Tag Archives: publishing

The Agent Hunt, publishing, my attempts at publishing.

Turtleduck Press looking for new members!

As you may or may not know, I’ve been a member of Turtleduck Press for 3 years now.  We are an indie co-op publisher looking to bring less commercial but quality works to the public.  I made my debut with Life as a Moving Target, along with KD Sarge’s Knight Errant, and Kit Campbell’s Hidden Worlds on December 1, 2010.

Three years later, we’re still going strong.  It’s just the four of us (KD Sarge, Kit Campbell, Siri Paulson, and myself), and we love what we’re doing.  However, we’d like to find new members, bring in some new blood.  We’re finally ready to do that.

So, writers, if you have a novel or novella that paints outside the lines instead of inside, or crosses genres, is longer than what is generally accepted (or shorter, for that matter!), if you’d like to take your writing to the next level, and if you’re looking for a fun, inventive group, we want to hear from you!

You must have a polished manuscript to be considered.

Check out our submissions page.  For more information on us and what we do, check out our About Us page.

2012 in Review and 2013 Goals: Year of the Crazy

This year has been nuts, and it feels like a whirlwind. But I managed to accomplish a lot, so it’s all good.

Let’s go over my goals for the year, shall we?

Finish Fey Touched and eventually self-publish it (includes lots of revisions and lots of blood, sweat, and tears). It’s currently at 58.5k. Goal is 100k.Ding, ding, ding! DONE and published August 1st.
~Continue Flamebound revision, hopefully move on from lesson 8! Ding, ding, ding! DONE. I’m on lesson 13.
~Write a novel (to be determined later. Current contenders are Survivor Rewrite, Darkweaver, and Fey Touched 2)Ding, ding, ding! Began Grave Touched, book 2 in the Fey Touched series, and it’s currently at 73k. While I wanted to get something new rolling as well, it appears that I work best with only one book at a time.
~Get unstuck on Alpha Female (note I didn’t say – finish Alpha Female – this one I think is taking its sweet old time)Nada. However, I did give it some thought and have a possible new direction. Still in the thinking stages, though.
~Write more poetry (nebulous, yes. That’s all I’m willing to commit to)Ding, ding, ding! DONE. Wrote a total of 6 new poems for the TDP Blog Freebies. Not as much as I’d wanted, but it’s a start.
~Take more pictures (photography has been sooooo neglected and I miss it so much!)Hit and miss here. I’ve taken some, but I still haven’t been able to get out there and rock and roll due to my health. Soooooo, we’ll see what I do for next year.

~And lastly, WORK ON GETTING FREELANCE EDITING JOBS. I had a few opportunities this year but they didn’t work out, although one was a very close call. Not only do we need the money, but my long-term goal is to make enough money to leave my day job. Scary, yes. Impossible? I don’t think so, if I do this right. And I know this won’t happen overnight — in fact, it could take quite awhile – years, maybe. But, as long as I’m moving forward, making progress, that’s enough for me. I want to believe I can make this happen. But if I never start, how will I ever know? Ding, ding, ding! DONE. I have an ongoing proofreading job with a writer friend, so that’s a nice start! Would love to do more, though!

So, I’ve accomplished almost everything I set out to do. The biggie was getting Fey Touched finished and published, and I did that. It was a very educational experience, and I’ve learned some things about promotion/marketing. So it’s all good.

I did participate in NanoWriMo, but unofficially with a goal of 30k. I managed 29k, just shy of my goal. But I’m totally happy with that.

Also, I wrote 100k+ words this year, which is awesome!

So what’s cooking for the new year?

~Finish, revise, and publish Grave Touched tentatively for August 1st release
~Continue work on the Flamebound revision, hopefully finish!
~Reread Survivor and make notes for rewrite
~Start a new novel? (Contenders: Darkweaver and Soul Touched, Fey Touched book 3)
~Redesign website so it makes sense
~Get on a regular blogging schedule
~Continue to look for more freelance editing/proofreading jobs

Annd that’s all I’m declaring for now. Here’s to a healthy, productive new year!

What are your goals for next year? Share them in comments.

So this end of the world thing? So over it.

It just dawned on me this morning that supposedly, if you believe all of the doomsday hype, the world is gonna end in 3 days.  Dec. 21st.  Well, let me tell you why that would suck:

I haven’t finished Grave Touched yet, dammit.
Christmas hasn’t happened yet.
I haven’t learned Gaelic yet.
I haven’t written all those books in my head yet.

I truly, in all honesty, don’t believe the world will end.  It can’t.  It’s too…final.  I mean, three friggin days to do everything I must do before I am vaporized into space debris with my nearest and dearest and…everyone else?  Seriously?  What are you smoking, and can I have some?

First of all, the doomsday thing has to do with the end of the Mayan calendar which is supposed to end on Dec. 21st.  But — and this is a biggie, you might wanna pay attention here — that’s what the various people studying it believe.  In other words, it’s a guess.  There’s no one thing that says, “Yo, people of 2012, I regret to inform you that the world will end on Friday, Dec. 21, 2012 at exactly 12:00p.m.  Have a nice life.”  Yeah, so not true.  So that’s my first question.  How is it that because the calendar ends, the world ends?

I actually find this stuff fascinating.  I know, I know.  It don’t seem that way, but it’s true.  I’ve been reading Jessica Anderson’s Nightkeepers series, which is about the modern-day mages who are trying to avert the end of the world through magic of the Mayan people and gods.  Awesome, kick-ass series!  The final book just released, and I am dying (ha!) to find out how it ends.

I’d also be curious to know what evidence there is for this.  Just give me a logical, simple explanation and I might swing to your side.  But probably not.

It’s not you; it’s me.  I’m a skeptic by nature.  If anyone tells me something big’s happening, or this or that is suddenly bad for you (or, god forbid, deadly), my first question is: who says so?  And the second question: What are his or her credentials?  (In other words, does this person have something besides a toothy grin to back up his or her claims?  Lemme tell you, this questioning and skepticism has saved my life at least once.  If not more.

So yeah, I’m not in the camp of believers there. I suppose if the world really ends, I guess I’d be SOL because I wouldn’t be prepared.  But at this point, how can anyone be prepared for total destruction?  Kinda puts a kink in the holiday cheer, doesn’t it?

So, let me say this.  If the world does end in three days, you can find me right here.  Because it aint’ ending.

A few things to consider:

The whole shebang explained in far prettier language http://www.voxxi.com/myth-doomsday-mayan-calendar-explained/

I’ve hit 64k on Grave Touched.  That’s news, right?  Only… *counts* 55,543 more words to go!

Uh…finished Nanowrimo with around 29k.  I’m too lazy to double check.  I know it was shy of my goal of 30k.

And lastly: we, the inspired and talented ladies of Turtleduck Press have conspired to bring you another anthology.  It is called Seasons Eternal, and the premise is so cool.  It’s about a world without changing seasons.  Each one of us picked a season and wrote a story about how the people of that particular region would adapt and what would change.  I decided to go all sci-fi and used virtual reality, but we have fantasy and steampunk as well.  My story is called “Stasis,” and I’m very proud of it.  Actually, I’m proud of the entire thing because we really outdid ourselves with this one.  Each story is unique and fascinating.  I think you will enjoy it.  Plus, proceeds will go to UNICEF, which is a great cause.

To read an excerpt and/or to buy a copy (Kindle, print, Smashwords), go to http://www.turtleduckpress.com.

Happy end of the world.

Happy birthday Fey Touched!

One year ago today, I started the first draft of Fey Touched.  Back then, it was a totally different story, and it took a few tries to get it right.  But once I hit that sweet spot, it flowed like nothing else.  It was pure joy.  Easy.  And I loved every single minute of it. (That is, until revisions.  Ugh).  I still love Fey Touched, and not just because it’s my first published novel.  It’s the world, the characters, the things they go through.  All of that came out of my mind.  Everything.  Not only did I finish the first draft, but I revised and edited it within an inch of its life and made it so much better.  And now, one year later, it’s published and I am now working on the first draft of book 2, Grave Touched.

So what ever became of that first draft?  Well, I’m glad you asked.  It’s about 20 pages. I didn’t like the direction it was headed, so I ended up starting over.  But just think — without that beginning, without the tentative dipping-my-toes-in of the first draft, I never would have arrived with what is now the final, published version of the book.  It all started with that 20-page draft.

So, for nostalgia, I’m going to post the first page.  Those of you who have read Fey Touched may not recognize it.  It’s that different.  Those of you who haven’t, I assure you — it’s even better.   ~grin~

Okay, here it is.  Draft 1, started on 10.31.11 :

 

Asha

 Shadows danced on the cave walls as my Master, a Fey of high nobility, beckoned me forward.  Candles bathed the room in a golden glow, which reminded me of the landscape of dreams.   Overhead, although we couldn’t see or touch it, the moon blazed like a beacon in the darkness.  But I could feel it like a low-level electrical current deep in my bones.

I was one of the Enslaved, so I wore a simple black robe that opened in the back.  Easy access to get the priceless commodity that I carried within myself naturally.

My Master, Kieran, was decked out in his formal robes of crimson and gold: gold for the sunlight that kept he and his kind alive; crimson for the blood that inevitably spilled during the feeding.  Crimson was also his Clan color, which I always found to be ironic.

Candlelight lit his face, cast it in monstrous shadows.  He smiled at me, and his expression warmed. Rumor had it that he thought I was special, which made me happy and anxious at the same time.

His eyes – golden like the sun – met mine and I sucked in a breath.  Being the object of his attention felt like being slammed into a brick wall.  It hurt, yes, but it also scrambled my senses and made me feel a bit lightheaded.

He beckoned to me again, and I realized that while I’d stood here naval-gazing, the solemn march of time had continued without me.

I smiled and took his hand.

He pulled me close so that we were almost touching.  The heat of his body felt pleasant and familiar, inevitable.  “Asha,” he murmured in my ear, his breath ticking me.  “So introspective today.”

“Yes, Master, I am,” I said softly.  No slave ever raised her voice to her Master.  I wasn’t even sure I could raise my voice now.

“Share your thoughts with me.”  It was a command, iron in his voice.

I wasn’t sure I wanted him to know how I felt in that moment.  “I wish you could enjoy the moonlight.  It’s so beautiful.”  A bit of a lie, but it felt right.

Master Kieran frowned.  “I wish I knew what that was like.  But there’s no way for me to know, so I refuse to mourn it.  It is what it is.”

“Yes, Master,” I said, hanging my head.  “Sunlight is just as beautiful, if not more.”

“How I love the sunlight,” Master Kieran said softly.  “We’re meant to walk surrounded by its embrace.  It is the way of things.”

I always wondered what it would be like to exist for the day, for the sun’s rays to shine down on me and feel me with energy and light.  To never walk the night, to never be caressed by moonlight. We humans could, obviously.  Some say the Fey were envious of that and the scientists who’d created them were looking for a way to take it all away, make us like them.

I wasn’t sure I believed that.

“Sit,” Master Kieran said, gently lowering me on to a soft, satin-covered pillow. “Have you come to give of yourself?”

It was all ritual, but it soothed me like nothing else.  We were bred and raised to serve, to give of ourselves selflessly over and over again.  It was a gift.  It was the one thing only we could give to our Fey Masters.

I nodded.  “I wish to give of myself this day, Master.”

“Very well,” Kieran murmured, pushing my long, raven-black hair out of the way.  I took a breath, anticipating.

My hands trembled and my stomach clenched.  What I needed would be given to me after the feeding.  I had to get through it.  Had to give.

Some Masters did this on purpose to keep their Enslaved obedient.  I didn’t believe that of Kieran.  He was a sensual, very tactile person who reveled in touch, in taste.  He wouldn’t hurry it along even if he were starving.  A feeding is meant to be savored and enjoyed.

The world swam around me; sounds jumped back and forth through my mind, echoing. And then there was silence.

Candlelight painted the walls with shapes and light.  Kieran had electricity here but refused to use it, lost in the old ways.  It gave the room a dreamy feel.

Sometimes I pretended that it was just a dream.  That I was far away from here, not Enslaved, but free.  Blasphemous, I know.  But sometimes I wondered what lay on the other side of the cave.  And what lay beyond that.

Kieran’s fingers traced shapes on my back, now exposed to him.  His touch was gentle, soothing.  I let out a hiss of breath and willed myself to relax.

His lips replaced his fingers, so light, so tender.  I hugged myself, shivering.  I had never known love.  I had never known mating.  These things were denied to me.

But this – this was nice.  I had nothing to compare it to.  It felt right.

His tongue swept over the base of my spine.  It sent shivers through me, from my head to my toes.  For a moment, I couldn’t breathe.

Kieran kissed my neck, nibbling it a bit.  The scrape of his teeth sent warmth straight to my core, and my back arched, a moan escaping my throat.

“Are you ready, dearest one?” Kieran whispered in my ear.

 

And now, an excerpt of the published version:

JOE

 

The woman lay in the cemetery on a bed of snow.  Snowflakes clung to her blonde hair and sparkled like diamonds.  Slivers of moonlight touched her serene face.  Her skin was the blue-tinged skin of the Fey.

After turning up the heat in my coat, I reached out to touch her and immediately recoiled.  She was so cold that I’d gotten a taste of frostbite, the cold stinging my fingers.  Was she dead? 

Pixie, a German Shepherd who was my companion and familiar, nosed around the woman, whining.  She was right to lead me here, her thoughts urgent in my head.

She poked the woman with her nose.  The woman did not move, did not even twitch. Pixie whined, poking the woman again.  There was no rise and fall of her chest.  There was nothing.

“What do you think, girl?” I asked.

Pixie gazed at me with eyes that reflected sympathy and intelligence.  The thought – Pixie’s – unfurled in my mind.

Not dead.  Must save.

My heart thudded. I was Fey Touched, a Hunter of her kind.  Technically, she was my enemy.  I had the right to kill her on sight.  Why didn’t I? 

I didn’t like the Fey as a rule.  There were Hunters who believed that all Fey were evil and must die.  I was open to the possibility that maybe, just maybe, they were wrong.  Maybe some of them weren’t evil. That even without mana – a soul – they could be good.

Maybe this Fey woman in front of me, lit by moonlight caressing her face, was one of the good ones.

I sat back on my haunches, my eyes flicking to the headstones as if they could give me an answer. I couldn’t just leave her out here.  She needed help. 

I gently shook her and her eyelids fluttered, but she did not wake.  I pressed two fingertips to her carotid.  Slow heartbeat, but there.

“Shit,” I muttered.  I took off my coat and wrapped it around her, letting out a hiss as more cold wind hit me in the face. 

Pixie danced around the woman, whining and yipping at me.

“Chill, girl. I got this.”  I took a breath and unfurled my wings, wrapping them around myself like a coat.

I lifted her and chuckled at how light she was.  She wore a poofy green dress that was so out of place for the weather here.  Which made me wonder if she’d come from a long distance away.

My need to protect and my calling as a Hunter of Fey warred inside me.  It didn’t matter who she was.  She was an innocent and she needed help.

I held her close to me as I took to the air.  Wouldn’t want her to fall.  “Hang on just a little longer,” I whispered.  “We’re almost home.” 

As I touched down in front of my apartment, Pixie caught up with me, barking and sending frantic thoughts.  Warmth – safety – home – warmth –

“We are home, girl.  Come on,” I said as I entered the dimly-lit hallway that led to my apartment.  I fumbled with the keys and opened the door wide, stepping into the small but cozy living room.  I set the Fey down on the couch, then retracted my wings.

Pixie jumped up onto the couch and lay beside the Fey woman.

“Are you hungry, girl?” I asked, watching the dog.  I could swear she was smiling at me.

I glanced at the woman again.  She didn’t move. I could hardly hear her breathe, and that worried me.

I quickly got Pixie’s dinner together, some kibble and wet food, and headed back into the living room.  She let out a low whine as I set the bowl down in front of her and rubbed behind her ears. 

As she dove into her meal, I crouched in front of the woman and checked her pulse again.  Still slow, still there.

I had no way of reviving her.  Should I wait?  Should I take her to the hospital? No, that would raise too many questions.  If I could help her here, that would be the best thing.

“What do you think, Pixie?  Should I try rousing her again?  Or are you too busy stuffing your face?”

She glanced up at me, crunching her food, and I could swear she’d arched her brow.  She was practically human, this dog.

I shook my head, chuckling.  After a crazy day, this was just what I needed.

After about ten minutes, I decided to try to wake the woman up again.

She was Fey.  She was immortal – at least theoretically.  Still…

This time her eyelids fluttered and I was suddenly looking into the most beautiful shimmering eyes I’d ever seen.

 

Quite different, huh?  It’s pretty amazing how a book can evolve in one year.  I am so proud of it, and the work I put into it to make it what it is.

For those interested in reading the first three chapters or purchasing it, check it out at http://www.turtleduckpress.com under Turtleduck Press Works.

And if you read it and enjoy it, spread the word! Leave a short review on Amazon or Goodreads!  I would so appreciate that, as every person I touch with my words is a gift.

And Happy Halloween!

Interview: Sherri Rabinowitz

Today I have a special guest here on the blog.  Her name is Sherri Rabinowitz and she is the author of Fantasy Time Inc., a novel about a travel agency that arranges for people to travel back in time.  I have always been fascinated by time travel, so this piqued my interest.  Here’s what Sherri had to say about Fantasy Time Inc., herself, and writing.

What inspired you to write Fantasy Time Inc.?

There were two things, I have been a nut on time travel since I was child and I saw The Time Machine movie from the 60’s with Rod Taylor. After that I watched and read everything that had to do with time travel and my own humble attempts at in fan fiction. I  also worked as a travel agent at the time. One slow day at work I started to play with the idea of a travel agency to the past. I started to write notes and …Fantasy Time Inc. was born.

Who is your favorite character? Your least favorite character?

Captain Morgan is my favorite, he is the dashing hero of the movies from my youth. Cary Grant, Gary Cooper and Clark Gable all mixed up into one dashing man. He also has a great sense of humor, I love his wit. My least favorite? Hmmm, none really. As an actor I learned you have to love every part in order to portray them so even bad guys are special to me.

If you were a customer of Fantasy Time Inc., what time period would you travel to? Why?

That’s easy the Twenties. I have been interested in that period since I read The Great Gatsby when I was a kid. I love the wildness, the clothes, the excitement and all the change that happened for society and especially for women. Like my protagonist Anne, I know the down side, that if I met my Grandparents (they were in NYC in the twenties) and did something that hurt them I would not be here, or if I killed a bug I could change the language of  our time or change our political history (that was from a classic time travel story my Dad introduced me to.) It is such a slippery slope, I would hesitate.

How long have you been writing? When did you know you were a writer?

I have been writing since I was a child. I knew I was a writer when I started to write fan fiction and newsletters. I began to see that I could do it and I had a place to practice, that was fan fiction. It was a loving safe harbor to learn my craft and try out all kinds of new things. I guess the first time I felt like a writer was when I sold my first story and held a real check in my little hands.

Do you have any hobbies?

Yes, I like to collect; I collect books, stills of classic movies and autographs, stuffed bears, costume jewelry… I also dance and sing.

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go? Why?

There are several places but the next on my bucket list would be Greece and New Zealand because of the show Xena. New Zealand because I saw all those beautiful locations and fell in love. I also researched a lot of my fan fiction stories set in Greece and in using my travel books and on line sites fell in love with the real Greece too.

Tell us one intriguing thing about Fantasy Time Inc.

There is a lot of romance in it but I have snuck some history in it too, I like to teach people but in a pleasurable way.

What are you working on now?

A Classic Sequel and a memoir about my time as an actress in the late 70’s to late 80’s.

Do you plot your novels or do you wing it?

Both, I have an idea of how I want it to go, and sketchy outline, but then as I write I let the characters lead me.

Favorite color? Blue
Favorite drink? tea
Favorite animal? panther
Favorite place to be? home
Favorite time of day? mid-morning

Where can we find you on the web?

http://www.rithebard.com/?alt_id=0H0NG-D1A23-4W5&ts=1335411499574

Thank you so much, Sherri, for joining us today.

If you’re curious about Fantasy Time Inc., be sure to snag yourself a copy!

Giveaway Winner!

Only two people played, and neither guessed the date or the race.  So I picked one at random.  The winner is…[drum roll please]…..CHRISSY50!  Chris, I know your email so unless you’ve changed it, I’ll send the book to the one I have.

As for the date I started Fey Touched, you both made a guess of November 15.  Very close.  The correct date is OCTOBER 31st.  One day before NaNoWriMo.

As for the race…JKP guessed demon.  It’s actually vampires.  This was back in 2003 when I was obsessed with them.

So, there it is.  If you haven’t checked out Fey Touched yet, what are you waiting for?  http://www.turtleduckpress.com .

Thanks JKP and Chrissy50 for playing!

 

Fey Touched is now available!

Fey Touched is now available for Kindle.  Print edition is forthcoming.  Here’s the blurb:

Two sisters.

Asha is the Queen of the Fey, genetically engineered immortal humans who feed on human souls to survive.  But she’s running from her people.  When she is found by her enemy, one of the Hunters of the Fey, she expects to die.  Yet he’s oddly intrigued by her, and Asha finds herself falling in love with him, hoping she can find safety and the home she’s been seeking.  Then she’s kidnapped, and everything changes.

Fallon is a Hunter. She’s looking for her long-lost sister, using an addictive drug to search through the stream of time.  Her addiction leaves her dangerously exposed to her enemies but, consumed by her search, she doesn’t care…until her fellow Hunters start dying from a mysterious illness.  She is torn between duty and desire, and must find an answer before they all die.

What Fallon doesn’t know is that Asha might just be the key to saving them all, if only she can find her.

And time is running out.

PLEASE NOTE that this book contains explicit language, explicit sex, and graphic violence and is not suitable for those under 18.

I feel really good about this book.  I worked hard on it and I absolutely love some of the twists I came up with.  Why yes, I am quite brilliant.  But seriously, it feels right, you know?  Like I was meant to do this and everything I’ve done ever has been leading up to this day.

Wanna hear a freaking secret?

One day I was lamenting my lack of submittable novels (this is for an agent, which has been the goal since 2008), and I was in the shower, feeling pretty depressed about it.  Pirouette just wasn’t there yet, and I had more work ahead of me, and it felt so daunting.

But I had a moment of foresight.  This is WAY before I even thought of self-publishing, so there’s NO way I’d ever know that I’d do this in the future.  In fact, I was dead set against the idea at the time.  So this thought hit me — no, more like slammed into me, I was stunned:

I will be published by the time I’m 37.

This was 3 years ago, folks.  Remember, self-pubbing was not in the equation.

Well, guess what?  I’m fucking 36 now.  Almost 36 and a half, if you wanna get technical and split hairs.

I was RIGHT.  And with all my little psychic moments (the women in my family are really psychic, no joke), it happened, all right.  Just not in the way I’d planned.

But I don’t regret this at all.  It’s actually the best thing for me right now.  I’ve got the freedom to set my own deadlines, make everything just the way I want it, have a hand in my own cover art….and technically, self-publishing royalties are higher than with traditional publishing.  Except you don’t get the advance.  But that’s a fair trade-off for what I get in return.  I’m very happy with this, and plan to self-publish a lot more.  Possibly even Pirouette, if I can whip it into some type of shape I can live with.

Oh, book of my heart, you wound me.

I’ve kept my first proof on my desk since I received it, a constant reminder that, hey, I did this.  I made that book — every word in it is mine, and I was brave enough and proud enough to put it out there.  Like it or not, it’s in the wild.  I hope people will enjoy it.  And to date, it’s one of the funnest stories I’ve ever had the pleasure of writing.

Tomorrow, it’s Grave Touched.

I’ll leave you with a little quote I heard years ago, spoke by a deaf contestant at the Miss America pageant: (and she signed it, too):

Never give up your dreams,
Find them and make them yours,
And all through your life,
Never let them go.

Sometimes it’s not the dream itself — although that’s very important too — but the strength of a dream.  The sheer determination that you will make it reality.  Despite difficulties, people naysaying, despite ridicule, despite disrespect, despite the bone-crushing fatigue, despite feeling like you’re slowly moving uphill forever with no end in sight….despite harsh critiques and jealousy, despite people who just don’t get it, despite people who think you can just give it up like a bad habit, despite repeated failure.  Despite losing the confidence, despite losing your way.  Despite losing your muse.  Despite poor health.

Despite the world seemingly out to keep you from your fragile dream.  But you hold this dream in your heart, and you nourish it, keep it breathing.  And you love it, and care for it, and when it’s time…you fly on the wings of that perfect dream.

And then you know it was all worth it in the end.

(Except there’s no end, because hello, more books!)

(More wings to fly with.)

And that, my friends, is victory.

TWO DAYS. .. and a giveaway

Fey Touched releases in TWO DAYS.  I’m excited, I’m scared, I’m ecstatic, and I’m terrified all at once.  I’ve lived this book for 9 months and now it’s time to release it into the wild.  No matter what happens, I love and believe in this book with all my heart.

Seeing the first proof was an amazing feeling.  Here it was: my book in actual book form with its beautiful cover.  My words in there.  It was tangible.  It was more than words on a computer monitor.  This thing was mine.  Unbelievable!

Soon, I’ll be starting (or rather, restarting) the sequel, Grave Touched.  I also have ideas for a third and fourth book, and who knows after that?  Maybe more.

I also have an idea that I’ve been tossing around.  It has a loooong past.  It’s actually part of Fey Touched’s first draft (at least officially), The Sacrifice, which I wrote in 2003 for NaNoWriMo.  I separated it into two books, and a small part of it into another, which became Fey Touched.  With some tweaking, it’s turning out to be an interesting idea.  It’s called Surrender.  It’s about a demon (who feeds on pain)  who must possess a woman’s body to survive in our world and the woman having to either surrender to her or find a way to drive her out.  Among other things.  I’m leaning toward horror this time around.

Yeah, so that’s what’s going on.

I’m on vacation from work this week.  So far, it’s been nice.  Naturally, I’ve been working on release stuff, but not being at the office is nice.  Less stress and all that jazz.

I want to give away a Kindle edition of Fey Touched today.  Comment to this post to enter.  I’m going to ask a question, and you’ll guess the answer.  The first person to guess correctly — or near to it, if no one guesses the correct answer — will win a Kindle edition.

Here’s the question:

I started the first draft of Fey Touched late last year, in the fall.  What day did I start it?

And, for a bonus chance, answer this: What type of paranormal creature was in The Sacrifice that I switched to Fey for Fey Touched?  (Hint: the answer is somewhere on this blog, or possibly online somewhere.  Or just take a wild guess!).

So, potentially 2 Kindle editions up for grabs.  Ready, set, GO!

Almost there.

I’ve been hard at work on Fey Touched, revising and editing and getting things ready for its release on August 1st.  So much to do!  And there’s more coming!  But it’ll all be worth it to bring Fey Touched out of my little world into the real world.  I can’t wait for people to read it!  I’m very, very excited.

(Also, if anyone reading this is interested in getting a pre-publication copy for review, let me know!  I’m looking for people to give honest reviews.  The pre-publication copy will be available sometime in July).

I’ve also been working on Grave Touched, the sequel to Fey Touched.  I actually started it earlier this week but have since realized that I started in the wrong place.  Normally this wouldn’t be such a big deal (yet), but for me, I need to start strong or I get distracted.  It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it needs to excite me.  And I’ve been bombarded by my precious muse with all these ideas for Darklight, and well…I need to work on Grave Touched.  But Darklight keeps pulling me back.  It’s been a struggle.  But I will persevere.  Even if I have to write a few hundred words a week on Darklight just to keep my muse happy.

What’s really funny is that this time last year, and into October, I worked feverishly on the original version of Darklight.  And then I just…stopped.  I think I lost interest with it.  And then the idea for Fey Touched hit me hard and fast, and I was a goner.  But this new premise has me excited, so hopefully it will work better.  (Also, it’s now dark fantasy vs. horror.  Yeah, I don’t even know…)  All I can say is this: I blame Adam Lambert’s video for “Better Than I Know Myself.”  Glamberts, I’m sure you know what exactly inspired me.

I’m also on vacation next week from the day job, so I plan on doing some serious writing then.  It’s been a yearly tradition for the past few years to see how much I can write during that week.  So far, my record is 17,000 on Flamebound in 2008 with severe burstitis of the shoulder.  Yes, I am insane.

I’m technically participating in Camp NanoWriMo for June and August.  It’s been fun so far, even though I’ve only written 1,150 words.  *shify look*

I’m also working on a big life change, which I discussed a bit on the Turtleduck Press blog.  It’s a big step, and I’m not sure I’ll succeed, but I’m giving this a shot.

What else?  My third wedding anniversary is on the 27th, and it seems like forever since hubby and I said our I dos.  We’re stronger than ever, happy, and so much in love.  *sighs happily*  I wish everything else in life was this easy.

I’ll have a new feature on the blog soon called Spooky Sunday.  Since I’m a huge fan of all things creepy and scary, I thought it would be fun to talk about them.  Get ready to hear about ghosts, conspiracy theories, scary movies, myths, ESP…and anything else my twisted mind can come up with.  We’ll start with two Sundays a month and see how it goes.  It should be fun and maybe even a bit…scary.  *cackles and rubs hands together in glee*

So that’s what’s been happening in my crazy life.  Keep your eyeballs peeled for a giveaway or two of Fey Touched closer to release.

In the home stretch

I’ve been writing a lot since I last posted.  Something like 30k or so.  My drop-dead deadline is April 1st to get it to my Turtleduck Press editor.  And that is a polished, publication-ready manuscript…not the mess it is currently.

The first half of the book needs to match the second half.  I changed quite a few things.  And it needs some smoothing.  That’s the only problem with completely pantsing it (that is, writing without an outline) — you end up with a lot of things to rewrite or clean up.  But it works.  I haven’t written a book this fast in a long, long time.  And the kicker is that I haven’t written down any of my plans.  I’ve let things happen organically.  I’ve followed my muse wherever she’s led me, and I believe the finished product will be awesome for it.

I’ve had a few setbacks, though, like migraines and wrist issues.  I’ve been careful, but unfortunately, my left wrist is soooo sensitive.  So I’ve been taking care not to overdo it.  And if I do, I usually skip the next day’s writing session to compensate.

My original goal was to have the draft done by mid-month.  That’s not happening.  The draft is at 108k now, and I anticipate at least another 5k to wrap things up.  I’ll be cutting some things so I hope to have it end up around 100k when I’m done.

My new deadline is to finish the draft this weekend, but I’m not sure if I can do it.  I’ll try like hell, though, because that will give me more time to revise, edit, and polish.

I also have decided on book 2, both the name (Grave Touched) and the main “problem.”   So that’s good.  I’m not sure what I’ll be doing in between edits, but I’ve considered starting book 2.

I also wanted to get some work done on the Flamebound revision and the Survivor Rewrite.

Recently, I sat down and put all the Survivor files together into a master document.  Then I can just move stuff around, cut, add, etc.  It came in at around 300k and 800+ pages!  This will be a big job, but I want to try to get it traditionally published.  Same with Flamebound.  We’ll see how it all shakes out.

So. Back to writing.