Goodbye November – Update

*waves*

Hello! Yes, I’m coming out of weeks of being a hermit to update this blog. I’ve been furiously writing my new story Autumn Fire so I could make the NaNoWriMo word count, and I’m happy to say that I have won it this year. There were some times where I got really behind and didn’t think I’d make it, but I came through. I feel very accomplished, which is definitely a confidence booster that I needed lately.

Winner-2014-Square-Button

Real life has also been hectic, with Thanksgiving and small road trips here and there. I finish off the month with another small Thanksgiving dinner today with my mother, sister, brother-in-law, and young niece today. It’ll be good times with more turkey and apple pie.

In a couple of weeks, I’ll be celebrating my birthday, where I will be doing my first ever Goodreads Giveaway for Unbridled to give out five free signed paperback copies. During the giveaway I will be posting links here.

This blog will go back to a regular schedule, hopefully with regular topics. I am determined to switch gears and finish working Killer Orange to release early next year. Christmas is approaching so I’m hoping for a little more time off from work and things to focus on it. Who knows? The holidays get very busy but I’m pretty adamant to get this done. I think I found a good editor too.

I hope everyone is doing well and that those who participated in NaNoWriMo came out with some great stories.

Cheers!

H.K. Rowe

The Editing Landscape I

I admit… I have barely touched “Killer Orange” since I got it back from my Betas. I have thought about it, and I have even raged about it. I’ve pulled out Elements of Style and reread it. I have started reading other guides on character development and writing tips.

After all that, I was fully prepared to start editing Saturday and then I decided to rest. I slept, and I started to feel very anti-social, down in the dumps and just anti-everything. Sunday I napped more, I cleaned my house, and then I went to a friend’s party. I had a friend tell me how cool it was that I published a book and how they were proud for me. 

I felt good and Blessed, but I also felt like a coward for waiting to work on my edits.

Today was Labor Day so of course I had no work. My mother and I went to the Renaissance Fair in Bristol, WI and enjoyed ourselves. I think my mom was really happy to go because I wasn’t sure I could go this year, not when I was pushing myself with getting my book out and having it be delayed anyway. Regardless, my mom was happy that she could go and wouldn’t be alone, and I felt like maybe delaying my book was meant to be. We HAD to go to RenFaire this year, and it was almost fated. Last year when we went, my father was still alive. He had stopped chemo treatments and could have a beer again. He bought my mom a big sword she really wanted. He was the happiest I’d seen him for most of the year. It was bittersweet because we knew it would be his last RenFaire yet he was so happy.

Two months later he was gone. Everything changed. 

So we had to go this year. 

Maybe I felt like this weekend was a break. I had a lot of time to reflect, and when I was feeling ill and tired, I took time for myself to relax. I utilized the true meaning of a Labor Day weekend. 

Tomorrow I have to go back to work and also, I have to go back to editing “Killer Orange.” I need to face that computer screen, open that file, and deal with reality.

If I can move on for my father, then shouldn’t I move on for myself? I’m the one who still has a chance to accomplish something. I’m the one who has to battle different fears, which are so trivial in comparison of what many people face everyday.

I’m the one who has to actually DO something instead of saying I’m going release a second book. I need to make it happen. I need to face it, and I won’t get there if I cling to fears and let the demons win.

Cheers,

H.K. Rowe

this-shit-writes_v1_583

 

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

tumblr_mvt46rPuJA1sk9qh8o2_500

It’s going to be a long editing process…

 

A Learning Experience

10550914_10152386034908558_6447433252414343799_n

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

images

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

Current Writing Challenges

Greta Garbo knows it

Greta Garbo knows it

Lately I’ve been squeezing every free hour into writing, and so far it’s been very challenging. There are other factors, of course, and it’s been hard to catch up with things that were neglected while I was on my trip.

Some of the challenges are more obvious, like Time and Motivation, which are suffering because circumstances in this month are just eating them away.

I’m getting kind of tired of trying to navigate personal problems in order to find time for myself. I’m not sure I’ve figured out how to do that yet. I feel like a majority of my personal problems are from other people influencing me. I kind of wish I had the capability of shutting myself into my studio office at home and blocking out all the distractions, of needy dogs, a hungry husband, and friends and family constantly needing counseling.

Where’s my moment of solitary respite? When can I actually be rewarded with some kind of personal time for myself that everyone will understand that I need as a writer (and as an introspective thinker) and not act panicked or insulted when I say “No, I can’t” when they need me.

I have been failing at that, I suppose. It’s a learning process. I’m determined to make it work though. When I start to feel that my passion for writing is faltering, I know it’s not the passion itself but the frustration of seeing it just within my grasp and never being able to hold on to it.

The ideas are swirling around. My characters are calling to me, pretty much shouting in my ear. I’m listening but I feel like I’m stuck in cement.

And for once it’s not work that’s keeping me down. At least that is a refreshing constant.

Always,

H.K. Rowe

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