It’s always exciting and nerve-racking (nervousciting?) releasing a book into the world — even a novella. For those that have missed me going on about it, Guardian Angel is an urban fantasy set in Sydney, featuring a handsome movie star lead, his friends, and his impossibly perfect new fiance. You can read an extract from the story here.
Guardian Angel is both a new project and an old one. It first began its life in about 2004, when I began to experiment with longer-form fiction — until that point, I hadn’t had the stamina for anything beyond a few thousand words. (The original draft was about 15,000 words, and I was incredibly proud of myself at the time; of course, when I sat down at the end of last year to revisit and re-draft the story, it ended up at around 20,000 without me even trying. What can I say? I talk a lot more than I used to!)
Even though Guardian Angel is shorter than one of my novels, I have sought to give it the same care and attention as one of them — which means …
My obligatory thank you speech
Thanks to those who read the original version of Guardian Angel what feels like a thousand years ago now. Becca, I’m still waiting to see you publish — or self-publish — something of your own. You can do it. I believe in you! And thanks to Craig, who read the revised version of this story and helped me make it even better. You’re the bestest bestie a girl could ever want.
Also, thank you, love and cupcakes to my wonderful editor, Lauren Clarke, who asks all the hardest questions, spots even the tiniest inconsistencies, and only made me cry a little bit. (Kidding!) You’re worth your weight in gold, lady. And the cover is brought to you by the very clever Kim from KILA Designs; if you’re looking for an ebook or paperback design, you can find her on Facebook.
Thank you, as always, to my friends and family for putting up with my frequent absences and blank stares, for feeding me coffee and Bad Chicken, and for playing board games and keeping me sane: Mum, Dad, Kristy, Ali, Craig, Karen and Cassandra.
And finally, thank you to my son, who is now almost nine (wut?!). You make me laugh when I’m sad, amaze me with your quick-wittedness, and fill our house with love and wonder. Also, just so you know, little in this world makes me happier — or more conflicted — than when you beg to read “just one more chapter” at bedtime. I hope you never lose that passion for reading.
To celebrate the release of Guardian Angel, I’m giving away a $20 Amazon voucher. To enter, click the link below and perform any (or all) of the actions to score entries. The competition closes on 25 May.
Can her light hold back the night?
There are two things actor Jordan Woodrow always swore were true: that there was no such thing as love at first sight, and that he could never love a fangirl. But after he met Brianna at a convention, everything changed.
Now, hallucinations creep at the edge of his days and nightmares scuttle through his sleep, and only Brianna can keep them at bay. When she is with him, everything is fine. No, it’s better than fine—it’s perfect.
Why can’t his family and friends see that?
P.S. A sneaky announcement
As well as working on Guardian Angel, I had another project on the go. Also a novella, this one comes out on 5 May — so next Saturday — and will be released under my Tammy Calder pen name. Please note that Tammy writes erotica*, so, unlike Guardian Angel, this link is for adults only. Not for kids. And definitely not for my mother. (Hi, Mum!)
Now that you’ve been warned, here is the link for more information on Tammy’s books. Possessed: His Ghostly Game, an urban fantasy ghost erotica, has been out for a few years, and Kiss of the Succubus, a high fantasy erotica, is now available for pre-order.
* Yes, I refer to my erotica pen name in the third person. Shush.
Top Ten Tuesday is a bookish meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and it is loads of fun. You should all partake of it. PARTAKE! (Please imagine I said that in my best Dalek voice.) This week’s theme is: “Top Ten Goals/Resolutions For 2015 — bookish, blogging or otherwise!”
I’ve discovered over the last two years that blogging about my goals is a really great way to hold myself accountable, and make sure I actually do the things I set out to do.
Celebrate the launch of Isla’s Inheritance in October (or thereabouts). Convince as many of you as possible to buy it. Check. Sort of. I dunno if I’ve convinced as many of you as possible. I mean, I haven’t paid people with kittens or threatened dire consequences if people don’t. But people
have read it, and left nice reviews around the place. So I’m pretty happy about that.
Finish writing and editing the third book in Isla’s trilogy, so it’s ready to go to Turquoise Morning Press when they ask for it. Check. Right now, I’m actually halfway through re-reading it after the second-round edits from TMP. I really love this story, you guys. I know we’re not meant to have favourites among our children, but of the Isla’s Inheritance trilogy, the third book in the series, Melpomene’s Daughter, is definitely my favourite. Shh!
Find a home for Lucid Dreaming, whether that be via the agent/traditional press route or the small press route. This is the one resolution I have’t yet been successful on, for reasons that would require another blog post. But I have a plan of action. Hopefully I’ll be able to share something with you around the middle of next year. (By the way, there’s a lesson in this for everyone: don’t set goals that are outside your control. You can’t make people offer on your manuscripts, and sometimes people love them but don’t offer on them anyway, for market reasons or list reasons or whatever. Publishing is a tricky thing.)
Start writing something else. Possibly a sequel to Lucid Dreaming, although there’s that steampunk I’ve been thinking about for aaaages. I’m currently 18,000 words into the aforementioned steampunk, although the steampunk elements are actually pretty light. A year later, I describe it as historical fantasy. 🙂 I also self-published a novella under another pen name, Tammy Calder. It’s 8500 words long.
That means in 2014 I wrote…a lot of words. Probably in the order of 70,000, counting Melpomene’s Daughter, although I didn’t track it. And that doesn’t count blog posts and reviews. Whew. Chuck Wendig estimated he wrote 750,000 words this year, but we can’t all be Chuck, I guess! (I can’t even grow a beard.)
Read. I’ll set my Goodreads target to 40 again, see how it goes. Kicked this one out of the ballpark.
Read lots of books. I’ve set my Goodreads target to 40 again, with the caveat that childrens books and novellas don’t count. If I read 10 of those, I need to read 50 titles overall. Otherwise I have to wear the cone of shame.
Read a variety of Australian books. I’m also doing the Aussie Readers challenge over at Goodreads. For that, I need to read 12 books by Australian writers in 12 different genres. I’ll post my choices in a blog post in the new year. I’m looking forward to it — it’s a very exciting list!
Read books by Australian women. I’m also going to do the Australian Women Writers challenge again in 2015. There’s a lot of overlap between this list and number two, I confess — currently my Aussie readers challenge list only includes one bloke. Still, since this year I read and reviewed 11 books by Australian women, my plan for 2015 is to set my own goal of 15. I think I can do it, and it means this challenge is pushing me further than the previous one. Otherwise, what’s the point?
Writing and publishing goals
Release Isla’s Oath and Melpomene’s Daughter on time, with as much fanfare as I can manage. The former is scheduled for release on 20 January, and the latter for the week of 20 April (I don’t have an exact date). SO EXITE! Isla’s Oath is already available for preorder and is on NetGalley, but I still have some promo stuff to finish off. And as I mentioned, Melpomene’s Daughter is still in the editing process. Busy busy busy.
Finish my historical fantasy. The four other novels (and even the novella) I’ve written have been urban fantasy, and the novels have all been in the first person. Switching to historical fantasy and the third person has required a massive change of gears. But I’ve wanted to tell this story for three years now, and the thrill of actually seeing it come to life is pretty high. Sure, there are growing pains, but that’s to be expected. And fixing it afterwards is what edits are for!
Give Lucid Dreaming the attention it deserves. I love this book, you guys. At least as much as Melpomene’s Daughter. I’ve neglected it a bit this year — having three books scheduled for release over the space of seven months does tend to eat up your time — but 2015 will be its year. I promise. *pats manuscript reassuringly*
Write another novella for Tammy Calder. Enough said about that. 😉
Blog at least twice a week. This will require some planning, since I’m going away to the coast with my son and some friends for a week at the end of January (a few days after Isla’s Oath comes out — oops), but I can do it. I don’t need to sleep, right?
What are your goals for this year, reading, writing or otherwise?
Over the past month, as well as being busy with edits on the second and third books in the Isla’s Inheritance trilogy (which you’ll note is young adult urban fantasy) and spending some time drafting a young adult historical fantasy that doesn’t have a name yet, I’ve been busy with another side project.
I may have accidentally, sorta, kinda written an erotica novella. I tripped and fell and there it was. I swear!
It’s about 8600 words, which makes it about a tenth of the length of your average novel. (And I note that a tenth of the length is otherwise not a good thing in this genre… BOOM.) It is also urban fantasy — so I’m being consistent there, at least. Just not with the market.
My plan is to self-publish it under a pen name: Tammy Calder. Because the last thing I want is for some poor innocent who reads my young adult fiction to click on the “other titles” link and see something that might have their parents filing a law suit against me! For the same reason, I won’t be going crazy with promoting it on my blog or social media.
Otherwise, I’m treating it the same way I would any book I’d consider self-publishing. It’s had a couple of beta reads from friends who are still able to look me in the eye (phew!) and is now with my lovely editor friend Lauren McKellar to be whipped into shape.
Anyway, I have a cover all ready to go. Because Photoshop is fun. Wanna see?
If you’re wondering why “Tammy Calder”, it’s because that’s my porn star name. You know that old game, where you take your first pet’s name and your first street name, and put them together? (What’s yours? Leave a comment!)
* Yes, I’m making light of the whole thing. It’s because I’m actually kind of nervous about this blog post, and I laugh when I’m nervous. It’s gotten me in trouble before. Many, many times.