Monday, January 29, 2018

Updates

If this first month is any indication of how the rest of the year is going to go, I am going to be very, very busy. Not just on the writing front, but in my personal life as well. For starters, I've finally finished my move, and my condo is being prepared to be put on the market. Factor in that I've made significant headway in wedding plans, and you're looking at someone who is surviving on very little sleep or reading time. (Note- Wedding planning is not for the week of heart.)

In addition to all the personal kerfluffel, I've managed to proof and upload the final, final, FINAL copy of Moonlight's Ambassador to Amazon. This is probably the closest I've cut it to the publishing deadline, so it is a huge relief to know it's up and that I don't have to do anything else to it. No more proofing, formatting, or stressing. Just the soothing knowledge that it's done. Unfortunately, I don't know if it makes sense to do an ARC since we only have a week until it goes live. I may have to wait until the next book to put that idea into production.

In other news, Dragon 3 continues to chug along. I have roughly 35,000 words left of the first draft, maybe more. I'm entering the climax and trying to bring to fruition all those seeds I planted in the first part of the book. I'm at the stage where I have no idea if the story I've written is working and I'm just desperately trying to finish. There are so many tangled threads right now that I'm having serious anxiety about whether I'm going to be able to weave everything together into a cohesive whole in the few words I have left. A lot of things are supposed to happen this book. Now it's a matter of making those things happen without forcing or short changing them. It's harder than it sounds.

The crazy thing is I've been here before on other books. The worst was probably Pathfinder's Way. It's why it took me almost 3 years to finish. Since taking that long isn't really an option anymore, it means having to find my way through the weeds. It can be difficult, but I have faith that the finished product will be worth the struggle. If nothing else, I'll just have a really extensive editing cycle this time. I guess that's a silver lining of a sort.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Sneak Peak

Only a few more weeks until Moonlight's Ambassador is released into the wild. I'm very excited for this book. A lot happens in Aileen's world. Things are revealed, people are betrayed, and vampires. So many vampires. I can't wait for you guys to read it.

In the meantime, here is chapter one for your reading pleasure. :-)

Chapter One

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

So Many Things

It’s a new year, a time to look back over what you did in the previous year even as you chart a course for the new one. I’ve had a very busy 2017 and 2018 is already shaping up to be more of the same.  This year I published three books and a novella. I also got engaged and am in the process of moving in with my fiancĂ©. It’s an exciting time, but also a busy one.

I took the week between Christmas and New Years off for some much-needed family time and so I could get some wedding planning done since my wedding date is in June. I’m glad I did it because my brain really needed some time off, but now I am so busy that my eyes are crossing :-). I’ll probably have very little time off until I finish the first draft of Dragon 3 and put Aileen 3 to bed.

In the midst of all that hubbub, I did make time to see Jumanji—twice. Because it was just that good. Seriously, I laughed the entire time. I think it’s my favorite team up between Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart. I’d recommend seeing it if you haven’t.

In addition to wedding dress shopping and venue visiting, I also finished watching season one of Riverdale and am now stuck waiting for season two to hit Netflix since I refuse to watch things out of order. The wait is killing me.

As for books, I got to finally finish Flame in the Dark by Faith Hunter, which as always was awesome. The real surprise for me was a book called AName Among the Stars by Mark Henwick. Oddly enough, I’d read part of another series by him previously but had forgotten about him until I found the most recent book. I really liked the book. It’s a Sci Fi and has great world building and a main character I adored. The romance is sweet but the focus of the book is on the external political plots. If you like that sort of thing, I’d definitely recommend.

I also had a trip to the vet first thing this year since my new cat, Odin, got a viral upper respiratory infection and ear mites. He was sick over New Years so I spent the weekend waffling between wanting to take him to an emergency vet hospital since my normal vet was closed and thinking he was fine given the fact he chased Loki all over the house a couple of times.

Since I did it last year, I figured I’d do it again this year since it really helped me focus. Below is a tentative publishing schedule for 2018 for those of you curious about when the next book is out.

Moonlight’s Ambassador – Aileen 3 – Early February

Dragon 3 – May

Broken Lands 3 – July-August (Very tentative as books in this series tend to be longer and take more time to write)

Unknown Project – October/November

There you have it. My plan for 2018. As always, this is subject to change.


Happy New Year, everyone. May your 2018 be everything you wish it to be.

Friday, December 8, 2017

The Oddities of Creativity

There's something fascinating in how inspiration and creativity works. It's not like mathematics and science. There are no right or wrong answers. There isn't some established process to follow,, because it doesn't function in the same way for everyone. If it did, I think people would be much less fascinated with professions like writing, music or anything that requires a muse. For me, I've found creativity is very much like a muscle you need to exercise. The more you use it, the harder it works, spawning new ideas left and right. Some of them good, some of them bad. That's part of what makes it so interesting.

The funny thing, however, is it doesn't always work towards the project you're supposed to be starting. I've spent much of the morning outlining- unfortunately not in the book I'd intended. I'm supposed to be putting the finishing touches on Dragon 3. Instead, I've opened up two new projects that have been floating around my head for the last year and putting a few thoughts down on paper. Every time I commit an idea to the project, three new ones spring forth.

This has pluses and minuses. On one hand, starting the character sketches and outline process is very exciting and will help me when I finally go to write those books. Unfortunately, I have to finish up a series or two before I can even think of starting a new one.

I don't want to be one of those writers who flits from idea to idea without ever finishing the characters' overarching story. It drives me crazy when my favorite writers do that. There's one whose next book in the series I've been anticipating for three years now, and it'll be another two before it's published, I suspect.

I'm already flirting with that label given I have three series ongoing at the moment. I'm excited about the character arcs in each of those series, so I don't want to just hurry up and finish. It wasn't my original intention to have so many series going at once. Somehow, it just happened. However, that means buckling down and focusing.

Hopefully, my afternoon is a little more on target. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Beta Reading


EDIT: Thank you, everyone, for volunteering. All the slots are filled at present. The good news for those who weren't able to do it this time. Dragon 3 is the next one on my plate, so you can volunteer when it is ready for this stage 


Aileen 3 has reached the beta read stage. Some of you have been so good as to reach out and ask how you can get on the list to serve as a beta reader for me so I thought I'd open this up for others who might be interested.

Here's how you can volunteer: Private message me through my Facebook page or email me at info@tawhiteauthor.com asking to be a beta reader and committing to the guidelines posted below. I can't guarantee I'll choose you as there has been more interest in this in the past, but I will put you on a list and rotate you in when I can.

Beta Guidelines:

This part of the process for me takes place before I send the manuscript to the editor. That means the copy is a little rough still. I'm not looking for intense grammar editing. I'm more focused on comments on the story- pace, structure, characters, things that don't make sense, does anything make you want to throw the book across the room. That kind of stuff. I will outline these questions in more detail for those who participate.

The other thing I ask is for people to send it back to me in the time allotted - usually two weeks.

I also ask that you agree not to share the story with anyone or upload it to any sites. I know for most of you that would never cross your mind, but I need to say it anyway.

Also, be aware that I may not use your suggestions as my opinion trumps everyone else's. Sometimes you ask questions that I want asked or a suggestion goes against what I'm trying to accomplish.

One note: Beta reading is not for everyone. For instance, I don't beta read for people because I like getting caught up in the story and not paying attention to the things that irk me. For that reason, I'm vaguely considering doing advance reader copies that would take place at the end of the process and would require less thinking on the reader's part. For that piece, I'd ask for a review in return.

If you're interested, let me know. If you're not, I hope you enjoy the book when it comes out.

Thanksgiving

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and I am so excited. Thanksgiving is right up there as my favorite holiday, along with Halloween and New Years. Some days I think it is my favorite-- until one of the others roll back around. I think, mainly, because Thanksgiving involves a ton of food and spending time with your loved ones. I know what you're going to say, so does Christmas. Yes, but Thanksgiving is wholly focused on food and the preparation of it. There are no presents to distract from the feast.

Cooking is how I show my love for the people in my life, and this holiday lets me do just that. Nobody will judge me if I spend two days straight cooking. This year is shaping up to be more of a feast than normal. The family is making turkey, ham and gumbo (a family tradition), in addition to what everyone else wants to contribute. We have almost twenty people coming. So yeah, lots and lots of food.

For my part, I'm making a pumpkin pie totally from scratch-- crust, filling and the whipped cream that goes with it. There are a few other things I'm making-- garlic-brown butter roasted mushrooms, and a citrus green bean salad-- but the pie is what I'm really excited for. I've been wanting to make one for several years but have never found the time. Here is hoping it turns out well and doesn't make anyone gag.

What is everybody else making for Thanksgiving?

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Short Snippet

Because Mist's Edge releases one week from today and because some of you asked for it, here is a short snippet.

Snippet

“You are diabolical,” Trenton remarked after Shea left a false trail pointing into a nest of stinging thistles. The flower’s petals would leave welts and rashes on any unsuspecting victim that chose to brush against them.

Shea shared a smile with him as she backed away from the nest, careful not to brush up against any of the yellowish, green petals.

“I learned from the best.”

“This may end up backfiring on you,” Trenton said with a skeptical glance at the stinging flowers. 
“He will not be happy when he catches up to you if he has welts and a rash all over. He might even find a nest to throw you into.”

She shot Trenton a grin. “If he’s arrogant enough to get caught in this, he deserves what he gets.”

She’d decided she liked this game. Liked outwitting Fallon and making him chase false trails. The only way it would be better is if she could ditch Trenton and do this alone. He made their trail a little too easy to spot.

She stared at him in thought.

“Oh no, don’t even think it. You’re not ditching me.”


She sighed. Such a stickler for the rules.