Thursday, June 26, 2008

News and More News

Yeah, yeah yeah I know. I'll TRY to do better. I just thought I'd let you all know that The Gift of Redemption is at # 39 on the Fictionwise Fantasy Bestseller list!


Yep. Just a little excited. It may be my imagination, and I'll check here in a bit, but it seems to be moving up the list quicker than Asphodel did. Two weeks from release at Fictionwise to #39 sounds FINE to me, though. I'd be dancing but...and here's the more news...I'm couch-bound until the middle of July.


More writing time though. And that's a good thing.

I find that I'm enjoying my writing time more and more. Although I still faithfully tackle my world-building and editing/rewriting chores every day, those hours when I concentrate on continuing a story have been just rolling along. Remind me soon to update my projects list--there's a hell of a lot going on that I haven't shared with you guys yet. There are a couple of new stories ongoing that I think you might be interested in.

I also submitted a few short stories this week, and have sent other numerous review requests to new venues so we'll see what happens.

Overall, a happy day. :)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

OK, So I don't update my blog enough...

...or so I'm told. Apparently, BUSY does not count. hmmph. So, I'll just update you guys for a bit.

The Gift of Redemption is now available on Fictionwise and Mobipocket. It seems to be doing well on Fictionwise, where it's been available for a few days now. It just came out today on Mobipocket.

I'm particularly interested in how it does on Fictionwise, since The Reckoning of Asphodel hit number one on its Fantasy Bestseller list and the top ten on the overall Bestseller list. It would be nice if Redemption could follow in Asphodel's footsteps.

A little birdie told me that Reckoning's first review from a major review site will be out within the month. This is sort of scary for me. I'm still obsessed over some horrifying questions: What if it isn't as good as Asphodel? What if people hate it? What if a few directions that the storyline takes really turns my readers off? Will I live? Could I survive that?

I guess I'll know pretty soon. *shudders* Hope my blood pressure survives it.

Right now I'm doing some beta reading for some friends and surveying the wreck of my study with satisfaction. As you probably remember, when I'm plotting a new world and the story that goes in it, I literally paper my study with worldbuilding charts and plot continuity lines with long rolls of butcher paper. And there it will hang, a daily prod to hurry up and finish what I'm working on so that I can get to the project that is stewing deliciously along my walls. This project has migrated onto the ceiling; when I look to the heavens for divine inspiration, I'll find a chart labelled *Events that need to happen before Armageddon.* This makes me write faster.

It's like a hambone in front of a hungry pit bull.

I reckon I have a few more days' work to put in on the current project (final draft of Terella, then off she goes into query land) and then I can sink my teeth into the juicy world that swims along the edges of my vision in this room.

*Events that need to happen before Armageddon*---Big red letters, long long list. Looks like at least a trilogy from where I'm sitting. Just as an FYI, 'armageddon' is just my brainstorming catchphrase for how the plot culminates--it has nothing to do with angels or Satan or the end of the world or anything like that. I call all the ends of my storylines 'armageddon' just so I know that it's the absolute end of this plot.


So don't get too excited.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

So It's Out

The Gift of Redemption was released on Friday. I did my all-day release party on Friday and I'm still trying to recover from it (and the thirteen hours at work yesterday.) I actually had a cool little interview in the local paper yesterday (so glad they noticed me finally!) and I had several people oming into the bar saying, "Hey! Yer a cee-lebrit-ee now!" All of my Saturday Morning Regulars were pleased as punch--which I thought was pretty cool.

And now I'm going to try to focus my eyes enough to send out some review copies so I can concentrate on finding the floor of my house again. *rolls eyes* I know it's there SOMEWHERE--but alas! When Mom is stuck for two weeks getting a book release ready (hence the overwhelming eye strain) everyone else takes a vacation too.

I'll find it. I promise.

Stay tuned for further updates on Reckoning and how it progresses. And thanks to all of you for keeping an eye on how it goes.

By the way, the winner of my super-duper fabulous BIGGEST CONTEST EVER--is Sophie Weresley! Congrtulations, Lil Squick! And NO you cannot publish the Asphodel backstory file as a companion piece. Geesch--kids this days!

Hope you enjoy it!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Wow. Look at that countdown clock run. When I started this blog post, it was 4 hours and 47 minutes until The Gift of Redemption is released.

Wow. Just wow.

I'm excited. I'm getting things ready for my release party tomorrow and sending out a slew of press releases and all that what not. My local paper interviewed me this week, so THAT was fun. I made it onto Raine Delight's author spotlight--check it out here!

That was also fun.

My very good friend who is also a writer, Sierra Dafoe, is coming to visit this weekend, so THAT'S good.

I'm having a very good day. Of course, my eyes are burning and crossed after working through the nights the past three days, but I feel good about the work I've done. In celebration, I'm taking a weekend off from the writing desk just so I can revel in the the fact that another book is hitting the market in the morning.

I might also pray a little that it's as well-received as The Reckoning of Asphodel was. Here's hoping.

You guys enjoy!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Perspective From the Pen of a Babe

But let's not talk about that. You can go check it out at if you want to read it. The very nice young lady who reviewed it has a new and very neat blog, and she's already done a spotlight post on Authorscoop which is a great site for book reviews and commentary done by my good friends William Haskins and Jamie Mason. (Man are they quick at cranking out reviews! ) So check out Scribbling, the blog that reviewed Asphodel, and check out Authorscoop just for an informative and very intellectual look at writing by writers.

And let's talk about something completely different.

The young lady who reviewed me on Scribbling is the mother of 4 children--which totally made me sick with jealousy when I saw her picture, by the way. She's a wife and mother, a writer who once served our country in the Navy, and who's probably too smart for her own good half the time.

In other words, a role model.

What makes her a role model? One of her sons was diagnosed with clasic autism just before his third birthday. Another, they suspect, suffers from Asperger's Disorder, which is also Pervasive Developmental Disorder ("PDD") -- like autism but , according to

In Asperger's Disorder, affected individuals are characterized by social
isolation and eccentric behavior in childhood. There are impairments in
two-sided social interaction and non-verbal communication. Though grammatical,
their speech may sound peculiar due to abnormalities of inflection and a
repetitive pattern. Clumsiness may be prominent both in their articulation and
gross motor behavior. They usually have a circumscribed area of interest which
usually leaves no space for more age appropriate, common interests.

By the way, I'm not forgetting the dad in this family. He works his ASS off and attends school at the same time.

When I first heard her story, I was flabbergasted. She and her husband have four small children in their home--which is enough of a strain--and, even more astounding-they are doing everything ON THEIR OWN. Of course, the local school system helps as best they can, and they do have their autistic son on Medicaid which helps with health care and pharmaceutical costs...but let me tell you what they don't have.

They don't have their son covered by their insurance policy because it is 'chronic and non-treatable.' They don't have their son in the nearby Center for Autism Behavorial Disorders at the Munroe-Meyer Institute--because it would cost them thousands upon thousands of dollars out of pocket. They don't have any assistance from any medical foundations or charitable institutions--not even the major autism charities.

As she told me in a conversation: "Doctors don't understand this. I probably know more about it than a GP does."

And through all of this, she managed to find the time not only to read my book but to review it? To encourage her son who may have Asperger's to write (the most ADORABLE little picture book about dinosaurs!) and then post it on a writers' forum for review. Not only did he take the crits, he thought about them and posted his replies. Here's his response to my critique of his story:

Thank you, Miss Celina!I will write more about the fights. I will draw more
pictures, too. I think that is a good idea!Thank you for saying much nice things
about my book and me! DinoBoy

This is a reaction to a CRITIQUE. I couldn't expect that much courtesy and enthusiasm from the critique of a 50 year old writer.

You know what this tells me? It tells me that this is an extraordinary woman, a woman who writes (extremely well, by the way) and raises four active sons. A woman who contributes in such a way to her sons' development and comfort that a boy that most other adults would call 'handicapped' had the werewithal to not only write and draw a children's picture book, but also to write such a well-mannered, thoughtful reply. A woman who, besides her husband and family, gets little to no help from anyone as she struggles with the difficulties of an autistic child.

My friend.

The next time you feel sorry for yourself, take a minute to check out these sites:

Autism Speaks--
Dr. Stanley Greenspan, developer of one of the most promising behavorial therapies for people with autism --

and learn something about the world of PDDs. And if you have a moment, stop to consider this mother and how her guidance has given this world an absolutely beautiful talented son.

And maybe, just maybe, you'll feel the same way I do about it.