Tag Archives: writing

Writer Road Trip: Research

Unfortunately I’m not going to hit my NaNo goal this year, and even though that’s kind of a bummer, I’m still not overly upset about it. Not only did manage to more than double what I started with on my DarkHarte first draft, but I was also able to connect most of the dots, in terms of getting from the beginning to the end. There’s still a lot more to do, but I have a much better idea of what that entails, so overall I’m pretty pleased even if I’m not quite where I wanted to be.

Though I had to go out of town last minute (hence not hitting my writing goals), I did manage to make a cool writing related stop along the way. I realized, as I was driving that I’d be going through Richmond, VA and that it wouldn’t be out of my way to stop at the site of the Chimborazo Hospital. Though none of the original buildings exist, the site does have a museum with info about the original hospital, as well as some of the other Civil War hospitals in the area.

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By this point, you may be asking yourself what this has to do with anything. Fair enough question, to be sure. XD But the truth is that I’m considering a sequel to In Plain Sight. It’s only in the very early planning stages – as in I have a couple thoughts swimming around in my brain and that’s about it – but whenever I do get around to putting some words on paper, Chimborazo will feature prominently in at least part of it.

What was cool about stopping and, really, I’m so glad I did, is that I not only got to see the site, but I also got to talk to the gentleman on staff there and was able to run some of my thoughts by him. It’s one thing to think, well… I’m going to do this in my book and since it’s far enough removed from the actual time period, no one will ever know if it could really have happened that way or not. But in talking it out with him today, he confirmed that what I was thinking about was totally a possible scenario. YAY!!

He also pointed me to A Southern Woman’s Story by Phoebe Yates Pember, who was one of the chief matrons at the hospital. I’m looking forward to reading it, as it will also provide additional context for some of the things I have planned.

If by now you are also wondering exactly which character from IPS is sequel worthy… I’m not telling. At least not yet!! But you are welcome to guess.

Anyway… here’s some other pictures from my research trip. It was informative and a lot of fun.

 

PS… I’m still waiting word for when the audio version of In Plain Sight will be released. I’ll let you know as soon as I get the details, but it should be out just in time for last minute gift giving!!

 

Being a Busy Little Bee

Know it’s been a bit quiet on the homefront, but honestly if it’s November, most of us a NaNo-ing anyways, right?!

With that in mind, I’ve been making good progress on getting a full first draft of my next book – DarkHarte – completed. It’s a fantasy and you can read a brief excerpt here. Those dreaded middle sections are the bane of my existence, but I’m slogging my way through and have every confidence that I will get it done.

In other exciting news, I’ve just received word that the audio version of In Plain Sight is done!!! Once it’s been through the final review process it will be available through Audible and on iTunes. I’m hoping that it will be out before Black Friday, but either way it will be ready before the Holidays. As soon as it’s live, I will let you all know!!

Well, that’s it for now. Happy writing!! 🙂

 

 

An Editor’s Work Is Never Done

Take notice… this is why we always order a proof copy first!!

corrections

I really thought I was done editing, but as I was reading through, I found a lot more issues than I was expecting. Thankfully, most of it was minor stuff – spacing, a few random typos, duplicated words in short proximity, etc… I mean, it was probably fine as it was, but if I noticed them, I’m sure someone else would have too.

I expect that there are still things I’ve missed (and once it’s released, if you find something please let me know), but at this point I really think I’ve done just about as much as I can to it. Of course, I thought that before too.

What? I’m a perfectionist. I can’t help it. XD

 

Cover Art Revealed…

Despite earlier predictions, I’ve been a busy little bee these last couple months. Not only was I able to complete the editing of In Plain Sight, but after considering all my various options, I have decided to go ahead and publish it myself, rather than continue to attempt a more traditional route. While there are benefits to traditional publishing, as an author, you still end up doing a lot of the same things (in terms of marketing) and so, if I have to do most of the work anyways, I’d rather not share the rewards with anyone else. While I’m getting everything ready to go – and I will announce the release date very soon – I thought I’d give you a little teaser and reveal the awesome new cover art for the book.

I am so thrilled with this. I don’t even have the words to express myself properly. I was so worried, because I knew what I wanted (in my head), but had no idea how it would translate to the finished look and the artist – it’s like they could read my mind. It’s perfect, and I hope you all love it as much as I do.

So, without further ado…

In Plain Sight

Read an excerpt.

In Which I Have A Life…

So… I’m very much a homebody, which suits me rather well most of the time. However, this weekend, I spent three whole days going Illogicon, which is a SciFi convention that was being held not too far from where I live. Typically I don’t go to such things, but my favorite author (Jacqueline Carey) was one of the guests of honor, so I HAD TO GO!!!

I’m not going to fangirl too much here, but if you are interested in how that part went, you can read about on my Tumblr (here and here).

In addition to various SciFi topics and authors, there were also some panels on writing and publishing, so I thought I would share some of the highlights.

On Friday I started at the All Roads Lead to… panel, which was a discussion about the various options we have for publishing: self-pub vs small/independent pub vs traditional/large pub houses, along with the pros and cons of each. Lots of great information, and probably one of the most important things that I learned, was that no matter which route you go, you are likely still going to have to do a lot of your own work, in terms of marketing and promoting. A thank you to author Michael G. Williams and Lynn McNamee of Red Adept Publishing, for their insight.

Also on Friday, I went to a reading by author Natania Barron, who I had not heard of before, but highly recommend others go and check out. The reading that she did was a submission from the Kaiju Rising anthology, but she also has a several other books, including Pilgrim of the Sky, which is now on my “to read” list.

Saturday I had to work, so didn’t get to do much other than go to a reading by Jacqueline Carey <insert fangirl swoon>, but Sunday, again had several panels on various topics, two of which revolved around “worldbuilding.” The first was more focused on the use of religion and mythology when writing (and doing it well vs epic fails), the second was worldbuilding in general and what sort of things are essential to ensuring that the readers are fully immersed in the world that you are creating. In both, the key seems to be research and making sure that (as the author) one knows all the details, even if those details are never used on the page, and not to ignore logistics. Things don’t just happen, and there are a million little things that we do and see daily that are essential parts of our world, even if we don’t fully acknowledge them – these are important when building a cohesive world for your readers.  In addition to Jacqueline Carey, also big thank you to authors Debra Killeen, Natania Barron, Misty Massey, Ada Milenkovic Brown, Gail Z. Martin, Clay Griffith, Thomas A. Mays and Chris Kennedy for giving such great discussion on the topics presented.

Also on Sunday, was the You’ve Finished Your First Draft, Now What panel, which discussed editing and getting feedback, along with the pros and cons of using critique groups. Another big thank you to authors Clay and Susan Griffith, Terri-Lynne Smiles and Betty Cross for their insight.

Anyhoo… had a lot of fun, but now I’m going to go sleep for a week to recover!! XD

Packing for Camp…

roasting-marshmallows

Or you know… grabbing a blanket, and some chips and moving the ten or so feet from my bed to my desk. XD

It’s just about time for the July session of Camp NaNoWrimo, and as it’s become abundantly clear that I can’t keep to any sort of writing schedule unless I have at least the semblance of accountability, I will be participating again this go around. If anyone wants to join me, or needs a bit of extra support/motivation to get through the month, feel free to add me over there and we can sweat it out together.

I’ll probably have some excerpts of the newest project up on Book Country within the next couple weeks for feedback. I’ll post more on that when the time comes.

Outside of camp preparations, I’ve been working on doing some final editing on In Plain Sight, so that I can get ready to send off some query letters. Exciting and nerve wracking… all at the same time!!

 

Fun While It Lasted…

All things eventually come to a end, it’s a fairly inevitable part of life. Sad to say, in this case – I did not make it through to the semi-finals of the ABNA, which as I mentioned previously wasn’t entirely unexpected, despite the somewhat positive PW review.

Anyways, still extremely happy to have made it as far as I did. It’s been a great experience, and looking forward to potentially doing it again sometime in the future. In the meantime, I’ll continue to do some last minute editing on In Plain Sight, and then start sending off some query letters, so I can get this baby published.

Thank you again to everyone who has stuck with me on this awesome journey. I truly appreciate everything you all have done for me. Would never have gotten this far without you!!  ❤ ❤

 

*squeeeeeeeeeeeee*

(actual approximation of the sounds I was making… I swear… along with quite a bit of screaming and manic giggling)

It’s a question I posed before, and now I’ll pose it again (and maybe if I’m REALLY, REALLY lucky I can do it again in June)…

GUESS WHO MADE IT TO THE QUARTER-FINALS IN THE ABNA CONTEST?!!!!!

quarter finals

I’m seriously so excited, and nervous and excited and nervous – being this happy should not make one’s belly feel so funky!! Still a long way to go, but a whole lot closer than I thought I’d ever get.

You guys are awesome!! ❤

 

Writing Is Hard

 

I’ll admit that I’m struggling just a bit. I didn’t go into this fully prepared, didn’t have any sort of outline, or even a fully fleshed out plot to work with. While I’ve managed to throw something together, still getting from point A to Z (and all stops in between) is proving to be a lot harder than it should be. I know more or less where I’m going, and what needs to happen to get there, but OMG… there just are no words. Nothing… Nada…

Part of it, I think still has to do with my issues over point of view, and the related issue of past tense vs present, which others in my Camp NaNo cabin brought up today as well, so at least it’s comforting to know I’m not the only one. The other part (as I mentioned to a friend the other night), is that my MC has been more or less out of it for the last 10 years – it’s not like she’s just going to jump out of that raring to go. It’s going to be somewhat slow going, which unfortunately, at least up to this point is boring as hell.

Currently the whole thing reads like an overly detailed diary, and I figure if it’s got me reaching for the snooze button, I can’t really expect anything better from anyone who might be unfortunate enough to read it. So at some point there will clearly be massive amounts of editing going on, otherwise this whole project will just end up a footnote in the history of epicly fail-tastic story telling. For now though, I’m going to keep muddling through, and fighting the good fight.

But srsly gaiz… writing is hard!! XD

Bonus points: what sort of things do you do when you feel like what you are writing is total shit, but you don’t necessarily want to abandon it completely?