Showing posts from December, 2009

2009: a year in review

It is the last day of the year, and of the decade . . . Wow. How did that happen?

It has been an interesting year for me, and by and large, a very good one. As I am writing this post, it is hard to believe that this is the same year I was sitting at my desk at work reading about all the layoffs in publishing. I remember all the doom and gloom, of people saying no new writers would be published and only the already established bestsellers had a shot in this market. Not that there isn't a lot of darkness hanging over publishing right now, but I have always chosen to be cautiously optimistic, and well, this year, it certainly paid off.

Career-wise, here are my 2009 highlights:
ONCE BITTEN, my very first novel, was released.I signed a deal for five more books in the Haven series.I was offered representation by the absolutely amazingLucienne Diver with the The Knight Agency.Lucienne sent the first book in a new Urban Fantasy series to New York, and within two weeks we had an offer. …


I have now uploaded an except from Twice Dead. If you would like to read the first chapter, check it out HERE. Enjoy!

I'll upload the second chapter closer to the release date, so check back often. And remember, Twice Dead will be available in print and electronically February 2010!

Number 1?

I found out this morning that ONCE BITTEN is currently #1 on Amazon's Fantasy list and Horror list!!

Thank you everyone who took advantage of the Christmas special on the kindle edition of the book. I hope you enjoy the read, and be on the look out for the sequel, TWICE DEAD, which will be released in February!

Merry Christmas (and free books!)

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone is having a joyful and safe holiday. As a special Christmas gift, my publisher has released my first book, ONCE BITTEN, free for kindle on Amazon. If you haven't had a chance to read the book yet (or you've read it but would like a kindle version) check it out HERE.

Have a very Merry Christmas everyone!

The Revision Game, Part three--4th drafts: Micro edits

In the second draft we made sure our story was all on the page. In the third draft, we made sure each individual scene carried that story along. So what is left for the fourth draft?

Micro edits.

The micro edit is where I really focus on the writing. I know, I know, all the stages are about writing, but in all the previous drafts I was focused on getting plot and characters and such on the page. Now I'm really focused on the actual words.

This is the stage where I pay special attention to which verbs I'm using, and I try to replace weak verbs for strong ones. This is the time to nix over used words and phrases, to tighten and polish until the sentences sing.

Tips from the trenches (because I am revising right now)
-Try reading it out loud. You can hear clunky phrasing.
-"Be" verbs do have their place (trust me, just try to write a story without any) BUT, do evaluate their use in your sentences. Can you use a stronger verb or rearrange the sentence to make it stro…

Delayed post

I didn't have a chance to write the post I planned for today because I didn't finish my writing goals in time. The real writing comes first. I'll try to get the last revision post up tomorrow.

Sorry about the delay.

The Revision Game, Part two--3rd drafts: Scene by Scene

Continuing on with our revision topic . . .

Now that the second draft is complete, I know that the manuscript tells a full story, I haven't dropped any plot lines, there are (hopefully) no huge logic flaws, my characters progress naturally, and the plot arc is in place. The big picture looks pretty good--just don't look too close because I haven't focused on the actual writing yet. The book is not ready to be seen by anyone but me, and there is a lot of work to be done before it can be taken to critique.

More than likely, at this stage, the dialogue meanders at times, there are a couple backstory dumps that need to be spread out, there is either too much or too little description, and the action doesn't quite work all the time. I know the story as a whole works, so now to break it down and focus on individual scenes.

I know some writers who break this stage down further and make one sweep (draft) just for dialogue, or just focused on making sure there are no large c…

The Revision Game, Part one--2nd drafts: The Big Picture

Last month Cher asked me to go into more specifics about how I revise novels. I didn't get a chance to post on the topic during the NaNo challenge, so I thought I'd delve into it now. In parts. Yes, I'm breaking it down that much.

Those of you who won NaNo last month are hopefully still racing toward those magical words "The End" (or maybe some of you have hit them already). But what do you do after you reach those words?

Personally, I close the file. Then I don't open it again for at least two weeks (if at all possible). During that down time I work on other projects, write a short story, talk to my neglected husband, read as many books as I can without my eyes rolling out of my head, whatever--the point is to let the dust settle on the story I just finished. (**Note: I highly recommend still writing something while letting a first draft sit. It takes about 3 weeks to form a habit, so if you slip out of the habit of writing, you have to force yourself to th…

We have winners!

We'll, I finally went through all the posts to pull out the entries for the month long NaNo contest held here on the blog.

If you need a refresher on what this contest involved, here are the pertinent facts:
-Everyone who participated on the blog and completed the 50k word challenge during NaNo will be listed in the acknowledgments page of my February release, TWICE DEAD.
-Of those writers, I picked a randomly generated 'grand prize winner' who will receive Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King as well as a copy of my up coming release.
-Also, everyone who participated on the blog, regardless of whether they completed the challenge, was entered to win a copy of TWICE DEAD.

Okay, without further ado, time to announce the drawing winners. (Remember, each progress comment earned one 'ticket' in the drawing. There were a total of 109 'tickets'.) The random number generator has spoken, and the winner of a copy of TWICE DEAD is:

Demon Hu…

Er, yeah, it's December . . .

Hey, sorry everyone. I didn't realize how much time it would take to tally up how many entries in the contest everyone has. As such, I didn't allot enough time to do it today.

So, winners will be announced tomorrow.

Stay tuned . . .