Aug. 2, 2017

Climbed Everest, of a sort!

 Wow! I just completed a month of writing in Camp NaNoWriMo, the July virtual summer camp. I should say Chuck and I did it together. He hasn’t complained about skimpy meals, laundry down to the last clean shirt, and no evening conversation. He has been supportive every keyboard stroke along the way.

I decided that this would be my last NaNoWriMo event and wanted to do something really amazing. As many of you know, I am working on a writing schedule. I have books in our Situational Awareness series planned with Chuck. In addition to that, I have books plotted, some of them started, in the three fiction series I am writing. I like working back and forth between the series stories as they are all related. It sounds a little crazy and chaotic but it works for me.

The camp is a little different than the novel writing event in November where participants are challenged by the organization to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days. I have participated for the past three years. This was my first virtual camp experience. For the camp, each camper chose their own goal. Mine? To write the first drafts of three novels. It sounds crazy. Maybe. Maybe not. Isn’t it better to try to climb Everest instead of walking across the street because you know you can successfully do one and you have no idea if you can do the other – not unless you try?

I tried and did it. Never again, though. Although I am busily catching-up the laundry, I may never catch-up on sleep again. Did I mention that the month before, I revised a book into a second edition and wrote another one? My arms feel boneless – like those bricks of gelatin they use for ballistics-testing, only more colorful.

I revised my initial goal, not the number of books, but the sequence I was writing them in. I delayed a Zoey Wolfe book and kept writing in the Theo series. It just seemed to be a natural progression, so I went with it.

Earlier, while writing Bastard Hearts: Part Two – Darkness Descending, (didn't that sound like, 'Meanwhile, back at the ranch'?) I began considering how much of a back story all my characters have. They have stories that precede the ones I am now revealing to readers. Chuck pointed out how confusing it is as there are so many characters crisscrossing the series. Two ideas came from that. At Chuck’s suggestion, we are going to publish a book of names for the series with a little bio for the ones that are more than minor characters or who keep reappearing. I know them all, so I didn’t realize it was confusing – although, if you don’t know their backstories, it doesn’t matter. You just won’t realize they appeared anywhere else before. We are trying to figure out how to make this a free bonus book to people who have purchased books out of the series.

The two books that were revised, written in June are part of backstories in the Theo of Teach Island Series. Exes and Other Excrement, a prequel short story was revised into a second edition. If you have purchased the eBook from Amazon, you can request a free update be sent to your Kindle or eBook reader. Tell them you heard it was revised. It works. I know. I tried it. You have to contact them through your Amazon account, tell them you want the second edition. It will replace your old one. The new book, also a prequel in the same series, is a novella, Theo’s Lucky Day. Both books are available in print and as eBooks. You can access them from our Amazon Author’s page: https://www.amazon.com/Charlotte-Guttenberg/e/B01DR4WEAO

The three first drafts I completed at camp are in the same series: Book Two, Best of Intentions; Book Three, Tea Bag in Hot Water; Book Four, All The Money. Still, with that Everest-climbing attitude, I may publish them soon to Amazon, it depends upon how clean the writing is. I have no idea. I was typing as fast as these bony fingers would move not rereading anything.

I have plotted out the next two books in the Theo series, No Kind of Angel,  and one of the prequels, Billy the Kid, Reno, and Hole-In-The-Wall. Also waiting in the line-up, parts of them started are Just and the Unjust from the Zoey Wolfe series and Bloody Hearts, Book One: War of the Queens. It should be a busy fall and winter. Stand by. No, you don’t have to do that, you can be reading. Catch-up!