Category Archives: Release

On becoming involved and writing uncompromisingly for yourself

Yoshida
‘Sarusawa Pond’ by Yoshida Hiroshi.

Hi all! Once again, a million things have been going on; so much so that I can barely keep up. To tell y’all the truth, I don’t even know where to begin! I guess the beginning is always best, but who’s to say exactly where the beginning is? (I’ve been reading Haruki Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, can you tell?)

In the past eight months, I’ve gone out of my way to participate in as many local events as I can.  I was already struggling to juggle my writing and my day job, so the masochist in me decided I needed to add another level of intensity! It’s been tough, to say the least, but it’s brought a whole new dynamic to my author life and I can’t stress enough how game changing it’s been for me as a whole. Not only has it brought me into contact with fellow authors and people in the local community who have offered their friendship and support, but it’s brought me closer to the readers I’d hoped to connect with and reach.

If you’re wondering what I mean by becoming locally involved, here are a few examples. This weekend, I ran a Fantasy Writing Workshop at Tubby and Coo’s Mid-City Book Shop in New Orleans, with author Kimberly Richardson. Before that there was Geek Fest at the New Orleans Public Library in July, NOLA Time Fest in June, the Independent Bookstore Day events at Tubby & Coo’s in May, and contributing to New Orleans’s first Cherry Blossom Festival hosted by Kawaii NOLA in April.

The next few weeks will be even more intense. I’ll be releasing the Second Edition of The Butterfly Crest, just in time for a three week extravaganza of local (New Orleans) events! (Scroll down to the end of the post for event dates and times). For a while now, I’ve been considering making several aesthetic changes to the cover and book design of the paperback, and I figured there’s no better time than now! So, I shelved Book Two for several weeks to make the necessary updates. Fear not, there have been no substantive changes to the contents of the story (not even to those parts where I might have been somewhat overzealous with my descriptions)!

So, what’s going on with Book Two? Glad you asked! I’ve started over. I’ve ‘destroyed’ my work. What do I mean by that? Exactly as scary as it sounds! Back in April I mentioned going ‘back to basics’. Things had been paralyzed for quite some time and I kept hitting a wall. What I had no idea then was how far I would have to go to change things!

After a year of trying to force things (and denying there was a problem to begin with), I ended up having to pitch it all and start over. It was an incredibly difficult decision to make, but I’m glad I did it. I honestly didn’t have any other choice. I wasn’t happy with what I had of Book Two.  I knew exactly what was wrong with it, but I was too scared to do anything about it; the problem was systematic and if I addressed it, I’d have to destroy everything I’d taken so long to create. That’s why I’d been paralyzed for so long. Destroying everything after so much blood, sweat and tears—the idea of it was terrifying. I didn’t want to accept it.

So what was the problem? It was something simple (basic) in hindsight. I wasn’t writing for me. Not a single word of it sounded like me. My voice, as an author, was nowhere to be found. Once I realized that, destroying it was my only option. The second I pitched it all, the writing started to flow. In a single month I wrote what had taken me a year to write before. I’m happy to report that we’re back on track and stronger than ever! Yes, the release of Book Two will now be delayed, but I’d rather have a product that is my own and that I’m proud of. I want to write uncompromisingly for myself, fearlessly and without apologies.

UPCOMING LOCAL (NEW ORLEANS) EVENTS:
  • September 24Paranormal Con at the Jefferson Parish Library. I will be participating in two of their panels. Specific times to follow.
  • September 30 to October  2CONtraflow VI at the New Orleans Airport Hilton. CONtraflow is a Science Fiction & Fantasy literary convention with a New Orleans flair. I will be participating in several of their panels. Times and dates to follow.
  • October 8 – Japan Fest at the New Orleans Museum of Art. I will be signing and selling books from 10:30 AM to 4:30 PM. Kawaii NOLA, who I work with often, will also be in attendance! Come by and say hello!

 

This post’s image is  “Sarusawa Pond” by Yoshida Hiroshi, a Japanese painter and woodblock printmaker who is known for his beautiful landscape prints. I chose this image because of how serene it is and how calm it makes me feel; the perfect sentiment as I move ahead. Calm and steady.

Review – The Butterfly Crest by Eva Vanrell

Stop Two in The Butterfly Crest Virtual Book Tour has gone live at the Trials and Tribulations of Writing Fiction blog! A huge thanks to author Katheryn Avila for such a great write up.

If you haven’t checked out Stop One at TWE Indie Reviews, you should do so now! *no pressure or anything ;)* Thanks to author Thomas W. Everson for the wonderful review.

Fiction Trials

Butterfly Crest Banner

Hi! So way back in September, I signed up over at 2 Book Lovers Reviews for a neat feature they’ve just begun – the Spread the Word Virtual Book Blog Tours! The first ever winner of the free blog tour is Eva Vanrell, author of The Butterfly Crest, and this is my leg of her tour, in which I’ll be reviewing her debut novel. This also marks the first of (hopefully) many more book reviews I’ll be putting up here, mainly of the indie variety. Now, let’s talk about The Butterfly Crest. (SPOILER FREE!)

First, a quick synopsis/excerpt:

Elena Vicens is an associate at a law firm, leading a pretty regular life. As a child, she lived in Japan until the untimely death of her parents. She was taken in by her mother’s best friend, Cataline, and raised in the states for the rest of her…

View original post 780 more words

Happy Release Day!

space between(sm)Hello!

The First Paperback Edition of The Butterfly Crest is officially out today! Just wanted to do a quick update to pass on the link! It is available for purchase on Amazon (or through the Bookshop link on the side-bar menu). If you’re in Europe, it should be available through your regional Amazon links.

Congrats to the 3 winners of the Goodreads Giveaway that ended this morning! I will be mailing out your signed First Editions sometime this week!

Please stay tuned throughout the week for stops on The Butterfly Crest Virtual Book Tour, which includes it’s own giveaway. You can get the details (and enter to win) here. The image above is one of three teasers I prepared for the tour. Please feel free to take a look at all three in the gallery below!

On paperback releases and book blog tours

Hi all! Just wanted to stop by and make a few quick announcements. I had planned for this post to be a little more than just updates, but I somehow caught a stomach bug and it has officially won. Thanks to the crazy dizziness, I can’t stare at a screen for too long.

First thing’s first, just a little reminder that the First Edition Paperback of The Butterfly Crest comes out tomorrow online!! Keep an eye out for the link, which I’ll be posting tomorrow morning (or you can sneak a copy now on Amazon)!

NOLA Book FairI attended my first book fair this past weekend – The New Orleans Book Fair! Had a lot of fun meeting new readers, and sharing the experience with V (my partner in crime in all things literature related) and A (she who forces me to be social and champions my cause). For those of you who purchased the book, I sincerely hope you enjoy Elena’s story and come to love some of the characters as much as I do. It’s a privilege to be able to share them with you. Thank you as well to all the super nice people who signed up for my author newsletter – an email should be going out soon with some fun updates!

If you haven’t signed up for my author newsletter yet, there’s always room for new friends! You can sign up on Eva’s List anytime, to receive exclusive updates on my latest news, sneak peeks and special promotions. Those on the List will be first in line for cover and title reveals, and Book Two excerpts!

PrintThe Butterfly Crest Virtual Book Tour starts today! Thank you to Spread The Word Blog Tours and all of the wonderful bloggers who voted for the book. I’m really looking forward to your posts! There will be a giveaway associated with the tour (First Prize – a signed First Edition Paperback; Second Prize – a $15 Amazon gift card). Here’s the schedule, for those of you who would like to take the tour (and/or enter the giveaway!):

November 10th – TWE Indie Reviews

November 11th – Trials and Tribulations of Writing Fiction

November 12th – 2 Book Lovers Reviews

November 15th – Sarah Wathen

November 16th – The Spontaneous Reader

November 17th – L.M. David and Literary Homebody

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Hello all!!

My Goodreads Book Giveaway has been approved and is now accepting entries! Please click on the image below and Enter for a chance to win 1 of 3 **signed** First Edition Paperback copies of The Butterfly Crest. The Giveaway dates are from October 11th through November 11th. Best of Luck! Ganbare! 

Giveaway

Such stuff as dreams are made

BCpaperbackIt’s here! It’s here! It’s finally here! Three years and a Cold War With Drop Caps/Small Caps later, it’s finally in print! Physical. Tangible. Definite. My soul made manifest and laid bare for the world to see.

There are no words to describe the feeling. Relief. Elation. Awe. Satisfaction. Euphoria. Joy. Humility. Accomplishment. Pride. All these words, while true, seem two-dimensional.

This is the stuff of dreams.

So when’s the big day? The First Edition Paperback of The Butterfly Crest will be released on November 11th through Amazon! To celebrate, I’ll be giving away 3 signed copies on Goodreads, so please stay tuned in the next few days for more information on that!

But wait, there’s more! Spread The Word Book Blog Tours will be hosting a Virtual Book Tour for The Butterfly Crest from November 10th through the 18th (which will include another giveaway), and The Twins and I have been working on a Character Interview for your reading pleasure (thanks Moonrise Book Blog for the invitation!).

So if you’re an old friend of the beasties or new, we’d love to have you join the celebration!

On happy and unexpected occurrences

141.tif
“Peonies in the Wind” by Sakai Hōitsu (1761-1828), Edo Period.

It’s been 16 days since The Butterfly Crest launched, and I don’t think I’ve stopped for even a second. I knew my plate would be full the second everything went live, but I couldn’t have guessed the full extent of it.

The work is never-ending. I had a game plan, but every time I finish a task three take its place. I’m learning something new with every click of the cursor, and the process seems to reinvent itself every day. That being said, I’ve enjoyed every second of it. The pace might be a little insane, but connecting directly with readers, and other writers, has been a joy. I received my first reader email halfway through the week, and it was from the mountains of Turkey!

I’ve been thinking about what to write (it’s hard to pare down the experience), and the first thing that comes to mind is the incredible support I’ve received from friends and family. I’d given the book to less than a dozen people before its launch (to assist in the revision process), and all of them went out in full force to spread the word. They’ve shared and promoted the book through social media almost as tirelessly as I have. They are fully invested in the book’s success, and I’m in complete awe of them. There’s also the ones who are doing exactly the same thing, without having been part of that peer review group, and the ones who, in spite of not owning ereaders, downloaded apps, purchased the book, and are reading it on their phones (which I can tell you from experience is NOT an easy task) and spreading the news. There aren’t sufficient words in the English language to express my gratitude for their support.

And while I’m on the topic of supportive friends and family, I can’t leave out the unexpected gift I received in the mail. On Tuesday morning, I arrived at the office to find a package waiting for me. The box had the logo of a tea retailer and weighed very little, so I imaged someone had sent me some tea (which for me is like gold). When I opened the box and removed the tissue paper, what I found wasn’t tea. Staring back at me was a white butterfly crest, in a sea of black crepe silk. It was a haori, a kimono jacket, with a singular butterfly kamon at the nape of the neck. Kamon is the Japanese word for a family crest, and the inspiration for the name of my novel. One of my dearest friends had sent me the gift to commemorate the launch of my book. And once again, there weren’t sufficient words in the English language to express my gratitude.

Which brings me to the topic of butterflies. In the email I received from Turkey, the reader described an experience she had with a swallowtail butterfly while she was reading the book. In that moment, I realized how powerful a symbol it can be, that it had resonated with her in the same way it resonated with me. I have to admit that I’ve never quite looked at a butterfly in the same way again, since finishing my book. What’s incredible about it is that I didn’t set out with the intent of the butterfly becoming the symbol for Elena’s journey, or mine for that matter. It was just one of those happy occurrences while I was writing. Now, I can’t imagine this journey without it, and every time I see one (yesterday afternoon in my backyard or the photo of one a friend posted on Facebook this morning) I can’t help but feel completely at peace. The experience of writing my first novel, of fulfilling that dream, and publishing it has been transformative, and the butterfly, for me, has become a symbol of that transformation (in the same way it was for Elena, and in the mythos of different cultures throughout history).

Speaking of Elena, it’s been a huge relief to see the warm reception she’s received as our reluctant heroine. When you’re writing a story with a large supporting cast of divine creatures, who are forces of nature in their own right, you can’t help but worry that the voice of your human protagonist might be overwhelmed. Even in my head, the cast of beasties fight for room on the page while Ele usually just sits back, but it looks like that contrast resonated with readers. Both of the editorial reviews the novel has received have commented on Elena’s strength as the protagonist, and I’m thrilled about it.

Which brings me to the second editorial review—The Butterfly Crest has received another 5 stars! I can’t think of a better way to close out this post.

Reviewed By Kathryn Bennett for Readers’ Favorite:

The Butterfly Crest by Eva Vanrell takes us between the shadows of the human world where a war that is as old as time is raging. A long-told prophecy says one human woman will change the course of the divine war and one day Elena – a seemingly regular woman living a normal life – gets a letter about a deposit box in her mother’s name. This letter and the contents of the box are a cursed inheritance and send Elena on a journey that could only be considered mythical and unbelievable. She must make choices to see where destiny takes her.

This is a great story that merges two different realms almost seamlessly into one another and makes a complex story entertaining and compelling. The action was fast and the pace of the book was perfect. Elena is a fantastic character whom I found to be intelligent and strong, but who has to find her way in an impossible situation, giving her even more depth as well. Eva Vanrell has created a strong story with a beautifully strong female main character, in a world and with a story line that is imaginative and unique. I have read many fantasy style stories that offer a similar version of wars that have been going on for all time, but this has been by far one of the most well thought out and well put together plots. If you are looking for a read for the summer that will have you hooked within the first pages and hold your interest until the very end, leaving you wanting more … then this is your book.

On my first editorial review

20140528-152715-55635278.jpg

This week continues to be a whirlwind of activity, but I wanted to take a second to share with everyone the first editorial review of The Butterfly Crest. Hope you find it helpful! It certainly put a smile on my face. What I found most encouraging about Ms. Madhavan’s words was that she was able to hear Elena’s voice over the demands of her supporting cast (deities can be a handful, trust me). And now, without further ado, here’s the review:

Reviewed By Mamta Madhavan for Readers’ Favorite – 5 stars

The Butterfly Crest by Eva Vanrell is a fantasy filled fiction that is contemporary and exotic. Elena Vicens’ life takes a turn when she receives a letter one day regarding a deposit box belonging to her mother. This letter comes to her nineteen years after her mother’s death and the letter sends her from New Orleans to Japan. She finds herself in possession of a cursed inheritance and the story takes off from there. Readers find themselves in the midst of legends and myths, the strangeness of everyday life, a human woman who will shape the outcome of the divine war and, amid all this, Elena must choose her own destiny.

It is an intriguing, imaginative and very original story with many layers and that makes it a compelling read. It moves between the tangible and intangible, giving the story a surreal feel and keeping readers guessing about the outcome. The narration is descriptive and gives more clarity to the plot. It is an exceptional read. Elena is an interesting character that has been portrayed vividly and wonderfully. Her presence dominates the story throughout, holding the plot together. There is a mysterious vibe in the theme, enhanced by the description of Elena’s character.

The shifts in the story that occur between the two locations and the afterlife give it a new dimension and make it an even more attractive and exceptional book to read.

 

On going public…

Kitagawa_Utamaro_-_The_Courtesan_Ichikawa_of_the_Matsuba_Establishment_-_Google_Art_Project
The Courtesan Ichikawa of the Matsuba Establishment by Kitagawa Utamaro

Truth be told, I don’t even know where to begin. My mind is a jumble of too many thoughts. That said, I’m just going to jot them down and hope they come out coherently. If they don’t, my apologies.

Moving onto the first thought…

After much toil and four proofs, it’s official — The Butterfly Crest is now published. It’s been distributed to the various eBook retailers and should be available at all of them within the next four weeks. It is available now through iBooks/iTunesAmazon Kindle and the Bookshop. Barnes & Noble should have it listed in 2 to 4 weeks. It will also be available through Kobo, Oyster, Copia, Scribd, Gardners, Flipkart, Baker & Taylor, and eSentral. Keep an eye out for the Goodreads listing, which should be up soon!

If you’ve heard that announcement before, I apologize for the repetition, but I wanted to put it up as a regular post (not just a status).

Moving onto my second thought…

For the past 14 years, my cast of characters has existed in the aether. Their world was limited to the mind of the author and a single reader. That audience has expanded slowly these past 3 years, to include a few brave souls who took a leap of faith and believed me when I told them I could write (they knew my passion for it, but passion and ability are two very different things). Now, Pandora’s box is wide open. My cast of beasties (and trust me, you’ll understand why I call them that once you read) has gone public and there’s no turning back. They have shaped and colored my life these past 14 years, and if they can do a fraction of that for you, bring you the smallest bit of joy, then this journey was well worth it.

Which brings me to my third thought… how much we, as authors, put of ourselves into our books.

I never thought publishing would make me feel vulnerable, but I have to admit it did so immediately. A click of a button and suddenly (relatively speaking), your work is out there for the world to see. Yes, you expect and try to prepare yourself for criticism, but that isn’t really the flavor of vulnerable I’m experiencing right now. I poured my heart and soul into this book, and left a large part of myself in it. As you read, you’ll experience the obvious things, like my passion for mythology, my awe for Japanese culture, and my obsession with ancient Greece; but what about the not-so-obvious things? It was Plato who said, “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” In my case, you can substitute play with my writing. Just an hour of reading, and you’ll know more about me than you would have working beside me for five years. Of course, you won’t know which parts are me, exactly, but that doesn’t make the experience any less intimate. That intimacy might be almost entirely one-sided, but the act of sharing it is deeply personal, and a little terrifying.

What makes that deeply personal and intimate act worth sharing brings me to my fourth and final thought…

I love to be affected by what I read, and in writing I aim to do the same for my readers. As long as my words reach you, I’m satisfied. If you are able to escape, to laugh, to cry, to feel and connect with my characters, then my hope has been realized. Sales, numbers, platform—those things are necessary, but they aren’t the reason I write. The reason I write is made clear when my mother calls me defiant, refusing to read on because she can’t differentiate between me and a character; or when a friend calls to tell me he thinks of my book now every time he drives by the New Orleans Museum of Art; or when another friend uses my own characters to encourage me (“Cataline would approve,” indeed!). That is the reason I write, and those moments will be how I measure my success moving forward.

As a final note, today’s image is Kitagawa Utamaro’s “The Courtesan Ichikawa of the Matsuba Establishment.” Utamaro was an Edo period ukiyo-e artist, famous for his portraits of female beauties known as bijin-ga. His work reached Europe in the mid-ninteeth century, and even influenced the Impressionists. The reason I chose this image, other than the obvious fact that it’s quite lovely, was because of the detail in the fabric (it reminded me of a fusuma door I describe in my book).

 

On opening Pandora’s box…

The Butterfly Crest has officially been distributed to all eBook retailers! It is available now (for all eReaders) through BookBaby. It will be available through Amazon Kindle mid next week, and the iBookstore in 1 to 2 weeks. Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Copia, Scribd, Baker & Taylor, Gardners, eSentral, Oyster, and Flipkart will carry it in 2-4 weeks. I’ll keep you posted as the links go live. Your reviews are welcome!!

On delays…

Good morning. I know this announcement is late in coming (my sincere apologies), but I’ve had to delay the book release by about two weeks (hopefully) because of some conversion issues with two special characters used in Japanese words. I’ll keep everyone posted as more info comes in. Sorry for the delay, but I held out until the last minute hoping we could fix this in time. It’s very important to me to salvage the proper spelling and usage of the language, so I hope you don’t mind. Cheers, and thanks for your support!

On a break from the madness…

‘Peony flower and butterflies’, hanging scroll by Itō Jakuchū, ca. 1757.

My apologies for the radio silence of late, but quite a lot has been happening behind the scenes and I’m trying my best to keep on top of everything.

First thing’s first, I’m thrilled to announce that The Butterfly Crest will be at an ebook retailer near you in May. The official publish date is May 16th, but the date could vary depending on the retailer. It will be available through iBooks, Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Copia and a slew of others, so please stay tuned for those updates. The book will also be available on print in the next few months.

If you’d like to stay up to date on the latest news, please join my new mailing list to receive that information via email, as well as exclusive sneak peeks, promotions and bonus materials. You can sign up here. Rest assured, your contact information is safe with me!

If you look around the site, you’ll see a few new additions. The theme this week was ‘social media’. After a little trial and error, I have officially joined Twitter (@EvaVanrell) and started a Facebook Page. I’ve added Follow and Like buttons to the sidebar on the main page, and links to the accounts themselves on the menu above. It goes without saying that your support is greatly appreciated. 

The proof for the book arrived mid week and I’ve been knee-deep in review. It’s been a struggle to stop myself from reading the thing word for word, so I handed it over to my husband this morning. As of right now, the format looks amazing and we haven’t seen any major problems.

Book Two is coming along, and I’ve somehow managed to find a little time to write in all the madness (when I’m not woking on social media, streamlining the website, setting up the book promotion, or at my day job). I’m really happy with how the story is developing, and I can’t wait to be able to focus all of my energy on writing (and telling you all about it)!

Today’s image is ‘Peony flower and butterflies’ by Itō Jakuchū, ca. 1757. I would say I chose it, but it was really Mr. Muse while we were on Pinterest two weeks ago. He’s quite fond of butterflies, and it seemed an appropriate image for today’s post.