Showing posts from September, 2011


Check it out!  That was me in the September 1996 edition of AV Video & Multimedia Producer magazine.

Solid progress yesterday, today.

I enjoyed a beautiful afternoon on Alki and banged out 300 words.  More importantly I feel like writing again.  The second novel is starting out with a definitively dark tone and I'm going to have to pull it back from the abyss a bit to keep it safely in YA-land.  I might need to write a little bit on the contemporary fiction project just to get the darkness out of my system, but then again - darkness seems to be the coloration that sells novels best these days.

-11 words on the day. The next novel is getting shorter!

But at least what I've written so far is up to my standards.  Editing can be a disappointing exercise.  Starweaver's Dawn is 100% outlined and the word count is standing around 4500 words so far.  I ordered the proof copy of Starweaver's Retreat from today - so I will officially be "in print" soon. I watched the live video chat with Neal Stephenson today.  It's an interesting data point that I have not, as of yet, made enough money as an author to afford an ebook copy of his new novel.  Publicity, it seems, is quite expensive to gather at $.99 an impression.  I took some solace in the fact that only 300 or so people connected to the chat room.  Selling books can be rough for even the superstars.

Unbelievably frustrating morning

Scrivener's auto-numbering feature works really well for ebook generation.  However, I've lost a complete day trying to figure out how to force it to start numbering on a specific page.  There's a setting buried in the page setting options for the PDF compile called "Start regular header and footer on:".  I had to force it to page 7 to get a properly generated and numbered PDF file. As I'm writing this it is occurring to me that I did not create a table of contents.  Not strictly required for a paperback, but something that you get for free in an ebook.  Wow, the print version was a lot of trouble, but I think I should be ordering the first proof copy within 24 hours.

Why did I write this book? A message to my readers

      Starweaver's Retreat  exists because of a gap I saw in entertainment for young adult readers.  There are many fine fantasy books out there that feature female protagonists.  They have to tackle vampires, werewolves, evil wizards and the like.  I wanted to tell a story about a young woman who embraced science and logic as well as bravery to overcome the forces that opposed her.  It's not that I don't enjoy the more fantasy-tinged science fiction myself,  (I'm a huge fan of the Dragonlance series and Temeraire series.)  I just wanted to see books where the science was plausible, centrally featured in the story, and most importantly the fantastic events of the plot weren't based in magic.      In the coming books, I hope to show a character arc for Thea that illustrates her awareness, her understanding, and ultimately her mastery of the technology of her world.  She will accomplish this through determination and intellect, and by making some really hard choice

Starweaver's Retreat is available!

As of today you can purchase and enjoy Starweaver's Retreat from either of these two sources: I'm still working on the print-on-demand version and the iTunes distribution.  It will probably be a week at least on the paperback and iTunes in a few days.

The writer/publisher/promoters dilemma

I've got a lot of irons in the fire. As of today I have "release candidate" versions of the ebooks ready and two copies out to "Beta" readers. There's more desktop publishing work to do to create print-ready PDF versions for CreateSpace though. There's a whole series of events that have to happen to lead up to a book launch, and I've never done any of them. That's a lot of learning on the fly, shooting in the dark, and throwing on the wall - but I'm going to stick to it. ;) The short list of "known knowns" looks something like this. Final Version of both epub and mobi files. Upload to vendor (Amazon and B&N at least.) Print-ready PDF generation CreateSpace project completion (There's a lot that goes into this. ISBN's, pricing decisions, etc.) Book marketing website Author Website Press Releases GoodReads announcement & samples Oh yeah - and finish the sequel. No problem.  At least I have the blog

Running the final edit

I hate Microsoft Word with the heat of ten-thousand suns. I haven't lost any work, but it decided to crash on me around page sixty-six. I don't trust it. Although, since the editing service I used sends results in Word using Word's "Track changes" mode, I'm pretty much stuck with it for this edit. I wasn't able to figure out how to get Scrivener to automatically sync with a word document and I need to remind myself to suggest that functionality to the developers. It should be possible, since it all ready can sync with rich text, plain text and Final Draft documents. Once I'm done with the edit, I'm literally going to copy-paste each section back into the Scrivener project. This will be an annoying and tedious task to be sure, but one that I feel will give more flexibility as I move forward with the final version for publication. It's definitely a gap in the smooth workflow I had imagined. Perhaps next time I'll find an editor that

I've got my edited manuscript in hand!

The result was a positive "it's in decent shape". I'm deliriously happy. I have a few small re-writes to do and merge in all my fat fingered and boneheaded punctuation errors. Not more than a weeks worth of work in any case. Good notes, and I can't wait to publish. It could be as soon as next week.

Total, utter, complete, distraction today.

Nope, can't talk about it. Nope, doesn't make me happy. Trying to put it out of mind so that I can get back to work. Everyone wants to know where the story is going.

TIme to hit it again.

The morning is still shrouded in misty fog that is lingering far too long for summer. Fall is sending warning shots. Nonetheless I need to get writing on book two in the Starweaver Cycle. Scrivener tells me that I need ~2200 words a day to hit an October 1 deadline for the book, and that would be writing 6 days a week. I'm behind. I misjudged my refractory period after writing the first. It was more difficult to steel my resolve for the second than I imagined, because writing is a lonely endeavor. The interesting fact is, I can meet that aggressive deadline as long as I focus and keep on socializing. 2200 words a day and I can do anything I want with the rest of the time. However, the blog doesn't strictly add to that total - so I'm off. I know that I'm going to get busy with marketing and final formatting when I get the first manuscript back from my editor, and if I don't use this time I will lose it.