Moxie, Minions, Steampunk, Cthulu, and @OutlantaCon 2015 #SciFi

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What is OutlantaCon 2015?

OutlantaCon 2015 is a scifi convention for the gay geek, and contains panels, workshops, gaming, tournaments, and media guests. OutlantaCon began back in 2009. It’s a chance for LGBT geeks and their allies to get away and hang out and talk about the fandoms they love, in an environment where people are free to be who they really are. This is my favorite convention of the year. When it ends, I’m sad to leave. The people here are my friends, and I love seeing them again and making new friends.

She’s Got Moxie

Moxie Magnus is the Chief Cosmetologist on board the starship Enterprise, and always shows up in a classy Starfleet uniform. I nabbed two pictures this time of her in more casual gear, and as the Princess from another fandom. I love this queen and she is one of the people I look forward to seeing at OutlantaCon each year.

OutlantaCon 2015 Media Guest – David Yost

I shook hands with David Yost, who played the Blue Power Ranger in the original series, and thanked him for the positive influence he’d had on my three kids when they were growing up. He said to tell my kids thank you for watching. I said I would, and added that they were all grown up now and had kids of their own. As I walked away, I thought “Oh geez… I probably just made him feel really old.” Wasn’t my intention! He is a funny guy and a polite one as well. It was a privilege to meet him.

Panels Galore

Some of the panels I attended at OutlantaCon were DC Comics on TV (Darren Nowell and Vandy Beth Glenn), Dr Who / Torchwood (Ally Blue, TC Blue, Java Green, and Davey Beauchamp), Does Blogging make me an Author? (Kage Alan), The Whedonverse (Shae Connor), Writing as the Voice of the Opposite Sex (Ally Blue), Outland – an intro to the Australian LGBT comedy (Keith Castelan and Aimee McCarron from NerdFun).

I presented on three panels: Building an Audience Online (with Shae Connor), How to Handle Guests on Your Blog (with Kage Alan), and alone for Giveaways that Save Authors Money. The last one gave details on how to create several things that could be used for giveaways even if you are not a crafting-type person (no fingers were hot glued during the presentation — all work was done on the computer!). For a sample, click THIS LINK. This one is quite elaborate, but it’s for my new book and I spent a lot of time on it. I use these as giveaways for everyone when I do blog tours, and people seem to love them.

OutlantaCon 2015 Minions!

There were parties on Saturday night competing for a cool prize — their hotel room being paid for next year. At the first one, they served Twinkies (you know – the yellow ones you buy in box labeled Hostess?) made to look like Minions. I bit one’s head off and felt terribly guilty for all of 2 seconds. It was delicious. Had a bottle of great beer to wash it down. That party was to celebrate the birthday of con attendee Gerald Blackwell, who happens to edit for my company, The Author’s Secret. At the Princess Party there was pink champagne punch and lots of bows and pretty pink; the Underoos Party had well… gorgeous Underoo-clad gentleman. Jose Q hugged me — it was interesting explaining to my husband why I hugged a guy in his underwear. LOL But I see him every year and it was his party, so it’s all good. Then I went to Kiernan Kelly’s party for the new anthology release. Her husband Bud served as bartender (appropriate, no?) and poured up a shot that tasted like powdered donuts. It was delish! I slept like a freaking rock after all those parties. In fact, I fell over and crashed and totally missed Sock Puppet Theater (Rats!). This is where authors use sock puppets to act out parts of a story while reading a scene from his or her book. I’ve been wanting to go, and every year I promise myself I will. It starts at midnight, and I’m such an early riser that I usually can’t stay awake long enough. This year, I stayed in the hotel and thought for sure I would make it. *sigh* Next year!

The other minions I want to mention are the fabulous moderators who took care of guests and attendees. PR Chairman Lee Cox-Querry organized a crew of people to ensure everyone had facilities and logons, who made sure we got notices of how much time we had left, and that any issues in the rooms were dealt with. They brought us water, made sure the lights were on or off, and that generally — everything went smoothly. I’d love for you to know who they all are. Please visit the Outlantacon Facebook page to see. If I name names, I will forget someone, and I don’t want to do that. They were all kind and helpful. I hope each of them does it again next year.

Dealers, Steampunk, Cthulu, and Costumes

The dealer room was fantastic. I bought a key piece of jewelry to use as a special giveaway for an upcoming book, and a steampunk gun. I hope to work with the gun’s creator to design and build a weapon for the Praetorian Guard from my books. More about that later. Cthulu arrived as a soft, fuzzy, green familiar in the arms of Ally Blue. She let me hold him, and I found him affectionate and sweet. I stayed away from his tentacles, though! I didn’t get pictures of the costumes (except for the Moxie ones and one other), but this year they were amazing. There was an OutlantaCon 2015 Costume Contest and the winner dressed like Steampunk Belle from Beauty and the Beast. There was a rainbow angel, and so many more. Please visit the Outlantacon Facebook page and see pictures other guests took. I was impressed!

Fans and Friends

One of the best parts of any convention is seeing friends and meeting fans. OutlantaCon is small enough to spend quality one-on-one time with people. On Sunday, I sat with two guys who shared with me how to use Tumblr, and I told them about Pinterest. I got to show them my Luc and Rah board with pics of the heroes from Surrender Love and the places they will be going on their honeymoon (Surrender Trust). I had a chance to hang out with Angela and give her a huge poster I had made of the galaxy. I explained how the worlds came to be and why there is such a diversity of names. I explained about having a story for every one of the empires listed. She sat there for a moment and then said, “This is going to be an epic story.” Made my whole day to hear that. Nothing is better than being able to share a story with someone and see the lights come on as they get what you’re trying to do. Want to see a ginormous image of the map? Click here. It’s high resolution, so I wouldn’t suggest trying to view it on a small mobile device. You can find other large images on my Wallpaper page.

I want to offer a special shout out to several people. Lee Martindale for her excellent advice. Lee is a special person in my life and I appreciate her. Kage Alan, Kiernan Kelly, Ally Blue, TC Blue (no relation to Ally), Java Green, Shae Connor, Moxie Magnus, and Keith Bailey. It was great seeing you again. I want to thank the staff of OutlantaCon as well, Edward deGruy, Lee Cox-Querry, and so many more!

Outlantacon 2015 was the best ever. I’ve been going every year since it began, and last year, they presented me (along with Kiernan Kelly who originally told me about it) with an honorary lifetime membership. I love going, and plan to be there every year. I hope you’ll come to OutlantaCon next year, May 13-15, 2016.

How Writers Make the Most of Triberr #blog #RT

Figure Out Triberr

Imagine every time you created a new blog post, 10 friends would each share a link on social media leading to it. Consistently. Without being nagged. Would that make a difference in getting new views on your blog? You know it would! What if I told you that you could have 100 friends who did that? Triberr links you to friends (they’re called tribemates on Triberr) who will do that for you.

Books have been written about Triberr. Google it and you’ll get plenty of hits, but what is it and what does it do? Triberr is spelled with one B and two Rs (not Tribber) and it’s a way for bloggers to share their blog posts with likeminded bloggers, who then approve the posts to go out over Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, StumbleUpon, and Pinterest, all from one place.

Is Triberr Only for Writers?

No. If you have a blog and you are on social media, you can use Triberr. Many businesses are on Triberr, and so are book reviewers, mommybloggers, product reviewers, activists of all kinds, craft-oriented people, hobbyists… in fact, anyone who simply loves to share.

What Triberr is Not

Triberr is not social media. You don’t have to click like buttons, vote, or chat (although you can easily comment). You are on Triberr to gain readers with whom you can engage. You won’t have to find friends or create chains of followers. After you join the site and set up your blog and links, all you have to do is look for a tribe of bloggers who post material similar to yours, and begin sharing their posts while they share yours.

How Long Does Triberr Take?

After the initial set up and preparing of your profile and tribe, this program is the fastest thing online. You log on, share the posts you think your readers will like, and close the window. This takes about 5 minutes a day. You will find new bloggers whose work you like, and reading their posts may take more time, but the approval process within the system is fast and easy. This is not social media, where you have to spend long periods of time. It’s quick. In and out.

Yeah, But Does Triberr work?

It cranked my blog viewers from fifty a month to a thousand times that within a few months. It has remained consistently high. On my book blog Romance Lives Forever, the reach is now two million. If you want a way to get new eyes on your site, Triberr works.

How Do You Use Triberr?

You set up your WordPress blog with a Triberr plugin, or your Blogspot blog with an RSS feed. Follow the instructions on Triberr when you sign up. Once you’re a member, you join a tribe of fellow bloggers, adjust your blog settings to feed into the tribe(s) and begin blogging. I set my shares to release every 20 minutes, but you can make it be manual, once an hour, and many other settings.

Each day, your blog post comes into the Triberr stream, where your tribemates can share it. It then goes out to the social media they use, most often Twitter. Your blog post’s title becomes the text of the tweet, and a shortened URL is added. Your Twitter handle is added at the end of the tweet. They look like these samples from my blog:

Triberr Tweet Samples

Triberr Tweet Samples

All of that is done automatically when your tribemate clicks “share” or hovers over the approve button. One blog post can get you dozens (and upwards of hundreds plus) mentions a day, depending on your tribes.

How to Test Triberr

Be sure you have analytics installed (such as Google Analytics, or Statcounter). Check your stats for a week. Ideally, you have been watching your stats for some time. After you install the Triberr plug in (WordPress) or set up the RSS feed (Blogspot), watch the stats and see the difference.

What Tribes Do I Join?

The tribes you join should have members who write material similar to your own. You don’t want to join an erotic romance tribe if you write kidlit. For best results, follow the others in your tribe on Twitter and/or Facebook, wherever you’re going to be sharing posts. You can create one of your own, and join many more. I’m a member of 35. Since not everyone posts every day, it’s easy to keep up. On a free account, you can approve up to 100 messages per day. To join my Books and Book Reviews Tribe, click the image below.

Books and Book Reviews Tribe

Books and Book Reviews Tribe

What Does Triberr Cost?

Many people use the free version, which allows 30 people per tribe, and two tribes of your own. Prime Lite is $10 per month. It allows you to create up to 7 tribes, with 50 members per tribe, and to connect 4 blogs and 7 social media accounts. There’s a price break ($8.50) if you buy a year’s worth at a time. The top is $35 per month which allows significantly more connections, tribemates, and tribes. Some people use it for years without upgrading past the free version.

Tips for Using Triberr Effectively

Hashtag formatting tips

  • Because your blog titles become tweets once they are imported into Triberr, use hashtags sparingly and target them. Use more real words than hashtags.
  • You can edit your title in Triberr and add hashtags there if you don’t want to use them on your blog.
  • Don’t use punctuation in a hashtag. Once you add punctuation, the hashtag breaks (#scifi works but #sci-fi becomes #sci). Adding an exclamation point, question mark, or other punctuation at the end of a hashtag is ineffective. It’s lost because it becomes normal colored text against the colored text of the hashtag. #SciFi! (see?)
  • Make hashtag memes unique. One that goes around on a regular basis is the #AtoZchallenge. This gets people to write a post every day for 26 days, using the letters of the alphabet. That’s fine — as long as you make the post titles interesting. Please don’t bore people with grade school language (A is for Apple, B is for Baby, C is for Candy). This is not a chance to blog every day. It’s supposed to draw readers to your site. Show them how unique and special you are. Try post titles like these: The Wells of Hell by Graham Masterton #AtoZchallenge #bookreview; Unbridled Passion is her Undoing #AtoZchallenge; Reward Yourself for Productivity #AtoZchallenge.

Other Basics for Titles

  • Don’t write post titles in ALL CAPS. It’s SHOUTING. Which is RUDE.
  • Watch out for “I” messages. Remember that your post will go out over the tweet stream of your tribemates, who may not be excited about posting things that begin with or contain the words “I” or “me”. (I Review Book Title XYZ; I Will Never Do This Again; Watch Me Do an Amazing Trick, Why I Hate SomeSillyThing) Those are your declarations — not your tribemates’. Use neutral language to gain more retweets, or edit your post once it’s on Triberr.
  • Don’t use a meme as your sole title. Add details. “Thursday Throwback” tweeted for 20 tribemates makes it look like you’re spamming everyone. But “Thursday Throwback: The Ins and Outs of 80’s Music” has appeal and is likely to be shared.
  • Avoid ampersands (the & symbol). These break in Twitter, become multiple characters in code form, and will make your tweet less readable. Curly quotes can do the same thing. Check your apostrophes too.
  • Make your titles short, but not too short. How short is too short? Four words is about right for a minimum. Many people refuse to share fewer words because a host of these in your stream can look like spam.
  • How long is too long? Remember that your URL will be counted in the character length in Twitter, but it will be shortened in Triberr. If your current post URL and title together is about 120 characters, it will be a good length to gain retweets on Twitter. Longer than 140 characters means the last part of your post will be cut off and not shared. If that’s the URL, no one will be able to visit your site.
  • Beginning a post with “Day 30 of” anything is going to look as ho-hum as it looked on Days 2-29. Don’t fall into this trap. Be original. Why would anyone care that you do the same thing every day? They don’t. What they care about is anything you do that you make sound interesting. Grab readers with new information and make them curious. Be a good writer. Pull readers in with an exciting title, not one that announces you did the same thing again today.
  • For those who post updates on #NaNoWriMo and other such challenges — please see the above bullet point. You are a writer, so use those writing skills and excite people by sharing info about the awesome book you’re writing, not its statistics. Tell us the challenge you overcame in completing the 2147 words you wrote today, and how it made you feel. Don’t post an article that ony tells us you wrote them.
  • Share the posts of your tribemates. If you don’t share, don’t expect to be shared.
  • You don’t have to share everything. If you write erotic romance, no one expects you to share hashtags with #KidLit or #YA. Vice versa. You can avoid this by checking out tribes ahead of time to see what their members share.
  • Do read the posts of your tribemates and leave comments. You will be surprised how interesting they are, and what good writers you are following.
  • Comment in your tribe’s discussion page, and let tribemates know if you’ll be away for a vacation, and that you’ll share again once you get back. It’s not social media, but it doesn’t mean you can’t be social.

Summarizing Triberr

Triberr is a blogging tool that helps you amplify your reach. It connects you with readers you would not likely reach alone. It provides you with a network of likeminded bloggers who can help you reach your readers. And it’s one of the quickest, easiest sites out there. It’s effective, and it can be fun.

That’s it. Those are the basics for using Triberr. If you have tricks and tips of your own, please share them in the comments. If you have questions about Triberr, feel free to ask. I’ll do my best to answer, or send you to someone who knows.

Go to Triberr now: http://triberr.com (you can register here, and use Twitter to sign in)
Find Kayelle Allen on Triberr: http://triberr.com/kayelleallen
Follow or join the Books and Book Reviewers Tribe http://triberr.com/pages/tribe-overview.php?tid=38868

Come to @OutlantaCon May 8-10

Outlantacon icon

OutlantaCon in Atlanta GA

OutlantaCon

Outlantacon is an Atlanta-based event for the Queer Geek audience! Everyone is welcome, and even straight folks like me find a home there. You’ll find all the usual convention fare here–discussion panels, gaming, costuming, special events, etc. The difference is that it all has a queer ‘bent’ to it. Here you can enjoy all the convention trappings in an atmosphere where you’re free to be yourself! OutlantaCon also offers some pretty unique twists as well, like their own versions of the Match Game (a staple since 2007), Project Cosplay (2010), Nea’s Drag Race (2011), and the wildly popular Sock Puppet Theatre Presents.

Kayelle Allen and Moxie Magnus

Kayelle Allen and Moxie Magnus

OutlantaCon is my favorite con. It’s laid back, friendly, big enough to have plenty to do, but small enough to get a chance to speak to nearly everyone. The performers and other guests can mingle and get know each other as well as meet and talk to the fans. This con is unique. Where else can you pal around with the eight foot Queen of Outer Space, Moxie Magnus? You’d love her handbags!

And there are plenty of authors to hang out with too, including my friend Kiernan Kelly, who first told me about this convention. She and I have been there since the first year. In 2014, we were both awarded with lifetime honorary memberships for supporting them since the beginning. This year there is a full writers’ track, and a host of new authors.

The Con Suite, wherein all manner of snacks are served, has things like a Chocolate Party, and hosts book release parties. This spot is as much fun as the con itself, and is a nice place to get away, sit back, and chat — or run in, grab a bite to eat, and dash out the door to the next event. The hotel has a restaurant and bar, and is located near plenty of places to eat.

OutlantaCon Guest List

Here’s the list with a short blurb about each person.

  • Ally Blue is acknowledged by the world at large (or at least by her heroes, who tend to suffer a lot) as the Popess of Gay Angst
  • Brent D Seth has authored his first novel, a science fiction comedy Short Fuse, now available through Leo Publishing
  • Darren Nowell is the amazing host of the Match Game at OutlantaCon, and cohosts the Legion of Substitute Podcasters
  • David Yost is an American actor most notably known for his role as Billy, the Blue Ranger on the international television series The Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, and is involved with several charitable organizations such as the AIDS Project LAProject Angel Food, and The Trevor Project
  • Don Teems has appeared in over 50 TV and movie projects, including The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, and more
  • Eden Winters has published a dozen novels, many of which have won Rainbow Awards or have gained finalist status in the Lambda Literary Awards
  • Ellie Collins is an actor (The Originals) as well as the author of an urban fantasy fiction series
  • James Crawford writes the Young Adult book series Leech
  • Java is best known for his long running stint as Dr. Frank N Furter with Atlanta’s own Rocky Horror Picture Show, Lips Down On Dixie
  • Kage Alan is the author of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to My Sexual Orientation, Andy Stevenson Vs. the Lord of the Loins, Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, and other books (can you tell he writes humor?)
  • Kayelle Allen authors books about contemporary every day folk, role-playing immortal gamers, futuristic covert agents, and warriors who purr
  • Keith Bailey is an award winning photographer, makeup artist and film maker
  • Kiernan Kelly is the author of 13 books and over 80 short stories varying from paranormal to science fiction fantasy and contemporary romance
  • Lee Martindale has authored short stories which have appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines, including the Snows of Darkover anthology
  • Moxie Magnus is the eight foot tall queen of outer space, and serves as chief cosmetologist on the USS Enterprise. She performs throughout the US with her comedic styling and mad ukulele skills
  • Neon loves to entertain whether it be on the mic as an emcee or on the DJ decks spinning dance music that will get your blood pumping
  • Sarah Avraham resides in Atlanta where she operates her law practice that primarily serves alternative lifestyles
  • Shae Connor lives in Atlanta, where she’s a lackadaisical government worker for a living and writes sweet-hot romance under the cover of night
  • Vicktor “Vic” Alexander wrote his first story at the age of ten and hasn’t stopped writing since.

OutlantaCon 2015

Kayelle's Wall showing OutlantaCon guest badges

Kayelle’s Wall (click to see more)

This year, I decided to stay at the hotel (I’m a local) so I can take part in later events. If you’re coming to the convention, please look me up! You can follow the con on social media. There’s daily activity on Facebook and Twitter. The hotel is listed below. This isn’t the only con I attend, but it is the one I love most (eat your heart out, DragonCon).

The picture at the left shows some of the badges I’ve collected, and other goodies. Click to see a larger picture and more about what’s there.

Sign up for my newsletter on the right and you’ll get info and freebies when I release a new book. My latest is the Tarthian Empire Companion, a non-fiction guidebook about writing Science Fiction and creating a series bible.

Have you ever attended a scifi convention? How about one that’s geared toward the gay geek? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Social Media for Outlantacon

Website http://www.outlantacon.org/
Twitter https://twitter.com/outlantacon
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/outlantacon?ref=br_tf
Location 2015 Marriott Century Center Atlanta http://www.outlantacon.org/#!location/cp0k
Guests http://www.outlantacon.org/#!guests/c8li

A #gem of a #scifi book

A gem — and charming too

Companion Dustplugs for Cellphones

Companion Dustplugs for Cellphones

I got a sweet review: “This gem of a scifi book offers tips for scifi writers, and secrets for fans of Kayelle Allen’s Tarthian Empire series.”

This is more true than you’d think. I’ve partnered with EssenTiles on Etsy to create beautiful gem-like charms of the cover, and my friend Paige created handmade glass beads (also a gem) that match the planets on the cover. She put beads and charms together to create a unique dustplug you can use with your cellphone.

Companion dustplugs in use

Companion dustplugs in use

How do they work? (in the phone image, it’s shown at the bottom. Your phone will have this jack at the top.) Insert the plastic plug into your cellphone’s audio jack and it keeps the dust out. It also makes a pretty gem dangle of bright color. I’ll give away one of these to the first five (US address only, please) who ask. You don’t have to leave personal info here. You can email me your contact info at author@kayelleallen.com and I’ll get back with you. I’ll be giving away the rest at OutlantaCon in Atlanta GA (May 8-10). If you’re coming, please look me up!

Paige created the beads by melting the glass and adding “frit” — fused or partially fused materials used in making glass — to create the markings on the “planets”. This ensures each bead is unique. The charms are quality glass with the image embedded inside.

fused or partially fused materials used in making glassRead more: http://www.answers.com/

I loved creating this unique gem as a giveaway, and hope you’ll enjoy using it!

Places featuring the Tarthian Empire Companion

The Single Librarian
I Heart Reading
Cassidy Crimson’s Blog
Indy Book Fairy
I’m an Eclectic Reader
Editor Charlene’s Blog
100 Pages A Day
Bedazzled Reading
Hollow Readers
Nat’s Book Nook
Bookish Madness
KickAss Blogger Chicks
DJs Book Corner
Masquerade Crew
Elodie Parkes
A Romance Writer’s Blog

About the Tarthian Empire Companion

For the science fiction writer, this volume teaches you how to build believable worlds, track details of your story, organize your writing, and lay out your story bible. Novice or experienced, you will pick up tricks and tips here. This EPIC eBook Award winning writer shares organizational tips, links to marketing sites, groups supporting writers, science fiction groups, and more. Material from the author’s 90+ page website is included.
For the science fiction fan, the Companion reveals the worldbuilding magic that makes Kayelle Allen’s Tarthian Empire tick. She shares every character in every book, 10k years of future history, offers inside peeks at scenes and stories, lays out a quick tour of the Empire, and dishes up a surfeit of secrets, all in one illustrated volume. Original art by Jamin Allen and Kayelle Allen.

Purchase

Amazon http://bit.ly/companion-az
Smashwords http://bit.ly/companion-sm
Find this book on Goodreads http://bit.ly/1DtIrOR
Coming soon in print

Remember #reading the first book in a #series? #IAN1

Remember reading a series?

When you picked up the first book, it held such promise. There would be more to learn, more to see, more worlds for you to explore. When you finished it, you had a kind of “book hangover.” You were still so tied up in that book’s world that you weren’t sure you could handle another one. But the promise of seeing what happened to your new favorite characters was too strong. You succumbed and started reading the next book. And just like that — you were lost in the characters’ world again.

I am a series addict

I am a series addict

You can recapture the world you read about in Surrender Love, and Wulf. The Empire you explored in Alitus, Jawk, At the Mercy of Her Pleasure, and For Women Only is waiting to be found in the new Tarthian Empire Companion, an illustrated World-Building Bible and Guide to Writing a Science Fiction Series.

If you loved the universe in which those original stories were set, then you’ll be glad to know the Tarthian Empire is alive and well. This new book features all the characters, places, and things that made the other stories unique.

Before writing the first book in my Tarthian Empire science fiction romance series, I wrote 10,000 years of future history. The Tarthian Empire Companion features that history, plus Earth and its colonization of the galaxy. The companion focuses on the big picture. What events drove the wars? Who won them? What made the peace so short, and the centuries of fighting so dire? Did the immortal Sempervians evolve or were they created? What do they want from mankind? What characters, places, and incidents shape the Tarthian Empire today?

Tarthian Empire Companion - create believable aliens

Tarthian Empire Companion – create believable aliens

The Tarthian Empire Companion contains a full list of every character in every book, and peeks at books to come. This is the book I use to keep all the details straight. It’s written for readers as well as writers. If you write Scifi Romance and want to know how to keep a huge story world organized, this book is for you. I share all my details in this illustrated volume. If you love reading SF and loved my books, you’ll be able to look up details, go through the character lists, and learn inside secrets about the people and places. Always wondered what Peril, the game of the immortals, was all about? It’s in there.

The companion book is illustrated with original art and a few stock photos. My son, Jamin Allen, helped me create many of the images in this book. He’s a digital artist and began assisting me when he was in college at the Art Institute of Atlanta. In fact, he taught me how to use Photoshop. The work I’m able to do today is because of him.

Slang

I’m not a fan of changing basic terms for the sake of making them sound alien. For example, we “inch” along, not “millimeter” along, so I apply the same principle in my books. Diamonds are diamonds. Water is water.

Language, however, is malleable. Considering how far in the future my own stories are, there would be few (if any) words in English that we’d recognize. Being the practical sort, I kept many current terms.

What better way to describe rock music than to call it rock? Why call a flashlight a “mobile light source” or some other phrase for the sake of sounding different? It comes across silly and pretentious instead.

People shorthand words and phrases to things like OMG, LOL, BFF, deets, and probably one of the most famous shortcuts of all — the abbreviation for “more of the same” — “etc.” I prefer to use natural, understandable language whenever possible.

If you create a language, write down the words you use and keep a definition handy. This will keep you from later misspelling or contradicting yourself. You should also create a phonogram chart (list of sounds). This will help you create a richer language.

What terms do your characters use for slang? Define these and list them so you have a ready reference for future books. List how and why the words became slang. This not only helps you maintain consistency in creation, it also helps you with creating future slang you might need.

Here is a list of Kelthian Street Slang. It’s used in limited places, and there is far more listed here than I used in my actual books. However, I wanted a big list from which to choose a term.

Kelthian Street Slang

Cobber is Kelthian street cant (characteristic language) used on Kelthia by slaves and gangs. The slang was used by Senth and Khyff in the books At the Mercy of Her Pleasure, and For Women Only. The characters Trink and Yvan (who own Batchelors) sometimes use it too.

Boastin'; mess with, put on a front, tease, etc.
Clinkers; great, fine, no worries
Going all Kin; becoming feral, unruly, wild
Hawkin'; watching from the sidelines
Junk me; pay no attention to me
Leave me sly; forgive me, let me off
Lipped; said, explained, told
No new coins; same stuff different day, nothing new
Notta boasted you clean; shouldn’t have messed with you, or shouldn’t have put on a front with you, teased you, etc.
Ride my pocket; Follow me, stay on my tail
Right clinkers; perfectly fine, totally great
Royal; excellent, top notch
Scam-butt; cheater, scam artist
Scat these taggers; get out of these clothes, undress
Screech, the; sickness of any type
Seein’ you slip; noticing you’re not doing well
Smacked; happy, pleased
Smackers; general swear word with unspecified meaning. Dang, damn, hell, etc.
Sotted; drunk
Spacin’ me; In my space, close to me
Space me; give me some room, move away
Street freak or freaks; homeless person or people
Street; the street in general. Culture of the street.
Tawkin'; looking for action
What’s down; what’s up or what’s new
You skinnin'; you’re skin and bones
Shake out those taggers; what’s under those clothes
Taggers; clothes

Tarthian Empire Companion, an illustrated World-Building Bible and Guide to Writing a Science Fiction Series by Kayelle Allen. Illustrated by Jamin Allen and Kayelle Allen.

Tarthian Empire Companion, an illustrated World-Building Bible and Guide to Writing a Science Fiction Series by Kayelle Allen. Illustrated by Jamin Allen and Kayelle Allen.

All my books are being re-released in new formats. Surrender Love and its long-awaited sequel, Surrender Trust will come out at the same time. At the Mercy of Her Pleasure and For Women Only will be re-released with their sequel, Crystal Clear Truth, and will introduce a third Antonello brother, Darq. In the meantime, I’m sharing all the details of my world with fans.

If you not only read but also write science fiction romance, this book will guide you to build believable worlds, track details of your story, organize your writing, and lay out your story bible. My website has over 90 pages of material for my world. If you’re on a mobile platform, visit the limited version here: http://kayelleallen.mobi and if you’re accessing on a desktop, you can see the full sized version here: http://kayelleallen.com

Writer or reader, you’ll get a glimpse of the world building and complexity that is the Tarthian Empire.

Have questions about a character, or about writing? Leave me a comment and I’ll be glad to answer. Please sign up for my newsletter while you’re here.

Available now on Smashwords, and Amazon.

Amazon http://bit.ly/companion-az
Smashwords http://bit.ly/companion-sm
Coming soon to Barnes and Noble and CreateSpace

How a Critique at Starbucks Helped Publish a Book #scifi #reference

Tarthian Empire Companion - create believable aliens

Tarthian Empire Companion – create believable aliens

About 18 months ago, I joined a local writer’s group. I was looking for a critique group, but figured any writer’s group would lead me to one. At the time, it was a weekly meeting and the emphasis of the group was strictly to do writing prompts. Members met at Starbucks, had coffee, and shared a new word they’d learned. The moderator then gave a topic and we spent 20 minutes writing. Afterward, we shared what we’d written and others in the group commented. About four months later, someone asked if we could meet on an additional, different day to critique already-written work. Several of us jumped at the chance. Within another three months, the original moderator left the group, and we began doing a critique at all meetings. In addition, or instead of, members can write to prompts and bring those. In any case, we all share critiques. The atmosphere is positive, friendly, and open.

Critique Groups Get Results

Mallow Mayhem by Lisa Haman

Mallow Mayhem by Lisa Haman

The group meets regularly, Tuesday for lunch at a different restaurant, and Saturday for coffee, and we do critiques of work we’re readying to publish. It’s produced some wonderful books, including Lisa Haman’s brilliant humorous noir, Mallow Mayhem. Imagine a world where marshmallow peeps rule. When a pink bunny goes missing, it’s up to yellow chick Philippa Marlowmellow to investigate. Lisa wrote this book with a nod to all the various kinds of peeps, without ever mentioning the candy or using its trademarked names. Click her cover to read a sample.

Last year, I published A Romance for Christmas, which the group critiqued, and also Human Perfect. This month, I released The Tarthian Empire Companion, a non-fiction book the group helped me polish.

Tarthian Empire Companion, an illustrated World-Building Bible and Guide to Writing a Science Fiction Series by Kayelle Allen. Illustrated by Jamin Allen and Kayelle Allen.

Tarthian Empire Companion, an illustrated World-Building Bible and Guide to Writing a Science Fiction Series by Kayelle Allen. Illustrated by Jamin Allen and Kayelle Allen.

For the writer of science fiction, and the writer who wants to create a science fiction series, this volume teaches you how to build believable worlds, track details of your story, organize your writing, and lay out your story bible. Novice or experienced, you will pick up tricks and tips here. The Companion reveals the worldbuilding magic that makes the Tarthian Empire tick. I share 10k years of future history, offer peeks at scene and character creation, lay out a quick tour of the Empire, and dish up a surfeit of secrets for fans, all in one illustrated volume. The companion provides organizational tips, links to marketing sites, groups supporting writers, science fiction groups, and more. Material from my 90+ page website is included. Original art by Jamin Allen (and some by me).

It’s a good idea to have any book looked at by others before publishing it. When people put a checkmark next to a line because they like it, or tell you they got lost on a line, it helps. Better to have friends who tell you the truth about a scene and guide you to make it better, than to have reviewers tell you how badly you write. Once that book is out there, it’s out there.

A Location Critique

“Starbucks offers plugins for computers or phones, and wifi is free.”

Is Starbucks an ideal location? On the plus side, most people drink coffee, and the site offers tea and water, plus other flavored drinks. There are healthy and not-so-healthy snacks, all made on site. Best yet, no one drops by the table to interrupt or ask if you want anything else. You can work without a hassle. Starbucks offers plugins for computers or phones, and wifi is free. On the down side, it can be noisy when they grind beans, or the place is full. We’ve learned that when the grinder starts, it’s best just to wait a minute. We meet at different spots, and one swears the room temperature is set by corporate. We don’t really buy that story, but what can you do? Overall, we find Starbucks a good place to meet, and they are environmentally conscious.

Grab Some Coffee and a Critique

So grab yourself some coffee, pop up a note on Meetup or Facebook, and get ready to sit down and talk writing. It could be the best cup of coffee you drink (and two hours of time you spend) all week.

Where to find the Tarthian Empire Companion

Amazon http://bit.ly/companion-az
Smashwords http://bit.ly/companion-sm
Find this book on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25134488-tarthian-empire-companion-an-illustrated-world-building-bible-and-guide
Coming soon to print

Listen and Write to 30+ Hours of Nature Sounds #nature #amwriting

Storm over the Ocean

A storm over the ocean

Sometimes I listen to music while I write, and other times I like it quiet. There are times when nothing but the sounds of nature will do. My husband likes to listen to nature sounds mixed with piano, such as rain or ocean. I helped him discover some videos on Youtube that mix sound, music, and images to create calm.

Here is the list for you.

Create your own ambient sounds of nature by using the sliders found here. Click and give the various types a listen. http://asoftmurmur.com/ Add a little wind, a little bit of waves, and some medium thunder. You can save your settings by clicking the share button, and copying the URL to your bookmarks. Here’s one I like. http://asoftmurmur.com/?v=003a0026000000000013

11 Hours of Calming Seas http://youtu.be/f77SKdyn-1Y

10 Hours Rain and Thunder http://youtu.be/mQ9OWMsJBTk

10 Hours Thunderstorm and Rain over Ocean http://youtu.be/CSqe8FgnzjM

1 hours Natural Ocean Waves http://youtu.be/W-d4gPTJRZM

1 Hour Stormy Sea http://youtu.be/CBVEoLL1z-k

Ocean Playlist (many hours) https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8fDznZbiam_Q8JEnDinrMZjJOnKmqvz2&src_vid=cXWKtAJzab8&feature=iv&annotation_id=annotation_172569

Next time you need a bit of quiet in which to write, try one of these sites. I hope you enjoy listening to them!

 

All the Fuss Over 50 Shades vs Real BDSM #BDSM #FiftyShadesOfGrey #MFRWauthor

In love, trust is everything.

In love, trust is everything.

First, I want to make two disclaimers. Yes, I have read the book. No, I am not in the BDSM lifestyle. I have researched BDSM (which stands for Bondage Discipline Sadism Masochism), interviewed those who are, and I have written about it. I did my homework because I knew if I didn’t my readers would see right through that. I respected them and wanted to make sure I got it right. Let’s get right into the topic.

BDSM Lifestyle

Why the big fuss over this book? It’s like a friend of mine says: 50 Shades is to reading what a quickie is to sex. It’s a quick piece to satisfy an itch. Quickies are not what you want to spend your life doing. This is not the kind of BDSM book you want to make a meal out of. There are countless books on the subject, and many that are far better. Go enjoy it, laugh at the parts that are silly, enjoy the parts you like, and then get other books, done better, and read those. You’ll see the difference right away.

The S&M in this book isn’t safe. The writer has characters doing things they either cannot do or should not do in a safe and sane relationship. You hear this warning all the time, but please don’t try this at home.

The bondage “play” in this book is not what the BDSM lifestyle is about. A Dom (dominant) and sub (submissive) have a trust-based relationship. Why? Because without trust, there can be no real submission. Without submission, there can be no exchange of pleasure/pain. There is only pain. Why?

Pleasure / Pain

Because the relationship of pleasure to pain is a strong one. For many, a spark of pain adds to pleasure. Being restrained can provide the freedom of not being in control of one’s own pleasure. There is nothing to worry about. Nothing to feel “guilty” about. When pleasure is given and/or taken by another, it relieves the sub from having to hold back, to “feel proper” (as some have described it), and allows them to enjoy sex in a way they never have before. It’s not for everyone, but for some, it’s as necessary as air.

Total Power Exchange

50 Shades uses the phrase “Total Power Exchange.” That last word — exchange — is defined as the act of giving something in return for something received. Total power is exchanged in these kinds of relationships. That is not what is happening in the book.

For an exchange to occur, trust must be the dominant (no pun intended) aspect of the relationship. Some writers don’t “get” that aspect. Trust is a delicate balance between control and submission.

Who’s In Control

In a Dom/sub (or D/s) relationship, it’s the sub who is in control. The subs decide when they have had enough and can stop at any time. That’s what the safeword is for. Because with pain, it’s natural to yell “No! Stop!” Instead, when the sub is at the point when it’s no longer pleasure, or they cannot handle the situation, they use their safeword. It might be “bubble” or some word not associated with sex. When the safeword is used, the Dom knows the sub has reached the limit. Everything stops.

At that point, if a situation can be corrected (perhaps something was too tight, or the position was too awkward), then the sub might wish to continue. Other words can be used to slow down the action (orange or yellow, for example). At all times, the submissive has the option to stop. That’s what a true BDSM lifestyle is all about.

When there is no way to stop or to slow down, then there can be no trust. That’s when it crosses over from pleasure/pain to abuse.

What BDSM Books to Read Next

Books I’ve written containing BDSM scenes include the Tales of the Chosen series (Wulf, Alitus, Jawk) available here: http://bit.ly/chosen_set This page includes links to buy the books, plus some giveaways you can grab. http://kayelleallen.com/exc-chosen.html Here’s a good Facebook page where you can get tons of suggestions for what to read.  https://www.facebook.com/WhatToReadAfter50ShadesOfGrey

Another good post to read on this subject is on Elizabeth Safleur’s blog, in which she interviews Dr Charley Ferrer, an expert on this subject. Click here: http://www.elizabethsafleur.com/blog/fantasy-versus-reality-in-bdsm-fiction-interview-with-dr-charley-ferrer

What are your thoughts on the book, movie, or the BDSM lifestyle? Do you have something to add to the conversation? Please leave a note in the comments. Sign up for my newsletter over on the right. You’ll be first to hear when a new book or downloadable goodie is available.

Cover Reveal: Human Perfect by Kayelle Allen #scifi

Human Perfect by Kayelle Allen

Human Perfect by Kayelle Allen

This is the cover reveal for Human Perfect, a new novella from Scifi author Kayelle Allen. Cover art by The Author’s Secret.

Human Perfect

In the android business, the best of the best are Human Perfect.

In this science fiction short story, for as long as she can remember, Christa has hated androids. The texture of plastiflesh skin and the non-smell of the animate machines jars her senses. Don’t even get her started on robots, or worse — the andys that look human. Her job as a corporate spy for the android maker Innersoul puts her in touch with the creatures every day, but also lets her judge them. When she runs into Humancopy Progress Rep Tom Karellys, she can’t believe her luck. Using a cover identity, Christa shares dinner with him, and the two discuss andys. It soon becomes apparent Tom is not what he seems, and Christa must decide whether he’s a trustworthy human, or merely… Human Perfect.

Bonus Story

Human Perfect includes a bonus sci fi short story “Upgrade This!” set in the same universe.

 

Human Perfect by Kayelle Allen | In the android business, the best of the best are Human Perfect.

Human Perfect by Kayelle Allen

Excerpt

Terran Crescent, Earth
Lunar Spaceport Earthside Shuttle Concourse D

Having introduced themselves, the two had fallen naturally into conversation as they walked. Tom suggested they eat at AquaCulture, a water-themed restaurant overlooking the hydroponics section of the station. On the barren moon, a waterfall cascading down the windows lent a decadent feel. Synthetic jazz tinkled in the background.

An android waitress rolled up to their table, her lapel sign flashing the soup of the day. Hot pink skin and green hair matched the color of the flowers in the wallpaper and her uniform. “May I take your cocktail order?”

Tom set down the menu. “Water for me, please.”

“Live a little.” Christa perused the list. “They have an excellent white wine.”

“I don’t drink. But feel free. I don’t mind.”

“I’ll have an Ylyptyan Cassis.”

After the waitress rolled away, Tom picked up a bottle of red sauce, squinted at the label, and put it down, then picked up a green bottle. He set that down, slid the red bottle into the green bottle’s place — and then switched them back. After a moment, he lined up all the condiment bottles, peered at them, and then began reordering them.

“Tom, what are you doing?”

“Sorry.” He yanked his hands back and put them on his lap. “Bad habit. I was trying to decide it I should line them up by color or size, or if the name of the product should be–” He shook his head. “Never mind. Order is a flaw, but I will overcome it.”

Raising one eyebrow, Christa took in the neat row of bottles. “Order is a flaw?”

“Perfection is godlike. No real person is perfect. No real person is a slave to order. I embrace chaos.”


This novella is available Jan 19, 2015 on Amazon, and soon on Nook and Smashwords.

Genre Science Fiction and Fantasy, Space Opera
Rating PG13
Publisher Romance Lives Forever Books
Editor Jean Paquin
Amazon US http://amzn.to/1IpUYlM
Amazon UK http://amzn.to/1IUo9gP

Are you playing Marco Polo 1/9? @voireylinger +14 authors! #Giveaway

A Romance for Christmas

A Romance for Christmas

January 9, 1324, Marco Polo slipped the bonds of this world and drifted into history. He explored Asia, established trade routes with China, and launched a summer game loved by millions.

To celebrate his life and his game, we are launching Marco Polo day on Twitter. The rules are simple. Follow the players listed below from your Twitter account. When one of them yells MARCO you hit reply and @ them with POLO. First to respond will win an ebook. If you’re not following, you can’t win.

This Marco Polo game is also found on Voirey Linger’s website. Mine is a copy of hers, used with permission. See it here:  http://voireylinger.com/2014/12/marco-polo-day-2015/

The Fine Print

Marco Polo Day on Twitter is a collection of individual contests. Each MARCO! tweet is a separate contest. Participating authors are wholly responsible for running their individual contest and fulfilling the prize requirement. Winners shall receive one digital copy of a book from the author. Titles available are at the sole discretion of the author and may not be substituted for a cash or physical prize. Prize value is not to exceed $10 (US).

Unstoppable Heroes is not responsible for prize distribution except in those contests run on the Twitter account of @kayelleallen I’ll be giving away a copy of A Romance for Christmas. Click the cover to learn more about the book.

Participating Authors

Kayelle Allen – @kayelleallen

SM Butler- @SuzanButler

Dee Carney – @dee_carney

Sam Cheever – @samcheever

Shae Conner – @shaeconner

Hailey Edwards – @haileyedwards

AM Griffin – @AMGriffinbooks

Arlene Hittle – @arlenehittle

Kelly Jameison – @KellyJamieson

Babette James – @BabetteJames

Anne Kane – @AnneKane

Marguerite Labbe – @MargueriteLabbe

Voirey Linger – @voireylinger

Karen Stivali – @karenstivali

Holley Trent – @HolleyTrent

Maggie Wells – @Maggiewells1

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