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Over the past two months, I’ve been trying to post on a weekly basis about some of the fun media-related items I’ve encountered recently (in May alone, I talked about the films Pan, A Little Chaos, Crimson Peak; and the game, Adventure Escape: Murder Manor). In the coming week, I’ll be sharing about an old black and white film I adore and you can expect that next Monday.
It’s been a good three months, however, since I had a post talking about what’s going on in my life as a writer (see Story of My Life: 02/25/16). That is horribly negligent of me and unfair to you as I hope those of you who might be regulars are here because you love books, period dramas, planners, technology, or you’re just interested in a writer’s life (like me!).
I’d like to try to correct that, starting today, with a chunky post about what has been going on this spring and what you might expect moving forward over this summer, so if you’re interested at all, please continue reading along as I share more.
As some of you might know, I serve in a voluntary capacity as the Director of Communications for the St. Louis Writers Guild. Back in February, I accepted a position with them as the Managing Editor for their literary publication, The Scribe. Over the past two months, I have taken over re-structuring the format of the publication, writing the occasional article, and co-editing each issue prior to its digital publication. The platform we are using is Smashwords.
Right now, it’s a small publication with contributions from our member base, but I hope that our contributors and our readership will eventually grow. Digital issues are free and if you’re at all interested in learning more about writing, STL-area literary events, or enjoy exploring new reads, I do hope you’ll check it out. Below I’ve shared our two latest issues, March 2016 and April 2016 (click either cover to be taken to the Smashwords page).
If you’re interested in following the latest issues, bookmark this page and check back for future releases.
This spring, I took on a boatload of books to review for the Historical Novel Society (HNS). So if you’re a current subscriber, you can look forward to a handful of reviews from me in the upcoming August 2016 issue — look in your mailbox!
I’ve yet to write anything in the historical fiction genre (or inspirational) but I do enjoy reading the genre and I’ve found over the years that reviewing is a great way to get a feel for what the market trends are, learn story construction (what works, what doesn’t) and score some free books. Even as an unpaid opportunity, the books are yours to keep and the lessons are invaluable.
Quite unexpectedly this weekend, I had a small dream of mine fulfilled that I’d never shared. One of the things I’ve always hoped for, but had no control over, was seeing one of my reviews included in an author’s “praise” for their writing. That may sound slightly silly, but it’s part of how I first heard about the HNS — from seeing them cited on the back/interior of a book — and I just thought that was awesome.
As a reference for those unfamiliar, the HNS puts out a quarterly magazine called the Historical Novels Review, which merged with Solander in 2012. Below you’ll find some photos I took yesterday of the book and the quote as it appears in print. The original review can be seen by following the link (available here).
A HUGE thank you to Ms. Dawson for citing my review of Death Rides the Zephyr in your latest novel, which I’m looking forward to reading!
To be clear, I’ve never set out to write a review with the intention that it might get noticed by an author. I always try to be honest and fair in my opinions (which aren’t always positive) and any notice they may get, to God be the glory. 🙂
Yes, you read that right. I am finally starting a long overdue revision of my manuscript (MS for short) of my speculative fiction novel, Aurorae Rising. If you’ve been following my blog for a REALLY LONG TIME, then you might vaguely recall that in 2012, I participated in NaNoWriMo and blogged here about my experiences (see my NaNoWriMo 2012 page for the day-by-day linked entries).
Aurorae Rising is a speculative fiction adventure novel about two young people swept up into a web of mystery and danger aboard an aerial flight, and deals with the dangers and consequences of lying. Although I don’t anticipate any ‘love scenes’, given the anticipated violence and drug use, this will probably be targeted towards a New Adult audience.
I’ve never revised anything as large as a MS before, even one as small as this, so I’ve been scurrying around asking for recommendations from guild members and requesting free copies from my local library.
As a first step towards a concrete, published book, and following the example of a friend (thank you Jennifer S.!), I’ve had the incredibly faulty-won’t show to anyone yet-MS bound and printed as a trade paperback, just using a generic cover (see above left). Admittedly, it’s nothing fancy but as it’s “for my eyes only”, this was all I wanted: a portable copy to begin analyzing for plot holes, inconsistencies in character, duplicate scenes or scenes out of order, etc. In other words, those big things you need to look at before getting down to a line edit.
That’s a great question! The plan is to step back from reviewing this summer so I can focus my energies on figuring out how to revise a novel (suggestions for resources appreciated). I may also cut back on the blogging but I do plan on trying to be better about regular updates on what’s going on in my writing world, for those of you interested in that.
Do you have a preference between weekly, monthly, quarterly? If so, please comment below and let me know how often you’d like to hear from me.
Looking towards the future, I’ve found a cover designer or two that I am interested in exploring further and I’m researching the costs of an actual e-book vs. print launch (going the self-publication route). This will give me some idea of what sort of savings and initial investment I would need to sock away for this venture if I choose to try to self-publish, as opposed to courting the “Big Six” (more to come I’d imagine).
As always, thank you for your support and your readership!