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So am I back on track now? Time will tell.

Saturday, I sat down and wrote 2120 words. That’s the most I’d written on Keeper of His Soul in a really long time. This book has been the bane of my existence lately. Not because I don’t love the story; I really do. But for some reason, I’ve been afraid of it. I’ve been experiencing really bad “page fright”.

Here’s what I think is going on. I wanted this book to be a novel since it’s a sequel to Soul of a Vampire, which IS a novel. So then when the story moves a little too fast, I panic because it won’t be long enough. But what I need to do is let each story be what it will be. Some are meant to be novels, some are meant to be shorter. When I first talked to Susan Bischoff about this story, she even said she thought it would make a better novella than a novel. But I wanted it to be longer. When I try to force a story to be longer, though, I end up with words I don’t really need. I tend to write lean. I write short and to the point. I like things to move fast. That’s the way I like to read, too. So that’s why I do better with novellas most of the time.

Right now, this book is at about 35,000 words. It’s getting close to the last scene of the story. So it’s going to be a long novella or a very short novel. (There’s a lot of controversy about what’s considered a novel. I say 50,000 words. I’ve been to conferences where they say 40,000.) At this point, I’m going to stop worrying about it. I just need it to be long enough to warrant making a paperback. At about 35,000 is where I kind of draw that line. I know some people will do shorter paperbacks. I’ll just see how it goes. At least I worked on it a lot Saturday and again at lunch today. I’m kind of back on the horse.

I hope all of you are doing well and are enjoying this holiday season. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s is like one big fun time for me. Maybe it’s all the Christmas movies. And the food. Yeah, the food. ūüôā

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It’s snowing! It’s very powdery, so I don’t know if it will stick to the roads or not. I’m keeping an eye on it so I’ll know if I need to leave work.

I’ve been very productive the last few days. After I finally faced the fact that my story wanted to be a novella instead of a novel made things easier for me. As I said on Facebook the other day, I’m tired of trying to force a story to be longer when it doesn’t want to be. So when my stories want to be novellas, they will be, and when they want to be novels, they will be. It feels so liberating!

I’ve also been dealing with sadness. My fifteen-year-old dog died yesterday. One day, he just walked into the garage, lay down, and didn’t get back up. We’ve been cleaning him up every day since he couldn’t walk anymore to go do his business, but he was eating okay. Then he stopped eating, but kept drinking water. Day before yesterday, he couldn’t even lift his head. He was very old, deaf, and arthritic. It was time for him to stop hurting. I’m going to miss him very much, but his misery is over.

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Goals for ROW80

It’s with excitement and anticipation that I await January 3, the beginning of ROW80. NaNoWriMo was such a drain on my time and energy that I vowed to never do it again. But ROW80 is much more reasonable for those of us who have a life that we can’t take time off from. (I don’t think my boss would approve.)

I have two goals for ROW80. The first goal is to write at least 500 words a day on a new novel. That would put me at 40,000 words at the end of ROW80. But I will probably write more. It’s better to set a goal you know you can achieve and do better than to set a goal you’re not sure about and fail. And if I miss a day, I can write 1,000 words the next day and catch up easily.

The second goal is to have the novel I’ve already written, Haunted Lake, edited and published at the mid point of ROW80, which would be 40 days. That’s reasonable, I think.

I can’t wait to see what everyone is is shooting for!

List of ROW80 Participants

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Things are happening too fast in my NaNo novel! I have to write 50,000 words. I’m at almost 21,000 and the events are hurtling toward the end at a faster speed than I want. The way it’s going, I could be finished at about 35,000 words. I need to figure out a way to flesh it out a little. Grrrrrr.

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Do you know what the great thing about e-publishing is? Instant gratification! We live in a world where we want everything right now. And the advances in technology has allowed us to have it. The internet has changed everything from looking up information to publishing a novel. I’ve always loved technology and I’m beginning to love it even more from an author’s viewpoint.

The first e-book I ever read was by Stephen King. This was a little experiment of his. You would go to his site and download a section of his book for $1.00. It was on the honor system at that time, and he was going to continue to post sections of his book as long as the percentage of payment for downloads was high enough. And, believe it or not, the majority of the people paid, allowing the story to continue.

Now I read e-books almost exclusively. I see people posting on blogs about how e-books will never replace print books because “you just can’t beat the feel of a real book in your hand”. I say hogwash. The story is what’s important, not the form it’s presented in. I am currently reading a book in print because I had a free gift card from Borders. It’s a really long book, so it’s bulky and awkward to me. For me, e-books are the way to go. And I hope others feel the same way, since that’s how I’m publishing my books.

If you don’t believe that e-books are here to stay, read this article by Amazon:

http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=176060&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1369429&highlight

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Club Blood on Amazon

I hope everyone will take a look at my new novella at:

http://www.amazon.com/Club-Blood-ebook/dp/B0037Z6ZE0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=digital-text&qid=1266257927&sr=8-1

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Club Blood

I just uploaded my new novella, Club Blood, in the Amazon Kindle store.  It should be available in 2-3 days.  Woohoo!

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I was all set to find an agent for my second novel.¬† Well, as soon as it was edited anyway.¬† I thought that was the way to go.¬† But now I’m beginning to wonder if that’s what I want to do.¬† My friend Zoe, who is a wonderful writer and very savvy in a lot of business related areas, is all for self publishing.¬† She owns her own publishing company now and is planning on self publishing her books.

I think my biggest problem is marketing.¬† I’ve always thought if you had an agent, you wouldn’t have to worry about doing your own marketing.¬† Zoe has sold a bunch of copies (over 2,700, I think) of her novella “KEPT” in the Amazon Kindle store and I’ve sold about 12 of mine.¬† She knows how to market her books.¬† She’s constantly blogging and people are actually reading her blogs.¬† No one reads my blogs.¬† No one but my closest friends know about my book.¬† I’m terrible when it comes to marketing.¬† If I didn’t have a full time job, would I do better?¬† Who knows?¬† But I need to change some things if I want to even make a little spending money on my books.¬† $10 a year isn’t going to cut it.

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Finally, finally, finally I’ve finished the first draft of my second novel.¬† I had put it down for a really long time, only lacking a few more chapters.¬† I finally got back on track and finished the rest of it in a matter of a few days.¬† Or maybe a week.¬† But it’s done now!

The next steps are 1) Edit, edit, edit, and 2) Find an agent.

Finding an agent will be a long, grueling process.¬† The trick is to make sure you query agents specific to your genre.¬† It makes no sense to write, say, a romance novel and query agents who specialize in science fiction.¬† So do your homework.¬† There are websites to help you.¬† Preditors and Editors are brutally honest about agents that they recommend and DON’T recommend.¬†¬†¬† What I like to do is go to agentquery.com to find agents specific to the genre, then go to Preditors and Editors (anotherealm.com) and find out what is said about that agent.

However you choose to find an agent, please don’t get discouraged¬† by rejection.¬† It’s part of the process.¬† Keep at it.¬† Never give up.

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I read my novel again, finally, and got back into the mood for writing it.¬† I found a few typos and went ahead and corrected them while I was reading.¬† I really need to try to get this published.¬† I’m still thinking about trying to get published the traditional way.¬† It would only cost me $100 to get Writer’s Relief to give me at least 25 places to submit my novel.¬† If I don’t get published that way, there’s still Amazon Kindle.¬† But I would love to get picked up by a publishing house, even if it’s not a big one.¬† How cool would THAT be?

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