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.

Writer Milestones

I am slowly but surely making progress on the Ancestors of Jaiya series (prequel to the main Jaiya series). On Memorial Day (US), I finished the rough draft of Scapegoating a Hero, book 3 in this prequel series. I first began work on Hero in January or February of 2017, so this is the longest I’ve ever spent on a book I actually finished.

Hero is like the other books in both series in that it’s about a man and a woman with supernatural powers who fall in love while fighting evil together. But it has more Continue reading “Writer Milestones”

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.

Light Urban Fantasies On Sale! Plus An Instafreebie Giveaway!

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Do you like your urban fantasies on the lighter side? Less grimdark, less harsh language? Maybe with a bit of romance, maybe without? Regina Welling, author of twelve books across three series, has put together a promotion showcasing a number of books in that “vein,” all on sale for $0.99 on Amazon. My latest novel, Loving a Deathseer, is part of the promotion, but there are quite a few other books available as well. Just click here if you feel like checking out the sale!

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Steampunk writer Dean F. Wilson has also put together an Instafreebie giveaways of free novels, short stories and sample chapters in the science fiction and fantasy genres, running until tomorrow (October 15). You can click here to check out the giveaway page.

SF&F Books On Sale for 0.99!

PattyJansenPromoOct2017Home

Happy Halloween! The Science Fiction writer Patty Jansen has pulled together a hundred books on sale for $0.99 in the Science Fiction and Fantasy genres, from across all the major ebook stores.

My latest novel Loving a Deathseer listed under Fantasy Romance. This sale starts today and continues through tomorrow. Some of the books are at $0.99 for the long term, but others are only on sale for these two days, so click here to check them out!

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.

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 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.