Monday, July 21, 2014

Death Knocks Cover and Trailer Reveal

FINALLY!!!

Every October, I love to do a series of posts I call my Spooky Stories in celebration of Halloween. In 2010, I did some posts about the weird Urban Legend surrounding the Black-Eyed Kids. The stories about these weird children with black eyes span the globe, but they seem to all have started back here in the States back in 1996 when a journalist wrote about his weird encounter on a message board.

So, a fellow blogger and author, Miranda Hardy, became captivated with this paranormal topic. We exchanged emails and private messages, and it was obvious that we were brainstorming some ideas for a book. We decided to continue to work on this project via Google Docs, and more than three years later, we can finally reveal the cover to our new book, Death Knocks.

Collaborating with Miranda was actually pretty easy. Often, authors' egos and personalities clash, but this book is the result of a true partnership. I think what makes it work for us is that we seem to compliment each other very well. We would through suggestions out there, and didn't step all over each other to get this book as perfect as we could make it.


Who knew a knock at the door could rupture your entire world? They don’t demand money or possessions…they want much more than that, they want your life.
Maverick is preparing for senior year: he’s no longer stuck in the “friend-zone” with the girl of his dreams, he’s looking forward to choosing the right college and being on his own, and he plans to have a blast along the way.
But a knock on the door changes all of that forever.
Maverick begins a mind-altering, life-changing journey to discover the truth—a truth that certain individuals will do anything to keep hidden.

Death Knocks is a Young Adult paranormal thriller about the strange global phenomenon known as the Black-Eyed Kids. Take a creepy and exciting ride in a world where myth meets reality.
Death Knocks is scheduled for publication on September 26, 2014 by Quixotic Publishing.

What's extra special is that Miranda and I were both able to incorporate our children in the project. That's Miranda's daughter on the cover - and no, she doesn't usually sport black eyes. And my oldest son put the book trailer together using Adobe Premier Pro.

Check it out!

Monday, July 14, 2014

ToyMan Show and SOULLESS

It's been a rough couple of weeks, but I'm trying to power through it as best I can. I've been a pretty bad blogger, and I'm WAY behind on catching up with everybody. I'll do my best!

Blogging for me has always been filled with lots of ups and downs, especially since I've been doing it for long. And by the way, in three weeks, this blog turns NINE years old. Thanks so much for sticking with me, and all of your support and encouragement is greatly appreciated.

So in that spirit, I attended my second ToyMan Show here in St. Louis. I didn't sell that many books, as people are there to buy toys, but the organizers have been working to make it a "mini-con" of sorts. Here are some fun pics:

Me and Stereo Optimus Prime (its creator is selling it for $500)

Deadpool Mariachi

Harry Potter outfit

Fellow steampunks!

They demanded a copy of my book

Cool Predator costume!

Not sure what they're from. Somebody enlighten me

Um...scantily clad superhero?

The 10th Doctor

1960s Catwoman

Who you gonna call?

Time traveling bounty hunter

* * * * * * * * * 
Crystal Collier's SOULLESS Cover Reveal!!!

Have you met the Soulless and Passionate? In the world of 1770 where supernatural beings mix with humanity, Alexia is playing a deadly game.

SOULLESS, Book 2 in the Maiden of Time trilogy

Alexia manipulated time to save the man of her dreams, and lost her best friend to red-eyed wraiths. Still grieving, she struggles to reconcile her loss with what was gained: her impending marriage. But when her wedding is destroyed by the Soulless—who then steal the only protection her people have—she's forced to unleash her true power.

And risk losing everything.

What people are saying about this series: 

"With a completely unique plot that keeps you guessing and interested, it brings you close to the characters, sympathizing with them and understanding their trials and tribulations." --SC, Amazon reviewer

"It's clean, classy and supernaturally packed with suspense, longing, intrigue and magic." --Jill Jennings, TX

"SWOON." --Sherlyn, Mermaid with a Book Reviewer

Crystal Collier is a young adult author who pens dark fantasy, historical, and romance hybrids. She can be found practicing her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, three littles, and “friend†(a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese. You can find her on her blog and Facebook, or follow her on Twitter.


COMING October 13, 2014



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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

IWSG for July

Purpose of the Insecure Writers Support Group: To share and encourage. Writers are allowed to let all of our anger, frustrations, and insecurities to like-minded writers, which is cheaper than getting counseling.

I had a fun little vacation in the Ozarks, so I spent a lot of time in the sun and in the water. But I got some bad news when I came back to reality. Part of being in the corporate world is the fact that you're an insignificant little tiny cog in the great big machine, so you don't really matter to the powers-that-be.

Let's just say that I hope that I don't end up living in a van down by the river.

So this month, obviously I'm insecure about my job. Which, in turn, makes me insecure about money. And of course, that includes being able to put food on the table and keep the roof over our heads.

Since I am also my own publisher, I rely on what little I sock away in a separate bank account to pay for stuff like...copies of my paperback book to sell, artwork for covers, editing, formatting, etc. It ain't cheap. So with my job security in jeopardy, I'm not sure where that will leave my publishing venture. I think I have maybe $50 left in that account.
And I HATE government cheese

Maybe.

This will be a very tough few weeks as I continue to grind it out with my job, do my best to prove my worth. And hopefully be able to weather the storm. Yet, I have to make sure I've got Plan B in the works, which is time consuming too.

That leaves very little time for writing. I was up until almost 3 AM over the weekend, trying to push my latest WIP towards the finish line. I hope to get it done before all this crap hits the fan.

Yup, my middle name is INSECURE for sure.

Have a wonderful 4th of July, my fellow Americans.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Interview at Airship Ambassador

I'm on vacation this entire week. Work sucks, and I need the break. I'm mentally burned out, so I hope to get my batteries recharged after some R&R.

Some great news! The Airship Ambassador (who also happens to be steampunk-central for the entire blogosphere) has interviewed me. You can read Part One right HERE.

It's an honor to be featured on his site, as The Airship Ambassador is the authority on everything steampunk. Checkout his landing page at www.airshipambassador.com for all kinds of steampunk-goodness.

I hope to catch up with all of you when I get back. Until then...

Monday, June 16, 2014

Mythology As Inspiration

I grew up reading mythology. In fact, the very first book I ever read was a Chinese myth called Ma Lien and the Magic Paintbrush. When the original Clash of the Titans came out in 1981, I was so excited to see it. Sure, it was a little terrifying, but I was hooked.

What I love most about mythology is that the stories are both fantastical and so deeply rooted in the human psyche. Their messages are universal, despite the obvious mythical (and often hyperbolic) material surrounding these great stories.

When I was making the rounds marketing my debut novel, Dragonfly Warrior, I was asked so many great questions by my fellow bloggers. Many of them asked, "What inspired you to write this book?" That's easy.

All the great mythology I read growing up.

So I'd like to share just a few of my favorites that I drew direct inspiration from.

King Arthur. These stories are such a part of our cultural knowledge, it's not even funny. And I have no problem giving a nod to Monty Python either! To me, the story of King Arthur is the original "love triangle." The myth of King Arthur is really made up of a bunch of different stories all tied together. It starts out with how Arthur was first conceived (and it ain't pretty), then goes on to tell the tale of how he pulls the sword from the stone, the creation of the Knights of the Round Table, The Quest for the Holy Grail, and of course, the betrayal by Arthur's wife and his best friend.

Throw in some wizardry, Excalibur, the Lady of the Lake, and one ticked-off bastard son, and you've got one helluva an epic adventure.

The Odyssey. After the fall of troy, King Odysseus of Ithaca thinks that he's "just too cool for school." Instead of paying homage to the gods, he boasts how awesome humans are. So when he and his crew set sail for home, the gods totally mess with him, and allow him to wander the seas for a good 20 years. He's desperate to get back to his wife and son, and he's tempted with really sexy goddesses and stuff along the way. Odysseus' tale has several themes running through it. It's a morality tale, but it also focuses on how dangerous a huge ego can be. Oh, and there's no place like home.

Masamune and Muramasa. This story is about two legendary swordsmiths. Muramasa challenges his master to a contest to see who can forge the greatest sword. When they're finished, they take their swords to a river. Both dip their blades into the current. Muramasa's sword cuts everything that comes along its path - the fish, the petals of flowers, and even the air.

Masamune's sword, however, has the opposite effect. No flowers or leaves drifted by it. Instead of cutting the fish, the fish swam right up to it. Muramasa laughed at his master for creating such an inferior sword. But Masamune's blade was the finer of the two, as it couldn't kill anything innocent. Muramasa's weapon was bloodthirsty. In fact, the legend says that Muramasa's katana could never go back into its scabbard until it drew blood. The wielder either had to kill someone or commit suicide!  This mythology is obviously about the yin and yang in the universe, the balance of good and evil in everything.

Mulling And The Humans. I had to include one African myth in here! So in the beginning, there were no humans. Mulling and his animals live in peace. One day, a fish finds little tiny humans in his trap, so he brings them to Mulling. The god lets the humans live and roam the earth. Humans eventually grow bigger. They build fires...and burn down some forests. They kill the animals and eat them. Humans are essentially destroying everything, which makes Mulling really angry. So what does this god do? He runs away! He climbs up to the heavens.

Kind of reminds me of the premise behind The Matrix.