Shark River

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Dindi is kidnapped to be the bride of a shark... To escape she must untangle a terrible curse caused by a love and magic gone wrong.


This stand-alone novella is set in Faearth, the world of The Unfinished Song. Available here ONLY.


The Unfinished Song - This Young Adult Epic Fantasy series has sold over  70,000 copies and has 1,072 Five Star Ratings on Goodreads.

Tag Archives for " writing "

April 23, 2014

Hugh Howey’s Author Earning Report

I haven’t been following the back-and-forth between indie and trad publishing lately, although when I was trying to decide how to publish The Unfinished Song, it was obviously tremendously important to me. Honestly, when I took the plunge, it was out of despair. The best available statistics at the time promised that if I self-published, I’d likely never sell more than 100 books. Total. Ever.
I’ve now sold over 100,000 books.
It’s from that admittedly biased stance that I come to the latest brouhaha (pay special attention to the “Genre Sucks Balls” pie-chart) over Hugh Howey’s Author Earning Reports.
Here’s Hugh Howey’s site If you haven’t read the reports, but have enough interest in the subject to read blog posts criticizing them or lauding them, for goodness’ sake, read the reports. They are cool.
While you’re at it, also check out Failure Ahoy’s addendum, Self-Publishing’s Share of the Kindle Market.
I would say that the main problem with Howey’s data is not any of the objections raised by trad publishers / agents / PR people, but the simple fact that the Author Earnings listed there are GROSS for trad authors and NET for indie authors. Obviously. Because indies are their own publishers. It’s impossible to calculate those, because they are so different.
To anyone going indie, however, I would advise that you re-invest ALL the money you make in the first two years (at least) back into your business, and about half the money you make into your business the two years after that. Of course, that’s just a random ballpark and you need to decide what makes sense to you. Just don’t forget to invest in yourself as a publisher as well as pay yourself as a writer if you go indie, because you’re both. As an author, I’ve done well so far, but as a publisher, I’m barely breaking even. It’s an important distinction for an author-entrepeneur to keep in mind.
All those writers still shopping for trad publishers, here are some more of the latest figures on how much writers are earning. Here’s a good list of typical romance advances.
I’d say that Fantasy and SF ranges are probably comparable (some quite high advances, most quite low), but with about a tenth as many potential publishers. Remember, too, that advances for F/SF are often across 3 books and 3 years or more, so be sure and calculate that when you consider that an $60,000 advance in that case is actually $20,000 a year/ a book.
Here’s how much the readers of Writer’s Digest earn from writing:
Amazingly, writers who have not yet written or published anything, make no money. Equally amazingly, doctors who have not yet attended medical school, or practiced medicine, also make not money.
Some writers, such as Jim Hines, are making a living with trad publishing. I wish Jim would self-publish, though, because I want to buy Codex Born, the sequel to Magic Ex Libris, but (it’s published by  DAW, which is Penguin Group) and they see fit to charge $10. Which I still think is a lot for an ebook. So I’m hoping it will go on sale…. While I was dithering, trying to decide whether to buy it or not, I bought West Coast Witch instead, from an author new to me. Just for the record, I hate, hate, hate it when readers bitch about how much my books cost. (What? Don’t you value my work above rubies and pearls?!) But I still bitch about it when I’m in my reader’s chair. And I probably will buy Jim’s book. Next month.
Ahem. Anyway.


November 7, 2013

Only a Couple Days Left To Join my NaNoWriMo Workshop!

Registration for the 30 Day Novel Workshop closes soon so sign up today and get day-by-day and step-by-step video tutorials and tips for writing your NaNoWriMo novel. You can follow the videos at your own pace and will have access to all the videos through the end of the year. In addition to the free workbook, there are resource guides and special bonuses to help you achieve your NaNo goals!

Check out the FREE intro videos here. They’ll only be available for a couple more days!
With the 30 Day Novel Workshop you’ll get:
  • Daily tutorial videos targeted to fix any problems arising with you novel, and speed you past creative blocks into a whirlwind of creative brainstorming.
  • Practical, easy tips and tricks you can apply IMMEDIATELY to make your plot rock and your characters connect with your reader.
  • Blueprints, workbooks and resources you can turn to for help with specialty scenes — how to write sensuous love scenes, how to build suspense, the special rules to follow to write exciting brawls and battles — and much more.
Not doing NaNo? This is still a great resource for anyone dreaming of writing that novel someday!
October 22, 2013

Writing Craft: How To Give Your Novel a Gut-wrenching Black Moment

A guest post from Rayne Hall. 

If you’re writing a novel, consider a Black Moment about two thirds into the book.

At this stage, everything and everyone has turned against the hero (who can, of course, be a heroine).The hero is under pressure and close to giving up. Internal and external conflicts have increased to the degree that your hero can’t bear it any more. His girlfriend has broken up with him, his allies have deserted the cause, he has been fired from his job and evicted from his home, the villain’s henchmen are closing in, and his big secret has been exposed in the press. Under pressure, he is close to giving up. To make matters worse, his girl has been abducted and will die unless the hero surrenders the proof of the villain’s machinations… and he can neither rescue her nor deliver the documents because he’s locked up in a prison cell. All seems lost.If you can think of another way to make it still more difficult for your hero, pile it on.Make it still more difficult by taking away his means of communication – the mobile phone (British) or cellphone (American), the internet connection, the humans who might carry a message.

Only a tiny shred of hope remains that the hero will achieve his big, important goal.

The hero feels rage, despair and a whole cocktail of other emotions. Consider adding fear: he fears not only for himself, but for the safety of his abducted girlfriend, as well as for the people in the building the villain is about to bomb, for the survival of the human race, or whatever is at stake in your story.

Turn the suspense volume up as high as you can. The “ticking clock” technique works well. The hero has only a certain amount of time – perhaps one hour – to escape from the villain’s clutches and rescue his girlfriend, defuse the bomb or save the world. He is aware of the time ticking away. You can emphasise this by actually showing a clock. The hero sees he has thirty minutes left… then fifteen… ten…five…two…one. This builds enormous suspense.

Let the reader feel the hero’s physical responses to the tension: the aching neck, the dry throat, the sweat trickling down his sides.

The blacker you make the Black Moment, the more exciting the Climax and the more rewarding the End.


If you’re a writer and have questions, please leave a comment. I’ll be around for a week, and I’ll reply. I love answering questions.

About Rayne Hall

Rayne Hall has published more than forty books under different pen names with different publishers in different genres, mostly fantasy, horror and non-fiction. Recent books include Storm Dancer (dark epic fantasy novel), 13 British Horror StoriesSix Scary Tales Vol 1, 2, 3, 4 (creepy horror stories), Six Historical Tales (short stories), Six Quirky Tales (humorous fantasy stories), Writing Fight ScenesThe World-Loss DietWriting About VillainsWriting About Magic and Writing Scary Scenes (instructions for authors).

She holds a college degree in publishing management and a masters degree in creative writing. Currently, she edits the Ten Tales series of multi-author short story anthologies: Bites: Ten Tales of Vampires, Haunted: Ten Tales of Ghosts, Scared: Ten Tales of Horror, Cutlass: Ten Tales of Pirates, Beltane: Ten Tales of Witchcraft, Spells: Ten Tales of Magic, Undead: Ten Tales of Zombies and more.

Rayne has lived in Germany, China, Mongolia and Nepal and has now settled in a small dilapidated town of former Victorian grandeur on the south coast of England.