Feb 29, 2016

February's Numbers!


Reading:
11 Books
(Avg GR rating: 3.6)
 
The High Priestess | Beauty & the Clockwork Beast | Feed | Pugilist Dreams | Dead Heat | Meeting his Match | Clementine | Queen of Swords |Queen of Wands |Two if by Sea | Second Chance Summer | Holiday in Danger

 Writing:
48,399 in 21 days
(Avg 2,304.7w/day)

I probably would have liked to get in another 9k, just to beat my 2014 w/c, but I passed last year’s count, so I’m calling it a win. I finished two drafts, revised two more, and did a lot of preplanning and other “get ready to draft” work.

Publishing:

2 books, one Free Flash

The first in my Clockwork Fairytales romance series. Beauty& the Clockwork Beast came out Feb 2nd and has been doing absolutely fabulous. Seriously, I can’t begin to thank all of you who’ve bought a copy enough!
And I published another short story February 15th. Pugilist Dreams is a fun SF with hints of cyberpunk . It’s free to read thought Kindle Unlimited.

On the blog for Valentine’s Day, I posted an urban fantasy flash story called Cupid’s Bow.
 
Blogging:

26 Posts
I missed three in there somewhere, but that’s okay. Last year, I only managed 8!

The 3 most popular posts this month:
Free Flash: Cupid’s Bow
Changing your Manuscript: Good, Bad, & Ugly
7 Things to Secure Your Place in Writing  History

 

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Feb 26, 2016

Cover Reveal: MoPO Book 5 - The Ghost Rebellion

I don’t think it’s a secret that I’ve loved the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series since I got an arc of Phoenix Rising back in 2011. So I was ecstatic to hear there was a way to make book 5 happen back when Pip and Tee set up their kickstarter for The Ghost Rebellion. I’m happy to be able to help them out in today’s cover reveal.

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The chase is on! After the destruction of the Diamond Jubilee, Agents Eliza D Braun and Wellington Books are in hot pursuit of Dr Henry Jekyll. While he continues his experiments on the aristocracy of Europe, he leaves a trail of chaos and despair in his wake. However when Eliza and Wellington run him to ground in India, they are forced to come face to face with ghosts from the past, and the realities of empire.

Meanwhile Brandon Hill and Bruce Campbell travel deep into Russia hunting down ingredients to save Queen Victoria's life. Amid the cold they uncover a new threat from the revitalized House of Usher .

All the agents of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences will find their allegiances in question, and their mettle tested as a new dastardly era of international intrigue dawns.

 


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And now, for a brief excerpt:

Chapter One: Wherein a Delightful Luncheon Is Cut Short

Wellington Thornhill Books took in a deep breath, sparing just a moment to collect his wits. Otherwise he risked not living to see dessert.

The archivist-turned-agent dabbed at the corner of his mouth with his snow-white napkin, and draped it carefully over his lap. Outside the window the gleaming Atlantic rolled under their ocean liner the African Sunset, but that was not the view that held his attention.  His focus remained with the dandy in front of him. Since their first meeting, the bombastic Lord seemed rather taken with the sound of his own voice, which was why the change in his dining companion's demeanour came as such a shock.

If an attack should come Wellington still had his dinner knife and fork. He was also in possession of a glass of wine, half finished—a pity to use, since it was a delightful vintage and paired perfectly with the duck—that could blind his opponent for a few valuable moments.

His lunch date kept a hard glare fixed on him, the monocle digging into the folds of his cheek. Rather unexpected to Wellington, Lord Hieronymus Featherstone had run out of things to say, and was now giving him his undivided attention.

 Wellington thought he had shown unending fortitude while being subjected to Featherstone's eternal droning on about his recent excursions across Africa, India, and Siam. He now knew to what far reaches Lord Featherstone had traversed in the name of Her Majesty—which might be useful.

Yet now Featherstone sat before him, no longer the awful, droning chatterbox. The gentleman's jaw twitched as he kept his ice-chip blue eyes trained on Wellington, demanding satisfaction.

"Well," the lord spoke, his voice booming from his barrel chest, "answer me, man."

Sod it, Wellington thought as he picked up his glass. At the very least, I will finish this excellent wine.

"You obviously mentioned her name during one of your riveting stories when crossing the Serengeti," Wellington replied, taking in a good, long sip of his wine.

"My dear Bernice does not care for heat."

"Then perhaps you mentioned her joining you as you crossed the Canadian Rockies?"

 "Nor does she care for the cold."

Mrs. Bernice Featherstone did not sound either lovely or agreeable, a perfect match for her husband, it seemed.

Nodding in resignation, Wellington cast another quick glance across the table, taking note of the knife and fork. Both hardly suited for close-quarter combat, but still useful. "M'lord, we could speculate for the entirety of the afternoon on how I came to know your lovely wife's name, but why don't we just cut this clever banter short and try a more direct form of engagement."

"Which would be?"

"The truth." With a final dab at of the corners of his mouth, Wellington dropped the napkin on the table, swiping up the fork and placing it in his lap. He positioned the silverware for a quick thrust as he began. "Lord Featherstone, it is no lie when I say your company has been enlightening. I have genuinely enjoyed our spirited and scintillating discussions whilst we journey around the Ivory Coast. However, to say we 'met you' by chance would be disingenuous." His grip tightened on the fork as he said, "My associate and I have been tracking you since your boarding in Conakry."

 






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Feb 19, 2016

Vilifying Disability & Mental Illness


First off: Stop it.

I don’t get this trend. It feels lazy, oppressive, and overall systematically abusive.
There is something heinous about the way the “other” is so often made aberrant.

I don’t really have a post for today, I just want someone to explain to me why this is (apparently) still okay in media?
 
 

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Feb 5, 2016

7 Things to Secure Your Place in Writing History


 
Be a dick –
Let’s be honest. The easiest way to live in infamy as an author is to be “that” person. You know the one. They do outrageous things, like stalk reviewers or spend all their time and energy bashing other authors—especially those who are more successful than them. When they’re not tweeting about their book and demanding that you buy it now, they’re trolling for attention. This strategy is a great way to gain attention and marks you as someone to watch. Do it right and hundreds of people will know your name. The fact that they’ll probably never buy your books shouldn’t deter you.

Throw your book at the heads of prominent figures –
It might seem like a good plan, but I’m pretty sure it could be mistaken as an assassination attempt. But hey, you’ll have tons of time to pen your magnum opus from behind bars after they determine you are a threat to others as well as yourself. Just think of the news stories though!

Find people who love your work as much as you do and enlist their help –
The writing community is a great place to find yourself and grow. It’s a place where others have been where you are and can provide insight that will keep you from falling off that cliff over there, you know the one. You were headed for it two minutes ago, it was disguised by vampire romances and the discarded gears of a runaway steampunk series. They were there as a warning, and you misread the signs. They’re good, but until you understand the nuances that make them good, you won’t have the parachute they had to keep them from dying on the rocks below. (wow, that metaphor went weird fast). Look at the people you admire, cultivate relationships with people who are willing and able to offer suggestions through their writing/tweeting/blogs. Understand who you are, where you are, and how they can help you even if it’s just through the osmosis of their work.

Play by the rules and know your stuff –
If you’re on the internet and reading agent blogs/twitter feeds, you’ll see a lot of notes on when people don’t play by the rules. If you do, you’re already a step ahead. Agent’s put rules in place for querying and submissions because they’ve been doing this for a long time and they know what works for them. If you don’t follow their guidelines, you stand a chance of being tossed from the pile without a second glance. Writing itself has rules you should follow, plot structure, pacing and grammar are important. If you don’t do your homework and just throw words on the page, readers aren’t going to get very far.

Flout the rules and do your own thing –
Ignore every convention. There are lots of rule breakers out there. Literary rebels manage to knock it out of the park every so often. They look at those rules and come up with a way to do it differently that works. Fair warning, you have to know the rules to break them successfully. Write that SF told from the perspective of a jelly brain that resides inside the belly of a fire beast with seven different timelines and more unpronounceable words than you can count.
(And please don’t flout agent rules, they’re not going to be happy with you.)

Write about people who are definitely going to get upset –
You know what’s a great idea? Pick a touchy subject, write about it in the most offensive way, and then fight anyone who calls out your book. It’s just fiction after all. No one’s lives have ever been changed by fiction. It’s not like portrayals of things directly effect the perception of your readers. So what if you cause a massive internet outcry. All publicity is good publicity, right?

Work hard & never give up –
This industry is the kind that will rip your heart out if you let it. It’s a constant learning curve and even people who’ve been successfully publishing for years feel like outsiders in their own field. It’s a business that will lift you up one day and drop you on the ground the next. But it’s one that requires perseverance and hard work to see through. Just remember. Your work matters, no matter how many people read it, how many bad reviews you get. Your work matters. Keep writing and keep getting better and keep your head up.

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