Saturday, December 31, 2011

Internet wanderings

Wow....suddenly I feel like I have no artistic talent whatsoever.... O.O

http://www.creaturesfromel.ca/index.html

I've tried sculpture work. I really have. I suck at it. I've never seen anything like this artist's work before. It just blows me away.

I love vacations

One of the things I love about the military is they give you a lot of days for taking off on vacation. Except for when they call you in twice during your break, but that's another story.

I'm getting so much writing and painting done. I feel like I'm in a creative glut right now that I never want to end.  I've finished editing FINDING THE CHOSEN. I've finished writing the first draft of THE REVENANT. I've started writing THE OMEGA (sequel to THE REVENANT). I've written about four novellas and short stories  and am on the second draft of one that I'm selling to a friend who's starting up his own online publishing house. I've painted a lot. I've knitted a lot. I'm more than 2/3rds of the way through Asssassin's Creed II and nearly to season three of watching Xena on Netflix.

I don't want to go back to work.  :D

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Holidays

Happy holidays to all my readers! Whatever beliefs you hold, I hope you have a very good day.

In writing news, I've finally finished putting in the red pen edit changes for FINDING THE CHOSEN. That took the book from 93,000 words to 101,000 words. Now I read it over one more time and send it off to my betas.

For those who've forgotten, FINDING THE CHOSEN is the prelude for a massively long book I wrote a number of years ago titled HUNTING THE RAPTURE. My agent sent Hunting off to Del Rey to look at and they liked it, but they wanted me to A: Take this 200,00+ word book and make it shorter, and B: Take this flashback scene midway through the book, make it longer, and stick it at the start. Instead, I suggested that I take Hunting and split it into two novels and take the flashback scene and expand it into a new book. So by the end of it, I'll have FINDING THE CHOSEN, HUNTING THE RAPTURE, and BREAKING THE LIMITS. Hopefully my Christmas present will end up being Del Rey buying all three.

It was actually interesting going back to a world I created about ten or more years ago. If I didn't think making this change wouldn't improve the book, I wouldn't have done it, but as it is, I enjoyed the process a lot more than I originally thought I would.

BTW, have a painting. Merry whatever. :)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Books, books, and more books

I was wandering the web and found this list. Apparently the BBC feels that most people will only have read six of the hundred books listed here.
Bold those books you’ve read in their entirety.
Italicize the ones you started but didn’t finish or read only an excerpt.
1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman

10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame

31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34 Emma – Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding

50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett

74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchel
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl

100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo
So I've read thirty-three of them. Not too bad. I found myself wondering why some books made it and some didn't. What about Bambi? Or Jonathan Livingston Seagull? Or King of the Wind? I also kind of wonder if they don't know that The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe is part of the Narnia Chronicles.
I notice I never did finish an Alexandre Dumas book...man, that guy's writing is dry...
I also see a list of books here I really need to give a looksie at.  I so have the urge to read Oliver now.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Unclogging the mental log jam

Right now, I'm writing a series I call The Cuckoo series. I'm on book three of four. No, I haven't sold it yet. I'm working on that.

Writing this series has been like pulling teeth. I think it's very good, but the plot has been fighting me like a rabid weasel. I had to put book one aside for six months until I figured out what to do with one of the plot points (the answer was toss it out and do something different).

Book two went quite easily, but book three turned into another slog at about the 85,000 word point. The other two are about 100,000, which left me with 15,000 words to decide what to do with this one jackass of a character that I needed to resolve before book four starts. I've been stuck at this point for about a month now and I've been dreading the thought that I was going to end up with another six months or more of writer's block on it. Or worse, that the whole thing would die on me.

This last week, I've been in Toronto for professional development with my coworkers. It was a good time. One of the seminars we attended, however, turned out to be a lot more relevant than I'd thought it would be. It was a seminar on creative thinking offered by the Fred Pryor Institute and taught by a woman named Glynis Devine, who was an awesome instructor. She taught us different ways of looking at a problem and finding a solution.

One of the techniques she taught us was to take a problem you're stuck on a solution for, like say a stalled plot line, and write down whatever you do know about it. The information you have, that is. Then write down what resolution you want. You do this right before your nightly ablutions, and then you go to bed. You literally sleep on it.

I forgot to do this the first night, but I did try it on the second. I know how I need the book to end, after all. I just hadn't figured out how to get there. That's normal for how I write. I know the beginning, I know the end, and I sort of discover the middle when I write.

At any rate, my phone died during the night, and I found out I'd slept in when my boss knocked on my hotel room door. This was our checkout day, so I had to frantically run around packing and trying to wake up and didn't think at all about my little experiment. Not until I was sitting in the car on the way back, reading a book on my kindle, and bemoaning the lack of coffee.

The plot for the book just dropped into my lap. Suddenly, I thought of something I hadn't considered before and the entire remainder of the book just came together. It was fantastic. I hauled out my Mac Air and typed on it until the battery died (forgot to charge it the night before too) and then I wrote in a notebook. Since I've been home, I've written 4000 words and it's flowing out of me as easily as anything else I've ever written, and it feels good.

My long, rambling point is, I highly recommend this as a technique to clear out a mental log jam. I know I'm certainly going to use it in future.  Thank you, Glynis.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Ongoing as ever

I've been working on typing in the red pen edit changes on one of my novels. This unfortunately gives me an absolute splitting headache, so the process takes forever. I have over 150 pages to go and my brain hurts.

So, I've been doing other writing and art. I've written several short stories in the last week or so (writing with a fountain pen on moleskine paper is to die for) and created some digital paintings. I'm using CS5 for it and I think I've found my painting medium.

I've tossed some of my pieces up onto My Art page, but here's my latest. I quite like it.

Friday, November 25, 2011

More Art

I still have 224 pages or so of edit changes to type in my book. So here, have some art I did instead! *guilty look*

Another Blog Post giveaway

Here's another blog giving away a copy of my book. http://annavivian.blogspot.com/2011/11/series-spotlight-giveaway-slyph.html
They draw the winner on the 25th if anyone wants to get in on the draw.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Blog Post and Giveaway.

I'm being featured on another blog today. http://melissawatercolor.blogspot.com/2011/11/author-guest-post-lj-mcdonald-and.html They're giving away a copy of QUEEN OF THE SYLPHS to one lucky reader.

Thanks to Megan for setting this up for me.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Writing Process

I have a good friend who's also a writer. She's not published yet, but I think she has the talent to be. However, she hasn't finished a lot that she's started, because, as she explains it, she gets so hung up in going back to perfect what she's already written that she never gets to the ending.

I solve that problem by writing crap. I'm serious. Mostly. Only my husband sees the first draft of a novel when I'm working on it. Even my beta readers get spared that, because my first drafts are total drek. You see, the first draft is where I get the ideas out, play with the concepts, dredge my brain for the story and hork it up onto the computer screen. Sounds lovely, doesn't it? ;p

It's in the second draft where I start to get something worth inflicting on anyone other than the aforementioned husband (mine in sickness, health, and whacked out writing). I take my ruddy awful first draft, double-space it, and print it out so I can put it in a binder. Then I read it and fix stuff (usually after waiting a few weeks to give my brain a rest).

I call this my red pen edit, since I used to use a red pen for it. Now I have a gorgeous fountain pen that anyone who knows me in person knows I love way too much. I use turquoise blue ink with it that's wonderfully pretty and shows up really well against the black text of the print out.

I go through the entire book this way. I fix continuity errors, expand on scenes, repair horrid grammar, and rein in run on sentences that lasted for a page or more. This is where I make the book good. Well, I think I make it good.

Doing the edit on a print out is good for many reasons. For one, it lets me use THE PEN, but it also makes me tap into a different part of the brain than I use when I'm typing into a computer. There's a different feel to it, so it makes it easier for me to enrich the writing. Scenes that I got hung up on with the computer usually sort themselves out at this stage.  It's also way easier on the eyes. I don't really have to look at what I'm typing. If I were to read a 300 page book on a computer screen, I'd start going blind.

Just because I'm me and feeling all extroverted tonight, here is a photo of my latest red pen edit, just to show how much editing I do. This isn't even one of the worst pages. On the left is the book page, obviously written all over. On the right is a piece of regular lined paper. When I want to add in something that I can't fit between two lines of text, I make a numbered reference on where it goes and write it on the lined paper. It works for me.

I guess the point I'm really trying to make here, to my friend and to anyone else who wants to write, is that you don't have to sit down and produce perfection with every word you type. Most of us can't do that. I know I can't. Just get the ideas out. You can always make them perfect later.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Some more art

I've put a new picture on my Art page. This is what I play with when I'm not writing, or knitting, or killing people on my PS3.


This was painted on my Mac using a Cintiq tablet and Photoshop PS5. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Hey

Hi everyone. Long time no type. I do have some things to actually blog about for once.

Thanks to this site, I've made a new friend named Megan, who loves my books and is now helping me promote them. This is awesome since I hate with an overriding passion am not very good at promoting myself. To that end, she's set up an actual author site for me on Facebook as well as a Twitter site. Anything I type into the Facebook wall will apparently go straight to Twitter. Once we figure out how, I'll have it linked here and maybe even figure out how to set it up so my blog posts appear on the Facebook page.

In other words, I've cracked the 90,000 word mark on a novel I'm writing as a prelude to another few books I have that I'm hoping to sell to Del Rey. It's called FINDING THE CHOSEN and I really hope it gets picked up.

I've also got someone - maybe - looking at picking up books 4 and 5 of the Sylph series.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Ebook Bundle opportunity

Hey, for anyone who's interested, Dorchester has all three Sylph books available as E-book downloads on Sony from 14 October until 30 December. You can get all three for $11.97.  Tell your ebook loving friends.

Sony

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Wikispaces

One of the things I find hard to do is remember all the little details of my characters. Stuff like how long their hair is, what weapon they like, how old they are. I can remember all the sordid details of their pasts, but those sort of trivia facts? Leon changed his age three times during the first draft of one of my novels.

I've tried all sorts of things to keep track. Cue cards, notebooks, spreadsheets. They don't work so well for me. However, I've now found something that actually seems to work. Wikispaces. It's, well, a wiki. You just go to www.wikispaces.com, sign up for an account, and put stuff in it. The joy of it is, you can click on a word you've typed, such as 'battler' and make an instant link to a new page by that name. Click the link and it'll ask you to make the page if you haven't already. Just type a link to the page you left and make it the same way. Fast, easy, I can update it whenever. I can access it on the internet so I can get to it whatever the machine I'm using, and I can even save it locally. I'm having fun with it.

Since I decided I would pay for an account, my wikispaces is private. It's not something anyone else would want to read anyway, I'd think. And it's chocked full of spoilers galore. Best part of it is, since it's all integrated, if you type a new name for a character in and make the link and click on it, you'll know immediately if it's a name you've used before, since it'll bring up the page you made earlier. No more reusing names without realizing it! There's, um, two different Autumns in two different series. And Blue has shown up so many times that I've given up and started doing it deliberately, just to see if anyone calls me on it down the road.

I don't know if wikispaces will work for everyone, but I know I'm certainly happy with it and I'm pimping it to all my author friends.

In writing news, I'm working on a novel that Del Rey is looking at. No promises yet on them buying it, but I have my toes crossed. No word yet on selling books four and five of the Sylph series, but I am happy that people seem to really like book three.  That makes me very happy, especially given how it's not the standard sort of romantic fantasy novel. Thanks, everyone.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Battle Sylph is going to be in a commercial

Thanks to the efforts of Hannah Wolfson, the best promoter in the world at Dorchester, THE BATTLE SYLPH is going to be showing up in a Vorizon commercial for the new IPad 2. Its in the commercial below, at about the .13 second mark. It's in the shot where they show the IBooks bookshelf, and it's the second book in the second row. I'm still in shock. Yay!

video

In other news, I've posted the prologue for QUEEN OF THE SYLPHS on the Sylphs books page. Just to give people a taste for the book.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Thoughts behind covers

On one of my earlier posts (Queen of the Sylphs cover on 2 Jun 11), a reader named Pam made a comment that she loved the cover, but wished that Solie had red hair in it, since she is a redhead.  Very good point, Pam.

It's my fault that she doesn't.  When Dorchester asked me if I had any thoughts for the cover, I suggested they use blue. My reasoning was, there's been a predominant colour tone on each of the books so far. There was black for the first, showing the direness of the situation. There was red for the second, showing the passion of the characters, and the blue is in the third as a sign of the sorrow. It's also a nod to Claw, who has blue hair and is a predominant character in this book. At least, that's my logic in looking at it.

BTW, the men at the bottom are just dropped in there, but I can't not look at them and name them. Left to right (starting with the one who has a face) they're Claw, Mace, Ril, Heyou, and Dillon. At least, I think they are. The two shadowy ones in the back are probably Wat and Blue.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Update

I'm really bad at updating this...gah...I must become better at it.

Updates...a lot's been happening.  For those who are interested:

QUEEN OF THE SYLPHS is through the editing process. I've read over the galley proof, which is a pdf of the book as it appears in print, and it's all good to go. A professional proofreader is also reading it, but my job is done unless they come back and go "hey, you did something really stupid here." This has happened to me...

I will be doing a blog tour to promote QUEEN OF THE SYLPHS in September. So right now I'm writing blog entries, answering interview questions, etc. It's been a lot of fun and a lot of work. Here's the schedule:

Monday 09/26: Lurv a la Mode
Tuesday 09/27: Parajunkee’s View
Saturday 10/1: Waiting for Faeries

This is definitely keeping me busy. Plus I get to check out all these websites. They're worth giving a look.

Otherwise, I'm just writing, writing, writing while my agent works on finding buyers. Apparently the summer is a slow time for book contracts as everyone is on vacation, so it should pick up soon.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

I have a release date for Queen

Apparently, if I'm reading this notice I found correctly, QUEEN OF THE SYLPHS will be released by Dorchester in both Trade, E-book format, and Audio on 6 September 2011.

They're also rereleasing my first two books in Trade format.  So yay, a solid date!

That gives me two months for all the editing.... *cry*

At least I know what I'm doing this summer.

Plugging Along or: My muse is weird

As I've mentioned before, THE HOMUNCULUS, book two of my Cuckoo series, took forever to write.  I started it in March of 2010 and didn't finish the first draft until May of this year.  I think it's a pretty good book (I haven't actually read it yet.  I don't read my work as I'm initially writing it.  Kills my creativity for some reason) but it was like pulling teeth to get it.

Two days after that one was finished, I started typing book three of the series, THE REVENANT, where inspiration proves yet again that she's a fickle , as it's day 13 after I started and I've written just over 17,000 words and am on Chapter Five.  And this is after I discovered some sort of massive bug with the new version of the word processing software I was using meant it wasn't actually saving anything and I lost 5000 words.  That was a bad day when I figured that one out.

The is the sort of inspiration that I want, obviously.  I much prefer to spew out a book than to fight with it.  I don't know why this book is coming out so easily while the last one was a reluctant mule about it (book one, THE CUCKOO, came out at a decent speed, taking me four months for the first draft).  It must be something about how it was a middle of the series book.  I don't know for sure.  Most of the Sylph books took progressively longer to write.  Book four, HUNTER OF THE SYLPHS (which is still looking for a home and may just have one soon), took what seemed forever and was another molasses book, beat only by, what a surprise, THE HOMUNCULUS.

At least it's done now.  Until the rewrite, anyway.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Queen of the Sylphs cover

Look what I have.  Isn't it pretty?  I think this is my favourite of all the Sylph covers.  It's done by Anne Cain.

Friday, May 27, 2011

I Finished!

The first draft of THE HOMUNCULUS is finished!  Woot!  I started that bad boy on 1 Feb 2010.  Gah.... But it's done now! 

Tomorrow I start on THE REVENANT.   Yippee!

Edits will wait until all three are done so I can work on them as a whole.  Makes continuity easier to manage.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Another Update

I've passed 90,000 words in The Homunculus.  That's 10,000 words since my last post on 6 May, which is 17 days, which is an average of 588 words a day.

Wow, that sucks....

This book has been like pulling teeth.  I'm enjoying the way it's turning out, but hoo, man, it's been fighting me!  The Battle Sylph took me a month to write.  I have no idea why (but I wish that always happened).  Each successive Sylph book took longer to finish, to the point where book 4 took 9 months to write (book 4 does take place before book 5, but I wrote book 5 first).

I actually started writing The Homunculus on 1 Feb 2010.  It REALLY fought me then until I had to put it aside for about 6 months or so until I figured out how to rework the plot.  Good thing I didn't have a contract for it (still don't) as that would have really made me nervous.

My all time record for writing a book is for one called Hunting the Rapture.  It's up at about a dozen houses right now for sale.  It's 511 typed pages, over 200,000 words, and took me four years to write.  That one was written back when I wrote everything out longhand.... took years to get me to actually type stuff straight into a computer, so I don't think that record will be broken....I hope.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Another update

I've hit 80,000 words in The Humunculus!  Yay!

I've also got ideas for the next series I'm going to write *sigh* that may go as many as seven books in length.

For anyone who is paying attention, I've finished playing with my site design of the most part and www.ljmcdonald.ca is just a splash page leading here.  Much kudos to Starkite Works for helping me do this.  I couldn't have done it without her.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Update

In case anyone's noticed, the site's undergoing a lot of changes.  A friend's helping me turn it into something more easily updatable and customizable than my old site.

In writing news, I'm 70,000 words into the first draft of THE HOMUNCULUS.  20-30k left to go, then on to book three.  I haven't sold the series yet.


Also, I stuck a new artwork in the new My Artwork page.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

And now for something completely different....

I know it's nothing to do with writing, but I'm happy with it.  This is the first (hopefully successful) attempt at creating art on my new cintiq drawing tablet.   I had to fiddle with the colour calibration when I took it off the tablet and put it on my main computer screen, so hopefully she doesn't look oddly coloured to anyone.

I should probably go write something now...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Why Bees?

I found myself chatting with Autumn Dawn recently, a very nice author who's over at http://www.authorautumndawn.blogspot.com/ and who gave THE BATTLE SYLPH a sweet little plug.  She'd just got herself a new beehive and the idea of hives and queens in the sylph universe appealed to her.  She asked me why I used that idea.

It's kind of hard to say what I was thinking when I came up with it.  I've said before somewhere that the sylphs were inspired by bees and tengu and all sorts of stuff.  I tend to play with concepts in my writing, even if I'm the only one who knows it, and I do recall that I brought in the bee idea because I wanted to explore the idea of power.  I've read a lot of books, both good and bad, which have characters with immense power, and immense power over other people.  That's great.  But usually those with the greatest power end up with those they have power over going "Hey!  Cut it out!" Look at all the books where the the protagonists are out to stop the evil king/god/demon/priest/whatever who's crushing their freedom.  I can't think off the top of my head of any books where the characters are under that sort of absolute power and are perfectly fine with it.  It would be a rare sylph indeed who didn't want to have a master/queen (*shifty look towards book six*)  Anyway, bees are happy with the whole hive mentality, and I kind of liked that for the sylphs.  It certainly wouldn't work in any universe - humans are notoriously bad at bee-like behaviour - but it worked in this one.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My website's fixed

Yay, I figured it out, so it's not longer saying that Midwinter still is coming out at Christmas or that Queen is releasing in March.  Sorry for everyone who was misled by that.  I'm pondering doing an overhaul of the site's entire look, but I primarily want to use this blog for updating and make the other site as simple as possible.

I've also added a little widget thing at the bottom of each entry so people can click to give their thoughts on whatever I put out there.  I thought it was kind of cute, though I may end up regretting adding the WTF? option....

Monday, March 7, 2011

I'm nominated!

I got an email yesterday giving me some good news.

A Midwinter Fantasy has been nominated by TRR reviewers for Best in Anthology (Romance) for 2010 at The Romance Reviews (“TRR”), and

The Battle Sylph has been nominated by TRR reviewers for Best in Fantasy Romance for 2010 at The Romance Reviews (“TRR”).



Thanks for everyone who voted for me!  I didn't expect to do even this well.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Where I am

Barbaranramos commented on one of my posts about being happy to hear I'm writing book six of the Sylph series.  I should give an update on all of that.

Books four and five of the Sylph series are written and edited.  Dorchester gave me a contract to buy them back in September, but I turned it down.  Much as I love my editor there, I'm not happy at their new publishing direction towards E-books only, followed by expensive trades.   My agent is looking for a different house to publish them instead, who'll release them in paperback as well as e-format.  Dorchester still owns the rights to the first three books though, and it's hard to sell the second half of a series to a publishing house when they can't get control of the first half.

So, THE SYLPH HUNTER and WAR OF THE SYLPHS aren't coming out anytime soon that I know of.  DOOR TO THE SYLPHS is on hold for a couple of reasons.  One is because it's coming out more as straight fantasy than romantic fantasy and another is because I'm not happy with it and have it in the mental simmer pot.  The third reason is because I'm writing something else.

My agent, who is awesome, has two finished books of mine in her hands.  HUNTING THE RAPTURE is straight fantasy and THE CLIFFS OF SHAKIRI is sci-fi young adult.  Neither are romantic fantasy.  I don't think of myself specifically as a romantic fantasy author, to be honest.  But I do have a series that does have it as part of the storyline and is actually quite a bit steamier than the Sylph books, I think.

THE CUCKOO is written and has gone through a first edit and is in my agent's hands.  I'm halfway through writing THE HOMUNCULUS and will follow it up with THE REVENANT.  I'm hoping to sell all three at once and get the first drafts written so that I can edit them as a whole.  Completely different universe from the Sylphs, different characters, different everything.  Still fantasy, though.

So that's where I am, along with working a full time job that's getting a little crazy right now.  I'm writing, but the release of the books themselves is completely out of my hands.  I'm just trying to get through them and find a reliable beta reader.  And fix the website.  I know it's kinda outdated.  I'm having problems logging in.  Sorry.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Grand Opening!


Hi everyone.  The Romance Reviews website is having their Grand Opening throughout all of March and they have all sorts of prizes and other stuff to be won.  I'm one of the featured authors on there and there'll be an ad for The Battle Sylph up.  Apparently you can vote for your favourite books and authors.  By voting, you guys can win prizes of gift certificates and books and the like.  If you vote for me and I win, I get an advertising package to promote my books.  Sort of a win/win scenario.

Just click on the picture above to go and visit their website.


http://www.theromancereviews.com

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Just Touching Base

Eek.  Since I have people who seem to actually be reading this, I should probably put an update. I don't have much to say, mind you.  I had a nice, quiet Christmas break that I enjoyed very much and am getting ready to go back to work tomorrow.  That won't be so bad. 

In the writing world, I'm plugging along as normal.  I'm waiting for the first edits back of QUEEN OF THE SYLPHS, seeing what's happening with her two sequels, and just hit the 74k word mark for book six in the series, which has the very boring working title of DOOR TO THE SYLPHS.  Not sure how long that one will be, but it's either going to be the longest book in the series or be split into book six and seven.  Don't know at this point.  I don't usually know where I'm going with a novel during the first draft anyway.

Once I finish that book, I'm going to write something in another universe.  I have several to pick from, so it's just a matter of seeing which one sucks me in more when the time comes.