Updates, Edits, and Musical Inspiration

This isn’t much of a blog post; more of an update, I suppose. I like to fool myself into thinking that you’re interested in what I’ve been doing. Delusions of grandeur or something. I suppose it’s better that I feel this way now and have it lessen as time goes on rather than have it increase and turn into a raging egomaniac, right? Hey, it happens.

So, what have I been up to? Well, lets see…

First thing I did this month, other than whine about sales, is redecorate the home office. I was hit by a burst of inspiration (and the absolute mess that used to be the office in the first place) and redid the whole room in about four days. It was a ton of work but the difference is pretty amazing. I’ve been spending a lot more time at home from my ‘regular’ job because my hubs is awesome, so I figured hey, I’m about to start on another novel–wouldn’t it be nice to be able to write it in the home office rather than in the dining room? (Yep, I wrote nearly the entirety of The Neighbors sitting at the head of the dining room table. It was kind of weird, and the chairs aren’t all that comfortable.) So now I have an awesome work space with minimal distractions. Sidenote: writers, this sort of thing is absolutely worth the effort. If you have a cluttered, uninspired workspace, you’d be amazing what a difference it makes.

You can't see me in this photo, but I'm sitting right where you're looking... probably while you're reading this. Weird, huh?

And oh, how I’ve put this space to good use. I’ve been working with a professional editor to give Seed a good clean-and-polish for the re-release this summer. I was pretty apprehensive at first; not that I’m afraid of working with an editor or resistant to changes, just that I had never done it before and didn’t know what to expect. To my surprise, the whole experience was pretty amazing. I ended up adding about six thousand words of manuscript on top of countless edits and modifications. I’m pretty thrilled with the result. I knew Seed was a strong manuscript as it was, but now? Oh man. I’m so excited to get it out there, and I hope that many of you will check it out once it’s re-released because I really did add tons of detail. How much is tons? Well, check this out:

It looks like a lot of edits... because it IS a lot of edits. Oh god, so many.

See all the red stuff? That’s all additions, subtractions, clarifications, you name it. And all that blue stuff is editor’s notes. So yeah, it’s definitely going to be a full-fledged re-release, and I couldn’t be more excited about it.

Those of you wondering about sales, they’re up and down but next month will be better. That, and I won’t have much time to worry about them for the next couple of months. I’m getting read to drop the green flag on book number three, which I’ve tentatively titled The Pines. That title isn’t going to stick, but it’s good for the time being. Those of you itching to know what book number three is about, well… read Jack Ketchum’s Off Season. Fair warning, that book is seriously screwed up and I’m not big on writing gore, but if you read that you’ll have a decent idea of what I have up my sleeve. Just subtract the cannibals and add snow. I’ll be starting work on The Pines no later than the beginning of February, and I’m pretty excited about that too.

Man, I’m just excited about everything lately.

Other than that, I’ve been watching a lot of Breaking Bad (I was reprimanded about not having seen it since I live in Albuquerque, so I got on it and it’s pretty awesome) and listening to a lot of Gotye. If you haven’t heard Gotye, he’s pretty amazing; very much my musical muse at the moment. I editing almost all of Seed to him and will very likely write a good deal of The Pines while he’s streaming through my computer speakers. He’s like a fresh, indie Peter Gabriel and his videos are just phenomenal. If you have an hour to spend on YouTube, check him out. Brilliant brilliant brilliant.

Okay, I guess that’s all I’ve got for now. I’ll keep you updated on Seed stuff as it comes to me. Until then, feast your ears on this:

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14 thoughts on “Updates, Edits, and Musical Inspiration

  1. Hiya! i totally agree, a space of your own, neatly organised, is borderline essential for serious writing. Maybe that’s why I write such ridiculous rubbish! My office is my knee, on a leather sofa in the searing 40C heat in the hills north of Perth, Australia…
    Phew!
    But they do so, clutter on the outside represents clutter within. Couldn’t be more true – since not having a dedicated writing space my motivation has become spotty and my writing habit bitty and inconsistent. Bloody funny, but inconsistent!
    Just played the Gotye and it was pretty cool – I’ll go look him up on Youtube! I can imagine that would be good to write to, it’s catchy but chilled – anything too dramatic and I end up signing (terribly) at my computer screen instead of typing on it!
    Is book 2 available anywhere? I’ve never seen ‘The Neighbours’ for sale…
    Tony

  2. I, for one, am interested in what you’ve been up to! I love hearing about how other writers live because I think living and writing are intimately connected. It’s fascinating to get a glimpse into another person’s life and, hell, who’s going to be better about making anything more interesting and readable than an author?

    Office looks fab; awesome color! Mine’s in a sun room. Where there aren’t windows, the walls are painted a lovely yellow, and the accent walls are the golden color of sunshine on the most beautiful late October afternoon.

    How did it feel to do all of those edits? Did it feel like you were having to compromise on your original vision? I know one of my reasons for going indie is the (perhaps irrational?) fear that editors and/or the system will somehow change my book in ways that I would never have chosen, and that I will feel about my books the way I feel about my day job; i.e., I did good work, but my heart wasn’t in it.

    • The edits were great. I didn’t have to compromise anything. I think the fear of editors comes from a limited few who had bad experiences with the process. Quite frankly, I feel like if you write a great book, the editor isn’t going to want to change anything, just tweak things to make the story even more effective. As far as Seed goes, I couldn’t be happier with the changes and additions. I feel like it took the story and amped it up to eleven.

      • That’s wonderful to hear, for many reasons. Not least of which is my selfish excitement to get to read an amped up version of Seed. 🙂 Thanks for responding to my questions & I hope you have a kick-ass Friday!

  3. I enjoyed the first release of Seed, so I’ll be curious to see the re-release. I’ve been looking forward to another book by you, so I’ll definitely keep my eye out for The Neighbors. Keep up the good work.

  4. It takes good character to set your ego aside and edit an already-successful book. Can’t wait to re-read it. Most of my writers group would never allow an editor to touch their unpublished work, never mind a successful work. Of course, most of them will be in the same writers group ten years from now complaining about the establishment, while you’ll be headlining seminars and writing conferences.

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  7. That’s a very nice work space for a wonderful author. I was peeking inside Seed and I’m really liking what I’m reading. You are very talented and I wish you much success, although I don’t think you’ll need it. 😉

  8. Just finished Seed. Terrific writing and storytelling. Look forward to more from such a talented young writer.

    Cheers,
    Ellen

  9. I can’t agree more on having a writer’s space. I recently redid our half finished upstairs and I love it. I feel separated from the rest of the house and distractions which allows my mind to slip into that “I’m here to work” mode easier. Progress on my first novel is coming along much better now that I have that dedicated workspace.

    I just finished reading Seed, and can’t wait for The Neighbors. Keep up the great work!

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