Monday, March 31, 2014

Publication Dates 2014-2015

I despise structure. Schedules make my skin crawl. 
But the truth is, without structure and schedules I'm just a flake floating on the breeze. I'm a contradiction within myself, both despising structure and needing concrete goals. I need the thrill of a deadline to meet, the challenge of, "Let's do this thing." Without it, I can never accomplish anything. 
So, I have set some time aside today to make up a schedule. It may happen that I work ahead of schedule. That's totally possible. Even if that happens, the publication dates are going to stick. I want my creepy books to come out in October and my holiday books to come out in December and there's something about having the von Strassenbergs reappear every Valentine's Day that just feels appropriate. 
I've plugged these dates in on Goodreads (my profile). Some of the books aren't listed yet but they will be soon.
As mentioned before, I'm going to stockpile books, give them a chance to breathe before I edit them and ponder them. After that, I'll publish them. That's why it will be September before you see anything new from me. 

September 23
Dacie Mae,
Midnight Under the Magnolia

Dacie Mae 2

Flannery Flynn

Dacie Mae 3

Dacie Mae 4


Flesh & Fins 1

The Devil’s Children

MARCH 10, 2015
Dacie Mae 5

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Silently Stockpiling

What I have decided is that the approach I have taken to publishing my own books is not working for me. The von Strassenberg Saga is part historical fiction, part science fiction....part, part, part....It takes research and meticulous crafting. It's also emotionally draining because those Drexlers and von Strassenbergs are slightly unhinged. Some of them are a little more than slightly. 
It will appear as though I am not working. You will not be receiving updates on my progress. As yet there is none. 
Right now I am in the process of stockpiling. Writing a bunch of serialized stories to be published in increments while I work on The von Strassenberg Saga. This way instead of focusing on promotion I can have work to put out there every so often while I'm researching and writing the most difficult of my projects. Being wiser now I see this is how I should have begun this process. 
There are currently four projects in all that I am working on:
The von Strassenberg Saga
Dacie Mae (serialized installments, shorter works 35-50k)
Flesh & Fins (there will be a prequel followed by the first novel
Flannery Flynn (stand alone)
Once I have my reserves built up I can throw all of my attention into The Devil's Children (Book 4 of The von Strassenberg Saga). My rotation basically involves writing one shorter work, moving to the next, editing the first, moving to the next, editing the second, and so on. This gives me some emotional space from the work and will also allow me to go back and make adjustments if need be after I progress into the series. When will I be ready to start rolling out the work? I don't know. When I feel I have enough padding to allow me to ignore everything else and focus on The Devil's Children. 
The way I've been doing it is just insanity for me, personally. I prefer this method, so please please please, be patient with me. 
Filter is now available on Amazon Prime again,
Wednesday, March 25-Thursday March 26, Filter will be free on Kindle. 
While Filter is no longer available for Nook (during its enrollment in Amazon Prime) you can still buy the 4-in-1 on Barnes and Noble. (It's cheaper to buy the bundle anyway.)

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Flannery Flynn...again and again

I have been working on Flannery Flynn for probably AT LEAST eight months. Maybe?
It's the kind of story that makes me want to break my MacBook.
Seriously, it's that same kind of overwhelming anger that tired new mothers feel when their babies won't stop crying. Because it just won't cooperate. Doesn't this story understand that I as its writer, as the one who will give birth to it, also have needs? But it won't settle down.
That's the number of Flannery Flynn files I have saved in my documents. Each time I start over I don't delete the original story, I just create a new file. A fresh start.
And I thought Filter, the first book in The von Strassenberg Saga gave me a hard time. That's nothing compared to this. There has just been something keeping me from accepting the words I have written as Flannery Flynn's story.
This new file, though. FlanneryFlynnRewind.doc. I think it's the one. Maybe. The beginning is completely unlike the others. The story is drastically revamped yet still the same. It feels better, more natural. I'm hoping this is it because there are days I just want to sit here and cry over this stupid story (it's not actually stupid, just stubborn but when you've dealt with it for so long it sure starts feeling like stupid). Maybe I feel extra pressure because an old high school friend designed the cover for me? Or because a local girl posed as Flannery? I don't know. It's just been the most frustrating book yet.

Friday, February 28, 2014

The Irony

We all know I've been desperate to move into my own home where I wouldn't feel guilty about sitting on my butt writing all day....
What we didn't know was that as soon as we moved in I would get hit with my first legitimate illness in years. Not just sinus issues but knock-me-on-my-rear-good-thing-you-didn't-let-it-go-on-longer-or-it-would-be-pnuemonia bronchitis. I've never had bronchitis before this but now I feel so bad for all those times my mom had it and I just didn't get why her cough was making her so tired. Bronchitis is awful. And now I'm on round two of antibiotics. Somebody should have gone to the doctor a month ago when everyone was telling her to go.
Also ironic, all that time I spent desperately wishing for new contacts because my glasses were crap? Well now I have my contacts but my eyes are so dried out from all the medicines I'm taking that it feels like buckets of sand in my eyes. And I'm wearing my glasses Ben Franklin style because the arms broke off and I don't know where they are and my optometrist is out of town until tomorrow. And I'm desperate for new glasses.
The other night I was stomping around the kitchen, thoroughly irritated by all of this nonsense when I poked my head into the living room and remembered exactly how blessed I am with my wheezing lungs and scratchy eyes. All of my menfolk were lined up on the couch, laughing and having a good time. The cats were snuggled together behind them on the back of the couch and the dog was spread across their feet. We have a small home. 1,000 square feet. We have a truck with a taped-on taillight. I have Ben Franklin glasses and no energy to write or read at the end of the day. My books are never exactly what I want them to be and I only sold four books this entire month. Most people don't even actually regard me as an author. I'm not even cool enough to be considered a local celebrity. And this is a small town. But dang it, seeing them all there, comfortable and happy...well being me is a wonderful thing.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Read to your children

My first son came along when I was only 21 and still trying to work and get through college and be a wife. We didn’t have a lot of money but we did have some books, just a few at first. We had the staple Dr.
Suess collection. In the first two years of my son’s life I spent my days fighting the fog of depression, changing diapers, walking the university campus pushing a stroller, working third shift at Walmart, and reading the same books over and over to my son. It got to the point that I didn’t even need the books anymore. The words were burned into my brain. He was what is referred to as hyper-sensitive or overly observant and it was hard for him to relax and shut down, except when I was telling stories or singing the ABC’s. If I stopped speaking he would throw his whole heart into crying. And so I can still recite the ABC’s backward, from any point without pause. I still know oh The Places You’ll Go, Where The Wild Things Are, Fox in Socks, and many others by heart. Even in the car when he would go beserk and we didn’t have an audiobook with us, I would start reciting his stories and he would calm down. Needless to say, a lot of housework was put off until the end of the day or the next day. My kitchen floors didn’t gleam. My laundry basket was never empty. But my son could show you his ABC’s before he was one. He could read small words before he was two and by the time he was in third grade he had read all of the Harry Potter series and tested “post high school” for his reading level. Don’t leave it to the schools. It’s your job to teach your children to love reading, to crave knowledge, to show them a safe place to escape to when the world is too much. And all you have to do is set them in your lap and read them a story.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Adapting The von Strassenbergs

My favorite book is being made into a series on Starz. And it's killing me. Not just because I can't wait to watch it but because I would give anything to be a part of the process. The art of crafting a story into a visual reality is just thrilling to me. Making fictional characters take on physical form...gah! I love it!
You see, I have always been a nerd. Not even a tech-savvy geek. I was a flat out nerd. In elementary, middle and high school I spent most of my time reading and writing. Alone. Holed up with fictional friends. 
At some point, probably middle school, I began writing what is known today as fan fiction. This was back when email was still a really big deal and websites were all in basic html. I was, as many people could tell you, obsessed with MacGyver. Something about a really competent man is very alluring. So I started writing my own episodes of MacGyver. And then I started writing episodes of my other favorite shows. I abandoned the novel I was working on to focus primarily on writing scripts. 
Evidence of my early nerdom. All those binders? Filled with teleplays.
Screenshot from Filter's adaptation
Fast forward a decade. Somehow I've wound up a stay-at-home mom and I only have half a college degree. Restless and disappointed in myself I take up writing again. But prose just doesn't flow easily through this brain. It's still wired for action and dialogue. So I write a screenplay. It takes me a year but I manage to finish a first draft of a 120 page script. It's a romantic drama. I put it up on American Zoetrope and get some good feedback. And it pretty much died there. I never worked up the courage to enter it into their annual contest. This year I want to change that. 
My one main goal for this year is to adapt my first novel, Filter, into a screenplay. I've been working on it off and on but this year I mean to complete it and to have it ready to enter for early submission into the annual American Zoetrope screenwriting contest. 
So here's hoping to a very productive year!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Call for Reviews!

I'm awful at networking. It's just a personal quirk. As most of you know, I'm a very busy mom with three boys who like to be involved with things. This means I spend a lot of my time networking with other parents in real life. Being introverted as I am, this drains me emotionally. It leaves very little for me to work with when it's time to go out there and rub virtual elbows. That's the other thing, I'm not good at forming relationships just for the sake of business. That's just...not me. I want to know people. But darn it, that takes so much time and energy especially when it's like pulling teeth from the other people around you.
So, to make up for my social awkwardness, I am offering a free copy of The von Strassenberg bundle to any YA book bloggers who want it. The bundle includes Filter, The Bluestocking Girl, Katherine's Journal, and Lipstick & Bolsheviks. The bundle is 900+ pages and is currently priced at $5.99.
In exchange I only ask for a fair review on Goodreads, Amazon/Barnes and Noble/iBooks, Tumblr, or whatever your preferred platform is, and your blog. You don't have to send me your review when it's complete just let me know when it's done.
If you're interested please send me an email at mrsgwright@gmaildotcom with a link to your blog. 
Thank you in advance for your help!