Fate of the Rose Book Teaser Playlist

Monday, April 15, 2013

Long time no blog

It's been a long time since I've been on here, and I'm not gonna lie, it's mostly thanks to mom for asking "how do you promote your writing, anyway?"

I simply responded, "I don't know if I do anymore."

I guess when you get so caught up in new projects you forget about the old ones. Well, now it's time to water these plants. I want to tell people about what's going on with next book in the Ruby Darkness Trilogy and talk a little bit about the first book.

I'm almost finished the outline for the second book. Once that is over and done with I'll be plowing through The Lodix like it's lukewarm soup....and I am starving.

I really do have to say that I can't believe some of the ideas that have sprouted into this one, some of those ideas have come from my own sister Brianna Leader *props to her* [the next great Director]
I've changed a lot of methods about my writing style which will make this book a lot easier, and I'm not to proud to say that I have taken most of, if not all, of the readers' advice on things you all thought I should include, exclude, and expand on in the next book. Some things, such as certain relationships and how they pan out, are not so flexible, but for the most part I took your advice, This book will a much better ten times better than the first and I'm excited for July to prove it to you.

And if you haven't read my first book Fate of the Rose, look it up on your phone, tablet, nook, kindle, android, kobo, or any electronic device, and let me, or any other book lover you may be close to, know what you thought.

Best of luck to all the other writers out there like me, living the dream. May this be the first of many stories to come.


Friday, December 21, 2012

First book sold out of the United States

When I logged onto my publishing accounts today, I knew I had to blog as soon as possible. I sold my first copy of Ruby Darkness: Fate of the Rose out of my country today, and guess where it is...the U.K.!!!!

I was so excited to share this blog today that I accidentally deleted my first draft :o

I was thinking, now that RD is officially on the mark to branch out...wouldn't it be cool to have a Promo Team?

If anyone's interested in helping me promote the Ruby Darkness Trilogy, let me know! You'll have an all access pass to RD merchandise and I'll even give you teasers and spoilers for the next RD book, The Lodix (due out in June 2013)

If you're interested in buying Ruby Darkness: Fate of the Rose, get it on your nook, kindle or kobo today for $2.99

I know a lot of people dream and hope to be found by a publisher. I know because I am one of those people :]

I'll end this blog off with a quote

It can easily be concluded that everyone wants to live, and sometimes you need to burn a few bridges to survive. Fate of the Rose by Victoria Leader

First book sale out of the United States

Today, I sold my first copy out Ruby Darkness: Fate of the Rose out of the United States, and guess where it is.....the United Kingdom.

If you're looking to purchase Ruby Darkness today, get it for $2.99 on your nook or kindle or kobo!!!

When I sale my sale statistics this morning, I knew that I had to blog as soon as possible.
My first sale out of my country is a BIG deal. It means that word is traveling. Ruby Darkness is on wheels now and it's going places. Which bring me to my next topic: I'm starting a Ruby Darkness Promo Team and I need recruits.

I'm looking for people to promote the Ruby Darkness Trilogy, and help it take off!

Anyone that wants to promote will get an instant all access pass to merchandise and teasers, as well as the inside scoop on the upcoming books.

Those people will also get the opportunity to vote on one thing that they want to see happen in the next book: The Lodix!!

And remember:

"It can easily be concluded that everyone wants to live, and sometimes you need to burn a few bridges to survive." Ruby James (Fate of the Rose)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The hard knocks of casting for book trailers

So, the Fate of the Rose book trailer is underway, meaning the Producer, Director, and I(Writer of both the book and the script) have been working dilegently on the 7 steps of creation for this feature film that will be coming to a youtube channel near you.

The hardest part of creating a book trailer is knowing that most people don't approve... It's true a lot of people out there don't approve of book trailers. They say that they're a waste of time, too cheesy, and that the actors don't posses any of the characteristics that they pictured in the book...which in turn will allow my book Ruby Darkness: Fate of the Rose to not thrive, but plummet.

What is there to making a book trailer? You might say, all you need is a character and a handful of willing kids to play the parts, and that's where you're wrong. There are 7 steps in creating a book trailer.

1. CONCEPT--When Author meets Producer meets Director, AKA the glue to any successful book trailer. They have a sitdown and discuss the pros and cons of what's ahead, what they thought of the book, and what chapters and characters will stand out the most. All of that information goes into what I would like to call a Skeleton Strategy Playbook *Outline for the strategy.

2. STRATEGY--Get your Skeleton Strategy Playbook and smooth out any rough edges. Organize dates, deadlines, and a list of character requirements as well as an audition schedule (If you don't already have characters in mind) Designate a time and a place to meet for as many days and as much time as you'll need to create a solid outline for your book trailer. You'll also select a crew to help assist behind the scenes. This is where you ask yourself: How are we going to execute this? What and who do we need to do it? What locations will we have to secure? Are there any seasonal limitations (dark skies, snow, excessive heat) 

3. SCRIPT--Create a script based off of the scenes from the book that you discussed during step 1. It's easier to storyboard before you begin this step. Never Ever alter the lines from your story to make the book trailer better. You're trying to sell the book...It's not a movie yet! You may also want to create a seperate script specifically for your auditions (that script might also include character traits and requirments, both physical and mental)

4. AUDITIONS--You can hold open auditions, keep it quiet and recruit friends or family, or a mixture of both. When the actors respond to your posts you should get two headshots: One of the front and one from the side to help you refer back to that actor when it comes time to decide. It's also important that you let the actors know if there are physical requirements, such as hair color, eye color, height, gender, or anything else. When you're done with all the auditions you can begin casting.

5. REHERSAL-- The producer, director, writer, actors, and crew have a sit down and run through the script as many times as it takes to perfect it. Make sure the actors are serious and willing to put in the time before you make it to the stage.

5. START FILMING--When you get all the actors to whatever location you've chosen to shoot your book trailer, the writer and the director both assist the actors in bringing the characters to life. When you're done filming all the footage you need to get yourself through edits and into a 2-3 minute trailer you're almost done.

6. EDITS-- Here's the home stretch where you go through that hour or so of footage and pull all the good clips to the front and organize them, and possibly even sync with music and/or words. When that's over you're there. Don't forget to give props to your cast and crew through end credits. It's a must!

7. RELASE--get your top of the line book trailer out through any and every viral outlet necessary!

Imagine being on step 2. Strategy with miles to go before you sleep....we can't begin filming until Spring.

Look out for the Ruby Darkness: Fate of the Rose book trailer Coming Soon. But for now, watch my teaser on my page!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Ruby Darkness: Fate of the Rose----Chapter 2

Two: Salvation

In the distance, headlights trailed down the thin road, sailing in like twin angels through the desert sent to rescue me. I prayed that they’d stop. Pushing myself to the limit, I forced myself to my feet, my dried wounds twisting with every abrupt movement. The thought of a rescue numbed all other feelings but exaggerated the fear of abandonment, left to wander the desert until driven mad by thirst or starvation.

The car slowed as it approached, its headlights beaming brightly, blinding me as I hurried to meet the driver half way, praying they’d come to offer me salvation. The car finally stopped—a black Mustang.

“You look lost,” a sarcastic boy with piercing green eyes and jet black hair said in a startlingly sharp voice. The boy rested his arm outside the car, his striking eyes squinting as his thumb firmly tapped against the body.  “The desert’s no place for someone like you this late at night. Are you hurt?”

He eyed my cuts as if he’d encountered this often. For him it seemed a bloody girl wandering the desert aimlessly was as common as road kill on the freeway.

“Someone like me,” I laughed, deciding whether to be offended. “Look, I don’t mean to be impolite, but I’d really like to get out of here. That’s if you’re offering…”

“I wouldn’t have stopped if I wasn’t,” he said, watching as I took the passenger seat. “Originally I was just gonna check you out as I drove by, but then I saw the blood. And I didn’t want that on my conscience.”

 “You’re probably not such a bad guy.” I tried to sound convincing, scanning for firsthand reasons not to believe so myself.

 “Said the girl to the complete stranger,” he replied, raising an eyebrow with a menacing smile. “What about you?”

“What about me?” I was surprised at how defensive my voice had become.

“Oh come on, it’s the classic horror story—beautiful woman covered in blood, wandering on the side of a desolate road waiting for the next doomed traveler— I didn’t see a car.” The sarcasm in his voice seemed to absorb the humor from the joke. “How’d you manage to get all the way out here alone?”

“It’s a long story.” I shrugged the conversation off, afraid to admit that I didn’t really know the answer myself.

Looking over at the boy, I couldn’t help but feel as if I’d encountered him before in a dream, which made me feel like I were talking to a deeper part of myself. Still, all I wanted more than anything was a private moment to reflect on what I was missing. I wanted to uncover all those blurred images and facts about my life that I couldn’t seem to zero in on. The amount of blood I’d lost and the confusion could surely be linked back to some concussion. Perhaps I’d gotten in some kind of accident that knocked me out through my journey to the desert. Maybe someone was trying to hide me.

“All we have is time.” He looked over to me, his green eyes lit.

I exhaled for the first time since the impact, with the thought of the desert becoming a traumatic past experience that I would soon overcome. I wanted a reverent moment to respectfully burn any reminders of this day, and to release those ashes into the desert where they could remain as far away from me as possible. I was on my way out. Finally free to return to my life, and maybe even a hospital, but what would my parents think of my absence? Their faces were so blurred. Our history was so vague to me that I was unable to predict their slightest reaction.

“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you, or worse— you would and you’d think I was crazy,” I finally said, after mild consideration.

I sunk into the leather seat, trying to think of where I’d begin if I were to tell the story. Maybe I could make one up—abducted by aliens and released into the desert, a kidnapping gone wrong, maybe I just felt like taking a walk. What business did he have in mine?

“Stranger things have happened. Try me, err…” He looked over again, in search of something. “I never got your name.”

“That’s because I never gave it.” I weighed the pros and cons of getting personal, debating on whether he’d need a name for future encounters. The odds were not in his favor.

“Hey, fine. We can keep it confidential.” He surrendered through his smile, begging for a clean slate. “So, about that long story…”

“It’s not really long, just confusing—I mean all over the place. I don’t even know how I would begin it.” I closed my eyes searching for the missing events, standing on the thin line of where I last remember and first forget. I felt the pressure building in my mind as I forced it into overdrive, refusing to back out from my endeavors. I needed something—one small clip—the missing piece that would push me in the right direction. And then it hit me.

“What’s the last thing—?”

I cut him off just as the image came into view, regretting having disturbed my recollection.

“Headlights,” I shouted, throwing my eyes open, shaken by some visual phenomenon. I looked down to find my hands trembling. “Headlights moving so fast and then darkness, then pain, and that’s when I woke up in the desert.”

Headlights,” he repeated so softly it seemed he was speaking to himself. “Maybe you were hit by a car?” he proposed, his voice sounded as if he were slowly losing interest in the matter.

“Forget it,” I shrugged. “Forget it. It doesn’t matter.”

I tried to shrug off the conversation but in my mind, the vision of headlights beaming then fading out continued playing through every blink. My savior’s silence along with my newfound clue only made me crave the art of normal conversation.

“Where are we?” I asked, pressing my hand to my worst cut with hopes of relieving the pain, but my efforts were unsuccessful. The cut on my elbow was still stinging in pain.

“We are in…” he paused for a moment, as if he’d too forgotten. “Arizona. Oro Valley, Arizona.”

“I’m from Arizona,” I said, feeling the small grains of my existence beginning to merge in my mind once more. “I’m not from Oro Valley though…I live in Phoenix,” I continued aloud, mainly to inform myself. “Three Fifty-One Fox Chase Street…Phoenix, Arizona…to be exact.”

“Good to know,” the boy said mechanically, keeping his eyes on the road ahead. He sighed before saying. “A long way to go before Phoenix—a hundred miles at the very least—you could sleep if you want.”

“I can’t. There must be a police station around here. I’ll need to speak to someone about this,” I said, examining the cut I’d been covering, which only made it burn more than before.

“Yeah, I don’t think so,” he said, still looking straight.

“Well, you don’t have to think, just drive. And right now, I think you should get me to a police station. You can drop me off there if you want. I’ll just—”

“Listen girl, I agreed to take you home! Now, you’re free to do whatever you want when you get there—contact the police, National Guard, missing persons, Ghost Busters—I really don’t care. But the only stop I’ll be making is your house. If you don’t like that, feel free to jump out at any time. I’m sure the next desert traveler will be more than willing to take you anywhere your little heart desires—should only be a day or two before the next person finds you. Or, you can sit there, in my brand new leather seats, which are now covered in blood—thank you—and you can stop asking questions...actually, maybe you just shouldn’t say anything else at all. Just enjoy the scenery. It’s up to you.” He finally looked over with a smile on his face that practically screamed I’m a psychopath. “Feel free to take your time to decide.”

I was speechless, looking at him as if he were the most ignorant person that I’d ever encountered—but for now he was, seeing as he was the only person I knew at the moment. His eyes were back on the road. His face wore the same volatile grin. I found it unusual for him to be so against helping a person that had obviously been through a traumatic experience find answers.

“Okay…sorry. No police station,” I said, sliding a bit toward the door finally grasping the idea that I’d bummed a ride from a complete stranger. “So, is there some kind of a warrant out for your arrest, or something? Or are you just always this on edge?”

“It’s too far out of the way,” he said evasively, attempting to shrug me off.

“Okay, well then can you at least get me to a hospital? I’m pretty banged up,” I asked, waiting for his next rampage.

 He sighed, gripping the steering wheel tightly in his hands, “I’m sorry about my temper—anger management issues. The truth is I’m kind of in a hurry to get back to Phoenix myself. I promise, when I get you back to Three Fifty-One Fox Chase Street I’ll take care of all of your injuries. Trust me. I’m good for it.”

“It’s just that I’m in a lot of pain right now,” I said, rolling down the window, letting the cool air rush over my skin.

“You’ll live,” he said under his breath, quickly assessing my cuts before returning his eyes back to the road.

 You’ll live?” I scoffed, watching as his remark left him perfectly content. “Tell me, has a woman ever slapped you in the face?”

“It’s happened before. I’m not gonna lie.” He tried not to smile through his fading frustration. “Women just don’t get my approach.”

“Well, maybe if you didn’t approach them as if they were a pile of dirt, they might try to understand your approach.”

“Where is this going? Cause it sounds like you’re giving away all your secrets.” He smiled to himself.

“My secrets,” I laughed at his nerve. “Please, if you think I’ve taken any interest in you… you’re out of your mind. I’d never let a guy talk to me the way you just did a minute ago.”

“Tell me; what was wrong with it? Because, for a girl that would never let a guy get away with talking to her like that I don’t feel much, disciplined.” His forehead wrinkled a little as his hand stroked his chin. “To be honest, I think I’m quite the charmer.”

“Okay, you know what? Just get me home in one piece.” I leaned my head against the window frame with my eyes closed. I felt the wind rushing past my face, almost succumbing to the most inviting sleep before the headlights shocked me back into reality.

“I’ll try, but I’m not making any promises,” he laughed, slowly stepping out of that evasive zone.

 “So what’s your name?” I asked, moving my head to the headrest, trying to compose myself.

“Why the sudden interest in me?” His green eyes flickered over to me for a second, digesting my change in mood. “I thought we were keeping it confidential.”

“Yeah, I know. I’m still a little shaken from this whole desert nightmare. I guess my head’s not on straight.”

“We still haven’t gotten to that long story, you know?” he prodded.

“Yeah, anything but that,” I pleaded, feeling worn at the thought of having to go back to that mental space where it felt like my mind were about to burst.

“What do you do for a living?” I asked, wondering where I inherited my small talk from.

He laughed deeply, managing to still keep control of the car, before straightening up. “For a living,” he said the words drunkenly. “I happen to be a member of a special Council.”

“What kind of Council?”

He paused, debating before answering. “A special Council. I don’t think you’re familiar with them. I’ll tell you about them another time. Now you—what do you do for a living? Besides wander the desert alone at night,” he joked, smiling to himself again.

“I—” I began, as if I knew exactly what I was about to say but when it came down to it, whether I was a coal miner or a mechanical engineer, I had not the slightest clue. But I couldn’t let him know that. How can you tell a complete stranger that every piece of your life—every word from your slate—has been wiped clean? He’d most likely drop me off right there and tell me to have a nice life.

But what if I truly was abducted by aliens? What if a kidnapping had gone wrong? What if the kidnapper—the culprit of whatever scheme had gone down—had been the person that rescued me from the desert. What if my answer from the stars hadn’t come yet because I was never meant to accept this ride? When you think about it; why was he passing by this late at night? Where could he have been going alone? Whatever I did, I couldn’t admit that I was a brainwashed lunatic. I had to give him something.

“I volunteer,” I finally said, wondering if he’d caught on to my improvising. It probably wasn’t right to lie to the person that saved me, but what else was there to do? Lie down and admit that I was clueless? That’s one way to get taken advantage of.

“Where?” he asked smoothly—a question that I hadn’t even predicted.

Why couldn’t he just leave my description at that? No, he needed details; he wanted my life story. I just prayed that he wouldn’t be around to follow up on it. I looked around feeling altogether brainless, in search of something I could use as a crutch. Where did I volunteer? My eyes drew toward the full moon. I knew what I would say.

“At a space camp…” It sounded so much better in my mind. “For kids—they don’t actually go into space though. We just let them experience the magic of the preparation and even a virtual journey to the moon…interviews with real astronauts, that sort of thing.” Maybe I hadn’t completely screwed myself over with my choice in volunteer work. A space camp for kids seemed like an honorable way to begin one’s job experience.

The mysterious driver looked as if he were about to burst into laughter. I prayed that he hadn’t called my bluff. I prayed even harder that my decrepit memory hadn’t blinded me from a fatal reality where the driver had been a person from my actual life, someone that knew me perfectly well already but was testing my memory. Maybe he thought there was something off about me today. I sunk deep down into the leather seat feeling more foolish with each second of silence.

“That’s amazing. You volunteer at a space camp for kids. What’s it called? I always wanted to go on a virtual space adventure,” he smiled a smile that seemed so sarcastic I couldn’t even bear to look him in the eyes.

I needed to save myself. I could feel my cheeks blushing, my heart beating faster, pulsing heavy beats throughout my body and finally causing my cuts to throb in pain. An injury might veer his mind away from all his questions.

“Ouch!” I grabbed my scraped elbow, cupping it tightly in my hands, an injury that I didn’t have to fake.

“What’s wrong?” he asked looking over. The concerned look on his face assured me that the other conversation was over with. “Are you in pain?”

“Yes, it’s nothing severe though. My cuts are just bleeding again.”

It was the truth. I bent my arm so far that my scab reopened—an act of pure desperation.  It worked though. He was fully engaged with his new concerns, which was strange considering he’d been so unsympathetic when I’d told him about the pain I’d felt earlier. Not that he was bending over backwards to help me this time. He started to pull over; asking if he should check the cuts to make sure they weren’t infected, but I just told him I’d live.

The extent of his concern lit something new inside of me, or something forgotten. I suddenly felt like someone was looking out for me other than myself. I was no longer alone. I felt like a teenage girl with her first crush all over again.  His name was Roderick O’Doyle.  I’ve never fully gotten over him.  He’d been my next door neighbor my entire life, although we never spoke until we were both in our early teens. I was always timid around boys until I hit sixteen, which was when I realized they were people too.

Anyway, he spoke to me first, and from that moment on I realized he was the only guy I’d ever love. We kissed once in the woods behind his house the day he told me he was going away to boarding school in California. I only cried for five weeks. But till this day I’m still not over him.

I realized then that I remembered something. This new stranger had triggered that memory for me. Something about him surfaced old love. He reminded me so much of Roderick; the way his jet black hair formed in thick waves on his head. Roderick had gray eyes, but the two shared that endless mystery that stared back at me. They were both so stubborn and confident, but sometimes if you looked hard enough, you’d catch that small glimpse of them in the sudden realization that they were abandoned.
Roderick’s father died when he was only seven. I wonder what this boy had lost.
Check out the rest of Ruby Darkness: Fate of the Rose by Victoria Leader at: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/251572

Ruby Darkness: Fate of the Rose Chapter 1

One: Impact

The silence was so empty, but the deafening ringing in my ears sounded throughout my absent mind like white noise, or the distinct echo of a shrill scream. My vision was blurred as my eyes rolled open from the warm concrete ground. The cool wind against my hot skin was the only thing that alleviated the constant tease of nausea; a sensation brought on by my implied plummet to the ground. My body ached in places I couldn’t describe. I could almost feel the pressure of whatever impact struck me down, breaking my body once more as I painfully forced my way onto my feet. But the worst pain of all was the stinging bloody scrapes on my elbow and knees.

My brown eyes squinted through the thick sunlight, cursing the pavement as the scenery came into view. A street sign read Solly Avenue—a straight stretch of blacktop through desert lands that seemed never-ending. The tall dead grass swayed through the unmercifully dull winds that swept across the barren lands. The only sound to be heard besides my own faint heartbeat, was the tinkling of honey sand spraying through the grass mixed with the rattle of desert creatures. I stumbled up as quickly as I could and headed straight—as if I had any other choice.

The journey through the scorching desert seemed to last for days. My dark hair matted thickly to my forehead dripping sweat. My clothes clung to my body soaking wet and sticky, stinging the cuts that colored most of my joints. What could have happened that left me cut up and stranded in the middle of nowhere? What if this was my own fault?   Someone had to know I was out here. And when they were able, they would come for me.

I grew immeasurably hopeless as the firing sun poured down hotter and hotter, melting through layers of my sun-kissed skin. I tried to remember the last face that I’d seen just before the darkness but it was no use; the people from my life were all blurred entities. I saw them as if through a long tunnel, their images corroded as the tunnel started to crumble with my weakened mind. Inconsequential memories slowly surfaced but the important recollections dissipated before they could even be acknowledged.

I was forgotten.

My past burned to blackened ashes spilling through my clenched fists. I spent the next incalculable amount of time trying to put myself back together. I salvaged the useful remembrances that I could manage, announcing them aloud to the desert as I continued: My name is Ruby Evelyn James. I’m eighteen years old. My hair is long and black. My eyes are brown. I live in Phoenix, Arizona. And I am currently lost and alone in a desert.

The tip of the burning red sun kissed the sky in the distance as it slowly sank like molasses into another time, its light pooling ahead, a deep, thick red that saturated the dark majestic hues of the night.

Exhausted, wounded, but not entirely discouraged, I dropped to the ground, stretching my arms and legs out around me as the sun finally sank behind the rugged mountains in the distance. Accepting the fate that came with my extinguished energies, I folded my arms behind my head and looked up to the night sky flooded with scintillating stars for some shred of hope, or an answer, or sign to point me in the right direction. But the universe hides her secrets deeper within, collecting unfathomable truths.

Where am I? How did I get here? When will someone find me? I scream these questions out over and over to the stars, waiting for some answer to miraculously appear. Please let this be a dream!! Please let me wake up in my own bed, tangled in my blankets, in my own home…wherever home may be.

Time seemed to go slow, even though it was already night time.  Scanning the skies, I felt my eyes getting weaker, my eyelids fluttered to stay open. The weight of the day and the moon’s liberation only encouraged sleep, the sleep that was sure to lead me back into my life. The twinkling stars watched over me as my eyes grew heavier.  I found a cool place along the shoulder of the street to lie down, allowing myself some temporary relief.  Suddenly, a different light twinkled from somewhere in the desert.
Look out for chapter 2 coming tomorrow!!!!