Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Doings at Drakenheath

Well, first things first! Many of you are here to discover whether or not you are one of the six winners from the Golden Daughter Launch Party Extravaganza Giveaway! Check the lists below . . .

Four autographed copies of Golden Daughter will be sent to:

Nathan Manning
Kaitlyn
Gwen Moeller
Sarah Pennington

Congratulations! Email me (aestengl@gmail.com) with your mailing address, and I will be popping your prizes into the mail.

And the two bonus winners--who get to pick for their prizes either Starflower, Dragonwitch, or Shadow Hand--are:

Kailin Richardson
Jasmine Augustine

Congrats to you as well, bonus winners! Again, email me (aestengl@gmail.com) with your mailing addresses and the title of the book you would like to receive as your prize.

Thank you so much for participating in the giveaway, sharing links and letting the world know about the release of Golden Daughter. You made my seventh novel's first 24 hours on the market a smashing success!


And now Golden Daughter is off into the world, and my attention must turn to new and exciting doings. Of which there are a great many, you may believe me! Let me see, what else are we up to at Drakenheath these days . . .

Well, for those of you who missed it, Untitled Book 8 is no longer Untitled, but has officially been christened Poison Crown:


Now that the title is released, the pressure is on to get this book written. And Lumé, am I ever feeling the pressure! This story is by far the most complex thing I have ever undertaken to write. Not cosmic proportions like Golden Daughter, but a different and more difficult form of complexity. This story is another epic with quite a large cast, perhaps reminiscent of Dragonwitch (four major protagonists, two male, two female). But their story lines are all part of a twisted political intrigue involving a civil war, a clash of worlds, and a uniquely frightening villain . . .

I am currently a few more than 80,000 words into the draft, and according to the outline I'm not even halfway there. This is a bit concerning, since I always try to write my stories as tightly as possible. But it might very well be that "as tightly as possible" still means a significant word count in this instance! We shall see.

The further I'm getting into the story the more certain I am that I want to restructure much of what I have already done. The outline is solid, and the plot progression is there. But the structure . . . eh. Not so much. I think my second draft is going to need some rather enormous reconfiguring.

In the meanwhile, I am setting aggressive daily and weekly word counts goals--4,000 words a day, 16-20,000 words a week. This way, I am forcing myself to explore deeply into the manuscript, learning its secret workings along the way, even though I don't feel entirely prepared. The current result is possibly the worst rough draft I have ever composed (though that would be some pretty stiff competition!). But the end result should be a manuscript I can work with and refine into something pretty . . . well, pretty spectacular! If I can make it look like what's in my head.

Anyway, my hope is to get this draft written by Christmas . . . which means no Christmas read-along this year! Sorry, imps. I really wanted to read Moonblood with all of you, particularly since I haven't revisited that story in such a long while. But the drafting is more important, as I know you will agree.
I am starting to look ahead to Five Enchanted Roses reading! As most of you know, I am not reading the first wave of stories coming through for the contest, which are instead being reviewed by our panel of readers. But . . . I get to peek at them as they come in! It's fun to see these tales and begin to daydream about what the collection might look like.

It's still entirely up in the air, however! So be certain to send your stories in for us to enjoy.

Let me see . . . I've got some small doings involving the Super Secret project. Nothing major, particularly not while I am hard at work drafting Poison Crown. But the project is not forgotten by any means! We are spending quite a lot of time discussing the future of that project and where we want to go with it. For the moment, it's resting . . .

I have a formatting project coming up in the next few weeks--not a huge project, but I have the pleasure of doing the interior formatting for The Cendrillon Cycle, Volume 1. This awesome story (which I have had the pleasure of reading in advance) is releasing on December 21, and you don't want to miss it! Seriously. It made me cry and gasp and laugh out loud . . . Everything you could possibly want in a short novella. And really, it's not as short as all that! This one is double the length of A Cinder's Tale (published in the Five Glass Slippers collection), giving readers even more of this intriguing universe to sink their teeth into.

I am really looking forward to putting some cool, fine-tuning design work into this piece. And then I'm looking forward to buying it and reading the final version. And then I'll start looking forward to Volume II . . . 

Don't forget to add this story to your Goodreads lists and help spread the word!

Really not much other news to report. Drakenheath is still in a state of disarray, for I've been so consumed by Poison Crown drafting, I have hardly been able to turn my head to unpacking and arranging. But we have all the most important spaces pretty comfortable--the kitchen, the living room, the bedroom, my study. Everything else . . . It'll get there someday!

I have been putting myself on a more active schedule since we've moved as well. I'm trying to take Milly for a run every other day at the least . . . which is good for both of us! The writer's life is such a sedentary one, and this year, with all the extra writing I've been doing, has been more sedentary than usual. Time to get the blood moving again! So we are enjoying running through our beautiful neighborhood out in the beautiful country, observing all the lovely autumnal colors. And we're both, Milly and I, starting to build up a tiny bit (a tiny wee bit) of endurance! Here's to being a healthy writerly-type.

Keep your eyes open in the next month or so for the Draven's Light cover reveal. We still have that to do, plus I hope to see it go up for pre-order quite soon now. So many projects, it's hard to keep them all straight sometimes!

Anyway, congrats again to the fortunate winners, and ENORMOUS thanks to all of you who have worked so hard to help launch Golden Daughter properly. I've got a whole bunch of blog posts scheduled for the next several weeks, continuing to answer your various questions (all of which have been quite interesting!), and I have lots more to come.

So tell me, what are your November doings? Any of you doing NaNoWriMo? How are your Enchanted Roses stories coming along (if you're doing them)? Any other exciting things you're plotting or planning?

13 comments:

Allison Ruvidich said...

Yay for Drakenheath! And coagulations to the winners! Whenever I see the word Drakenheath, I think just a tiny bit about Heathcliff. : o Anyway, my November is being very good: I am scrambling to get everything ready for all my deadlines in December. : )

Jenelle Leanne said...

I am in awe of your juggling skills :)

I was planning to attempt to do a little Nano-ing, but having family in town for 3-4 weeks in a row has sort of put the kibosh on getting much writing done. I should be able to pick up the pace next week, though.

My five enchanted roses first draft is done, and I've got a couple of my editors looking at it. I'm hoping to have that edited and ready for submission by the end of November... we'll see. :) I had a lot of fun writing it!

Rebeka B. said...

Congrats to all the winners! :D

I am working on my Five Enchanted Roses entry--just finished outlining, and I will be working like a bee to finish a draft. :) I'll probably be sending it in verrrryy close to the deadline...

Sierra Faith said...

What's the Enchanted Rose thing?
Congrats to all the winners! So lucky!! I wish I was doing NaNo WriMo! I didn't quite realize what it was till it started! But planning on doing it next year!720

The Artist Librarian said...

Congrats to the winners! I'm with Sierra Faith, what's Enchanted Rose? Is thepat the Beauty and the Beast anthology? It's been awhile since I was last here. :)

Sarah said...

YES! *does happy dance* I won Golden Daughter! Thanks, Anne Elisabeth! And congrats to the other winners!

I'm disappointed to hear that there won't be a read-along this year, but I'm sure Poison Crown will be more than worth it. :) My sister and I are both super-excited to hear details about it finally- we were discussing what we think it'll be about and that sort of thing over the dishes last night!

My life has been busy with NaNoWriMo and school. I'm trying to get ahead in the former while staying on top of the latter- this coming weekend will be busy with my grandpa coming, a photo expo, and my birthday (!!!). I should probably be making like you and trying to get some exercise too, but oh well. (Then again, it's a rather nice day, so maybe I'll go for a walk with my notebook and find a nice place to write outside . . .)

Thanks for the update; I always really enjoy reading these! And thanks again for the giveaway!
-Sarah

Meredith said...

I always love the Doings at Drakensheath posts so much. Thank you for describing the intriguing banner for Poison Crown. What a wonderful-sounding book! And, congratulations on the success of Golden Daughter's launch. I'm forcing myself not to read the reviews because everytime I do, I simply can't contain my excitement! I know this story will be phenomenal. I think I've figured out a certain story you subtly allude to in this book from the back matter, and if I'm right, I'm super excited. It's one of my absolute favorite stories.

It's been a busy month so far with speaking and singing engagements. I'm also working on another Beauty and the Beast retelling. Not entirely sure if I will submit it to the contest, but it's fun writing anyway.

Will be praying for all these projects. Keep up the excellent work.

Anne Elisabeth Stengl said...

@Siera Faith and The Artist Librarian--FIVE ENCHANTED ROSES is the "Beauty and the Beast" retelling contest my publishing house is hosting! Writers get to enter their versions of "Beauty and the Beast" for an opportunity to be published in this fun anthology. All of the details may be found here: http://www.rooglewoodpress.com/fairy-tale-collections

And there's still time to enter if you'd like! We hope to host another contest like this next year, featuring a different fairy tale. And you can purchase our first collection, FIVE GLASS SLIPPERS as an eBook for just 3.99 right now. It's a fun read and will give you an idea what the final collections will look like! :)

Sarah Bailey said...

That's so awesome to get another book published!

I do walking and Pilate's portable studio to keep in shape :)

Anonymous said...

Ooooooh!!!!!! I can't wait. I finished Golden Daughter VERY early this morning! I love it!! I can't wait for another book about Sunan! I am intrigued by Poison Crown! Is it by any chance about the mortal lady who took control of an army of dragons that we heard mentioned in book 3?
My 5 Enchanted Roses project is getting on terribly, I really need to start writing down some of my ideas.
Jemma

Michelle Dyck said...

I'm so excited about GOLDEN DAUGHTER'S release! Over the last year I've gobbled up the first six books, and I'll be thrilled to get my hands on the seventh. :)

And POISON CROWN! Equally exciting! The details sound terribly intriguing... And it seems that every book you write is both more difficult and more amazing than the previous. You're definitely a skilled author!

Being a relatively new fan, I haven't been around for a read-through before. I'll have to go back and read last year's. ;)

Ooh, congrats to Stephanie Ricker for publishing a book! I'm sure it will be a fascinating read.

I'm doing one last polish of my ENCHANTED ROSES entry, and I have to say, I'm very excited about this one. :D

Hannah said...

So many exciting stories coming up! Squee!

I just need to edit one of my Enchanted Roses entries, and I finally have the drive to finish the other one! *happiness* :)

wisdomcreates said...

I just submitted my 5ER contest entry last Saturday, and am still in a state of jittery excitement. Fifteen and a half weeks seems like a long time. Posts like this, where the contest is mentioned in some way, shape, or form, are a boon.

You asked (a long time ago) what our stories were about. In my story, the Beast is warned that he must find true love before the petals fall from the rose, but he finds a way to tip the odds in his favor -- he kidnaps a gardener!

I am excited for the time when (hopefully) you DO get to read my little tale, Mrs. Stengl! How exactly does the judging process work? How many times is a story read on its way up?