I’m Back…I think…

Well, here’s hoping that I will be able to be in front of the keyboard enough to write some blog entries, make some tweets, do some face time on Facebook, and all that jazz! I’ve been AFK for the past two months for various reasons, the most exciting of which was a trip to Belize!!! For research, of course! I’m overflowing now with incredible ideas for Synergy 2012:Return to Magic, my next project. This urban fantasy is going to draw  upon the 2012 Mayan Calendar renewal, and I literally climbed a mountain inside and out to feed this story!

Thank you so much to everyone who has purchased Regression, Evolussion, and Revolussion. It’s incredible to think that tens of thousands of people have read my words, and many have enjoyed them enough to reach out to me through emails. I so appreciate that support, especially with the challenges we’ve been facing both personally and professionally in our family. The print copy of Revolussion will be coming, as well as an omnibus version, but they will simmer on the back burner for at least a few more weeks.  

I have an exciting new semester at school, teaching senior chemistry as well as an online course, and I hope the energy of the changing session will ride me through composition of Synergy…I’d like to have it ready for spring Equinox. We’ll see if life cooperates…


When is a book finished?

This is such a difficult question to answer, and I’m learning my own response to it!

I re-wrote Regression a number of times, and actually am going to work on an omnibus for the holiday season which includes the first draft (alternate ending) as a bonus. Interestingly enough, neither Evolussion nor Revolussion have alternate endings since the first draft was very close to the completed copy. Why?

Because I learnt that the book will never be finished until I choose it to be finished, because there is always something which could be changed. When I read Regression, I begin to re-write it in my head, while I am more satisfied with the other manuscripts.

So the completion of a manuscript is the point at which you the author think it is finished telling the story. In looking at Revolussion, I know there are the smaller, side story-lines which I could have kept on writing, but I decided that those could be left up to the reader’s imagination. Dawn’s story was over. At least, her story as the mother of humanity. Stew, Nicholas, Hope, Avery…I could continue with their stories, but their roles in the original plot have ended, and I need to take a break from the Infinion Series to test myself against new material. Can I write something else? Fantasy? Science Fiction? Contemporary? I want to try them. And then, I might come back and carry on where Revolussion left off!

Look for news on Synergy 2012: Return to Magic on the blog as I begin a new project!

Free Ebook!

I’m getting ready for the release of Revolussion, the third book in the Infinion Series. Smashwords is my distributor for Barnes and Noble, Kobo, etc. I’m thinking ahead…I would like to propagate the ‘free’ price for Bestselling Regression on their listings pages, but it can take up to three months to trickle down. By listing now, maybe Regression will be free when Revolussion is released on 11/11/11. And perhaps even Amazon will catch up on the price. So, if you like Smashwords, science fiction, and time travel, stop on by and grab a free copy of my book.


Doing a Book Reading Online

Sort Of. I’ve been invited to host a ‘Read With The Author’ Book Klub on Kindleboards and will be reading through Regression, Evolussion, and finally Revolussion (in the form of Advance Reader Copies). So, my monotone voice will not be droning on but I will be reading along with other people, in their heads. I hope. More need to show up or I’ll just be talking mainly to myself!

So, what is Kindleboards? It’s a great social site for Kindle users to share tips, ideas, book recommendations, and just hang out. I just learned a whole bunch about Walt Disney World from hanging around the boards, so it’s not just about Kindles, although ownership is strongly recommended as it does make it easier to take part in the conversations!

Since I’ve made the committment to visit the Kindleboards site daily over the coming months, I’m also going to try to get slamming out some blog entries. And of course, with the final book in the Infinion Series coming out soon, I’ll have to work in some background about that. Get it months before it goes on sale by joining me in the Book Klub!

Sample Sunday

I don’t want to be redundant, so I’ll just post a link from here to my Blogger.com blog, where I’ve put up samples from Regression, Evolussion, and Revolussion in honour of Sample Sundays on Twitter.

Time has been tight lately but lots of blog entries have collected in my head. Once I’ve got a handle on drafting Revolussion, then I’ll begin composing some blog entries once again.

To write or not to write

…short stories, that is.

The Kindle is creating an opportunity which was never before an option – that of selling individual short stories, novellas, or novelettes. In the print world, anything less than your standard length of about 250 pages was not considered for publication unless bound within an anthology. For new authors, an anthology was unlikely. And so, most emerging authors have laboured to produce the requisite 80-120,000 word story for submission to the traditional publishers. Now, not only has Kindle – and the other platforms – opened direct access to readers for authors, it has also created a market for stories that are faster to produce.

So, what exactly is a short story, novella, etc? Since I write science fiction, I’ll use the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America classifications:
Novel: a work of 40,000 words or more
Novella: a work of at least 17,500 words but under 40,000 words
Novelette: a work of at least 7,500 words but under 17,500 words
Short story: a work of under 7,500 words

On Kindle, you can price your work as low at 99 cents (except those few indies who have figured out how to offer theirs for free…wish I could!), but only get 35% royalties at the price. Yet, what a great introductory price for familiarizing readers with your work and style! A shorter work certainly provides enough insight into your writing that readers can determine whether they would try other works by you.

If I took the time, I likely could compose a novella in less than a month. Writing the longer work takes a lot more time than that (let’s say 8 months). So, I could write 8 – 99 cent novellas in the same period of time. The $2.99 price point generates 70% royalties through Amazon, and appears to be the standard price point for full length novels from most indies (I’ve got Regression on sale right now for 99 cents but it will go back up at the end of February), but a bundle of 4 shorter stories priced at $2.99 would generate greater returns than one longer story which took 8 months to write and then is priced at $2.99.

I am going to finish Evolussion, of course, because it is the conclusion to the Infinion trilogy. But, after that, I think I will experiment with short stories and novellas. I’ve got dozens of story ideas on post-it notes around the house – have to jot it while it’s in my head – that could easily be fleshed out into novellas. Here are the prime candidates already begun.

First Ride – Young Adult Fantasy – A young girl discovers her hidden heritage when her mother takes her riding on her twelfth birthday.

Digital Sunset – Science Fiction – A family adjusts to the loss of all electrical devices as the Earth deals with a geomagnetic pole shift.

Synergy 2012:Return to Magic – Young Adult Fantasy – a school trip to Belize awakens a long-dormant bloodline of queens with magical powers.

Weighting It Out – actually, a contemporary story rather than scifi. A young woman thinks she has nothing to live for, and gives herself a month to determine if she wants to live or die.

With recent headlines (bird and sea deaths), I’m leaning toward working on Digital Sunset. And, of course, timing makes Synergy 2012 another more pressing project. With the upcoming semester change, perhaps I’ll be able to begin writing. As it is, with two courses over-full and one course I’ve never taught before, this semester has wrung me out!

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