Gold Medal Winner!

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Philomena Sparks has won a gold medal at the Global Ebook Awards under the Steampunk category. I found out yesterday and was not expecting this at all. I am so stoked. Just wanted to post it here for all to see. Also, I wish to congratulate all who placed in the competition!
For the full list of winners, please click the screen shot above. And, if you want a signed copy, just let me know in the comments section. Philomena is on Amazon, Smashwords, Nook, iTunes and other places all over the Internet. I am and have been so terribly busy lately, and haven’t been able to blog as I used to, but I hope to catch up soon and post more frequently…  or so I hope.

Here is a list of all the places where you can find Philomena and download a preview if you like.

Amazon – available in print and for Kindle

Nook

Sony eBook Store

Smashwords

Kobo

iTunes – for iPad, iPod, iPhone or your favorite iToy

CreateSpace – only in print

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A new steampunk novelette is out there…

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Philomena Sparks and The Curse of the Big Ben has been out there for some weeks actually, and it already has two five star reviews in Amazon. The ones who have read it told me they loved it, that they could picture themselves in the Victorian world described in the book. Also, they loved the illustrations, which enhance and capture the mysteriously dark atmosphere of the story.

The book is available in print (paperback) and in electronic format.

Here is a list of all the places where you can find it and download a preview if you like.

Amazon – available in print and for Kindle

Nook

Sony eBook Store

Smashwords

Kobo

iTunes – for iPad, iPod, iPhone or your favorite iToy

CreateSpace – only in print

And, if you’d like a dedicated copy, I’d be more than happy to do so. Just send me an email:

marielba.cancel@gmail.com

About illustrating a book

Illustrating a book may seem as a rather easy task, but not really. The illustrator must have both knowledge and sensitivity to re-create, through drawings, the touch and feel, and the atmosphere that is being described in a particular story.

That’s why when I first gave Adriana Rosario, the rough draft of Philomena Sparks, for her to start reading, I told her that if she did not like or felt identified with the story in any way, that then I’d look for someone else to illustrate the book, but no, I did not have to. I believe Adriana made such an excellent job, and we’re all very proud of her. Here are some of her illustrations while they were still in the making.

I won’t say what they’re all about because then I’d be ruining the story for you. All I’ll say for now is that my favorite is the last one. Although sometimes I have trouble making up my mind, because all of them are so beautiful and carefully drawn. I have to say I am extremely happy and quite pleased with the way the book ended up looking. Now, I have to make it available in electronic format, and I hope the illustrations look as wonderful as they do in print.

Philomena Sparks

Well, yes finally! My new book is out there, and I am very happy about it. Thanks to Kickstarter, my dream of having this book illustrated came true and as you can see, Adriana Rosario, my illustrator, is extremely happy with the results.

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It was only a few days ago that I could hand her own copy, and she loved it!

Now, you may wonder, what is this book all about? Well, it’s the story of Mr. Charles Dewhurst and his father, and the way he developed a machine destined to help out in their business. It is set in Victorian London and it has some Steampunk elements in it. The story is told through Mr. Higgings in the present day, when a peculiar object shows up at the British Museum, where he works as Curator of Artefacts. That’s all I will say about it because I don’t want to ruin it for those who might like to read it. The novel has a total of 9 chapters, and there are two illustrations per chapter. Adriana did an excellent job, and we will both be woking in the future again. That’s for sure. If you want to check out the book, here is the link:

Philomena Sparks and The Curse of The Big Ben

And here is the Kickstarter page where you can see some of the drawings that Adriana made for the book:

Kickstarter Project for Philomena Sparks

Click on the ‘Updates’ tab and go back to the very first ones. You will find some of her beautiful illustrations there.

And Merry Christmas to you all!

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Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy and Beautiful Christmas. I’m very very happy and there is reason to celebrate. My project at Kickstarter has had an awesome reception and will be funded, thanks to all charitable souls who have helped out. However, the project is still going and will be running until January the 10th so if you still want a signed and dedicated copy of my new book, do click on this link:

The Amazing Story of Philomena Sparks

Do check out the updates and see the wonderful illustrations that I have posted so far. I can’t wait to put the book together and have it ready to print. Do spread the word too about this, please!

In the meantime, have a Merry Gothic Christmas! (You know how it is…)

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The Amazing Story of Philomena Sparks

This will be the cover of my new book, which I hope to have out there by late December or January. It is a Victorian mystery novelette set in London between 1854 and 1856 with some Steampunk elements in it. Yes, I know the title is a bit long, but people have told me they like it. Right now I am in the process of proofreading and double/triple checking it. Also, a friend of mine, the very talented Adriana Rosario is illustrating the novel for me. I have always wanted to publish an illustrated book and her illustrations are turning out beautifully.

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However, we need some help. I have opened a project in Kickstarter, so please do check it out. Here is the link:

The Amazing Story of Philomena Sparks

There are some of her illustrations there for you to see. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Spread the word too, please! If you don’t see me ’round here much it’s because I am working like an automaton to get this done on time. Have a great and wonderful Christmas!

Coming soon to an E-reader near you!

I have been working on a new book for the last six months or so, and I hope to have it out there by the end of the year or early January. This new novelette has nothing to do with the first one I wrote, although it’s in my plans to write the sequel to that one, but I had this other idea in my head that needed to come out, and it finally did. It has been a dream of mine, for quite some time, to write something for the Steampunk genre, and the idea took shape after a strange dream I had, mixed with hours of research about Victorian times, until it flowed from my thoughts into written form. I am happy with the results and feel very anxious to have it out there as an illustrated book.

Unfortunately, most people who have dreams and want them materialized in the right way, need some funding to help those dreams come true. Now, I don’t intend to break the sound barrier like Felix Baumgartner. I’m glad he did and he made his dream come true. Good for him. My dream is a lot less complicated. All I want to do is put my book out there. But, I have to make something clear, one does not need money to write and get published these days. Seriously. All you need to do, in order to write, is to set your mind to it, go with the flow, procrastinate about things that need to be done or fixed around the house, forget about washing your dishes for a night (just leave them in your kitchen sink and spray them with Fantastik, Lysol or your favorite germ killer), follow your muse and finish the story! You don’t need money to get published. There are many places nowadays where you can publish your work as an ebook, like Kindle and Smashwords for example, and they are for free. Now, if you want it printed, there are other places to go, like Create Space or lulu, and yes, you need some funds to order your own copies. Publishing your book with them costs $0. Once you are done is when the other, not so fun part, begins.

I’ll try and number these few things that need to get done before and after you put your book out there, be it in print or electronically.

First: You need to proofread and check your work thoroughly and this is something your computer’s spellchecker won’t do for you. The best thing to do is give it to someone else who has good knowledge, if not, command of the language in which you have written your work. Four eyes (or six, eight or a spider) can see better than two, and many times, while you’re writing, your mind wanders off somewhere in the movie played by your mind as you write, and it’s easy to leave out details or make spelling mistakes. If you don’t know anyone who can double and triple check your work for you, then it’s good advice to hire someone, and of course they won’t do it for free, so, yes, you need money to have your novel checked.

Second: If you want your book to be illustrated, then of course you’ll need to hire an illustrator or you can illustrate it yourself. Although I can draw and could make the illustrations for the book I have just written, I want someone else to do the job. Why? Well, because by doing so I can see how someone else perceives the book. Besides, I want to give this opportunity to someone I know who is an awesome artist and I asked her if she wanted to illustrate my book and she said: Yes! She already started and I loved the first sketches she made, so here is a sneak peek…

Third: You need a good cover for your book. You need something catchy and presentable, and unless you have some skills as a graphic artist, generally you’ll need someone to work on the cover of your book and unfortunately, again, you need money for this.

Fourth: Advertising and marketing your book. Once you’re done writing, proofreading, double checking, and re-arranging your book, if you don’t have a marketing plan or spend some $$ on advertising, you’ll probably end up with your book sitting on a shelf forever and ever. Advertising and marketing your own work is hard. I’ve tried to do it by myself and it’s a steep road. There are places online where you can have a press release done for free, but will they send it to the right places? If you want the word to be spread and targeted to a particular audience, unfortunately again, you need money for this. And, it’s appalling to see how much they charge for writing a good press release and sending it to the right places. Just google it, and you’ll see.

Well, I think I have made my plea and all, so if you want to help out this poor girl with tons and tons of ideas, you’ll be my hero forever and ever! I don’t know how else to put it…