Thursday, February 27, 2014

Where You Can Get the Starter Guide for Professional Writers

I'm happy to announce that The Starter Guide for Professional Writers is now available at most online retailers!

The Starter Guide for Professional Writers contains everything to know so that you can begin earning money for your writing. Ten chapters address every stage of writing, revising, releasing, and promoting your first (or second, or third) published story, including what you need to: 

  • Defeat writer's block and finish your story 
  • Revise to make the strongest manuscript possible  
  • Find markets for your writing and keep track of your submissions 
  • Concisely and engagingly describe your story to agents, editors, and readers 
  • Query agents, submit to a small press, or self-publish 
  • Avoid scammers disguised as agents and publishers 
  • Advertise your work with everything from an author's website (and learn who actually reads your blog!) to promotional bookmarks with the help of a full marketing plan 
The Starter Guide offers an on-the-ground view of publishing and focuses on using inexpensive resources (after all, writers should make money off their writing, not pay for it!). Covering everything from how best to use a thesaurus to how to handle editor deadlines, its holistic perspective builds skills writers will use at every stage of their careers.

Throughout, I try to explain how things look from a complete beginner’s perspective, maintaining a conversational, and in places even humorous, style. I hope this holds your attention and keeps you from feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff there is to know about publishing. Even I was surprised by how much I had to share once I started writing!

The paperback, printed through CreateSpace, and the Kindle version are available through Amazon and its international sites: (Print) 

For those of you resisting Amazon's creeping tyranny over the world--or who simply, like me, own a Nook--the Starter Guide is also at Barnes and Noble.

And in the iTunes bookstore!

You can download the ebook in virtually all formats directly from Smashwords, too.

Because Createspace gives a more generous royalty rate for direct purchases, I figured I'd pass some of that generosity on to you. If you pick up a copy of the Guide through the Createspace store, use the discount code A4ZBCGSH for $2.00 off the cover price.

I'm also offering ebook downloads of the Starter Guide as part of a gig on great place to look if you're also interested in picking up my editorial services on the cheap!

The Guide is also on Goodreads and LibraryThing.

Smashwords will continue to distribute copies of the Guide to other retailers, and I intend to update this post as new links go live. If you've seen a link in the wild, or noticed one of the ones I've posted here isn't working anymore, please shoot me an email or let me know in the comments. Thanks so much!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Veterans of Future Wars release

My short story "Ayema's Fleet" has been reprinted in the Veterans of Future Wars anthology from Martinus Publishing. As with the Battlespace anthology "Ayema's Fleet" first appeared in, VFW is for a good cause--10% of proceeds from the anthology go to Disabled American Veterans.

I've done an interview with anthology editor Martin T. Ingham, which can be read here. And the anthology itself is available in print and ebook at and Barnes & Noble.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Kobo Coincidence

In a sort of amusing coincidence, Aqua Vitae appears in the Kobo search right above Night Train to Rigel, the novel I read just before writing AV and which certainly jogged my brain on the interplanetary tourism elements. A family reunion of sorts. 
(The Starter Guide still isn’t available in all sites, although it is in the Smashwords premium catalog since it’s only a matter of time. Checking where it is available was my actual reason for this ego search today.) 

Monday, February 10, 2014

One Year Later

I started this blog on February 9, 2013. Reading back over my first few posts, it's tempting to think about how far I've come since then.

Clever, hardworking college graduate seeks job...finds one? 

When I started Story Addict, I had just moved to Washington, D.C. for one last semester before graduation. Like most new graduates, I was concerned about making the shift to a young professional. To be honest, I still am. And I'm still feeling out the specifics. Over the past year, I have experience with the "grown up" workplace--I've worked as a Knowledge Management intern writing case studies that went to the Inter-American Development Bank, I've managed social media and offsite sales for a Fair Trade boutique, and I've learned more about the life of a social media, writing, & editing freelancer. Which I'm doing right now. I've found that I love the process of editing--and I'm really good at it--plus I enjoy the freedom of freelancing, being able to set my own hours and work on a wide variety of unique and interesting projects.

Currently I'm considering going for a copyeditor's certificate (while I can proofread basic grammar usage, I am primarily a word choice and developmental editor, and have not yet internalized Strunk & White nor any specific style guide). If I do choose to work as a freelance writer and editor fulltime--effectively leaving my DC job search in the nonprofit sphere--I'll probably move back to Wisconsin. There's no reason to sustain a Washingtonian cost of living when I telecommute. There are plenty of contacts I'll want to maintain--not to mention friends, who I will really miss. Part of the reason I've put off thinking seriously about moving back is how much I've enjoyed building a social circle in Washington. It's a delightfully geeky, brainiac social circle. But I have geeky friends at home, too, and I know members of my family remaining in Wisconsin would like to have me closer, especially after the difficult year 2013 was.

2013 was also a year of travel--my first time in a foreign country, as well as lots of hopping around to California, the Midwest, and one trip to Las Vegas (for a funeral, unfortunately). Keeping friends on every side of the continent will be earning me frequent flier miles in the future, to say the least, but I am really okay with that. It'd probably be the decent thing for me to start buying carbon offsets, though, after what I've learned about carbon emissions in the Washington Semester.

Writing and Crowdfunding

Hopping back to the writing: even as I interned this summer, I spent a lot of time focused on writing projects and communication. This perhaps should have been a hint. My two big projects of last year were crowdfunding campaigns, two of which earned more than $1,000 each--a charitable one through IndieGoGo, and crowdfunding for self-publishing the Starter Guide through Kickstarter. Then, of course, writing the Starter Guide. I've average about 150,000 written words a year since high school, and 2013 was no exception, but 97,000 of those words were in the Starter Guide. I wrote only a handful of short stories--but the ones I did write, I enjoyed extremely. Plus I did a lot more nonfiction writing than usual (unless school assignments count--and I won't have to do those again for a while!), including 74 posts on this very blog!

Meanwhile, I also dabbled in romance--under a separate name, as usual, which I try to keep disassociated from this one. This means as much as half of what I'm doing with writing happens "under the water," so to speak, and this blog is only the tip of a very deep iceberg indeed.

News on a Series of Series
When I first started this blog, it was partly to keep track of three (or four?) series of interconnected stories. All of these series are close to completion, with only a handful of stories left to go in each.

A Dark and Wonderful History still has 4 more stories to write--two more than I had in February 2013. The reason for the apparent backslide is that my concluding piece, "Sanction," was broken into two, with less pressure on either half (trying to combine shapeshifters, Fascists, a crumbling monarchy, minor miracles, and angels into one story was becoming strained). "The Imperial Engine" will be taking up some of the burden. I still haven't finished the Frankensteinean historical "Homunculus' Mother," either, and I now have on last story to fill in the gap that comes after "The Godslayer's Wife." Finally the Godswar will be told, by a woman who adds a refreshing perspective, I hope, to round out the cast of this series.

I finished one more story in Across the Curse-Strewn World--"For Lost Time," which was sold to Beneath Ceaseless Skies for publication sometime in 2014. Just this past month I've completed the third and final story, "The Grace of Turning Back." I still have two more stories, prequels of sorts, to round it out, plus a short/flash fiction taking place in the same world. Writing "The Grace of Turning Back" may have made me cry at a few points. Meanwhile, "For Lost Time" includes a journey to the Kingdom of the Dead, a nation in exile, and an entertaining digression on who people do and do not dance with.

I haven't gotten very far with Heart's Kindred at all, and the series is on a back burner for now. I did sell some of the completed stories in the series--"An Honorable Aunt" to Silver Blade and "Through the Father Range" to Alban Lake. I have one short story ("Uncle Ouvin") and two novellas to finish, all big propositions with many new and old characters and several crucial decision points for protagonists Rathan and Anweth. Plus, I'm not quite sure how to defeat the monster in "Ouvin" yet, even with the help of the two spymistresses.

A fourth short series, "Wizards Among Us" (as I've nicknamed my collection of stories setting "in this world or slightly askew"), received a bit of love as I reworked "The Family." I've also touched at wider worldbuilding issues for several individual stories. I may release the full collection in an ebook in a few years--time will tell. In 2013 I also worked on a number of science fictional stories and saw publications in venues like Daughters of Icarus, Perihelion, and Scigentasy. As I may have forgotten to mention, "The Astrologer's Telling," which received an honorable mention in the Dell Magazines Undergraduate Excellence, has been accepted for forthcoming publication from Daily Science Fiction! 

I haven't written any new stories in the setting of One Hundred Days (I do have one yet unpublished, "Close Study," which shows some backstory of a crucial character in the novel and introduces one character I just really like a lot). I did complete on-paper revisions, and am currently making my way through something like the third-and-a-half draft. This, I tell myself, as I do each February, will be the year I really, really finish it.

I did reprint a number of stories last year, and I hope to do some more in 2014. If you find any "dead links" in my Publications List, do send me a note and I'll amend them.

By the way, if you're interested in One Hundred Days, The Starter Guide for Professional Writers, or my short stories, you can arrange to get email updates on their publication status by asking to hear "When Your Next Book Comes Out" through my Newsletter.

Last but hardly least, I've made it to Level 10 in GetYeDone, though I've recently stopped listing minor tasks on the website in favor of tracking them on paper.

Monday, February 3, 2014


The Starter Guide ebook rewards to my crowdfunding campaign supporters have been sent out! I expect to receive the proof print copy later this week and complete my spot-check for typos in a bout of feverish editing.

Speaking of feverish editing, I've been so wrapped up in the Guide and other projects that I missed the date when my story went live at the Lorelei Signal!

In the Lorelei Signal's Quarter 1 Issue, "In the Mirror" appears in print for the first time since its debut in Silver Blade magazine in 2009. I appear alongside a great TOC, including not least my sister Megan's "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea." And check out the marvelous artwork by Marge Simon!

The combined content of the Lorelei Signal and Sorcerous Signals, WolfSinger's two online magazines, appear in print together in Mystic Signals, which is now available through the Createspace store.