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4576127693_94c35d2ae4_zI did so well in April I worry it might be hard to follow. I can’t help but wonder, I set less goals for April, then got more done than expected. Should I follow that model?

Nah!

  • Finish Charming Rivals
  • Using Vision Writers feedback clean up (working title) Kitsune In Space, give it an actual title, and submit to the anthology I wrote it for
  • Tinker with the possibility of a print edition of The Troll’s Toll. I worry it’s too short to be worth making into a paperback, but I’d like to try and see, even if I end up wasting a couple of days learning the software only to discover it is a futile effort, I’ll still have learned how to wrangle the software for future endeavors
  • Set up a submission for the Richelle Prize
  • Sit my ass down and really try to nut out the ending of (working title) Skeleton Romance so I can finish it
  • Start, ideally finish, first draft of Naught For Charming

Stretch goal:

  • Work on one of those NaNo novels I never finished (at the moment I lean far more towards Tucca of the Tides, but we’ll see)

I’m probably setting myself up a bit for failure considering this first week and a half of May is filled with social events (autism seminars, a destination wedding, packing for extended holidaying around aforementioned wedding) but hey, aim high 🙂

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TTT3D - zoomed inApril was a good month for me, with some great achievements. (Can’t remember the yearly goals? Check them out here)

Goal #3 (working on my novellas) took a good jump forward as I published The Troll’s Toll (my first venture into self publishing(not counting flash fiction here on my site). This means I’ve met my requirement of publishing ‘at least one of them’.

Goal #4 (writing and selling short fiction) proceeded with my writing a new short story (working title ‘Kitsune In Space’) and starting Charming‘s first sequel, Charming Rivals.

As far as goal #8 (learning) I did plenty. I learned how to format an ebook (Guido Henkel’s guide is super handy, but I needed a few other bits and pieces and some special formatting for my ‘about’ page so it’s an effective starter (and intermediate) but doesn’t have everything. Also, it’s free.). I also learned no matter how perfect an image is in the author’s mind for the book, sometimes it just doesn’t work out and you have to let go. And on top of that I discovered the Writing Excuses podcast and binged an entire three seasons of the thing. I need to take a break before delving deeper into the back list as I’ve been podcast listening for nearly two months now. Back to audiobooks!

And now, my goals specifically for April:

  • Revamp of website: Mostly done. I updated the look of this, the main part of the site, and I did a cool new books section. It took a lot of work though, making a subdomain, setting up a separate install of WordPress on there so it could have its own theme and using MyBookTable to make it all pretty. Considering my only website before this was an old Geocities Sailor Moon fansite I think I did a pretty good job with all the technical stuff ;p That’s probably why I’m waiting a little longer before I update my ‘free fiction’ section. I’ll try getting to that later this year.
  • Release The Troll’s Toll: done, though by the skin of my teeth really as I uploaded it late at night on the 28th. So late I didn’t have time to do all my release/out now promotion.
  • Help with the promotion of the releases of ASIM #63 (which contains my story Gaps) and Leading Edge #68 (which contains my story Charming): I had heaps of fun with this, I got to send out my first ever newsletter(and second), make book pages on my site and I even (after checking the publisher didn’t mind) put the magazines on Goodreads. I only hope my sales copy wasn’t too sales-y in my newsletters.

Stretch goal:

  • Write first draft of (very loose working title) Kitsune In Space: YES! Yes I finally completed on of my stretch goals. I even found the time to revise it and submit the first 2/3rds to my writers’ group for critique. I hope to submit it to a specific anthology at the end of May.

I also found the time to sit down and flesh out the entire Charming For Hire series, the full outlines of all the sequels to Charming, (Charming Rivals, Naught for Charming, The Glass Witch, The Handrell War, A Charming Child). I’ve even written a good portion of Charming Rivals‘ first draft. I found this time as I was waiting for my proofreader to send me back The Troll’s Toll.

So over all, I’m pretty happy with the results for April.

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As usual on the first Sunday of the month I’ve made a blog post about what I thought was the best piece of advice given at the Vision Writers Group Meeting.

I always feel a little bad when I pick feedback that was given to a newbie for the blog post, but sometimes that advice really was the best advice that week (other times the other good advice has already been blogged about), so there’s no other option really.

So for the second month in a row let’s look at some advice our newbies copped.

Character Overload

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The Troll's Toll coverThe Troll’s Toll is a Retailored Fairy Tales novella following Princess Lilly, the ultimate middle child. She’s lost in the crowd with nine siblings and her father struggles to even remember her name.

Her father’s disregard goes far deeper than that though. She discovers how unimportant she is to him when there isn’t enough money for the bridge toll, so he pays the toll with her – giving her over to the troll that runs the bridge.

From princess to housemaid, Lilly’s got a lot to deal with, and she even has to learn how to do the chores that are now her job. When your boss is known for grinding peoples bones to make his flour you sure don’t want to keep him waiting for dinner. And yet, the troll is not the most dangerous thing in the forest.

Set in the same world as Charming (readers of Charming will get to enjoy a few cross over moments), The Troll’s Toll is slightly more a ‘cozy’ adventure, as compared to Charming‘s galavanting around the countryside style adventure, but there’s just as much fantasy, wonder, and adversity.

Grab it for cheap at 99c(USD)(or $1.29 (AUD)), or if you’re hunting for an even better deal join my newsletter to receive an email when I do promotions.

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Game_of_Thrones_title_cardBlogging again over on the Vision Writers website today while riding the high of watching the first episode of the new season of Game of Thrones. What I’m blogging about however is one of those ‘filler’ shows the networks put on before and after to try and rope in the viewers and how that filler show might actually prove helpful to writers (both myself and others).

Understanding Powerful Scenes with Game of Thrones

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Now that Charming is out in Leading Edge, and The Troll’s Toll is getting close to release I thought it was time to look into getting a logo for the Retailored Fairy Tales series which they are both a part of.

The Retailored Fairy Tales series is a world where a lot of my stories happen, a world where fairy tale happenings are every day occurrences, though like with real life, the happy ending isn’t assured and more is happening behind the scenes than in your usual fairy tales.

The upcoming releases of Glass Bones (in Ink and Locket‘s upcoming LGBT Warriors Anthology) and Groundskeeper (in Stupefying Stories) also take place in this world, as well as the novella I recently completed, Glass Slippers, about how the glass slippers actually came to be on Cinderella’s feet. And don’t forget the several sequels to Charming!

With so much coming out I thought it a good idea to get them all under a nice little umbrella together, so people could know they were all in the same fun universe.

So without further ado:

RFT

What do you think? Are you looking forward to any particular Retailored Fairy Tales? I’d love to hear from you.

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285174I’ll admit a more apt word choice would have been contradictory rather than paradoxical, but you’ve gotta agree, paradoxical just sounds so much cooler ;p

Another writing prompt over on the Vision Writers website for you to check out.

 

Writing Prompt: Paradoxical Titles

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ASIM-63-CoverIt never rains but it pours, doesn’t it? Only a few days after Charming‘s release in Leading Edge Magazine 68, my next short story, Gaps, has launched in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine issue 63.

Gaps is about Derek, a young man with an unusual memory problem. He doesn’t just forget things with alarming frequency, his mind sometimes fills in those gaps with false memories which are often indistinguishable from reality. One day, in the car park at the Indooroopilly shops he sees a gap in the concrete, and instead of the lower level of the car park below, he sees a forest and a mysterious young woman. He must be creating the memory, but there’s something about the girl in that other world, the way she looks at him, the way he wants to be with her. It’s got to be real. Right?

Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine (sometimes referred to as ASIM) is a fantastic Australian magazine (that they should totally sell at airports for a laugh ;p ) that I’ve been reading for years, so if you like this volume consider subscribing.

You can buy both the print version and the various e-formats direct from ASIM.

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Leading Edge 68
Click to buy

I’m elated today to announce that Charming has been released in issue 68 of Leading Edge Magazine.

Even more exciting, that’s Prince James, my protagonist, on the cover! I may or may not have been dancing since I first realised a couple of weeks back when I received a sneak peek at the cover.

My morning has been a flurry of social media sharing it and I just sent out my first email newsletter ever announcing it. If you’re a newsletter member please let me know if the email looked good – it really is my first ever attempt!

Do you not know anything about Charming yet? Charming is one of my Retailored Fairy Tales, the very first to be released. Here’s the story in one line:

“To keep his small kingdom from bankruptcy Prince James sells his services to worried parents and lazy lovers to rescue their princesses for them. His latest mission however, is proving to be his most difficult.”

A dire wolf, an enchanter’s eldest daughter, lies, a princess trapped in a tower at the bottom of a lake, and the dark secrets of the Black Forest, all while trying to keep his kingdom afloat and maybe, just maybe, finding his love-at-first-sight girl.

Right now it’s only available in paperback (buy here) but the ebook version will be along shortly and I’ll let you know at once when it’s released.

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Under_ConstructionHi guys, just a little post to let you know things are going to be chopping and changing a bit around here, so if things look a little weird, it’s not permanent – I’m playing around with the themes and look of the website.

The content is still the same, and (mostly) should still remain visible if you want to keep browsing, but things might not look as pretty as they should ;p

I’ll let you know when things are finalised.