Full System Reset

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By Bernard Gagnon – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, $3 So, a few months ago, I blogged about pulling back from social media and such, trying to take more time for family and writing, and you all were super supportive (because you’re awesome) and encouraging. Then life happens. And I have a book release just before Thanksgiving (Waking Hearts). And then a surprise project (On a Clear Winter Night) right before Christmas. And a cover relaunch (Building From Ashes/Blood and Sand) right after that. And a big promo-sale in the Elemental series. And then posting the serial chapters for Imitation and Alchemy weekly. And then publishing and promoting that book (sales have been amazing, by the way, thank you SO much.) All this leads to Elizabeth needing what she likes to call a FULL SYSTEM RESET. I have no other major projects set to release right now, which means that I have […]

For Writers: The Audacity of Optimism

There have been several articles lately about how complicated writing female protagonists can be. We want them strong but not too strong. Amazingly competent but not unrealistic. Gritty but not abrasive. Blech. By my count, I have now written thirteen female protagonists (maybe more depending on your definition of protagonist) in my novels and novellas. Here’s some of the reader and reviewer feedback I’ve gotten about my female protagonists: “clever” “boring, plain, over-emotional, and kinda stupid” “kickass!” “pathetic” “spineless ninny” “awesome” “relatable” “no personality” “one-dimensional” “all-time favorite heroine” “weak” “brilliant” And ladies and gentlemen, this is all feedback for the same character! I’ll leave you to guess for which because honestly, this could be for any and all of them. Reader perception ranges SO wildly (and always has) that I tend to stick with the philosophy that has guided me from the beginning of my writing career. It’s simple, actually. […]

What do I “owe” my readers?

I’ve been seeing this phrase more and more as authors and readers interact on Facebook and Twitter and blogs. I’ve seen it in e-mails. I’ve read it in reviews of books I’ve written and books I’ve read from other authors. “You owe it to your readers to…” I find myself dismissing everything that comes after that phrase. But since I don’t want to be a dismissive person, I asked myself this morning, “What do I owe my readers?” After all, you’ve spent money on a book that I wrote and published. So yes, I do think I owe you some things. But what do I owe you? When I really started to think about it, I came up with this short list. I, as the writer (and publisher) of a book you have paid money for, owe you: 1. A well-written and edited book. You’ve paid me your cash; I […]

My Son’s Room

I love my son’s room. I love going in at the end of the day to put him to bed and seeing the artifacts of his life gathered around him. I love seeing what he thinks is valuable and what isn’t. What deserves a place of honor on his dresser, and what gets thrown in the closet. He’s a bit of a collector, my kid, which is not really like me. He’s more sentimental about objects. But I enjoy seeing that, too. I like seeing the ways that he is uniquely himself and nothing like me or his dad. People are interesting. No, really, they are. If you don’t think so, you’re not looking hard enough. Every person has a story, even an eight year old boy who lives with his mom and dog and collects LEGOs and stuffed snakes and rocks with cool patterns on them. Are you looking?

Pre-travel Stuff and Ramblings (Oh, and maybe the prologue for the new book…)

A few quick things. 1. BLOGGING Remember how I switched from posting on the Elemental Mysteries Facebook page (if you’re a FB person) to the more general Elizabeth Hunter page? I’m going to try to do that with blogging, too. I’m doing a lot more than just the Elemental Mysteries and Elemental World stuff now (and will continue to do more in the future), so this is the most practical thing for me. I don’t want to get rid of ElementalMysteries.com. I’ll still be posting extra fiction and maybe some serial fiction over there in the future, but if you want to keep track of what’s happening with writing overall, PLEASE subscribe to this blog, not the other. It’s just too crazy to try to continue to cross-post on both. EM.com will continue to remain a fan site for Elemental World fans, featuring things specific to that series like short […]

Book news, Where to find me, and Future Projects

(Originally posted at ElementalMysteries.com) I’m a busy little bee, but I haven’t updated here on the blog in a while! Publishing News: Major edits on Carwyn’s book, Building From Ashes are complete! It is in the hands of my lovely proofreader right now, who is working on it before it goes to the formatter. That means that (natural disasters and exploding cats aside) the book will be ready for it’s release on October 23rd, which is only a week from today! HOWEVER, should you want to win an early copy of the book (and you participate in the entity known as Facebook) you can enter to win an early copy over on my new “Elizabeth Hunter” page by ‘liking’ the page. That’s it! All you have to do is like it and you’re entered. I’m doing the drawing tomorrow night, so don’t wait! Where to find me: Here, obviously (and on Facebook and Twitter), but I’ve […]

On Rivals and Competition in the New World of Publishing

Ever since the news hit that respected thriller writers (who shall remain nameless here) had been using fake accounts to leave online reviews for their own books AND leaving disparaging reviews on their ‘rival’s’ books, two thoughts have been circling my mind: As Chuck Wendig mentioned on Terrible Minds, say what you will about how this affects authors, but the people this really affects are readers. They’re the one damaged when fake reviews prosper and review systems become unreliable. Can most savvy readers tell a fake review from an authentic one? Sure. But they shouldn’t have to. It’s irritating and time-consuming. So, if you’re an author who is doing this or has done this, cut it out. You’re ultimately hurting readers. Shame on you. 2. Who has ‘rivals’ in writing? This last thought has been bothering me most as a writer. Is there a competition that I’m not aware of? […]

August wrap-up: Writing updates, Chicago news, and get ready for BLOODY SEPTEMBER!

The month of August is ending and what a month it has been! Lots going on, lots of new readers, and WAY more blog traffic. Hi to all the new readers! *waves like a dork* Welcome to my blog and I hope you hang around. Press the subscribe button if you like. I promise not to flood your inbox. I only post a couple times a week, max, but this is the best way to keep up with new releases, teasers, and other stuff like that. WRITING NEWS!!!  I’m finishing up revisions for Carwyn’s book this week, which is both exciting and nerve-wracking. I’m also continuing with the first draft of the new Cambio Springs book (you can read the first chapter here). Life is fun in shapeshifter-land. What have I been up to personally? Well, work mostly, but I was at the last Gentlemen of the Road stopover in […]

My child is a reader now.

Watching my son learn to read is a revelation. For a lifelong reader, there is very little that equals the thrill of watching your child learn to read. It’s as if the world opens up to them. They discover a magic code in the air that is suddenly and permanently decipherable. They start to recognize words all around and, if you’re watching, you can see the wonder of it. You begin to realize just how much language surrounds us. Signs, t-shirts, instructions, advertising, labels. They start to read it all. And you become aware of something that you thought you knew—especially if you’re a writer—but it drills it home because this time it is your child and their world and everything is new. Words, which we toss around like careless things too often, have weight. And for the rest of their lives, the child that has learned to read will […]