Magpie’s Song: Happy Release Day!
So excited to finally have Magpie’s Song out and in the wild!
I’m still out and about in Moab (which if you follow me on social media at all, you probably know quite well as I’ve been uploading a fair amount of pictures/video of some of the off-roading stuff.) Internet is still rather sparse, and today I’ll be hiking around somewhere so if I don’t respond to emails or tweets or whatnot in a timely fashion it’s because the signal is so bad – but I will as soon as I can!)
In the meantime, LilyElement is doing a giveaway on her blog, so if you’d like a chance to win a copy of Magpie’s Song, head on over that way and take a chance.
If you’ve already read it/plan on reading it, I’m just going to ask that you take a few moments and throw up a review on Amazon (or wherever you bought it from.) Reviews are the name of the game when it comes to indie pubbing as far as visibility goes and I would greatly appreciate it. (And if not reviews, then spreading the word in any fashion you so choose.)
Haven’t bought it yet? Want to buy it? Links below!
Amazon (Ebook and Trade paperback)
Everywhere else (ebook)
The trade is also available on the CreateSpace store as well as B&N, Indigo, Book Depository and pretty much everywhere else!
Oh, and here’s a little playlist with some songs I was listening to when I was writing Magpie’s Song.
So in about 6 hours I’ll be on a plane headed out west for a short getaway to Moab.
It’s a family thing – Jeeping and hiking and probably melting into a canyon somewhere along the way.
It’s an awesome bit of planning on my part really – what better way to celebrate the release of Magpie’s Song than to ensure I’m in the middle of nowhere with limited internet?
Well anyway, yes. Tuesday is the date – I am hoping to at least get a couple of posts and social media things scheduled but to be honest, the way things have gone this week, I have my doubts. I sort of envision the next few days will be less Fury Road and something closer to the peyote scene from Young Guns.
You know. This one:
Yeah. One can hope, maybe.
Eh. I’ll post some pictures up on Instagram – it should be a really good time – I’ve never really been to the midwest except for Vegas a few times, and I’m not sure casinos really count. So I’m excited to see what there is to see.
And speaking of WTF, I apologize in advance for any issues with this website. Something happened with the back end yesterday and I attempted a restore but it crashed part way through and now I’m missing images from posts and pages and fuck all. I spent about 3 hours today trying to get it back together, but should you stumble across a post or a page that is clearly in need of some attention, let me know so I can try to fix it. No idea what happened, but it’s a mess.
I had been hoping to set up a Rafflecopter to do a book giveaway on Tuesday and if I can get that figured out while I’m traveling, I will – but I’ve already spent too much time looking at code and my brain is fried so I’m going to give it up for now. (Psst – > if you’re on my mailing list, your chances of winning will be higher than if you are not….)
Oh, but hey – Amazon currently has the paperback version of Magpie’s Song up on sale, so if you wanted to buy a hard copy, now is the time.
Between all that nonsense and my AC dying and turning the house into a mini inferno (good desert training? Maybe? At least it will be a dry heat and not the armpit that is Northern Virginia in the summer) I’ve gotten about 2 hours of sleep in the last 3 days and I am running on empty. (But I can sleep on the plane I guess…)
In other news, I got my edits back for Magpie’s Fall and I’ve got about a month to turn it into something that actually reads like a book and less like word vomit, but as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, this is apparently how I do things. Write crap, polish into something shiny and chrome. Rinse, repeat. Rewrite maybe. Not the most efficient, but it is my MO so that’s just how it goes.
Also, after a 2 month hiatus, Fox & Willow is back online – Aimo and I really appreciate all our readers giving her the time needed to heal from the tendinitis and we look forward to continuing this story. I’ve got the script drafted for Chapter 4 – fair warning it’s going to be very sad. I’m sorry.
Witness me, yo.
Unicorn Fezzes and Other Assorted Weirdness
So first off, I’m really bad at con recaps. Usually because by the time I get around to thinking about writing them, I’ve forgotten everything but the highlights.
Which I think tends to happen at most cons in general – you meet so many people and have so many conversations and things happen and then it’s all a big blur anyway.
That being said as a first time attendee to Necon, I really enjoyed it. I’m mostly an introvert and I did do a bit of wallflowering for the first couple of days. Con sizes tend to have interesting dynamics – the really big ones are overwhelming because there are SO many people, but on the other hand, it’s really easy to sort of blend in and do your own thing. You lose that ability to hide with the smaller cons, plus in this case, it’s the first time I’ve been to a con where everyone seemed like part of an extended family. Sometimes it feels intrusive to wander into that, even if I actually did know a number of people attending.
(I did have a fatigue flare-up for a good chunk of Friday, but that’s another post – I’ve got some thoughts on Spoonie writers that I think might be worth discussing later…)
At any rate, it wasn’t until the second evening and a late night round of Cards Against Humanity that I actually felt like I was getting into the groove. And then my panel the next morning. Never mind that I have no idea HOW I got onto a panel, but in either case, it’s was nice to be included as a first-timer.
Which brings me to the panel itself – it was a typical sort, and the topic was about writing a series. Which given that my first series/trilogy has been out for a while was a little awkward, since I don’t really talk about it that much these days. My initial goal had really been to talk about my NEW series, but that was never brought up – there just wasn’t time and I was specifically asked about Abby.
And while I haven’t been to any cons for quite some time – I haven’t talked about the Abby books at ALL. Aside from reader questions on Facebook, or whatever – it hasn’t really been much of a point of discussion. In some ways it’s a bit sad because I’ve moved on from them – though I will say some of the topics of the panel really made me miss it. The Abby books were fun – silly, smutty, ridiculous and amusing, even with the more tragic bits worked in. (And yeah, now I really want to go back – the story isn’t completely over and I think there’s at least one more grand adventure awaiting.)
But Necon is more of a horror-writers con – so my books probably hadn’t been on anyone’s radar, really. (Unlike all my previous RWA/RT/etc type cons.) But in either case, it was nice to revisit some of the reasons as to what I wrote and why I wrote it.
Ah, but then I had to open my mouth about that one particular character that everyone either loves or detests.
Which is Phin, of course.
I had been trying to make the point that as far as heroines go, Abby was mostly normal – she didn’t have a destiny, etc – she was basically a regular person who’d had some bad luck, trying to survive in a world full of crazy magical beings – the elves, the angels, the tiny unicorn masturbating in her underwear drawer…
And then suddenly I remember I’m on a panel with Craig Shaw Gardner – who I started reading when I was like 11 years old and Jesus Christ now I’m next to him talking about the sexual proclivities of unicorns.
But then, you know. You gotta own that shit. Because of course I figured it would blow over at that point since it’s probably not the typical sort of horror-con topic. Everyone would most likely just nod and go “Ah. You’re that sort of writer.” And I would be forever shunned into the pervy bestiality corner.
But then someone in the audience had to go and ask just how unicorns masturbate.
Which I answered.
I’m not sure what sort of impression I’d hoped to leave at Necon, but I guess I made enough of one to warrant awarding me a coveted Necon fez (with a unicorn patch on it, no less. ) I have no idea whose idea it was and I’m pretty sure I don’t WANT to know. But, uh – THANK YOU.
I probably didn’t help things much by cross stitching a Whatever Bitch unicorn while I was there as a gift for a fellow writer. (Should I go back next year, I plan on making several projects ahead of time and putting them into the charity auction.)
At any rate, the fez is on the grand piano as pictured above, next to the whiskey-guzzling Phin. As you do.
Is there more? Of course there is, but that’s about all I can manage for the moment – I made a ton of new friends while I was there, so thanks to everyone who made me feel welcome and I hope to be back next year.
Maybe with less unicorns.
Camp NeCon or Bust
I finally got some prints in for Magpie’s Song – most of these are going off to reviewers and whatnot, but I do plan on giving some away, including this weekend over at Camp NeCon!
I’m not entirely sure how I will be doing that – maybe just at random, or as part of the panel on Worldbuilding that I’m on. (Saturday morning at 10 am, yo.)
Of course, yes, it is the day before I leave for the con and I haven’t packed yet and I still have so much to do, so yes, I’m blogging instead. (Do I bring Cards Against Humanity? Subversive cross stitches to make and give away? Ack, I don’t know!)
But it’s nice to be doing the author con thing again – it’s been at least three years since I’ve been able to manage it and even though this one is smaller, based on all the buzzing about on Facebook, I can tell it’s going to be a really fun group.
And speaking of physical book copies, I’ve had several reviewers/readers ask if there will be signed copies available or if they can send me a copy to sign – yes to the second – just look on my contact page for the PO box and let me know and we can work out paypal for shipping or something. I am playing around with the idea of selling signed copies directly here on the website with maybe some additional swag, but I’m not entirely sure when I might set that up.
Also I’m starting to finally get some reviews in from NetGalley on GoodReads, which is nice – I don’t normally go there because I feel that it’s more of a reader space and I don’t want to loom over people, especially if there are readers/reviewers that I know, but I did take a sneak peek and so far things look nicely positive – which is a bit of a relief, considering it’s been such a long time for me. (Look Ma! I can still write!)
I did get a nice review from RT today too, which is even better – hopefully there will be some others too. (It’s such a crapshoot, honestly, but fingers crossed.) And of course if you are a reader/reviewer, the more reviews that are left, the more the word is spread – and that can only help. ^_^
All right – I really do need to
finish start packing – if you’re going to be at Camp NeCon, let me know and we’ll hang.
I turned in the draft for Magpie’s Fall today – which is the second book in the upcoming IronHeart Chronicles.
And by “turning in” I mean I handed my editor what is one of the dirtiest drafts of my entire writing career.
Doing the indie-book thing is definitely interesting as far as coming up with deadlines and forcing myself to stick with them. Part of it is driven by whatever living schedule I have, but a lot of it is financial too. Let’s just say self-pubbing is a *tad* more expensive than I thought it would be and leave it at that – but it also means I have to make sure I’ve got the ability to pay my editor on the schedule we’ve decided on. (And fitting into HER schedule as well – I can’t just let things slip more than a day or two or it sets everything back.)
As it happens, writing this second book was both easy and hard. Because the original version of Magpie’s Song was somewhere in the range of 150k words at one point, I had trimmed it down and trimmed it down and then cut it into pieces, because trying to sell it at the larger size just ended up becoming a nightmare – and in order to do everything justice, the page count just kept back going up.
So my agent and I had decided to focus on the first half, which is what ended up becoming the final version of Magpie’s Song – of course, joke’s on me anyway since I’m self-pubbing it now, but a smaller word count is still definitely cheaper to edit and from a writing perspective, it’s not a bad thing to have a little less to focus on. I want to do the story justice, after all.
So this second part of the book, once I’d trimmed it way down was only about 60k, and a bit of a hot mess in general. For me, sometimes it’s harder to have a what amounts to two-thirds of a story already written, only to change up SO much in the book that comes before. (Which is partially what happened with my Abby books – nothing like having to completely throw away 40-50k and start over from scratch because what you wrote no longer has relevance.)
In this case, I was able to keep a decent chunk and then I got to expand and flesh out and while there’s still a lot of work to be done, I’ve come to realize I’m a much better rewriter than I am a first draft writer.
However, I rewrite best with another set of eyes – and I’ve worked with my editor long enough that we both think she needs to take a stab at shredding it to pieces before I tackle it again. It’s one of those things where the beginning is fine, the end makes me deliriously happy and the middle…is pure garbage.
But it’s also at the stage where I have to take a bit of a break from it or I end up losing sight of the forest for the trees, as they say. (It’s also a darker book than the first one, and the first one is prettttty dark. I’m not sure why – I didn’t set out to write a series of dark books, but eh, here we are…)
At any rate, it’s delivered and while I wait for her to get back to me with her notes, I have to turn my focus onto Magpie’s Flight (which has about 10k written all ready, so there’s a start there.) And I got invited to an anthology I can’t talk about and need to research on before I officially accept. But first…I’m taking the weekend off to go hang out in Shenandoah and get back to nature and all that. Also, I have to finish writing the next chapter of Fox & Willow – Aimo is still recovering from pretty severe tendinitis, but we’re slowly getting back into the groove of that.
(We’ve started adding some character doodles on our Patreon since she can do them fairly quickly and they don’t require the same level of fine motor control that the copics and inks do – if you’d like to support us over there, we’d greatly appreciate it.)
Patrons of a certain level can even make requests.
Otherwise, the next few weeks are nothing but travel – dropping off the boy sprog at summer camp, heading of to Necon, picking the boy sprog back UP from summer camp, heading out into the canyons of Moab to go off-roading (which we scheduled flat in the middle of the Magpie’s Song book release because I am AWESOME and I enjoy tweeting from the desert surrounded by rattlesnakes.)
And speaking of book releases, Magpie’s Song is now available on NetGalley, so if you are a reviewer, please go check it out!
Oh, and we’re hitting Otakon this summer too.
And then I pass out. Just in time to start my rewrites.