Wednesday, January 29, 2014

MY BLOODY VALENTINE Anthology Releases February 10th!

Guess what guys!

I'm super excited to announce that I'm a part of the My Bloody Valentine anthology!

My Bloody Valentine is a mixed-genre anthology revolving around the theme that love hurts. And it does! I of course contributed a fantasy short. It's titled "Salt and Water" and is #6 of this excellent story lineup.

The anthology is set to release February 10 (my due date!) and will be available on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble.

Happy dance. :)

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Waiting Game

I'm waiting. Let me tell you this: getting an agent and a book deal does not put an end to writerly waiting. If
anything, you wait for more things from more people. It's all incredibly exciting and very stressful at the same time! And then, as soon as one things concludes, something else is added to the wait list. My heart! Hoping to hear on edits, covers, and other potential story outlets right now. Hopefully I'll have fingernails left by the time they conclude. ;)

And this baby. Waiting for this baby. Two weeks until the due date, but babies come early, sometimes. However, I'm positive this one is coming late, which means more waiting! I'm bouncing on yoga balls and taking walks and using all my willpower to get her to arrive in a timely fashion. I want my baby girl!

I am happy to say that, after much waiting, things with the author website are going smoothly. I'm so excited for the final product I can barely contain myself! I'm working with great people and I have high hopes. Right now we're in the beginning design stages, and I'm trying to figure out what on earth my banner should look like. Branding is hard. Hopefully the finished site will be user-friendly and cover all my bases (because if it doesn't you'll tell me, right?).

What are you waiting for?

Thursday, January 23, 2014

THE PAPER MAGICIAN Is Now Available for Preorder!


You can preorder my novel, The Paper Magician, on Amazon now. It doesn't have a cover* yet, but it's there. As in a real book. As in, If other people can see this URL, then all this is really happening and I'm not making it up.

I feel very lucky and very humbled that my writing is beginning to really bloom. A big thank you to everyone who's tagged along on this journey (not that it's even close to being over yet, or so I hope!).

You can preorder the Kindle ebook or the paperback if you're interested! The book is scheduled for release July 8th, 2014. :D

Happy days.

*This will hopefully be changing soon!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Website Conundrum

Every author needs an author website.

I've been looking into building mine, something outside of the blog. A lot goes into a website, and lucky me, I don't actually understand most of it. (I do know how to select a color scheme though. Go me.) I don't understand content management systems (I didn't even know what a content management system was until yesterday), I don't code, and it's been several years since I took any design courses. I'm not even sure how to go about getting a host server and a domain address, though fortunately I miraculously have the latter.

Obviously, I need to hire someone to build this site for me, and unfortunately I've hit a few setbacks, setting me more or less on square one. However, things are looking up, and I may have found someone who can put a decent site together for me, as well as an awesome friend who recently informed me that he's willing to host me for free! So hopefully these components will pan out and mix together into a beautiful salad of websitey bliss that won't break the bank.

As for my contributions... I have a fair idea of what pages I'd like on the site, and I'm hoping to integrate some commissioned art as well. With luck I might have the sucker up and running in a couple months, and maybe even have a cover to display for The Paper Magician by then. Fingers crossed.

What do you like to see in authors' websites? What snags have you hit in creating a site of your own?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

4.5 Weeks Left!

Four and a half weeks left until this little girl is due!

Click to super-size.

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Dreaded 8-Letter Word: Revision (And How to Do It)

This post was originally posted on Michael Pearce's blog on December 2, 2013. You can see the original post here.

With National Novel Writing Month behind us and that burst-of-life manuscript in-hand, many new writers ask themselves, “Now what?” What does one do with this novel now that it’s done?

It’s time to revise.

The art of revision is something I picked up bit by bit along the way, over the span of many novels. I learned a little here from books, a little there from conferences, a little more from writing groups, and a little everywhere from my undergraduate degree in English and editing.

What did I learn?

Revision isn’t easy. Even for an editor.

I used to revise my books all in one go—I’d read through my draft and fix everything at once: prose, characterization, plot holes, and so on. I wanted to get it done. And doing everything at once often made me lazy, made me put duct tape on problems that actually needed a new carburetor. Ultimately, my “finished” manuscripts were still wanting.

Revision takes time. And this is two-fold.

Time away from the book. Once that first draft is finished, put it down and walk away. Work on something else. Start chugging through your “to-read” list. Go on vacation. Basically, a first draft is like a bad fight with your boyfriend: once you two get some space, you can look at the problem(s) objectively. If you stay in the same room, the problem(s) will only escalate.

Time to make edits. You can’t revise everything in one pass. Be prepared to make multiple passes on your manuscript, with some cushion time between each one. Your first revision should focus on the big-picture things: plot holes, weak setting, character motivation, and the like. Focus on smaller things (a poorly-paced fight scene, for example) in the second pass. Save prose and proofreading for the end. There’s little more frustrating than editing your heart out on a chapter’s prose, only to have to scrap it later because it didn’t match Point A to Point B.

Revision is a social endeavor. No author can revise his book alone.

No matter how much space you and your manuscript take apart, there will always be mistakes you don’t
see, from awkward homonyms to misplaced technology (I have recently been guilty of both). Writers need critique partners. They need outside opinions. I personally have about nine or ten readers that I divide into two groups: the first is made of fellow writers who can help me nail the big problems with a book; the second is made of readers (and the occasional editor) who help me notice small discrepancies and poorly worded sentences.

If you’re worried about book/idea-stealing, then seek out readers from trusted friends or family. Or just do a poor man’s copyright and mail the manuscript to yourself beforehand (just don’t open it when it arrives). Though honestly, in most cases, the fear of having your ideas stolen are founded entirely in paranoia.

There’s nothing better than finishing a book . . . except when you actually finish it. Careful revising not only strengthens your story, it boosts your confidence. In the publishing world, writers must be their own salesman, and the better your product, the better your chances of success.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 in Review

The year 2013, overall, has been a very good one for me. I accomplished a lot this year and met several goals, as well as road out some bumpy roads. As far as writing goes, 2013 has been my strongest year yet!

In 2013, I...

  • Finally found a job after six months of unemployment
  • Sent FOLLOWED BY FROST to a small press that has turned out to be very promising
  • Signed with an agent
  • Got pregnant (it was planned; this is a good thing!)
  • Sold two books to 47North
  • Quit my day job after six months because while it paid well, the atmosphere was degrading
  • Made lots and lots of book revisions
  • Made fun of Congress for Halloween
  • Had a really bad cold that wonked out Thanksgiving plans
  • Got to spend lots of time at home with family for Christmas (I'm still here, actually)
  • Got my official editor-edits at the end of the year! I have nine more days to finish them. Eek!

Here's hoping 2014 is equally productive! Edits are due this month, Baby is due in February, and THE MATERIALS MAGICIAN is semi-due after that. I'm moving back to Utah (or so is the plan), have more revisions to do for EMPIRE, and trying to figure out what's what while being a mom. Hoping to go to more conventions and hopefully get on some panels, and hoping to make a few more sales. Excited to be close to my family again, and fingers crossed that Husband gets a good job (in Utah)!

Well, off to start the new year by spending money at baby stores.

What accomplishments or trials did you face in 2013? What are you looking forward to in 2014?