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Celebrate Journey through Darkness' 1st Anniversary!!

Posted by amarnawestpublications on May 21, 2011 at 8:45 PM Comments comments (4)

A year has passed since the publication and release of Journey through Darkness: Book I of the Journey Saga. May 21st 2010 was the day that this novel was officially released to the world and a new saga was born. Celebrate with me by visiting my official website to read excerpts, brush up on the characters, or leave any thoughts, questions, or observations that you've had.


The soundtrack Darkness Before the Light is still going strong with online visitors from all over the world. "Amazon Ancestors," the first instrumental release from the soundtrack, continues to be a favorite to listeners. If you haven't heard it, or it has been awhile since your last visit, please stop by Kandake Soul Music Productions for a free listen ( If you like what you hear, please spread the word to others about my project.


Today I have celebrated the novel's release by working on Journey of the Damned, something I have not done in many months. Some of my focus has gone towards scenes centering around Tizra's rise to power and the Medjays adjusting to a new life away from Kush. Where Book I introduced some of the major players of the saga, Book II expands on those characters, their relationships with each other, and introduces a few new main characters.


I have also been outlining a secondary project which will probably become a short story on the concubus. My goal is to write a prequel to the saga that will show how Mhonsu, Zarlyn, and their son Tjenna became the most powerful soul-stealing demons in the cosmos. As soon as samples are ready I will post them to my web sites.


Thanks to those of you that continue to be enthused about this project as I appreciate your support and motivation. This has been a very busy year for me with the newest edition to my family and adjusting to a new job but the journey continues!

Top Tools for Creative Writers: A Review

Posted by amarnawestpublications on April 20, 2010 at 12:50 PM Comments comments (0)

I read this article on "Wired" months ago and it had some useful tips for writers just starting out. For those of us a bit more experienced the tips might be a no-brainer, however, I found some of the items a bit expensive, so I've comprised my alternative list for those of us that are um... financially challenged.



An ultra-portable laptop

I suggest the netbook because they're inexpensive. I have an HP Mini that I carry around with me all the time because it's as light as my organizer.

Rob Beschizza suggests a Sony Vaio or a Macbook...unless you've got 1-2 thousand dollars to spend I say skip it, although they are very nice machines. I've tested them both out at Best Buy, but I'll still stick to my little HP.



Durable Notepads with Cover Pockets

Rob suggests a Moleskine or Xonex Ru. I've used the reporter Moleskine which holds up really well and the paper accepts fountain ink. But my problem with Moleskines is that they're expensive and I can go through one a month. A regular notebook just won't do for me. My alternative...Piccadilly journals from Borders. They look just like Moleskines and are usually about $10 cheaper.

But I'm sensitive about my journals, I usually grab the one that "speaks" to me.



Digital Recorder

This is a must, I have to agree with him there. I've tried using the one on my phone and the one built into my computer, but when you're in the middle of a thought, there's nothing worse than trying to set all of that up in the heat of the moment. My recorder is as simple as one button push.




What is this? Another useless gadget that you'll forget about in times of crisis? I'll stick to what I have. Instead of this, I suggest something you might already own such as an ipod touch, a palm pilot, or a smart phone. These little gadgets allow you to write on the go when you've forgotten your laptop. But you wouldn't forget it if you had a netbook... right?



Power Accessories

Something I don't have, and I don't think I need them. Portable chargers, etc. works for people that spend most of their time away from home or the office. It is a rare moment that I desperately need to charge my laptop in my car.



A decent Pen

Rob suggests a Yoropen or a Fisher Space Pen. I have not seen these in Office Depot or Office Max recently so I'll skip it. If I have to order my pen online, it has already exceeded my budget. But don't get me wrong, I am always in search of a great pen. My absolute favorite of all time is the Rotring Art Pens series. These are some of the best pens ever. Period.



Handheld PC

Does the same thing as a laptop, palm pilot, ipod touch, or smartphone. Skip it.



A Fancy Phone with Fast Internet

This all depends on what you need your phone to do. I know some people that never use laptops and only use their phones...if you are one of those people this recommendation is probably for you.



Better Writing Software

This topic usually starts a debate amongst writers. There are those that use basic programs like Microsoft Word and those that like to experiment with Writing Software. I'm somewhere in between.

Rob suggests Scrivener (for those of you that own Macbooks) and Rough Draft (for Windows). I've discovered Writer's Cafe ($40) and Jarte (free). But I still use Word on occassion.



Unlimited Public Transport Access

This is a great suggestion. San Jose is the kind of city that is bus/lightrail-friendly. But if you are from a city where using public transportation is a real pain, skip it. I have done some of my best work commuting to work or to school...



Things to Avoid


Fancy Journals

I have plenty that I haven't written in because they were too nice. Rob may be on to something here.



Creative Writing Software

I agree if the software is too complicated to figure out quickly.



Big Laptops

A netbook would suffice or even a smaller 13-inch computer. Some older refurbished models are under $400, the price of a netbook. Check out




Check out the article here and let me know what you think.

Why writers should be publishing ebooks

Posted by amarnawestpublications on November 30, 2009 at 1:50 PM Comments comments (1)

Ebooks are the new craze and ereaders are the new ipods. With everything centered around "going green" and conserving our natural resources, it makes sense that ebooks are where are future is headed...whether you like it or not.


Remember how you felt when you walked into the electronics store and realized that you couldn't buy a Polaroid camera anymore? You know, the kind that took instant pictures that always came out too dark or got messed up as soon as you touched them? That was when you looked around and noticed that every camera had become digital.


And then you also realized that your favorite record stores were gone. Now you have to download all of your music to some little gadget or to your computer. Gone are the CDs that used to crowd our entertainment systems.


And the latest casualies of war are movies. Movie rental stores are vanishing rapidly because of companies like Netflix that make it possible for people to watch tons of movies without ever leaving the house.


Well brace yourself because it's happening again.


One day your local Borders or Barnes and Nobles will be gone and you can already see it happening. Haven't you noticed that most of the books you want are online anyway?


Many of us are apprehensive of this new transition, and I was too until I realized that change would come whether I wanted it to or not. So here are my reasons why you as a writer should be publishing an ebook:



Ebooks are cheap. Really cheap. These Print on Demand companies (PODs) are making a fortune off of self-published authors because we need them to slap together a physical book. We pay them for binding, stitching, type-setting, glossy covers, etc. but ebooks are cheaper to make so they cost less to buy. That is good news for the author and the reader.



Some self-published authors are avoiding PODs altogether by only creating their books in ebook format. They are taking control over how their books are distributed to the public. Some PODs can take weeks to produce a book, but ebooks can be delivered in a matter of seconds.



Believe it or not some authors refuse to publish in ebook format. J.K. Rowling, the best selling author of the Harry Potter series, is one of them. However, Stephanie Meyer, author of the Twilight saga, has her books available in almost every ebook format imaginable. Because ebooks are still new and because authors (and readers) are still weary of them, you have the opportunity to take advantage of the craze and profit from it. One author's reluctance is another author's success.


A variety of platforms to choose from

There are a variety of ereaders available from the Amazon Kindle to the Sony Reader and Barnes and Noble Nook. Prices range from $200 to $800, but if you are not much of a gadget person, the good news is that your computer works just as good as an ereader.


The dark side of ebooks

Even though there appear to be more pros than cons for ebooks, there are still issues of piracy and copyright infringement. Thieves exist and sometimes the DRM laws are very confusing, so do your research. But if you are ready to embark on the journey of publishing your work in ebook format, check out the free ereader software listed below.


Four Places Online to Publish software


Amazon Kindle for PC


Barnes&Nobles Ereader for Mac/PC



Attention Bloggers!

Posted by amarnawestpublications on October 28, 2009 at 7:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Blog Submission Giveaway: Start a new Blog Series and Win a "Hawk Goddess" Journal! Login and submit your proposal. See details below!

AWP is looking for participants to lead discussions and post interesting and engaging content on the Member's Blog. Featured writers have the option of beginning an e-zine, editorial, advice column, etc.

This is a great opportunity for writers of all backgrounds to share their wisdom and insights with others. All members are welcome to participate. If you know someone who might be interested, feel free to invite them to join the site.

The purpose of this Blog is to create invaluable information for our readers and fellow members. It will be hard work but well worth the rewards in the end.

Artists, writers, musicians, and others are encouraged to share their experiences and advice for the greater good of the group. This is your opportunity to showcase your talents, inspire others, and most importantly, have fun!

Potential ideas:

Travel Journal

Recipe e-zine

Relationship and advice column

Personal growth memoir

Entertainment Reviews

Spirituality Journal

Online class

Please note that the Forums are also available for extra elbow room.



AWP and JTD Blogs

Posted by amarnawestpublications on September 16, 2009 at 11:55 AM Comments comments (0)

There is now a Journey through Darkness Blog for info specifically pertaining to the novel.

It will be somewhat of an online journal chronicling my progress. Eventually it will include information on the characters, themes, etc of the saga.


Right now you can check out my weekly editorial "The Journey is Long" for my musings on the self-publishing process.



The Amarna West Publications Blog is an alternative place to get straightforward updates about AWP.