Some Projects I’m working on

Okay so aside from The Vampire Institute series on Kindle Vella, I’ve started some other things. The first is a personal blog where I’m going to write about projects and different things I like called Cambrian Culture. Its

The second is this new way of storytelling I’m trying, through Instagram. This has been done before by Rachel Hulin. She wrote heyharryheymatilda through a series of e-mails using instagram posts to do it.

I’m doing something similar, only I am using aesthetic pictures from pinterest. The series is called The Diaries of Series and I plan on doing some different ones. The first one is The Diary of Lucy Collins and it follows her summer with the Gold family.

Follow the account @thediariesofseries on instagram if you want to follow along. And don’t forget to follow


Kindle Vella Again

So, a while ago I was documenting my experience with Kindle Vella. When it first started no one really knew it was out there. And it was cluttered with things like Role Plays and a bunch of other nonsense that I wasn’t quite happy with.

I’ve tried writing on Wattpad, and have started to understand the type of content that works there by reading as well as writing.

And so I decided to do the same with Kindle Vella. I read one of the serials which was actually Hot Vampire Next Door by Nikki St. Crowe. It’s a steamy adult paranormal romance novel and actually pretty fun.

So, now that I understood the tone and what was popular on there I decided to give it a try. I think with platforms like these it’s really important to write FOR the platform if you want to be successful. I don’t think literary fiction is going to be popular on something like kindle vella, unless maybe you were already an established audience.

I took this week to rework a story I had published on another platform a few years ago and published it on Kindle Vella. This one is called The Vampire Institute and it’s about a girl who signs up to be a blood donor for vampires. Of course, it’s a romance.

The first seven episodes are up now and the first three are completely free! If you were able to read Her Dark Love that is the story I reworked for this. Click the cover to go read or at the very least like to support!

Writing on Wattpad

It’s been a while since I’ve posted but I’ve had a lot going on. I have still been working on my free wattpad novel, Finding Serenity. I think a lot of people jump onto a platform without really understanding it and just start posting. When you do that though, it’s really hard to get success.

As I’ve been writing on there, I’ve also been reading which I think you really have to do to understand what’s popular and what’s not. I’ve seen successful sci-fi and fantasy stories on there. But the ones that do really, really, well are usually romance.

Contemporary romance especially. As of 2015, the most popular novel on there was called Chasing Red and it has 260 million reads. It’s a sports romance written by Isabelle Ronin. Ronin’s work was so popular it got published traditionally and she is part of the Wattpad Stars program so she gets paid for her work whenever it is part of the website.

Wattpad stars has a submission process, and you’ve got to have a certain number of reads and followers to participate. Which means you’d have to be consistent in posting and very active on the website in order to get that kind of activity.

I’ve been actively writing on the website for less than a year, and only have 42 followers but I imagine it depends on the genre that you are writing too.

I think the reason romance is so popular has to do with tags and searching. It’s really easy to search for something like ‘enemies to lovers’ or ‘friends to lovers’ in the search tags. It is a lot harder to search for like ‘aliens take over the planet’ or something.

And while I don’t want to discourage anyone from using the website to post their writing, that is something to keep in mind. Romance writers will definitely find their niche here. Especially if you are writing contemporary romance or YA romance.

That said, it has been encouraging even to get something as simple as a like on my writing. The wattpad audience is a lot more interactive than the Kindle Vella audience because they’ve been on the writing platform longer and it is a social platform, not just an e-commerce store which is basically all kindle vella is.

While I do wish Wattpad would make their paying program for writers a bit more accessible, it is nice that there is a community for writers online to post fiction. There just needs to be more of them.

Why I’m quitting Kindle Vella

So, I took a break. Like a big one. I had to stop and think about if it was worth the effort for me to try and continue to post on Kindle Vella. Especially considering that I have a platform that actually pays me (Dreame). It got to be too discouraging to continue looking at stats and things and I have a concept that I like better of the story that I’m writing that I worry will be too similar. So.

The Anointed is still up. You can still read it on there if you wish. But there are so many changes that need to happen with the platform that I don’t think I’ll be using it going forward.

I took the time to figure out what I really wanted and while I do still think self-publishing is important, I’m not at a place where I can go all in and get the kind of audience I’m hoping for. So, it’s time to jump into traditional publishing again. This means finishing a manuscript instead of publishing it serially which is something I haven’t done in a long time.

I’m working on a manuscript right now that is at 22 k that is an adult fantasy romance novel. And I’m super excited about it. So, that’s where I’ve been.

Kindle Vella Week 17

Goals for the month:

  1. Get The Anointed up to 100 k, so I’ve got a few chapters ahead.
  2. Work on The Wolves of Glacier Falls, get that finished for Dreame.
  3. Start working on The Magic School novel.
  4. Work on UX design class again to finish up certification for writing app I want to create.

Okay, so maybe if I pick some goals I’ll be able to say motivated. It is so easy to become a hermit in Montana the instant fall and winter hit. It is colder, and darker. And for me, who grew up in California always surrounded by vitamin D and going to a place where half the year the sun is gone, its also SEASONAL DEPRESSION TIME. Or, as I like to call it, my yearly sadness. Not to make light of it at all but you’ve got to have a little humor about it right?

But this year I am going to try to stay on top of things and get back into the swing of things with updating. Re-read my story, and try to figure out what will happen going forward.

I also want to pick something specifically for Kindle Vella to write and I’ve thought a lot about how to make that platform work for me. I think a mystery might be what I write next for it because that is an easy way to hook people. Or maybe I’ll do a contemporary romance. Who knows? But I’ve decided that the type of project might factor into how well a serial novel does. Things were people have to remember a lot of facts might not do so well, whereas simple beach read type fiction is probably going to get a lot more reads because people can pick up where they left off.

I might be wrong about that, but it is something I’ve thought about a lot lately.

Kindle Vella Week 15 Wrap Up

October was the month of doing nothing. I barely updated. I got distracted by a writers conference I attended. I started work on a werewolf novel and then that werewolf novel got messed up by my computer so I am restarting that novel. I had a bad sinus thing and so everything got messed up. I put off working on the UX class.

Not a lot got done. My own fault. But sometimes that happens. You slip up, and then you get back to it. So, November will be the month of getting back to it.

The hard thing is getting excited about a project that isn’t seeing any growth or readership. While I still like the story, there are other projects I’m passionate about right now. It feels like pulling teeth trying to post on something that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.

Obviously, not posting this month is an issue. And I know there are things I need to work out on my end. But kindle vella itself has issues and its just easier to work with Dreame where I do have an established audience and I actually, you know, get paid.

A new month. A new chance to see if we can make this work.

Kindle Vella Week 14

No change.

Partly my fault. Partly….I don’t know. I was busy obsessing and prepping for the writers conference that I attended on Saturday and Sunday. It was good. It was on Zoom, and provided me with some insight on things I hadn’t thought about.

I’m working on a werewolf romance novel that is at 35 k, 35,000 words. I’m intent on putting it on Dreame. But the conference made me ask some very important questions about what I want to do as far as my career. So, who knows?

Maybe I’ll start submitting again.

I would like to think that someday, the internet will come up with a way for fiction writers to make a living online. I just don’t know that we’re there yet and I don’t know if Kindle Vella is going to be that program.

Kindle Vella: Week 13 Wrap Up

I didn’t update for two weeks. This week, I was too excited for the writers conference I was going to. I was too busy working on The Wolves of Glacier Falls. I’ve hit 31 k on there, or 31,000 words. It’s going to be for Dreame. I worked on everything but The Anointed. My Dreame stories have been what I’m focusing on because I am actually encouraged by the numbers I see there compared to kindle vella. I almost feel like you have to have serval stories on there to have any progress but its hard to tell because its still so new.

There was too much going on and I just felt like there was one thing I had to let go. I’ve got to get back on track with a lot of stuff. The class that I’m taking. The end of the year approaches as October gets closer to the end and it just seems to go faster and faster and its easier to forget stuff.

That said, it was so lovely to go to the writers conference even if it was on Zoom. It’s always nice to get to talk to other people in the industry and people who understand exactly what it is you do. I received positive feedback on the magic school story that I’m working on so I am going to keep working on that.

I actually wrote a completely different opening scene yesterday instead of what I submitted. Then, I ended up getting ANOTHER idea for an opener. Oh, the joys of rewriting.

Week 14 it will be back to the regularly scheduled program. Updating The Anointed. Working on the UX design certificate. Getting back into gear. I feel like when fall comes around, things get colder, and you just get lazier because all you’re trying to do is staying warm. And that is kind of where I’m at this week. But I’ll get back on track and hopefully everything else will too.

Week 13 of Kindle Vella, Why Self-Publishing IS a valid option

Welcome to Week 13 of Kindle Vella. Today, I thought I’d talk a little bit about why I’m so frustrated with the lack of support Kindle Vella has received and the importance of self-publishing in general.

This morning, I happened on an old writing forum I used to look at back in the day before social media was a thing. I was looking up a publishing company and found a post from 2019 discussing vanity publishing and self-publishing.

There was a writer on there who was COMPLETELY perplexed as to why someone would “vanity publish” i.e. pay money for publishing. And, I feel, these writers have very little knowledge of self-publishing and why we must have it.

Back in, I want to say 2016, I published a novel that involved LGBTQ plus characters. It was called All The Right Notes. Now, I lucked out, and I found a publishing company for this. Totally Bound Publishing. I published it under a pen name, C. McGrath, and I’m sure you can still find it out there somewhere if you really want to.

But I received a vicious, vicious editing letter from one of the publications I sent it to that basically tore the whole thing to shreds. Now, most publishers won’t send you something that thorough with a rejection. They’ll just send you a nice thanks but no thanks letter. This publisher took the time to go over EVERYTHING they thought was wrong with my book.

At that point, I thought, okay. No big deal. I’ve been rejected plenty of times before. But years later, I thought isn’t it weird my book made an editor angry enough they wrote a whole thing detailing everything wrong with it? I can’t speak for the editor. Maybe they really just didn’t like my story.

But, while publishing is trying to change, there are places that are still stuck in the dark ages. Places where certain types of manuscripts would not ever be able to get a footing. Based solely on the ideology of the people working and reviewing the work. This is why making it possible for writers everywhere to share their story is important. Why vanity presses and self-publishing are valid options for people, despite whatever snobbish notions the writing community has about it.

Free speech is something we take for granted in America, because everyone can post every hateful comment they think before breakfast. But how quickly we forget there are still countries out there that don’t allow this–not only in their printed works—but in their media. And as long as there are such places that exist, there must be places outside of the traditional institutions a person can share their ideas. Revolutionary or not.

That there are still people who don’t think so clearly don’t know the history of publishing. Edgar Allen Poe, at eighteen, self-published his first work in 1827.

Stephen King did what many writers today do and created his own publishing company and published People, Places, and Things in 1960.

Mark Twain self published The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in 1885.

Margaret Atwood self-published Double Persephone.

There is a notion that if you do not publish the traditional way, somehow you are less worthy than a published writer. Despite there being even modern, recent examples of writers, Colleen Hoover for example, who have proven this notion wrong.

As long as there are governments controlling writers (look up the Kakoa Page scandal that just happened recently with the Chinese government issuing the publisher pamphlets in regards to Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Tibet about what they could and couldn’t write that encouraged self-censorship) and media controlled by corporations that seek to hinder a persons message, there must always be someone that is willing to get that story out there for them.

This isn’t to say that publishers don’t serve a purpose. Obviously, they do. They are a good, reliable source of income for writers IF you can get your foot in the door. That said, there are still people who can hold it closed if they don’t like what you have to say. But the notion that there is only one way to publish legitimately is an outdated notion that needs to go. And, the fact remains, as long as the old guard has its foot there, it’s always going to be harder for certain kinds of writers to break through.

After all, it isn’t the publisher that makes the writer. It’s the writers that make the publisher. Which is why there must always be many options for writers, self-published or not, to get their story out there. It’s books they burn in revolutions not weapons and there must always be a way for words to spread regardless of who might not approve of them. Like governments, for example.

So, while I too, dream of publication in the traditional form, I will always champion for any alternative forms out there—whether it’s paying for it or being one of the chosen few from the literary elite— that let writers tell their stories when they might not have another option.