Orlando Reads Books

Best Laid Plans…

So I was planning on having a finished book before I left for Orlando Reads Books…

Yeah, that didn’t happen.


Heir to the Firstborn: The Crossroads
(Heir to the Firstborn, book 5)


124023 / 130000

I’m closer to a finished book. But I’ve got a chapter or two before I can say Crossroads is done.

I said last week I was keeping an eye on my events for later this year? I have one fewer on which to keep an eye. Books at the Beach is still happening, but I have decided that I will not be going. I learned something this past weekend at ORB — doing a large event alone is something of which I am no longer capable. Not with the amount of STUFF that needs to be transported and set up. And the timing of Books at the Beach would require me to go alone. So I talked to the showrunners, cancelled my spot and my hotel, and announced to the attendees.

(If the show does end up being postponed because of Covid? Then my spot will carry over to the postponement dates. Which means I might have to make another decision down the line, but I’m okay with that.)

So my plans for this week? Finish this book, figure out my show layout and what I need to do for Necronomicon in September, and find a place to put all the things because it makes no sense to put them AWAY when I just need them out again in a few weeks.

ORB was a lot of fun, as usual. I do enjoy this event. They have the best parties, too. This year’s theme was Midsummer Night Faire, so we dressed for the occasion.

Teen boy declined to be involved in the picture. He attended as that most fantastical of creatures — the teenage boy who actually wants to hang out with his parents.

Yes, he heard me say that

And in other news, this lovely thing arrived while I was at ORB.

I need to get a frame for that.

Catch you all next week, with a hopefully finished manuscript!

Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, accountability, appearances, award-winning, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, conventions, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Necronomicon, Orlando Reads Books, upcoming books, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, Writer on the Go!, writing, 0 comments

Well, THAT was Fun…

I just had to brute force my way into my own WordPress site. That was more interesting than a Monday should be.

Apparently, something is broken in the newest update, and WP support is telling everyone to disable their plugins (didn’t work), change to the default theme (also didn’t work), and make sure that they are using their most updated browsers (also also didn’t work.)

What did work? Rolling WordPress back to the last version. But it took me nearly an hour to find the support forum that SAID that was the only thing that worked. I’m in now, and updating everything. Once I’m done, I’ll let WordPress update again and we’ll see if they fix things before next week.

Monday needs to not try so hard.

I’m in the home stretch with Heir to the Firstborn: The Crossroads! My goal is to have it DONE by Thursday, so I can take the pages with me to Orlando Reads Books.

Heir to the Firstborn: The Crossroads
(Heir to the Firstborn, book 5)

120119 / 130000 (92.40%)

In other Heir to the Firstborn news, the Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal chapter of the RWA announced the winners of the Prism awards on Saturday night, and I’m pleased to announce that Bones of Earth came in third in the Fantasy category. (The book that came in second also won Best New Book, which is impressive!) So, for this series, that’s high ranking placement in two major awards. Not bad!

Not much else — I’m keeping an eye on the events for later this year. One of the other Florida writers conferences cancelled just this morning, so we’ll see if the other in-person events I have planned this year actually happen.

I’m not fond of this whole “Wait and see” approach to life. I happen to like making plans!

And speaking of making plans, I have a meeting in a few minutes, so I need to wrap this up. Here’s hoping I see some of you at ORB!

Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, accountability, award-winning, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, Bones of Earth, Heir to the Firstborn, Orlando Reads Books, upcoming books, upcoming work, when technology rebels, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

It’s Starting!!!

Today is the day!!!

Pen to Paper starts today!!!

Ten months of hard work and hustle, and it finally starts today. This past week we had our onboarding meetings with our Guides and with our Participants and everyone is so excited and enthusiastic, and loving the materials they’ve already seen.

To quote my son, I have an excite.


I also have a lot more work to do. But today, I have an excite!

Heir to the Firstborn: The Crossroads
(Heir to the Firstborn, book 5)

116776 / 130000 (89.83%)

I didn’t get the draft synopsis done last week for The Iron Virgin (the pirate thing), and I didn’t get as much done as I wanted on Crossroads, but I did finish my revision on Blood Bound, so that will be heading off sometime this week or next. I also had a really exciting something drop into my lap, and that needs to get worked on. Nope, not saying. Can’t say. But OMG!!!

I’ll tell you all more when I can. Promise.

Needless to say? I’ve got a busy week ahead. And an even busier one next week, with Orlando Reads Books coming up! Catch you all next week!

Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, 2022 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, appearances, Blood Bound, Flesh and Blood, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, KermitArms, kvelling, Orlando Reads Books, SQUEEE, upcoming books, upcoming work, why-the-writing-is-slow, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

Goodness, is that the time?

The time, at the moment, is 11:27 AM on August 9th. And in one week, the RWA Pen to Paper program, the project that has been eating my brain for the past year, launches.

You know that gif of Kermit, standing backstage and biting his nonexistent nails?


Yeah… that’s a fair approximation of how I’ll look on Sunday….

That is, when I’m not like this…


Because it’s starting. It’s really starting. We created something from the ground up and people are excited to be a part of it. This program is… well, it’s amazing. Yes, I know I’m as biased as a new mother in this regard, but really, it’s AMAZING.

And it starts one week from today.

In other news — yes, I do have other news — the worldbuilding for this new pirate thing is coming along. I might even have a rough synopsis this week. Which will then get put aside to percolate because I have to finish Heir to the Firstborn: The Crossroads, start Heir to the Firstborn: The Way Home, edit Crossroads for a late fall/early winter release, and edit Blood Bound so that I can get that back out to Riverdale/Circlet. My barefoot pirates (and yes, there’s a reason for them being barefoot!) will have to wait!

Heir to the Firstborn: The Crossroads
(Heir to the Firstborn, book 5)

115164 / 150000 (76.78%)

Notice how that number dropped from last week? That’s because I moved about 13K words out of this manuscript and into The Way Home. I’m thinking there are maybe another three or four chapters to this one, so I am shooting to have the draft of Crossroads done this month, and I fully intend to try and make the November release date I put into my planner at the beginning of the year. But… it might be December. I’ll see how revisions go and keep everyone posted.

Not much else is happening. I’m prepping for Orlando Reads Books, starting to think on costuming for Necronomicon and  Books at the Beach, and looking forward to two conferences I’ll be attending as an attendee (for the record? Emerald City Writers Conference and Trans/Inter/Cross: A Symposium on the Fantastic Between Genres, Media, and Cultures.) I have RWA Nationals in November, and Keiser Supercon in December.

Still planning on being a puddle in January.





Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, 2022 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, appearances, BDSM Vampires, Blood Bound, Flesh and Blood, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Keiser SuperCon, Necronomicon, Orlando Reads Books, Planning, plot bunnies, publishing, Release date, upcoming books, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, Worldbuilding, writing, 0 comments

Back to Work!

Home from vacation! And what a wet vacation it was! There were only two days that we did not get rained on — the first day and the last one! Every other day featured a deluge of Florida proportions — I’m told there is video footage of kids swimming in the flooded pathways at Magic Kingdom. (ewwICK!)

It was fun, though. Our first time back in the parks for a vacation (as opposed to a day) in nearly 8 years, and our first vacation in 4 years. Introduced to Feather Bowling (or, as we called it, drunk curling), and Pandora (the planet, not the jewelry or the streaming service. James Cameron is an insane genius, the immersive technology in Pandora is AMAZING, and I want to have a talk with him about evolutionary tracks and his rationale for having his planet have hexapedal fauna while the dominant species is bipedal with a prehensile tail. Either that, or I actually have to see the movie. Maybe it’s explained in there?)

Enjoyed a couple of things at Food and Wine, and saw the neat little exhibit on Kawaii culture in Japan (and had fun after both Spaceship Earth and The American Adventure — turn to Teen Boy and ask “So, what did they get wrong?”)  And we spent half a day in Black Spires Outpost on Batuu, had blue milk and a spherical Coke, and built a lightsaber (which is not cheap, but SO WORTH IT!!!)

It says Coca-Cola in Aurebesh — the written language of Star Wars.
We found the FUN Photopass spot — the photographer provided the sabers.
Protection and Defense — one of the four hilt options offered at Savi’s Workshop. I opted for a purple kyber crystal.
Not lighting it up because it is LOUD!

I forgot to get pictures of the blue milk — it’s a rice and coconut milk base, with pineapple and dragonfruit, and colored blue with spirulina. And it would make a killer pina coloda — they actually do offer it with rum! There’s also a green milk option, which I’ll have to try the next time I go. Whenever that happens.

Got home in time for the Vivian Awards, which meant dressing up to sitting my office.

I didn’t win, but I’m okay with that. Just being nominated in the most diverse contest class in RWA history is enough, especially when it’s with the book that I pulled from RITA consideration in protest of the board shenanigans in 2019.

Now I’m back on Earth, though, and back to creating my own worlds. I did carry a notebook with me all week… and I think I opened it once.

Heir to the Firstborn: The Crossroads
(Heir to the Firstborn, book 5)
126114 / 150000 (84.08%)

I have an idea where this is going to wrap, though. And I’m shooting to have a draft complete by the end of the month, or by Orlando Reads Books, so I can dive into the revisions that it’s going to need since it’s not the last book. The book will drop quite a bit in wordcount when I finally call it a draft — there are three chapters, the epilogue and some bonus material already written that will be moved to the last book.

I’m also thinking on a new thing — working title is The Iron Virgin, and I’m blaming the Gaylord Opryland for it. Why? Because there was a Pirate and Princess event running when we were there, and I came home with a Pirate Princess in my head who wants her story told now, thank you very much. The worldbuilding is being interesting — it went from a steampunk setting with airships to a fantasy setting with living ships (which… I’m not sure why the ships are alive yet. They haven’t told me. There is more worldbuilding to be done.)

That’s a song cue right there — “The ships are alive, and I don’t know why yet…” (ttto The Sound of Music.)

If I want words on the page, I need to go get to writing them. Catch you all next week.

Posted by EASchechter in accountability, Deadlines Go Whoosh!, fickle-muse-is-fickle, Heir to the Firstborn, Orlando Reads Books, slow-writer-is-slow., summer, thinking thinky thoughts, why-the-writing-is-slow, WIP, wordcount, Worldbuilding, Writer on the Go!, Written in Water, yippee, 0 comments

Trying to Fit One Week into Two Days

What? Liz, why are you trying to fit a week into two days?

Because on Wednesday, at an ungodly hour of the morning, I leave for the RWA Summer Retreat in Nashville. So before I leave, I have to get all the other things done that are usually done in a week. And pack. And finish up things for the retreat. And… probably something I’m forgetting. There’s always something I’m forgetting.

So there’s not going to be a lot of writing done, at least not today and tomorrow. There’s a dedicated Writers Room at the Retreat, so I’ll get some work done there.


Heir to the Firstborn
(Heir to the Firstborn, book 5)
122957 / 150000 (81.97%)

And… I have come to a decision. See that total number there? And the percentage?

Yeah, Heir to the Firstborn isn’t going to be one book. It’s two. (Which, yes, I know. I said that with Wings of Air.) There’s still a lot of story left. This isn’t an issue with the serial — it’ll take as long as it takes to finish. But when I go to make print books? There’s a limit to how large a print book can be before it self-destructs under it’s own weight.

So, we’re looking at two books. Right now, I’m calling them Heir to the Firstborn: The Crossroads, and Heir to the Firstborn: The Way Home.

On the upside? This means that there will indeed be a November release, because Crossroads is almost done!

Today has been more than a little “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”, because my brain is going in fifteen directions at once.

For example — I got a new fitness tracker today. I have screen protectors for it, so I left this post unfinished to that I could go into the bedroom to get the package. While looking for the package, I realized that when I’d packed this morning, I’d forgotten to pack jewelry. So I went through and picked out some things, including a pair of statement earrings that I haven’t worn in ages. Packed them away and went to put them in my carry-on. Realized I’d forgotten something else, and went back to the bedroom for it. Found the package of screen protectors and took those out to the kitchen. Realized what time it was and that I had to start dinner.

Nearly four hours later, I’m back at the computer to finish the blog post.

In other news this week, I’ve gone and done something I should have done years ago.

I now have my own logo. And it’s GORGEOUS!!!

I mean, seriously. Isn’t that pretty?

New business cards and other marketing paraphernalia have been ordered, and I’m working on figuring out what new swag I’ll be getting for Orlando Reads Books in August. I don’t want to get something cheap, or… well, ordinary. Remember, I’m the one who brought naughty dice to my first RWA National convention. I need something different.

Hrm… I had an idea….

See you when I get back from Nashville!

Posted by EASchechter in 2020 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, appearances, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, conventions, edits, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Orlando Reads Books, Swords of Charlemagne, Ta-da, to-dos, why-the-writing-is-slow, WIP, wordcount, Writer on the Go!, 0 comments

Busy Rest of the Year!

I just updated my Appearances widget over there —->.

Starting in July, I have something every month for the rest of the year.

I don’t normally book myself that hard, but… ummm… yeah… I think I overdid it just a bit.

Starting in July, you can find me…

RWA Retreat
Nashville, TN
July 14-17, 2021


Orlando Reads Books
Orlando, FL
August 26 – 29, 2021


Tampa, FL
September 24 – 26th, 2021


Books at the Beach
Clearwater Beach, FL
October 21 – 24th, 2021


RWA National Conference
Going Virtual!
November 18-20th, 2021


Orlando, FL,
December 10-11th, 2021


I think after KeiserSupercon, I’m going to be a puddle.

And in and around all those, I have this book I need to finish…

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

104611 / 150000 (69.74%)

And I have Pen to Paper to work on. I’m learning to do video editing logs, because you never know what you can do until someone puts you in charge, right?

So I think that by the time 2022 rolls around, I’m going to need another retreat. Or a vacation. Or a nap. Or something.

But I have plans for 2022. I’ll be re-covering and re-releasing my dark erotic romance Rebel Mage series in 2022, and the Chronicles of John Zebedee should be out. I’ve got Blood Bound to re-edit and get back into the slush at Circlet, and I’ve got ideas on reworking The Willow Sword so that it actually gets past chapter three this time. (cue Bullwinkle: “This time for sure!”)

There are a lot of things professionally going on. And 2022 is also my 25th wedding anniversary, so there’s going to be SOMETHING going on for that, too. Not sure what yet.

But first… let’s finish this book.


Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, 2022 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, appearances, BDSM Vampires, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, Blood Bound, conventions, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, John Zebedee, Keiser SuperCon, Necronomicon, Orlando Reads Books, promotions, Rebel Mage, The Willow Sword, to-dos, upcoming books, upcoming work, Updatey things, WIP, wordcount, Writer on the Go!, 0 comments

(Insert May Song Reference Here)

I can think of at least three songs about the month of May, and have heard all three references at least once a day for the past three days. So pick your favorite and sing out!

The Sooper Sekrit project for the RWA as formally announced last week on Wednesday and Friday.

From the official announcement:

Pen to Paper: Guide to Writing Romance is an immersive seven-month romance writing program designed to ground you in writing romances so strongly that your inner critic will be forced into the back seat. Here are some program highlights:

  • Engage weekly in a five-person Partner Circle led by two published author Guides. This writing group will stick together throughout the program, creating that inner circle of allies and writing partners that could last long after the program ends.
  • Hear from experts in the romance universe via articles, audio recordings, live events, and exclusive videos developed for this program.
  • Receive and learn how to give the valuable critique that will lift your writing from average to excellent.

My team and I have been working on this for months now, and it’s finally live! Guides can start to apply TODAY, and Participants will be able to start applying in June. Check the link for more information.

And while doing all of that, I’m still working on my own stuff.

Heir to the Firstborn
(Heir to the Firstborn, book 5)
75515 / 150000 (50.34%)

Heir to the Firstborn is going well, and unless I pick the pace a bit, we’re not really halfway through, no matter what the wordcount says. I’m going to stick to my stance that this will be ONE book, not two. One book. One. If I keep saying that, it might come true.


I finished the proofreading on Table of Stone at the end of last week, and finalized the presale. You can pick up Hidden Things and preorder the rest of the series here. Hidden Things is now also available at all bookstores, not just Amazon. (Except I think I forgot to put it up on Eden Books, Smashwords and Google. Must fix those.)

There’s not much else to talk about at the moment. We’re coming down to the end of the school year, which means testing. In person testing, and I have to leave in a few minutes to go pick up High School Boy from day one of a two day test. Waiting to see what happens with COVID vaccines for teens, so I can plan for summer possible travel for the family and for school in the fall (our county has already nixed the at home model we’ve been using. So next year it’s off to realspace school!) Planning my own travel for the summer — RWA retreat in July, Orlando Reads Books in August, Necronomicon in September, and Books at the Beach in October! I’m going to be Writer on the Go!

And I still need to have Heir to the Firstborn ready to go for a November release, so it’s time for me to log off here and get to the words.

After I go pick someone up from school.

Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, appearances, conventions, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Hidden Things, Necronomicon, Orlando Reads Books, publishing, Swords of Charlemagne, Table of Stone, upcoming books, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, Writer on the Go!, writing-mom, 0 comments

One Year

I just went back and looked at my post from this week one year ago.

One year ago, all we knew about Covid-19 was that it was new and scary and really, really dangerous.

One year ago, we’d just entered quarantine.

One year ago, I had three kids living under my roof because reasons.

One year ago, I said that I doubted we’d be going back to school in person at all for the 2019-2020 school year.

One year ago, all the theme parks in Florida closed down for the rest of the month.

One year ago, the conventions and reader events started to postpone and cancel.


Well, school is still not in person, not for everyone. My son has attended his first year of high school from his bedroom.

The theme parks were closed for three months, and still aren’t all the way open.

I’m back to one child under my roof. Miss the other two like crazy, but it’s not safe to see them. Not yet. Soon.

I had my first Covid vaccine shot last Tuesday. There’s word of a promising antiviral. As rates of vaccination have gone up, the number of hospitalizations for the 65-and-over age range has gone drastically down.

Things aren’t the way they were. They may never be the way they were. But there’ s hope now.

It’s an odd feeling, hope. I’m not used to it.

On the writing front, there’s been a LOT of writing this past year — since last March, I’ve written:

  • three books in The Chronicles of John Zebedee.
  • Time for No Mercy
  • Wings of Air
  • The first third of Heir to the Firstborn.

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

43806 / 150000 (29.20%)

There’s a lot more to come, too. And that’s just new words! I’ve edited and reedited the first three Swords of Charlemagne books and am working on book four, and I’ve proofread the first two once I had proof copies, and am working on the third.

Wings of Air drops a week from tomorrow, on Amazon and everywhere ebooks are sold (and you can order the print books!)

I’m still on the RWA Board, still working my tail off. The Super Seekrit project will launch next month, and it is going to be AMAZING.  (okay, so it’s not really so super seekrit — I’m the lead on the Pen to Paper project, which used to be called Push to Publish. But I can’t tell you anything more until we launch so SUPER SEEKRIT!)

Several of the conferences I was supposed to attend in 2020 are in the planning stages for 2021. I have my hotel reservations for Orlando Reads Books, and Books at the Beach. The only reason I don’t have my hotel reservations for RWA Nationals or Necronomicon is because there’s no hotel block for those yet. And I have my fingers crossed! Things are still tenuous for conventions, and several others have postponed or cancelled their 2021 dates. So we’ll see what happens.

One year ago, I wrote in this blog that the only way out was through.

We’re almost through, folks. Just a little more.

Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, accountability, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, conventions, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, John Zebedee, Necronomicon, Orlando Reads Books, Swords of Charlemagne, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments