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!

 

 

 

Blood Soaked Ashes Cover Reveal

This post is a few days behind. Let me explain why.

One the morning of the cover reveal for Blood Soaked Ashes (which was Halloween BTW!) I awoke to the strangest of sounds. A thudding noise from the other side of my bedroom wall stirred me from my dreams of lollipop fields and orange juice sunshine. I sat up and listened more closely.

WTF is that? I asked myself, because I was alone, and because my cats can only talk on Tuesdays.

I threw on my housecoat and slid on my slippers and cautiously opened my front door (unfortunately for me the side of my bedroom wall I heard the noises was outside!), so outside I went.

I walked around to the side of my house where my bedroom was and to my astonishment…the vinyl siding was flapping in the wind! So I popped it back into to place and went back to bed.

The End.

I understand that  this story does not explain anything…but I’ve been chillin’ with a toddler since Thursday which has reminded me that explanations needn’t make sense at all.

So here it is…BLOOD SOAKED ASHES!!!!

IceyDesigns
IceyDesigns

Jon Snow Read This, Now He Knows One Thing.

instalogo

Here it is!! The title for book two of The Eramane Saga!

Blood Soaked Ashes was so much fun writing, and I can’t wait for you guys to read it. Dur.

This image has zero squats to do with the actual cover that was designed by Hafsah from IceyDesigns. That will be revealed on Halloween and yes! there will be a giveaway with awesomes and such.

Okay, if you are finished laughing at my very visually anticlimactic title reveal, (cause the title is bad-ass) you may proceed on with it (IT being whatever IT was that you were doing before I snatched you from…

Wait for it…

IT!

Pahahahaha!

Title Reveal Giveaway Book Two of the Eramane Saga

ebooksignedgiveaway

With the nearing release of Book Two of the Eramane Saga, Giveaways are in order! I have five SIGNED eBook codes for Eramane, book one and have posted a giveaway on my fan page here. The giveaway begins tonight at midnight and runs for seven days. There will be several more after this one, a cover reveal, and the actual release, so if you miss out on this one it’s ok…there’s more to come. The rules are pretty simple, share the giveaway with your pals.

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.

The Fires of Calderon, book one in the Balance Keepers series by Lindsay Cummings

courtesy of lindsaycummingsbooks.com
courtesy of lindsaycummingsbooks.com

It’s book pub day for the awesome Lindsay Cummings. To help spread the word, I’m hosting her newest title, The Fires of Calderon.

The Fires of Calderon is Book One in Lindsay Cummings’s epic Balance Keepers series. These exciting fantasy adventure books are full of magic, mystery, friendship, and humor and are perfect for fans of books like Brandon Mull’sThe Candy Shop War or the Unwanteds series by Lisa McMann.

Bestselling author of the Skeleton Creek series Patrick Carman describes The Fires of Calderon as “fast paced and packed with adventure,” and Peter Lerangis, bestselling author of the Seven Wonders series, says, “Wow!”

With themes of friendship, self-discovery, and courage; both boy and girl main characters; fierce creatures to battle; a mystery to solve; and a boarding school that could be described as Hogwarts underground, there’s something for every reader to enjoy in this contemporary—and fantastically imaginative—spin on the classic Journey to the Center of the Earth.

When eleven-year-old Albert Flynn follows a mysterious map deep into the woods, and then under the woods, he discovers he’s a Balance Keeper—someone with special magical skills for keeping harmony in fantastical underground worlds. Together with his teammates Leroy and Birdie, Albert must master his magical talents in time to stop the fires in the Calderon Realm from destroying New York City above.

September 23, 2014 from Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins

 

Some start up advice, no it doesn’t involve a crank.

seo

Hi and such!
In my last post I said that I’d write a little ditty about some blog design tips (WordPress only). If you have a different host I don’t know what to tell you…come to WordPress, we have cookies. I mean I don’t but someone somewhere does.
I digress.
When I started my site/blog a year and a half ago, I had zero knowledge of how to get one up and running and even less know how on designing it to look as if I’d paid a techy pants to do it. Now I’m not saying that my site rivals those that excel in the site design industry (cause that would be crazy) but as sites go, mine ain’t too shabby.
I chose WP because, well another author used it and I totally dug their site. I did a little research and learned that WP was user friendly, meaning that I wouldn’t have to learn lots o’ HTML code to get snazzy features such as…name some.
But I chose I very basic set up and used the cover of my book as the background, and that was fine at first. But after a few months, I began to hear the “ughs” from internet visitors on my site. Since launching my site, I’ve viewed thousands of other author sites, some worse than mine, many better. And that just wasn’t cutting it for me. So I took some time and Goggled SEO plug-ins and how to install them on my site. That’s when I learned that WordPress does most of the coding crap for us! WOW!
Phew, glad that’s out of the way.
But I still didn’t like that my site was just a giant cover of my book, self promotion is great and all, but I even got tired of looking at it. I wanted people to see my brand, not just that book I wrote. When you go to a website, you don’t want one thing shoved down your eyeholes (at least I don’t) so I worked with a lovely chic at IceyDesigns who created my brand logo, that awesome Frankie Ash Author of Sci-Fi and Fantasy pic to your right! Yeah it’s bad-ass!
So, I looked back at some WordPress themes, tried a few out and found one that I love. I still had to snatch some HTML code for the social media buttons but I learned how to do that from WP too!
WordPress has tons of awesome content and customization features and that’s why I love it here. Of course there is tons more about site design and how WP can help you achieve a great design that suits your needs, but you have to invest the time in researching and reading and learning and reading and learning…or you could just pay someone to do it.

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