Holiday Updates – NaNoWriMo, Events, Releases, Hooliganism

Just kidding… no hooliganism.

This year I decided to take a break for the holidays. Of course, a break for me simply means I’m only tackling half of my normal workload. No rest for the wicked.

10407650_10205022985601664_1147909807632707945_nNaNoWriMo: First, I finished NaNoWriMo on the 23rd, which makes this my fifth winning year in a row. My project this year was Empire of Shadows (Book 4 in the House of Crimson & Clover), which is already, without doubt, shaping up to be my longest and most ambitious work yet.

I’ll be working on Empire of Shadows through next March, when its scheduled for edits.

Upcoming Event: On December 13, I’ll be doing a reading and signing at Rusty Grape Vineyards in Battle Ground, WA, alongside authors KL Bone, Greg Wilkey, Brandy L Rivers, and Alys B Cohen. For more details about this and other events, you can stalk my events page.

Facebook Contests: I’ve let two of my Minions loose on my Facebook page through the end of the year, and they will be doing daily contests for points, leading to weekly prizes and one grand prize.

St. Charles at Dusk: This series prequel of mine has been free for most of 2014. But in early 2015, I plan to remove it from free. If you want a free copy, now is the time to grab it! Click here for a list of retailers.

Upcoming Releases:

Face the Music– The next Dauntless Indies anthology will be out on January 5th, exclusive to Amazon. You can pre-order it here. My short story contribution features something you haven’t seen from me before: vampires!

Shame: A Crimson & Clover Lagniappe- Storm and the Darkness fans… ever curious how Jon ended up the way he is? This short bonus story digs into a very dark chapter of his history that changes the truth as Summer Island always knew it. Coming in late January. Cover coming soon.

Empire of Shadows (The House of Crimson & Clover Book 4)– The lives and worlds of the Deschanels have been changed forever. A dark history and a past they can no longer ignore become front and center. Every single one of them plays a role in the family’s hour of reckoning. Coming Spring 2015. Cover reveal in December.

I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving holiday! Thank you for all your support this year!

~ Sarah

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N is for NaNoWriMo

nanowrimo-posterIts no secret that I am in love with NaNoWriMo. I love the inspiration it gives me and other writers, I love the community that is built around it, and I love the anticipation of knowing that I will be surrendering myself to an entire month of writing abandon…and that, at some point in the not-too-distant future, I will revisit this project and it will become something even greater if I put the effort into it.

To the critics who criticize the process, saying it promotes quantity over quality, I say: Wrong. It inspires writers to get off their ass and write something. No one ever said first drafts were pretty anyway. To call yourself a writer, you must do one thing only: write. Writing well is something that comes from practice.

I’ve been participating in NaNoWriMo since 2009. I signed up that year and promptly failed miserably. I learned pretty quickly that I was not prepared for the commitment and that I could- and would- do better the following November. And I did. 2010, 2011, and 2012 were all winning years for me, and this year I’m stretching even further and am/will be participating in the April and July Camp NaNoWriMo sessions.

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Why NaNoWriMo? Why not just write when inspiration strikes? Because most of us writers are also perfectionists. And if we wait for the perfect ideas and the perfect moment, we will write very little and very seldom. NaNoWriMo not only provides specific goals and timetables, but a community of fellow writers pushing you every step of the way. It’s fun, and exciting, and having something tangible to work with at the end of thirty days is like a gift that keeps on giving. The process has taught me better discipline as a writer, and has introduced me to some pretty awesome folks along the way.

I have created a NaNoWriMo page on my blog, that is a central place for my history with NaNo, my updates, links to my profile, and any articles I write about my experiences, as well as tips and tricks. Its easily accessible from the main page, using either the top menu or side menu navigation.

4/16 Camp NaNoWriMo Update: 30k words. Scheduled to finish 5 days early.

Happy noveling!

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I is for Incomplete (You Won NaNoWriMo…Now What?)

5766889608_f092ff652e_zWinning NaNoWriMo is pretty awesome. Not because you get a prize…because you don’t. And not because you win money…because you also, don’t. No, it is awesome because you have something at the end that you did NOT have in the beginning: 50,000 words written of a novel that you could potentially do something with. As a writer, the act of creating is only topped by having a finished product of your creation.

Except…you’re not finished. Not even close. Continue reading

Fun with Subplots

Last week I talked about all the NaNoWriMo prep activities I’ve been working through. This week is the final stretch, and with only 6 days of planning left, I will be filling in the finer details of the outline, character sheets, and other research items. It can be tedious work for those of us who just want to write already, but sometimes the fun of planning can sneak up and surprise you.

One of my main characters, Estella Broussard (a Deschanel cousin) comes from parents who are cultural anthropologists specializing in occult studies. When their children were little, they opened a museum in the French Quarter that touted itself as a headquarters for occult artifacts (which is a pretty lofty definition in New Orleans), but they learned the hard way that museum ownership was not all it was cut out to be…they were hardly breaking even with expenses, and obtaining rare items was putting them in the red. Continue reading

Camp NaNoWriMo Countdown & Preparation

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Today marks the official 10 day countdown to the April session of Camp NaNoWriMo, and I am pretty amped about participating in the spring this year.

Naturally the biggest decision to make each year is what to write about. For me, this will be Book 5 of the House of Crimson and Clover series so I needed to decide how this story would fit into the greater series, what the plot and importance of the plot would be to the greater series and story, and, of course, who would be the feature characters in this story. Since books 2-4 centered around the Deschanels, I decided to switch to the Sullivans for a change. Continue reading

Scrivener Coupon (50% off) Extended for 2012 NaNoWriMo Winners

Alternate Title: Scrivener? I Hardly Know Her!

In one of the NaNoWriMo newsletters today, I happened to catch that they put an extension on some of the partner offers…one of which being the sweet 50% off Scrivener coupon.

I was planning to purchase this after the April NaNo session when the next set of coupons became available, but since its (re)available now, I went ahead and bought it. $22.50 for a comprehensive writing suite is not too shabby at all! Continue reading