Thursday, September 01, 2016

SLCC16 Day 1

Day one of Salt Lake Comic Con 2016 was a success!

My MO for the con has been different this time around; I usually go to the panels I'm participating in, attend a few others that look interesting, and then wander the dealer's room to say hi to people I know and look at all the cool stuff.

This year, however, the awesome folks at  Wordfire Press have seen fit to let me sit at the table with them--quite literally. While I'll of course be participating in my two panels and signing tomorrow, the majority of my time today, tomorrow, and on Saturday will be spent hanging out at the WFP booth selling books--mine, of course, but also the books of the dozen+ talented authors that work the booth with me. There are some high caliber folks in that group, and I'm privileged to share space with them! 

I've admired the WFP booth for a few years now, not just because of their huge banners and top-notch brains, but also because of the camaraderie and selflessness that seem to permeate the kiosk's atmosphere. Everyone seems invested in not only selling their own books but selling the books of everyone at the table as well. That creates a cool atmosphere not only for the authors selling but for the customers as well--I think we're much more equipped to the individual wants of individual customers when we have a wide variety of folks intent on selling a wide variety of books to the right people. It works out pretty well, and I'm really grateful to work with the WFP crew this weekend. 

As you can see, Duskfall fits quite nicely nestled between James A. Owen and Kevin J. Anderson. I even sold a few today :-). It's been a blast, and exhausting, draining, blast, and I look forward to more of the same tomorrow.


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Staff Pick at Powell's!

Um...so, this happened, and I'm OVER THE MOON ABOUT IT, YA'LL! Powell's is one of my favorite bookstores, so this is pretty surreal. And awesome. :-D


Monday, August 29, 2016

DUSKFALL Book Tour


The Duskfall Book Tour kicks off next week! Here's where I'll be:

Salt Lake Comic Con Signing - Friday 2 September 7-8 PM
Salt Palace Convention Center Booth 1807
We'll kick things off at Salt Lake Comic Con with a signing! If you didn't get your book signed at the release party, or just want to come say hi and chat (and/or get some Duskfall swag), come on by! Also, throughout SLCC I'll be hanging out at the WordFire Press booth, signing and selling books, so if you can't make it to the signing, stop by the booth! (Unfortunately, Comic Con isn't free, but the rest of the events on the Duskfall Tour will be! And if you can't make it/don't want to drop the cash for Comic Con, I'll be doing other events in SLC/Utah Valley in the near future.)

Mesa Signing - Tuesday 6 September 6-8 PM
Mesa Barnes & Noble
1758 S. Val Vista Dr.
Mesa, AZ 85204

Los Angeles Reading and Signing - Friday 9 September 7-8:30 PM
Flintridge Bookstore and Coffeehouse
1010 Foothill Blvd.
La Canada Flintridge, CA 91011

Gilroy Signing - Saturday 10 September 3-5 PM
Gilroy Barnes & Noble
6825 Camino Arroyo
Gilroy, CA 95020

If you live in any of those areas, come say hi! Come check out the book! Come get free swag (stickers, postcards, wristbands, maybe even some t-shirts, etc)! Tell any folks you know to come check it out, too!

If you don't live in any of those areas, fear not. Other event locations for the tour--soon to be nailed down--include Portland, Seattle, Las Vegas, St. George, Cedar City, Boise, and Anchorage, with other events in other locations in the works as well. Stay tuned for more info on all of that.

Looking forward to seeing you on the tour!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Salt Lake Comic Con Schedule!

Hey folks!

I'm excited to once again attend Salt Lake Comic Con in a week and a half! I have the pleasure of being on two panels this time around:


Friday 2 September at 2:00 PM (Room 253A) - "Young Adult Heroes in Film and Television"

YA literature, film, and television have a pretty awesome pantheon of heroes, and I'm excited to talk about everyone from Harry and Hermione to Katniss and Bella; from Elena, Damon, and Stefan to Tris, and many more. Oh, and you KNOW I'm going to bring up Clarke from The 100, too, because she's one of the best YA heroes to come around in quite a while. So, yeah, I'm definitely excited for this panel.


Friday 2 September at 6:00 PM (Room 253A) - "Writer's Retreat Part Two: Writing Your Novel"

Come join us for part two of the SLCC Writer's Retreat panel where we discuss best practices, tips, and tricks when it comes to the actual work of writing a book. It's gonna be awesome! (And, if you're interested in seeing the other parts of the "Writer's Retreat" series, check out Part 1 on Outlining or Pantsing Your Novel, and Part 2 on Revising, Editing, and Query Letters, both at 6:00 PM in room 253A on Thursday and Saturday respectively.)

Also:

7:00 PM (Booth 1807) - Duskfall Signing!

If you live in the area and missed my book launch event but still want to get it signed, come to my signing at Salt Lake Comic Con! Friday night at 7 PM! I'll have swag (stickers, post cards, wristbands, business cards, maybe even some wristbands), so come one, come all!


Other than those two things, I'll just be hanging out at the WordFire Press booth selling books, so if you find yourself at Comic Con, come say hi!



Monday, August 22, 2016

MidAmeriCon II

By the way, I went to Worldcon last weekend! It was a blast. One of the fun things about going to cons is that they've become less about the paneling for me (when I first started going to them I planned my panel schedule religiously, hardly missing an hour of programming) and much more about relationships and people. It's been a lot of fun to meet, hang out with, and get to know other writers, fans, and people in the business.

MidAmeriCon II was no different--I can't say no to a weekend of hanging out with some of the best folks in the business!

Monday, August 15, 2016

DARK IMMOLATION (The World Turned Upside Down)

Folks, this morning I (FINALLY!) emailed my agent a revised draft of Dark Immolation (Book 2 of the Chaos Queen Quintet).

I could not feel more relieved.

Revising this book has been incredibly difficult, and that's putting it lightly. I'll likely write a post or two in the future talking about the specifics, but here's the short of it: because of (1) life circumstances and problems and (2) the learning curve behind writing a five-book series, this book took me forever, and it's easily the most difficult thing I've ever written. I'd heard that once I started writing professionally there'd be times where the writing would just become straight up work, losing basically any attraction or redeeming quality that might've drawn me to it in the first place. The last six months, more or less, have been one long instance of that.

The good news? That moment has now passed, and I can RELAX.

That said, let's talk about the book!

Some of you may remember that when I finished the first draft of Duskfall, I wrote a blog post about it. It was actually the very first post on this blog, so that's kind of cool thing to remember. But I neglected to do this for the first draft of Dark Immolation (mainly because my daughter was born right around the time I finished it, but also because the feels of existential dread and agonizing inadequacy regarding this book were already setting in), so I'm going to give you some stats about the book right now. Check it:

  • Title: Dark Immolation - Still a working title, but the fact that it's in the frontmatter of Duskfall makes me think it might be permanent. I don't mind; I like the title, I came up with it after all, and I've been playing with some new tentative titles for books 3 and 4 that compliment "Dark Immolation" help with the symmetry of the series.
  • Version: 2.4 - So this is technically the second draft, (that's what the 2 stands for), although I've made so many passes at it over the past 8 months that you could technically count it as the third or fourth draft if you were so inclined; that's what the 4 represents--some other revision passes during this aggregate "second draft" phase. There were also a few minor drafts between 2.3 and 2.4 (2.3.1, 2.3.2, etc.), so, yeah...this novel has gone through the wringer.
  • Total Word Count: 212,500 words - For reference, the first draft of Duskfall was around 184K, while the final draft clocked in at just under 150K. The first draft of Dark Immolation, on the other hand, ended up being a whopping 265K, so I feel pretty good that I've already gotten it down to 212. That said, there's still a lot of trimming that needs to happen. I'll feel happy if I can get it under 190K by the time it's in final draft form. We'll see!
  • Chapters: 52 and an Epilogue
  • Viewpoint Characters: 7, with a number of other minor viewpoints at varying degrees of inclusion. That's two more major POVs than the first book, for reference.
  • Start date: October 2014
  • End date: August 2016 - Those numbers are slightly deceiving, as I finished the first draft sometime in Julyish of 2015, and started the second draft in December of that year. That said, that was a lot longer than I'd hoped to spend on this book. I'll really just need to write an entire post about why, but again, to summarize, DI has been incredibly difficult, but also a huge learning process, and what I've learned will profoundly affect how I move forward into Book 3.
So, that's the gist of it! Stay tuned for more info on the DI process, a mini Southwestern US book tour we're doing in September, Salt Lake Comic Con info, and more!


In the meantime, here's the song that's been playing over and over in my head (and through my speakers) since I hit the send button on that email to my agent. The fiery adrenaline, strange emptiness, and sweet relief of victory, my friends*:





* Yeah...I've become total #Hamiltrash and I DON'T CARE WHO KNOWS IT.

Monday, June 27, 2016

DUSKFALL Blog Tour!

As many of you have already observed, I've had the awesome privilege of writing a few guest blog posts and doing some interviews to promote Duskfall's release. So, without further ado, here's the tour!

Check out the posts that interest you, and of course, if you haven't looked into Duskfall already, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Do it now! :-D

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Interview with Civilian Reader

Aggie's Books: "The Magic of the Mundane"

Mary Robinette Kowal: "My Favorite Bit"

John Scalzi: "The Big Idea"

Book Mood Reviews: "TV's The 100 and the Inexorability of Death"

Interview with The Qwillery

Interview with Daniel Riding

Suvudu: "Five Favorite Works of Dark Fantasy"

Forces of Geek: "Top Five Books that Influenced Duskfall"

Interview with A Fantastic Librarian

Interview with SFFWorld

Interview with WordFire Press

Interview with Dungeon Crawlers Radio

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I'll update the list with more as they're published, so stay tuned!