September was a strong and consistent month of writing for me. I’m nearly finished with my Light & Shadow rewrite and Tamara and I managed yet another small revision on The Eighth Octave after a revise & resubmit opportunity from one of the agents we pitched in New York.
In October Tamara and I have big plans to get a jump start on NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, usually November) by writing our sequel to River Running, tentatively titled Stone Speaking. Can we write a whole book in a month, and then turn around and write a whole other book, the sequel to The Eighth Octave, tentatively titled The Seventh Symphony, in November? Two drafts in two months? Why not?
Last month my goals were:
FINISH River Running AND The Eighth Octave REVISIONS and submit to requesting agents- CHECK. We are eagerly awaiting replies. We’ve had a few partial requests get bumped up to full MS requests, and we actually turned down an offer for publication that did not suit us last week. We hope for more news on our submissions this month.
CONTINUE LIGHT & SHADOW rewrite/revision- CHECK I have only 2 chapters and an epilogue to go! I’ll finish the draft in October for sure.
FINISH LIGHT & SHADOW rewrite/revision- Nearly there, this should be manageable.
WRITE STONE SPEAKING first draft with Tamara. This will take up the bulk of my writing hours in October, but I look forward to the madness.
Whew! What a whirlwind of a month August was. I experienced a highlight of my writing life when I went to NYC to meet my co-writer Tamara Shoemaker for the first but not last time, and we pitched our two co-written books to agents (with a cheering amount of interest!). The pitching was nerve-wracking, the conference was good, but the best thing was getting to meet Tamara face to face and enjoy four days in her company. It was a creative supercharge, and Tamara and I, after living like the (g)literati for four days, taking in Broadway shows and sipping prosecco at rooftop lounges, came home to a mad revision cycle on our books which have kept us occupied for hours a day since.
Needless to say, such excitement has befouled my August goals.
FINISH LIGHT AND SHADOW REVISION- Nope, not even close. After the conference I had to shift my entire focus and all my time onto the books we needed to review for submission to our interested agents.
FINISH MIDNIGHT OIL REVIEW/REVISION- Nope, see note to goal #1
ATTEND WRITER’S DIGEST CONFERENCE AND PITCH THE EIGHTH OCTAVE!! CHECK! It was a blast and very successful, too.
VARIOUS EDITING AND FORMATTING PROJECTS. CHECK–I did keep on top of these. My favorite thing is formatting on an airplane. It’s good activity to throw on the headphones and pass the time.
In September I shall:
FINISH River Running AND The Eighth Octave REVISIONS and submit to requesting agents- This is sure to occupy most of my writing time.
CONTINUE LIGHT & SHADOW rewrite/revision- I probably won’t finish, but I want to at least make some progress.
And that’s it! Back to just a few goals so I don’t keep missing my CHECKS.
I happened to have made the box set cover for this series already, and so I took the look I developed for the box set cover–a spired, futuristic cityscape and lush skyline lights–and translated it into covers for the three books.
This series involves elemental magic, so each cover has an elemental theme, too:
WRITE Daughter of Fortune ending. Nope. I received my developmental edit of Light & Shadow back from Tamara Shoemaker and got overly excited about doing rewrites for that, so Light & Shadow became my ToB&L focus for the month.
WRITE something else-I read over a WIP tentatively called Midnight Oil and realized Book One in the series was more or less a complete draft, and I have been slowly picking through it trying to address some of the more glaring issues in the story.
CONTINUE to Promote Mage & Source pre-order. CHECK. I did several interviews this month, which I think should count as promotion. I just don’t like promotion.
FINISH LIGHT AND SHADOW REVISION- This is sure to occupy most of my writing time.
FINISH MIDNIGHT OIL REVIEW/REVISION- I have about 25% of the book remaining, so this is do-able.
ATTEND WRITER’S DIGEST CONFERENCE AND PITCH THE EIGHTH OCTAVE!! I head to NYC on Aug 16 to attend the conference, meet Tamara my co-writer, and pitch our book!
VARIOUS EDITING AND FORMATTING PROJECTS. I’m reading Tamara’s latest project right now, working on a close edit of a biography, and formatting a non-fiction psychology text for a small press.
My real book covers feature portraits of my narrators, but for a different concept, I decided to show the magical aspect of the books and the ongoing saga of the Ophirae stones, the connecting plot arc of the entire series of Tales of Blood & Light.
On the cover of The Gantean, you see the mysterious red Ophira stone that Leila brought with her from Gante in her “barbarian” necklace:
On the cover for The Cedna, you see the Opal Ophira, which the Cedna awakens during her tragic love affair with Onatos Amar:
These two books were originally conceived as a duet within the series, and I like to think these new covers reflect that, with aspects of the images reflecting each other, the watery center of The Cedna‘s stone matching the watery background of The Gantean.
If you follow me–at all–you’ll know Emily June Street and I have not only an intense and amazing working relationship, but a close friendship as well. You may or may not be aware, but we’ve never met in person. She lives on the West Coast, I live on the East Coast, and 2,800+ miles separate us. However, we will fix this little detail when we attend the Writer’s Digest Conference together in New York City in August 2017. Can you imagine how excited I am?!