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: (Epilepsysaurus)
So! It's the last day of November, which means Anti-Nano ends tonight *sob* But Winter-Write-a-Thon is here to pick up the slack! Like Anti-Nano, WWAT is now housed over at [livejournal.com profile] squidathon, and everyone is welcome to join in. We check in on Mondays and Fridays and post writing snippets on Wednesdays. If you're working on something and would like some company over the cold, dark, lonely winter weeks, come and say hello!

My goal for Anti-Nano was to work on Undertow and Halflife. I was half-successful, in that I worked on Undertow. I'd like to have the first draft done by the end of December now, which is perfectly do-able if it works out at the same length as DEMONIZED (about 40k). I have a feeling it might be longer, but I'm planning to try out this technique to see if I can increase my wordage output. I'm not usually a planner when it comes to writing, but I toyed with this a little last week, and although I was a long way off 10k, I was definitely more productive with notes to work from. So we'll see.

I'm also planning to write an Ethan Christmas Special. It'll be one of the Ethan Banning Files - a short, self-published story, but festive! So there's a slim chance something nice might happen to Ethan. Look, it might, that's all. Hopefully I can get to work on that over the weekend (I have a novel to finish editing for Damnation Books, and a house party to avoid going to).
naomi_jay: (Black dog?)
Strictly speaking, I'm not a fan of wacky sidekicks. They're usually intended to be comic relief, but they rarely work that way for me. I loathed the talking dog in The Accidental Demon Slayer and the wise-cracking demon/cat in Redheaded Stepchild. I don't know what it is, but a comedy sidekick character is usually a kiss of death in a book for me.

Which brings me to Ethan's sidekick, Mutt. Yeah, I know! But Mutt isn't a comedy sidekick. He doesn't talk or have supercanine powers. He's just a dog that happens to love Ethan because Ethan gave him a candy bar that one time. I've been very careful not to humanise Mutt. I don't want him to be anything other than a dog. Ethan might treat him as more-than-animal clever, but I don't want to turn Mutt into something he's not. 

Anyway! That aside, Mutt is a big part of the Ethan novellas since he's the closest Ethan has to a friend, and for that reason alone I spent a lot of time today looking at pictures of Labrador mixes online trying to find one that looked like Mutt. And I did!



Look at that face! He's not quite the right colour (Mutt is more grey-black) but expression-wise, this is how I always picture Mutt looking at Ethan. Like, "you're the bestest human I know and I'm sorry there's bird poop on the carpet! Let's do something fun!" And Ethan's all, "here's a chewy bone, you adorable bastard."

So as I'm working on Undertow now, having finished the gothic romance short story, Mutt and Ethan have plenty of adventures ahead. I think Ethan needs a happy dog to help balance out the angry demon. And Mutt is like the happiest dog because his daddy takes him on adventures all the time. Like this one:

Undertow snippet ahoy! )
naomi_jay: (write this down)
I signed and posted the contracts last week, so I can officially announce it now:

NIGHT AND CHAOS will be republished by Damnation Books in June 2012! Huzzahs! I'm very excited and looking forward to seeing some awesome new cover art. My aim is to have part two of the trilogy (currently titled Blood and Bones but probably to be renamed) ready for submission in Spring 2012.

In other news, Anti-Nano is officially go (check out [livejournal.com profile] squidathon for details), which means Halflife is back on my to-write list and the new Ethan novella/novel, Undertow is going to be started this very night. In honour of this, I've been putting together an Ethan Banning playlist. It will probably grow as the month continues but at the moment it looks like this:

When the Night Comes Down - Tiger Army
Twenty Flight Rock - Tiger Army
Under Saturn's Shadow - Tiger Army
I Turned Into A Martian - The Misfits
Ain't No Rest for the Wicked - Cage the Elephant
Wolf Like Me - TV On The Radio (who am I kidding, this song goes on all my playlists)
Monster - Skillet (Ethan's official theme song)
Stained Glass Cross - DOWN
The Man That Follows Hell - DOWN
Down With The Sickness - Disturbed
Divide - Disturbed
Shout 2000 - Disturbed
I Love To Say Fuck - The Murderdolls
People Hate Me - The Murderdolls

Hmm. No AFI yet...That must be rectified.
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: (mike)

Hellnotes have reviewed DEMONISED, and I have to say, they've been very nice about it too! Ethan is " one of the most engaging first person narrators I’ve encountered" and the story is "a great supernatural yarn," comparable to the Dresden Files, apparently, which is pretty damn cool. I'm sure Ethan would love to share a drink with Harry Dresden some time.

This is just adds to my desperate desire to work on Undertow, the next Ethan novella (or possibly novel), but I realistically just cannot fit it into the schedule right now. I don't know why, but people seem to have taken to Ethan more than any of my other characters (is it the porn? It must be the porn, right?), and since I love him a whole lot too, I just want to get back into his seedy adventures as soon as possible.


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