I’m going to admit I have been a bad author lately. Not bad in that I’m not doing any writing, but bad in that I need to do content edits for The Stars Are Infinite, the sequel to When Stars Die. I got them from my publisher and the C.O.O. However, while I have three projects–including this one–going on, I can’t juggle all of them at the same time.
AEC recently advised we submit short stories to magazines that fall in our genre, and that they would do a complementary copy edit. The truth is that I don’t want to do any more paranormal stories after The Stars Trilogy, and I was not in the least bit interested writing a paranormal short story. (I will be doing a novella pertaining to The Stars Trilogy.) Even so, I said I wanted to do it, with a story already burning in my mind. When I looked up who I wanted to submit to, Harmony Ink Press immediately made my list because some magazines do consider 15,000 words short stories, but they consider that a novella. I thought, ‘Hey, this is a great opportunity to get my foot in their door, because I have this other, bigger novel I’m also doing that I want them to consider, and if AEC approves of doing a complementary edit for a 15,000 word thing, then that’s great!’ But as I began to outline it, the more I began to realize I wanted this to turn into something more because HIP put out a call for a very specific type of work they’re looking for: books with asexual/aromantic characters.
When I saw that on their blog, I knew it was going to be longer than 15,ooo, that it had to be, because I want to represent some of the struggles asexuals face, some of the struggles people are completely unaware of, even among those who are asexual. But the book is far more than that. In fact, the MC finds out she’s asexual not even a quarter of the way through the book, and even before that readers know just what is going to define the book, that it is not her asexuality. However, I’m going to start talking more about this in issue 3 of my newsletter and will not start talking about it more until I hopefully get a contract from them. And even if I don’t get the contract, I will be subbing to other places seeking material along these lines. So if you want the scoop before anyone else, it’d be awesome if you signed up for my newsletter. Issue 2 comes out tomorrow. I am super crossing my fingers at this time because I have more faith in it than the other book with an asexual character. I have so much faith in it that I’m going to send Mariah, now a freelance editor, the draft of it when I start content edits for TSAI. I usually revise a book before sending out the draft, and while it’s definitely not perfect, I think it’s something she can handle without her eyes bleeding.
In any case, as I began delving into this book, I was originally going to make it a novella, but HIP doesn’t pay advances for novellas–and you only get published in electronic format and not print. This is when I knew I could push it to be a short novel. This is when I knew that I had to, partly for selfish reasons to get an advance, but also because I really wanted to develop the characters and the main theme of the book. I want to make it just as sweet and heartbreaking as John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. (For the record, there is no cancer.)
But I am also binge writing about 8,000 words a day, so I’m ALMOST 40,000 words into the book, having started it just last week. Just 3,000 words away. The climax will be coming in about a chapter or two, that will last probably one or two chapters or so, and then the resolution, which will be about 2 to 3 chapters. I am absolutely positive that I can get it finished this week. Then content edits for TSAI WILL absolutely occur, because they have to occur, especially if I hope for an end-of-year release or at the most the beginning of 2015.
So I am ultimately prioritizing the draft of this book because HIP put out a call for these very specific characters that I’m writing about. They don’t have any books with asexual characters. In fact, YA doesn’t have too many books with asexual characters you don’t have to analyze to know they’re asexual.
I will I will I will start content edits for TSAI and try to get those done in a week, too.
In other news, I just want to mention that When Stars Die has 78 ratings and 49 reviews, on Goodreads at a 4.29 rating. If you haven’t picked up your copy, what are you waiting for? It’s a YA paranormal that can be best compared to The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, especially because of the extreme religious fanaticism expressed in Amelia’s world.