My Stories

I write adventures for those in search of a good story. My novels fall in the Fantasy genre, but many people consider them Sci-fi too. Each story is written with what I look for when I read a book: action, adventure, twists and turns, love, heroes, vicious enemies, fighting (weapons and hand to hand combat). All of my ebooks are $2.99 (minus the Taken combo book, which is 4.99). The prices on the paperbacks are based on page numbers (ranging from 8.99 - 14.99). I write because I want to share the stories that are inside of me. I hope you enjoy the adventures as much as I love writing them!

Friday, October 17, 2014

One of the best things about fantasy!

One of my favorite parts about writing is seeing different worlds.  Sometimes it's just the environment and sometimes its the people who share a planet but belong to different "worlds".  With The Shadow Dragon the world has an Earthy feel to it, but you know by the end of Chapter One that it is not.  There are creatures and realms that my mind invented, and as I continued the story I created more - I'm blown away by what I come up with.  And it's totally awesome how vividly I see everything.  I think that's one of the most challenging pieces for me - to see it so vividly and forget the reader isn't there with me.   Although that is why I have three people read the stories before I publish it.

Now I know I don't go into great detail, but that's only because as a reader I don't appreciate a lot of detail.  I love reading stories that give me information without making me feel as though I don't have an imagination of my own.  Unfortunately sometimes I think I err too much on the assumption that everyone has a wild imagination.  (I'm a work in progress and I know it.)

With Taken, I move between two worlds one that is mine and one that we all know - Earth.  In Not Human I stay on Earth.   A friend asked me if I ever wrote stories on Earth and so I thought sure I can do that, but of course the scenery in that story isn't crucial to the story.   It's not that I don't write with Earth as the backdrop because I don't like our planet.  I very much love this planet we live on, nature never ceases to amaze me.   However, I love the ability to see things differently and so I write new worlds to allow my imagination run wild.  I loved writing the planet the Langiro (from Taken) lived on.  It was the first time doing that since I was in 7th grade.   And writing Solace was great because although the story starts on Earth, it was just the beginning.  The Middle of Nowhere, as Karissa called it, created itself as I wrote it.  I had no vision of it beforehand.  It simply evolved as I created events for Karissa and Creature/Jack to survive.  It would have been simple for either of them to survive, but to do it together I knew I had to get creative or the reader would get bored.  And then creating the Zarran world in the second book created itself from Karissa's capabilities.  It was spawned from the first couple of chapters in book one where she sees the military men on the cliffs and knows that the cliffs of the Stronghold wouldn't slow her down because of her agility and that her body was built for that terrain.  In Heart of the Emperor, the story starts on a world that is beautiful, but I didn't want it to be just a place that everyone would want to live.  It needed to be both beautiful and dangerous.  And here is the world the Heart of the Emperor begins:

"X5401 had a beautiful landscape. There were tall mountains that were forested in the tall, thick plant-life which amazingly enough was able to grow in the rock-hard soil. Gentle, rolling hills led to the edges of steep valleys, giving the planet a tranquil ambiance between the mountains. From space the planet appeared a soft lavender because of the soil. However on the planet, everything varied in color from pastels to deep vibrant colors. The patches of green grass were the exact opposite of the soil and covered the ground sporadically over the planet, except on the mountains.
The air stung your nose and lungs, but it didn’t kill you, well not right away. A person’s body would adapt within ten minutes. With that being said, a person could be out in the open air for a day or two, three at the most. It was common within the first day to suffer from nose bleeds, headaches, and/or severe dry skin. By day two, most would lose their sense of direction, some became sterile, others lost their inhibitions, and a few have gone crazy. If a person was found by the end of day three, they were dead. Everyone who lived here has pushed their limits with the air at one point or another. I had suffered the nose bleeds, headaches, and lost my wits and inhibitions. Luckily though, that was only temporary - for some people it has been permanent."

From there Matix is taken to a world that, to all outsiders, is just as horrid to look at as the environment is.  As stated in the description for the book it is a world where the sun never shines.  I loved writing this world of rock and lava and how beauty really is all perspective.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Candy Corn

Okay so those of you who follow on Facebook have already read this.  However for those of you who don't, I wanted to share this with you.  I was taking a break from what I was working on, yes while eating Candy Corn, and decided to jump on Facebook and just simply post "I love when Candy Corn is in season".  Well my brain didn't stop there, it continued with this:

I love when Candy Corn is in season! The ground is a colorful array of different shades of orange, red, and yellow - sometimes the leaves still holding a piece of summer's green. The crisp cool air in the morning that hasn't been captured by winter's freeze, allowing droplets of water to sparkle in the rising of the sun. There is something uniquely beautiful in the bare branches that reach for the sky. Cloudy or not, their darkness that marks summer's end contrasting the brightness of the sky holds me in awe of the nature that surrounds. 

~ Amanda Schmidt

I do love this time of year, and the candy corn always taste the best - I often wonder if the bags I find at other times of the year are leftovers.  I will sit down with a bag of candy corn and eat until my stomach aches.  But does that deter me?  Not a chance.  As soon as one bag is gone, the next time I'm at the store I buy another - it's a vicious cycle really.  I am a Michigan girl.  I love each and every season and as one draws to a close, I anticipate the weather of the next with a smile.  

I hope you also are enjoying the season... and the candy corn!  Hee Hee

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Still writing! (As though stopping is an option.)

Okay so a large amount of time has passed yet again.  I am proud to say that it's because I have been lost in my writer's world.  I am aiming to have The Shadow Dragon book 3 published next summer and book 4 with in the next month or so.  Lots of work to be done there but not too much.  Plus, (like I've previously said) I already have the titles and cover ideas!   What am I doing now with the books? I am currently reading the printed manuscript for book three.  I've already re-read books 1 and 2 to make sure I am keeping everything straight - I even took notes.  There was only a page front and back and a half.  Pretty happy about that.

Story 13 is pretty much done, except it was brought to my attention (as though I forgot) that I can't publish it without the next book being close to done.  So I've started that.  The story really does need more.  The story doesn't leave you hanging, not really, but at the end you know there is definitely more to come.  So I am working on that.  I can't tell whether it will be a book 2 or I'll just add it to what I have.  Only time will tell.  Plus, I can't publish it because I do not have a title or cover idea, ugh.  (I know big surprise, right.)

I have also been working on Story 14, and that was going really well until I realized that I wrote a section wrong.  Gotta love when characters decide that the story you've written needs to be changed.  So, I printed off a manuscript to restructure it.  (This is when I want my "Ironman" computer.  You know where the elements are up in front of me, tangibly, and I can grab and move things around and throw the other stuff away).

With all that going on I ended up having to work on story 12 too because it kept waking me up in the middle of the night.  I am happy with the way that story is moving along too.  Turned out that I had tried to put an event to close to the beginning, so once I moved that the story has been moving smoothly.

It is so amazing to me how each world I create keeps itself straight in my mind.  I only have to read one sentence and everything becomes clear and my mind starts up right where I left off as though I had just been working on it.   I feel truly blessed!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

It's almost been a month since my last post!   I cannot believe that it's been so long.  Honestly, August into September tends to be a time warps as it is.  Vacations (camped for 10 days, did the Mackinaw Bridge walk), school (finding the routine that works), sports (coaching for my kids, watching meets, attending games, running practices), work... yea pretty much every aspect of my life.  Now add that to my obsessions with writing and here I sit a month later going where did the last 30days go.  I'm am not complaining, by no means.  Although it would be nice to have more time to write, but there are only 24hours in a day and I do use as many of them to write as I can when I'm not doing the other stuff.

I am pleased to say that I do see the light for The Shadow Dragon series!!  Not that I want it to be over, but I do want it to be published!  It's not going to happen this year, because slowly,  and surely (through the hard way) I am learning the significance of patience. (HA Ha ha...) I did hand off Story 13 to my "editors", got it back, and finished fixing it - which of course allowed me to make it longer.  Partly because of the points that were made and partly because I could see some things that I missed - well you would have missed because I didn't write it in.    I also re-read Not Human (which was solely for fun).  I had been in my car when the song Far Away by Nickelback came on the radio.  Which is the song that helped me breathe life into the images in my head for the ending of that book.  So of course feeling those emotions again I had to read the story.

So there's my last thirty days.  It's not that I haven't been writing, it's because I am writing.  If I can be writing that is what I'm doing, or something that will hopefully make my writing better.  

Came across this quote the other day and it made me smile (I thought "Yep!").  So I went and found this on the web:

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

What keeps you writing?

On a blog I follow (Linda S. Glaz), the question was posted "What keeps you writing?"

My answer:  "I keep writing because I can't stop the flow of ideas that enter my mind. Inspiration is everywhere, and I love it. I didn't believe in myself as a writer for far too long, and now I live with the regret of listening to someone else's dream crushing mouth. I know that not everyone will like my writing, which is only fair since I don't like every author's writing either. I know being an indie writer makes it hard to be found, but I also know that I'm doing something I love and it makes me happy. Every moment I can spend time writing an adventure that I created is one more moment that I am smiling. God blessed me with this talent and I will not give up on my dream ever again. :) What keeps you writing?"

Reviews like the following are what help me to not lose faith in my ability:  

"I really loved this book and had a hard time putting it down. As in her other books this writer kept me captivated, every time I thought I figured out where the story was going another twist or turn took me in a new direction. I especially enjoyed the ending."  (Not Human review found at Smashwords)

"I sooooo enjoyed this series and I would love it if there was a third book. I have two young kids and it took alot of willpower to put this down when they needed attention."  (Taken review found at Barnes&Nobles)

"The action and adventure that Karissa has is refreshing.  I love that she is strong and capable.  I highly recommend this book."  (Solace:Uncharted Territory review found at iBooks)

One person sharing that they really enjoyed the adventure that I wrote brightens my whole day.   Maybe it's the hopeless romantic in me - and the fact that I write with my heart and soul - but those few words grip tight to my heart and energize me.   It isn't the reason I write, but it sure keeps me believing that I am doing something amazing, something more than I ever thought I could!

I love writing.  Honestly, I'm not sure I could ever stop.  There always seems to be something to be told.  In the last 24 hours I have added 10,000words to a story that I was seriously worried wasn't going to make it into a novel.  It's still not long enough, but the way it is all coming together, the excitement that is building within me, the clarity that I am seeing the story with leaves no doubts that it will be long enough.  And on top of that I have two other books that have awakened from their simmering, and the book I received back from my "editors" is awaiting it's sequel.  

So now I pass the question on to you.  Whether it be journal entries, novels, short stories, poetry, published works, writings you will never let anyone else read...   What keeps you writing? 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

1st review for "Heart of the Emperor"

My first review (on Apple) for Heart of the Emperor:

"A friend of mine convinced me to read this book. I was a little leery since I sometimes have a hard time reading sci fy books. This book, I read in 2 settings! From Page 1 I couldn't put it down! It kept me guessing and I had to finish it to find out what happened. Great read! I will definitely look for more books from this author!"

This is why I write!  I love being able to share a story that draws a person in and keeps them trying to figure out where the adventure is going to go.  I am so happy to see this!  

Sunday, July 20, 2014

"Heart of the Emperor" is now in paperback!

Heart of the Emperor is now selling for $13.99 at here for the page) and Amazon (Click here for page).  It took me little longer than I had anticipated, and I apologize.

I did get a little sidetracked by Story 13, Story 16, and The Shadow Dragon series.   I am proud to say that Story 13 is in the hands of my "Editors" and I am happy with "The Shadow Dragon" series so far.

With that being said, I've also been very much enjoying the summer: writing, hanging out with the kids, picking strawberries and raspberries, hiking, practicing Tai Chi, reading...   Haven't been to the beach yet, but we'll get there.  I am so looking forward to camping in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan!  I love camping (and yes the kids and I use a tent), but there is just something so amazing about going north to the UP.  Everything feels better.  I like to joke and say it's in my genetics (my grandpa is from the Copper Harbor area), or that it's because of all the forests and the air is just fresher there.    Whatever the reason, my whole being fills with the most wonderful feeling of peace and harmony and the energy that surges is awe inspiring.  As you probably already guessed, I do not take a break from writing.  Honestly I think that is impossible.  (I read this quote a while back)

  So true, and when I'm camping my imagination just opens (a great feeling) and well, yea.  Alright enough babbling.  I hope you enjoy the day!  :)