a-writers-life-is-never-dull

Monday, Monday…

Monday, Monday…

Monday, Monday, can’t trust that day…

I have to admit that I like Mondays best when they’re not quite so… Mondayish. And today Monday is being an overachiever. Nothing I can share, mind, but beating my head against the wall would be a welcome respite, if only because I could STOP.

Needless to say, today has been a heck of a long week, and most of that was before noon. Some of it was even before coffee. It will hopefully all be resolved before dinner.

Hopefully.

Edits are coming in this week — I confirmed that. So I’ll be starting work on Morrigan’s Heir soon, and then doing a readthrough and editing pass on Morrigan’s Wrath. Deadline for me is having both back to my editor by the end of April (my target is to have everything done by April 27th — the day of the Indie Book Bazaar at Spellbound Books.) And I should hopefully have a rough synopsis for “Frog and Fae are Friends” done sometime this week, too, and then i can give a bit more thought to the worldbuilding. I’m still not sure if this will be a serial or a novel or a series of shorts. We’ll see what happens when I sit down to actually write it. Which, I have to say, not sitting down and starting either this or Tales from the Arena: Dead Man’s Hand is hard! Both of them want to be started right now!

The schedule for the rest of this week is packed solid, but it will end on a high note — someone has Senior Prom this weekend. The beginning of the fun part of Senior Year is starting.

I’d better lay in tissues…

Giveaways!

This is the last week where you can download a copy of my dark fantasy romance Counsel of the Wicked FREE through the On Fire Romance promotion. (Content warning — this book is the darkest thing that I have ever written, and includes on the page explicit sexual violence. Go carefully.)

Image of a flame. Text reads "On Fire. Free Spicy Romance Ebooks. March 1-31"
Posted by EASchechter in 2024 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, annoyance, edits, Frog and Fae, I really want some dull, Planning, progress, publishing, Tales from the Arena, The White Raven, Vagueblogging, Worldbuilding, writing-mom, 0 comments
Release Week!

Release Week!

The time has come — it’s release week for the final book of the Heir to the Firstborn series. Look at them!

Image of the seven books in the Heir to the Firstborn series. A small, stuffed Highland Cow plush looks over the covers.
(Coo and Boo approved)

And there we have it — the complete Heir to the Firstborn. And when I say complete, I really mean it this time. No more story here. It’s done. REALLY, it’s done.

Which is… a little bizarre, to be honest. I started the series on Patreon in June of 2018 with an outline for four books. Now, five and a half years and seven books later, I just announced on the Patreon that the page will be going dark at the end of February, and will stay dark until I have something new to share there. (Which, I think I do, but right now it’s just an opening scene. It needs more fleshing out.)

Seven years isn’t the longest I’ve spent on one series, I don’t think. I mean, Tales from the Arena isn’t done yet, nor is The Artificer (which started with House of Sable Locks). But neither of those was intended to be a series. Heir to the Firstborn was always planned out as a series, and it just sort of kept going. But it’s the longest I’ve worked on a single creative project continuously, because I was posting a chapter a week every week non-stop for the first six books.

Getting those characters out of my head after all this time? Takes a complete change of subgenre… so I’m currently working The Sea Prince as a palette cleanser (I described it to someone last week as a sort of fantasy-steampunk Master and Commander. Except it’s Age of Sail, so timing-wise that might be candlepunk? I don’t know. If you do, let me know!)

The Sea Prince has been in my queue since 2009 — it’s almost old enough to drive in this state. There have been a lot of false starts and a lot of putting it back on the shelf before I finally figured out where the story was broken. Now? I’m on chapter 23, and starting to pull this book toward a close (and how many of you are gasping in shock because didn’t I just get started on this again less than a month ago? Yes, yes I did. The words have been FLOWING. I’ve written five chapters in three weeks. That’s roughly 15,000 words.) I think there may be between 25K and 50K words left, but I can see the end from here, and I like it.

Then, of course, I need to write the second book in this series…. hopefully, it won’t take me as long as it took to write the first one!

Preorders

Coming TOMORROW to all your favorite bookstoresValley of Shadows (Heir to the Firstborn, Book 7)

Print preorder is now available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, which means you should be able to order the paperback at your favorite brick and mortar bookshop.

Works in Progress

The Sea Prince
(The Coral Throne, Book 1)

78426 / 120000 (65.35%)
Posted by EASchechter in 2024 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, Happy Book Day, happy-happy- joy- joy, Heir to the Firstborn, Release date, The Sea Prince, upcoming books, Valley of Shadows, WIP, wordcount, writing, 0 comments
Quiet Now.

Quiet Now.

I can has quiet now?

I love doing things and meeting readers and getting out, but there’s something to be said for an unbroken stretch of time where I can just drink coffee and put words on the page.

(sips coffee) Ah… quiet now.

Yesterday’s Meet and Greet at Spellbound was fantastic, and I am looking forward to being invited to more events there. At the moment, I am between consignment contracts, but look for The Chronicles of John Zebedee on their shelves real soon now. (How soon? I’ll let you know.)

The only thing that went wrong was nothing to do with the bookstore and everything to do with the mail — the box that should have arrived Saturday with advance copies of Valley of Shadows disappeared from tracking on Friday. Here’s hoping they find it, but there’s now no rush for them to do so — I’m not going to be in person anywhere until March, when I’ll be reading and volunteering at ICFA.

So what am I going to be doing with all my quiet time? Well… there are four started books on my nightstand that I really should finish. I have a started novel on my screen that needs finishing, and research that needs doing. There will be edits coming in sometime soon that will need to be taken care of and gotten back in. Quiet doesn’t necessarily mean not busy, at least for me. For me, it just means that I don’t have to change gears from backstage author to onstage author, with all the planning and prep that goes along with being onstage.

So, for the next month and a half or so, things will be quiet. There will be words, and research, and reading, and while there may be some shenanigans, they will be quiet shenanigans.

At least, I think they will be quiet shenanigans. If they’re not? Then you’ll be among the first to know!

Preorders

Coming January 30th to all your favorite bookstoresValley of Shadows (Heir to the Firstborn, Book 7)

Print preorder is now available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, which means you should be able to order the paperback at your favorite brick and mortar bookshop.

Works in Progress

The Sea Prince
(The Coral Throne, Book 1)

71295 / 120000 (59.41%)
Posted by EASchechter in 2024 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, appearances, conventions, except-for-when-it-is, ICFA, John Zebedee, Release date, research is fun, The Sea Prince, Valley of Shadows, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments
Do All The Things!

Do All The Things!

January is supposed to be quiet, I thought. The holidays are over, and we all have time for some boring. Right?

Maybe for other people. In our house? We must do all the things! Post holiday time is Highland Game prep! And today? Is Highland Game recovery day.

I’m not Scottish. Not at all (I don’t think my family even has any connection to the northern Italian town settled by Scottish mercenaries in the 1500s.) But I’ve been working with a small group of my friends of Scottish heritage at the Games since 2012, as the founders and staff of Bairn Care — a family tent so that parents can care for their kids in comfort. We have changing stations, a private nursing and feeding area, extra supplies because there are never enough diapers some days, and on occasion, we will watch your child while you run to use the facilities next door. We’ve been told that our Games are the only ones to offer this sort of service, and it’s been amazing to watch the families grow over the years. It’s a labor of love every year — setup Friday, two full days on site, and tear down Monday.

It was on a quiet morning at the Games some seven years ago that I wrote the outline for The White Raven books. So occasionally I do get some writing in. Not this year, but sometimes.

On the upside, I now have a tiny Highland Cow.

Now I have a couple of days to recharge before my first writing event of the year — my Meet and Greet at Spellbound Books! I’m ready for it, although the advance copies of Valley of Shadows may not make it here in time. However, I will have the complete Heir to the Firstborn series for sale as ebooks on a thumb drive.

I’m trying to get my brains to wake up enough today to commit words on The Sea Prince. There’s been three cups of coffee, and… maybe? I’m not holding my breath, though. This might just be a true recovery day and I’ll go for a thousand words tomorrow.

Preorders

Coming January 30th to all your favorite bookstoresValley of Shadows (Heir to the Firstborn, Book 7)

Print preorder is now available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, which means you should be able to order the paperback at your favorite brick and mortar bookshop.

Works in Progress

The Sea Prince
(The Coral Throne, Book 1)

66791 / 120000 (55.66%)

Appearances!

For ONE DAY ONLY, I’ll be having a Meet and Greet at the Spellbound Bookstore in Sanford, Florida! I will be there for 3PM to 4PM on January 21st, 2024. Come out and support small business!

I will have a limited number of thumb drives for sale containing the COMPLETE Heir to the Firstborn series — including the not-yet-released Valley of Shadows! Get it from me before it’s available anywhere!

Posted by EASchechter in 2024 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, appearances, promotions, public displays of geekery, The Sea Prince, Valley of Shadows, WIP, wordcount, Writer on the Go!, writing-mom, 0 comments
An Advanced State of Higgledy-Piggledy

An Advanced State of Higgledy-Piggledy

The first day of class is the perfect time to tell someone that their class isn’t at this campus, it’s at THAT one all the way on the other side of town. Right?

Needless to say, today has been in an advanced state of higgledy-piggledy.

I’m trying to convince my son that they’re predisastering the semester for everyone’s convenience. I’m not sure he’s buying it, though. Then again, I’m not sure I’d be buying it if I found out an hour before class that we have to drive half an hour to the back of beyond, to the campus with “Warning: Bear Crossing” signs on the walking paths. Oh, and if the person who was supposed to be doing the driving wasn’t home…

We made it work. The campus is pretty. There’s a Starbucks nearby (because of course there is), and the teacher seems to be a good sort.

But now you know why I’m getting to my blog post after 5PM Eastern… and since it’s after 5PM, I need to go start cooking dinner. Back shortly.

(time passes)

Two and a half hours later, I’m back to finish this post, and hopefully get some words in on The Sea Prince. Today feels like it’s been a lot longer than the clock says — the clock says 7:51PM. My body says 11:51PM and you should have been in bed two hours ago.

I’m not sure why we were all in such an all-fired rush to get older when we were kids. It’s overrated and I want my money back.

Off to attempt words. Wish me luck.

Preorders

Coming January 30th to all your favorite bookstoresValley of Shadows (Heir to the Firstborn, Book 7)

Print preorder is now available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, which means you should be able to order the paperback at your favorite brick and mortar bookshop.

Works in Progress

The Sea Prince
(The Coral Throne, Book 1)

64370 / 120000 (53.64%)

Appearances!

For ONE DAY ONLY, I’ll be having a Meet and Greet at the Spellbound Bookstore in Sanford, Florida! I will be there for 3PM to 4PM on January 21st, 2024. Come out and support small business!

Posted by EASchechter in a-writers-life-is-never-dull, appearances, forthcoming works, promotions, Release date, The Sea Prince, Valley of Shadows, why-the-writing-is-slow, WIP, wordcount, Writer on the Go!, writing-mom, 0 comments
Rabbit, Rabbit!

Rabbit, Rabbit!

Welcome to 2024!! Saying Rabbit Rabbit at the new year is supposed to bring good luck. No, I’m not sure where it came from, but rabbit rabbit all the same.

It’s been a lovely, relaxing holiday, but it’s time to start ramping up to get back to work. I’m not going to get back to writing for another week — well, not back to writing The Sea Prince, at any rate. There’s something that popped into my head yesterday that I need to write down so I can see if I need to chase it or bank it for later. But when a really compelling voice waltzes into your head and makes you stop to listen, it’s something that need to be written down. We’ll see where it goes.

That story seed wasn’t the only thing to waltz into my head this holiday season. I had a character start talking to me, and I thought it was for something new. Nope… he’s one of the big bads for the Children of the Sword series, and I think the reason that it wasn’t coming together was that I was looking one way, and the story was really over there. What does that mean? It means that, while Swords of Charlemagne and The Chronicles of John Zebedee all exist in the same universe, the convergence of those two series isn’t happening where I thought it was.

Now, I’m not saying I’m going to run out and start writing Children of the Swords tomorrow. There’s too much research to be done — I know nothing about Edwardian England or WWI. That’s currently being addressed, so I’ll say that we can plan to see The Seer (Children of the Sword, book 1) at some point in the next few years.

What am I going to work on this year? Well, edits for Morrigan’s Heir will be coming this month, and then I have to read and revise Morrigan’s Wrath and send that in. Edits for Bonds of Blood and Steel will be along sometime later this year, and I’ll be turning those around as quick as I can. I plan to have The Sea Prince done no later than April 30th, because I’m taking May off entirely (why? High school graduation, that’s why!) Then, come July or August, I’ll be diving into Tales from the Arena: Dead Man’s Hand, because it is time to wrap up that series.

But that all starts next week. This week? I’m still on vacation. Still reading, still researching, still resting my brain.

Preorders

Coming January 30th to all your favorite bookstoresValley of Shadows (Heir to the Firstborn, Book 7)

The print preorder will be set up sometime this week — I am waiting on the wraparound cover art.

Works in Progress

The Sea Prince
(The Coral Throne, Book 1)

63623 / 120000 (53.02%)

Appearances!

For ONE DAY ONLY, I’ll be having a Meet and Greet at the Spellbound Bookstore in Sanford, Florida! I will be there for 3PM to 4PM on January 21st, 2024. Come out and support small business!

Posted by EASchechter in 2024 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, appearances, Children of the Sword, forthcoming works, Happy New Year, Heir to the Firstborn, plot bunnies, presales, Release date, research is fun, Tales from the Arena, The Sea Prince, upcoming books, upcoming work, Valley of Shadows, 0 comments
Lofty Goals

Lofty Goals

Lofty goals, I have them. I have perhaps three chapters left to finish in Valley of Shadows (which drops my wordcount from 90K to 75K.) I am saying this to the public at large, and with my WHOLE chest!

This week I am going to finish this book!!!

As I said, lofty goals. Doable lofty goals, but lofty goals. I’ll be posting my daily wordcounts on Mastodon and Blusky, so you can follow along as I race to finish.

Then… COOKIES!!!

I’m honestly looking forward to the break this year. Although getting me to actually stop doing ANYTHING will be… challenging. I’ve been going at a fever pitch since I started Written in Water in 2018, and I’m not sure I know how to do downtime anymore. Even my vacations are high energy (I vacation at Disney…which means I have fun, but I don’t necessarily relax.) So I’ve decided that once Valley of Shadows is done, I’m taking time away from the laptop. I’m not going to get back to The Sea Prince until January, and I might not even blog! (We’ll see if I hold true to that!)

So what are my plans for the break? Because it’s me and of course there have to be plans? Reading. I have multiple stacks of books to catch up on, and I just added more. There is SO MUCH TV to catch up on — I still haven’t watched season 2 of Loki, and there are about a half-dozen Star Wars shows I need to binge. I want to go down to Disney to see the holiday decorations and do the gingerbread crawl (I’m not sure when that will happen — our park passes black out the 19th.) And I have knitting projects I want to finish.

So, knitting and reading and bingewatching and cookies? Sounds like a plan.

Cookiepocalypse will start next week, so you can keep an eye on Instagram for that. So far, I know I’m making three color cookies to start, and struffuli (which Owyn makes in Wings of Air) to finish. In the middle? I haven’t decided, although I did have a request for oatmeal carob chip. (Hrm… I haven’t made molasses cookies in ages. Maybe I’ll make those, too.)

Follow the Instagram for the cookies — it’ll be a surprise!

In other, other news, my publisher said the most fascinating words to be the other day. Foreign rights. As in, they’ll be shopping them around, so they needed some info from me to put into the pitch. 2024 is promising to be very interesting indeed!

Works in Progress

Valley of Shadows
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 7

66861 / 75000 (89.15%)

This book will be done this week! I have said it!

Promotions!

The Smashwords End of the Year sale is coming up December 15th. My ENTIRE catalog will be on sale for 25% off ONLY on Smashwords!

Now, because of the Draft2Digital/Smashwords merger, I have TWO author pages on Smashwords (actually, I have four, but two of them are from publishers.) The two that I maintain will be combined at some point, but until then, the catalogs that will be on sale are here and here.

Posted by EASchechter in 2023 plans, 2024 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, baking, Cookiepocalypse, forthcoming works, From the Writer's Kitchen, Heir to the Firstborn, Planning, progress, The Sea Prince, the-end-is-near, upcoming books, upcoming work, Valley of Shadows, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, Write Faster!, 0 comments

Tenth Anniversary!

I have to lead with this gorgeous thing — the tenth anniversary cover for House of Sable Locks

Isn’t he LOVELY???

This went live sometime over the weekend, and I missed it until this morning, when I received a spam email from a book promoter about my “new book” House of Sable Locks.

That’s very much William… which is funny because that particular model is also on the cover of Infernal Machine! Clearly, the art director and I have similar tastes in steampunk cover models.

The tenth anniversary cover is still going out to all the booksellers and isn’t yet up everywhere. If you want one now, you can get it directly from the publisher.

In other news, I got the news this week that Written in Water was cut from SPFBO, and will not be continuing on in the contest. The reviewer was incredibly positive about the book, and loved the series as well. Really, I can’t complain — the entire experience has been amazing from start to finish. You can read the review here.

In and around working on The Sea Prince and Balance of Power, I’m planning out what the next book will be. Part of that depends on one thing that is out of my control — which books that are out for consideration sell. If I don’t have an answer for that by the time I finish with either of the two books I’m working on now, then I think the next thing I will write will be either The Iron Virgin (aka Pirate Princess), or Tower of Light (aka gay steampunk retelling of Metropolis). I’m not sure which, because it all depends on which one yells at me the loudest.

It’s hard to believe I’ve been doing this whole full-time writer thing over ten years now. What a trip this has been! I have to say, it’s not getting old — I love every minute of it!

Works in Progress

The Sea Prince
(The Coral Throne, Book 1)

63523 / 120000 (52.94%)

Balance of Power
(Heir to the Firstborn, book 7)

34357 / 90000 (38.17%)

Promotions!

A new Cavalcade of Authors promo is coming this week, from October 13th through the 15th. Again, 200 books or more free for download. For this one, I’ve put both Written in Water AND Forged in Fire into the pot.

There’s also a single day event on October 27th, hosted by Stephanie Freeman. You can find more information on that and sign up here. For that event, you can grab free copies of The Chronicles of John Zebedee!

Posted by EASchechter in 2024 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, Balance of Power, cover art, Forged in Fire, Iron and Silk, John Zebedee, kvelling, promotions, publishing, reviews, Sable Locks, The Iron Virgin, The Sea Prince, The White Raven, Tower of Light, upcoming books, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, Written in Water, 0 comments

Convention Prep!

Convention prep is my week this week — getting ready for NecronomiCon. After I posted last week, I found out about a schedule change — the Writing Sex panel will now be held on Friday at 8:45 PM. This is still the earliest it’s ever been scheduled, so I’ll have to make sure to clear the room of minors before we start.

Friday, 5:00 PM — Make, Remake, Reboot
Friday, 8:45 PM — Writing Sex ( the earliest I think this panel has ever been scheduled…)

Saturday, 2:00 PM — Don’t Panic! Balancing the Two Worlds of of Life and Creativity
Saturday, 3:15 PM — Let’s Structure Your Story.

There may also be a reading — I haven’t gotten confirmation yet.

Now, if you stop in to see me at the convention, I’ll have a table in the far corner of Writer’s Alley (if I’m reading the map write, all the way to the left as you enter.) People who mention this post, or that they heard about the convention from my social media will get 10% off their purchase at my table. I also have special tote bags that are free with a purchase of $50 or more. (There may also be gluten-free/dairy-free baked goods, if I get a chance to bake.)

The Sea Prince
The Coral Throne, Book 1

53063 / 120000 (44.22%)

Balance of Power
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 7

26572 / 90000 (29.52%)

I’m hoping to get more words in this week, but with convention prep my main priority and baking my secondary priority, I may not get quite as many in as I hope. Thankfully, edits aren’t in my inbox yet… and watch me jinx myself and end up with edits on Friday as we’re about to leave!

….

And I just got a brain-bending email that has stopped me cold. In a good way — it’s not bad news in the slightest. Rather the opposite, actually — it’s nice when people hold you in high esteem. It’s something I’m not feeling capable of doing just yet, but… wow. Nice that they think that I’m capable.

Yes, that’s vague. Purposefully so. If something comes of it? I’ll tell you.

It’s time for me to run away and get more things done. Here’s hoping to see some of you at the convention!

Posted by EASchechter in a-writers-life-is-never-dull, Balance of Power, conventions, Heir to the Firstborn, Necronomicon, progress, The Sea Prince, upcoming books, upcoming work, Vagueblogging, WIP, wordcount, Writer on the Go!, 0 comments

Brains empty.

And today is a day when the words just don’t want to word. Occasionally, those happen to everyone, so I’m not too terribly worried about it. It probably as something to do with the fact that I’m a little under the weather today. So for today, I’ll take it easy, which is something I tend to forget to do for myself.

I think that’s a problem we all have these days — we take care of everyone else, and conveniently forget that if we don’t take care of ourselves, we CAN’T take care of others. And then we fall over and nothing gets done.

Oddly enough, this is the topic of one of the panels I’ll be on at NecronomiCon, which is happening in Tampa September 22-24th. I have two panels on Friday night, and two on Saturday afternoon —

Friday, 5:00 PM — Make, Remake, Reboot
Friday, 7:30 PM — Writing Sex ( the earliest I think this panel has ever been scheduled…)

Saturday, 2:00 PM — Don’t Panic! Balancing the Two Worlds of of Life and Creativity
Saturday, 3:15 PM — Let’s Structure Your Story.

In addition, I will also have a table at Writer’s Alley, so stop in and see what I’ve got for sale. I will have copies of Princes of Air on my table for the first time EVER, and they’ll be discounted because there’s a formatting error in the book that’s being corrected on later copies.

For my local fans, you still have a couple of days left before Written in Water leaves Spellbound Books. The bookstore is moving in October, so Written in Water isn’t being renewed for another consignment period, but it may be picked up again once they’re settled in their new space (which will be sometime in November.) So you have until Friday to get a copy locally and support a small business!

Written in Water is still in the running in SPFBO, but the end of the first round is coming up soon. It’s been fascinating to see the blogs coming in with their reviews, their cuts and their nominations, and the SPFBO Discord has got to be one of the most amazingly supportive writing environments I’ve ever found. I don’t think I’ve ever been involved in a contest that’s been quite this rewarding. But there’s still the waiting…

The Sea Prince
The Coral Throne, Book 1

53017 / 120000 (44.18%)

Balance of Power
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 7

23636 / 90000 (26.26%)

There isn’t too much else going on in this neck of the woods. Just getting words down, and getting ready for the convention. And trying to take it easy.

Catch you all next week.

Posted by EASchechter in a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, appearances, Balance of Power, consignment, contest, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Necronomicon, Princes of Air, The Sea Prince, upcoming books, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, Writer on the Go!, Written in Water, 0 comments