So, where’s Warrior’s Touch at?

Hi!

Quick note while my toddler sleeps in the car (windows and boot are open–I can do that safely at my home–he’s got plenty of air and a cat).

I thought I would post a brief update on Warrior’s Touch here. I often post on Twitter when something happens, because Twitter is easy. Or Facebook, because Facebook gives ready feedback from the few people who actually see my posts. I haven’t wanted to pester people on my mailing list with little tidbits, but they’ll get the first cover peek and that sort of stuff, depending on how all this stuff rolls out.

Anyway, what you’re here for…

Warrior’s Touch has been through edits, formatting, and a final proof-read by me. It is back with my publisher to get my recommendations implemented if the publisher agrees they’re good ideas. And, of course, just to get those silly errors that slipped by us all the times before but that I caught this time… Doesn’t mean I didn’t still miss some, but so be it.

I have no news at this time on publication date, nor release build-up schedule. But I will let you know when I know. Because I want you to be excited, too! I finished the first draft in 2014! It’s been a long road getting it out to the world already. I can’t wait to finally share it (although, I’m still nervous it’ll get ripped to shreds by critics)… it’ll be great!! [forced smile]

 

“You felt it, didn’t you?” Braph squinted up at his half-brother, his narrowed eyes sparkling in the low light. “The power.”
Jonas took his time answering. “I felt it.”
Braph smiled. “Isn’t it…?” He closed his eyes, sucking in air as if he’d just injected himself again.
“It ain’t right.” Jonas half turned his head as if intending to look to Llew, but unable to make eye contact. Just how good *did* her blood feel to them?

–Warrior’s Touch

A Man, A Woman, and A Clown

For no real reason, I’m going to share the results of another writing exercise I did a while back. The prompt was the same as the title of this post, and we had fifteen minutes to write.

Feel free to have a go yourself before reading on and seeing what I did with it.

I think that’s the fun thing about doing writing exercises based on basic writing prompts: seeing what different people turn that prompt into. And, if you could wipe your memory (or exercise great restraint and avoid copying yourself), how different would your little story be if you did the exercise again next week? Month? Year? Decade?

From a basic prompt, what comes about can be influenced not only by your overall life experiences, but also where your head is at in that very moment. What TV show did you watch that might inspire you? What book have you been reading? What were you discussing with workmates over lunch? All these seemingly incidental things can influence your creative output, especially when it is “just” an exercise and isn’t constrained by story rules established for a longer piece.

So… fifteen minutes. A Man, A Woman, and A Clown… what did you come up with?

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When you want to update your blog but…

…you know your readers would rather you spend your limited writing time working on your novel.

Yep, that’s me.

On with editing. It’s getting close. I can feel it.

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My Writing Process Blog Hop

So, yet again, I’ve had several thoughts of possible blog post topics over the course of the week, and even had words flow through my mind that I could have shared. Just not when I had the time to sit down to do it. And when I had the time to sit down, my mind drew a blank… or, the passion was gone. And I’m not much good at topical blog posts when the passion is gone…

Thankfully, though, I was once again tagged in the “My Writing Process” blog hop by Kat Hawthorne and, since I’m onto a “new” project since last time, I thought I may as well. So now I have something to post!

I prefer doing personal posts to scheduled info-only posts… but I have limited writing time, so I tend to prefer to use that writing time to actually do writing of some sort. Excuses, always excuses.

Anyway… in the name of doing a more personal blog post, here is my writing process at this moment in time…

1. What are you currently working on?

I am currently “between books”, but they’re in the  same series so it’s not exactly down-time. Beta Readers are checking out WARRIOR’S TOUCH (the follow on from HEALER’S TOUCH) for me, and I’m pondering my plans for MAGICIAN’S TOUCH (the last of the series). I’m also considering

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I needed that…

As much as I hate myself for checking, I do… I too often have a nosey over at Amazon.com to see if anyone is buying or reviewing my book. I know. It’s one of those things authors know they shouldn’t, but do anyway.

Writing is a funny business. If you get that chance to rest, zone out, chill, the dialogue, settings and character actions, along with the words to put it to the page can just flow… and flow smoothly.

This happens rarely when you’re a mother, as I’m sure many who follow can attest.

Somehow, I managed it last Sunday.

A got a peep this weekend.

The problem is, getting from that zoned-out space to your computer (or wherever you’re recording that tale) without breaking the zen…

Yeah… I haven’t found the magic bubble for that, yet.

So, it’s a struggle to get words down. Even more so when you know, you just know, you had better words to describe it while you were still snuggled in your bed while your child watched morning cartoons.

They were there.

Now they’re gone.

But you push forward anyway… even though

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Welcome New & Faithful Few

Well, hello there.

So, about ten days ago, my publisher advised me there had been some 37,000 free downloads of HEALER’S TOUCH. Now, this is where I have to remind myself that these are downloads that would not have happened had it not been free… because, well, I still have a student loan sitting there… looking at me… and I’m looking at it… yeah. Maybe next time.

Anyway, that was a highly successful promotion we had there… and we didn’t expect it. I guess it just goes to show what a decent cover, blurb and the few kind reviews I already had can do…

Over the course of the month, I’ve gone from having just 22 reviews on Amazon US to over 90. That’s amazing. 22 in a year… another 70 in a month. Goodreads has seen a jump, and I even got my first review on Smashwords. B&N also got some action.

It has been an amazing time

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Mailing List

So…

We have had a highly successful promo campaign already, and HEALER’S TOUCH is still free for the rest of the month! And after a little BookBub boost at the end of last week, there have been a ton of downloads… I mean that. LOTS. And some of those downloaders have read it already, and some of them have even liked it. And people are, understandably, asking about Book 2.

Well, I have been working on WARRIOR’S TOUCH since before HT even hit the shelves… yeah, that long. Some fifteen months to date. It hasn’t been an easy ride. There have been some parts of the book I’ve been so enthusiastic about, but that just haven’t worked. And there are other bits I’m so excited about and I can’t wait to get them out there. And then there are the slightly less exciting point-A-to-point-B parts… They’re OK. I’ll shine them up a bit by the end.

The point is, I have

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Blog Hop

What a fab way to finish the year: With a re-cap/where-I’m-at post as part of an Author Blog Hop. So, here goes.

A brief run-down of 2013 from me: My book, HEALER’S TOUCH, was released at the end of January by Kristell Ink (part of Grimbold Books). I think it’s done not too badly for a debut novel published by a small publisher. My understanding is that Kristell Ink are really taking off, so I feel privileged to have got in on the ground floor. It’s all up, up, up from here.

We hit a bit of a snag when we split from Holland House to become Grimbold authors, but that’s all done and dusted now, all smooth sailing (Gosh, look at the cliches! Just look at them!).

As far as the rest of life goes, my son turned 3 in September and finally moved on from his terrible twos soon after and is becoming quite a pleasure to have around (phew!). And work has just seemed to get busier and busier. I’m sure it’s all very positive, but we (my husband and I) are stressed a good deal of the time (we work at the same company). Not super great for our parenting and my writing, but we’re managing. There are positive moves being made at work that may lead to reduced stress… or more, who knows?

Anyway, back to the Blog Hop. I was tagged by Elaine White. You can also see what she’s up to on her Facebook Page, Twitter and Goodreads profile.

Here’s how a blog hop works. Elaine tagged me, so I answer the four blog hop questions in my blog, which I will link to Elaine’s answers to the same questions on her blog. Then I will reach out to five random authors to continue the hop!

Read on to find my answers to the blog hop questions.

What are you writing?

I am currently (still) working on

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The Way Things Are, Could Be, and the Role of Fiction

I don’t write these kinds of posts often… but, well… I just can’t not, this time…

I’m going to say some stuff that people won’t agree with. That’s fine. Say I’m wrong, I’ll listen, and I’ll consider. That’s as much as I can promise.

Amid all this rape culture media coverage (earlier in the year with the boys in the US and more recently with, shamefully, NZ’s own), I have realised that as I happened to include sexual assault in HEALER’S TOUCH it is a responsibility of my characters to deal with it in a realisitic, and hopefully healthy way.

Something I have been realising with fiction: it’s one thing to go out there and say, “Look, this is a bad guy doing bad things, we blew him up… that’s what happens when you do bad things… but, look, this good guy isn’t totally shiny, but he’s not that bad, so he’s cool”… But what about saying “Here… this is how it could be done… grow up like this guy/gal”? Just a thought I’ve been having.

It’s a tough one. Because to go out there and design a character, or three, that you think are the best role models for the world is to assume that you know best… which, well, who can?

I like to think that Jonas is a good

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Going Local, Going Real

I originally posted this as an article in a Newsletter I edit…

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As writers, we’re pretty well used to interacting with “people” via text… it’s how our characters live. We write/type, and they live.

But what if the only way you intermingle with other writers is through the internet: WDC, Twitter, Facebook, G+… whatever…? Are they real? Or have you made them up? Am I real? Or are you just imagining me?

The thing about meeting up with real life fellow authors is you get to interact (gasp!) face-to-face. Foreign, I know… but let me tell you something…

Several years ago I finally discovered why I had been feeling so “odd” as I clawed my way through day-to-day life and went to work, blah blah. You see, I rediscovered my writing bug. I started penning a story. When it started to grow into something more than “just a story”, I joined WDC and combed through various websites looking for the advice and experience I needed to shape my story into a NOVEL. My best progress was made through the more personal relationships I formed both on WDC and on other sites (I found my strongest supporter on Jottify). It’s all good and well sending a review here and there and getting the odd one back, but there really is something about forming allegiences with other writers with the goal of helping each other succeed in whichever way they wish.

Then one day, for some reason I forget, I decided to seek face-to-face writing groups in my area. I learned of two. One I had to contact someone to get the details, the other one had all the details online, so I just rocked up. In both cases, it turned out to be the last meeting for the year before a 2-month break. The one I had to contact someone about was alright, but I never heard anything about things starting back up the following year, and I ended up not following it up, because…

The other one

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