The lovely Aurelia Evans is my guest today, talking about her new adventures in self-publishing and her Bloodbound series! Please join me in welcoming her and feel free to leave a comment or two. 🙂
Stepping Into A Whole New World
In a little over a week, I’ll be self-publishing for the first time. The first book in my vampire serial novel, Bloodbound, is coming out on Valentine’s Day. That’s not on purpose. It was just the middle Saturday in February, which was when I wanted to set my deadline. But hey, Bloody Valentine is a thing. A gothic thing. I like gothic things.
I’m excited about it, because it’s an incarnation of a story that I’ve been trying to write since I was too young to write erotica. I tried. Oh, how I tried. Granted, I was pretty good for my age. Now, though, I just snort into my sleeve when I read the old stuff and try not to roll my eyes too far back in my head.
Many of my friends and colleagues in the erotic domain are already old hat at self-publishing. The genre seems to be exceptionally indie-friendly, but so far I’ve only ever publishing through a publishing company or in an anthology. There’s always been a go-between, other people to take care of the technical and editorial process. I’m definitely stepping out of my comfort zone, although I’ve considered doing this for a long time. I was supposed to self-publish something last year, but I got cold feet.
I think we’re in a wonderful authorial age. Sure, the deposing of the gatekeepers led to an influx of bad quality books (and I dearly hope mine is not one of them), and the promotional voices have gotten more strident and desperate (and I dearly hope mine is not one of them).
But there’s an amazing freedom in knowing that, if a story of mine doesn’t work for my present publishing company, I always have the self-publishing option. It’s no slight against them, because I love them, but the story isn’t the right fit.
With the self-publishing option open, I know that I never have to compromise on the things that matter to me. If I feel that a sex scene, a sexual identity, or the darkness is essential to the plot of the story, I don’t have to bend over backwards to change the characters and the plot to satisfy some particular standard, just to see my words in print.
To my own detriment, I don’t care nearly enough about money—although it’s been more on my mind of late. But I do care about the integrity of the characters and the plot. Those are the things that I’m committed to and rarely compromise on. If a publisher wants those to change too much, then they usually don’t want my story. They want a different story that I never set out to write in the first place. I have no loyalty to that story.
Don’t get me wrong, that’s their job—to know their market and how to promote their brand. My job is to defend my story. Which sometimes means walking away. And self-publishing means that now you can, and readers may still end up reading it rather than the story rotting in some dusty document folder.
Of course, the downside to indie publishing is that it’s all on you. The cover, the formatting, the promotion, the editing… There’s so much room for error, and since this is my first time, I’m terrified of a misstep.
I found a gorgeous cover by indie cover artist Erin Dameron-Hill a while back. In fact, buying that cover art was part of my impetus to finally put my money where my mouth is and commit to self-publishing. However, I’m going to be making some minor changes to the cover for each book in the serial, so it’s up to me to make sure that the cover is still as beautiful as when I bought it. I have graphics experience, but I’m still nervous.
I’m a big believer in supporting indie editors—hell, I’d like to be one—but I didn’t have the finances to afford an edit (hence the thinking about money lately), even though I’d hired one for Wolf Girl. As a result, I had to really put my own editor brain to work for the details and depend on a pair of beta readers to help me with the bigger picture that’s more difficult for me to see, subjective as I am. The hardest part so far has been to give myself permission to stop editing.
In spite of all my fears about missteps and mistakes, I just read over what I wrote, and I’m grinning. The indie publishing industry hasn’t just benefited the writers, has it? I enjoy supporting the artists and eventually more of the editors in their endeavors as well.
It’s a great time to be a writer. And I’m really excited for the start of Bloodbound. I hope you will be too. For release alerts, friend my personal Facebook page, follow my Amazon page, or follow my blog (links below).
Bloodstains on her clothing and bloodlust between the sheets, she’s never been more lost…and that’s why he chooses her.
As if wandering the streets in bloody clothes after losing her memory isn’t bad enough, Julia’s been kidnapped by vampires, then presented to Nathan, high priest of Dominion.
Nathan’s not interested in a bleeder, perfectly content with fellow priest Lucas as his companion, lover, and willing servant. However, when Lucas offers her to him, Julia’s lack of fear and endearing confusion intrigue him.
With nowhere else to go without her memories, Julia accepts his offer and embarks on a sensual but deadly journey into the world of Dominion and its arrogant, esoteric elite…as well as the darkness of her own desires and the mystery of her past.
Bloodbound Release Schedule:
Blood Lost (Book 1) – February 14 (FREE!)
Bleeder’s Ball (Book 2) – February 28
Blood Pool (Book 3) – March 14
Blood on the Moon (Book 4) – March 28
Bleeding Heart (Book 5) – April 11
Bloodbound, the Complete Serial Novel – May 9
Her mid and lower back had flowered in a dark rainbow. In the mirror, she couldn’t see Nathan touching it, but she winced at the tenderness there. Julia was entranced by the incongruous explosions, the largest blue and purple but also some billows of green, yellow, and brown. There were other bruises higher on her back as well, a few on the backs of her thighs just below the edge of her shorts, but none of those were as bad as the one on her back.
“Do you know what this tells me?” Nathan asked. When Julia didn’t reply, he answered anyway. “It tells me no one out there loves you. Either they knew it was happening and didn’t stop it, didn’t know it was happening because you didn’t trust them to tell them, or they were the cause.”
He waved Lea away. She obediently resumed her post with the other wife, ignoring what Nathan was doing, ignoring everything, just waiting for orders.
Nathan knelt behind Julia, smoothing his palms tenderly over the bruises so as not to hurt her too much, although the skin there was sensitive. He caressed her sides, then slid his hands over her stomach to bring her closer to him. His lips were hot now against her back where he breathed in the new and healing internal bleeding.
“I can help you, Julia. I can give you more than any human out there can give—the moon, the stars, pleasure in the heat of blood and in cold living death. Or if you do not wish to accept the transformation from me, I can at least provide a safe haven for you to stay and recover as my donor. But if you do accept my offer to become my bleeder for the ball—and after—then I can heal you tonight. My blood can fill you, help you, heal those fragrant wounds until there’s nothing left…but you.”
Julia pressed her palms to her cheeks, flushed and hot, then covered her eyes. The gold of the ring was cold against her brow. Someone had given this ring to her. Someone had also given her the bruises over her kidneys. Someone had given her the scratches, old and new. Someone had given her the bruises on her arms and her knuckles. Someone had throttled her neck until it had swelled. She had no way of knowing whether all these someones were the same, nor could she know whose blood had dried on her clothing besides her own.
She could know nothing other than what she was now. And that was nervous but unafraid. Confused, of course, but that emotion was almost comforting now. Ambivalent about Nathan’s offer and the way that he saw her. But at the same time, his passion was real. He seemed more and more smitten no matter what she did—just by being what she had become after losing what she’d been before.
Her reaction to that passion was real as well, tingling over the little hairs on her arms and the back of her neck, alive under her skin, rushing through her veins with a quickened heartbeat, curling like a predator in the cradle between her thighs.
Aurelia T. Evans is an up-and-coming erotica author with a penchant for horror and the supernatural.
She’s the twisted mind behind the werewolf/shifter Sanctuary trilogy, demonic circus series Arcanium (publication starts April 2015), and spiritual gothic/urban fantasy series Meridian (publication TBD). She’s also had short stories featured in various erotic anthologies.
Aurelia presently lives in Dallas, Texas (although she doesn’t ride horses or wear hats). She loves cats and enjoys baking as much as she dislikes cooking. She’s a walker, not a runner, and she writes outside as often as possible.