Sunday, June 24, 2018

Blog Tour and Spine Chillers

Hey Everyone,

I just wanted to update you on the progress of the spine chillers series. I've been looking into blog tours and I think I've picked one for August and September. I'm waiting for them to get back to me with the details.

The first book of the series, Scarecrow, will be ready for purchase in the beginning of September. The second book, Big Bad Wolf, will appear at the end of September. I'll keep you posted on the exact date they will be available and the date that the blog tour will begin closer to time.

The first book cover is nearly complete and it's beautiful. I'll be revealing during the tour. I hope you like it as much as I do. Madalyn Mcleod has done a wonderful job with the artwork and her attention to detail is very appreciated.

I've nearly completed the fifth book of the Spine Chillers series, Firefly, but to be honest, I'm having a little trouble figuring out the final few chapters. I have no doubt it will come to me, probably very soon, but in the meantime I'm working on a new mid-grade dark fantasy story. I think it has a great deal of potential.

Basically, the new story follows a girl who gets lost in the forest near her home and wanders into the land of fairy tales, but the fairy tales have become twisted and happy endings are very few. She finds out quickly that finding a way home is the least of her worries as she faces fairy tale monsters, and everyone in the world is drawn to her presence like moths to a flame.

I actually am very close to finishing the dark fairy tale story, so I might do some work on that in the future. I have some ideas for at least three books, possibly even more since there are many, many fairy tales to explore. When I finish the first one, I think I'll send it to my contact at Penguin/Random House. Wish me luck.

Anyway, that's what I've been working on recently. I'll keep you updated as I get more information, and about everything else that I've been up to lately.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Get Motivated!

Hey Everybody,

I just wanted to write this because I know it's been a little while. Currently, I'm trying to get motivated in general. I don't know what's wrong with me, but I've felt like being lazy for about a week now. I can't afford to be lazy with two children, but it is what it is. All I want to do is nap, play video games, play my table-top RPGs, and watch anime. Ugh. I think I really really need a vacation. I hate feeling lazy when I should be working...

The weather in SC is on its way to being a slow broil, so going outside during the summer is a battle of how much water can you drink to make up for the sweat. Needless to say, the air is a winter breeze inside of the house. For some reason I can never balance my internal temperature during this time so I end up curled up in a blanket in the house losing the sleep war, or I step outside and feel uncomfortably warm like I'm cooking a little on the inside. Don't get me wrong, I do love SC but I'm not a fan of the heat. You can only take so many clothes off in public. At least in the winter you can bundle up with as many as you can.

I've watched some very good anime lately. "Darling in the Franxx" is surprisingly good and for once I like all of the characters. (Of course, when one of them inevitably dies I'll be devastated, but I intend to find out what happens.) It's ongoing, so I'm still in the process of watching it. It's a story about mecha fighters in a post-apocalyptic setting that are teenagers. Male and female pairs have to work in sync to operate the mechs and they are fighting in a war against bio-mechanical monsters. The sexual tension is pretty thick and there are some moments where you're just thinking "Oh, Japan..." with the "Oh, You..." meme face, but it's still really, really good. It does inspire me to write something like this in the future, but that is a ways away.

"Magus Bride" was fantastic. It's a fantasy that takes place in the modern day and focuses mostly on fey magic. The story is good, the characters are awesome, and the animation is beautiful. It might be one of my new favorites, though "Darling in the Franxx" is catching up. The main character of "Magus Bride" is a rare person that can see into the supernatural world and has the ability to wield powerful fairy magic, but the problem is the more magic she uses, the less time she has to live. It doesn't have much action, but the stories are all very interesting and dramatic.

In terms of video games I'm still playing World of Warcraft. I really should pick up VR Skyrim again, but I don't have my VR legs yet and I'm worried that I'll be sick. I won't give up on it, but I am giving it a break. In terms of table-top RPGs

I'm about to run a "How to Train Your Dragon" RPG using the PDQ system (it's a system with an easy, flexible dice mechanic, so it lends itself well to player-driven stories).  I'm playing in a friends PDQ game about a society where monsters and normal people are trying to coexist. I'm playing as a fairy member of the constabulary who is trying to help withhold the accords between the humans and monsters and investigate supernatural crime. It's a fun game and I'm really, really enjoying it.

And, that's about it (for now) in terms of the things I've been up to other than writing. I haven't written in a week and I plan to get back to it this week once I feel inspired. I'm still halfway done with my fifth story in the "Spine Chillers" series and the cover art for the first book is coming along nicely. I'll keep you posted. I also intend to read "A Wrinkle in Time" soon and I'll let you know what I think about that.

Well, I'm off to lunch. Take care. Keep reading and writing.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Seeing some Results

Hey Everyone,

I just wanted to let you know that the "Fireflies in Autumn" story is coming along nicely. (As I said, working title, I need something a little scarier...) Anyway, I'm working on that and also talking with my artist about the cover of the "Scarecrow" story. It's looking very good already and we're only in the thumbnail stage. I'm really excited about seeing the finished product.

I thought I would also mention that I'm planning to release the first book, "Scarecrow" around the beginning of September, and the second book, "Bad Wolf" around the end of September. Sometime in the first week or two of October I'll publish "The Beast of Black Pond," then, around Halloween, I'll publish "Empty Eyes." Finally, the fifth book will be available in the beginning of November, the one currently called "Fireflies in Autumn." After that, I'll be taking a break from releasing books in the "Spine Chillers" series to see if I can establish a large enough fan base to justify more.  I'll need your help for that.

If anyone has children, or knows any children, in middle school or late elementary school that like reading and horror, please let them know about this series as soon as it is released. I'm planning to do some consignment in local stores, but word of mouth helps more than you know. Also, I'll be blogging more often and trying my best to get the word out.

For those of you who check my website, I'm aware it needs to be updated. I'm planning on adding a link to Blood God and doing another banner on the top with all three books. Also, I'll update all the relevant information about the completed Young Adult fantasy series, Blood Rain, Blood Moon, and Blood God, and my upcoming novels. Just bear with me, a lot has happened so recently and Blood God might've slipped under the radar which was not my intention. It is the final book of the Blood Rain series, and I think it measures up to the others, but it came out during an inopportune time.

Anyway, that's my news for now. I'll probably have more to say later in the week. Take care. Keep reading and writing. I'll keep you posted. 

Monday, April 23, 2018

Spine Chillers

Hey Everyone.

Just wanted to let you know that I'm making good progress on the fifth book of my young reader horror series. This one is loosely titled "Fireflies in Autumn." (It will more than likely be titled differently in the near future, but that's the working title right now.) I'm nearly halfway done and that will be the last one for a little while until I see if I have enough interest in this project.

Also, I've come up with a title for the series. The final title will be "Spine Chillers." At first, I was going to have the title be the name of the club the children form, but I think this one gives a better feeling for what the stories are like. (I know that seems a little like "Goosebumps," but I think my title is still original enough. "Spine Chillers" seems a little darker and some of my stories are pretty dark.)

Currently, the four finished stories have been sent off to my test readers. I want to make sure they aren't too dark for their target audience but scary enough to be worthy of the title.. It's a tough balance, but I think they achieve it. I'll find out when my readers get back to me.

Madayln McLeod is about to start work on the covers for the stories. As I said, I can't wait to see what she comes up with!

I'll keep you posted and will let  you know when the first book of the "Spine Chillers" series will come out. I'm looking to publish the first story around the end of September but I don't have a final date yet. These are fairly episodic, so they can be read in any order, but the first one I'm publishing will probably be "The Scarecrow." Looking forward to it.

In the meantime, I've been keeping busy with writing, watching my children, and the occasional video game and role-playing game. I'm about to run a PDQ game of "How to Train Your Dragon" for my friends. It should be pretty fun. I plan to start reading another book soon as well. I actually am planning to read "A Wrinkle in Time." I never read it as a child, and I've been told by my friends that I really missed out. So, many thanks to my friend Lizz for giving it to me on my birthday, I'll be picking it up soon.

Virtual reality Skyrim has also arrived. I've been dreaming about this sort of thing since I as a kid, but at the same time I have to get used to it. I have to admit, I get more motion sick now than I did as a child, and also I have to get used to the controls. I get the feeling it will be super addictive after that, though. Either way, I won't be neglecting my children or my writing work for that, but it'll be another fun activity to occasionally do in the evenings.

Well, I'd better go. There's a lot to do today and more words to write. Take care! Keep reading! 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Taking a Break...

Hey Everybody,

I just wanted to let you know that I have finished "Empty Eyes," the fourth story in the mid-grade horror series. I feel pretty good about it. Right now, I'm waiting on my primary test reader to check it before I start any editing, but while I wait I'm taking a break. I've found that after completing a project it's generally a good idea to take a week or two off to kind of re-calibrate your brain for writing.

In other writing news, I actually did come up with a better idea for the fifth book of the series while I was writing the fourth. I have a rough idea of where I'm going with that and will probably write up a detailed outline of it next week. I think this idea is much better than the one I had before, mostly because the one I had before was about something seasonal, specifically associated with the Christmas season. That being the case, if I manage to get enough fans with the first five books, I might be able to release that around Christmastime.

So, here's what I've been up games. I've been playing Fire Emblem Fates Conquest for the Nintendo 3DS, and I've been playing on World of Warcraft again. (No worries, I won't let it eat my soul.) It's probably been over ten years now since I've played WOW. It's kind of hard to believe. A few of my friends started playing again and talking about it and eventually I couldn't resist, especially after I finished my book.

I basically play during odd times when I'm not taking care of the house or the children (basically the times when I would normally write). I think it'll be a nice break for another week or so and then I'll be back to writing in no time. For some reason, video games sometimes exercise my imagination in the same sort of way that playing table-top RPGs do. I find myself spacing out thinking about what the characters might be thinking or feeling especially in terms of other character interactions. (Hence, on of the reasons I love Fire Emblem games.)

Anyway, if I'm quiet for another week you'll know what I'm doing, but I'll try not to be too quiet. Things always are going on and I'll keep you posted on them. In the meantime, keep reading and writing.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

New Artist for mid-grade Horror Series

Hey Everybody,

First of all, I'd like to say that I got a test print of Blood God and it met my approval, so if you want a print version and haven't gotten one yet, go ahead and order it. I really enjoyed the series and I'm glad that Mercy has finally seen her journey to an end. I hope you enjoy the book and enjoyed the entire series.

Now that the Blood Rain trilogy is officially complete I've started work on my mid-grade horror series again. I'm about ten pages away from being finished with the fourth book and I've come up with a new idea for the fifth which I think will be much better. The outline for the new fifth book is almost done as well.

I've officially decided that the name "Junior Investigator's Club" sounds condescending, so I'm working on a new title. It might be "Spectral Stories" or "Spectral Investigator's Club" or something along those lines. Nothing is cut in stone yet, though, so I still am going to play with some other options. In the meantime when I say "mid-grade horror series" you'll know what I'm talking about. If you have any ideas for a good name for the series, please leave a comment below.

My most exciting news is that I've entered into a contract with an artist for the cover art of the first five books of the series. I appreciate all of the work that J. M. Lee did for me for the Blood Rain series, but he's working hard on his own novels right now and I know his time has become very limited. Also, as my friend, I don't want to take advantage of his kindness to me, so I've been seeking a new illustrator for the covers of my mid-grade horror series and I'm pleased to say that I've found her.

Her name is Madalyn McLeod. Her artwork is fantastic. If you're interested in seeing her awesome art, please click the link below.

Madalyn McLeod's Art 

I think her ability to capture the feel of dark fairy tales will lend itself well to the series and I'm looking very forward to working with her. I met her at Soda City Comic Con and I was immediately interested in her depiction of Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf. If any of you have read the first three scary stories of my series, you'll understand why that caught my eye. (Not only because it was gorgeous, but it was just about perfect for one of the stories.) Anyway, check out her art. You won't regret it.

I guess that's about it for now. I'll keep you posted on my progress and I'll let you know when I plan to start with the publication process, etc. Right now, the plan is to start publishing the series late/early September. The first book will be "Scarecrow" and the next will probably be "The Beast of Black Pond." I'm really looking forward to it.

Keep reading and writing! I know that I'll be doing the same.

- Nancy

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Blood God is Published!

Hey Everybody,

Sorry it took me so long to write this post. I actually did make my deadline and Blood God was published by Christmas Eve. I just wanted to let you know. This has been a very busy and good holiday for me, but that isn't a good excuse for not mentioning that the final book was already out. Anyway, click on the picture for the link if you're interested.

It's available in e-book form and print on demand, but we haven't been able to get a test print yet because Amazon's printing division was closed for the holidays. According to the preview the margins should be correct and the test copy should be fine, but I wanted you to know we haven't been able to confirm that yet. We should have a copy today, and I'll let you know if there are any problems with the hard copies when we get it.

I hope everyone has had a good Christmas. It was nice spending time with family, but I have to admit, I'm ready to put up my decorations and get a good start for the new year. In terms of New Year resolutions, I've decided to start my diet again. I'm not fat, but I need to eat healthier and it couldn't hurt for me to lose about ten pounds and firm up my muscles just a little. That's a very attainable goal. Also, at the very least want to finish one book, but I'd prefer another series (I'll tell more about that in a bit.) I still am enjoying a little time off, though, so I might be quiet for about a week or two.

I've decided to focus on my Junior Investigator's Club series, mostly because I might actually have an illustrator for the front covers of the first five books. (Again, I plan to come up with a better title for the series soon. "Junior" sounds kind of condescending to me...) Either way, I want to finish the last two so that I can have concrete ideas for her to work with. I really hope this works out. I'll let you know who I'm working with when I sign the contract. I'm very excited about this series. I still have plenty of good ideas to work with, but I'm going to start with the first five books to see if I get a decent number of readers to pursue more. I hope I'll have a little better luck since this market is a niche market and I have a passion for writing in the genre.

Anyway, that's what's going on right now in terms of writing. In other news, I saw the new Star Wars movie and really enjoyed it. There were a few things I felt could've been better, but overall I was impressed. I think it deserves another viewing so I can think more about it from the perspective of someone who knows the plot. I'm glad I went into it with a neutral attitude. I tried purposefully not to look at any opinions or reviews and if you haven't seen it, I think you should do the same. You'll probably enjoy it more for it. I will say this, it didn't follow the formula of Empire, which I think is why I liked it so much. There were quite a few things that surprised me.

Well, I'd better go. Lots of un-decorating and cleaning await...yay. Wish me luck on finishing my chores today. It's going to be another busy one, but at least if I finish the cleaning my house so desperately needs I should be able to rest and write for the remainder of the week. That is my current goal. Take care, and have a great holiday!