All posts in the Writing category

Beware…. (being an announcement)

Published December 19, 2014 by christinenorris

1book24Hallo, Lovelies!

I got an early holiday gift this week. I submitted a short story, called The Watchmaker’s Ball, to Leap Books for consideration in their upcoming anthology, Beware the Little White Rabbit.  The anthology is being put together in honor of the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, which is next year.

I have never considered myself a strong short story writer. I write long. REALLY LONG, usually. But I wanted to give it a go. And I made it, just under the word count (6,000 words) and just on deadline. I never thought the story would get in, because there were SO many submissions, from around the world.

And I am not a short story writer.

The story I wrote, The Watchmaker’s Ball, is a twisted, steampunk take on the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party I connected it to A Curse of Ash and Iron, in a tangential way. I figured that if it was rejected, I would expand it and make it a novella and maybe sell it for .99 or give it away as a bonus to the novel.

But I don’t have to do that.

Because it was ACCEPTED. I’m IN, baby! I can hardly believe it. I had to read the letter three times to make sure.

Beware the Little White Rabbit will release in April, 2015. I have no idea who else is in or what their stories are about (except white rabbits and Alice). But the OFFICIAL announcement will come from Leap Books on December 31, along with the cover reveal.

Speaking of which… I am pretty sure the cover for A Curse of Ash and Iron will be done soon. I am working on setting up a cover reveal and such, probably around the end of January. No definite release date yet, but I assume I will have one sooner rather than later.

This Spring is going to be AWESOME.


Ten Questions With…Tiffany Trent

Published January 10, 2014 by christinenorris

I have a teeny-weeny confession to make. I’ve had this interview for MONTHS. I’ve been hanging on to it, never seeming to find the time to get it up here. But that works out well, actually, since Tiffany’s new book, THE TINKER KING, comes out next month! I personally loved THE UNNATURALISTS, and I can’t wait to get my grubby paws on the next book 🙂

I also have a bit of a fan-girl squee here: Tiffany and I BOTH have stories in a Steampunk Fairy-Tale anthology, GASLIGHT AND GRIMM, coming from Dark Quest books later this Spring. *squee*

Welcome to the blog, Tiffany. Tell us a little about yourself, and about THE TINKER KING.

THE TINKER KING is a sequel to THE UNNATURALISTS and follows the adventures of Syrus Reed, Vespa Nyx, and their friends as they struggle with the consequences of their actions in the previous book. In addition to THE TINKER KING, I’m the author of THE UNNATURALISTS and the HALLOWMERE series. I’ve also published short stories, essay, and poems. When I’m not writing, I’m usually out playing with my bees, chickens, or garden.

How did you come up with the idea for this book? What kinds of things inspired you? 

We knew we wanted a sequel to UNNATURALISTS. So much was left unfinished and I felt that Fairyland naturally had a long history before the Victorians arrived that would certainly influence its future once magic was again free. I was very inspired by a trip I’d taken to the Forbidden City in Beijing in 2005. The older parts of the city of Scientia were definitely influenced by my time in Beijing and my longing to visit Xian.

Tell us something no one else knows about the book—a ‘behind the scenes’ moment.

There was a character in this book that I have tried to put in every UNNATURALISTS book, and once again, I ended up having to yank her out at the 11th hour.

If you could go anywhere with your main character, where would it be? What would you do?

Despite the dangers, I would love to sail the Winedark Sea with Vespa and friends to Newtonia and the deserts beyond which are the homeland of Piskel the sylph.

What are five things most readers don’t know about you?

I…don’t know what they don’t know. J

Pantser or plotter?

A little of both, frankly.
Favorite junk food?

Trying to abstain from junk food, but I do have an almost irresistible fondness for strawberry-flavored soft Australian licorice.

Camping or hotel with room service?

I can no longer camp with any degree of comfort, but a B&B or cabin with a supportive bed is great.

What’s next for you?

Working on a middle-grade novel.

Anything else you want readers to know about THE TINKER KING?

It has airships and a Kraken and…well, I guess they’ll see in February 2014!!

New life for an old title — Book (re) Birthday!

Published November 4, 2013 by christinenorris

I think I’ve mentioned a time or two that I was working on a new version of my first book, The Talisman of Zandria.  It’s finally here! What’s new in this edition? I didn’t want to change the story, it was a nice storyline just the way it was.  What I did was apply all of the stuff I’ve learned about writing over the last decade to this nice little story. It is SO much better. I don’t know that I would necessarily written a story like this now, in today’s market, but I have enough kids that buy it that I thought it deserved a second chance.

It’s got a shiny new cover:


And a shiny new cover blurb:

Ivy Peterson is Less-Than-Ordinary. She’s so very Less-than-Ordinary that sometimes she feels invisible. She is also Not Very Brave. 
But part of her wishes she could be something More, that something Extraordinary and Completely Unusual would happen. What she forgets about wishes is that they do sometimes come true. 

Ivy accidentally falls into Zandria, a magical world that exists just outside her own. And she’s trapped there because someone has stolen the Talisman of Zandria, a magical amulet that controls the five gates the worlds. She and her new friends—the wizard Arden, his young apprentice Connor, and a pair of fairies—set off on a quest to recover the Talisman, a journey of discovery that will change Ivy in ways she never could have imagined.

And it’s expanded and revised! EXPANDED! REVISED! I think the original version clocked in somewhere around 50,000 words. This new edition is just a teensy bit longer, around 58,000 words. And you get A LOT for those 8,000 words. Cuts made for unnecessary dialogue tags! Expanded dialogue instead of description! (My favorite new part is the conversation Ivy has with Balthasar, the Dragon Prince) I have to dig out the old version and do some comparison posts. 

You can get a copy (or a new copy to compare to the old one if you bought it when it first came out, yanno EIGHT years ago), you can get one in Kindle , Nook or Paperback .  Hey, the old reviews are still up there, and I think they all apply.

If you’d like to add one, please feel free! I will warn you that the preview on the paperback (the ‘look inside’ feature) still has the old edition. BUT the Kindle edition has the current version if you’d like to take a peek.

Dream Launch

Published July 5, 2013 by christinenorris

I know it’s probably not right to dream about a launch party for a book that hasn’t yet been contracted. But since I went to this place earlier in the week with my family, it was hard not to.  Smoke & Mirrors, my historical fantasy/steampunk/fairy tale retelling book that is, at this moment, being considered by several publishers, takes place in 1876 Philadelphia. It was a big year for Philly, being the 100th anniversary of, yanno, becoming a country. That year (and I use it in the book) was the Centennial Exposition — the first World’s Fair ever held in the U.S. It covered the many, MANY acres that comprise Fairmount Park.

There are only a few buildings left from that event. Many were not meant to be permanent, with no central heating. Many were auctioned off and now live in different places, or were destroyed by fire. The largest buildings fell into disrepair and were demolished, unfortunately, and the Horticultural Hall was damaged beyond repair during Hurricane Hazel and knocked down. You can find out what happened to all of them HERE. A couple of buildings remain, , like the Ohio building, which is now a cafe:

And Memorial Hall:

Inside this beautiful building is the Please Touch Museum. Which is good, because it means the building is being used and cared for. The first floor has been preserved with all of the gorgeous plaster and high ceilings:

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On the upper floor is all of the exhibits for kids, but in the basement they have on one side a kids grocery store and a shoe store and a bunch of other Dramatic play areas. BUT on the other is a FABULOUS Alice in Wonderland setup (made me giddy), and in the center is an 1876 train depot, and an exhibit ALL about the Exposition. My inner writer squeed when I saw it. In the center is a HUGE model of the Expo:

2013-07-02 14.13.01

If I could have whatever kind of launch I wanted once this book gets published, I would want to have it at Memorial Hall. They do do weddings and such, it’s not like it’s totally out of the realm of possibility. I just don’t want to know what it would cost. I would have a big party with Steampunk/historical cosplayers, like Dorian’s Parlor peeps, as part of the fun. I would get myself a great outfit, complete with corset and bustle.

It’s fun to dream, huh…

If you could have any kind of party you wanted, anywhere, what would it be?

Pitcharama and the Art of (manuscript) Submission

Published July 1, 2013 by christinenorris

     Pitcharama was pretty fun. I enjoyed stalking my entry for 24 hours, following the Twitter hashtag, and rooting for my fellow Team Katie entrants. See, each member of the Aussie Owned and Read blog chose three each from the original entries to ‘sponsor’, I guess, in the contest. The editors came and I got three requests! One from Turquoise Morning Press, one from Escape Publishing (an Aussie imprint of Harlequin, if you can believe it), and one from Curiosity Quills. All small to smaller presses, all with something different to offer. Not that they will. Offer, that is.

These were just requests. And all three asked for something different — one wanted the whole manuscript, one wanted three chapters, one wanted five. Which is how submitting usually goes, everyone has different guidelines and you NEED  to, MUST, follow them. It doesn’t look good if you can’t follow basic directions. Either you look unprofessional, or you look like a jerk who thinks rules don’t apply to them.

So here we are, just waiting now. I also have the other publisher who has the manuscript and is still considering. They asked for more time, actually, because they were ‘intrigued’. It may end up being nothing, but intrigued is good. I like intrigued. Meanwhile, I chew my acrylic nails down to nubs and tell myself how I should be working on the new manuscripts and not checking my email every two minutes.

Ah, the glamorous, glorious life of a writer. You know you want it.

Pitcharama is here!

Published June 28, 2013 by christinenorris

If you remember, I posted an entry for Pitcharama HERE, a week or so ago. Well, I made it through to the editors round , which is TODAY. And so far I have three requests.

Why did I enter? Well, I have a manuscript ready to publish. Duh. Second, I wanted to see what other publishers think of the manuscript, publishers I’ve not considered before. And pitch contests are fun.  If you want to read mine, you have to get there TODAY, and click on the link to the right that says “Smoke & Mirrors”– YA.  (or just click the link to make it easy). You can read all the other pitches too, of course.  If you really want to…