Kobo Sale! Oct 31 – Nov 3

Bridge

I know, I know. You’re thinking this is deja vu, right? You just saw me in a sale on the Kobo site.

But they came up with another howling good deal, and I just had to join in.

I chose two different books this time. Both are 35% off.

You’ll need to use the promotion code UNLIMITED35 when you check out to get the discount.

The Raven and the Dancing TigerThe Raven and the Dancing Tiger – Book One of The Shadow Wars trilogy

 

 

 

The Guardian Hound The Guardian Hound – Book Two of The Shadow Wars trilogy

So go! Explore on Kobo and see the marvelous books on sale. 35% off. Promo code UNLIMITED35. Enjoy!

Crossposted from my website. If you'd like to comment, you can do so here or there.

Sale ends tomorrow!

Topiary

The Raven and the Dancing TigerI’ve been selling The Raven and the Dancing Tiger for $0.99 for the month of July, to celebrate the arrival of The Guardian Hound.

But July ends tomorrow, and so does the sale. I’ll raise the price back up to $5.99 early Thursday morning.

So if you’d like a chance to read The Raven and the Dancing Tiger, for cheap, now’s the time!

In other news, I’m just about ready to send Siren’s Call out to first readers, and to start the next novel, The Popcorn Thief. And expect more NEWS next week!

Crossposted from my website. If you'd like to comment, you can do so here or there.

GUARDIAN HOUND now available!

Celebrate!

The Guardian Hound

Hooray! Huzzah! It’s book publication day! The Guardian Hound is now available over at Book View Cafe. (It’s also available at all all the other locations as well, such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and Kobo.)

Here’s the blurb:

Lukas first dreams about the end of the world when he’s five. As a prince of the hound clan, he is steadfast and loyal, able to take the form of any hound.

Yet, no one believes him except his grandmother.

The shadows, a corrupting force determined to suck the life out of everything on Earth, have infected the hound court.

How can Lukas survive to adulthood? Then battle non-corporeal creatures and save the world?

This novel is the sequel to The Raven and the Dancing Tiger. And because it is, I’m currently offering a sale! The Raven and the Dancing Tiger. is available for the month of July for just $0.99.

And to tempt you, here are the first two chapters.

Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )Crossposted from my website. If you'd like to comment, you can do so here or there.

Zen

The Tiger's ShadowOn July 9th, my new novel, The Guardian Hound, is being published by Book View Cafe.

It’s coming soon!

In the five weeks leading up to the novel release, I am publishing a short story a week, and having each available for free for that week. All the stories are about the world or somehow involved with The Guardian Hound and the various clans.

Chronologically, I wrote this story, A Tiger’s Shadow, before I wrote the story for last week, A Prophesy in Shadows. But once I finished this story, I knew I had to write what came before it.

I know I said that A Prophesy in Shadows was the second story I wrote, when I was only writing short stories and not tackling the novel yet. But I was wrong. It was the third story. This story, A Tiger’s Shadow, was actually the second story I wrote for the novel. It’s included as part of The Guardian Hound.

This story takes place during what is now called The Week of Long Knives, in Calcutta, in 1947.

Enjoy!

Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )Crossposted from my website. If you'd like to comment, you can do so here or there.

Free Fiction Monday — Prophesy in Shadows

Get Gel Marbling

Prophesy in Shadows On July 9th, my new novel, The Guardian Hound, is being published by Book View Cafe.

I continue to be excited about this.

In the five weeks leading up to the novel release, I plan on publishing a short story a week, and having each available for free for that week. All the stories are about the world or somehow involved with The Guardian Hound and the various clans.

This story is actually the first interlude of The Guardian Hound. It was second short story I wrote about the novel, when I was merely writing short stories, and not writing the novel yet.

Enjoy!

Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )Crossposted from my website. If you'd like to comment, you can do so here or there.

Free Fiction Monday — Shadows’ Door

Tech

Shadows' Door On July 9th, my new novel, The Guardian Hound, is being published by Book View Cafe.

I am still incredibly excited about this.

In the five weeks leading up to the novel release, I plan on publishing a short story a week, and having each available for free for that week. All the stories are about the world or somehow involved with The Guardian Hound and the raven clan.

This story is actually the first chapter of The Guardian Hound. At the end of last year, I told myself that I was going to switch to writing a bunch of short stories, and not work on the next novel.

My muse thought she’d be sneaky and get around that by producing a series of short stories about the novel.

I gave in pretty quickly. This was actually the last of the stories I wrote.

Enjoy!

Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )Crossposted from my website. If you'd like to comment, you can do so here or there.

Free Fiction Monday — The Third Raven

Flying Home

The Third Raven On July 9th, my new novel, The Guardian Hound, is being published by Book View Cafe.

I AM SO EXCITED!

Ahem.

In the five weeks leading up to the novel release, I plan on publishing a short story a week, and having each available for free for that week. All the stories are about the world or somehow involved with The Guardian Hound and the raven clan.

I wrote this story, The Third Raven, in December 2011. When I was about halfway finished with it, I realized I had an entire world in my head and I could easily set a novel there.

In 2012, I attended a workshop where one of the assignments was to write a short story about a first date, set now–it couldn’t be historical or future. I couldn’t figure out what to write for the longest time, and finally chose to tell a story about a modern day raven warrior trying to get a date.

That short story turned into the novel The Raven and the Dancing Tiger, which I will be re-releasing through Book View Cafe, also on July 9th. It’s the prequel to The Guardian Hound, though they each stand as separate books. (I’m also dropping the price for The Raven and the Dancing Tiger, for the month of July to $0.99.)

So here is the short story that started it all. Next year, I’ll write the third and last book in this world, called, War Among the Crocodiles.

Enjoy!

Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )Crossposted from my website. If you'd like to comment, you can do so here or there.

Deep Habits

Caleb

A couple weeks ago, I took a three-day class covering “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.”

Most of the material wasn’t new to me. For example, habit one is about being proactive. Part of that is eliminating “have to” from your common, everyday usage.

Years ago, I made the decision that I was no longer going to say things like, “I have to write tonight.” It was going to be, instead, “I get to write tonight.” Simple change, but it helps create a sense of anticipation and excitement in me. It’s also more accurate. I love writing.

Habit three is about first things first. For me, for decades now, the writing has been the most important thing in my life. Activities that don’t support the writing get jettisoned. I’m kind of ruthless about it.

This weekend, I’ve had a bunch of things that needed doing. I decided to make a list and order it. I needed to write two chapters in “Siren’s Call” this weekend. Without thinking about it, without any debate, the writing went first on the list. Everything else could fall afterward. It was a good validation for me, that not only do I say the writing comes first, I live it.

I got back the copyedits for “The Guardian Hound” as well as some other comments, and I started going through them today. Part of me feels like I’m not doing the right work, the most important work. When I stopped to figure out what that meant, I realized it meant writing the next chapter in the current novel.

Deep habits.

I don’t know how long “Siren’s Call” is going to be. I kept thinking it was 85,000. But when I look at what I’m writing, the outline, the novel doesn’t reach that long at all. It’s between 60-70,000 words. So I’m going to stick with that for now, with the right to change my mind if it does grow.

25356 / 70000
Crossposted from my website. If you'd like to comment, you can do so here or there.

Write the next line

Just Talking

Recently, Dean Wesley Smith blogged about writing a 70,000 word novel in 10 days.

It was fascinating to read how he did it, his attitudes toward writing, etc. A lot of it is apply butt to chair, trust the process, trust your writerly brain.

Dean writes into the dark, has no idea what the ending is of the project he’s working on. I usually know where I’m going, and have learned that if I don’t, it’s a mess. That’s just my process, which is different than his.

One of the things that really struck me and has stayed with me is the concept of “Write the next line.” From Dean, in the comments on Day 1:

William, do as I do when stuck. Just write the next line. Stuck means you can’t figure out something larger ahead. Stop worrying about that and just write the next line. Focus small and build with small blocks to get something larger.

Write the next line.

For the novel that I’m turning into the copyeditor on Monday, I’ve decided that I need to write a new chapter. I have a question to answer in this chapter, and it took me a while to figure out what the answer was. Now, while I may have a vague idea where I’m going, I have no idea how to get there. That’s very normal for me, how I usually write.

However, I do know the next line. So I can write the next line. And the next. And the next. And suddenly, there are over 2000+ words in this chapter. Still don’t know exactly how I’m going to finish it, but I feel confident that I will, and long before Monday.

Speaking of which…it’s time to go write the next line.

Crossposted from my website. If you'd like to comment, you can do so here or there.

The final slog…

Stress lab 2

I finished typing up the first draft of “The Guardian Hound” Monday, I believe. I’ve moved on to doing a final fix and heavy polish. I must power through three chapters every day in order to be finished by the 31st. That means between 3-6 hours every night of concentrated, hard work.

Ugh.

But I’m really pleased with this novel. I’m happy that I’m taking the time to read it all out loud before I pass it along to my first readers. I know I’m doing good work with this polish, and fixing a bunch of things.

My brain is already thinking about what’s next. I’ll have about 2 1/2 weeks after I finish the novel before comments come back. I’m going to try to write two short stories in that time.

Then the novel comes back for a couple of weeks, I fix things, and it goes off to the copy editor May 6th.

I’m figuring at that point, it’s time to start another novel.

The next novel I want to work on is “Siren’s Call” — the one set in New Orleans. It’s time to write that novel and finish it. I’m kind of excited about it — I know exactly how the novel is supposed to go, what’s supposed to happen. I just need to write the dang thing.

Crossposted from my website. If you'd like to comment, you can do so here or there.

Shadows’ Door

Welcome to my lair

That’s the name of the short story I just finished. It’s about 5500 words, set in 1910, in Germany. I think it’s next “chapter” for “The Guardian Hound.”

Or rather, it’s part of the mythos of this novel. Does it go where I currently have it? At the beginning? Later? I’m not sure.

Here’s the word count for the novel:

30785 / 60000

I’m guessing that 60,000 is actually short. I felt, after I finished the first seven chapters, that I’d finished the first third of the novel, not that I was close to the first half. We’ll see how long the novel actually ends up being, but it wouldn’t surprise me if this one was closer to 90,000 than 60,000 words.

Next week, I’ll be writing another short story chapter. This one will be set somewhere in South America, close to Mexico, set in 1947. Tentative title, “Shadows’ Prophecy.” But that may be too direct. I don’t know. Might not know until I finish the story. But it’s all about the Vipers, who are the mystics, and their prophecies.

I can’t tell you how much fun I’m having with this novel. When I finished the short story, I’d figured it was around 3000 words long, because it had just flowed. The actual length surprised me.

I hope that readers of this novel will have as much joy as I’ve had writing it.

Crossposted from my website. If you'd like to comment, you can do so here or there.

Leveling up

Marv

Yesterday, I wrote a lot of words.

Really. A lot.

By the time I finished, I realized I had two chapters worth of material, not one. Approximately 4800 words.

Today, I typed up both chapters. They ended up being about 7000 words. (As part of my process, I always hand write everything first. But there were a couple of scenes missing from what I’d written yesterday, so I typed those up fresh and new this evening.)

I’m quite pleased with today’s work.

I’m also pleased with how my word count is adding up.

Tonight, I cracked 200K word total for the year. (200,057 words to be precise.)

I still plan on writing more this year. At least one more chapter, maybe two, so maybe another 7K words.

I’ve been enjoying this vacation, though it hasn’t been much of a vacation. It’s a break from the day job, but I’m probably working as hard, if not harder, than I usually do, with all the writing.

I can really see myself doing this fulltime.

Crossposted from my website. If you'd like to comment, you can do so here or there.

Vacation?

True Nature

I have this week off from the day job, and that’s been oh-so-lovely. This morning, I slept until I woke up, around 10:30. Boy, was that nice.

But I’ve also been writing. I’ve finished the first two chapters of the new novel, about 7000 words (7525 words, actually.) These chapters are turning out to be a bit longer than 3000 words, and I think that’s okay.

I have the next two chapters completely planned out in my head, so I think they’ll go fast (one a day, maybe, for the next couple days.)

If I wanted to, I could probably write a chapter a day, everyday, until I go back to work on the day job. That would mean I’d have the first seven chapters, about the first third of the novel finished.

However, I also want to do some other things this vacation, and not just write the whole time. There’s a quilt I need to finish, some cooking I want to do, etc.

Tomorrow I’ll get up earlier. And maybe I’ll quilt as well as write.

Or maybe I’ll just write. It’s so lovely to let myself get so lost in the words. In that way, this has been a true vacation so far for me.

Crossposted from my website. If you'd like to comment, you can do so here or there.

That writing thang…

Gears

Remember that whole plan I had about writing a short story a week until the end of the year?

Then life happened.

I got really sick for 2+ weeks. The third week, I was recovering, but I couldn’t find any enthusiasm for any of the short stories I’d kind of been thinking about. I figured the lack of immediate ideas must have been illness related (seriously, I haven’t been that sick for a long, long time. Probably not since I had pneumonia three years ago.)

I finally started feeling better. And I thought I should at least want to start writing.

But the words, they weren’t a-flowin’.

Eventually, I asked myself whether it was time for me to start writing the next novel.

And the words came rushing back.

I was traveling this last week. I have probably the first third of the novel plotted out. After that — who knows?

I am so excited about this new book. It feels different, and the process for planning it has been very different.

Generally, when I get a novel idea, I also get a sense of how to write it.

This novel appears to be coming to me as a series of scenes, with a series of characters. The structure isn’t clear. Even the order of some of the scenes isn’t clear. That’s fine, I’m not bothered by it — it’s just interesting and different. Usually a story comes at me linearly. This novel feels non-linear in the extreme.

I don’t have to go back to the day job until January 2nd. I plan on making lots of good progress on the novel before then.

As for the short stories, uhm, well, life happens sometimes. I wrote 16 short stories this year. I am pleased with that. I’ll do a post later on total word count for the year, how I did re: 2012 and what I plan on doing in 2013.

Crossposted from my website. If you'd like to comment, you can do so here or there.

Beyond the Garden available in paperback!

Christmas ornaments

The short story collection, “Beyond the Garden” is now available as a paperback!

I put this collection together and did the majority of the work during Thanksgiving. Today the final proof arrived. It’s such a pretty book. And I’m thrilled with this new age of publishing, when I can produce such a thing.

As for me, I’m finally better. Not well, but much better. My voice came back sometime after noon today, after I’d finished my coffee, so I no longer sound as if I’ve been smoking a couple of packs of cigarettes a day for the last 30 years. I got a few things done today, in between taking long breaks. I don’t have any strength right now.

I don’t have to write a story this week, though I have started one, the next of the stories about the clans. The character is arrogant, and I asked myself whether he’d be sympathetic. My instant response was that he was competent–his arrogance has a reason. Which, in my mind, is good enough. We’ll see how this one goes.

Tomorrow I go get some Christmas lights, then decorate the tree and the house. And go to the Seattle Men’s Chorus, a holiday tradition for a friend and I.

And maybe tomorrow I spend a little bit of time writing, seriously writing, as well.

Crossposted from my website. If you'd like to comment, you can do so here or there.

Holding steady

Stress lab 2

So — it’s a sinus infection, and pretty nasty. I haven’t had a voice since Monday. I’m really hoping that come Sunday I will have turned the corner, and will be on the road to recovery. I am better today than I was, say, Monday or Tuesday, but it’s a minor improvement. I’m still mostly sick.

There were a lot of things I was planning on doing this weekend, like getting a tree and decorating for Christmas, as well as volunteering, going to a party, and to the Seattle Men’s Chorus Christmas concert. I don’t know what I’ll be able to do — I really do want to get the tree, though, so I may just go ahead and do that. Don’t really need a voice for buying a tree, right?

I haven’t written anything in almost two weeks. I found myself writing a story in my head, or at least the start of one, last night (another reason why I think I’m getting better.) It’s one of the characters from “The Guardian Hound” who started talking to me, in her very distinct voice. Ariel, one of the boar warriors. I don’t think she has a separate story, outside the novel, I think she’s just part of the narrative, but she’s talking really loudly to me, through all the illness, so what do I know?

Crossposted from my website. If you'd like to comment, you can do so here or there.

Back on track

DharmaWheel

Giving myself permission to move back to the world of “The Raven and the Dancing Tiger” has certainly proven to be the right thing to do. I easily wrote 1000+ words last night — I’m not sure how many. Generally, six page = ~1000 words, which I did, plus filled the margins with notes. So it will probably end up being more than that.


Tonight, I sat down and cranked out eight hand written pages, again, with lots of notes in the margins. There’s so much more of this world and these characters and clans that I want to explore. They all have recitations, but they have different ones. Not every clan is close to their other soul.


Spoilers for the next novel/story!Collapse )

Crossposted from my website. If you'd like to comment, you can do so here or there.

Giving in

Change

All week, I’ve been struggling with the short story I’ve been trying to write. “Project block” is what Kris Rusch calls it — and I think that’s right. I don’t ever get writer’s block — I can always write. I get project block, though, when there’s something wrong with a project and I can’t figure it out.

So this morning, while I was walking, I asked my muse, as I am wont to do, “If I could write anything at all, what would you like for me to work on?”

My muse was strangely silent. No project sprang to mind, no new story or idea I wanted to explore.

This was odd. Very odd for me.

At some point close to the end of my walk, I started thinking about the world of “The Raven and the Dancing Tiger” and the shadows and various things, and my muse perked up.

Also very odd.

So I asked myself, “Would you like to work on this?” “This” being, in general, the next novel, playing in that world, etc.

My mind lit up.

That’s about the best I can do to explain how it felt. Suddenly, all these story ideas were there, all these connections were being made, and this weight was lifted off my muse. I felt like I was glowing and could run forever with these ideas.

See, I’d told myself earlier that I wasn’t going to work on the next novel until January. I believe this was why my muse was initially silent — I’d already told it, in effect, “No, you can’t work on that.”

I’m not giving up on the idea of a short story a week. It’s just that the next short story (the one that I’m writing this week, that has to be finished by Sunday, that I’m only starting on tonight) is going to be, “The Tiger’s Shadow,” which is back story for the novel. It’s historic fantasy, set in India, around 1947.

Maybe that will satisfy my muse and I can write another short story set somewhere else. Or maybe I’ll have to just start writing the novel. The following “short story” may end up being the first chapter of the novel, more backstory, as it were. I’m not convinced that “The Guardian Hound” is going to have the same structure as “The Raven and the Dancing Tiger” — with current day and backstory chapters intermixed.

I will be on vacation ALL OF NEXT WEEK (not that I’m excited about that or anything!) So I hope I can get a lot of writing done.

Crossposted from my website. If you'd like to comment, you can do so here or there.

Another one done

Patience

I finished the hand written draft of the short story for this week. Huzzah! Tentative title: “The Viper in Tulum”

I like it, I really do. But I’m also frustrated with it, and disappointed in myself. I feel as though only 70% of what I had in my head actually made it to the page, that there’s still so much missing that I wanted to tell.

Part of that, I realize, is because I wasn’t fully imbedded behind the character’s eyes. But that’s tricky with this story, because the character is hiding, even from himself, until the very last scene. He doesn’t speak with his true voice until then.

When I go to type it up tomorrow, I also have to decide if this is going to stay a short story (around 4000 words) or if I expand it by dramatizing the backstory, instead of summarizing it. The writer part of my head thinks it would be cool, but the craft side isn’t convinced. It would end up doubling the size of the story.

Plus, I’m supposed to finish this story tomorrow, and I don’t think I could dramatize the backstory, type it all up, as well as go do the social things I’m supposed to do tomorrow.

What I may do is this: leave the story as is, but give myself permission to go back and flesh it out more later, say, when I finish writing the next novel.

You see, this story is part of the origin story for the next novel, “The Guardian Hound,” which takes place after “The Raven and the Dancing Tiger” and is set in the same world, with some of the same characters and some new characters. (Though the POV will be from a new character, and I think I’ll stick with his POV the entire time.)

I cannot tell you how much fun I’ve had with this story, expanding this world. Kept me awake last night thinking of things. Making shit up: that’s the coolest part of writing, don’t you know.

Crossposted from my website. If you'd like to comment, you can do so here or there.