Award Winning Author

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Karen Dales is the Award Winning Author of "The Chosen Chronicles" which include "Changeling: Prelude to the Chosen Chronicles," "Angel of Death: Book One of the Chosen Chronicles," and "Shadow of Death: Book Two of the Chosen Chronicles." She is currently at work on "Thanatos: Book Three of the Chosen Chronicles" and a Historical Romance set in Edo Japan.
Karen loves receiving emails from fans. If you'd like to email her:

Monday, December 17, 2012


Dark Dragon Publishing: $.99 KINDLE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY SPECIAL!!!: We of Dark Dragon Publishing  are happy to offer you a wonderful  Christmas /Hol iday Season Present! From Saturday, Decembe ...

DDP has all three of my AWARD WINNING novels:  
Changeling: Prelude to the Chosen Chronicles
Angel of Death: Book One of the Chosen Chronicles
Shadow of Death: Book Two of the Chosen Chronicles

on Holiday special for $.99 EACH on KINDLE! So make sure you pick up your copies before the price goes up! Just click on each of the Titles!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Dark Dragon Publishing: Submissions: How to Submit

Dark Dragon Publishing: Submissions: How to Submit: If you follow Dark Dragon Publishing on Facebook or Twitter, you may already know that we are now open for query submissions. In that announ...

This article by my publisher, Dark Dragon Publishing, is wonderful and gets right to the point. I hope that you will click on it and read it. It's a must read for any author who is interested in submitting queries to them or to any agent/publisher.


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Dark: A Short Story for Hallowe'en


I wrote the following flash fiction to see if I could. I hope you enjoy it!

The freezing stone floor set off a spasm of shivering and she awoke, unknowing of her surroundings for they were as pitch. Panic set in. She had been walking to her car. Where was she? How did she get here? Don't panic, she thought in an effort to quiet her malleate heart. Turning over, she crawled on all fours, her hands burning on the cold as they fluttered to feel what she could not see.

Knees aching, her hands scraped against a wall as firm and steadfast as the floor. She whimpered. She needed to get out; needed to be free; needed to bathe in the warm summer sun. 

Following the right angled path of wall and floor, she scrabbled to gain purchase of her surroundings. No sound except for her panicked breath, rasping clothes and tapping fingers, filled her consciousness. She flailed about, searching for a break in the wall, a difference between frozen stone and a possible wooden door, but found none. 

Stumped, unknowing how many circuits of the small room she had spun, she grasped the wall before her and pulled herself up. If there was no indication in the blackness of a door near the floor, then maybe there would be one higher up. Again, hands outstretched before her, she circumambulated the midnight stone room. 


No door. No window. No way in. No way out.

How did I get here? WHERE AM I?! Her mind cried out.

A rasping sound, far above, followed by a chuckle. Something hard hit her on the head before a wash of fluid cascaded, splashing, over her. More laughing, deep and male, before it was cut off by the same rasping sound.

Her back sliding down against the frozen stone, she crumpled to the chilled floor, hugging herself, her tears mingling with the droplets eking their way down her face. She knew now she was captured, that far above, in the darkness, was the door she must have fallen through into this place, this oubliette. It still did not explain why she could not see, why all around her was atramentaceous.

Numb from the cold, her fingers brushed away a droplet threatening to fall in her eye and halted the motion at the strange feeling before her finger tips. Breath staggering, she brought both hands to her eyes and felt –


Her eyes were gone!

Only empty sockets remained!

Mouth opening, she screamed into the darkness. Her tongue was gone, too.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hallowe'en Skull and Cross Bones Cookies

Last night I mentioned that I made 6 dozen skull and cross bones cookies in my update.

Then people started asking to see photos, so I posted a couple of them of the cookies.

I was then asked to post the recipe, so here it is!

Plain and Simple Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter(softened)/margerine
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
4 cups of flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 cup milk

  1. In a lage bowl, cream together butter/margerine and sugar until smooth.
  2. Add eggs and continue beating until creamy.
  3. Stir in flour and baking powder alternately with the milk, to make a fairy stiff dough.
  4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and kneed a few times by hand to make it smooth and workable.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven 350F.
  7. Cut dough into 4 peices.
  8. Work 1 peice at a time.
  9. Roll onto lightly floured surface to an even 1/4 inch thickness.
  10. Cut out shapes and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet at least 1 inch apart.
  11. Bake 13 to 15 minues until the cookies are very slightly browned on the bottom, but still light on top.
  12. Let them cool before decorating.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Hallowe'en is around the corner and what better way to celebrate than having a Giveaway!

There are THREE prizes to win for THREE lucky winners, but to win one of them, you have to enter.

The prizes are:
  •   a signed limited edition of Angel of Death (includes Changeling)
  •   a Kindle/ebook version of Angel of Death
  •  a handmade Angel of Death Doll!
So make sure you enter!   a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Deconstructing Fan Expo

It's been a week since Fan Expo began and four days since it ended, and I have to say that this was one of the best Fan Expo experiences I've ever had!

When I was informed where my table would be, I admit to be dubious and somewhat disgruntled for they had placed me and the other author guests out in the hall, not in the Dealer's room as they had in the past. Upon closer examination I realized that we would be situated across from Hall G, which is the largest hall where many celebrity guests speak at. Okay, I thought.  Maybe this wouldn't be detrimental. In fact, it turned out to be fortuitous.

Thursday I prepared for long lines and confusion as to where I would need to go to get my guest badges. There was no confusion or long line. It was clear and easy, the first time in a couple of years that getting my guest passes and parking passes were simple and straight forward! What a joy and a great relief to my stress levels!

If you've seen the photos I took you may have noticed that I was positioned between the wonderful Kelley Armstrong and the amazing Violette Malan
It was a joy to spend time with these lovely ladies. I would also like to extend my congratulations to Kelley for her novel, Bitten, being picked up to be turned into a television series, and to Violette for the release of her new novel, Shadowlands.

Other authors of what we dubbed "Authors Alley" included Stephen B. Pearl, J.M. Frey, Leslie Livingston, Adrienne Kress, Nancy Kilpatrick, Max Turner and Marie Bilodeau. It was wonderful seeing all these creative folks together!

Thursday also saw me on my first panel regarding indie publishing. It was a lot of fun. Stephen B Pearl, Sass Cadeaux, Alan Draven and I had a great time being moderated by the lovely Monica Kuebler of Rue Morgue. It was wonderful to finally meet Sass. We've been FB friends for some time! It's too bad we couldn't have spent more time together.

The only drawback to Thursday evening was that I was unable to attend Kevin J. Anderson's booksigning he had invited me to. 

Friday saw me with my most signings and therefore I couldn't go into the Dealer's room and schmooze around like I wanted to. I did managed to run in and see if Kevin was at his publisher's table, but I kept missing him. Such was my luck.:)

Saturday saw the craziest day. I learned later that the building had to be closed off from new attendees for a few hours because the building's maximum had been reached at 55, 000 folks. 

As some may know, I tend to bring my family along when I go to conventions. My son and my husband get to go and have fun while I have the joy of signing books.:) Well, on Saturday morning, before everything began, I was able to go into the Dealer's Room and do a bit of shopping while my husband and son stayed at the table. When I returned I noticed whom my author friends were speaking with. I was surprised.

My son wanted to go into the Dealer's room to go play at the Lego booth but I had to stop him from going. I told him that "Gimili was here" and he started looking around for someone in costume. I turned him around and pointed at the gentleman talking with my author friends, and said to my son, "That's the actor who played Gimili. That's John Rhys-Davies."

Well, my son's eyes popped out of his head and a big smile grew on his face. I asked Mr. Davies if he would be kind enough to pose for a photo with my son as my son's a big LOTR fan. Mr. Davies did. He sat down beside my son, we took photos, and he talked to my son in his "Gimili" voice. It was fantastic. After, he stood up to go to his signing area, but he wanted to give my son something. He looked in his satchel, couldn't find it, and then, asking my son's name, said he would come by the next day and give him the present. We were floored! We were all on a high!

Saturday also had Kevin popping over to see me at my table. It was so wonderful of him to take the time to do so. We sat and talked for a bit, getting to know each other a tiny amount. We have been friends on Facebook for quite some time, so it was lovely to finally meet him in person. He signed the copy of Clockwork Angels I had.

Saturday afternoon had me on a panel about Vampires (of course.:) which went brilliantly. The only downside to Saturday is that I had to turn down a dinner get-to-gether because of a growing migraine. 

Sunday was sadly and gratefully the last day.By about 10am the show was fully underway and I couldn't keep my son at the table waiting for Mr. Davies--if he was going to show up. My husband and son went off to the Lego booth to play. Shortly after that, I realized my husband had taken the money pouch and I had to run into the Dealer's room to get it. To my horror and dismay, when I returned, Mr. Davies had come by in our absense! Violette and her friend, Barb, tried to keep him there for my return, but he couldn't stay. Instead, he kept his promise and left a signed print of him as Gimili for my son. He even remembered my son's name!

Well, I asked Barb to run in and get my hubby and son. As soon as they came back I told them what had transpired. I said the only thing to do was to go over to Mr. Davies and say thank you, and that's exactly what my son and I did. My son was so happy and excited that he couldn't stop bouncing!

Sunday ended Fan Expo on a high note, with memories that will last us a lifetime. I did better than I expected and realized the 'experiment in action' of having us in the hall worked out very well for me.

I want to say a public thank you to all those volunteers who helped make it flow as well as it did, and to all the guys at Hobby Star who made it all happen! 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Fan Expo Update

It's nine days away from Canada's largest Multi-Media and Multi-Genre Convention - Fan Expo ( 

If you want to think about it, it's Canada's version of San Fran's ComicCon, and FanExpo is expecting over 80,000 people to attend over the four days.

Some of you may already know, but if not, I'm one of the Horror Author Guests  (Yeay!!!!)

I'm thrilled to announce that I will be signing copies of my Award Winning Series, THE CHOSEN CHRONICLES, and will have Chibi Chosen and Buttons, too, at my table L70! I'll be sharing it with the magnificent Violette Malan and will be beside #1 NYT author, Kelley Armstrong. 

We'll be located outside of the main room, so before you head on in, come on by and say 'hi' and pick up a book or two! Here's the floorplan of the event!

I will also be on two great panels, moderated by the exquisit Monica Kuebler, editor of Rue Morgue.

Here are the two panels:

An in-depth look at the self-publishing and small press horror scenes. How to break in, get published and get your stories in front of readers. With authors Sass Cadeaux, Stephen Pearl, Karen Dales and Alan Draven Moderated by Monica S. Kuebler.
Thursday, August 23rd @ 8pm in Room 707

How do the purveyors of vampire fiction keep their bloodsuckers fresh and interesting after the mainstream's been oversaturated by the creatures of the night? With authors Nancy Kilpatrick, Karen Dales, Sue Dent, Crissy Calhoun and Liisa Ladouceur. 
Moderated by Monica S. Kuebler.
Saturday, August 25th @ 5pm in Room 703

I hope that you will come by to this great event, stop over to at least say 'hi' and have the best time of your life!

If you can't make it, you can always order my books through online retailers in both trade paperback and ebook formats (Kindle/Nook/Kobo, etc) by going to

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Submit To The Submission

I find it incredibly intriguing at the presumption of some authors when it comes to searching for an agent and/or publisher for their manuscript. In high school, college, and university, creative writing courses focus on the craft of writing. Once released from those institutions a writer will hole-up in their privacy, writing what they believe to be the perfect novel. Others may move their training into individual writing courses. One thing that is rarely taught is the process of querying agents and/or publishers.

So many writers and would-be published authors have no clue how to spark the interest of an agent/publisher, let alone how to find one. It is the business end of the world of the writer that is almost never taught. So I have deigned to embark, albeit briefly, in offering my meager knowledge of the process.

The number one most important thing you must have, before you begin your search, is to finish your manuscript.

Let me say that again, especially for all you fiction writers out there (this does not necessarily hold true for non-fiction, but it still helps):

This means you have completed the draft, edited it, fixed it/rewrote it, maybe having another edit it for you, fix it again, and then leave it alone. The more you try to ‘fix’ it, the greater the chance to F-it up. Do not try and have different versions that can be sent to different agents/publishers because you’re trying to second guess what they may want. Have one version. If you are incredibly lucky to be taken on by a publisher your novel WILL be ripped apart through an intensive editing process you never expected. This is not necessarily the case with agents, but I go too far. Let’s say you’ve completed your manuscript, what happen next?

For many of us, finding an agent is the next stage. It is usually the agent that acts as a gateway into the publishing world, but how to possibly secure an agent? I will tell you this; just because you want an agent doesn’t mean you’ll get one.

There are directories on the internet that lists numerous agents. Find them and then learn which of the agents are reputable, accepting unsolicited queries, the genres they represent, and their specifications on how they like their query packages. This process takes time and research. Any agent that expects money from their clients beyond some photocopying is someone you do not want to query. Remember, take your time and research each agent you wish to query. Make a list of agents with their contact information.

You’ve got your list. Now what?

The hardest part.

Now you must compose a query letter and different synopses of different lengths to accommodate the desires of the agent. This query is a ONE page letter of introduction of your book and yourself. It MUST be punchy enough to catch the agent’s eye so as to continue reading. It should also be formatted and written as a BUSINESS LETTER. If you don’t know how to write in ‘business speak’ then it is high time you learn. It shows your professionalism. There are many examples of finely crafted query letters out there, find them on the internet and study their structure. If you’ve got a beta-reader, use him/her. Make sure that query letter is as perfect as you can make it. As for your synopses, good luck. It MUST be amazing and it is one of the HARDEST things to write. Again, use your support network to help you edit it and edit it and edit it, etc., until they are perfect.

Okay. The manuscript is completed. The query letter is written. Different synopses are finalized. The list of agents is done. Now you’re ready.

Not so long ago all query submissions were sent by snail mail. It was costly and time consuming and bad for the environment. Today, more and more agents recognize the impact of all these submission packages have on the environment, therefore most now accept queries via email, though some still expect hard copy submissions. In EVERY CASE personalize each query letter to the agent you are sending to. Never ever send it “To Whom It May Concern.” If you don’t know, then don’t send. Whoever receives it with that will ensure your query hits the recycling bin, virtual or real.

For the sake of this blog, let’s assume the queries are sent electronically.

I’ve already stated that EACH query is to be individually personalized. It also means that for each agent you send an email DO NOT C.C. other agents of send out a blind c.c. (b.c.c.) so that you only have to send one query email. If you do so your query will BE DELETED. If the content of your email isn’t a professionally written, business style query letter, most likely it will be DELETED. This means no “Hi, I saw you’re accepting queries, please look at mine.”

Many agents (and publishers) will inform potential author/clients how they want the email to look and even to what’s in the subject heading and whether or not they want the submissions as part of the email or as an attachment. If they want attachments, then they’ll let you know what document formats they accept. How will you glean this information? Very simply, through your research in who to query. If you don’t have this information, then you need to double check your research.

Okay. You have everything picture perfect. Now it’s time to show your baby and press the SEND button.

Let’s be perfectly clear. Agents are extremely busy people who receive hundreds of queries a month. DO NOT take it personally when you receive a form letter rejection. It has nothing to do with you. It’s just that they are that busy.

Let’s stop here for a moment with the realization that you WILL receive rejections. This is par for the course. If you can’t accept it, then you shouldn’t be looking or representation to a traditional publisher, or even looking for a publisher. One thing you should NEVER do is email the agent back with an anger filled letter. Doing so burns bridges fast than a forest fire. Agents talk to each other and if you throw a Diva-fit at each agent you receive a rejection from, therefore don’t be surprised if you get black-balled. Do not become one of the “Authors Behaving Badly” Club.

Now to continue on a positive note.

After a slew of rejections, you receive a response requesting part or the whole manuscript. Congrats! Do something to celebrate. An agent is interested! Send him or her what he or she wants and the wait.

And wait.

And wait.

Just because you send an agent the requested manuscript doesn’t guarantee a yes. This is the HARD part. You have to wait for the agent to read the manuscript and decide if it, and you, are something he or she can a) work with and b) more importantly, sell to publishers. Give the agent/publisher time. Generally, it’s three months, and in most cases the agent/publisher will assume that you have stopped querying until they make the decision to take you on or not.

If you receive a rejection at this point, it’s okay to be sad. Do something to pick you up and get back on the horse. In most cases, if you’re rejected at this point there won’t be a form letter; you’ll receive a personalized letter explaining why. In rare occurrences, they’ll ask you to resubmit when you’ve fixed those issues.

I try to be a positive person, so let’s say after all this time and effort an agent is interested in signing you. YEAY! Go out! Celebrate, but just because you signed with an agent doesn’t mean that the agent will be able to find a publisher for your novel.

Did I say I try to be positive?

I was!

I’m also realistic.

So if this is the route you wish to try, go for it! I tried too. One thing you need to know in this business is that you must have strong determination. If going this route isn’t your thing, then look at self-publishing—that’s another blog post! Regardless of the path you take, to succeed you must work hard and understand this is a business no different than McDonald’s selling Big Macs. The only difference is that we’re selling a piece of ourselves called our Novel(s).

One thing I’m asked over and over in interviews is what advice I give to new and would-be authors. I give the same answer.

Never give up! Never surrender!


Karen Dales
Award Winning Author

Kelley Armstrong, #1 New York Times Best Selling Author says of Shadow of Death, "... dark...compelling ...that will keep readers turning the pages well past bedtime."

Order of The Chosen Chronicles:
Changeling: Prelude to The Chosen Chronicles
Angel of Death: Book One of The Chosen Chronicles
Shadow of Death: Book Two of The Chosen Chronicles
(Soon To Be Released - Thanatos: Book Three of The Chosen Chronicles)

Reviews from media/authors -

Please check out the series.
"The Chosen Chronicles" are now $.99 for each eBook.
(also available in Trade Paperback)

Keep up to date with me and my writing on:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Dark Light: An anthology of Horror fiction to support those in need.

I don't usually do this. In fact, I've never done this before on my blog, but the reasoning to do so was the right reasons.

Dark Light is an anthology of Horror fiction edited by Carl Hose where ALL the proceeds go to charity. It releases today in both ebook and trade paperback. In celebration of this wonderful anthology I have the honour of interviewing Mr. Hose about the project and hosting a giveaway of a signed (by Mr. Hose) copy of Dark Light to one lucky person.

Karen: Hi, Carl, thanks for coming onto my blog to discuss your newly released anthology, "Dark Light." Can you tell us what inspired you to create this anthology?

Carl: Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to help out, Karen. It means a lot.
My daughter Ireland was born six weeks premature and had to spend three weeks in NICU. To be with her, my wife, Marcee, and I would have had to travel. We were fully prepared to sleep in the NICU, but one of the nurses insisted we check into one of the three Ronald McDonald Houses on the premises. That in itself was an interesting experience, which I detailed in the introduction to "Dark Light." Anyway, RMH provided us with what amounted to a pretty nice hotel room, three meals a day, all prepared by volunteers, and access to the kitchen any time we wanted. They also had a playground and welcomed visits from our family and friends whenever we wanted. It's just amazing what the organization does year round.

 One night, while catching a breather in the room at RMH before our daughter's next feeding, I told my wife I wanted to do something to pay back RMH for all they were doing for us and what they do for other families all the time. The idea for the anthology seemed obvious. I knew I couldn't do it on my own, however, so that night I began contacting all the writers on my Facebook page – some of the biggest names in the horror genre – and I asked for a story. Almost none of them said no. There was no time between asking for a story and receiving it. I also got a few stories from writers who saw the call for submissions on Darkest Markets.

 The title "Dark Light" seemed fitting for horror writers writing for a good cause. I started asking for submissions in early February and the book will be out June 20th. There are 42 writers and 44 stories. It's huge and there is such a range of horror themes included. I think readers are going to dig it.

Karen: Why, specifically, did you choose to have the anthology in the horror genre? One would think, from your experiences, a more uplifting genre would have been preferable.

Carl: That's a good question, and a lot of the writers actually submitted stories with horror themes they felt were more acceptable to the cause, but I write horror, as do the writers I contacted. I didn't believe we needed to write sunshine and happy endings just because we were writing for a great charity. The truth is, I think it says a lot that writers who are traditionally known for dark thoughts came together
so quickly and gave so much of their time to answer a call to support RMH. Many of these writers didn't even know me, but they came on board without hesitation. That's positive regardless of the content of the anthology. Horror writers have kids and families as well, and they can care as deeply as anyone. Besides, when a rock band supports a charity, they don't play classical because it's proper – they play loud rock 'n' roll.

Karen: So true! The Horror genre is very broad in its definition, or what one can find in it, what types of horror stories can be found in “Dark Light” that will titillate readers?

Carl: There is a broad range of stories in the horror genre, you're right about that. And that just about tells you what you will find in "Dark Light." With the number of writers, both established and fairly new, and their varying styles, there will definitely be something for just about everyone. The stories range from traditional horror themes to serial killers, from ghosts to demons, with some humor and experimental stuff thrown on. The range is huge, but the book has a really even feel to it. Readers should not only enjoy reading some of their favorite authors, but will hopefully find others they will enjoy in the process.

Karen: That’s really great information. Thanks! I know that you mentioned earlier that you are a writer, is “Dark Light” your first foray into editing, especially that of an anthology?

Carl: I've edited a lot of novels and anthologies, both professionally and as favors to friends. This is my first time acting in the capacity of publisher and editor. Editing is simple and straightforward, but
giving birth to an anthology is a different animal altogether. Getting submissions, reading them, rejecting some, editing what remains, getting proofs out to the authors, coordinating the contractual stuff, formatting the book, making sure I didn't forget anybody and that I spelled all the names correctly -- that stuff can get overwhelming. Writing is much easier for me.

Karen: What, in the whole process of creating “Dark Light,” have you found to be the most rewarding aspect of the endeavour?

Carl: Seeing the generosity of the writers is the most rewarding aspect. I can remember where I was when each of these writers got in touch to say they would do the anthology. I heard back from almost every one of them before my daughter was even out of the hospital. Walking around in a daze between RMH and the hospital, I'd check my Facebook on my phone and find a "Yes, I'd be happy to help out, here's a story."

Other than that, the most rewarding aspect has been pulling it together so quickly. This is a huge book -- nearly six hundred pages -- and to have it conceived and ready to release in just four months is an awesome feeling. All of the writers in this book should be commended for having acted on everything quickly to allow me to move at this pace. I didn't want this to be one of those anthologies it takes a year to get out. There's no need for that, and because everyone cooperated so well, the pieces fell together.

Karen: “Dark Light” sounds like it’s packed with many amazing and wonderful stories, and since the proceeds are going to a great cause, where can a reader pick up a copy? Will “Dark Light” be available in both print and ebook formats?

Carl: The book will be available in all digital formats, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Sony Reader Store, and Kobo. It will also be available in print at Amazon, some online stores, and a few brick and mortar stores. I tried for the widest possible distribution. My website,  will have complete information, or people can find me on Facebook and add me as a friend. From there, you can check out the Dark Light Facebook page. The book will roll out on or before June 20th. I'm excited about it. I love the stories and hope readers will too.

For other formats soon to be available, check out 

For a chance to win a signed copy! Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Sequence of Editing

 A question was asked on a FB group about how novels are edited. I wrote the following in response and then realized I can share it with you wonderful folks on my blog.

As an editor, the rule of thumb for editing goes from the largest to the smallest. This means you start with the content/substance of the novel: plot, facts, flow, character development, use of language, ensurance that the voice of the author and thus the characters are consistent, etc. I want to note that substance/content editing can be several rounds of rewrites.

Once the rewrites to the substance/content of the novel are complete, then comes the line editing. This is where the structure of the novel is edited, where the sentences and paragraphs, even chapter breaks and scene breaks, are studied and fixed so as to keep a constant flow in the narrative.

Once those re-writes are done, then it goes to copy editing. This is where grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc., get a good going over.

Once those re-writes are done, then the galley is produced and is edited/proofread. This is the LAST chance for the author to make any changes/fixes to the novel before it goes to print/epub. Here is where any last minute copy editing can be done (it's sooooooo easy to miss things), if the author needs to change something such as a last re-write of a scene or paragraph, etc., (so long as it's not more than 20% of the novel lest the author piss off their publisher) it can be done at this point. The galley edits are the point of no return.

Once the galley is signed off, then it goes to print.

What MANY indie publishing houses fail at is the editing. They think ONE round of editing is enough. It is not. As a reader, I won't read novels from certain indie presses because of their horrific lack of editing for their authors. I feel bad for the authors of those houses, but honestly, they should take up the issues of bad editing with their publisher.

When Angel of Death and Changeling were picked up, the owner of DDP at that time had one editor deal with it. I trusted that editor and that person did not do a proper job. In fact, I was lucky, because that same editor mangled another author's book in the extreme. Both that editor and that owner are gone (thank GOD!) so now editing is done by professionals.  I'm also going to say, just because an individual reads a lot of books, does not make that person a publisher OR an editor.

If you are interested in my editing services, please email me at

If you would like to check out my novels (which are now properly edited), please check out the links below.

Amazon -
Barnes and Noble -
Smashwords -

Monday, May 14, 2012

Indy Press Publishing Survival list

My author friend, Violette Malan, posted this and I had to share it.

In this day and age, one MUST be very, very careful which small/indy publishing house you sign to. With new technology making it easier for self publishing, so too does it make it easier for would-be publishers with no real experience to start up publishing houses. Many of these people have never taken a course on how to publish, or even how to edit. Many of these people are self published individuals who have decided to take it upon themselves to do 'it' for others.

Some warning signs one MUST be aware of when looking at small/indy publishing houses is:

1) How they present themselves. I'm not saying their websites have to look like any of the 6 Sisters and their imprints, but it should look professional in accordance to their branding. This also means spelling and grammar errors.

2) How they correspond to potential authors and readers. If the publisher can't compose an email with proper grammar and spelling, then how can you be sure your novel/short story will be properly edited?

3) Ask FIRST about the editing process if offered a contract. If they have a professional editor, with credentials, editing your book, then that's a good sign. There are different stages of editing and one round is never enough. I know one author, who had to go back to substantive edits with his Large house publisher TEN times for rewrites.

4) That they aren't signing authors left, right and centre, and putting those books out in a matter of 6 months or less. There are reasons why it takes a year to 18 months (on average) to get a book out, unless you're going with Harlequin. If they are delivering quantity over quality for the number of staff, you know it'll be a poor product.

5) BEFORE you submit to a small/indy house, read something they've already put out. If you find substantive errors in the book, that's a BIG red flag, even if they say the book has been edited numerous times. If you find tense shifts, again, they should not be there at all. If you find consistent and numerous grammar and spelling errors, there's another red flag.

I hope this helped.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Interview with The Angel of Death

About a month ago I set up a question for my fans as to which character from my award winning series, The Chosen Chronicles, they would like to see interviewed. It didn’t take long to see that the Angel was the one most everyone wanted.

I then opened the floor to my fans so that they could ask the interview questions. Out of those posted on my Facebook Fan Page, and here on my blog, 20 questions were picked. Out of those who posted questions, one lucky person will win a Chibi Chosen of the Angel The name of the winner will be revealed at the end of the interview.

So here we go!

For many of you, The Chosen Chronicles, featuring the main character of The Angel, has given you many answers and many questions about the Angel and the story as a whole. Today, I’m interviewing the Angel.

1 - Okay, we were all there when you and Tarian met and fell for each other, and we were around while the Good Father took you away, so I guess I’m curious to know: When, why, and how long were you back in that area? Were there any living relatives or villagers who knew or recognized you, as Gwyn or the Angel, while you fell in love with Tarian’s granddaughter? If so, how did that all go down? – Ressa Empbra Author

The Angel:  I did not realize what my feelings were with Tarian until I was told that Notus and I were leaving. It is hard to let go of the people you care about, but I am grateful for the first lesson. Notus and I never returned to that village. When we returned to that region, the village was no more. We never return to a place while there are those who could remember us still there. Questions about our longevity would be detrimental to our existence.

As to Tarian’s granddaughter, that is a very hard question to answer. We met elsewhere than Geraint’s village, in different circumstances. I don’t think either one of us expected to fall in love with each other as she was promised to another man for political reasons. Needless to say, to the victor goes the spoils and history is that which is written by those who are victorious. It is true with her and our brief time together. One only needs to look in mythology to see who she was and what happened, though my perspective of what occurred is very different to what historians wrote down.

2 - If you were given the choice of being chosen would you have said yes? – Stephanie Buzzell

The Angel:  Yes. Most definitely. Being Chosen opened up my life and illuminated the night so that I could live again.

3 - When you think of yourself, what name do you think of? – Shannon Neprily

The Angel: Jeanie asked me something similar the first night we were truly together. As to what name I think myself to be...I don’t. I am who I am. If people need to apply names to me, then they do. I have been called so many things and so many names, that after all these centuries they are all me and I am all them, good and bad.

4 - If you could go back and change one thing about your past, what would it be? – Danielle Williams

The Angel: There are so many things one can regret over such an extensive lifetime. I’m not immune to such things, but for me, I would have forced Jeanie to stay at Bridget’s while Fernando, Bridget and I confronted Katherine. Had I known what would have befallen her—and I should have known better—I would have tied her up so that she would not have come. Because of that, I am solely to blame as to what happened to Jeanie. It is a regret I will never be free from.

5. - If you had one single wish, what would you wish for? Rebeeyah E. Miguel Iglesias

The Angel: To have tied Jeanie to that bed that night so long ago. Had I done so, my life would have been happier because we would be together.

6 - Do you think you are blessed or cursed and why? Rebeeyah E. Miguel Iglesias

The Angel: I believe that everyone goes through times where they believe they are living a blessed or cursed life. Being Chosen has definitely been a blessing, but how that has changed me to become the Angel of Death is something I consider a curse. I do not enjoy taking the lives of others. I do it because it is sometimes a necessity, and at other times it is a requirement. Relieving your friends of their lives is extraordinarily difficult, but being able to save someone from being harmed balances it out. We all have a role to play in this world, mine is that of the Angel.

7 - Angel of Death, do you try to remain neutral in the fight between good and evil? Lenore Wolfe

The Angel: I’m going to tell you a bit of truth. You may not like it. You may revile me because of it. There is no ‘good’ or ‘evil.’ It is all a matter of perspective. What one person calls evil, another calls good, and visa versa. I am not here to judge. I have been in the employ of what some may call an evil person, while to him and his followers, he was great. It is what history writes of those deeds and persons, and we all know that history is written by the victors.

I do not try and take sides, but Notus is always there to guide and be a sounding board so that I do not lose my perspective on what I believe to be right and wrong.

When we were in Palestine, with Richard the Lion Heart, I did things that, to many, were horrific, but to my employer, they were grand. Even Notus was drawn into the righteousness of the cause. It was only after I was wounded that perspective returned to him, but was it because of what happened to me, or was it that he regained a new perspective on the war? You would have to ask him.

8 - What do you like about the night? Rebeeyah E. Miguel Iglesias

The Angel: Everything. It is quiet, even in this day and age in comparison to a city’s daytime bustle. It contains beauty that most mortals fail to see and it holds mysteries that hide in shadows. There is life in the dark. More than most could ever imagine.

If you’ve ever been to a jungle, you notice the sounds, but at night, the place truly comes alive.

9 - What is your religious belief? Rebeeyah E. Miguel Iglesias

The Angel: The woman who raised me taught me one way of living in harmony with the earth and things of the spirit. Notus tried to convince me to follow his religion. I have met individuals of every religion on this planet. One thing that I know is that none of them are more correct than the other. Each is a path leading to the same place, if one is true to their path. I am not a religious person, but I understand and respect things of the spirit.

10 - How do you choose your next victim? Linda Rendell-Hayes

The Angel:  I do not kill if it is not required. Those that I feed from are ones who are down on their luck, street people if you will. Prostitutes, mostly, depending on the circumstances and where I am. If I come upon a criminal in the middle of the act, I will feed off of him. In the times of the Black Death, I did not need to feed on such persons. Too many cried out for a painless death. Notus and I gave it to them. I will only kill if it is absolutely necessary.

11 - What is one word that describes you and why? : ] Minahil Jaay

The Angel: Enigma, because to those around me, close and afar, question what I am, even though I have been accepted as Chosen. Also, because I still question who I am, even after all these centuries.

12 - If you could go back and finish living your life alone in your cave after everything you've been through, would you do it? Shannon Neprily

The Angel: No, I would not. I realized that, despite everything I’ve been through, there are good people in the world who do not judge me by my appearance alone, but by my character as an individual. Notus was always one of those, and it is for him and friends like him that keeps me out of that cave, even though there are many times I wish I could still retreat to it.

13 - If you had the power to change/redo one significant moment ... which would it be and why? Moira Hawthorne Copeland

The Angel: I’ve answered a similar question earlier in this interview, but this question is slightly different. For that, I’ll answer this. That one particular moment would be when I was a child in that grove. Instead of staying to watch Eira, her sister and cousins, I would immediately leave. I believe I possibly would be a different person today if I had left. Regardless, I don’t regret what happened that day because I am who I am now because of it and many other experiences.

14 - What would you idea vacation spot be? And why? Stephanie Buzzell

The Angel: I’ve been around the world many times and seen many things. I have my favourites, home being one, but a place to get away from everything would be somewhere north and in the wilderness. In this modern age there is less and less untouched nature, and it is that which I miss and enjoy when I am out in it.

15 - Are you and Fernando Friends? or just someone you get along when needed be? Sarah Kalaitzidis

The Angel: At first it was a relationship of convenience in our mutual effort to find out who was poisoning the Chosen’s food supply and get back what Katherine took from us. I did not go in expecting to be partnered, but Fernando was persuasive. I also knew that it was better to work together than separately. There was never any love lost between us. I knew he had an agenda that went beyond the obvious, but in the end he proved himself honourable.

Are we friends? As much as we can be. I think if it weren’t for Bridget, we wouldn’t be. I know that I can trust Fernando now, and that counts for a lot.

16 - Do you have any bad habits? If yes, what are they? Minahil Jaay

The Angel: You would have to ask Notus about that. I’m sure I do. Everybody does. As to what they are, ask Notus.

17. What constitutes an innocent person, to you? And what is unforgivable? – Shannon Neprily

The Angel: A child is innocent. Innocence is relative and dependent upon one’s sense of right and wrong. But in general terms, most people are innocent about many things.

As to what is unforgiveable, someone who knowingly, and with full intent, does something to someone/something to cause irrevocable harm to that person/thing. Notice I didn’t say hurt, and I wish to point out that harm is a matter of perspective as well.

18. If you were able to, would want to have children? Minahil Jaay

The Angel:  I don’t know. I’ve never thought about it. Having children is an incredible responsibility. I don’t know if I could do it.

19. What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of Notus? Rebeeyah E. Miguel Iglesias

The Angel: Notus can appear to be very simple, but he isn’t. He cares—a lot. Because of that, he feels things very deeply. Sometimes too deeply and this causes him grief. He is a very compassionate man who has great difficulty in dealing the hurts that this world puts on him, me or others he cares about.

20. What do you love most about Jeanie? Rebeeyah E. Miguel Iglesias

The Angel: Her spirit. She is passionate and will fight for who she cares for. It is this inner fire that draws me to her. She doesn’t back down, even when she should. If there is something she wants, she will fight to get it. I think if it hadn’t been for this we wouldn’t have been together. She instigated our relationship, and I’m happy she did.

If you enjoyed this interview of the Angel, and would like to read more about his life and adventures, please check out my award winning series, The Chosen Chronicles. They are available in both trade paperback and ebook/kindle.

Kindle and epub versions are now only $.99 each and can be found at: and

I look forward to reading your reviews and comments.

Sarah Kalaitzidis is the winner of the Chibi Chosen of the Angel! Congratulations!