Category Archives: Coffee & Ghosts

Weekly writing check-in: some really large print

Is it War and Peace or Coffee and Ghosts?

Another week where I make all the things. Well, two things.

I received proof copies for both The Complete Coffee and Ghosts and the large print version of Must Love Ghosts.

Just look at the size of The Complete Coffee and Ghosts! It’s like War and Peace, only with a lot less Napoleon and the burning of Moscow and more … coffee and ghosts.

I’m also pleased that I can create large print editions now as well, and one of my goals for this coming week is to get books two and three into the large print format.

This week, I also did some more revision work on The Trouble with Necromancers.

Not only that, but I tackled the taxes, and they’re (almost) ready to go to the accountant.

Not a bad week here in blustery, snowy, cold Minnesota.

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Weekly writing check-in: polar vortex and editing

The only way to deal with the polar vortex

Oh, it was cold here this week. I think it got down to -29, without the windchill. And, yes, the only way to handle the polar vortex is to bundle up and nap.

In writing news this week, I have the edits back for The Trouble with Necromancers. So I’m switching gears to work on that because the changes I make in the first book will naturally spill into the second.

The changes I need to make? Ahem. I need to make sure the story in my head is actually on the page. To solve this issue, I asked myself: What if Poppy (the main character) knew something about the antagonist from the very start of the story?

The single question opened up not only this novel but the entire series. I’m so excited to dig in and make those changes. In related news, I now have a post-it note next to my computer that says:

Stop being sneaky.

Here’s the thing about getting an edit. You don’t necessarily need to take the editor’s suggestions (although you may want to). You do need to look at the issues and address them in some way. Maybe that way is not to delete or change but amplify. A good edit helps you see your blind spots.

In audio news, I think I’m a step closer to securing the narrator I want for Coffee & Ghosts. More on that when it’s official.

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Free Fiction Friday: Pikko’s House Book Lovers Box

This is a really cool idea. It’s a subscription box without any of the clutter. Sign up to receive this month’s spooky subscription box filled with spooks and ghouls (and possibly some coffee and ghosts), plenty of free books and deals on many others.

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Free Fiction Friday: The Drabblecast

Exciting news! The Drabblecast is back!

The full relaunch is in the fall, but you can head on over and listen to the backlist stories, including Ghost in the Coffee Machine. (Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the audio.)

I love this audio production. It has sound effects! And music! And artwork.

If you enjoy both speculative fiction and the audio format, be sure to click through and give The Drabblecast a listen.

It’s good to have them back.

 

 

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Weekly writing check-in: Diving in

Hamilton, the (possibly magical) cat

This week, I jumped feet first into the revision. First up, I created a book map, which is essentially a list of all the chapters and scenes in the draft.

Or, in my case, just a list of scenes, since I figure out the chapters at a later point.

From there, I made another list, this one of all the big events. I looked at what might happen if I moved some of those big events around, and had a couple of Oh! That might happen! moments. Those are always nice.

As I’m looking at the big pieces, I’m also working through the exercises in Donald Maass’ The Emotional Craft of Fiction (and so far I’m really, really liking it).

Finally, I drafted a description of the story, which might not be a final description. Mind you, it might not be the description at all. Also, the story doesn’t have a title yet or the series a name. I’m kind of hoping one will magically drop from the sky as I work my way through the revision.

Five years ago, Poppy Jones left the necromancer community and all its ghosts. Now she’s back, degree in hand, homeless, jobless, and nursing an aching heart. She’s seeking the solace only a big brother can give.

When her brother vanishes—suspiciously and without a trace—only Poppy is concerned. As she pieces together clues to this current mystery, one from the past seduces her.

Jasper Riley, the sinfully sexy warlock, might hold the key to both mysteries. His professional opinion, as a private investigator, is that she doesn’t have a case, never mind a missing person’s one.

That’s before someone breaks into her home, before Poppy stops a supernatural onslaught with her bare hands, before either one of them realizes she’s a witch.

Even with the help of Jasper, his ex-girlfriend, and a (possibly magical) cat, Poppy may be too late. Because her brother has crossed a line, crossed the wrong necromancer, and may have crossed over to a place Poppy can’t reach.

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Weekly writing check-in: Switching Gears

Oscar in his natural habitat

So, here I am, working on the fairytale series. About 5,000 words in, I realize that I haven’t completed all the world building. Mind you, I thought I had. But I’m running into things that I’m not quite sure about. Is it in a pseudo-Middle Ages, Grimm brothers Germany? Or is it more like Charles Perrault’s France?

See? This is something I should know. Beyond this, as I was writing, I also realized that there are other forces in this particular fantasy world that I hadn’t accounted for either.

Decision? Let it compost a bit more.

So I’m switching gears and diving back into the Coffee and Ghosts spin-off series.

I looked structure of that this week, I reread the manuscript, and used dictation this time around to take notes.

So instead of a half a page of strange cryptic notations that I don’t understand later on, I ended up with about 2000 words of excellent story notes.

Whenever I do a read-through, I always tell myself oh I’ll remember this. Thing is? I never do. With this new way, I have lots of notes to begin with. Granted, I do have to deal with things like:

Necromancer sunsets fuel the story.

But I keep the audio files until I have a chance to review the transcription. That way, if I can’t figure something out, I can listen to it.

I made a list of things that needed expansion and additional research. I swear, three books and two documentaries landed in my lap. Just like that.

I think this is the universe’s way of telling me I’m on the right track.

 

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Filed under Coffee & Ghosts, Reading, Reading & Writing, The dog, Weekly Writing Check In, Writing

Weekly writing check-in: the one with the BookBub

So my BookBub for the first season of Coffee and Ghosts went out on Monday.

Yeah. Deep breath. I get it now. I totally get it. So worth it. I was in the black by Wednesday from sell-through from the rest of the series. It can be hard and uncomfortable casting a wider net for readership. But it has been an amazing week. I’m so excited I’ve found readers who seem equally excited about Coffee and Ghosts.

The book peaked at #5 in the Amazon free store, made the top free list on Apple (when I thought to check, it was at #14, and that was the following day), as well as on Kobo. It’s the little series that could.

If I have one regret, it’s that Darcy isn’t here to see this. She loved this series so, so much. She would’ve been thrilled that it landed a BookBub.

In other news, I’ve been finishing up a Coffee and Ghosts short story as an exclusive bonus for everyone on my mailing list. I’ll be sending it out soon. It is … very silly. After all, the tagline is:

There’s no business like ghost business.

Want a copy? Just sign up for my mail list, and it will land in your inbox in the next week or so.

 

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