June 2019 Stats

I’m really embarrassed to share this information because I did really, really bad this month. But this is how life works sometimes.

Days I didn’t write:

Almost all of them.

How many words:

I’d be surprised if I hit 4,000.

Projects I worked on:

Moon Shine

The Heart of the Forest Cycle

What I actually wanted to work on:

Resonance

Goals for next month:

Draft Havoc’s Moon

Submissions sent out:

0

Submissions accepted:

1

Submissions rejected:

0

SO this month was terrible for my productivity. Mr. J drove up from Alabama in the first week and we stayed in Arkansas for a few days before driving down to the Florida panhandle to visit my aunt for a week. Then further down the state to visit Mr. J’s grandfather for another week. And then a few days in Mr. J’s home port before I flew back to Arkansas.

But even thought I didn’t do a lot of writing (I gave up tallying my word counts and days after the first week) I did a lot of outlining and brainstorming. I fleshed out secondary characters and sub-plots. I worked on motivations and story arcs. It was a productive time in every other aspect of writing except actually writing.

My two other main projects, Resonance and The Heart of the Forest Cycle, are progressing more slowly than I would like but they are progressing. The biggest news there is that instead of being a trilogy of novels, The Heart of the Forest Cycle is going to be at least two volumes of short stories and novellas. I have a lot of characters in that series and tying all of their story lines together was becoming increasingly difficult so I’ve separated nearly everyone’s stories and things are flowing more easily. I might be able to publish the first volume sometime in the fall but I’m still not going to make it a priority. The Slaughter Chronicles comes first.

July is Camp NaNoWriMo. I will be participating this year. I didn’t win camp this past April but I also had unrealistic expectations. So for July, I will work on finishing the first draft of Havoc’s Moon and polishing Moon Shine for publication in October.

Here’s looking to a larger word count in the future!

Moon Shine: this is the last schedule change, I promise!

A few months ago I said that I would publish the next novella in my Slaughter Chronicles series in May. And then one of my beta readers (Mr. J, who is supportive and loves me) asked for more time to go through my final draft and I pushed the publication date forward to the end of June.

And as I was running through my final edits I came to the realization that this book wasn’t going to be a novella. It’s a novel. It’s over 50,000 words long. But I can live with that. It wasn’t part of the plan but it’s fine. Whatever. Story happened. It’s fine.

Well, it is now the end of June and Moon Shine is still not ready because–and this is the truth–I was 99.9% done with the edits and going through my beta reader’s final notes and as we were talking (because he is supportive and he loves me) he suggested that one of the characters I had planned to introduce much later in the series (Book 6) be here, in this book, and here in the series from the beginning.

And then that character spoke up in my head saying: “Yeah, I’ve been here the whole time, actually.”

And I said, “Oh really? And what have you been doing?”

And he said, “Gardening.”

Gardening.

Yep.

Gardening. (Physical and Psychological 0_0)

So now I have to make this work. And it’s not hard. It actually makes sense. There are a lot of good things about this decision. And from this decision I was able to add better layers to the plot holes that I made. Further, moving this character from Book 6 to Regina’s prequel novel has helped me outline one of the possible (and my favorite by far) endings to the entire series.

So it was a productive and positive decision but it also means I have three new paragraphs to sew into the manuscript and more editing to do.

Therefore I am moving the publication date of Moon Shine forward to October 31, 2019. I am going to have a Halloween book baby this year, goddamnit!

Havoc’s Moon, Book 1, will hopefully be released in December this year. I’ve actually got the outline almost done for this one so I’m feeling positive about completing it without any surprises.

To anyone who cares: Thank you for your patience while I work all this stuff out. This is the joy of self publishing.

Character Consciousness

This is an example of one of the ways I think up characters:

Me: (recording poems for my audiobook)

Icharus: I want to be a character now.

Me: But you already are.

Icharus: In a book.

Me: …what?

Icharus: I want to be in a book. I didn’t die when I fell. And I love Orpheus.

Me: You do? Ok just hang on a–

Icharus: And I want my book to be like every James Baldwin novel but with more sex.

Me: I don’t know if I can be that brutal.

Icharus: And it’s going to be a trilogy.

Me: Really?

Icharus: Yep.

Me: Well you’ll have to get in line behind Regina, all the Echos, Helen, and everybody else.

Icharus: Did I mention I love Orpheus? And maybe one of the gods too. Apollo could be very metaphorical.

Me: Take a number and get in line!

Icharus: I really, really want a book-trilogy.

Me: You’ll get one just shut up and let me work!

Icharus: I don’t trust you.

Me: It’ll happen! You’re in the queue. I promise!

Icharus: You’re going to have to do a lot of research. Geography is really important.

Me: I know!

Icharus: …maybe Achilles…

Me: Don’t push it.

*

And on and on it went and that is how I made the decision to eventually write a gay romance. A character popped into my head that wouldn’t shut up. But really this character has been in my head since 2012 and didn’t find his voice until day before yesterday. Before that he was a shadowy idea floating around in my brain meat.

It happened during a writing exercise I did back in grad school (see how long ago). The exercise was to look at a book cover and write the synopsis on the back. No influence from the real synopsis or any other information from the book. Just write something based off the cover. You should try it, it’s super fun.

When I read my little blurb the girl sitting at the table directly across from me lit up with a smile and after class she told me I had to write that character, that his voice was so clear to her.

At the time I wasn’t writing fiction but I thought she was super nice to say so, so I put the suggestion away and now almost 7, count em, 7 years later here’s that voice again.

But this time I am writing fiction and I don’t want to tell him to go away. So I guess I’m adding another project to my publication schedule.

*

How do your characters come to you?

Or, if you’re a poet, how do poems happen?

The Slaughter Chronicles is LIVE

I am super excited to announce that I have published the first book in my paranormal horror series 🙂

Meet Regina Slaughter. She’s 11 years old and she’s a werewolf. She’s also a prisoner, the property of an organization of supernatural monster hunters called HADES.

Dead Girl Moon is the story of how she breaks free of captivity.

In a world full of unseen demons, a werewolf is just another monster.

When Regina’s father accidentally bites and contaminates his daughter, he starts her down a path very different from the life her mother planned for her.

Life in prison is hard but what do you do when you’re an 11-year-old wolf girl?

Regina Slaughter was, according to police reports, the victim of a brutal murder. In reality she was the property of HADES, a mercurial mercenary company dedicated to wiping out the supernatural menace.

Good always triumphs over evil, right?

Not when evil locks you in a cage and does everything it can to destroy you. When Regina’s best friend Tiffany goes missing, she will do everything she can to find her.

Dead Girl Moon is currently up for free download on Kobo, Prolific Works, Smashwords, and Google Play. It will be up soon on iBooks and Nook, I’m just waiting for all of the download deliveries and processing goblins/gremlins/internet fiends to do all the processing.

Click here to get your free copy 🙂

This is technically Book Zero of the Slaughter Chronicles, as the events within take place when Regina is just a child. The real start of Regina’s story, Book One, will be published in October 2019.

Looking for more awesomeness?

Check out my friend Kathy’s short story and novel teaser here 🙂

Buy Whiskey-Niner-Kilo at Amazon

Buy Whiskey-Niner-Kilo at Barnes&Noble

And check out her blog here 🙂