Decision 2014

All right. I’ve received the latest feedback from a publisher where I had submitted my Viking novella, Bad Dream Entertainment. Unfortunately, BDE passed on it, but they had some really encouraging feedback, which was to say that my characters appeared fleshed-out and relatable, the story was interesting and I had “a good thing going.”

That’s some pretty stellar feedback for two sample chapters, I would say. The editor encouraged me to continue shopping it around. I took a little while to find some other viable small presses, but couldn’t find one I liked.  The third I had on my initial list appears to be strictly horror, and I don’t think my novella would fit well there.

Full disclosure: As my novella began more as a side project, I had told myself I would shop it around for a bit, and then consider self publishing.

I’m going to take that leap of faith and attempt this self publishing thing.

*cue existential panic*

Many, many thanks to Bad Dream Entertainment and World Weaver Press for taking the time out of their reading schedules to provide awesome feedback with their declines. I highly recommend both places if you’re looking for a home for your book–just be sure to read their submission guidelines carefully, as always. Five of five stars for both places, would submit again.

Be on the look-out for updates, new blog formatting, and possibly a dedicated page (or site) for my forthcoming book. Oh my God, I just said forthcoming book.




Beta Readers: Achievement Unlocked!

I survived my 30th birthday unscathed and in good spirits. So good, in fact, that in a fit of joyous creativity I finished the edits to my Viking novella, BOUND.

And now I have sent it out to the first round of beta readers. The few, the proud, the (I hope) grammatically correct! Many thanks to those that volunteered.

I am excited, and nervous, and nauseated, and probably ever so slightly panicky. But, this is the next step in the evolution of the beast. So. Wish me luck.

Also, for those that have been through this process already, if you would like to share some wisdom in the comments, please do.

This is a sign that my Viking heroes need me to continue their story. Obviously.

This is a sign that my Viking heroes need me to continue their story. Obviously.

My beautiful mess of a manuscript

Hello, my hearts!  I’ve been working hard the past week or so to knock out the first round of continuity edits on the Viking novella, insert some new scenes, and start the second round of continuity edits.

Yes, I know, there are a lot of continuity edits. That’s what happens when you decide the back story of a couple of characters needs overhauling and the villain needs to be not only villainous, but also a heinous monstrosity. Things get a mite jumbled.

Basically, I feel like all my words are turning on me in a fit of pointy, grammatically incorrect rage.

But maybe, if we all cross our fingers, MAYBE I’ll be ready for beta readers by the beginning of fall.

My current struggles involve the following:

–       Alternate history fantasy VS. Historical fantasy. Yes, I am aware maybe I should have figured that out at the beginning of the story. Yes, it happened because I was doing research on an as-needed basis. I told you once already, I do things the hard way.

  • Sub-issue: Historically plausible weapons and body armor for men and women. All from the same time period.

–       Geography. Nothing is ever where I think it is, even in my brain.

–       The love story. Kind of needs to be there or else character motivations go all wonky, but I can’t. I can’t even right now, you guys.

–       THE TROPES. Holy God, there was one that just appeared out of nowhere to mock me, I didn’t even realize it was a trope even though it’s a HUGE, GLARING CLICHÉ OF A TROPE. Is there a twelve-step program for this?

  • Twitter led me to discover this. Twitter is the bane of my existence, and my savior.

–       One of the bad guys is, like, superfluous. But the thing is, he is also a fulcrum of the story. Conundrum.

I could really go on and on. I know it sounds as though I should just scrap the whole thing and start over, but I really like this story, and it can work and be excellent. It just has a lot of kinks.

Kind of like when you are remodeling your house, and you start tearing down drywall to put up the new stuff and lo, there’s mold, dry rot, wonky electrical wiring, and possibly a nest of mutant, rabid opossums. BUT. But. Get all those things straightened out, maybe replace a few 2x4s, and the house becomes your dream home. It sparkles.

You can see the potential the whole time even though the mutant opossums are staring at you with dead, hungry eyes.

It’s a beautiful mess.

The Next Big Thing

All right, my doves, I was tagged by Moonstonemaiden to do the blog chain “The Next Big Thing,” which allows you to profile your work in progress. So, here goes:

What is the working title of your book?

Where did the idea for the book come from?
I saw a science fiction movie called “Outlander” that involved Vikings. It’s essentially a retelling of Beowulf, in space. One day when I was bored, I wrote a scene inspired by one of the characters from the movie, Wulfric. It sort of snow-balled from there.

What genre does your book fall under?
Two, theoretically. Fantasy and historical fiction.

What actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition of your book?
Well. I have a large cast of characters for the book, so I’ll just pick the four primary good guys.

Ingram, my lovely Viking prince and male lead, would be played by Zachary Levi. Not only is he a good fit physically–Ingram is tall and muscular and has dark hair–but I think he would be able to personify the mix of serious and silly that the character exudes.

by Gage Skidmore, 2011 San Diego ComicCon.Source

by Gage Skidmore, 2011 San Diego ComicCon.

Kelda, the heroine of the story, is feisty and vulnerable at the same time. She’s lost part of her memory and requires an actress that can pull off a mix of “I can take care of myself and save all your asses” and “I have no idea who I am.” Dye Michelle Trachtenburg’s hair strawberry blonde, and it’s a perfect fit. Plus, her face looks the way I think Kelda’s would look. Oh, and here’s a better picture of Michelle I was afraid to post because of copyright stuff.

Astrid is Kelda’s mentor, a healer and slightly magical woman. Wise, kind, has an irritating tendency to be right all the time, and is loveably ornery. It was a tough call on which actress to pick. There are so many fabulous older actresses that could pull this off. But after much deliberation, I went with Helen Mirren.

by Caroline Bonarde Ucci, at the Orange British Film Academy Awards, 2007.Source:

by Caroline Bonarde Ucci, at the Orange British Film Academy Awards, 2007.

Lothor, Ingram’s best friend and second in command, is a classic joker. Everything is funny. He’s all red hair and big smiles. But, when the going gets tough, he pulls out a battle-axe and turns into a full on berserker. The actor that jumped out as being able to portray this mix of funny and batshit crazy is Bradley Cooper. Plus, he has to be roughly the same size as Ingram, if not slightly larger. I think Bradley would look good with the red hair, don’t you?

by David Shankbone, at the Tribeca Film Festival 2009.Source:

by David Shankbone, at the Tribeca Film Festival 2009.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Y’all just plain nuts if you think I can sum this up in one sentence now. That comes later. For now, I’ll just throw this out: Memories come at a price, and a zombie king is waiting to make your change.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I wanted to experiment with self-publication on this book, but if at the end of editing I feel an agent might pick it up, I’ll send it our for consideration.

How long did it take to write the first draft of your manuscript?
About three months–which is some sort of land speed record for me.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I have no clue. Maybe my future beta readers will be able to make a comparison. Speaking of which, any volunteers?

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
The character of Wulfric in “Outlander.” And maybe the desire to fantasize about various actors as Vikings. Maybe.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Action! Adventure! Drinking games! And, of course, draugar, the Norse zombies. They have magical powers. And eat flesh.

Now I have to tag other people to keep this thing going. The next victims: Christina Lay, of Nutshells & Mosquito Wings and John K. Patterson at the blog of the same name. Good blogs, great writers.