Archive for the ‘pendragon’ Category

(writing/updates/personal) Good intentions rarely survive the first fight

Because I can mix metaphors with the best!  And seriously, it’s how I’m feeling right now.


Why?   Because I had PLANS for October, dear friends.  PLANS in all capitals.  And real life looked at my plans, patted me on the head, and said, “You’re adorable, did you know that?”


I have a book coming out on Friday.  Did you know that?  No, probably not, unless you’re me, because all my plans to do a blog tour and get the word out and be giving you guys teasers all month did NOT happen.  Why?  Well, work blew up and I got sick and LIFE.  LIFE with all capitals.  Welcome to my world, where 24 hours is just not enough.


I could put the launch off, but I’m not going to.  I refuse to give in to circumstances.  Besides, I’m going to be on Mitchell Plested’s “Get Published” podcast on Sunday, and it’s all about the book, so you know…  But I’m not kidding myself.  There will not be a lot of storming the lists, or anything like that.  I really wish I could not be at work Friday, so I could promote the hell out of it.


I mean, come on!  It’s a ghost novella!  On Halloween!  And….


Oh, yeah, I suppose I ought to tell you what book is coming out, huh?


Into thumbnail



Isn’t it pretty?  Here’s the blurb:

Shipping heiress Sapph Pendragon never thought about how to use her unique psychic gifts. Not until a phone call brought her to a small town in New Hampshire to help a pair of ghost hunters discover what really happened to a missing girl. But will the detectives investigating the case accept their help? Or will Terri Reynolds be missing forever?


This book marks my decision to not write what “the market” (whoever decides that) wants, but to write stories I want to read, and publish them under my own name.  It combines three of my favorite things: ghosts, mysteries and police detectives.  I’ve described it as “Ghost Hunters meets Criminal Minds, with a bit of Supernatural thrown in.”  Although it could be Midsomer Murders too.  I just don’t know enough about England to set it there.


It’s going to be a great ride – this is the first episode of a six-novella first season.  I have enough stories planned now for 10 potential seasons of 6 novellas each, but we’ll see where the ride ends.


Okay, more news.  Another reason to do this now is because it means the novella will be live by the time Tales of the Tesla Ranger: The Life and Times of PG Holyfield comes out.  This is the anthology Tee Morris and I are putting together of stories starring our friend PG, who passed away far too young.  Included in this anthology is a short story called “The Guide,” which happens after this novella.  It’s a bridge between Book 1 and Book 2, which will be out in February 2015.


Finally, tomorrow, I’ll have the Pendragon prequel story I did for Every Photo Tells – “What’s Past is Not Always Past” posted here on the blog.  If you’d rather here Katharina and Mick read it, you can do so here.  I’ll post the link again tomorrow, with the hard copy of the story.


And Friday?  Friday is going to be fun.  Not just because it’s Halloween.  Not just because you’ll be able to get your hot little hands on Into Thin Air.  But because…


Well, you’ll have to wait and see, won’t you?

(personal/writing) An update – PG Holyfield Memorial

So I didn’t really write today, although I did read a lot.  Tee Morris (of the Ministry of the Peculiar Occurrences) and I are co-editing an anthology in memory of PG Holyfield, called “Tales of a Tesla Ranger: The Adventures of PG Holyfield” and I was editing stories for that.  I have an original Pendragon story in there, Tee has a story, and there are some amazing stories in there as well.  I’m not giving any more details yet, but if you were at the memorial tonight, you heard about it.


But I was also thinking tonight about lost opportunities.  PG will never get to write again.  We’ll never get another Aramas Kragen story.  We’ll never get him reading anymore.  So here is my plea tonight:


Don’t wait.  Don’t wait for “tomorrow” because it never comes.  Make the time NOW to do what makes your heart sing.  Share your passions with your friends.  Let what makes you YOU out into the world.


I’m taking my own advice.  There will be an announcement coming up very soon about the Pendragon Case Files, so keep your eyes peeled here.  There is more fiction coming.


I have stories to share, and I don’t know how much time I have left.  So thank you, PG, for teaching me to be proud of my geekiness, and I just wish you didn’t have to die to teach me it.


I miss you, PG.  I miss you, and I don’t think I’ll ever stop.

(personal/writing) Not really dead yet

Just quiet.  I’ve been dealing with life, and now I’m sick.  *sigh*  Did I mention that my immune system sucks?  Seriously.  Someone coughs down the street and I get sick.  So when I don’t take care of myself because of other things, I get run down really quickly.

And then I get sick.

So life has been…yeah, it’s not been fun.  I’m in a dark funk, to be perfectly honest, and although I know some of why, I don’t know all of it.  So I’m not talking about it, because why bother people with something I can’t figure out myself?  Which means not blogging.  Which means no traffic here.

I’m hoping to get moving soon.  I have a story that I’m finishing up, and then I’m going to be working on a couple of projects – the next Advent story, and a novel I outlined several years ago that I never wrote.  It’s time to write again.


(personal/con/writing) A magical weekend

I just got back from Brigadoon – I mean, Balticon.  (Please don’t tell me that you don’t get the reference, because then I’ll feel REALLY old.  Just go with it.)  The best place in the world to spend Memorial Day weekend is Hunt Valley, Maryland, at the best con in the world.  No matter how down I’m feeling about my writing, Balticon picks me up and infuses me with all sorts of new creative juice.


I love the panels, where you can talk with people about all sorts of things writerly, nerdly and/or gamerly.  I love randomly running into people in the hall that I haven’t seen in five or more years, and being able to pick up our conversation right where we left off the last time.  I love the fact that no matter where you go, people are having amazing conversations about all sorts of things.  I love the live podcasts, the readings and the chance to find all sorts of new books (so many new books!) and authors.  Most of all, I love the chance to meet new friends and absorb all of the creative energy that infuses the entire weekend.


One of my panels this year was a reading, and I went out on a limb and read a scene from Into Thin Air.  It was really well received, which thrilled me, and I got a lot of questions about when it would be coming out.  I also got some ideas for the new book, and even got some words down!  Yay!


I hate it when I don’t write.  I feel stuffed up, like I have a horrible cold that nothing can help, and I get very grumpy.  My cats hide from me.  My husband asks me if I’m going to go up and write.  My work mates throw chocolate and stay out of my way.  It’s ugly.


But at the same time, if I’m writing crap, I’m also not happy.  Just throwing words on the page doesn’t work.  I need to be doing something that will be good.  So to have the impetus to write, and to get good content out of it, makes me very happy.


I need to keep this blog up.  So much is going on, so much is changing, that I need to keep this up.  A lot of the changes are good.  Most I can’t talk about right now.  But as I’m able to talk about them, I will.


And I will be writing.  Always writing.

(personal/writing) Blowing off the winter dust

You know, it’s been a LONG winter.  Maybe not GRRM long, but longer than I wanted.  Much longer than I wanted.


But it’s finally warm out.  The snow is gone and there is music in the morning when I go out.  I’m still adjusting to my work schedule, but it’s getting easier.  I’m not fighting it as much.  Now, of course, I have allergies, but I’ll take allergies over snow pants, seriously.


I’m still sort of on crutches, although I’m not using them very much.  I go back to the doctor’s on the 30th, and hopefully they’ll finally give me the go-ahead to stop using them fully.  I’m walking on May 5 in a charity walk, for MS research, and I will be damned if I do it on crutches!  But hey, if I have to, I have to.


Writing is going good – I’m working on the rough draft for Deep Waters, the 2nd Pendragon Casefiles novella.  The first one, Into Thin Air, is on schedule to be released at Balticon, and I’m hoping to have copies soon for reviewers.  Want to review it?   Drop me a line at val at and let me know!


I’m also working on FaeryTale Princess again.  I’m really liking this story, and my writer’s group is intrigued.  Also, at this point, the hero is kind of an ass.  Which is fun to write.  Don’t worry, he won’t always be.  It’s sort of a romance, after all!


I’ll have cards for my proofreading business and swag from Lake Knight Paranormal (the ghost hunting group in Pendragon) at Balticon.  I might even read from the first novella!


So yeah, life is looking up.  I find it usually does in the spring.  I just wish it wouldn’t take so darn long to get here.

(writing) Thoughts on writing a series

Saturday I finished the plot summary for the second novella in the Pendragon Casefiles season 1, which is tentatively titled Deep Waters.  My goal for April is to get the plot summaries done for the remaining 5 novellas in the first season for the casefiles, so that I can write them and release them every other month, starting with Into Thin Air in May at Balticon.


“But Val,” you say.  “You don’t  need to have the entire first season planned out before you start releasing them, you know.  Just have an idea of where you want to go.  Or, even better, let the story just FLOW!”


And then you start running, because I pull out my rapier with a snarl…Oh wait, sorry, wrong blog post.


Seriously, though, I have written a series without knowing what the heck the next book was going to be.  And for someone who is a plotter, not a pantser, I can tell you that it was horribly painful.  It’s not that Horseman wasn’t a good series – I think it was, but had I planned everything out before I released the first book, I think it would have been easier to write the other two.  So for this series, and for all the series I have planned going forward, I plan on having at least the plot summaries done before I release anything, for several reasons.


1. I know what’s going to happen in the series.  This is HUGE for me.  Some writers like waiting to see what the characters will do for them – I don’t.  It makes me very, very nervous.


2. It allows me to see the characters’ personal arcs and gives me ideas for how to continue them.  As a lot of my writing is very character-based, this is very important as well, and doing the plot summaries shows me how they interact with each other as well.  Half of my plot summaries are dialogue anyways.


3. It also needs to be noted that my plot summaries are guidelines.  This is not to say that things don’t change (because trust me, they do).  But having the guideposts there let me see where I’m heading to.


4. Lastly, writing the plot summaries helps me to worldbuild without getting bogged down in just worldbuilding, which I am prone to.  If I don’t have a storyline to wrap my imagination around, my worlds get very involved and convoluted, and I just keep going “Oh, that would COOL!”  without thinking about how practical said cool thing would be.  This is a bad thing, trust me.


So these are my thoughts on writing a series.  Remember, I’m a plotter, so YMMV.  But if I had to do Horseman all over again, I would totally have planned it all out before the first book hit the stores.  Which is why, with Pendragon, I’m doing it right.  Well, my version of right.


What about you?  Do you write series?  How do you do it?

(writing/personal) A new week, a new season, a new start

Theoretically, it is now spring.  *pauses for a look at the snowbanks outside*  Theoretically, it’s going to start getting warm any day now.  Too bad no one told Mother Nature that.  Apparently, whoever was supposed to get her a calendar for Yule forgot.  All I know is that it wasn’t me this year.


I’ve had a week.  I’m learning that every week will have an up and a down, at the very least, especially weeks with a Remicade treatment.  But the downs are getting less down, and the ups are starting to get higher.  Which is a good thing.


I’m tired of winter.  I’m tired of white, of sweaters, of cold.  I want it to be warm, to hear the summer birds sing, to smell the sun warming the grass and the flowers.  I want it to be event season.  I want to spend the day in a chair outside, listening to children play and swords clang off armor as I stitch on a new dress or weave trim.  I want it to be summer, but I’ll settle for spring.


In writing news, I’m working on the plot summary for Deep Waters, which is the second Pendragon Casefiles.  I also passed Into Thin Air on to a beta-reader who had no information about the story or the world – and she loved it.  Yay!  The plan is to have the first two novellas written and the third in process by Balticon, so I can release the first one right before it.  I’m very excited about that.


I’m hoping things start looking up soon.  I need some good news, and a change.  Definitely a change.

(writing/cons/personal) Decisions to be made

It’s been a long week.  I seem to be saying that a lot lately.  I think it’s because it’s the end of winter – I’m so tired of the cold, and the snow, and the cold, and did I mention the cold?  I hate being cold.  I’d so much rather be hot than cold.  And I miss the sun.  But it seems like the days are so long, the nights are so short and I’m just not sleeping well.  I’m trying to stay positive, to keep myself looking towards the sun, but it’s hard.  It’s not that there’s anything wrong, per se (although I’m still looking for good job mojo for Hubby, who is still looking); I’m just bummed that winter isn’t over yet.


On a tangent, snow would be awesome if it would come down and be pretty in 60 degree heat.  Wouldn’t that be cool?  I would love it then.


Anyways, I’m looking at time right now.  Specifically, how much time I have to write, and what I have to do in order to get Winter Secrets ready for the world.  And I’m realizing that there is not enough time between now and Balticon to get it ready for the world the way I want it to be, not without taking some time off from work (which I can’t do, sorry).  So Winter Secrets will NOT debut at Balticon, but Into Thin Air will.  Yep, we will have ghosts.  And heiresses.  And a set of cops who are so in over their heads that it isn’t funny.


So for a while, I’ll be doing a few things.  I’ll still be working on Secrets most nights (because I do want to have the rewrite done for a November release of all three books, if I can), but I’m also going to be working on Deep Waters, which is the second Pendragon novella.  Into Thin Air is almost ready to go (it’s written and edited, but I want to do one more proofreading pass before I send out review copies).  I’d like to have both books ready to go by Balticon, with A Mother’s Love (the working title for the third Pendragon novella) in the works.


It’s ambitious.  But I think I can do it.


PS – Don’t worry, Schrodinger will still be at Balticon with me.  He’s very excited, and I’m afraid to see what would happen if I left him behind.

(writing/personal) Monday, my old enemy, we meet again.

I’m trying really hard to keep updating this blog.  I feel bad that it seems to be only on Mondays – I promise, I will get onto more of a schedule soon.  Life has just been…well, life, lately.


Hubby is still job hunting, and any good thoughts (or job prospects!) that you folks can send our way would be awesome.  He’s looking hard, and in the meantime, I get to enjoy things like the house being cleaner than normal, and my laundry being done.  Honestly, if we could afford it, I’d love to keep him as a house husband.  He’d be happier too.  We need to win the lottery or something.


I’m still writing (yes, this is totally counting as words today, because it is after 11 pm and I’m brain-dead after a Monday), and I’m up to 23 days, I believe.  Not even hurricanes or hurricane-related hangovers stopped me, so one day of weird chats (and dear lord, were they weird.  Especially the guy who wanted to make sure he was still employed, because he couldn’t change his contributions online.  From his work computer.  While he sat in his office.  I swear, I can’t make this stuff up!) is not going to stop me.  And as my friend LC pointed out last week, the fact that I have a life means I have more inspiration.  And I do!


I’m hoping to get Into Thin Air out this week.  It’s on my list, and Wednesday after my PT appointment, I’m planning on heading to the studio and getting it out.  This is a labor of love – I really, really love these characters, and I think the story and the concept are awesome.  It’s a new universe, a new plotline – and I can’t wait to share it with you.  I’m thinking Wednesday I might post a scene for you.


Health update!  We think the kidney stone passed while I wasn’t looking (a 4mm stone, or so they thought.  My friend Bob uses pearls smaller that that in his jewelry. O.o) but I go to the urologist on Wednesday to find out.  There’s no pain anymore, which is good, but apparently now I’m prone to them (kidney stones, that is).  Joy.  It’s been stupid cold here, so my knees are not happy.  I think Wednesday might also be swim day, as I have a 3 hour block of time in between urologist and PT.  And the pool is warm.  I just have to find my swim suit.


But right now, I’m not going to think about sore knees, or bills, or anything like that. I just wanted to thank you guys.  All of you, who believe in me, who like the stories and the characters that I bring into life.  I want to be thankful that I can continue to write.  And I want to remind myself, and everyone else out there, that I always have my writing, and that’s a very, very cool thing.


Even if it is stupid cold out.  (Seriously, it’s -17 degrees F before the wind chill.  WTF?  It’s March!  It’s baseball season!  This is NOT AWESOME!)

(writing) Updates

Wow, I really do suck at this blogging thing, don’t I?  I’m working on getting better, I promise.  Things have been stupid busy over the last two weeks, and some things have had to give.  I’m hoping to get a bunch of stuff up in the next week, though.


Here’s what’s been going on.


For starters, my new schedule is AWESOME!  I love it.  It’s just what I needed, and if that was the only thing that had changed, I probably wouldn’t have been so quiet here.  Of course, life doesn’t work like that.  There was the snowstorms, for one thing.  For all the poetic beauty of a snowstorm in New Hampshire, I personally hate them.  I hate shoveling, I hate being cold, I hate having to wear coats and shoes.  HATE IT.  I know, I know, I’m living in the wrong area.  Trust me, I know.  Winter and I do not get along.  There was my husband being let go from his job this past week.  That royally sucked.  No fault of his, either – the company was downsizing and sadly, contractors are always the first to go.  So if you are in southern New Hampshire (you know, Concord to Nashua) and you know of a shipper/receiver job, please let me know.  He’s a really good worker!  And then my great-uncle died yesterday.


Yeah, it’s been a rough couple of weeks.


But there are some good things coming too. I have a cover reveal for an author friend coming on February 17th, and I’m working on a new release of my own.


I’ve decided not to query Into Thin Air, but to make it the next release I’m doing.  And so, I had to commission a cover, of course.  There will be more on it later.  But isn’t it pretty?


So that’s been my last two weeks.  Hope you guys are doing better!