Forthcoming

As I said before, I’m super busy catching up on all the work that fell by the wayside this last six months.

But here’s a little preview of what to expect from me (and Doomed Muse Press):

First, the Pyrrh Series.  Avarice, the first novel, will be out in October with the next three books following in 2013.  The series is basically “Law & Order” with swordfights.  Who wouldn’t love that? And check out the awesome cover by Nathie.

 

Then, in November, the first book of the Lorian Archive Trilogy will be out.  You can read the first 3rd of the novel for free (see the sidebar under Casimir Hypogean) or the finished book will be available in November.  The rest of the series will come in 2013.  The series has lovely covers done by the awesome Tom Edwards:

What am I Doing?

I’ve been posting very sporadically, I know. And that will probably continue. I have too many things to write now that I’m feeling better and writing again.

I’m going to add a new feature to the blog though, probably as a new page in the side bar, which will list out what I have planned.  I’ll cross things off the list as I finish them (probably with a strike-through).  These are novels, stories, or novellas that I have outlines and/or cover art for already.

Right now the list looks like this:

Under Fountain (GPC #4)

Dead of Knight (GPC #5)

A Cold and Silent Dawn (GPC #6)

The Gryphonpike Companions (GPC #7)

A Debt of Sorcery (GPC #8)

Shelter from the Storm (GPC #9)

To Steal the Crown (GPC #10)

Casimir Hypogean (Lorian Archives #1)

Beyond Casimir (Lorian Archives #2)

Casimir Rising (Lorian Archives #3)

The Raven King (Chwedl Duology Book 2)

Avarice (Pyrrh Considerable Crimes Division #1)

Wrath (Pyrrh Considerable Crimes Division #2)

Hunger (Pyrrh Considerable Crimes Division #3)

Vainglory (Pyrrh Considerable Crimes Division #4)

Fresh Blood (The Hidden War #1)

Pure Blood (The Hidden War #2)

Ancient Blood (The Hidden War #3)

Heart’s Blood (The Hidden War #4)

The City is Still Hungry (Remy Pigeon #1)

Slow Beat Down (Remy Pigeon #2)

Unnamed Steampunk/Circus novella (have cover art)

12-17 Fantasy/SF stories (have cover art for awesome collection and 3 stories already for it)

That’s the “hopefully in the next year and a half or so” list of things to write.  See why I’m busy?  and that’s just under this pen name. I have other projects under three other names on my list here at home.

Meanwhile, I’ll be at Worldcon this weekend. I’m easy to spot, what with the blue/purple mohawk and all, so if you are there, come say hi or track me down after one of my panels.

Now, back to finishing things. ALL the things.

Worldcon Panel Schedule

To the best of my knowledge, this is my panel schedule:

Sat Sep 1 1:30:pm Sat Sep 1 3:00:pm Effective Habits For Aspiring Authors
Columbus CD A nuts-and-bolts panel discussing work habits for the aspiring professional author. How to organize, prioritize, set goals, avoid distractions, and make valuable networking connections in the industry. The panel will also discuss mistakes to avoid.
Annie Bellet Brad Aiken Brad R. Torgersen David McDonald Lillian Cauldwell

 

Sat Sep 1 4:30:pm Sat Sep 1 6:00:pm Creating Formidable Women Protagonists
Buckingham How do you portray a formidable women in fiction. How do you make sure she’s still a woman and not just a guy with different plumbing?
Annie Bellet Brenda Cooper Joan Slonczewski Karen Haber Tina Jens

Some Updates

I haven’t been updating much, sorry. I’m trying to get back into the swing of writing and staying somewhat away from the internet.  The exciting news is that I’m slowly getting my books produced in audio.  The first three Gryphonpike Chronicles novellas are all out in audio.  You can find them on Audible here:

Witch Hunt Audio BookTwice Drowned Dragon Audio BookA Stone’s Throw Audio Book.

A Heart in Sun and Shadow is also in audio now, find it on Audible HERE.

I also have the final cover for the third book in the Lorian Archive trilogy, also painted/designed by Tom Edwards:

A Little Update and a Lot of Cover Pr0nz

I’ve been battling some health issues as well as a loss in my family which has led to some pretty serious writer’s block in that I just haven’t been writing much. Or doing much of anything.  I’m on the road to recovering, I think.  I’m writing again, which is the best part for me.  I don’t feel good when I’m not writing.

I am having to re-order my goals for this year due to things that have come up.  Right now, I’m planning to finish the first 20 Gryphonpike novellas (so the first 4 omnibus versions, essentially, more on those in a moment) and the first four books of the Pyrrh Considerable Crimes Division series.  I’m not sure when exactly each will be posted, part of my journey toward health is not putting too much pressure on myself.  But they’ll all be up by December, that much I can promise (barring further life rolls).

Meanwhile, here is the promised cover pr0n.

First set are for the omnibus versions of the Gryphonpike Chronicles.  Each will contain five novellas.  The art for all of them was licensed from Kerem Beyit and the text done by my friend Greg.

These next two are for the Pyrrh Considerable Crimes Division novels, books 1 and 2.  The artist is custom courtesy of Nathie via Deviantart.com and the text done by my friend Greg.

There. Cover pronz. Those will be coming out this year. Now… back to the writing I go. Many pages to go in order to fill these covers with awesome stories.

New Cover and Sale!

I sold an SF novelette to GiGaNotoSaurus, it’ll be appearing in June.

I also got the cover for the second Lorian Archive book.  The trilogy won’t be published for a little while longer (but should all be out this year, barring life catastrophe, knock on wood).

Have some shiny:

(Cover done by the awesome Tom Edwards)

Three Years

Tomorrow is the 3 year anniversary of my writing journey. It’s been a crazy ride so far.  When I first decided to quit my job and get serious about writing, my plan involved something like “write a novel every year for ten years” while submitting short stories and hoping for a book deal.

How things change, eh?  I discovered Heinlein’s Rules, attended a bunch of workshops including Clarion, and the self-publishing/e-book world came into being.  Now my plan is more like “write ten novels worth of new material every year”, I’m hardly writing short stories at all this year, and I have quit submitting queries for books (for the moment). In these last three years, I’ve written over a million words, sold ten short stories, and self-published over twenty novels, novellas, and short stories.

I have seven years left in my ten year plan (I made a deal with my husband that I would be making a living from my fiction in ten years or I’d go get a different day job).  I’ve learned so much, tried a lot of different things, put in a lot of work, over the last three years. I can only imagine where my skills will be in seven more years.

So I start my fourth year as a writer with a lot of optimism and a lot of hope. Also, because hey, this is still me, a lot of experiments planned.  I’ve been absent from the blog because of one of these experiments. The novellas are going well and are a ton of fun to write, but also take a lot of writing time and energy.  So the serial novel and the neo-pro interviews are on the back burner until March.  I’ll probably be pretty scarce here for another month or so.

Three years. Feels like twenty sometimes and like a couple months others.  I have a long way to go and a lot more to learn, but this is still the best job I’ve ever had.  Here’s to seven more years of awesome (and hopefully another few decades beyond that).

The Sneaky Faces of Doubt

I’ve talked before about how I suffer from depression and how it often affects my writing. It is tough to push away the many negative voices that I think most writers suffer from when you already feel like life sucks and there is no point to anything.  Part of living with chronic depression is learning coping mechanisms and how to pull yourself out of the deeper pits.

While I’m aware that some of my coping mechanisms aren’t the best, I had thought I was getting pretty good at identifying and eliminating the writing doubt voices.  I have three pieces of paper posted above my desk.  The first is a poster of Heinlein’s Rules. The second is a sheet with “It Never Ends” written on it to which I’ve added dates and magazine names for my published stories (I got this idea from Dean Wesley Smith. I’m hoping to fill that sheet front and back someday).  The third piece of paper has the five elements of a blockbuster novel according to Al Zuckerman (which I think are good things to keep in mind while writing anything).  On another wall, I have a super cool poster a friend made me of Lester Dent’s Pulp Paper Master Fiction Plot. I have yet to write a story directly from his formula, but I often glance at it and ask myself some of the questions he poses about whatever I’m working on.   I also have a bunch of smaller pieces of paper with things like “what is the bad guy up to?” and “parade the tag!” and lists of plotting tools (timebombs, crucibles, reversals, revelations etc).  All these things are here to surround me with tools to shove past the writing doubts and get the work done.

In the last couple months, these tools have been failing me. I’ve been failing me.  I got most of the way through a novel through sheer determination and a lot of self-talk. But it wasn’t fun. So I told myself that hey, I have no deadlines. No one is waiting for this book. No one is going to hold me to the writing plan I set out for myself. I can write whatever I want.  Which sounds very freeing.  It should have been.

So I moped sat around and thought about which of my ideas for things would be the most kick-ass fun to write.  And I settled on a series of novellas I’d been turning over in my head for the last year or so.  They are adventure fantasy in the vein of RA Salvatore or Elizabeth Moon’s Paksenarrion books, basically following one group of adventurers as they go around and kick some monster ass, help people, and spit in the face of evil.  With fireballs. And a small pink unicorn.

Sounds fun to me. I decided on my course of action, roughly outlined 15 of these novellas, and on Tuesday got to work.

On Wednesday, I hit a huge mental block. A million negative thoughts and voices flooded my brain. Wasn’t I just writing derivative crap? Shouldn’t I be spending this time working on further books in series I already have started? No one is going to want to read books from the PoV of a mute elf with a bit of a god-complex (to be fair, she did used to be basically a god).  Don’t I know that this sort of fiction would never sell to a publisher? Will never win any awards? This is too fun to write, it must be terrible.

Voices like that.  Wow. Ouch.  As soon as I realized I was avoiding working on the project because of these voices, I paused the Starcraft 2 game I was watching and had a serious conversation with myself.  (Hey, I’m not crazy. We writers do this all the time. Right?)  Where was all this coming from?

Apparently some myths are still stuck in my head and I’m not the freewheeling, commercially-minded mercenary writing machine I like to wish I was.  Some of the senarios in the back of my mind were tied so deeply to things I never consciously think about that once I examined them I laughed.

Like the little scene in my head of being at a con and having someone ask me why I write that DnD knockoff crap. Or why I’m not writing serious novels.

The funny part is, when I stop to think about it, it is always a fellow writer in my fake scene who asks this stuff. I don’t think a reader would or a person who had no idea who I am anyway (ie most random people anywhere).  I was stuck and had stopped working on a project that was the first thing to really thrill me in months because I was worried about hypothetical writer guy in my head.  Yep. Stupid.

I know where a little of that worry comes from. I was privately slammed recently by a fellow writer and the negativity definitely didn’t help my already pretty low esteem. I don’t even know this person well and I have had one IRL conversation with them ever, yet they apparently wormed their way into my subconscious and fed doubts I had thought my mercenary, hack’n’slash-loving intellect had long since defeated.

Thankfully, these doubts are lessened by working through them. I had a serious conversation with myself, identified some of the issues I was having, and talked myself through them.  It’s amazing what looks stupid and trivial once you bring it out into the conscious light.  Especially things like “if it isn’t hard, it isn’t good” which is a dumb myth that gets reinforced a lot with idiot phrases like “no pain, no gain” and that mentality. Pain is bad. Ask anyone who suffers from chronic pain (would you like to trade shoulders with me? Or knees?) how they feel about it? Or people who suffer from emotional pain.  Not a plus. Not a gain.

So I’m adding a couple new pieces of paper to my collection here.  One says “writing should be fun”.  Another says “My path is mine”.  I know that more hidden fears and doubts will show their faces eventually, but now I have a few more little weapons against them.

Follow your writing joy. And kick out anyone who says you should do something else.