Hybrid: Isn’t that some sort of car…?

I’m not actually going to talk about cars. I mean, this is a writing blog, not a car blog, and what do I know about cars anyway?

So when I say hybrid, I am, of course, referring to hybrid authors: those who both self-publish, and traditonally-publish.

Or, more specifically, myself.

That’s right. As of today, I am a hybrid author.

Which is a very roundabout way of telling you guys that I got The Email today, informing me that Lady of Dreams had been chosen for a publication contract with Kindle Press.

Eeek! Such excite!

Stop the presses!

No, wait, don’t.

I’m a bit confused. Also, I’m still in the death throes of Blackfoot, so I’m not making much sense either way. Next week, when I’ve finished Blackfoot, collected my thoughts, and started making sure LoD is as pretty as it can possibly be, I’ll write a proper blog post.

But in the meantime, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR NOMINATING LADY OF DREAMS!

A Weekend of Firsts

It was a busy weekend for me.

Actually, it was a busy week for me, last week. It all just sorta coalesced toward the end of the week and became more busy.

I attended AICon in Hobart for the 2nd time (though this was the first time I properly dressed up for it). I was attending in the function of a handmaiden for a friend of mine who was gorgeously and intricately dressed as Lady Loki–thus the need for a handmaiden. I was there to re-lace her boots, fix her horned head-dress, and re-affix wandering pauldrons. No to mention supplying food and drink as required.

Of course, I wasn’t doing that the whole time. I also managed to wander around quite a lot, visit some interesting panels, some hilarious ones, and eat vegetarian sushi for the first time (it was delicious, by the way). When I got too peopled-out (guys, there were SO MANY people there), I would just sneak into one of the darkened panel rooms and write for an hour or so.

I managed to get 2.5k words done over the course of the 10am-6pm day.

AND she had a ‘communicator’ that basically squawked chicken noises at the MC when the MC questioned her 😀

Highlights of the day included seeing Jacket the chicken very nearly win crowd favourite for her awesome costume (seriously, this girl had my favourite costume of the entire day. And she took a selfie with me!) catching sight of a Ladybug cosplay right next to a Marinette one, and having an artist sign the two prints I bought from him.

Another first for me: it was the first time I’d word a corset. Because it was made with plastic boning instead of steel, and because I bend a lot, my poor corset was shaped to me rather than me shaped to it by the end of the day, but I was still very pleased with the result. Unfortunately there was only one half-decent photo of me, but that’s hardly surprising, since I do not photograph well.

JACKET AND ME SELFIE!

A gift-baggie at the entrance brought in another first for me: all of the bags included a sampler of manga. I found one out of the ten samples to be compelling, leading me to purchase and read my first manga ever–Shuriken to Pleats.

Who knows, maybe I’ll check out more of the artist’s work?

That was it, my weekend of firsts!  What about you guys? How did your weekend go?

Oh! And, final reminder: LADY OF DREAMS is on the last day of nominations in its Kindle Scout Campaign. If you haven’t already done so, pop on over to the Campaign page and check out the sample. If you love it, press that Nominate Button!

(Don’t forget that everyone who nominated LADY OF DREAMS will get a free Advance Copy if it’s chosen for publication).

Korean-Based Fantasy and Glossaries

You guys know me by now.

You know that I love to chuck you in the deep end, and–like one of those particularly terrifying parents–leave you either to sink or swim. I don’t do too many explanations in my novels: I let things reveal themselves as time goes by, and I prefer not to say something outright if I can leave the reader to infer it.

Nominate me! I could be published through Kindle Scout, and you could get a free ARC!

However, when it comes to Korean-based fantasy that uses some of the words I’ve been learning in my Korean language lessons, I’m at something of a standstill. In keeping with the cultural forms of address and respect pertaining thereto, I’ve used quite a few romanised Korean words (don’t worry, I don’t expect you to read them in 한글) in Lady of Dreams. This means that there’s a lot more for people to have to learn as they read.

On the one hand, I still love the idea of leaving you guys to sink or swim (cos I’m diabolical like that). On the other hand, there’s the usual amount to learn without telling: slightly steampunkish stuff, Dreaming stuff, several romantic entanglements, etc. I mean, I don’t want to break you guys.

It’s also a question I’ve been asked by more than one or two readers, and when more than one or two of my beta readers mention something, it’s usually time to sit up and listen.

So. Lady of Dreams: a glossary of romanised Korean words? Yea or nay?

Let me know!

(Also, if you haven’t already done so, head on over to Lady of DreamsKindle Scout Nomination Page, and if you like the sample, please nominate me to receive a Kindle Scout contract. If I’m published with Kindle Scout, anyone who nominated Lady of Dreams will get a free copy!)

‘Sup!?

There are some weeks when I know exactly what I want to blog about. Those are the good weeks: I usually end up with two blog post written for the week and one or two drafts stored up to explore later.

Some weeks are less certain, and I have to scrape and search for things to talk about. I usually still blog once or twice, it’s just…harder. Not necessarily a bad thing, since I tend to laziness: having to work at what I do is actually good for me.

Then there are the weeks where I can’t pin down a single thought or plan, where stuff just happens with no rhyme or reason, and my brain is too scattered to be able to think of anything of importance to post.

So I’m writing a blog post with all the little bits and pieces that don’t want to sit still in my head. You guys can make sense of it. Think of it as a jigsaw puzzle.

Important Links:

Headtalker for Lady of Dreams’ Kindle Scout Campaign

Go here to nominate Lady of Dreams for a Kindle Scout contract (and get a free ARC if I do get a contract)

Buy this book. It’s only 99c and it’s still one of my all time favourite books (plus, Indie author power!)

General Stuff:

*Did anyone else forget Valentine’s Day? I did. I remembered after I’d been at work for about an hour, and multiple men had already gone through with flowers and chocolates. Then I was very confused, since I’d got the idea that Valentine’s day was the 17th.

It turns out that the 17th is the expiration date for my milk.

Undoubtedly an important date, but no cigar.

*So, my spam folder has become remarkably communicative lately. There are the ones that kindly answer questions: posed by previous spam 

…aaaaaand then there are just these guys, who are arguing about Who Is The Best:

CALM DOWN GUYS. WE CAN ALL BE THE BEST WE CAN BE.

*My brain is scattered. Yes. But this is partially in a good cause: BLACKFOOT is really starting to come together at last–not just in drips and drabs, but in whole chunks of plot and characterisation–and I’m at the point where I should be able to start writing very, very quickly indeed. I really like this part of book writing. It’s satisfying and freeing. It also means that I’ll be able to come back very soon and fix all the things I messed up in first draft.

*Kindle Scout Campaign. A new experience, so that’s fun. I’m just not entirely sure what I’ll do if Lady of Dreams isn’t chosen for publication. Will I publish ASAP, and bunch two releases very close together, or wait until BLACKFOOT emerges from its chrysalis? I mean, I don’t want to wait, but Indie pub wisdom says space things out where you can.

There you go. You just got a glimpse into the mind of a writer. YOU’RE WELCOME. Hopefully I’ll be less scattered in a day or two, and sit down to write a proper blog post. I have some KDrama I want to review (surprising, I know), so I’ll have some more reccs for my fellow KDrama lovers in the next day or two.

Happy Reading, guys!

Lady of Dreams: Kindle Scout Campaign!

As promised, I’ve got an update for the previously-titled Bright as the Eyes of You. You might have already seen this on Twitter or FB, but for those of you who haven’t, BatEoY is now titled Lady of Dreams. It took a lot of time and a dreadful amount of angst, but the deed is done and the cover is now changed.

More importantly, Lady of Dreams is now enrolled in a Kindle Scout Campaign.

What is a Kindle Scout Campaign? I’m glad you asked. There’s a whole page of info HERE, but the short (slightly inaccurate) version is that Kindle Scout is a type of American/Australian Idol for manuscripts. The author (that’s me!) uploads their manuscript onto the Kindle Scout website, where it will spend a month. During this time, it can be nominated by any fan or random reader who happens to nominate it: it will also be seen by the Kindle Scout Selectors, who apparently consider all of the manuscripts.

At the end of the month, based upon a great many factors (some known, others unknown), Amazon in its wisdom will decide whether or not to offer the author a publishing contract. From all I’ve heard, nominations are important, but by no means the only consideration, so if anyone is uncomfortable making an account just to nominate Lady of Dreams, I won’t hold it against them.

It is worth noting, however, that should a contract be offered on Lady of Dreams, anyone who nominated it will be given a free advance copy. So there’s that!

I’m very excited to see how this month turns out for me–and for Lady of Dreams. Please feel free to share the nomination page HERE with friends, family, tweeps, the dog…anyone!

 

“Help Wanted”

No, I’m not seeking a co-writer (though that would be cool, too).

I’m asking for the help of all you lovely people who have read the Shards of a Broken Sword books. As you will already know, the complete trilogy has just come out at 99c: however, because it’s the complete trilogy and not listed with the single books, it has no reviews.

Now, normally, I’d let them gather naturally (cos you guys are awesome and keep putting up reviews as you read–thanks!)

But I’ve got a Bookbub ad scheduled for Feb 20th (gasp! so excited!) and I’d hate to go into that with no, or few, reviews. So I’m asking for your help. If you’ve read the Shards of a Broken Sword books–loved ’em, hated ’em, I don’t mind–PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE pop over to your storefront of choice (Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon AUS, Amazon CA, Kobo, iTunes, B&N, Smashwords) and leave a review on the box set.

I seriously appreciate your help. I’ll also remind you that if you want to read Carmine & Fancy’s short story that links in with the trilogy, sign up to my newsletter. All my subscribers will get an email in the next day or two with a link to the short story (plus you get Spindle for free if you sign up at the moment, so there’s that).

That’s it from me today! Stay tuned for my next blog post: it’ll be about the formerly-titled Bright as the Eyes of You, since I should have news in that quarter in the next half week…

Preorders and Formatting and Editing, Oh My!

Okay, so I expected it to be a busy month.

I just didn’t expect it to be THIS busy…

So this is mostly a post where I’m going to whinge and complain about how much I hate formatting, editing, and preorders.

First, preorders…

(…totally NOT a smokescreen to showcase the fact that Shards of a Broken Sword: The Complete Trilogy (Amazon, Kobo, B&N, iTunes, Smashwords) is on preorder special for JUST 99c guys!)

Eeek! Just 99c!

I love preorders. I love that I can upload a draft as a placeholder and have people one-click to preorder so that they don’t forget about my new release. I do. I love it.

But I’m an obsessive-compulsive little writer with easy access to my KDP (and other) accounts. Which means that I’m in there every half hou–haha, did I say half hour? I meant every half DAY. Every half DAY, guys, I swear, hahahaeeeerrr–checking how many preorders there are now.

Soooooo…well, that one’s a mixed blessing.

Formatting…

…kill me now.

Enough said.

Editing.

This one’s another mixed blessing. I love the fact that by the time I’m editing, I’ve written a whole book. It’s done. It just needs polishing. I mean, it needs a LOT of polishing, but the foundations are laid. There’s hope.

Only, at the moment, I’m formatting SoaBS, doing last, frantic edits for SoaBS, editing BatEoY, and trying to finish writing Blackfoot…

I’m kinda edited out.

So I’m alternating editing with my Korean studies. That’s right, I’m taking a break from editing by studying.

That should tell ya something.

Anyhoo-

I hope you all enjoy the SoaBS omnibus, and don’t forget that if you wanna read the exclusive short story of Carmine & Fancy, and you already own all three of the SoaBS trilogy–sign up to my mailing list! There’s a free book to be had, but more importantly, peeps on the mailing list will also get access to that exclusive story.

If you’re already on the list–congrats! You’ll get access to the story in my next mailing!

Happy reading, you blokes.

“Your Title Here”

Life is hard.

So are titles.

To a writer, titles are like Death and Taxes–unavoidable. So when we find one that fits perfectly (aka, The Precious) like Gollum, we cling to it with all the desperate fervour of a drug addict.

When that title is based on an excerpt from a favourite song, this is a great mistake. Because no matter how precious it is, it’s someone else’s Precious, and we all know how that turns out for Gollum. (“We hates it, Precious, we hates it!”)

What I mean by all of this is that it’s extremely unlikely I’ll be able to keep the tentative title of BRIGHT AS THE EYES OF YOU. I’m still waiting to hear back from the copyright holders as to whether or not I can use it, and when I find that out, it’s still quite unlikely, judging from the prices quoted for use of the excerpts as chapter headings, that I’ll be able to afford it anyway.

But the most pressing problem is that I need to know soon. In the self-publishing business, schedules are important, and I’m already a couple of months behind mine. If I don’t get permission by the end of January at the latest, I need to be ready to go with an alternate title. If the licensing cost turns out to be too much, I also need to be ready to go with an alternate title.

In other words, I need an alternate title.

I was brainstorming ideas with a fellow author friend (who made me snort chai latte up my nose in my local cafe by suggesting “Smart as the Pants of You”–thanks for that, Intisar!–and was otherwise immensely helpful) and came up with a few possibilities. I’ve put them below for you guys to look at: please take a minute to let me know in the comments which title you like the best, especially if you’ve read BRIGHT AS THE EYES OF YOU. I still want your opinion even if you haven’t read it, though, so fire away!

***ETA a new personal favourite, #6***

1.) The Weight of Dreams in the Waking

2.) A Song of Waking Dreams

3.) Bright as the Wakeful Stars

4.) A Star Distant and Bright

5.) Bright as the Distant Star

6.) To Dream a Star, Distant and Bright

What’s your favourite? Don’t be shy! Let me know!