Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wait... Now How Do I Blog Again?

Halo, fine friends!!! Back from a three week break—the first of that length in my four years of blogging. And I've realized I don't feel like I know what I'm doing anymore. Erm... not that I claim to have ever had full competence...

My trip was GREAT and I will have pictures to share...
I had some experiences, and I have some wisdom to share (stop laughing)...

And I have rejuvenated a project like you would not believe and I am UBER excited about it. So maybe THAT is where I'll start.

A Shot in the Light was mostly written last summer—two months of PACKED writing and my final count was some 127,000 words.

So Ima make it longer...


You think I'm kidding? Lemme e'splain... no. Is too much. Lemme sum up...

See, I had a young freelance reporter from Portland, Oregon (Sidney Knight) whose brother works at the CDC... She notices all these dead birds when she is at the beach trying to get a few projects done (Ew, right?) and calls him...

He warns her not to get a flu shot... she gets HOME and realizes this flu thing is much worse than she thought... within days she's lost a friend and lost contact with her brother so she decides she needs to go to Atlanta to figure out what's what...

THAT was the original story...

Working Title is Ill Omens, details in progress
Now I am ADDING:

*  Her nurse friend who flees to avoid the (work required)  flu shot
*  A public health PhD student who is planning the Zombie Apocalypse (seriously... well, sort of)
*  A mercenary who suddenly finds all his buddies are dead...
*  And a senator's daughter/law student who hears some things that make her really uncomfortable.

All these people are 20-somethings... Some of them will have sex. *cough* (is that TMI?) Is it better or worse if I disclose whether it is with each other or not?  These things are so confusing!

Does this make it new adult? I don't know the answer to that... not worrying about it. They are interesting young professionals, mostly... I will call it good.

What I DO know, and what I am SUPER excited about is this serial release thing.

To my original first three chapters I've added seven (and will tease out an 8th—pulling from Sidney, my original MC and giving some of the meat to Sarah, my nurse--for balance mostly--there is an important scene they are both in)--what WAS 46 pages is now 100ish.

I know Susan Kaye Quinn, who I've admitted to stalking, likes each to have a conclusion, and I WILL... but maybe not as solid a conclusion as she does. I am really doing these in the spirit of serials... there is a conclusion--or rather a large theme tied up--but there is ALSO a 'the story continues'. And most of my PoVs will continue into each next segment... except when people die... erm... It IS an epidemic! And WAR!

So do you want to know my PLAN? *BUWAHAHAHAHAHAHA*

Come on. You have to cackle with me if you want to know...


I need to do a couple things this summer:

1) OUTLINE to the end... you know I can't abide pants... But seriously. If I am going to start publishing this, I need to know it is really manageable and I am not going to end up written into a corner. What I mean by outlining is a sentence or two about what each section that the ENTIRE FREAKING THING will have.

2) Have a clean draft of the first six sections written by the end of August. My feedback loop requires I work this far ahead.

3) Through book three peer reviewed and formally edited. (I am actually going to finally PAY Leanne for copy editing and Joris for covers!!! Both have been amazing all this time, helping me for free, but I am going to be asking them to drop everything and help out, and both deserve to finally get the professional recognition they deserve.)

4) I will work up a formal calendar with all my deadlines, as I dig that stuff.

5) I will get an author profile up at Facebook and Goodreads

6) I will do a crash course in self-published formatting and stuff (and stuff to include all the STUFF I need to know--any experts in stuff, give a shout, I need you)

7) I will push PUBLISH for the first of these the first week in September—isn't there a day of the week for new releases? THAT day...

8) The first FOUR will be two weeks apart.

9) The pacing of the rest will be either a month gap, then two weeks apart for three more, month off, two weeks apart (you see what I'm getting at) or three weeks for all...I sort of like the 3X2 with a month break but I can't really explain it to you logically expect I plan to make PoD available for these in a clustered way (first 4, then 3 at a time) and at least for HALF there are thematic splits at these breaks. I am not in enough detail yet in the second half to know if that is still true.

I also need to look at Christmas and stuff... see what paces best if it is 10, they could ALL be ready by then and I could sett sets, but I have my doubts 10 is enough.

I really want to be done at least a month before the release of Keeping Mum so I can concentrate on that in February. I'm not sure right now whether I want 10 total or 13... I'd like ONE freebie, then clusters of three, but I get that it may not work out that way. THIS is part of what the outlining is about.

It's been a while since I was this jacked up about revising... Maybe because part of this process is writing. And MAYBE, just MAYBE part of it is that I wrote all those extra chapters longhand in the car... I need to get my notebook back to the bathtub... I was typing last night and made myself CRY when I'd WRITTEN the bloody thing I was typing. It should NOT have been new information, but it was a heartstring-tugger.

Gratuitous llama kiss because that's how I roll
So now that I am back, I am going to make a better effort as a blog READER... I try to get to people who comment first... and it seems like for AGES that is all I've managed (and that not well)... But work is picking up the pace (on top of having been gone 2.5 weeks)... hopefully it really will be better. Kick me if you feel neglected. I totally don't mean to do that. If you comment, I swear I mean to get to you within the week...

HEY: Question for you savvy folks... especially self-publishers: Are you incorporated? Or have you formed a separate entity for your writing endeavors? That is something I'm considering. I'm thinking if I plan to pay people, it will make this all smoother. Can someone give me a primer on the advantages? Or point to a blog that does it for them?


Alison DeLuca said...

Sounds really, really exciting! Please let me know what I can do to help spread the word about this cool, KEWL new project.

JL Stratton said...

This idea is right with current thinking. I never thought it would happen to me but I've kind of gotten into this whole Zombie thing, especially when the author/movie maker does a good job of making it seem plausible in some medical or even supernatural sense. Looking forward to hearing more about it.

Jill Haugh said...

Good God woman! Ye have a mountain of work in front of ye!
Back to the grindstone with ye!
~Just Jill

Roland D. Yeomans said...

You have certainly set yourself a challenge and a Herculean workload. Only success for you!

Teresa Coltrin said...

I'm about to send a small project to a eBook formatter. I might consider formatting my own in the future, but I'm don't feel I can do it, for real, yet.

Great plans you have there, Hart.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Serials are the thing now - make it happen, Hart!
And glad to have you back. I think you remembered how to blog.

Diana Wilder said...

Begorrah! (I've been channeling the Irisn in me today)

Wow! Sounds great! Ah... Can I sign up for the first installment?

Do track your efforts: I may learn something...

Diana at

CA Heaven said...

Writing in the car, that's impressive. Kind of Jack Kerouac style.

Looking forward to the pictures and the wisdom >:)

Cold As Heaven

JL Stratton said...

Oh, to answer the question you posed as I originally meant but got sidetracked talking about zombies, I don't know if you need to go so far as incorporating unless you do LLC but it would certainly be something to consider in the far future when you are so rich and famous that you have to find ingenious was to protect yourself from the dregs of society looking for way to get at what's yours.

I do some self-publishing under a pen name and I've only gone so far as to file a DBA (Doing Business As) so I can have royalties sent to a bank account that is under my real name. I still have to file taxes using my royalties along with the monies earned from my full-time job, but in my state (check--your state may be different) I do not legally have to obtain a business license until I've gone over a monetary threshold for my royalties (so large, I still haven't reached it.)

I hope this helps you in your considerations. mail me anytime if you want to discuss further as it would be nice to use my MBA for something other than hiding that big hole in my wall.

Hart Johnson said...

Alison-consider yourself on my list!!!

JL-My zombies are only hypothetical--part of a project. A little humor in the darkness. And THANK YOU for feedback on the business thing!

Jill-RIGHT! Back to work!!!

Roland *flexes muscles* Moving mountains! Yes!!!

Teresa-I think if I weren't going to use it a bunch, I'd bypass learning it myself, but I think I will use this.

Alex-I'm trying to CATCH this wave!!!

Diana-You're in! Totally appreciate it!!!

CA-If only Jack wrote apocalypses, yeah!?

Helena said...

OMG, Hart, you are so freaking organized and professional! And your new serial sounds thrilling. Me, I'm just slogging away on two old manuscripts that I'm vaguely planning to publish this year and early next year sometimes and then maybe I'll... Where was I?

Seriously, this is why you're successful as a PROFESSIONAL writer. And on the tax/business side, I can tell you that I've never incorporated but my tax accountant handles my taxes because I count my writing income and expenses and he tells me what invoices and details he needs from me. This seems to handle the matter pretty well, at least for me.

Anonymous said...

Very ambitious! I wish you the best of luck, and I agree that you seem to remember quite easily how to blog. :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Hart - you've certainly some goals there - but that's excellent keeps us all on track.

Good luck with the books, plans, guidelines etc .. also looks like there's a few helpful authors around to help you along your way ...

It's something I know little about - but I am taking my own life forward with new projects ..

Good luck and thanks for your visit - good to see you back and I can follow along with you (and you will accept Diana's suggestion?!) - cheers Hilary

Tina said...

Good god girlfriend! That must have been some vacation! You're just chomping at the bit to get going and I totally admire that, SO much.
As to advice about self-publishing, I highly recommend L. Diane Wolfe's book "How to Publish and Promote Your Book Now!" Here's her blog where you'll find a link to purchsing her book. I couldn't get it work (I hate Windows 8) but maybe you can.
Tina @ Life is Good

michelle said...

Holy Schmoly! You go girl!
I LOVE your spirit!
Good luck with all your goals!
Writer In Transit

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

So much! Good for you and welcome back, Hart.

I had a dream about the Zombie Apocalypse last night which is super weird for me ... I barely know anything about it.

Can't wait to read all of your books.


Kathy M.