Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Why the Pre-Order?

 In case you missed it on The Writing Spectacle yesterday, Cinder Ugly is now available for pre-order.  Why the pre-order?  Well, I'll try to explain my thinking...

First there's the whole brilliant idea I had a couple weeks ago to put all of the genie books on sale this week.  I honestly didn't think there.  Or maybe I was thinking that I wouldn't have CU ready to publish until after the sale and then when I did have it ready, I didn't want a release to interfere with a sale and vice versa.

Then there's the whole link thing.  This is the last book in the series.  In order to have links for the new book in the previous books in the series, I needed to have a link available.  Put it up for pre-order and there's a link available if someone should happen to buy and read the other two books. (Unfortunately, someone snagged a copy of Ugly and the Beast yesterday before I uploaded the updated version, so the line for Cinder Ugly still says 'Coming Soon'. :shrug:)  I also now have links to CU in all the genie books, so if anyone buys those, they'll be able to buy CU if they get the urge. 

This pre-order thing also gave me the opportunity to get clickable links on my blog sidebars and on my A Model Curse page.   And get my Goodreads listing all nice and stuffs. 

It's marketing.  I think.  I hope.  We'll see.

On the bright side, the book will be in your hot little hands on Monday.  So you really only have to wait a few days.  And if you haven't read Sleeping Ugly or Ugly and the Beast, you have time to read them before Cinder Ugly drops.  

And I hope you will.  This was a fun little series to write and from what I've heard, it's a fun little series to read.  This paranormal mystery follows supermodel Jeni Braxxon from the moment she's cursed and trying to figure out who did this to her, through a maze of murder and intrigue, to the end when it all wraps up.  There should be some 'laugh out loud' moments* in there along the way and a couple scenes that might tug your heart a little.  (I know mine were tugged.)  

*Best proofer comment was simply a long string of laughing.

Monday, October 26, 2020

It's Sale Time Again

Woohoo!  With Halloween fast approaching, what better time for a sale on the Once Upon a Djinn books?  They're full of paranormal awesomeness.  And snark.  And mystery.  All wrapped up in a four-book series.  

Wish in One Hand
In Deep Wish
Up Wish Creek
Wish Hits the Fan

99c/99p each.  Less than $4/£4 each.  If you haven't read them all, now's your chance to get them way cheaper than you would on any regular day - when they're $3.99 each.  Save yourself $12.

I love these books.  You can, too.  =o)

Friday, October 23, 2020

Another Update

After spending most of the week dragging my ass about doing the proofer notes for Cinder Ugly, I finally got them all input last night.  They really weren't that bad - which is what the proofers told me, but fear made me drag anyway.  That fear thing is a really pain in the buns.

Today, I have to do some search and replace on some crutch words.  Then I can do the formatting.  Like I said, I'm trying to have this done and uploaded for pre-order so it goes live on the 2nd.  We'll see how that goes.  If I can't get it up in time to do pre-order, then I'll just upload it for release on the 2nd.  Good lord willin' and the crick don't rise.

I also have to do a Goodreads listing.

And get both CU and UatB formatted for print.  Which I can then use for numbers to send to my cover artist so she can do the print covers (gah, I haven't talked to her in forever, I hope she has time to do those soonish... lucky the print covers are already paid for as part of the cover package).

I need to drag out my pre-publication checklist so I don't forget anything.  Blerg.

But soon, my fifteenth book will be out in the world.  It's the last in a trilogy, so maybe having it out there will boost sales for the other two.  Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Release Update and News of A Different Release

Yesterday was full enough of life stuff that by the time I had time to work, I was too tired to do anything but sit.  But that's okay.  

In an effort to be more 'marketing minded', I've decided to put the release of this book off until November 2nd anyway.  Since I already have a sale set up for the genie books starting on Monday and running through the 1st, that is.  I don't want to release right before the sale for another series and I don't want to release in the middle of that sale.  Hopefully, the genie sale will build interest for the model books.  You know - paranormal series sales leading to sales for the other paranormal series.  Or some such thing.

If I can get the 'A Model Curse' series finished and Cinder Ugly loaded for pre-order, then I could conceivably have links to the whole series in the 'Once Upon a Djinn' books.  Umm, I don't actually see that happening unless I get off my dead ass, but there's hope in there somewhere.

Anyway, if you're looking for something to read and you like spicy/sexy in your paranormal, my BIF (best internet friend) released her latest book last night - NIGHT WISH (Nightrider MC Book 5).  It's only $2.99 right now.  I scored mine this morning, so I haven't read it yet, but I know it'll be awesome.  Her books are always full of awesome.  (And I'm not just saying that because she's my friend.  I loved her books long before we became friends.)

As for my book, hang in there.  It'll be out soon.  And to that end, I will be having a sale for Sleeping Ugly and Ugly and the Beast once I know for sure when Cinder Ugly will be live.   If you haven't tried these books, they're fun and snarky paranormal mystery.  (And as a slight warning - if you're offended by swearing, they probably aren't for you.  Jeni swears a lot.)

Monday, October 19, 2020

People Don't Talk Like That

I started reading a book the other day and within a few pages, DNF'd that sucker.  The problem was the dialogue.  It was stilted and wooden with loads of 'as you know' stuff where the author used the characters to supply backstory without any reason for them to be talking about the past.  

People don't talk like that.  And they don't converse that way.

I realize sometimes it's hard to see where your dialogue might have gone wrong.  (And as such, I hope I never present dialogue to my readers that's anything like that.)  For me, though, writing and reading is like listening to someone talking in my head.  Basically, it's all dialogue up in there.  So, when the dialogue goes wrong, it really sticks out.

If you're not like this, a basic way to figure out if your dialogue has gone wrong is to read it out loud.  If you find yourself tripping over stuff, it's because the way you've written it isn't the way people generally talk.  If it sounds wooden and hollow, it is.

Your mileage may vary if you're writing high fantasy.  People don't talk like that anymore either.  Still, even then, there should be a flow to the words.  Read Shakespeare aloud.  (Which, imo, is the only way to really enjoy Shakespeare if you're not actually at a play.)  Shakespeare's old stuff, but he's still relevant because he had the ebb and flow of human conversation down.  If you're worried about reading Shakespeare, read the newer fantasies of Brooks, Butcher, Farland, etc.  They do good dialogue.

Of course, the book I was reading was YA.  I think that only made it worse.  People don't talk like that.  Teens definitely don't talk like that.  It's been a while since I was a teen or had a teen, but I don't think the general drift of teenage conversation is towards more formal and stilted.  (Would that it were sometimes.)  It was also paranormal, which made the stilted dialogue even worse.  Ebb and flow is key there, folks.  

Ebb and flow is key everywhere.  Any well-received book of any genre has an ebb and flow to the dialogue.  Hell, there's an ebb and flow to the whole damn thing.  If the reader is tripping and stumbling and trying to make the writing make sense in their heads, they're going to put the book down.  Or throw it against the wall.  And never pick up another one by that author.  None of wants that, now do we?

Anyway, I'm probably the last writer to go to for advice - since my sales are dismal - but since I'm also a prolific reader, you should probably take note.  A little.  Maybe.  Do yourself and the world a favor and make your dialogue sound more like the way people actually talk.  K?

If you're a writer, do you read your stuff out loud?  From a reader standpoint, can you think of any writers who do dialogue especially well? 

Friday, October 16, 2020


I'm not sure I know of any writer who enjoys writing the back cover copy (or blurb) for their own books.  If you're out there and reading this, raise your hand if you enjoy it.  Okay, you're dismissed.

Personally, I am not a fan.  I can't seem to muster any joy in taking a 63K word story and boiling into 150 clever words that will make people want to buy and read my book.  There's so much I want a potential reader to know about the story.  Add this?  Subtract that?  Oh, and they probably want to know X, but there isn't room for it.  

Of course, I was the kid in school who sucked at book reports.  Write about what's important?  Well, it's all important.  Duh.

Give me somebody else's blurb to edit?  I'm there, baby.  

In the end, it's kind of how I have to approach my own blurbs.  Write the damn thing, spew it out if I have to, and then set it aside.  Come back to it later and look at it like it's not MY blurb.  

Right now, I have 5 versions of the blurb for CU.  Since yesterday.  Here's the latest one:

This could get ugly.

Former supermodel Jeni Braxxon had been certain life couldn't get any more shit-tastic.  Due to the curse turning her, the hottie with a naughty body, into someone so gruesome Frankenstein's monster would run screaming, she's unemployed and soon-to-be homeless. 

As if that wasn't bad enough, the SSA is trying to snatch her birthright, steal the children, and force her into bankruptcy with their damn bureaucratic bullshit. Oh, and a lunatic sorcerer with world domination in mind might be running the show. 

But Jeni's not a gal who'll take this crap lying down.  Well, not for long anyway.  With the help of her weird friends and her bizarre pets, she needs to kick some ass, rescue the kids, and save the world.  A big task for a college dropout who thought she could get by on looks alone.

:shrug:  141 words.  It needs work.  I know I'm trying to stuff too much in there, but it all feels necessary.  I need to get over it and come up with something soon.  Or run with this thing.  Or one of the other versions. 

I'm drowning in blurbs.  Blurble.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Out the Other Side of Edit Hell

I did it.  I'm done.  And it's off to the proofers.  Those last twelve manuscript pages wound up garnering 2 full pages of notes.  I think I fixed everything.  We'll see.

Oh, I'm sure I'll have missed something.  A comma here.  A missing word there.  Little things.  I hope.  The big things, like plot holes, should have all been ferreted out and eradicated.  :fingers crossed:

In the end, this edit pass ended up with 20 pages of notes.  It took me 10 days - 9 of them in a row - to complete.  Right now, the book is 189 pages and 63785 words.  (Like I said, manuscript pages don't equal published pages.  When I format, I'll change the font and its size, paragraph spacing, sentence spacing, etc. and I don't format until the book is done-done.)

It's now in the hands of the proofers, so I can take a deep breath and chillax a little.  

Last night, after I sent it off, I played a little poker and read most of the rest of the book I was reading, and watched a whole TV show without working through the commercials and then missing stuff after the commercials were over because I forgot to unmute.  Then I went to bed and didn't lay there thinking about the book.  (I still laid there thinking, but it wasn't about the book.)

Today, I plan to not think about the book.  It'll be my day off.  Of writerly pursuits.  I have life stuff to do - like dusting and vacuuming.  If I feel like it, I might go fishing.  If I don't have pay-job stuff to do, that is.

Tomorrow, I'll figure out what I'm going to do while this book is out of my hands.  Work on one of my many unfinished books?  Definitely write the blurb.  Maybe some marketing stuffs.  And a sale or two. 

So, here I am, out the other side of edit hell.  :blinkblink:  It's kinda bright out here. 

Friday, October 9, 2020

Deep in Edit Hell

First off, Blogger hasn't been emailing me every time I get comments, like it's supposed to.  If your comment doesn't show up right away, you have my apologies.  I'll try to remember to check the comment thingy more often.  

Now, on to what I had originally thought about posting today...

Editing is exhausting.  This edit in particular is sucking the energy right out of me.  I've already done 13.5 pages of notes and entered them into the manuscript.  And I'm on page 121 out of 189.

What I do in this phase is read through the book on my Kindle and make notes on every little thing I catch (because all the big things should've been handled in the last edit phase).  When I get a page of notes, I come in here and fix them.  Making a page of notes can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour, depending on how many flaws I find.  Fixing those errors can also take 20 minutes to an hour, depending on how extensive the problem was.

The problems here range from commas to typos, extra words and missing words... 'I thought I caught all the instances where Precious was called Pinky, dammit'...  Gus' turned into Gus's... crutch words and rewording...  Sometimes I read a paragraph and every freakin' sentence needs an adjustment, leaving me wondering what the hell I was thinking when I wrote it.  Either my brain was on vacation or my fingers had a mind of their own that day. 

I had hoped to have this finished and into the hands of proofers by the end of this week.  It's Friday, so I'm guessing that ain't gonna happen.  

I hope you'll all maintain your patience with me. I'm tired and I want to just chuck the rest of the edits and say 'eh, it's good enough'.  But I won't do that.  It wouldn't be fair to you or fair to the book.  So I'll keep slogging along, mainlining coffee and cigarettes, until this is done.

But I'm tellin' ya, once this is off to the proofers, I'm taking a day off and going fishing.  Blerg.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Punctuation... My Periods Are Not Angry

The other day, as I was driving along, one of the disk jockeys (or whatever you call them now) came off with 'and now we're going to talk about grammar and punctuation, which I know seems unusual for us'.  Of course, I perked right up.  Grammar and punctuation?  Bring it, lady.

Apparently, the period is being perceived as some form of aggression in writing.  Of course, this is supposedly amongst teens.  And of course, it has to do with texting.  (Because that's where the teens do the majority of their writing.)   I guess when a teen texts, each text is a complete thought on its own, so it doesn't require a period to let the reader know the thought has finished.  


Anyway, if you end your text with a period, it indicates to the reader that you are angry.  I wonder what an exclamation point means to these kids?  REALLY angry?  Super happy?  Excited?  Is there a cue to the emotion based on how many exclamation points are texted?  How do they feel about ellipses, which are three periods in a row?  OMG, the world's ending?  Angry angry angry.  Heh.

But I digress. Period.

I hear this stuff and weep for the future of the writing.  Thank goodness there are people like us who actually enjoy the written word and all the punctuation surrounding it.  

In a way, I kinda get it.  It's not easy showing emotion in writing.  Writers work at that every day.  But to assigning an emotion to a proper and necessary bit of punctuation seems silly.  "No more periods, they make us feel bad about ourselves."?  Umm...

Maybe we should go back to telegram punctuation STOP Then no one will get their feelings hurt over the end of a sentence STOP

Nah, that's stupid.  

Or they could just use the damn emoticons... err, emojis... err... whatevers to show emotion and not have to feel bad about a freakin' period.

Or maybe they could simply use the words given to them to express the emotions they're feeling.  But that would be work.  Hell, they could make up words to express themselves.  Blerg.  Gah.  Feh and Bah.

I think throughout this post, you can easily discern what I might be feeling.  And there isn't a single angry period in here.  Honest.  ;o)

Note: I typed the subject of this post and then it occurred to me how it might read a different way, so I added in 'punctuation' so as not to confuse the issue.  Quit laughing.