New Novel: Ace of Arts

“Ace of Arts” is my placeholder title for the new book I’ve started writing. Though I’m liking it more and more as I’m getting used to its association with the project.

I’ve been planning to write this book for a long time–though I have not formally outlined it–and it uses characters from a short story I wrote in 1999. I wrote its first chapter on November 1, 2015, and the book is now officially in progress.

It’s a YA contemporary novel with an asexual protagonist, detailing Megan’s adventures as she struggles with relationships and attempts to get into art school.

See you on the other side!

Completed New Novel: Bad Fairy Trilogy, Book 2

Finished writing the second book of Bad Fairy!

Genre: Fantasy (fairy tale retelling).

Length: 26 chapters/320 pages/~97,000 words.

Tag line: “What happened before Sleeping Beauty slept?”

Keywords: FANTASY: Fairy tale retelling, medieval period fantasy, Sleeping Beauty, fairies, magic, magick, dark fantasy, reincarnation, elemental magic, identity issues, quirky narrators, epistolary, autobiography (character).

Protagonist: Delia Morningstar.

POV: First person, past tense.


Delia Morningstar, fresh out of fairy school, has to find a way to make a living now that everyone thinks her life’s work is spooky and off-putting.  Her last desperate attempts to change the minds of those in power do not yield the desired results, so Delia’s off on her own . . . investigating the land of the dead.  Because that’s what dark fairies do for fun.

Because of Delia’s life and death connections, she’s able to help the king and queen of her kingdom conceive the baby girl they’ve always wanted.  But she didn’t count on the connection she would have with that princess, and a few sloppy decisions lead Delia to get blamed for cursing the baby.  Faced with the wrath of her old enemies the three good fairies, Delia may have to undertake extreme measures to stay alive long enough to save the princess from death. . . .

Next up: Editing begins. Eeeeeep.

New Novel: Bad Fairy Trilogy, Book 2

The second book in the Bad Fairy series is now in progress!

It feels very good to jump in again, picking up with my now-teenage protagonist. I started writing it on Sunday, the 4th, and have completed chapters 1 and 2, totaling about 6,000 words. Hopefully I’ll have time to write like the wind and bust this whole thing out reasonably fast, and then I’ll be taking test readers. . . .

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2013, Quarter-Finals: Stupid Questions

The 500 quarter-finalists for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award were announced today, and for the first time since entering in 2011, I didn’t make the cut. I’m actually surprised because I thought I had a better chance at making quarter-finals than I did at making the second round; usually my writing is stronger than my pitching skills. But even though my reviews were not particularly negative, I’m guessing either my reviewers graded me harder than their reviews indicated OR I just had a lot of excellent competition.

My critique partner and friend J.C. Fann did make the quarter-finals and I’m very proud to have been involved in helping prepare the book for the contest, so if you’re interested in downloading and reading/rating/reviewing the excerpt, here is a link to The Queenschair!

And if you’d like to see my reviews and analysis of the comments:

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Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2013, Second Round: Stupid Questions

Stupid Questions advanced to the second round of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award competition.  I am one of the 2,000 left of the original 10,000 entrants.

Now my first chapter goes on to be read by two Amazon judges.  I’ll get rated and reviewed.  If I pass, I will be one of 500 left to be named quarter-finalists.

This year I was sleeping when the results came in and a friend who is also in the contest had to tell me I made it. Haha. (We both got in. It’s going to be disappointing when either of us gets cut, but I think it will be really sad and weird if one of us gets cut before the other.)

Representation Change: Inklings Literary

My agent, Michelle Johnson, has started her own agency. She has decided to call it Inklings Literary, and I have elected to migrate to her agency with her instead of staying with her old agency. (I already have a great rapport with Michelle, but hadn’t had any interaction with her agency’s president, so I thought Michelle would be a better advocate for my work.)

I’ve signed with the new agency and my book is still being considered by the same editors as before the move. (I’m not talking publicly about who’s considering it, but yes, my book Bad Fairy is in consideration by more than one major publisher.) Everything’s gone pretty smoothly, and I’m crossing my fingers to be Michelle’s first sale as the president of her own agency. 🙂

Edit: She was interviewed here in Writer’s Digest. You can learn all about what she’s like and what she wants to see in her inbox.

Edit again: She was interviewed here on S.K. Whiteside’s blog.

Edit again: She gave some perspectives here in First Five Frenzy on Chasing the Crazies.

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2013, Entering: Stupid Questions

I decided to enter the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award competition for the third year in a row, but I am doing so with my newest novel: Stupid Questions.

This contest’s a little weird because if you win you have to sign their contract with full knowledge that it can’t be negotiated. Once when I heard agents talk about their clients entering it, one of them said “I wish her all the best but I hope she doesn’t win.” There’s still a lot of good stuff to be had in the experience of entering, but yeah, that “you have to sign the contract no matter what” thing does give me pause. Oh well. I entered.

This book is the shortest one I’ve written, and it’s in one of the adult categories—science fiction—instead of the YA category like the last two years I’ve entered. I don’t know how well I’ll do here, since I have a suspicion that my story arc could be interpreted as a navel-gazer of a romance rather than a book with a plot, but we’ll see if I make it through to the second round.

The contest has changed this year in that it no longer offers a chance to win a publishing contract with Penguin.  It is now a traditional publishing contract through Amazon’s publishing group itself (not the same one that handles self-publishing, though), and there will be FIVE winners—one in each category—with one of those five winning a larger advance. The international Amazon contest stops taking entrants once it hits 10,000 people.  Each of us has to send in a pitch statement, a bio, an excerpt, and a full manuscript.

The second round will involve the 10,000 entrants being cut down to 2,000 Second Round competitors based entirely on our pitch.

This is my pitch statement:

Camera guy Nick Harris lives in a rational world—or so he thought. He’s no longer sure what’s real when the enigmatic Summer Astley appears on his news show displaying genuine telekinetic powers . . . and a charming smile. As mutual attraction brings them together, Summer reluctantly trusts Nick with her secret doubts and heartbreaking loneliness, leaving him puzzling over how to chase a down-to-earth romance with a girl who can fly.

But Summer isn’t the only one with unusual abilities. Nick’s got a knack for understanding other people—sometimes to the point that he accurately guesses their thoughts. Summer, eager to connect with someone like herself, presses Nick to accept that his “good people skills” are far from ordinary, but Nick isn’t buying it. And he certainly doesn’t want it to be true. After all, being too perceptive creeps girls out and gets guys dumped.

As a strained long-distance relationship develops between them, Summer and Nick face shared challenges and personal demons. Summer struggles to balance her supergirl public image with her love life, and she fears getting attached in the wake of a recent loss. And Nick feels disconnected communicating across state lines without the subtle cues he’s used to—not to mention he may be unable to handle the occupational hazards of dating a super-powered celebrity. As they learn what it will take to keep their unsteady partnership alive, these exceptional people find themselves asking as many questions as they answer.

With a refreshing lack of superhero hijinks, Stupid Questions presents an everyday romance between extraordinary people. Combining science fiction elements and an original male perspective, the story breathes new life into the classic “boy-meets-girl” scenario. Readers who prefer romance without a side of fluff will appreciate this authentic character-driven tale of outsiders yearning for connection.

On Submission: Bad Fairy

Today my literary agent has begun the process of approaching editors to get me a publishing deal.

We’re hoping to score a three-book deal for my trilogy with a major publisher.  As of today, she’s contacting appropriate publishers and asking if they want to see it.  I won’t make public posts about how it’s going until/unless I get an offer (or until/unless I get multiple offers and have settled the terms), but if I get great news, I’ll make a post about it as soon as I’m given the green light to announce the deal.

I’m considering it a when, not an if.  Because I love pretending I’m super confident that it will sell.  😉