Tag: The Theater of Dusk Page 2 of 3

Uriel Serafini

Perfect Halloween companion

Picture source: https://www.facebook.com/Uriel.Serafini/

Darkness. The smell of blood in the chill wind. Footsteps behind you. A sharp breath that never becomes a scream.

Thirteen dark stories that will haunt you this Halloween…

Keep Calm and Drink Tequila

Murder doesn’t sound so bad

Spoke with two different editors concerning my finished SF Romance novel. Gave them the word count and details. Asked for an estimation for a full editing service. Both quoted the same amount: 1100 to 1200 British pounds. Which translates to eh, about 1500 euro? Which translates to a number of possible scenarios.

1) I murder someone and harvest their organs. Pay the editor and got money left for advertising the book too. I celebrate the publishing of my first novel behind bars.

2) I sell one of my kidneys. Humans can survive with one, right?

3) I start eating my cats to save money on food. Nah, I don’t think I can do that. I mean the hairs will be the end of me. Death by indigestion.

4) I feed my cats less to save money for editing. They eat me alive.

5) I summon a demon and offer my soul in exchange for money. The demon takes a look at it and leaves disgusted. He won’t even tell me why.

6) I summon Cthulhu. He eats me. Mission definitely not accomplished.

7) I ask for a raise. The population of the entire continent laughs so much that the tectonic plate wobbles violently, collides with its neighbouring one and is hurled into space. Finally it smashes on the moon that breaks in two. No more full moons, ever, and millions dead. The orbit of the Earth changes randomly. Days last for seconds or years. Future generations curse my name forever. I am named Lizbeth the Accursed One, Earth Destroyer, Bringer of Celestial Doom. I did dream of posterity, but not like that.

8) I hire a dock bruiser to make the editor take my manuscript for free. The editor obliges, but I am found beaten within an inch of my life when I attempt to pay the bruiser with cats due to lack of funds.

9) I study occult until my final days trying to discover a way to become disgustingly rich. I die as confused as ever, with ten different nonsensical honorific titles, an army of useless disciples and with the book still unedited.

10) I let scientists study me in exchange for $$$. They commit mass suicide. One of them is found having swallowed his own tongue, with both feet somehow firmly wedged inside his ears. He was the one I was reading my stories to. They lock me in a dungeon, throw away the key, and I gnaw my way towards freedom. Eventually I become a feral, if toothless, underground troll. Perhaps an improvement, but still unedited.

11) I persuade readers to buy my published book, the Theater of Dusk. I’ll only need to sway, let’s see, more than three thousand people in order to acquire the necessary money. I’ll probably have better luck farming cicadas. I think in some country they eat them. Not sure.

12) I shoot porn. With my cats. It consists of me in sexy lingerie rubbing my face on their tummies and blowing  raspberry. And getting my eyes clawed out. Probably wrong effect for porn. Damn.

13) I pray feverishly to dark deities and sacrifice ice-creams. I develop carpet burns from kneeling and nothing changes, except for the aforesaid deities becoming sick of my nagging and making sure I die in a freak accident. They turn my head into a vase for frogathons. (Frogathons are similar to frogs, but they use them in, um, er, marathons and black metal bands. They are really nasty when they bloom. And when they gestribulate.)

Enough. I can go on all night. It’s in the description, really. Bloody writers. Fumbling with a keyboard a lot, accomplishing nothing. I need 1200 British pounds. Any ideas how to find that money while remaining alive and intact? (You do notice I didn’t say sane.)

Giveaway for The Theater of Dusk

New giveaway running from the 27th of April till the 4th of May for one signed copy of my book! If you are a member of Goodreads, this is your chance!

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/183897-the-theater-of-dusk 

Good luck!

Here is the latest review for the book by someone who knows and understands. Thank you so much.

“Let me begin by saying The Theater of Dusk is not easy or light reading. Though humour isn’t completely absent, the writer deals with subjects which make most people uncomfortable. Pain, blood, suicide, abusive relationships, rape, deceit, greed, BDSM, power games, betrayal and death are dishes on the menu. Killers, vampires, demons and humans paint a fragmented canvas of red, black and grey. Obsession walks hand in hand with self-destruction; there are no easy answers and often no way out. But should you make it to the final curtain, Love will appear to guide you into the light.

Is this book for you? I guess the real question is, can you embrace the dark and still find your way back home? If you want to kill a few hours, this isn’t what you’re looking for. If, on the other hand, darkness is a friend, then this little book will be a safe place. For those rare and genuinely dark souls out there, for the empaths, the open-minded and the eccentric, for all those who have fire-walked in their personal hells, The Theater of Dusk will be a rewarding experience.

Please note that due to its subject matter, this collection is recommended for mature readers.”

Review link:

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1143705803?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1 

Gimme five!

This photo depicts my mood. I recently got two reviews for my short story collection. They made me smile, because both readers seem to understand what the stories are talking about. Here is the first:

The Theater of Dusk (Paperback)

“In its entirety this book is a book filled with darkness. Each individual story contributes a little more to the depth created within the darkness and each story brings the reader further from the light and deeper into the whole that the book becomes. We become each character, however horrific that thought is, and we remain there throughout the book only to realise through each tale that the element of love does not exist. We reach the final curtain of the book to be shown that darkness doesn’t have to be all there is.

This little read takes the reader by surprise. Each short story takes you along a road of self-discovery in some ways and the reader can almost recognise some elements of the darkness within the self. At the end of the last story we are shown that not all is as it seems – light and darkness co-exist but each individual has to open up and allow the other in.

These stories certainly can make a person think deep thoughts. If you aren’t a lover of depth and darkness then this probably isn’t the read for you but I would recommend it to anyone prepared to brave the deep.”

Amazon review link:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/review/R1O7BT233OT85V?ref_=glimp_1rv_cl

And here is the second review, translated from French. If there are mistakes in the translation please blame my very basic French aided by Google Translate.

“An author to discover!

In these 13 short stories Lizbeth Gabriel depicts with skill and talent human beings in all their complexity and plurality. These stories are often imbued with a dark and strange ambience. Sometimes on the border between reality and dreams, they will certainly not leave you indifferent and open your minds like doors to worlds, feelings, new desires. Thank you to the author for this book and for sharing her imagination.”

Amazon review link: 

https://www.amazon.fr/review/R3BBKBH52NPOZL/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1505867517&channel=detail-glance&nodeID=52042011&store=english-books 

Thank you both so much for your kind words on my work, and for taking the time and trouble to write reviews. I appreciate it more than I can express.

If you too would like to see for yourself what the fuss is about, you can find my work here: 

Both ebook and paperback are very reasonably priced, and every book you buy means I can keep on writing. Every review I receive is that extra push that keeps me going. Thank you in advance.

(Photo source: 

Show me love!

From my published book, the Theater of Dusk. Wonderful picture/ word combination by Katherine. 🙂

Do you remember the SF romance I told you about? Well, I’m almost done with editing! Soon I’ll send the manuscript to my editor, and I really, desperately, urgently need all the help I can get. What do I need? I need all the sales and reviews you can give me. If you planned on buying my book, now is a good time. If you felt like writing a review, this is an excellent time to do it. I don’t mind negative reviews if they are honest opinions on my book and not personal attacks on me. The latter is not reviewing; it’s slander. It doesn’t help other readers decide and doesn’t paint a flattering picture of the reviewer either. 

If I want to be honest, it is not a coincidence I haven’t got a single negative review so far. It’s not because my friends are reviewing me because this isn’t the case. I owe it to two facts. The first is pretty straightforward: I haven’t had enough exposure to get negative reviews. I do have in mind a list of possible negative reviewers if I hit a bigger audience. Homophobes will bash me, the overly religious will throw fits, the women-hating crowd will get their panties in a bunch… Well, I’ll live. I mean the world is a big place and there’s space for everyone. Live and let live.

The second reason is even stranger. For some reason, people like my writing. Believe me, I am surprised. When your friends like your writing, there is always a nagging suspition at the back of your head: they say they enjoy it because they are your friends. They don’t want to hurt you. It’s vastly different when random strangers enjoy your book. I casually browse my Goodreads Author page and a complete stranger has left a four or five star review for my published book, the Theater of Dusk. It wows me completely and utterly. It mystifies me. It doesn’t surprise me because I consider myself a bad writer, but because my subject matter isn’t easy. I write about loss, deceit, self-doubt, betrayal, suicide, killers… My writing is intimate, unusual, sad and weird, and what do you know, someone else out there, a person I’ve never met, read it and liked it. They identified with my stories and my heroes and got something out of it. I don’t know what and it doesn’t matter. I hid a message in a bottle and threw it in the sea. The bottle reached a shore and someone found it and read it. The bottle could have been lost, broken, and yet… it wasn’t. It’s a small miracle.

I need more small miracles to happen. Miracles like a review, or telling a friend you enjoyed my book, or sharing one of my blog entries. Here are some suggestions:

 

Please give me a chance to continue writing. Help me get my second book out. I need a very handsome amount for the editor, and every single penny counts. I need reviewers and reviews for my work, and every review makes a difference. It’s been an uphill struggle with nothing to show for my efforts except for the books themselves. For me, that is a reward in itself. Please help me. I honestly, truly need it. And for those of you who already bought my book, reviewed it or promoted me, thank you so so much. I am deeply grateful. It means more than I can explain. You are my small miracles, and you give me the strength to continue. Thank you.

Here is my book:
http://www.amazon.com/Lizbeth-Gabriel/e/B00HVCOFMY/

Create Space: (an Amazon company)
https://www.createspace.com/5204932

Attention: This is for buying physical copies of my book, not the ebook version. For the ebook version please go to Amazon.

Waiting for reviews

I haven’t been very active lately. Life gets in the way. It’s a matter of tiredness and to be honest, also frustration.

For those who think that once you publish a book, you don’t have to do anything more, I have bad news. Once the book is out, your troubles have just begun. In the case of traditional publishing, the publisher will also promote you to some degree. If you are self-published like I am, getting noticed is tricky business. 

When I published my first book, I made some mistakes due to inexperience. For example, I didn’t know I had to find possible reviewers before I published the book, or establish my presence in social media. Here is a link to a blog with useful information:

 

As I said in a previous post, reviews are vital. Not only do they encourage possible buyers to invest in your work, but also serve as promotion and free advertisement when the reviewer posts them on their reviewing blog and any other social media they may be using. So I busted my behind looking for reviewers and reviews. I went through a list of reviewing blogs, located genre-related bloggers and sent more than thirty five emails asking for reviews on my book. I also organised two giveaways on Goodreads. (For those of you who don’t know, giveaways on Goodreads are a way to create buzz. Randomly selected winners get free copies they are expected to review. Strictly speaking, it’s not compulsory for winners to write a review, but this is why giveaways are organised in the first place; to offer the writer exposure and reviews).

So, let’s see what I’ve achieved so far. In the case of emails, I received five replies: three ‘no’ and two ‘yes’. The rest never replied. The two who said yes, they are interested, haven’t contacted me since September. I am still waiting to hear from them. 

In the case of Goodreads giveaways, out of eight books, three got lost in the post and I had to buy new copies and resend them. So far I’ve got two ratings and just one review. Five more members have copies of my book in their possession, some for ten months now, some for eight, and they haven’t rated it or reviewed it. I know better than pressure them; I only contacted them once, to make sure they got their copies safely. They will rate or review the book when they have time, which may well be in two years from now or never.There is nothing I can really do except perhaps organise another giveaway, and hope winners will respond more promptly this time and books won’t be lost in the post.

The thing about being a writer is that you need to have patience, lots and lots of it. Your book may be your number one priority, but other people have different priorities and problems. They have jobs, families, friends, pets, and everything else life entails, like sickness, heartache, accidents, divorces and plain, mind-numbing tiredness. That’s why you have to wait, and wait, and wait some more while trying to think of ways to promote your work. The real problem is that you don’t know what makes a difference in sales. Is it reviews? Is it advertisement? Giveaways? Word of mouth? Connections? Plain dumb luck? All these combined? So you have to try any stratagems you can think of, (in my case, with a very limited budget at your disposal…) and keep your fingers crossed. There are several internet articles on promotion, but they more or less say the same: I wish we knew what makes a difference to do it too. 😉 So patience, insistence and hard work. It’s discouraging, frustrating, even downright maddening in some cases, but no-one built a fan base overnight. As I said in the previous post, that’s how real life works, contrary to descriptions found in YA genre.

Here are four lists of reviewing blogs. Good luck! I hope it all works out.

 
 
 
 

Here is also some advice on review requesting:

Dorian’s story (or, how I love serial killers)

 

Have you ever come across photos that make you stop and exclaim, “that’s my hero(ine)”? It happens to me sometimes. It’s more about the general feeling a face inspires than the face itself. So here is someone who brings to my mind my beautiful predator, Dorian Wilford. A refined, aloof, handsome dark-haired man with several preoccupations that include antiques, pocket watches and murder. He’s a creature of wild passions that run both hot and cold, and he’s as likely to dismiss you as he is to kill you. 


If you’d like to read my (award-winning) short story about secretive, obsessive, insane (?) Dorian, together with a menagerie of other fiction stories that defy categorisation, you can go to my Amazon page and indulge your curiosity and dark appetites. And if you happen to be a member of Amazon prime, you can download my entire ebook for free! The first two stories of my book (Dorian’s short story is one of them) are available as a free preview. You can either download them to your ereader or read them online. 

http://www.amazon.com/Theater-Dusk-Short-Story-Collection-ebook/dp/B00HV4584Q/
 
(Please note: I claim no copyright on the advertisement photos I published in this post. Rights belong to their respective owners.)

I feel as if an alien horde has rampaged me.

 


As I’ve said before, I need reviews for my book. As a result, I asked a friend if she knew any reviewing blogs. She gave me several google results. I took a look at them and experienced terror. Hundreds of blogs and sites that needed to be checked one by one. I closed the tabs and went away to eat some ice-cream. It’s typical reaction when I am overwhelmed. “Yikes!” followed by “Not me. I was just passing by. You are looking for someone else” and walking away.

 

Today I was struck by the mood to check some of them out. Necessary in order to get reviews, but my head hurts. Let me try and summarise this experience.

Let’s say you have a list of blogs. Every blog needs to be searched to locate the submission guidelines. After you find the link, you need to verify that the specific blog does accept the genre your book belongs to, and that the blog owner does accept submissions at this time (some blogs are temporarily closed to submissions). Some blogs accept only hard copies, which means they won’t do a review unless you mail them a physical book. Others don’t accept self-published authors (that’s me, hi there.) If you pass that stage, you have to compose an email with everything the blog owner needs in order to consider your book for a review. This usually includes your name, title of your work, synopsis/ blurb (that’s the description at the back of the book), book cover, publication date, price, your blog, Amazon page, Goodreads page, and your ebook in a specified format. Every blog has different requirements. Some may ask for all those, but more often than not, they will ask for some of those plus a different ebook format so that you don’t get bored by doing repetitive work. And needless to say, you have to accompany the above with a polite personal message to the blog owner, explaining who you are, what you want and why you think they would be interested in reading your work. It’s called “selling yourself”. And yes, if you want reviews (and believe me, if you are an independent publisher through amazon like I am, you desperately want them), then you have to work for it. And no, you are not doing the reviewers a favour, they are. With 260.000 new books coming out in the last three months alone, you need those reviews in order to stand out. You need all the publicity you can get, and then some.

With all that said and done, after a day of sending such emails, all I can do right now is dive into my bed face first and not stir until tomorrow. I will publish a list of reviewing blogs after I am done, to help more writers get a headache. Why not share? It’s similar to having a hangover, but without the “drink and make merry” part.

Image source: 
http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=21690&picture=sleeping-in-the-car-seat&large=1

One of my oldest fans

This was posted today on Facebook by a dear friend and old fan of my writing:



“I’ve started reading it. Good luck she said… After finishing it all I can say is thank you, as always my opinion remains the same. You should share your stories with the rest of the world cause good writers are not common anymore. Keep the magic alive.”

 I thank you. 🙂

Picture/ comment taken from here:

Book giveaway happening NOW!

Three signed copies of my physical book available! Are you going to be one of the lucky winners? All you have to do is be a member of Goodreads and enter this giveaway:

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/135418-the-theater-of-dusk

The giveaway runs until the 27th!  Good luck! 🙂

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