Thursday, August 19, 2010

That's all she wrote!

Ok, no, not really. Ya’ll should know better than that. But I am officially declaring that I turned in Book 2 last night. As of now it looks like the title will be A SHOT IN THE DARK. (Will let you know release date as soon as I know) It’s shorter than I like (though not nearly as short as I’d feared) and I’m hoping we can cure that minor malady in editing. The Editor is awesome, I trust that she can see things I haven’t.

And quite frankly, I had hit the point where I was doing more harm than good with all my fidgeting. Keep that in mind, folks. There comes a point when you really have worked on something TOO hard, and you just need to step away.

My rest-of-the-year schedule looks like this:

September: Outline Book 3, submit that to The Editor for review.
October: Outline Nano project, tentative title “The Pugilist and the Alchemist”
November: Nano
December: Start Book 3

The Nano stuff is, obviously, optional, and there will be edits for Book 2 in there somewhere, and those take priority. Once I get Book 3 done (please please please let it be ahead of deadline this time instead of two-and-a-half weeks late), I intend to go back and revisit Muse. I’m very anxious to implement a lot of the stuff The Agent and I talked about. (spoiler: There may be cannibals)

(Also, realized yesterday that my ultimate fangirl moment would be my favoritest ever comic book artist doing a graphic novel of Muse. Seriously, I’d faint dead away in the most girly way possible. No, I won’t tell you who it is, ‘cause then they might find out, and I’d feel like a total loser.)

There’s been a lot going on in my brain lately, and stuff I keep meaning to blog about, but I’m afraid if I try to cram it all into one post, it’s gonna turn into a TLDR.

I went to a great book signing and met up with some awesome internet friends (if we’ve met in real life, does that now make them real life friends?). Sadly, there were very few pictures taken, ‘cause there was so much gabbing going on! Can’t imagine how that happened.

More reviews for A DEVIL IN THE DETAILS are coming in, and for the most part, folks seem to like it! You have no idea how much this still boggles my mind. They like my little story? Really? Sweet!

And I shall leave you with this article, which oddly, did NOTHING to alleviate my zombie-phobia, since it is all contingent on there actually BEING zombies in the first place:

Why the zombie apocalypse won't work.

Things on future blog posts agenda:

Questions people frequently ask me about getting published, and my responses.
Cons I should attend, sound off on your favorites.
Cats on books!

Friday, August 6, 2010

My Mission

So, I’ve been thinking a lot lately. Yes, that’s the burning smell you detect.

Take a gander over to the left, and check out my little mission statement. I wrote that three years ago. Three! Can you believe it?? I wrote it before I ever dreamed up the idea that would become A DEVIL IN THE DETAILS.

And as I sit here and look at it right now, I have to wonder if maybe it’s a bit outdated. Maybe I need a new mission?

My original mission was to “survive the writing, the querying, and hopefully the publishing.” So let’s break it down.

Surviving the writing: When I wrote that mission statement, I was writing what can only be called an epic pirate princess fantasy. (Don’t judge me.) Shortly after I started this blog, hubby and I came up with this brilliant UF idea, and gradually it took over my life, and the epic pirate princess fantasy got trunked. 78,000 words. Someday, I might go back to it, but as it stands now, it needs a major overhaul.

So then I wrote this great UF thing we’d dreamed up. And I had high hopes for it! (and well, we all know how that story turned out.) In the time since writing Devil, I’ve finished four other books (counting Devil’s sequel) and I’m currently doing the research portion of a new project, just something for fun, maybe for NaNoWriMo this year.

So while yes, I have survived the writing, it seems that the writing is ongoing process, and therefore the survival should be an ongoing goal. So maybe that part of the mission statement should stay.

Surviving the querying
: I queried Devil for six months. An eyeblink in publishing time, really. I know people who queried for years with multiple manuscripts before they found an agent. I sent out twenty-eight queries, again a teeny tiny drop in a huge potential bucket, and got favorable responses from a third of those. I signed with The Agent.

Now, I don’t envision having to go through the actual query-for-agent process again for quite some time. I LIKE The Agent. He’s awesome, and he deals well with my neuroses. And as far as I know, he’s gonna be an agent for a long time, so we’re settled for a while.

However, querying for an agent isn’t the only “query” in this big wide world. When I have a new project ready, I run it past The Agent. When I think there’s someone who might give me a blurb for one of my covers, I can ask. I send emails to book bloggers to see if they have time to review me, or if I can do a guest post or interview for them. All of these are essentially queries, in the sense that I’m putting myself out there. I’m waiting to see if I’ll be shot down.

So maybe that part of the mission statement should stay, too. Hmm.

Surviving the publishing: Holy crap, I did it. I have a book in print. I used to sit, in quiet times, and imagine what it would feel like to hold one of my books in my hands, and now I know what that’s like. As of July 6th, 2010, I am a published author.

But you know what? There’s a TON of stuff that has to happen even after the book hits shelves. How are my sales doing? How are my reviews? More blog appearances, con appearances if I can afford it, promo materials, give aways.

Publishing isn’t a one time occurrence. It’s not like Christmas, it doesn’t have one day and then gone. It’s a continual process, even not counting the sequels that are coming up behind the first one, which would kick me clear back to the first part of the statement, the writing.

So I guess I’m still surviving the publishing, too. Double hmm.

I have to say that the last three years of my life have been the scariest, the strangest, the saddest, and the super…est. (Hey, I was going for some kind of pattern there, and it kinda let me down. So sue me.) I achieved my dearest dream. I lost my mother. I survived cancer. I celebrated ten years with the greatest man in the world, and I watched this tiny creature I gave birth to grow into an amazing little person with her own thoughts and opinions and dreams.

And as I look forward to the next three years, at least two of which will be devoted to writing/editing/publishing the next two books in the Jesse James Dawson series, I have to wonder what wonderful and terrifying things wait for me there.

So I guess my mission statement stays, and ultimately I can just hope that I survive.