Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Doings at Drakenheath

Time for an update on the many Doings around here. I hope you will enjoy seeing what we've been up to!

Of course, the biggest doing of this last month was the announcement of our Five Enchanted Roses winners . . . .

We are so excited about these stories and this collection as a whole. If you read the descriptions, you'll see that the premises of these tales are all much spookier than our Cinderella collection last year . . . which is only to be expected, as Beauty and the Beast is a spookier fairy tale. However, while all of the stories will give the readers little chills as they read, none of them are horror stories. They are wonderful adventures, and they all go together beautifully.

I'd also like to point out, for those of you who entered the contest but, sadly, did not win this year: Three of the authors who won places in Five Enchanted Roses submitted excellent stories last year for Five Glass Slippers, but did not get in. So let them be inspiration to you, dear aspiring novelists! Sometimes, it's not a matter of whether or not you were a good enough writer or whether or not you wrote a great story. It's the individual contest that makes the difference. And you truly never know when you will pen the right story for the right contest at the right time. All you can do is keep on writing the best stories you can!

While we're on the subject, let's not forget Five Glass Slippers and the excellent news pertaining to that collection! Which is excellent indeed. Rooglewood Press tried an experimental marketing venture last month, the results of which were . . . Five Glass Slippers shot to #1 Bestseller status, not only in the USA, but also across the globe. We were completely thrilled. I am so proud of the great marketing team we've got working together, figuring out new and exciting ways to get this collection out to a bigger and broader reading audience. This was but one step on a road we hope to continue walking for many years to come!

I have other fun and exciting news concerning this particular collection as well . . . but, it's still secret for a little while yet. Stay tuned for updates!

In case you haven't noticed, Rooglewood Press has a newsletter now, for which you can sign up to receive periodic updates on sales, promotions, new releases, etc. Do take a moment to add your name to the list!

Anyhoodle, those are all Rooglewood Press related updates . . . what about Drakenheath? Well, there is fluffiness to be had at Drakenheath:

This is Magrat and Monster, who are litter-mates. Monster I rescued as a tiny, tiny kitten, but Magrat eluded my grasp until she was already grown up and expecting her own litter of kittens. Even though they were separated for many months, they seem to remember their sibling bond, and spend quite a lot of time cuddling, and quite a lot of time feuding. Definitely siblings.

 Here's a photo of my new writing study in Drakenheath. This is the view from my desk:

Magrat is on the left, casting evil glares across at Mutti, the solid gray lump of fluff on the right (those two hate each other. Too many queens in one castle!). Mutti, who was a feral adult and completely wild when I first started working with her, is now so tame and sweet! She loves to come up to the study and hang out with me while I work. Right now, I'm sitting on the couch, and she is on the back of it, right behind my head, purring away and sometimes touching my shoulder with a velveted paw. You would never know she was wild.

I do love all my kitty-babies.

So, how is Poison Crown coming along these days?

Poison Crown is ridiculously exciting. I am loving this book so much more than I can begin to express. It is just too fascinating for words, and I can hardly keep myself away from the manuscript, which, in the midst of its second draft, is absolutely alluring to me.

It's also long. Very long.

Which means I am waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay behind my deadline of finishing a polished second draft by the end of February. It is physically impossible for me to meet that goal at this time. Even writing at my most frantic pace, it simply cannot be done. So I have set the deadline back to the end of April. If I manage to meet that deadline, we should still be on a good track to get the book itself launched in late November. If I don't meet that deadline, we may be looking at putting off the release by a month or two.

However, while I know that would not be your preference, please know that this book, whenever it does release, will be by far the longest, most epic, most exciting, most page-turning, most complex and compelling story I have ever written, complete with, I think, the most interesting cast of characters. Most of whom you have not yet met, though there are a few favorites tucked away in these pages (i.e. Eanrin, Rogan, and Imraldera).

For the fun it I thought I'd give you a few tiny, tiny, tiny, spoiler-free peaks at the manuscript. At random I picked page 36, seven lines down, and selected five complete sentences. Here you go: 

Could Earl Dian imagine the horror an immortal must experience upon finding himself trapped in a decaying realm of mortality?
 Rogan shuddered. Here alone in the snow-covered city center he felt all the eyes of the city turned upon him with such loathing. The earl himself must hate him now, even as he hated all Faerie-kind. And the memory of their many adventures—the memory of escapes and rescues and deeds worthy even of minstrel’s song—were already forgotten.
Terrible sores blistered Rogan's skin where the iron touched him.

Also at random, I picked page 100, twenty lines down, and selected five complete sentences: 

The fire must have only just been lit, however, for when the castellan opened the door and ushered her in, she found the room itself was equally as cold as the passage she’d just vacated. Someone—presumably the queen—sat in a chair drawn up close to the fire, silhouetted against its light. She leaned in toward the warmth, her arms wrapped about herself, and seemed totally absorbed in discerning the secrets of those flickering flames.
 “My queen,” said Calytrix, curtsying with great dignity despite her rags.
“Are you the herbalist?"

And, one last one . . . I picked page 71, twelve lines down, and selected five complete sentences: 

He moved like a drunken man, his footsteps stumbling in the dark even as he mounted the steps of the Prince’s Tower and at last achieved the solitary quiet of his own chambers. Here, perhaps, he might shut out all else and, casting himself upon his bed, slip into unconscious peace for a few stolen hours.
 But this was a forlorn hope. For now, in the darkness of that winter’s night, with no holy songs of the priest to sooth his spirit, with no tirades from his grandmother to occupy his mind, without the relief of his knights and their coarse conversation to distract his thoughts, he found himself suddenly obliged to look into his soul.
And he shuddered.

All right, that's enough for today! Moving on . . .

Pre-Order Today!
Draven's Light is still a high priority on my to-do list as well. The galleys are sitting on my desk even as we speak, begging for a proof read, which I simply have not had a chance yet to do. So, basically, this project is exactly where you saw it during the last Doings post. Sigh . . . I hope to make a start on it this next week, if possible. And we're still on a good track to have it ready for launch!

We had a little design glitch which became apparent during this first round of galleys, which sent us scrambling back to the "drawing board" temporarily. But, after a few hours of recovery work, we've got it looking spiffy once more. And I still say this is the most beautiful interior design for one of my books yet.

Oh, and in other fun news, the audio recording of Goddess Tithe is now complete and has been sent off for production! I am so excited to see this project launch. It hit a few bumps in the road during the recording stage, which slowed down production unexpectedly. But those issues have been resolved, and the end result that I got to listen to was very beautiful. I hope to see it up for purchase in another two weeks or so. And to celebrate I may just host a giveaway, offering a few copies to lucky listeners.

Would you like to hear the opening credits? Click this link!

Have I forgotten anything? Probably, but I can't think what. Oh well. I hope you enjoyed reading about the February Doings. What are you up to this month?


Sarah Pennington said...

Eep! Those Poison Crown snippets! They're awesome- especially the first!
Glad to hear you're doing well!

Tracey Dyck said...

Aw, your cats are simply adorable. :)
And those snippets are so tantalizing! It's almost worse knowing those little tidbits than not knowing anything... (All in a good, suspenseful way, of course.)
My February looks to be a month of getting adjusted to a new job and trying to fit some editing in the cracks. :)
Happy writing, Mrs. Stengl! Take all the time you need on POISON CROWN--it'll be worth the wait!

Becky said...

Thank you for the snippets, Anne Elisabeth! I know Poison Crown will be an amazing story worth the wait! Wow! It sounds like all else is going well. So many great things to look forward to!

Congratulations on #1 Best Seller status for Five Glass Slippers! It must be so thrilling for you, Rooglewood, and the authors! I am so happy for you all!

And the kitties are so obviously happy...and fluffy...so all is well.

Anonymous said...

It's so sad that we already know Rogan's end...lol. But, those clips were amazing, and I can't wait!!

BTW, your cats are gorgeous.

-Sarah Grace

Meredith said...

Simply love all these updates! You work so very hard, and I truly appreciate the time you take to keep us eager fans salivating over news. The snippets from Poison Crown were excellent! I'm eager to learn more about Rogan. Thank you for sharing. And, the opening of Goddess Tithe sounds phenomenal! Loved the opening music, which evoked stormy seas and perilous travel. Sounds like you picked a superb narrator: a young voice suitable for telling Munny's story but also, I'm sure, outstanding for all the characters. I'm so excited!

Congratulations for the outstanding news regarding Five Glass Slippers! It definitely deserves bestseller status, and I'm so intrigued that there's more secrets about that collection to come. And, I am simply chomping at the bit for Five Enchanted Roses. All the best to the authors as they edit and polish their work. Glad that their stories aren't horror tales, but I'm also intrigued by the promise of exciting adventures.

I'd love to meet your cats. They sound absolutely adorable. Please give them pats from me. I miss my own cat and know what true companions they are. Bet they give you lots of inspiration as they survey your writing.

God bless you and I'll be praying for all your endeavors. Please take some time for yourself as well.

Hannah said...

Ah...ah...ah! Anne Elisabeth, I'm not sure I can handle a book even more amazing than your previous ones, but I have a feeling that's what I'm going to get! :D :D :D Oh wow, oh wow, I can't wait, I can't.

And that's so thrilling to hear about the marketing success! Absolutely smashing!

Blue said...

I must say, I am thrilled to be able to hear from Rogan again.

He was a favourite character of mine in Heartless, and I was saddened to see his story cut short.

So thank you for `bringing him back`- even if it might be for just a little while.

E.F.B. said...

It's official: I'm in love with your books! :D I've been following the blog for a few months now, but only late last week was able to finally get a copy of Heartless and start reading. I love it so much I can hardly put it down! The only thing that stops me from reading it all the way through in one sitting is the fact that I have college assignments to work on.

Now that I'm hooked, I hope to read my way through the whole Goldstone Wood series, although with my daily schedule being what it is, that may take me awhile, Lol!

Anyway, I'm so glad that all is well at Drakenheath and I pray that you continue to be happy and healthy and have success in all of your current and future endeavors.

Sincerely, E.F.B. who's own fluffy little boy kitty is currently laying on her feet, and keeping her toes toasty warm.

Anonymous said...

Yay! Poison Crown! Awesome snippets! That music for Goddess Tithe is amazing! More Exclamation marks!!!!!

Unknown said...

Fluffinesses! Your cats are adorable, Anne Elisabeth. :-)

And those snippets! Lights above us, we've so long to wait! But I know it'll be worth it. And your biggest project yet?! How can anything possibly be bigger than Golden Daughter?! Eek!!!

And I'm so glad to hear how well Five Glass Slippers is doing. I haven't read it yet, but I got it for Christmas this year, and I hope to soon.

And thank you for these posts, Anne Elisabeth! It means a lot to us Imps that you keep up with your blog with your insanely busy schedule. :-)

Anonymous said...

Your Doings at Drakenheath posts are quickly becoming some of my favorites. The news about Five Glass Slippers becoming an international bestseller is amazing! Congratulations to you and all of the authors who worked so hard on the book. I second your advice about entering a contest more than once. I've had a similar experience when I entered an essay contest. While I did not win the first time, I was able to place the second time because I had experience from the first contest.

Yay for Poison Crown! I love long books because it just means that my adventure with the characters can last for a longer amount of time. I loved reading the snippets, but I don't think that's enough for today, haha. I need more!

Unknown said...

So much exciting stuff going on!!