Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Things I’ve learned

Ah, the ending of another year, and time to reflect.

Here are a few tips taken from my past almost two years of being a published author:

    1) Believe in yourself, or just be really, really stubborn. Some folks will shoot you down, even people who mean well. ANYTHING big in your life- writing, art, whatever, is going to change things with you and your relationships with others. This can be threatening to some folks. You have to hang on to the dream that got you on this path—and don’t let go. Setbacks will happen and so will crippling self-doubt. Hang tight and push through.

    2) Think long term when naming things that will be around—long term ;). I love the name Asarlaí. It’s different, cool, and fun (it is also stolen from another language- wanna guess which one? ;)). It’s also a pain in the butt to have to keep correcting that accent mark at the end.  Had I thought about it, and the number of things that word would have to go on, I probably would have found something less problematic.

     3) A six book story arc series is hard. Okay, The Lost Ancients started as two trilogies. The print book of book one still says that. But as I wrote book two, I realized it was one big-ass story and splitting it like that was artificial. However—six books in a single story is FREAKING HARD! Curse of having big-ass stories in my head I guess. But moving forward, going to really try to stick to stories that will fit into three books at a time.

    4) Not everyone will like your books and that’s a good thing. I had a woman come up at an event and demand that I sell her on my books. I asked her what she liked to read—she said dark, angsty, tragic, love stories. I smiled, and took my book out of her hand. I told her she would probably not like my books and explained why. She nodded (she’d really wanted me to give her a hard sell) then she said she did have a friend who liked more of what I wrote ;).  Know what you write. Accept some folks won’t like that, and even some who do like the sub-genre, may not like your book. I had one person who looked like they would like what I wrote, write that The Glass Gargoyle was too complicated for them to read, but would probably make a good movie. (Somewhere in there, I’m thinking is a compliment?)

    5) Pushing yourself is good. It is so easy to let yourself find a way out of doing difficult things—even ones we really want to do (or have done).  Get your self-nagging hat on, and cut the TV time, get up early, work during lunch. To quote one of my favorite people, “Make it work”.

    6) Be sure you have awesome people behind you. I wouldn’t have the books out that I do without all of my amazing beta reading/editing friends. People who emotionally supported me or let me bounce ideas off them. Not to mention the people I found and hired-artist, editors, formatters. People who believe in you are worth their weight in chocolate—always value them.

     7) Dates may be closer than they appear. Yeah. Even after four books out, I still think things will get out faster than they do. Life happens. Reality changes. Same for folks who are helping you get a book done—they have lives too. I was hoping that The Sapphire Manticore would be out in December…then it became very very late December….now we’re looking at January (hence my posting the first chapter over in my pages section on the right side). Part is doing a book this time of year is hard. Part—this is a big book and everything takes longer with big stories. Part is reality changes sometimes. But the fact is, I want this book tight, clean, and ready to ‘wow’. One more round of edits to come back (and I’m still doing more too), then it’ll go to the formatters (who also have to make the full print cover out of the art my artist made).  So….it will get here, just not when I’d hoped.

     8) Enjoy the journey. No matter where you are, what you’re doing—enjoy the process! If you don’t, none of this is worthwhile.

Merry Christmas, Peaceful Solstice, Happy Hanukkah, HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

#IWSG- Book Domination Wednesday!

Welcome one and all to another episode of how the writer’s world turns—aka the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. Once a month, writers from all over the globe gather online and share our thoughts, fears, and hopes.

Today is that day!

The suggested question for this month, is where do you see yourself (writing wise) in five years. A fair enough question.

I see a drunken faery on every bookshelf and a pissed merc at every desk!  World book domination!

Okay, so maybe not.

Part of answering such a question is to look back at where you've been.  In March 2014, I decided that I was going to take my writing career into my own hands and self publish in March 2015.

March 26th, 2015 The Glass Gargoyle came out.

I am now working on final edits for the fourth book in that series (my fifth book over all since I started publishing).

Within five years, I would love to be able to leave my day job, to spend all of my time wandering around all of the worlds that live in my head. If you read my books, you’ve seen two of the worlds, but there are many more beyond those.

If, however, I still have to maintain my day job by then, I see myself still getting my worlds out there—just not as quickly as I could as a full-time writer. 

At my current pace, I can probably hit 2 and a half books a year (based on that, if I were a full time writer, I’d say it would be closer to 4 a year).

At least 10 books—probably more. This would mean, The Lost Ancient’s original six book series would be finished; The Asarlaí Wars trilogy would be done. The steampunk series would have launched and be a few books in. At least two other series would have started. (And most likely some short stories or novellas from the two finished series--nothing is ever REALLY finished ;)).

My writing and book processing routine probably won't have changed--but with each book my skill and knowledge would hopefully have grown.

In five years I hope to be a better writer, with more books, that are enjoyed by more people. Aka doing more of what I love.

Happy IWSG day!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

NaNo Fail

Well another NaNoWriMo has come to a close--and for a second time in a row I didn't make it. But a lot of my friends DID make it- some are listed to the right ----all those folks who have over 50,000 words won. If you've never tried doing 50,000 words in one month you might not know the epic achievement that is. To make it easier to see--that is completing between 175 and 200 PAGES in a month (depends on word counts per page ;)).

That. Is. HUGE!

So for all my NaNoing friends who won- CONGRATS!!! 

Now for the folks like me, who hit the wall.

Totally not making excuses here, but I did know it was a long shot since I was editing The Sapphire Manticore at the same time I was NaNo-ing Victorious Dead. But I love the excitement and madness of NaNo, so I tried it anyway.

Sadly, the combo didn't work as well as had been hoped and I also hit an emotional wall Thanksgiving week.

But even though I didn't win, I am so glad I did it.

NaNo 2016 Round up:

Victorious Dead is now at 159 pages (I had some words down prior to NaNo)--I wouldn't be that far, especially while in edits, without NaNo.

I still love all the energy around NaNo. Seriously folks, it's the one time of year writers can spend a month with folks who are as crazy as they are--if you write, you should try it at least once.

I will most likely go for it again next year--even if I am doing something like editing another book. Not everything created during NaNo is usable--but I always find parts that are.

339,407. That is the number of words I have done during my NaNo lifetime (they keep track--I sure wouldn't have known. )

This was my 8th year- I won 5 out of those 8. Last year was like this one where I just knew that there was no way I could catch up without killing myself. That day job I have doesn't understand, "Can I take a week off to just write? I'm behind on my NaNo."

Even if you don't write- find something to push yourself!