Archive for the ‘The Business of Writing’ Category

I Sold My First Novel!

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I’ve been sitting on this news since before Christmas, but now that everything is finalized, I can finally announce:

I’ve sold The Bone Flower Throne to Panverse Publishing! It’s the first book in my feminist retelling of the myths and legends surrounding the Toltec priest-king Ce Acatl Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl, and it’s scheduled to be published in late summer, early fall. WorldCon might actually be necessary this year, so I can do some lead-up promotion.

I’m planning to do that Next Big Thing meme about it in the next week or so, so stay tuned to find out more about the book.

Out with the old, in with the new

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So 2012 has come and gone and the new year is before us, which means taking stock of what I accomplished and then looking ahead to the future.

So, last year was a crazy ride of ups and downs, some of which I still can’t talk about because things haven’t completely ironed out yet. I finished a second draft of one novel, started a third (which I didn’t even get half-way through), then wrote another novel in a completely different genre, but again in the same milieus that I love. I still haven’t lost the desire to write about Aztec history and mythology, and have several more stories brewing in the back of my mind. I started the year off strong and hopeful, but hit a slump where I wasn’t enjoying writing anymore, but moving ahead into a new genre helped me rediscover my love of writing. However, I think my lack of desire to move on to new subjects led to the demise of my career in traditional publishing before it even started; there is apparently no market for what I write with traditional publishers, in either genre I’m writing in, but I really, really want to write these stories, so in the end, I decided to let my agent go and strike out on my own. She put in a lot of work on trying to sell my novel and unfortunately that didn’t turn out as well as we’d both hoped, but I think going a less traditional route might be better for the kind of stuff I write. There were some interesting developments in that category in December and hopefully I’ll be able to make some announcements by the end of January. Stay tuned!

On the negative side of things, I made zero money this year on writing, a first since I’ve started doing this in earnest. At least the taxes will be easy to do this year.

As for this year, I’m putting aside the failures of the past and pressing onward. I know what I want to write and am going to do it, and if it means self-publishing it in the end, then so be it. Part of me still wants a traditional sale with the backing of a big publisher, if only because it seems on the surface to be less work for me, but the idea of self-publishing isn’t as scary anymore. The professional world is changing fast, and traditional publishing is looking less and less stable and safe as it used to. I haven’t ruled out the possibility of getting an agent again, for the idea of going into any contract without someone to watch my back makes me sweat, but that just might not be in the cards for me.

On conventions, I don’t know that I’m going to go to any this year, aside from my local one. I really want to be able to go to LonCon in London in the summer of 2014 and that means having to save money for the trip, especially since I’d love to bring the whole family with me this time. The plan this year is to not attend either WorldCon or World Fantasy, though I loath to go two years without seeing my best friends at least once.

On a final note, after having heard really good things about RWA as a writer’s organization from several close friends, I went ahead and joined, and joined a local chapter here in Denver at the end of the year. It seemed a good move professionally since what I’m writing right now is, for intent and purposes, genre romance, and it would be useful to learn from other romance writers. I do intend to approach some small press publishers with this novel I’m working on right now, then self-publish if that doesn’t lead to anything, and there’s at least one more book in this series that I really want to write. In the end I just want to write about what I love and if that leads to sales, great; if not, then at least I’m getting some satisfaction for myself for having told the stories at all.

Last Day for Free Stuff

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Today is the last day to get the Kindle edition of Night Bird Soaring and Other Stories for free on Amazon. My thanks goes out to everyone who downloaded a copy.

In other news, I finished the first draft of my alternate history romance novel I started back in late September. It was quite fun to write and it came in just under 80k words after only 23 days. If only all my novels hit the page so easily. I’m looking forward to working on the next draft.

Writing: Shifting Genres

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Now that I’ve put the hard work of putting together my short story collection behind me (and maybe I’ll do a blog post about the process someone time soon), it’s time to get back to work on new writing. Prior to WorldCon, I’d fully intended to go back to working on the novel I’d started over the summer, but to be honest, my motivation on it has been less than stellar. I had good motivation during June, when I cranked out 50k on it for NaNoWriMo Summer Camp, but since then, things just haven’t gone well. After reading from my novel at WorldCon, I decided to reread it all, since it’s been over a year since I’d last look at it. I was glad to see that I still enjoyed it, and it put me in the mood for a bit of romance; specifically Aztec or Mayan. I’ve looked for Aztec-inspired romances before and haven’t had much luck (everything seems to be modern lady time travels to the past, usually after finding some remote ruins or magic artifact. Just not what interests me, either in romance or fantasy.).

For the most part, I write tragic love stories, but at one point I wrote a One World novella that didn’t start off as a HEA romance, but very quickly turned into it. Since it wasn’t the kind of thing I usually wrote, when I finished it, I put it away, figuring it was something I couldn’t sell, and tried to forget about it. But after being unable to find what I really wanted to read on Amazon, I dusted off the old novella, now several years old, and gave it a read. To my surprise, it wasn’t all that bad and I started considering the possibility that I might actually be able to get it published.

Of course, I know practically nothing about the romance genre and the story expectations attached, so I started investigating and reading some historical romance, to try to figure things out and see how much I’d have to alter the story to meet the needs of the genre. But from what I’ve gathered from my reading, I’m actually pretty close to on target, and reading these other books has given me clues about how I can expand this little novella into a full-blown novel. So that’s what I’ve decided to do: I’m going to write a One World romance novel.

If you’d told me two years ago that I’d be writing romance, I probably would have laughed and said “Never in a million years!” But I’m excited to give it a try and see how it goes.

Chicon 7 Programming

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I’ll be at WorldCon in Chicago coming up at the end of August, and this year I’m actually on a panel! Just one, but that’s good enough to get me started, since this is a the first time I’ve been on any panels at a WorldCon. My itinerary is as follows:

Fri Aug 31 12:00:pm: F*** Your Knight and the Horse He Rode in on Part Deux: Fantasy Series Not Based on Medieval Europe. A follow-up to last year’s irreverent panel of young writers challenging the predominance of medieval-inspired settings in fantasy. Panelists: Christopher Kastensmidt, Dennis Y. Ginoza, Elizabeth Bear, T. L. Morganfield.

Sat Sep 1 1:30:pm: Autograph Session with Carrie Vaughn, Gardner Dozois, Martin Berman-Gorvine, Nick DiChario, Paul Cornell, Rhiannon Held, Susan MacDonald, T. L. Morganfield.

Sun Sep 2 5:30:pm – 6:00:pm: Reading: T. L. Morganfield.

So lots of time to hang out with friends, meet new people, and just have fun. Hope to see some of you there!