Category Archives: Uncategorized

Moving Right Along . . .

I am thrilled to report that this past week has been a very good one. I’ve been working on my current WIP at a steady rate. Not getting a massive amount of words to the page in a day; more like managing a chapter a day, a good chapter.

I’ve also been juggling doctor appointments, so it’s hard to sit down and write without interruptions of some kind. After my eye surgery on Tuesday, the appointments should hopefully taper off.

Like it usually does when I’m focused on a particular story, one of my other stories had to nudge me, and mention a little something that needed to be changed. Could it wait? Of course, not! It had to be done now, while it was still fresh in my mind. That took up a day.

Then there’s the book covers. I have a novella coming out in December. I know I’ve mentioned it before. I’m sitting on the cover and I love it! While I was setting that one up, I went ahead and got Victoria Miller to do the cover for A Destiny Denied, the third installment of my Kindred series. It’ll be released in the Spring of 2018. I figured, why not get a jump on things? Well, I got that back this week, too. It’s amazing, and I’m going to be hard pressed to sit on it until January.

There’s that other project. Sully and Larke. My goal is to compile several short stories into a single book, chronicling their adventures. It’s not completed yet. I still have three stories that need to be finished. But, I’d seen the work of Ravenborn Book Cover Designs, and I really liked her Urban Fantasy and Paranormal covers. I emailed her, and she agreed to give it a shot. She’d do the e-book first, and give me the print cover after the book is completed, and I have a final page count. I got her first draft yesterday. A tweak here, a tweak there, and POW! Another awesome cover to sit on! It was like Christmas!

But, you know what that means, right? Yep, those other two stories—back on the shelf. Seems Sully and Larke need their stories finished. They have a cover waiting on them.

Until next week,

~Madison

2nd try

Advertisements

When It Comes Together

This past week has been one of accomplishments. It feels like a very long time since I’ve been able to say that. I’m not sure if it’s because I was able to get a few things done, or that my mindset has taken a positive turn. Either way, it’s a welcome feeling.

I imagine every writer dreads getting their manuscript back from an editor. I’m no different. How many times did I mess up with punctuation and tenses? Will there be a lot of changes? Will there be a lot of deletions? Of course, changes are always subject to the writer. We don’t have to accept them. But, speaking for me personally, those suggested changes have always been more than helpful. This time was no different. Thankfully, the edits weren’t awful. To be honest, I was pretty tickled with the whole thing. I’d like to think that I’m getting a little better, too. 😉

The next step was formatting the manuscript. Once that’s done, I can put it back on the shelf until my publisher is ready to upload and release it. That will be sometime in December, a date is yet to be set.

I admit I dreaded starting the format process. I’m still new to it, and haven’t had a lot of luck so far. So, it was with trepidation and baited breath, I began. My publisher asks for two copies of the manuscript; one unnumbered (no headers or footers), and one with page numbers and headers. The unnumbered one was relatively easy. I uploaded it to CreateSpace and launched the reviewer. It looked good to me.

On to the next one. The headers didn’t give me any grief. My name at the top of one page, the title on the opposite page, but NOT on the front and back matter. Maybe it’s because I’ve done it a few times, but it went right up without any problems. Now to the page numbers. This one has always given me grief. I have moaned and wailed over this. It took me a few tries to get it to stick, and then—what? Beautiful formatted page numbers! Got it in one! Believe me, I saved it and called it a day! LOL

Hopefully, I did it right and when I send it to my publisher, it will remain that way. I had issues with that the last time, too. What I thought was correct turned out to be all the way wrong. Formatting is not something you learn overnight. But I’m determined to get this, because it’s a part of the process of getting my book published.

For now, I can take a breather and get back to writing.

Till next week,

~Madison

brand Sept 2017

In the meantime . . .

Before I get started on my ongoing journey as a writer, I want to take a minute to send my thoughts and prayers to all who are in the path of danger. Unfortunately, there are so many; survivors of Hurricane Harvey who are picking up the pieces and struggling to rebuild their lives, the many out West dealing with wildfires, and all those in the path of Hurricane Irma. It’s overwhelming trying to process it all. I’ve been through too many hurricanes to count and have been fortunate. What I do know is that it’s times like these when men and women’s best qualities shine. We care for each other, putting aside differences. People will band together, to help each other. This will be no different. Together, we’ll pick up the pieces and start anew. Because we’re resilient like that.

On my end, things are finally progressing. I finalized the cover for my novella. Now, I have to sit on it for another couple of months. Timing is everything. I also made a video trailer for the book. One more thing I have to sit on. This is the hard part for me because I’m so excited about the cover and the trailer, and I want to share them with everyone.

The manuscript itself is now with the editor. It’s pins and needles time while I wait to hear back from her. This editor and I are new to each other. I’m curious to see what she thinks of my story.

Now is the best time to get back to writing. I have three WIP’s that need to be finished. My problem . . . which one first? They’re all being so good; waiting patiently for me to get back to them. One is not speaking any louder than the others. Though, they’re all nudging me with little gems that will be a great addition to their own stories. I guess I’m going to have to choose, and quickly. They’re not going to write themselves.

Until next week,

~Madison

3 Brand cropped

Busy, busy, busy…

This has been a busy week, and I’ve found myself all over the place. Most of it has been family related issues and tracking hurricanes. The storms are normal stuff this time of year. I’ve also been restocking swag, designing a few new things, ordering books in anticipation of local book signings, fitting in a couple of author take overs, and working with my cover artist on up and coming book covers.

In and around all of this, I’ve been getting a few words down every day. My muse threw yet another story at me. The words are slow in coming, but the story is getting clearer in my head. Funny how that works. As with all my other stories, this one comes to me in my dreams. I wake up remembering a dream, then realizing it’s not about me, but the characters in my story. This latest one has proved no different, rich in detail and heavy on action. I’m going to do my best to get it down on paper. I’m hoping this one turns out as well as I picture it in my mind.

It won’t be long before my novella is in the hands of the editor. Getting that one ready for release will take priority over my WIP, so I better stay on task for now. Seems I have stories to tell.

Until next week,

~ Madison

3 Brand cropped

Sanity is over-rated.

It’s go time. I’ve been working for this kick off point for half of the year between other things, and honestly…I’m ready to wrap. How abysmal is that? I’m at the beginning of my victory lap and I’m too pooped to run it. lol

I will. No worries…I always rally. Right now, I’m just zoinked from the hard run marathon to reach this point.

What am I talking about?? FIVE RELEASES IN SIX WEEKS.
Yupp, you read that right. Even though one has moved dates, the lead up didn’t change…so in my mind it still counts.

Ready??
Here goes.
Tomorrow, Tuesday August 29: Imposs-i-Bella releases.

Tuesday September 12: Book of Mysteries (The Custos Series book 3) releases.
AND Rogue in Cimmerian Shade Limited Edition box set releases.

Saturday September 30: Gravedigger releases.

Tuesday October 10: Veil Break in Haunting Savannah releases.

I’m going to grin like a madman when it’s all done…but right now I could use a masseuse, a housekeeper, and a cook.

True story.

Sav

Costly Lessons…

Warning! This week’s blog is going to be a long one. I do hope you take the time to read it in its entirety, however. The story is close to my heart.

As a writer, one goes through a gamut of emotions as they maneuver through the process of writing a story to releasing it as a published work. Speaking for myself, I’ve been up, down, and all around the emotional roller coastal. There’s the joy of writing the story, the pins and needles waiting to get your manuscript back from your editor. Then, there’s the ego-deflating process of corrections, the deadline to get everything finished and the wait for the final copy to arrive in your hands. Of course, I’ve let out a few dozen other steps involved. Those aren’t relevant to this blog.

I have a very dear friend who is a creative genius when it comes to storytelling. He’s written several books in the last couple of years, but has yet to publish. I met him at a local writer’s conference and we became instant fast friends. While at this conference he met an editor from St. Martin’s Press. She was very interested in his first book and asked him to send her a copy of his manuscript. I was overjoyed for him. Here was his chance to get his book published, and by a well-known publishing house. I encouraged him to send the manuscript to her, and he did. Unfortunately, he never heard from her, even after emailing her again for any kind of response. He was understandably upset, but I encouraged him to keep moving forward. There were other ways to get his book out there.

I posted on Facebook, asking for editors to message me their rates. When I had more than a few, I sent them to my friend. In my world, self-publishing is a realistic option for writers, especially those just starting out. My friend selected an editor from the list and contacted her. Rates were discussed, money was exchanged, with a promise of the first pass being returned within two weeks. Three and a half months later, after many emails, texts, and phone calls, he finally got his manuscript back. We sat down together and went over the pages. At first, it looked like she had done a decent job of editing. Corrections were highlighted and there were quite a few passages that were marked for deletion. As he was trying to get his word count down to a manageable amount, these were expected. About two-thirds of the way through, the pages were bare of corrections. Not a single stroke or remark. It was obvious to us that the editor had not completed her job. Never mind that she had been paid in full in advance. Never mind that she had continually put him off with a wealth of excuses as to why she hadn’t completed the manuscript in the allotted time frame. This was clearly a shoddy job from a woman who claimed to be a professional editor.

I had to watch my friend as his dream disintegrated before his eyes. He’s been so upset by all the excuses and delays over the last few months that he no longer has the desire to write. Do I blame him, no? It breaks my heart, though. I feel partly responsible, because I’m the one who gave him her name and number. True, I had no idea that she wasn’t who she proclaimed to be. We all take chances with people we “meet” through social media. I spent most of yesterday with him as we explored options. I can’t let him give up on his dream. He’s too talented for that. I have another editor lined up. One who I’ve spoken to myself. She’s also the editor of a well-known author who is an acquaintance of mine.

It’s turned out to be a costly lesson. Most of us go through them at one point or another. We all strive to make our dreams become reality. Sometimes, we have to go through brutal and costly lessons to get there. Both of us are guilty of being too trusting. We’ve learned a harsh lesson. We still believe in the inherent good in people. But, we’re a lot more cautious now.

3 Brand cropped

 

Procrastination… (I’ll get to it, I promise)

I am not a procrastinator. I believe if you have a project, do it and get it over with. My daughter on the other hand, is a master of waiting till the last minute to get things done. Drives me up the wall, but there’s no changing her at this point. I grit my teeth and try to ignore it.

The past couple of weeks I’ve walked in my daughter’s shoes. While I may not understand her way of thinking any better, I’ve found myself putting off something I should have been working on. Instead, I have been indulging in a guilty pleasure. Do I feel regret? A little. Am I going to put aside my pleasure and get back to work. Umm, no. Not yet, anyway.

I’ve been binge watching the Supernatural TV series. All 12 seasons. It’s a show I always wanted to watch, but because it had already started I didn’t bother with it. I hate to jump into anything midway. I want to start from the beginning and work my way through the whole thing. Enter Netflix. All 12 seasons, every single episode from start to finish. I just started season 12 last night. I figure I’ll be wrapping up my binge watching at the end of the weekend at the rate I’m going.

It’s probably a good thing because I have formatting to get started on and I have more than a few WIP’s waiting on me. There’s one story that has been knocking around in my head the last few days. I was starting on Chapter 3 when I put it aside. Now, details are becoming a little clearer, and I see what direction the story is headed. I need to get it down on paper.

I guess we all need to take a break from our routine; shake out the cobwebs and cleanse the palette, so to speak. My mental vacation is almost over, time to get back to work.

Till next week,

~Madison

3 Brand cropped

When Life Steps In…

I had my blog prepared in advance, but when I woke up this morning it didn’t work for me. There was nothing wrong with what I had written. It just smacked of redundancy. The words bored me, and if they had that effect on me, there’s no way I was going to share them with you.

When I started this blog two years ago it was to be an open diary of my journey as a writer. Truth to tell, there are days, weeks even, when I don’t write. There are times when there’s nothing new happening in my world regarding books. This has been one of those times when life takes over. My granddaughter started the 5th grade this week. She attended her first school dance. I traded in my beast of an SUV for a smaller vehicle. I’ve been binge watching 12 seasons of Supernatural, and am in the middle of season 8. I relate to Dean Winchester. We’re a lot alike. 😉 That’s my reality.

I’ve got a lot of work to do before Save the Last Dance and A Destiny Denied see the light of day. The work will get done. Truth to tell, they’re a lot closer than what I would have dreamed last month. Things have a way of happening when you want it bad enough. And, I will get all the work done. Not this week, however. Besides, I need to finish Supernatural so I’m caught up when Season 13 starts.

Enjoy your life. Read a good book, watch an awesome movie or TV series. Take your kid to her first school dance in your new-to-you car. Life is short. It’s not ALL about work, you have to enjoy the simple pleasures too.

Till next week,

~ Madison

3 Brand cropped

Collecting Pens

I’m finding that I’ve lapped myself on the hamster wheel lately. It’s a good thing, even as I fight not to give in and let myself ride the next turn and slow down. If it wouldn’t put me severely behind, I would in an instant. But alas, it will only make the next lap harder and I find that catching up is simply not in my ability if I get too far behind.

Instead, I’ve taken to doing some long hand writing. It’s got a certain meditative quality to it that typing can never encompass. As such, I’ve also taken turns writing with the myriad pens I’ve collected over the years, or through other authors at signings…because I’m a pen whore. There, I said it. No, I don’t want a 12-step program. I happen to love my obsession. There is something about finding one that just glides for you that makes the words all the more magical.

Do you have a favorite? A favorite single you’ve never been able to replace, or is it a certain brand that works for you every time? What about the feel? I have recently discovered one that I like a lot…and then found that it came in different barrel styles. They are NOT the same, even though the ink and roller are…the feel is completely foreign and I cannot make myself pick the one up…which really bites because I bought a whole package of them.

So…what’s a girl to do?

Part of me thinks that authors, like the president, should write one word or letter and then give them away like prizes. Could that become a thing? ‘Here, I wrote with this…treasure it forever.’ Somehow, unless you’re a big shot, and it has your name on it, and maybe the title of the work it was used for, and maybe some writer’s tears on it, I don’t think so. Guess I’ll go back to the old stand-by solution…donating them to the classrooms at the local school. Somebody is always needing one, right? That’s what I’m telling myself.

Meanwhile, the tried and true I’ve fallen completely in love with ones will make it into one of the multiple holders around my office and wait for rediscovery. I mean, fair is fair…gotta try them all. Don’t I?

The Fun Part Begins…

It’s done. I’ve finally finished the revisions to the third installment of my Kindred series. Manuscripts are scheduled for editing. Then, I get to do it all over again. LOL Such is the life of a writer. But, it’s a good feeling to have at least that much behind me.

I’ve got the green light from my cover artist for two new covers. Gathering my ducks together to get that off and running. I love this part, because it’s an exciting element of the whole process. Victoria Miller is an absolute genius with her artistry, and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with.

Once I get all of these in the proper hands, it’s back to the writing cave. I have more WIP’s to finish, and I’m finally getting the urge to get back to work. That’s one itch I’m eager to scratch.

Till next week,

~Madison

3 Brand cropped