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I’m Writing

On this April Fools’ Day, I will be taking a break from reading social media, but I guess that doesn’t mean I can’t post my own stuff. (No April Fools’ jokes here.)

I feel like I make a lot of plans for the future on this blog (when I actually post), and they don’t always come to pass, so now I’m focusing on the present. Time to report on what I have done and what I’m doing and not what I plan to do one day.

I’m finishing up the first draft of my sex magic romance novel. I’ve also been rewriting the first 40,000 words. My short 60,000 word romance novel looks like it is going to be closer to 80,000 words. I’m not sure how long I’ve been working on this one, but it’s a lot longer than I was planning.

I’m rewriting The Forgiving to release it as a paperback. I have no idea how long this will take, but I’m not going to rush it. I’m not going for any major changes, but there are a few parts I’m not satisfied with and I want improved before the book is in print.

I am in the process of making my books available (for free) once again on Smashwords. The first book back up on the site is Brief Pose.

I’m in the process of learning how to make comics. This includes doing the Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain Workbook and going through Drawing Words and Writing Pictures. I’ve also written a four page comic for a contest. A novice artist is drawing the art.

I’m reading drastically more books. Most of these are romance novels and Image comic books. Some romance recommendations: Rattlesnake, The Lightning-Struck Heart, and Erica’s Choice. Some comic recommendations: Descender, Vol. 1: Tin Stars and Bitch Planet, Vol. 1: Extraordinary Machine.

I’m in the middle of American Gods.

That’s me right now. I hope I have more to update you on soon.

 

House of Cabal Vol. 2 Deadline March 5th

I have less than eighteen days to finish House of Cabal Volume Two: Estate. On March 5th, I need to send it to my copy editor. She will get it back to me around the 11th and then I’ll look through her edits, finalize the text, and publish on Smashwords and Amazon.

I’ve been working on the final draft all day. Earlier in the week, I was using the Find function to search through the text and look at sentences and word use in isolation, but today I’m reading through the whole book, seeing everything in context, and making corrections as necessary. I’ll have a better idea about if I have any weak sections after this pass.

Time is running short, so I’m also searching for any plot holes or logical inconsistencies.

Example: I describe large cedar trees on the House of Cabal estate. The estate was supposedly constructed fifteen years ago. Were the trees on the site before the construction, which is highly unlikely, or is there another explanation for their rapid growth? I hadn’t thought of this before today. I could address the cedar trees in the plot or remove them from the description.

I need to consider every detail before it goes to the copy editor. If I try to fix these types of problems after I get it back, I’ll introduce new errors I hired my copy editor to catch.

In other news, my horror novel The Forgiving is on sale for $0.99 at Amazon HERE.

Self Write is Reborn

Welcome!

Time to write a blog! I’m ignoring all those unfinished, overly complex novels hanging out on my computer to write a simple post for the masses.

So how do I make this worth our time?

Here is some helpful, if maybe a bit self-apparent, information: Self-publishing is hard. If you want to sell more than four books a month, you need an audience. To do that writers must forge a fellowship with other writers and with readers. We all long for community.

Doing this alone is crazy making.

I’m not new at this. I’ve already written a novel, hired an editor, made a cover, got a review on a horror website, and self-published on Smashwords and Amazon. While people liked the book, it never really got any traction. In some ways, especially economically, the book was a failure.

Failure is part of the learning process.

My next chance is coming up fast. I will be finishing another book this year, House of Cabal Episode One, a speculative fiction thriller. Three other novels are in the pipeline. I will be self-publishing again on Smashwords and Amazon.

I want to make the most of this second chance. To do that, I’m going to need your help. Thanks for reading, now get back to writing. We’ll get through this together.

Writing a Book Description

One great thing about self-publishing is you can keep rewriting your sales copy until you hit on something that sells.

It’s time for me to write a better book description. Right now on Amazon and Smashwords, I start off with a short blurb:

Three lovers, as a way to save cash, seek out a real estate agency that specializes in poltergeist activity. What they find in their prospective house will test their faith in God and their faith in each other.

Then I have the very beginning of my book, which is an explanation of the Jacobi House, the house the book revolves around. It was always meant to be a placeholder until I could write a more persuasive book description.

After looking at some other horror novel book descriptions on Amazon, I took a new stab at my own, writing the first thing that came to mind, and I like it, at least more than I thought I would. As always, I would love your thoughts on it. Especially before I put it up for the whole world to see.

Portland, Oregon, has many famously haunted locations, but Howard, Isabel, and Grip are steadfast skeptics. For these three lovers building a new life together, there is no such thing as a haunted house, so why not capitalize on other people’s superstitions and buy a mansion on the waterfront at a fraction of its market value?

What could it hurt to at least take a tour?

Life isn’t a horror novel, and a house’s dark history is not its present. A house that was a brothel, then an insane asylum, and then a cult church is still just a house.

The three lovers don’t realize one flaw in their logic: the present can be even worse than the past.

Reality can be more horrific than any ghost story.

The problem with writing these things is I end up overworking them to death. I’ll let this one live for awhile and look at it again with fresh eyes in a few days.

Until then, happy writing and even happier publishing.

Three Writing Tips! (from a now published author)

  1. Take care of your health. Get some exercise! Eat a large, leafy salad dressed with a little olive oil, garlic, salt, black pepper, and lemon. Drink water. While writing can be good for the mind, it can also distract you from the needs of the body. A healthy body helps you write.

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    mollydot 2008

  2. Keep your self-esteem up. Low self-esteem can negatively affect your productivity, networking, and the marketing of your book. Exercise should help, but also spend more time with positive people. That includes you; be kind to yourself. The kinder you are to yourself, the more you will like yourself. If your book had been written by a friend, how would you describe it to them after reading it for the first time? Do yourself some favors (take a walk, take a 10-15 minute nap, take the time to really listen to the lyrics of music you love, or find a book you love by the first five pages). Note: The reverse is also true. The worse you treat yourself, the more you’ll hate yourself.

    JAS_Photo 2010

    JAS_Photo 2010

  3. When uninspired, read to see how other writers do it. Dissect sentences. Look at transitions. Read with a writer’s eye. When you write, you have an extreme amount of power. That fact is easy to forget. When that happens, writing can feel pedestrian. Seeing the true power of writing properly wielded can reignite the yearning you need for the creation of new realities.

Progress: The Forgiving (my horror/suspense novel) has been published on Amazon and Smashwords. House of Cabal: Episode One still needs a lot of work. I’ll give a more thorough update in the near future.

Onward and Upward

Here I am, trying to get my first novel into your hands. I’m now more than a writer, I’ve published my novel, and now I’m focused on marketing, and for the first time, I’m realizing that’s kind of amazing. Before this is all over, I’m going to know the whole ebook business, inside and out.

I’ve changed the look of my blog to reflect my new book. Less people are visiting, but I guess I’ll just keep posting stuff and see if things pick up.

You can buy my novel on Amazon here, and if you want it in some other format it’s on Smashwords here.

When I figure more things out (find something that works), I’ll post more advice updates. Right now, new people are reading my stuff, so I am grateful for that. I’ve already received some positive feedback from readers who aren’t close friends.

I’m still trying to figure out the next step. Onward and upward, as they say.

Free Review Copy

How much can I procrastinate from requesting reviews from bloggers? Quite a bit. In fact I’m writing this blog post so I can put it off even more. I’m not sure what part of my brain dreads it so much. (The part that fears rejection, maybe.) I’m sure it won’t be so bad if I just do it and stop putting it off.

But here’s the thing, maybe this post is actually me asking for reviews! If you have a blog, even a small one, or you’re just a reader that likes to spread the word about good books, and would like a free review copy of my novel, use this coupon code on Smashwords to get it for free:

KJ39M

Free is good, right? (Okay, there are a lot of free books on the internet, but this is that rare good one. I promise. It has been professionally proofread, so less of those pesky errors!)

Here is a Link to the book. I think you need to make an account to use the coupon. Maybe not. I’m new at this.

The coupon will run out the 25th of August, so don’t put it off too long, like I’m doing with my emails to review bloggers. I would love to have reviews up around the 1st of September. It’s a fairly short novel so this should be doable, but if not, putting up a review after September 1st is fine, even months after.

Thanks for the help, but mainly, enjoy the book. It’s scary, but I think even those not all that into horror will find a lot to like. Your reviews will tell me if I’m right.