Category Archives: Writing

Wild News Wed – T-Minus 3 days until COVER REVEAL WITH A SURPRISE!

So, Vikans, Guess what?

KINETIC REBIRTH’S COVER REVEAL IS THIS SATURDAY!

THIS.

SATURDAY.

*insert excited squealing here*
*deep breath*
Okay, I am calm. We’ll see how long that lasts.

Time has flown by this year. After losing JV in late January, I felt broken and lost. A part of my heart had been ripped out and torn into millions of pieces. She was my closest friend. I could tell her everything and anything, and she wouldn’t judge or criticize. She was the purest, kindest, most supportive friend I could’ve asked for, and was one of those people that you’re lucky if you meet one in your entire life. A diamond, a gem, an angel on earth that had to return to Heaven WAY too soon, life cut short in the blink of an eye.

The only grateful thought I have is that she went almost instantaneously, no pain whatsoever. That is at least a blessing. But, it’s still not coping, and it’s still not closure.

But, KINETICS is both.

I went on my Smoky retreat, only a mere three weeks or so after losing JV. My Smoky companions were supportive and gentle, which helped knowing what weight I’d put on my shoulders by starting KINETICS. If you want more details on this adventure, read my previous posts from this year. I should be updating my Index tab this weekend as well, just FYI. But, in a nutshell, almost every character in this KINETICS series is one that they two of us came up with while roleplaying online together. All but one. The only character we didn’t create together is JV herself. I have inserted her as one of the heroes of the series. I had hoped that I could write her as accurate and true to JV in real life, but wasn’t quite sure if I’d captured it. I got this from my editor when I got the edits back:

KatNotes-JV_Compliment-Cropped

… And my happiness shot through the roof. Still, as my editor had never actually met JV, I knew I’d written JV’s character well to be liked, but there still wasn’t substantial proof that I wrote her accurately. However, I sent the short story prequel, “KINETIC TRAGEDY”, to three of JV’s closest friends, as well as JV’s husband/widower. All four loved it, and told me, “Yup, that was perfectly Jess.”

Side note real quick. “KINETIC TRAGEDY”, as of this AM, had just reached 100 downloads! This free short is now more successful than “THE PROTEKTOR’S REALITY”, which has been out since November 2014! I am so excited about the response to this story, so download the e-story and share the link like crazy!!
Proof?

KineticTragedy_2017-08-16_midday

 

*ahem*
Okay, Back on topic.

However, it wasn’t until last weekend that I felt almost certain JV had been written exactly realistic and true to JV in real life. I talked to JV’s mother, who told me JV’s grandmother had read one of the ARCs I gave the family, loved it, said JV was so realistic and honestly her, and also that she guessed I was the main character. To which, I joked with JV’s mom, “Trust me, I wish I was half as cool as Jaden.”

As of hearing that, I knew I’d succeeded on preserving JV in print for all eternity. And I can’t wait to share her awesome bubbly-ness with the world.

If you want to see the cover reveal when it happens, go like my Facebook page, or follow my Twitter, where the news will drop early on Saturday, August 19th (THIS SATURDAY!). I WILL ALSO BE EMAILING MY Instafreebie subscribers, so if you download KINETIC TRAGEDY off there, you’ll get word that way too.

I am so excited to share this adventure with you. I can see JV smiling down on me, patting me on the back, telling me, “You got this.”

Keep Faith, everyone, and STAY TUNED!

THREE DAYS TO COVER REVEAL, BABY!

(Oh, and there’s a surprise announcement that will come out that day too. Hint: has something to do with “digital” books. 😉 lol)

 

Social Media Links:

Instafreebie (KINETIC TRAGEDY short + email list subscription) Link: https://www.instafreebie.com/free/N4Wnr

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/cmcdonnellauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/discoverywritin

 

Wild News Wednesday (2017-08-02)

Howdy, Vikans!

So, life’s been stressful lately, but I won’t bore y’all with details. However, I will update you guys on my writing endeavors. I owe you guys that much for reading coming over here to my slice of the Interwebs.

So, we have less than 3 months until the official print release of KINETIC REBIRTH, the first in my KINETICS series. You know, the one I’ve been talking about non-stop for months? Yeah, that one.

It’s due to release October 19th, 2017, and I have NEVER been more excited in my life! HOWEVER, some reveals are closer. I’ve decided to do the official cover reveal on my social media on Saturday, August 19th, exactly two months from the print book’s release. Along with it will be a surprise pertaining to KINETIC REBIRTH’S release, which I’m sure will make some people super excited.

Or, at least, I hope.

Anyway, if you want to make sure you get notified of the cover reveal, Like/Follow/Subscribe to the following pages, so you’ll see everything when the news goes live.

One way is Instafreebie. When you download KINETIC TRAGEDY, the eBook short story prequel to October’s novel release, your email is added to my e-Newsletter subscribers list. You’ll get pertinent information, and I promise I won’t be sending too many emails to my list. At least, not yet. To download the story AND be added to my subscribers list, go [here] to download it! If you just want to be a Newsletter subscriber, but don’t need the eBook short for whatever reason, you can directly sign up [here].

You can also Like my Facebook Author page. Either search C. McDonnell on the FB search bar, or just click [this link]. Yes, I did change the title of my author page. This is because I learned back in 2011, when I released my first short story, that there is a children’s book author that also has my name. So, all upcoming and future projects will be under author C. McDonnell, to stop confusing searches on Amazon, B&N, etc.

Another place to keep up with me is Twitter. My user is @discoverywritin, or you can click [here] to go to my Twitter page. Don’t be afraid to say Hi! I don’t bite, I swear.

Okay, one last update.

As of the beginning of June, I have been working diligently on Book 2 of my Kinetics series. Yep, the sequel to the above aforementioned October 2017 novel release. (Sorry, mouthful). As of now, title is TBD, as is completion date and release date. From June 1st until yesterday, I have written over 24k words (24,000 words, for those of you that don’t understand the abbreviation). YA Fantasy generally has an accepted 50k minimum word count, but I’ve never had a problem surpassing that in my other 7+ completed manuscripts that I’ve set on the back burner. So, essentially, I’m halfway to the least I can publish. While it is just an objective minimum, it gives me a calculable goal, and I know this book will surpass that easy peasy.

Also, to give a bit more details, this second book will encompass more of me and JV’s friendship, going back to our roots, back to when we first met and became friends back in October 2011. We met through mutual friends, through a forum-based fantasy RP they’d created. If you want more info on our journey through our five and a half year friendship, go to [this video] on Youtube, where JV and I discuss how we became friends. Part Two (found [here]) delves into our transition into coauthoring a series together.

And, for clarification, the KINETICS series is NOT the one we were coauthoring. Currently there’s a snag in getting her writings for it, but once that snag is untangled, then I will pursue that series as well.

Anyway, back to my information on Untitled Kinetics Project #2.

It goes back to our roots, in a little town called Hyndon. We created characters about 1-2 months in that were in a relationship together. Even after the RP site went inactive, JV and I continued those characters’ story within private, shared Google Docs files. That led to multiple different Google Docs of varying role-playing, each with their own sets of characters, settings, magic systems, etc, etc.

My Kinetics series is my ultimate dedication to JV, and the friendship we had together. This series will get crammed with so much of our writing together, that you will hopefully know her as well as I do.

Monday marked 6 months since she passed from this world, and I cried all day and all night, and didn’t sleep well that night. When I woke up the next day, my boss asked me, ten minutes into the work day, if I was okay, and that I looked like I was in bad shape. Have I mentioned how awesome my boss is before? Well, I am now.

19756673_10212272747270457_2669381282374313339_n

However, within a few hours, I looked at my JV Jr doll, who I’ve taken to work every day since the funeral, and also looked at the photo on my desk, and realized crying won’t bring her back. To be honest, I’d give up my creative mind if it meant bringing her back, but since that isn’t a possibility, I have to utilize my gifts to make sure she forever lives on through my writing. So the world can see how pure, creative, fun, and amazing a person she was. This is our friendship’s legacy, and I hope you’ll get copies when KINETIC REBIRTH is released, so you can see for yourself how much she meant to me, and to everyone else she cared about.

 

So, links are in brackets where each social media platform is mentioned. You can also locate me on the links on my “Contact Me” tab [here].

And, my new sign-off for Kinetics related stuff…

“Assume nothing.”

Also, Keep Faith, guys. Life may be hard now, but, at a certain point, you can only go up from there.

Hugs to you all.

Wild News Wednesday (2017-06-21)

So, my second #WildNewsWed now begins!

So, actually a lot has been going on since last Wednesday’s post. Unfortunately, most of it I can’t reveal yet. I will be able to soon, but that information is classified.

 

Classified_TomCruise

 

However, I can give you a few updates, that hopefully can tide ya’ll over a bit.

1) Kinetics, Book 1, titled “KINETIC REBIRTH”, is now nearing the end of post-production. Thanks to some swift money decisions and management techniques, I can now manage a longer pre-order gap! If you asked me a week or two ago, I would’ve said, “I *might* be able to start preorders three weeks before release day…”, and probably averted my gaze and bit my lip in nervous hesitance and disappointment.
NO MORE!!!
I now have the ability to have preorders ready before summer’s end (sometime in August or so). I’M SOOOOOO BEYOND EXCITED!!! This novel is my proudest accomplishment. It is my favorite out of the group of ten manuscripts I’ve finished since starting my writing journey back in March 2004. I am so excited to share this new world I’ve created with you guys! It came so naturally, thanks to the inspiration behind it: my best friend JV. The idea came to me a few weeks after her passing, and the manuscript was done within the next month and a half. So, edits are now done, covers are *underway* (*coughcough* details later *coughcough* I promise *coughcough*), and post-production nears its inevitable completion.

2) Just to tease ya’ll a bit, I’m going to have a short story releasing within the next few weeks, via Instafreebie and Wattpad. Somewhere along the way – not sure if before or after KINETIC REBIRTH’s release – I will be making it available all ebook platforms. Leaning more toward post-Book 1 release. But, keep your eyes peeled on my Facebook Author Page [here] for news in the coming weeks.

3) So, a brief notice about THE CHAOS ACCOUNTS. I know Account #3, “Account of Friendship”, left off at an unfortunate cliffhanger. I have a two-parter story for Account #4, which will resolve the cliffhanger I left before. However, I currently am wrapped up in KINETIC REBIRTH production and marketing, so THE CHAOS ACCOUNTS have taken a back seat. Just wanted you all to know I haven’t forgotten about Blaine, Luz, and Division 3, and that those next two stories will be written and released as soon as things die down a bit.

4) Oh, and Book #2 in the KINETICS series started a few weeks ago. Just FYI. 😀

And, to finish off, below is my #TeaserTuesday for the week.

Keep Faith, Vikans.

And October 19th is less than 4 months away. Just in case you didn’t realize that. : )

 

TT-Rebirth_2017-06-20

 

 

 

 

 

PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT!! For #secretproject details!

Hey there, all you Vikans! Hope this Friday is treating you well.

Soooooo, yesterday, I dropped my public announcement video outlining some details from my #secretproject. You can find that link [here], and also permalinked below. However, I wanted to give more details about this #secretproject. I will make videos later explaining this stuff and put them on my [Youtube Channel] (PLEASE SUBSCRIBE!! I HAZ JV VIDEOS THERE!) at a later date, for the public that doesn’t follow this blog.

So, first point of importance, repeating details from the video::

  • This book series (yup, you read right: SERIES) is my ultimate dedication to my best friend JV (who you can briefly get to know at my [Youtube Channel] in the few videos I have of us and our crazy friendship).
  • Almost every single character in this series (or, at least in the first book) was one that either JV and I came up with for our group and personal roleplaying, and also 2 characters JV had created with her and her other best friend, Renee. Melding multiple characters from multiple different roleplays, insert them into a completely different universe, and still be true to how they were in our fun adventures together. If they had a different personality, I had to think about, “What would happen in order to change them from Point A to Point B?” Surprisingly, my mind instinctively filled in the holes without much conscious effort or planning.
  • Like I said above, almost every single character was completely fictional, and stemmed from my and JV’s fun writing times. The key word there is ALMOST. One character in this series was based on and inspired by someone very key to this project: JV herself. I have inserted her in this series as one of the heroes. I am writing her as accurately and true to JV’s personality and values when she was alive.
  • As a side note, when I got my edits back from my editor, there was a small paragraph in one section that I’d like to share…KatNotes-JV_Compliment-Cropped

    Needless to say, I teared up reading that after Ravencon a month ago. That was the best compliment I could ever receive from someone pertaining to JV, and hearing that from a professional editor made it that much more special. Glad I’m doing her justice.

Okay, Part II – Release information

  • So, originally, I planned for a January 31st, 2018 release date. That will be the 1-year anniversary of the day JV passed on. My logic was that even though she’d died, she would live on through my writing.
  • I thought about it and thought about it, and realized that by releasing on that date would focus more on the fact she’d died, rather than a celebration of her life. She wouldn’t want us to focus on that; I know she wouldn’t. I swear I feel her yelling at me when I tear up on occasion remembering her. And then, she’ll probably start crying herself, and tell me to stop crying so she could stop crying. We were really in sync with our emotional personalities, and both sensitive to emotions floating around us.
  • Sooooo, I’ve picked a new release date: October 19th, 2017. Yes, there is a reason for that specific date. Travel back to October 19th, 2011. My freshman year of college. I had found a little circle of friends who loved fantasy, Marvel, action, writing, and creativity. A bunch of us joined up together and started a private forum-based roleplay website through Probroards. It was through these friends and the roleplay that I became friends with JV. Five-and-a-half years may seem like a short time to most people, but to me, that time with her in my life contains memories and laughter and mutual collaboration that will last a lifetime.

Lastly, Topic #3, which is related to the release date – Funds.

  • This book will be self-published through a self-publishing imprint of a large book distributor, meaning it will be available at THOUSANDS of print and eBook retailers. However, this company has a yearly fee, as well as initial start-up costs when uploading the cover/interior files.
  • I also need to purchase ISBNs. One ISBN costs $125, while a 10-pack costs $250, and each version of a book needs its own ISBN, so the 10-pack is my best option.
  • In addition, I will be utilizing the layout skills of Philippa Ballantine and Tee Morris, who create quite AMAZING layouts to print AND eBook! That will be a couple hundred as well, but that’s a really good deal compared to other layout freelancers.
  • Also, add to that the cover, which I will be once again utilizing the dazzling, gorgeous graphic design skills of the great Designed By Starla. She did the cover for THE PROTEKTOR’S REALITY, which turned out AWESOME, so I know she can do this dedication justice.
  • Soooooo, as you can see from the points above, getting this first novel published is costly up front, but, for me, it will be worth it. This series is closure for me, a way for me to feel closer to JV even though life has torn us away from each other.
  • Now, with the release date changed over three months earlier, it will put a strain on my wallet and push my limits, both panicked and monetary. All those costs for the old release date would have been spread over the course of 8 months, now are crammed into 5 months. Less, actually, to have a preorder option.

So, let me outline some reasons and strategies if you’d like to make this JV dedication a reality:

  • PATREON.

  • My [Patreon] pledges from my Patrons get deposited into a checking account that is only used for literary expenses (i.e.- anything pertaining to post-production of a project/WIP).
  • I’ve got some GREAT reward tiers, anything from insider info and news BEFORE the general public, to becoming a member of my private FB group, or getting chapbook or print versions of my works, depending on your level. Here’s my reward levels for my Patrons as of today (2017-05-26)::Patreon_Rewards_Tiers_2017-05-26
  • If you only want to donate for a few months, or even just one month, you can pledge a certain amount, and, once you feel satisfied with pledging or maybe overwhelmed by money issues, you can change to a different tier or even remove your pledges at any time.
  • ANY BIT HELPS!
  • Also, I’m considering doing a Kickstarter of some kind if I don’t get a lot of Patrons on Patreon. If you’re reading this, comment below on whether or not you think I should go that route or not. The reason I’m considering it is because that would allow me to take one-time donations toward this project, rather than people having to either pledge money on a monthly basis or grimace and unwillingly walking away. Comment below on your opinions, on a possible Kickstarter or anything else I’ve written in this blog post.

Oh, and now, my #secretproject will now be changed to #KineticRebirth, as this project is not-so-secret now. 🙂

Welp, that’s in for this post. If you’re new to this little slice of the Interwebs, here’s the link to my [Contact Me] tab, where you can find all my social media links, such as Facebook, Twitter, Patreon, etc.

OCTOBER 19TH, HERE WE COME!

Keep Faith, Vikans. 😀

Updates for some and for all

Hey there, Vikans! Been a while. Last you heard from me, I was prepping to return to RavenCon, as my 2nd year as a panelist. First off, IT WAS A BLAST!! I had my boyfriend, along with the amazing [Tee Morris] and Sonic Boom, accompany me this year (minus one [Pip Ballantine], unfortunately), which made it even better. I struggled a bit though. This RavenCon was the first in three years that JV didn’t join me. I took JV Jr (my stuffed Haruhi I take everywhere, symbolic of JV still near me), and snapped a few pics, though not as many as I’d planned. There were some amazing people that joined the panelist’s list, who I wanted to spotlight, because I’m nice like that:

[G.B. MacRae]

[David A. Tatum]

[Sean CW Korsgaard]

[Misbehavin’ Maidens]

There were a LOT of amazing talented acts, but only the above answered with links, so they really take their networking seriously. Props to you guys!

Anyway, all of my panels went well, aside from a stupid mistake I didn’t realize until my last panel on Sunday. When I go to Ravencon, I discount THE PROTEKTOR’S REALITY for a Ravencon-only price. It wasn’t until the end of that Sunday AM panel that I realized my mistake and was able to squeeze in the info about the con-pricing. Then, a few minutes later, as people filed out, I had two purchases of TPR, as well as a handful oTheVikanQuartetProofsf others taking the printouts of “Account of Anxiety”, detail postcards, and business cards with the 100% discount of THE VIKAN QUARTET for RavenCon participants, valid only
until the end of May (If you got that code, time’s running out! Only 14 days left for that code!!)

Now, onto next order of business: THE VIKAN QUARTET.

It released yesterday in eBook, and print on Amazon the day before. Go grab your copy as soon as you are able! It is essentially my four Tales of Terrara Vikos short stories in one copy. Around 4:30 EST on eBook release day yesterday, I went onto Amazon and found this::

 

VikanQuartet-ReleaseDay_2017-05-15_16-25

 

😮 I KNOW, RIGHT?!

Alas, I really have no idea how many people have actually purchased these, as it seems there is a lag in reporting. -_- I know, right?

So, spread the word!

Alright, topic #3: THE CHAOS ACCOUNTS. I put Account #4 (tentatively named “Account of Secrets”) on hold, due to this post’s topic #4 below. Topic #4 needed my undivided attention, and still does. I’m working on AoS as much as I can manage, but my #secretproject takes precedence. So, I am still working on Account #4, but when it will be completed or released is still majorly “TBD”.

Now, my last topic of interest: #secretproject. No, I’m not saying anything now, other than this project is my ultimate dedication to JV and her amazing life. I’ve finished editing it, and it’s about to go into post-production.

BUT!

My Patrons will get more details on what this #secretproject is this coming weekend. The rest of you who are not Patrons will have to wait another two weeks or so. My Patreon also has a lot of awesome reward tiers, including news first, booklets of short stories, even FREE, AUTOGRAPHED books!! Interested? Click [here].

Well, that’s all for this post. Be back on soon, hopefully.

And, as always…

Keep Faith, guys. 😀

 

To Ravencon, and BEYOND!

So, here we are. It’s a Monday, and I don’t know about where you are, but here, it is extremely dreary, rainy, mucky, and depressing. Doesn’t help the Monday Blues much, does it? (Correction: it’s a Wednesday now. Typed that part on Monday… :/ )

At least I have something to look forward to later this week.

Ravencon 2017 happens this Friday through Sunday, last weekend in April, as per usual. This will be my eighth year attending, and second year as a panelist. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, Ravencon is a sci-fi/fantasy/horror/mystery/fandom convention, mainly for writers, artists, and die-hard fans of pop culture and/or literature. The Dealer’s room is like a candy shop for avid readers, and the costume parade is amazing to watch. I have a handful of friends that attend regularly in cosplay, so it’s always fun to catch up and admire their hard work.

I’ve posted my schedule in [this post], but I’ll add it below as well, because I know my reading time.

That’s right.

I have a reading.

A READING.

*flailsexcitedly*

Have yet to figure out what to read, but *maybe* I’ll read from my secret project. Just *Maybe*.

Speaking of, no real updates or news on the #secretproject front, other than still awaiting my professional edits. Still cannot say anything else at this time.

HOWEVER! You may have seen this cover across my social media over the last week or so::

The_Vikan_Quartetv1

That is the cover for “The Vikan Quartet”, a collection of all 4 of my Tales of Terrara Vikos short stories, and includes a sneak peek into THE PROTEKTOR’S REALITY as well. It is now available for preorder as an eBook on most eBook platforms, and the links to it (and anything ToTV) can be found [here], on my Terrara Vikos page. Official Release Date for “The Vikan Quartet” is slated for May 15th, 2017 (Monday, 5/15/2017).

AAAAAAANNND…

*whispers* It’s gonna be in print.

*Louder* IT’S GONNA BE IN PRINT!!!

LOOKLOOKLOOKLOOKLOOKLOOK::

TheVikanQuartetProofs

DON’T THEY LOOK JUST AMAZING?!

*ahem*

Sorry, but I’m currently bouncing off the walls over this.

Unfortunately, Print book won’t have preorders, but, if you’d like a reminder, I’m getting my email newsletter thingy set up again, and this release will probably be one of the first I send.

[Newsletter Link]

Also, this e-newsletter will include TONS of updates and news as it pertains to my life as an author. So, if you’d like reminders and exciting news sent straight to your inbox, sign up with the link above.

Here’s my Ravencon Schedule::

Friday

4 pm (Panel) Why I Write Short Stories

7 pm (Opening Ceremony) Large Auditorium

 

Saturday

10 am (Panel) How to Revise

1 pm (Panel) Writer With A Day Job

***3 pm (Panel) Self-Publishing 101 (Added 4/27)

7 – 7:25 pm (Reading) Room 4

 

Sunday

11 am (Panel) The Adult In Young Adult

 

Hope to see some of you there! Also, hunt me down at Ravencon if you’re going, because I have a special deal for Ravencon attendees only pertaining to eBooks of mine…

*couchcough*FreeCodes*coughcough*

 

Keep Faith, everybody. ❤

Updates and Projects and Conventions, Oh My!

So, this is a bit of an update post, with a bit of details on what the coming months hold for me and, by association, all of my readers.

If you follow my blog, hopefully you saw my most recent post, which hints at brief details on a secret project I’ve been working on. This #secretproject is currently in the post-production/pre-publishing phases. Can you guess what that means?

THIS ONE WILL BE PUBLISHED.

I know I said it in the last post, but it bears repeating::
WILL. BE. PUBLISHED.
DEFINITELY.
WITHOUT A DOUBT.

This project has meant the world to me, and just today I sent my baby off to an editor. She said no later than the beginning of May would I get the notes and edits back. I’m terrified at what this editor will have to say, mainly because I’m terrified of editors. Ever since grade school, actually. As a young writer, getting an essay marked up in red pen terrified me. While this project is more in tune with my skills and expertise (YA/New Adult fantasy), the terror still remains. I know they are meant to help the story in the long run, this project is more than just any other manuscript. It’s been a coping mechanism for me, and I’m hoping once published, it might be one for others too.

Okay, that’s a tease, but more news soon, I promise. But that’s all I can say now on that.

Moving on to THE CHAOS ACCOUNTS series:

Account_of_Friendshipv3FINAL

After almost two months since #2, Story #3 is hitting the virtual shelves! Titled “Account of Friendship”, it follows Luz, the transgender techie who struggles with keeping his friendship with Blaine afloat in the midst of this secret, magical war with ChaosBlaze. When Blaine demands to go topside for a promised performance, Luz won’t let him go alone. As the events of the night play out, Luz starts to wonder if the only thing ChaosBlaze desires is Blaine…

That story is slated to be released April 15th (4/15/2017) (This coming Saturday), and details and links are available [here]. Also on that page are the covers, links, and summaries for Story #1 (“Account of Anxiety”) and Story #2 (“Account of Unrest”) are there as well. Also, news for the next one:: It’ll be titled “Account of Secrets”, and it is currently in progress. ?

Final topic of interest: RAVENCON.

Yes, I will be returning to Ravencon this year, for my second time as a panelist, and eighth time as a participant. Ravencon has always been my home away from home, and I am waiting in impatient anticipation for the event date to come faster. I will be on four panels (which I will list below for anyone who might be coming), and they are setting up a reading for me.

A. Reading.

Yep, that just happened.

However, this Ravencon will be rough for me. My original +1 for this year was the one I had last year. But, if you’ve been keeping up with me lately, you’ll have heard that she passed away on January 29th. This will be the first Ravencon in four years that JV will not be accompanying me. Luckily, my amazing Boyfriend will be accompanying me instead, for support and curiosity, and I will also have JV Jr attached to my side the entire time (Prepare to be bombarded with photos of stuffed Haruhi Fujioka). Note to Ravencon guests: take it easy around Boyfriend PLEASE. This will be his first glimpse into my writing career and the crazy people that fill that world, and I’d like to not freak the poor guy out. xD

Ravencon is April 28-30th, 2017 in Williamsburg, VA. [website]

RavenConBanner

As I did last year, I will be posting live check-ins on my Facebook Author page. I will try to do those more than I did last year, I promise. Like my Facebook page to keep up with my writing merriment and shenanigans.

Ravencon panels:
Friday, 4 PM – Why I Write Short Stories
Saturday, 10 AM – How to Revise {Ironic, I know}
Saturday, 1 PM – Writer With a Day Job
Sunday, 11 AM – The Adult in Young Adult
Reading (TBD)

Well, that’s my most recent update. Keep up with me at the sites/links [here], especially if you want to stay up-to-date on my upcoming projects.
Keep Faith, Vikans. 😉

EXCITING NEWS: #Secretproject WIP

So, for those of you familiar with my little slice of the Interwebs, you might have noticed I’ve been spacing on blog posts recently. So, to make up for it, I’ll have a snippet of something below for you guys, even newbies to my sanctuary of a website.

The reason I’ve been otherwise occupied and neglecting this blog is because I’ve been working on a very special WIP. If you follow my social media, you may have noticed me using the hashtag #secretproject for the past couple of weeks. Well, guess what?

It’s finished.

59,000 words in exactly five weeks.

FIVE.

WEEKS.

😮

Yeah, I know, I’m kinda shocked too. I started this manuscript at my regular trip to the Smoky Mountains for our writing retreat. A week in the mountains of Tennessee helped me start this project, and cranked out a little over half of the final word count (~31,000).

The only information I can give at this time is that this project is a testament to JV’s life and free, youthful, random personality. By that, I mean in multiple ways. First off, the characters hold a special place in my heart, but that’s all I can say about plot/character details at this time. In case you can’t tell, this stuff will be *hushhush* for a little while. Need to know basis.

Also, the whole project was me channeling JV in spirit. She always was the most random, funny, relaxed, and spontaneous individual I ever met. In her spirit, I did no planning for this project. NONE. All I started with was the main five characters and the opening setting, and only part of the initiating event. Then, I just let my imagination do the rest. Every time I sat down to work on this project, I had no idea where the story was going, or where it would take my characters and plot. So, when I say every detail and plot thickening scene was completely spontaneous and on-the-spot created, I’m not kidding.

I have also started communicating with an editor, and plan to send this manuscript out to her soon. I’ve also got a beta reader whose opinion I trust, and also layout freelancers on standby. I also want to use the same cover designer who designed “THE PROTEKTOR’S REALITY”, as that cover came out completely badass. She’s got quite an amazing portfolio behind her, and I wouldn’t trust anyone else with this cover. She’ll give it the amazing cover I know it deserves. J

Also, brief update on THE CHAOS ACCOUNTS: I have finished edits on Story #3, titled, “Account of Friendship”. This one follows Luz, a transgender boy whose experience and finesse with technology surpasses a majority of middle-aged IT consultants, and his obsession with Tom Hiddleston and Benedict Cumberbatch is supplemented with a secret eidetic memory and love of pop culture, movies, and entertainment. At the beginning of this story, Luz fears his friendship with Blaine might be weakening, as Blaine starts to neglect him and his own siblings to train and chill with the other members of Division 3. When Blaine realizes he has a life-changing performance back topside, Luz goes with him, not only as tech support, but to help him should the enemy find out he’s unprotected. However, what if ChaosBlaze had known months ago? And, if they did know ahead of time, who would have told them?

Cover reveal in a few days, followed soon after with preorder link once I deal with the nitty-gritty details with Amazon and Smashwords. Aiming for an official release within two/three weeks or so.

To close, I’m going to link to my social media and other links below. The first one below is my Patreon. I’m going to ask every one of you this; PLEASE SHARE MY PATREON! The #secretproject I talked about on this post is slated for a release in very early 2018. Timing with getting things done shouldn’t be a problem. The funds to actually get this #secretproject officially in my hands and the hands of my readers… Yeah, that’s a slight problem. Even if you yourself can’t pledge to me (trust me, I understand not having money to spare), PLEASE just share the link. If everyone reading this shared this post and/or my Patreon link below, I can get a lot more eyes on the page, and hopefully new Patrons. I’m lagging in the Patron’s department, and all the money I make on Patreon for the next year is going toward this #secretproject , and every little bit helps. All my Patrons, regardless on pledge amount, will get access to my Patron-only feed, which will receive news and updates and sneak peeks and cover reveals a few days before the public. Also, I’ve added a $4 pledge amount to my Patreon page, with only 30 slots, to be added to my secret Facebook group, the members I warmly call my EXMakers. The EXMakers will receive news and updates even sooner than Patrons, and definitely a decent amount of time for the public’s reveals. They will also get sneak peek snippets, sketches and quotes from characters for ANY projects I work on, AND occasionally, I will pose questions for info and polls that might help me decide things for WIPs. After those 30 slots are filled, that benefit of membership will be restricted to $10 pledgers, so pledge while you can!

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/discoverywritin

Like my Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/christinemcdonnellauthor/

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/discoverywritin

 

Links to other info on this blog—

Terrara Vikos saga: https://terraravikos.com/terrara-vikos-saga/

The Chaos Accounts series: https://terraravikos.com/the-chaos-accounts/

Original Patreon Announcement

 

And, as always, Vikans: Keep Faith.

(Please share!)

 

Snippet below if from “Account of Friendship”, Story #3 in THE CHAOS ACCOUNTS::

“Luuuuuuuuuz!” yelled Kayla, “Get outta bed, sleepy-head!”

Luz’s bed felt like a trampoline, his body bouncing up and down. His eyes shot open to find that the kids had broken into his room. Again. These unwanted wake-up calls had been happening for the last week. He loved Kayla and Richie, but wished Blaine, as their older sibling, would spend more time with them. The four of them had been confined to this underground “Sanctuary”. While he acknowledged the MRC did this for their safety, Luz felt cabin fever really strongly now, after a month in restrictive captivity.

Richie, the youngest of the Foster brood, dropped halfway on top of Luz, knocking the wind right out of him. “Luzey, wakey-wakey!”

Laughing lightly, Luz gently pushed Richie to the side. “Alright, I’m up, I’m up.” Sitting upright, Luz gazed around his room. The MRC’s budget must be lax or overflowing, based on all the decorations and objects they’d allowed him to buy with their funds. They wanted him to stay so bad that they let him make his room feel more comfortable and homey. Posters of Thor, Captain America, the Suicide Squad, Gotham, and Agents of Shield plastered over the boring tan paint that encased the whole room. Oh, and there were a few Loki posters too. Okay, a little more than a few.

ALRIGHT, Loki essentially wallpapered the room!

Blaine teased him about his Tom Hiddleston obsession, but he didn’t mind. Hiddleston held the number one spot on Luz’s list of extraordinary actors, closely followed by Doctor Strange himself, Benedict Cumberbatch. Blaine may have songs and impersonations memorized and also have talent as a musician, but no one beat out Luz when it came to cinema, technology, and pop culture. While most would label his knowledge about the entertainment industry as female gossip, Luz countered every time by pointing out that gender labelling someone based on their un-stereotypical interests was as effective as telling a bear to not eat the food out of your picnic basket while you’re camping because it’s people food. Not very effective.

(Releasing later this month. Stay Tuned!)

Post Smoky Blues and Highs

So, back again! Been a while, hasn’t it?

Soooooo, I went to Smoky again. J If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out [this post] or [this one] from a review of a previous Smoky. If you don’t want to go to that lovely piece of my blog, I’ll paraphrase: 20-some writers of all shapes and kinds, cranking out words, eating delicious, homecooked food (courtesy of our two live-in chefs), and having a blast.

I miss everyone already, but that last day slammed me once I go home. See, in the prior two years of attending the Smoky Mountain Writers retreat, I would get home off of a high of cranking out thousands upon thousands of words, and think, “I’m going to continue working on this until it’s done and perfect and-

Grumpy-Cat-NO-1

My brain would shut down entirely. I would want to write, but have nothing pulling me to write. My mind was filled with ideas, but without motivation, I’d go nowhere. {See  [this post] on L.O.I. and my struggles with it.)

And nowhere was where I remained for months after each Smoky. First Smoky (2015) I cranked out about 28,000 words in the six days of the retreat. Second Smoky (2016 – Last Year): 36,000 words.  All new projects.

This year, my new project topped out at 31,000 by Saturday night. I was pleased with my work, even getting positive feedback from an awesome friend who has been supportive for the last month or so. (For those of you who don’t know what I mean by that, watch [this video] for the bombshell that broke me at the end of January.)

I won’t say much about this project, as I’m keeping it as hush-hush as I can. All I can promise is that it is amazing so far. In working on this project, I learned how to look back on the past and smile, without it dragging me down.

Most of this week post-Smoky, I’ve been singing and dancing everywhere, smile on my face (most of the time, anyway). I’ve gotten tons of weird looks at the grocery store and gas stations and while walking laps at work, but, for once in my life, I didn’t care.

I.

DIDN’T.

CARE.

A HUGE step in the right direction, I think. While the beginning of the year had been rough, I’m not going to let it squash my passion for writing and my confidence in this project.

Also, we do nightly readings at Smoky, where we can ask questions, but no criticisms, which creates a nice, positive atmosphere in which to share our crafted stories. Many of you will have heard of me talk about my mentors Tee Morris and Pip Ballantine (Authors of The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series; highly recommend). They were the ones that got me to my first Smoky, and they go every year too. It’s always fun to see them and laugh and have a good time, and my depression thanks all the Smokies for emotionally supporting me. It really helped, guys. It really did.

Anyway, Tee was in my last three reading groups of the retreat. That first reading, it was me, him, and KT. I did my reading second, and was terrified. Once I’d finished my 15 minutes (different from the standard 10, because our group was smaller than the others), Tee asked a question or two, and then told me that, compared to the readings I did last year, my writing was LOADS better, and he could see how much I’ve improved, to which, KT agreed. Once readings were over, I was headed to my room to call Boyfriend, when Tee got my attention and said, “Seriously, Christine, that was good. Keep it up.” As he thumbsed-up me and walked away, my heart pounded. I couldn’t believe that my mentor, idol, and role model had complimented me that strongly.

Fast forward to the final night’s reading. I finished reading a single chapter, and had 3 minutes left to read. Before I could continue, Tee interrupts and asks a question. I glanced at where I would be reading and told him, “I don’t think I’ll be able to get there in three minutes.” He laughed and urged me to finish. Once my turn was done, he said to me, “Your story… it kinda feels along the lines of Labrynth.”

Cue heart pounding out of my chest. For those of you that don’t know Tee and Pip, let me mention a little factoid: they LOVE David Bowie. Like, beyond comprehension. Tee comparing my story to a David Bowie movie just topped anything else on the retreat. I was on Cloud Nine all the way home… Until I remembered what my brain does after Smoky…

Grumpy-Cat-NO-1

… And started to silently panic.

Soon, I realized there was a simple way to combat the L.O.I. and lack of motivation: Forcing words out. I am now challenging myself to write 300+ words a day, and I’m keeping a record in an Excel Document (Curse my love of Excel). I’ve been doing okay, considering; I’ve written over 3k in the last four days. I’m also posting a daily #PostSWRLog update on my Twitter account to hold myself accountable. I’m still going to attempt words this weekend, but travelling for a short vacation might hinder that ability. I still will post #PostSWRLogs, but probably not a huge word count. That will change after that fun’s over.

Oh, and that project that Tee complimented me on?

*gestures for you to come in closer*

*whispers* It’s a secret.

Keep Faith, everyone. Stay tuned. This year is going to be a wild ride. 😀

Pre-Smoky Jitters

Greetings, Vikans!

So, Story #2 of The Chaos Accounts, titled “Account of Unrest”, released on February 16th (two Thursdays ago). Compared to its predecessor (“Account of Anxiety”), sales reactions responded weakly. “Account of Anxiety got 81 downloads in less than a month. My biggest download days were the first three days after release. With “Account of Unrest” having been out for over a week, I’ve only gottne three downloads.

THREE.

house_whatthe

However, I will NOT be deterred! In fact, I’ve come close to finishing up Story #3, and the only hint as to what happens that I’ll give at this time is that it’s from Luz’s POV.

Now, for the topic mentioned in the title: SMOKY!

Every year, a bunch of crazy, incredibly talented authors and their equally as amazing chefs, rent out a cabin in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee for a week. During this week in the majestic mountains, writing is our full-time job. Eight hours a day with lunch in the middle, for seven days. We get a “Free” day to explore the surrounding arear too, but I usually just get another day of wordsmithing in.

So, why does my title use the word “jitters”? If this is Year 3 for me, why so nervous?

Well… for a few reasons…

  1. My anxiety has been manically wild for over a month now, so I’m jittery enough at home in day-to-day life.
  2. This retreat is my safe haven. A place where I’m among people who are accepting and caring (and crazy, but we already mentioned that). The jitters will come from being away from home for a week after all the previously mentioned anxiety that’s cropped up recently. I know my fellow Smokies will be there to hold me up, but I don’t like the idea of burdening my friends with my problems.
  3. WILL I BE PREPARED?! Last year, I cranked out 36,000 words in 5/6 days. With everything worrisome in my brain space, will I be able to focus enough to crank out even a fraction of last years total word count?

To wrap up this worry-fest, I’ve been counting the weeks until Smoky for months. Now, with only days until we arrive in our “Valhalla” of a cabin, I’m starting to feel nervous. But, while I may have worries, Smoky is my safe haven, and all the people in that cabin are my writing family. They’ll be there to help guide me through all of this.

I’m so grateful I have them to get me through this. 🙂

TWO DAYS! Smoky, here I come!

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