Scavengers is out! And Camp Nanowrimo win!

scavengers ebook cover 6 copy

Finally, it’s done!

I managed to publish the Kindle edition on the actual date I had planned for the release (April 30), and it should be available over at Smashwords (and then at Barnes & Noble, iBooks, etc.) shortly!

If anyone is interested in a free digital copy of Scavengers to review, please contact me via email (spoffk(at)hotmail.com) or send me a message on Goodreads.

Here are a few fun things I found while editing:

  • Originally I had named the character Will as “Lucas.”
  • I had forgotten that Zeke killed his father, not Ben (aka the black wolf).
  • Geo’s eyes are coal black (something I’ll need to deal with when I revise The Madman, currently it’s a major plot point that Geo has blue eyes with a bit of orange in them)
  • Originally Zeke called his father “Pa” throughout the entire book… then I re-read Hitchhikers and discovered that Zeke calls his father “Dad.”

Also, this:

Camp-Winner-2015-Square-Button

Yeah!  I made it to my goal of 20K!  I’m very close to finishing The Madman.  I’m hoping to get that out before the next round of camp in July.

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a week of writing and revising

As April winds to an end, I find myself in the midst of two things: finishing up my story for Camp Nanowrimo, and preparing Scavengers for release later this week!

Currently I’m at around 18,500 words in “The Madman,” which will be a second Wolf Point prequel novella.  I only need to write about 500 words a day to get to my goal of 20K by the April 30th deadline.  Along the way some interesting things have happened.  I had planned for this installment to be all about Fallon Loupe going mad.  I wasn’t sure what part Geo would have in it… and it’s been a much bigger part than I expected!

I took this week off so I can edit and prepare Scavengers.  After finishing the first draft last month I needed to take some time away from it before really editing.  Now I have the whole week… here we go!

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hi-ho it’s off to camp i go

This year Camp Nanowrimo is already making me do great things.  I finished the rough draft of Scavengers (YAY! You can even see that it’s moved from my Works in Progress to Novels!) because I needed it to be finished before I started camp.

I had a whole 2 days to spare, and I decided to use them to do a little pre-editing for Scavengers – by that I mean I’m re-reading Hitchhikers and Dreamwalkers.  (Usually I leave a newly finished novel to sit for a while before editing).  Mostly I was forgetting details like character descriptions and various places, and re-reading was mostly for me to remember the tone and voice of each novel and to be able to record all those things in my master notebook of info.  Well, damned if I haven’t found a bunch of types and errors in Hitchhikers alone!  I’m talking stuff like Kayla referring to her father as “Uncle Buck” and Daniel forgetting if his mother is Julie or Jenny (it’s Jenny).  Ugh.  I also described Remy in a totally different way than I remembered, so once I get through Dreamwalkers I’ll match them up and hopefully get all the details straight and upload revised editions.  And hopefully I’ll then be able to edit Scavengers and have it out by the new release date, April 30!

For Camp Nanowrimo, I’m writing another prequel.  This one is called “The Madman” and picks up where The Beast left off.  Naturally, I will have to re-read The Beast at some point to get all those details straight.  Because this is a novella, my Camp Nanowrimo word count is only 20,000, and as of Day 1 I’m right on track!  I’m excited in that way that comes after finishing a novel, like anything is possible.  I’m already trying to plan for what I’ll work on in July.  Wolf Point #4?  The third prequel novella?  Something totally new??

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book clubs and week-long freebies!

I’m so bad at promoting my own books.  This week (March 23-March 27) The Art Kids is free on Amazon Kindle.  Go download!

Tonight I’ll be appearing at my first book club discussion of one of my books!  My coworker Sue read Bethany Caleb after the author panel I did at the library back in December.  She loved it and had her book club read it, so tonight I get to make my second official author appearance.  It’s a little scary – what if everyone hates it??, but Sue has been so positive about it that I’m feeling pretty good.

All month long there have been people coming into the library and saying, “Oh, Katie, you’re the one who wrote that book!” which has made it all too clear how little into self-promotion I am.  When I self-published my books, I didn’t put much thought into promotion.  I did some Goodreads giveaways, and offered up free copies to some review groups, and occasionally do free days on Amazon.  I liked that it was all online, and sort of anonymous.  I had this secret life as an author.

When I was a teen I read this book by Christopher Pike called Master of Murder, about a teenage boy who wrote bestselling novels, only he wrote under a pen name so no one knew it was him.  Everyone at school thought he was a loser – meanwhile, he had legions of fans of his novels.  Something about this scenario appeals to me…

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writing weather?

You’d think, after having four giant snowstorms in as many weeks and getting a number of days off from work for that very reason, with nothing to do other than sit in my apartment alone, that I would have done MUCH more writing than I have.

Nope.

Yesterday cabin fever set in and I had to get out.  My couch has become synonymous with marathoning TV shows and watching movies, and not writing.  I had some luck after taking advice from another blogger about changing location to break out of writer’s block – took my laptop into the kitchen to sit at the table and write and actually got quite a bit done.

Today I’m with Janina at Barnes & Noble writing.  I updated my word count over on the Scavengers page so you can see that I really am trying!  It seems like everyone else in the world also has cabin fever and is out today…

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more writing soundtracks

I’ve added a few new playlists over at 8tracks:

You can get an idea for the track listings on the book pages, although because of 8tracks’ rules I can’t always include every song I listened to while writing.

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Scavengers, Chapter 1

Despite taking a week off to work on Scavengers, I still have to push the pub date back (again).  So, as a thank you for waiting patiently, I give you the first chapter!

-1-

I was already having a pretty bad couple of days before I got kidnapped.

Not that my life was really all that awesome before, what with my father being all paranoid about the government and doctors and everything.  He was so paranoid he moved us out to the middle of nowhere, “off the grid,” which wasn’t so bad except for the no TV, internet, any communication whatsoever thing – but Pa had been slowly weaning us off that stuff for a while.  It was more the no school, no contact with any “outsiders” thing, and then when Mom got sick, things went right downhill.  Pa said the doctors would’ve only made her sicker, and I was little so I believed every word that came out of his mouth, but sometimes I wonder if she’d still be alive if he’d taken her to a hospital like a normal person.

Still, it was better than now.

Daniel came along, and after about two seconds of it being cool to have a new friend, now my life is all werewolves and murder, and now, being kidnapped.

One minute I’m scarfing down some snacks behind a highway rest stop, the next I’m being clubbed in the head and waking up blind without a clue as to where I am or how I got here.

These guys, I have to think of them as guys, because they talk like all they do all day is play video games and eat chips – they’re definitely not “men,” these guys have me blindfolded and duct taped and tossed in the back of their van.  At least I think it’s a van.  I can’t really picture being kidnapped in something that isn’t an unmarked white van.

It smells like old coffee and motor oil and farts in here.

Whoever is driving isn’t very careful about how fast he drives over bumps.

“We’re gonna get caught if you keep driving like a maniac, Je-“

“Shut up, stupid!  Don’t use names!”

“Why the fuck not?  I don’t get why we needed to tie him up.  Aren’t we really—“

“God, Ry- fuck, you moron!  Stop talking!  Why you gotta give us all away?”

“I didn’t!”

“Slow down!  Shit, the cops are gonna see us coming from a mile away.”

“Yeah, act cool. Cool, man.”

“Bite me.  None of you guys have a license.”

“Whatever, Jeff.”

“Stop using my name!”

I wish I could just tell these dudes to stop yelling, my ears hurt.  One of the perks of being a werewolf: super sensitive hearing.

I have no clue why these guys snatched me unless they’re working for the enemy pack that turned me to begin with.  They were looking to kill Daniel, I guess, that’s why they came to our house.  One of them bit me and I turned.  But they left me there, so maybe they weren’t planning to turn me?  Or maybe they left me for dead?  If they got wind I was still alive somehow, then Daniel better watch his back because they are following him.

“Stop kicking me, fucktard.  God, there is not enough room in this piece.”

“Ow, watch it!”

One of them growls, followed by more growls, and now I’m getting kicked or stepped on or something.  I growl back at them.

“Jesus, would you idiots knock it off?” snaps the one named Jeff, the driver.  “You keep poking the bear, it might just wake up and bite your head off.”

“Bear?  I thought he was a wolf.”  That’s the one named Ryan, I think.

“Moron.”

“Loser.”

“Guys.”  Jeff means business now.  “You get this guy mad enough, and he’s going to turn.  That’s what Geo said.  He can’t control his anger, or his wolf.  So shut the fuck up and stop fighting.”

They think I’m Daniel.  That’s why they kidnapped me.

“He’s supposed to be the secret weapon, right?”

“Ryan, can you please just play it cool?  We don’t need a villain monologue right now.”

“Villain?  Come on.  We’re the heroes.  Aren’t we?”

“You know what I mean.”

“Maybe I don’t.”

As the scuffling restarts, I inhale through my nose and exhale deeply.  They think I’m Daniel.  They think I’m some kind of secret weapon, and now they’re bringing me to their evil leader, and then they’ll find out that I’m just some kid, and the evil leader will have them killed and me too.

“Hey, is this the new Metallica album?”

“Yeah.”

“Crank it up!”

I’d rather have the fighting than this heavy metal crap blasting out my eardrums.

Daniel can’t control himself?  He seemed pretty in control to me.  He taught me how to control my wolf with some kind of alpha-male magic.  He growled this command at me and suddenly I felt everything fall into place.  He was in charge and I was okay with that.

Then I remember that day, with the axe, and wonder how close Daniel was to losing control then.

Daniel was out chopping wood, and when I heard Pa call for me, it was to get his gun and get out there, where Daniel was gripping the axe like he was going to slice Pa in two, shaking, crazy look in his eyes.  “I’m sorry,” is what he kept saying, and I didn’t get it at the time.  I felt like he was saying, “I’m sorry I’m going to have to axe murder your father,” so when Pa told me to shoot him, I kind of had to.  But now I wonder, maybe he meant he was sorry he couldn’t control himself.  In that case, why didn’t he just turn into a wolf right then and kill my Pa?  I don’t know.  It doesn’t make any sense.  Then for the next week I had to listen to Pa’s lectures about “this is what happens when you bring in outsiders,” the world outside is corrupt and full of murderers, etc.

Now I’m one of them.

When that black-haired man who turned into a black wolf bit me, my brain broke apart like a piece of pottery.  I was on fire, and I was cold, and I felt so so hungry, and Pa smelled like sausage, and I was an animal, a passenger riding inside the mind of the animal, and he bit my Pa and ate part of his face, and I wanted it to happen, I was so hungry.

Turns out Daniel killed his father too, the first time he turned.  But his father was abusive so he probably deserved it.  My Pa might’ve been strict, but he never beat me unless I was being punished, and I was usually a good kid.  He never made me bleed or anything.

Finally it seems like the van has reached the highway.  The road flattens out, no more slamming my head into the floor.  So of course, I fall asleep.

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