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BEA 2014

Happy June! According to WordPress, this blog turned two. I can’t believe it’s been two years already!

I also can’t believe that another BEA has come and gone. Yep, for the third year in a row, I was over at the Javits Center surrounded by books and book lovers. I ended up with forty-eight new books (that’s the same amount I got last year!) that I can’t wait to read. Want to see what I got?

day1Day One-I thought my arms were going to break carrying all of this! (7 of these are signed)

day2Day Two-9 of these are signed!

day3Day Three-Just one signed this time

I’m excited because a lot of these are YA contemporary, which I’m definitely in the mood for right now! There’s something about the summer that makes me want to read contemporary novels. But what do I read first? Usually I pretty much grab whatever book catches my eye and go from there, but sometimes I have a hard time choosing! I’ve seen my friends make lists of what to read during which month, and I’m going to try that method out. I’ll let you know if that works for me! I hope to get through a large chunk of them this summer since I’m in a huge reading mood and haven’t had a chance to read much this year, but it all depends on how my writing and editing goes with the final two books in the Silver Moon Saga! Last week was spent writing the last story for the second novella, and after I finish that, it’s time for another read of the final book. I have my work cut out for me, but I hope to be done by the end of the month or early next month!

It’s always sad when BEA is over, since I pretty much spend the entire year looking forward to it. But after three days of trekking to the Javits center, dealing with crowds, and carrying bags stuffed with books, it was nice to come home and relax! Now I’m literally surrounded by books (my bookshelf is full, so I have piles on my desk and dresser) and it’s amazing. I love it.

By the way, I joined Instagram, so feel free to follow me to see more BEA pictures. And dessert. I like posting pictures of desserts!

I will probably be quiet again, especially with all the writing and editing I have planned, but I do make an effort to update both my Facebook author page and my Twitter on a daily basis.

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And even more revisions.

So. Once again, I’ve been neglecting this poor blog. And I apologize for that, but I’ve been so busy with revisions and revisions and oh yeah, more revisions, that I haven’t had much time for anything else! But now I can happily say that I finished revising the second draft!

I’ve been working on THE SHADOW STEALER, the third book in the Silver Moon Saga, since November. I finished the first draft in February, took some time off, and then started revising. Unlike the last two books in the Silver Moon Saga, this one got ripped to shreds. Hey, it happens. I knew as I was writing it that I wasn’t happy with certain scenes, but I told myself to get to the end, and then work on fixing it. Which is what I did, and I’m glad I did it that way. I didn’t completely change every single page, but there were a lot of changes. I even cut 10,000 words in one shot. That did make me sad, but I knew none of those 10,000 words were important (there was a very cute scene that I hated to get rid of, but I made sure to replace it with an even cuter scene!). Despite all these changes, the word count only grew 5000 words, which is good, since this one is long. Very long. But it’s the final book in the series, and I wanted to make sure my characters and the story got a proper ending, which means more words. Hey, we all like long books, right? (Please say yes!)

So what comes next? While I wish I could send THE SHADOW STEALER to my beta, it’s not quite ready yet. I still want to read it over one more time to make sure my changes work. But because I’ve been focusing on this book since November, I want to spend some time away from it so it’s fresh when I reread it. In the meantime, I have a second novella to work on! I’m really excited to start working on a certain someone’s back story. I started it a few months ago, just as a random, fun exercise, and now I’m ready to add to it.

There is, of course, other things going on. May is a busy month with birthdays and vacation and BEA! I’m so excited for BEA. I’ll definitely post more about it as we get closer (maybe I can do a survival guide?). I’m also looking forward to the summer and WARM WEATHER. I can’t wait to sit outside and read! My to-read pile is obnoxiously huge; it’s time to get through some of these books!

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The Soul Healer is here!

Talk about a crazy release day. The Soul Healer was scheduled for April 11th, but when I got up early that morning, it was no where to be found! All day long I received messages from people asking where it was, and by the evening, I wasn’t sure if I should continue with the release party or postpone it. It’s weird having a party without the guest of honor! But in the end we decided the party must go on, and about a half hour into it, The Soul Healer arrived on Amazon! I have no idea why it decided to be a diva and make us wait, but it definitely makes for an interesting story (ironically, The Sight Seer released a day earlier than it was supposed to!).

The party was a blast; we ended up having so many contests (thanks to donations from very generous authors!) that we had to extend it for another hour. We played games, talked about the books, and I revealed two exciting pieces of news:

 

novella

shadowstealer

There will be five chapters to the Silver Moon Saga! Three full length novels, and two novellas. I wasn’t sure about the second novella, but I already have one story written, another one partially written, and an idea for the third one, so I’m going for it. And The Shadow Stealer (yay, I can finally call it by it’s proper title, instead of just “book three”) is in the process of being revised. The first two months of 2015 are going to be crazy, and I just can’t wait.

Happy Reading!

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Revisions and Releases

I never mentioned it on here, but back in February I finished the first draft of the third Silver Moon Saga novel! It took me over three months to write (it’s very long), so it was a relief to finally reach the end. After giving myself some time off, I started revising in the beginning of March. I have a few issues with parts of the story, so I’ve been ripping whole chapters out and completely rewriting them. The process is slow, but I’ve done this before with other novels, so I’m not too worried. After I finish, I’m going to reread it one more time before passing it on to my beta, just to make sure everything makes sense. I’m excited to see how the new additions work (or don’t work, which means even more revising)!

We are less than a month away from the release of The Soul Healer! I’ve been sharing snippets and fun Silver Moon facts over on my Facebook Page, so if you haven’t liked the page already, make sure you do that! I’ve also unlocked The Soul Healer Pinterest Board. See if you can figure out what’s going to happen in the second Silver Moon Saga book! You can drool over the pictures of desserts while you’re at it. And you can always find me on Twitter!

As you can see, between revisions and preparing for my upcoming release, I have my hands full! Hopefully that means you’ll forgive me for neglecting my poor blog? 🙂

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What I wrote in 2013

In my last post, I discussed what I read in 2013. In this post, I’m going to talk about my writing!

My biggest accomplishment, of course, was publishing my first novel, The Sight Seer, in June. That was both exciting and scary, and it was an experience I’ll never forget. I have always, always wanted to be a published writer, and to finally hold a book of my own in my hands? It’s amazing.

I thought that was going to be it for me this year, in terms of books being published, but then the fates aligned and An Autumn Dream came out in November! I don’t know how it works for others, but when I write something, I hope it’ll be published, but I’m realistic and know that it’s never guaranteed. I felt that way with The Sight Seer, and I felt it even more with the novella. It was just a few little stories that I wrote for myself because it was hard for me to let the characters. So to have this one out there as well? It’s even more meaningful.

In terms of writing, I wrote the sequel to The Sight Seer over the summer, from June 8th to August 12th. The first draft was 78,442 words, and the current draft is 79,416 words. After I finished the sequel, I wrote the third short story for the novella. And then, starting November 11th and still going strong, I began writing the third book in the Silver Moon Saga. It’s currently 58,374 words, and I have a ways to go. I had been hoping to finish it before the year ended, but I quickly learned that writing during the holidays is a very bad idea. At least now I know for next year!

In 2014 I hope to completely finish that series before venturing into something new. I’ve had an idea for a fairy tale since May that I’m itching to write, along with an idea for a contemporary. There’s always something, but never enough time to write it all. I’m excited to see what I come up with in the new year!

Have a wonderful 2014!

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A Much Needed Update.

Oh no, I’ve been neglecting this poor blog! But I think you guys know by now that when I’m not writing on here, that means I’m writing somewhere else. And it’s true! I’m working on the third Silver Moon Saga book! I started the first draft November 3rd (not for NaNoWriMo, I just decided to write when everyone else was writing in hopes that it would inspire me!), and I’m about 35,000 words into it so far. So, not even close to being done. It’s going to be a long one, you guys. I do love writing first drafts, but part of me wishes I was done with it already. This is a bad time of year to write; normally I like to write every single day, but because I’m so busy doing other things, I’ve been skipping days more and more. But as long as I don’t neglect it for days at a time, it’s okay. And seriously, even if I only write hundreds of words a day, I’m okay with that. Eventually, I’ll get to the end, right?

What else… Oh, the paperback version of An Autumn Dream is now available! I’m anxiously awaiting the arrival of my copy. Once it comes, I’ll share some photos with you! I can’t wait to hold both that and The Sight Seer in my hands, and have them side by side on my bookshelf!

I think that’s it for now. I’ll try not to let so much time pass between updates! But like I said, once I start a first draft, I tend to disappear from the world.

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How I Edit

Well, hello there. I think it’s time I gave you guys a proper post, don’t you agree? I’m sorry for the silence, but silence means I’m working on things. Lots and lots of things that I think you will enjoy. Mainly, I wrote the sequel to The Sight Seer! Yep, from June 8th to August 12th, I was hard at work on the first draft. It took me longer to write than Seer did, and I had my moments of, “THIS IS SO BAD WHAT AM I DOING?!” but that always happens. To every writer. You just can’t let it get to you. In the end, I kept plugging along, and I’m pleased with the results.

So what happens after I finish a first draft? Revisions! Lots and lots of revisions! Every author is different, of course, but I thought I could share my process with all of you. The first thing I do after finishing a first draft is take a break! Writing takes its toll on me; I have trouble sleeping (I have lots of crazy, vivid dreams), and sometimes it’s difficult for me to form coherent sentences. My brain obviously needs some time off, so that’s exactly what I do. Watch some TV. Read a book or two. Relax. Don’t even think about the manuscript that’s sitting on my computer, ready to be revised. This time around, I had something else to work on, so I finished that first, and then started on my edits. For the first time ever, I loaded my first draft on my Kindle, and read it off of there. And what a difference it makes! I do not enjoy staring at a computer screen for hours on end, so when I edit, I can only do a few chapters at a time. Plus, you know, there’s tons of things to distract me (Twitter, email, Facebook etc.). My Kindle has no distractions, and the screen does not hurt my eyes at all, so I can easily edit a huge chunk at a time. And I think it’s easier for me to find typos (missing/incorrect words, especially). Because my computer is full of distractions, I end up writing any changes I want to make in a notebook. I’m probably doing double work here, because then, later, I have to open the document and find the spot I want to change, rather than change it the moment I see it, but like I said, DISTRACTIONS. This way, I’m avoiding them altogether. Searching the document for the changes isn’t that horrible, in all honestly. I’m going to continue using my notebook (I even took advantage of a great back-to-school sale and bought a new one!), because that method works the best for me.

So I do this for the entire manuscript. What’s next? Sending it off to my beta. She reads it, fixes any typos, and tells me what does and doesn’t work. After she finishes, we discuss what doesn’t work in detail, and I will rewrite whole scenes if I have to. I send her those newly written scenes, and we hammer them out until we both agree they finally work. In a perfect world, I would just send her the manuscript and she would read it and say, “Everything is great, no changes are necessary!” But of course that would never happen. Sometimes, I can’t get a scene the way I want it until I discuss it with her. I’m very thankful to her and all her helpful input!

After I receive all of her edits, I then go back to my manuscript and start making changes (I should mention that these are all saved on my computer as different files. The first draft is the raw, unedited version. The second draft is the one I make corrections to. The third draft is the one I make corrections to using her suggestions. I like looking at the different drafts; sometimes there will be something in the first draft that I deleted for the second one, but decided to put back in the third draft. You don’t want to lose this stuff forever, because you never know when you might need it again!). This doesn’t take as long, and doesn’t require my Kindle. However, once those changes are in place, I will reread it one more time (with my trusty notebook by my side)! It’s only after that do I start passing it on to other people.

It’s a long process, as you can see. I’ve been asked about the sequel, and I wish I had a date, but as of right now, I do not have one. The story needs to be edited and approved and all that fun stuff before I’m given a date. As soon as I know it, I’ll let you guys know. Until then, it’s back to work! And hopefully I’ll remember to post more often.