Category Archives: News & Appearances

What’s happening with Sheryl and where you hopes she’ll run into YOU.

#PITMAD and the Quest

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Today, September 8th, is pitch madness day over at Twitter. I’ll be pitching. After months of being in my writers cave, my story #TheGlassChamber is in the freelance-editor stage and almost ready to go.  If you’re a friend stop by. Don’t retweet or favorite my tweet, but do let me know what you think in a reply or dm. I’d love to have your feedback.

To learn more about #PitchMad
About #PitMad All about the rules and fairplay by Brenda Drake: http://www.brenda-drake.com/pitmad/
How to filter out Spam: http://dianaurban.com/how-to-filter-out-spammers-when-following-pitmad-tweets
And here’s a link to one author’s true tale of landing an agent on #pitmad: http://dianaurban.com/how-pitmad-helped-me-get-a-literary-agent-and-tips-for-the-next-one
A helpful guide on pitmad pitching http://writersinthestormblog.com/2014/09/the-ultimate-writers-guide-to-twitter-pitch-contests/

Here’s my three-line pitch for #TheGlassChamber:

(Update: Thanks to Mary Rowen for giving me feedback on my three-line pitch. Here is the much improved version)

Title: The Glass Chamber
Genre: YA Futuristic Romance (Solarpunk)
Length: 100,000 words
Author: Sheryl Kaleo
In a future where every affliction except death has a cure, and lives span centuries rather than decades, the dead and their burial chambers may be pre-sold as collectibles to the highest bidder. Astrid’s artist grandfather just wants a few more months to finish his homage to her grandmother. To save him from prematurely gathering dust on someone’s shelf, Astrid will solve a cold case murder and lose her heart to a cagey street performer who’s harboring secrets about his best friend’s death.

 

 

 

 

Does Solarpunk Equal Utopian?

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Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 11.58.57 AM

The Day the Earth Stood Still, 1951

I exchanged tweets last week about the cleanliness and political aspects of solarpunk. And I wanted to use this opportunity to add to the dialogue around solarpunk the genre.

By the way, if you haven’t read the working definition I use for my #solarpunk stories please read my interview by Alyssa Watson on @CarbonCultureR. Much of what I’m discussing here refers to my answers there.

Does Solarpunk have to be “squeaky clean?”

On April 6th, Stephan M@stephan4770 Apr 6 said “@SherylKaleo Thank you. I have high hopes for #solarpunk. Quick thot – If we make solarpunk too clean it will never take off.#contrastisking.”

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Nostromo, Alien 1979, Ridley Scott

The difference between solarpunk the genre and solarpunk the movement is an idealistic asthetic. Personally, I believe solarpunk the movement should strive for the best—our cultural goal should be to get to the point where we have bio-friently nanite technology and anti-microbial technology that works to keep our man-inhabited environments in tune with nature.

But to paraphrase Agent Smith in The Matrix—we humans tend to reject perfect human worlds as “too good to be true.” And I would add, especially in our literature and media. We want to immerse ourselves in the fantastic, yes. But first it has to be realistic. The gritty realism of dirty gears and erupting steam is what made the Millenium Falcon and the Nostromo real. Gone are the days of shiny, silver spacesuits as representing advanced technology. Superman in pretty blue and red spandex? Not so realistic. Superman in textured dark blue kevlar-looking fabric? That’s alien technology that makes sense.

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Superman Returns, 2006

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Man of Steel, 2013

But it’s not just that we know now that a honeycomb construct makes for greater tensile strength than a shiny, scratchable sheet of metal. I think what Stephan was also referring to is that every improvement we make has consequences, and those consequences always result in a mess. For example, our first forays into using silver as a self-cleaning surface has yielded destructive side-effects in our environment. Then there are the aspects of what makes us human. How many of us have seen a perfectly clean house and thought that looks nothing like my house. Do we want that perfectly-clean-space-age-glass-everywhere house? Sure. Do we know that the minute it’s ours we’re going to have books and dirty dishes in the sink? Absolutely.

DONOR Part 3: A Silver-Lined Grave -- Police Bot

Police Bot, Donor 2013, Sheryl Kaleo

In Donor, my heroine sees a baseball-sized cleaning bot zap a pigeon that has swooped down to eat a piece of bread in Rockefeller Center. She’s afraid of dropping anything for fear of losing her hand in the same way. And while the New York City of the future is super-clean of litter and fuel emissions, there’s still plenty of other types of pollutants.

Does Solarpunk have to refer to narcissim?

All day and tomorrow@Threadbare Apr 7 said “@SherylKaleo @stephan4770 If the obstacles to a sustainable world are cultural/political, might it yield different problems than narcissism?”

Wikipedia defines http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissistic_neurosis as it was originally applied by Freud as “a range of disorders, including perversion, depression, and psychosis. In the 1920s, however, he came to single out “illnesses which are based on a conflict between the ego and superego.”

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Wesley Snipes in Demolition Man, 1993

When I first wrote my working definition and included the phrase “coupled with a radical change in the social order symptomatic of narcissistic neurosis”, I had in mind the thought that the classic conflict in my solarpunk worlds is man versus man and/or man versus self. Most especially where narcissism breeds this belief of “we know best” which is at the heart of most political systems. Then coupled with the psychotic break that occurs in our inability to come to terms with our human frailties. We humans have very high ideals—oftentimes subjective, opinionated, rigid ideals—and very deep flaws.

But here’s what I’m seeing, the problem with using a word that has it’s own strong meaning in combination with another word that is intended to give it a different nuanced definition, is that original word can overshadow the intent of the phrase. Such is the case with the word narcissism. Obviously a better phrase is needed than narcissistic neurosis. Which brings me back to my original phrase – man in harmony with his environment but in disharmony with himself. Perhaps the definition needs to stop there? Or perhaps stopping there is too ambiguous? Too soon to tell.

The wonderful thing about being at the forefront of a genre and having this dialogue is that there is plenty of room to shape and morph the definition. As such, I’m sure that my definition will evolve with feedback.

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Zardoz, 1974

Does Solarpunk preclude Dystopian societies?

All day and tomorrow@Threadbare Apr 7 also said, “@SherylKaleo @stephan4770 Thinking about Ursula K LeGuin’s ‘The Disposessed’ here…”

Although @Threadbare was speaking more to the issue of narcissim versus utopian constructs like the one in LeGuin’s novel, this question made me pause and consider…Does solarpunk automatically mean the society has to utopian? Or is there room for dystopian societies?

Just because the world is clean and mankind is in harmony with his environment, does that preclude a utopian society? In the examples in the interview, Zardoz, 1974 could definitely be taken for a utopian society. But then again, the government in Demolition Man, 1993 is totalitarian and dystopian.

I guess to answer @Threadbare, I would say that solarpunk to me is man in harmony with nature and the environment, but in disharmony with himself. Whether this disharmony creates conflict in the form of man-versus-man as is the case with political systems, or man-versus-self as is the case with our inability to accept the consequences of being human, this phrase leaves room for both.

Last week I posed the question “#Solarpunk what would you do with www.solarpunk.COM and www.solarpunk.ORG? To vote/signup visit www.sherylkaleo.com/solarpunk/. If you haven’t voted on solarpunk.org and solarpunk.com, please go

Donor Shreya's Chronicles Book 1

DONOR (Shreya’s Chronicles Book 1) 2013 by Sheryl Kaleo

In 2013, I self-published my novel Donor on Kobo, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Amazon Author page, and All Romance eBooks.Donor is about a sixteen-year-old girl who discovers that everything she ever knew about her life is a lie. Donor chronicles Shreya’s journey from an ordinary sixteen-year-old girl living in upstate Louisiana to a fugitive on the run from the law, the unlawful, and those beyond any natural laws known to Humankind. For a peek at the series back cover click blurb.

What’s your working definition of Solarpunk?

DONOR Parts Simplified

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Donor Shreya's Chronicles Book 1

DONOR Shreya’s Chronicles Book 1

DONOR was first offered as a serialized novel in four parts as a way of introducing my novel to new readers. But what I found happening is that readers thought each part was a full novel unto itself. Now I see there were things I could have done differently to make it clearer. All in all, the effort was a great learning experience, but to make things simpler, I’ve decided to offer only the full novel. I may eventually try serializing another novel. It was fun releasing a book in parts. But right now with limited time to manage so many moving pieces, I’d decided to keep it simple.

Thank you to everyone who helped me learn so much from this wonderful experiment. The full novel DONOR can be found  on my  Amazon Author, Kobo, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble pages.

 

Donor Part 1 and Part 2 is on sale for $0.99 Everywhere!

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romance, solarpunk, YA, fantasy, sci-fi, futuristic, sheryl-kaleoDONOR Part 1: A Bat Out of Hell and DONOR Part 2: The Jeweled City are on sale for $0.99 at Smashwords, AllRomanceeBooks.com, Sheryl’s Amazon Author page,  Kobo, and Barnes & Noble.

You can also buy the full novel DONOR (Shreya’s Chronicles Book 1) with all four parts through Sheryl’s Amazon Author page,  Kobo, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble, AllRomanceeBooks.

Donor Shreya's Chronicles Book 1Donor (Shreya’s Chronicles Book 1) is a serialized novel broken into four parts. DONOR Part 1: A Bat Out of Hell is the first twenty chapters. The next twenty chapters of Donor can be found in Part 2: A Jeweled City, the next in Donor Part 3: A Silver Lined Grave, and and the story climaxes and concludes in Donor Part 4: The Heart of the Enemy.

Donor (Shreya’s Chronicles Book 1) features a kick butt heroine. Book 1 follows Shreya’s journey from an ordinary sixteen- year-old girl living in upstate Louisiana to a fugitive on the run from the law, the unlawful, and those beyond any natural laws known to Humankind.

Donor Part 3 is on sale!

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solarpunk, solar-punk, futuristic, fantasy, romance, Young-adult, YA

Part 3 of the serialized novel Donor

In Donor Part 3: A Silver-Lined Grave, When Mr. James and his Cyber Thugs find her in New York City, Shreya accepts the help of a boy to hide from them. Unfortunately, that means going deep down into New York’s subterranean tunnels where darkness is just a light switch away. Excerpt

Print length:  129, Word count: 40,000

 

DONOR is a  serialized SolarPunk fantasy romance that features a kick butt heroine who’s on the run from leechers, cyborg policemen, and human-trafficking thugs in a nonapocalyptic-yet-futuristic world. Parts 1 and 2 are currently available through her Amazon Author page.

The conclusion of the Donor serial Part 4: The Heart of the Enemy will be on sale in November 2013.

~ * ~

One drop of her blood

The moment when you realize sleeping without a nightlight did nothing to prepare you for the dark chasing you into daylight…?
Yeah. That.

Could start a war

Only when I face life on the run alone do I realize how well Mama trained me to protect myself. If only she’d had time to explain why her tears turned to crystals and what I’m destined to become.

And bring an end to Humankind

 Now I can trust no one, especially Enoch. This all started the day he showed up looking for me and he seems to be everywhere I go—before I get there. Is he one of the Undying? Or something Other? The answer may be my deliverance… or make me wish I were dead.

 ~ * ~

In Donor Part 1: A Bat Out of Hell, sixteen-year-old Shreya leaves her home and everything she loves to escape the Shadows and gets separated from her mother. Print length: 137 pages, Word count: 44,000,  Excerpt

In Donor Part 2: The Jeweled City , Shreya heads for New York to find answers about what she’s turning into and to hide from the Human traffickers chasing her. Print length:  132, Word count: 41,000, Excerpt

Shreya’s story continues in Donor Part 4:  The Heart of the Enemy (November  2013,  Word count: 48,000). Excerpt

For more books as they come available, visit Sheryl’s Amazon Author  page.

 

DONOR Part 2 is Out!

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SolarPunk, serialized, science-fiction, futuristic, young-adult, YA, sheryl-kaleo, fantasy

Donor Part 2: The Jeweled City

 

DONOR is a  serialized SolarPunk fantasy romance that features a kick butt heroine who’s on the run from leechers, cyborg policemen, and human-trafficking thugs in a nonapocalyptic-yet-futuristic world. Parts 1 and 2 are currently available through Amazon Kindle Select. Parts 3 and 4 will be coming out this week and the beginning of November.

 

 

In Donor Part 2: The Jeweled City , Shreya heads for New York to find answers about what she’s turning into and to hide from the Human traffickers chasing her. Print length:  132, Word count: 41,000

 

~ * ~

One drop of her blood

The moment when you realize sleeping without a nightlight did nothing to prepare you for the dark chasing you into daylight…?
Yeah. That.

Could start a war

Only when I face life on the run alone do I realize how well Mama trained me to protect myself. If only she’d had time to explain why her tears turned to crystals when we parted, and what I’m destined to become.

And bring an end to Humankind

 Now I can trust no one, especially Enoch. This all started the day he showed up looking for me and he seems to be everywhere I go—before I get there. Is he one of the Undying? Or something Other? The answer may be my deliverance… or make me wish I were dead.

 ~ * ~

In Donor Part 1: A Bat Out of Hell, sixteen-year-old Shreya leaves her home and everything she loves to escape the Shadows and gets separated from her mother. Print length: 137 pages, Word count: 44,000

Shreya’s story continues Donor Part 3: A Silver Lined Grave (October  2013,  Excerpt.  Word count: 41,000), and Donor Part 4: The Heart of the Enemy (November  2013, Excerpt. Word count: 48,000).

For more books as they come available, visit Sheryl’s Amazon page.

 

Don’t Buy This Book

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romance, solarpunk, YA, fantasy, sci-fi, futuristic, sheryl-kaleo

DONOR Part 1: A Bat Out of Hell

Please don’t buy my debut novel Donor Part 1: A Bat Out of Hellunless you want to read a YA SolarPunk Fantasy. Instead lend me your words…

If you’re a friend or a colleague that was the request you saw from me today in an email or in a post on my social media because your words mean more to me than money ever can. Instead of paying for a book that you or yours may never read, I’d rather you take a moment to mention it to someone. You don’t have to say much, simply saying, “Hey, a friend of mine (a friend of a friend, neighbor, colleague, some lady) has a SolarPunk book on Amazon for sale. Solarpunk’s a new genre—check it out. Search for Sheryl Kaleo or solarpunk  (one or two words is fine) in books on Amazon.”

Sure, if you really want to read about kick butt heroines who are on the run from leechers and cyborg policemen and human-trafficking thugs in a nonapocalyptic-yet-futuristic world, then please buy my book. And if, and only if, you do read my book… please share what you think. Just the truth is fine. If you’re a friend or colleague, please mention that you are. Most readers appreciate full disclosure and are savvy enough to know when someone’s really read the book and where that person is coming from in terms of his/her opinion.

But to my friends who aren’t interested in reading that sort of thing, save your money and tell someone, or even better, mention it to three people … or more if you like. Spread the word, that’s golden.

~ * ~

Donor Part 1: A Bat Out of Hell

One drop of her blood

The moment when you realize sleeping without a nightlight did nothing to prepare you for the dark chasing you into daylight…?
Yeah. That.

Could start a war

Only when I face life on the run alone do I realize how well Mama trained me to protect myself. If only she’d had time to explain why her tears turned to crystals when we parted, and what I’m destined to become.

And bring an end to Humankind

 Now I can trust no one, especially Enoch. This all started the day he showed up looking for me and he seems to be everywhere I go—before I get there. Is he one of the Undying? Or something Other? The answer may be my deliverance… or make me wish I were dead.

 ~ * ~

A Bat Out of Hell is book one in the serialized SolarPunk fantasy YA series DONOR.  Here’s an Excerpt and it’s available exclusively on Amazon’s Kindle Select. Look for Shreya’s continued adventures in Donor Part 2: A Jeweled City (available October 2013), Donor Part 3: A Silver Lined Grave (October  2013), and Donor Part 4: The Heart of the Enemy (October  2013).

For more books as they come available, visit Sheryl’s Amazon page.