On to the Next, and a Note for Book Reviewers

Currently Listening To: Dernière Danse, by Indila

With Songstruck published and available for purchase (I’ll make a note when it filters over to Amazon, by the way, and ebook formats will be available in January), I’m turning my attention full-time to my next project. Or rather, my next two projects. One is, of course, the sequel to Songstruck, and progress is going quite nicely on that. The other, though, is a sort of pet side project unrelated to the world of the Songstruck series. I’m pretty equally excited for both of them, and it’s a toss-up which one will be finished first. Classes start up again soon, though, so I have to spend the next week or so getting as many words down as I can. For the same reason, I won’t be posting as much here over the next couple of weeks. I can still be reached on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, though, and of course anyone can feel free to shoot me an email.

*Note: I know that some of you review books occasionally on your blogs. If anyone has an interest in reading and reviewing Songstruck, feel free to get in touch with me, and a free ebook copy can be arranged.


Until I post again, I’ll leave you with an image of my book cover, created by the wonderfully-talented Ms. Corinne Baltz:

Songstruck Cover


Songstruck is Published! Available Now!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Before I get too wrapped up in the festivities, I wanted to make an announcement: thanks to the universe aligning beautifully for once, I received my proof copy of Songstruck yesterday and was able to approve it for publication. So now, Songstruck is available for purchase!

Right now, it is only available directly from Createspace. It should be on Amazon.com before end of the year, and somewhere around the end of January or early February, it should be available on Barnes and Noble’s website. An ebook is also forthcoming, but will not be available until after the first of the year.

Here is the link to Songstruck’s product page, and I have also put a 30% discount in effect until at least the first of the year: EU6CQPCT.


Current Status & Upcoming Projects

Currently listening to: Monster, by Dev

I’m currently in the final stages of prepping Songstruck for publication. I had a few hangups with the cover–minor issues, and my cover designer has been absolutely wonderful in getting the edits done and returned to me quickly, and those hangups have, unfortunately, caused enough of a delay that Songstruck probably will not be made available for purchase until after the first of the year. That’s a little unfortunate, but assuming all goes well with the cover submission this time, I’ll be able to order a proof copy sometime tomorrow. Unless I want to pay an exorbitant fee for shipping, that will probably mean that I’ll receive the proof a few days after Christmas. Give me another day to look through the proof, and…well, I could just barely make it before the new year. Maybe. We’ll have to see. Of course, when the book becomes available, I’ll announce it here, as well as Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.

As I wrap up all of this publishing prep, I’m turning a lot more attention to the sequel to Songstruck. I’m always excited to work on it, especially since I tweaked something in the final draft of Songstrucks that opened up a little more of my magical little world to play with. It’s little more than a throwaway line in the book, but it goes a long way to explain some of the characters that show up in the second installment.


Finding Inspiration

Currently listening to: Centuries, by Fall Out Boy

First off, I want to announce that I (finally) made an author page on facebook, found right over here. Feel free to ‘like’ me over there. As my novel gets close to release (and once it’s released), I’ll probably be doing some things over there.

Now, then. Let’s talk about inspiration. Some people have a really set method for how they look for ideas. They watch people at the mall, or think about characters they like from other works, or they draw from people they know…

I’ve never been too good at that. Part of the reason for that is I have a nasty habit of killing off characters, and there are more than a few people I know who would take it as some kind of passive-aggressive insult if I killed “them” off in a novel or short story. And in all fairness, it probably would be a passive-aggressive insult. 😛 So generally speaking, I don’t like to draw too much from real life. No inspiration coming from there.

In fact, inspiration never really comes from anywhere when I’m looking for it.

For example. I’ve been working on the sequel to Songstruck (details about publication for that work will be posted on my facebook page today, and I’ll probably do an update here about it sometime) for…well, I started it while I was in the first editing stages of Songstruck. So over a year, now? But I still haven’t made very much progress on it. And it wasn’t a matter of not knowing the plot–I know where I want the story to go, including quite a lot of the smaller details. I’ve got chunks of dialogue written for scenes that take place all over the course of the story. What’s been bothering me, though, has been the main antagonist. I like him, and he’s…less a villain and more of a troublemaker. But I haven’t been able to get a good handle on what he’s really like. In the broadest possible sense, he falls more into a borderline-malevolent “trickster” category, but beyond that, I was stumped. What was his real motivation? I knew part of it, but I also knew that there had to be something more; something to explain a lot of his behavior toward the main character. And his personality! Did I want him to be likeable? Did I want him to have a crueler bent? It’s been something I’ve been struggling with for months. No matter what I tried, no matter where I looked, I was simply not getting any ideas. I was thinking of scrapping the idea entirely, even though I’m so clear on the story itself.

And then inspiration hit. How? Well, between work and the classes I’m taking, I do a lot of commuting. Hours and hours and hours in the car every week, just me and my iPod. As you might guess from what I’m listening to today, I like Fall Out Boy. It’s one of those bands that I liked when I was younger–junior-high–and I can’t quite keep myself from continuing to listen to them. I mean, yeah, I started listening to them somewhere around a decade ago…but they’re still making music, and they’ve aged a decade, so…why not, right? Anyway, one of Fall Out Boy’s newest songs is called “Immortals”. And yes, it’s from the Big Hero 6 soundtrack. The very first lyrics of the song are as follows:

“They say we are what we are, but we don’t have to be. / I’m bad behavior, but I do it in the best way.”

I’m bad behavior, but I do it in the best way. I knew those lyrics; I mean, I had been listening to that song for a few weeks. But one day, on my way to class, something clicked. I restarted the song to hear the lyrics again. Again, that line caught my attention. I could practically hear my main antagonist saying that. Or rather, thinking it. I doubt he’d come out and say it. Right away, he snapped into focus. In fact, the more I listened to the song, I realized that those weren’t the only lyrics that fit him. I don’t know if the song was just worming its way into my mind for long enough, swirling around with thoughts of what to do about my antagonist, and it just finally combined, or what. But wow. I’ve never really had a big “burst” of inspiration, where I feel the urge to leap to my feet and shout, “EUREKA!”. Not until that moment. Of course, I did not leap to my feet out shout, “EUREKA!”; I was driving, so it would have been horribly unsafe to do something like that.

If you’ve had moments like that–moments where suddenly something just fell into place for you or you managed to find a solution to a plot point that’d been giving you grief–let me know in the comments! Or tell me where you look for inspiration!


Sidenote: When I was babysitting last night, the kids (6 and 9 years old) were blasting “Immortals” through the speakers in their living room. I’ll spare you the description of just how bizarre it felt to go from my car, where I was blasting that song, to in the house, where little humans less than half my age were blasting the same song. And singing along. I couldn’t figure out whether I should have praised their music taste, or worried about my own.

Pft. What am I saying? My music taste kicks ass. 😛 I’m also gonna admit right now that I also still listen to Panic! At the Disco, because Panic! At the Disco is still awesome.