Guest post from Traci Slatton & Review of (165.) Far Shore…

It’s been over a year since we last had a visit from Traci Slatton, so it’s about time! Today she stops by to talk about why she publishes independently, and I share my thoughts on her latest After series installment, Far Shore. Read on!

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Writing Independently
By Traci L. Slatton

Traditional publishing is in a shambles. The big companies are losing money and merging to try to stay viable. They’ve become increasingly focused on the “onesie twosies,” the few books on the top of the NY Times bestseller list.

This sad state of affairs has had an impact on many authors, from mid-list authors to writers trying to get published for the first time. I was lucky that Bantam bought my first novel Immortal in 2004, paying an advance and launching my career as a novelist. But by the time Immortal was released in February, 2008, the publishing climate had changed drastically, and by the fall of that year, it had tanked. Things were desperate.

Through 2009, I wrote The Botticelli Affair, a light-hearted art history mystery vampire romp. I found an agent who represented it, but it didn’t sell. Over the next two years I also wrote Fallen, the first in my romantic, dystopian After Series. Two different agents, both excellent, couldn’t move my work.

By 2011, I knew I couldn’t allow the big companies, who were failing themselves, to end my career because they couldn’t see the possibilities, and didn’t have the foresight to nurture the career of a mid-list author who was actively growing her readership. I hired a freelance editor for my books, revised them, and looked around for options and alternatives.

My first experience was with an author services company called Telemachus Press. They treated me very well, and they did a wonderful job publishing The Botticelli Affair and Fallen in both eBook and print formats. I started to see how successfully a book could be published independently.

At the same time, I had just finished writing an art book about classical figurative sculpture with my husband sculptor Sabin Howard. He wanted to design it himself, with the book designer. The book showcases his work through myriad photos, and he is meticulous about how his sculptures are shown. So I opened Parvati Press and The Art of Life was my first effort. Big, glossy, and photo-rich, it was very well-received and sells every month, despite its expense.

Now I was in business as a publisher. I soon availed myself of this new opportunity to re-publish my first book Piercing Time & Space, a non-fiction book on science and spirituality that was originally published by the ARE Press but had gone out of print. I also gathered my poems that had already been published in literary journals and magazines into a book; I published that collection as Dancing in the Tabernacle. Soon I had a novel for my small press: Cold Light, the much-anticipated sequel to Fallen. In January of 2013, I released the bittersweet romantic comedy The Love of My (Other) Life, and last month Parvati Press published Far Shore, the heart-wrenching third book in the suspenseful After Series.

I wear a lot of hats as the proprietor of a small, independent press. I am Chief of Marketing & PR, Chief Executive Editor, Website designer, and Communications Executive. It’s fun and challenging—it’s been an MBA in the School of Down-in-the-trenches-with-my-shirt-sleeves-rolled-up. I now have a comprehensive knowledge of most aspects of publishing, which is why Parvati Press is about to release a new eBook: “How to Write, Publish, and Market your Book, Yourself, Independently: A manual for the courageous and persistent.” Look for it on my website www.tracilslatton.com and on www.parvatipress.com.

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traci slattonAbout Traci Slatton:
Traci L. Slatton is a graduate of Yale and Columbia, and the awardwinning, internationally published author of books of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction.

She lives in Manhattan with her husband sculptor Sabin Howard, whose classical figures and love for Renaissance Italy inspired her historical novel IMMORTAL, which was published around the world and achieved bestseller status in Italy, Russia, and Brazil. Her novel THE BOTTICELLI AFFAIR is a contemporary romp through the art history byways of vampire lore. Voted “Reviewers Choice Best Read of 2011” by The Paranormal Romance Guild, FALLEN is the first of the romantic After Trilogy set during the end times. Its sequel COLD LIGHT furthers the dystopian tale.

DANCING IN THE TABERNACLE is her first book of poetry; PIERCING TIME & SPACE is a non-fiction look at the meeting of science and spirit. THE ART OF LIFE is a photo-essay of sculpture.

Find Traci online at her website www.tracilslatton.com and on twitter.

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far shoredrey’s thoughts:

Far Shore picks up with our heroine Emma living with her husband Haywood and their daughters. She’s doing her best to live the life she has, but cannot stop wondering what became of Arthur, who was captured by Alexei as Emma was leaving with Haywood.

Then old friends come seeking help. And Haywood has a hissy fit, forgetting – or uncaring – that these are the people who helped keep his wife and daughters safe and alive. Emma, being Emma, goes anyway. Loyal, strong, thankful Emma.

What follows is an adventure of sorts, and mostly around Arthur and Alexei. There’s a bit of plot movement, character growth (though I didn’t much care for Arthur’s behavior), and an intriguing setup for the next book. Far Shore reads quickly, too much so for me – I was looking for more meat on these bones. I wanted to know why Arthur was so bloody cranky (or is he really just that superficial?), what really brought about Alexei’s about-face (premonitions notwithstanding), why Haywood was such an ass (beyond the shallow selfishness). The only constant was how strong Emma stayed, through the uncertainty, the hardship, the bear…

You’ll want to read the prior books before picking up Far Shore, the background provides a ton of context around some of the character interactions here. We also meet some new people, and I’m wondering if there’s a plan for them. All in all, Far Shore continues Emma’s story, and gives us a few story arcs. I wonder where Traci Slatton will take us next?

drey’s rating: Pick it up!

Title: Far Shore (After #3)
Author: Traci Slatton
ISBN-13: 9780989023276
eARC: # of pages varies with font size
Publisher: Parvati Press, 2013
Purchase at IndieBound, Amazon, The Book Depository
Source: Traci Slatton

Have you read Far Shore? What did you think?