Discussion

Today is the day! Bane of All Things has at last left the nest!

It’s a rather surreal feeling, to say the least, considering this tale first began as a short story idea some 22 years ago. I have of course worked on other, unrelated stories during that time, which may eventually see the light of day. BoAT itself went through two full reboots to become the novel it is today, comparable to how the Planet of the Apes film franchise has been reinvented.

But here we are. Don’t forget tonight’s launch event at 7 pm EST – here again is the Zoom linkhttps://bit.ly/3nZuswz 

If you have any issues or questions with receiving your pre-ordered copies of BoAT from Inkshares, please contact hello@inkshares.com

Help spread the word!

Word of mouth is vital to an author’s success. Any promotion today and in the coming days through your social media channels would be greatly appreciated. Reviews posted to Amazon and Goodreads are also critical to help a new novel stand out and get noticed.

Thank you again for your support and your patience. This day could not have come without you. I am eternally grateful.

Stay safe and keep reading!

Cheers

Leo


Happy Sunday!

Here we are, just two days away from the official release of Bane of All Things! Though my local Chapters Indigo locations (that’s our big bookstore chain here in Canada, for my American and overseas friends) may in fact be putting the book out on the shelf as early as today. 

THE UNBOXING

Yesterday was the Big Event at my house -- the official unboxing of my copies of the book from my publisher, Inkshares. I have posted that video to social media and you can view it here on Facebook, or on LinkedIn. This was my first time seeing, and holding, an actual print copy myself!

GETTING YOUR PRE-ORDERED COPIES

Over the past week or so, you should have received an email from Inkshares to confirm your mailing address ... if you have pre-ordered print copies coming your way. For ebook copies, you will soon receive an email notification that your download is ready and you can choose the ebook format you prefer to receive. 

If you have any other questions or concerns about your account and ensuring Inkshares has the correct contact details for you, please reach out to hello@inkshares.com 

TUESDAY LAUNCH EVENT: Submit your answers for the prize draws!

Don’t forget, the virtual launch event I am hosting on Zoom, at 7 pm EST, on Tuesday.  Here is the link: https://bit.ly/3nZuswz 

As I said last time, this is a fun event that will include prize draws with Jeopardy-style questions. It only takes one correct answer to be in the draw. Please submit your answers to me in advance:

  • >;;;>;;;>;;; This European castle stands in for Dragon’s Claw Abbey – the “fictional” locale that is featured on the cover of Bane of All Things. 
  • >;;;>;;;>;;; This recessed cupboard for storing sacred vessels in a Christian church inspired the last name of my heroine, Josalind Aumbrae.
  • >;;;>;;;>;;; This is the title of Book 2 in the series.

Cheers

Leo


BANE OF ALL THINGS, DEBUT NOVEL LAUNCH

Tuesday, Dec. 7 is launch day for Bane of All Things! I will be hosting a launch event on Zoom at 7 pm EST. Here is the link: https://bit.ly/3nZuswz So, mark your calendar!

Join me for a relaxed and casual hour (or more), in which this humble author will sport stylish new headwear and wield his pointy sword (within the constraints of his living room ceiling, of course).

We will have readings! You can quiz me about the book, about being an author and about what’s next. There will be refreshments of your choice … because it’s a virtual event, so drink’em if you’ve got’em.

AND … we will have prize draws for those who have correctly answered, IN ADVANCE, any or all the following questions:

LET’S PLAY JEOPARDY!

Please submit your answers to me BEFORE Dec. 7. I will then draw winners during the event.

Your questions in the form of an answer are:

·      >;;;>;;;>;;; This European castle stands in for Dragon’s Claw Abbey – the “fictional” locale that is featured on the cover of Bane of All Things

·      >;;;>;;;>;;; This recessed cupboard for storing sacred vessels in a Christian church inspired the last name of my heroine, Josalind Aumbrae.

·      >;;;>;;;>;;; This is the title of Book 2 in the series (the answer is out there!)

Becoming a bona fide published author has been a looong time in coming, and I really look forward to celebrating it together with you on Dec. 7.

Cheers

Leo

Good day! Here we are—less than three weeks from Bane of All Things’ release on Dec. 7.

It’s been a heck of a ride to get here. The pandemic delayed BoAT’s publication date by about eight months, while my ongoing contest with cancer has added fresh twists since August.

Despite all these speed bumps, it’s onward and upward!

None of it would have been possible without your patience and support. Thank you again for going on this adventure with me.

Unboxing pending 

Before Dec. 7, I will receive a box of books from my publisher, Inkshares. It will be my first time seeing the final product in its physical form. My wife, Natalie, is intent on filming this “unboxing” so that I can share it on social media. So, stay tuned for that. 

Save the date! Virtual launch event on Dec. 7

I had hoped to have a live launch event at a local bookstore or a pub. But given the continued concerns with the pandemic (and my own health), I will be foregoing that. Instead, I will host an hour-long virtual event on YouTube, at 7 p.m. EST on Dec. 7.

This event will feature me reading from BoAT, drawing for some prizes, and taking comments and questions from attendees. Details will soon follow.

Book giveaways

If you are reading this, odds are you already pre-ordered BoAT many moons ago and will have a copy or copies soon coming your way. But just so you know, my publisher is currently running a Book Giveaway on Goodreads.com with AmazonKindle.

This Giveaway runs until Nov. 29 and is open only to U.S. residents. I will, however, be doing other giveaways for my  Canadian (and overseas) supporters (also as part of the Virtual Launch Event on Dec. 7). Please stand by for more details.

Making sure you receive your print copies

Again, if you did pre-order print copies of BoAT, it was many moons ago. If you have had any change of address in the past couple of years, please log into your Inkshares account to verify the mailing address you provided with your original pre-order is still current. This may require a password reset.

If you have any issues with account access or a password reset, please contact hello@inkshares.com. And if you aren’t sure what email address you have associated with your Inkshares account, let me know and I can quickly look it up for you.

My health

Just yesterday, I had the first of my tri-weekly immunotherapy treatments, which are intended to bolster my body’s ability to target and destroy cancer cells on its own. This comes after my radiation therapy three weeks ago and follows the surgery for tumor removal that took place at the beginning of October.

Other than experiencing the same kind of fever response you may get following a flu or COVID shot, I am so far handling the immunotherapy meds well. My recovery overall continues to move along.  

That’s all for now. Stay safe and keep reading!

Cheers

Leo

Happy Spooky Season! This is a roundup of where things are at with my participation at the World Fantasy Convention (WFC 2021) this week, Bane of All Things’ release on Dec. 7, and my health.

WFC 2021

Note, this event is live and virtual from Montreal – so all times are in the Eastern Time Zone. I am attending virtually, and you can, too. The cost to do so for the whole weekend (which starts on Thursday with the first panels at 4 p.m.) is US$75 or CDN$100. 

More information about the registration, attendance options, and how to register, can be found here.

My activities at WFC:

  • Thursday, Nov. 4, 7 p.m.: I am on a panel with four others – Possession is 9/10s of the Law. We will explore the thorny question of whether a creator can possess (own, trademark, copyright, etc.) story plots that give them the sole right to a setting, a type of character, or even a name. The answer would appear to be obvious … or is it? How do you stake your claim? What happens when estates get involved? Who does the law side with? Who gets the book? Who gets the revenue?
  • Friday, Nov. 5, Noon: I read from Bane of All Things! This will be my first time ever reading from my work before an audience like this, even if virtually rather than in person. 

Here is the full conference programme.

Bane of All Things’ release date is Dec. 7!

I emphasize this because the old and no-longer-relevant November release date is still displaying on a few online retail sites. This is due to a digital glitch in the global distribution machine that my publisher is working to get fixed. Don’t be fooled! The date is and remains Dec. 7.

Mustering the Street Team for that big day

In early September, I put out the casting call for kind souls who would have the time and the interest to help drive social awareness of Bane of All Things ahead of its release in December. Many of you have responded and signed up – thank you! If this includes you, we have of course already touched base, and I will be following up further through November.

If you are still looking to participate on the Street Team but haven’t connected with me about it yet, please drop me a line at leo@leovaliquette.com

Different ways that folks are participating on the Street Team include:

  • Reading an advance digital copy that I have provided, so that they can then post a review on Amazon, Goodreads, etc. for Dec. 7. The goal is a positive review of at least 4 stars. But … I do not expect anyone to provide an endorsement they don’t feel is warranted. So, if after reading the book you decide to abstain from posting that review, no worries. I much prefer fair honesty to insincere flattery! I only ask that you delay by a week after the 7th posting your honest review.
  • Pushing on social media on and around Dec. 7. I will help by providing draft content which Team members can then personalize as they see fit for their channels.
  • Hitting up the local library, bookstore, or book club. For any author, getting your book in the library is a big deal, too. Plus, any word-of-mouth buzz with clubs and other local venues is as vital to a new author as water is to a soul lost in the desert.
  • And I am of course open to any other ideas you may have.

My health

Tomorrow will mark four weeks since cancer surgery. My treatment and recovery continue to go well. I told you last time that the next step would be CyberKnife radiation therapy. This treatment did take place and conclude this past week without any issues or complications.

My largest complaints at present are really little things that, too, shall pass – side effects from medications that I must remain on for a couple more weeks before starting immunotherapy (and then we will see how my system handles that).

One current side effect is that I am holding lots of water weight. Kindly bear that in mind if you do tune into my WFC sessions this week and see my rather puffy face vs. the author photo of that leaner fellow with whom you may be more familiar .

That’s all for now. Thank you again for your continued interest and support. 

Stay safe and keep reading!

Good Sunday morning! Tomorrow will mark two weeks since the surgery that removed a cancerous “plum” from inside of my head. I continue to do well and to improve every day. My outlook for both treatment and recovery are good.

The next stage in my treatment will be five consecutive days later this month of targeted CyberKnife radiation therapy. This should have few side effects or ill effects of any consequence.

This therapy demands high precision targeting and control which will require my own custom iron maiden mask … of a sort (example pictured below.) This mask will be used to position and hold me in place during the treatment sessions. I just might mount this war trophy on a wall somewhere with my pointy sword afterward!

After radiation therapy concludes, we will then begin with immunotherapy. As I have said before, this is a regimen of medications designed to train your body to better identify and fight cancer itself – teach a man to fish rather than just give him a fish.

Let me take this opportunity to say that the standard of care, consideration and professionalism that I have experienced throughout all this – from the surgical and other care teams at my local hospitals here in Ottawa, Canada – was and continues to be outstanding, despite the extreme pressures placed on the whole system by the pandemic.

AND … BIG NEWS FOR THE BOOK LAUNCH!

Two days after I returned home from the hospital, I got some unexpected and totally awesome news: I have made the programme for the World Fantasy Convention (WFC 2021) taking place early next month in Montreal (I’ll be attending virtually). This is pretty much the top event of its kind in the world.

To say this was great news at a great time is a gross understatement. I will be on one panel, and I have also been given a slot to deliver a reading from Bane of All Things.

I bought my ticket to WFC 2021 two years ago and applied to its programming in March with no expectation of what might come of it as a debut fantasy author with a small and unconventional US publisher. I could not have expected better.

And ... another great Canadian author has also been gracious enough to provide a promotional blurb for the book: 

"A dark and engrossing epic fantasy that starts off small but just keeps building. I’m really looking forward to what comes next!”

That comes from James Alan Gardner, author of They Promised Me the Gun Wasn’t Loaded. Check him out!

That’s all for now. I definitely feel that the cup is half full.

Stay safe and keep reading ;)

Cheers

Leo

CANCER UPDATE, OCT. 07, ‘21

Good day, everyone. Yesterday, I returned home from a surgery to remove the Melanoma tumor from my head. Surgery went well and the prognosis is good. Now, I face a couple of months of recovery at home and treatments with radiation and immunotherapy.

Bottom line: This is the first day of the rest of my life, and life is good.

The dark irony in all this is that my two main characters, Ryn and Josalind, each have “demons” of a sort in their heads. And it turned out that I did, too. But different than them, I can say at this stage that mine is easier to excise.

Thank you for all your support and good wishes.

Cheers

Leo

CANCER UPDATE AND PENDING SURGERY

As most of you know, I have been living with metastasized melanoma for almost two years. Since my second surgery in March 2020 to remove affected lymph nodes under my left arm, I appear to have been cancer free. To remain that way, I underwent a year of targeted gene therapy that ended in May of this year.

I now have periodic CT scans and brain MRIs. My last brain MRI seven months ago was clear. But since then, I have developed a tumor in my brain that would suggest the gene therapy was a failure. Plan B now will be to remove all evidence of this growth with a combination of surgery and perhaps radiation and then proceed with immunotherapy.

The kicker in all this is that I was on the gurney with the surgeon outside the operating room, ready to go under the knife, on Thursday afternoon this past week. Then word came down that a shortage of post-op recovery beds meant they had to bump my surgery. Because of other scheduling issues, I am still waiting to confirm a new date this coming week. In the meantime, all I can do is manage symptoms with medication.

It’s a tough time all around with scheduling in hospitals with all the pressures that are on the healthcare system because of COVID (I have zero sympathy and zero patience for anyone who refuses to get vaccinated without a legitimate medical reason, but that’s another story). I live in Canada with a public healthcare system and the there are still dire challenges right now.

All we can do is just wait and see and hopefully I will get a new surgery date confirmed on Monday and then take it from there.  

TREATMENT OPTIONS

Where gene therapy tries to attack the cancer directly, immunotherapy boosts your own immune system’s ability to identify, target and destroy cancer itself. So, you could say my first treatment with gene therapy was giving a man a fish to eat, and Plan B with the immunotherapy will be teaching him to fish for himself. 

THE GOOD NEWS

The good news is that the tumor is easily accessed and easily removed … relatively speaking. There are of course risks with any kind of surgery like this, but I am assured in this case that a positive outcome is the most likely outcome.

AND … Bane of All Things is still releasing, come hell or high water!

Again, due to COVID disruptions (this time, impacting book publishing supply chains) the release date has shifted back three weeks to Dec. 07 – but it will still be out in time for Christmas, so chill that egg nog!

Thanks again for all your love and support.

Cheers
Leo

“Visceral and vivid, Bane of All Things is a gorgeously imagined ride. I enjoyed getting to know these characters and the world of monsters and magic they inhabit. A terrific read.”

These heartwarming words came just this morning from fellow Ottawa-area scribe Kate Heartfield. She is the author of Armed in Her FashionAlice Payne Rides, and, coming early next year from HarperVoyager UK, The Embroidered Book

It’s hard to believe we are just two months from Bane of All Things’ release day on Nov. 16. Even more unbelievable (and affirming) is that I have fellow authors like Kate, whom I have admired for years, sharing their enthusiasm for my work.

My publisher continues to make the rounds with the bloggers and the magazines and e-zines that might post a book review or agree to interview yours truly. In a few weeks I will be launching a giveaway on Goodreads to also drive attention to BoAT. 

World Fantasy Con

Coming up on Nov. 4 to 7 is the 2021 World Fantasy Convention. As the “World” in the name suggests, this is a big deal. The Con is hosted by a different city in Canada, the U.S. or the U.K. each year. This time, it’s in Montreal – only a few hours down the road from my house. I bought my ticket way back in 2019. It will be my first time at this event and, as a debut author to boot, it should be memorable. There will be mandatory vaccinations and masks for all.

Would you like to join my Street Team?

The call is now open for volunteers to join my “Street Team” and help spread the word about BoAT. As a Street Team member, you are agreeing to be a positive and supportive cheerleader, because any debut needs all the positive press it can get!

Your participation could take any of several forms:

  • Read and post a positive review before Nov. 16: I can hook you up (today) with a digital advance reader copy (ARC). Your mission, once accepted, is to read and post a 4- or 5-star review on Amazon, Goodreads and wherever else you might normally review books.
  • (If after reading the ARC you honestly don’t feel that BoAT warrants 4 or 5 stars, that’s OK. An author can only expect to please some of the people, some of the time. I would only ask in that case that you let me know privately and hold off on posting your honest review/rating until after release date.)
  • Take to social media: I can help set you up with social media posts/links you can publish to your social media channels of choice come November, to promote the release of the book.
  • Hit up your local library, bookstore or book club: For any author, getting your book in the library is a big deal, too. In Canada, there is even a program that gets authors paid when their books are in public libraries. And as you heard me say many times way back during the pre-order campaign for BoAT, word of mouth to friends and family is gold!

If you are interested in taking part in any way with the Street Team, or if you have other ideas for how you might like to help, don’t hesitate to email me: leo@leovaliquette.com

That’s all for now. Stay safe and keep reading! 

 

Howdy and happy Sunday! Just a quick update on Bane of All Things, as we count down toward that Nov. 16 release date.

A few weeks back, Fantasy Hive, a British e-zine for all things fantasy, graciously featured Tim Barber’s awesome cover design. We talked about how we arrived at this design, what it represents, and what it evokes about the story. Check it out here!

Meanwhile, the ARCs (advance reader copies in digital format) have been available for five weeks now on NetGalley. Scores of advance readers have requested the book and the reviews are slowly starting to roll in. I am glad to say the handful so far have been favourable. These reviews, most of which also post to Goodreads, are critical to draw fantasy fans to the book.

Bane of All Things also continues to populate bookseller websites around the world. It’s something else to see yourbook with your name on it searchable on the websites for booksellers from the U.K. and various other European countries, to Brazil, Singapore and Australia.

Lastly, I finished a few days ago my review of the final corrections by the proof-reader. Everything is well in hand for the final proof to head to the printer by the Aug. 6 deadline. It’s almost an actual real book!

And, very important: If you have print copies coming your way in November, please ensure you have an up-to-date mailing address on file with Inkshares. It’s been a while since you originally pre-ordered (the pre-order campaign ran from October 2018 to April 2019). You will need to log-in to the Inkshares account you created back then and check your details there.

Stay safe and keep reading!

Cheers

Leo


 

Notable Readers

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