Recently, I have discovered some readers will only buy books if it is in paperback form. Several of my novels only come in ebook form, and I have decided to publish on in paperback for the first time. I used the novella #BeingaVampireinRetailSucks since it’s longer then the rest, and it’s part of a series too. There are still people who prefer paperback over ebooks so that’s a good reason, and I can give copies to people who are doing giveaways too. The next question I will probably get is when are the rest of the books coming out, and I have book 1 done, halfway written book 2, and I know how to write book three since I’ve outlined the shit of out everything. It’s only a matter of time, and when they are popular enough then someone might pick them up to narrate the audio version. Maybe.
The paperback version is way different then the ebook since it has more to it like a spine, and actual cover. I had issues uploading the docx and pdf file since the words are bigger then the size I wanted it. I used 5 x 8 for it, and it’s glossy instead of matte since I’ve heard better results with the glossy version. It was a pain in the ass, but at the same time fun. I first went to creatspace.com and filled out my information. Then comes the tax information to get paid, and you have to create an account so you can keep track of everything. Then comes the book like putting in the title, and then you have to have an ISBN I went with the free Createspace one since I don’t have the money for the custom one. It was $99 for a Bowker one. Not for me yet.
But it’s a learning experience because I have had issues with the formatting mainly, and it sucked ass getting it to work but I still loved the results. In the end since the lettering kept getting cut off in the first one I had to change it again and again. In the end I changed it to 6×9 instead and moved the lettering underneath the name tag. I set it at $9.99. I centered the chapter headings and underlined them, and added page numbers. I should have deleted some of the front like the Smashwords edition stuff, and the ebook information. I left it though since I could spend days just getting it perfect, and in the end I left it as it is. It’s my first paperback after all. Now it’s available through Amazon and Createspace. The whole process was not bad at all, and it was pretty easy. I loved the results in the end. I even stayed with the glossy cover.
Here are the links since it’s live:
I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoy writing this. If you are an author thinking about going with Createspace I highly recommend it since it’s the best option out there and you won’t regret it.
It has been a long road, and this particular project is finally done. I loved how it turned out, and I could not be happier since I have a new cover artist I look forward to working with! I have my school stuff straight, and things are picking up! I did write a post about my inspiration and why I wrote the story in the first place, since there is a story behind it:
Not many people know this, but the idea for the story did not come out of thin air. It came thanks to me coming across a book called Retail Hell: How I sold my soul to the store which is about a screen writer forced to get a job working at The Big Fancy, and I read the whole thing within a matter of days. It was funny, and I loved every minute of it. I loved his take on the different types of customers. I loved the fact that he ends up being the only male selling handbags. The humor in it is laugh out loud funny, and I love his comments regarding the customers he nailed it. I admit I have been working retail for two years I wont say where, but I have seen some of the stuff he talks about in his memoir.
My story is set in a supernatural store called Fiona’s Corner and Café. A retail store in the Luxor realm, and Scarlet who is a vampire has to go under cover to solve the case of the missing werewolf girls from the Moon Wolf pack. It has her put in situations people rarely get to see unless they are on the other side of the counter. I love how it turned out. I even threw in something extra for my readers since it mentions another ebook I’m working on. I will make book 1: Scarlets Beginning. Book 2: Retribution is Mine and Book 3: Redemption is mine.
Besides the retail novella I am rewriting The Killer Contract Agency short, and it will show a side to them before they hunted supernatural creature’s gone rogue. The bullies are not human instead they are creatures called Malians, and they are a species from another planet that picks on weak humans to make them kill themselves before they become successful adults. The main character is Salina Sinclaire, and she is picked on to the point where she almost dies. Then she joins The Agency, and the rest is history. I looked over the old version, and decided to modify it completely, and not only will it have less human bullies it will be from Salina’s point of view.
I played with it last night when it was in third person, and I got stuck…I turned it to first, and BAM! The story came alive with Salina’s voice, and it was easier too. I also have some fun cut scenes to show you. Part of the editing process involves cutting scenes that slow the story down. And when I changed it from third to first sentences and even paragraphs had to be deleted like this, and this is the scene where her mom is talking to the principal. I had to delete the principal’s part since Salina is eavesdropping after she is covered in tar by the resident bully:
“Hi, my name is Rose Sinclair. Salina’s daughter, and there is a girl named Laurice Pasty. She is picking on my daughter so much I have her crying after school everyday. There will be something done about it right?” She says trying to control her temper.
“Hmm…Yes, I seem to recall having the two of them duke it out, and since Laurice is not a human we are not equipped to get in the middle of this feud. We have to let this run its course, and if it gets too out of hand I do know someone who can get rid of this girl if she does not keep the peace.” He replies with reassurance.
“Why would you allow them in the first place?” She asked why he would be stupid enough to allow a dangerous alien to mingle with humans.
“They had a truce with us, and until a person commits suicide because of them then it will be over. Or they try to kill her, and it means that The Killer Contract Agency will step in, and take care of the threat at that point. Your daughter could be a Hunter if that Laurice girl was trying to hurt her that bad. If the Laurice tries to kill Salina a mentor will step in before that happens. You have my word since they are supposed to be peaceful, and if they are not then the Agency will step in and terminate the threat.” He told her.
“Okay, and then the truce will be over, and the Agency will get rid of them by using my daughter great. Thanks, that is all I need to know.” Her voice drips with sarcasm since she is not too happy about them using her daughter like that.
Yes, it was a fun scene to write. Salina can only know so much from eavesdropping though. I hope to be done with it by early June to give it to the beta. Apply the notes, and then go through it again before giving it to the editor. Still going to publish the retail story, and the proofreader is still working on it. I have the same person for the covers, and the same themes will be used in the story. That is it for updates…
Unfortunately, the retail ebook is going to be delayed, and I should have the answer that I have been waiting for soon on when it will be done since the extensive editing is delayed. I have a month of school left, and after a certain time in May when my last exam is going to be I will begin working on the first three Scarlet novels. The first Scarlet ebook will be free, and then it will cost $2.99 with each ebook to make it affordable to readers. I look forward to finally having the ebook out soon. School has been keeping me busy, and work too. I have gotten through chapter 4 in the edits and one of the scenes I wanted was cut down since it did not flow with the story here it is:
I panic momentarily then, took the time to learn about the register area. There is a light at the top of a pole to show the number. I turn it down, which means the register lane is no longer open and it turns the light off. If it’s in the middle it flashes, and that means a supernatural helper’s aide will come to the rescue. Up turns it on, to signify the register is open.
There is a trash can and cleaning solutions in a cubby. The plastic bags are straight, and stuck on a rotating circle which makes it easier to put the items in the bags.
“Excuse me, are you going to check me out or just stand there?” I looked at the woman in question. Her bright blue eyes look at me like I am crazy, and her graying silver hair in a bun. She is a werewolf by the smell of her.
I smile at her. “Sorry ma’am just looking around at all the activity.” I start to ring her up like Roger had shown me, remembering to put everything in the right bag and making conversation with her.
“So ma’am how long have you been shopping here?”
“For years. Werewolf weekly magazine has this store as five stars for werewolf goodies place. I always have a good deal.”
I smile, “Because that is the way of Fiona’s Corner! Good deals for supernatural creatures.” I get done and total her up.
“Total is 176.90.”
She looks at me and says. “Slide it.” I nod. She finished, and she stared at something to my side. Then she looks back at me giving me a death glare like I shot a puppy. “You forgot my coupons.” Oops, you would think I killed her child. She starts to turn into a wolf, and I whisper. “Sietna she a li.” Her eyes turn normal after the spell binds the wolf from harming me.
“Go to customer service if you cannot control yourself.” I send her to customer service to get the discounts. She leaves, and now comes another customer.
A vampire who is probably buying something for his friend’s baby.
“Can you check the price for me?”
I take the handheld scanner, scan the item, and hit the item inquiry key.
He glares at me like it is my fault it rang up that way. “It was $99.00 at least that is what the sign said.”
“Okay sir be nicer, and I won’t have an issue.” I replied sarcastically sick of his attitude toward me.
I void the item, and hit price override then hit 1 for pricing error and type the right amount in. I had to wait here for the SCSM to respond, and they take forever sometimes.
“Are you going to scan the other items? ” He barked like I am his personal dog to kick around.
“Yes, as soon as he Okay it.” I replied sweetly ignoring his rude attitude toward me.
The guy comes, and he forgot to tell me it was a gift receipt. I touch the button, and rescan the item. The dick pays the bill, and then I ring him up this time hitting the gift receipt then ringing him up. He leaves leaving me to want to throttle the dick.
I spend a few more hours on the registers dealing with some charming people. I loved the delightful customers, and the ones who treated me like a being instead of like a slave.
I finish at the register when Roger comes back from his break to take charge of the register again. I signed off and he signed on.
By the way there will be a second retail novel titled: Being an Empathic Witch in Retail Spells trouble. This time it features angels and witches exploring the realm of angels in more detail.
I am completely done with the Prologue, and Chapter 1 and I wanted to put it up early since it is coming out in March. I have not decided on a date yet, but it will be out next month. It has been a long journey, but I cannot believe it is almost done.
Here it is, and when I publish it I will put down the links after the chapter.
Being a Vampire in Retail Sucks
I killed my ex-boyfriend, but that was because he killed my lover. I also killed Kelsey. She deserved it for going after vampires who were harmless to society, and especially since she killed Dante’s family. Not that I go around ending lives for the hell of it. I worked for the Killer Contract Agency–hired to rid the Crystal Crest realm of society’s slugs. Like rapists, pedophiles, and hunters who go after innocent supernatural creatures. The weapon made me insane, and after an undercover case I decided to be a detective instead of an assassin. My name is Scarlet Summers, and I’ve been through hell.
The Moon Wolf Pack are the werewolves who helped me escape from the evil necromancer, Rick. A mystery is on my hands when some of the girls went missing. Oh, and the girls all had one more thing in common. They worked at Fiona’s Corner and Café, a retail store in the Luxor realm that allows creatures to buy items they need to survive. Here is my story of these events.
A fire is burning in the fire-place and it makes the living room warm to combat the cold air conditioning running through the rest of the house. I use this time off to banish the memories of my last case,and the previous ones when I was with the agency. I finally have a chance to try to get my mind off my past once and for all.
It started when Nathan killed Zion, my lover, since he was an abusive and jealous jerk. My grief led to me wanting retribution so fiercely I was hired by The Killer Contract Agency. I then went on a killing frenzy eliminating Nicole, Megan, Kelsey, Kyle, and Nathan. I got my revenge, but not without a price. My final step was to swallow Nathan’s soul. However it caused me to go crazy, and I ended up gunning down innocents. I was changed into a vampire to stop the rage from consuming me. Once I turned, the rage stopped and I became sane again. Then I got captured by a crazy necromancer, and he tried to turn humans into creatures by performing horrible experiments on them. I stopped Rick with help of the Moon Wolf pack. All the old case files go into the fireplace, and the bracelet I still have as a reminder of what I have been through. I turn away from the fire and the past.
I look around the house I love. We moved into after I became a vampire and we transferred to the Luxor realm. It is a big place with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and office, kitchen, and even a library piled high with books. The walls in the living room are charcoal black and the carpeting is the color of warm blood with a gothic theme throughout the house: cobweb wall papers with candelabras, and magical statues of wolves and dragons placed in the house to guard it from intruders.
Sitting down on the black leather sofa, I let the warm fire relax me. There is incense burning and the smell of apples and cinnamon take me to a place of comfort. The necromancer situation still haunts me, since I was tortured horribly. I don’t want to go into details, but I hate them. The asylum case was just as horrid. Especially seeing all those supernatural creatures hurt when they did not deserve it. I exhale and let it all go.I am on my vacation after all.
Dante, my lover, is rustling around papers in the office we share. Since I have nothing better to do I go see what he was doing in the office. And maybe play around a bit on the computer.
“Come in.” he replies after I knock on the door since he loves to keep the door closed to concentrate.
“What are you working on?” I ask as I walk into the room and stand behind him, peering at his screen. I know he hates it when I do that but I just can’t help but rile him a bit .He sighs and stretches, making me stare at the muscles flexing underneath his shirt.
“Shit loads thanks to the damn necromancer-werewolf-agency issues. I dislike Rick, and his bullshit about falsely helping people without powers. He just had to work in the Crystal Crest realm with the psychics to experiment on innocent creatures. At least the asylum is a black crater in the ground now. And all their data on us is destroyed. “
“Fun, I love paperwork. But at least we no longer have to worry about the Crystal Crest realm becoming like ours.”
He laughs and it lights up his entire face, making his soft silky black hair undulate around his handsome face. I stare at his muscles as they ripple with the simple gesture of him sweeping his hair out of his eyes. He turns his attention back to the screen in front of him and I sit down in a plush chair in the corner and watch him work.
I don’t pay attention to the time until I feel a gentle hand brush my long red hair behind my ear. My green eyes come back into focus after staring at nothing but remembering the experiments.
“Brooding again?” He asks concern in his brown eyes. He knows I dwell too much on the past, especially since it was a shock to my system.
“Yes,” I reply sheepishly, “I was just thinking about our latest mission. All of the things the necromancer said he would do to my friend’s dead body still haunt me.” I shudder, trying not to think about it, and try to block out the images that are flooding my mind.
“Thinking of it only makes it worse. He is dead. The Asylum is a graveyard. You are going to drive yourself bonkers if you keep thinking about it. I agree with how horrible the whole situation was, and I wish I could pass on my extra abilities on to you. then you would never have to fear. Do you think I like seeing you like this?” He asks.
“No, and I know it was hard on you as well. I’m sorry I still get lost in the past. At least the werewolves were able to save me.” I say with a smile trying to focus on the good side of my experiences.
“They did but it also means you owe them a favor. Werewolves always collect their favors and sometimes it is dangerous. I know I owed them once, and payback nearly made me tied to a member of their pack.”I sigh, not wanting to think about what they will want in return for saving my life.
“I want to check my email.” and I hop behind the desk across from Dante’s. My mind jumps to more essential everyday things like work and coupon shopping. I need some new clothes from Gothic Gear and Witch Cauldron and I hope that there are some money off coupons in my inbox.
I quickly get comfortable in the leather chair since it fits the shape of my body perfectly. I turn on my high-powered desktop and log into my personal email. I am disappointed when my inbox has nothing but Spam. No, I don’t want another vampire groupie, not after the last one died. Nope, I don’t want to meet single vampires in my area. Absolutely no to getting the biggest erection of my vampire life. All junk and no fun coupons for me. Frustrated, I decide to check my work email. Even though I am on vacation there might be something interesting is going on to take my attention.
“Hey, look at this,” I tell Dante and he moves behind my chair. He looks over my shoulders to read what is on my computer screen.
“Why does he want to see you? I thought you were on vacation. I was looking forward to relaxing with you.” He sighs, “Do you want me to go with you to the office?”
I nodded, “Special assignment sounds fun, but it also sounds like a handful. I just hope a necromancer isn’t involved in this one. I hate those guys.” I shudder again and push away the images from my past. Necromancers are notorious for getting zombies to do their dirty work. It is helpful to send one after someone you want dead because they are hard to kill. The only way to stop them is to cut off their head. “Let’s change, then we hit the road.”
A little bit later we slide into Dante’s Strider X, the fastest type of car in the realm. We quickly get to the store since Derrick is impatient. The sun is a horrid ball of heat frying everything in its path. The soft tank top I am wearing allows the cool leather from my seat to relieve my skin from the inferno. I don’t like the heat. I would rather it be an in-between temperature, not too hot or too cold.
Roger’s Video store is a front for the detective agency in the Luxor realm. King Alexander and Queen Diana Battle don’t want anyone to know about either Derrick’s Detective Agency or its partner the Killer Contract Agency. They work together to help solve crime and catch criminals for the crown.
Dante looks up at the sun. “At least the sun here is not toxic to us. I was a surfer before I changed into a vampire you know. I like still being able to surf, it is more fun with powers. And the donors and blood bags definitely make life easier. What about you Scarlet, do you love it?”
I consider my transition to being a vampire, “I love it, it is so much better being sane. Thank you for turning me. And I love still having my magical powers and guardian.
“Of course I remained after you changed. You need me to guide you and help in combat.” Nightshade speaks in her melodious voice in my head.
“I am happy to still have you too. You have saved my ass plenty of times. I always will be.” I commune back.
Nightshade has watched over me ever since I came into my power as a witch. I have been her charge to guide even before I received the bracelet. She became my permanent guardian when I put on the bracelet, and when I kept my powers during the transition she decided to stay with me. She is a spirit that stays by my left ear and is visible when she desires.
“It is amazing that you still remember when we first met,” She comments knowing I am brooding on the past again.
“I always will because you saved my ass more times than I can count.”
“I think we need to go into his office now,” Dante interrupts and I notice we have reached our destination. He knows about Nightshade and doesn’t mind when we talk, he talks to his guardians too. The hell hounds: Cloud and Enforcer. But Derrick is an impatient man and we both want to see what he wants.
“Sorry.” I reply sheepishly. “Nightshade was talking to me. ” Dante is standing over me holding the door to the car for me to get out. He is such a gentleman! He takes my hand and squeezed it gently, then smiles warmly.
“Would you like it if I was in your mind more, not just when you are in danger?” Because Dante is my sire we can talk telepathically. It comes in handy during battle or undercover cases when we need to speak privately. It also makes the romance between us so much better. I nod in response to his questions and we walk to the store to see what the boss wants.
Roger’s Videos store is a bright beige building with a black and white sign denoting the name on the front of the building. The bell tinkles as we go through the door. I look around the room with brightly lit shelves and neatly placed videos. We might need to rent one if the news sucks. Syron waves to us from behind the counter as we make our way to the back of the store. Past the public restrooms we go into the office to find out what the boss wants.
Derrick Sanders, the owner and head of the detective agency, sits at his desk wearing his favorite camouflage clothes. His constant self-imposed distractions tell me he has seen more horrors than he will admit to. I do not want to interrupt him so I wait until he stops typing and looks up at me before I speak.
“You wanted to see me sir?”
“Yup Scarlet,” he replied in his former army tone. He leans back in his chair and continues in the voice he used when he sent troops out for battle. “There is an issue that has come up involving Fiona’s corner and Café, the retail establishment. Some of the women from the Moon Wolf Pack have gone missing and all of them worked for Fiona’s. ”
My eyes widen, “The ones who helped me escape from the asylum?”
He nods, “Afraid so. The last place they were seen was their work place. Here are the files on the girls who are missing.” He hands me the files, and I take them with caution wondering who the unlucky girls are, and if I know them. Shania Wolfson, Sonya Simone, and Merica Laker. Phew, I never knew them personally. They are all very beautiful, and belong to Rex’s pack. Since they are part of the pack that rescued me from the necromancer the least I can do is try to find them. All three girls disappeared a few weeks after starting to work at the store.
Terrific, a retail store gone rancid, why am I not surprised? Honestly, it is not surprising to hear, especially since the boss is a 1,000 year old vampire who use to use the store as a front for hurting creatures through horrific experiments. Luckily it had stopped thanks to Derrick’s Detective Agency. Or at least I thought it had.
“Is this another find the missing women case or an undercover one?” I ask dreading the answer. I have a bad feeling I knew where this was going when his face changed to a look of sympathy.
“I want you to go undercover to find the missing girls. You will need to pose as an employee at the store. It is the best approach to get information on both the girls and the company. The werewolves have asked for you specifically, as payment for your debt.”
“I can’t wait to see you in an adorable little uniform!” Nightshade teases, he voice filled with mirth.
“Great,” I comment with feigned enthusiasm, “Just what I always wanted to do; work retail!” I sigh, and he gives me the rest of the paperwork that I need to go undercover. I have my new identity as a vampire named Lily Stone, as well as all of the legal documents to support the story.
Dante laughs, “At least there are no necromancers this time. This should be way easier than that was, and you don’t have to deal with crazy people.” His mirth is not concealed as he grins from ear to ear, “And it could be worse, you could be at Fang’s Fast Blood and have to deal with hungry vampires. Fast food would definitely be worse.”
“True.” I laugh, “I have been to one, and the vampires are way too picky about it what they want.”
Derrick joins our laughter, “No necromancers at all, unless they are customers buying their items. The only creatures you will have to deal with are a few vampires, witches and werewolves. There is also the sorceress owner and her vampire lover Ren.” He smiles at me and his next words change the mood in the room, “I am really happy to see you all in one piece. I know the last case was not easy for you. After this assignment, I want you to take a long far away vacation.” He pauses, “then you have to come back for another case.”
“No worries, I will come back to work,” I grin at him, “Honestly, I think a trip to the islands is in order. I want to learn to surf.” I look at Dante and he smiles.
Dante and I leave, walking side by side on our way to the car. I am hoping that the case is straightforward, but my history has taught me otherwise. I browse through the files Derrick gave me as Dante drives back to our home. Derrick’s note point to his suspicions he has about Fiona Stagea and my main purpose to spy on her. Werewolves never do well at her store, they either quit quickly or disappear. Ren, her lover, was the last person that was seen with Shania. The two had been seen fighting a week before and no one had seen her since.
As I think about what going undercover in retail means I begin to get angry. I won’t have weekends off anymore, not that I ever shop on weekends. I don’t like crowds so I tend to stay away from stores when they are crowded. I will have to deal with customers and I have seen how nasty some people are to retail workers. Many people take out their own problems on the employees, use them as verbal punching bags, which is not right and now I will have to deal with it. I used to work retail, and I hated it. I had to deal with all of the problems while I was trying to pay my way through witch school. I think about the amount of time it usually takes me to solve a case. The asylum took a few months, and that was after Nightshade woke me up from the drugs they were making me take.
“Thanks for that by the way,” I intone to Nightshade and I hear her laughter ringing through my head. At least I am never alone. I go back to my brooding and think about my time frame. There are only four months until Christmas, and even less before the shopping season ramps up. So I don’t lose my sanity again I decide I have to solve the case before then.
Many of the creatures in the Luxor realm used to live in the Crystal Crest realm, like me, and we tend to keep up the habits of our human lives. We celebrate the same holidays because it helps remind us of our humanity. The other downside to working the busiest season of the year in retail means that I will probably slip and bite someone. Blood bags and donors have helped me conquer the urge but when my temper is high I have been known to lose control.
Dante and I spend a magical weekend together before my new nightmare begins.