The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #37: Guest Spot with Author Kelly St. Clare

Episode #37: Prince – In Memory and Guest Q & A with Fantasy Author Kelly St. Clare

Before we get to the podcast today, a note on Prince’s passing.  It took me three tries of recording the intro to not sound totally down in the dumps, so I apologize in advance if I sound more sedate.

* I refer to interviews Prince did in the podcast – they were rare, but you can find some on youtube.  This is part of a thoughtful interview where he talks about mentorship, having high standards held to you, and the value of persistence.  Good talk!  

Prince was one of those people who a true artist in every sense of the word – difficult to categorize, independent, someone who paved his own way.  Though many tried to emulate him later, he was always a hard performer to cover.  There was always such a unique flair to the multi-instrumentalist from Minnesota with such range to his voice and the presence and swagger to pull off wearing heels and ruffled shirts.  So, Prince, truly, “Nothing Compares 2 U.”  He was his own man and showed us what it meant to be an individual in a world where conformity ultimately often becomes the path of least resistance for most people.

So long, thank you, and may the rain color purple coming down from the heavens.


#RIPPrince – click on the photo above for an extended live version of “Purple Rain.”


On a happier note, welcome, Kelly and your readers, to the podcast.  Kelly St. Clare and her books have been featured on this blog a number of times (e.g. see her post on her experiences with Thunderclap).   It was also Kelly who suggested George Sirois, who was on last week, for the show – so thank you.  (That show, which I think is the longest yet, can be found here).  For those of you who may be new to her work, here’s a link to an interview she did to give you more info.

Kelly St. Clare

Click on Kelly’s photo above to be taken to her Goodreads profile.

Click on the books above to be taken to Kelly’s Amazon profile to check out her books.
Website: – there, you can join her exclusive club (can I call it that, Kelly? =) for updates and well, exclusive stuff you can’t find elsewhere
-Wattpad: – get a great introduction to Kelly’s work by reading Fantasy of Frost, the first book in her (soon to be) tetrology free on Wattpad.  You can find more samples of her other books on her website.



The last clip of the song I’m working on now, “Song of an Unsung Hero” (which takes its name from a poem in the novel, The Thirteenth Hour), has lyrics here.  Stay tuned for more info in the coming weeks!

You can find more about The Thirteenth Hour soundtrack on bandcamp or on Instagram @the13thhr.ost.

Thanks for listening!


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  • Interested in reading and reviewing The Thirteenth Hour for a free book?  Just email me at for more details!




The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #29: Censorship, Children vs. Adults, and Raffle Winner

Episode #29: What age group is The Thirteenth Hour for?

-I get asked this question occasionally and am still refining my answer, which is generally, “adult, though teens over 16 may enjoy it as well.”  The only ones who generally seem interested in the answer are parents or grandparents not interested in the book for themselves but as a present for the children in their lives.  I feel it’s better to let them know what to expect first rather than have them surprised when little Johnny lets them know that someone in the book said, “oh, shit!”

That said, there are no f-bombs (sort of the king of English curse words), but, in the fine tradition of the 80s movies from which it drew inspiration, there are a few four letter words sprinkled in the text for emphasis.  No one has sex, either on or off the page.  No one loses a head or has organs ripped out.  But there are some fight scenes, as well as some introspective narrative passages on more adult-oriented things like growing older, waxing nostalgic for the seeming simplicity and innocence of childhood, the inevitable regrets along the way, the aftermath of traumatic experiences, the complicated and halting way romantic relationships start, and the struggle to become one’s own person … stuff that may not necessarily be the most interesting to an eight year old.  I sometimes say that if it were a movie, it’d probably get a PG-13 rating, which coincidentally, is what the movie The Martian is rated, and that does have a few f-bombs 🙂

Anyway, sometimes I think we protect children in very weird ways (e.g. banning books and other kinds of media).  But that is a different topic altogether and dangerously close to real world activism, which this corner of the internets strives to steer away from.

Onto other things …

-Although I’ve had guests on the show before (e.g. authors Lo-arna Green and Coreena McBurnie), I’ve not had live guests yet.  That is, until next week, when my brother, who writes about video games, will be joining me live!  We’ll be discussing the video games we tried to make when we were kids (as I discussed previously in this post which has a collection of Tomb Raider sprites I made for a game I never finished).

Starving Artist section: make some passive $$ by watching videos on your phone (you don’t have to watch ’em!) on Swagbucks!  See this guide on Reddit for the apps you’ll need to get in order to maximize your points: 

-Lastly, today I announce the winner of last week’s raffle hosted by Kelly St. Clare, chosen at random by the gods in the Rafflecopter machine:

Jeremy J., you’re the big winner! (You’ll be receiving an email from me with more info).  Congratulations!

As always, thanks for listening!


Win a Free Copy of The Thirteenth Hour

You can win a free Kindle copy of The Thirteenth Hour in this rafflecopter that author Kelly St. Clare was kind enough to host on her site:

Enter the Raffle Here!

Not sure what this is all about?  Inspired by 80s fantasy, scifi, and teen movies, The Thirteenth Hour is a fairy tale for adults about growing up, staying young, and finding the unsung hero inside.  And you can get a copy free by entering this free raffle.  There are a few little tasks to do that helps determine who wins.  You’ll be awarded points depending on what you choose to do. Some activities are worth more than others. The more points you get, the higher your chances of winning!

For example, tweeting a message earns you 1 point. Leaving a comment below an article on Kelly’s site gets you 2. Subscribing to the free weekly podcast on iTunes yields 3 points, and so on.  You’ll see when you enter the raffle.  All activities are pretty painless, and none require to do anything idiotic like give your phone number, credit card info, or the usual internet marketing rigmarole.

The contest runs for a week, until 2/29!  Good luck!


The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #28: 80s Movies Part 2 – Teen Movies

Episode #28: 80s Teen Movies, Author Coreena McBurnie Reading

Man, this was a super long episode.  I guess I got carried away talking about the 80s teen movies 🙂  Anyway, these were all influences, one way or another, for The Thirteenth Hour and the themes running through the book (i.e. figuring yourself out while straddling the line between childhood and adulthood, then trying to find your way in a seemingly inhospitable world).

-More on the writer of many of these films, the late, great John Hughes, as remembered by a teenage penpal he kept correspondence with for a number of years.

-Movies discussed (that link to Youtube clips):

Sixteen Candles 

-always loved the song at the end (done by The Thompson Twins)

The Breakfast Club

great scene – Bender falls through the ceiling – cracks me up every time!

Some Kind of Wonderful

-Ahh, first kisses.  Something special about them, especially when it’s with a longtime friend.

-As an aside, the John Hughes film Pretty in Pink was similar in some ways, but the genders were switched and had a great ending song by OMD.

Real Genius

-The great ending song by Tears for Fears

-Speaking of ending songs, The Thirteenth Hour is getting its own 80s-style ending song soon!  Details to come.  Watch for it on the soundtrack page on bandcamp!

-Ever want to learn to throw playing cards?  Now you can learn to throw like Logan from The Thirteenth Hour with, well, a handmade Thirteenth Hour throwing card kit.  Available on eBay.

Kelly St. Clare, who recently wrote a post here about her experiences with the social media crowd blasting site Thunderclap, has been kind enough to host a raffle for free copies of The Thirteenth Hour on her site starting 2/22 (today)!

-Guest reading by historical fantasy author Coreena McBurnie from Prophecy, a novel about Antigone, from the Greek myth Oedipus Rex.  Welcome to the podcast and thank you for sharing a segment of your work!


-Starving Artist section: make some passive $$ by watching videos on your phone (yo udon’t have to watch ’em!) – Checkpoints

As always, thanks for listening!



The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #27: Special Edition – Podcasting for Authors

Episode #27: Podcasting for Authors

This is an episode that breaks a little from my so-called tradition of talking about escapist entertainment and discusses things that may actually have, well … practical use to you if you’re an aspiring writer or artist.

This past week, fantasy author Kelly St. Clare was kind enough to host an article I did on podcasting as easily and cheaply as possible.  (If you haven’t checked out her great series, The Tainted Accords, do yourself a favor and do so!)  She, in turn, discussed her recent experience with the social media crowd speaking site, Thunderclap.

In any event, this particular episode touches on some of the material in the post above.  But whereas the post walks you through the creation of a podcast, this audio clip is more of a dialogue about why podcasting may be of help to you as an author/artist and discusses some suggestions about what you can do with it as a platform (e.g. interviews with guests, behind-the-scenes stories, influences, etc).

I reference the article “1000 True Fans” by Kevin Kelly in the podcast.  It’s talked a lot about in marketing circles, and folks like Tim Ferriss often cite it as a model for developing a dedicated following.  On a smaller scale, working towards a dedicating podcast following has the potential to accomplish much the same thing in a way that’s more difficult to achieve with traditional social media, which can be more superficial and ADHDish.

Stay tuned for more on this subject in the future, as well as a live guests on the podcasts!

Lastly, Kelly St. Clare was kind enough to host an upcoming rafflecopter giveaway for The Thirteenth Hour on her site.  Stay tuned for more info in the coming days.



Today, fellow fantasy author Kelly St. Clare, author of the Tainted Accords series, and I are doing post swaps.  I’m doing a post on podcasting for her site, and she’s writing about her recent experience with Thunderclap for the recent release of her third novel, Fantasy of Fire.  Given that we both did Thunderclaps around the same time, I was excited to know what Kelly’s experience was like.  Thanks, Kelly, for sharing your thoughts!  Those of you considering doing Thunderclaps in the future will definitely find her insights helpful.  


Thunderclap was founded in 2009 and has gained popularity in the last two years. The site claims to help “Generate major awareness for event announcements.” In a nutshell, anyone can start a campaign by creating a message for their event; a concert, book launch. Object of the game: To collect at least 100 supporters over Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr so your message is sent once via your supporter’s social media.


Setting up your Thunderclap

The process to create your own campaign is straight forward. You head to and click ‘Start a Thunderclap’ – It requires you to create an account (free) and you have the option to make a profile. You will also need a Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr account.

After this you need to create a message. Luckily, this is easy as well, with the examples provided by other authors and artists.

Once completed, you will be given an option to select whether your campaign is small, medium, or large. Respectively, you will need to get 100, 250, or 500 supporters. Depending on your audience, select the appropriate size. Remember, it’s hard to get followers to actively support a link! As a guide, I have 350+ subscribers, 800+ facebook likes, and 2500 twitter followers, and I selected the small campaign (100 supporters). Because herein lies the catch. If you do not get your pre-selected amount of supporters, your message will not be sent out. In other terms: If only 99 people support you, no thunderclap.

Tip: Include a couple of hastags in your message.


Promoting your Thunderclap

You have your campaign. Now you need to gain supporters. Below is a list of what worked well for me with my young adult fantasy readers.


  • Lengthy messages to explain what a Thunderclap were less effective than posts with short messages. My most effective post message was “I need more clicks. Time is running out!”
  • I got a higher rate of supporters from my viewers sharing posts (i.e. A viewer shared my post and their friends then supported my campaign).
  • My posts were more successful when I specified supporting was free.
  • Making Thunderclap support a condition of entry into a small giveaway gave me 1/5 of my campaign goal (I offered an e-book).

It is HARD to get people to do more than a simple ‘Like’ or ‘Retweet.’ Remember, you are competing against everyone else who needs support; the marathon runners, those with sickness, and charities. These are worthwhile campaigns! And it means your followers are probably overwhelmed with requests to help on a day-to-day basis.

But with any self-made luck you will get there. Once you have achieved the minimum amount of supporters, Thunderclap will send you a message saying your campaign is 100% successful. Celebrate when this happens, because you will be one hundred percent over Thunderclap by this point.

Tip: If you are struggling for numbers, check out the facebook and goodreads groups dedicated to supporting thunderclaps.


Did My Thunderclap Campaign Help My Event?

I managed to convince 104 people to support me. This gave me a ‘Social Reach’ of 133,995 across Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.

My message was sent out and…

Top rankings: 662 paid listing (#3 Bestseller in Dark Fantasy, #11 Bestseller in Adventure)

Which is great! But the total clicks from my Thunderclap Campaign…

Total clicks: 242

Now, this is where Thunderclap tells you to upgrade in order to get your campaign analyzed. It was $45 to do so – needless to say for 242 clicks I chose not to. Without the analysis, all you will get is number of supporters, social reach, and total clicks.

What does 242 Total Clicks translate to?

Best case scenario for my Thunderclap campaign: 242 downloads (DL) of my new release.

Let’s compare this to other campaigns I have done for nearly zero effort or a small fee.

– Amazon Free promotion day: 4700 DL, with increased sales for 2 weeks afterward.

– Book Promotion Sites (Awesomegang, bookbub, kboard) priced between $10-$30. Result: 300-1000+ discounted DLs.



242 clicks. Better than nothing! But was it worth the effort of promoting and – although not spending actual money – spending the time to generate supporters? Time which could be spent writing and…well, earning money!

But who cares? Because when I was promoting my Thunderclap I was still promoting my book! Right? To test this theory I analyzed my facebook statistics.


NORMAL PROMOTION POST (with review excerpt and buy link): 177-200 reader views.

(NB: A small giveaway increased numbers of both THUNDERCLAP and NORMAL posts)

Looking at the above, Thunderclap campaign posts were seen by less than a third of readers than my usual posts.

There is no doubt that 242 clicks to my Amazon page would have helped my rankings there. And these clicks may have resulted in sales. However, I feel this effect would be negligible when compared to my pre-order numbers and other release day promotions.

 The real question is: Do I think my Thunderclap campaign was worth it? Or, better yet, would I do it again?

No to both.

Perhaps results vary between different professions. Perhaps a change of message would result in more clicks. Or maybe if it was sent at a different time of day and time. Maybe a different picture. Maybe if the first in a series were promoted (I did my third book) then the results would be better. Seeing as I made no mention of the series placement in my message, I doubt this. However, these are all variables which could potentially increase the Total Clicks.

The Total Click yielded was pitifully small considering the Social Reach. And the work I did to generate support was not as effective as my normal posts which contained direct buy links.

You now have the details of my experience with Thunderclap, so the decision is yours. Will you be Thunderclapping your next release?

If you enjoyed this post, then please check out my other Dear Aspiring Author blogs.

Thank You to Joshua Blum for having me!

Kelly St. Clare

Kelly St. Clare

Author Biography

When Kelly St Clare is not reading or writing, she is lost in her latest reverie. She can, quite literally, drift past a car accident while in the midst of her day dreams, despite the various police sirens and chaos. 

Books have always been magical and mysterious to her. One day she decided to start unravelling this mystery and began writing. Her aim: To write stories she would want to read. As it turns out, this failed miserably. Do you know what it is like to read something you’ve written? Impossible. Not to mention, the ending is ruined before you’ve begun. Never-the-less, Kelly loves it and wishes she had more time to squeeze it in between her day job as a physiotherapist.

Fantasy of Frost, the first title in The Tainted Accords, is her debut novel. Two of the three sequels, Fantasy of Flight and Fantasy of Fire, are now available. 

A New Zealander in origin and in heart, Kelly currently resides in Australia with her soon-to-be husband, a great group of friends, and some huntsman spiders who love to come inside when it rains. Their love is not returned.

Follow her via Newsletter at, and find her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

If you would like to read her coming-of-age epic fantasy novel, Fantasy of Frost, then you can view it here. Or read the first five chapters on Wattpad.