Hidden Things

Back to Work

Back to Work

It’s the first Monday after Thanksgiving, and it’s time for me to get back to work. This book won’t write itself. Valley of Shadows has three, maybe four chapters left. And my incentive to get this done quickly is that December starts Friday, and that means…

COOKIEPOCALYPSE IS COMING!!!

I need to sit down and decide what cookies I’m making this year. There will definitely be three color cookies — there have to be three color cookies or it’s not Christmas. There will be struffuli on Christmas Eve (and if you want that recipe, check out Love at First Bite, which is a collection of recipes available as a free download from the Cavalcade of Authors.) But in between? I’m not sure yet. I need to ask the family what they want. As always, there will be pictures posted to my Instagram — I know there are some of you who wait for those pictures every year!

As I bake, I’m also going to get back to my research for Imaginative Anthropology. I’ve been putting that off because I had too much on my plate, but baking and reading seem to go hand in hand. There will also be the planning for next year, revisiting my business plans and setting up my annual goals for 2024. The end of the year is a busy time for the small business.

At some point, we have to put up the tree, and Hanukah starts next week (blended household, in case you didn’t know.) Fall semester is over next week, and we’re all very much looking forward to Winter Break. We found out last week that Teen Boy has been accepted to his top college, but we haven’t committed yet — we want to hear from the last two and see what they’re offering. But top school has started the process of evaluating the college credits he already has, so we’ll see what they come back with.

Spring semester will be all kinds of interesting and exciting — here’s hoping that senioritis holds off until the first week of May, though!

So much happening in 2024! But I need to finish 2023 first, so back to work!

Works in Progress

Valley of Shadows
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 7

62071 / 90000 (68.97%)

New Release!

Snowbound dropped today! You can get it anywhere you find ebooks!

Snowbound — because brown paper packages aren’t the only things getting tied up…

Promotions!

Cyber Monday Sale is Live!!!! You can find the first three Heir to the Firstborn books for $0.99 cents each! In addition, Hidden Things and Counsel of the Wicked are also still $0.99!

Posted by EASchechter in 2023 plans, 2024 plans, accountability, baking, Cavalcade of Authors, Cookiepocalypse, Counsel of the Wicked, Draft by the Solstice, Heir to the Firstborn, Hidden Things, Imaginative Anthropology, promotions, publishing, short story, the-end-is-near, upcoming books, upcoming work, Updatey things, Valley of Shadows, WIP, wordcount, Write Faster!, 0 comments
Changes in Altitude

Changes in Altitude

This week’s blog is being written in my family room instead of my second floor office, which is why the title today is changes in altitude. I didn’t say they were BIG changes.

I’m downstairs because I’m monitoring the pumpkin crisp that I’m making for Thursday and Thanksgiving. (And I wish you could smell it. It’s AMAZING. Hrm… I know what recipe I’ll be putting in the next newsletter!) I’m on the last few bits of prep. All the shopping is done, the turkey is in the fridge and (I think) defrosted. Tomorrow I’m making apple pie bars and apple muffins for breakfast while we watch the parade, and I’ll take the sides I made and froze last week out of the freezer. Wednesday I’ll be putting the turkey into the brine and making stuffing. On the day, the turkey will get roasted, and the sides will all be heated up (the only one that’s actually going to be cooked on the day are the roasted green beans.)

Surprisingly, the writing has been going well, even in and around shopping and cooking and cleaning and way too many other things. And given where I am in the story, I’m projecting maybe another four chapters before I bring Valley of Shadows and Heir to the Firstborn to a close.

Wait… Valley of Shadows?

Yes. The Patrons have spoken, and the new title of Balance of Power is Valley of Shadows. The Patreon will still say Balance of Power, because I’m not going back to change all the previous chapters or the tags, but it’s all good. When the book comes out, it’ll be Valley of Shadows. And since it may very well be done before the end of the year, I’m going to rethink that March/April release date and move it up to something closer to the end of January/beginning of February. We’ll see how the editing goes, especially since I may be juggling Cookiepocalypse, edits for Valley of Shadows AND edits for Morrigan’s Heir!

Speaking of the Patreon, last week I got the sad news that one of my original Patrons passed away after a sudden illness. They had been a friend for years, even before I started Heir to the Firstborn, and they were part of the Patreon since I started the entire thing and it was still all called “The Elemental Project.” Valley of Shadows will be dedicated to them.

The final bit of news this week is that copies of Written in Water are back in Spellbound Bookstore in Sanford, FL. They’ve just reopened in a larger space, closer to the historic district. If you’re doing holiday shopping in the Sanford area, shop small and local, and check out Spellbound!

Works in Progress

Valley of Shadows
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 7

59057 / 90000 (65.62%)

New Release!

Wait, a new book on a MONDAY? I thought books dropped on Tuesdays!

Usually? They do. Because I can’t read a calendar, you get a new book a day early!

Snowbound — because brown paper packages aren’t the only things getting tied up…

Preorders are live wherever you buy books

Promotions!

First in Series Friday is THIS WEEK! Friday, November 24th (Black Friday in the US), the first books in Heir to the Firstborn, Rebel Mage, and Swords of Charlemagne will be on sale everywhere for 99 cents.

Then, on Cyber Monday, the sale continues! The Cavalcade of Authors will be holding a huge Cyber Monday sale, and for that sale, I’ll be adding in Forged in Fire AND Bones of Earth! To know when the link goes live for this one, you need to sign up for my newsletter. There will be one blast email on the morning of the 27th, letting you know the link is live.

Posted by EASchechter in 2023 plans, 2024 plans, accountability, Balance of Power, Bones of Earth, Boosting the signal, Cavalcade of Authors, consignment, Counsel of the Wicked, Draft by the Solstice, Elemental Project, Forged in Fire, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Hidden Things, promotions, The White Raven, upcoming books, upcoming work, Valley of Shadows, WIP, wordcount, Written in Water, 0 comments

Closing In On The End.

Here we are, closing in on the end of 2023. Halloween is tomorrow, and then we get into November and the slow slide toward a new year. Yesterday, I hit the halfway point on Balance of Power, which means I’m well on my way to finishing the book by December, just in time for Cookiepocalypse. Planning for 2024 has started (slowly, but it has started), and I’m looking forward to closing the book on 2023.

It’s been a good year. A weird year, but a good one. I’ve learned a lot, and I’ve come to a lot of realizations that will change how I work going forward. What, you ask? Well, working multiple projects at a time isn’t something sustainable for me anymore, to start with. I have to focus on one thing at a time in each category — planning, researching, writing and editing. If I try to do more than one in each category, then none of the others get done. Time to adjust so I can accomplish more by doing less.

I forget if I let you all know that Written in Water didn’t make the finals for SPFBO. It had a fabulous review, though. You can see the finalists here, and there’s still one more to come (by tomorrow, I think!)

So what’s in the cards for 2024? Keeping in mind that things are still in the squidgy, warm Jello stages of planning, 2024 holds at least one convention (possibly three — I applied to present at ICFA, and I’m in the waiting list for a convention that I’ve never done before), more events with the Cavalcade, at least one but possibly two books from Riverdale Avenue Books (Morrigan’s Heir is still on the roster for this year, but they have Bonds of Blood and Steel, and I will be sending them Morrigan’s Wrath once I finish the Heir edits.) There will be at least one self-published book — that would be Balance of Power, and getting research done for Imaginative Anthropology and for the worldbuilding for Iron and Silk.

So, if I keep with the categories, here’s my 2024 starting lineup.

  • Planning:
    • ???? (at the moment, I have a pile of story outlines ready to go. So this with either stay empty for a bit, or just be business planning.)
  • Research
    • Imaginative Anthropology
      • Iron and Silk research when done
  • Writing
    • The Sea Prince
      • ???? when done (Either Tales from the Arena: Dead Man’s Hand or Tower of Light.)
  • Editing
    • Balance of Power
      • Either The Sea Prince or whatever comes back first from RAB.

I’m looking at perhaps a March or April publishing date for Balance of Power, but that will depend on several factors (how long edits take, how long cover creation takes, and what other books I have releasing and when.)

On a personal level, someone who lives in my house and is taller than I am now graduates in the spring of 2024, and starts college in the fall. All the applications are in, applications for scholarships have started, and we do the financial aid paperwork in December. Then we wait…

Oh, and there’s a two-years-postponed vacation in there somewhere. I really can’t wait for that!

Works in Progress

Balance of Power
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 7

47097 / 90000 (52.33%)

The Sea Prince
The Coral Throne, Book 1

63623 / 120000 (53.02%)

Promotions!

First in Series Friday is Coming! Friday, November 24th (Black Friday in the US), the first books in Heir to the Firstborn, Rebel Mage, and Swords of Charlemagne will be on sale everywhere for 99 cents.

Posted by EASchechter in 2023 plans, 2024 plans, accountability, Balance of Power, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, Cavalcade of Authors, Counsel of the Wicked, Draft by the Solstice, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Hidden Things, ICFA, Imaginative Anthropology, Iron and Silk, Planning, progress, promotions, publishing, research is fun, SPFBO, The Sea Prince, The White Raven, Tower of Light, upcoming books, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, Written in Water, 0 comments

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.

Oops?

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%)

Promotions!

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

Here Comes the Rain Again…

Here comes the rain again. And the wind. And the pressure changes. Hurricane season in Florida is a pain in the sinuses. Right now, Idalia is a Tropical Storm, but by the time it makes landfall on Wednesday morning (I think that was the last projection), it will be a Cat 3 hurricane.

Now, this isn’t our first rodeo. We have our supplies. We have water, batteries and charcoal for the grill in case we have to cook outside. The porch is cleared, and all that’s left are a few things that need to be moved to the garage tonight after dinner. And we’re well inland and, like Obi Wan, we have the high ground. We’ll be good.

However, now that all the prep is done, the waiting starts…

In writing news, today is the last day of the Narratess August Indie Sale. Hidden Things is currently 99 cents, and there are over 300 other books to choose from.

There’s still also the Brave New Worlds giveaway, which ends Thursday, and where you can win a $20 gift card to the bookstore of your choice.

Writing is going slowly at the moment, mostly because my sinuses are yelling, “Danger, Will Robinson!” (I can’t remember starting to feel hurricane pressure two days before the actual storm before…)

The Sea Prince
(The Coral Throne, Book 1)

49416 / 120000 (41.18%)

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

15803 / 90000 (17.56%)

I still haven’t gotten permission to show the new House of Sable Locks cover, but I do have a tentative schedule for edits for The White Raven: Morrigan’s Heir, so the end of my year is going to be PACKED. Touch wood everything goes well with that and we’ll be able to keep to the 2023 release date.

That’s about all for me. Now, it’s just the waiting.

Catch you all next week!

Posted by EASchechter in 2023 plans, Balance of Power, forthcoming works, Hidden Things, Hurricane, progress, Sable Locks, The Sea Prince, The White Raven, upcoming books, upcoming work, Updatey things, WIP, wordcount, Written in Water, 0 comments

The Narratress Indie Sale!

I found out yesterday that Hidden Things will be included in the next Narratress Indie Book sale, which will be happening THIS WEEKEND! So from August 26 – 28th, Hidden Things will be 99 cents on all platforms.

Posted by EASchechter in Boosting the signal, Hidden Things, promotions, 0 comments

Thirty. Finished. The End

Well, I guess that clears up any question about the topic for this week’s blog, hm?

The White Raven: Morrigan’s Wrath
(The White Raven duology, book 2)

106550 / 106000 (100.52%)

I finished the draft a week ago, after writing over three thousand words in a single day. (That’s a lot for me. But I was SOCLOSE to being done!) and it occurs to me that I wrote last week’s blog post AFTER finishing the book! So this is not news, unless you missed last week’s post because I was so late in posting it.

The manuscript is now printed off, along with the editing notes that I made for The White Raven: Morrigan’s Heir, and I have put them aside to wait for the edits to come in on Morrigan’s Heir. Once I have those, I’ll make my changes to Heir, then start my personal edits on Wrath. Once I’m sure both books agree with each other, then they’ll both go back to my editor. But I am now done for the summer.

Sort of.

I’ve spent the past week planning out the first two books in a new series tentatively called Iron and Silk (to be honest, the synopsis for the first book was already written — it’s that Pirate and Princess thing that came out of my trip to Nashville.) Book one is The Iron Virgin. Book two is The Silken Courtesan, which I just finished planning out today. This might be a trilogy, and book three is tentatively titled The Iron Queen. I still have to plan that one.

I’m also planning out book seven of Heir to the Firstborn, and trying to think of a title that fits the existing title patterns. The synopsis for this one is about a third of the way done, but I got distracted by The Silken Courtesan. Once this one is done, then I’ll dive into the worldbuilding for Iron and Silk, and for The Sea Prince.

And there’s research to be done for Imaginative Anthropology, which has been on the shelf for a bit while I finished up The White Raven. Time to get back to that.

Honestly, though? All of these are playtime. I am now off for the summer.

There are still five days left in the Red Hot book giveaway, where you can grab a copy of Hidden Things (or some twenty-five other books) FOR FREE! Click the image above to check out what’s available. I’ll have another giveaway later in the summer — keep an eye out for a Written in Water giveaway in August.

But for now, I’m giving myself a brain break and deciding what I’ll work on once August rolls around and school starts again.

Posted by EASchechter in 2023 plans, Heir to the Firstborn, Hidden Things, Imaginative Anthropology, KermitArms, Planning, post novel ennui, summer, The Iron Virgin, The White Raven, thirty, Worldbuilding, Written in Water, yippee, 0 comments

Late Post, But A Good Reason….

This is posting rather late on Monday, but there’s a very good reason for the delay…

That’s the final wordcount on The White Raven: Morrigan’s Wrath. That’s a draft, folks!

The White Raven: Morrigan’s Wrath
(The White Raven duology, Book 2)

106550 / 106000 (100.52%)

So, now what? Now, this manuscript gets read over quickly, to make sure I didn’t forget any scenes that I meant to fill in later. I’ll compile it from Scrivener, and print it off… and then put it off to the side for a bit. I’ll be sitting on it until I get the edits back for Morrigan’s Heir, and then I’ll read both of them one right after the other. That way, I can be sure that the details in both agree. (and there are some edits that need to be added to Heir, because of things that changed in Wrath. And one character name that needs to be changed because the name Owyn is now retired.)

Once that’s done? I’m off for the summer! Which means… well, this house needs to be cleaned. And I have worldbuilding and research to work on. And SO MUCH READING to catch up on.

And I have a short story to write. There’s one thread in Wrath that didn’t get tied off, and one couple that’s getting their own short. But I’m in no rush.

In other news, Hidden Things is currently part of a giveaway, and you can check out the other books here. The giveaway runs until May 20th. Just in time for beach reading!

Since it’s late, that’s all there is. I’m going to bed now!

Posted by EASchechter in 2023 plans, accountability, giveaway, happy-happy- joy- joy, Hidden Things, kvelling, post novel ennui, SQUEEE, summer, Ta-da, The White Raven, thirty, WIP, wordcount, yippee, 0 comments

Prioritize the Glass

I do a daily tarot post on Instagram. It’s a single card draw, and I just did today’s right before I opened this window to blog.

The phrase “prioritize the glass” is resonating with me at the moment. You see… that’s what I’m having to do.

So… there were no words written on The Sea Prince this past week. The word count remains unchanged. Instead, I’m focusing on edits, and on a proofreading project. I’ve finished the new edits on Forged in Fire, and have started Bones of Earth. I’m working on the initial edits of Children of Dreams, and I think this book is the one that’s going to change the most from what appeared in Patreon. I have edits open for Hidden Things for Book View Cafe, and I’m working on those around the proofreading project. And that’s on top of everything else that’s happening that I’m slowly getting a handle on.

So right now I’m focusing on the words that have already been put down, because I don’t have the bandwidth to put into new words. The Sea Prince will get written. Maybe not in 2022, but I’ll put it down for my January project in 2023.

Now, I was planning on releasing the new editions of Heir to the Firstborn one a week leading up to the release of Children of Dreams. However, it appears that I’d be making things much more difficult for myself than I have to — since there are no major changes to the first four books, all I have to do is update the files and the cover art. Once I get to Crossroads, which is the first with a new title, then I have to change the ISBN and create a new book. I’ll set Visions in Smoke (New title) to release the week before Children of Dreams.

Now, if you bought any of the first four books of Heir to the Firstborn in ebook from Amazon, your files will update (you’ll have to trigger the update, but you’ll get the new versions.) I do not know if any other ebook seller updates in the same way. So if you bought through Barnes and Noble or Apple, your files may not update. If they do, great! If they don’t, don’t worry. I’ve got you. If you have a file that does not update when I release the new versions, email me with a screenshot showing you own the book already, and I’ll get a new copy to you.

Now, in preparation of updating all the files, I will be taking the paperback editions down by the end of this week. Hopefully, that means that when they go back up for sale, people who order will not get the old copies. I hope.

In other news, episode 6 of John Zebedee and the Monstrous Town just went live.

 

This is the halfway mark for this part of The Chronicles of John Zebedee. I have to reread the Kindle Vella TOS and see what the turnaround is on putting them three parts together as a book. I think it’s 30 days after the last episode runs, but I need to be certain.  So we’ll have the collected Chronicles of John Zebedee early next year, I think.

Time to get back to making sure the words on the page are the right words.

 

Posted by EASchechter in 2023 plans, accountability, edits, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Hidden Things, John Zebedee, The Sea Prince, to-dos, upcoming books, upcoming work, Updatey things, 0 comments

Late Post.

It’s late, but it’s here.

There was no post last week because I was on vacation. I enjoyed myself immensely, and got home Saturday. The laundry is all done and put away, and I think everything is unpacked. Now we’re in the last few days before school starts, and before I get back to work.

What work? Well, if things keep going the way that they were before vacation, I might be putting The Sea Prince to the side again. Not because of lack of story, but because I may have something else I need to work on first.

Yes, that’s very vague. But I’m not saying anything more until it’s written in stone.

I have several sets of edits that need to be worked on — I need to edit Forged in Fire for re-release, and edit Children of Dreams for initial release to my Patrons. I also may have new edits on Hidden Things… because BVC wants the Swords of Charlemagne books, too! I was planning on going over Hidden Things again, because working with Mark on the audiobooks pointed out a few things that made it past me and three editors.

I’ve been wildly distracted by things over the past month, so I haven’t done much on the Imaginative Anthropology project. I will hopefully get back to that, but it’s of lower priority at the moment. The research will keep.

So, for the next week and a half, I’ll be making plans and planning things out. On the 10th… we’re off!

And for now… I’m off to BED.

Posted by EASchechter in 2022 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, edits, Heir to the Firstborn, Hidden Things, Imaginative Anthropology, Planning, Swords of Charlemagne, The Sea Prince, Vagueblogging, 0 comments