naomi_jay: (unicorn and snow)
I made a list last week of "definite projects" and "maybe projects" to work on next year and since I'm still not sleeping properly omg the sleeping pills did NOTHING why would you coat sleeping pills in sugar ffs?, I thought I'd share it with you all instead of putting together an actual post. So!

Definite

Finish Undertow (currently at 13856 words, projected total 40-60k)
Finish Halflife (currently at 18036 words, projected total 70-80k)
Write Urban Wolf book four
Write sequel to NIGHT AND CHAOS (currently at 7105 words, projected total 40k)

Maybe

Write two more gothic romances (provided I can get Shadow Cursed published)
Write Ethan Banning three (tentatively titled Descent)
Write third part of the NIGHT AND CHAOS trilogy
Write second Vargulf novel

I'm also toying with a third Yasmin Stoker/Shoregrave novel. I kinda have an idea for it, but it will depend on how Halflife ends and what state Shoregrave is in afterwards. Either way, I would like to wrap up the first part of the Shoregrave series in 2012, as I have plans for a second series (a trilogy) I'd like to get to work on. I will also have heavy revisions for Night Breed, the third Urban Wolf book, as well as the release at some point! 

I'll be carrying on with editing projects too, but I'm planning to cut back on short story-writing next year. I want to be a focused, lean, mean writing machine next year and see how much I can get done. I've been a very distracted writer this year, and I haven't been anywhere near as productive as I planned. Having spent much of the year experimenting with self-publishing and promo stuff, I've been able to figure out what I want as a writer, and in 2012 what I want is to do more actual writing.

 
naomi_jay: (pen and paper)

This picture is a pretty accurate representation of how I felt on Sunday when I finished Night Breed's first draft. It clocked in at just over 72k, which means between September 1st and October 2nd I wrote just over 60k. Oh man. I don't want to do that again. I mean, it's nice to know I can, but forget that. I want to be able to sleep and watch Thundercats too.

I've sent the draft to my editor at QueeredFiction and am looking forwards to not thinking about it for a while. I'm not sure how well I've pulled off what I wanted, and I already know the emotional intensity needs amping up, especially towards the end. But it's a book, dammit, and it wasn't a book a month ago, so that's something.

(By the way, I do need beta readers, so if anyone's up for reading through, drop me a line. No pressure, no hurry).

So! What's next? Well, Anti-Nano sign-up has begun. If you're interested, go take a look and join the cult fun. I loved doing this last year and it spawned a year-round write-a-thon which has been awesome to be part of. In a change from last year, when I ran Anti-Nano from my LJ, I'm going to start a master community this year, which will incorporate Anti-Nano, Winter-Write-a-Thon, and Springathon. So if you want to join in one or any of those things, stay tuned!

In other news, Fictional Candy has reviewed AFTERLIFE and given Nicomedes some love. He needs the most love. I decided last week that since I'll be working on Halflife for Anti-Nano, I'd try to garner some fresh reviews for AFTERLIFE. You know, so people know what I'm talking about and stuff. And maybe buy AFTERLIFE and get excited about Halflife. So hopefully there'll be some more nice reviews coming soon!

In other other news, it's a little over a month until THE NECROMANCER'S APPRENTICE is released! Eep. I'm working on some promo ideas for this. I'm a bit worried it'll be an odd one to work with. It's a short novella (just over 20k), it's a sweet romance (kissing but nothing more), and I haven't found many review sites that will look at sweet romances, especially sweet paranormals. I did find quite a mighty list of review sites here, though, so I'll plough through and see what comes up. I'd like to do some giveaways and prizes and fun stuff, too, possibly involving Bud Ducks. I just like Bud Ducks, okay? And you should like them too. Look at them!

naomi_jay: (3-hund)
I worked out this morning that I've written roughly 32k this month just on Night Breed. I hit 44k in total last night, and since I'm estimating the rough draft will clock in at about 70k+, that leaves me roughly 26k to write before October 1st. Eep! That's nine days.

I can do it. I think I can do it. Technically that's about 2900 words a day. I am desperate to finish by the end of September so I can spend October doing (among other things) promo for DARK HUNT and editing projects.

So...I kinda feel like this right now:

Tune in again on October 1st to see if I feel like this:


naomi_jay: (fault lines)
So I'm revisiting the whole decision to self-publish at the moment, for a number of reasons previously discussed. Since June, my indie sales have plummeted and this month I've sold two books so far. That's pretty dismal. Reading about the Kindle Boards, it seems like a lot of people are seeing the same slump, but I don't really find that reassuring so much as depressing.

I already pulled NIGHT AND CHAOS and found a new home for it (I haven't signed the contracts yet, so I won't say much else because... well, there's not much else to say). WILD is probably next. I was determined to stick with self-publishing for the Vargulf Trilogy because WILD has been a tough book to categorise and that's made it a tough sell. It's not quite YA, it's not quite adult, it's not quite a romance but it's not a straight UF. I'd hoped it would find a niche through self-publishing, but I think I lack the marketing muscle to find readers who will love it.

It's currently on submission at two places, and a third has invited me to submit it to one of their lines when they open it for submissions in October. The third place is actually my first choice, so now I'm eagerly counting down to October 1st so I can be all, "hey, remember me?"

I'm glad I tried indie publishing this year but I don't plan to publish any more novels that way for the foreseeable future. Shorter pieces, yes - people are still buying UNGRATEFUL DEAD even though they could have it for free, so that's gratifying. But for me, for now, the future is not indie. I haven't achieved what I wanted to with it, and although I could stick with it and see if the theory of "ebooks are forever so readers will find you" holds true, that's not going to help my career right now.

Instead I want to focus on building on the works I already have out there. I've been pretty unfocused this year writing-wise, because I've spent a lot of time worrying about marketing, promotion, sales figures, and other stuff. Once Night Breed is finished, I'm going back to Shoregrave. I want to finish Halflife by the end of the year and make a start on the next Ethan project, Undertow. I also have plans for a trilogy set in Shoregrave featuring all-new characters.

I'm contracted for two more Urban Wolf books and I'd hope to sign on for more if possible. I want Shoregrave and Urban Wolf to be the focus for the immediate future and since both series already have publishers I'm very happy with, I see no reason not to continue working with them and really building a name for myself. I think I tried to spread myself too thinly this year and I don't need to. 2011 was the year of trying new things. I'd like 2012 to just be the year of Nome.
naomi_jay: (and now this)
So I'm still hard at work on a million things. Night Breed is coming along nicely, although it feels like a very different book to the other Urban Wolf novels so far. It's a lot more of a slow burn, lots of twisty plot threads, and I'm worried I won't be able to pull it all together. It's not the book I thought it would be, and I don't know yet if that's in a good way or a bad way. Still, I'm on track to have the first draft done by the end of September holy shit is that really only two weeks away? What the hell am I talking about? so then I can send it to my editor and let him tell me whether it works or not.

Speaking of Urban Wolf, we're looking at an October release for DARK HUNT! I've done the blurb and some extra fun bits and pieces, and am pretty excited about the second book being out in the world. It really doesn't seem that long ago that SILVER KISS was released, and now I'm writing book three of the series. Eek!

In other news, as October is rapidly approaching, let's talk Anti-Nano. I'm hoping/assuming everyone who's doing [livejournal.com profile] springathonwill be up for it, and maybe some of the people who did [livejournal.com profile] wwathonlast year too. I'm planning to throw open my blog in October for signing up - both for returners and any newcomers that might have found their way here since last November, so there'll be an inaugral blog post about that soon.

In other other news, I think I mentioned before I've been thinking about implementing a blogging schedule, like Writerly Wednesday (so I could finally get round to those short story posts), Random Monday... I don't know. I like the idea of it, because as much as I just like blogging random crap as it comes to me, I think I need to get more structure into my writing career instead of just flailing wildly and hoping for the best, and this might be a step in that direction. I'm interested in whether people like that approach from writers or if they don't care either way?
naomi_jay: (suck on that)
I just sent the edits for A Fear Unnatural back to the author! Yay! Or at least, yay if he's happy about them... It was a very good book, but it needed lots of fine-tuning, so I hope he doesn't hate me... Anyway, First editing assignment complete. Huzzahs!

In other news, I went to a local wildlife park this morning with Pip as a pre-birthday treat for her. We got there very early, so a lot of the animals were actually still dozing, but we got to see tigers and meerkats, and adorable otters! They sneezed! It terrified Pip. I'm not sure why. Then we headed into Cambridge for brunch and shopping and I managed to achieve the one thing I've been determined to do all summer: buy a maxi dress. I found a gorgeous blue one on sale, so I snapped it up. Now, obviously, it's pouring with rain, but the point is I found the dress, dammit.

I also finished reading this:



I love this story, and it actually suits the graphic novel format really well. I have it on audiobook too, so I might listen to it tomorrow and see how they all compare. I'm slacking off for the rest of today because my beloved [livejournal.com profile] chaostheory  is on her way over, possibly for more Lovecraft-related activities, but there is still some stuff I want to get done before the week is over, so let's have a list!

1. Edits for DARK HUNT.
2. Finish a short story about Ayla and Shannon, for DARK HUNT promotional purposes
3. Sort out my books and take a load to charity (to make room for all the new books I want)
4. Get back to work on Night Breed
5. Start the next freelance editing job

Will I achieve any of these things? Stay tuned for my next adventure...
naomi_jay: (fault lines)

So I have done virtually no writing this week due to being all social and whatnot, and it's making me kinda grumpy. I need to spend tonight working on Night Breed and the weekend on editing/proofreading committments.

What I do not need, brain, is an idea for a spin-off trilogy from the Shoregrave books when I haven't even finished Halflife yet, and when the next Ethan novella is obviously going to be insanely fun to write. No, no, no! Shut up! Stop making me make notes. *sticks fingers in ears* La la la la la.

 


naomi_jay: (wayward son)

I finally managed to book a week off work! Come on, 8th August. *waits*

I was just checking over my writing to-do list ahead of this and came to the following conclusions based on the last time I updated the do-to list:

 

Stuff! And things! )

So my hope for the week off is that I'll have cleared enough of the editing stuff to be able to just write and watch copious amounts of Come Dine With Me. I'm making a start on the critiquing this Sunday (we have to go to a wedding tomorrow. I know!), and I'm trying to avoid social engagements for the next couple of weeks anyway because frankly, I think I've seen enough people this summer already. Yay! Pure, unadulterated writing time is just a few weeks away!
naomi_jay: (typewriter)

It's all happening at once! In between the excitement of getting Remic* and Fergus moving in, plus mine and Kyle's Excellent A&E Adventure over the weekend, I'm playing catch-up once again on Night Breed. My main priority this week has to be finishing the edits on Wicked Witchery, which with a bit of luck I'll do tonight. The first round edits for THE NECROMANCER'S APPRENTICE came in this morning, but my editor has ordered me to take my time, and added that it's one of the cleanest manuscripts she's worked on, so I'm hoping it'll be a light job. I probably won't get cracking on those til the weekend though, as this week is filling up with social occasions.

I'm meeting some friends tomorrow for drinks in the village. I haven't seen them for nearly a year, so we're well overdue a catch-up. Thursday night is going to be a mass Arkham Horror night, as apparently everyone we know wants in on the action. I'm not sure our house is even big enough for six or seven people crowded around a giant board? It'll be cozy, anyway. Friday night is D&D night for Kyle, which doesn't really affect me beyond that we host it, and my living room is full of men pretending to be dwarves or whatever until 2am. I like watching though, and I generally get plenty of work done because the whole thing is oddly inspiring.

Oh God, and the English Defence League is marching in Cambridge on Saturday. Seriously? There's going to be a massive counter-march, and I want to go along, because, seriously? The EDL? In my town? I am worried about violence though, as they've apparently already been sneaking about the local cider festivals being racist twats.

So anyway, yeah, in order not to fall too massively behind on Night Breed, I'm doing a couple of things. First is hand-writing. I rarely hand-write anything anymore, because it makes the nerve injury flare up far worse than typing. But I can manage about fifteen minutes at a time, and I can do that on the bus or in the morning before work starts, or on my lunch break, etc. I'm also writing out of order. Usually I'm very linear - I might know exactly how chapter twelve is going down, but I won't write it until I'm done with chapter eleven. I've started just jotting down scenes as they come to me though, figuring I can piece it altogether later. I don't know how well that's going to work for me, but it keeps me writing, which is good.

And that's me.

*We spent, like, fifty quid making sure Remic had lots of nice, natural-looking stuff in his viv, a big hide for him to sleep in, lots of greenery for him to climb around, and where does he spend all his time? In the five-year-old shoebox we put in there as a temporary measure until we could get to the reptile centre. Ungrateful!


naomi_jay: (liz)
I just unpublished NIGHT AND CHAOS. Thanks to everyone who bought/reviewed a copy! I'll be reworking it into a full-length novel after I've finished the first draft of Night Breed. Hopefully I can turn it into a lean, mean, fighting machine of a novel and we will all be richer* for it.

*Emotionally and spiritually, not financially. But hopefully I will also be finanically richer for it at some point.

naomi_jay: (ZP - Shuggoth)
I remembered the other stuff I wanted to blog about. It's actually not that interesting, but it involves making lists, which I like.

So Kyle is going to stay with his mum for a week soon. Not sure when yet, but early July as we have a wedding to go to in late July. I'm hoping if the timing works out, I can take that week off work and have some "me" time. I'm supposed to give two weeks' notice for holiday, so ideally Kyle needs to book his train tickets on Friday for the second week of July. Even if I can only get a long weekend, I'll take it. I need it.

I have a ton of writing commitments going on right now, and I need some extra time to get back on top of those. First priority is obviously Night Breed, which I have fallen behind on.

Immediate urgent stuff alongside Night Breed is:

Queered Fiction horoscopes (will do those tonight).

Wicked Witchery - the anthology is at the lower word count limit for publication now. I'm waiting for one more author who's doing some revisions on a story, but I'm thinking I'm going to put the end of June as the deadline for submissions. I'm going to take a break from editing any more SM anthologies until Night Breed is done.

Critiquing - I've got two pieces from writer friends I'm reading over and I'd like to get them wrapped up before much longer. Happily for me, they both seem to be fabulous thus far.

Other writing stuff that is not urgent is:

Snakeskin, a novella I've been playing with as a sequel to a novella called Snakebite that I submitted to Damnation Books a few weeks ago
(21st of May, as it happens, not that I'm anxiously counting off the days or anything). Snakebite clocked in at around 13k, so really short, but I liked it and I'm interested to see if someone else likes it, so I thought, why not submit it somewhere? So I did. I imagine Snakeskin will be around the same length, and if the first part gets picked up, I'd like to have the second part ready to submit straight away. I'm about 6k in at the moment.

Blood Romance - a longer novella set in the same world as THE NECROMANCER'S APPRENTICE. It's really low down the priority list, but I do want to finish it and, at some stage (probably next year now), write a second novella featuring Morrow and Evanthe.

Blood and Bones - ideally I'd like to finish that off this year, but having assessed my schedule and thought about where I want to focus my writing efforts, I don't plan to publish it until February 2012, a year on from NIGHT AND CHAOS.

Halflife - I'm planning to pick this up as my next "big" project after Night Breed is done, and hopefully crack on with it during Anti-Nano this year (I'm doing Anti-Nano again, regardless of whether anyone else is).

Other writing stuff I haven't actually started yet but am planning to:

Caged - the second Vargulf book. This is almost definitely going to have to wait until 2012.

Another Ethan Banning novella - I have plans for Ethan. Possibly evil plans.

Two more Theo Kane short stories - PAINLESS is roughly 5k, I think I could manage two more stories that length this year.

Around all that, there will be edits for DARK HUNT (we're aiming for a late summer/early autumn 2011 release as far as I know). I will have to crush my desire to write Arkham Horror fanfiction until at least 2013.

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Dirty Little Whirlwind

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