writing

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Ch-ch-ch-changes

Published June 23, 2015 by christinenorris

Well, lovelies, it’s been a heckuva month! A CURSE OF ASH AND IRON released just over a month ago. And it’s done rather well, I think. The reviews have been overwhelmingly positive, which I am ecstatic about. When you write something, it’s always nerve-wracking to see what other people think. Because you love what you did, and you want others to, too. There are nearly 800 adds on Goodreads. I wish that even half of those people read and rate the book.

But, I’m afraid I dropped the ball a bit. Not my fault, though. I should have been pushing this book a little more, doing more blogging related to the book, etc… As we may recall, though, my computer died just before the release. Ugh. I just got it back about a week or so ago, and then I had to make it “mine” again. It was completely wiped, brand new hard drive. None of my pics or documents. Thanks GOODNESS for Dropbox and external hard drives! I don’t think I lost anything! Whew!

Meanwhile, I had about three weekend events in that month, where I promoted the book ‘in person’. Which was really fun, but exhausting.

And, well, as it is wont to do, life sneaks up on you. As of Wednesday, i will be unemployed. The reasons don’t even matter, the job just didn’t work out for either party. I’m okay with it. I loved my kids, I know how to do the job and I’m pretty darn good at it. But the position is one that has had a long string of people coming and going, and there are reasons for that. I’m just the next link in the chain. I wish them luck.

I’m looking for a new job, of course, but in the meanwhile I have a little time to think about what I want to do should something not pan out in the near future. II mean, it’s summer. I will be diving back into writing, of course, making it more of a priority. Getting back on track with marketing CURSE, since I am fully operational again on computer. Working on getting the newsletter up and running. Hopefully making more of a go on Patreon, now that I have time to spare. Updating my website.

It won’t all be work. Vacation with the family in a couple of weeks. Going to the lake. I have my crafts, so I think I will be sprucing up my Etsy store to see if I can infuse a little more cash in my life while unemployed. Looking for freelance work in the meantime. I edit. I copy edit. I’ve done professional rewriting from translated works. Need someone? Look me up.

So expect more blogs, more videos. All the stuff I should have been doing anyway if not for unexpected life happening. I have some ideas churning.

One door closed. Let’s see what’s going on down the hallway. Meanwhile, if you could buy a book, that’d be awesome.

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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.

The Blog is NOT Dead.

Published October 26, 2014 by christinenorris

Despite rumors to the contrary (oh, wait, there weren’t any? Oh well, that’s embarrassing.) this blog is not dead. Life has taken over and it’s been difficult to keep up. But, a quick update!

Everything is moving along nicely with A CURSE OF ASH AND IRON. I’ve turned in two rounds of edits, and the manuscript is off to the copy editor for proofing. I imagine that at some point in the near future I’ll get work that I need to turn in my cover art survey, so we can start working on that.

Curiosity Quills big-wigs say that we’re shooting for a release sometime in the late Spring of 2015. Which is good, because the end of the school year is always less busy, plus I do several events, like Balticon, where I can really push the promo. There have even been rumors of a BEA or BookCon thingy, but nothing concrete yet. I’m excited for the release, but we have a LONG way to go yet.

Meanwhile, I am trying to find time to write new and exciting stuff. November is coming, and while I’m not doing NaNoWriMo, I will be using the additional time off from work (teacher’s convention, Veteran’s day, T-giving) to get something moving in the spirit of the month of novel writing. Because I’m very far behind.

That’s it for now! Have a Happy Halloween, my darlings!

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:

TalismanofZandria300fs

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.

Blog Poll

Published August 13, 2013 by christinenorris

Okay, so I have been slacking. I admit it. I have spent the last few days in my basement studio, playing with clay, learning how the new oven works with the clay and what temperature to set it at so as to not burn the clay (I have thrown away quite a few items in the last few days), and working on new stuff.  I will post pics of them soon, because they are SO CUTE!

Not been blogging, and I need to catch up.  I have a list of things I COULD blog about, but I’d like to know what YOU want to see.

So, leave me a comment and let me know what kinds of things you want me to blog about. What god or goddess should be next? Do you have a business to suggest for my Geek Pick of the Week? Something cool for Media Monday? Suggest an author for me to interview for Ten Questions With…! Do you want some polymer clay and/or jewelry making tips? Publishing stuff? Writing stuff? More Vera stuff — what specifically? Another topic you want me to blog about?

Give me your suggestions!

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.