Monday, October 25, 2010

Guest Blogger: Raven Corinn Carluk, Author of "All Hallows Blood" and "Stories With Bite o,.,o"

Ok everyone, I have a special treat for you today! I want to introduce an author to you who really understands how to deliver a book with bite. :)

Please feel free to check out her site after reading her post and, if you haven't already, go grab yourself a copy of her book, All Hallows Blood.

Alright, without further delay I give you Raven Corinn Carluk.


Author: Raven Corinn Carluk

Raven Corinn Carluk

Greetings and salutations all. I'm pleased to be here today, meeting new folks. Maybe even making some new friends.

I'm Raven Corinn Carluk, author of All Hallows Blood and Stories With Bite o,.,o. I write paranormal romance/urban fantasy, and dark fantasy stories. These were easy, and obvious, genres for me to slip into, because I'm way into paranormal and fantastical creatures. I'm also a romantic at heart. I enjoy people falling in love, and long for the happily ever after. But I also like bad guys to win, and the dark anti-hero.

So I'm all around a mixed bag.

I'm an indie author, and I support self-publishing all the way. Which is a completely different tone than when I was writing All Hallows Blood a couple years ago. Then, I was fully of the belief that if your story was good enough, it would be picked up by a publisher, and no need to self-publish.

So I finished my book, polished it up, and started working on getting a publisher. I signed with a small press, mostly ebooks, and I started looking into how the publishing industry really worked.

Now I regret signing my book away.

Being published, especially if you're not Stephen King or James Patterson or George RR Martin, is like becoming a rented mule; you do all the work writing and editing and publishing, then all the work getting a contract, and then all the work marketing. All to have someone else make way more money on the book than you, and take all the control away from you. It's painful and sad, and ton of work.

There's the same amount of hard work to do with self-publishing, but you remain in control. You can pay for your cover art and layout, or learn it like I have. As a creative person, I really enjoyed learning to do the formatting work, and had a blast putting stories with bite o,.,o together. And that book's success or failure is entirely on me. I set my price, I do all my marketing, and no one else is making money off my hard work and creativity.

I cannot advocate traditional publishing anymore. It's a giant machine that spews out only stuff that can make a profit, not writing that's skilled or artful or even mildly different. Nor does it support the new talents it chooses to pick up. If you're going to struggle, you might as well stay in charge of your own destiny, and go self-publishing.

The most important thing to self-publishing is to write damn well. Write a good story, and people will follow you. For me, a good story is well-written, without technical faults. It should be obvious, but I've seen it happen. Other than that, I just want something gripping. Totally subjective, I know, but I don't care if the story's totally unique, or if it takes place in the real world, or if there are pages of fight scenes. I just want to enjoy it, and that means so many different things depending on what mood I'm in.

For my own writing, I usually start with the idea. I don't force it, or sit and really brainstorm. Something will come to me when I'm listing to music, or watching a movie, or even reading someone else's stories. Sometimes it's even just a weird dream. Then I flesh it out in the first draft, all hand-written in my Orlando Bloom notebook. I'll usually edit as I go, choosing different words, or changing how a fight works out.

When I'm ready, I'll transcribe it into my computer, editing it further. If it's a short story, I usually just give it a once over. When it's a novel, it may end up with months of work spent polishing it. I just keep working it until I feel it's ready to do something with. All Hallows Blood, for example, took a little less than two years from first draft to submission.

Being a storyteller is damn fun. I encourage anyone with a tale to tell to get into it. Just don't expect anything right away. Even in this digital age, fame and fortune don't come at the speed of the internet. Boy, I wish they did. Not that I got into writing for the money, just for the fame. I want people to hunger for the worlds I create, and to get lost in my stories. I want to be the author that people get rabidly impatient waiting for the next book.

As such, I've got a bunch of free stories on my site, and I'm taking part in Twitter's #FlashFriday, so stop by my blog to keep up with those. Sure, I'm a little dark and twisted, but I'm also a little bit fun. I'll only bite if provoked. o,.,o


Find out more about Raven on her "About Me" page! Also, make sure to browse the rest of her blog at


  1. Hi Raven -- good to meet you! You make some interesting points about self vs traditional publishing. My thoughts about traditional publishing is that they have the clout to get your book into places that self publishing doesn't. Places like Walmart. At the beginning, at least, isn't it better to be seen rather than have all the control?
    I'm so curious about this as I hope to sooner rather than later be shopping my own ms around.
    Thanks -- Diane

  2. But to be seen, you have to get in with the big guys. So even small houses won't do you any good.

    And to get in with the big houses, you have to be marketable. Meaning you have to be within the box, and not be odd, and must return big on their investment. And as a new author, you're unlikely to be purchased by Walmart and be on their shelves.

    Even if a big house chose to get you into Walmart, you've still got to do all the work. So you're basically paying them for the chance to be in Walmart. All your hard work making you maybe a dollar a book. Maybe. So someone who put minimal effort into your product can make more than you.

  3. Wow, you've given me a lot of food for thought. Your take is very interesting and seems to make sense. Once published, I certainly don't want to give my book away for almost free. Hmmm... pondering.