Holiday Promotions

BostonTholidayI thought I would let you all know about a couple of promotions I am running for the holidays. Maids of Misfortune, the first book in my Victorian San Francisco Mystery series, is still free in most ebookstores, but I have also made Uneasy Spirits, the second book in the series, FREE until 12/27 on Kindle, iTunes, Nook, Kobo, and GooglePlay.

In addition, Uneasy Spirits has just been whispersynced, which means that if you own a copy of the Kindle ebook edition you get the audiobook version for only $1.99.

For those of you like to give ebooks as gifts, a reminder that the first four books in the series is available as a boxed set for $8.99–a 40% discount.

Finally, Between Mountain and Sea, my first novel in the Paradisi Chronicles series, will be only 99 cents on Kindle between January 2-8, 2017. (Oh, just wrote 2017 for the first time!) Since I am busily working away on Under Two Moons, the sequel, you might think about getting it now (and it is free for a limited time on Kindle Unlimited as well.) 

Happy Holidays!

M. Louisa Locke

Paradisi Chronicles Launches Today: Nervous and Excited!

BETWEEN MOUNTAIN AND SEA_Teaser2Like the character quoted in this picture, I feel like I have embarked on a rather perilous but exciting adventure with the publication today of my two works in the Paradisi Chronicles series. My coming of age adventure, Between Mountain and Sea, and the short story I co-authored with my daughter, Butler’s Brother, are both now available on Amazon–and there is no turning back!

The experience of collaborating with six other independent authors to create an open-source, science fiction universe was an adventure all its own, (see the background on the Paradisi Chronicles here), but I hadn’t anticipated how nervous I would be about actually publishing my own novel in this new universe.

I always wondered why other authors said they were writing new series outside their regular genre under secret pen names. But now I think I understand…because for the first time I have found myself asking questions like: What if no one buys my new novel? Worse yet, what if the people who do buy it don’t like it? And what if they say (as I am sure some will) “Locke should stick to writing historical mysteries”?

When I published my first historical mystery, Maids of Misfortune, and my first short story, Dandy Detects, I felt I had nothing to lose. It was early 2010, I had no expectations of success. I would not have been surprised if these works simply disappeared without a trace. Even a negative review pleased me because it meant someone had actually read what I’d written.

But then, once both the novel and the short story were met with positive responses, a preponderance of good reviews, and sales that were beyond my wildest dreams, my confidence in my ability to write historical mysteries solidified. (Not that I still don’t get a bit nervous each time a new book comes out, but I already know that many readers like my main characters, my mix of history, romance, and mystery and that helps.)

This time, however, the nerves have been worse. Because I don’t know yet if my existing fans will enjoy my foray into a new genre (both science fiction and young adult) and I don’t know if this work will attract new fans. So, last night, I suddenly had the thought that maybe I should have used a completely different pen name (instead of just dropping the M. and using Louisa Locke).

But then I reassured myself.

MSHR1200x1800Because I always write for my own pleasure–trusting that if I enjoy the characters and stories and settings I create that someone out there will enjoy them as well. And I thoroughly enjoyed writing Between Mountain and Sea. In fact I fell in love with my main characters: Mabel, the young girl who set out with her family to colonize a new planet, Mei Lin, her great, great, granddaughter who never felt she fit in, Tesni, the Ddaeran girl with psychic powers, and Eurig, the charming sentient New Eden primate. So I have faith that some readers, if not all, will find as much pleasure reading Between Mountain and Sea as I had writing it.

However, not just my novel, but the six other works in the  Paradisi Chronicles launched today, Do check them out at Paradisi or click on the covers below and I am sure you will find something to your liking,

 ButlersBro  Erasemenot-e1440894226862   New-Light-the-Way-Ebook-Cover_071015   PE_EbookCover_6x9

                              Master_SaberandScience_V41     Master_First-Watch_Ebook-Cover_XSmall

Podcast Interview with Hank Garner

Two weeks ago, I was contacted by author Hank Garner who does interviews for his Author Stories Podcast, and the interview just went live today. Hank is a great interviewer (so check out his site), and I was particularly happy that we not only got to talk about my Victorian San Francisco Mystery Series but that I was also able to introduce his listeners to the history behind the Paradisi Chronicles–the open source science fiction universe I have been working on with six other authors for the past year.

In fact, the reason Hank had heard of me was that, even though the first round of works written for the Paradisi Chronicles aren’t going to be out until September 1, our whole enterprise was now the subject of a good deal of buzz among the science fiction/fantasy world of indies. I explained today how this happened in this blog post on the Paradisi Chronicles blog, so if you want to know the details–go on over. Suffice it to say, once again Hugh Howey played a role.  The outcome of that buzz is that we already have nearly 30 published indie authors who have expressed interest in writing in our universe. So stay tuned!

Meanwhile, remember you can pre-order Between Mountain and Sea, my coming of age science fiction novel and Butler’s Brother, the short story I collaborated on with my daughter, Ashley Angelly–both set in the Paradisi Chronicles universe.

M. Louisa Locke, August 4, 2015

The Paradisi Chronicles: or how I ended up writing science fiction

Paradisi Chronicles…

A science fiction adventure through time, space and generations, brought to life through the creativity and independent perspectives of multiple authors. Enter the world of the Paradisi Chronicles, where every new journey is a surprise ride you’ll never want to get off.

The Beginning:

Almost exactly a year ago, on July 19, 2014, a fellow indie author, Amanda Allen, brought up the idea (inspired by this post by Hugh Howey) that a group of us should get together to create a science fiction world in which we could all write, with the goal of publishing the first round of works all at once. We could then open up the world to any author who wanted to write in that world. A sort of open-source indie version of Kindle Worlds.

I loved the idea. While I write historical mysteries, one of my favorite forms of recreational reading has always been science fiction, particularly the kind that focus on world-building. So, after a lively online discussion, I recklessly wrote, “sign me up!”

strange-planet-outer-space-backdrop_zyEPe59dThree days later, we had a group of over ten interested authors, and we started the collaborative process of deciding the parameters of that world (would it be Earth in the future or another world or multiple worlds? Would there be aliens, or not? People with paranormal powers? Did we want a “Men in Black” scenario? Fantasy elements? Would the stories happen in a single time period or range over time?)

We voted on the various options, and the most popular was the creation of worlds (not Earth) in a single planetary system outside our galaxy, with our stories ranging over time. However, there was strong support for a MIB scenario and a strong interest in some sort of paranormal or psychic element.

Amanda, Cheri Lasota, and I took what the other authors said they wanted and brainstormed online feverishly over a few days, and then I was asked to write up the basic backstory for what we started to call the Paradisi Chronicles about New Eden and Tenebra, the worlds we were creating, planets in the fictional Paradisi System.

The Paradisi Chronicles Backstory:

In the last decades of the twenty-first century, ten families, seeking to escape an increasingly devastated Earth, focus their power and wealth on building spaceships that will allow a select few to leave Earth and colonize the world they call New Eden. Here, on their new home in the Paradisi System, these Founding Families hope to avoid the environmental and political disasters that were destroying Earth. But they find that the world they claim for their own is already inhabited, and the Ddaerans, although human in their appearance, possess abilities that the Founders and their descendants find both intriguing and frightening …

Now, I had no business starting a whole new series in July of 2014, because that was the month I started writing Deadly Proof, the fourth book in my Victorian San Francisco Mystery series. I am not one of those prolific writers who are able to write across multiple genres, producing multiple books, in multiple series, multiple times a year.

In fact, Maids of Misfortune, my first historical mystery, took 20 years between first draft and publication, the next two books each took just short of two years from beginning of research to publication, and I had already spent over a year doing the research for this fourth book that I was starting to write. I am, as you can see, the opposite of prolific.

But I told myself that I would just write a short story in this new world I had helped create, something I could do while Deadly Proof was being beta read. Since I had already written several short stories between novels, this seemed like a reasonable plan.

What really happened:

What happened is that while I spent my days recreating a world that existed 135 years in the past (1880 San Francisco) I was spending my evenings doing the research needed to create the new world, New Eden, set nearly 300 years in the future.

Black Hole in Space Violet Background

I read scientific articles on things like wormholes, space stations, EmDrives, and whether or not species can cross breed, poured over the maps Cheri Lasota was creating for this new world, and created backstories for the Yu Family, one of the ten Earth Families that would settle New Eden found the nation of Caelestis.

I also participated in the lively online discussions with other authors like Andy Bunch, Roslyn McFarland, Auburn Seal, and Sarah Woodbury to settle such questions as what language should the colonists from Earth speak once they were on New Eden? From what language should the speech of the New Eden natives be derived? What kind of transportation system would they build and should they have money or just online credits? How would the psychic powers work? And could the new settlers from Earth and the Ddaerans (the natives) be able to have sex and reproduce? Heady stuff!

And in the end, I fell in love with New Eden and its inhabitants. And when I began to write, the short story became a full-length novel––the first in a planned series about this world called the Caelestis Series.

So, on September 1, 2015, I will be one of seven authors who are launching our first works in the Paradisi Chronicles.

MSHR800x1200Between Mountain and Sea, is the novel I wrote feverishly between February of this year, when my fourth historical mystery came out, and now. It has two main protagonists. The first is Mabel Yu, a young girl who came from Earth with her family to settle New Eden. In diary entries we follow her life from young adulthood to her death over a century later. The second and primary protagonist is Mei Lin Yu, one of Mabel’s descendants, a young girl of sixteen who spends the summer at Mynyddamore, the ancestral home that Mabel built, and discovers secrets about her family, the Ddaerans (the native inhabitants) and herself that will change her life forever.

M. Louisa Locke, July 17, 2015