Detox in Letters Cover Reveal

It might not be the 27th everywhere but it’s definitely the 27th here in Sweden and that means it’s cover reveal day for Detox in Letters and I can’t wait a minute longer!

Detox in Letters, Crowns & Ash book 2, comes out September 18th and I’m so excited to finally get to share the cover!

I feel like I’ve been sitting on this forever and it’s been nearly impossibly not to take pictures of it since the ARC arrived in my mail.

Like the first cover, this beauty was made by Linn Arvidsson. You can find her at her webpage or check her out on Instagram and Twitter. Links are below the book description for preorders and Goodreads. Amazon preorders are ebook only for the moment but the paperback preorder will be available soon. A big thank you to everyone that read the first book, Vanity in Dust, and I hope you’ll read Detox in Letters too!

Detox in Letters

Welcome to the Realm, where magic is your drug, your poison, and your only hope.
 
An illness is spreading through the city, marking the sick in mysterious letters scrawled across their skin. What is first thought to be madness reveals itself to be an awakening as residents rediscover themselves, their pasts, and their long-forgotten magic… things the Queen wants to remain buried. Things she will sacrifice her own children to suppress.
 
Mercy has never been a staple of the Realm. Treachery, blood, and magic steeps the city as the rebel leader, Red, seeks to topple the Tower, Princess Fay eyes her mother’s throne, and Prince Vaun must decide whether to submit to his mother’s terrible demand.

Goodreads

World Weaver Press

Amazon

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

iBooks

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Extreme Editing

The emotional roller coaster of extreme editing! One week to get through my edits for Detox in Letters. I jotted these down last month when I was knee deep in edits and pretty much been caught in the whirlwind of work and editing until now.

Day One: Everything is amazing! I’m on fire. My edits are a breeze, my plan is solid, this is going to be a piece of cake.

Day Two: Okay. Things aren’t quite as easy as I expected. My energy levels have waned. Why is there no food in my house? Didn’t go to the gym. But I did make it through 90 pages of edits.

Day Three: I have never read this slow in my life. No gym. I’m running out of milk for the coffees. This is getting serious. Couldn’t see straight by the end of the day, but I made it to page 207! We’re 2/3rds through this thing.

Day Four: I’m doubting everything. What happened to Day One feelings!?

Day Five: My brain is SO tired! But there’s a dragon and it’s AMAZING!

Day Six: A last run through of my comments to myself and then searching the words I overuse. It’s not good for the self-confidence levels…

Day Seven: The required hour of staring blankly at the screen repeating “It’s done. We’re done. Just let it go.” before finally sending it to my editor.

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2018

I’ve never  been particularly sentimental about New Years but I do love the opportunity to make lists and organize. It’s like each year is a drawer full of the things we did, thought, read, and experienced.

In 2017,

  • I published my first novel, Vanity in Dust
  • Did a bunch of writing and editing on other projects
  • Read piles of books
  • Wrote a scifi
  • Put together half a dozen Ikea things
  • Visited my family in California
  • Dyed my hair pink (admittedly, I did very little of the work, but I did sit still for a long time)
  • Visited New York for the first time ever
  • Went blonde
  • Turned 30

And what do I hope to put into the drawer of 2018?

  • Publish the second book in the Crowns & Ash series, Detox in Letters
  • Read all the books piled in my Amazon cart plus all the ones I run into this year
  • Figure out how to put screws in that concrete wall in my kitchen
  • Find an agent for my scifi series
  • Do a bunch of book giveaways!
  • Get pastel mermaid hair
  • Publish a horror
  • Write at least one more book

Wish me luck! And I hope all of your years get better and better.

The beautiful picture at the top is another amazing photo by Linn Arvidsson of Books and Knitting. Check out her webpage or add her on instagram if you like pretty book pictures in your feed.

/Cheryl

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Author Goals

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My firsts goals in writing were to finish my books and be published. I’ll never be done finishing books, because there’s always another one waiting to be written, but this year my first book was published.

So, what do the rest of my author goals look like at the moment?

See my book on a store shelf. I get excited whenever I see Vanity in Dust anywhere. I’m sure I’ll have a full on giggle fit when I see it on a store shelf.

Finish the Crowns & Ash series. I can’t wait to get to that ending! I have the second and third written and the fourth and fifth outlined.

Science Fiction! I want to publish a scifi series. Space ships, high tech adventure, pirates, maddening viruses and androids! I have the roughest rough draft of the first book waiting in line to be revised and I am so excited that I dream about it.

Fanfiction! It would be a real “achievement unlocked” moment for me if anyone was ever so interested and invested in one of my worlds that they would write a fanfic for it. And the stranger the better.

Write enough books that I can start doing hilarious dedications. I love funny dedications! But I have a list of people I want to sincerely dedicate books to that I should probably get through first.

Publish horror novels. I like writing scary books and would love to see some of those published too.

I’m sure there’s more but maybe that’s enough for right now. We’ll see how many more I come up with in another year.

-Cheryl

 

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Editing Tricks

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Editing Tricks aka Learning from my mistakes!

I like to think that editing Vanity in Dust has left me with a few new tricks and, if the universe is kind, taught me some things so that I might not make the same mistakes on the next manuscript.

I won’t go through my whole editing process here, just a few tricks I learned from substantive/line edits with my editor.

Among other issues, it turns out I have two major problems with my writing. I’m too wordy and passive. I feel like this is an eerily accurate breakdown of my personality problems, as well…

One of the ways I combed through my MS for passive issues was by using the find and replace function. This function is your friend! I searched for the word “seemed” and weeded out a bunch of those. A bunch. On the first search I found 146 in my MS. I easily brought that down to 34.

I also ran searches for the words: seem, as though, and imagined. Pretty much if I didn’t need it to make the sentence work, it was out. They end up being wishy-washy, noncommittal words that I use on reflex.

Another thing I needed to keep an eye on was how often characters woke up. This sounds dumb if you don’t think about it but if enough scenes start with someone waking up, it becomes noticeable and kinda lame. I started keeping a tally during one of my read throughs and if I could change it, I did.

Speech tags! I love to explain what everyone is doing all the time. It took a great editor to break me of that and really point out how it can slow up dialogue. Again, rule of thumb for everything, if I don’t need it or love it–I delete it.

Formatting!

I had a habit of clicking tab rather than setting indents before this process. Luckily, this was an easy fix. Again, the find and replace function was my best friend.

During one of the rounds of edits I realized I’d gone through at least 1/3 of the book without tracking my changes. My first thought when I realize I’ve done something like this is to buckle down and start fixing it by hand. In this case, that would have meant starting over. I had a mild meltdown before doing some desperate googling. Turns out you can merge docs and track the changes! Google is also your friend. 

Before going crazy and doing anything the hard way, check to see if there’s an easy way.

I’m sure I’ll learn new things with each book that goes through the rounds of edits and if anyone can learn from my mistakes, it’s worth writing about!

I’m currently knee-deep in revisions for the third book of the Crowns & Ash series and putting some of these tips to the test. Wish me luck!

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