December 16, 2017

2017 holiday sale

Christmas is just around the corner, which means it's time to have a holiday sale! Between now and the New Year, every one of my e-books will be on sale for 99 cents or FREE on Amazon! There's no better stocking stuffer than the gift of reading. Get them before prices go back up!

All That
Remains of Me
New Eden
Gifted Believe Me

Transmissions In the Hands of
Keep Your
Enemies Close
George and the
Galactic Games

A House in
the Woods
Protect Search Rescue

Drive Through a
Tangled Wood
Celestial Spectral Tales

Happy holidays, and happy reading!

December 2, 2017

NaNoWriMo 2017 recap

After debating whether to participate in NaNoWriMo this year, I decided to take the plunge. Unlike the past three years, however, I didn't win this year. From the outset, I wasn't on pace to write 50,000 words in the month of November.

Here's my daily chart from this year.

I ended up with only about 30,000 words written. Was I disappointed not to have won? Yes, a little bit. Keeping my NaNoWriMo winning streak intact would've been nice, but I'm definitely glad I participated this year. Here are some reasons why:
  1. November was still the most productive writing month I've had by far this year. 
  2. I re-established a writing habit, which I had lost at the beginning of the year when my day job became too hectic. (I can only hope I'll be able to continue it now that November is over.)
  3. I'm halfway through the first draft of a promising new novel.
Now that NaNoWriMo is over, I want to finish drafting my WIP because the story holds a lot of potential so far. Also, it'd be nice to publish something again. And looking ahead, I know that even if I get deluged with work after this novel is completed, I have next year's NaNoWriMo to kick me back into gear.

November 18, 2017

DC Icons

I just finished reading Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo, and it was great! At the end of the book, there was a teaser for Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu. Whoa, I didn't know there were more books in the series!


Yup, as it turns out, these books are part of the DC Icons series. I must've been living under a rock when it was announced, but I think it's a great idea to have popular YA authors write superhero stories that take place when the protagonists are teenagers. Warbringer was a good story (albeit non-canon IMHO) that left me wanting more, so I can't wait to read the rest of the DC Icons books.

In case you're wondering, the DC Icons series consists of four books (so far):
  • Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo
  • Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu - to be released in early 2018
  • Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas - expected to be released later in 2018
  • An untitled Superman book by Matt de la Pena - publication in 2019

October 21, 2017

To NaNoWriMo or not to NaNoWriMo

For the last three years, I've participated in NaNoWriMo. For those unfamiliar with the event, NaNoWriMo is the abbreviation for National Novel Writing Month. Every November, thousands of writers attempt to write a novel of at least 50,000 words in 30 thirty days. Crazy, right? I'm proud to say that I managed to reach the word count goal the three times that I tried! Two of my stories even wound up getting published, Believe Me and Transmissions.

This year is different. I haven't been writing as much because my day job has been kicking my butt more so than in previous years. If you combine all of the words I've written so far in 2017, they'd total less than 50,000. What makes me think that I'll be able to produce 50,000 words in one month? It's not like my day job will become easier in November to accommodate my desire to participate in NaNoWriMo (although that would be really nice).

I'm being realistic when I say that there's very, very little chance that I'll win NaNoWriMo this year, and it has made me wonder if I should participate at all. Part of me says that I shouldn't because near certain failure isn't exactly great motivation for me to write. I haven't prepared at all for it, and preparation is key to having a chance at reaching 50,000 words. But another part of me remembers how the challenge of NaNoWriMo resulted in some of the most productive writing habits I've ever had. Besides, there's nothing wrong with not reaching my NaNoWriMo goal, is there?

While I'm still debating whether to join NaNoWriMi this year, I do plan to make an extra effort to write more in November. How about you? Anyone else planning to tackle NaNoWriMo?

September 23, 2017

Signs I'm reading a really good book

Once in a while, I'll read a book that really captivates me. There's something about these special books that make them more than just a good read. They tend to take over my life while I'm in the midst of reading them. How so? Here are five ways.

  1. I don't want to pause in the middle of reading it, even to go to work or to sleep. I also consider missing my train stop during my work commute so that I can finish the chapter I'm on.
  2. It's all I think about during the day. Even my mood in real life is determined by what's happening in the book.
  3. I start looking for other books written by the author because I'm convinced that they're all going to be as awesome as the book I'm reading. I look up the author's website and stalk her/him on social media because I can't get enough.
  4. I wish I had half of the writing talent that the author of the book has.
  5. I don't want the book to end.

How about you? What is it like when you read an awesome book?

September 2, 2017

Working on two books at once

I've never been the type of writer who can work on more than one book at once. When I'm writing a novel, I'm usually so focused on it that I can't think of other novels for fear that it will pollute the one I'm working on. That changed recently when I stopped working on the YA fantasy series that occupied the first half of this year.

Last month, I started a new novel outside the YA genre. It's a thriller because thrillers are my second favorite genre after YA. I spent a couple of weeks coming up with the outline for my new book. The exercise re-ignited my writing passion, and I was eager to work on it. I wrote the first chapter, and writing became fun again.

Then the workload at my day job got out of hand. For two weeks, I had no time to write or to even think about writing. The thriller was in the back of my mind, but I had pushed it far enough back that it sat with the YA series I had abandoned. When I finally found a little bit of time to write again, to my surprise, I wanted to continue with the YA story instead. So I did. I didn't force myself to plow ahead with the thriller. I let my muse (or whatever it is that drives me to write) lead me back to the story that I thought I had left behind.

Now I'm going to work on both books at once. When I find the time to write, I'll let my inspiration dictate which story I want to work on. It'll take me longer to finish either story, but I'd rather continue making progress, albeit slow progress, on two stories at once than to not make any progress at all.

August 12, 2017

Books with unusual formats: The Themis Files

This post is a followup to my post from March about books with unusual formats. I recently read The Themis Files, and the two books in the series (so far), Sleeping Giants and Waking Gods, were awesome! Although the format isn't as unique as the books I mentioned in the original post, I like how The Themis Files are told through journal entries and interviews. At first, I wasn't sure how effective that would be in conveying the plot, but it turned out to be very well done.

Admittedly, a big reason why I liked these books so much is that I'm a sucker for giant robots, and reading the books took me back to the movies and TV shows I'd seen as a child involving giant robots saving the world. It wasn't just the robots that made The Themis Files great. I found myself drawn to the characters in the books, although most of what I knew about them were from interview transcripts.

There is supposedly at least one more book in the series, and I can't wait for it to be released!