…or, reading, writing, coaching, oh my!
It’s been a minute since I updated my blog, mostly because the holiday season hit me like an overscheduled, frenetic, wrecking ball of joy and fun. To say I was upset about that would be a lie–I enjoyed almost every minute of it. To say that I’m looking forward to taking a few introvert days in a row would also not be misleading. I just got back from a three-day Reserve drill weekend, and I will be flying out again on Thursday to be a panelist, reader, workshop leader, and general fan attending Arisia 2019 in Boston. I’ll have a separate post later with my full dance card, but I hope to see you there!
Meanwhile, I’ve been taking stock of what it means to do this writing and coaching thing, and where I want to see it going.
First, a look back. In 2018, I finally broke through my block on writing a series, and finished the next four works in The Rick Keller Project. As it stands, the series includes the first novel, Cold Run, a 1.5 novelette, Night Run, the second novel, Vegas Run, and a 2.5 novella, Trial Run, all released from Untold Press. I’m currently working on the final novel, Winter Run, which got a little delayed by the crazy holiday season of travel and work, but I’m back on track, and should have a draft (and an awesome new cover!) in about a month.
I learned a lot this year, from how to make an effective Facebook ad, to how to start investigating using Amazon keywords and categorizing to maximize impact, to how to write a better blurb, logline, and query. I’ve had an urban fantasy novel, Steel-Toed Blues make it past the first rejection at a couple of places, which is pretty cool, especially since I think it’s a book that shows improvement on my part as a writer in developing characters and theme, and working with antagonists. I also wrapped up working with a long-term coaching client who finished his memoir! That was a really excellent experience, and taught me a lot about how to give effective, encouraging feedback.
And now for a look forward…
This year, I want to write and publish a series of paranormal romantic suspense novels under my romance pen name, using what I’ve learned to rapid release and build a following. I’ve been working on this project for a few months now, and am really enjoying exploring the genre further, planning, writing, and working on a publication plan. After Winter Run, this series will be my main effort for my full-length novel writing.
At the same time, I am going to step up my querying game with Steel-Toed Blues, refining my query, getting it out there, and working on some plotting so that if it gets accepted by a traditional publisher, I’ll be ready to go with finishing the trilogy.
I also plan to write and submit 12 short stories this year. I’ve already written two (an atompunk take on Helen of Troy, and a flash fiction romance), and submitted three (the first two, plus a steampunk detective story I’ve had rattling around). I’ve got a mecha SF short story planned, and am working on a short story that I plan to submit to a shared worlds anthology. Writing short fiction is a fun way to explore different genres, as well as being a storytelling challenge that I relish. It’s also, hopefully, a way to continue expanding my publication credits list.
As for coaching and editing, I am still open to clients wishing to develop their writing, whether it’s in-progress (coaching), or in need of a good developmental edit. I’m pretty easy to work with, I don’t require writers to send contracts, and I always send an invoice with the final product, not before. Giving feedback is something I enjoy doing, and I’m hoping to expand my client list in 2019.
And … I started a Facebook group, Crone Girls Press. Why did I do this? First, I wanted to have a place to invite friends and acquaintances to talk about fantasy and science fiction literature, as well as share what they’re working on, whether it be looking for ARC readers, blurb feedback, launch announcements or just recommendations for new books to read. Second, I would like to indie publish under two different names, and it seemed the best way to do this is to set up a business account that can accommodate such a thing. Lastly, I am planning on publishing a single-author anthology this fall by an author who is not me (more on this later), and my plan is to publish it under this company. So the group is to hang out, talk and share stories, and every once in a while, share a funny writing meme. Come check us out!
Last–but not least–I continue to move ahead with my MFA in Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University. I’m in the second of five terms, and have been learning a lot about how to improve my craft and my coaching techniques. This term, we begin planning the plot, characters, and premise of our thesis project. I’ve got a cool military fantasy project that has been percolating for a while, and I’m using this MFA to develop it. My goal is that my thesis novel (and series kickoff) will be a better piece of writing than anything I’ve done before.
I think that’s about all the news that fits at the moment. If you’d like to pick up one of my publications, check out the links above. If you’ve got an editing project you’d like me to take a look at, hit me up. If you’ve got some extra-strong coffee you’d like to donate to help me accomplish all of the in 2019, I will be forever grateful.