a-writers-life-is-never-dull

Outside Hates Me

Outside Hates Me

Seriously. Outside and I are not friends. Usually, the outside tolerates me, but sometimes… well, the results can be explosive.

(AHHH-CHOO!)

Yes, I have allergies. Lots of them. When I was allergy tested prior to being treated, they gave me the list of allergens. Usually, they take a highlighter and mark the things you’re allergic to. On mine, they marked the things I was NOT allergic to because it used less ink.

Technically? I’m allergic to outside. I’ve been doing allergy therapy for years, and I’m getting to the point where I don’t react anymore, but there is something new outside that wants me to know that it hates me especially. Which means I’m in an antihistamine fog, and I’ve been staring at the screen for thirty minutes trying to think of what to write.

This does not bode well for my daily wordcount.

I’m enjoying the new WIP, and who Teren, the main character, is at the start of the work, as opposed to who he needs to become by the end of it. The growth cycle is going to be fun.

I did some other, non-writing writing work, and now have a press kit. This is one of those things that no one tells you that you should be doing when you start writing, so you have to put in major effort to put one together later. Now that it’s done, I’ll be turning my non-writing writer brain to revisions of The Sea Prince. Darling Editor pointed out one MAJOR plot point that I might have gotten away with when I first started this book some fifteen years ago, but that I absolutely cannot go forward with now, so there’s going to be a big rewrite early into the book. If I do it right, you’ll never know. But that means actually doing it. The plan is revisions, then another editing pass before I turn my thoughts to how this is going out into the world.

As part of my “I’m taking care of myself” plan, I’m trying to take time away from the keyboard, and part of that time has been spent playing Tavern Talk. It’s a visual novel video game where you are an Innkeeper in a fantasy realm, with a revolving cast of colorful characters who are incredibly fleshed out and beautifully rendered. If you want a hack and slash first person shooter, this is not your game. If you want something involving stories and puzzles and multiple different possible paths and endings, grab this game! (It’s on Steam, and it’s available for the Switch.) I’m enjoying it because writer brain has NOT been able to figure out where it’s going, so everything has been a surprise!

Time to go make words so I can play later.

Work in Progress

Tales from the Arena: King of Swords
(Tales from the Arena, book 3)

13327 / 90000 (14.81%)

Promotions

The Smashwords Summer Sale is live! And, because of reasons too silly to go into here, I have two author pages. You can pick up my entire catalog on sale here and here.


Counsel of the Wicked is still a contender for SPFBOX, so it is STILL on sale, but because of the Smashwords sale, it’s even BETTER — it’s FREE!!!

Appearances

Necronomicon
September 27-29th, 2024
Tampa, Florida

***

Not So Spooky Hallowfest
October 6th, 2024
Deltona, Florida

***

Wizards, Witches and the Weird
October 27th, 2024
Daytona Beach, Florda

Posted by EASchechter in 2024 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, product endorsement, publishing, Tales from the Arena, The Sea Prince, upcoming books, upcoming work, Updatey things, WIP, wordcount, Worldbuilding, 0 comments
Did You Miss Me?

Did You Miss Me?

Hello! Long time no anything! I’m back and blogging again. Did you miss me? It’s been a wild month and a half.

Let’s see. First off, my house is now SPOTLESS and I’ve discovered the magical tool known as a steam mop. I’m in favor. It makes cleaning the floor SO much easier.

I am now the proud mother of a high school graduate. He graduated with honors — National Honor Society, Summa Cum Laude, and he also earned several industry certifications, as well a graduating high school with his Associates degree through dual enrollment. He starts college in the fall as a second semester sophomore.

A week and a half after graduation, we got onboard the Disney Fantasy, and had a lovely time sailing around the Eastern Caribbean. We got back Saturday morning, and the house is still swaying gently (I learned today that this is called disembarkation syndrome, and it can last up to a MONTH!)

Relaxing is something I keep forgetting how to do, but I managed it! And I read — two books off the Lord Ruthven Award reading list, and one that I learned of from Booktok. The vampire books are Immortal Pleasures, by V. Castro, and A Tempest of Tea, by Hafsah Faizal. The one from Booktok was The Queen is Dead, by C. H. Folan, and I LOVED it. It’s a retelling of Macbeth from Lady Macbeth’s perspective, and it also gives her a backstory. It’s a little loosey-goosey in the history, but it was still a good read.

Somewhere in the Atlantic, I also started the next Tales from the Arena book. Not reading — writing. The new title is Tales from the Arena: King of Swords. I wrote about three pages longhand over a cup of coffee, and I’ll start tracking the words later this week once I get them into the computer.

My plans for the rest of the summer? Stop swaying. That’s first. Then I have to do a reread and revision of The Sea Prince, and I’ll poke at King of Swords. At some point, I hope that the next round of edits will come in for Morrigan’s Heir, and that I’ll get a release date for you. I also have a few appearances set up, which are listed below.

Vacation is over. Back to work!

Promotions

SPFBO X started the day we set sail, and Counsel of the Wicked is included in the 300 entrants! So from now until it gets eliminated from the contest, Counsel is on sale!

Appearances

My upcoming appearances — I don’t have graphics for most of these yet, so right now it’s just a list.

Writer’s Block Books
June 23rd, 2024
3pm – 6pm
Winter Park, Florida

***

Necronomicon
September 27-29th, 2024
Tampa, Florida

***

Not So Spooky Hallowfest
October 6th, 2024
Deltona, Florida

***

Wizards, Witches and the Weird
October 27th, 2024
Daytona Beach, Florida

Posted by EASchechter in 2024 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, appearances, Counsel of the Wicked, Tales from the Arena, The Sea Prince, The White Raven, Updatey things, Writer on the Go!, writing-mom, 0 comments
Vacation Incoming in 5…4…3…2…1….

Vacation Incoming in 5…4…3…2…1….

I’ve finished the edits on Morrigan’s Heir. And I’ve finished the revisions on Morrigan’s Wrath (well, sort of done — the manuscript is now with my first reader.) Vacation incoming in 5…4…3…2…1…

Now, vacation for me starts with cleaning. That’s sort of always been the way. I have finished a book, therefore it is time to deep clean the house. Which isn’t to say that I don’t clean during a book, but it’s more “pick things up and put them away, and maybe dust horizontal surfaces.” The actual “move furniture and dust the baseboards” level of cleaning only happens between books. Since I’m going to have a house full of people in May, I’ve given myself nearly a month to do the entire house. Why? Because I only do one room at a time. It breaks down large task into manageable bites, and keeps me from overdoing it and spending all my spell slots for the week on the first day.

(I use spell slots instead of the more common spoons. Being a geek, spell slots resonates with me more than silverware.)

What this means is that this may be the last regular blog until sometime in June. I might not get to blogging on Mondays until after everything is over. So if you don’t see anything from me and I seem to drop off the face of the planet? Don’t worry. I’m still here. I’m fine. I’m just having adventures with a steam mop for a bit.

Promotions!

Today is the last day of the Narratress Indie Book sale this weekend. Grab a copy of Hidden Things for 99 cents, or any of the other books on sale! A quick look at the promo graphics showed some good ones, so don’t miss out!

Appearances

Join me on April 27th at Spellbound Books for Independent Bookstore Day! I’ll be part of the Indie Book Bazaar from 2 – 3:45PM, but Independent Bookstore Day is a full day event. Make sure to check out your local independent bookstore to see what they’ve got planned!

Posted by EASchechter in 2024 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, appearances, Ta-da, The White Raven, the-end-is-near, Updatey things, writing-mom, 0 comments
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