Was amazing. Fun. Harder than any ConCaro before. Less relaxing than any before. More emotional than any before (and that part for reasons I can’t quite articulate). Too many panels. Wow. They really worked us! The three MW seminars were *great,* but were held in rooms that were waaaay too small — standing room/sitting room-on-the-floor only. But David and Misty and I shared what we knew and the Q&As were terrific. (Someone got a pic of me snarling at David. I think he probably deserved it. LOL)
We had a fantastic MW lunch on Saturday at Boardwalk Billy’s. 52 people attended! There were several parties. And for me, Mom and her bestie and my bestie were there, which means responsibility that always goes beyond the usual Con responsibilities . David B Coe had his daughter there. Schlomo came to visit for a good one liner. (Inside joke.) Misty had [...]
Continue reading ConCarolinas 2013.
I have never done NaNoWriMo. I know that there is an ongoing debate about its efficacy for aspiring writers, but I haven’t felt that I could stake out a position one way or another.
Now, though, I am now in the midst of my own NaNo experiment. I started City of Shades (Thieftaker Chronicles, book III, by D.B. Jackson) later than I had intended, which means that I was behind almost from the start. So, I decided that I needed to crank out the pages in February. If I could write 45,000 words this month, I would be back on track. If I could get 50,000 words, I would be ahead of schedule heading into March, which would be good I’ll be taking a week off to travel with my family and celebrate my big milestone birthday. That’s right: I’m about to turn 21 . . .
Anyway, I [...]
Continue reading Holiday Post: My List of the Best Writing Tips
As of December 27, Thieftaker, the first book in my Thieftaker Chronicles, is available as an audio book from Audible.com. The reading was done by Jonathan Davis, who happens to be a friend of A.J.’s who also did the voicings for A.J.’s Will books. If you are one of those people who enjoys listening to audio books as much as you do reading regular books, I hope you’ll check it out.
I don’t listen to a lot of audio books, but I have enjoyed those I’ve heard. I also find, though, that listening to someone read a book tends to highlight for me all the flaws in the writing. This is one of the reasons why I read my own work aloud when I am revising. But it’s a little different when it’s my own book, and it’s too late for me to edit. Yesterday, after a couple of weeks [...]
Continue reading Creative Intersections: Plot and Character Development
A J Hartley
First, thanks to Faith and Misty for switching their schedules with me so I can post on release day!
Today, the second in my middle grades series, Darwen Arkwright and the Insidious Bleck, hits shelves, and I thought I’d tell you something about the high wire act which is writing the second book of a series.
The original cover Darwen II art as it appeared on the ARC
To be clear, this is a second stand alone story in the Darwen universe. There are larger plot lines being developed from book to book, but each volume is its own story with a beginning, middle and end. They are probably richest read in order, but they don’t have to be.
Book 1, Darwen Arkwright and the Peregrine Pact, introduced the core characters (Darwen, Rich and Alex) and established their world (Hillside Academy in Atlanta) and the key issue: there are [...]
Continue reading Release Day for Darwen II!
My regular week off from MW coincides with Thanksgiving week, which is convenient, because I will be traveling with my daughter to look at colleges in NY and New England, so I wouldn’t really have time to post anyway. But that means that my Thanksgiving post comes a week early this year.
As always I am thankful for so much — I’m a very lucky man. I love my family, and they seem to love me back, which is always good thing. I enjoy my job, and have had a successful year, revolving around the release of THIEFTAKER, which has done well both commercially and critically. And I have friends and colleagues here at MW and elsewhere whom I respect and care about a great deal. Are there things I would like to improve in my life — in particular in my career? Of course. I’m not claiming that all [...]
Continue reading Books For Which I Am Thankful (An Early Thanksgiving Post)
I’ve been in Huntsville, Alabama this weekend, attending ConStellation as their Literary Guest of Honor. It’s been a good con. They’ve treated me well and worked me hard, which is just as it should be. But that didn’t leave me a whole lot of time for writing my post, and so for that reason I’m going to take a one week hiatus from my various post-series that I have ongoing on MW right now (Writing and Fear; Ideas)
But I did want to comment on something that happened this past week (and was brought to my attention by our own Mindy Klasky). Amazon.com has started ranking authors by sales numbers — or “popularity,” as they put it. Apparently it’s no longer enough for the folks at Amazon to drive us authors to distraction with the sales rankings of our individual books. Now they’ve decided to rank us, too, to make [...]
Continue reading Amazon, Popularity, and a List that We Really Don’t Need
A J Hartley
It happens to the best of us. That’s kind of all I have to offer today.
Almost a month ago I got the edit memo from Penguin/Razorbill, the publisher of my middle grades series: fifteen single spaced pages of structural suggestions for Darwen III. Anyone who thinks traditional publishers don’t edit books anymore haven’t been around the Razorbill folk, who are extraordinarily good at their job and as extraordinarily thorough. The downside is that such thoroughness demands a hell of a lot of work from me, and if I thought I was nearly done when I sent the first draft in, I was sadly deluded. In this case, I had known there would be some major changes proffered because we’d been chatting about them over the summer, and when the letter arrived I was actually relieved that the requested edits were not more extensive.
I should also say that a tremendous amount [...]
Continue reading Still Life with Tall Weeds.