Today, Beyond the Stars: At Galaxy's Edge launched and I am a part of that anthology. It blows my mind sometimes, the places my writing takes me.
I heard about the open submission call in the Future Chronicles, which is also a wonder-filled anthology producer, with over 28 titles ranging from Robots, AI, Dragons, Shifters, and so much more.
Flying on three planes, I traveled across the nation from my home in Northern California to Nashville, TN. Attending Utopia convention for the first time, I was grateful for the flight time alone, making the most of flying red eye.
So it was 5 am Chicago time when I landed (3 am PST). The airport didn't have a gate for my next flight. I waited in the uncomfortable seats that felt more like the line outside a principal's office. Bleary eyed, restless, unable to sleep because I didn't know where the next flight would depart, I opened my laptop and found Captain Jonat P. Rutherford and his box of cryogenically preserved penguins. And the Artificial intelligence that aided him in flight, absorbing his wonderful curses and his stubbornness.
RORA. Which felt like a female in my head, but was in fact only a robot, an extra layer of protection on a junker Epsilon spaceship, headed out across the starlanes.
That was the first page. And I really couldn't have told you where it would go. Where RORA would need to go to save them all...
I really hope you like the story. I have at least two other short story anthologies coming out this year, and maybe a novel or two...
Excited to share. Also a bit overwhelmed by the awesomeness of the company I keep in this BTS: AGE.
Title: Fire Among Stars
Sub-title: Book 3
Author: @JoAnna S. Morris
Genre: YA Dystopian Fantasy
Release Date: 4/26/16
In the end the path is never painless.
Eden Huntleigh and the Rebels have outplayed Cesar for now.
However the hostile dictator of Empyrean has a few cards left
up his sleeve, and when Cecily, the mystifying witch that seems
to know how to defeat him once and for all, disappears, Eden is
left with a difficult choice- her own life, or the lives of everyone
Can Eden survive the flames once she's cast into the fire?
#CoverReveal #FireAmongStars by @joannasmorris
It's been three months almost since Flying Away was released into the big, wide world. And I am still in awe of how many people have helped support it, as well as the new friends and fans I have met.
Both Flying Blind and Flying Free are edited and on their way to formatting while I am madly trying to learn the contortions of marketing. The whole series has been such a joy to write. I can't wait to hear what people think once they take that ride. This year promises to see the release of five novels and possibly two anthologies, all while I strive to do better, be kinder, write more, love gentler.
I want to thank Kate Corcino, Cheer Papworth, and Katy Walker, Sarah Noffke and Casey Bond. Amy Bartelloni was the first person to read all three novels. And I could gauge a great deal by her reactions. Audrey, my sister helped so much as well, editing as she went.
This blog needs to become more than a place for me to reflect. To that end, I am going to ask some of the authors I have met to make guest posts, bringing new perspectives and ideas to the page.
Flying Away is an odd novel, I know. It starts off with the confusion of a scared girl and only slowly irons out. I am thrilled to be able to share Lani's continuing story with you. Thank you for reading. xx
It's happening soon. Like this week. I will get the final, final, final copy of edits from my editor. The ones that are grammar and punctuation. I mean, who kneeds that?.., And then I submit the finished work back to Sara at Your Elemental Solutions, cause she is kindness itself. And then one sparkly morning, I will become Marty McFly with my very own books being delivered to my door. Books that are right, books that I don't compromise on details, books that I can say, yea, That's mine, and feel like I really changed the world with my typewriter.
Between now and then, I am supposed to launch the book with Advanced Reader Copies. Get free copies in the hands of people who read them, write a review and hold the review until the day I publish. That way, on the first day the book is available for public consumption, there are already feedback reviews waiting for the public to read. This is not a new concept. But it is particularly difficult, since it requires knowing bloggers, readers and having a name that anyone recognizes.
The only bit I have published right now is the Prep For Doom prologue. That's good cause it means some people know me. A little is better than nothing.
But let me tell you about the fear. I did this before: wrote a book, published it. I didn't understand what I was doing, I didn't get an editor, I didn't make it the way I wanted it to be, even the title was off. Publishing was a series of compromises and I was grateful for the help. But I ended up uncertain of my product, my self confidence wobbly. I listened to Susan Kaye Quinn, I listened to Brene Brown https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-JXOnFOXQk
So now, this is me, this is the writing I want to put out to the world.
And now, I have a chance to share my own particular brand of stubborn heroines and loyal heroes. Here's to the next 6 weeks.
It all started with a little facebook group that Cheer Papworth and ER Arroyo put together. A year later, this amazing group has written an anthology.
When the topic first came up, there was all kinds of conversation about what topics we should cover, what guidelines would be. The Ebola virus had just been found in Texas, on a man who had recently traveled to Africa. He then died of it. The whole nation was in a panic. They even quarantined the nurse who could have been a carrier as well. It was well-managed at some levels, but still, we all waited to see if Ebola was going to burn out of Texas and terrorize us all.
A virus was a very good place to start an anthology. A terrible, weaponized illness that couldn't be fought with guns or walls.
Then we started thinking about characters. There was even a thread where people could announce what their submission would cover as a main character, since we didn't want the perspective of 5 Emergency doctors, 3 bus drivers etc. So, there I was, looking at this list of characters people had written. And all the logical ones, the really cool ones, were taken in someone's story line. I was left with the description given in one of the CDC chapters which was shared with the group. The reporter was interviewing a CDC doctor who said something to the effect of "This disease came out of Africa. It never hit Ghana, of course, but it ravaged parts of Africa a few months ago. It was fought and contained. So that isn't a concern."
And so of course I thought, "Oh yeah. I need to write the start of the virus, in the farthest places of the world, in the dark of technology, where no one looks too much, and no one cares about massacres and kidnappings. That is where my submission came from. And Dede, my main character is a girl of tremendous power and self worth. A brilliant mind tragically not valued because of its vessel. The Gift is the prologue of the Prep For Doom Anthology. I hope you love Dede, as much as I do.
My review of the Break up Mix by TK Tami Carter
This is not my kind of book. Ever since Thelma and Louise, I avoid reading anything that might resemble best friends dealing with the strangeness of life. I always thought chick lit books were too girly, too emotional, too bound up to ever be worth a read.
And then I read the Break Up Mix. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a phenomenal book.
Somewhere in the middle of Michelle, Chance, Dani and Alissa I got caught up and strengthened. How often does a book change the way you view your friendships? That's what this did for me, in so many ways. A bit of every character's dilemmas has resided in my heart at least once. By the mid-book, I was completely entranced waiting for Tony, worried about Michelle, wondering about Chance, ready to send a card to Alissa. It may seem like too many characters, all women, all of an age, but this book made me cry for several different reasons. I want the CD, I want the Sunrise Mix, I want to have friends that take on the world just for me, even when I am lost. Freakin YES!!!!
My first anthology is publishing in June, 2015. It is titled Prep For Doom and written with the contributions of 20 dystopian authors! I am so excited to be chosen as one of them!
My story is the prologue, titled The Gift. It is the only story set outside the United States where the pandemic at large hits and the other stories evolve.
I researched and read everything I could about Africa, Ghana and Nigeria and put my heart into writing Dede Afi John's story.
What we need now are a few contributors to help defray marketing costs and get the party started.
If you want to support this effort, please click the link below to take you to our kickstarter page.
I am offering two rewards for your support, one for this poster:
This is of Mango the horse of the main character Iolani Bearse in Flying Away. 16 x20, signed. This is available as only 1 copy on kickstarter right now, contribution 85$
This is a reduction of the second artwork available: for a 20$ contribution, I will send you this in a 8X10 signed. Full size of course and without my trademark.
I am thrilled to be in this anthology and I know if you enjoy the Walking Dead or zombies or Divergent or Hunger Games, this will be right up your alley! Best of all you get some of my artwork!
Please help! 18 days to go!
Today I was invited to guest blog with Cindy Carroll. Thanks so much for a chance to share the journey!
Follow this link and check it out!
Three books. Three books and three days. I have to read. You know that feeling? That "I know this book is amazing and is going to rock my world" urge? I have on my iphone The Breakup Mix by TK Carter. I am 25 pages in and my kids keep playing minecraft on my phone, draining the battery. *Glares at kids. I know. I could remove the minecraft app, it would solve my immediate problem. But then what chum would I throw to the circling sharks ermmm kids while I write? Ok. So, I have a plan:
I bought pizzas and put them on the table, did the dishes, took a shower and am now squirreled away in my bed. Breakup Mix here I come!
Oh, look mail!
The Scorpio Project, Amy Bartelloni just came in the mail!!! ooohhh it's so pretty, and mysterious and about the postapocalyptic world my brain lives in. hmmmmm Girlfriend bonding or Girls in bondage breaking free?? Now I must choose.
Oh. Spark Rising? Kate Corcino? Sparky spark spark and its right here on my kindle? The reviews, the excitement!!
It's really like having Neopolitan Ice cream and being told to just eat the chocolate. What about strawberry? What about vanilla?
I need them all!
Three books, three days. One girl and my reader dilemmas ;)
I have been writing for a while now, almost ten years. And this far in, I feel like I am still such a novice.
My first novel I wrote in five years. It ended up being a untypical fantasy story about a totally different world, no fairies, no giants, no princesses. I filled it with strong families, broken people and greed. I love that novel.
Then I went to publish it.
First off, it was too big at nearly 1100 pages. So I split it in half. And I thought that would work. It made sense because the second half of the book begins with the first POV given from an enemy viewpoint. And Ke is such a wonderful, conniving, brilliant, honor-bound opponent.
I decided to have my family edit it, and beta readers. I thought that I was smart enough to be able to take on spelling, grammar and structure. After all, I am an avid reader and college educated. So I skimped on the editing, figuring only a few mistakes would get through.
I published it, supported by family and friends. It was surprising who actually read it among even the people closest to me.
I bought hardbound copies and went to my first worldcon, ready to meet the publishing world. Brought my artwork as well to show people: the cover I drew, the eight or so drawings inside the novel I illustrated.
All in all I was pretty pleased with what I had accomplished with the help of my family.
The reviews came in.
Many requesting more editing. That's when I began to panic.
I had struggled with multiple rewrites to make the first 200 pages of the book flow. It was my earliest work and resisted my many attempts. In short, I had long since moved past the point where I had any overreaching viewpoint. I could not see what needed to be cut.
Then one of my relatives found an entire page out of sequence in the original published book. It had just been an accidental grab when placing an image, but it moved an page out of order by 20 pages. I wanted to cry.
My children and family are so proud of me, but I feel like a failure.
Then I read the first novel out loud to my oldest son. I swear every other page I caught a minor correction.
I read somewhere a long time ago, someone Hemingway? said, write a million words, then write your first novel.
Maybe it is to avoid situations like this: I love my first novel Into the Raging Mountains. But it just isn't good enough. So I am taking it down off ebooks and I am getting an editor and doing it right.
That makes me feel good: not to rewrite and rewrite for ten years and never publish. But to correct the errors I can in my first novel and then present it again, stronger and better to the reading world.