Tuesday, August 13, 2019

AWEN RISING - 5-Star Reviews

On his site Writing in the CrosshairsAuthor Roland Yeomans reviewed Awen Rising comparing it to - of all things - GAME OF THRONES! Yeeehaaaa! Thank you, Roland!!

My Beautiful Cousin Torrie with Her Copy
Sales have slowed down, and I'm counting on you to give them another surge. If you haven't already purchased your copy of Awen Rising, or downloaded it for free under Amazon's Kindle Unlimited program, I hope you'll go ahead and do that now. If you're still on the fence, the following 5-star review should help.

With a long book – such as Proust’s In Search of Lost Time, you immerse yourself in a world that is enveloping, absorbing, that takes you on a long journey. You get your money's worth.
More and more, long books in print use tiny fonts. But not Awen Rising. Its font is large and readable. The latest trend is to read books around 200 pages -- something you can digest in an evening. But that is hardly worth the effort of page turning, is it?
Game of Thrones taught us the pleasure of immersing ourselves in a complex, magical world of conflict, ambition, and dueling strong-willed characters. Want dragons? Awen Rising has them. ... and reptilian adversaries on par with the danger of the White Walkers...
To read the rest (and you'll want to, it gets better), click on over to Roland's post.

And, yeeehaaa, William (Billy) Willey also gave Awen Rising a fabulous 5-star review on Amazon. I'll leave it here so you can read it, too.










After reading these glowing reviews, I know you want to buy your very own copy of Awen Rising. Here's a link to the paperback, and a link to the ebook. At some point, soon I hope, the two will be joined and one link with suffice. Amazon seems to move slowly in some areas. This is one. Goodreads members can find Awen Rising here.

All in all, the first two weeks since Awen Rising's release have been better than a ride on a world-class roller coaster. Roland's 5-star review thrilled me to no end, causing a sleepless night because of my excitement. Then, Billy's came in on Roland's heels.

But, you guys. Gals. Please boogie on over to Amazon or Goodreads. I'll meet you there.

If you would like a preview first, here it is.

~ That Rebel, Olivia J. Herrell, writing as  O.J. Barré

GIVEAWAY CONTEST IS COMING! To stay abreast of O.J.'s latest and be eligible for upcoming giveaways of free books, gift certificates, etc, subscribe to Muse & News, a monthly (or so) "news"letter.

O.J. Barré is the author of the Awen trilogy, a druid science fantasy set in 2042. Steeped in current, ancient, and future history twists, Book One, Awen Rising (set in Atlanta, Georgia) debuted August 1, 2019, in both ebook and paperback. Book Two, Awen Storm, is slated for release May 1, 2020. Book Three, Awen Tide, arrives May 1, 2021.


Friday, August 9, 2019

My Heart (and Eyes) Runneth Over

So much has happened in this last week, so much I want to say. Each topic could take an entire post, and I was planning for that. But this, I need to say. Right now.

I just found out that one of my writing mentors, Eric Trant, died last June.


My heart is broken and the tears come and go. I knew I hadn't seen him around in a while, but I was on a Facebook hiatus for a year or more and what's a year amongst friends? A lot, apparently. I happened to notice it was his birthday in April. Even posted a birthday greeting on his wall, not knowing. What an idiot I am.

Eric was an early beta reader for Awen Rising. He always gave back, though he was crazy-busy with his job, a wife and children he adored, a blog, and writing and publishing his own books. I wanted to send him a signed copy of Awen Rising and went to his Facebook wall today to send him a message requesting his address.

Imagine my surprise as I read the posts. All the messages from his wife Amanda, and so many friends. Tears flowing, I read through them in shock, all the way back to a day or so before it happened. All the way back to Eric's posts. They were classic Eric. Silly things. Yet full of meaning. A tribute to his wife. Another to his favorite (I assume) beer.

It seems a little silly that the death of a person I knew so little could shake my world so much. But the truth is this: when I began writing That Rebel with a Blog, Eric was one of the first writers I connected with. I think because we were both from the South. He generously offered encouragement and advice. I looked forward to his posts at Digging with the Worms and to his wise comments on mine. Eric's wit could cut, but his heart bled out into every word he ever wrote.


That is what is so powerful about Eric Trant's work. That huge Texas heart that he let hang out without apology, or caring who saw. I learned a lot from Eric's honest, direct style. Back then we were all blogging fairly often. Eric led by example, and always had a kind word to spare.

Eric's passing leaves a hole in my writing world. For ten years, I've been looking forward to the get-together we'd planned as a group long ago. Eric. Elliot Grace. Roland Yeomans. Me. All in New Orleans for some big writing shindig, where we'd be famous Southern writers and the stars of the show.


I'd not thought about New Orleans in a very long time. But our group get-together was one of the first things that came to mind when I learned Eric was gone. Now to honor him, we'll have to have an empty table piled high with Eric's books. And a drink for him afterwards at Meliori's, where Roland's lyrical prose will protect us from the local spirits.

Now I must track down Elliot Grace, another gifted Southern writer with a silver-tongued pen. It's been longer still since I've seen Elliot around. I checked his old blog So Close, But. A sad post from March. I'll wait a while before reading that. Or maybe I should dive in, since I'm already sad. But it's good to know he's okay. I am grateful that Roland, another writing mentor, is still a rare blood courier in Lake Charles, and now has some forty-one books published.

As the last of us four Southerners to the published-author table, I'm as proud as punch to have finally made it. But the victory is less sweet without Eric.

Rest in peace, my dear friend. Your presence is missed in a world that needs all the help it can get.

~ That Rebel, Olivia J. Herrell, writing as  O.J. Barré

GIVEAWAY CONTEST IS COMING! To stay abreast of O.J.'s latest and be eligible for upcoming giveaways of free books, gift certificates, etc, subscribe to Muse & News, a monthly (or so) "news"letter.

O.J. Barré is the author of the Awen trilogy, a druid science fantasy set in 2042. Steeped in current, ancient, and future history twists, Book One, Awen Rising (set in Atlanta, Georgia) debuted August 1, 2019, in both ebook and paperback. Book Two, Awen Storm, is slated for 2020. Book Three, Awen Tide, arrives in 2021.


Monday, August 5, 2019

A Cup of Conversation, Interview

On August 1st, Author Soulla Christodoulou published an interview with yours truly about Awen Rising. With Soulla's permission, I am posting her intro and the first question here. To read the remainder and the original article, please click the link to be taken to her website.
"Hello and welcome to A Cup of Conversation where I am joined by debut author Olivia J. Barre who has just released her book Awen Rising. I've got a copy of the book and can't wait to read it...it has the most beautiful cover too! In this interview Olivia reveals her writing process and her experience of letting go of her first book. She shares her plans for the rest of 2019 and how she wishes she could do more to support her fellow writing community than she already does. It's hard keeping up with it all, that's for sure! So thank you for joining us and I hope you enjoy this week's A Cup of Conversation. 
BIO
O.J. Barré hails from the lushly forested, red-clay hills near Atlanta, Georgia where this story takes place. From birth, O.J. was a force of nature. Barefoot and freckled, headstrong and gifted, she was, and is, sensitive to a fault. Books became her refuge as a young child, allowing O.J. to escape her turbulent alcoholic home on adventures to untold places and times. Her daddy’s mother was a Willoughby, making O.J. a direct descendant of William the Conqueror. Her Awen series is a love letter to that distant past. 
1. When did you start writing creatively?

I started writing creatively as a tween – mostly poetry and letters with friends out of state. In high school, an astute English teacher told me I had a gift. But it never occurred to me to pursue writing until the early 90’s when I began journaling as part of my recovery from alcoholism. With the advent of the internet, various and sundry friends told me I should be a writer, that I had a way with words, a way of putting things so that they GOT IT. Even vague, hard-to-grasp issues. 
Still, not until the beginning of the millennia did I act upon that. After moving to the California coast, I bought my first laptop and began writing a fictionalized memoir. It was both cathartic and healing, but 30 days and many words in, the Gateway’s hard drive crashed. I hired a pro to retrieve my ms, but all he could rescue was gobbledegook. From that, I learned to save hard copies of my files, and now I email them to myself on a regular basis. But losing that ms broke me in every sense of the word & I gave up writing. 
Until one day, sitting on a bench on the Ventura promenade, I saw a seagull fishing with a pelican. I found it curious, but thought nothing more until a day or so later when I watched a repeat performance. It was such an odd sight that my imagination kicked into overdrive and a children’s book was born: Frank & Ernie Find Home. I had a blast writing F & E and even queried some publishers – with good feedback – then my mother died in 2006 and threw me into a 3-year downward spiral. During that time, I wrote nothing, other than daily journaling and a tiny Squarespace blog that I need to rescue from the obscurity in which it languishes..." Click to read the remainder of the interview.
This is the first of many questions about Awen Rising and the writing thereof. Please click here to read Soulla's entire interview.
Soulla Christodoulou is the author of three women's fiction novels, with a fourth on the way. To read more about Soulla, check out her website, or find Soulla and her books on Amazon.
Thank you, Soulla. And thanks to all of YOU for reading her interview. Please leave a comment for us below. We look forward to hearing your thoughts.
WE DID IT Y'ALL! I. AM. STILL. SOOOOO. EXCITED!! Thank you for having faith in me.

~ That Rebel, Olivia J. Herrell, writing as  O.J. Barré

GIVEAWAY CONTEST IS COMING! To stay abreast of O.J.'s latest and be eligible for upcoming giveaways of free books, gift certificates, etc, subscribe to Muse & News, a monthly (or so) "news"letter.

O.J. Barré is the author of the Awen trilogy, a druid science fantasy set in 2042. Steeped in current, ancient, and future history twists, Book One, Awen Rising (set in Atlanta, Georgia) is scheduled to debut August 1, 2019, in both ebook and paperback. Book Two, Awen Storm, is slated for 2020. Book Three, Awen Tide, arrives in 2021.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Awen Rising - Published & Available - Today

Awen Rising is now published and LIVE in both ebook and paperback, yeehaaa!

CLICK COVER for PAPERBACK

To purchase Awen Rising in paperback, click on the above book cover. For the ebook, click the one below. OR you can go HERE to my Amazon Author Page to purchase either. For the next 90 days, Awen Rising is being sold exclusively through Amazon, so that I can take advantage of the Kindle Select Program. Which means, Awen Rising is FREE for Kindle Unlimited members.


CLICK COVER for EBOOK
In October 2019, I will go wide with distribution. Which means Awen Rising will be available through other booksellers, bookstores, and libraries in late October or early November.

Publishing the Awen trilogy has been my dream for seven long years. Thank you to each and every one of my readers. Without you, none of this would be happening. I keep feeling the need to pinch myself - there were many times I felt I'd never get here.

Yet, here I am. A published author. The first book of my Awen Trilogy is out in the world. Fare the well, little book. And know that you are loved beyond measure.

So please...head on over to Amazon. Awen Rising is free for Kindle Unlimited members. The ebook sells for $3.99 and the 351-page paperback for $14.99. And I would love it if you would leave a review on Amazon.

If you would like a signed copy, plan on meeting me in Georgia for one of my book signings on October 4th and/or 5th. I'm also looking at possible signings in Los Angeles, Venice Beach, and Ventura, California. And hey, I should probably arrange one or two or three in the Nampa/Meridian/Boise, Idaho area!

WE DID IT Y'ALL! I. AM. SOOO. EXCITED!! Thank you for having faith in me.

~ That Rebel, Olivia J. Herrell, writing as  O.J. Barré

To stay abreast of O.J.'s latest, subscribe to Muse & News, a monthly (or so) "news"letter.

O.J. Barré is the author of the Awen trilogy, a druid science fantasy set in 2042. Steeped in current, ancient, and future history twists, Book One, Awen Rising (set in Atlanta, Georgia) is scheduled to debut August 1, 2019, in both ebook and paperback. Book Two, Awen Storm, is slated for 2020. Book Three, Awen Tide, arrives in 2021.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

It's Here. It's Real. Awen Rising.

Guess what! I received the proofs/ARC's of Awen Rising. Yeeeeehaaaaaaaaaa!

I have cried. Laughed. Squeeee'd. Touched it. Held it. Loved on it. And even began reading it. And that was in the middle of showing up for my day-job.

But look. Here I am. HOLDING MY BOOK BABY!

Awen Rising-dragons-aliens-witch-druid-OJ Barré

Today, I'll be doing something I've dreamed of for years—taking a pen to a novel (in print) and lining through the extraneous words, phrases, etc. 

Only, it's MY book. And the edits will be added to Awen Rising before release.

That's right folks. After decades of not being able to read a novel without editing it in my head - and wanting to take a pen to it - I'M GOING FOR IT!

Sacrilege, you say? Maybe. But I am doing it nonetheless. And plan to enjoy every moment.

Awen Rising-fantasy-romance-druids-witch-aliens-talking animals
On a marketing note, I spent the morning watching a Pinterest presentation by Daniel Hall (of Real Fast Social Graphics) and John Kremer (the grandfather of book marketing), and creating mock-ups for banners and ads.

Here's my first mock-up.


Pretty, huh? Want to see another?


Yeah, baby! And here's my favorite (so far). On the beach!


By the way, Awen Rising is on schedule to be released between July 30th & August 1st. I will post an announcement and link to Amazon (on here, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest) as soon as it's available.

 I. AM. SOOO. EXCITED!! Are you ready??

~ That Rebel, Olivia J. Herrell, writing as  O.J. Barré

To stay abreast of O.J.'s latest, subscribe to Muse & News, a monthly (or so) "news"letter.

O.J. Barré is the author of the upcoming Awen series, a druid science fantasy set in 2042. Steeped in current, ancient, and future history twists, Book One, Awen Rising (set in Atlanta, Georgia) is scheduled to debut August 1, 2019, in both ebook and paperback format. Book Two, Awen Storm, is slated for 2020. Book Three, Awen Tide, arrives in 2021. And should there be a Book Four, expect to see it in 2022 or later, as Awen Unleashed.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Tick Tock

I have one week left to get Awen Rising ready and into the hands of reviewers. Will I get it done in time?

That IS the plan. But, I'm doing one last read-through. Tightening up prose. Shortening paragraphs. Cutting redundant words.

Yes. I thought all this was already finished. Turns out, a writer's work is NEVER done. But after this pass, it'll have to be good enough.

And Sunday is my birthday. Guess where I'll likely be?

Yep. You guessed it. Right here with Awen Rising. I might have to break down and have some chocolate cake, though.

I did knock off early to see the new Men in Black today. Or should I say the Men and Women in Black. Chris Hemsworth is his usual hunky, dorky self. Turns out, Tessa Thompson plays the smart one of the two. Emma Thompson as O is fabu-loso. And the myriad supporting characters, enjoyable.

OH. And Liam Neeson...well, go see it.

Awen Rising will be in the hands of reviewers in another week. And available to everyone in 35ish days. Wow. The thought both frightens and excites me. Send good thoughts and prayers. I can sure use 'em.

Too-da-loo!

~ That Rebel, Olivia J. Herrell, writing as  O.J. Barré

To stay abreast of O.J.'s latest, subscribe to Muse & News, a monthly (or so) "news"letter.

O.J. Barré is the author of the upcoming Awen series, a druid science fantasy set in 2042. Steeped in current, ancient, and future history twists, Book One, Awen Rising (set in Atlanta, Georgia) is scheduled to debut August 1, 2019, in both ebook and paperback format. Book Two, Awen Storm, is slated for 2020. Book Three, Awen Tide, arrives in 2021. And should there be a Book Four, expect to see it in 2022 or later, as Awen Unleashed.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Muse & News

It's interesting how overwhelm presents itself. Sometimes it's with an anxiety attack. Do you know how that feels? That, "oh no the walls are closing in and something bad is gonna happen if I don't get out of here right now" feeling?

I get it in some Walmarts. The heebie jeebies jump on me and I have no choice but to hightail it outta there. I'm happy to say that hasn't happened in a long time, though I did have a moment recently. I was able to suck it up, get my couple of things and skedaddle.

Sometimes, overwhelm takes other forms. There's the, "oh there is so much to do that I will never get it all done so no way am I even gonna try *stomps feet and wails*, "LETS WATCH A MOVIE!" kind of overwhelm.

Yeah, that kind. You're familiar, yes?

This kind of overwhelm reared its ugly head earlier today. I did manage to soldier on and am proud to say that one more biggie (um, they're all biggies at this point) is done.

I now have a newsletter provider. I won't go into my research forays, but today I found Tiny Letter. It was totally serendipitous. I'm not even sure where I saw the name. On Twitter? Or someone's website? An article? I've been all over the net, so who knows.

But it's easy. Free. Simple. Reputable. And I'm sold.

The problem now is maybe not so simple. It's time to find people who want to hear what I have to say. Hmm, wait. There are people. You. YOU come here. To my blog. So why not read my newsletter?

Especially if it means getting a shot at winning contests. For giftcards. Signed copies of Awen Rising. Things like that. Right?

https://tinyletter.com/ojbarreauthor

What do you think? Would you be interested in receiving a short, breezy "news"letter from me now and again? Not often. Probably monthly. At the most. But very soon I'll be doing some contests and giveaways. And subscribers will be getting first shot.

As for my old friend, Overwhelm. I could continue the list, because there are beaucoup ways overwhelm manifests. But I'm thankful it took a break this afternoon and let me get these publishing-related things completed. And one more biggie checked off a very long list.

For those who like the thought of getting Muse & News (and winning free stuff), I have added a subscriber button to the top right banner of this site. You can enter your email address there, or click here to be added to my subscriber list.

Thanks so much!

~ That Rebel, Olivia J. Herrell, writing as  O.J. Barré

To stay abreast of O.J.'s latest, subscribe to Muse & News, a monthly (or so) "news"letter.

O.J. Barré is the author of the upcoming Awen series, a druid science fantasy set in 2042. Steeped in current, ancient, and future history twists, Book One, Awen Rising (set in Atlanta, Georgia) is scheduled to debut August 1, 2019, in both ebook and paperback format. Book Two, Awen Storm, is slated for 2020. Book Three, Awen Tide, arrives in 2021. And should there be a Book Four, expect to see it in 2022 or later, as Awen Unleashed.



Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Cover Reveal - Awen Rising

Are you ready to see Awen Rising's cover? Here it is! The big cover reveal!


Don't ya love it?

ME TOO!!

In the background is the skyline of Atlanta, Georgia, where most of the book takes place. In the foreground is the main character, Emily Hester, and her two sidekicks, Cu the Irish Wolfhound, and Hope the Scottish Wildcat.

I'd like to thank my design artist, Lauren Willmore, for taking my cover idea, creating this beautiful artwork, and making it shine. Without Lauren, my cover would've ended up looking like an afterthought. Or like an amateur's design. And who wants to buy a book with a cover like that?

Not I.

Besides providing a professional finished cover, Lauren was (and is) a delight to work with, providing several revisions, along with expert advice and feedback. Lauren is a prolific reader and author herself, so her suggestions are relevant and timely. I've asked her to design the covers for the other books in the trilogy/series and look forward to working with her again in the future.

And by the way, we're pushing the release date back to August 1st, though the "soft" release will still happen on July 2nd. ARC's (Advanced Reader's Copies) will be distributed to bloggers, reviewers, publications, and interviewers at that time.

For those who don't know, ARC's are meant to be read and reviewed by the reader, usually on their own platform (pub, blog, website, etc), and/or on Amazon upon the debut date, August 1st.

If you are a blogger, reviewer, interviewer, or publication, and are interested in receiving an ARC of Awen Rising to review, please comment below or email me at ojbarreauthor@gmail.com.

Also, if you know OF any blogger, reviewer, interviewer, or publication that might consider reviewing Awen Rising, please forward them a link to this post and let me know so that I can contact them, as well.

THANK YOU to each and every one of you. We made it to the cover reveal and it won't be much longer before Awen Rising debuts.

NOW IT'S YOUR TURN.

What do you think about Awen Rising's cover? 

~ That Rebel, Olivia J. Herrell, writing as  O.J. Barré

To stay abreast of O.J.'s latest, subscribe to Muse & News, a monthly (or so) "news"letter.

O.J. Barré is the author of the upcoming Awen series, a druid science fantasy set in 2042. Steeped in current, ancient, and future history twists, Book One, Awen Rising (set in Atlanta, Georgia) is scheduled to debut August 1, 2019, in both ebook and paperback format. Book Two, Awen Storm, is slated for 2020. Book Three, Awen Tide, arrives in 2021. And should there be a Book Four, expect to see it in 2022 or later, as Awen Unleashed.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Knowing Ain't Always Doing

Never go to bed angry is a maxim that could relate to many things, including writing articles for public consumption. Yet, here I amfrustrated after running into one roadblock after another today. If you follow my blog, you know I have a remedy for this kind of thing. But this Southern Belle's gotta tell you all, knowing ain't always doing.
Lake Lowell, Idaho, East Boat Ramp

Especially when one's in the thick of things.

Today I was hip-deep in prepping the first few pages of Awen Storm to include as a teaser at the end of Awen Rising. Slap me in the face when I got it all shiny and singing a sweet song, then googled how to format the teaser.

Now I could have figured it out myself. But for every other step of the formatting process, there is a blow-by-blow out there from someone, or many knowledgeable someones. For this, there was nada.

What I found instead were articles by other authors. More than one made a very strong argument for why I shouldn't include a teaser. The numerous comments echoed the sentiment.

Whaaat?

There went my morning.

So I moved on to my next task. Building an author website. After a couple more fruitless hours, I capitulated and decided to keep my brand to my blog. Screw the formal author website. Y'all can find me here. At least for now.

There went my afternoon.

Deer Flat Wildlife Refuge, Idaho
Around quarter till five I closed the open tabs, slapped my laptop (Red) shut, threw on clothes (yes, I work in pj's), ran out of the house, drove to Lake Lowell, got out of the car, and let the elements wash over me.

Soon, the sun, and the wind, and the great bowl of blue sky dotted with fluffy cumulus clouds, and my bare feet on the hot asphalt, combined to tease a smile from me. Then a grin.

But, after a precious day wasted, a budding fever blister smack-dab in the middle of my upper lip, and a growing rash under one armpit, this author is down.

Down, but not out. I'm too stubborn to be out.

No, rebels. I shall rise from these doldrums and forge ahead. Tomorrow. This book shall not publish itself.

~ That Rebel, Olivia J. Herrell, writing as  O.J. Barré

O.J. Barré is the author of the upcoming Awen series, a druid science fantasy set in 2042. Steeped in current, ancient, and future history twists, Book One, Awen Rising (set in Atlanta, Georgia) is scheduled to debut August 1, 2019, in both ebook and paperback format. Book Two, Awen Storm, is slated for 2020. Book Three, Awen Tide, arrives in 2021. And should there be a Book Four, expect to see it in 2022 or later, as Awen Unleashed.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Finalizing the Back Cover Blurb

Now that we're nearing Awen Rising's release date, I'm scrambling to tie up all the loose ends. One is the back cover blurb. I have combined the last couple into this ONE. What do you think?



In 2042CE, Earth is besieged by storms and geologic events. The fight for the planet is about to begin. Only Emily, the druid heiress, is missing.

In her Venice Beach hideout, everything is going wrong for Emily. She’s lost her fiancé, her nerve, and her job as disaster specialist. Now she’s stalked by an omnisexual shaman sorceress. She needs a new identity and somewhere to run.

When a registered letter arrives from Atlanta, Georgia, dreams of an ancient past begin. Emily is the druid priestess Awen and must save the planet—by snatching a young William the Conqueror from death.

Could this druid identity be the answer to Emily’s current plight? Or will Awen’s destiny spell Emily's demise?

It's still not perfect. It may never be. But I like this one. Will it make it to the back cover?

We shall see.

But what do YOU think?

~ That Rebel, Olivia J. Herrell, writing as  O.J. Barré

O.J. Barré is the author of the upcoming Awen series, a druid science fantasy set in 2042. Steeped in current, ancient, and future history twists, Book One, Awen Rising (set in Atlanta, Georgia) is scheduled to debut August 1, 2019, in both ebook and paperback format. Book Two, Awen Storm, is slated for 2020. Book Three, Awen Tide, arrives in 2021. And should there be a Book Four, expect to see it in 2022 or later, as Awen Unleashed.

Monday, June 3, 2019

30 Days & Counting - Sneak Cover Preview

I have excellent news! Awen Rising's new release date is July 2nd. Assuming, that is, I can get everything done between now and then.

With only thirty days left before Awen Rising's debut, there is much to be done. One is our COVER REVEAL. The full reveal will happen later this week, but for now take a gander at this Sneak Preview.



That's all folks. Let me know what you think. And don't forget to check back later in the week for the full cover reveal!

~ That Rebel, Olivia J. Herrell, writing as  O.J. Barré

O.J. Barré is the author of the upcoming Awen series, a druid science fantasy set in 2042. Steeped in current, ancient, and future history twists, Book One, Awen Rising (set in Atlanta, Georgia) is scheduled to debut August 1, 2019, in both ebook and paperback format. Book Two, Awen Storm, is slated for 2020. Book Three, Awen Tide, arrives in 2021. And should there be a Book Four, expect to see it in 2022 or later, as Awen Unleashed.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Nothing But the Formatting












Awen Rising's edits are done. Which means, drum roll please:




She's ready for publication. Yeehaa!

There was a timeline issue I had created last round, by staying up too late working on a scene I added last-minute. But that is corrected, as are the other few edits Charlie left for me.

Since early yesterday afternoon, when I clicked "Accept All Changes", and my MS Word file magically transformed into its final form, I've been trying to figure out how I feel. You know, now that this major hurdle is cleared.

To be honest, I feel pretty much the same as I did before. Which I find weird.

Only, HOLY MOLY! Awen Rising is ready. That includes ALL EDITS, my bio, acknowledgments, back cover blurb, and front cover artwork.

So. What's left is:

A) Formatting the interior, in which my 409 double-spaced pages will become 300ish single-spaced. Or less. And that includes:
  1. Designing the two title pages; one with the yet-to-be-purchased *gulp* ISBN (with a hefty $250ish price tag);
  2. Purchasing said ISBN;
  3. Adding the dedication page, the acknowledgments page, and whatever other page (if any) needs to precede the story;
  4. Adding my author bio with website to the end;
  5. *gulp* CREATING said website;
  6. And very likely adding a teaser from Book Two, Awen Storm, after THE END.
B) Formatting/creating the back cover and tweaking the front cover tagline, which Lauren, my designer, will be doing in the next few days;

And,

C) WHOA! CAN IT BE? I don't think there IS a C!!

So that's all, folks. Awen Rising and Author O.J. Barré will be debuting a month EARLY! On, or about, my birthday, June 30, 2019! (Except that's a Sunday, so probably that Tuesday, July 2nd.)

Thank you to each and every one of you for your support along the way. I couldn't have done it without you.

~ That Rebel, Olivia J. Herrell, writing as  O.J. Barré

O.J. Barré is the author of the upcoming Awen series, a druid science fantasy romance set in 2042. Steeped in current, ancient, and future history twists, Book One, Awen Rising (set in Atlanta, Georgia) is scheduled to debut August 1, 2019, in both ebook and paperback format. Book Two, Awen Storm, is slated for 2020. Book Three, Awen Tide, arrives in 2021. And should there be a Book Four, expect to see it in 2022 or later, as Awen Unleashed.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Road to Publication - Author Bio

Two months, ten days, and counting—the amount of time left before Awen Rising debuts. So much to do between then and now.

One biggie is my author bio. It will go on the back covers of the Awen series below the blurb, and on the inside author page along with my contact information. It will also reside on the ebook platforms like Amazon, Kobo, etc.

I like this better than the earlier ones. But what do you think, dear rebels?

NW Georgia Hills in Early Spring 2010

O.J. Barré hails from the lushly forested, red-clay hills near Atlanta, Georgia. From birth, O.J. was a force of nature. Barefoot and freckled, headstrong and gifted, she was, and is, sensitive to a fault. Books became her refuge as a young child, allowing O.J. to escape her turbulent alcoholic home on adventures to untold places and times. Her daddy’s mother was a Willoughby, making O.J. a direct descendant of William of Normandy. Her Awen series is a love letter to that distant past.

That's it, dear ones. Any thoughts?

~ That Rebel, Olivia J. Herrell, writing as  O.J. Barré

O.J. Barré is the author of the upcoming Awen series, a druid science fantasy romance set in 2042. Steeped in current, ancient, and future history twists, Book One, Awen Rising (set in Atlanta, Georgia) is scheduled to debut August 1, 2019, in both ebook and paperback format. Book Two, Awen Storm, is slated for 2020. Book Three, Awen Tide, arrives in 2021. And should there be a Book Four, expect to see it in 2022 or later, as Awen Unleashed.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Rainy Day in (Not) Georgia

Idaho Spring Rain with Fuschia
After a day-long break in which the sun glittered upon the unusually-green landscape of Southwest Idaho, the blessed rainy spell continues.

To celebrate, I've downloaded several copies of Blake Snyder's Save the Cat! Beat Sheet. My favorite is Jami Gold's Basic Beat Sheet due to its simplicity.

After saving it as my own Excel Worksheet, I quickly filled in the beat points for Awen Rising. I'd planned to do the same for Awen Storm and for the soon-to-be-completed Awen Tide, but though it's only lunchtime, I am apparently done. For the moment, anyway. And maybe for the day.

https://jamigold.com/basic
Instead, my muse wishes to curl up with a book. Or maybe restart the Lord of the Rings movies. It's been a while and I could use some Tolkien, even the Hollywood version.

Either way, I think I'll embrace the meaning of "a day off" and actually use it for that—A DAY OFF!

Wow. What a concept.

What are you doing on this fine Sunday, dear rebels? Whatever's on tap, I hope it feeds you, heart and soul.

~ That Rebel, Olivia J. Herrell, writing as  O.J. Barré

O.J. Barré is the author of the upcoming Awen series, a druid science fantasy set in 2042. Steeped in current, ancient, and future history twists, Book One, Awen Rising (set in Atlanta, Georgia) is scheduled to debut August 1, 2019, in both ebook and paperback format. Book Two, Awen Storm, is slated for 2020. Book Three, Awen Tide, arrives in 2021. And should there be a Book Four, expect to see it in 2022 or later as Awen Unleashed.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Life is a Beach

Bahia Honda State Park, Big Pine Key, FL
Life is a beach
Waves relentlessly
Driving us forward.
We urgently rush
To stop it,
Or avoid it,
Or push it back.
Some play games
And ride the waves.
Others paddle
Furiously
Going nowhere.
Until nowhere
Becomes our
New somewhere.
And once again,
We strive against
The inevitable tide
'Til we break through,
Victorious
Or broken,
But driven
Forever
Onward.

~ Olivia J. Herrell,
   March 11, 2012

I hope you enjoyed this tidbit. It was written while on vacation at St. George Island, FL, and offers a glimpse into the mind of this dreamer.

The picture was taken several years later on my first trip to the Florida Keys.

~ That Rebel, Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O.J. Barré

O.J. Barré is the author of the upcoming Awen series, a druid science fantasy set  in 2042. Steeped in current, ancient, and future history twists, Book One, Awen Rising (set in Atlanta, Georgia) is scheduled to debut August 1, 2019, in both ebook and paperback format. Book Two, Awen Storm, is slated for 2020. Book Three, Awen Tide, arrives in 2021. And should there be a Book Four, it would roll out in 2022 or later as Awen Unleashed.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Writer at Work - Feeding the Muse

Research Notes and Sundry Journals

I mentioned in my last post that I'd been scouring old wire-bound notebooks for research and thoughts related to the Awen series. Today I graduated to my journals from 2012, the year it was hatched. Only then the working title was Blessed Are the Peace Makers.

Holy moly. Talk about gen-u-ine, grade-A finds. And not just book-related.

Suffice it to say that I am glowing from the inside out, pleased with what I find on these pages. I am a writer, through and through. And no one reading my words, today or a hundred years from now, would guess otherwise.

And damn, 2012 was a gigantic year for personal growth. And I'm only a few months in.

~ That Rebel, Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O.J. Barré

O.J. Barré is the author of the upcoming Awen series, a druid science fantasy set  in 2042. Steeped in current, ancient, and future history twists, Book One, Awen Rising (set in Atlanta, Georgia) is scheduled to debut August 1, 2019, in both ebook and paperback format. Book Two, Awen Storm, is slated for 2020. Book Three, Awen Tide, arrives in 2021. And Book Four*, Awen Unleashed, rolls out 2022 or later.

*Assuming there IS a Book Four.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Alive and Kicking

Awen Rising is back with my editor Charlie. It is infinitely better. Brilliant, even. And I must say, they teased the nuance from me with non-confrontational ease. Thank you, Charlie. Had I given it a thought, I would have expected no less. You are an excellent editor, indeed.

Once Awen Rising was in Charlie’s hands, I began combing through old wire-bound research notes, reading tidbits I’d scribbled over the last seven years. Yes, count ‘em. Seven YEARS. There's a lot of genius hiding in those pages.

Backyard Aspens 2019
The other afternoon armed with said pearls, I spent a few silent minutes under the aspen trees. Unplugged. No technology. Just me. The wind was frisky and occasional gusts incited the leaves to a frenzy and invoked the melody of several Santa Barbara chimes and one lone Pine Siskin. In a flash, I saw a scene in my mind’s eye that will occur in Book Three.

I’d not been privy to this scene before. Past Book Two the story is still writing itself. But this twist provides a momentous turning point in favor of our heroine Emily and her lofty mission. Which, in case you forgot, is to save humankind from extinction.**

I let the ideas spin out, reveling in the impassioned serenade of the aspens and the new awareness of what the remaining story entails. Several more AHA’s spawned in rapid succession, including a couple that will be added to Book One. I knew in my heart that this story wanted to be completed, at least in my head and notes, before the first installment is published. It’s a thing, y’all!

My New Red Laptop
AND…yeehaa…I finally got the laptop I’d been visiting at Walmart for nearly a year. She’s a lovely shade of scarlet that both calms my nerves and excites my senses. But, it felt wrong to have something wonderful when my Bugsy had just died. Wrong to have a new “baby”. And though it’s not the same, I couldn’t open the box for ten days.

I finally did. And have downloaded MS Office (including Word) from my Microsoft account. But I’m still using my old tried-and-true friend—same laptop, five years older, in gray. Because Y’AAAAALLLLL, the new keyboard is SO STIFF. I don’t like having to press so hard. Guess my fingers will be getting a workout once I make the switch. I only hope these sweet babies are up to it.

Emotionally, I am mending. A bit at a time, I pull out of the sad into the brightness of spring in Southwest Idaho. I picked up Bugsy’s ashes from the vet, feeling a little silly. Being a farm girl from West Georgia, I had to remind myself that Bugsy was not just any animal. He’s family. Though what I’ll do with him now, who knows. I left the bubble wrap on the pretty pine box. I’m not ready to face that emotional moment. I want to give it the time and attention it deserves.

But, please know that That Rebel is alive and kicking. And getting my head and heart ready to dive into the tasks remaining between here and publication. And, yes. I shall stay open to those flashes of inspiration, wherever they might find me.
 
Lake Lowell with Owyhee Mountains, Nampa, ID
I hope your own lives are happy and healthy, glowing and bright. I love you all. Thank you for keeping me in your prayers and hearts. With your continued help, I’ll soon be flying!

That Rebel, Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O.J. Barré


O.J. Barré is the author of the upcoming Awen trilogy, a science fantasy set in 2042 in Atlanta, Georgia. Steeped in current, ancient, and future history twists, Book One, Awen Rising, is scheduled to debut August 1, 2019, in both ebook and paperback. Book Two, Awen Storm, is slated for 2020. And Book Three, Awen Tide, arrives in 2021.

** This scene could also usher in a possible Book Four, converting the Awen trilogy to a series. There are hidden threads woven throughout the trilogy—a fourth could break them wide open, exposing the underbelly of many things. Or not. We shall see.

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