If you want to read the steamy excerpt click on this link which will take you to Cosmopolitan and from there, you can read the ongoing story on Wattpad where I still post some of my current WIP (works in progress) to my readers.
I woke up this morning to some good news and bad news. The bad news: someone charged the most awful looking Hugo Boss shoes size 7M to my account which I promptly cancelled as I removed that darn One-Click option that links your credit cards to your account.
The good news: my current work-in-progress novel Collateral which I’m serializing on Wattpad live (I write and post as I go) is one of RT Book Reviews Top 5 romance reads for July.
The bad news? The pressure… eek!
So Wattpad is having this contest that’s in partnership with Harlequin and it’s called So You Think You Can Write. In this case it’s the next romance novel. And the winner will have the chance for a 2-book publishing contract with Harlequin.
It took me some time to think about it, what with forum talk about how Harlequin is the worst there is for writers and something about a 2.6% payday per book sold once everything else is deducted. It’s disappointing to say the least and enough for me to just say, screw it! I’ll just self-pub.
But then it hit me! I’ve already self-pubbed! Now what else haven’t I tried? For one I haven’t even done the legwork to get myself an agent, neither have I shopped my novels around (so busy self-pubbing, that’s why). So what have I got to lose?
So as of yesterday I threw my hat in the ring with a new novel, and now I’m stumped. What do my characters want?
It’s one thing to write because you want to write. It’s one thing to write something that fits some sort of mold and in this case, a romance novel.
So while I figure out how wealthy families can feud over inheritance and what can one carry as far as something valuable enough to go after, I’m drawing. And coloring. And kinda doing everything but write despite a looming deadline.
AKA getting those creative juices flowing…
Yup, you read right! My NaNoWriMo novel, Loving Ashe, serialized on Wattpad and will be published in May, reached 1 million reads on Wattpad 2 days ago. The first chapter was posted on November 1, 2014 and as of April 7, 2015, it reached 1 Million reads.
You’re probably wondering, “What the hell is a read?” Well, every time someone clicks on a chapter on your story, it’s registered as a “read” though it doesn’t count visits from the same ISP – like one person refreshing the page again and again to increase the read count – unless you’re on a mobile phone and moving, thus the ISP will change wherever you go. So if you’ve got 35 chapters, then that’s 35 “reads” per person.
It’s interesting though – I used to think that 1 million reads was amazing awesome, top of the mountain awesome – but when you learn that other writers on there have 13, 25, 70 million reads, heck, even 1 billion reads, 1 million doesn’t sound so amazing after all. But that’s alright. I’ll take it.
Now, if only those reads translate into revenue so I can quit my day job, then we’re really talking.
You know what makes me ridiculously happy? It’s when readers tweet my story to their followers like this
All I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you!
A few days ago, in my excitement for reaching #2 under the Wattpad Chicklit category usually occupied by writers I believe to be younger than me (because, after all, I am NO spring chicken), I posted an announcement stating that fact – my story reaching #2 and thanking everyone who got the story there. A day or two later, I came across a poem about why such “ratings” should even matter, and that because it didn’t, this particular writer whom I follow would continue writing as he always did with no regard for votes or ratings.
Whether or not the poem was directed at people like me who dared clutter their timeline with such notifications (the poem’s since been taken it down, I think), it rankled. I felt bad for a story I am working so hard on to reach #2, or for even ranking at all. I even wrote passive aggressive poetry in response and ended up deleting my whole book of poems from Wattpad because my responses became just that – passive aggressive, and thus taking me away from the actual writing of said book whose rankings on a free writing site apparently annoyed others.
What happened to celebrating the act of being read?
My stories may never get to #1, or get 2 billion reads on Wattpad, nor even sell more than 10 copies on Amazon or Smashwords, even when offered for free, but #2 felt like an accomplishment in that my story actually mattered to some who found themselves rooting for my characters, and who made an effort to continue reading, voting and even a harder to effort to many, leave a comment.
So I will take the risk of cluttering your WP reader view by saying I’m proud that my little NaNoWriMo novel that begun as a short story challenge here on WordPress, now has gotten 100K views in less than 60 days. It’s no 2 billion reads or 10 real-time sales – and may never even sell a copy once I take the plunge to query it to publishers because well, I am just a self-pubbed author after all with a dream – but it’s 100K that I didn’t have when I started posting the first chapters almost two months ago. And that to me, is a feel-good present for this holiday season filled with too much angst over whether I’m providing my 5-year old with the perfect Christmas – especially when the tree is not yet up.
So for this milestone – just 100K reads – I’m celebrating. And thanking those readers who bothered to give it one read at a time. Whoever you are, I love you all, in a loving a stranger kind of way.
And to everyone who’ve read this far, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! And to those who don’t celebrate Christmas, Happy Holidays!
Today I received my autographed copy of Margaret Atwood’s The Stone Mattress, my prize for being one of two runners-up for the Freeze-Dried Groom Fiction Contest on Wattpad. My entry, Miss Hazel-Eyes, was my first attempt at writing in present tense, the same tense used by Ms. Atwood for the character of Sam in the short story, The Freeze-Dried Groom.
…but I’m apparently on a roll over there on Wattpad with my #justwriteit (#nanowrimo) effort Loving Ashe.
So, yes, I’m actually, as my muse Ashe would probably say, chuffed to bits.
I’m totally slacking off on my Daily Prompts of late simply because they just don’t interest me as much as they used to. I’m also buried in things that need to be done before the year’s end, like finishing my novel.
I finally got done doing the first round of edits till the last chapter, which helped me continue to write the “real” final chapters. I never realized how it can sometimes take awhile before your characters find the right and perfect way to tie the loose ends together. But until then, they hound your dreams till you do.
Another thing that I’ve been doing is reading. Lots of reading. Some of them bad stories, some good stories, and then some awesome stories. Among the awesome stories is Margaret Atwood’s The Stone Mattress, a collection of 9 short stories (some of them interlinked) written in classic Margaret Atwood fashion. I honestly can’t remember Atwood fashion but reading stuff from her and other literary awesomeness reminds me that everything else I write is just so-so.
One of the nine stories in her collection is called The Freeze-Dried Groom. Even the title is pretty darn cool! You can read the short story on Wattpad, where Atwood is also a “member.” She’s also holding a fan fiction story contest, where you can take this short story beyond its ending. Write your own version of what happens to one or all of the characters. I didn’t think I’d throw my hat in the ring, but after reading the story and having the characters, especially Sam hanging out in my head overnight, I finally decided to give it a go.
So tonight, I finally clicked “Publish” on that sucker, and you can find it here. It’s called Miss Hazel Eyes. You know me and titles – I completely suck at them. You don’t have to be a member to read the story, but if you happen to be a member, I’d love to hear what you think. You can even vote for the story, or like it by clicking the yellow starry thing at the top right (for web-based readers) or the starry thing at the bottom of the screen (for mobile users).
Regardless of what you do, I’d be happy with just a read. Oh, and maybe wish me luck, too!
Remember that story I wrote about First Love? No? –>
I honestly gave up on the voting thing and stopped asking people to vote for the piece because, hey, I’m just not good in that department, yada yada yada – but anyway, this happened this morning:
I’m one of the 11 finalists, chosen for this little ditty about love that I submitted!
Honestly, I’m just happy I made the cut and seriously don’t think I’d win the big kahuna thingy. There are some amazing stories on this list actually (the ones with * are my personal favorites), and if you haven’t been to Wattpad to check it out – definitely worth a look. All stories are under 1500 words (I think it’s 1500, or was it 2000?), so it’ll only take a little bit of your time to check out.
The other winning entries below.
His Hands* – My personal favorite
Beautiful Scars*- Another personal favorite
No Names* – Another young love favorite