April 24, 11 @ 3:25 pm
Happy Easter! I’m restraining myself from eating any chocolate eggs since I’m back on the Jenny Craig wagon and trying to be a good girl with a shrinking waistline. TRYING HARD.
I received my cover for THAT OLD BLACK MAGIC and I’m really liking it. Darrak’s pretty hot, I have to admit it!
Here’s what I have for the back cover blurb:
When it comes to magic, sparks aren’t the only thing that can ignite…
Reluctant witch Eden Riley knows that codependent relationships aren’t good, but it’s hard to be independent when you’re possessed by a sexy but troublemaking demon. Darrak’s physical form makes good girl Eden want to go bad, but the constant itch to use the soul-destroying black magic she’s recently acquired might force Eden to explore her dark side in an entirely different way.
When her dangerous magic starts manifesting itself without conscious effort, Darrak insists she seek outside help—which also leads them to the potential answer to ending the demon’s curse. Suddenly, everything starts spiraling completely out of control, threatening both her life and the possibility of a future with Darrak—since only one of them might be able to survive this…
A lot of stuff happens in this book, which I really can’t talk about since it would all be a Big Fat Spoiler, but let’s just say, I think the third and final book in the Living in Eden trilogy is the strongest of the three and readers who’ve enjoyed Eden and Darrak’s journey so far (and hopefully new readers who have yet to pick up the books) won’t be disappointed.
This book will be out on December 6th, which seems like a hella long time from now but I know that time is going to FLY BY. I should start Christmas shopping right now, I think.
Today I’m happy to say I officially finished DARK KISS, my first book for Harlequin Teen. It was an exhausting second draft — some second drafts take it out of me and this one did. But it was worth it because I’m really happy with the story. The characters aren’t too happy with what I’ve put them through, but really, they should have expected no less from me. Didn’t they get the memo?
It took me a couple days longer than I expected to finish that book up, which means one thing. There’s no rest of the wicked. Lucky for me, the next book up is one I’m really looking forward to writing. I’ll be rolling right into BLOOD BATH & BEYOND, the new paranormal mystery (I think of it more as “light urban fantasy with mystery and romantic elements,” but that would be too much to go on a spine) I’m writing featuring Sarah Dearly.
I already have the 90 pages I wrote for the initial proposal, so I’m off to a strong start on this one. I think I might just reread Tall, Dark & Fangsome to revisit Sarah and her world. BB&B will be a book readers can pick up without having ANY prior knowledge of Sarah, and I won’t be promoting it heavily as being associated with the Immortality Bites series, since it’s with a fabulous new publisher and it’s in a fabulous new genre, but, well, I’d like to refresh my memory a bit when it comes to Sarah’s very special voice and sense of humor. Yeah, that’s as clear as mud. Thanks Michelle! You’re welcome!
Um… I think that’s it for now. I’m sitting here with a Doctor Who marathon on the TV right now. The premiere of the latest season is on my DVR but I haven’t watched it yet. Have I ever mentioned that I’m a major Whovian? Well, just the tenth doctor, mostly, but it’s all good!
April 18, 11 @ 2:49 pm
Thank you to everyone who entered my photo contest for the chance to win one of two signed ARCs of BLOODLUST. Check out some of the entries on my Facebook page to see some great shots — many of which seemed to be cats and dogs with great taste in books.
As I said before, one ARC will be given at random, and the other will be the pic that I thought was the funniest.
At random, the first winner is Melbrat with her pic of “Chewie” getting into Something Wicked…
And the second winner, for the funniest pic, is Nan H. as Blondie seems to be a little confused about who her hero really should be!
Congratulations to both of the winners!
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your mailing addresses and I’ll get these books in the mail to you ASAP. I’m actually going to the post office this Wednesday if you can contact me before that, it will go out this week!
And again, thanks so much to everyone else who entered — I enjoyed all of your photos.
I’m also giving away two ARCs on Goodreads right now, so please check that out too!
April 08, 11 @ 3:44 pm
I have two signed ARCs (Advance Reading Copies) of BLOODLUST (Nightshade #2) up for grabs. Jillian and Declan’s further adventures will not be available at bookstores until July 5th so this is your chance to read it much earlier than that!
But I want to do something a little different. Normally I’ll pick at random from the comments here on the blog from those interested in receiving a copy. This time I want you to work for it a little bit!
All you need to do is take a picture of one of my books with something else. Yourself, a baby, a cat, a dog, a stuffed animal, a Mr. Romance competitor, etc., you get the idea.
I’m giving away TWO SIGNED COPIES! International entries welcome!
1) the first will be given away to a winner picked at random from all entries received.
2) the second will be chosen because it’s my favorite picture received. Make me laugh and you definitely have a leg up on the competition!
PLEASE NOTE: I will be posting all entries to the photo section of my Facebook page UNLESS YOU TELL ME NOT TO. Like, if you’re in witness relocation or something. Because that’s totally understandable.
No purchase necessary — feel free to take a picture of my books in a bookstore to qualify as your entry!
Please send your pictures to email@example.com or post a link here in the comments section.
Contest ends Sunday, April 17th at 9:00 pm EST and winners must check back at www.michellerowen.com/blog to see if they’ve won and for instructions on how to claim their prize.
Good luck! xoxo
P.S. Multiple entries are welcome, as long as they’re all different from each other, not just different angles of the same shot!
April 01, 11 @ 11:55 am
This post might only be of interest to aspiring authors, but I wanted to do it. It’s always been an obsession of mine when it comes to writing.
Yes, the eternally exciting subject of WORD COUNT.
How much is enough? How much is too much? Amazon used to have a “search inside the book” option that let you know how many words were in a book. I found this endlessly fascinating. Obviously, I don’t have many hobbies. Alas, Amazon doesn’t do this anymore.
It made me realize that one book by a rather famous writer was only approx. 45,000 words long, but since it was set with larger type and spaced out leading (the term for the space between lines), it came out to around 300 pages.
I was going to buy the mass market paperback of Pillars of the Earth, but the type was so, so tiny I couldn’t do it without jeopardizing my already tired eyes if I read it (I ended up getting it on Kindle, a format in which typesetting doesn’t play much of a part…and my eyes are grateful for it).
It all depends on the publisher’s graphics and typesetting department. They need to fit a book on an alotted number of pages. More pages = more printing costs, so I can understand trying to shrink things — but hopefully not jeopardizing readability.
I tend to stay well under 100K for my single titles. I write fairly sparse — not a lot of space given to long descriptions. Since, well, I’m not a fan of writing them. I like writing dialogue, which tends to be a bit snappier in word count and pacing.
I received my ARCs (Advance Reading Copies) of BLOODLUST, which clocks in at 282 pages. I had to go back and double check my word count to see that it was virtually the same as NIGHTSHADE, which clocked in at 325 pages. I guess readers might think it’s a shorter book (if they give this sort of thing any thought), but it ain’t! It’s just typeset that way. And it looks fab — all lean and fit, like a Victoria’s Secret model — if I do say so myself.
(Note: I’ll be doing a blog giveaway for a couple ARCs really soon.)
I always spend way too much time in a first draft worrying that my book is going to be long enough. But it always comes in right where it should, usually between 80-90K. I don’t think I’d want to write much longer than that.
Anyway, thought I’d share my final word count and final printed book page count of some of my books, just for reference sake.
BLOODLUST — 84,800 words, 282 pages
NIGHTSHADE — 86,400 words, 325 pages
BITTEN & SMITTEN — 92,900, 369 pages (If I wrote this now, I’d probably trim 5K from it — at the time I thought a book HAD to be 100K and I felt bad that this wasn’t)
TALL, DARK & FANGSOME — 83,200 words, 334 pages
THE DEMON IN ME — 95,200 words, 323 pages (wow! I had no idea this one was so long!)
SOMETHING WICKED — 94,800, 348 pages (this one too! But more pages than TDiM, so you see what I mean about typesetting!)
DEMON PRINCESS: REIGN OR SHINE — 65,200, 274 pages
Young adult novels traditionally were shorter than single title books, but that’s changed a lot since Twilight and its ilk. For example, the YA I’m writing right now, DARK KISS, will likely clock in at about 80K — it just gives a bit more room to stretch my legs. But I just don’t see myself writing the 150K tomes I’m seeing out there. I don’t think I have that much to say!
I was actually a little surprised by the word counts above — especially those of the Living in Eden series. I don’t actually count words when I’m doing a first draft. I count pages. I aim for about 320-350 manuscript pages. If I can get anywhere near that, then I’m satisfied. I write in Microsoft Word, using double-spaced Times New Roman, 1″ margins at top and bottom, 1.25″ left and right. Here’s an example of how a finished manuscript page looks (and yes, it’s a very small sneak peek of BB&B, which is the next book I’ll be focusing on after I finish the YA):
So, basically, if you’re worried about how long your book needs to be…don’t. Just write the story, don’t try to pad in extra words or paragraphs just to plump things up, and trust the process to turn out a book the length it was meant to be. Just keep in mind, for single titles, try to aim for over 80K and you’re golden!