Saturday, August 19, 2017

Latest Progress on "The Linen Butterfly"

This will definitely be my last editing pass on "The Linen Butterfly" before submitting the manuscript to my publisher.

I'm proud of "The Vimana Incident," but just thumbing through my personal copy today I couldn't help but feel like my work has improved by leaps and bounds since that book hit the presses.  "The Linen Butterfly" will be far and away the longest, most polished, and most complete work I've ever written.

It's the book I wanted to write back in 2003 when I started "The Goldenlea," but couldn't at the time.  14 long years as a novelist, maxing out my skills trying to write something of professional quality, are finally paying off and I'm excited for the future now.

Since I'm not on a strict deadline for this project, I'm going to take my time.  I'm going to refine every last detail I can think of and not be the least bit lazy about anything.  I proved with "Vimana" that I could knock out a 5-star book in 9 months so now there's nothing left to prove, except that I'm capable of better still.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Why Do I Deserve Your Help?

To give some idea why I think I deserve to travel to the UK to do research, consider that I'm probably the most thorough biographer of William Longsword to date.

The extant biographies of him are very short and many are out of date or contain inaccurate information. Even firsthand sources on him are incredibly scant.

 Even though he was probably equal in importance to William Marshal, nobody bothered to write a biography of him back in the Middle Ages like they did with Marshal. And yet, he's a common figure in pop culture.

During my research I discovered that he is a very popular recurring figure in historical romances, from Shakespeare's "King John" to recent historical fiction novels like Chadwick's "To Defy A King." The gap between his importance in history and culture and the amount of material about him is something I plan to remedy.

I've literally doubled the length of the Britannica article simply by gleaning disparate sources but there is still a lot I don't know. Some of the firsthand sources may exist and be cataloged, but may be in Latin. I need to photograph these and attempt to translate them with the scant Latin I know. I also need to speak to archivists and historians about what they know and where to find more leads.  I also need to get photographs of places he frequented so that I don't have to pay for stock photos, which could save me tons of money.

 More than that, though, I want to get a feel for his world. Going to the places where history happened always makes it easier to write about. You can read clues in buildings and landscapes that can shed light on historical narratives.

 I'm fast on my way to writing a masterwork of biography on a medieval figure who had a significant impact on history and popular culture. But I need help to complete my work.

https://www.gofundme.com/9w4ja-help-me-get-to-the-uk

Friday, June 30, 2017

The Bad Things (short story)

This short story was inspired by cats' tendency to pounce at things that weren't there, and by ancient beliefs that cats are able to protect people from evil spirits.  I imagined my kitten Venus chasing demons away when she pounced at shadows, and this story was the result.


Thursday, June 29, 2017

Help Me Get To The UK For Research!

I want to go to the UK to visit several sites including Hereford, Shrewsbury, Wells, Salisbury and Bath as part of a research effort for several projects.

Back in 2003-2005, I lived in the UK for a short period of time, so I also intend to catch up with a few of my friends I haven't seen in years.  But the main point of this trip is research.

I am a published writer with several books out from a small print publisher.  One of my planned projects, "Wake of the White Ship," takes place in the West Country during the 12th century anarchy.  It's a spinoff of my novel "The Vimana Incident."  Another project, a biography of William Longsword, Third Earl of Salisbury, will require visiting archives and speaking with historians.

My biographical work on William Longsword has already been featured in Encyclopedia Britannica.  I rewrote their article with a great deal more material gleaned from my research, but I feel I can gather more information still. 

I would like to spend at least 3 weeks in the UK if at all possible.  I will need some money for ground transport and lodging as well.  If possible I would like to bring my husband with me since he has never been to the UK.

My novel "The Vimana Incident" can be purchased here:
https://www.amazon.com/Vimana-Incident-Rose-LaCroix/dp/1614502277

My article about William Longsword can be read here:
https://www.britannica.com/biography/William-Longsword-3rd-earl-of-Salisbury

Donate to my GoFundMe page here:
https://www.gofundme.com/9w4ja-help-me-get-to-the-uk


Sunday, June 25, 2017

"The Linen Butterfly" Update

The stylistic rewrite of "The Linen Butterfly" is up to chapter 3 now. The book is now down to 114,001 words. It may end up longer or shorter depending on what I decide to do with some passages toward the end that still need extensive revisions.

After this stylistic rewrite I'm going to set it aside for a week, then read through it again and see if it needs anything.

The current editing pass is ironing out awkward prose and dialogue, and fixing some issues I identified in the continuity check. The next pass will be reading it with fresh eyes to see if I need to make some tweaks to the pacing and plot, or if I missed any mistakes.

I should have my manuscript ready to review fairly quick, actually. I'll need Beta readers soon, depending on how the next few phases of work go. I remember from my continuity check that in the passages written back in 2013, some of the prose was pretty clumsy.

Still, this manuscript is less of a sow's ear than I'd thought. I'll make something of it.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

"The Linen Butterfly"- DRAFT DONE!

I finished the draft tonight. I just couldn't keep my hands off it. Word count stands at 114k words which is within my target. However I don't know what the final word count is going to be.

The next phase will probably have to start Sunday night since that'll be the tedious part, making sure this story 14 years in the making can still be made into something presentable.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

"The Linen Butterfly" Progress!

I hit a crucial benchmark with "The Linen Butterfly" tonight. I finished the first half of the story arc- rewritten from scratch from the original "Goldenlea"- and pasted in the second half.

The second half needs to be reworked for length, style, and content and then the whole book needs a good once over, but the current word count is 126k words so my goal of 110k words is absolutely on target once all of the redundant, obsolete, and unnecessary material is removed from the second half.

This includes several passages that I copied and pasted from the second half and moved into the first half to make the story flow better. Those will be removed from the second half and new material will only be added if it makes the narrative flow better.

My goal is still to have a draft ready for proofreading in one month, and to have a draft ready to submit by the end of the summer. Knock on wood, I'll have "The Linen Butterfly" out by January.