Tuesday, September 29, 2020

What's new

Somehow it's nearly October. I know that time has no meaning anymore, but this is getting ridiculous.

I just finished my Readers Group newsletter, with a few changes. I'd been sending it out twice a month, but I've realized that I spend far too much time trying to think of interesting things to put in the newsletter, rather than thinking of interesting things to put in my books. Which is the reason - I hope - that people have signed up for the newsletter. So it's going to once a month after this, unless there's a special announcement, a sale, etc. 

P.S., if you haven't signed up yet, you can do so here.

So I have been doing a fair bit of writing, other issues aside. My third book, Lady, in Waiting, is still in the first draft but has passed the 100k word mark. The eventual publication length will probably be about 115k (that's what Songbird and A Wider World came in near), but I'll probably hit 130k and then edit it back down. I know how I work by now.

A good bit of my writing has taken place outside. I've trained myself to dictate my rough first drafts, which I then upload onto my desktop and tidy up, speech-to-text not always being the most accurate technology. Still, it's better than sitting inside when we're at that perfect end-of-summer-almost-fall weather. 

If I'm not walking around the neighborhood, I'm sitting on our front patio, which has just recently been redone with four orange vintage chairs and matching tables that I trash picked from a neighbor across the street. They'd been in his garage for 10 years, and he finally gave up on the idea of repainting them and using them on his own porch. Personally, I like the orange, so I got a gallon of metal paint in the same shade and I'll sand and repaint once the season is over.

Garden season is nearly over. We've had a few nights in the 40s, and that means the bigger tomatoes have shut down, along with some of the peppers. The grape tomatoes are still chugging along, producing more fruit than I can use, and my neighbors are beginning to hide when they see me coming, in case of tomatoes. I made a roasted tomato salsa last week which came out well, so I think I'll make a few more jars to shove in the back of the fridge.

What about you? Is it still garden season? Are you making anything with your produce, whether it's from your garden, the farmer's market or the grocery store?

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Audio Arrival!

So the audiobook for Songbird is finally up everywhere! It actually arrived on Audible sooner than expected. ACX, the technical name for Audible, has really high production standards and will bounce books that are accepted everywhere else. I was a little nervous, until it appeared.

Then, because things never run completely smooth, it ended up somehow categorized under literature, fiction, and erotica. While there are a few... Interesting scenes in the book, anybody who purchased it looking for erotica would be sorely disappointed, and readers not looking for that would avoid the book, so I waited to really promote the Audible listing until my publisher reached out and had Amazon correct it. We're still not sure how it happened, because I know the categories that the book is in, and since it's a book already on Amazon, the categories should have simply carried over.

Who knows? Technical glitches happen, and this one is sorted now.

All this is to say that I have free codes for the audiobook, and all you have to do - you knew there'd be a catch, right? - is to sign up for my newsletter (which is on the sidebar) and respond to the newsletter email, saying you're interested in being entered to win a copy of the audio.

If you're on Facebook, you could also like and share my author page. I didn't make that mandatory, because I know a lot of people aren't fans of Facebook these days. Truth to tell, I'm not always either, but I have to reach readers where I can find them.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Progress on Book 3

Should I be talking about book 3? When book 2 won't be released until April?

Maybe not, but I am, because I've hit a really interesting part of the process. I'm working on the first draft, currently titled Lady, in Waiting (crucial comma). Like Robin in A Wider World, Margaery, my main character, was a secondary character in AWW who required her own story.

She's 24, English but raised in France, and newly married to a man she barely knows. It was a self-arranged marriage, because she met him and thought he was a far better option than the men put forward by her mother and stepfather. But it's still an odd situation - they're two very nice people, neither of whom had planned to marry, and they're learning as they go. To complicate things, they both work in the Tudor court: Margaery as a minor lady in waiting to Elizabeth I, and her husband as an assistant to William Cecil, the queen's chief secretary.

Technically that means they have the same boss and the same loyalties, but in fact, it does not. Elizabeth's women swore an oath of loyalty to the queen, and while Cecil and his men are also loyal to the queen, they're working on behalf of the government, and their aims might be somewhat different than Elizabeth's.

What went on in the queen's chambers stayed in the queen's chambers. Which makes evening conversation with a husband somewhat limited.

I've been working on this story for a while, but it's only in the last few days that Margaery has really come to life and started acting independently, choosing courses of action I wouldn't have thought of and saying the occasional unexpected thing.

It's my favorite part of writing, even though it means I'm going to have to go back and edit her earlier words to reflect this more fully developed personality. When my people make me swear at them because they don't behave, I know I'm getting somewhere.