Just a dusting of snow, they said. Hah. A few inches isn't a bad snowfall, but the meteorologists got it so very wrong. At least it was pretty. Now the temperature is starting to dip and I've had to turn on my oil furnace. I've never had oil heat with forced air before, but it seems to be working. The place warms up when it runs, and I just have to keep an eye on the gauge to make sure I don't run out. However, my entire house has started smelling like oil. Not burnt oil, just oil. Does anyone out there know anything about oil heat? Is smelling oil normal, or is there something wrong with my burner or exhaust vent? My brand new smoke and carbon monoxide alarms (and that was a saga to install) haven't gone off, so it's not dangerous, just annoying. Any advice you can give me would be super appreciated!
On a more writerly note, I've had two books come out recently! Readers really seem to be enjoying Dragon Adventures. My two side stories featuring two dragons who demanded their adventures be told were incredibly fun to write, and I'm so glad you're enjoying reading them too! I promise we return to our main family when the series returns with Dragon Lesson in just a few short weeks, but Aqua and Rios might have some cameos in books down the road. And speaking of Dragon Lesson: I have seen the first draft for the new cover, and it's amazing! I can't wait to share it with you.
I had another recent release, but this one snuck up on me. I knew NSP was creating a print volume to compile together the first three books in my Supernatural Consultant series, but I had zero idea it had been released. NSP doesn't sell print on their website, but you can buy it at Amazon and Barnes and Noble (and probably other retailers too). If you like print books, please let me know. I'm hoping NSP will release more of my books in print in the future. Which print book are you looking forward to the most?
I've been getting a bunch of questions from my readers about a number of different stories and topics. I thought I ought to post some answers in a central location where everyone can read them. If I missed your question, or if you have more questions, feel free to reach out to me (comment on any of my blog posts, on Goodreads, on Facebook, or Twitter) and I'll definitely answer it.
Q: You said Alloy is going to have a story with the crazy territory leader in Texas. Where is that story?
A: Quite frankly, I've realized I just don't know enough about Texas to write a story with a main character from there. I don't understand the cultural references that would make a character a fully-rounded individual. No amount of research is going to get me to a place where I feel comfortable writing that character. While I still like the idea, unfortunately I think the best option for everyone is going to have to be scrapping it. That said, I have another idea for Alloy that I think will incorporate the parts I liked from the previous plan, and will likely flow better overall. (I'm not giving anything away yet to avoid spoilers, but you should see the first hints of this in Dragon Spy.)
Q: Will there be a Ge-Mi: Part Three?
A: Short answer is no. The long answer is much more complicated. Book One was Ge-Mi. Book Two is Di-Na. Book Three doesn't have a name yet. I'm not done writing Nevada and Taylor just yet, but chronologically (both in my writing and in the timeline of the story) Di-Na: Parts One and Two must come first. I haven't decided whether Nevada and Taylor will have cameo appearances in Di-Na: Part Two, or whether I want to hold off on their involvement until book three. Rather than writing Gi-Mi: Part Three, my plan is to write Book Three under a new name, but with all the main characters from the previous books coming together.
Q: I have been waiting for years for the sequel for X story. When will it be released?
A: Every single one of my series, and even some of my stand alone books, have received some variation of this question. There are three possible answers.
Q: When will Y story be re-released with your new publisher?
A: See #2 in the previous answer for part of the explanation. The rest of it is: I sent NSP 30 books. I have effectively buried them in manuscripts. So far they've released three, one is due to come out next week, three are in the midst of the editing process, seven more have been accepted, and the rest are still in the assessment queue. Everyone involved with the process of re-releasing all my books must be patient. It's not a fast process, but NSP and I will continue to move forward with it until every book is back on the shelves.
Q: But what about your out of print books? When will you re-release them?
A: The ones that can be re-released will be. There are restrictions I have to follow regarding story length, content, and quality that means six of my previously published books are not acceptable by NSP's standards. The most pressing issue is story length; LT3 accepted shorter word counts than NSP, so unless I can figure out a way to add a few thousand words to some of my old stories, NSP will not accept them as is.
I can't tell you how many blog posts I've written this month where, just before I was ready to post, I got more news and had to rewrite. I think this is my third or fourth attempt to get out a blog post, but there's so much to tell you I'm just going to post what I have, and I may end up writing another blog post tomorrow. Either way, this post is really long, but I promise there's exciting stuff inside. Read on:
Submissions to NineStar Press:
When I sent in Ge-Mi for consideration with NineStar Press, I also sent in Dragon Consultant, the first book in my Supernatural Consultant series. I'm happy to report that not only did NineStar accept Dragon Consultant, they requested to take a look at the rest of the series! I have since signed contracts for Dragon Deception (book two) and Dragon Dilemma (book three). While I won't make any promises, I'm hopeful the rest of the series will soon be accepted as well.
Like with Ge-Mi, all my Supernatural Consultant books will be going through a thorough editing. I don't know what that means in terms of changes to the stories, but I will let you know the second I know. I am hoping that going through the editing process again will help galvanize me into working on Dragon Spy, the next book in the series. There's a lot to write still, but I already know it's going to be a fun story.
I hope to have more Supernatural Consultant news to share with you all in the near future.
I have so much news to share. Some of it's good news and some of it's bad news, and I'm really hoping you and LT3 will forgive me for the bad news. Let me get all of the bad out of the way first.
I am a very, very bad author. I struggled so much with the edits for The Coup and the Prince. It was ridiculous considering how short the story is, but for some reason those damned edits just wouldn't go. I finally got them back to LT3, but I was beyond late. There is no way Coup will be released on time and it's all my fault. I'll let you know what LT3 decides to do about it, but for the interim I will continue to wallow in misery for my incompetence.
The next bit of bad news is that the audio book for Supernatural Consultant: Volume Two will be delayed indefinitely. I know some of you had expressed interest in Volume Two, which is why I reached out to LT3 about it. Sales for Volume One just weren't high enough to justify putting Volume Two into audio. LT3 is still interested in doing it, but it's been pushed back to the bottom of the to-do list. The second that changes I'll let you all know.
The last bit of bad news is Paint, Guns, Money, & Love is out of print. It wasn't selling well and it wasn't my best work, so it was decided to let it go. I have a feeling it won't be missed, but I'm still sad it's gone.
And now, finally, on to the good news!
The response for Ground of Insurrection has been phenomenal. I haven't seen a single negative review! A few bits of constructive criticism, but overall everyone has really enjoyed it. Reading all those wonderful reviews really lifted my spirits when I needed it most, so thank you to everyone that read and reviewed.
The Coup and the Prince is available for pre-order at LT3 for a 15% discount. You can get your copy reserved today: https://lessthanthreepress.com/books...
I have been working on Ge-Mi. No, part two hasn't grown, but I finally started organizing book two. Each book in this series will be split into two parts and Di-Na, the second book in the series, not only has a name, but it has its two main characters. I hope you'll love Kay and Sierra as much as Taylor and Nevada. Now that I've gotten all of that figured out, I'm really hoping to return to finishing Ge-Mi: Part Two. Feel free to check out the summaries and such on my current projects page.
I have seen the first draft covers for The Coup and the Prince and for Heartbeat and they are perfect. I'm really looking forward to sharing the final versions with all of you, so check back for a cover reveal post soon!
All I have left on my to-do list this weekend are the edits for If A Butterfly Don't Fly. I put them off while I was figuring out Coup. I'm hoping because this is the second round, the edits will be easy. We'll see, but I'm going to start working on them as soon as I finish giving The Sentinel's Prophesy one last check. I am going to get Prophesy submitted to LT3 today.
And that's it for all my news. I'll keep you all appraised as I learn more and I'm hoping next time it will be all good news.
What is it about getting a big stack of edits that makes me want to run the other way? I don't know if this is a me thing or an authors in general thing, but edits suck. They're this necessary evil staring at me from the abyss. I know I have to work on them, but I can't help putting them off. What this means is I took one look at the edits for Kelpie Blue, gulped, and then scurried back to the safe realm of writing. I have completed writing The Red Apple Witch when I should have been working on my edits.
Those of you that have been following me for a while know that The Red Apple Witch is a fairy tale I started writing soon after Cinder-Elle came out in 2012. Every once in a while I poked at it, but for the most part the story lay stagnant in my computer. Then I had the idea to combine a bunch of my fairy tales into one compilation and I said to myself, I have to finish this one too. Well, I've finally done it. The Red Apple Witch still needs a lot of editing, especially the older parts of the story, but I am so glad to finally say it's complete. This means I have five fairy tales complete and just about ready for submission, one tale that I need to rework the ending (Thunderbird), and two more that I need to write. I recently read through A Heart's Dream, which I've been stuck on for a bit, and realized the reason I was stuck was I was trying to force the story to be 30k words when it was really only calling for 15k. The other story I need to work on is Trip Trop Trail, which is a Billy Goat Gruff retelling with a twist. I have the main points figured out, but I can't decide whether I want it set in the modern day (which would be the only one of my fairy tales in that setting) or if I should do a more fantasy-like setting instead. Once I figure that out, I'll be able to start writing.
Supernatural Consultant, Volume Two came out recently. This is the second print compilation of the series and it picks up where Volume One left off. It includes Dragon Detective, Dragon Soldier, Dragon Adventure, and Dragon Home. You can buy your copy at LT3 today and it's also available at your favorite print retailer (but it's cheaper for you to buy from LT3).
Kelpie Blue is also available for pre-order at LT3. They're having a very nice sale right now, so you can get it for 32% off: https://lessthanthreepress.com/books... It comes out on March 21, 2018, which will be here soon. (And, yes, I have been working on those edits. Don't worry.)
LT3 and I have been sending emails back and forth. I've asked far too many questions and probably annoyed the heck out of them (sorry!), but it was very productive nonetheless. I now have lots of news to share with you. First, the cover for Supernatural Consultant, Volume Two has arrived! Volume Two is the second print compilation in the series and will include Dragon Detective, Dragon Soldier, Dragon Adventure, and Dragon Home. LT3's plan was to try to get it to the printer today, so--barring human error and unforeseen circumstances--it should be for sale sometime next week. I will let you know when it's up on LT3's site. I know Amazon and some of the other online stores take a bit longer, but at least you'll know when to start looking.
Second, Volume Two has been included in the list of books to be turned into audiobooks. I believe it is currently third on the list and audiobooks take time to make, so look for it to be available next February, March, or April. I'm hoping to be able to pin down a more exact date when the book is sent to the voice actor.
Third, LT3 and the editor for Kelpie Blue conferenced and came to the same conclusion I did: a January release date for Kelpie Blue--given the extent of the edits--just wasn't realistic. LT3 provided me with a new release date instead. Look for Kelpie Blue to be in your hands on March 21, 2018.
And, don't forget to pre-order your copy of Hadash Aviv, my short spy thriller. It will be released in just over a month, on December 13, 2017 and (if you haven't read it before) I think you'll really like it. It's a reprint, so check your ebook libraries to see whether you already purchased it, and then if you haven't go grab your copy today: https://lessthanthreepress.com/books...
Passover kicked my butt more than I thought it would. During the week itself I was too busy to get any writing done and the week after I was so exhausted I needed every moment to recover. Then I had to drive home again, which killed any weekend writing time for this last week in April. Basically, I was successful at my goals for the first half of the month, but the latter two weeks were a wash. Here's how I did:
It's been about a year now since I put together a proper goals list that I knew I could keep to. My life has started to gain stability and my writing time has settled down to a proper schedule, so I would like to try setting these goals again.
Some considerations for April that I will have to keep in mind are 1) Passover, which will take away a few days from my writing time, and 2) Editing, since I'm expecting the copy edits for Dragon Adventure, the second round of edits for Justified, the first round of edits for Dragon Home, and all the edits for The Dragon's Hoard series and Short Stories.
With all that in mind, here are my goals for April:
If I can confine my writing to just those stories, I could very well be able to complete one of them and make a lot of progress on the rest.
December 28, 2020
A Little Fairy Dust
January 4, 2021
Mell Eight is an author writing with NSP. For more information about Mell and her writing, please visit her website: http://melleightfiction.