Read-Along: We finished up the Christmas read-along of Veiled Rose in high style, including a facebook chat party on the last day. How much fun was that? I know I enjoyed it and an opportunity to interact more personally wit all of you. The read-along was great, with so many participants bringing interesting points of view, questions, and answers. Not to mention the fan art! Great times were had by all, and I hope to be able to do another read along in 2014. Probably not until much later in the year, but possibly before Christmas this time (since Christmas is always such a busy time of year). Is everyone up for Moonblood?
Fan Art Contest: Speaking of fan art . . . I have made mention already that there will be a 2014 fan art contest coming up. No details posted yet, but they will be forthcoming. I will tell you that it will be fan-voting like it was last year to select the winners. And I believe voting is going to start on my birthday, April 11, which will be a fun way to celebrate. But I will be posting rules and details sometime in February. Until then, be brewing ideas!
Polishing: One of the major tasks I had to accomplish in January was the revisions on Golden Daughter, novel #7. I had determined back in October to finish the draft before the end of the month, so the last third of the book was blazed through so quickly, I scarcely remembered what I'd done! But during November/December, I thought up several changes I wanted to make. Nothing tremendously extensive, but it did require reading through the bulk of the manuscript in order to get a grounding in the story again. I was delighted to find that I really enjoyed the book . . . all the more once the revisions were in place. I think the heroine of this story may be my favorite yet. But you'll be learning more about her during the cover reveal!
Cover reveal: I am starting to make plans for revealing Golden Daughter's cover by middle-late February. If you are a blogger and would like to participate, email me (email@example.com) and let me know! It is still subject to last-minute change (a couple of details need ironing out), but at this point, I'm pretty sure I'll be able to go ahead with it as planned. I will also (ideally) be revealing Golden Daughter's book page with a variety of fun extras, including the Characters You Will Meet tab. That will definitely give you some exciting insight into what to expect!
New Manuscript: Another major project of this month is the drafting of my newest novella. I had intended to release it between Golden Daughter and Untitled Book 8, but have recently decided that I want to try to get it ready for publication much, much sooner. I am now aiming for July, 2014--a nice little in-between story for Shadow Hand and Golden Daughter. Though I will warn you, this new tale is unrelated to either of those stories. There will be more details about this book forthcoming, but in the meanwhile, I'll let you know that it is set in a time way before Starflower, making it chronologically the earliest story set in Goldstone Wood. As of today, the manuscript is approaching 10,000 words, and I hope to put in a couple thousand words more before the day's end.
New Novel: Following the completion of this novella, I hope to dive right into drafting Book 8. This book has been brewing in my head for quite a long while, and I find I'm getting a bit nervous the nearer I get to starting it. It's rather an enormous concept, and many of the more important details are still hazy in my brain. But it's got an interesting cast, and the time period is going to be quite intriguing too, I think. Drafting should commence as of March, so wish me luck!
Editing: My mother's novel, Until That Distant Day is coming up for release quite soon now! Or rather, by the end of April. But to me, that feels quite soon since there's still rather a lot that needs to be done before it'll be ready to send off into readerly hands. She has finished what I hope will be the final draft. I plan to begin line editing for her in early February, then moving on to the formatting and design stage after that. Won't be long now before we'll be looking for early reviewers, so keep your eyes open for that! Until That Distant Day is a wonderful story, and I am eager to share it with all of you.
Five Glass Slippers: But I know many of you readers are skimming all the rest of this, searching for updates on the Five Glass Slippers creative writing contest. Alas, I don't have much to tell you on this score just yet! I am reading away at the stories, and still have 16 more to go. Then I will need my fellow editors to read the top picks, and we'll be in discussion as to the finalists. I still hope to be able to up the announcement date to February 1 . . . but no promises just yet! Making the final decision is not going to be easy. Even once I've narrowed down to top picks, I think I and my fellow editors will be scratching our heads to decide. But I do have an inkling. There are definitely stories that stand out from the rest. Stories that have just grabbed my heart and charmed me silly. There are favorites emerging. Particularly wonderful favorites. And I know this is going to be a very special collection.
A Second Collection: The submissions and interest in Five Glass Slippers far exceeded my wildest expectations--both in quality and quantity. So Rooglewood Press is planning to move ahead with a second contest along a similar vein later this year. I'll be officially announcing it and the contest rules on June 1, so be on the lookout. In the meanwhile, I have contacted my wonderful cover designer, and she is in the process of putting together a cover that will, I think, be even more beautiful than the one for Five Glass Slippers. You'll be seeing that on June 1st as well!
Blogging Events: There are lots of fun features coming up on this blog in the next few weeks, blog tours, interviews, and guest posts . . . and giveaways, of course! You'll definitely want to stop in and meet the authors I am featuring, or reconnect with some familiar authorial faces.
Kitties: So you remember Mama Kitty, the feral cat I set about taming last summer? You remember how she was finally allowing me to start petting her, sometime before Christmas? Well, she has turned into quite the darling little lovebug in recent weeks. And I think Rohan and I are going to try bringing her inside. Whether or not we'll keep her remains to be seen. If she integrates really well and is safe for a new family, we might put her up for adoption. We also might keep her. It's still a bit up in the air, and I cannot predict how she'll interact with my other kitties and Milly. (Or how she'll bend under the iron-paw rule of Minerva Louise . . . you understand.) But say a prayer for Mama Kitty, and we'll see where her story goes!
Minerva: Minerva has decided that nothing tastes so good as when it has been stolen. So she refuses to eat out of her own food bowl but will only eat food stolen from the bowls of her fellow kitties. She slips a sly little paw under their noses, pulls out a nice spilling of kibble, and dines robber-queen-style. Marmaduke is her chief victim. He's a bit of a pushover. So when they have eaten all of his food together, I switch bowls, placing her food under Marmaduke's nose. Then Minerva will steal that as well.
|She is a strange, wicked, evil thing.|
And we love her.
Shadow Hand: And before I go, I should say something enthusiastic about Shadow Hand's upcoming release! Which is quite soon now. I seriously could get my first printing copies in another week or so. I have to admit, Shadow Hand has been sneaking up on me. I keep forgetting about it, so wrapped up as I am in all of these other projects! And when I do think about it . . . I get a little scared. Shadow Hand is a book you really should read only after having read at least Veiled Rose and Moonblood. I'm a bit nervous about how new readers to the series are going to react to it. I keep seeing nasty, negative reviews in my nightmares . . . reviews I won't read, of course! At least not intentionally. Somehow, reviews always seem to find their way to my doorstep, despite my best efforts.
But I know you imps will enjoy it. And I know that you'll be kind! And I really do love this story. I think (other than Golden Daughter) it is the best I have written. It's a bit daring, and I definitely had to expand outside my comfort zone in order to write it! But I'm very proud of it. And I'll be glad to hold the final copy. That's a feeling that never gets old, even by novel #6.
Anyway: Anyway, I think that's about all the major doings at Rooglewood as of this time. and I really should get back to work on the new novella for a few more hours. But I would love to hear of your doings as well! Is 2014 shaping up to be an interesting year for any and all of you? Any writing goals you're hoping to accomplish?