writer on writing

Back to School… Sort Of

I decided that even though someone doesn’t start classes for another week, I’m getting back to work on the actual school schedule. So when the high school went back to school, I went back to work. Balance of Power and The Sea Prince are both underway. Chapter one of Balance of Power went live on the Patreon last week, I’m currently finishing up chapter three, and Danielle (my co-author) and I are underway with The Sea Prince.

The Sea Prince
(The Coral Throne, Book 1)

48284 / 120000 (40.24%)

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

9027 / 90000 (10.03%)

As a reminder, Brave New Worlds is still ongoing for another two weeks, which means that you can still grab up to 50 Science Fiction and Fantasy novels and enter for a $20 gift card. You can grab a copy of Written in Water there, just for signing up for my newsletter.

I realized (at the urging of a colleague, that I really needed to get around to updating the cover for Worlds Begin, the Heir to the Firstborn creation myth, so that it matches the rest of the series.

I got the new cover the other day, and It. Is. GORGEOUS!

Cover for Worlds Begin. A wreath of green leaves and flowers, surrounding the title Worlds Begin in gol

(Reminder — Worlds Begin is a freebie everywhere EXCEPT Amazon, who refuses to set books permanently free. If you want it on Amazon, please price match. Or download from Smashwords and use Send to Kindle.)

I’ve also seen and approved the 10th anniversary cover for House of Sable Locks, but I haven’t yet been given permission to share it. Yes, my “modern erotic classic you’ve never heard of” (according to the now-defunct Cliterati website), is now ten years old. I can’t believe it either. (At some point, you all will see the sequel. It’s written. I promise. And there will be another, but that one is a title and a vague idea.)

There isn’t much else happening at the moment. Waiting on edits to come in, waiting on new books to arrive for Necronomicon in September — I will have copies of Princes of Air on the table! But for now? Time to go make some more words!

Catch you next week, hopefully with a new cover to show you!

Posted by EASchechter in Balance of Power, conventions, cover art, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Necronomicon, Patreon, Princes of Air, Sable Locks, The Sea Prince, WIP, wordcount, Worlds Begin, writer on writing, Written in Water, 0 comments


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


Late Friday night, I posted this to my socials:

That’s the final wordcount for Heir to the Firstborn: The Way Home. It’s done. This marks the end of the Heir to the Firstborn series, too (although it won’t wrap up in Patreon until sometime in November.)

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

164465 / 170000 (96.74%)
Not gonna lie. It’s weird being done with this series — it’s been a constant in my life since June of 2018, when the worldbuilding started in Patreon. The first chapter of Written in Water went live in August of 2018, and I’ve been working on it ever since. Four years with these characters, who’ve grown and changed and amused me to no end.
I’m still getting my head around the fact that I’m not going to be writing Owyn anymore. Yes, he is my unabashedly favorite fictional child, and he took over darn near the entire series.
So… what now?
Would you believe… new edits? And new covers?
See, in March I was introduced to Book View Cafe (and by introduced, I mean I was very firmly told “You need to be working with them!”) Book View Cafe is a co-op publisher, and after their vetting period, I was welcomed into the fold, and the Heir to the Firstborn series will be my first books released under their aegis. The first three books are currently being read, and I’ll be making edits to them. I have the new cover for Written in Water and IT. IS. AMAZING!!!! And no, I’m not showing it to you yet.
Now, I’m going to do something that I haven’t done in four years.
I’m taking the summer off. Not entirely — I’m horrible at doing nothing. But I’m not actively going to work on fiction this summer (with the exception of one short story that I started and haven’t finished.) I’ve got research to do, and a pile of fiction to read that is taller than I am. I have one more part to my business plan to finish, and a class I want to take. And vacation. I’m taking a vacation.
No writing fiction. On August 10th, when school starts up again, I’ll be diving back into The Sea Prince, and I’ll be starting edits on The Way Home.
That doesn’t mean there won’t be new fiction this summer, though. The Chronicles of John Zebedee starts on May 30th on Kindle Vella with John Zebedee and the Heir to the Elvenlands.
(One week from today!)
And Where Home Lies drops July 12th, to finish out the re-release of the Rebel Mage trilogy. (You can still preorder this!)
Downtime. I’m not sure I know how to downtime anymore.
I think I need more practice.
Posted by EASchechter in 2022 plans, Adavar, Elemental Project, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, John Zebedee, mind blown, post novel ennui, publishing, Ta-da, The Sea Prince, thirty, upcoming books, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, Worldbuilding, writer on writing, 0 comments

It’s Still Monday.

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

124393 / 170000 (73.17%)

The Sea Prince
(The Coral Throne, book 1)

25784 / 120000 (21.49%)

It’s late, but it’s still Monday. So this still counts as being a Monday blog.

Today, I played hooky. After morning yoga, I went on a morning date with my husband. We headed down to Disney Springs, wandered around, went shopping, and went to lunch. If you’re ever in Disney Springs and want a good quick service meal that handles food allergies really well, go to D-Luxe Burgers. They’re Disney-owned and fantastic.

They’re also verging on the ridiculous. At some point in the past year, they added lettuce buns to their menu, because they were having a hard time sourcing their gluten free buns. So today, they asked if we wanted a gluten free bun or a lettuce bun.

Most of the time, when you get a lettuce bun, you get a messy burger wrapped in a few leaves of limp lettuce.

This is what you get at D-Luxe:

If you can’t tell, that’s approximately a small head of lettuce, sliced in half, with a burger in it. Lettuce bun indeed!


Got back home in time to pick High School Boy up from school… completely forgetting that he had clubs today and wasn’t going to be out for another half an hour. (He opted out of clubs today when he found out I was early. More time to play Clone Hero.)

Which means that today I did yoga, I’ve backed up my computer, I am writing this blog post, and I will probably not write a single word… and I’m good with that! Today was a recharge day. A “fill your own bucket” day. And I talked about that in my Carline Talk on Tiktok.

My what on which?

I have a series of short videos on Tiktok  that I recorded while waiting in carline, and which I call my Carline Talks. (Over the summer, these will change to Coffee Time with Liz). I talk about writing in general, and about various and sundry, and today was about filling your own bucket — giving yourself permission to stop and relax, something most creatives are lousy at doing.  The thing is, if you don’t recharge, you eventually burn out. So give yourself a break, and read a book. Watch a movie. Go do something fun. And come back renewed and ready to start again.

I give you permission.


(a quick note — I will be changing hosting companies for this website within the next week. Hopefully, the website won’t go weird in the changeover.)

Posted by EASchechter in 2022 plans, accountability, easily amused writer, Healthy writer, happy writer, Heir to the Firstborn, slacking, The Sea Prince, WIP, wordcount, writer on writing, writing, writing-mom, 0 comments

Time is Fun When You’re Having Flies

Hard to believe it’s April already. Coming up on the end of a school year already. Which means I have just about a month and a half to finish The Way Home.

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

120211 / 170000 (70.71%)

The Sea Prince
(The Coral Throne, book 1)

25154 / 120000 (20.96%)

I think I can do it. And… in case it’s not COMPLETELY obvious by having it right up there, I have indeed decided to try and get The Sea Prince moving again, and start serializing it once Heir to the Firstborn is complete. I figured out what the problem was — I’d somehow managed to center the plot on the one romance plot device that I hate more than any other. You know the one — if they actually TALKED to each other, this would be a short story?

I deplore that plot device, to the point that I clearly can’t write it! So I’ve reworked the plot, and now I think this works even better. I’ve rewritten the first six chapters, and am about to start on the seventh, which is the last full chapter that was written before I shelved this the last time. So let’s see if I can get this onto chapter eight.

The question now is… do I serialize on Patreon, the way I have been, take it over to Vella and give that a go, or do both? Vella allows for content to be serialized so long as it is not publicly available anywhere else or previously published. Since my Patreon isn’t public, I should be able to do both Patreon and Vella. Decisions, decisions….

I also have another project in mind, one that’s going to require research. And it’s not a novel — I have an idea for a book on worldbuilding, using the framework of cultural anthropology. Planned title   — Imaginative Anthropology. (There might be a subtitle, but I haven’t thought of it yet.) I’ve often described myself as a frustrated cultural anthropologist (Darn you, college advisor, for not letting me have a triple major English/Secondary Education/Cultural Anthropology!) I just hadn’t realized that I was using the classes I took in college as tools for my worldbuilding. At least, not until I spoke to 150 high school students about being a speculative writer, and the importance of worldbuilding that makes sense. I put the words “Imaginative Anthropologist” on the presentation slide, and somewhere around the fourth or fifth time of giving the presentation (over 6 periods of the day), I realized that I might be on to something. So I’ll be developing that out as my summer planning project, and working on it once I finish up with the business planning I’m doing this year.

Busy, busy, busy, right?

This month has another book giveaway with 34 books free for the download, and a chance to win a gift card. Check it out by clicking the graphic.

In other news, I sat down via with Mark Oosterveen, the narrator for Hidden Things, and recording on the audiobook will be starting quite possibly this week! He’s nailing down the final schedule and will let me know because I will be (virtually) in the recording studio with them! Mark wants to have real time feedback on voices and tone during the recording, and I’m very excited to be included in the process. More updates as I have them!

And that, I think, is all the news this week!


Posted by EASchechter in 2022 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Hidden Things, Patreon, Planning, promotions, research is fun, The Sea Prince, WIP, wordcount, Worldbuilding, Write Faster!, writer on writing, 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

Works in Progress: Table of Stone and Forged in Fire, week eleven

A pretty decent writing week! I just barely missed my March word target of 33,000 words (missed it by 149 words! SO close!), but 32K words and change is nothing to sneeze at!

Table of Stone
Swords of Charlemagne, Book 4

Forged in Fire
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 2

 Now, my target for April is a total of 32K words. (One day less, one thousand words less.) This is doable, so long as I make my daily words.

I really can’t post excerpts right now, because spoilers, but I can tell you a bit about my writing day. I plan my writing, because there are only so many chainsaws you can juggle. I have my daily word totals for each piece for each day, and I try to hit them. (I don’t always succeed, because the universe likes to look at my plans as say “Yeah, you only think that’s gonna happen…”)

My day starts with getting my son out for school. There might be errands on the way home, or a gym run (that’s three days a week, usually). I come home, do some necessary chores, then get to work. Sometimes, I’ll do pomodoro sprints (write for 20 minutes, stop for 5, repeat as needed), sometimes I’ll just work in fits and starts, going back and forth from one thing to another. Some days, I work in my office, some days on the porch. To be honest, though — the porch can be distracting. There’s new seed in the birdfeeder, which means new birds are visiting, and I have to stop and look them up because I’ve never seen an Eastern Goldfinch before. Today, I’m in the office.

On the days that I go to the gym, I might not get to writing immediately, because I hate getting into the middle of something and having to stop for lunch. But usually, I write until lunch, stop, then write again until my alarm goes off that it’s time to leave for carline. Writing happens again in the evenings, and sometimes continues in my sleep — I’ll occasionally wake up with new ideas.

I just had one of those this weekend, that changes how I’ll be approaching the next few chapters in Tables of Stone. Which I really should get to work on now.


Posted by EASchechter in 2019 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, Adavar, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, Elemental Project, Forged in Fire, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Planning, progress, Swords of Charlemagne, Table of Stone, WIP, wordcount, writer on writing, 0 comments

Mirror: Chapter 25

I just now finished chapter 25 of Written in Water.

The last chapter of Written in Water.

Now, it won’t go up here until sometime in January. So my new goal is to have the edits done and the book ready to go by sometime in February at the latest. I also need to finish writing down the synopsis for Forged in Fire (aka Book 2).

And, next week, I’ll be starting my holiday baking. So there will be cookies.

But for now? That’s a draft.

Posted by EASchechter in Adavar, Elemental Project, Forged in Fire, Heir to the Firstborn, Patreon, Ta-da, the-end-is-near, thirty, upcoming work, WIP, writer on writing, writing, Written in Water, 0 comments

Mirror: I Have a Plan

Mirrored from Patreon:

All right. So here’s the plan.

I just posted the Earth Tribe introduction as a Patron only post. Next week, I’ll post the last Tribe (which is Fire).

The following week, I’ll be starting the actual story. I’ve got a synopsis going, and the characters are starting to yell at me.

Once I start the story, I’m changing the Patreon over to per month (as opposed to per creation). I’ll be posting more frequently — every two to three thousand words, and if I charge by the creation, that might get a bit onerous. I’m hoping to have the story up one chapter a week, on Fridays. It might slow down a bit once I go back to working on Swords of Charlemagne in mid-August. I hope not, though.

So, that’s the plan. Story coming soon!

Posted by EASchechter in 2018 plans, Adavar, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, Elemental Project, Heir to the Firstborn, Patreon, Planning, Worldbuilding, writer on writing, 0 comments