Wednesday, December 5, 2018

#IWSG--Year end

Welcome to another chapter of the Insecure Writer's Support Group--join us!

 I'm going to take this chance to look back at 2018 in my writing world. Insecurities can build from the past and how we view it, so might as well face it head on.

This year I'd planned on getting four novels and one novella out. Now, these weren't all NEW writing. One book was done and in edits, another almost done. So two brand new books, and one finish up & edit, one edit, and one brand new novella for an anthology.

Pretty ambitious, if I do say so myself--especially with that full time day job.

I didn't make it.

I got out three books and the novella. I'm still writing the fourth and since it was so late it's looking like a spring release.

And I'm fine with it.

Years ago, I'd be freaked, or at the least feel like a failure. Or would have tried to destroy myself and write a bad book just to meet my self imposed deadline. Nope. I'm still damn proud of what I did accomplish. And this book I'm working on is the final Lost Ancients book--so there is no way I'm playing fast and loose with it. Just like Defiant Ruin which came out in October was the final book in the Asarlai Wars trilogy. I took my time with it (and got banned from Amazon pre-orders for a year for my diligence. Eh, I'm okay with that too.).

I also gained an agent this year. She's the one who will look at audio and foreign rights (you know anyone who wants those, I can send you her way ;)). She'll also see about possibly selling a few new projects to trads next year when they're ready. There's no way I'd give up self-publishing --but a good trad contract can help build exposure. Emphasis on good. If that doesn't happen, they will be coming out my way. Advantage of having a number of successful indie books out--I know it can be done. I'm not going to look at a bad offer just to get my books out there.

That sort of describes 2018 writing-wise for me. I have nine books and a novella out. I KNOW I can do this. I also now know it's the journey of doing it that's important. 

Happy IWSG day!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018


Welcome to the monthly round-up of writers known as the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Join us!

This being November, aka NaNoWriMo month, this will be short--I need to save my words to get the book done!

Today I wanted to talk about how my creativity has changed since I first started (yes, that's a prompt from IWSG ;)).

I've been writing a very long time, so going back to the very beginning would be painful...and I probably forgot it anyway ;).

 For me the changes occurred as I gained confidence that there were total strangers out there who enjoyed my work and as my skill grew (yes, I am going back to those olden days I said I couldn't recall ;)).  The better I understood craft, the easier it was to let my creativity grow.

It's easier to be creative and wild with skills to back it up ;).

I'd say over all, my creativity might not have changed--but my ability to access it has :)

Happy IWSG Day!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The importance of readers- Tom and Libby

This blog came up because a few folks have asked me who Tom & Libby are. They are in the dedication for Defiant Ruin (go check your copy, I'll wait ;)).

Tom and Libby were an amazing couple of a certain age who loved books. And they loved supporting authors and their favorite bookstore, Mysterious Galaxy. They were there at the first event I signed at, a larger local author signing mixer. They were both tiny and the type of folks you would love for grandparents. Smart, articulate, interested in life.

They bought my first book and only wanted it signed because it was a "collectors item". They were so sweet and excited for me to start my writing career--and they had just met me. I seriously thought about them and how happy they made a scared, brand new author feel for weeks.

They were at almost every event and Mysterious Galaxy would bring out very nice chairs for them to sit up front. They'd buy a book, chat, and just be amazing.

I don't even know their last name.  And honestly, it doesn't matter.

Those two really made an impact on me as an author and as a person I'd like to be.

A few months ago, Mysterious Galaxy announced they had both passed away. I don't know from what, I'd like to think they both went peacefully in their sleep. I know I wasn't the only person who was impacted by their loss. They were a special couple. They loved books. They loved authors.

RIP Tom and Libby--I hope you are surrounded by books and loved ones.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

#IWSG--Never gets easier

Welcome to the Insecure Writer's Support Group blog run! Writers from all across the globe band together one day a month and shout our fears and hopes into the great void!  Join us!

Along with being IWSG day, this is also the book birthday for my ninth book. I started in March 2015 and am now at nine.

Boggles the mind.

I know there are writers out there who are actually much faster than me, but I grew up as a writer when the only option was traditional publishing--and that meant IF you got a contract, you had one book a year max. (Good for publishers, not so much for authors). So, nine books in three and a half years is pretty freaking wild to me. 

I'd love to say it's all wonderful and easy now. That I just float along dropping out books and everything is lovely....*BUZZ*. Nope.

This book should have been out months ago. But I just couldn't get my act together in terms of stress, doubt, fear (this was the final book in a trilogy--that was SCARY!). I am now in "Amazon jail" in that I can't do a pre-order for a year. I woke up this morning freaking out that either it didn't go out, the file was wrong, it came to life and ate all my readers....yeah, fear is never rational.

It appears to be the right file. I had it on pre-order which means a place holder is put up until the final file is live...unfortunately, no matter what you do, there's a chance the wrong file will be sent. In a way, I'm glad I can't do a pre-order for a year--those things are stressful!

Now, of course, I'm freaking out over whether my fans will like it. The betas and editors have--so there's hope. But bringing in that final book in a series is weird. Scary and weird.

So, if you need me, I'll be off being VERY insecure in my corner. Nope, it doesn't get easier--just weirder.

Have a great ISWG day!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

#IWSG- Which path and the end of a series

It's another day in the Insecure Writer's Support Group collective!  Join us!

The first part of today's blog is about ending a series. For those of you who don't know, I'm a fantasy/SF author-- the folks who LOVE series ;). I tried writing a single title book once and about half way through realized there was no way that was going to happen.

I'm now in the edits for the third book in my space opera trilogy. AKA--I'm finishing something. One advantage of a series is that you always have another book down the line after the one you're working on. Since my series are really a single story just broken up into smaller bits, that means I never have to say good bye. Now I have to say goodbye.

This story was envisioned as a trilogy from the beginning, I knew where it was going to end, and it felt right. But it was also hard as heck. However, even while writing it, I knew that wasn't the end for these characters. I wasn't sure what would be next, but no way was I letting them go completely. I'm a pantser, so I write with a lot of surprises (for me ;)). As the final book was unfolding, I suddenly knew where the next series would be going.

Knowing there was something else did help end it. I'm still sad, this is the first time I've ended something-LOL. But I'm already making plans for the next series for these folks--after a year off for other books ;).

The second part of today is a question from the IWSG--which publishing path and why? I sort of touched on this last month, but in case you didn't notice--I'm Indie ;). Now, I grew up as a young writer with stars in my eyes and a traditional path firmly set in mind. That was the only option back in the olden days ;). But, after one too many, "We love this BUT...."(all centered around my stuff not fitting the current market), I took the plunge and went Indie. I gave myself a year to plan, research, etc. I found a cover artist, editors, kind friends who would beta read, formatters--etc. Then in March 2015, I dove in.

I love the freedom! I love being in control of my writing destiny. I love that my books are being read. But Indie is really hard work, all writing is, but Indie adds layers trads don't deal with. I do now have an agent, so who knows what the future will bring. But, I love that I chose this path.

Happy Insecure Writer's Support Group Day!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

#IWSG-What I wish I knew

Welcome to the Insecure Writer's Support Group! A blog hop for writers everywhere to talk about writing terror!  Join us!

Today they've asked a question of what pitfalls would we warn other writers about. 

There are so many! The publishing world is in a massive flux and it has been for a long time. When I was first dabbling into, "oooo--I have a story idea!" land, traditional was the only way to go and agents and publishers were Gods.

Now, anything goes. Trad, Indie, Hybrid. You name it, and someone is probably making a ton of money doing it that way.

Some ONE. Not a lot of them, however. This is sort of tangental to the topic, but new writers need to know--you're probably NOT going to make a lot of money. And even if you have a good year, it can crash the next. This is a very unstable business--you have to do it because you like the process (maybe not all of it, but some of it ;)). Money is good, but don't quit your day job just yet ;).

Not my own experience, but I would warn new writers NOT to fall for the vanity press pubs. These are "publsihers" who tell an author they've been accepted for publication, but the author needs to pay them a bunch of money for it to happen.

Now, since I'm Indie, I have heard folks say it's the same--after all Indies pay people too, right? Wrong. I pay independent contractors--cover artist, editors, formatters--I PICK them. I choose who I want and what I need them to do. These "publishers" take the author's money, then assign them bad covers, no promo, horrific editing--then the author wonders why they can't sell a single book.

Yeah- No. 

Go traditional. Go Small Press (a real small press is not going to charge you up front). Go Indie. Go Hybrid (someone who is both indie and trad--there isn't such a thing as a "hybrid" publisher--it's vanity press) Do what works for you--but do your research!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

#IWSG Goals and Life

Welcome to another monthly adventure in the Insecure Writer's Support Group blog run! Join writers from all over as we look at the writing world!

Today we were presented with a very timely question-- What are your ultimate writing goals and have they changed over time?

I've been writing for a very, very, VERY long time. And the goal in the beginning was just to finish a book. Then it became get the book out there on the agent circuit. Then start a new book, and another, and another. 

My ultimate goal however was first and foremost--to have total strangers read my work and like it. Deep in my heart, it was also to make enough money at it that I could quit the day job and write full time.

Neither of those have changed, really. 

I still want to get my books into new hands, and I'm thrilled when I see sales in other countries (or anywhere ;)). Even already doing that hasn't changed that goal.

And I would love to be able to leave my day job and write full time. I love days when I can just stay immersed in my worlds. Someday, I hope to make that one a reality as well.

So the situations change over the years--but the goal of writing enjoyable books is still alive and well.

Happy IWSG day!