Here at Chez Art and Words apre le NaNoWriMo, I’m deep into design and holiday projects (see above). Like many in December, I’m on a push to finish everything up between now through the end of the year. Regardless, I can’t let the following friends’ and colleagues’ news go uncelebrated:
1. Congrats to my friend Heather Webb whose new novel RODIN’S LOVER was featured in January’s Cosmopolitan magazine (right). They wrote, “You’ll be drawn into this story of obsession and passion between the artist and his apprentice/muse.” High praise indeed!
2. Author Robert Goolick (A RELIABLE WIFE) has just published a Christmas story entitled THE FINAL BALL OF ORIANNE DE PREMONVILLE. It can be found on Amazon under the Kindle Singles section, and involves the most beautiful red dress in the world. (I workshopped my opening chapters of A GATHERING OF SHADOWS with Goolrick at the Salt Cay Writers Retreat.)
3. There’s a massive giveaway of 22 books going on at the Historical Fiction Co-op. To enter the giveaway, click here. I’m a member of this wonderful group, along with C.W. Gortner, Lynn Cullen, Michelle Moran, and other notable authors.
4. Finally, on my author friend Christy English’s blog, I loved her thoughtful, funny interview with indie author Ellen Seltz (MR. MOTTLEY GETS HIS MAN). When I contacted Ellen about featuring the interview, she wrote regarding her decision to self-publish: “I think publishing is going the way of music and film—content with a broad appeal is going to benefit from that large distribution network, and niche content is better off in a focused channel.”
Other sage advice from Ellen:
Being an unpublished novelist may or may not correlate with being an inexperienced writer, or creative professional. If you have already developed your artistic sense and professional distance, great – go on and start learning the specifics of the form and the business side. If you don’t yet have a reliable sense of what professionalism is, or more importantly, how to tell whether you have written crap or not, then put publishing on hold till you get your crapometer calibrated. Put your stuff in front of strangers (Strangers! Not your friends!) and see how they react. This is one of the benefits of the query/rejection/polish/resubmit process of legacy publishing, it forces you to see and relate to your work differently.
Read the rest of the interview here.
We interrupt our usually scheduled Creativity Friday post for the following announcement:
The winner of the Sacred World Oracle raffle is Nefer Khepri! To claim your prize of a hot-off-the-press copy of the SWO, please send your mailing address to kris (at) kriswaldherr dot com. Thanks to all who entered—I greatly appreciated your kind words of encouragement and congratulations. It’s been a long journey from inspiration to publication.
I’m pleased to report that the shipping date for the Sacred World Oracle has been moved up from September 1st to August 22nd—a mere three weeks away—on Amazon, where the SWO is currently on sale for $11.78.
Want to try before you buy? You can try a free four card reading with the SWO here. It’s always exciting to see a long-aborning project arrive in its final printed form—many thanks again to U. S. Games Systems for a beautiful production job.
In other meta news, I hope you’ll check back here on Sunday when I’ll be posting my monthly six sentence snippet. This time, it’s another excerpt from the Next Novel, which is moving along nicely—I’m pleased to report that I received very positive feedback after sharing a synopsis of it with my literary agent. So it’s full speed ahead!
… is here. At last!
While the Sacred World Oracle isn’t available yet on Amazon for pre-order, it will be by September 1st.* In the meantime, I’m raffling off one deck for advance enjoyment. To enter, leave a comment below by midnight August 1st. (If the form isn’t showing, click here and scroll to bottom.)
The small print: Winner will be chosen at random and announced on this site Friday, August 2nd. One entry per person. Sorry, US mailing addresses only.
*ETA: The Amazon pre-order link was just added! Learn more or pre-order here.
Now that I’m back from HNS, what lessons did I glean from it? How will it inspire my writing and art moving forward?
Here’s a short list:
1. I’m feeling calmer about future editorial steps for THE LILY MAID. Ever since I finalized my last draft, I’ve been hardly able to talk about what’s next for my novel. After all, I spent over three years living in the world of THE LILY MAID, which made it more than a little difficult to let go—it was a tremendously creative, happy, and exciting time. Good news: HNS was the necessary corrective to my malady. Nothing like spending a weekend hearing other authors share their finishing-a-novel stories to place my experiences into perspective. It’s all good.
2. Perhaps not surprisingly, this calmness about THE LILY MAID is enabling me to dive more deeply into the Next Novel. It also helped that I finally confided about the Next Novel’s subject matter to a few author friends. Their universal and enthusiastic responses gave me that big shot of “I’m not crazy to write this” I needed. I returned from HNS eager to jump back into the Next Novel, actually missing my characters.
3. That written, it’s still too soon to confide much about the Next Novel. After writing THE LILY MAID, I know enough about my creative process to understand my first drafts are exploratory—it’s a delicate time necessitating privacy and tender care as I discover my characters and this new world they inhabit. That written, I’m finally feeling brave enough to post an excerpt from the Next Novel for this coming Snippet Sunday. I hope you’ll return to read it.
4. Though I’m looking ahead to the future, I’m also examining my past. Case in point: I’ve been planning for the past year to reformat THE LOVER’S PATH as an enhanced e-book, after obtaining digital rights from the publisher. Yet I couldn’t seem to bring myself to move forward. I knew it would be a lot of work, that it would necessitate rethinking my original vision for the book. Plus Abrams Books did such a gorgeous job printing THE LOVER’S PATH—how could a digital edition compete?
However, after my dose of HNS inspiration, I’m reinvigorated to consider the creative possibilities. So many artistic and editorial decisions for publishing THE LOVER’S PATH were constrained by print considerations—four color books are tremendously expensive to produce. Now things are different. So, I’m asking myself, What can I create without these limitations to bring the world of sixteenth century Venice to life? How will I transform THE LOVER’S PATH for the digital age? Can I make my book more beautiful, more emotionally satisfying, more interactive?
I don’t know about you, but I’m excited to find out.
Above photograph: Title page of the print edition of THE LOVER’S PATH.
And then there were none—none cards, that is, to be finished in the Sacred World Oracle. Here’s a first look at the four remaining cards.
The Sacred World Oracle celebrates the beauty and diversity of the earth and its creatures, utilizing myth, folklore, and nature to offer wisdom and guidance. It was created to offer you a simple way to access the wisdom of the natural world, just as humans have done since time immemorial. And now it is complete. All the files—art, text, and design—for the SWO are off to U. S. Games Systems, who will be publishing The Sacred World Oracle soon. In the meantime, you can try a three card reading with the SWO here. Enjoy!