Friday, 1 August 2014

Darkness Watching re-release! And giveaway! :D

It's here! Again! The new, shiny, updated version of 
Darkness Watching (Darkworld #1) is now available! It's going to be exclusive with Amazon for the next few months. :)

Amazon   Amazon UK 
 

Eighteen-year-old Ashlyn is one interview away from her future when she first sees the demons. She thinks she's losing her mind, but the truth is far more frightening: she can see into the Darkworld, the home of spirits– and the darkness is staring back.

Desperate to escape the demons, Ash accepts a place at a university in the small town of Blackstone  - little knowing that it isn't coincidence that led her there but the pull of the Venantium, the sorcerers who maintain the barrier keeping demons from crossing from the Darkworld into our own world.

All-night parties, new friendships and a life without rules or limits are all part of the package of student life - but the demons' focus on Ash has attracted the attention of every sorcerer in the area. Ash is soon caught between her new life and a group of other students with a connection to the Darkworld, who could offer the answers she's looking for. The demons want something from her, and someone is determined to kill her before she can find out what it is.

In a world where darkness lurks beneath the surface, not everyone is what they appear to be...
 

Add on Goodreads  
Read Chapter One.

 
Reviews

“In the vein of Buffy and Supernatural, DARKNESS WATCHING found that perfect balance between the freaky and the fun.” - YA author Jen Estes

"Demons, Sorcerers, evil, and secrets. Could you ask for a better supernatural suspense set-up?...It's full of suspense, danger, evil and dark humor. The plot is original, and completely gripping. From the first page, this book had me hooked." - Rose at Desert Rose Reviews

"A suspenseful first part to an intriguing new fantasy series." Sharon Stevenson, supernatural author

“The story is extremely well-written with effortless, flowing prose, and the original magic-user mythology and Darkworld creatures are very entertaining. The author took what might have been over-done premise and twisted it into something very fresh and exciting.” - Lexa Cain, author of Soul Cutter

"This is a wildly different story than any I have read about demons...I loved it!" - Kathy at Bookmarks, Spoilers, and Happily-Ever-Afters


Now... it's giveaway time! :D To celebrate the re-release, I'll be giving away a signed copy of the shiny new Darkness Watching, and two Darkworld swag packs featuring postcards and bookmarks! Winners will be announced on the 15th August! :)

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

What's Up Wednesday

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


After reading so many AMAZING books in a row (Ruin and Rising, We Were Liars, More Than This, Shatter Me...etc), I had a few days where I just couldn't get into anything! Which very rarely happens to me. o.O Thankfully, I reread The Archived,  and it got me out of my reading slump. ^_^


I also read Banished by Liz de Jager, an engaging and action-packed contemporary fantasy. Then I read The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas, which I also really enjoyed.

Now I'm reading The Memory Keepers by Natasha Ngan, which I picked up at YALC.


What I'm writing


I finished my edits (on Darkworld 4 and 5)! I also worked on my draft, my novella, and outlining for another series - it's been another crazy multitasking week! Mainly because this new series idea just won't leave me alone. :P 
Well, it's the Shiny New Idea I got a month ago and I've been working on it in bits and stages since then. It's a complicated multi-book, multi-universe idea which will need a ton of planning before I even start writing...because apparently, I can never make things easy for myself. :P It's also insanely genre-and-category-confused (it's probably upper-YA/adult crossover urban fantasy...with alternative universes. Like Diana Wynne Jones's Deep Secret.) so I don't even know if there's a market for it...but ehh...

What inspires me

A certain shiny new idea...It's funny, because I used to worry that I'd run out of ideas! Now, I can't even keep track of them all. :P But I'm also a lot more critical, so when an idea sticks, I know it's here to stay! Especially when parts of the story start playing out in my head like a movie. That's when I know it'll be a definite WIP!

I'm also inspired by all the choices open to writers these days. I've kind of come to the conclusion lately that validation is overrated, that there are a ton of reasons books are rejected which have nothing whatsoever to do with quality. I try to make every book I write as good as it can possibly be, and as long as I do that, I'm going to find a way to share all my stories with the world regardless of marketability or publishing pressures!

What else I've been up to

Apart from edits, not much! My shiny new cover was revealed to the world on Monday, so now I'm waiting for the new version of Darkness Watching to go live!

Monday, 28 July 2014

News! Of the Darkworld variety!

Guys, it feels like forever since I've been able to update on the Darkworld series! Progress has been happening behind the scenes, but in jumps and starts and v-e-r-y slow stages, and nothing's been definite until now. But after months of repeated email refreshing and nail-biting, I finally have updates on what's happening with all the books in the series!

  1. Darkness Watching is getting a facelift! Yes - the first in the Darkworld series is getting a re-proof and redesign! Earlier this year, when I was discussing cover design ideas for Walking Shadow (Darkworld #2), it occurred to me that if I went down the road I was thinking of, the first two Darkworld books would end up looking very different. And I wanted the series covers to have a uniting theme. Luckily, my publishers agreed! The updated version will also have some minor changes to the text, as it's been through a re-proofing process, and I'm super-excited to share it! It'll be live on all retailers by the end of the week, and I'll be sure to share the link! :)
  2. Fear's Touch: A Darkworld Novella also has a new cover, and is still on track for release this summer! I'll update if anything changes on that!
  3. Walking Shadow (Darkworld #2) is through edits and I've just finished the final proofread! ^^ Newsletter subscribers will be the first to see the shiny new cover before I reveal it! And it's set to be released on the 13th November. :)
  4. Demon Heart (Darkworld #3) is with my fabulous editor, and will hopefully be out early next year!
  5. Darkworld Book 4 and Book 5 have been accepted by my publishers, so I'm waiting for the contracts! ^^
So, without further ado: here's the shiny new cover for Darkness Watching!





Gorgeous, isn't it? I can't wait to share the others! :D

So: what's next? 

This week (!!!) - re-release of Darkness Watching (Darkworld #1).
TBC 2014 - Fear's Touch: A Darkworld Novella released!
Autumn/Fall 2014 - Walking Shadow (Darkworld #2) released.
Spring 2015 (?) - Demon Heart (Darkworld #3) released.

Keep up with me on Twitter (@ELAdams12) where I'll share the link for the new version of Darkness Watching as soon as it goes live!

Don't forget you can sign up to my newsletter to get the latest updates on the Darkworld series! :)

Ready. Set. Write! Week 7 Update

Ready. Set. Write! is a writing challenge hosted by Alison Miller, Katy Upperman, Erin L. Funk and Jaime Morrow, between now and the 25th August!

How I did on last week’s goal(s)



As soon as I got back into drafting, my last Email of Doom finally materialised! Except it wasn't really an Email of Doom as much as an email with some editing suggestions, but telling me that I was being offered contracts for the final two books in the Darkworld series! *dances* So I had to make those pre-edits a priority. I re-read Book 3, and did some tweaks and clarifications to Book 4 and Book 5 (mostly continuity-related things).

I get to publish the rest of my series! WOOOO! :D

I also wrote around 7000 drafted words. ^_^




My goal(s) for this week

Hmmm...well, my editor currently has Darkworld Book 3 so I'm not sure when I'll get my next edit letter (yep, more edits!). So, I'll aim for 5000 drafted words at a minimum.


A favorite line from my story OR a word or phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised



Well, things are kind of spoilery seeing as I've been working on the final books in my series... but CQ's acquisitions team had this to say: "I would just like to gush for a moment.  This was such a fabulous conclusion to such a fantastic series!  I love, love, love how it ended, even though I am sad that it is over.  I can't wait to see these all in print!"

*SQUEEEEEE*



The biggest challenge I faced this week

 Having to switch back to Edit Mode right after I started making decent progress with my draft. Such is life!


Something I love about my WIP 

I love that I'm still not done exploring this world, even though I've finished drafting the series. I recently drafted a short Darkworld story, and now I'm working on a new novella. ^_^

As you can probably see in my other blog post, I love that my first book's being rereleased under a shiny new cover! I'll share the release link as soon as it goes live - I can't wait! :)

Saturday, 26 July 2014

#WIPMarathon Update #6

Last report wordcount and chapter count/scene count: I was waiting for all the feedback to come in on my MG fantasy, and I was also at 35K of my WIP.

Current report WC + CC/SC:
Dare I say it: my MG fantasy is...almost ready! I've done everything I can, incorporating feedback from 9 different readers, tweaking and tweaking...and I'm reaching the point when I know I need to let it go. (Cue Frozen singalong.)


Meanwhile, I've finished last edits and the final proofread of Walking Shadow (Darkworld #2), the last step before publication later this year! I've also been working on pre-edits on Books 4 and 5, but I'm being offered contracts for both! :D

And I'm at 45K of my draft. I also wrote 10,000 words of a new novella! So, 20K total. It's been another low-word count month, but this time, due to edits!

WIP Issues this month: Project-juggling, unpredictable editorial emails, inconsistent progress and a lack of inspiration. Also, after I escaped from the first mire of Edits, the Inner Editor followed me and made it tricky to get back into drafting!


Also, finishing MG fantasy edits, and being petrified at the prospect of letting it go. All my books are different so I can't really compare, but it's one of my favourite things I've written. I've worked so hard on it, and after my less-than-stellar performance in the query trenches with my last project, it's hard to subject this book to the same process. The only real path for this book is traditional publishing, so this is the only chance I'll get, but I've been dithering (even though the book's polished and so is the query!). *clings to precious MS*

Four things I learned this month in writing:

  • It's impossible to plan your writing life around the whims of Publishing. I knew this already, but sometimes, it's really hard to concentrate on a draft when an edit letter for a different project is supposed to arrive at any moment. Except, things get delayed, and can drag out for weeks, if not months, which makes it a tiny bit tricky to have a  life outside of publishing! (Especially when Important Emails of Doom tend to arrive the second you make non-work-related plans!). But writing is always my escape, so now I try to always have a draft I can work on if the email doesn't show up. Next step: get a handle on work-life balance...
  • Related: setting goals for writing is great. Setting goals for publishing is not (unless you're self-publishing). You'd think I'd know that by now, but nooo...  Because nothing is set in stone, and setting up expectations is also potentially setting yourself up for disappointment (as I've done SO many times). Yet this lunatic is still dreaming of getting an agent before the end of the year. Apparently, the fact that I've been dreaming of this constantly for the past seven years is not enough to stop the wishful thinking... *sigh*
  • Apparently I need to re-learn this one every time I finish edits: it is impossible to have a perfect first draft! *headdesk*
  • Some books are easier to write than others, but it doesn't mean they're better or worse.  Having written, um, a few books (I'm on my 14th o.O), I now know that I tend to write two kinds of books - fun and quirky (with dark moments thrown in when you're least expecting *muahahaha*) and dark, often intense (with some lighthearted moments to lull you into a false sense of security before.. *ahem*). I have absolutely no idea why, but the DARK books seem to be eaiser to write, even if they turn me into a gibbering wreck. Maybe because they're in first person. I wrote 5K in one day on my last YA post-apocalyptic, for instance. Yet my MG fantasy was one of the most stubborn drafts I've written (and actually needed rewriting from scratch!) but I've had amazing feedback on it. So...it's a mystery!
What distracted me this month when writing: Uhhh...waiting for emails. And waiting. And hair-tearing. And more waiting. Also, YALC (which was amazing! :D).

Goal for next month: Query my MG fantasy. *gulp* And finish this draft. Then I need to figure out which project to work on next!


Darkworld Book 3 is with my editor, and it looks like I'll be diving back into the editing cave soon, too!

Last 200 words: Things are a bit spoilery with my draft, but I'll share an excerpt from Chapter 4, aka, the point of no return...



Saffron’s mouth fell open. ‘No way. Mum and Dad will kill…’ She trailed off as she caught sight of something on the other side of the room. One of the canvasses, which had before shown a half-painted, grumpy-faced man, now showed two other people.

A very familiar two people.
Saffron’s jaw hung even wider. ‘No - Mum! Dad!’ She ran over to the painting and pressed her hands against it, like there was a way she could get them out. Her parents looked like they’d been drawn - every brush stroke could have belonged to the original artist. Dad.
Saffron sank into the nearest chair, her head in her hands.
‘Oh God…’
‘Saffron.’
Damn. Dorian was still there.
‘Help,’ she said. ‘Tell me - please. How do I get them out?’
Between her fingers, she watched Dorian walk up to the painting, press his hands to it like she had, examine it from corner to corner. And she watched his expression grow bleaker with each passing second.
She didn’t need him to tell her.
Mum and Dad were gone.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Interview - Michael Haley, author of Lost on the Edge of Forever

Tell me three interesting facts about yourself!
- Although I wrote a ghost story with intensely religious characters and elements, I'm an agnostic who doesn't believe in ghosts, spirits, and most other paranormal stuff.
- I have a zero tolerance policy for illogical conspiracy theories.
- Everyone knows I can sing Ricky Martin's Livin' la Vida Loca en espanol. What they don't know is that I can sing in in English too. 

Summarize your book in one line.
-- A ghost and a dude meet, have a lot of sex, fall in love, then discover who they are in relationship to the universe.

Tell me something cool/crazy/quirky about the book – it can be anything!
-- The only reason the lead male is named Alejandro is because I love Lady Gaga's Alejandro and had been listening to it a lot during the early days of the book's conception.

Why did you decide to write this particular book?
-- I thought it be really cool to tell a ghost story in the vein of Tales of Moonlight and Rain. The finished product only resembles the original intention tangentially, but I love it!

Best part of the writing process?
-- Having a reader respond favorably to a thought and/or feeling that took numerous rewrites to convey simply and effectively makes everything worth it.

Share one thing you learned writing this book.
-- Never, ever, ever, ever again will I use emotions as a foundation for a plot. Building a cohesive plot from a feeling is a nightmare!

Tell me about one strange experience you’ve had. Again, it can be anything!
-- A ouija board precisely predicted the name of someone I'd meet several years prior to actually meeting her. I am a being of science, but I got nothing to explain this one.

Name one fictional place you’d love to visit.
-- This is going to sound so cliche, but it's true - Hogwarts. It's an awesome school!

Name one real place you’d love to visit.
-- The Cinémathèque Française in Paris. To see a movie in the same place where Godard, Truffaut, and the other French New Wave directors received their inspiration would be an amazing experience.

Share one sentence/mini-excerpt from the book!

-- "Alejandro, sometimes pain and sorrow are the only proof we have we're still alive."
Author BioMichael Haley was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and cultivated in its neighboring vicinities. He graduated with a degree in Psychology from Iowa State University, and now lives with his wife and son in Bloomington, Illinois. When not writing, he loves indulging and dissecting books, film, and pop art from all canons and genres. Lost on the Edge of Forever is his first novel.

Lost on the Edge of ForeverBook info: Leila, an ambitious and brilliant student, is murdered during her final semester at college, yet discovers she’s been reborn as a spirit resigned to haunt the school of her death. Alejandro, a listless and depressed freshman, arrives on campus eager to reinvent himself after eighteen years of awkwardness, as well as a devastating family tragedy, shake his sense of worth and faith to their cores.

The two lonely souls meet under the auspice of moonlit rain, and soon find themselves irrevocably, passionately attracted to each other. Leila discovers her spiritual body reawakening with sensations that make her feel alive again, and Alejandro discovers a kindred spirit who understands him like no one else. Intoxicated with each other, the impossible lovers begin to dream of finding a way to hold onto their own private miracle. Forever.

Yet how can Alejandro explain to skeptical friends and family that his soul-mate is dead? Why does Leila get the nagging suspicion that within their relationship lies the secret of her continued existence? An unexpected act of evil ignites these unavoidable questions, only to reveal in its aftermath the true purpose of Leila and Alejandro’s star-crossed romance. Will their love allow them to accept a profound destiny that surpasses time and perhaps even God, or is their love destined to die loud and young?

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

What's Up Wednesday

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 read Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma, which is wonderfully creepy and well-written! I also read Shatter Me, another book I've been meaning to get to for ages. Wow. Wow, wow, wow. I really, really love the poetic writing style - it's totally unique! So I bought the rest of the series, fell into the story, and devoured them in less than two days. Gasp. #bookhangover

What I'm writing

I'm back into drafting my artsy YA urban fantasy WIP, plus I've been working on another novella-length project. ^_^ Finally making some consistent progress! So naturally, more editorial emails came along. But it's all good! I'm being offered contracts for Books 4 and 5 in the Darkworld series!!!!!!! :D :D *happydance* This has been a LONG time in the making! :D *dances everywhere again*

I also have a super-exciting cover reveal coming up on Monday! *more happydancing*


What inspires me

Hmm...well, it came as a bit of a shock to realise it's been over a year since I graduated from university! So I guess I'm inspired by what I've achieved in the past year with my freelance editing/proofreading business! As for writing, I guess I can say I'm inspired by how I've managed to keep going through what's often felt like a landslide of disappointments and setbacks. Like a lot of people, I try to only share the positives online, but the journey to getting a series published, not to mention querying, has had more ups and downs than the Big Dipper! Writers inspire me with their tenacity and determination!


What else I've been up to

My boyfriend came to visit, and we watched How To Train Your Dragon 2, which was awesome. :D I also finally saw The Fault in Our Stars, and loved it. *sobs* *lies in pieces on floor*

There's been a heatwave this week, so I've been spending a lot of time outside in the sun! Except during the random spontaneous thunderstorms. o.O