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.
Hello to every person who happens to stop in and read this!!
I have been hard at work, can’t you see? I hooked my site up so that your eyes don’t dry out and fall from their sockets whilst you are visiting…ain’t it pretty!!!
It took lots of time and research to learn the ins and outs of WordPress, but I think I did a good job, and more importantly I feel the site represents me and not just my work.
So, in the near future, I will post about how I did this redesign, and hopefully give some good advice to those who need it. For those of you who are far superior in your techness, leave a reply and learn me something. To the rest of you who might be first timers leave questions and I will do my best to point you in the right direction.
Starting up a site is tough (like putting out a campfire with your face) and I’ve only been at it for fourteen months, but if you are determined, as I ams, then you’ll eventually overcome the crazies of creating your own website/blog/home away from home/…
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.
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!
I’m back from my trip to the Book Expo America in New York. I had so much fun…once I stopped freaking out.
Here’s my little story…
I went with a team…my peeps, and we represented ERAMANE as best we could, minus the banter we flung at passers-by (I think at one point I said all vowels to one lady.)
When we arrive at the Javits Center, I was immediately congratulated by the lady who checked my in and gave me and my team out badges (thanks nice lady) and that set the tone for the rest of my experience.
I was extremely nervous, because here I am, little ol’ me, among (by that I mean off in a corner, nowhere near them) some of the greatest writers of today. Yet, from the moment I walked through the doors I was treated like “the Queen,” as Margaery Tyrell says in Game of Thrones.
Once I found the IBPA booth, I was immediately greeted by Terry Nathan and Molly ??? (I’m sure she has a last name, but in this post it’s a series of question marks.) They took me in and fed me, no better way to put it really. Thanks guys!
The signing was a hit; I ran out of 30 books in under 15 minutes (who knew?) and had to hand out rain-check forms to the ones who didn’t get their free signed copy.
All-in-all, though, despite that I ran out of books, ERAMANE was noticed. My sign caught the attention of anyone who walked by…and there were soooo many! I even heard people say, “Hey I saw that online.” And, “WTF???!!! Really? Awesome!” to myself of course.
Oh, and my husband lost his [soul]. Yup the bottom of his shoe came right off just before we reached the Javits Center. Funny story…I’m going tell it.
Okay, so we were walking from the ferry terminal to the BEA and we all heard this duck-ish noise. My husband, holding a box of ERAMANE books, looks down and sees that his sole is flappin’. Then (and you might not believe this) we look across the street and a truck opens it back door and guess what’s inside??? Yes!!! Fricking black shoes just like the ones my hubs is wearing. Boxes and boxes. They just start unloading them onto a table and putting yellow signs up with prices. It was crazy. But no, we didn’t buy any…he had another pair in the car back at the hotel, so I just told him to walk quietly, “Don’t draw attention to it!” His shoe made it back to the car at the end of the day…then to the trash:(
Well if you made it this far, I’m happy that you cared enough to learn about my experience at my first ever book expo. The way things are going, it looks like I will be attending many more. I belong in the book world; I plan on staying here.
So, Lindsay Cummings (author chic who wrote a book I can’t wait to read…The Murder Complex) unofficially called me (by me I mean everyone) out to write a post on their writing process. At first I was like, “I don’t wanna, cause my writing process is top secret and, well, I don’t want to have to flash that little red light from M.I.B I, II, and that other one in ALL.THE.EYES. But then I figured, why not, I haven’t used it in a while.
So, hopping on Mrs. Lindsay’s Divulge your most secrety secrets train, I shall reveal.
1. What am I working on?- At this very moment I have a doc opened and minimized, and it’s labeled “My Sci-Fi WIP”. Most of you know a little about it because I have posted some peak-a-boos on my blog. But it’s quite more than just a YA Sci-Fi book, as they all are right? Am I right? I’m right. But aside from that, my lips are sealed, like a…(you choose the visual metaphor) and as Forrest Gump says, “That’s all I have to say about that.”
2. How does my work differ from other’s of its genre?- Hmmm. It just does. It’s different because there isn’t a ton of young adult sci-fi out there. It’s different because of its plot and its characters and their motivations and the setting and the characters, and it’s a total left fielder for me. I believed (before I busted out this awesome monster) that I could only live and write in the realm of fantasy, because I love it so. But I’m also a huge sci-fi fan and exploring that side of my writing has opened me up to writing all kinds of different things…like my short story Serial Wanda. You member that post don’t you? Member?
3. Why do I write what I do?- Because I grew up watching movies like Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, Legend, Star Wars…I mean…I just…I love it like I love my own blood. Yes, that sounds strange but think about it…think about your blood and how sad (and dead) you’d be if you didn’t have it anymore. See.
4. How does your writing process work?- It’s not really a process because it’s not a rhythmic thing I do.
In short, I write every day.
In long, my mornings are precious. The Earth is quiet and it gives me a chance to be still and let my creativity do its thang. It’s hard to write on my WIP every day because there are also other things that I have to write: blog posts, Twitter snarkies (insert your own definition…it’s more funner that way), Facebook…all the social media what-nots. But at least four days of the week are devoted to my project and on a good day (three or more cups of coffee) I can knock out 3500-4000 words, on a regular day (one cup), 1500-2000. But, there are those special moments when you HAVE to write. Those moments when you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t do anything else but drag yourself to the computer and work. I love those. And on those occasions I have written some of my best content.
That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.
I’ve been absent for a few weeks, and here’s why.
No joke, it’s been crazy having an eleven week old golden retriever. I think I’m still wearing the clothes I wore the day we picked him up. I kid…no but really.
So, I assume I’ve been pardoned by you all and am moving on. I’ve been working on a book of the sci-fi sorts, and thought that since I am nearly finished with it, it’s time for a teaser. I don’t know if it’s a good move to throw out teasers of unfinished/unedited works, but whatevs…I do what I want…fellow Chivers?? Anybody??
Anywho…here it is…a couple sentences of my work in progress. Lemme know what you think.
Nova catches Haylun’s reflection in the window, and she stops thinking about Earth. She watches him, sure that he hasn’t noticed she’s not looking out anymore. Instead she watches him run his fingers through his thick black hair before assessing her own reflection to make sure her hair is…decent. It looks as it did this morning when she braided it, a long, brown braid hanging over her right shoulder. She fidgets in her dark-red Medical Cluster uniform, not having yet returned to her quarters to change into her “other uniform” as she calls it: a white shirt and white pants, standard issue clothing to everyone on the ship.
Nova turns to face Haylun, hoping to conceal her moment of lament, praying that he is as excited to see her as she is him. She looks into his hazel eyes and wishes she could hug him instead of just stand there, but that would be a bad idea since today is the end of their separation orders, and if Inspection and Enforcement spot them in the middle of a friendly hug, they are likely to report it, and the Commanding Officials have little tolerance.
Haylun lightens the awkward moment, “What do you have for me today? Leave out…”
“…the gory details, yes I know,” Nova interrupts.
“You know that stuff gets to me Nova, especially before I eat.”