Tag Archives: publishing

BUST THAT QUERY STRAIGHT IN THE FACE!

This week was the release of my newest book, Blood Soaked Ashes. It’s book two of The Eramane Saga, and I can’t wait to share this segment of the story with my readers. Publishing this second book has been an amazing experience. I owe much thanks to the lovely ladies that worked closely with me on this. My editors are amazing and my cover artist is a genius. Enough about that. Go get the book! Ok, now that you’ve gone and supported my habit, we can move forward. I am a few days away from finishing up a project that I will be submitting to agents. This manuscript has been on my desktop for a year and a half, and I’m excited about its potential. But what I’m totally stoked about is that I actually have a solid query for it. What does that mean, solid? As opposed to what? Haven’t you been sending outstanding queries, Frankie? Well, I thought I had. I thought I had the best queries that had ever been written and “Why the hell weren’t the agents biting?!” I mean, I had researched what other authors posted as their queries on their websites, and I had read countless articles on ALL.THE.SITES., and I had several rejection emails that offered some friendly advice on what did and didn’t work. I was the master query writer. So “Why the hell weren’t the agents biting?!” I had no answer as to why my queries were being rejected. For almost two years I battled back and forth with this question. But then I decided to seek expert advice. I reached out to my small network of author acquaintances and humbly asked for help. And I got it. And it kept coming and doors kept opening and finally after re-working my query I ended up with a “fantastic” one. (Yeah, that’s an air-quote.) And once I read the final, kick ass version, it was like a light bulb (like one of those coiled hazmat ones) exploded above my head. Der! How simple. How extremely f-ing simple you nerf-hearding ding dong. Yes, I can be hard on myself. But that’s what we authors do. We have to. If we don’t push ourselves and force our perspective in the right direction, no one else will. So, to celebrate my enlightenment, and the release of Blood Soaked Ashes, I would like to offer free query critiques to the first TWO WRITERS OF YOUNG ADULT FICTION that respond. I want to help you find your light bulb. SERIOUS ENTRIES ONLY. PLEASE READ!! PREFERENCES AND STIPULATIONS: Queries for young-adult fiction only please. All genres welcome. Your manuscript should be completed so that you can build a thorough query and essentially a synopsis, which is often required by agents. But before you submit what you think is a good start, check out this website for a well-rounded structure as to what a query should look like. Check out this website for a good example. If yours is already formatted like this, then go ahead and request a critique in the comment area. Make sure you offer the genre and word count and briefly describe the plot. If your query fits my simple and limited requirements, I’ll reply with how you can submit your query to me, and how the process will work. Keep in mind that this is a free critique. It is not in any way an edit, nor will I re-write the query. It’s free author advice, and I’m glad to help. This offer is no longer available.

From turd, to TADA! Polishing the Manuscript.

Manuscripts need to be polished. You know what else can be polished? A TURD! Watch it on MythBusters.

I digress.

The crap that makes up the first draft of a novel should never be published for your readers. Unless you are some magical wielder of words who makes no mistakes in which case, CONGRATS BRO!

I’m a firm believer that the first draft should be well tended just as the final draft should be. Passion and focus are important in all stages of writing. But we all know that the first draft has tons of awful bits we don’t want our readers laying their precious eye holes on. This is why an experienced editor should have their way with the MS before its published.

I’m neck deep in edits right now. I have had my MS critiqued and edited for content (which is the stage I’m working on now) and once that is complete, my precious will be sent to a copy editor for finishing touches, you know, punctuation and grammar type things.

Why two editors, Frankie?

Editors come in all shapes and sizes (because they are human after all) and it’s a lot of work to pluck out all the horrific blunders an author makes whilst typing in the wee hours, eyes propped open with toothpicks like Tom’s when he stalking that clever little Jerry. I am working with two who each specialize in different scopes of the editing field. I’m not saying that one editor doesn’t have the capacity to hook your MS up proper, of course there are talented editors out there that can do that. But having more than one also puts more eyes on your MS. That is never a bad thing, yeah?

As I said, I’m in the editing process now with the second book of The Eramane Saga. My content editor ripped me a new b-hole, in a good way. This has opened me up to ideas that have enhanced my work, and forced me to rewrite nearly three chapters. Complete rewrites people! Three Chapters! Ugh! It sucked!

But I did it. And I’m so glad I did, because Blood Soaked Ashes is melding into the story I didn’t know it could be. That’s what good editors do. Your baby, that precious doc of 80k? 90k? 120k words, deserves to be dissected and picked apart and polished. But, unlike a turd, the finished MS should not smell. Unless you handled it after you polished and actual turd.

In a nutshell, before you publish, make sure it’s edited! Professionally! By someone who isn’t you!

Okay, I’ll stop exclaiming.

ASIDE RANT. I don’t want to leave anyone hangin’. Editors don’t work for free. And it’s difficult to find editors that take unsolicited submissions. I get that. If you’re not in the spot to work with professional editors at the moment, try finding online critique partner/s/groups. Participate in the NaNoWriMo and join forums that can hook you up with others willing to dish their opinion on your writing skillz. There is a plethora of resources out there for finding other writers who would love to critique your work. FYI, you are probably going to have to critique theirs too. Even tradesies. (That’s my non-word of the day.) And here is an article that describes types of critique partners/groups to avoid. Here is just another helpful link.

Shout out to SubItClub. You have lots o resources for writers! That’s awesome!

 

 

 

Keep Calm and Karate Chop Cobwebs

Courtesy of gardek.deviantart.com
Courtesy of gardek.deviantart.com

Toiling away I have been. (Yoda talk is weird when you see it typed out.) Writing more than on WIP is tough, chaotic, tiresome, you know. But the Force is strong in this one (ME!) and it is a must that I work in this way. I don’t know about you guys but having all sorts of ideas sitting upstairs for too long is no fun. I’d rather be cursing at myself during the hours most people sleep than to have stories just waiting around making cobwebs in my skully region.
But we is all different.
Book two (the last book) to the Eramane saga will be heading to my editor soon and its release will be a catharsis for me. I’ve been working on this story for a long time and I’m ready for my fans to know what happens to her and her comrades. So excited!
The title reveal is fast approaching (Oct 13) and the cover reveal will come shortly after. It’s still in its design phase. I have all my focus on getting this book out in time for Black Friday, so that I can get my YA Sci-Fi project out in January 2015 and hopefully get a combined edition of both Eramane books available in February.
Well, the rain just stopped, so I have to go walk my dog.

Blog Changes (sounds like an interesting read right?)

Here’s the deal pickle; this blog will be undergoing some changes.

Not this kind of change.

Some really cool things are happening in my writer world and because of that I am directing all power from my brain cells to my work. Because of this…

I will be converting my blog to the website for my works.  There will still be a Blog tab, but I will be using it for write-ups on events and such. But….

If you truly dig what I do and want to keep riding the Frankie Ash train, hook up with me on Twitter and Instagram (author_frankie_ash). Also….

I am working on a newsletter that I would like to send out on the regular, so when I get that ready to go, I will post here to direct you guys where you can go to email sign up. Ya dig?

While I have your attention (and if I don’t…HELLOOOO!!!) I would like to tell you guys to look out for the August issue of Sci Fi magazine. ERAMANE will be in it!!!!! And, if you happen to live in/around/other prepositions that work the Winchester, VA area, the lovely folks at Winchester Book Gallery are hosting a signing for ERAMANE August 16th at 3p.m.

If you don’t preposition that area, look for future announcements on my events in the D.C. area.

Ok:)

 

 

Angry Robot Books discontinues Strange Chemistry and Exhibit A Imprints.

Image from Strange Chemistry Site
Image from Strange Chemistry Site

Upon hearing the reports this morning of Angry Robot Books discontinuing two imprints: Strange Chemistry and Exhibit A Books, I immediately went to the Twitter feed that surrounded this news. Hundreds of authors/readers/industry professionals are tweeting their thoughts/condolences and it shows how extremely personal this feels to all us authors/bookish folks, (I’ll stop forward-slashing everything now).

My first reaction was to Tweet my 140 character “sorry” but then it occurred to me that I have a bigger voice than 140 characters. I have a fan base (small, but powerful…so I like to think) and it’s my obligation to pull my efforts in another way. I can actually support these authors.

Frankie, what are you getting at? Are you a magician? All this holding out has got me on my seat’s edge. All thoughts I’d like to think ya’ll are thinking.

So, here are my thoughts. The purpose of this blog is 1) to inform those who do not know of this new. Read it here. And 2) to list the authors affected by this and their works so yous (yeah yous) can go show your support (actions are louder than words).

Go forth yee readers\authors\industry professionals (I said I wouldn’t forward slash gah) buy a book! Post it with your lovely face or cat or dog or ferret or ant collection. Show off your fabulous Tropical Smoothie alongside your newly purchased book! I’ll have mine up as soon as I get out today to get one. And don’t forget to hash-tag them! Or use this one #happytosupport. Eh? I’m open to suggestions on that one.

And, if you are unable to dish out the dollahs, support these authors by other means. Give them a shout out on Twitter, write a blog post on one or more of your favorite authors from these imprints,  vlog yourself, or your dog, or cat, or ferret, or ant collection? rolling around in copies you might already own…spread the word man!

A short of my short…story.

letter K

I told you guys I will be releasing a short story soon, and that’s still in the works. But until I have it all formatted and proper like for your viewing pleasure, here is a sample. It’s a dark comedy…the first I’ve written in the genre. I hope that I’ve at least done it with some tact.

Serial Wanda

Part 1:1
Short, thin, cute? Yeah cute. Wanda judges herself while looking at her naked reflection. Some guy might have really enjoyed this, she continues, turning sideways to view her backside. Wanda stands there, half twisted, admiring her round butt, and wonders how painful an overdose death might be. Almost drowning is horrible…could an overdose be any worse?
The afternoon sun penetrates her sheer draperies and castes a glow onto her body. She marvels at the idea of her skin bursting into flames, as if she were a vampire; if it could only be that simple. Wanda often thought how wonderful it would be to have a guaranteed way of dying, like a steak through the heart or a holy water bath. But Wanda isn’t a vampire, and she doesn’t know of any guys that twinkle in the sun. She sighs.
A noise from the hallway breaks her blazing fantasy. It’s the familiar sound of a new tenant moving in. Wanda runs naked to the door and peers through the peephole. She sees a mattress, brand new, still in plastic, going in to apartment K. Next, a black leather couch, a large carpet, computer equipment boxes, and a microwave, all still in new packaging. Did this person just win the lottery or did they rob a bank? She becomes very eager to get a look at her new neighbor, and the longer she watches the more her face melds into the peephole. But all Wanda sees are logos on the movers gray T-Shirts: Paradise Movers.
In a little less than an half hour, the movers stop coming up to the second floor. Wanda, realizing she is still undressed, walks to the bathroom to grab her jeans from the floor. She shoves her legs in and rushes to her bedroom to grab the T-Shirt thrown at the foot of her bed. Dressed, she goes to the window and looks down to the parking lot. The moving truck is pulling away. That can’t be everything. Where is the tenant? What little that was carried in to apartment K was brand new, and after thinking about it for a second Wanda realized that the new tenant would only have a bed, computer, IKEA desk, microwave, coffee pot, and a brown box marked BATHROOM.
It was dark out now, and Wanda was way past spying on the new tenant. Her dinner was almost ready. Cooking wasn’t Wanda’s thing, but she could make a decent batch of spaghetti. She scooped out a large portion and plopped it on her only plate; she broke the rest from the garage-sale set she bought a year ago for a buck.
She ate in silence, no one called to interrupt her lonely dinner. No one ever called Wanda. Her co-workers stopped trying to include her months ago; they were fed up with her constant “not tonight,” or “thanks but no thanks,” or “ I have a lot of work to do at home.” They finally gave up, and now Wanda doesn’t even get the formal invite to the yearly Christmas party, a stamped invitation that used to arrive around December 15th.
She perks at the sound of a thud from across the hall, Is it the new tenant? and carries her plate to the counter, quietly setting it down. Tip-toeing up to the peephole, not blinking, her attention on the new neighbor rivals the focus of a hungry predator ready to lunge at its prey. He’s attractive, in that sexy-nerdy way that Wanda likes so much. His hair is dark and short on the sides, his clothes simple and his snug shirt reveals that he takes care of himself, not too buff, not too scrawny. Like Andrew Garfield! Wanda is excited, she just watched The Amazing Spiderman last night, for the millionth time. The handsome neighbor reaches into his front left pocket and pulls out a single key, no keychain. He holds it with a delicate grip and slowly slides it into the keyhole. She pushes herself away from the door in disgust. Stalk much Wanda? Again she is back at the peephole…eye pressed as close as it could be. She watches him open the door, bend down and pick up the BATHROOM box, and walk in,  pushing the door closed with his foot, Wanda’s trance broken by the brushed nickel K in the center of his apartment door.

Updates and Announcements, and a Funaaaay Video!!

The 2014 Book Expo America is just around the corner! With the event nearing, the nervousness and excitement are making a knot of fluttering in my stomach. I shouldn’t be this nervous; no one knows who I am, I’m doing a short signing event at the Independent Book Publishers Association booth, a small corner at a gigantic show, the paparazzi surly will not be following me around, and NO ONE KNOWS WHO I AM. So, why am I nervous? Hmmm…I should seek the oracles. I’ll let you guys know how that goes…if I make it out alive!!!
Looking beyond the BEA, I am preparing myself for what is possibly a huge event in my career. I mentioned this briefly on my Facebook fan page, but I’d like to elaborate with you here because, as Christopher Walken says in one of the funniest Saturday Night Live skits, I can “really explore the space.”
Of course you know I’m going to hook you up with the link to watch it.
So, the news is just as big as it is small. Whaaa?…you say. Keep reading.
A few months ago I submitted ERAMANE to an agent and included all of the amazing reviews. Seriously, they are awesome. This agent emailed me back and explained how my personality reached them and they wanted some more information on the book, sales so far and such. But I’m a self published author with only me promoting my work, so being a newbie puts me in a dark hole with countless others. It’s amazing how much room is in there!
Anyway, we exchanged several emails before it occurred to me that I have a project which hasn’t been published (cause it isn’t finished) so I took a shot and mentioned my WIP. With enthusiasm, the agent asked that I submit a formal query to them as soon as it is finished!
So, there it is my huge/tiny news. No it’s not an announcement that I’ve been agented, or better than that picked up by a publishing house, but it is an announcement that my work has caught the eye of a person that has the capability to get me signed, and that my friends is pure awesomeness!
Now that I have written a short story for you, I will wrap this up, but before I do I want to mention that in a few days I will have the times for my book signing at the BEA which I will post here, Twitter, and my FB page, and look for a short story that I will be releasing June 2014 for $0.99 entitled Serial Wanda. It’s a dark comedy and has been fun to write. I will announce this again when the release date gets closer.
Okie dokie. Thanks for hanging in there and reading all of this. You guys rock, and thanks for sticking with me.