Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sanctuary of Fire Cover Release and Book Teaser!

Sanctuary of Fire
By R. J. Machado De Quevedo 

“In a sudden whoosh, fire surrounded me, a holy sanctuary of fire. My long red hair blew back, electricity crackled along my skin, and as the flames engulfed me I felt the power of the Lord descend upon me and surge forth from within me. The necklace of truth and mercy about my neck burst into a white blaze, as if it held very light of God.
The Deceiver Saga continues as Melanie Bishop struggles to remain courageous and reclaim her emotional victory after a brutal, demonic attack by her father. Her attacker is still on the run, and it feels as though the entire world knows about the mortifying ordeal as college classmates whisper, police investigate, and news crews hound Melanie about her father’s sadistic crimes. She is too humiliated to even speak to David, the man who fought off her father, though in her heart she wants nothing more than to rush into his arms.

Despite the chaos in Melanie’s life, her true calling must remain the priority. History could be changed or delayed if she refuses to obey the call: A mission ordained by God to seek and protect celestial artifacts before the enemy can acquire them and discover their true power.
Neither time nor space are strong enough to stop the forces of Hell from picking up her trail and hunting her down, as they seek annihilate her. Transported thousands of years in the past, and left to wander across the wilderness in pursuit of the artifacts, Melanie is provided protection from the enemy’s warriors by a dysfunctional, legendary family. Yet as the battle descends upon them, it is Melanie who must pick up a sword and fight to the death, or risk failing in her mission and never making it back home.

R. J. Machado De Quevedo, author of The Deceiver Saga, lives in Northern California. Having grown up with meager resources, R. J. learned early on that joy can be found in the simple things and that imagination is a wonderful escape. R.J. is also a speaker, blogger, musician and artist. She enjoys kick boxing, riding motorcycles, and taking long walks with her husband. 

The Deceiver ~ Now Available!
Broken Seed ~ Now Available!
Sanctuary of Fire ~ Coming 2014!

R. J. Machado De Quevedo
(Author of ‘The Deceiver Saga’, Speaker, Blogger, Dreamer)

Follow me on Twitter @TheDeceiverSaga

Friday, July 4, 2014

Projects, Project, Projects

The last few months I’ve been working on several projects at once. We’ve finished copyediting on Sanctuary of Fire and are presently in the cover design and layout phase of production. Both of which I expect back any day now for final review. I’ve also submitted two short stories to an anthology project that one of my writers clubs is publishing this year. I’m a member of the Sacramento Suburban Writers Club. They published an anthology last year as well, but since I was in the midst a crazy of overlap in production on both The Deceiver and Broken Seed, I had to pull my submissions until a later date. When they announced they’d be doing another anthology this year, I jumped on the chance to get a few short stories tossed in for consideration. Aspiring author out there, when you have a chance to publish something do it!

Anyway, both short stories are related to The Deceiver Saga. I wanted a chance to pass along some additional back stories I had hiding away and express the perspectives of a couple other characters in the sage. I always love reading short stories by my favorite authors that relate to their series and I wanted to give my readers similar little goodies to feast their eyes and imaginations on as well!

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term “anthology”, an anthology is a collection of selected writings by various authors or by one author published into one book. There are different kinds of anthologies. Some are a collection of works all written by one author. Perhaps a collection of short stories, poems or essays. Another kind of anthology is a collection with a variety of writing styles. In the case of the Sacramento Suburban Writers Club’s 2014 project, it will be everything from short stories submitted by different authors of various genres, to poems and essays, etc. I’ll let you know when and where you can buy it once it’s published. We should be done with it within the next couple months.

These aren’t the only projects I have in the pipeline at the moment. I’m also going to be starting the media production of the audiobooks to The Deceiver Saga this month. Well, for the two that are already publically released that is. We’ll start Sanctuary of Fire as we near or after the final production of the book. I’m still waiting for clarification on if they need an abridged manuscript or not for The Deceiver and Broken Seed. If they do, then I’ll be putting in some crazy hours to shorten the books a bit. Typically, they ask for about a 20-25% reduction in manuscript. I really hope I don’t have to! When I went through the first edit overhaul on them I trimmed them up with as much professional indifference as I could muster and even took out little parts that I loved but knew I needed to sacrifice as they were slowing down the pace. The idea of having to do that again makes me a more than a little nervous. I don’t want to cut out anything else! Besides, the stories are complete in nature and I don’t want the listener getting lost along the way. So we’ll see what they say!

I’m still new at this, but from what I understand of the production process for the audiobooks, they will send me some samples of narrators reading. If I like what I hear, they start recording. If not, they try to find me someone else. I had the option to read them myself, but I’m not a trained voice actor no matter how much I like the idea. Besides, I want people to want to listen to them! It’d be much more entertaining being read to by a professional. Yup, no lisping into the microphone for me—or you.

I had to do some upfront prep work already too, mind you. They asked me to list all the character’s names and foreign words and write them out phonetically so the narrator would know exactly how I want them pronounced. I also had to give a brief description of each character and their particular characteristics as well as explain the way they speak (any accents or tone of voice) so the narrator would have a better idea of how to start reading as them.

Once they start recording, they’ll send me an unedited sample to listen to and give any feedback or pointers on to ensure that they are starting off on the right foot. And after that, they’ll edit it and send me the entire audiobook to listen to and review. It’ll be my job to inform them of any necessary changes I hear as the author and send it back for final clean up. They will also have to tweak the books’ current cover designs a bit to fit the CD cases. And don’t worry, they will be available for audio download as well!

After this, I have a few other projects I’m waiting to start. Not only do I need to start writing book four in The Deceiver Saga, but I will also be working on some companion journals to go along with each of the books that are out so far. The companion journals will be like a workbook or study guide that book clubs and readers can use to further dig into the Saga and the research behind it. It will also be a place where I can pose questions to the reader to invoke thought and discussion with a partner or as a group.

I’m looking forward to starting these companion journals as well! It’ll be great to dig back into the research I did when writing these books and express more of my personal feelings and train of thought behind them, rather than just having to worry about it as a fictional storyline. It’ll enable me to write in another element—realism, internal reflect and our outward perspective.

So stay tuned! I’ll post more about all these projects I’ve got rolling as time moves forward.

Thank you for reading and thank you for following! I truly appreciate you, my readers.

R. J. Machado De Quevedo

(Author of ‘The Deceiver Saga’, Speaker, Blogger, Dreamer)


Follow me on Twitter @TheDeceiverSaga


Sanctuary of Fire is in production! (Book three in The Deceiver Saga)

I’ve been amazed at how fast things are going with these books of mine. From a dream (literally), to scraps of scribbled notes, to the laptop, to the publisher, the printed page, out to the public, and soon, recorded into audiobooks! If you haven’t read my earlier blogs about how all this wonderful madness got started, I invite you to please take a scroll through my previous posts that take you along with me through the wonderful journey I’ve been on. Nothing has been handed to me. It’s taken a lot of hard work, dedication, and ignoring the naysayers—but I will say this, God’s hand has been in it and his blessings undeniable. And I wouldn’t be where I am today without the love, encouragement and support of my family and friends.

Back in February I sent the manuscript in to my publisher for the third book in The Deceiver Saga, called Sanctuary of Fire. There will be more books in the Saga than just three, so don’t panic. You wouldn’t be without a good book to read when you get done with this one. I’m guessing there will probably be about six or seven in The Deceiver Saga, but since there seems to be more and more evolving every day in my beady little mind, I’d can’t say there won’t be more than that! You’ll just have to wait and see! Well, read, wait and see.  ;O]

We started production on Sanctuary of Fire in April. We’ve been through the major copyediting and are finishing up the cover design and inside layout right now. In the next week or so I expect to have the cover art revision back and the digital file of the layout to review. The fun part of this phase is that they will also send me a printed proof copy to rub my anxious little hands over and feast my dry eyesies upon. Of course the purpose is to read it off the printed page so that whatever I don’t catch in the way of lingering errors or typos in the digital file will pop off the page and present itself from the 3D book. That, and they want to make sure I’m happy with how the actual physical book looks as a whole. I can’t wait!

It’s always fun to work with the cover designer/artist and try to get what I have in my head presented in the physical world. On each of the books so far, I have been asked to fill out a questionnaire that my project manager sends me. I have to tell them things like: What mood I want the cover to project and what feelings I want it to invoke, how I want my pen name listed, what my final decision is for the book title (if I wasn’t sure already), what symbolism I feel represents the theme in the books(s) and of course, what I see in my mind when I think of this book’s cover.

Sanctuary of Fire has proven to be a difficult book cover to nail down. Not for me, I’ve known what I want on it since before I was finished writing it. I know what I see in my mind, and I’ve tried to express that as articulately as I can to them. But everyone’s interpretation of what they read and what they see in their head is different. So even though I may try to explain in detail exactly what I want on this cover, what they see in their mind as they read my questionnaire, may not be exactly what I myself was envisioning. So far, they’ve sent me a few different cover designs and revisions. They’ve done awesome work, there’s no doubt about it! But, it wasn’t quite right. It wasn’t fully expressing what I was imagining or wanted expressed. So I sent them more notes and they’re working on it again. Each time they revise it, they get closer. Just a few more little tweaks and we’ll be there! I can’t want to post it once it’s done!

The thing to remember is that if you don’t speak up about what’s important to you, people won’t know they’ve let you down or disappointed you. You have communicate openly and honestly to those you are relying on to make your dreams come true. Especially for something as important to you as these books are to me. I guess my message to you today is, don’t settle, be honest, and don’t be afraid to communicate. Don’t have to be intimidated to communicate your needs. Just don’t do so in a manner that’s rude or condescending. That isn’t “honesty”, that’s just called being a jerk. And no one wants to help a jerk and no one wants to work with on either.

Keep on, keeping on! And be blessed!

R. J. Machado De Quevedo

(Author of ‘The Deceiver Saga’, Speaker, Blogger, Dreamer)



Follow me on Twitter @TheDeceiverSaga