Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My 2013

So instead of listing goals for next year (which you can find under my Writing Goals page), I'm going to sum up what 2013 was for me!  Because accomplishments are cause for celebration!

  • Read 136 books
  • Wrote, edited, and published Hipstopia (The Uprising #1)
  • Won the first ever "Iron Writer" put on by the Dreadful Cafe
  • Wrote The Collapse (The Uprising #2) - working title (which also won NaNo 2013 for me)
  • Wrote No Sugar Coating
  • Made my first royalties
  • Got published in my first anthology
  • Proofread three books for two different authors (and actually got paid to do so!)
  • Edited and queried Where We Collide
  • Wrote 182,868 words, or more than 500 words a day on average
2014 will again bring the hope that I land an agent.  I got some really good pointers from a lot of writers and agents on No Sugar Coating, and I'm going to rewrite my next draft of it with those in mind.  With any luck, I'll catch the right person on the right day and finally get someone to represent me.

Otherwise, I'll keep on trucking with the one self-published release a year.  The Collapse is slated for May 2014, and The Underground is slated for October 2014.

And just for fun, there are three photos below from Portland, OR, and one photo from Cape Cod, MA.  We were lucky enough to visit both this year.

Friday, December 20, 2013

99 Cents Holiday Sale

Both of my novelettes are on sale for .99 through the holidays!  The sale for Hipstopia ends on December 26, and the sale for Terrance will end on January 1.  Which means - you should get them today!

Hipstopia is $2 off the regular list price.  It's a satirical YA dystopian.

It's been three years since Murphy led the Hipster uprising. For three years, Jay has been by his side. All that's about to change. It starts with the beautifully intense Prisoner Forty-Seven... and a loaded gun.

Available on Kindle

My Summer Vacation by Terrance Wade is $1 off the list price. This book is good for both kids who will read it as an adventure story, and adults who will see the underlying meaning beyond Terrance's imagination.  So if you have kids, you should pick this up!

When Terrance's mother comes in through the window, she says, "Terrance, your dad doesn’t want me to show you the world. But we’re going – tonight, now." With that, she scoops him up and rushes from the house. Terrance, a naive yet astute 7-year-old, is kidnapped by his mother. Told from his perspective, Terrance believes he's on an adventure to save the world.

Available on Kindle, iTunes, Smashwords

Both books are also available in paperback for under $6.00.

Monday, December 2, 2013

New Goals and BONUS: Hipstopia 2 Excerpt!

I did it again - went overboard with the goal creation.  But hey, if I aim high and only accomplish half of what I set out to do, then at least I accomplished half of an insanely long goal list, right? Right.

So, I'm aiming for two self-published releases next year.  Hipstopia 2 is a definite (and no, it won't be called Hipstopia 2 once I can come up with a better title).  The Unanswerable I would really like to get out in October - because horror books in October?  Yes, please!

I want to edit everything I currently have on my plate next year.  This means editing five works - on top of trying to grow my own proofreading business. But I need to get this stuff edited - otherwise, it's never going to see the light of day (and that would make me sad).

I also want to write The Underground (Unseries #2) and Rioss Origins (Rioss #0.5).

Basically, this is a Holiday Wish List to my future self.  Please self, do all the things!

For those of you who read this whole blog post, I have a surprise for you!  It's an excerpt from Hipstopia 2.  This is from Murphy himself, folks.  He and Jay will be sharing the spotlight in this duel narrative novel. 


Before all of this had started, there had been a lightness to her intense, brown eyes. The air of nonchalance even came across in the way she stepped, sure-footed and buoyant. I never saw that anymore, the lightness had been destroyed by something feral, something sinister... something that I had created.

I stared at the glass of whiskey she placed on my desk. Her fingernails were chipped, skin cracking in pink, raw hangnails. She pushed the glass towards me. The golden liquid sloshed around the cold stones Sky had tossed in.

"Why did you let him go?" She asked again. It was the hundredth time, and every time her dark red lips formed the words, I wanted to shudder. There was such contempt and disdain behind the way she spoke.

Looking up, I met her eyes. Fearless and fierce, none of that girl who thought she could change the world. This was because of me, because of what I had made us do... because of all the destruction we made together. "Because I couldn't stand killing him."

She rolled her eyes and knelt down next to me, making our eyes level.  Her breath reeked of yesterday's wine, and her eyeliner was smeared along the edges of her eyes. The white and black striped suit coat, her uniform, was too sophisticated for this moment. I reached out and nudged one of the edges down off her shoulder, revealing white skin in desperate need of sun. The white v-neck underneath was better made for her, simple and pure. At least, the her that used to exist.

"You're in charge now, Murphy." Her words circled around my head, but I couldn't listen. "You have to make the tough decisions, even if it means killing someone you love."

Sky placed a single finger on my knee, tapping once, twice, three times before she stood up. My hand fell away from her shoulder. Sky adjusted her jacket and ran her fingers through her cropped, black hair. I remember when it used to be long. Before everything. "Even if it means killing me."

Thursday, November 21, 2013

NaNoWriMo Day 21

I know, I totally don't publish consistently enough - but hey!  Two a month is better than what I was doing before!  Besides, it's NaNo time, so I can't really blame myself for not updating very much.

Last night, I reached 40,000 words in Hipstopia #2 (I really need to come up with a title for this).  It's scary, because I have three chapters before the end of the book, which means, I need to average 3,333 words per chapter (else I need to go back and edit during NaNo and pray that I add words instead of taking them away).

I'm happy that I'm on track -- I wasn't aiming for some 60-70k book because I don't feel like this story needs it.  There's a conflict, a few side stories to develop a rich sense of the characters, and then the conclusion.  Besides, when I do my first draft read through, I usually add in 5-10k with things that I missed the first time around.  While I'm drafting, my brain is constantly thinking of the next scene, which sometimes makes the scene I'm working on suffer.  During the rewrite/reread, I don't have to worry about what comes next, since it's already written.

Anyone else have this problem?  Do you have scenes that you know you have to rewrite because you "just weren't feeling them" at the time?  Would love to hear from anyone who is participating in NaNo this year!  Or writers in general :)

I'm aiming for a summer release date next year for Hipstopia #2.  We'll see how this works.

And... public accountability note to self:  I need to update my goal list for next year / this year.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

NaNoWriMo 2013: Day Three

Has it really been four months since I last published?  I fell out of blogging for a lot of reasons - mostly because I haven't had any really exciting news in awhile.  Brief update time!

I started proof reading for some friends - and am going to attempt to make that a more lucrative thing outside of my day job (which is still Communication Editor - so consequently, proofing is right up my alley).  I used to hate it, but now I'm realizing that because I'm so meticulous, I actually work well as a proofer.

My husband and I just decided we were going to start up Wine a Week Reviews again - seeing as how we got 300 pages views last month without posting anything for almost over a year.  Crazy, right?!

And, what I think is the best yet, I started writing Hipstopia 2 (working title, I have no idea what I'll end up calling it).  I wrote 10,000 words in the first two days of NaNo, and I'm definitely going to finish it this month.  Once I finish writing it, I'll take a week off to proofread for another G+ friend, then start the editing process!  I'm exciting, because I might have a much earlier release date than I originally anticipated.

Insider information:  Hipstopia 2 is a duel narrative.  It goes back and forth between Jason (Jay) and Murphy from the first book.  Murphy's thought processes have been so incredibly fun to write because he is so out there - and dangerous.  I think people will really get a kick out of hearing from the hero and the villain this time around!

That's all I got for now!

Shameless self promotion: you can get Hipstopia on Amazon paperback or kindle.  You can also check out My Summer Vacation by Terrance Wade on Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, or Barnes & Noble.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


Somehow I managed to release my book without getting onto my blog once to announce it... funny how things work when you are still dealing with insurance and trying to get back into the swing of things.

I also had my anniversary with my wonderful husband :)  We celebrated on Monday, which was Hipstopia's release date and also a day earlier than our actual anniversary.  Point is, it was a wonderful day and a day well spent, and I don't regret it.  In fact, I loved my decision to spend the day with my number one supporter.

With that being said, it is now time to do ALL THE HAZAAHS!  I don't think there is any way to put this more eloquently.  So ... HAZAAH!

Ways to acquire this book:

Amazon Paperback
Amazon Kindle
Amazon Kindle Lending Library

Hipstopia is a young adult dystopian novelette that happens three years after the hipster uprising happened.  Murphy led the hipsters, took over Los Angeles, and drove out anyone who believed in corporate personhood.  Jay, Murphy's right-hand man, loves being a hipster.  But Jay's whole life is about to change.  It starts with Prisoner Forty-Seven and a loaded gun.

Hipstopia originally started as a joke, but I took the writing seriously.  If I was going to write a silly concept, I was going to write the silly concept well.  So yes, it is as ridiculous as it sounds, and it definitely has moments where you should laugh.  But it also has some heartfelt parts, a lot of coming-of-age, and a fast-paced story mixed in with the silliness.

You can check out JC's Book Haven for an honest review - don't just take my word for it!

Oh, and as always, stay fashionable ;)  

Monday, July 15, 2013

Accidents and Release Dates

Getting into a traffic accident can make you question a lot of things. Getting into a hit-and-run makes you question a lot more.

I drive a scooter - it goes up to 55 mph, though I never drive it that fast. I typically take side streets home from work (I live 1.3 miles away from my place of employment). I figured if I were to get into an accident on a side street going 20mph, the likelihood of walking away from the accident is higher than on the main road. 

That's what happened. I walked (limped? hobbled? crawled? all of the above...) away. The other driver, who ran the stop sign and caused me to eat pavement, drove away. 

So, how does this affect Hipstopia? It doesn't. Thankfully, I finished all the prep work before the accident happened (on Thursday). It will still be released on schedule: Monday, July 22 (so soon!).

Does this change other release dates? Probably. I haven't really been in the mood to write. I'm trying to stay positive, looking at all the people who stopped to help me instead of the person who drove away. But it's hard not to be angry and frustrated. Even though physically I'm on the mend, it still hurts that someone was willing to leave me literally lying and bleeding in the street. Eventually my emotions will manifest themselves in my writing, but right now I haven't been feeling too creative.

I hope any of you who were looking forward to The Unanswerable will forgive me for pushing back the tentative release date. I'm excited to get back to a sense of normalcy. And I hope that I will find my muse again soon. Until then, I'm going to be kicking butt on The Last of Us and reading a heck of a lot. 

If any of you have a PS3 handle, I would love to add you!

Also, today is the last day to enter to win a paperback copy of Hipstopia on goodreads.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Hipstopia by R. A. Desilets


by R. A. Desilets

Giveaway ends July 17, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Friday, July 5, 2013

Hipstopia Goodreads Giveaway Live!

As promised, the Goodreads Giveaway went live, and you guys are being informed!  There's five paperback copies up for grabs, so head on over and check it out :)
It's been three years since Murphy led the Hipster uprising. For three years, Jay has been by his side. All that's about to change. It starts with the beautifully intense Prisoner Forty-Seven... and a loaded gun.

Hipstopia is the first book in Young Adult Dystopian duet, The Uprising.
Hope you all had a great July 4th for those that celebrate it.  We stayed home with our cats - but fireworks went off all day around the neighborhood (which personally doesn't make a whole lot of sense, seeing as how you can't see them in the middle of the day).  But hey, whatever makes you happy!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Hipstopia by R. A. Desilets


by R. A. Desilets

Giveaway ends July 17, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Hipstopia Cover Reveal!

The month has finally come when my next novelette/novella is released (is 110 pages a novelette or a novella? Whatever, it’s 110 pages, you decide)!

Hipstopia is 20 days away from release – TWENTY! All the exclamation points!

Since we’re 20 days away, it was only appropriate to finally reveal the cover. I’m not going to take away from Jaclyn’s thunder at JC’s Book Haven – which means you guys should take the trek over to her blog and see the cover :)

Expect another blog post when the goodreads giveaway goes live!  

Hipstopia will be out in paperback and available on Kindle on July 22, 2013.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Rearranging Goals

Self-motivation is tough.  I find that it gets harder the hotter it is outside - I'm personally a dreary day kind of gal.  Give me some rolling thunder and a few bolts of lightning and suddenly, words pour out of my fingertips.

Scheduling a release date smack in the middle of summer was probably the worst idea ever, but I am still aiming for a July release.  I will not be deterred by the sun. 

I came up short on my goals for May (who knew editing a 20,000 word novelette would take up a whole month?  Or that I would be so completely unmotivated post-vacation?)  I had to rearrange my whole goal list for the year.

This month is insanity, but it should get me in good shape for The Unanswerable and keep me on track for Hipstopia.

June Goals:
  • Hipstopia
    Deliver to beta readers (receive feedback by June 26)
    Cover Reveal
    Interview all the things with the two bloggers
    Marketing things
  • The Unanswerable
    First complete edit (BE BRUTAL - that's my pep talk to myself)
    Finish cover
If it was just one of the books, it wouldn't be that hard.  Juggling two different projects has me on edge - so I think I'll dedicate this week to getting all things Hipstopia(n) squared away so I can move onto my apocalyptic novella.  Really excited, but a bit anxious, about the upcoming releases :)

Oh, and this goal list doesn't even include my work on the anthology (September publication).  Shenanigans, I'll have to explain more about that later!

Stay tuned - Hipstopia's cover reveal will happen this month!

Monday, May 20, 2013

July Book Release Announcement

Hey guys!  I was interviewed over on Examiner - and I announced my upcoming project.  Which means, I am super crazy excited to finally announce my super top secret project here!

I'm well on my way to having my novelette fully edited by the end of this month, which means it will get into the hands of beta readers on time, which means the release date will officially be sometime in July!  I'll announce the date when we get closer.  But for now, the project!

Hipstopia - YA Dystopian
It's been three years since Murphy led the Hipster uprising. For three years, Jay has been by his side. All that's about to change. It starts with the beautifully intense Prisoner Forty-Seven... and a loaded gun.

Why on earth did I write something with such a silly concept?  I blame @courtney_s. My good friend Sarah pointed out a tweet by Courtney that said, "still waiting on a hipster dystopia YA because my god that would be chilling."  I replied with, "We don't do this because it's right or wrong. We don't do this for justice. We do this because it's fashionable."

I know, I know, it was a joke, and I probably should have let it die.  But I couldn't, I just couldn't.  All of a sudden I had this Murphy character floating around in my brain, then came Jay, and... well, I had to tell the story.

It will be a little over 100 pages.  It's a fun concept that came out of a silly tweet, but I took the writing seriously.  It ended up being satirical with a little political commentary.  It's definitely dystopian, and because it is so fast-paced, it might also appeal to people who love adventure stories.

As always, because my books cannot seem to live without it, it has just a little bit of romance.

I will reveal the cover in June - so stay tuned for that.  I'll announce the release date as soon as I have it finalized.  And I'll be running a giveaway once it's published for ebooks and (possibly) paperback copies of the book.  Exciting things!!

Oh yeah, and between now and then?  Try to stay fashionable ;) 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Monthly Goal Update

I am happy to start this post with:

I finished writing No Sugar Coating!

I know I don't normally get this excited about my projects when I finish them, but deciding to self-publish a few of my titles makes me insanely happy.  I have a deadline (February 2014) and a goal to work towards.  It's tangible.  There's a light at the end of the tunnel!

It stands at 47,000 words.  I was aiming for 50,000, but usually more descriptive meat gets added during editing.  My first draft is always in gray scale, so-to-speak, and the second draft gets painted with color.

So!  With that announcement being done, I have several other goals to touch upon.

May is going to be a busy month, but I'm ready, and excited, for it.  I have a trip back to New Hampshire to visit the family (much needed, since I haven't met my youngest nephew yet) and then I have all these shenanigans that I've set out for myself.

Before leaving:  finish the first and second edit of my top secret novelette project.  Deliver a copy to my husband, one of my awesome critique partners, and my roommate.

After getting back:  Do another edit based on feedback of top secret novelette project.  Get it to my beta readers.  Edit The Unanswerable.  Create mock-cover for The Unanswerable.  Start the IndieGogo for The Unanswerable

I took a look at my finished projects, and I was shocked to see how many of them are lying around right now.  I have four sitting, not actively being worked on, and one temporarily abandoned (until I feel like rewriting it into a darker NA story).  That's five projects that are doing nothing.

I look at that and think, "What am I doing?!"  I keep starting new, shinier projects and leaving my old ones behind.  It's daunting, looking at that back list, and thinking of how many edits, changes, etc. I have in my future.  But knowing I have plenty of things to work on feels good.

For the rest of this year, with the exception of NaNo, I will be trying to finish what I started.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Writing Over 20,000 Words in a Day

I wasn't sure I would ever get here.  Honestly, when I started writing again, squeezing out six thousand words in a day burned me out.

But this weekend, I set a goal for 10,000 words during a 24-hour competition of word wars. After getting woken up by cats at 4:30 am, I started writing.  I managed 1,600 before crawling back into bed (it was 5:00 am, could you blame me?). I woke up again at 7:30 am, a more appropriate time.  I wrote.  I didn't stop writing until my dearest husband made us breakfast - then I only stopped to eat.

By 4:00 pm, I finished my novelette, a semi-comedic dystopian.  It stands at 19,380 words.

Since I hadn't broken 20,000, I switched gears and wrote a few more thousand for No Sugar Coating.  My grand total of the day was 21,968 words.

A lot of people commented on my status updates and said I was a machine (okay, maybe I said that I was a machine).  I kind of felt like it that day.  My fingers kept writing in this weird autopilot.  It was my writing and me, nothing else came into play.

It was a little bizarre to finish the entire novelette in one day, almost like I had watched a friend grow up in the span of nine hours.

I wanted to share some tips on how I made this possible.
  1. If you have a significant other, get him/her to support you for the day (like making food).  You may owe them a few back rubs.  If you don't have a partner in crime, be prepared with meals you can heat, eat, then resume writing.
  2. Outline, outline, outline.  I'm usually write by the seat of my pants.  A lot of writers do this, and I used to love doing it.  But I've seen the light. Outlines can really save you from making weird little plot bunnies that don't end up going anywhere.  They can also help you stay focused.  I wrote 2,000 words in my outline.  2k for a 19k piece seems excessive, but my characters stayed on track.
  3. Read over your outline the night before.  In fact, you should be thinking about your story almost constantly in the days leading up to this! 
  4. Give yourself a reasonable goal.  Pass it.  Then keep writing.  I started with 10k.  Once I finished that and saw how early it was, I said, "I can do this."  Set my next goal for 15k.  Finished that, still had time.  So 20k it was.
  5. Don't sweat the small stuff.  You will have grammatical errors and probably a lot of typos.  This is your rough draft.  It does not have to be perfect.  Can't think of the right word?  Find a quick filler and keep going.
  6. Reward yourself.  If you achieve your first goal, you should allow yourself to do something that you don't normally do or buy a little something for yourself.  In my case, I bought more books.  (ALL THE BOOKS).
It's possible.  It takes a lot of focus, some fun and friendly competition, a super supportive group of people (thank you husband and members of the G+ community!!), and tons of motivation.

Any of you have big writing goals planned?  How do you approach a full day of writing?

Oh, and be on the lookout for upcoming news of my novelette.  I plan on releasing it in July, but there will be plenty of sneak peeks and information before then!

Monday, April 8, 2013

No Sugar Coating Update

My original intention for No Sugar Coating was to make it into a light and fluffy book.  One that you could pick up, read in an afternoon, and put down feeling happy/emotionally satisfied.  After outlining and writing the first few chapters, I realized it was the opposite.  While you can, and should, fall in love with Hailey, her story is atrociously depressing at times.

It's her character that makes her so interesting to write.  She has moments of teen angst, where she's disgruntled with the world. But most of her moments consist of this strange acceptance of the universe as it currently stands.  Hailey's voice tends to be sincere and poignant, which is why it has been so fun to develop her character.

It ranges from the ridiculousness below:

I glanced around my room, and not having anything better to do for ten minutes, I opened up my book for English. I swear, if I had to read one more depressing poem about the tragedies of mortality, I was going to force myself to barf all over this book and tell my teacher that my dog did it. 

I didn't have a dog, but I figured the puke filled pages would be proof in themselves. 

To something a bit more meaningful:

I found the concept funny. It was amusing that normal people, people without my "problem," would fret over something as undeniably true as the past.

I fell in love with Hailey because she has so many layers.  She wants that first high school love and simple things that the rest of us take for granted.  I think her "problem" only adds to her voice.

I've written 24,000 words so far with an original goal of 45,000 (to self-publish as a novella).  But the more time I spend writing Hailey's story, the longer I want it to be.  Considering I just finished Part 2 out of 5, I doubt her story will fit inside the 45k words anymore.  I hope to finish her story by the end of this month.

While I want instant gratification (share Hailey with all the readers!), I will wait until the book is fully edited and actually done properly.  I refuse to sentence readers to reading a book littered with grammatical errors and typos.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

April Goals

March went by and was decently successful.  I have 23,000 words written of No Sugar Coating, my YA Magical Realism piece.  Though, I think calling it Science Fiction and putting it under "Psychic powers" or something like that might be more accurate?  It's contemporary, except the one, magical element.  Which, these days, can arguably be either Magical Realism or Paranormal.

Where We Collide has four chapters left of first edit of the third complete rewrite.  My critique partners have gotten me feedback on most of the chapters.  I still need to work on this throughout the month, but I'm really close!  I did rewrite my not-so-great query letter, so that least that's done.

I need to edit/rework the synopsis, focus on the first five-ten pages, and then send off queries.  I am so excited!

This month, I also plan on finishing No Sugar Coating.  Depending on the length, I might hold off on self-publishing and consider maybe seeking an agent for it.  But if it ends up being novella length (my original intention), I'll self-pub.  If I ends up being over 55k, then I might seek traditional publishing.  I think it's a great story, I'm really proud of it.

And of course, April brings the dreaded Write-a-thon day.  On April 13th, a few friends and I are participating in Camp NaNo's write-a-thon, but we've put our own twist on it.  I'm excited, and nervous.  In preparation, I've been outlining my top-secret-novelette project (which has a name that I won't announce until I get closer to the release date).  It's YA Comedic Dystopian (that's the only sneak peek you're getting).  I plan on writing it in one weekend, and I'm aiming for 20k.  I figure if I outline enough then I might be able to pull it off.

So now I have a bunch of new goals, which include self-publishing the top-secret project by mid-June/early-July and creating an IndieGogo for The Unanswerable.

Yay for new projects!  And yay for almost finishing old projects!

Friday, March 8, 2013


I know editing is important, incredibly so.  But when I'm editing, I feel like I'm stagnant.  It's a frustrating feeling, especially when I have so many things to finish, polish, and improve.

Thankfully, this month brings a different tactic, since I'm determined to make progress with No Sugar Coating, I am writing a little bit every day.  Editing is taking place in my downtime, but it's still happening.  I have so much to do with Where We Collide before I can fully count it as "decent enough to query."  It does stand much better than the original, so I'm happy in regards to that.

RUHE, however, is going to take a complete backseat.  It was my first finished manuscript.  Perhaps somewhere down the road, I'll take it out of the box and dust it off, when I feel like making a darker story, "going there" instead of easing off at the last moment.  For now, I'm quite content to focus on my other two projects.

In other news, I've been reading, a lot.  I've rediscovered the wonders of audiobooks.  I know that sounds silly, but when I first listened to books on CD they were all kind of done in the same, drab narration.  Now, they are punchy, have impact, and it's almost like watching a movie unfold.

The wonders of technology and the world we live in:  I love it.  I can listen to an audiobook, read a physical book at lunch, and take my ebooks anywhere I'd like.  At this moment, I have three books in progress, one in each format.  I think I'm honestly making up for lost time.  So many days of my life were spent hating books because of my "required readings."  But I wonder, now that I'm older and more in love with lyrical writing, if I would get more out of reading the classics now than I did then.

Maybe some day I'll revisit my old, required readings and see what I make of them.  For now, I'm having too much fun getting lost in young adult literature, new and old.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

March on!

Okay, I know I'm a day early, but bring it, March!

I fought with February, goal wise.  We threw down, took the gloves off, and went three rounds.  In the end, this is what I accomplished:
  • Edited 60k of Where We Collide (10k left)
  • Plotted the entirety of No Sugar Coating
  • Wrote 8k of No Sugar Coating
Things I missed:  Finish CPing (still working on it - so grateful that my CP is understanding!), writing all of Part One for No Sugar Coating, and of course, editing the entirety of Where We Collide.

I read seven books in February.  My husband and I joke that I'm now addicted to reading.  I think he's right.  I continue to go to the library and buy books when they are on sale.  I have 10 books on my desk that are all unread. Maybe I'm just a book hoarder...  Better than the other alternatives, I suppose!

March Goals:
  • Finish editing Where We Collide - get it to CPs
  • Finish CPing
  • Write 20k of No Sugar Coating
  • Consider editing RUHE - discuss with Betas/CPs if they think it might be better if I make it darker...  I still feel like it's not as strong as it could be
RUHE might be completely on hold until I finish other projects.  I want to accomplish tangible goals - and right now, RUHE is rather directionless. 

Just to update my word count, I've written 46,768 words this year!  Okay, okay, I included some rewrites, but hey, that's work/words towards my end goal.  So I have a right to brag about it just a little bit ;)

Feeling good about March, since the majority of the edits are done, I'm excited to start my new project in earnest.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Winners and February Update

I just emailed the three winners from February - congratulations to those who won - and thank you everyone else for following!

There will be more giveaways this year - but probably not for a few months.  It's an exciting time in my head/house, but I've got a lot of work to do and not much time to do it (that's the norm for everyone, it's it?)

My husband received good news on his side of the creative career fence, so this year is shaping up to be great.

I wanted to take the time to go over what I've done so far this month - and what I'm still working on.

Edit Where We Collide again - working on it! I'm working with my two awesome critique partners and getting feedback, but I'm trying to do this as fast as humanly possible.  If I didn't have to work 8 hours a day, I would be working 8 hours a day on this.  Consequently this also covers my update on "Get Where We Collide to CPs"

Finish CPing - We're working on it.  I'm really loving the piece I'm critiquing (or maybe I'm just saying that because she reads my blog - Shout out, hello!).  But in all honesty, I adore her piece, though she can probably tell from the insane amount of commentary I put in the margins ;) It's like how I only yell at television shows when I'm invested in the characters (Walking Dead spoiler:  RICK, RICK, GO AFTER HIM, RICK!  ARE YOU SERIOUSLY LETTING HIM LEAVE?! AARRGGGG!!)

Plot No Sugar Coating - Done!  The 45k YA Magical Realism novella is plotted.  Though if it ends up turning into a novel, I wouldn't mind ;)

Write Part One of No Sugar Coating - This takes a backseat while I finish Where We Collide, but I did write 8k of it. 

In addition, I posted a new page for my 2013 goals, so you can keep track of where I'm at for each month.  Lots to do if I want to publish The Unanswerable this year - and No Sugar Coating the next!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Follower Love Giveaway Hop

Three years ago, my husband and I went on our first date. Since then, he has been my rock and encouraged me to jump back on the writing wagon.

Lucky for you guys, since "My Summer Vacation by Terrance Wade," wouldn't exist without his encouragement.  So I give him a lot of love in this post, but I also give you guys love.  This blog would have died a long time ago if it wasn't for you.
Terrance Wade presents his summer vacation story to his second grade class.  Told from his perspective, he explains how his mother whisks him away on an adventure - of course, we all know that Terrance was kidnapped.  But he doesn't care - his mother has an important mission for them:  Terrance has to save the world.  Terrance's voice is whimsical and silly.
In celebration of the Follower Love Giveaway Hop, there will be three winners who will receive an eBook copy of the novelette "My Summer Vacation by Terrance Wade."

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to check out all the other blogs on this hop in the links below!

Friday, February 1, 2013

February Goals and January Accomplishments

Some triumphs and some set-backs.

What I accomplished:  Major rewriting and replotting of Where We Collide to make it ten times better than it was before. Finished all but 10k of the edits (my goal was 30k edits, not 50k, so woohoo)! Finished Good Criminal Heart.  

What I missed:  Submitted The Unanswerable to ABNA, but due to illness didn't have time to edit it.  Whoops.

Just in case you didn't know:  This is day nine of Sickdom.  Nine!  And while it is "just a cold" and "not the flu" and all that - nine days has really thrown off my writing/editing game.  This just means I need to step it up for February!

Original February Goals:
These are what I originally wanted to accomplish in the new year. 
  • Finish editing Where We Collide
  • Get Where We Collide to my beta readers

New February Goals:
Similar to the original, but with new additions (and *sparkles*)!
  • Edit Where We Collide again - this time to make it into first person, and therefore, even better than it is now.
  • Finish CPing
  • Get Where We Collide to CPs
  • Plot the entirety of No Sugar Coating (my super secret YA Magical Realism project)
  • Write Part One of No Sugar Coating

My March Goals will come at the end of February.  Hopefully I will get some more random exercises to be blog content.

But know this, my friends:  I am working!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Giveaway Winners

Wow guys, I am simply blown away.

150 entries for "My Summer Vacation by Terrance Wade"?

I wasn't even expecting to pass 100 entries!

So, since I'm sitting here, blown away by the numbers, I've decided something.  Instead of two winners, I'm picking five winners. Will be e-mailing all the winners very soon.

If you didn't win a copy - and are still interested - you can purchase your copy for only $1.99 on amazon.com or smashwords.com as an ebook.  You can also buy a paperback from amazon or createspace.

And you can come back here!  February 4th will be kicking off the "Follower Love Giveaway Hope" where I will be giving away another two ebooks (not promising five, but we'll see how many people enter)!

There's a Goodreads Giveaway for one signed copy.  Feel free to enter that (bottom of post)!

Other News:

Spent all weekend editing - I feel a little beat.  Went through 32k words.  Trying to finish the major redrafting by Friday.

This weekend, I plan to read through my Amazon Novel contest entry and edit that a bit.  But I'm not spending too much time on that one.
My goal is, by the middle of February, have both RUHE and Where We Collide edited and almost ready to query.  Just to reflect on how crazy that is, here were my goals at the beginning of the year:

January: Finish Good Criminal Heart, get 30k of Where We Collide edited.  Submit The Unanswerable to ABNA after a quick read through (not significant editing, just a quick one!)

February:  Finish Where We Collide editing and get it to my beta readers.

March: Make edits to RUHE based on beta's comments. Attempt the same for Where We Collide.

End of February, I should be able to start querying both stories in earnest!  Which means:  OH MY GOODNESS, I'M WAY AHEAD OF SCHEDULE!

Let me dance for a second:  dance!

Oh, and I have a new project that I want to try to serialize (self-publishing).  It's called No Sugar Coating.  YA Magical Realism and super top secret... for now.  ;) 

Monday, January 14, 2013

No Strings Attached Giveaway Hop

I am so amazing pleased to be able to host people for the No Strings Attached Giveaway Hop.  I'm glad that I finally have something worth giving away!

There will be two winners of this hop, each will receive an eBook copy of My Summer Vacation by Terrance Wade.  

"My Summer Vacation by Terrance Wade" is a novelette told from seven year old Terrance's perspective.  His mother comes in through the window, scoops him up, and rushes off to France with him.  Of course, to Terrance, this kidnapping isn't just a kidnapping.  No, he's off to save the world on an adventure.

His voice is whimsical, silly, and a little bit naive.  While he might be astute with how he talks -there sure are a lot of things that he doesn't understand.

Click the "Free entry" button below to enter for a chance to win your ebook copy of My Summer Vacation by Terrance Wade!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to check out the other "No Strings Attached" giveaway hop participants!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

First Month of a New Release and Goodreads Giveaway

As a new author, I thought it might be interesting to look at the first month release and talk about my experiences with self-publishing.  I think your first book should be the book that you make mistakes with - not in grammar or typos, mind you, but with the strategy behind the release.  This is something that I learned more by doing - with advice from some friends.

What I would have done differently:
  1. Set a release date and get the paperback and kindle version released on the same day
  2. Have a few proof copies to give away a month before the release date, instead of after the release date
  3. Advertise better - share excerpts, create a blog hop or tour, get the word out there - submit to bloggers
  4. Set up my Amazon Author page in advance - instead of after the release (which, I will never have to do again)
  5. Set up the information on goodreads in advance so that the release can be put on new release lists - and do an early giveaway copy
So how did the book sell with little to no marketing beyond G+ and twitter?

I would say:  Decently.

It was released partway into December, so it didn't even have a full month.  The sales break down is below.

Total sales: 17
Sales I know were from family: 7
Promotional Copies: 2 (not included in total sales)
  • Kindle: 8  
  • Smashwords: 5
  • Amazon Paperback: 4
This month I am doing a goodreads giveaway (widget on the bottom of this post) for one signed, paperback copy.

I wasn't expecting "My Summer Vacation by Terrance Wade" to blow up.  I am honestly pleased that 10 sales were not to family members (though I love my family's support). Must mean I'm doing something right.

More planning will go into publishing The Unanswerable, as my first novella.  It's funny how vastly different these two stories are.  Terrance Wade, the kidnapped 7-year-old who believes he's on an adventure to save the world, vs. Matthew, a man who struggles to keep his family alive at the end of the world.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

My Summer Vacation by Terrance Wade by R. A. Desilets

My Summer Vacation by Terrance Wade

by R. A. Desilets

Giveaway ends February 01, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Drifting Away

Got another Writing Prompt today from the fabulous Nina Pelletier on G+.  So here's the first flash fiction piece of the year based on this prompt:

#1 - 1st person POV
#2 - 400 word count maximum
#3 - Your character has an unusual superpower.  Very Very unusual.  Have him/her tell us about it.


"Hey," he smiled at me. I loved his smiles.

“Hi,” my voice was tentative.

I hated meeting new people, especially new guys. It was my fault that I was such a loner. One of my girlfriends told me a long time ago that I should get over it. But we’re not friends anymore. Call it self-fulfilling, but I saw Gina and Thomas, my ex, run off together long before they did.

“I’m Jack.” He held out his hand and leaned over the counter.

I tried to act the dumb blonde bit and refused to shake his hand. Instead, I continued with my customer spiel. “Our special today is Midnight Moon Chocolate – it’s really good.”

He eyed me; deep blue, grey steady on mine. He withdrew his hand. For the past month, I was able to gawk at him. He was gorgeous. But I didn’t want to touch him. It would ruin everything.

“Tell you what, Kylie. How about you and I go out on a date. Tonight? This place closes at nine, right?” It wasn’t really a question.

I looked down at my nametag. He made my voice sound like music. “Fine,” I grumbled. It was going to be tonight or never. “Ten.” At least I could go home and get the smell of spoiled milk out of my hair.

We met later at the only theatre in town. We had coffee beforehand, we talked, and we watched the only movie playing at 11pm. I treated him like he was on fire, staying far away from his hands as possible. Touching would ruin everything.

He leaned against his car at the end of the night. “I have to ask, is there going to be another date?”

“Maybe,” I said. Here goes nothing. I planted a kiss right on his lips. It took him by surprise. But what I saw surprised me more. The first time I touch someone, I see the last moment I will ever see them. I feel my heartbreak. That’s how I knew about Thomas and Gina before it happened.

Jack was the first person who wasn’t going to leave me. He cried silently over a hospital bed, my hospital bed, and I felt myself drifting away.

When I pulled back from our first kiss, I had a tear on my cheek.

“That was different,” he said bemused.

“You have no idea.” I wiped the tear away.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Goals 2013

The clocked turned to 12:00 am last night, and I was still wide awake.  So I set about reading the first book of the new year.

Since today is the first day of a year, it seems appropriate to do the "this year's goals" post.  I accomplished a lot last year, in summary:  Published novelette "My Summer Vacation by Terrance Wade", wrote novella The Unanswerable, wrote 55k of WIP Good Criminal Heart, made my first ten dollars on Examiner, finished Rioss, rewrote RUHE and had an awesome beta critiquing session.  And!  Had RUHE in the hands of two agents (both rejected, but after initial interest, which is exciting).

Goals by month:

January: Finish Good Criminal Heart, get 30k of Where We Collide edited.  Submit The Unanswerable to ABNA after a quick read through (not significant editing, just a quick one!)

February:  Finish Where We Collide editing and get it to my beta readers.

March: Make edits to RUHE based on beta's comments. Attempt the same for Where We Collide.

April: Rewrite Rioss (specifically the ending and adding several scenes to make the ending make more sense).

May: Get betas for synopsis, first five pages, and queries for both RUHE and Where We Collide then start querying (this will continue for the rest of the year, goal is 15 agents RUHE and 25 agents Where We Collide)

June: Edit The Unanswerable.  Get beta readers.

July: One last read through of Rioss now with new ending, then get betas.

August:  Edit The Unanswerable again - maybe hire an editor.  Or re-read it 10 times myself.

September: Start campaigning for the self-published release of The Unanswerable.  Make some early giveaways, cover reveals, get some bloggers to help me spread the word, etc.  Get betas for synopsis, first five pages, and queries for Rioss.  Start querying (will continue until I reach 30 agents).

October: Release The Unanswerable (perfect end of the world tale for the month of Halloween!)  Prep for NaNo.

November: NaNoWriMo!  Yes, I'm going to do it again.  Either The Underground, a semi-sequel to The Unanswerable or 2041, my silly sci-fi novel.

December: Wrap up any NaNo leftovers.  Start editing Good Criminal Heart.

I'm hoping to start 2014 with three fully-edited pieces, another self-published work, a new novel, and a partially edited novel.  Who knows, if I manage on querying the right person at the right time, maybe I'll even get a partner-in-crime (aka. an agent).

What are your goals for 2013?  Good luck to everyone!  Let's make this year a great one :)