Monthly Archives: May 2014

25 Ways to Help Self-Published Authors

Most of these cost nothing, but they’re so helpful. If you love a book, show it! Yes, even if the review is only four stars. 😉

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Some News, A Sample, A Dance Party. Just a Regular Day…

Hey, folks! I don’t have much time to post– there’s this dog here waiting for a walk, and he’s giving me this face AGAIN:

 

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…so I’ll keep this brief.

The sample is here– I’ve updated and posted Chapter One of Bound here on the blog. Some of you saw it in earlier stages, but things have changed a liiiiiitle bit. (Fun fact: this chapter used to be the prologue I was going to cut. I don’t think Aren would have been pleased!)

The news is that I’m done with edits. I’m going to leave it a few days, read through again to catch whatever remaining hiccups I can, and then a few brave volunteers will get their ARCs on Monday. Everyone else, I’ll be in touch.

I’ll be sending out a newsletter soon with cover reveal date/release date news, so if you haven’t signed up yet and want to be the first to know, mosey on over here to sign up.

If you still want to volunteer to read and review in exchange for a free e-book copy, or if you’d be kind enough to help out with the cover reveal/release on your own blog, I’d love to have you on board! Leave a comment or contact me at kate.sparkes (at) live.ca

One more bit of news: It’s still pretty sparse, but my author page is up! Like there for book stuff, random fun, and oh, that’s where the release party thing is going down. Right here.

And the dance party… did you hear me? DONE THAT ROUND OF TERRIFYING, FRUSTRATING, BUT OH-SO-WORTH-IT EDITS!

So then I did like this:

You’re welcome. 🙂


WIPpet Wednesday: The Triumphant and Climactic Return

So, SOMEONE said I needed to get my ass back to WIPpet Wednesdays. And because this SOMEONE commands a fleet of flying monkeys, here I am.

But the thing is, edits are still going really well, so I don’t have time for anything complicated. I was having climax issues (heh), but I think I’ve got it sorted. Things have changed, melodrama has shifted to a lower-burning but still toasty conflict (I hope) that explodes into a lengthier scene than I’d had before.

I still don’t feel entirely comfortable adding words, but hey, I have permission. Yeah, the story’s long, but this is one advantage of independent publishing. I can give readers the whole story without worrying about being rejected because I went over 100,000 words to tell it properly, and I don’t have to charge $12.99 for an e-book to let people enjoy it. VALUE, PEOPLE!*

Oh, and if you offered to read an ARC and would like one a tiny bit early so you can notify me of typos/ minor flubs I may have added in the editing process , let me know. I have this idea where ARC readers who notice mistakes get entered for a chance to win a cameo appearance in the last book of the trilogy. 🙂

Here’s 14+14+5=33 words from the climactic scene itself. No context, because I don’t want to give anything away.

 

Aren wiped the blood from his chin. “I’m not going to stop fighting until you let her go.”
“I thought so.” Severn  tilted his head to one side. “You know you can’t win.”
“I’ll try.”

Hmm… I feel like that won’t quite satisfy our host KL Schwengel’s thirst for blood.

Oh, well. *evil grin*

For anyone who’s new to the blog (hi there!), WIPpet Wendnesday is the day when a bunch of us post a snippet from a work in progress that somehow relates to the day’s date. In my case, the math was simple (14th day, 5th month, [20]14), but it can get crazy. Page number, holiday references, algebra… you name it, we’ve done it. Feel free to join in by posting on your own blog, then link back here, and be sure to stop by and say hello to everyone else! We’re a friendly bunch, I promise.

Quickie ROW80 Update

It’s good. Seriously. I’ve gotta go. Still might be done edits by then end of this week. Then another read-through, minor tweaking (not twerking), and then formatting HOLY CARP.

Signing off… back to work.

 

*The paperback might cost you, though 😉


Sunday ROW80 Update– 3/4 Edition

I know. Late again. Absent again.

No, I didn’t exactly fall off the blogging wagon. I just don’t have time to write here right now, because EDITING. Yep, I’m actually doing it, getting through this thing one chapter at a time. One tiny change, one major scene overhaul, one “just go back and add this earlier and explain that other thing better” at a time.

Chapter 28 is up tonight, and it needs work.

It’s also kind of a big deal. Can’t screw it up.

What this means is that I’m 3/4 of the way through, and could very well be done these edits by the end of the week. The kids are both in school every morning this month, and I’m taking advantage of every hour they give me (and some they don’t, too).

Guys. I know this is only scary for me, and those of you who already have books out are laughing quietly to yourselves, but I’m really getting nervouscited.

Much as I’ve wanted to kick some chapters (and characters) right in the Timbits, I’m excited about this story. It’s so close to being ready.

EDITING:

On chapter 28 of 35. So close I can taste it.

READING:

Completed beta read of a FANTASTIC book that you’ll hear all about closer to release time. SO GOOD.

OTHER STUFF:

I didn’t really have many other goals for this round, but I’ve got a few other quick projects done. I don’t have time or space to break out the paints, but I gave two old My Little Pony girls new life with fresh hair in brand new colours. I think they look happy. 🙂

 

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Applejack (had ratty yellow hair)

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Dancing Butterflies (had slightly less-ratty yellow hair. But just slightly)

 

So, how about you? What have I missed while I’ve been holed up in the editing cave? What’s happening on your blog and/or in your neck of the woods?


I Feel Like This is My Fault.

Remember when I was talking about how everything is brown, and spring is coming, and yadda yadda?

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HAHAHAHAHA!

No.


Anticipation (ROW80 Update)

The sun came out yesterday. This isn’t big news, I guess. The sun tends to do that every once in a while, even during April showers season in Newfoundland. But blue skies still manage to take me by surprise sometimes, especially when I don’t get a headache to warn me that they’re coming. Yesterday was one of those times.

And what did the sun shine down on? Brown. Relentless, monotonous, winter-coloured brown. Dead grass. Bare branches. Dirt. Even the evergreens we have around here have a brownish tone to them, though they’re called black spruce. No flowers yet. No buds on the trees bursting into green life.

Oh, but the rocks are grey. Kind of brownish grey, but still. We have a lot of them to break up the scenery.

Honestly, it’s a depressing time of year. There’s no pretty snow anymore to cover up the bare earth and last year’s leaf litter, but life hasn’t caught up to the change in the seasons. It’s just… blah.

It’s hard to see the end. Though I know in my mind that spring (real spring, not calendar spring) will come eventually, it’s difficult to truly believe that. It seems like the aggressive brownness is eternal and inescapable. My facebook friends have pictures of green lawns and flowers. I have brown.

But yesterday I chose to look at it differently. There’s beauty in every season, even those that are difficult or dull as housework.

Yes, the world is brown. The plants look dead. In fact, most of them are dead.

But the world is waiting, isn’t it? This is the part where Nature holds her breath, waiting for just the right moment to explode back into life and growth and wonder. No, spring isn’t here like it is in other places. Our lawns are brown, it’s too early to plant gardens because of frost, and most of the birds haven’t returned. But it’s not an empty or useless time. It’s the season of anticipation and preparation for every amazing, beautiful thing that will be here.

It will start small, with fuzzy little buds on branches and an escalation of the twitterings in the trees that I only started to notice yesterday. Small patches of green will appear on lawns and spread, overtaking the brown.* We’ll have to watch out for mama and baby moosies on the roads– they’re still brown, but in a far less depressing way. Flowers will come, some day.

But for now, the world waits and prepares.

Yes, I’m procrastinating.

ROW80 Update

Speaking of preparation, I’m waist-deep in it, wading through edits, exercising the superpowers granted to all writers (time travel, the ability to change the past and alter the fabric of fictional people’s reality, that stuff). It’s going well, but there’s still plenty to do. Having my own space to work is doing wonders for my ability to focus, even if my office doesn’t have walls. I’m discovering new angles and moments in my story that are making it better and more delicious** than it was before. I still struggle with doubts, but who doesn’t? And at least I’m moving forward, slowly but surely.

If you want specifics, I’m on chapter 12, after massive struggles with re-writing chunks of chapters eight and eleven. Coming up on more revisions as I simplify a few things and complicate others, trying to balance tension with backstory, action with dialogue… y’know. FUN STUFF.

In other news, a new friend and I have decided that “backstory” should be a curse word. I say it now when I stub my toe or drop stuff. So every five minutes or so.

I’m also beta reading a fantastic book. I wish I had time to get through that more quickly, but I’m getting there.

So there we go. I’m enjoying this process. It’s a little like May at times– it’s a hard slog, kind of dull after I’ve read this one story dozens of times already, and at times it feels like I’m not moving forward at all thanks to the need to go back and change history (which takes ages). But I am making progress, just as spring is. The difference is that I can’t sit and wait for this to happen. I have to work, and every bit of hard work and every irritating detail I don’t let myself skip is building to something grand.

In other news, this is why anyone who’s ever said “I could write a better book than _____, EASY” should actually try it. This stuff’s hard, yo. Rewarding, beautiful, but oh so challenging.

So there you go. UPDATED.

OH– and in other news, I’m a super huge dork, a bad friendquaintance, and a fool. A FOOL, I SAY. I signed up for a cover reveal, got the post set up, scheduled it to go live on May 1… and forgot to make sure the post wasn’t set to draft. Thanks to my absence from the WordPress-ular area, I didn’t notice until this morning. So PLEASE, stop by and give Adrian J. Smith and her book For By Grace some love on the post which has now posted. Here. HERE. Please.

 

 

*Well… not on MY lawn, because it’s just dirt now. But elsewhere. 🙂

**Books are brain candy. You know they are.


COVER REVEAL: For By Grace – Adrian J. Smith

Happy new month, everyone! Today is a special day– I have the privilege of hosting a cover reveal for one of our lovely WIPpeteers!

 

Title: For by Grace
Author: Adrian J. Smith
Genre: Crime/ Mystery/ FF
Publication Date: June 1, 2014

 

Being a Sheriff’s Deputy is not all about saving lives and arresting criminals, and each day Grace wonders if she’ll make it home.

While kids at the schools Deputy Grace Halling visits see her as the knight in blue-cotton armor, people involved in the cases she is dispatched to have a different opinion. She has every confidence in her ability to do her job and arrest criminals. She easily takes down a knife-wielding woman and a drunken combatant teenager without hesitation. Everyone—victim, suspect, or witness—has a story to tell or to lie about, and Grace is never perturbed by their tales.

That all changes when she looks down the barrel of a gun. She loses confidence in her ability as a deputy, she loses trust in herself and fellow officers, and she struggles to stay afloat as shift after shift passes. Grace cannot find her rhythm of being a deputy again. And when the Police Chaplain unexpectedly barges into her life, her personal and professional lives are flipped upside down. Grace struggles to find even ground, worrying that the next time she stares a murderer in the face will be the last.

Add to GoodReads

Adrian J. Smith, or “AJ” as she is often called, is a part-time writer with an epic imagination, sharp wit, and kind heart that gets her into a bit of trouble when it comes to taking in all the neighborhood stray cats. Being obsessed with science fiction, Smith often goes off on tangents about the space-time continuum. She is also a part-time lunatic with a secretive past. It’s been rumored that she was once a spy for the government, but anyone who has gotten close enough to know the truth has never lived to tell the tale. When traveling around the world on various classified tasks, Smith requires the following be provided: buffalo jerky, mimosas, and eighty-six pennies. This is all we know about the reclusive woman.

At least 10% of all proceeds goes to Sanctuary For Kids. It’s a fantastic organization that sends money to help children around the world. Charity and children are an extremely important part of Adrian’s life and supporting them in any way possible is magnificent. Please check out their website to see what they are doing and consider donating to them yourself.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/adrianjsmithbooks

Twitter: www.twitter/com/adrianajsmith

Author Website: adrianjsmith.wordpress.com

Author GoodReads: www.goodreads.com/adrianjsmith

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Adrian-J.-Smith/e/B00B94LSPW/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1390923004&sr=8-1

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