Sunday, May 24, 2015

A Whole New Hell

Wow, this will make three, count 'em, THREE blog entries this month! Can you stand the excitement? LOL

Well, the good news is I've finished the last round of edits on Lucky Dog and it is even now in the hands of my editor. I'd make some flippant remark about all the different ways she could tell me how bad the book is, but I don't want to give her any idea. ;-)

So while I'm waiting to get my book back, I thought it might be a good idea to start working on the cover. When I wrote the first half of the book during NaNo I came up with a mock-up cover for it, but I've since been informed that the picture I wanted to use is unavailable. It's too bad, really, because it would have been perfect.

So now I'm perusing the stock photos for a new cover dog. Have you any idea how many dog photos there are? Thousands. And that's just on the site (Dreamstime) I'm using.

It's a tricky thing, searching for a particular picture. You can't be too specific - black dog in woods - or the search will come up empty. But 'black dog' leaves you wide open to 311 pages of dog photos.

You gotta wonder about some of these filters though. While I can understand the inclusion of puppies and poodles and dogs that only have a smidgeon of black on them, I have to wonder about the inclusion of the woman posing with a china dog. Okay, she's dressed in black and the china dog is black, but what about the guy in the hoodie holding the Pomeranian? The only thing black in that picture is the background. And although I've met a few dogs that were the size of small horses, I'm a little surprised when a horse shows up in my search for a dog. Ditto for the red rose and the cat.

But this is how I've spent my Sunday afternoon, and I've narrowed it down to two possible candidates. There's gotta be a better way of doing this, right?

Of course there is! If I had any money I could pay someone to do it for me. But I don't, so I can't.

And the solution for that is quite simple. I just need all of you out there, and your friends, to buy my books. :-D

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Editing Hell

Yes, my friends, I am in editing hell. I spent the better part of last week editing a single scene. Bearing in mind that I'm trying to reduce the word count of Lucky Dog, this scene was originally 14,600 words but I ruthlessly pared it down to a mere 3,000 words. Then I read it over and added 1,600 words back in. LOL

The scene itself involved Dominic (formerly known as Bandit the dog) and Sebastian (his friend the bard) rescuing the fair Jessica (the heroine of our tale) from the nasty witch guards. Their original plan was an intricate plot that involved a lot of window dressing and the addition of several extra characters who, once they played their part, would never be heard from again.

There was nothing wrong with the five chapter scene per se, but five chapters for a single rescue? Their plan was unnecessarily complicated and involved too many extra people. The one I came up with to replace it with was more succinct and involved only Dominic and Sebastian. And quite honestly, it made more sense too. There was some detail I regret losing, like showing how the new king's rule was affecting the land, but the important stuff can be worked back in as needed.

But the good news is, I'm over the halfway mark now with only about 100 pages left to go.

In the meantime, I've been neglecting pretty much everything else. I really want this book finished, like yesterday. So I will continue to neglect pretty much everything else until it's done. :-D

Don't forget to catch up on your serial reading, courtesy of Jamie DeBree:
Live With Me
- career girl Candace falls prey to a plot that forces her and her old high school crush to live under the same roof while he recuperates from a sports injury. Sparks are about to fly!
Dry Rain
- a seriously creepy story about a moth infestation that decimates the Earth.
And Double Blind
- a spicy tale of a woman being presented by an offer she's going to find it hard to refuse - spending a weekend on a yacht with two men, and spending the entire time blind-folded.

Happy reading!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Man, It's May?

Funny thing about time, it stands still for no one. Least of all for struggling authors.

Given my lack of posts here, one might get the impression that I've been slacking off on the writing or something, but that's not true at all. I've actually been doing okay in the writing department, it's the editing I've been slacking off on. My own editing that is. Give me someone else's book to work on and I'm a happy camper. My own, well . . . not so much. :-D

I will admit that I've been a little low on motivation these last few weeks, but I take heart in the fact that I'm not alone. Several other authors I keep tabs on through their blogs or Facebook are also rather unmotivated. Maybe it's something in the air, like pollen?

Because author cannot live by editing alone, I've started a new story, the first of a trilogy. I'm not quite sure how to categorize them, they start out contemporary and then kind of segue into fantasy/paranormal. They're connected by a common prologue, but each should be able to stand alone as well.

My focus for the month of May is going to be to finish up with Lucky Dog. I've really been dragging my heals with this one, and there's no good reason for it. I had the draft finished before Christmas, so it should have been released into the wilds by now. My only excuse is that I'm intimidated by its sheer length - 300 pages and over 100,000 words. I would really like to pare it down to a respectable 80,000 words, but . . .

I've had my mind set on getting it out there first, not just because I finished the draft in November, but because I've had so many people asking about it. Give the people what they want, eh? However, I have to admit that it would have been smarter to do the edits on An Elemental Earth first, because it's a cleaner draft to work with and if I'd timed it right, I could have released it on Earth Day. Now wouldn't that have been cool?

Yes, it would have been the smarter thing to do, but no one's ever accused me of being overly smart. :-D

So here's the plan, such as it is:
Finish up the edits Lucky Dog so I can get it to my betas this month and hopefully publish it in June
Edit and publish An Elemental Earth by July
Finish writing Wandering Wizards, the third in the Moonstone Chronicles
Start writing An Elemental Spirit, the fifth, and final book in the Ardraci Elementals series
And at the same time I'll also be working on the first in my Wishing Star trilogy, simply because I've already started the first book. Yes, I can write more than one book at a time. ;-)

You notice Guardian isn't on the list? While I'm glad I took the time to actually finish one of my NaNo novels, I'm not in a big hurry to get it out there. It's the start of a new series and I already have two series on the go. Three if you count the Wishing Star. So no rush for it.

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

Anybody out there like serials? Personally, I love them. I read so fast normally that sometimes it's refreshing to read a story that stretches out for a long period of time.

My bestie Jamie has started not one, not two, but THREE new on-line stories that will be updated each Friday. Now the installments are only up for a week and they started last week, but if you email her nicely, she send you the installment you missed.

On The Variety Pages we have Live With Me the sequel to Sleep With Me
Her alter-ego Alex Westhaven has a story guaranteed to make your skin crawl called Dry Rain. Having been plagued by a moth problem in the past, this is really hitting home for me.
And her alter-ego Trinity Marlow has started a story called Sailing Blind that is sure to heat things up on those chilly spring nights. ;-)

And if that weren't enough, you can also sign up for newsletters from Jamie and her alter-egos and have installments from three entirely different stories sent to your inbox each month. Romance, thrilling suspense, steam - there's something for everyone. Seriously, it doesn't get much better than that!