While researching website themes, I ran across an excellent set of pointers for authors from the coder at Nose Graze Limited: 5 Things I Like to See on an Author’s Website.
Please visit the site, and read the comments, too, which detail more must-haves for authors.
The item that wouldn’t leave my subconscious is under #5 Information & News:
News and explanations if a book is delayed (why, new ETA, etc.).
My 3rd book, The Binding is delayed, and here are the reasons. First, so many things changed in books one and two, that when I opened my year-old draft of three, it no longer fit. I pretty much had to start writing from scratch.
Second, I’ve had trouble with the ending. And if the ending isn’t right, then neither are some of the story threads.
I had to take a break from the manuscript to let my thoughts loosen from what I’d thought was going on in Annmar and Daeryn’s story. That took me through May and June, with some family events thrown in that were supposed to occur after the completed novel was to the copy editor.
Now, nearing the end of July, I just about have the ending revised. Next it goes to my critique partners, then I revise again, then off to the copy editor. I’ll start working with the cover artist, too. My best ETA is the beginning of October.
I suppose this is one of the benefits of indie publishing, I have the freedom to get it right. However, I also acknowledge it’s frustrating for the reader when a novel isn’t out when promised. I apologize. I want the story to be as good as it can be, and hope you’ll agree when you receive it.
Last year, after my first Luminated Threads novel came out, I was describing the setting of Derbyshire, England to my eighty-eight-year-old aunt. She knew immediately where I had placed my story: “The Midlands! David Winter as a collection set there.”
My aunt collected David Winter cottages through the 1980s and 90s. I’d always thought they were cute, especially how she decorated her mantle with the larger snow-covered houses, evergreen trees and white lights in the winter. But I had never realized how the craftsmen–David Winter and John Hine–had captured bits of history with the cottages. Each piece comes with a description. Now that I’ve delved into British farming–albeit mostly in my fantasy world–I’ve found these fascinating reading and have even picked up a few story ideas.
Long story short, my aunt is dissolving her collection and offered me The Midlands Collection, as well as a number of other British farm cottages. I’m delighted! I’ve been taking them home as carry-on during my flights, so have only taken possession of a few. The most recent is The Derbyshire Mill.
This lovely brick example of an Industrial Revolution mill is not the silk mill in Derby itself, but is based on the mill at Cromford, the world’s first water-powered cotton spinning mill built by Richard Arkwright in 1771. The village of Cromford lies on the River Derwent, north of Derby and just south of Mattock. If you read The Unraveling, Annmar takes the Derwent Valley train from Derby to Rowsley, and would have gone through Cromford.
I did a little reading up on Cromford, and was delighted to learn these mills are being preserved: “In December 2001 a 15-mile corridor from Masson Mill in Matlock Bath to the Silk Mill in Derby and including the mills in Cromford, Milford, Belper and Darley Abbey was declared the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.”
The River Derwent is featured prominently on the piece, including a loaded barge to transport the goods.
But my favorite feature is the large, arched windows with their many panes of glass, exactly what I imagined Shearing Enterprises looked like in my stories.
My aunt saved both the boxes and the paperwork that came with her cottages, so I have the original description that was included:
The Derbyshire Mill takes as its inspiration Richard Arkwright’s mill at Cromford, the world’s first water-powered cotton spinning mill.
Of humble background, Arkwright rose to become the first English cotton magnate. Although he was still having daily spelling lessons at the age of 50, he knew instinctively how to develop ideas and boost the productivity of his workforce.
The model depicts a four storey brick building with store (SIC) arches, and engine house and of course the tall brick chimney.
Hope you’ve found this little mill as fascinating as I have! If you’d like to read the opening pages of The Unraveling which describe Annmar’s walk into Derby’s industrial district and Shearing Enterprises brick factory, click here to go to books.
Did I mention my poppies are in the shade?
A week after I’ve arrived in Colorado, most still look like this. It’s taking them forever to bloom–but here is the first.
I love it! Meanwhile, my neighbor’s yard–in the sun–is bursting with poppies! First there was one.
Now she has twenty-some!
My lesson is, plant Oriental Poppies in the sun if you are impatient!
Yesterday I arrived in Colorado for a month. Most folks respond with a “Wow” when I say I’ll be doing this because they assume this is how I’ll spend my days:
Problem is, we own a family place, so my reality is this:
Weeding (yes, I put down weed barrier!), cutting brush for fire mitigation and ironically, planting other areas to restore a flood-damaged stream bank. On top of the usual chores for maintaining a log cabin, this year we’re scheduled to put water treatment on the porch.
Still, I am in the mountains (!) and it’s been years since I was out the particular weeks the poppies bloom.
I’m thrilled, especially because these poppies survived a recent flood and are ones my mom had planted along the creek in the 1960’s. (I’ll post blooms when they’re out!)
I have my hummingbird feeder up, and they found it in half a day.
And between my chores and family visiting, I will be carving out time to write!
How will you spend your summer?
Perhaps writers ought to announce their pending disappearances when they are about to do it, but frankly, we get our heads so deep into the story problems that we rarely come up for air. Until guilt takes over.
Guilt has arrived.
I did go to RavenCon2016! I had a good time. Because I’m a newbie, my talk on Finding Space: Line-by-Line Editing Tips for Wordiness was scheduled for 9 am, thus attracting only a few participants. But they were very enthusiastic participants! And I completed a writing talk with power point. It’s posted on this website, found under the link above, or ‘Fun Extras’ on my link bar.
I didn’t take many photos at RavenCon2016, even forgot to get some of myself. Here are the few I did take:
Sharon Lee, half of the Guest of Honor team of Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. (Yes, she had violet hair!)
A steampunk costume I loved.
Complete with face painting of gears, and a little gear man pin she made.
And a housekeeper’s… something! I can’t recall the name. Embarrassing, but I had never heard of this. It’s a very cool assortment of little things, keys, scissors and such that a housekeeper needed to have on hand. Of course this is the steampunk version. If you know the name, give me a shout!
Little did I know RavenCon’s masquerade is not just a parade of costumes, but each entrant performs a little skit. These fine folks put on a skit revolving a wizard summoning the four elements of water, air, earth, and fire and dealing with their attitudes. I loved the costumes.
And last of all the wizard summoned a spirit to bring them all into harmony–I think! I was laughing so hard I couldn’t hear.
Fuzzy photo, but I loved the costume, so must include it!
And in other news, besides real life happening, I am re-configuring the ending of my next book. (The Binding.) Sorry, this has delayed publishing, but this is huge, the end of a three-book epic fantasy. It wasn’t right and I had to dive into a re-do, which meant making alternative copy edit arrangements. That’s partially the good news. The book is long enough, I submitted 90K on time to my fabulous copy editor. But for the remaining 15k, I had to schedule another appointment. I’m hoping to publish in Late July.
Thanks for bearing with me.
Who knew seeing your cover in a new way could be just as exciting as seeing the real book? I printed these ‘chapter booklets’ of The Unraveling to give away at my author reading this weekend at RavenCon 2016. Into 12 text pages, we squeezed both chapter 1 & 3 to give readers a taste of both Annmar and Daeryn. The inside cover is a growing gear coloring page.
And by ‘we” I mean the generous J.T. Bock, author friend extraordinaire, who IRL is a graphic artist. She held my hand through the layout process–which if you visit her gorgeous website, you can see this was a normal hour at the office for her. J.T. is also the reason I’ll be at RavenCon (nice peer pressure, honestly). She’s a huge Whedon fan and will presenting “A Whedonite’s Guide to Characterization” Friday night from 10:00-11:00 pm, among other panel presentations.
Yes, with something like 400 hours of programming for 2016, RavenCon’s schedule begins at 4 on Friday (including my author reading!) and runs until midnight Friday and Saturday and through 3 pm Sunday.
I’ll be a guest author among a hundred other fantasy authors, artist, filkers, costumers, scientists, podcasters, editors, publishers at RavenCon 2016, a weekend celebrating the genres of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror.
It’ll be my first time at the con, and since they strive to book new and interesting guests every year, they have given me a go!
The really featured authors are Sharon Lee and Steve Miller!
Friday, April 29th at 6 p.m. I’ll be doing a reading from The Unraveling, during which I’ll include a smattering of my series’ historical facts and fictions and a historic word quiz…and a paperback giveaway!
From 9-11 a.m. on Saturday, April 30, I’m conducting a self-editing workshop: Finding Space: Line-by-Line Editing Tips for Wordiness.
Later Saturday, at 3 p.m., I’m running an all ages “Make a Pouch for your Costume.”
~ ~ ~
If you’re in the area, come for the day, or the weekend! The RavenCon 2016 site has all the details and the schedule should be up soon!
(Sorry, this is a screen shot and the links don’t work–click here go to the actual RavenCon 2016 website!)
My IRL friend and critique partner has made her debut release today! Congratulations to Ingrid Hahn! I love your beautiful purple cover and it’s such a charming story. Best wishes on your first release!
She has lost everything but her dignity…
England, 1811. When John Merrick, the Earl of Corbeau, is caught in a locked storeroom with Lady Grace, he has but one choice—marry her. He cannot bear to tarnish any woman’s reputation, least of all Lady Grace’s.
Lady Grace Landon will do anything to help her mother and sisters, crushed and impoverished by her father’s disgrace. But throwing herself into the arms of her dearest friend’s older brother to trap him in marriage? Never.
Corbeau needs to prove that he loves her, despite her father’s misdeeds. After years of being an object of scorn, not even falling in love with Corbeau alters Lady Grace’s determination to not bring her disrepute upon another. However, if they don’t realize that the greatest honor is love given freely without regard to society’s censure, they stand to lose far more than they ever imagined.
Here’s an excerpt:
He held the bright red berries toward her. “It’s up to you to save me from my vice.”
“You don’t know how long it’s been since I’ve had a strawberry. A real strawberry, not preserves.”
He plucked one up by its little crown of leaves and offered it. “Well then?”
“Maybe…maybe just one.” Absently, she slid the metal base of her candle stand next to his on the shelf.
“Go on, Grace.”
“Then again.” She bit into her bottom lip. “I don’t know if I can restrain myself to only one.”
An unfortunate second interpretation of what it would be for Grace’s restraint to dissolve sent a rush of heat down to a place that needed no such coaxing.
His voice lowered, texture roughening. “I’m giving you every encouragement not to.”
“But if I start, I don’t think I can stop.”
“Funny. That’s precisely how I feel.”
Ingrid Hahn is a failed administrative assistant with a B.A. in Art History. Her love of reading has turned her mortgage payment into a book storage fee, which makes her the friend who you never want to ask you for help moving. Though originally from Seattle, she now lives in the metropolitan DC area with her ship-nerd husband, small son, and four opinionated cats. When she’s not reading or writing, she loves knitting, theater, nature walks, travel, history, and is a hopelessly devoted fan of Jane Austen. Please connect with her on social media! Find her on Twitter as @Ingrid_Writer. Find her on Facebook as Ingrid Hahn.
Facebook and Goodreads: Search Ingrid Hahn