Thursday, September 11, 2014

Update on Shenanigans!

I’ve been busy behind the scenes and haven’t had much time to update the blog. So let me take the time now to inform you of what’s been happening!

First, I published Girl Nevermore, my dark contemporary YA book. You can get it on Kindle, Amazon Paperback, and B&N Paperback. And it got some amazingly fabulous reviews from YA Author Robyn Jones, Bookworm Brandee, and Brandi Breathes Books. There's currently a giveaway being hosted on JC's Book Haven too!

Second, I’ve started a newsletter! The newsletter will have exclusive sales information, upcoming releases, links to interviews, and the best part is you'll receive a short story, ZERO, for free for being a subscriber. The short story isn't published yet, but will be in a month. Want it the second it comes out? Subscribe! I solemnly swear not to spam your inbox with tons of newsletters.

Third, I've been gearing up to publish my apocalypse novella, The Unanswerable. Ideally, I want to publish it by the end of October, but we'll see! I'm not afraid to push back the date if it means delivering a better book. Regardless, it will come out sometime this year, which makes for three releases in just one year! That's crazy and really exciting.

I can't believe I started publishing just two years ago, and I'm also shocked with how far I've come. I cannot thank my support systems enough for being there for me! Anyone who has read any of my books, you keep me going! I appreciate it :)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Cover Reveal: Girl Nevermore

I am excited to present the cover for Girl Nevermore, my Young Adult Contemporary novel!

I have mixed emotions about this book. I adore this book, these characters, and the story, but it's a very hard-to-discuss topic. Due to Robin Williams recent passing (may he rest in peace), we've been talking about mental health issues a bit more openly.

When I was growing up, it was very hard for me to reach out and ask for help. That was something I wanted to capture in this story, because it can be daunting for anyone (not just teens) to reach out in a time of need.

The Blurb:

Last week, Cooper Mesa was a quiet, studious bookworm.

This week, she feels unworthy of love or forgiveness.

When her twin sister, Kayla, tries to commit suicide, Cooper blames herself. If she had only paid more attention...

Desperate to understand her sister's decision, Cooper starts down a dark path, discovering her own inner turmoil. Losing herself was easy, but finding a reason to live is becoming impossible.

Girl Nevermore will be out on September 8, 2014.

I am now accepting requests from bloggers for review copies! The ARC is available. So if the premise sounds interesting to you, get in touch!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Editors are not Magical Unicorns

Editors are awesome. I have to say that, because I am one… But I also think they are actually awesome. Editors tend to know a lot more about language than the average bear. They are intelligent, thoughtful people who approach writing with a very analytical eye.

They are not, however, magical unicorns.

They do not have horns that they can wave over your manuscript and fix every stylistic issue. They also do not poop out rainbows that will take your boring descriptions and elevate them into beautifully lyrical sentences. That’s your job.

In other words: You should never give your editor an unedited first draft of your manuscript.

Some authors might argue against me (but, Rachel, that’s what they are there for!). I’m going to put up a pretty logical argument.

My first argument is: your editor is still not a magical unicorn.

My second argument is: your editor is not you. Your editor has their own style, their own way of approaching words and syntax. Your editor is a human who does not have telepathic powers. This means, if you give a completely unedited, unrevised draft to your editor, you will not achieve the same results.

When you revise your first draft, there’s probably a lot of things you will change. Awkward sentences, preferring one word over another, adding description, removing description. Perhaps “bloomed” wasn’t the right word lyrically, but “blossomed” is. Structurally “bloomed” still works--your editor will not change this, because it is a stylistic change.

By revising your own work first, you get to make the stylistic edits. Once those are in place, your editor can focus on making every sentence read perfectly. They won’t insert “blossomed” for you.

While editors are not magical unicorns, they are still pretty awesome. Every author should at least do a trade for editing if they can’t afford to hire someone. I know my book became exponentially better after my editor started picking through my piece.

Even if they are not magical unicorns, you can be your own magical unicorn. Wave your own horn, poop out your own rainbows, and realize that the stylistic fixes have to initially come from you.

Your editor is there to assist in making the rainbows glow brighter and file your horn into a sharper point, not to create the magic in the first place.

That’s on you.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Girl Nevermore and Other Projects Underway

Hello, bloggers! *waves* It has been awhile since I’ve updated, and… of course, I’ve gotten sucked back into my own little world again. Reality is a real thing, huh? But I miss being connected online, so here’s my attempt at giving a fun little update and getting back into the swing of things.

Recently, I’ve been juggling a lot. My fairytale retelling / apocalypse YA novel, In a Blue Moon, has 12,000 words written and completely edited. I’m working on it in a different process than before, doing each chapter as a draft then editing the chapter five times before moving onto the next chapter. It’s making for a very smooth read. Those 12,000 words? They are essentially finished, just need a final look over from my editor. Which means publishing this one will be a breeze.

However, with my YA Contemporary, Girl Nevermore, I am taking the usual approach, but revamped slightly. I’m drafting the whole thing out (26,000 words so far), and then I will edit each chapter five times before moving on to edit the next chapter. I’m trying to figure out which process I like better.

While In a Blue Moon is essentially “finished,” it also isn’t growing in word count very quickly, since I’m doing a lot of stops and starts. I think drafting then editing one part over and over will be the best way for me to continue. It should feel more like I’m writing the book once, editing the book “once,” and proofing the book once. We’ll see, but I’m hoping this is what I can trick myself into doing.

Both of these titles should be out in the next year. Drafting and editing have become a lot easier, since I’ve written so many books at this point, and since I’ve taken a few editing courses as a refresher (those helped).

On top of that, I’ve started an independent author collective with six other fantastic indie authors. I encourage you to check out our site, I enjoy the books of every author on there, so they are worth checking out.

Tons of shenanigans in the making. Tons of things in the works. I’m excited that I’ve decided to walk the indie line, because it lets me write what I want when I want with nothing but my own self-imposed deadlines. While I’m still open to the idea of an agent / publisher sometime in the future, it’s not a high priority right now. I just want to write. Period.

I think that’s a good decision for now.

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Collapse: Out now!

It has been a long journey to get to my third release date. A large part of it still feels very surreal, like I'm dreaming. This has to be a fantasy world, because there's no way I could have three books out... right?  Alas, I'm not waking up from the real world--not anytime soon anyway. So three books it is!

I've learned a lot on this journey. The main thing: stop stressing.

The other thing I learned? Try to finish everything as early as possible. Having more time to ask blogs and get readers before the release would have been nice. But I'm quite happy that I made the deadline with a darn good book.

The Collapse was a lot of fun for me to write. Murphy is such an interesting character and getting to write a dual narrative was a nice change of pace. I wrote about how I switched playlists depending on which voice I was writing for. Jay and Murphy have such different feels, and I think that's what makes The Collapse so interesting.

You can purchase your copy of The Collapse for kindle. It will be out soon in paperback!
Murphy carries on after Jay abandons Hipstopia--and him. With a mixture of hatred and admiration for his new foe, Murphy becomes more aggressive than ever, unearthing a darker side of himself. He’s willing to sacrifice anything to keep Sky and Hipstopia safe, even if it means killing Jay.

Free from Murphy’s reins, Jason wants to begin his new life with Kiera, but she’ll never be able to settle as long as Leo is trapped in prison. The only way Jason can keep her safe is by going back into Hipstopia with her, but if he sees Murphy again, he doesn’t know if he’ll be able to pull the trigger.

Now on opposite sides of the war, Jason and Murphy tell their stories as they come head to head in the final battle.
If you haven't read the first book in the duet, Hipstopia, you can get it for .99 on kindle.