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Darkness at Dawn is going to be an eBook!

I got an offer letter from Samhain Publishing for Darkness at Dawn! I was so shocked I had to read it five or six times, and I kept thinking that this time it was going to say “sorry but no thanks”. But of course, it said the same thing every time: “offer of publication”.

I signed the contract the next day. This is all surreal and amazing. I’ve wanted this for a long, long time, and now here it is. I joked to my manager that it’s like being in a new relationship. I’ll just be going about my day, and it will hit me: oh my god, I’m going to be published!

This is a whole new world.

originally posted at devinharnois.com

Story Submitted

I think this is the last place I need to update. :) I sent in a story of mine to a publisher. I was super nervous about doing it, but it's something that had to be done. I've felt frustrated with my writing life for the past several weeks because I have all these first, second and so on drafts and nothing going out for publication. There's this hurdle where I don't have a first reader or a critique partner and I've let that hold me back. I have my writer's group and that's been helpful for some things, but I can't expect them to be available for the consistent feedback I need. Ditto with nice friends that offer to read my books. So I'm going to move ahead with or without someone else reading my stuff before I send it out.

Since I decided I was really, really going to send out a story, I've felt so much better. (except for the near panic about actually sending it, quadruple checking submission guidelines and things like that) That trapped, frustrated feeling is gone.

In slightly different news, I've run out of story ideas. I have a few vague thoughts floating around that might come together, but nothing that has a spark to it. I know I don't want to start a novel, with NaNoWriMo coming up. I'll write a novel then. I think, for now, I'll spend some time watching movies and interesting TV shows and reading, and have a little "down time" while I wait for something to spark. I know something will come along, it always does. Movies/TV/books are great sources of inspiration.

Oh, hey. On that note, how about some recommendations from my Flist? I'm already building a to be read pile, so how about movie and TV show recs? What should I watch? If you're not familiar with my tastes, take a glance at my profile.

Speaking of movies, I'm off to the video store! :)

Me & Romance



Romance, generally speaking, is just Not My Thing. I don’t go to the Romance section of the book store, or the video store. If the back of a book I pick up talks about unyielding desires or some such, I put it back down. Telling me how hot a character is doesn’t interest me in the story. And that’s fine. We all have our different tastes. The problem, though, the really big problem, is that I keep writing it.

Let me explain that I have no problem with romance as an idea. People falling in (and out) of love can make for a very interesting story. I like plenty of stories with romantic elements in them, and root for certain characters to get together (I flat out fanboy squeed when Buffy and Spike kissed the first time). And I like honest to goodness romances like Princess Bride and Beauty and the Beast. Every single one of my novels has some romance in it. That I’m not surprised about.

What surprised me was that last year I found myself writing a full on Paranormal Romance. There was just no pretending it was anything else. Then I wrote a Paranormal Romance short story, and another, and now I’m writing another. Which brings me to another weird thing: when I try to write romance, I fail. I wrote a story for a contest a while back. Got it critiqued, edited, had it ready to go weeks before the deadline. But I didn’t send it in, because I just didn’t like the story. That’s why I put down Chains, my current story, a while back. I was trying to write a romance, to fit it into this narrow, wrong view I had of romance, and it only took a few pages before I didn’t like it. When I try to write romance, I think too much about the market, where it might fit, whether a publisher might not like it because of this little part, and that’s besides worrying if my writing is any good at all.

So how do I end up with all these romance stories? I take two interesting characters, usually put them in an interesting setting, and have them fall in lurrve. “But, Devin!” you say, “You just described a romance story!” Yes, I did. But I need to trick my brain into thinking about it as a story, and letting the story be what it wants to be instead of hemming it in with all these wacky ideas of what I think “romance” as a genre is.

The story needs to be written first, the labels can come later. If it happens to be about people falling in love, so be it. I like writing those stories. And I probably like Romance more than I think I do. It wouldn’t be the first time I was wrong about something.

Originally posted at www.devinharnois.com

Diversicon

I went to a little, tiny con over the weekend. For the most part, I had a good time.

Several times, I felt way out of my league. Clearly, I had not read nearly as much SF/F as these people, nor had I watched as wide a variety of movies. I spent a lot of time sitting and listening, because I had nothing to add to the conversation.

I am way, way more versed in horror. When topics involving horror movies came up, I finally felt like I could contribute. I even brought up tidbits that other people didn't know. Friday night, there was a good conversation about Frankenstein, the novel and the Universal movie, and that was something I felt comfortable with.

Oh, and Poe. He was a postmortem guest of honor, and I could talk intelligently (er, somewhat) about his work.

I think I should try a horror convention next.
I might go to Diversicon tomorrow. Like, just show up and hope they let me in. ;)

Won't be able to make it until evening, though. I still have to work.

Put one down, pick up another

I finished the story I've been working on lately, Darkness at Dawn. I do all sorts of things to avoid writing, but when I'm not actively working on something, I feel restless. I think my brain needs to have a story to mull over or it feels like there's something missing. Today I picked up a story I started a while ago. It's going to be a short one, and I don't know what I'm going to do after that.

I dug up story from last year and put it up on my website: "One Day at a Time" It's not my usual fare, but it didn't turn out too bad.

Stuff N Stuff

I bought an iPod nano a few weeks ago, and I'm really liking it. I even like iTunes.

My printer went to shit over the weekend, and I bought a new one. It's a Kodak, so there's a lot of emphasis on photo printing, which I don't plan to use much. The few test pages of text I printed look GREAT, though. So maybe I did pick a good printer.

Went to the eye doctor, and finally decided to get new glasses after many years (I wear contacts all the time except to bed). The glasses I picked out are funky and cool.

So, I've been spending a lot of money, and I put off buying a Sony e-reader. I've decided on the 700, which has a touch screen. Not sure when I'll get around to actually getting it.

Seeking Beta Readers

I know things like Critters and Online Writer's Workshop exists, but they don't strike me as the best way to get a whole novel critiqued.

So, dear F-list, does anyone out there want to beta read one of my novels? I have two urban fantasies that are ready for the next level, as well as completed first drafts that need another draft before they reach the beta reading stage: another urban fantasy (sequel), a YA fantasy, a sci-fi with fantasy elements, and yes, I admit it, a paranormal romance.

And if you are a fellow writer in similar genres, I would be happy to beta read for you as well.

Oh, and if you'd like an idea of my writing style, I have a few bits up on my website: www.devinharnois.com
My hope for today is to finish the second draft of Shattered. Knowing my own laziness, though, that might not happen. I still have hope, though.

Watched Robocob last night. It is still made of awesome. Now I need to get part 2. The "vampire" movie we watched afterwards ... not made of awesome. Not even made of good.

I'm halfway through Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. That book keeps cracking me up. Strangely, some of the plot points make MORE sense with zombies involved. Darcy initially tries to break up Jane and Bingly because after she comes down with a bad cold, he thinks she might turn into a zombie, and he doesn't want his friend to fall in love with her and suffer through that. All the Bennet girls are kick-ass zombie killers, although not all of them take it seriously. And Lady Catherine has ninjas!

Between and Novel and a Short Story

... Is me, actually getting some work done. Shattered is still coming along. It's now at 71,000 words and I should easily make my goal of 80k.

I started the survival-horror-meets-romance story, and although I've only done little bits at a time, it hasn't fallen apart yet so I'm taking that as a good sign.