So, in the past few weeks and in the upcoming month there’s a lot going on!
I sent The Haven in to my publisher last month and they sent me a contract for it! Everyone’s signed it and I’m currently working on the marketing and cover questionnaires while the publisher does their own editing of the manuscript.
I did honestly consider self-publishing because of discussions I had with other authors at conventions over the past few years, but ultimately, self-publishing means I have to find and commission my own cover artist, perform my own layout editing for both print and ebook, still have to do my own marketing after all of that, and would mean I’d be cutting ties with a community of other writers. Plus there is a stigma about self-published authors in the writing community still. It’s annoying and unjustified, but it’s there. Maybe it’s something I’ll pursue on another book, but I think that Division 53 is going to stay with Soul Fire Press.
I’m feeling a lot better about the process in general because they agreed to update the proof of The Dark, so all of the errors will be GONE. I’m so happy I could cry. The super loud perfectionist in me is just thrilled. I have other issues with The Dark still, but that’s because I’ve matured as a writer and has nothing to do with editing. However, if I spent all my time fixing old stuff I’d never get anything new written, so ONWARD.
I’m going to fill out the marketing and cover questionnaires for The Hunt as soon as I finish the ones for The Haven, just because it’s a lot of work and even if the forms change or whatever, most of the information will already be ready and won’t be slapped together at the last moment. The Hunt is in beta stage right now. My first early reader already did an alpha test of it and so I’m rewriting 1/4 of the book. It will be done this year. Hopefully it’ll be published this year too, but we’ll see how it goes. I wrote 18,000 words in it last week before I switched gears and reread The Dark so we could update the proof, so I don’t think finishing it will take very long.
Last night/early this morning we (me and two of my awesome early readers) named the brand new fourth book! After the The Hunt, the next book will be called The Shield. There was a whole list of candidates that we sorted through, debated, picked apart and ranked, and ultimately decided on The Shield. It fits on several levels and fits in nicely with the other books in the series, so I’m happy to welcome it. ^_^
For anyone who has read these books BEFORE The Dark was published, I highly encourage reading everything that comes after it, regardless of how familiar The Dark may have felt. I have changed some huge things in the series – people who got married before aren’t now, children that existed before don’t, massive story points have been changed, people who were neglected before have been fleshed out and given deeper personalities, the whole D53 system has been developed further than ever before, and I have real villains with recurring roles/motivations throughout. I also feel like I have grown exponentially as a writer. The Dark is too long, drug on in places, and the people – although better than they used to be – just aren’t as mature as they could be. I’m not looking back though. Even The Haven is better by a long shot, and I intend to make all the others continue to improve!
Early next month (May 4-6) I’ll be at DemiCon in Des Moines, IA to sell The Dark and hopefully advertise pre-orders for The Haven. This audience for this convention is definitely well-matched to D53, so I’m hoping it goes really well. I’ll also post some art there, and my con buddy and early reader, Megg, will be there in the dealers’ room with me, dressed as her favorite character, Hitara (The Streets/System). I’ll be dressed as Teffifa again for a good portion of it. We’ll see how long I can handle her work attire without overheating. That leather is WARM.
On June 24, from 1-4:30 p.m. I’ll be attending a Local Authors’ night in my hometown, Dubuque. It’s being headlined by my teacher, Heather Gudenkauf, and is taking place at the city library, which I’ve always loved. I’m really looking forward to this as well.
Otherwise the only other con I have on my radar for this year is LitCon in Cedar Falls, IA, in the fall. DBQCon is cancelled this year. Next year I hope to hit a great deal more and have three books to put on my table, not just two!
If there are any other conventions or literary nights that you know that you think I should check out, comment or message me so I can put it on my list!
I’m feeling really good about writing right now, even though I have a ton of work ahead of me. I’m so excited to finally have new content to share with everyone, and I hope they love it as much as I do. ^_^