Monday, September 23, 2013

Primetime Anthology Cover Reveal!

Here it is at last! The cover for the anthology containing my forthcoming short story, "The Last Carnivale." It looks really spooky, but that's because the stories tend to have a dark and twisty angle. It's not straight horror; I don't really write that (yet). BUT I do believe it's a good fit for October, being the month of Halloween and all. There are some really great authors in there, including J.R. Rain, whose Samantha Moon mysteries are favorites of mine, and this from a girl who doesn't normally like mysteries! 

My short story takes place in a universe I hope to revisit soon in novel form, a world called Verres, where the evil Syncline Corporation razed the planet in an attempt to control a rare mineral. That was years ago, and young Jessa is charged with keeping hope alive in a world where her people are starving and living in caves, hiding from soldiers and sunlight alike. Incidentally, it's the same universe my other anthologized short story, "This Silent Country," is set in. That story is feature in the Dark Tomorrows anthology with Jeff Bryan and Amanda Hocking, but you can also read for free right here on my blog, under the "Free Fiction" tab. 

And the bestest of all? 10% of all proceeds go to no-kill animal shelters across the country! I am a huge animal lover (and spoiler), and this is definitely a worthwhile cause. So please check it out when it launches on October 7th, and in the meantime, you can help out no-kill shelters by spreading the word!

Here are all the featured authors:
J.R. Rain, Tony Healey, A.W. ExleyVicki Keire, A.E. Propher, Eliza Tilton, Gerilyn Marin, Grace Eyre, James Wymore, K.H. Koehler, Matthew Graybosch, Michael Panush, Michael Shean, Mike Robinson, Nathan Yocum, Nina Post, Rand B. Lee, Randy Attwood, Sharon Bayliss, William Vitka.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Life Is Good Today

It's hard to face a Sunday without an update. ROW80 has me programmed well! So I decided to do one, just for fun, because I have been working pretty hard on the rewrites. Like, crazy hard. The rewrites on Book 2 weren't due until October 3 and I turned them in yesterday. And I already have the file for Book 3 pulled up on my taskbar, just ready and waiting. But I am making myself take a break. I may work on it tomorrow, but today I did other stuff, and it felt surprisingly great.

I slept late as hell, which worked out well, because the baby slept late too. I had time to make coffee and surf the web and get dressed in a leisurely manner. All the things I have not been able to do since she was born. We don't watch a lot of tv, but I "mainlined" a show with the kids that they like, and enjoyed it way more than I thought I would. I found the perfect tasty and healthy recipe that uses up those last two bruised apples no one wants to eat. How magic is that? Actually using the last two bruised apples in the bowl? Pure disco, I say! It was a very chill kind of day with the fam on the llama farm. Life is good today.

Tomorrow? Sleeping late again. Cafe Bustelo and toast made from butterloaf. Laundry. 'Cuz babies generate a lot of that. A blog redesign? Possibly. Rewrites. Possibly. A new author bio, book blurbs, and a cover reveal post. Definitely. Spreading the word about the Primetime anthology, because 10% of proceeds are going to no-kill animal shelters, and that is a super worthy cause. Conversations. Kisses. Making the baby laugh, because that is my current favorite sound in the world. Meals will be prepared, lingered over, and only half-heartedly cleaned up after. Trading off the beautiful lake-front Florida view for the bug bites I always get when I enjoy said view. Saving some porch plants from certain death, or else hastening it, because I was born with a black thumb.

And that is all. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Final ROW80 Roundup

This is it! The end of round 3! And it's time to take stock...

Well, I joined the round late, so I probably didn't get as much done as I could have if I'd started out when everyone else did. But the Row is good like that- you can just jump in whenever. And this time around, I purposely decided not to set huge, all-encompassing goals when I started, but rather to try and set them week by week (or a little longer sometimes) to see how far I could get. So how did I do?

1. I finished the rewrites on the first book of my trilogy and got it turned in two days early.
2. I finished a chapter of original fiction and got that turned in early too.
3. I am currently ahead of my deadline for rewrites for the second book in the trilogy.
4. I wrote another chapter of original work for a forthcoming book.
5. I finished some pretty significant rewrites AND an original epilogue for a serial that is going to be published as a novel. (This will require even more rewrites, but that is for another round!)
6. I signed contracts with Curiosity Quills Press for two series and a stand-alone novel, which will keep me busy well into spring 2014 (at least!) They'll be released as both e books and print editions, so that's really exciting. Also, CQ now has distribution with Barnes and Noble, so my books have nationwide channels of distribution! Woot!

What did I NOT do?
1. I didn't get to work on the novella that's a spin-off of my first trilogy. However, that was kind of a strategic decision, as it made more sense to focus on rewrites because those require me to revisit the entire series. I kind of figure this will make the spin-off easier to do, with events from the original series fresh in my mind.

So all in all, I figure it's a pretty good round. In the short break between rounds, I'm going to focus on finishing rewrites, work on that novella if I get the chance, and write a short story for an anthology I'm really excited about. The anthology shorts aren't due until November 28th, so I've got plenty of time to work on it.

That's a wrap, folks, and see you next round!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Entire Angel's Edge Trilogy Releases With CQ Press This November!

Okay, so, I've been sitting on this news for a little while now. But contracts are signed, and I am finally free to shout it from the rooftops: I recently signed all three Angel's Edge books with Curiosity Quills Press, who will be re-releasing them in both digital- and, get this- print formats! And you won't have long to wait. They are all set to release at the same time- on November 11th! This includes the long-anticipated third book, Blood Redemption. And that's just the beginning. All three books have been re-edited and extensively updated. They have brand new content, and each one has a new prologue from a different central character's point of view. And the back matter! I'm really excited about that. There will be a special preview of the new, upcoming Asheroth novella. Yes, it's true- Whitfield's favorite villain is getting his own book!

We'll be running all kinds of promotions and special events between now and the release date, so stay tuned for special offers and chances to help. November 11th will be here in a blink! I'll be offering incentives and special gifts ranging from free e books, signed print copies, exclusive content, awesome swag, and gift cards, so be sure to stay tuned to my newsletters for more news and opportunities to help promote. For those of you die-hard angel fans, stay tuned for my upcoming Angels and Devils Playground promotion, where you can get free stuff just for buying my books! And this is just the beginning of a slew of forthcoming releases. Stay tuned for:

My new short story, "The Last Carnivale," is coming out October 1st as a part of CQ's Primetime Anthology. I'm really pleased to be among a number of talented, bestselling authors, including J.R. Rain, Anita Exley, James Wymore, Lisa Collicut, and more!

More Whitfield! Daughter of Glass, the story of a girl with emotions so powerful they manifest as actual people, will be coming out as a full novel, also in print and digital formats!

Asheroth, Asheroth, Asheroth! Everyone's favorite mad Fallen angel's story is sweeping, progresses through history, gets caught in a revolution, battles good and evil, and involves tragic but eternal love... as promised, you'll be able to read the first chapter as the entire Angel's Edge series releases on November 11th!

Even more Chronicles of Nowhere! The first two novellas will be re-released as an expanded, complete novel, again in digital and print formats, and there will be two sequels instead of the original one! I found, while writing Forgotten Fire, that I simply could not tell Chloe and Eliot's story in one more volume, and the good folks at CQ were more than pleased to sign on for more.

So as you can see, things are really busy around here in a very good way. I'll be updating the blog with release information as November 11th approaches, and I'm as active as ever on FaceBook and Twitter, but don't forget to sign up for my newsletter for special offers, promotions, incentives, and advanced sneak peeks.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

I'd Rather Be...

Whew! Mission accomplished, and just in time! I finished rewrites through chapter 12, which is over half the book. And I've loved having the chance to go back over it. Things are sexier, more adventurous and romantic, and generally flow better. This book will be much better, with a longer, stronger word count, because of these rewrites. It's been fun. But oh! What a tight schedule. Between now and Wednesday I have to:
1. Finish rewrites on the entire book
2. Write a chapter of original content
3. Plan and launch a PR campaign
4. Make sure the first chapter of a new novella is ready to go as back matter for the release.
The book is due to the editor on Thursday.
Can I do it?
Damn straight. I have a host of rewards to use as carrots. And besides, I really have no other choice, do I? I want to get this done.

But I won't kid myself that they're aren't other things I'd rather be doing. For instance, I'd rather:
Be reading THIS, because omigod I love this series; I can't get enough Damon:

I'd rather be baking THIS, chocolate chip banana bread made with yellow cake mix. You can find the recipe here, at the Betty Crocker site:

And, of course, I'd much rather be playing THIS, but as this whole blog has pointed out, I have other stuff to do and it will have to fall into the "future rewards" category:

Well, that's all for now. I had better get back to it, especially considering Damon/chocolate banana bread/geeky gaming delight is waiting for me. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A Quick ROW80 Update

Llama rolling in the dirt. Yes, they really do this.
It's late, and I've just finished the rewrites goal I set last check in. I did not, however, get the prologue written. I am thinking it might be best to wait until the end of the rewrites to do that; I think I need to revisit the original material in its entirety before I try to write a brand new prologue. But I am on track for the goals I've set, and am really pleased with how it is going. I am also going to have switch focus and pay some attention to the PR part of this book launch. I'm developing a schedule, and the good folks at CQ already have a lot of this planned for me. Short update, I know, but this has been a week to pay more attention to writing and launching as opposed to my blog. :( I do so love my blog. I keep reminding myself things won't always be this hectic and hey, I really do love what I'm doing. So in the meantime,  enjoy this picture of life on a llama farm.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

ROW80: A Most Ambitious Plan

I finished my goal last check in, but one day late, so I didn't do a Wednesday post. I did, however, check in on the ROW80 blog, which I should do more often. I appreciate all of you who weighed in over there to cheer me on!

My goal was to finish the last chapter of the last book of a trilogy, and I did it! Now it rests in the hands of the publishers, contracts on it are out, and I have the mixed joys of book launches ahead of me. The joy! The apprehension! I'm also on a tight rewrite schedule, maybe the tightest of my life. BUT! I am enjoying these rewrites quite a bit, am pleased with how they are coming, and am actually not worried overly much about the deadline for once. I owe the good folks at CQ a full rewrite by Sept. 19th. (I think. Whatever day is about twelve days from now. You can see I have already begun my retreat into that writerly cocoon where not much else makes sense but the fictional world on the other side of the computer screen.)

But, as I said, that really is a pretty tight schedule. I'm going to try to confine myself to rewrites and pr for the upcoming launch. Also, I am helping my friend and co-collaborator James Brad Maroney spread the word about his Kickstarter fund raiser for his comic The Age, so there will be some time spent on that. (Like now, for instance. Feel free to check out James and his work here, and if you feel like it, toss him some support.) So if I am a bit less social-media active than usual, or seem uni-focused, that would be why. Do not worry, it is all for a good cause. And it's all temporary.

So my goal is to have the first book rewritten, with a brand new shiny prologue, twelve days from now. That's approximately two or three rewritten chapters a day, plus a chapter of original content. (I need my calendar- this is already too much like math.) That's a pretty ambitious schedule, now that I think about it. Yikes. I'd better get to work. Set soem goals. Like right here, on ROW80. Twelve days is.... three check ins from now. So, here's a schedule. We'll see if I can pull it off.

Wed. Sept. 11: write original prologue, rewrite chapters 3-6.
Sun. Sept. 15: rewrite chapters 7-12.
Wed. Sept. 18: rewrite chapters 13-18.
Thur. Sept. 19: review and submit

Okay, doable? I think so. It will require lots of focus, but thankfully I have a supportive family, a well behaved infant, and the book in question is already pretty cooked. We shall see, and wish me luck!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Mail Bag: Llamas, Asheroth, and Book News

So occasionally a reader will email or message me with a question. A lot of the time these questions are the same: related to specific books or characters, or about writing in general. But sometimes they are off the wall and funny. So I thought I would take the time, as I strategically prepare to release REALLY BIG NEWS, (Font shouting again, damn it. You guys are welcome to font shout at me in the comments. I can't seem to stop!) to answer some of these questions. I might even make it a regular thing. Who knows? If any of you have questions or comments for me, feel free to leave them below in the comments section or email them to me at vickikeire (at) gmail (dot) com. If I select your question or comment, you will win a prize! What kind of prize? Hmm. It will vary, depending on availability and/or time. How about: free books, swag, surprises in the mail, music, special badges, shout outs in things I am writing.... or whatever else I can think up. Okay then. (Rolls up sleeves and rummages in virtual bag.)

1. Do you really live on a llama farm?
Answer: Yes, I really do live on a llama farm. It's in Central Florida, and has been in my family for years. It's on one of the smaller lakes surrounding massive Lake Weir. Living by the lake is beautiful and means we can jump off the pier and go swimming any time we want. And so can the llamas. Except for the jumping part. I don't think I've ever seen a llama jump, except to get out of my way. They just kind of wade in, fighting the brush that lines the beach. They eat the leaves from the grapefruit and lychee trees, and the wild melons in the fields we no longer use. Once there were chickens, but some kind of chicken apocalypse happened, and they are with us no longer. I don't know the details- it happened when my sister was living here- and am content to remain ignorant, because a chicken apocalypse is a sad, sad thing. There are many more interesting things about life on the llama farm, but I am saving them for a big epic llama farm post all of its very own, so that's all I'll say for now.

2. Where can I buy your books?
Please don't hate me, but remember that REALLY BIG NEWS I font shouted earlier? It has to do with that. So I  can't say too much yet. But soon. Like, a couple of emails soon. There will be changes- amazing, exciting, chocolate unicorn awesome type changes in how and where you can buy my books. I am working out a pr schedule as we speak (er... blog???), and expect to make the big announcement within a couple of days.

3. I love Asheroth and would love to see him get his own book.
Okay, so that is a comment, but I get it a lot. And I agree. I love Asheroth, too. He is, in fact, my favorite character I've ever created. Or rather I get the feeling he chose to let me create him, and I am a better and lucky writer for it. I want to secretly book-marry him. So how can I not give him his own book? I currently have a novella planned out for him, but knowing Asheroth, it will be Game of Thrones epic before he is done with me. Asheroth's story is sweeping, progresses through history, gets caught in a revolution, battles good and evil, and involves tragic but eternal love. I've loved planning and writing it. I've gotten to research the Russian student revolutions of the late 1800s, immigration through Ellis Island, the Roaring Twenties... you'll be able to read the first chapter at the very end of Blood Redemption.

There are more questions, but I'm already tired. I suck, I know. I ate too many Star Wars cupcakes. (They have mini light sabers on them. I can report that the Dark Side of the Force tastes just as delicious as the Light Side.) I'll get around to another mail bag session soon. Thanks! -V

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

What Ann Crispin Means To Me

Sometime during writing The Chronicles of Nowhere, but before writing Gifts of the Blood, I went through a miscarriage. I took it hard, as to be expected. Looking back from the perspective of years and a healthy pregnancy, I can see that it was one of those events that redefined me. I didn't know that at the time. Hell, I was barely coherent and needed help getting dressed. But one of the things that helped me hang on was the fact that I had a book on my hands. A book I cared about and had poured my soul into. A book that was, in its way, my baby too. And I was determined that this book, this kinda-baby, find its way into the world.

Ann Crispin helped me do just that. She took my book and made it better, and helped me get it ready to send out into the world. She did it with kindness, with humor, and with a hard-edged criticism born from years as a professional writer, teacher, and public servant. Over lunch at DragonCon she held my hand and told me she was sorry about my loss, but that I wrote with style, and that I could do this thing.  So I did. I'm doing it still. Because of her.

And now she is dying.

According to her latest and probably last Facebook post, chemotherapy seems to be failing her. She is having her messages read to her because she doesn't know how much strength she has left. Like so many things in life, I had no idea how much this would upset me until it happened. I didn't realize how much I owed her, or how important she has been to me as a writer. She even took the time to look over my first ever book offer, because, as a founding member of Writer Beware, she has dedicated her life to making sure writers do not get ripped off, and to suing the hell out of those who prey on us.

Her body of work is truly impressive, and includes some of my personal favorites, like the Han Solo trilogy of Star Wars books, and Time for Yesterday and Yesterday's Son in the Star Trek universe. (I have high hopes her Han Solo trilogy will see the light of the silver screen as Disney has taken over the franchise.) That's not even getting into her work with Pirates of the Caribbean, V, and her own original Starbridge series. She's served as president of SFWA, founded Writer Beware with Victoria Strauss, has won more awards than I can count, and has taught and mentored many writers, including the Nebula award-winning Eugie Foster. If you don't know Ann or aren't familiar with her work, it's well worth it to take a look. And although I will continue to hope for a miracle, all I can say now is that my prayers are with her and her family, all her family, including all the lives she has touched and helped.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Sunday Update, DoG News

Not too much to report on the goals front, so I'll make this a quick one:

1. Last post, I wrote that I wanted to "knock out" a couple of chapters by next week's check in. It struck me that this was not quite concrete enough, so I tried a little more focused goal setting and came up with 3k by today. Well, I fell far short of that, hitting only about half that word count wise. BUT I did come up with the framework for two good chapters, and according to the original amorphous goal, I still have until Wednesday to shape those into full, pretty chapters, so perhaps it will work out after all. Perhaps the lesson for this check in is more in goal setting- the difference between too focused and just enough. This whole round is about finding that balance for me. Kind of a "teach a man to fish" thing, I guess. I should be able to make good progress tomorrow as the rest of the fam is headed to a Labor Day event, and most likely I'll stay home with the baby. It's just too hot for her to be out for that long here. Have I mentioned how brutal Central Florida summers can be? Brutal, but pretty. But we keep getting told we'll adjust....

2. Interestingly enough, I DID get the go-ahead from my publishers to go back through Daughter of Glass and add length. If I can make it to over 50k, which I'm only 3k-ish short of now, they will be willing to publish it as a full novel. THIS INCLUDES A PRINT EDITION. (Sorry again about the font-shouting. Seems to be happening a lot lately.) Here's the cover; it's one of my favorites of all time. Probably my second favorite ever, but since my favorite favorite hasn't actually been used yet, I guess that makes this the favorite after all? (Oh who cares- that's too much like math now.) There are a ton of really pretty interior illustrations too. More on this later as things develop- as things stand now, I won't have much time for rewrites, but those tend to go pretty quickly for me. I think I can knock them out in a matter of weeks.) There are also other exciting things happening on the book release front, but I'm still in talks about those so hopefully I'll be able to mention them soon.

Hope everyone is having a good, productive week!