Monday, October 30, 2023

Braving Fate: A Fate of the Gods Novella and a COST OF LIVING/Patreon update!

Yes, yes I did write another Fate of the Gods novella, and it's releasing as a serial on Patreon beginning THIS WEEK!

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BRAVING FATE takes place during the contemporary timeline of FORGED BY FATE--in fact, it's the events of that portion of the book from Thor's perspective!
Thor is Oathbound to protect the House of Lions as well as to keep Adam and Eve apart. When Adam finds the House of Lions at the very same moment Eve has returned to them, engaged to be married to its heir, Garrit DeLeon, Thor has no choice but to involve himself far more closely in her life than he'd prefer--as much as he loves her and desires her happiness, he never wished to endure a front-row seat to her marriage to another man. Particularly when he finds the man in question so unworthy of her.

Unlike WIELDING FATE, this novella is not nearly as spoileriffic for the entire rest of the series, and it's complete as is, so eventually I'll be releasing it wide--but it's been pushed back to 2025 at the earliest because, if you did not read my newsletter and already learn the news:


This is not a sabbatical from writing. I'm just not going to be doing production and publishing work. I hate it and I am tired and I have 40+ individual titles in my backlist across three pen names now, and I just want to opt out of the content mill grind for a little bit, so I'm going to take some time to enjoy writing just for myself, rather than inside this "content creator" ecosystem we've built.

Which is all to say that everything that is currently Patreon Exclusive will be REMAINING Patreon exclusive that much longer! So if you want to read it, that's where you'll find it!

  • WIELDING FATE: Part One, A Fate of the Gods Novella (The beginning of Ra and Athena's book which was staying Patreon Exclusive for the foreseeable future anyway.)

  • KING OF THE LAPITHS: A Helen of Sparta Side Story (Pirithous and Polypoetes's short story which takes place during the events of Helen of Sparta--I never made up my mind about releasing this wide but that can is getting kicked way down the road now!)

  • BRAVING FATE: A Fate of the Gods Novella (which will wrap up in December as a serial for $1 and $2 patrons. Patrons at the $5 level will get a downloadable epub of the full novella mid-November!)

  • OF GODS AND JOTUNS: A Collection of Short Stories (the paperback is available wide, but the ebook collection is Patron only, and I intend for it to stay that way, for everyone at the $5 and up level!)

  • COST OF LIVING (my Ur-Novel, which is getting an extremely limited special edition physical release but otherwise will remain Patreon exclusive--but the serialized edition is coming down at the end of the year, and will be replaced by a downloadable epub edition of the full novel, available only to patrons at the $5 level or above. This epub will REMAIN patreon exclusive basically forever!)
Phew, okay. That's a lot of information. And let me drop a quick reminder that you can listen to the whole of A BROKEN HORSE, my Trojan War retelling PODCAST on Patreon right now, too! 
So there are plenty of reasons to Patron Up before the year ends! GO FORTH, FRIENDS!

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Thursday, March 09, 2023

Building Your Author Platform (A Twitter Thread)

I have been living this authorlife for nearly 15 years, friends, so when I say this, I hope very much you will take it to heart, because it is a lesson many of us had to learn the hard way--and there is no reason you should have to!

When you are building an author platform, keep in mind you want your audience to be READERS.

It is great to connect with other writers! You need writer friends! But you cannot JUST be talking to other WRITERS on your platform, you need to be building an audience of READERS.

Look, I get it. Writing is what you do, it's what I do, so it's easy to talk about! Of course!!! and to a limited extent, readers are interested in process--the behind the scenes look at what's happening that results in a novel. But that's only AFTER they have read and loved your work!

FIRST you need to persuade them that you have something WORTH READING.

Engage on topics that are thematically related to your work! Engage on topics where the interests overlap with what you're doing in your books!!! Engage with people who are INTERESTED IN THOSE THINGS!

You can talk about writing and process, you can even poke a little at craft but ALWAYS REMEMBER that your audience SHOULD NOT be primarily other writers. Your audience should be READERS.

Other writers, on the whole, aren't going to buy your books. If you're lucky, they'll support your books with some retweets and shout outs on whatever social media service they prefer, but if you want your book to have legs, it has to reach READERS.


"But Amalia," you say. "Writers are readers too!"

YES WE ARE. (Or at least some of us are, anyway.) BUT.

We all have a lot of writer friends and it is flat out impossible--IMPOSSIBLE--to support all of them by buying and reading every one of their books.

We see THE MOST BOOKS. We are INUNDATED with books we feel like we have to read or want to read to support someone we love or are desperate to get our hands on because it looks amazing because we are EXTREMELY PLUGGED IN to what is RELEASING all the time!!!

Your fellow writers are going to be the hardest people to sell your book to, the hardest people to impress with your work, the hardest people to win over as fans because there are just SO MANY BOOKS CLAMORING FOR OUR ATTENTION, including our own!!!

Focus your efforts on building an audience and a platform OF READERS and save yourself the struggle of having to figure out how to retrofit the platform you've built to support your releases later.

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Thursday, February 16, 2023

Tips for Writing Dialogue (A Twitter Thread from 2022)

It is BETTER to have TOO MANY dialogue tags telling readers who is talking than TOO FEW.

Too many--a reader's eye can skip over them as they're reading and they'll fade into the background.

TOO FEW and a reader is pulled out of the story with "Wait, what? Who said this??"

ALSO be cautious about breaking up your dialogue of a single speaker into multiple paragraphs without dialogue tags to indicate that the new paragraph is NOT someone else responding. Yes, you can have an unclosed quotation mark--but if the previous paragraph ends with internal narration or action, then the reader doesn't have anything to clue them in without a tag. You don't HAVE to start a new paragraph after an interjected internal thought/staging.

I totally overuse tags. I will "said" my way through every dang line of dialogue even when I have an action that will work for the beat/cadence pause I need instead. But the word "said" becomes invisible--excessive dialogue tagging is a risk you SHOULD take for clarity. (And something you can always pare back later in editing if it really is too much.)

One more dialogue tip:
It works best at the beginning and the end of a paragraph. Framing it inside a sandwich of action/thoughts/staging can result in the dialogue getting lost to the reader. Sometimes you need it, like if someone's frazzled or tripping but use sparingly.

These thoughts brought to you both by my current writing in which I am trying to rein myself in and let my action beats do a little more of the lifting, and also revisiting an old friend favorite read that lost me in the weeds of poorly framed dialogue this round.

A good, compulsive story with good characters/chemistry who you are rooting for desperately might overcome the technical issues in the actual writing as someone speeds through a book but--there's no reason to give readers an excuse like that to put it down, you know?

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Friday, February 03, 2023

The Gods Make Their Own Rules: A Pagan Twitter Thread from 2020

I've been going through and curating my twitter archive over the last few months, wanting to reduce my public digital footprint, but this is a thread that I feel like could use a better platform. On Twitter, I've talked A LOT about my paganlife and my relationship to Thor. "Come for Thor, Stay for More!" has been a defining element of my brand for a while. Some of those threads really should have been blogposts from the start, probably, and I'll be moving a couple over here for reference now that I've dug them out again!


I have been spending a lot of time thinking and praying and engaging spiritually about my relationship to Thor and the genesis of it and I want to share a truth that I think gets drowned out by Heathens/Norse Pagans and the emphasis on Ancestor Worship.

What matters is this:
Are you having a spiritual experience/resonance/engagement with these gods?

If the answer is YES, then EVERYTHING ELSE is secondary. It does not matter who your ancestors are or where your family came from.

One thing has become REALLY clear to me in the last few months:
My relationship with Thor predates my awareness of him. My engagement with Thor predates my awareness of him.

I don't know how it gets decided, who ends up in which god's "house" (so to speak), but I was ALWAYS his.

It was always and ONLY just a question of me waking up to that realization--that he was there (and I'm coming to a realization, more recently now, that he was ALWAYS there, in shapes and forms that protected me from crisis before I had the vocabulary/context to understand.)

That ANY god is speaking to you on ANY level is the critical heart of the matter.

EVERYTHING ELSE is window dressing and entirely subjective and could very well be completely meaningless to your personal spiritual journey.

Maybe it is fate or maybe it is choice--maybe it is just some kind of inevitable ineffable universal mathematical equation, I don't know. But. It seems to me the gods make their own rules, and our job is just to choose if we want to say yes or no when they make themselves known.

This is not to say that community does not matter or play an important role in parsing our experiences of the divine, because of course it does--your community in the NOW matters. The people you choose to surround yourself with matter.

My Catholic Italian-American ancestors? They're still a part of my spiritual life. But who they are plays no part at all in defining my relationship to the divine--that's between me and Thor, between me and my gods.

I'm not saying this because I think it is an ABSOLUTE for any other community to accept--I'm saying it because it is MY truth, and if it is my truth, it is POSSIBLE it could also be someone else's, but they felt like it couldn't be because there's so much emphasis on "ancestors."

If you needed someone to give you permission to embrace whatever experience you're having with Thor or Freyja or whoever, REGARDLESS of where you were born and what your family culture might be historically, then this is it. Right now.

I'm giving it to you.


Disclaimer: I do not believe this gives anyone a right to speak over indigenous voices or to impose their interpretation of their spiritual experience with any divinity over any existing culture's truth.

What is true for one person is not necessarily true for ALL people.

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