Deadlocked is coming soon, and I’ve entered a contest!

I know, I should update more, and with less topics. I hate 100-word updates, what can I say?

I can say with some authority that Deadlocked will be gracing your Internet as of Friday, for your weekend dose of zombies. Trust me, you need zombies every weekend, it’s vitamin Z, and totally not me trying to get you to read my (and other great) stories. Sadly, continuous annoying pneumonia complications keep creating unexpected delays, but I’m 95% certain that I’ll be able to make my latest self-imposed deadline.

As for the contest, I got wind that the fine folks at Curiosity Quills were holding a contest for books written specifically during NaNoWriMo, so I threw my science fiction novel, Sanity Vacuum (link will show the first three pages of my draft), into the pot. I’m currently in fourth place, and I need to stay in the top ten to move on to the next round. Please vote for me, or a number of the other fine contestants, or both!

Coming soon: Deadlocked Chapter 1 sneak peek, and Christmas Blog Hop madness!

 

 

NaNoWriMo week two – I’m still alive

That’s the good news, I’m still fighting in NaNoWriMo, and I’m500 words above where I wanted to be. That’s with an internal ligament pull that causes even light physical activity to wind me, and being easily exhausted. I’m pretty proud of my resiliency. Some days I just wanted to say I’d make it up the next day and go wallow in bed, but I’m glad to say I’m pushing through.

The novel itself is coming along nicely; it’s within the bounds of my original vision, but the characters have come alive and my futuristic universe feels so real to me. I’m hoping I do an accurate job of conveying that through my characters and descriptions. Of course, it needs a great deal of editing and proofreading before it sees the light of day, but, editing is the other half of the fun! (To me, at least. I love wading into the fray with a red pen and a healthy dose of self-doubt.)

What’s in store for the next week?

  1. I feel better, allowing me to improve my writing time and get that 2k out faster.
  2. Some of the people beta-reading Deadlocked will start to report in.
  3. I have my eye on a couple of short horror publications, so I use my free time from item #1 to work on that. Publications are fun, I want to try to branch out a little.

I’m probably missing something. It’s probably panic/profit, but I’m not much of a pessimist or optimist these days. I just write my words and try not to re-injure myself.

Here’s the rundown of my NaNoWriMo stats. Those of you interested in further deep examination of my numbers/progress can check out my stats. I obsessively update my word count while I’m writing, because I hate seeing my daily average below 2000. It makes me mad.

Words today: 2210

Total words: 30518 (61% complete!)

I’m supposed to finish on the 24th, but I can’t reproduce their numbers, all of my calculations with their figures indicate I’ll finish the 25th. I’m kind of calculator obsessed, I try to calculate everything, whether it matters or not.

The Making of a Zombie Bedtime Story

I’m pleased to announce that Deadlocked is nearing completion. After marathon NaNoWriMo writing sessions, I managed to squeeze in the editing time I missed out on while I was sick, and finally, Deadlocked is off to the beta readers. This is an exciting time for me, I use an opinionated mix of people who don’t really know me, people who know me and are highly critical and opinionated, people who like zombies, people who don’t like zombies but like a good story and two people who do not speak English as a first language (If they have trouble understanding a sentence, or find it unclear, then it’s probably not a good sentence. They are both fluent and enjoy reading English books.)

However, this is the end of the production for a Zombie Bedtime Story. Let’s switch to the beginning, because I am going to be restarting the cycle very soon:

I have a list of ideas, and a rough order that I want the series to follow. I’ve shuffled some ideas and events around, but the series itself has a definite beginning, middle and end.

I take the idea I want to work on, and flesh it out into a story. This story will have a beginning, middle and a conclusion. In my opinion (probably the only one that matters), each story needs to stand on its own. I leave Easter Eggs and tie-ins to future story lines, but nothing as overt as a “true” cliffhanger.

I’ve had good results both with and without outlines, but I usually have a good idea of what the main and side conflicts are, who the characters need to be and what particular flavor of gore I’m going to use. I have a notepad on my desk labeled “squick,” if I’m stuck for something extra gross I refer to it.

Once actual writing starts, the story grows organically, and new characters evolve or appear, buildings, extra character development and back story occur at this stage. I didn’t just sit down at the drawing board and decide what my characters hopes, habits and phobias are. They evolve out of my own sadistic desire to torture them, or because I want to get to know them better. Also, something about character development should go here.

Eventually, I finish writing, and get to editing. Here’s where I add extra details, ramp up the gore and make my characters swear more. I’ll usually flesh out the ending, for that final blaze of glory. If you’ve read Locked In, you know what I’m talking about.

I’ll edit again, especially around where I added new content. Then I send it off to be edited by a very patient person with an encyclopedic knowledge of English grammar, vocabulary and a strong stomach. Once I get it back, I adjust my manuscript accordingly, learn to use a damn em-dash and then, I am at the stage where I sent it off to many proof-readers.

Why did I make this post? I’m not sure. I wanted to write about Deadlocked‘s impending release, in a different kind of light. (It will be after US Thanksgiving, that much I know. I am tentatively hoping for the first week of December.)

What is Deadlocked about already, Thea?

That is an excellent question. Deadlocked is the third part of the Zombie Bedtime Stories, and it flows mid-way out of part #1.

Deadlocked follows Haley’s partner, Frank, as he comes to the realization that something is very wrong. All of his questions and concerns are ignored and he finds himself silenced at every turn. He is determined to save his partner and his friends. However, Frank is no hero, and finds himself fighting for his life as his efforts to do the right thing go horribly wrong.

Stay tuned for excerpts!

This post brought to you by the fact that I didn’t realize I was wearing a hat for the majority of the day.

NaNoWriMo word count: 12,125. There’s a space station in the story, and space stations are cool.

 

A new review, Deadlocked off to the editor, and Bedlam begins

What a title. I’m saving the best for last, though.

I needed to rework Deadlocked‘s ending. The previous one didn’t feel perfect, which simply will not do at all. I may play with the order the stories come in, after Bedlam. Speaking of Bedlam, I just finished its outline. It certainly lives up to the name, lets just say that.

In news that is awesome, The Zombie’s Bride just got a review from Double Shot Reviews. Head on over and check out what they’re saying, then download the story for free!

 

At long last, Deadlocked is finished, and a cute picture I drew

You heard it here, and maybe during my self-congratulatory tweets last night. Deadlocked‘s first draft is finally complete! I really struggled with this one, lots of stupid life-stress caused huge amounts of writer’s block. But, I crawled forward in 200-word blocks until the end, where a few more substantive writing sessions finally finished it.

Today, I’m going to be taking the Red Pen of Doom to this lovely manuscript, to fix the damage writing in 200-word segments can do, general coherence and to tighten up my descriptiveness and prose. Whatever prose really means.

In other news, The Zombie’s Bride is approaching 2500 downloads. That’s a nice number, but it seems to have little to no effect on sales. I’ll focus more on the main Zombie Bedtime Stories plot line for now, as I want Bedlam to be released by Christmas. This is, of course, barring extenuating circumstances, such as finding full-time work.

Finally, some artwork. My recently was able to get my hands on a Wacom Bamboo Fun tablet courtesy of my boyfriend’s wonderful negotiation skills. After figuring out how to draw with it, and a crash self-taught course in Photoshop Elements, I came up with this little thing:

BRAINS

Brains

My cover artist‘s job is safe.

The Zombie’s Bride, now free on Kindle, and other good things

At long last, Amazon has made The Zombie’s Bride free for Kindle. This is not a limited time offer, I consider it to be a sampler of my work, put out there as a way to entice people into trying my other work (notably, the Zombie Bedtime Stories.) So please, download it early, and often!

It’s interesting to note that I’ve moved 560+ copies in one day as of this writing. It’s pretty well ranked, and I’m hoping that good things will come of it!

In other good news, I’m pretty hopeful for even more reviews to be out within the next week, thanks to some nice blogger-types. Now, all I have to do is finish Deadlocked already, and I’ll be set for meeting October goals.

October goals:

  • Write outline/chapter guides for NaNoWriMo
  • Start/Complete Zombie Bedtime Stories draft #4: Bedlam
  • Sell 50 copies (combined) of Locked In and Locked Out. (I made my goal of 25 for September, why not aim high?)
  • Edit Deadlocked and aim for end of October release (or early November, depending)

 

 

A review, and Deadlocked is almost written!

You read that right. I got a review for Zombie Pride! It’s from the nice people with the Zombie Response Team. If you haven’t checked out Zombie Pride yet, now you can read exactly what you’re missing out on! Don’t worry, it being free isn’t a limited time offer.

In other news, Deadlocked is almost finished. I have to write the conclusion/closing, and it’s time for edits. You’ll see a blurb and cover within the next couple of weeks. I’m excited with how it’s turning out. I’ve been slow writing it, but the deliberate pace seems to have an overall positive effect.

I want to write most of part 4, Bedlam, during October. I’m (liberal estimate) hoping to have part 4 out by Christmas. There’s going to be a delay called NaNoWriMo, but let’s just say that I’m conjuring up something quite different during that month from what you’re used to. Of course, it won’t be available for a long time, so it honestly doesn’t really matter.