Published!

Vanity in Dust is officially published!

I’m supposed to just say that I’m crazy happy and scream/giggle a lot but let’s be honesty–authors are usually a mixed bag when it comes to emotions. The week leading up to today, I was a mild wreck. I had trouble sleeping and focusing. I threw myself into any basic project or task I could get my hands on and watched unreasonable amounts of drama to distract myself. I even cleaned. I was outright twitchy.

Vanity in Dust was a labor of love and obsession and it’s now my first published novel. I was equal parts happy and terrified.

The week before today, before publication day, I was hit by this tidal wave of doubt that I was not prepared for. I didn’t see it coming. I didn’t expect it. But it showed up and I did everything I could to ignore it. I ran hard from that wave and pulled every trick from my bag to avoid sinking under it. And then, just as suddenly as it came, it was gone. Sometime yesterday, I stopped being anxious. I stopped worrying. I think it was the inevitability of today–that it was finally upon me and I had made it–that brought this calm.

Turns out, publishing is like getting to the top of a mountain that a part of you was never really willing to believe you’d be able to climb. Or at least, it was for me. I have this pessimistic voice in my heart that I try hard to ignore, but it’s always there, whispering to keep me from getting too hyped or too dependent on something. It warned me, even though everything was set and ready, that there’s always someone waiting to pull the rug out from underfoot.

Well, fuck the pessimist because today I’m published!

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Pantser VS Plotter

Okay, so there’s generally two camps in writing (there’s a lot of middle ground here, but these are the general groups). A panster is a writer that writes “by the seat of their pants”. Kind of unfair term because many have a plan, but they don’t have an outline. They write what comes to them in the story, finding their way to the end.

A plotter is, exactly what it sounds like, a writer who plots. Yes, all writers plot, but these are the ones that have an outline before they start writing their book.

I used to be a pantser and then accidentally became a plotter. No joke, it just happened. While writing Vanity in Dust, I had all these ideas for the next books in the series. I wouldn’t let myself start another one until the first was done, so I just kept notes for the other books. When I was ready to write book 2, I took a look at my notes and started moving things around into the right order and adding scenes where I needed more and, in the end, had a complete outline.

I decided to try the nanowrimo method and give myself a daily word count goal and just write it–from one scene to the next, down the outline until I was done. 95k in a month.

I’ve done this four more times since and it works for me. I obsess about an idea for a while, thinking it over and making notes that are anywhere from paragraphs of detail and dialogue to “something here”. Some scenes do develop organically while I’m writing, adding to the outline here and there after the daily writing, and others come out exactly as I planned. But, because I have an outline, I never get stuck thinking about what I should do next and inevitably on twitter or watching Killjoys.

Plotting works for me, but that’s not to say the pantser method doesn’t work for others.

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Vanity in Dust release date

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We’re excited to announce that Cheryl Low’s debut fantasy novel, VANITY IN DUST, will be available in ebook and paperback August 8, 2017. VANITY IN DUST is the first in the Crowns & Ash series,  set in a decadent dark fantasy world of hedonism, addiction, and political intrigue.

About the Book

In the Realm there are whispers. Whispers that the city used to be a different place. That before the Queen ruled there was a sky beyond the clouds and a world beyond their streets.
 
Vaun Dray Fen never knew that world. Born a prince without a purpose in a Realm ruled by lavish indulgence, unrelenting greed, and vicious hierarchy, he never knew a time before the Queen’s dust drugged the city. Everything is poisoned to distract and dull the senses, even the tea and pastries. And yet, after more than a century, his own magic is beginning to wake. The beautiful veneer of the Realm is cracking. Those who would defy the Queen turn their eyes to Vaun, and the dust saturating the Realm.
 
From the carnivorous pixies in the shadows to the wolves in the streets, Vaun thought he knew all the dangers of his city. But when whispers of treason bring down the fury of the Queen, he’ll have to race to save the lives and souls of those he loves.

About the Author

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Cheryl Low might be an Evil Queen, sipping tea and peeping on everyone from high up in her posh tower—a job she got only after being fired from her gig as Wicked Witch for eating half the gingerbread house.

…Or she might be a relatively mundane human with a love for all things sugary and soap opera slaps.Find out by following her on social media @cherylwlow or check her webpage, cheryllow.com. The answer might surprise you! But it probably won’t.



We’ll be revealing the cover for VANITY IN DUST on May 10th. If you have a book-related blog, join our cover reveal team so you can see it before anyone else, and also have the chance to receive an advance review copy.

While you wait for the cover, please add VANITY IN DUST to your Goodreads shelf, and follow Cheryl Low on Twitter.

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When Writers Shack Up

10 things that happen when two writers shack up.

1. There is no voice of reason.

2. Every possible scenario/event/outcome has been discussed in incredible detail.

3. Very little cleaning gets done.

4. “Wait. I gotta write something.” is not only understood but normal and followed by complete silence.

5. Songs get put on replay and no one complains.

6. Not only is your first reader on the other side of the room but you get to read their books first too.

7. Joint oohing and awing over great lines and scenes.

8. Heated discussions on lyrics.

9. Word choice always matters in an argument.

10. More than ten years in and still haven’t run out of things to talk about.

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Writing Update – Editing

20150520_132048I am ecstatic to share that my book is going to be published with World Weaver Press.

There is a lot of editing ahead but I am so looking forward to it! I can’t wait to get Vanity in Dust in perfect shape for publishing and out into the world.

This will be my first published work. It is honestly a dream come true. I had some communication with the publisher during the query process and knew that things were going pretty well since I was still being considered but when I got the email that they were interested in publishing me, I cried. It was a bit embarrassing because I was at the gym.

I am so excited to be working with my editor at World Weaver to get Vanity in Dust ready for publication. It’s already been a fantastic experience and I’ve only just started.

I’m in the first round of substantive edits. Wish me luck because it sounds like there will be more!

-cheryl

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