Keep It Simple

Otherwise known as the KISS Principle — Keep It Simple, Stupid (or whatever other s-word you want to have there. This is how I learned it). It governs a lot of forward facing properties from set design to costume design to websites. And translated into Liz Speak today, it means that I personally should not have two locations on my website to update the same information, because I will invariably forget that one of them exists.

Brought to you by the fact that I just remembered I had an Appearances page on this website, which hadn’t been updated since early 2021.


It’s fixed now, and the Appearances widget has also been updated. I’m finished with appearances for this year, but there are two on the calendar for 2024 so far, and I’m waiting for more info on a couple of others.

Work is continuing, and I’m still waiting for edits on Morrigan’s Heir. My editor says that they are minimal, however, I don’t know how he defines minimal. Here’s hoping the turnaround will go quickly because this book was advertised for 2023, and I don’t want to let anyone down who was waiting. Once edits on Morrigan’s Heir are finished, I’ll go through Morrigan’s Wrath and make sure everything is consistent, and then send that in.

I’m hoping to have Balance of Power done by the end of the year. I just started chapter 14, and I’m starting to think this will be a shorter book than the others. My projection said 90K words, but I think it’s going to be closer to 65 – 70K. We shall see. And once that’s done, then I’ll go back to The Sea Prince and get that finished. Yes. Finished. This time I MEAN it.

And then? Well, I’m going to start the research for Iron and Silk, because my Pirate Princess is yelling at me. But is she yelling louder than Teren, the Three Day Emperor from Tales from the Arena, who finally told me his story and is just waiting for me to get it on the page? Or maybe, just maybe, I might pull out the bones of The Willow Sword and write that one — it’s started, but something wasn’t right with it, and I think it’s just that I’m not meant to write YA, and this needs to be aged up. Again, we shall see.

I do know that I’m going back to working on one writing project at a time. One in research, one actively writing, one in edits. I don’t seem to be able to balance two writing projects at a time anymore. I think I burned out that portion of my writing brain. But that’s okay. I’m still getting words on the page, and there are still so many books to write.

Works in Progress

Balance of Power
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 7

43409 / 90000 (48.23%)

The Sea Prince
The Coral Throne, Book 1

63623 / 120000 (53.02%)


My no longer final promo for the year is THIS FRIDAY, hosted by Stephanie Freeman. You can find more information and sign up here. For that event, you can grab free copies of The Chronicles of John Zebedee!

I’ve also decided to do that First in Series Friday for Black Friday, marking down Written in Water, Hidden Things, Counsel of the Wicked, and The Chronicles of John Zebedee. So keep an eye out for that information — I need to make graphics for it and get some ads set up.

Posted by EASchechter in 2023 plans, 2024 plans, accountability, annoying-muse-is-annoying, Balance of Power, Cavalcade of Authors, Counsel of the Wicked, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Hidden Things, Iron and Silk, John Zebedee, progress, promotions, Rebel Mage, Tales from the Arena, The Iron Virgin, The Sea Prince, The White Raven, The Willow Sword, upcoming books, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, Worldbuilding, writing, Written in Water, 0 comments

A World of Blurry Dilation, 2023 edition

(I used this title last year when I had my annual eye doctor appointment)

I had an eye doctor appointment this morning, and they dilated both eyes. This was at 8:30AM. It’s now 2:30PM and I can almost see. Almost.

Days like this tend to put me off my routine, which leaves me feeling off balance. I’m set in my ways, durn it. Exercising at the end of the day feels weird. But there’s not much to be done over it. First thing appointments are necessary when I’m not going to be able to see to drive myself home.

I’ve been working on Broken Feathers over the past week, and it’s been slow because I’ve been distracted. Remember last week, I mentioned going back to look at the old game posts? Over the past week, I went back and took a look at the first novels I wrote. The ones that I trunked because they were took darned much work to revise and my co-author on them didn’t have the spoons to work on them with me. (Same co-author as The Sea Prince, for the record.) I reached out to her and said “I’m thinking of tackling revisions on our boys once I finish The Sea Prince. How do you want me to handle this?”

Her response was “I’m in. When do we start?”

(A couple of you know which manuscripts I’m talking about, and I can hear you squeeing.)

Right now, the plan is to finish The Sea Prince, then get into revising the first two novels (which were one novel, and we split them. We may put them back together again. We’ll see.) So for right now, my work has been putting all the notes into a shared file, so that we can work on it together. And trying to keep myself from going in and rereading what we had because if I do that, I’m going to want to work on that first.

Patience… patience….

I did print out the synopses of the books we hadn’t written yet (or started), so I can start a series bible. Which totally won’t backfire and make me want to work on it now, nopenopenope….


But, first things first. Finish the short story. Really. Finish it. Stop looking at the shiny thing. Leave it. LEAVE IT.

Posted by EASchechter in 2023 plans, 2024 plans, accountability, annoying-muse-is-annoying, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, Planning, publishing, queue, Revisions, The White Raven, the-end-is-near, upcoming work, 0 comments

A World of Blurry Dilation…

Come with me, and you’ll be in a world of blurry dilation…

I’m typing this while still dilated from an eye doctor appointment three hours ago. Which means I’m touch typing. This is… challenging. And if any typos creep through, that’s why.

Announcements first —

The Wild West Paranormal project that I was working on has been cancelled, and I have these three novellas all finished and polished and ready to go. So I’m going to get them out into the world, and give Kindle Vella a try. The first three episodes of  John Zebedee and the Heir of the Elvenlands will go live on May 30th, with a new episode dropping every Monday. Link as soon as I have one, and I am really kinda digging the cover graphic I came up with for this.

There are two more graphics for Monstrous Town and for Witch Queen, and I’ll show those off later. And the collected Chronicles of John Zebedee will be my first release for 2023.

Another announcement — I have recently gotten the nod to join Book View Cafe, which is a cooperative publisher. As part of this, and for my first releases from BVC, I will be getting all new covers for the Heir to the Firstborn series, and they will be re-edited and re-released starting later this year. I’m really excited for this, and I can’t wait to show you all the shiny new covers.

I announced the cancellation of the audiobook project last week. I did talk to Mark after, and he’s still incredibly upset (honestly, we all are.) So once the Heir books are republished, I’m going to send a set to him and see if he’s interested and has the time to take them on, and we’ll go from there.

Haven’s Fall drops two weeks from tomorrow, on Kindle Unlimited, and paperback wherever paperbacks are sold. ARCS are currently closed for Haven’s Fall and for Where Home Lies, but I may open them up again because they closed too soon.

I’ve set The Sea Prince aside for the moment. Again. Not because I’m stuck, but because my brain wants to play in the new, shiny world more than it does in The Way Home (what, this old thing?) I’ll pick up The Sea Prince in the fall, and hopefully have that done by the end of the year. And I’m hoping to have The Way Home done by the end of the month.

Heir to the Firstborn: The Way Home
(Heir to the Firstborn, book 6)

136347 / 170000 (80.20%)

I just need to stop having these characters throw new plotlines at me that I then have to nip in the bud. I mean, really, this is the last book. I do NOT need to add in a new plot thread with all new characters who are NOT IN THE OUTLINE in chapter FORTY!

So those new characters have been squared away, and today is the day I start writing the last, long slide down to resolution. I think. Maybe. Once I can see straight.



Posted by EASchechter in 2022 plans, 2023 plans, accountability, annoying-muse-is-annoying, audiobooks, Haven's Fall, Heir to the Firstborn, John Zebedee, new books, promotions, publishing, Rebel Mage, Release date, The Sea Prince, the-end-is-near, upcoming books, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, writing-mom, 0 comments

When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough… Redecorate…

I have a quirk.

Yeah, I know. I have a lot of quirks. I have one in particular that only raises it’s head when I’m under a large amount of stress.

I nest.

When things around me spiral out of control, I will take control over my immediate environment. If it can be cleaned, it’ll get cleaned. If I can move it, I will. And… well… I break out in Ikea trips.

And that, dear reader, is how I managed to snag the last short Billy bookcase in Orlando yesterday.

(Could have been worse. There’s a Container Store across the street from Ikea. This trip? I did not go across the street!)

The entire thing started Saturday. I sat down to work, and my brain said “We cannot possibly work under these conditions!” So I cleaned up — put some things that were supposed to be donated out to actually go for donation, cleaned my desk, filed some papers and put supplies away… and then I reached the part of the room where the stacks were stacked. They were very neat stacks, but… yeah, stacks. I needed a bookcase.

Which meant moving my kanban board up 2.5 inches, because the bookcase I wanted was 41.75 inches high. I measured the heck out of that, and the kanban board is now flush against the bottom of my ink shelves, and the bookcase I built today is flush underneath the kanban board. Measure twice!

There was also a stool with storage purchased, because it was neat. And… some storage boxes because I needed to put things in things. And… yeah, new bedding for the day bed because I’m still annoyed I missed the tie dye set Ikea had last spring.

Somehow, the office feels bigger now.

The room is still cozy.

And look at that alignment!

So, yesterday was bookshelf buying. Today was bookshelf building (much easier than that stool, I tell you! For that, I needed to borrow some hand strength from the husband in the office next door. Yes, the husband is, in fact, mine.)

Writing happened last week. A lot of writing happened last week.

Heir to the Firstborn: The Way Home
(Heir to the Firstborn, book 6)

44550 / 150000 (29.70%)

And we’re revisiting a couple of places we haven’t seen since book 2. It’s interesting going back the way we came, because these characters have changed so much since they started this journey. It’ll be even more interesting when they get farther down the road and… spoilers.

This week is the RWA National Convention (starting Thursday, and my panel is Friday evening), so I don’t anticipate getting as much writing done. And next week is Thanksgiving, and I most definitely won’t get as much writing done. But things are progressing, and I can’t complain. And the week after that, Heir to the Firstborn: The Crossroads releases! Hrm… should I have a sale? I think I should have a sale.

Let me go set up a sale! Written in Water will be free for Thanksgiving week!

Catch you next week!




Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, annoying-muse-is-annoying, Heir to the Firstborn, promotions, Release date, upcoming books, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, Written in Water, 1 comment

Busy, busy, busy. Did I mention busy?

Wings of Air
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 4

26414 / 30000 (88.05%)
John Zebedee and the Monstrous Town
26414 / 30000 (88.05%)

I talk every so often about how I juggle chainsaws. (Figurative chainsaws, not real ones.) I juggle being a mom and a writer and being an RWA Board member, with all the little things that come with those titles.

This past couple of weeks, I added three new ones.

Way back when I was a baby writer, I wrote a gaming manual. Psionics for SkillSkape was written for Chivalry and Sorcery, and my first outing as a writer was to present and promote it at Gencon 2004. The book went out of print in 2015 when the publisher closed, following the very untimely death of one of the owners.  Late last year, I think, I heard from his widow, who told me that there was a Kickstarter to bring Chivalry and Sorcery back into print, and that the new publishers were interested in bringing Psionics back out. Was I interested?


So last week, I got the new files for Psionics for SkillSkape, which needs to be re-read and re-edited.

I haven’t played Chivalry and Sorcery since 2005, so this is being interesting.

Also in the past couple of weeks, I was asked to present a class to RWA University, based on a tutorial that I put together for the Virtual Conference (and that we subsequently didn’t need to use). I have to lengthen the tutorial into an actual class, and we need to set a date for that class. So I’ve been working on that.

And THEN… I was asked to take the helm of a task force exploring the benefits that the RWA can offer to our unpublished members. This includes taking on the design of a major RWA program. But no pressure!

When asked to take this on, my response was “You all trust me a whole lot, don’t you?”

So, between writing (1 and 2), editing (3), re- releasing one of the books from Forbidden Fiction (4), designing a class (5), I’ve been doing outreach to members (6),  brainstorming ideas of my own(7),  and recruiting members for my task force (8).

Eight! Eight chainsaws in the air! Mwah-ha-ha-ha-ha! (Thunder! Lightning!)

Wait… new release?

Yes. I got a wild hair last week, and found several pieces of stock art that I felt fit Chains of Light. And then couldn’t decide, so I crowdsourced a decision on Twitter and Facebook. Did the cover design, got the novella up on Kindle Unlimited. It’ll be KU only until January, then I’ll throw it wide.

I also came to an executive decision last week. (Being my only employee, I suppose that means all my decisions are executive decisions.) Since Wings of Air had turned into a MONSTER of a book, and it’s not even to what I had envisioned as the halfway point… there will be Heir to the Firstborn, BOOK 5. The working title of Book 5 is Heir to the Firstborn, because why not wrap it up with the series title? Also, I have no spare brain cells to think of something better at the moment. (see above, eight chainsaws). This means that Wings of Air may be out in print by the end of the year, but I won’t swear to that yet.

The second issue of my newsletter went out Friday. Did you get it? Do you want to get it? (You missed a really REALLY, good cake recipe if you didn’t get it. Next month will be something for Thanksgiving. Not sure what yet.)

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So that’s everything in my neck of the woods. Time to go top off the coffee and get back to work!

Posted by EASchechter in 2020 plans, 2021 plans, annoying-muse-is-annoying, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, Chains of Light, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, John Zebedee, new books, promotions, upcoming books, upcoming work, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

I really do need to post more often, don't I?

I just realize that it’s been a month since I last posted. I’ve been busy. Mostly with writing — Heart’s Master is done, and finished going through the crit group yesterday. So now I’m waiting to hear from my editor if she wants to see it first, or if it needs to go to the general Circlet slush. Then there were the three short stories — two of which I actually finished (the other got parked for me to figure out where it was going). Between O, Promise Me! and Sapphires and Gold, I write 20,000 words in a  month. I think I burned out, because March was mostly noodling. I worked a bit on The Sea Prince, and then put that aside again, since Danielle is working on Nomad’s Moon. Then I went on to doing some final research. The plan was to start April 1st on The Willow Sword, and finish it by Memorial Day (60 days, 60,000 words. I can do that!).

Never start a project on April Fool’s Day. Just sayin’. Because I got an email from my other favorite editor (I have two), who asked “Are you going to submit something to my new anthology please say yes?”

So I said yes. That will be a rather fun bit called Kidnapped by Pirates, the title of which is inspired by a Tom Smith song called “Kidnapped by Pirates” is Good. That one will go off sometime next week, but it also inspired another new novel that may turn into ANOTHER series (I will never  have time to write all of them. I REALLY want to get to the Mystere books, Muse! Do you hear me?!?)

Yeah, right. She never listens to me anyway.

So. Here’s the state of the writer:

To Revise:

  • Playing For Keeps (short story to launch Tales from the Arena)

To Write:

  • Kidnapped by Pirates
  • The Willow Sword
  • From Dusk til Dawn
  • Sea Prince (To be written with Danielle Jones)
  • Wanderer’s Moon (next book in the Midnight Moon series. Not to be done until we sell Nomad’s Moon)

To Outline

  • Coral Throne (sequel to Sea Prince)
  • Hidden Things (Mystere Book 1)
  • The Lady and the Sword (Mystere Book 2)
  • Ashes and Light (Mystere Book 3)
  • Tablets of Stone (Mystere Book 4)
  • Rainbow Wars (YA)
  • Holy Orders ( Sequel to Heart’s Master)
  • Steam and Screw

To Sell

  • Nomad’s Moon
  • Exile’s Moon
  • Sapphires and Gold
  • Heart’s Master
  • Holy Palmer’s Kiss
Posted by EASchechter in 2012 plans, annoying-muse-is-annoying, inspiration-strikes-OW, Ta-da, to-dos, WIP, 0 comments

The Muse has spoken…

One persnickity Muse, in particular. Who has let me know in no uncertain terms that Drum Mage isn’t a good title anymore,  and that the title of this book is now Heart’s Master. Which I have to admit is more appropriate.

Posted by EASchechter in a-writers-life-is-never-dull, annoying-muse-is-annoying, Drum Mage, Heart's Master, WIP, 0 comments

The To-Do List with the Dragon Tattoo

I’m having fun coming up with title for these To-do list posts.

So I have done exactly no world-building for Tale from the Arena. Mostly because my muse is a brat. I have done rather a LOT of worldbuilding for The Willow Sword, the YA novel that I mentioned. And I’m working out the snags in Drum Mage (I wanted to say kinks, but if I worked out the kinks, the story will be kinda boring…)

So, here is the state of the Liz:

To Revise:

  • House of Sable Locks

To Proof:

  • Princes of Air

To Write:

  • Drum Mage
  • Tales from the Arena
  • The Willow Sword
  • Sea Prince (To be written with Danielle Jones)
  • Wanderer’s Moon (next book in the Midnight Moon series. Not to be done until we sell Nomad’s Moon)

To Outline

  • Coral Throne (sequel to Sea Prince)
  • Hidden Things (Mystere Book 1)
  • Blood and Gaslight (Mystere Book 2)
  • Ashes and Light (Mystere Book 3)
  • Tablets of Stone (Mystere Book 4)
  • Rainbow Wars (the teach-in idea. Definitely a  YA. And it needs a better title)

To Sell

  • Nomad’s Moon
  • Exile’s Moon
  • Silk Skin (short story)
  • House of Sable Locks
Posted by EASchechter in 2011 plans, annoying-muse-is-annoying, to-dos, 0 comments

Bear of very little brain..

Today, I am doing a damn fine impression of Winnie-the-Pooh. My head is stuffed with fluff, and I’m having a sit and a good think. I was up way too late last night finishing up the cooking for today (why do I do this to myself? It’s just the three of us!), and then up way too early to get the bread for breakfast into the oven (Almond Babka — om nom nom!!!! However, WAY too many Weight Watcher points for one serving. Sigh.)

Anyhow, now I’m starting to think about what we’re having for dinner (not ham), and exploring the WONDERFUL Internet Sacred Text Archive. If you’re a writer and you haven’t found this site yet, go check it out! AMAZING collection of sacred writings from around the world and from throughout history. I was doing some looking for Victorian esoterica, for the gaslight fantasy I’m planning (if you actually read my to-do lists, I mean the Mystere books). Found some good stuff, too. Had to find free downloads on GoogleBooks for some and bookmark others to read online, but I’ve got a whole mess of lovely research to do.

I noticed a subject on Women’s Studies, and went looking there. Found a research book on cults and rituals associated with the Amazons. And other on Cretan mysteries. And that was when the Muse snuck up on me with a mallet.

In the last update to the list, I got tired of seeing (no title yet) for book 2 of the Mystere books. So I slapped a title on it — Blood and Gaslight. And I hated it. Blood and Gaslight is, too my mind, the perfect title for a Sherlock Holmes/Dracula crossover — because it was a Sherlock Holmes/Dracula crossover, a graphic novel from the mid-80s. I have a copy somewhere.

I’ve always intended to change the title, but I had no idea what the title was. The plot wasn’t telling me — until I found those two books on Sacred Texts.

The title of Mystere Book 2 will be The Lady and the Sword.

And that is enough thinking for one day. Happy Zombie Savior Day!

Posted by EASchechter in annoying-muse-is-annoying, inspiration-strikes-OW, 2 comments

>The Glamorous Life of a Writer…

>Kidlet is engrossed in a movie, let’s see if I can get anywhere on the novel (the novel in question being House of Sable Locks).

(get to the right place in the document, stares at the scene for a few minutes…)


Grumble. Not now, Muse. Unless you want to remind me where this scene was going?

I’m bored with this one. Let’s do something new!

No, we have to finish this. Remember? Finish one project before we start another? Or we’ll get confused.

No, really! I have this great idea for the gaslight fantasy! C’mon, it’ll be great!

I haven’t even started the outline for that (that being Hidden Things). And it’s three down the list of projects. I have to finish this, and the next is Sea Prince. The outline is done on that, we just have to wait for Danielle to finish filming. Tell me the idea and I’ll make a note of it.

You’re no fun.

No, I’m not. Idea?

Not telling. And see how far you get on that scene.

You wouldn’t!


(stares at scene some more) Where was this going? Hey, Muse, where was this going?

I’m not at home right now. If you leave a message, I’ll get back to you. Or, you know, not….

(bangs head on keyboard.)

Posted by EASchechter in annoying-muse-is-annoying, writing, 0 comments