Posted in New Releases

New Release: Creche Terrenium by K.C. Sprayberry

A galaxy under attack… youth out of control… extreme measures are called for… until the citizens are faced with impossible choices.

Good day and welcome to the release of Crèche Terrenium. This book was written many years ago, when I was first starting out in my writing career. I submitted it to Millennial Science Fiction and Fantasy Magazine as a 5,000 word short story. This was during the days of snail mail submissions and waiting months on end to hear back from the editor in chief. To my surprise, I heard back rather quickly, about six weeks. Figuring they’d laughed and sent me a letter telling me that I should quit writing, I waited a couple of days before reading the bad news. Well, it wasn’t a contract to have the short story published in their magazine. What I did get was a letter telling me that the then editor in chief loved the concept of my short story and wanted me to develop it into a full book before resubmitting.

The full book was written, critiqued, edited, rewritten, etc. over a period of six months of sleepless nights and fingernail chewing days. I finally resubmitted the new story to the editor in chief per her request, only to hear back nearly immediately. The thin envelope pretty much told the story before I opened it.

Turns out while I was breathing life into this novel, the editor in chief had been replaced with someone else. That individual bluntly informed me that they were no longer interested in teen sci-fi books, as “teens didn’t read.” Who was I to argue? I knew the book was good. All I had to do was wait for the right time and place to present it to the world.

The time is now. The place is here. Enjoy!

Crèche Terrenium on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/61rFrEsxp3wgKiuatfzzDy

The Melane Galaxy has a problem, one that threatens their very existence. Led by a reporter, Susannah Tilotsen, the citizens demand a solution to their children terrorizing people. Yet, when Chairman Marcus Sterling institutes the Crèche system, Susannah feels deep shock and dismay.

The children will be taken from their parents and raised by a computer designed to educate and monitor them. No adults will have interaction with the youth of the galaxy. The overall goal is to create good citizens of the youths rather than out of control hooligans.

Is this solution good intentions by the leadership? What if a parent protests the loss of their child? What choice do they have?

Blurb

Youth out of control… Citizens demand a solution.

The Edict…

A law enacted to deal with recalcitrant children lays the blame on their parents. Only a computer can properly change The Melane Galaxy’s youth and turn them into good citizens. Chairman Sterling must force people to realize that parents aren’t right for raising children.

The Reporter…

Susannah Tilotsen discovers she’s being used by a government attempting to parent children. She soon realizes no one is safe from this new law. The loss of her beloved husband and her daughter being forcibly taken to Crèche Terrenium drives her to organize a group determined to stop this madness

The Boy…

Ripped from his loving home, Joey Dinaldo is taken to Crèche Terrenium after government troops find him living with his parents. He works hard to be a good citizen and obey the rules but soon discovers he can’t support a system designed to turn children into uncaring robots.

The Computer…

Master, the computer system that will raise these children, controls every second of their lives. Yet, there is no one to maintain the machine. The computer never thinks it needs to be repaired, even as the control it exerts slowly erodes. It is perfect, and fights to keep from being destroyed.

Rebels refuse to stop fighting until they have closed down the Crèche system and returned the children to their parents. Or find them a guardian. All of them are willing to do whatever it takes to end this madness… but at what cost?

Amazon eBook: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07SJTGPX1/

Amazon print book: https://amzn.to/2XowPcp

Excerpt

Black words on the creamy parchment in her hand numbed Susannah Tilotsen. Shivers racked her spine; fear deadened her fingertips. Her grip loosened and the document fluttered to her feet. The forty-something man in front of her caressed his silver-shot sable hair before spreading his hands. She watched the public façade take over as the benevolent leader of a fractious, crumbling galaxy smiled.  She knew better. His duplicitous expression sent chills up her spine.

She looked at the settlement she was reporting on to a galaxy awaiting a solution for a growing problem. The gray on gray buildings depressed her. The same hue was repeated in the walkways and latticed worked fences enclosing the twelve living areas. The children who soon call this place home would have no relief from the depressing shades of grey.

https://youtu.be/8x0CFWcSn0o

About K.C. Sprayberry

Living a dream she’s had since she first discovered the magic of books. K.C. Sprayberry traveled the U.S. and Europe before finally settling in the mountains of Northwest Georgia. She’s been married to her soulmate for nearly a quarter of a century and they enjoy spoiling their grandchildren along with many other activities.

A multi-genre author, K.C. Sprayberry is always on the hunt for new stories. Inspiration strikes at the weirdest times and drives her to grab notebook and pen to jot down her ideas. Those close to her swear nothing or no one is safe if she’s smiling gently in a corner and watching those in the same room interact. Her observations have often given her ideas for her next story, set not only in the South but wherever the characters demand they settle.

Find out more about my books at these social media sites:

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/pg/AuthorKCSprayberry/

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/kcsowriter

Blog:

http://outofcontrolcharacters.blogspot.com/

Goodreads:

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5011219.K_C_Sprayberry

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005DI1YOU

MeWe: https://mewe.com/group/5c668604d7749276f0a8689a

Pinterest:

http://pinterest.com/kcsprayberry/boards/

Spotify:

https://open.spotify.com/collection/playlists

Manic Readers:

http://www.manicreaders.com/KCSprayberry/

AUTHORSdB:

http://authorsdb.com/authors-directory/5230-k-c-sprayberry

Authorgraph:

https://www.authorgraph.com/authors/kcsowriter

Email:

kcspray01@gmail.com

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Posted in Travel/Conferences

The Cat Writers’ Association 25th Anniversary: Something to Meow About

This week, I’ll be flying to St. Louis to join fellow members of the Cat Writers’ Association for their annual conference. This year, CWA will be celebrating their twenty-fifth anniversary. I’ve been a member for twenty of those years.

Back when I decided to join, I was an unpublished author. I’d been writing for many years but; besides the articles I’d written for my college newspaper and the stories and books I’d composed in dozens of notebooks, I hadn’t submitted anything to be published professionally. Learning of this group that represented authors of all types who wrote about cats, I felt it would be suitable for me since I’d always been a cat lover and enjoyed reading cat mysteries by such authors as Carole Nelson Douglas famous for her feline sleuth Midnight Louie and Shirley Rousseau Murphy, who writes about Joe Grey, both of whom were members.

The only thing that stood in the way of my becoming a professional member of CWA was that I needed to have two published pieces. To fulfill this requirement, I began sending articles about my cats, Floppy and Holly, to pet magazines and newsletters. I wrote one about how I introduced Holly to Floppy that was published in the 1998 issue of Cat Fancy Magazine. I published another article on how to care for a cat with diabetes when Floppy became diabetic.

My cat Floppy who was the inspiration for my article on feline diabetes that was published in Cat Fancy Magazine and who was featured in my first novel, Cloudy Rainbow after he passed away.

When my membership was accepted, I attended the 1999 conference in Kansas City and met Shirley Rousseau Murphy in person. I also met Amy Shojai, the then CWA president and founder. I felt right at home with these cat-loving authors and enjoyed the conference sessions, awards banquet, and meeting  people with whom I had so much in common.

Me and Shirley Rousseau Murphy at the Cat Writers’ conference in Kansas City in 1999

I regret that I wasn’t able to attend any conferences after that first one that was so enjoyable. Although I continued to write and kept up my membership, I didn’t have much time or opportunity to travel. I was working full-time as a librarian and had a young daughter. I continued, however, to write cat-related articles in pet magazines and, in 2001, published my first cat mystery, “Stitches in Time,” a short story that appeared in the anthology, Cat Crimes Through Time.

In 2008, I published my first novel, Cloudy Rainbow, that featured Floppy, who passed away the year before. I self-published the book and didn’t sell many copies, so I stopped writing for a time until a patron at my library encouraged me to write another book. Me and Shirley Murphy at the Cat Writers' conference in Kansas City in 1989In 2015, I published A Stone’s Throw, that became the first of my Cobble Cove cozy mystery series featuring Sneaky the Library Cat. The series now consists of four books. This first edition was published by Limitless Publishing and was later reprinted by Solstice Publishing with whom I now have six books including the reprint of Cloudy Rainbow, as well as several short stories and a novella. I also recently published a standalone mystery, Sea Scope, with Creativia.

My 7 published novels including the 4 books of my Cobble Cove cozy mystery series.

All my books feature cats who don’t play major roles or talk but usually help uncover clues to the mysteries. The 4th book of my Cobble Cove series, Love on the Rocks, recently won a Certificate of Excellence from the Cat Writers’ Association and is one of several up for consideration for the coveted Muse Medallion that will be awarded in St. Louis this Saturday night.

The Muse Medallion, the highest honor awarded at the Cat Writers’ Banquet during their annual conference.
My latest Cobble Cove mystery that won a Certificate of Excellence and is up for a muse medallion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m looking forward to attending another CWA conference and appearing on a panel of cat fiction authors. I’ll also be signing books at the Missouri Humane Society’s fundraiser with other CWA authors.

I’ll be on a panel with cat fiction authors top left to right: Mollie Hunt, Patricia Fry. Bottom left to right: Sandra Murphy, Me

My bags are almost packed, and I’ve managed to gather all my cat tops, cat ears, and other cat items to bring to the event in, what else, a cat suitcase. It should be fun as well as educational with speakers, editors, sessions on a variety of topics, and networking opportunities. My only regret is having to leave my three cats at home, but I know they’ll be happy when I return with my swag bag of feline goodies from all the wonderful pet company sponsors. The 25th anniversary will definitely be something to meow about!

 

Posted in Authors, Books, local author event

Don’t Miss Long Island’s Local Author Fair

This Saturday, April 6, I’ll be attending Long Island’s Local Author Fair with fellow members of LIAG (Long Island Author’s Group) and other local writing associations. This event will take place at the Tilles Center on the LIU/C.W. Post Campus. Admission is free, and it runs from 3 to 8 pm. There’ll be over 50 authors participating, keynote speaker, Steve Israel, panels, and book signings. I’m looking forward to a great day meeting and chatting with authors and readers. If you’re in the Long Island area, enjoy reading and meeting authors, this is an event you won’t want to miss.

Check out this list of author presentations that feature a wide variety of genres. I’ll be speaking about my Cobble Cove mystery series and other books as well as my upcoming psychological mystery release at 4:39 pm in the Founders Hall. Please come by to see me at that time or at my table any time during the event.

 

Posted in Writing

A Writer Seeks New Year’s Advice

I hope you all had a nice holiday and are looking forward to the New Year. At this time of year, people reflect on the past year and make plans or resolutions about what they would like to change or start. For writers, this usually concerns their output. I know that many of you who read this blog are authors like I am and that most of you are also readers, if not of my books then of different ones.

As I reflected on my writing this past year and those of the years before, I decided to devote this New Year’s blog to issues that concern me and that I believe concern most authors and to ask for feedback from both writers and readers. I created a survey that I will be sending to the subscribers of my author’s newsletter. If you don’t subscribe and would like to take the survey, please fill out the pop-up form on this website or send me a note that you would like me to subscribe you manually. You can unsubscribe afterwards if you prefer.

The reason for the survey is that I’ve been struggling to balance writing with my marketing work. I’ve been writing a long time but have been publishing steadily since 2015. During those three years, I’ve published 6 books, a novella, and 11 short stories. I also have two completed manuscripts and a half-finished novel. As I publish each book, I find that it’s harder to find time to write another because of the time I need to devote to promoting each one. I known I’m not alone facing this quandary. I’ve interviewed other authors on this blog during their book tours and have found that most cite marketing and promotion as their most difficult and time-consuming tasks related to their writing. Even those who publish with a large publisher or who can afford publicists, still need to promote their work.

Today’s book market is flooded with books, but less people are reading. As a librarian, I know there are still avid readers and those who still enjoy print books, but overall, this seems to be changing in a fast-paced and multi-tasking world. How does an author build an audience and stand out from the crowd or even hope to make back part of the money they spend on promotion and their time writing?

I know there are no simple answers. I’ve been lucky to see my books in print and that I’ve received some nice reviews and comments about them. I appreciate all the help and advice from my publisher, Solstice Publishing, and even though I still hope to find an agent and publish with a larger publisher one day to reach a larger audience, I’m glad that I was the given the opportunity to work with such  professional people.

Despite the fact that the market is overflowing with books, it’s great that there are so many options to publish. I have friends who self publish and know authors who publish traditionally with large publishers. There are also writers like myself who publish with small, Independent online publishers.  These groups all face various challenges.

I use several methods to promote my books. In addition to this blog that also serves as my website, I have a character blog and Facebook character chat group. I’ve appeared on podcasts and guest posted and done interviews on other blogs and on a local TV show. I also have a monthly author newsletter and share my books and author news on Facebook and Twitter. I do all of this in addition to working a full-time job and raising my teenage daughter. How do I fit in writing? It hasn’t been easy, and it’s getting harder — thus the survey to see who I’m reaching and how. What can I cut back without losing my fans?

Like most writers, I don’t write for the money. It would be nice, but it isn’t the main reason. I love to write, but it’s difficult to reach all the people who would enjoy my books. I can’t afford an assistant or publicist. I create all my graphics and content myself and haven’t yet mastered automated tweeting or FB sharing. I don’t have time to be on the computer 24/7 and aren’t young enough to know all the techno tricks and shortcuts.

I haven’t received my December royalty statement yet, but, so far, I’ve made $101.07 in royalties for 2018. That includes my sales from ebooks and paperbacks. That’s only $100 for a year of work, while I’ve spent way more than that on writing association memberships, graphics, book trailers, copies of my own books to sell at author events, free books and Amazon gift cards for contests I’ve sponsored in my newsletter and in other author events, writing supplies, etc. I don’t know what other authors make. However, I’ve read articles that author royalties have declined.

I’d love feedback from other authors as well as readers with any suggestions on changes I can make in 2019 that might increase my readership and help me balance my writing/promoting time. Please also take the survey that will be emailed on January 2 to my newsletter subscribers. Thank you for your support and any advice you can give. It means a lot. Happy New Year!

 

Posted in Freebies and Special Offers

Reason to Die on Kindle Countdown October 9 to 11

From October 9 to 11, my standalone mystery, Reason to Die, will be part of a Kindle countdown and be available for only 99 cents.

myBook.to/RTD

Someone is strangling disabled people in the small town of Baxter, Connecticut. Detective Courtney Lang and her ex-partner and ex-lover, wheelchair-bound Bill Thompson, are paired up again and put in charge of the investigation. During the course of their search, Courtney uncovers information that points toward a connection between the murders and an unsolved series of muggings by a masked man, the same man who shot and disabled Bill a year ago on the night he proposed marriage to her.

Complicating matters for Courtney is her guilt about Thompson’s shooting, her affair with her new partner, Mark Farrell, and her unresolved feelings over the deaths of her mother and sister who perished in a fire while she was away from home.

As the deaths accrue and the “Handicapped Strangler” as the killer is coined by the press continues to rampage the town adding victims of different ages, sex, and disabilities to the murder count, Courtney discovers a clue that could crack open the case but may put her and Bill’s life in jeopardy.

Posted in Blog Tour

My Upcoming Fall Promotions, Giveaways, and Events

In case you don’t follow me on Facebook, twitter, or subscribe to my newsletter, here’s some important info about my current and upcoming book promotions and events.

My blog tour for my new release, Cloudy Rainbow, featuring a $10 Amazon gift card is ending on October 3. You can still read about the book and participate in the rafflecopter until that date. The tour is hosted by Silver Dagger Book Tours, and the dated stops are listed here.

From October 9 to 11, my standalone mystery, Reason to Die, will be part of a Kindle countdown and be available for only 99 cents.

I’m also on the final edits for my 4th Cobble Cove Mystery, Love on the Rocks. This book should be released within the next month or so.

This Fall, I’ll also be appearing at several local author fairs and other events on Long Island. Here is my upcoming calendar if any of you are in the area and can come by and see me. I’ll be happy to autograph copies of my books for you and as gifts for friends and relatives.

 

Posted in Books

An Update on my Book Projects: Something for Every Reader

For those who don’t subscribe to my author newsletter, I thought I’d post an update on my book projects. I believe my works-in-progress will appeal to readers of a variety of genres.

I’m currently editing a new version of my very first novel, a paranormal romance called Cloudy Rainbow.  This book was originally self-published but will now be reprinted in a new version by Solstice Publishing. I’m hoping it will be released by the end of the summer. The book was written after my 15-year old cat, Floppy, died and includes him as a character. It features themes of reincarnation, clairvoyance, and virutal reality and is told in alternating time periods from 1992 to 2008. It received an honorable mention in the Writer’s Digest Self-Published Books Contest. Although only printed originally in paperback, it will now be available as an eBook on Amazon.com and will be free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

Coming in the fall, I should be submitting my fourth Cobble Cove cozy mystery, Love on the Rocks, to Solstice. This book takes place near Valentine’s Day and features the Cobble Cove characters from the series with a few additions including a new kitty in town who keeps Sneaky on his toes.

I’m also working on a time-travel story that continues one that I wrote for an anthology called Cat Crimes Through Time nearly twenty years ago. The main character, Gina Garrett, now grown will once again travel back through time for two different reasons. I’m hoping this will evolve into the start of a new series.

I have two other completed novels that I hope to publish next year: The Case of the Cat Crazy Lady, the first of a new cozy series; and Sea Scope, a psychological thriller.

To view a video of my Cobble Cove cozy mystery series including the upcoming fourth volume and my new standalone mystery, Reason to Die, click this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1FmAW4U-jA