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Ta-Da!

I’ve been gone for so long, and I’m probably going to vanish again for another week or two as life wraps up. Oy, that life… Keeps getting the best of me. I have a few updates to post really quickly, though, as well as some shameless promoting of a fabulous artist.

First, Calypso is nearing the halfway point! YAY! I know, I know, it’s dragging by. Trust me, I want it out there just as much as y’all do. I’m beginning to understand why it takes some books years to appear. There are so many details and subplots and character flaws to fix! For those of you out there that are authors, tackle massive projects with care… I’m beginning to wonder just what I’ve gotten myself into. As it stands, chapters 1 – 9 are fully edited (first round edits), so chapters 10 – 18 remain. Luckily, the second half is more concise and coherent, so it should be quicker. Now, just to stay within my 80K to 120K word limit for Sci-Fi… Can I pull a J. R. R. Tolkien or Diana Gabaldon please and have it be 150K? Please?

Second, Puck is on hold indefinitely. I am so incredibly disappointed in myself for this, but I’ve had to face the reality that I’m tackling too many projects at once. I hope to get a few chapters up in the coming weeks, but don’t hold your breath. School lets out, and I’ll be immediately jumping into “homeschooling” my son (if you count Pre-K as school, which I do) and preparing for the arrival of the fourth member of our little clan.

Third, the lovely Li Bromfield has completed the new cover for Puck! For those of you new to S. G. Ricketts, she is the same artist who did my cover for Calypso. She has an amazing talent for drawing the scene right out of a writer’s mind, literally and figuratively. Here are my two covers done by her:

Puck - Cover Title WEB

Calypso-Web-Text

 

She’s on deviantart.com under the-Li and does a myriad of different things. She does commissions for indie authors, gamers, and those who love awesome art. Here are a few of my personal favorites, but remember: you can always look through yourself. Who knows? Maybe your idea or book will be her next masterpiece.

"Nebula"

“Nebula”

"Against the World"

“Against the World”

"Perfects" Book Cover

“Perfects” Book Cover

"Warrior Within"

“Warrior Within”

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S. G. RickettsToday is the third day of school and my brain is finally feeling rejuvenated! Call it boredom, call it focus, call it nerd-dom, but I always feel better when I’m in a classroom. There is something amazing, something nearly magical, about a classroom. Ideas are exchanged, facts are taught, knowledge is imbued. Ah… I love it! I’m strange,  I know, but I always have a secret countdown going in my mind for any new semester.

With the return of school also comes guilt-free access to libraries. Guilt-free access to libraries brings quiet, peaceful, clutter-free spaces. Quiet, peaceful, clutter-free spaces promotes writing! (And I feel that I should credit my 8th grade logic teacher for that lovely flow, regardless of the missing “therefore.)

I’m excited! Are you excited? Not only will Puck be progressing past the chapters I’ve already written, but Calypso shall slowly become more polished as well. Unfortunately, I missed my goal for 2012 of having Calypso out to agents by December, but 2013 is a new year! Today is a new day! Optimism! Yay! (Not sure where this energy is coming from… The espressos have abandoned me for months, so this must just be EXCITEMENT!)

If you’re not acquainted with Puck yet, shame on you. Based off a story I wrote for a BookRix contest months ago, it follows the rather ordinary life of Rebekkah As-Yet-Not-Last-Named, her spunky best friend Joe (and his collection of v-neck shirts and paranormal paraphernalia), her shape-shifting cat guardian, and a rather attractive man determined to ruin love across the globe. Interested? Check it out at my sister blog site, sgrickettsonline.wordpress.com. Chapter 3 will be up on Friday. If you love it, share it with your friends. If you hate it, please keep hateful posts to a mildly-spitting minimum. (Free speech and all, but seriously… Your bad ju-ju will rub off, and that will make me cry.)

I decided to do the  crazy and start a web serial of my own to allow y’all a little more reading material (albeit INCREDIBLY slowly) while you wait for Calypso to head to agents and publishers all around. (Hopeful thinking creates realities, right?) Think of it as a benevolent advertisement. We all benefit: you have a story to read and the time to agonize over what Rebekkah will do next or what delectable creation will come out of Joe’s mind next (Recipes for both the white chocolate mocha and the creation in the posted chapters will be going up.) and I gain a larger readership to join those of you fabulous enough to already be following me. A win-win, I’d say. But, I need your help in order to accomplish it. I can post blogs all day long and no one might read them. You, as the reader, are invaluable. If you like a post or you like Puck or Calypso, share it on Facebook. Tweet it. Do any of the other number of sharing options you can. DON”T steal it and say it’s your own. I will hunt you down and cut off your fingertips.

Consider this: the larger the crowd the blogs draw, the better I look to potential agents and publishers. It’s much easier to promote a book that people already want than one no one’s heard of. And who doesn’t love a great alien love story/survival tale?

 

Anyway, enough of my blabbering. Welcome to 2013! Check out Puck. Keep your fingers crossed that my A.D.D. allows me to edit Calypso. Read a book as often as possible. And… Drink more coffee!

Help Wanted

The Look

The look I get from scammers, direct sellers, commission-based workers, and people in contests. Also, the look I give everyone else when discussing Calypso.

Today, my mind seems determined to skirt anything remotely productive (read: editing during my lunch break), so in an attempt to salvage as much productivity as I can, I’ll write on here. (I’m not sure why, but my mind insists this is fun and relaxing and NON-productive. Goodness… I’ve over-used that word…) As well as boycotting editing, my mind has given up trying to process, so forgive any ramblings I may have. The husband’s alarm went off at 5:15, just as I was finally getting to sleep, so everything’s running at half-battery today.

Time and again, I’ve run into one particular road-block. Perhaps you in the inter-web can help me with it. I am, by nature, a modest person. A highly-energetic, overly-talkative, put-my-foot-in-my-mouth person, but a modest one nonetheless. Promoting myself seems almost backwards to me, regardless of the logistics of the matter. After all, how do you promote without bombarding? In my experiences with BookRix and the multiple direct-selling companies I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, there seems to be no difference. Requests for trials, reads, votes, sales, and anything else possible is shoved forward, while Puss in Boots stares at you over the top. Who can resist those eyes, let alone the stories of desperation, desire, or drive? And yet… there is always that bitter taste left over. I should know. I’ve been on both sides, one as a Mary Kay consultant and the other as any of the above. It leaves a bitter impression on both sides. I hate having to dredge up little tidbits of manipulation or cajoling to get a sale (which is probably part of why I didn’t fair too well), and I hate being manipulated.

So then, in the world of a saturated book market, how does one go about gaining popularity WITHOUT this nefarious business? I would love to host a contest of some sort, but I have yet to be able to eat anything aside from ramen and canned vegetables, let alone afford an iPad or some cool shirts or even a gift card. God love those who have “liked” my author page on Facebook, for I am eternally grateful that they put up with me. I’m in no ways so naive to think that they read everything I post, nor that they follow half the links I post. Statistically speaking, I’m doing really well! 33% see each picture/quote/post that goes up on my wall. After perusing some of the other pages I follow, I’m beginning to realize that said 33% would be even more amazing if it was out of 100 people, or 1,000, or (as on my most favorite page) 12,419. The getting to such a point remains the problem.

Until Calypso comes out, what should I do? There are three and a half chapters out there on the inter-web (the half being the prologue). Is that enough to create interest in the story? If I were to post more links to lesser works, would enough people like it to spread the word? Am I even a good enough writer to create interest based off what I have written so far? What if I’m not? I know that many authors don’t have a backing beforehand, but my own vanity and the advice of others leads me to believe that popular sentiment can be important. Should I create a book trailer? How the heck do I even do that??

So many questions and doubts, yet I am determined not to resort to begging.

What are your thoughts? What suggestions would you give? Opinions on the begging vs. promoting? And, does anyone know how to create a book trailer???