I have exciting news!! My friend Alessandra Clarke and I have been accepted into Author’s Row at Mile Hi Con 48! We don’t have many details yet, such as where in Author’s Row, etc, but I’m super excited! From what I’ve read about Mile Hi Con, it has a significant author’s row, a lot of writers and publishers, so I’m excited to be able to show off my work there!
I also am thinking of having free samples of The Orc War Campaigns to give out. I hope to have finished writing the Orc War Campaigns by then, and even be posting those final episodes before or during the end of October.
After finally writing at least one or two blogs per week, I hit another (thankfully brief) period of absence, and I wish to apologize to you all for doing that. I meant to let you all know it was going to happen, but life happened fast these past couple weeks.
Where Have I been?
Over a week ago, my mother went into the hospital for a major surgery. Despite complications, both during and after surgery, she is doing well and was recently discharged from the hospital. But needless to say, most of my free time was spent helping my Dad and being with my Mom.
There was also much happening in my life prior and after that. Including Denver Comic Con!! :D I had such a blast at DCC this year, and got to spend it with a lot of fantastic people :) Including Wayne, aka DocDead, in his gender-bender Storm outfit! (Yes, that’s him!)
Shortly after that was my Mom’s surgery, and then after she was stabilized, I ended up going to the Colorado Renaissance Festival again. And then…I had an amazing first date with someone I met recently!! :D
So it has been a decidedly super busy couple of weeks, with some downs, but a whole lot more ups! And now that things are settled down, I can finally take a breath :)
Where Am I Going?
With the successful publication of my second novel, Burning Skies, now out for over a month, I think it’s time to let you all know what I am up to now, and what my plans are for the next year!
Starting with the completion of The Orc War Campaigns. Originally I wanted the entire series to be finished in time for the release of Burning Skies, but alas, that was not to be, and TOWC has since been on a ‘mid-season hiatus.’
However, I did resume writing the series last month! The 6th episode, titled “Crossroads” has already been written, and I’m more than 2/3rds through writing the 7th episode (I don’t yet have a title for that episode…)
…so why haven’t I released the 6th episode? Firstly, I have not done a single proofread run on it. I have found that after I write a story, it is best to let it sit for a short time before attempting a proofread, as it allows me to see it with fresh eyes. Secondly, I’m highly tempted to wait to start releasing the episodes until all 4 of the final episodes are written.
So my goal is to write them out as quickly as possible, and then release them as I complete their proofreads and edits. I haven’t had a chance to write in over two weeks, but I intend to resume writing with a vengeance!!
After that, I begin writing the manuscript for the 3rd novel in the Sword of Dragons saga! This one I am super excited about. So much is going to happen, and the characters are going to make leaps and bounds. But there will also be so much heartache, and the fight will become much more personal for everyone…
I do have a title in mind for the 3rd book, but I want to run it by some friends before I officially announce it. Plus, I want to give Burning Skies more time in the spotlight :D
I also have a busy upcoming release schedule. Once The Orc War Campaigns has finished and I’ve written a first draft of book 3, I want to release Orc War Campaigns as an anthology in paperback and ebook. Ideally, by no later than December. And then book 3 is slated to be released in late May 2017.
More To Come!
In short, I’m back! I hope you all will forgive me for my absence, and will stay with me. There is so much more to come this year :)
I know it’s been two weeks since Starfest, but I’m finally able to sit down and take time to post on it!! And what a blast I had! :) Thanks to my cohorts M. H. Lee and Wayne Adams (who shot the cover photo for this article, by the way,) it was a definite success :D
And as an added bonus, read to the end to learn some exciting news about Burning Skies! :D
Starfest was a first-of-a-kind experience for me: for the first time ever, I was a vendor at a con, not a visitor! That’s right, along with my friend M. H. Lee, I sat at a table in author’s row, actively engaging with customers, trying to convince them that my novel was worth buying.
This was definitely one of the most unique activities I’ve ever participated in. First was deciding how to setup our table. The only picture I took was our initial setup on day one, but it evolved often, and thanks to M. H. Lee’s awesome eye for putting up a store front, by the end we had a setup that really put our fiction novels at the forefront, and I think helped us sell.
We also had a GREAT spot, right next to the main passageway between the authors alley and the merchant section :D So there was a ton of foot traffic that passed us by!
But most important was learning how to engage passersby. This is something I struggled greatly with. I tried to make eye contact with everyone who passed by, and even say hi or good morning…but this just wasn’t garnering attention or getting people to come buy our books.
So I observed my friend across from us, Marvin, as he effectively drew numerous folks in and helped sell several of his wife’s novels. And I realized where I was falling short: I wasn’t trying to sell the novel. I was being friendly and courteous, but I wasn’t drawing attention to The Sword of Dragons (a point M. H. Lee made to me as well.)
So on Sunday, I changed my approach.
“Oh, you like dragons? Well then you’d love this book!”
“Do you like fantasy novels? Then this book is for you!”
“Looking for a new fantasy novel? Yes? Let me tell you about The Sword of Dragons!”
And the result? Well Friday I sold only one copy. On Saturday I sold one. But on Sunday, I sold half a dozen! While I’m sure it wasn’t just because of my change in tactics, I’m sure it helped.
But I think that’s a lesson all writers can take away: sell your book. Don’t be shy about it. That’s why you’re there. And I’m not just talking about conventions. Spread the word, tell everyone about your book, tell everyone why it’s exciting and they should buy a copy.
After all, how can the word ever get out…if you don’t tell them?
I’m finding that the more I go to conventions, the more I am enjoying them :) Hence why I’m going to Anomaly Con this weekend, even though I’ve not really gotten into the steampunk scene. I met some amazing people at Starfest, made a new friend, and saw some incredible cosplay costumes!
I only cosplayed on Saturday, breaking out my 11th Doctor costume yet again, but I loved getting comments on it (even if it is incomplete) and I loved interacting with all of the cosplayers.
Here are some of my favorites from the con!
(This was my first attempt using the ‘gallery’ feature on wordpress, so bear with me if it turns out horribly…)
If you want to see more, check out my facebook page, I posted a ton there! :)
Burning Skies – Final Proofread Complete!
Now for that news I promised: I finally finished the final proofread of Burning Skies!! The results?…Well, I have a lot of work ahead of me…a lot… But that’s going to have to be detailed in a future post ;) But this is exciting news, this brings me one step closer to having Burning Skies ready for its end of May release!
So what are the next steps in prepping the book? Taking all of my notes from proofreading and ‘fixing’ them in the manuscript, that’ll be a project in and of itself. Also, I need to finish working on the cover so that I might finally do a proper “Cover Reveal” for you all :D
It also means I get to start posting more info about the story! I am so excited, this was such an awesome story to write! For all of the world-changing events that happen in The Sword of Dragons, they are nothing compared to Burning Skies ;) So keep an eye out, this is just the beginning!
“A shattered world shall return to its people;
Darkness and fire will descend.”
Before I get into the meat of this post, I just wanted to let everyone know that I will have a booth at the upcoming Starfest Sci-Fi Convention in Denver, CO! I’ll be sharing my booth with the talented fellow author M. H. Lee, so come on by and check us out!
This will be the first time I’ve ever had a booth at a convention, so I am really looking forward to this new experience! I’m also terrified about it, so I’m glad to have a friend with me to share the experience :)
Unlike my experience with the coffee shop (which I did enjoy and consider a success,) this is more of my target audience, so I am hoping to be able to engage with way more people, regardless of sales, and get to know some amazing people. Plus I really love cosplay, so I’m looking forward to seeing all of the costumes :D
Do Writers Get Sick Days?
It has been nearly 3 weeks since my last post, and I am so very sorry to leave you all in the dark like this. There have been a few causes, not the least of which was that I was sick for nearly 3 weeks. In fact today is the first day in 3 weeks that I haven’t had a nasty cough. So I haven’t been neglecting you all on purpose or without cause, I promise!
But there’s also more. Some of you may have recognized a pattern in the past couple months, this sudden lapse in posts happened last year. Sometimes life has a way of tearing us down, and for me, the hardest-hitting is when I am in a disintegrating relationship.
I’ve avoided talking about my relationships in the past on here, and for the most part I’d like to continue that. But my slow-down in creativity, my lack of blog and Facebook posts, it got me thinking, and I can’t help but wonder how other authors out there balance the peaks and troughs of their personal lives against writing.
As I’ve been learning over the past few years, being a writer is way more than just writing a story and sending it to a publisher or printer. Especially when one is a self-published author. This part is just as important, if not more so: blogging, connecting to readers and fans (I still am not used to being able to say that I have fans. You all rock!!! :D )
So when life turns painful, all aspects of my writing suffer, and I feel like I’m letting you all down. I don’t want to. But I also realize that writing is still a job (granted one that I completely love,) and all jobs have sick days. Sometimes we need to take time off from our jobs to take care of what’s important in our lives, who is important in our lives.
I guess this past month has been my sick leave.
But it’s time to come back. I won’t leave you all hanging for several months like I did last year. It’s time to get back into writing full-on again. I might have to ease in a bit, but I’m back from my ‘leave’.
What about all of you? How do all of you keep your personal lives from negatively affecting your creative outlets and jobs? And do you believe that writers, celebrities, and anyone else who presents themselves to the world at large like this, really get sick days?
Thanks for reading!
Trials and triumphs of writing, finding an agent, and publication.