Monday, April 30, 2012

Exciting times!

Wow, so I am slowly recovering from a very crazy week!  I've already posted an update on the word count for Starward and will confess that no more progress has been made since I was busy handling other things since that last post.

First off, Saturday, April 28, was the Martinsburg Chocolate Festival and Book Faire.  I had a booth set up in one of the local businesses, Dayja Vu, and had a blast talking with all the people that were coming through to meet various authors and sample different chocolates!  And I sold a few books and gave away a bunch of postcards that featured the covers of my books and their synopsis to a lot of people.  It truly was a wonderful experience and I hope that Martinsburg will host something like this again next year!

I spent most of Sunday recovering from all the chaos.  Now it's Monday and back to work for me.  Already this morning I prepared 5 signed copies of Spanish Intrigue and some swag to go out to the lucky winners from the Goodreads Giveaway I was hosting.  I'm very excited for them and hope that they enjoy the book!  And as soon as I finish this post, I'll be working on updating Cressen Books LLC's website with some information for aspiring authors as well as post some synopses for a couple of books that are in the works at the moment.

On a personal note, I will be getting ready for my trip to Kentucky next week.  I'm going to see a really close friend of mine and her two boys.  I'm very excited about the trip and can't wait to see them and some other friends!  Of course, while I'm there, I will attempt to keep writing on Starward as I don't want to lose my focus on that story, but we'll see how it goes.

So, lots going on and so many things left to do before I hit the road this coming Sunday!  I hope everyone has a great week and I'll try to post again soon!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

63,000 and counting...

This is just a quick update.  Starward is now at 63,000 words!  And Rosa is getting ready to experience a new event that no human has ever experienced before.  Progress in her story is coming along nicely and I'm really enjoying being inside her head right now!

In other news, I am preparing for a book festival this weekend in Martinsburg, WV.  It's the Martinsburg Chocolate and Book Festival and I'm extremely excited about participating in this event.  I'll be there to sell and promote my books (Spanish Intrigue and The Art of Deceit will both be available for purchase in their paperback format).  For anyone who will be in the Martinsburg area this weekend, please stop by and say hello! 

Okey-dokey, back to the writing cave for me!  Hope everyone is having a wonderful week!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Starward and Dangerous Moves

After taking a short break to celebrate the release of The Legend of Goat Head Lodge, I'm back to work.  Edits for Dangerous Moves (The L & L Mysteries #4) will begin soon (hopefully this week).  And let me take just a moment to explain the editing process, since it actually is quite different from what most authors go through.

Since my husband (my Muse) and I publish our own books through our publishing company, Cressen Books LLC, we wear many hats including the hat of Editor.  Obviously, there's format, grammar, and spelling edits that take place.  But we also do a lot of content editing in order to flesh out the story and make it come alive for our readers.

So, a typical editing session lasts about an hour, maybe two (depends on how large of a section we're tackling).  If it's my books we're editing, then he reads them out loud, line for line.  We've come to realize the huge benefit reading aloud is because when he reads it, we tend to find words that have been dropped (because of my speed typing and me overlooking it because I'm convinced it's there), and we discover what flows better (is the sentence too formal or too awkward?, that sort of thing).

Also, by reading aloud, we can both get a feel for what might be missing in the section.  This leads to discussions of what can be added (or sometimes what can be dropped) and changes are made accordingly.  Plus, when specific character conversations/interactions are read aloud, it helps me to get a better feel for how they respond to each other and whether it should be added to, changed, or taken out completely.  I'm a huge fan of character interactions and I want my characters to have a realistic and comfortable feel when conversing with each other. 

Anyway, so that can take us up to two hours at a time to thoroughly edit a section (usually 10-15 pages).  Then, if there are major pieces I need to add to the section, we'll come back to it and do a final read-through to make sure everything's flowing right and I didn't forget something.  With the way our schedules are, we're usually lucky if we can get in two editing session in a week.  So, with that in mind, editing a book usually takes anywhere from a month (that's pretty darn fast) up to three months (we have a lot going on that takes away from editing time).

So, my best case scenario is that Dangerous Moves will be ready to publish sometime this summer, but I'm not holding my breath on that.  As the edits come closer to being done, I'll definitely keep everyone informed and let you know when you can expect to see this next book!  I will confess, though, that I'm extremely excited about this 4th installment into the L & L Mysteries, so I'll probably be pushing hard to get through all of the edits quickly but accurately!

Now, an update on Starward (Galactic Dynasty #1).  I have decided to add a Word Count meter to the side bar of this blog.  I'll update it periodically so you can see what progress I'm making and I'll also post when I've made major progress.  In the last post, I was at 58,750 words.  I am now at 60,499 and according to the word counter, that means I'm about 60% done...WOOT!  So, posting may become sporadic as I work towards finishing this book.  But, I'll try to come out of my writing cave at least once a week to post a general update or talk about whatever else may be floating through my brain.

Okay, it's off to work.  I hope everyone is having a wonderful week and I look forward to sharing more with you again soon!