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Monday, May 30, 2011

Book 3 Cover Debut!

I am happy to finally be able to debut the cover art for book 3 of The Gateway Chronicles! The background color for this book will be white, just as it appears here. I must give props to my fantastic artists (and new high school graduates) Mariah Lawrence, Hannah Pryor, and Bethany Carter who have designed all three of the new covers for me. It will be several months yet, but when The White Thread goes up for sale, I will add this image to the sidebar with a hyperlink for easy purchase on Amazon.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

First Summer Update

Even though I was able to get a little scattered writing done last week, I have officially begun my writing schedule and this is, therefore, my first official summer update. I will admit that I was very tempted to take a nap this afternoon instead of writing (that's what being at the park in the hot sun with two small children all morning will do to you), but I made myself a cup of coffee and decided to power through it. I started off well today! I had already written about two thirds of my first chapter, so I finished that off and got well on my way through my second chapter, totalling about 7 1/2 pages for the afternoon. That puts me on track with my writing schedule, so I'm pleased. I've introduced a few new characters already and am busily fleshing out the old. It's fun to be able to write Darcy and company more as teenagers now rather than as middle schoolers. There's a whole other dynamic that goes into the character development. I'm also working hard to make Darcy more likeable this time around. Not that that was off track with my original plan, but I realized recently that one of the reasons why I made Darcy so unlikeable in the first book (and the second, although hopefully not to the same degree) is because she is so heavily based on ME at that age, and I really didn't like myself at that age. So, enough with the self-deprecation! My heroine now needs to be loved! But, again, this works in with my original plan and what I think is a natural character development for her at this time. Hopefully it all works out!

Monday, May 23, 2011


Well, I finished all my grading for the year, and although school isn't officially out until Thursday and I have to work until Friday... I just decided to go ahead and start writing The White Thread. Surprise! I had no plans of doing this until about midday today, but I'm really glad that I did. I won't say that I didn't spend a good deal of time staring blankly at my computer screen, because I did, but I also got a lot written for my first day out (4 pages) and I'm feeling really good about how it's flowing. Picking up the (figurative) pen and writing about Darcy, Sam, and Lewis again is like greeting old friends. Okay, I have to go because my husband and I have a movie to catch, but I just wanted to give that quick update!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

One Week to Go

My last post was something of a downer, so I thought I should be more upbeat this time around. I'm excited to think about writing The White Thread this summer, and I only have one more week until I begin that process. I am also somewhat nervous, though. I have something of a "block" regarding certain aspects of this installment, and I'm also concerned about making ring composition fit for this story. Realistically, though, I'll probably do what I always do: take a deep breath, and start writing. Usually once I get going, the words just flow. I'm going to set myself this summer at 7 pages a day, but it's more likely that I'll write between 10 and 12... we'll see. The sooner I get the draft done, the sooner I can start the revisions and editing process, and the sooner I can get a final product out. We are not traveling anywhere this summer (thanks to the stupendous gas prices), so I won't have any major interruptions. All things considered, I think it's going to be a good summer to be an independent author!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Reflections on Rejection

The agency that was reviewing my manuscripts for the past couple months unfortunately decided to pass on pursuing a representative relationship with me. So, I'm left to reflect on being rejected, yet again. Here's the thing, though, the publishing industry is a very difficult industry, and I've often commented to people that getting an agent or an "official" publisher is rather like trying to get discovered in Hollywood. That being said, I'm not trying to bellyache, I just want to be honest about how I, an independent author, respond to this sort of experience, because perhaps it will help some of you out there who are just beginning your publishing journeys. I have been here before, but unfortunately this time is particularly discouraging. I had a very good referral to this agency, and it still wasn't good enough. Unfortunately, too, I happened to have a very bad day yesterday (having experienced something that I hope I will never have to experience again) and got home to open my e-mail and discover that the agent had finally e-mailed me back after having my manuscripts for almost three months. Now, obviously there is no way that he could have known the sort of day that I had had, but I had to shake my head at the extreme irony of the situation. Sometimes things just work out like that. Anyhow, he was very kind in "letting me down easy" and gave me a few recommendations for other agents to query, but I just don't know if I have the energy to start over from square one again (not right now, at least). Once upon a time I would have questioned my ability to write or tell a good story, but I don't do that anymore. My abilities as a storyteller and writer have already been confirmed by my readership (whom I love very, very dearly!), many of whom have contacted me spontaneously over the past two years to express their delight over my books. Some of my students are so enthusiastic about my stories that they pester me weekly to start writing book 3 already! I know that I write stories that teenagers want to read, so why is it that the professionals don't agree? I just don't know... it's rather puzzling to me. I can only conclude that this particular agency simply wasn't the right match for me. I do not thumb my nose at them or anything of that sort. I still have every respect for them as an agency. If all I ever become is a local "celebrity" (using that term VERY loosely), then that is good enough for me. It was a great joy for me to help some of my students write their outside reading reports on my books this month, and I will be happy to keep on doing that year after year. From here I will just keep plugging along. I will start writing book 3 in two weeks and will have the rough draft completed by the first week of August. I continue to sell a few books every week, and I hope to get a few more book signings set up over the summer, as well. I plan on unveiling the cover for book 3 in June, so keep on the lookout for that! You are going to love it.

In totally unrelated news, my brother the game designer, Dennis Hoyle, is unveiling his debut card game tonight! It's an award-winning card game called Drop Site and you can preorder it at

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Little Business

The school year is running down and I am counting the days until I will begin official work on The White Thread. (20 days from today!) I'm going to start the process of reviewing and organizing my notes, especially those which I took over spring break. Once I start writing, I will try to have weekly updates on my process. Also, I'm considering converting my Gateway Chronicles group on facebook into a page so as to make it public rather than private. I think that this could help me market my books more effectively and gain a wider exposure. I will happily take any advice, however! Okay, that's all for now. I've been writing about Greek philosophers all night for school and I'm burned out. Night!