Next, subscribe to their YouTube Channel and be endlessly amused ...
Shh ... Don't tell them, but Sunday the Doberman and Annie the Mastiff make cameos in Unremarkable. Of course, it's not them -- the characters are just just based on them. ;-) Meet the inspirations for "Jack" and "Sophie" from Unremarkable.
Next, subscribe to their YouTube Channel and be endlessly amused ...
One week left to my Kindle Scout campaign! In the meantime, who needs some stupid animal tricks to keep them entertained? I know cute animal videos cheer me up after a rough week. If you're interested in the animal madness I live with while trying to write, subscribe to my YouTube channel for some mindless fun!
Here's Sunday the dobie doing her favorite summertime activity -- chasing the swallows!
Well, I'm more than halfway through Unremarkable's Kindle Scout campaign. Sadly, the page views fell off a cliff yesterday, so I don't know what that means for the book's chances of being selected. I'm not going to hold my breath at this point, but you never know until the end.
In a few weeks, anyone who nominated the book will find out if they get a free advance copy. If not, I'll go back to my tried and true method of pressing "Publish" and releasing my madness upon the world. ;-)
And now I leave you with a creepy little track just cuz ...
You know how when you're waiting for something, time slows to a crawl? I'm around 12 days into a 30-day campaign, and I never thought 30 days could be so freaking long! Waiting for a Kindle Scout campaign to end is like buying a lottery ticket ... and then waiting a month to check if you have the winning numbers. This being my first campaign, I had no idea what to expect. Right now, I seem to have a lot of campaign page views, but very few hours in "Hot and Trending."
What that means for my book, Unremarkable, I don't know. Being someone who obsesses and spends a lot of time researching on the Interwebs, I've searched high and low for the meaning of it all -- only to find a lot of guessing and very few answers. How the Kindle Scout team chooses its selections remains a mystery. There have been only two selections in September thus far, and for all I know, getting selected might be about as likely as winning the lottery!
So, the only option now is to sit around patiently (not!) and wait for the campaign to come to a close. If you've nominated Unremarkable, thank you! I think Amazon gives you the option to be notified when the book is published even if it doesn't end up being selected by Kindle Scout.
If you'd like me to notify you about Unremarkable's release (and you would like to receive updates about future sequels/new releases), sign up for the email list at cjvalles.com, follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/CJValles_4ever, or find me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cj.valles.3
I'm an admitted Facebook dolt. Fortunately, links to anything I post on the blog automagically gets posted to Twitter and Facebook. Now, back to twiddling my thumbs and getting my arm licked by a persistent feline.
Finally, a bonus song from my Unremarkable playlist ... Enjoy!
If my memory serves me correctly, the first legal thriller John Grisham published was A Time to Kill: A Novel. However, to my recollection, many people thought of The Firm as his first novel, because it was the first to gain widespread acclaim and attention, followed by a film adaptation with Tom Cruise, Jeanne Tripplehorn, and Gene Hackman. A Time to Kill was adapted three years after that, starring Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock, and Samuel L. Jackson.
Now, I'm by no means in the same realm of John Grisham (Ha! The man has published 37 novels since 1989 -- it took me a lot of time to count them all on Wikipedia!), but I do have a tangentially related story of the first book I ever wrote, versus the first book I ever published. I actually had to look back at my author bio to double check that I wrote my first book in 2008 -- I could hardly believe it was so long ago.
I wrote the first draft of that first book in (roughly) 60 days -- nearly 500 pages in all. Two months spent writing from around 10 p.m. until 2 a.m. during the summer of '08. I'll post my playlist from that summer eventually. I had so much fun listening to music and writing long into the summer nights! After that, though, I spent (too long) submitting to literary agents and getting rejections (or no response at all -- that was very common). Then, after a well-intentioned but crushing comment from someone close to me, I packed up the book ... after I had written the sequel and gotten part of the way through a third book. The whole thing was kind of heartbreaking. The writing of the book was thrilling -- the aftermath, not so much.
I don't remember the writing of For Ever in quite the same nostalgic way. It was less carefree. I was more guarded, and I worried about how it would be received. But I finished it and went through the editing process again. After the frustration of submitting a manuscript to agents and subsequently hearing of miraculous early self-publishing success stories (Darcie Chan's The Mill River Recluse and Amanda Hocking's My Blood Approves series, as two high-profile examples), I decided to take a stab at self-publishing. That was in late 2011. By February 12, 2012, I pressed "Publish" on Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing site. I remember the thrill and shock of waking up the next day to discover people had bought the book. Self-publishing has become more challenging in the five and a half years since, but that's another story altogether.
It wasn't until much later that I went back to that first book, and I've lost count of the number of times I rewrote it. It became the project that I tinkered with when I hit a stumbling block with my other books. It was like meditation. The main character's name changed, the nature of characters changed, the plot got rewritten, the ending changed. At long last, it became The Darkly Dreaming Series. Overall, I think it was just nice -- finally -- to put out the first book I ever finished.
On that note, I still have a quirky detective/mystery novel that predates all of this, but it's languishing on my hard drive somewhere. Maybe someday I'll get around to finishing it, and it will be the first novel I ever started ;-)
Overall, each project I've worked on has been a stepping stone of sorts, bringing me to the next stage ... or page. It's been a wild ride, and as Unremarkable goes through its Kindle Scout campaign, I've embarked on yet another (nerve-racking) experiment. Whether I get a publishing contract from Kindle Scout or not, it's been interesting!
And now, back to writing! Oh, and here's a throwback from my summer of '08 playlist ...
I think there's a reason I found this band while writing Unremarkable ...
I never outline my books. Outlining is one of those things you'll hear people say is a must when writing, but if there's one thing I've realized about writing -- and every other freaking thing in life -- is that everyone has their own process. What works for me doesn't work for everyone else. When I write my stories, I give my characters control and give them free rein to be flawed, weird, and indecisive . I don't say, "I'm going to do this in Chapter 2." I let the characters figure it out, if that makes sense. Outlining, for me, feels stiff and it tends to throw me out of the story, if I'm trying to plan it to the last detail. But again -- that's just me.
For example, it took me forever (pun intended) to write the third book of The Ever Series. Why? Because my protagonist had to make some awful choices, and by extension, I felt awful, conflicted, and guilty. When I'm writing (or reading) a book, I tend to live in that world.
When I started writing Unremarkable, I had no idea where it was going to go. I was like Alice, following the White Rabbit. On that note ...
When I like a live version better than the studio cut ...
It looks like Unremarkable hit the trending list on Kindle Scout again yesterday ... not that I saw it! Maybe I was sleeping. Thank you to anyone who has nominated it!
Here's the link: https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/1HARZNP1IFEIP
And now for a little more haunting music that I listened to on repeat while writing Unremarkable, courtesy of Chromatics ...
Author, procrastinator, and expert on randomness