Tag Archives: audiobook

June 2016 in Review

In Review June

Last year, I decided that I would post my accomplishments for the month and what goals I hope to achieve in the following month.

Now that I’m completely free from school and waist-deep in Dead Magic, I have been writing my little fingers off and being shockingly productive. Part of me is pleased and part of me is wondering when it will all come crashing to a halt.

What I accomplished in June:

  1. Wrote 21,000 words of Dead Magic
  2. Wrote 6 blog posts and a guest blog on Mariella Hunt’s website
  3. Published a Spanish translation of The Earl of Brass entitled El Conde de Latón, which is available here.
  4. Published the audiobook for The Winter Garden, which is available here.
  5. Planned out the beats for a forthcoming Ingenious Mechanical Devices novella
  6. Read 4 books
    1. Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet by Charlie N. Holmberg (2 stars)
    2. Ninety-Nine Righteous Men by K.M. Claude (4.5 stars)
    3. Fiction Unboxed by Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant (4 stars)
    4. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson (5 stars)

What I hope to achieve in July:

  1. Write 20,ooo words of Dead Magic
  2. Write 10,000 words of the unnamed novella
  3. Write 6 blog posts
  4. Work more on my syllabus for freshman writing
  5. Work on the cover for Dead Magic with my designer
  6. Read 3 books
  7. Enjoy life in between everything mentioned above

I love watching my word count steadily increase from month to month. June was wonderful in terms of productivity. I feel like I got so much done and that the rest of Dead Magic should go smoothly now that I’ve hit the 2/3s mark.

There are quite a few balls in the air with my series. I have my Spanish translator working on The Winter Garden, my Italian and Portuguese translators working on The Earl of Brass, and my narrator is working on the audiobook for The Earl and the Artificer. Then I have Dead Magic to start wrapping up soon and the novella I’ve been plotting. I’m confident it will all get done, and that I can manage.

I’m seriously excited about my writing projects. Ideas are bubbling out of me, and now if only my productivity could keep up with my ideas. The one thing that was completely neglected in June was editing. I told myself I would edit chapters 1-8, but in the end, I decided to dump that idea. I’ve been spot editing as I go, fixing issues that arise or adding foreshadowing of future chapters, but at this point, editing without being finished or having a clear goal in mind seems pointless.

Right now, my tentative release date for Dead Magic is November 15th, BUT if the book is done before then, I will happily move the date forward. I’m really hoping the book will be out sooner than that.

Finally, I will be taking part in Camp NaNoWriMo and am sharing a cabin with some fantastic authors. What will you be doing this July?

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Monthly Review, Writing

August in Review

Starting in January, I decided it would be a good idea to look back at each month and see what I have accomplished in my writing and marketing as well as reflect upon what needs to be improved in the future.

Much like July, August has been a rather productive month. It seems so long ago that it just started, and I am absolutely amazed that it’s already over. This month I have tried to get as much done as possible before graduate school started again for me in September. Usually when school starts, my productivity tanks for a while as I adjust, but I’m hopeful that September won’t be too bad.

What I did accomplish:

  1. Published my series companion short story “An Oxford Holiday” on Amazon
  2. Wrote 25,000 words of The Earl and the Artificer (60,000 words total)
  3. Met my “far” word count goal for the month
  4. Read For Love or Money by Susan Kaye Quinn and 2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love
  5. Released the audiobook for The Earl of Brass
  6. Proofed the first 15 minute clip for the audiobook of The Winter Garden
  7. Put The Earl of Brass ebook on sale for 99 cents for a limited time.

Goals for September:

  1. Write at least 10,000 words of The Earl and the Artificer (but optimally more like 15k to 20k)
  2. Read 2-3 books
  3. Manage my grad school stress
  4. Continue to write every day
  5. Balance life, writing, and fun
  6. Refill my creative reservoirs
  7. Possibly work on another bonus short story (if an idea takes shape)

So I think I have finally found something that works when it comes to keeping my productivity up and at a good pace. Seriously, the word count tracking spreadsheet has done wonders. I’m now about 60,000 words into The Earl and the Artificer, which blows my mind because I’m over 2/3 through it! A few months ago, that was unimaginable. Now, the end is in sight in a few months (probably October). During this time, I also finished and released the audiobook of The Earl of Brass and the ebook of “An Oxford Holiday” on Amazon. Now that I know I can work on a short story and a novel without sacrificing either, I hope to release more companion short stories in the future. The best case scenario is that I might be able to release a Halloween themed one in October, but I can make no promises there, especially with the semester starting. I also got a glimpse of the audiobook for The Winter Garden, and it is perfect! I am so looking forward to hearing more, and while I would like to say that I hope my narrator will send me some this month, I won’t push it. He has a life outside of narrating.

This has been an odd month. I’m feeling very productive in terms of what I have produced, but as of the last few days, I’m feeling incredibly drained. Last week, I had a workshop to go to, which is mandatory for my degree. I enjoyed it and it was incredibly interesting (about teaching writing), but it kind of drained me. It’s hard for me to be social and outgoing while surrounded by new people. It’s done now, just in time for the semester to start. Yay… Prepare to see me crawl back into my shell for about a month while I continually scream internally until I’ve adjusted to dealing with people again. Current status: exhausted and in denial that school is starting again in a few days. Today, I will be reading and chilling with my dogs in hopes of recovering some of that creative mojo since it’s edging toward burn-out level.

Kate

This month also brought a new addition to our family: Miss Kate (named by my dad). Kate is a border weenie, meaning she is dachshund and border collie. If you think she looks oddly familiar, it’s because we have 2 other border collie mixes (Edgar and Finny) who are also black and white and look a lot like her. The boys are still ignoring her, but they seem to be getting along. Don’t let her cute face and squeaky toy voice fool you, she has plenty of attitude. She already hip-checked Edgar and took a bone from his mouth.

For September, my hope is that I can keep writing every day, even if it’s only a few hundred words. 500 a day for 30 days still equates to 15,000 words. I only have two more semesters of grad school left until I have my MFA in creative writing, so I just need to power through and get it done. Who knows, maybe I’ll even be able to start outlining book four of the Ingenious Mechanical Devices. I’d love to begin writing that while editing The Earl and the Artificer.

One last thing of note: The Earl of Brass is on sale for 99 cents for a limited time on Kindle. You can pick it up here.

eob 99c promo

Leave a comment

Filed under Monthly Review

Short Stories, Novels, and Audiobooks

“An Oxford Holiday” is now finished! If you haven’t heard, it is a companion short story for the Ingenious Mechanical Devices series and follows the events of The Winter Garden (IMD #2). It is approximately 8,000 words long. In case you are interested, here is the blurb for “An Oxford Holiday”:

After a trying two months at Oxford dealing with miserable classmates and isolation, all Immanuel Winter wants is a peaceful weekend with Adam— two days where they could forget about the impossibilities of their future together.

But when the arrival of a radical female lawyer turns the university upside down, their holiday plans are put in jeopardy.

Will Adam and Immanuel be able to escape the horde of dons descending upon the city or will they be forced to postpone their plans and their future?

Unfortunately, I cannot upload the pre-order yet because the cover is not finished, but it should be up by the end of the week. When it is, I will let everyone know. I’m hoping everyone will enjoy it. It’s a bit of romantic fluff, which is different for me, but I enjoyed writing it.


While I have been working on getting “An Oxford Holiday” ready for publication, I have also been writing The Earl and the Artificer (IMD #3). Currently it’s at 43,290 words, which means I’m about 50% into writing book three. I’m still amazed by that considering how slow the first 15,000 words came. By the end of the month, I hope to have the word count between 50-55k. I wish I could anticipate what the semester will bring, but I’m worried about my productivity dropping with the added stress and assignments. Hence why I’m trying to write as much as possible now before I go back. if you’re on the downward slope of the hill, it typically gets easier to finish even when distracted.


As my final mini update, I wanted to remind everyone that the audiobook of The Earl of Brass (IMD #1) is online now.

You can find it on iTunes, Amazon, and Audible.


If you would like to know about new releases, sales, and news, please subscribe to my newsletter to find out first.

newsletter button

2 Comments

Filed under Writing

Audiobooks and Updates

I thought I would just check-in this week. Unfortunately, I have not thought out a coherent post for the end of this week, but I’m thinking that early next week there will be a post about being inspired by authors and how what inspires you as a reader inspires you as a writer.audiobook eob 2

So, the major highlight of my week is that The Earl of Brass is now available in audiobook! My narrator was fabulous to work with, and he will be narrating The Winter Garden and hopefully every Ingenious Mechanical Devices book after this. If you’d like to check it out, click here.

Half the reason I’m not writing much on my blog is that I am in the thick of writing book 3, The Earl and the Artificer, and hope to get as much done as possible before the semester begins. Currently, I am about 39,600 words into it, and I hope to complete it by the end of the year but hopefully sooner. According to my word count tracking spreadsheet, I’m 31% done with my word count goal of the month (15k), which is shocking to me considering it’s only August 7th (and I haven’t written yet today). The last scene I worked on hit a little too close to home and gave me a literal headache after working on. It still amazes me how much emotion is tied to creation, especially when a scene is so personal and fraught with emotional tension. I just hope I did it justice and that it will come through on the page. Luckily, the next scene involves a lot of action, so that should raise my moral a little.

I’m also nearly done with my companion short story “An Oxford Holiday”. All I need is the final scene and my cover for the ebook. Next week I should be able to post the blurb for it. It has been the magically expanding short story, going from 5k words to 6k to 7k as the target word count. It’s been a lot of fun to write, and it gives you a taste of what Adam and Immanuel will be getting into in the yet untitled book four.

As a final bit of news that isn’t very informative, I picked up these beauties on Amazon as a way to reward myself for going above and beyond my word count goal for July.laura lamI have been trying to get my hands on fantasy books that involve diversity not only in race but sexuality and gender. These two came highly recommended but were rather hard to get my hands on since the author is currently in the process of switching publishers. I cannot wait to read them.

If you would like daily updates about the progress of my third book, I will be live-tweeting my word counts and progress daily on Twitter with the hashtag #Augwritingchallenge and you can find me at @AuthorKaraJ.

So what writing or reading plans do you have for August?

5 Comments

Filed under Writing

July in Review

Starting in January, I decided it would be a good idea to look back at each month and see what I have accomplished in my writing and marketing as well as reflect upon what needs to be improved in the future.

July was an oddly productive month. I’m still trying to wrap my head around how this happened, but I think a good part of it is that I participated in Camp NaNoWriMo, which forced me to be disciplined about my writing routine, and that I made sure to replenish my writing mojo by feeding my creativity with outings and good books.

What I did accomplish:

  1. Wrote 20,000 words of The Earl and the Artificer (The Ingenious Mechanical Devices #3), which equates to about 5 chapters
  2. Met my Camp NaNoWriMo word count goal + 5,000 words
  3. Read Cold Magic (The Spiritwalker Trilogy, #1) by Kate Elliott and Indie Author Survival Guide by Susan Kaye Quinn
  4. Finished proofing the audiobook for The Earl of Brass (IMD #1)
  5. Got the ball rolling on the audiobook for The Winter Garden (IMD #2)
  6. Fixed/”finalized” blurb for The Earl and the Artificer
  7. Balanced writing, fun, and life better

Goals for August:

  1. Write 15,000 words of The Earl and the Artificer
  2. Finish and send “An Oxford Holiday” to my beta readers
  3. Read 2-3 books
  4. Build up my daily word count and work on a plan for when grad school classes start again
  5. Continue to strive to write instead of striving for perfection

For once, I went above and beyond with my goals this month. Usually I find myself groaning when I reread my goals from the previous month because I’ve missed the mark on around half of them. In July, I exceeded my word count goal by 5,000 words, finished my audiobook (which should be available in a week or two), and was still able to read on the side. The Earl and the Artificer is finally cruising along and coming into its own (FINALLY). Seriously, this book was dragging so badly for a while, and it was all me. I needed to get my ducks in a row and really figure out where the story was going. By digging in and plowing through to meet my word count, there was no time to “get stuck” or make excuses as to why I wasn’t writing. Instead of taking a day or two to figure things I out, I consulted the color-coded outline I made and kept on going. One of the things that I think helped a lot was downloading one of these word count tracking spreadsheets. All you do is add the amount of words you wrote that day, and it takes it out of the your monthly or yearly goals. It’s a hundred times better than anything I could have made.

The downside to being so productive with book 3 is that I totally put “An Oxford Holiday” to the side. I’m still about 80% through it, but I need to take a day or two and wrap it before I give it a quick edit and send it off to the beta readers. It will be done by the end of August, but obviously the larger project takes precedence. I also need to convince my cover artist to make me a simplified cover for “An Oxford Holiday”.

This month I turned twenty-four, and I’m incredibly amazed by what I’ve done in the past year. Last year around this time, I had just published my first book and had no idea what I was doing. Now, I feel much more confident in my abilities, and I have two books out and four poems published in different literary magazines. Hopefully by the time I’m twenty-five, I’ll have at least three books out and a few short stories. It still amazes me how far I’ve come in a short space of time and how much I’ve learned. During the month, I hope to read Susan Kaye Quinn’s For Love or Money to add to my knowledge of author entrepreneurship.

While I’m looking forward to August and what I will hopefully accomplish, I know I have lost certain things to my goals. The main thing is cutting back on blog posts, but I’m pretty okay with that. People seem to be responding to my update posts as well as they did my other ones.

To wrap up, I have two posts to make note of:

I’m running a Goodreads giveaway of 2 paperbacks of The Earl of Brass and I did a guest post for the lovely Kate M. Colby about creating realistic characters.


If you would like to know when I’m running promos or have new releases coming up, please consider signing up for my newsletter. I promise, no spam.

newsletter button

Leave a comment

Filed under Monthly Review, Writing