Posts Tagged ‘The Bone Flower Throne’

Promoting Diverse Books will Help Save Diverse Books

Posted on:

the-bone-flower-throne-displayA lot of stuff said around Facebook and Twitter has got me thinking lately about my own lack of promotion on my book. Confession time: I intentionally don’t talk about my book very much because I’m afraid of a backlash of “OMG, she talks about her book so much! Ugh!” or because it feels immodest of me to do so. Somewhere along the line, I learned that modesty in general is a good thing, and bragging is unattractive and vulgar, particularly for a women, and I don’t want to be any of those things. And yet, if I never talk about my book, how will anyone know to buy it?

More confession time: my sales haven’t been good. They started off all right but they’ve slowed to a crawl. I know I need to do more promotion, get more word out about the book so that it can sell more, but gosh how that desire to not look like I’m bragging or begging for sales is so overwhelming. I love my book; I put blood, sweat and tears into it for 4 years, and I’m putting the same into the next two books, just on a shorter timeline.

Third confession time: when all the talk of diverse books, particularly SF/F was going around, I didn’t mention my book at all despite the fact that it has zero white people in it, takes place outside the normal pseudo-medieval European setting, and features a strong female lead. Why? Well, at the risk of repeating myself yet again…it feels immodest to mention my own accomplishments (not to mention the added fact that I’m a white woman writing about PoC–people like me get taken more seriously than PoC writing those same stories, so why bring extra attention to myself at the expense of PoC writers?).

This post by Kate Elliot brought all this frustration and fear to a head for me. I’m part of the problem; I write diverse books, and yet I’ve done so little to bring it to the attention of readers who might actually want to read what I write because “fear! I must not be immodest about my accomplishments. I must be silent and humble!” A publisher took a chance on my book, and I’m not paying that favor back very well. Well, fuck that shit. I wrote a book that people are looking for, the kind of book everyone has been talking about wanting to see more of, and it’s time they know about it. So I’m going to tell you about it.

My book, The Bone Flower Throne is a historical fantasy retelling of the myths of the legendary Toltec priest-king Topiltzin, told from the point of view of his half-sister, Quetzalpetlatl. Topiltzin is the blood son of the god Quetzalcoatl, the Feathered Serpent, but Quetzalpetlatl herself is rather special, for the god gave her the ability to call on his powers when she needs it. And with her uncle having murdered her father, taken the throne of Culhuacan, and seeking to eliminate Topiltzin at every turn, she’s going to need those powers to protect them both as they grow up in exile.Winning back her father’s throne is only the first step in the god Quetzalcoatl’s grand plan to finally end human sacrifice in Mesoamerica. But her uncle has his own powerful, divine ally; the dark sorcerer god Smoking Mirror, who seeks to bring a new era of mass sacrifice as none have seen before. And only Quetzalpetlatl herself can stop him.

The book come with a warning though; it deals with a good number of triggery subjects: rape, incest, graphic violence, self-harm. While it’s a coming-of-age type story, it is by no means young adult (a lot of readers seem to go into it believing it is, because of the protag’s age at the beginning). Reviewers have made comparisons with Mists of Avalon (which feels so…squicky for me these days), so if you enjoyed that book, Bone Flower Throne just might be for you.

You can find links to the various vendors where you can buy it (in paperback or ebook) here: http://tlmorganfield.com/novel/the-bone-flower-throne/

If you’ve read this far, I have a suggestion that I hope other authors will embrace: if you write diverse books, talk about them, loud and often. In fact, share this link to Kate’s post and spend some space talking about your book and selling the shit out of it. Especially if you’re a woman writer who has trouble promoting your own work. Let’s spread word of our diverse books far and wide. And make sure you include a link to where folks can buy your books! Let’s get the word out to readers!

Summer Update

Posted on:

So I’ve been very quiet lately over here, mostly because there’s not all that much to report. I turned in The Bone Flower Queen to my editor last month and am waiting on his edit letter, and I also finally finished up Fugitives of Fate and took the plunge, submitting it to two different publishers. This time I’m not bothering with trying to get an agent; I did attempt to do so last year, but there wasn’t any interest whatsoever in my first round of queries. There are a few digital-first romance publishers that I think would be open to my unusual setting, but they don’t pay high advances–if any at all–so it seems a waste of time to try to convince an agent to take me on at this point. Regardless of how it turns out with these publishers, this book will eventually be published, even if I decide to go it alone by self publishing; the book is good, but will likely be held back by the fact that it’s not your usual historical romance setting. I have no intention of letting it languish unpublished.

On the writing front, I’m current between projects while I wait to hear back from my editor on my synopsis of the final book of The Bone Flower Trilogy. I’ve been keeping busy in the meantime with reading and critiquing friends’ novels; I had two to do this month, and I’ve started on the second and hope to have it done in a few days. I’m also giving thought to my next alternate history romance novel. I may end up outlining that one after I finishing critiquing. I’m looking forward to getting back to some actual writing soon.

In case you haven’t been here to the website in a while, I’ve made some updates that might interest fans. I’ve posted a copy of my Big Idea essay–in which I talk about the core idea behind The Bone Flower Trilogy–and I’ve added a 50-question quiz to test your knowledge of The Bone Flower Throne. Most exciting though, I’ve added a page for The Bone Flower Queen, which includes an excerpt for readers, and you can browse the book’s Pinterest page. I’m looking into making a reader’s guide for BFT, but haven’t made a whole lot of progress on it at this point.

Artists, if you’ve been inspired to make art from The Bone Flower Throne (or any of my works, really), I’d love to see it! You can contact me via the contact page here, or you can drop me a note over on Facebook (though be aware that I might not see your message for a while since Facebook likes to drop stuff into the Other inbox and I often don’t look at that for weeks on end).

History and Culture: The Ritual Ballgame

Posted on:
Tepantitla_mural,_Ballplayer_A_(Daquella_manera)

Painting of a ballplayer from a mural in Teotihuacan, Mexico.

Yesterday was America’s biggest sports day, Super Bowl Sunday, and as a Broncos fan, it was a miserable time. But there was one good thing that happened yesterday: while skimming my Facebook news feed during the game, I found a very cool video of the Mesoamerican ritual ballgame. To the Aztecs it was known as Tlachtli, and if you look at it strictly from a popularity point of view, it was their equivalent of football. People were known to lose everything they owned betting on this game, and it was a sport enjoyed by both the poorest and richest alike. The game had great religious meaning as well; the Ritual Ballgame was the favorite sport of the gods, and the Mayan Hero Twins were famous for having taken on the gods and beaten them.

The Ritual Ballgame plays an important part at one point in The Bone Flower Throne, to determine which of two brothers will inherit the throne of Xochicalco after their father dies. The one in the video linked below is played by slightly different rules, but the basic rules was that players couldn’t touch the rubber ball with either hands or feet while it was in play, and they often wore specialized yokes and elbow and knee pads to make it easier to bounce the ball around. In BFT, the players aren’t allowed to let the ball hit the ground nor could they climb the walls of the field, whereas in the game in the video both of those are allowed.

Click here to see the video (unfortunately the owner doesn’t allow embedding)

To find out more about the Ritual Ballgame, this website is a particularly good resource.

 

Awards Season – Show Me Your Novels!

Posted on: 3 Comments

The Bone Flower Throne - cover 8-16The good news is it’s time to prepare for award nominations, and hey, I have something eligible this year! If you’re planning to nominate for either the Nebula or the Hugo (or any other award for novels) I hope you will consider my debut novel The Bone Flower Throne. It’s a feminist retelling of the stories of Mesoamerica’s most famous cultural hero, Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl, told from the POV of his sister, Quetzalpetlatl. To learn more, and read the first chapter, head on over to the book’s page.

The bad news is that I was terrible reader last year (I read only nine books in total), and I didn’t read anything newly published, so I have nothing of anyone else’s to recommend. I feel very bad about this. But my resolution this year is to read more books, and this is the perfect opportunity to do some Nebula and Hugo reading. However, I want to read only novels, because I love novels, and it will help me accomplish my Goodreads goal. So authors, show me your fantasy and science fiction novels that are eligible for the Hugos and/or the Nebulas! Don’t be shy; if you published a novel last year, whether traditionally, small press, or self-published, I want to know about it.

In the comments, please post a bit about your novel along with links to your webpage or where I can download a sample/buy it. And if you know someone who published a SF/F novel last year, please prod them into coming here and telling me (and my readers) about it.  I would like to have a nice long list of stuff to keep me busy. Please do not post about short fiction, novelettes or novellas.

I’m very much looking forward to reading your stuff!

Note: including a lot of links could land your post in the spam folder, but I’ll be monitoring it to make sure all legitimate posts go live.

The Year in Review and Resolutions

Posted on:

So last year proved a most exciting year on the writing front. I sold my first novel in January and saw it hit bookshelves by mid October. My first royalty check is due sometime this month, so we’ll see how well it’s done on the selling front.

I’m a little less than halfway through the first draft of the next book in the series, but other than that, I did finish multiple drafts of an alternate history romance novel. I did query a couple of agents but had zero interest–as usual, I suspect that I’m writing stuff that traditional publishing finds unmarketable, so I just might decide to either go small press again, or even consider self-publishing it once I get a final draft done. I did submit to a couple contests and got some feedback, so there is some work to do on it before it’s truly ready for world. There’s no rush though.

On the reading front, I did really pathetic; I read a total of nine books last year, which is just unacceptable, so I’m aiming for more this year. I’m no longer going to put reading on hold while I write and will instead try to read at least an hour a day, before bed. I would like to clear out all the books languishing on my current reading list on Goodreads and start reading some stuff on my wishlist. I think reading more will also help me stay creative on the writing side, since it seemed that I really struggled with getting progress made later in the year when I wasn’t actually reading anything. This year has started off strong though, and I’ve already plowed through two books I had started last year (or, in one case, two years ago) and marked off two on my goal of 15. If the reading is going well, I just might increase that goal, but for now I’m aiming to be reading with more regularity than I did last year.

 

2014 Reading Challenge

2014 Reading Challenge
T.L. has
read 2 books toward her goal of 15 books.
hide

 

I hope everyone had a good holiday season and the new year is looking good.