First print release! – What Angels Fear

I’d intended to post about this last week and failed.  As of 17 March 2012, my first print book (novella), What Angels Fear went live on Createspace and

It was actually not all that hard to put together, but I chose to publish this smaller piece first so I could get used to the formatting demands and the processes of Createspace as a POD service.  My overall experience with Createspace was actually really good and the finished product is very, very nice.  The cover (which is built on one of their stock templates) turned out awesome and the interior looks great in my opinion.

I’m very pleased with the result, which is available for $4.95 (plus shipping) via the links above.  It’s 122 pages and includes a raw preview of my next print release.

The next book I plan to release in print is Awakenings book one, which comprises the first year of postings on the project.  It’s twelve chapters plus a prologue and an epilogue; since I’m going to print the “deluxe” edition rather than the “basic” edition, there will be extra features such as a FAQ and an essay about working on the project.  These are coming together as I edit the raw text of the web serial into (what I hope is) a very readable book format.  As it stands, the trade paperback will be around 370 pages, though that number will shrink and grow as I edit and format the book to my liking.

The cover of Awakenings will be my first fully designed print cover, which I dearly hope will look awesome, and will be my first title distributed beyond Createspace and Amazon.

Kind of scary and exciting, huh?

Hello, my name is Erin, and I write character-driven fiction.

Confession time: I write character-driven fiction.  The characters are my stars, not the plot, not a world, not a concept.  I’m interested in the stories these people I make up in my head have to tell me, and I bank on readers being as interested in them as I am.

Maybe it’s the longtime roleplayer in me that causes that.  I can’t be sure.

I think about these things from time to time, but it wasn’t until a recent review in the @SciYourFi blog that I realized how much I invest in characters over the plots driving them, over everything swirling around them.  The review was of my first full-length ebook, Epsilon: Broken Stars, and the major takeaways for me as a writer were to make sure that all of the little things that struck the reviewer as “odd” pay of in the second book (Redeemer, forthcoming, release date unknown but probably in the spring or summer) and that the reviewer got interested in the personal stories of the cast.  That’s fantastic, because I’ve been in love with their stories for a long time (well, Aaron/Wil and Caren’s, anyhow).

Side note: Of course the review also sent me scrambling to figure out some formatting errors, which I think I fixed but could certainly be wrong on that count.  A full page-through of the Smashwords version is on my to-do list (I have been avoiding it so the story could settle in my brain–so I could get really, really used to the idea of it being “finished”).

Chris George, as I recall, said something similar about Awakenings in his review of it at the Web Fiction Guide–the saga centers less around the end of the world and more about how the young men and women left behind handle that event.  I’m sure eventual reviews of The Last Colony will say the same thing: that the story centers on the people reacting to and causing events in their universe.

My name is Erin, and I write character-based fiction.  It’s what I do.  I’ve got a bunch of worlds, and these worlds are peopled with characters I love (or, in cases such as with Casey Flannery and D’Arcy Morgause, love to hate).

You can find Erin on GoodReads these days @ And on Smashwords @

And Amazon @

She offers two free fiction serials @ and  Stop on by and check it out.

The schedule update: I’m so failing at this

It seems that When All’s Said and Done simply refuses to be written.  I’ve hit a particularly sticky situation near the very beginning of the piece that I just can’t seem to plow through–but perhaps a weekend off from the store will help me press onward.

Of course, the schedule is also getting shuffled around, thanks to a decision I came to regarding The Last Colony.  Instead of straight ebook release, I’m releasing it as a serial, one chapter a week, at — the first two posts went up on January 1.  It will update Sundays and is the first book of the Legacies of the Lost Earth series.  I’ll probably release the ebook version before the full serial is posted (thanks again to A.M. Harte for that suggestion).

Looking forward to my forthcoming weekend off from the store, which will leave me time and flexibility to write.  I see a trip to Starbucks for a few hours on Thursday in my future.

Awakenings Book 1 was completed on January 1 with the Epilogue post.  Book 2 began today, 2 January 2012.  I’m starting to claw my way back on-schedule with that (which is to say that I’m no longer scrambling to write a post within forty-eight hours of it needing to be posted).  Hopefully I’ll be able to maintain that pace.

Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Schedule updates

As much as I really, really hate to do it, I’m going to have to make some significant changes to my writing schedule and my overall goaling.  This is largely due to a major uptick in the hours I’ve been working at the store–which are, in fact, incredibly insane hours as well as being very large in quantity.  I’ve gone from the 10-20 hours I was working two months ago, when I started releasing my work in ebook form, to working nearly 40 hours a week (add in an hour at either end to each 7-9 hour shift for transit time as well) and fighting a constant battle to not completely lose my sanity.

This, of course, means that my writing has suffered a bit of a setback.  I’m probably getting more writing done in the amount of time that I have to do it, but the time I’ve got to do it has been slashed severely.  This may change after the holidays, but I’m going to be perfectly honest and say that there’s no way humanly possible to finish the rewrite of When All’s Said and Done by 1/15/12.  I might be able to get the full draft of Epsilon: Redeemer done by then (the first 50K came in November–but since then, the story’s expanded beyond what I anticipated and the timeline itself for the universe has gotten twisted around a bit) and if I push I might even be able to finish the first draft of The Last Colony (more on that in a second) by the end of the month, but beyond that, it’s not going to happen.

I do have good news, however, and with the changes to the schedule comes an announcement.  Book One of Awakenings, which I’ve been releasing as a fiction serial at, is nearing completion.  After a bit of editing, I’ll be releasing it as an ebook through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords as edited copy with a few bonuses.  I haven’t decided what, exactly, those bonuses will be, but it’s entirely possible that they’ll include the original Marin work, The Vision, which would have run on September 13, 2001 in my university’s newspaper…if the events of September 11 had never happened.

So the schedule, prior to this writing, was thus:

November 2011

  • Write Epsilon: Redeemer first draft – 50,000 words (Nanowrimo project) – Deadline November 30
  • Freewriting projects – Awakenings side story (Kira et. al.); UNSETIC Files

December 2011

  • Redraft When All’s Said and Done (Deadline January 15)
  • Freewriting projects – Awakenings side stories; UNSETIC Files
  • Finish first draft of The Last Colony
  • Finish additions to Epsilon: Redeemer draft (50k deadline made)
  • Begin preliminary edits/replot of Princes of the Universe and associated cosm

January 2012

  • Finish redraft of When All’s Said and Done (Deadline January 15)
  • Begin editing of Epsilon: Redeemer
  • Freewriting projects – UNSETIC Files, Epsilon shorts, Lost Angel shorts
  • Begin full draft of Beckett (UNSETIC Files)On hold pending word regarding another project.
  • Begin full draft of third Epsilon book (Shattered? Sins of the Father?)

February 2012

  • Begin editing of The Last Colony
  • Begin redraft of Epsilon: Redeemer

March 2012

  • Finish first full draft of Beckett (Deadline March 15)On hold pending word regarding another project.

Revised schedule:

November 2011

  • Write Epsilon: Redeemer first draft – 50,000 words (Nanowrimo project) – Deadline November 30 – Done (at least the first 50k was done)
  • Freewriting projects – Awakenings side story (Kira et. al.); UNSETIC Files

December 2011

  • Freewriting projects – Awakenings side stories; UNSETIC Files
  • Finish first draft of The Last Colony (deadline January 12)
  • Continue Epsilon: Redeemer draft (Goaled at 85k words)
  • Finish Awakenings Book 1, begin book 2
  • Continue draft of When All’s Said and Done (New deadline: February 15)

January 2012

  • Finish redraft of When All’s Said and Done (Deadline February 15)
  • Begin editing of Epsilon: Redeemer (Week of January 23)
  • Freewriting projects – UNSETIC Files, Epsilon shorts, Lost Angel shorts
  • Begin full draft of Beckett (UNSETIC Files)Still on hold pending word regarding another project.
  • Begin plotting of third Epsilon book (Ren’s PoV)
  • Edit Awakenings Book 1

February 2012

  • Finish full redraft of When All’s Said and Done (Feb. 15)
  • Begin editing of The Last Colony
  • Begin redraft of Epsilon: Redeemer

March 2012

  • Finish first full draft of Beckett (Deadline March 15)On hold pending word regarding another project.
  • Finish redraft of Epsilon: Redeemer (March 30)
  • Finish editing The Last Colony
  • Begin editing When All’s Said and Done (March 1)

Only time will tell whether or not this is a workable schedule (and it’ll be heavily dependant on my schedule at the store as well–but writing doesn’t pay the bills yet, so I have to keep the PTSL job).

If any readers have managed to wander out here, I welcome comments and whines about what you want to see me working on next!  They do light a bit of a fire under me to keep me working hard at what I love to do, and encourage me to spend brainsweat on projects, despite their ups and downs.

You can find Erin on GoodReads these days @ And on Smashwords @

And Amazon @

Getting back into the groove

Today, I cleaned my room.  Then I checked the status of Falling Stars on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, then checked to see if I’d sold any on Smashwords (I hadn’t) while I slept.

Then, I sat down to write.

It’s been one of those days when it’s been difficult to get something started, despite having ideas percolating in the back of my brain for a couple days.  The characters weren’t feeling chatty, the words didn’t feel like they wanted to flow.  So, after typing some pre-work scribbles from yesterday afternoon and confirming that I did not, in fact, have to show up at the store today, I headed for my local Starbucks for a pumpkin spice latte and a change of scenery.

Lo and behold, the Awakenings chapter 11 opener was written.  Here’s a taste.

            I hope that you decided not to go to the city.  Something’s about to happen, something connected to that damn asteroid, and I just feel like it’s better that you’re with everyone at the university.  Something—not someone—tells me that.  I know you stopped believing her and believing yourself, but please, just believe me in this.  The interview isn’t that important.  If you walk away from her—from all of it—now, you’re going to regret it for the rest of your life.

However long that’s going to be remains to be seen.

Now, Chapter 10.06 went up today.  Page hits have been down since last weekend for some reason, though I’m not certain why.  Possibly has something to do with folks getting back into the swing of school, possibly the weather, possibly a piss-poor advertising spread the past week–any number of factors could be to blame.  I certainly don’t seem to have the malware problem I was having before, which is amazing (apparently, stripped-down, recustomized versions of the WordPress main themes are helpful in that regard!).  Hopefully, numbers will go back up again soon, but only time will tell.  I know that there’s at least a small following for my little epic post-apocalyptic urban fantasy, and I think I can live with that.

I mentioned at the top of the post that I’d checked various outlets for sales figures on Falling Stars.  For folks not in the know (ie, anyone not privy to my brain or my AIM name), Falling Stars is a novelette set in the same universe as Epsilon: Broken Stars.  The story itself is just shy of 13k words, but the ebook release has the first chapter of Epsilon: Broken Stars attached to it.  I’m actually really excited about all of this, because it’s my first ebook release.

I posted it to Smashwords and Amazon on Friday, then posted it to Barnes and Noble on Saturday (as of this writing, they’re still processing the file for listing in their catalog.  My fingers and toes are crossed that Smashwords will accept Falling Stars for its premium catalog, which is distributed to other e-bookstores such as Kobo, Apple, and a few others.  At 99¢, it’s a fairly affordable little read and I happen to think it’s a decent story to boot.

From the way things have been going the past couple days with Epsilon: Broken Stars, that may well be out in early October.  Fingers and toes crossed–it depends on how much I can plow through in the next week or so and how quickly a couple able volunteers can proof-read the document for me.

I’m building my book portfolio, slowly but surely (and possibly faster than some new indie authors, too)!  Publishing that first ebook was exciting and scary all at once, but I’m fairly pleased at the result so far…even if sales are next to non-existent.  Hopefully, more friends in the facebook crowd will give me a hand with advertising!  A huge shout-out to Erik of Dear God What Have We Wrought?! for his Facebook marketing of my work (I netted one sale out of that so far, thanks!).  For those of you who’d like to give me a hand with that and don’t know how, it’s as easy as heading to the Smashwords or Amazon pages for Falling Stars and hitting the “Share” button for Facebook (in both cases, the button is on the right hand side of the page–on the Amazon page, it’ll be tucked under the “Read on these devices” box, and on Smashwords…well.  Smashwords makes the share button pretty easy to find).

For now, though, it’s time for me to get back to the writing.  Wish me luck!

September slumps (and updates)

So Septembers come in two varieties for me: incredibly productive, or incredibly unproductive.  This September, thus far, has been strangely both.

The first week or so was insanely productive, especially when it comes to Awakenings, and I have to admit that this past week wasn’t so bad, either.  Epsilon: Broken Stars still requires quite a bit of attention before it’s ready for e-publication, so it may not see digital shelves until October, since the magnitude of the additions I decided to make (and the breadth of some of the rewrites I decided to do) were greater than anticipated–we’re talking the addition of several chapters here and a couple of unexpected subplots, which up the complexity level of the story quite a bit.  My schedule at the store last week basically meant I had to decide between sleeping and writing, and I wisely chose sleep when and where I could (I help a lot with the visual merchandising where I work, and my store manager was out of the business for a week–when we were supposed to be totally rearranging the store–so guess who got to do most of the rearranging by herself.  That’s right.).  Schedules are becoming lighter in that regard…just in time for me to prep for the 16th Annual Grand Valley Renaissance Festival in Allendale, MI, which I’ll be attending with Jude’s Chest again this year.  Something’s different about it this year, though, and that’s me bringing someone who’s never been (and therefore, since I’m there with the booth, will be requiring garb for the trip).

There goes more time.

The upshot is that as a result of the sewing break, that helped kicked some writer’s block in the sorry arse.  I’ve managed to finish Chapter 10 of Awakenings much sooner than I anticipated (I wasn’t expecting to be done with that until next week) and I’ll be able to launch into working on Chapter 11 as early as tonight.  I’ve also been getting some words down on a page for an Awakenings side story, one involving some characters that won’t debut in person in the narrative proper for some time.  The story will either serve as a filler after Awakenings: Book One is completed or will be released as an extra with the ebook version of Awakenings: Book One.

Of course, if I’ve got the cover designed, that means it should be coming soon, right?  Well, sometimes yes and sometimes no.  This is the third or fourth version of the cover that I’ve played with, but it’s the one I’m the happiest with.  However, in this case, I can fairly safely say that Awakenings: Book One should be complete on the website within another few chapters–probably by Chapter 12 or Chapter 13, but we’ll see where the story takes me.  Following that, there’ll be a time-skip forward probably a couple months, then a resumption of the (mis)adventures of our hapless heroes.  I have plans, after all.

Those plans, of course, change as I write onward, but that’s what keeps webfiction fun and interesting, isn’t it?

Speaking of…I was a guest on a podcast that’s available streaming here or as a download from iTunes.  It was a lot of fun, and I love the Webfiction World folks.  They put on a good show (even when they’re put on the spot–hell, especially when they’re put on the spot!).  Keeping my fingers and toes crossed that they do a show based on Jim‘s superhero webfiction idea.

I’ve joined the Dark Side (oh, and an Epsilon: Broken Stars update)

[progpress title=”Epsilon: Broken Stars” goal=”70000″ current=”49912″]

[progpress title=”Awakenings WebSeWriMo” goal=”35″ current=”12″]

I finally broke down and got a Twitter account after resisting the urging to do so for quite some time (I never saw the point, and then Writer’s Digest, Etsy people, Poets and Writers magazine, and several other sources encouraged me vigorously to do so).  So now I’m known as EMBKDoc on Twitter, so you can follow me as you see fit.  Or don’t follow me, that’s up to you (if you aren’t on Twitter yet, there’s no reason for you to get it just so you can follow me.  I followed Caitlin Kittredge without being on Twitter for months before I actually hit the “follow” link on Twitter).

Ended up not having to go into work today, so I took Stupid the Wonder Mutt for two walks today, and dove head-first into work on Epsilon: Broken Stars.  This occurred mostly because the Awakenings cast was being obstinate this morning and I’ve given up on making my WeSeWriMo goal (I’ll call it all a victory if I manage to keep myself two weeks ahead when it comes to Awakenings.  It’s a lot of work!).

I finished a new Chapter 5 for Broken Stars about fifteen minutes ago and will shortly commence work on an unexpected new Chapter 6.  The additional chapter isn’t a bad thing at all and gives me some interesting options going forward, I think, especially as I work on revisions and continue with the series at large.  Chapter 5 includes some teasers for later plotlines as well as a bit of background for the universe itself (I have a lot of backstory worked up for the universe, truth be known, probably because I’ve worked on it for so bloody long.  I had to promise Mike I wouldn’t spoil more of it for him than I already have!).  I also revealed Sam Cooper’s Resistance code name: Page of Blades.

It makes sense when you think about her sister being the Ace of Spades.  When you really, really think about it.

Tomorrow’s another day off work, though at least part of that will be given over to some WoD action, I think.  I need to write more journal updates for Haley…

But that’s for later.  Now, there’s other writing to be done!  Back to Aaron Taylor’s brain…