2013 Year In Review

Oh my goodness how time flies. I say this at the end of every year when I sit down to write up a blog post on the past year’s accomplishments. Which kind of feels like bragging and makes me uncomfortable, but I also think it’s good to keep track of what’s happened in my life, to remember the ups more than the downs and provide hope for the coming year.

I started 2013 with a list of goals…none of which I really remember at this point. I made some “business” goals in terms of book sales for the year because I’d been watching other authors do so back in January. I pretty much abandoned them, however, when they didn’t get much traction. I went through a period of serious soul-searching regarding my writing/publishing career and finally came to terms with what I want and need, and not what I’m “supposed to do.” It’s still a struggle sometimes navigating social media, branding, and marketing, but I’m doing the best I can. Most of all, I continue to write because I love stories and have many to tell.

Dreamstealer-AngelaWallace-600x900dream assassin 1000x1600Speaking of stories, I wrote and published way more this past year than I thought I was capable of. Part of that probably had to do with a season of the best health I’ve seen since I was…well, 14 and first got an insulin pump.

Dreamstealer, the second book in the Dreamwalker saga, came out in April, and I’d already started writing book three, which turned into books three and four. In between those I wrote a novella for one of the secondary characters: Dirk. Dream Assassin came out in June, Dreamsnatcher in November, and Dreamweaver just three weeks ago. WOW. I spent all of 2013 in the Dreamwalker world and it was a beautiful, heartwarming journey. I will miss it.

Dreamsnatcher-AngelaWallace-500x750Dreamweaver-AngelaWallace-500x750

AW-SSleuth-432x648This past summer I also tried my hand at my very first Vote Your Adventure type story, and you guys helped me write a short tale featuring Paige from the Elemental Magic world. That stretched my writing–and pantsing–abilities to new heights.

ET cover with awardIn other news, I passed the national certification exam for sign language interpreting, and Earth Tones won the 2013 Best Indie Book Award for Fantasy. You could’ve knocked me over with a feather on both. I am so grateful for all the people who helped me achieve these things, from friends who helped me study for the exam and gave me pep talks when I was doubting myself, to those who critiqued and read Earth Tones.

I can’t claim sole credit for any of my accomplishments, for I wouldn’t be here without the support and guidance of dear friends and the Lord’s hand. These are the things I need to hold onto moving forward into 2014, for while 2013 held an abundance of blessings, that season of great health in the spring didn’t last past summer and this fall has been a struggle. But that’s part of the purpose behind this post: I did all this once; I can do it again.

So what’s ahead for 2014? Well, I’ve already made good progress writing Elemental Magic 4 with a tentative publication date in Spring. Now that the Dreamwalker series is complete, I can hopefully get out a few more Elemental Magic books before I start a new fantasy series that’s been simmering on the back burner. :-D

AND, speaking of the Elemental Magic series, I also spent the past few months rebranding the series’ image. That was a little exhausting, but I’m so thrilled with how the new covers turned out and the cohesiveness they now have. Don’t they look great? Covers by Shelley at Spittyfish Designs.

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So how did you all do this past year, and what are your big plans for 2014?

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Heroines of Fantasy: Miss December

It is time for our last Heroine feature! Wow, a whole year gone by. Don’t worry, I plan on continuing the monthly series in 2014 with a different fantasy focus. But for our finale, I’m bringing you my all-time favorite heroine (yes, with a little shameless self promotion). Since the series is coming to an end, I’m giving Lexa a grand farewell. I will miss writing about her.

Dreamsnatcher-AngelaWallace-500x750Lexa from the Dreamwalker Saga

Lexa has lived the life of a soldier, being one of the elite warriors for Artasia. In addition, she has the rare ability to dreamwalk, to enter sleep and transcend from her mind into an otherworldly realm known as the dreamscape. There she fights monsters born of people’s darkest dreams.

Lexa started out being fully devoted to duty and loyalty to her country, believing that was all that mattered in life. Throughout the series, she meets people that challenge her convictions and teach her that there is more to live for, though some find it challenging to get past her gruff exterior. No one can accuse her of being delicate; in fact, her tongue can be almost as sharp as her sword. And when words fail, a good punch to the head always works.

Tough and independent, there is nothing Lexa won’t do to protect those she cares about. Even if it means pushing herself to the breaking point.

Dreamsnatcher

Lexa has spent the past five years training the princess of Teltania in dreamwalking, a mission that’s coming to a close. But raiders hounding Teltania’s coast are leaving victims in comas, and Lexa discovers they’ve been snatched out of their dreams into the dreamscape. What soon becomes a potential plague sends her on a desperate search for answers before she loses everything she cares about.

Dreamsnatcher is now on Amazon and B&N. And watch for the epic conclusion to the series, Dreamweaver, coming this month!

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*DW 3D*Dreamstealer 3D*DA 3D

Get caught up on the series with DreamwalkerDreamstealer, and Dream Assassin.

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NEW RELEASE! ~ Dreamsnatcher

Dreamsnatcher-AngelaWallace-500x750I’m so thrilled to finally announce the release of this book! Dreamsnatcher and its soon to follow second half, Dreamweaver, are very dear to me. From the moment the story idea popped into my head, I had an inexplicable urge to write it, and nothing could distract me from these characters and their world. I hope you enjoy their journey as much as I have.

And now to give you a sneak peek, here’s an excerpt:

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Lexa cleared her throat.

Olivia twisted around and heaved a sigh. “There you are.”

“Were you looking for me?”

“Yes.” The old woman grunted as she stood. “And Captain Duram. Did you two sneak off somewhere?”

Lexa rolled her eyes. “I was with Taryn for her dress fitting.” Of course, no one would think to look for her there.

“And your ship captain?”

“He was going down to the Navarro to pick up some things. Don’t worry, we both drank the tonic you made.”

The healer grumbled under her breath. “That tonic won’t ward against poison.”

Lexa stiffened. “Excuse me?”

Olivia crossed her arms. “Three men slipped into comas last night. They each suffered blade wounds in the raider attack. None of the injuries were serious enough to cause a coma naturally—one didn’t even require stitches—so I’m left with the conclusion of poison.”

Alarm tightened Lexa’s chest, and she swept her gaze over the unconscious patients. Who was it? Her frantic eyes latched onto the three men who appeared to be sleeping peacefully, so calm in fact, that were it not for the breath rising in their chests, they would look dead.

She shook her head. “That’s too slow to be poison though, isn’t it? Wouldn’t they have fallen into comas sooner?”

“There are poisons that work slowly.” Olivia ground her teeth together. “And in the rush of triage yesterday, symptoms might have been overlooked.”

Lexa noted the firm crease in the woman’s brow. “That wouldn’t have been your fault.”

Olivia huffed. “Well, now I know about it and am doing my best to determine what poison may have been used and find an antidote.”

Lexa’s brow furrowed. Poison was new. At least, she hadn’t read about any cases in the previous attacks. Why did the raiders want to poison some of their victims? Only three were in comas, but many more had suffered battle wounds, so did not all raiders coat their blades? If they’d wanted an advantage in battle, they would’ve chosen a fast-acting poison, something to incapacitate their victims immediately. A slower toxin suggested the raiders wanted to inflict lasting harm, that they took pleasure perpetuating fear and death long after they’d gone.

“Anyway,” Olivia continued. “I was looking for Sir Duram earlier because I remember he had a wound on his arm. You patched him up, right? And he was fine this morning?”

Lexa’s spine went rigid. How had Neil gotten that gash? She wracked her brain, but couldn’t remember him telling her. He’d felled two raiders though. Could one of them have delivered a parting blow?

“I have to go.” Lexa pivoted and sprinted out of the room.

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Get your copy of Dreamsnatcher on Amazon and B&N.

Lexa has spent the past five years training the princess of Teltania in dreamwalking, a mission that’s coming to a close. But raiders hounding Teltania’s coast are leaving victims in comas, and Lexa discovers they’ve been snatched out of their dreams into the dreamscape. What soon becomes a potential plague sends her on a desperate search for answers before she loses everything she cares about.

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Book Cover Jail—The Importance of Branding

I have a very exciting cover reveal for you today. Not for a new release, but for an older book that needs a pick-me-up. But first, here’s what led to the cover change.

The concept of “branding” has always been elusive for me. Those of you who’ve stuck with me from the beginning have seen this blog undergo three major transformations in design alone. Then there have been my attempts to find blogging content suited to my brand. It’s hard.

Another area of branding I’ve been sorely inept at is image, particularly for my book covers. Until recently, I bounced around various cover artists (for multiple reasons). For my earlier books, I had no idea what I was doing in terms of branding; my only focus was I needed a cover. Recently I’ve started getting a better understanding on the importance of image recognition, especially in a series. The three main Dreamwalker novels have been done by the same graphic designer (I know you haven’t seen the last cover yet, muaha). Composition style and typeface give those books an immediate visual connection. (Yeah, the two novellas don’t match, but I said I’m still learning.)

Dreamstealer-AngelaWallace-600x900 Dreamsnatcher-AngelaWallace-500x750

We do judge books by their cover. I’ve been guilty of this with even my own books. Though I know the story of Elemental Magic, the poor cover choice lowered my opinion of the book so much that the past few months I wanted to sweep it under the rug as if I never wrote it. Which is sad because new readers are discovering and enjoying the story (despite its lousy image). So what I decided to do was change the cover. And in the spirit of branding, I contacted the artist who did Earth Tones. I have to say, Fantasia Frog Designs has reignited my excitement for this book just with image alone! I’ll need to redo Dry Spell at some point, but one step at a time.

So here is the wickedly awesome new cover!

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Though in the case of these two books, typeface is not identical, each book has similar elements that connect them, such as the placement of the models and secondary creature images. Plus, it’s just plain gorgeous.

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Branding is more important than I’d ever realized before. That isn’t to say I have it down yet, but I’m learning, and that’s all I can do.

Pick up a copy of Elemental Magic at AmazonB&N, and Kobo.

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COVER REVEAL ~ Dreamsnatcher

The time has come! I get so excited every time I get to reveal a new cover. Not to mention it means the release is that much closer. Cover design by the amazing Amber Shah at BookBeautiful.com. Now, without further ado:

Dreamwalker Book Three

Falling asleep has never been so dangerous…

Dreamsnatcher-AngelaWallace-500x750

Lexa has spent the past five years training the princess of Teltania in dreamwalking, but with Taryn’s eighteenth birthday approaching, the girl has increasing royal duties and Lexa is getting ready to retire yet again. This time she’s looking forward to settling down and sailing with Sir Neil Duram—until his ship barely survives a raider attack.

The raiders have been hounding Teltania’s coast and their victims are falling into comas. With Neil’s crew at risk, Lexa sets out to find a cure. But things aren’t what they seem. She discovers that the comatose have been snatched from their dreams and stolen into the dreamscape.

The scattered cases soon become a potential plague, and Lexa has to find the connection between the waking world raiders and the dream snatchers. Is there a third dreamwalker out there, or something much more sinister? Lexa’s desperate search for answers will drive her to the edge in order to save everything she cares about.

COMING NOVEMBER 13 2013

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Sign up for the newsletter so you don’t miss the release! Also, subscribers will be getting an exclusive surprise you don’t want to miss.

Big thanks to those bloggers helping me spread the cover reveal this week. If anyone else wants to sign up their blog to post the release the week of Nov. 13, let me know in the comments (leave a valid email). I have Dreamstealer (Book Two) bookmarks to send to those who participate.

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Heroines of Fantasy: Miss October

Wow, how the year is going by. It’s Fall! For this month’s fantasy feature, I’ve chosen one of my own characters, Nita Young, in honor of Earth Tones being a winner in the 2013 Best Indie Book Awards! I am incredibly honored and blessed by all your support.

ET cover with award Nita Young

Nita is an earth elemental. She lives in Yakutat, Alaska where she works as the town’s veterinarian. Her job is to take care of the animals and land, but she also enjoys helping human patients at the health clinic. She has two Husky dogs, Puck and Lakota, and enjoys pottery in her spare time. She could use her earth wielding to make sculptures, but prefers to use the wheel and tools. As she would say, “otherwise it’s just elemental magic, not art.”

While her powers are primarily used for stewardship, Nita’s got some kick-ass fight moves. Since she can wield any form of earth to her bidding, she can make vines coil and slither like snakes, and pull a wall of dirt into the air as a shield. And she can talk to earth animals. Who doesn’t want a pack of wolves running in as backup?

And Nita needs it too. In Earth Tones she’s faced with a mythological creature summoned up to attack residents of her town. Murder by mauling. Not only that, but throw in a newly-made werewolf and a deadly pathogen, and our heroine’s got her hands full.

Lastly, as a Finalist I got to write up my dream interview for Venture Galleries’s blog. And I chose to be interviewed by Iron Man. Check it out. I had a ball writing it, lol.

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Dreamwalker for #PonyFest13

Fall brings so many things to look forward to—warm sweaters, pumpkin spice coffee, rain. And one of my favorites: PonyFest! Rebecca Enzor hosts an annual contest where authors design a custom My Little Pony based on their novel. If you didn’t already know, I LOVE drawing My Little Pony, and I especially enjoy making up customs to go with books. This year I made a Dreamwalker pony.

Dreamwalker pony

Copyright 2013 Angela Wallace

This pony represents one of the main themes/settings in the Dreamwalker books: the dreamscape. It’s an otherworldly realm that continuously changes shape, blending reality and possibility. There is no sun or moon, just a canopy of blue mist. In the first book, the main character Lexa learns how to transcend the dream world and touch the stars, thus the symbol on this pony. This is the first one I’ve made combining hand-drawn technique with digital enhancement, but I think it turned out neat.

AW-Dreamwalker-432x648 Two dreamwalkers: one a devout soldier, the other a rogue assassin. Last one standing wins.

Be sure to check out Rebecca’s post and visit the other participating blogs! The creativity is so much fun to see. Voting will start October 5th and the winner will receive an actual custom based on their design.

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