September Canadian Author Round Up / Writing Plans and NANOWRIMO

3 Oct

I know I should have finished Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood – after months of whining about no ereader (broken, now fixed) I have left it behind at my parent’s house. And after all that “I’m not doing any overtime” I basically was involved with work in some way every day off (I should be at work today, but I worked last night).

Anyway – here’s a list of the Canadian I read in September

Scandal and Secrets by Christopher Hoare

I’ll also throw out The Tattooed Witch by Susan MacGregor finished end of September and I just finished The Queen’s Game on the First of October, on account that I don’t think I talked about those books yet, and I’m currently reading two books by Canadian authors now.

As for where I am writing-wise – well, I haven’t gotten that steampunk horror novel sent off yet, so the plan is to do that before Nano. My plan was before October, but not there yet. Checked to see how the other various submissions are going. The other plan is to write two short stories for an anthology and ask Ron which one he likes better and send them out. Get this kid’s book finished before NANO (or at least mostly done – I’m not above finishing it later)and I’m thinking that I would like to try a space opera this time around. This might change a dozen times before that; if I manage to get everything done my next plan is to get back to editing that Cyberpunk novel I wrote five (5!) years ago. I was really editing it, and then I felt like it just wasn’t good enough, so I figured let it percolate and get back to it. And hey, it’s set on Mars, and now that I think we’re officially going to colonize and everything, it’ll at least by timely if and when the book ever finds a home.

Anyhew, gorgeous weather where I am, and now that I have a nice thing of tea besides me, I suppose it’s time to get started on that first short story.

Banned Books Week: September 25-Oct 1

25 Sep

Google it, or check out this sight.

Normally I am way behind on things, but I’m in the middle of a sick day. I know posted that I was going down to ‘normal’ working hours, which was followed by quite a bit of OT. It is starting to take a toll on my body, so I’m going to keep updating to keep myself accountable.

I have not yet decided what I’ll be reading, as I look at the reasons why things are banned or challenged, and sometimes it makes my head spin. I totally understand not wanting a book personally, but the more I stare at social media, the more I realize that beyond the narcissism that perpetually plagues us, there’s always the warring ideologies and the danger of ideas in general. I’m a big believer that one can entertain an idea without ascribing to it, but I also read a lot and try to get a good variety going.

If you’re following what I read on goodreads, you will probably see more Margaret Atwood than normal in the next few months; it’s nothing to do with going on a binge so much as studying her voice.

Fun with Technology

2 Sep

I have a laptop again – and there’s a bit of a learning curve, so here’s hoping that it’s a relatively smooth one. This is basically a survival 101 for when technology fails and you have important things to get out there. Obviously there isn’t any time for lengthy editing or what have you. For the sake of this – it’s obviously great if you have trusted friends or family members who can loan you equipment for the time you need, and that’s probably your best choice. However, there may come a time when you don’t know people well enough to ask them a huge favour (and by the way – another huge shout out and thank you to my coworker Joanna, who let me use her computer and internet to do important emails) plus, I always feel bad if I need to do a lot of printing on anyone else’s printer. It’s a writer thing.

I work quite often involving long shifts – there’s a certain amount of flexibility (I’m able to write at work when the pager isn’t going off) but it also means that I’m designated to respond, and can’t necessarily go to places if I’m stuck in an area without one for any length of time. Sometimes, you have to get creative – obviously if you are in a small town with zero tech support, it’s going to be harder, and you’ll have to rely on other people or a lucky break that takes you to an area with what you need. Most people are pretty much free agents once their shift is done, but if you are a shift worker and especially if you are doing on call with a pager on your hip, plan your days out strategically. Since I’ve handled situations like this before, I didn’t feel the need to run to the nearest Best Buy and buy ANYTHING to get me through the next days, I was able to research my options and pull a few extra shifts to pay for the laptop I wanted and ordered in.

Protecting Your Work – Back It Up

I’m bad for this – I’ve had older works backed up, but then again, when I ordered this new computer I didn’t notice it didn’t come with a CD drive until my dad pointed it out, and we’d had it out of the packaging for almost an hour. I have some back-ups on old flash drives, so for me, it isn’t bad for some of my older projects but for some of my newer works, let’s just say that I have a spare… hard copy. When R.J. Hore and I swap, we usually print out hard copies (occasionally we send each other word documents if we’re in a pinch) but I sort of abuse my hard copy prints, once the editing happens, I usually use the other side for sketches, notes or whatever. So assuming I even still have copies in my craft desk, even if I was going to rewrite, word for word on the hard copy – yeah, I’d be an unhappy camper. One book I can handle – I’m imagining doing 4, meanwhile neglecting my new writing.

In short, my old laptop is still functional, so I’m going to be backing everything onto it. But what is great in the meantime? Flash drives are great. Unless…


My Fail-Safes have… Failed?

The issue plaguing me was my keyboard stopped working. I am not super technical, but I knew enough to trouble-shoot the likely issues. The first thing you want to do is utilize the on screen keyboard, which only works if you have a touchpad or an external mouse. If you can’t access the computer at all, you need to start accessing the computer from an external source – and usually if you can turn your computer on, you can plug in a cable or use the internet to go into the system memory and start retrieving. I highly recommend getting someone technically inclined for all of this, but it’s honestly not as scary as it sounds. If you don’t have an IT guy, it will cost you – but I look at how many hours it takes me to produce a book, and I think it’s piece of mind and money well spent. When I tried reinstalling the software and checking function, I took it both to a tech store and got a quote to fix it, and let my dad trouble shoot. I remember helping my dad build desktop towers when I was a kid, and while he’s not qualified to pull apart a laptop, he’s better than average in the hardware/software department. When he says the hardware is pooched, I trust him.

So I transferred everything to a flashdrive. If I was smart, I would have transferred it onto two flashdrives. Because the picture above happened.
I was doing the “This is a sign I should stop writing” and for two minutes before I put on my big girl panties and started to research. I knew that I needed to get the files off the flashdrive, and that it wasn’t completely pooched… yet. I also knew I didn’t have anything to put the info onto… or did I? I changed over from Iphone to an LG G4 last year. Let’s just say it was a good call, because I knew I could edit documents on it no problem.

This is only an option on certain phones, so figure out what yours can do before you rush out and try this. If I had the time, I would have driven to the tech shop and got them to upload it and I was borderlining on driving to Winnipeg to get a new laptop. Don’t try this if it involves breaking ANYTHING without someone who knows what they’re doing. I finagled the flashdrive and went to Wal-Mart, and tried to get a device that would let me upload it onto my phone. Wal-Mart didn’t have the part I needed, so I got sent to “The Source” to get a specific converter.


I uploaded everything to my phone, and I’m currently moving everything to the new computer.

But I need stuff… soon.

Okay – let’s pretend you have a conference to go to or you just got back from one and someone wants to see your work. You’re without technology to send stuff to blue pencil sessions or you need prose printed. I wouldn’t hold my breath on this part – but many hotels I’ve been to have ‘offices’ where you can do minor editing and printing, if you’re staying. I for one would rather have as much stuff taken care of prior to arriving for the conference.

My main advice is that once you have the files accessible via something like a flashdrive or email, you need to utilize either a printer or a computer, depending on what you need. If the library has a 1-hour daily limit for you to use their computer, prioritize what you need done before you sit down on the computer, so if you do max out on time, you can get the important files taken care of first. If you’re going to a blue pencil session, they may ask to see your work ahead of time and emailing them a sample. Usually, you can go to an office like Staples or use a public library to do editing or printing. I have been living at my current place for two years, and it cost me a free membership to use their computers for a few weeks, the only thing it cost me was when I wanted pages printed.

In Closing

Sometimes sucky things happen, but it’s not the end of the world. Gone are the days when I thought I just had to work hard and things would turn out alright – and sometimes, you will run into technical difficulties that you can’t forsee and you won’t be able to finish your product on time. The important thing is to keep calm, and think about how you’re going to solve the issue rather than saying ‘it always happens to me!’.

If you’re not sure how the phone document will reformat your book, don’t send it to a potential publisher – they don’t want a garbled mess, it looks unprofessional. At the very worst, cite some technical difficulties but follow up when you have the time to send them the projects you discussed earlier. Don’t be afraid to ask for help – I don’t consider myself unskilled with computers, but I know plenty of people just on Facebook who have been there, done that, and your problems probably aren’t unique enough that you can’t ask someone how they dealt with damaged hardware or corrupt files. And hey – each project you save is one less you’ll have to contemplate whether or not you want to rewrite it.

WWC Round Up

18 Aug

I’m writing this from the Portage la Prairie Library, so I shall be brief. My HP keyboard is, shall we say, Kaput, so it seems to me rather than fixing something I didn’t like as much as my Acer, to spend the extra $$ and get a new laptop. This would normally be something that was done and done, but I switched shifts to help a coworker weekend before last, and I haven’t had a lot of time to go shopping. My tech-guy (dad) has likewise been busy so even if I ran out and bought a laptop, I need to get word on it so I can get to editing what I need.

But anyway, WWC was once again a blast. It went by too fast, and while I tried to do Ron justice when I was in on his panels, the first one (Series, Trilogy or Sequel) I honestly felt nervous, until I started to talk. Granted I’m next to the guy who never had to pitch and has a 14 book contract, and I can’t get anyone to look at my middle grade without condescending looks (who knew kids’ books were the true gatekeepers?) but I kept myself pretty busy, and learning from the previous year, I didn’t want to miss anything so I snuck out during keynotes 1) To go to the gym 2) To go to Safeway and get food. Don’t get me wrong: I love eating pub food and it’s delish at Boomtown, but 1) I need quick food on the go and 2) I’m sitting in a conference all weekend. Going to the gym keeps me from fidgeting; I don’t need as big a meal as they provide unless we’re being active.

Friday saw me mostly getting settled and hanging out with my Publisher, and I got my hard copies of Ron’s books (which I have given him; I have ebooks and they’re easier to read at work, on account that most medics apparently like to live in darkness) he’ll sign ’em and I’ll be able to proudly put them on display. I then went to panels, I focused on horror, because I didn’t really grow up with the stuff and I’m curious about huge fans of the market, on account that if anything, I’d fit into somewhere along the lines of rough sci-fi and the more epic fantasy. I don’t have time to go into each panel (I have a max of an hour on this thing and have a schwack of business emails I need to do) so that’ll hopefully be next post which ideally won’t take forever. Friday I was tired, as I came off a night shift and one of my coworkers was kind enough to come in early so I could sneak off and not get saddled with like, a last minute call. I crashed and got up early to go to the gym, because I knew that my internal clock was set for night work and the hour time difference didn’t help.

So two of the panels I was on took place on Saturday, and I got better after the first one. I probably wouldn’t have gone to the steampunk banquet (other than my shirt I ordered online just apparently is shipping now, grumble) but I wanted to see the Aurora Awards. Have to admit, I rather enjoyed the costumes and parasol dueling. I’m still trying to get a stain out of my silk blouse (is it whisky? Is it au jus?) but I met a bunch of authors for the multi-group signing, and once again, got up early for the gym. Final panel was first thing in Sunday morning, and then I was a free agent. Got some great feedback on some of my latest projects in Blue Pencil, and did my best to pitch projects that aren’t right for Champagne. Went to the Dead Dog afterwards, and I was pretty zonked by the end of it, because it seemed like people cleared out of the con early on Sunday, I probably would have spent time in the hot tub or waterslide, but I went for a walk and showed up in time to chat and grab some pub food with the remaining authors.

Monday I didn’t go to the gym because I was getting back early enough that I thought I’d be able to squeeze in a cycle to the Assiniboine Park. Serves me right when the weather turned foul in Winnipeg! It’s been really touchy, hot days with nice storms preceding (we lost power for a few hours last night) and I had to get up early to cover another shift first thing in the morning, so I didn’t hop on my stationary by the time I showed up at my house.

All in all, busy busy – and I don’t like that I’m so busy all the time, especially with work. So I decided I’m cutting back to regular full time hours (which still works out to 84 hours biweekly) at least until I get better, because when even the grocery clerk says “you look tired” after I just got back from four days off, something’s gotta change. I’m back on nights tonight and the next, and then I’m off to Moosejaw until Monday, so Tuesday will see me probably getting a laptop from Costco. But I’m thinking I haven’t done P90X in a while, I should get back on that, my ‘rest day’ can be Day 1 of work (the sad part about EMS is that if you work out right when you get home, you can be wired and not sleep properly at night) and once I’m caught up on my sleep, I can try waking up early to bang off a quick 20 minute cycle. The weather has been beautiful so if I can workout outside I think I will, but I think it’s time for a bit of varied fitness and in general, focusing on art, not work.

So that was a bit of a meandering post. Here’s what I’m reading, Spies and Subterfuge, The Queen’s Man, and The Tattooed Witch. All Canadian.

I’ll post on a few of the panels I was in in another post, but I’m gonna wrap this up. ‘Til next time.

When Words Collide Change of Plans

9 Aug

R.J. Hore has had to bow out of WWC for health issues – so I’m gonna do my best to fill in for him. These are the panels I’m due for:

Saturday Noon: “Trilogy, Series or Serial”

Saturday 3pm “Plotting, for Pantsters”

Sunday 10am “Alternate History and Story”

I’m gonna keep this short and sweet because I’m blogging on my phone. My laptop keyboard stopped working on Sunday night – so I’m improvizing, have all my writing on a flash drive and making minor editorial changes by this wonderful phone – I know, of all the times for me to have technical difficulties; I am working a ton last week and this week so my mom is looking up warranty as this was a costco purchase (hardware malfunction, yo) but I technically won’t have time to look for new computers until after not just Calgary, but the following week end I’m in Moosejaw visiting a friend.

So if you happen to be at WWC and want to say hi, at the very least I’ll be there.

Pitch Sessions – Preparation 101

1 Aug

I thought I’d do something a little different. As I’m getting my portfolio ready for the When Words Collide Conference, I suddenly remember that once this was all foreign for me, and when I talk to people in general about publishing, if they aren’t familiar, it can be intimidating.

And it really shouldn’t be. It’s actually very simple. I’m going to refer to both snail/e-mail queries in addition to a focus on conferences where you’re staring down the person who is accepting books in your genre.

Do Your Research

                You may have the best book, hands down – but you need to find someone who publishes something like it. Why? Because someone who only does hard science-fiction isn’t going to take my steampunk rom-com. I’m not saying you can’t try if you’re still within that niche and they’re looking to expand, but if they are a literary publisher, you’re wasting their time and yours.

The best option is to go to the local bookstore and figure out where your book would probably go. That isn’t to say that Margaret Atwood belongs in more than one section (Is it literature? Is it science fiction?) nothing wrong with going to the library, but you want to know who’s putting out stuff now – so then you’re limited to New Releases and they might be hard to come by. Look on the spine, and look for DAW or EDGE and look in the first few pages, see who published the book in your hands. All that legal stuff you usually skip? Yeah, that tells you who made that book.

While researching Publishing Houses, the best way to know what they take is to read their titles. So if you’re sending out a general query – cater to them, especially if your title is a hybrid of multiple genres (DO NOT THINK YOUR GENRE COUNTS AS LITERATURE TOO. If you have elements that would have it in either the horror or science fiction setting, pick a place, and go from there, but if you straddle the line between cyberpunk and transhumanist, we’re talking about subgenre and the line is more fudgeable). If they want the first 20 pages or three chapters in attachments or bodies of emails, do that. Try to get the submission editor’s name. Put your contact information there – and if you send it by snail mail, add a SASE.

If it doesn’t state the format they want, in general you want a very easy to read font (When in doubt, I always use Times New Roman) font size of 12. I number the pages, and usually have something like Getty/[Title] in the header. That way, if we’re past the slush desk and the manuscript, bound by a paperclip, somehow ends up spilled on the floor, it’s easy to put back together. Why my name and title? The odds are extremely slim another Getty is on the floor in that mess, but make life easier on the poor schlubb sorting through papers. If it’s too much work, odds are the manuscript will just be rejected.

But let’s pretend you’re doing one on one pitch sessions, and you don’t have a lot of choices – whoever is at the conference is who you are submitting your work to. Do your research ahead of time, the internet makes it easy. Google the House, the Editor, whatever you need to.

When I sold Tower of Obsidian, I researched the house quickly (they didn’t post who was coming until, I want to say 2 weeks prior to the conference) and knew that ToO was my best bet. I brought along two other samples in case it went poorly or they wanted more. Did Ellen have time to read much of what I had before I met her? Nope – but she was polite and asked me to send in a submission package.

What’s in a Submission Package?

                I’m going to keep this basic. The more you do this, the easier it gets. Break down three things you need: Introduce yourself and your book, a novel overview, and a sample of your writing, usually the first 20ish pages. Your introduction is the Query letter.

This is the first thing someone will read. I stick to a simple format, such as,

Dear Editor (Learn their name!),

Salutations. I write under Nom de Plume, and I would like to submit my [genre] novel “Title” to Your Publishing House. It is about [One Sentence Pitch]. It is approximately [X to the nearest 1000] words in length.

Followed by the Elevator Pitch. Elevator Pitch is basically, you have your editor’s attention for 10-20 seconds while you’re going between floors. Follow that up by “Please find my synopsis and manuscript sample” in whatever format you have, a SASE following.

Then there’s the relevant writing credits. I would say, “I have been published by Champagne Book’s Burst Imprint, my first novel is a historical fantasy entitled Tower of Obsidian” followed by if it won any awards. Don’t worry if you have nothing here. Write any other credentials, I like to add that I’m a paramedic, because it implies a skillset/expertise. Irrelevant to writing, perhaps, but oh the stories I could tell.

So basically fill in the madlib. Genre can be ‘Middle Grade Science Fiction’ or ‘Steamy Amish Bodice-Ripper’. If you’re having a hard time getting your novel down to one sentence, work on the elevator pitch. If that doesn’t work for you, think about if your book was made into a movie, and when someone hits the ‘info’ button, what would come up.

A Plot! – Synopsis

                Depending on the publisher, they might want this under a page, during which time I cry into my keyboard a little. You have a limited time to tell what happens in your story, as well as hinting at the tone and world. These aren’t easy – and even if they say they’ll let you do 2-3 pages, this can be tricky in an epic story. Do your best, write, rewrite, and then take a break, start again and compare which one you like better. I swear, these get easier with time, but it took me a while to get good at a synopsis. To practice, take a different book, movie or tv series, and practice the synopsis, elevator pitch and one sentence pitch.

Your Actual Manuscript

                Keep in mind their specific package information, but if it doesn’t say it’s usually first 3 chapters or about 25 pages (I’m aware that your first chapter might be more than that). Keep it as a sample. I went over this above – 12 point, Times New Roman if it doesn’t say is usually a safe bet. This is short and straight-forward, because by this point your manuscript should be as free of errors as you can get it. Talking about the manuscript belongs in a different post, usually the whole novel should be completed before you send it, but there are exceptions when you’re more experienced in publishing with a proven track record unless the editor is specific about ‘submission ideas’ and I see these only rarely, usually for anthologies.

Things to Avoid

                Every article I’ve ever read on this subject basically says, “Don’t say you’re the next Harry Potter” or “My mom really likes it”. I got very little on this one, other than I’d tread carefully even if you are writing a parody of another work to reference.

Personally, I wouldn’t be off-put if, when I’m looking over someone’s manuscript, they said something along the lines of “I was heavily inspired by Avatar: The Last Airbender and tried to imitate the show’s quirky sense of humor” instead of “Fans who Love Airbender will love this” but it depends on your editor. I don’t think it’s harmful to think “this would make a great movie” but the person you’re submitting it to is probably thinking it needs to be a good book first, not whether or not they could cast Channing Tatum as the lead. When you’re listing your credentials, be aware that your editor wants things that are relevant – they don’t care if your friends and family like your book, most people will like a given creative work by their friend. I’ve never been referred by another author directly to a publisher, but I will say, “We met at When Words Collide. Here is the manuscript you requested”. Short, sweet, to the point.

I suppose I should list other things to avoid, but there are many ways to annoy whoever is on the receiving end I probably wouldn’t think of. I’ve read articles about editors saying they got small presents and rejections to their rejections. This isn’t the right time to try a fancy glitter font. Let the work speak for itself. If I snail-mail it, I paperclip the SASE to the query and paperclip the synopsis together if it’s multiple pages, then the manuscript sample. No string, no tape – and use a manilla folder. Email is so much easier, but not everyone accepts emails.

On a final note, some houses only accept submissions at certain times of the year. Personally, I log everything in my submissions spreadsheet, as seen below, and I’ll even mark it on my calendar if I’m genuinely interested. I’ve heard some people say it doesn’t hurt to try, but personally when I’ve heard editors speak they tend to get really snippy if you can’t follow their directions. Obviously, if they request it outside of their usual submission time, ensure you reference why you did that, lest it get deleted without being read.

 Getting it all Together – But what of Multiple Packages?

                Let’s say you’re like me and you’ve been at this for a while and have more than two items to get ready, but you can’t remember where stuff is because we’ve all waited well over a year for a quick “Not for us, thanks”. I make a spreadsheet on Excel to keep track of where I sent things so I know who’s rejected me, how long it’s been, and any other pertinent information. I blanked out the houses I submitted to, because I like to pretend I have class (and it’s nothing personal). This is a fairly new list, I usually start a new one around Christmas for year end.


I use the same idea when I’m getting my submission packages ready. I do this on a piece of looseleaf by hand, but I wouldn’t want you to see my chicken scratches. Establish what you need for each house – at a bare minimum, the query, synopsis and manuscript. You don’t have to use this format – use what works for you. If you have more than two manuscripts, this ensures you’re not forgetting a synopsis and you look more professional.


Personally, I like crossing out the box with a different color pen once it’s printed and together. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be out printing duplicate stuff, especially if I still have stuff from the last conference that didn’t leave my portfolio. I plan on leaving the laptop behind and bringing along a flashdrive so I can print more if I need, but let’s be honest: time running to staples is less time spent conferencing, networking, and learning. Everything here should be straightforward, besides ‘other’. If you want, you can have a character index or useful information – don’t get bogged down. I’ve been told time and time again don’t show your art as it looks unprofessional, but personally, I like seeing maps when I read epic fantasies, it gives me a better sense of place when we’re going to different locations.

 Ode to Professionalism

                I’ve posted about this before – to dress up in costume or not. I say, get a feel for the conference, but I for one like to be taken seriously. I treat meeting with an editor on par with a job interview. I know – the work should speak for itself, but there is a person on the other side of the table assessing not only your work, but the person they have to work with to get it to the customer’s hands. I’m not here to tell you life is fair, but maybe save your Slutty!Joker outfit for the rest of the conference.

While we’re on it, stay calm, even if the other person is totally out of line. Don’t waste your energy getting upset – if they’re like this now, how do you suppose you’ll be if you’ve signed a contract that means they get first dibs on any future work? Did you see the submission log above? What I don’t post is my impression of their house. I can only speak for myself – I haven’t had a bad experience in the industry, but my experience is extremely limited, but I will say that respect goes a long way with me. I generally prefer to not deal with toxic people. If you think that if you compromise now and you’re going to be treated differently down the line – well, good on you if you can manage.

Rejection is its own post – but don’t take it personally, even if the person across the table is a complete dink. Rejection can have nothing to do with the quality of your work and it isn’t a rejection of you – but stay classy and keep working. If you get a full manuscript request and subsequent offer, that’s also another post – but don’t just sign. Read the contract. Get someone else’s opinion.

That’s pretty much it. Most of your energy should be in making that sample of your manuscript sparkle, but spending some time coming up with a professional query and learning how to write synopsises has their advantages, as personally it helps reign me in during subsequent editing of the prose. That way, when I mention to someone I’m published and they ask, “What’s your book about?” I can easily tell them.

July’s Canadian Author and WWC Post

26 Jul

I am working on a blogpost that once again is about criticism – but I think it’s meandering a bit, so I figured I’d update. I didn’t make it to this month’s Chiseries in Winnipeg, but I picked up one of the books, The Midnight Games by author David Neill Lee. So much Cthulu mythos seems to be popular lately – not sure how everyone else but me seems to be huge fans, and I’m all like “You mean, Squidface?”



Anyhew, been working lots and this new position has seen me bouncing around and maybe tonight I’ll actually work with my crew. We had two tornadoes touch down in southern Manitoba about a week ago (Wednesday July 20) one was near Long Plain First Nation, and we were without power for about 24 hours; I have pictures of some of the trees knocked on their sides, but all in all – people were upset about not being able to use their smart phones on the base! The horror!

Fortunately my frozen strawberries we harvested a few weeks ago acted as icecubes and I lost nothing in my freezer. Been busy getting everything ready for When Words Collide – this is my second year, and I’m looking forward to pitching two very different projects, one of which will be for the first time. I’m thinking if I do get any of this middle grade or even some of the YA stuff, I’ll need a different pen name, what with the branding and all (hey – this is a lot creepier than her last book about unicorns and smiles!) my dad rants about how he hates adult entertainers entering into children films and books, and I understand from a marketing perspective that it makes sense, but I probably wouldn’t buy them because I would be surprised if the book was decent, let along good.

But I am hastily finishing up my first foray into gothic horror intermixed with steampunk – the rough has been done for months but my beta gave the last part back to me last month, and I’m deep enough in the new project that I’m able to see the real issues and make sweeping changes.

If I didn’t know what I was doing, it wouldn’t be ready in the two weeks I’ll need it by, but considering I brought five novel samples (I have more) last year and I’m bringing seven, here’s hoping that the pitches go better than they did last year. That’s not to say I didn’t get decent feedback and it was all for not, but I’m past that starry-eyed, “If only they will notice meeee!” plus last year I was zonked and with the flight delay and everything, let’s just say if I get delayed at the airport again, I’ll have what I need to at least work at something longhand or do some drawing.

So if you’re planning on being at When Words Collide – mention it here or on Facebook and we can meet up for coffee or chat before a panel or something, and all the best to you as you present your projects. We’ll probably run into one another throughout the convention. It’s big but not that big.