Victoria A. Jeffrey's authorly doings. . .

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Hobbit films: news

I've been keeping track (haphazardly) of the new Hobbit films coming out. The first one will be released, so far as I know, at the end of next year. The first one will be called The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and the second one, which will be released in 2013, will be called The Hobbit: There And Back Again.

One of the best internet hubs for LOTR and tH news in my opinion is It takes me back! I remember fondly when I used to visit every other day when those films were just coming out. What a fine time! They had so much wonderful information about the films and the film scores. In fact, I will be posting news about the scores here when I get more information.

As you may know if you've read my profile, I am a huge fan of Tolkien's work. He is one of my favorite authors and Peter Jackson and his crew have done a stellar job of bringing the LOTR films to visual life and I have absolute confidence in his ability to bring The Hobbit to screen while remaining true to the spirit of the story. I've found a wonderful documentary through with Stephen Fry and Peter Jackson talking about Tolkien's work. In fact, the entire segment is excellent as Fry discusses some of his favorite great writers they were. The other part of the segment finds him discussing James Joyce and Shakespeare - and regardless of what some have to say I have no doubts that Shakespeare wrote the plays attributed to him.

A year is a long time to wait. I remember when I first heard that The Fellowship of the Ring was being filmed. I could not believe it. All of my film dreams came true when those films came out. At least I still have my LOTR audio book, narrated by Rob Inglis. I find myself listening to it whenever I need literary inspiration from Tolkien. Or just whenever I want to sit on my couch on a rainy day and drink hot tea and listen to a good story. By the way here is a written interview of Rob Inglis talking about his work narrating The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. A delightful read!

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Winter Wolves first draft is finished!

Well, after I have unveiled my new book cover for my next book I have more good news! I have just finished my first draft of The Winter Wolves! I'm also currently working on a sample chapter for the next book in the series - The Lady Moons. After that, once again the REAL work begins - revising, proofreading and editing.

Finishing that first draft is always good times. I love it. And now I deserve a martini. . .

Thursday, October 27, 2011

New book cover art work!

Here is the new book cover for the third book I'll be releasing in a few weeks! The art work was done by Claudia McKinney of Phatpuppy Art. Doesn't it look beautiful? I can't wait to publish, not just for the story (Which I think is my best yet) but so I can show off my new book cover. I had thought of again doing it myself and it would have looked nice but this is on another level!

I'm thinking of having her do all my book covers for this series.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Linking titles in a series

I've noticed today that sales are picking up a tiny bit of The Pumpkin Princess. Not so with The Green Door though. I was on the Kindleboards a few days ago and a poster mentioned that he planned on linking all the books in his series together so that readers could easily find all of the books. Like adding an extra page at the end of one of his books.

I thought this was a great idea as it might not be immediately obvious that it's part of a series. When the third books comes out I will certainly put the titles of the first two books on the info page after the end so that readers know that this is a series.

I have to admit that I've been working my butt off with marketing tPP. I didn't work so hard at marketing when the first book came out. I just hope people like tPP. I really enjoyed writing it. Tomorrow I have a real treat for readers of the blog (if there are any, lol). I hired a great artist to do the artwork for my third book The Winter Wolves and I plan to post the cover tomorrow on this blog! I love it and I'm so excited!

Monday, October 24, 2011

What Scares V.A. Jeffrey

I have a new interview up over at and it's called What Scares V.A. Jeffrey. This is a series about what scares authors - those that participated in the discussion. There are quite a few great interviews by various authors there and you will also find information on their latest books. Great interview project for the month of October. This was a lot of fun and you may find some new great reads as well!

Check it out! Scares V.A. Jeffrey

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Books I'm reading

In the midst of all of this writing I'm still reading. A lot. Often it's a new book (or an old one) I haven't heard about and i see them and hear about them on a forum I saw, a podcast, browsing through Amazon's site or from a blog that catches my eye and I've found a lot of great reads out there by doing this. There are some who think that all indie books are trash. This is a bald-faced lie. As far as I'm concerned, the reason why they find trash ( and that's if they are being honest) they don't know what they're doing.

I haven't found this lie to be the case at all and here are some of the books I've read or plan to read in the near future. Some of these are indie and some trad. They aren't all of the books I've read so far but these are my favorites. You might want to check them out; you might like them too if you haven't already read them:

The Pale Queen's Courtyard by Marcin Wrona (fantasy)
The Black God's War by Moses Siregar III (fantasy - there is both a novella and a full length novel with this title by the same author!)
The Worker Prince by Brian Thomas Schmidt (science fiction)
White Foxes, Full Moon by Niko Silvester (fantasy)
The Ugly Princess by Oksana Vasilenko (fairy tale, children's)
Changes by Jim Butcher
Agartha's Castaway (Science fiction, YA)

These are books I plan to read before the year's end:

Children of Hurin by J.R.R. Tolkien
Golden Feathers Falling by Marcin Wrona
Red by Melissa Yuan-Innes

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Last chance for a free copy of my book!

Just a last day reminder - after October 20th The Pumpkin Princess will be $0.99 everywhere! Pick up your free copy today at these locations:

And don't forget book one in the series, The Green Door, which is always free at each of those locations!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Some ebooks simply cost too much!

One thing I've been thinking about for a long time in relation to ebooks is price.

Price, I think, matters a great deal when buying an ebook. The large publishers have really gotten out of control when it comes to prices. As a reader I've always felt a little irritated when having to buy mass market paperbacks for nearly $9.00 (yes they are nearly that much now) but when I first bought my Kindle this past summer and started buying George R.R. Martin's Songs of Ice and Fire series I received a shock to my system. They were all $9.99!

Ebooks for $9.99 seem to be the norm from the bigger publishers. I didn't much like that at all, as I see it as quite expensive for a book that isn't a purely physical product requiring wood, ink, printing presses and many people to create said product. But being that Martin is such a great storyteller in my eyes, and he's well known, I paid it and enjoyed the books.

Then his latest book in the series came out.

It was $14.99. I'm thinking: Hot Damn! For real? I'm sorry but that's a rip off! Of course I bought it although I nearly had a stroke while doing it, because I'm not going to ignore the next book in such a great series, but I made a decision after that purchase right then and there: no more ebooks will I purchase beyond $9.99! Even at $9.99, the writer will have to prove to me that he/she is a master storyteller.

Personally, (and this is just my opinion, nothing scientific) I think that an ebook novel shouldn't be more than $6.99 and that's at the upper end of the price range. I think $0.99 is reasonable for short stories and novelettes and novellas, especially if you are an unknown author and $1.99 - $2.99 is reasonable for a novel. Omnibus novel editions can cost $9.99 - $14.99. After all, you are getting a group of novels together. I think well known authors can get away with higher price points on a single work.

But really, charging readers more than $8.99 for an ebook is outright greed! That's just how I feel about it.

Friday, October 14, 2011

New Author Interview

I have a new interview up over at the Enchanted blog. I talk about how I ended up coming up with the idea for my short story Dust and Bones. I think you'll find it interesting! I hope you enjoy it and you can pick up a free copy of the short story on Smashwords or Scribd from the links provided there!

Thanks Rachel!

Remember, The Pumpkin Princess will be free until October 20th! After that, it will be $0.99! Pick up your free copy now!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Getting started on the third book

Well, having nothing to do right now besides some marketing efforts on my latest book, I've started writing the third book. I hope people like the one I just released. I'm so proud of it and I think it's even better than the first one.

Here's the thing - this third book is going to be a bit darker than the first two. In fact, I wonder what people will think because The Pumpkin Princess is darker than The Green Door. I hope no one gets offended or upset. When I say dark, I don't mean "Clive Barker" dark, only that the heroine has more challenges to face and more is at stake. When I get to the fourth book things will get a little lighter.

Anyway, I've made it to chapter 5 already. Sometimes, the best way to pass the time is to just get started writing your next book. If I've learned how to do anything right in all of this, it's keeping busy with more writing. Downloads of my latest book seem to be going well.

If you still want a copy of The Pumpkin Princess pick up your copy now at Smashwords, Scribd or Feedbooks! The Pumpkin Princess will be $0.99 everywhere after October 20th!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Looking for an artist/illustrator for next book cover

The second book of my Secret Doorway Tales series is out and out of my hair. It's always so much work when you are ready to publish a book and then the days afterwards spent marketing the book are always interesting, if a bit stressful.

So now that I'm finished with that I'm looking forward to writing the next book and I already have an outline finished and a tentative publication date: some time in December! What I need to do now is look for an artist because I've been wanting illustrations for the book covers on my the next four books. That is going to cost a pretty penny and then tracking an artists down and getting them to contact you is another issue. Creative people can be flaky (and I'm not pointing fingers here because I have that problem myself and it was especially true when I was young, lol). I think I should begin the search process right now.

Then there's the issue of whether they even want to do work for you. We self published authors have a stigma attached to our work and we have to jump through a lot of hoops just to get people to take our work seriously and even then, we don't get much respect. Some artists will only do work for best selling authors and I can understand that but it makes my job a little harder when trying to find an artist I like who might be interested in doing some work for me.

I've been looking at art on and all I can say is Wow! There's so much beautiful work there. Just beautiful. Well, I guess I better get back to work!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Pumpkin Princess Is Published!

The Pumpkin Princess is finally live and available for free download! It will be available on in a few days. You can find it on Smashwords, Scribd and Feedbooks right now!

The Pumpkin Princess, the second book in my Secret Doorway Tales series will be free until October 20th! so if you want a free download of this book, pick it up now! Don't wait too late. After October 20th, it will be available on Amazon, Smashwords and Scribd for $0.99!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Hanvon: E-Ink E-Reader with COLOR!!

Can I get E-Ink in color please?

You know, I was thinking about Kindles today and about the new Kindle Fire that will be coming out this fall and it got me wondering - what about creating a non-back lit tablet or ereader with color E-Ink technology? it seems that many only think in terms of E-Ink vs LCD but I don't see why color can't be added to E-Ink technology.

And then after doing some 'net surfing I found out that a Chinese company has done just that! The photo of the device is at the top. In fact they unveiled their ereader at this year's CES (goes to show you how little I've been paying attention to modern technology! I used to keep up with this stuff back when I was podcasting! Shame, shame!) Here's an article about the device at and here is the company website with the device (in black or white) front and center.

It also comes with a stylus which is a plus in my book. They also have different versions with different features, much like the Kindles do. I think it looks very nice. Now if I could figure out where to buy it. They say that they have no plans to sell it in the US but who knows? I think there's demand for it here and if they are willing to increase profits and business they may very well change their minds on that. I for one will be keeping an eye out for this device.

I think I want this instead of the Amazon Kindle Fire.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Pumpkin Princess Book Cover

I'm coming along on my progress with the second book in the series and I have finally finished my book cover. I had picked out the illustration about three months ago at Dreamstine. They have a tremendous selection great stock photos and illustrations there. Actually, they don't have a lot of illustrations but they do have a lot of beautiful photos. The one illustration that I chose below was by a content creator named Duccio - which I will definitely be crediting in my book because it's such a great illustration, yet a simple one. For the third book in the series I'm thinking of hiring a artist for traditional artwork but I know that will cost a pretty penny! There are a few (with fabulous work) I already have in mind. Whether they would be interested, and the cost, are the real issues. But more on that later.

Here is the book cover with the final type design:

Graphic design training really cuts down on expenses, I'll you that! I'm really excited about it and I just love it! In fact, I think it looks even better than the book cover for The Green Door. of course I may have to make some nitpick changes but it's pretty much done. All I have to do now is finish editing and then proofread the story one more time and we're ready to go!

Sunday, October 2, 2011


I'm in the middle of cooking dinner but I was just thinking about something and it has to do with materialism as it relates to ebooks. This may seem off the wall - and if it does then I guess it's just off the wall - but I read quite often about people who collect, literally, hundreds of books, simply just collecting them because they are free. I wonder at people like this. Why? Often they even admit that they don't read most of the books they download onto their ereader.

I have no interest in downloading material that I don't immediately want nor do I want to download books just because they are free. To me this smacks of hoarding and people who hoard things often have psychological issues. At least it seems that way in my opinion. You ought to see some of the people that get kicked out of my apartment building. Hoarding is not normal behavior. After all, why collect stuff you don't value?

I mention this because I find it very strange. I can see downloading 15 -20 books. But hundreds? Come on, son! Hundreds of books just because they are free? I guess people will do whatever they want but it seems a big waste of time and ereader space. My books are free but I would find it odd if people are just downloading them *only* for that reason. I have to be honest, I have yet to download a free ebook. The books that catch my interest, indie and trad cost money. I have nothing against free ebooks at all it's just that the books I want to read do not happen to be free. They range anywhere from $0.99 to $14.99 (shakes fist at George R. R. Martin's publisher) and I buy them because I've done a bit of footwork to ensure I'm getting a quality read. Why download something just because it's free, I ask again? Especially if what you are collecting is trash? Yes, trash is in the eye of the beholder. I realize that and, no, I'm not some book snob who thinks only some people should be allowed to publish. After all, there are those out there that feel my work isn't so good (of course I disagree), but there are ways of sifting through stuff that you may not like.

The real issue for me is materialism versus simplicity. Others can do what they like, but you certainly won't catch me downloading ebooks just because I can. The book has to have a story that really catches my interest and I don't download more books until I'm finished with the one or two books I've just downloaded. It's so easy to collect so many things that you just have stuff everywhere cluttering up your life. I'm busy trying to keep my life simple, not add more clutter. That also goes for digital stuff!

PS I want to make it clear that I'm not talking about collectors, who value the things they collect. I enjoy collecting certain kinds of stamps (my favorite being the Edgar Allen Poe The Raven series. I don't think collecting and hoarding are the same thing.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Cleaning up my place

I've been cleaning up my apartment today. Starting tonight I'm on a 1 week vacation from my job and I'm looking forward to that vacation. I even went on a late night run to Dairy Queen.

Thing is, I've been dropping things and bumping things around, stuff falling down, crashing. Seriously. I live in an apartment with thin walls and I'm almost sure that the lady next door thinks I'm a nutball! :)

What does this have to do with writing? Nothing, except to say that I do have other things going on in my life besides writing books.