Monday, 22 September 2014

Fall Into Fantasy Week 5!


Welcome to the Fall Into Fantasy Tour, where we are keeping your mind off any end-of-summer blues and welcoming the cooler weather by introducing you to some incredible fantasy reads to curl up with and giving you plenty of chances to win awesome prizes!

Week 5: The Dark Choir Series
Book One: The Curse Merchant
By J.P. Sloan

Dorian Lake spent years cornering the Baltimore hex-crafting market, using his skills at the hermetic arts to exact karmic justice for those whom the system has failed. He keeps his magic clean and free of soul-corrupting Netherwork, thus avoiding both the karmic blow-back of his practice and the notice of the Presidium, a powerful cabal of practitioners that polices the esoteric arts in America. However, when an unscrupulous Netherworker interferes with both his business and his personal life, Dorian's disarming charisma and hermetic savvy may not be enough to keep his soul out of jeopardy.

His rival, a soul monger named Neil Osterhaus, wouldn't be such a problem were it not for Carmen, Dorian's captivating ex-lover. After two years' absence Carmen arrives at Dorian’s doorstep with a problem: she sold her soul to Osterhaus, and has only two weeks to buy it back. Hoping to win back Carmen's affections, Dorian must find a replacement soul without tainting his own. As Dorian descends into the shadows of Baltimore’s underworld, he must decide how low he is willing to stoop in order to save Carmen from eternal damnation... with the Presidium watching, waiting for him to cross the line.

Buy it from: Amazon  Barnes & Noble
Add it Goodreads

ABOUT J.P. SLOAN

J.P. Sloan is a speculative fiction author, primarily of urban fantasy, horror and several shades between. His writing explores the strangeness in that which is familiar, at times stretching the limits of the human experience, or only hinting at the monsters lurking under your bed. 

A Louisiana native, Sloan relocated to the vineyards and cow pastures of Central Maryland after Hurricane Katrina, where he lives with his wife and son. During the day he commutes to the city of Baltimore, a setting which inspires much of his writing.

In his spare time, Sloan enjoys wine-making and homebrewing, and is a National-ranked beer judge.

Find J.P. Online:
J.P. Sloan's Fistful of Fiction  Facebook  Twitter  Tumblr


Want to get involved with the Fall Into Fantasy promotional tour?
  • Don't forget to join us at the Facebook party here
  • If you are interested in joining up as a blogger, you can always sign up here. We are happy to welcome more bloggers into the fold as the promotion continues. 
  • If you are an author or blogger and want to sign up to help with the party, please fill out this form.
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Friday, 19 September 2014

Author Interview with J. P. Sloan

Tell me three interesting facts about yourself!

Wow. I'll try to dig deep into the stupefying banality that is my personality, here… let me see:

1. I'm a National-ranked Beer Judge, which means I've trained to taste and evaluate beer for competitions.

2. I have a birthmark in the shape of the state of Ohio. No, I won't tell you where it is. (ok, ok, I'll tell you where it is… it's between the states of Indiana and Pennsylvania, just underneath Lake Erie)

3. I used to play the doumbek (a Middle-Eastern goblet drum) for belly dancers at Renaissance festivals. We'd meet once a month at a reggae bar for "hafla night," and aside from the atrocious well drinks they poured there, I always had a fantastic time doing it.

Summarize your book in one line.

"Dorian Lake has two weeks to save the soul of the woman he loves… good thing he's the best damned hex-peddler in Baltimore!"

Tell me something cool/crazy/quirky about the book – it can be anything!

The character of Edgar Swain (the main character's best friend) is based on a real-life person, also named Edgar. I described him as he looks and dresses, and even emulated his speech patterns for the character. And yes, the real Edgar knows he's in the book.

Why did you decide to write this particular book?

I was struck with the whole concept as I commuted in and out of Baltimore. The idea of sinister goings-on transpiring down dark alleys and in basement offices just beneath our feet titillated me. I tried my best to keep the supernatural elements of the Dark Choir series as near to reality as I could manage, in order to sell that same feeling I had driving through the city.

Best part of the writing process?

Writing the last sentence of the first draft. Sometimes it's one final declarative "I DID IT!" Other times it's a long, petering re-write that culminates in a "well, yeah… that's probably it." In any case, it's just the best feeling… putting the first draft to bed.

Share one thing you learned writing this book.

My greatest education in writing The Curse Merchant was in the cooperative nature of beta-readers and editors. Merchant is my eighth completed novel, but the first to get "shopped." My first beta-readers, my first editors, my first feedback from a literary agent… Receiving input from so many outside sources was new to me. New, and exhilarating!

Tell me about one strange experience you’ve had. Again, it can be anything!

I went through a period of time when I practiced various forms of neo-paganism, often with organized groups. I won't call them Wiccan, because none of them could be strictly described as such. At one point I drove into the back country of Southern Louisiana between Baton Rouge and Hammond to buy some materials for a ritual. Turns out the fellow who owned the shop was a practicing vodoun. Halfway through a conversation with this fellow, he began to… well, I suppose the best way to describe it was he was "ridden." It was a slow switch, but after the space of several sentences I realized I was speaking to someone else entirely. This other "someone" had a lot to say about the state of things in general. Regrettably, very little of it was of any specific use to me in my situation. Alas. Got a good price on charcoal plugs, though.

Name one fictional place you’d love to visit.

If I were to take a salacious turn with this, I'd say that crazy party mansion in Eyes Wide Shut… but instead, I think I'll take the high road and say "Biblical Eden." Something about a nice outdoorsy locale where the weather is perfect, never having to work for anything, and the fact that you can cozy up to apex predators like they were cuddly kittens just appeals to me.

Name one real place you’d love to visit.

Somewhere in the South Pacific like Tahiti or Bora Bora. I'd love to find a white sand beach with crystal-blue water, soak up sunlight, and drink all of the available rum.

Share one sentence/mini-excerpt from the book!

How about the opening line?

"The tricky thing about screwing with other people's karma is, from time-to-time, it screws you back."


J.P. Sloan
J.P. Sloan Bio:

J.P. Sloan is a speculative fiction author … primarily of urban fantasy, horror and several shades between. His writing explores the strangeness in that which is familiar, at times stretching the limits of the human experience, or only hinting at the monsters lurking under your bed.

A Louisiana native, Sloan relocated to the vineyards and cow pastures of Central Maryland after Hurricane Katrina, where he lives with his wife and son. During the day he commutes to the city of Baltimore, a setting which inspires much of his writing.

In his spare time, Sloan enjoys wine-making and homebrewing, and is a certified beer judge.

Links:
Website http://jp-sloan.com/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000439460903&fref=ts 
Twitter https://twitter.com/J_P_Sloan
Tumblr http://jpsloan.tumblr.com/


Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6569197.J_P_Sloan
The Curse Merchant

Dorian Lake spent years cornering the Baltimore hex-crafting market, using his skills at the hermetic arts to exact karmic justice for those whom the system has failed. He keeps his magic clean and free of soul-corrupting Netherwork, thus avoiding both the karmic blow-back of his practice and the notice of the Presidium, a powerful cabal of practitioners that polices the esoteric arts in America. However, when an unscrupulous Netherworker interferes with both his business and his personal life, Dorian's disarming charisma and hermetic savvy may not be enough to keep his soul out of jeopardy.

His rival, a soul monger named Neil Osterhaus, wouldn't be such a problem were it not for Carmen, Dorian's captivating ex-lover. After two years' absence Carmen arrives at Dorian’s doorstep with a problem: she sold her soul to Osterhaus, and has only two weeks to buy it back. Hoping to win back Carmen's affections, Dorian must find a replacement soul without tainting his own. As Dorian descends into the shadows of Baltimore’s underworld, he must decide how low he is willing to stoop in order to save Carmen from eternal damnation... with the Presidium watching, waiting for him to cross the line.

Cover Reveal - I Heart Robot by Suzanne van Rooyen

M9B-Friday-Reveal
Welcome to the Cover Reveal for

I Heart Robot by Suzanne van Rooyen

presented by Month9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
I HEART ROBOT Cover Art from Suzanne van Rooyen
I'm not the most artistically inclined. While I do love art and have been known to bust out the pencils and paints myself, it's not an area where I'd consider myself particularly talented. In short, I knew that cover design was something best left to the professional and I had every confidence in Month9Books.
I am so grateful to Georgia McBride for allowing me to have the amount of input I did when it came to cover creation for I Heart Robot. This is a novel that is as much about a civil rights struggle in a futuristic, post-war city as it is about romance, and we wanted a cover that reflected both elements. Finding the right balance between romance and science fiction was a tall order, but Month9Books delivered in spades by presenting me with two stylistically different covers. I loved elements of both, and by working closely with the cover artist and with Georgia we managed to combine all the best parts of both original covers into what we have today: a cover that reflects the gritty world my characters live in while emphasizing the fact that this is above all, a love story.
I Heart Robot
Sixteen-year-old Tyri wants to be a musician and wants to be with someone who won't belittle her musical aspirations.
Q-I-99 aka 'Quinn' lives in a scrap metal sanctuary with other rogue droids. While some use violence to make their voices heard, demanding equal rights for AI enhanced robots, Quinn just wants a moment on stage with his violin to show the humans that androids like him have more to offer than their processing power.
Tyri and Quinn's worlds collide when they're accepted by the Baldur Junior Philharmonic Orchestra. As the rift between robots and humans deepens, Tyri and Quinn's love of music brings them closer together, making Tyri question where her loyalties lie and Quinn question his place in the world. With the city on the brink of civil war, Tyri and Quinn make a shocking discovery that turns their world inside out. Will their passion for music be enough to hold them together while everything else crumbles down around them, or will the truth of who they are tear them apart?
add to goodreads
Title: I Heart Robot
Publication date: March 31, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Suzanne van Rooyen
Chapter-by-Chapter-header---About-the-Author
SV
Suzanne is a tattooed storyteller from South Africa. She currently lives in Finland and finds the cold, dark forests nothing if not inspiring. Although she has a Master’s degree in music, Suzanne prefers conjuring strange worlds and creating quirky characters. When not writing, she teaches dance and music to middle schoolers and entertains her shiba inu, Lego. Suzanne is represented by Jordy Albert of the Booker Albert Agency.
Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Giveaway
Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!
(Winners will receive their book on release day)

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Wednesday, 17 September 2014

What's Up Wednesday - Harry Potter & Fast-Drafting Edition!

It's time for What's Up Wednesday, a weekly meme run by Erin L Funk and Jaime Morrow. Here's what I've been up to this past week!

What I'm reading

I've been rereading the Mortal Instruments series, because it's awesome. ^_^ I've been doing so much writing, I haven't read as much as I normally do!

What I'm writing

I FINISHED SHINY NEW WIP!!! Yes - I somehow wrote a 78K word novel in 24 days. o.O I... wow. I don't usually write anywhere near as fast! Two 7K writing days? In a week? And this is the longest first draft I've ever written! :D (Perhaps I've broken the habit of writing ridiculously short drafts? I hope so!)

What am I doing now? Well, I'm doing my first self-edit. I'm also working on a spinoff prequel-type novella. I'm not ready to let this story go! I really hope my CP's/beta readers love it as much as I do! :)

What works for me

I'm working on a longer post for IWSG about how I wrote a draft so fast, but one of the things that worked was writing as much as possible down before I started. I've always outlined (at least, ever since I realised that I could never finish a book unless I had at least the main plot written down beforehand... both for motivational reasons, and because my memory is really horrific), but literally, everything I wrote down before I started saved SO much time. I spent two months outlining the whole 6-book series and figuring out the worldbuilding, with the most detailed outline I've ever written - one with whole scenes and bits of dialogue sketched out. 

And it worked! I raced from one scene to the next without having to stop and head-scratch and agonise in between, and even though some extra scenes did arise and take me by surprise, I had enough detail in my outline to make sure the story didn't wander off track. It was like the dream draft. I didn't even experience the mid-draft self-doubt crash which usually sets in around 1/3 of the way through. It was pure magic from start to finish. ^_^

What else I've been up to

Well, last Wednesday, I went to the Harry Potter Studio Tour with my boyfriend, Jed! :D I don't want to spoil the magic by sharing too many photos... but it was AMAZING!!!


 EPIC decorations! ^^

 By the model of Hogwarts they used during filming!
 I got to fly on a broomstick! Woohoo! :D
 Flying car! ^^
 A souvenir - Marauder's Map mug!

Monday, 15 September 2014

Fall Into Fantasy Week 4


Welcome to the Fall Into Fantasy Tour, where we are keeping your mind off any end-of-summer blues and welcoming the cooler weather by introducing you to some incredible fantasy reads to curl up with and giving you plenty of chances to win awesome prizes!

The Enchanted Bookstore Legends
Book One: Seeking a Scribe
Book Two: Heritage Avenged
Book Three: Lost Volumes
Book Four: Staurolite
Book Five: Quintessence
By Marsha A. Moore

Seeking a Scribe: Enchanted Bookstore Legend One by Marsha A. Moore

Lyra McCauley is a writer and loves fantasy novels, but until she opens a selection from bookstore owner Cullen Drake, she has no idea he’s a wizard character who lives a double life inside that volume…or the story’s magic will compel her from the edge of depression to adventure, danger, and love.

His gift to Lyra, the Book of Dragonspeir, was actually her copy, misplaced years ago. Lost in her pain following divorce and death, she fails to recognize him as her childhood playmate from the fantasyland. Friendship builds anew. Attraction sparks. But Lyra doubts whether a wizard is capable of love. She’s torn—should she protect her fragile heart or risk new love?

Opening the book’s cover, she confronts a quest: save Dragonspeir from destruction by the Black Dragon before he utilizes power of August’s red moon to expand his strength and overthrow the opposing Imperial Dragon. Lyra accepts the challenge, fearing Cullen will perish if evil wins. Along with magical animal guides, Cullen helps her through many perils, but ultimately Lyra must use her own power…and time is running out.



Series Description:

The Enchanted Bookstore Legends are about Lyra McCauley, a woman destined to become one of five strong women in her family who possess unique magical abilities and serve as Scribes in Dragonspeir. The Scribes span a long history, dating from 1200 to present day. Each Scribe is expected to journey through Dragonspeir, both the good and evil factions, then draft a written account. Each book contains magic with vast implications.

Lyra was first introduced to Dragonspeir as a young girl, when she met the high sorcerer, Cullen Drake, through a gift of one of those enchanted books. Using its magic, he escorted her into the parallel world of Dragonspeir. Years later, she lost that volume and forgot the world and Cullen. These legends begin where he finds her again—she is thirty-five, standing in his enchanted bookstore, and Dragonspeir needs her. 

When Lyra reopens that enchanted book, she confronts a series of quests where she is expected to save the good Alliance from destruction by the evil Black Dragon. While learning about her role, Lyra and Cullen fall in love. He is 220 years old and kept alive by Dragonspeir magic. Cullen will die if Dragonspeir is taken over by the evil faction…Lyra becomes the Scribe.

Purchase Links:

ABOUT MARSHA A. MOORE
Marsha A. Moore loves to write fantasy and fantasy romance. Much of her life feeds the creative flow she uses to weave highly imaginative tales. 

The magic of art and nature often spark life into her writing, as well as watercolor painting and drawing. She’s been a yoga enthusiast for over a decade and is a registered yoga teacher. After a move from Toledo to Tampa in 2008, she’s happily transformed into a Floridian, in love with the outdoors. Marsha is crazy about cycling. She lives with her husband on a large saltwater lagoon, where taking her kayak out for an hour or more is a real treat. She never has enough days spent at the beach, usually scribbling away at stories with toes wiggling in the sand. Every day at the beach is magical!


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  • Don't forget to join us at the Facebook party here
  • If you are interested in joining up as a blogger, you can always sign up here. We are happy to welcome more bloggers into the fold as the promotion continues. 
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Excerpt from Seeking a Scribe:

Chapter One: Licorice Memories
The smell of anise greeted Lyra as she opened the door to Drake’s bookstore. It took her back to happy childhood memories. Licorice-shoe-string-rewards for following her parents’ requests to stay on the dock while they secured the family’s pleasure boat to its trailer. The aroma brought a fleeting remembrance of times long gone, a treasure now that her folks had recently passed. At ease with the familiar scent, she settled into browsing through rows of antique bookcases.
The shop owner stuck his head around a set of shelves. “Do you like tea?”
“Yes, I do.” Before she could finish speaking, he disappeared. “Is that the wonderful smell?” she called out.
Kitchenware clinked in the back room. Receiving no answer, Lyra followed the noises, scanning collections as she walked. This bookshop appeared established, but surely she would have remembered it from her last visit to the Lake Huron village five years ago. Books were her passion, especially fantasy. She paused in front of that section and studied its titles.
The owner appeared, holding a pewter tray with a teapot, two cups, sugar jar, spoons, and napkins, which he laid on the corner of an old library table. She watched him carefully pour the tea and hand her a cup. He was about her age, mid thirties or a bit older, and handsome. His medium brown hair, peppered with gray at the temples, grazed his shoulders in wavy layers, and his beard was trimmed into a neat goatee. He wore long shorts, a knit golf shirt, and sandals—typical casual attire for this island resort community.
She set down her bag from the drugstore and accepted his offer with a smile. “Thanks. My name’s Lyra.” She blew across the hot surface of the tea to cool it and then inhaled the anise-scented steam. She closed her eyes to fully enjoy the memory. “Ah!”
“Afternoons of boating and licorice with your parents? Right?” he asked.
Her mouth dropped open. How did he know that?

Friday, 12 September 2014

On choosing a publishing path!

It's no secret that there are tons of options open to writers in today. There's no longer only one way to publish a book. Self-publishing, small press, Amazon...all these things give writers a lot more flexibility. A story which doesn't sell doesn't necessarily have to languish in a drawer forever. Backlist titles can have a new life. But within those options, choosing the right one for your particular story can be tricky. This is coming from someone who's spent the best part of the past year agonising over all the choices, and has come to the conclusion that the "right path" is different for everyone! At the moment, I'm small-press published, but I'm querying a MG fantasy novel for the traditional path, and making plans to go indie in future as well. So I thought this would be a good topic to cover.

So: what are the considerations?

Genre. 

It's a frustrating fact of traditional publishing that some genres sell really well for a time, and then the market gets over-saturated and publishers stop buying then. It happened for YA paranormal romance, dystopian and post-apocalyptic books, even most urban fantasy (some have gone as far as to say YA in general!). In adult books, urban fantasy that isn't part of a series is near near-impossible to sell to publishers. That isn't to say it'll never pick up again, but personally, I'd consider small press or self-publishing for books in these genres. Why? Because while traditional publishers are wary of these genres, it certainly doesn't mean readers aren't looking for them! Writing in an already-popular genre can be a great advantage in the self-pub world.

But what if you'd written a book which was selling well in both trad-pub and self-pub markets, like romance or thrillers? Then it's up to you.
 Some books have a natural market in the indie world (like New Adult contemporary romance) and others are more niche. Which brings me to...

Money.

Self-publishing can quickly get expensive, and without a guaranteed profit. In order to put out a professional-looking product, it's absolutely essential to hire an editor, a proofreader, a cover designer, and possibly a formatter (though I've heard it's perfectly feasible to teach yourself to format). That's a big investment. It's a sad reality that the average self-published book sells only a few hundred copies - not enough to make back the initial investment. Some writers would be happy with that, and that's awesome! :) You've written a book, and that's worth celebrating. 

But given my personal circumstances - I'm chronically poor, living in my parents' attic, working four freelance jobs and still far below the poverty line - well, I'd have to be really certain it was the best decision! Sad to say, not all of my books would be worth the cost of self-publishing. That's not to say writers who try something "different" are unsuccessful, but it's harder to break out. There are just so many books on the virtual shelves already! For each project, I spend a lot of time carefully considering each option before committing.

Of course, one of the advantages of self-publishing is the higher royalty rate. The average traditional publishing advance for a new author isn't enough to sustain a living wage, and some writers have even turned down huge advances in favour of the higher royalties. Again, it comes down to personal circumstances. As I said, New Adult is doing very well right now, and as not all traditional publishers have caught onto it (and, of course, with the slow speed of traditional publishing), then I'd personally go down the indie path if I ever wrote a NA contemporary romance. Not that it's likely to happen, given that I seem to be incapable of writing anything without monsters in it, but you never know! Another possibility is that you've written a series, and want to see all of the books published (never a guarantee in traditional publishing). Series often do very well within self-publishing, and readers keep coming back for more. But the costs quickly add up.

With my Darkworld series, I'm in the happy neutral ground of having a wonderful small press publisher on my team. CQ shoulder the financial risk for me, and I get professional-level editing, fantastic cover designs, and marketing at no cost to me.  On the other hand, some people have had nightmareish experiences with other small presses, so it's important to do your research! One of the great things about CQ is how open they are about everything - their website has all the information about royalties (50% net on ebooks, 30% on paperbacks, paid monthly), and their contracts are clear and fair. But not all publishers are created equally. Hence why getting an agent on your team is so important if you're in publishing for the long haul.

Audience.

This is a tricky one. I want my children's books, at least, to be published traditionally. Kids' books aren't doing great in the self-published marketplace - at least, not yet. Children still have gatekeepers - parents, teachers, librarians - and are more likely to buy a print copy of the book than an ebook. Without print distribution in bookshops and libraries, a large portion of my readership is cut off. What's more, organising events as a self-published or small-press author is difficult, especially here in the UK, where we only have a handful of independent stores, and chains have policies against stocking self-published books.

Some YA books are doing very well in the self-published world, but again, it depends on personal choice. In the US, there's a growing number of festivals which support indie authors, and the readership for YA is much larger than it is here in the UK. Even publishing with a small press, getting into bookshops is difficult. Here, opportunities for indie authors to interact with fans in the real world are, at the moment, virtually nonexistent. Of course, this is subject to change, and some authors have been successful through small, local events - it's a shame there are so few which cater to YA authors!


Control.


How much control do you want? With self-publishing, everything falls on the author - cover design, editing, proofreading, formatting - and most importantly, marketing. For authors who just want to write and not worry about all the other stuff, this might not be the best path. On the other hand, if you hate the idea of handing every decision over to a publishing house, then self-publishing might just be the choice for you.

Another consideration is rights. An agent's job is to negotiate the best contract possible, which includes retaining foreign rights, movie/TV rights, etc. and selling them where possible. As I don't have an agent, I don't know a lot about this, but I know it can be quite lucrative. Every sale to a different country means more money, and a bigger audience! That's not to say that it's impossible for self-published authors to do this, but it's rare, and usually requires an agent. Having the rights and selling them are two completely different things!

Overall, of course, it's different for everyone. There are positives and negatives to both paths, and I'm inclined to agree with Chuck Wendig that diversifying might just be the best option.
Many hybrid authors seem to do very well, especially authors with an established traditional platform who also self-publish on the side, or who decide to re-publish books which have gone out of print. That's one of the great things about the current publishing world - flexibility. With a ready fanbase eager to read your work, they won't care how it's published! The difficulty is building up that fanbase from scratch, a position which favours traditionally published authors and those with established connections. Of course, there are exceptions, and marketing is a topic I'll cover in another post!

I'm a big believer in keeping our options open as authors. We have the freedom to choose, so we might as well exploit it. After all, what doesn't work for one book might be perfect for another!

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

What's Up Wednesday - Birthday Edition!

I'm back for What's Up Wednesday, a weekly meme run by Erin L Funk and Jaime Morrow. Here's what I've been up to this past week!


What I'm reading

I finally got my hands on the last Skulduggery Pleasant book, The Dying of the Light - and as I preordered it from Waterstones, I got a signed limited edition copy! *dances* And I loved it, of course! The SP series is one of the best MG/YA crossover series I've read - the books are pure fun, packed with great characters, snappy dialogue and gripping action. I'm so sad it's over! *sobs*

I also read Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini, which turned out to be a pleasant surprise! It offers a unique take on witches/parallel universes unlike anything I've read in YA before, and I thoroughly enjoyed the story. Recommended!

What I'm writing

Shiny New WIP! ^_^ Oh, this book... Well, I wrote 24K last week... and on Monday, I typed 7000 words in a day. o.O That's... wow. Not normal for me. But I like it! :D I'm now almost at 70K, so I should finish this week! And then I'm going to try to revise the draft before the end of the month (using the YA Buccaneers Fall Writing Bootcamp for inspiration - I listed my goals here!). And then it's off to betas. And then... hopefully Book 2 for NaNoWriMo! (I've spent the past two months writing in-depth outlines for the whole 6-book series, so in theory, I should be ready to dive in, if my laptop hasn't burst into flames by then. :P)

What inspires me

Well, it's my birthday today, which naturally means an existential crisis... but at the same time, I'm pleased with some of the things I've accomplished over the past year! I set up a freelance editing/proofreading business, which has gone better than I dared hope. I finished the Darkworld series. I published Darkness Watching. I've written FIVE drafts in a year and got two of them up to a submittable standard... while battling adversity at every turn (I have battle scars, man. Publishing...). But I was also offered contracts not only for the other four Darkworld books but also for a prequel novella! And I went to YA Lit Con. As for the next year? Well, I dropped a (probably) significant hint during last Wednesday's WUW/IWSG post. It'll be a while yet before I have anything official to say about my plan for Shiny New Series... but I'm excited!

What else I've been up to

Doing freelance work and making Secret Plans. And today, it's my birthday! I'm 23, so like a real adult, I'm spending the day at the Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour in London with my boyfriend. WOO!

I'm also running a giveaway! Two e-copies of Darkness Watching are up for grabs! :D

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