New Site, New Me!

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Hello, Magical Worders!

Well, okay, really it’s the same old me, but nearly two years after being obliged to drop off Magical Words for personal reasons, I’m back! I’ll be blogging here again twice a month, every other Thursday, and I am so very very happy to be doing so. I missed you guys!

My inaugural post, though, is mostly about what’s been going on with me the past couple years rather than being something brilliantly insightful about writing. Many of you know I’d been writing three books a year since about 2004, but last year I had a baby, and something had to give. Magical Words was one of the things that gave–and I also have made a desperate effort to cut down my writing schedule to two books a year under contract. (This is the point at which many people stare at me accusingly. I’m sorry. Two books is as little as I can feel mentally comfortable with. I can’t help writing quickly, even with a baby. :))

I’ve (literally) just finished the copy edits for RAVEN CALLS, the 7th book of the Walker Papers. I think last time I posted was when book six, SPIRIT DANCES, hit the shelves, and I’ve already begun MOUNTAIN ECHOES, book *eight*, which blows my tiny mind. I wrote the first book, URBAN SHAMAN, in Y2K, and now I’ve got less than two books to go before the series is done. More than a decade of my life wrapped up there in that series! Exciting and scary all at once! So that’s my big on-going project right now: finishing the Walker Papers. Some of what I’ll be talking about over the next several months is the wrap-up of a long-running series, which I hope will be of some interest to Worders.

I’m also (inevitably) already about 4500 words behind on Nanowrimo, which I see no one has mentioned on MW recently. But I bet my next post will be about it, because I kind of promised my nephew a book for Christmas, and, um, it’s not written yet. So that’s actually my second “book under contract” for 2011, even though it’s not a someone’s-paying-me-money kind of contract. :) So by my next post you should expect me to have, er, about 30,000 words written…O.O

But besides that, the amazing thing is that two books a year means I have time to do some really fun all-for-me projects. I don’t know if Faith’s mentioned it recently, but she and I are finishing up “Easy Pickings”, a novella-length e-pub crossover story between Jane Yellowrock, heroine of Faith’s urban fantasy series, and Joanne Walker, heroine of my Walker Papers series. This is one of those OMG it would be SO MUCH FUN! ideas that I just don’t think I’d have been able to do under any other circumstances, and before the end of the year it’ll be up on Amazon & other online venues for people to buy. (Our teaser for “Easy Pickings” is available here!)

I’ve also been focusing on a couple of other ways to get myself and my stories out there into the world: crowdfunding, which I’ll be talking about more in an upcoming blog. But in short, it’s internet-based patronage: an artist says “I would like to do this project; do you, The Internet, wish to support me in making it happen?”

One of those projects is something that happened while I was writing RAVEN CALLS. I ran up against a scene where for the first time in seven books I suddenly wanted to change viewpoint characters and go tell somebody else’s story–Gary, the 74-year-old cabbie sidekick’s story, in fact. And I got so excited about the idea that I decided I just had to give it a shot, so I set it up as a Kickstarter project to see if other people would be as excited about the idea as I am. The response has been overwhelmingly positive, and so next year I’ll be writing “No Dominion”, a Garrison Report novella. (I don’t want to be obnoxious about shilling this stuff, so ignore this bit if you wish: the “No Dominion” campaign page is here, and–because I can’t write an actual teaser for the novella because it starts in the middle of HUGE SPOILERS for RAVEN CALLS, I’ve written the first couple chapters of URBAN SHAMAN from Gary’s point of view, just for the flavor crystals. :))

And my last for-the-fun-of-it project has been the Old Races Short Story Project, where I’ve written six stories set in the Negotiator Trilogy world. They are, of course, one story each about selkies, dragons, gargoyles, djinn, vampires and humans (and yes of course I did that on purpose *looks furitive*), and it’s been enormous fun to delve back into that universe.

So that’s what I’ve been up to, and from here on out I’ll be talking more about nuts and bolts of some of the things mentioned here, as well as hopefully bringing you some other moments of insight into the life of a working writer & new mommy. :)

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15 comments to New Site, New Me!

  • Deb S

    Welcome back, Catie. Congrats on all your creations, baby included.

  • Welcome back, Catie! Glad to have you in these parts again.

  • I notice that you didn’t mention how you snuck the baby in on everyone while they weren’t looking. 😉

  • Catie, we are sooo very happy to have you back at MW! Yes, two books a year feels about right for you and your output. As long as the baby (toddler, now?) takes long naps. Since you have been gone, I signed a contract for 2 books a year too, and with working at the lab full-time still, it has been hard. But I need the benefits, so I am not really complaining. Okay. Maybe a little.

    I can’t wait to learn more about crowdfunding. (Of course I thought it said CROWfunding. :) ) ANd I want to learn the nuts and bolts of the self-pubbed novellas too, though I guess I’ll se that firsthand with Easy Pickin’s. And…hm…we should do a two part post on cowriting a novella. Which has been a BLAST!

  • I’ll say “Welcome back” with the caveat that Catie left MW before I started, so this is our first time working together (well, except for the Magical Words book). Before that all Catie and I had in common was me jumping out of the hotel hedge and attacking her. *Sigh* Those were the days…

  • Ah sure and it was hardly an attack, Edmund. More of an enthusiastic greeting. That’s what I told the cops, anyway.

    That’s an awesome idea for a two-part post, Faith! Let us discuss it in email! Also, no, CrowFunding, that’s a different animal entirely. So to speak. :)

    *laughs at Wolf* Yes, well, it didn’t seem relevant to the post. :)

    Thank you all for the welcomes! <3

  • Welcome back, Catie! We’re very excited to have you back in our clutches!

  • Welcome back Catie … congrats on the little person!

    … so glad you’re using Kickstarter. It’s a fabulous ethical source of funding that I reckon more writers need to take advantage of.

  • Welcome back, Catie! I, too, love to see Kickstarter projects. I think it’s an amazing what can be accomplished with them.

    Purely out of curiosity (and since no one else has asked), how does your return affect the Thursday contributors schedule? I’m delighted that you’re here since I started following MW after you took your hiatus, but I’d hate to see anyone go.

  • Laura,
    so far as we know, everyone is staying. :)
    Misty has worked out a schedule for us all and (somehow) keeps up with it!

  • Razziecat

    Hello! I’ve been around a few months, I think I found this site while you were on hiatus. YAY for Old Races! Janx is one of my favorite characters ever! Not that I don’t like Joanne Walker, too. Just something about Janx 😉

    NaNo: I’m doing it for the first time. Only have about 800 words to catch up on for Day Three. I always come here first because this site really gets me psyched to write! Back to NaNo now… :)

  • Man, if I had a spare $5,000 I’d back your project just to make you sing “You are the wind beneath my wings” video streamed from a public shopping mall.

  • Great to see you back here, Catie. We’ve missed you. As always, I am blown away by how productive you are and I look forward to checking out your latest work. What is new in the Inheritors Cycle? I LOVED books I and II and have been eager for more. Did I miss a release somewhere along the way? Looking forward to working with you again. Glad you’re back with us.

  • *grins at Razzie* Everybody loves Janx. Everybody loves Janx *almost* as much as Janx loves himself. :)

    Sjohn, a number of people seem to feel that way… :)

    Sadly, David, THE PRETENDER’S CROWN was an amazing flop, so Del Rey has declined to buy any more in the series. Maybe at some point I can do a Kickstarter campaign to finish that series…