Tuesday, July 8, 2014

It's Been a While, Here's What I'm Up to

Today I've decided to post a little status update instead of a book review. Primarily, that's because I don't have any book reviews lined up.

What I'm reading...

I'm currently reading Only the Cold Remains by Curran Geist, which the author sent me a copy of since I read and reviewed the first one for him.  I must say, it's keeping me turning the pages. I was up until 4am this morning.  Good thing I'm on vacation.

Anyway, the other thing I'm reading is the Wheel of Time series (yes, still). I'm stuck about mid-way through book 5, The Fires of Heaven. Not because there's anything wrong with the book, but because I've read this series about a dozen times and now that I have ebooks, reading new, shiny material is much cheaper and easier to do than ever before.

I'm seriously considering taking my chances with skipping the next several books and just reading the last one in the series. I'm only rereading these because I want the full experience and want to know who's who in the last book. Robert Jordan tended to create minor characters early on and then make them major several books later. Very easy to move into the "huh?" zone.

On a lighter note, I just ninja re-read Twilight. This makes about four or five reads this year.  I don't know exactly why I like this book so much, but I do. It's my favorite of all the Twilight Saga books, too.  Anyway, I think I might have picked it up this time so I'd have something light to read to balance the dark and scary in Curran's story.  I like having several options open, based on whatever mood I'm in.

What I want to read next...

Ok, so this one's a little more vague. I tend to make snap decisions about what to read next. That's why I don't post "this month's reads" or anything like that. However, I did pick up a new story on Kindle yesterday (free at the time) that I'm looking forward to reading.  So, I'll be reading the first Andy Smithson adventure by L.R.W. Lee.  I found the link to it from one of the author's Twitter postings (@LRWLee). I tell you, her snippets, quotes and quirky adventure sayings have really piqued my interest.  One of my favorite authors to follow at the moment.

What I'm writing...

NOTHING! Why? Because I just finished writing the draft for Shadows of Valor #3. Yeah, yeah, I probably should have mentioned that first, but I do like to save the best for last.  So, I'm not done with it, but I've moved from the writing phase to the revision and editing phase. As I posted to Twitter earlier today (@PatriciaHamill2), editing is how you take your writing from meh to wow.

Now that I'm done with the Shadows of Valor #3 draft, I'll also have some time to finish up revisions and edits for The Freeze, the YA dystopian romance I wrote for NaNoWriMo 2013. That one is super close to done, and I'm very excited about it.  The only thing that's causing me to wring my hands is the romantic scenes. I tend to write pretty clean stuff, but I got a little carried away.  Still, I've read steamier scenes in other YA books, so I don't think it's quite too much. I might have to break my habit of ninja publishing and recruit a few beta readers when I'm done with it.

So, I have two books in editing mode, that's my cue to stop writing.  So far this process has worked. I've managed to publish two books per year for the last two years. This year looks like I'll be able to do the same.

What's going on with my other books...

Er, nothing.  I suppose I've gotten somewhat lax in my self promotion and book promotion.

I do plan to publish Fearless in paperback a little later this year, around Halloween, or maybe a little earlier. I think it would be neat to offer it up in time for people to start reading it in time with the journal entries.  Then, they could just read the entries for each day.  Of course, I don't think I could hold back that long. I've read it dozens of times (mostly during editing), and it usually takes me about two days to do so. I'm amazed at how much of myself I managed to put into this zombie story. It's fiction, but it's almost real to me.  Maybe that's why it's scored such good reviews. The best stories are told from the heart. I also edited the heck out of it, which probably helped at least a little. 

As for Shadows of Valor and Forgotten Valor, I might have to put them up for some read and reviews and do some tweets to build some interest in the series.  Now that the last book is in editing, I feel much better at promoting the series. I had this horrible self-doubt up until now. I didn't want people to read the first two and then not be able to finish the story. I think this comes from being a pantser. I like to let let the stories tell themselves and develop as I write, and the end game was always a little fuzzy for me. I also don't want the last book to be a let down. I've read plenty of trilogies and series that ended in a whimper. I tell you, it's a lot of pressure, especially for a perfectionist like me. I can tell you I've really enjoyed writing this story and I've enjoyed re-reading it as I did so. I really hope you pick up a copy some time and let me know what you think.


Here are a few links to help you find my books in the format you want.