Hello friends and fans!
Welcome to my 35th newsletter!
November? What? Geez! The year is all but gone – 2019 is a hair’s breadth away from the end!
Let’s carry on, starting with some of the technical background stuff related to my writing!
Discontinuation of the .net website
Just a reminder, the .net website has been discontinued as of mid-September, so please don’t use the
christinaengela.net url/link as the redirect to christinaengela.com no longer works! I’ll be removing this reminder for next month’s newsletter since I don’t like to nag! 😉
Updates On Lulu AND Amazon
I’m happy to reassure my readers and fans that all my titles displayed on Lulu and Amazon are now updated and current! 🙂 I’ve also taken to uploading most of my Galaxii, Quantum and Panic! titles to Ebooks2go to try to increase my reach! Aside from a couple of hitches with Ebooks2go’s platform regarding it still not wanting to display the cover image for “Static”, all seems good to go!
A couple of snippets that stand out in this review are:
“In the already established ‘Quantum’ universe comes a tale of the unexpected and it might be the best of the series so far“, “What ensues is a story with a powerful meaning along with the usual fun moments Engela is known for, space stories really are her specialty and the setting makes the writing feel very much at home” and “By the end of this book I found myself rooting for the characters who deserved the resolve they got”.
It’s humbling to see a review like this about something I wrote, and I’m very grateful!
It’s probably worth mentioning again, that although “Loderunner” has been available since 2007, this is the very first review I’ve had for it – so I’m very happy that its first review is also a 5 star review!
Poetry by Wendy K. Engela
A couple of months ago my wife and partner in all things wierd and wonderful, Wendy, published her first book – a collection of her gothic poetry! “Season’s Change“. The collection is now available as an eBook via all the expected places, Amazon, Lulu, Smashwords, and all their distribution partner sites. Give it a try – it’s great poetry!
Kay was born in Springs (the town, not actually wearing them) and later grew somewhat taller in a tiny flyspeck on the map called “Kriel”. Wendy – who prefers to be called ‘Kay’ – began experimenting with poetry at 15, beginning with her first effort “Darkness Falls”, quickly followed by her second, “Tombstone”, which resulted in some pretty worried looks from her mother. Since that time, Kay went on to write over 100 more poems (which her parents have never read).
Being the elder (and more homicidal) of two siblings born to the usual two parents, Wendy – who prefers to be called ‘Kay’ – arrived on this planet approximately six months after her parents tied an untieable knot in front of a small family gathering, and began her love affair with books and reading them, at the tender age of six years.
Despite a youth in which she failed to commit fratricide, one of her most impressive achievements, she says, was to exhaust all the worthwhile reading material in her junior school library, then the high school library (which she helped re-establish) – and ultimately, the public library of her small town’s adult section – before the ripe old age of 19!
She has traveled through all nine provinces of South Africa in her lifetime – not entirely by choice – and has lived in Cape Town (Western Cape), Hazyview (Mpumalanga) and presently lurks in a cozy townhouse in Port Elizabeth (Eastern Cape), next door to an inconvenience store (in a neighbor’s garage) ironically called the “Good Luck Cafe”.
You can find out more about Kay and her activities on wendykgloss.wordpress.com (Raven’s Flame).
Sales & Downloads
There’s been a noticeable however slight uptick in sales (and a lot more in free downloads) lately – especially from Smashwords, and I’d like to express a sincere thanks to all of you responsible! Between 30 August – 30 September, from my Lulu.com account alone, there were 417 units “sold” – quotation marks are because these were all free download titles, not paid ones – but it’s certainly encouraging! Via Smashwords, the figures look a little less impressive – 177 total “sold” during the same period, and of that 177, just 8 were paid items! It’s really gratifying to know that so many of my stories – even the short freebies – have been downloaded by so many people! 🙂
Payhip, where I also have most of my books, gets me a lot of views – 525 in fact, over the same period, worldwide – but not even a single download, not even of the free items! I’m starting to suspect that site is usually only visited directly by people who click on a link to buy something from another website, and that any traffic blundering onto my specific book pages there are probably webcrawlers and bots! Still, one mustn’t get discouraged! It’s hard work getting noticed as an indie or self-publishing author – and lots of it – and it’s very gratifying to know that I’m finally doing something right!
Current Writing Projects
As you might recall, I’ve been releasing an article on The Crow Bar every weekday for some time now. This continued pace is pretty demanding, so while I’m giving my all to essentially tell my fanbase about my stories, expanding on various aspects of them, or giving insight on what possessed me to write about them in the first place, it leaves very little time to work on any actual writing projects! For the time being, this is taking precedence, and perhaps in the next few weeks I’ll return to writing again!
No, none of my books are available as audiobooks… not yet. Unfortunately, being in South Africa limits me in my options quite a bit! In the meantime I have it on good authority that the book “SEE THEM ALIENS!” containing my Area 51 story, is being released as an audiobook soon by Moon Books! I was sent a copy of “The Storming of Area 51” in mp3 format on 24 October, and I must admit it was incredible to finally hear a professional reading of one of my stories! In fact, it gave me goosebumps – and a silly grin that wouldn’t come off for a while! If it weren’t for issues around copyright, I’d have shared links to it all over the place and insist that you “Listen!” – but that will have to wait! Keep an eye out for the audiobook release of “SEE THEM ALIENS!” and you can enjoy it along with all the other stories in the book!
Meanwhile, thanks to Brandon Mullins of Moon Books, I’ve been put in touch with the narrator in order to negotiate a reading of one of my novels for a future audiobook release! Since this will be possible, just a little costly considering the horrible exchange rate of our Souf Efrikin ront against anything in the first world, I ask you all to just be patient a little longer while I save up! 😉
As some of you may recall, in 2016 I released Afrikaans translations of “The Thirteenth Ship” and “Wiggle Room“, which like the English originals, were made available as free downloads. These were updated and made available once again in September! I also made it a goal back in the day, to get all my fiction works translated into Afrikaans for the local market, but also into a couple of other languages – as far as that was possible! Translation work isn’t easy, as I’m sure you can imagine – translation apps can really mangle the works up, and without a native language-speaker to check these translations I’m still waist-deep up the creek holding a paddle, without a canoe!
Kay, my wife and love of my life, has taken up learning Dutch with the aim of doing some translating herself – so while that is still pending, I’m satisfied that this is a long-term goal, so I expect progress to be slow. A new friend on Facebook has also approached me with interest in translating some of my works into Romanian – but more about that as things develop!
Apparently, only the top 100 covers with the most votes will be allowed to proceed to the second round of the competition which starts in the second week (7th).
Please, if you wouldn’t mind dropping by the link below to vote for me, it would be greatly appreciated!
My book cover’s voting page is https://allauthor.com/cover-of-the-month/6032/
I’ve done my level best recently, to post via my website blog daily and then to share that across social media instead of posting directly to Facebook, Twitter et al. The goal I’ve set for myself is to post informative articles about various different characters or elements of my stories – and also to come across to readers as more personable… that is to say, less businesslike and less intimidating. After all, I is human too (despite all the skeptical websites interrogating me with their “I am not a robot” puzzles and challenges) and I don’t bite… much! Below are links to a few of my most recent posts on The Crow Bar since my last newsletter:
- Fun Fact: The (Very) Reverend Valcovar
- Secret Weapons of the Resistance #7: The Ambusulance
- Elements of Horror #5: Vampires
- FAQ’s Answered #16: The Alchemy Of Character – Turning Bad Guys Into Good Guys
- The Tech Side #7: Imperial Starships – A Basic Anatomy Lesson
- Fun Fact: Sheriff Peg & Her SOD’s
- Secret Weapons of the Resistance #6: The Mark Conspiracy
- Elements of Horror #4: The Giant Spider Thing
- FAQ’s Answered #15: Why Did I Write ‘Other Kids’?
- The Tech Side #6: A Basic Guide To The Transmatter
- Waiter, There’s A Bigot In My Soup!
- A Unique & Different Approach To Child Bullying: “Other Kids Are Kids Almost Just Like You”
- Fun Fact: Concerning Brad Xyl
- Secret Weapons of the Resistance #5: Ding
- Elements of Horror #3: Haunted Objects
- FAQ’s Answered #14: Who Is Villainessa Tittel?
- The Tech Side #5: Tech To Die For – Slamtorpedoes
- Elements of Horror #2: Ghosts
- The Tech Side #4: Tech To Die For – Corsair Rail-Guns
- LGBT Heroes in Galaxii & Quantum – the “T” in LGBT
- Elements of Horror #1: Zombies
- The Tech Side #3: Imperial Starships – Artificial Gravity Systems
- Secret Weapons of the Resistance #4: The Vampire Underground
- The Tech Side #2: Imperial Starships – The Bridge Complex
- Another Round At The Crow Bar #34 October 2019
Anyway, let’s move on to some more new releases!
Imagine my surprise on the 8th of October while searching for news entries about me or my books on Duck Duck Go, when I stumbled across a new release on Amazon which I’d never seen before!
“SEE THEM ALIENS!: An anthology of what waits during the Area 51 Raid” was published by Moon Books Publishing on September 20, 2019 – the date of the much publicized event! I honestly had no idea if or when a collection would be forthcoming, so it was a very pleasant surprise!
“See Them Aliens” contains my newest short story “The Storming of Area 51” which was inspired by the raid of Area 51, and I’d submitted a draft of the story around two weeks before the publishing date!
On 18 October I published the eBook version of “Waiter, There’s A Bigot In My Soup!” Don’t you just hate it when you find a bigot in your soup? Eeeeuw! Gross!
This is exactly what happens to John Q. Public one day as he sits down to enjoy a fresh bowl of soup at his favorite restaurant! He puts his hand up to complain, but unfortunately the waiter doesn’t believe him – and as his protests increase, so does the intensity of the waiter’s denials!
What will happen to John? Will he get fresh soup – fresh soup without a bigot in it?
Whatever inspired me to write this book? Well, I originally wrote this piece as a poem, because there was a bigot in my soup. As strange as that sounds, and surreal – which it is of course – unfortunately it is also true. Like the protagonist in this piece, I encourage people, societies and governments to demand that the restaurant flush their bigot soup down the crapper. Hey, I pay my taxes, I vote, I toe the line – I want new soup! I demand new soup! Clean soup without the stain of yellow toup’s and tiki torches and little Nazi salutes floating about in them like obscene little croutons of hate!
Let’s all work together to make a world better for all of us! That’s the message of “Waiter, There’s A Bigot In My Soup!” by Christina Engela. Make it so!
Currently Available Titles:
I currently have 23 unique titles available in 4 series (not including the 15 free promotional items).
On A Personal Note
I’ve been a little distracted with all the article writing and promotion work lately. That aside, both Kay and I have been a bit ill with exotic flu strains that went into our muscles, sinuses and what-not, so I haven’t done as much in the writing or D.I.Y. home improvement department as desired!
Over weekends I want to stay as far as I can from a PC as possible, and spend my free time with my love Kay, and completing home improvement projects. Of course, my mind never seems to wander far from writing, and while I’m at it, I start to ponder doing a book of DIY home projects, how to make your own Viking shield, or a step-by-step guide to installing a loft!
- Fan Mail, Reviews & Honorable Mentions
I surely miss the old-school search engines that used to give you EVERYTHING in their search results! I hate this current filtered, watered-down crap the new ones give! Back in the day, search engines used to include all the stuff you get now AND any mentions of the search term (my name) in forum threads, mentions in a newspaper or magazine article, or even in comment threads on website articles or blog posts! Nevertheless, despite search engines having taken a couple of huge steps backwards in the past decade alone, I found the following items to display in this months issue:
- I found a previously unseen and very positive reader’s review for “Wiggle Room” left on Amazon for me by Connie K on May 23, 2018: “Great imagination!! Great short story. The author describes the scene so you can see the picture in your mind.”
- World of Digitals/ The Ebook Megastore has “High Steaks” and a few of my other titles listed for sale there.
- My books also appear on Walmart‘s website (via Kobo, via Lulu)!
- Interesting to note that I found one of my earliest press releases about my writing, dating back to 2005! This one was about “Blachart”, then released in it’s original first edition format! Sometimes I’m still surprised to see old stuff like this still out there!
- I spotted ReinLesen, a German website advertizing my books (in English)! Das ist gut, ja! 🙂
- “Other Kids Are Kids Almost Just Like You” got a review on 17 October! “‘Other Kids Are Kids Almost Just Like You’ by Christina Engela celebrates the concept of diversity and how precious every child is. This book is about intolerance, diversity, and bullying and encourages readers to accept everyone, irrespective of their differences based on gender, race, and color. The book also emphasizes being compassionate to everyone, regardless of their color, status, and gender. Bullying and intolerance are relevant topics in today’s times and this book is good for read-aloud sessions in classrooms to help children be more tolerant and compassionate towards others. The illustrations lend clarity to the concept and help readers connect with the author’s words. The author’s approach to the subject is unique and different, and she makes the book appealing to children with the help of colorful illustrations. It is a good book to teach children to be kind and compassionate.” – Mamta Madhavan for Readers’ Favorite, Oct 17, 2019
I display my Fan Mail, Reviews & Compliments with pride, gratitude and humility. You’re always welcome to have a look.
- Hate Mail & Horrible Mentions
I’ve had nothing exciting in this department over the past month – I must be slipping! Here are this month’s dismal offerings:
- Stacie took such great offense to my responses to having this “so called writer’s” face smeared in evangelicalist paid advertising on my public Facebook timeline, that she made the effort to look me up and “not recommend” my Page, and then to fire off a couple of nonsensical cheap shots about my being self-published. (Note she’s the one telling me I should get a “real job”!) At least she used “there” in the right context, I’ll give her that.
I’m rather proud of my hate mail, and you can review my collection here – but be forewarned, don’t do it while eating or drinking, or you might choke while laughing!
I have nothing new to show you here this month.
All my interviews are linked to from this page. If you would like to do an interview with me about my work, please do get in touch!
Well, that’s all for this time, folks! 🙂
Thanks again for all your support, friendship and interaction!
Catch me on social media!
All material copyright © Christina Engela, 2019.