Friday, January 18, 2019

NEW KINDRILY COVERS!

I'm so excited to reveal the new covers for my Kindrily series! 
Be sure to check out the contest at the bottom of this post to win a signed set of paperbacks.
Now, without further ado, here they are...
 *throws star confetti*
This big change has me so excited, but also a little nerve-wracked because I’m hoping and praying that the new covers appeal to readers. Instead of just telling you why I decided to change the covers, I thought it would be fun to include a conversation with my fantastic cover designer, Michelle at Melissa Williams Design.

Karen: What did you think when I told you I wanted to redo the Kindrily covers? Especially considering you had already redone the Fighting For Infinity cover a couple years ago?

Michelle: Honestly, I was a little excited. I liked your previous covers, but it always seemed like something was missing. It was just a question of whether you wanted to invest the time and money into creating a whole new feel for your series. Over the years, I've noticed how beloved these books are to you, so I didn't try too hard to restrain myself from encouraging you to go forward with a redesign.

K: I LOVE the new covers. Even with only a quick glance, I feel like they clearly and beautifully say, magical love story, which was the goal. The old covers will always hold a special place in my heart, but I think they could be a tad confusing unless you knew what the story was about. How do you feel about them?

M: I agree! I think these covers better convey romance immediately, rather than hinting at it. I know there's a lot more to the series, but you're trying to reach a certain readership, and hitting the mark at first glance is super important. I think that's one of the things that I see many covers miss, and one reason why I like doing redesigns so much. It's a chance to figure out who you're really trying to reach in your readership. 

K: Here's a comparison of the old covers with the new. Again, I'll always love the original covers and they served their purpose for the past few years, but I think the new ones make the series much more branded and cohesive. (Not to mention, all the pretty stars!)



M: The fresh new look is so exciting, and I feel like it really incorporates the magical, ethereal quality that was missing before.

K: We've done several covers together since Tangled Tides in 2011, which one is your favorite and why?

M: GRASPING AT ETERNITY is my ultimate favorite cover so far! I just love how it all comes together with the striking colors and the characters, the magic and the real-world element of the rock. I've found myself looking at that cover more than any others. Perhaps it's partly because of the fun I had creating it with you! It was a perfectly balanced creative project.

K: Thanks! We did have quite a few laughs during the process, but I'll spare readers from our private jokes. 

Grasping's cover is gorgeous, but it's impossible for me to choose a favorite. Besides the continuing theme of soul mates in a starry sky, there are lots of other fun details and symbolism that readers may pick up on. Like the new infinity symbol (LOVE!) or the Sedona scenery, and the hot air balloon on the back of Grasping at Eternity. (Readers will have to own the paperback to appreciate that detail .) 

Thanks so much, Michelle! I always enjoy working with you. 

What do YOU think of the new covers? 
Please tell me in the comments below or let me know on social media. (I'm anxious to know!)

The covers have been updated on most ebook retailers. If you already own the ebooks, you should be able to get the updated version for free. The paperbacks are taking a little longer but will hopefully be available next week

Want to  win a set? To celebrate, I’m giving away a signed set of the new paperbacks. You can enter via the Rafflecopter below. It is open internationally. I'll announce the winner next week.

Lastly, but very importantly, I highly recommend Michelle to anyone needing a talented artist who is easy to work with. 

Here’s her contact info: 

Instagram @melissawilliamsdesign





Thursday, December 27, 2018

Out With 2018, In With 2019!

2018 is almost over, and while I didn't get nearly as much done as I hoped (do we ever?) I still consider it a successful and productive year. 

I'm even more excited for 2019 because I will be sharing new covers for my Kindrily series. *throws star confetti*

PLUS, I'll be releasing a fourth book. That's right, the eternal love story will be continuing. And then continuing some more!

What exactly does that mean? Well, I'm about to explain. 

I didn't publish anything new in 2018. Maybe I should beat myself up about that but I'm not because I DID write pretty consistently. I wrote about the Kindrily a lot (two different books, actually). I even threw a few Kindrily members into a totally new paranormal romance that I worked on. I also plotted out an entire contemporary romance novel and wrote a third of it (and a Kindrily member made a cameo). That's FOUR books I've been working on. So yes, I didn't FINISH any of them, but I did make good progress, and many times in 2018, I heard that we should all strive for "progress not perfection." (Catchy, huh?) 

Now, what DID get finished are the new, gorgeous covers for the Kindrily series. I am in love with them. The original covers will always have a special place in my heart, but the new ones represent the story so much better. With only a glance they communicate that the story is a magical romance, and I love the way they all flow together. I can't wait to share them with you and get your opinion. 

So, are you noticing a theme here? Even when I tried working on other things, my focus always seemed to be drawn back to my beloved Kindrily. They are always whispering additional story ideas to me, telling me new (or old) facts about themselves, revealing a different thread that needs to be tied up (or unraveled). They constantly make me start itching to tell more of their story, so that's what I plan to do. 

Book 4 (I'm still debating on the title) will be a connector book. That's all I can say for now without giving too much away. Basically, it will tell what happens after book 3 and it will be the set up for book 5.  Yup, book 5!  But book 5 will take place well over a decade after book 3 ended, so I needed a connector book, which will be book 4. And I’m planning to finish and release book 4 in mid-late 2019. Yay!

To kick off 2019 with a bang, I’m going to release the new covers on Friday, January 18th. I’m hoping some of you will help me spread the word and share them with the world. Bloggers, reviewers, bookstagramers, authors, readers, or a combination of any or all of the above, I’d be forever grateful if you helped celebrate with me. 

If willing and able, please fill out this form: https://goo.gl/forms/0uvosXnkrvEWO4ue2

A week or so before the 18th, I will send you a couple different options of photos that you can share, and you’ll get to see the covers before the rest of the world. PLUS, everyone who participates will be entered to win an autographed set of paperbacks with the new covers. 

I’m pumped and excited about 2019. I hope you are too. I’d love to hear about your goals and plans too, so please comment below or you can privately reply to this email. 

Happy Holidays and cheers to a magical 2019!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

HELP ME WITH BOOK 4 OF THE KINDRILY SERIES?


Besides all the heartwarming emails from fans asking for more Kindrily stories, the universe has also been giving me signs lately that I should probably create a book 4. I want to keep my readers happy and I don’t like to ignore signs from the universe, but I’ve been perplexed about a fourth book ever since I released Fighting For Infinity. So, who better to turn to for help than my wonderful readers?

*SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t read all three of my Kindrily books, LOOK AWAY. Seriously, I’m about to give spoilers galore here, so don’t ruin it for yourself. Stop reading.*

 What should book 4 be? 

Do I back up a bit and tell Krista and Carson’s love story?
(I’m tempted because it would be so much fun and many readers love Carson and Krista. But some of the timeline would overlap with what has already happened, just from a different POV. Not sure if readers would enjoy that or hate it.)

Do I start where we left off and keep telling the story from Maryah’s POV?
(I worry this would be too much of a drastic change because her voice would change SO much now that…well, you know. See? I’m still trying to keep this spoiler free.)

Do I continue onward from Nathan’s POV along with another (different) narrator?
A honeymoon book has been a very popular request and while that would be very fun indeed, *blushes* I don’t think it would be enough for a whole book. I may possibly offer that as a bonus short story or novella later down the road. (Hang in there, ladies!)

I’ve already started a story that takes place almost eighteen years after FFI ends. But I feel like jumping ahead that far would be unfair. There’s so much that happens between “now” and then.

I’ve also toyed with the idea of a secondary couple turning to our beloved Kindrily for help. Anyone remember James and Lilian? They were the couple from Marcus’s kindrily who Dedrick had mind-controlled and they were helping him with his evil plight. My imagination has been brewing with a whole big story about them that could turn into another book or two. I could tell that story from Nathan’s POV along with Lilian’s.

I’ve even got a spinoff series idea based on Edgar’s patients. If I go this route, it wouldn’t be a book 4 to the current series, but it would feature many of your favorite characters from The Kindrily. And, of course, there would be lots of magic, reincarnation, supernatural abilities, and romance.

HELP! Do you see my dilemma? It’s so hard to choose!

And instead of choosing one and working on it, I’ve gone and started a whole new and different book idea which I LOVE (and I hope you will too) but deep down I know that I also need to return to my Kindrily peeps. So many more stories are waiting to be told from their world, I just don’t know where to start.

I’m open to suggestions. Let’s discuss. You can comment below or on my FB page in the comments of this post. https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKaren/

Tell me, what should be written in the stars next?
I’m hoping to make a decision by the end of this weekend so I can start plotting next week. 
Please and thank you!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

I JOINED THE 500 CLUB and it's fabulous!


Good grief, look at that. I haven’t blogged since October 13th. Shame on me. 

I didn’t even blog when Sacred Seas came out in November. Eek. So, in case anyone missed it, I released the third and final book in my Sea Monster Memoirs trilogy. Yay! *throws belated confetti.*
I sort of took a break from writing for several months after releasing Sacred Seas, but now, I’m back and operating at full-steam ahead!

I decided to post an update about how and why I’m feeling so productive in case it can help other writers out there. While on a writing retreat last month, I read this post on The 500 Club by Randy Ingermanson.

If you are a writer, want to be a writer, used to be a writer, and/or beat yourself up for not finishing your story or not consistently writing every day (like I did) then you MUST read this. Seriously, it was a gamechanger for me.

I joined The 500 Club on June 10th. (SPOILER ALERT! There’s no actual club to pay for or join. Just go read the article!) I have written a minimum of 500 words every day since committing. Every day. That means I’ve officially been writing EVERY day for over a month. Through good times and bad, while on vacations, when not feeling well, even one night when I was exhausted and REALLY wanted to pass out in bed and excuse myself from writing my 500 daily words, but I didn’t. I stayed up the extra twenty minutes that it took me to write my minimum of 500 words and I slept peacefully because I didn’t let myself down. I kept my streak going.

After a month of doing this (it’s SO doable) I feel a million times better about myself and my productivity. I’m an actual writer again. My word counts keep climbing on my current two projects and my brain consistently churns with ideas for scenes, conversations, details, etc. It’s fabulous. I forgot how great it feels to consistently be in creative mode, but wow, it’s exhilarating to be in that mode again. Each day, my story grows. Little by little, crappy scene that needs editing by crappier scene that needs editing, but it grows. I can edit and revise crap. I can’t edit and revise a blank page.

Two of my writing partners, Meg and Marie, are also in the club. We check in with each other via text each day. We’ve learned that Meg likes to be rewarded with GIFs of Ryan Gosling. (Actually, we all do.) It’s encouraging to see one of them say they finished their words for the day. Also, I like to give them grief if they slack off and vice versa. Whatever works, right?

So, I’m still here, I’m still writing, and I will be contributing more books to the world in the near future. Lately, my focus has been a standalone novel that’s a supernatural romance. The MCs are adults (no YA this time) but I’m hoping my readers will enjoy it since it’s still my usual themes of star-crossed lovers in a magical setting.

Also, I’m dabbling in additional books for The Kindrily series. I’m having such a hard time figuring out which other couple’s story to tell first. So many great options. #authorproblems

And, finally, I hope to finish Sea, Stars, and Beyond. My trio of short stories from my three YA series. For some reason short stories are so much more difficult for me than writing full-length novels. But I promise, I’m working on it.

I’d love to hear how YOU are doing. What’s new and exciting in your world?

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* Author Karen Amanda Hooper*

Write. Read. Imagine. Create. Learn. Love. Live. Repeat.