NewS and EVenTS
Check here for promotions, updates, and giveaways related to the Star Kin Chronicles series.
Twenty Twenty - Armageddon?!
1 Sept 2020
Well, what can I say? This has been a year of extreme ups and downs. Of killer viruses, killer hornets, and children and parents spending waaaaayy too much time together!
I'm only joking. About the kids and parents part. The rest is, well, going to be history, eventually.
Meanwhile, in my little island nation, the virus is back, after we basically eliminated it from our communities for a grand total of 102 days. Now it's back, and spreading fast. However, our government has a plan (Yay, Jacinda!) and we have managed to keep the virus ringfenced, for the most part, to Auckland. The couple of cases which travelled out of Auckland, to Christchurch and Waikato, have been put into managed isolation. The majority of cases are still imported (as in, they arrived on planes and went straight into isolation, anyway) and the cases within our community are all linked back to one mysterious outbreak. One version of the virus we hadn't seen in NZ yet. One that may have come from product imported from overseas. Maybe.
So while all that has been going on to the North-West of where I am (No, that wasn't an intentional Kim-ye pun) I have had plenty going on in my own little sphere.
My book, The Celestial Kin finally made it to the publisher and has been going through the process of editing, cover art creation, print layout formation and is now back to me for a final read through/look at before it gets printed. That's great, but right now I'm recovering from eye surgery.
My vision started to deteriorate in May, after being perfect following rounds of laser surgery during 2019. The doctors cleared me for discharge from the eye team, and I went to my optometrist for a LONG overdue update to my prescription. Finally, I had glasses I could see with. In fact, my vision was better than before I last updated my glasses (5 or 6 years ago, now). And my astigmatism was gone. (Astigmatism is where one eye is weaker or focuses at a different distance than the other eye. This runs in my family, so I was not surprised when I got it. But the laser surgery had obviously caused that issue to disappear! Yay!)
Anyway, I got my new glasses - at a reduced and equal strength - and I could read and work on my computer with no headaches, no visual disturbances, and no black floaties in my vision.
Then came the change of seasons (followed by Covid-19, which thankfully my family never caught). We did catch a cold that went around our family several times, since we were locked down in close proximity to each other during April. My cold turned into a sinus infection, and I blew my nose REALLY hard to try and cear it a bit.
BAM! As soon as I opened my eyes after blowing my nose... my vision had a BIG BLACK BLOB.
Yep, I had another eye bleed - what the laser had fixed previously - and I let out a huge groan. Not Again!
So the last few months have been spent travelling to and from the eye clinic, monitoring my eye for improvement, or deterioration. I neither improved, nor deteriorated. I just didn't get better.
My doctor decreed that an operation had to happen on Friday last week. Despite my huge phobia of needles, and in particular my huge phobia of needles near my face, I braved it, asked for sedation, was pleasantly surprised when I didn't see or feel anything (Thank you to the nurses who ensured I had plenty of numbing gel and the awesome anaesthetist for sedating me enough to calm me down, but not to completely knock me out.) Everything went smoothly and I survived!
Today was the first day I've been able to see reasonably clearly from my eye. While things are sill a bit "misty" in appearance, I can see what and who I look at, and I'm hoping that in the next few days I'll be able to do my final review of my book so it can go to the printers.
In the meantime, here is a picture of me, post-surgery, which was inspired by my daughter's comment that "Mummy look like a little pirate!" as she covered her eye like an eye patch, in response to my own patch!
Always be kind! XX Evie XX
Contest time -- Please Vote for Me!
14 Dec 2018
The Celestial Kin is currently one of the top 10 novels in the Words Matter Publishing Holiday Writing Competition.
While I have not won the grand prize, the runners up get a chance to win a traditional publishing contract with this incredible small publishing house.
How do I win? I need you to vote for The Celestial Kin on the competition web page. The most votes wins the Reader's Choice Award and the publishing contract.
Voting opened on 15 December 2018, and runs through until 15 February 2019. Voters can vote multiple times per day, and via many different devices. You don't need to sign up for anything, but I do request you follow me on Facebook and Twitter, and share my vote request posts. More shares means more votes I get, the better the chances that I'll win my dream.
For me, this is a unique and exciting opportunity. For the last decade I have struggled to find the time and funding to have my novels professionally edited, to make professional looking covers, and to get my book out in front of readers. This team will cover all of this and more, and frankly, I need the help.
Please help me achieve my goal of having The Celestial Kin available to readers worldwide (and hopefully, if it does well, I'll be able to get the rest of the Star Kin Chronicles novels completed and out for you to read).
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your support.
xx Evie Asterwyn.
Things are Moving - Literally!
7 Sept 2018
It has been an eventful few months for this author.
Work on Star Kin has been slow (as usual), but I'm currently editing Chapter 19, which means I'm around two-thirds of the way through my self-edit of this novel.
I've been busy with other aspects of my life, namely moving house and everything that entails. Luckily, we are all settled in our new little house, and I can see myself focusing more on my writing journey now things are not so up-in-the-air.
My beloved Labrador/Huntaway, Sam, who was the inspiration behind Astra, became unwell. He was 11 years old, and had been my companion, friend, and muse since I adopted him at 4 months old. Unfortunately, due to his failing health, I had to put him to sleep. However, he will remain in my heart, and will continue to inspire Astra and her journey in the Star Kin Chronicles series.
In other writing news, I am looking at changing the titles of the books in the Heart Stone Trilogy. I wish to do this so the titles have some continuity and can be recognised as part of the same trilogy. I also recently discovered another author has used the title "Star Kin" in a book published in 2016. I don't want to infringe on anyone else's territory, and I will be keeping the series and trilogy names as is.
So, the titles I am considering for this trilogy are:
Book 1: The Celestial Kin
Book 2: The Celestial Keeper
Book 3: The Celestial Rising.
Finally, due to the issues I have been having in raising/finding funds to have my books professionally edited, typeset, cover art organised and other things that are needed for a novel to shine, I have started querying publishers who are open to new and upcoming authors. I hope that someone will take my novels on, and help me with getting this trilogy available for sale. Once income arrives from the sales, I may be able to self-publish later books in the series... or I may stay with my publisher, if we work well together. Only time will tell!
Update on Novel/Novella Progress
19 May 2018
Just a quick note to advise how the novels are going (and yes, they are going—albeit slowly!). My Indiegogo Campaign was a complete failure, so I am back to trying to do things without professional assistance. A very risky business, but I have no choice until my books begin to sell. Of course, for them to sell, I need to have them prepared. I hope you will forgive me if errors appear in the preparation of my e-books.
Star Kin is still undergoing editing. I am up to Chapter 16, which is approximately the halfway point of this novel. It was put on hold while I worked on the prequel novella for the Heart Stone Trilogy.
Trials of the Phoenix is now written, and close-edited. It is a 20k word novella outlining Cassie's issues with her school bully at age 12, and the loss of her father. This novella is a prequel to Star Kin and the other stories in the Heart Stone Trilogy. Cassie does briefly mention these events in the early part of Star Kin and I thought it would be good to provide more details to those who want them. In addition, the issues with her bully and the death of her father come up in later books as, of course, when things happen around Cassie, there is often more to it than she expects.
I am now focused on completing the editing of Star Kin so I can pass it to a professional editor for a final go-over. Unfortunately, as I cannot afford the editing fees, I may have to start submitting my novels to hybrid-publishing companies and see whether the books get picked up that way. I really would prefer to not have editing issues cause poor sales on my books.
I am also working on cover art for my novella and novels. Hopefully, my self-created artwork will suffice until such time as I can afford to take up the offer by my cover-artist.
Well, I'd better get back to editing and designing.
Indiegogo Campaign is A-Go-Go
28 Feb 2018
I am fundraising to get Star Kin professionally edited, cover art prepared, the domain and premium usage of this website (which will allow me to sell my books on here and to have my own name as the website address), and a marketing course to teach me how to effectively market my books.
Unfortunately, these things all cost more money than I have available to invest. Approximately $4,500.00 (that is the expected cost based on research/quotes).
So, I've thought outside the box and I'm running an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds. In exchange, donors may get:
a special mention on a Thank You page in my books (some will get noted in my Dedication);
noting on a special Thank You page on the upgraded website;
a personal email from me;
Star Kin related artwork;
free Advanced Reader Copies of Star Kin once it is edited and cover art completed;
Specific donations may also give you the chance to name (or have named after you) a future character in the series;
And though it isn't noted on the campaign yet (will be subject to a certain amount being raised), there is a chance to win a signed paperback copy of Star Kin once it is released.
If you (or anyone you know) might be interested in helping out, check out the campaign site HERE (Note: Campaign expired 8 April 2018. Unfortunately it was unsuccessful, raising only $40 which was returned to the donors).
I will also be running some giveaway campaigns via my mailing list. If you're interested in receiving some free novellas, novels, and other giveaways as my books are prepared, released, and promoted, you can sign up to my mailing list HERE.
I promise I will not email often (though book launches may have a few giveaways ahead of them, so the mail will be a little more frequent around those times). In any event, you can always unsubscribe if I get too annoying. I do hope, though, that you will find some quality reading materials, and insider information, on my series.