Novel Publication Contract for Warmaiden

strigidae_contract_header_photoWow. Where to start?

Not from the beginning. That takes too long.

This weekend was the 24th Pikes Peak Writers Conference. It went fantastic! I met loads of cool people. I made oodles of new friends. I attended quite a few excellent workshops. I met with editors, agents, authors, friends (new and old), and hung out with my tribe. It really and truly can’t get much better than that. I can’t wait to see what Laura, MB, Patrick, and Charise have in store for the 25th year!

While at the conference, a good friend of mine, Kevin Ikenberry talked to me about a contract I’d turned down in the past. Strigidae Publishing had approached me last year (also at Pikes Peak Writers Conference) about publishing Warmaiden. I’m going to be brutally honest here: I wasn’t a fan of the contract. The financial terms were great, but there were various clauses in there that made me feel a uneasy about the deal. This happens sometimes. I know Hank and Hollie very well, and we’re really good friends. However, this was a contract. This was business.

I let them know what my concerns were, and turned them down. Again, this was all very professional and extremely friendly. There were no hard feelings on either side.

Jump from last year to this year, and I was talking with Kevin about it. He told me that they’d made adjustments to their contract based off of my feedback and input from others. The clause that gave me the biggest issues had been heavily revised. Based off of what Kevin told me and my friendship with Hank & Hollie, I agreed to take another gander at the contract.

Sure enough, everything that led to me to turn them down a year ago had been resolved, except for one thing. I pointed out that one thing, and Hank looked closer. He admitted he’d intended to fix the one thing and had missed it. He said he’d fix up that one missing clause, and shoot me a revised contract the next day.

He was good to his word and sent over the contract around noon on Sunday. I was still eyeball deep (or deeper) in helping around PPWC. I noted the email arrival later that evening and promptly let Hank know that I’d received it. However, I needed more sleep in my system before I could fully read and evaluate the contract.

The next day, once I was home and (mostly) rested, I printed up the contract and read through it. It made sense. It was clear in its intent in every area. The various pieces I’d pointed out as bothersome had been resolved and cleaned up.

Let me be clear….

I didn’t negotiate changes with them. As a friend, I did the respectful thing in letting them know why I turned down the original contract. I was very clear in what gave me concerns.

They, in turn, respected my opinions and feedback and did the non-ego thing to consider my input. Based on what I told them and what others told them, they did the intelligent thing for their business, their authors, and themselves in revising their contract. I applaud and honor them for taking these steps. Many wouldn’t have done so.

The changes in the contract led to me signing it on Monday evening and giving Hank and Hollie a phone call. We’re going to meet on Saturday to discuss specifics on scheduling and editorial work and cover art (yes, I get input), and such like that.

It’s going to be quite a while before Warmaiden sees the light of day, though. I’m 4-5 books in the queue behind being the next book Hollie works on. If everything goes wonderfully well, we’re probably looking at sometime near the end of this year… maybe the beginning of 2017. I’m perfectly happy with that. I’m wonderfully happy if it takes a little longer than that!

I’ve been floating between disbelief that this is finally happening and crying-like-a-baby elation in this wonderful turn of events. It’s so incredibly wonderful and amazing that my physical, outward enthusiasm has been tempered a wee bit. I’m just afraid it’s not real. I’m afraid that it’s too real and will take me over while I’m here at the Day Job where I have to focus on information security.

In the end, I’m happy with what happened. I was disappointed that I had to turn down my first novel publication contract. However, the results in the end will lead me to being happier with the end result.

Now I guess I have to dust off the second book in the trilogy, Warmistress, and give it a good polish for down the road. Perhaps I have to actually consider finishing up the third book, Warmother, as well.

Wednesday Writing Journal: 2013-03-20

In my last update I mentioned the martial arts program, so I wanted to follow-up on that. After a hard workout last Tuesday, I was left barely able to move my right arm and I had limited motion in my left arm. Fortunately, I was able to get into my chiropractor on Thursday evening and he put me on the road to a fairly quick recovery. It still took a few days for me to get back up to speed, though.

As as a result of me being very out of shape and pushing myself too hard on the first workout, I lost some editing time. Not much, though. I’m on page 90, and I had hoped to have been done by now. That’s okay. I’ve found some great places to really improve upon the work.

I’m hoping that the weekend will bring me loads of time to get through the remaining pages.

Warmistress — First Round of Edits Finished

I just finished the first round of edits on Warmistress.

Does this mean the novel is done?

Not by a long shot!

I’m going to take a week or two break from the novel to clear my head. Then I’ll print the entire thing, three-hole punch it, and throw it into a binder with a couple of red-ink pens. I’ll carry this with me for a few weeks as I do another round of red-line edits. Then the edits will land into the electronic version of the manuscript, and we’ll go from there.

It feels really good to be done with the first round of edits. Quite a large load is off my shoulders.

I think I’ll go write a few short stories now, just to cleanse my palate of writing the novel.

Wednesday Writing Journal: 2013-01-30

A short update this time:

I’m still doing edits on Warmistress. I’m going through chapters seven and eight right now. I might finish those off tomorrow night and move on to the next segment of the work.

I had hoped to be done with edits before the end of the month, but it doesn’t look like I’ll hit that mark. I’m setting a new deadline of February 15th for getting edits done. At the pace I’ve been going, I’m pretty sure I can hit that date.

Update: I’ve finished chapters 7 and 8. Moving on to the next submission section that ran through the critique group. This section contains chapters 9 and 10.

Wednesday Writing Journal: 2013-01-23

I’m hip-deep in edits on Warmistress right now. I’m done with chapters one through four. I’m busy polishing chapters five and six right now. I have about four more passes to go before I’m done with those chapters. I’m not sure what the next segment is, though. I haven’t looked that far ahead. I know it starts with chapter seven. 🙂 I think the next chunk is probably chapters seven through nine. Could just be seven and eight.

Either way, I’m making good progress, and I think I’m still on target for finishing the edits by the end of the month.

I’m eager to get them done, so I can outline the third book in the trilogy: Warmother.

Warmistress First Draft Complete

The first draft of Warmistress is now complete. It weighs in at slightly under 104,000 words. My target is still 120k, but a more realistic number might be 115k.

Now it’s time to kick into edit mode and fill in those blanks I skimped on in an effort to get the story out of my head. That’s where those extra 11k (or so) words will come from.

I’m hoping to have the second draft done by the end of the month.

Then I can start on the third book in the trilogy… Warmother.


NaNoWriMo 2011 :: I’m In!

It’s already nearing the end of the work day here in Colorado, and I’ve just now decided that I’m going to jump in and do NaNoWriMo this year. I’ve been pondering this for about week, and I’ve decided that the almost twenty thousand words of Warmistress just aren’t shaping up to be what I want them to be. I don’t like the direction the story is taking, nor how I’m getting there. I’m scrapping all the words. (Yes, with backups, just in case.)

I’m starting fresh with a blank page (okay, okay, LibreOffice ODT file) and heading down the trail to Laurin’s and Gerra’s next set of adventures.

Now to see if I can get to 50,000 words before the end of the month. It’ll be a tight ride since I’ve pretty much already lost a full day and my schedule doesn’t appear to be letting up anytime soon.

Warmistress Under Way!

I started writing Warmistress tonight while sitting at a Village Inn, sipping coffee and eating yummy cherry pie. The start of the book was delayed by a few hours as I had a few notes that I had forgotten about that read along the lines of, “Research medieval military ranks/organizations.”

Once the research was done and a mix-mash of various terms was listed for use in a manner that the modern reader can recognize, I started in on the book. It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything from Laurin’s point of view, but it came back to me in an instant. This is a character that I could write about at the drop of a hat, and I love doing so. I can’t wait to get deeper in this book when the “fun stuff” really happens. Now that I think about it, “fun stuff” happens to Laurin almost right away.

Yeah, I know. Hook the reader fast.

Don’t worry. The hook for this book happens halfway through page four of the manuscript. That fast enough?

Warmistress Plotting Done

I’ve finished plotting the sequel to Warmaiden, which is entitled Warmistress. I finished the plotting a few weeks ago, but have yet to start writing the book. I’ve had a few other writing projects come up in recent weeks, so I’m very busy with those. Things are settling down nicely, and I hope to jump into the novel with both feet by this time next week.