What Reviewers Want (Part 1)

[This is a golden oldie—it ran on Indies Unlimited back on October 8, 2011.]

In the movie, “What Women Want,” Mel Gibson’s character is able to read women’s minds after he suffers an electrocution event. Is there anything electrocution can’t do? It got me wondering, wouldn’t it be nice if authors knew what reviewers want?

Sadly, the cord from the hair dryer was too short to reach the tub, so I thought: why don’t I just ask them what they want? I e-mailed several book reviewers, asking if they would be willing to answer a few questions about what reviewers want to see from authors. Several of them just graded my e-mail and returned it with no stars. Nonetheless, a few very good reviewers were willing to take a chance, lift their restraining orders, and come out to play. Continue reading “What Reviewers Want (Part 1)”

Sneak Peek: Immortalis Carpe Noctem by Katie Salidas

Today we have a sneak peek from Katie Salidas’ urban fantasy book,  Immortalis Carpe Noctem:

Immortalis Carpe NoctemExplore the emotional upheaval that is the transformation from human to vampire.

Bleeding to death after brutal mugging on the campus of UNLV, Twenty-five year old Alyssa, is rescued by the cold and aloof, vampire, Lysander. Taking pity on her, he shares the gift-and curse-of immortality. She awakens as a vampire and is soon devastated by harsh realities of her new way of life: An unyielding thirst for blood as well as the loss of her friends, her independence, and her humanity.

As if having her humanity stripped away was not enough to make life interesting, Alyssa finds out her “turning”, did not go unnoticed by the rest of undead society. Old enemies; an ancient sect of vampire hunters, known as the Acta Sanctorum, as well as a powerful Vampire mistress, each set plans in motion to destroy both Alyssa and Lysander.

Only by accepting her new-found immortality, seizing the night, will Alyssa hope to survive. She and Lysander must fight together against two sets of enemies bent on destroying them both.

Immortalis Carpe Noctem is available at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. Continue reading “Sneak Peek: Immortalis Carpe Noctem by Katie Salidas”

Congratulations to Author David Antrobus

First Time Dead 3Indies Unlimited staff writer David Antrobus is happy to announce that his short story “Unquiet Slumbers” has been accepted for inclusion in the May December Publications new horror anthology First Time Dead, Volume 3. The book is now available for Kindle on Amazon.com.

David has written numerous short stories which loosely belong to the horror/dark fiction genre, but this is his first published zombie story. It is the post-apocalyptic tale of a suburban soccer mom who gets the virus and, while featuring the familiar gut-churning tropes required by fans of zombie fiction, the slow disintegration of her world is surprisingly lyrical and poignant, yet still gory.

For more information on David Antrobus, visit his blog or the Indies Unlimited staff bio page.



Is it long enough? (Said the vicar to the nun) Part 1 by Chris James

Author Chris James
Author Chris James

Among my family and friends in the UK, the line “said the vicar to the nun” is a staple of our slightly-naughty sense of humour. Whenever a potential double-entendre heaves into view, you can bet someone in the room will say it. At my dad’s 70th birthday party last year, as he cut his birthday cake with a big knife he exclaimed, “Goodness me, that went in deep!” Two seconds later I uttered, “said the nun to the vicar,” and the assembled crowd fell about. Yeah, you probably had to be there.

But this post isn’t about cracking saucy gags with older relatives, it’s about one writing concern many of us have: “making length”. Just how long should your novel be? Ultimately your story should be as long as it takes to tell it, but, empty-headed-and-generally-unhelpful platitudes aside, it is capable of being any length you decide. Generally the mainstreams dictate that a “full-length novel” is 80,000 to 120,000 words, but with e-publishing some are saying that a novel only needs 40,000 words. As with so many things in fiction writing, it helps to look around. My favourite novel, The Time Machine, has only 25k words, but you’ll be hard put to find that many superbly-chosen words so skilfully put together. At the other end of the scale we have the pros: door-stops of 200k+ words that are guaranteed mega-sales in numerous territories; household names whose editors aren’t about to tell them that their latest is just too damn long. My target when I start is 100k (about 330 double-spaced A4 sides). It’s a nice, round number; I like it, and now I’ve done it twice I’m addicted to the high I feel when I reach it. Continue reading “Is it long enough? (Said the vicar to the nun) Part 1 by Chris James”