Formatting and updating manuscripts/titles for Smashwords this weekend…

April 17, 2012 at 5:56 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

So…

…….as soon as I got back from China, I was put back to work immediately (lol).

Literally: I arrived in Thompson with my bus delayed approximately three hours and thought that I would be able to catch up on some sleep.  When I woke up, I saw that I had a text message — my Manager, asking if I could work a Night shift THAT night.

I said “yes” (I rarely say “no”), and thus began a whirlwind week at work, where I got two revisions done during my one day off and some down time :).

Now here I am, on a brief break during a night shift, announcing that I am revising my manuscripts and doing the necessary formatting to make them suitable for Smashwords (Autovetter).

With any luck, on my two days off this weekend I will be able to have the following titles available at Smashwords:

Her Man (contemporary romance)

Shades of Grey: Prologue (paranormal/horror/psychological thriller)

Shades of Grey: Hear No Evil (paranormal/horror/psychological thriller)

Getting Lucky I: Pedro & Eddie (interracial erotica)

The Deal (paranormal erotica)

I am going to revise the manuscripts whose contracts have terminated at both New Concepts Publishing and Extasy Books and make them available on BOTH Smashwords.com and Amazon.com.  These include:

Of Crimson Blood and Ivory Skin (M/F/F paranormal erotica)

Blood Song: The Captive (paranormal erotica)

My Experimental Years (M/F, F/F erotica novel-length)

Tales From the Owner-Operator of the Boulevard Motor Hotel (BDSM erotica)

The L-Word (M/F short erotica)

Tomorrow, Part One (sensual fantasy, novel-length)

As many of these manuscripts need some serious revision and possible redirection, it’s hard to say when ALL of them will be released.

Suffice to say, I will start with the Shades of Grey series, and work my way from there.

I also have a NUMBER of projects on the go that are beginning to call for my attention with voices raising in agitation, so it is possible that my creative energies will be spent breathing life into some entirely new stuff in the near future.

It would be nice, however, to get Shades of Grey Book 3, 4 and 5 out before Halloween, as well as Reaper 6.

Thank you for your time and interest in my twisted imagination!

Sincere regards and happy reading!

Amanda M. Holt

Amateur Author, Full Time Nurse and Sometimes Philanthropist

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Is no news really good news???

November 12, 2010 at 9:45 pm (General News..., Grumble, Interactions with Agents, Introduction to the Imagination of Amanda M. Holt, Literary blunders..., Possible directions..., Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

So……………….
………………….waiting to hear back on two (bigger) items in my life.

A) whether or not I passed the Canadian Registered Nursing Exam aka the CRNE, which I wrote on October 6 of this year….results were mailed out Monday, so I will likely find out Monday 🙂

B) whether or not Sandy Lu, Literary Agent at the L. Perkins Lit Agency in NY, NY, is going to represent a certain project I have written.

I am patient, and resolve that time will tell, and that quite possibly both items will be relayed to me with positive outcomes.

Still the wait for both items is a little nerve wracking.

Both of them have great ability to influence the rest of my nursing career and my writing career.

Additionally, the anxiety about whether or not I have passed the CRNE has given me the occasional bout of indigestion and (admittedly) a few sleepless nights. What if I have to write it again? What will my boss think of me if I have failed my first attempt? How little of the CRNE did I actually know or not know? I’ve always done well on written exams….but this one, it’s a toughy. I really am really on the fence about how well I did.

Some days, I feel utterly confident and relatively carefree.

Other days, I feel as though there is an element of impending doom on the horizon, waiting to prove that I am a fool among the brilliant people I work with!

Oh woe is me, woe is me —- no news is NOT good news.

I am, for the most part, a patient sort of creature.

I do not throw tantrums when I can’t find the remote (probably because I habitually keep it in the same place), and I like to engage in little word games and create-a-story exercises when I am i.e. waiting in line in grocery stores.

Yet waiting for the outcome of this exam? ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE!!!

I kid you not!!!!

And as for waiting to hear back from Ms. Lu….I’m not too terribly perturbed about that, because while she is reading one of my projects, I have many on the go that I feel have great merit, and many that I have jotted notes for — and not even steeped myself in the process of writing these gems yet — because the timing has not been right to write.

No I have not lost my mind, I’ve found that there’s a bit of timing, focus, wavelength, mindframe/frame-of-mind and setting/surrounding/ambiance that is necessary to write certain tales………they will begin to inspire me more, and begin to actually even “write themselves” when the time is right.

And besides, Ms. Lu is a busy woman in a career where busy people like her may juggle hundreds of projects at a time. If my project hasn’t shone through the slush pile as something worthy of her greatest efforts, then i predict that I will be receiving a polite rejection letter in due time…..

If she likes it, but thinks it needs revising and resubmission, then that is what a semi-rejection-rejection letter will say.

Then there is the ULTIMATE prize for a writer seeking representation by an agent: the letter outlining the next steps to enter into contractual obligation for representation by the agent, or the SUPREME ULTIMATE prize — an actual contract for publication.

There are variations, of course. After careful consideration, she could always suggest that she doesn’t handle these kinds of projects, and refer me to a different agent.

Ah, so many different ways that i could receive news about the project.

Interestingly enough, that anxiety is FAR more pleasant than the whole CRNE self-torment.

*sigh*

Does anyone out there understand?

Then again, i really should count my blessings. Some people are waiting for news with life-or-death outcomes, i.e. the results of an HIV test, or to see how far the cancer has spread through their lymphatic system. Then there are paternity tests (who’s the baby daddy), and all kinds of other life-changing situations.

Perhaps I should not be such a cry baby.

Oh, but wait.

This is the Blog that is supposed to be addressing some of the gains and losses, trials and tribulations, frustrations and successes of the amateur author(ess).

There you have it folks.

A little bit on the literary agent waiting game.

Looking forward to hearing from her, whatever the outcome.

Happy reading!

Sincere regards,

Amanda M. Holt
Amateur Authoress, Possible RN-eligible GN, and Sometimes Crybaby

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4th Round of Edits on “My Experimental Years”… *also* ANTONY KEITH

November 8, 2010 at 4:10 am (eXtasy Books Releases, General News..., Grumble, Introduction to the Imagination of Amanda M. Holt, Literary blunders..., Possible directions...) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

My Experimental Years, Artwork by Martine Jardin Due Out Nov 15/10

So……………..
………………..today I submitted my 4th round of edits on an 85,700 word adult novel titled “My Experimental Years” to eXtasy Books (www.extasybooks.com), the first publisher to contract and publish my eBooks.

Hopefully, it will be the last round of edits *fingers crossed* as I would like to invest my energies in my horror and paranormal projects that are on the go.

Mind you, I am attempting to balance creative time with studying material for my dayjob *I’m a Nurse, a GN anyway — the results on our RN exam are due in the mail this week!!!* and to be honest with you, i haven’t been spending enough time on either one lately!!! My, how personal interests can distract one!

Being single and looking to mingle has pros and cons, it seems………….my head has been in the clouds the last few days. Meeting some people, communicating with others…

Also, I have been working on reading & commenting on my friend Antony Keith’s first novel/screenplay titled The Rogue Family Chronicles. As I am not accustomed to reading something set up in a script-type format, I find it a little awkward to offer advice. It would be like someone who’s only ever used a PC giving advice to someone proficient in Mac. His story is rich with dialogue, tension, plot and has some delightful surprises along the way! I was expecting something very elementary and simple for a first work, but Antony has written a lot of heart and soul into it, spoken at length in an opinionated voice through his characters, and I am looking forward to reading the rest.

I just wish that I was better equipped to guide him through the scriptwriting/screenwriting/playwriting process. I’m a novel/novella writer with her eye on paperbacks/hardcovers/eBooks and maybe a graphic novel or two if I met the write artist *are you out there???*

Long story short: KEEP YOUR EYES OUT FOR ANTONY KEITH IN THE NEAR FUTURE! HE’S WORKING ON SOMETHING SPECIAL! He also practices very creepy coin magic (and other tricks) but that’s a WHOLE other story….

Sincere regards,

Amanda M. Holt
Amateur Authoress and Sometimes Editor/Source of Constructive Criticism

p.s. – One suggestion to anyone out there who writes dialogue into their stories. DO NOT MAKE THE ERRORS THAT I HAVE MADE USING DIALOGUE TAGS, because trying to fix them later in an 86,000 word manuscript is a pain in the f*cking ass. I kid you not, those kinds of corrections are absolutely tedious, so my advice? Do them properly in the first draft.

Examples:

“I’ll do it later.” He said. SHOULD BE: “I’ll do it later,” he said.

“Come to me.” Carl whispered. SHOULD BE: “Come to me,” Carl whispered.

“Go to Hell!” She cried. SHOULD BE: “Go to Hell!” she cried.

“In my own defense.” He began, and then stopped. SHOULD BE: “In my own defense”, he began and then stopped.

AND, whenever possible, DON’T EVEN USE DIALOGUE TAGS!!!! When going through the editing process, my editors find (and I shamefully admit) that I overuse them.

Also, em-dashes are the DEVIL, and consecutive periods such as … are ALSO the DEVIL, as are ellipses.

The comma should be used, not abused.

What I mean by this, is that if you find that you are, oh I don’t know, using a comma a little more than you should, perhaps you may want to consider breaking the long sentence into smaller sentences, like statements, or whatever.

Happy reading (and writing) and my sincere apologies for editing blunders overlooked in previously published works. I know they are there like ink blots on a transcript — an eyesore.

A.M.H

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Happy Friday the 13th!!! (1st day of my 31st year!!!)

August 13, 2010 at 2:40 pm (eXtasy Books Releases, General News..., Grumble, Possible directions..., Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

So……………
………………it’s not just Freakin’ Friday the 13th, which is ALWAYS a good day……
………………and it’s not just my 31st B-Day!……
………………it’s also the day that I am starting a brand new Northern Adventure, moving North of 54 (or is it 55? lol) to begin my nursing career!!!!!!!!!
………………and also the day that I sent the manuscript for “My Experimental Years” to my publisher eXtasy Books, as required by our contract……
……………..furthermore, it is the day that I have made a promise to myself to adjust my eating, exercise, and lifestyle habits for the better.

The future looks bright!

Full of untapped potential, just waiting to be…well…tapped.

Sincere regards,

Amanda M. Holt
Amateur Authoress, Einunddreizigjahraltin (Hauke, did I spell that right????), Recent BN Grad, And All-Around Optimist 🙂

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Some progress is better than no progress at all….

August 10, 2010 at 6:17 am (Grumble, Possible directions..., Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

So……………
……………..I am making some progress with “the whole writing thing”.

Writing approximately 2,000 to 3,000 words every 48 hours. I am not facing a writer’s block at the moment so much as I am facing a writer’s scatter-brain.

I have at least fifteen stories on the go, most of which I haven’t touched in months, a few of which I have added a few thousand words to in the last week — and two of which I have just created story lines and backgrounds for in the last few days.

If that’s frustrating to digest mentally, trust me, it’s a tad more frustrating to endure. I have so many stories I want to work on RIGHT NOW and hundreds more that I eventually want to find time to work on….and life is so bloody short, it seems — will I have the time, find the time, make the time to breathe life into these creations?

Furthermore, it’s not as though I am doing a good job of prioritizing which stories should be written first — I seem to be writing those which “write themselves” the most…..The stories that I WANT most to work on — the horror novels — seem to take the most time, work, mindfulness, and effort to develope, and they are not coming along easily. They are a struggle to write, and I do not want to rush them in any way….this is going to sound like a cop-out, but I think that I will write (my best) work exactly when I am mindful enough, focused enough, driven enough, and of rich enough imagination to give them a full and proper expression through the written word.

Currently, I have a number of paranormal projects on the go, and they are coming to me easily enough (stories about demons, real or imagined, emotional or actual, seem somehow very “easy” to write)…some are more lengthy than others and some seem to suggest that there might be enough material for a series, others might have more appeal as a stand-alone novel….

Then there are the contemporary romance stories that I am working on, which seem to have the essence of a good story, but these Harlequin-type novels are not coming “easily” as I am currently not feeling particularly driven where romantic notions are concerned….not exactly inspired, as it were….in THAT department….

So, as it sits, I will likely have a novel-length 80,000 word plus paranormal work out in the next few months, if I can ACTUALLY focus on just the one. If this SCATTER-BRAINEDNESS continues in the coming months, I can see myself finishing anywhere between three and five such novels in the next year….

Yet it would be soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo nice to finish a solid, respectable, perfectly terrifying absolutely nerve rattling horror novel in that time.

My kingdom for a horror manuscript of 100,000 words entailing a battle between good and evil with no obvious winner in the resolution of the tale!!!!!!!!

Okay, maybe that is enough self-absorbed rambling-on for one night.

This is, after all, intended to be a blog about the misadventures of an amateur authoress…..and a little progress is better than no progress at all. Time will tell if the effort involved in the process will be rewarded by success, validated by publication, or forgotten in failure.

It’s 1am. Shouldn’t have had that last coffee — if mom was here, I’d get an earful. I know better – I do – but coffee and writing go together like sour cream and perogies —- it’s unimaginable to eat one without the other.

Oh great.

Now I’m hungry.

So much for my diet…………………..

Sincere regards,

Amanda M. Holt
Amateur Authoress (And Would-Be Creatoress of Awe-Inspiring Horror Novel)

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