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 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:
I hope everyone had a very happy new year! I couch surfed and watched the ball drop, which was fun for me. I keep writing 19 rather than 20 for the year, but I'm sure I'll get used to it eventually.
On to book news:
Ge-Mi: Nevada has been sent to a cover artist. NineStar doesn't work with an illustrator. What that means is they can't keep the original cover because they don't have someone that can continue with the same style cover for the next books in the series. Ge-Mi will therefore be getting a fresh new look. I have to admit I'm bummed. I designed the original cover myself and had grand plans for the rest of the series. I was really looking forward to seeing how the artist brought my characters to life in the next covers. That won't happen now. That said, there are definitely benefits to the new cover. The new cover might actually be safe for work, which means you can read it in public, and won't be as confusing for readers that saw a naked man on the cover and immediately thought erotica rather than romance. I can't wait to see what the new cover looks like, and as soon as I have a final copy I'll be sure to share it with you all.
I haven't gotten any new edits yet, but I'm expecting them any day. I also haven't heard yay or nay from NSP regarding my Wizard Wars series. There's still a few more weeks left before their timeline ends, so I'm trying to be patient as I wait.
Since patience is hard, and since I know a bunch of you were excited when I originally announced Wounded Alpha, I decided to go ahead and finish shining that story up. I have just submitted it to NSP. It fits within a theme they put out an internal call for, so I'm hopeful I'll hear before the 16 week timeline. Wish me luck!
And now I have to decide what story or series I want to fix up and submit to NSP next. Since I just submitted yet another fantasy/paranormal story, I'm wondering if this might be a good time to slide my lone contemporary series across their doorstep. Road To is my modern day spy thriller, but it's also one of my oldest series. I'm honestly not certain NSP would be interested, but I do think it's worth a try. What do you guys think?
The Coup and the Prince comes out next week! Right now LT3's having a big sale in honor of Sam's birthday, so you can get it for a big discount. Otherwise, it will be available on Amazon and all other retailers very soon. You can always check it out on Goodreads until then. This book has been an adventure to write and to edit, and I do think it eventually turned out really well. I'm excited for everyone to read it! May 22nd can't come quick enough.
I have seen the first draft of the cover for Ground of Resurrection and it is phenomenal. I asked for two tweaks. Hopefully once the changes are made, I'll have it to share with you. I don't yet have a release date for Resurrection, but given we're already talking about covers, it has to be coming soon. The second round of edits for this story should be coming soon too.
A quick update on everything else:
I'm still working on the edits for My Truest Love. I'm late in getting them back (again...sigh), but I'm hoping to get them done this weekend. I can't believe how involved edits for a reprint are. There were definitely some small changes, but the overall story isn't different. If you purchased it previously, you probably don't have to buy it again. I'm looking forward to the new covers for the series too.
Wounded Alpha is still somewhere in the ether that is the editing process. I won't see it for at least a few more months. Ge-Mi: Part Two is still in the submission pool. It's only been three weeks since I submitted it (it feels like forever ago!), so I won't hear for at least another two to six weeks. I'm anxious to know whether LT3 likes it, but I'm also hoping to have some time to work on book two in the series too.
Writing has been totally stagnant. I've been burned out by the mono and by work, which isn't fun. I need to be able to think in order to put words onto paper properly, and I just haven't been capable of that lately. Also, I keep having interrupted weekends where something comes up that drags me out of my apartment for half of it. That leaves me with only one day to do all the other chores and things I have to get done, and writing has unfortunately been taking a back seat. Right now June is looking like a good month with no interrupted weekends or crazy work projects. I am very hopeful I'll be able to get some real work done on my poor, neglected stories throughout June.
Wounded Alpha was accepted for publication at LT3! This means the areas I fixed when the story was rejected the first time worked. This story was a ton of fun to write, so I'm incredibly excited to have it accepted this time. I'm expecting to see the first round of edits for this story in approximately six months, so start looking for publication announcements for sometime fourth quarter 2019 to first quarter 2020.
I have returned the first round of edits for Ground of Resurrection to LT3. I think the story is really looking good, but it still has to go back to the editor for another round. I should start getting word about a potential release date and the cover approximately when the second round of edits arrive.
I have also received the edits for My Truest Love, which is a reprint. The story has already gone through the editing process, but I wanted it to get another look through to make sure everything was good. For the most part the edits are simple, but there are a couple weak spots. I knew about them before, but couldn't fix them when the story was previously released as part of the collection call. The editor this time was kind enough to point them out and offer suggestions. It's therefore going to take a bit of work to get this story ready, but I'm hoping to get it done quickly. Even though Wings of the Stars, the second book in this series, is currently still for sale at LT3, I'm also expecting to get edits for it soon too as part of the series revamp.
Next on my to-do list was Ge-Mi: Part Two and I'm happy to say this book is completely done! After I returned Resurrection to LT3, as promised I pulled out Ge-Mi and ran it through a final edit. I have to say I'm incredibly happy with how it turned out and I do think you'll love it just as much as I do. My plan is to submit it to LT3 either tonight or first thing tomorrow morning. I will let everyone know whether LT3 accepts it. Next for this series is Di-Na, book two in the series, which will also be split into two parts. I've begun writing Di-Na: Part One, so hopefully I'll be quicker about it and have it to LT3 within a year.
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.
Today only, Magnified is .99 cents at LT3. If you haven't read it yet, this is a great chance to get a copy: https://lessthanthreepress.com/books... Magnified is a vampire story and is probably the closest I'll ever come to writing horror, and is one of my favorite stories that I've written. I think you'll like it too.
Ground of Resurrection was accepted for publishing by LT3! I'm really excited and I honestly hope this is a sign that I will be able to get back on track. I'm still waiting for word on If A Butterfly Don't Fly and The Coup and the Prince, but having this small success is definitely helping me get my confidence back. I'm hoping this week will therefore be a good one for writing. I am soooo close to finishing writing Ge-Mi: Part Two; with a couple days of focused effort I just might be able to do it. Wish me luck!
Ground of Insurrection, the prequel to Resurrection, is available to vote for at the M/M Romance Awards on Goodreads. I'm trying not to spam your inboxes with this, but I'm still so stoked about being nominated and I really want Insurrection to do well. I have recently learned you have to be a member of the group to vote, so if you are a member please consider Insurrection as your choice! You can vote here: https://www.goodreads.com/poll/show/181365-best-fantasy-you-must-click-on-the-book-you-would-like-to-vote
LT3 has confirmed receipt of Wounded Alpha, so it continues to be a game of patience on my part. I have to wait for the call to close and for LT3 to go through all the submissions before I'll hear, but the story was so interesting to write and I just want to know now. I can be patient, I promise, but it's definitely something I'm super excited about. Until then, it's back to writing!
I don't know what sort of crud I've got, but it's been a slow recovery. The fever finally broke, but I've still got a bit of a cough. The problem is, I'm still finding it hard to concentrate. My body just wants to curl up and sleep it off, while I wanted to spend this weekend writing instead. That's just not going to happen. I need this crud to go away so I can get back to a regular routine that includes getting some writing done.
I was able to get a last edit of Wounded Alpha completed and I went ahead and submitted it to LT3. The call doesn't close until the end of January, so LT3 won't take a look until then, but now it's one less worry on my plate. I can instead focus on all the other things I know will be coming, including a lot more edits. Until then, I am going to continue plucking away at all my stories to see if I can get some completed.
One thing I was able to take a look at was Thunderbird (one of the stories I'm hoping to submit with my fairy tales), and I'm concerned about it. Way back when, I submitted it to LT3 and they rejected it. They were kind enough to provide a reason why and after looking through the manuscript again, I can see that they were right. I need to add a few more scenes in order to smooth out the issue, but I'm not finding that an easy task. The problem is, as the story stands now, it flows nicely. The plot and the world building both work as they are. I just need to make a few tweaks to one of my characterizations, and one or two additions to the romance, yet I can't decide where to cut into the story to start adding those changes. Anywhere I try, I leave blatant hatchet marks in the plot and the flow immediately dies. I don't want to scrap this story as I think it's the most unique one in the bunch, but I can't resubmit it as it stands, which means I've reached an impasse. Does anyone have any suggestions?
Aside from fixing Thunderbird, I have two other stories in my fairy tale bunch to finish. A Heart's Dream started out as yet another Cinderella rewrite, but I'm trying to get it to go more of a Sleeping Beauty route. I think that will fit better with the characters, but planning that out has been really slow going. Trip Trop Trail, my Billy Goats Gruff rewrite, hasn't been worked on at all. I was trying to get A Heart's Dream completed first, which has left Trip Trop Trail patiently waiting. Unfortunately, it's going to have to continue to wait as I have a few other things I need to get done first. Only once all three of those stories have been completely worked out can I start looking at final edits and formatting, which is months away.
I am home sick today. Sore throat, low grade fever, cough. Ugh. I keep waking up from a nap and wondering when I can take another nap. It sucks. Even if I had the energy to write, which I don't, I can't use my leave from work for writing purposes. Instead, I'm hoping to read a good book. Since I didn't have edits this past weekend, I got to read Mercenaries of the Stolen Moon by Megan Derr, which just came out. I enjoyed it so much I went and reread the rest of the series...again...and bought Mercenaries in print. Now I need something else to read in between my naps today. I've got an overstuffed bookshelf in my apartment and a bunch of ebooks on my computer, so I'll figure something out.
Here's some super wonderful good news: Ground of Insurrection has been nominated in the Fantasy category in M/M Romance's 2018 Members' Choice Awards on Goodreads! The last book I had nominated was Hadash Aviv back in 2013. Given I only have two books eligible for nomination this year, having even one of them chosen is amazing. Voting opens next month and I'll post all the links you'll need then.
I don't have any news to share about my upcoming books. If A Butterfly Don't Fly and The Coup and the Prince are still in process, I know that much, but I don't know anything else about them just yet. The Sentinel's Prophesy is also going to start the editing process sometime soon. Ground of Resurrection has been submitted, but I won't hear whether it's been accepted for a few more months.
As for writing, I've had a good week. Ge-Mi: Part Two is almost there! I've had to pause actually writing in order to organize and plan the final battle scene, but that's led to good progress. I am hoping to have it completed by the end of the year. Wounded Alpha, my story for LT3's Bound by Nothing call, has been sitting for long enough. I'm thinking if I have some energy tonight, I might start giving it a final edit. I've decided it would be better to get it done and submitted sooner, just in case I get drowned in edits again. The last thing I want is for the submission deadline to arrive while I'm busy with other things. This way it's one less thing on my plate.
For now, though, it's time for another nap.
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.