Camp NaNoWriMo & Progress Report

Camp NanoWriMo

I swore I’d never do it again, but here I am, signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo in April. My goal is a very modest 20k words to be used to finish my current project, which is a total rewrite of an as yet unnamed story that was previously published using the title A Dream Come True. The story is undergoing such a complete revision that it deserves a new title. I am not merely editing the existing words. I’ve got the old story open as a guideline as I rewrite it in 1st-person from a single POV (Mike’s). The old version was in 3rd-person alternating POV. The gist of the story remains the same, but a number of details are also changing.

I will be doing the same thing for Another Dream, and Dreaming of You, for which I plan a bit of an expansion from novelette to short novel length.

Cultivating Love - Cover

I recently finished my facelift to Cultivating Love, which also includes an expansion from Novella to short novel length with the addition of about 6k words. The contract for the first edition with Loose ID runs through June 9th. They’ve acknowledged receipt of my notification that I won’t be renewing again this year. Presumably the first edition will be available through that date, but I don’t know for sure, so if you want a copy of that edition you’ll need to get on it before then. The revised and expanded second edition will become available at JMS Books, LLC on June 24th in ebook format, and on June 30th in print format. I don’t have the new cover yet, but I’ll share it once I do.


Camp NanoWriMo

Projects, projects, projects…

What have I been up to lately? I have not yet started on a brand new story, but I’ve been busy, nonetheless.

As previously mentioned, I’m working on overhauling my earliest stories with an eye toward putting them up on Kindle Unlimited (then eventually all the distributors). The old versions have all been taken down. So far I’ve made progress on Snapshots, a collection of all ten of my early short stories. Some of them have needed significant updating.

Muscular Men, perfect body, abs, six pack. Strong athletic guy in jeans showing his abs. Bodybuilding, sport, fitness ,workout, active lifestyle concept.

It’s slow going, since I don’t think I’ll be able to concentrate on other writing projects until edits for To Love and to Cherish are done. That story is determined to dominate my thoughts until it’s completely in the can. Speaking of To Love and to Cherish, I expect to be able to show the cover and advertise a release date (beyond “sometime in November”) sometime early this coming week.

promo-08-1200-x-628-fb

But, as you can see, although I can’t seem to concentrate on words, I’ve been busy having fun making covers for the overhauled stories. The Dreams Do Come True series covers, below, are for the overhauled and renamed versions of A Dream Come TrueAnother Dream, and Dreaming of You. I feel like the extent of the updates justifies fresh names, although I’ll make sure it’s known in the listings that they are previously published stories so as not to mislead anyone.

I’ve purchased the rights for the royalty-free images, so those won’t change. Who knows, though…between now and when the stories are ready for release I may still fiddle with the effects and/or fonts. I’m pretty happy with them, though.

The images fit the stories well, I think. Wes is a doctor. Although it’s somewhat hidden behind the title, the model in the first cover has a stethoscope around his neck. Marty is a construction worker. Quinn is just a goofball.

How are these stories related? Why are they a series? Marty is Mike’s uncle, mentioned but not seen in the first book. The characters from the first story are revisited in the second. Trevor was Marty’s occasional boy-toy before he met Larry, but thought (or at least hoped) to be more. Needless to say, Trevor was a bit bitter when Marty ended up with Larry.

Since I’m reworking so many stories, I figured my website needed a little overhaul, too (restructuring under the “My Publications” tab in the menu, anyway). Hopefully you’ll find it logical and easy to navigate, since that was the goal.

What else? I’ve been thinking about ’Til Death Do Us Part lately, and how I’d love for it to be available as an audiobook. That option remains with the authors at my small publisher, so if it’s going to be done, it’s up to me. I don’t have the big bucks available to pay for producing it upfront, and–let’s face it–although the book was very well-received by most reviewers, it’s not popular enough sales-wise to attract a producer for a royalty split deal.

til_death_do_us_part_400x600

Therefore, it’s author narrated or bust! I’ve been playing around with Apple’s Garageband app, and have completed a draft of the prologue. A few people are going to give me their valued opinions on that before I proceed. My voice isn’t particularly girly so I think it’ll be acceptable for an M/M story. I’m actually pretty happy with my narration voice, but I’m pretty sure one critique will be for me to work on better differentiating voices for the dialogue. I was hoping to distinguish them by playing with the effects on the tracks separated out for each character, but I don’t think that’s going to cut it. I’ve gotten comfortable with the app, though, and it’ll be a breeze to tweak passages here and there without having to redo entire sections.

Update: What I’m Doing…

It’s coming along. As I mentioned in a post a week and a half ago, my next project is to overhaul my self-published second editions. I guess it’s no longer my next project, it’s my current project.

I’ve now officially unpublished the books from all vendors. It might take a few weeks for them to disappear from all the Smashwords distributors, but it’s just a matter of time.

The overhauling process has only just begun. It’s been a while since I’ve had the gumption to reread those old stories, and I’ve got to say, it’s eye-opening. Clearly, I’ve learned a lot about how to properly tell a story since I first started putting words to paper.

I’ve only completed the overhaul on two of the short stories so far. The Dreams overhaul might end up involving some more significant changes affecting the storylines, but the shorts will remain mostly the same in essence, although the telling of the stories will be improved.

Born to Be Wild was the first to be reworked. Cute story…I really do like it. But, damn, it was one of my earliest efforts. Let’s just say that many changes were made to my wording choices. King Kong vs. The Skinny Pirate, on the other hand, was the last thing I ever wrote before my long hiatus. I’d already worked with the wonderful development editor (at that time) at Loose ID as I whipped Cultivating Love into shape. I learned so much from that wonderful woman. Anyway, I only tweaked maybe two dozen words in the King Kong short. It was already in fantastic shape. I still love that story.

I’m going to miss a few of the covers I’d made for the short stories. I always thought the Moving Along cover was cute, and I really liked the one for Dropping Quarters. The ones I was most proud of were King Kong vs. The Skinny Pirate and Photo Shoot. Those were each made from three separate images…the backgrounds plus two forward images (as well as some fun with lighting and framing in Photo Shoot).

The apps I have now won’t allow me quite that much manipulation–or if they will, I haven’t figured them out yet–so I’m going with single images for the new ones. I’ve already had fun mocking up covers for those future releases, but I haven’t purchased the images yet. I’ll share them once I’ve made my final decisions and put them together.

Old Covers Collage - 1148 x 600

Plans

I’ve finished writing To Love and to Cherish, the story where Nash from ’Til Death Do Us Part gets his Happily Ever After. Look for it in November at JMS Books. I’ll share the cover and the specific release date when I have them.

So what’s my next project? I’m going to overhaul all my earliest stories and upload them to KDP Select, including Kindle Unlimited for however long that deal requires–90 days?–then I’ll probably upload them to all the usual distributors.

The books in question are my Dream series books (A Dream Come True, Another Dream, and Dreaming of You), and my short stories. Currently the Dream series books are together in a trilogy. I plan to separate them once again. The short stories are currently all being sold separately. I plan to put them all together into a collection.

I’ll remove their present incarnations from all the distributor sites probably some time this week. I’ll keep you posted on the status of the overhauls. It could be significant. I love all the stories, but I know I can tell them better now than I could when I first started writing.

Old Covers Collage - 1148 x 600

Once I’m done with that project I’ll start on another new story. I haven’t decided yet whether to give Nash a little more drama, possibly give Henry and Sam some more obstacles to overcome, or begin something completely new. I’ve got an idea or two brewing, so we’ll see. 🙂

Seductive Studs #06

The Seductive Studs Blog Hop is a weekly #bloghop for authors, readers, and bloggers of M/M Romance. Click on the blue froggy button located right below the snippet to hop around to this week’s other #SedStud posts. The posts should each include either: 100-150 word excerpt, review, or post about an M/M Romance in the works or already published.

18172146

This week I’m going to give you 157 words from Dreaming of You, the third story in my Dreams TrilogyDreaming of You is a novelette length story originally published at eXcessica before being incorporated into the trilogy when the contracts for the first two books in the collection expired.

This excerpt follows immediately after the one I posted last week, in which Quinn approached Trevor at a bar and struck up a conversation.

“Trevor choked. And sputtered. Was Quinn obtuse? He certainly had some big hairy balls.

“What are you, insane as well as a liar? Leave me the hell alone. You’ve done enough damage.”

Trevor turned back to his beer, determined to simply ignore Quinn until the man left. Except Quinn didn’t leave. He settled in with a beer of his own and then had the nerve to bring up the issue himself.

“So you have a thing for that Marty fella, don’t you?”

“Fuck off.”

“What, you don’t want to fuck me anymore?”

Christ. “Leave me the hell alone, Quinn.”

“I hate to be the bearer of bad news, Trevor, but Marty loves that Larry dude. Larry’s a nice enough little guy. They seem like a pretty sweet couple to me.”

That was too much. Trevor spun to face Quinn. “That why you made out with the little cheater in the restroom then lied to Marty about it?”

Don’t forget to click the blue froggy button to hop on to another Seductive Studs post!

Divider

Dreaming of You – Blurb

Trevor’s upset when the man he’s been chasing for years chooses another. He’d come to terms with losing Marty, but his hopes had been recently renewed and freshly dashed. While he’s trying to drown his sorrows, the man he considers to be the cause of his distress approaches him.

When Quinn startles Trevor with an insightful revelation, will Trevor be able to put aside their differences and give love another chance?

Dreams

Seductive Studs #05

The Seductive Studs Blog Hop is a weekly #bloghop for authors, readers, and bloggers of M/M Romance. Click on the blue froggy button located right below the snippet to hop around to this week’s other #SedStud posts. The posts should each include either: 100-150 word excerpt, review, or post about an M/M Romance in the works or already published.

18172146

This week I’m going to give you 122 words from Dreaming of You, the third story in my Dreams TrilogyDreaming of You is a novelette length story originally published at eXcessica before being incorporated into the trilogy once the contracts for the first two books in the trilogy expired.

In this little excerpt Trevor is sitting at a bar when he’s approached by Quinn, a man who’d contributed to the end of Trevor’s dreams at the end of book 2 in the trilogy.

“Hey there.” The voice was irritatingly cheerful. “Trevor, isn’t it?”

“Fuck you, Quinn.”

Trevor didn’t bother turning to look at the man but could sense his continued presence. Fuck. Most men would know enough to leave someone the hell alone after a greeting like that, but not Quinn. Fuck no. Fucking cowboy just stood there.

Scratch that. He sat down on the next barstool.

“Well now, I guess I could take it as a good sign that you know my name.”

Christ. Trevor turned to level a scorching look at his new arch enemy. “And do you take the ‘fuck you’ as a good sign too—Quinn?”

Quinn had the audacity to look puzzled but grinned through it. “Was it a request?”

Don’t forget to click the blue froggy button to hop on to another Seductive Studs post!

Divider

Dreaming of You – Blurb

Trevor’s upset when the man he’s been chasing for years chooses another. He’d come to terms with losing Marty, but his hopes had been recently renewed and freshly dashed. While he’s trying to drown his sorrows, the man he considers to be the cause of his distress approaches him.

When Quinn startles Trevor with an insightful revelation, will Trevor be able to put aside their differences and give love another chance?

Dreams