The Joys Of Being Dyslexic…

My particular form of dyslexia manifests itself in transpositions, combining words from two different sentences, and occasionally missing important bits of sentences.

For instance, I may go read the excerpt for I Lift Up My Eyes To The Hills and miss two words and one of the commas setting off the appositive in the opening sentence and nearly call someone in the middle of the night.

What I initially read:

BROTHER EZEKIEL Frost surveyed the knot of new journeymen awaiting assignment with a decided lack of enthusiasm, which of them was to be his new assistant.

I decided I would reread it very slowly and carefully to make sure that I had my facts straight before I went off to calmly scream at someone about it.

What it actually said:

BROTHER EZEKIEL Frost surveyed the knot of new journeymen awaiting assignment and wondered, with a decided lack of enthusiasm, which of them was to be his new assistant.

Needless to say, I was utterly relieved to discover that it was just me not paying attention and not some sort of bizarre error in the actual manuscript.

By the way, it’s November third. That means you can get your copy of ILUMETTH now! Also, I’ll be hanging out at Dreamspinner’s blog from 11 AM to 9 PM Eastern, talking about some of the stuff that went into the making of the story.

Mark Your Calenders: November 3rd, 2014!

That’s the day that I Lift Up My Eyes To The Hills will be available for purchase. You can buy it from Dreamspinner, of course, or you can grab it from your favorite 3rd-party distributor.

Here’s the blurb:

Justinian Clark, new-minted journeyman scribe, has a lot of faith: faith in God goes without saying, faith in the orderly workings of the universe, faith in the administrative minutiae that ticks along in the background of his life. That minutiae has brought him to Saint Gabriel and All Angels Cathedral, where he is assigned to assist Brother Ezekiel Frost.

Ezekiel Frost, a ten-year veteran of The Eternal Brotherhood of the Guardians of the Church of Greater Anglia, is quite comfortable with his routine: helping the people of St. Gabriel’s parish, annoying the archdeacon, and not getting too used to his assistants. While he doubts that having a complete novice assigned to him will change this pattern in any way, he resolves to make the best of it.

Between exorcisms, murders, the attention of something, and an overly observant child, Justinian and Ezekiel have no time to settle into a comfortable routine. Nothing is as certain as they once believed, and they can only hope their faith will see them through.

Yaaaaaay! Also eeeeek. But mostly yaaaaaaay!

The Sequence Alt I M Is Your Best Friend While Editing.

So DSP has this editing policy: absolutely no in-line comments. All comments are to be made using the ‘insert comment’ feature of Word. I was happy enough to comply, since it was less confusing for me all the way around… But the report of Anthony Horowitz’s in-line comments getting published in some ARCs highlights just why DSP makes that demand.

I work hard to make sure that my editors and I aren’t at odds, so I doubt that having my/our comments would really be all that exciting, but I’m just as glad that the issue is unlikely to arise.

ILUMETTH Update:

GALLEY STAGE: DONE.

That’s it. If there’s anything that needs fixing, it’s too late. (True story: I had to get someone else to read the galley for me because I had been looking at it for so long that my eyes were crossing.)

When I have a release date, I’ll post it everywhere. For now, though, it looks like “sometime in November”. Works for me!

I’m going to do a release party thing on the Dreamspinner blog, so that should be interesting; I’ll also be writing a post for Guys Like Romance Too (but that won’t be published until…December.) I’ll have more info on that as I get it, so. (Topics I’m planning on covering: music, the rosary/Book of Common Prayer, possibly/probably the setting, and I don’t know what else.)

…That’s about all the news I’ve got for the moment.

I was told I can share this, so I’m going to.

Yes, those are all Justinian-related items.

Isn’t it lovely?

John Coulthart patiently took all of the bits and bobs I plucked out of the lint trap of my brain and turned them into this gorgeous cover.

I don’t have a release date, yet, but probably in time for the holiday season.

How I Work (or don’t, depending)

Michelle Moore (of Ylendrian Empire and Enchanted Grounds fame) tagged me for the Writing Process blog hop.

The questions are:
1) What am I working on?
2) How does my work differ from that of others in the same genre?
3) Why do I write what I do?
4) How does my writing process work?

A note before you start, however: I’m going to use a LOT of parenthetical asides and probably some odd capitalization. Sorry?

Without further ado, the talking:

1) What am I working on?

I have a handful of projects in progress at any given time, some written because they won’t leave me alone otherwise and some inspired by calls for submission.

Currently, I’m still trying to slog my way to the end of A Reading From The Epistles, the semi-sequel to I Lift Up My Eyes To The Hills. (I say ‘semi-sequel’ because it’s set about a month or 6 weeks after the end of ILUMETTH and feels more like a continuation than an actual sequel. It’s probably Just Me.) Since I’m not making much progress at the moment, I’m really excited to write about writing instead.

I’ve also been poking at a revision of some of the elements in my Breton Farmer And His Former Welsh Pirate (former pirate; he continues to be Welsh) story, as well as the previously-mentioned Cyberpunk Thing (it lacks one vital element, namely a plot) and a more-or-less complete rewrite of a story I wrote way back in 2009 that was wisely rejected by the publisher to whom I sent it.

In terms of things I haven’t worked on but probably shoooould, there’s also this Dragon Thing, a couple of quasi-steampunk stories set in the same universe and sharing characters but the focuses are different, The One With The Hockey Players, a couple of Havothi-centered stories, The NOLA Thing (which is in almost-done limbo), the sequels to First Flight and Tobias’s Own Adventure, and a story that was supposed to feature a feral teenager but ended up being about an involuntary shapeshifter instead.

I also have a bunch of other stuff that’s mostly snips and drabbles, but the preceding paragraph mentions things that are more than a few pages long.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I generally work in the field of ‘romance’, in that a relationship between the protagonists is usually the focus of/driving element of the plot (or what there is of the plot). Where my work differs from that of other authors… I’ve never really mastered the art of writing characters that need to be hugged and whacked with a shoe at the same time, unlike Michelle and Reesa or Amy Lane. So there’s that.

Another, somewhat smaller difference is that I like writing magical realism and alternate histories—the world as we know it with a twist.

3) Why do I write what I do?

There are several reasons –

I write what I do because I believe that the more love and positivity in the world, the better.

I write what I do because sometimes I get an idea and it won’t leave me alone until I’ve written it down. This is not always a good thing, as I have a bunch of things I’ve started/written out and then nothing else comes of it. Well, I got to go to sleep, but otherwise…

Last but not least, I write what I do because I can’t write anything else. I’ve tried writing a standard Harlequin/Mills & Boon-type romance and I just…can’t do it. I don’t know how to write an “alpha male”, and based on the few parts of standard romance novels I’ve managed to read I don’t write heroines properly, either. I can’t say I’m terribly upset about that, however.

I just write my kind of romances, mixing it up with various genres, with characters all of whom have a different definition of romance, and I’m happy. Other people like them, too, so, y’know. It works.

4) How does your writing process work?

I am, for the most part, a complete pantser. If I know what happens next—at least in minute detail—then I’m bored and don’t want to write it. If I’m bored, I avoid writing it because it’s boring and feels like work. That’s not really much of an explanation, though.

Basically, it goes like this: I have an idea, whether it pops into my head while I’m minding my own business or I read a call for submission. I sit down and write whatever I can, which can be from one to thirty-five pages. Then, if that was all there was, I move on to something else; if it’s really eating my brain, I’ll keep going.

I don’t usually work from an outline or a summary or anything like that—it just works better for me if I find out what’s happening along with my characters. I will occasionally write notes about what I want (or need) to have happen, and I do have lists of things that I want to write about, but otherwise it’s all just a blank slate.

I also edit as I go, rereading what I’ve written so far and making the odd tweak here and there. With some things, I read them out loud to a willing audience and get feedback that way; with others I email them to Michelle and Reesa for their amusement.

When I’m done, I generally try to stay away from a story for a little while. It doesn’t always work, though… Then I run a last spell-check, look for missing words/punctuation, format it for submission, write the submission email, press send, and then freak out/collapse for a couple of days.

It’s not glamorous or all that exciting, really, but I generally enjoy it.

I’m going to tag Piper Vaughn and M. J. O’Shea for the next post—They also write stories with characters who need to be hugged and smacked with a shoe at the same time. (I have A Thing for those sorts of characters, can you tell?)