April 2008


Ketha’s Daughter is out now! My publisher sent me a .pdf of the completed book yesterday, and it looks great. I added some extra artwork to the title page and one of the appendices. When I get back home, I will post a couple of samples.

I am the spotlight author on Long and Short reviews, which is pretty exciting as well. I will be answering five questions this week about the way I write.

We will be heading home Friday, after a lovely time here in the USA. Today we had to get extra suitcases to handle all our acquisitions! One thing about living in the Southern hemisphere–since the seasons are opposite it is great being able to shop the springtime sales for sweaters and other cold weather gear!

I sure am looking forward to getting home and getting back to writing though.

I am disappointed to report that the release of Ketha’s Daughter has been delayed one week due to circumstances beyond my publisher’s control. New date is April 28th. Stay tuned for updates.

I just got done with a novel, and I won’t tell you what it was called or who wrote it.  It was a dissatisfying read.  Not because the story wasn’t interesting–it was.  It was fast-paced and imaginative.  The problem was with the protagonist.  He was tall, good-looking, debonair, brave, well-spoken, humble, resourceful and a chick magnet.  During the course of the book he never: got hurt, lost an argument or a fight, backed down, made a mistake…

I think you see where I am going with this.

I got the impression that the author might have been writing about a perfect version of himself.

Face it, we all make mistakes.  That is how we learn and grow.  To have a main character who never puts a foot wrong takes all the interest out of the book, at least for me.  We want our characters to be engaging–to be human.  This guy was just annoying.

Has anyone else encountered this, and if so, did it bother you?

Another quick post from my sister’s computer.  We have been here nearly a week, in Pensacola Florida.  The weather has been glorious.  Our days revolve around seeing family, shopping, and making huge meals for all ten of us to sit down and share.  My sister comes and goes as she is allowed.  She is a busy physician with a pathology practice, so 12 hour days are the usual for her.  But she still manages to run a small farm with chickens and three enormous horses.  Amazing!

The weather has been glorious since we arrived, sunny and not too hot.  Of course we plan to go to the beach, and to Mobile, Alabama for the day, and more shopping…

I am an American, in case I haven’t mentioned it before.  I moved to New Zealand seven years ago, following the call of my heart.  I am happy there, but I don’t really feel at home, if that makes any sense.  The language is the same, but the people are very different, and I sometimes feel a little uneasy.  Americans, as you may have heard from time to time, are not the most popular people in the world right now.

I try not to get sucked into arguments, because I don’t think it helps.  People here have preconceived notions as to what Americans are like (fat, obnoxious, opinionated, stupid) and the best way to counter those opinions IMHP is not to be any of those things.

But it sure is nice to be back again.

I have been reviewed by Sage Fire and I am quite happy with it! Have a look:

http://sagefire.pencraft.biz/apr08/Review.Heart_Hythea.html

8 campfires. Yay.

I will have to figure out how to use it in some promotional materials.

I am in the USA. Hooray for malls. Hooray for Sonic. Never take these things for granted…

Today is the last day I have to get organized and ready for my trip, so it will be a busy one. I probably won’t do much updating while I am gone, other than a few words here and there. I don’t plan to bring my computer with me, although I am buying an ASUS eee while I am in the US. Prices on small consumer goods are double here what they are in the good old US of A.

Publication for Ketha will go ahead as scheduled. Work on editing book 3 continues. Hopefully I will have it ready to go by mid May and it should hit the ewaves by July. Wrote another thousand words for book 4 last night. I have the idea than one of the problems is the fact that a couple of the characters are rather static; they don’t seem to grow or learn anything new during the course of events. So I plan to give that some thought while I am away and perhaps set up some new challenges for them when I get back.

I am still struggling with the ending. I want it to be happy. I HATE books that don’t end happily, after all the characters have been through. But I also want it to feel real. I think back to the Lord of the Rings. Frodo deserved to be happy–he had saved the world, after all. But there was no joy left in life for him. He had suffered too much. My main character, Katkin, is also like that. I don’t think I can just send her home with her true love and expect them to live happily ever after. I have an idea, but I will have to actually write the words before I know whether or not it will work.

I will keep you posted.

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Just heard from my editor that he is happy with Ketha’s Daughter, with the exception of a few minor formatting issues. So it looks as though we are on track to get the book out on April 21st, as planned.

He said he liked it more than Heart of Hythea, which makes me pretty happy. But then he said that he expects the next two to be even better, argh! Pressure…

I am quite sure that book 3, Birth of the Dawnmaid, is as good as the first two, but Beyond the Gyre… Well I just don’t know. But fortunately I still have plenty of time to fix it. I think objectivity might be an issue at this point.

If I work really hard over the weekend I should be finished with all the editing. Then I can go on vacation and leave my lap top behind. Yaya!

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