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Market Day. September 19, 2014

Posted by Elizabeth Schechter in 2014 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, award-winning, except-for-when-it-is, promotions, publishing, round-up, Self-publishing.
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I am self-admittedly lousy at marketing. Especially when I’m in the middle of writing a novel, or working on edits, or doing the fifty-million things that need to be done around the house as a mom and domestic engineer (cough*housewife*cough). Which is my way of saying that I’d rather have root canal than do promotions.

Bad writer, no biscuit.

So…. here are the things that are currently available!

Most recently is Bi Magic, from Forbidden Fiction. I have two stories in this anthology: Fools Rush In and To Market. A print version is also available.

BiMagic

 

 

Fools Rush In is also available as a standalone story, also from Forbidden Fiction

FoolsRushIn_CvrFramePRT

 

There’s also Her Captive, which was my playing with an idea that came from Tom Smith’s song “Kidnapped by Pirates is Good!”

HerCaptive

Then there’s the AWARD-WINNING House of Sable Locks from Circlet Press, which is available in ebook, in print, and in a delicious audio-book.

house_of_sable_locks_cover_750

 

There are my two self-publishing experiments, the Tales from the Arena books. Opening Gambit and Playing for Keeps are available as ebooks and in print.

2Smashwords 1Smashwords

 

 

And hey, if you want to go back to the beginning, there’s also Princes of Air, my first novel!

princes-of-air-cover-ARe

There will be a sequel eventually — I have an idea of where the story will go. I just need to get it down on the page.

As soon as I finish these edits. And that novel over there. And the dishes….

 

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How I Write a Book April 14, 2013

Posted by Elizabeth Schechter in a-writers-life-is-never-dull, except-for-when-it-is, writing.
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My ideas come from everywhere. I’m a big fan of the “what if… what then?” line of thinking. But for some reason, the ideas of mine that have really had legs have been things that popped up in dreams. Which is funny, since I don’t usually remember my dreams. When I do, I usually have an image of something unusual, which makes me ask myself “Okay, who is this guy and why is he chained up in the middle of an abandoned ruin?” That question got me the rest of Princes of Air — if you’ve read it, you know that’s Niall. When I get these scenes, I have to write them down. HAVE TO. Because if I don’t, my very fickle muse decides that I don’t really want them and sends them away (in other words, I forget whatever it was that I dreamed.) What I do with them after depends on what answer I get to the “Who are you and what are you doing in my head?” question.

Boy, that makes me sound like a real head-case, doesn’t it? And it doesn’t help that I can somehow mentally keep track of epic plotlines that span the course of years, have a cast of thousands, and have extended years in the writing (which is happening in my fanfic universe. Over 200K words so far, not done yet, and not a note in sight. WHEE!!!!)

Most of the time, though, I do write down what I think is going to happen. Note that — what I THINK is going to happen. About half the time, the characters laugh at me and go off on their own, leaving me frantically typing and going “What are you DOING? You’re not supposed to be doing that! You’re supposed to have DIED in that scene!” (Yep. That happened. Twice. Same character. Little b*stard just did not want to lay down and die!)

In a perfect world, the characters behave. Mostly. And I get the story that I thought I was going to get. For the most part. Which means that I occasionally have a synopsis all ready to go when I pitch the story. It doesn’t happen often, but I love it when it does!

When it doesn’t happen, and the characters run away with me, I usually put the story aside and work on something else while I read the roadsigns and try to figure out where I went wrong and where this story really is going. Sometimes, this takes longer than other times — I handed a novel in to my editor last summer that my earliest story notes say I started in 2008. Talk about a left turn at Albuquerque!

I write historical-paranormal-steampunk-just-TRY-and-categorize-me erotic romances. Which means research. Lots of research. As in, my major annual expense is research books, for anything I can’t find online. Why do I do that much research? Because bad research drives me straight up a tree. There’s a certain book that was popular about ten years or so ago, that was made into a certain movie with Scarlett Johannsen, and that a certain writer might have seen because there was a certain Benedict Cumberbatch also in said movie. I certainly didn’t see the movie for the story, because they got the history wrong. I don’t want my book to be the one that people look at in ten years and say “That’s not right!” So I make sure I get it right. (And then have editors tell me “I know that in period they called it a Turkey carpet. But no one else is going to know that. Can we change it to Turkish carpet?”)

Current research books go on the shelf over my desktop. The rest are on the bookcase next to my desk, categorized by subject (and yes, there is a sex category up there.) I have a notebook for each project for things that I copy out of a book (with proper MLS formatting, because I am mildly OCD, and that’s how I take notes.) For things I find online, I use Pinterest — I have board for steampunk research, for Victorian research, for costume research, and for Inspirational stuff. (Inspirational as in “the Biltmore mansion is my inspiration for the palace in this story,” or “Benedict Cumberbatch in “To the Ends of the Earth” is my inspiration for the character in that steampunk pirate story.”)

My first reader is my husband, and people wonder how we stay married through it. Answer? He’s a grammar snark of the first degree, and he is always right. And understands when I tell him to get stuffed because I’m leaving that RIGHT the way it is. I have a fantastic crit group in the Erotica Readers and Writers Association, who have never steered me wrong. I also have two beta readers who I trust implicitly, and who tell me when I’m barking down the wrong well.

When I get the story back from them, I read it again. At that point, if I’m ready to through the manuscript out the window, then I know I am well and truly done.

Which way is up? February 25, 2013

Posted by Elizabeth Schechter in 2013 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, except-for-when-it-is.
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Seriously, that is about where my brains are right now.

It was a busy weekend. If you follow my Tweets, you know I was at the Disney Princess Expo on Friday, volunteering. (I  didn’t do the Disney Royal Family 5K this year because I blew out my knees training for a different 5K.) So, for SEVEN HOURS, I was on my feet, talking to people, handing out shirts, answering questions and basically having a BLAST.

An exhausting blast.

Saturday, I got up early and went to Weight Watchers, then came home and realized that I’ve been so busy that I haven’t really done much cleaning up around the house. MUST CLEAN ALL THE THINGS!

Again, exhausting.

Sunday? Finish cleaning, laundry, go meet friends and drop off food for a friend who is having a baby any minute. Then come home, pick up my boys (the big one and the little one), go shopping. Come home again, make dinner. Attempt to write. Pick exactly the worst time to discover that DH and I have been working at cross purposes for months, and hash that out. Fall down FAR TOO late at night for the time I had to be up this morning.

Writing? Not so much!

I did, however, get myself a lovely little toy last week. Picked up a tablet computer. So now, I can write wherever I am, even if I don’t have the laptop with me.

Which means I need to decide what the end of the school  year project is going to be. I have until June 1 to finish something, so that I can have a fully edited manuscript to send out come fall. And I have choices.

I’m thinking I’ll be working on Sea Prince, since I’ve been thrashing at Tales for about a month now, and have thrown out the accumulated words twice as crap. Something about this opening sequence is NOT jelling, and I think I need to rethink my outline. But I also got feedback on Willow Sword from a contest I entered, so I might focus on that one.

Or something new might pop into my head.

To Finish (all started!):

    • Tales from the Arena
    • Sea Prince (To be written with Danielle Jones)
    • The Willow Sword

To Revise

    • From Dawn ’til Dusk.

To Outline (in order)

    • Holy Orders (Sequel to Heart’s Master)
    • Hidden Things (Mystere Book 1)
    • Steam and Screw
    • The School
    • Temple of the Mysteries
    • The White Raven (sequel to Princes of Air)
    • Color Wars (YA)
    • Coral Throne (sequel to Sea Prince)
    • The Lady and the Sword (Mystere Book 2)
    • Ashes and Light (Mystere Book 3)
    • Tablets of Stone (Mystere Book 4)

To Sell

    • Nomad’s Moon (currently being revised)
    • Exile’s Moon

On Hiatus

    • Wanderer’s Moon

My Thotful Spot July 16, 2012

Posted by Elizabeth Schechter in a-writers-life-is-never-dull, except-for-when-it-is.
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No, that isn’t a typo. Really. Go read Milne if you don’t believe me.

Today, someone in one of my writing communities asked for pictures of where we work. I have two spots in the house where I will sit and write. One is in the family room, the other is my office.

Here is the family room:

That’s my backyard out there, where squirrels Cassius and Poppin live. The red striped basket and the white thing with the lime green bag in it are both knitting, and the cardboard box is the cat’s house (courtesy of J.)  I actually do get work done here, surprisingly.

Then there is my office.

My desk. Yes, that is a laptop in front of  a desktop monitor. The laptop is my writing weapon of choice. It’s a Windows box, running Libreoffice. The desktop is a Linux machine, running Fedora (yes, that does mean I am bitechtual). That shelf there is full of toys, and the books are references for two of the upcoming WIPs (The Sea Prince and The Navigator).

And I am not ashamed to admit that yes, the purple thing is a Disney bear. First edition, back before they changed it into Duffy.

Close up on some of the toys. You are not seeing things — that is a Yoda Stitch there. The postcard is from Shangri-La, and the button says “I love being a writer. What I hate is the paperwork.” And the pin next to the postcard holds a sign that I may have to give away soon.

(If you can’t read it, it says “Future Award-winning Author At Work”)

 There is also the other side of my office, the sparkly side. This is where I make jewelry. (Before any of the geeky people ask, that IS an Alex Ross SuperGrover poster. I love it!) 

And no tour of my office would be complete without the books. Or at least, some of the books. The two shelves you can’t see are all jewelry related.

So, this is where I work.  Now to get back TO work!

>Brain Freeze December 27, 2010

Posted by Elizabeth Schechter in a-writers-life-is-never-dull, crap-writing-is-crap, except-for-when-it-is.
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>I don’t know if this is due to holiday craziness or the cold down here (yes, it does get cold in Florida. Right now, they’re saying it will go down to the 20s tonight.) but my brain has been refusing to function. Nothing has been done on Drum Mage, nothing done on Sable Locks. My brain feels like a wasteland. Frozen tundra. The words will come back out when the thaw hits, I guess. Hopefully, there’s no permafrost in there.

Now, I did start Sea Prince (a mainstream novel that I’m collaborating on with the person with whom I wrote Nomad’s Moon), and I think I’ve gotten a page in a day and a half — which is actually pretty good, because I’ve been trying to get that much done all year! Have I mentioned I hate writing battle scenes? So naturally, this one starts with a battle scene! Once I get through the battle, things will start moving faster. I can’t even foist the battle scene off on Danielle, who likes that kind of thing, because she is spending the holidays at the bottom of the world. Literally! She’s in Antarctica!

On the up side, I finished a pair of mittens, and am almost finished with a pair of socks and a wonderfully cuddly shawl.