Thursday, May 31, 2012

Free stuff

To celebrate the almost imminent release of Johnny and the Vampires of Versailles, I am letting the first book of the series go free in e-book format on Smashwords.
Here's the link:

I would love to say it is also free on Amazon, but I have to wait and see if they price match and let it go free there too. Last time I did a freebie - I had over sixty thousand downloads over a period of months. Since I think Johnny Doesn't Drink Champagne is a more exciting book, I am looking forward to getting lots of new readers and hopefully building up a bit of a buzz for the release of the sequel.
So please - tweet it out and tell everyone you know.

Also, I am giving away two copies of the PRINT version of Johnny Doesn't Drink Champagne on Goodreads. Here are the details:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Johnny Doesn't Drink Champagne by Cody Young

Johnny Doesn't Drink Champagne

by Cody Young

Giveaway ends July 29, 2012.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Cody On Writing

Okay, I know I’m not Stephen King  (although Amanda Hocking does say it’s okay to dream big) but I’m borrowing a couple of his words, just for this post. This is my advice ‘on writing’ – I’m putting this out there for those of you who are starting your journey towards writing a book and finding a readership. For those of you who are waiting for news about Johnny De Vere - don't worry. His next adventure is shaping up to be awesome. Well I think so, anyway.

Back to writing:-

Read On Writing, by Stephen King. Read it again. Read between the lines – because the best part of many books is written there. There's a Swedish proverb that says so, so it must be true.

Take a look at Randy Ingermanson’s  ‘snowflake’ method to help you plan your book. I’ve used this and it really helps. Try writing a 'character' sheet for some of the people you've known in your life, and then change their names and use them in your fiction. Live dangerously.

Look at Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet. Devise your own version of ‘The Board’ for outlining your story. It’s fun. Just remember though, that you’re not writing a movie script, unless you ARE writing a movie script. And fashions in movies and novels change – you don’t want to be so tied to the Beat Sheet that you lose the element of surprise.

Read Bob Mayer’s “Novel Writer’s Toolkit’ – particularly for advice on the bad guy. Yes, there needs to be a bad guy. Don’t kill him too soon, and don’t kill him by accident.

Read your dialogue out loud, or use an application like TextAloud to read it back to you. That way you won’t write dialogue that sounds like a badly-written wedding speech mated with an infomercial.

If you are writing romance – research the 12 steps to intimacy, and think very carefully about how to insert them (into your novel) with finesse, rather than crashing, clumsy embarrassment.

Ernest Hemingway said that ‘the writer’s job is to tell the truth’, preferably in plain words that most of us can understand. Otherwise your meaning may be lost in the foggy thicket of your words. I read that last bit in a grammar book somewhere and I wish, wish, wish I could tell you which one. Leave me a comment if you know.

Many books on editing freak out about repetition. Repetition is bad, bad, bad, they say. But some of the very best authors use it well. My advice is to be very careful what you repeat, rather than feeding your work into some dumb program to learn how many times you wrote ‘and then’ or ‘he said’. Look at this from William Shakespeare if you still think repetition is bad:
OLIVIA:  Where goes Cesario?
VIOLA: After him I love,
More than I love these eyes, more than my life,
More, by all mores, than e'er I shall love wife.
If I do feign, you witnesses above
Punish my life for tainting of my love!
She’s in love, right? And her love means more to her than her life. We get it. Do you get what I mean about repetition?

I hope this encourages you to break a few writing rules – coz some of them suck. 
Happy writing. 
Love from Cody.

Monday, May 7, 2012

FREE today! Voyages with a Merchant Prince

In another life (and under another name) I write non-fiction. Here's the blurb:-

‘If it should be a pirate, we had a fine ship, well armed and plenty of men to use the arms, what had we to fear? Accordingly, all hands were set to make preparations for defence against an enemy. The bosun got ready the great guns, the arms chest was unlocked – muskets, swords, handspikes, pistols, all in demand …’
The Ripley Diary, 12th July 1830.
A sailing ship on a voyage that would make a fortune. On board – an ambitious shipowner, his flirtatious young wife, and a crew on the verge of mutiny. Smuggling, piracy and shipwreck are all encountered on this amazing journey.
For the first time, the remarkable Ripley Diary is in print. It documents an astonishing voyage to a secret destination in China.  This original nineteenth-century text is unique, revealing the early days of free trade in defiance of the edicts of the Emperor of China. It is a national treasure. 
Enjoy the story of Thomas Ripley, hailed by the Liverpool Chronicle as ‘one of our most successful merchant princes’, a man who rose from rags to riches. Share the thrill of watching whales and dolphins, the excitement of racing a rival ship to Java, and the delights of exotic locations.
If you want to know the truth about life on a sailing ship in the nineteenth century, then read this book. Find out why some of the men were pressed into the British Navy and others were clapped in irons. Discover for yourself the secrets of the Ripley Diary, secrets hidden for 180 years.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Favorite Promo Pics for Johnny Doesn't Drink Champagne

I am thinking of filming a book trailer for Johnny Doesn't Drink Champagne, and with that end in mind I designed and sewed a medieval-style 'Burgundian' dress for the the actor who plays Maddie to wear.

This is what I came up with. It is made of black double velvet, worn over a gold kirtle, and fastened with an embroidered silver sash. I also made the snood, it is crocheted in gold yarn with pearls stitched over the lattice work.

She's wearing it with bare feet as I haven't yet mastered the art of making medieval shoes. 

In the true spirit of indie publishing I did all the photos myself - so I hope you like some of them! I like the candle ones best.

 If you haven't yet read Johnny Doesn't Drink Champagne, you'd better hurry up because the sequel: Johnny and the Vampires of Versailles is on its way. Here's the link to the Goodreads page so you can check out some of the reviews.

It has just made the top 100 'Best Paranormal Books' on Goodreads too - which is wonderful news - it isn't easy to get that kind of exposure for an independent book. I've started planning Book Three, and with my usual wild optimism, I'm hoping to release it before the end of this year.