Posts Tagged ‘paranormal romance’

Every first draft presents different challenges. And takes its own time.

One memorable first draft (BLOOD WILL TELL) came flowing out in about six weeks. That was quite a roller-coaster ride and I haven’t had another story do that since.

Blood Will Tell Cover

My current first draft for WAR OF MAGIC is way past the six-week range. But it is proceeding at its own pace. And one of the things I’ve had to learn is that I can’t hurry that.


(Yes, by the way, that is a new version of the cover I’ve been playing with. I think I like this one, though it still needs a couple of tweaks.)

The important thing is that the first draft is proceeding. And this week I passed the 80,000 word mark. Which is probably somewhere between three-quarters and four-fifths complete. So, while I’m not going to finish this draft by the end of this month, the end is coming in sight.

Don’t forget the ongoing CIR Mid-Winter Sale.

Midwinter Saleor the

CIR Fantasy Winter Escape Giveaway, still going on.

Winter Sale

Enter the rafflecopter giveaway here.

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NaNoWriMo is an annual event in which thousands of writers commit to writing 50,000 words in the month of November. (Actually, why November is something of a mystery to me. That’s a fairly busy, distractable time of year, but I’m not in charge.)

I’ve never done NaNo–and I’m not officially doing it this year, either. Mostly, this is because I know I can write that many words in a month when everything is right. BLOOD WILL TELL was like that.

Blood Will Tell Cover

I think I wrote that entire first draft (probably about 80,000 words) in six weeks. What a roller-coaster ride that was. But I also know that, for me, trying to force the words when something’s not right or the story just needs me to take more time with it won’t lead to anything productive.

But I feel like I need to give myself some more specific–and frequent–goals to really push me on WAR OF MAGIC.


(I really need to go ahead and put the title on that cover.) NaNo breaks down to about 1667 words a day, which should be totally doable.

So, I’m unofficially doing NaNo this month. I’ve committed to posting daily check-ins for NaNo on one of the writers’ forums I belong to. That should help.

Of course, 50,000 words won’t finish the draft. I’m at about 30,000 words now and the previous books in the series have run over 100,000 words. But it’d sure take a big chunk out of it.

Wish me luck.

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So, having decided to explore boxed sets, the next logical step was to figure out how to make a boxed set cover.

The only “boxed set” I currently have is the CHIMERIA OMNIBUS, which includes both BLOOD WILL TELL and BLOOD IS THICKER. The original cover was a sort of mash-up of the individual covers, but flat, like a regular book cover.

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image10567743This seemed like the logical place to start learning how to take this cover and turn it into a boxed set. And . . . I did!

Chimeria Box 2Yes, I did make a couple of changes to the cover, too. It doesn’t make much sense to have the individual book titles both on the cover and on the spine.

Now, on to considering a possible boxed set of my three young adult stand-alone novels. The sticking point here is in figuring out a cover image that works for:

I don’t think that’s going to be as easy as figuring out how to make a boxed set cover.

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BookBub Partners put out a very interesting post on boxed sets this week. It’s made me think.

There’s already, sort of, a boxed set of the first two books in the Chimeria series:

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image10567743It probably needs a new cover–or, well, at least to have this cover made to look more like a real boxed set. (There are sites to help you do that.)

I’ve always intended to do a boxed set of the Dual Magics series after I finish it. This post has made me think a little harder about exactly how I’m going to go about that.

I had never before considered the ideas of a boxed set of the first books in different series (which wouldn’t work anyway until I have another series or two out) or of doing a boxed set of unrelated stand alone novels, like my three YA stories–FIRE AND EARTH, THE BARD’S GIFT, and DAUGHTER OF THE DISGRACED KING. That . . . sounds kind of interesting, actually.

There’s always another angle to think about. That’s part of what keeps this indie author thing interesting.

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First good thing: Beyond the Prophecy is available right now as a paperback.

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Of course, it’s a lot cheaper if you pre-order the ebook for only $0.99.

Second good thing: Two of my book are still available on Wattpad, BLOOD WILL TELL and the sequel BLOOD IS THICKER.


Someone read both of them in what must have been a marathon and commented on just about every chapter how much they were enjoying them. That just makes an author’s day. And it made me go back and look at those two again. I’d forgotten how much fun that story was. Someday, I’ll have to go back and write the third installment of that series.

I’m going to let those two good things win out over the one bad I’m still struggling with. More on that later–maybe.

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Mom and Me, Picnic

This is my first Mother’s Day without Mom. I miss her, not so much the way she was at the end, when, frankly, she didn’t really know who I was anyway. (Alzheimer’s disease is a far worse villain than anything I can come up with.) I miss her the way we were back in this photo, which is just an ordinary picnic. After Dad retired, they took up the habit of going on picnics once a week, usually on Tuesdays. If the weather didn’t cooperate, they’d still go for a drive and stop to eat somewhere. It didn’t take long before they knew all the best places–indoors or out–within a three-hour drive in any direction. (Well, not west. You can’t drive three hours to the west from here without a boat. ) Whenever I felt I needed a break, I could just throw my name in and join them for a day.

I’m planning to keep myself busy. There’s a lot that needs doing around here and I’m about two-thirds through revisions to MAGIC AND POWER.

Mothers Day Book Bash Banner

Don’t forget the Mother’s Day Book Bash. Nine great books for bargain prices.

And, just to tie the two parts of this post together, Mom was part of the inspiration for Valeriah in the Chimeria series. Not Vallie’s aggressiveness or her fighting prowess, that wasn’t Mom at all. Though, she wasn’t afraid to make her opinion known. No, the part of Valeriah that comes from Mom was the petite ball of fire aspect. Mom was barely five feet tall on a good day, but she sure was a firecracker.

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Here’s a character interview with Valeriah:

Valeriah strides into the room, eyes automatically flicking over everyone present and all possible entrances and exits. She’s petite with bright red hair and a ruddy complexion. Her presence radiates energy that makes her seem bigger than she really is.

Inspection complete, she huffs impatiently. “All right, I suppose we should get this over with.” She takes a moment to organize her thoughts.

“To begin with, all of the magical races of Chimeria can take human form. It’s our lingua franca, the way we can all talk to each other. Of course, once we take human form, there’s more we can do than just talk. Occasionally, interesting hybrids of the races are produced.

“You need to know this because I’m a hybrid. My mother was a werewolf. Now werewolves aren’t what you think over here. Your movies make me laugh. A werewolf isn’t forced to change by the moon. They take wolf form when they choose. Of course, as a hybrid, I’ve never been able to change at all. But I’m still driven by the moon. It’s not a ravening madness, though. It’s more like a manic energy and, of course, a craving for raw meat. Every werewolf has to find a way to deal with the energy the moon brings out in us, the wild blood. Now, I’m not denying that some werewolves get violent at the full moon, especially young males. But most find other ways to cope. Myself, I run. A tired werewolf is a good werewolf, even at the full moon.

“But I’m more than just half werewolf. My father was a hybrid, too. His father was the wizard Azander and his mother was a unicorn, Elsibel. Being a hybrid is never convenient, and it’s downright awkward when the parts of your nature are as opposite as werewolves and unicorns. For example, at the new moon, when my unicorn nature is strongest, I’m a vegetarian. But at the full moon, I prefer very rare red meat.

“Other than the compromises I have to make to balance my nature, I know very little about werewolves or unicorns, so don’t ask me. Grandmother Elsibel was disowned by the unicorns when she married my grandfather. And mother never had a chance to introduce me to the werewolves. Both my parents and my two brothers were murdered when I was five. I was only spared because my father fell on me and the killers didn’t find me. They seemed to be in a hurry and didn’t look too hard. I know they used a portal, because I saw them step out of thin air. But the portal had been closed by the time Grandfather found me.

“That portal is the only clue I have to find those who murdered my family. My werewolf blood won’t let me forget. I have to avenge them. But, after twenty years, the trail has gone cold. Almost impossible even for a werewolf to follow.

“Grandfather refused to tell me what he knew about the portals, so I left to find out for myself as soon as I came of age. I found work as a member of the Portal Watch. We protect Chimeria by preventing people from your ordinary, non-magical world from blundering in and finding out about us. Sometimes, we also act as bodyguards for the members of the Council of Magical Races when they cross over to your world. I get that duty a lot because of the strength, agility, and instincts I inherited from my werewolf mother.

“It’s not easy being a female in the Watch. There are precious few of us. It took a couple of years for me to convince the male members of the Watch that I wasn’t available for the taking. Every now and again, I still have to show a new recruit how I got my reputation. I can take any one of them in a fair fight–and have–often enough to make them respect me. I stay in the Watch because it’s the only way I know to find out more about the portals, and track down whoever killed my family.”

One brave interviewer puts up a hand. “What do you remember about those that killed your family?”

Valeriah’s eyes take on a distracted look as she stares at the far wall. “I remember that they used a portal. The air shimmered in front of Mama and then men stepped out of that shimmer. I’ve had enough experience with portals now to know that’s what that shimmer was. I remember the blood spurting around the sword point coming out of Daddy’s back. There were no screams. It was too quick for that.

“For the rest, it’s hard to know what’s real anymore, after twenty years. I think some of my nightmares have gotten twisted up in it. I think they were all wearing green shirts. I don’t think that came out of the nightmares.

“The portal is my only real clue, though. I have to find out who could make a portal like that and then close it. It’s the only way I have to find the murderers, now.”

“Is it only your werewolf half that feels the need for revenge?” the interviewer follows up. “Does it conflict with other areas of your nature?”

Valeriah shakes her head. “My werewolf blood won’t let me forget about the murders. Especially at the full moon. The blood rage can be overwhelming, then.

“My unicorn side wouldn’t approve, I’m sure, but the werewolf hasn’t given that part of me a vote. My non-werewolf cousin certainly doesn’t approve. But then Cristel is a pacifist. And my grandfather thinks that seeking revenge will get me into trouble. They don’t understand.

“If I can just get the scent, I’m sure I can hunt them to ground.”

“What about scent? Do you remember the murderer’s scents?” another interviewer asks.

Valeriah’s lip twists up in a snarl. “I only remember the smell of my father’s blood and the beginnings of decay. That covers everything else.”

“You said your grandfather wouldn’t tell you about the portals. Does that make you angry with him?”

Valeriah blows out her breath. “Not really angry. He spent so much effort to protect me after the murders. He just never could let go of the need to keep me safe. He thinks seeking revenge will get me into trouble and I’ll get killed, too. I know he’s scared for me.

“That doesn’t mean I’m not frustrated that he won’t let me use his library. If he won’t help me, at least he could let me do what I have to do on my own. That argument is the main reason I left and haven’t been back to see him or my cousin in eight years.”

Another interviewer raises a hand. “You haven’t seen your family in eight years. Are you alone, or is there anyone else you turn to?”

Valeriah shrugs. “Well, I am a member of the Portal Watch. Some of them are companions of a sort. Of course, there are quite a few I had to beat up when I first joined, so they knew not to try to take advantage of me. Some of them hold a grudge. There isn’t anybody I’d really call a friend.

She sighs. “I’m a lone wolf.”

The interviewer follows up. “Would you seek companionship? What if you found someone who let you be you, but also gave you strength and at times something to lean on?”

Valeriah turns to look out the window. Her voice drops so that the interviewers have to lean forward to hear her. “I’ve never had any luck with that. Gave up trying years ago. I don’t need to lean on anybody, though I don’t mind working with a partner as part of my job. That’s just what it is, though. Nothing else.”

Another interviewer raises a hand, but Valeriah strides toward the door. “We’re done here. I have murderers to track.”

This was originally done for a challenge in which writers contributed different characters and then wrote a short story in which two of them met. You can read my story about Valeriah and a space alien (who looks like a poodle) here.

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Mothers Day Book Bash BannerAnd, since my contribution to this party is actually a two-book set, here’s an excerpt from the second book, BLOOD IS THICKER.

Blood Is Thicker Cover

To set this one up: Valeriah has teamed up with some dragons. (Pretty closely with one dragon in particular.) They’re out of Chimeria, in our world (disguised as humans), where the dragons maintain a palatial estate. Of course, they really don’t want to reveal their true identities to anyone over here. The dragons, all in human form, in this scene are: Rolf, his older brother Drake, and their baby sister, Kamara.

While Kamara is about Valeriah’s age, as the heiress of the Matriarch of the gold dragons, she’s been coddled and sheltered all her life. Her maturity level is closer to a fourteen-year-old than a twenty-something. And she’s made up her mind to go out to a party with a young man neither of her over-protective brothers, nor Valeriah, approve of.

Oh, and it appears the young man knows more about Kamara’s origins than he really should.

Kamara excused herself from the supper table as early as she could and rushed to get herself ready for Daniel. She wanted to be beautiful tonight. It would be nice if Valeriah could do her hair, the way she had for the Christmas party. Never mind. Kamara’d just have to do it herself. It wouldn’t be as elaborate, is all. She’d go for something simpler, like the way Valeriah had worn her hair that night. Rolf had seemed to like that. At least, he’d played with it a lot. The idea of Daniel playing with her hair like that made Kamara smile. Last of all, she drew the chain of her topaz pendant over her head, admiring the way it winked in the light, sending golden reflections across the room.

At two minutes to eight, she slipped down the back stairs. The others were in the study, so she wanted to avoid that side of the house and the entry hall, where her gold high-heeled shoes would echo on the marble tiles. Past the gym and out the French doors to the patio. She breathed a sigh of relief at escaping the house. This time, she was going to make it.

Around the kitchen side of the house to the front was easy. She walked on the grass, not the concrete driveway, despite the unpleasant way her heels sank into the damp soil. That was better than making too much noise and attracting attention. She had to step onto the concrete to open the smaller pedestrian gate, set into the larger one. Hopefully, she was far enough from the house now not to be heard.

As soon as she’d palmed the lock, the gate pushed open from the other side and Daniel stepped through. She smiled brightly at him. Two other men she didn’t recognize came through behind him. Well, he’d said they were going to a party with some of his friends.

Daniel didn’t introduce his friends, but they moved to either side of her.

“Hello, Kamara.” Daniel’s voice was harsh, nothing like the sweet, charming tones she was used to. And his smile was almost predatory. For the first time, Kamara started to wonder if she should have listened to Valeriah after all.

“Um, hi. Who’re you’re friends?” she asked.

Daniel flicked a hand to his left at a big man–bigger than Father–with reddish hair and a long, horsey face. “Ben.” Then he gestured to his right as a slight fellow with golden blond, feathery hair like Daniel’s, but without the interesting blue highlights. “Patrick.” He swept his hand toward her in a mocking imitation of a bow. “I give you Kamara of Chimeria.”

Kamara’s heart dropped to her stomach. How did he know who she was? She backed up a step. Ben closed in behind her, cutting off her retreat. “What’s going on?”

“Nothing. Nothing at all.” Daniel’s hand stroked her cheek, but this time she didn’t get any of those pleasant tingles. Instead, a shiver of fear coursed through her, mixed with overwhelming hurt.

Daniel continued to smile. “Don’t worry. No one’s going to hurt you. We’re just going to play a little joke on your brothers.”

“I don’t think they’ll have much of a sense of humor on that subject,” Kamara said, trying to keep her voice steady.

“Oh, they’ll play along. They’ll have to if they want to get you back. And they’ll give us what should always have been our birthright, too–access to the portals.”

“Let’s just go to the party, like we planned.” Kamara’s voice sounded pleading in her own ears.

Kamara dodged to the side, trying to get around Ben and make a run for the house. Patrick grabbed her arm to stop her. She spun in a move Valeriah had taught her, stomping on his foot and freeing herself. But then Ben grabbed her from behind so that her arms were pinned to her sides and lifted her feet off the ground. Valeriah hadn’t covered what to do in a case like this. Kamara struggled in vain.

Daniel’s smiled widened, but not pleasantly. “There isn’t any party, you little fool. There never was. That was just a way to get you away from your brothers.” His hand traced down her neck to the chain and followed the chain down to her topaz. His fist closed around it. “We’ll start with this. I don’t know what it does, but we can’t have you using magic against us.” He yanked on the chain, but it was stronger than he expected, enhanced with magic.

Her shivering fear and hurt turned in a flash to purely draconic outrage. No one, ever, laid a hand on a dragon’s jewels. Not if they wanted to live. The roar that issued from Kamara’s throat was not a sound any human could produce.

“What the hell!” Patrick said, putting his hands over his ears. “I thought you said they were wizards.”

Even Daniel looked stunned, though Ben’s arms were just as firm as ever. Daniel’s eyes narrowed. “That wasn’t human. What are you?”


Valeriah dropped the bowl of popcorn she’d been about to take into the study. That roar could only have come from a dragon. It wasn’t Rolf or Drake. It sounded female. Kamara!

And the roar had come, not from upstairs where they all thought Kamara was sulking, but from outside. She dashed through the kitchen door and paused. Which way? The sound of a boot scuffing on concrete decided her. The patio and all the paths in the garden were stone. The only concrete was in the driveway out front. The difference in sound was subtle, but perceptible to her sensitive ears. She raced to the front of the house.

Her werewolf’s night vision showed her the scene long before even her speed could close the distance. Three to one. For her, that wasn’t such bad odds–if only Kamara weren’t at risk.

Well, getting Kamara out of harm’s way was the first priority. She launched herself into the biggest man, the one who was holding Kamara, hitting him with both feet in the small of his back. The man dropped Kamara and fell to his knees, coughing. Valeriah had bounced back to her feet before either of the other two could react. Daniel next. He was almost certainly the ringleader, here.

“It’s the new wife,” Daniel said. “Grab her, too. We’ll get anything we want for the both of them.”

“You’ll get much more than you bargained for,” Valeriah answered. “I promise you that much.”

“Spoiled little rich girls don’t scare me.”

Valeriah actually smiled. “Your mistake.” Her kick took Daniel in the chin, dropping him like a stone. She ignored him as she turned for the third man.

The skinny one had grabbed Kamara’s arm, pulling her in front of him and was in the act of reaching into his jacket for something. Most likely a gun. Possibly a knife. Either was bad news. Valeriah could hear Rolf and Drake pounding up the driveway towards them, but they’d be too late to help with this. She needed to take this guy out before he could put a gun in play.

Kamara, bless her, drove her elbow into the smaller man’s gut. He didn’t release her, but Kamara’s continuing struggles did pull him part way around. It was all the opportunity Valeriah needed. She was behind him, with her arm across his throat, choking him, before he could straighten from Kamara’s blow.

“Drop it,” Valeriah hissed, “or you’ll end up like Daniel.” She heard the clatter of metal on the concrete followed by a deafening bang. Damned cheap gun had gone off. Valeriah automatically checked Kamara to be sure she hadn’t been hit by the stray bullet or any shrapnel it might have caused striking the concrete driveway.

By then, Rolf and Drake ran up. Drake quickly picked up the discarded gun and took charge of the two men already down. Rolf pulled first Valeriah and then Kamara into his arms. After a quick, reassuring hug, Valeriah squirmed free to check on Daniel. She didn’t think she’d kicked him hard enough to break his neck, but it wouldn’t hurt to make sure. No. There was a steady pulse, but he was certainly out cold.

She straightened at the sound of sirens coming up the hill. Damn. That was precisely what they didn’t need. She pointed to the biggest of the three. “You. Pick up Daniel and hide in those trees.” She pointed back up to a curve in the driveway where a thick stand of Italian cypress screened the house from the gate.

The big one just stared at her. “Go. Unless you really want to be arrested for attempted kidnapping. We don’t need to be dealing with the police right now. We’ll just tell them it was a mistake. We heard it, too, but think it must have been some kids setting off a firecracker or something. Then we’ll deal with you later.”

“Right,” Drake said, pocketing the gun.

The skinny one jumped up and pushed his companion into action. By the time the patrol cars arrived at the gate, they were hidden from ordinary eyes. Valeriah could still see them. Probably Rolf and Drake could, too. But ordinary human police wouldn’t.

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Mothers Day Book Bash BannerAs part of the Mothers Day Book Bash, I’m sharing an excerpt from BLOOD WILL TELL.

Blood Will Tell CoverTo set this up: Valeriah has returned home to Chimeria (the place where all our legendary creatures come from) for her dying grandfather. The old man has died and now Valeriah and her cousin Cristel are burying him.This is the first time in twenty years she’s been into the crypt where her own murdered family is buried.

Valeriah is half-werewolf on her mother’s side.

When Valeriah carried her Grandfather’s shrunken body through the crypt door, she saw the empty bier straight ahead of her at the back of the tomb. She placed him on the cold, white stone and arranged his body so that he appeared to be asleep, hands on his chest. She patted the cold hands once before she looked around her.

Grandmother Elsibel’s bier was right next to Grandfather’s. Elsibel, who had died before Valeriah was even born, appeared to be in a natural sleep. There was probably some spell on the crypt to prevent decay. That was a strangely comforting thought. Looking at Elsibel, Valeriah realized how much Cristel looked their grandmother.

Cristel was on the right side of the crypt, staring down at one of the bodies. From where she stood, Valeriah couldn’t see the body Cristel was looking at clearly, but she assumed it must be one of her parents. She turned away, to give Cristel a moment of privacy. Her eyes fell on the four bodies on the left side of the crypt. She crossed to them in three quick strides.

None of them looked like they were asleep. The death wounds were too obvious and so were the signs of feeding by forest scavengers before their bodies had been found.

Her father. Daddy. Tall and blond, still in his prime. The hole in his chest where the sword had passed through–all the way through. She remembered seeing the point come out of his back, the blood spurting around it. Mama. Her throat slashed so deeply that the bone of her spine showed through. Conall. Still ten years old. Ten years old forever. Ruddy like their mother, but already lengthening to be as tall as Daddy some day. That would never happen now. Nothing could hide the slash that had nearly cut him in two. Martin. Forever eight years old. The only one with Father’s coloring. And one side of his skull sickeningly caved in by a blow from something heavy. A club? Valeriah didn’t know. She hadn’t seen Martin fall.

They shouldn’t be in this crypt. They should all of them be alive and still with her. Her brothers grown tall and strong like Daddy. Maybe others, younger than her. That’s the way it should have been. She should not be alone.

Pain wrenched through Valeriah as if it had happened yesterday, not twenty years ago. All of them cut down in one moment. Her vision darkened. She clamped her mouth shut against the long, mournful howl that wanted to escape. Even now, at the new moon, when her wild blood should be quiet, she felt the blood rage boiling up in her. And Grandfather wanted her not to seek revenge? If the Goddess herself were responsible, Valeriah would avenge them.

The scuff of a shoe on stone and a choked-off sob brought her back to the moment. Valeriah raised her head, wiping away tears she hadn’t even realized she was crying. She crossed over to Cristel and stopped, one stride away, looking at what had to be Cristel’s parents. The woman was almost like a waxen image of Cristel–except for the gash across her neck. She’d been killed exactly like Valeriah’s mother. The man, presumably Cristel’s father, looked like he had been hacked with an axe.

“Yours, too?” Valeriah asked softly.


“Your parents were murdered, too. I didn’t remember that. But, then, I had my own nightmares back then. I wasn’t very interested in other people’s pain.”

“I didn’t remember, either. I’m not sure I ever knew. I was so young. I only remember Grandfather crying and saying that he would take care of me, now. I’m not sure he ever told me how they died. Or maybe he did and I just didn’t understand.”

“You weren’t there? When it happened?”

Cristel shook her head. Then she lifted her head to look at Valeriah. “Were you?”

“Oh, yes. I was the baby, only five and small for my age. I was holding Daddy’s hand when we were attacked. Mama and Conall fell while I watched. Daddy pushed me behind him. I saw the sword point come through his back and disappear again as he collapsed. He fell on me and the men who killed them didn’t find me.” She shuddered at the memory. She would say no more about that. Not here. Not now.

Valeriah took hold of Cristel’s arm. “Let’s get out of here.”

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I don’t make resolutions anymore, but I do set goals. And now it’s the time of year to look back and see how well I did. So here are my writing goals for last year and the results

  1. Prepare to query THE BARD’S GIFT. I did. I got it polished up and ready. I queried widely. And the only positive thing I got out of that was four personalized rejections variously praising my writing and the story. Rejections like that are not supposed to exist. Agents just don’t have time. I got four. If four agents took the time to do that, I can only conclude that they saw something good, but just didn’t think the story was commercial enough. THE BARD’S GIFT is now up next to be e-published, early next year.TheBardsGiftCoverSmall
  2. I also set a goal of getting my rewrite of MAGE STORM ready to query again. I met this goal, too. MAGE STORM is currently a first alternate in Pitch Wars. Wish me luck.
  3. Last year, FIRE AND EARTH was a first alternate (with a different mentor) in Pitch Wars. Ultimately, I decided to e-publish it.Fire And Earth Cover (Provisional)
  4. I set a goal to e-publish BLOOD IS THICKER and met that one.Blood Is Thicker Cover
  5. I intended to enter Writers of the Future at least once, but I didn’t. I just don’t write that much short fiction. The one I attempted this year turned into a novel.
  6. Write two first drafts. I guess I met that one, too. MAGIC AND POWER was a completely new first draft and I did a complete rewrite of THE SHAMAN’S CURSE, too.
  7. Learn and improve. Well, that’s an ongoing goal and a little too vague, really. I met it, but for next year it might be nice to specify some target areas.

Next post, I’ll start looking ahead to next year’s goals.

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