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What should the title be?

mermcursI’ve been talking about and showing snippets from my upcoming book for over a year now. For that entire year I’ve been calling it “Mermaid’s Curse”.

The book is a Lovecraft meets high fantasy with witches, merfolk, and clerics bent on killing all the witches. The first book is how the curse happens, and the evil clerics trying to sacrifice her.

I’ve been told “mermaid” in the title might limit sales since it’s so specific … So I’d like some feedback.

Would you buy this book? Would you change the title? Suggestions maybe?

Anyone who would like to read the first chapter, it’s available here!

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Posted by on March 21, 2015 in On Writing

 

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Back tracking

zombie miniA while ago I started working on a short story called Zombie Swarm. I even came up with a cover that I really liked.

So why isn’t it out? Because as much as I liked the concept and several of the scenes of that story, it just wasn’t good enough.

The biggest problem was easy to fix. I added a few more characters. The whole situation wasn’t very convincing or suspenseful enough so it ended up falling a little flat. Most of the story takes place inside of once little lab, but with only two people working in a lab you don’t have a lot to work with. I added three more people and suddenly things started coming together. There were more issues between characters, more problems, and more strife. Then the creature they are dealing with, I didn’t have to change it much, but I did have to add a few more scenes to the original plot, and a lot more detail.

So it meant going back, completely reworking the original plot line, and rewriting it. I threw away the 6000 words I’d already written to start all over again. But I know I’m going to have a better story because I did that, even if it really REALLY sucked throwing away 6k words that I wrote. I’m also expecting the finished story to be twice as long, at least, so that’s a plus.

Don’t be afraid to throw it out and start all over again.

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2015 in On Writing, Writers Block

 

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Time, Resolutions and Free Books

Why do we mark the perfect time to start things by calendar months? It isn’t as if the sacred sheet of paper with the squares and numbers determines when the best time to start doing X is. “I’m going to go to the gym because the sacred sheet of dates has declared it a new year, and I must make a resolution to do better this year!”

This morning I got out of bed and thought about my vlog. I didn’t do a great job of Vloging every day. More like 4 times a week. More then I ever did before that, but still. And the thought came “Well, tomorrow is a new year, I could start again. Right?”

I could. Definitely. But why not start today? Why not start last week? Why not realize the fundamental futility of the calendar and just DO IT!

And I think I know why… We, as humans, need validation. We need that demarcation of time so that we can say “I accomplished X in this amount of time.”

Last year was a fantastic year for me to write. I wrote almost a quarter of a million words, nearly completed three novel length books, and am planning to publish. It was a TERRIBLE year of my publishing. I only published one short story. So here I am demarcating a length of time and saying last year wasn’t so great, so lets make this year better. Even so, NaNoWriMo went amazingly and I know I can do it. I just need to DO IT!

On the personal side, the last three months of 2014 were FANTASTIC. My boyfriend finally figured out what he wanted and moved in with me. My children have started to leave the nest and make lives of their own. My job is still not fantastic, but I feel like I’m getting closer to the writing career I want all the time, even if I didn’t publish much in 2014. So there’s hope.

For the free books!

footprintsminiFootprints will be free on January 2-4th and the 17th and 18th (B00JT3889Y)

Jake is on a journey to reunite the shattered past with the present. Faced with his fathers death, he goes to the family cabin one last time to say good bye. But he isn’t alone.

Potion Shop will be free on January 9-11, and the 24th and 25th (B00FUYS6BG)potionshop

Curiosity, desire, and magic.
When little mousy Marcy get’s pulled into a potion shop she finds more magic then just what’s inside the bottles.

 

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2014 in Updates

 

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Forgotten Ones

forgottenonesminiI am down to the final edit of “Forgotten Ones”, and adding in the last few scenes.

So I finished the cover.

Thank’s to David Wright for pointing me in the direction of Font Squirrel, and the twenty-eight fonts I downloaded last night. The one I used for the title and this cover is “Griffin”. An unusual font, to be sure, but I found it eye catching.

The cover depicts “the all seeing eye”, which is appropriate since “Forgotten Ones” is about the goddesses of Fate who share an eye. (Not literally, but we’ll get to that in the story.)

I will be so happy when this one is finished. It is 22,000 words long at the moment, and I still have a few thousand to go before it’s done. That puts it at short book status, and I will be putting out an ebook and a paperback, on the new Kindle Matchbook program. So if you buy the paperback you’ll get the ebook for free. It will just take a couple weeks longer for the print book to be available as I go through for a third edit, then format, and finally set up the printing. (And the Matchbook won’t be available till October, but if you buy print copies before October you still get them once Matchbook takes affect.)

I know, I know… so much of this must be fascinating.

Know this… This time all three fates are in the fight, and they learn something about themselves they had forgotten in their attempt to survive the rise of humanity. Something that allows them to defeat a god who has regained a lot of his former power.

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2013 in Updates

 

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The Camera is OUT!

camera2“The Camera” is finally out.

Ever have a day when you know what you need to do, you know the process, and how you’re going to get there, but you just can’t seem to do it?
That was this book.

I knew the plot. The characters. What was said, when it was said, and who got hurt because of it. All of it. But when I sat down to put it together my mind froze. I’m not even sure that I know why.

The idea for “The Camera” actually pre-dates “The Ring”, which is the first book in this series. When I first started writing it I didn’t really know where I was going with it though, just that a boy bought a camera that actually stored things within the film, and it was going to cause him some trouble.

I had “Needful Things” in mind when I started it. Or “Friday the 13th”, or “The Room”, or “Warehouse 13″… you take your pick. They all have one thing in common. Cursed items that seem to give you what you want, but come at a price. The camera didn’t give Anthony anything he needed or wanted, it just happened to do something unexpected.

So I had this story idea, and I thought it was a good idea, but it was born during my “stress induced writers block” years, so it never went anywhere.

I wrote “The Ring” years later. It was one of those stories that just flowed out onto the page, and I think that is why it is one of my better stories. It took about five hours to get the entire story written, but I wasn’t publishing when I wrote it. I didn’t even think about it when I first started publishing, and I’m glad I didn’t. If I had, I would have put it up as a stand alone story and “Illicit Gains” would not exist.

After “Flight of the Griffins” and “Twilight Tales” were out I did an audit of all the stories in my files, and found “The Ring”, and several other stories. I started grouping them together to form books, and noticed the five stories revolving around cursed items. It was too perfect. I went back and added some foreshadowing in “The Ring”, edited it, and published it.

I thought “The Camera” would be easy to finish. I had three-quarters of it already written, and already knew what happened in the middle. Easy. Right? WRONG!

Every time I sat down to write it something would just scream “wrong” at me. The plot wasn’t right, lets tweak it. This character isn’t right. Lets tweak him. This could be worded a LOT better, tweak. Tweak. Tweak some more.

The entire plot (beyond boy finds camera, boy discover camera does something weird, boy has a horrible thing happen because of camera) changed at least four times. At first there was a thief, then there was a bully, then there was… Well lets just say that I didn’t have the true plot until I started fleshing out the 5th book in the series, “Marco”.

Those of you keeping score, I’ll actually give you the titles of all five of the stories in this series:
“The Ring”
“The Camera”
“The Scarab Necklace”
“The Pocket Watch”
“Marco”

If you read “The Ring” you’ll know who Marco is. He ties the whole series together.

Pressing publish on “The Camera” was a huge weight off my shoulders. After three weeks of saying “it’s going to be out this weekend” I finally got to say “It’s OUT”. I was starting to wonder if it ever would be.

But, this is a good thing. It means I don’t want to put out just any old crap. I want to tell a good story. Maybe there’s a missing comma, or I screwed up a homonym, but the story itself, the characters, the plot and setting, I’m proud of that. I can go back and fix the typos and polish the grammar a bit. But I can’t retract a bad story. I don’t even want to put out a story I’m not proud to call mine.

Now, ten years down the road I fully expect to hate everything I wrote and want to rewrite it. But I’m going to resist the urge. I’ll definitely be hiring a pro-editor, when I can afford it, to re-edit everything, but I won’t be changing the core story. I will let it stand as a testament to my progress because I fully expect each story to be better than the last.

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2013 in Stories

 

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Small Bites 4

4SB4smI just hit publish for “Small Bites 4”.
This will be my first Science Fiction stories to see publication, but not the last. Androids, genetic manipulation, planetary colonization, time travel, and everything that can go wrong with it… And maybe a few things that go right.

Ravens
A planetary mission goes terribly wrong.

Past Talks

A time traveling documentary maker is interviewed on VR.

Skin Deep

There’s something different about Abby, and the cat she’s trying to catch knows it.

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2013 in On Writing

 

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Updates all around!

The latest episode of Self Publishing Round Table: Episode 2 is now up and ready for your viewing pleasure. And I HAVE A CAMERA! So you can see me laughing, blushing, and getting flustered in recorded time. Awesome!

WATCH IT HERE!!!

My co-hosts–  Carl Sinclair |  Wade Finnegan  |  Bill Dowis  |  John Ward

Also, I have eight books up now, and a few hopefully coming soon.

comingsoon

That about sums up the updates for now. I’ll to a more in depth post later.

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2013 in Updates

 

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