Saving a Queen Now Available!

Unreliable_medium

Journey to the country of Jaiya, in a world not quite like ours. Here the humans wield magical powers and fight against an Empire which seeks to enslave them, but they share their world with insect people and trollfolk, and stranger things lurk in the shadows…

Queen Prasa escapes from her city as it falls to the Empire. Her only hope of survival lies in traveling with Nirav, a smuggler who pilots a type of balloon called a skyboat. Caught between her sense of duty and her attraction to the smuggler, Prasa must listen to her heart in order to find the best way to save her people. But what is the secret cargo that Nirav carries…and why is a flying monster out of the old stories hunting his skyboat?

Hope everyone is having a great November!

I just published the Ancestors of Jaiya series, the prequel series to my Jaiya series of urban fantasy/paranormal romance novels. The Ancestors of Jaiya series starts out nearly two hundred years before the events of Marrying a Monster and the other books in the Jaiya series, and ends about 35-40 years before the Jaiya series starts. Book 2 in the series, Saving a Queen, is now available on all the major ebook stores, including AmazonNookiBooksKobo, and Google Play.

Slaying a Tyrant Now Free!

Taylor_medium

Journey to the country of Jaiya, in a world not quite like ours. Here the humans wield magical powers and fight against an Empire which seeks to enslave them, but they share their world with insect people and trollfolk, and stranger things lurk in the shadows…

Vanti would be happy to spend her life in dance and choreography, but her family chooses her as their champion in a deadly gladiators’ tournament. To save her country from enslavement, she must defeat King Obiar the Conqueror and his magical powers. But will the brooding trainer named Gurion be her guide in the battle to come…or a dangerously handsome distraction?

Hope everyone had a great Halloween! Mine was fun but busy.

I just published the Ancestors of Jaiya series, the prequel series to my Jaiya series of urban fantasy/paranormal romance novels. The Ancestors of Jaiya series starts out nearly two hundred years before the events of Marrying a Monster and the other books in the Jaiya series, and ends about 35-40 years before the Jaiya series starts. Book 1 in the series, Slaying a Tyrant, is now free on all the major ebook stores, including AmazonNookiBooksKobo, and Google Play.

Over the next month, you will also see some posts from me discussing the other books in the Ancestors of Jaiya series, approximately on a weekly basis.

Happy Reading!

Recommended Dictation Books

I am going to try to do a lot of dictation this year, because my word goals are extremely ambitious, so I thought I’d link to a few books I’ve found helpful. One caveat: everyone’s hardware and software needs are different, so don’t take anything any of these books say as gospel in terms of exactly what you need to buy to make it happen. Everyone recommends Dragon Naturally Speaking, for instance, but I have so far stuck to just the existing speech-to-text option in Windows 10.

Dictate Your Book, by Monica Leonelle: This one offers a lot of good, basic advice on the nature and process of dictation. One of the more interesting exercises has you practice with public domain texts, like excerpts from Alice in Wonderland, to get more comfortable with the punctuation commands for your software of choice.

On Being a Dictator, by Kevin J. Anderson and Martin L. Shoemaker: Anderson goes hiking and talks out his books as he walks, while Shoemaker dictates into a microphone in his car on his daily commute to work. Between them, they offer a lot of insight into figuring out how to work dictation into your daily routine, and what kind of equipment and software (or human transcription services) you might need, without insisting that you need to buy exactly what they use or do exactly what they do.

Fool-Proof Dictation by Christopher Downing: The best book I’ve found on the process of training yourself to tell your stories out loud. Some of the training exercises are a little out there, but you can stick to the ones that work for you if you prefer.

Retrospection and NaNoWriMo

It’s getting to be that time of year, with National Novel Writing Month only a few weeks away. Last year’s NaNo project turned out to be one of those experimental attempts that don’t produce a complete story, or even something I managed to turn into one.

This isn’t that unusual for me. To give you some numbers here, I have completed NaNoWriMo 13 times, Continue reading “Retrospection and NaNoWriMo”

Getting Closer and Closer Everyday

Well, finally starting to see some progress here. I have the first two books in the Ancestors of Jaiya series available for preorder, with a release date of October 25, 2019. I am done polishing Book 3 in the series, and am halfway through the process of converting it into a Word document with a linked table of contents. Still to do on Book 3: writing a blurb, creating the print cover, and setting up it up for preorder.

The best case scenario is that I will somehow have all four books ready for release by October 25, 2019, and the first book in the series set to perma-free by October 28, 2019. In a worst case scenario, Book 4 may release later than the others: either early November 2019, assuming I am mostly done with it by the time NaNoWriMo starts, or sometime in December 2019, assuming I don’t manage to get a finalized copy in Word document form assembled by October 31, 2019.

On an unrelated note, I changed my website’s WordPress theme. I am pleased with it, but open to suggestions.

Rough Drafts of Jaiya Prequel Series are Done!

Yesterday, I finally finished the rough draft of Saving a Queen, the second of four books in the Ancestors of Jaiya series and the last one to be written. I was trying to take it slow and save my wrists by dictating it, and of course I’m not nearly as experienced with that as I am with typing. I’ve done some editing on the first book in the prequel series, but I still have quite a bit of work to do, to polish up these four books. I am currently planning to release all of them together sometime in first quarter of 2019, but it would more likely be March or late February than January.

In the meantime, Marrying a Monster, the first book in the main Jaiya series, is free on all major vendors in a number of countries. I’ve been informed that it is not free on some of Amazon’s non-US stores but I haven’t been able to get this sorted out yet. My priority right now is preparing my space opera concept for NaNoWriMo2018.

I hope to draft some posts about the writing process-about dictation, about the NaNoWriMo project-and schedule them to publish, but we’ll see how that turns out.

New Year, Belated New Resolutions

Hello there! Hope you had a great Christmas and holiday season. No, I’m not dead, or even UN-dead. Last year was…complicated in a bunch of ways. I’d hoped to get more writing done over the summer, but instead did a bunch of traveling with family. Then NaNoWriMo 2017 turned out to be one of those years where I didn’t come out with a usable first draft. Instead, I came out with a much better idea of what I needed to do for the second book in the Jaiya prequel series, and a few thousand more words for the third book in the prequel series, the one about the notorious Commander Rijal.

My plans for this year are to stay away from the news media and news commentary sites, because all they do is drag my mood down and distract me from my writing, finish the third book in the prequel series and write the second book, and then edit all four of them and release the whole series together in late 2018 or early 2019.

Not sure where I’m going from there; I have an interesting space opera/romance idea but it needs to stay on the back burner until the Jaiya prequel series is completed.

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.

blackfriday783x173alt

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.

 

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).