Caitlin Miller Joins the team!

It’s an excitig start to the new month, with author, editor, and reviewer, Caitlin Miller, joining the Chartus.X family as an official editor.

Author of The Memories We Painted, Caitlin Miller is a part-time college student and part-time English teacher in Japan. She has long dreamed of spinning words into stories, and draws her storylines and characters from things most familiar to her: her relationship with God, her family and friends, and life lessons she’s learned along the way. Aesthetic, historical fiction, and green tea are just a few of her favorite things.

A great time for new beginnings – announcements, sales, and more.

Happy Easter lovies!

Hope you’re enjoying this seasons as much as I am. I know it’s been a while since I shared anything on here, so I’m really grateful to see you’ve stuck with me through the silence.

And what better way to break that silence than by bringing you some good news!

2022 Releases:

God Seeker – Coming June 14th

The God Seeker Collection by Xyvah Okoye is finally complete, and now the omnibus, God Seeker, will be availabe in ebook and print from all major digital and print retailers. Distribution of the individual books in the colection will remain exclusive to Amazon, with the ebooks available to read for free on Kindle Unlimited.

Tutu Bento and the Nuband – Coming October 3rd

I’m proud to announce that Chartus.X has acquired the rights to “Tutu Bento and the Nuband” by Selassie Agroh, and will be publishing this juvenile fiction story in October 2022. Selassie’s debut novel follows the 10yr old Tutu and his friends as they come together to form a band in the hopes of winning Nubia’s annual music competition and starring in the Festival of Sounds.

Fun-filled and fast-paced, this is a story you will not be able to put down.

Cover to be revealed.

Age of the anathema, #2 – Coming this winter

The sequel to Xyvah M. Okoye’s young adult fantasy novel, Tainted, is due to be released at the end of this year. With the title and cover reveal set for May 13th, more updates on the release will be communicated. You can also keep abrest with the goings on and more info on her books at http://www.xyvahmokoye.com or by signing up for her monthly newsletter.

If you haven’t yet read the first book in this gripping fantasy series, it is available to read for free on Kindle Unlimited.


Sales! Sales!! Sales!!!

From the 31st of April to the 5th of May, all the books in Xyvah’s Events to Emotions Poetry Series will be available to download for FREE on Amazon. This collection includes 2 poetry volumes: A darker shade of light and When hearts run on batteries.


Submissions

Currently, we are not accepting any manuscript submissions for publication. However, our editors and affiliates are still open for commission if you need services like proof reading, editing, book reviews, cover designs and character illustrations.

Based on the volume of work we currently have, we forecast that our submissions will reopen at the third quarter of the year towards 2024 publications.


Creatives & Mental Health

Taking care of your biggest asset...

As a collective, authors, writers and creatives in general are often the solitary sort. And with the days getting colder and darker, this can have adverse effects on one’s health – both physically and mentally.

So I thought it might be helpful to remind creatives (and others) of a few ways they can take care of heir mental health.

1). Exercise.

You may not need to join a gym, or even go for a walk in the cold, but did you know that standing counts as exercise?

Yes, standing. Just by standing every 30mins or co, you are getting your body to move, helping your cirtulation, and improving your mental health. So stand, walk round the room, then go back to whatever you were doing.

2). Get fresh air.

Now, I already said it’s cold, and if you’re like me, you’re probably not built for that sort of weather. But fresh air helps. It really does.

It helps clear your mind and improves your state of thinking. So go stand at the door for a few minutes. Or stick your head out the window once a day.

3). Eat healthy.

A cup of hot chocolate may keep you warm, and with the festive season, sweets and cakes and puddings may seem like a great way to improve your mood. But after a few hours, the crash from your sugar high will leave you feeling worse than before you had them.

And it’s not just sweets. Eating fresh, healthy foods help to boost your immune system and unfog your mind. Which in turn helps your creativity.

So these are three tips I hope might help. And if you really are struggling to cope during this time, there are people out there willing and trained enough to help. Call a friend. Hell, call 10 till you feel you’ve got the help you need. And it if isn’t enough, call a hotline, or your doctor.

Just remember, you’re not alone. You don’t have to be. Take care of you.

Character Entrance 3: Addressing The Reader

This method of character introduction is pretty simple – the character is the narrator of the story. So, your readers can only see the story (or that portion of the story) unfold from the narrating character’s viewpoint. In other words, you’re choosing to write your story from the first-person point of view.

Meanwhile, this creative writing key is about introducing the character (narrator) and not about story writing in general. In trying to explore this method of character introduction, the first thing you will notice is that from the very first word you will ever write in the story, you have relinquished your right to tell the story to this character. By extension, the character introduces themself into the story with the first-person narrative pronoun, I.

The common challenge most writers face with this character introduction method, especially amateur writers, is giving the character a distinctive voice. Your character should have his own words and his manner about them. He should speak like someone possessing his level of intelligence.

One major letdown you would give your readers by choosing to introduce a character through this method is to have the character speak like you (except you’re writing a memoir or autobiography. In which case, it wouldn’t be fiction anymore). To pull this method off involves a lot of unbecoming of yourself, and more of the assumption of the voice, quirks and mannerisms of the phantom you want your readers to see as reality with flesh and blood.

In this method, you don’t get to enjoy telling the story from a detached distance. You will find the dominant pronouns would be I, My, Our. If the character’s wife just died, it would be your wife who died. If he’s getting married, it’d be you at the altar. And pray he hasn’t found himself at gunpoint. Or at a divorce court, about to lose 50% of his assets. In all these cases, it would be you, and you must represent the character the way he would react in such situations for your readers to appreciate your storytelling.

We would love to hear your views on this creative writing key in the comments. See you next Monday for the creative writing key on Character Entrance 4.

Can Your Readers Relate With You?

The number one reason readers buy books is because they know the author.

This doesn’t always mean the reader is a friend of the author. Sometimes, the reader may have read other books by the author, heard them speak or interviewed on a podcast, radio or television. They might have visited the author’s blog or followed them on social media. A connection is made, and this drives readers to the author’s books. 

This is the reason for the “about the author” section in books. Readers want to know who the book came from. They want to know the author is an actual person, just like them. That automatically makes the author relatable. They’re human. And once a reader can connect to an author on that level, it becomes easy to persuade them to buy your book. 

Who the author is plays a big part in the success of their book. If a specialist gynecologist were to write a book on menopause, it’s more likely to be bought by people experiencing said ailment than if a baker who experienced menopause wrote the book. This is simply because the specialist is just that. A specialist! 

Who you are affects how people receive your book. 

Growing up, I never truly belonged anywhere because of my mixed heritage (and the discrimination I faced due to it). For many years, I struggled to fit in because I was too light to be black. Then I moved to the U.K. where I was too dark to be white. And this was part of what formed the basis for Age of The Anathema. I’m a mixed-race author writing about people being persecuted for being mixed race. And one comment I got back when Tainted came out, was by a mixed-race woman who said: “… finally, we have someone who will speak up for us.”  

She bought and read the book because the author was relatable. 

So, as an author, stop and ask yourself:

“Can my readers relate with me? Or am I just another author to them?” 

Glasses: Also a writing tool

 "...And one sunny spring morning, I awoke to find my glasses missing a screw."
***

To all those who wear glasses… you know what it’s like when your glasses just don’t sit right.

For those fortunate enough to never experience such discomfort, wearing glasses that don’t sit right can be really frustrating, especially when you’re writing.

Besides typing, I like to write, draw, and doodle in my notebooks. And recently, my glasses keep sliding off my face. But I get ahead of myself. It all started when…

I travelled for a few months, and got locked down abroad without my spare glasses. One sunny spring morning, I awoke to find my glasses missing a screw. (#crying)

It relieved me to find the screw about an hour later. I fitted it back, thinking that was over and done with.

Until my glasses started zooming in.

I’d be reading, and after a couple of minutes, my glasses would creep down my nose, toward the page. It got steadily worse, and by the time I returned after the travel restrictions were lifted, I was literally having to hold my glasses in place.

Clearly an inconvenience.

And for those wondering, I don’t wear contacts because my eyes water a lot.

Anyway, many reading and writing blogs touch on tools, apps, and equipment creatives need. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen any which touch on glasses. And I know I’m not the only creative who wears glasses (or has had an interesting experience with them).

Glasses are a tool to aid your sight. They’re meant to make your visual experience better, not worse. And I know there are a lot more issues that occur with glasses than them just not sitting right. Things like getting the right prescriptions, and the right shape of frames to fit your face, and the right size so the lenses cover at least 70% of your field of vision. And let’s not even go into tinting and glares.

So, there are many, many things to deal with when talking about glasses. This is just to remind you that glasses are also a writing tool, and as a reader, writer, or just a basic human being, remember to get your glasses sorted.

Indulgence, by Chiedozie Omeje is out now!

With his stellar 3 chapter story, Autumn, Chiedozie won the 2020 C. I. T. Writers Award, receiving a publishing contract with us.

Claiming his victory, he has used that stepping stone as a podium to launch his writing career with his first book, Indulgence.

Continue reading “Indulgence, by Chiedozie Omeje is out now!”