HA! It’s finally here!
THE FIRE BORN NOVELS
Normal people don’t believe their nightmares stalk them. They don’t fall in love with boys who don’t exist, either.
Seventeen-year-old Layla Labelle, though, is far from normal. Her delusions walk the earth. Her hallucinations hunt her, and her skin heats to a burn every time her anger flares.
Or is that all in her head?
Layla doesn’t know what to believe any more because if none of that’s true, Max MacLarnon must be an illusion, and her heart must still be broken.
No matter how much she wants to believe Max is real, doing so would mean everything else is, too. How, then, is that possible?
The answers lie in an age-old legend the supernatural aren’t prepared to reveal, and with a curse that could tear Layla and Max apart forever—if it doesn’t kill them both first.
In TIED, book one in the Fire Born trilogy, learning the truth will mean fighting an arsenal of demons, and being with Max will put Layla on a path toward her own destruction.
Just how far will Layla go to protect the one she loves?
The answer may never be far enough … away.
RELEASING IN PRINT & E-BOOK SEPTEMBER 9, 2013
More info at J. Taylor Publishing
Add it to Goodreads
So … What do you think??
February 25, 2013 | Categories: A Fire Born Novel, Books, Cover Reveals, J Taylor Publishing, New Releases, TIED, Young Adult Novels | Tags: art, Author, Blurb, Book, Book cover, E-book, Fire Born, J. Taylor Publishing, laney mcmann, Layla & Max, Literature, new releases for 2013, new young adult releases, Publishing, Teen books, teen novels, teens, The Fire Born Novels, The Fire Born Trilogy, TIED, TIED by Laney McMann, young adult novels, young adult paranormal romance, young adult urban fantasy | 5 Comments »
Here’s how the THE NEXT BIG THING blog hop works. I get tagged to answer a bunch of question about my current book, (while simulataneously getting more word out), thanks to J.A. Belfield for the tip, and then I tag YOU, and you get to share in the love on your own blog to get the word out about YOUR WIP.
I questioned being involved in the hop considering my current WIP is kind of under wraps, while my current finished book is on its way to publication–but, I thought this would be fun.
SO …. I’m going to pretend that my current finished novel is actually a WIP–even though it’s not. K? K!
What is the working title of your book?
The title of my book is TIED, and it’s the first book in The Fire Born Novels series.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
This is one of those questions that’s hard to answer. Ideas sort of pop into my head and I run with them. Some work, some don’t–The Fire Born worked.
What is the genre of your book?
I write young adult dark/urban fantasy, paranormal romance, with bit of mythology mixed in.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
No clue. If I had to choose, it would probably be from people who aren’t even actors. I think it’s really hard to peg the right face/personality to a character you’ve dreamed up in your head.
What in one sentence is the synopsis of your book?
Yikes! Honestly, I don’t even think I’m allowed to tell you guys that yet—-under contract and all that. BUT–soon, so very soon.;) So, I’ll leave you with the hook that’s flying around on all my social media pages:
How far would you go … to protect the one you love?
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency/publisher?
All of The Fire Born Novels will be published by J. Taylor Publishing.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Hm … first draft took three months. All subsequent drafts took — forever. Seriously. A longgg time.
What other books would you compare this story to in your genre?
I wouldn’t. Funny–I was just thinking about this. My play off fantasy and paranormal feels a bit different than what I read–and I read a lot. I guess the readers will have to decide ultimately. But, my intention is always to speak from my own voice and let it roll. Whatever comes, comes. I’m not aiming to compare my books to anyone else’s.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Another loaded question that’s difficult to answer. I’m not sure that any one particular thing inspired me, necessarily. A ton of factors led me to continue to write this book and see it through to the end. Not all my novels have made it to completion. TIED spoke to me in a way nothing else has. So I guess you could say, the story itself inspired me.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
The blurb will be out very soon, and I can’t spoil that, so I’ll just say that if the hook I mentioned before intrigues you–just wait
*** That’s it for me. Anyone want to jump in and let us know what all your blood, sweat and tears are pouring into? Leave me a link so I can check your book out!! ***
January 23, 2013 | Categories: Author, BLOG HOPS, Blog Tours, Blogging, Books, J Taylor Publishing, Publishing, WIP, Writing | Tags: Arts, Blog, Book, Fiction, laney mcmann, Literature, new authors, new book releases, novel writing, Publishing, Romance, The Fire Born Novels, The Next Big Thing Blog Hop, TIED A Fire Born Novel, TIED by Laney McMann, WIP, Working title, ya fantasy author, YA Fiction, YA paranormal romance author | 2 Comments »
Aspire: to long, aim, or seek for.
Aspire is one of those words with an embedded escape clause.
“If I really suck at this, or if I just give up, it won’t matter because I’m only aspiring.”
Do you love to write? Does it speak to you?
Aspiring isn’t goal setting. It’s an escape hatch. It is scribble, scribble, blah, blah … What was I talking about?
If you want to write then write. If you want to become an author work your ass off at it. It’s hard and it will make you want to scream one second and cry the next. But writers write. It’s what we do. Don’t be afraid to put a label on it.
December 8, 2012 | Categories: Author, Inspiration, Writer, Writing | Tags: Advice on writing a novel, art, Arts, Author, Author of The Fire Born Novels, Chats and Forums, FAQs Help and Tutorials, Fiction, goal accomplishment, Goal setting, laney mcmann, Mailing Lists, Publishing, Word count, Writer, Writer Resources, Writers Resources, Writing, Writing Advice, Writing Tips, ya fantasy author, YA paranormal romance author, Young Writers, Young-adult fiction | 6 Comments »
Yep, I said that.
Getting a publishing contract is everything you’ve wanted, everything you’ve worked your ass off for, and when you sign on the dotted line, everything you’re afraid of.
It’s a truth I think a lot of authors keep under wraps because some days when you sit staring at your story, the one that has a deadline attached to it now, the one that needs to be as close to perfect as you can make it—some days, it can feel like you’ve signed yourself up to fail. The days when nothing makes sense and you wonder who in their right mind, including yourself, ever thought your story could actually sell. The days when fear seeps in and hangs on.
From the legalese of contracts, to the swell of accomplishment in your chest that is almost immediately replaced by the tightening of panic, to the real edits and real deadlines, being a contracted, and soon to be published, author is both thrilling and terrifying.
But, in those split seconds when rays of light shine through the blinds in your mind, it is incredibly gratifying. The times when, for once, there are no blue, red, or green edits marking up your pages and your comments come back with “Great!” instead of “Huh?” or “Powerful.” instead of “Make it clearer.” Those are the days when every drop of doubt and ounce of fear is worth it. The days when you’re proud as hell. Maybe they’re far and few between, but those rays of light keep the writing fire burning bright and remind you that you should feel proud, maybe even excited–even if only for a second.
December 4, 2012 | Categories: Author, Editing To Deadlines, Inspiration, Novel Writing, Publishing, Thoughts, Writing | Tags: Advice on writing a novel, Arts, Author, Contract, editing, Editing and Proofreading, Facebook, Fiction, goal accomplishment, Inspiration, laney mcmann, novel creation, published author, Publishing, Publishing contract, Publishing contracts, Technology, Writers Resources, ya fantasy author, YA Fiction, YA paranormal romance author | Leave A Comment »
I can finally talk again and share my big news! Details below:
Laney McMann signs three-book contract with J. Taylor Publishing for her Fire Born trilogy, a dark, Young Adult Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance series, including TIED, TORN and TRUE.
Apex, NC – October 24, 2012 - With a passion for the supernatural and all things magical, Laney McMann developed a voracious appetite for reading fantasy at a young age. By the time she reached her teens, Laney had accumulated notebooks full of poems which led to short stories and finally novels, specifically in the young adult dark fantasy, paranormal romance, and mythology genres.
“A lifelong love of writing fantasy led me to write TIED, ” says Laney. “TORN and TRUE naturally followed.”
That love of writing brought her to J. Taylor Publishing. “The premise of the Fire Borns compelled us to read TIED, the first of the trilogy, ” says J. Taylor Publishing, adding, “and the romantic possibilities, and intrinsic conflict placed up on the main characters won us over. We had absolutely no hesitation contracting this work.”
Figuring out life is a tremendous element in many young adult novels, and TIED is no different as it explores the facets of growing up, discovering oneself and deciding what parts of a future are important to the main characters.
”The tie in to lesser-known mythology truly captured our attention,” says J. Taylor Publishing. “We’re very excited to add another YA novel to our catalog and expect adults and teens alike will enjoy this series.”
TIED is planned for release in September 2013 with, TORN in late 2014 and TRUE to follow one year later.
About the Publisher
J. Taylor Publishing is an Independent Publisher who, thanks to the Internet, has a worldwide reach. Our debut authors are in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. The company produces print and electronic books. For more information about J. Taylor Publishing, please visit www.jtaylorpublishing.com.
October 24, 2012 | Categories: Author, Publishing, Writing | Tags: Arts, Author, Dark fantasy, Fantasy, Fiction, Fire Born, J. Taylor Publishing, Laney, laney mcmann, Mythology, Paranormal Romance, Publishing, The Fire Born Novels, The Fire Born Trilogy, TIED A Fire Born Novel, TIED by Laney McMann, United States, ya fantasy author, YA Fiction, YA paranormal romance author, Young-adult fiction | 12 Comments »
I am elated. Elated!
That’s all I’m going to say. More to come. Soon, I hope.
- The Publishing Roller Coaster (laneymcmann.com)
September 27, 2012 | Categories: Author, Publishing, Writing | Tags: art, goal accomplishment, Inspiration, laney mcmann, novel writing, Publish, Publishing, YA paranormal romance author | Leave A Comment »
There is no such thing as too much description. Okay, maybe later on when you’re a few drafts in some details will need to be scaled down. But in the beginning when you are just writing, just write. Tell your story and every little detail that you see in your mind. First drafts need to be loaded with details. There will be too many but come draft two and three you can pick and choose what’s important enough to stay and what needs to go. And through those changes your story will start to become alive.
Every character in your story needs a voice and I don’t only mean the ones who can talk. I mean EVERY character. The buildings, the car, the woods, the town. The world you’ve created needs to breathe. It needs life. Life in writing is created through details. The edge in someones voice, the creak of a clock tower, the feel of a touch, the sweetness of a flower. The ripped, faded jeans. The wickedly flirtatious smile. The racing blood. The charred forest. The reader needs to see it, taste it, feel it, hear it and know it. They want to walk in the world you create, to feel what the characters feel.
I think we all can get caught up in writing dialogue. It is no doubt, extremely important but at the end of the day, if all you have is dialogue, where’s the setting? Why does the reader care if he can’t see your characters sitting on the hillside, or fighting in the alley? The only way to create your world is to give it a personality of its own. Give it an identity and make it come alive in the minds of all who read it.
WRITE ON, WRITERS!
September 18, 2012 | Categories: Inspiration, Publishing, Thoughts, Writing | Tags: Advice on writing a novel, Arts, Author, Editing and Proofreading, FAQs Help and Tutorials, Inspiration, laney mcmann, Mailing Lists, novel creation, Publishing, Short story, Writer, Writers Resources, Writing, Writing and Editing, Writing Exercises, Writing process, ya fantasy author, YA paranormal romance author | 8 Comments »
You wrote your first book. Now you’re marketing it on every social media site you can think of. Or maybe you’re on submission and you’ve chewed your fingernails to bits with nervous energy at the thought of rejection. Either way, you’ve started your second book right? Right?
The tale goes that most writers need to have between three and five books in the marketplace before they will take off and be seen. If they do at all. There are exceptions, of course. So are you writing those three to five books and beyond, or are you putting all your efforts toward promoting your first, and only, book?
I won’t lie and say that I didn’t go into a state of panic when I went on submission, or that I didn’t freeze into a no writing phase for about a week afterwards. I did panic. I did freeze. Then I realized I was wasting both time and energy, and I continued on with TORN, the sequel to my first book, TIED, now on submission. I realized that regardless of what happens with TIED, I needed to move forward with writing. It was the only thing I could control. And if everything did work out with book one, I would need to have book two in the wings, finished, ready and waiting to go live.
The turnover with e-book technology is simply too quick to expect that a year in between books will cut it in today’s market anymore. What I learned when I continued on with book two, was that my anxiety decreased, my reason for writing in the first place resumed, and I fell back in love with my story. For me, that in itself is all I can ever ask for. To love what I’m doing regardless of where it leads.
Now, I won’t lie and say that marketing doesn’t scare me to death, or make me uncomfortable. It does. And I am only doing a fraction of marketing now compared to what I know will be required of me when I do publish. But even then, a balance will need to be struck. Because in order to sell books, you have to continue writing them. There needs to be something to buy within a reasonable amount of time after you’ve created a buzz with your first masterpiece. So market away, submit away, but remember, this is a writing game we’re in. We need not forget that.
So, what about you? Are you in a terrified state on submission? Marketing your Indie book? How’s it going?
August 21, 2012 | Categories: Author, Publishing, Writing, Writing Tips | Tags: Amazon Kindle, Arts, Author, Book, E-book, Fiction, goal accomplishment, laney mcmann, Marketing, Publish, Publishing, Self-publishing, Shopping, Social media, WIP, Writers Resources, Writing, Writing Tips, ya fantasy author, YA paranormal romance author | 1 Comment »
Anyone who reads my blog with any regularity (Thank You!) knows that I’ve been working on my novel for two years. Two years full of a wide swing of emotions. Now, as I am officially on submission, I feel…uneasy. Anxious. A little bit afraid.
For the first time, I’m nervous about simply letting it go.
When I started working on my cover art, I felt excited. When I received the first layout, my heart skipped. Mine. My words. My name.
The second layout was similar. The fourth and fifth layouts had me feeling downright overwhelmed.
When my first wave of edits rolled in, I thought, okay, this is doable. Not so bad. When the second wave of fine toothed edits came over with suggestions and corrections everywhere, I panicked.
Oh my god. I’m actually doing this?
All those little insecurities welled up again and sat there on my shoulder, taunting me.
This wasn’t the plan, you know. You were just writing….just writing. Like always. Are you sure you want to do this? You can back out. Keep this story tucked away like all the other ones. No one has to know!
Overreacting. All part of the process. I get it. I am supposed to be putting all my efforts toward TORN, the second book in the series. I am supposed to submit the first book, forget about it, and move to the next. I know.
But…this is hard.
August 9, 2012 | Categories: Author, Books, Editing, Life, Publishing, Reviews, Self Publishing, Writer, Writing, Writing Tips | Tags: art, Arts, Blog, Facebook, goal accomplishment, laney mcmann, Publishing, Self-publishing, Social media, TIED A Fire Born Novel, TIED by Laney McMann, Twitter, Writers Resources, Writing, ya fantasy author, YA paranormal romance author | 4 Comments »
I am officially on submission with TIED.
This wasn’t my plan. Well…that’s not really true. I never had a plan originally. I never thought I would be writing for the masses. And when the thought did cross my mind, it was traditional publishing. Not because I had some kind of issue with self-publishing, but because at that time (which was two years ago), self-publishing was still fairly new to the scene. I didn’t know much about it, and as an unseasoned writer, I wasn’t sure I wanted to guinea pig myself out, or my novel.
That changed though. When you’re always writing, you’re always reading too. Novels, blogs, articles, craft books. And the authors I follow (who are amazing), gave me a lot of food for thought. Indie publishing food for thought. With the upheaval in traditional publishing, the negative press, famous authors jumping ship, brick and mortar book stores going under, and so many new authors choosing to go it alone–I was forced to reevaluate my ideas about the publishing industry and my goals as a writer.
I chose to go Indie. And when I say Indie, I mean going it alone. Solo. And I’d planned, like my bio says, to publish this year.
Why am I going on submission then? Because as a newbie, I think I need more support, and an Indie publisher can provide it. I also think that if I don’t at least try to get representation, then somehow I’ve sold myself short. Not because I need a pat on the back or some kind of validation in that regard, but because it’s part of the process of becoming an author, for me. Good or bad, it’s a part I want to say I went for. Then I will be on solid ground and able to make a sound decision in regard to my novel and my future novels.
I have a great team behind me, who I owe more than I could possibly ever repay, and I doubt they’re going anywhere, so either way, I’m feeling pretty okay.
The problem with announcing that you are going on submission is that now everyone will know if you fail. Scary. Very scary. But there’s something empowering about it too. You can’t crawl away, like so many writers are prone to do if you’re on a public stage. And like the saying goes,
“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” ~Jack Canfield
July 26, 2012 | Categories: Author, Books, Publishing, Writer, Writing | Tags: Author, Book Writing, Brick and mortar, Business, Fiction, goal accomplishment, Guinea pig, Jack Canfield, laney mcmann, Paranormal Romance, Publish, Publishing, Small Press, Writer, ya fantasy author, YA paranormal romance author | 2 Comments »
I invest a ludicrous amount of time reading. Whether I read novels, blogs, craft books or research material, I always try to find useful or inspiring bits of information each week. And then I save them. Here are this weeks links:
Joanna Penn has a great post on her blog this week, The Creative Penn, Traditional Publishing And Self-Publishing Are Not Mutually Exclusive
David Gaughran from Let’s Get Digital talks about Publishing this week in his post, Was Self-Publishing The Right Decision?
And lastly, Indie Author Lindsay Buroker has an interesting interview with Author Liana Brooks up on her blog. Check it out here: Why One Author Chose A Small Press over Self-Publishing
WRITE ON, WRITERS.
April 27, 2012 | Categories: Author, Publishing, Self Publishing, Writer, Writing | Tags: Amazon Kindle, Author, Blog, Book, Business, Creative Penn, David Gaughran, E-book, Joanna Penn, laney mcmann, Liana Brooks, Lindsay Buroker, Publishing, Self-publishing, Small Press, Social media, Twitter, Writing Advice, Writing Tips, YA paranormal romance author | 1 Comment »
“Stopping a piece of work just because it’s hard, either emotionally or imaginatively, is a bad idea. Sometimes you have to go on when you don’t feel like it, and sometimes you’re doing good work when it feels like all you’re managing is to shovel shit from a sitting position.”
No matter how hard it gets, how overwhelmed you feel, keep going. You will get there.
WRITE ON, WRITERS!
March 29, 2012 | Categories: Author, Editing, Inspiration, Publishing, Self Publishing, Writer, Writing | Tags: Editing and Proofreading, Inspiration, laney mcmann, novel writing, Publishing, Revisions, Rewrites, Self-publishing, Stephen King, WIP, Writers Resources, Writing Advice, Writing Tips, ya fantasy author, YA paranormal romance author | 2 Comments »
I invest a ludicrous amount of time reading. Whether I read novels, blogs, craft books or research material, I always try to find useful or inspiring bits of information each week. And then I save them. Here are this weeks links:
Author Anne R. Allen has a great post up on her blog this week, When Should An Author Hire An Editor?
Author Kristen Lamb is continuing her blog series, Don’t Eat The Butt. Her 4th post in the series, Real Writers Never Struggle
Author Janni Lee Simmer has a post up on her blog, Desert Dispatches. On Publishing and being a writer in the Right Now
WRITE ON, WRITERS.
March 20, 2012 | Categories: Author, Books, Life, Publishing, Self Publishing, Writer, Writing | Tags: Anne R. Allen, Author, being a writer, E-book, Editing and Proofreading, Hire an Editor, Inspiration, Janni Lee Simmer, Kristen Lamb, laney mcmann, novel writing, Publishing, real writers, Self-publishing, Writer, Writer Resources, Writing | 4 Comments »
I invest a ludicrous amount of time reading. Whether I read novels, blogs, craft books or research material, I always try to find useful or inspiring bits of information each week. And then I save them. This week, the focus of conversation has moved back to where it should be: Craft. The actual craft of writing. At the end of the day, we need well written, engaging stories. All the social media in the world won’t save us from ill crafted books.
First up, J.A. Konrath. His post, Writing Matters, is up on his blog, A Newbie’s Guide To Publishing Check it out.
And last up today, Chuck Wendig. 25 Things You Should Know About Word Choice, on his blog, Terrible Minds
WRITE ON, WRITERS. WRITE ON.
March 8, 2012 | Categories: Author, Books, Publishing, Self Publishing, Writer, Writing | Tags: Bob Mayer, Chuck Wendig, Content, Craft, E-book, Fiction, JA Konrath, laney mcmann, Newbie, Publishing, Self-publishing, Social media, Writer, Writer Resources, Writing | 2 Comments »
I invest a ludicrous amount of time reading. Whether I read novels, blogs, craft books or research material, I always try to find useful or inspiring bits of information each week. And then I save them. Publishing is the topic of conversation this week. Here are the must reads:
J.A. Konrath has an insightful MUST READ post up on his blog, A Newbies Guide To Self-Publishing. His post: Amazon Will Destroy You
Kristen Lamb’s post over on her blog, Warrior Writers, talks about The Future of Big Publishing in the New Paradigm–Bracing For Impact
And how could I leave out Chuck Wendig? Check out his take on whether or not FREE is truly FREE in the world of E-books. Is Free A Price We Can Pay? On his blog, Terrible Minds. And be sure to read the plethora of comments that follow.
Good Day Writers
February 17, 2012 | Categories: Author, Blogging, Publishing, Self Publishing, Writer, Writing | Tags: Amazon, Author, bloggers, E-Books, laney mcmann, Publishing, Self-publishing, Writer Resources, Writing Advice, Writing Tips, ya fantasy author, YA paranormal romance author | Leave A Comment »
I’ve never considered myself to be shy, but truth be told, I’ve always been guarded. Guarded is a sort of fancy word for introverted. Introverted and shy, it turns out, are not the same creature. I’d never given much thought to either, until now. It’s not like I’m anti-social. But the social media aspect of being a writer, and soon to be published author, is daunting for people like me. It’s like throwing yourself into an oven and praying it’s only set at around 175 degrees. Because at 400–you will burn up. 400 is too hot, too social, too LOUD.
The social media aspect of this business forces us to be just that—social. It forces us to be everywhere. All The Time. Making contacts, creating a brand—-basically, establishing a business from the ground floor. A huge undertaking, especially when we are expected to be writing good books at the same time. When you aren’t an extrovert, it’s an even harder task. Thankfully, a lot of blog and twitter friends are extroverts and that makes it easier. They draw us introverts out once in a while.
I uploaded my fledgling Facebook page the other day (come over and LIKE me), and I swear it took all I had to push ‘publish’ and go live. I felt the same way with Twitter, an outlet that is going strong now, thankfully. My blog has been, surprisingly, the easiest branch of social media for me. Why? I’m all exposed here on the blog, how could that be easier? Writing is easy. Simple as that. Talking to 500 people on Twitter….different story. (Thank you for keeping me talking Twitter followers:)
I ran across an interesting article on NPR the other day.
Quiet, Please: Unleashing ‘The Power Of Introverts’ You can find the link here: NPR Books
Susan Cain has written a book on the subject.
The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
Check it out.
When I publish my novel later this year, I will likely hide for a few weeks, due to open and blatant exposure (Kidding. Sort of;)
Are you more comfortable in a crowded room talking to any and everyone? Or do one on one conversations interest you more?
February 2, 2012 | Categories: Author, Blogging, Publishing, Thoughts, Writing | Tags: Author, author brand, Blog, Branding, Extraversion and introversion, Facebook, laney mcmann, Publishing, Quiet Please, Self-publishing, Social media, Social Networking, Susan Cain, Twitter | 5 Comments »
I invest a ludicrous amount of time reading. Whether I read novels, blogs, craft books or research material, I always try to find useful or inspiring bits of information each week. And then I save them. Here are this weeks must reads:
One of THE BEST pieces of writing advice I have ever read is written by Chuck Wendig. His blog, Terrible Minds, is a must read. Here is his incredibly inspiring post:
25 Things Writers Should Stop Doing: Terrible Minds
Wendig’s blog is R rated, so if you are easily squeamish look the other way. He is however, an amazing writer and accomplished author, and his writing advice is second to none.
J.A. Konrath has an excellent post up on his blog, A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing, The Myth Of The Bestseller. You can read it here: A Newbie’s Guide To Publishing
Konrath’s approach is direct and to the point. He is a numbers guy and a known name in the world of self publishing. Check out his thoughts if you haven’t yet.
February 1, 2012 | Categories: Author, Blogging, Inspiration, Publishing, Writing | Tags: Chuck Wendig, goal accomplishment, J.A. Konrath, laney mcmann, Publishing, Self-publishing, Writer Resources, Writing Advice | 2 Comments »
I’ve been revising my novel for a few weeks now, gearing up for its release. I’m nowhere near completion, but working on it every day gives me a sense of forward motion and accomplishment. Which is why after finishing Chapters 1-7 in their entirety, I found myself surprised to feel that old familiar pang. The stab in the side.
Burn Out. It happens. Sometimes when you least expect it.
A year and a half is a long time to dedicate to writing a novel in these technologically fast-moving times. Too long. Nonetheless, a year and a half it has been since I began. And throughout that time I have swung through emotions with the swift fluidity of a pendulum. One day in love with my words, the next, ready to chunk my laptop out the window.
I have tried editing or writing from the end of the story or somewhere in the middle for a fresh perspective. I’ve tried working on other stories in the toolbox of ideas I have amassed. But, always I come back to my current novel. It never shuts up. I both love and hate it. I picks me up and drops me again.
Today I received an email on my chap nine revisions. The chapter that I knew was still rough after all the edits and continued to need work. I was ready for the slashes of red across the text, the comments in the margins, ready for the question marks. I didn’t get them. At least not that many. Instead, I got the opposite. My editor said she liked the chapter, she said it had life in it.
Not sure I could receive a greater compliment than that. So today, novel, I love you again. You still need work, but you have life;)
January 22, 2012 | Categories: Author, Publishing, Thoughts, Writing | Tags: Arts, Author, Fiction, goal accomplishment, laney mcmann, Novels, Online Writing, Pendulum, Publishing, Revisions, Writers Resources, Writing and Editing, ya fantasy author, YA Fiction, YA paranormal romance author | 2 Comments »
I missed it. My anniversary. Because of the Flu. But on December 10, my one year Blog Anniversary came and went. I was too ill to think, much less write, but even my flu induced haze didn’t allow me to forget.
One year. Wow. It’s hard to believe. Harder still to believe that I had already completed the first and second draft of my novel five months prior to launching this blog. When I began it was primarily to talk about writing. To have an outlet for my overflowing brain. To create contacts and have a sounding board.
It has proved a far greater asset than I could have imagined. The fellow writer friends I have made over the past year have inspired me, helped me and ultimately kept me writing at times I thought I couldn’t keep going. All of the support and positive response I have received means so much to me. Thank you.
2012 should be a most challenging year, as I plan to publish my first novel in what will be a YA Fantasy/Paranormal series. April will mark two years of writing, editing and now revising this book.
Here’s to a successful and gratifying New Year. The sky’s the limit.
January 11, 2012 | Categories: Blogging, Books, Inspiration, Publishing, Writing | Tags: Author, Blog, goal accomplishment, laney mcmann, Paranormal Romance, Publishing, YA Fiction | Leave A Comment »
I have had an inspired week filled with edits and revisions. My MS has now been relinquished for the real edits to begin and what I am positive will be full-blown revisions to follow.
Instead of going into an extended state of anxiety awaiting judgement, I plan to focus all of my energy on finishing my second WIP. As my current novel has taken what feels like forever to finish, I have a new-found confidence that the second will be a much quicker process.
I am hoping to gain some insight on creating a new title (or sticking with the original) as mine has been found elsewhere. I have created a list of around twenty possibilities, half of which I have already shot down. With any luck my title will be released here on the blog soon. My cover has also been completed.
Good writing to you;)
What role does a title play in the overall feel of a book? Does it pull at your heart-strings, begging you to pick it up or is the cover more important as a draw?
Since I am now in the position of weighing my options in regard to changing my title (or clinging to it with both hands), I’ve given the whole process quite a bit of thought.
There are a good amount of book titles out there that have little or no relevance to story content. Good books. Books that I’m sure had original titles, titles that fit and worked, only to be changed in order to draw more readers.
In the YA fantasy/paranormal genre they seem more prevalent. So here’s the question: Should the title represent the story? Or should the aim of a title be to draw more readers regardless of its relevance to the book?
Example: Twilight. Stephenie Meyer intended the first book of this series to be titled FORKS. It represented the town obviously, but it also represented where Bella was in her life. Stuck at various cross-roads, trying to do the right thing, make the right decisions. Put aside the fact the we are all comfortable, and there for biased to the Twilight title, and ask yourself if it really works. Does it have any real relevance to the story? It makes a great sounding book. It fits the cover nicely. It sold millions of copies.
How about Beautiful Creatures (Darkness and Chaos), a favorite series of mine, by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. These books are magical and dark and delicious. They also have a different title. The original one. SIXTEEN MOONS (and Seventeen and Eighteen). Titles that fit beautifully with the storyline. But those titles aren’t the ones we see.
How about JK Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows? Pretty clear that her titles (and covers) could not be more perfectly matched to the story.
That all being said, I am assuming it’s the romantic paranormal side of YA that tends to fall to luring titles, regardless of story content. Pretty covers sell. Put a catchy title on that pretty cover and you just increased your odds of selling a book.
So, what do you think? Choose the title that fits the storyline and hope it appeals to your readers? Choose the title that grips you as the writer from the start? Or choose a title (and cover) that targets your genre regardless of relevance to the book?
I know, I know. Be savvy enough to meld them all (EXCEPT relevance, I can’t move past that). Just answer the question;)
November 21, 2011 | Categories: Blogging, Books, Inspiration, Publishing, Reading, Thoughts, Writing | Tags: Book cover, Book Title, laney mcmann, Paranormal Romance, Publishing, YA Fiction | 7 Comments »
Yep, after a year and a half, my title has been taken. *sigh*
It’s a good title, a title that fits beautifully with the story. I can’t even wrap my head around changing it.
One of the pieces of advice I remember most was given by my college dance instructor,”Laney, you’re one of those dancers who has all this talent but never comes to class.” She shook her head, I remember, as if I were driving her crazy and went on to say that I could do so much with my talent if I just put the time in.
Thing was, I’d been dancing my entire life. I’d put the time in. I’d busted my ass and now all I wanted to do was show it. I wanted to perform. And so I did. I put in hours and hours of rehearsal time every week, performed a few times a year and I loved it. I wasn’t interested in going to class. I knew the drill. I was happy in the now. I was performing and performing well and wasn’t THAT the point??
For Ms. Alora, there was so much more that I was capable of. So much more I was losing out on. I was a good dancer. But in my instructors eyes, I could’ve been great. I was wasting my talent by not coming to class.
Sure I could’ve gone much further than I did. Busted my ass a little harder, hung in there a little longer. But, I was happy doing what I was doing.
Now, as I read everything under the sun in regard to publishing and honing the craft as a writer, I wonder, have I put in the time? Would my dance instructor say, “Laney, you need to keep studying. Don’t publish yet.”
After dancing for close to 16 years at the time of her first bit of advice, she still wanted more. I continued to dance for many years after that and I never forgot her words.
As I look at my completed novel, I wonder, should I study for a little longer? Bust my ass for a few more years?
Was Ms. Alora right?
I put in my time as a dancer. Years and years of it. And at the end of the day, I did what made me happy. That should count for something. When is it ok to trust that you’re on the right path for you?
No one can say whether or not I should have showed up for class more. Or that going along with what someone else thought was the right way to go–was indeed the right way. It was my way. I get to choose. And if I fail, then I fail–but at least I tried. At least I chose the road to travel–it wasn’t chosen for me.
I didn’t fail as a dancer because my path was different from what was expected–I excelled because I listened to what I thought was right.
All this second guessing surrounding the publishing industry is enough to drown new writers. Which way is up or down? Will people like my work? Will they destroy it with reviews?
But here’s the real question–Will you be happy or even content if you don’t publish your work? If it stays hidden in a drawer?
Why put in all that time and effort if you don’t plan to perform?
I mean, that’s the whole point. Isn’t it?
August 1, 2011 | Categories: Dance, Publishing, Thoughts, Writing | Tags: advice, Dance, Finished novel, goal accomplishment, Inspiration, laney mcmann, Novel, Performing Arts, Publishing, Writing | Leave A Comment »