A Paying Forward Update and Some Clues to the Title Reveal

Hey all! I thought I made things easy, for my title reveal, but no one wants to pick certain letters. So in the interest of revealing my title sometime this week, I’ll give some clues to the remaining words…

My clue:  
Headwear for kings, 
Horse heads in chess
and a disappearance after the fact. 
Now much easier to guess. 
Hope that helps. If you haven’t guessed a letter yet, go do. I’m offering a $50 Amazon voucher as prize for one lucky guess (even if you were wrong). 
Speaking of help, helping to make people’s day is a bit hard this month, since no one seems to want to nominate people for the paying forward awards. As such, I’ll be extending the deadline. Please please please go here to nominate someone.

A Thank You, An Announcement and a $50 Prize Voucher

Hey all! I’m so seriously excited. Not only did I hit 1000 GFC follows, but I got the go ahead to make an announcement I’ve been dying to share.

Sadly, no official release date yet and no cover. Instead, I can announce that Doorways will be published under a better, more epic sounding name.

But as a show of my gratitude and because I’m just a tad evil, I decided I’m going to make you guys work for the title. I’m going to give you spaces, and you need to guess the letters. I’ll fill in the correct letters one at a time. So if there’s a repeat letter, I’m not slotting it in again before someone guesses the letter a second time. Only one guess per person and one letter per guess, please!

Once all the letters are filled in, I’ll enter all the people who guessed (whether they guessed right or wrong) into a draw and the winner will get a $50 Amazon voucher.

Please please please spread the word! The more the merrier, right?

Okay. Here are the spaces: 

The War of Six Crowns: The Vanished Knight

Get guessing!

But before I go, I just want to say thank you. Your advice and support have meant so much to me. It has been an honor to get to know you. 

Marketing is Coming…

Before I start today, I have three announcements:

1) I’ve still only received a handful of paying forward prizes and I want to open the nominations next week. Please please please don’t forget to volunteer!

2) Because my life is steadily becoming busier, I won’t be doing the Word Master Challenge this month. Much as I love it, I just can’t do everything at the same time.

3) Entries for my Crazy Goals Bloghop are still welcome. Any crazy/important goals are welcome.

And now, on with today’s blog.


Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Doorways (announcement about that coming soon) might be published sooner than I thought. It depends on a variety of factors, like when I’ll have my tax stuff officially sorted out and how fast I’ll be doing the final edits, but the release might be before the end of this year. Maybe. *crosses fingers*

Even though it might be later, though, I’m assuming it’ll be sooner, which means I need to put together a marketing plan A.S.A.P.

Obviously, there will be bloghops and reviews, but I’m thinking a bit further ahead.

This book is part one of a series. It’ll be kicking off, a series. As such, I’m going to brand and market the series. Yes, the book will be what draw people in, but I’m not doing multiple images for multiple titles. And because I’m the go big or go home type, I’m seeing graphic artists tomorrow to put together a kick-ass campaign.

Sound premature, maybe, but I want everything as ready as possible so that I can simply slot together everything I need to do a few weeks/months ahead of time. Hopefully, I’ll generate enough buzz to get a nice debut release going. I’m hoping some of you will help.

More than that, I also need to figure out the timing of a few announcements. Like: The series title. And Doorways‘s real name. After all, the last thing I want to do is spam my bloggy friends.

Just hoping that everything goes smoothly from here…

Any advice from the veterans?

She’s aliiiiiiive!

Things have been a bit busy lately, as I’m sure you noticed.

See… once I got past my hang-ups, I easily got back into draft mode and got a lot of writing done. No really. I wrote almost 30k in two weeks. Most of it was by hand.

Yeah… that’s really impressive for me, since I write by hand. But… because I write by hand, it meant that every moment where I didn’t work was filled with writing.

But yesterday, the edits for Doorways came back, so I’m back to editing once more. Which is a lot faster and easier for me.

And that’s why I have returned.

How are you doing?

Three Month Anniversary

Tomorrow is the three month anniversary of my publishing deal.

Time’s rushed by at such speed that I’m a little dizzy.

Sometimes, it scares me. Every passing day brings me that much closer to publishing my book. To having my work pried from my nervous fingers and thrown open for the world to see.

I’m so terrified that it’ll fail to gain an audience. After so much time spent just to get Doorways to a state worth publishing, it might just break my heart to see it flounder in the market.

Here, I know some of you are rolling your eyes. First books are stepping stones to the next ones. I’ve heard it before.

But the fact is that other books exist in my mind under Doorways. As in Doorways covers most of my creative thought. It’s done so for over half a decade. The world, the history, the characters, everything exists there as if completely real. The other stories… well, they’re real too, but only for a few weeks at a time before the beast that’s the Doorways series drowns out all other voices once more.

So no. To me, it’s my first book, but it’ll never be a stepping stone. Except to launch me and my readers (one or one million of them) into the rest of the story.

And damn it, I still have a lot of this story to get out there. I don’t want it to run out of steam after two books.

That terrifies me even more than just the first book failing. Because without telling the whole story, working so hard on the first quarter of it feels absolutely useless.

Needless to say, the speed of time running by is making me very nervous.

I know this has to be done, though. It’s one of the things I’m made to do. Create stories and have others read them. For that to happen, I have to close my eyes and let my fears go.

Anyone about to be published feel the same way? For you published authors, how did you feel right before publishing?

Insecure Writers’ Support Group

In case you’re wondering, I’m aware that this doesn’t start with C. 😉 The A to Z Challenge post will go live at 1:30 p.m. Central African time.

So. Back to my insecurities. 
In case you don’t know, the Insecure Writers’ Support Group is a monthly bloghop where writers get together to share insecurities and encouragement.
This month, I have a serious insecurity. 
See… Doorways was accepted for publishing on the condition that I split it into two novels. Great opportunity because I basically have two books in the series done. 
Not so great in that it means that I had to take an ax to the story I love. 
BUT! There was a point in the book, almost exactly halfway into the story, that acts sort of like a natural break. So that was easy. The difficult part came in when I actually have to separate Doorways not into two halves, but into two stories. 
Because now I have to take a story that worked (and worked well, even if I say so myself) and add to it. 
Suddenly, the word “revision” sounds ominous… 
Anyone else have to split one story into two? 

Oh what the hell. An announcement I just have to share.

I was going to postpone this until Monday or so, but keeping the secret is driving me mad. To the point where I just can’t seem to blog about anything else. So I’m going to say to hell with fearing bad luck and hello to me sharing some EXCELLENT NEWS. 

People. (And pay attention, because this is a HUGE moment for me.)

Doorways has been accepted for publishing by Etopia Press!!! 

More on this to follow. 

Insecure Writers’ Support Group

Ah! It’s nice to get a chance to share my insecurities with you all today. Although I tend to be really honest when I blog, I do try to tone down on worrying here, since I think it would really annoy you if  I shared my insecurities all the time.

But thanks for Alex, and the Insecure Writers’ Support Group, all of us get to share whatever worries us once a month and everyone supports each other. And today, I get to co-host as well, so welcome one and all!
But now, let me share what’s been bothering me. 
As some of you may know, I have been querying my first ever completed manuscript since September last year. 
I’ve basically been getting “no” ever since. But here’s the thing. I have a sneaking suspicion. Nothing I can prove, but that’s niggling me. 
I’m starting to think no one’s even reading my submission. 
The first few I forgive because, well. My query sucked. Now though, I have a really good one. And my book has been edited to a shine.
I’ve had positive feedback on the book again and again from people who never met me and who are from all walks of life and even different countries, so the safe assumption would be that my story has broad appeal. 
And yet, it took five months before I got a real personal rejection. And that one opened my eyes. Because this is THE agent in my genre. Who took a week extra to decide if he’d ask for more or not. (And no, he wasn’t late in responding because of being very busy. He thanked me for my patience while he decided.) 
The reason why he rejected the novel actually sucks, because what he’d seen as a problem was actually an impression created by the amount of words he’s requested. 
Point being. He looked at my query and saw something. Why hasn’t 40+ agents in two different countries? Yes, I know it’s a subjective business and all that, but if THAT agent saw something and no one else does, I’m thinking there’s something off. 
And basically, I think my problem comes down to two words. 
You see, somewhere, someone decided that it’s unpublishable and therefore not sellable. (Not a conspiracy theory.) So the moment someone sees it’s portal fantasy, they just dump the query. 
So that leaves me wondering. Do I lie in the query and take out the bit that starts on earth? Because odds are, they’ll just stop reading the moment my book starts on earth. So yeah. 
I’m starting to think that traditional publishing is out for this book. 
But as much as I know that this is going on, I still can’t help but think that maybe my book just isn’t as good as I think it is. 
So. Here’s my question. Anyone else been getting the feeling lately that agents aren’t really reading your submissions? I’m not talking about only spending a few seconds on a query before reading or dumping. I’m talking about not even giving the author a chance.

Am I ready yet?

That’s the big question looming in my mind at the moment. How ready am I to return into the query trenches?

I’m both very eager and petrified of starting again. On the one hand, I know I now have a brilliant query. I also know that I have a one page synopsis that I like the look and sound of. I probably won’t be able to refine it much further than it is now.

At the same time, I have come to a decision. Something has to happen to Doorways this year. Either an agent says yes, or a publisher says yes, or I publish it myself. Point being, I am NOT sitting on it for another year.

It’s done.

So. By the time you read this post, I will have queried about 90 agents. Every single fantasy agent I know of. If none of them like the sound of my book, I’ll be going to my small publisher’s list.

And if someone still doesn’t believe portal fantasies can’t sell, I’ll go it alone.

Some of you might wonder why I’m leaving it as the last option: no reason in particular. I’m just following a progression that seemed logical to me.

As for why I’m in a hurry? I’m hoping to get my answers by March or April. That way I have a few months for my book to be edited, formatted etc. and still be finished on time.

Another reason: I no longer doubt my query. I don’t doubt my story. Not a single bit. So there will be no more revisions to my query and I’ll only revise if someone asks me to. Other than that, there’s no point for me to stretch out the process.

I know my book will go where it’s supposed to.

Wish me luck!

Anyone think I’m nuts? (I partially do.) Have you done something like this?