Update on all things Twist, and what it’s like to write a long series.

Hello internet.  Usually on this blog, I share cool things that I find in the course of my steampunk existence or learn as a writer.  But since it’s Mother’s Day today, I thought I’d just tell you how Twist is doing.  I tend to call him “my baby” more often that he’d probably appreciate, and I love him so that I sometimes feel like a mother myself.  Don’t worry.  There’ll be more silly steamy things next week.

Since publishing Waking last year, and Trick last January, I’ve been working extra hard on finishing the first drafts of the rest of this 12 part series.  I’m getting ready to publish the 3rd book in the series later this year, and realizing that I’d like to be sure of exactly where the series is headed before I publish too much more.

Of course, I already know how I want the story to close at the end of the 12th novel, and I have copious notes on what will happen in the meantime, but that doesn’t mean that I’ve gotten there yet.  At the moment, while I write this post, I have completed writing (not editing) the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th books, along with 27 pages of the 7th.  So why, you ask, aren’t more of them out yet?  Because things in these books like to change over time.

As I write this series, I find that little details turn out to mean unexpected things as future events unfold on the page.  The events might occur just as I’d meant them to from the beginning, but sometimes the implications change.  And sometimes, I suddenly realize that I was completely wrong about a plot line and have to go in a totally different direction, while still following the same basic story line.  Some scenes that I mean to write turn out to be useless when I get to writing them, while other unexpected moments appear and surprise me by how perfectly they fit.  And sometimes (more often than I like to think) I realize that the book I just finished writing is actually a better fit for the fourth or fifth book in line, rather than the third, and I now have to write a whole other book or two between it and the last one.

With all of this flux, I hate to publish too close to where I’m writing.  When Waking first came out, I had already finished the 4th book and was half way through the 5th.  When Trick was published, I had added a different book in the 5th place, and then re-wrote the old 5th book to make it the 6th.  As long as I have about 4 books between where I’m writing and where I publish, I can feel confident that I won’t ever have to adjust anything in the published work to make the ending work.   It’s my goal, after all, is to share this story with you, in a smooth, complete, and solid form.

Are you writing a series as well?  Have you ever encountered these sorts of things?  Please leave me a comment down below if you have.  I’d love to know what you think about all of this.

In the meantime, I’m working very hard to finish the series as quickly as possible, so that I can make sure it will be the best work it can be.  In the scene I just wrote a few days ago, Jonas casually mentioned that he, Twist, and Myra had already traveled to every continent on the globe, and ventured into orbit as well.  I so wish I could tell you all about what is happening right now in the 7th book, but I must hold my tongue!  But I can promise that there are wonderful things in store for you as you follow Twist into the future books.

I hope you have a lovely Mother’s Day, however you choose to spend it!

Editing your own work… the horror…

I usually do a book review on the 3rd Sunday of the month, but this time I thought I’d talk a little bit about the nasty business of reviewing one’s own work.  It’s the hardest part of publishing for me, but certainly one of the more important.  Over the years I’ve tried lots of different ways to go about it.

I’ve used online checkers like Grammarly (even their plagiarism checker because, as Tesla would say, no one likes an idea-stealing-Edison, unintentional or otherwise) which work well but take time on large word-counts.  I’ve tried asking intelligent friends to read my work and look for errors, and found that they tend to miss things in the really exciting bits.  I’ve asked English professors to comb through my verbiage, and found that they really don’t know how to read non-essays.  I’ve used Spell Checker and swore at the screen when it told me ‘Twist” shouldn’t be capitalized for the 1000th time.  I’ve gone over the work myself for the 10th time, and been amazed I didn’t notice that on the 7th run through.  In the pits of desperation, I’ve looked for professional editors and swooned at the prices. (usually around $3000 for each of my books)

In the end, I find myself glaring at my doc file with Gollum-like adoration and loathing, honestly wondering if I speak English at all.  Some things work, others work better, but Gaiman’s Law remains true: “Being handed the first copy of a book you wrote, if there’s one typo, it will be on the page that your new book falls open to the first time you pick it up…”

I don’t believe in no-win situations.  I find that the only way to deal with a brick wall in your way is to fake it out.  Glance away, pretend it doesn’t bother you, and then rush it when it least expects it.  I tried ALL of the above listed attempts to edit my first book, and worked out a method that actually kind of works.  If, like me, you’re too broke for a professional, then give this a try.

Continue reading

Book Two: Trick, is out now!

This is it!  Today, Trick is officially available on Amazon.com, Createspace.com, and Smashwords.com.  Get you copy today!

Trick cover proof 4 front

Clockwork Twist : Trick is NOW available!!
Click the logos below to buy the paperback for $12.00 at

Buy the eBook for $2.99 at

  

As I mentioned earlier, the book will become available in the iBookstore, Barnes&Noble, and other retailers in the coming weeks.  Things take a little while to roll out.  While we’re waiting, check out the shiny new Goodreads page!

And thank you, once again, to everyone who has gone out of their way to offer support to this series.  You are the ones who make these stories matter.  Let’s get our lovely little Twist farther into the world, shall we?  Please remember to share, like, Tweet,Tumbl, review and lend!

Just 2 more days to go…

This is it, people.  The 2nd book in the Clockwork Twist series will be released in just 2 days.  Are you excited?  I’m excited.  I’ve been wanting to publish this book for most of a year.  And now, it’s finally ready!  For those who just can’t wait, here’s one more little taste of the adventure to come.  Enjoy the first 5 chapters of Trick, right now!

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5

We are so close to  Tuesday, January 14th.  The book will be available on Amazon.com, Createspace.com and Smashwords.com, right away, in both eBook and paperback.  And, if you buy the paperback on Amazon, you’ll get the eBook for free as well!  Trick will become available in the iBookstore, Barnes&Nobel, WHSmith, and other on-line stores in a week or two.  

Links to all of this will be coming in the launch post on Tuesday.  So, be sure to keep an eye on the old FacebookTwitterTumblr, or blog!  So close, so close, so close…  Is it wrong to fan-girl over my own book?  Don’t answer that…

But wait, there’s more!

It’s finally January.  With less than 2 weeks left to go, I’m feeling extra generous.  As a special treat, I’m going to post another free chapter!  Click the links below to read the first 4 chapters, now!

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
~oOo~

As always, I want to thank my lovely readers for all of their  support, and patience!  Thanks to you, our Twist is really starting to get some momentum.  Keep sharing and following.  Every Like helps, you know…

Keep and eye on the Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or blog to find out the moment the final free chapter is up!

The 3rd chapter is up! Read it here, first…

You get to read the first 3 chapters of the brand new, not even released yet adventure novel, Clockwork Twist: Trick!  Be the envy of all your friends!  And then, go tell them all about it with a smug sense of knowledgeable self-importance. *wink, wink*  Click the links below to read the first 3 chapters, now!


Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3

 

As always, remember that this book will hit on-line stores on Tuesday, January 14th.  And this time, 3 chapters isn’t all you’re going to get!

That’s right, I’m going to post the 4th and 5th chapters right here on this blog, one per week, up until the book’s release.  There might also be an opportunity for some very lucky, very lovely dears to get a *cough* free copy of the whole eBook a bit early…  So, be sure to keep an eye on the old FacebookTwitterTumblr, or blog to find out about all of the exciting developments!

Click here for a quick synopsis. (no spoilers, I promise.)

MORE Free previews of the 2nd installment of Clockwork Twist!

Oh boy, oh boy, it’s getting closer now. The release of the 2nd book in the Clockwork Twist series is swiftly approaching.  Mark you calendars because it will hit on-line stores on Tuesday, January 14th!  As I mentioned before, I’m going to post the first few chapters, one per week, right here on this blog.  Click the links below to read the first 2 chapters, now!


Chapter 1
Chapter 2
~oOo~

 

What new wonders and strange happenings will Twist encounter this time?  Will he be surrounded by pirates once again?  Will he even get back home to London?  Click here for a quick synopsis of coming events. (no spoilers, I promise.)

Keep and eye on the Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or blog to find out the moment the next chapter is up!  Oh, how fantastically exciting!

Free preview of the 2nd installment of Clockwork Twist!

Here we go…  The release of the 2nd book in the Clockwork Twist series is swiftly approaching.  Mark you calendars because it will hit on-line stores on Tuesday, January 14th!  In anticipation of this most exciting event, I’m going to post the first few chapters, one per week, right here on this blog.


Click here to start reading right now!
~oOo~

 

What new wonders and strange happenings will Twist encounter this time?  Will he be surrounded by pirates once again?  Will he even get back home to London?  Click here for a quick synopsis of coming events. (no spoilers, I promise.)

Keep and eye on the Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or blog to find out the moment the next chapter is up!  Oh, how fantastically exciting!

FREE ebook, and paperback giveaway for Twist’s B-day!

So cute!!!  Click for the recipe.Good news, everyone!  No, I haven’t created a new doomsday device, but I will be doing two book giveaways in November!!  As you may have read in a previous post, Twist’s birthday will be on November 17th.  What better way to celebrate than with gifts to my marvelous fans?  Well, yeah, okay.  Adorable Steampunk cupcakes are probably another great way to celebrate.  I know I want some!

Now, to book business!

The first giveaway will be on Goodreads.  I’ll be launching a new 2nd edition of Waking, with bonus content, on December 16th.  This new edition will be essentially the same as the first, but with the bonus of the first few chapters of Trick added at the back.  Because you know, Trick is coming very, very soon…  If you’ve already got your copy of Waking, don’t despair!  I’ll also be posting the same preview chapters on my site as well, starting in December.  But, If you don’t have your paperback copy yet, or you want a new shiny copy for free, go and sign up on Goodreads, starting on the 1st of November!

But wait, there’s more!  I’m also going to price the 2nd edition of the eBook for FREE all day on Twist’s birthday, the 17th.  The content of the eBook 2nd edition will be the same as a the paperback, complete with the new chapters.  And best of all, if you already have a copy of the eBook, you’ll be able to download the new version for FREE!   I’ll give instructions when the days get closer, so keep an eye on the blog/facebook/twitter/tumblr/whatever!

To some up, here are the dates to add you your calendar:

  • Nov 1st – Nov 30th, Paperback giveaway sign up.
  • Nov 17th – Twist is 3 years old!!  And, free eBook all day!
  • Dec 15th, 2nd edition of Waking launched, and the first preview chapter of Trick posted on the site.

Oh, I’m so excited!

As if that wasn’t enough all ready, I’m also going to make an appearance at a local Author Fair, this Saturday.  If you’re in the San Jose area, come say hi!  And find out what other literary gems Silicon Valley is hiding…

Twist is going to APE 2013!!

I’m packing up my boy and heading up to San Francisco for the 2013, Alternative Press Expo!  I’ll be sharing a table with Janice T and Elizabeth Watasin, signing books and selling swag.  We’ll also be offering a Steampunk Bundle of all 4 books on offer, for a reduced price!

So, if you’re in the SF bay area on Oct 12th or 13th, come and see us!  APE looks like it’ll have a long list of fabulous artist, writers, and makers all under one roof, along with an impressive list of special guests.  Check out their site for more info.

I’m also going to try vloging again, so check on the 14th to see if I managed to do it!  Meanwhile, I designed some buttons to sell at the expo.  What do you think?  I really like the one with the top hat.three test 02

The expo will be held at Concourse Exhibition Center in San Francisco, CA, October 12th and 13th.  I hope to see you there!