Category Archives: Shadow World

Frequently Asked Questions about My Patreon

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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Shadow World Extra: Order Form

Greetings this fine Monday!  I sat down to start making notes about all the prompts I got from the giveaway, and this was the first thing to spring to mind – a silly thing I thought I’d share.  It’s what happens when you leave a clipboard hanging somewhere that two people can walk past intermittently throughout the evening.

After all, if our heroes are all busy fighting wars and making platinum albums, someone has to buy the ice cream.

Passing Notes

(I know the clip’s a bit cheesy, but I was improvising because I didn’t have my usual tools.)

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Shadowbound Excerpt and Giveaway #2!

As promised, below you’ll find a second excerpt from Chapter 1 of Shadowbound.  Just a little over a week to go!

Once you’ve read this lil’ tidbit, the first scene of the chapter in which Miranda is having Vampiric Dietary Angst, comment on this post to be entered in our second giveaway – in your comment, give me the title/artist of a song that makes you think of the Shadow World books.  Any genre, any age; it can remind you of a specific character or scene, or the series in general; maybe it’s the lyrics, or the piano, or the overall feel; it can be off one of my playlists or from anywhere.

I had intended to do a third giveaway later this week, but realized that by the time the contest ended, I got the winner’s address, and got the book in the mail, it would be much less likely to reach him or her before release day on the 25th.  Instead, I’ve decided this time to have TWO winners – two commenters chosen at random will each receive a signed copy of Shadowbound.

The giveaway ends at 7pm, Austin time, on Tuesday, March 18. 

Scroll down for the excerpt!

shadowbound

Just another night at the office.

The venue’s stage door swung open and several black-clad security staff emerged, trying to clear a path from the door to the car waiting nearby.  Dozens of cameras clicked, lights flashing.  A cacophony of voices erupted that drowned out even the sounds of nearby traffic. A moment later, a curly red head bobbed through the crowd, politely refusing interviews.

“Miss Grey!  How are you feeling since you recovered from the shooting?”

“Miss Grey, have you started work on your second album yet?”

“Miss Grey, is it true that the man who shot you was killed while in police custody?”

She kept walking, letting Minh and Stuart keep the way open, until she’d passed through the reporters and hit the small knot of fans that had managed to get to the door before her guards blocked anyone else from entering the alley.

Most of them were bright-eyed young women who reminded her so much of herself…when she was mortal…before she’d gone insane.

These were the people who had given her a career.  She made a habit of pausing with them for just a moment to sign a few CDs and give a hug captured on a phone camera–the image would be blurry, but with the chaos they would blame the phone itself.  It wasn’t much of a stretch; Miranda almost never got a decent shot with her own phone, and hers was ten-years-beyond-state-of-the-art by virtue of her being married to the Fanged Wondergeek.

Finally with a parting smile she took pity on her bodyguards and headed for the car. Harlan held the limo door open for her and she slid in, dragging her guitar along with her onto the seat.

As pretentious as she’d thought it was the first week, she had to admit the limo was a comfortable way to travel; the Lincoln had thrown a rod or something and had to go to an actual mechanic for a change.

The car pulled away from the curb, and she reached into her coat pocket for her phone.  The usual patrol status reports were coming in: situation normal.

“Straight to the rendezvous, my Lady, or did you need to stop along the way?”

She had already fed tonight, but as the high from the show began to abate, already her body was whispering pleas for more blood, and she was starting to get that itching, gritty feeling in her veins.  Just thinking of fresh blood caused her stomach to lurch painfully.

Miranda sighed.  “Stop before we leave downtown, please.”

She’d expended a lot of energy performing tonight.  That must be why she was hungry again so soon; she was just getting used to being back onstage.  Modulating her energy was different now–on the one hand she was stronger, but on the other, working her empathy through her new power was taking some adjustment.  All of that extra power could burn out quickly, leaving her exhausted, if she got it into her head that she was invincible.

But even as she told herself she was just tired and overworked, she wanted to curl up and weep…because she knew it was a lie.

A few minutes later Harlan pulled over.  “I believe this area should provide a nice selection,” he said.

“Thank you.  I’ll be back in fifteen minutes.”

It was a warm, humid night at the end of July, a little cooler than average for this time of year but still growing steadily more oppressive.  She and David had both switched to lightweight coats made for rain rather than cold–there were few other ways to walk around town concealing a sword, but their usual leather was a bit much for a Texas summer.

Tonight, though, standing on the sidewalk surveying the scene, she felt a chill move through her.

It had only been ten days since the attack on Hart’s Haven, less than a month since she had become…what she was now.  Since that first night, since she had woken as this new creature and discovered she had killed someone, she had known that all of this new power had come with a price.  She could run faster, fight harder, sense things beyond the perception of even the strongest vampire.  A stake to her heart would no longer kill her.  She could track a lawbreaker across the entire city without breaking a sweat, and she knew there were other changes she hadn’t discovered yet.

But true invulnerability was impossible.  If they were now this strong, this hard to kill, there had to be an equal and opposite consequence.

She left the car and made her way down the street toward a crowded corner where a steady stream of humans crossed from one side to the other.  Drawing near, she moved back behind a building and peered around the corner at them, feeling…what, exactly?

Distant.  Alien. Hungry.

The distance between her and the mortal world had grown so much in such a short time.  She still had friends among them, but night after night she watched humans walking by, completely unaware of the creature whose eyes were sweeping over them, and she felt every inch of that distance, felt a final separation from their ordinary lives…lives that were so fragile, so easily ended.

A pert young Indian-American woman in a business suit caught her eye, and she bent her will against the girl’s, pulling her from the river of mortals and into the darkness, away from her kind, away from everything alive and familiar.

Miranda took the girl’s arm and steered her back against the wall, careful not to hurt her or get her tripped up on the human’s insanely impractical heels.  The girl’s face was a vacant neutral, her consciousness wrapped in shadow so it would never occur to her to struggle.

But if she did struggle…if she tried to run…

Miranda’s teeth dug into her lip.  She imagined the girl bolting, shedding those stupid shoes and running as hard and fast as she could…running for her life…she imagined giving her a head start, holding on to the wisp of her scent, and then running after her…chasing her. 

All of this worrying about injury and tending to their prey’s memories was nothing but a conceit to civility–what her body craved as much as blood was to hunt, to bring the girl down and tear open her throat under the open sky and feel her heart shudder to a stop as her blood soaked into the…ground…

Miranda cried out and stumbled away from the girl, nearly losing her hold over the human’s mind.  She wanted to tell the girl to run away as fast as she could, but was that to save her, or to revel in the bright salt-sweet adrenaline that would infuse the girl’s blood?

Before she could panic at her own thoughts, she pinned the girl back and roughly turned her head to the side to take what she had come for.

She understood, though she tried not to think about, why her teeth had changed.  The second pair enabled her to get a harder grip on a human’s throat, and caused more damage, four punctures instead of only two.  More blood would flow faster…she could finish in half the time.  Lions and wolves had more than two pointed teeth.  Their teeth were designed to tear flesh; a human’s were comparatively flat and dull.  This new design made her a more efficient predator.

It had been tricky but she’d figured out how to change the angle of her head so that she wouldn’t dig in with the second set.  The girl gasped and struggled feebly, but Miranda tightened her hold over the girl’s mind and froze her in place.  Don’t fight.  Please don’t fight. You’ll only make it harder to stop.

The girl tasted so young and innocent…and as she wandered back into the teeming masses of humanity, her hand reaching up to touch her neck, then running absently through her disheveled hair, the Queen watched her from her hiding place, letting the blood run through her and satisfy her…for now…and wondering, with an aching heart, how much longer she would be able to let them walk away.

 

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And the winner is…

Laura!

Screen Shot 2014-03-13 at 3.12.54 PM

Laura, please email me at diannesylvan at gmail dot com with your address and who you’d like the book signed to, and I’ll get it in the mail ASAP!

Don’t worry, those who didn’t win – I’ll have another giveaway on Monday when I post the next excerpt (I was going to wait until Wednesday but I think it’s a better prize if you get it earlier).  Thank you to everyone who entered!

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Shadowbound Giveaway #1!

shadowboundAs promised – the prize is one signed copy of Shadowbound before you can buy it in stores. 

This giveaway ends Thursday, March 13, at noon (Central – Austin, TX time), so you’ll have about 24 hours to enter.  I’ll announce the winner Thursday afternoon/evening.  The winner will be chosen at random from all entrants.

To enter, leave a comment ON THIS POST – not on Facebook or Twitter, but on this actual blog post – answering this question:

Who is your favorite Shadow World character?  Why?  (The why is optional.)

Good luck guys!

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