Work in Progress Wednesday – September 6

Sharon Ashwood
September 5, 2017  •  No Comments

I do these (almost) weekly updates to let readers know where all my various works in progress are at and how soon they will be available. I also do them to make myself accountable because it’s far too easy to get scattered.

This week’s progress:

Enchanter Redeemed (Camelot Reborn book 4): Did two rounds of edits in very short order, which was exhausting but the book is in the can now. Release date Feb 2018

Fragile Magic: Is up for sale! My first solo indie release!

Kiss in the Dark: Is also locked and loaded and on preorder. Release date is September 30.

Kiss at the Altar: My contribution in progress, with about 2,000 words to go.

The Demon Lord of Kitty Badness scoffs at stress

The Demon Lord of Kitty Badness scoffs at stress

New projects were bumped by Enchanter Redeemed’s editing process.

Since my long weekend was all about copyedits, I took today off to get other things done. This included a wrangle with Audible and Amazon Author Central, since I had to sort out some longstanding issues with my account. And then there was updating Goodreads, my website, copyright forms, cleaning out the inbox, blah blah. I mention this because it’s the reality of the working author just as much as the writing part. The good news is clearing all that away reduces stress. We can’t all be like the Demon Lord of Kitty Badness, who mocks the stressed-out human slaves.

 

 


New beginnings in Corsair’s Cove


June 21, 2017  •  No Comments

Here’s my work-in-progress Wednesday update:

A while back, my friend Lee McKenzie invited me and Rachel Goldsworthy to a restaurant and one hot afternoon over glasses of wine. As we kicked around writing ideas, we came up with the group project eventually named Corsair’s Cove. The incomparable Shelley Adina joined us, and we were away. Each of us was to contribute a novella around a small town setting, but this wasn’t your average romance collection. We wanted pirates and ghosts and curses and a chocolate shop and family drama. And a parrot. Why not?

And so we did it. We ordered the stories from the least to most paranormal content. It’s no surprise that Kiss in the Dark, my story, is the last and the longest and features a supernatural hero. These are sweet romances, which is a little different from the Nocturnes I’ve been writing, but I honestly don’t think the story needs the bedroom door open. Some heroes don’t need to read the recipe aloud in order to serve dessert.

This project is wonderfully fun because the group itself is solid. The voices of these books are all unique and yet the place, the characters, and the spirit of it all is consistent throughout. Not only are my co-writers professionals, but they’re excellent human beings. I want to return to the Cove again and again just to hang out.

The other key piece for me is that these novellas are self-published. I’ve never done indie publishing before, but I’m learning alongside friends, celebrating each step, and seeing possibilities for the future. I can’t think of a better way to go through the learning process and get the first whiff of empowerment independence offers. Oh yes, and the enormous amount of work and responsibility.  To do a good job means taking on a lot of diverse roles. At least I have some business skills to bring to the table!

Talk about new beginnings all around!  Best of all, now I have some fresh tools to work with. Who knows what plans and ideas might hatch?


Just another day at the word farm


May 18, 2017  •  No Comments

What happened this week?  I was minding my own business and I got an email telling me that my publishing line closed. Harlequin Nocturne, alone with 4 other series lines, is ceasing operations at the end of December 2018.

Good news: I will probably get the last of the Camelot Reborn books published. I am heartened by the fact that ENCHANTER REDEEMED stars Merlin.  If anyone can beat the odds, it would be him. Bad news:  I will have to exert effort (boo!). The nice thing about Nocturne was that they liked my stuff and getting new contracts was, for the current publishing climate, relatively straightforward.

I won’t dwell on the suckage of all this because it’s obvious. Good people lose their jobs when this sort of thing happens. Books and authors lose their publishing home. Readers don’t get the books they love.  It’s also weird finding out about something so personally impactful via a broadcast email, but that is apparently how modern life rolls.

So what is my response to all this?  I have Merlin’s book to write by deadline. I can’t allow circumstances to slow me down, mostly because I’m behind to begin with. This is publishing. And when this book is done, I have other projects on the boil. This is exactly why I have many things in play at the same time. I’ve learned my lessons.

Disasters?  Bah, I eat them on little crackers for breakfast.


Author Activity Roundup Spring 2017


March 30, 2017  •  No Comments

What do authors actually do with their time? Some of it involves staring at the ceiling and some playing fetch with the cat (I do most of the fetching) but there are occasions when words actually get written. I’m trying to get into the habit of giving readers a regular project roundup, so here goes:

  1. Award news—for anyone who missed my squeals of delight, ENCHANTED WARRIOR (Camelot, Book 1) received a RITA nomination for paranormal romance. The RITA contest has thousands of entries and is like the Oscars for romance fiction, so I am VERY pleased, especially since this is the second year in a row for one of my Nocturnes. Maybe this time I’ll win a friend for my golden lady!
  2. ROYAL ENCHANTMENT (Camelot, Book 3) starring Arthur and Guinevere will be available this July.
  3. ENCHANTER REDEEMED (Camelot, Book 4) is under construction. This is Merlin’s adventure.
  4. KISS IN THE DARK (Corsair’s Cove series) is part of a continuity series of indie novellas. I’m in the first round editing phase. The cover is scrumptious. Pub date October.
  5. Self-pubbing project – have covers, waiting for time to perform final edit pass. Targeting autumn.
  6. Sekrit Projects – these are Holloway products. One with agent, one awaiting revisions. These are FUN FUN FUN so I am anxious for these to move up the to-do list.

So . . . yes, I do have a few things on the go. Though it seems like a lot, this is actually fairly normal because in the writing cycle there are always four stages:

  • Ideas/research/proposal,
  • writing,
  • editing, and
  • release and publicity.

If you’re a working writer, chances are you’ll have something at each stage. I’m finding that, as I work toward being a hybrid author and have more than one author name anyway, I have multiple sets of works on the go. Scheduling has always been my friend, and now it’s my BFF!


Author proposes what comes next.


January 22, 2017  •  4 Comments

Three – count ’em – three proposals are now out there in the universe. For me, that’s a bunch.  Since I rarely restrict myself to one series at a go, that doesn’t mean only one of these three proposals I just finished will go forward at the expense of everything else.  There’s the next Camelot Reborn book, which will happen one way or another. The other two are for brand new series more in the vein of the Baskerville Affair – adventure stories with a nod to romance rather than vice versa. I’ve been waiting for an A+ idea for the Emma Jane Holloway stable, and the muse finally delivered two. I have now sent them to my agentwoman writing. The second absorbed a chunk of my Christmas holidays, but I can’t think of a better way for a writer to celebrate than with a whole new universe to play in!

For those that don’t know, a book proposal is about the first three chapters plus an outline, plus some other supporting materials.  Mine generally run around fifty pages or so if it’s for a new series, mostly because I want to be sure to get my idea across. There’s an art to writing these things, and most of what people say about synopsis construction isn’t that helpful (at least to me). I struggle every time, and the events I talk about in the outline may well be lies. I’m a plotter, but quite happy to change course at the drop of a hat. What really matters is digging deep enough to come up with the core themes and conflicts and making them shine. I always imagine my future editor reading the proposal in some far-off place, maybe on a subway with no sleep and a squalling kid across the aisle. I ask myself if the ideas are good enough to overcome the background noise and make him/her keep listening and keep wanting more.

Anyway, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the spark I see in my mind’s eye translates to the page.


Welcome to the new site


December 30, 2016  •  No Comments

I’m test driving this new blog while on Christmas holidays.  For those wondering what happened to the old sites, and why they are combined here, it’s fairly simple.  For a long time, the conventional advice to authors was to separate pseudonyms because readers would become confused by one person writing different genres under different names.

This doesn’t make much sense now, but maybe it was true at some point. At any rate, readers turned out to be both adaptable and accepting, so authors began amalgamating their various social media and blog properties to minimize the time they spend thinking up posts and maximize the time they spend writing. It’s a win-win because authors can reach all their readers with less effort and readers get more contact and, because of time saved, more books.


Lots and lots of new things!

Emma Jane Holloway
October 13, 2016  •  No Comments

I realize that I haven’t posted here for a bit.  I have a very good excuse – this website is getting rebuilt and will be merged with my other website. The prototype looks fabulous and this project will result in a single blog, all my publications under one virtual roof, and more effective communication all around. I’m on a campaign to simplify things so there may be other redirects and tweaks about the place, but this will result in more news getting to the right places and less of the author running from site to site like a headless chicken. Frankly, when I think “oh, I should write a post,” I get stalled when I have to decide where to put it, and then I think I should write more so that every site gets one, and I end up doing nothing. Not good, so I’m renovating.


The fortunes of a book in haiku

Emma Jane Holloway
June 15, 2016  •  No Comments

I lay no great claim to poetic talent, but some days I need to amuse myself:

 

A book proposal

Dance seven coy veils for the

Agency inbox


Back to the sunlight

Emma Jane Holloway
May 2, 2016  •  No Comments

2016-05-01 13.01.55I’ve been quiet lately as I battled a cold/flu thing that seemed to absorb most of April. I don’t get sick often but I made up for lost opportunities with this particular bug. I’m pretty much over it now and am predictably obsessed with lifestyle improvements so I don’t get so run down again. Being confined to the couch for a few days made me realize how much energy I’ve put out without what is quaintly termed “refilling the well.” By the end of my down time I began to feel creative in a way I haven’t in a very long time. That spark that gives us our art is very strong, but it’s not indestructible. I realized the crazy, electric wildfire of ideas that rattles around in my head had dulled, but I hadn’t noticed the fact until it came roaring back. Now my job is to keep it safe.

The biggest hazard to any creative person is the world we exist in. Stress is universal, but writers have a strange add-on bundle comprised of self-doubt, well-meant advice that leaves us feeling like compost, and a crazy industry. I can make a grandiose statement about how it’s our responsibility to endure it, but that only makes people want to punch the speaker.

May has to be a better month. It started with the best weather we’ve had so far and I took this photo on May Day. I love the touch of blood read in the depths of these saw-toothed tulips. They’re beautiful but sinister if you have the right kind of warped imagination.

 

 

 

 


Happy Valentine’s Day!

Emma Jane Holloway
February 14, 2016  •  No Comments

valentineballoon


Page 1 of 1012345...10...Last »