Monday, January 25, 2021

Songbird Book Trailer

My publisher put together a quick trailer for Songbird using some of my reference photos, with Bess's signature song, The Cuckoo, performed by Elizabeth Larsen. If anyone has seen my Facebook live reading at Songbird's launch, I paused the reading to have a small breakdown play this at the appropriate point in the story.

This was a pleasant surprise for me, and I hope you enjoy another look into Bess's life.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

What's been going on

I hate it when I go quiet. I'm assuming you're not fond of it either, dear readers - you keep showing up here, and it would be nice if I gave you something to read.

Things are happening behind the scenes, of course. We're down to just final copy edits for A Wider World. The cover has been finished, and I've scored an absolutely mind-blowing quote for the cover from a Tudor author whose work I really respect. Coming soon, I promise.

I've also completed and submitted Lady, in Waiting before my New Year's Eve deadline, and now I'm doing rewrites before re-submitting. (That first submission was so the publisher could see that I actually had something that could be reasonably wrangled into book shape; now comes the actual wrangling). It's going pretty well, though, and I hope to have this draft done by end of February.

What I'm also doing is recovering from a really good online Christmas this year. While sales were down in my vintage Etsy shop, they were booming over on the handmade side. Being prevented from doing holiday shopping sent people online. Go figure! Even with postal delays, almost everything arrived on time.

I had to end Christmas stocking orders early. I sent a batch to a shop I work with in Philadelphia, and would have sent more, but ran out of the vintage quilts I like to use. It's getting harder to find ones that are in good enough condition to use, but with enough damage that I don't feel guilty cutting them up. Luckily, I scored two on Ebay just after the holidays, and a hunter-gathering neighbor found a third for me.

My favorite order of the season was from a customer who sent me a box of quilted placemats made by her recently deceased mother-in-law. She wanted them turned into stockings for the family, and have a holiday table runner made with the leftover. I'm working on the table runner, because we realized it wouldn't happen by Christmas - especially with the postal difficulties - but I think her stockings came out well. I'm not a fan of precise patchwork (not making it, anyway) but the placemat fabrics really lent themselves to my more random design ideas.

Now I must go back to my other writing. Just wanted to pop in, look around, make sure people were still here. Back soon.

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Plans for 2021

I wouldn't call them resolutions, which I've always been crap at keeping, but one thing I am good at is meeting a deadline.

The collage here is something I put together as book 3 became clearer in my head. I like a physical representation because I can then convince myself that it's real.

Back in May, when I submitted A Wider World to the publisher, they told me if I wanted my third book to follow along within a year (April 2022), I would have to submit it by the end of 2020. We negotiated that to mean a readable first draft, which I managed to do - by mid-afternoon on New Year's Eve. (I'd actually finished it the day before, but I wanted to accomplish a few last minute tweaks).

I now have until the end of February to do proper edits, and I think that's doable, but only because I didn't get a decent grasp of my main character until later than usual and rewrote the entire first half to get her properly in line. So it's really only the last half that needs hard work, and then shaping and polishing for length, as it's currently about 13k over its word budget. (I've been worse, so not too scared).

Also for early 2021, I've got to do final copy edits for A Wider World. Once those edits are done, I need to get the book to the voice actor for the the audio, and I'd like to do the edits again, because it really gave me a feel for how the project went together. The book launches on 
April 25, the day after my husband's birthday, so he might not be the total focus on the day, because there'll be another FB Live reading - which I'll mention on here, and post afterwards for those who miss it and/or don't do the FB thing anymore.

I'd like to raise my head from the 16th century and get back to the 1930s project I talked about a while ago. I've been working on it in some dim corner in my mind, but once the third book is with the publisher and I'm waiting on their edits, I'd like to start in again. Now that I know I can produce a readable draft in a certain amount of time, I'd like to produce that one, edit it, have it gone over by a few trusted writer friends, and self-publish it in the fall, so I have a book of my "own" out in between books from my publisher. 

Those are the writing goals, but there are also other goals to do with marketing and getting the books in front of people who will leave reviews, which will in turn cause more people to buy the books.

And for all that I love writing, it's not bringing in anything that I can class as an income - yet. And Covid has pretty much eliminated office work as I know it, so I'll be concentrating on doing more online transcription and building up my handmade and vintage Etsy businesses so that they're worth keeping. So long as the post office recovers from its current hellscape, I'll be okay. I have a basement full of vintage from relatives and flea markets that can, eventually, be turned into cash, and I'm hopeful that there may be some masked and outdoor craft events this year.

I'm also going to keep moving - we walked a LOT in 2020, trying to keep from climbing the walls, and we'd like to keep it up. I'll also walk on my own, because that's when some of my best writing gets done, just me, the trees, and my phone, listening to me babble.

So those are my plans for the new year. They are, as always, subject to change, but I've tried to make them achievable goals, spaced out in a way that I shouldn't get too overwhelmed, or at least not too often.

What about you? What do you have in line for 2021, and what are you hoping to change up after making it through 2020?