The Magic of the Carousel

The carousel horses in my trilogy, The Flying Ponies, are all based off real-life carousel horses. They are either aboard machines still in operation or in museums, where people can admire them. Some of them are on the carousel at the Grand Rapids Public Museum; their literary equivalents debut in Tilt, book two of the trilogy.

Two of my fans (and nieces) visited the museum with their family earlier this month and took a spin on the 1928 Spillman carousel. They also took selfies with a couple of the horses; Contessa is a palomino mare and Oriflamme is a palomino armored horse (the names belong to their counterparts in my books). I was given permission to share the pictures.

I love the beauty and majesty of antique carousels, and I love the fact that these two girls were able to ride this one and enjoy it. Carousels have charm and a certain grace, and if you are able to stand quietly next to their painted ponies, you might just hear them whispering.

Magic might not exist in a literal sense, but it can be found in life. One only has to believe and be willing to seek it out in the ordinary.

Bittersweet

I finished the first draft of book two in The Flying Ponies trilogy, Tilt, last Saturday night. As I sat there, staring at my computer screen, a little disturbed by what I had just written, I thought, Wow. I only have one more book with this crew. Then it will be on to something else. And that realization hit me quite hard.

You see, writers get attached to their characters. We live with them in our minds and hearts, day after day. Someone can read your story and think, yeah, I enjoyed that. And then they move on to something else. But writers don’t get to do that. At least, I don’t. Those people, those wooden horses that fly, are now part of me. They always will be.

And I will miss them when their story is complete, when I’m not thinking of and working with them daily. They’ll still be with me, but they will no longer be in the limelight. They’ll have to move over and make room for the next story’s characters.

That’s how it should, of course. No writer can rest on his or her last story. There’s always going to be another to tell, another to share with the world. But you still miss the last one you told.

I know I shouldn’t be waxing poetic about The Flying Ponies yet. I still have to edit and polish Tilt. It probably won’t release until spring 2019, and then I have the third and final one to write, Spin. After that, yeah. It will be time to get sentimental.

But the next story is always calling, even now, even with Tilt just starting to cool off, stored on my flash drive and laptop. Still, it’s hard not to feel some bittersweetness.

I kind of want that carousel ride to last forever.

The Middle Blues

So this is what’s going on: I’m a little better then halfway through Tilt, the second book in The Flying Ponies trilogy, and I’m tapped out. I’m just done. The muse is sitting in her garden, sipping tea, and I just don’t feel like writing.

This happens. It happened with Lift, too. It usually happens to me right around the middle of the book; I’m tired of working on it, the story isn’t flowing, and when I open the story document, I sit staring at the screen wondering if there are any cool pins on Pinterest to look at.

It’s also known as the dreaded writer’s block. It happens to every writer, at different stages of their work. Mine tends to hit in the middle of the novel. How do writers deal with it? They each have different strategies. There are even writing books devoted to writer’s block. I’ve learned that giving myself and the muse a couple days off really helps. I also listen to songs that remind me of the story and the characters.

I really should be writing Tilt. I should be staring at that computer screen. I definitely shouldn’t be watching The Big Bang Theory, which is exactly what I’m doing while typing this. Ah, well. I know where Tilt is headed. I have a solid idea of the ending, which will lead into Spin, the third and final book in The Flying Ponies trilogy. And later on today, I’ll head into my office, boot up the laptop, tell the muse to hop to it, and stare at that screen.

And maybe, just maybe, the words will flow, and I’ll be closer to that ending that I can see glimpses of.

This image and quote are from (where else?) Pinterest.

Lift Book Trailer!

Brought to you from Laura A. Grace from Unicorn Quester, who graciously made this for me while also reviewing Lift and interviewing me.

Enjoy!!

Lift Launch!

So Saturday, April 21st, was my launch party at the Book Nook & Java Shop. I had my nervous breakdown the Tuesday before (Would anyone come? Would I sell any books?) Well, I had no reason to be nervous.

I spoke for roughly twenty minutes on Coney Island, carousels, and writing Lift. My hubby recorded me; it’s on YouTube (L. M. Ransom Lift). I took some questions, and then sat down to sign books.

And ran out of copies before the end of the line. Never expected that! I wasn’t expecting the amount of people who came, either. Friends, family, a coworker, my hubby’s coworkers, and people who I didn’t know. It was a terrific turnout! Everyone was encouraging and excited, and I had an awesome time. It was more than I could’ve hoped for, which isn’t surprising. God has blessed everything about Lift.

My next event is Saturday, May 26th, from 4-5 pm, at Gales IGA in Hart, Michigan. I’m looking forward to it; I doubt I will have any anxiety, now that I have the launch party behind me.

Here are some pictures!

Launch Day!

It’s finally here: Lift officially releases! This day has been a long time coming; I’ve wanted to be an author for a long time now.

If you’re in the vicinity of Montague, Michigan this afternoon, I will be at the Book Nook & Java Shop from 4:30-6 pm, talking a little about Coney Island carousels and the inspiration behind Lift. I will also be selling and signing copies of the novel, which is the first in the Flying Ponies trilogy.

This picture was taken at the Grand Rapids Museum this past March. The horse is an armored charger from their 1928 Spillman carousel. They are one of my favorite types of carousel horses. This particular one will serve as inspiration for one of the Flying Ponies in the second book in the trilogy, Tilt.

Have a blessed day and hope to see you this afternoon!

Launch Day Approaches…

We are now T minus four days from launching Lift, first in the Flying Ponies trilogy. It is a great feeling to be here, this close, but I have to admit to you – a little frightening, too.

As an indie (independent) author, my book isn’t debuting with all the fanfare a Big 5 book would get. There are no ads in glossy magazines, no write-ups in the New York Times, and no appearances on Good Morning America. It is, however, getting a launch party at the very cool book store, the Book Nook & Java Shop, on Saturday. It has three very nice reviews on Goodreads, and it has a KILLER cover. I mean, have you seen it?? So what is so frightening?

The fact that it might not sell well.

You see, indie authors, unlike Big 5 ones, pay for different book services. I have an outstanding editor and publisher, but I also pay them for their help. Now, when my book sells, I don’t owe them anything, whereas a Big 5 author owes money out of their sales to both their publisher and their agent. It is a big decision whether to go indie or Big 5; I have been nothing but happy and content with my decision to be an indie.

However, this also means that Lift needs to make back enough to publish the next book in the series. And so on and so forth. To be completely honest, I’m not really that worried, though. Or at least, I try not to be. I have felt blessed by God from day one of this journey, from the first inklings of the story up to right now as I write this. Still, it’s good to remember that I want writing stories to be a business.

So, overall, I’m super excited about Saturday. I’m excited to share Lift with others. I’m excited that God has blessed me with some writing talent.

And I hope to make some money. Oh and by the way, the gorgeous carousel horse below? He is a Charles Looff original, circa 1900. He was once part of Marianne Stevens’ carousel collection, and is now for sale since she passed away. You could own him, if you have $49,500 lying around.

He is also the model for Penumbra, the lead horse of the Flying Ponies Grand Carousel, featured in Lift. The photo is not mine, unfortunately. It is borrowed from a carousel website.

Hope to see you on Saturday!

Official Copies Have Arrived!

A big box of books arrived this afternoon – a big box of Lift copies! They look amazing! I can’t wait for them to find homes and book shelves.

I admit that I need to reread it; we did extra editing after receiving the ARCs, and now the story is a bit different. I’m currently reading Marie Lu’s Batman: Nightwalker, so I haven’t looked through the official version of Lift yet.

The book launch party is Saturday, April 21, from 4:30-6 pm, at the Book Nook in Montague, MI. Hope to see a lot of people there! Lift will also be available on Amazon as a soft cover and a Kindle book, and libraries and schools can also order it through Ingram.

Daybreaker Hits Home!

Daybreaker is the final book in the Undertow series. The author, K. R. Conway, is also my publisher. We met on Goodreads, after I fangirled over Undertow, the first book in the series. Daybreaker releases tomorrow!

This is the press release for Daybreaker and the Undertow series:

Daybreaker, the final book in K.R. Conway’s Urban Fantasy series known as Undertow, is finally out! If you have yet to read about Eila Walker (you know, the hilarious teen girl who inherits a house with a murderous past along with a snarky crew of supernatural rejects and a killer boy who’s determined to keep her alive), have no fear: the link to the first book is here: https://books2read.com/u/m2okW7


The link to all Conway’s books are here: https://www.amazon.com/K.R.-Conway/e/B00FUZUXRU/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1520549081&sr=8-1

BIO:

K.R. Conway is a sarcastic bugger who likes to torment Cape Cod’s summertime tourists, taunting them about sneaky sharks and traffic-free backroads. She’s been a professional journalist since 1999 when several newspaper editors lost their minds and hired her as a feature writer. She is best known, however, for her Urban Fantasy series, Undertow, which reads like a mash-up of Jaws and The Goonies.

Awards, nominations, and features include Barnes and Noble’s Seven Terrifying Summer Reads for Teens (2015), Teen Ink Magazine’s Best Picks, Girl’s Life Magazine Cool Winter Reads, newspapers, magazines, and radio. Nominations include Indie Recon Live (Best New YA, Best Opening Line, Best Book Boyfriend), YALSA, Cybil, Goodreads, IRDA, and others.

The series has spawned fan fiction, fan art, jewelry, clothing, and even tattoos. Conway, who is a member of SCBWI, teaches fiction craft at writer conferences, high schools, and libraries. She lives on Cape Cod with her equally weird family and a strange assortment of critters. When not writing, Conway drives a forty-foot Loser Cruiser that smells like forgotten Pony sneakers from the 80s.
LINKS:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/k_r_conway/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKRConway/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SharkProse
Website: https://capecodscribe.com

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