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First, I’d like to say thank you to everyone who did an advance read, purchased, or reviewed Gods of Rust and Ruin. The launch did quite well, and the series managed to break through the top 2,000 books in the Amazon kindle bookstore, and reach the hands of a lot of enthusiastic readers. This is literally all thanks to you guys, my readers.

For those of you interested in a paperback of GORR, it’s on its way. Literally, the final proof from the printer is in the mail coming my way now, and as soon as I can look over it to make sure everything is laid out without glitches, it will go live for purchase. I’ll also be doing some giveaways of signed print copies, to those on my mailing list.

Now, to what everyone wants to know.

What’s the status of Book 3?

I’m finished plotting it, which is the first major step. I’ve got 87 index cards, one for every planned scene. I usually end up adding a few more while actually writing the novel, but this gives me a good idea where I’m going, and how long the book is going to be. You can see the stack of cards and my notebook on my writing desk (which is covered in paint, because it’s also my art desk) below.

Before writing each scene, I take the card, and expand upon it with a paragraph or two in my notebook. I call this Brainstorming, and it makes the actual writing a lot faster and easier, because I’m not writing into the metaphorical dark. I’ve written the first couple scenes already.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that I’ve been seriously struggling with carpel tunnel symptoms in my left wrist. This has been going on for years, but it’s gotten a lot worse in the last six months. It makes typing difficult, along with pretty much everything I need to do that requires two hands. I’m wearing a brace 24-7, and I’m looking into more ergonomic keyboards, as well as experimenting with dictation as an alternative to typing.

This may slow me down a bit, but it’s not going to stop me. I’ve got about 200 hours of brainstorming and writing to complete, and I’m going to be chipping away at it. Does anyone know any good ergonomic keyboards for something with especially small hands?

Click to Read

Thank you to everyone who’s been waiting so eagerly for the second book in the series. It’s available now in ebook format, and free through Kindle Unlimited. I hope you enjoy it!

Gods of Rust and Ruin (Seeds of Chaos Book 2)

 

My name is Eve Redding. They call me the godkiller.


I was dying. Slowly being destroyed by the power I had worked so hard to obtain. My team and I were trapped within NIX’s web of lies and manipulation, and even my allies couldn’t be trusted.

Deep below, the alien called out to me like a beacon, and I decided to forge an alliance. As they say, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

This cover took me many hours to make, but I’m pretty pleased with it. The full piece is much bigger, which means…more giveaway posters!

What are you guys most excited to read about in Gods of Rust and Ruin?

August 4, 2017.

It will be available in the Amazon store on that date. If you want a reminder when it comes out, sign up to my newsletter.

In other news, the poster giveaway is over. Congratulations to the winners! I’ll be doing more giveaways of a similar nature, so if you didn’t win this time around, don’t despair.

This is just a quick post for now, but I’ll be back on August 1st with the cover reveal.

Last week, the people on my newsletter got a chance to get one of these posters. They get first chance at things like this, but I did save a couple for the rest of you. I’m giving away two more Gods of Blood and Bone posters, as a thank you to everyone who’s been waiting so long for Seeds of Chaos Book II: Gods of Rust and Ruin.

GOBB Poster

They’re printed on beautiful metallic paper, and they almost shimmer in the light. They are 10 inches tall, and 23 inches wide.

I’ll be giving them away randomly to two of the people who respond to this post, or email me directly at author@azaleaellis.com. If you want one, just let me know.

Now, for the news everyone is most interested in. Gods of Rust and Ruin (yep, I changed the working title) is coming, very, very soon. The newsletter gets the announcement first, but if you’re not subscribed to it, keep an eye here for the release date. I’ll be posting again soon.

One month into the new year, and things are running smoothly. As I anticipated, my workload has decreased a lot, and I’m using my extra time to work on GORR.

November: 8.52 hours. This was eked out in little tiny chunks when I could find the time.

December: 29.94 hours. Halfway through, my workload decreased.

January: 58.88 hours.

These are hours spent actively working. Not staring into space, making tea, or browsing the internet. Not any of the things we get paid for at our day job that aren’t actual work. I’ve found that there’s only so much active work in me, in a day. My brain and creativity get burnt out. My ability to focus and create every day is finite. If I’m lucky, and have caffeine, and everything goes well, I can get about 4 or 5 hours of work in, during an 8-9 hour “workday.” Which, of course, is only possible on a weekend, since I have a day job. Weekdays, I get a couple hours, max.

My goal is to average 2.5 hours of real work (on the book) per day. And it’s hard to hit that, sometimes. I estimate I’ve got a couple hundred hours of work left, maybe more, before the book is available for purchase. I’ve written a blog post about what it takes to produce a book, if you’re curious about what I’m spending these hours on.

In related news, here’s something visual I’ve been working on today. It’s an extremely preliminary sketch of GORR’s cover. Basically, I’m just trying to figure out sizing/layout, etc. The end product is not going to be nearly so messy, I promise. And yes, I know she has six weird-looking fingers.

gorr-pencil-sketch

 

I’m excited about Gods of Rust and Rot. I think it’s turning out even better than Gods of Blood and Bone, and you guys are going to love it. I’ll be back again soon with more of the same type of updates, just keeping everyone abreast of the progress.

I wasn’t able to release GORR when I anticipated. It sucks, I know. I’m sorry to those of you who were, and are, actively awaiting the second book. I hate to make you wait, but I had some unanticipated “real-life” obstacles and family issues pop up, and some obligations that I can’t avoid have hit me with a tremendous amount of work.

I’m struggling to just keep afloat of my current workload, but that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped working on GORR! Relative to the total amount of time needed to create a book, GORR is almost finished. I just haven’t been able to get enough hours in to finish up the last things that need to be done before I can put it out there. I want to give you all a quality book, and it just needs a little more input.

I’m slooowly chipping away at those hours, though, and I believe my workload should decrease soon, which will allow me to move faster. Trust me, the need to finish it is like a horrible itch in the middle of my back that I can’t quite scratch because my hands are tied. I’ve got to do some revisions, and then I will be doing a beta-reader call to some of those on my mailing list who would like to read the book pre-release in exchange for giving me feedback I’ll use for a final draft. I’ll also be giving out some Advance Reader copies for reviewers, so, if you want to wait the least amount of time to read Book 2, the mailing list is where you need to be.

Lastly, I got notice recently that my email address has not been accepting some of your emails! I did notice that I hadn’t been getting as many emails from you guys, but I assumed it was coincidence, and with my workload I didn’t have the time to look into it. I’m working with my website hosting service to get that fixed ASAP.

Edit: Email issues should now be fixed. If anyone still has problems, let me know here or on FaceBook.

I’ll be updating this blog more frequently, to keep you guys abreast of my progress, even if I don’t have much to say. I want to make sure you’re not staring into the dark wondering about Gods of Rust and Rot.

I really want to make some sort of joke with the quote, “Winter is coming,” by you-know-who. (Not Voldemort.) But I’m not clever enough to pull it off, as it is currently Spring.

But you know what IS coming? “Gods of Rust and Rot.”

What I look like toward the end of a book.

What I look like toward the end of a book.

I waffled back and forth like the best kind of breakfast cake about whether to post a tentative release date for “Gods of Rust and Rot.” Because somehow things always take longer than I imagine. And I want this book to be the absolute best it can be. And Good, Fast, and Cheap can be mutually exclusive. On the other hand, you guys all seem to be really eager for the next book, and curious about when it will finally arrive. Working as hard as I can while being realistic about my abilities, I think I have a good idea.

I’m putting the finishing touches on the first draft and should be done in a few days. From there, it’s on to revision, editing, and all that other stuff you may have read me going into way too much depth about in a previous post. If you’re on my mailing list, you’ll get to see some scene snippets ahead of time, probably get a chance to voice your opinions about things I’m considering slipping into the book during second draft, a chance for ARC copies, goody giveaways, and, of course, first notification when the book is live and available to buy.

If you’re not on my mailing list, why not?! (signup box is over there →)

Anyway, I’m doing my best to hit an August deadline, but it is tentative, and by very definition subject to change.

I’m excited about “Gods of Rust and Rot,” and I hope you guys are, too!

(8/22)

Edited to Add: I’m just putting the finishing touches on the pre-order. Creating the cover, reviewing the text, etc. It’ll be available in a few days, and mailing list folks will have a chance to read it then, while everyone else can buy it to have it delivered directly to their kindles on release day.

This post could also be titled, “Allow Me To Disillusion You, Part 1”

“YOU’RE A WRITER?”

After I tell non-writers my occupation, I get two common responses. The above question is almost immediately followed by my conversation partner either telling me that they’ve always wanted to write a book, too, but just haven’t “gotten around to it yet,” or, they express amazement at people who have a connection to the muse, and ask me how long it took to write the book.

I think this is because movies, television, (and even books!) really skew people’s perceptions of certain “glamorous” professions. Sure, sometimes cops get to go on high speed chases after escaping convicts, but speeding through the heart of New York while completely ignoring all traffic laws, collateral damage, and pedestrian safety…? Probably not gonna happen.

2900010_1343097576892.41res_449_300For a GENRE writer (and by that I mean novels primarily meant for entertainment, e.g. mystery, thriller, science fiction, romance, fantasy, and horror) we don’t have to sit down and agonize about the meaning of life while waiting for the ephemeral muse to guide our fingers. Anyone can write, with a bit of imagination (something you should already have, but can work on strengthening if Life somehow killed it in you) and a lot of hard work. You can still slip some commentary about the meaning of life in there, though. 😉

The idea that you just sit down and do it is a lot closer to the truth, but it’s more like, “Sit down, do it, do it again because you sucked the first time, do half of it again, send it to someone else to tell you that you still suck, do it again…” Because craft matters. It takes time to learn what you’re doing.

THE MATH

danbo mathAlso known as, “Rambling about my Writing Process.”

I love numbers, especially when they deal with money, time, or any combination of the two. I track my own productivity, partially because it helps me to get faster and faster. And so I know how much time it takes to write and publish a 120-140 thousand word novel. For the people who don’t spend enough time staring at a word processor to memorize how long that comes out to, that’s about 400-466 print (paperback) pages.

This is an estimate of the hours I’ll have put in before my current book, Gods of Rust and Rot, is available for purchase. Hopefully by the time I’ve written a few more books, I’ll be faster.

Planning/Plotting: This is exactly what it sound like. I plan out my novels in scene/chapter segments, so I have a good idea where the story is going and don’t get stuck halfway through, having written myself into a corner.

50 hours

Writing: This includes both the actual typing, and something I call Brainstorming. Before I write a scene, I sit down for a few minutes with a notepad and think about the things that need to happen in the scene, jot down any cool ideas for dialogue, turns of phrase, etc. It’s just another thing to make the flow of writing smoother, so I don’t get stuck staring at the blank page.

195 hours

Revising: Revising is what some people might call editing, but it’s done over the scope of the whole novel, and deals with things like character, plot, pacing, and setting. It’s a high-level view of story, rather than a line-by-line prose makeover. It’s one of the most important steps toward a book that makes me proud to have written it. It also still takes me a long time, and a lot of thought and analysis. It’s something I will get faster at as I write more books, because there won’t be as many things to address.

215 hours

Editing (+): This is what most people normally think of when they say “editing.” Working on the actual words of my novel, line-by-line, looking for wordings I can clarify, grammar, typos, and the usual. The “+” is because I also do a Mini Revision during this time, for any problem I inserted during the first revision, or things I missed. I’m not a crazy perfectionist, but I do read over every sentence in the book twice.

110 hours

Publishing: This is the stuff that’s not “craft.” The stuff a publisher would do for me if I wanted to split my profits with them. It’s hiring another editor to be a second pair of eyes, beta readers, and a proofreader. Then going over each of their work to see what suggestions they have to make the book better. It’s writing a blurb, illustrating the book cover (I do my own), ebook formatting, print book formatting and proof copy review, pre-launch marketing, launch promotion, arc giveaways/contacting book reviewers, setting the book up online for sale.

110-150 hours, and a good chunk of cash

Total: 679-719 Hours (and cash)

That’s actual work time. Not time spent staring into space, browsing the internet, doodling, going to the bathroom, getting a snack, or any of the other 300 ways I subtly procrastinate.

TL;DR

little box guy broken keyboardSo, yes. Part of it is just sitting down at the computer and typing. A large part of it, actually. And part of it is brooding over the meaning of it all. “Why would my main character possibly do something so STUPID!?” “What is this side character’s purpose in my story? Should I backspace him out of existence?”

But mostly, it’s just butt-in-chair time, dedicating myself to getting better at my craft and my business. It’s work. And the best kind of play.

Do any of you guys work a job that is always over-dramatized in the media? What is it actually like to be a cop, a pilot, or…a member of the CIA? If you work for the CIA, wanna be interviewed by a not-yet-famous author? 😆

Also, in case you didn’t notice, I have discovered Danbo.

 

To any of you out there that may have been wanting a physical copy of a book and putting it off because it was too expensive…now’s the time.

Amazon is offering 30% off one physical copy (not an ebook) until November 30th, 2015. I bought this:

It’s a side-story novella from one of my absolute favorite authors. His books have a much-loved place of honor on my bookshelves, both physical and electronic. Additionally, he’s an all-’round great person. Now, most of you have heard of him. If you haven’t, I’ll refrain from asking what you’ve been wasting your time on and recommend you check out his first book.

Here’s to that giddy feeling when you get a brown box in the mail and you know it’s got books inside! Are any of you taking advantage of the sale? What have you bought, or want to buy?