Welcome to my Front Parlor, where I hope to engage you in some stimulating conversations about my journey as an indie author, the lessons learned about marketing, and the joys of writing fiction. The past five years have been enormously rewarding, with the publication of four novels in my Victorian San Francisco Mystery series Maids of Misfortune, Uneasy Spirits, Bloody Lessons, and Deadly Proof, a short story collection, Victorian San Francisco Stories, and the forthcoming publication of my first science fiction novel, Between Mountain and Sea. Do come in, look around, comment, and before you go, please leave a visiting card (url, twitter, fb address, etc) so I can return the courtesy and visit you next time.
For those of you interested in my work in the open-source Science Fiction series that I helped create (see this blog piece on the origin of this series), I am proud to announce that a new anthology of short stories, Chronicle Worlds: Paradisi, set in this world, has just been launched…zooming up to the top of the Amazon best-seller Science Fiction Anthologies list.
Part of the acclaimed ‘Future Chronicles’ series of speculative fiction anthologies, published by Samuel Paralta, in Chronicle Worlds: Paradisi, twelve authors take us on an incredible journey with adventurers, scientists and colonists, as they push the boundaries against the unknown, against alien civilization, and themselves.
I am excited to have one of the stories in this anthology, “Aelwyd:Home,” which tells the story of Kammie, one of the minor characters in my full-length Paradisi Chronicles novel, Between Mountain and Sea.
In addition, my daughter, Ashley Angelly, is one of the other authors in this collection, with “Aderyn Tanllyd: A Tale of New Eden,” the story of two Ddaeran brothers.
For a limited time, Chronicle Worlds: Paradisi is only 99 cents on Kindle. I highly recommend it as a great introduction to the whole series.
In addition, to celebrate the launch of this anthology, I am discounting Between Mountain and Sea to 99 cents, and Ashley and I are offering The Stars are Red Tonight, the novella we co-wrote in the series for Free until November 8, 2016.
Between Mountain and Sea, a science fiction coming of age novel, introduces Mei Lin Yu, a young New Eden girl, and Mabel, her ancestor who took the journey to New Eden from Earth over a century and a half earlier. This work is part of the Paradisi Chronicles.
Mei Lin Yu should have been looking forward to the next stage in her life. As a descendant of one of the ten Founding Families who led the exodus from a dying Earth and now rule New Eden, her choices are endless. But she has never felt part of that Founding Family or the world of technological marvels and genetic perfection they created.
All that will change the summer she spends at Mynyddamore, her ancestral home in western Caelestis, wedged between Mynyddeira, New Eden’s highest mountain, and the Sapphire Sea. Here, living among the Ddaerans, the original inhabitants of New Eden, she will discover secrets her family want to keep buried and a truth about herself that will forever change her destiny.
Between Mountain and Sea is 99 cents on Kindle
The year is 2092 and Earth is slowly dying, but Trevor and Saya are holding their own. They have steady work in Seattle and unlike ninety-nine percent of the planet’s residents, they aren’t starving, their city isn’t underwater, threatened by fire, ravaged by disease, or under military rule. Their jobs are boring but at least they are safe. That is until an encrypted flash drive falls into their hands. Suddenly their lives are upended and nothing will ever be the same again.
The Stars are Red Tonight is part of the Paradisi Chronicles series, a science fiction adventure through time, space and generations, brought to life through the creativity of multiple authors. In this romantic suspense novella, Ashley Angelly and Louisa Locke introduce the Kuttners, one of the ten founding families who escape a dying Earth to colonize New Eden, a planet a galaxy away.
The Stars are Red Tonight is Free on Kindle
So for under $2 you get a novel, a novella, and twelve short stories set in this exciting new series! Can’t get much better than that.🙂
Pilfered Promises, the fifth installment of my Victorian San Francisco Mystery series, is now available in print and ebook. This book takes my two protagonists, Annie and Nate Dawson, into the world of the modern 19th century department store, and on the Historical Fiction Authors Cooperative blog, I have written a post about the surprising role of women shoplifters in the Victorian era. Please check out the blog post HERE.
Get the chance to win one of two paperback copies by applying to the GoodReads Giveaway between August 8-22, 2016.
Murder and Mayhem is a boxed set of four historical mysteries written by members of the Historical Fiction Authors Cooperative that will be only 99 cents between March 22-27.
These four mysteries range in time periods and settings from I. J. Parker’s The Hell Screen, set in Medieval Japan, to Anna Castle’s Murder and Misrule, set in Elizabethan England, to Libi Astaire’s Tempest in the Tea Room, set in Regency England, to M. Louisa Locke’s Maids of Misfortune, set in Victorian San Francisco.
M. Louisa Locke, March 22, 2016
The Pot o’ Gold Giveaway Hop is Coming – All Day on St. Patrick’s Day!
19 amazing authors have come together to give away $100 in gift cards to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, & Starbucks – plus eBooks, swag, and even more great prizes!
Just visit any of the following Facebook pages from midnight to midnight, Eastern time on Thursday, March 17th. Then hop to the next author on the list for more chances to WIN!
Don’t forget to give the pages a LIKE – and check out their books. You might find your next great read!
I turned sixty-six today, and I can’t help but think about my mother, who died when she was my age after a long illness. In that context, this particular milestone seems unusually significant. Both of my parents are gone…and yet daily I am reminded of the impact both of them had on my life.
Six years ago, I wrote a tribute to my father, Second Chances and Role Models, that talked about how his choices in life and his decision to write poetry in his retirement years influenced me in my decision to finally fulfill my dream of writing historical fiction by becoming a self-published author when I was sixty.
Today, however, I would like to talk about my mother and how I can see her influence in my journey as an independent author.
The two characteristics I associate most with my mother are friendship and service. When I remember her, I picture her on the phone, cup of coffee in hand and pad of paper next to her.
When the pen and paper weren’t being used, I knew she was listening patiently to her friends as they confided in her about their marriages, their children, their aging parents, their hopes and their fears. Friendship was important to her…and she spent quality time maintaining those relationships. Something she taught me to do as well.
But when the paper and pen were being used…I knew that my mother was organizing someone or something to be of service to others. She wasn’t just the normal 1950s mother volunteering as Girl Scout leader, Sunday school teacher, PTA president (although she did all those things.) But she organized vaccination drives in the inner city, was the first female elder in our church, helped found the first domestic violence hot line and shelter for battered woman in Pittsburgh, and became the volunteer Executive Director of Pennsylvania Common Cause—an organization committed to campaign reform that was started in the 1970s.
Friendship…and service to others. The twin pillars of her life.
So what does that have to do with my journey as an independent author?
When I worked as a college professor, I was part of a community, building friendships and actively serving that community. Following my mother’s example, in addition to my teaching responsibilities, I served on multiple committees, volunteered for faculty leadership positions, raised money for scholarships, and helped on the campaigns that got bonds passed to completely rebuild our campus. Hours and hours of time spent with paper and pen at my side, listening, talking, organizing, serving.
But I thought when I retired to focus on the solitary occupation of writing that it would be isolating. I told myself I would visit campus to keep up with old friends, maybe volunteer in the community.
But none of that happened because I found many of my new friends and opportunities for service among the growing indie author community. And I think that is because members of the indie community, by-in-large, do not see other authors as competitors, don’t see writing and publishing as a zero-sum game, and they are willing to share with each other, believing that our mutual goal is reaching readers not beating out each other for one of the few “contracts” doled out by traditional publishers each year.
As a result, on any given day, I check in with author friends scattered as widely as Australia, England, Canada, and practically every region of the U.S. We chat online about how our writing is going, share information on marketing initiatives, ask about the weather, commiserate over colds, and share funny cat pictures. Checking my Facebook to talk with both fans and other authors has become my reward when I hit my target of words written. And, over the past couple of years, I have actually gotten to hang out with some of these friends in the real world at conventions…turning what I have always seen as a chore into a delight.
But the indie author community has also provided me with opportunities for service. I know the common wisdom is that to be a successful indie author you need to treat it like a business…being focused, efficient, and subordinating everything to writing and marketing. And while I agree, my mother taught me that giving back to the community that sustains me is also important, making life rich and rewarding.
So I write blog posts on this website about my journey as an indie author…not as a marketing ploy…but as a way of giving back to a community of authors who have been generous with their own information.
For the past five years, I have helped serve the Historical Fiction Author Cooperative that I belong to (a group of 50 authors of quality historical fiction) by setting up author and book pages on the website (hfebooks.com) and organizing the weekly blog posts on Mondays, and putting together the Thursday posts that publicize when our books are discounted or newly published.
This year I helped found the Paradisi Chronicles, an open source science fiction world, which I hope will also become a vibrant community of science fiction authors committed to pushing the envelope of independent publishing. And I also had the wonderful chance to mentor a high school student as she self-published an anthology of her poetry and essays, entitled Tales of a Navy Brat.
And as I do these things…I think about my mother and smile. She might be puzzled by my use of a laptop instead of paper and pen or wonder how I was able to skype face to face with my mentee who lives in Singapore. But she would absolutely recognize that I am honoring her with the time I spend in friendship and service.
M. Louisa Locke, January 25, 2016