Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Coming Down From the NaNoWriMo High

Finished my untitled NaNoWriMo project last night. Fell short of my 60,000 word goal and ended up with a first draft of 56,103 words. Hopefully, I'll make the word count in subsequent drafts.

Time to let this manuscript rest and work on another project. I like having more than one novel and/or screenplay to write or revise. If I get stuck on one, I can put it aside and go to another.

If this is your first NaNoWriMo, congratulations. I hope you made the 50,000-word goal. If not, no worries. What's important is that you wrote your story. Maybe you're still working on it. Many people go beyond the requisite 50,000 words. I used to think I could never write novels in the 70,000-word range. Ironically, novelists would tell me they couldn't write short. I still write short stories, as well as novellas. Sometimes, I adapt the stories into screenplays. It's all about making my stories do double-duty, if possible.

My goal for 2018 is to have at least two new books available. Con season is right around the corner, and I want to be ready.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

It's NaNoWriMo Time

It's that time of year again. Not Halloween or Thanksgiving, but NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. For 30 days in November, writers - published and unpublished - will accept the challenge to write a 50,000 word novel.

My plot's already outlined in Scrivener. It was outlined in 2016, but for some reason, I never got around to writing that particular story. Instead, I wrote another one. For some reason, back then I wanted to write a paranormal romance involving a dragon and a wyvern. To be honest, I still haven't figured out what to do with it.

This year, I'm writing a story using creatures from Nordic and German folklore. Something different from my usual fare of angels and demons. I think I might even compile a playlist. I usually don't listen to music while I write, but I can think of some bands that would be perfect for this novel.

To those doing NaNo this year, good luck and keep writing!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Riding the Submission Merry-Go-Round

Author (Age 6) Riding a Merry-Go-Round

After a two-year dry spell, where I didn't submit anything, I set a goal to submit at least two novels this year.

In June, I submitted two novels and a novella. One novel and the novella were rejected. The other novel? Awaiting word.

Welcome to the submission merry-go-round.

Authors should expect rejections. Yes, they suck. Sometimes. Other times, they're almost like blessings in disguise. Maybe that publisher you thought would be a great fit isn't. Always good to have a list of potential editors or publishers to submit to if your top choice doesn't work out.

The disappointment of having two manuscripts given the thumbs down was softened by the acceptance of a short story for an anthology. And my crime drama screenplay is a finalist in a film festival. So two for two isn't bad.

Let's see if I can go 3-2.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Waiting and Potential Rewards

I'm eagerly awaiting September. That's when I'm supposed to get a yes or no on a novel submission, and I'll also be able to share some good news I've been sitting on for the last few months. Hopefully, I'll also learn how my screenplay did at a current film festival. Meantime, I'll share this from the Indie Gathering International Film Festival for my short screenplay "Cemetery."

Award Plaque

This year at Indie Gathering, I participated in table readings. Last year, actors read my script Final Curtain and gave feedback on the few pages we submitted. If you've never had that experience, it's quite interesting. This year, it was nice to just read a character part and help out.

Next year, I'm hoping to submit a couple of short films to festivals, as well as new screenplays. No guarantees they'll show or final, but that's a risk we take when we submit our work. Because we know it sometimes pays off.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Monthly Round-up: July 2017

This month's round-up post is a week late, but this time last week I was sunning myself on a beach in France. The weather was lovely, but wifi access was appalling.

Hence, here we are now in August, reviewing July.


I'm hoping to promote the third Shara Summers novel, SPOTLIGHT ON DEATH, at Bouchercon in October, and hopefully I'll have a release date by then. In the meantime I'm plugging the first book the series, DEATH SCENE.


The third Goodreads giveaway for THE WHISPERING DEATH has finished. The lucky winners were Angela Paull from Hampshire and Olivia Silva from Hertfordshire. They have each received a signed copy of THE WHISPERING DEATH.

I am very excited about the forthcoming Bouchercon in Toronto, which will be my first time attending this particular conference. And I am particularly thrilled about being offered a panel. The panel is about violence in crime, and should be very interesting, though since it's on at 8:30am on the Friday, I am not sure how many people we'll have in the audience.


I am pleased to report that the first draft of the new horror novel, OUTPOST H311, is finished, and work has commenced on the second draft. At this stage I am feeling confident I will hit the 1 October deadline to submit this one. Hopefully I'll be feeling just as confident at the end of August.

Until then, if you are in the Northern Hemisphere, enjoy the rest of the summer. And if you are in then Southern Hemisphere, you've still got summer to look forward to.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Back on the Submission Train

After a three-year hiatus, I'm finally back on the submission train. Prose works, that is. I regularly submit to screenplay contests, and I'm still working on a sale or option.

So far this year, I've submitted a short story, a novella, and a novel. My goal is to submit at least one other novel, maybe two more. I haven't been idle, writing four novels and two novellas, with one novel half completed.

I can't explain why it takes me so long to submit something. Scared of rejection, most likely, although I deal with it. (When that Film Freeway notification doesn't begin with "Congratulations," I know my screenplay didn't get in.) Contests and publishing are both subjective. I'm grateful there are more opportunities for writers than when I was in college.

Hopefully, my books will find a publisher. As for finding an agent, at this point, I like being in control of the submission process. Perhaps in the future, I'll submit a novel to an agent, but probably not in the genre I'm currently working in. Depends on the certain factors. Right now, I want to write what I enjoy and not what's supposedly "marketable," since the market is in a constant state of flux. It's another reason why I like to write multi-genre, although suspense is always an underlying component of my stories, whether paranormal or contemporary.

Fingers are crossed.