Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Word Count #3

I don't want to flood my updates with daily pictures of word progress, so I've decided to do a weekly post and add daily updates within it. If you think there's a better way you'd like to see these, let me know. I'm always open to try fun, new ideas :). Here goes...

Week of August 30

Monday 8/31 (start date) can be found here.

Tuesday 9/1

Wednesday 9/2
TBD

Thursday 9/3
TBD

Friday 9/4
TBD

Saturday 9/5
TBD

Total word count for the week: 2,035 of the 4,500 word goal

Monday, August 31, 2015

Word Count #2

Nap time turned out to be a short writing attempt, as evidenced by my first posted word count. My toddler decided naps are for wimps. For the record, I could use being a wimp most days!

Night time worked much better though. I love working at night, when the house is quiet and my muse seems to be chugging her first mega-cup of coffee. Check it out :).



It feels great to get my next chapter rolling (finally), but please remind me of this feeling when my infant is up in 40 minutes....and again in 3 hours.

Speaking of mega-sized coffee, I'd better get the beans ready for my 5 am wake-up. I'm going to need them!

1-2-3 Write!

I need an accountability partner. It's been too long since I've posted on my blog, too long since I've been able to write with any serious pride. I've managed to scratch out a chapter or two in the last few months, but it's not enough to get the next book done.

I've had a good excuse, of course. New baby + toddler does not = writing time. It doesn't help that my newbie's medical needs meant setting up doctors and game plans, which are time consuming on their own. But all that is set; nap times are lining up and I'm craving some quality conversations with my Æerenden family.

The problem is that I've been on permanent mombie mode for too long. I'm suffering from internet overdose and jonesing for a Netflix binge-watching fix when I should be worshiping my keyboard. Writing is kind of like running, really. If you stop doing it for too long, your drive turns into a Sunday meander, your stamina sputters, and your muscles resemble a jell-o pudding snack.

I'm out of shape in more ways than I care to admit. But with writing, much like running, getting back into the routine, one stiff step after another, turns pudding into a gorgeous, lofty chocolate souffle (hey, I'm not giving up my chocolate here; I'm just turning it into something more worthy).

I've struggled with rebuilding that routine under constant sleep deprivation, but a recent post by another author (Eri Nelson, for those of you who like paranormal fiction) gave me an idea. That's where the accountability partner comes in. It's you. Eri posted a screen shot from a writing app that I'll be using going forward (Writeometer, for the curious). I'll be doing the same on my blog, so count with me...1 word at a time, 750 words a day...until the first draft is done. And if you see me miss any days, email me, ping me on Facebook or better yet, call me out publicly on Twitter. I need the kick in the pants.

What do you say? Are you in?

Word count today (so far)



Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Scary Times...An Update

I've been debating whether to write this blog post for a while now. It's highly personal and not the most positive news, but I feel as if I owe my readers too much to leave everyone wondering why I've disappeared from my usual social spaces.

As those of you who follow me on Facebook probably know, I'm expecting my second child at the beginning of February, a beautiful little Valentine's sister for my Christmas daughter. My husband and I are ecstatic about our new arrival, especially after all the hardships we've been through over the past five years. But, of course, that also means I have a lot to finish before her arrival, not the least of which is the fourth book in the Æerenden series.  I've been working hard on it and though the deadline was tight, I'd been on track until recently.

In November, my husband received a phone call that changed our lives forever. Our baby had an anomaly on her scan. We were told it was probably nothing, but after a flurry of emergency appointments and a visit to Children's Hospital, we learned the heartbreaking truth. Our daughter will be born with an extremely rare disorder. I won't go into details about it; they're hers to share with whomever she pleases as she gets older, but it means she will not live the easiest of lives. From the start, she'll become well-acquainted with doctors, specialists and therapists. She'll learn the value of patience and she'll have to grit her teeth through the "wait and see" non-committal medical responses that accompany understudied diagnoses. Above all, she'll have to learn to be strong, despite some of life's most cruel adversities. And so will we.

Of course, this means we've been inundated with research as we try to get our daughter's doctors lined up, and we try to absorb and understand her rare condition before she has to face it. It also means I've had to set aside my writer duties for a while so that I can focus on my family ones.

I promise you, I haven't forgotten about my obligation to my readers and to the stories that mean so much to me. I'll still finish the book in 2015, as promised, just not before February.

In the meantime, please keep spreading the word if you enjoy the series. While I'll finish writing book four, despite this trial, finding time to market will be nearly impossible. Your continued word-of-mouth support will make a huge difference in bridging that gap.

Thanks again for reading and for understanding. I may not be online as much as I used to be, but I am around as often as possible, so please keep in touch.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season and a joyous New Year.

Kristen

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Child Returns is an Indie B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree!

After a rough morning Friday, I came home to find an email announcing that my YA Epic Fantasy novel The Child Returns has been selected as an Indie B.R.A.G. Medallion winner. What an awesome way to turn a day around!




For those of you who aren't aware, this is a big deal in the Indie author arena. The B.R.A.G. (Book Readers Appreciation Guild) Medallion is awarded by indieBRAG, LLC, a privately held organization that has compiled a large group of readers (individuals and members of book clubs) from eleven countries around the world, including the USA. Their mission is to "discover new and talented self-published authors and help them give their work the attention and recognition it deserves." You can learn more about them here.  


The Medallion award is subjected to a rigorous selection process and all books are judged on the following criteria:

·        Plot
·        Writing Style
·        Characters
·        Copy Editing
·        Dialogue
·        Cover/Interior Layout

50% of books do not make this first cut. If they do, they're sent to readers who must answer one important question: Would they recommend the book to their best friend? 

Ultimately, only 10% of submissions are selected for the honor once readers are done.

I can't even begin to express how happy I am to have earned this award. After receiving a Best Kindle Book Award Finalist nod last month, you can bet I'm jumping up and down right now. Hope you're joining me :).




Thursday, October 2, 2014

Updates: A little good, a little bad

Sadly, The Child Returns didn't win the Kindle Best Book Award for Fantasy, though it was a complete honor to be chosen as one of the five Finalists out of so many entries. I plan to enter the second and third books in the series next year, so wish me luck!

In the meantime, be sure to check out this year's fantasy winner, Nefertiti's Heart by A. W. Exley, here. It looks like a great read, so I'll be picking up my own copy soon (as soon as Book 4 is complete). Don't you LOVE that cover? You can also check out all seven winners (one for each major category) by following this link.


Speaking of Book 4 (working title: The Reaper Rises), I've been making great progress so far. Current stats: 249 pages, 63,443 words. Unfortunately, my husband will be out of town for much of October, so my progress will slow soon, but hopefully I can complete the first draft and a few editing rounds by the end of November.

Betas, are you ready to get your hands on it in December?

For those of you who haven't started reading the series yet, I'm running a Read for Review over on Goodreads right now with my Never Too Old for YA & NA group. If you're a member of Goodreads, please head on over and sign up. It's a great group, so you should check it out even if you don't sign up for the R4R. Link here.

And finally, the series has hit a few milestones recently that I wanted to share. On Amazon, The Child Returns received it's 50th review, bringing the book's average to 4.8 out of 5. On Goodreads TCR also received it's 90th rating. My average there is 4.41, which is awesome for a notoriously hard site. Overall, I have 137 ratings for all 3 books on Goodreads with a 4.55 average.

Huge thank yous to everyone who has read and loved the Æerenden books, to those who have rated them, and most importantly to those who keep spreading the word. I really appreciate your support.

Now back to writing!

Kristen


Thursday, September 4, 2014

My Goodreads Not-Reviews

Although reviewing/rating my books is an option for me on sites like Goodreads, and many authors do it, I've never been comfortable reviewing or rating my own books. I figure you already know I love them or I never would have released them. But every time I log into Goodreads, the review box stares back at me, one big unblinking eye that begs for color. So I came up with an idea. Why not share a little bit about each book with you, my lovely readers who have been so kind to me? 

My commentary on each of the books is linked below, along with the topics I addressed. Enjoy! And remember, I also answer questions from readers through the "Ask the Author" section of Goodreads. If you have an account and a burning question, please leave it for me here

Now, back to work on Book 4!


The Child Returns - A little background on how the series came about:

*****

The Gildonae Alliance - On why Meaghan didn't start out on page 1 as a superhero:

*****

The Zeiihbu Master - Why TZM is so special to me: