ROW80 Update- Falling off the Cliff Edition

Not literally. It’s just my first book‘s last few days of eligibility for Hot New Release lists on My poor baby is going to feel the sting of being replaced by newer and younger books.

Le sigh.

But what the hell, right? It’s been an awesome run. I didn’t expect to see it on this list. Or here.

Fullscreen capture 2014-07-20 84034 AM.bmp

Or here. I am keeping this screenshot FOREVER.

Maybe its spot in a couple of sub-category best-seller lists will keep it afloat for a while. I actually have no idea how that usually works out, long-term. I’m torn between sharing EVERYTHING here in the interest of getting potentially helpful information out there for other writers, and just staying all shut-up because someone’s going to come along and say, “PFFT. IT’S JUST A COUPLE OF SUB-CATEGORIES, GET A LIFE, ROOKIE.”

It’s major for me. These little victories don’t take away the crippling self-doubt that most writers seem to struggle with, but they’re really nice.

Thanks again to everyone who’s read, reviewed, shared the book with friends, and offered support and encouragement in the past month. I hope I’ll see you all at the next release party. 🙂

Okay, update.

Goals were here, and right now mainly focus on getting Torn whipped into shape for readers and then my editor. Good news: I’m 1/3 of the way through. Bad news: Subtracting family vacation time (I’m going to go nuts if I can’t work, I swear), that leaves about 4 weeks to get through the other 70K+ words, which includes two new scenes and full re-writes of others, plus heavy revisions.

I can do this. I just hope my dear husband finds it in his heart to accept my frequent absences when I disappear to my office*. I also hope I can figure out how to not be distracted by social media, etc., which is my writing Kryptonite. The distraction, I mean, not social media specifically. If I didn’t have that, it would be something else. I don’t have ADD, but I definitely have CFF (Can’t F%$*ing Focus… not the Canadian Fencing Federation).

Once I get working, I’m fine for a good 20 minutes or so. It’s just settling into it that’s hard. That, and the kids hanging off of me, the Barbie doll chatting in my ear about how she’s the Salt Queen now, the rest of the “Are you done yet? Now? How about now?”

I feel like this is the main benefit of an office job. And I still don’t particularly want to work with a publisher, but I think my deadlines might carry more weight with people if I could say they came from somewhere other than me and the promise I made to readers. It’s a little frustrating.

Anyway. I’m pretty well on schedule, and that’s the important thing.

For anyone who doesn’t know, ROW80 is a writing challenge that lets you set your own flexible goals for each round. More information here. And if you’d like to check out some other people’s posts, click here! Join in any time at your own blog space if you feel so inclined.

In other news, I’m considering dropping out of this challenge. I’m not sure these posts are anything but boring for you guys, and they take time away from actual writing (my perfectionist tendencies and paranoia about how much to say about things have made this post take an hour and a half to write). Maybe I’ll just leave Sundays open for something fun and keep Wednesdays strictly WIPpetish. We’ll see.

Now. Back to work.

Wait, no. The kids are up. Later…

*It’s easy enough to find me. Down to basement, hang a left past the litter box ghetto. It’s the spot with the desk and the dragons and the crazy person.


About Kate Sparkes

Kate Sparkes was born in Hamilton, Ontario, but now resides in Newfoundland, where she tries not to talk too much about the dragons she sees in the fog. She lives with five cats, two dogs, and just the right amount of humans. USA Today bestselling author of the Bound Trilogy (mature YA Fantasy), Into Elurien, and Vines and Vices. Writing dark, decadent, and deadly Urban Fantasy as Tanith Frost. View all posts by Kate Sparkes

15 responses to “ROW80 Update- Falling off the Cliff Edition

  • Dylan Hearn

    Don’t ever let anyone tell you that what you have achieved is no big deal. You have written a book – that’s a big deal. You have published a book – that’s a big deal. You have a number 1 ranking – that’s a big deal (trust me, if it wasn’t, all books would have them). Even better, you have all those great reviews – that’s a big deal.
    Yes, there are people with multiple books, each with hundreds of reviews and multiple no.1 best seller banners, but most writers never get close and even those that do didn’t start out that way.
    Be proud of your achievements, you deserve it. 🙂

  • pjsandchocolate

    There is a selfpublish yahoo group (yes, yahoogroups still exist) with newbies and best-seller old hands. Lots of advice gets traded off there. You might consider joining even if all you do is search through archived conversations and lurk, sipping off advice about venues and other things.

  • Emily Witt

    I saw that last night when I went to post my review, and I nearly screen-capped it and sent it to you, but then I was sure you wouldn’t have missed it. Congratulations!

  • Amy

    Congratulations! You know, I’ve had long, ranty things to say about the way creative people are treated, especially if this is our primary work. Like, if you didn’t paint a masterpiece, release a Billboard top 20 single, or write the Next Great [your country’s] Novel, you are a useless human being. No one ever tells the family doctor she’s useless because she didn’t perform delicate brain surgery on the Queen of England, right? People buying and enjoying your book is something to celebrate. Have a slice of imaginary cheesecake (because I don’t have any real cheesecake, and it would be spoiled by the time I sent it to you anyway). Then blow a party horn, dance a jig with Fake Barbie, and tell yourself that you are amazing. 🙂

  • Lori L MacLaughlin

    Congratulations on the number one ranking! That’s so cool! Your book arrived in my mailbox a few days ago and it’s next up on the TBR list, as soon as I finish the book I’m currently reading. Looking forward to it! Good luck with Torn!

  • Tia Bach

    You should absolutely be proud of all the lists and sub-categories. I hope you’ll stick with the challenge, but I do understand prioritizing when time is so precious. Just know we’re all pulling for you whether you are posting much or not. Heck, I’m just now getting around to checking out people’s updates. This morning I had to go to Starbucks and leave my 14yo in charge of the 12yo and 9yo to for a few hours just to dig out from under my to do pile. EEK!

    • Kate Sparkes

      Yeah, I never made it around to all of last week’s WIPpet Wednesday posts, and I’m bad about ROW80. I guess we just do the best we can with what distraction-free time we have… Nice to see you here, though! 🙂

  • J.R. Pearse Nelson

    Kate, congrats on your success with your first book! That is spectacular! The reviews are awesome. The big goal now is to not waste too much time just WORRYING over all the things outside your control. That baby’s out there….time to focus on the next one.

    Your thing about focusing for about 20 minutes is right in line with the way our brains work. I write in 25 minute or so sprints, and find my production is awesome that way. In between sprints, I switch my brain to something else, preferably to cleaning something or grabbing a snack. When I come back the brain is willing to focus AGAIN, and I get more awesome words in. Also, I tend to make connections in those “off writing” moments, and that also lends to more productivity when I’m back in the writing chair (i.e., I know what I want to write when I sit back down).

    I hope your book continues to sell, but more than that I hope you FEEL SUCCESSFUL, don’t stress, and just keep on doing what you’re doing. GO YOU!!!!!

    • Kate Sparkes

      Thanks, JR! I’m finding that the sprints really are the best thing for me, especially if I have other people (online) to sprint with. I’m actually ahead of schedule on revisions now. Focusing on this is also far less stressful than worrying about things that are, as you said, out of my control.

      Thanks so much for your comment!

Leave a Reply to Lori L MacLaughlin Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Anastasia Writes

politics, engineering, parenting, relevant things over coffee.

Beth Camp

Writer of historical fiction and teller of tales . . .


An Aspiring Author's Adventure

TBN Media

Life, writing, books, dragons- not necessarily in that order. Home of USA Today bestselling Fantasy author Kate Sparkes.

Allie Potts Writes

Author, Writer, & Inventor of Worlds

Ultimately Useless Stories

If I don't write to empty my mind, I go mad. ~Lord Byron

The Wordy Rose

"Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing." - Benjamin Franklin

Shan Jeniah's Lovely Chaos

Finding Yessings and Blessings in Lifes Messings!

Little Rittwolf's Book Blog

I thought having my own blog would help me....Squirrel!....stay more focused. I could be wrong.

The Sword of Air

Stunning new multitouch iBook by breakthrough author R.J Madigan


Read it! 📖 Spark it! ✨

Benjamin Wallace Books

Books written by Benjamin Wallace

Denise D. Young

Wild Magic. Wild Stories. Wild Souls.

chestnut book blog

Read. Recommend. Revel.

B E L I E V E 🦋Life is Never Fair

I gather strength from life’s storms -Jonathan L Huie

LGBT Book Reviews, Cover Reveals & More! We are a group designed to help promote and review LGBT et al books. We were created out of seeing a need and wanted to have that need filled. We pride ourseles of having opinionated reviews that are unique and helpful to the author. Welcome to a world of the best LGBT et al books out there!

Dionne Lister | USA Today Bestselling Author

I love sharing my stories, but I wish they wouldn't keep me awake at night.

Avid Reviews

Fantasy and Sci-Fi Reviews For Both Self-Published and Traditionally Published Books

Author Jen Wylie's Blog

Welcome to my mind... Blog for fantasty author Jen Wylie

%d bloggers like this: