Loving a Deathseer is now live

As a servant, Erno spends his days rushing around while his wealthy employers bark orders at him. By night, he cases out his employers’ homes and sells the information to his burglar friends. He has only three rules: don’t get close to anyone, don’t let anyone get hurt, and don’t let anyone get framed for the crime. But his latest job will plunge him into a world of political intrigue,and test his rules to the breaking point. His only chance at redemption lies in the love of a persecuted young woman, with the power to foresee his death….

Hello there! After several months of hard work, I am pleased to announced that my third novel, Loving a Deathseer, is available online now. The heroine of Deathseer is the cousin of the two brothers who were the heroes of Marrying a Monster and Waking the Dreamlost and all three books are set in the country of Jaiya, in a world not quite like ours.

You can find Deathseer at major ebook stores all across the internet, such as AmazonNookiBooks, and Kobo.

If you haven’t gotten the chance to read Marrying A Monster, the first book in the Jaiya Series, it is available at all the same vendors as Deathseer. Just click here to be taken to the vendor of your choice, or here to download a free sample chapter. If you would like to read Waking the Dreamlost, click here to be taken to the vendor of your choice, or here to download a free prequel story.

April Showers Bring Instafreebie Giveaways!

As you may know, steampunk writer Dean F. Wilson is currently hosting a group giveaway on Instafreebie, of free science fiction and fantasy books, short stories and sample chapters. You can find a sample chapter from my first book, Marrying A Monster, as part of the giveaway. There is also a page for related works on sale, just $0.99 apiece, and Marrying A Monster is there too. Just click on the links above to check out all the books you can get for free or for $0.99!

More Music To Write Novels By

(Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links.)

Winter Is…Continuing. MLK Weekend Is Coming. I am finally almost recovered from all the excitement of NaNoWriMo and the holiday season, so I’d like to write about the trickiness of soundtracking my last NaNo project.

The prologue and first chapter is basically about people gearing up for a party on a major religious festival, most of them unaware that an invasion is looming over their heads. From there, their world turns into a warzone, kind of a cross between Casablanca and Hotel Rwanda, and then turns into a mystical adventure in the spirit of Raiders of the Lost Ark, or at least the third act of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

So, I worked my way through the pre-invasion parts with no problem, using a variant of my standard writing playlist discussed here, and then a funny thing happened. As the story got relatively darker and sadder, the  Gothic but bouncy vibe of my Castlevania playlist stopped working for me.

Usually it has just enough energy to help me power through the sad stuff without spoiling the mood, but somehow all that swagger and melodrama started to grate on me. It seemed disrespectful of what the characters were going through. I tried my outlining/problem-solving playlist, and although that helped to some extent, it didn’t seem quite right.

So I turned to the playlist I had thrown together for my 2015 NaNoWriMo project (the gladiator/MMA fantasy project mentioned here.) When I had been prepping NaNo2015, my standard playlists hadn’t seem to fit it terribly well, until I threw together an unlikely mix of Ennio Morricone and Jerry Goldsmith tracks:

-From Morricone’s Red Sonja: Main Title and Varna’s Death.

-From Goldsmith’s Rio Conchos: Main Title and Where’s the Water.

-And then the whole of Goldsmith’s Medicine Man soundtrack.

That had worked great in 2015 and it worked fine for the remainder of the warzone scenes and also the mystical adventure scenes as well. The funny part, which I didn’t really notice until I was mostly done? Well, the mystical adventure subplot hinges on a tree-themed religious symbol, and the question of whether it is a real thing or just a philosophical concept.

And if you’ve seen Medicine Man, or even skimmed the track listing for the music, you know that the story revolves around a fictional tree species from the Amazon rain forest.

I hadn’t chosen the playlist with that in mind, but it was an interesting coincidence.

Happy Third Day of Christmas! Instafreebie Romance Giveaway!

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Who doesn’t love freebies, especially at this time of year? Author Roz Marshall has organized a romance-themed giveaway on instafreebie, with a wide variety of sneak peeks, short stories, and full-length books. I volunteered the sample chapter to Marrying A Monster to be part of this giveaway, but there are many other freebies to choose from. Just click here, where you can check out all the great freebies available.

Black Friday Sales at Amazon and All Romance ebooks!

fb-x-promo-christmas-40booksIf you like buying print books as gifts, Amazon has a great offer for you, running through November 28: buy $25 or more worth of print books (not ebooks) and get $10 off by using the coupon code HOLIDAYBOOK. Not sure what to buy? Scottish author Roz Marshall has put together a Paperback Matchbook promotion, featuring over forty books in all kinds of genres. Buy the paperback to give as a gift, or just to flip through at home, and get the ebook free to read on your preferred device. Marrying A Monster is one of them, but there are lots more to choose from, so click here to see them all! The promotion starts today and runs through December 10.

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All Romance Ebooks has a special Black Friday sale, today only, with over 25,000 romance ebooks listed at 25% off. Marrying A Monster is one of them, available in epub, mobi, and pdf format. To see the rest of the romance deals, just go to the main site and search under “tags” for #AReBlast.  Hope you find something you like!

Happy Thanksgiving! Just Got Done with NaNoWriMo 2016!

Finished my novel-as in, finished writing the whole plot-with a total of around 52K words yesterday, about 11:30pm. This was not the easiest year I’ve ever done this, nor was it the hardest, but it was one of the less melodramatic. I went through some setbacks in terms of wordcount and stuff distracting me from my project, but I didn’t spend as much time being huffy and upset about it as I sometimes get, and I didn’t end up hating the novel project or the characters the way I sometimes do.

This was a prequel novel to the main Jaiya series; dealing with the parents of Vipin, the hero of Marrying A Monster. I enjoyed writing it, and right now I feel good about how it turned out. Catch is, now I have to polish up and publish the second and third book in the Jaiya series and write, polish and publish two more prequels before anyone gets to read this thing I just wrote.

Lessons learned: I need to not plan on being able to write ~4000 words per day on my days off from work. I can do that under exceptional circumstances, but I can’t do it on a consistent basis, and the times when I did it were the only times my wrists and elbows really protested.

I didn’t do as much dictating as I hoped, and the Windows Dictation tool proved to be very squirrelly. I used it for a couple of scenes early on. One scene I just found difficult to write because of what it was about (not ‘triggering’ or anything like that, just difficult), and in that case I found dictation helpful because it forced me to focus on getting the computer to understand what I was saying, half a sentence at a time, instead of getting hung up on the things about the scene I found difficult. The other section involved a lot of description of military hardware, and it was handy to have Google Images open on one screen (I use a dual screen setup)  and Word open in the other, and just talk out loud about what the hardware looked like to me and what it would be like to use.

Something which was amazingly helpful was the integration between OneDrive and the new version of MS Office I picked up over the summer. Save the main NaNoWriMo doc to OneDrive, open it up in Word just like any document on my hard-drive, and write away at home. Commute to work in the carpool, write between 80 and 200 words in Office Mobile using the same main NaNoWriMo doc on OneDrive. When I had free time at work (not that often), I’d try to fit in a Write or Die timed writing session, copy the results into a document on my work computer, email it home in the evening, copy/paste the new bits into main document. Those little niggling bits of writing really helped a lot on the days when I didn’t have time or energy left to write at home.

To those of you who also made it: congratulations! To those of you who are still plugging away: You can do it! And let me leave you with what were for me this year’s NaNoWriMo theme songs: Half The Battle, and Eastbound And Down.

 

Free Books, Stories, and Sample Chapters on Instafreebie!

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Hello! In the spirit of the holiday season, I have included the sample chapter for Marrying A Monster in Dean F. Wilson’s Science Fiction & Fantasy Instafreebie giveaway. Here you can find free fiction in all lengths from samples like mine, to stories and full length ebooks.

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There is also a ti-ein promotion for $0.99 Kindle ebooks (yes, I’m in that too!) If you like freebies and you like these genres, please check it out! The sales and giveaways run through November 20.

News and Updates

Hello, everyone! Here in the USA, we are transitioning out of spooky candy overload and preparing for turkey meat overload. (Any comments mentioning the election will be marked as spam. Doesn’t matter who you voted for. I don’t care, and I am not kidding).

NaNoWriMo wordcount as of right now is around 17200, but since I’m aiming for 19000 by end of today, I need to get busy.

The big news is that I signed up with the Italian ebook aggregator Streetlib, and Marrying A Monster is now live (in English) on on the French retailer FNAC, and on the Mexican retailer Librerías Gandhi. It will soon be live on Google Play, Overdrive and a number of Italian, Spanish, Polish, Turkish and Russian ebook vendors and library services. I also have my own e-bookstore on the streetlib website.

I joined the Streetlib aggregator primarily to distribute my books to Google Play. Google Play is notorious for slashing prices on ebooks without the publisher’s permission, and Streetlib only allows publishers and self-publishers to set a single price for all the channels they distribute to.

The result is that the default price for my books through the vendors that Streetlib aggregates is going to be on the high side, except in cases where the retailer takes the initiative to discount them or price-match to Amazon (as FNAC and Gandhi seem to be doing).

Science Fiction & Fantasy $0.99 Sale!

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Patty Jansen has pulled together over a hundred and eighty books that are on sale in these genres (Science Fiction Fantasy, and Fantasy Romance), and sorted them by store: basically, you click here or on the image above, and then beneath the banner you click on the store symbol of your choice (Amazon, Nook, Kobo, etc) and then you can see the books available in each store. I’m very grateful to Patty for doing all this work, and very glad for the chance to participate in this sale, which runs today and tomorrow.

NaNoWriMo Toolkit: Perseverance

This is the one thing you absolutely cannot write 50000 words in thirty days without having. You will want to quit, many times. You may even find, if you do this often enough, that there are “discouragement milestones” that pop up regularly. For me, I’ve found that I usually want to quit about halfway through the available time window (two weeks in if I’m working all month, 1.5 weeks in if I’m trying to do it in three weeks), and around the 20000 and 40000 word milestones.

I can’t tell you how to muddle through to the end when you reach those discouragement milestones, partly because I don’t always muddle through. Outside of NaNoWriMo, the 40000 word milestone has defeated me three out of five times: I have tried to write a novel five times outside of NaNoWriMo, and three of those attempts are rough drafts 42000-45000 words long, that tell a more or less complete story.

You need to find a reason to keep putting down one word after another, a reason that matters to you. It might be your love for your characters or your setting or your message. It might be to prove to your friends that yes, really, you are a writer.

It might be sheer annoyance at the idea of failing. When I was younger, I played the Elder Scrolls computer games a lot, especially Daggerfall and Morrowind, and to a lesser extent Oblivion. Whenever they would crash to desktop, I would get so mad that I would relaunch the game immediately, from my last save point, which was usually pretty recent. (Compulsive saving/backup of any computer project on hand was the only major life lesson I learned from the Elder Scrolls franchise.)

I have had at least one NaNoWriMo where that “I won’t let myself be beaten by this” feeling was the main thing keeping me going in between the 40000 and 50000 milestones. The result was not my best work. But it taught me a lot about the kinds of things I enjoy writing and the kinds of things I don’t. And because I finished it, I knew I could finish it, and didn’t have to wonder about it afterwards.

It’s okay to quit NaNoWriMo. There’s not going to be any major consequences, unless your English teacher was requiring you to complete the challenge as a homework assignment, or you were trying to use the challenge to motivate yourself to deliver a book under contract. But you will probably wonder afterwards: “Could I have done it, if I had kept going?” or “What would that novel have been like if I had finished it?”

And about that kind of thing, you’re usually better off knowing for sure, than wondering. Good luck!