What I’ve Been Up To

Writing ate me. Like, completely devoured me whole. So now that I have something to actually show for it, I’ll talk.

So ever since we’ve settled in, I’ve wanted to put out other versions of Feral Magic--you know, for people who don’t own a kindle. But there was a problem: Since publication, I have had 4 harddrives fail. Personally I believe my computer had some hardware issues frying the harddrives, but that’s beside the point and no one believes me anyhow. So…I didn’t have the file. For that matter, the only copy of my own book I had was the one on sale and a horrid rough draft in my e-mail. Plus there was the whole 4 moves  with one of those being overseas (ahem).

Yes. Lesson in back-up learned. Royally.

But, see, I still wanted to publish it as a different format in different places, but the rough draft in the e-mail was wretched. And my MOBI file was listed on Amazon Cloud, which doesn’t allow for copy-paste, so I was left with one viable alternative.

I re-typed the whole thing.

Let that sink in.

Uh-huh, yeah, I think that you understand.

You also understand that while I can type very well at 60-70 words per minute, that’s still a lot of typing and proofreading. But as this was my first ‘real’ work, I have improved hugely in my craft since then and re-typing word for word was just painful.

So Feral Magic also got a heavy-handed editing and a new upload.

But that’s not all.

It also got a new cover (though the devil’s in the details and I’m not thrilled with the close-ups). And it has an ISBN now and a listing in Bowker.

Right now I’m working on this:

The Start of Paperback Cover

…which is a paperback cover. And yes, that’s a barcode! Thanks to Joanne Phillips I found a site which let me make the barcode for FREE.

I might have the barcode placed slightly wrong. That’s why the cover is “still in progress” ….well, that and I’m still playing with it, but the overall shape of it is there.

I’m currently looking at possibly a distributor. So far I have discovered: SmashwordsDraft2Digital, and BookBaby . I’m bench sitting on using a distributor or not at all. I don’t need the converter. I have Calibre, a freeware program super easy to use.

I have also found libraries Scribd and Oyster.

Lots of people say “upload straight to the source” and others say “save time and use a distributor”. I’m not sure which way I will go. There’s a lot said on the subject, just google it around, and you’ll see probably what I have.

While it’s no great substitute for a person, right now I’m proofreading Feral Magic using both the free version of Smart Edit, which checks for annoying things like most-frequently-used-words/phrases, and the digital-to-audio Balabolka . So smart-edit points out the annoying words, and Balabolka says everything literally. As long as you pay attention and listen, you can catch every “form” vs “from”, and get a sense for when a word sticks out like a sore thumb. Fantastic? Not really. But still useful.

Now I am about half way through listening to Balabolka. Therefore, halfway through my proofreading. So far I’ve caught a gender-confused character (where I switched the character from a minor female to a minor male to make the male’s role stand out more), an owl (“who who”) and a several missing words (“of”, “away”, “mad”). Bear in mind that I’m a real stickler about combing through my document at every turn for typo’s. Typo-wise this is probably the 13th or so look-through.

So, what else have I been up to? I’m glad you asked! I’ve been fine-tuning my Virgin story, prepping it for Beta Ready, and Bloodstone has all but 4 important scenes written. I have also found (squeal!) both the half-written copies of Swift Magic and Wind Magic which are actually in good shape! Just not finished. I also found a tale temporarily called Black Dove, which is basically a Princess-In-The-Tower motif but rendered in a modern-day kidnapping urban fantasy, which is good up till it stops at the 3/4 mark. To blow off steam from editing Bloodstone and Feral Magic, I started to re-write a favorite tween book of mine I’ve had since it came out in 2003, so I have that on the burner, too. I’m calling it Swan Queen, a shapeshifter romance/political intrigue, about a woman who proposes to her warring neighbor and pushes for economic stimulation while her mother refuses to yield the throne.

….umm, yeah, I think that’s all. Speaking of, it’s time for me to go to the new writer’s club.


Till later,


-Your Dearest Nicolette



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