You won’t believe how simple and FREE creating an authors website can be!

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In the past, an author’s personal website was the holy grail of finding information on our most beloved writers and storytellers. From book tours to correct reading order, to a mailing address where you could send fanatical letters and wail about the death of your favorite characters. Like a brick house we built with our bare hands, they were our personal spaces, our platforms through which we reached our readers. But, with the rise of blogging and social media, the authors website is slowly fading into antiquity. Or is it? Times are constantly changing and with it comes a flux of new technology and social platforms that overwrite the old. If you’re a millennial like me you no doubt witnessed the death of MySpace and the rise of Facebook and Twitter. But, who’s to say that in ten years these popular sites will still be around? Having a Facebook “like” page and a booming twitter account are fine, but in the case that Facebook nosedives at any time in the future, having your own platform that’s controlled solely by you may be your only saving grace. I can already hear you screaming at me, “But websites are expensive! I can’t afford that!” and “I don’t know how to code a website! I can’t be in control of something I know nothing about!” Relax friends and colleagues, I’m here to provide a comprehensive guide on building a simple website that you can operate without entirely on your own. Follow along and in three simple steps, you will have your own FREE platform that no one can take from you, not even the Facebook banning police. I know we’ve all had our run in with those jerks. Here we go!

STEP ONE: Choosing a host website

A.C. GreenleeThere are many platforms that allow you to host your website with a custom domain name, which is what we’ll be using here so that you completely “own” your website. The host I think is the best and personally use is Tumblr.com. Tumblr is a blogging website that allows users to create their own blogs and seamlessly share content from millions of users all around the world. This both allows authors to find and interact with new and prospective fans while simultaneously keeping their blog or website fresh with new content. I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume you already have an email address. If not, I highly recommend Gmail for all your emailing needs. Grab your email and navigate to http://www.tumblr.com and create an account. Account creation is extremely simple. Simply enter your email address, password and select a username. I suggest creating a username that in some way correlates to what you’re trying to accomplish.  AuthorJenineHadwick is perfectly fine as apposed to PrincessPonyGlitterBootyShorts. I’m serious, tumblr usernames get pretty rediculous. Now, open up a new tab and get ready for step two.

STEP TWO: Acquiring a domain name

Head over to http://www.dot.tk/. This is your domain provider.A.C. Greenlee Website Creation Guide A domain provider, in a nutshell, is a computer network server where your website will be hosted 24 hours a day, seven days a week without disruption. Essentially, your personal computer, the one you’re using right now could act as a host for your website. With a few apps and minor HTML and coding knowledge, you really wouldn’t need a domain provider at all. Except for the fact that your computer isn’t turned on and connected to tA.C. Greenlee Website Guidehe internet all day every day and your internet connection probably wouldn’t have the strength to support all the people flocking to your website. Domain names usually range in price from $10 a month to over $100 a year for a .com domain. But, with the dot.tk website, you will be
provided with a .tk domain name completely free of charge. Yes, COMPLETELY free. The only catch is that you have to renew your domain name every year. But, for a free website, that doesn’t seem too daunting now does it? Head over to http://www.dot.tk and pick your domain name. Now, this will be the NAME of your website, the name through which users will find you. For example, my website is http://www.acgreenlee.com. I opted to pay for a .com domain name for personal reasons but, notice how simple the web address is. Your domain name could be anything from FamousAuthorHeather.tk to HankHillSellsPropane.tk. Just make sure it’s exactly what you want and something you won’t regret choosing later. After checking that your domain is available, proceed to the signup process.

Configuration:

  1. Select Use DNS.
  2. For the IP address slots, enter the IP from Tumblr (66.6.44.4) in both slots.
  3. Select 12 Months from the drop down menu.
  4. Enter the CAPTCHA.
  5. Complete registration.

Head back over to tumblr:

  1. Click Settings (the gear icon) at the top of your Dashboard.
  2. Click the blog you’d like to update on the right side of the page.
  3. Click the pencil to the right of the username section and enable “Use a custom domain.”
  4. Enter your domain (e.g. mywebsite.tk).
  5. Click “Test your domain.”
  6. Correct problems if the test finds any, and click “Test your domain” until the test is successful.
  7. Hit “Save.”

If you navigate to your username.tumblr.com blog and it tells you that theres a problem, don’t panic, this is a good thing! It means tumblr is pointing correctly to your domain name and all there’s left to do is wait until all the mechanical stuff updates iteslf. Now lets move onto step three, the fun part!

STEP THREE: Customization

The thing I love most about tumblr is how easily customized it is, even if you have no knowledge of coding. After you’ve beaten your website into shape and you have your AuthorsWebsite.tk website set up and tested, head back to tumblr and go Blog Settings and Edit Theme. You can choose from a million free (and paid if you’re about that life) themes to make your websiteScreen Shot 2015-08-28 at 11.04.09 PM look however you want. By uploading a header image and profile picture, most themes will give you an entirely personalized website at the push of a button. For even more personalization, hit Edit HTML in your blog editor and get ready for your first, simple HTML coding lesson. Head over to any free tumblr theme code site (we’re going with http://kawaiilayouts.com just because I love them) and copy one of their free theme codes. Head back over to the Edit HTML section of your tumblr editor, select the HTML that’s already there, hit paste, update preview and TADA. Completely new website with the click of a button.

With your new website you’ll be able to truly build an authors platform independent of any social media sites personal fate. And, in the case that something happens to tumblr, there are quite literally a million different alternatives to hosting, and your domain provider dot.tk even has its own page builder if you ever want to cut your ties to a host all together. You can have your cake and eat it to by using social media in conjuncture with your personal website, extending your reach and your influence exponentially. Make them work with each other and for each other! Now that you have the foundation laid out for you, what are you still doing here? Go! Go build a website!

If you enjoyed this post or found it useful consider following the author on Facebook. Happy creating!

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Genesis Character Introduction: Victoria Bouchard

Next on our list of character introductions is our spunky heroine, Victoria.

Adorable to look at, our heroine is a fiery little number with a potty-mouth and a penchant for getting her way, even if it means resorting to violence. Although she isn’t physically the strongest, she uses her enhanced mental prowess to overcome any obstacle she finds in her way. Now introducing, Victoria Bouchard, Kaizer’s Angel. 

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Name: Victoria Bouchard

Played by: Shin Yeong Kim/Ji Eun Lee

Age: 24

BirthdateSeptember 18th, 1990

Zodiac: Virgo exists in the mind, everything is inside. To the world, Virgo presents a calm and collected exterior, but on the inside, nervous uncontrolled energy resides. They are constantly trying to figure things out, how to improve everything; analyzing and thinking. Virgo can tire itself out without even moving! Virgo has a constant drive to improve and perfect, this can lead to extreme pickiness and finickiness. They are pure, their motives are honest, never malicious and they want to accomplish something.

General information: Since she was a small child, Victoria has always had problems with her sight, a fact which often left her ostracized by her siblings and classmates. A true daddy’s girl, her only friend and confidant growing up was her father Percy Bouchard, who doted on the girl, spending a good portion of his time making sure she felt right at home. During her teenage years, Mr. Bouchard was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, and spent the remainder of his life on earth in constant suffering. Victoria blamed herself. After her father’s death, she was sent to Harlan, Iowa to attend college at Viking Lake University, where she met and fell in love with Kaizer Dresden, a brilliant albeit lazy Grim Reaper. She knows his secret, to a certain extent, and he’s forever curious about the strange mental abilities she displays.

Personality Type: ISTJ – The Duty Fulfiller

Serious and quiet, interested in security and peaceful living. Extremely thorough, responsible, and dependable. Well-developed powers of concentration. Usually interested in supporting and promoting traditions and establishments. Well-organized and hard working, they work steadily towards identified goals. They can usually accomplish any task once they have set their minds to it.

Heroine Archetype: The SPUNKY KID – Gutsy and true, she is loyal to the end. She is a favorite of many writers, and for good reason. You can’t help but root for her. She’s the girl with moxie. She’s not looking to be at the top of the heap; she just wants to be in her own little niche. She’s the team player, the one who is always ready to lend a hand.

Best strengths: Intellection, Learner, badass adorable, little miss badassbadass adorable.

Worst flaws: Cannot spit it out, Anti-Hero, Innocently Insensitive.

Ego flaw: Stubbornness.

Ambitions: To graduate at the top of her class and later, help find the psychopath who’s making sashimi out of all her friends and classmates.

Internal conflict: She seems composed on the outside, but inside she struggles with the potential to do great evil in the world instead of good.

External conflict: She’s self-deprecating when it comes to her love for Kaizer. She can’t help but believe that she isn’t good enough for him.

Biggest fear: Failing. Whether it’s in life or a board game. She can’t stand to lose. Being blind, losing her sight and being ineffectivethese are the fears that haunt Victoria Bouchard.

Bio: Victoria was born in Norfolk Virginia. As a child she always dreamed of attending Harvard, or generally any Ivy League school, but quickly realized that her dream would be far from possible with her parent’s limited income. Victoria was cursed with poor eyesight as well as seemingly limitless mental abilities. She soaks up information like a human sponge, processes data like a super computer and can sometimes even hear the thoughts of the people around her.

Main Cast List:
We’ll continue our list of characters tomorrow with Mr. Ezra Dresden, the Grim Reaper Führer himself. The epitome of a powerful ‘badass’ he’s quite literally every woman’s wet dream. I think you’ll enjoy him~! Until next time!

Legally Yours Episode Four: The Debussy Murders Part II 9/5/12

Sonneillon

Again she’d crept out of their bed, nothing but a cloak covering her heavy Victorian dressing gown, the red fabric swirling around the little slippers on her feet as she shuffled through the snow and into the oppressive darkness that covered Poland. Keyon, the largest of her Tibetan Mastiff, ran unleashed at her side, their bodies moving throughout the dark, twisted forestry as it unfurled in their path. It was as if it was warning them. That this time they would not come back out alive. Lachesis was willing to take that risk. She had to know. She had to know what she’d done, what she’d unleashed on the world.

Sonneillon Daemonum didn’t need to come and get her. He had no need of compulsion or spells or even simple commands. Even she could feel the sadness that hung over her forest like a cloud of black sulfur. It called out to the tenderest part of her heart, it made her weep even while she lay sleeping at her husbands side. What could be causing such pain? She’d wondered, curling into a ball, trying her best to block out the emotions that were not her own. The emotions that threatened to consume her. It wasn’t until she’d pin pointed where it was coming from, the little beacon shining from it’s own dark little world; Crying out for help though his lips had not uttered a sound, that she’d even realized it was Sonneillon. The demon of hatred. His heart was breaking.

She hurried, pushing herself faster and faster, tripping over raised roots as the very forest itself beckoned her to stay away, to not come any closer. Entire trees seemed to fall in her path, acting as a barrier. The snow fell faster, harder, pelting her flesh like stones. It stuck to her lashes and blinded her, all of it screaming KEEP OUT! But she wouldn’t listen. She would heed no warning tonight. She just had to know. Her curiosity and constant quest for knowledge would be her ultimate downfall, but she’d survived this far. She’d lived twelve thousand years, surely she could have one more night? Once more she called upon her luck to pull her through.

“Sonneillon.” His name was on her frozen lips as she burst into the clearing, Keyon sliding to a stop at her side. The demon was where he’d been two days ago. In the center, his body once again solid, fed by the anger and hatred that had soaked the ground like blood. Phanuel’s vengeance lived on, only in another form. The demon knelt in the snow, his nearly translucent white hair hanging like a curtain of silk around his solemn features. His skin held a gray cast, spotted by snow flakes that rained upon his face and melted against his feverish flesh. Though it wasn’t his appearance that gave her pause. It was the skeleton he cradled in his arms like a child. It was small, couldn’t have belonged to a person more than fifteen years in age, and yellow with decay. The bones could have been over five hundred years old.

“She was…” He began speaking, his deep voice as normal as she’d ever heard it. The sadness that lay hidden beneath it wrung her heart. The deep monotonous sound of heartbreak and unshed tears nearly made her forget all he’d done to her. “She was everything to me. To us.” he muttered and she almost asked him who he was talking about. That’s when she remembered. A hand lifted to stroke the moist ends of her now red hair. He was talking about Scarlet. Of that she was sure.

“Tell me about her. About…Scarlet.” She said softly and he lifted his head to growl at her, his jaw unhinging as he bared his sharp, pointed teeth. A roar of utter anguish left him, sending fear skittering through her. Keyon growled, barked and snapped at her side, waiting for the command to attack. But she would not send her pet to his death. “Quiet.” She commanded and the Mastiff slipped into silence. Even after all these years she still wasn’t used to seeing it; The ugly side of the Daemonum. The side that both thrilled and frightened her. “I won’t leave you. Just tell me. Tell me who you’re turning me into!” She shouted at him and he turned away from her, his jaw popping back into place with a sickening crack. She watched the bones in his arms glow, an apparition of a flaming haired young girl appearing over it. She had been beautiful from what Lachesis could see. Petite like the goddess herself, but with a mass of red curls, and even though her eyes were firmly shut in death she somehow knew they’d been green.

“Scarlet.” He began, his eyes tracing her form sadly, “Scarlet was everything. After we’d been imprisoned in the tower she was our only connection to the outside world. And we, Richard and I, were in love with her.” He rolled his blue eyes up to catch hers. The unbelievable anguish there stole her breath.

“It wasn’t like what you’re thinking. We we’re merely children, there was no lust involved. But we loved her. We loved everything about her. From the way she moved, to the way she sang and danced. Even the way she lied. We worshiped her like the goddess she was. Scarlet was the daughter of an Englishman who took care of the Tower of London. The man who was supposed to oversee our imprisonment. While she was supposed to be cleaning she’d sneak into our bedroom, bribing the guards so she could bring us trinkets and toys. And when the bastards gave us to little to eat she’d bring us bread and fruit. And water when our throats were so parched we could barely speak. So even you can see why we cherished her so. She was our salvation. Our only light in a bleak existence that we knew would only end in death.” He turned those sad eyes of his out into the distance, tracing the dark night sky as it blended with the heavy snow. “She was with us every night, except for those nights when my uncle Richard came. I’d begged her to stay away. She was so innocent, so pure. She didn’t need to witness what he did to us. Even though she had no carnal knowledge I wanted to protect her from the sight of our own flesh and blood molesting us in our beds.” His teeth clenched and Lachesis wept. She wept for Sonneillon and his baby brother. For Scarlet. Even though the tears she shed would not erase the tarnished memories that haunted him they fell still, unceasingly.

“The last night my uncle was to come for us, he announced it. He told everyone in the tower and made sure they knew he would be there, that he was going to take us away and give us a better life back in Ludlow castle. Only a fool wouldn’t have realized what fate he truly had in store for us. That night Scarlet came, even against my wishes. Smiling as she’d told us to keep our voices low and to hide in the armoire. She swore that she would keep us hidden from our uncle, that she would distract him and make him leave, and then we could escape. Of course we believed her. She was our Scarlet. She could have admitted the sky was falling and we would have taken her words as law.

We could hear his thunderous footsteps as he and his guard climbed the stairs and we hurried into the bottom of the large cabinet as she’d requested, our hopes high that we would finally be free of the bastard we called an uncle. The door opened and through a crack in the heavy mahogany doors I could see her standing there, smiling up at my uncle Richard who so greatly resembled my father I would have sworn his ghost had returned to bid us farewell. When we thought she’d tell them that we’d escaped, or had been kidnapped, some stupid lie that would make them leave, she only stood there. Smiling. ‘Where are they?’ He’d demanded and her grin only grew more twisted, more grotesque. The words that left her lips next will stay with me for all of eternity. ‘What will you give me sire if I tell you where they are?’”

“Oh gods.” Lachesis sobbed, a hand covering her mouth as she tried to quiet herself. She could only imagine what happened next.

“My uncle was not one to be tricked or bribed. He drew his sword and he grabbed her and he told her ‘If you don’t tell me where they are right now I’ll strike you dead!’ And she…” The pain on his face and in his voice was too much to bare as he lifted his hand and pointed towards himself. “And she…She lifted her hand and she pointed right at us.” Tears fell from his eyes, the crystalline blue nearly clear as he bit back sobs. “Oh he killed her anyway, there could be no witnesses to his crime. They pulled us screaming from the armoire. My uncle threw Richard on the bed first. He made me watch. He made. Me. Watch. As he murdered my baby brother in front of me…”

“Edward stop! Please no more.” She sobbed. She knew him. She knew this poor child and the fate she and her sisters had specifically handed him. When she spoke his name his eyes snapped fire. He was furious. And he had every right to be. The corpse in his hands disappeared as if it had never been there and in the milliseconds it would take someone to blink he was behind her. She heard Keyon snapping as he spun on the demon but she couldn’t move to save him, nor herself. His hands flashed as he pulled her head back and drug something sharp across her throat, spilling blood all over them both. He threw her forward into the snow, kneeling over her and gripping a fist full of her hair. Sonneillon lifted the knife to press against her bottom lip, her throat still furiously spewing blood, melting the snow until only deep red craters remained.

“You get me what I want. You kill your bastard husband and hand deliver his throne to me or I will destroy everything you’ve ever loved.” He swore, tossing her limp body backwards into the snow. Her eyes dimmed as the blood loss over came her. The last sound she remembered hearing was that of Keyon, her beloved dog screaming for a savior and the sound of the demons bare feet in the snow as he left her there to bleed to death.