Naming things #IWSG

Twice Cursed is coming and this month’s IWSG question made me both smile and want to slam my head on my desk.

IWSG Question of the Day: What’s harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names?

Book titles. Without a doubt it’s book titles. Rarely do I have a problem with naming characters. Sometimes I forget to name them, but eventually I do. But book titles…

Twisted Magics and Shattered Illusions both went through changes before I settled on the final title. Twice Cursed I agonized over before starting as a project (had I think 3 or 4 I was debating between) and I was lucky it stuck. Book #4 I keep staring at the title, wanting something else, but right now it still fits. I’ve got a temporary title for a different book that I slapped on there because it amused me, but it’ll change. It better change. It’s too silly for what that particular book will contain.

I also try to use the title somewhere in the book. I’d have to look back again, but I think I left in something of the original title I had for Shattered Illusions. Not the actual title, but a nod to the path I thought the story was going to take. Twisted Magics had placeholder titles for a while because I hadn’t planned on publishing it initially. I was using it to try and flesh out the world and some side characters for a different story and then I found that this was the story I actually needed to tell.

Since I try to get a full draft down during NaNoWriMo, I will come up with a title, using it to at least attempt to keep myself on track knowing that the title could very well change. I didn’t get a full draft of #4 finished until last month (finished NaNo, just not the story), but I went from looking at the title as annoying to it fitting better. Not enough for me to release it though. Also while I love the path it took, I’m concerned about the path it took (hello darkness, my old friend). If I have to go with one of my other ending ideas, it might not fit so well.

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It’s that time of year again… #IWSG

Oh, hey, I remembered to do an #IWSG post this time. The last couple of months have been a bit crazy and today starts off another level of insanity with NaNoWriMo kicking off. And the fact that this is my 11th year participating doesn’t make me sound any more sane.

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IWSG Question of the Day: Win or not, do you usually finish your NaNo project? Have any of them gone on to be published?

Initially I didn’t finish my projects if I didn’t win (usually gave up somewhere along the line because life) and I still have them kicking around somewhere. And honestly, even in their incomplete state, they have served a purpose – I’ve taken ideas from them for other projects.

My wins I’ve completed within the month. It’s a hot mess, but I have the story from beginning to end. Actually, I want to say Shattered Illusions wasn’t finished, but it technically was – I ended up scrapping the ending and extending the book out more.

The last few wins have gone on to be published. Currently only Twisted Magics and Shattered Illusions are available, but Twice Cursed will be out next summer.

However, that leads into my insecurity for the month. I’m writing book 4 in the series for NaNoWriMo and I haven’t been this blank on a book since I meandered my way through the first version of Twisted Magics.

I’m not a planner by any means. Tried it once and ended up ignoring my outline, but I usually have a better idea in my head of key moments I want to hit. What if this one doesn’t work out? What if I have to delay my schedule? Is it possible to keep up this momentum?

Granted, if you saw me wrestling with Shattered Illusions, then you know I’ve been through this before. Doesn’t make it any less stressful. There may be hair pulling and copious amounts of chocolate.

And if anyone is interested, I finally started a newsletter. It also pushes to my Facebook and Twitter accounts. I’ll have some fun stuff coming out later this month.

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Books are in!

 

Mock Up OneI now have physical copies of Shattered Illusions available. $9.99 each or get both Twisted Magics and Shattered Illusions for $17.99. And if you’re local in the Treasure Valley, go ahead and select pick-up and I’ll get in contact with you on where and when to meet up.

Both books are still available on Amazon and currently Rediscovered Books also carries Twisted Magics.

Countdown to Shattered Illusions

The release of Shattered Illusions is only a week away! To have some fun, Twisted Magics is on a Kindle Countdown Deal.

Here’s the breakdown for Amazon.com (all times listed are PST):

  • $0.99 June 14th 12:00am – June 16th 7:59am
  • $1.99 June 16th 8:00am – June 18th 3:59pm
  • $2.99 June 18th 4:00pm – June 20th 11:59pm

Here’s the breakdown for Amazon.co.uk (all times listed are GMT):

  • £0.99 June 14th 12:00am – June 17th 11:59am
  • £1.99 June 17th 12:00pm – June 20th 11:59pm

It’s a great time to pick up the first book if you haven’t already and get to know my crazy cast of characters before they get into even more trouble. Also both books are available/soon-to-be-available on Kindle Unlimited.

Sadly, I will not have physical copies available for pre-order through my site. Being wicked sick these past few days really threw my tight schedule for a loop. I will post when I have copies available, but feel free to check out pricing and the bundle package I have ready for when I get physical copies in.

Crunch time #IWSG

Shattered Illusions is up for digital pre-order on Amazon. Working on getting the physical proof in (and obsessively checking the mail for it) so we can go through it quickly and I can get pre-orders started. Setting up other sales for Twisted Magics. And the list continues. I might be found tugging my hair with everything going on and worrying about how the second book will be received.

Though this month’s IWSG made me stop and think about where I am. Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?

I’ve given up on projects. Just stopped working. Stopped writing for a while and eventually something brought me back. There were a number of years in a row I attempted NaNoWriMo and got maybe a few thousand words in before getting frustrated at my current life situation and simply dropping it and walking away. Kept thinking I was never going to finish anything.

I actually was about to give up even attempting the challenge when I got pestered to join for another year. Figured why not? It’s a day and a half before it starts and I have half of a concept. Found a great group of people in my area also participating and I just plugged along doing my thing.

Suddenly, this world I fought with for years came to life and I had a horrible mess. But there was something in that mess. Eventually it turned into Twisted Magics and well, I’m still writing that series and loving (sometimes frustrated at) the crazy things my characters get into.

What changed that made everything finally click? I changed which character I was trying to write from and went back in time. Sounds weird, I know, but having something (even when that something was a huge steaming mess) gave me the boost I needed to get back to writing.

Now I have these two with a third being edited (and more in planning):

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A belated thank you

A belated thank you to everyone who stopped by and said hi at Rediscovered Books this weekend. There are still signed copies of Twisted Magics on sale there. I also want to thank the folks at Rediscovered – they are the nicest, sweetest people who have a huge passion for books.

And my daughter might be mad at me for not bringing her back a book, but she would have been more annoyed at not getting to pick it out herself. I see another trip down there in the near future.

2017-03-09 10.27.24As for my delay with this post, things kind of went sideways recently. Earlier in the week my daughter’s preschool cancelled for the rest of the year without warning so I’ve been in a bit of a scramble to figure out what to do to fill that void. And I thought kindergarten registration this afternoon (yikes!) was going to be my weird point for the week.

Trying to figure out a new routine now, but still holding onto what we can.  I’m still staying on target for an early summer release for Shattered Illusions. Still trying to teach her the basics of archery. Thankfully she’s happy with just the block for now.

It’s been a long time since I taught archery – I think it’s as much of a reminder for me as it’s lessons for her. Haven’t broken my own bow out yet since I need to focus on her while we’re there.

Guess we’ll just have to roll with what we’ve been dealt and see where it takes us.

Busy time #IWSG

Oh gosh, I feel a little guilty taking time away from all the things I need to do to write this post. But first, some fun news: Rediscovered Books in downtown Boise is now carrying copies of Twisted Magics. I’m so thrilled to be working with them. I’ll also be doing an event there on March 4th from 11-1 so if you happen to be in the area, come on down and say hi!

I’ve still got some work to do for them before the event. I swear I’m trying! On top of that I’m working on the final edits for Shattered Illusions and gearing up for the run to put it all together and get it out. Still aiming for an early summer release.

Then there’s all the other normal stuff, but no one wants to hear about that. XD

This month’s IWSG question is a little ironic given that it has been something I’ve been thinking about over the last month or so: How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?

I kind of have 2 modes: writing and editing. If I’m in editing mode, I’m being hyper-critical and I generally try not to read for fun (at least nothing large) because I’ll be picking it apart instead of enjoying the ride.

I think I also posted about this semi-recently in that I’ve found a difference in my beta readers. Some are just readers and tend to have different views on things than the people who I have who are say part of critique groups. Sometimes it’s polar opposites and it makes me wonder if I still get hung up anyway on things even outside of editing mode. It also makes me confused as to who to listen to.

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I’ve been rather quiet

First, for those who follow me, I want to apologize for my long periods of silence. Things have been going on in my life that have kept me quiet. I won’t go into most of them, but especially for the past few weeks it seems to be one thing after another. Much of which makes me want to scream in frustration.

So in my silence I’ve been working my way through editing book 3. What’s up with Shattered Illusions? It’s still out to my beta readers until the end of the month and right now book 3 amuses me. We’ll see if it entertains my alpha reader when I release it to him.

I’ve also been playing FFXIV and have become almost obsessed with getting all the relics maxed out. I already had all of the 2.0 ones at least to Zenith (now Atma) when I started picking it up again – 2 were Zetas already turned in for 3.0 relics (I’m only at 3 Zetas now, but I’ve been lazy on those). I also had 4 or 5 of the 3.0 relics started and am up to 6 (I’m using the 2.0 Zeta relics to buy the stuff for the 3.0 relics because crystal farming is mind numbing and retainer space is limited). My main is now fully upgraded and I’ve got 3 more at i230.

And now that I’ve lost most of you…

I’ve been doing some sales lately on my book for the holidays. The ebook is again on sale at $0.99 now on Amazon, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, and Smashwords. I have the print version available through my online store for 20% off with the coupon code HOLIDAYS.

Other than that, just trudging along.

Holiday Sales #SmallBusinessSaturday through #CyberMonday

3D Mock UpTwisted Magics is on sale November 26th – 28th!

Take 30% off of a paperback copy through my online store with the coupon code TAKE30! And don’t forget if you would like something written in it, please let me know in the additional notes. This is only through my online store and if you’re local in the Treasure Valley (or will be in the area), I do have a pickup option.

eBook versions are on sale for $.99 through Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, and Smashwords (at the time of writing this post, Barnes and Noble hadn’t updated to the sale price, but it should be showing soon).

Reading Recommendations and Indie Author Day

I finally just sat down and started working my way through my backlog on reading. I previously read This World Bites by Loni Townsend, which I thoroughly enjoyed and am now working my way through Thanmir War. I highly recommend fantasy readers to take a look at her work. She’ll be at Indie Author Day in Boise so if you’re in the area, come meet her! Her bio is in the list below.

Indie Author Day is now only a week away! Below I’ve shamelessly copied some of the information about Boise’s upcoming event:

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If you’re a writer – aspiring, bestselling, or anything in between – we hope you’ll join us for Indie Author Day.

Festivities will include panel discussions on publishing, author resources, and elements of craft; a local author reading and book sale; and a digital gathering featuring authors, agents, and other industry leaders.

Events
10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Panel discussion: Resources for local writers: Idaho Writers Guild, The Cabin, Rediscovered Books, and more

12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Digital gathering: The publishing industry. This discussion features Jon Fine, previously from Amazon, as the moderator, and the following panelists: Kiera Parrott of Library Journal; Robin Cutler of IngramSpark; 2012 Mover and Shaker award-winning librarian Jim Blanton; and BCALA award-winning author L. Penelope.

1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.
Panel discussion: Writing (and re-writing) effective dialogue: A discussion of craft

Panel discussion: Marketing your book to fans and fans-to-be

2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Panel discussion: Traditional publishing vs. self-publishing vs. small press: How do I know where to start?

3:45 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.
Local author reading

Ongoing
Local author book sale

Speakers and participating organizations:
The Cabin annually serves about 500 member households, more than 2,000 children and youth, and more than 16,000 people through educational and cultural programs. Their mission is to inspire and celebrate a love of reading, writing and discourse.

The Idaho Writers Guild offers professional networking and educational opportunities as diverse as the writers who join it. In addition to serving as a networking resource for writers wishing to become actively involved in the writing community, the IWG plans and develops programs to aid writers. Our membership reflects all genres and media.

E.L. Skip Knox is a writer and historian. He is the creator of the fantasy world called Altearth, a place where magic is real, monsters roam the land, and the Roman Empire never fell.

Skip has published a novelette (The Garden of Hugo Vuerloz, 2013, available on Amazon) and a short story (The Roadmaster). The short story was selected as an Editor’s Choice at Bewildering Stories for 2012. He is currently completing his first Altearth novel, Goblins at the Gates, and is one of the moderators of Mythic Scribes, a forum for writers of fantasy.

With an M.A. in Medieval History and a PhD in Early Modern History, Skip has been published in a Festschrift, in Asynchronous Learning Environments Magazine, and has four articles published by ABC-Clio. He has also presented several papers at Educom and at academic conferences.

He is a pioneer in web-based teaching, developing the first virtual course on the Renaissance (1993) and the first college-level virtual Western Civilization course (1994) to be available on the Web. He also teach courses on the Crusades and the Reformation. All course essays are free to read at europeanhistory.boisestate.edu

When not writing or teaching, Skip loves to spend time with his wife and childhood-sweetheart, Debra. Two dogs, video games, cooking, and travel occupy much of the rest of their time.

Logan Miehl loves writing from anywhere with a plugin for her laptop—ideally among her native Rocky Mountains, where she enjoys hiking and camping with her husband. The travels that inspire her stories include the year she spent exploring the country of Ireland, and later living as a volunteer missionary in both Virginia and Rio, Brazil. Logan believes traveling is life’s greatest teacher, and she hopes that her readers will discover new and exciting places through her stories.

Joanne Pence is an award-winning, USA Today best-selling author of the Angie Amalfi and Rebecca Mayfield mysteries as well as historical fiction, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, a fantasy, and a supernatural suspense series. Joanne has been both a “traditionally” published and an “indie” published author, with about 14 books in each category. Her books have won or been nominated for a number of high honors, including the Willa Cather Literary Award for Historical Fiction; RWA’s Rita and Golden Heart Awards; the Daphne du Maurier Award; Romantic Times Career Achievement Award; and the Idaho Top Fiction Award for mystery. Born in San Francisco, she now lives in Boise, Idaho where she has been president of the local Sisters in Crime chapter, and is a founding member of the Idaho Writers Guild.

Bruce and Laura DeLaney opened Rediscovered Books in September of 2006 to create a place where people could find books and conversation. Since then, Rediscovered Books has grown into Boise’s downtown community bookstore, providing literature for the Boise area, author events, and an expert staff to help match customers with the right books. Rediscovered Books is active in engaging in discourse about interesting books, and we are always ready and excited to share our passion for reading.

Matt Sharar is the author of the 5-book all-ages fantasy series, GARDEN TIME. He has also published two short story collections, SAN PEDRO STORIES (about his hometown) and GOTHIC TALES, as well as the novella for Banned Books Week, THE STORY OF THE COMMON HANGMAN. He has also finished the first book in his adult fantasy series, THE SHADOW CABINET. He lives in Boise, Idaho. His books showcase covers by celebrated artists: photographer and musician Mike Watt, NY Times Bestseller Nate Powell (MARCH), and Eisner Award Nominee Brett Weldele.

Clara Stone lives in the beautiful city of Boise, ID.  Unlike what most believe about Idaho, it’s more than a sack full of potatoes. When she’s not writing, you’ll catch Clara reading mostly YA books and enjoying time with her family. She is a proud CW TV addict.

The Dracian Legacy is her first YA paranormal romance series. She strongly believes that true love conquers all and that’s a common theme you’ll find within her novels.

She is published through Reuts Publications.

Loni Townsend Wife. Mother. Writer. Ninja. Squirrel. By day, she writes code. By predawn darkness, she writes fantasies. All other times, she writes in her head.

People call her peculiar with a twisted sense of fashion, but don’t let those understatements fool you. Her behavior is perfectly normal for a squirrel disguised as a human. That’s part of being a ninja—blending in.

She makes her home in Idaho with her sadistically clever—yet often thwarted—husband, two frighteningly brilliant children, and three sneaky little shibas.

Lisa L Wiedmeier loves hiking, camping, watching her boys fish, and taking long walks with her yellow labs, Taylor and Mandi. She enjoys cooking when the mood hits, and not only has she published a nine-book YA paranormal romance series, but she’s the master of redesigning just about anything. She’s the DIY author who has made Idaho her home for 28 years, and she can’t wait to spend another 28 years here.

Christian Winn is a fiction writer, poet, and sometimes journalist who writes and teaches fiction at Boise State University, The Cabin, and the Writers Writer Workshop Series. He is the 2016-2019 Idaho Writer in Residence. His work has appeared in McSweeney’s, Ploughshares, The Chicago Tribune’s Printers Row Journal, Gulf Coast, TriQuarterly, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Santa Monica Review, The Pinch, Story Houston, and elsewhere. His debut collection, NAKED ME, is recently out from Dock Street Press who will be publishing a second collection, WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU IS WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME, February ’17.

Erica Crockett knew she wanted to be a writer as soon as she could chew on a pencil. Her first novel, Chemicals, exploring the dystopian nightmare of a world without pharmaceuticals, was released in 2014. Her newest venture is the twelve-book, serial killer thriller series, The Blood Zodiac, which began in March 2016 with The Ram. In addition to writing novels, Erica also writes comics, including the webcomic Kali, and Subterra with Mike Dreher. Her comics work has appeared in the anthologies 6×6:Feral and The Wisdom of Fools. She’s also delving into humorous picture books with artist Sarah Ragan Olson, beginning with What Weeds Are Thinking. When not writing, she’s traveling the world, adding to her list of countries visited. She’s currently at twenty-three. Erica has been a book-schlepper, an adult educator, a marketing rep, and a gold miner. Twitter: @EricaCrockett

Heather Lee Dyer lives near Boise, Idaho. She has published three books in the Recycling Humanity Series, and one romance novella. She is a poet, space enthusiast and fangirl of most things YA, Sci-fi, romance, or paranormal. Addicted to Sci-fi Conventions and Pepsi. Book nerd.

Kurt Zwolfer is The Cabin’s Executive Director. He has over fifteen years of experience creating and administering public education programs including previous work at Idaho State Parks and The Idaho State Historical Museum. He has a BA in Rhetoric with a minor in film studies from the University of Illinois and a MA in Curriculum and Instruction from Boise State University.

Margo Kelly loves to be scared … when she’s reading a good book, watching a good movie, or suffering from the hiccups. She loves writing mysteries and thrillers for young adults and hopes her stories give you the goose bumps or the itchies or the desire to rethink everyday things. Margo is a native of the Northwest and currently resides in Idaho. Her award-winning debut, Who R U Really?, was published by Merit Press (an imprint of F+W Media) in 2014. Her second novel, Unlocked, also published by Merit Press, released October 1, 2016.

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3D Mock Up
This event is turning out to be amazing. If you’re in the area, I urge you to come down and check it out. There are also other events scheduled in the Treasure Valley in both Meridian and at the Ada Victory branch (though I can’t find their schedule). If you’re not in the area, check the national site for who is holding events near you.

I’ll be in Boise with copies of Twisted Magics for sale. Come down and say hi!