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Cover Reveal & Breakout Books

Thirst (Ava Delaney #1) and Taunt (Ava Delaney #2) are both featured on the iBookstore Breakout Books promotion in Ireland (in my hometown…) and the UK this week. The Smashwords blog explains it better than I do. Anyway, it’s nice timing because Taste (Ava Delaney #5) is in the proofreading stage, so I thought I would give a sneak peek of the cover by Renu Sharma. 🙂

Taste

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Three Year Indieversary

Note: Smashwords are running their usual Read an Ebook week promo – a few of my books are taking part.

This is my annual dull indieversary post in which I traditionally talk about myself more than usual. Check out year one and year two if you’re interested in how long I’ve been this much of an egotistical arsehole. 😀

Boo-yah. Three years ago today, I clicked publish for the first time. Little Girl sold something like five copies that month. 🙂 (Incidentally, it had its best sales month ever in January of this year, which was odd and reinforces the whole unpredictability thing).

A couple of big things have happened since the year two post. We moved out of Dublin. The bukes hit a nice even sales milestone. I have my own space to work. I shocked everyone who knows I’m the laziest person on the planet by temporarily turning into a raging workaholic. I finally finished a series. *Insert some kind of embarrassing yet appropriately celebratory dance here*

That was the biggest deal for me, actually. I finally accomplished my first Big Dream that never seemed possible before (I’m looking at you, Cursed, you nightmare of my soul). I’ll be thirty this month(!), and I was afraid I wouldn’t finish that series before then. I did it, so suck on that, impossibly old ideas that never go away, make me love you and hate you at the same time, and leave me in some kind of weird writer depression when you end.

I’ve put a lot more money and hours into my books than before. While I would love to publish more frequently, I can’t without sacrificing editing, and I can barely get away with using British English. 😉

Not judging anyone else’s output, nor am I saying any other writer sacrifices editing, just that I’m not that good. 😀

I feel like I’ve worked harder over the last year, partly because the Big Burning Desire is to see obvious improvement. Sometimes that doesn’t come fast enough for me, but I’m a trier. (And there is nothing like the hell of reading your old embarrassing stories while cringing at every sentence you could now rewrite into something better – the best part of finishing a series is never having to read the first book again…) I do sometimes feel like I’ve maybe sacrificed a little bravery for the sake of learning the craft, but this is a lifelong learning curve. And while I enjoy working on my series, I spent most of last year looking forward to the end so I could move on to what comes next. I feel like I’ve learned a lot from the old stuff, but I’m ready to move on with the new.

On the negative side of this past year, I’m exhausted. 🙂 Let’s just say my kids love it when I burnout. The most frustrating change since year two was probably relying on people who let me down at the last minute. It happens for various reasons; you have to rely on other people, and I’ve learned you really need a backup plan. This is partly why I’m glad I decided the series stuff needed the same people. I’ve been lucky enough to find an editor and cover artist I trust and enjoy working with and who are worth the cost, but I seem to have heard of far more people being ripped off or let down during the last twelve months than before. Inevitable, but sucky.

I still love writing, and I’m even beginning to appreciate editing – there’s something kind of fun about layering. In the coming twelve months, I expect series two to be done and dusted, but I’m not certain there will be a fourth indieversary post.

That’s not some kind of weird, vague threat or anything! I’m genuinely concerned about the quality of book I can produce right now. Besides that, I’m supporting a large family on something incredibly unstable, sales aren’t steady, and when my partner goes back into full-time work, I’ll have to write while five young kids clamour for my attention. All. Day. Long. (Wait, that happens now…) I’ll still write, even if I can only finish one book a year. 😉

This isn’t supposed to be gloomy btw. Last year was probably a peak year for me, and I’m okay with that. For an Irish writer, I believe I did good. Honestly, I was very lucky, but luck can run out. I don’t have any stand out bestsellers, and I still avoid the active promotion thing like the plague, but across all markets, the numbers happened to add up last year. (Still advocating diversity vs. exclusivity. After my experiences with the whole copyright thing, I’m extra loud about this one). There are way, way, way more writers out there doing the same thing as me. Plenty of them doing it much better. More than the outliers we hear about. I don’t think I’ve met any Irish ones yet, but I’m sure they’re out there. The problem remains the same though. No stability. No way of knowing what will come next, and that isn’t something that everyone can handle. Most of us can’t predict what book will rise or fall, and plenty of people have gone into this full-time only for it to fall apart. While I kind of enjoy the risks, I have to make joint decisions that put my family first, and in that regard, I keep myself prepared for change, whenever the need arises. 🙂

Tl;dr: Writing good. Publishing hard. Guarantees non-existent. Life exciting. 😀

Breakout Books & A Case of the Randomz

Because I’m usually something other than random?

Verity has been featured on the iBookstore’s Breakout Books promotion. Read about it on the Smashwords blog for more info and a list of the other, far more awesome, books featured so far – they switch out the books during the promotion, which is better than one big unmanageable mass of books, imo. It’s pretty cool, but any time I check out the iBookstore, indie titles are promoted quite prominently, so I’m not really surprised (although I’m shocked they selected Verity). I kind of feel bad for Verity though, standing awkwardly behind the much cooler kids. 😀

It’s nice timing in a way, because the last book  in the series just released (by the way, it was chosen as a Red Adept Select). Purity isn’t available on the iBookstore yet, but Smashwords sent it across, so it’s just awaiting Apple’s review process. Thanks for the early responses to the ending; it’s always terrifying throwing your baby out into the world, and I’ve been sick with nerves since I pressed publish. 😉

Has everyone seen “new” MySpace? I was curious enough to sign up, but right now, I can’t see myself using it too much. It’s a good idea, but I find new music in other ways. Sorry this post is so disgustingly linky, but MySpace reminded me of Pledgemusic (because I checked out Ours and realised I already have all their songs, so why would I listen on MySpace?) It’s like Kickstarter, and one of my favourite bands has a pledge thingy going. I listen to music by Ours and Jimmy Gnecco while working on Every. Single. Book. (and right now this minute) so I was a little squeaky fangurl when I saw the pledge for a new album. I don’t know why Ours isn’t already massively huge! Anyway, if you want to support one of my favourite muses, check out the Ours project on Pledgemusic.

I was thinking of creating a page for Cursed, somewhere people could ask spoilery questions about the series. If anyone is interested, let me know. I’ll have the omnibus up maybe next week. Paperbacks will take longer because of post & proof copies and all that jazz.

Regarding beta reading: My editing slots have been brought forward or delayed in a way that’s made it impossible for me to find time to beta read DIAG or Taste properly. Sorry. :/ My schedule is all screwed up, so I don’t know if I’ll be able to do a proper beta reading session for Traitor either, but both Taste and Traitor are still on schedule for March and June. I was also going to start working on a brand new series (Demonolatry), but it would probably be quicker to just edit stuff I’ve already written, right? 🙂

I’m off to edit before this becomes a novel. Except to say we got our first bit of snow – it was a half-arsed job, but still. And grumpy,  hunting, loaner of a guard-cat decided to be cuddle-cat today. We melt the hardest of hearts in this house. 😉

Also! Kai the Hitch-hiking Hero! Probably NSFW!

Have a great week!

Purity Release

Purity

 

It’s taken a while, but the final book in the Cursed series is finally out in the world. (Amazon US, Amazon UK, Smashwords, & Kobo so far – others will take a week or two longer). I hope those who are waiting on it will be satisfied by the ending, but I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

I’m glad I actually finished a series, but at the same time, I’m sad to let it go. (I may or may not have had a little cry today. Lol). I did a final read-through after the proofreader finished with it, and all I did the entire way was think of how many other stories I could do in the same world. I have an illness… 🙂

 

Feb Updates

I’m using my phone for this for the first time, so bear with me – WordPress isn’t working on my laptop for some reason. Anyway, as of this week, we have reliable broadband again which means less radio silence from me.

Updates: I thought Death is a Gift would be my next release, but due to one editor bringing forward our schedule, and the other falling behind, Purity is up first. Right now, I’ve no idea when DIAG will be ready. 😦 Still, expect to see Purity on Amazon, Kobo, & Smashwords early next week – B&N, Apple, etc. will probably take a couple of weeks. I’ll also do a complete Cursed collection option soon, and paperbacks for both soon.

Taste is heading to its editor next week, so I’m hoping for a March release. Traitor, the final Ava Delaney book, should then be available around June if all goes to plan. I will likely have another release in the summer, but I’m not certain which book I’ll choose for that yet.

I’ve been ridiculously busy since October, but I didn’t write much in January (stoopid editing), so I’m looking forward to that changing this month.

I have some writing related stuff on my mind, but it’ll keep until the big anniversary post next month.

Non-updatey stuff: We are probably the only place not to get snow. We got a little flooding, but no snow. We also got an unwelcome mouse, so we’ve stolen a grumpy cat and are hoping she doesn’t assassinate our dogs. (She’s gone into super-stealth mode, so anything can happen). My big scary guard dog is afraid of cats. She’s also afraid of shadows, bin collectors, closed doors, and steam from the kettle, so I may as well put up a Beware of the Cat sign.

New Release – Beta Reading

I have a new standalone y/a novel out today. It’s in the 99c price range for a couple of weeks, after which, I’ll be raising the price.

(Thanks so much to the beta readers who worked on this one. I went with the majority vote in the end, and I would email everyone, but I’ve misplaced my little list of names. Predictable!)

All I can say about it is that it’s called Stake You, it’s probably a little different to my other stuff, except for the presence of a vampire (:D), and it’s available on Smashwords, Amazon UK, and Amazon US so far.

The next release will also be a standalone y/a novel, but this time featuring a banshee. I’ll share the cover whenever it’s ready, and if anyone who was interested in beta reading this one somehow has time in December/early January, shoot me an email. 🙂

We put a Xmas tree up already. Weird for us. And our house is surrounded by a massive frost cloud. Feels very wintery but the camera won’t pick up the fog. We’re taking all of the kids to the dentist this week so wish us luck. Dentist-phobia has spread like wildfire, even down to the smaller kids who aren’t really sure what a dentist does. I have some kind of weird sleeping disease this month, so I’m going to press publish before I fall asleep and forget about it. Again. :/

Purity, Ava Delaney, and Other Release Updates

I had a long post ready a while back that I forgot to press publish on, so bear with me if this is a mess of ideas. Writing this mostly for the googlers getting sent to the wrong posts.

So I’ve had difficulties with cover art and me being late booking editing slots which have altered the schedule I thought I would have this winter. I can never predict how long a book is going to take me, so that’s something I need to work on. I’ll just post the dates I know about and hope that a cancellation will bring everything forward (but I’m not depending on that to happen). I won’t have individual paperbacks for Thirst, Taunt, and Tempt for the foreseeable future, and there will definitely only be two more books in the Ava Delaney series.

This month, I’m taking part in NaNoWriMo. If you’re taking part and want to buddy up, add me. I’m working on a y/a contemporary novel that I’ve been talking about for years. It’s kind of heavy for me to write, but we’ll see how it goes. I’m also editing if anyone is worried I’m slacking on the series. Those books are in constant rotation. 😉

I’m also pretty much ready for Purity beta readers. If anyone who wanted to beta read Purity is ready this week, let me know by emailing me at claire_farrell@live.ie.

December: I may have a new release. It depends on something out of my control right now, but if whatever needs to happen happens, (sorry to be vague) then it will be a y/a paranormal novel. I’m not certain about this one yet, so if it can’t be done (and it likely won’t be possible in the end), it will be the novel used in January.

Taste will also be ready for beta readers some time in December.

February: I have an editing slot with an editor I haven’t worked with before in late January. That book will hopefully be released in early February. It will also be a y/a paranormal novel.

March: I have an editing slot for Purity booked in February, so it is possible the final book in the Cursed series will be released in late March, but it will likely be early April. (I’ll probably reveal the cover and an excerpt much sooner than this. I’m excited to end the series now, although I will likely revisit this world again because I have a bajillion ideas for it).

May: I have an editing slot for Taste booked in March. I expect it will be available in late May.

I haven’t received a date for the final Ava Delaney book, but I’ll update as soon as I know more. ETA: The final Ava Delaney book will likely be available in July. All of these release dates depend on everything going to plan with all concerned, so… fingers crossed.

The only releases I am certain about after Taste are Traitor and Soul. I’m hoping for an autumn/winter release of Soul as I don’t expect to get a lot done during the summer. I would like to publish something from Ava’s world, but it’s too early to be sure of it. And I didn’t plan to have so many y/a releases next year – it’s just the way it worked out. It probably seems like a lot of releases for next year, but all of the books I’ve mentioned in this post and planned on releasing in 2013 are already written.

In future, I don’t particularly want to release a book in a series until I have the entire series written. Although a lot of the standalone y/a stories could be turned into a series, I don’t have any immediate plans to go down that road again for a while.

If I’ve forgotten anything or you have questions or I’ve missed an email/comment somewhere, poke me with a stick until I answer.

I haven’t been blogging or anything as much because I’ve had a lot on. I’ve been reading blogs when I can, but I haven’t had the time to reply so much. Last week was mid-term break, and this week the kids are sick, and my youngest is on a permanent sleep-strike, so it’s been busy.

I hope everyone’s safe and well. Our heating hasn’t been working for a week or so and it sucks, so I can only imagine what people are going through after Sandy. 😦