fbpx

Work in Progress: Bones of Earth. aka Why the Writing is So Slow.

Bones of Earth
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 3

55602 / 95000 (58.53%)
I’m not sure what writing week it is anymore. I lost track over the winter break. Which I really didn’t have much of. And frankly, I’m shocked that I got as many words in as the counter says I did. Over 5K words? Amazing!
So why am I so shocked? Well, if you follow me on Twitter, you know the reason. The Romance Writers of America has imploded, and… well, I kinda got involved.  And that involvement has eaten my brain.
It’s bad, folks. It’s REALLY bad.
How bad?

Well, in writing terms, it took three weeks to write one chapter. I literally have two chapters of Bones of Earth queued and ready to go, and I’m panicking a little. I haven’t missed a week in two and a half books! I don’t want to miss one NOW!

If you’ve missed the whole RWA mess, check out Claire Ryan’s blog — she’s keeping it current. However, if you don’t want to go check out Claire’s blog (which I do recommend), here’s the “in a nutshell” explanation.  A conman manipulated his way into the Presidency, and in doing so, he weaponized the RWA’s systemic racist, homophobic undercurrent. Then he picked exactly the WRONG target for his first salvo. And he completely underestimated just how ferocious Romancelandia can be when provoked.

He’s gone now. he resigned when it became clear that we were on to him — that we knew his credentials were a fraud (and just how that wasn’t discovered last year is  a question that still needs to be answered).

But that undercurrent has been exposed for the whole world to see, and the RWA is in a shambles. It’s hemorrhaging members,  the RITAS have been cancelled this year, and there’s a possibility the National conference might go that way. There are no sponsors left — they all bailed. A lot of the speakers are withdrawing, as are publishers and agents. There’s not much left.

We either need to rebuild it… or put it out of it’s misery.

I’d like to rebuild. Which is why it’s taken me three weeks to write one chapter! And why I didn’t have much of a winter break to speak of — that first salvo went out at COB on December 23rd.  (The resulting uproar brought the RWA Board back in to session on Christmas Eve to rescind their decision. )

Now I need to figure out how to find balance — working with the people who think the RWA can be saved to do just that, working with the chapter of which I just became President-Elect, and… well… WRITING. Oh, and being a full-time mom to a rising high schooler.

And to think, I thought this year was going to be easy!

Posted by EASchechter in 2020 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, Adavar, bigotry, Bones of Earth, Heir to the Firstborn, RWA, Waiting-for-the-other-shoe, why-the-writing-is-slow, WIP, wordcount, Write Faster!, 0 comments

Dinosaurs

Let’s talk about dinosaurs.

(Liz, why are we talking about dinosaurs? There are more important things to talk about!)

Bear with me. And besides, I’m writing this, and we’re talking about dinosaurs. So deal with it.

(eyeroll All right. Dinosaurs. Rawr.)

Right. Dinosaurs. Once upon a fucklong ago, dinosaurs ruled the Earth. Biggest things ever. Apex predators, giant herbivores, they were everywhere. With me so far?

(Rawr.)

Fine. Where are they now?

(Wait… oh)

Right. We don’t have dinosaurs any more. Giant meteor, things went boom, giant apex predators went b’bye now. I imagine that it wasn’t quick – there had to have been some that didn’t die off right away. There was some kicking and fighting before they all died out.

Except… they didn’t. Some survived. They evolved. You know why when you eat something, you think it tastes like chicken? Odd are pretty good that what you’re eating evolved from a common ancestor – a dinosaur (so really, it tastes like dinosaur. Cool, right?)

Birds. Lizards. Chickens – they based the movements of the T.Rex in Jurassic Park on chickens. Geese have NEVER forgotten that they were once dinosaurs.

They evolved. They changed. They survived.

So, why am I talking about dinosaurs?

(I asked you that question.)

Because there are parallels here. The RWA has been hit by a figurative meteor of epic proportions. And… we’re at the kicking and fighting stage among the dinosaurs. The ones who didn’t just leave are trying DESPERATELY to survive in the face of unavoidable change. Because it is unavoidable.

But you have a choice, you know. All of your dinosaurs. You have a CHOICE. You can change. You can evolve. You can survive, and step into what comes after the dust settles. You can grow, and learn, and be part of that new world. A world where romance is not defined by skin tone or gender or number or abilities or lack thereof! A world where romance isn’t the many and myriad shades of white. A world where love is love is LOVE.

Because THAT world is the future of the RWA.

And you? You’re just a dinosaur.

Rawr.

Posted by EASchechter in poking badgers with spoons, SaveRWA, 0 comments

Romance Writer’s Weekly: New Year, Who Dis?

Welcome in! Welcome to 2020! And welcome over from Caro’s blog.  What did you think of that gorgeous cover on her new book?

 

The cover on my next book is pretty, too. But it’s also nowhere near done yet. It’s about halfway there — I’m hoping for a May release.

That, I suppose, is a good way to start talking about my 2020 plans. I know I have two books coming out this year because I’m publishing them.  Bones of Earth (the one that’s half finished) and Wings of Air will finish out my Heir to the Firstborn series.  I have the covers for both, but I’m only showing you Bones of Earth, since that’s the next one. No blurb yet, because I haven’t written it (and it would be super spoilery for Forged in Fire.)

 

As I said, Bones of Earth will be a possible May release. Wings of Air will be closer to Christmas. And maybe in between…

Well, I haven’t had any solid nibbles on Hidden Things, yet. That’s the first book in my Swords of Charlemagne series. If I don’t hear anything from anyone who currently has it by May, then I’ll start the process of self-publishing that series. I might do a rapid release on those over the end of the year, or I might stagger them and release over the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021 — it depends on a couple of things, including if the editor I want to read through for continuity has time when I’m ready to do this.  (There also might be title changes — I’m toying with the idea of changing Hidden Things to Swords of Charlemagne: Durendal. We’ll see.  I do have mock-ups for covers for those books, too. But they’re still rough, so I’m not showing them off yet.)

I also have another project going — I’m participating in a Wild West Paranormal box set this year, and I’m having some fun with the project. If you read my blog, you know what I’m talking about — John Zebedee and the Elf-King’s Son. Also known as “What paranormal figure can I call dibs on that no one else will ever think of? How about the Wandering Jew?”

A long time ago, a fisherman’s son named Yohanan ben Zavdi loved and lost a man who wasn’t a man. A man who bid Yohanan wait until He returned. A thousand years later, John Zebedee still waits, and wonders. How long will he be alone? How long must he watch the people he cares about grow old and die?

A new country offers opportunity, and a chance to live without the weight of thousands of memories. John settles near Fort Coffee, Arkansas, on the shores of Deadman’s Slough, where no one seems to notice the endless line of John Zebedee’s living outside of town. He farms. He fishes. He lives alone. And he waits.

Until he finds an injured man hiding in his barn after a storm. A man who isn’t a man – one with pointed ears and eyes slitted like a cat’s. A man on the run, who needs protection, who needs help.

Who needs John.

A man who John Zebedee isn’t going to lose. Not this time.

Honestly, though?  I’m starting to think this one needs a new title, because John Zebedee and the Elf-King’s Son kinda gives everything away. I’ll think on it. I still have a little research to do, but then I’ll dive right in. It’s not due until December, but if I get it done before then, I can start in on either the next Flesh and Blood book (Blood Brothers) or on The White Raven: Morrigan’s Wrath. Which one depends on what happens with publishers.

That’s something else we’ll see this year — I have a novella under contract with Circlet Press, and two novels waiting for a nod or a no. Under contract is Sapphires and Gold, and in the slush are Bonds of Blood and Steel (the sequel to House of Sable Locks) and The White Raven: Morrigan’s Heir (sequel to Princes of Air). If Circlet gives me the nod on the first White Raven book, I’ll swing right into the second and get that out to them soonest. Otherwise, I’m having fun with my BDSM Vampires.

Yes, I said BDSM vampires. That’s something I hope to sell this year — the paranormal erotic romance Blood Bound, which is the first in the Flesh and Blood series. I just finished it recently, and it’s still being polished before I start sending it around. We’ll see what happens with that.

So, you can see I have a lot of irons in the fire for this year. And that’s not even counting where I’m going to be appearing as a guest, or my duties to my RWA chapter (which have already been interesting in ways that I never expected, and wouldn’t wish on ANYONE. Needless to say, there hasn’t been a lot of writing done yet this year…)

That’s enough about my plans. Thanks for stopping in. Your next stop on the New Year’s Resolution Revolution is Jenna’s blog. 

Have a great year!

Posted by EASchechter, 0 comments

Back to work!

Welcome to the New Year. I think.

We’re five days into 2020, and it’s already been a long year. On the first of January, I stepped up into the position of President-Elect of the Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal chapter of the Romance Writers of America. The entire RWA Shitshow had been doing on for about nine days at that point. I’ve been a little preoccupied with that. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve seen my Tweets about it.

Part of the fallout of this mess is that I’ve withdrawn Written in Water from RITA consideration. I may still enter the Prism (the FFPRWA chapter) and the Maggies, but we’ll see if they actually happen. There are a lot of things in flux right now. There’s a lot of “wait and see.” Mostly, it’s wait and see what might still be standing when this is all done.

But tomorrow is a new day, and it’s back to work time! Back to working on Bones of Earth. And it’s time to get the synopsis for John Zebedee and the Elf-King’s Son written, so I can start writing that (and maybe think of a shorter title for it…) Also time to start doing a reread on Hidden Things, with an eye to maybe self-publishing it if the agent who was looking for something different doesn’t find it to be different enough.

I have plans. I have schemes.

And I have a path through the RWA quicksand.

What’s going to happen?

Wait and see!

Posted by EASchechter in 2020 plans, Bones of Earth, forthcoming works, Hidden Things, John Zebedee, Waiting-for-the-other-shoe, 0 comments

Rabbit, Rabbit!

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2020!

It’s been an interesting end of the year in Romancelandia. If you’re following me on Twitter, you know what I mean — you’ve possibly heard or seen something about the current disaster in the RWA.

However, I’m not going to discuss that here. For one thing, it’s changing by the minute, and anything I write now will be out of date tomorrow. For another… not what I want to talk about right now!

Last night, I sat down to do something I’d seen a lot of other writers doing on social media — a round-up of my decade in publishing. By the time I was done, I had 20 tweets, most of them at maximum characters, and I’d realized that this past decade in publishing was my entire HISTORY of romance publishing. I made my first sales in 2009. Those were short story sales.  I didn’t sell my first novel until 2011.

In 8 years, I’ve sold or self-published 15 novels. 14 of those are available, and that last one is coming from Circlet eventually.  According to my spreadsheet, I have seven more finished, ready to either sell or self-publish. Two of those are in slush at Circlet, and the others are the Swords of Charlemagne books and Blood Bound (which is finished but still raw.)  I have one novel in process, and one that I’m about to start. Oh, and that’s not counting at all the two novels that I started and set aside, and that I’ll get back to eventually.

So, all in all, for this past decade in publishing? I’ve been busy.

So, what’s on the plan for 2020 and beyond?

An agent would be nice. I should try that sometime. I’ll start shopping Blood Bound around once the initial beta-reading is done.

If I don’t have a solid bite on Swords of Charlemagne by the end of May, I’ll look in to starting the self-publishing process with that series.

Finishing up Heir to the Firstborn, and coming up with something else for the Patreon.

Writing John Zebedee and the Elf-King’s Son for the Wild West Paranormal box set project. I’m looking forward to that one.

Starting either Blood Brothers or The White Raven: Morrigan’s Wrath. Which depends on which I sell first — Blood Bound or The White Raven: Morrigan’s Heir.

If I keep at this pace, and if there’s still an RWA to award the pin,  then by the time Nationals rolls around in 2021, I’ll be wearing a 25 romances published pin.

Considering that our current (questionable) President of the RWA only has five published novels in the same amount of time? Yeah, that’s kind of a big deal.

I still have a couple of days of holiday left. Monday morning, people go back to work and school, and I start making words again!

 

Posted by EASchechter in 2019 wrap up, 2020 plans, Happy New Year, RWA, 0 comments

Work in Progress, Week Nineteen: Bones of Earth

Bones of Earth
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 3

50591 / 95000 (53.25%)

 

Coming up on the end of the year, and just over halfway done with Bones of Earth. I don’t expect to get a whole heck of a lot done between now and January 6th, when school starts back up. But once school starts, this will be my primary focus — I need to finish Bones of Earth and get started on Wings of Air, so I can get them both finished and released in 2020.

I have other 2020 plans — writing John Zebedee and the Elf-King’s Son, for one.  That’s due in by December, and it’s supposed to be short — only about 30K (hey, 30K for me is short!) I’d like to have that done well in advance of December, but it is definitely secondary to  finishing Heir to the Firstborn.

Also on my to-do list for 2020 is to go back to Swords of Charlemagne. It’ll either find a home with a publisher somewhere, or I’ll publish it myself. Watch this space to find out which!

Planning out my show schedule for this year, too. Keiser Supercon is already on my list, but the rest of the year is hazy. I’m not sure if Oasis is happening in 2020, so I’m keeping the end of May/beginning of June open for now. Necronomicon is in September this year. And I opted out of Indie Bookfest (now Orlando Reads Books), because they moved to the end of August. Which my son starting high school in the fall of 2020, I thought that having him miss two days of school during that crucial settling in period would be a bad plan. (Yes, I know I could go alone. That’s an awful amount of work without help.)

Also on the horizon is the IAFA conference in March. Which happens to be the same weekend as Keiser Supercon, so I’m probably not going to do more than my usual drop in to pick up Cecilia Tan for our annual lunch date.

The RWA National convention is in August, in San Francisco. I’d like to go, but it is a big maybe for me — as in, only if Written in Water finals for the RITA.

That’s all I have for now. I’ll see what else I can pick up for 2020 for in person appearances. For now, you can find me here.

 

 

 

Posted by EASchechter in 2019 wrap up, 2020 plans, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, Bones of Earth, forthcoming works, Happy Holidays!, Heir to the Firstborn, John Zebedee, Keiser SuperCon, Necronomicon, Oasis, round-up, Self-publishing, Swords of Charlemagne, Wings of Air, 0 comments

Work in Progress, week Eighteen. Bones of Earth

Blood Bound
Flesh and Blood, Book 1

85635 / 84000 (101.95%)

***

Bones of Earth
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 3

48584 / 95000 (51.14%)

I realized sometime around Thursday that I never did go back and post the weekly roundup after announcing that Blood Bound was DONE. Umm… oops.

I also didn’t have a heck of a lot to round up other than that — I hadn’t been working on Bones of Earth really at all, so that I could finish Blood Bound before school let out for the holidays (which will be this Thursday). There was also this thing called Cookiepocalypse last week…

However, the cookies are all delivered, and it’s time to get back to work on Bones of Earth. And to start my planning on John Zebedee and the Elf-King’s Son, which will be the next project. So my goals for this vacation are to work on Bones of Earth, and to write a synopsis for John Zebedee  and for Wings of Air. I won’t be writing John Zebedee yet — I intend to finish Heir to the Firstborn first.

So, those are my goals for be end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020 — write two synopses, finish Heir to the Firstborn ( and decide what I’m doing with the Patreon afterward!) and then write John Zebedee. In there, I will also be deciding what to do about Swords of Charlemagne (there are a couple of irons in the fire on that front), and polishing and shopping Blood Bound around.

Looks like 2020 is going to be a busy year!

Posted by EASchechter in 2019 plans, 2020 plans, accountability, BDSM Vampires, Blood Bound, Bones of Earth, Flesh and Blood, Heir to the Firstborn, John Zebedee, Patreon, Planning, round-up, Swords of Charlemagne, thirty, to-dos, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

Romance Writer’s Weekly: Cookiepocalypse Now!

Hi! You might be arriving from Leslie’s place, or you just jumped in from Romance Writer’s Weekly and I’m your first stop. Welcome to my kitchen. Pull up a chair, because it’s that time again! December, when Liz loses her mind and bakes all the things.  If you’ve been with me a while, you know this is called Cookiepocalypse. If you follow me on Instagram, you get the pictures as I bake.

Now, I finished Blood Bound (my BDSM Vampire novel) Sunday night, so I have time to bake this year. But let’s get real. It’s Christmas time — even if I hadn’t finished the book, I’d be baking!

This is what’s on the Cookiepocalypse list this year:

  • Three Color Cookies
  • Molasses cookies
  • Chocolate Chip cookies
  • Espresso Mocha Chip cookies
  • Carob Chip cookies
  • Peanut Butter Oatmeal
  • Thimble Cookies
  • Some flavor of biscotti
  • Coconut Macaroons
  • Cream Cheese cookies (new this year)

If you’ve known me for a while, then you know I’ve been doing WW since they were Weight Watchers. So, no, I’m not going to be eating all of these. (Some. Not all). Most of these will be given away as teacher gifts, or sent to the office with the Darling Editor (that’s my husband). But that first one on the list? Yeah, most of that is staying home. Because even if I didn’t make any other cookie, I HAVE to make Three Color cookies. It’s not Christmas without them!

These cookies are traditional Italian cookies, and you’ll see them sometimes marketed as Rainbow Cookies (or as Traffic Light cookies.) I make them from scratch, using my mother’s recipe with the only variation being that I make them gluten-free. I usually make them first, because it’s a two day process.

First, you have to make the layers. Make the batter (it’s basically an almond sponge). Separate into three batches and color them (red, yellow and green — I use gel food coloring). Bake them off — until done, my recipe card says. Like I said. Traditional recipe. Done is about half an hour, usually. Once they’re cool, you slather with jelly (traditional is apricot. I use strawberry,) sandwich and squish! The green layer goes on the bottom. Always. No exceptions. Then yellow, and the red layer on top.

Why?

It tastes funny of you do it any other way. Really. It does!

Squishing takes all night, so on day TWO, you take your sandwich out and melt your chocolate. Usually, these have a dark chocolate coating. However, both of the men in my life (Darling Editor and When-did-he-get-that-tall?) are allergic to chocolate. I’m using a white baking chip that has no cocoa butter. (Yes, I know. Palm oil is evil. So are allergic reactions.)

On day two, you take your squished sandwiches and unwrap them, then coat them in melted chocolate. Once they’re coated, you cut them into small squares.

See? Green on the bottom. Perfect! It can be Christmas now.

From here, it looks like you’re heading on to Brenda Magriet’s place. I’m not sure what she’s baking up, but she does have a hot sale right now! Her book Allegro Court is on sale for 99 cents!

Posted by EASchechter in Cookiepocalypse, Romance Writer's Weekly, Webring, 0 comments

DONE!!!

A longer update tomorrow. For now, I’m just here to say that it’s DONE! That’s a draft!

Blood Bound
Book One of Flesh and Blood

84870 / 84000 (101.04%)

Posted by EASchechter in accountability, BDSM Vampires, Blood Bound, Flesh and Blood, happy-happy- joy- joy, kvelling, SQUEEE, Ta-da, thirty, to-dos, yippee, 0 comments

Works in Progress, Week Sixteen. Blood Bound and Bones of Earth

Blood Bound
Flesh and Blood, Book 1

73701 / 95000 (77.58%)

***

Bones of Earth
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 3

47348 / 95000 (49.84%)
Here we are in December. You all know what that means!
COOKIEPOCALYPSE IS COMING!!!!
Cookiepocalypse 2019 will be starting next Sunday with the beginning of three color cookies.  Now, you notice (at least, you notice if you were with me the past two years)  that I’m starting Cookiepocalypse before finishing my Fall book.
Yup. Living dangerously this year. I have until December 14th to finish cookies, and until December 19th to finish Blood Bound. Bones of Earth has no set deadline. It’s done when it’s done, so long as I get my chapters up on Patreon each week.  Blood Bound has slightly more than three and a half chapters left, and one of those is almost entirely written in my head. That equates to just under 12K words.  I can do that. Bones of Earth, on the other hand, is set until after the turn of the year. So I can focus on Blood Bound and bring that book home. Even while baking.
It helps that Blood Bound is still amusing me. Daniel and Hiro are just so much fun to write.  I mean, I do enjoy all of my characters, but these two are just so good!  They come up with some great scenes.
***
Daniel laughed and hung up, then took his cup of coffee out into the living room. “Hiro!” he called. “Clara is here early! She’s on her way up.”
Hiro appeared in the bedroom door. “Is she?” he asked, coming out into the living room. He was mostly dressed in a gray suit, but he had his coat thrown over his arm, and a tie was dangling from one hand. He held it up. “Do you know how to tie this, Daniel?”
“A tie?” Daniel asked. He nodded. “Yeah, I can do that. Need help?”
Hiro laid his coat on the back of the couch and handed the tie to Daniel. “If you would?” he asked.
Daniel smiled and ran the silk through his fingers. He moved over to the couch and perched on the arm, then gestured Hiro closer. Hiro came to stand in front of Daniel, and Daniel draped the tie over his own shoulder before reaching up to fasten the topmost button of Hiro’s shirt. “Do you want fancy, or functional?”
“Functional will do,” Hiro answered. “I will have you show fancy to me later.”
“Sure,” Daniel said as he raised Hiro’s collar and picked up the tie. It was dark blue, with a pattern in silver that made Daniel think of fancy marble tiles. He slid the tie around Hiro’s neck and positioned it, hearing a soft chime. A moment later, Clara’s voice rang out.
“Good morning! I brought bagels and babka. And I brought hot chocolate, Hiro.”
“Just a minute, Clara,” Daniel called back. He checked the lengths of the ends of the tie, then started working, wrapping and tucking, then wrapping and tucking again, winding the silk around itself, then up and tugging the end down through a loop to form a perfect knot. He adjusted it, then smoothed Hiro’s collar. “There you are. All put together.”
Hiro smiled. “You did that well,” he said. “What is it?”
“Full Windsor.”
Hiro nodded. “And what would have the fancy been?”
“Either an Eldredge or a Trinity. I like them both. But they’re better with a solid tie. For a pattern like this, a Full Windsor is better. Or a Victoria.” Daniel grinned at the look on Hiro’s face. “I checked a book out of the library. All sorts of fancy knots for ties. I picked it up when I thought I’d be going in to the prep school. Thought it would be useful.”
“It is extremely useful,” Hiro agreed. His smile softened, and he raised his hands to rest on either side of Daniel’s neck. “I repeat. The rest of the vampires in New York are blind. And I am very lucky.”
“I think I’m the lucky one,” Daniel replied. He reached out and tugged on Hiro’s tie. “I’m going to enjoy taking care of you.”
Hiro leaned down and kissed him, and time seemed to stop. Daniel slid his hands down Hiro’s chest, letting them come to rest on his waist for a moment before hooking his fingers into the belt loops on Hiro’s pants and tugging him closer.
“I have an idea for tomorrow,” he murmured when Hiro let him breathe again.
“You’re thinking,” Hiro grumbled. “I’m doing something wrong.”
“Well, I have clothes on,” Daniel pointed out. “That’s an automatic penalty on the kicker.”
***
That last line made me giggle when I wrote it. (and yes, hot chocolate for Hiro. It’s explained in the story. You have to read it.)
Now, I am still enjoying writing Bones of Earth, too. But those characters are more comfortable.  I can’t share anything about them at the moment. Too many spoilers. Sorry.
And that’s pretty much all. I’m going to be making as many words as I can this week, so that I can make cookies next week.
Posted by EASchechter in 2019 plans, accountability, BDSM Vampires, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, Blood Bound, Bones of Earth, Cookiepocalypse, Flesh and Blood, Heir to the Firstborn, progress, Ta-da, the-end-is-near, to-dos, WIP, wordcount, Write Faster!, 0 comments