Tag Archives: Solomon’s Throne

Do you have to know your genre to write?

10 steps to being a better writer copy

Since Camp NaNoWriMo is starting on the 1st, and since I completely forgot about it until a couple of days ago, I took a quick gander at the Campfire Circle forum on the NaNoWriMo website. (Gander, for those of you not from the South, means “look”.) One of the questions got me thinking, I think because I’ve been in the indie publishing world for a while now. Things are different — in a good way — in indie land.

Here’s the question: “I need some help identifying my genre.” Then the poster put a synopsis of her story up.

There’s nothing inherently wrong in asking the question, but it really reminded me of one of the best things about being an indie author. GENRE DOESN’T REALLY MATTER! Sure, once you publish, you have to select your genres on Amazon and B&N and Kobo… I get that. But you certainly don’t need to know what you’re going to check off before you even write the thing. And honestly, some of the best work coming from indies are cross-genre stories that would never get picked up by traditional publishers for that fact alone. Traditional publishers want to quantify you. Many traditionally published authors who want to branch out into other genres aren’t allowed to by their publishers, or at least not in their own name. That’s a shame, and something that the indie market is doing better than the legacy guys at the moment.

I will grant you that it’s easier to market yourself if you write in one, carefully defined genre. Since I don’t do that, I can attest to the “starting over” phenomenon when you have a new book out in a new genre. But still, the point of writing is (or should be) to write the story in your heart. If that story is romance, or suspense, or police procedural, that’s great. But if, like me, that genre is Young Adult sci-fi dystopian fantasy… Well, that’s okay, too. Will most of my action adventure treasure hunt readers cross over? I doubt it. Does that mean I’m starting from scratch? Yep. But I started from scratch when I published Solomon’s Throne, anyway, and it’s selling at a pretty steady pace, so it’s doable. And worth it, to write what I want.

If you’re doing Camp NaNo next month or in July, or you’re going to sign up for the big event in November, relax. Have fun. It’s a first draft. It might be terrible. That’s okay! You have to give yourself permission to write crap. Work on your story, your characters, your settings. Research the details. Let your mind take the story where it wants to go, and don’t worry about genre. Once you’ve written it, edited it, sent it to beta readers, and edited some more, then you can think about it. If you decide to go the traditional route, you can figure out which genre it fits best when you start sending out queries. If you decide to go the indie route, it won’t matter until you’re in production. Either way, that’s a long way off from the first words of the first draft.

Relax, take a deep breath. Write. Think. Dream. Imagine. For now, that’s all you need to do!

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Filed under NaNoWriMo, Publishing, Self publishing, Writing

Busy busy busy all the time…

The recent 106 degree temperatures were a dead giveaway that it’s summer, and, as a 12 year homeschooling veteran, I take summer seriously. I am as ready for summer as my kids have always been, and we take a long one – this year my son (my only remaining child at home!) was done around April 26, and will not be back in full swing until after Labor Day. And yet, it’s already July 24! How did this happen??

In April I wrote a screenplay for Script Frenzy, and edited it, before the end of the month.

In May, we were in Uganda for 3 weeks (go here to see why), and while we were there I did a ton of Civil War research, which included reading actual diaries of young women from both the Confederate and Union sides. I researched battles, the way the military was set up, how they came to war… (Here’s my secret feeling on research: when I’m in the middle of writing and I do it, I think it’s pretty fun. When I am doing nothing but research, it makes me want to take a nap.)

In June I did Camp NaNo and wrote the Civil War romance, on which I am now doing the final edit before sending to the agent who suggested it. That was 88,370 words.

In July, I finished the sequel to Solomon’s Throne, called The Hoard of the Doges (about 84k words). I did a quick first edit on that yesterday. (Editing cramps my eyeballs…)

In July, my first novel, Solomon’s Throne, was published as well, and that involved a lot of work with Streetlight Graphics, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, VistaPrint (I had postcards made), and OvernightPrints (bookmarks). Initial response has been great, and I’m hoping the people who bought the books last week and over the weekend will start getting reviews up soon.

August 1 I will start August Camp NaNo, and I’ve been noodling through that storyline over the last week or so. As I’ve posted before, it will be a YA dystopian fantasy thing… I will also start work with Streetlight Graphics the week of August 27 to publish The Hoard of the Doges.

Additionally, my son will start a couple of co-op classes that week, will have his 16th birthday during the month, and is in full swing with football. And my daughter will go back to college for her senior year. And my husband is publishing his first book. And I might have laser eye surgery.

September… I think I’ll rest!

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Filed under Publishing, Script Frenzy, Self publishing, Writing

5-4-3-2-1…LIFT OFF!

SOLOMON’S THRONE is now online and available for purchase in print format here! It will be up on Amazon (print version) in 5-7 days, and later this week in eBook format for Kindle. I am super, super, super excited! How’s that for a turn of literary phrase?

Here’s the cover – hope you buy and enjoy!

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Filed under NaNoWriMo, Publishing, Self publishing, Writing