First Monday: October 2015

Hard to believe it’s October already, isn’t it? September is kind of a blur – it ended up being a busy month. Wait. That makes it sound like I hadn’t anticipated it being a busy month. I had; it was a release month, after all. But I ended up doing so much more than I’d planned. So. Busy.

Broken Down went through another round of edits after I got it back from a second beta reader (thanks, Dan!) and I sent it off to the editor. I got it back last week and let me tell you, it was a big frickin’ relief to find she liked it. A lot. Working with a freelance editor is kind of a strange relationship. At least, I feel it’s a strange relationship. You pay (usually) for one round of content edits. While you can engage in some back and forth regarding plot points, I haven’t done much of that. I will say that just from the guidance I received from Rhonda on Fracture and Hidden Scars, I felt much more confident in writing Broken Down, even though it took for. Ev. Er. I had her voice in my head, telling me to expand on this and show more of that, and the end result was a story that didn’t suck nearly as much as I thought it did.

Anyway, Broken Down is back, and while I’ve been slacking on starting content edits, I did skim through her notes and wrote an entirely new chapter based on the feedback from the later chapters. My hope is to get the bulk of them out of the way this week and off to the copy editor by mid-October. Then I’ll have it back around the beginning of November, which means I’ve just got the formatting left to do. I’ve even seen a mock up of the cover, and it’s just as awesome as the last one. Crystal’s a kickass designer, and I love her work.

Now, you might be wondering why I’m doing all the work now for a book that won’t release until April. And why, if I’ve got all that work done, don’t I just release it early? The main reason is I’m trying to make a review publication deadline. They require submissions several months in advance, and the deadline for April releases is December 1st. The other big reason is by doing all this now, when I have time to work on it, means I don’t have to do it later, when I likely won’t. I’ve got two hard deadlines in my future and a couple of soft deadlines (meaning if I don’t make those, the only person I’ll be disappointing is myself). I anticipate I won’t have as much time to work on projects I want to work on because I’ll be spending most of my time working on projects I have to work on.

What else is going on? I think I’m almost done with the re-write of Impulse Control. Maybe. I’d originally intended for it to be 25 chapters. I’m halfway through chapter 24, and from the way it’s going, this may be the final chapter. I’m tossing around the idea of an epilogue – the original had an epilogue set a year in the future – but I’m not sold on it.

And – surprise! – I also posted another free story on Wattpad. Touch: Awakening is my entry in Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write contest. The link is on my Free Reads! page, or you can be lazy and just go here. The top 50 finalists will be named tomorrow, and that’s when the real fun starts. Wattpad readers comment and vote on the top 50 entries, and the 25 with the most votes go on to the next round of judging – the editors (the first round to determine the top 50 is also judged by the editors). Editors read the full manuscript and decide on the top 10. Then the readers comment and vote on those, and the winner gets a two book contract with whatever Harlequin imprint their story is written for. This is the first year that Carina Press (Harlequin’s digital-first, single title imprint) is participating, which means that my New Adult dystopian romantic suspense has a category it fits into. Regardless of whether Touch makes it to the next round, I’ll be leaving the story up on Wattpad, and when I have some extended free time, I’ll be continuing Lex and Drew’s adventure.

(And in case you’re wondering, yes, Touch: Awakening can be read alone. You will not have to continue reading the series to feel satisfied. At least, that’s my hope. The remaining parts will not stand alone.)

When Fracture released, I took release week off from writing, and I took a few days off from the day job, too. While I took the days off for Hidden Scars, my plan to not write for the week got a bit derailed. Given how much I’d been cramming into the weeks before, I’m surprised I’m not feeling as burnt as I thought I would. I’m still lagging behind on print copies (sorry, just…not a priority), and I ended up writing some new words and revising a bunch of old ones, but I did get a bunch of other stuff done, too. I jumped on the coloring bandwagon and picked up some postcards and watercolor pencils. I figure if I’m going to color, it might as well be something that serves a purpose, and it’s actually really relaxing. I plan to use the postcards as thank you notes for birthday and Christmas gifts.

And I went to the movies! I saw Straight Outta Compton, and shiiiiit, was that a good movie. I had a funny experience at the concession stand before the movie started. The guy asked what movie I was seeing, and I told him. His response? “Wouldn’t have guessed that one.” Now, I get it. I’m white. I am very, very white. I don’t look like I listen to hip-hop. I didn’t grow up on N.W.A. – they weren’t on my radar when I was in elementary school – but by the time I hit middle school, Snoop and Warren G. and Tupac were coming up, and yeah, I listened to that. I was talking to one of my coworkers about the movie, and she (who is also very, very white) had seen it with her husband, and was surprised at how much she liked it. So. Straight Outta Compton. Highly recommend.

I wish I could say that October will be less busy, but…it probably won’t. But it might! It probably won’t, but it might! Happy October, my lovelies, and stay sane!

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