If you keep up with me at all, you know that, at the end of May, I left my 10-year (stable, wonderful, steady paycheck... *cue panic attack*)-teaching career to set off full time on this (not-so-stable, equally wonderful, life's passion) writing career. I meant to write an update blog one week in, and then two weeks in, and then a month in, and... well, you get the idea. But the reality is, I've just been too busy to take a breath, let alone blog about it! Flippancies aside, I'm actually not panicking at all. And perhaps that's just because I'm an unrelenting optimist (I am), or more likely because I've been hard at work on this authoring thing for many years, so making the leap into full time hasn't been that intimidating. It's just a matter of taking all the hard work I've cultivated over the last nine years I've been a writer and devoting 100% of my career energies into it rather than what's left over at the end of the day. So, for those of you who are not on my newsletter, here's a quick update of what the last month and a half (ish) has looked like for me:
-I started writing a new book this summer! HUNTER is a prequel to BREEDER, taking place about 200 years prior to the rest of the Breeder Cycle trilogy and set during the Great Incursion described in the series. Don't worry, I am still writing the final book in the series, CLONE, but I am now writing both books simultaneously.
-Most exciting of all, in June I was signed by Ben Grange of the L. Perkins Agency in New York City, so I now have representation. Ben and I have been hard at work on The Girl in the Sea to get it ready to pitch to bigger publishers, so between writing the two books and revising The Girl in the Sea, I have had a very busy writing month.
-In light of these exciting developments, I am amicably cutting ties with my longtime publisher, The Writer's Coffee Shop*. The change will be effective as of July 31st. What does this mean for purchasing my books? As of the end of this month, all retailers carrying my books will sell out whatever remaining stock they have, and that will be it! (until I sign a new book deal--but there could be a pretty significant delay until that happens.) SO, if you have been considering buying my books and don't want to wait an indefinite amount of time for shiny new editions, go to Amazon or my Books Page now to view purchase options! Don't miss out!
-Ben is also working with me on my backlist (all my currently published books) to try and find them a new publishing home.
-Sometime this summer, I will begin work on writing Season 2 of Cinderella for the Public Domain Universe podcast. I need to finish writing HUNTER first and make sure I'm well enough along in CLONE that I know I can get that book finished as well before I dive into the scripts for the PDU, though. With so many creative projects cooking, I can't let my brain get split into too many different directions! If you haven't listened to Season 1 yet, I would encourage you to check it out here.
-At the beginning of July, I received two more awards from Literary Classics International Book Awards for CRIMINAL: Gold for High School Science Fiction/Dystopian and Gold for College Science Fiction/Dystopian. Literary Classics followed up the awards by inviting me to speak at the Great American Book Festival this Labor Day Weekend in Rapid City, South Dakota. I'll be presenting on the topics of Social Media and Online Branding. So in late August I will be preparing that presentation, and I'm really looking forward to the trip and the event.
I think that about covers what I'm working on right now, and what I anticipate working on in the next couple months. I feel as though I hit the ground running as a full time author, and I'm excited to see where the rest of the year takes me. Please subscribe to my newsletter for monthly updates and check my News Page for links to announcements, events, and press releases. (Information on my awards can also be found on my Home Page.) And if you are an event coordinator or school administrator, please consider me for your speaking or workshop needs! Contact me for more information.
*I am so thankful for my time with TWCS Publishing House. Many young, fledgling authors find themselves--out of desperation and ignorance--with predatory vanity presses. That was never my experience with TWCS. TWCS was a fantastic, professional small press for me to get my start at. Not only did they publish my first eight (eight!) novels, but they helped and encouraged me through the process, they taught me so much about writing and storytelling, and they provided me with a publication family. I have made lifelong friends through working with them, and I would not be where I am today without them. Thank you, TWCS!
When I signed on to write for the Public Domain Universe--the brand new podcast project that is the brainchild of writer/producer/comedian Ben Fort--I broke my cardinal rule of storytelling: always know the end of the story before starting to write from the beginning. A project like this podcast, though, is unique. In fact, it's very much more like a television show than a book (or a book series), and for that reason, I've had to approach it... differently. A bit like the Doctor, if you will, stepping out of the Tardis, with a sense of, "I'm not sure exactly how I got here or how this is going to end, but I'm certain I'm supposed to be here, and together, with my companions, we'll make sure to have the best darned adventure we can! Oh yeah, and hope that everything turns out resolved and neat and tidy when we're through, too."
Speaking of Doctor Who, this whole experience of writing for a podcast--and the difference between writing for a podcast and writing a novel--has allowed me to really explore different sorts of storytelling options available on television. Some shows are finite. They're clearly only made to run for a set number of seasons, so the writers have a sense that they are writing to some sort of END. I imagine--and I've always imagined, because I'm a writer, and this is the bonkers sort of thing I sit and think about when watching TV--that it's still incredibly challenging to write TV shows like this, because one never knows if they will be renewed season after season. In fact, I think this is probably what went awry with the plot of LOST around seasons 5-6. Without a set end or end date, writers on shows are, I imagine, often left having to come up with probable endings, and then filler when the show is renewed again (or fumbling to wrap things up if they are not). Some shows manage it well, some shows do not. With a show like Doctor Who, though, the sky (the universe... all of space and time!) is literally the limit.
And this is what makes Doctor Who so successful, and so brilliant. There doesn't have to ever be an ending. The Doctor can endlessly regenerate. The universe will never be too small. There are infinite worlds to be explored, and with them, infinite stories to be told. What an alluring concept! In that regard, my cardinal rule does not apply, because the Doctor IS the story, and the "end" of the story is that he has no end.
But, alas, his companions always do, and that's what forms the real drama, and the keep-you-coming-back story arcs, season after season. And, of course, the writers on a show like Doctor Who have to know the beginning and end of each of the companion's stories. And as I'm now writing for a show--albeit just a small start-up podcast show--I'm adjusting to the fact that I may not know the end of our metanarrative, and I may not know where the other two writers are taking their characters, and I may not ever know if our show is going to be renewed for a second, third, fourth... season, but what I DO, and CAN know is the stories of my characters--my companions, if you will. We don't have all of time and space to explore in the Public Domain Universe, but we do have, well, all of the characters in the Public Domain we could explore using, if we wanted to, and that gives us a lot of options for a lot of stories to come. Will you come exploring with us? We may be small now, but if there's one thing I've learned from the Tardis, it's that good things often come in small packages.
*Find the Public Domain Universe on the Interwebz: http://publicdomainuniverse.com/
~If you're only interested in following my stories on the PDU (Cinderella), you can find my page on the website HERE.
*Listen to the Public Domain Universe on iTunes HERE! It's Free!
*Follow @PDUpod on Twitter to stay up-to-date on all the latest episodes and to interact with the writers and producer!
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