Happy Holidays!

XmasIt’s been a productive, busy year that’s drawing to a close, giving most of us the opportunity to take some much-needed time out and recharge our batteries.

Fireblade will be closed for the holidays from 24 December 2013 to 1 January 2014. We’ll be back at our desks on 2 January.

Please feel free to email us your quote requests during the holidays, but bear in mind that you’re unlikely to receive a reply until we return to work.

crazy specials_Final

For those who would like to help us start next year off in a super productive manner too, we’re offering the following New Year specials Continue reading

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Until end December

It’s been a challenging few weeks, with many more to come. I’m pleased to announce the birth of our daughter, Myka, on 6 November via emergency c-section. We’re thankful to have a healthy, calm baby, though recovery from the operation is taking its time.

In light of that and the fact that a Fireblade business partner quit without warning, this blog will only be updated again at the end of December, and then regularly at some stage in January or February 2014. Work, however, will continue as usual, so don’t hesitate to contact us for your publishing needs.

Until December…

~ Vanessa

Myka - November 2013_3

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Why it’s Vital to Read if You Want to Write

Writers should always keep in mind that it’s blatantly obvious to most readers if you do not read, particularly if you’ve never read a book since high school. We’ve listed just a few of the common errors made by writers who don’t read. These are perfect examples of why it’s vital to read if you want to write. Continue reading

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Writers’ Forums

Most writers have little free time on their hands between work, writing, family responsibilities and the general frenzy of day-to-day living. This means that writers have to allocate time wisely in order to gain the most benefit from anything they participate in. Continue reading

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The Importance of Linking to Your Book Online

Commonly known as backlinks, inbound links or incoming links, amongst others, links to your book purchase pages and author website are more important than most authors realise.

Sure, the majority of us know that the more places potential readers can find our links, the more likely it is we’ll gain new fans. However, did you know that it can increase your author website and book purchase page ranking in Google and other search engines? Continue reading

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Balancing Narrative & Dialogue

There’s no rule that says you have to have a certain amount of dialogue versus a certain amount of narrative. However, it’s good to have a balance. If a book contains mostly narrative, it’ll be harder to move the story along or to include any action, which may make it a boring read. Continue reading

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Fireblade Publishers’ November Specials

Since it’s Thanksgiving month, readers can expect a few more gifts than usual… Take advantage of our great November specials while the offers are still open!

November Specials

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All Hallows Eve

Image

It is a common misconception amongst South Africans that Halloween, in the Southern Hemisphere, should occur on 31 October each year. A Gaelic festival celebrating the end of the harvest season, it falls between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice and is commonly referred to as Samhain, pronounced ‘sow-in’. It is a time to reap the harvest and to prepare for the long winter ahead.

In many homes, places are set for departed family members, as it is believed that the veil between the worlds thins and that fey creatures may walk the night. Here in sunny South Africa, we would be correct in making the date for Halloween 30 April each year. Of course, it has become a tradition to throw parties on the last day of October for so long now, that I doubt it will change.

It is known as the Pagan New Year, but regardless of your religious beliefs, it is a good time to take stock of the events of the past year. As a writer, it is the opportune time to take note of your writing achievements and to plan ahead for the next twelve months. It is time to start winding down as the year comes to a close and to take a moment to honour and enjoy any recent achievements.

I can suggest creating a calendar for the next twelve months, in which you set goals for the year ahead. Are you planning on starting a new project, or are you planning on wrapping up an old one? Print out a new version of your Don’t Break the Chain Calendar and don’t be afraid to set yourself some new, but attainable deadlines.

That said, life gets particularly busy around this time of year, with many social events and end of year family and work demands that require our time and attention. Trying to stay on track with your writing schedule may be something of a challenge. Many folks take their annual leave and others travel far from home, making a regular writing schedule more difficult than usual.

Depending upon your needs, set a schedule that is workable for you. Do not plan anything too intensive for the next few months, but rather stick to a steady, if somewhat light, schedule. Remember to factor in all those family engagements, the over-indulgences, and the champagne! No one writes great masterpieces when the liver is trying to cope with too much of Grandma Rose’s triple chocolate pie and samplings of that fine scotch you received as a gift from the office.

The next three months will be taken up with travelling, parties, family time, hectic work schedules and the inevitable January pinch as our ailing wallets recover from the festive season. Do not be too hard on yourself if your creativity is somewhat strained, but if you plan ahead and take the festive season into account, you will arrive at the end of January and look back at some measurable progress where your writing is concerned.

Image “Halloween Background” courtesy of Feelart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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The Pearl and the Sage

All authors know that stress and melodrama stifle creativity. Read on if you want to increase your creative output and live a happier life.

Once upon a time, a sage shared with me pearls of great wisdom. The sage, as you might wonder, was my mother. The pearl of wisdom is a simple phrase that puts every event in your life into perspective in one neat question. Continue reading

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Best-selling fantasy author TC Southwell’s latest offering

Today we’re pleased to bring you the latest from best-selling fantasy author, TC Southwell, including extracts from her latest book that have never been seen before. Enjoy!

DL8

The archangel Majelin has been imprisoned and tortured in the underworld of Sherinias’ domain for five centuries. Eventually, his light will die and he will fall to the darkness. Whispers of a tar’merin travelling with Kayos have reached Airedene, the Sacred City of Angels, giving Sarmalin hope that her husband might be saved, and she goes to plead with the Demon Lord. Continue reading

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