Sunday, June 11, 2006

You heard it here first!!!

I'm launching a new website for my paranormal series.

Children of the Moon will go live later this summer and it's going to be a totally cool site with some ultra fun bennies for my readers. In my free time (um...well, something like that anyway), I'm working on a short story that will be a free online read. It's a prequel to the historical single title coming out in Feb '07 (Moon Awakening) and it's going to be illustrated by a new, but very talented Manga artist, ZJS. I'm his first commissioned work, but I have no doubt that once his work gets seen, he's going to build a fan following fast. Preliminary sketches are fab! I'm way excited about this. He has already created the tattoos my werewolves have to distinguish their ancestry. They're so perfectly what I was thinking when I wrote the book that I'm in awe.

But that's not even close to second bit of super cool news is that I've just contracted with the CGI artist, Niekra, to create images for my main COM characters and maybe even illustrate some scenes from the books. You can see her work here. I'm totally thrilled that she's willing to work with me to give my readers something special. We are starting with my novella in Unleashed and I can't wait to see he images she comes up with. The uber talented Jet Mykles recommended her and I'm a very grateful girl.

There's going to be more, but that's enough to wet your appetite, isn't it?

And speaking of, what are the things you wish authors had on their websites or the things that you've found that you particularly liked?
Me? I want an up to date and long range "Upcoming Releases" schedule that's ultra easy to find and read. I have to admit that I visit author sites almost exclusively to find out what they've got coming so I can put it on my TBB calendar.

Can't wait to hear *your* thoughts!



Maura said...

Hmm - I'm with you on the upcoming books and I like to have excerpts there, if possible.

If there is a series, I like to see the series sequence so I know what order to read the books in.

I love having information on things like your wolf tattoos, the world-building details that make the entire world come to life.

If the author has signings coming up, I like to be able to find a calendar of them, as well.

Jen said...

Your website had the best thing ever. You had deleted scenes from your books. I had just finished "Goodness Had Nothing To Do With It" and found deleted scenes from the book before it (whose name I've forgotten) that involved your two characters I just read about. (That make sense? I is a writer, really)
I also like book announcements and exerpts. Links to blogs an author reads and comments is nice too.
Oh, and I like trailers. Allison Brennan and Paula Graves have them. They're so cool.

TJBrown said...

I love trailers... if they are well done.

I also like blogs, which you already have. I like to read about an author's work schedule.

Vivi Anna said...

Wow Lucy, that sounds like fantastic stuff coming up! I'm so jealous!!!!

I like the idea of being able to go into the world the author created, and get the extra stuff!

lidia said...

I also love a list of upcoming books and excerpts. There are may author websites that just list their titles with no other information. I can get that information elsewhere -- so there is no reason to visit the website.

Also, list of connected books.

I love your website! You include a lot of information -- background info, contests, etc....

One thing that "annoys" me is when an author has a website but has not updated it in a year. It would be better not to have one at all than keep a neglected one out there. Just my two cents worth! LOL

Lucy Monroe said...

Sounds like we're all of a very similar mind. :)

And speaking of excerpts, I'll be trying something new for next year. In addition to my print excerpts, I'm hoping to have very short excerpt snippets dramatized audibly.

I'll be trying something new with my flash movies as well...instead of doing the back cover copy, going with the audible excerpt and doing the flash presentation as a visual image of it. They'll be shorter than my current flash movies and give something really unique to the reader. :)

What do you think?

Vivi Anna said...

Yes Lucy, that's a great idea! Can I steal it??? LOL

I've been thinking of doing a few ipod casts, reading excerpts from my books...

Vivi Anna said...

Also, you could totally have mood music in the background, like if it's a dangerous scene, some cool background music to set the scene...

Kelley said...

That sounds great, Lucy :)

Brandy said...

An authors website needs to be up-to-date, have new releses listed, series connections, and I really like a blog as well. In other words, Lucy YOURS is PERFECT!

Lucy Monroe said...

You know what they say, those smart people who are always saying something, that immitation is the sincerest form of flattery! LOL Doing an iPod cast is a great idea. I'll have to look into how you get content loaded to iTunes. I know you can do it, but not sure how. So, I'm um...flattering you back. :)

Thanks, Kelley! are WAY too sweet! Thanks!!!! That is something I love hearing 'cuz my website takes tons of time, but I love doing it.

Mega hugs to all,

Stacy~ said...

Lucy, you already do a lot of the stuff I love - updating your site, the flash movies, the blog, etc.

One thing I really like is the idea of the history of your series, sort of like how Sherrilyn Kenyon does it for the Dark Hunters. If there are tattoos and symbols, I'd like to understand what the meaning is, where it came from, the personality traits of the characters, etc. That's when I think the readers really get involved in the stories. I love stuff like that. And like I said, you already handle most of the stuff I look for.

Lucy Monroe said...

I love SK's site, Stacy! Because it's so big and full of information, I can get lost on it (in a good way) for hours. :)

I love the character profiles, which is why I'm doing them for my COM site. It's too big a project to do for my already published books, but I can keep up with one series.

The thing is, when I see something on a site I love, I try to incorporate it on mine. But I had wondered what others saw out there that they loved...or wished they could find.

I'm glad most people seem to be finding what they want most on my site. Really makes me happy!

So, thanks!

Chantal said...

I'm pretty easy to please when it comes to websites. As long as I don't have to pay, then I am happy, lol.

I do know something I don't like though..when you go to a website and there is music playing. I don't bother to stick around when there is something playing in the background.

I woudl love to know where authors get thier inspiration for each story and character. Experts are great too!

Kelley said...

I love deleted scenes. They are always fun to read. I also like updated list of upcoming releases. I REALLY LOVE you flash movies. I think they are great and unique. I think narration would be really cool with them! I would also love audible excerpts like you mentioned. All the stuff you are planning sounds great. I like that you are trying to make your site more interactive and fun. That is what draws me to websites!!

Lucy Monroe said...

Chantal...I've heard that from more than one person...about the music. Your comment also makes me ponder whether I need a FAQ page, because it seems a lot of readers want to know where I get my inspiration. It would be worth it maybe to have that question answered on my website. :)

Thanks, Kelley...I'm REALLY glad you like the direction I'm taking with the website. I wondered what readers would think of the new ideas I had. And guess what? I just got my first image from the CGI artist. It's GORGEOUS!!! I can't wait to share with readers!

Jodi said...

Hmm, where have I been? I didn't know that you were working on a paranormal. I guess I need to come out of my cave more often!
I like how you've included deleted scenes on your website.
I also like to have books that are connected to be listed that way.

Dannyfiredragon said...


Upcoming Releases and Work in progress sections are really important.

Other aspects are reading order of series as well as background information about the characters, series etc.

Kaylie said...

I definitely agree with the series lists. I also like when authors who write in different genres under the same name categorize their booklist by genre as well.

I like blurbs about how the story came about. Those are always fun. Excerpts and FAQs are great too. I've seen some author bio pages that also have a fun questionnaire filled out by the author so that readers get a better sense of who the author is than the standard bio allows for. Similar to the Proust Questionnaire the Avon editors are using on the AvonRomanceBlog or the cheekier kinds that make the email rounds from time to time.

Jennifer Y. said...

Excerpts is probably the main thing. It allows me to get a taste of the books and see if they would interest me. Info about characters in the series and the book order would be interesting too. I also like when authors have trivia tidbits or behind-the-scenes about the books...discuss inspiration for the book, creative process, etc.

Rita said...

I would love to know about upcoming releases. Also would love to know where an author will be signing. I think the artists you have working with you have some great stuff.

Kelley said...

Oh, I love FAQ. I forgot to mention that :)

Michelle B said...

I agree with Maura and the others about the series and connected books. I like to see a list of the books that are connected and the order. I also like to know how far apart the series/connected books are coming out if possible. I know in some cases, it takes quite a while. Being a person who plans in advance, I like to know when to expect it so I don't miss it.

I have to say, Lucy, that I loved that special epilogue you did for Bethany, Andre, Rico and Gianna's story. It's not something I expect for every book, but it's something I loved to read.

Also, if things are new, I like to know more about them. I visited your site and saw the link about the Cybersigned books and followed it. While I can guess what a cybersigned book is, I couldn't find anywhere on the author-author site where I could find out more about it. If it is there, I wasn't able to find it in my search.

Lucy, yours is one of the best sites I've visited. I love it and I know that any site of yours will be just as wonderful. I don't know where you get all the time and energy to do all you do, but I really do appreciate it.

Barb V. said...

If we are talking auto buy authors,I am primarily interested in upcoming releases to add to my TBB list. If it is a newly discovered author, I am really interested in connected books, and series order. I also like to read excerpts from a new author -- helps me decided if I want to actually purchase the book. So many sites have great features, I just wish I had lots more time to browse. My pet peeve is an out of date site. I saw something this week about a Valentine Day signing. To me that says the site is a very low priority, and I'm not going to spend much time there.

Jamie said...

A website will fall off of my favorites list if it isn't kept somewhat up to date, that's a big thing for me. I like to know what's going on now and what's coming up, not what happened last year. Aside from that, I am usually checking an author's site for connecting books, upcoming books, especially when it's a series, author appearances. Exclusive bonuses, such as deleted scenes, or the story behind the story, or a follow up on the characters after the book has ended - those kinds of things are like gold. I love the movies and dedications that you provide on your site. Those are great bonus material.

Chantal said...

Lucy, great idea about putting in a FAQ section. I have questions that I am afraid to ask because I'm sure have been asked and answered a million times. Along with where you get your inspiration I have always wondered if you get to pick your own book covers, and if not, do the couples on the cover look anything how you imagine them when you write the story?

Lucy Monroe said...

Very cool info! I'm taking notes like mad right now. Thank you to EVERYONE for sharing your thoughts on this and I definitely look forward to hearing more. :)

Chantal...your question has been added to my newly compiled FAQ list for addition to my website in the very near future. :)

Holly said...

I can't wait to read this series! How awesome that you're starting a new site! I'm very anxious to see not only it, but the artwork and such as well. You are so awesome at making me anticipate stuff. :)

As for what I want on an author website, like you, I want up to date info on upcoming new releases, but I also like easy to navigate pages showcasing former novels. I also like a very clear, concise list of all related books and an order for any and all series'. Some author's sites aren't very clear about what books belong to what series or what order they should be read it. I find it frustrating.


Lucy Monroe said...

So, what I'm hearing is that readers would like it maybe if I had separate pages for my different subgenres...not just for the connected books in them.

What is so funny is that I go nuts when I get on an author's website who writes multiple subgenres and has them all separated with no central books page listing EVERYTHING she's written. I would never have guessed readers *wanted* that. LOL

Holly said...

Well, actually, I like seeing both. Take Hannah Howell's site for example (one of my favorites, BTW):

She has all of her books listed on one page, and then a separate page listing her connecting books.

I like that, personally. It really bothers me when I pick up a new book and find out it's in a series but can't figure out the reading order from the site (actually, now that I said that, I really wish authors - or publishers, whomever - would list the order in the front of the book - similar to how NR does for her In Death series as J.D. Robb - to make it easier for us readers).

Hmm, did that makes sense? LOL

Lucy Monroe said...

It did make sense (and I ask that question all the time too - LOL). I do have all my series books on their own page with book covers and the order they should be read in.

But I am so with you on wishing publishers would be consistent about listing previous books in a *order*. :)

Holly said...

Oops, sorry. I wasn't trying to imply that your site doesn't...I love your site. It's very easy to navigate and the info is right there. I love how often you update, too. Some of my other favorite authors NEVER update and it's so frustrating, because I'm a demanding, impatient wench who wants to know NOW! LOL J/K, but you get what I mean, right?

I was stating a general preference. ;)


Lucy Monroe said...

LOL Holly...well, the thing is, I don't have separate pages for my different subgenres. But I got to thinking about that and I *do* separate them by publisher on the complete book list, which should be sufficient with the connected books pages. Really, don't you think?

Lucy :)

Holly said...

Well, I've never had trouble figuring out which books belong in what order, so I guess that pretty much says it all, right?


Lucy Monroe said...

LOL Definitely! :)