All posts by Mary

In The Salt Mines

So here we are, 5 months into 2015 and things sure haven’t gone the way I’d expected, writing-wise.

Remember back in January when I promised I’d write more, share more and and finish things? I’ve kind of stayed on track in that regard, but not in the way you think.

In January, I was flooded with a bunch of freelance projects all at once. 4 to be exact. Since work comes and goes so fleetingly when living the freelance life, I accepted every project and rearranged my personal writing schedule to accommodate them.

Let’s just say it only took me a few days to realize my own work was not just firmly pushed to the back burner, but totally thrown by the wayside.

It pains me, dude. PAINS ME not to be able to work on my own stories but right now, I have firm deadlines for paying clients and I just had to put on my Big Girl pants and deal with it.

I’ve learned a few things along the way, though…

1. I CAN ROCK IT!
In order to meet all these deadlines, I’ve had to up my daily writing game. No way around it. With some installments due on the same day, some in the same week, every other week, constantly for the past 5 months, I’ve been typing up a storm, guzzling coffee like nobody’s business and generally living the hermetic life. But little by little, I’ve seen my daily word count grow (sometimes almost hitting the 10K mark) and when I’m really in the zone, my productivity is killer.

2. IT’S ALL GOOD
So yeah, I may be devoting all these hours (and days…and weeks…) to someone else’s work, but it’s still practice for me. It can only make my own writing that much stronger.

3. ABSENCE AND THE HEART
It really DOES grow fonder! I’m DYING to work on my own books. I admit it…I was a bit stuck in my own work (finishing 1 novel, preparing to edit another, overwhelmed by both), but in this time away, little snippets come to me. Half-scenes, pieces of conversation, & cool twists I’ve been jotting down so when I finally have time for my work, I’m ready to hit the ground running.

I’ve had some of my highest word counts these past few months and I’m pretty proud of the work I’ve done. Not just the stories I’m writing, but the amount of work I’m getting done.

The lesson to be learned here? To keep up the same dedication to my own work as I’ve had for these other projects.

I am so not wanting for ideas. I have buckets of ideas just waiting for me to pay them a little attention. The only problem when I do finally have time to work on my own writing? Choosing which one to do first.

There are worse problems to have, so I’m not complaining. Just pining…

WHAT TO EXPECT

So, here are the projects I’m working on or that I hope to have out in the next few months

  • Lockwood novel: I need to finish writing the 2nd half
  • Reaper novel (Book 1 of 2): needs editing!
  • ebook Bundle: 3-ebook short story bundle, hoping to release it this summer
  • Secret Project: this one probably won’t be out for a while, but it’s going to be AMAZING! More details as they’re available

And that doesn’t include the serial, or the other novel, or…or…

Disappointments & Drive

I’ll be the first to admit it’s taken me some time to get back into the swing of writing after the holidays.

Truth be told, after NaNoWriMo, I was spent, and didn’t even look at my book until January. I KNOW! How dare I?! But, after the dizzying madness of trying to get at least a good chunk of it written, I needed to step away from the computer for a while.

That doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking about writing. Trust me, I’m never not thinking about my books, stories and ideas.

Case in point, here are some of my plans for 2015.

WRITE MORE!
It’d be safe to say that’s a goal I have every day of the year but it doesn’t hurt to say it out loud.

And really, it’s a win-win situation, since I’ll have more stories for my readers while also improving my writing as I go. Score!

First on the list is to finish the book I started in November (another Lockwood story!).  About half of it is written and after spending the last week going over my original outline, fleshing out the plot a bit more, and reorganizing scenes, I’m ready to write the 2nd half. I’m getting into the meat of the book now too, so hopefully it will flow well and I can knock it out in a month or so.

SHARE MORE
Some things I just don’t share (like bacon…), but this year, I want to make a concerted effort to get my writing in front of as many new people as possible.

One of the ways I intend to do that is through serials!

I’ve been playing with a few serial ideas for some time now but I’m hoping things will come together soon (i.e. after brainstorming on the 3 different ideas, seeing which one grabs me the most) so I can get started writing episodes and hopefully have things ready for public eyes in the Spring.

I’m still debating how I’ll get those episodes out as well, so stay tuned for more info (or feel free to join my Newsletter for the announcement!).

FINISH THINGS
Okay, so I admit it – I get easily distracted by Bright Shiny New Ideas so this year, my goal is to get some of these novels finished edited and ultimately…published!

Seeing my fellow authors sending their autographed books out to Christmas shoppers made me realize I want to do that! So, with a lot of hard work, I hope to have a book out by the end of 2015!

NEVER GIVE UP
So, I know I never really talked about it publicly, but toward the end of the year, I decided to put my Patreon campaign on hold.

I hated to do it. I felt a little like a failure having to do it. But it had to be done.

I was stressing myself out trying to write all this extra content and also getting 1 new ebook out every month (which included book formatting, cover design, promotion, etc.) and always wondering if anyone was even seeing my work.

Since most of the extra content was for patrons, and I only had a grand total of 2, I knew that all this cool stuff was just hidden from inquiring minds.

I loved writing the little extras, though. The behind-the-scenes content, the inspirations, the mini videos. The coolest thing was getting feedback directly from my contest winners and getting their help choosing covers for the ebooks.

And if it wasn’t for trying Patreon, I may not have finally dipped my toes into self-publishing. I think that’s the biggest regret – I’ve fallen out of the routine of having that new ebook out every month.

So, although I’ve had to retreat & regroup, I still intend to resurrect that idea of the patron rewards in 2015.

I’m still pondering the details but the gist of it is I’ll probably be doing it all via my own website, and some of the perks (like Altered Words, to name but 1), I’ll probably be bringing back to my blog (which was how it started in the first place).

I don’t want to put barriers up between myself & readers. And I certainly don’t want to give up just because 1 avenue didn’t pan out for me. I just need to look at things and find a way to do them better

SO THERE!
So, yeah…those are some of my writing plans for 2015. Much of my work this year will be editing, but don’t worry – I’ll have new words, new stories, and new tales to tell as well. You can’t get rid of me that easy!

NEW RELEASE: Skin Deep

You heard me right…it’s new ebook release day!

SKIN DEEP is now available!

After months (yes, months) of toiling away on this story, I finally shaped it into the tale I originally imagined.

It’s actually an offshoot of my novel and although it doesn’t specifically include any of the same characters, it hints at a greater more complex society contained within that universe.

You won’t feel cheated though. This is a standalone story that gives unique insight into the world I’ve built.skindeep_cover3D

ABOUT SKIN DEEP
For Sammy Molina, leaving his gang means escaping across the border, but to get away, he has to camouflage his past crimes.

When the ties that bind Sammy to his crew seem unbreakable, he puts his trust in the one person he knows has his back, but he soon finds out that blood isn’t always thicker than water.

GRAB YOUR COPY
Head over to the Skin Deep page to grab your digital copy in either EPUB or MOBI. PDF version coming soon.

Then kick back and enjoy…but prepared for your skin to crawl…just a little.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS
After you’ve read Skin Deep, I hope you’ll share your thoughts! You can leave a review in a number of places, such as Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, or Goodreads. More links will be provided on the Skin Deep page as the book goes live in all online shops.

Enjoy the read and let me know what you think after reading it!

THANKS

I want to send a big thank you to my patrons Todd, Eric, Zach and Thomas for providing me with feedback and helping me choose the final cover design!

If you want to take part and help me choose the cover for my next ebook, as well as grab some free stories, audio tales and other swag, consider becoming a patron on PATREON! Donations start at just $1/month.

And So It Goes

It’s November now, which means the rest of the year is going to fly by. I’m a week into NaNoWriMo and we’re already being bombarded by Christmas commercials, so I thought it was the perfect time to do a little pre-planning of all the projects I want to tackle in the New Year.Participant-2014-Square-Button

I have so many manuscripts in various stages of completion that the only way to finish them is to work on 2 at once. Write one while I’m editing the other. This sounds great in theory, but I’ve never really been able to master that skill.

When I’m writing a new book, my entire brain becomes fully immersed in the story. When I’m doing the dishes or watching a show or trying to fall asleep, I’m still thinking about the story.

But I want to get back to my old routine. Morning and afternoon sessions. One for writing, one for editing. Maybe if I space them out – like doing that every other day – I won’t burn myself out (which is what usually happens after a few weeks).

I just want these stories off my hard drive and in book form so people can read them!

I got such a rush giving away ebooks during this year’s Coffin Hop. Seeing people excited to check out my work; getting feedback and reviews – such an amazing feeling. But I want my longer works to get some attention. They deserve it!

For now, though, I have to focus on the task at hand, which is writing a new book. This one started out as a short story but once I started brainstorming and researching, it transformed into something completely different.

It’s sort of a mish-mash of horror, suspense and thriller, taking place in the modern world but with ties to Ancient Egypt. MY OBSESSION, as you’ve probably figured out by now. Everyone has their signature thing – zombies, fairies, creeping monsters or epic Steampunk adventures. I think Ancient Egypt is quickly becoming mine.

If you want to get a little insight into what the book will be about (sorry, no spoilers!), you can check out the Pinterest board I’ve started to save little interesting tidbits and inspiration.

Follow Mary’s board NaNo 2014 Inspiration on Pinterest.

And keep your eyes on this space. I’ll be sharing news on these new projects with info on how you can get involved!