Update

On the 26th I began the tedious process of editing my manuscript. It is slow going, but worth every painstaking hour I put in. One day soon, I will be ready to submit to agents. Until then, the picture below will serve as a friendly reminder that there are people all over the U.S. waiting patiently to read about my zombies.



Scroll to the bottom of my blog if you would like an up close look at the map.

Happy writing,

C




How it Doesn't Work

It is okay to have dreams of an easy publish. Like Stephenie Meyer's nine month process from, "I had a really weird dream during my nap" to, "oh wow, okay. I'll take six figures for a three book deal."

Yeah, we all wish it was that seamless. And I'll be the first to admit to fantasizing about becoming a best seller and fretting over whose going to option the movie rights for my first book.

Alas, these are fantasies. This is the kind of what if that is useful. It makes my heart race, ears tingle, and my stomach do flips. And that is what keeps me pounding away at my keyboard when editing is pulling me into a deep coma.

Writers with a clue spend little time daydreaming about success. They are busy making that success happen. Most of us that aspire will not see the kind of success we dream of, but we don't stop because of that little factoid.

We are not after success. We just want to share stories that we believe others will enjoy. Writers seeking fame and fortune have been mislead. What they are doing is kind of like getting into teaching or social work for the money. Bad idea.

So aspiring writers, get a kick out of this video about a horribly mislead would-be writer. He's clearly not in it for the story telling. Let's laugh at him together, shall we?



Thanks to Writer's Digest for posting this hysterical video.

Season's Greetings!




Season's Greetings!


This time of year can be stressful. Shopping, writing cards, and cooking can be overwhelming on their own. Compound that with daunting edits, writer's block, and waiting for an agent or publisher to say yes, and an aspiring writer can go stark raving mad.

No need to bite one's nails to bits, I've got something that will distract you temporarily. 

Please enjoy this holiday story about two aspiring writers attempting to break into publishing. 





Click here to read: Caroling for Stephen Card

Are you a HEA writer?

Yesterday, I read an article by Chris Kridler called, What Genre is your Book? The article talked about HEA's (happily ever after endings.) I didn't reed too much into what she wrote about genre norms, until I set to work on a short story this morning. That is when I realized that most of my stories don't have HEA's. In fact, I've even revised endings to reduce the UHEA's in them in an effort to gain acceptance.




Are your stories HEA's? If not, why? Would you ever consider revising them for acceptance? Tell me about it in a post below. Also, take a minute to answer the poll on the right. I'm curious to see if I'm the only person who doesn't naturally veer toward HEA's.

C

Author Interview: Christine Steendam


Seasons greetings!
I am pleased to announce the second author interview in our series belongs to Christine Steendam, author of Heart Like an Ocean.





1. What are you reading right now? 


I just finished Entangled Dreams by Carmen DeSousa and I’m about to start Breaking the Nexus by Lindsay Avalon.


2. Tell us a little bit about Heart Like an Ocean

Heart Like an Ocean is a historical romance/coming of age story about a girl (Senona Montez) that was born into privilege but runs away from an arranged marriage. Along the way she gets help from a British Privateer and learns that life on the other side is not as simple or as easy as she thought. And, of course, add in some romance and love triangles and you’ve got Heart Like an Ocean.

3. Where did the inspiration for Heart Like an Ocean come from? 

I was sitting out at the ranch I used to work at one afternoon, looking out to the horse pasture, and I envisioned a girl running to her horse, upset. I pulled out my notepad and began writing the scene, which turned into 1600s, arranged marriages, running away in the middle of the night, and swashbuckling. But the horse is still there, and still plays a major role in Senona, my main character’s life.

4. Which one of your characters is your favorite and why? 

I have to say Brant. At first it seems like he’s got it all figured out and then we slowly begin to see beneath the surface. Plus it’s so fun to write his bad-boy side.

5. Do you prefer to write or edit? 

I love both. They each have their own merits and down side. I love writing and discovering where the story goes but it can also be exhausting and hard when my muse decides to go on vacation and I can’t. I have a very strict writing schedule most of the time. Editing, however, is like polishing that car until it gleams. Sure, it can be frustrating when I look at a page and I can barely see the black through all the red, but the next draft is always better so it outweighs the cons. Plus, there is something very satisfying about crossing out entire paragraphs with a bright red pen.


6. What did you do to pass the time while waiting for your first manuscript to be accepted? 

I started writing the next one. I never sit still. LOL!


7. What was the most nerve-racking part of the publishing process? 

The contract. It was so hard to make a decision. I really wanted to sign the papers the second I got them but I knew I had to take a step back and think about it and read it over with my excitement put aside. I ended up signing in the end, but it was very scary to hand over my hard work. In the end I couldn’t be happier though. 5 Prince Publishing has a great team to work with and my editor is fantastic.


8. What is your favorite free author resource or blog? 

I love http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/. Whenever I have a grammar rule I’m not quite sure on I can count on her tips to explain it in a really easy way to understand and remember. http://agentquery.com/ is also a great place when you are looking to start submitting. Great tips on how to write query letters as well as lists of agents and the genres they are interested in. It’s an invaluable tool and gave me a great place to start when I had no clue how to write a query letter.


9. If you could only give one piece of advice to aspiring writers, what would it be? 

Take your idea and just write, write, write until it’s all out on paper. Don’t edit until you’re completely done. Don’t even look back. Just write.


10. Can you tell us about your next project? Word is you have another novel in the works. 

The book I am currently working on is a contemporary romance set on an Alberta ranch. It involves all kinds of excitement with an inheritance, debt, a mysterious ranch hand, and stolen cattle. I’m very excited about it but it’s still in the baby stages. I should be finished the first draft by the end of December.





Thanks so much for your time Christine. 

Be sure to check out Heart Like an Ocean when it debuts in 2013, and check out Christine's blog and FB author page.

Happy Holidays,

C

Free Bodies is Being Published!


My first ever publish is set to happen in two short days.

Free Bodies is a micro-fiction horror story.

Description
The undead shop for unoccupied bodies to wear in the same way the living peruse Amazon.com for new threads. Kellen thinks little of the people whose bodies he lists online, until one day his is up for grabs.

This piece is scheduled to be published by Free Flash Fiction on December 13, 2012.

Free Flash Fiction publishes micro-fiction stories in most genres and is free to readers. They also publish anthologies that are available for download from their website. Be sure to visit and check out their story catalog.

Click here or on the orange bar below to read Free Bodies.





Publishing By Law # 44: Thou Shalt Back up Thine Work


Seasons greetings,

This morning I read an public safety message in the form of a blog. Writers who lose their life's work are not safe to be around, so as writers, we have a duty to the public to back up our pieces.

Read this suspense-filled blog post by Annie Kaufman and then go back up your work!

I found it funny that I read this post today. Last week, as I was walking out the door to work my fire alarm went off. After combing my house in search of hot spots and finding nothing, I set off to work again. My theory is the batteries in my alarm died. My house is still standing, so I must have been right. However, it occurred to me, then and there, that my two USB  back-ups, my time machine, and my computer were all in the same location. That is not good. I took my laptop to work that day even though I didn't need it.

My solution came to me on the way to work. I'm going to make another USB copy of all my work and give it to a trusted friend from my critique group. I'm going to suggest that she do the same with me so that we have one satellite location to recover work from. Hopefully, these stories have inspired you to think up a viable back-up plan.

Thank you Pub Crawl for the wake-up call.

Happy writing!

The .99 Cent Issue

Self publishing and digital .99 cent books are causing all kinds of controversy. Not sure where I fall on this argument, but these articles shed some real light on it:

Check out Carmen DeSousa's Why Do Authors Offer the book They Slaved over for Two Years, or More, at .99 Cents?

Check out Melissa Foster's Huff Post article Are eBooks Too Cheap?

Happy reading,

C

Word Meter Builder

Bloggers, check out this truly motivating tool from the Critique Circle Online Writing Workshop. It's a word meter builder that allows you to track your draft/editing progress and post it on your blog. Very cool little widget indeed.

Click here for the Word Meter Builder.

Thanks so much to Critique Circle for the word meter and Christine Steendam for sharing it with me. Be sure to check out her blog.

Happy blogging,

C