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Archive for the ‘Young adult’ Category

I am so excited by my new book’s cover! It is very fab and slick and awesome.

I won’t keep you waiting. I’ll put it up again when the blurb is out there in Internet land. The book is due out on May 8 from Escape Publishing. It’s a sequel to Rayessa and the Space Pirates, but has a different point of view character. I think it’s more SF romance for YA than Rayessa was, but that’s up for you readers to decide. It’s short, under 40,000 words.

Isn’t it fine!Rae and Essa Space Adventures

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Emerald Fire is the sequel to Ruby Heart (currently looking for a home with trusty agent). This is a young adult (maybe) steam punk, Victorian gothic horror, romance (yeah!). I don’t normally posts bit of my work, particularly first drafts, but I’ve just opened up Emerald Fire, which I started two years ago. After  that long a break, I still love the opening.

Edit: Ah alas. I had to take it down. I realised that it contains spoilers. So sorry.

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After Conflux9, after the retreat, I’ve been busy working on the stuff I need to do for my Masters in Creative Writing. This year I am doing a manuscript writing workshop component and this semester Cultural Research. I’m almost there. Friday is D day.

The reason I’m blogging is that I’m really excited about my fiction component, the manuscript I am doing for my Masters. The goal is to write 20,000 words across the year. Last year it was 50,000 words but it changed this year. So this sounds easy right? Actually the word count doesn’t bother me so much. With Conflux9 I’d only been writing uni stuff anyhow-just.

So writing is not a big deal. I can do word count and I had a number of ideas to work from. Note ideas, not outlines. I chose a story called Into the Dark Glass. It was an idea I got when an editor and I were discussing Argenterra, a fantasy with romance that I had submitted. To make it a romance fantasy I would have needed to gut the story and have it focus on just one couple, with less world building. I’ve almost finished that trilogy and thought I may as well write a new story than gutting the old one. That’s when the idea for Into the Dark Glass came. Just the idea about the girl, the mirror and the guy and the world being steampunk.

I started the course and had to hand in the first 500 words and a 250 word pitch. Easy peasy. You think? I still didn’t have an outline of the plot. I couldn’t find the girl’s voice and kept changing her name and his name. His voice was easy. A month later we had to hand in 2000 words and do a presentation. I managed that, but I still had issues with the girl’s voice and I had enough plot for three chapters. However, the way we were doing this manuscript was completely against what I’d normally do. I don’t stop and polish and submit, I keep writing.

The next big challenge for me was that I wanted to lift the bar, push myself higher in the writing game. I’d chosen a young adult/romance/fantasy in an alternative steampunk world. I wanted it to rock. I was nearly pulling my hair out with the girl’s voice. I usually get it eventually but I hadn’t written enough of the story to get to know her. I had to keep going back. After the presentation, where I confessed I was having a tough time of the voice, I got it. The whole thing fitted into place. I rewrote the first chapter. At the retreat I did the next two. I wrote another 15,000 words of the story. I finally figured out what the Lady of the Dark did and then near the end of the retreat the rest of the plot came to me on waking so I jotted the notes down on the Ipad.

I had reached a point where I could relax. I got Matthew to read it and he said it was the best he’d seen from me. (He’s not read everything of mine but it was a huge compliment). He said there were a few little things. My spirits soared after that because my revisions had aced it (to my mind).

Today I read it through and  it does rock. (I know I’m not supposed to say that but it really does). I leaped the bar I’d set myself. I got her voice, pace, action and a bit of attraction going. I’ve uploaded the bugger now!

Now I just have to finish the story, which I think might be 80,000 to 100,000 words and submit it somewhere. I plan to submit the final chapters for second semester. That’s if the excitement wears off. I’m finding it hard to settle down. (too much or too little stimulation)

I must return to the research project now.  I will be disseminating my research paper here at a later date. Like when I get my marks and feel that it’s good enough.

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So over on the Australian Romance Readers’ blog, I have a release day post.

Head on over and check it out.

There is a give away for ARRA members. Leave a comment to be in the draw.

It’s a very cool day today.

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So continuing on with the promotional stuff I have added a Facebook page for Rayessa and her own Twitter Account. She’s a bit wary because she’s stuck on an asteroid and doesn’t know anyone except Gris and various and dubious space pirates.

Her facebook page is here. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rayessa-the-Space-Pirates/413707248709192

On Twitter she’s @RayessaSpacePir

And her blog is here http://rayessaandthespacepirates.wordpress.com

More stuff to come. I have to put the thinking cap on. On 10 January, Alwin Anton is going to come to the rescue.

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This morning I created a dedicated Rayessa & the Space Pirates’ blog, which is to be focussed on readers. All the fun stuff I am doing for the launch will end up there and maybe a kind of diary of Rayessa’s life until the time when the story starts.

I’m happy for you to pop over and take a look. http://rayessaandthespacepirates.wordpress.com/

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So I believe since my editor has mentioned the title during her blog tour, I can now mention it here. Kate Cuthbert is doing a blog tour and the interviews are interesting. Somehow she manages to vary the content or the particular personality of the interviewer puts a different slant on things. Links the her interviews are available here. I particularly liked yesterday’s one with Novels on the Run here.

So my young adult novella, Rayessa and the Space Pirates, is going to be released January 10. Nicole Murphy and I are going to brainstorm on the weekend about how I can celebrate the occasion with my friends. As the story features space pirates and a Centauri slave market, I’m thinking of a themed party where people come as space pirates (with a funny name to go with it) or in a’ I dream of Jeanie’ type costume (or male equivalent). I will have to think up some punch to go with it. (As a bit of history I am renown locally for themed parties, such as the Bad Taste Movie night (no dress required), Daggy Zombie Party (dress in clothes you wouldn’t be caught dead in) and the time travel theme for my 50th.) I’ve been busy of late with work so I haven’t done anything themed for a bit.

Where was I? Rayessa and the Space Pirates. This story started as a short story for a local anthology from CSFG Publishing called, Elsewhere edited by Michael Barry. However, at the time it was the longest short story I’d ever written (early days back in 2003) and I was thinking about how to end it when the space pirates turned up. I thought to myself, well that’s not helpful and gave up on it as a short story. I kept writing though wanting to find out what happened next. I ended up with my first novella. I sent it to couple of beta readers, young people mostly but their parents read it. I got feedback on the title, which was Lost Heritage back then and prior to that Space Audit. One parent said it was soft porn (which was shocking because there is no sex-though that might have been the tentacle reference) and the other parent suggested that a character was a bit risque at the end (one of the walk ins). Another beta reader, lovely Chris Andrews, gave me feedback. The most important dealing with a side character Gris. His suggestion was very helpful and made my main character better rounded as a result. Then it sat in my hard drive for many years.

I submitted it to a science fiction anthology looking at novellas. The comment was I liked it but not right. ( I thought year right. Humouring me). I sent it to a big publishing house where it was sent to the children’s section. Nice comments but rejected. I sent it to a small publishing house, which after many, many months I got a standard rejection. That’s it. That’s all it took for me to lose heart.

Over on the Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild’s email list we’ve been discussing rejections and how many times people have been rejected before getting sold. I learned that I’m an utter wimp and that I give up way to easily and for many years words of encouragement were disregarded. I thought those editors were humouring me, just being nice. So for nine long years Rayessa and the Space Pirates didn’t get out much at all. My partner Matthew read it and liked it, but you know I didn’t believe him either. Most of my other friends haven’t read it. It was that deep in my hard drive.

There is a story here. Don’t give up. Don’t let negative self talk get in  your way. I did. I was my own worst enemy.

I wrote Rayessa and the Space Pirates as an adventure story. It was only at the Romance Writers of Australia Conference in August that I also saw that it had a romance arc. (so I have cognitive issues as well so bite me). It was Harlequin’s announcement of Escape, their new digital imprint, that made me go back and look at the things that I write. There’s romance everywhere.

Digital publishing-so Rayessa and the Space Pirates is going to be digitally published. You know, I hadn’t given that medium much thought either until (the conference) and talking to Nicole Murphy. I have read ebooks, of course, mostly Angry Robot titles but I hadn’t thought about it. It’s growing of course, but I understand for romance it is already big.

I get with the Escape Publishing’s vision of bringing more titles to readers, of taking risks because there certainly has been a contraction in the print market. I’m grateful Kate and Keran inspired me to submit something. For me, a novella, is a toe in the water. I have other stuff hiding in my hard drive and other more recent stuff looking for agent and that dream deal. Fingers crossed I’ll get more published in future. I like the versatility of the digital medium. Put an ereader on your Christmas list.

A Rayessa and the Space Pirates teaser? Rae has been living on asteroid refueling station with just Gris, a brain damaged fellow, as company. They eke out an existence selling scrap from the station and a small hydroponics bay. One day a ship comes in, bringing an auditor from Allearth Corp and Rae’s life becomes very complicated.

This story was so much fun to write. I love the characters and the jokes and I love the imaginary world of the future where humans are living out in the solar system and beyond. Yes, the hero is an auditor. Odd I know. But I’m an auditor so I guess it’s a bit of write what you know.

I don’t as yet have a cover. (You can’t imagine the anticipation I am experiencing right now waiting to see it) but when I do and when I’m allowed, I’ll be sharing that with you, whether you like it or not.

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