Friday, May 2, 2014

Guest Post: Aldrea Alien Shares Her Publishing Story

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My writing career goes back quite a way. Seventeen years back now, so I'll try to be brief…

I wrote my first novel when I was twelve years old and, despite my age, it wasn’t remotely a kiddies tale but a rather violent story centring around one man and how his actions altered the fates of many. It took me many long nights to write and, once finished it was 95,000 words long. I sort of floundered trying to figure out what to do next. There was literally no one I could turn to for help back then.

Somewhere along the way, I started looking for an agent/publisher in New Zealand. The responses were far from positive and a few of them informed me fantasy wasn’t a big seller (which, as an avid fantasy reader, still puzzles me).

I tried to shelve the work, but constantly found myself returning to it. Eventually, I rewrote The Rogue King and came across another barrier: its size. The few publishers who gave any sort of response wouldn't touch a debut author with a novel bigger than 100k. For years, I heard this again and again.

So I edited (and re-edited) in an effort to force the story into staying small. Instead, it grew with each passing. I was forced into shelving it again as a car accident and my pregnancy wore me down, with the birth of my daughter in 2006 taking everything I had left.

After a few years recovering from several stints in hospital, I sat down sometime in 2008 to write my third story, Golden Dawn, which spawned the plots for two more books. And late 2011 had me finishing my fourth novel, Dark One’s Mistress.

Through all off this, I was still attempting to wrestle The Rogue King into something a publisher would accept. I did find one small publisher that seemed promising. Sadly, after some months of correspondence, they declared it as being too “out there” to be marketable and that, if I wanted it published so badly, I should do it myself (I paraphrase, but not by much).

About then, I guess something ... snapped. My patience, most likely. I had held this novel for more than half my life, the reasons I was being rejected seemed to contradict what I was seeing. Tantrums may have been thrown.

The decision to self-publish The Rogue King came in early 2013, after I'd done enough research to be confident that I was doing the right thing for this novel. And starting down that path seemed to flick some sort of galactic publishing switch as both Dark One’s Mistress and Golden Dawn got a contracts and have since been published.

Throughout all of this, I struggled with power cuts, storms, cars breaking down and stealing my publishing funds (twice ... two separate cars, mind you) and, more recently, losing my internet at home altogether due to trees. But sometimes, it pays to have a deep vein of stubborn.

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Thank you for sharing your story, Aldrea! Congratulations on toughing it out and finding success!

Learn more about Rogue King...

Rogue King photo The-Rogue-King.jpg Title: The Rogue King Series: The Rogue King Saga # 1 Author: Aldrea Alien
Published: April 22nd, 2014
Word Count: 65,000
Genre: Fantasy
Content Warning: Violence, Sex Recommended Age: 16+ 

Synopsis: Outside is dangerous. Such is the warning Koral has heard for twelve years. Born a product of genetic manipulation, he knows little else of the world beyond the steel walls of his home. When fate gives him the choice between certain death and the unknown, there’s no question in what he must choose. But he’s about to find out the sands he must brave are full of more than mere monsters. Providing the desert doesn’t kill him first. This is a world ruled by instinct, where innocence is drowned in blood. Here, men are offered up to the great Serpent God, Lorric, only to emerge as the most feared killers on the planet: The Rogues. With the god’s sights set on turning Koral into a legend, he must sacrifice himself to survive and be reborn as… The Rogue King

Excerpt:

Shirain lifted her arms out towards the giant statue, the sound of her bracelets clacking together echoed across the ruins. ʺBehold our offering, Mighty Lord! Take his body as your own! Use him! Guide him in your ways so he may live to make you stronger!ʺ 

The bowl slipped from his unfeeling hands to splash into the pond. Above, the statue's eyes glowed a deep red. Behind him, Koral heard Shirain continue talking, her voice faint and muffled. His blood grew hot, desire filling his body and fogging his mind. What had she done to him? 

ʺYour gift is pleasing, dear child.ʺ The words tumbled out of a mouth Koral could no longer control. ʺThis body is young. Barely a man.ʺ 

Someone else flexed his muscles. His lips twisted into a cruel grin as his tongue ran over his sharp teeth. ʺHe will need much training.ʺ 

ʺMy Lord,ʺ Shirain purred, giving him a low bow. ʺOnce more, you honour me.ʺ 

Awareness of another's presence came crashing down on him, bringing with it an odd calmness. He knew little of magic or religion. Amelia's teaching on the subject had been sparse; most of what he had learnt came from the camp and no one had mentioned possession. Would he win if he tried to banish the intruder? Was this not his body? A rough laugh escaped his throat as he unwillingly turned from the statue and waded through the blood to dry land. 

ʺHe fights me.ʺ 

ʺHe showed promise as a fighter,ʺ Shirain said, sounding strangely proud. ʺI hope he pleases my Lord and proves more interesting to break than the others.ʺ 

ʺYes, this will be… enjoyable.ʺ Again, his lips pulled back into something that resembled a smile in name only. ʺBy the time I've finished with him, everyone shall fear the very name of him—the name of Vengeance.ʺ
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About the Author: Born and raised in New Zealand, Aldrea Alien lives on a small farm with her family, including a menagerie of animals. Since discovering a love of writing at the age of twelve, she hasn’t found an ounce of peace from the characters plaguing her mind.
Giveaway Details: There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following: • 2 Signed print copies of The Rogue King, 4 bookmarks, $10 Amazon GC Giveaway is International. a Rafflecopter giveaway
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