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: 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: September 2021.

Well, it’s been exactly four weeks since PitMad, and I can honestly say I’ve never been so disappointed in all my life.  Not that I wasn’t surprised, but I thought I’d get more out of it than I did. A hell of a lot more. Honestly, I thought I had an interesting story, but apart from the other authors it didn’t seem to strike a chord with any of the agents who were looking over the pitches.

While this is a setback, to be honest, it wasn’t all that surprising. Especially when you see PitMad in real time. So many posts go flying past, it’s hard to read them, and as the final tally was over 50,000 during the event, that’s a lot of scrolling.

On to round two – querying agents. I swear I’m an old hat at this. I’ve queried two other books and it felt nice getting back into the swing of researching agents. Of course, because I was using a different and sub-standard writing program, I didn’t realize that there were a few grammar mistakes in the samples I sent. I caught it after the first ten were sent.

I gave PitMad a week for replies, but with querying it must be longer, so I’ll give it until the new year. January 3rd. That would be four months exactly. In the meantime, I’ll be working on book two, because this was always going to be a four-book series. I’m also looking into publishers, and the self-publishing sites I’m on.

Oh, and I went in with my mother and purchased a subscription to Word. At least it’s cheaper this way.

Maybe next month I’ll have happier news.

Query Stats September 30/2021

33 queried

7 rejects

0 request

Writing Update: Friday July 30, 2021.

It’s been four months since I wrote an update. Work started back, and between that and a few non-writing projects, I forgot about my blog. I think there will be random blog posts going forward. There’s just not enough time during the day to do everything I want and need to do.

But enough whining . . .

Eva & Skye’s Magical Hair Solution.

Revisions are done. It was a hard revision too. I cut about 4k from the story and focused more on two primary areas; Eva and her love interest, and the ending. The ending is important, not just because it’s the ending, but here is where the final lesson is learned and I really need to show that.

Even after all this time, I still love this story. I love reseraching and remembering what it was like beeing a teen in the 80’s. Back then, it seems like a great time, but I was too young to understand what was really going on in the world. I don’t think I’d want to return to that time, not when we’ve come so far socially.

For the next month I need to work on the synopsis and minor edits. The synopsis is going to kill me. I have NO IDEA how to write one, so if you’ve got any tricks, let me know.

W.I.P #2 (formally known as Gutterchilde)

I’ve been poking at this one again. I don’t care for the plot anymore so the whole thing has to be re-written. The only thing I do like is the map I created. I found a rough outline for a Victorian paranormal series I wanted to explore, and I think I’ll combine the two. I’ve got such a rich, detailed map drawn up, now I just need a story that will do the map justice.

This is so frustrating! I have an idea of what I want the story to be, but it’s changed so much in the years since I first thought of the idea, I don’t know what I want for it now. I’ll poke at it some more over the next few months. Maybe something will stick.

How is your writing coming along? This might seem a bit premature, but is anyone gearing up for NaNo yet?

Hopefully it won’t be another four months before I post another update.

Writing Update: March, 2021.

My laptop died. I’ve had a battery problem for the last year and a half, and it went critical during the summer. That was fine, I just made sure that my charger was close by and when the power drained (usually after an hour of use), I’d charge it up. Then, right after I’d finished the second last chapter, it no longer recognized the charger! Not only that, the plug was loose so if I moved, it would slip slightly and disconnect. I was writing with one eye on the charger and the other on my file. Thank the Gods I save everything to a flash drive.

With that, and the fact we’re in a third lockdown that has been extended until the middle of May. I’m truly surprised that I got as much writing done as I did. The stress of the last few months has seen me do other things than write, which adds to my stress levels, and I’m surprised I’m not an alcoholic at this point.

So let’s begin:

Eva and Skye’s Magical Hair Solution

I have finished the first draft. It was completed on the seventeenth of April. The final few chapters were hard to write, not because I was coming to the end, but because of the content. I had to break my characters hearts and while they’re not long scenes, I did tear up.

My work place stayed open do to online orders and curb-side, so I had A LOT of time off and manage to get work done. It wasn’t my 2000 words per day that I did during the 2nd lockdown, but I’m happy with what I did. I found two sub-plots as I wrote this last few months; one will deal with a volatile relationship between one of the characters and a love interest. I’ve raged against ‘bad boy’ characters becoming a love interest for years, now I’m going to show you why (read my original rant HERE). The second has to do with two secondary characters. Their storyline will continue into the rest of the books I have planned. I also did a bit of foreshadowing dealing with the other main character and the overall plot to the series, but it won’t really come into being until the second book. 

The most challenging aspect of these magical realism stories is creating a world that doesn’t resemble Harry Potter, especially when it comes to the education of young magical people, and while I don’t want to build an entire education system from scratch, that might be what happens. I also found an interesting sub-plot dealing with Eva’s father’s family, and I want to incorporate this into future books.

Word count – 89,678 of 89,000.

I had planned on just working on a new project for a few weeks and leave this one alone, but the night I finished it, things started coming to me; little things, revision things, and I got up and I’ve started editing and revising. If I do a scene a day, it should take me about nine weeks. If I can do more than one scene per day, great, but I have to take into account that I will be going back to work and one scene may be all I can do before my eyes get too tired. So I finished on the 18 of April. I should be done with revisions by June 20th.

That is the goal.

So tell me, how is your writing going, or not going? I’d love to hear how your projects are coming along.

Writing Update: March 2021

2020 took a toll on my writing, and it seems 2021 is going to be a little easier on me. Our second lockdown ended half way through February and it felt great to get back to work, but my writing suffered for the first few weeks. I really didn’t work on anything until the beginning of March, and then it wasn’t the 2k that I’d been doing during 2nd Lockdown. At least I was writing, and two other stories started poking at me again.

So let’s begin:

Eva and Skye’s Magical Hair Solution

As I’m back at work, I’ve dropped my writing goal to 1,000 again. With blogging and other things, I don’t have the extra time to add more than that to the project. I’ve also been adding plot ideas for a second book. I want to have four books for this series, and I do have a rough idea of where they’re going to go. This first one will be light, but it’ll get darker as the story goes forward.

Word count – 63,000 of 89,000.

Pangea

This is a semi-new project and that’s the working title. I’ve mentioned before that I grew bored with my Gutterchild story (and then someone used that name for their published book), and working on the story with Scrivener did renew some interest, and I’ve been looking at this one again. I like the overall plot, but there are some details that need to be changed. I had originally wanted several books for this series, but right now I just want to get the first draft out. This won’t be the same plot as Gutterchild, and I’m still debating if I should move forward with it or mesh in a new one. I like the new idea too. I’m just not sure if I can sustain it for more than one book.

Zombie Plague

Another story that’s been poking at me again. After Nightfire rejected it *sadface* I didn’t send it out again. Life got complicated again (holiday season) and between being exhausted from work and the talk of a second lockdown (which happened), this story was the last thing on my mind. One good thing about being in a pandemic, I now know how the government-all three levels, along with the population at large, would handle a world-wide outbreak. Now that I have real-world experience, I want to include that into the novel, which means a minor revision. There are also a few things I want to take out and put into the second book, which already has a first draft. Looks like I’ll have a lot to do once I finish the first draft of EVA AND SKYE.

Take care and stay safe.

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