August Wrap-Up & September Goals

Another slow month production-wise, another stressful month regarding real life. I’m having a hard time living by myself, and disaster struck one of my favorite places in the world earlier this month.

August Wrap-Up:

  • I aimed for 15k to 20k words drafted for book 4. I am actually impressed that I ended the month with a whopping 10k. Having a detailed outline helps a lot, but there are a lot of really difficult scenes early in this book. The first scene is even already with my critique partners to be shredded, and I’m going to dump another on them this month. (My critique partners are the best.)
  • I did write some book reviews!
  • I’ve participated in some group posts over at Speculative Chic, which is now officially live and posting new content daily!
  • And finally, I snuggled my cats a lot and attended the traditional first day of the Maryland Renaissance Festival with some of my best friends.

    Ren Fest August 2016

    Selfie Credit: Julia Vilece

September Goals:

  1. Write more words! Hopefully 15k to 20k. Will be happy with another 10k. (But I think I’ve over the first major hump and it should come easier now.) (Hopefully.)
  2. Write more book reviews! I’ve been doing more reading lately, and the back log is at 7.
  3. Continue to participate in Speculative Chic. This month will even feature my first solo post; make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss it.
  4. Count down the days to DogCon V! Technically, that’s in October, but I don’t know when I’ll get to do my September Wrap-Up post, so let’s start getting excited early. (And continue to keep all fingers and toes crossed for Steel Victory for the Reader’s Choice Award!)

I’m already in mourning for the end of summer, but there’s a lot to look forward to this fall. Thanks for coming along for the ride.

Speculative Chic is LIVE

I’m pleased to announce the launch of a new blog focused on all aspects of speculative fiction: books, film, television, games, and more!

Speculative Chic

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Please join us for our soft launch today, and consider subscribing to continue receiving great content from a bunch of awesome people (like yours truly). We’ll have everything from in-depth reviews to regular features to advice columns and more! Right now I’m only a part-time contributor, but I’m hoping to have the time soon to submit monthly projects that focus on the areas that I’m passionate about.

That’s something I think will really make Speculative Chic a fun place to be: all of the contributors are very involved with their chosen areas of SF/F/H fandom and their enthusiasm absolutely shows through their writing.

Any help spreading the word as we get things rolling would be greatly appreciated. And let me know if there’s anything in particular you’d like to see us highlight! There are so many people involved in this project that there’s bound to be someone who will also be interested.

SF Signal hosts my blog post about vampires in popular fiction!

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I took a film genre course in college, and wrote an entire research paper on the evolution of vampires in film. No knowledge is ever wasted, so with a little more work, I was able to write a (much shorter) essay on the evolution of vampires in popular fiction. SF Signal was lovely enough to host me here in the spirit of Halloween.

Though the post mostly discusses works of literary fiction, I also touch a bit on vampires in movies, television shows, and graphic novels. Its fascinating to me how vampires can be portrayed so differently in each form of entertainment.

What’s your favorite vampire in popular culture? I couldn’t cover all of them in the blog post, but I’d love to chat about it in the comments here!

September Wrap-Up & October Goals

September Wrap-Up:

  • Reach 20,000 words in book 3, STEEL BLOOD. Progress: Better than August! After a few rounds of scene edits with my criqiue partners in which some narrative vomit was thankfully cut, I ended up with approximately 9,000 words written for the month, and I’m hanging out at about 14,000 words right now.
  • Goal: Finish re-reading Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty the Werewolf series before reading the final book. Progress: I was cranking through them at a good clip (according to my Instagram posts), but I got distracted about two weeks ago by trying to re-watch the original Heroes before checking out the new Heroes Reborn. Three books left until the final KITTY SAVES THE WORLD!
  • Goal: Weekly book reviews. Progress: Uh, I wrote one. Oops.
  • Goal: Get prequel short story copyedited. Progress: Got sucked into book 3 and still have to email copyeditor to check his schedule. Oops.
  • Goal: STEEL VICTORY book promotion. Progress: On track! Lots of work has been started with my lovely publicist, and things should start appearing soon!

October Goals:

  1. 10,000 words of book 3. I’d like to have 25,000 done before NaNoWriMo starts.
  2. Finish Kitty the Werewolf series and tackle my next reading project: The five new novels that take place before Star Wars: The Force Awakens. My husband has finished them already and is impatiently waiting to discuss them with me.
  3. Get something rolling with the prequel story. Find a new name for the prequel story since the original name no longer fits after the rewrite!
  4. Weekly book reviews.
  5. STEEL VICTORY promo!

In other news, my Friday-night Dungeons & Dragons campaign has come to a close. Half the group is moving out of state, and they will be sorely missed. This was actually the first time I’ve ever been able to complete the conclusion of an adventure like this–most campaigns tend to fizzle out mid-quest. For the complete write-up of our adventures, check out the 5th edition “Weird New World” (5e WNW) campaign notes featured over at the Tower of the Archmage.

That’s it for now! Check back later this week for an interview with an erotica writer (because I’m looking at writing my first sex scene in book 3 and I needed some professional advice) and (hopefully!) a review of Gail Carriger’s ETIQUETTE & ESPIONAGE!

Requisite picture of an adorable cat (selfie taken yesterday with my mother-in-law’s seal-point Siamese Boris):

Boris

In Which We Discuss Why We’re All Really Here

Thanks for joining me as I continue the tour of my new Web site! The next tab at the top of the page I’d like to discuss is named “Books.”

I only have two fiction publications so far. But they’re both pretty epic, so you’ll have to excuse the short list.

In 2014, a friend from college reached out to me. He had previously put together two anthology collections hosted by a fiction writers forum he participated in. One of the major critiques both anthologies received was the lack of gender diversity in the author list. So for the their third outing, Fadeley reached out to me and invited me to join the “editorial board” and use my connections to solicit greater female participation. I’m not sure what the percentages were for the first two anthologies, but I’m pleased to say that the third anthology was almost 30% female written, which isn’t bad for a straight-up speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, and horror) collection. I participated in reviewing synopsis submissions, performing substantive edits of invited first drafts, and copy-editing the hell out of the final drafts. I declined the opportunity to submit a short story of my own, but I’m very pleased with the two flash fiction stories I did write for inclusion, especially since I had very little experience with flash fiction previously.

You can find out more about FAR WORLDS, including where to purchase your copy, here. It’s still in print for another year, so don’t miss out!

In 2015, in 2 short weeks (cue the panic), I’m thrilled to introduce my second publication to the world.  STEEL VICTORY was my thesis novel while I was a graduate student at Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction program. Two years and 103,000 words later, I completed my first (original fiction) novel and received my MA.

Except I made the mistake of writing an urban fantasy with a vampire main character and not one lick of romance to be seen. During the height of the Twilight craze.

So I put it in a box for a few years and played video games and had a great time editing fiction for other people and generally enjoying life not being in school. Eventually, a former fellow student (Heidi Ruby Miller) became the managing editor of the science fiction/adventure imprint of a small press known for breaking genre barriers. She remembered my thesis novel and encouraged me to submit it.

After I cut 13,000 words.

Right after I had agreed to take on the FAR WORLDS project.

Oh boy.

So I stopped playing video games (much to my husband’s dismay) and worked like crazy for 6 months. Trimming some dead weight from STEEL VICTORY ultimately made it a better book (look for the deleted scenes in over the next few months), and I was pleased with my final submission.

So was Raw Dog Screaming Press, which was even better!

Since last summer, STEEL VICTORY has gone through another few rounds of edits (cutting another few thousand words) and I’m thrilled to be able to share the final draft with the world in a few short weeks (cue more panicking).

You can find information about how to order STEEL VICTORY here, along with the back cover text and some great reviews by other amazing authors (such as Maria V. Snyder, author of POISON STUDY!). It will also be available on Kindle on release day.

June 26 cannot come soon enough!