Our little blog about the Morrigan's Brood book series (and our other books)

Book Writing

What Chris made me do in inDesign the other day

And what I’ll probably do again later…

Okay all joking aside I figured I’d talk a bit about the publishing end of things now.   InDesign is a great tool but it also requires learning and honestly now I’m pretty impressed that Chris sort of figured it out on his own.  I may know the terminology that goes with it (sorta), and I know shortcuts and other things but I still feel like he’ll be the expert and the go-to guy for any issues we have.

Other than that, learning about it has been a lot of fun.  I always thought laying out books and magazines were a kind of magic that I’d never be able to understand.  Somehow, an intelligent force made the slick pages of a magazine or the weighty mass of a book.  A force far more intelligent than me.

Anyways, while I knew about master pages, Chris showed me how to take the document out of word and put it into chapters for a print and ebook.

I’m just so tickled and pleased with my new knowledge!

I’m in no way an expert, but this is something I was convinced I’d never learn, and yet… the first version of the new book is ready to go.  Granted Chris is in the middle of editing it.  So after that it goes to our copyeditor, and then it comes back to us, and finally Lucius, Clyde, and Brigid will then have to sit on the computer or laptop to signify their approval or warm their butts, I’m never sure on that.

Anyways back to the writing board!


The What-if Loop

Librarian Seeking …

‘Dear Hiring Manager’… it’s how most of my cover letters start.

I (Heather) did my morning job search again.  For those who don’t know, I’m a librarian.  It’s what helps me get to the nitty-gritty of history and culture that Chris and I write about.  I do love delving into research.  It doesn’t always matter what it’s about most of the time.  I can say without reserve that I’m a great researcher.  I love the challenge of it.  I love helping other people with it.
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2013 Space City Con, Free Giveaways, and Other News

2013 Space City Con

New booth lighting at the 2013 Space City Con in Houston, Texas

Welcome Newcomers and All of Our Readers!

For those who recently discovered us at Space City Con, welcome! Sorry for the late post, but as a border-line introvert, it sometimes takes me days to recover from such an extroverted event. Now that my mind is at peace, I can give you, our readers, a reflection of the weekend, a look ahead of events to come, and give our readers, new and old, a chance to win some things… books and… wait… now I remember, a Kindle Fire. Want more information? Well, dive in!
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Interviews and More Interviews

Authors Heather and Christopher

Heather and I (Christopher) have been interviewed again, and I thought I should provide links so all of our wonderful fans don’t have to go hunting for them. We have also been working on our 2013 calendar of appearances.

Salado Scottish Festival and Highland Games

Just a few weekends ago we attended the Salado Scottish Festival and Highland Games in Salado, Texas. What a time we had… As we were unpacking our truck to set up our tent at the fair grounds, Heather and I noticed that our tent frame had broken in transit, and without parts it was irreparable. With no tent frame, we rushed to the Walmart in Belton and then the Academy in Temple, before we found a tent we thought would work. After driving all the way back to Salado, we soon realized that this tent would never hold up to any sort of rain or wind (the roof came in layers, you see, with big openings where one layer overlayed another). This would not do… so we rushed back to Temple’s Academy and exchanged the tent. This one also, we found out, was not rated for wind or rain (you don’t learn these things unless you open the box and look at the directions inside… neither the website nor the box mentioned these important facts.) So, we used the roof and sides from the other tent (the broken one).

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Goodreads Free Giveaway Winners and Upcoming Events

Crone of War: Morrigan’s Brood Book II (rel. 2) is now on Kindle!

What a roller-coaster ride over the last few weeks. I (Christopher) usually don’t interject much of my personal life on this blog… I leave that to Facebook or just calling folks on the phone… but things have been a maelstrom around here of late. June 15, I was laid off from a contract job I had been working at for over 10 months; it was one of those out-of-the-blue, didn’t see it coming kind of layoffs. In my time off (well, before I was laid-off, but I never had time), I made it my mission to finish moving what was once known as Morrigan’s Brood: Crone of War from Lulu over to Lightning Source, where it would reside with a new ISBN and a revised name… Crone of War: Morrigan’s Brood Book II. As part of that move, I planned to massage the text a bit, giving it a good polish. Heather and I released a revision of the print book before I could finish the complete revision in order to restock books. Unfortunately, due to my work schedule and other things while I was working on my previous contract, I had little time to devote to the massaging of book 2.
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So you just discovered Morrigan’s Brood and want to know where to start…

Dark Alliance: Morrigan's Brood Book III Front Cover, by Khanada Taylor
Morrigan's Brood: Morrigan's Brood Book I Front Cover, by Khanada Taylor

Khanada Taylor

Crone of War: Morrigan's Brood Book II Front Cover, by Khanada Taylor

Khanada Taylor

Dark Alliance: Morrigan's Brood Book III Front Cover, by Khanada Taylor

Khanada Taylor

We know you are out there, and we would like to help you. OK… a show of hands of anyone who saw Dark Alliance: Morrigan’s Brood Book III and thought, “Gosh darn it, that sounds like a cool book, and it is so cheap, but books I and II are so expensive… maybe I should wait before plunging in… oh, and I hate eBooks…” Does this sound like you? (or at least some of it… OK, even if none if it applies to you, please continue reading… please.) Don’t worry, for we can help.
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A Brief Synopsis of our Short Stories

As I am finishing up my (Christopher) final rewrite of our second short-story, Morrigan’s Brood: Reckoning, I thought I would share a taste of what Heather and I put together. Of course, this will be challenging, as I do not wish to spoil the outcome of Morrigan’s Brood: Crone of War for those who have not yet finished the book. Dare I walk the thin line between spoiling and enticing? Yes, I dare. Now, where to begin…
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Trials and eBook-lations

Wow, has this been a learning experience! A show of hands – who has put their own eBooks together (versus paying someone to do it for you)? My hand can now join yours. Oh joy! Thus far, I have “successfully” created eBook files for Morrigan’s Brood on the Nook and Kindle platforms. I have uploaded both files, and I am waiting for their review process to progress. Hopefully, this means that those of you with Nooks and Kindles can read Morrigan’s Brood by the end of this week!
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eBooks Coming Soon and other news

Well, I (Chris) have been working behind the scenes getting ready to release eBooks for both Morrigan’s Brood and Morrigan’s Brood: Crone of War. I am in the process of acquiring eBook publishing software, and I have been setting up accounts with various eBook distributors, such as PubIT (B&N), Kindle (Amazon), Sony, iTunes, Smashwords, and Goodreads, to name a few. We have also acquired a bundle of ISBNs, so hopefully the file conversion process doesn’t take me too long. I have already converted Morrigan’s Brood to HTML, so eBook shouldn’t be far off. Perhaps in a week or two, both books will be available in your favorite eBook format.
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Welcome Newcomers from Comicpalooza!!!!!

Comicpalooza 2011; Houston, Texas

Comicpalooza 2011; Houston, Texas

Wow! First, thanks to all of our friends, fans, and new friends and fans who either stopped by our booth or attended one of our panels!!!!! We hope you had as much fun as we did (and of course learned something of value for your writing or publishing situation). I (Chris) have not been on my home computer much this weekend, so I have not had the opportunity, until now, to update our blog. For some reason, I can’t seem to figure out how to do it on my Blackberry; perhaps I need an iPhone, or maybe a gene re-sequencer to make me a slim, 15-year-old kid again, then I could figure out how to do it. *** Oh… there is also information about a contest below***
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Where Have We Been? Where are we going?

Cover art for Dark Alliance; Morrigan's Brood book III

Cover art for Dark Alliance; Morrigan's Brood book IIIThe answer to that is running around like two chickens with our heads cut off in a state of pandalierium. Rather, it is a state that is reminiscent of a lady in a muumuu with pink curlers in her hair. Yeah, you know her…. the one who shows up in a muumuu or her robe and slippies at the liberry demanding summer reading program prizes for her massive brood of 18 children; the number of children varies depending on how good the prizes are that year. The very one our characters will refuse to attack because … well, they have their limits. 😉

Yeah, I know you’re wondering where this came from and where is that crazy Heather going with this.

Usually lack of sleep means an upcoming festival, con, or celebration. Well, at the moment we’re sandwiched between two.

Anyways, last weekend we were at Scarborough Faire at Tyler and Lisa Spence’s wedding. It was a beautiful ceremony and a lovely day if you’re into humidity. However, we did love seeing our friends become husband and wife, and we bumped into other friends, our editor, Sally Aalderink, who is one of the villagers at Scarborough Faire (her son Ian is also a villager, though we only caught his back from a distance), and Kyle and Marita Beth Caruthers, who run East Wind Games and Pendragon Costumes at the Faire. Merriment and camaraderie was had by all!

This weekend is Comicpalooza. We’ll be in Artists Alley (booth AA5) near people who are better known than us. We are excited and beyond thrilled to be in a few panels as well.

5/27/11

Tips and Tricks for writing your own novel – 3-4 PM rm 310 A

5/28/11

Morrigan’s Brood: Introduction 4 to 5 PM rm 320 E

5/29/11

How to Start your own publishing company – 10-11 AM rm 320 E

Sci-fi What Fantasy Who 1- 2 PM rm 320 E

Otherwise, we’ll be at our booth, and if we’re not there, you’ll get to chat up our awesome friends, Crystal and Mark (who work with Heather at the liberry). We will have our usual freebies (bookmarks, postcards, and whatnot) and not-freebies (books), but this weekend, we will have some bonus items for sale: signed Khanada Taylor artwork from our first book and The Dawnstone Tales by Ruth Hays!

Hope to see you at the Con (it will be on… and yes, a lack of sleep brought on that horrible joke).


What are we working on? Why should we tell you? Uhhh… OK…

I (Chris) have been bad… but so has Heather!!! =-P~ We are not living up to our plan of posting more updates about stuff. Spank us (her)… we (she) deserve(s) to be punished. So what are we working on now? Stuff and junk. What kind of stuff and junk you ask? Book writing stuff and junk. Yes… please hit me (her). OK OK OK… here is what we are working on:
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Writing Session X+4, Prequel to Dark Alliance

Ever had a writing epiphany? You are in your writing environment, ideas coming at you but perhaps glancing off… then it hits you, knocking you out of this universe into the next – a great idea that brings several threads of ideas and story together into a fine tapestry. Heather and I have had a few such moments, more than a few such moments, actually… many we can’t talk about because they occurred while writing later books that have not yet been released.
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Creating a Writing Environment

Yeah, we’ve been bad about posting again. It’s kind of been a stressful week despite the holiday. I (Heather) had to take a day of furlough. Many librarians are having to take similar actions as opposed to dealing with a layoff. However, it’s still stressful to think about a lost day of income.

I think part of this blog entry came to mind because of how difficult it’s been to write lately. Stress is always a factor for most writers. Yet sometimes there is a method to getting in the zone. Sometimes… (more…)


Writing Session Blog: Prequel to Dark Alliance

Heather and I thought it would be fun to occasionally include little bits of our writing sessions, which we do from time to time, usually when we eat out. We don’t have lofty goals of 1,000 words a day like some writers (more power to them if they can keep that up), in fact on average our writing volume is probably less than a third of that. However, keep in mind that including Morrigan’s Brood: Dark Alliance, we have three fully-written novels in queue for publishing, and each of those will average around 370 pages. We have also written a novella, which we just sent to our editor Sally, half of a manuscript for a non-Morrigan’s Brood book that takes place in the same universe, and of course books six and seven (and perhaps 8 ) of the Morrigan’s Brood Series.
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