Tag Archives: novel revision

I HATE THIS BOOK WITH THE BURNING STENCH OF A GARBAGE FIRE

14 Aug

DISCLAIMER: (Everything I’m going to say here is much better said here by Chuck Wendig (Hey at least I’m honest.))

I’m revising.

Have I mentioned that I’m revising? Cause I am. And by revising, I mean, I’m pulling the broken spine out of a disgruntled hemorrhoid riddled gorilla and re-assembling it with legos. While he’s sleeping.

I’ve been ACTIVELY changing things since March. My plan (ha! what’s a plan?) was to be done by June. I was going to spend my summer writing nothing but poetry for a new chapbook tentatively entitled “How to Be An American” or “How to Spot and American” or something about Americans.

It was based on the amazing things I’ve found in this book:

Can you see how much fun that would have been?

Cause I can.

Except here it is August bloody 14th and i’m still only half way though the revision. And I have a novella I want to finish and short stories and that chapbook and and and and and (this is the part where I get all hyperventilate-y)

And the hardest part with all this spine ripping is that I really can’t tell if what I’m changing is making it better or worse cause it’s just one big patchwork quilt from hell at this point. Thank god for beta readers right? If I sell this thing I’ll have to give them half my royalties.

So aside from my complaining, which let’s be honest is the whole point of a blog, what I wanted to share was  this piece by Chuck Wendig because basically the things that go through his brain when he’s editing is what goes through my brain. Also he’s much funnier than me.

Be good kids.

I’m gonna go chew my fingers to bloody nubs.

Okay bye.

*laugh/sob/laugh/sob*

Doctor, Doctor, Doctor

5 Aug

Hi.

So it’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything on here because I’ve been mired in revisions on my current WIP but I wanted to come out of my dank dark cave to share a few things.

There have been some new reviews of Lizzy popping up online. I posted them here but here’s a link to the newest from Pen and Muse.

P&M is a really great resource for writers and I was so excited when they agreed to take my piece on rejection which as I said when I gave it to them, was the most honest thing I’ve ever written about the submission experience for me. As for Lizzy they said some really great things like this:

Another thing I really liked about this novel is that Lizzy is a strong female protagonist. There’s nothing worse than opening a novel and starting to read it, only to find that the main female character is dependent on a male for happiness, or afraid to take action, etc. But this isn’t the case with Lizzy!

Also I have a new poem, Pick-pocketed by the Alchemist up at Electric Windmill Press so many thanks to Brian, the editor.

And in other more interesting non-Ally related news, we have a new Doctor!

Yes, in case you weren’t sure, I am THAT much of a nerd. As so eloquently described by the folks on twitter:

While I’m very excited about Peter, I’m still sad about Matt but have vowed to NOT repeat the theatrics from the David to Matt transition.

I vow to keep the tissue usage to a rational amount. 20 sheets max.

But before we move on, we’ve got a little time left with Matt – the sure-to-be-amazing 50th anniversary show and a Christmas special – and I just wanted to share this brilliant moment from his run, the moment in which I looked at Matt and didn’t say, I miss David.

The moment when I said, “Okay. That’s my Doctor.”

Daughter of Chaos Cover Reveal

4 Jul

Jen McConnel was the first person in the whole wide world that wasn’t related to me or my friend who read my novel Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb and then wrote about it on her blog. So you can understand why I’m so happy to be announcing that she’s got a new novel coming out via Month9Books!

Nothing is more terrifying than the witch who wields red magic.

DOC cover

Witches must choose the path they will follow, and Darlena Agara is no exception. She’s been putting it off long enough, and in her case, ignoring it has not made it go away. In a moment of frustration, Darlena chooses to follow Red Magic, figuring she had outsmarted the powers that be, since there’s no such thing as Red Magic. But alas, Darlena’s wrong (again) and she becomes a newly declared Red Witch.

Her friends are shocked and her parents horrified by the choice Darlena has made. As a Red Witch, she now governs one third of the world’s chaos. She is the walking personification of pandemonium, turmoil, and bedlam, just as the patrons of Red Magic would have it to be.

But Darlena believes there must be more to Red Magic than chaos and destruction, and she sets out on a journey to achieve balance. Only doing so puts her at odds with the dark goddess Hecate, who simply will not allow Darlena to quit. She encourages Darlena to embrace who and what she is and to leave good magic to the good witches. If only Darlena could, life would be simple, and she would not be the Daughter of Chaos.

DAUGHTER OF CHAOS is the first in a YA paranormal trilogy. Coming March 2014 from Month9Books.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jen McConnel first began writing poetry as a child. Since then, her words have appeared in a variety of magazines and journals, including Sagewoman, PanGaia, and The Storyteller (where she won the people’s choice 3rd place award for her poem, “Luna”).
She is also a former reviewer for Voices of Youth Advocates (VOYA), and proud member of SCBWI, NCWN, and SCWW.
A Michigander by birth, she now lives and writes in the beautiful state of North Carolina. When she isn’t crafting worlds of fiction, she teaches writing composition at a community college. Once upon a time, she was a middle school teacher, a librarian, and a bookseller, but those are stories for another time.

Add DAUGHTER OF CHAOS on Goodreads!

Follow Jen McConnel on Twitter

Connect with her on Facebook.

Visit her website.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Nice, right? I’m so happy for her. Jen, you rock! Can’t wait to read it.

The Cutting Room Floor

2 Jan

Lizzie_Final

Happy New Year kids!

I hope you all played nice and had some lovely days off. Jay and I spent New Years Day walking around Central Park and saw a cardinal and a red-tailed hawk through the binoculars of a lovely nearby ornithologist.  It was a beautiful day.

cardinal

And now, back to business. So today I’m over at Girl Who Reads talking about my least favorite part of writing. Revision.

Ugh. I dislike it most even though a friend of mine says it separates the real writers from the “noodlers.”

True, but it’s still a pain in the butt. My problem is that I can’t always see what needs to go and what needs to stay.

So when Donna at Girl who Reads asked me to come by and talk about my book I figured why not share the things that were left on the cutting room floor as I went through draft after draft to finalize Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb. Things like this:

1. Lizzy’s name was Hamlet. I’m not kidding. I named a 12-year-old girl Hamlet Shakes.
Oh wait…
2. Lizzy wasn’t 12. She was 8. I named an 8-year-old girl Hamlet Shakes. How cruel.
Many many thanks to the lovely Donna. As always, my favorite candy – the Starburst of Thanks!
Starburst

The Next Big Thing

24 Oct

Here’s some of the plot to the Chess Book which has taken over one of the walls in my writing closet.

Hey kids! I got tagged in a blog hop. My first ever! Woot!

Renata Barcelos tagged me in the Next Big Thing which is a chance for writers to talk about what they’re working on next. I’ve got two in the pot right now, the second book in the Lizzy Speare series which I’m calling Lizzy Speare and the Hall of Hecate (maybe) and the book I talk about below. Ready? Allons-y! (that’s French for “Let’s go” for those of you who don’t watch Doctor Who…or speak French.)

What is the working title of your book?

The Chess Book or the Kings Game or Gambit’s Defense or Perpetual Check. I really can’t decide. At this point I just refer to it as the Chess Book.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I was home in my apartment in Brooklyn one day and someone slipped a menu under the door. I looked up just in time to see it slide across the floor and for a split second I thought “what if it was an invitation” and then “what if it was an invitation for someone else and not me” and it sort of spiraled from there. Funny thing, that moment doesn’t even happen in the book. Inspiration is a strange beast.

What genre does your book fall under?

Young Adult/Science Fiction/Romance/Mystery maybe? I don’t know. The character’s are teens and, to quote The Doctor, some weird “wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff” goes down.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Ha! That’s a good one. I have no idea who would play Kate cause I’m terrible with younger actors but I would pick Evan Peters from American Horror Story for the main male character. In fact, minus the blond hair, he’s VERY Evan Peters, only less, you know, murder-y.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Never trust your memory.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Well if my agent likes it (fingers crossed) it’ll be repped and subbed. If not, I would definitely put it out myself.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

About 7 months or so. But it’s a looong book (currently at 150K words). Revising has taken close to 2 years but I was also working on other things at the time. Ahem…making excuses’ much?

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Wow. I have no idea. Literally none. Clearly, I broke my first rule about good writing being all about reading.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

The menu story above. Oh, and my main character is named Kate because of Linda Buckley-Archer’s book Gideon the Cutpurse which really deserves more attention in the States than it gets. It’s a fantastic three book series and one of the main character’s is named Kate. After reading it, I knew I would use that name, just as an homage to such a beautifully written character. She was unforgettable and I guess it’s just my way of saying thanks to Ms. Buckley-Archer. *Sniffle.*

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Let’s play word association. I’ll say one word and you say whatever comes to mind.

1. Time Travel

2. Chess

3. Stolen Memories

4. New Love

5. Street kids

6. Lies

7. Heartbreak

8. Doppelganger

9. Cockney Accents

10. Underground Resistance Movements

So now…what say you?

I tagged a couple other friends of mine Jen McConnel and Patrice Caldwell so they can play, too. So go check out their answers next Wednesday!

The First Look Challenge: Lizzy Speare and the Hall of Hecate

26 Sep

In addition to letting me read her debut The Burning of Isobel Key (review here)  Jen McConnel also tagged me in the First Look Challenge and well, once you’re tagged, you’re IT. That’s the rules, right?

The way it works: You search your WIP for the word “look” and then post the scene it surrounds. I’ve got two novels I’m working on currently so I went with the second Lizzy Speare book, tentatively called Lizzy Speare and the Hall of Hecate. In the scene, Jonathan and Lizzy are on their way to see a witch named Medea Elderwood who lives in an abandoned amusement park down at Coney Island. Enjoy!

“I’ve always preferred the ocean when no one else was around,” Jonathan said.

“You would,” Lizzy muttered.

She followed him down the boardwalk past the rows of stalls, their shutters clamped tight. In the distance, a large Ferris wheel rose into the sky like a giant metal snail shell. Ahead of them towered a parachute jump, now devoid of the parachutes, looking like an alien antennae, stark and metallic, against the cloudy sky. To her left were the piers and the ocean. The water licked the sand cautiously, dipping and foaming around the straight lines of algae-crusted rocks near the shoreline. Jutting out into the water was the pier, cut from the same ill-fitting wood as the boardwalk, like a finger reaching out to test the water. From it, Lizzy heard the sound of drumming as men playing the bongos shouted in Spanish to the crabs they hoped to ensnare in the cages that dangled off the pier. Behind them, the sky rippled with a crackle of lighting and a low rumble.

“Looks like a storm,” Lizzy said as she strained to keep up with Jonathan’s long strides.

He led them down the boardwalk, to where an old abandoned amusement park stood. The rusted front gates were locked and threaded with police tape. An advertisement for condominiums hung from the entrance offering future residents spacious views of the ocean. Demolition was scheduled in a few weeks and then the Midnight Carnival, as the amusement park was called, would be no more. At the end of the boardwalk, where the land dipped down, they slipped under the railing and landed softly in the tall reeds growing out of the cool sand. About halfway down the side fence, they ducked under a section that had been clipped and peeled back.

“Be careful you aren’t seen. It’s still light out,” Jonathan said as they crept into the vacant amusement park. They passed between the Flying Carpet, a pendulum ride and the old-fashioned swings which hung sadly, their chains rusted in the saltwater air. They stepped over thick black cables that snaked across the walkways, many of which had been split open by rats, exposing their plaits of copper wire and twisted cords. They looked like the severed limbs of some giant sea creature. A small white roller coaster lay silent on the tracks. As they passed, Lizzy glanced at the warped wooden cars and rusted bolts.

“This place is creepy,” Lizzy said out loud, causing a nearby flock of seagulls to flurry into the air, cawing anxiously.

“Shhhhh. I told you to be quiet.” Jonathan shook his head and continued forward, ignoring Lizzy’s muttered apology.

I’m stopping here cause otherwise it’ll be spoilers galore. Like what you read? Wanna be a beta reader? Leave me a comment below. We’ll talk.

Also, finally, a Happy Belated Birthday to Jim Henson. The world ain’t the same without you, old friend. Thanks for everything.

Remember kids, keep believing. Keep pretending.

And the book is here! To buy! Squee!

12 Sep

Today’s the day, folks.

My first novel Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb is available!

You can buy it on amazon here.

It’s been a crazy windy strange journey to get here and as many of you know, this is something I have been working towards for a long time. And I’m so glad I can finally share Elizabeth Speare (Lizzy as she prefers) with you. I hope you like her and her Muse, Jonathan and her best friend Sammy as much as I do.

So I want to thank all you in advance for your support and love and cheers and honest criticism and for listening to my fears and whining and well, just thanks for everything.

On twitter the other day I posted this:

My #MsgToYoungerSelf is that not knowing how it’s going to work out is part of the ride. Now, relax.

And I mean it. In the end, it’s all going to be worth it. And I’m just so excited – excited for this, excited for the second part of her story, which I’m already working on. Excited that tonight we’re getting a pizza and watching Never Ending Story.

Life’s good. Like my friend says, Every Step is a Step Forward.

Here’s to moving forward! Make art! Play your ukulele!

Cheers.

(Oh and if you want, here’s the synopsis, and prologue and chapter 1)

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