Frequently Asked Questions about My Patreon


As you all know, since I was not offered a contract for the remaining Shadow World novels, I decided to go back to my fandom roots and start posting one chapter at a time, hoping for the thrill of immediate feedback.  The problem is, that doesn’t pay the bills.

Enter Patreon, an idea that gave me happy Snoopy dances.  With Patreon, an artist or other creator uploads a work, and people contribute money to support that work.  The artist can create long-term goals (like “Help Me Buy a New Laptop,” or “The Electricity Will Be Cut off in 3…2…1…”) or just accept whatever people are willing to give.

My Patreon is set up on a monthly basis rather than a per-work basis.  Here are some of the things people often ask about it – what you get if you join, why do I do it like I do it, et cetera.

1 – Why do you do the monthly instead of per-work?

It encourages me to regularly produce content for my patrons.  If people are paying every month, they expect more than just a half-assed blog post or freebie.  If I did per-work, chances are I’d get out of the habit of posting and eventually people would get bored and leave.

2 – So what do I get if I contribute?

You get to read chapters of the new Shadow World book *immediately* after they’re written.  Basically I finish them, edit them, send them to Beta, edit more if need be, and post those bastards.  The writing can be a bit unpolished, as they haven’t had a professional edit, but most people find the ability to get the new story right away instead of waiting a year for a whole book very appealing.

I am also publishing new chapters of the next big Shadow Agency story, Song and Cipher; I’m not as far along on that one, so it’s coming out every two or three weeks in among the Shadowstorm chapters.

Both of these works will be available as full length books – both digital and printed, I hope.  But there’s a looooooot of work that goes into that, and I love the instant gratification of people reading my stuff as much as people love finding out what happens next.  The finished books will be available for the public to buy, and as soon as the works are done and I have a release date ready, I will post that everywhere.  Shadowstorm is officially half written, so it’s going to be a bit before non-patrons see it.

Also, Patrons get to read new Shadow World extras before anyone else; those will be uploaded on my blog like they always were, about a week after the Patrons get it.

You also get access to the Patron feed, where you can chat with other readers; and I can make random comments, answer questions, and generally be a nuisance.

I’m planning to offer other bennies too, I just haven’t come up with anything I’d really be willing to do.

All of that, for $3 a month.

3 – How many levels of support do you have?

I only set up two, although you are of course welcome to contribute as much as you want.  *laugh*  There’s a $3 subscription level, as I just described; and a $5 level, which is exactly the same except you get a signed adhesive book plate mailed to you, to be stuck in any one of my books that tickles your fancy.  I am hoping to add more perks, but I don’t want it to be a big separation between the two levels – 3 dollar people are what I anticipate the most of, and anything above that is just delightful icing on the badass cake.

A lot of Patreon users have all sorts of perks for really high donations like writing you as a minor character into the story, but I haven’t quite the wherewithal for that.  I wanted to keep it simple, and above all cheap.  $3 a month for you is a cup of coffee.  $3 a month for me from 1,000 people is a livelihood.

You can read more about the nuts and bolts of being a patron over on Patreon’s FAQ.

So, if you know anyone who loves my work, please do forward this post along.  I’m very happy with how things have gone so far, and I’m comfortable with the system we’ve got.  I’ve been getting a lot of writing done thanks to Patreon.

I’d love to see you there if you’re not already!  I just posted the last chapter of Shadowstorm: part 1 this week, and it’s a doozy.  I love sharing my doozies!  It’s a great opportunity to support artists, writers, musicians, and other creatives you love.

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You are fabulously invited…

something newEvery year it seems my social media make it harder for me to have any sort of relationship with my readers.  It’s bad enough to be painfully introverted; at least I had the internet, right?  But then Facebook started making it damn near impossible for my readers – people who had purposefully opted in on my posts, who wanted to read them – to even find new posts.  As I understand it they’re about to make it even harder…unless of course you pay them.


It turns out the best way to keep in touch with your readers is the old-fashioned method:  an email list.  I’ve resisted having one for a long time because I didn’t know what I’d do with one, but I think 2015 is the time to really get back into my author-life, and I can’t do that without all of you.

I’d love it if you would sign up for my newsletter – you can either click one of the links in this post or come to my site and sign up on the sidebar.  Fear not, I don’t plan on clogging your inboxes with self-promotion; newsletter subscribers will receive at most one email a week (unless something really amazing happens), and it will absolutely be worth your while, because you will have:

  • Access to new Shadow World extras, Agency stories, and other writing before anyone else
  • First crack at giveaways
  • Freebies I make before I release them on the blog.

Don’t worry, Facebook/Twitter/Blog lovers – I’m going to stay on those too.  In fact I’m going to try to be more present everywhere.  But I want this list to be something special, something that makes it worth inviting me into your inbox when I know how full it already is.

To show you how serious I am:

If you sign up by January 5, the first newsletter you receive will contain a link to download the first chapter of Shadow World Book 6.

That’s right.  The book doesn’t even have a name yet, and it’s only 1/3 written, but if you join the mailing list, you’ll get to read the entire first chapter – free.

The chapter will not be available on the blog, via Facebook, or via Twitter.  Only newsletter subscribers will receive it.

It’s important to me that you all know how important you are to me.  *laugh*  I mentioned in a previous post (somewhere) that I was considering releasing parts of new Agency stories online for free the way I used to, then compiling them with new material into books for sale later.  If I do that, only subscribers will get them for free.  It’s very easy to join in and reap the potential rewards:

Just click here or visit my website to sign up for the newsletter.

I hope to see you there!

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Me and a Bear

Jack, I want you to draw me like one of your French girls.
Jack, I want you to draw me like one of your French girls.

I’ve had quite a few people, particularly on Facebook, asking for an update on Shadow World Book 6 (and also the next Agency volume).  I figured I’d better talk about it over here on the blog so a wider swath of my readers could see it.

Book 6 is not finished yet.  Like, nowhere near.  I just finished Chapter 4 for the third time, if that tells you anything. Aside from story issues out the wazoo, this year has been fraught with personal problems as well as, I have to be honest, absolutely zero confidence in my abilities anymore.  There’s a reason most of my blog posts have been about planners and crafts and stuff like that.  (Two reasons, actually, the second being that I love those things.)

I don’t want this to be like the time That Horrible Harridan destroyed my love of writing and I didn’t touch it again for years.  Mostly now I’m dealing with some serious confusion and disillusionment over where my career is going, or rather not going.

The upshot is:  At this point I cannot give you a firm date when Book 6 will be out.  It doesn’t even have a name yet.  Even after I finish principle writing I have to get it edited, find a cover artist, and a bunch of other stuff I haven’t quite figured out yet because I’ve been too paralyzed by my own feelings of inadequacy to do any real research on self-publishing.  But getting the thing written is the first goal.

Since the Agency stories were originally released one by one, not in full book format, I’m also having trouble deciding how to handle them.  If I can make any progress on this next one I might just release parts of it for free.

If I could come up with a new idea, even a germ of one, I’d love to start a third series and have it go the way the Agency went, where it’s free until I’ve got enough material to start creating volumes out of it.  I miss the instant gratification of putting something out there for people to read and respond to right away.  Writer egos are particularly delicate.

Anyway – as soon as I have more specific information on the next book, I promise I’ll say so, here and on Facebook and anywhere else you want me to.  I’m working very hard to get through the mess in my head, and hopefully someday the blue fairy will turn me back into a real writer.  Please just bear with me.

Unusual forms of suicide: Boop this nose.

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Now Available: The Agency, Volume 2

That’s right! You can now purchase the second collection of stories from my Agency series.  Click on the image to buy it for your Kindle, or scroll down to the “add to cart” button to get the .pdf.

agency cover 2

The second collection of Dianne Sylvan’s urban fantasy series, The Agency, rejoins young Witch Sara Larson as she continues her training to become a federal paranormal investigator through love, loss, and quite a lot of bullets.

Volume 2 picks up shortly after the events of “Pentecost,” following the courtship of Shadow Agents 5 and 7 – Rowan, an Elven healer; and Jason, lead Agent of the Texas branch, vampire, and violinist. Their romance weaves in and out of Sara’s life and the fate of everyone in the Agency as a new and dangerous enemy arises…Rowan’s own people.

Just to avoid any surprises, Volume 2 has several stories that are rather adult in nature; all of the collections will have some rather sexy stuff, but Volume 2 gets the ball rolling, so to speak, right away.

This collection contains two short pieces that had disappeared from the website back before I took it down:  “Umbrella” and “Anywhere He Wants.”  Some longtime readers will have seen them and some won’t have.  I’m working on all new stuff for subsequent volumes, but this one was already so long I didn’t want to make it even more unwieldy.

Download the .pdf of Volume 2 here:

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Coming March 26, 2013 to a Bookseller Near You…

Spread throughout the dark corners of our world lies the Shadow World, a society of vampires who feed off the living. In Austin, Texas, one woman must rise from the ashes of tragedy and confront an ancient evil before it destroys everything she holds dear…

After a heartrending night of loss and blood, Miranda Grey-Solomon, vampire Queen of the South, now stands in the ruins of her life determined to pick up the pieces and move on. David, her husband and Prime, is missing and presumed dead, and Miranda is lost without her soul mate by her side…But she has little time to grieve as enemies both old and new emerge to test her yet again.

Between vampires trying to take advantage of a Queen without a Prime, incursions by a mysterious organization of humans calling themselves the Order of the Morningstar, and the continuing threat from those within the Shadow World who have already tried to destroy her, Miranda and her allies are running out of places to turn. In order to save her territory and the ones she loves, Miranda must look to the ancient past, to the first days of the vampire race, and uncover secrets about the Signets that could change the course of history…

Of Shadow Born: Book 4 of the Shadow World – available for preorder at online retailers everywhere.

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