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!


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

Summer Thunder

It’s storming here in Central Florida. There’s booming thunder outside my window. The weather radio is going off every couple of minutes because of incoming alerts, which isn’t really necessary because my sinuses have been letting me know it’s going to storm today for about two hours.

Pretty normal for summer, to be honest.

Turns out that pushing to finish the book as hard as I did wasn’t entirely good for me. I have a slowly-resolving case of tennis elbow (which is a repetitive stress injury, just not the one that writers usually get.) So I need to take a break from working at the laptop… she says as she sits at the laptop.

Irony, I has it.

Taking it easy isn’t. Easy, that is. I’m not used to it. I remember reading something associated with Anne McCaffrey’s Pern books, that claimed that adrenaline addicting is irreversible after some short period of time. I wonder if that’s true about other hormones. Adrenaline is associated with excitement and fear, the evolutionary necessity to outrun that predator. What’s associated with creation? With the satisfaction of writing a really good scene? I don’t know. I don’t think it’s endorphine, but I’m not sure.

In any case, that’s a line of research for some smart person who isn’t me. I don’t do biochemistry. I’m into anthropology.

The research for Imaginative Anthropology is ongoing and interesting. It’s not going to be a quick project. I can tell you that now. But I’m starting to see how the pieces fit, and what areas I need to flesh out. This is going to be fun.

Episode 4 of John Zebedee and the Heir of the Elvenlands dropped today. First three episodes were free so you can check those out, then decide if you want to put in the 35 coins (Vella currency) for episode 4.

And that’s about it here. Which… I suppose this counts as taking it easy? If you squint?

I need to try harder to not do anything.

“Don’t just do something! Sit there!”

Posted by EASchechter in a-writers-life-is-never-dull, except-for-when-it-is, Imaginative Anthropology, John Zebedee, post novel ennui, summer, thinking thinky thoughts, Worldbuilding, 0 comments

We’re Doing What? When?

Some variant on this question was repeated a few times during Boskone on Saturday. Why? Because the Writing the Naughty Bits panel was scheduled for 12 noon.

During the day.

I don’t think I’ve ever done this panel during the daylight hours! Ever!

So, for the first time ever, we began the panel by asking “Is there anyone in the room/Zoom who is under the age of 18? Will you please leave?”

It was a fun panel. Writing the Naughty Bits is usually is a fun panel, but this was also a Circlet Press reunion panel.

Being a virtual guest at a convention is fun, but it’s not nearly as much fun as actually BEING at the convention. For one thing, I’m not really there, so I get distracted by things around the house, and things that are a little more immediate, and whups! Con is over!

The recordings of the panels that were offered via Zoom are still up, though. So I’ll be able to go back and see the panels that I missed. (If I remember to do that before they take them down in 30 days…)

I didn’t get a lot of work done on The Way Home this weekend, but I did a decent amount last week.

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

97128 / 150000 (64.75%)

I also have a good idea as to where Tale from the Arena: Dead Man’s Hand is going, so I may start writing that in the next week or two, and finally bring some closure to that series.

The Kickstarter is… well… it is. There are three weeks left, and it’s nowhere near where it should be. I’m starting to resign myself to only getting book one out this year. Unless a bag of money falls into my lap, that is. I do have a sample to listen to in my inbox, though. I’m saving it for after dinner.

The Bookcave giveaway is also still ongoing.  There’s one week left for you to grab a bunch of free books and samples, and all you need to do is sign up for some newsletters.

The entire Rebel Mage series is now up and ready for preorder, and will be exclusive to Kindle Unlimited for the foreseable future.  I’ve also set up a box set, which will be available a month or two after Where Home Lies (Rebel Mage 3) releases.

And that’s pretty much where I am at the moment. Also, it’s late and I need to go make dinner.




Posted by EASchechter in 2022 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, audiobooks, conventions, except-for-when-it-is, forthcoming works, giveaway, Heir to the Firstborn, Kickstarter, promotions, Rebel Mage, Tales from the Arena, upcoming books, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

Toss A Coin To Your Writer…

And on this gray and rainy Monday, I’m having a slow start. Sort of like my Kickstarter…

You did know about the Kickstarter, right?  To fund all four audiobooks for Swords of Charlemagne, so that we can have the same narrator for all the books?

The Kickstarter has a little over a month left to go, and hasn’t broken 10%. Not going to lie, I’m starting to worry here…

If we don’t make it, there will still be an audiobook for Hidden Things — I’ve already contracted that, and Mark (the narrator) is working on it now. But I’ll be paying him out of pocket for that, which means that I won’t be able to get The Lady and the Sword into production until later this year, which means gambling on Mark’s availability.

So… if having an audiobook series change narrators halfway through annoys you as much as it annoys me? Share the Kickstarter, and maybe throw something into the hat. And if nothing else, go read the updates — I’ve been posting about the visual inspirations for the main characters. So far, I’ve done Turpin/Yael, Roland and Olivier. Margaret is next.

Which I’m on the subject of Swords of Charlemagne, voting is open for the Paranormal Romance Guild’s Reviewer’s Choice Awards. The Lady and the Sword is up for best LGBT Fantasy, and Swords of Charlemagne is up for best LGBT Fantasy Series. Voting is open until February 12th.

I’m now twenty-seven chapters into Heir to the Firstborn: The Way Home. I think I’ll be pulling this one off as the last book. We’re about to hit a point where I can move them along more quickly, so I think we’re almost to the top of the big hill on the plot roller coaster. I’m debating adding a scene not in the outline (because that never happens. Ever.) I’ll see if it actually fits when I get to that spot.

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

91442 / 150000 (60.96%)
Preorders are up for the re-released of  the Rebel Mage series, and the first two books have been finalized. I’m going to get started on the reread and revision of Where Home Lies today. I’ve already made a note of something that came up in one of the earlier books that I never addressed or resolved, and I’ve caught a few places where people leave the same room twice, or say they’re going to go get something, never leave, and then magically have the thing they never went to go get.
It’s interesting, going back and rereading something that I wrote with an eye on republishing it. There are some things that I did then that I wouldn’t do now, or would do differently now. If changing them wouldn’t break the story, I made changes. But for the most part, there’s very little that I’m changing other than editorial goofs that were missed the first time around.
And finally — FREE BOOKS!
Yes, really. The Red Hot book giveaway is ongoing for this entire month. Nineteen books either free to download entirely, or as a sample. Go check it out!
And that’s where things are in this neck of the woods. Plugging along until next week!
Posted by EASchechter in 2022 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, Audible, audiobooks, contest, Counsel of the Wicked, except-for-when-it-is, giveaway, Haven's Fall, Heir to the Firstborn, Hidden Things, promotions, Rebel Mage, Self-publishing, Swords of Charlemagne, upcoming books, upcoming work, Updatey things, Where Home Lies, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

New Beginnings Lead to New Endings.

This is it. I’m starting the last book in the Heir to the Firstborn series this week. I finished my first read-through of Heir to the Firstborn: The Crossroads (and discovered a couple of places where a Scrivener crash led to changes that I made not making it to the final document! Eek!) The manuscript is now in the hands of Darling Editor, and I’m starting Heir to the Firstborn: The Way Home either later today or tomorrow.

It’s a little weird. I’ve been writing this series now for three years, posting it on Patreon one chapter at a time. It’ll probably be four years of writing by the time it wraps.

And then what?

Well, I’ll have six books and a short story to show for it. Two award nominations and one win. I’ve learned a lot. Grown a lot, both as a person and as a writer. Have I changed so much? Not sure, but I’m in the inside. I don’t know if I’d see it.

So where do I go from here?

Might be a little premature to ask that question. I haven’t written the book yet! But once it’s done, and in edits, then I get to decide what I want to do next. Do I keep the Patreon? What do I put there once Heir to the Firstborn is done? I have a couple of options there, I think. At least three projects that would lend themselves to the New Adult model I’ve already established on Patreon (If you’re keeping score, those possible projects are The Willow Sword, The Iron Virgin, and The Mentalist’s Cat.)

Things are currently in a holding pattern with other writing. The things that are out in slush piles remain in slush piles, and I’m waiting… which, in the traditional publishing model, is a lot of what you do. You write… and you wait.

That’s what I do. I write, and wait for things.

(I might need to put that on a shirt…)

The things I’m waiting for?

    • The White Raven: Morrigan’s Heir
    • The Ice Raven
    • John Zebedee and the Heir to the Elvenlands
    • John Zebedee and the Monstrous Town
    • John Zebedee Meets the Witch Queen of the Elvenlands
    • Blood Bound (Flesh and Blood, book 1)
    • Bonds of Blood and Steel 

And that’s not even counting Sapphires and Gold, which has been under contract for a while, but things happened and more things got delayed.

Meanwhile, I keep writing. Because that’s what I do.

Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, 2022 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, except-for-when-it-is, Heir to the Firstborn, Patreon, Planning, progress, publishing, submission tracking, The Iron Virgin, The Mentalist's Cat, The Willow Sword, the-end-is-near, upcoming books, upcoming work, Updatey things, Waiting-for-the-other-shoe, writer on writing, 2 comments

Writing is a Solitary Profession

Most of the time, we’re alone in our rooms, banging our heads on the keyboard and drinking something caffeinated. Or, if you’re writing later in the day, non-caffeinated. Perhaps alcoholic. Or maybe not. I’m so not judging your choice of libations. Right now? I’m drinking water and writing this blog, and thinking about the next thing that’ll happen in Heir to the Firstborn. (Owyn is in trouble. Again. When is Owyn not in trouble?)

Heir to the Firstborn
(Heir to the Firstborn, book 5)

100240 / 150000 (66.83%)

Writing is solitary. Except, of course, for when it isn’t. This morning, I spent an hour interviewing the fantastically funny Amy Christine Parker about scene architecture and story structure, and during the interview, this came up in conversation:

Being a writer is fun. You get to do things like interview other writers. You get to go to conferences and meet the people who’ve read and loved your books (or people who haven’t read your work yet, and have just discovered that you exist.) You get to meet the writers whose work you’ve loved, and learn that they’re really cool people (most of the time).

The actual writing part? That can be hard — in 1949, someone asked sports columnist Red Smith if writing a daily column was difficult. His response? “Why, no. You simply sit down at the typewriter, open your veins, and bleed.”  Sometimes, you just really stare at the screen, or at the page, or at the backs of your eyelids, and you wonder where all the voices in your head went (I do hear my characters — that’s how I know I’ve got them figured out.)

I have two partial manuscripts I’d love to finish, but the characters won’t talk to me anymore. There’s something wrong in the outline, and I haven’t been able to figure out what or how to fix it. (I talk about them every so often — The Sea Prince is one. The Willow Sword is the other.) Now, it took me six years to figure out what was broken with Heart’s Master, and finish that one, so I have high hopes that one of these years, you’ll see a book cover with one of those titles, and my name on it. But not until I figure out what’s broken and how to fix it. I’ll be taking another stab at The Willow Sword once I finish Heir to the Firstborn. Maybe this time, I’ll pull a hat out of a rabbit.

No, I don’t have that backwards. Any magician can pull a rabbit out of a hat. Who pulls a hat out of a rabbit? A really GOOD magician.

Or a writer.


Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, 2022 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, except-for-when-it-is, Heart's Master, Heir to the Firstborn, The Sea Prince, The Willow Sword, thinking thinky thoughts, upcoming books, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, writer on writing, 0 comments

Spring? Maybe?

The reason I say maybe is that we have 90 degree weather now, and will be going down to the 40s on Thursday. Whiplash weather means spring, right?

It also means allergies, and mine have been awful. I have complete sympathy for all of you out there who suffer through this season with itchy eyes, scratchy noses, and sounding like a pack-a-day lounge singer. There but for the grace of Loratidine go I.

Allergies make this season fun. When I had my first COVID vaccination, I spent the next three days sniffling and snorfling, and I have no idea if that was a vaccine reaction or allergies. Tomorrow is COVID vaccine, part two, and we’ll see how I feel over the next few days. I’ve heard that the days immediately after shot two are not pleasant. But it’s worth it.

I just don’t plan on getting much work done this week. And of course, it’s a newsletter week, so I’ll be prepping that well ahead of time.

I finished my edits on Table of Stone, and the proof copy is on the way. I’m almost done with the proofreading of Ashes and Light, so that means that Swords of Charlemagne is close enough to done that I can see the end from here. There are preorders up for the other three books and everything!

What the heck — have a cover montage:

In other writing news, Wings of Air released last week, and Heir to the Firstborn is a third of the way done! I think. Maybe. It’s a third of the way to my target words, at least,  and you all know how well I hit targets….

Heir to the Firstborn
(Heir to the Firstborn, book 5)

54267 / 150000 (36.18%)
I think I’ll be close this time. We’ll see.
Not much else is happening here, except that I’ve been bitten by a non-fiction bug that requires research and that may turn into a craft article (writing craft. Not fiber craft). We’ll see if that pans out.
Stay safe,  everyne.
Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, Ashes and Light, cover art, except-for-when-it-is, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, new books, plot bunnies, Swords of Charlemagne, Table of Stone, upcoming books, upcoming work, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

Curiouser and Curiouser

The other day, my husband pointed out to me that when he came to my website on his phone, it still showed John Zebedee as the Work in Progress. Which is odd. Since I’m updating the website today, I took a look at it.

And discovered that according to my phone, my website hasn’t been updated since December. It’s not showing any recent blog posts or anything. Now I need to troubleshoot. WHEE!!!

Something got borked in an update, I guess. Now to find it and fix it.

Which was easier than I thought it would be. Fixed now! A plugin was broken.

Right, now that I’ve accomplished something on a Monday, I can go back to bed. Right?

Well, it was worth a shot.


Heir to the Firstborn
(Heir to the Firstborn, book 5)

23201 / 150000 (15.47%)

Work continues apace on Heir to the Firstborn, and edits are ongoing for Ashes and Light, which is Swords of Charlemagne, book 3.

Wait, what happened to book 2? Where’s The Lady and The Sword?

Right here:

Preorders are now available, and the book will release in May. I think this is my favorite of the covers. I think.

Preorders are also up for Wings of Air, and that one releases NEXT MONTH!

Wings will be available wide from day one, so you can get it at Amazon, Eden Books, Smashwords, or any other bookstore of your choosing.

What else is going on. Not too much — we’re still lying low. I’m signed up for vaccination, and hopefully I’ll have the chance for one before Nationals in July. Working on words, working on edits, working on super spiffy RWA project that you’ll hear about REAL SOON NOW! (I really can’t wait to tell you all about this. It’s going to be so amazingly awesome and I can’t wait!)

But, until it goes public, I can’t say anything. So we’ll all have to be patient.






Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, Ashes and Light, except-for-when-it-is, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, presales, Release date, Swords of Charlemagne, The Lady and the Sword, when technology rebels, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

Work in Progress: Bones of Earth

Bones of Earth
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 3

99336 / 95000 (104.56%)

So I’m going to call it. Bones of Earth will be a draft by the end of the week.

Which means you all get to see the cover!

(I really do like these trees.)

Things are starting to settle down here. I’m getting into a routine.  Get up. Exercise (today was Zombies, Run! — did 1.86 miles, saw four people and six cars total. None close up.) Shower, breakfast, then get to work.

Work today involves wrapping up Bones of Earth, research for John Zebedee, and finalizing the synopsis for Wings of Air. I need to start thinking about Bones of Earth promo, and prepping the presales. I’m thinking late May for a release, and I’ll have it on the table if we actually have a KeiserSupercon.

Which means I really should get to work.

Take care, all. Be safe. Wash your hands and don’t forget to wear your mask.

Posted by EASchechter in a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, Adavar, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, Bones of Earth, cover art, Elemental Project, except-for-when-it-is, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, John Zebedee, Keiser SuperCon, promotions, publishing, research is fun, run-writer-run!, upcoming books, upcoming work, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

Work in Progress: Bones of Earth

Bones of Earth
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 3

90538 / 95000 (95.30%)

I just saw someone refer to this week as “Week Two: Electric Boogaloo.”

Maybe. I’m not sure if we’re all that punchy yet. Some people might be. I’m not.

Not yet, anyway.

If you missed it, I put Written in Water up as a free download until April 1st.  And I finally got Worlds Begin fixed so that it’s free everywhere as well. I’m working on Bones of Earth, and I need to tweak the scene that I wrote over the weekend. It’s not quite where I want it. There are two pages of synopsis for Wings of Air sitting next to me on the desk, which really isn’t much — my synopses tend to run very long.

And I’m starting to consider adding a virus to the Flesh and Blood books, once I get back to them. Something that only strikes the vampires. Because, you know, your output comes from your input. There are going to be a LOT of quarantine meet-cutes or enemy-to-friend books coming down the pipe. I can see it already.

Hrm… maybe I won’t add a virus to the Flesh and Blood books after all.

Today, I’ll find out the election results for the RWA Special election. I’ll post back once I hear that.

My plans for the week? More writing. Exercising. More writing. Finishing a sewing project. More writing. Cleaning up the house. More writing. Tending the garden I just started. More writing. Not stress-buying all the groceries.

I think that covers it.

Stay safe, all. Stay in if you can.


Posted by EASchechter in a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, BDSM Vampires, Bones of Earth, Elemental Project, except-for-when-it-is, Flesh and Blood, giveaway, Heir to the Firstborn, plot bunnies, upcoming books, upcoming work, Updatey things, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, Written in Water, 0 comments