It's been a very long February for me. Some unhappy family issues pulled me away from writing for about two weeks, and I'm only now caught up. That said, a lot has happened recently that I want to fill you in on, so I'm going to write another long post full of fun information. Read on:
Submissions to NineStar Press:
That's it for news for February. I know there's a lot going on, and it's probably going to continue being a fire hose deluge of things to do until at least this time next year. I'm enjoying it, though, and I'm so glad you're all sticking through it all with me as we all patiently wait for all my books to become available again.
I slept ten hours last night and I woke up feeling pretty good, so I'm going to do my best to buckle down on the edits for Ground of Resurrection. I have a lot still to do for that and they're due next week. Next week is also the start of Passover and I'm going to be incredibly busy. Today is my last full day to really get these done and I'm going to do my best.
If I make a lot of progress with Resurrection, I'm hoping to start on Ge-Mi: Part Two today as well. If not, Ge-Mi will have to wait until after Passover. I know I promised I'd get the editing and formatting complete this month, but it's just not going to happen. I will get it done next month.
The response for both If A Butterfly Don't Fly and The Sentinel's Prophesy have both been excellent. The reviews have been positive. Thank you so much to everyone that has read and enjoyed either of those books.
The short answer is, surprisingly I'm doing okay. Everyone I've spoken with is shocked that I'm not spending my days involuntarily sleeping. Honestly, if the doctor hadn't told me I have mono, I would have assumed I had a weird cold for a few days and have now gotten better. My day-to-day schedule has therefore been mostly uninterrupted.
I work a full 40 hour week, eight hours each weekday. Thanks to commute times and excessive traffic, it's actually more like a 10 hour day. By the time I get home I'm wiped and all I want to do is collapse on the couch to recuperate until it's bedtime. This is the only time where having mono has had a visible effect. My need to couch-surf every evening has gotten slightly more prominent. I'm not napping, but my energy in the evenings is definitely lower than I would like.
Obviously, this hasn't been good for my writing. In addition to my 40 hour work week, each week I try to put another 20 to 30 hours into writing or book promotion. I used to be able to spend an hour or two every weeknight trying to get edits done, or working on a tricky bit of plot, or even putting together a blog post to keep my readers updated. I couldn't work on something consuming as that would keep me awake past my bedtime (and therefore hinder my ability to get to work the next day) but I always tried to plug away at something. The bulk of my writing is done over the weekend, in between my errands and chores. Now the bulk of everything is getting done over the weekend and the hours I've been able to spend on writing have dropped significantly.
What this means is I'm woefully behind on the edits for Ground of Resurrection, haven't had a moment to pull out Ge-Mi: Part Two to give it a final edit and get it formatted for submission, and haven't had any time whatsoever to work on my to-do list. I never got around to posting a proper cover reveal for The Sentinel's Prophesy. I never even posted about the excerpt being available (you can find it HERE if you're interested), or about Prophesy going up on Goodreads (for everyone that likes to add books to their shelves).
I can only hope the last vestiges of mono will fade away soon and that I'll be able to catch up on everything quickly. Thanks to everyone that left me comments of support. I really appreciate every single one.
The Sentinel's Prophesy
I want to start off by reminding everyone that If A Butterfly Don't Fly will be released next week! If you want to pre-order the book for a 15% discount at LT3, now's your chance: https://lessthanthreepress.com/books... It will be available on Amazon and all other major retailers by March 13th.
I'll give you one guess as to what I'm working on now. If you immediately thought "edits!" you're right. I'm actually on time for all my edits, which is a nice change, but when I really want to be writing instead... Anyway, here's what I'm working on right now:
First were the edits for The Coup and the Prince, which I have completed and returned to LT3. I decided I liked the way the story ended as it was and I didn't want to muddle it up by adding an epilogue. I instead added a couple of paragraphs to the last scene that should hopefully address why the editor was thinking an epilogue would be useful. Next for this story are the copy edits, after which it will be ready for publication.
Speaking of copy edits, I just received those for The Sentinel's Prophesy. I've read through and for the most part they're very straightforward. There are one or two minor tweaks I need to address, but overall I don't think they'll be a heavy lift. Once the copy edits are completed, this story will be ready to go.
The last set of edits I received were the first round for Ground of Resurrection, the second book in my Wizard Wars series. I haven't had a chance to look through them yet, so I don't know how onerous they'll be, but they're going to be interesting either way. I won't be able to get started on this story until Prophesy is back with LT3, so I'll give you an update on it soon.
I have also resubmitted Wounded Alpha to LT3. I think (I hope) I fixed the issue, and I will find out in a few weeks whether LT3 also thinks it's fixed. I'll let you all know whether they accept it this time.
Good news first:
I have an official release date for The Sentinel's Prophesy: April 3, 2019. You can also preorder it at LT3 right now: https://lessthanthreepress.com/books... All that's left before Prophesy is ready to go is the copy edit and the galley proof, neither of which should take too long, and the cover. I haven't seen the cover yet, but I'm sure it's going to be as amazing as the rest of the series, so I'm definitely excited for it.
If A Butterfly Don't Fly also comes out in a month. If you haven't had a chance to pre-order, now's a good time: https://lessthanthreepress.com/books...
Now for the bad news:
Wounded Alpha was not accepted as part of LT3's Bound by Nothing call. They were kind enough to tell me the two reasons why: 1, I wasn't as original as I hoped and they had too many similarly-themed stories. When they had to choose which of those stories made the cut, mine didn't. 2, There was one scene that needed a bit of work, which is why mine didn't make the cut. However, they did say if I fixed that scene they would reconsider the story as a regular release.
I was originally planning to spend the entire long weekend working on the edits for The Coup and the Prince and I made a lot of progress until I got that rejection email. After reading the email, I had a good idea for how to fix the issue, so that's what I spent today doing instead of my edits. (I wanted to get it down on paper before I forgot it.) I've finished my fixing and I'm going to let the story sit for a few days, which means it's back to edits.
Of course, all of that means I haven't had a chance to work on any of my waiting stories. I was happy to have added about 1k words to Ge-Mi: Part Two, but haven't been able to get back to it since. I also started fleshing out the beginning and basic outline for the third (and likely final) book in my Wizard Wars series, but again, I haven't had time to really dig in. Hopefully once I'm done with this round of edits I'll be able to get back to it.
And that is the last of my bad news. Hopefully next week will only be good news to share.
I have two new blurbs (or summaries) to share for two of my books! First, I have the official summary for The Sentinel's Prophesy, which is a big first step in getting it ready to go up on LT3's site for pre-order. It's not too different to the temporary one I came up with while I was writing, but I think it flows a bit better. What do you think?
In ancient times, five dragons fought against an immense and powerful evil. Unable to defeat it, they imprisoned it in ice. The Oracle vowed to watch over the land and protect it from further threat. Her brother, the Sentinel, promised to oversee the ice prison and ensure the creature never escaped. Thousands of years have passed since that time, and still the Sentinel sits in his lonely tower, watching and waiting.
A simple farmhand, Corey doesn't know what to make of the way his aunt and uncle abruptly drag him into a journey across the frozen tundra, or why he's had to abandon his life to live in the tower. The only consolation from his new, strange, and confusing life is the mysterious man who lives alone in the highest room of the tower…
Second, I have finally come up with the working summary for the next (and likely last) book in my Wizard Wars series. I really like the summary, but I'm struggling with the title. I want something that either speaks to the conflict in the world, or to the potential for renewal. Those are such different options that I'm struggling to decide. I think I want to go with the former, because Ground of Resurrection already implies the latter and I don't want to be repetitive. Right now I'm leaning towards Confliction, Contention, or Dissension, but I'm not sure. Does anyone out there have any ideas? Ground of ...ction. Fill in the blank. In the meantime, here's my working summary:
Thane has always been overshadowed by his brother and his prince, and now that he's become part of the prairie, Thane can't help feeling even more adrift in the sea of grass constantly surrounding him. When Mesic sends him to investigate a strange group trying to sneak through the prairie, Thane is glad for an excuse to get away. Except, suddenly his surveillance mission turns into a rescue mission, one he doesn't know the prairie will survive.
If A Butterfly Don't Fly is back up on LT3 for preorder. Unless you got a refund, don't buy it a second time. If you didn't get a chance to preorder before, now's your chance to get it for 15% off. Check it out here: https://lessthanthreepress.com/books... It will likely become available on Amazon and all other retailers on the release date, March 13th.
All the edits for Butterfly and The Sentinel's Prophesy are back with LT3. That means Butterfly is 95% ready for release. All that's left is checking over the galley, which will happen sometime in the next few weeks. I made a lot of changes in Prophesy, but I'm not sure whether it needs to go back to the editor. It might not go through a second round of edits and instead head straight to the copy editor. I don't know what that means in terms of release dates, but the fewer edits I have to do, the better.
Just today I received more edits for The Coup and the Prince. I haven't had time to start working on it, but I glanced through and it doesn't look too bad. A couple tweaks here and there, but I didn't see any major rewrites. However, the editor did recommend I add an epilogue, which could be anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand words added (depending on how the characters speak to me). Once I get into the nitty gritty of the edits, I will have to read through and reevaluate whether I agree with that recommendation
My Truest Love and Wings of the Stars are both supposed to get a quick edit, so I'm expecting to see something regarding those two stories sometime soon as well. I am not expecting to hear anything about Ground of Resurrection for a few more months, which will hopefully allow a break between editing jobs that I would like to fill with writing instead.
LT3's Bound by Nothing call officially closed last week. It will likely be a few more weeks before I hear whether they accept Wounded Alpha, but they have started the process of going through all the submissions. I will of course let you all know when I have news to share.
I have new release dates for both of my postponed stories!
Even better news is I already know I won't miss Butterfly's new release date. I received the copy edits last weekend. My plan was to simply look through them to see what I was in for, but as I was scrolling through I started fixing. I managed to finish the edits, so all that's left is a final read-through before I send it back to LT3. If I didn't already have edits I was working on, I would have this completed today.
Speaking of those other edits, I'm making good progress on the first round of edits for The Sentinel's Prophesy. I'm about two thirds of the way through and should get that last chunk done this weekend. Then it's a read-through and back to LT3. I'm glad I'm making good progress on both sets of edits. The sooner I'm done with them, the sooner I can return to writing, which is what I really want to work on right now.
Thank you to everyone that voted in the M/M Romance Goodreads Group awards. Ground of Insurrection did not place, but I'm still really happy and honored to have been nominated. I'm hoping you all will enjoy the sequel, Ground of Resurrection, just as much.
I hope everyone had a happy holiday season and a good new year. So far, my new year is starting off well. I have lots of news to share, but first I want to tell you my new years resolution for writing: Get all my edits done on time! Conversely, if I'm struggling with the edits, contact LT3 well ahead of the deadline so we can work something out before it gets away from us both. I'm not going through that again this year, and it's not right that I put LT3 on the spot like that. 2019 is a new year with a new start where I will juggle my real life and my writing life competently.
With that out of the way, on to my news:
Edits have returned. The Sentinel's Prophesy has arrived in my inbox to start the editing process, which I'm super exited about. There's always a lot to do for the first round of edits, but nothing crazy jumped out at me after a quick glance through. I started working on it already and I hope to get a big chunk completed this weekend. By Sunday night I should know how crazy this round will be, and how many rounds of edits this particular story will need. I want to get Prophesy back to LT3 quickly because I'm expecting edits for the two postponed stories to appear at any moment. Both If A Butterfly Don't Fly and The Coup and the Prince went back for more edits. I don't know what the timeline is for either story, which means I don't know when to expect them back, and in the interest of avoiding overlapping edits (which is one of the things I had issues with last year), getting Prophesy completed soon is a high priority.
Two of my stories have had their contracts renewed. Road to Home, book two of my contemporary spy thriller series, will continue to be sold through LT3 without interruption. I will not be making any edits or changes, so if you own the book don't worry, and if you don't own the book, you have plenty of time to get your copy.
The other renewed contract belonged to Wings of the Stars, a short sci-fi story I wrote for LT3's A Loose Screw collection. Wings of the Stars is technically the second story in a series I've always loosely called Space Stars. The first book in the series, My Truest Love, was written for LT3's Rocking Hard anthology, and it went out of print a few years ago. Therein lies the dilemma. If I wanted to renew Wings of the Stars, I needed to do something with My Truest Love. I spoke with LT3 and they have accepted My Truest Love again. I would like to have new covers made for both stories that reflect the fact that they're in a series together. I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes.
The last bit of news is that the voting for M/M Romance's Best books of 2018 closed. I have to wait until next weekend to learn how Ground of Insurrection did. There was a lot of competition, but I'm still hopeful. Thank you to everyone that took the time to vote.
Ge-Mi: Part Two
May 18, 2020
Mell Eight is an author writing with NSP. For more information about Mell and her writing, please visit her website: http://melleightfiction.