Monday, May 26, 2014

Here we go.

(Artist Unkown)
On Friday, I took the first of many plunges in the self-publishing process, which was sending my info to Amazon's CreateSpace. The last time I shook that much, I was getting ready to read Shadow Walker aloud during my senior capstone. There was a quick turnaround in communication, and I was mentally preparing myself for talking to one of the staff on Tuesday (tomorrow). So what did I do in the meantime? I went out with friends that day to partake in the Sixth Gun festivities hosted by the Jean Cocteau Cinema (a comic book that almost turned into a tv show). When I went to grab some lunch, I noticed a few unread e-mails as well as a missed call. Naturally, I'm wondering what in the world was going on. Next thing I knew, my phone was ringing again, and it was none other than the publishing consultant that was assigned to me. Amazon, you get two major thumbs up for having a staff who makes sure they are there to help you and prep for the biggest event of a writer's life.
Despite my overenthusiastic self during the conversation, I am set to speak to my publishing consultant tomorrow and go over everything I need to know/talk about the services I will need for getting Child of Blackwen out to the world. Woo-hoo!
Also, Santa Fe had a major power outage that day. Thunderstorms in Santa Fe can often result in a blackout (especially downtown, where I live), and it was rather interesting to spend a few hours in an emergency lit Jean Cocteau Cinema. At least the show went on, and those of us who stayed behind after the Q&A session with the Sixth Gun creators and team eventually got rewarded with finally watching the pilot of the tv show that did not get picked up by NBC. Too bad...I would have loved to watch more.
I also took a major step this weekend of getting copyrights for Child of Blackwen (as if things weren't official enough, right?). It'll take about 3-5 months for me to receive my certificate, but it works considering the self-publishing process will take about the same amount of time. I really will be having a busy summer (apologies to all who are around me during this time...Jittery Mel mixed with Workaholic Mel is a whacky combination).
I still have a lot of other work to do as well. I have some bios to work on, some marketing research (no such thing as too much research, after all), and the most important thing of all: maintaining my zen. While it's fun to dance around the house in excitement and carry the largest grin that would put Podrick Payne from Game of Thrones to shame, I need my calm to return.
Before I'm off, I just have to say thanks to the fallen (and current) members of the military. "Happy Memorial Day" just I think "We Remember" sounds better.
Until next week for more updates!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Counting down.

((Artist unknown))
Four more days until I start the self-publishing process of Child of Blackwen, yay! I am very excited, and I have a lot of work to do in these four days. I have to finish rereading the edits I've inputted from my readers' notes, I have to write my blurb and the description that would be on the back of the book, I have to write down my ideas for a cover, and so on. It's nerve-wrecking, but it is really great too. I've been waiting for this for a long's finally here.
I also have to take an author pic...hmm. Unless I use the picture I have displayed on my Facebook Writer page...
The first step of submitting my work to Amazon's CreateSpace is to have a copyeditor look over my manuscript. Because Child of Blackwen is a total of 105,102 words and 382 pages, the turnaround will take at least 4 weeks (maybe a little more). After that, we'll work with the kindle and print on demand formatting, font choice, book layout, etc. Then the cover, the e-store, getting an ISBN number, making it available for purchase to libraries, and so on. See? It's a LOT of work. It will all be worth it in the end.
Then of course, there is the cohesion edit to return to. After I finish with the cohesion edits of the remaining books, it's back to building a nest egg to self-publish Mistress of Blackwen. There's also the writing of book 4 (currently without a title) to be had too. This is where I say that everyone has their idea of paradise, and mine just happens to be working on my novels.
I'll also be participating in a webinar this week about a media kit for Indie authors to use. Writing the book is one part of the battle, publishing another. Marketing is what makes or breaks a book and its creator. Having you guys using the "word of mouth" method is great, but I have to have other means of marketing my work as well. Social media helps too, but I'm sure you get the picture by now. All I can ask of you now is to wish me luck!
Now, it's time to be Workaholic Mel. And I need a refill of my chamomile lemon tea. :)

Monday, May 12, 2014

Vacation: over.

That's right, ladies and gents! My "vacation" is officially over. I got Child of Blackwen and notes back from both of my readers, and I am excited. I'll be back to being a busy little bee today, and yes, I am very happy about it. I'll be taking a lot of time to comparing the notes, making some final edits, and then I will send it off! Just another step closer to completing the, oh my.

Once I send off the book to Amazon and start the self-pubbing process, I will definitely restart the second part of my cohesion edit with book 2, Mistress of Blackwen. I am ready to dive back into it, especially after being told that the added bits I included in Child of Blackwen was a hit rather than a miss. You have no idea how much relief I feel about it. It's one thing to feel that you made the story stronger, but it's another when that feeling gets validated. I'd dance around the house with glee, but seeing as how Shadow Weaver is all curled up beside me, I'd rather not disturb him. I can always do so later, after all. ;)

Now that the book work has returned, this week will prove to be both productive and eventful (social life included). I am looking forward to tomorrow night especially; Craig Johnson, the author of the Walt Longmire mystery series (Longmire, the TV show to the rest of you) will be in town at Collected Works, and there might be some "special" guests with him. Considering my streak of such events, I have no intention of missing this one. It should be fun! And I anticipate some autographs...many autographs, if I'm lucky.

And now, off to work! :)

Monday, May 5, 2014

Seeing stars.

Happy Revenge of the Fifth all! I had a rather eventful week, that's for sure. A college buddy of mine was in town so we hung out and caught up after not seeing one another for two years. I introduced him to some aspects of Santa Fe living, had him mingle with my friends, and took him to one of the many nerdy holy grails in existence, the Jean Cocteau Cinema. The Santa Fe film festival has been taking place since last week, and there was a day where Harry Lloyd (Viserys Targaryen to the Game of Thrones fans) was in the cinema to show his film, Big Significant Things (which was really good, by the way). My buddy was lucky enough to even catch George R.R. Martin (the reaction was priceless).  All in all, I can let these do the talking:

I got to meet him (and I did not make a fool of myself)! He was super sweet and very cool. :)
He also signed my book, both as himself and as Viserys Targaryen.
After the movie we did a Q&A with Harry. What was great was that while a lot of us in attendance were really Game of Thrones fans, we focused on asking questions from Big Significant things. He was ready for GoT questions though, heh.

I think what really added to the night (besides taking pictures and the fact that he happily signed my book and added an extra autograph as his GoT character) was when he hung out with our group for a little bit after the crowd cleared out. And yes, we asked a few GoT related questions (especially about the scene about his, erm, "crowning"). This so made up for my missing Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) months ago. It was after I missed her where I started going to the JC for the marathon, and I swore to stop missing out on actors and writers attending the cinema. Plus, Harry Lloyd was on my list of GoT actors I would have loved to meet for a long while; I can check that off my list now. :)

Speaking of special guests at the cinema, there'll be a writer from Star Trek: The Next Generation in attendance tonight. That tv show was a huge part of my childhood, and you can bet that I will NOT be missing this.

As for the Artemis Ravenwing series...yes, I am still on "vacation". Once I get Child of Blackwen back from the readers, go through their notes and eventually send it off to start the self-pubbing path, I'll return to my cohesion edit. Since the weather has been gorgeous (and when I'm not off partaking in some lacrosse fun), I think I'll be back to doing some work outside. There's nothing like grabbing a blanket, some research material, lots of Sharpie pens, and a few chapters to edit at a time to make a gal enjoy the day as well as the weather. I have to update the editing playlist on my iPod as well...each book has their own set of playlists, of course! In the meantime, I'll also continue my mini adventures with Shadow Weaver; a dog should have his own fun with the nice weather too.