Featuring information for independent authors looking for guidance on marketing, editing and publishing their works; including tips on how best to use free resources and maintain motivation as you take your writing from hobby to profession.
So where have I been and where’s that book I promised you – a year ago?
Truth of the matter is, my dear dedicated reader, that it’s been a long nasty road that I’m not done traveling yet and I can confirm has been seeded liberally with landmines. The gist of it? I picked up a part time job because editing is expensive. Various important appliances (computers, cars, you know the things I need to live) have broken down and been jury rigged into a state of “please don’t die just yet.” My grandmother has had a stroke, recovered and gone home, had another and resigned herself to hospice care for what will very possibly be the rest of her life. Mom made great strides in her own health that all came crashing down like a castle of cards as soon as her mother got sick and I didn’t help matters much by immediately catching a flu so bad it reminded us both that people can still die from the common cold.
It’s been bad, dear dedicated, and it’s likely nowhere near done being bad just yet. While I’ve been occupied with all of that I’ve gone and let this vital lifeline grow dangerously thin and that’s not helped matters one bit. A writer that isn’t writing is a very unstable and hazardous person indeed. So in the interest of getting healthier (while still recovering from that monster flu) I’m preping “Toxic Ash” for paperback release and working on the rewrites of “Tasting Ash.” It’s slow going, a little like an athlete that’s been out of competition for a long while, gained a bit of a gut and a lot of self hate, before finally starting to train again more for their sanity than for any love of the game itself.
I don’t love editing. Editing is a very special kind of hell that’s only true competition is the dreaded formatting for paperback publication that will come next. But there’s a very special kind of healing magic to be found in reading your old work over again. A kind of wonder and ego boosting pride to read a few pages that aren’t half bad and realize that maybe you don’t suck half as bad as the mangled manuscript you’ve been wrestling with off and on for a year has led you to believe. That maybe, just maybe, you can polish this old turd into a diamond after all. You’re not entirely sure of the exact alchemy you’ll have to perform, to transform turds to diamonds, but there before you is the proof that you’ve done it before and you’ll do it again and again and again.
Posts have been few and far between for a while now, culminating in a long period of seeming silence. I haven’t updated anyone on what’s going on with the books or posted anything of use on the blog, facebook, twitter or tumblr. A few particularly astute readers have taken the time to track me down and demand answers but I’ve been cagey even then.
The truth of the matter is, many nasty things have happened in the last six months or so added up with recurring bouts of problems with my hands and fingers that have really put a hurt on my writing work. Not all of what’s happen only concerns me and my affairs so I’m not even at the liberty to divulge them all (except for the knowledge that my Grandmother had a stroke earlier this month – and we’re lucky that she’s recovering nicely) that have left me psychically and mentally fatigued.
I keep trying to put off saying that I’m exhausted, depressed and looking at a complete rewrite for “Tasting Ash.” Shortening the projected story line has ruined the flow and it needs serious work before I can release it to anyone. Meanwhile I’ve lost one of my first readers to mysterious (and worrisome) circumstances. I’ve also been casting about for a new editor to go over the second books in both the Eldritch Elysium series and The Four Horsemen series, in preparation to committing them both to paperback.
All in all I’m a bit overwhelmed and tired, I had some awesome plans for the new year (setting up a proper newsletter, taking the site to it’s own page, offering up a few ecourses on self publishing) but now I’m cutting my project list waaay back and just trying to keep my head above water for the nonce. Books will be published, stories will be written – it’s just going to take a lot more time and right now I feel like I’m at the bottom of the hill looking up with a giant boulder in front of me that needs pushing.
Tomorrow I’m giving away free copies of “Toxic Ash” on Amazon. It’s a rare chance to nab copies of the second novel of the series for freeso I hope you jump on the chance
When you dance with the Devil – there’s Hell to pay…
Somehow Ash survived Nevada but now it’s time to clean up the mess she made in the process. Her contract is up for review and if she wants to avoid a fatal cancellation, she’s going to have to do something to prove her usefulness to The Company and delve deeper into a world of madness in the process.
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I’ve decided to shake my posting schedule up a bit and was thinking of posting story excerpts on Mondays.These lovely little writing samples can range from a sentence to a page and will be from novels and shorts, sometimes with pictures but probably far more often without. Just a little taste for the readers of my blog who are, well, readers and not interested in all the blech and blargle of being an novelist. Luckily for me, this idea also happened to coincide with my birthday and a lovely bit of fan art from one of my readers!
So I’ll be kicking the Monday Bon Mots off with an extra special bang.
As she slipped into sleep that last image, something she had not seen but somehow had, seemed to color her dreams. If ‘dream’ was even the word for the terrible lucid journey she seemed thrown into.
Only a moment seemed to pass from the memory of the shadow and then Ash was rising from her bed, wearing not the usual comfy shirt but some far more lengthy nightgown. Slipping forth on bare feet, Ash rushed from her rooms – not into the half familiar hallway but into another room entirely. Onward her feet carried her, slipping not from room to hallway but from room to room, some of them tucked into the others in odd ways only reachable through doorways hidden in plain view; this one was behind a large oil painting, to get to that one Ash had to open a giant grandfather clock and dodge the pendulum, and the next was simply a wall with a hidden catch that swung open on a pivot and revealed not one other room but two…
It’s New Year’s Eve and many people around the world are going to be dressing up to head out and party through midnight. However if you’re like me then the only thing on your mind is what quiet little corner you’re going to take refuge in and what awesome new book you’re going to spend the entire day with. After all, New Years Eve is the one day of the year when no one will look cross eyed at you when you come in bleary eyed the next day.
So, for the readers looking to start the new year off right I’ve got some awesome books suggestions to help you ring in the New Year with. Starting with “Toxic Ash,’ of course which was released just in time for Christmas.
When you dance with the Devil – there’s Hell to pay… Somehow Ash survived Nevada but now it’s time to clean up the mess she made in the process. Her contract is up for review and if she wants to avoid a fatal cancellation, she’s going to have to do something to prove her usefulness to The Company and delve deeper into a world of madness in the process.
If you signed up for email alerts you already know this but for the rest of you, I went ahead and released “Toxic Ash,” updated the blog, Facebook and all the relevant hoodads – and then just because I wasn’t feeling like enough of an over achiever I went ahead and made this:
Seems like it’s been forever since I’ve been able to sit down and connect to the internet from the comfort of my own home! Of course, while I’ve been away I haven’t been idle – I’ve been working tirelessly on getting “Toxic Ash” ready for release.
I am finally done with the draft on “Toxic Ash.” Now it’s time for – everything else. Right now it feels like writing the thing was the easy part and that was damned hard. I haven’t sent out an email blast yet, since the publication date isn’t settled – lots of edits need to happen first and I can’t rush a single one of them.
It’s been a while. I’ve been busy swimming through the depression (I refuse to call a block) that comes with realizing what I thought was the last chapter needs to be deleted entirely and as many as three more added to my novel before I can safely call it done. I want “Toxic Ash” to be done. I need it to be done. I need to curl up with my book and a pot of tea and catch up with my characters properly, like old friends – but before that can happen: three. More. Chapters.