Today’s big book-related news

Better known as the post I have deliberately been shuffling my feet towards writing because I wanted to make a few key people wait. Probably not the nicest thing I’ve ever done. Moving on.

For anyone who missed it, Joshua Harkin and the Wicked Nightmare King is now available for purchase on Amazon. That’s a tidbit of information that still makes me want to weep in a mix of joy and terror; joy because ohcrapohcrap I’m a published author (though that point was made true earlier this year, but not in terms of being a published author who has a book available), and terror because I’m already stockpiling comfort food for my first one-star review. Ben & Jerry will be my two closest friends, and I will run the risk of becoming the hippopotamus requested for Christmas in what I still consider to be one of the worst holiday jingles ever written.

Winning this publishing contract has been a great thing for me. It’s a step towards my dream of being able to say I’m a writer for a living, or at least for part of my living, and I’m still sort of in that weird state of disbelief. Continue reading

Post-Thanksgiving, post-hiatus…er, post

It certainly feels like it’s been ages since my last post, which makes sense since I dropped off of the planet (from a blogging and social media standpoint, at least) after the hundred days of blogging finished up. Thanksgiving reminded me of the many things I have to be thankful for, and Black Friday reminded me that people are absolutely, completely, and irredeemably insane at times (but not all of them, so at least there’s that). I somehow, to the surprise of quite a few people, lived through another trip around the sun. I’m now a year closer to thirty, which feels a bit odd to say because my childhood goal-mapping said by this point I would either be a sagely old man dispensing wisdom or an all-powerful overlord of all creation, but I appear to be neither. Maybe that’s for later in the year. Continue reading

One Hundred Days of Blogging – Day Thirty-Six

Today was busy, eventful, and generally good.

However, I’m also entirely okay saying this post is being used as a cheat-day for the sake of focusing on creative writing projects. And because I just had a thirteen hour work-day, and I don’t have an idea I like enough to bother. Especially after the last two turned out so unfortunately.

On one hand, I’m really excited I have a book on its way to being published (FYI: it’s Joshua Harkin and the Wicked Nightmare King, which shouldn’t be surprising).

In closing, I have a question for you all (or at least those of you who comment…so a select few, I guess). How does Joshua Harkin and the Wicked Nightmare King sound as an official book one title? I know I’ve had it listed on the Joshua’s Nightmares page for a while, but I want to know what people think.

Wishing everyone a happy, productive hump day, I guess.

 

Sixty-four (just like one of Nintendo’s best, most carpal tunnel syndrome-furthering systems) days remaining.

Fantastic News

I had another post planned for tonight, which would argue the validity of fanfiction and so on. I’m sorry, but that’s getting postponed.

Just this once, however, I can say it’s not because of laziness. I’m excited to say I have tremendous, fantastic news. I checked my e-mail, and I honestly can’t remember why, and found this waiting for me.

Hi Phil,
You are the winner of our book publishing contest on Facebook. When you get a chance, please email us your manuscript so we can get started on publishing your book!
Let me know if you have any questions.
Thank you.
Sincerely,
Alexandria White
Collaborative Publishing Manager
CaryPress
~ Your Books in Your Fans’ Hands and Hearts
Holy crap. Holy crap. Holy crap. How do I even react?! I e-mailed them some questions, of course, but now I’m just freaking out. I’m excited, and a little anxious.
The manuscript I’m sending? Joshua Harkin and the Wicked Nightmare King, of course! Mention of it being a two-book series hasn’t come up yet, but hopefully that can be another thing that happens down the road. For now, I’m just ridiculously excited, kind of terrified, and eager to set some even loftier goals for myself. Holy shit, people.
I will probably be completely intolerable for at least the next forever.

I may have an addiction to writing

Or “I’ve written over one hundred pages to Joshua’s Nightmares book two in under two weeks time, and I totally forgot to eat a few times during that writing.”

I weighed the pros and cons of getting started on Joshua’s Nightmares book two. I considered how I should probably wait until I get the feedback on book one and make the necessary edits. Friends suggested waiting as well. None of that stopped the ideas and characters from book two from rattling around in my brain, keeping me up at night when I should have been getting much-needed rest for my new job (which I may have forgotten to mention, I’m not sure; I got a promotion and am about halfway into my training). It was unruly, stubborn, and never let me alone until I finally caved and started writing.

And then I deleted the first ten pages completely. In a little under a week’s time, I found myself with over one hundred pages of the first draft completed (most of which had been critiqued by my entirely remarkable editing-friend, who has been invaluable throughout the writing process of Joshua’s Nightmares overall).

However, because I’ve been plugging away so tirelessly on whimsical fantasy, I decided it was time to try my hand at something far more serious: whimsical science fiction. Someone with a mouth, and probably something similar to a brain, once said that fantasy and science fiction are both antiquated genres, but that did little to my interests in them (and god help that smug bastard if I’m ever published on an even remotely decent-sized scale).

More importantly (or, in the spirit of sounding like an infomercial: Wait! There’s more!), my misadventurous journey to write boldly where many have written before will be one I share with you, dear readers.

The short story series: Warpt Factor. The plot: young Izzy Warpt dreams of one day joining the illustrious ranks of the Spiral Reach Academy, seeking out new and exciting discoveries among the stars. Her unbridled enthusiasm proves problematic at times, but nothing in the universe can stop her on her great adventure, even if she has to steal a ship to get it started.

I plan on posting the first installment relatively soon (think some point this weekend, probably), so keep an eye out.

The what-to-do-now of the waiting game

My brain is still processing that the first complete draft of Joshua’s Nightmares is finished. That the little red notebook of world-building has grown into a two-hundred-and-ninety-three page behemoth. I’m still really geeking out over all that, actually. In terms of page count, it’s four times as long as the story I wrote for my Thesis Seminar at Edinboro University.

And now what? I’ve sent off copies to friends I know will really dig for anything that could use fixing, and I find myself floating in a sort of limbo. I would go so far as to say this feels like I just sent my only child off to college, and I’m being that awful parent who started sobbing before I’d even gotten off the campus after saying goodbye.

My question to you, fellow writerly-folks, is how do you cope with that sudden absence of something where there was once a big project?

I could, theoretically, get started on Book 2 while the characters are fresh in my mind, but is that the best possible way to go?

All things considered, I am very happy with how the first draft turned out. It grew from a couple paragraphs that got stuck back last year, before I moved, to what it is now. There was something very energizing about getting back to writing regularly, and feeling good about what I was creating, so now I’m just wondering where I’ll channel some of that wild and crazy energy until the time for the bulk of the editing starts.

A short post with tremendous news

Or “I really need to get to bed, and I’m sorry for posting such a tiny post on something so big, but here’s some good news to follow the Oscars.”

Tonight, after about two months of very serious, dedicated sessions of writing, I have completed the first draft of book one of Joshua’s Nightmares. That’s not to say there isn’t a ton of editing ahead of it, and I’m sure it will be incredibly taxing to get things just the way I want them, but this has been such a thrilling, fantastic process for me, and I had to share the news. What happens next? We’ll have to wait and see.

I’m sure I’ll be very busy with the editing, once I pick it back up to look at the story with fresh eyes. Mine are currently bloodshot from the hours of staring at MS Word, so that’ll be a few days at least. I’m trying to not even think about the horrors of looking into publishing just yet, because that is all very foreign and scary to me still. I wish I were kidding.

The final stats for the first draft are as follows:

  • 293 pages in standard manuscript format
  • 79,575 words
  • 316KB in MS Word 2010 docx format
  • a total editing time of 57,781 minutes

I’d apologize for all the rambling I’ve done about this story (I feel so odd calling it a novel, because that just seems smug somehow? I don’t know), but I’m not actually sorry. This has been so much fun, and it really revived the joy I find in sitting down and just writing like crazy for hours on end.

And now for bedtime, because I have to be at work at my new job tomorrow. At the ungodly (read as perfectly reasonable) hour of 8a.m.