Download my new book free!

Phew! It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

My new book, Painted, first of The Forever Series, has been released into the wilds. In fact, I’m giving the ebook away for free on my new website.

Image

http://theForeverSeries.com

I’ll put up the paperback as soon as it arrives and I have the chance to verify the lack of printing errors.

I also have a twitter feed and a facebook page.

silly children– pictures are for grown-ups!

You know what novels ought to have?

Pictures.

Not just illustrated children’s books. Novels. Adult novels. Preferably excellent old fashioned black and white penmanship in fine crosshatching. Illustrate a lantern, a snowy countryside, a lady’s dress, a tapestry. Something related to the story, but not the scenes itself, which might intrude into a reader’s sense of visualization. Scatter where appropriate.

Why isn’t this done in the publishing industry?

starting to suspect my steampunk is ya…

Maxwell felt as if he had gone to hell. A hell with cows.

Though it’s… quirky at best.

The only ‘rules’ that I’ve been able to find for deciding between young adult and adult fiction tends to be 1) the protagonist’s age, 2) the style of writing, and 3) the length of the book. But surely, there must be more to it than that?

The project is something of an action/adventure maypole dance– I’m aiming for something light, fast, clever, and complicated. Probably much longer than my last book (which is short for a fantasy). I have teen characters, I have middle age characters, I have old characters. No absolute protagonists. My last book was dark and serious– this one is funny and forgiving. Victorian-esc expectations and manners, so quite clean as well.

Is there a reason to aim for YA over adult, or vice versa? It probably won’t make much of a difference, but I’ve started eyeing agents for the previous novel, and I’m wondering about the advantages or disadvantages once The Artificer’s Angels gets a little further on.

editing: wyrren jadis versus distraction

It’s been quiet over here, I realize, though that doesn’t mean it’s been unproductive. I actually like the editing process; I have a very strong internal editor, a good laser printer, and a supply of red pens. Chapter one has been gone over; I’m midway through correcting chapter two. Really, once I get down to work, I can go pretty darn fast.

I had a birthday earlier this week– I’m twenty-five now. Kindof shocking, really; this firmly establishes me as a grown-up. I celebrated by riding horses and playing video games. The Sims 3 doesn’t work so well on my computer, but I’m bullying it into behaving anyway.

To those of you who don’t know, The Sims series is like a game of dolls that fight you for control. You make houses for them, buy them furniture, and set up dramas, careers, hobbies… I love this sort of thing. But last night I’d made a Sim-Eliza, put her in her house, and realized partway through the evening that Sim-Eliza was hunched over her computer with the same bad posture, working on her novel, and making better progress than I was. Her ‘writing skill’ bar was filling up, little by little.

I turned off the game and went back to my word processor.

To the point! I’ll be done polishing up chapter two soon, onto chapter three (there are thirteen chapters in the book) and I’m coming to the point where I’ll need test readers to go over the story chapter by chapter. I’ll send off a chapter, they’ll read it and make comments. … And the editing afterward will be the last before I start agent shopping.

Anyone interested? I have a few test readers already, but I wouldn’t mind more. Anyone who hasn’t been following along with the project should know that this is gritty fantasy, and can get quite violent.

In the meantime, ‘Revision 1’ progress is now on the sidebar.

checking in

By tonight, I’ll be at or above 35,000 words on my novel, roughly 1400 from where I’m standing now. I’m frequently a bit below par, but I blame that to writing late at night, past the midnight line. I’m not dead, just very, very focused. Sorry I haven’t been around a lot!

I’ve said this before, but I think I need to say it again. Complete rewrites are beautiful, wonderful things. They’re a lot, a lot of work, but the improvement to the plot and composition are fabulous, and well worth it.

Since I’m finally very happy with my plot and the balance between characters, I’m going to keep up my NaNo pace through December (I’ve heard of a NaNoFiMo– National Novel Finishing Month– next month). Depending on how long this new draft takes me, I’ll be done a little before or a little after the new year.

So, based on that, January through March are going to be editing and revising months. I’ll start agent-shopping this April.

Wish me luck!

cover art preview!

Blue Crystal, proposed cover

This is the very rough sketch of the future cover, commissioned from the wonderful Nykolai. Go see her gallery. (Rough idea for) The back:

In a sunless ice-world where cities are built underground, Vastii is a corrupt, dirty metropolis ripe with gangs, mercenaries, rebellion, and scheming politicians. To suppress an uprising in the west, the king took his own niece, Lady Wyrren Jadis, as a political hostage. Officially, her presence will ensure her father’s loyalty to a king that he never cared for. The king never mentioned that he intends to use Wyrren to accuse her father of murder.

Forced into a strange city with only a few companions, the king’s niece is seen as an easy way to the king’s ear or a weapon against the monarchy. But Lady Wyrren loves freedom more than comfort, and is prepared to do whatever it takes to fight for it.

Anyone think this is noteworthy enough to pick up at a bookstore and flip through a few pages?

my (new and improved) query letter

Dear Mr. Example,

In a sunless ice-world where cities are built underground, Vastii is a corrupt, dirty metropolis ripe with gangs, mercenaries, rebellion, cannibalism, and scheming politicians. To suppress an uprising in the west, the king takes his own niece, Lady Wyrren Jadis, as a political hostage. Officially, her presence will ensure her father’s loyalty to a king that he never cared for. The king never mentioned that he intends to use Wyrren’s unwilling confession to convict her father for the murder of his late wife Arielii, the king’s beloved sister.

Amid evidence of loose assassins and the judging eyes of a hostile court, forced into a strange city with only a few companions, the king’s niece is seen as an opportunity for riches and power, an easy way to the king’s ear or a weapon against the monarchy. When the king’s secret police begins to track and kill men found in connection to an illegal press that Wyrren contributes to, her companions are left to scramble across the plague-ridden city to keep the police at bay while the lady seeks someone, anyone, in the courts who can protect her from her increasingly demanding uncle. Amid deal making and breaking, she finds the unassuming, charming, and ambitious Remerdii, a newly appointed lord and favorite of the king. Remerdii provides a much-needed crutch, but only in exchange for a price that increases the more she comes to need him. When an opportunity for power presents itself, Remerdii betrays the king and Wyrren both just as Wyrren finds the perfect time and place to kill her uncle: her real reason for coming to the city.

Blue Crystal is a completed 95,000 word novel written for an adult audience who enjoy action, intrigue, and low-fantasy. I’ve included the first three pages of my manuscript. Thank you!

Sincerely,

the weekend sprint

Last Thursday I wrote a post on writing goals, intending to switch to weekly goals instead of monthly goals. By next Friday, I was to have passed 36,000 words. And then I promptly went to Seattle and wrote over two-thousand words in one night. I’m nearly a thousand words over this week’s goal already, and I’ve got four more days to go.

I like this part of my book. It threw me for a few unexpected loops, but I seem to be hanging in there. I’m in the middle of an important battle, and I’m going back to focus on the mercenaries soon. Let’s hope it doesn’t completely break my outline before chapter nine. Everything seems to be clicking into place, plots and sub-plots weaving themselves better than I thought I could do on my second time through. Rewriting this a second time seems less daunting right now.

I wonder how long I can keep this up…

I also just found out that a fellow I knew from my old church that we went to (in Seattle, when we didn’t live across the state) is a published fantasy author– Jeffrey Overstreet. In the spirit of the publishing/writing business, I pounced on his book and blog immediately. *dances the happy networking dance*