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Crossing The Finish Line

Last year I put my foot on the literary starting line, lowered myself into position and waited for the pistol to signal it was time to run. Now, I don’t know how many months later, the famed and fabled publishing finish line is within my sight, almost close enough to touch. Just a couple of good long strides and I’m there. Victory! Applause! Confetti raining down like the blood of the enemies who stood in my path.

The fear. The worry. The griping of the guts. The sudden loss of hair.

I’m calm. I’m not panicking. I’m not. Who’s nervous? Why? What did you hear?

In simple terms, I’m nearly done with my first publication. The edits are done. The proofs are done. And my work is currently being formatted for Ebook layout, etc. Promotions will be starting soon. And I have a release date, and it’s not very far from now. March 08th, 2016. Not only is it not far, but it’s rapidly gaining on me. This is becoming a reality faster than I’d expected. I even have a hashtag (#SoulBroker). I wanted my hashtag to be #pleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleaseplasereadmybookthankyou. But for some reason my publisher wouldn’t go for it.

So all that’s left to do is fret and fuss and drive myself nuts thinking about all the stuff I hadn’t really had the time to think about before now. I may have mentioned this before, but when I first dreamed of becoming a writer, I pictured something akin to Thoreu’s ‘Walden,’ living by a pond in the woods, with nothing but nature and my typewriter. Just me and my work and nobody else. I imagined solitude and anonymity.

Hahahaha! Boy was I wrong. Now it’s promote! Promote! Promote! It’s schedule a book signing, talk yourself up and spread the word. It’s advance read copies and amazon reviews and trying not to shudder in fear whenever you hear that someone might actually read your work.  The further along this process goes the more I contemplate purchasing land in a swamp somewhere just so I have a viable rock to hide under. But unfortunately, until I make the New York Times bestsellers’ list, I won’t have the capital to purchase said swamp, and by that time hiding underneath my comfy little rock would be pointless.

So from this moment forth, all comfort zones get expanded or utterly abandoned, and I couldn’t be more petrified. I actually think I am more worried to succeed than I am to fail. That may seem counter-intuitive, but when I think about my release date, I don’t think, “What if I don’t make any sales,” I think, “Crap, what if I do?” I guess I got into a comfortable niche in my writing where I would write a story, send it in to a company, get rejected and then go back to the same grind with another story. After a while, I got used to the cycle and now that I’ve broken out of it, I have no clue what to expect. It’s all foreign waters under a starless night. If there’s a waterfall up ahead, will I even see it? Probably not, but in the end, it’s probably better  than being stuck in a loop for the rest of my life. So here’s hoping for a safe landing.  I hope everyone will take that journey with me.

And for those of you that are interested, my story, Soulless, is currently available for pre-order on amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/Soulless-Soul-Broker-Book-1-ebook/dp/B01ATYM5XQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1453305363&sr=1-1&keywords=9781944281083

You can also add it on Goodreads at: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28637495-soulless?from_search=true&search_version=service

It will also be available on paperback, Nook and all other ebooks formats through Smashwords, on the aforementioned released date. That’s March 08th for those of you that don’t want to scroll back up to check.

I will keep everyone update as the book becomes available through other outlets.

Thank you everyone.

 

Author Spotlight: Ross Smeltzer

Hello everyone, I am very excited today to announce the released date for a fellow Fantasy Works Publishing author, Ross Smeltzer. This is a milestone for Ross and everyone working at Fantasy Works Publishing and we couldn’t be happier with the outcome. Please show your support, read the information below and add The Mark of the Shadow Grove to your must-read list. You won’t be disappointed.

The Mark of the Shadow Grove

Release Date: January 15, 2016rosscover

Synopsis:

Daughters of the gathering dusk and students of blackest spellcraft, the women of the Schermerhorn clan are enigmas made flesh. Seers for time immemorial, they are keepers of primeval knowledge.

They are wise in the ways of the Old Religion.

And they are destroyers of men.

Do the women of the Schermerhorn clan drive the men they encounter to their destruction? Or are their actions governed by specters on the periphery of human consciousness?

The Schermerhorn women will soon learn what dwells in the oldest books and what lurks in the flickering shadows beyond the candlelight.

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Excerpt:

I saw her close to the fire. I approached her. Instinct—animal’s blood—controlled my fatigued limbs and I felt no fear, though the flames blazed high and the hilltop was forlorn; the night was black as deep water . . . She turned and approached me. “There are no masters here. Only you and me,” she said.

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PURCHASE LINKS:

Fantasy Works Publishing | Amazon | Smashwords

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Author Bio: Raised in Chatham, New York, a small town in the Berkshires that looks like the setting for a Washington Irving story, Ross grew up surrounded by overgrown woodlands and tumbled-down, derelict farmhouses. He grew up with an awareness that the past was omnipresent, a slyly pervasive power and a subtle influence on the present.

Ross now lives in Dallas, Texas with his patient and endlessly supportive wife, a hopelessly brainless terrier, and an alarmingly unhinged cat. Ross works as a social studies teacher but writes fiction whenever he gets a chance. Sadly, he seems capable only of crafting stories of the weirdest kind. His imagination—apparently corrupted in adolescence by Hawthorne, Bierce, Machen, Lovecraft, and assorted other misanthropes, weirdos, and purveyors of high strangeness—can only manufacture demented little yarns.

Ross’s fiction has appeared repeatedly in Bewildering Stories magazine, Quantum Fairy Tales, and Enchanted Conversation, an online fairy tale magazine.

Find Ross here:

Website: http://fantasyworkspublishing.com/ross-smeltzer.html

Twitter: @RossTellsTales

#Pit2Pub

The Intro: Who has fun spending hours creating that perfect 140-character pitch? Then bouncing that sentence or two off others to see if it’s fantastic? And finally having to create a couple more so you’re not posting the same one every few hours?

The Why: Kristin and Ann know what you’re going through. In fact, they both did quite a few Twitter Pitch Parties so they know your pain. Kristin remembers what it was like to see that little colored star and then checking and re-checking email to confirm that someone did in fact click on the pitch and favorite it. And Ann’s recalls her heart pounding and her palms sweaty, all the while hoping and praying that it wasn’t made by accident from a friend or some complete stranger who marked it and not re-tweeted it by mistake. They both trolled the feed all day long and didn’t work their day jobs (well, mostly this was Kristin).
So it’s because of those reasons Ann M. Noser and Kristin D. Van Risseghem wanted to help other authors. So why not pay it forward? They are fortunate enough to have a published book, and working on their second. But let’s face it, the best reason for them doing this? IT’S FUN! So let’s all have a blast, help each other out, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll find that perfect relationship between author and publisher.

The When: Here’s the date for #Pit2PubJuly 15, 2015 starts at 8AM and ends at 8PM (CST or CDT, which is Chicago time).

The What: What is #Pit2Pub? A Twitter Pitch Party for writers to tweet a 140-character pitch for their completed manuscripts. Have several variations of your Twitter pitch available. The pitch must include the hashtag #Pit2Pub, the Age Group, and the Genre (#YA, #MG, #A, etc. see chart below) in the tweet. It’s important to include the hashtag(s).

Age Groups:
#PB = Picture Book
#C = Children’s
#MG = Middle Grade
#YA = Young Adult
#NA = New Adult
#A = Adult
#WF = Woman’s Fiction
Genres:
#NF = Non-fiction
#SFF = SciFi & Fantasy
#LF = Literary Fiction
#M = Mystery
#T = Thriller
#CL = Children’s Lit
#CB = Chapter Book
#R = Romance
#Mem = Memoir
#S = Suspense
#RS = Romantic Suspense
#W = Westerns
#E = Erotica
RULES:
Authors of all genres are welcome to pitch their completed and polished manuscripts. You can pitch more than one manuscript. Tweet your pitch throughout the day, but no more than twice per hour per manuscript. When you see an industry professional on the feed, tweet it once. Remember to include the hashtag #Pit2Pub and genre.
The publishers will tweet their submission preferences and favorite your tweet if they wish to see more. If you get a favorite from an agent or publisher, follow their submission directions on their website or look for them on this blog. Then send them their request as soon as you can. They may have tweeted what they want you to send, so check their twitter feed for that information.

Make sure to put “Pit2Pub Request: TITLE” in the subject line of your email when sending your request.

Don’t tweet agents and publishers directly unless they tweet you first.

Don’t favorite friends’ tweets. You can RT your friends to show your support. Save favoriting for publisher requests to avoid confusion.

Be sure you research each requesting publisher. Don’t submit if you don’t want to work with them.

Be nice and courteous to each other and to the industry professionals. If you do see abuse, please report it to Twitter or notify Ann or Kristin right away.

Check back on their blogs (http://www.kristinvanrisseghem.com/blog) or Ann’s Blog (http://annmnoser.com) as we post the list of comfirmed publishers who have signed up to monitor the feed on July 15, 2015!

Thank you! And let the fun begin!!!

Playing In Shadows

Hello everyone out there.  I have a piece of good news for those of you that are interested.  My short story ‘Playing in Shadows’ has found a home in the website, This Dark Matter.  It’s a supernatural story about a young man who is visited by the ghost of a young woman he once loved.

Of course it wouldn’t be one of my stories if there wasn’t more to it than that.

Please check it out by clicking the link below, and feel free to comment on it, either here or on Dark Matter website.

“You play cards better dead than when you were alive.”

http://thisdarkmatter.com/black…/black-friday-fiction/…

Welcome

Hello wayward traveler.  If you’ve found this page, you’ve either searched my name for god knows what reason or you took a wrong click somewhere along the web and are desperately hoping this isn’t some weirdo’s page.  Either way, welcome.  My name is Ismael Manzano and I’ve set up this page to help promote–of all things–myself, and my upcoming works of fiction.  You see, I’ve recently stumbled across a few strings of very good luck writing wise and I now find myself in need of a platform from which to shout nonsensical things at the internet void (my equivalent of throwing pasta at a wall to see if it sticks).  Congratulations, viewer; you’re the wall against which I will throw the pasta of my mind. Don’t blame me if something sticks to your face.  If you couldn’t tell, this is all new to me, so I hope you’ll bear with me as I endeavor to imitate a professional author. I will keep this first post short but I hope to update as often as possible with my random thoughts as I navigate this new and frightening experience of publishing my first novel.