Category: writing

MEMORY THIEF in Chinese

memorythief_FacbeookIt’s a new week, and I’m still in Utah, but Saturday the news broke, and I wanted to share it with you lovely people. At the end of May I got an email out of the blue with the bestest of news: a Chinese publishing company (Beijing White Horse Time) has bought the Simplified Chinese rights to THE MEMORY THIEF. The news about the film deal caught their eye and brought extra attention to the novel.

It’s kind of strange blogging about something that I’ve known about for so long. It would be so much more fun to share the news right after I found out. But it seems like everything in publishing operates on a delayed schedule, so I get great news and then have to sit on it for a long time until the ink is dry.

What does this deal mean? Ideally, authors sell as few rights to their work as possible with each deal. Publishers would love to get World Rights: the right to publish the book in any language and country in the world. Authors try to just sell North American Rights, which is what I did with MEMORY THIEF. That frees me up to sell the book in as many markets as I can. (Germany, France, Indonesia, China, etc. Basically each country is a different market.)

Some markets pay a lot, some pay a little. In this case, I almost got as much for the Chinese rights as I did for the North American Rights, so it was a fantastic surprise. Better yet, it’s another advance, meaning it’s money I get right away. And the most fantastic thing about it is that I didn’t have to do anything else other than sign a contract. No revisions. No drafts. No nothing.

The Chinese publisher will take care of translation, getting a cover, and all that jazz. I just get to sit back and look forward to seeing my writing in a new language at some point in the future.

It’s my first international sale, and that feels like a great threshold to cross. Maybe the interest from China will catch other countries’ eyes. Who knows? But for today, I’m just happy things continue to move forward so nicely.

Huzzah!

Revising on a Fast Turnaround

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If you’ve been following me on social media, you’ll know that I finished the first draft of MEMORY THIEF 2 last Saturday. It clocked in at around 66,000 words, and I’m pretty happy with it, as far as first drafts go. It does the main thing I want my first drafts to do, which is get the basic events of the book down on paper, so that I can take a look at what’s happening and see where I need to revise things into shape.

I’m really big on revision. My first drafts need a lot of work to bring them up to shape, mainly because I typically make most of them up as I go along. It isn’t until the whole draft is finished that I really understand what the book is about. I get that isn’t necessarily the most efficient way to write a book, but it’s what works best for me.

My usual approach is to set the first draft aside for a half year or so after I finish it. Go off and write a different book, or else revise a book I’d written earlier. The thought behind this is that I’ll have forgotten enough of the book to be able to read it with “fresh eyes,” seeing it as if I hadn’t written it. I’m always worried I’ll go easy on a book I wrote, not being able to see the imperfections that will leap off the page to others.

With the MEMORY THIEF sequel, I don’t have this luxury.

The final draft is due in August. If I took 6 months off, I wouldn’t be coming back to the book until October, two months late. So I can’t very well sit back and do nothing. And as I thought about the problem, I realized some of this might just be that it’s time for me to handle my revisions differently. When I’ve revised MEMORY THIEF and VODNIK, there were times when I had to just plow through a revision, and forget all about needing fresh eyes.

So two days ago (just four days after having finished the first draft) I printed out the book and am rereading it from the beginning.

Right off, I’m seeing some good things from this approach. I remember what happens at the end of the book, for one thing, so I can spot places where I need to set things up better than I thought I had. I certainly feel like I’ve been able to write plenty of comments down for ways to improve the book. And somehow, I forgot enough about the beginning that I’m still feeling like I’m encountering it fairly fresh.

Some of this might changes as I get further into the book. Will I still be able to be objective when it’s with material I just barely wrote a month ago? We shall see. But I’m always open to switching things up with my writing. Maybe I’ll discover I’ve been sitting on books too long, or unnecessarily. Certainly having an editor already on board to look at it and give me feedback makes a huge difference.

I should also note that with this draft, I had a pretty strong outline that had already gotten feedback from my agents and editor, which is different than how I’ve worked in the past. I still anticipate making changes in the revision, but the skeleton should be fairly strong and constant. That will no doubt make a big difference.

I’m not sharing much in the way of details of the sequel just yet, mainly because I want to make sure my editor is happy with the book in general before I say too much about it. I don’t want readers to be getting excited for something, only to have it totally get switched on them before it gets published. So stay tuned for more information . . .

Sign Up for My Author Email List

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It occurred to me Friday that I really ought to have an author email list. An easy way for fans to sign up to get updates from me about my writing and my books. Yes, there’s this blog, and I keep it up to date, but it’s requires you to be an active participant. You have to go looking for my page to find out what I’ve been up to, and even once you’ve found it, it’s not like I write updates all the time. You’d have to sort through the posts to find the latest and greatest.

If you miss the post where I talk about my new book or a new release coming out, then it’s doubtful you’ll ever see it unless you really dig.

I’m active on social media, but in those cases, I’m at the mercy of Facebook’s algorithms. The big blue F has really upped its game when its come to trying to use it as a way to stay connected with fans. They’ll gladly let a few people see a post, and then remind you that you can pay more to have it be promoted. Thanks but not thanks, Facebook. Twitter, on the other hand, is very hit or miss. You might get some good retweets of a post, but you’re once again at the mercy of the gods of luck to hope that your fans see a post.

I’m reminded of this fairly often, whenever I talk to a friend or family member and they’re surprised I have another book out, or that I have a new one coming next summer. For all the writing and posting I do online, I feel like I’m already pushy enough. And yet so many people still don’t hear about the latest and greatest.

That’s where the email list comes in. Sign up once, and be passively informed about everything I’m up to. It’ll be delivered straight to your email. No need for you to go hunting anywhere. I promise not to get spammy with things. No more than one post a month, and probably fewer than that. I want it to be so that when something comes out from me, people pay attention and actually read it. Know what I mean?

I should have started this a long time ago, but that’s no reason to not start it now. Just fill out the Google form below, and you’ll be signed up right away. Thanks for reading!

Heavy Meta: Interview with Bryce Moore

Suffering from election fatigue? Have I got you covered! Listen to me talk about anything *but* the election for once. It’s a recording of this week’s edition of my radio show!

Granted, it’s sort of a podcast where I’m a special guest on my own podcast, but I didn’t ask the questions (and I didn’t know what they’d be ahead of time), so it’s not like this was staged or anything. Just a good old fashioned 20 minute discussion about my thoughts on writing. I thought it turned out pretty well, though perhaps I’m biased.

As a bonus, there’s a top 10 list of movies about writers and writing, made up by yours truly. Tell me how badly I messed it up.

(And go vote if you haven’t already!)

Writing Update: I’m Officially Over the Million Word Mark!

It’s (once again) been a while since I gave you all an update on my writing. So I suppose today’s as good a day as any to right that wrong. Interested to hear where I am on any particular project? Here’s a quick rundown of my books, in the order they were written:

  1. Into the Elevator–First book. 67,000 words. Will never see the light of day.
  2. Blood Countess–Second book. 15,000 words (I think I’ve lost a good chunk of writing somewhere. This is all I can find now, though.) Was to be a collaboration. I wrote my half. Will never see the light of day. (Though it did feature a Vodnik as the villain, so I suppose some of this book eventually meandered its way to publication. If I were to write a sequel to Vodnik, this is one area that is a possibility for exploration, as the setting is only a few miles from Trencin.)
  3. Weaver of Dreams–112,000 words. I’ve toyed with rewriting this one from time to time. I really like the concept, but when I went back to read it, I was horrified by the text. Probably will never see the light of day.
  4. Cavern of Babel–PUBLISHED! 37,000 words (89,000 total for the whole trilogy) You can read it this instant on Kindle. If you want a print copy, I’ll sell those for $5 pretty much wherever I go. Just let me know ahead of time you want one. (I actually wrote two sequels to this, but I lump them in with this single book. Odds of them getting published? Slim to none. Though I will say the name of the first sequel would be City of Lost Alpacas.)
  5. Adventures of Barboy–48,000 words. Medieval fantasy romp. Will never see the light of day.
  6. Vodnik–PUBLISHED! 106,000 words. You can read it right this instant.
  7. Ichabod–71,000 words. One of my personal favorite books, though I do wonder if it would stand up to the memory if/when I reread it. I’ve toyed with self-publishing this for a long time. You never know . . .
  8. Pawn of the Dead–65,000 words. Essentially a rewrite of Adventures of Barboy, set in my hometown and the present day. Slim chance of it ever seeing the light of day, though I suppose I could self-publish it. It wasn’t bad, from what I remember.
  9. Tarnhelm–81,000 words. YA noir fantasy. Currently in submission limbo. Would love to get it published, but it might take a long time to get there. Not planning of self-publishing this one, as I think it’s good enough for professional publication.
  10. Get Cupid–70,000 words. Never going to see the light of day, but pieces got cannibalized in a later book.
  11. Memory Thief–PUBLISHED! 55,000 words. You can buy it right this instant. (Not available as an ebook yet.)
  12. Our Lady of Questionable Morals–92,000 words. Currently on submission. I love this book. I really hope you all get to read it someday.
  13. Book Binder’s Curse–55,000 words. A Peter Pan adaptation. I personally really like it, but other readers . . . not so much. Doubtful this will ever see the light of day.
  14. Magic at 30,000 Feet–65,000 words. Fourth draft is complete and currently on the desk of my agent. I would love to get this out on submission this year.
  15. Utopia–87,000 words. First draft is complete. I’m giving myself some space before I go back to read it, because this book is either crazy awesome or just plain crazy, and I need perspective to be able to judge it. I had a blast writing it, though . . . My first science fiction book, too.

Grand total? 1,078,000 words of actual finished text! Which means finishing Utopia was the book that officially brought me past my million word mark. I had no idea I’d actually written that many words, and that doesn’t include 7 projects that I started and made a good amount of progress in before I abandoned them.

And that brings us to the present day, where I’m excited to announce I’ve officially begun work on book #16. Codename: Murder Castle. I’ll go light on details for now, but I’ll say a few things about it:

  • It’s my first non-fantasy, non-sci-fi book. Straight up historical murder mystery/suspense.
  • It’s still YA (of course), though the plan is for it to be on the older side of YA.
  • I’m already 6,000 words into the book, give or take. (I’m free writing at the moment, getting a sense of the voice and exploring a few scenes scattered across the story. I have an idea of the plot, but it might get refined some more.)
  • My main character is the third female POV character I’ve written. My first two books had girls in the starring role, but I haven’t written one since. (Well, technically Buttersby in Cavern of Babel is female, but I’m going to say alpacas don’t quite count the same way.)

It feels great to be writing new material again. It brings its own set of difficulties (getting to know a new POV character well enough to write them and do them justice, figuring out plot tangles, etc.), but I love it.

Here’s to anothe million!

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