Another Tuesday. Another newsletter from yours truly.
So, here’s a snippet of news.
My next project will be a spin-off from the Dalthia series. It takes place in the same world. We’ll see some of the princesses. My main characters will be familiar to you because they appeared in the Books of Dalthia.
When writing a book, there are a lot of different levels of finished. With Just Ella, the first time that I “finished” it, it wasn’t really finished at all. I’d completed the plot. There was a beginning, a middle, and an end. That’s good. It’s a huge step in the process, but it’s so far from being the end.
I’ve accumulated a pretty hefty list of songs that feel like they speak to my characters, so this time, instead of just doing one playlist, I’m going to divide it into two. This week I’m focusing on the songs that seem like they could be from Libby’s point of view, or have the dual point of view of both characters. And next week I’ll share Sean’s songs.
So, in celebration of Songs for Libby being released in only NINE DAYS, here are their songs.
Lest I scare you off with the angst and heaviness of the rest of the songs, I’ll start with the song that I associate with the end of the book. 🙂
This indie-author thing that I’m doing—it’s hard. And frustrating. And I seriously don’t know what I’m doing sometimes. All my marketing and launch ideas feel like one giant crapshoot. Will they work? Won’t they?
I’ve mentioned beta readers several times and I’ve had a handful of people ask me what the heck they are.
It’s like beta testing a product. When you develop computer software or hardware, you have to beta test it before you start to sell it for real money. There will always be coding issues that need to be fixed, so developers have to debug it so that users don’t waste their hard-earned cash on something that’s going to have issues.
Same thing with books. It’s a product, and my readers spend their hard-earned money on it, so I don’t want to sell them a product that is defective.
Back before I published my first book, I exercised my writing muscles in a lot of different ways. I loaded my chapters onto a critique website and got feedback from a bunch of random strangers on the internet. In turn, I’d read their stuff and give them feedback. That format taught me how to better take criticism, whether that meant swallowing my pride and killing my darlings, or if it meant disregarding their comments because they were so far from my target audience that I had to filter some of their comments as irrelevant.
It also had the added benefit of teaching me how to give feedback. This is a learned skill. I’ve searched enough for useful beta readers to know that not everyone has that skill. It’s not just about reading it and giving a thumbs up or thumbs down. Good feedback only comes when the reader is able to identify that something in the writing isn’t sitting right with them, then identifying WHY that is, and then being able to come up with a possible solution. On top of all of that, they have to have the ability to articulate all of that information to the person whose work they are critiquing.
The past couple weeks I’ve been doing my best to write the blurb for my next book. If you’re familiar with my ramblings, you probably know that I have a hard time with that particular aspect of preparing to publish. How do I make my story sound amazing and enticing, while also being completely honest about what kind of book it is and what people should expect, but without sharing so much information that it lands in spoiler territory? I’m crossing my fingers that it looks something like this:
That elusive, fickle, fiendish angel that all artists seek and grasp for and long to hold on to.
Sometimes we call it the muse. Or inspiration. Sometimes we see it as a benevolent wisp or magic, empowering us and sending the thing we create into a higher, more transcendent space. It is our saving grace, making us brighter and better.
My sister visited me last week. We got into a conversation about how we grew up, what our relationships were like with our siblings then, and what they are now. How much we know each other, how much we don’t.
That led to a discussion about how I view myself as an adult. I was an emotional and very sensitive kid, and I think that led me to believe that I would be an emotionally needy adult. But now, looking back on close to twenty years of adulting, it surprises me to realize how comfortable I am being emotionally independent. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I just really need a hug from my husband, but I don’t feel the need to reach out to people very often. I don’t know if that’s an introvert thing, or a social thing, or something else. Regardless, I’ve decided that it’s not a good thing or a bad thing, it’s just different from what I expected I would become.
I wonder how many times we do that to ourselves. How often do we pigeon hole ourselves into a space that we think we fit—or that we think others expect us to occupy—without ever realizing that that isn’t us, at least not anymore.
The first time I met my husband’s father was, shall we say, memorable. My father-in-law was an engineer. Cerebral. Quiet. Logical.
I went to their house to meet the family and we played one of their favorite games. My husband told me beforehand that while his mom would welcome me with an effusive hug and probably ask me to call her mom, his dad would likely just nod, say “nice to meet you” and that would be it.