Wednesday, October 30, 2019


I'm totally torn on what to do for NaNo.

You see, I've been reading that forgotten fantasy I wrote.  It's like reading a new book, but I can see where I can make it better.  A new beginning.  Some added scenes.  And of course, finishing it.  My brain is playing with the idea of expanding this one book into several books, but we'll see.

But I'm also entertaining the idea of writing another Dennis Haggarty.  Series sell better when there are at least three books.  And I already have the basic premise.

And I could also write the next SCIU novel.  That one would be book 4.  I started a book 4 in this series already, but I'm not sure if I want it to be the 4th book or if another book should come next. 

After my creativity being a veritable wasteland this year, I'm getting inundated with new ideas.  Not a bad thing, but definitely not a good thing considering NaNo approacheth.  I'm like a dog that's just had a handful of balls thrown into the yard.  Not sure which one to chase and left dashing all higgledy-piggledy.  Picking this one up and dropping it in favor of the next and the next and the...


Most likely, I'll ignore the NaNo rules and work on Untitled Fantasy.  (Drop the MG part, because I'm not sure this meets the requirements for MG.  It's a bit too dark.  If you want to see a snippet of it, drop by Silver's blog and see my comment there.)

Or maybe I'll set the fantasy aside and work on one of the other two.  Argh.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Sleeping Ugly Sale

Time for another sale.  Actually, this one started Friday and runs through Halloween night.  But right now, Sleeping Ugly is on sale for only 99c (or 99p if you're buying in the UK). 

Sleeping Ugly is the first in a trilogy - if I ever get the other two finished and published - but there's really not a cliffhanger ending there.  You can read this without wanting to stick a knife in my forehead.  Honest.

Right now, the series is in a bit of a circular limbo state, though.  It's hard to get motivated to work on the other two when the first isn't selling so well.  On the other hand, the first might sell better if I published the other two.  At this point, I'm looking at next year.  Book Two (Ugly and the Beast) is written all the way through.  Book Three (Cinder Ugly) is in the early stages of a first draft. 

Anyway, SU is fun and snarky.  The people who have read it have loved it.  So, now's the time to give it a whirl. 


Friday, October 25, 2019

Well, Derp

So, I went to the NaNoWriMo site.  Of course, I'd forgotten my password and had to reset it.  I couldn't even remember the last time I did NaNo.


According to the NaNo site, I wrote a YA Fantasy in 2013.  I don't even remember writing a YA fantasy, but according to them, I won with over 51K words.  For a moment, I wondered if someone had hacked my NaNo and written a book under my name.  Seriously.  But that's not bloody likely, so I checked the keeper of all things - my blog.  Sure enough, back in 2013, there I am talking about this YA fantasy I was working on in November of that year. 

I had no clue.  I eventually found it in a file marked Untitled YA Fantasy.  Derp.  Naturally.  I opened the file and started to read it.  I only vaguely remember it, but more like a book I once read than a book I freakin' wrote. 

I jumped to the end.  Sure enough, never finished it.  I left myself with a note to figure out what the MC's decision is. 

Needless to say, I'm mortified.  I can't believe I wrote 55K words on a book and I don't even remember doing it.  Couldn't tell you what the plot is.  Don't remember the characters.  Don't remember the world.  I'm searching my memory banks and it's just not there. 

Brain damage.  That's all I can throw out in my defense. 

Of course, 2013 was the year I moved and a lot of crap was going on - most of which I don't remember either. 

It's like forgetting one of your children.  Lucky for me, I only have one.  Kind of hard to forget one.  Books?  I've published 13 and written at least a half-dozen I haven't published.  So, this one apparently fell into the black hole of my brain.  And right now, I do not have time to think about it or look at it.  I'm supposed to be getting myself in a place where I can write a new book.

Hopefully, this new one will be memorable.  Derp.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Up to my armpits in spreadsheets this morning. Talk amongst yourselves.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Writing Was Easier Before

I made a comment on a friend's blog the other day - Writing was so much easier before I started worrying about publishing. 

And the more I thought about it, the truer it seemed.  Before I started publishing, I just wrote.  I mean, publishing was always the end goal, but there was so much between writing and publishing - landing an agent, finding a publisher, editing, hoop jumping, etc. - that I never really let the idea of publication get in my way.  It would either happen or it wouldn't.

Now?  It feels like I have to worry whether every word I write is publishable.  If this is something anyone will want to buy.  If I'm going to hit the market with the right thing at the right time.  And then, I have to think about getting on my editor's schedule and whether I can pay her.  And I have to think about whether my artist will have room for me in her schedule and paying her.  (Last I knew, she was booking cover art for the middle of next year.)   Formatting.  Marketing.  Reviews.  Business stuff instead of creative stuff.

The stuffs are all very heavy.  And I feel like the weight of it all might've crushed me flat.  Flat words, flat prose, flat descriptions... flat books filled with flat stories.

The other day I might've mentioned I was working on a short story.  Kind of a Christmas thing set in the genie world.  Oh, it's a great idea and I was tapping out words again.  Then it occurred to me that even if I get this finished, I would still need a cover, and like I said, my cover artist for that series is booking for next year.  And the word tapping died.  Literally just withered up and died.  The ideas are still there, but the will to write them dried up.

I used to write scads of words.  On a good day, I am capable of cranking out like 1500 words an hour.  This year?  Even the crickets don't want to talk to me. 

So, there's NaNo, or some form of it, fast approaching.  It would be good for me.  To just write with wild abandon like I used to.  Write without worrying whether any of it will be publishable.  Write without caring whether anyone will buy it or read it, love it or hate it.  Write without thinking whether the book will be in one of my current series.  Without having to think whether the characters are behaving the way they've always behaved in earlier books.  No researching.  No flipping back through series bibles to maintain continuity.  Just words on paper building a totally new story.

I'm still not sure whether I'm going to do it, but it's getting more attractive by the day.  It's like the idea of jumping on the back of a fast horse and just letting her run to wherever she wants to go - no saddle, no reins.  Clutching her mane and squealing in delight (or sheer terror) as she flies over the ground.

Now, I just have to keep myself from thinking about it too much or worrying about it at all.  If I'm going to do it, I need to wipe my brain clear of all the publishing stuff and just write.

Won't that be grand?

Friday, October 18, 2019

To NaNo or Not NaNo, That is the Question

That time is fast approaching, when thousands of people all over the nation... world?... sit down and attempt to tap out 50K words in 30 days.  Yes, I'm talking about NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).

Yes, yes, I know, I know.  Fifty thousand words does not a novel make.  But it's a damn good start.  Or it's a first draft that will be fleshed into a novel-sized book eventually.  The point isn't to have a completed book in month.  Not to me, anyway.

For me, the point of NaNoWriMo (NaNo for short) was to see if I could do it.  Could I train myself to write 1666 words a day for 30 days straight?  Could I write to a deadline, even if it was self-imposed?  Was this writing thing more than just a lark?

My first NaNo wasn't 'official'.  I didn't sign up for the site.  I wasn't accountable to anyone but myself - which was kind of the point for me.  But I did it.  I sat down and banged out a book.  The next year, I signed up and did it for reals.  And the next year.  Somewhere along the way, I was too busy to do it in November, so I did it December and called it HoHoWriMo.  I've done it in other months, too.  Because there are times when I needed to sit my ass down and write a damn book, so I took the skills I'd taught myself during November and applied them. 

Now, with the way my writing has gone this year, I'm wondering if I don't need to relearn that old discipline.  Commit myself to writing a book in November, whether I feel like it or not.  Just do it already and quit my bitchin'. 

I have two weeks from today to decide.  Two weeks from today will be November 1st.  Gah, where did the year go??  :shudder:

Other people have already decided to take it on.  They've already got a book in mind.  They're already plotting, so that when the starter pistol is fired, they'll be banging out words.  Umm, yeah, that never worked for me.  So, sometime between now and Halloween, I'll decide whether to do this and when All Saints Day arrives, I will or I won't be sitting down and seeing what falls out of my head. 

I'll let you know.  Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, are you thinking about doing NaNo this year?  Have you done it in the past?  How'd it go for you?  Do you plan ahead or do you just let it fly when 11/1 arrives?

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

A Dennis Haggarty Mystery Sale

Good morning!

Starting today, both books in A Dennis Haggarty Mystery series are on sale for 99c/99p each.

Here's the FB ad copy for today:
Big city cop. Small town murders. Starting today, get both books in A DENNIS HAGGARTY MYSTERY series for only 99c/99p each.


#mystery #murder #notcozy #ebooks #99c #99p
I didn't pay for any advertising this time, so we'll see how it goes.  
The sale last through Tuesday of next week, so if you haven't read them yet, now would be the time.  Or if you've only read Accidental Death, now's the time to get Natural Causes.  

Monday, October 14, 2019

Writing Advice is Everywhere

Lately, it seems like everyone has advice on writing.  Or maybe it's just me because I'm on Pinterest and there's an awful lot of writing quotes on there.  In fact, I have a board devoted to writerly quotes*.  Anyway, like I said, it seems like everyone is giving advice.

Many times, I find advice from people I never heard of.  Some of it seems kind of logical and on point, some of it is like 'WTF?'.  I have a tough time following the advice of someone I've never heard of.  It's like 'who the hell is that to be telling anyone anything about writing?'  I guess, for most people, I would fall into that category.

As I've said before, take only the advice that seems pertinent to you.  If I sound rational and sane, and my advice seems good to you, by all means, take it.  If not, toss it into the circular file**.   These days, I feel like I shouldn't be giving anyone advice about anything, but occasionally, I might toss out a kernel of wisdom. 

Sometimes I run across advice that seems okay, but it's from a person I don't respect as a writer or as a human being.  Oh, they're quite successful at what they do, but I can't bring myself to consider what they're saying.  I mean, there are certain people who are continually on the best seller list, but I wouldn't spit on them if they were on fire, so it seems kind of hypocritical to look toward them for advice. :shrug:

Besides, there's every chance someone I do respect said the same or almost the same damn thing.  I can follow that and still feel good about myself.

Anyway, as always, keep the good stuff, chuck out the bad stuff.  Write what you write your own way.  And if something someone says inspires you, go with it.  


* not everyone on there is necessarily someone I respect or have even heard of.  Sometimes I just click Save without thinking about it.  Gut reaction clicking.  You know how it goes.
** circular file = garbage can.  Also known as File 13.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Not Dead, Just Quiet

I'm not dead.  I just don't have much writerly stuff to talk about this week.  And what writerly things I do have, I'm not talking about yet. 

Thanks for stopping by.  Hopefully, I'll have something interesting to put here eventually.

For non-business stuffs, I hope you'll visit my other blog The Writing Spectacle.  I'm there Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Free Book Numbers

Since I had Project Hermes listed for free this week, I got a little curious about the numbers.  Oddly enough, I'd never actually looked at the numbers for my freebies before.

Let's hop into the wayback machine...

2015:  I listed Dying Embers as free in March and moved 356 copies.  I also sold 26 copies of it that month.  Since there were no other books published at that point, that was all DE.

2016:  I did quite a few freebies in 2016.  The biggest one was for DE, during which I moved 2431 copies.  That was February.  I also had a freebie for PH (then BloodFlow) during February and moved 127 copies.  In March, I listed AD for free and moved 759 copies.  FG was free in August - 100 copies.  WIOH was free in both September and October - I assume for one day each month - and 321 copies went out the door.  All told, I gave away 3738 copies in 2016.

2017:  I held two freebies for WIOH only.  I moved 858 copies and then sold 75 copies of the next three genie books - on sale during the freebies for WIOH.

2018: In March, I put AD for free and moved 118 copies - after which I sold 4 copies of NC.  Then in April, I listed DE as free again and 1007 went out the door.  Residual series sales for FG and EG ended up being about 40 books.

2019:  In February, I put Unequal for sale for a day.  Moved 22 copies.  Afterward, I sold one copy of UEQ and one copy of Blink of an I.  This week, Project Hermes was free for three days.  161 copies went out the door.  Since there isn't any book that relates directly to PH, I don't expect a lot of movement, but there's always a chance for KU reads and other sales.  :fingers crossed:

All told, I've given away 6260 books since 2015.

Sometimes, I see an uptick in sales of the book I made free.  Sometimes I get sales for other books in the same series.  Every rare once in a while, other unrelated books get sold because of a freebie promo I've run.  It's hit and miss.

Personally, I hate giving anything away.  But I understand that sometimes giving books away helps sell books.  And I have to remind myself that the people who get my books for free might not have slapped money down to buy them because I am an unknown author to them.  Once they give me a try, they may go on to buy my stuff. 

As a reader, I rely on free books to feed my reading addiction.  The budget's so slim right now I can't afford to try new authors, so I pick them up during freebie promos.  And if they're good, I try to find space in the budget to buy their subsequent books.  That's kind of how the freebie promo is supposed to work.

What about you?  Have you tried freebie promos for your books?  How did they work out for you?  If you haven't tried them as a writer, do you use them as a reader to find new authors? 

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

The Month Ahead and Then Some

First off, today is the last day to get Project Hermes for free.

Next up, the A Dennis Haggarty Mystery books will be on sale for 99c/99p October 16th - 22nd.

Then, Sleeping Ugly will be on sale for 99c/99p from October 25th through Halloween night.

And finally I've set up a sale wherein both Blink of an I and Unequal will be 99c simultaneously from November 3rd - 9th. 

I also would like to so something for the Once Upon a Djinn books in November and something for the Serial Crimes Investigation Unit series in December. 

I wish I had news on future publications, but that's not in the cards right now.  Even if I sent Ugly and the Beast to my editor tomorrow, we both would really have to push for it to be ready for a 2019 release.  And it is so not ready to be sent to her.  Sorry about that, people.  At the beginning of the year, I had hopes and those didn't pan out.  Stuff happens.  That's life.

Thank you all so much for your support.  Here's hoping for a better 2020.

Do you have anything going on in the months ahead you'd like to talk about?  Let me know in the comments.