Monday, October 31, 2011
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
The poll has closed, and the majority has spoken: Cynful will remain the title of Book 2 of the Halle Shifters. Two hundred and twenty-five of you voted. A hundred and forty-five of you loved the original title. I've gotten feedback from two of my beta readers, and so far the criticisms have been minor. (Dusty cackled during his first read through, which is always a good sign.)
No matter what, Cynful will be out to my editor on October 31.
I was going through what books to work on next with Dusty, when he mentioned something to me about the Nephilim series I've been talking about since, oh, 2009. I have this whole nine-book, full-length series about these descendants of angels and fallen angels. Two factions with mystical powers battle it out, one believing that they are the protectors of humanity, the other that they should be its rulers. The first to receive his HEA I named Seth, and his lady is named Abby. I've got it completely outlined. In fact, I started it quite some time ago (around, say, 2009), but I wasn't happy with the direction it was taking and set it aside. Dusty asked, "Are you ever going to finish it?"
Yes. Yes, I am.
So I started re-writes on what I'd already done to Angel In My Arms, and so far I'm happy with the new direction it's taken. Robin of The Gray Court is stomping his foot at being put on the back burner, but I've promised him that his book will be the longest Gray Court book so far, so he's calming down a bit. I'm not putting a word meter up yet for Angel, though, because it would be confusing as hell right now. I'm adding, I'm subtracting, I'm decimating and rebuilding, and the word count is fluttering like a circle skirt over a subway grate.
Once that skirt settles down (or I step off the subway grate, whichever comes first), I'll start the traditional word count meter. Until then, patience, and know that I'm writing!
EDIT: I did put the word meter up after all. It occurred to me that I like to know where I stand even when doing re-writes, so get ready for the roller coaster.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
... what comes next? A friend of my Aunt Jeanne (who rocks, btw) wrote to me today and asked for me to give her some pointers on publishing. She's working on her first novel and is loving the writing, but is unsure about what comes next. I thought it would make an interesting blog post, so here goes:
- Make sure at least two other people read over your novel, people whose opinions you respect. Listen to them, but if what they suggest goes against your instincts, feel free to discard any or all of their advice. It's your novel, no one can write it for you. But if all of them say the same thing, I'd pay attention!
- If for some reason, the first novel isn't working for you, don't be afraid to scrap it a different one. Believe me, it's scary to say that it isn't working, but better to set it aside than to try and force something that doesn't feel right.
- However, if you find yourself doing this with every book you start, then you need to decide where you're going wrong. My suggestion: read! I was trying to write traditional, Harelquin-esque romances and it didn't work for me. Then I read a Mary-Janice Davidson novel and something clicked for me. I started writing like I wanted to, and I haven't looked back since.
- Never start querying publishers/agents until after the novel is finished. This can be a red flag to them that you aren't serious. Wait until it's completed before sending it out. (You'll see this on a lot of agent's advice sites, so I'd pay attention to it.)
- Once your novel is completed and you feel it's been polished within an inch of it's papery life, DON'T sit on it! Get it out there. Have a plan. Do you want to go the traditional publishing route, i.e., get an agent, go to the Big Six publishers, and cross your fingers? Do you want to go electronic publishing, with some of the smaller presses like Carina or Samhain, and cross your fingers? Or somewhere in between, like with Harlequin, who will accept unagented submissions but IS a big print publisher (and has imprints that will only accept agented submissions)? Once you know where you'd like to head, you'll feel a lot more comfortable about the journey. You'll have a direction, a goal, and that's a good thing.
- Once you've decided, read the guidelines of the agent/publisher. If they say they don't accept romance, don't send it to them. If they say they do, check their "heat levels". I write on the mild side of erotic, so I can't send it to a strictly "sweet" publisher or agent. Also check and see if what you've written fits in with any of their imprints and, if so, who you'd send your query to. (The query step will be taken care of by your agent if one agrees to work with you.)
- Do your homework. Don't be afraid to write to authors who write for that agent/publisher to ask their opinion. Not all will answer, but enough will to give you an idea if the fit will be right for you.
- When writing the query letter, mention you've completed the novel and are working on a second. This lets the agent/publisher know you're serious about your writing.
- Don't think your job is finished after you type the end. It's just beginning. This is your business as well as your passion, and you have to treat it as such. There's website design, blogging, social media (if it scares you, I'd suggest Facebook to start rather than Twitter), advertising and promotions, editing, monthly newsletters... LOTS of work goes into being a published author. I spend half my day writing, and the other half working on all that other stuff. How much time you put into it will be up to you, but at a minimum you'll need a website if you're accepted for publication. The readers need to know where to find you.
- You have to make sure your website is easily navigated. There's nothing worse than a reader who has to ask, "Where's the books?" when you're an author. Check other author websites to see how they're doing it, and with what. Several use Wordpress; others use programs like Yahoo!SiteBuilder. Still others will pay someone to create and maintain the website. It's all up to you and what you can afford.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
It may look as if progress is moving slowly on Cynful this week, but really it isn't. We're in what I call the Meat Grinder stage.
Friday, October 7, 2011
The winner of the signed copy of Noble Blood is...
P.S.: I'll be starting a contest for a download of Artistic Vision the beginning of November.
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
He passed away this morning. I'm going to miss my dapper little man.