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I’m not dead!

Hello, hello, new year!

I know, I know… I haven’t updated my blog in.. centuries. Forgive my literary hibernation, stuff happened. :(

Among those things –
-I transferred and started school again. Woots!
-I spent 4 months trying to write Redhaven #2
-Scrapped it
-Started again
-Said fuck it, pushed the plot from the original book #2 to #3
-Nano’d book #2 with a new plot.
-FINISHED BOOK 2. FUCK TO THE YES.
-Started edits and rewrites. Blurgh.
-I also started taking my health seriously and dropped 50 lbs in 5 months. (Go me!)

But yes! Things are going… slowly, but at least they’re going now. The changes and edits for Book #2 of the Redhaven Saga (tentatively called Blood Rites) are pretty much locked, so it’s just a matter of getting through the edits. Cover is underway, too, so expect some previews in the next months or so! (I say this with the utmost vagueness, because who the hell knows when it comes to book publishing. It’s done when it’s out, haha.)

But yes, book #2 is underway, fo’ realz this time. Vampires and demons and werebats, oh my!

I also did some compiling, and found out I have anywhere between 14-17 series/one-shot novel ideas in my little folder of scraps. That’s a ton of projects. I’m going to focus on Redhaven first, of course, but geez! I’m glad I write down my ideas… I’m sure my future self will thank me for it, but still. Most of the ideas are fantasy in some variety. Actually, I think all of them are, but still. They range from high-fantasy to post-apocalypse to… well, other stuff. I’ve been thinking perhaps I could alternate and work on a few things here and there at the same time, but I don’t want to spread myself too thin. Still, it would be nice to take a break from witches and werebats and venture into apocalyptic shenanigans. Could be fun, no? We’ll see… Really want to polish up Blood Rites and get it out. If I wrote the first book in a month, surely I can get the second out in two. (…I actually wrote book 2 in a month too, but… you know what I mean.)

I’m sure there’s other things I could update about, but this is good for now. Just wanted to let the interbutts know I haven’t died or anything. I just took a writing hibernation.

 

<3 :D

Your book usually tells you what’s wrong with it.

A light at the end of the tunnel. Okay, it’s more like a soft glowing thing in the middle of the tunnel, but its pointing in the right direction!

It’s been forever since I’ve updated my blog, and I feel bad about that, but I’ve been so busy! Book #2 is humming along nicely (finally), and I’ve put a self imposed publishing deadline of July 31st on myself. If I keep up with my writing schedule, I should be able to make that. I’ve got a different editor now, and book 2’s cover is done – I just have to pay for it. (Sorry Skylar! I promise I didn’t drop off the face of the earth!)

But yeah, I was able to finally hammer out the plot (thanks Maegan!) and I think… -think-… that Ghostwolf is in an okayish good place. Mostly.

I’ve discovered a curious thing – my book tells me what’s wrong with it.

…What?

Yeah, it’s true. As I’m writing it, I know exactly, in that moment whats bad and whats good. Like, I’ll write a scene, and be like, “Meh, I don’t like it. It’s too…” and then I’ll know exactly what it is. So then I make a little note and move on. As I clickity-clack along, I slowly figure out what’s good for the book and what isn’t. I’m terrible at explaining it, but that’s what happens. At the end of all this, I’ll have a bunch of notes to reshape the book. I really hope it ends up decent.

Admittedly, though, I’ve been kind of neglecting my ‘author platform’ as it were. I haven’t been on twitter in ages, and my facebook page hasn’t really had anything new in a while. Maybe this is just normal writing downtime? I mean, writers need down time to, you know… write and stuff. I hoping I’ll push through the rest of this book and clean it up in time to head it off to the editor.

Ghostwolf! You’re coming out no later than August! This I have thusly promised myself!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ghostwolf – Book #2 of the Redhaven Saga – COMING JULY 31st… EVEN IF IT KILLS ME.

 

Writing the Next Chapter: An Adventure Into Book #2

Oh, the headache! Writing a sequel isn’t as easy as I thought it’d be.

 

Crazy, right? Book #1 just got published on the 1st of March, and I juuuuust finished two and 1/2 chapters of book 2. And you know what? It’s freakin’ hard!

The first book is special – you’re doing everything for the first time, finding your style, your grove, your writing schedule… everything is new. With the second book, it’s the same thing, only… not. Does that make sense? Kind of? I’ll elaborate.

With the first book, it took me FOREVER to plan it out. I was creating an entire world, with it’s own laws and rules and (in some cases) physics, even. I had to create whole, entire people, give them histories and motivations, personalities…. favorite foods. >_> I had to start from scratch. There was a TON of planning involved. Even after it was finished, I had to find an appropriate cover artist, and figure out formatting and channels, and whether or not I wanted to take advantage of KDP-Select.

Not to mention I had to, you know, build an author base and junk. (Tweet me!)

With a sequel, I don’t have to do as much work. I’m not baking from scratch with this one, I’m using a mold. Which is, as I said, less work but in some ways more difficult. I don’t want my supporting characters suddenly acting or sounding differently. Lucy can’t suddenly be mopy and stoic. I have to keep the plot threads continued, and everything too.

All of that said, I -did- manage to get book #2 outlined and fleshed out in a couple of weeks. Not bad, if I do say so myself. It’s still giving me a headache though… Mostly with the beginning, but this is was first drafts are for, right? Right. It’ll all shape up nicely in the final draft. I hope.

Anyway, my point is this: sequels are not like the original! It’s another new adventure, but I’m hoping I’ll get this down to a science in no time.

84 Twitter Tags for Writers

Twitter is kind of scary! There’s only about a berjillion hashtags, so it’s sometimes hard to know which to use. Some are obvious (#writer), but some are a little abstract. I did a little digging, and came up with a list of about 84 twitter tags common in the writing and indie writer communities. A lot of this comes from other lists, (specifically from Nadine’s blog) but I squished ’em all together in a list. Here we go!

 

 General Writer Tags

 

Indie

 

Genre

6 Things I’ve Learned As A Newbie Writer

So, I’m quickly closing in on my first ever publication date. (That’s crazy!) I started my first novel on December 9th, 2012 and finished it January 21st, 2013. It would have been sooner, but I am notoriously procrastinate-y. And easily distracted. And sidetracked.

Either way, there have been some rude awakenings and not so rude awakenings on my journey to self publication. I’m going to share some here, so maybe you lot can avoid them in the future.

6 Things I’ve Learned as a Newbie Writer

1. It didn’t take as long as I thought it would – Granted I took a little while to eck out my overall plot and stuff, the actual process of writing 70k words only took a little under two months. It would have been faster had I not piddled away my time on other stuff. Before I started this whole thing (the decision to write a book at all), I was under the impression it took years to write a novel. Years! Apparently, with some application, it can be done in months. In some cases, even weeks. However, it should be noted I (basically) had a month off because work was slow, and the semester was over. But still. If you’re thinking about writing a novel, just know you can do it in a timely manner with some application and dedication. It doesn’t have to take years. It doesn’t even have to take months.

2. Turn off the freakin’ internet – I can’t stress enough how easy it is to get distracted. If you’re serious about this writing thing and want to get this thing done in a timely manner, turn everything off. For seriously. Even your people. Send your hubby/wifey away with something entertaining, shut off the wifi/internet, turn your phone off, everything. If it’s there, you’re gonna use it. I simple thought like, “Oh, let me just check my author page likes, just out of curiosity” ends up as “I really should buy a new washer. I wonder what deals home depot has. *opens new tab*”  NO! BAD WRITER! STOP IT!

3. Music is invaluable – I think I’ve mentioned this somewhere before, but I’ll re-iterate. Music is awesome, and you should use it to write. Picture your scene like a scene in a movie. What would play in the background? Orchestral tension scary music? Some kind kick-ass rock anthem while your MC beats up the villain? Something sultry for that love scene? It totally works. I swear to jeebus. (This point is invalid if you’re the kind of writer that requires silence. Which is fine too. Silence is golden.)

4. You need other people – Don’t write your novel by yourself. I’m not saying you need someone to read every single word of your first draft, but at one point or another, you’ll need somebody. Make connections early on, especially with other writers. Engage in social media and forums. There are a ton of people who’ve done this before you, and they often have incredibly helpful things to say about whatever you’re doing. You’ll need to ask for feedback sometime before publication date anyway, so it helps if you already know some people. Plus, it’s just fun to make friends. Everybody likes making friends. :D I wrote my first novel along side my best friend Maegan, who was writing her novel at the same time. It’s pretty nifty to be able to pick someone’s writerly-type brain as you go along, but be sure you don’t let it distract you. (Thats happened.. >_> )

5. You’ll probably get the writer blahs. This is normal. There WILL be days when you want to quit. Don’t. There will be days when you want to scrap your entire plot and start over. Don’t. There will be days when you wont want to write at all. Write anyway. Some might say, on this last part, if you write during your writer-blahs, your quality will suffer. Yeah, probably, but it’s also likely you’ll discover what you

NO, I DON’T NEED YOUR HELP, YOU BASTARD PAPERCLIP.

don’t like about whatever part your writing. You may not be able to write the bad part into a good part, but you can make a note of it and come back during edits with a fresh brain. Speaking of edits, you’ll probably wanna quit during those too. You’ve been staring at this folder of chapters for 84578449435 days, and your brain is starting to melt out of your ears. That’s okay. Take a break for a little while, but don’t quit altogether. Push past the blahs.

6. (This is the big one) Writing a book costs money. – The old saying, “It costs money to make money” is unfortunately true. A decent cover costs money. Some forms of advertising costs money. Software to help you along the way costs money. Copy editors (sometimes) cost money. If you don’t want to do it yourself, formatters cost money. Beta readers (sometimes) cost money. Unless you have 8569454 friends in various fields that will do it for you for free, you’re probably gonna spend some money on something related to your book along the way. I spent $180 on my covers (ebook and print). I probably spent $50 or so on various how-to books for formatting and marketing. I probably spent more on various other things. I’m debating spending $75 to have someone format this bitch for me. You can spend money to have a smoother ride to publication date, or you can buckle up and take the bumpies for free. I can tell you already that this formatting this is a bitch. I’m starting to think that if I can just power through this first one and get everything right via trial and error, then the next ones’ll be easy and I’ll have taught myself a valuable skill, but… still. In most cases, you’ll spend money on something. Especially if you plan to make this a career. Hopefully it’ll start paying off when the sales come in, but one can only hope.

Flight of Fantasy Blog Award! YOU’RE tagged!

Woots! I’ve have been nominated for The Flight of Fantasy Award (created by the wonderful Sophie Tallis. Give her a follow!) I was nominated by both Maegan Provan (my book sistah) and Tricia Drammeh (our appointed book-mama). She’s been awesome, and Maegan and I are growing steadily under her tutelage. :)

Image

Here are the official rules for The Flight of Fantasy Award:

  1. Display the award logo on your blog.
  2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
  3. State 11 things about yourself (it’s a Spinal Tap thing!), including why you love fantasy and your first or favourite fantasy book.
  4. Nominate 7 bloggers for this award and link to them. (If you want to link back to me as well, that would be lovely but isn’t required!)
  5. Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements.

My eleven random facts:

  1. I just had my wisdom teeth out four days ago.
  2. I got in trouble for reading during class in high school. (Better than getting in trouble for sleeping I guess.)
  3. I’ve always loved fantasy. Most of my childhood was spent dreaming, writing, or drawing myself as something other than human. I’m still disappointed I’m a human, lol.
  4. I’ve got a lot of favorite fantasy books. Epic fantasy type stuff, I’ve fond of Jim Butcher’s alera books. Other than that, I’ll read absolutely anything that’s modern fantasy.
  5. I recently got engaged to my boyfriend of ten years. (Wearing the ring since December 8th, 2012!)
  6. I become randomly obsessed with songs. It’ll get stuck in my head at random, and I’ll listen to it on repeat for a couple of days.
  7. I’ve always wanted to fly. You know when they ask you what super power you’d have? Mine would be to fly. How sweet would that be?
  8. I’ve always wanted to learn to play the cello, violin and piano. I played the flute in middle/high school though.
  9. My favorite food ever is orange chicken.
  10. A lot of the characters in my books / planned series are recycled characters from the MMOs I’ve played, or RP’s that I’ve done. (I’m a nerd, shut up.)
  11. I sing things to Maegan over skype between editing/writing.

My seven nominees for The Flight of Fantasy Award:

  1. Maegan Provan
  2. Tricia Drammeh
  3. Shelina Valmond, A Writer Inspired
  4. Cynthia Dumarin
  5. Dawn Chapman
  6. Everyone else! If you’ve read this, write fantasy of any kind, or know a blogger who deserves to be mentioned, PASS THIS ON. Seriously. Jump in, participate! YOU are tagged! :D

Siren Snow (Book #1 of the Redhaven Saga) Book Trailer

Visit me at: www.facebook.com/authorvictoriabarrow

[[Images (C) respective owners, via google images and pinterest. I DO NOT OWN images. NO COPYRIGHT CLAIM INTENDED.

Cover art by Skylar Faith . http://truenotdreams.weebly.com/

Music (C) The Moon & the Nightspirit. I own nothing but intellectual property!
Created at www.animoto.com]]

 

I’m sad I don’t actually own these images, but it made an awesome book trailer nonetheless.

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

I’ve just been nominated for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award! Tricia Drammeh  has nominated me, so I’m throwing out some nominations of my own!

The Rules of the Award:

  1. Display the award logo on your blog.
  2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
  3. State 7 things about yourself.
  4. Nominate 15 bloggers for this award and link to them.
  5. Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements.

So, here are seven things about me:

  1. I’ve always wanted to be a novelist, and only recently found the cajones to jump in and do it.
  2. I’m engaged to my boyfriend of 10 years. (I know, right?)
  3. I used to live in Texas, and I miss my Momma. (And her sweet tea.)
  4. I’m seriously hooked on MMORPGs. I spent 7 years on World of Warcraft, and have recently moved to Guild Wars 2. (I also really love Minecraft. Stupid endermen. >:I)
  5. I love modern fantasy stuff, especially shifters, despite my first book being about Witches.
  6. I’m learning ASL (American Sign Language.) I want to be an Interpreter (if the book thing doesnt work out… maybe even if it does. Sign language is beautiful.)
  7. I’, writing my first book alongside my best buddy Maegan P. (We trade chapters and gush about each other’s characters… great fun!)

My nominees for the award:

  1. Tricia Drammeh (Thanks for the nom!)
  2. Maegan Provan (<3)
  3. Kate Jack
  4. Cathy Givans
  5. Nathaniel Tower
  6. Steve Vernon
  7. Robin Tidwell
  8. Cynthia Dumarin
  9. Jessica Schaub
  10. Anna Roberts
  11. Tessa
  12. Kyrsa Lee
  13. J. Koe
  14. Jack Harper
  15. Shalina!

Go check these people out! Pronto! (Printo? Haha, book humor.)

I have a cover!

Siren Snow_draft_08small

An excerpt from Chapter 21

Because I felt like sharing my poor excuse for dialogue, ha.

 

“I’ve been getting some strange visions lately, mostly about you. I’ve seen that man you’re talking about, the one with the long white hair, and the gold eyes. I see him with you a lot in these visions.” She came around and sat on the edge of the bed with me, while the tingling salve worked it’s way into my skin.


I immediately flushed. “How much have you seen, Rissa?” My eyes went wide with embarrassment. Hers went narrow with suspicion.


“Nothing like that, if that’s what you’re wondering.” Her eyes narrowed just a bit more. “What have you been doing, my little, innocent, pure white dove?” She piled on the adjectives for emphasis, and each made me feel more guilty than the last. And a little dirty.

“Nothing, I swear!” My hands went to my chest again, and I made a face. “He keeps… touching me!” My hands went palm out, and I squeezed invisible melons in the air for emphasis.

Rissa laughed, and patted my leg. “No, no… it’s nothing like that.” Her face went serious then, and she gave me a look that made me sit up a little straighter and pay attention. “I see him with you constantly, like a shadow every where you go. He hides in the dark, and watches you, and when you’re alone, his…” Her eyes went distant as she searched for the words with a motion of her hand. “His fire threatens to consume you. But I don’t think he means to hurt you, he’s just… Stuck to you somehow, weaving himself into your life.”


“So he’s real? I’m not crazy?” I asked, leaning in slightly with anticipation. Rissa apparently knew more about him than I did.


“No, he’s very real.” Her expression changed then, tightness around her eyes drawing my attention.


“What is it, Rissa? What aren’t you telling me about him?” I pressed her for more information, but she pulled away slightly, the warmth of her hand on my leg suddenly absent.


It’s nothing you should be worried about, dove.” She stood from the bed and went to the dresser across from it, pulling out a low drawer to retrieve a neatly folded shirt, and some old jeans.


“Don’t
worry about it? Rissa, he’s a demon! Do you know what the Conclave does to witches who consort with demons?! You of all people should know how they treat nonconformists!” I knew it was a mistake the moment it came out of my mouth, but Rissa paused in her movements at the dresser and turned slowly to look at me. I shrunk a little under her gaze as her jeweled artificial eye glinted and swiveled in it’s socket to stare at me. “…Sorry.” I squeaked out.

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