beth_bernobich: red mushroom (cat on a wire)
Novel is out to readers.

Kickstarter starts tomorrow morning.

Meanwhile I need to write a few guest blog posts. Next Monday I'll be a guest on Fantasy Book Cafe, talking about quiet moments in epic fantasy. The week after that, it's on to Stephanie Burgis's blog for a post about epic romance. And the date isn't certain yet, but I will have a third post on Tynga's Reviews about stories, extras, and outtakes.
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (book fin)
In a burst of editing energy, I ripped through the last 50 pages of Current Novel. The second draft is done and out to readers.

*pause for writer victory dance*

I finished just in time, too, because my Kickstarter for Nocturnall launches on Thursday. I'll have a more detailed post once the campaign goes live, but for now, let me just say there will be all kinds of rewards for pledges, including an e-bundle of the River of Souls trilogy, a limited print edition of Nocturnall, and writer's specials. And of course, everyone gets a thank-you tweet with a pic of Fig or Octavia:



Oh, wait. Wrong cat. Here they are:



(That's Octavia on the left, Fig on the right.)
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (mad scribe)
This last section for Current Novel is 70 pages long. I finished reading and marking up the pages and was delighted that 15 pages only needed a couple typos fixed. I was less delighted (but not surprised) to confirm that the middle section needs serious editing. Plot details need to be wrenched into shape, and the prose needs more emotional and sensory layers.

So far, I've edited 19 pages, with a net gain of two pages. (Lots of cuts, but lots more additions.) The details are falling into place, the emotions are bubbling to the surface, and I continue to be stupidly happy about the book.

In other news, I finished my Kickstarter video and with some excellent feedback from friends, I've tweaked and project description and rewards. I'm now aiming to launch on March 19th.
beth_bernobich: Crab (Crab)
...writing and editing. I made my first reading pass through the new chapters for Current Novel, but I won't start revisions until next weekend. This is the part I hate the most. Well, not hate, but I find it extremely frustrating. I want to dive into the story again, but I need this small break to create distance between me and the text. Because right now, I am just stupidly in love with the book. It needs editing—yea, gods, it needs editing—but these characters and this story? They get me excited all over again.

Luckily I have this Kickstarter project to keep me busy. I have the project info filled out, the reward levels set, a logo, and a script and storyboard for the video.

Here's the logo my husband created for me:

logo-small
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (cat on a wire)
Way back in 2007, I landed my first novel sale—a three book contract to Tor Books for Passion Play and two sequels. Passion Play came out in October 2010 and, to my eternal delight, won the RT Reviewers' Choice Award for Best Epic Fantasy. Queen's Hunt and Allegiance followed in 2012 and 2013, with lots of shiny reviews.

After I finished the initial draft of Allegiance, back in 2012, I wrote what I call my coda story. Nocturnall takes place 35 years after the end of the trilogy, with a much older Ilse and Raul. My editor loved it, and suggested we include Nocturnall as an epilogue to Allegiance. I felt that would muddy the ending of the book. Better to publish the story later, as a stand-alone.

Well, later has arrived. This October, the paperback edition of Allegiance will be released. My plans are to self-publish Nocturnall as an e-single in December. This will be my celebration of the trilogy and my good-bye to Ilse and Raul. I want to make it a good one, so I want to give the story the professional treatment, including custom artwork. (Raul! On the cover with Ilse! At last!)

The professional treatment costs money, of course, so to raise funds, I will be running a Kickstarter campaign. There will be rewards, including thank-you tweets with cat pics of Octavia and Fig. There will be a limited edition print version of the story. And signed copies of the books. And more.

The estimated launch date for the campaign is March 12th. I'll post more details as they come up.
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (blue woman)
Every year, I update my website journal with a new page for the new year. It's a time for taking stock, for looking back at the old year, and forward into the new.

So. 2014. It wasn't an awful year for me, personally. But wow, it did have its challenges. (Newbie. Unsales. Bronchitis.) It also had some splendid moments. (London!! RT Nomination for The Time Roads!!!)

The unsales are disappointing, but I can do something about them. One item, a short story, is already back out on submission. The other item needs a thorough rewrite before it goes out into the world again.

What truly discourages me is how little I wrote last year. I added up all the new work and came up with barely 50K of new work. And nothing new finished. Not only am I someone who *needs* to finish things, I also realized that unless I did finish at least one novel in 2015, my career would lose momentum. Again.

So. What did I accomplish in 2014?

A couple rough chapters for Not-Mansfield-Park
Fourteen edited chapters for Current Novel
Copyedits for The Time Roads (which almost counts as revision)
A thorough rewrite of Nocturnall, the coda story for River of Souls
A rewrite of The Ghost Dragon's Daughter, a short story set in the same world as Fox & Phoenix
A rewrite of chapter one for The Edge of the Empire, a River of Souls novel

See what I mean? I've written more in six months in previous years than I did in 2014. Or even three months. But beating myself up is pointless. Better to cast the old year aside and do better in the new.

To that end, I've made a few specific writing goals for 2015, and some sketchy plans that depends on how those first few goals pan out. They all can be summarized by "Finish things. But don't burn myself out. Take joy in the writing."

Speaking of which, I have a couple edits to finish up, and a new chapter to start.
beth_bernobich: petal twigs (petal twigs)
the coda story has a home. it won't appear until early 2016, but it will be easily available. my editor is still working out the details. more news when i have it.

i rewrote the first chapter of my pirate book and i am much happier with the results. only twenty-one more to go. i meant to tackle the second chapter this weekend, but the dayjob has been especially demanding this week, so i'll be writing code today (sunday) instead of writing prose.

here's a snippet from the pirate book...

snippet )

(and yes, that is ilse in a previous lifetime.)

update

Aug. 31st, 2014 09:04 am
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (blue woman)
allegiance... latest news says the paperback version will appear next october.

coda story.... might appear in that same paperback. or not. but there are possibilities under discussion. one concern i have about adding it to the paperback is that it then won't be freely available to those who already bought the e-book or hardcover.

geek girl story.... alas, the very shiny anthology that bought this story got shelved. sooooo, story is currently in a slushpile, awaiting its turn.

edge of the empire... revising because i need to. i first wrote this novel seven years ago. it sold four years ago. i'm a better writer now and i think i can bring the story up a notch or three.

the time roads... six weeks to book day! i have guest blogs posts scheduled for the magical words blog. tynga's reviews will interview me during their paranorm'all hallows eve celebration, plus hold a giveaway for the time roads.
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (japanese paper)
...was a week where I made almost no progress on Current Novel. But! I made a polishing pass on one short story, and I finished another round of revisions on my River of Souls coda story. Story #1 is now sitting in a slush pile, waiting its turn. The coda story...I don't know yet. I have to read it through one more time to see how I feel.

Meanwhile, reviews for The Time Roads have started to appear. Publishers Weekly did not care for the book. Skiffy and Fanty, however, did. Other reviews have been just as polarized. I suspect this will be a book that you either love or hate.

And about Current Novel. I currently have nine chapters written, for about 28K words. This week promises to be another hectic one at the dayjob, so I've set myself a smaller goal. Go through my notes for the next two chapters. Tweak them a bit if necessary. Set up my files for next weekend when I can dive into the prose itself.
beth_bernobich: alice (alice)
Lots of stuff going on, with transitions and possibilities.

Management has finally realized we need more .NET people, so we've been interviewing candidates. My hope is that we hire a couple mid-level developers and one more senior person, then get rid of Our Newbie, who has spent the past year being a drag on the team. (To put it mildly.)

I continue to work on Current Novel. Six chapters written and polished. A couple thousand words in notes and prose for the next two chapters. Fairly soon, I need to take another break to figure out the political thread in more detail.

Meanwhile, I received a revise and resubmit for Nocturnall (my coda to the River of Souls trilogy). The editor's comments were spot-on, so this weekend I will tackle that. Fred also dumped an idea for a far-future River of Souls story into my head. The idea is little more than a couple images at this point, but I love the idea of Ilse and Raul in Space. For now, however, it gets filed in the Someday Folder.

And in the Exciting News Department: This coming Monday, I have my first guest blog post! David B. Coe, writing as D.B. Jackson, has contributed a splendid article about the women characters in his series, The Thieftaker Chronicles. Please stop by to read and comment.
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (Rose Fractal)
2013 was an interesting year, in both the good sense and the interesting one.

Starting off the with good...

Queen's Hunt made the 2012 Locus Recommended Reading List. The NPR Books Tumblr gave a lovely shout-out to Thief of War, which was also selected for Some of the Best from Tor.com, 2013. Reviews for Allegiance overall were quite good, and I am delighted the conclusion to the trilogy left readers satisfied. I also participated in John Scalzi's Big Idea series, SF Mind Meld, Mary Robinette Kowal's My Favorite Bit, and 3 Good Things, and Liz Bourke interviewed me for her Sleeps With Monsters column on Tor.com.

The interesting part included a number of changes in publication schedule. The Time Roads is coming out much earlier than previously expected, which made for some exciting deadlines. Edge of the Empire and the rest of the River of Souls series are on hold for now. And the Firebirds #4 anthology, with my story The Ghost Dragon's Daughter, has been delayed to 2015.

All these delays mean I'm no longer under a crushing deadline. Which is both a relief and a little unnerving. I've decided to treat this an an opportunity and make this year the year I write for fun. Of course I want to sell more books to my publisher, but I also want to satisfy my own itches. My project list for the next year is, therefore, a mix of old and new.

So. To summarize last year, and give a peek into the next...

2013 Publications

Queen's Hunt, River of Souls #2, paperback reprint
Allegiance, River of Souls #3, hardcover
Thief of War, a River of Souls novella
The Science of Magic, flash fiction for Tor.com's Writing Prompts feature

2014 Publications

Allegiance, River of Souls #3, paperback reprint (rescheduled to July 2015 in tradepaperback)
The Time Roads, alternate history with mathematics and time travel, hardcover

2014 Projects

Nocturnall, a short story set 35 years after Allegiance (written in 2012, in rewrites)
Edge of the Empire, a prequel to the River of Souls trilogy (written in 2007, needs revision)
In The Presence of Her Enemies, Valara's return to Morennio├╣, (a draft exists, but it needs a complete rewrite)
St. Brendan's Isle, my Not-Mansfield-Park novel, with magic and polyamory

These projects might change depending on what happens through the year, but at the least, I will get the short story out to markets, and a proposal package for St. Brendan's Isle to my agent. From there, we'll see what happens.
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (collage)
I'm in between publishing deadlines at the moment, which leaves me both relieved and a bit disoriented. But I can tell my writing brain has recovered from the push to finish THE TIME ROADS, because all kinds of story ideas and images have been popping into head. Oh, but which one? Which one to choose?

A mix of three, I think.

One is a short story I call my coda to the River of Souls trilogy, which takes place thirty-five years after ALLEGIANCE. A draft is done and currently with a couple kind and generous readers.

One is EDGE OF THE EMPIRE. I wrote this novel back in 2007 and it shows. I want to revise the whole thing thoroughly—push the characters harder, follow through on consequences, get rid of the nice.

One is my Not-Mansfield-Park novel, which I'm tentatively calling St. Brendan's Isle. My plan is to write the first three chapters and a synopsis and see where to go from there. (The synopsis exists, but it's already out of date.)

And if I end up having more time, I also want to write the first three chapters to IN THE PRESENCE OF HER ENEMIES, which is the story of what happens after Valara returns to Morennio├╣.

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