Rolling along again – some new developments

Now that I’ve cleared a backlog of projects, and become considerably more underemployed, I’m free to resume work on what really matters: my writing.

I managed to crank out 800 words on my work in progress, Deadlocked, and I like how the universe is starting to feel. The pre-apocalypse world of Zombie Bedtime Stories is already grim, and each installment adds another shade of grey to the already dark atmosphere. I’ve decided to establish that the series takes place in the not-too-distant future. It begins in June 2035. I wanted technology to be a little more advanced to make some parts of Locked Out and future story arcs more plausible, and I wanted to examine what the world would be like if it were the worst of most worlds. Admittedly, today’s world is already a pretty grim place, but not the worst case scenario by any stretch of the imagination. We also don’t have zombies, which is probably for the best.

I’ve been playing with some horror/bizarre ideas that are not zombie-based. I’m pretty excited with them. I’m contemplating a run of stories that’s based on monsters dredged out of the depths of my subconscious. I want to write something that will make the reader question not only my sanity, but their own, as well.

Cheers, friends!

Zombie Bedtime Stories: Locked Out description and (tentative) release date!

After receiving a thoughtful edit, I’ve decided to get around to making a little blurb, and setting a release date.

Zombie Bedtime Stories: Locked Out description:

Following a wave of brutal and unexplained violence, Doctor Anna Lewis is charged with leading a team of scientists to find an explanation. What they discover shakes them to the core and causes them to question everything about their work and personal ethics. As their world descends into chaos, they struggle to continue their research in the face of a vicious, insatiable enemy.

Anticipated release date: September 5. I decided the late-August release was too optimistic to be feasible, I don’t want to rush my final edits and revisions.

I have much more up my sleeve waiting for you, just you wait. It’s a surprise. A good surprise.

Locked Out (Zombie Bedtime Stories #2) Cover Art sneak peak!

It’s been a busy weekend. I caught some kind of weird flu, but feel mostly better now. Still no appetite, but I could do with some cutbacks in the indulgences. But, in addition to the tentative signs that my muse is returning (I managed 100 words of Deadlocked last night), my boyfriend and cover artist has not been lacking in inspiration. I really lucked out with a guy who used to design video games for a living and had to do his own textures and art.

 

Locked Out Cover

Zombie Bedtime Stories: Locked Out

 

The original concept was supposed to be a brain with a keyhole on it, but it didn’t fit the story as it evolved. However, fire, zombies and mystery liquid always apply.

As always, we would love to hear your feedback!

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.

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!

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.

My reviews are going to be published July 1! Yay!

I’m giddy. The magazine I’m interning for is going to run some of my reviews in their July 2011 issue. I’ve got three items sent to them. One is about an anarchist event, another is about tonight’s play any I’m about to get ready for and the last is an interview with the woman behind the play.

Getting into a magazine is pretty exciting. It seems like it’s a good starting place, and it’s doing wonders for my confidence.June 15 due date. I can do it!

I started planning out my Locked In continuation. So far the story is five parts, possibly longer as I feel inspired. I think I’ll do some shorter bits that are set in the same universe. They won’t directly add to the Locked In storyline, but they’re still unusual scenarios that should make good flash and short fiction. I’d say I’m planning spin-offs, but the word spin-off seems to cheapen the idea a little.I’ve already begun to write Locked Out, and I’m avoiding a lot of the problems that infuriated me (and provoked continuing edits) of Locked In.

Working titles are Locked Out, Deadlocked, Lock and Load and Locked Up. I’m trying to use the word “lock” in the titles for a sense of continuity and a variation on a theme. I’m running out of Lock/-lock words and phrases. Flintlock? Landlocked? Sounds like zombie pirates or something similarly awesome.

I’ll call it stand-alone-stand-aside non-conventional zombie fiction.

I’m going to need bigger business cards.

Inspiration = Walking?

Inspiration is a fickle thing. I can honestly say that I’ve never come across one starting point for an article of a story through simple brainstorming.

It strikes like lightning, then it’s time to go to the drawing board.

I had my idea for Locked In just walking (okay, pacing) around in my house. Locked Out was a similar situation, while writing Locked In. My novel ideas came to me on walks to the Metro station.

It seems walking is the only constant connection. Maybe my legs are connected to my brain. Or, more amusingly, maybe my muse has an issue with my pacing habit and wants me to stop.

Oddly, pacing seems to have no effect on writer’s block. But it sure feels good.

Nothing like a day off to beat writer’s block

I took yesterday off completely. I didn’t think about writing, or worry about it. I saw my friends, played some games and fussed with my garden a little bit.

I was back with a vengeance today. It seems like if you have writer’s block, to just forget about it for a day and it will come back. I managed to crank out 900+ words today, which is a pretty high daily count for me.

I’m starting to get a feel for the story and the characters. I was still stuck a bit when I first sat down today, so I started describing scenes and characters. Then, I started giving them more traits, more neuroses, more personality. Then I made them just a little more real. And then I made them talk, with extra conflict.

It’s looking good, and it’s going to be much longer than I originally planned.

In other news, day job is picking up again, and Twiter is still way too much fun. However, I wish it would stop recommending fake Portal/Half Life accounts. And everything NASA has ever done. I love you NASA, but you have too many Twitter accounts.

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!