Thursday, 23 February 2017

Build Your Own Aquarium Coffee Table!

This is a really cool coffee table, and is exactly what I envision as one of the apartments containing inside the world of Aquaria, a secret underground bunker that houses an enormous aquarium.

If you're ready to entire the world of oceanic and sea life, with a twist of supernatural, please buy my book now!

You can find it on Amazon here.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Aqua Marine, by Melanie Dawn Dixon

Click here to order now: Aqua Marine, by Melanie Dawn Dixon

Aqua Marine is an apocalyptic young adult novel set in the near future, written by Melanie Dawn Dixon. Since she started reading adult books as a young child she now shamelessly reads the kids’ and teens’ books that she missed back then. She also enjoys writing for teens, but feels that certain themes are overdone. Instead, she has created an apocalyptic novel where a powdery blue substance rains down upon the city, suffocating everyone in its path. 

In Aqua Marine, the novel begins with the traditionally rebellious teenage girl named Aqua. She’s already discovered what she wants to do in life, against the wishes of her mom. At the start of the disaster she loses contact with her mother, and her friends. After the city goes into lockdown, she and her cat are refused entry to the city bunker. Aqua and her newly found friend Mark, who is wheelchair-bound, must find access to another bunker. Along the way they are attacked by zombies, which is the least of their worries. 

Often writers are told to write about what they know, but this wasn’t the case for Mel. She chose to do research about sea creatures and aquatic life. She also created a fictitious powdery blue substance, called bleed in the books, which is the main antagonist of the story. In order to go outside when it is raining bleed, a human must suit up with a respirator. Strangely, animals and plants are not affected by the bleed. Aqua and Mark must survive outdoors until they can find the entrance to a bunker run by the Canadian Marines. 

Readers will quickly find that Aqua Marine isn’t your standard teen supernatural novel. While it does have zombies, it also has an apocalyptic theme with a unique twist, as it’s set in a gigantic world called Aquaria, located beneath the city of New Westminster.

Aqua Marine will be a refreshing read for those seeking a different type of young adult novel that has a unique setting, and a diverse list of characters. It’s Book One of a three part set called the Aquaria Chronicles. If the characters of Aqua Marine were here right now, they would say that the safest place to be is in the water. 

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Review of Moana

Moana Dazzles the Senses

by Mel Dawn

Moana has been playing for weeks in Vancouver's movie theatres—unlike Monster Trucks, which seems to have bombed—so last weekend we finally decided to see it. I wasn't certain what to expect. Even though I'm a pet lover, The Secret Life of Pets was missing the magic. Finding Dory was fun and awesome, though I wasn't certain I wanted to see it again.

And then, occassionally, we see film in the animated category that truly wows the senses. This was Moana! From the start, the story captured my interest. I'll try not to give away too many spoilers, but Moana is a young girl who wants to solve the problems of her tribe. Soon, she will be Chief, and be expected to solve problems such as the lack of fish in the reef, the plague surrounding the coconut trees, and even her determination to defy her parents.

Positives of the Film

Not only did this film have an engaging storyline, but the main character is not only female, but she's also destined to be Chief of the tribe on the island of Motunui. What's not to like about that?

The graphics and action were astounding! Many parts of the film made you go "wow"! There were even pirates along the way.

I also enjoyed how the film took place in the Polynesian Islands, and not the USA yet again! It's fantastic to see diversity in film!

Another highlight of the film is that there was no romance! Hooray! Men and women can just be friends, without "ending up together" at the end.

Negatives of the Film

I was surprised to find that this film is a musical, however, the songs didn't overwhelm it. But right now, I can't recall any of the songs as being memorable, such as they were in Frozen. I do know the soundtrack did well on the charts, and I did love the tribal music. Still, I'm glad that the singing didn't overwhelm the film.

Also, I was annoyed that Maui was such a big focus in the trailers for the film. The story is about a young girl, yet the trailers made it seem like the story would be all about Maui. And while Maui is an awesome character, I wish that they had focused on Moana for the trailers.

Final Thoughts

This is one animated film that I would love to watch again. I'm sure that I missed many details throughout the action, so viewing it again will bring more of the plot to life for me. And perhaps, I may just enjoy the songs a bit more for round two!

Do You Love Ocean & Sea Life?

I write about a vast underground aquarium in my book, "The Aquaria Chronicles". Buy it right now!

Monday, 23 January 2017

Put on Your Writing Caps—CIF—Creative Ink Festival, Burnaby is Ahead!

Creative Ink Festival, Burnaby, 2017
by Mel Dawn

Are you a book, novel, fiction, sometimes writer who is stuck? The Creative Ink Festival will inspire you to keep going. Let's face it, we've all been stuck. Who hasn't neglected their next great novel idea? I personally have an entire notebook filled with great ideas for the next bestseller, or even the next top ten bestsellers for this year. But have I started writing anything yet? Nope, because I'm still busy editing my last series, The Aquaria Chronicles.

The Creative Ink Festival is an all-weekend event, and more affordable than the Surrey Writer's Conference. I've heard that one runs in the hundreds of dollars, but I'm too scared to look!

So, do something nice for yourself and book off a weekend to attend the Creative Ink Festival in Burnaby, BC, Canada. Besides great panellists, a marketplace, and guests of honour, you'll have some time to work on your next great novel.

So, make a pledge to yourself that this year it's going to be different. You will write that masterpiece!

Visit the Creative Ink Festival site to sign up now!

Monday, 14 November 2016

How to Sell 10,000 Books in a Week—Part One

How to Sell 10,000 Books in a Week—Part One

When you're self-published, just what does it take to sell 10,000 books in one week? Hard work, dedication, a well-written book, or none of that!

If you’ve spent any amount of time marketing a self-published book you have realized that it’s not only hard work, but it’s lonely too. You simply don’t possess a big name, such as Stephen King, Anne Rice, Stephenie Meyer, or JK Rowling. Each time one of these writers releases a book, they’ve got a guaranteed $5 million plus in sales. 

It seems like it could be a short path from starving novelist to millionaire writer, after all, self-publishing worked for Hugh Howey, Amanda Hocking, and many others. 

The main problem you’re going to discover is that it’s easy to market your book to your friends, family, colleagues, and even acquaintances. What’s difficult is marketing your book to strangers. These are people who don’t know you from Commander Adama of Battlestar Galactica, even if they’re geeks.

So, just how do you sell 10,000 books in a week? This is part one of a two part series. 

1. Own a famous publishing house.

If your daddy owns a publishing house you’ll be first in line for a publishing contract. Likewise, if you’re married to the president or related to anyone who works there. 

• Penguin
• Simon & Schuster
• St. Martin’s Press
• Random House
• Harper Collins

2. Have a prior bestselling book.

The Stand
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Aqua Marine
Fahrenheit 451
The Girl on the Train

3. Be a celebrity.

If you’re a celebrity it’s an instant guarantee to a book deal. You don’t even have to know how to write. Someone else ghostwrites your book and they stick your name on it, while you earn the millions. 

• Kim Kardashian
• Jennifer Lawrence
• Brad Pitt
• Johnny Depp
• David Beckham

4. Spend $50,000 on a media campaign.

There are some writers with the bucks to spend for self-promotion. These are the ones who will sell more books, but at the cost of a profit. 

There’s a fine balance between spending cash on marketing, and making a tidy profit. If you’re James Patterson, or Danielle Steele, your publisher is going to spend a good million dollars promoting your books to the masses. This amount of cash simply isn’t available to most of us peons. 

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