Self-publishing Part 1

As I mentioned last time, I’m working on publishing my first self-pubbed book (I was going to write self-pubbed publication–I need caffeine, obviously). I’ve wanted to publish something myself for some time, but I’ve had no time to write outside of my contracts for . . . well, a long time. Luckily, my contracts allow for me to publish independently. But that’s more of a business topic for later, or better yet, our intrepid Money Mondays duo might take it up for me. Hey Faith and John! 😀

All right, so I wanted to self-pub. You might as why. Go ahead. Ask. Well, I’ll tell you. There are several reasons. The obvious one is that I’d make a lot more money per sale doing it myself than going through a publisher. Always a nice thing. Plus the money comes in more frequently, which is to say, every month rather […]

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And So I’m Back From Outer Space

Hello Everyone!!! I’m so excited to be back blogging on Magical Words this year. I’ve missed you. I’ll be posting on Thursdays opposite to the fabulous Misty. There are a few things I want to post about right away. The first thing I *was* going to post about is my first self-pubbed title and what that process has been like, since I’m in the middle of it and have learned a ton of stuff. But then I got sideswiped with this other thought and so that’s where I am today. Next time I’ll start talking about the self-pub project.

As some of you know, I’ve been writing a series called the Diamond City Magic books. It’s an urban fantasy set in an alternate Colorado. I’ve recently turned in the revisions on the third book, Whisper of Shadows, and that means I have to start book four. Now I know what […]

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Diamonds, Magic, and Mystery

Whenever I get sick–like the flu or something like it–I watch TV. And not just any TV; when I’m sick, I watch fairly specific kinds of shows. I look for documentaries first. Even though I normally like regular hour-long dramas and comedies and movies and HGTV, I always head for documentaries. If I can’t find anything I like there, I will go to the shopping networks. I know. The two together don’t make any sense, and I don’t go to the shopping networks at any other time. Ever.

The last time I was sick enough to do that was several years ago. In that session, I learned a number of things that have found their way into my writing. (I believe I also bought some blankets and sheets and called my husband at work about a vacuum cleaner, which I did not buy). In particular, I watched a documentary on […]

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This thing called a writing life

I’m actually not going to talk about the writing life. I’m going to talk about life instead. Writing is a job. Writing is a tremendously fun job, but a job nonetheless. Writers always write. We always observe, always collect bits of cool ideas, we always think about our characters, our plots, our plans for torture . . . .

This is not good. This, in fact, is bad.

Writers have to get away from the writing. We need vacations; we need time to relax, to not be working. But writing is so wonderful. so amazing, so awful, so terrifying, so stressful, and horrifying, that we can’t ever leave it. When we try, it follows us. It traps us in the shower and on the toilet. It hunts us in traffic and at the grocery store. Go get on a rollercoaster? Just try riding it without writing wrapped around your neck, […]

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On Outlining and Not

I can’t decide if I’m late or early on this post. The main problem is that I’m on the road with the family and time has become . . . fluid.

I want to talk to you about plotting. When I first started writing, I would create an outline. It wasn’t a really in-depth outline. It usually covered the beginning, the major plot points, and the ending. One thing to remember about plot is that it’s a causal sequence of events. Causal is important, because in my plotting, I’d know why a character did something and how that ended up creating the next plot point, and so on. So when plotting, I’d start with the characters and the world, and I’d stir up some trouble, and think how they dealt with that, and what that caused, and so on. I usually would have some sort of main event or problem […]

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Talking about character–Trace of Magic

Hello Everyone! I’m so glad to be back. I’ve missed you all. Okay, really I’ve been reading and lurking, so I’ve been here, but I did miss getting a chance to talk and visit with you.

 

I’ve been busy with a lot of projects, but the one I’m here to talk about today is titled Trace of Magic. I’ve been describing it as an alternate-history, urban-fantasy, noir, romance thing. You might ask what that means. It’s set in a never-existed Colorado. Diamond City sits on the ege of an ancient prehistoric volcano where the diamond mining outpaces that in South Africa. The town is largely run by competing magical mafias (called Tyets), who are in the middle of a major turf war. Riley Hollis is my main character.

 

obligatory and updated author photo

I love Riley. I had such fun writing her. In fact I’m still having […]

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Living the Dream

The truth is that living as a writer is a dream come true. This is the thing I would choose to do above all others. It has its challenges, however. I went full time about six months ago, though it looks like I’ll take on part-time teaching work in a dream teaching job next year (I’ll be teaching in an MFA program specializing in genre literature, but that’s another story). Before that, I was teaching full time at a undergraduate university and writing part time (as part time as you can be while producing two books a year). I had two young kids as well. I had to be incredibly organized and focused to be able to get things done. Often I was keeping ahold of sanity by just fingernails.

We moved to Oregon from Montana in July of last year and I started in September to write full time. […]

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