Coming to Audio!

I’ve bitten the bullet and am now inviting auditions for an audiobook version of my Sherlock Holmes stories. All three stories will be collected into one audiobook. I’m super excited; it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.

If you’re a narrator, you can find the project on ACX. I anticipate it being up for a few more days, though I’ve already received some wonderful submissions. I can hardly contain myself!

WIP Wednesday

So the biggest complaint about my Sherlock Holmes story “The Mystery of the Last Line” is that it has an ambiguous ending. I wrote the story in 1999 as part of my application to grad school (and yes, I was accepted). At the time, I sort of meant the reader to infer a lot of things. But I guess perhaps, despite my goal, I was not clear enough. So, with that in mind, I’ve started a direct sequel to “Last Line.” Here’s a wee bit of it:

It was some weeks after our return from exile at Holmesweald before I was able to take steps toward learning more about the various situations that conspired to make Sherlock Holmes the man he would become . . .

After suffering the illness that came with withdrawal from his reliance on cocaine, he rebounded to his energetic self, immersing himself in every little case and crisis that came his way. I only dreaded the idea there might yet come a day without anything to occupy him. Would he relapse into his former habit?

I resolved not to allow it, but in so doing firmly believed I would need to get to the core of things if I was to stop it from happening. While at Holmesweald I had learned more than Holmes himself would have liked me to know, and I had no desire to make him uncomfortable—or angry. But my concern for him ran deeper than my fear of his reaction. He might condemn me for sentimentality, but that was a small enough price for securing his health and preserving that extraordinary mind.

It was this determination on my part that drove me to act in the manner I will now set forth. I only ask that you, dear readers, remember that my intentions were all for the best. My behavior, in retrospect, was unconscionable but prompted entirely by care for my friend.

2017 Goals

Here we are on the brink of yet another new year. Get the hell out, 2016! It’s been a tough year for a lot of reasons, but I prefer to look on the bright side of things. I accomplished a lot as a writer in 2016. I had two books published by two different small publishers, and I attended my first conference as a guest author/panelist (not my first conference ever, but my first as a participant in the overall program). I also got to enjoy the Writer’s Digest Conference. I was a guest on two podcasts as well, and I met a lot of great new author friends and found a new critique group.

But now I want to look ahead to 2017. What are my writing goals now?

  1. Publish Brynnde
  2. Finish and submit Changers: The Great Divide
  3. Finish Hamlette
  4. Write another Sherlock Holmes story

That may not seem like a lot, but I’m not a fast writer. So this is plenty enough to fill my plate for now. If by some miracle I manage to accomplish all this, I’ll re-evaluate what to do next. But for now this is enough to start.

And I’m really excited that I got a Momentum Planner to help me keep track of my goals this year, too! It will help me break things down into steps so I stay on track.

Do you have goals for the coming year? Career, personal, or both? Tell me about them in the comments! And Happy New Year!

Order

It probably doesn’t matter, but I get questions about this sometimes, so I’ll post an answer here. I’ve written three Sherlock Holmes stories, all available on Amazon Kindle. This is the order they were written/released in:

  1. “The Mystery of the Last Line”
  2. “The Adventure of Ichabod Reed”
  3. “The Monumental Horror”

But if you wanted to read them in the order the events take place, you’d go the other way:

  1. “The Monumental Horror”
  2. “The Adventure of Ichabod Reed”
  3. “The Mystery of the Last Line”

Not that it makes a difference. Each story stands on its own, though I have begun writing a direct sequel to “Last Line.” It seems many people feel they didn’t get closure with that one, so I’m working to fix that. I did once write a small epilogue of sorts to “Last Line,” which you can find here. It does not, however, give answers to the lingering questions, hence my plans to write something more explicit.

InD’Scribe So Far…

Having a lovely time in Burbank at the InD’Scribe Author and Reader Conference! Of course, it’s mostly been authors, but we’re hoping now it’s the weekend we’ll see some more readers.

I arrived Thursday afternoon, knowing no one, but have found (like with so many other writers’ conferences) the people to be very friendly and welcoming. Still, there are a lot of us, and one sometimes feels lost in the shuffle. But the first night was the Enchanted Dreamweaver’s Ball, and it was like they’d brought Livian to life! He stood near the entrance, and yes, I tried to kiss him.

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I was all dolled up thanks to Period Images who did my hair and makeup and from whom I rented my Regency gown.

They also had book cover models on hand so that we could take pictures with them. When he said, “Trust me on this one,” and dipped me, I think my swoon was a little too real:

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He has a lot of practice, I guess.

Yesterday I set up my author table, but then they moved me, so I don’t have a picture yet of my “real” setup. Will post later! I also sat on a panel about villains:

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From left: Andy Peloquin, Kathryn Le Veque, Beth Carter, Yours Truly, Arial Burnz

I’m on another panel today and then there’s more time in the author room where I’ve been making great friends. Check out Caroline Warfield, with whom I’ve had some great chats, and if you like Manifesting Destiny give D.B. Sieders a try with her mermaid books. (Though, to be clear, her books are not YA.)

And don’t forget! Two of my Sherlock Holmes stories are free this weekend, and The Fall and Rise of Peter Stoller is only 99 cents on Amazon! Click here to go to my Amazon page and grab some goodies!

Peter On Sale & Sherlock Holmes FREE

For a limited time, you can pick up The Fall and Rise of Peter Stoller for just 99 cents on Amazon! Click here to grab it.

In 1960’s London, British Intelligence agent Peter Stoller is next in line to run the Agency—until he falls in love with cab driver, Charles, and his life goes off the road. When Charles is accused of treason, Peter is guilty by association. Peter manages to extract them both, but the seeds of doubt have been planted, putting Peter’s mind and heart at war. Is ignorance truly bliss or merely deadly?

If you like John Le Carré and stories of that ilk—”upmarket espionage” in which the plot is there but character is central—then give Peter a try!

Also, you can grab a couple of my Sherlock Holmes stories (written in the style of Doyle) for FREE on Amazon this weekend. Click here to visit my Amazon author page, and feel free to follow me there so you know when new stuff is out!

Me In 3

So I guess the latest thing going around social media is to pick three fictional characters that you feel represent you. Well, here are mine:

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On the left there is MacGyver. The original, not this remake thing. “Mac” was one of my nicknames in high school because I watched MacGyver and was good at physics. In the middle is Methos from the television series Highlander. That was my college nickname: Methos. Relatively quiet and mild-mannered but mean when cornered, I guess. Finally we have Sherlock Holmes. I grew up reading Sherlock Holmes stories, watching the Jeremy Brett series, and (as many of you who frequent the blog know), Young Sherlock Holmes is my all-time favorite movie. My best friend and I would play Sherlock Holmes often, and I do know how to read people. I just never know how to behave around them. Because empathy is difficult for me, I tend to go into an analytical mode instead. Makes me come off as cold sometimes. But I’m the person my friends seek out when they need an honest opinion or a new way of looking at something.

“People don’t come to me for sympathy, John. They come to me to solve problems. I don’t have to be nice about it so long as I get the job done.”

Free Sherlock Holmes Story!

Today through the 17th, my Sherlock Holmes story “The Adventure of Ichabod Reed” is free on Amazon. It’s an e-book, but remember that you don’t need an actual Kindle to read Kindle books. Amazon has apps for your phone or tablet, and you can even just read it on your computer. Click here to grab a copy. And thanks for being readers!

Reviewing 2015

There are still a couple more days. More could happen. But here’s my 2015 so far:

72 rejections*
1 script optioned (that then lapsed)
1 book contract
1 new Sherlock Holmes story released
1 film premiere
1 shortlisted story
1 R&R (revise and resubmit) from an agent
1 potential agent who hasn’t signed me yet

I could also add that I’m co-writing a script with a couple guys, though that seems to have fallen by the wayside in past months. I’ll check in with them again after the new year. Aside from that project, though, I’ve more or less stepped away from screenwriting and am focusing on my prose projects.

I also attended a couple writing conferences. One local and then the DFW Con, which was amazing. I would definitely recommend that conference to other writers.

Sufficient to say 2015 was a good year. A lot of progress. And the rejections, well, those just come with being a writer.

2016 promises to be interesting, too. Peter will be released on January 15 (go pre-order on the Shop page! the Kindle version is discounted until release day!), which seems like a fine way to start the year. Hopefully it will set the tone for even more progress as the year goes on.

My goals for 2016 are pretty simple:

1. Finish the revision on Changers
2. Find an agent or publisher for Changers
3. Get “Aptera” accepted somewhere (it’s the story that has been shortlisted for an anthology)
4. Write at least one more Sherlock Holmes story
5. Help Peter find an audience

I put Peter last not because it’s least important—far from it—but because it’s the most difficult of the goals to quantify. The other four can easily be checked off, but the Peter thing is about marketing and just trying to get the book out there. Which I’m working my tail off to do, but . . . It’s harder to say if/when one has been successful at something like that. Maybe once Peter has some reviews or has been featured on some blogs?

I’d like to do a signing at the very least. But first I have to convince the publisher to do a print version of the book.

I’d also like to attend at least one conference this year, maybe two. It would be even more amazing if I were to be a guest at a conference, but I don’t know if I’m at that level quite yet.

Finally, increased meditation is a bit of a goal for me this year as well. Keeping up with my exercise routine but also making time and space for . . . quiet. Listening to myself, getting in touch with my intuition. Tuning in. I was recently guided to do this, and I think it’s important.

Also, to improve my posture.

I guess there’s a lot I want to do in 2016! I’m actually quite looking forward to this year.

*The rejections are combined book (Peter and Changers) and script rejections.