Covencraft

Carnival Moon has a cover!

My Covencraft short story,  Carnival Moon, [which is available as part of an anthology with other Fable Press authors] has a cover!

Carnival Moon continues along in my Urban Fantasy series, and follows Jade as she’s invited along to join the local werewolf pack for their Wolf Moon Carnival. It takes place immediately after book 2, Counter Hex, but before Book 3 [Double Sided Witch – which I’m working on right now]. You don’t HAVE to read it, but I would love it if you did!

This story is only in e-format, but if you’re like me, you HAVE to have things match! Paper books or ebooks, it drives me crazy when series don’t match.

So, I contacted the illustrator of my other two covers, Steven Novak, and he put together something for Carnival Moon! I LOVE IT

Carnival Moon

Steven was great to work with! One of the things I’m super sensitive about is I don’t want any hypersexualized poses or images for my heroine. She’s not that kind of person [and neither am I, frankly]. I’m really happy with how the cover turned out, especially since some of my feedback to Steven included things like, “Can you change the shading on her butt? she looks naked” – as articulate as I try to be when I ‘write’, I am NOT that way in real life! But he seemed to ‘get’ EXACTLY what I meant immediately!

Currently, Carnival Moon is only on Smashwords. If I can get it up other places, I’ll keep you posted. This is my first go trying to get something out there. As my nephews used to say, DO IT SELF.

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Looking for more Covencraft?

Hey all! For those of you done with book 2 of my Covencraft Series, Counter Hex, and waiting on me finishing writing book 3, Double Sided Witch, I’ve got good news! I have a short story featuring Jade in Fable Press’s anthology, Fable’s Carnival! [via Smashwords]

Fable's Carnival at Smashwords CoverIt’s also on TXTR, and for US residents on Barnes and Noble

The Fable authors got together and decided to try for an anthology and we voted on teh theme ‘carnival’ but, it was up to each individual author to interpret that as they wished. Here’s a little snippet from my short story, Carnival Moon, to whet your appetite!


Jade knocked on Paris’ office door and then pushed it ajar with her foot, spying him at his desk. Paris was on the phone, looking up from his computer and acknowledging her with a quick quirk of his lips. Since her hands were occupied with a tray of coffee and a grimoire, she jerked her head in the direction of the Queen Anne chairs in front of the fireplace and headed there. She saw Paris tilt his head to get a better look at the spellbook she was carrying. It was just one of her regular grimoires, not one of her demon spellbooks. She knew better than to take one of the demon books out of her house – he’d told her several times. Several long, annoying times. There were only three demon grimoires that they knew of at the coven; Paris had one and Jade the other two. Jade wasn’t sure where he kept his, only that it wasn’t at the Coven. Jade’s two were safely ensconced in her cottage. Today it was just a regular spellbook – one from the Coven’s library. There were a few spells Jade wanted to try, but, given her history, she’d been banned from new magic anything until Paris could review it first. You lose control of one or two spells and maybe try a demon rune without asking first and suddenly, you were on the shit-list.

She sat cross-legged on the floor and spread her stuff out. If she was going to have her coffee, muffin and spellbook, it was easier to be on the ground. Paris finished his call and then came over, hitching his trousers up carefully before descending gracefully into a cross-legged pose as well. Jade crammed a piece of muffin in her mouth and simultaneously handed him his coffee (which was sure to be overly sweet – he had such a sweet tooth), as he spoke.

“The werewolves have asked to meet you.”

Jade paused at Paris’ words, coffee cup half way to her mouth. She worked her mouth around the muffin, swallowing the dry morsel so she could speak. “I was sick that day.”

Paris frowned at her comment. “What day?”

Jade shrugged, washing down the muffin bite with her drink. “Whatever day it was the ‘something’ happened that made the werewolves want to meet me.”


I hope you’ll check it out and let me know what you think! It takes place directly after book 2, but before book 3 – right in the middle! Happy reading!

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Covencraft Update – Double-Sided Witch (Book 3)

Hello internets!
It’s time for a status update on book 3 of my Urban Fantasy Series, Covencraft! I’ve been a bit behind in my writing over the last few months. There were some things, with some issues and some blah de blah but I’m back on the writing wagon! This weekend I’m with my writing friends in South Carolina and it’s always a really good jolt for my creativity and productivity.

I’m almost a quarter of the way into book three! My working title (which I sincerely hope ‘sticks’ because I love it) is “Double-Sided Witch.”

I’m still in the ‘setting up’ phase – where I’m positioning all my dominoes and getting them ready. I always feel like the first 2/3 of a book is this domino positioning and the last third is where, if I’ve done my job well, all I have to do is knock them all down. At this point, I’m predicting 90000 words for the book. I alternate between “OMG IT’S GOING TO END UP AT 130000 WORDS IF I KEEP UP LIKE THIS” to “SOB, THIS ISN’T GOING TO EVEN END UP AT 60000 WORDS BECAUSE I CANNOT PLOT.”

This is also the point where doubt sets in. Is there too much plot? Not enough? Is too much happening? Not enough? WHAT IS GOING ON?? lol. I find I just need to keep my head down and keep at it.

For those of you who have read Counter-Hex and expressed a love for Bruce (Jade’s lizard familiar), you’ll be happy to know that he’s back in book 3. For a guy who was only supposed to be in one chapter of Counter-Hex, he’s made himself a place in my heart and I’m happy to have him back in Double-Sided Witch.

I’ll keep you updated as go along!

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But I thought building a Platform meant like, you know, pieces of wood?

I’ve been into non-fiction books lately, which is NOT like me but I’m always open to my likes/dislikes changing so I’m just going with it. Of course, one of my biggest interests is writing and my book, so I’ve been reading some books on both.

I’m in the middle of Fast Fiction which I’m hoping will help me get faster at actually WRITING. But the clincher is you have to do all your PLANNING before hand. This has always been a sticky point with me. I don’t like prep work. I don’t like to tape shit up before painting, I want to just get to painting. I don’t like moving shit around so I can get organized well, I like to just start organizing. And similarly, I don’t like to start planning too much when I should be writing.

Because planning is HARD. UGH. it involves THINKING AND PLOTTING and sometimes these things aren’t fun. I can lay down the FUN scenes, it’s the little bits in between the fun scenes!

I’ve also been reading about marketing and how ideas spread. All this keeps pointing toward DEVELOPING A PLATFORM. which. Yeah. It must be capslocked. It’s a capslocked kind of thing.

So it’s all social media this and social media that and networking and pimp your work and *SOBS*. I kind of identify as an introvert! I LIKE being at home! I LIKE not talking to people. I LIKE being by myself. Can’t I just know that the book is good and it will eventually take off? Maybe? Someday? with luck? and maybe some black magic or a ritual sacrifice?

The answer has been a resounding NO.

I mean, I’m on social media. I like tumblr, and Pinterest and I do okay with Facebook [although too much FB makes me angry]. So I’m out there, I’m just… Out there for me. I reblog the stuff I like and pin the stuff I like and blog about stuff that’s on my mind and I don’t really worry about ‘creating an authentic brand,’ or if it all has to do with my books.

I wish I could say ain’t nobody got time for that. But I guess I have to make time?

 

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The Plot Thickens….

I’m in plotting mode right now for Book 3 of my Covencraft Series. I admit, I’ve been resting a big on my laurels [such as they are] since I completed the first draft of Book 2 – Counter Hex in December. The Counter-Hex had to go through edits and I wrote about 8000 more words and then edits again. And more edits. GOD THE EDITING. And then I was just happy to be done and decided to take a break!

The problem with doing nothing is it’s hard to tell when you’re done!

I’ve been futzing around with a fanfic as well that’s at 40000 words and NEEDS TO BE FINISHED.

So! LE PLAN!

I’m off on vacation for just under a week and the goals are:

1. 5000 words on the fanfic [More would be GREAT but 5000 is a very realistic goal for me and I can attain that]

2. Plot out the first half of book 3, tentatively titled Double-Sided Witch. I have my ideas but the problem is when they live in my brain they are swirly and round, like clouds and I need to write them out linearly to ensure everything makes sense and sadly, I think once I do that, I may have to get rid of my gorgon idea. IDK, we’ll see. There may still be room for a gorgon. I also have a scene in my brain that I tried to put in Trial by Fire [and I couldn’t fit it in] and I tried to put it in Counter Hex [and I couldn’t fit it in] and it’s already down on my notes for Double-Sided Witch. aaaaaand I’m starting to think it won’t fit in there either BUT DAMMIT. I WANT IT.

For reals, yo. If I never manage to get this scene in one of these books, I’m just going to write it anyway and toss it up on the blog. CONTINUITY BE DAMNED

3. Get a solid 5000 words out on book 3.

 

So! Goal for the week is 10000 words, so that means I have to write ~2000 words a day while I’m away which is doable. I also want to get some reading in and the kindle is all loaded up!

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My Writing Process!

Hello lovelies!

Bill Blume, a fellow author at Fable Press, has tagged me as part of a blog tour for various authors to talk about, you guessed it, Our Writing process. As part of the tour, I’ll answer four questions, and then tag three other authors I know to do the same.

What questions? I’M SO GLAD YOU ASKED!

1. What am I working on?
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
3. Why do I write what I do?
4. How does my writing process work?
SO! Let’s get down to business!
1. What am I working on?
I’ve just turned in the Final-Final draft of book two of my Covencraft series, titled Counter-Hex. I’m currently plotting out book 3 in the series, which I tentatively have a title for but don’t know if I’m willing to share it yet! I’m also working on a Fanfic that’s a WIP – work in progress, meaning I’m posting it as I go. this has been a REAL change for me as I normally don’t post stuff until it’s finished. It’s a little scary putting stuff out there and having it just be… there – unable to change it as I go along! I also just finished a short story for Jade and Paris [from Covencraft] and am plotting out another short story, possibly set in the same world but about a different character, Yvonne. She can raise the dead. It’s not as cool as it sounds.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
This one’s tough because I like a lot of works in my genre and I don’t want to sound like I’m speaking badly of them. I have noticed that in a lot of books in my genre [urban fantasy] there can be real division from the female lead from other female characters, as though the female protagonist has to bring herself up by putting other women down (she gets noted as not being like ‘other’ women, or is only surrounded by men). There also seems to be a lack of women in strong roles AROUND the heroine. I’m hoping that in my work, I bring a more balanced gender representation. Jade has friends of both sexes, and interacts with men and women. In my short story, about Jade meeting the Werewolves, I specifically made my Alpha werewolf a woman because I hadn’t personally read that before! I also hope that I bring my own quirky sense of humor to my work!
3. Why do I write what I do?
You know, writing can be a lonely business. I write what I do because I like it. I write the story I want to tell and I want to read. I try to please myself first. That way if everyone else hates it, at least I can guarantee one person is happy – ME! I also like playing around and making up new and interesting rules or mashing up genres. Urban Fantasy has a lot of leeway to play with and so I feel very free and open to bust in and have at it.
4. How does my writing process work?
I usually keep a notebook in my purse – just a small Moleskine thing that’s light and doesn’t add too much bulk. I make notes as I think of things – scenes, snippets of dialogue, that sort of thing. Then I actually found a 10 step outline that I really like and lately, I’ve been trying to stick to it! The outline is actually how to write a one page synopsis – I found it while trying to do exactly what the title says for Trial by Fire! I was pretty happy to find out, I’d followed the outline without knowing it. For book 2, Counter-Hex, I stuck to it and found it really kept me focused. Then, in my notebook, I journal things that I’m having a hard time with – Plot holes, character development, reasoning. I find if I just sit there and ‘think’ about it, I don’t really get it done. But if I write it out, journal style, I usually come up with a solution! I try to know how the book ends before I start. I may not know how I get there, but I at least know the destination. I also try to have one or two sentences be my ‘focus’ – my answer to “What is this book about?” and I also try to have a solid idea of where my characters are coming from emotionally. That may not always come across in the book, but I feel that knowing it helps me drive it. In Trial by Fire I knew the focus was Jade finding out about her power and wondering if she belonged. At the same time, Paris was learning more about his own past and his Coven [by finding out that someone wanted to steal Jade’s power]. So I saw their ‘arc’s as almost intersecting but opposite – She’s learning about the Coven and deciding if she should join. He’s learning about the Coven and not liking what he finds out. In book two, Counter-Hex, there will be a continuation of that. Jade continues to learn about the Coven and her feelings of belonging [or not] are being fleshed out. Paris is learning there’s more to being a witch than he thought.
And now! Some authors to tag!

First, I’m tagging Tereasa Maillie. Tereasa and I used to work together [some days, could we REALLY call it working, T? lol] and she has a real passion for history and writing! She’s written several plays, most notably an adaption of Jane Austen’s Emma that was put on by Gas and Light Production here in Calgary, and I believe she also did an adaptation of Lady Windermere’s Fan!

Gas and Light Productions

Gas and Light Productions

 

Next! I’m tagging Laurie Lyons, author of the Feather Trilogy.

Laurie Lyons

Laurie Lyons

Book 1 in the Feather Trilogy

Book 1 in the Feather Trilogy

Laurie and I have known each other since high-school [we won’t say how long ago that was!] and used to write longhand in scribblers/notebooks and swap stories. Now we meet up for coffee with our laptops and try to help each other push through the ugly bits of writing – usually edits! The last book of the Feather trilogy, Faith, was just released, so if you’re the type that likes to read all the books of a series all at once, you’re in luck!

 

And! I’m tagging Sarah Madison, author of numerous works, but most recently, The Boys of Summer.

Sarah Madison

Sarah Madison

The Boys of Summer

The Boys of Summer

Sarah and I met on some online forums and we’re fortunate enough to be able to get together with some of our other online friends about once a year and hole up in a room with our laptops and some wine. She just finished the sequel to Unspeakable Words [Dreamspinner] and I believe she’s working on a third installment in that series as well [Am I correct, Sarah?]. Perhaps she’ll talk about it in the follow up to this tag!

 

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Draft 2 of Counter-Hex completed!

Phew! Draft 2 completed! Added another 7500 words bringing our total up to 94000ish.

And! The publishers liked it, which is always a big relief.

Now the final read through. Out loud.

I’m going to need like 12 pots of coffee, tea and some gatorade. And a puppy on my lap.

It should make me slow down enough to catch things that are wonky or don’t work. I also shifted some things during the edit [and added some stuff] so I need to make sure it all still flows.

 

SO CLOSE TO THE FINISH!!!!

 

 

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Covencraft book 2 Udpate – First draft done!

OMG, guys! I just finished the first draft of Book 2 of Covencraft!

Let’s take a moment to CELEBRATE!

Carlton dancing

Now comes the next steps – EDITS!

Unimpressed

I admit, I HATE editing. But I’ve promised Fable Press they will have the book by January 15, so there’s no time to waste if I want it to be read over by my beta readers in time!

So I’ll have a celebratory drink tonight (and by drink, I mean bottle of wine) and then tomorrow, I start editing from the beginning. I already have some notes on things that need tweaking, and I’ll be checking my SPAG as I go. Then it’s off to Donna, Chantal and Ash for review. Although, Donna already has a rough draft without the ending that she’s looking at right now. She’s doing the “Yo, does this have a plot?” read through.

I’m always so happy when I finish a draft! It makes all the really tough parts (the crying, the wailing, the despair, the teeth gnashing, the fingernail biting, DID I MENTION THE DESPAIR??) worth it!

Happy-Dean-supernatural-17876753-392-352

 

 

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Status update – Covencraft

Yo. Wassup.

So for most of November I’ve been pretty consistent writing everyday! I’m happy to say that Covencraft book #2 [Counter-Hex] is now at 66000 words! and Sooper Sekrit project is at 8600! So far in November, I’ve written about 19000 words! Now, it’s not a NanoWriMo by any stretch [nanos clock in at min 50000] but I’m still proud – my goal was consistent production and working out the plot kinks I had. And I’ve manged that!

Word Meter

So now, Counter Hex is in the final third – I’m knocking down all the dominoes I’ve [hopefully!] set up. I’ve only noted one or two things I have to go back and tweak. I really try to write in a linear fashion and to write as completely as possible. My first draft should be very close to my final draft if I’ve done all my pre-work well. So I’m projecting 90000 for a final word count, but in reality, it will likely be more around 85000? I think? I know what needs to happen, I just gotta get it down!

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Status update – What’s happening on my keyboard ‘write’ now [Oh! so punny!]

So, my summer was not as productive as I would have hoped due to some circumstances that were partially in my control but that I let get away from me for a while.

but! I’m back on track! what’s going on? I’M SO GLAD YOU ASKED:

I just finished reading “2K to 10K” about writing faster and I got some really good tips! If anyone out there is looking for some ideas on how to punch up their numbers, I recommend it. What does it boil down to? WORK – pre-planning, pre-plotting and knowing what you’re writing before you sit down so that you don’t waste your writing time staring at the keyboard wondering ‘What Happens Next?” I feel like I knew this but I needed to see it written out for me and explained and this book was excellent at that.

I’ve been working on Book 2 of my Covencraft series [working title Counter-Hex] and while I know how it ends, I didn’t have it all fleshed out. To be clear, I don’t like to overplot because I like my characters to have room to do what they may feel is necessary and I won’t always know what that is until I start writing. But I do like to have certain beats to hit and I didn’t have all those set in my head. After reading the 2K book, I sat myself down and started ‘plotting’… and realized I kind of didn’t have a system for it, officially. My first step was to find “the System”

When I submitted Trial by Fire to Fable Press, I had to give a one-page synopsis and I found a great site that helped me do that. So I thought – dayammmmm I should do that for book 2 BEFORE i write it and then poof! I will know what I’m doing. This me be surprising to people who aren’t writers. Like, how did you write a book without knowing what you were doing? Like I said, I know how stuff ends, I just don’t always know how I’m going to get there. It’s worked out for me in the past but it’s been painful at times. I want to write less painfully! so I’m taking steps to make it happen.

I’ve also been playing with another story. I want to put it on Wattpad, but I just don’t know if it’s going to be a YA or if it’s going to be New Adult, or maybe neither? It feels like a YA [when I get the character voice I’m looking for] but then the plot I had in mind for it [which legitimately came from a dream I had] doesn’t work for a YA book, so I’m sort of torn. But I think on Wattpad you can put stuff up and ask for help? IDK, I’m not sure how that all works.

And of course, my other love, fanfic. Yes, lovelies, I’m still writing it. No, you can’t have my fandom name. But if you’re in the fandoms I’m in, you might be able to guess who I am based on my writing/posts.

So that’s what’s happening – 3 WIPs [works in progress] with the possibility of me re-working an existing work.

And that’s all the shrimp there is

 

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