Long time, no talky-talky, I know.
And I have only the poorest of excuses.
There was the whole moving thing, just before the snow began to fall.
No shortage of work at my full-time job.
Then there was work setting up my desk, sorting through files to find the most recently saved version of the projects I am working on (laptop to desktop transfer was challenging/entertaining/frustrating).
Then there was Life. Love. Nanowrimo, which I love, and has been a big part of my life this entire November. I wrote over 40,000 words in 20 days, most of them words of revision/editing, some of them very VERY good words… Which means, that if we’re 20 days into November, I have ten days left to work on the revision of Reaper I – III, and I can proudly say she’s over 75,000 words long at current count, with new characters, new scenes, new conflict, and a much wider range of emotions and experiences (let’s face it, she was pretty one-dimensional at times). She also has a token, a talisman now — I’ll see if her readers can figure out what that is.
I’m sure that some of you are aware that I am re-writing Reaper to make her better than ever.
As promised, she now takes place in Toronto, instead of nameless, faceless, vaguely represented “The City”.
You can read the first 8 full-length chapters of her adventures on Wattpad (right off of the website, or on the Wattpad app for your assorted devices) at:
Please, feel free to comment within Wattpad on what you think of the improvements I’ve made to Reaper – I am looking for constructive feedback so that I can see whether or not I’m on the right track. She will always remain true to her voice, and nature, and goals, and drive, but if she has some terrible flaws that I just can’t seem to see, I would love to know it prior to, oh I don’t know, knocking on doors to find an agent to represent the work or an editor to take a gamble on her.
I am planning on releasing a minimum of one story per week, most likely on Tuesday or Thursday nights. It is the commitment I’ve made to the book, and the commitment I’ve made to myself. Writing is my first love, and loving boyfriend is most understanding :-) He’s a keeper.
Reaper I: The Dark Thing will make its debut on Wattpad, week by week, chapter by chapter, until it’s done…
It’s been up for 3 days and it’s already had about 60 reads: not bad, considering it’s a completely unknown restricted 18+ novel floating in an ocean of PG-13 One Direction fanfiction on the Wattpad website :-) Not sure what will come of launching it on Wattpad, whether Samantha Bennet will gain a following of loyal fans or not, but three days in, her author has 0 followers, and is still largely unfamiliar with what to expect as far as statistics…
For now: post my revised stories, completely free of charge, and let destiny take the wheel.
I will make a point of removing my the rest of eBooks and Print books from amazon, lulu and smashwords over the winter months.
At the moment, the other offering I have on Wattpad is a short story of mine that might tickle your fancy: Beware the Silence, it’s the ten-seconds of spotlight in a werewolf tale that takes place in Northern Manitoba that two characters wouldn’t otherwise get in the larger WIP that they are from (Josephine’s Story) — my super-secret series SotNL.
It appeared in an anthology recently: An Unkindness of Ravens by the Thompson Writers’ Guild.
You can read Beware the Silence here:
I figured out my Twitter password, long forgotten, shame on me, so you will see more frequent updates there @amandamaholt
Any recommendations on where else I should promote my free stories?
Where do you guys go mining for free/affordable story gems?
Amanda M. Holt, Amateur Authoress
Once upon a time, a series was born.
In my brain. Then spewed out unto paper with ink and lead, then quickly into electrons via desktop and then laptop.
First offered to eXtasy Books circa 2003, I requested the rights to my series be returned to me as I was wanting to part ways with the publisher: I was going to self-publish Reaper, my way, raw and uncut.
Following that release, tens of thousands of people downloaded her free, from Amazon.
Royalties trickled in from paid sales…
Real-world issues (work, borderline workaholism, dishes, laundry, relationships, travel) resulted in consecutive titles of Reaper being greatly delayed. At current, I promised a Reaper VIII this past summer and have not yet delivered —- shame on me.
There are a few essential flaws with Reaper, take for instance the (proud?) fact that she was self-published and therefore self-edited by myself :-) There is also the fact that she takes place in “The City” which we know is a city of several million people, which has a Pier, and colorful neighbourhoods, and oh yes, the park from the first manifestation of her Dark Thing — the City was faceless, nameless, and in many ways, lacked authenticity. On one hand, I had complete creative license, no geographical facts or actualities to contend with — a fictitious Gotham in its own right, with elements of Vancouver, New York, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal and Chicago all rolled in to one. Another flaw? Samantha Bennet lacks certain dimensions, more than that, I feel she needs a few more challenges — more bad guys to battle, more obstacles set between her and any semblance of a normal life.
And so, here’s the thing: I am going to re-write Reaper.
From scratch, keeping the tasty bits and sturdy bones that I can’t bear to part with.
Oh – and this time, she’ll be edited: I had a freelance editor/journalist go over her once, and once I make the changes I feel are necessary, I will have her (and another interested/interesting party) do the last round of edits with me, prior to the re-release of this whole series.
There’s a little thing called NaNoWrimo that some of you might have knowledge of: for the entire month of November, writers write in a sort of competition-with-oneself (and one’s peers) to pen a 50,000 word novel in 30 days — 1,667 words per day.
In a move something like a mini-sabbatical from work, I opted to use my vacation days in such a way that I could devote the entire month of November to my projects, one of which is Reaper, two of which are in early development.
Those two side-projects will probably end up taking a back seat, because I do feel that Reaper deserves my full attention: she’s nowhere near what I want her to be, at the moment, and she deserves the chance to become the apparition of my wildest dreams. While Reaper is in re-writes, I am going to be pulling the ebooks of the series from i.e. Amazon and Smashwords.
Once she is ready for re-release, she will be there in her new evolution in entirety (or at least, more than her current state).
And as for that City? That metropolis without identity?
It now has a face. And a name.
The City of Neighbourhoods: Toronto.
“Hmm,” some might say. “If your goal is to get Reaper into the hands of as many readers as possible, why set her in Toronto? Why not New York or San Francisco or Los Angeles or Chicago? London, even?”
My answer: because I am a proud Canadian author, that’s why.
I’m due to visit Toronto this week, and will be spying for landmarks & other places that fit the bill, merging with the existing landscape of the fictional City where Samantha Bennet lives and works, and real locations that will provide a fitting backdrop to the battleground upon which Reaper will wage her war against evil. I cannot understate the amplitude of my excitement. I’ve got sheafs of notes and Googlemaps images and photos, along with the electronic alterations, and while it would seem a daunting task to accomplish in just seven days, I’m hoping to gather enough photographs & voicenotes & interviews & other material & certainties to make for an authentic first volume — or two.
I acknowledge that an American metropolis would be the more contemporary setting.
Yet even though a US locale would probably garnish greater favor from the market, my guilt and acute stubbornness (read: pride) insist that I use a Canadian setting from an authentic Canadian point of view with Canadian values and political and social climate (read: soapboxes and social issues) lightly guiding some of the fictional commentary.
In my mid-thirties now, I have found firm appreciation for my Canadian heritage. I am passionate about our incredible nation, and I intend to revere it and extoll its virtues – and shortcomings – in every aspect of my writing, be that paranormal fiction about things that go “bump” in the night in Northern Manitoba or an adult fiction romp, episodic indeed, about a vigilante nephalim rookie cop who resides in a bachelor suit above the fictional Toronto watering hole Charlie Fridays?
So: there’s the thing.
I’m re-writing Reaper. Start to finish.
If you want to get your hands on a copy of her before she undergoes my edits, I’d advise you to get one now.
As soon as I sleep off my night shift, I’m logging on to the distributors and pulling her plug.
Keeping reviews of my series in mind, I’m taking Reaper back to the proverbial drawing board, in the hopes of making her so much better.
Her readers deserve the best story I can possibly give them.
Many installments of that story, at that.
Sincere regards & happy reading,
Amanda M Holt, Amateur Authoress and Sleepy Health Care Worker
p.s. fans of the previous incarnation, forgive me. All I can pledge as that if you instill a little faith in me, I will make certain that Reaper 2.0 will be one Hell of a good, long, bumpy ride.
…….after a lengthy wait, I have, for your reading pleasure, edited and released Reaper VII: Soul Talker, the next installment in my Reaper Series following the adventures of nephalim vigilante Samantha Bennet!
At 61, 800 words, this is a bit longer than most volumes in my Reaper Series, which i think is what a lot of my readers were hoping for.
Currently, this novel is available only on Kindle from Amazon (amazon.co.uk, amazon.ca, amazon.com, amazon.de, et al) — however, in 90 days’ time, i will be making it available via Smashwords, who distributes to Apple and other platforms.
I hope that you enjoy this one!
I had a lot of fun sorting out ways to ruin Samantha’s life… but also, to place a dim flickering light at the end of the tunnel, in the form of a new, powerful and resourceful ally!
Sincere regards and happy reading!
Amanda M. Holt
Amateur Authoress and Neophyte Self-Editor-Publisher
…….with the addition of nearly 100 pages of writing, ALL in need of editing, I do not think that I can produce a suitable edited version of Reaper VII: “Soultalker” this week…
Thinking it’s gonna be more like a 3 week project!
Thanking you in advance for your patience…
Sincere regards & happy reading,
Amanda M. Holt
Amateur Authoress and Painfully Slow Neophyte Self-Editor
…….my sincere apologies for my long and recent silence.
I really have no good excuses.
If I can find the time to facebook images of Tardar Sauce AKA Grumpy Cat, surely i could have found time to both edit my damned revisions and update my WordPress Blog?!?!?!?!
I feel like I have abandoned my small but loyal following.
For that, I make this heartfelt apology and this pledge!
For the past few days, I have been working near-relentlessly on my edit for Reaper VII: Soultalker.
In this most recent installment of my Reaper Series, bad things happen to Samantha Bennet. Good things happen, too.
But then, terrible things happen. A brush with certain death. Injuries beyond repair. A high-stakes gamble, in which she loses her way of life.
Heartbreak… Helplessness… A lonely path…
Then, new hope in a new ally… yet, the dark days of prophecy loom ever present on the horizon.
And I leave you with the introduction of a duo of ruthless characters who’ve seen their share of nightmares and who seem best suited to aid Reaper in sorting out some of the wetworks in hers.
Cannot guarantee WHEN this installment will be done, as 77 pages is now 164 (Word doc, single space) and 38k words have kind of blossomed into 60K….
As soon as I am finished with her, I will upload to Amazon for your reading pleasure!
Same goes for Reaper VII (Title, as yet, undecided).
A lot of adventures in store for Miss Samantha Bennet yet.
A lot of ups & downs.
Some of them in bed… ;)
Amanda M. Holt
Amateaur Authoress, Full-Time Nurse, Loyal & Loving Girlfriend, Part-Time Dreamer…