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Posts Tagged ‘Deby Fredericks’

Thanks so much to everyone who commented on my title conundrum. I really do like The Renegade of Weeping Falls. However, the next novella is called already Prisoners of the Wailing Tower. Having Weeping Falls and Wailing Tower right beside each other is bugging me. I guess I could find a different title for Wailing Tower, but that title has been set for over a year. Changing it would also bug me. So I am going with The Renegade of Opshar.

That second draft is complete now, and off to the beta readers. If they don’t raise major issues, I may just make the cutoff for publication by June 1st! Spring releases are dicey, I know, but it would be perfect to feature Renegade as part of Queen Titania’s Court in June. Besides which, I never seem to get big numbers, so what’s the difference?

If I choose that, I’ll need to get busy with sales copy, finding the right cover, and other setups. Which is actually the more fun part of the process.

Speaking of Queen Titania’s Court, I’m starting to put my schedule together for that. There’s still room for more friends, though! Go ahead and e-mail me if you’re interested, cat09tales -at- hotmail -dot- com.


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web site, Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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My revisions are going well (cross your fingers) and I’m within shouting distance of a completed second draft. A couple of lesser character names are still nagging at me, but I’ll get them fixed, never fear.

One major decision left is the updated title. I’m playing with a couple of possibilities. All of the Minstrels of Skaythe novellas have had longer titles: The Tower in the Mist, Dancer in the Grove of Ghosts, The Ice Witch of Fang Marsh. So I’m looking for something that will match that same rhythm and sense of place.

Some of the possibilities are:

A) The Renegade of Opshar. Opshar being the small village Berisan lives near.

B) The Renegade of Weeping Falls. Weeping Falls being a landmark near Yamaya’s farm.

C) The Renegade of Dolarus Falls. This is an alternate name for the said landmark.

This is where I ask you, my expert audience, which option you think works best. Let me know in the comments!


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web site, Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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What’s Happening? At work, the issues around my negative review are more or less resolved. But as I reflect on my experience with this particular school, I recall that my district went through a wholesale reshuffling two years ago, and I was involuntarily transferred to this building at this time. If I had interviewed through the regular process, they might not have selected me. So as I continue doing my best there, I am also watching the job boards for new opportunities.

What I’m Working On. Despite the above mentioned stress and drama, second draft revisions are proceeding on The Renegade of Opshar. I know what themes I need to deepen, where I need to explain more clearly, and so forth. So, it’s going!

What’s Next? I’m in the planning process for Queen Titania’s Court, looking forward to that start of that in June. But there still is room for more friends. Do e-mail me if you’re interested! CAT09tales -at- hotmail -dot- com.

Fun and Games. Animal Crossing has been a haven from the stress at work. I’m also revisiting one of my favorite games ever, Dragon Age Origins. The developers have announced the next game for 2022, and I’m laying out a new sequence to bring me into that. Even after several playthroughs, I still find complexity in the writing, especially in the dialogue wheels. Depending on what dialogue you choose, characters will give different replies. It gives me a new level of respect for game writers.


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web site, Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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Is this thing on?

For some strange reason, there are a number of blogs I follow that I suddenly stopped getting notifications for. Most of my regular blogs, I receive a daily digest. About 2 weeks ago, they no longer came through. I don’t recall un-following them. It’s weird.

If people have to stop blogging, that isn’t something I want to pester them about. For most of us writers, we’re trying to reach an audience. If the blog doesn’t seem to be working, it makes sense to focus elsewhere.

Still, it can be distressing if one’s following starts to drop. So I’m going back through, searching for the ones I remember. I’ve found a few that I had to follow again. I hope no one thinks I’ve turned my back on them.


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web site, Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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Some e-mails, that is. I know I’ve seen at least two responses from people asking about Queen Titania’s Court. The thing is, I looked at them on my cel phone. When I went back to my desktop computer, the messages had vanished. I want to follow up on this, but I can’t find those original messages. Just this morning, I combed through over 1,000 deleted e-mails both on the cell phone and the computer, to see if they somehow got swiped-right into the trash. No such luck.

So if you or someone you know reached out about Queen Titania, please ask them to try again. I really do want this to happen! (But if your initials are A. L, you are the one I didn’t lose, so you’re all good.)

In other news, I’ve mostly got the names reassigned for The Renegade, although not a new title, yet. I’ve completed a book map to help me find where the weak spots are as far as plot action. I know where I need to deepen the character motivations and amp up the emotion.

The obstacle to starting the second draft is that I’ve received my annual review at work and it was unexpectedly negative. Like, “needs improvement” in every category, where every previous review noted that I exceeded expectations. This year has been rough for everyone, but I thought I had a good working relationship with my supervisor and I’m really discouraged by this review.

So I’ve been in touch with my union representative and have advised the principal that I’ll be protesting the evaluation. But I’m just going to have to allow myself to be depressed and distracted for the next week or so.

Hope it’s all been going better for you!

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Submissions are now open for my summer book event, Queen Titania’s Court!

Coming up in June, this humble blog will host Queen Titania’s Court, a celebration of fantasy books. Titania, Queen of all Faeries, summons magical people and beasts from every corner of the fantastic world to join her for a grand ball on Midsummer Night.

This invitation is for any and all fantasy writers, especially independent authors. Each day in the month of June, I’ll feature one author’s book. Pick ONE character from ONE of your books to attend the Midsummer Ball.

This is the second year I’m hosting this event. It was really fun to do, and hopefully helped some fellow authors draw attention to their work. There was room for more guests, so here’s where I appeal for your help. If you are a fantasy author, you are welcome to participate. Or if you know some fantasy authors, I hope you’ll suggest it to them.

***IMPORTANT! You have to e-mail me in order to take part. You can’t just comment on a blog post! ***

Check out this page if you want all the details. My e-mail is there, too. To see some of last year’s gala, start here.


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web site, Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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Now that I’ve finished The Renegade Count (or whatever I end up calling it) it’s time to take a break. The weather is supposed to be in the 70s here, perfect weather to be out in my garden. I have a few transplants to get in, and more than a few weeds to get out. I’m also taking in a webinar about soil care, because if you don’t have good soil, your flowers and vegies will only struggle.

While my hands are busy, I’ll be thinking about the new names and titles I need. Some of them might sound strangely botanical. Nobody will notice that, right?


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web site, Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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I’m still doing a bit of work on the very end of The Renegade Count, just making sure everything fits together the way it should. While I do that, I’m also starting the first step of my revisions, which is to name or re-name a few people and places.

Names are a detail that I pay a lot of attention to. The sound of them, and how they fit together, is an important part of my world building. I want them all to sound like they come from the same place and time. Although I try to come up with a list of good names before I start the first draft, and pick from that list when I encounter a new character, there are always a few I get stuck on.

For this novella, I’m re-naming a couple of characters whose names are too similar and might cause confusion for readers. There are also a few, very minor, characters who I didn’t anticipate needing names. No big deal, I’ll just play with sound combinations until I get them how I want them.

The major problem that I have it with the title. The Renegade Count was supposed to be about Berisan accidentally being appointed “count” of an obscure village. Since the people are expecting military-style magic to defend them, and Berisan is a pacifist, I thought that would be an interesting conflict. As it worked out, though, Yamaya’s character arc took up a lot more of the story. The village didn’t draft Berisan as their protector in the way I had anticipated.

This leaves me the choice of completely re-writing the plot to force my original intention on it — you writers out there know this hardly ever produces a better story — or coming up with a new title. Guess which one I’m choosing?

So the work goes on… or begins, depending on where you count from!


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web site, Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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So close to finishing up with The Renegade Count! That octopus of a plot is pinned to the matt except for the end of one tentacle is still twitching.

Basically, the last chapter is a big ol’ mess. It’s really disorganized, but in a way I can handle. There were a couple of great observations made by Berisan and Yamaya. They’re so great, I think I used them more than once. So I need to go back over those chapters, decide where the great lines should go, and generally shape the conclusion to my liking. With any luck, I’ll finish that this afternoon.

Saturdays are my day off from writing, and I have a fun thing going on where some friends are running an online role-playing game. I’m going to moderate a chat for them. But, on Sunday I should be able to start the next draft. It had been my intention to finish The Renegade Count several weeks ago, so that I can publish it in mid-May. That’s not a lot of time, which is one reason I’ve been anxious about finishing this draft.

However, the pauses to think and attention to detail usually mean that my revisions go quickly. So a May publications date looks chancy, but it’s not beyond possibility. If I have to push it into June, so be it. I can feature that book during Queen Titania’s Court.

Onward!


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web site, Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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Coming to the end of The Renegade Count has turned out to be sort of like wrestling with an octopus. There are so many arms, and they’re kind of slippery! I have good stuff written, but I’m struggling to get it in the proper order.

As I start the chapter, the two viewpoint characters each have a big question left to solve. The thing is, Yamaya just solved Berisan’s problem for him. And her solution makes so much more sense!

I think that I’ve mentioned Berisan stepped in to help some villagers being menaced by bandits. Then the village headman drafted Berisan to protect the village if the bandits come back. Berisan isn’t a fighting mage, but the Headman won’t listen to his protesting.

Returning to the village a few days later, Berisan intended to negotiate some other arrangement with the Headman. Yamaya just marched in with knives on her belt and said, “Leave my employee alone.” End of problem.

I love this approach and how it avoids so many unnecessary words. It’s just that it leaves Berisan without much to do for the rest of the story. If I could, I would have him turn around and solve Yamaya’s problem for her. Fair is fair, and again would be a surprising twist. But it doesn’t quite work.

Yamaya’s remaining problem is that she’s being courted by a sort of arrogant guy who might actually mean well. Since Berisan is not in a relationship with Yamaya, it would be really awkward for him to tell Kinson, “Leave my boss alone.” Yamaya needs to make her own romantic decisions, and besides, she can’t do all the lifting at the end.

I know I’ll figure it out. It’s just really confusing right now. Sort of like wrestling with an octopus!


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web site, Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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