Book 4 Cover Process #1

SO.

So.

IT’S BEEN A WHILE!

Yep.

AND BOOK 4 IS READY.

Yep.

AND IT’S 2017.

Yep.

SO…

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Best Reads 2016

erestoia-testheaderIt’s time for my year-end wrap-up!  Slightly late, alas, as it is now the new year, but then I tend to be late in most things.  As always, these (generally) aren’t books that were published in 2016, since I make no effort to keep up with the times.

My goal for 2016 was to read more SF/F and graphic novels from female authors, since there were only ten women in my top 100 Most Read authors according to Goodreads at the start of the year — and one of them was Ann M. Martin, because I read so many Babysitters’ Club books as a kid.  I managed to change the balance to 21 out of 100, but I still have only two women in my top 10 (25+ books read) — though C. J. Cherryh is closing in.

I read 344 books this year, though most were graphic novels or manga, but let’s see what was best!

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Authors Answer 113 – Writing in 2016

cropped-pia19912-main_mcam-sol-1099Last answer of the year!

Question 113: Looking back on 2016, how was your year in terms of writing?

Well, beyond the standard ups and downs (such as losing all will to live during the desert summer and then losing some extra will to live in October and November), I did fairly well writing-wise — got one book completed and started on another, even though publication for the first book is delayed until 2017. I kept a pretty steady pace all year, and am starting to actually feel like I know what I’m doing, and that I’m qualified to go back to some older work and fix the problems that have nagged me for ages. I shouldn’t tinker with my older stuff as much as I do, but as long as this first series is still being written, I can’t help it; sometimes I have a revelation and I need to correct old bad information. But that’s fine. After all, I’m still just self-published. These books can remain living, changing works as long as I need them to (though I do believe the large-scale changes are now done).

Adding to this, since I sent out the answers in mid-November: I also finished NaNoWriMo for the first time, because it coincided with starting the rough draft of my fifth book.  In previous years, I’ve always been in the middle of writing or editing, so didn’t want to take time to do a side-project just for NaNo; I tried a time or two but they all fizzled out quick.  So I’m proud that I got 50k+ on book 5 in November, even if I only did 30k in December.  (I blame the holidays and that video game I got myself for Xmas.)

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Authors Answer 111 – Killing Off Main Characters

cropped-pia19912-main_mcam-sol-1099Sooooo.  Not that this is a spoiler or anything, but I do have a certain…tendency in my writing.

Question 111: How do you (or would you) feel when you kill a main character?

First, I laugh maniacally.  Second, I think of how my beta readers (and then my actual readers) will take it.  Then I laugh maniacally again, while trying to figure out how best to defend myself from irate friends/coworkers/fans.  …Seriously, I kill a lot of characters.

That said, I hate nothing more than a pointless death, even if pointlessness is a large part of realism.  And while I also hate the trope of people coming back from the dead all willy-nilly like in the superhero comics of yesteryear, death on Halci isn’t always as permanent as it looks — what with the skinchangers’ spirits, the elementals’ primordials and the wraiths’ bodiless immortality, among other things.  So death is an ending, but it’s not always The End.

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NaNoWriMo Success!

Just a little moment of back-patting for me, on finishing 2016’s NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, for those not in the know) on the very last day with a final word-count of 50,253.  Could’ve done better — but I also could have dropped the ball like I’ve done for the past ~ten years by either not bothering or by trying to start a new NaNo project while I was in the middle of working on a main novel project.

This makes three and a half chapters of the rough draft of my fifth novel, tentatively titled The Drowning Dark, in the War of Memory Cycle.  The fourth, The Bloodied Army, is still unavoidably delayed, but hopefully 2017 will be a good publication year for me.

Cheers, all you NaNo successes and everyone who tried!  Getting any creative endeavor done this month is a miracle in itself.

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Authors Answer 107 – Our Works in Progress

cropped-pia19912-main_mcam-sol-1099

Question 107: What are you working on now? Any works in progress?

Currently I’m waiting on final beta feedback, final review and cover art for my 4th book, The Bloodied Army. By the time you read this, I should also be busy writing the rough draft of the 5th book, which I think will be titled The Drowning Dark — but don’t take that as permanent, I’m still considering my options.

Post-question update: As of today, I’m up to 36k on my rough draft attempt for Book 5 — which is only three chapters out of a projected twenty-plus, heh.  I also did 3k on a side project.  Can I do the other 11k in 6 days?  …Well, I’ll try!

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Monday Music: Diorama – When We Meet Again In Hell

Diorama When We Meet Again In Hell, from the album Even the Devil Doesn’t Care (2013).  Synthpop.

For book 5, among other things.  Lyrics below.

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