summer

I Like Big Books…

This is the theme of a big promotion that I and a bunch of other authors will be participating in the first weekend of August. 200 books in a variety of genres, and I’m not even sure anymore how many authors.

If you’re interested in getting in on this giveaway, click the graphic and it will take you to signup page. My book in the lot is Written in Water.

The second graphic just makes me giggle. I love this theme.

Written in Water is also going to be free in the Brave New Worlds promotion in August. The page for that is not live yet — I’ll share it once we get closer to the date.

The final Written in Water news is something I keep forgetting to post. Written in Water is one of the three hundred books included in the 9th annual Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off, a contest created to increase visibility for self-published fantasy. No news on anything yet, but we’ll see

I’m realizing as I get closer to the end of Broken Feathers that there might be another book in there. I need to let it percolate, but now there’s now a plot bunny hopping around my subconscious mind. But Broken Feathers will be done… maybe this week? If they cooperate? Then I’ll make some notes for this other book, and put my attention fully onto the reread and revamp of The Sea Prince with my original coauthor.

Yes, coauthor.

The Sea Prince and another project were originally written with my friend Danielle, who started WAY back in the misty vastness of time with me in The Night Court. (that play-by-email role playing game I’ve mentioned?) She had an attack of life, and I shelved the projects. I reached out to her two weeks ago to ask her how I should proceed with The Sea Prince, and if she wanted to jump back in. She said yes, so we’ve been going over what I’ve written already, and we’re going to jump into new chapters once school starts. Thank goodness for Google Docs and Discord!

Once school rolls around (one month from today!), I’ll also be turning my attention to the Still-doesn’t-have-a-title Book 7 of Heir to the Firstborn. Something to do with balance…

(No, I’m not taking suggestions.)

And that’s the state of the writer at this stage of the game.

Posted by EASchechter in 2023 plans, Boosting the signal, contest, giveaway, Heir to the Firstborn, promotions, summer, The Sea Prince, Written in Water, 0 comments

Hinges

I’m writing this up on July 3rd, so we’re just past the hinge of the year, heading on toward the end. Time to reflect on what worked for the first half of the year, and plan for the rest of the year…

Yeah, I don’t really do that. It sure sounds good, though.

I do like the concept of the hinge, though. The hinge is where your direction changes. It’s where your potential changes. Things that were previously closed can now be opened. I talk a lot about pranayama breathing — specifically, box breathing or four-sided breathing. That’s where you breathe in for a set count (for beginners, you can start with a four count.) You hold it for four, then breathe out for hour. Hold it for four and repeat. It’s fantastic for helping center and quiet anxiety, and for increasing focus, but the pause at the top of the breath is where potential lies. It’s where tension builds up for the release.

It’s the hinge.

Hinges also factor into storytelling. If you’re writing three-act structure, you have a couple of hinges where your direction changes. But if you’re writing to a climax (stop laughing…), then the hinge is the midpoint and where you start to bring the story home. It’s where the tension releases and you start the slow descent off the mountain to the conclusion. You might have other, smaller hinges along the way — foothills are a thing, after all — but your major momentum is starting to release.

If you don’t like the mountain analogy, you can think roller coasters. I’m not particularly a fan of roller coasters, but it’s fun to watch them.

We’re starting to release toward the end of the year now. Yes, it’s still 90 million degrees out, and tomorrow there will be fireworks, we’re past the hinge of the year. Time to start thinking about bringing it home.

I’ve laid out my kanban board for the next quarter — I’m going to finish Broken Feathers (hopefully this week), and keep on researching for Imaginative Anthropology. I’ll be starting back with The Sea Prince in August, and D, the person with whom I originally wrote the first few chapters, is back on board to finish it! We’re going over the first thirteen chapters now. I have one or two pure business things to work on, and in three months, I’ll revisit and see where we are on the path of bringing 2023 to a close.

Right now? We’re about halfway.

SALES: My entire catalog is on sale at Smashwords for their annual sale, running July 1 through July 31. Because of Draft2Digital acquiring Smashwords, I have two catalog pages (that I’m assured with be merged later this year.) So you can find some of my books here, and the rest here.

Posted by EASchechter in 2023 plans, accountability, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, Imaginative Anthropology, promotions, summer, The Sea Prince, The White Raven, thinking thinky thoughts, to-dos, Worldbuilding, writer on writing, 0 comments

There’s No Place Like Home

Travel is fun, but it’s good to come home.

Yes, I’ve been away. We spent a few days in Charlotte with family, celebrating a high school graduation. Then we headed down to Savannah to look a the Savannah College of Art and Design (which is an impressive school, and their Game Design program is interesting.) Savannah is a gorgeous city that feels locked in the past — driving a car just feels wrong. You should be driving a horse and buggy. Although I doubt there’d be better parking for said horse and buggy. It’s not a driving city. It’s a walking city. And we did — after the tour, we walked over to a place that had excellent reviews for lunch… and which I failed to verify was open on Monday. So we walked to another place… which was also closed. We ended up at Mellow Mushroom, which was very good. And in all the walking, we saw the first synagogue in Georgia, which was started by a congregation of Sephardic Jews that came to Georgia in 1733. I’ve read that their Torah dates to the 15th century, but we didn’t get to see inside, because the Temple was also closed on Monday. We walked through two of Savannah’s Squares — Monterey Square, which is where Casimir Pulaski is buried (they think…) and Chatham Square. We walked past Pulaski Square, which is NOT where Pulaski is buried and I’m confused now. And we wandered through Forsythe Park, and saw the Fragrance Garden for the Blind (*amazing*) and the famous fountain from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

We also walked past the Mercer-Williams house, which is owned by the family of the Jim Williams, the antiques dealer who was accused of murdering his lover inside the house, and whose trial is the subject of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. (From what I understand, that book is NEVER mentioned in the tour of the house.)

There’s a lot more to see in Savannah, and unfortunately, we didn’t have time to see it all. We definitely need to go back and spend more time there.

But first? Sleep. It’s good to be home.

Posted by EASchechter in summer, Writer on the Go!, 0 comments

Wait… it’s Monday Again?

Who let it be Monday again?

Summer is being quiet, which is good. There isn’t much going on in this neck of the woods. I’m working almost entirely on research for Imaginative Anthropology, with some short story work going on around the edges (A White Raven adjacent short story entitled Broken Feathers. It will be the bonus material in the back of Morrigan’s Wrath.) I’m slightly less than halfway into Nebula winner Babel, by RF Kuang, and I am digging it (enough that when my library loan came due, I went and bought a copy instead of renewing the book.) It’s very good. If you like language and linguistics, and are interested in how this might play into a magic system unlike anything I’ve ever seen before, get thee hence and get a copy. And I’m waiting on edits, which will show up in my inbox eventually.

So, I’m really kind of off for the next few weeks. Which… is a little weird? I haven’t been off like this since I started serializing Heir to the Firstborn. My house is clean. I did some gardening. I’m caught up on Tasting History and The Mandalorian, and I might actually watch some of the other programs and movies that I missed because I didn’t have time.

A nice, quiet summer. This is novel.

Posted by EASchechter in 2023 plans, Heir to the Firstborn, Imaginative Anthropology, summer, 0 comments

Week One of Vacation… sort of.

Week one sort of because it wasn’t a full week — school was out Thursday. So it’s been about four days of vacation. And in the past week, I’ve finished up all of my planning and all of my worldbuilding. Things are ready to roll in the fall on completing The Sea Prince, and I even finally remembered how I was going to make this thing actually work.

It turned out that I had already done quite a bit of worldbuilding on The Sea Prince, but it was all over the place. Some was in the Scrivener file. Some was on my hard drive. Some was printed out and was in a notebook, and some was in another notebook. So completing the worldbuilding for The Sea Prince was largely compiling all of the existing worldbuilding and seeing what I was missing. Which wasn’t much.

Now it’s time for me to really start working on Imaginative Anthropology, which means that I’ll be reading a lot this summer, and taking notes, and making an outline. I have a very basic one already, but I need to tweak it and maybe move things around. Right now, the idea is to give a intro to cultural anthropology, a second intro to worldbuilding basics, and then bringing them together and making them play nicely. This is the first time I’m trying to put into words how I building the worlds in which I play, so it may end up being very similar to asking a centipede how it coordinates all of those feet…

I’ve filed one of the short stories I was working on in my “Unlikely to Develop” folder. It was a vague idea, and it refused to come together into more than a dozen paragraphs which had no ending. I’ll revisit it at some point in the future and either figure out the problem or let it go back into hibernation. So that leaves one short story to work on over the summer, which will go into Morrigan’s Wrath as bonus material. Working title is Broken Feathers.

And that is the current state of the state I’m in. Mental state, I mean. Physical state… well, I’m in Florida. If you have a vacation you’re planning, plan to vacation anywhere else. Literally ANYWHERE else. Because Florida: It’s not the humidity, it’s the hate.

Posted by EASchechter in 2023 plans, accountability, crap-writing-is-crap, Imaginative Anthropology, research is fun, summer, The Sea Prince, 0 comments

Productive Downtime

Productive downtime sounds like a contradiction in terms. Like jumbo shrimp and near miss (if you’re not familiar with George Carlin’s routine on contradictions, go see if you can find it.) It’s a contradiction, but it’s where I am right now. I’m not actively writing, but I’m being very productive.

The synopsis for Book 7 of Heir to the Firstborn is done, and all that needs is a title. I’ve also finished the synopsis for The Silken Courtesan (Iron and Silk, book 2), and am about to start worldbuilding for that series, while thinking about what book 3 might be about. I think that The Iron Virgin (Iron and Silk, book 1) may by my Spring 2024 book, but we’ll see where things lie when I we get closer to the end of Winter 2023.

I’ve also pulled together all of the little bits of worldbuilding that I’ve done on The Sea Prince, and realized that there was more than I thought. It just wasn’t organized. Now it is, and there was very little that needed to be added. So I’m ready to get back into working on the book, and this time I’m going to finish it!

I mean it!

Really!

Back to summer stuff. I’m rereading a manuscript that’s completed but unpublished, with an eye toward submitting it to a new imprint that’s opening up for Fantasy Romance. (Bramble Publishing, a Tor imprint.) I attended a webinar with the acquisitions editor this past weekend, and she says that they’ll be reading unagented submissions. I just don’t know when, so I want this ready to go when they announce. And I’ve started a bonus short story to go with Morrigan’s Wrath, because I left some loose ends for a character who needs his HEA, thank you very much.

Once those are all wrapped up, I’ll be spending the rest of the summer reading and outlining Imaginative Anthropology. I have an idea as to format, but I need to see if it’ll actually work the way I’m thinking. I should know by the end of the summer.

And just regular reading. I have a stack as tall as I am of books I’ve been meaning to read. Time to get to it! First on my list? Babel, by R.F. Kuang.

And that’s my plan for the next two months. Productive downtime.

Posted by EASchechter in 2023 plans, 2024 plans, Heir to the Firstborn, Imaginative Anthropology, Iron and Silk, post novel ennui, Reading, Revisions, summer, The Iron Virgin, The Sea Prince, The Silken Courtesan, The White Raven, Worldbuilding, 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

Relaxing… sort of…

I am relaxing! Really!

Well, sort of…

I’m not actively writing. Except that I am messing around a little with The Sea Prince, because I was bored. I redid the outline, and am messing with things to see where they go. It definitely falls into the realm of my favorite trope — “These Two Idiots.”

I’m not actively editing, either. Except that I’m rereading Heir to the Firstborn and making notes of all the things that need to be updated and expanded on for the new editions.

I’m not actively planning, but that’s because I finished the synopses for Flesh and Blood.

I am doing research, but that’s mostly reading, so it’s relaxing even though I’m kinda working.

And in and around that, I’m catching up on TV — we binged The Book of Boba Fett, and finished Obi-Wan Kenobi last night (viewer note — I came away from this series completely convinced in my bones that Obi-Wan is an IDIOT!) I think our next binge is getting back to She-Ra. We have two seasons left on that, I think. Maybe I’ll watch Gentleman Jack when we get back from vacation.

I’m catching up on my reading, too. I finished the main series of Bridgerton books, and I read the newest Valdemar book from Mercedes Lackey. I’m back to reading the Magic in Manhattan (Allie Theron) series, and I have The Tale of the Five (Diane Duane) series downloaded. I haven’t decided yet what book is coming with me on vacation, but I should do that.

Now, if you want to catch up on reading, chapter 8 of John Zebedee and the Heir of the Elvenlands dropped today. There are only three chapters left, then John Zebedee and the Monstrous Town starts in August.

And Where Home Lies drops a week from tomorrow, bringing the last Rebel Mage book back into circulation.

 

And I think that’s everything for this week.

Posted by EASchechter in Flesh and Blood, progress, Rebel Mage, slacking, summer, upcoming books, Updatey things, Where Home Lies, 0 comments

Things and Stuff

That’s about the state of things right now in my word. There are things and stuff. Things and stuff are happening, and I’m doing things and stuff.

At the moment, I’m about half finished with the synopsis for book 4 of Flesh and Blood. There’s one book after that, and that will, I think, end the series (at least for the foreseeable future? It has the potential to go on longer, because, you know, vampires.) The short story is still in limbo, and I’m starting to wonder if it’s going to come together, because every time I look at it, my brain goes blank.

Research into Imaginative Anthropology is going well, although I’m realizing that the book I’m reading right now is dated — the next one on my list is a more recent publication, which will help offset the cringe I’m finding in sections on gender and sexuality.

Vacation is coming up soon, but I had to put vacation sewing on hold because the machine needed to be serviced. I should have that back next week. I might go ahead and cut the pieces now, but I might not.

Episode 6 of John Zebedee and the Heir of the Elvenlands went live today. People are reading it, but I can see why folks are saying that Vella isn’t really getting the traction that Amazon hoped it would. I hope they figure out how to make this platform work. I like it, but they really do need to do more to push it!

I’m waiting for more feedback from the beta readers for BVC, but it looks like I have a job of work to do with new edits for Heir to the Firstborn. Serials and novels really are two different beasts, and they don’t translate well from one to the other. That’s on my to-do list for 2023, because I think the only book that will need minimal edits is Written in Water! The new covers are ABSOLUTELY gorgeous and I can’t wait to reveal them — I just got the proof for Wings of Air and it’s beautiful.

There’s also a title change coming — Heir to the Firstborn: The Crossroads will be republished as Dreams of Smoke. I haven’t yet decided what the new title for Heir to the Firstborn: The Way Home will be. It does need that Something-in-Something title to fit with the rest of the series (and there are three Something-OF-Something titles, so I need one more Something-IN-Something to balance. But I might not. We’ll see.)

I DO know that The Way Home needs to be edited HEAVILY — it’s way too long. There are subplots in there that may not make it to the final version, and there’s one character who told me more about them after I finished, so I need to change them up a bit. It’s still going to go live for my Patreon patrons in November, but I may hold off actually publishing book 6 in the wild until the BVC edition. Again, we’ll see.

Things and stuff. Stuff and things. Decisions to make.

I’m awfully busy for someone who is supposed to be taking it easy this summer. But, in the taking it easy¬† part, I did binge the entire Book of Boba Fett yesterday (The Mandalorian, season 2.5?) Now on to the rest of my watch list — next up? Seasons 4 and 5 of She-Ra!

Posted by EASchechter in 2022 plans, 2023 plans, BDSM Vampires, Flesh and Blood, Heir to the Firstborn, Imaginative Anthropology, John Zebedee, Patreon, publishing, summer, Updatey things, Wings of Air, Written in Water, 0 comments