10 September 2017

Worldbuilding dates and times

One of the things that writers have to keep track of is details of characters and - when you're messing with multiple worlds or other factors - dates of events.

I've been working on a spreadsheet for Snug Ship, and thought you all might be interested in a glimpse of the spreadsheet I did while writing In Arcadia.  Lining up Earth time and Muinan time involved so many errors...


28 August 2017

Inn - Chap 6

I have been very neglectful, and left you all hanging for quite a long time.  I don't even have a good excuse - I've been distracted playing FFXIV, and with plumbing woes, and a bit of a reading binge.

Also, this isn't a very good chapter.  Very little happens action-wise - it's more focused on Vanagar being consumed by social malaise, and while she does make some progression, it's way more fun to read about epic magics.  It's a necessary progression, but I think if writing it now I'd set it during some discovery events, rather than sitting about re-iterating things we know already.


26 June 2017

14 June 2017

Inn - Chap 4

I think, on a current writing, I'd make the farmers less unreasonable.


Concept image for one of my covers

I think I shared a rough image a while ago of the rough layout I wanted for Caszandra.  Today I found the image I drew when commissioning Stray.  I sure placed a lot of importance on the backpack!  When I was a kid all backpacks were heavily annotated in this fashion...


24 May 2017

Inn Chap 2

In this installment of this abandoned project, we see that SGM was not the first time I've balanced an experienced and competent POV with a younger and untried one.

Vanagar is very different from Kendall. I quite like the character arc I had planned for her.  In fact, since I stopped writing after she made the major progression on that arc, I suspect that the transition was what I wanted to write, and since it happens relatively early in the story, is why this is unfinished.


17 May 2017

An abandoned project - Inn Chap 1

I was just re-reading Sabriel, which I'm fairly sure was the inspiration of an old partial of mine with the working title of Inn.  Then I started re-reading the old partial, instead of, y'know, working on things I intend to finish.

So I figure I shall spread the time-wasting around and give you the first few chapters of Inn over a couple of posts.  There's a lot wrong with this story - it reads rather D&D-ish to me now, but I'm entirely amused by the situation.  Don't read on if you like things like resolution, or endings...

[Caution: I am unkind to horses in this chapter.  Reminiscent of a scene in Champion.]

---

15 April 2017

An award for Forfeit

Award recognition is one of those complicated things for writers.  Is there such a thing as 'best'?  Judges bring their own individual taste.  Popular awards rely very much of a piece/author being known to the voting pool.  It's all very complicated, so I've tried to adopt the attitude of appreciating any compliments coming my way without getting too hung up on missing out.

But I'm still going to enjoy adding to my display cabinet an Aurealis Award for "Forfeit" as the Best Fantasy Novella 2016.

HUGE thanks to Judith Tarr for prodding me into tightening up the story.  And thanks again to my readers.  You're the ones that really make my day.

You can watch the ceremony here if you're so inclined.


17 February 2017

Self-pub Statistics 2017

Here's the latest round of statistics, for those who are interested in such things.  I'm being lazy and just using a tool called Book Report to automatically turn all my Amazon sales into nice graphs.  Amazon is still about 85% of my sales, so this gives you a good idea of how it all breaks down for a laid-back non-promo type like me.  [I'd far rather just write and publish than go through promo hoops, which does mean my sales slide between releases.]

[If you want to see just how successful hard work and a solid promo plan (along with good books) can be, check out some of the posts Patty Jansen does on her far more active writing career.]

Earnings per month

First, here's earnings from when I first put my books up on Amazon (a few months after I'd first published them on Smashwords).  The two big peaks are two Bookbub promotions, back when it was easier to get into Bookbub.  The initial early leaps were in the days when putting a book free would have a tangible impact on your sales.  [The third biggest peak, incidentally, is the release of In Arcadia.]


Earnings by book and store

The Touchstone Trilogy is by leaps and bounds my bestseller, as can be seen by the pie chart.  No prizes for guessing which books are represented by the right of the chart.


Numbers and dollars by book

Dividing this by seven years makes the amounts seem much less impressive - but still definitely nothing to sniff at!  Not anything I could gamble on early retirement with, but a solid supplement to my income.  [Publishing and Amazon algorithms are such variable things that I don't think I would ever bank on book royalties until I no longer had things like mortgages to worry about.]


For the future...well, I'd still rather just write and publish and see what happens - the beauty of self-publishing is that the books are mine, and they're not going away, and I'm comfortable with letting my mailing list grow slowly and organically.

Not that I'd object to wild success.  I recently had a rather heart-stopping query from a very major production company about the film/TV rights for Touchstone.  It came to nothing, sadly, but it sure did give me some fun daydreams.  I re-read the trilogy afterwards, and really don't see how it could be adapted without cutting down on the massive cast list - but I thought it would be fun to have a show that paralleled Zan and Cass.  They both technically 'graduate' around the same time and are such different people.

02 February 2017

In Arcadia magnet winners

Whoo!  The random number generator has spat out the following names for their own fancy magnet
:

- Jen (entered on Goodreads)
- AtillatheMom (entered on blog)
- G  (entered on blog)
- Eun dong Park  (entered on blog)
- TheSFReader  (entered on blog)
- Meredith  (entered on blog)
- katayoun  (entered on blog)
- Lexie  (entered on blog)

Congratulations!  To claim your magnet, email me at mail at andreakhost.com with the address you want the magnet sent to, and the quote (from In Arcadia, or anywhere else in the Touchstone trilogy) you would like me to write in shiny gold pen across the magnet (you can also optionally include my signature, your name, bad drawings, other things - let me know what you'd like!)  It's a big magnet!  [But my handwriting is neither small nor neat.]

Magnets not claimed by April will be redrawn.

09 January 2017

In Arcadia TPB Giveaway

Here is a Goodreads giveaway for the TPB version of In Arcadia.  Competition starts 9 January.




Goodreads Book Giveaway

In Arcadia by Andrea K. Höst

In Arcadia

by Andrea K. Höst

Giveaway ends February 17, 2017.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

08 January 2017

A Touchstone special edition

The Book Smugglers are celebrating their ninth anniversary and have announced another Touchstone surprise for 2017: a special limited edition reprint of the trilogy with covers by Kirbi Fagan.

I'm SO looking forward to this - it's wonderful to work with Ana and Thea (and, well, I'm just a sucker for covers).  Will post more info as it arrives.

01 January 2017

In Arcadia - Release and Competition

So it's 2017.

On the world scene, 2016 had quite a few down points, so I thought I'd start the new year off with a small gift for my fans.  Now I know I've been promising a Touchstone short story for years, but I'm afraid I'm just not a short story writer...so you're going to have to make do with a brand spanking new Touchstone novel.

My first outright romance novel, in fact, with the story of how Cass' Mum Laura gets together with Tsur Selkie.  Well, you know me - it's more a slice-of-life geek-fest because how would you feel getting to move to a place like Muina?  Though Tsur Selkie sure as hell knows how to make a romantic gesture.  [And I hope you all fall in love with Aunt Sue, because I sure did, and Aunt Sue will definitely be getting her own adventure some time.]

I love this cover image, btw.


One does not simply walk onto another planet.  At least not without the help of a daughter who has developed unlikely powers, fought an intra-dimensional war, and then arranged for a family relocation to a futuristic clone of Earth.  Laura Devlin would gladly have paid any price to have her daughter back, so living in a techno-paradise with spaceship views is merely an added bonus.  And a dream come true.

But Arcadian paradises do not come without complications.  Laura's include a plethora of psychic grandchildren.  Interplanetary diplomacy.  Her daughter's immense fame.  And KOTIS, the military watchdog that seems to consider Laura's entire family government property.

Forewarned by her daughter's experiences, Laura had anticipated as many problems as she could, and didn't doubt her ability to cope with the rest.  But she had not planned on Gidds Selkie, a military officer 'chipped from flint' and not at all the sort of man lifelong geek Laura had ever imagined would find her interesting.

Burned in the past, Laura is surprised to find herself tempted.  Is this a new start to go with a new world?  Or a mismatch doomed to failure?


Ebooks
Amazon USUKDEFRAU
Kobo 
Barnes & Noble  
Google 

Trade Paperback
Amazon 
CreateSpace 


Competition!
I had a number of large magnets made up from the cover to give away, for those who are really keen on some new fridge decorations.  When I say large, I mean large:



To enter, just add 'enter' in the comments of this post (or, if you can't comment, email me at mail at andreakhost.com).  [Feel free, of course, to squee as well, but try to keep this relatively spoiler-free.]

Competition closes end of January.  I can also sign your magnet with a glittery pen, if you so choose, or even a short quote from the novel of your choosing.






10 December 2016

FFXV (mild spoilers)

Final Fantasy Boy Band came out last week, and I racked up 50-60 hours of gameplay and now it is done.

Another very pretty game, and gameplay-wise it was pretty solid Final Fantasy, with endless side quests and open world stuff that you could meander through at your own speed - at least until you hit the end game railroad.


Like many Final Fantasy fans, I was a bit dubious about the 'boy band' aspect.  No female playable characters at all is disappointing - though not irredeemable to me - there has been at least one all-female FF game, and all male playable characters aren't necessarily a gamebreaker for me.

'Cindy the mechanic' nearly was.  Cindy's outfit was a painful piece of fan service, and boy did they love posing her for viewing pleasure.  The windscreen washing was particularly egregious.  She was also the female character we spent the most time with.  Still, at least she was competent.  Aranea and Lunafreya were both better dressed, and we even got to do a dungeon-crawl with Aranea, who has a nice line of snark and some hilarious dragon cosplay going on.

Unfortunately, FFXV has a massive plot problem.  For one thing, most of the plot isn't in the game, it's in an entirely separate movie called Kingsglaive (which I haven't watched).  And what started as a reasonably enjoyable game dissolved into a shemozzle of epic proportions during the end-game, with most of the characters you met during the first forty hours of the game getting a brief mention rather than satisfactory final scenes, and even the primary 'brotherhood' theme coming off pretty weak since we needed more of the _beginning_ of these four's friendship to really appreciate that friendship being under stress, and then finally enduring.

So, for those trying to decide on whether to play the game - the first two-thirds are great classic FF, if lacking in playable female characters and backstory.  The last third isn't particularly fun to play, and reads more like cliff notes or dot points of a plot rather than a satisfying story.

But it's very pretty, and I play quite a few of these games for the pretty.