Category Archives: On Writing

Rising Sidhe Book Cover

livingstone font rising sidhe cover copy

Book cover for Rising Sidhe – book three in the Keening Trilogy. To be released July 2013.

Final edits are being completed, cover art is ready to add, but are you ready for the final book of the Keening Trilogy?

I’m not sure if I’m even ready. Putting characters to rest and inviting new ones out to play–now I know how the gods feel.

Book blurb has yet to be written. Design of back cover to be done.

July, here we come!

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Value of the Written Word

My husband and I were in bed the other night, watching another enthralling episode of Storage Wars–yes, I watch such reality tv once in a while, and I happen to agree with someone else who said they watched it and could not figure out why they liked it so much–when one of the buyers came across some old books. I was busy chuckling as the appraiser to whom he took the books started pulling out old textbooks from the early 1900s and telling the guy they were worthless. Duh, was my first response. I don’t think there is much of a market for outdated college Biology books, but maybe that’s just me. I suppose if someone wanted to decorate an office with books they have never read and never intend to read, then that would work, but people like that annoy me.

As the appraiser continues through the box, he’s totalled about $14 worth of books. Then he comes across a book identical to one which I picked up at a Nampa used book store for $9.99. A First Edition A Farewell to Arms. No sleeve or signature, but still a first edition. The value? About $200. This was kind of like an Antiques Roadshow moment for me, so I turned to my husband–who hates when I “collect” things–and said, “See? That’s the same exact book I have!” Without even batting an eye he replied, “Then why don’t you go sell it?” I’d only thought of selling the book back when I first bought it a few years ago, but how could I give up such a find, especially when it’s one of my favorite books from one of my favorite authors?

So this had me thinking of the real price we put on books–those meant to educate, entertain, or question the status quo. There is such power in words that cannot be fully explained unless you have truly experienced reading or writing something which has changed a bit of your self. That is the true value of the written word.

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Hidden Sidhe

After a lazy morning of sipping Pero, eating a couple of old-fashioned donuts, and feeling the baby kick, I decided to put the final touches on book number two in The Keening Trilogy. Yes, I had planned on releasing book two right around Christmas, but I simply could not finish the edits needed in time. With that now finished, I have uploaded the ms, which is currently awaiting review with amazon. However, it should be ready for purchase within the next few days–at least the e-book version. Print will take a bit longer due to the approval process, but I will update all fans as soon as I know the book is available in paperback.

So, what else am I busy with this week? Besides the everyday stresses of educating over one-hundred teens, I am also preparing to enter book one, Sidhe’s Call, into the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.

See my page on current projects/books to read a brief description of Hidden Sidhe and view the cover!

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NANO NANO NANO

Well, it is that time of year, and I am not talking about department stores playing Christmas music before the Thanksgiving holiday. It’s National Novel Writing Month (aka NANO)! I have participated in NANO during previous years, but last year I took a break to work on editing and rewriting Sidhe’s Call. It was a much-needed break from the craziness that is the month of furious writing.

With book two in the Keening Trilogy, Hidden Sidhe, out for editing with my best editors, I decided that it would be an excellent year to jump back into the mayhem. Besides, my writing group gals are highly competitive and made me want to kick their butts (or at least write a ton while trying).

So, for NANO 2011, I am working on the third book in the Keening Trilogy, momentarily titled Rising Sidhe. By the end, I will most likely rename the third and final book in the Sidhe tales, but it works for now to have a working title.

This year has been much easier to write than previous years. I believe this has to be due to my investment in the series, previously built characters and world, and the drive to finish the trilogy. While I am not currently writing any pages that use the old characters, the world and ideas are so familiar and exciting that I find myself writing whole chapters with ease. I know this is a bit braggadocious, but I have to express how pleased I am with the process!

In my other years when I have participated, I did not finish the books which I started with NANO. I may have reached the 50k word mark, but I left the books on my flash drive, waiting for another day and another time of inspiration. I have not given up on those pieces. In fact, some of them still nag at me to get back to them, but it is great to have a year where I know where I am going and have an end goal in mind. This year will not be a throw away book!

My hope is that all of my loyal fans are excited to hear the news about book three! Book two will be released in December, so be on the look for a preview of the cover art and an excerpt prior to release.

Happy writing! Happy Thanksgiving! I am truly grateful for all of my many blessings.

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Hidden Sidhe

My first draft of Hidden Sidhe, book two in the Keening Trilogy, is complete! Yeah! Happy dance!

Now comes the fun part. Editing. There is a lot for me to add and modify, but hopefully my writing group, Chix with Stix, is up for the task of helping me find gaps, errors, and inconsistencies.

I hated to see it end, but it was also beautiful at the same time.

I also need to map out book three as I edit book two–to make sure everything syncs and I didn’t forget to include any details that are vital for book three.

 

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Where eBooks Fail with Consumers

Now, considering I publish my own work via electronic means, this post may come off as a bit contradictory at first. How can a writer who publishes on Kindle and Nook critique eBook purchasing? Simple. There are two types of books in the market for eReaders. No, I’m not talking about the devices on which they are read. The two types really come down to publisher-supported and self-published.
I have owned my Kindle since December of 2010, and I must admit that I still read books in print. A lot. Probably more than half the time.
I know, gasp. Shock. Oh, the horror. But there is something about a paper book that I cannot let go. I’m a strong enough reader and writer to admit that.
Also, I have only purchased about six eBook titles from traditional publishers, while I’ve purchased eBooks from self-published writers or received copyright-free eBooks for free in excess of at least three times the number of traditionally published titles.

I guess that part of the hard part of my transition into a completely eBook realm is that I am so used to buying second-hand novels. I love browsing a high-quality used book store. In fact, I usually have to avoid them so that I can still afford to feed my family.
But look at it from a consumer’s point of view. A typical used book will cost about 40-60% of the cover price of new. If you calculate using the higher percentage of cost, a paperback which usually retails for $9.99 would only cost me $5.99 used. I can then resell the book when finished and recoup a small percentage of my expense.

With an eBook, most books are protected from copying files and transferring to multiple users, a practice in which I am in agreement. Authors’ works should be protected, and writers should be justly compensated for their hard work.
I guess I have to assume that authors have always embraced the idea of used books. I don’t know if anyone has done a poll on Goodreads or asked publishers to quiz their clients about the issue, but it just makes marketing sense to allow sharing of books for a limited amount of use. After all, a paperback book usually only lasts through five reads at best.
But how can we apply the same principle of selling used books to eBooks?
Compound the inability to “pass-on” eBooks with the $9.99 sticker-price most publishers are placing on eBooks, and it simply doesn’t make sense to purchase the eBook over the used paperback.
Now, I understand that new release hardbacks are cheaper when purchased in eBook format and that some publishers are dropping below the $9.99 price, but the more I use my Kindle, the more I tend to agree with the English teacher, book lover, and consumer inside of me.
Nothing beats the smell of a good book

. . . or a 99 cent eBook.

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One Day Left. . .

Well, today is my last day where I can sleep in, work on my blog, write more chapters for book two, and sit around in my comfy pants. On to teaching next week!

Six chapters left to write in book two. Hopefully I can tackle another chapter or two today and finish my first draft by next weekend. This would be an earlier finish day than previously anticipated.

Then on to editing! And editing some more. And throwing out chunks of writing that suck. And finally roping in some other people to edit.

Jerel is coaching soccer and his season is in full swing. Luckily two-a-days are complete, but their first game is on Monday.

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Process. . . Process. . .

Twenty chapters complete in a first draft of the sequel to Sidhe’s Call, Keening Trilogy. Ten more to go! Yeah!
In the last book, I tended to write rather linear, going from one plot point to the next. Later, I would go back and rearrange, delete, and edit the crap out of it. But with this book it’s a bit different. I know where the characters are going—at least with the main plot points—but I’m having a lot of fun changing small details, inserting new chapters, and developing characters even further.
The writing process has been much different this time. If I find myself getting stuck, I go forward and write a later chapter, and this seems to work rather well in that it allows me to see where I’m going and work out what earlier chapters should include. (Works great with the mystery going on in the book). Yeah, maybe other authors already do this, but I like thinking on paper (or computer) to myself.
As far as secondary characters, Hector is still one of my favorite characters, but Quinn Is a close second. I can’t wait to finish what I have planned for both!
Wish me luck in finishing the rough draft MS by the middle of September!

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