So, I don’t post all that often, if my three followers hadn’t noticed…anyways, here it is.
The final cover for Apocalypse by Midnight.
So, I don’t post all that often, if my three followers hadn’t noticed…anyways, here it is.
The final cover for Apocalypse by Midnight.
Santa Clarita diet is one of those shows people either love or hate, at least that is what it looks like so far. Audience reaction, ten minutes in they quit (and in my opinion miss out on a great thing) or they gobble it up in one sitting.
I was in the second camp and am so glad. I adore this show in all ways. The writing, the acting, the scenery, the humor, everything about it.
Admittedly, the first episode was a little unsteady (to some people) – the actors trying to find the right voice and mannerisms for their characters, get comfortable with their co-workers – but by episode 2 they are fully into them and the result is a weird combination of gore, splatter, zombies, love, and total and complete fun.
I totally buy Sheila and Joel as suburbanites who lost track of when their lives became dull. The love they have toward their daughter. Their total and complete averageness that gets stripped away from them in a day and forces them to live for once.
Sheila, Drew Barrymore’s character, is not the traditional zombie. Think iZombie but without the weird psychic stuff that happens. One day she wakes up and after a few hours her life changes for the better. She goes from a woman who is quiet, content to go unnoticed, to a woman who has an id to satisfy, right now.
Now, I am not going to spoil the show for you – but I will say this, Joel and Sheila have such a fun relationship. Joel won’t give up on his wife despite the fact she needs to kill then eat people, and Sheila is still looking out for their daughter who is having a hard time adjusting to their new family dynamic.
Joel and Sheila are my new relationship goals – not the zombie element – but the total devotion, the well-timed barbs to one another that come with two decades of knowing someone, and their commitment to F*&^ things up together from now on. Does it get much better than that? Probably, but I never said I had healthy relationship ideals 🙂
If you are looking for a fun little pick up me, a show that will make you smile, even laugh at times (some of the lines are just crazy) then you might want to give this a shot.
With appearances from Nathan Fillion, Patton Oswalt, and Portia De Rossi there is something for just about everyone…
It is campy, horror, fun – give it a chance –
So…this blog is for writerly things and assorted…
Which means, in no particular order:
Editing tips I learn ( Tip 1, check your use of ‘that’)
Cool LEGO stuff
Updates about Apocalypse By Midnight
Cool Star Wars stuff
Updates about Spellcast By Midnight
Updates on Kryos
Perhaps a list of movies that are so bad I love them
Updates on Welcome to the Future
Updates on any anthologies I have stories in
I like cats.
Also – in case anyone did not know – I post regularly over here, a sort of meta blog written by one of the main characters from Dead by Midnight – short entries to prepare you for book 2…
If you said yes, then this post is for you.
Dozens of authors participating in a .99cent eBook promotion. Just follow the link below and check out all of the titles available.
There are around 70 books on sale just for this event, and just for the next 5 days.
And yes I might be a bit biased – my book is one of the ones in the promotion 😉
I am not what you would call technologically savvy. However, I am always willing to try and learn new things.
So, if you have been on this page for more than 5 seconds a sign-up form should pop up – if you like my writing (which I hope you do) you can subscribe to a mailing list and get 4 short stories in return.
What I can promise is I will not bombard you with anything other than release dates, free promotions for my book, and giveaways – not to shabby, huh?
Anyways, hope you do sign up, and thanks for reading.
So – I have to say it is kind of neat to see Dead by Midnight on the International Thriller Writers page 🙂
From the TBR Pile
Rating: 5 Stars – A Must Read!
Police Detective Elliot Jorgensen needs a job; Logansville needs a new Police Chief. What Elliot didn’t need was a ready-made serial killer case on his first day. When the victims’ body parts keep arriving at the station preserved in sealer jars the Logansville police dept is truly in a pickle until plucky student reporter and wannabe investigator Lucy Lane points out the murders occur every full moon. With the top suspect being a werewolf, Lucy and Elliot set off on the trail of the Moonlight Killer.
This story has so many twists, turns and kooky characters it’s difficult to sum it all up in one paragraph. The oddball folks and weird goings on in Logansville provide enough material for their own TV series, a la Twin Peaks or Haven. The actions and dialogue quickly become both macabre and hilarious at the same time; from that point on the author had me hooked!
I felt sorry for the main character, Zach Harris. The poor unsuspecting college student never gets a good break but somehow manages to save the day and get the girl while receiving an unwanted education on the secret life of werewolves. The hapless Chief Jorgensen has the odds stacked against him from the start, but finally figures out that when the possible is ruled out you sometimes have to go with the impossible.
Dead by Midnight is a book you’ll want ‘Read’ by midnight…don’t wait for the full moon!
The last four years have culminated into a professionally edited, structurally edited, proofread, and polished manuscript.
The novel, Dead by Midnight, is based off a short story I wrote years ago. Many of the people who read it messaged me and asked for it to be converted into novel length. At first, naïve as I was, I figured it would be easy.
It was not.
There are at least two dozen versions of the book – and I still have no idea which one is best. Each little change, which was done for the betterment of the book, felt strange to make. When I look back at the first draft, I can see so many amateur mistakes. I am also smart enough to admit that even this fortieth draft is likely full of amateur mistakes.
What I can say about it though, is that I am damn proud of it. But now begins the hard part. The querying process. Me, the author, sends out as many queries as I can to the agents who represent the genre I am writing in (which to be honest this book falls under New Adult, Urban Fantasy, Magical Realism, Humor, and a few others) and then wait for the form rejections. This leads me to fear my inbox and have a strange sense of anticipation at the same time. I also eat more chocolate than usual.
Over the years, I have queried agents with other works and have earned a personal response from a few of them. I know this sounds like a bit of sarcasm, but it is not. I understand that they get flooded with hundreds of queries a week and only those that shine will get plucked by their assistants and forwarded.
I have no idea what will happen this time. But I can say with absolute confidence that it has been a labor of love. I am proud of this book. And I owe a huge thanks to CS Nelson who has become a sort of writing motivator. I would have given up long ago.
Tomorrow I start another class toward my Editing Certificate. Technical Writing. Not the most exciting stuff, but from what I have seen so far it will keep my busy. Later on, I take Structural Editing and Stylistic Editing, which I am looking forward to. By the end of the year, I will have completed eight courses and be left with 3 to complete next year. Phew!
In the meantime, I will work on the sequel to the book I just finished editing – the rough draft is done it just needs some editing and because of everything I have learned in the last year, I have a good idea where to start.
So what is the point of this mish mash of a post?
Working with a structural editor was the best decision I ever made.
Classes keep me busy.
Keep writing until you think it’s good, then go back and edit it.
So the last few months, or more, I have been silent on here. Not just because I have no idea how to use WordPress without getting a headache, but because I have been busy with classes and rewrites.
I participated in a Twitter pitch contest. My tagline got the attention of a few agents. “This is it.” I thought. Finally, I’m going to get an agent.
This obviously did not happen. What did happen was a very nice agent sent me a well thought out response. She told me she liked the concept, but the story needed work. She recommended I work with a writing group or hire a structural/developmental editor if I could.
Where I live, there are no writing groups, and I really want this book to do well. It has been a labor of love for me the last four years. I made a mistake and fell in love with the idea, the characters, and am protective of it.
My search for an editor began. Now, having taking some courses on editing, I knew prices would be high. Finding a structural/developmental editor is not as easy as finding a traditional editor. The prices were higher, but when I read what they do I understood why. At least for some people.
I was quoted prices of 3,000 by one person who had no resume to speak of, only did one pass, and no talking on phone or Skype. Another person responded to me three months after my inquiry and was upset I had gone with someone else before waiting for their response. A different one told me it would take a week or so and would cost around 4,000. Knowing what I knew, that was not going to be a very good edit and far too much money.
Well, there went that. The issue for me was not the money; it was that I felt none of them were very professional. That’s when I went searching around on the HWA website and found Nancy Holder (she has an intimidating resume, wrote the novelization of Crimson Peak, and knows her stuff). I contacted her, not sure what to expect.
She responded within a few days, was up front, funny, kind, and most of all professional. Her rates were reasonable considering her resume – made me really wonder what some of the other editors were thinking, and made me feel bad for anyone who hired them.
So, I did not hesitate and jumped at the opportunity to work with Nancy. She offered an initial read through of the first part with a note on her impressions. If there was something I did not like, the contract could be terminated, and she would keep a small portion of the payment. Needless to say after I read through her notes, and ideas on how to improve the story, I did not terminate anything.
She also offered two Skype sessions to talk about the story, for me to ask any questions, to get clarification on anything I might be confused on, and get a better feel for the story.
This made all the difference in the world. She was funny, reassuring, and kind. When I received the full edit, and notes – I admit to wanting to cry. It was so much work. So much work. But I knew from our initial conversation, and the changes I had made on the first part, the book was already greatly improved. She had managed to pull out the story I wanted to tell.
What I had done over the years was have several friends read it, each one having different ideas and input. The end result being a mash-up of genres and writing styles. When I explained to her the story I wanted to tell. The world I wanted to build. She got it, and weeded out all the parts that were not me.
As soon as I realized my story, the one I had been wanting to tell for so long was visible, I was ecstatic. All the work was still there, but I was happy to do it. I handled it in bite size pieces, not wanting to overwhelm myself.
When I finished a feeling of accomplishment took over. Now I await the final read through and notes – then do some more work, and will have a professionally edited kick ass manuscript too submit to that agent who started me down this path all those months ago. I hope she likes this version, but if not I now have faith in the book. I know it is far better than what I was pitching a year ago, and am crossing all my fingers and toes in hopes it will do well.
So, why write this post?
Two reasons –
1 – If you ever decided to hire a developmental/structural editor – make sure you are getting your money’s worth. Ask for referrals, ask for a sample, ask how long they have been doing it, ask everything!
2 – When you do get an editor, be prepared for a lot of feedback, good and bad. Remember, these people are trying to get your book in the best possible shape for it to succeed in the big leagues. Be prepared for a lot of work. Remember, you will learn from them and your next book will be written using what you have learned. In the end, it is worth it.
I see a lot of posts, memes, tweets, and other assorted outlets of social media claiming to write stories that follow the new trend. There are two problems with this. First, they expect every writer to be a trend setter because who knows what the next trend will be. Second, they contradict all the other posts, memes, tweets, and other assorted outlets of social media telling you to write the story you want to tell.
For a few years now I have been working on a series. I love the premise. I have written three books so far and fall in love with the characters a little more each time. I want to succeed as a writer, I do not think there are many people who write that hope to fail. Writing books is a lot of work. A labor of love. A writer putting themselves out there to be praised, criticized, ridiculed, adored, and an assortment of other possibilities.
After a full year of rejections from agents I got an email from one who liked the premise and recommended I work with a developmental editor. I had no idea what that mean if I am being honest. So, I did my research. I found several people, many of which were charging upwards of three to four thousand dollars. A bit deep for my pockets.
Then I came across a name in a group I am a member of. I looked at her resume and was instantly intimidated. I sent her a message and we spoke about the process, what she would do, what I would do, how long it would take, and so forth. I have to say, it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
She is professional, knows what she is doing, changed the way I write, has taught me so much in such a short time, and soon when I get the rest of the edits I know I will learn more.
I know there are no guarantees that this edit will get me an agent, but it is a step in the right direction – one I am happy to take with this editor.
I will try to write more about the process here, but blogging is not my strong point.