Friday, December 30, 2011

Bastion Prequel to War Book Trailer

Well here it is the first Bastion Prequel to War Book Trailer video for all to see.  We hope you enjoy just a small glimpse in to the world of Bastion.  With all of the wonderful characters in this book you will be sure to have your favorite. 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Book Karma

As some of you may know, it's hard to follow your heart. As an author it's a constant struggle. From the rejections from publishing companies to the terror of trying to become a writer on your own, it's hard to write a book, pour your words and your soul into something and then subject it to everyone in the world to judge. It takes a special kind of person to wake up in the morning with a heart full of vigor and decide not to ever give up on their dreams.

And it takes a special kind of person to decide not to give up on other people's dreams as well. It takes something unique to be able to reach a hand out to someone who is close to falling and lead them to a safer place.

I only know a few people like that. My manager is like that. My grandmother was like that. And recently I had the luck of finding someone else who thinks more for others than she does for herself. Indie author Renee Pawlish is one of those people.

It happened through a chance following on Twitter. I was trying to expand my reach and attempting to learn the ropes of the website as a whole. I ended up following Renee and she followed me back. One simple thank you message to her and then later we're talking with each other about what we could do to help each other out.

We messaged back and forth. She asked about the candles and I asked her about her work. I realized her book Nephilim: Genisis of Evil has gained some serious traction and is doing very well. Naturally I'm determined to pick it up. With all the work I've been doing I actually haven't been able to read much lately. We got to talking and she interviewed me online and put it on her blog. She said things about me that I didn't even know about myself. Not just about my writing, but about my personality. It was new for me to hear what she had to say.

She has a good outlook on the writing world. You need to reach a hand out and know that there are so many people who are like you, desperately wanting to be heard. These kinds of journeys are important and they're so much more enjoyable when you meet these people who are so special. You feel like a better person just by letting them into your life.

Renee has a theory called Book Karma. Essentially if you help someone out, then you'll be paid back in full. I believe it. Not only with my work, but in life. Maybe if everyone took a little Book Karma and spread it around in every situation, you may be pleasantly surprised by who you meet and what happens next.

I have no doubts that Renee will do well. I really don't have a single doubt. Take the time to read her books and chat her up. I know that's what I'll be doing.

Here's a link to her website. Check out her book Nephilim: Genisis of Evil. It's in the top 10 in the book category. Extremely impressive.

If you want to hear what she wrote about lil' old me, here's the link to the interview and her blog.

Well it's getting late. May huge amounts of Book Karma find its way to all of you as well. Happy writing.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

So If I Had a Soundtrack...

Went to see Carbon Leaf in concert today. It was pretty insane and a very personal experience. We were close to the band and everyone had a really good time. I've heard they really have developed quite the stage presence since they were an opening band for Seven Nations. Because I have to say the band members had a lot of personality. They were damn hilarious to talk to! They played songs from every album including Indian Summer, Love Loss Hope Repeat and Echo.

I'm trying to think of ways to add music and combine it with the average reading experience. Integrating the other senses would make for a whole new outlook on books. So I realized that a lot of songs from Carbon Leaf would sync wonderfully with the vibe of Twined. When you have a chance go check this band out. They really are one of a kind!

Listen to:

Lake of Silver Bells: A smooth mystic tune.
Life Less Ordinary: A breakout peppy song.
Another Man's Woman: A gritty love me not.
The War Was in Color: A deep melody that will make you think.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Welcome New Book Reviewers and Bloggers!

Welcome and Thank You! to Melissa Caldwell from Anniston, Alabama and Melanie Vautour from New Brunswick, Canada for taking time out of their busy schedules to read and review Bastion - Prequel To War for us.  We will post their reviews and comments here and on website for all to see! Take the time to visit Melanie's website "Melanie's Book Addiction" there is a link posted on the right hand side of this blog. Great reading for all of you book enthusiasts!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

BASTION - Prequel To War Character Candles Now Available!

The Character Candles are now available in eight exciting scents! The ten ounce candles ($5.00) burn for about thirty five hours and the four ounce ($3.00) burn for about fifteen! You can order them at the Web Store on our home site These really add to the reading experience of Bastion!


Well it's official. The first ever Bastion book signing was a HUGE success! All hardcovers sold despite being the most expensive.We gave out posters, bookmarks, cards and stickers. We sold Character candles and books even though we haven't done ANY marketing! This is all through word of mouth here! And now I've got soccer moms, 80 year olds and kids reading my book? Totally not the demographics I was shooting for but I'm not complaining! This day was an experience unlike any other. And the ones I love were there running the register and selling products with me! I'm stunned. Thanks to everyone who bought a book you are so special to me and to everyone who spent their time here tonight!

This is what we've been waiting for. This is Bastion.

And this world belongs to you.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Five Senses of Reading

Hey all. Merry almost soon-to-be Christmas and any other holiday that you love to celebrate! Hope you're all staying close to family and friends as the snow and the merry times creep even closer!

Well wanted to update what's going on. Lots of things to do! Marketing the Bastion book, writing three other stories, managing ALL the websites and as of late, introducing three new very special projects to our wing.

The Bastion comic book, possibly an upcoming video game based on my work and something pretty cool...

Scented candles.

That's right! Soon scented candles are going to be made (with homemade and developed scents) based on each of the Bastion characters! Both old... and some new! My goal is to bring the five senses to reading! Obviously the book and comic brings the visual, hopefully a developed story soundtrack will bring the hearing, and next the candles are going to add to the smell! Light a candle and bask in the aroma of Serrah as you pick from one of eight fantastic originally developed scents!

Spice Current- Based out of Shen-Mei's eastern ocean nation compiled of islands, the country of Bajoul is a land of rich heritage and magical secrets specific only to their people. With their focus on spice trades, it is said that the smell of winterwood, bajujan pepper and willowblossom floats in the very air itself. We were able to capture these smells and make it into a candle that will bring the therapeutic air of Bajoul to you in the comfort of your home!

Zaveena's Secret: The Wandermother of the Fatella'Sallah has seen much. She is older, wiser and perhaps stronger than most arcane soldiers in Aldania. But behind every sorceress... lies a sorceress' secret. And after traveling through so much of the land... it is a wonder why she has stayed in the Fallensa woods for so long. Unseen truths are being hidden from the world... and only Mother Zaveena knows the answers. We've taken the smell of Zaveena's favorite rare flowers and solidified it into a perfume. The lesome flower mixed with the molale weed... the scent of intrigue and mystery.

Sorbet Trees: The elvehn nations, specifically the tervilil nation of Saturnia, are a marvelous and clean civilization. The elves have learned much from their ancestors and their societies have maintained both cultural heritage and have excelled to create amazing cities of grand proportions. But wildlife is always present even in their urban locations. Particularly a tree named the sorbet, which is a strange dark wood tree that actually channels mannah into some sort of aroma that is theorized to extend life expectancy. In return, smelling the tree gives you the hint of a creamy scent that has become popular in elvehn nations as a romantic perfume.Wir has graciously provided a few sorbet leaves so we could grind and pour them into candles to improve your mental health and vitality!

Fallensa Berries: Deep in the Fallensa there are small round red berries. About the size of a coin, if you grind them into paste they form a sweet tasting mixture typically used for lipstick and some types of makeup. Meriah has created an entire makeup line specific only to her. She has mastered the making of such pastes after so many years of living within the Fallensa woods, surrounded by flora and wild plants. Not only do they give her a lovely touch of color to her everyday look, they also make her smell of the sweet scent of berries and pine. We've been able to gather some of these rich red berries, against Meriah's will unfortunately, and grind them into a scented candle so that you too can smell the aroma of delicious Fallensa berries! Just don't tell Meriah.

We also have scents for Donovan, Asper, Syrius and Felicia. Donovan gives us an incense that calms him before battle called Finder's Promise. Asper has isolated the scent of a potion he uses to fuel his magic powers appropriately titled Bruhenna Brew. With Syrius' sensitive canine nose you can tell he is a master at scents. We enlisted his help to create a musty, manly smell he named Hair of the Dog. And finally the temptress Felicia gave us a little candle she made herself that is supposedly an aroma that fuels romance... as well as lustful intentions. She branded this smell Love Spell, which she gave us to sell... and kept a few for herself.

Now these candles will be available at the Hampstead book signing and will soon be on sale on our website for purchase! Thank you for all of your support and for helping me bring the five senses to reading! Okay we just have to come up with something edible. Hmmm... Maybe some of Zavenna's wonderful sugary nut cookies to enjoy while you curl up with a warm throw and your copy of Bastion. We'll work on it, we can promise you that!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Quote Time!

So I've been getting a lot of work done on four simultaneous stories. Insane to do more than one at a time, I know, but I kind of need to. Keeps me fresh and also a lot of people are counting on me right now, so I have to do this well.

So here's a quote from each of the books I'm working on. Each about 40 some pages in.

"I was eleven years old, just turned. I didn’t want to grow up. I wanted to stay in my little townhouse and write on the sidewalk with chalk while I dreamed on what color giraffe I was going to be when I grew up. I just wanted things to be simple. I didn’t understand why things had to be so complicated for all the grown ups. And I decided that if growing up meant things got confusing, then I would stay little forever. I would stay simple. But unfortunately everything around me did its best not to be. The world liked to be complex. It liked to twist, to distort. To bleed you dry of whatever feeling you could muster while still letting you hold on to your sanity so that you could experience heartache at its prime. I didn’t know how cold the world was when I was eleven. If I would have known… then maybe I would have packed a sweater." -Avalin Marsh detailing how on her eleventh birthday her mother murdered a woman, in the book Twined

"One, two... they're watching you. Three, four... open the door. Five, six... bones break like sticks... Seven, eight, bodies stand straight... Nine, ten... they're alive again." -Agnus Chive, a demented little girl who plagues the main character's thoughts in the zombie survival tale Dead No More

“What I believe is that we should save ourselves from these cursed abominations far before we seek refuge in any sort of holy city.” -Tristian, stating she believes that Harkvane should save itself from the blackrot parasites infecting the country far before they use their forces to seek haven in a holy city that only the Old Testament say exist, in the grisly dark medieval fantasy Utopius 

"I do smoke a drug Ashton. It's called happiness. I can't score it myself, but I'm the best dealer I know." -Jaime Williams telling her best friend how making others feel happy helps her find purpose, but she can't seem to find happiness herself, in the uplifting crossover story Scarlett's

So there's some pretty cool quotes so far. I can't wait to finish these books but I'm not going to rush. I'm going to make these stories as awesome as possible. Definitely time to get to work! Because at this point I'm running off of coffee and sarcasm!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Book Bloggers and Book Reviewers Wanted!

If you are a Book Blogger or a Book Reviewer and would like to recieve a FREE copy of  "Bastion" - Prequel To War in exchange for your review or feedback please contact us at any of the email addresses to your left or give us a call at the telephone number provided.  We look forward to hearing from you!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Expanding Our Horizons

So naturally we've been trying to branch out our pool of contacts as of late. Fellow authors, news reporters and so on have been under our radar for the past week. Getting the book known is, after all, half the battle. But now it seems that we are lucky enough to reach into a form of entertainment that I never really thought much about... until now.

That's right. If things go our way, we may have our very own Bastion comic book.

Now it most likely won't be a graphic novel version of Prequel. The comic artist and I both believe that the flow of a novel doesn't sync well with the flow of a comic. So what does that mean? Most likely I'll be creating a seperate branching story that will co-exist with the Bastion: Prequel to War timeline. It'll be a story that fits the pacing of a graphic novel itself. You may see some familiar characters, you may see familiar places. But it'll be from the point of view of a different hero or heroess. (That's not a typo. I never call female heroes heroins.) Anyway it'll take some time to write up with all the other things I have to do such as tweet, blog and write three other books. But when it's done it'll be a massive accomplishment.

Ooh, maybe I'll ask him to design images of Meriah and Syrius for T-shirts! You know I need me some Syrius T-shirt. Is it wrong I have a man-crush on my own character? Yes. It most likely is.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Press Release Gets Responses From Television, Print and The United Kingdom!

The first Press Release that we have issued in the two weeks since Bastion - Prequel To War was released by our publisher has proven to generate quite a bit of interest already. There have been various requests for information and interviews from television, print media and even a wonderful women named Jane from a news website in the United Kingdom. We are excited to get the word out about this wonderful and so very talented young author A.L. Collins. With all of the upcoming projects planned and at least two more books to be released by January 31, 2012 the excitement is only beginning. You can view the Press Release by clicking on the link provided below.
Best Regards,
James Huntington
Publishing Manager for A.L. Collins

Monday, December 5, 2011

It Really Warms the Heart

So I had the joy and privilege of being part of a relative's surprise birthday party. I haven't been part of many of them. Mostly because the ones my friends planned always ended up failing in the surprise part. Anyway at this party I went to I met a girl who is also trying to start her writing career.

I was talking about my book, Bastion, to a relative of mine at this party, see. And in the middle of my conversation I noticed a woman with short hair listening in, which I found extremely flattering because she looked quite interested. My manager always said to have a PR opportunity ready so I guess I was doing my job, but making sure not to steal the spotlight from the real star of the evening, being the birthday guy.

Anyway after I was done speaking, the woman who was listening asked me if I wrote that book myself. I told her yes and she said that her daughter was trying to figure out a way to get her writing out and about in the world as well. I told this woman how I got started, and then suddenly she darted away into the crowd. She had said something and I had missed it, so I assumed the lady left.

But she didn't. She came back a minute later with her daughter. The girl was here at the party! She shook my hand gently with a copy of The Goblet of Fire in her other hand, a Harry Potter paperback. I couldn't stop smiling as this girl, timidly yet with excitement in her eyes, told me what she wrote about and asked how to get her work out there.

I didn't know how to take this at all. I had come here to celebrate a birthday so this was way unexpected. I just looked at her and saw myself in her. I was in this position if not six months ago, frantically trying to get all the information I could out of anyone willing to share. Trying to get someone, anyone to notice all the hard work I had put into this project. But initially no one was there to point me in the right direction. And direction is important, especially in the publishing world.

So I gave her all my contact information, told her to look up Amanda Hocking on youtube for inspiration, told her about my book blog and other numerous sites, and gave her the ups, downs, ins and outs of the self-publishing world and how I got my start, as well as the company that I went with. She seemed so floored, so excited, it really warms the heart to be in a position where you can help someone with the information that you know. I promised her that I would keep an eye out for her and when her work finally does debut, it'll be right here on this blog. I heard her sister asking if she could help her design posters and such. I told them to include as many friends in this as she could, to make a real project out of it and let it expand as far as her imagination allowed. I think she liked that idea.

She asked me if she could buy the paperback I had with me and if I would sign it. I signed it, but I didn't sell it. I told her she could just take it with her. I was honestly just aloof off the moment. I didn't want to ruin that feeling.

So in truth, she inspires me, and not the other way around. Maybe one day she'll be signing her book for me as I stand there all a flutter, waiting for her signature. I hope to see her soar, I really do.