Guest Blogger: Annie Douglass Lima
I’ve been writing for as long as I can recall. When I was seven years old, I had a sudden inspiration for what I thought was an amazing science fiction novel and decided then and there that I was going to write a book and be the world’s youngest published author. I ran to my room in great excitement, found a notebook and a pencil, and started in.
Well, that first novel was never actually finished, let alone published, but it got me started. After that, I can’t remember a time that I wasn’t working on at least one book. Prince of Alasia, which I typed on an old word processor back in college, was the first one I finished that I thought was worth trying to get published. After years of gradual revisions and editing (and eventual transfer to a computer, thank goodness!) I looked into traditional publishing. I spent a couple more years trying to get an agent, but to no avail. Finally I learned about Kindle Direct Publishing and decided to publish on my own, more than a decade after I first started writing the book. My childhood dream of being a published author came true after twenty-six years!
The first time I went through the publishing process, it was really complicated. I couldn’t find a single comprehensive guide to formatting a manuscript for ebook or paperback publication. I searched the Internet and finally found enough bits and pieces of information to put the puzzle together, but it involved a lot of time, stress, and frustration. When I was ready to publish my second book less than a year later, I had to re-learn much of the process, so I created a couple of step-by-step lists so I would remember how everything worked. After that, I followed my own lists of instructions with each new book I published, and it got easier every time. Eventually someone suggested that I make my lists available to the public, so I published them on my blog. (You can see them here (ebook) and here, (paperback) if you’re interested.)
A couple years ago I purchased Scrivener, writing software that I highly recommend. That made the whole process much easier! I love how Scrivener lets me organize my ideas, character sketches, outlines, and other prewriting, as well as the manuscript itself, all in different sections of one handy document. And it makes it so convenient to jot notes to myself as I go along, about new ideas that I want to come back and apply later or add into a different scene. But perhaps best of all, Scrivener takes care of the formatting, letting me compile a convenient mobi file (or epub, PDF, etc.) all ready to upload. Yes, it does require a learning curve to get all the details right the first time, but after that, it’s easy. And if I spot a typo or need to change some detail in an already-published book, it’s a piece of cake to fix it in Scrivener, compile a new version, and re-upload it to Amazon or other distributers.
If only I had known about that back when I wrote on a word processor – or in a notebook!
Take a look at this exciting new young adult action and adventure novel, The Student and the Slave, now available for purchase! This is the third book in the Krillonian Chronicles, after The Collar and the Cavvarach and The Gladiator and the Guard.
The series is set in an alternate world that is very much like our own, with just a few major differences. One is that slavery is legal there. Slaves must wear metal collars that lock around their neck, making their enslaved status obvious to everyone. Another difference is the popularity of a martial art called cavvara shil. It is fought with a cavvarach (rhymes with “have a rack”), a weapon similar to a sword but with a steel hook protruding from partway down its top edge. Competitors can strike at each other with their feet as well as with the blades. You win in one of two ways: disarming your opponent (hooking or knocking their cavvarach out of their hands) or pinning their shoulders to the mat for five seconds.
First, a Little Information about Books 1 and 2:
Book 1: The Collar and the Cavvarach
Bensin, a teenage slave and martial artist, is desperate to see his little sister freed. But only victory in the Krillonian Empire’s most prestigious tournament will allow him to secretly arrange for Ellie’s escape. Dangerous people are closing in on her, however, and Bensin is running out of time. With his one hope fading quickly away, how can Bensin save Ellie from a life of slavery and abuse?
Click here to read chapter 1 of The Collar and the Cavvarach.
Click here to read about life in the Krillonian Empire, where the series is set.
Book 2: The Gladiator and the Guard
Bensin, a teenage slave and martial artist, is just one victory away from freedom. But after he is accused of a crime he didn’t commit, he is condemned to the violent life and early death of a gladiator. While his loved ones seek desperately for a way to rescue him, Bensin struggles to stay alive and forge an identity in an environment designed to strip it from him. When he infuriates the authorities with his choices, he knows he is running out of time. Can he stand against the cruelty of the arena system and seize his freedom before that system crushes him?
Click here to read about life in the arena where Bensin and other gladiators are forced to live and train.
And now, The Student and the Slave, with another awesome cover by the talented Jack Lin!
Book 3: The Student and the Slave
Is this what freedom is supposed to be like? Desperate to provide for himself and his sister Ellie, Bensin searches fruitlessly for work like all the other former slaves in Tarnestra. He needs the money for an even more important purpose, though: to rescue Coach Steene, who sacrificed himself for Bensin’s freedom. When members of two rival street gangs express interest in Bensin’s martial arts skills, he realizes he may have a chance to save his father figure after all … at a cost.
Meanwhile, Steene struggles with his new life of slavery in far-away Neliria. Raymond, his young owner, seizes any opportunity to make his life miserable. But while Steene longs to escape and rejoin Bensin and Ellie, he starts to realize that Raymond needs him too. His choices will affect not only his own future, but that of everyone he cares about. Can he make the right ones … and live with the consequences?
Click here to order The Student and the Slave from Amazon for $2.99 a discounted price of just 99 cents through November 31st!
About the Author:
Annie Douglass Lima spent most of her childhood in Kenya and later graduated from Biola University in Southern California. She and her husband Floyd currently live in Taiwan, where she teaches fifth grade at Morrison Academy. She has been writing poetry, short stories, and novels since her childhood, and to date has published fifteen books (three YA action and adventure novels, four fantasies, a puppet script, six anthologies of her students’ poetry, and a Bible verse coloring and activity book). Besides writing, her hobbies include reading (especially fantasy and science fiction), scrapbooking, and international travel.
Connect with Annie Online:
Amazon Author Page: http://bit.ly/AnnieDouglassLimaOnAmazon
Now, enter to win an Amazon gift card or a free digital copy of the first two books in the series!
Thank you for the chance to share my writing journey! I hope your readers enjoy hearing about my books.
Thank you for contributing, Annie!