No matter what you take from this article, it's food for thought. From Kindle Review,

New Accurate E- Book Best Seller List ~ Or Big 6 Manipulation & Trickery?

Check it out and let me know what you think. Can there be fair reporting of ebook bestseller status? Or is this something that is still somewhere down the road?

Contractions are Killing Me!

And I don't mean that I'm having a baby. I can't even speak on that since I had two c-sections (too much TMI, sorry!) Anyway, I decided that before I try to submit Obsidian I was going to go back through and see what needed to be edited. After all, it may have been edited professionally and my copy editor is now a multi-published mystery author, but there is always room for improvement. Or in my case, I think there was a mansions worth of room left. Let me explain...

Back in college I took a wonderful writing course from a Professor who was published in Literary Fiction (I gave it caps because that was the way she talked). She was wonderful and gave me tons of encouragement, but she was very specific about the tone of the writing and one of her biggest pet peeves was the use of contractions. Because she was nice to me and encouraging, I wanted to make her happy with my work and so... Yup, I cut all the contractions from my writing. Not a single we're, they've, couldn't or I'm in the whole bunch. But unfortunately it didn't help my fiction writing. I've been told before that I have a good voice, but my sentences tend to be more formal than most editors like. That's because the voices in my head have been well trained to root out any contractions and speak in a more formal tone. Dang!

Now, I'm given the odious task of adding contractions back into my work. Don't laugh! I can hear you. Yes, I need to actually add them. Yesterday I spent the day go through and changing the following:
we are
they had
it would
could not
should have
I am
would have
he had (she had)
I would
You would (yes, I know I could just look for "would" and change them both)
I will
you are
he would

This took me the better part of the day and then I ended up the love fest by condensing a 5 page synopsis to a 2 page synopsis. It's really a love/hate thing. I love the work, but for those who think it's easy... think again. The upside is that if I do these corrections enough I'm hoping that my brain will rewire itself. It's only been *& years. But since I'm stubborn, I'll just keep plugging away it.

What are the bad habits in your writing that you picked up along the way?

Reasons for Backing Up Work and Not Throwing Out Anything

Okay, confession time... I've been sitting on the new version of Obsidian for quite some time. Mostly like a year. I've had the rights back for awhile, but with working on the Darkness Paranormal Series I put Obsidian on the back burner. Time to bring it to the front.

But that brought up a very big problem. The original book was on my laptop which fried itself last year. I've yet to get a new laptop and all the old information is stuck on the old hard drive. I didn't have a digital version of the book. Ackkkk!!!!! The prospect of typing it all back into the computer is a daunting one. And what if I make big mistakes when it's already an edited copy? Worse, I knew that at some point I had made a copy of the book on disk, but for the life of me couldn't find it. It wasn't on my hard drive, my thumb drive and on any of the piles of disks that I still have. This was bad.

But, since I am an optimist at heart I concluded that eventually my copy would show up when it was the right time for me to work on it. Low and behold, today was the day. I happened to look into the box of disks that contain my older ghost investigation information and found a disk marked "word backup". Light bulbs went off over my head, fireworks lit the sky and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir was singing a chorus of Hallelujah! Sure enough, all the copies, included the edited version to the original publisher were on the disk.

But wait... that wasn't all I was looking for. Yup, there was more. I decided that since it was time to repub Obsidian that I would include a partial scene from the original manuscript. One that I had taken out to make it more in line with the original publishers "more suspense, less romance" mantra. Now, where had I put that? After all, I wrote it back sometime around 2002 and Obsidian wasn't published by Five Star until 2007. That was several computers and lots of gray hairs ago. I really thought I was going to have to go back and recreate the scene. It was then that I remembered the huge binder I had been shuffling from place to place in the basement. A folder that I'd threatened to throw out multiple times and burn the contents, but never quite got around to it.

I shuffled off to the dank basement, next to the table I once envisioned as a work space (no more) and dug through the old binder. There is actually original work going back to 1995. Not all of it is good, but it's there and it's was all a great big learning experience. But there, buried in the back was the original version of Obsidian with the scene I'd been looking for. It would seem that the writing Gods are smiling on me today and I really appreciate it.

Did I learn my lesson? I've been learning this lesson since my daughter erased my first novel off my Brothers Word Processor. I'm a slow learner so I figure I've probably got a few more panic attacks in my future. But for now.... I alllllll good! 

All Aboard the Airship!

Happy Birthday to Innocent Darkness and it's Airship Commander, Suzanne Lazear! It's finally here! Release day for the first in her Aether Chronicles Series, a Steampunk Extravaganza that is being release from Flux (one of my favorite Pub Houses!).

Innocent Darkness...
Noli Braddock and her best friend V’s incident with a flying auto have landed them in a heap of trouble. And when Noli is sent to a spirit-squelching reform school in San Francisco, she’s sure that her rebellious adventures are over.
   Meanwhile, Kevighn Silver has been ordered by the Faerie Queen to bring a mortal girl back to the Otherworld. The magic requires a blood sacrifice every seven years, and only a mortal girl who shines with the Spark—a girl like Noli—will keep the Otherworld from complete destruction.
   When an ill-timed wish sends Noli tumbling into the Otherworld, she’s more homesick than ever . . .  until V arrives to save her from an untimely demise. But who exactly is V? And if he helps Noli escape, who will save the realm of Faerie from utter annihilation?

Suzanne is gearing up for a great launch with plenty of partying to send the book off right. There's an all day party going on at Bitten By Books in her honor. Next the next flight on over and check out all the excitement! Check it out at

She's also got some great book parties lined up for anyone in the California area. Unfortunately, it's too long of a flight from Maine and and my dirigible can't make the distance. But if you're in the area you check it out. She's promising goodies and great reads and is encouraging everyone to show off their best Steampunk and Fairy attire.

Sunday, August 12
4:00 PM
Vroman's Bookstore
695 E. Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91101
There will be cupcakes and swag, feel free to wear your steampunk or fairy best!
August 18, 2012
7:00 PM
Kepler's Books
1010 El Camino Real
Menlo Park, California  94025
There will be cupcakes and swag.  There will a steampunk costume contest so wear your steampunk or fairy best!
September 15, 2012
6:00 PM
Changing Hands Bookstore
6428 S McClintock Dr, Tempe, AZ 85283
There will be cupcakes and swag, feel free to wear your steampunk or fairy best!

But when all is said and done I hope you'll hop on over and get her book! Suzanne has done an incredible job of supporting this fantastic genre and Innocent Darkness promises to be a fantastical read! I'm off to pop an aether port to grab my copy for myself.

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