The cycle completes itself – Locked Out is done

But, it’s not here yet. I said Sept 5, and that gives me plenty of time to ruminate on its “doneness.” Plus, I want to read it out loud to myself. It’s a great way to catch stupid typos. I am of the opinion that I need to read everything I want taken seriously aloud, simply because of the proportional relationship between work importance and stupid typos.

In layman’s terms: The more important a document is, the more likely I am to, for instance, write dick instead of disk. I almost turned in a paper with that one. Glad I caught it.

Now that it’s in an almost finished condition, I’m let with the challenge of promoting it. I have some awesome friends who will be thrilled to assist, but I’d love to get some new eyes.

Some of my ideas:

  1. With the monetization of my youtube account, make a video of myself reading Chapter 1. (Yes, it’s long enough to have chapters!)
  2. Post excerpts anywhere that will take them. (This is probably also going to be chapter 1, or part of chapter 2. More would give away parts of the plot.)
  3. Try to get more publicity for both Locked In and Locked Out at once. Build on momentum, or something.
  4. Make more friends. (I’m a likeable girl, this is easy to do.)

It’s hard to call Locked Out a sequel to Locked In, because they have vastly different premises. They share a universe, and the realities are the same. I think they can be read in any order. Right now, I’m telling stories about people who are completely unprepared for the horror that awaits them.

At this time, I have a total of 15 stories planned for Zombie Bedtime Stories. The first two are written, and the third is nearing completion of its first draft. This does not count the Bite Sized Zombies stories I put out occasionally for comic relief.

Trust me, it’s going to be a wild ride. I’d love to hear your thoughts on my list, what you think of the overall premise. I’d even love to hear if you think I’ll finish the series before zombies lose their popularity. (Never!)

Gearing up for the next week

I took a weekend off. No writing, no edits. I just wanted to have some fun, get my mind off it and get back into it on Monday.

It worked, for the most part. Now, I’m back in action, and it’s going to be great. There are a few things I want to patch up in the manuscript – such a presumptive word for a novella! Then, I send it off to my editor-type people. I’m hoping the process will be faster this time. I’ve had some practice.

So, I want to get a draft or 2 done this week, and a start on Deadlocked of at least 2000 words. It’s a pretty modest goal, I think. I might do a zombie flash. My shoulder’s been killing me, so I’ve been trying to stay away from the computer to let it get better. I think it’s all the hours I’ve been putting in.

Also coming up this week: Zombie Walk on Saturday! Awesome!

Including redeemed coupons, I sold 12 copies of Locked In between Amazon and Smashwords. That’s probably not bad at all.

Zombie Bedtime Stories #2 Draft Done

That felt so good to say. I’ve been working on it for over a month. It’s novella length, and it will probably get longer as it progresses through edits. There are plenty of “Easter Eggs” for those who read Locked In, but it’s not required reading to enjoy Locked Out. I want the series to be order-androgynous, so that you can come in at any point, in any order and enjoy the universe.

I’m working on publicizing Locked In, so I’m sending it to reviewers, places that announce ebooks and places that post interviews. It can’t hurt. I’m tabulating everything I send out in a spreadsheet, so I can track how fast sites are.

I have a month to get the cover art together, and to generate some kind of buzz. I might even bump up my release date, depending on how well edits go.

One last note. I wrote 2070 words today. An all-time personal best! If I can make that sustainable, then NaNoWriMo won’t know what hit it.

Promo is over, but the fun has just begun!

So my first promotion ever is over. Don’t worry, it won’t be the last. I’ve been learning a lot these past few days.

For instance:

  1. Repeating your self-promotion to a reasonable degree isn’t spam, because days later very few people (even ones I talk to regularly) realized I was done.
  2. Coupons are good. Everybody likes a coupon. Especially when it’s offered by a Canadian on Independence Day. My theory is that Americans get so much crap they’re happy when somebody foreign just wants to celebrate with them. My Canadian friends may think otherwise, but they’re way too polite to call me out on it.
  3. There are about a billion bloggers and sites out there you can promote on, and the number of tabs I have open is staggering.
  4. My tweeps are awesome, awesome people. Especially BlackZombiePub, who listed me on a list and I’m going to link to his blog post about it because I’m a total narcissist, and a book babe.

So right now I’m planning more promotions, and I want to get my first draft of Locked Out finished by the weekend. Then, it’s RED PEN OF DOOM time. Then, I can start writing Deadlocked, aka Zombie Bedtime Stories Part 3.

I had a totally awesome idea for a dark fantasy zombie story. I might hold out until after I crank out more Zombie Bedtime Stories before really outlining it. I love the idea, but I have enough ideas to keep me busy for at least the next 3 years already.

Help, I’m trapped in Amazon Direct Publishing Purgatory!

A little under 24 hours ago, I began the process of publishing Locked In on Amazon. From the looks of things, it’s either imminent, or will take a while.

Who knows?

Having it processing lifts a huge weight from my shoulders, though. It’s the knowing that it’s done, it’s good, and I finished it.

For next week, I’m going to focus my energy on finishing Locked Out. I’ve figured out a shocking conclusion for it. Though, one could think that most authors think their conclusion is shocking.

Yesterday was spent with the Smashwords Style Guide, purging all forms of bad style from my work. I’d prefer to think it was perfect to begin with, but I really wanted that epub to be valid.

Watch carefully, Locked In is coming soon!

On other news, yesterday while out on a walk, I conceived the idea for part 7 of Zombie Bedtime Stories. I shouldn’t get too far ahead of myself, because Zombie Bedtime Stories 2: Locked Out is still being written.

Hopefully, my beloved cover artist will beat me to the punch with another awesome cover. Then I really will have to finish it, and fast!

Zombie Bedtime Stories: Locked In Cover Art and Sneak Peek.

Edit 07/25/2011: Here are links to the store pages for Locked In:

Amazon.com

Smashwords

Original Post:

You heard it here. I think it’s done. I’m going to do the “read it out loud” test tomorrow evening.

So, here is the story cover my boyfriend created for me. The arms are mine, and I made the fake (bright pink) blood. The rest of the effort is all his. I know I’ve posted it before, but it’s changed and improved.

Locked In Cover

Book Cover

I did promise a sneak peak, didn’t I?

            Haley threw up her arms as he made a lunge for her face. His unimaginable strength pitched them both to the ground. The blow winded her. Her eyes widened in alarm as she squirmed under his wizened form to keep his decaying teeth away from her flesh. His fetid breath was tinged with the scent of blood, the overwhelming stench burning into her lungs. Haley thought she was going to vomit. The three officers and Frank shouted as they struggled to gain control of the crazed man. Deafened by Buddy’s shrieks, the terror of the cacophony threatened to paralyze her. A Taser was drawn, but its discharge barely seemed to jolt Buddy, prompting a renewed flurry of attacks. Haley felt a discernible electric tingle pass through her own body, so she knew the device had worked, but on the wrong person. With this realization her thoughts became frantic and incoherent. As she felt her arms weaken from the exertion, she couldn’t help wondering if Buddy was drugged.

That’s all for now. Sleep tight. If you want a more animated version of today’s events, featuring overuse of the word “crap”  and a Fedora, then check out today’s vlog.

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Project Overload

That would make a good name for a book.

Between job, writing, editing, blogging, vlogging, keeping up with twitter and yet more job life is becoming hectic. I try to do job stuff in the morning, and writing in the afternoon. It keeps a routine.

But as of now, I think I need to shop around for project management software. All of my projects are becoming just too much to mentally keep track of. I have a Google Apps account, maybe it’s time to go shopping.

This week’s goals: Finish next edit of Locked In, and get Locked Out to 75%+ complete. I’m taking it easy. Friday is Canada Day, and it’s hard to get stuff accomplished on holidays when the boyfriend is home and wants to have fun. Plus, it’s Canada Day. I want to have fun!

I have muted hopes that this version of Locked In will be the last.

The Blog Improvement Project

With release of my first story hopefully about one month away, I decided to clean up a little, make this joint just a little nicer. There may just be one or two more drafts before I stick a fork in it. Additionally, the rough draft of part 2 is approximately one third done.

I noticed the About page is getting some hits and badly needed some love. As well, I realized that I had no dedicated place for my magnum opus, Zombie Bedtime Stories. I fixed that, and tried to express my vision for the project, and why it’s unique and deserves your attention.

Contact me is basically shameless self-promotion, and an email address. In case anybody wants to email me. I like emails.

Otherwise, my cover for Locked In is getting an overhaul. I realized that the text is unreadable in the thumbnail. Anonymously-obsessed-boyfriend (Now on Twitter!) is on the case.

Vlog-wise, I’m hoping to get my cooking videos up. I made one about how to cook chili that needs a good amount of editing, and today I made matzoh balls, which also require edits and cuts. The latter half happens to be hilarious, but I need to learn to look at the camera, not the cameraman. It makes me look psycho. I might step up the standard vlog a little, too. Make it edgier.

A series needs a name.

After a random flash if inspiration (yes, I was pacing again), I’ve finally decided on a name for my zombie series.

Locked In will be story #1 of an ongoing series set in a zombie apocalypse. Rather than it being another story about shotguns and chainsaws, it will be drawn from alternative perspectives to give a much more complete and chilling world.

The series will be named: Zombie Bedtime Stories.

A cousin of mine suggested Bitesized Zombies, which I think will work perfectly for some shorts and flash fiction that I have in mind.

Twitter is way too much fun for something that’s supposed to be work.

I resisted getting a Twitter account for years. I just didn’t see the point.

I had no idea how easy it was to find people who like what you do, and connect with them. It is unbelievably cool. It seems like it’s a bit of a time-sink, but here’s what I’ve learned in a few short days of using it.

  1. Follow others. They may return the favor, or maybe their friends will. Having a new best friend is good!
  2. Check out things that are cool. Simply because they’re cool.
  3. Check out others who are tangential to the people you are following. There is infinite variety out there.

So basically, be friendly, check out the cool space photos from NASA and have fun.

In writing news: Locked Out is progressing nicely. The main character’s personality is really coming into focus, and I’m having fun with having a protagonist who spends the story alive (as opposed to undead/dead/zombified).I should be getting a Locked In critique tomorrow, draft 6. I’m hoping draft 7/8 will be close to final. I’ve already learned a lot about how to write fiction from the experience, so Locked Out is flowing better and will be a better story.

I’ve decided on which story to outline for NaNoWriMo. It’s going to be my “stuck in a waiting room somewhere” project. Outlining and character sketches are allowed, and I know I need to pump out shy of 1700 words per day to win. It’s going to be an attempt at hard sci-fi with a horror/thriller angle. It’s going to be good!