Writing Update: October 2022.

Three things have dominated my October, and that’s Ghost Book 2, Malice web novel and the Strong Women, Strange Worlds season 2 podcast.

First things first.

Ghost Story

Ghost Book 2 is coming along. I’ve got the first couple of chapters written, and only doing 500 words per day is an easy goal to keep. When November starts, I’ll upload that word count and keep going. The next couple of months is incredibly busy for me, and this is the only way I can do NaNoWriMo. I originally wrote it back when erotica was all the rage but was never really happy with it, so I revised the manuscript and removed the sexy scenes and anything to do with that plot, but I still didn’t like it. The whole thing just fell apart, so I put it away, but now that I’ve finished Ghost Book 1, I’ve turned my attention to it again, hoping to make it more creepy, and a big part of that has to do with the house. An old abandoned Victorian house. The main character, Mercy Moreau, owns (with her asshole ex) this old Victorian mansion on an island that is full of ghosts. This house is run down, has been used for other purposes besides a home, and will be the focal point of the story. I need to make sure this place is creepy, so I went looking for pictures of abandoned Victorian homes online and discovered a rabbit hole of videos on YouTube of people who actually go into these places and record it! Oh yeah, I’m in my glory.

Web Novel

Two chapters down, and chapter three looks to be an intense one. The Malice recruits are in the dead city, but they’re not alone, AND someone dies!

Doing this web novel is an experiment, and so far, I’m not impressed with the results. The two sites I have them up on, Wattpad and Royal Road, are dominated by Anime or paranormal romance, and my story gets barely any traction. Even when I advertise it in the forum. I put up a post in RR that, even though it wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, blah, blah, blah, hoping it would get some views, but nada. I chose these two sites because they were the only ones I felt semi-comfortable with, and it’s beginning to look as if these places are only meant for those two genres.

I can hear you now, do I participate and read their stories? I tried on RR, but out of the half dozen I started (before giving up on all of them), just didn’t interest me or were so amateurish I couldn’t read them, and I’ve yet to find anything interesting on Wattpad. I will continue to post on both until the end of the fourth chapter, then everything gets posted online on my Patreon. I’ll keep the Wattpad account and delete my account on RR. It’s been close to six months since I started this and I feel its time to move on.

Strong Women, Strange Words podcast.

Season two is almost in the bag! I have a couple more interviews, and then I can finish off my post-production. I had a few authors back out due to personal things, but that’s fine. Life happens, and we have to accommodate where we can, and they said they’d be up to doing one for season 3.

I’m feeling more at ease this season. I think I’ve got a good handle on this. I’ve changed the music to be the same as the Quick Reads, so it’s more of a connection to the site. I’m changing the date as well. Season two will start on January 9th, 2023, so when you wake up on that Monday morning, and you’re heading into work after the holidays, tune in and listen to some great segments!

Writing Update: September 2022

It’s been an interesting month for me. Blog posts, revisions to older stories, new podcast interviews, and my web novel. I’ve been busy, and I don’t see it easing up any time soon. This is a good thing. I procrastinated for so long that I let things get behind, and I have so many projects that I’m working on I get a little overwhelmed. Another reason why I write an update at the end of the month; is to keep things in order.

I’ve been a lot more active on the Writing Community hashtag too, but it’s so full of spam and questions going out into the void. I mute all the spam and book promos. I’m sorry, I just find that fucking annoying, and it drowns out all the other members who actually want to connect, which is the reason the damn hashtag was created.

Okay, so let’s get to it, shall we?  

The Quiet Dead.

I’ve decided, after the second book, I’m going to put it away for now. There are three more stories in the series, but I have so many poking at me that I have to let some go. The first draft of book 2 is already done, so it’s a simple matter of revising, which I can start in the new year, and the only reason I’m finishing it is that I included a bit of the first chapter and a release date at the end of the novel. I do plan to work on the remaining stories, and I know where I want to take them, but creating a strong plot for the three remaining ideas will take some time.  

Down Finnigan’s Hollow.

Do you know I’m STILL finding evidence of the original plot in this story? I thought I’d scrub that completely from the manuscript, but I found one sentence halfway through the book, and I’m like, you’re not supposed to be there. I’m in a final revision now before I send it out to my beta, and I may have to do some more revisions and edits once I get it back from her. I may submit it to small press, I’m not sure. I think I need more ghost happenings in it.

Magical Hair Solution.

This is still out with my beta. I keep thinking it’s a weak plot, and I don’t know why. Maybe because of the era it’s set in? I don’t know. I really like this story, and I’ve got a good chunk of the second novel written. The tone is different for this one. Much darker. Kind of like how Harry Potter was all fun and excitement in the first book and then serious and dark in the second. Once it’s all set up, I plan to publish it myself. It’s one of those that just needs to get out there. I can promote it and The Quiet Dead while I figure out what the hell I’m going to do with my ghost book. If things go as my new revised self-publishing schedule, I may release it alongside the second Quiet Dead book or shortly around the same time.

Malice Web Novel.

The web novel is proceeding along. There are over twenty parts up on Wattpad now. Chapter One is entitled In Malice We Trust, and the second is called The Road to Malice. This has been a good challenge for me. Making sure I have a new part ready every Wednesday and Saturday morning is forcing me to keep a deadline. I don’t think I’ve ever had to do that before.  

The Watchtower.

It’s been eleven years since I published this novel. Sometimes I find it hard to believe that it’s been that long. If you’ve read my other updates, I’ve toyed with the idea of taking the whole series down, but I decided instead that I’ll revise the first book and offer it free to 1st Tier subscribers, and when I say revise, I mean revise. I’ve completed the first chapter so far, and I’ve added so much more content to it. This won’t be uploaded to any marketplace, and I will be offering the first chapter only on BookSweep in the near future. 

Last but not least, you can read what happens to the world I destroyed with a zombie plague on WATTPAD or ROYAL ROAD. I have a web novel there, and it’s a continuation of sorts to the novel. Click the sites to start reading.

One last thing, I’ve created a Patreon page that has insights into my stories, videos, audio reads and more. If you’re interested, you can check it out HERE.

I’m also on BookSprout! If you’d like to review my book, you can find it HERE.

And as always, you can subscribe to my newsletter HERE

Writing Update: August 2022

August has been a busy month. Actually, the last couple of months have been busy and I’ve got a lot done so here are some updates for you.

Ghosts

I am heartbroken to say that I accidentally deleted The Possession of Mercy Moreau. It must of happened when I was deleted extra files from the mass of files I got when I recovered my flash drive. There were over four thousand files and ninety percent of them were unreadable or duplicates. As upset as I was about that, when I thought about it, it wasn’t a bad thing. I’ve struggled with this story ever since I took the sex out of it and tried to make it more of a Gothic novel. Doing a hard revision doesn’t always work, and it didn’t in this case, so I’m re-writing it, or should I say writing it again. I have a new title too; The Haunting of Mercy Moreau (or as I’ve been calling it Ghost Book 2), and I’m looking at a January timeline for the first draft.

Speaking of ghosts, I’m doing some edits on Down Finnegan’s Hollow (Ghost Book 1), and I hope to have it ready for my reader by Halloween. This was supposed to be the summer I got all these books out, but I forgot about all the work to make them *ready* to go out, and DFH has a confusing timeline that I need to make sure I get right. It’s also the first book in my Halliwell Island series.

Magic

The Magical Hair Solution (Magic Book 1) is with a beta now, but I think it needs more work. There are things popping up in the second book that I need to reference in the first, so I’m glad that I didn’t rush to publish this. I’ll know more when my beta gives it back.

I’ve been working on Magic Book 2, and it might have a title. How does The Dawn Charm sound? Okay, working title. There is so much that I want to tell in this story; the repercussions of what happened at the end of the last book, new secrets revealed, and then the main plot. I am seven chapters in and I’ve only touched on one. There’s some sub-plots that have to go in as well, but I think I’ll add them after the first draft is written.

Zombies

With The Quiet Dead out, I can start editing Book 2 Resurrection Run. I have this one completed as it was originally part of the first book, but I split it into two novels so I could expand more on certain things for the first one. This will need deep cuts to it. I need to revise a few things about the MC that run through the whole manuscript. Also, I’ve decided not to kill off a member of the group. There will be a death, just not the one I originally had. Killing off characters has become very last decade. This is the only book that has a release date for the summer of 2023. I should be working on it, but these other stories are poking at me.

Last, but not least, you can read what happens to the world I destroyed with a zombie plague in my new web novel on WATTPAD or ROYAL ROAD. It’s a continuation of sorts to the Quiet Dead novel. Click the highlighted sites to start reading.

One last thing, I’ve created a Patreon page that has insights into my stories, videos, audio reads and more. If you’re interested, you can check it out HERE.

I’m also on BookSprout! If you’d like to review my book you can find it HERE.

And as always, you can subscribe to my newsletter HERE

Told you I’ve been busy. 😉

Writing Update: July 2022

What a month! July seemed to fly by, but then I took a week off from work, and vacations always go fast. It’s like they’re in their own time zone or something.

In case you missed it, The Quiet Dead is now live and available at all the regular ebook markets! I spent seven years on this project, and it’s not the same story it was back then, but I’m thrilled with how it turned out. Better than I could have imagined, so if you’re into zombie novels, give it a look. Don’t worry; you get a sample of the story. I always make sure of that, but the length of the sample depends on where you purchase it. Amazon has about half of the first chapter, and all the retailers via Smashwords have about a quarter of the chapter. The price is different on each site as well. I’m sorry, but I can’t upload to each location, so I tried to keep the book priced under $5.

You can find your retailer HERE.

The second book I want to release is my contemporary fantasy The Magical Hair Solution, formerly Eva and Skye’s Magical Hair Solution. I changed the title to reflect the fact that there will be multiple POVs in upcoming books. I could add in a bit more and do it with this first one, but honestly, I don’t want to. I’m working on the second book and I’ve written scenes from the POV of two other characters; Skye, and Eva’s brother Dom. I plan on one more because I want people to see what happens to her. Skye’s home life is very different from Eva’s and it becomes more so in the second book. Also, it’s a contemporary fantasy, not magical realism. Turns out what I thought was M.R. wasn’t. I forgot how much work goes into putting a book out AFTER you’ve written it, so I’m not going to rush this, but I plan on getting it out before the end of the year.

The podcast is doing great! I have a couple more episodes left to air, and then it goes into ‘reruns’. I do have a second season lined up, and hope to start interviewing in September. If you haven’t given it a listen you can find it on Amazon, Google, Spotify, Apple, and Anchor.

I have decided I’m not going to write any more scripts. With all the novels I want to publish, I feel like it’s wasted energy to work on them. Not that I’m trunking the script stories. I can turn them into novels easily enough and publish them as stand-alone. This is what I’m doing with my Malice tv series. It’s based two hundred years after my zombie books and I think I’ve found an original take on a few classic monsters. It’s also on Wattpad for free. It’s a marketing/promo thing for my zombie series. I’m purposely connecting certain landmarks from the novels into the series. Want to know what happens after the series? Read Malice. Want to know what happened with the Great Plague? Read the novels. Get it. Cross promotion. You can read it on Wattpad HERE.

I’m proud to say I have put out 4 newsletters this year. Seems I’m on a roll! Zombies! Magic! Vengeful spirits! Who knew the world could be so exciting and dangerous at the same time? Subscribe to my newsletter and become the first to know when it all arrives.  http://www.darkeconteur.com/

Writing Update: June 2022

Happy Long Weekend!

Not a long update. I spent most of the month working on the final edits for my plague novel, which I plan to put out in July. It’s been a long time since I’ve put out a book, and I want this to be in the best shape possible that’s why it’s taking longer. I forgot how much goes into releasing a book; getting the IBSN, updating all the publishing sites I use, getting into promo mode. It feels weird being back in it again.

I’m doing a cover reveal on July fourth. If you’ve subscribed to my newsletter, you would have seen it already.


The Strong Women, Strange Worlds podcast is going great and after only a few weeks, we have subscribers! I’m still working on the last two interviews for the first season, and then I’ll take the summer and work on plans for the second season. I already have a list of authors that are as varied as the first group. If you’ve missed any of the interviews for June, here they are.

 So far this month, I’ve interviewed,

Patricia Correll and her horror story Juniper Bird

E.C. Ambrose with her historical fiction Drakemaster

Anne Nydam’s MG book The Extraordinary Book of Doors

Amy Grech’s short story Bruised and Battered Nevermore.

The podcast is found on Anchor, Amazon Music, Spotify, Google Podcast, and Apple music, and I truly hope you’ll stop by and give them a listen. You could find a whole new TBR list.


The Magical Hair Solution

With The Quiet Dead TBR, I can focus on the other book I want to put out this summer; the first book in my magical realism series The Magical Hair Solution. I’ve changed the title because I plan to have multiple POVs in future stories. It’s not just about Eva and Skye, but about something that’s been growing within the magical community for a while. Right now it’s from Eva’s POV as an introduction to the magical world, but the next book and future ones have situations that involve other characters from the first book.

Here’s another story that I am so excited about. This is a recent story too. I started it in 2020 and queried it in the fall of 2021. When nothing happened I started thinking about small press, but I’m so impatient sometimes and instead opted to self-publish. It won’t be out until late summer or early autumn, but I’ll post updates.  

Have a great holiday weekend!

Writing Update: May 2022.

This is going to be a short update as most of this month was spent working at my day job instead of on writing projects, but we’re almost back to normal and that means more hours for me. I’m not complaining. More hours means more money I can put away for writing projects.

The Quiet Dead

I got this manuscript back from my editor at the beginning of the month and spent the first two weeks going over it with a fine-tooth comb. There were a few places where she said I needed to keep the tension and a few others where she questioned the need for a certain character. I thought that myself, but couldn’t see a way around *not* having him so that I could get the final showdown that I wanted. There’s a reason she does what she does in that final scene, and it’s I want to link it all to the relationship she was in prior to the world falling apart. I can go into more detail when the book comes out.

June I have an appointment with a graphic artist to do my cover. She did the last few covers for me for my last series and I can’t wait to work with her again. I may be keeping her busy for the summer.

Alternate Reality

I did work on my alternate reality story, and I’m still without a working title. It really bugs me that I don’t have one. I got so desperate that I checked out some title generators online but they didn’t spark any ideas.

I fixed a motivational problem with one of the characters as well. This wasn’t a hard revision but did take up most of my writing time after I was done with my zombie novel. I’ve set a goal to have the first draft done by the end of the summer, but it won’t be anywhere near publishable until next year sometime.

Secret Project

For a while now, I’ve been working on something, that while it is writing-related, isn’t really writing. I am the host of the Strong Women, Strange Worlds podcast. I interview women who have appeared on the SWSW panel, and go a little deeper into their stories. I’d been wanting to do a podcast for a while, but had no idea what to do it on and had decided to scrap the idea, when Terri Bruce, messaged me and we talked.

The first episode airs Friday, June 3rd at 8 pm EST. I’ll post a link here when it’s live. I really hope you tune in. They’re not long, only 30 minutes and you get to hear these wonderful ladies talk about the inspirations behind their stories. You also get to hear a bit of them as the author reads a ten-minute piece. I interview award winners, trad, indie, and self-published authors of horror, fantasy, and science fiction. I hope you’ll give it a listen.

For those of you who subscribe to my newsletter, I have updates to the maps I put up last month, and if you’d like to subscribe to my monthly newsletter that features more than just an update, you can click HERE and it’ll take you to my web page and you can sign up from there.

See you next month!

Writing Update: April 2022

Look at me being all accountable and posting two months in a row.

The Quiet Dead

My zombie plague novel is with an editor now. I should have it back shortly and I can start working on it again. I keep toying with submitting it to small press, but then I think, what if they don’t want the other books? There are at least five in the series, and I promised myself that I would put out the whole series. On top of that, I’m having an argument with myself on whether or not this is horror or thriller. Most zombie novels fall into horror (or so they’re tagged), but when I think of what defines the horror genre, I come up with stories that send chills up my spine and make me not want to turn the lights out. This is a story about surviving a zombie apocalypse and while the dead coming back to life is pretty scary, I don’t think it qualifies as Horror. At least, not mine. They’re mostly just a prop or a motivation that pushes the story forward.

Down Finnegan’s Hollow

I finished the major revision to my ghost story, Down Finnegan’s Hollow. I’ve added a few turns that, I think, have made it a better story than what I originally wrote. I’m putting this one away for a bit. Let it ferment, and I’ll look at it again in a couple of months. For now, I’m just basking in the fact that it’s done!

Untitled Alternate Reality

The Story Formerly Known as Gutterchilde is what I’m working on next. I’m very excited about this book too, and I think there’s a good chance I’ll finish the first draft this year because it’s the same kind of excitement I had for Eva and Skye. Hell, I might even add the Arlington Creed spin-off series to my list.

I took this story back to the drawing board, so to speak, gutting it completely, but retained some key points. I’m also working on maps that I want to include when I set it up to publish, to give the reader some points of reference. I love city-building games, so map-making is an extension of that. My deadline is to complete the first draft by August 31st. I should have a good idea at this point, as to whether or not to work on the second book of my zombie plague novel. The first draft for that book is already written, and I have half of the first draft for the second Eva and Skye done as well.    

Ugh, so many stories, but the important part is I’m finally in a place to release them.  

Writing Update for March 2022.

It’s been two months since my last update. I am an Aries. One of our traits is that we start many projects but finish very few. That’s been my problem for the last few years, and I’m not sure how to fix it, or if I can. Over the last two years, I had plenty of time off (due to lockdowns) and I could have used that time to write, but I didn’t. I’m not going to beat myself up about it either. Life just got in the way and that’s all there is to it.

I’m looking forward now. Especially for this summer. I have four projects I’m working on, the first is my zombie novel. I’m getting it ready for publication. I’m looking at a June release. It’s the first book in a series of 5 (yikes), and I have a good idea on the overall plot and it’s one of those ‘need to get it out of my head’ things. This and other stories have poked at me for the last seven years, and I need to get them out.

The second project is my magical realism novel, but I think I’ll rename it The Magical Hair Solution. It’s done and I have given myself a late summer release date for it. Again, I’m self-publishing. I thought this was a story agents would want, but I was wrong. That’s okay. I’m not upset.

The third is my ghost story Down Finnigan’s Hollow. It’s one of two ghost stories I want to put out. I had a hard time with the ending of this one, and like my zombie story, it went through some hard revisions as well. Right now I have less than ten thousand words left to write and a solid ending. I’ve given it a mid-October release date and I really want to stick to it.

I’ve decided that the few scripts I’ve written I’m going to rewrite as novels. There is one that I originally started as a novel, a sequel to my zombie series, that I thought would be good as a script, but lately, I don’t feel scriptwriting is my thing anymore. Maybe it’s because I’m putting out another novel for the first time in years, but I’m just feeling the love for the format.

Now add in my 4th project—a podcast.

Yup, I’ve taken the plunge, BUT, it’s part of the Strong Women, Strange Worlds website that focuses on women and other under-represented gender identity authors of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. I’ve toyed with the idea of a podcast for months, but it wasn’t until Terri Bruce asked me to do one for Strong Women, Strange Worlds site that it finally came together. I have a launch date of Friday, June 3rd. I know it’s a few months off, but I need the time to find, record, edit, and upload a pile of interviews. I’m aiming for one a week and maybe some group podcasts sprinkled in between, not sure yet, but it feels good getting back into interviewing authors again. I really like the series that I did a few years ago.   

Do I have a pile on my plate? Maybe, but I think it’s doable. I’m only focusing on four projects right now, and as I check them off my to-do list, it gets easier. I haven’t been this excited about my writing in a long time and I can’t wait for you to read these stores.

Writing Update: December 2021

Happy New Year’s Eve! Been a hell of a fucking year.

First off, here are the stats for my query. I’ll keep updating as replies trickle in, but I don’t expect any more. It’s been seventeen weeks as of tonight. Way past the 4-6 most agents give so I’m going to assume they passed.

Stats of December 31, 2021.

35 queried

15 rejects

1 request – 1 refusal.

As you can see, the request didn’t pan out. To be honest, I was very surprised at the number of rejections for this submission. This story is a light-hearted tale based in the 80’s. Being a teen during this decade was intense, to say the least. A lot of stuff was going on, and I tried to incorporate that into the story. The motto for that decade was sex, drugs, and rock’n roll, whether people like it or not, and there are some dark parts to it as well. I’ve never written anything that agents seem to want, and I was okay with that, but I thought maybe this one time . . .

Anyhoo…

I didn’t complete NaNo, and I didn’t think I would either. Because I work retail, November and December are busy months for me, and while I didn’t get 50k written, I did surpass last year by about 3k and I’m happy with that. Book 2 now stands at just over 20k.  

Now with the new year just a few hours away, I have plans. This setback hasn’t stopped me from wanting to get my stories out there. If anything, it’s made me even more determined, and not just for my magical realism novel either. I have plans for my zombie series and a couple ghost stories that I’d like to publish. That is, after they’ve been revised and edited.

This is my goal for 2022. No more sitting on my ass. I have things to do.

Writing Update: October 2021

Happy Hallowe’en! Blessed Samhain (saw-wen)!

First off, here are the stats for my query.

35 queried,

12 rejects

1 request

That one request has me very excited so cross your fingers! I’ve never had anyone request more pages apart from the original submission, and I’m not sure what to think. They said they liked the five I send and wanted another fifty, that’s a good sign, right? Then my head starts to do me in with thoughts like ‘what if they don’t like anything after that? What if just the first five were good and the rest is shit? I added a bit more since my submission, what if they don’t like that? Did it change the mood? Ugh, someone turn my brain off please.

To keep me and my doubts busy, I began the second book of my Eva & Skye series. Working title is, Eva and Skye and the Dawn Charm. I’ve got a few chapter down now, and I’ll continue to work on it for NaNo, which is what I did last year for the first book. I put a blurb up on the Nano site if you’re interested. You can find it HERE.

This is the continuation story arc that I wanted to write from the beginning. It also shows why I had certain secondary characters appear in the first book, and while their roll was very small and may seem not necessary, but they actually are, and I didn’t want to give them a cold introduction.

I’ve also discovered that making short TikTok videos is easier than making long YouTube ones and have started putting up more content on my page. I’m still working out what I want to do, but I think that because there’s a time limit has a lot to do with why I prefer it. It’s a Twitter form of YouTube.

Have a safe Hallowe’en and save me some candy corn! 

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