Posts Tagged ‘Urban Fantasy’

This fall, Xchyler is releasing their new paranormal anthology, the theme of which is ‘Mr.& Mrs. Myth’ and I have a short story titled ‘Charon’s Obol’ in it.

I’m delighted because I had a blast last year being a part of ‘Shades and Shadows’. If you are a writer, especially one still trying to ‘make their mark’, I recommend keeping an eye on Xchyler. They really know how to put together an anthology, and while professional, are great fun to work with.  They also do more than just paranormal, so that opens it up enough that maybe you can find your ‘In’.


My short story, as no one who reads this blog will be surprised to find out, is in the White Dragon Black series. But I’m having to do rewrites (actually more additions than rewrites) on the beginning. I failed to introduce Jonathan Alvey quite as well as my publisher would like, for new readers to the series. A valid point, so I started working on that.

TomorrowWendell_SpreadWorking on that consisted of running the opening scene over, and over, in my head while I did other things – like search for review blogs that might be willing to review Tomorrow Wendell. Roughly three hours of checking out blog, after blog, and emailing all those that I think the reviewer could honestly be interested in my work.

Three weeks I’ve been looking at review blogs: averaging thirty or more blogs visited, ten or more emails sent out, and two requests received every day. I consider that a good return.

So Saturday, once I had finished my afternoon of blog searching, I opened up ‘Charon’s Obol’ and allowed the little bits and pieces that my brain had percolated from my subconscious into forebrain, out onto the screen. It’s probably not quite there yet – I sent it to my editor to get some feed back, some direction – and I expect it will come back with exactly that.

I expect this because the editors at Xchyler are very much, all about making the writing the strongest it can be while still making it all the writer’s voice, words, and creativity. As a writer, I not only appreciate that respect, but I appreciate the challenge it represents as well.

I want this story to be strong. Of course I do… it’s mine. But also, it is the third published in the series, a series I”m trying to build and secure in the ‘real’ world. A series, I want to draw readers into and have them fall in love with. And yes – I want it to be strong, because the reviewers I’m trying so hard to the attention of, they will start getting those reviews out just a bit ahead of the release of the Anthology, they will continue to come out around the release of the anthology, and still be coming just a little after.

It’s good marketing. I had nothing to do with it. I got in the anthology on writing merit, not marketing (Xchyler anthology submissions are anonymous and graded on many points to find the strongest stories) but that doesn’t mean I”m not going to take advantage of any marketing edge I can.

I’m a brand new writer that wants to be around a decade from now – darn tooting, I’m going to do what I can to make sure that’s true. And the best way to do that – get this rewrite done right.

White Dragon Black Logosig1

Yesterday evening I attended the on-line meeting for the author’s of  Xychler’s upcoming paranormal anthology. As this was my second such meeting, and third meeting covering how the editing system and such are laid out (which is actually quite smart and helpful) I admit I was a bit… silly.

I couldn’t help myself, my fingers were typing away, being naughty, before I even knew I should be reigning them in. Luckily, the people at Xchyler are good natured, fun, and allow for the fact that authors are crazy. As long as you do the work, on time, then you can pass notes in class.

I was looking forward to being in this anthology right from the moment I submitted my story. Being a part of the last anthology was not only fun, but it was …impressive. From the team helping to better my writing, to the final result of a collections of great stories – it was a good time.

I know this one will be just as fun and just as impressive a collection. Last night, we all got to give a short intro to what our stories were about – and I’m now really looking forward to the stage where we get to proof each other’s work , so I can read them.

My personal contribution – ‘Charon’s Obol’ – is a White Dragon Black story, which, chronologically, falls shortly after ‘Tomorrow Wendell’.  I hope people like it, as much as they liked ‘The Cost of Custody‘  - the short story from last years Anthology ‘Shades and Shadows’.

It is, I admit, comforting to be back in the process. To once more be inside the machine, working to produce a quality piece. It is a feeling akin to the being home after a good but long vacation.

So yesterday, my contract from Xchyler Publishing came – looking pretty official that there is going to be a new White Dragon Black story in the world. The public world, that is, there are more than a handful of short stories featuring Jonathan Alvey sitting on my hard drive. ‘Charon’s Obol’ will be the next published one story , coming in this fall’s paranormal anthology.

Once I get home and sign it, it will be all official. And yes, just because I’ve got a novel out with them doesn’t mean I don’t have to sign another contract. This isn’t the Bog Box Boys club.  I’m not signed on as  their slave for 4 years,  three novels, and two spots on morning radio. It is a contract per work sort of situation which is siting me just fine.

So before long i’m going to be knee deep in edits again … you’d think I’d learn.  But if nothing else can be said to be true about writers, this can – we are all masochists.

So life is not what I pictured it would be come this June 10th

I had seen myself, sitting outdoors sipping G&T’s on the deck, checking on my plants, and enjoying the outdoors. I envisioned late night writing sessions, where I would unleash a couple thousand words. I foresaw working hard on the projects that could be done, now that the weather had turned human friendly.

What I am doing, is spending my days indoors, watching a kitten slowly grow up, sitting at a computer making sure the world knows about my upcoming novel, and hardly getting 500 words written a day.

Not what I had planned. But a writer once wrote about mice and men and I’ve learned not to fret too much about the direction life takes you.

So I am trying to make the best of things. Tomorrow, assuming it doesn’t actually rain all day I’m going to do some gardening. I will in fact be planting my veggie garden. . . for the third time. The sheep broke in twice before and razed all plant life to the ground. I have sheep proofed the gate (knock on wood) and today, will be buying new plants.

I also hope today to get some more work done on the prizes for my novel release party on Facebook. I want to be  able to put up pictures of the prizes before the 28th, in hopes to draw some extra attention. It may not work but it won’t hurt… right?

The reviews of the novel are not many yet but they are all good. And I’m assured by my beta reader that the second novel is holding up just as well as the first, she’s only eight chapters or so in, but it’s a good sign.

So instead of dwelling on what isn’t – I’m soaking up all the what is, and that’s easier on me. Plus, it is hard to resent the kitten taking time when he’s on my lap sleeping on his back looking intensely cute.

It has begun – reviews are coming in from ARC readers. This is getting real. Two wonderful reviews on Goodreads that are making my head spin.

It seems people just might actually like my writing, my words, and more importantly–my world.

It is that last one that is most important to me, because if people don’t like the world I’ve built than they won’t want to delve into it again and again. I write because I am a writer, but the White Dragon Black world is such a part of me now that doing it just for myself seems well, almost unfair.

Jonathan Alvey’s world has become so real to me, that I don’t want to live there alone.

… Wow –didn’t that sound like I was losing my mind in a whole knew way?

The point is, that I want to share these stories with others because I believe the vignettes my Muse gives me were meant for more than just my mind to explore. Hopefully, I’m right– the reviews will have to tell me if I am.