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Posts Tagged ‘Shelley Adina’

Today we welcome Shelley who writes under varies and sundry alter egos, writing YA as Shelley Adina, adult inspirational under Shelley Bates, and Amish fiction under the name Adina Senft.  I’ve asked her to come on today because after having written numberous books for major publishers, some award-winning, she has decided to self-publish her latest work, a Steampunk YA entitled Lady of Devices, which came out last week.

Award-winning author Shelley Adina wrote her first teen novel when she was 13. It was rejected by the literary publisher to whom she sent it, but he did say she knew how to tell a story. That was enough to keep her going through the rest of her adolescence, a career, a move to another country, a B.A. in Literature, an M.F.A. in Writing Popular Fiction, and countless manuscript pages. Between books, Shelley loves traveling, playing the piano and Celtic harp, making period costumes, and spoiling her flock of rescued chickens.

A whole new meaning for DIY

By Shelley Adina

First of all, thank you to the lolitas for inviting me to post today!

We all know how important the makers are to the steampunk world. Without them, where would we get mechanical arms, cool clothes, and temporal decay monitors? I’m a maker myself when it comes to costume, whether it’s a full Victorian ballgown or a steampunked-out day costume that I wear to work. But when it comes to my books, I create the manuscript and then I leave it to my publisher to make the final product.

Until now.

Last year, as part of my MFA in Writing Popular Fiction program, I wrote a YA steampunk story called Lady of Devices. Since I wasn’t under contract at the time, I pulled out all the stops and just had fun with it. Why shouldn’t the British Mail be delivered by vacuum tube? Why shouldn’t housework be done with automatons? And why can’t a well-bred young lady be an engineer? That last one is a stumper for my heroine, which is why she gets this story.

Anyway, my agent sent it out all over New York, and we waited for someone to love it as much as we did.

And waited.

And waited.

Then the replies started coming in. “Love the story. Can’t market it.” “Beautifully written but where do we shelve it?” “Love the story. Can we make the heroine 22?” Did they not know how hot steampunk is right now? Don’t they get it? Crestfallen, I retreated back into my office and the Lady resigned herself to netting me a degree instead of a publishing contract. Until we both had an idea.

Self publishing.

After all, I’m a maker and she is a creature of intellect and resources. I contacted Amanda Hocking’s cover artist, who gave me a stunning cover that was exactly right for the book. I hired a designer to do the lettering, as well as to create the back cover for the print edition, published through CreateSpace (amazon’s POD arm). I formatted the book myself, edited it myself (it’s what I do in the day job) and posted it … et voila, Lady of Devices is available in print and digital form, at your service on amazon.com.  

My agent is very supportive—after all, she reads the blogs and knows what’s going on in the world of self publishing. And the response from readers? Let’s just say the book has been selling five copies a day since I put it up, which for a newbie at this, is pretty good. It debuted at #39 on the historical fantasy bestseller list—two below The Mists of Avalon and one above Naomi Novik’s latest! And that was with no marketing at all other than an announcement on my Facebook page. I plan to do just what I do for my print books—let people know via my newsletter and Facebook, hand out bookmarks, and then let the writing appeal to readers who enjoy it and might want to talk about it with their friends.

Makers. When all else fails, we do it ourselves.

~Shelley Adina

http://www.shelleyadina.com

Thanks Shelley for sharing with us.  We all know what a hot topic self publishing is.

What’s your take on self publishing? 

Shelley will be giving away one paper copy of Lady of Devices to one lucky commenter.  North American only please.  Contest ends June 15, 2011 at 11:59 PM PST.

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As you read this I’m on my way back home from Orlando, which is a terrible, horrible multi-plane hike across the time zones. Not very fun.

But the Romance Writers of America 2010 conference was fun indeed.

Fellow Lolitas Shelley Adina and Cindy Holby and I did a Steampunk panel along with agent Jennifer Jackson. I’d been terrified that no one would come, since we were opposite some great workshops. But as it turned out, it was standing room only with some very interesting people in attendance.

We got great questions ranging from women’s roles in steampunk to the darker aspects such as colonialism, imperialism, and child labor. Overall, I thought it went well, especially since I didn’t have the vapors…and with the outfit I was wearing I thought I might.

Another highlight of the conference was the Steampunk ball and Prism awards, hosted by the RWA Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal online chapter. Everyone was welcome to come in costume, so, of course, Shelley and I dressed up. I came as a Steampunk Princess, complete with tiara made of clockhands. Considering I was walking through a hotel at the happiest place on earth, I got quite a few looks from little girls.

I am convinced that fellow Lolita Leanna Renee Hieber is my long lost sister–and not because people get us mixed up. She was nominated for not one, but two Prism awards. There were a few jokes since she wore all black and I wore all cream. Does that mean one of us is the good sister and one of us the bad sister?


Leanna ended up winning in both the fantasy and best book categories for The Strangely Beautiful Tale of miss Percy Parker . Cynthia Eden also was a double prism winner, taking both the dark paranormal and novella categories.

Since the ball/awards was steampunk themed, there were some amazing costumes. I didn’t win the costume contest because my steampunk princess costume lacked gadgets.

Hmmm….what gadgets would a steampunk princess have?

Anyway, the conference was amazing, and I attended some excellent panels on everything from social networking to DNA and got to hang out with my fellow lolitas and YA writers (more about that on my personal blog over the next few days.)

I leave you with a couple of pictures from the Steampunk ball.

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I don’t have anything profound for you today, I’m too busy getting ready for the RWA National Conference in Orlando, Florida.

I’m all packed, though getting a bustle, a day dress, and two ball gowns (one quite fluffy) into the suitcase with a dozen tiaras, two hundred bottles of nail polish, a large hat, and my “regular” clothes proved a challenge (I’m carrying on the hat).

I’m both nervous and excited about the conference. I’ve spent far to much time obsessing over what to bring. I do have some new pretties to wear from EJP Creations.

If you live near Orlando, Florida, there’s a giant admission free signing for charity open to the public, Wednesday July 28th. The full list of authors and details are here.

Fellow lolitas Shelley Adina, Leanna Hieber, Cindy Holby will be signing.

I think there might be others (and I apologize if I left anyone out) but right now I just can’t find anyone else on that giant list. Elizabeth and I will be there, we’re just not signing.

The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker by Leanna Hieber is up for a Prism award, which will be giving out at the Steampunk Ball hosted by the Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal chapter of the RWA.

If you’re a conference attendee, on Friday, July 30, Shelly, Cindy, and I will be giving a Steampunk panel – “It’s not about the brass goggles, the allure of Steampunk Romance” at 2 pm. Come by, sit in the front, and heckle me, since I’m totally and utterly terrified. This is the first time I’ve been on a panel like this. You will get to see my pretty hat.

I’ll be tweeting from the road (if I can get mobile twitter to work, lol) so if you’re so inclined you can follow me. Also, check back next week for lots of pictures.

There’s still time to enter to win the gear ring. You know you want it.

Have a great week everyone.

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I’m sorry I didn’t post this over the weekend. Thanks to everyone who contributed to our fabulous Steampunk book discussion.

The winner of the tiara is…

…drumroll please

*~*~*~ANTONIO RICH~*~*~*

Antonio, please contact me at suzannelazear (@) hotmail to get your tiara.

I also have more exciting news. April is the one-year anniversary of he Steamed! blog.  One year–can you believe it?  As a thank you to all of you who’ve made this blog a success we’re going to have a month-long birthday party with special guests, prizes, and other fun stuff.

Let me give you a sneak peak of some of the special things we’re doing for Steampunkapalooza!

On April 1st we’re going to kick it off with the fabulous Gail Carriger, author of Soulless and Changless who’s going to stop by and give away a copy of Changeless.

The Fabulous Shelley Adina is going to share with us her adventuress in dressmaking on April 3rd.  The Stellar Jana Oliver will be dropping by on April 8th.

On April 15th Leanna Hieber, author of The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker will come talk to us about her newest book  The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker.

Hold on to your fishnets! The Smutketeers will be invading the Steamed! blog to tell us about their new Wasteland series.  Man are the Covers hot!

Emilie Bush author of the feminist Steampunk novel Chenda and the Airship Brofman will visit us April 27th.

Stay tuned. We have many more fabulous things and guests planned and we hope you join us for our Steampunkapalooza,

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Several of the Steamed! Lolitas have appearances in the next few weeks.  If you live nearby, come and say hello:

February 5-7, 2010 Temple Con, Warwick, RI
Leanna Hieber will be doing a reading and signing as part of Temple Con (“retro-futurist” gaming / fantasy convention) and she’s a panelist on the “neo-Victorian” panel.

February 12, 2010 Gateway Courtyard Mall, Fairfield, CA
6 – 8:00 p.m.
Shelley Adina will sign The Chic Shall Inherit the Earth in a Girl Scouts fundraiser at Barnes & Noble, Gateway Courtyard mall, Fairfield, CA, with fellow author JoAnn Smith Ainsworth.

February 13, 2010 Fremont Hub, Fremont, CA
4 – 6:00 p.m.
Borders Books presents a Valentine’s panel of award-winning authors: Shelley Adina, Christine London, JoAnn Smith Ainsworth, Jasmine Haynes, and Patricia Simpson. Fremont Hub, Fremont, CA

February 27th, 2010 Crossroads Writer’s Conference, Macon, GA
Emilie Bush will be leading several Steampunk panels including one that is part of the free literary festival. Folks in the area should drop by for Dr. Amazing’s Traveling Steampunk Literary Show-Live captive authors will be reading from their own works before your very eyes! One Show ONLY!

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