Updates

Up next: Uncharted by Justine Alley Dowsett and Murandy Damodred

In anticipation of our 2017 releases, I wanted to interview each of the authors, but I’ve tried, and I simply can’t interview myself. So, instead let me just tell you a little bit about where I’m at now and what my upcoming new release is all about.

07bcdcc12df687f02e58c2def519f9a9There’s less than two months left until Uncharted is released into the world and I’m excited and nervous and experiencing all the other feelings that come with sending a labour of love out into the world.

Next month, on March 20th, we’ll reveal the cover right here on the blog. I can’t wait to show it to you. Sara Biddle, www.salizabeth.net, is the extremely talented digital artist behind the Mirror World series, Unintended and now, Uncharted. As always, she has gone above and beyond any expectations we had and created something truly lovely.

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Uncharted, in case you’re wondering, is a love story set in the multi-cultural historical/fantasy world of Ismera (the same as Unintended). In it, a woman named Meredith questions her future as a priestess of the Order of Saegard and runs away. On the night she leaves, a legendary artifact is stolen from the temple and she’s blamed for it. Suddenly a fugitive, Meredith stows away on a ship belonging to an off-duty naval officer and a ex-con man posing as his business partner. Together the three of them must evade the law while they work to clear Meredith’s name and track down what was stolen and why.

Uncharted will soon be available for pre-order and will launch on April 17th, 2017. We’re in the midst of planning what we’ll do to celebrate, so subscribe to this blog or our mailing list to be kept informed.

As you may or may not know, Murandy, my sister and co-conspirator… I mean, co-writer, is on maternity leave with her four-month old, but we’re still writing. We’re in the middle of this years’ #85K Challenge (that’s 85,000 words in 90 days) and we’re a little over halfway through two different projects. The first is the next installment in the Mirror Series, working title, Mirror’s Redemption. And the other is the much-anticipated sequel to our first novel ever written together, Neo Central.

1usWith a passion for media and sales, Murandy has a strong background in public relations and promotions as well as an education in Drama and Communications. Justine is an author herself and has worked in a multitude of industries, including publishing. She comes to Mirror World Publishing after acting as Producer and Business and Marketing Director for First Age Studios, a video game design company.

 

My Writing Goals: 2017

I see a lot of people announcing their goals for 2017. I’m not sure I’m wired that way, but I do have several projects on the go (at all times) and even while super-busy with everything Mirror World, I always make time for writing projects and this year will be no exception.

You may remember that last year, Murandy and I participated in the #85K Writing Challenge with our upcoming release, Uncharted.. What is the #85K Writing Challenge? Well, you can find everything you need to know on the website 85K90.com, but essentially the goal is to write 85,000 words over 90 days. Last year, it took us from Jan 1st to mid-April to finish Uncharted, which came in at about 96,000 words.

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This year, things are a little different. Murandy is a new mom and has gone back to school to switch careers. We’re still writing together, but I know Murandy can’t dedicate as much time as before, so I’m participating in the #85K alone, but counting the words written across all the projects I’m currently working on.

So what are those projects? I’m glad you asked.

  1. While Uncharted is being edited by Robert Dowsett and the cover designed by the fabulous Sara Biddle, Murandy and I are going back to the Mirror World. Those of you who have read our Mirror World Series are no doubt eagerly awaiting the next installment in the series and we will not disappoint.
    Starting with Mirror’s Hope, and continuing with Mirror’s Heart, the next book in this dark fantasy romance series is as yet unnamed, but we’re hard at work. So for those of you who have questions unanswered from the first two books, like, who the heck is Abraxas?! And what’s the deal with Caralain? Just wait… it will all be made clear.ncbook
  2. The second book I’m working on concurrently is another eagerly awaited sequel, this one a young adult sci-fi/romance. I wasn’t sure I was ever going to write a sequel or revisit this world, but the fans have demanded it! (You know who you are.) That’s right, Neo Central 2: The Guild Wars is in the works. No promises yet on if or when it will be completed, but Murandy Damodred and another friend of ours (who is still working on her pen name) are having a blast with it and look forward to being able to share it with you. There are three of us co-writing this one, in the same way the original Neo Central was written all those years ago (2008, if you’re wondering)
  3. And in case I wasn’t busy enough with those two, I’ve got a smaller project of my own on the go. I’m constantly trying to master the short story or novella as I find it a challenge to write anything other than a novel (I know, I’m weird.) In this case, I’m working on a shorter story that will be a follow up to Uncharted. It’s called Unfinished, and takes place immediately after the novel. Murandy and I have plans to one day go back to these characters and write a sequel, but for now, this will have to tide me (and you) over.

And that’s it… for now, anyways! What are you working on? What are your goals? Do you think I’ll have any trouble with the #85K? Please leave your thoughts below and thanks for reading! 

2016: A Year in Review

Well, I said we would publish 5 books in 2016. We actually published 6.

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Black Lightning Cover FinalIn May, we released Black Lightning by the exceptionally talented and award-winning
author, K.S. Jones.  We certainly love this middle grade adventure into another world, and hopefully you did too. If you haven’t read it, you can learn more about it here.

TNSCovertestwhitened copySoon after we brought you Elizabeth J.M. Walker’s hilarious teen vampire comedy This Night Sucks, which if you haven’t read it, you are certainly missing out.

In the summer we prepared for the rest of our releases, bringing you book three and book two respectively of Rita Monette’s Nikki Landry Swamp Legends Series and Sharon Ledwith’s The Last Timekeepers Time Travel Series. You can find both in our storelightertkdscoverwithfont

We launched our membership program, which you can learn
contrastSMSymore about here. We attended a host of local events and we also made it to Toronto for The Word on the Street Festival, which was a great new experience for us. Murandy had a baby and named him Hunter Creston. Creston, for a lovable character in our book, Unintended, for those of you who haven’t read it.

In the fall, David McLain and Felix Eddy ran a gofundme coverimagettrmcampaign for their illustrated novel, The Time Traveller’s Resort and Museum, which was a huge success and in November we launched the book in ebook, paperback and also in hardcover, which we had never done before.

On September 30th we announced our partnership with Sho Art Spirit and Performance, and held Worlds Collide Gala, where we introduced our new imprint, Adventure Worlds Press, run by Christian Laforet and Ben van Dongen.

coverfixsmall2016 brought the closure of a few local stores where Mirror World Books were sold, but we added some new ones, like Story Tellers Books on Ottawa St, and From the Heart (also on Ottawa St). And we took a chance on a local artist, Owen Swain, and together created an adult colouring book/ode to Windsor, #tourdesketch Windsor, which has been selling out all across the city since we launched it a week ago. Next week, on December 15th will be our final hoorah of 2016 as we host a book launch / open house christmas party for Owen Swain’s #tourdesketch Windsor Colouring Book at Sho Art Spirit and Performance 628 Monmouth Rd, in Windsor.

All in all, 2016 was a busy year, full of growth and trying new things. Stay tuned for our plans to make 2017 even bigger and better and for the announcement of our 2017 line up of new books!

It’s Launch Day for Owen Swain’s #tourdesketch Windsor!

I know I just talked about this earlier this week, but today is the big day, and it warrants an announcement! As of today, December 1st, 2016, you can now order Owen Swain’s adult colouring book #tourdesketch Windsor from the major retailer of your choice, OR you can visit any number of local book and gift shops in Windsor and pick one up there! List of local shops currently carrying #tourdesketch:

Juniper Books (on Ottawa St.)
From the Heart (Ottawa St)
Story Tellers Books (Ottawa St)
City Cyclery (Lincoln St)
Levigator Press (Wyandotte Ave)
PB Books (Tecumseh Rd)
Artspeak Gallery (limited time for their Mistletoe and Snow Show, Wyandotte Ave.)

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Of course, you can always order it from our online store and get free delivery with the promo code: WEDELIVER. Only, if you do that, please be aware that due to an overwhelming number of pre-orders and requests, we are currently out of stock and awaiting a large shipment, so any orders place through our website now will be delivered after the official launch party on December 15th.

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Speaking of the official launch party… if you’re local, you should join us! More information can be found here and you can RSVP here.

And, in case you missed it, #tourdesketch Windsor and Owen Swain were featured on CTV News just a few days ago, and you can catch that feature here: http://windsor.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1004939

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I don’t have too much more to add right now, but I’ll leave you with this teaser: We’re almost done selecting our 2017 line up. We’ve got one more selection to make (and some contracts to send out) and we’ll be making some exciting announcements soon!  So subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already to be kept up to date!

‘Find’ our Books in Windsor

A while back I stumbled across a video on Facebook depicting a woman in Belgium hiding books and starting a book-themed version of Pokemon Go. I immediately wished something like that existed here and even briefly thought about putting it together myself. But, with one thing and another, I got busy and the idea faded. Weeks pass and then, lo and behold, someone in Windsor has taken the initiative and made this idea a reality and it is none other than our friends over at Adventure Worlds Press, along with fellow local author, Jessica Gouin. 

So today in Windsor, Ontario, you can go outside and literally hunt for books. Clues and photos hinting at the book’s location are posted to the Facebook Group: Book Hunters Windsor which can help point the way, but it’s also possible that you just might stumble on a book ‘out in the wild’. If you do, don’t worry, the book comes with instructions on how to play and the rules are simple enough, just go to the Facebook Group and comment ‘found’ on the photo of the book you picked up. Then read it, and when you’re done, huntconsidering re-hiding it and leaving a clue for someone else to hunt it down.

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I absolutely love this concept and if you’re in Windsor or the surrounding area, I hope you take advantage of the fact that this is happening in your neighborhood. If you’re not local, then maybe you should jump on this and create something similar in your town before someone else does.

Speaking of finding our books in Windsor, if you don’t want to hunt, you can always head to your local bookstore like Juniper Books, Storytellers on Ottawa St, or the University of Windsor Bookstore. And, local or not, you can head into your nearest major retailer like Chapters and have them order our books for you.

If you just can’t wait, then come and see us on October 30th at the Caboto Club in Windsor for Retrorama. We’ll be there with Adventure Worlds Press and our ever-growing collection of really cool books to take you to a whole host of other worlds.  

Would you like a free sample?

Over the weekend we were in Toronto at the Word on the Street Festival and I discovered just how refreshing it was to know that nearly every person who stopped by our booth was already a self-professed reader. Typically at craft shows, conventions, or even our own events, it’s a mix of different types of people, some who enjoy reading and some who don’t. From a marketing standpoint, the conversation is very different when you already know that the person in front of you likes what you have to offer. The conversation essentially begins at a different point. Instead of, ‘Do you like to read?’ it’s ‘What kinds of books are your favorite?’ or ‘Are you looking for anything particular today?’

At the festival, we also got the chance to try out something new: Free Samples. I’ve created three different ‘Samplers’ and I’m giving them away to anyone who wants one. They’re ebooks that contain the first chapter of each of our books in a given age category. There’s one for kids, one for young adults, and one for our adult collection. So now, you can sample what we have to offer which might help you decide which book to read first, or if our membership program is for you.

The Kids one contains:MWKS1 copy.jpg

Black Lightning by K.S. Jones
The Legend of Ghost Dog Island by Rita Monette
The Curse at Pirate’s Cove by Rita Monette
The Secret in Mossy Swamp by Rita Monette
The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis by Sharon Ledwith
The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret by Sharon Ledwith
Legend of the Timekeepers by Sharon Ledwith

And a bonus short story not found anywhere else:
The Hunting Dog by Rita Monette

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The Young Adult one contains:

She Dreamed of Dragons by Elizabeth J. M. Walker
Neo Central by Justine Alley Dowsett
Crimson Winter by Justine Alley Dowsett
The Watcher by Joshua Pantalleresco
Stormdancer by Joshua Pantalleresco
Disenchanted by Leigh Goff
This Night Sucks by Elizabeth J. M. Walker

And a bonus short story:
The Search for the Golden Feather by Elizabeth J. M. Walker
And the Adult one contains:MWKS3 copy.jpg

Sol of the Coliseum by Adam Gaylord
The Time Traveller’s Resort and Museum by David McLain
Mirror’s Hope by Justine Alley Dowsett and Murandy Damodred
Mirror’s Heart by Justine Alley Dowsett and Murandy Damodred
Unintended by Justine Alley Dowsett and Murandy Damodred
Uncharted by Justine Alley Dowsett and Murandy Damodred
Forbidden by Matthew Freake

And a bonus short story:
The Queen’s Intent by Justine Alley Dowsett

These ebooks are available FOR FREE in our online store! Just follow the links to check them out or head over to our online store for the whole collection.

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In other news, our Worlds Collide Gala is in two days and if you’re local to Windsor, Ontario we hope you can make it out to see us. With several authors, prizes and the birth of our imprint, Adventure Worlds Press, it will be a night to remember! RSVP here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1186485788080361/

Thanks for reading!

Recipe for a good book

cookbook-02You will need:

1 fully realized setting (if making from scratch, see world building recipe on pg 42)

A unique narrative voice

1-2 well-developed main characters, add side characters as necessary6croyblzi

Conflict

An engaging opening

A satisfying conclusion

A dash of theme

Romance, optional

 

Prepare your work surface and clear your mind. Mix together the setting, voice, and at least one character to create your engaging opening.  Add atmosphere as needed. Introduce your conflict and any remaining characters. Stir until well developed. Throw in a dash of theme and romance, if you’re using it and write for 3-6 months until everything comes together. Finish off with a satisfying conclusion and let the whole thing sit for as long as you can stand before editing.

Once edited, bake with a publisher until done, and repeat.

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Okay, this was just for fun. But for real, we’re opening our submissions this time next month. October 24th to be exact! Here’s what we’ll be looking for:

*imaginative settings, creative world building, other places, worlds, times, or versions of reality.

*believable and consistent characters who develop and change over the course of the story.

*mixed genres, genre bending, sci-fi/romance, historical/fantasy, adventure/mystery, speculative/poetry, books that don’t *fit* anywhere else.

*engaging writing with a strong opening that pulls the reader in and keeps them wanting more.

*any age group from children’s picture books to adult fiction. This is one area we’re not picky about.

*full length novels or novellas. For short stories, please take a look at our imprint Adventure Worlds Press.

For more detailed submissions information and requirements, please see our submissions page on our website. Thanks for reading and I look forward to receiving your submissions!

And now for something completely different.

Here at Mirror World Publishing, we pride ourselves on outside the box thinking. As a small independent start-up in 2014, no one, least of all us, could have predicted that in less than three years we would grow from three authors with a handful of books to twelve authors with over twenty books between us and a new imprint coming under our banner. Well, you’ll be happy to know we’re not stopping there.

For the past year, I have been actively searching for an event/retail space. I wanted somewhere our books and authors could belong. Somewhere we could hold book launch events, workshops and signings so that our local readers would know where to find us. I knew that on top of everything else I was already doing keeping the gears turning here at Mirror World, I could not do it on my own, so I thought I was stuck.

sho-logoThat’s when I found Sho: Art, Spirit and Performance. I was familiar with Sho through their regular event ‘From the Page to the Stage’ which combines theatre and literature by having actors read short stories by local writers to a captive audience. What I didn’t know until I looked into the organization further is that their mission is specifically to partner with other artists and creative organizations to innovate, collaborate, produce and present art across all creative borders.

Sho is a theatre and a workshop space, but more than that, it’s a collection of like-minded artists who live to collaborate and bring art in all its forms to Windsor. From life drawing classes, to theatre performances, to literary reading nights, they do it all. And what would be more perfect than to have that kind of creative energy and spirit of showmanship helping to bolster our efforts here? I knew I couldn’t do it all myself, but with the help of such a strongly established creative presence in Windsor, I thought I just might have a chance.

And so I joined Sho as an associate member. And wouldn’t you know it, the collaboration began at once. Not only will our next event, Worlds Collide Gala, take place at Sho’s main space 628 Monmouth Rd, Windsor on September 30th, 2016 at 7pm, but I also met with and started working with some fabulously talented people, including artist/entrepreneur Owen Swain.

toudesketchAnd so, I would like to announce our next project. In partnership with Sho: Art, Spirit, and Performance and the amazingly talented Owen Swain of #tourdesketch, we will be producing an adult colouring book titled #Tourdesketch Windsor. Filled with sketches of the sights of our hometown, #tourdesketch Windsor is our way of thinking outside the box and bringing you a glimpse into the world we live in.

It was my intention to tell you all about Owen Swain and the work he’s done with his innovative cycling and sketching events, but I’ve gone on long enough for today. Stay tuned for part two of this announcement by subscribing to this blog or checking back again soon. Next post, I’ll introduce you all to our newest addition to the Mirror World family, Owen Swain, and his upcoming book,  #Tourdesketch Windsor

Thanks for reading!

Let us pick your next read

Business_CardLibraryfron copyAs always, we’re keeping busy and we’ve got lots of new developments coming your way. My goal is to develop a community around the idea that if you like one of our books, you’ll like them all. To that end, we’ve developed the membership program. For only $19.95 a year, you get unlimited access to our entire ebook collection, a discount on paperbacks and automatic inclusion into our facebook group where authors and fans meet to chat about their favorite books and their experiences with the writing and publishing process. Not to mention the fact that you get first dibs on all of our new releases, which includes getting them delivered to you well before the release date. It doesn’t get much better than that.

WatcherFront copyAnd in case you’re not ready to dive in and become a member, you can always pick up an e-copy of our monthly featured book for just $0.99. This month that’s Joshua Pantalleresco’s The Watcher and the promo code is: DRAGON So go ahead and try that one out by clicking here.

Now for something a little different. This past week I’ve been working hard to put together a series of quizzes to help you pick your next favorite read! There are three versions of the quiz, one for kids, another for young adults, and the last for adults. And here they are:

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Kids: https://www.buzzfeed.com/mirrorworldpub/which-mirror-world-book-should-you-be-reading-kid-2h3t4
Young Adults: https://www.buzzfeed.com/mirrorworldpub/which-mirror-world-book-should-you-be-reading-now-2h3t4
Adults: https://www.buzzfeed.com/mirrorworldpub/which-of-these-mirror-world-book-should-you-be-rea-2h3t4

I also rearranged our bookstore to make it easier to navigate by these age categories and included a new release section! Also, if you want to see our upcoming novels for this year, please check out our 2016 Catalogue. You can also subscribe to this blog to keep up with all the updates, changes, events, and new releases!

Thanks for reading!

 

May’s Feature is… you guessed it, Black Lightning!

I know, I know, we’re a little late announcing the feature for this month, but here it is! Black Lightning by K.S. Jones launched on the 17th of May and it is now available worldwide, wherever books are sold, in ebook and paperback form. And to celebrate this fact, we’re making the ebook only $0.99 in our store for the rest of the month with the promo code: LIGHTNING. You can head over to the store now to check it out and pick up a copy for yourself or any middle grade readers you know.

In other news, we launched our Mirror World Library Card program last month and with it we ran a giveaway for a Mirror World Prize Pack. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you can read all about the program and find out how to get access to unlimited downloads of Mirror World Books by visiting our website. Congratulations to our winner of the Prize Pack; Nikki and Michael Kratzer! You should be receiving your signed books and swag in the mail shortly. For everyone else, don’t worry there’s still a chance to win! Current members and any sign-ups between now and June 30th will be automatically entered into a giveaway of a paperback copy of our new release; Black Lightning by K.S. Jones!

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A quick update; we’re still working on getting the audiobook of Black Lightning available for purchase and we’ll make sure to do an announcement when that goes live, hopefully soon. In the meantime, you can check out Black Lightning here.

Our next release is coming up fast; This Night Sucks by Elizabeth J. M. Walker will be going live for pre-orders in the nest couple of days. (Which means Library Card holders can get reading as early as this week!) And the official release will be on June 17th. If you’d like to find out more about This Night Sucks in the meantime, you can check out our coming soon page!

Are you excited for these new releases? Do you have any questions about becoming a member? Put your thoughts in the comments below!