Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The End

This has been a year of incredible highs and even lower lows.  My sixth novel did gangbusters--at least on the scale that I use--and my seventh novel found a publishing home.  Since then, however, things have not been so great.  I wrote four more novels over that time period, which have received varying levels of interest.  The latest one has yet to sell a single copy.  With the end of the year, however, and the beginning of a new one, I am always looking for means of self-improvement.  Lately I have been going through the process of updating and re-pricing my paperback novels, to provide a more professional, uniform appearance.  So far, so good.  I also started growing a beard, which anyone who knows me well will find completely bizarre and out of character.  But it's a new year, and possibly a new me, so we'll see how it works out.  I don't make resolutions, nor do I set impossible goals for myself.  However, I hope to improve this blog as the months pass.  I'm trying, anyway. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Dark Horse

Way back in July-August of this year, I tried my hand at writing a romance novel with elements of mystery and suspense thrown in.  The book was written in a little under thirty days, but in spite that short timeline, the story was the result of a great deal of thought, effort, and writing.  Thus far no publisher has been interested, however, and therefore I have put together the book for sale on my own.  I recently learned how to “style” a document—a debt of gratitude is owed to the Smashwords Style Guide—and it was much easier to put together the book after going through this process.  For the first time, one of my print novels looks like the genuine article.  I wish I had known earlier how easy the process truly was.  I have already reworked the interior of one novel, and am considering doing the rest.  It is a simple cut-and-paste job; the most difficult part is redoing the interiors on CreateSpace.  Anyway, for readers who might be interested, I am including links to the e-book and paperback versions of Dark Horse at the close of this blog.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Round About Way

In the past I have complained about being rejected from both jobs and publishers and receiving either a form letter response, or none at all.  I will never do that again.

As an author, I have to say that the previous month has been by turns rewarding and draining.  I wrote an entire novel for NaNoWriMo that I am extremely proud of, but I have also received too many publishing rejections to count.  Most of them were innocuous enough, and I quickly moved on.  However, I am prone to pinning my hopes on a certain thing:  a job that I really want, a vacation that I want to be amazing, or a book that I really feel needs to reach a wider audience.  As such, I had entirely too much emotion invested in a novel that received a crushing rejection.  This rejection did not come in the form of a brief missive, however.  It was a lengthy, detailed email of several paragraphs, spelling out in comprehensive terms why this book was not only unacceptable for their line but also focusing on flaws in my story and its execution.  I will be honest and tell you that I did not read the entire email.  The breadth and scale of the rejection was more than I could take, and I decided to move onto the very next thing:  an email from a friend, letting me know that she was enjoying another of my novels, and that I was a very good writer.  It’s funny and interesting in hindsight that these two messages were received in the same batch.  It was almost as though some power greater than me knew that I needed encouragement and positive feedback in the wake of something negative and discouraging.  At any rate, I am editing two novels and readying another for publication, so hopefully my audience will stick by me—and hopefully I will be able to stand by my writing.

Monday, December 2, 2013

In Too Deep

I have embarked upon every author’s favorite task—editing.  Insert sarcasm here, please.  So far I have uncovered one continuity error that I knew was there during the entire writing process but didn’t bother to fix.  It has now been altered.  I found the usual amount of typos, but also a first for myself:  places where the word is so far off the mark that I have no clue what I originally intended to write.  Anyway, in those cases I had to look at the context of either the sentence or the passage and hope for the best.  I’ve never written anything—yet—that turned my stomach afterward and required a complete deletion, but I have to say that I really like the chemistry between the characters in this novel.  It’s fun to watch their story unfold yet again.