Monday, October 22, 2012

New Pathways

The second book is moving along, although not quite in the direction I anticipated. It is currently wandering down new hallways, dragging new (and better) ideas and stories along with it. Unfortunately, that does slow things down a bit, and I'm having to push the publication date out again by at least two months. Now we're looking at sometime in April.

It's funny how November seemed so far, there was no way I couldn't get it done by then, but now it's less than ten days away and I'm not even half way through what is turning out to be another first draft of the second book!

Then there's NaNoWriMo in November, so that's going to slow me down some. :)

But the second book is bringing in characters we were barely introduced to in A Queen Reborn, and pushing them forward. Somehow, a potential love interest for Captain Malano popped in and could prove to be interesting.

One thing this new version brought along with it was a flashlight, so I have a pretty good idea now of where we're going to end up on this one.

Monday, October 1, 2012


So, in my last post, I was dangling over the precipice of despair, feeling numb from the soles of my feet to the ends of my hair. Six weeks of work was gone.

I took another look and noticed that the date of the last modification was also six weeks prior. Now, I KNOW I'd worked on it and I KNOW I'd renamed it. Every month, I change the name of my manuscript to reflect the date. For instance CCB2 9-2012 for the Citadel Chronicles Book 2 September 2012. That tells me the file name and the most recent edit.

I also like to send it to myself via email on the advice of Elle Neal. I'd been doing that, pulling the document from the email attachment and working on it.

So what happened? What happened is that this whole mess was caused by technology being handled by a techno dork. I didn't realize the program wouldn't simply know where to save the document, that putting it in a file with like-named documents wouldn't be the first choice.

To make a long story short, I discovered my manuscript by accident. At that point, I looked at the source file and found it has been living in the Downloads file.

Downloads. Because when I downloaded it from my email, it didn't automatically save it in the regular documents file, because that would only make sense to a dork like me, not a computer filled with technology.

Anyway, suffice it to say I've rescued the manuscript and have managed to get some editing done despite the near catastrophe. Emailing the document to yourself is an awesome idea, just remember to save it to the proper file so you're not left wondering what just happened to six weeks of your life.


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Abrupt Halt

I went to open the manuscript in order to do some editing and I realized it didn't look right. My "blue marks" that I use to tell me where I am in the process, were gone.

After a quick perusal, I realized all the editing I had done over the past six weeks had disappeared. I was staring at an old file, but it was the last one I'd opened, according to the time stamp on it.

I'm very meticulous about saving my documents when I'm working on them, clicking that button every time I get up from the keyboard, just in case the cats try to do a little editing for me while I'm AFK. I can assure you, I have not been attached to my computer for six weeks with no breaks.

The edits are simply gone. They were difficult changes to make because they were complicated (but quite necessary) and when I had finished them, I was very happy with the results. It was worth the hard work to be able to get to that point. Now all that work is gone, and to be honest, right now, I just don't think I can do it again. I don't know that I even want to keep working on it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Coming Along

The Chronicles are moving forward.

That is saying a lot, considering the complications that arose when I changed the first part of the second book to mesh with the ending of A Queen Reborn. While that just seems like a logical beginning to a sequel, the original start to the second book took place months after A.Q.R. ended, now it takes place about a month earlier.

Why the change? Well, a few years ago I was working on a NaNoWriMo project online, sharing every ugly sentence of a rapidly-written, unedited novel. Fortunately a very wise woman was reading it and suggested I open the story with something exciting happening. Remembering her words, I took them to heart and figured that would work really well for the sequel if I took it back to a dramatic moment in the first one, but write it from the "other side" of that moment.

It worked, but it meant a lot of rewriting and some big changes in the whys and wherefores of the next part of the story. But the changes make sense and have allowed the characters to deepen and grow more "colorful," even the ones who only had bit parts in A Queen Reborn.

I can't wait for you to meet them.


Saturday, September 8, 2012

A Taa-Daaa Moment

Being a self-proclaimed techno-dork, when I actually manage to accomplish something with a computer or other electronics gadget (and this includes making calls on my cell phone), I get rather excited and pleased with myself.

So, on that note, I am very pleased to announce The Citadel Chronicles' very own facebook page! It's pretty bare for now, but it's taken me almost seven hours to get it to where it is. This does include time spent attempting to undo what the bird did when she strolled across the keyboard and opened Skype for me. I had no idea that program was so reluctant to close. "Are you SURE you want to close it? No one will be able to call you and chat!" Oh, I'm VERY sure I want it closed since I didn't open it in the first place.

Anyway, pop over to the facebook page and give The Citadel Chronicles a look-see. You can even give it a thumbs up, if you'd like. Or, you know, hit the "like" button.

I'm such dork...

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Some Thoughts on Reviews

After my initial joy regarding the five-star review I got on Amazon, I read this article in the NY Times about the fake five-star reviews some authors were paying to get. My first thought was, “they’re PAYING for reviews!?! Isn’t that cheating?” Yes, but not exactly.

The cheating part was that the reviewer wasn’t even reading the books. He was just charging someone to write nice things about something they’d written. Personally, I’d rather know the truth of how someone felt about my book. If I wanted to hear hollow, gushing praise for fifteen dollars, I’d buy a bucket and yell into it. It would mean about as much as a fake review and I could reuse the bucket.

Within days of the NY Times article, I received an email from an online writer’s magazine about getting reviews for your independently-published book. They had several suggestions, all of which for were companies that asked for some kind of payment; anywhere from seventy-five dollars, all the way up to over four hundred dollars. After doing some research I found that unless the review is written by a friend, no reviews are done for free. If the author doesn’t pay for the service directly, then his publisher pays for it. Now that I think about it, perhaps it is easier to ask friends to post a review than it is to pay for one.

The article named several creditable companies that will review independently published authors: Goodreads, Digital Book Today, Kirkus Indie, to name a few. These are big names in the publishing industry; names that can spell success or disaster for an author. The difference between a legitimate paid review and the reviewer mentioned in the NY Times article is whether or not said reviewer actually reads the book and gives an honest opinion.

My five-star was free. At least it was for me; the reviewer had to buy the book. To be honest, it was not easy for me to ask for the review, even if she is a friend. It felt like I was imposing on her. I was thrilled, and quite nervous, when she said ‘yes.’ She’s an honest woman, and I knew she would write what she felt about the book. Needless to say, what she wrote pleased me.

That said, I’ve decided that from now on I’m going to make sure I post a review of the books I read, especially books written by independently published authors. I’ll even do it for free and I’ll write the truth.

It’s the least I can do for my fellow writers. Won’t you join me?

Edited to say: Oh, how lovely. I forgot to delete the stuff I didn't want. Nothing like a little first-draft smutch to be stuck to the bottom of a post. *sigh* It's gone now.

Friday, August 24, 2012


I have my first book review on! I'm not sure if I'm supposed to link to it from here, so just to be on the safe (and slightly paranoid) side, I won't.

There was much squeeing when I found out. The cats may never speak to me again, nor will the rest of my family. I will say it was one of those moments that I will never forget. While I do know the author, I also know she's not the type to just post flattering things to make me feel good. If she didn't like it, she wouldn't have posted anything at all.

This? This is what makes all those long hours of editing worth the tears and backache.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Now for the Hard Part

The book is now available in all formats (although it's e-pub status is still not showing up on any site other than, but that's ok, for now). Right now, my current problem is promoting it. Seriously, it's harder to do that I thought. Last night, we went to a family gathering and I found myself stumbling over my words when asked about the book.

"What's it about?"
Uh... well... it's about these people with special abilities that are running from, uh, say, is that an olive? I missed those on the buffet, I think I'll go get a couple.

It's very difficult to discuss the book without giving away any little secrets, not that the group I was with would be interested in that particular genre, but I'm rather protective of those twists and turns in the plot, so just giving them away makes my hair stand on end.

But I still need to talk about it, promote it, encourage them to step out of their regular reading space and take a peek at what I've written. After all, they are family, so it's not like they've never asked me to do something similar.

Piano recitals, anyone?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

It's An E-Book!

I got word today that the e-pub is finally up and running. You can download it from the site. I don't know when it will be available elsewhere, but they promise me you can get it on your i-pod thingy, your Kobe, Kindle, Nook, computer, whatever.

Now I can relax and work on the next book... and start this crazy ride all over again!

Thursday, July 26, 2012


It's up for sale! So far, the listings on Amazon and other online sellers do not include the cover art (Amazon is running TWO MONTHS BEHIND on getting cover art up there, so, um, yeah), but the book is for sale.

However, if you click on the following link, you can see my book's very own page on!

Ok, that didn't work, did it? Let's try it this way: The Citadel Chronicles

That's my book!

Edited to add:

I don't see the e-book up in the listing yet and I have no idea when that will become available, but it will. Eventually. This experience has a lesson in stretching my patience.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Galley Proof!

I got my galley proof of the book and talk about surreal! Holding my own work in my hands is one of those experiences that will not soon be forgotten. I hope it's like that for each book I publish.

Anyway, I'm not sure how much longer we need to wait before it is available. According to the publisher, the files are being uploaded to the printer, and from there it will trigger Ingram to include it in the catalog. After that, it will be set up in e-publication form.

In the mean time, I'm working on the second book of the series (and having some difficulty keeping my mind on the plot at hand and not on what's happening with the first book). At least now I'll know what to expect and can be better prepared for what's involved in the process.

Patience... LOTS of patience.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


The whole cover, front and back.

I'm excited.

I'll be getting my galley proof in the mail in a few days, but I couldn't wait to show you how it's going to look.

Monday, July 16, 2012

We Have A GO!

Hello again from vacation land.

I just got confirmation that the files are being uploaded to the printer and I should have the galley copy in 5 - 7 days! The epub files should be up soon, and they may be available before the print format. I'll keep you posted on how that's going as well.

The cover art will be posted in the next couple days. I can't do it from my cell phone (which is the only way I've been able to get online for the past 10 days).

As soon as I give them the go ahead after getting the galley copy, the printer will upload the information to Ingram and it will become available on online markets. If I've read everything correctly, that means in about two weeks, it will be available for purchase. It's been an interesting journey and I'm glad you've been here to share it with me.

It's not over yet, though...

Monday, July 9, 2012

Cover Art

Well dear readers, I've finally seen the cover art and I must say that I'm quite pleased with it. I've sent it off to the publisher and as soon as I hear that all the specs are correct and the printer is happy with it, I can release it for a pre-publication glimpse.

We're getting closer. :)

Friday, June 29, 2012

An "Oh Wow!" Moment

Indulging in a passion the way I have with this book series has been quite the experience, and not quite as I'd imagined. For the most part, it's been wonderful and I'm looking forward to the continuation of this endeavor.

Except for the part where my cover artist's computer decided to begin the slow process of dying (the tiny Mac is nearly 15 years old, it is entitled to some death throes). However, I really wish it would have waited until she was done with the cover before it decided to pull this stunt.

Grr. So, we have a delay while we figure out how to salvage the work already done and get it off to the printer before the 8th of July.

In the mean time...

Seeing the PDF proof of my manuscript, with all the title pages, dedications, excerpt, author info... wow. Let me rephrase that. WOW! OH! WOW!!! It made my brain spin just a little bit.

We have progress, we've simply run into a little bit of a detour. We should be underway again soon. I'll keep you posted.


Monday, June 18, 2012

New Step

The manuscript has been uploaded to the publisher. I'll be getting the cover specs soon, then we'll be off and running. I'm hoping to have a publication date within the next week or so.

Not that I'm excited or anything.

Fine Tuned

The fine tuning is done, at least for me. I'm worried that if I go over it one more time, I'll just nit-pick it to death and it will look suspiciously like the first draft.

There were bigger changes to the last draft than I anticipated, with entire chapters being shuffled here and there, broken up and blended with others. It makes the timeline flow better, but there is some fear that I may have messed things up. I need to trust myself that everything is fine.

Just fine.

Fine and very scary, because this afternoon is the next phase: sending it to the publisher for proper formatting, getting the specs for the cover and waiting for that to be finished. Once that part is done, then we'll be off to print.

Oh, and I discovered one of the most difficult things to write was the back cover blurb! :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Big News for the Chronicles!

I heard back from the publisher and we are a go!

Book One of the Citadel Chronicles is currently in the process of being fine-tuned and formatted for publication.

Am I excited? ...meh...

Am I pretty much out of my mind with blazing elation? Oh yeah!

Have my feet touched Earth since I got the news? Not to my knowledge.

Will they any time soon? Yeah, I still have to go to work. Also, there is the formatting that needs to be done so it looks like a real book and not like something off a word processing document on my computer...because it is becoming something more than that. It is becoming a book.

Am I nervous? Yes, yes I am.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

I Did It!

The manuscript has been submitted to the publisher and now we wait to find out if they think it's saleable. Now I need to come up with a back cover blurb.

Something that doesn't sound like the ravings of a woman who has been editing like crazy for the past week and is currently caffeine deprived.

Friday, June 8, 2012


This latest edit is the one I'm calling the last edit. At least last by MY changes and alterations. It's looking much cleaner and stronger and the story is still good.

I'm still waiting on the cover art, but the plans are to finish the final edit, submit it to the independent publisher I really want to work with, and cross my fingers. I'll keep you posted on what is happening (and I'll try to do a better job of keeping on top of things on this blog).

Once it is accepted and is in queue to print (or however that works) I'll have a better idea of when it will be available. If all goes according to plan, it will be a month from this weekend. I'll keep you posted.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Cost Question Answered

FYI, after several emails back and forth with an independent publisher, I've come to realize that the cost of the print book will be fine. After all, it is the MSRP (manufacturer's suggest retail price) which means it isn't necessarily the price they'll charge in the store.

Which makes me feel better. A lot better. Better enough to say that if my manuscript is accepted by this particular publisher, then I will be a VERY happy camper and I'll share my experience with you here. As well as let you know when the big publishing day will be, etc.

This would be a great time for some artwork to be finished. Really.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Question of Cost

This whole "taking control of my writing by self publishing" thing has presented me with a brand new set of questions and problems. Finding the right publisher who is fair and truthful has not been an easy task. While there are plenty of good independent publishers out there, finding one I can afford has caused me no small amount of frustration.

Then there's the pricing of the book. While some e-book publishers will allow me to set my own price, there are others who have a minimum amount you can charge for your own work. Am I the only one who thinks that's a little strange? Shouldn't authors be the ones who decide what to charge, at least for e-books? Personally, I balk at paying more than three dollars for an e-book (and even then, my eye starts twitching). How about you? When does your inner accountant start screaming when you're browsing the e-books?

Unfortunately, the other common glitch I'm running into is the price for print books. This is the retail price I'm talking about, not my wholesale cost. They want 14.99 (USD) for a 250 page book. Maybe I'm just part of a minority of people who think that's an exorbitant price for a book, but I do have a hard time paying that much.

Am I just cheap after living on a public school employees salary for so long, or is that really a lot of money? It's a matter of perspective, and mine is a little skewed so I'd love some input from others.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Big News

Welcome to The Citadel Chronicles blog.

Here's where you'll find the latest information on the series, starting with Book One: A Queen Reborn. After much research, soul searching (which will be a pretty funny joke once you read the book), and hair pulling, I've decided to go the e-publishing route.

That decided, I had to figure out which service would meet my needs, and not cost me, or my readers, an arm and a leg.

Right now, I'm just waiting for the cover art to be finished. Once that's done, we'll have another read-through to pick the last of the nits from the manuscript, then we'll be ready to announce the new arrival.

In the mean time, I'll just be over here, pacing the floor and handing out cigars. Stay tuned, it's gonna be a blast!