Archives for the month of: February, 2014

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2013 was the year of farmer’s markets and street fairs. They didn’t pan out very well, so 2014 became the year of the internet. Steep learning curve? Picture half-dome in Yosemite National Park and you’ll get a pretty good idea.

I did happen to find a goldmine while reading one of the IBPA (Independent Book Publisher’s Association) monthly magazines. There are two websites devoted to bloggers who love reading middle grade and young adult fantasy novels. I emailed every one of the middle grade folks asking if they would read and review Diego’s first book, Spirits of the Sun, and about fifteen to twenty responded favorably. I sent print or ebooks, and the reviews came back very positive, extremely so in some cases.

One of the bloggers, Mother Daughter Book Reviews promotes books in a few innovative ways. I signed up for a “Book Blast,” which will occur between March 6 and March 8. I’m sure I won’t do her justice by trying to explain the promotion, so I’ll quote her website:

“A Book Blast involves multiple blogs (including MDBR) all posting information about one book (i.e., title, summary, purchasing information, author information, etc.) over 1, 2, or 3 days.  A Book Blast also involves a shared Rafflecopter giveaway (usually for a $25, $50, or $100 Amazon gift card and/or PayPal cash) where individuals gain entries by adding the book to a Goodreads shelf, following the author, following the participating blogs, and so on.  Each participating blogger posts roughly the same information and shares the post and giveaway via their social media networks.  A Book Blast’s main purpose is to gain exposure for the book and followers for the author.”

The link for the Blast is below, and you can only access it during those three days.
http://motherdaughterbookreviews.com/100-book-blast-giveaway-diegos-dragon-by-kevin-gerard

The fantastic part of this promotion is that other bloggers sign up to promote it. Diego’s Blast has over 50 bloggers involved, which may result in a huge amount of exposure.

I keep plodding along, but with every day comes a new discovery. I have an author facebook page, a fan facebook page, and a twitter account, and I think as of March, 2014, I finally know how to use 2.7% of the functionality of either platform. I’ve been to author/publisher seminars where speakers have said, “If you write for kids and you’re not on Instagram, you don’t exist.” So I came home and popped open the Instagram home page, which showed two large icons, telling me that I could open an account either through Apple or Google. I tried Google, got completely lost, and gave it up. If anyone knows how to establish an Instagram account and they’re not laughing uproariously right now, could you email me and give me a quick lesson?

I’m having trouble with my upstairs neighbor. She seems to think my cats are making her place stink, even though my place doesn’t!?! Nothing in the world would make me give up my boys. They are my children and I couldn’t love them more if they were human kids.

When I wrote the Conor and the Crossworlds series, I made a group of giant, wild cats the protectors of the dimension called the Crossworlds. I used the personalities of my cats to create the characteristics of the Champions of the Crossworlds. Ajur, a 2800 pound jaguar, had the same plodding, stubborn mentality of Lenny, an orange tabby. Eha, an 1800 pound cheetah, matched the happy-go-lucky personality of Sunny, a black and white tabby and a real card.

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Maya, the Lord of the Champions, is his real self, a big tom that used to live next door to me in another neighborhood. He died in the most horrible of ways. I told the woman who cared for him that I was going to make him immortal by making him a character in the Conor and the Crossworlds story. He weighs in at 1400 pounds, and every aspect of his personality remained. He is a powerful shaman, so powerful that even the creators of the Crossworlds don’t know the extent of his magic.

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I think I put a little of myself into one of the Champions, a 3000 pound flying cougar named Purugama. He is Conor’s mentor, his best friend, funny but stern, and every reader’s favorite character.

Cats are magnificent animals, whether domestic or wild. What I love most is the identical similarities between the two. It’s amazing to watch a documentary about any wild cat, and then watch your tiny little house cat exhibit the same traits and behaviors. I’ll always have them in my home, they are a real comfort, whether resting on my desk as I write, sleeping with me, or tugging at my foot because they want to play.

Onward!

Kevin Gerard

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Greetings,

I know, I haven’t written since October. Time to get cracking again. Here’s a good topic to begin with – I believe I’ll be able to start writing the fourth book in the Diego’s Dragon series around April first. I needed a break – 8 novels in 8 years – it was starting to show. Not in the quality of the books, but in the quality of my emotional and physical well-being. Thank the maker for the gym! I exercise quite frequently, as a matter of fact I’ll be heading to the exercise room in about an hour. But enough about me.

If you’ve read Book Three: Battle at Tenochtitlan, then you know where it left Magnifico, Diego, the Spanish conquistadors, and many of the Sol Dragones. Readers have to wonder how Estrella and what’s left of Magnifico’s army will be able to battle Satadon as long as he is siding with the ancients.

And what of the introduction of the new supernatural beings? What role will they play in Diego’s struggle to save his people? Millions of Aztec descendants have vanished, including Diego’s mother, Alejandra, taken from their loved ones by the horrible spell set into motion by the Dark Lord.

I love writing myself into inescapable corners, because eventually the light turns on and the path becomes illuminated. I can’t remember when it happened, but a few weeks ago the window opened and I saw the first vision of how the story will continue, and who will join with the Sol Dragones to battle Satadon and his mystical alliance. The only hint I’ll provide is this – those who will come to fight with the Sol Dragones were introduced in Book Two: Dragons of the Dark Rift. It makes perfect sense, and it’s a brilliant plot twist. What’s more, it will take the combined power of Sol and Celestina to open the heavens so the saviors can travel across space and time to find Tenochtitlan, Magnifico, Estrella, Racquel, and hopefully, Diego. If you’ve finished the third book, then you know where Diego is, and who he’s with. He’s safe for now, but he’s angry. He wants revenge for what Satadon did to his friend Magnifico, and to his beloved mother. It will be up to his new friends to convince him to wait until the right time to strike at the Dark Lord.

Yes, I’m getting very excited about continuing Diego’s story. Was I put on this earth to write fantastic novels for kids? I think so.