Release and Rerelease

My third novel, Beyond a Dream, is currently being read by beta readers. After that will be the final edit, and then I can set a date for release!

Since I’m currently sitting around waiting for my readers to get back to me, I’ve been thinking on what project I want to work on next. I have two new stories I want to write but I keep thinking about Kiss of the Fey. I started the first draft of Kiss of The Fey in high school. I was in college when I finally published it but my writing has matured considerably since then. (It’s been three and a half years already?? How does time move so quickly??) Because I still love the characters, I believe my next project will be to rewrite Kiss of the Fey and rerelease it as a second edition. (One of the benefits to self-publishing!) At the same time I may work on one of the new ideas I have floating around.

I know I haven’t been active enough in the community for anyone to care about updates like this but that’s okay. I just don’t have the time to promote and socialize with other bloggers like when I was in school. That’s just life, I guess.

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Approaching the Finish Line

A word map of Beyond a Dream

I’ve retitled my most recent novel once again to be a bit more fitting. I feel like I’ve been working on this book forever but by the end of tomorrow I’ll order a proof copy for myself and a few friends to read over for a final edit.

I’m really proud of myself for what I’ve done with this story but I’m also terrified that no one else will appreciate it. I feel like I’ve poured my soul into this one, at least partially, and really hope my readers (few as they may be) can connect with the characters.

I can’t wait to read it as an actual physical book so that I can get around to setting a publishing date. I’m hoping to get this done before the end of the year but who knows.

The Peelers

I was born for one purpose. My duty in life is to provide nourishment to the Peelers, to help fuel their lives by giving my own. My life was dark for some time, a flash of brightness before I and my brothers were taken away from our home. I don’t know how much time passed between then and now, but here I sit surrounded by my brothers waiting to be chosen, to be given my chance to live.

I am still a young creature, firm and green like my brothers. I know that now, in the Choosing Place, is a critical time for us. If we are allowed to age on these shelves, we will die uneaten. Our coats will rot and we will turn to slime and there will be only regret and despair until there is nothing more. Our lives will be a waste.

We are thrown carelessly into a basket by a Peeler, all of my brothers and I. I am filled with joy to know that we have passed this critical test. We circle the Choosing Place as distant cousins and foreign things are thrown into the basket next to us. We come to the Gates of Freedom in the Choosing Place and the Handler puts us in bags for the Peeler.

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Are you writing the right story?

Being part of a writing community is fantastic. Whether it be a writers’ group on Facebook (like I’m in) or a close group of friends, it’s nice to know that you can share your passion with someone who understands and get feedback on your work.

Lately, I’ve found myself asking a lot of questions.

“Would you hate this character if he did X?”

“Does this scene come off too creepy?”

“Is this typical for erotica, or should I take it out because it’s not really that sexy?”

While it’s great to have feedback, I realized that I was asking too much. If I asked a question every time I had a doubt about something in my novel, it’d be a list of questions as long as the novel itself. It’s nice to hear that yes, your character Bob does come off as being sensitive and edgy, as you wanted, but if you rely too much on what others say, you’re going to lose your writing voice.

On the same group I started asking too many question to, I see a girl who posts something almost every single day.

“Will this sell even though my character is a strong female who talks back?”

“Will people still buy this even though the romance happened a little too fast?”

“Would you buy a story about a prince and princess if the princess is really smart?”

Basically, this woman is obsessed with what will make her book marketable and what other people want her to write. You should write for your fans, yes, but you HAVE to write for yourself. If you’re not, then you’re going to be miserable.

When you ask yourself whether something is working out or not, you don’t need to ask someone else’s opinion. Analyze the scene in relation to the story at large. Go with your first instinct when writing it all in the first draft, then agonize over those little details in the second or third. The time for getting opinions is during editing, when you have an editor or beta readers looking over your work.

Sometimes you may ask yourself “Am I writing the right story?” If it’s a story you feel needs to be told about characters with strong voices that you’re proud of, then the answer is yes, and you don’t need anyone else’s confirmation to tell you that.

What have you written that you’re most proud of?