Writer Wednesday: Finding Time To Write In Three Easy Steps #WriterWednesday #amwriting #goals #inspiration #findingtime

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” — Robert Louis Stevenson

And that’s exactly what you’re doing when you write, whether it’s a grocery list or participating in NaNoWriMo, planting seeds. Unless you’re going for instant gratification via social media or blogging, when you write something it takes time for it to pay off. But no matter what or why you’re writing, you need to get the writing done first.

Which leads me to the following list, my release schedule for next year:

Rise of the Deva’shi (Parthalan #3) – February 2017

Changing Fates (Changes #3) – April 2017

Gallowglass – June 2017

Golem (Parthalan #4) – September 2017

Bride of the Gallowglass (Gallowglass #2) – November 2017

Well, that’s certainly ambitious.

There are lots of reasons why 2017 will go down in history as Release Madness, the main one being that three of the above titles are extremely close to completion (they don’t need more than a final edit/proofread and finalized covers), and the other two are very close to final draft status. Still, that’s a helluva schedule, and I’m not even mentioning my DDJ (Dreaded Day Job), wrangling the Wonder Twins and Wonder Dog (the parrot is above our shenanigans), or grad school. So how the heck will I find time to write?

Simple: I will make time.

Honestly, that’s really all it comes down to. Whenever we have something we’re passionate about, be it writing or woodworking or running marathons, we find the time to do it. We all get the same 24 hours each day; some of us choose to use them wisely, others binge on Netflix (says the girl who watched 2 seasons of Daredevil in four days. What? It was, um, research.)

Here’s how I find time to write:

  1. I write at the same time every day. For me, that means after the Wonder Twins get on the bus, and my husband goes back to bed. This gives me about an hour of peace and quiet per weekday. Of course, I can write at other times, but having a set schedule is very helpful.
  2. I strive to meet my word count. usually my word count is 2000 per day. I don’t hold myself to that if I’m in deep edit mode, since I’m often deleting while writing, and keeping track of all that is maddening.
  3. I take days off. Forcing yourself to write is not the way to create compelling stories. I get much more quality work done when I take breaks from writing, and 500 good words beats 2000 filler words (that will likely get deleted) any day.

That’s how I do it! How do you find time to write? Tell us in the comments!

htts-1Enter to win an ecopy of Heir to the Sun! https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/1ad36b898ed7a91e

virgin_queen_final-draft_text2The Virgin Queen is on sale for 99 cents: http://amzn.to/2fh2tWM

 

What Happens When You Don’t Make Your Goals? You Keep Going, Of Course #WriterWednesday #amwriting #goals

About a week ago I started prepping my blog posts for 2017, including my yearly writing goals… And that got me to thinking about my 2016 goals, and one goal in particular that I am not going to achieve. I’d planned to release five novels this year, but that just won’t be happening.

I started off strong, and released Changing Scenes on January 5. The Virgin Queen released on April 5, and Copper Veins FINALLY came out on July 27. And then…crickets.

The other two titles I’d intended to release this year were Changing Fate, the third installment in my contemporary romance series, Changes, and Rise of the Deva’shi, the third Chronicle of Parthalan. After I was done being mad at myself for not making these goals, I took a step back and tried to figure out what happened.

In the case of Changing Fate, there were a few things going on. In all honesty Changing Scenes came out way too quickly (Changing Teams released October 29, 2015, and Changing Scenes hit the shelves on January 5, 2016), and I never got the chance to properly promote it.  Add that to the fact that I have two other currently-releasing series, am querying a fourth, am in grad school full time, and have the Wonder Twins, husband, and pets to wrangle, and, well, I think you know why Changing Fate isn’t coming out until next year. Oy.

The situation is a bit different for Rise of the Deva’shi. Even though this is the third Chronicle of Parthalan, it was originally released back in 2009. (Long story. Someday, when y’all have insomnia, I’ll tell you all about it.) So it was supposed to re-release this year, being that Bellatrix Press picked up the entire series. Everything was lined up, and then… well, I did a thing.

I was supposed to hand over the manuscript to the editor by August 1. In the meantime I’d been reworking and tweaking away, and I kept getting stuck on this one section. It didn’t really fit with the overall tone of the book, and our hero, Aeolmar, was behaving out of character. There were some good scenes in that passage, and some awesome bits of dialogue, but in the end it had to go.

So, the day before the manuscript was due, I cut 24,000 words.

Yes, twenty four THOUSAND.

As you can imagine, this turn of events meant that the manuscript was delivered somewhat later than promised, hence the delayed release date. But you know what? I’m glad I chopped out that part of the story. Now my editor is concentrating on the actual meat of the novel, not trying to make a few bits of dialogue and weird scenes fit into the overall narrative. This means that when Rise of the Deva’shi is released, it will be a stronger story. Since I took my time with Changing Fate, it will be a stronger story, too.

Your take-away from all of this is DON’T RUSH YOUR WRITING. I don’t recommend making huge plot changes the day before your deadline, either, but if you need more time don’t be afraid to ask for it. The story takes as long as it takes. And you do want to put out the best story possible, right?

ProvostHeirToTheSun

A mad king. An escaped slave. One warrior to save the realm…

Heir to the Sun is currently on sale for 99 cents here: http://amzn.to/2cSkNSx

My next appearance will be at Bing Comic Con in Springfield, MA on October 22: http://www.bingcomiccon.org/

StrangeAuthorsSign up for my mailing list here and get a free ebook anthology, Strange Authors!

 

Writer Wednesday – Things To Consider Before Submitting Your Manuscript #amwriting #amediting #WedmesdayWisdomForWriters

Hey there writers! Today I’d like to discuss things that you need to have ready when submitting your manuscript, but many writers overlook. It’s easy enough to do, since we typically spend so much time polishing our work to perfection, but every item I’ve listed below is absolutely essential, if not for the initial query then for the final product.

Of note, these guidelines are for fiction projects. Nonfiction book proposals are a whole different blog post!

  1. A tag line, also called a hook or a log line – your book will need something catchy that draws the reader in.
  2. Front cover – while no one’s expecting you to send in cover mock ups–in fact, many publishers actively discourage it–you need to have a clear idea of how you’d like the cover to look. Otherwise, if the publisher asks you for suggestions and you reply that you’re cool with whatever they come up with, you might be stuck with an image that doesn’t properly represent your book.
  3. Back cover – the text on the back cover–usually referred to as the back cover matter or blurb–is your one page opportunity to convince a reader to pick up your book. It needs to be concise, interesting, and leave enough clues that the reader needs to read the book to find out what happens. It’s your first opportunity to make that all-important emotional connection with your reader.

There are many more items we could discuss, but these three items–tag line, front cover and back cover–are the meat of your final product. Now let’s see some of these concepts in action, using one of my books, Heir to the Sun, as an example. Below is the cover, tag line in bold, and the back cover matter:

A mad king. An escaped slave. One warrior to save the realm…

b3177-magnetWhen Asherah, stripped of both her memory and her dignity, learns that King Sahlgren is responsible for her torment it nearly breaks her. Instead, she leads her fellow slaves to freedom. More prisons are scattered across Parthalan, and Asherah vows to burn them all.

Caol’nir, a warrior descended from the gods, is sworn to serve and defend the king. Then a priestess is murdered, and Caol’nir learns that Sahlgren is to blame. Determined to stop the king, sacred oath or no, Caol’nir joins Asherah’s rebellion.

What Caol’nir doesn’t know is that Sahlgren has promised the demon lord a woman of rare and singular beauty, a woman whose abilities are rumored to rival the sun god’s themselves…a woman Caol’nir knows all too well.

Now as to how the awesomeness we see above us came to be, I started with the tag line. I wanted something simmering with tension that would draw the reader in. As for the back cover matter, I wanted to give the reader the barest taste of the plot, and the core issues our heroes are trying to solve. And as for the amazing cover by Veronica Jones, I knew that I wanted an action scene, and I knew which characters I wanted to feature.  I provided Veronica with the character descriptions, and gave her a few scenes to pick from, and voila!

There you have it, the three things I plot out long before my manuscript is complete. What work-ahead items are on your list – marketing, platform building, ordering swag? Tell us in the comments!

Heir to the Sun is currently on sale for 99 cents here: http://amzn.to/2cSkNSx

My next appearance will be at Bing Comic Con in Springfield, MA on October 22: http://www.bingcomiccon.org/

StrangeAuthorsSign up for my mailing list here and get a free ebook anthology, Strange Authors!

 

 

The Virgin Queen, book 2 of The Chronicles of Parthalan, on sale for 99 cents

That’s right, the second Chronicle of Parthalan is on sale for 99 cents, but only for a limited time. This is s great opportunity to revisit Parthalan and Asherah – but you need to act fast, since the price goes back up on August 13. And stay tuned for updates on the next installment, Rise of the Deva’shi, will be available by year end.

Click to purchase—> http://amzn.to/2aJqfoE

virgin_queen_final-draft_text2

 

A broken queen. A friendship mired in deceit. Can one man from the desert help hold the realm together?

Asherah, Queen of Parthalan and Lady of Tingu, has led her people through eight centuries of prosperity. That peace shatters when Mersgoth, the mordeth thought long dead, attacks Teg’urnan. In the aftermath a new warrior emerges: Aeolmar, a man as secretive as he is deadly.

Asherah and Aeolmar race across Parthalan in pursuit of Mersgoth, and track the beast to the High Desert. While they’re gone, Harek, now Prelate of Parthalan, conspires with the Dark Fae against the elves…Against Leran, the king of the elves and Asherah’s son in all but blood. Will Asherah see the truth of Harek before it’s too late, or will he bring down the fae once and for all?

***********************************************************************

 

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Heir to the Sun Is On Sale For 99 Cents! #sale #fantasy #romance #parthalan

HeirFBBanner

That’s right, for a limited time Heir to the Sun, book 1 of the Chronicles of Parthalan, is on sale for 99 cents. If you haven’t gotten your copy yet, now’s the time!

Click to purchase: http://amzn.to/1WtPujA

ProvostHeirToTheSun

A mad king. An escaped slave. One warrior to save the realm…

A mad king. An escaped slave. One warrior to save the realm…

When Asherah, stripped of both her memory and her dignity, learns that King Sahlgren is responsible for her torment it nearly breaks her. Instead, she leads her fellow slaves to freedom. More prisons are scattered across Parthalan, and Asherah vows to burn them all.

Caol’nir, a warrior descended from the gods, is sworn to serve and defend the king. Then a priestess is murdered, and Caol’nir learns that Sahlgren is to blame. Determined to stop the king, sacred oath or no, Caol’nir joins Asherah’s rebellion.

What Caol’nir doesn’t know is that Sahlgren has promised the demon lord a woman of rare and singular beauty, a woman whose abilities are rumored to rival the sun god’s themselves…a woman Caol’nir knows all too well.

The Virgin Queen, Book 2 of the Chronicles of Parthalan is Available Now: http://amzn.to/1qXueEY

virgin_queen_final-draft_text2

A broken queen. A friendship mired in deceit. Can one man from the desert help hold the realm together?

Asherah, Queen of Parthalan and Lady of Tingu, has led her people through eight centuries of prosperity. That peace shatters when Mersgoth, the mordeth thought long dead, attacks Teg’urnan. In the aftermath a new warrior emerges: Aeolmar, a man as secretive as he is deadly.

Asherah and Aeolmar race across Parthalan in pursuit of Mersgoth, and track the beast to the High Desert. While they’re gone, Harek, now Prelate of Parthalan, conspires with the Dark Fae against the elves…Against Leran, the king of the elves and Asherah’s son in all but blood. Will Asherah see the truth of Harek before it’s too late, or will he bring down the fae once and for all?

Events, Giveaways, and Casinos, Oh My! #amwriting #events #Foxwoods #MASE16

After a relatively quite May–which also saw the end of my second semester in grad school–June and July are hopping with events. First up is the Mystic Author Signing, happening June 4 at Foxwoods Casino. Here is a link to the event’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MysticAuthorSigning/?fref=ts

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The signing will feature over sixty authors, cover models, and other literary luminaries! And did I mention that it will be held in the Grand Pequot Ballroom? For more information, or to purchase tickets, click here.

 

 

virgin_queen_final-draft_text2I’m also still taking entries for my $10 gift card raffle – Just post a review for The Virgin Queen, book 2 in my Chronicles of Parthalan series, then go here to enter. Click here to learn more about The Virgin Queen, and *hint hint* I do happen to have some review copies available. Just sayin’.

 

 

 

 

Speaking of Parthalan, check out this amazing map of the realm! More to come on how you can win a copy.

FINAL Fantasy Map- for paperback

Last but not least, Copper Veins, the third installment of the Copper Legacy, is almost here! If you’d like to take part in the week long release blitz, click here: http://xpressobooktours.com/2016/05/06/blitz-sign-up-copper-veins-by-jennifer-allis-provost/

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That’s all for now! How are you kicking off your summer? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

Reviews: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly, All Rolled Into One #amwriting #parthalan #giveaway #WriterWednesday

Knowledge

Authors need lots of things that are rather specific to their work: space and time to write, trusted critique partners, and a steady supply of whiskey, to name a few. Okay, perhaps the whiskey isn’t a necessity, but it sure does take the edge off line edits. Something else authors need are people willing and able to review their work.

Let’s talk about these reviews for a moment. You know how at your place of employment your supervisor will set up a meeting, and discuss the quality of your work? NO ONE likes those reviews; well, maybe some sadists enjoy them, but for most looking at the black and white results of your efforts is nausea inducing. Yet authors solicit reviews, actively and often.

Does that make authors masochists? Not really. You see, authors only get paid when a book sells, and the best way to sell any book is based on reviews. Don’t believe me? Go have a look at your favorite online retailer, or some of the larger library systems. The top selling titles are always accompanied by reviews. Some titles have reviews in the tens of thousands.

So yes, that means you could have hundreds or even thousands of mini book reports out there, all based on your work. See why I mentioned whiskey earlier?

Speaking of reviews, I’m sure ya’ll know that I have a new release out: The Virgin Queen, the second installment of The Chronicles of Parthalan. And–surprise!–it could use a few reviews. Now, I know that it takes time and effort to read and review a book, so I thought I’d offer something to sweeten the pot. Post your review and enter via the Rafflecopter form below, and you’ll be entered to win a $10 gift card either to Amazon, or the independent bookstore of your choice.

If you’ve already got a copy of The Virgin Queen, thank you! If you need one, you can get it here. If you decide to review (and THANK YOU in advance for that) don’t forget to come back and enter the raffle! Good luck!

virgin_queen_final-draft_text2A broken queen. A friendship mired in deceit. Can one man from the desert help hold the realm together?

Asherah, Queen of Parthalan and Lady of Tingu, has led her people through eight centuries of prosperity. That peace shatters when Mersgoth, the mordeth thought long dead, attacks Teg’urnan. In the aftermath a new warrior emerges: Aeolmar, a man as secretive as he is deadly.

Asherah and Aeolmar race across Parthalan in pursuit of Mersgoth, and track the beast to the High Desert. While they’re gone, Harek, now Prelate of Parthalan, conspires with the Dark Fae against the elves…Against Leran, the king of the elves and Asherah’s son in all but blood. Will Asherah see the truth of Harek before it’s too late, or will he bring down the fae once and for all?

The Virgin Queen – Book Two of the Chronicles of Parthalan

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Virgin Queen, book 2 of the Chronicles of Parthalan #parthalan #newrelease #live

virgin_queen_final-draft_text2A broken queen. A friendship mired in deceit. Can one man from the desert help hold the realm together?

Asherah, Queen of Parthalan and Lady of Tingu, has led her people through eight centuries of prosperity. That peace shatters when Mersgoth, the mordeth thought long dead, attacks Teg’urnan. In the aftermath a new warrior emerges: Aeolmar, a man as secretive as he is deadly.

Asherah and Aeolmar race across Parthalan in pursuit of Mersgoth, and track the beast to the High Desert. While they’re gone, Harek, now Prelate of Parthalan, conspires with the Dark Fae against the elves…Against Leran, the king of the elves and Asherah’s son in all but blood. Will Asherah see the truth of Harek before it’s too late, or will he bring down the fae once and for all?

The Virgin Queen – Book Two of the Chronicles of Parthalan

Get your copy here —> http://amzn.to/1MaUOEV