Well, folks, the time has come.
After putting Alex in Wunderstrande in the hands of readers, professional reviewers, and editors, I’ve come to the decision that it needs reworked.
Not that it’s bad, because that is absolutely untrue. I’ve just found some things in the story that can be tightened, fixed, or fine tuned. I think I rushed the novel’s release date too soon, and didn’t wait to make sure the product was the best it could be. So, after much consideration, I knew it was time to revise.
The second edition will be much like the first, although it will start differently, and there will be slight differences throughout the story to reflect the new beginning. This will NOT change the main story line whatsoever, just in case you have already read the book and were worried I’m changing everything. I believe the changes will help readers connect more to Alex and also understand a little clearer about the war and other background details. Plus, it’ll help other scenes tie into each other more appropriately.
I’m not sure on the release date of the second edition, but it will probably be mid-to-late summer.
Just consider it Alex in Wunderstande: The Clairvoyance Clock (New and Improved!) :)
One of the greatest things you can do as a writer is to put yourself out there by entering writing competitions. As a kid, I entered a national short-story contest (and won) as well as submitted my work to PBS, which was actually aired on the show ZOOM. So, I learned from an early age that going for it — no matter what the cost — was ultimately rewarding in the end.
Today, AiW is in the running as a quarterfinalist for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. (That means it was narrowed down from 5,000 entries to 250.) I won’t find out until April 24 if it made it to the semifinals, though. (You can only imagine my anxiety and excitement!) It’s my first major step toward putting my work under the scrutiny of the professional (and critical) eye, as editors and pro-reviewers are reading through my manuscript as I write this.
But, as with any contest, it’s unpredictable. I wouldn’t say that the success of my first installment of the series hinges on winning this contest, but it is an indicator with where I’m going to go with it. If I make it to the semifinals, great! If I get further, even better. Just making it this far is a dream come true. I’m still weighing my options to continue marketing the series as an indie book or actually start seeing if publishing houses want to pick it up. Winning the contest would mean I get a book deal with Penguin Publishers, and I’m excited to find out where it takes me. Nevertheless, it’s an opportunity that I am so glad I didn’t pass up, and encourage you to not let the opportunities in your life pass you by.
You might just be in awe with where that new-found road is taking you. :)
For today’s Steampunk Sunday, I thought it’d be incredibly fitting to show you this delectable steam-themed desert. I really want one now. For reals. Someone make me one?
Sometimes people ask me if I base my writing off real-life situations. All I can do is smile and shrug, knowing that I sometimes give characters certain traits of people in my life or I describe a scene similar to a place I’ve been. But it’s never too blatant. Though I used only minor real-life instances in The Clairvoyance Clock, I can already tell the second book will be chocked full of reality.
The crazy part is…the events in Alex in Wunderstrande: Book Two were already planned before the reality came to be. And now, somehow, I find myself in the same situations as Alex, experiencing more than just an imaginative, fictional situation. I’m living it.
It’s kind of strange to think that my writing somehow bears a strong resemblance to my life, but in a way, I’m thankful. It gives me an even deeper connection to my main character and helps me explore the situations in a much more realistic way, making for a believable plot line.
I can only hope this new-found connection between my real-life trials and made-up world can bring a voice to the story that readers will appreciate.
Question for all you writers out there: How often do you base your writing on real-life experiences?
Time is like an unruly child. The moment you think you have it under control, it throws a tantrum, slips through your firm grasp, and tells you it hates you.
Lately, I’ve let it get away from me with no other excuse that I was exhausted putting up with it and just let it take me wherever the wind blew. My job, personal responsibilities, and a plethora of other things have left me in a whirlwind of activity.
Consider this an apology, of sorts. Being an author is hard, especially when it’s technically not your full-time job. Oh, how I wish it was, though. ;)
Since my online sabbatical began, Alex in Wunderstrande: The Clairvoyance Clock has been released in eBook format on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. So, if you haven’t gotten it yet because you were holding out for a better price, how does $2.99 sound?
Also, AiW is in the running for Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award. It made it to the second round and is currently being reviewed to see if it makes the quarterfinalist cut. I’m so excited to see where this goes!
But, no matter where this lovely author journey takes me, the only thing that matters right now is that I’m back in action. So get in the corner, Time. Katie’s calling a time out.
(First of all, I want to thank K.C. Neal so much for her willingness to help organize an event to bring awareness to cyber bullying/in-person bullying. She has been incredibly supportive during my writing journey and even now, I consider her a wealth of information. Thanks again, Kate! =D )
I don’t know what it is about my writing, but it has unfortunately sparked bullying on several occasions.
The first time it happened, I was 12. A lot of exciting things were going on in my life at the time, including the recent win of a nationwide short story contest. I was ecstatic; the accomplishment was something I had never experienced before. However, my classmates weren’t so pumped about it. In fact, I could tell they were jealous.
During the weeks following the win, I was the brunt of several girls’ jokes. They’d tell me to give up because I’d never be “popular” like them. Some told me my writing wouldn’t amount to anything. Some passed notes about me when I was asked to read my writing project to the class. (Believe me, I intercepted those notes later…but my crazy spy alter-ego is a story for another time.)
Things only got worse after one of my stories were featured on the PBS Kid’s show “Zoom”. If anyone cared, they didn’t show it. Most chose to ignore it. Thankfully, I received overwhelming support from Sarah, my childhood friend and best friend to this day. She taught me how to be strong. And I overcame my middle school years on a high note.
Flash forward 12 years. After a year of writing and a year and a half of planning, my debut novel Alex in Wunderstrande was released in November 2011. This time, however, I had overwhelming support from family, friends, and co-workers. Things were looking up…until it happened again.
But the setting wasn’t a middle school, it was online. I was reviewing YouTube comments and noticed a plethora of vicious comments directed toward me, my work, and my friends. Not only that, but I stumbled across a website that was dedicated to bashing my efforts under the guise of “constructive criticism”. While some members had semi-valid points, others took the opportunity to attack my work and leave a black smudge on a project I was trying so hard to promote.
For some reason, the only thing I could think of was, “Damn. I am 24 years old and I’m still the brunt of middle-school- like bullying. When will it end?”
But that’s the thing: cyber bullying (or in person bullying) can happen to anyone, at any age, anywhere. Unfortunately, it has become more prevalent with the birth of social networking. People feel like they can better attack others while remaining semi-anonymous. But in reality, it just makes bullies come off as cowardly.
My heart goes out to all who have been or are victims of bullying. You do not have to face it alone. Today, during what I hope is just the beginning of the “Spread <3, Not Hate” movement, I wish to encourage all who have ever experienced something like this. You are wonderful and amazing. Remember that bullies only do what they do because they are jealous or have some sort of inner conflictions about themselves. Remember, you are not alone. Talk to trusted friends and family members if you’re having a hard time coping.
There are people out there who want to see you succeed. Just take a deep breath, hold your head high, and keep on doing what you do best. All those bullies won’t know what to do with all that confidence. :)
Spread <3, Not Hate, Friday, February 3!
Are you a victim of online bullying? What about IRL?
It’s time to stand up and speak out.
Join author K.C. Neal and I as we invite the online world to gather on February 3 and share your stories and/or post messages of love and support to those who have been victimized by others.
Indeed, I am most unfortunately delayed.
I was supposed to have my eBook up and ready to go on Amazon two days ago, but because of my new full time work schedule, it has taken the back burner. Originally, I thought I’d just release it for the new year, then I became quite ambitious and aimed to release it at the beginning of December.
Well, if you’re like anyone else in America at this time of year, no one has a free moment to spare in December. And if you do…holy crap. Pass it along this way, why don’t you. ;)
So, until further notice, my eBook publication is temporarily set aside…but it IS coming. I’m putting a rough estimate on the very beginning of 2012…possibly January 1.
I love you all! Remember, if you’ve ordered Alex in Wunderstrande, take a picture with the book and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org! I’m making a super spiffy montage video.
For anyone wondering about the steampunk genre, this video sums it up rather nicely.
I tip my hat to you, sir-who-made-this-awesome-vid! :)