Upcoming: Goodreads Giveaway

Unbridled on sale now!

Unbridled on sale now!

It looks like I’ll be doing a Goodreads Giveaway in December. I signed up for December 9th as my start date, which is my birthday, so I thought that’d be a good time. Also, NaNoWriMo will be over so I’ll have more time to work on it.

I’ll be giving out 5 free copies of my debut novel Unbridled. I’m making them available to the United States and Canada.

Once approved, I’ll post here and link to the giveaway. I’m getting rather excited for it!

Cheers,

HK Rowe

NaNoWriMo Progress & Writing Process Meme

I don’t know how you guys can keep up with your blogging during NaNoWriMo. Pretty much any available free time I have is devoted to my book this month, and though I’m slightly behind on my Word Count, I’m just entranced by my book this time around. It’s such a contrast from last year. I don’t know what was going on with that novel last year, or maybe I was just insanely busy, but I have been more enthusiastic about delving into Autumn Fire and working it out.

The big factor was changing up my lead female character. She’s more dynamic, more interesting, and I’ve been able to get in her head a lot better than some of my female characters. I’ve paid closer attention to her, her strengths and her weaknesses, and just her personality as it unfolds.

My male protagonist is a little more wooden, but it’s for word count right now so maybe I can finesse him during the next draft. Until then, it’s about the words!

I’m going to try to keep up with the blog at least on Mondays. I’m going to try Fridays too, but no promises!

I hope everyone is doing well with their word counts.

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Finally, I found a Writing Process meme that I quite enjoyed. I know several writers talk about their writing processes here, and honestly, it’s not my thing. I have a hard enough time talking about my book. I don’t know why that is. I just find it more practical to concentrate on the book instead of talking about it to people for guidance. I’d like to think every writer has their own processes that fits them, and mine is not going to be helpful to anyone else.

So here goes:

1. What am I working on at the moment?

For NaNoWriMo, I’m working on a romance story called Autumn Fire. It’s a May-December relationship between an older man and a younger woman. I’m currently editing another romance story called Killer Orange. I also have several unfinished works, a fantasy novella that I haven’t looked at in over a year. I’m also working on a 7-book series to hopefully be released next year. The first book is complete, just needs some finesse.

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

I’m not really into the defined sense of a genre. I like my novels to have several genres: romance, fantasy, paranormal, action, etc. I guess that’s where I differ. I am heavily influenced form Jane Austen and VC Andrews in my writing. I like relationships building from the Austen influence, and I like the dark and disturbing themes and conflict of the VC Andrews novels. My first book, Unbridled, was heavily influenced by my love of VC Andrews, especially Flowers in the Attic.

3. Why do I write what I do?

I want to share stories, and writing is my escape. I’ve always enjoyed sharing stories and writing about the scenes in my head. If people like my stories, even if it’s a handful, I feel like the writing is worth it. Not only to myself but for others’ enjoyment.

4. How does my writing process work?

I work six days a week, so most of my writing happens at night. I usually write after dinner and up until midnight sometimes in my little studio on my trusty Windows PC. If I want to write in bed, I have my Macbook. I’m a night owl so my creativity really soars in the evening. Although I get inspired and ideas during the day, I always have my notebook handy to write down what I think of. I also keep a dream journal near my bed so if I get inspired by dreams or whatever, I write them down so I don’t lose them in that lucid state. I back everything up on my Google Drive, which is the best system. I’ve transferred so many stories there that I’ve been afraid of losing.

I’m not going to tag anyone but feel free to steal this meme if you so desire.

Cheers,

HK Rowe

NaNoWriMo – Character Change

So I’ve been struggling for the past two weeks to connect with my female protagonist in my head and emotionally. I’ve struggled defining her and giving her depth, like a real relate-able person, but trying to come up with scenes and actually formulate her as a person.

I can’t even picture her. I mean I CAN, just that she can’t come off as real to me.

So before bed, my mind was racing as the night was winding down, and I was panicking a little bit that I couldn’t grasp an overall feel to my story idea.

I began thinking that red-headed antisocial and kind Dori was just too boring. She was not interesting enough to be my protagonist. I couldn’t even picture her to DRAW her, and that’s when I really knew I was in trouble.

Ultimately… I changed her. Dori is now no longer a white redhead with long hair. She’s now a Mexican-American with short shoulder length, soft brown hair and deep dark brown yes. She smiles and engages openly with people with sarcastic quips, but she’s still guarded. She doesn’t commit to relationships, but she’s open about her sexuality- an independent and free-thinking woman. She has friends, but she doesn’t consider them close, just fun acquaintances. She’s even coming out more fleshed out in my head, and I can’t wait to draw her!

So… I think I have my character. I’m going to take a few character tests I’ve seen floating around online and flesh her out. But it’s amazing how she became more fleshed out in one night of pondering rather than two weeks of pulling my hair out, trying to make Dori Version 1.0 fit!

Cheers.

H.K. Rowe

NaNoWriMo – Beginnings

I’m almost ready to go to work, but I thought I’d share this quickly. A NaNoWriMo link passed on my Facebook feed today, so I logged into my account and started filling out the details for the November 2014.

I’ve already written character bios for my two main characters, and now I have a title. So here it is.

Autumn Fire

Dori and Sam have always had a strange bond; they’ve both lost someone special in a car accident: Dori’s older brother Jon and Sam’s best friend. After Sam loses his job, he becomes homeless, prompting Dori to take him into her home. Dori is ready to help Sam heal from his demons, but is she ready to fall in love with an older man?

It’s probably going to be Jodi Piccoult type angst. No magic, no vampires, just a slow and cautious relationship.

It’s in the beginning stages, so there’s still time to figure out what “thing” might challenge the protagonists beyond, you know, the obvious as the age difference.

And I think I’ll start sketching out the characters. That might be one of the next things I post about the story.

Cheers.

HK Rowe

Killer Orange Delayed

I’ve been talking about this for a couple weeks now, but here is my official post. I apologize to those who have bought my first book “Unbridled” and have seen that “Killer Orange” was slated for release this month. With August gone and the second round of editing in full swing, this novel did not make the release date. I would rather give my readers a fully polished product than something I forced out there because of a self-imposed deadline.

By gaging the work this book needs, the release date will be end of October. It might even be a nice Halloween event, considering the subject matter of the book.

In the mean time, look for some quick upcoming updates. I’ll be doing a Goodreads giveaway for “Unbrided” and I will be doing a short-term lowered price of the book as well. I’ll be releasing the Cover page of “Killer Orange” in September as well.

As I go through edits, I will also be sharing some snippets of the book.

I’m both excited and nervous for this editing process. Only because I know my editors can be harsh, but I’m going to be even harsher on myself, now that the smoke has cleared.

Enjoy your holiday!

Cheers,

H.K. Rowe

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It’s going to be a long editing process…

 

A Learning Experience

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I’m getting more of my drafts back from my beta readers, and I feel like I still have a lot to learn about self-publishing, about deadlines and about editing and how much this process takes.

Editing is CRUCIAL, but what I’ve found that is also crucial is not to subscribe to tight deadlines UNTIL someone has read your draft. Someone other than your mother or your best friend, but someone else that you can trust tell you exactly how they feel about the story because they are experienced writers and readers.

I got a line edit back for Killer Orange and it looks like it’ll need more polish and TLC before my original release date. Am I sad? Not really. I’m cautious and thankful, and I feel a little foolish.

Am I going to make my self-imposed release on August 31st? Probably not – not with the scorch and burn editing I want to do, the submission back to a few beta readers AGAIN, and then the final polish. It’s going to take more loving care, as mentioned.

To make up for it, I’m going to do something for Unbridled. I think I’m going to do a promo during that first week of September at a lower price.

I thought it would be smooth sailing with this book, and I envy authors that can pump out three to four books a year. It boggles my mind. Of course they are probably full time writers, or at least have part time jobs. I can’t wrap my brain around it; I can only work on what works best for ME as an author.

I’ve learned a lot this past summer. I read at another blog that your first couple of books are going to suck. That your fifth book’s draft is going to suck, but it’s a journey and maybe someday I’ll learn and get to a point where I’ve hit my stride. Success for things like this do not happen over night (for those who do have such success, please tell me your secrets!). The original writing business is so SO much different than writing a mere drabble or one-shot of fanfiction for your favorite manga or TV series. There IS blood, sweat, tears, and feelings of complete self-loathing to this process.

The good thing is… I abhor self-loathing and I never dwell in such dark places within myself for too long. I’m ready pour myself a glass of wine, fire up the computer, hook up my dual monitor screens, and start slashing this baby.

But before I do that I have to finish my day job, go to my part job tonight, and attend a funeral tomorrow.

I’ll keep you posted on those upcoming promotions!

Cheers,

HK Rowe

Author Hibernation

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Hello, real world! I hardly see you anymore…

My first beta draft came in last night and I’ve heard mutterings of more coming in at the end of this week. I’m excited to finally slash through this story and then work with the final edits. I’m going to make this release deadline for Killer Orange even if I lose sleep over it. Though lately it hasn’t been necessary. I just need to be dilegent in my free time to work on my book and only my book. Sorry but TV time and housework has to suffer!

I have also been struggling to sketch out what I want to do for the cover but this morning I had a moment of clarity and I jumped on iStock and found THE PERFECT stock photo to use. I will be doing some illustration on the background and style but it’s nice to have an image to work with that I don’t have to outright draw. My background maybe illustration but sometimes it’s hard to get back in the saddle when I haven’t been doing it for awhile. I’ve been doing a lot more UX design than actual traditional design and art, and therefore I’d be wary of drawing anything that I’d want to sell. And there really isn’t time to brush up on my drawing…

And I also kept feeling it wasn’t something that was appropriate for book covers. I’ll keep my illustration skills for commissions on Livejournal for now. 🙂

Anyway, I’m excited to sit down and use that perfect image. Fingers crossed my day job won’t be too draining and I will have motivation to do so.

I have my schedule cleared for outright author hibernation! I will have to decline a few social invitiations this months, and I will have to be adamant when people judge me for being an antisocial hermit, but hey, it’s book release time!

Do or die!

Cheers,

HK Rowe

Beta Time!

My romantic comedy Killer Orange is off to my beta readers and I’m wondering just where the night went. I didn’t think reworking one scene would take me so long, but with another half hour or so of polish, I sent it off to my beta readers. I know my deadline is in a rush, so I hope it works for them.

I’m beat. I also brought work home and did a little of that, and I’m pretty much running on fumes. Writing is hard work. I feel like I have two full time jobs and one part time job, and the part time job is the most relaxing, which isn’t writing!

This novel has sucked up my summer and I know it’ll continue doing so. I have to catch up with other “life” things but soon I’ll be working on the cover for this book. That takes time too, especially on how particular I am.

Well, this day is done. I’m going to read until my eye balls hurt and then get some much needed sleep.

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Cheers,

H.K. Rowe

Bit by Bit

The August deadline for my next book Killer Orange is looming close. Of course, I am glad I didn’t specify a deadline day in August because now it’s looking like August 31st will be the day.

I apologize for neglecting this blog, but in reality, any morsel of freedom I’ve had lately has been devoted to writing and editing this book. I am THIS close to sending out to beta readers. Thankfully it’s a shorter story, the same length as Unbridled.

Once that’s out in the hands of my betas, I’ll be working on the cover design, and then editing again when I get feedback. The formatting process doesn’t take me too long (hello, designer!) but I really want to be careful with the editing process for this book more than anything else.

So that’s where things are. Look forward to some excerpts, and maybe a reduced price of Unbridled coming up. I will still be doing a book giveaway on Goodreads but I haven’t been able to order print copies yet more than anything to begin that.

Well, back to my work day and then hopefully writing time later!

Yep

I can relate…

Thank you & Next Steps

Thank you to everyone who has purchased and read my book! I want to send a special thanks to my reviewers and raters on Amazon and Goodreads: Ladytuono, Nuria Romero, Sakura, Susan Schmidt, RSO Kent, and LAB. Your support is much appreciated!

Now that’s settled, here are some things to look forward to on the agenda:

* Local & word-of-mouth Marketing for Unbridled

* Promotion with Indie Author News

* Print copy giveaway promotion

* 2 new short stories between now and August, entitled Blazing Heat and Stranger’s Kiss

* Killer Orange drafting & editing

* other Writing & Design projects

Hope everyone has a great week!

Thanks!

H.K. Rowe