The Smallest of All Steps

Happy New Year, friends! I think the world in general has had quite enough of 2016. Here’s hoping for better things in 2017.

On a personal writerly level, I had a very mixed year. I released my first published novel (co-authored with Kit), which was amazing, and then dove into a months-long promotional campaign for it, which was interesting and educational and sometimes fun, but not so amazing. (Except the two book launches. Those were pretty neat.) One of my co-workers at the day job bought my book recently, and today she walked past and waved it at me with a bookmark in it. That was also pretty neat.

But the promo campaign has been over for months, and I’ve written almost nothing since.

You may or may not be a writer, but I’m sure you know this about habits: if you let them drop, the longer … Continue reading

The Makings of a Princess Story

Hello, Turtleducklings!

Today I am super excited because I get to unveil…

THIS!

To Rule the Stars cover image

 

What is it, you ask? It’s our next release, an anthology of longish short stories by three Turtleduck Press authors, plus a sneak peek at our next novel. (Never fear, KD Sarge—our fourth author—hasn’t gone anywhere. Look for her next piece right here on December 1!)

And yes, each story features outer space. And at least one princess.

To be honest, I had a lot of trouble with mine. I didn’t want to go the route of Star Wars, with a grand space opera, since I … Continue reading

Adventures in Marketing CITY OF HOPE AND RUIN

It’s been almost a month since City of Hope and Ruin was released, and guys, I’m discovering that the marketing phase of a book can be pretty intense. I’ve been doing some sort of promo (or networking for future promo) just about every day, while trying not to annoy my social media friends and followers too much. That’s a lot of brain cycles. Especially because it’s all new to me. I’ve been learning about book marketing for quite a while now, have done some already for Turtleduck Press, but this is a whole ‘nother level.

Of course, it helps immensely that there are two of us — our marketing power is doubled. Or even more, because Kit and I are in vastly different parts of North America, so we can each hit our respective local bookstores/libraries/conventions. We even managed to co-host a virtual launch party on Facebook. (We … Continue reading

End of Project Jitters

City of Hope and Ruin is out! Hooray! It’s out and it’s lovely and people have been so great about telling us how excited they are or how much they liked the book and we are very thankful for all you lovely people.

And now I am free! BWHAHAHA.

I mean, of course, there’s still lots to do on CoHaR. Marketing things, reviewers, guest posts and blog tours, the Goodreads giveaway which starts tomorrow, etc. We’ll be at it for months. But the frenetic pace of the past year, and specifically the last five months, is done with.

FREEDOM.

Of course, now that I find myself with freedom, I once again find myself confronted with a slew of options. What to work on now? Do I work on anything? Do I catch up on all the reading I didn’t do while ear-deep in revisions?

At the beginning of … Continue reading

The Imposter Has Arrived

I’ve written before in this space about my struggles with feeling like an imposter. Like I’m not a Real Writer, or not really meant to be a writer, or never going to be a writer.

Well…it looks like I was wrong. Because this is a real novel. That I wrote. (Well, that I co-wrote. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be writing this post tonight if it weren’t for Kit. The power of a co-author cannot be underestimated, guys.) It looks real — the cover art looks pretty darn official, and Kit did a phenomenal job with the interior formatting — but in a week or two it’s going to be in my hands, and I’m going to have to believe it really is real.

And I’m having a real book launch, and people I know are excited to read it (which is oddly terrifying), and it has … Continue reading

Guest Post: Dianna Bell on Fanfiction

Siri here. We have a special post-Easter treat for you today. Because it’s the fifth Tuesday of the month, you’re getting a guest post from fellow writer Dianna Bell. Dianna is an Aussie who writes primarily fanfiction, and she’s here to share some ways in which lessons from fanfiction can apply to writing original fiction as well. Pleeeease welcome…Dianna!

This guest post feels like all my writing: I have a plan, but no idea how to start so that the words in my head hit the screen. How about I just wade in? I write fanfiction, and there are things I’ve learned from it that could apply to all writing. (Supposedly I also write original stuff, but I’ve had more luck in the last few years with fanfiction, and in any case that’s probably another blog post. Which may be a while coming, because I’m a guest. Continue reading

3 Things I’ve Learned from the Sekrit Project

Siri’s and my co-written novel continues to be in the front of our minds as we finish up our edit (the book’ll be out in May!), so bear with us for just a little longer. Next month we might actually talk about something else! Though I make no guarantees.

The sekrit project (as we’ve dubbed the novel) has proven to be eye-opening in many ways. I’ve had to plot, write, and edit differently than usual. It’s been a long time since I wrote with someone else, and rarely with the level of coordination that this has entailed. So, before I jump back in (I’m ~66% of the way through my parts), here’s 3 things I’ve learned from working on this project.

In the Throes of Editing

Just a quick post today, lovelies, because Kit and I are still wrestling bears editing our novel for your future reading delight. I’ll be honest: it’s been a really tough slog.

Not because I can’t take critique — I’ve been in critique groups for years, and have gotten past the initial defensive reaction. When someone like our awesome editor KD points out a problem, I listen. (And then decide whether the passage in question should be fixed in a different way, or should actually stay as is while I go fix something elsewhere that led to the perceived problem…)

Not because I can’t stand the thought of changing a word. I’ve long since gotten over the fear of messing up my first drafts. (I mean, first drafts are rough by nature, but there’s something raw and pure about them — that’s the way the story came out of your head, … Continue reading

7 Weeks

So about seven weeks ago, coincidentally enough, I blogged about an app called 7 Weeks. It’s supposed to help build habits. So how’s that going?

I think I should have invested in the Cattle Prod app.

Don’t get me wrong! The 7 Weeks app itself is great. Easy to use, appealing, intuitive…the problem, as always, is me.

The free version tracks your habit for the titular 7 Weeks. I paid $1.99 for the pro version, knowing I was going to need more than seven weeks. And after those seven weeks, I can unequivocally say I was right–I needed it.

Probably I’m trying for too much at once. I didn’t just stick with the two habits I talked about last time, oh no. Not ME. That would be too easy! I stuck with writing every day. I altered “watch the money” to “update budget spreadsheet.” I added “clean kitchen.” … Continue reading

Co-Writing for Fun and Profit

Didja miss me? Well, too bad…I’m back!

Today I’d like to share a bit about Turtleduck Press’s next novel (title and cover art forthcoming in due time). Kit and I have both talked in this space about the fact that we’re co-writing, but we haven’t gone into any detail about the experience…until now.

It’s not Kit’s first time co-writing a novel; I’ve done it before too, but not for many many years. And I’ve blogged before about having a major crisis of faith as a writer last year. So I was a little apprehensive about how it would go.

In fact, it’s been quite a smooth process — at least as smooth as novel writing ever is! It’s helped immensely to have somebody to bounce ideas off, to trade chapters with (we each wrote one point of view, in alternating chapters), to keep each other motivated. Having two minds … Continue reading