Sue Santore was kind enough to invite me to write a guest blog for her site and it went live today! It’s about how I used to be a pantser (i.e. someone who writes by the seat of her pants) who hated revisions. I still kind of am, though you wouldn’t know it to see my process–but underneath the method, it’s all the same motivations. If you happen to be a pantser yourself, you may be curious about my reasons for changing the process so radically–do check it out!
As the release date for Konstantin’s Gifts draws ever nearer, it seems appropriate to put up some excerpts from the novel. The back cover blurb and the first two chapters are now live! You can either download them as a pdf or read them online. Enjoy!
(p.s. They’re also available from the drop down menu at the top of the page, under “My Writing: Speculative Fiction”)
Imprisoned and tortured by her sadistic owner, Vasya soon discovers that the daily “medicine” she has been ingesting has changed her in strange and profound ways. She has become abnormally strong, and cuts heal within hours, rather than days. Most disturbingly of all, she finds that during the three nights of the full moon, her face can inspire a deep and abiding obsession in any man who glimpses it. Dare she use her newfound power to rescue her brother and escape from the shackles of serfdom?
In a land where aristocrats count their fortunes by the number of souls they own, and the creatures of folklore and nightmare are as real as the village up the road, Vasya and her brother Pyotr must evade Konstantin, their obsessed owner, while coming to terms with the ways in which he has transformed them into an altogether new race of creatures.
Welcome all, to my first ever blog interview/guest post! My friend Siri is an editor, a writer, and a founding member of Turtleduck Press. Turtleduck is an indie publisher with an intriguing, co-operative publishing model. I figured that my fellow indie writers and publishers might be interested in reading about their particular approach and methodology. Enjoy!
Tell us about your latest release. (e.g. what are you most excited about; what inspired the collection; what is it themed around, etc.)
Our latest release is Winter’s Night, a winter-themed anthology that includes work from all four of the Turtleduck Press members. We had an empty slot in our schedule for December, so we initially thought of doing a Christmas anthology, but, well, Turtleduckers are all about the unconventional.
In Homer’s The Odyssey, Scylla and Charybdis were fearsome sea monsters who existed in sufficient proximity to each other that any sailors who wished to brave those waters had to sail very carefully indeed, between the two horrors. More contemporary speculations posit Scylla as a rock shoal and Charybdis as a whirlpool.
And at the moment, I find myself to be caught between the two of them. To break it down:
A moment of insight this afternoon, in the aftermath of the exam I wrote today.
It was one of those situations where I downloaded the previous years’ exams a couple of days ago, after a day or two of reviewing and prep. I’d thought I was in a good position, and ready to have a look: I had a good grasp of the concepts, some notion of the specifics, and my sense of the cases and what they stood for was gelling nicely in my brain. Then, I read the first question on one of the old exams–and experienced a surge of blind panic. Almost literally. My vision hazed slightly, and after the mindblank that accompanied my panic, the thought surfaced : I have absolutely no idea how to answer this. The next, intricate, two-page question was no better. Nor the next.
Exciting news: the artwork for the cover of Konstantin’s Gifts has been finalized! Check it out:
The artwork was created by the talented Timothy Lantz. I love the slightly disturbing, distracted intensity of Vasya’s expression, love the blend of fire and forest, the hint of slanting moonlight in the top right corner of the image (you’ll note that the header on my blog also makes use of a bit of the graphic from this cover).
Ah, the first day of the month–always a Sad Thing, when I cruise through the Kindle channels to find that all my monthly stats have been zeroed once more. Though, I note that Amazon Spain and Amazon Italy now also have my work available for sale. Given that my grand total number of European sales currently stands at two, I suspect that as indie author Joseph Robert Lewis so aptly put it, this additional availability undoubtedly just means that they will now be able to “more actively ignore my books” in Italy and Spain.
A couple of things worth noting from the past month, however:
1. On Smashwords, when you filter by “Sci-Fi”, “highest rated” and “free ebooks”, Don Coyote comes up on the first screen. Thanks to those of you reading this, who were kind enough to post a review of the story and bring it forward in the listings! I really appreciate your taking the time to do this, and it has definitely helped!
2. My sales numbers, which were at their lowest in October, blipped up slightly for November. Still slow, but it was heartening to see the slight rise, at least.
And otherwise, alas, I am swamped with school work and other such demands. The progress on getting Konstantin’s Gifts ready for publication has been glacial to non-existent. There is light at the end of the tunnel, but it feels oh-so-distant at the moment. Still, I’ll keep plugging away.
And in the meanwhile fabulous readers, stay tuned over the next couple of weeks!
- This weekend I will feature the cover reveal for Konstantin’s Gifts (exciting!). By way of a “teaser”, I’ll say that the new header for this blog, featuring fire and forest, provides an advance peek… The full reveal will have to wait till the weekend, however, so do stop by and check it out!
- The week after, I will be featuring a guest blog post from a friend who is involved with an indie press that uses a co-operative model. I’m really looking forward to her thoughts and reflections on the process and on indie publishing in general. It should be a very interesting read!