Saturday, June 30, 2012

Tearing up the Pages

Not literally. I’m talking about editing—that painful process that every written work must go through. During this latest round of self-edits for FROM RISING FLAMES, I’ve become picky. Too picky, I suppose. While I’m used to critiquing every word, scrutinizing every phrase, and adding/cutting sentences here and there to improve the flow of the story, something I didn’t expect found its way into my work—the voice of my editor.
I’ve never met my editor, nor have I heard her voice, but it’s in my head. I hear her telling me that a scene doesn’t make sense and I see little notes on the side of my word document, questioning my reason for a certain plot point. It’s like she’s here, over my shoulder, challenging me while I work. I don’t know that I like it.
In a few weeks, she’s going to get the manuscript and will have the opportunity to tear my book to shreds while she makes it shiny and bright. She’ll get her chance. So why is she in my freakin’ head? You know the answer and I know the answer: I’m self conscious and doubting the work I’ve done. It’s inevitable, I suppose, that I would feel this way, and I think the feeling is a good thing. Fear tends to make me more alert and focused. It heightens my senses and allows me clarity I don’t generally possess.
While working on this round of edits, voice in my head and all, I’ve made changes that I wouldn’t have otherwise. It’s an odd sensation, which is why I’m not sure I like it. This morning, I took a pleasant happy scene and added a bunch of tension because that voice in my head told me to. That’s my dilemma. I liked the scene the way it was before; however, I understand the reasoning behind the tension. Which leads me to this: later tonight, I will post the before and after of this scene I mentioned. I want to receive your input on both versions. Tell me what you like/don’t like. Tell me what you hate. Tell me that I’m crazy. Tell me anything about this scene that you want to. Tell me which version you prefer.

ONE NOTE: The scene is about 60 pages into FROM RISING FLAMES and does not take place in Aisling. I know you’ll have plenty of questions about where Rhiannon is, why she is there, why people are acting a certain way toward her. These details are explained in the chapters and scenes before, which I won’t be posting. Thank you in advance for your comments and look forward to giving you a fantastic sequel to ON FALLEN WINGS. 'Til tonight.

~ Jamie

Monday, June 25, 2012

Whisper in the Wind

Every so often, a tiny voice—like the sound of a leaf falling—finds its way to my comprehension. Sometimes it’s a laugh, other times a song; always so subtle that I barely notice, even if I’m listening. It’s a whisper, and you cannot prepare for it or anticipate its coming. Like the breeze that carries the delicate message, the moment isn’t planned, it happens. And as quickly as it comes, it fades. Seize it and enjoy the peace it brings.

~ Jamie

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Lucky 7 Meme Award

Special thanks goes to Vicki Orians from Page after Page for tagging me with an award. I had been avoiding blogging today as I struggled to decide whether or not to post an excerpt from book two. This made my decision easy.

It's called The Lucky 7 Meme Award, and rules are:

1. Go to the 7th or 77th page of your work in progress.
2. Go to the 7th line of the page.
3. Copy the next 7 sentences or paragraphs. Remember, they must be as they are typed.
4. Tag 7 authors.
5. Let them know they’re it!

Since I’m currently working on the rough draft of book three while also editing FROM RISING FLAMES, I decided to share a little from both.

Book Three, pg. 77

I ran to her and motioned that she could come near us, but Colin pointed to his own home.
“Get her inside.” Colin’s voice was strange. I had never heard him speak with such authority or measure. He guided the children after him and opened his door.
Mother rushed across the road to help name and her children into Colin’s home while I ran up the road to investigate.
Colin followed me. “Be careful,” he warned. “There’s trouble that way.”
As he spoke, more yells erupted from the western forest. Then name arrived from the main road.
“Men,” he said, panting as he reached us. “Men from Morgan.”
The attack we feared for more than a season had reached us.

From Rising Flames, pg. 7

Father’s hands started shaking and he quickly turned away. As if ignoring Mother’s question, he knelt down and lit a tiny fire in the hearth. He sighed loudly before resuming his place at the table.
I didn’t have an answer, and it was obvious that he didn’t either. Mother ceased her attack and walked behind him. With masterful strokes of her fingers, she massaged his neck until a faint smile appeared underneath Father’s beard. Remembering the meal, I left them and resumed my work in the kitchen. Leila remained in her place, shivering from her own fears, until pounding on the front door jolted her away.
My young sister dashed toward the hall, but the door remained closed, and the pounding didn’t cease.
“Leila?” Father broke free from his trance.
“She’s gone upstairs, I think,” answered Mother. “She’s frightened.”
“I’ll get the door,” said Ethan. He scrambled from the bench near the window. His actions saved us all from another jolting outburst of pounding.
As the door creaked, I gripped the handle of the chopping knife tighter in my palm. It seemed to offer comfort.

There you go. I’ll have to tag 7 authors later (when I’m not at work.)

~ Jamie

Monday, June 11, 2012

WARNING: Spoilers Ahead

Most messages I receive regarding ON FALLEN WINGS refer to the sequel. When is it coming out? I can’t wait to read more! I want to know what happens to Rhiannon. Get to work on the sequel. I can’t wait either. FROM RISING FLAMES is currently on its last round of self-edits. I’ll send it off for professional editing this summer. It should be ready for release in September/October.

In the early versions of ON FALLEN WINGS, I didn’t list the series name. It wasn’t an oversight or an error; I wasn’t sure what I would call the series. I was also torn at the time because the name I had chosen gave too much away. I felt like it took away some of the magic ON FALLEN WINGS offered to its readers. At the end of the book, I wanted the reader to understand who Rhiannon was and what she had gone through. I wanted the reader to have the same questions she had at the end of the book. Now that the book has been out and plenty of great folks have read it, I can reveal the series name: STONE PORTALS. ON FALLEN WINGS is book one and there are six books in the series. FROM RISING FLAMES is book two.
In FROM RISING FLAMES, Rhiannon discovers how much trouble exists in Aisling and that Sean’s disappearance was only the beginning. There’s more adventure in this book, more tension, more surprises, and still plenty of love. The Fae have a prominent role in this story, and will throughout the series. Some questions from book one will be answered while more questions will be introduced. If you’re itching for some more information, I listed the chapter names for FROM RISING FLAMES here: and posted a piece of flash fiction based on the book here:

Hopefully that’s enough to keep everyone excited for a while. I’ll post page one soon.

~ Jamie

Monday, June 4, 2012

What I Want

Until today, I have never been angry about the publishing process. No rejection letter ever made me frustrated. Critiques never caused my blood to boil. I haven't cried though my laptop has been dead for 2 months. Even the 1 1/2 month delay to  release ON FALLEN WINGS didn't make me mad. What makes me more than angry is that I don't get what I want.

What do I want? I want to offer ON FALLEN WINGS on every electronic device. I want it easily accessible--no tricky steps to add to an e-reader from some obscure website most people haven't heard of. I want to offer my book for free at times, not all the time, but as often as I want. I don't get what I want.

After a 2 weeks of trying to work out an easy process for distribution to all e-readers, applying the goals listed above, I've given up. For now, I'm returning to publishing exclusively with Amazon. Honestly, I'm pissed about it (sorry about the language.) Don't get me wrong, I've enjoyed the Amazon experience. Their services and website are great. But I want nook owners to have a copy. Own a Sony E-reader? I want you to get my book. Use Ibooks? I'd love for you to be able to download directly from there.

**screams and yells at Smashwords**more screams, this time directed at Sony**more yells**tosses a virtual book at Barnes and Noble**uses a made up curse and stomps feet like a toddler**cancels online order for IPad**sighs**

If you have an e-reader that doesn't support kindle, simply send a kindly worded request to onfallenwings at gmail dot com. Tell me the device you use and I'll send you the file--free. I'm sorry, that's the best I can do right now. And don't worry about me. With a box of chocolates and some Dr. Pepper, I'll get over my frustration. I've read ON FALLEN WINGS and think you should get the chance, too.

~ Jamie