Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Welcome to 2021!

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Thankfully the dumpster fire that was 2020 has burned to a close. Let's hope this next year is a whole lot better. Just in case, I'm sharpening my machete and stocking up on canned foods, getting ready for the zombies. 

Normally, I'm announcing my one word for the new year in this post, but I don't have one this time around. If I were being optimistic, I would say: Better. But jeez, why tempt fate at this point in the crappy game we're stuck playing? Instead, I'm going to sit quietly over here and use this downtime productively so that when we can get back to being in person again, I have even more to offer.

Bound in Blue is formatted and waiting on a print proof and release date.

Spindelkin is ready for second edits. 

The Minor Years is out with a beta reader

Seeker is ready for round three of edits.

Not Another Bard's Tale is going through yet another round of edits in slow motion, but progress is being made. 

And there are several other projects in the wings.

I've also been busy sewing multi-pocket dice bags - because I found a pattern I liked and I have so much fabric sitting here from my days when I worked at a craft store. I look forward to seeing all the gaming folks at comic cons and renaissance faires soon.

After being off Netflix for two months of high productivity, we've taken a short dip into Hulu. I'm working my way through a few shows there while sewing. I must multitask! 

And, as this is my monthly blog post, it's time for an Insecure Writer's Support Group question: Being a writer, when you're reading someone else's work, what stops you from finishing a book/throws you out of the story/frustrates you the most about other people's books?

Since I'm not limited to one, here's my top two:

1. Head-hopping without a clear pov change marked with a scene or chapter break.

2. A cliff hanger ending. Dangling a few unresolved subplots is fine if it's a series, but end your damn book!

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

December wrap up & IWSG

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participating writers.
How are we in December already? On one hand, it feels like the year has flown by, and on the other, it seems like a whole lot of nothing happened. Probably because it was all canceled.

2020 the year of CANCELED

Let's hope 2021 is more eventful. In good ways.

So let's see, wrapping up 2020:

I'm mostly booked for events all through 2021 so hey, other than obsessively checking my calendar to make sure I'm not missing anything, I'm all set there.

Bound in Blue: Book 3 of the Narvan is being held over to 2021 for publishing since I was not able to get out and promote Book 2. Book 4 is still slated for Fall of 2021.

Everyone in my house has remained generally healthy.

Cover art for Spindelkin is 3/4 done.

I miss talking to readers but the majority of the few shows I was able to do went really well. So overall, I'm going to call sales successful on that front.

I co-wrote a book, which was an interesting and new experience. That should be out in 2021 as well. 

Which also brings us to this month's IWSG question: Are there months or times of the year that you are more productive with your writing than other months, and why? 

Definitely! I write all year, but November is my dedicated pound out a lot of words month, thanks to NaNoWriMo.

This year I participated in my 15th year of National Novel Writing Month and had my earliest win ever on day 17.  Why? Because I retired as ML last year so I could just sit back and write instead of wrangling writers and hosting events all month. I also didn't have any book-selling events all month. = lots more time to write.

This November, I wrapped up the first draft of The Minor Years: A Narvan novel and the first draft of Spindelkin, a YA fairy tale. Both books were about halfway done at the beginning of the month, so it feels good to have fully finished drafts to dive into editing in the new year.

I also broke my 60K in a month word record with 75K.

How was your 2020?


Tuesday, November 3, 2020

November is for NaNo and IWSG

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I used to be so good about doing blog posts, now it seems I'm down to a monthly update. If you want more frequent information, please follow me on Facebook or Instagram @jeandavisauthor. I'm on those much more often. 

Let's see, since the last post:

I was able to get into a good craft show in Kalamazoo and met a bunch of readers there. If you're one of them, it was nice meeting you even though we were at a distance!

Due to all these canceled events, I've added a tab at the top of this page where you can buy signed copies directly from me. This is an ideal option for those of you avoiding Amazon. Please keep in mind that I only ship within the USA. Sorry, international readers. 

NaNoWriMo preparations were in full swing all month. Heading into year fifteen for me and with all my events canceled, I decided to go all in. My baseline goal is to add 50K of new words across four projects. In truth, I'm hoping to add a lot more than that, but we'll start with the traditional goal of 50K. This year's project line up includes:

    The Minor Years: A Narvan novel - this is currently at 70K

    Spindelkin: YA Fantasy - currently at 27K

    An Urban Fantasy standalone novel - 0K

    A Paranormal Romance standalone novel - 0K

I do have one last book-signing this year on November 28 at The Bluestocking Bookshop. Beyond that, nothing is on the calendar until April 2020. Here's hoping we're back on semi-normal terms with the world by then.

And this month's IWSG question is: Why do you write what you write?

Because the voices tell me to? Ok, not really. I write the books I like to read.

As a teen, I read a lot of mystery, horror, fantasy, science-fiction (both hard and soft). It was normal for me to buy several books every week. For some reason, my mother, also an avid reader, was not a fan of using the public library. However, we did make weekly trips to the small local bookstore. I supplemented my purchased books with library books from school. For the most part, it's safe to say I spent a good deal of my teen years between the pages of a book. 

So when I started writing seriously, with the intent to go for publication, I stuck with what I knew and enjoyed. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

IWSG: Whew! That Was A Productive Month

 Last month flew by while I was wrapped up in so many things. Getting back out to meet readers in person felt really good. As did just being out among people again. 

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The first day of the Newaygo Logging Festival was a tough one. The crowd was fairly steady for a scaled-back event and our booths were all quite spaced out, but it had been nearly seven months since I'd spent a full day being social. I spent the hour ride home in much-needed silence. By the second day, I was feeling more in the spirit of things. By the next weekend at the event in Charlotte I'd found my stride again and everything went smoothly. I've done two more events since. If we connected at one of those shows and you're reading this, it was nice to meet you! 

Thanks to relaxing guidelines, I do have one more show in November in Kalamazoo. I'm still waiting to hear on Grand Rapids Comic Con. With both of those being indoors, things are up in the air with restrictions that seem to change every single day.

In addition to finally getting out to talk to readers again, I've been hard at work on Bound in Blue: Book 3 of The Narvan. The last round of edits is wrapping up and then it will head off the to the proofreader and then it's onward to formatting. Without further ado, here's the cover:
I've also been busy writing the blurb for the back cover, critiquing chapters for other authors, reading a couple books for fun, and doing a proofread of a book for a local author friend. I'm also plotting my upcoming NaNoWriMo projects and toying with cover art for Seeker: Book 4 of The Narvan and Spindelkin. I've been on kind of an artwork kick lately. On the plus side, I started drawing again. I haven't done much of that in a very long time, like probably around twenty-some years.

How was the end of summer for you?


Wednesday, September 2, 2020

IWSG: September Happenings


I'm excited and also nervous about finally getting to do a couple book signings this month. Not that I'm 

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necessarily living in fear of catching Covid, but more so because it's been seven months since I've been selling books in public. Will my pitches roll off my tongue like they did when I was chatting it up in public nearly every other weekend pre-plague or will I trip over every word?  Tune in this weekend to find out. 

Then I also have the hurdle of having two new books to sell that I haven't had any public practice with yet since they were both released during the plague season. Advance apologies to everyone I encounter this weekend that has to sit through me stumbling over words. 

Not to mention figuring out an optimal table display with seven books instead of five. I have a plan, but we'll see how it works in real life. I'm sure I'll point to and pick up the wrong books several times before it all clicks into place. 

If all goes well, I have three weekends of in-person events and one online. I'm really hoping all goes well. Crossing fingers and all that. 

So what have I been working on since last month? Updated print and ebook editions of Destiny Pills & Space Wizards, Sahmara, and The Last God are live. I'm working on A Broken Race right now and then I'll be back to edits on Book 3 of the Narvan.

Stay safe and healthy!