Sunday, January 31, 2016

Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016

I'm not going to start off this post saying that I vow to blog more. I say it every time I pop in and then months later I say it again. Ha. So I'm just going recap 2015, let you guys know what's in store for 2016 and we'll see how I do from there. Sound good? Cool.

2015 was...amazing. I learned so much and released so much and wrote so much.

Did I mention I learned so much?

So what happened in 2015? 
I dove into the world of self-publishing.

Some of you might remember a little book called FRACTION OF STONE. I wrote it for my NaNo project in 2011. Crazy it was that long ago already. It got rejected a billion times by agents as projects more often then not do, and then it found a home at a fantastic little publisher. We released it unto the world in 2013. It was super well received and I was super excited and then the publisher took a bit of a tumble and couldn't support the rest of the series. 

Well crap.

I went through the long process of getting the rights back for FRACTION OF STONE. I tried to write the second book of the series, FRACTION OF HOPE, but the magic was lost in the frustration and confusion of  everything. Once I finally got the rights back, I put the whole series aside and worked on other things (some of which are now published as well.)

And then one day, the magic was back. It was time to dust off Rydan and Akara and put them to the task of saving Casden again. I vowed to publish the whole series in 2015. At the beginning of the year, only one and a half of the four books were written.

But I did it.

I couldn't have accomplished it without the unbelievable support of the writing community. My critique partners somehow found time in their busy lives to beta. Cassie Mae formatted all the books (and answered my million questions on self-publishing). Jolene Perry designed the ridiculously awesome covers. And now the series is complete. Tears still come to my eyes as I think about the bitter sweet moment of typing those last words in FRACTION OF FAITH. But even though the journey sometimes felt as impossible as what Rydan and Akara faced, we all made it in the end.

What else happened in 2015? 
I started my own editing company.

Just typing that makes me smile. When Cassie Mae asked me if I wanted to start an editing/formatting company with her, I had no idea how much it would enhance my life. And not just the writing part either. As the Developmental Editor for Cookie Lynn Publishing, I get to help authors craft their books into their vision. There is almost nothing more rewarding than getting an email after the author has read through the Editorial Letter, telling me how my comments have inspired them. We've already had over ten returning clients in our first year and I seriously can't wait to see which tales I get to be immersed in, in 2016.

And as cliche as it sounds, working with other authors to better their stories, has undoubtedly improved my craft as well. I'm addicted to editing your manuscripts, fellow authors. So keep them coming.

What didn't happen in 2015?
No 'traditionally' published works. No new publishing contracts. 

And that's the way of the biz. There were plans to release a book (which could have been on bookstore shelves!) with the amazingly talented Cassie Mae, but that didn't come to fruition. Though it will happen, people. It will. We just all have to be a bit more patient than I would like sometimes. More info on that to come at a later date.

And despite oh so many requests by publishers for our full manuscript, Jenny S. Morris and I were unable to land a publishing deal with RAINBOWS & RAINDROPS which led to a mutual decision by our agent and ourselves that while the journey had been exciting and fun, it was time to part ways. 

What does 2016 have in store?
Somethings I'm sure of, the rest I'm sure will be super exciting.

It's 2016. I find myself agentless with two manuscripts in their final stages of edits. (One a solo project, the other a collab with the spectacular Jenny S. Morris.) This only means one thing.

Query time.

Should be tons of fun... *insert sarcasm here*

Honestly though, rejections will come, but I'm still incredibly excited. I've grown so much as an author and I'm so proud of these two manuscripts. So we'll see what happens. Hopefully I'll be posting more on here with updates and we can all celebrate together.

To get through the incessant checking of email and the inevitable heartbreak that comes from each form rejection, Jenny S. Morris and I have some super exciting news.

Rainbows & Raindrops will be published in May!

That's right, my friends. For those of you who loved Jen and my collab, ROAD TO SOMEWHERE, I think you'll find our newest endeavor doesn't disappoint. I am SO excited for you to meet Rain and her band of misfits. It's a companion series, so hopefully they'll be even more to come from these guys in 2016. 

And that's pretty much it. 
So in summary:
2015 was great.
2016 is going to be amazing.
I can feel it.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Books and Books! Win LOTS of Books!

One of the coolest parts about being an author, is the fantastic community that you get to be a part of. Due to this community I somehow get a chance to be included in a giveaway like this one. Just look at ALL these fabulous authors with their crazy amazing works! And I'm in there! Both Fraction of Stone and Road to Somewhere.

I can promise you, you'll enjoy all these books in these bundles. So please, please enter.

Oh, and Happy Valentine's Day!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 9, 2015

Valerie Biel's Circle of Nine - Beltany

I think my most favorite place I've ever been is Ireland. There are just no words to describe how GREEN it is (I know green is a word, but honestly, it doesn't do it justice.) The mixture of the people, the pubs, the history and the landscape... it's perfect. I HIGHLY recommend everyone go.

So when I learned that a fellow Wisconsin author, Valerie Biel, wrote a book heavily influenced by Ireland, I had to jump on the blog tour. And I'm really glad I did.

The concept behind this tale is that Brigit is given a gift, a book, that's been passed down through all the women in her family. We learn along with Brigit, her family history, and why she has certain abilities (like reading people's thoughts!). 

The story switches between first person present tense (Brigit) and past tense (depending on the woman Brigit is reading about in the book). Circle of Nine explores the concepts of family, love and trust. I thought the characters were well developed and the look back into the history was really fun. I'm very happy that I was able to get to review this book.

For me, my favorite parts of the tale were the short poems that Brigit read at the beginning of each chapter in her ancestor's book. Here's an example:

How to do this, how to tell?
I write this now my fear to quell
Of how I fled into the night,
Away from what I thought was right,
To save me an one tiny other
From an evil, dark with hunger.
Beware the signs, learn the lesson.
You cannot trust every person.
Watch the scene unfold wholly
If your gift makes you worthy

You can get your copy here!

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