Hearts Are Jerks – update

So far, my query process has included two rejections, one request for the first fifty pages (followed by a rejection), and one enthusiastic request for the full manuscript from someone I would love to work with. The full manuscript request ended in a revise-and-resubmit invitation, with a ton of valuable feedback — all of which is dead on.

I’ve hired my long-time trusted editor to go over it for me, side by side with the agent’s feedback, so that my own blind spots don’t get in my way.

Meanwhile, I’ve submitted two new stories to short story markets. I’m currently working on a manuscript edit for a client, and an editing workshop/seminar to add to my repertoire.

Oh, and: Per my last post, converting an existing manuscript directly from first person to third person doesn’t work. At least, it didn’t work at all in this case. But I’ve discovered what my hard science fiction project actually needs, and that’s a full rewrite and present tense. It’s got a new first chapter now and it feels right.

And we keep moving forward, one word at a time. ❤

Keeping Time – available now!

“Keeping Time” is a hard science fiction story about long-duration space travel.

It is also a story about a woman who goes to the very extremes to escape her relationship with an abusive and powerful politician.

It first appeared in When The Hero Comes Home. Due to its sudden, well… timeliness, I’ve released it on its own.

Now, for $2.99, you can purchase it from Amazon, with an added scene. Please click! And please leave stars!

kt_gh

Despite Excuses

This is my second full day back from the Despite Excuses Writing Retreat up near Fort Bragg, CA. I can still hear the sea if I close my eyes and listen hard enough.

It’s called Despite Excuses because we all have excuses not to write. We all have lives and responsibilities and day jobs and things. Despite Excuses is about writing even though Real Life happens, rather than waiting for Real Life to agree to leave us alone for a while. If we wait for that, we’ll be waiting a long time.

I don’t do well with roommates or housemates, but somehow I managed to get along with almost everybody in a ten-person house for a week. “No introvert-shaming” was a big rule and that helped a lot. If someone needed time to themselves, to write or nap or spend some time in nature, there was nothing wrong with that.

I tried out my Rejectomancy and Other Myths exercise on the group. This is a modification of my Rejectomancy presentation from a couple of years ago, expanded to include other myths and “truisms” about publishing. We had a nice mixed group of new writers and veterans, so the input was great and people learned a lot from it.

With a lot of teachers and parents in attendance, I also had the opportunity to crowdsource some ideas and inspiration for my YA novel-in-progress. I’m stuck at the point where kids experience the brunt of other kids’ meanness, and I’m out of touch with the techniques teens use to make each other’s lives miserable these days. We didn’t have mobile phones when I was in high school, so harassment has changed a lot since my day. We had to pass notes…uphill, both ways, in the snow, while fending off bears.

(Minor aside: I did see a mobile phone when I was in high school. It was a giant lunchbox with a brick of a handset attached to it. But it would be about fifteen years from that point until I had my own mobile phone. That phone was a brick of a handset, too, but it was a sleek brick, at least.)

I fell about 750 words short of my writing goal for the retreat, but toward the end I made the executive decision that spending time with people was more important than spending time writing; experiences are writing fodder, and I needed the inspiration more than the wordcount. I can make wordcount at home; I can’t stretch out on my back in a hot tub at home and gaze up at the Milky Way, oohing at the streaks of meteors across the sky.

In short, if you have a chance to drop everything, go to the coast, and write…take it. Despite excuses.

 

Of the Essence is In the Wild!

Twitter Stream Sharing

Quills and her story are now out in the world! Ebook and audio book are now live, with hardcover and trade paperback to come.

I spent my book birthday at a casual writing day with a few friends and my beloved writing partner, Steve Bornstein, who came out from Austin for a visit. Steve and I have been writing together for ten years now — we originally met while playing on a text-based roleplaying environment called Twisted Kingdoms, which was also where the first incarnation of Quills was born.

I’ve got Pathfinder edits due in a month (more on that in another post!) and a short story due in August, and I’ve got two novels in my editing queue (a normal workload for a freelancer), but I took time out from all of that to spend Quills’ Day penning the opening lines of her sequel.

I’ve listened to the sample teaser of the audiobook, and it’s amazing. There was actual out-loud squeeing.

Where can you get it?

Directly from the Onder Librum store

or from Amazon or Barnes and Noble or other fine retailers.

April is the Busiest Month…

In April, there will be three new projects coming out with my name attached.

Women in Practical Armor, my latest anthology collaboration with Ed Greenwood, will be launching after last summer’s spectacular Kickstarter campaign. There will be a (pre-April) party for contributors and backers at Norwescon at the end of March.

C is for Chimera, an anthology edited by Rhonda Parrish, contains a story of mine. My letter was H. The story is short and sweet, and I’m rather fond of it. I hope you will be, too.

Hellmaw: Of the Essence, my debut novel, will be out on April 30. I don’t know which formats will be available on that date, or from which retailers, but the book will ultimately be out in hardcover, trade paperback, ebook, and audio book.

I am hoping to plan a local launch party once I receive more information about physical copies. I’ll also spam the internet (okay, not really) with the Amazon pre-order link when it goes live.

In the meantime, I’m reading for Apex and Dragon Moon, I’m proofreading for Lambda Literary, and I’m working on my Work in Progress, a contemporary YA novel with the working title Hearts Are Jerks.

Impending Projects

I do plan to gradually reprint some of the content from my previous blog, especially the more popular entries, but it will take a bit for the dust to settle here.

In the meantime, before we get to the old, here’s what’s new:

  • My first novel is complete and turned in. It’s now in Paizo’s skilled hands, and I’ll share a title, some art, and a release date as soon as I can. Yes, it features Zae, Keren, and Appleslayer. If you’re already a fan from the web-fiction (my short story “Inheritance“), the novel will have more of everything you love about them.
  • My second novel is an urban fantasy endeavor, with The Ed Greenwood Group. As I write this, it’s nearly halfway written, and it’s due in November. I’ll make it, really! It’s forthcoming in May 2016, and I can’t wait to tell you more. The veil lifts, at least partway, on October 19.
  • Women in Practical Armor, my next anthology with Ed Greenwood, had an amazing Kickstarter campaign. If you didn’t get in on the action as a backer, you’ll be able to pick up a copy in April, 2016. This one is hopefully the first of several anthologies that Ed and I are doing for Evil Girlfriend Media.
  • I have a very short story called “575” that will be appearing in C is for Chimera, edited by Rhonda Parrish, also in 2016.
  • My story “Descent of the Wayward Sister” from Cthulhurotica has officially become my first reprint sale.
  • Two recent acquisitions for Dragon Moon Press are on their way to the printer, and another is close behind!
  • I’ve had to scale back on editing because of the novel deadline, but there are still two novels in my editorial queue, one for Dragon Moon and one for a freelance client.
  • I will definitely be attending CanCon in Ottawa this October, and I’m confirmed to some degree for Norwescon (Seattle), GenCon (Indianapolis) and DragonCon (Atlanta) next year.
  • Despite the busy, I’m missing my daily slush fix. I’m looking forward to Apex Magazine re-opening for submissions.

Whew. So, that’s me. More details to come, on all of the above. But for now, if you’ll excuse me, there’s a manuscript tugging at my sleeve.