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Darklands Blog Tour with Author Donna Burgess + Giveaway

Feb 12, 2011

Happy Saturday everyone! Today I have special Guest Author Donna Burgess, of the Darklands Blog Tour, Hosted By: Bewitching Book Tours

I want to thank JoJo for having me on her awesome site today. This blog tour has been a lot of fun, and for most of the guest posts, I've discussed one of my favorite things--vampires. But, as I have gotten more involved with the world of e-publishing and primarily, independent publishing, I've realized what an incredible community of writers there is out there. Over the past couple of months, I've become one of those people who constantly talks up the reasons for “going indie” rather than seeking traditional publication. Today's self-published author is no longer viewed as the un-publishable hack of a decade ago. Especially, now that royalty checks can actually pay bills and the books are so easily found (many on bestseller lists of their particular category). It feels good to control one's destiny.

Not only are these “renegade” authors (okay, they're not really renegade, but it sounds cool) talented, they are also supportive of one another. And best things an already-published author can do is offer advice to new authors and those who think they'd like to begin writing a book someday. So, here I go:

  • A book-length manuscript can seem intimidating. It doesn't need to be. We are all busy people--there's kids, school, work, babysitting the hubby… Set aside a few moments a day to put some ideas on paper (or hard drive). Not every day will see a full chapter or even a complete scene come together, but jotting down a few notes counts, too. Every word typed is progress toward your goal. Your someday is now.
  • Write the book you would want to read. Don't write a young adult vampire novel because you know that is what is selling. Instead, write your book--the story that is sitting inside you. Your passion will show through and that's a great thing.
  • Do not let your family or friends read your first (or second) book and offer feedback. This is not the feedback you want, ever, ever, ever! You will get one of two responses and both suck mightily. The first one is “I think it's…good.” That hesitation tells you all you need to know. The other is “I think it would be better if you changed (insert choice here).” Also, if your book has sex scenes, it's not a great idea to allow your parents read it. It doesn't matter if you are 65 years of age, have been married for 47 years and have 13 kids. Your parents do not want to recognize you know anything about sex. Those 13 kids just appeared there, suddenly.
  • Family and close friends notwithstanding, don't be shy. Tell people about your book. Blog about your book. Give copies away. Once you have finished that novel, you are a writer. Call yourself one. I was probably the shyest person around, but once I got a few sales posted and a few decent reviews, that shyness went away. Now, I'm a promo-machine and it seems to be working pretty well. It's a thin line between good self-promo and being over-bearing. Try not to cross that line, as I have, at times.
  • Some people will love your book, some will hate it. Heck, some people just don't like anything, anyway. That's part of the game. Never apologize for your work. If you are happy with what you've accomplished, that's should be enough. Remember, there are a lot of finished novels out there, but a hell of a lot more unfinished ones. You've done something special. Pat yourself on the back for it.

Donna Burgess
AuthorAmazon | Publisher

Donna Burgess is an author of dark fiction and poetry who enjoys surfing, painting and has a deep affection for all things Monty Python and low-budget horror flicks. Over the past fifteen years, her fiction and poetry has appeared in genre publications such as Weird Tales, Dark Wisdom, Sybil's Garage and others. She has been married for twenty years and has two children. Her newest releases include Darklands: A Vampire's Tale (the first book in the Darklands Vampires series) and The Blue Children, a mini-collection of vampire fiction. When she is not conjuring, she can be found surfing.

Some great Links to check out!
Publisher blog

A Vampires Tale

SmashWords | Amazon | Kindle

Halloween night, twenty years ago, college student Susan Archer watched as her beloved twin brother was brutally murdered at the hands of a stranger she invited into their home. Still haunted by the guilt of that night, Susan is now a tough but bitter cop in a nowhere town, trying as best she can to lead a normal life. When she is nearly killed during a wild shoot-out, she realizes she is not as strong as she first thought.

Fearing a breakdown, she flees the confines of her safe boyfriend and familiar surroundings to find salvation in the arms of “Deathwalker” Devin McCree—the very man who killed her brother.

But things aren’t always what they seem and she quickly realizes Devin was not the monster she originally thought, but a kind of guardian angel instead.

On the run from a crazed Nazi vampire-hunter named Kasper, she and Devin must find a way to endure the dreary urban landscape of a dying metropolis and escape Kasper’s wrath.

*~* Giveaway *~*

Donna Is offering 2 Giveaways! 
1 ebook copy of Darklands (World Wide)
1 print copy of Darklands (US Only)

 So say hi and follow these rules 
to enter the giveaway!

- Must  leave a comment for Donna (please me a meaningful one)

- Must leave a valid e-mail (please do not add your complete e-mail. we do not want it picked up by spammers. for Exp: leave DOT instead of . , or AT instead of @ ) 

- Must include what country you live in (exp: US, Canada) (So we make sure you get into the right giveaway)

**Giveaway ends Sun night ( 2-27 ) at Midnight, and I will announce the winners on the 28th . The winners  will just need to provide a valid email address.

DON'T forget to check out the other stops on the tour!

18 Hottie Follwers Thoughts:

booklover0226 February 12, 2011 at 10:59 AM  

Hi, Donna.

Darklands: a vampire's tale sounds great. I also like the book trailer. How long did it take to create it?

Your book covers are wonderful. Do you work with one particular artist?

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

Marie Carlson February 12, 2011 at 12:43 PM  

I really love your writing advice, Donna, except for the part about not sharing your writing with your family and friends. I know this will vary, obviously, but my sisters are some of my earliest readers for feedback on plot and characterization and my parents provide general cheerleading. (Plus my dad is one of my subject matter experts.) Some of my closest friends are members of my writing and critique group. (Though part of why we're so close is how much time we spend interacting through the group.) My writing would be so much worse, and the process much more stressful, if I didn't have their input and encouragement. Having my friends and family involved helps make it quite an adventure.

I love seeing different people's processes, though, for just this reason. We all go about things in such varied ways.

Marie Carlson
marie at mariecarlson dot com

Marie Carlson February 12, 2011 at 12:49 PM  

Well that was a big fail, Marie. I swear I typed USA but I must have deleted it when I went through and changed the format on my email address. Crap.

Marie Carlson
marie at mariecarlson dot com

Jae Lynne Davies February 12, 2011 at 12:59 PM  

Great advice, Donna!

I must admit to having laughed hysterically when you mentioned not sharing with parents. My intention was to NOT share with my immediate family. There are just some things they don't need to know.

When my Mother found out I didn't share with her, she was hurt and insisted I send her the links. At the end of all things, it's just best to appease her or suffer the incessant nagging. So, after all was said and done I ended the conversation with, "Don't say I didn't warn you." LOL

Victoria February 12, 2011 at 1:05 PM  

You have excellent advice in this post.
This book sounds very good. I love lots of action and it sounds like I will get my wish.
vsloboda(at)gmail(dot)com USA

Roxanne Rhoads February 12, 2011 at 2:20 PM  

Great advice Donna.

I too cringe when I even consider letting my mom read my stories with naughty bits. But I gladly let her read everything else- once it's done of course.

Though I would value my mom's feedback. As a voracious reader (she's where I got my love of books from)the woman can tell if points a and b don't match up where c should be.

Donna February 12, 2011 at 4:57 PM  

Hello & happy Saturday to everyone. I want to thank JoJo for having me today. I am in love with this blog. Of course the "hottie" of the month doesn't hurt!

@ Tracey--thanks for the compliments on the covers. My daughter does all of my covers. I usually come up with an idea and she turns it into something I can use. She's an art student at Art Institute, so I can get her to do these free ;-D

@ Marie--you know, I didn't even think of how great it would be to share my work with a sister! I'm an only child. I have a couple of cousins I am close to, but unfortunately, none of them are readers.

@ Jae Lynne--I know what you mean. I shared Darklands with my mom and am still hearing about it! She claims she cannot tell ANYONE about my book because it's "filthy."

@ Victoria--thanks so much for the comments. I appreciate it so much.

Have a great weekend, everyone. If any of you are considering writing a book--just do it! If I can finish & publish one, anyone can!

BLHmistress February 12, 2011 at 6:05 PM  

LOL I can't imagine letting my parents read the books I read much less letting them read any sex scenes I may write.

I don't tell to many people I write because I write for fun and haven't even considered having it published though one a friend of mine and I are working on together and we have considered it once we get how we want it. Thanks for the advice it does help and will pass it along to my friend as well.


Kasumi February 13, 2011 at 7:48 AM  

Very usefull advices, I'm with you. But no my boyfriend, he is the writer now (I never end my books) and I'm the first one person who read his writings because I don't like the same kind of books he likes and I'll never say to him "It's good". I think I'm his corrector more than a rewiers.

I like fantasy, romance, scify..
Your kind of book!
Soy I hope I'll get lucky with the international giveaway (I'm from Spain)


Kelly M February 13, 2011 at 12:03 PM  

HI Donna... (Thanks JoJo for sharing with me another new author)

So my question for Donna is what advice would you give to someone who wants to write a story? How do you start. What do you do about writters block (or in my case Character Block.)

Thank you in advance. Look forward to learning more about you and your book..
Kelly M
crazybookfairy AT gmail DOT com

Kelly M February 13, 2011 at 12:05 PM  

And I got enter happy... I am in the US!! :)

Jolene Allcock and Family February 13, 2011 at 12:55 PM  

This sounds like a tragic, beautiful story. Wow, just by the blurb, I am hooked. I would love nothing more than to get my hands on this. Vampires have always been at the top of my reading list, but lately it's been hard to find a story that stands out, and this does it for me. I love the storyline and I can't wait to read this. I would love to win, but if I don't I will get ahold of this regardless. It sounds amazing!!!


donnas February 13, 2011 at 8:42 PM  

Great advice.

Is this your actual name for the story or was it changed for publication from what you were thinking when writing it?

Im in the US

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Andrea I February 14, 2011 at 6:30 PM  

It sounds like an interesting book. A Nazi vampire hunter is different.


daydrmzzz February 14, 2011 at 10:12 PM  

Happy Valentines Day! Sounds like a great book, I have not heard bout this series and I love surfing the blogs and finding new authors and books. I look forward to reading this, great interview
Drmgrl99 at yahoo dot com

Pommawolf February 18, 2011 at 7:06 PM  

I love your book Darklands: A Vampire's Tale (Darklands Vampires.
Unfortunately I live in the interior of Alaska and had to wait days to get enough cell service to update my Kindle to get it downloaded. It was woth it and I endjoyed the hell out of it. I like how you think. Please enter me. I would love to read moreof your books.

Dawn February 22, 2011 at 1:02 PM  

Love the trailer....and believe it or not, I am the mother who shares my books with my daughters (yes, they are old enough lol).

StacieDM,  February 24, 2011 at 3:27 PM  

Great book trailer Donna! My question is about book trailers actually. Have you always been on the book trailer bandwagon or were you slow to warm up to them. I know some authors think they are essential to pulling in new readers. I was curious as to your position on them.

user1123 AT comcast DOT net

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