Dog, which is unpublished.

So, we are up to five!

Q: Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction:

A: I can’t think of anything off my head that made me think differently. I read a lot of fantasy series, but I’ve recently starting readying mystery books as well. Of course, the classics are always fun to re-visit.

Q: How do you select the names of your characters?

A; I selected Miranda using alliteration, I wanted the same sound as Mystica.

For the wizards, I came up with a list of words for both Shadow and Light, and went from there

Lightning, Midnight, Shadow, Silver, Spyder, and Polaris – Can you guess which is which?

Q What is your favorite childhood book?

A I would have to say my favorite childhood book would be a tie between Huckleberry Finn, and Chronicles of Narnia.

I love Huckleberry’s Finn adventures, and am a big fan of Mark Twain. I also, as I mentioned before I am a big fantasy fan, so Chronicles of Narnia has always been one of my favorites.

Biography

Michelle Murray

Michelle is a married working mother of two fine young men (her children). She lives in Wisconsin. When not writing, she enjoys reading especially science fiction/fantasy and classics.
Her favorite authors include Shakespeare, Mark Twain, Margaret Weiss, and Colleen Houck.
She also enjoys doing painting and crafts, and spending time with her family. She enjoys going for walks, and swimming. She has been known to jump in Lake Michigan with no life jacket!

Book Blurb

 Author picture Once upon Mystica, there were six wizards, three light and three dark. One day, one of the dark wizards said a spell to trap the fellow wizards. The spell went astray, and all of the wizards were trapped in stones. Now, one curious boy finds one of these stones and releases Midnight. Midnight is loose on Mystica! He gathers an army and prepares for war. Miranda is an average college girl, until she has dreams of Mystica. Her dreams lead her to travel through Mystica to find Lightning, the one wizard that can defeat Midnight. Follow Miranda through the Plains, Ice.

Writing a rhyming poem can be difficult.

It requires a meter and rhythm plus the rhyme in order to be a readable poem.

What is rhythm in poetry? Think of a song you like. What is it about that song that makes you tap your feet or want to dance? It is the rhythm of the song. In a similar way, all poems that are not written in free verse have rhythm, or a beat, as well. We also call that beat meter. Each specific syllable in a line of poetry is called a foot. This is also referred to as a unit of meter.

Types of Meter

There are five main types of beats, or meter, that we use in poetry. Here, we will take a brief look at each type. In poetry, rhythm is expressed through stressed and unstressed syllables. Take the word, poetry, for example. The first syllable is stressed, and the last two are unstressed, as in PO-e-try. Here are the most common types of meter in the English language:

  1. Iamb: The Iamb is a pattern of one unstressed syllable followed by one stressed syllable, as in the word: en-JOY.
  2. Trochee: The trochee is one stressed syllable followed by one unstressed syllable, as in the word: CON-quer.
  3. Spondee: Spondee is a pattern of two stressed syllables in poetry. The pattern may cross over from word to word in a poem. An example of spondee might be: GO! GO! Both 1-syllable words are stressed.
  4. Anapest: The anapest is a combination of two unstressed syllables followed by one stressed syllable. Take this phrase: to the NORTH. The first two syllables are unstressed, while the final syllable is stressed.
  5. Dactyl: The dactyl is the opposite of the anapest, in that it has one stressed syllable followed by two unstressed syllables as in the phrase: FLY a-way. These metrical units, or feet, make up the beat or rhythm of poetry. (Source: https://bit.ly/3jRRaRY)

Remember songs that have a heavy beat and the words match the beat, that is usually a poem that has been written for that specific song, or else the song was built around the poem’s meter. Rhyming words help the poem’s meter to make sense.

Children’s poetry usually has the best rhythm and rhymes to study. Check out these resources.

children’s.poetry archive.org You can listen to the poems on this site.

https://americanliterature.com/poems-for-kids A list of Children’s poetry to be read.

As you read and study the Children’s poems pay attention to stressed words. Listen to the rhythm of each poem. Do you notice a difference as you read from poem to poem?

Trees

by Joyce Kilmer

Trees was written in 1913, inspired by the beauty of the natural world, written one afternoon in Kilmer’s family home in Mahwah, New Jersey. He published it as the titled work in his collection, Trees and Other Poems (1914). Its simple, lyrical verses have since been parodied by celebrated poets, notably, by Ogden Nash.

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree