Final Post

This is the FINAL post I'm doing on this blogsite. My blog WILL continue, but it will be on my homepage. Please check out my website, I have ported ALL old posts onto my site.

This decision is because of two things: time - and offensive sites.

In trying to keep all the pieces of my life in the air, I have to downsize some things so I can grow others. I simply lack the time to keep two separate sites updated, along with uploading books and covers onto Amazon and Smashwords. So, I'm letting this blogsite go, and instead, my blog and all information are on my website - ALL in one place. So yes, fewer places to remember to update, but more maintenance on the ones I do continue.

The proverbial straw, was that a few adult sites have decided it's OK to link to my blog. Just because of where I happen to live, I am apparently fair game. Not only are there links to my blog, I'm actually getting propositions. While some could find the humor in this, personally, I want nothing to do with any kind of adult sites and I don't find humor in getting pulled into it. I requested the sites to remove whatever link they had. They didn't. And I got disgusting offers.

PLEASE check out my website and keep in touch!

Julie L. York

This is not a porn site...

I haven't been on here in a while because I've been hoping that a porn/random hook-up site that is directing traffic to me would stop. Just to be clear...

THIS IS NOT A PORN SITE AND I DON'T WANT TO HOOK-UP.

See, there's this neat thing called Stats on my blog's dashboard, that allows me to see where in the world people are visiting from - what country, what websites have referred (linked) traffic to me (full web addresses included), what browsers are used, what day of the week it was, and what specific post was looked at.

This give me tons of information about where I might need to update, who my audience is, did they search for something specific ... for an author who's audience tends to be all over, it's great stuff. However, it's really creepy to see that nine people in the last month, from a porn/random hook-up site, clicked on some skanky picture, and ended up on my blog. I don't want my name attached to anything like that ... there are plenty of willing women out there. I am NOT one of them.

I did go to the site, to see where my name was. The home page was so explicit and disturbing, that I exited, and won't go back. I don't know where my name is attached, and I don't care. I'm just hoping that with the message I just sent to the company, it will stop. And, yes, I know that the instant the users see this site, they know it's not what they were looking for. It doesn't matter. That's not the point. I didn't OK this site to use my name, which I do own, and I don't want it attached to stuff like like.

For those who say there's no such thing as bad press/advertising ... yes, yes there is.

RNConvention

I've just spent the most amazing 5 days with authors from all over the world! Jimmy Thomas' Romance Novel Convention was just awesome - and the first one I've ever gone to. After learning so much in such a short time, I'm not sure I'll want to go to any others. He put together an amazing collection of presenters, with such a broad range of topics totally relevant to authors, cover artists, indie publishers...I'm still trying to assimilate it all.

With the incredibly helpful hints and tips by Liliana Hart, Jimmy, and the wonder InDtale magazine staff...there will be a lot of shifting and moving in how I do things. Liliana said to make Facebook my new best friend, with Twitter coming a close second. My Facebook site is up and running, and though it's not yet my best friend, we're getting there. Twitter is going to require a "For Dummies" course - I have no idea how to use it. But when I have an account, I'll post it here, and on my Facebook site.

Between the insanely helpful convention, and re-injuring a torn disk that left me bed bound for all of July, I am REALLY behind. Never fear, however, I have had lots of time to think!

Keep up with the latest here, and on Facebook!

Julie L. York

I've had some messages from my international fans - how awesome is the Internet! I know people in Australia, New Zealand, Britain, Russia, and more, are reading and enjoying my books. It's mind boggling...

There's been some questions on when Book 2 of Solomon will be out, and...it's hard to say. I've had some health issues the past few months that have ground everything to a halt, not just my writing. Until it all settles down, I have to go slower than I want, but I finally feel good enough to be able to give my best when I write. The one thing I won't ever do is half-assed writing. If I can't give it my best, I won't do it until I'm able. I'm slowly picking up all the pieces, still juggling teaching and my children and writing...

Yes, there will definitely be a Book 2. There is one more Novella currently under construction before I begin Book 2 in earnest. As I wrote "Hacker," then "Defender" to flesh out the awesome characters that surround Solomon and Jamie, plot lines explaining how it all fits together began working their way into the Novellas - especially Judah's and Jethro & Sarah's story (hint hint). I meant for the Novellas to be a character study for fun, but as I delved into them, I began to realize that the characters' choices in the past and present have resounding effects on Solomon and Jamie's future. I'm having to completely back away from the "don't worry about reading the Novellas, they're just fun"... the plot lines inside the Novellas are essential to Book 2. However, I will do my best to include brief descriptions of the necessary plot lines inside Book 2.

But, I really need to finish this Novella before I begin Book 2. I'm planning on taking my notes and ideas gathered during the Novellas and jumping in as soon as Alan's story is done. I plan on having "Traitor" done in a few weeks, and I'll immediately start Book 2.

The currently-in-progress Novella - "Traitor" - is about Alan Stevens, Solomon's third Lieutenant. The how's and why's of his choices are integral to Book 2, as they started Solomon's whole security mess (and then some) in the first place. (Don't worry, I've been keeping track of notes and ideas to be written in Book 2 as I write the Novellas. It'll all make sense. Honest.)

I'm still debating doing Novellas for Kevin and Mo, but at the moment I don't see the need for their back stories in my plot for Book 2, but as I've found in writing, never say never because the characters might not agree.

I want Solomon's parents...

...and I totally mean that, and not just because I wrote it. How to tell a "real" author from a poser...if someone who's written ever talks about the characters running away with the story, or writing themselves into bigger parts, or how they wouldn't shut up until their story was written down, that's an author, not just someone trying to claim the title. There's just something about truly creating where the subject just kinda, takes over. I've seen it happen to my daughters who are artists...they sit down to create and the finished image isn't always what they initially intended because part way through inspiration takes over.

Don't get me wrong, a smart author has things written down - plot points, a timeline, rough draft...something. But when the creativity is allowed to just...happen...the subconscious just takes over and sometimes the characters veer off to the left when the whole purpose of the chapter was to make them go right. New ideas and plots appear out of no where, and bad guys sometimes just pop up when they're least expected.

More so than any of the other novellas, the characters of Jethro and Sarah Aleph just took over their own story and I just held on desperately for the ride. Believe me, I had NO intention of writing Jethro's death...from his point of view, and as it was happening...but Jethro disagreed. Loudly. It was so emotionally wracking to write those few pages that I wanted to curl up in my closet and hide for a few days to recover. I sometimes wonder if my characters enjoy seeing me squirm, knowing that I feel what they do when I write, as if it's happening to me.

(Did I mention that authors might be classic cases of multiple personalities because some of us can hear our characters in our heads. *snort* at least I don't have conversations with them.)

Jethro & Sarah: An Aleph Novella, is now available on Smashwords, as always, there are multiple eBook formats there.

Defender: An Aleph Novella...

...is now up and running on Barnes&Noble and Amazon. Those who want the Kindle edition, give it a day or two for Amazon to catch up to the correct price. It shows the wrong amount right now, and, unfortunately I don't control when they figure it out. Hopefully soon.

Within a week, Shomeyr - Judah's story - should appear automatically on Barnes&Noble. Once it's there, it'll be uploaded to Amazon.

I'm about 2/3 through the story of Solomon's parents. Barring any more illness or other unforeseen craziness that often accompanies my family, my editor should have their story in her hands by Monday.

You know you're sick when...

...you wake up from a much needed nap during a week-long chest cold. The kids are home from school and you walk out to make sure they're doing homework and not destroying the house...

...and you start asking questions, but one of your teenage daughters starts laughing at you and says...

..."Mom, stop talking, I can't take you seriously, you sound like a drag queen."...

...and all the rest of the kids start laughing...

So much love and compassion for mom when she's sick.

My reply?

"I'm going back to bed now, and drag queens are much hotter than I am."

I only woke up in full non-drag queen form this morning.

And another one...

First things first, while I won't apologize for putting up the last post, I will apologize for how awful it sounds. That's normally not me. Oh, trust me, I've got a temper, but I usually spout words for a bit, and it blows over. Or, I'll write vitriol and scathing responses, let it sit for a few days, delete, edit and then maybe not even email or post it. Sometimes it's just good to type it out of the system...screaming that way. Unfortunately I got hit on several reviews questioning, and personally attacking, my writing and ethics. I don't tolerate that well, and I doubt anyone else would either. Too often people in cyberspace puke up crap online without thinking about the repercussions of their words, hiding behind the relatively safe anonymity of the Internet...would any of those reviewers have said any of that to my face? No. No one is that brave in person, and most of us know better than to treat someone like that, when they're in front of us. So my advice, before you launch words into cyberspace about someone over something they've created, and you've read, ask yourself two things: would you have the guts to say the same thing in person? and how would you feel if you read that about yourself?

Moving on...

I've got a Goodreads account up and running and all my books have been added. Now, I'm not completely sure about everything that I can do with an author's page on Goodreads, yet. It seems that the never-ending cold just keeps orbiting my house. My family loves to share, and just when we think we're over that latest plague to hit, someone comes home from school or work and shares another one. Once my world stops spinning, and my inner ears clear, I'll sit in front of my account and figure out every awesome thing I can do.

Aleph Novellas #2 and #3 are up and running (in multiple formats) at Smashwords. The second story is about Solomon Aleph's best friend, Fitzwilliam Pederson. The third is about Shomeyr, Judah Rasmussen aka Private. I'm currently half way through writing about Solomon's parents, and loving every minute. I'm almost loving Jethro Aleph more than I love his son. Almost.

I may have to change my mind a bit about the necessity of reading the Aleph Novellas in order to understand Book 2. I've stated that it's not needed...but I'm wondering if I can keep that promise. As I write the Novellas, especially "Shomeyr" and the one with Jethro and Sarah Aleph, I'm find so many hints (and outright plots) within them, that I'm not sure I can just drop hints within Book 2 and make everything make sense at the end. Once I'm finished with all of the Novellas, I'll have to make a list of plot points (the when's and where's and how's) to see if I can work everything into Book 2 - which, though not written, it thought about...often.

In order to do justice to 30 years worth of history, how the mess Solomon is in started, there's no way I could pull off as many flashbacks as I'd need in order for it all to make sense, and put them all into Book 2. So, to answer a query from a different review, yes, I really do need to write the Novellas first.

New Novella, and changes on the homefront

It's been awhile since I've made an appearance, but unlike a few snarky comments left in reviews of my books, I am not dead, nor am I lazy. I've never hidden the fact that I am a mother and that I have  part time jobs, besides writing. Writing is Not my full time occupation, as much as I'd love it to be. Since the start of the school year, I've returned to teaching, and worked in an office, and written, and had my kids ongoing school lives to keep track of. I am a teacher, and author, and a designer - but above all, I'm a mom, and often my own wants and needs get pushed aside to make sure that theirs are met. And unfortunately for those who have come to love some of my characters as much as I do, my writing is typically what gets shoved aside first.

With 3 part time jobs, and kids, by Christmas something had to give, and having panic attacks was not helping me think straight. Realizing that as awesome as I am in the office world, it is not where I belong, I decided that an easy paycheck isn't worth the stress of knowing I need to be elsewhere. Before graphic design ever existed as a job, and before I found my voice, I wanted to teach. I spent 4 years training for it, and everyday since with my kids living it. I'm back in the classroom, in jeans and Vans, and haven't felt so at home in years. I am only a substitute teacher, for now, which means I get to pick the days that I work, and who I work for.

Giving notice at my office job took so much weight off my sanity, that in the following two days, I started and finished the second Aleph Novella (Fitz's story - Defender), and wrote the third (Judah's story - Shomeyr), sent it to my beta reader, and am now doing the final clean up. I'm subbing all this week, so it's slowed me down a bit. "Defender: An Aleph Novella" is currently up and running at Smashwords, which means it will trickle to everywhere but Amazon in 2-3 weeks. (You Can purchase a Nook, Kindle, or Reader version at Smashwords.) Judah's story "Shomeyr" will be put up next, it should on Smashwords this weekend. And, I have the outline ready to go on Solomon's parents.


Also to answer another question, from a different review, I have not continued Aleph Novel #2, not because I'm lazy or ran out of ideas, but because the last part of the story needs to ferment for a little bit. Part of that fermentation process is writing the novellas. As they are "becoming," I am finding that major plot points are being revealed along the way. These plot points will be hinted at in Book #2, but the novellas help me sort through all the conflicting ideas, making them into a cohesive and believable continuation of Solomon's story. Often there are months, and sometimes up to a year between Parts 1 and 2 of books (I still read voraciously), so I know I'm not the only author who needs to think between books.

Some eBook updates

I took some time today to update the information in my eBooks, and upload new versions at Smashwords and Amazon. I added my web & blog addresses to all of them that didn't have it in there. And I updated "Lady Bryn" to reflect some location concerns I'd gotten in the feedback from readers on Amazon. At the time it was written, I thought it was completely obvious that there had been a location change (to a different continent). Going back over it, with almost a year of focusing on other things, I re-read and was just as confused as many of you no doubt were. It's been taken care of, within the first two or three sentences of that chapter.

Sometimes it takes months for brains to process out the story before I can go back with fresh eyes. Keep up the good work on keeping me on my toes. Let me know where the issues are, and they'll eventually be taken care of.

Happy reading!

Julie L. York

Colds suck, especially when finding out bad news

One of the questions I was asked recently, was about the site Goodreads. I briefly looked at it over the weekend, thanks to the Yearly Fall Cold that someone always manages to bring home. It looks like a great way to be able to chat, add comments and reach more voracious readers and authors. Once my head stops spinning long enough to think straight, I'll give it a go. (Honestly, it's taken all afternoon just to update the backgrounds on my blog and website, and normally that's an hour long thing. At most.)

About Amazon...they are making it very uncomfortable to publish with them by putting their desire for money ahead of an author's best interests, trying to stick it to other publishers by using authors and their royalties as the pawns.

Here's a true for example: With them, I cannot set the price on Hacker (or any other story) to $.99 - unless I am OK with a being paid 35% of $.99. This option also gives Amazon exclusive rights to randomly make that story free, no matter what I want, and I have no say in how long any promotions last. If I want control of how my novella is promoted, and want 70%, I MUST make it $2.99. They just recently opened India up to eBooks. But in order to get the 70% option, I have to give them my book, and ONLY them, for 90 days before anyone else can have it. Conceivably, that means it could take Nook and iPad readers 4-5 months after that to get any of my latest books, just to get a fair deal with Indian readers. Huh?

While Amazon does have a price matching ability, it takes someone cluing them in, copying and pasting the link, and their bots hunting it down. I told Amazon about the $.99 price at Smashwords, and Hacker is still over priced. (It was published the 15th, I told them the 16th, and it's still $2.99.)

Now, don't get me wrong, I use Amazon for LOTS of my personal shopping, and love them. But as an author, I'm very ambivalent about continuing to publish with them. Smashwords has the Kindle (.mobi) version of all my stories on their site, so Kindle users will still be able to download and read them...but not using Amazon means a few extra steps for Kindle users. I want my stories to be as accessible as possible, but Amazon's becoming more heavy handed as time goes on.

Please don't misread my comments as greed...I have two part time jobs, separate from my children and home...I am NOT writing to become insanely rich. I write because I love to, and because the stories in my head won't leave me alone until they have been released out into the unsuspecting public.

BUT, just because I'm realistic enough to know that my pocketbook isn't destined to be as thick as JK Rowling's or Stephen King's, I am NOT willing to roll over and let someone stick it to me just because I'm an indie author. All income helps, but sometimes it's just icing on the cake of reality.

Happy Reading!

Julie L. York

Hacker: An Aleph Novella!

After getting the new school year off and running, doing some re-thinking, deep breathing, and making some decisions, I'm recharged. The first of my Aleph Novella series is now available at Smashwords.com. Amazon is having some issues, but the Kindle edition is currently up and running on Smashwords. Once Premium approval is given by the humans working at Smashwords, it'll be sent out to all eRetailers. In the case of Sony, Barnes&Noble, and iBooks, it took just over a month from the time I uploaded at Smashwords, to being listed.

"Hacker: An Aleph Novella" is about the character Gregory Todd, Solomon's Hacker Lieutenant. There are some past events and some concurrent events blended together to give you a closer look into this fascinating Were.

In the next day or two I'll add to this blog some of the questions and answers I've gotten and given through my email. My website will also be updated with the latest book, and which ones are coming up in what order. I am going to attempt to have just over a month between the release of each novella. Some have been easier to envision and write than others, so that may not hold true - especially with the holiday season coming up.

Just curious, anyone interested in how some of the Weres spend Christmas, or have spent it in the past, or is that too kitschy?

Happy reading!

Julie L. York

Almost done - Honest!

I'm sending the first novella off to my beta-reader tonight, so stay tuned for the release. It's called "Hacker: An Aleph Novella." It's some of the back story of Solomon's computer geek Were, Gregory Todd. He's my teens' favorite character, just behind Judah, so his got written first.

I've been asked about why it's two Books, and novellas. Here's how things work in my mind. Sort of. I get an idea for a book, with plots and characters. They swirl around for awhile before I put anything in writing. But as I write, secondary characters and subplots show up as I put the words into sentences. Often I write things scene by scene, even if it takes several chapters to finish the scene I've envisioned. As the scenes progress, new ideas appear. (For example, when I began the book, Mo did not exist.) Once the scene is finished, the characters and plots start swirling. Again.

So, you see, it's all a work in progress. The basic plot stays the same, but ideas and characters are always interfering. Which is how "Solomon Aleph" went from one book to two, to two plus a series of novellas. The characters have too much to say to include it all into one novel, and they are too interesting to ignore.

Hope your holiday weekend was safe and fun.

Julie L. York

"Solomon Aleph" is everywhere - wow!

OK, "Aleph" lovers! "Solomon Aleph" is officially on Barnes & Noble and iBooks! So ... iPad, iPod, iPhone and Nook readers, dig in and enjoy!

Happy Reading!

Julie L. York

Smashwords distribution information

There is an update on the distribution of "Solomon Aleph" to your favorite eBook sellers. First off, Smashwords runs each book through a review, to make sure it's good enough to be sent to the sellers. Once that's done, it gets shipped to the sellers, who then run it through their own review process. "Solomon Aleph" was just approved through Smashwords and will be shipped out according to the schedule below.

Amazon is not on the list, as I upload them to Amazon myself, separately from Smashwords. The two are talking and will - hopefully soon - merge their technology so that someday I will only have to upload in one place. Until then, the .mobi file (Kindle) is available in both places.
  • Sony - Ships every Thursday or Friday. Books appear about 2 weeks after.
  • Barnes & Noble - Ships every Thursday or Friday. Books usually appear within days.
  • Apple - Ships daily. They manually review all books from all publishers and all distributors. Their reviews usually take up to 2 weeks, sometimes longer.
  • Kobo - Ships daily. Books usually appear within a few days.
  • Diesel - Ships every Thursday or Friday.

I've been checking these sites about my other books, too. Once "Solomon Aleph" shows up, I will post it here.

Happy Reading!

Julie L. York


Q & A updates

This was part of my reply to a question about the future "Solomon Aleph" stories, but I felt it warranted it's own post.

Here's my plan. Some of the most interesting characters are the secondary ones, but instead of making the next novel too long, I'm going to write "prequel" novellas for a few of them. I believe many of them are owed a separate story. It'll flesh them out more, introduce plot points, and explain their actions better. (Read - they are screaming at me and won't shut up until I write down their stories. Solomon and Jamie are quiet at the moment. Sort of.)

So far I have in mind a novella for: Gregory Todd, Fitz Pederson, Judah Rasmussen, and Alan Stevens. My beta reader has asked for more on Mo, and Sarah Aleph is kinda trying to butt in, dragging Kevin Banks with her.

These stories will not have to be read in order - each takes place at different times in the characters' lives - nor will you need to read "Solomon Aleph" in order to read and understand the novellas. They will add more information to the plot, but not reading them won't take away from the second book. (And at this point, I'm only aiming for a second one - but once the characters have their way with me, a third might not be out of the question.)

Since my kids are yelling at me for their favorite character, Gregory Todd, and I have to live with them, his novella is going to be written first. I can't honestly say how long it will be till it's done. But I'll post it here when it's off to my beta reader.

I feel like the Bartles & Jaymes guys by saying this: Thank you for your support! I have LOVED writing these characters, and love that others love them.

Happy reading!

Julie L. York

"Solomon Aleph" is on Smashwords

It's finally there. "Solomon Aleph" is up and running at Smashwords.com and Amazon.com. It'll take about 12 hours to get loaded onto Amazon, but ALL eReader formats are available at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/205339

You can download any eReader format, Kindle included.

Hope you all enjoy the characters as much as I do.

Happy reading!

Julie L. York

God's sense of humor is real!

Fate. God. Karma. Murphy's Law. Bad vibes. Whatever the name, it's camped out on my front porch. My beta-reader got "Solomon Aleph" back to me, and I had the sole intention of working my butt off this past weekend to finish it. Obviously, that didn't happen.

The piston rod shot through the oil pan and exhaust system of MY vehicle after work, just as the weekend approached. In layman's terms, imagine a .45 caliber bullet being shot into and through an engine block. That's the amount of damage done to my engine. Needless to say, MY vehicle (being the main people hauler) had to be replaced. So, my Saturday was spent shopping, and not 'cuz I wanted to. (Anyone else hate it when retail therapy is a "have to" and not a "want to?")

Sunday did not go any better. With a me ensconced in a new vehicle, and payments looming in the near future, the battery on my husband's car decided to die. At my brother's house. On the other side of the valley. In 109 degree heat. Battery stores are not open on Sundays. Even in Sin City. OK, Autozone, and the like, ARE open, but the battery is still under warranty. Buying a new one was NOT happening.

Now, there is a bright side to all this. I was NOT driving when the rod tore a hole through my engine - it would have been like hitting a brick wall doing 50. All I did was start it after work. And the piston rod did not go up and through my hood, where the shrapnel could have damaged me or other vehicles, but down toward the ground. AND my husband was at a relative's house, not at work. In an empty employee parking lot, stranded in the 109 heat, when the battery died.

With "Solomon Aleph" back to me, and things calming down, I will be busy every day after work doing my editing and polishing so that I can release it this weekend. I will post here when it's up on Smashwords and Amazon.

Murphy needs to move. Any takers?

Julie L. York

Initial Blog - I am SO twenty-first century

I am not new to the Internet, thanks to being in college in the very early '90's, when HTML was just a thought, MOSAIC ruled, the only images online were from porn shops, and, obviously, no filters existed. (Talk about a shocking experience for an 18 year old, even one who grew up in the San Fransisco Bay Area!) Most of my friends snicker that I haven't blogged before, when I'm the one they ask to explain computers, software and technology. So it's with a bit of embarrassment that I admit I'm a bit trepidatious about doing this correctly.

Enough readers of "Lady Bryn" have emailed me about my upcoming novel "Solomon Aleph," and followed the thread on Amazon, that it sped up my plans to be online. All my announcements will be here, with a link to my almost-finished website. This way I can answer all questions at one time, and you can all get the same answers.

About "Solomon Aleph" ... I spoke with my beta-reader today and was totally blown away to find out she moved out of state! It's a testament to the craziness of the end of the school year, starting a new job (for both of us) and the insanity with re-locating - she swore she told me she was moving, and I hadn't paid attention to not getting texts from her on a semi-normal basis to think anything was off. Life at its best!

While on the phone with her, she found my email that contained the book and promised to get it done as soon as she could. I promise that if I haven't heard by Thursday, that I'll be calling to get an update. Once again, to be fair, she does have a full-time job and she's doing this for me for free because she loves me and loves to read what I write. (She asked for this blog address, so she may pop in and out.)

To save time, while she's doing her read-through, I'll be doing my final one. That way we should both finish at the same time. Once I have a set date for it being available, I will post it here.

Promise.

Julie L. York