Writing Update: February 2017

Did you know this week is midterms? This week is midterms. It turns out taking 18 credit hours (including an internship and an 8-week class) is a lot harder than I expected. But I am still squeezing in the writing between study breaks, social gatherings, and Pathfinder—just barely. Geez, I’m already ready for the weekend. Anyway!

On the Argetallam Saga front, The Chalice of Malvron is now in paperback and I’m going through edits for the fourth book. Yay! The Temple of Tarkoth is set for release in May and I will be keeping you lovelies posted.

As for the Fanged series, I have written a Haddie and Fletcher prequel novella which is also set for release this summer. I am almost done with the fourth series novella which will be coming in October

Covers for all three of these 2017 releases are done and just waiting to be unveiled! Speaking of covers, I can’t get over the cover for Six of Crows.

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Isn’t it pretty? Best Valentine’s Day EVER!

As for Daindreth’s Assassin, it’s out for queries this spring and I’ve already gotten some encouraging responses. We’ll see how it goes!

I’m also putting together articles for publication on political sites. I may regret this. But it’s been fun so far and I’m excited nonetheless. Really hope this doesn’t veer south.

As for the immediate future, my goals for this month are to finish preliminary edits on The Temple of Tarkoth so I can nag beta readers and get some of those articles submitted. Fun stuff!

What are you all up to? Do you have any “must read” or “must write” projects right now?

Writing Update: October 2016

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College has been—who am I kidding? It’s been crazy, of course! It’s COLLEGE! But midterms are over and I am always grateful for the chance to get this education at all. I’m meeting lots of cool people (definitely stealing at least two names) and lots of them are writers, too!

I’ve changed my major to Entrepreneurship (still getting that Writing minor) after many months of debate. Marketing can be fun, but I really want a subject that doesn’t feel like creative prostitution. Besides, I’m more of an entrepreneur anyway. 😛

I am actually writing this blog post in between edits for the third Fanged novella (which is a lot less terrible than I remember). I’m shooting to have it out by spring break—let’s see how I do! It’s just a matter of avoiding distractions.

Speaking of distractions…my school has this grassy drainage ditch. My brother figured out that if we could turn a box into a sled and, well…

…and that’s why I didn’t get any editing done Sunday.

But look what came in my mail Wednesday! The new edition of The Chalice of Malvron. As soon as I get this baby proofread, she’s out to the big wide world!

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I’m also working on a new project for NaNo WriMo, Fireblight, which involves dragon shifters and forbidden love. It is a few years from publication, but if you’re curious, you can read more about it by clicking on the title above.

(Daindreth’s Assassin has not been forgotten, I’m just trying to figure out some things about it. I swear. Trust me. Meanwhile, I continue to taunt you on the series Pinterest board.)

I’m feeling pretty good about my writing like I haven’t in a long time. The stories are talking to me again and it’s awesome!

Writing Update: August 2016

I’m writing this from my dorm room. After months—years—of planning, it has happened. I start classes today and I’m pretty excited. Even if I’ve already cursed (loudly) and walked out of two social events in as many days for being too crazy (by crazy I mean deafening music and dancing college girls), I am gearing up for a nifty semester!

Though I haven’t yet met my writing professor, I made sure to locate her office on campus. The woman has a posters of Shakespearean insults and the medieval Maiden with Unicorn tapestry, plus she’s teaching Dracula for British Lit. I love her already.

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Yeah, my dorm room is pretty great. As soon as the issue of illicit boyfriend sleepovers is cleared up with my roommate, it will be perfect. My dorm room is less than fifty yards from a game preserve and for the first time in my life, I saw real, wild ravens! I kind of geeked out over that a little bit.

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I finished mark-ups on The Chalice of Malvron and I’ve just hired the cover designer to work on its new face whilst I make final edits. The library here has (lockable) study rooms we can occupy for up to two hours and I mean to make full use of that for editing during the week (I’m minoring in writing, it counts as school).

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I think I have just solved my big block I was experiencing with the fourth Fanged novella, so as soon as I hit “publish” on The Chalice of Malvron, Fanged Kindred shall have my undivided attention. In the mean time, all my books are free with Kindle Unlimited and I’m working double-time to bring you guys at least two books before December.

So what are you all up to this August? Any cool beginning-of-semester reads or writes? 🙂

Argetallam Saga Playlist

With The Secrets of the Vanmars new edition just out, I thought I’d finally unveil my series playlist! While I don’t listen to music while I write (I have concentration issues), I have been known to compile playlists and rock out to them while working through writer’s block. Here are a few song I find inspirational for the Argetallam Saga.

 A New Day Dawning ~ Celtic Thunder

 

This our land, this is where we belong

And here we are destined to be

This is our land where our fathers have spilled

Their blood and their sweat and their tears

We’ll drive the invader back over the sea

Again and again and again and again

Ignore the oceanic reference and this might as well be Brevia’s national anthem. The talk of fighting off invasions, generational love of kingdom and country all fit perfectly for the people of Brevia.

Because of You ~ Kelly Clarkson

 

Because of you, I never stray too far from the sidewalk

Because of you, I play it on the safe side so I don’t get hurt

Because of you, I find it hard to trust not only me but everyone around me

Because of you, I am afraid

I first heard this song years ago when I started work on the earlier books. It makes me think of Janir and Lucan talking about their father and all the ways he’s ruined their outlook on the world—especially Lucan.

Young and Beautiful ~ Lana Del Rey

 

Will you still love me when I’m no longer young and beautiful?

Will you still love me when I’ve got nothing but my aching soul?

When I heard this, I couldn’t help think of Janir and Saoven. In my mind, this is their official song and it brings to mind their struggles with disproportionate lifespans and their sweet, innocent romance.

Look at Me ~ Celtic Thunder

 

Look at me! I’m bold and I’m charming, debonair, and disarming!

That’s me to a “t”!

Cocky and overconfident. It kind of reminds you of Karile, doesn’t it?

Hail the Hero ~ Celtic Thunder

 

Hail the hero—strong and true!

Fought the fight and saw it through

Swore he’d never be a slave

And gave his life

Our land to save

Everything about this makes me think of something the Argetallams would sing on patriotic holidays and celebrations. Very martial, lots of drums, and brimming with a sense of ethnic pride. (Yes. I listen to lots of Celtic Thunder.)

 

Real and Not Real: People who ended up in the Argetallam Saga

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Why would I picture my family members as fantasy characters?

When I started working on what would become the Argetallam Saga at the tender age of eleven, it was easier for me to transpose people I knew into my fantasy world versus trying to write wholly original personalities. Over time, this changed and many of them are no longer readily clear, but the fundamentals are still there.

Karile, the quirky, redheaded enchanter who is responsible for about half the plot in The Key of Amatahns was a fictitious representation of my oldest brother. Though Karile is a much more over-the-top version, to this day I associate him fondly with my brother and the many childhood misadventures we shared. Not to mention that particular brother has allowed me to bounce ideas off him more than once—he kind of deserves a character.

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Such a mystery…

The Argetallam Saga’s Zebulun River and Gideon Mountains were named after my youngest two brothers (and if you met them, you would know how very suitable that is).

My mother has made a habit of turning up in my books whether I mean for it to happen or not. Her fictitious counterpart was deliberately placed in the Argetallam Saga under the guise of Aryana Caersynn, Janir’s mother. Looking back, I see that all my stories have some personification of my mother. Considering she was the one who taught me to read and fostered my passion for literature, it does seem fitting.

But it doesn’t stop with family. One of my former coworkers makes an appearance as an Argetallam in the later books. An old family friend has been accidentally reincarnated as Sir Marserian, Karile’s father, while my own father was inspiration for both Armandius and the Lord Argetallam .

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Perhaps we’ll never know.

The more I write, the more I find myself coming up with new characters who hold little or no resemblance to people I actually know. In some ways, I feel like this means I’m becoming a “real” writer. Even those I intentionally patterned after real people have evolved unexpectedly into their own personalities and quirks and that just might be my favorite part of all.

Delayed cover reveal for The Secrets of the Vanmars (aka Elisabeth is a liar)

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions and if that’s true I’ve got enough bricks to build a freeway.

When I announced last week that I would be hosting a cover reveal this month, I meant it. I completely meant it. At the time, I had no idea that my sparkly redesigned cover would be pooped on by CreateSpace or that my new new cover designer was sick (and I feel terrible for her, but it still sucks for me). Hence I didn’t know that I would have to hire a new new new designer. Thankfully, my new new new cover designer (the fourth one to date) is available the first week in May, so we will be able to get this crap sorted, but this means no cover reveal this month. In fact, I’m thinking I may not do one at all and instead just focus on the last bits of copyediting and starting work on book 3’s polishing.

However, all is not lost. We’re still on track for a May 24th re-release if no more calamities befall. I am determined to get THAT done one way or another.

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Writing Update: April 2016

Writing this blog post is, in great part, a procrastination tactic for the arduous task of blurb writing. What blurb, you ask? Why, the blurb for the sparkly new, remade cover edition of The Secrets of the Vanmars. After more than a year, it is at last making its way into the world. Cue the celebratory dancing!giphy2I’ve been working on this baby covertly off and on for the past few months weeks. I just didn’t want to announce anything until I was sure I would be releasing it. But as soon as I get a workable version of the blurb, TSOTV mark 2 is off to the printers for final proofreading. The revamped cover reveal is April 22nd of this month and assaulting shelves May 24th. I am consuming semi-toxic doses of caffeine and writing like mad to make sure this happens.tumblr_nk306n7l7o1qdjpm4o1_500The third book’s re-release (and first-ever print release) should be emerging around late July (cover designer’s schedule permitting). If  everything works out with the designer and if I don’t drop the proverbial ball, I will get the fourth book out in December. (And yes, I know that’s the one you all actually want.)giphy5Daindreth’s Assassin is now officially querying to agents (yay), but the Fanged Princess novellas are on hold for the moment. I wanted to have the fourth novella at least partially drafted before I released the third, but Haddie is not being cooperative. Ideally, I’ll be releasing that third novella before the end of the year, too. (Yeah, yeah, I know you’re thinking “she said this last year.” Kindly don’t remind me.)giphy8It only seems fair to tell you the whole truth of why my writing has been so slow lately. Is this not the girl who boasted 3k quotas per day? The fact is that between my obsessive workouts, day job, school, and taking care of the clan, things have been pretty rocky. Also, I’ve been struggling for months now with some icky emotional stuff that I won’t whine about here, but that’s been a huge part of my slacking. And come fall, I will be moving out on my own for the first time (into a dorm, but still) and with that comes the impending student loans along with the realization that I’ll be 21 this year. giphy7So that’s your update. Now back to that damnable blurb and my latest Creative Writing essay…