Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Year in Review: 2013

Good-bye 2013! It's been a roller coaster year. This year I spent a lot of time setting down the stepping stones for myself.

This year I:

 --Career: Changed jobs. I left Valve after 8 years and worked on about five games. Highlights: making Portal and Portal 2.

 --Joy: My boyfriend proposed to me in the Cascades!

 --Travel: I went to England to research, driving 1000 miles.

 --Tragedy: Two weeks before my novel release, tragedy struck my family. Someone very close to me nearly died. The person is recovered now and it's reminder to me to always be thankful.

 --Debut: I spent most of the debut month in the hospital due to the tragedy. Despite the challenge, I released CLAN--a healthy debut with a nice review from Kirkus, over 1000 copies sold, and making it on Amazon's best seller list for Young Adult Sci-Fi eBooks. Nearly all of the royalties were given to charity this year. Thank you, everyone--your support meant the world to me.

To close the year, today I have sent off CLAN's December royalties to the Cancer Research Institute.

CLAN is no longer my book, but yours. Dear readers, if you've read the book and enjoyed it, please do consider taking the time to review it and to share it with your friends. 

Whether you've followed me for my video games, art, or my novel, I hope you'll stay tuned for more of my creations. There is more to come and I'm excited to have begun this journey.

Yours,


--Realm

Sunday, December 22, 2013

CLAN - Happy Holidays!

Hello everyone! I hope you enjoyed the blog tour that ran this month and thank you for making CLAN rise to second place in Amazon's Young Adult Science Fiction best seller list for eBooks! Please note that CLAN will go back to it's regular pricing on the 26th--enjoy the discounted price while you can.

If you missed it, there's still a chance to enter the giveaway for a signed paperback and illustration.

Today Book Marks the Spot reviews CLAN! A quote from the review: "The other clones reaction to Twain's differences really made me think of some other prejudices that have come to pass in our world due to differences in appearance or culture.(read the rest here.)

I offered CLAN for free for two days last week and I have some more gifts for you!

Firstly, I am offering another donation. All royalties earned thus far in December plus this week until the 28th midnight will be donated to the Cancer Research Institute--which is a nonprofit organization





In CLAN, genes are a huge theme and how each of us are born with certain genes we cannot control. We can hope that advancement in science and technology and medicine can help cure the consequences of genetic mutations. I am also making the donation in memory of my Grandmother, who I lost in 2009 to cancer. If you buy a copy of CLAN this week, please know your money is going toward the research for a cure. 

Secondly, here is a CLAN snowflake that's actually in the book. Save it, print it, and use it as a stencil--BUT only try if you're super skilled with scissors or a blade. The small negative spaces are really tricky:





Excerpt from CLAN with this snowflake in it:



Buster reached for a book and began flipping through it with a curious expression. His elbow bumped some kind of ornament. It fell with a clunk. He picked it up. It was a glass orb with a miniature tree inside and white, small dots flying around in the water.
Buster shook it, causing the white things to swirl. “What’s this?”
“Hmm…” Twain narrowed his eyes as he searched his memory. “Oh, my sponsor told me once that on Earth, it snows. It’s like rain, only frozen.”
“No way.”
“Yeah. That must be a representation of ‘snow.’”
Buster inspected a white paper cutout that was next to the orb. “This?”
“That’s snow, too. It’s the ice crystal. My sponsor was fascinated with the idea that no two crystals were the same.” The paper’s shape looked like humans all around a globe, holding hands. Twain suspected that his sponsor had made it. In some ways he missed the little odd things his sponsor had done. It had always made him curious about a world that was bigger than theirs.
Wonder took over Buster’s face. “You think I can keep it?”
“Why not?” Twain shrugged.
Buster put the paper in his pocket.
“Why do you want to keep that crap?” Chad grumbled.



If you're up to making some sugar cookies from CLAN, try making 'em man-shaped:





I made these for my CLAN book release party!

Excerpt with the CLAN cookies:



Twain took his plate of three homemade cookies in the shape of stick figures. Each cookie had its own face. He still couldn’t believe that his sponsor had tampered with the food, concocting baked goods that were against the law. Twain didn’t understand why his sponsor defied the norm—his action was not a good example. Twain left the room, wanting to be anywhere but with his sponsor at that moment.
Once in his room Twain leaned against the closed door. On his plate the cookie men smiled at him with their carved mouths. Twain had never seen his sponsor or any other Clan smile. He spiked the plate onto the ground. Taking in a shaky breath, he bit his lower lip, trying to compose himself, but this only re-opened the cut there. He tasted blood.
The cookies cracked under his heels… duplicate cutout men, broken into a million pieces.



You can also make a garland of paper men from the book to decorate for the holidays:






Excerpt with paper men:



Twigg pointed at the Y-shape on his shirt: the Clan symbol. “I was named after this symbol. It doesn’t just represent the Y-chromosome—it’s a broken twig. You see, when cloning was first introduced on Earth, a man held up a twig and broke a piece of it off to show what cloning meant.” Twigg motioned to the tree sculpture behind him. “Even though the branch was segmented, it still belonged to the same source and was still the same wood it came from. Knowing this, I think that no matter what, we will always be Unified, even in difference.”
Twain’s eyes landed on the metal tree. He noticed something wrapped around it—it had been decorated with cutout paper men, holding hands.



Happy Holidays everyone!!!!


--Realm 

Friday, December 20, 2013

CLAN - On Amazon: #2 Best Seller in Young Adult Science eBooks!

What a surprise! For the current moment, CLAN is #2. Thank you so much, everyone! I hope you'll all enjoy reading CLAN and if you haven't grabbed a free ebook yet, now's your chance!




--Realm

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

CLAN - eBook is Free for Two Days!

Hello, everyone! As an early holiday gift, I am giving the CLAN eBook away for free on 12/19 Thursday and 12/20 Saturday! 

There are multiple advantages to downloading a free book: you could read it on the plane ride to your holiday destination, read it over winter break, or pass the eBook around to your friends and family. I hope you guys enjoy CLAN! 

You can download CLAN here and read the reviews. Today, The Nerdherd Reads posted an informative review that you can check out here. (Plus it comes with an animated gif!)

Also, don't forget the other blog posts going on today and tomorrow! Enter the giveaway for a chance to win a signed paperback, illustration, and other prizes.

I'm starting my winter vacation and am excited to read in front of the fire and revise my second book. I hope you're all having a nice start to the holidays! 

Cheers,


--Realm

Friday, December 13, 2013

CLAN - Blog Tour Day 5!

Hey, guess what's in my favorite Seattle local newspaper The Stranger?




Did you spot the CLAN ad? :)

For Friday:

Next week the tour resumes again--stay tuned!

Have a nice weekend!


--Realm

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

CLAN - Blog Tour Day 3 + 4!

Today's links include two book reviews! 

Day 3:

  --Leanna Reviews CLAN!


Also, prize winners are starting to receive their prizes--like these happy winners! I hope you're enjoying the tour so far!


--Realm

Monday, December 9, 2013

News Week - 12/09/13 - Blog Tour Day 1!

Hello everyone! I got a letter in the mail from Holiday Stockings for Homeless Children. Thanks again for everyone who bought a copy of CLAN during November--your money went to a good cause.



I shipped all the CLAN prizes! If you won something, I hope you enjoy 'em! There's a chance to win more prizes with the YA Bound Tour, starting today.




  --Today editor and writer Taryn Albright interviewed me on my publishing journey! I hope you check it out.

  --Book blogger and reviewer Candace is having a blogaversary giveaway! She is giving out a ton of signed books as prizes (including CLAN). I hope you enter the raffle!

  --CLAN's YA Bound Tour starts today! There will be reviews, excerpts, art, and a raffle. I hope you'll enjoy the tour! Be sure to check out the excerpt from CLAN over at Literary Meanderings

Enjoy!


--Realm

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

CLAN - Five Values of Clan

Did you enjoy the Intro Blog Tour for CLAN? Each of my author friends revealed an illustration of the Five Values of Clan that I drew. I am now revealing the final illustration!

Unity. Above all else, Clans value the concept of Unity.


"...in Clan, we rely on each other. We’re cogs operating the machinery of our civilization. What another does reflects everyone else. We, individually, represent the whole at all times; we are cells in one body. This is why you trust the Clan next to you without having to know anything about him.
--Luge, from CLAN    











The other Values:








What do you think? Did you like the artwork? Got a favorite? You can win all five of the illustrations in postcard form plus more prizes.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



--Realm

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

CLAN - Intro Tour Stop 4

Today my friend and fellow YA author Gretchen McNeil is interviewing me on my writing process and revealing the 4th Five Values of Clan illustration. Do you like scary books? Read Gretchen's horror books! 

I hope you enjoy the interview! It's the final stop for the Intro Blog Tour. Don't forget to enter the raffle! The raffle ends Thursday night. 

Cheers,


--Realm

Monday, December 2, 2013

News Week - 12/02/13 - Free eBook

Heads up! CLAN eBook is free today!

  --Last week, CLAN was on Kotaku--my favorite gaming news site. Thank you for sharing CLAN, Kotaku




  --Yesterday I donated all of my earned royalties for CLAN to Holiday Stockings for Homeless Children. Big thanks to everyone who purchased a copy of CLAN. Also my friend Beth Lopez is doing a fundraiser for Dunlap Elementary School's homeless families. If you are interested in donating, please contact me and I'll forward you Beth's email.  

  --Today is Cyber Monday! That means today CLAN eBook is... free! Take it!

  --If you miss the free eBook today, you have the option to get the eBook for free after your paperback purchase. You can gift one or the other, or both! 

  --Book Reviews: I hope you'll check out Candace's review form and sign up to review CLAN! It comes with a giveaway raffle that you can include in your review (between December and January).

  --Tuesday: it's the last of the Intro Blog Tour! The awesome author Gretchen McNeil is interviewing me on my writing process!

  --Wednesday: I am revealing the final Five Values of Clan! Plus it will be last call for the CLAN merch raffle! The raffle ends on Friday.

Thank you,


--Realm