Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Kaye Draper's Blog has moved!

 I have made the move over to a new website, and in an effort to consolidate, I'm going to be posting over there from now on. 

You can find my current blog at KayeDraper.com, or come party with me over on Patreon for insider access. 

See you there!

Monday, May 4, 2020

Random Book Review- The Vale Chronicles, Joel Abernathy

It's been a while since I posted a book review, and I have to be honest, it's mostly because I haven't read anything lately that was more than just "okay," and really worth recommending.

BUT, the Vale Chronicles duology by Joel Abernathy was amazing. The first book is Puppet Master, and the second is Enemy Lover.

The characters are unique and interesting, the world and mythology are new and intriguing, and the love story(s) are bittersweet and a little twisted and just so perfect. There are only two books in the series, and it's complete. So you also get a good long read, without the fatigue that can set in when a series stretches out too long. You can check them out here.

The Vale Chronicles (2 Book Series) by  Joel Abernathy

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Let's Talk About Length and Girth

Calm down. I'm talking about book length and how fat that book is. Geesh.

Every once in a while I get a question about my book length. I am very fortunate to be able to say that most of the time, readers requesting longer books are doing so only out of a love of the story and a wish for it to continue. However, there are a few old-school people kicking around out there who think nothing under 100,000 constitutes a "book," regardless of format, genre, or common sense. This debate is a pet peeve of mine.

Read on for my (completely unsolicited) thoughts on book length.

When I first started writing seriously and, ultimately, submitting to agents and editors, I had to follow their rules. One of the first rules is book length. Most agents at that time (it has probably changed now, this was over ten years ago) only accepted "full-length" work that had to be between 70,000 and 100,000 words. Too short, and they wouldn't even look at it. Too long, and they wouldn't even look at it. Maybe it was an amazing story. Didn't matter. Length, and ultimately how thick your book would be in print form, was the first thing in a long list of items that would get you "disqualified" from the race before you even began, regardless of quality or any other actually important creative area.

So, I wrote the books. If they were too short when they were finished, I added to them. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

But then I decided to self-publish. Over the years, I realized that I just naturally write shorter books. In fact, I enjoy reading shorter books, too. It's a pacing thing for me. I'd really rather just get to the juicy bits (ie; sex, action, plot), without an extra 50,000 words or so of filler made of unnecessary back story and side characters. I've come across books where the same scene is told through three or four different points of view. The. Same. Scene. For no reason. Head-desk.

Now, don't get me wrong here--if done right, there's nothing wrong with some length and girth. But if you don't know how to really use that size to your advantage (to tell a good story, you pervert) then it's a waste. Particularly in an age where readers want rapid releases and binge read material.

I naturally gravitate toward shorter stories. The writing flows better for me. I enjoy reading them more, so, since I was now self-publishing, it slowly began to dawn on me...I didn't have to write a certain number of words just to fit into some subjective box that defined a "real" book. I've written short novels or novellas ever since, and never looked back. Some people will probably hate this. That's okay. You do you. For me, it works.

If you are a writer and this length thing has become a thorn in your side, I encourage you to explore a little. Do what feels right for you and your writing. Because here's the ugly truth:

In traditional publishing, book length was never about the story.

It is now, and has always been about the publisher and their profit margins, and the physical stores and their display space. That's it! But, if you're self-published and selling mostly e-books or print on demand, none of that matters anymore. You are free to tell the story you want to tell, in whatever manner it needs telling. You don't have to add or remove content just to suit someone else's (outdated) template.

(I do have one big caveat to this. SERIALS are not SERIES, and NOVELLAS are not SERIALS. Please do your homework, authors, and get this right. Otherwise you're going to have some ticked off readers.)

All that aside, you're free to do as you wish...as long as you're self-published. For more information about how the physical bookstore shelves and the publishing house drive book length, you can check out this really in-depth and amazing post by author Charles Stross on his blog.  He outlines all the numbers, and all the times the expected length of things has changed over the years. (I'm sure there's another adult joke in there somewhere, but I digress).

Happy writing!

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Random Book (and author) Review- How to Vex a Vampire, Alice Winters

How to Vex a Vampire (VRC: Vampire Related Crimes Book 1) by [Winters, Alice]

Happy Thursday! I know I started out this year by saying I was going to post here more regularly but...well, you can just fill in the blanks. I'm sure you're well aware of the potential challenges to creativity right now.

I wanted to take a moment to share some some love, because I think we could all use a little fun escape right now! So I'm putting up a random book review!

When I came across this book I had no idea it was going to be so stinking funny. Since reading How to Vex a Vampire, I've started Ms. Winters' book Happy Endings next and let me tell you, so far it does not disappoint in the "oh my god I laughed so loud my daughter came to check on me to make sure I was okay" department.

If you like a good paranormal plot, that also includes so much stupid, snarky humor it's sometimes hard to breathe, then check this book (and her others) out! As a bonus, the main character has a disability, and this is perfectly written, earning big points in my mind (I'm biased that way, having worked in rehab for so long).

I hope you check out this author's work, and I hope you get a nice, deep, hard...laugh along the way!

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

She's alive! (And hopes to stay that way for at least the next year!)

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Hello! It’s been forever since I posted here on the blog, but I plan to make this a more regular occurrence this year. We’re going to start with a year-end wrap-up and goals for the new year.

2019 has at times felt like it stretched out with painful slowness and at times sped by so fast I felt out of control. So often it is hard to see the big picture of what we’ve accomplished because of our narrow focus on what’s happening RIGHT NOW. I am guilty of always feeling like I’m not doing enough, or feeling like my progress toward my goals is incredibly SLOW. (It’s something I’m working on!) I’ve never made it a practice to do a yearly review of my life, but I did this year. And it stunned me. Keep in mind, I am someone who feels they are never productive enough, never doing enough, not moving forward.

Over the last year I’ve:
  • Written 14 novellas (and published 12 of them)
  • Wrote over 550,000 words
  • Published several boxsets
  • Created 20 book covers
  • Read somewhere around 125 books
  • Started taking a drawing course
  • Completed a photoshop course
  • Completed a vision quest
  • Worked on spiritual wellbeing, mental health, and self-development
  • Given a talk on how to turn depression and anxiety into strength
  • Completed a 30-day exercise challenge in which I did intense body weight exercises every day for 30 days straight! (and got way stronger/built muscle, and overcame my absolute HATRED for exercise)
  • Went out on a big old limb and went from working fulltime in a stressful career to writing full time and working part time as needed, taking HUGE steps toward my dream of becoming a full-time author
  • Got up the courage to friend and interact with other authors online—ones who I read and admire (ie: I stopped telling myself I wasn’t good enough to/ stopped being so embarrassed to put myself out there and people!)
  • Worked on raising a family
  • Made big strides in my personal relationships
  • And probably so many more things that I’m missing!
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One of the most important things I’ve learned this year is that the most valuable thing you can do or achieve is to be able to sit quietly, with yourself, and just be happy in that moment, for who you are, where you are, and the breath of life that fills your lungs. Apart from that, the only thing that matters is that you strive to learn and grow every day, and experience this life fully (the good and the bad), the way you were meant to do.


My biggest goal moving forward into 2020 is this: 
Whenever I find myself saying “I wish I could ___”, I will immediately take some step toward that desire, even if it’s a very tiny step. 
For example, I’ve always wistfully said, “I wish I could draw.” That's the stance of a person who doesn't feel like they can make a difference in their own life. I'm not that person anymore. 
This month I have enrolled in a course to learn how to draw characters and intend to complete it in a serious fashion. As much as we don’t want to hear it, “I wish I could,” is meaningless. Wishing isn’t enough to accomplish anything, though it is a great place to start. Wishing without taking action isn’t fair to that small voice inside you whispering of all you could see and experience, and be. So, my goal is to listen to that voice and go where it directs me, even if in really small ways. Hopefully more joy will follow. (And yes, learning how to draw is a small thing, but this is me teaching myself there is no reason I can't do anything, if I just devote myself to learning).

Things I’m looking forward to/goals for this year:
  • Continuing to create and dream up new worlds 
    • complete the Reluctant Necromancer series
    • work on audiobook versions of RN, as well as the Gesa’s Menagerie series
    • write two more new series (one spin-off from the menagerie world and one new, frighteningly different world that I can't wait to share with you).
  • Continue to push the boundaries with my life and my creative work (busting out of the tropes and genre boxes and being more inclusive and open-minded wherever possible)
  • Cultivate a more personal relationship with my fans online
  • Make meaningful memories with my family
  • Create more joy wherever I can
  • Travel and experience new places and ideas!
  • Continue to work on fitness and health (not focusing on weight, but rather on strength, energy, and wellbeing)
  • Read more non-fiction
  • Continuing to discover and live my truest version of myself

What about you? What are your goals for the upcoming year? What are some accomplishments from 2019 you haven’t given yourself enough credit for?

Popular Opinion Bear meme


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

New Ebook! Forever After Trilogy of Fantasy Romance Novellas Out Now!

Hello out there. It has been a long time since my last blog post--life happened. However I am happy to announce that I've completed and released 3 new novellas. You can get them all as a box set here!

The story of Alys, a human changeling who is determined to become more than a servant. This box set contains the complete Forever After Trilogy of novellas:
*Book 1: Light of Day
*Book 2: Dark of Night
*Book 3: Forever After

From book 1:
Eighteen years ago, my parents traded my life to save my baby sister. Faerie magic is wild and willful, and to deviate from my place as a changeling servant would mean risking my sister’s life. I’m well cared for by my fae master, a froggy old bogle who isn't half as fearsome as he pretends to be. But I can’t help wanting more. 

Stolen trinkets and hidden mementos from the human world, glimpses of another life seen through books and plastic toys, and thin spots in the veil between worlds—they aren’t enough. I want to go home. However, my heart is growing more attached to this world, and to one beautiful, eccentric elf. I just might give up humanity to stay at his side, even if I’ll never be anything more than a lowly servant. 

But my elf has secrets of his own, and they are more dangerous than my magic binding or his disregard for the line between light and dark….

Author’s Notes
This series overall has varying levels of heat, as well as occasional violence and adult language. 

Friday, February 23, 2018

Random book review: Black Dog Blues

Black Dog Blues

Can I just have a gushy, girly book-nerdy moment here?
I. Love. This. Book.

The world building in this story is AMAZING. The author basically took real-world California and fantasy Faerie and SMASHED them together. As in "the merge," and event where the two worlds violently merged and resulting in a human/fae war that makes this world in some places almost post-apocalyptic, and in others filled with lush futuristic beauty... it's amazing. Have I said amazing? It's also filled with action, violence, romance/sexual tension, emotional pull, and just a lot of fun (driving a mustang through a dragon-infested desert on the way to an elvin city while outrunning the monster dogs of the wild hunt anyone?). I've read another of Rys Ford's books, Dim Sum Asylum, and really enjoyed that too. She has a magical way of taking the sparkly fae and making them all gritty and edgy. Love it.
Black Dog Blues (The Kai Gracen Series Book 1) by [Ford, Rhys]
The Kai Gracen Series: Book One
Ever since being part of the pot in a high-stakes poker game, elfin outcast Kai Gracen figures he used up his good karma when Dempsey, a human Stalker, won the hand and took him in. Following the violent merge of Earth and Underhill, the human and elfin races are left with a messy, monster-ridden world, and Stalkers are the only cavalry willing to ride to someone’s rescue when something shadowy appears.

It’s a hard life but one Kai likes—filled with bounty, a few friends, and most importantly, no other elfin around to remind him of his past. And killing monsters is easy. Especially since he’s one himself.

But when a sidhe lord named Ryder arrives in San Diego, Kai is conscripted to do a job for Ryder’s fledgling Dawn Court. It’s supposed to be a simple run up the coast during dragon-mating season to retrieve a pregnant human woman seeking sanctuary. Easy, quick, and best of all, profitable. But Kai ends up in the middle of a deadly bloodline feud he has no hope of escaping.

No one ever got rich being a Stalker. But then few of them got old either and it doesn’t look like Kai will be the exception.