I've just been talking to a fellow author and the lovely lady I run Alinar Publishing with. We were discussing editing etc and then I was talking about my plans for the year in terms of stories. We always have this debate about ebooks and giving them away free versus selling them. I'm at a crossroads at the moment. I love writing stories but don't feel compelled to sell them. I'm trying to decide what to do with the stories I'm writing now and in the future.
I woke up this morning and stared at the ceiling, and in the quiet of my mind, I realised that I could write a story and never show it to anyone, and I'd be just as happy. Of course, I'm unlikely to do that, but it helped put some things into perspective for me, as did a chat with my husband the other night.
I like writing. No, I love writing. Writing for me is like breathing. It's a necessity, a thing that keeps me alive and going.
I don't do it for the money. I know that. I never have done. When your background is in fanfiction, you quickly realise that you write because you need to, you're compelled to. You don't do it for the cash, because that's not what it's about. It's about the story and the readers, and that's all. I write stories that I love and that aren't shaped to meet certain criteria of the market. I just write what comes to me with no thought to that genres specifics or peoples views on how a story in that genre should work, or even what's popular.
The trouble is the money can blind you... but it's not just that. It's that if you're selling it and it's got an ISBN slapped on it and it's available at Fictionwise then it must mean it's something of value... because hey, someone has to buy it to read it. It's psychological. Review sites only want books with an ISBN, readers think ebooks should be free, it all conspires to drive you mad. But honestly, a price tag doesn't really alter the value of the book. It's time people realised that.
A story that is worth something is one that touches the reader, that gives them an escape from this world into another, a place where they can be a part of a great battle, or fall in love, or cry for a lost hero. The value of a story isn't determined by whether its free or not, and if it is free, that doesn't undermine the value of it. If an author can make a connection with a reader through their words, if they can touch them and bring them happiness for just a few fleeting moments, that's priceless. It transcends money. When people of old told stories around a fire, they didn't ask for money at the start. They did it for the connection, the exchange. That's why I write.
A free story isn't necessarily bad because the author isn't charging for it. I write stories that I give away for free out of the kindness of my heart. It isn't because I hate them and think they're trash. I love all my stories. I write all of them to the best of my ability. Readers do have a tendency to start to expect free stories, which is bad. Just because it's online, doesn't mean it should be free. If something is free, it's free because of human kindness and a desire to share an experience with someone else. It's not done because they HAD to do it. It's not done because the story is worthless.
Everyone knows that I'm posting Of Blood & Snow
as a free serial right now. A chapter a week goes up. This is a story that I love and whenever I read it back to write a little more, I get lost in the world and the characters. It's one of my best stories in my eyes. I value it. I post a chapter for the connection with the reader through reviews and to see that others get something from it too, they feel the love.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that the value of a story can't be determined by a price. There are many terrible ebooks out there that will cost you $5.99 for the pleasure of reading them and wondering where the editor was, or why the author is writing at all. There are many free stories out there that will provoke the same reaction, but they were free. There are many great ebooks out there that will cost you money, and many great stories you can read for free. Free or for a price. It doesn't matter in the end. The value of a good story is determined by one thing--it connected with you.
That connection was formed by the characters, the plot, the author, and the writing. It was created by the story. It wasn't any different because you paid for it, and it shouldn't be any less valued because you got it for free.
I write to form that connection with my story. I form it and I write the story. I breathe life into the characters. I share their pain, their weakness, their moments of sheer joy, their love. I feel everything they feel. I take part in that journey.
I do this all because I love to, and I share stories with readers so they can feel what I have and know it too.
I'd get more happiness from 1000 people commenting on my story after reading it for free as I would had 1000 people paid for it, because those people are unlikely to ever contact me, and the human connection is why I send these stories out into the world.
If a story is free and you enjoyed it, then value it and what that author has given to you out of the kindness of their heart.
This post wasn't meant to turn into a "respect freely given stories" speech... but to be a reflection of the feelings behind what compels me to write and share stories with others. If everyone who reads this can understand the sentiment behind it, and what makes me tick, that I've achieved what I set out to. If they realise that free stories deserve the same respect, if not more, than paid for stories, then that's just a bonus.
It's true you know. Sometimes I miss fanfic. I don't miss the bitching out that authors seem to get into, and the underlying rivalry, because life is too short for that kind of crap. I miss the readers. They were always supportive, always took time to review, and always made you feel that spending your time writing for free was totally worthwhile.
I guess that's why I've opened my free fic site, where I post pretty much everything I write these days. I'm posting a rather long (75000 words and still going strong) vampire romance story there called Of Blood and Snow. The people reading are a mixture of my fanfic readers and my original fic readers. It's a strange place where my two worlds collide. It's not bad though...but I'm sure that some of my original fic readers keep wondering why people reviewing call me bitten! lol.
I've posted another chapter of Of Blood and Snow at my site... I think we're up to Chapter 9 now.http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/readme/
And I've posted a bunch of my other original stories and drabbles there too.
It's that time again when everyone is busy recuperating from the night before and thinking about life and what they want to do this year. It's odd that it takes the turning of the new year to make us think about these kinds of things and put a plan in action, but it's good too as it means we're all still trying to change – whether it's correcting our faults, curbing our vices, or just trying to get more out of life. Change is a good thing and nothing to be frightened of.
I've got a challenging year ahead, but that's because it's what I need to make the most out of my life. Sometimes I take the easy way out (don't we all?) and it's time I switched to the route of trying and failing rather than never trying at all.
2008 will be a mixture for me, personal challenges, writing challenges and those resolutions we make every year but always fail to keep.
Resolution 1 – Writing. To write VR Novel (that's its codename) to the best of my abilities, edit it thoroughly, and send it out to big trade publishing houses / good agents. If it fails to get noticed, it doesn't matter. I'm ready for rejection letters and honestly believe that I'll be seeing some, but it's the trying that counts with this one. I want to see if I'm ready yet, and at least then I can say that I've taken the big leap.
Resolution 2 – Health. To lose around 28 pounds, increase my fitness, continue at Kendo.
Resolution 3 – Enjoyment. To give life my all and take the opportunity to enjoy it at every turn.
Resolution 4 – Learn. To learn Japanese, including hiragana and katakana.
That's all of them. I like to keep things simple and resolutions aren't about setting impossible tasks for yourself. Four is a good number to have.
Kicking it off with Health then... off to do some cycling and watch some Fullmetal Alchemist.
It's been so long since I've properly updated this blog. I'm talking a normal post like this one, not a promo. The reason is that I've been quite busy with website stuff, work and things at home. I have a few minutes now and I fully intend to be more chatty on my blogs over the coming year!
I can't believe that a year has passed already. It's gone by so quickly, the blink of an eye, and I've not done half the stuff I intended to do, but I did get a lot done.
This year has been wonderful for me since it's given me so much to sing about. I've had two number 1 bestsellers, have been high up the bestselling authors list on fictionwise and have had numberous top 10s. It's been more than I could've asked for and it's really made me see what a supportive readership I have. I really hope that this support reflects your enjoyment of my writing and that you do love my stories as much as I love them myself.
What have I been up to recently? Well, I've got a new story out in January. It's a free novella in my Vampires Realm series and it's called Reunion. I've also been working on writing a story called Of Blood and Snow, another vampire romance but not set in the VR world. It's available free on my website ( http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk
) and is posted serially. I'm still writing it and it's surpassing my guestimate of 60'000 words tops as it's now 73'000 words and still going. I think it will be 100'000 by the time I'm done with it. I'll have to begin posting double chapters each week!
My plans for the future aren't private. It's my hope next year to try and get trade published by one of the big houses or get myself an agent. My first target is to get published by one of the many houses that accepts manuscripts from authors without agents. I'm writing a Vampires Realm novel in an attempt to do this and I've been collating notes for it. I'm very excited about this novel and I know that readers will love it whether it comes out with one of the big boys, or with someone else. I think it's the ideal candidate for attempting to break into publishing with or getting myself an agent.
I'm also going to try to re-edit Prophecy and get that published, but it's more difficult as it's a trilogy and it's harder to get publishers to take a punt on unknown authors if the books follow on from one another.
I have more Vampires Realm novels to write next year too, and would like to find time to write some non-VR stories also.
All in all, it's going to be a busy year for me, but it's going to be a fun one too... and also one full of fear, hopes, dreams and hard work. I hope you'll all stick with me!
p.s MORE CHAPTERS OF "OF BLOOD AND SNOW" UP NOW - http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/readme/
Hi all... wow that's a bit of a formal way of starting this...
I've posted up to chapter 4 of my new story - Of blood and snow - now... it's free... have a read...
For those that have been hiding under a rock... here's the blurb... Of blood and snow (paranormal romance)
Scarlet is a Lance Corporal in the Seventh Company under the command of Captain Corazon. From the moment she set eyes on him, Scarlet knew that her world would never be the same. Cold hearted as he appears, she falls for him regardless and strives to prove herself to him so he will see her for all that she's worth and love her in return.
The war against the humans is a constant fight for survival, and each night they face death as they defend the Fourth Garrison. Will time be against them, or will Corazon open his heart to Scarlet and let her in at last?
so, clicky clicky on the pretty banner... read, enjoy and review.
Bitten calling the world, come in world. Can you hear me? Are our connections open?
It's been a while, I know, but the world is full of busy days...
i began writing a vampire romance this week, and I couldn't stop. And while I was writing I was thinking, what shall I do with it? The answer is - I don't know. Will I publish it someday? Possibly definitely. But for now I've decided to offer it up for reading and reviews at my shiny new site - Of Blood & Snow. There i'll be posting stories that haven't whispered to me what future they'd like--free or published--and until they make up their minds, that's where they'll stay.
so, clicky clicky on the pretty banner... read, enjoy and review.
October 13th is Alinar Publishing's
To celebrate, we're offering
15% off all books
on the site from today until Sunday 21st!
For me this is a double celebration as
In Heat has now sold 1000 copies!
Thanks to everyone who has bought it.
To those who haven't, what are you waiting for?
Grab it while there's this fantastic discount on it.
Don't forget, we'll be chatting from
Friday 12th October to Sunday 14th October.
Come along and meet the authors,
read great excerpts and get a hold of some sneak previews!
It's been a while since I posted here. Life's been very hectic and I just can't keep on top of everything all the time...
Firstly, I can't remember if I've pointed everyone in the direction of my MySpace. I've just given it a new layout, so please take a look and friend me if you've got a MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/felicityheaton
Secondly, Tales of the Slayer
has been updated with various chapters and things.
There's a new story in the form of Beautiful Disaster
Post The Gift. To get rid of Glory, Giles, Willow and Tara open a portal to a dimension that is nothing more than an empty world. As the portal is being summoned Spike is rescuing Dawn and getting skewered in the process. His blood spills onto the portal below and Buffy's blood is on Glory as she pushes her through. What does a portal do when there's nothing to exchange on the other side? Using the blood of Buffy and Spike it creates replicas of them, only when they were 5 years old. Welcome Elizabeth and William...
And there's a new chapter of Love in Vein book 3
Buffy and Spike are subjected to a boring Watcher meeting, and when they finally escape, Buffy's new bracelet triggers Spike, sending him back into crazy land...and when he comes around, Giles discovers his secret.
And finally there's the first five chapters of my new vampire novel, Prophecy: Child of Light:
A girl unlike any other girl, a vampire unlike any other vampire, Prophecy lives life in the dark until the night she breaks the rules. Leaving the family mansion to hunt for the first time, she encounters Valentine, a vampire from her family's enemy and a man who will change her life forever.
Suddenly at the centre of a prophecy, she is kidnapped by Valentine, the man who should have been her executioner, and forced to run with him in order to save herself. Required to work together, the tension between them builds as a dark evil threatens to destroy the world, their families and the Law Keepers attempt hunt them down, and Prophecy discovers that her feelings for Valentine control her new found power.
When the truth about her is revealed, will Prophecy be strong enough? Will they discover a way to save the world from Hell? And will they finally see past the hatred bred into them by their families and surrender to their love?
The first of the Vampires Realm novels being written by five star author F E Heaton, Prophecy: Child of Light, is part one in an epic tale of love and war that is sure to capture your heart and leave you craving more.
So, run along and check them out: http://www.talesoftheslayer.com
Felicity aka Bitten
Well, I've got my first bestseller. Prophecy: Child of Light
is currently at Number 10 in the Fictionwise Bestsellers List
, and is now Number 9 in the Fictionwise Romance List
. (it was number 7). Needless to say I'm very excited about that. I can't believe the great attention this story has received. It's technically a bestseller. lol. Check it out here: http://www.fictionwise.com/eBooks/eBook44209.htm
I'm really hoping that book two, Prophecy: Caelestis & Aurorea
, lives up to the first one. Dear God, what are you all gonna make of Venturi? Well, love him or hate him, he's an integral character. Personally, I think he's brilliant.
I've just finished writing the first draft of book three, Prophecy: Dark Moon Rising
. I'm reading it through now before sending it off to the ever-lovely Maria so she can give me her much needed opinion of it.
If you'd like to know more about the characters - vist the website: http://www.vampiresrealm.com
Prophecy: Child of Light
, my epic vampire romance, is now available at Fictionwise.com and for a limited time only is just $4.24!http://www.fictionwise.com/eBooks/eBook44209.htmSummary:
A girl unlike any other girl, a vampire unlike any other vampire, Prophecy lives life in the dark until the night she breaks the rules. Leaving the family mansion to hunt for the first time, she encounters Valentine, a vampire from her family's enemy and a man who will change her life forever. Suddenly at the centre of a prophecy, she is kidnapped by Valentine, the man who should have been her executioner, and forced to run with him in order to save herself. Required to work together, the tension between them builds as a dark evil threatens to destroy the world, their families and the Law Keepers attempt hunt them down, and Prophecy discovers that her feelings for Valentine control her new found power. When the truth about her is revealed, will Prophecy be strong enough? Will they discover a way to save the world from Hell? And will they finally see past the hatred bred into them by their families and surrender to their love? The first of the Vampires Realm novels being written by five star author F E Heaton, Prophecy: Child of Light, is part one in an epic tale of love and war that is sure to capture your heart and leave you craving more. CAUTION: CONTAINS GRAPHIC VIOLENCE, SCENES OF A SEXUAL NATURE AND BLOODPLAYReviews:
"F.E. Heaton is one person who can kick butt when it comes to magic and the paranormal... This is the first in a series that this reviewer is going to keep an eye out for... readers will be enchanted with F.E. Heaton's imagination and her way of pulling you into this world and different places so easily you will not want to put it down... Awesome job F.E. Heaton and I can't wait for the second in the series."--Lena C, Fallen Angel Reviews - 5 Angel Recommended Read
"The twists and turns in this suspense filled story will keep your attention. This first book of the Vampires Realm definitely made me sit up and take notice and I'm already eagerly anticipating the next in the series. 4.5 Stars!"--Trang, Ecataromance.com
Buy it now for just $4.24! http://www.fictionwise.com/eBooks/eBook44209.htm