Happy Recommendsday!

One of my favorite things about the internet has been (and probably always will be) the way in which it allows us to connect with so many people who we may never have met. Its one of the biggest reasons that upon discovering Inkshares, I found myself feeling instantly at home. A network of authors trying to support other authors so we can all make each other’s dreams come true?

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Me at Inkshares

So in the spirit of that support, a few months back I did an event called #Recommendsday, where on Wednesdays, I would recommend some of the books that I most ardently believe people should check out and hopefully down the road, pre-order. That first time the recommendations were all via twitter, but I thought it would be more fun if instead of utilizing the fleeting nature of a tweet, I’d write about these authors books here on my blog for the sake of posterity, and so people always know these are cool books I think are deserving of some love! SO LET’S GET TO THE BOOKS!

PROXY
by Rebekka Leber

Tell a girl she’s  a god, and it all just goes to her head.

If you’re not interested in this book by the end of the first excerpt, than you must be leading a pretty blase life. I was hooked almost instantly by the Jessica Jones-y levels of badassery that seem to emanate from Max Lucas, the story’s heroine. There’s an interplay of modernity and antiquity, of gods and mortals, and as I mentioned when I first recommended the book upon discovering it a few months back, anything that tries to rewrite human history in a unique way is something I’m all about. This book begins funding in June, so make sure you’re following it so you know when it goes live and you can grab a copy for your shelf!

SEVEN SHARDS: THE COLORS OF WINE
by C. Brennecke

The final revolution is coming. She could stop it…but should she?

Seven Shards is the book on this week’s list which has reached one of Inkshares funding goals to be published, but spend five minutes reading, and you’ll understand why. The prose Brennecke employs is enchanting and there’s an ever present feeling that you’re experiencing something ancient and forbidden as you read. This is the kind of book I can’t wait to have in my hands so I can curl up with it under some blankets and be whisked away to a fantastic new world. If epics like Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones are in any way your thing, then Seven Shards should be too.

 DISSONANCE IN HARMONY
by Philip Wesley

Two adventurous souls find themselves entangled in a conflict started by the Gods ages ago.

This author’s got something seriously unique going on with a story that flashes between a mystical world with princesses and kings, and a modern day cop who’s just trying to do his best to be the good guy. It leaves you begging to know what the worlds have to do with each other, and how they’ll bleed into one another. There’s upbeat humor and an eerie sense of foreboding, two things that normally might not mix. But the way Wesley weaves his words, it’s sure to capture your attention and keep it.

JUMP THE GUN
by Suaine

Meg, a fighter pilot, and Captain Jasmin Pierce, the civilian commander of the Rheda, find themselves on a mission that spans more than just light years: there’s mystery, adventure, romance, discovery, danger and love for the stars.

Discovered this read through a really profound connection with the author, and upon checking out the first few chapters, I was thrilled to learn that the story was as epic as the person. An inclusive adventure through space, the first two chapters are wonderfully written, a mixture of light humor and serious consequences. These few minutes did what any good story should do, which was make me care immensely for its protagonists right from the jump. Chapters that end with cliffhangers and promises of an adventure across the stars makes this one of my current favorite picks on Inkshares.


Hope you enjoyed this week’s Recommendsday picks! Check back next time for more!

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Editing So Far

A little over four months ago, in my post So It Begins, I wrote about launching into the brave new world that would be editing the first draft of They Are the LastI can say now with much certainty from the experiences thus far: editing is weird.

I thought then it would largely consist of combing through what I’d already done and just tweaking things and chopping bits out. What I’ve actually found is that I’ve had to rip the poor thing to shreds, tossing the bulk of it to the wind only to salvage the few gems that lay hidden in a good line of dialogue or a piece of important structure. At that time, I also had no idea I’d be discovering Inkshares. While I’ll admit that at times that has diverted my attention from the draft so I can focus on campaigning, Inkshares has also been a great service to the draft by way of providing me with the support of other writers who’ve given me some of the most insightful and helpful feedback I’ve thus far received.

Really, there’s been less editing than I expected and more just all out rewriting. Some days I get little glimpses of that special NaNo creativity where I just type like a maniac until the story’s been freed from me, but much of the process now is careful writing. It’s taking the ideas I’ve spewed out before and making them more coherent and beautiful. It really is like the refining of a diamond. I know that the story I’m trying to tell is this lovely thing buried somewhere in there, but I’ve got to cut and polish and cut and polish all of the roughness away to get there. It’s not anywhere near as easy or freeing as the initial draft, but I’ll tell you what, it’s making me a much stronger writer, and for that I’m grateful.

All of this is really coming out right now I guess because just this week, I made a pretty big decision regarding my editing process. The second draft I’d been working on since January 3rd? Baby is getting put in the corner and I’m starting it over.

During April’s Camp NaNoWriMo, I managed to make it to 35,000 words on that draft, but much of it didn’t get to incorporate the many aspects of feedback I’ve been receiving as of late. I’ve also in an exciting turn of events, begun reading again. I finished the AMAZING novel Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, and am about half way through reading Gary Whitta’s book Abomination (an Inkshares book itself!) and just seeing other people’s finished novels has me realizing that my story has a long way to go, but it needs a new start.

So I’m scrapping what I’ve done and starting anew. This will be the second time in the last year that I’ve done that, but if we’re looking at my track record, this bodes well. I spent July to October of last year getting done a 44,000 word draft of They Are the Last which on October 31st, I decided to scrap in favor of starting the first draft over for NaNoWriMo proper. The draft I started the next day went on to be the first completed draft of the book. I’m taking this new beginning as a good sign for this rewrite draft that I’m about to hurl myself into.

There’s no possible way I could have known when I started revisions on January 3rd that before the year was half way through, I’d be in the throes of trying to get the book published. I mean seriously: the book currently has 133 pre-orders. Remarkable. Given that, God only knows where I’ll be come five months from now when the campaign for the book concludes. While I dream that by that day, I’ll have reached the pre-order goal to be published, I’ve no way of knowing which way the wind will blow. One can only hope that if nothing else, my draft will be further along and I’ll be ever the little bit wiser for it.


PS,

Speaking of the book, if you happen to see this post prior to the evening of Monday May 23rd, I’m running my first promotional contest! You can visit the official They Are the Last website for more details, but the prize is NAMING A CHARACTER IN THE BOOK! Plus every person who enters will receive a handmade bookmark. Click the image below to visit the official website, or click here to directly visit the CONTEST page!

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