What an incredibly busy and exhausting year. Time to rest, to tie up loose ends at work and with my writing projects, and make some plans for what comes next.
The Ghost Dragon's Daughter is officially released into the world. Copies of Nocturnall (e-book and print) have been shipped to my fabulous Kickstarter supporters, and is available for pre-order from Amazon for the rest of the world. Next up? Reviewing my Not!Sherlock project so I can apply the lessons I learned from the wonderful Writing the Other workshop.
The pace of life has not slowed down, not one bit. Work, writing and editing, Kickstarter rewards, the fabulous Writing the Other workshop and homework for same. And yet, I've learned to drop into small bubbles of quiet from time to time. Taking walks around the campus. Sitting by my fireplace with a good book and a purring cat. By the end of this month, I hope to have both short stories edited and ready for release. After that? Who knows?
More work, more editing, and more work....
One of my interns quit, rather suddenly, leaving behind a mess of code, mostly incomplete, and what little existed was so godawful it needed a total rewrite. That led to a couple weeks with extra long days, but the task is done, and done well. My other intern needs some hand-holding, but he's working hard and learning as fast as he can.
Even with the long days, I accomplished a lot of editing over the past month. Nocturnall went through copyedits, which I addressed, and The Ghost Dragon's Daughter went through two rounds of edits and polishing. I'm still on track to send the print and e-copies of Nocturnall to my Kickstarter contributors in October, in time for Allegiance's paperback release, and to publish TGDD around then as well.
Writing, writing, editing, working, writing...
My new job is going very well. I have wrestled the giant list of outstanding tasks into a more manageable form. My junior developer is going through all the PHP-related ones, while I tackle the massive rewrite of another application into .NET and MVC. We also have interns, which is much like having a basketful of puppies. They mean well, even when they accidentally
chew up the carpet mangle the code.
Meanwhile, I'm still working out how to fit in more writing sessions during the week. My workday starts earlier than before, but I discovered I can easily use my lunch hour to read and mark up mansuscripts. That leaves me the weekends for writing, major revisions, and a certain Kickstarter project.
The cover artist for Nocturnall sent me two AMAZING sketches. Here is the one I picked:
So many wonderful things to report…
First off, I finished Current Novel and am now discussing submission strategies with my agent.
I am also working with the artist for Nocturnall. She has sent me several concept sketches, which I LOVE. Once we settle on which concept to use, she will create a more detailed sketch and we can go from there.
And last, but not least, I have a new job! There are many reasons why I am making this switch, but primarily it's because I will have better benefits, a shorter work day, and the lovely, lovely surroundings of a university.
My Kickstarter was a success!!
I reached 100% funding with over a day to spare, so there will be custom artwork for the cover, an interior illustration, and a limited print run for the contributors. Official publication date is December 2015. Kickstarter contributors will get their copy in October, when the paperback of Allegiance comes out.
Meanwhile, I am nearly done with Current Novel. Twelve more pages to edit, then one last proofing pass before I can call it done. After that? Hmmmm. I have this pirate novel. And the sequel to Current Novel. And... So many books, so little time.
The past few weeks I've been immersed in my Kickstarter for Nocturnall, and writing blog posts about Quiet Moments in Epic Fantasy, Epic Romance, and In Between: The Spaces Left by Novels. Cat Hellisen and I are working on a conversation about books we love. And Paul Weimer was gracious enough to interview me about my River of Souls novels and their coda.
I've also started a slow and careful re-read of Current Novel. By the time I finish, I should have feedback from my readers. I am super-excited by this book, and I can hardly wait to get it out into the world. But first I need to make it as perfect as I can.
Current Novel is done and out to readers. I continue to be absurdly in love with this book and these characters.
Meanwhile, I've launched a Kickstarter for my River of Souls coda story:
Five chapters written last month. Two more to go and I'll have an end-to-end draft of Current Novel. (Pause for a writer-dance of celebration.) I could not have done this much without the shift to part-time work. Those two extra days each week gave me the space, the quiet, and—most important—longer stretches of time where I could concentrate on the story. Next stop: lots of editing and polishing.
Every year brings its own challenges, its own delightful surprises.
The surprises were truly delightful: The many positive reviews of my work. An absolutely fabulous trip to London to celebrate our anniversary. Texas A&M asking to curate my papers. (!!!) And best of all, finding out that The Time Roads has been nominated for Best Fantasy Novel for the 2014 RT Reviewers' Choice Awards.
The challenges? Were challenging.
I started off 2014 expecting to complete a project I called Not-Mansfield-Park, a novel with magic and polyamory. A quiet novel, an intimate one, about a young girl finding her place in the world. Less than a month into the year, a new idea knocked me down and would not let go. I decided to try a page or two. Two breathless chapters later, I realized I had the first novel in a potential series. By the end of December, I had fourteen chapters written and edited, with detailed notes for six more.
My second goal for 2014 was to revise The Edge of the Empire. That…did not happen. However, I did rip chapter one to pieces and put it back together with new prose, a new secondary character, and a much stronger voice for the main character. Even if I didn't finish the new draft, I'm very pleased with the results so far.
But, you say, what did you actually finish last year?
Nothing, alas. The dayjob and several bouts of illness made it difficult to write except on weekends, and often, not even then. That was the driving reason behind my decision to switch to part-time for the first half of 2015.
Which brings me to my goals for 2015.
1) Finish a submission ready draft of Current Novel by May.
2) Finish the new version of Edge of the Empire.
Yeah, only two goals. I hesitate to make more because so much depends on what happens with the first two projects. However! I do have a list of possibilities. There's the Not-Mansfield-Park book. Or maybe the sequel to Current Novel. Or I could write another River of Souls book.
But first, I need to finish the project at hand…