Formatting Update and Other News

First, I’d like to say thank you to my fellow authors on some of the writing groups we share on Facebook. They’ve been extremely helpful in my navigation of Ingram Spark’s submission guidelines. I highly recommend authors, whether new or veteran, to join such groups. They are especially beneficial to those of us whose schedules don’t mesh with in-person writing groups’ meeting schedules.

Meanwhile, I finally got started on the formatting of Blood Curse 2nd edition this weekend. I’m having to go back through and redo the italics because copying the text to the correct trim size undid all that work. Next up will be changing the font from Word’s default of Calibri. I’ve also installed Treasure Map Dead Hand as my font for titles and headers.

I know all this is tedious, but I’m enjoying the process. This will also help make producing the rest of the books in the series easier.

Meanwhile, I should finish typing up the final episode of The Adventures of Pigg & Woolfe season 3 this week. I will start plotting season 4 once that’s done. I plan to start publishing season 2 early next year. Somewhere in between now and then, I need to do some promoting on that serial.

That’s it for now. Enjoy your short work week, and I hope you had a good Labor Day weekend.

State of the Author

Tired. Frustrated. Tired of.

I admit I’m not having a good morning. I’m frustrated with my lack of progress on my writing and publishing projects. Although I don’t have as much overtime to work as I did earlier this year, what overtime I do manage to get is more physically demanding.

Now I’m finding myself struggling to meet monthly expenses; working harder for less income. It can be disheartening , to say the least. What downtime I get has to be spent literally to rest.

I’ve also found I have a harder time concentrating lately. I don’t know how much of that is due to exhaustion, both physical and mental, or to the hormone changes which accompany perimenopause.

I had hoped to finish the print formatting for The Girl Who Fell from the Sky this past weekend. I didn’t even work on it. Hopefully next weekend. We’ll see.

Thanks for your patience.

Cover Reveal and Update

I finally finished the cover for The Girl Who Fell from the Sky. I still have to format the manuscript and other interior design features. This is the first print book I’ve done on my own, so it will be a learning process. I also have to compose a blurb for the back cover.

Thanks for your patience.

In other news, I am renewing my efforts to self publish the Waves of Darkness books.

I also may have an art commission coming up. I plan to contact my potential customer this week to hash out details. This came about because of the Pern fan art I sold at LibertyCon.

Merry Christmas and an Update

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Had my picture taken with the Salvation Army Santa bell ringer outside the grocer just 5 minutes from my “new” (40-year-old) home a couple of weeks ago.

My office/studio is getting in shape. I was a bit irritated to have to order a new power cord for my printer (which will not arrive until next week/year). Guess I should have unplugged it from the device before I boxed it up to move. The plug prongs broke off. Thanks to a pair of tweezers, I was able to extricate them from the printer’s receptacle. I still have a lot of organizing to do in here; but most of the stuff is unpacked, at least.

I’ll soon have a proper library! There was room in the den for the eating table and chairs, so bookcases will be going into the dining room. No more books piled on the floor (for now, at least).

Speaking of books… Maelstrom of Fate is in the running in the Horror Novel category for this year’s Preditors and Editors Readers Poll! Be sure to place your vote! The six previous titles in the Waves of Darkness series have placed in the top ten during their respective years. I would dearly love to see the series sweep as a set.

Maelstrom of Fate proposed coverAlso, if you’re looking for a way to spend that money Grandma sent or the cash you plan to get back from returning unwanted gifts, you could do much worse than buy a copy of one of my books (be it digital or print). Remember, I’ve posted purchase links on each book’s landing page on this site. (Hey, I’ve got a mortgage to pay, after all.)

I hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday.

Book Report & Pricing

The original artwork is now in my publisher’s hands, and I’ve already received a proposed cover to approve. Progress is being made.

Next step: editing.

Also, pricing on the print editions will be going up. I was informed last week that LSI, the printer my publisher contracts with, is raising their printing rates. I will keep pricing on the print copies I have in inventory at the original rates for HallowCon. I don’t have any more events this year after that. The new prices will be charged at Chattacon next January.

Ebook pricing will not change.

If you plan to attend HallowCon, this is your last chance to get signed copies at the lower price. I’ll also be selling copies of book 7, Maelstrom of Fate, at below retail for this convention. I plan to have 10 copies each of all seven titles in the Waves of Darkness series available.

That’s 70 books.

For the love of all you hold holy, don’t make me have to haul all that back home after the convention.

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Update thingie

The release process for The Daedalus Enigma has been… interestingly different.

Only after several attempts on various computers using various OSs/browsers was my publisher able to get Barnes and Noble’s site to upload the ebook.

Now it is the Library of Congress’ turn to be difficult. We are still waiting for an ISBN number for the print version.

This, of course means a further delay in adding a photo of the book to my ongoing Take a Pirate Home for Christmas campaign. I realize I could print out a copy of the book cover on card stock and put some Christmas and pirate props with it for the photo, but I don’t think it would mesh as well with the other photos in the campaign, since they have physical books featured in them.

I keep telling myself, “Patience, Grasshopper.”

In other updates, I am a few pages into chapter 30 of Maelstrom of Fate and approaching the grand finale. I’m on the last two pages of my plot point notes. Not to worry though, there will be at least one more book in the series, if not a full secondary series; however, it will not be started on immediately after finishing Maelstrom. 

I have plans to scribe some more episodes of The Adventures of Pigg & Woolfe than what I currently have drafted. (Which reminds me, I need to get in touch with my beta readers.)

I also intend to start serious research for my planned dystopic novel, There Is No Arizona. I have to get that book written before many of the premises of it become reality 60 years earlier than the story’s time frame. I have some convention friends who are scientists either specializing in some of the subject matter I plan to touch upon, or who can put me in contact with the appropriate experts.  

Finally, since I feel the three younger cats are now old enough to not have to worry about them hanging themselves in the pre-lit tree, I went ahead and put the thing up today to get them used to it and to see what sort of damage they may wreak. The past two years we’ve put up a live tree. The bottom branches were too dense for the cats to climb up into them. So far, so good with the artificial tree.

 

Red Shirt Contest, Shopping, and Update

AHOY! Announcing the Maelstrom of Fate Red Shirt Contest! I have four Royal Marines to kill off, and I need names for them. Those interested in entering please comment on this post here, anywhere you see it shared on Facebook, or on Plurk. Include your first and LAST name in the comment: the characters/victims are male and Colonial era military, so they will only be addressed by their last names. That being said, any gender may enter. The winners will acknowledged in the forward of the book, and I will announce the names on this blog in October.

This Red Shirt Contest will run from September 5-30, 2016.

On to the shopping: we made a nice haul at a community yard sale event on Montlake/Mowbrey mountain this weekend. We got a very nice coffee table and end table set for $60, an elephant lamp (that one was from a sale on Big Ridge), nautical bookends, a Civil War commemorative sculpture with clock, a pewter leaf-shaped candy dish, a copy of Where Is Joe Merchant by Jimmy Buffett, and a nifty signed copper and wood sculpture of some sort of boiler tank by Kenneth Tatyrek.

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All the little valves turn, too.

Another thing I want to share is a pic of the artwork I bought back in July at the art show at LibertyCon.

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The Dread Pirate Kitties by Jim Humble

Finally, the update: I have started work on the cover art for The Daedalus Enigma. It is acrylic on watercolor canvas board, 12×18 (even though the board is 14×18: I am working the size of area which can be reduced after scanning by 75% to get the 6×9 book cover size; painting the art larger allows me to get better detail). So far, I just have the background colors painted. When wet, acrylic works similar to watercolor, but it dries much faster and does not bleed if you paint another color over it. I’m seriously considering omitting the pig from the one scene for two reasons: placement would mean not depicting the entire animal, and I’m not sure I could really do it justice. I fear it would be a distraction to the overall image.

As I’ve stated before, it has been years since I’ve worked with acrylics. In fact, the last time I did, I was doing piece work painting wooden cut-outs for a craft show dealer. That job ended when her pattern cutter made her think I was copying her designs and selling them for myself. His family and my husband had a bad history from well before I ever met my husband, and I think this might have been his motivation. Whatever. I do NOT operate like that…ever.

I finished reading Thieftaker by D.B. Jackson last night. Damn, he makes me feel lazy about my research. I plan on adding the next book in this series, Thieves’ Quarry to my TBR pile soon. He also has two more books in the series: A Plunder of Souls, and Dead Man’s Reach. I highly recommend these books to anyone who enjoys my Waves of Darkness series. They are set a decade earlier than my series in 1760s Boston. I really think you would enjoy reading about the adventures of Ethan Kaille.

Oh, and some more book sales would be nice (shameless begging here). I was just shy of the pay-out limit for second quarter royalties; so they were carried over to the third quarter report. C’mon guys, I wouldn’t mind getting paid. (Oddly, all my second quarter sales were print books: not one ebook on the report. Of course, some distributors are notorious for late reporting of sales to the publisher.)

That pretty much covers it for now. I do plan on running a few smaller contests leading up to the release date for The Daedalus Enigma. Stay tuned in for updates on those.

 

Concept Art, Book Release News, and More

Please excuse the poor quality of these images; pencil does not scan very well.

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These are the three scene I plan to use on the cover of The Daedalus Enigma. I’m thinking of using acrylic paints for this one. They are a medium I haven’t worked with in well over a decade, but I think acrylic will work better for my purposes than watercolor on this cover. Colored pencil is not an option. It doesn’t scan well, and even if I get a digital version to look good, the printout sucks ditchwater. I learned that lesson the hard way with the cover of Silent Fathoms.

I’ve been told to expect an October release for The Daedalus Enigma! Nice to know things are back on schedule with my publisher. There were a few hiccups last year which pushed the last book back a couple of months to December.

I don’t have any more conventions I plan to attend this year, but I think I will run a Red Shirt contest this September as part of my efforts to promote before the book release. I’ll post details next weekend for that on how to enter, how many spots are open, and how long the contest will run. I have a few other pre-release marketing ideas, but I need to get things in place before I can say anything official about them.

I also plan to get back in touch with my beta readers for The Adventures of Pigg & Woolfe soon. I’d like to query a few publishers with the first few episodes and hopefully get a start-up date for the serial in publication by early next year.

If you’re going to dream, might as well dream big.