I've been away so long! I apologize. This summer kicked my behind. I had a wee bit of a health scare which involved me having to get an MRI of my brain (everything is fine) and then a minor surgery (again, everything is also fine).
|Seriously, waiting for appointments to begin is an awesome time to write!|
I think I got 3K done waiting for this MRI.
The school year came so quickly, I've barely had time to process things, let alone blog about them. There are so many things I wanted to comment on that I couldn't decide which to do a post on first . . . so I'm going to try to cover it all in one post.
First, many of my lovely and amazing friends won awards in the eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook Awards for 2014! I'm happy to tell you the following books won awards (and if you haven't checked out these books yet, I don't know what you're waiting for!)
- WINNER, Best Audiobook
- WINNER, Best Thriller
- RUNNER UP, Best Horror
- WINNER, I've Been Shamylaned Award (i.e. best twist)
(FYI, Michael and I actually tied for the winner of this award! My second novel, Aberration was a finalist. Also, Michael's contract with his publisher was up and In Blog We Trust has since been picked up by new publisher who will re-release it in the future. I will keep you posted as this is one of my favorite books and has the best twist of any book I've ever read!)
- WINNER, Best New Adult (Strength)
- WINNER, Best Series
- WINNER, Best Mystery/Suspense
- RUNNER UP, Best Romance
WINNER, Best Science Fiction
Hopefully, I haven't forgotten anyone! CONGRATS to all these extremely talented authors.
I was way excited in September to find out that FINDING CLAIRE FLETCHER was a FINALIST in the Kindle Book Review's Best Kindle Book Awards of 2014 in the Mystery/Thriller/Suspense category. I checked out my competition, which was pretty darn stiff, and never expected to win, so I wasn't surprised when I didn't! I am totally psyched to have been a finalist though and I'd like to extend my congratulations to Nancy DeMarco, whose Saving Gracie won in my category. I don't know Nancy but her book looks awesome and hopefully she will pick up a lot of new readers with this wonderful award. You can check out all the 2014 winners right here.
In July, the lovely and incomparable Jennifer Hillier released her third novel, a stand-alone called THE BUTCHER. I was lucky enough to win a free ARC which I devoured in less than 48 hours. Truly one of the best books I've ever read. You should check it out. You should check all her books out! Not just because I think that Jenny is an amazing person but because she is rapidly becoming one of my writing idols. Mark my words, she is going to be sitting atop the New York Times Bestseller list one of these days, selling as many books as James Patterson or Karin Slaughter.
One of the coolest things about her most recent book is that from page one, you know the identity of the killer. Think about that for a moment. Page one. Killer's identity. You might think, "what's the point of reading the book?" Well, if you want to learn something about how to craft a suspense novel, read this book. I think it's truly amazing what Jennifer has done here. You can read my review here.
I'd like to extend a big, fat CONGRATULATIONS to Libby Heily, whose play, THE LAST DAY is going to be produced and performed at Raleigh's Owl Tree Theater next year! You can read about her big announcement here. If ever I was tempted to make a trip to Raleigh . . .
I really haven't been reading many blogs--or much of anything--lately because I've been so busy, but I did manage to stumble upon this blog post by an author named Rachel Aaron outlining how she went from writing 2,000 words a day to 10,000 words a day. I'm always looking for ways to write faster or at least to squeeze more writing into my day. Now keep in mind, this author is fortunate enough to be able to write full-time, so getting up there to 10,000 words a day is a feasible goal for her and probably for most full-time writers. I do work full-time, so 10K a day is never going to happen for me. But I still found this blog post immensely helpful and I've taken it to heart.
|My then 6 year old daughter left this note for me in one of my notebooks this summer after she borrowed my pen.|
Over the summer I was working on OVER THE EDGE, the sequel to FINDING CLAIRE FLETCHER and a book called COLD-BLOODED, the sequel to HOLD STILL. I was moving along quite nicely with both of them but even so, I didn't feel like I was getting very far. Between the two of them, I had about 50,000 words written, which I guess isn't too bad given how little time I've had to devote to writing. Still, I really wanted to do more. So I took Ms. Aaron's advice and with COLD-BLOODED, I spent 2 weeks doing nothing but plotting the entire book out. I'm not a plotter. I'm more of a plantster--one quarter plotter, three quarters panster. I have always just gone where the writing took me and figured out all the particulars later. It's a massively inefficient way to write. And yeah, it took me 2 weeks instead of the few days that she suggests because I'm not a natural plotter. But I did it! First time ever, by the way, that I've been able to plot out the entire book in great detail before writing it.
|I got my daughter to draw this, which is what popped into my head when I thought of "Plantster"|
25% Plotter, 75% Pantster
Starting this week, I am going to return to writing it. I'm very interested to see how quickly I can finish the first draft of the book now that I know what happens in every chapter. I am really hoping this will transform the way I write books. It is an experiment for me. Kind of like the 100 Day Challenge idea I got from Jamie Todd Rubin and the Writing Blitz idea I got from Libby Heily. I heart other writers!
Anyway, I'll check in for sure in one month to let you know what kind of progress I've made in COLD-BLOODED.
In more news, HOLD STILL is set to be re-released by Amazon on November 11, 2014. I'm way, super-duper excited! And nervous as hell. I sure don't want to tank! I'm so very grateful to Amazon for this opportunity to reach more readers and I can't wait to see where the journey takes me next. Until about a week before the release, my self-published, first edition of it will remain on Amazon. I've already removed it from other platforms since it wasn't really selling many books anywhere except Amazon anyway.
Also, and this is pretty flipping exciting, I'm thrilled to announce my first foreign translation! HOLD STILL is being translated into German!
Finally, the last of the HOLD STILL news, the audio book is available now! This was produced via ACX before I was approached by Amazon. It is available now wherever audiobooks are sold.
I've got a bunch of promo codes for free downloads of it from AUDIBLE. Apparently, you can't give these away. So if you're interested in getting a free audio copy of the book (via download, not CD) just comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll send you a code.
The wonderful Michael Infinito, Jr. has an upcoming release called THE SECRETS OF HALLOW which I was privileged to read a few years ago. It is a young adult book and a fascinating re-imagining of the origins of Halloween. It comes out on October 10th. You can pre-order it here. You should check it out! It is truly an awesome book.
Finally, this issue has come up lately, mostly on Facebook and it seems to be a hotbed of contention among writers . . . and also some non-writers: using Kickstarter to ask for donations to raise money to write and/or self-publish a book. I know there are only about two of you who still read my blog and so I probably already know your thoughts, but I am interested to know what people think of this concept. Some are adamantly opposed to it and others think it's perfectly natural. Publishers Weekly actually did a piece on it which you can read here. What say you?
Tags: "hold still" "finding claire fletcher" "michael infinito" "efestival of words awards" "nancy s. thompson" "dana mason" "carrie butler"