The Muse Party Blogfest

Hi all! Just because I felt like doing something a bit different, today, I decided to take part in Sarah Foster’s Muse Party Blogfest.

Basically, it’s a virtual party where writer’s and muses go. Or characters, if it comes to that. I’m dragging a character along, because he’s been veeeeery vocal while I’ve been editing the book he’s in. (If you’d like to join in or to see who else is at the party, click here.) Now without further ado, time to get going.

Misha: *Checks outside while she finishes getting dressed. Stifles a laugh because Darrion’s scowling while leaning against her car.*
Darrion: *Tugs at his collar, so not into this casual-not-taking-weapons-with outfit, but Callan and Kaela both insisted, so…*
Misha: *Heads out as soon as she’s done.*
Darrion: *Brightens slightly.* We can still skip the party.
Misha: What? No. I said we’re going and just not arriving is rude. Besides. I didn’t get dressed for nothing.
Darrion: *Looks her up and down* Well…you do look nice.
Misha: …Thanks.
Darrion: And I do so appreciate you not trying to make your dress match my shirt.
Misha: *squints, trying to figure out if he’s being sarcastic. Goes with… not.* Yeah. Not the matchy matchy type. *Gets into the car.*
Darrion: *mutters* Thank God. *Takes two bottles off the car’s hood and gets in as well.*
Misha: Says the guy who spends more than three quarters of his life in uniform.
Darrion: *Sing song* Not the same.
Misha: *Little shake of her head. Just drives.*
Darrion: Are you sure you have time for this? I mean–
Misha: Do not bring up all the editing I have to do. It’ll get done.
Darrion: *Tiiiiiny smile. Secretly loves winding her up.*
Misha: I should have invited my muse. *Glances his way.*
Darrion: Now why would you say that?
Misha: Or maybe I should have brought Gawain. He’s always a hit at parties.
Darrion: *Peeved* I can be a hit at parties too, you know. We’re friends for a reason.
Misha: Okay… What are we going to sing for karaoke?
Darrion: *Scowls*
Misha: See? You’re too uptight for strange parties.
Darrion: And yet, I’m a great conversationalist.
Misha: If you can resist hitting someone. *Groans* You’re not going to hit someone.
Darrion: *Scowls* Why am I coming with you again?
Misha: Because you won’t leave me alone, remember? You follow me around everywhere.
Darrion: Right. *Crosses his arms, making his shirt strain at his shoulders.*
Misha: What party game are we going to suggest?
Darrion: Is Quin coming? We can maybe tie him up and–
Misha: Don’t…
Darrion: *Grins* We only need to stop somewhere for sticks.
Misha: Gaaaaaaaah you’re incorrigible!
Darrion: *Chuckles* You love me for it. *Seriously thinks about a game that’s actually safe for everyone to play*
Misha: Musical Chairs it is.
Darrion:
Misha: *Explains*
Darrion: Oh…kay?
Misha: It’ll be fun.
Darrion: If you say so.
Misha: What’s in the bottles?
Darrion: Mulnich for me and… since you definitely can’t handle mulnich, liquid chocolate for you.
Misha: *Grins* Enough to share?
Darrion: *Nods*
Misha: *Grin widens* And that is why I love you.
Darrion: *Little smile back.*
Misha: *Sighs when they arrive at the party.*
Darrion: *Frowns at the entrance where people are milling around.* No one’s seen us yet. We can still escape.
Misha: Oh for the love of — *Gets out of the car.*
Darrion: *Follows* Can’t blame me for trying. You know I don’t generally do well with crowds.
Misha: Nonsense. You’re charming. You’re good looking. You’ll be the heart and soul of the party as soon as you smile.
Darrion: Exactly what I’m not looking forward to.
Misha: …You realize becoming King means you’ll deal with crowds for the rest of your life, right?
Darrion: Worth it.
Misha: *Can’t argue with that* Well…if you really don’t want to go… I’ll just go alone. Just…try and stay out of trouble, okay? *Heads in.*
Darrion: …*Sighs and catches up to her at the door, hooking her arm through his.* This is worth it too.
Misha: *Beams and kisses his cheek, then looks around for people she knows.*

HUGE Announcement and I Need Some Help

Okay. Deep breaths. Those of you who stopped by on Wednesday have probably seen this already:

 

It was supposed to be just one quick taster to tide you over.

But. You know how I kept saying things haven’t been falling together right? How I would just keep plodding along until things did fall in to place?

Well. They have.

Just not in the way I’d expected. Which is why it took one unexpected royalty payment from my former publishing house – more than a year after I got my book rights back (Although, that wasn’t their fault. The Post Office of South Africa was on strike for most of 2014. I kid you not.) to make me realize that it had.

To illustrate:

I needed to find a way to learn how to format my books and got given an AMAZING step by step guide. (More on this later.)

In my time off, I’ve basically been editing. So basically, I have one round of edits left to make sure the continuity is kept constant, followed by proofreads, which will probably happen in pen.

ISBNs I’ve had since last year.

So all I needed were the covers.

Well. The one you saw. Now, I present to you:

Which means that, except for nailing down the back of the book copy, I basically need to decide on my release date. 

Ahem. *Cough* July 31 *Cough*

Seriously, then, I really need exactly one thing: Your help.

Unlike last time around, I’m giving myself three months to set up my blog tour, marketing etc. And I’m thinking of doing the set-up differently.

To make things easier for me AND you… Please see the pages above. Blog Tour, Cover Reveal and Review. Inside will be a linky list and an explanation of what the entry entails. Don’t worry. No selling or buying of souls just yet.

You’re welcome to enter more than one activity, if you’d like.

So what do you say? Anyone want to help?

Calling All Beta Readers!

Hey all! I hope you’re all doing great.

Me… wonderful. Shoe biz is taking off, while slowly but surely allowing me more time to work on the books I want to publish this year.

I’m hoping to finish my current round of edits by the end of the month, but I don’t think I’m going to make my self-imposed 31 October deadline. But that’s okay. I’ve achieved a ton.

That said, I need some help. More specifically, beta readers.

For those of you new to the term, beta readers read over the story and comment on things they liked, or didn’t, or things that didn’t make sense, that sort of thing. In particular, I’m looking for people who can highlight where I still haven’t brought in enough information from the previous series.

And as always, I’m willing to repay by critiquing your work, beta reading, or even searching for and finding what’s making a story not work. (I’ll try my absolute best at this, of course.)

If you’re interested, please leave a comment with info on your book (name, genre etc), what you’d like for me to do in return, and your e-mail address. 

Now, the information on my book:

Genre: YA Epic (Portal) Fantasy
Name: War of Six Crowns: The Heir’s Choice
Blurb (still needs editing): 

Sixteen-year-old London girl Callan Blair thought that going to the elves would unlock the mystery around her past. Instead, it thrusts her right in the middle of Tardith’s political games. On the one side are the elves and King Keill, her grandfather. On the other, King Aurek of Icaimerith, who also moonlights as the evil entity that has destroyed Callan’s life many times over.

Aurek is on the edge of erasing the elves out of existence. The only thing that will stay his hand: Callan marrying his heir. Not wanting to let her choice destroy a nation, she agrees.

At least she isn’t going into the lion’s maw alone. Quinlan Westenmere, the Nordian commander who had brought her to the elves, swears to go with her. Only he insists she take more Nordians with her. Darrion and Gawain are tasked with rescuing the Black Knight, Nordaine’s last blood heir, and Aurek has him.

Things don’t get simpler as the wedding approaches. Gawain refuses to support Callan’s decisions. She has to betray both the elves and Aurek to help find the Knight. On top of that, her elvish entourage leaves much to be desired.

But nothing compares to her meeting the man she’s to marry.   

So… what do you think? Anyone interested in helping a girl out? 

Thoughts on editing The Heir’s Choice

As some of you may know, I’m busy editing The Heir’s Choice at the moment. I haven’t really said much about how I’m doing, but let me just say this:

Editing a sequel is hard. 

Especially because the sequel and the first book were two halves (literally) of the same book. See originally, I had this awesome 107k word book that I had to split.

And the approximate split was as follows:

The Vanished Knight: 65k words.
The Heir’s Choice: 65k words.

“Hey wait!” you might exclaim. (It’s all very dramatic in my brain, I promise you.) “That doesn’t add up!”

No. Because in order to make TVK into a book on its own, I’ve had to add about 15k words to the first half of the original book. Which is great.

Except for the bit where every single one of those changes has to be worked into THC. Which is most of what its extra 15k words consists of.

And then I’m not even getting into the real challenge.

As you might know, I’m going to re-publish TVK and publish THC at the same time. There is a very very good reason for this, but I’m not going to go into it. First, I want to see if my plan works.

But if it does work, most of the people reading THC will be doing so immediately after finishing TVK.

So what’s the challenge? (Aside from marketing.)

If I assume that my plan will work, no one will want constant reminders of what happened in TVK. If my plan doesn’t work, everyone will want a TON of reminders. Which leaves me with the unique challenge of striking the right balance between too much information and not enough.

While making sure that all the main strings I left hanging at the end of TVK gets picked up in THC.

Simple.

Except…. TVK has a lot of strings.

How are you doing? What are you doing at the moment?

Update Day

Hey all! Welcome to yet another update day! It’s scary to think that next month we’ll be half-way through the year.

For those of you who don’t know, I have a list here of people who have big goals and every month, we update each other and the world on how we’re doing. Anyone’s welcome to join, so do go sign up! 
So how did I do? 
Basically, I gave up on doing any edits this month about half-way through, since my mind just wouldn’t fall into line. So instead I got back to doing needlepoint with my writing music blaring in the background. And I did farm-related work (of course, being my job). Also, I pretty much got into the car whatever opportunity I got to escape for a few hours. 
You’d think I’d be here saying that once again, I got absolutely nothing done. 
You’d be wrong. This month I finished cleaning up The Vanished Knight for publishing and revised nine chapters (out of 26) of The Heir’s Choice. 

So, still not at last year’s levels of productivity, but hey, I’ll get there. At least I can say I got started. 
Hopefully I’ll be able to finish this round of revisions within the next two weeks. If I do, I definitely want to get some drafting in. It’s way past time. 
Which means, my year (past and planned) looks like this: 
How are you doing? 

Insecure Writers Support Group

Funny how in a month where you’re constantly matching progress against the date, one can forget when it’s IWSG day.

Luckily for me, I have google + and saw someone else’s IWSG post.

For those of you who don’t know, the IWSG members use the first Wednesday of every month to share insecurities or encouragements. You can sign up here.

My big insecurity for November is… well… November. I don’t know why, but everything seems to be conspiring to keep me super busy this month.

For one thing, I need to pack for my move to a new home. Then there’s NaNo, marketing The Vanished Knight and revising its sequel. On top of that, I might have to fly to Europe again for business.

Talk about a schedule from hell. I can only knuckle down and keep going, hoping that I can get everything done. *gulp*

In the interest of that, I’ll stop now. I need to finish a few more sections of revisions before I can visit other people’s blogs.

What’s your November schedule looking like?