Planning New Projects

Hi everyone,

As you know, my newest fantasy romance, Sleeping Beauty no more, released on 17th July. What you might not know, the time it takes me to recover from the intense writing schedule (and emotional rollercoaster) of each new book release ๐Ÿ˜†

I think that two full length novels, and a novella, is a respectable number of writing projects in a year (though I know some authors that can write twice as much ๐Ÿ˜ฌ)

But I think that for my sanity, and in order not to burn out, I will not be setting strict deadlines for new projects, even if deadlines help me write faster. I will release them as I complete them (and let you know, of course!)

So, what do I have planned?

I will finally work on the sequel for Divine Error. For those who were waiting, I apologize for the delay. I know I said I would work on the novella at the start of the year, but I got distracted writing, The Stone Mermaid and Sleeping Beauty no more. (I am immensely grateful for the sudden inspiration. I enjoyed writing them both.)

I just chose a narrator for The Stone Mermaid. If all goes well, the audiobook will release sometime in October. I am excited ๐Ÿ˜ƒ the narrator did a fantastic audition and has a great voice!

The other project that is in progress is the final book of the love and friendship trilogy, Ellie’s Fate ๐Ÿ˜ญ I can’t wait to write the conclusion of Ellie’s and Cassie’s story. The two characters have become so dear to me.

I have another fantasy book planned in the fantasy romance series. I have a theme I want to explore (and already a cover and title ๐Ÿ˜†), but the plot is very fuzzy right now. It will be a Ice Queen retelling in a dystopian setting. I hope to push my writing abilities in this project.

Thank you for being a part of my writing journey. I hope that you have a great day today!

Best wishes ๐Ÿ˜Š

TYMNHS: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

For this edition of things you might not have seen, I thought I would highlight a great movie: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

If you could live a great life, what would it look like?

Walter Mitty daydreams; his imagination taking him to fantastical locations, and placing him in the centre of heart-pounding adventures. It is where he lives out the extraordinary in his ordinary life.

Walter is a negative assets manager at Life magazine. His love life consists of a crush on his coworker, Cheryl, and an incomplete eHarmony account. The highlight of Mitty’s career is working with legendary photojournalist Sean O’Connell, although they haven’t met in person.

The photojournalist sends Mitty his latest negatives, and a wallet, as a gift in appreciation of working with him. O’Connell believes his negative #25 captures the “quintessence of Life”. He thinks it should be used for the cover of the magazine’s final print issue, but the problem is that the negative is missing. Walter stalls for time with his manager, who is also handling the downsizing. Looking at the other three negatives for clues, Mitty sets on a quest to find the photojournalist himself, to ask him for the missing negative.

What Walter finds next is an adventure to rival his daydreams: flying off to Greenland, jumping off in shark-infested waters, escaping from a volcano eruption, and confessing his feelings to his long time crush.

Walter’s adventures land him back home, without the negative, or the photojournalist he went searching for. His manager promptly fires him, and things get even worse for Walter, when he hears that Cheryl got back with her estranged husband.

Walter haven’t given up on finding the lost negative. The final clue takes Walter to the Himalayas, where he finally locates O’Connell photographing a rare snow leopard. When Walter asks him about the negative, O’Connell explains that the negative was in the wallet he send him, but Walter threw away the wallet. This realization causes him to lose all hope of ever finding it.

While helping his mother sell her piano, Walter tells her his story. His mother gives him the wallet, which she retrieved from the trash. He delivers the found negative to Life magazine, telling management that it was the photograph O’Connell wanted for the final issue.

Soft-spoken, and once timid, Walter berates his former manager for disrespecting the staff that helped the magazine reach where it was, before walking away from the office.

Walter reunites with Cheryl, when he learns that she didn’t get back with her husband and that it had been a misunderstanding. He tells Cheryl of his adventures and admits that he does not know what negative #25 shows. Walter and Cheryl see the final issue of Life at a newsstand, which is a picture of Walter himself, sitting outside of the Life building, examining a contact sheet.

If you could live a great life, what would it look like?

What is stopping you from living it?

I hope that you enjoyed today’s blog post. Thank you for reading!

One week remaining: New Romance fantasy book

Hi everyone!

Sorry for being missing this week. I was going through some side effects of my second covid vaccine shot (chills, ache, fever ๐Ÿค•). I am better now, so I thought I give you an update on my newest upcoming Fantasy romance book.

Sleeping Beauty no more will release in a week on July 17th, 2021. The paperback and hardcover book are available now ๐Ÿฅณ

I spend some time formatting the covers this week, so that kept me busy too.

What do you think? ๐Ÿ˜

My book is a retake on the classic fairytale. I hope that you consider it for your next read.

I will go back to my blogging schedule next week. Sorry again for the unexpected delay (and short blog) for this week.

Writer’s life: Marketing efforts (continued)

If you have been following my blog, you know that I share the good and, er, not-so-good aspects of being an Indie author. You might remember that my last marketing effort wasn’t successful.

But like any worthwhile endeavor, be it writing, business, or career, persistence is key. That, and quickly forgetting about past failures ๐Ÿ˜† Optimism amnesia, it is!

So, was I successful in my latest effort?

Maybe ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

Depends on what I look at.

I used paid newsletters (again), combined with a discounted book. If you didn’t know, on Amazon the royalty rate for a book below $1 is only 35% (or 33 cents). It is slightly better at other retailers (maybe 60 or 70 cents).

Why would I list a normally $4.99 book to less than $1? (What is this madness, you might say) I want to reach readers who will give my book a chance at the lower price point. The hope is that they will like my writing enough to give my other books a chance, too.

How did I do?

I will start with the good.

I got a shiny new #1 Bestseller banner on Amazon (that I will etch eternally in my mind, remembering it fondly during the harder days as a writer).

The other good: reaching international readers in Australia, New Zealand, UK ๐Ÿฅฐ

The not so good: The expensive pricetag ๐Ÿ˜ญ

I made back 18% of what I spend (so far). I remind myself that being an Indie author is a looooong commitment. The adage is: It is a marathon, not a sprint.

The sale is still ongoing for a few more days, if you like to grab a copy of Eleanor’s Travels for only $0.99: http://books2read.com/ELT

In other news, I am currently running along to release my latest fantasy romance book, Sleeping Beauty No More on July 17th, 2021.

Thank you for reading today’s blog. I hope that you have a great day! ๐Ÿ˜Š

TYMNHS: Animated short, Bao

For this edition of Things You Might Not Have Seen, I will talk about the Pixar animated short, Bao (2018).

I will confess, I had a hard time writing this blog (Not because of the animation; Bao is wonderful. Everyone should watch it!) The reason for my distraction is that my mind has been consumed lately with my upcoming novel, Sleeping Beauty No More, set to release July 17th. I am editing the final two chapters, and it is all I can think about ๐Ÿ˜ Anyways, I will try to focus on today’s blog ๐Ÿ˜†

Bao is such a raw and heartfelt animation. You have to watch it to understand the emotional impact it has on the viewer. The story is set in my city, Toronto (so it is extra close to my heart).

A Chinese-Canadian woman lovingly cooks baozi for herself and her husband. We see the husband rush off to his work, stuffing the dumplings in his mouth as he goes. The woman is left by herself, but as she bites into her food, one of the dumplings comes alive. She instantly gains a cute companion, and is not so lonely anymore.

The lovely lady raises the adorable dumpling as her son. She feeds him and cares for the bun, who seem to enjoy the love and attention his mother gives him. They do everything together at first, like Tai chi at the park and sharing sweets, but when the dumpling sees other children playing, he wishes to join them. The mother becomes scared and overprotective, and doesn’t allow him to.

The dumpling son grows into a teenager and wants more independence. There is tension between overprotective mother and independence seeking son, until the rift alienates them from each other.

The dumpling son grows up some more (now has glasses and a goatee). His mother hardly knows him anymore. She is shocked when the dumpling son introduces his new fiancรฉe, and wants to move out from home. The mother protests and tries to stop the dumpling from leaving, but he doesn’t listen. In desperation, the mother eats the dumpling. We see her burst into tears, crying over what she did.

At this point, the story was surreal. She ate her dumpling son?! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

It was confusing, but it all got cleared up in the next few minutes. Turns out it was all an allegorical dream (Similar to how the book, Life of pi, was written).

Later, the mother is in her bedroom, and her real-life son (similar looking to the dumpling though ๐Ÿ˜…) enters the room. Dad urges son to talk to mom, as she is still angry at him. They sit on the edge of her bed and the son offers her the same treat she use to give him growing up. It is an emotional scene ๐Ÿ˜ญ

In the end, the son and his fiancรฉe join his mother and father in making dumplings together as a family.

Bao is a great story about mother-son relationships, and about family. The animation is a touching tribute to parenthood.

Thank you for reading today’s blog post. I hope that you discovered something new today ๐Ÿ˜Š

Special price discount: Eleanor’s Travels

Eleanor’s Travels is at a special price for a limited time. Get your copy today, at all online retailers, for only $0.99.

Share this deal with your family, friends, and any or all the readers in your life. As an Indie author, you can help me a lot with visibility by spreading the word, and sharing this deal with others! ๐Ÿ˜Š

Feel free to share the image below:

Eleanor’s Travels is a sweet contemporary romance novel about traveling the world and finding love. It makes a great addition to your summer vacation read.

Note: When you get the ebook, you can get the audiobook at a discount price too. Jojo Parks did a fantastic job with the narration of the audiobook.

Amazon: http://mybook.to/Eleanors-Travels

Barnes and Noble: https://m.barnesandnoble.com/w/eleanors-travels-aisha-urooj/1138399156?ean=9781393640400

Apple books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1556256468

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/eleanor-s-travels

Google Play Books: https://books.google.ca/books/about?id=PO4gEAAAQBAJ&redir_esc=y

All other vendors: http://books2read.com/ELT

๐Ÿ– Thank you for sharing! Have a great day โค

Writer’s Update: Prepping for new fantasy book release

Hi everyone, today I wanted to update you all about my writing. My newest book, Sleeping Beauty No More, will release in a month (Eep!) on July 17th. I am in the final editing stages and it is going good.

Like my last fantasy book, this book is also action packed (Yes, there is a dragon). I really like the characters and their individual arcs. I will give you a sneak peek from a few pages of the upcoming book (pgs. 3, 13, & 14):

Devon and Aurora’s first meeting is hilarious (she hates his guts). I can’t wait until you can read the entire novel. Sleeping Beauty No More is available as a preorder right now: books2read.com/SBNM

In other book related news, my romantic comedy, Midnight Prince, is now available as an audiobook worldwide. It is also available through Libby. I would love for all my audiobooks to be available in libraries, unfortunately, that is out of my current budget. I hope lots of readers discover my books, and then I will be able to do that ๐Ÿ˜Š

I don’t ask this often, but please remember to leave a review. Reviews and word of mouth help books gain visibility, and are especially great for a small Indie author like me.

Thank you for reading today’s blog post. I hope that you have a wonderful day!

TYMNHS: Animated movie, Song of the Sea

There is something about legends regarding oceans or underwater world that is as alluring as a siren’s call (or in this case, a selkie). For this edition of Things You Might Not Have Seen, I will talk about the animated fantasy film, Song of the Selkie, directed by Tomm Moore.

Song of the Sea is a magical tale about Ben and Saoirse, two siblings, who discover a family secret. This secret has caused a rift in the family, where Ben blames his sister, Saoirse, for being the reason of their mother’s disappearance, for it was shortly after when Saoirse was born, that their mother disappeared, and their father turned cold and distanced with grief.

Ben discovers that his mute sister is more than she appears. She is a selkie who has lost her voice. Together, they need to free supernatural creatures from the spell of a Celtic goddess, and discover the truth behind their mother’s disappearance.

Song of the Sea is a moving story about secrets and circumstances that can rip a family apart. The movie has beautiful references to Irish mythology, and supernatural beings and folklore creatures I hadn’t heard of before: Macha and her owls, sea king and warrior Mac Lir, Faeries called Na Daoine Sรญdhe, and others.

Visually, the movie is beautiful with its jewel tones and clean lines. Song of the Sea has a timeless story, is delightfully whimsical, and as an animation, brings a sense of wonder of the unknown to the viewer. It makes you want to discover unexplored places, lores, and secrets in your own world.

I hope that you will check out this beautifully animated movie. Thank you for reading today’s blog post. Have a wonderful day!

TYMNHS: Joanna Penn’s The Successful Author Mindset

For this edition of Things You Might Not Have Seen, I will talk about the book The Successful Author Mindset: A Handbook For Surviving the Writer’s Journey by Joanna Penn.

A successful mindset is important in any career; it makes sense in writing too. Joanna Penn highlights problems that haunt authors, such as self-doubt, comparisonitis, and perfectionism. She also offers antidotes to these situations. Her best advice: Don’t let self-doubt stifle your creative spirit. Keep writing.

Joanna offers the readers snippets from her journal, which adds a personal touch to the book. Her voice is clear and compassionate. She has been on the writing journey too and it can be lonely at times. For instance, Joanna shares how anxious she used to get before her early public speaking appearances, but onstage, she would mask her nerves with a smile. She talks about about uncreative she used to feel, and how she took ownership of her self-doubt by naming her podcast and blog as the ‘Creative’ Penn.

Joanna encourages writers to keep a journal to write out their thoughts and feelings when going through a really tough phase. She says that writing about your challenges can help you to become more objective about the situation and perhaps even find a solution. I think that keeping a journal is a successful habit that can help in other professions too.

I haven’t finished this book yet (because I am in the editing stages for my next book, soon to be released ๐Ÿ˜ฌ) but I know that I will read Joanna’s book time and time again for all the wonderful advice and insights.

This is a great book to learn from if you are a writer, want to be a writer, or are just interested in reading about the creative challenges that writers go through.

I hope that you liked today’s blog post. Thank you for reading! ๐Ÿ˜Š

You can find this blog post as a podcast at anchor.fm/aisha-urooj

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