Jeff Seymour - Author of Fantasy, Literary Fiction, & c.: February 2013

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Thursday, February 28, 2013

News for the Week of 2.28.13: Pushing on Publishing, Wing Stretching, Page Design, and SocMedPromo

Hello, Friends and Readers!

Welcome to the last day of February! Or, for some of you, the first day of March *wave to Pakistan*. Beware the Ides.

Anyway, things are clicking along quite well. I’ve been stretching my wings a bit this week---I sent a short story to a contest, applied to a writing workshop in Seattle, and entered a pitch contest with Nadya. We’ll see what comes of it, but it feels good to be spending more energy pushing on the publishing world.

Interest in Soulwoven has picked up again on Wattpad, and I’m pleased as peaches. At this rate, it’ll hit 200,000 soon and get the coveted bold, shiny red text for its read numbers. I’m very excited about that. Wattpad and I are also working on some social media promotion for it, which should be cool as well. And most importantly, when going back through it to pull quotes for that, I realized I still totally love it.

That matters a lot. It doesn’t always work that way once you call a book finished and move on to the next one.

Speaking! Of! Which!

I’m starting line edits on Nadya. The feedback on it has been overwhelmingly positive and has helped me make a few last tweaks, and I think it’s almost ready to fly. I hope to start sending it around to agents in the next few weeks.

And once that’s done, I’ll get back to work on Soulwoven: Exile, I promise. I have all my ducks lined up for it now, and it’s just a matter of grinding through and doing the revisions, so hopefully that will be ready for mass consumption sooner rather than later.

AND I’ve started doing page design on Three Dances. I have a few technical hiccups to overcome, but I expect the Digital Deluxe Version, with enhanced artwork, to be ready very soon. Which is SUPER EXCITING, because then I can set a launch date and start doing promo work and generally kick things off.

I have another free Saturday this week, so I’ll be doing first-page critiques at 1:00 PM on Wattpad again. As always, the first two slots go to followers, so message me if you’re interested. Or if you have a friend who might be interested, tell them to do the same.

Thanks, thanks, thanks for all your support. This writing thing is going to fly sooner rather than later.

I can feel it.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Some Thoughts on Publishing and Rejection

Today as I was doing first page critiques on Wattpad, I ran across a message from a follower of mine asking how I deal with the constant threat and reality of rejection as a writer. My response to her got a bit longer than the standard e-mail, and I think it's got some points that other people will find interesting as well, so I'm going to share it here.

My response below. Thanks to @fairyfree on Wattpad for the question. :-)

As for your question: Yes, rejection is common and brutal. And I'd be lying if I said it didn't hurt. Despite having put twelve years into this, holding a college degree in creative writing, and working as an editor, I've had people talk to me like I first picked up a pen yesterday. Some of them have the best of intentions, and some of them don't. Either way, it still hurts. 

For me, that's harder to deal with than rejection. Rejection can happen for so, so many more reasons than bad writing. It can be because a publisher already has too many books like the one you're submitting, or because the editor dislikes something about your writing that another editor might love, or simply because they were tired and grumpy and not in a mood to cut you any slack when they were reading your submission.

Publishing is an incredibly subjective business. Every piece of writing has an audience, and just because something isn't likely to be commercially successful (Soulwoven, for instance), doesn't mean it's not good. But publishers are businesses, and they can't afford to acquire things they don't think will be commercially successful, so not everything gets acquired. 

So don't despair over rejection. It doesn't necessarily mean that you're a bad writer or that you're doing anything wrong (though I certainly had bad novels of mine rightfully rejected early in my career). In the end, if you're writing books that you're proud of, you're winning, period. Readers are a remarkably varied and forgiving group of people, and if you love your work, someone else out there will too, even if it's not a publisher.

Happy Saturday, folks. Everyone is out of town today, so I'm working through the weekend. Wish me luck. :-)

Friday, February 22, 2013

News for the Week of 2.22.13: Soulwoven's Rebirth, More Crit Sessions, and Lots of General Excitement

Hello, Friends and Readers!

It’s been an exciting week for me. In my day job, I’m deliriously happy about a couple of projects with amazing authors that are coming my way, one of whom is already a star in his own right and one of whom I expect will be soon.

More importantly, things have been clipping along with my books! My first-page critique session last Saturday was a smashing success, and interest in Soulwoven has positively skyrocketed since I did it. I can’t tell you how gratifying that is to me. Almost 2,500 people have read the book in its entirety on Wattpad. That’s solid, midlist-level success, and it’s only the beginning!

Also, I’ve finally cracked the egg on Soulwoven: Exile, the second book in the series. I’ve been experimenting with outlining the story, which is something I didn’t try for the first book, and it’s really helping me wrap my head around things. The beginning still needs work, which is why it isn’t up yet, but the middle is in solid shape and I have a good feeling about the end. I’ve reworked the first chapter into a shape I’m happy with, and I’ll aim to put it up in the next few weeks.

And Nadya is almost ready for line editing! It’s seen additional attention on Wattpad this week as well, so I’m going to put up the second chapter. I’m extremely excited to finish up work on it and get it out into the hands of agents. I think it’s going to sell, which is a feeling I never really had about Soulwoven.

I’m still waiting for copy edits on Three Dances (I was promised them a week ago) and have decided that if they don’t come in by tomorrow, I’m just going to forego them and do my best to copy edit the book on my own. It’s hard to copy edit your own work, but I’ve done it professionally, and I’ve reached the point where I just want to get this monkey in the air.

So lots of exciting things! I’ll be doing first-page critiques tomorrow (Saturday 2/23) at 1 p.m. EST. As usual, I’ll reserve the first two spots for followers, so if you’re interested, send me a private message linking me to the story you’d like critiqued.

Happy winter, dear friends. There’s snow on the ground, and it makes me feel that all is right with the world.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

News for the Week of 2.14.13: Valentine's Day is Cruel, Upcoming Critique Session, and Wispy Hints of Secret Projects

Hello, Dear Friends and Readers!

Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope this February 14th finds you well. It’s always a strange time of year to me, when a segment of the population that’s happy and in love celebrates, and everyone else either fakes it or, well…doesn’t. Next year I think I’ll try to write something for it, because it sucks when a day seems designed just to point out a thing you don’t have, and stories are good at riposting those types of days.

For me, anyway.

Anyhoo, another week has flown by! The interminable wait for copy edits on Three Dances lingers on, but in other news, I’ve finally hiked up my skirts and thrown on my galoshes and waded into revisions on book two of Soulwoven. The first chapter was a doozy. The second chapter was much easier. And I think I’m getting back into the swing of that world again, which makes me happy and causes me to feel more like a writer and less like an impostor, all of which are good things.

Soulwoven itself is in a bit of a doldrums, reading wise. I am of two minds about whether to try to stir up more interest in it on Wattpad or just to keep writing and trust that its readers will find their way to it over time, one way or another. There is one more Wattpad project I’d like to do in conjunction with it, but I’m not sure it quite has the audience to support it yet.

Also! I’m going to do another first-page critique session on Wattpad this Saturday morning, at 1:00 p.m. EST. It will run for about an hour or so. I’ll give the first two spots to my followers this time around, so if you’re interested, follow me on Wattpad, send a message to my inbox and let me know.

In the meantime, I’ve written an outline for Nadya and continue to make tweaks to it. It’s very close to going into line edits, which means it’s very close to going out on submission, which is very exciting.

Anyway, a fine day to all of you. I am thinking of you and wishing you warm happy moments. I trust that they will come to you sometime, no matter who or where you are.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

News for the Week of 2.6.13: Copy edits, EXTREME months, and Strange-but-Common Fears

Greetings, Friends and Readers!

Welcome to February! I hope it’s treating you well, and that it is neither excessively hot and sunny nor excessively cold and dark in your part of the world (February is a month of extremes, I think). It’s been another fairly quiet week for me and my writing.

The first chapter of Nadya met with middling success on Wattpad, catapulting briefly into the top #100 in its categories and then disappearing from them entirely. This neither surprises nor dismays me; it simply reinforces to me that I do not understand how Wattpad’s rankings systems work, and that I am rubbish at capitalizing on them.

Soulwoven, meanwhile, has crossed the 150,000 reads mark, and I have at long last put up the Aleani Language Primer. For those of you who are interested, it can be found at the very end of the book, and it will allow you to translate every Aleani phrase in the book into English if you so choose.

More exciting news is afoot with Three Dances. I spoke with my copy editor, and the book will be returned in edited form to me this week. This. Is. Exciting. Because once it’s come back to me, I’m literally only about two snafus in page design away from having it ready for publication. And once it’s ready for publication all kinds of exciting things can happen, the most exciting of which is that it will be published and available for human consumption by whichever humans choose to consume it.

I hope some of you will be among them.

That’s about all, for now. I am going to begin work on overhauling Soulwoven: Exile tonight. It frightens me, because it matters to me, and because I am afraid of somehow hurting it when I go back in to fix it up and make it better. This fear, so far as I can tell, is a good and normal thing.

But I still hope that at some point, it goes away.

All best as always, friends and readers, and happy month of extremes.