Tag Archives: indie

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.

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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.


Snow Day (Or: How I Decided to Participate in ROW80 Again)

I’ve been on the fence about participating in A Round of Words in 80 Days this year. It’s a fantastic event-type-thing, and accountability is a great way to stay on-track with goals. It’s fun to meet other writers and read their posts, learn from their frustrations and share in their joy when things are going well.

But.

Well, I do worry about boring blog readers, which is why I only post updates on Wednesdays to go along with WIPpet Wednesdays. There was a time when most of the people following this blog were writer friends, but we’re gaining more and more of my readers (hi, guys! So happy to have you!).

It’s almost like I need a writing blog and an actual website for readers, isn’t it? But this is my home. This is where I stretch out, make myself comfortable, and talk about the things that are important to me. Reading, writing, life, headaches, distractions, moose sightings, cover reveals and other author promos, pretty pictures and fun teasers… there aren’t really any limits.

So everything stays here, for better or worse.

I didn’t make the decision until I realized that today was the first day of round one. See, I was looking forward to getting back to work today, as the kids are back to school.

Or they should have been. But it’s a snow day. So instead of retreating to my office with a coffee, I’m at the kitchen table writing this post.

Funny how things work out.

I’ll probably stick with just posting updates on Wednesdays. Twice a week doesn’t allow much time for change between updates. Wouldn’t want to bore anyone who’s getting e-mail dings every time I post.

 

And guys? This is going to be a big round (ends March 26).

**ROW80 ROUND ONE GOALS (2015)**

 

WRITING

Proof-read Bound: Yes, I did this before publication. Many times. So many times that I still can’t really enjoy reading it. But I’ve re-formatted the e-book in a program that allows me to make it look nicer AND to make corrections without knowing HTML stuff, so I need to go over that.

Also, there’s a big, secret thing happening, and I need this book to put its absolute best foot forward for it. I’ve caught 2 typos. Moved a few commas. Changed a word or two. Tiny fixes. Nothing has changed with story, characters, dialogue, anything. Nooooo revisions. So no worries, dear readers. It’s like dusting the shelves (but hey, hang on to those first-edition paperbacks…).

Goal: Finish by Wednesday, January 7 (currently at 70% finished)

 

Edits on Torn: My editor says he plans to have these back to me by the end of this week.

**WOO, PARTY!!!**

We had some delays in getting started, but I’m ready to work hard to get through this as efficiently as possible. How long it actually takes will depend on the scope of revisions required. My beta readers didn’t tell me to make any big story changes… we’ll see what the editor says. I had to re-write sections of Bound after he got his hands on it (and thank goodness for that!).

Goal: Come what may, finish by the end of January.

 

Other Torn stuff: I need to be super organized on this goal, which includes proof-reading, sending it out to a few readers who have offered to act as true beta testers and error-catchers, formatting, setting up pre-orders, having someone format the paperback, sending paperback info to my cover artist so she can do the wrap-around cover, doing promo stuff for Bound once pre-orders are up for Torn…

And also organizing the cover reveal, the first chapter release, creating teaser pics, pulling my hair out, angst, stomach upset… I’m swamped.

Goal: Varies. Set up pre-orders by mid-February. Other events to follow. Advance review copies (offered to newsletter subscribers first) sent out early March.

 

Release Torn: Yes, before the end of this round. As I’ve said before, I’d rather release late than release something that’s not ready, but I’m confident that we can pull this off, even if I have to turn into an unwashed editing-cave troll to do it.

*grunts, shuffles, squints at sunlight*

I’ll keep you updated on that, and announce an official release date soon.

 

Bound Trilogy Book Three: Obviously I’m going to be busy with Torn through this round. But I need to keep moving forward with book three if I want it out by the end of the year. It’s looking good, but I’ve had a few ideas on how to make it better, smoother, more satisfying, and more epic. Those revisions will take place in March while all of the fiddly, non-writing stuff is happening with Torn (I hope). Then it’s off to my wonderful first readers for a test drive, and then whatever punishments they decide to hand me afterward. FUN.

Seriously, though, I will never understand how some authors get a book from first draft to release in two or three months. Between developmental edits, line edits, two rounds of readers, and corrections, never mind the three drafts I do before any of that happens… not a schedule I can hope to achieve.

READING

Still aiming for one novel and one non-fiction book a month. Right now I’m reading UnSouled by Neil Schusterman, and then I think the next one by Jenn Wylie is up. But I also just bought Gone Girl, which I’m told I won’t be able to put down… we’ll see what I’m in the mood for. This might be a two novel month. I’m determined to get through “Writing 21st Century Fiction” even though I’ve been stuck on it for a year because it’s dry as bricks and feels like the author is talking down to me. I’ve never had this problem with Donald Maass’ books before. We’ll see how it goes, I might DNF it and give it away. Fiction Unboxed is also in the non-fiction queue, and I’m more excited about that.

LIFE

Aiming for balance, for working during work time, social media-ing during social media time, making more time for housework and giving my family my full attention during their time.

That last one shouldn’t be difficult, but it really is. I know. I’m a horrible person.

^These are not quantifiable goals in this section, but they’re reportable. We’ll see how it goes.

So there we have it. Wish me luck, and if you’re participating in this round, let me know so I can stop by and cheer you on in your goals post!

More ROW80 goodness here.

 


Launch Day!

Today is the OFFICIAL launch day for Bound!

Most of the partying is happening over on Facebook, where I’m giving away a e-books, a signed paperback prize pack, and a few other goodies. But because I like you guys, and just in case you can’t make it over there, we’re going to do an e-book giveaway JUST for you.

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Party prize!

Let’s hope this works… I’ve never used Rafflecopter before.

The book is already getting great reviews, and people who are reading say they can’t put it down. I know I shouldn’t rely on external validation… but that feels pretty good!

The book and I are featured on a few blogs today, if you’d like to stop by and say hello. Colin F. Barnes asked me five rapid-fire questions that were a blast to answer. Joanne Guidoccio has my guest post on my author’s journey. And Jessica Minyard interviewed me about my writing process. All good fun– stop by and say “hello!” And there’s more to come…

Click below for the rafflecopter giveaway! I’ll announce the winner tomorrow.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you to everyone who has already bought the book– I hope you enjoy it! For anyone who hasn’t seen it, here’s the info:

(blurb)

Welcome to Darmid, where magic is a sin, fairy tales are contraband, and the people live in fear of the Sorcerers on the other side of the mountains. Rowan Greenwood has everything she’s supposed to want from life—a good family, a bright future, and a proposal from a handsome and wealthy magic hunter. She knows she should be content with what she has. If only she could banish the idea that there’s more to life than marriage and children, or let go of the fascination with magic she’s been forced to suppress since childhood. When Rowan unknowingly saves the life of one of her people’s most feared enemies, that simple act of compassion rips her from her sheltered life and throws her into a world of magic that’s more beautiful, more seductive, and more dangerous than she ever could have imagined. Rowan might get everything she ever dreamed of—that is, if the one thing she’s always wanted doesn’t kill her first.

(purchase links)

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Bound-Trilogy-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00L8WRXTU Amazon.ca: http://www.amazon.ca/Bound-Trilogy-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00L8WRXTU Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/bound-51 Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bound-kate-sparkes/1119859706 iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id892498360


Spotlight on Kate Sparkes

Joanne Guidoccio hosted me on her blog this morning, where I shared a few thoughts on my journey as I wrote and published “Bound.” Also, she spelled my name right, so she gets bonus points!

Thanks for having me, Joanne!

Joanne Guidoccio

For over a year, I have followed Kate’s blog and enjoyed her delightful take on the long and winding road to publication. Today, Kate is sharing more of that journey and celebrating the release of her debut novel, Bound.

Here’s Kate!

sparkes profile (2)It’s quiet here tonight. The kids are yelling outside, but in here… silence. The book is published. No more scurrying around, making last-minute changes. No more worrying about whether it’s going to be ready in time. Just me, a cat, a cup of tea, and room to breathe.

It feels very different from my life when I started writing this book. That was three and a half years ago– November 2010. Back then the kids were smaller, and always under-foot (or on lap, if I wanted to write). We lived in another province. I knew I wanted to be a writer, but had never actually finished a book. My…

View original post 510 more words


Final ROW80 Check-In

Whew. We made it!

“We” being those participating in round 2 of A Round of Words in 80 Days, and also those of you who have been patiently listening to my ramblings all these many long weeks.

How have I done for goals?

Well, there’s a book in the world that wasn’t there before. So I guess we’ll call that a victory.

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All of the e-book sales channels I’m currently using are live (click here for links). The paperback is on Amazon.com, and should be available for Matchbook and on other Amazon sites in a few days.

Looks like I hit almost all of the small goals, too.

  • Facebook author page is up and running (and check out the t-shirt an ARC reader made for me– Team Arrow. I COULD JUST DIE)
  • Sparrowcat Press site is a work in progress, but is up and has sales links
  • AuthorCentral profile is up on Amazon.com
  • Bound is on Goodreads
  • I didn’t get a word count in for the next book during JuNoWriMo, but I have everything re-outlined, and I have a game plan
  • Still need to make that phone call about getting an EIN so Amazon won’t withhold 30% of any sales money. This would totally not be a big deal if I wasn’t afraid of making phone calls. UGH. I’ll do it. I swear.
  • Ditto for the Goodreads giveaway. This will happen when I have my lovely books in-hand.

One thing I still need is REVIEWERS. If you are or know of anyone who reviews YA Fantasy (or Fantasy in general, unless they’re the “wimmins and their romantic notions are ruining SF/F breed) and accepts e-books, please let me know in the comments! I’d be happy to send you a copy.

So I’m calling this a successful round.

I have a few other things to say about the publishing process, but that will keep for another day. For now… just thank you all.


Hey, Look! It’s a book.

Like, a real book.

It came on Wednesday, delivered by a very nice man with a floofy mustache and a white van. I was crying before I even opened the box, because that’s how I roll when I’ve been waiting years for something.

No, not waiting. Fighting.

This has never been easy. I’ve never taken shortcuts, though there have been detours and unexpected destinations.

I have never worked this hard for anything, and it is totally, completely, mind-blowingly worth it.

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Six days to launch.

 


PARTY TIME!

Wait… it’s almost party time.

Yessir (or yes ma’am, or yes creature-of-the-night or yes oak tree if that’s how we’re feeling today), we’re going to have a party. It’s a Facebook party, but dangit, it’s a REAL party.

And we’re celebrating a book release.

You’ve all been so patient and supportive, encouraging me through the tough parts of this project, celebrating the small victories, offering advice or a loving kick in the pants when I needed it. I think we all deserve to have some fun, don’t you?

The Bound release party is happening June 26, 2014 from 12:30 to 8:30 PM EDT (Eastern). It’s a long party, and obviously I’m going to have to step out for bathroom and coffee breaks and to do silly little things like feeding my family, but this seemed like a good way to make sure that everyone who wants to can stop by, sign in, and participate in a few activities for a chance to win prizes. You’re under no obligation to stay for the whole thing.

Prizes? Indeed. I’ll be giving out a few e-book copies of Bound over the course of the party (drawn for from participants in specific activities), and a grand prize of a signed paperback copy plus a bag of the magical tea I drink while I’m writing and an Amazon gift card. I might throw some more prizes in there if enough people show up.

print

Like so.

If you’re an author and would like to give away a copy of your e-book in an activity to get the word out, I’d be happy to help out. Just e-mail me (kate.sparkes @ live.ca). I’d like to make this about you guys, too. I couldn’t have done this without you.

So here’s what you do: follow this link to the party page. Click up top (under the banner) to indicate you’re coming. Then on the 26th, look for the sign-in post so I know I’ve got your name for the grand prize, which will be chosen randomly from everyone who shows up. Invite friends, if you’d like. Look around, have some fun, join in discussions or activities if you’d like. Ask a question, if you have one. This is my first Facebook party, but I think it’ll be small enough that I’ll be able to keep up with everything. Mingle. Make some mew friends. Or be the weird dude who sits in the corner and talks to the dragonlings. That’s cool, too.

 

ROW80 Update:

It feels like we just did this. Um… everything approved with formatting. Should have that proof paperback in my hands Tuesday (or Wednesday, what with the mail being slow here). I’m about half way through my read-through of book two, and I’m getting some fantastic ideas about how to improve it. I’ve also had a most delightful realization about Aren’s grandmother. Nothing I could ever write into a YA series, but no one ever said that everything set in a world had to be for the same age group… you never know. I keep finding these characters who want to have their stories told, so even when this trilogy is over, I don’t think I’ll be done my work there.

Frustrating, infuriating, difficult and just plain hard as this work is at times, I really wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Release date still set for June 26, though I’m hoping to have e-book links available sooner, just to cover for retailers who are slower about putting things up. I may be queen of the procrastinators, but I think I’m actually going to be ahead of schedule for this one.

I just jinxed it, didn’t I?


COVER REVEAL- Evensong, by Krista Walsh

It is my great pleasure to present to all of you… Evensong. I received an ARC of this book from the author last month, and devoured it. It’s exciting, absorbing, and filled with kick-ass characters (and some who kick less ass, but are nonetheless wonderful). I’ll have a proper review for you closer to the release date, which is February 10 (eek!). For now, the official information, and the beautiful cover:

Evensong-Cover-V1-lowResWeb[1]

Author Jeff Powell wakes up to find the impossible has happened. He is within his own novel—summoned into the fictional world of Feldall’s Keep by a spell he didn’t write. One the House enchantress hasn’t figured out how to reverse.

When the villain he’s been struggling to write reveals himself, unleashing waves of terror and chaos, Jeff must use more than his imagination to save the characters he created—and the woman he loves.

Trapped within a world of his own creation, he must step outside the bounds of his narrative to help his characters defeat an evil no one anticipated, even if he must sacrifice his greatest gift. In the end, he has to ask: are novels really fiction, or windows into other worlds?

About the Author

Known for witty, vivid characters, Krista Walsh never has more fun than getting them into trouble and taking her time getting them out. After publishing a few short stories and novellas in various anthologies, she has now released her own anthology, the serial collection Greylands.

When not writing, or working at her day job, she can be found reading, gaming, or watching a film – anything to get lost in a good story.

She currently lives in Ottawa, Ontario.

For first grab at Evensong sale price, other promotions, news & announcements, you can sign up for her Newsletter

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