Juggling…

I have a few books that I am working on. The Vampiress Sagas, of course, is the one at the very front of my work load.  There are more though.  I have been working on a comedy sci-fi that I truly hope is funny.  Another one that I’m working on is a YA fantasy.  Then I have family life, kids with school, husband just back to work, and (for those of you who don’t know… I’m finally talking) in September I’m due to have another baby.  So, yeah, right now I’m juggling.
The Vampiress Sagas is my prime, ‘you have to work on this’ book.  There will be four in that series when it is done.  But there will also be a planned three in another series with a large amount of the same characters.  I’ve fallen in love (or a wonderful dislike) with most of the heroes, villains, and anybodies in this series that I don’t know if I will ever tire of working with them. (Ahhhh, warm fuzzies.)
The sci-fi book is my second priority with work, and the one my husband is dying to read the most.  He absolutely loves the storyline.  He loves the others too, it’s just this one makes him laugh and it tests some of my boundaries.  I’m writing this one a little differently, and working on changing some of my style… just for this book.  I work on this story when I’m in a more playful mood and just can’t settle into my vampire world.  This book also takes very little historical research.  So if I’m stuck in a doctor’s office for an hour I can just freely type without having to worry about investigating the past.
Just like with The Vampiress Sagas my YA fantasy has been in my head for years.  When I was in high school I wrote a short story of it in a journal.  I’ve also, over the years, have had several dreams with this storyline.  I work on this when I’m in a dreamy mood.  And although the characters in this book and the sci-fi one are fun, enjoyable, completely developed, I just can’t see either being more than one book worth, so no sequels are planned.
There is also an additional book that I have to start thinking about… I think it will be a novella.  My 10 year old requested that I write a werewolf book.  I’m going to need to think about it very carefully.  I’ve never planned on writing anything with werewolves.  I’ve loved and enjoyed several movies and books featuring or ‘starring’ them, I just never planned on this.  I think it’ll be a challenge, but one I’m sure I can handle.  I’m only doing it because she was a little broken hearted that my vampire book had sharks, zombies, and vampires, but not her favorite… the werewolf.  I still will not add one in my vampire world because they don’t work there, but I will write a story just for her.
My husband started back to work two weeks ago, but his students just came back last week.  He has been upset about the lack of reading that will go on this year.  His school, like so many others, got rid of their AR reading program and they are not getting another reading program in its place.  With him being the high school librarian he is going to need to come up with an incentive program for the kids or most of them will never read.  It’s really sad.  My daughters start back soon and they are both a little eager.  And everyone wishes that my due date was in July so we could have started the adjustment period with the new baby when the family was all at home.
So here I am working on three different stories, while trying to think of a fourth.  My husband and kids are getting ready for school and my baby is getting ready for her big day… the day that will always be her birthday.

Here is my little question/s for you… How many books are you taking on at once?  And if you are also adjusting to the new school year, how are you taking it?

August, September, October, November…

I have not counted days, weeks, and months like this since I was expecting my daughters.
Here’s what my chart thingy/timeline looks like right now.  I still don’t have any clue when my book will be done.  I know I’m close.  I know that even though I am close bad things can still happen.  I know I’ll have one more look at everything before it’s ready to be finished.  I don’t know how long that will take on their side, but from what I understand on my side it should just be a quick check and a stamp of approval.  I’m still hoping everything will be done before the Holidays

Send Marketing Success Workbook 08/03/2009 Ready  
Implement Proofreading Cover Corrections 11/10/2009 Active  
QA Proofreading Interior Modifications 11/10/2009 Ready  
Submit Materials 07/29/2009 Success  
Evaluate Manuscript 08/03/2009 Success  
EE Preparation 08/04/2009 Success  
Conduct Editorial Evaluation 08/04/2009 Success  
Conduct Evaluation QA 08/13/2009 Success  
Send Evaluation to Author 08/13/2009 Success  
Author Review Evaluation 08/17/2009 Success  
Editorial Consultation 08/17/2009 Success  
Submit Revised MS-Post Eval 08/28/2009 Success  
Conduct edit 08/28/2009 Success  
Conduct Edit QA 09/11/2009 Success  
Send Edit to Author 09/15/2009 Success  
Assign PSA to Project 09/24/2009 Success  
Prepare for Design 09/24/2009 Success  
Polish Cover Copy 09/24/2009 Success  
Setup Proofreading 09/30/2009 Success  
Design Interior 10/01/2009 Success  
Design Cover 10/01/2009 Success  
Author Review Edit 09/18/2009 Success  
Conduct Interior QA 10/02/2009 Success  
Conduct Cover Design QA 10/05/2009 Success  
Submit Final MS – Edit 10/06/2009 Success  
Confirm Proofreading Readiness 10/06/2009 Success  
Conduct Proofreading 10/06/2009 Success  
Conduct Proofreading QA 10/29/2009 Success  
Send Proofread to Author 10/29/2009 Success  
Author Review Proofreading Interior 10/29/2009 Success  
Author Review Proofreading Cover 10/29/2009 Success  
Submit Proofreading Corrections 11/10/2009 Success  
Implement Proofreading Interior Corrections 11/10/2009 Success  

A story within a story…

I’ve really been having a hard time thinking of what to put in a blog while I’m waiting. I called about the postponement on my proofread and was told it was just the editor. They must have had too much on their plate.
I’ve cleaned… a lot. My youngest daughter had a birthday, I had an anniversary, and the day before Halloween my oldest will be 13. She was born at 8:11pm… so close, she almost made it.
I have been typing some, not as much as I wished though. I’ve edited the second book, and I’m really happy with it. I got to the part that I wanted to get passed in book 3. Plus I am about 17,000 words into book 3. There were like 3 or 4 chapters that had to be in there that I just wanted to get past because to me it felt like… well, hum? Imagine it’s your 8th birthday; you’re getting to have a big birthday party. All of your friends are going to be there. There will be cake, gifts, ice cream, balloons, and your grandparents promised you something ‘really big’. Your party is after lunch. You woke up early in anticipation of the big day. You had breakfast, got ready, and as soon as you could convince your mom, ate lunch. Lunch was a little early because you have very little patience today. You asked your mom about 8,000 times “When?” “What time is it?” and “How much longer do I have to wait?” and your mom is getting a little upset with you over this, so you go and stand by the window. You stare out at the front yard. You stare for what feels like hours and hours. You wish for nothing more but your friends to show up in one big bus that your grandparents are driving. But, no, they all come slowly. First your dad shows up with the birthday cake, you had no idea dad had even left because you want your friends here so badly. Dad shows you what the cake looks like, you smile when you see it, but you keep glancing over to the window with the little kid desire for the guests to arrive. The next guest who shows up is your little cousin; the one guest you wish hadn’t shown up at all. They want to play but you want to wait by that window. You want to see who will be next. Your mom nags you to play with your little cousin you just can’t pull yourself away from that window. The next person shows up, finally a friend. They are just as excited as you and neither of you can tear your eyes away from that window. Where is everyone and why don’t they get here? You want your gifts, your cake, to play games, the balloons. A few more friends show up, and slowly a few more. You are still looking at the window every few minutes but you are no longer standing in front of it. Everyone is there but your grandparents. You have to wait. You think of the last time grandma and grandpa took you for an ice cream and you were sure it took grandpa twice as long to get to the sweetshop as it does your father. After a while they arrive with a really big gift. Now your birthday party is set in motion, everything is wonderful and happy. You don’t even mind your little cousin like you did at first. Over all, you are very happy. Your mom comes in and tells everyone it’s time for cake, then games, then presents. The world is well. My story was at the wait for the guests to arrive point. It is just as important as the party, even a little more so, but now I can write about the excitement, expectation, adventures, conflict, and much more. Yes, the first chapters had some of that. Like the cake showing up at the party and the little cousin, but the best stuff is yet to come.
I just realized there is a part of me that would love to be 8 again and have my worst worries be when can the party start, rather than the grown ups worry of getting it ready, making everyone happy, cleaning up, and so on. But there is another part of me that is so glad I don’t have to worry about all the little things that used to get me in trouble.
Oh and next month I should have my website.  I’ve got my fingers crossed, legs crossed, and eyes crossed, don’t ask me how I’m typing this, I just am. 🙂

The edit is done and back in my hands…

I am so happy… that happy is too simple of a word.  Stoked, excited, thrilled, wowed, awesomely surprised, OOoooOOOOooooOOOOOo yeah, overjoyed, tickled, giggly, giddy, just overly happy, so if you’re in the mood to be grumpy then I’m sorry, you might want to read this when you’re in the mood to hear someone who is in a super great mood!!!

After I made the post I made today I (of course) received my finished content edit.  It looks good.  I’ve only glanced at it.  There are a lot of little marks on the side where they changed little things.  I get to decide whether or not it stays like this.  They also sent me a personal letter where they told me that they really enjoyed two of my main characters, working on the manuscript, and they like my perspective.  🙂  They also said that they look forward to reading the next book in the series.  This made me feel really good because none of those were things they had to say.  And when a person doesn’t have to say it, they usually mean it, especially since they are anonymous.  From what I understand I should get a chance to thank them at some point.  But that is a little murky, do I get to send them an e-mail and know their name or what?  At first it sounded like I will know who they are and maybe get to send an e-mail to my middle man (who is awesome) and then they pass it over to them.  Or I might get a chance to tell them thanks on the phone… but really everything there has been a little unclear.  I’ll need to ask again.  Almost everything I have asked has been a great, straight forward answer, so I’ll ask again.
They (iUniverse) offer an Editorial Assistant that would cost $60 per hour and the estimated time for my book is 11 hours.  Mine would then cost about $660.  I could pay for it easily, but I want to do this.  I want to learn what my weaknesses are.  I want to work on my book.  I didn’t write this to have others to do it for me.  I’m doing it and enjoying it, even the little setbacks are a wonderful lesson.  I love it!
They want me to try and do this in 2 weeks.  I talked to my middle man, who is more than just that.  I will get in to all that he does later.  Anyway I talked to him and he told me that the 2 weeks there are to push me.  He said that with the big boy publishers in NY I would not be given a requested 2 weeks, they would be telling me, “You have 2 weeks to finish it.”  I will do all I can to finish it by the ‘deadline’ we’ll see if I can.
My middle man is really cool.  He told me if I get writers block to call him and he will do everything he can to help me out.  He thanked me so much for taking this so seriously.  He complemented me about it and made me blush.  (I don’t do well on complements from anyone; I always blush when given them.)  He has answered my questions pretty well and over all I would give him 5 out of 5 stars for being helpful, professional, friendly, good sense of humor, knowledgeable, and usually explains things very well.  I’m very happy with him, so much so that I plan on requesting him with any of the books I plan on doing with iUniverse.
As I go though this (if I can) I will stop and make small blogs to let everyone know what is going on, how it looks, if it’s confusing, and so on.  If I do not get a chance I will let everyone know when I’m done.
I’m really happy about getting back to work on my book!!!  YAY!!!

FYI ~ Old posts from Myspace…

Working on working

Posted July 24

So today I am going to sit down and go over what my husband edited from my book.  This might take a week.  We decided that while we wait he would run over everything.  So I printed it out (he did not want to tamper with my original work)… wait I am being me I should start this at the beginning…
My husband is and English teacher, he has now had a library credential and works in the school library.  He also does book reviews for a magazine.  So asking my husband to help with the editing is a good idea.  There that should shed a little light where it might be needed.
He read my book from start to finish then told me to add more detail to a few areas that were lacking (this was in the beginning… last year.)  After that (a week ago until yesterday) he read it again this time making notes and corrected grammatical errors, punctuation errors, and sentence structure.
Now today (as long as life allows) we are going to go over a few chapters day by day until we are done.  I had thought I was done, but my husband suggested a good polish to send in… if anyone ever says yes.  I know I have done a bad, I am telling everyone in my query letters it is done.  Since most people do not have the nice ability to ask their spouse and get someone like my hubby (I’m sure I am not the only one with this gift though) I do not think it’s wrong to do, plus we have said at this point if some says “send it in” we will just rush over it in a day or two.  I have not been sending it in to the “first 50 pages” literary agents yet… I will start that when the first 50 pages are gone over and done with.
The sad thing is I am getting agents who say I have a good query letter, but my topic is too popular.  The poor chi-lit authors are getting the ‘nobody is buying’ and us vampire authors are getting ‘the market is flooded and I am already carrying a number of those’ type responses.  I am grateful that I have been told that my letter was good… just not good enough, I guess.
I feel a little stupid though, I sat on this book / series to wait until vampires were back in and now they are, and I can’t budge.  I guess I should say, “I sat on the idea with an out line, of my book/series too long.”  I did not actually type them until now.
I also waited until I was done with my second book (very rough draft) and added a lot more to my outline for the third book, before I started looking for an agent.  I have heard doing this can be a good idea.
Well that is enough for the day… please anyone feel free to add help or even stories.
Best wishes to all who are trying,
Sarah

 

I am feeling butterflies of nervousness…

Aug. 4

My book is going though an editorial evaluation at the moment.  There is no reason to sit on it… right?  So, right now someone is reading, critiquing, and studying my manuscript.

This does not let my nerves feel at ease.  I am sitting here wondering if I am going to lose a lot of sleep and weight over this.  I’m not all that brave when it comes to others seeing inside and knowing what I thought up… there have been several times over this last month where I have asked, “What have I gotten myself into?”

And the whole time my husband is standing next to me saying, “Go for it!”

I am so uneasy, he is going to come home and wish he had just let me sit in the closet and type my stories for his eyes and mine only.

Though there is another part of my Gemini brain saying, “Why sit at all while you are looking for a publisher?  Get it published with POD.  And then you can still look and type and do all that you want.”

Sometime I let the other side of my Gemini brain make decisions, but she can be childish and eat a whole box of See’s if I let her.  Seriously though I don’t know… there are many options and I just do not know which road to go down… I’ve researched into this until I have gone cross-eyed.  I think I should just go out and get some See’s but I am worried the butterflies might not like chocolate.

Sarah

I wanted to let everyone know that I am sure my husband did a great job, but we both felt it best to also have someone go over it and let us know what they think.

 

Oh… I forgot…

Aug 7

I forgot over all this work and everything I forgot to add in that I am proud I did the outlines for books 4 and 5, just to have them done.  They are just the general outline, not as much depth to them as there is in the 3rd right now.  Although I have a few pages for the fifth done and then the fourth has been in my head forever.  It’s funny, once I get to four and five there will be no thinking; it will just be putting it down on paper.  The third has to be there, but there are still a few chapters that I am lacking right now.  I think that’s why the outlines for 4th and 5th are so general, the book is all there right now, I just needed to put little things down to remember it all.  I think in a month I will be writing the third.  Right now I am going over the 2nd book, so I can make sure that there are no contradictions within the two.  For example I am making sure I did not say an insignificant guy was short and then in the next book make him tall.  Then I will get back to writing.
I think there is no wonder as to why the dishes are starting to get a little backed up…

Sarah