Tag Archives: karina kantas

A Rant & A Cry

If you’re a regular listener to my live radio show, Author Assist on the Artist First Radio network, you know how the show works. Okay, sometimes I throw in a few surprises for my guest like making them sing, live on air and getting them to take part in a quiz, they knew nothing about.

Well, on the last show, Friday 8th April, I did two things I’ve never done before in the five years I’ve been on the air. I had a rant, and I cried. I’m not going to tell you what the rant was about or why I cried, you need to listen to the show and find out.
As well as those two monumental occurrences, we have awesome music from Lola Black and her hit single Hot Enough. Live readings from two of my flash fictions from my Collection, Heads & Tales, and my wonderful guest, Teri M Brown, who also does a reading for you.


So plenty of entertainment. You can listen to the archived show here.

Download a copy of Heads & Tales

Meet Teri M Brown. On the podcast Behind The Pen

Ans find out more about Lola Black and her music

Check out Teri M Brown’s debut novel, Sunflowers Beneath The Snow

Author Assist

I took part in Go Indie Now Teachables. Basically, I showed how anyone can use Canva, the free graphic design program. So extensive, you can do almost everything on it and it’s so easy to use and navigate, a child can do it.
However, after you’ve watched the lesson, if you have any questions please ask.
Enjoy.

Day 27th #MarchoftheWriters

  Writer habitat

Nothin exciting to see. I moved out of my office because I wasn’t comfortable and when you suffer from chronic pain 24/7 you have to find the most comfortable place to sit. So from a fully functional office to the living room and a leather convertible chair. Hubby made a rolling 3 shelves box, so I could put all my files and books and I have it close to the chair.

Now, to this day. I have been working in my bedroom my set-up is a small wooden fold away desk/table for my computer and my books beside me, legs resting and pillow behind my back keeping me comfortable.

Yep, I bet you weren’t expecting that. All my writing, my author services, even my podcast and live radio show are all carried out in my bedroom.
I get on with life the best that I can. Keeping busy makes me forget about other things.

Day 24 #MarchoftheWriter

Why do you write?

What a loaded question. I ask my guests on my YouTube show, Radio show and podcast, this question and it comes with a barrage of different reasons, yet one is always the same. Which one do you think it is?

Day 15 #MarchoftheWriter

 How do you social?

On Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Linkedin… actually that’s not what this is about.

How do you connect with other writers, with your tribe and with potential new readers?

I have two answers for you.

The first; Go Indie Now.
Yep, you’ve seen me mention the media platform Go Indie Now and the workaholic, Mr Joe Compton.
Joe has created a platform where the indie community can meet, chat have heated debates, get drunk at Joe’s bar (Just kidding) – no I’m not!

Find out about new indie films, books and what’s hot in the gaming community. These shows, panels, interviews, and reports are entertaining for the public and the indie community.
Authors, there is so much you can learn from those that have done it all. We’ve all made mistakes so learn from those that have tried and failed but don’t give up. Get tips and get the inside scoop on what’s going down in the indie world.

Have you always wondered what’s inside a writer’s mind? How do they build these magical, dangerous and extraordinary worlds? How do they come up with the characters you love, with the plot twists and write stories that will keep you turning the page and gasping for more?

You will find these answers and more on the media platform Go Indie Now. So please support Joe and all the hard work he does for the Indie community. Seriously, this man just never stops.

The reason I mention this in my article about being social, is I have made some wonderful connections and long-lasting friendships with indies I’ve met while being a guest on the shows. This then takes me to their safe place. Their group, where I’m welcomed and treated as one of the family. Thus creating more connections and friendships, thus learning more from my peers.

Please subscribe to The Go Indie Now YouTube channel and take a look at the shows he hosts. Watch and be entertained, leave a comment and like the videos.
Thanks, and remember, it’s always time to Go Indie Now

And my other way to socialize is not knowing who is Behind The Pen. (Did you see what I did just then. lol)



Podcasts, Zoom interviews, Radio shows, they are so hot right now. If you want to find new readers, you have to step up, show your face, and let us hear your voice. There are thousands out there waiting to hear about exciting new books and authors they have never heard of. The world is yours to conquer!
Okay – maybe I went a little too far with that last line. But I’m sure you understand what I’m trying to say. People don’t know you. They don’t know your name, they don’t know your books, and now you have a chance to be seen, heard and noticed.
If you’re camera-shy, contact podcasts and radio stations. If the camera loves you, get on some pannels, shows and interviews. Your readers are out there waiting.

Behind the Pen is a YouTube show and audio podcast where I chat with all artists; musicians, authors, illustrators, writers, editors, anyone who uses a pen for work.


Day 14 #MarchoftheWriter

Return of the pitch

So a pitch is just like being a salesperson. You have maybe 5 mins to sell your product to that manager of the shop, factory, office. A story is no different. The first line has to be the shocker, the lead line; Leading the agent or publisher to read the next part.


The rule of pitching SHORT BUT SWEET. But then you all know I like to break the rules! 😉

So without further ado here’s my pitch.

What do you do if you’re stranded in a barren land and the sky turns red, a sign that the acid rain is about to pour down on you and melt your skin and bones?
Bez is thrown out of Mount Elta for having a big mouth. Kyte for being an instigator and disturbing the peace. The Committee, are the law inside what was their home. No one would dare stand up to them in fear of being cast out.
Now with a backpack containing an acid-proof tent, a little food and medical supplies all created from the precious Terra Plant, the two hunt for the OutCasts; those that had somehow survived. There was proof of their existence but not of their habitat. Can they find them in time, and more importantly, will they be welcomed?

So how did I do?
Does it make you want to know more?
Can you work out what genre of fiction this book is?

Day 8 #MarchoftheWriters

Writer’s DNA

Well, right now with my dark romances, it’s sex and violence. Sex sells, so does violence. Now imagine a book with them both!

I always throw my readers through a loop. Twists just come naturally to me, I don’t even know I’ve thrown one in there until after. I don’t want my novels to be predictable. I like to keep my readers on their toes. Just when you think you know what’s going on… you really don’t. Trust me.

Conflict. Every novel or flash fiction has to have a type of conflict. Conflict gets the juices going, the adrenaline rush and keeps those pages turning.

There is always a piece of me in my books, some more than others and I would never tell you which parts are fictional and which are reality.

I like my female characters to have heart, compassion, but still be strong and able to kick arse, either literally or with magic.

A satisfying ending. That doesn’t mean there will be a HEA. I write about real life, and real-life is dark and gritty. And in my fantasy, you still have the darkness – the good vs evil and the darkness the protagonist is fighting.

I had to put this in. DNA by BTS

DAY 7 #MarchoftheWriters

Author Tribe

Gosh, there are so many people I should thank for helping me to get where I am today. 

I certainly wouldn’t have as many books published if it wasn’t for a group on Facebook, which at this time I can’t remember the name of, but I do remember it was run by Marjory. 
We would trade fake money to buy a service. Such as, say I would beta read someone’s short story and was given $1000 trading bucks by the author. I need a new cover but I don’t have enough trading bucks to pay for it so, I will trade a cover from a designer, in return for a book trailer. She gets the book trailer, I get my cover and we’re both happy. This went on for years. Huge shout out to Sharon Lipman from Fantasia Cover Designs
We traded, we swapped services, and we were able to get our books finished and ready for publication without it costing us anything. I know I didn’t have the money back then to afford an editor, let alone a book cover. 
Sadly as life moves on, so does your tribe. I can’t remember what the group was called as it was so long ago, but I know I still have around 140,000 trading bucks in my bank. lol

Next, I want to shout out to all the members of the Authors-Professionals Co-op on Facebook. The group has now almost come to a standstill, which is sad. But I know how much the regular, active members got from this group. I’ve made lifelong friends. I met my co-author, Karen J Mossman, with who, I wrote Toxic with. And an amazing man who helped get my daughter, Alexia’s, first illustrated book published. He’s the brains behind the EE branding Electric Eclectic, and he’s an amazing author, Paul White. There are more members, but I can’t remember names, so thank you for your support and for helping me along on my journey. 

You’ve heard me mention his name several times already in posts. He’s an advocate for indie artists, owning and running one of the biggest media platforms for indie artists such as authors, directors, actors, musicians and more, And he’s an author himself, with books you all need to check out called, Amongst The Killing and We The Moral Majority. So big thank you for all you’ve done for me Mr Joe Compton and on behalf of all indie artists that you have helped promote, with Go Indie Now, we salute you.

And, recently I met a wonderful lady who runs The Writer’s Tribe Facebook group. I haven’t been a member here long, but I’ve been welcomed into the tribe and then practically forced to write by Venessa Giunta and her sprints, lol. So, shout out to our cheerleader, who is inspiring, bubbly and always encouraging the tribe.

So many other people have played a part in helping me on my journey. Please forgive me if I haven’t singled you out that doesn’t mean I think any less of you, it just means my memory, which I have problems with, couldn’t remember you at the time I wrote this post.

I am just a little cog in the indie writing community but you are MY TRIBE.

Dark grey background. Two hands toasting with champagne glasses. Text in white underneath Cheers to my tribe

Day 5 #MarchoftheWriters

Sweet spot: writing session length

What is a sprint?

I’ve been an author for the last 28 years, and I’ve never taken part in a sprint before. The thought of everyone being on camera and just working didn’t make sense to me… until now!

On one of the panel shows by Go Indie Now, with Joe Compton. I met a very busy, talented lady author by the name of Venessa Giunta. And she runs an amazing group of writers on FaceBook called The Writing Tribe (TWT) and Nessie ( I call her that) organises sprints.
I went to the first one last month and I couldn’t believe how enjoyable it was to work in a group for twenty minutes, then we stop, talk about what we managed to get down, the words count and so fourth. We have a chat, sometimes and then back to work for another 20 minutes. She also does a Zoom sprint where we are on camera and don’t need to type our conversation. These last around 30 minutes and after a couple of them, everyone has a chance to share any good news they have. It’s such a supportive community of talented writers. I have been trying to attend the sprints regularly, and in the beginning, I used the sprints to get AuthorAssist work done, such as newsletters, promotions, and podcasts. I had a book I needed to write, but I was avoiding the damn thing. However, I started work on it last week, and every sprint I’m getting over 1k done, and Nessie has solved some dilemmas I’ve had with the book. I know without TWT and the sprints, I wouldn’t be writing as much or at all. So I am very thank full to the group and Nessie.

DAY FOUR – #MarchoftheWriters

 For those about to WIP (work in progress)

So, what are you working on Karina? Oh if it was so simple to answer.

I have a four-book series called OUTLAW. Each book is a stand-alone read. Each book is about outcasts, outlaws, whether it’s an MC (motorcycle club) or a street gang. Each book is connected to this theme. The first book is called, In Times of Violence. If you read my 2nd-day blog post, you would know that In Times of Violence started as an 18-page short story. As I was young back then, I wrote it specifically to target my age group YA (young adult)
https://explosivewriter.com/2022/03/03/marchofthewriters/

The problem now is that it was many years later when I wrote Huntress the second book in the series, but not the second book to have been written, So now a mature writer, the mature themes come into play. By the time I got to Road Rage, there were no rules anymore. Can you see my dilemma?
Yep, that’s correct you can have one book a YA and the rest 18+ this was the first mistake I made. I kept them together, but marketed the YA differently and I could never do a box set with all four. The solution is easy, right? Yep, write another ITOV but an adult version. Unfortunately, life happened and shit happened and the book got lost in the shuffle. It would be 13 books and nearly 20 years later, I’m finally working on ITOV adult edition.

So, the second mistake. Over the years, my writing has matured along with me, and so my writing style and topics have been pretty graphic and intense. So that’s okay, you need to write a mature version of the first book ITOV. Yes, it could only be that easy. What I should have done was kept the original MS (manuscript) throw in some explicit sex and some graphic violence and bingo! – Nah.

I started writing out the first scenes and the only resemblance it had to the opening scene of the YA version, is the names of the characters. I had started a brand new book. A couple of chapters in, and I realise that Huntress which is a sequel to ITOV YA edition and will continue as book two to the YA and that if I carry on the way I’ve chosen to go, Huntress will need a re-write. I knew I had a decision to make, and I agonised over it, and there was no way I could bin the two new chapters I wrote, as they are GOLD. So to cut a long story short, my WIP is ITOV adult edition.

I’ve gone into new territories I’ve yet to delve into. I’m doing something I’ve never done before. I’m doing a year’s time jump just so I can stay on track to the genre and theme and not stray off the path. then I’m going to write a novella about that year. What happened to her and how much she suffered. The reader will have the choice to read it or not (I think most will.)

Would you like a sneek peek?

(Remember this is a first draft and not edited.)

The money lasted five days, even though I stayed in a cheap hotel in a rough part of the city.  I had no money, no food and no place to sleep. This wasn’t how my life was supposed to go. I wasn’t looking for fame, I never wanted fortune, so why couldn’t I get a break.

I hugged my rucksack as I fell asleep either on an empty bench or a shop doorway. It shocked me at the amount of homeless people on the streets. And they weren’t friendly to newcomers. Telling me to piss off and find somewhere else to sleep, that I was in their patch. I walked until my eyes couldn’t stay open and then took the first vacant sheltered sleeping space I could find.

As for looking for a job. I would change my clothes, tidy myself up and ask at every store, shop and kiosk, but as soon as I was asked my address, they became uninterested and used the excuse of being overqualified, or unqualified for the job.

***

I was sleeping on a green bench that I luckily found vacant in an open park. I soon understood why the bench was vacant when I woke to someone trying to pull the rucksack from me.
 I stood up and tried to keep my grip of the only possessions I had. I screamed at them to let go, but there was more than one person, and I soon found a fist in my face but I wasn’t going to give up that easily so I kicked one of the in the nuts, while he fell to the ground groaning, another two laid into me with punches and kicks. I dropped the rucksack. There was nothing in there to lose my life over, I thought, as I covered my head from being punched. But a kick to my stomach made me fall down to the ground. I heard a roaring of motorbikes and then shouting before a boot hit my head. My vision blurred as I saw a shade of black racing towards me. The shouting started to fade as did my consciousness. The last thing I remembered about that night was the smell of aftershave mixed with soap.

And here’s another exclusive.