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…

clara-and-ezra-redcover
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

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

Weekly Update 

If it hasn’t been stated enough, this month has been crazy busy! I’ve been meaning to post, but I’ve also been distracted by prepping for NaNoWriMo and just living life in general. But I wanted to make this weekly update so you wouldn’t think I’ve fallen off the face of the earth. 

So I’m prepping for NaNo. I’ll talk all about it in the days to come, but I’ve been trying to make sure I know what I want to do with my novel before I give you advice on writing your own for this challenge. If you’ve never done NaNo before, don’t worry, I’ll go over everything you need to know. And in the end the decision is yours on whether you want to do it or not. My plan right now is to finish this week with a clear verdict on which of the many novel ideas I want to run with for NaNo. 

As for Clara and Claire, it looks like I’ll be getting the book back sometime this week. I have content editing to do, and then once it’s done and I’ve read through the book again, I’ll be preparing it for release. I already have the cover, but I need to figure out the interior formatting and also get the ebook version ready as well. Once I’m done with edits and start working toward release I can give a better estimate for the release date. It might be before February if everything works out. 

I’m moving to Texas in two weeks, and I’m sure with the move and settling in I’ll be extremely busy and overwhelmed. So I’m going to get as much editing done before I go and then maybe prepare release or just write on the trip there. From the sounds of it, I don’t have a massive amount of editing to do on Clara and Claire, so I might be able to finish before we actually move if I really focus. 

That’s pretty much everything as far as what’s happening as we approach the end of this month. I promise to post more as soon as I have my NaNo novel picked out or once I start editing again. 

Lindsey Richardson 

October 2016

october-2016

October is here! I feel like September flew by. Maybe it was because of just how much happened in September with finishing edits and sending my book off to my editor and with the news of the move. But nonetheless, fall is upon us. And as always, with a new month I like to lay out the new goals I have.

First thing’s first. Perhaps the most important item on the list to talk about. Clara and Claire is in the hands of my editor. She’s on her second read through of the book, and then she’ll be sending me everything that I need to fix in terms of relating to the content editing. Then after that I’ll send it back to her. This process can’t be rushed. I’m working around her schedule, and she’s working with mine. But I promise you that we both are working very hard to ensure this book can release as soon as possible. Again, I sadly don’t have a release date for Clara and Claire, but I didn’t want you to think I had forgotten about the book. There will be more teasers, though I lot of them I’m saving for closer to release. We have the cover reveal, blog tour, and more to look forward to. Every time I get anything back from my editor I’m going to work hard and efficiently to get things done.

So can I guarantee that Clara and Claire will release in 2016? Not anymore unfortunately. I didn’t want to take away from the process of how my editor does her work. So when I had the choice between taking away from edits and releasing maybe in January at the earliest, or letting my editor do as she normally does and releasing sometime after January 2017, I chose the ladder. I want this book to be my best book yet. I don’t want to release it until it’s perfect and ready for you to read. So while I hate the idea that it probably can’t release in 2016, this year is coming to an end very soon and then we won’t have much longer of a wait. Obviously as the months continue I’m going to be able to give you a better idea of how close we’re looking at a release.

Again I can’t stress enough how much I appreciate everyone’s patience and support during all of this. I promise the wait is going to be worth it!

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about what I’m doing this month. There’s actually a lot going on this month, and some of it I’ll talk about later on. I’ll most likely be received the edits back from my editor this month so I’ll be working on that as soon as I get it. In the meantime I’ve been debating on what story I want to write next. While the break from writing is nice, I really miss writing and need to get back into it. Since November is coming up I’ve decided I’m going to pick out my NaNo novel and get to work on that. I’m aiming for my book to be well over 50k, so don’t worry I’ll edit the word count appropriately for NaNo and talk more about that once we’re closer to November.

I can’t wait to write something new, and the great part about NaNoWriMo novels is that I can share the title and the summary with you up front. Something I can’t do with what’s actually my next book that I plan on releasing (after Clara and Claire). If you follow me on Pinterest I’ve been making new boards for new books, and I’m actually deciding between two right now, so if you have any input feel free to comment below with your suggestions!

Now that October has officially begun I’m going to make it my mission to decide on my NaNo novel before the end of next week. I’ll keep you updated! If you’re participating in NaNoWriMo this year let me know what you’re writing or if, like me, you’re still undecided. Thank you again so much for all the support!

Lindsey Richardson

Writing Breakthrough Moment

breakthrough

As September comes to an end, I’m thinking back to how important last September was to my writing. More specifically to Clara and Claire because last year around this time I had my  breakthrough moment.

I think every writer has a breakthrough moment. It might not be obvious, and then other times it might be the difference between writing and giving up. And while I’m sure everyone has a different definition of what a breakthrough moment is, in my experience it’s the moment when you know this is the story you want to continue with. All the doubts, questions, and fears you had before might still be there, but you have a moment of clarity where you’re ably to fully embrace the story and the book altogether for everything (flaws included).

And there’s no telling when this moment will happen for you. Maybe it’s at the beginning or maybe it doesn’t happen until nearly the end of the book. How can you get to your breakthrough moment? There’s really no set of rules or guidelines to get there. For me, it’s just happened, and perhaps that’s the magic behind writing. Some things can’t be determined ahead of time. Sometimes you have to take the leap of faith and see what happens.

If you haven’t reached your breakthrough yet and you’re feeling frustrated, don’t give up. Giving up will only leave you with unanswered questions. Take a break, listen to music, look for new inspiration, or just try (writing) a different angle. For me my breakthrough with Clara and Claire didn’t happen until I joined a writing support group on Facebook. This was my first time joining a support group, but now I definitely want to stay with it as I continue with my writing career.

Had a breakthrough already? Let me know in the comments what was your moment, or if you’re still waiting on it.

On a different note…

Just wanted to give a quick update about Clara and Claire. My editor has been in contact with me this week. Right now we’re working on content edits, and I should be getting the results of that soon and then going to work on that. Good news is everything is going smoothly, and we’re working hard to release the book as soon as humanly possible! I’ll keep you updated!

Lindsey Richardson

Clara and Claire on Goodreads

As promised, I wanted to update you on a few new things as far as everything on Goodreads. Earlier today I added Clara and Claire to the Goodreads database, so if you’re eager for the release you can go ahead and add it your reading list. The official summary is up on there as well, and the cover will be uploaded on cover reveal day.

Also, if you head over to Goodreads you might notice that under Clara and Claire there are two authors mentioned: Lindsey Richardson and Lindsey R. Sablowski. After completing the Magicians series, I decided I want to publish the remainder of my work under Lindsey Richardson. Unfortunately as of right now Goodreads doesn’t support authors with multiple pen names, so I had to make another account for my “new” name. I’m waiting to be approved for the Lindsey Richardson account (to be put in the author program). So it’s not confusing to readers (or myself), I’m putting Clara and Claire under both names on Goodreads. That way no matter which name you know me better as you still find the same work.

So if you have a Goodreads account (or make one today), please let me know if Clara and Claire sounds like your kind of book. I can’t wait to share more, but in the meantime: baby steps.

All in all, this turned out to be a much shorter post than I originally thought. Just a quick update while I decide what else to do with the spare time I have (now with being undecided on whether I should start writing my next book or not). Feel free to leave recommendations of books I should check out on Goodreads in the comments below! Thanks so much for your support!

Lindsey Richardson 

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