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How was your weekend? I anticipated stress and I got it. Planning for a first book signing is hellish, but I’m making notes of the mistakes I’ve already made. What’s the saying about first times? Keeping my fingers crossed that this turns out better than the pics in my head.

To alleviate future stress (you knew that was coming, right?) I made an abbreviated schedule concerning my NEXT projects. It goes something like this:

Release: an Alliance Chronicles Novella

Anticipated Pub Date: 11/30/16

Anticipated Cover Reveal: 10/28/16

This prequel has been drafted. I’m currently revising it.

Cursed Hearts

(Heart Duology, Book One)

Anticipated Pub Date: 2/10/17

Anticipated Cover Reveal: 1/20/17

Currently drafting

Rebel: the Alliance Chronicles, Book Three

Anticipated Pub Date: 4/28/17

Anticipated Cover Reveal: 3/31/17

Currently plotting. The rough draft has been moved to November for NaNoWriMo.

Ozarks Anthology

Deadline: 12/31/16

The genre has been decided. Still need to work on a story idea.

You might notice that the Urban Fantasy doesn’t show up in this schedule. I’m moving it to 2017. The Alliance Chronicles will possibly be finished first. There’s a possibility of one more novella before I close out the series—another character is asking for his moment in the spotlight.<smile>

With that in mind, let’s look at how I did last week…

1) LAST WEEK’S PROJECTIONS:

*This is ambitious but… I want to finish the draft of Cursed Hearts. The original plan was to write the draft in a month and then put it aside. Didn’t make it. I got stuck and had to sit down and look at the plot. I took an entire day and re-plotted in Scrivener. I found the holes and plugged them. 

*Continue revising Release (formerly titled Anarchy: an Alliance Chronicles novella). I started revising it mid-week after I finished my short story draft. I finished the read through over the weekend and made lots of notes. Got halfway through my first revision.

2) THIS WEEK’S PROJECTIONS:

*Continue drafting Cursed Hearts. Goal: add 5,000 words—approximately two chapters.

*Continue revising Release.

*Work on some ideas for anthology submission. [By the way, my submission due for August is ready to go. I have a summary paragraph to write and then it’s done.]

3) A FAVORITE LINE OR PASSAGE FROM MY STORY THAT SUMS UP WHAT I WROTE/REVISED: This passage comes from Release. It’s a moment between Asher (as a young kid) and his brother Shiloh, right before he reports to duty. Up until this moment, Asher assumed Shiloh was good with being a member of the National Guard.

Worry snaked through me. I never thought for a minute that Shiloh—my brother, my idol—might lose his life serving in the Guard. That wasn’t supposed to happen. It can’t happen. “You’re scaring me, dude.”

His eyes, filled with a sudden sadness, held mine for a minute. “Join the club.” Shiloh’s voice cracked.

4) THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE I FACED LAST WEEK: Stress. I made some poor decisions preparing for my first book signing—from ordering supplies, books, even purchasing my dress for the ball. I’m sure I’m not the first author to do that. Needless to say, I’ll be doing a lot of last minute scrambling the week of the event. The stress kept my mind turned on when I should have been sleeping.

Bottom line? I don’t feel ready. There are items I really wanted to take with me, but I won’t have them. I now understand why sometimes authors cancel appearances. I’m seriously tempted. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), I asked my mother and my daughter to attend this signing with me. Backing out would cost my mother money (she’s staying in the hotel with us) and disappoint my daughter (she wants to meet Nathan Weller <laugh>). So I’m sucking it up and making the best of the situation.

How to alleviate things for the next signing? I made a six month timeline and posted it outside of my office so that my husband and I can see it together. It lists those things that will happen regardless of my career (his payday, holidays, birthdays, rent, etc.) along with any releases during that period and the publishing schedule associated with them (cover, editor, and formatter). I also included payments for future signings needed to be handled during the period, and any events that will require any type of purchasing (travelling to Penned Con, my paranormal nights event, any known author takeovers, etc.). My intention with the timeline is to avoid erroneously planning monetary expenditures at the same time as those life matters (paying rent, etc.).

5) SOMETHING I LOVE ABOUT MY WIPs:

Release: an Alliance Chronicles Novella

I love how this story grew out of the backstories of the characters—Tru and Asher. I wanted the Street Wars and subsequent Revolution to be the result of turmoil in the country. In reality, the most turbulent times in American history happened during the sixties and the Civil Rights struggle. So I used those events and created the Street Wars. I let the prevailing attitudes in the nation be reflected in my fictitious characters of Pops (Asher’s grandfather) and Bobby (Asher’s father). I wove in current race relation issues into the story and expanded on them.

Cursed Hearts (Heart Duology, Book One)

When I re-plotted this story, I looked at the worldbuilding. I created a set of rules pertaining to the supernatural community mentioned in this book. These rules and their backstory will feed into my ten-book series (The BlackGuard Society). It was fun creating rules of conduct for supernaturals. In reading them, it’s understandable how their might be beings opposed to them and become rogues. Another big plus? A couple of the characters I’ve created in this book will get their own moment in TBGS! I’m so excited to introduce Edwina, the daughter of a voodoo priestess turned vamp, and Nathan, a soul reaper dubbed “The Soul Assassin”. Readers get a brief glimpse of them in Cursed Hearts.

 

How am I feeding my soul this week…

Last week I took a bit of a detour and sat down with Kelly Martin’s Breathless. I’m so glad I did. It was a quick read. I’ll be posting a review for it soon.

So, I need to finish the ARC for review:

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I’m also in the middle of reading:

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And, if I finish both of those before week’s end, I have another ARC to start:

Vrai Domicile book 2 ebook

That’s it for this week. People stay safe. Think before you act!

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