Tag - random

Heigh ho, Heigh ho, it's off to write I go

Hello all! As you may have noticed, things are starting to get a little busy around here, and they're about to get busier. This year, my writing career has officially kicked off. I've had to make some sacrifices, but certain circumstances have allowed me the opportunity to write full-time. It's terrifying yet exciting. Like any job, if I don't work, I don't get paid. Unlike every other job I've had in the past, this is the first time I don't wake up in the morning with a groan. (They don't call it an evil day job for nothing!)

small_7829361646A lot of folks don't understand this crazy life of mine, especially friends of the family. They think I lounge around all day in my pajamas, chilling, and doing little else. Although I may indeed lounge around in my yoga pants or pajamas, I'm doing a heck of a lot more than chilling. A part of this misconception has to do with the culture I grew up in. To a lot of these old-school folks, unless you're doctor, nurse, lawyer, secretary, in pharmaceuticals, or just making a ton of cash, it's not a real job. It can get frustrating, but I've learned not to pay attention to it.

When I decided I was going to take the plunge and do this full-time, I knew I'd be giving it my all. I work from 8 a.m. until midnight, making sure to take appropriate breaks, play with my puppy, make human contact, get exercise, and eat healthy and so on. I take the weekends off, though sometimes when I have a tight deadline I might have to work. See writing full-time, means writing all the time, and I'm not talking about writing books. Before I was published, I wrote, so I've been building a book list, plotting out stories, and starting manuscripts.

I now have a writing schedule and tentative release schedule for this year and the whole of next year. This year the releases start in July through Dec (except for Oct), next year they start in Jan through Dec, so there (hopefully) won't be any big gaps between releases. I've learned a lot in the two years I've been published and I'm putting that knowledge to use. Like I said before, writing isn't the half of it. So what's my to-do list look like? Brace yourself.

  • Edits for Blood & Thunder (we're on round 3, followed by Galley edits with a tentative release date of Aug 4th)
  • Edits for A Rose By Any Other Name (we're on round 1, release in Sept)
  • Write blog posts for Hell & High Water release day party
  • Write 10 blog posts for Hell & High Water Blog tour
  • Edits start on Rack & Ruin end of June
  • Rise & Fall manuscript due July 1st
  • Set up he Blood & Thunder Blog Tour & Cover Reveal
  • Facebook chats in July & Aug
  • Twitter Takeover in July
  • Finish the THIRDS website
  • Sort out GRL swag
  • Writing deadlines Jul-Dec
  • Blogging

Aside all that, there's the emails that come in, my social media accounts I need to manage, and maintain a presence on, several other guest posts and I'm sure there's stuff I'm forgetting.

small_6574317555I know what some of you may be thinking--those who aren't hyperventilating--I don't have to do a good deal of what's on that list, or I could release less books, but like I said, this is my career. When I worked in management, I worked my butt off, so why would I give any less to something I'm so deeply passionate about? I love writing fiction and love sharing those stories with readers.

Despite all the work that goes into it, I love what I do and I'm lucky to have the support I do--the ones who don't think I should get a real job. I also have an amazing publisher that works things through with me. If anything gets to be too much, they're there to help. I make sure to rest and take care of myself, though I have plenty of amazing folks who remind me to come up for air should I need it. So yes, it's getting busy around here. I hope you'll join me along for the ride!

rosedivider

photo credit: fiddleoak via photopin cc photo credit: thomas.leuther via photopin cc

Battle of the Sniffles and Update

puppypoxHello all! At the end of last week I was at the Dreamspinner Conference in Portland. Oregon is a long way from Miami for sure. I think the change in weather--I tend to forget everyone else in the country experiences seasons--plus a host of other things--including having gotten back from RainbowCon only three days prior--may have contributed to my coming down with an epic cold/flu/I-don't-know-what-it-is-but-argh illness. I started flagging Friday night with a sore throat and then it picked up strength a little on Saturday. I didn't even have coffee at breakfast on Saturday morning. That is the true sign I'm feeling unwell. No coffee. I'm pretty sure there were a few gasps from my fellow authors at my table upon the discovery.

I took plenty of Vitamin C in the hopes of keeping it away until I got home. My bug/virus was very accommodating, penciling me in for a full takeover from Sunday night, the moment I got home. It's been chicken soup, Vitamin C, liquids, medicine, and vasts amount of (attempted) sleep all week. I managed to get a few bits of work done in between. Last round of edits on Hell & High Water, woo! Done and sent. But before we get into that. The Dreamspinner Author's Workshop. It. Was. Awesome.

DSPCon200This was my first year attending and my second year with Dreamspinner Press. I have to say that in that time my experience with them has been nothing but fantastic. I enjoyed being there, getting to learn more about the company, how it operates, how it's doing, all the facts and figures. But mostly, I enjoyed getting to meet the folks who help me bring my books to life. Meeting a lot of the editorial staff who I'm often emailing back and forth, getting to chat with my editors was awesome. I got to meet new people who I'd only chatted to online or through email. I got to hang out with the rest of the Dreamspinner family--my fellow authors.  It was an amazing experience, and I hope I can make it to the workshop every year.

THIRDS logo 500pxNow, updates. Hell & High Water has been moved to an early July release, so about two weeks later than originally estimated. The reason for this is it's length, book 1 is over 100k as opposed to the rest of the series which runs in from 70-80k. There's a lot going on in that first book and everyone involved wants it to be as strong a release as it can be. This gives me more time to put together a rockin' blog tour, a cover reveal, and finish up the website. Blood & Thunder edits should be coming through any day now and A Rose by Any Other Name starts production on May 30th. By then hopefully I've had good news on Rack & Ruin. I'm currently working on Vixen's Valor, North Pole City Tales: Book Three. Lots going on, but I'll post it as we go. I'm also working on next year's release schedule, so more on that soon.


Newsletter Poll Winner!

And the results are in for the Newsletter Valentine's Day story! Trip is doing his little happy dance, something resembling James Brown doing a Michael Jackson impression. Boone looks scared. I think he may bolt at any moment. Yep, he's gone. But don't worry, he'll be back for Valentine's Day. Thank you all for voting! ;)

FebPoll


2014 and tackling the terrifying TBR list

CharlieRoseLike most readers, I have a TBR list, one that seems to have a life of its own. The books multiply like bunnies. For every one I read, three more take its place. (I blame Dreamspinner Press and their ridiculously amazing sales!) I have eBooks from 2010 and 2011 which I don't know that I'll get around to as 2012 and 2013 have produced twice as many eBooks that need reading. Sadly, 2013 was not a good year of reading for me. I read quite a bit, but mostly books on writing or for research.

This year, I've decided to try and tackle my ever growing TBR list. Over the weekend, I spent a few hours sorting through my eBook folders. There are A LOT of them. Here's how I organize them, in case anyone fancies doing something similar. I have an 'eBooks' folder in my SkyDrive, and inside that folder, every author who I have at least 3 or more books for gets their own folder. All other eBooks go into a folder labelled 'Authors'. Then I have a 'Favorite Authors' folder, a '2012', and '2013' folder, plus a 'TBR' folder. Inside my 'TBR' folder is a 'Priority' folder. As I read books in my 'TBR', they get moved to their respective folders. It's the only way I can keep track of things. Any non-LGBTQ fiction goes into a separate folder labeled accordingly: Research, Crime Fiction, M/F Romance etc.

I hope to read a lot more fiction than I did last year, and catch up on some books I meant to read ages ago. I'm off to a pretty good start. Here's what I read this week. All of which I highly recommend!

Piper Vaughn's - Love Rising Shira Anthony's - Stealing the Wind (Mermen of Ea #1) KJ Charles's - The Magpie Lord (A Charm of Magpies #1) KJ Charles's - Interlude with Tattoos (A Charm of Magpies #1.5)

I'll probably be adding more of my thoughts on books I enjoyed. I guess you could call them reviews, but I don't consider myself a reviewer. Despite being a writer, reviews are freakin' hard, and there's a lot more to them than just saying I liked or didn't like something, because I'd consider that more an opinion. My reviews are really more along the lines of fangirl ramblings.

I also don't give M/M Romance books star ratings. It's one of those topics that can be debated until everyone's blue in the face, but personally, I think folks should do whatever feels comfortable for them, and in my case, I don't feel comfortable rating my fellow authors, so I don't. I'm not saying authors should or shouldn't rate/review other authors, I'm just saying I won't. Now if I like, or love a book, I'm not shy about shouting it from the mountain top. When I read, I read for the sheer enjoyment of it. I read for me.

It's funny, how despite now being an author, I pretty much still approach books the same way I have all my life. I don't pick up a book, start reading, and suddenly become its editor. I'm there to enjoy it. I have enough editing to worry about in my own stories without worrying about what was missed in someone else's. I may notice things I hadn't noticed before, or have names for all the structural elements that compose a story, but when I pick up a book, the author stays behind, and the reader takes over. I want to be swept away by the story, the characters, the world, and the emotions. If the story succeeds in that respect, I'd call it a winner. As long as it piques my interest, I'll read any genre. I do however, need coherency. If I'm reading a book, and something in the writing jars me out of the story every other paragraph, I'm not likely to continue. It's been a long time since I've come across a book that's done that.

Right now I'm reading Jordan L Hawk's - Stormhaven (Whyborne & Griffin #3), which I LOVED the first two by the way, and I have a couple of eBooks lined up after that. I'm aiming for at least three eBooks a week, depending on schedules and length of books. There's also a few new releases coming out this month which I'm looking forward to: Hayley B. James's - Polyester Prince (ABQ Heat #2), and KJ Charles's - A Case of Possession (A Charm of Magpies #2)

What are you reading at the moment?


New Year, New Look, New Goals!

CharlieRoseHello all! I hope everyone had a safe and merry New year's Eve. It's hard to believe another year has gone by. I don't know why it's so exciting to be staring down at another year, or why we get the feeling of everything being shiny and new. (If you're reading this on Goodreads, it's probably destroyed my lovely layout, so I apologize if there are roses all over there place.)

As you may have noticed, the website has changed some. I'm one of those annoying people that needs change every so often or I go nuts. So despite my crazy schedule, I needed to give the website and the Tea House a makeover. I wasn't crazy about the old purple color scheme for the Tea House, so I changed the hues, and I love the colors much better now. I added a little more pink and white to my personal site here because it was too blue, and I like the way the salmon color makes it pop a little. Anyway, I hope you like it!

Okay, 2014. What's in store? OMG LOADS! Check out my crazy goals. Of course this doesn't account for all those random things that pop up during the year. I think I may just need to get my coffee hooked up to me by IV.

One of the main things I'm working on is the THIRDS series which I've mentioned. I have a tentative schedule, and if all goes well, the first four books will be out this year between June and Dec. It's a Contemporary/Alternate History Shifter series centering around two agents: Dexter J. Daley "Dex" (Human), and Sloane Brodie (Therian a.k.a Shifter). They're all full length novels. The first one came in roughly around 103k, but I'm not sure the others will be that long. First book is submitted, and now I'm working on the second, due by the 1st of Feb *fingers crossed*. I am SO excited about this series, and I'm having so much fun with these guys.

I'm also putting together a website for this series because there are playlists for all the books, lots of characters, I'm planning at least two spin-offs, plus loads of other stuff (Dex's shenanigans alone means these guys need their own blog), so there's no way all that could fit in here, plus it has a dark color scheme that doesn't fit in with all the pink and baby blues. So, 4 full length novels, plus whatever crazy blog tours, parties, running around like crazy person their releases will entail. We're talking BIG here people!

At some point I have to fit in Hunter's book, and the next book in the North Pole City Tales series with Vixen and Vale.

I'm also hoping to get a thumbs up from Dreamspinner on A Rose by Any Other Name: Fallen Rose series, Book 2 (Julius's book). *more crossed fingers*

There's also my backlist titles which I'll be getting the rights back to, and I'd like to fix them up, but that may have to wait.

I'll be attending RainbowCon, and fingers crossed that I can get into GRL as an author this year. Last year I went as a reader and it was AWESOME, but I'd really like to go as an author this year, so we'll see.

Obviously mixed up in there is writing, editing, releases, promoting, jury duty, book artwork, web stuff, and... I'm gonna stop there before I scare myself.  2014 Woot!


I Made a Thing! But...

recent news and updates150As the title of the post says, I made a thing. But... I can't show you yet. Evil, I know. With The Impetuous Afflictions of Jonathan Wolfe (why do I pick such long titles?) coming out soon, I've been racking my brain trying to come up with something creative for its release. It's been a while since I've had something new out that isn't a free read. It will be almost a year actually.

Anyway, I've finished first round of edits (yay!), and I've been thinking of what to do when it comes time to promote it, especially since it deals with some tough issues. Every time I read particular snippets, I get a little teary eyed. Which of course makes me nervous, but then again, I don't know if I'll ever not be nervous when I have a new book out.

I've been creating some exclusive artwork for Johnnie's book and getting crafty for Jack's. Since The Heart of Frost is a holiday story, coming up with some cute promo items isn't too difficult and I'm excited about what I've come up with so far. So at the moment, I'm working on any edits that come my way from both those stories, and coming up with ideas for some exciting promo bits. More to come soon!

x Charlie


And I say Hey, What's Goin' On?

hmHello all! Another month has gone by and some of you may be wondering if I'll ever have another book out. Well I sure hope so! With so many new releases coming out every day, it's easy to feel left behind. My last release with a publisher was Mending Noel for Christmas. It might all seem a little quiet on the western front, but I assure you, behind the scenes, it's non-stop. Sometime I have to remind myself what I've actually accomplished, because it's all too easy for me to forget when there's so much I want to get done. Taking a moment to think about it, I haven't done too bad since the new year started, and I feel I've been making up for lost time--a good part of that is thanks to strict deadlines and mass organization.

I started off my newbie writing career as a full blown pantser, and although there's still a good deal of that involved, I no longer write everything on the fly. Julius's book, A Rose by Any Other Name was completely outlined from beginning to end, everything worked out. I also made myself work on solely that story until it was done. No jumping around to two or three stories at once. I had planned on 60k and ended up with 96,415 words. I submitted it in mid-January, so hopefully it won't be too much longer before I hear back, though I know the publishing house that I've sent it to have been very busy.

Next, I wrote The Only Star for Remi & Hawk's 1 year anniversary. It came in at 17, 419 words. I also created the cover for it which meant finding stock photos and putting it all together.

After that came An Intrepid Trip to Love which came in at 35,168 words, as well as the cover, plus I managed to squeeze in 20, 502 words of Hunter's book. I had to pause that to finish Johnnie's book.

Johnnie's book, I did the same as Julius's. Outlined everything, worked on only that. I gave myself a strict deadline, used a handy new spreadsheet the lovely Svanja Liv created for NaNoWriMo. Although I've yet to take part in NaNoWriMo (I plan to change that this year), I thought I would give the spreadsheet a try. I'm so glad I did. This little spreadsheet has worked wonders for me. It's helped with my motivation in a lot of ways.  I'm very visual and if I can see how I'm doing, it makes me want to do more. Seeing the word count in Microsoft Word wasn't enough. On this spreadsheet, not only can I put in my writing goals , but seeing that running tally rise while the words left went down, as well as the progress bar,  well, it was great. The Impetuous Afflictions of Jonathan Wolfe came in at 68,465 words and was submitted May 31st. I'll keep you posted on any replies.

My next deadline is for July 1st and that's for Jack Frost's story. He and Rudy were in Mending Noel. I had decided last Christmas that these fellas would get their own book this Christmas. So stay tuned for more on that. After Jack's novella, I hope to finish off Hunter's book and submit that. So, what are the figures?

2 novels submitted: 164, 880 words. 2 free novellas written and posted: 52, 587 words. 2 works in progress started: 20, 502 words.

Since Jan (not including blog posts or guest posts) 139,551 words written.

By the end of the year, I hope *fingers crossed* to have 3 new releases.

I scare myself sometimesAside all the writing, there's also been guest posting and day to day shenanigans. All in all, not a bad year so far. I have big plans for a new series I've been working on for the last two years on and off. It's 4 books initially. I'm hoping to get it ready and scheduled for release early next year. I'm very excited but it's all a little hush hush at the mo.

Now my only thought is, if all my stories get accepted, will they all come back for editing at the same time? I think we both know the answer to that one.

x Charlie


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