Monthly Archives: February 2015

FRACTURED FAIRY TALE FRIDAY: Black & Blue Edition

Once upon a time, the Empress called the finest seamstress in the land to her chambers.

“I require a dress,” the Empress announced. “One that shall be the talk of the land. For it is nearly my birthday, and I wish to be the centre of attention.”

“Of course,” the seamstress said, and curtseyed.

Days later, the Empress tried on her new dress. “Fantastic!” she cried. “The white and gold really complement my hair.”

Her servants exchanged nervous glances. “It’s blue and black,” whispered the chambermaid.

The royal toilet-flusher hushed her. “Never contradict the Empress,” she said, but the Empress heard.

“What is this nonsense?” she asked. “The dress is white and gold. It’s clear as my porcelain skin.”

“My bad,” the chambermaid replied.

“Aah, yes,” the seamstress said. “You see, only the wisest and most worthy will see the dress as white and gold. It appears blue and black to the low. Both are terribly flattering, I assure you.”

The Empress hit the streets. Within minutes the city was in turmoil. Those who saw blue and black hurled boots at those who saw white and gold, while ‘team white and gold’ jeered and insulted their enemies’ grandmothers. Families were torn in two. Life-long loyalties were destroyed. Novelty tee shirt merchants and meme-smiths made a fortune.

A pair of llamas broke free from the Royal Llamary and raced through the streets.

Eventually the dust cleared. Grudging apologies echoed through the streets, and a special lost-and-found was set up for boots (though not for insulted grandmothers).

And when the dust cleared, the people discovered that the seamstress had cleared out the royal treasury during the commotion.

She is now a professional celebrity with four million Instagram followers.

THE END


RELEASE ANNOUNCEMENT: Lady, Thy Name is Trouble by Lori L. MacLaughlin

Hey, all! Some of you know Lori through her blog, and she’s one of the wonderful people who posted Torn’s cover reveal for me on Monday.

Her new book Lady, Thy Name is Trouble is described as a sword and sorcery epic adventure, with a side of romance.

I haven’t read this one, but it sounds like my kind of thing. 🙂

The book releases today in e-book. Congratulations , Lori!

Details below…

Trouble is Tara Triannon’s middle name. As swords for hire, Tara and her sister Laraina thrive on the danger. But a surprise invasion throws them into chaos… and trouble on a whole new level. Pursued by the Butcher, a terrifying assassin more wolf than man, Tara and Laraina must get a prince marked for death and a young, inept sorceress to safety. There’s only one problem – eluding the Butcher has never been done. Aided by a secretive soldier of fortune, they flee the relentless hunter.

Gifted with magic and cursed by nightmares that are all too real, Tara must stop an army led by a madman and fend off an evil Being caught in a centuries-old trap who seeks to control her magic and escape through her dreams – all while keeping one step ahead of the Butcher.

 

Amazon

Kobo

Barnes & Noble (Nook)

 

Visit Lori here

 

 

9781942015000-Perfect-lady-thy-name-is-trouble_EbookCover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Wednesday’s Writing Stuff

Exciting title, no? It’s been kind of a crazy week, I’m a little off-kilter, and that’s actually the best I can do.

Quick update:

  • Torn is off for copy edits and proofreading, which means I have a few weeks to freak out get back into revisions on book three, which needs some adjustments after Torn‘s big edits (and just because I’ve come up with a few ways to give the story a more satisfying conclusion).
  • We had the cover reveal for Torn on Monday. Big thanks again to everyone who helped out by sharing or posting the reveal on your blogs! It made it a great party.
  • torn_full

    So pretty!

  • Pre-orders are up, too. It feels like this is really the point of no return, but I… *looks over shoulder, whispers* I feel good about the timing on this. Still releasing in March (31st), but leaving time in case things go wrong.
  • And Bound is on sale for 99 cents this week, in case anyone missed THAT on Monday, as well.

 

WIPpet Wednesday

I guess we only have a few weeks left when I can call Torn a work in progress.

Holy carp.

As always, potential spoilers ahead. I’m trying not to give away twists or surprises (or the main plot), but if you’ve read Bound, you might guess who’s being described here.

And be happy. I can’t be held responsible for that.

2 paragraphs from chapter 25 for 2/25, from the mysterious 3rd character’s POV. She’s just met some strangers, and isn’t feeling particularly warm toward them.

I guess you’ll meet her when we do the prologue reveal in a few weeks… 😀

One look at him told me I had better not let my guard down. It would be far too easy to be overcome by his obvious charm. Skin the same color as the woman’s, eyes like the depths of a lake on a summer day, black hair that he brushed back from his face in a gesture that was somehow bashful and self-confident at the same time. His smile revealed the hint of a shallow dimple at the corner of his mouth. I glanced lower, taking in the challenge. Broad shoulders, a muscular body obvious even under layers of clothing. Big hands with long fingers gripped the reins in an awkward hold.

I’d always had a weakness for beauty. We saw so little of it in Cressia.

Hmm…

For more WIPpet Wednesday, click here. The WIPpeteers (including our host, KL Schwengel) post snippets of works in progress every Wednesday, and it’s always fun to see what they’re up to. The only rule is that the snippet has to relate in some way to the calendar date. If you think that sounds like a good time, jump in on your own blog! We don’t bite.

Hard.

 

 


COVER REVEAL: Torn (Bound Trilogy Book 2) by Kate Sparkes

At last, the time has come!

I’m not going to tease, or make you wait any longer. I’m pleased as punch, proud as a peacock, and flipped-out as a fairy to present the cover and back-cover blurb for Torn (available now for pre-order through Amazon!)

torn_full

cover art by Ravven (www.ravven.com)

 

Aren Tiernal knows that safety is an illusion, that his cruel and powerful brother will never forgive his betrayal. Still, returning to Tyrea to challenge Severn for the throne would be suicide. It’s not until Severn himself comes to collect what’s owed to him that Aren decides to risk everything in an attempt to bring down the most powerful Sorcerer Tyrea has ever known. The mission seems doomed to fail, but it’s Aren’s only chance to save himself, his country, and the woman who thawed his heart.

Rowan Greenwood has troubles of her own. Though she should be a great Sorceress, years of being closed off from her magic have left her unable to control her incredible power. When a pair of ominous letters arrive from her home country, Rowan has to choose between her new life and a chance at saving her family—and just maybe changing an entire country’s beliefs about the evils of magic.

Torn apart by separate quests, Rowan and Aren will have to discover untapped strengths and confront their darkest fears in order to overthrow a ruler determined to destroy them both.

 –
Coming March 31, 2015. Pre-order here!
And as an “author’s birthday, so why the heck not” celebration, Bound is now on sale on all retailers (Amazon, Nook, iBooks, Kobo) for 99 cents! The sale is only on for a week, so if you or anyone you know has been waiting for this, now would be a great time to grab it.
bound sale 1
Special thanks to everyone who’s helping out with the cover reveal today (yay, you guys!). If you want to stop by and say hello to these wonderful folks, here are the links. Shares and re-blogs are always appreciated!
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*

WIPpet Wednesday – Full of It Edition

Hmm. Four blog post drafts in my folder, and not one happens to be a WIPpet Wednesday entry for today.

Past me is such a jerk.

For anyone not familiar with the rules, on WIPpet Wednesdays we post a snippet of a work in progress that relates in some way to today’s date. I’m going to be boring today and post 2 paragraphs from chapter 18 of Torn for 2/18.

I’m removing a character’s name to prevent big spoilers, but of course, anything comes with the risk of telling you something about the story. You’ve been warned.

From Rowan’s POV:

 

[My captor] cleared his throat, and I opened my eyes. “Whatever you’re thinking, stop now. They’ll go easier on you at the prison if you cooperate.”

I could have made a good guess at how full of excrement that statement was, but didn’t speak. My voice would have trembled.

 

I’ll give you a longer one some day. Promise.

OH, but speaking of Torn, and for anyone who missed it on Monday, I’m taking sign-ups if anyone would like to help with the cover reveal on February 23rd. E-mail me at kate.sparkes (at) live.ca if you’d like to help out on your blog. It’s gonna be fuuuuun…

Click here to see what the other WIPpeteers (including our host, KL Schwengel) are up to!

ROW80 Update

Torn is with beta readers this week, which leaves me a bit of a self-doubting, insecure mess. It’s nothing to worry about. This is normal for me, and I suspect for most writers, at this stage. There’s more pressure to produce on a deadline this time, which isn’t helping my nerves, but it’s in good hands.

If all goes well, I’ll be announcing the release date with the cover reveal.

And the blurb/cover copy.

*squeak*

And maaaaybe a sale on Bound for anyone who hasn’t grabbed it yet. Because Monday is my birthday, and I’m feeling generous, and I know you’re all going to want to get caught up before Torn comes out. 🙂

(Yes, I still get excited about my birthday after almost 34 years. I consider every spin around the sun a gift, and it’s a great chance to look back on a fantastic year–even if it was a bit of a roller coaster!)

So other than freaking out, what have I done since my last update? I’ve booked a formatter for the paperback version of Torn, corrected a few typos in the same of Bound (which had already been corrected in the e-book, but PDF files are so much harder to edit) and re-uploaded the file, ordered a proof… walked my big dog… cleaned out a kitchen cupboard… cleaned up a lot of messes courtesy of a tiny dog who doesn’t want to do his business outside…

Okay, most of that’s not writing-related, but I’m a little stuck here. I don’t have time to get back into revising book 3 before my betas finish with Torn.

Reading. I should go read. With tea. And cats.

YAY!

ROW80 is a blog hop, and a lot of authors have interesting stuff going on. To check it out, for more information, or to jump in at any time during the round, click here!


The Things I’m Learning: Working With a Cover Artist (and a call for help with a cover reveal!)

For anyone just now joining us for this series, I’m occasionally posting about things that I’ve learned as I’ve struggled through the process of writing, editing, and publishing my books. It’s a big project with a huge learning curve, and I wish I’d been able to find some of this information when I was starting out.

So I’m sharing my experiences now. As in all things, your mileage may vary, and my way is not going to be the best way for everyone.

Here’s how the process went:

After I decided I was going to publish the Bound trilogy myself, I started looking at book covers I liked. There was one on my Kobo that I loved the look of. Actually, I had bought the book based entirely on that cover. I checked the acknowledgements page, and looked the artist up. Not the cutest “date with destiny/how I met my _____” story, but it’s not a bad method.

The artist was Ravven, and hiring her turned out to be a fantastic decision.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the process. I knew she did photo manipulation, and that her work was beautiful. I knew what I liked, and could point to a handful of her covers I truly adored, and to covers I loved in other genres, and by other artists.

The problem was that I didn’t have any idea what I wanted for my book.

I was pretty sure I didn’t want a character on the cover, but rather something symbolic. I liked covers like that: Twilight, the Hunger Games, Divergent. Even if I didn’t always like the books, I knew that the covers grabbed me.

I sent off the information Ravven requested: full synopsis, character descriptions, my ideas, imagery, mood/tone, genre, links to covers I liked on a Pinterest board… everything. I knew I wanted a sort of ethereal feel. Fantasy, but not Dungeons and Dragons Fantasy. That wasn’t my audience. I wanted it softer, and wanted no chance that readers would think this was going to be a battle-and-body-strewn bloodbath, or a bunch of dudes on a quest. It’s Fantasy, but also YA, with a solid dose of romance, and a lot of it driven by a female character.

So, hey, there’s the mood, right? Kind of?

Problem was, we didn’t have a clear symbol that was eye-catching and said anything about the story. There was no MacGuffin, unless you count a cure (or, like, “not dying”). Nobody wore a special piece of jewelry, and even if they had, covers featuring pretty chins with necklaces have been done a lot in YA. We tried a few things. Feathers. A knife. A ball thing with power trapped within it, symbolizing… well, you know.

Nothing worked. Some of them were nice, but they looked pretty generic. Or, as a friend said about one design, “It looks like the book should be medieval porn.”

And with that comment, any thoughts of showing a woman’s hands bound behind her (symbolically, of course) went out the window, too.

So the ever-patient Ravven and I talked about trying a character cover. She pointed me to this article, which made a convincing argument for giving it a shot.

There were a few things I knew I didn’t want. No heads-cut-off torsos. No giant faces that take up the whole cover. No scantily-clad warrior types.

Rowan seemed like the obvious choice for the cover, so we started there. Ravven (bless her) came up with a few ideas based on my synopsis.

There’s a scene where she wears a lovely dress, but “young woman in pretty dress” is everywhere. Also, Rowan’s usually more the “pants and cotton shirt” type.

“Give me flat-heeled boots or give me death” could be this girl’s motto.

We played with having her looking out a window, framed by snow.

Still seemed too familiar.

(And just to be clear, by “played with,” I mean that Ravven whipped up un-finished designs with stock photos, just to give me an idea of what was possible. She’s a rock star, that one. So patient.)

And then Ravven hit on the current design. We incorporated a certain eagle, because he deserved to be included, and it made for an interesting element.

Ravven sent me about half a dozen stock images of attractive young ladies. There was one with her hand held dramatically across her forehead, and we played with the idea of making it… like… magical, somehow. It didn’t work out. There were others who seemed too disinterested, or too glam-gorgeous.

And then there was Rowan, or as close as we could have hoped to find: pretty but not flawless, strong yet vulnerable. I sent my choice back, and we had our central cover image.

There were still plenty of changes ahead. The model needed her eye colour changed to grey, her hair to dark auburn and totally re-styled, her clothing changed. The background changed a few times, too, from a lake with a boat to the current meadow/river thing. Ravven had to put everything together and then work her magic to give it the soft, artistic finish that it has. No hard, photographic lines. No obvious elements photoshopped together. More like a painting.

And then there was the font choice. That was a rough one. I loved what we have now. It looked appropriately fantastical, and the almost frost-like tendrils reminded me of someone’s scar. I just wasn’t sure it would stand out in thumbnail as well as others. In the end, I had to choose it. It fit so much better than something harder, and no one has complained so far.

So what did we end up with?

10374079_10152471641055325_1349617090979388647_n

Not too shabby.

Actually, the full wrap-around cover had to wait until I knew how many pages the formatted paperback had, and until I had my cover copy written. Ravven was really on the ball with that. It seemed like she had the finished cover back to me before I’d even sent the information.

So what did I learn?

I learned that sometimes it pays to trust someone else’s instincts, especially when she has more experience than me.

I learned that the impact can be more important than the details. To be totally book-accurate, Rowan’s hair would be a little darker, and she’d be wearing a white shirt under that cloak (which would also be a little darker, technically). Her nose would be more freckly, if you looked closely. But this image, as it is, has sold the book, and no one is complaining about the details.

I’ve learned that a character image on the cover doesn’t necessarily mean that this will be how readers picture the character. Rowan lives in people’s imaginations as they choose to see her. The cover might shape that, or it might not. I’m good either way.

I learned that you get what you pay for… to a point. If I’d tried to create the cover myself, without Ravven’s talent and expertise, it would have completely flopped. I know some people have success with stock covers, but I never found one that would have worked as well. Going the other direction, I could have paid $2000 for custom art, but I don’t think it would have sold the book any better, or captured the feel of it more perfectly. This was a great balance for me.

I’ve lost count of the number of people who said they clicked through to read the book description/sample because the cover caught their eye. Money well spent? You bet.

And I learned that even though I know more about a project than anyone, even though it’s kind of my baby… there’s always room for another person’s input.

Oh, and that Ravven is amazing. Obviously.

And I used her services again. How did that go?

Well, it was easier the second time around. We had our “look,” we knew there would be a character on the cover. Who it would be was a question mark, but I think we made the right choice. We went through the same process, except that this time I went to the stock photo site and picked out a few models myself.

That’s a funny story for another day.

The character choice did make things hard for me. I know exactly what this person looks like in my mind, and it’s impossible to translate that perfectly. Also, readers already have a vision of this person in their minds, and there’s no way one cover image will fit all of them. In the end, I hope people will continue to see this character as they choose to, and enjoy the cover even if it’s a little different. I know I do.

*drools over cover*

*looks again, drools more*

And what was the outcome?

torn_promo copy

You’re just going to have to wait for the cover reveal next week to find out.

If you’d like to help out with that by hosting the reveal on your blog on the 23rd (my birthday, yay!), please send me an email at kate.sparkes (at) live.ca. The more, the merrier!

Oh, and newsletter subscribers see it before we post here. VIP club, baby!

Here’s the link to Ravven’s site again, and to her helpful posts on cover design.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you found something that was helpful to you.

 


Sunday Update

I know, I don’t usually do Sunday updates. I don’t usually do anything internet-related on Sundays. It’s supposed to be a day off. But today I broke my silence to send a happy birthday to my mom, and then I had e-mails to send for a Goodreads R4R on Bound

…and I had to finish sending beta readers copies of Torn.

So now I’m like:

 

Because that’s basically me any time anyone reads anything I’ve written. And this is big. These are the people who, if they all think the book’s not ready, will convince me to delay release. They’ll let me know how much work I still need to do. They… are brave and wonderful souls.

Scary stuff. I’ve been working my ass off, and I don’t think there will be any delays. But hey. Life is funny.

So yeah, that’s the update. I finished BIG, MASSIVE, GINORMOUS EDITS, and then went through the whole thing, reading aloud to myself (which makes me feel like an idiot), trying to see whether my fixes actually fixed everything, making little changes, catching inconsistencies that my edits introduced.

This is all way more complicated than I ever realized before I wrote a novel.

So we’ll see how it goes. I’m hoping to have this thing off for proofreading next week.

And by next weekend I’ll know whether I can go ahead and set up pre-orders for cover reveal day.

And that means finally setting a firm release date.

Where’s that bag, again?

 

THIS WEEK’S PLANS:

-get stuff together for those who want to help with the cover reveal

-write cover copy (“blurb”), which is one of my least-favourite parts of this process.

-go through PDF for paperback of Bound and fix errors. I really should have written them down when I fixed them in the e-book. This is going to take a while. NOTE: If you currently own the paperback, it will soon be an official, easily-identifiable first edition. You’re welcome. 😉

-fix things as beta readers send notes on typos, issues, etc.

-send to wonderful proofreader ASAP

-look up blog posts, etc. on formatting PDFs for print. I may need outside help–this one is longer than Bound, and even that paperback had enough pages that it caused issues. Wish me luck.

-breathe

That’s it.

This update brought to you by ROW80 (details here).

 


WIPpet Wednesday: How is it even Wednesday again? edition

Man, Wednesdays are getting SNEAKY. Didn’t we just have one?

*checks calendar*

Huh. Seven days ago. I need a second opinion.

Oh, well. I have good and brief writing-related things to share this today.

 

WIPpet Wednesday

Simple WIPpet math today: Two sentences for the 11th (1+1). From Torn, no context because I like to make people guess and squirm. I’m mean like that.

But at least I’m honest about it.

 

“You didn’t think about what your little adventure would do to anyone here, did you? You just met tall, dark and evil and followed him out of the country, not once considering the consequences.”

 

Ruh-roh!

To see more of what the WIPpeteers are up to (you know, that fun and fabulous group of writers sharing a quick snippet of a work in progress every Wednesday, relating it in some way to the date), visit this link. Thanks to KL Schwengel for hosting! And if you’d like to join in on your own blog, go ahead! We’ll probably be gentle with the initiation.

*evil laugh*

But seriously, there might be cookies.

ROW80

Wednesday also means an update on my goals for A Round of Words in 80 Days, which is fun (goal post here). Not much to say except…

MASSIVE EDITS/REVISIONS/REWRITES ARE DONE.

I’m in the process of going through again and trying to catch the little things I screwed up while I was fixing bigger issues. It’s gone well so far, though I’m just approaching the hard part (ie the entire second half of the book) now. So far I’ve been catching little things–sentences that could flow better, characters repeating actions, redundant explanations, but with the amount of stuff I changed in the back half, I’m a little on edge over what I’m about to find.

It's this kind of morning.

It’s this kind of morning.

Wish me luck.

That said, I’m hoping to get this thing done and out to my 2nd round beta readers on Friday evening.

Then they can tell me what I missed AGAIN. And then I fix that, then copy edits/proofing.

It’s a long process. *weeps about not rushing art, in a terribly dramatic fashion*

Oh, and for anyone who missed the post on Monday, check this out! Not a ROW80 goal, but having my book in a box set with fifteen other amazing authors… including Mercedes Lackey… well, it’s a little cool. I am somewhat excited.

Actually… I used to pass this horse farm when I drove to work, where these gorgeous horses would race through the fields, all grace and power and flowing manes.

And behind them, every time, trotted a wee donkey, head held high, doing his best to keep up.

I AM THAT DONKEY. And proud to be a part of this temporary herd. 🙂

There. Do you see how short and non-painful all of that was this week?

Be sure to stick around. Next week (on Monday, unless I forget that Monday is coming), we’re going to have a post about cover art, maybe a wee teaser of… well, you know. A cover for something. Cover reveal sign-ups, too! Please please please.

This is all getting so close.

Deep breaths, Sparkles. Deep breaths.

 


COVER REVEAL – Fierce: Sixteen Authors of Fantasy

Hellooooooooo, everyone! This is an exciting cover reveal for me, because… well, you’ll see. Be sure to read through and sign up for the ThunderClapIt campaign for a chance at a free advance copy!

-Kate

—–

Very excited to present the cover for the forthcoming multi-author bundle, FIERCE: Sixteen Authors Of Fantasy. Click on the iBooks EXCLUSIVE Pre-Order below to reserve your copy today. On sale on all retailers March 10, 2015. We hope everyone will be looking forward to this!

FIERCE, Sixteen Authors Of Fantasy

For a limited time only!

Join epic fantasy legend Mercedes Lackey and fifteen additional New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon bestselling authors on the adventure of a lifetime!

Over one million words and sixteen realms of fantasy brought together for your reading pleasure. Discover courageous characters fighting for justice and order, journey between kingdoms of dragons and lands of anarchy as tales of magic and mayhem unfold.

Grab it today, before it’s gone!

FIERCE: Sixteen Authors Of Fantasy pre-orders are available exclusively through iBooks.

Hurry and get a copy for $0.99!

Ibooks icon

D Join the ThunderClapIt today and get the bundle FREE. All you have to do is click over to this page, sign up your support and email novelbundle@gmail.com to receive a free copy one week before release.

ThunderClapIt Link – https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/21991-fierce-16-authors-of-fantasy

About the Authors and Titles:

Mercedes Lackey – Moving Targets

Stuck watching over four Herald trainees on circuit, Elyn is at her wits’ end—and that’s before a town asks for help with a ghostly infestation.

Michael G. Manning – The Blacksmith’s Son

A journey to discover the secrets of his past reveals a magical heritage and embroils Mordecai in a deadly battle for the future of mankind.

K.F. Breene – Chosen

Prophecy has foretold that when war threatens the world, the Chosen will appear to help the Shadow Warriors reclaim their stolen freedom and lead them out of the Land of Mist.

Morgan Rice – A Quest of Heroes

Thorgin, an outsider and a dreamer, fights to become a warrior in an epic quest that finds him at the center of a maelstrom of royal plots and counterplots that threaten him and everyone he loves.

Michael James Ploof – Whill of Agora

When Whill learns the truth of his lineage, he sets out to face his father’s murderer, but what he learns along the way will change his life—and the realm—forever.

Daniel Arenson – Requiem’s Song

Weredragons, men call them. Monsters. Cursed ones. People who can turn into beastly reptiles. Together they will forge a nation.

Kate Sparkes – Bound

When a young woman accidentally saves the life of an enemy Sorcerer, she finds herself drawn into a world of magic that’s more beautiful, more seductive, and more dangerous than she ever imagined.

David Adams – The Pariahs

Two sellswords—a half-elf and a half-orc—find their war over before it even begins. But trouble is stirring on the home front, conflict which threatens more than just their lives.

Amy Raby – The Fire Seer
Taya must use her fire visions to investigate a series of murders, but the Coalition of Mages has partnered her with her old nemesis, the man who used to bully her when they were young.

C. Greenwood – Magic of Thieves & Betrayal of Thieves

In a province where magic is forbidden, young Ilan, born with the powerful gift of her ancestors, has only one hope for survival—concealment.

David Dalglish – The Weight of Blood

When half-bloods Harruq and Qurrah Tun pledged their lives to a death prophet, they only sought escape from their squalid beginnings. Instead, they become his greatest disciples, charged with leading his army of undead.

K.J. Colt – Bear Heart

In the savage lands of Ruxdor, young Klawdia must fight the champions of four rival clans to defend her future as the first female chieftain.

Shae Ford – Poison

A bandit girl is taken from her home and thrust into a complex world of lords and ladies, where she learns that she must kill to survive.

Endi Webb – The Maskmaker’s Apprentice

Masks of legend. Masks of power. Those who dare to wear them trifle with the old powers and risk ruin and mayhem. But a young apprentice maskmaker cannot contain his curiosity, and accidentally unleashes a deadly terror upon an unsuspecting world.

Michael Wallace – The Dark Citadel

A slave boy and a young queen lead an alliance of spies, servants, and merchants to stave off the encroaching armies of a dark wizard.

Terah Edun – Blades of Magic

As an unstoppable war breaks out, a young girl enlists in the military to unravel the secrets surrounding her father’s execution.


Writing Stuff Wednesday: Insert Interesting Title Here

Yeah, sorry. I don’t have time for a clever title, or to dig deep into all of these cool new scenes to find something fantastic for WIPpet Wednesday.

But since you stopped by… 2 lines of dialogue for the 2 in the date. No context. Just two characters in a life or death situation. No big deal.

“Pathetic as it sounds, you’re the only family I have, and those two are my only friends. I can’t let you all wander off to your deaths without at least joining in, can I?”

“At least you won’t be lonely.”

If you want to see what the WIPpeteers are up to, here’s the link. I hope I’ll get around to everyone this week… I think I managed it last time. I couldn’t comment on everyone’s, though. THANKS, BLOGGER. I did read, though!

 -_-

 

ROW80 UPDATE: TORN

Things are progressing well with this round of edits on Torn. I have one chapter left to completely re-write, one in which I only have to re-write the second half, and one that only needs partial re-writes.

Those climaxes, man. They get me every time.

I was hoping to get that done this week…

But this weather is killing me. I’ve got a migraine today, but am working through it (God help my characters!). The kids were home for another snow day yesterday, and their dad is away for training this week. The boys are old enough that they can play by themselves or go outside when the storms calm down, but I still can’t close myself off, stick my headphones on, and work while they’re around. I have to be listening, and available. They want me to do crazy things like play with them.

I try to remind myself that this is how I wrote the first draft of Bound, but it doesn’t help. That draft sucked. These scenes aren’t allowed to.

And then there’s Bruno, who I have decided is not, in fact, a Chihuahua, but a Mexican Bed Hound. I’m not getting much sleep with him curled up between my knees–between not being able to move and being worried that he’s going to suffocate under the blankets, I’m waking up exhausted.

IMG_7288

But if I shut him out, he cries. And my husband gives me sad eyes.*

I need more coffee. And a plan.

In case anyone’s wondering what the months before my book release look like, here’s the goal, with dates removed–because things go awry. Snow days happen. Editors get sick, or have other clients put them off schedule, or hey, they have personal lives. Beta readers take longer than anticipated, though no fault of their own. I get sick, or get headaches, and until I’m making more money than my husband**, I’m responsible for this household: laundry, getting the kids to school, cooking, cleaning.

I need a housewife, is what I need.

But here’s the plan:

  •  finish rewrites
  • compile notes
  •  final clean-up pass (will take about a week, I hope, and will involve reading aloud, making the prose read more gooder better, adding in a few ideas I’ve had along the way, and really taking it from a solid story to a beautiful reading experience. In theory).
  • Send to second-round beta readers, hope they can get it back in a week.
  •  write cover copy.
  •  Set up pre-orders.
  •  Figure out whether I can format the paperback through Scrivener (wasn’t an option in the PC version… we’ll see)
  •  cover reveal. Pre-orders. Other fun stuff!
  •  newsletters
  •  fix whatever my lovely betas say I screwed up
  •  send for proofreading/copy edits (2 weeks)
  •  Prologue reveal (not to be disregarded, thanks)
  •  formatting
  •  final version to Amazon (10 days pre-release)
  •  teaser photos
  •  relax and/or freak out and/or get back to work on book 3
  •  upload to other vendors
  •  RELEASE DAY. Party on Facebook.

And then REALLY get back to work on book three, because I’ve had some ideas for big, scary revisions.

So… yep. That’s the plan. Please cross your fingers, toes, and anything else you can spare that I can get this all done soon!

For more about ROW80, click here. For more updates from other participants… um… I’ll add the link when I find it.

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you’re all having a fantastic week (and staying warm, if applicable).

—-

 

*Not this week, but there’s still the crying.

**Okay, even then, it would still be my job, because I work from home.


Anastasia Writes

politics, engineering, parenting, relevant things over coffee.

Beth Camp

Writer of historical fiction and teller of tales . . .

rogerbloomsfield

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

CHOUETT

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

inkedrainbowreads.wordpress.com/

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 - 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