Revealing My Next Novel

new-novel

It’s been a week since the release of Clara and Claire. If you haven’t already, don’t forget to pick up your copy of the ebook on Amazon. Remember the paperback will be releasing soon (maybe this month or next), but I’ll keep you updated on the status of that. The first review is up –and it’s 5 stars!– so I decided it would be the perfect time to announce my new book that I’m working on.

I talked a lot about Clara and Claire being a standalone novel. That was always my intent while I was writing it. However, when I reached the end I realized the entire story wasn’t going to fit into one book. Clara wasn’t done, and neither was I, and so I decided…

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MOCK cover! (Made it myself!)

I decided that yes, there is going to be a sequel. Since someone has already finished reading Clara and Claire I decided it was time to make this announcement before someone else beat me to the punchline. I’ve been keeping this a secret for a quite a while now. Only my beta readers knew about it (and a select few friends and family).

For obvious reasons I don’t want to reveal the storyline behind Clara and Ezra just yet. I don’t actually have a summary written up so far. I’ve been plotting a lot and working on the beginning of the story. I’m nearly 10k in, so I’m hopeful but cautious (because sequels are so tricky!).

A lot of my beta readers asked what will come next after Clara and Ezra –if there would be even more to Clara’s world. As far as I have it planned out right now there will only be a sequel, and then that will be it. After this sequel I’m going to start on something new entirely. Hopefully I’ll be going back to the story I was writing for NaNoWriMo, but who knows. I tend to take my projects one by one otherwise I get overwhelmed.

So there you go, that’s my big project for 2017! I’m excited with the work I’ve done so far, and I’m even more thrilled to hear more back from you guys about Clara and Claire. Admittedly this month has been crazy busy for me, so I don’t know how much more writing I’ll get done with the holidays and so forth. But at least now when I do work on the book I can share more details!

Let me know what you think below in the comments! Are you excited to see where Clara’s world will take us next? And what about Ezra –what’s he going to add to the adventure?!

Lindsey Richardson

P.S. I’ll be updating my “Books” page with the information about Clara and Ezra as it becomes available.

Also, unrelated, but important: it looks like Cursed With Power is now unavailable to buy on Amazon entirely (unless you’re buying a used copy, which in that case, please just wait for the re-release). Hopefully I’ll be getting to work on the re-release of that as well! I’ll keep you posted!

Writing a series vs. a novel

series-vs-novel

I am finally writing the post I’ve been wanting to write ever since I first started Clara and Claire. For those of you who are planning to write either, I’m hoping this can be helpful. There’s a lot of different ways I thought of tackling this, and mind you I’m going to include a lot of personal experience with this too. I think that’s a big part of writing. There’s no right way of doing something, but everyone’s experience varies.

Let’s face it a series takes a lot of planning. You might not have it all planned out at the beginning of book one. Unless you’re one of those people who have the whole series planned before you begin –to which I say bravo! But you can equally put just as much time into a standalone novel.

A series is a lot like a butterfly effect. If this happens, this will happen in the next book. If this character dies, this character won’t be in the rest of the series. It’s a lot of playing around with different ideas to see how they’ll fit into the puzzle. Because a series is, in a lot of ways, like a puzzle. You have to test the ideas, see how they work, and then if it doesn’t fit with the idea you have for the overall series you start over again.

With the Magicians series there were a lot of times I didn’t decide on the exact nature of the next book until I was finished with the current one. That’s just the way I write. But I constantly reminded myself after this book there would be another and another until the series ended.

There’s some other major points that make a series so different from a standalone novel:

  • Setting -There’s going to be a lot more time you’ll be spending with the setting of your novel. Even if your characters stay in the same place throughout all the books, there’s still a lot of development and thought you’ll need to put into it. You want this to be the world that’s special to your series, that separates it from other books.
  • Character development -Your characters need to be constantly developing throughout the whole series, just like real people do throughout their life. This is where the butterfly effect is huge. If something traumatic happens to your MC, we want to see and feel what effect that has on them. If they make a huge lifestyle change we want to know why and how it changes them afterward.
  • Voice -Maybe the voice changes throughout your series. For example, in my series the narrator changed with each book. So every book there was always a change in the voice because never the same person was telling the story. Even if this isn’t the case for you, your MC is going to be growing and changing throughout the series. What might have been a bitter MC at the beginning could end with a satisfied one.
  • Endings -endings are so important for series. I really can’t stress this enough. You have to end each book in a way to convince your readers to come back for more. Always leave them wanting more, which is easier said than done. My best suggestion for this is to read the endings of your favorite series and see how the author kept you coming back.

As for standalone novels they’re massively different from a series. This is a one time book. Afterwards you want the reader feeling like they’re just read an amazing book and can’t wait to read more from you.

A novel has everything a series has : character development, settings, a great ending, and your MC’s voice. Except all of these things you have to cram into one book. From someone who was used to only writing series, I found this to be the most challenging part. Like huh, how will this all fit into one book? So it’s important to plan and also recognize what’s in your novel’s ending. If at the end you still feel there’s more to tell, that it can’t all be said in one book, then maybe you need to write a sequel. But if you’re aiming for a standalone make sure you have everything wrapped up at the end.

With standalone novels this means you have one chance to impress the readers. By the end they should know whether they love it or hate it. And if you’ve done it right they should be searching your name to find other books by you. This is also a great chance to gain readers who don’t like series or don’t have the time for them.

Every author has their preference just like our readers do. As for me I’m still a sucker for series, but I loved the work I did for Clara and Claire and it has me excited for my next project –which I’ll be announcing after the release. But regardless I think it’s important for us to step away from the things we’re comfortable with and try something new. For me it was a standalone novel. For you it might be that romance novel you’ve been debating on writing. It can be anything, and if you don’t at first succeed keep writing. You can only get better!

Lindsey Richardson

How to Support an Author

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With Clara and Claire‘s release being a week away, today I wanted to talk about how you can support authors. Whether they be best sellers, indies, or everything else in between. Along with supporting them comes the support for the books they write, the ones we fall in love with. One with out the other isn’t possible.

And with Christmas approaching soon, I expect there will be even more books to release before the holidays.

So first let’s talk about the easiest and free way of support authors:

  • Share on social media –Did they release the official book cover? Release date? Purchase links? Every little bit helps because you know a different group of people than the author.
  • Attend virtual events –You don’t even have to leave your house for this one! Virtual events might be live Q & A’s or Facebook events. They’re free, and you can participate all from the comfort of your home. It’s a great chance for you to learn more about the author and their book(s), and you never know you might walk away with a signed copy of something by the end of the night
  • Follow them on social media –Like their FB page, follow them on Twitter and Instagram. Most other use a lot of different social media, and this is also a great way for you to stay constantly updated on the latest news revolving around the book(s) you love. (And if you’re already following them, take it to the next step, and recommend their page to a friend.)
  • Tell your friends and family –Maybe you’re at a party, the coffee shop, at your dinner table… Whatever it be, word of mouth is so powerful. I can’t stress this enough. When you’re talking to someone in person it’s a great opportunity to tell them about the book(s) you love. Just read a brand new release? Tell them about it. Even if they’re not a reader themselves, they might know someone who is.
  • LEAVE A REVIEW –Alright this one is major. I’m putting this under the “free” solutions because it is 100% free. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and even on your own blog/website (if you have one), are all just a few examples of where you can leave a review for a book. Whether you love it or hate it, reviews are so important. Think about it… What’s one of the first things you see when you’re looking at the product? Chances are you probably read the reviews or skim over the star rating before you buy it. Whether the author is new or a best seller, this is something all authors can agree on. Reviews never go un-noticed and they are never taken for granted. We love reviews and can never get enough! And don’t forget, it can be short and simple too; we don’t mind.

Alright, so we’ve talked about the free ways to support authors. But what are the other ways? These ways I’m mentioning may or may not cost money, but if you love a book that an author writes odds are you’re willing to pay to support it.

  • BUY THE BOOK –Whether it be ebook or paperback, when you purchase a book the author makes a royalty. Royalties are how authors survive. It’s way countless authors can’t afford to write full-time because it’s not a steady income. Every time you buy a book, you’re supporting the author who wrote it. If you’re ever uncertain about where you can purchase the book(s), ask the author or go to their website. Always purchase from trusted websites.
  • Pre-order the book –This goes along with buying the book, but it never hurts to pre-order. If the author has the option, you should definitely take advantage of it. It allows you to get the book sooner, and it’s like saying “thank you” to the author.
  • Attend book signings –This could also be in the “free” solutions, but some book signings cost money to attend and usually if you attend you’re there to spend money. So let’s just say this is one that will cost you some money (most likely). Book signings are a great way to meet face to face with the author who wrote the story you love. If you already have a copy of the book you can get it signed, and if not you can purchase a book there. Sometimes there’s even extra goodies if you attend, so if you don’t have anything planned on the day of a book signing go check it out. I guarantee you it’s worth the time.
  • Purchase any merchandise –Maybe the book has merchandise that goes along with it. Shirts and other goodies. Ask the author where you can purchase them, and remember this goes along with supporting the book. (And it’s a great way for you to share with friends and family!)

I might have left out some other support methods, so if you think of any others leave them in the comments. But overall I wanted to touch on the big pointers, the ones that I think we often times forget about. There are so many ways to support authors and the books they write. Keep this in mind when you’re purchasing books for this holiday season.

Also if you have a favorite book or author you’ve been supporting, leave them in the comments and I’ll check them out!

Lindsey Richardson

P.S. If you’re wondering more specifically about Clara and Claire…. There will be a pre-order option for the ebooks as soon as I know the release date (which I should know by tomorrow). The book will be available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Createspace. Ebook and paperback copies will be available for purchase. If you need any help purchasing let me know. I’ll be signing ebooks as well as paperbacks.

 

NaNoWriMo: Day 12

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First before I go any further, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who participated in the cover reveal yesterday. I had a great time connecting with all of you, and it has me even more excited for the release. (Who knew that was possible?!)

As for NaNoWriMo… it’s day 12. This month is flying by, and I’ve been somewhat counter productive. I’m going to admit it hasn’t been my strongest month, and definitely not my strongest NaNoWriMo. The past 2 that I participated in I had been writing the final two books in the Magicians series. Then I at least had more comfort with the setting, characters, etc. That’s not to excuse how poorly I feel like I’m doing this year, but it’s a big difference.

I was almost at 10k the other day when I decided to (for the third time) “start over.” Now I’m at 5k. Here’s how it happened. The first story idea I threw out entirely. Then the second story idea lead me into what is now the third story idea (and hopefully the last!). As much as I’ve been trying to follow my own advice, and the advice of others, you can’t write for 30 days a story you don’t have passion for. So this third idea I’m not working into I started yesterday. I wrote 5k since yesterday afternoon to this morning, so it seems to be working out so far. I have a lot more as far as the world and magic system written down to help me know where to go next.

12 days in doesn’t seem like too much. It seems like maybe if you’re behind you can still catch up, and for those of you, like me, who are I still believe that. I believe you can catch up; sometimes you just need to make it past the beginning. I’m going to hold onto that hope solely because I’d love to have at least a 50k novel at the end of this month. But regardless at this point even if I don’t win NaNoWriMo with 50k, I’m determined to win by walking away with a story idea I’ll stick with long after November.

This book I’m working on right now is meant to set me up for my next several releases. So it carries a lot of weight in terms of where I want to move forward with my books and for my readers.

So we’ll see… maybe I can do it, and maybe not. At this point I’m looking more at what’s in front of me than at the stats on NaNoWriMo that tell me I’m not going to finish until January if I continue on at this pace.

So tell me, are you behind, ahead or on track? Leave a comment below with what’s been working for you this month.

Lindsey Richardson

Clara and Claire: Cover Reveal

claraandclaire-official

Cover reveal day is finally here! I am so thrilled to finally be showing you the official cover for Clara and Claire, the one you’ll be seeing on release day and from that day forward. So at least, here’s everything to know about my upcoming release.

Title: Clara and Claire
Author: Lindsey Richardson
Genre: fantasy, mystery
Release date: December 2016 **actual date TBA soon!
Cover designer: Alivia Anders of White Rabbit Book Design
Blurb:
Betrayal wears many masks. Sometimes… familiar ones.
On the night of her 20th birthday, Clara Nasso witnesses an illegal act of magic.
The following morning, two lives are changed forever.
When Claire Kanelos, daughter of the head counselor, disappears from the island of Ninomay, Clara is kidnapped and taken there by a council member. Her unmistakable resemblance to the missing woman, and the disturbing facts that come to light, convince Clara to stay and play the role of Claire –at first, for one night only, and then indefinitely.
Though Clara grew up hearing stories about the rich and powerful mages that filled Ninomay, all she finds there are liars and mysteries. And Ezra, the only person who can see through her disguise. He promises to help her return home, but how can Clara leave when secrets are unraveled every day and a killer might walk freely?
When she might be the key to Claire’s survival?
***
Clara and Claire will be releasing in both paperback and ebook formats. I’ll be announcing the official date as soon as I set it, but in the meantime, here’s also the book jacket for the paperback.
clara-and-claire-bookjacket
Thank you again to Alivia for making another cover, and this one really tops everything! I really can’t put into words how amazing this cover looks. Now I can’t wait to get my proofs and see this it in print!
Throughout today I’ll be updating all my social media to show the new cover. Shoutout to everyone who’s already sharing the cover, and a huge thank you to everyone who plans to. At the end of the day I hope we can spread awareness of this book’s upcoming release. Not too much longer of a wait now!
Thank you so much to everyone who’s been patient with the release of this book. Believe me, I feel like I’ve been waiting forever to release it. But all the hard work and time spent on it has been well worth it. When it releases it’s going to be beautiful and ready for your eyes. I hope you’ll be able to fall in love with Clara’s life just like I did.
Lindsey Richardson

Clara and Claire: Cover Reveal Date

cover-reveal-date

In other news, I have an exciting announcement about Clara and Claire. This is the book I’ve been talking about for what feels like forever. I’ve also been working extremely hard to make sure it releases sooner rather than later. But without further ado, let’s talk about the cover reveal.

The official cover reveal for Clara and Claire will be this week on November 11th –that’s a Friday. I’ll be sharing the cover on all of my social media networks, and I’m hoping you’ll join in with me in spreading the word. It’s going to be a very important day for Clara and Claire, and it won’t be nearly as successful without your help.

Mark your calendars and save the date because we’re only three days away from the cover reveal! Upon the reveal day I’ll also be updating Goodreads and the blog (and several other places) with the official cover.

I can’t wait for you to see it. This one’s my favorite yet!

Lindsey Richardson

Preparing for Publication

preparing-for-publication

This is the part I both love and hate at the same time as far as self publishing goes. You would think after doing it three times I would have it memorized, but I’m terrible at remembering. (I think this time I’ll save what I have as a template for my next book that way it’ll be all ready and I won’t have to do as much.)

I am going to do one final read through of Clara and Claire. But as of right now I’m working on getting it ready for publication. I’m doing the interior design (in terms of the formatting) myself, since my original plan fell through. And so far it’s not as difficult as I thought it would be, but once I put it into Createspace that’ll be the real test (because nothing is easy there).

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To give you an idea of what I’m working with so far, this is what I have so far, though this picture was taken before I actually edited it slightly. But you get the idea. I’m moving on to headers and footers and inserting page numbers on all the pages. And I’m also speaking with people in the Createspace community to make sure any of my last minute questions are answered.

The thing with self publishing, not matter how many times I do it, is that it always reminds me how much I’m actually capable of. It’s a lot to take on, but knowing I’ve done it in the past and it can only get better, I’m feeling better about the whole experience. Later tonight I’m also going to start planning a cover reveal date, so I’ll let you know when that is and have a sign up sheet for anyone who’s interested. The cover reveal will also include a release date, so I have to plan both of those together (and around my schedule with moving and all…).

I also need to set up the ebook and format that, so either tonight or tomorrow I’ll start working on that conversion as well.

But finally being at this point with Clara and Claire has me excited. I’ve seen my author friends releasing their books, and now I’m eager to release mine. And since I’m now working with just my schedule alone I’m aiming for a 2015 release. I’ll be able to determine for sure the date and everything once I have a proof of the book. I’ve been so eager to see the book cover physically in my hands!

Keep an eye out on my social media, as I’ll be sharing as I go through the different processes. And if you have any tips for formatting please leave them below in the comments –I’ll use anything I can get!

Lindsey Richardson

Powered by Indie Month

poweredbyindie

Amazon announced that for the entire month of October they’re celebrating “great writing self published” through their self publishing services (Createspace, KDP, ACX). They’re calling it “Powered by Indie,” and they’re encouraging indie authors to talk about their experience, share what they love about being self published, and perhaps most importantly spread the word.

indie-books

I’ve self published three books so far and am coming out with a fourth very soon. (Remember Cursed With Power, my first book, was traditionally published.) Shadows and Embers was my first self published book, and ever since then I haven’t looked back, only forward. I love being an indie author. When I realized how I had control over every aspect of my book’s publication from the beginning to the end I couldn’t believe it. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. It’s certainly not for everyone, and that’s what makes this month so important. We need to bring more attention to indie authors!

Everything from the book cover, release date, and even down to how the pages look are in the hands of the author when you self publish. I’ve never had the same experience twice, and I always end up learning something new. The indie community is hands down amazing and supportive. These are the people who told me “you have to be willing to stand or fall with your book no matter what,” and that’s when I knew I was ready to make the plunge.

The success I’ve seen other indie authors have is what inspired me and will continue to inspire me for years to come.

Ever single book that I’ve self published (and any book that’s self published) I put the hours and dedication to. Every step of the way I was there, ensuring that the final product was exactly how it should be for my readers. It’s the hardest work I’ve ever done in my life, but if done right, it can also be the most rewarding.

And like with anything in life some days are stressful and other days are like a walk in the park. At the end of the day, I love what I do, and I love being able to go through the process and know exactly when and where my book is releasing.

If nothing else, I hope this month of Amazon sharing indie novels will encourage you to pick one up and check it out. And if you’re an indie author like me I encourage you to tell your readers why you chose this path. Who knows if indie authors will ever be treated the same way as traditionally published authors, but I’m hoping every day we step in the right direction for progress!

A huge shout out to all my readers –because you are the reason why I’m able to continue writing and releasing these books. Thank you so much.

Lindsey Richardson

Find my indie books online:

Shadows and Embers

Thicker Than Blood

Bloodline Inheritance

Your Next Novel

your-next-novel

Since my last post I’ve been more silent (or at least more lost in my thoughts), thinking about my next novel. Or, in reality, my next next novel. I thought by already having the book after Clara and Claire planned I would feel some kind of relief. But instead over the past few days I’ve been wondering about what comes next.

When I first started my new blog on WordPress, I did a series of posts about writing your next story. Looks like I need to go back to those and perhaps take my own advice. But once you’re actually searching for your next book –whether it’s the next one, or the second to next, etc–it’s easier said than done. I’ve found myself searching on Pinterest for inspiration and looking to books and music. Honestly anything to grab an idea and run with it.

And perhaps that’s the hardest part to explain to anybody. It’s easy to grab the beginning of an idea, but it’s much harder to actually dedicate yourself to that single idea. There’s actually so many ideas and possibilities that at times it’s downright overwhelming. I’ve only grasped at ideas and characters, but I don’t think I have anything solid right now that I feel confident with.

But I’ve been trying to remind myself, and others from this, that this doesn’t mean you lose all hope because it doesn’t work out after a few days of trying. With Clara and Claire I actually didn’t feel confident with the story until this time last year. Sometimes you really do just have to take a leap of faith and see where it takes you.

NaNoWriMo is quickly approaching –way faster than I’m prepared for–and that offers a lot of hope too. I want to talk more about the pros and cons of NaNo in a later post, but that’s also a great opportunity to take an idea and literally run with it. 50k in a month with a story you barely know? Yeah, why not! (But make sure you have a lot of coffee…)

I thought in this post I might give more tips on how to plan out your next novel, but perhaps this ended up being more of a reflection. The writing world is huge. The possibilities when it really comes down to what you want to write are endless. Whether you’re creating a world from scratch or relying on history, there’s a lot to work with and a lot of resources. (Shoutout to Twitter for answering my questions about steampunk this week!)

Every writer does their job differently. Some have multiple books planned out over a certain timeframe. And then there’s people like me who might only have one book at a time planned (unless I’m working on a series). Part of this new adventure with Clara and Claire is diving into the unknown and scary reality of not being attached to a series (like I was before with the Magician series). I don’t have four books all at least planned out in front of me. I just have this one and the plot and purpose of my next one. Other than that, it’s anyone’s guess where I go from here.

Hopefully this was helpful to someone who’s in the same position as me right now. And even if it wasn’t, I hope it at least gives you more insight into the work going on inside my head. Thanks for reading what might be the rantings of a thoughtful writer during a crazy busy month!

Lindsey Richardson

P.S. I’m now on Goodreads as Lindsey R. Sablowski AND Lindsey Richardson. Most of you already know about my account under the name Sablowski, but here’s the Lindsey Richardson one if you want to follow me there too.

Editing Complete (off to the editor!)

editing-complete

With moving and settling the cats in, I’m later on this post than I wanted to be. But nonetheless here it is (finally!).

Last week on Friday (my last day of vacation) I finished editing based off of what my beta readers suggested and asked questions about. I can’t remember if I’ve already said this on the blog, but again I can’t stress enough that this book has changed so much since I first started.

After the beta edits, the book is complete at 100k total words. One scene specifically changed a lot in this book, and once I started with it I just ran with it until the end. I found myself really getting into the heads of my characters, standing in their shoes, and feeling more confident about them. This wasn’t like the Magicians series where I after book one the majority of characters were already set up for me. So with this new book it took a while, but I think this time I finally fixed the major issues (hopefully).

I’m not going to lie: editing is always hard. Finishing on Friday and actually sticking to that plan was really hard. But the thought of sending this to my editor and actually being really close to publication was the only thing that kept me motivated to keep going. That and a lot of coffee. I’ve never taken off a week for my any of my books (at least not that I can remember). And honestly after what I accomplished last week, I’m definitely going to do it next time when I have a lot of work that needs to get done. It allowed me to make up a schedule for myself: wake up semi-early, try to edit until 4pm, take a break and then start again sometime after 10pm. That was my schedule, and it worked. It wasn’t perfect, and sometimes I needed more breaks than I want to admit, but at the end of the week everything I wanted to accomplish was done.

Now let’s talk about the exciting parts awaiting us.

Yesterday I sent the manuscript to my editor. It’s in 6×9 format (with Createspace’s template), and I told my editor I’m hoping to release this book before I move to TX (or at least before the end of this year). If I’m able to release it this year that means I will have released a book every year in a row since 2012. It’s a consistency  that I’ve tried to keep up with over the past few years, and at first I thought releasing in 2016 would be impossible. But this book has definitely had a large amount of editing and rewriting done. I’m hoping at this point anything else is minor fixes here and there and won’t delay anything too much.

Perhaps more exciting: let’s talk cover reveals.

It’s been a while since I’ve released a cover (a little over a year I think?). I want to wait until I have a release date (or at least month) before revealing the amazing cover for Clara and Claire. I’ve talked about this cover a lot, and it’s perhaps the hardest one I’ve had to stay quiet about so far. I’m definitely going to talk it over with other authors and get their input, but I’ll keep you updated. Just keep in mind there might be a cover reveal sign up coming around soon (so be sure to sign up if you’re interested!).

I’ll also be adding Clara and Claire to Goodreads soon –no word on just when, but I want it out there, so for those of you who have been patiently waiting can add it to your reading list.

And last but not least, I wanted to leave you with the official summary for Clara and Claire. Numerous people have been asking me for more details on what the book is about, so here it is:

clara-and-claire-summary

Again thanks so much for your patience this week (it’s been crazy!). Let’s hope the rest of this week goes more smoothly!

Lindsey Richardson