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Spring Break Writing Life

Spring Break Writing Life




totem pole from Pacific Northwest



Dear Reader,


Before you think I visited the Pacific Northwest for my vacation, allow me to explain the totem pole. Salvatore LeClerq.


Shaking your head? Lost? So was I. I planned on spending my week off from teaching school, catching up on all the odd things I put off while I work, editing my stories, posting to social media, and sleeping. You know, the usual broke author routine for vacations.


Latest Work in Progress


Soul Dark ad card weapons


Saturday morning, March 11, 2023, I woke up and this tribal warrior guy armed with a silver spear and knife stepped on the stage in my mind and demanded I write his story. He hasn't stopped talking all week, brandishing his weapons and his magic in rather threatening gestures if I need to do something else, like cook dinner, handle the laundry, or wash the truck. (Yep, still driving the Moonlight.)


So, I've written over 20k words in his tale. He's a soul dark vampire from the Spirit Realm and he's got orders, but first he has to claim everything. It's complicated. He's complicated and rather uncomfortable in jeans and a t-shirt. I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried. Wait, that's not right. This is urban fantasy, isn't it?


Coming Soon to a cozy reading nook near you!


Soul Dark book cover


Soul Dark


Kalli Delorance was a shadow gifted orphan suffering from youth, beauty, and poverty while looking for a better life.

Salvatore LeClerq was a soul dark dragon man from the Spirit Realm with one last mission from a dying Velosian to complete. 

Kalli had a plan, and the gorgeous vampire wasn’t part of it, until the actions of a sinister co-worker revealed a connection to something worse than her mother's suicide.

Salvatore knew she was the woman he needed to complete his mission. She was also everything. He desperately needed her.

The problem? He wasn’t the only one chasing her, and saving her might mean the sacrifice of his orders and what defined him in the dream.


Welcome to the dream…


Steamy Paranormal Romance / Urban Fantasy 18+ HEA! NC! Fated Mates


***Warning: Adult Themes, Fantasy Violence, and/or Explicit Sexual Situations. Intended for a Mature Audience.


Let me know what you think of the blurb. The poll is on YouTube. Like and subscribe to my channel and get all the latest videos. I appreciate your support of the dream.


Meet the Menace, I mean latest character...


Salvatore LeClerq, soul dark dragon man


This is the AI art image generated for Salvatore LeClerq in case you were wondering what he looked like. Imagine this guy wandering the streets of Chicago late at night searching for Kalli Delorance in his quest to join forces with the Vampire King, only to discover the nefarious underworld business of Peter Elliot. Did I mention the loincloth and moccasins? No? Oh well, read the book when it comes out, and you can have all the juicy details.


For those of you who subscribed to the Newsletter, I hope you downloaded your copy of Lost One. Soul Dark offers a loose connection to that story just before the main events in that tale take place. I think the Velosians wanted a greater voice in the dream. I know I keep getting side-tracked from finishing that epilogue miniseries, but the muse has always been fickle about showing me what I must write.


Behind the Scenes


Behind the Scenes of the Dream Book cover


I started writing in the dream in 2016. I published the flagship first tale in May 2018. In a couple of months, that book will be 5 years old. Y'all, this next line is hard to type, but I think I have to delist that book and quite a few others. I know I've mentioned it before, but the thought hasn't gone away.



I promise to republish it, but I'm pretty damn sure the book was titled incorrectly, the cover was bad, the description is bad, or some combination of the three. Ignoring this thought for a couple of years now by focusing on separating the volume tales into individual stories to make the Kingdom Rising Series make more sense hasn't made this thought vanish. That led to me rethinking covers, book descriptions, and taglines, but I remained dissatisfied. I left the volumes as they were on the major platforms, but I don't know how much longer they'll remain as they are.


handcuffs


If you've read Golden Handcuffs, then you know I have a bit of time before I'm willing to pursue monetized marketing. (That doesn't stop me from learning about it every chance I get.) It was difficult to learn how to self-publish in the beginning. It's always that way when a person is so ignorant about a subject, she doesn't even know what questions need to be asked, but I did it.


I was proud of my accomplishment. I wrote a novel. Then I published it. That mattered more than selling it. In the grand scheme of things, that might always matter more. But why publish it at all if the intent isn't to either sell it or somehow use it? That seems as ridiculous to me as playing a game and deciding not to keep score, unless you're using that round to teach someone how to play. Besides, what fun is having this dream if no one shares it?


If you want to know more about that aspect of the journey, it's catalogued on the blog posts on Ophelia Kee Speaks, and in Behind the Scenes of the Dream. I promise it's all the truth, the good, the bad, the crazy, and the ugly, as I'm not hiding any of it. I won't bore my long time readers with the details. Instead, I'll note how it all led to me pursuing lots of free book promotions, while learning as much as I can about paid advertising and book marketing. And that's what's behind reworking the stories, new edits, new book covers, better descriptions, altered titles, and possibly added tag lines.


Scratching your head and thinking it's a lot of work. Why not leave it and move on to other things? I promised I wouldn't quit until I got it right. I have the luxury of time to do that even if I don't have the money to advertise it.


Master of Destiny Ad Card



Some people can leave projects or even begin them with the idea they'll quit them if they aren't profitable. Others write about the trends and capitalize on what's popular. I don't think that works for me. I start projects with no end and sight, dive in and swim about in the murky waters, hopping from one dry patch of ground to the next before diving back in again and again. Maybe what L'anse tells Leilani is really how I feel about the dream. (I'm still working on that book. It's not my fault a tribal warrior highjacked the stage!)


Truthfully, I don't think I'm so much an author as I am a storyteller. I'm building a world that's more than simply books. Think of it as creating a reading experience, inclusive of the books and also extending beyond them. I want the videos, AI audiobooks, trailers, character art, and even these blog posts to all have their place in the dream. As I come up with new ideas, I don't want to be stifled. I simply want to add to the world I created. I must be realistic about the expense. To build it the way I truly want it, I need it to break even. In the end, I hope others will stumble into the dream with awe at all of it as much as I enjoyed it while creating it.


leaving reviews card


Social proof most often happens as honest customer reviews. I've never been able to afford to pay for a professional review service. So I humbly request that should you find yourself in the dream, you be kind to an old tiger and leave your review of my story. Stars and words are a beautiful gift which costs only your time and helps an author continue the work of creating the stories you enjoy.


There's a tribal warrior brandishing a spear at me to finish his tale, so I better go. I hope y'all enjoyed the weekend. I intend to finish mine by writing.


Be Careful!

Happy Reading,

Ophelia Kee


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Thank you for your support! Welcome to the dream… Sincerely, -OK


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