What a weekend! I had so much fun at Kawa Kon. Thanks so much to Katrina for inviting me to be there and host some panels. I can’t wait for next year! I’m uploading video from the panels I hosted right now, but it will take a while, so I’ll post links once they’re all available. Thanks to everyone who attended my panels – it was my first time doing them, and I think they went really well. Friday I hosted a panel about Creating Believable and Engaging Characters. Saturday was Life Happens: Finding the Time to Write. Sunday was National Novel Writing Month Basics. I didn’t get video of that one though.
I met lots of great new people. *waves* Thanks to everyone who stopped by my table and talked to me, asked me questions about writing (feel free to hop over to the contact form and ask me more), and of course thanks to everyone who bought my books. Thanks to everyone who started reading Divided the night they bought it, and told me how much they were already loving it. I truly appreciate your kind words. Thanks to those who said my books remind them of the Dresden Files. Wow! What a compliment! And to the gentleman who said my books reminded him of Kat Richardson’s Greywalker series, again! Such a huge compliment! Seriously, those comments made me feel like a million bucks!
This is the third convention I’ve sold my books at, and each time I learn a bit more about how to make it a great experience for everyone. I always have so much fun, though I have to admit it’s a bit exhausting. Being an introvert, spending 3 days straight talking to people wipes me out. But don’t get me wrong – I wouldn’t trade it for anything! I love love love meeting people, talking to people who have read or are reading my book, talking to other authors who want to talk about the writing and publishing process. I love it! It’s an experience unlike any other, and I’m so thankful to be able to attend conventions and meet everyone. I just need to take the Monday after off work so I can recover. Even so, I already can’t wait for the next convention.
So thank you again to everyone at the con for being so incredibly awesome and making the weekend amazing! YOU are the reason I do this!
I sent the rough rough draft of Burning Darkness to a trusted friend tonight. It’s kind of a checkpoint for how is the overall story before I put too much work into (potentially) the wrong things. You see, I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’m going through a period of self doubt with my writing. Deep down, I know this is a great story. I love the story. But when your life is turned upside down and so much changes, whatever those changes may be, doubt can set in. That, and I know this friend will have valuable input on this novel in particular. I’m sure I’ll be consulting her throughout the entire process. So while this step isn’t even on my timeline (this is even before alpha readers!) I am making progress. I finished the read through tonight, have changed some plot points that were just…bad, and have lots of ideas and notes on other things I need to change, add, and flesh out. I can’t wait to get her feedback, but I’ll be working from my own notes until then.
Life has been crazy lately, to say the least. BUT! I got the shipment of books to sell at the launch for Ravaged on Thursday! So excited to have these in my hands at last and ready to get them to you!
I was also interviewed on Brothers on Whatever podcast yesterday. Check it out here. I had a great time on the show with Nate, Brandon and Donnie and look forward to being back sometime down the road.
If you’re in St. Louis, come out to Subterranean Books on Delmar Thursday night at 6:00 for the reading/Q&A/signing. I’d love to see you there! If you can’t make it, check out amazon.com to get Ravaged in ebook or paperback.
Just wanted to let you all know Jennifer over at Books Make Me Happy Reviews had me over for a guest post yesterday. It’s part of her weekly Words & Music Monday series. So head on over there and find out what I listen to when I write and how music inspires me. Thanks for having me Jennifer!
I’d really meant to type this up much earlier in the week, but I went from Con-Tamination directly back into Mary Kay mode, which has been keeping me insanely busy this week. So here’s the full update from the con!
I didn’t sell as many books as I’d hoped to, but I made some really great connections, so I’m very happy with how the weekend went and I will definitely be a vendor at Con-Tamination next year. I’m even more excited about Archon now! I learned an important lesson about cons – no matter how close you live, get a hotel room! You will want to stay for the after parties, and that’s much more convenient – and safer – to do if you don’t have to drive home. I ended up missing the after parties due to this, so I’ve booked a room for Archon so I don’t have to worry about it, even though it’s close to home.
Like I said, I made a lot of connections, new friends, and learned about other events I might vend at in the coming months. I’ll update the events page as I solidify things. One I have in stone is the Brothers on Whatever podcast is going to interview me on September 23 at 6:00PM Central Time, so stayed tuned for that!
And of course the most exciting part of the weekend, being on the news! Here’s a link to the segment online.
I also had my picture taken for
St. Louis Magazine – I’m in the first one on the second page of photos. As a side note, on the second page are my friends, Harley Quinn and The Joker.
I also joined Z.O.D. – Zombification Orientation and Defense. The members I met were fantastic, and it sounds like a great group to be a part of.
The weekend was an absolute blast. I can’t wait to get more involved in Z.O.D. and get to know my new friends better!
I have several events in the works, both physical and virtual. But first, the one I know you’ve all been waiting for. Ravaged will be release on Thursday, September 26. That’s just a little more than 2 months away. I’m so excited to know when the next chapter in Elena’s adventures will be shared with you!
On that same day there will be a reading and signing at Subterranean Books, the same place who hosted the event for Divided. It will be from 6:00-7:00PM. Head on over to the events page for all the details.
I bet you also want to see the cover, don’t you? Well, you’ll have to wait just a little bit longer for that. I have it, and it’s absolutely amazing! Little Read Riding Hood will have the cover reveal this coming Tuesday. So head on over there Tuesday morning to check it out. I’ll post a reminder.
I’ll also be selling and signing books at Con-tamination August 2-4. Again, all the details are on the events page. I’ve also sent in an application to have a table at Archon, so I’ll let you know as soon as that is finalized.
I have a few other things in the works, but I’ll save those for later since they’re a bit down the road. This is a very exciting time in my writing career, and I’m so thankful you’re along for the ride!
I’ve finished my edits for Ravaged, and just sent it off to Chase Night for story consultation. I really look forward to getting his comments back – that will be when I really have a lot of editing work to do.
I also sent everything over to my cover designer, Denise Wy. She did such an amazing job with the last one, I can’t wait to see what she comes up with this time.
So now I’m in a holding pattern and don’t quite know what to do with myself! Well, that’s not entirely true. I think I’m going to start brainstorming for the next book in the series, and work on some ideas for how to improve the book I plan to publish after Ravaged. Not to mention a brand new, non-writing project I’m working on with some friends! Yes, I still have plenty to keep me busy while I regain strength in my shoulder.
While writing my last post I realized I haven’t yet shared my plan for getting Ravaged ready for publication. If that sort of thing interests you, here it is. If not, you can skip this post.
In the midst of all that I’ll be working with Denise Wy again on the cover design, and putting together the paperback version. I’ve gone back and forth on whether I want to have the paperback professionally designed this time around, simply because it was such a pain last time, but I think I’ve settled for doing it myself again. I got the kinks worked out, so I think it will be easier to do this time around.
Some other more minor things I’ll have to do:
One other item that isn’t specific to Ravaged is promo materials to hand out at conventions. I’m going to print out trifold handouts that have the cover, blurb, author info, and an excerpt from the book to raise interest. I already have this ready for Divided. I think by the time I go to Con-tamination in August I’ll be far enough in edits that I can also print some up for Ravaged as well. A friend of mine did this and said it worked pretty well for him, so it’s worth a shot.
The final item is decide how I want to handle distribution. Do I want to stick with Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) Select? Right now I think I will, and do a free promo for Divided either right before, or when Ravaged is released. But I’m sure I’ll change my mind back and forth a hundred times between now and the time to publish. If I decide not to go that route, I’ll also have to format both Divided and Ravaged for other platforms, such as Kobo and Nook. That might be part of the deciding factor too…with my upcoming surgery, I’ll have less time to work on things like that, so if I run out of time to do that formatting, well, there’s the decision perhaps. Or maybe I’ll just release to those platforms a bit later.
So there you have it. Once Ravaged is published, I’ll revisit this and talk about what worked, what I’ll keep for the next book, and what needs to change in this plan.
Yes, I did mean to type “rough” twice. That’s how rough the draft is. But it’s finished! Now I can get to work on cleaning it up, fleshing things out, and getting it ready for story consultation and editing. I just sent this draft off to my alpha reader. Yes, even in this state, I’m letting someone read it.
I had two things holding me back on finishing this draft. One was that I had to figure out how to wrap things up. The other is a chapter I decided to leave out. It’s something that I decided wasn’t vital to the story. Plus, I was really struggling to write it. I’ve done everything possible to avoid it. Every time I clicked on that chapter in Scrivener, I’d look at the few lines of notes I had for a few minutes, then move on to something else. I decided if it was that hard for me to write, chances are it wouldn’t end up being interesting to the reader either. So out it went, and I think the story is cleaner for it.
Now I think I’ll reward myself with a hot fudge Sundae, then get back to work!