Monday, July 27, 2020

The Book Your Reviewer Wanted to Write

Today I finished Broken Strings, book 9 of the Wynter Wild series. As I prepare to sink deep into book 10, I'm looking back at the previous books and the perpective I've gained as I think about the genesis of the series and the early feedback I received that could have, if I'd listened to it, changed the trajectory of the story. Just like Caleb, who had to decide what he was willing to overlook to get what he wanted, I want to talk about where we as writers are willing to compromise when we encounter feedback on a manuscript (from beta-readers and other sources) that may have been offered from someone in the wrong frame of mind. 
This post will make a bit more sense if you've read Little Sister Song, because I'm using, as an example, the early professional feedback I received on the manuscript. However, the principles for recognizing this sort of feedback apply to any story you've written that means a lot to you.

Reviewing another's work is an art in itself, and I highly recommend it as a skill worth learning. It can't fail to improve your own writing. However, as the recipient of feedback, recognize a reviewer's biases. I'm not talking about political bias or sexism or any other -ism. It's far more basic than that: it's when the reviewer is giving you feedback based on what they would've written instead of accepting that you're telling your story as intended.

Before we get into that...

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Cover reveal: The Beat Goes On (Wynter Wild Book 10)

This week I've been finishing up Broken Strings (book 9) and working on the book 10 cover... and here it is!

Monday, July 13, 2020

When Rights Won’t Revert

When it comes to being traditionally published versus self-published, there are pros and cons to each. One of the issues an author faces with traditional publication (meaning you sign a contract with a publisher, giving them the right to publish your book under certain conditions) is getting your rights back at a later date.

Why would you want your rights back? Now that self-publishing is so easy and indie publishing with smaller houses is expanding because of the ebook market, getting your rights back is the first step enabling you to republish your book and give it a new lease of life. As long as you're under contract with the original publisher, this isn't possible.

You can request the contract be ended, and your rights reverted, when your book is "out of print". The definition of this term will be defined in the contact. In my case, for my sci-fi novel SONG OF SCARABAEUS (first published in 2010 by HarperCollins), it means the publisher has no physical copies left to fulfil an order.

Electronic books can't be out of print, of course. My contract specifies that the ebook is out of print if it sells fewer than 250 copies in 12 months (which is two accounting periods).

Ten years after publication, how is SONG OF SCARABAEUS doing?

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Wynter Wild Wiki is live

Introducing the Wynter Wild Wiki! This project was suggested to me by a friend and reader who is helping write and administrate it, and appeals to my natural inclination to keep things orderly.

Take a look around! This is a community project - anyone can edit or add pages after reading the "Guidelines" - which are the standard rules of, with the last couple of points related to spoilers and formatting for the Wynter Wild Wiki. (A few pages are protected so only registered users can make changes - you just need to make an account for that. Most pages are freely editable.) Or add comments on a page if you have suggestions and improvements.

Note that the fan casting images and mood boards I've used on Wattpad can't be uploaded to the wiki. Wattpad's free pass for "famous people and celebrities" doesn't apply here. I'm working on some original artwork, and fan art or copyright-free art can be added as well.

As of today, bios for the main characters and most of the minor characters from books 1 to 3 are live, along with some information on pets and bands and a few other things. With your help we can grow the wiki into a useful resource for readers wanting to explore Wynter's world.

Friday, July 3, 2020

New Release: Distortion (Wynter Wild Book 5) in paperback

Distortion Wynter Wild Book 5The fifth book in the Wynter Wild series, Distortion, is out now in paperback!

In this book, Wynter puts together her first all-girl (well, not quite) band. While she'd love to be playing just about every song with the amp turned to 11 to maximize distortion, the Mail Order Chicks play mostly 80s and 90s British pop. This story also sees the genesis of the rock band she puts together with her brothers.

"Distortion" refers to how the siblings' mother, Miriam, has affected her children by her actions years ago. Particularly for Indio, he believes the ongoing absence of maternal love is what has formed him, rather than the abandonment itself:

Thursday, July 2, 2020

New Release: Minor Key (Wynter Wild Book 8)

The eighth book in the Wynter Wild saga, Minor Key, is out now in all ebook formats!

Little Sister Song (Book 1) is available here.

The title for Minor Key was inspired by two events in the story, the first being Xay and Wynter's long-awaited reunion after 3 years. Things don't go exactly as either of them planned, and neither knows quite what to do about it.

The second is the tragedy alluded to in the blurb (below).

In addition, Jesse is dealing with a mental health issue that takes him by surprise.

But there are happy times, too.