Posts Tagged ‘author’

Long Road to Publication is more like a Dark Cave filled with Giant Boulders…and monsters don’t forget the monsters.

I’m walking down the path towards publishing my second novel, The Light Side of the Moon. I thought it was going to be easier this time–I was wrong.

Disclaimer: I am not trying to scare you. I did not publish this post during November, because I didn’t want to sound like I am attacking Nanowrimo, speed-writing, or anything that helps authors follow their dreams. However, after four self-published comics and a published novel and short story, I realized that the main attribute that makes or breaks an author is patience.

Here’s why:

Your first draft sucks. Now don’t feel bad, my first draft sucks. When he was alive, Ernest Hemingway’s first drafts sucked. firstdraft

For me, its the first few drafts that are shit. I’m not going to talk about my process today, but its a boulder that’s so big, it has false summits. Other Systems had seven distinct drafts, The Light Side of the Moon had five. My current project entitled The Grove has had two so far, but I know there is at least one more on its way. BTW This is all before professional editing.

Writing the novel is the easiest boulder. It’s big, rocky but with steady work eventually I get over it. So will you. Because whether you write the book or not, is completely within your control.

None of the next steps are within your control.

After I finish the book, I send it out into the world hoping it gets accepted somewhere. 48Fourteen has had manuscripts of mine from anywhere to two months to nine months. Other small publishers have been similar. Large publishers are even longer. I had a manuscript at Angry Robot for nine months before getting a rejection. I had sample chapters at Tor for seven also rejected. I get so many more rejections than acceptances. They don’t hurt anymore. I just list it on the manuscripts spreadsheet, if there is personalized feedback, I try to glean what I can from it–but that’s time.

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Skylight in Ape CavEven short story markets sometimes take months to hear back.

So if you want to be published, authors need to wait, learn patience.

After a traditionally published book is accepted, there is waiting–alot of time in the dark, not knowing what’s going on. I am happy people ask me about the book, but they really have no idea how long each part of publishing takes.

First of all, there is calendar issues. Every publisher has a calendar to get out their yearly catalog. So the publisher has to decide what makes sense for the title and put it in between other titles.

There’s also the cover art. This one isn’t as bad for me, since I do my artwork with 48Fourteen, however, I do need to wait for my cover lettering to be finalized.

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One of the abandoned tunnels at Iron Goat

Next boulder is editing. Right now, The Light Side of the Moon is getting edited. My publisher told me. This is a huge boulder that I have to climb over, cutting my hands in the rough crevices. Not because every word I write is gold, (that last sentence certainly wasn’t) but because I am curious what the editor will suggest. I want to get to work on making it a better book, I don’t know how long the editor will take. Every week I freak out a little more. I have to remind myself that the editor is a person with a life, she will finish it when she finishes it. And I need to stay chill, so she can do a great job.

Seeing your manuscript marked up the first time is pretty shocking. When I was going through Other Systems, I joked that it looked like a smurf died with all the comments. That being said, going through the process is the best thing for your writing.

People often ask, “Does it hurt when they touch your baby?”

Answer: “Not as much as you’d think.”

Truthfully, it doesn’t hurt at all. I don’t argue with my editor. I read their comments and unless I feel they are way off, or I don’t understand them, I get to work on the corrections or rewriting the passages. Only if the editor is way off, I argue. While editing does not hurt, WAITING does. The not knowing. I tend to start thinking weird thoughts. Computers exploding, stuff like that. The Boulder morphs into a monster. Maybe a stone golem or something.

Other Systems had two editorial passes, will The Light Side of the Moon? Who knows.

Then a book goes to formatting and actually become an ebook and a paperback.

Then the book gets released….and its still not over. We stumble around trying to sell it while we write our next book. We need to go slow and steady. We want to write with passion, while everyone tells us to get out our next book: now, now, now. Whether self-published or traditionally-published books sell is up to the whim of the readers. Will they like it? Will they find it compelling?

I can send out review copies, do interviews and go to conferences, but I can’t make people buy my book. I can’t make people read it. That is not in my control. What I can control is how I react to it. My goal is to respond with patience and persistence and to remember the long game. It boils down to the publishing of The Light Side of the Moon or any book is just another step in a career.

Who do you think you are? Well, I am Elizabeth Guizzetti.

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I might be a nobody, but wait…that’s me selling my books at Barnes&Noble

When someone says “Who do you think you are?”

They are actually implying that you are unimportant and your work is unimportant.

And when someone points out, “Well, you’re not [Enter name of best-selling author here]”

They are implying you can’t break the rules because you are a nobody.

There is only one answer to both of those questions:  I am author [insert your name here].

During the rewrite of The Light Side of the Moon, one of the comments that my editor made was that she rarely sees books over 40 chapters.  I admit I came close to mentioning that Other Systems had 46 chapters, but I didn’t want to be argumentative.

Later, I realized this year alone, almost every book I read was over 40 chapters. In fact most of them were over 100 chapters, but when I pointed this out to a friend:  I was reminded that I am not Dan Brown, Stephen King, or Joe Hill.

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Tell me I’m unimportant. Well I’ll go Kaiju. FYI I didn’t destroy Seattle, because I live here and can’t afford the drop in property values, but I’m coming for Bellevue.

 

It happened again when writing my back cover copy for The Light Side of the Moon, I showed some people in my writing group.  I had originally written it from Ellie’s point of view but that really didn’t show the expansiveness of the story.  I was reminded that the rules state that I should name a single main character.

I pointed out that Game of Thrones’s back cover copy that doesn’t name a single character. I was told I am not George RR Martin.

They’re right–I am none of those people. And if I ever forget,  my quarterly royalty checks brings me back to reality.

But tiny royalty checks doesn’t change who I am and how I identify myself in this world.

I am author and illustrator Elizabeth Guizzetti and Ha Ha! As if there are rules on the job that we do– at best, they are only loose guidelines

I write what I want to write just like the authors I mentioned above.  I don’t know how they became best-selling authors. Yes, they write great books. And yes, because they are best-sellers, their publishing houses spend more money on their marketing efforts.  And yes, that by selling movie options they became even better-selling best-selling author.

Besides that? I don’t know if they rubbed on a genie’s bottle or have a lucky rabbits foot and don’t write on Friday the 13th.

It doesn’t matter, their sales do not make me less of an author…and their sales don’t make you less or more of an author either.

I love my job.  Most weeks, I put in over 50 hours which means I made less than a penny an hour last year as an author, but I’m not the only author that makes pennies per hour.  It is estimated that an average’s salary for an author in America is less than $30,000 a year. Yes, there are the authors who win the author lottery,  but there’s a lot more of us who love writing and do it for very little money. Guess what? I’m still an author. I have one book published, and another under contract.

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Here is me and my author buddies Zachary Bonelli and Aubry K. Andersen at the Federal Way Library. We worked hard for this appearance and did awesome!

Writing advice for #NaNoWriMo folks and anyone else who ever wanted to write a book!

Since it is NaNoWriMo month, this is my best advice for anyone who wants to write a novel.

1) Write what you love.

There are two basic problems with writing for the market is that you limit yourself as a writer AND writing a saleable book and getting it published takes time. By the time you get your opus to market, the market has probably moved on.

 

2) Hard work trumps inspiration.

Inspiration is fickle. Hard work matters. I’m telling you, if you want to be an author only one thing matters: butt in chair and words on a page. Enough said.

 

3) Focus on the present.

Stop thinking about seeing your book on TV. Don’t look at previous triumphs and failures. They don’t matter anymore to your current project than your jerk of a sophomore English Teacher who said you can’t string two sentences together. Focus on the ‘right-now’ and the right now it is your job to put words on a page.

And once that novel is completed…

4) Face rejection/critiques like an ADULT.

We all face it. We all have ways to deal with it. Be sad, that’s natural, but realize after every rejection there is a next step. Take that step. And if you get rejection with personal feedback, read it closely. Is there something to be gleaned from this?

 

5) Face success like an ADULT.

Don’t shove your successes into other people’s face. Be humble, because another failure is just around the corner.  Marketing takes work–almost as much work as writing the damn thing. Anyone who says its easy is generally trying to sell you a book on how to market your book.

There is the myth of “If I just get my foot in the door…” It’s a myth. My second book The Martlet was rejected over 30 times. I thought once I was published the first time the next time it would be easier. Nope.

So good luck, and get writing, everyone!

And please feel free to add your own writing advice in the comments if you wish!

 

Life of an author: 7 Ways to Keep the Creeping Bitterness at Bay

Yesterday I read this article: http://www.marcandangel.com/2014/09/28/20-things-to-remember-when-you-think-youre-not-good-enough/  I loved it enough to put on my Facebook Page and then I decided to write my own list, specifically for authors.

I wanted to roll myself in blankets with Rosie.

Every author has days they just want to hide under the blankets.

Every author has felt the creep of bitterness when they watch another author do well publicly. We want to be supportive to one another, but deep inside, is a little voice asking “Why isn’t that me?”

Right now, there are the fall releases. Most authors have author friends. And a lot of them are putting out new books. A friend and I went to a reading for two authors in our acquaintance. We stayed for the reading, but during mingle time, the friend was anxious to leave and overwhelmed. Why? Because she was jealous. Her first book just had another rejection and here two of our friends  seemed to have all the success in the world.

Guess what? I know the inner workings of these two authors well enough to know that they don’t have it all. Yet, even I, feel that creeping anger that overtakes my being and stops me from moving forward. You see, I talk a good game and I hide it well. But it’s always there threatening to break out. This is how I control it.

1) Remember EVERY BOOK has a sales arc from release date to current time.

Every book’s sales drop off after the release blitz. Every Book. Some will hit the top 100 lists and some won’t. Not every book from the same best-selling author will hit the best seller lists.  But every book goes up after its release and then comes down.

2) Remember EVERY BOOK has good and bad reviews.

I’ve had epic reviews where the reader said I’m their new favorite author and I’ve had reviews that said Other Systems was boring. Who is right? They both are. A review is an opinion. And everyone is entitled to their opinion especially since I asked them for it!

3) Remember EVERY AUTHOR has a budget for PR.

Some budgets are bigger than mine. I can’t control that. I can control how I spend my own money and remember that just because this book didn’t do as well as I like, doesn’t mean that the next book won’t.

Now here’s where it gets personal….

If I had been afraid to go through this gate, I would have missed one of the most beautiful and interesting gardens in all of IrelanD!

If I had been afraid to go through this gate, I would have missed one of the most beautiful and interesting gardens in all of Ireland! So Be FEARLESS!

4) Don’t be afraid to write what you want to write

I write what I want to write and have basically told people to fuck off if they tell me to write something else. (Depending on the relationship with the person, this will be a gentle or harsh.)

No, I don’t write about YA vampires nor do I write spanking fantasies about women being dominated by billionaires.To be clear, I am not dissing any author who writes about such things as long as they are writing about these subjects because they want to. 

I am saying If I wrote such a story, it would be shit. Know why? Because I don’t care about that. I don’t even care about the Hunger Games wannabe dystopia stories though they are closer to what I write. Not because these subjects are better or worse than what I write, but because I would be a poser and no one likes a poser.

I write serious hard science and hard social science fiction. My inspirations are Margret Atwood, Vernor Vingeand David Brin

Sometimes I also write horror or epic fantasy. My inspirations are Stephen King, Joe Hill, and Tanya Huff.

These are the authors I read for pleasure. Notice something about the authors I listed, they have two things in common. They are authors who write for adults. and no matter what the setting deal with real life issues in their writing.

No one makes me write this. It’s a tough road, but a road that I put myself on willingly.  I really don’t care what other people think I should write. I’m living the dream–and so can you–just remember every great dream has a bit of a nightmare.

5) Go your own pace.

It will feel that everyone is moving faster than you. They are releasing ten books a year while you’re struggling with writer’s block. I once let a publishing contract pass me by. It hurts when I think about it sometime, but I know I did the right thing for me. I nor my project would have been what the press wanted from me.

6) When it gets too hard, reach out for help. 

I think most authors want to help. I love helping. Hell, even if I can only give you a hug (real or metaphorical) and pass you along to some one more qualified, I will do that. And if you  happen to run into jerks, write them off, and come over to my side of the inter-webs.


7) Five Words: I am a fucking author. (And if you need them add another seven…Nothing can take that away from me.)

I wrote a hard science fiction novel and it was published. I wrote, created artwork and self published 4 graphic novels and a comic book series. I have had a few short stories published. This is where I am in my career. It has taken me eight years to get this far and I’m not stopping.

No one can take that away from me…not even death. I might not be remembered, I can’t control that, but I used the time I have in a way that I feel is worthwhile.

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Here is me at Norwescon’s Writer’s Row last year.

If you wrote a book or a short story or a blog post you are an author. You created something out of nothing. Be proud of that.

Plus one extra tip for no charge: Figure out what  gets your hackles up, and do your best to ignore it.

America loves an instant Success story and a get rich quick scheme. Right now, that’s publishing an e-book on Kindle.

Being an author is work. No one just poops out novels or trips over a publishing contract. My pet peeve is every bio from a best-selling author that starts with “I never thought I’d be an author…. ” I’m calling out bullshit on that. Then I stop reading and go about my merry way.

So Authors Friends, what helps you?

Author Event Page 2 Books in Burien

Local Science Fiction Friends:

Looking for something awesome to do tonight? Come down to Burien at check out the Author Event at Page 2 Books. There will be some great authors in attendance including me, Aubry Andersen, Zachary Bonelli, Emma Elliot, Amanda Feldman, Jeff Suwak 6-8 PM.
There’s also an art walk and a farmer’s market.

Come ask me questions preferably about science fiction or Other Systems, but I will also answer questions about how I got a wierd sunburn and seven mosquito bites.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Page-2-Books/579078448867017

Photos from Federal Way Library Meet the Author Event!

Here are the photos from the Federal Way Library Meet the Author Event! 

Here are:
Aubry Andersen, author of the serialized novel: Isaac the Fortunate and illustrator of Insomnium 
Zachary Bonelli, of Fuzzy Hedgehog Press author of Insomnium and Voyage: Embarkation 
Elizabeth Guizzetti, author and illustrator of Other Systems 

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Other Systems Making Connections Blog Tour

Other Systems will be shown on all these awesome blogs this week May 19th – May 25th. Check out every blog for your chance to win some great prizes! US/CANADA – signed 8×10 Act break prints from Act 3; INTERNATIONAL – eBooks plus 5 space wallpapers! Other Systems Cover

May 19th: 1st stop:
Michael Sci Fan – Interview

2nd stop:
Evening eBook – Review 

May 20th:
Beanie Brain Reader – Review

May 21st:

Giovanni Valentino – Interview

May 22nd

Judith Leger – Promo

 

Part3

US/Canada Readers: Want to win this print? Check out each stop on the blog tour!

May 24th

A Readers Review – Promo 

May 25th:
Making Connections Blog – Interview

The fate of The Light Side of the Moon has been decided!

The Light Side of the Moon will be published by 48Fourteen!

lunaIn Other Systems, the Kiposi built space elevators on Earth to get humans, livestock and seed cheaply off the planet. I knew I wanted to explore other aspects of space colonization and I began the second of a series of companion novels each focusing on a separate aspect of the human condition in the far future. The Light Side of the Moon will focus on the rebuilding of Earth’s space program.

Human colonists from another planet seek young people to populate their utopian colony. Many are tested, few are chosen. The Light Side of the Moon is the story of those who remained in Earth’s solar system.

Ella Sethdottier’s family lives in extreme poverty, barely surviving on the training wage system. When her mother dies from the flu and her older brother Dan is fired from his job, Ella is arranged to be married to an elderly groom to keep her warm and safe.

Determined to make a better life for herself, but with no prospects, she follows rumors halfway around the world with the hope of working on Lunar Colony Tranquility. The road is fraught with danger, but she makes her way thousands of kilometers to the Paris Space Elevator, meeting a variety of people along the way, including a family of broken down androids who decide to accompany her. Ella and the androids indenture themselves to the warden as servants and companions for his family.

Other Systems Cover

On Luna, Ella escapes dire poverty, however she must navigate the treacherous paths of life in a place where one misstep can mean disaster. Corrupt guards take comfort from the prison population as the conflicted warden tries to keep the peace. As colony’s relentless hardships intensify, Ella forges an unlikely friendship with the idealistic dreamer, Dr. Ian Whitlatch. The two draw strength from one each other to defeat formidable enemies—hunger, riots, inconsistent supply drops, and the insidious effects of low gravity—and find the strength to build a utopia.

Want more information?

Websites
http://elizabethguizzetti.com
http://other-systems.com

Facebook Page
http://www.facebook.com/Elizabeth.Guizzetti.Author

Excerpt from Everlasting by Candace Knoebel

Today as part of the Everlasting Blog Tour, I am happy to show an Excerpt from Everlasting by Candace Knoebel….

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EXCERPT

“This way,” Nathaniel says from the side of the stage. We’re like cows being herded into individual

pens to await sacrifice. There are closed-in cubicles constructed backstage, and each of us is placed in

one without a word of guidance or encouragement.

“Wait a second,” I say as I try to scan down the row one last time for Katie, but I’m shoved into my

cubicle and the door shuts, enclosing me in between four confining walls with only the light of a

lamp. I drag my hands down the fabric of the walls until I fall down into my seat. I tug on my braid

again and again and again. Calm down. Breathe. Calm down. I chant this over and over again,

imagining that Katie’s the one who’s coaching me. I shut my eyes and am back in her room. The

scent of her perfume overwhelms the small space, but instead of making me sneeze, it comforts me.

It makes my imagined state more real.

I hear loud clapping coming from off the stage and know someone must’ve just gone. They obviously

weren’t a Defect. No one wants a Defect at their ceremony. A voice shouts, “Let’s go, Todd Jenson.

It’s time to meet your partner.” I wonder if it was Katie on stage. I wonder if he’s her partner. I

wonder this through eighteen more times worth of clapping and cheering and name calling. Anytime

now, they’ll open my door and force me to stand before the crowd, force me to touch the quartz, force

me to face my peers in shame. If they deem me a Defect, I’ll be the first this Culling, and most likely

the only.

I twist my hands into knots and think about my parents. They have to be out there by now. I’m going

to walk out there and they’re going to be in the front row smiling. I open my eyes. Four walls. They’re

closing in on me. They’re suffocating me. I have to get out.

“Faye Middleton?” The door opens and air rushes in. I draw sharply on it as the cheering continues.

Another novice and her new partner walk off stage. It’s the girl with black hair. She’s coyly looking at

him from under her lashes. He looks pissed.

Nathaniel guides me forward, and I want to yank my arm from him. I want to tell him I left my

courage back in that cubicle, but I don’t. I can’t. My lips are glued shut by fear. My knees have turned

into two extremities of doubt, and I know I’m going to fall. I’m going to forget how to speak.

Steel blue eyes find mine from across the stage. Elder Maddock. He bows ever so slightly in my

direction, his eyes seeking past my outer appearance. I wonder if he knows who I am. He has to.

I stop right before him and feel like a bird trapped in a cage. I can’t escape the thousands of eyes

studying me. I can’t escape the hundreds of assumptions building me into something I’m not.

“Faye Middleton,” he says, his voice eager and curious. There’s a friendly lightness in his voice I don’t

expect, a sound that makes me feel safe and comfortable under his gaze. He has thick, golden brown

hair combed neatly over to the side and back, showing off the squared planes of his face. He looks

much younger than he should, but older than my father. “Are you ready to begin?”

I turn to the crowd and scan desperately for my parents. Eyes. There are so many eyes. Too many.

They form together, creating an awful monster that wants to swallow me whole. I can’t find them.

The eyes have hidden them from me. I’m all alone. I try to swallow, but my mouth is so dry. I bite the

inside of my cheek, curbing the need to release tears.

The Witch standing next to him says, “Faye, he asked you a question.”

I take in a tight breath and force myself to look away and back at Maddock. “I’m sorry,” I whisper,

my stomach twisting a little tighter.

He pretends not to notice the panic I’m sure my face is masked in and offers me the kindest, most

patient smile. “Everyone is nervous on the day of the Culling,” he says knowingly. “I was a wreck the

day of mine.”

Polite laughter comes from the audience, and I feel myself relax just enough so that I can breathe

again.

He offers me a small wink…a knowing sort of wink, and says, “Your parents will be proud.” He says

these words carefully, evenly, and I know he’s trying to tell me something. They’re okay? He’s aware

of who I am. “So are you ready to begin?”

Available on

ADD IT ON GOODREADS!

 

Candace Knoebel About The Author

Candace Knoebel is the award-winning author of Born in Flames-a young adult fantasy trilogy.

Published by 48fourteen in 2012, Born in Flames went on to win Turning the Pages Book of the Year award in February of 2013. Embracing the Flames, the second in the trilogy, is scheduled for release in the summer of 2013.

Candace Knoebel discovered through lunch breaks and late nights after putting her kids to bed, a world where she could escape the ever-pressing days of an eight to five Purgatory. Since then, she crawled out of Purgatory and has devoted her time to writing and sometimes heelying.

 

Facebook ~ Goodreads ~ @candaceknoebel

Plus to celebrate there is a RaffleCopter with tons of great prizes: http://bit.ly/UgH7bn

What do I do while waiting to hear back from publishers? I start a new project!

I admit it, right now, I’m feeling vulnerable about the fact that I have a ton of things up in the air…

ECCC is coming. It’s my biggest event of the year. I’m not even going to pretend that doesn’t freak me out.

mug_FluffOut for Souls & Cookies #5 is progressing a page a day just like normal. In fact I should be done by March 1st on my current schedule which will work fine, since that is when Maria will come down to Seattle to take a look at it prior to ECCC. And for everybody else…I hope you come back on March 1st for the cover reveal.

The Martlet is at Angry Robot. No word.

The Light Side of the Moon is at 48Fourteen.

I’ve three short stories out in the ether, I’m waiting to hear back from. One at Flash Fiction Online, another at Lightspeed and another at Analogue.

As always I’m crossing my fingers, but that doesn’t quiet the anxious voices. So what should I do? That’s right, go through the queue and find a new project!

On Monday, I started a new project from this idea:  Is the life of one worth the life of billions?

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Dalya Hayes and her husband Oliver Fisher are locals who run a Museum of Oddities and the Visitor Service Center in the small town of Sitka’s Quay. They watch the summer crowds. Some visitors are just families out for an all-American vacation, but some visitors seek to restore their magic in the grove and lake outside the village.

One day, a visiting sorcerer, Jonah Leifson, comes to town. He believes these old Gods will bring back peace and prosperity to the world. Jonah gathers other sorcerers with the same political motives…..

Now for the rest of the blurb, sorry but you’ll have to wait. I don’t want to give away too much, especially if I change the plot half way through or something. 😉

Finished the outline, and wrote the first two chapters which right now I am calling Sitka’s Quay.

As I said, the protagonists are married…so I began writing. The rough draft of the first few chapters has been written. I started it with them in their museum. The antagonist enters.  They give him a map of the grove but wife senses the danger. 

So I think this book is off to a good start. I’ve researched some ancient Sumerian Gods, ancient ceremonies, running a search party, and small town life.

Note: I think the heat level is still sweet. Way more kissing and sensuality than I wrote for The Light Side of the Moon, but certainly not erotica. I would be embarrassed to write anything much more risqué. Seriously, not only am I known for comics, but my mom reads my stuff.

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