Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Into the home stretch...

Here's a picture from my talk at the FCC (stolen from Suvi Lampila).
There are five days remaining in National Novel Writing Month. So far I've written 43,042 words of the prequel to my post-apocalyptic series-in-progress. I hope to get another 3,000 down at my usual Tuesday night writing session, so it's safe to say I'll hit the goal by Saturday (famous last words?). Last year I managed 58,000 words by the end of the month, but in all fairness I had to spend part of this month polishing The Art of Escalator Jumping in preparation for my self-publishing demonstration. The good news is that the book has already sold enough copies to recoup my costs and has garnered a lovely review from Susan Blumberg-Kason.

In addition to writing hijinks, the end of this November will mark another personal milestone. I will pay off my last student loan. I'm just starting to get my head around what it will mean to be 100% debt free. I plan to write more about that in the near future. In the meantime, I'm trying to decide how to celebrate. Buy some new boots? Cut off all my hair? Apply for a master's program? Do you have any suggestions?

Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving and may you reach the home stretch on all your goals!

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Art of Escalator Jumping

Cover by James at GoOnWrite.com
As promised, here is the novel I formatted and uploaded to Amazon in front of a live audience last night. The talk was a great success. I hope that today there are a few extra empowered writers around Hong Kong.

This is my first novel, which I wrote last spring to get over my fear of fiction. I'm quite proud of the writing, but it's too short and too niche to submit to a traditional publisher (unless love stories on escalators become a thing). Here it is for $2.99 if you want to read it.

A chance encounter on the Mid-levels Escalator in Hong Kong tips a young woman into an unexpected romance…

Octavia Chan is a reserved Eurasian woman who has a hard time standing up to her mother. Joan is driven, controlling and—for a 26-year-old back under her mother’s roof—incredibly frustrating. Octavia has recently returned to Hong Kong to reconnect with her mother when she meets Cal, an impulsive American with enthusiasm to burn.

The Escalator brings Cal and Octavia together like a mechanical sprite.

Then Joan’s tight control begins to unravel. Rather than working for a better relationship with her mother, Octavia finds herself fighting for Joan’s sanity. Enlisting the aid of a tough psychologist-turned-lawyer, a Hong Kong socialite, and a helper with a secret, Octavia must use her own kind of strength to help her mother.

But a storm is brewing in Hong Kong, and Joan has a secret too.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I'm giving a talk/demonstration tomorrow...

...on how to make an e-book. I'll format a manuscript (in a Word doc) and upload it to Amazon for the HK Women in Publishing Society--live. I've done this multiple times now because I've been writing a series of tongue-in-cheek essays under a secret pen name. Perhaps I'll tell you about them one day, but right now I'm enjoying the anonymity. My mom doesn't even know about this ;).

Anyway, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the internet and projector will work properly and that KDP won't go on the fritz while I'm speaking to a packed house.

The book I'll be uploading is a short novel (almost a novella) I wrote for the HKWiPS Saphira competition. It's wildly niche (almost all the action takes place on and around the Mid-levels Escalator in Hong Kong), so I probably wouldn't submit it to a traditional publisher anyway. I was either going to retire it to a digital drawer or have to add another 30,000 words. I'm more excited about writing new projects at the moment, but this way a few people can read it--and hopefully enjoy it. I won't be doing a lot of promotion, but I'll post the link when the e-book goes live.

Wish me luck!

Here's the event link if you want to attend

Just a quick update on Nanowrimo: in addition to polishing the aforementioned manuscript, I've written 22,000 words this November! If you have been waiting for an email from me this is why... I'll be back in touch with everyone next week.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Bookspotting and Nanowrimo

Over the weekend, I spotted a friend reading Philippa Gregory's The White Queen (I think it was the white one). Yesterday, a woman got on the train at Kowloon Bay with a battered copy of The Great Gatsby. I also spotted a schoolboy with Murakami's 1Q84. At a glance, it looked like a Chinese translation, but it could have been the original Japanese version. As usual, I spotted a smattering of Chinese books and e-readers around town. What are people reading in your general vicinity?

I'm about 10,000 words into National Novel Writing Month. I'm working on a prequel to my post-apocalyptic series-in-progress. I've had a chance to meet up with groups of writers from around HK and even had some of them over to my place for a write-in after party. Are you participating in Nano? How is it going so far?

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