2014, The Year Of Awesome (And The Horse, If You Follow Chinese Astrology)

2013 was quite exciting for me, and 2014 is shaping up to do the same.

First of all, Copper Ravens, the sequel to Copper Girl, will release in June 2014. Check out its GoodReads page here and take a gander at the gorgeous cover created by Scene 13’s own Lisa Amowitz below.

CopperRavencompFINALcorrectedfullcover (2)

’tis purty, no?

My other big project for 2014 is the relaunch of my epic fantasy series, The Chronicles of Parthalan. The series was partially published between 2009 – 2011, then it hit a bump in the road. So, I’ve polished it up, and it has a tentative release date in June 2014. Releasing two books in one month? Sure, I can handle that!

To help defray the costs of this endeavor, I’ve set up an Indiegogo account which you can visit here: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-chronicles-of-parthalan. Below is the original cover for the first in the series, Heir to the Sun. (Don’t worry, something much awesomer is in the works.)

ebook cover htts

In addition to two, maybe three releases next year (The Virgin Queen, book two of The Chronicles of Parthalan, might hit the shelves by December – fingers crossed!), I’m still a publicist for Spencer Hill Press, and for the first time in longer than I can remember, I have a day job that I really love. Oh, and my current WIP, Gallowglass, has completely and totally taken over my life – I haven’t loved characters this much in a long time. Add that to my beautiful twins, awesome rock star husband, and dog Rocket, and 2014 is looking pretty good.

So? Tell me, what’s in store for you this year?

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Writing retreat…then and now…

Me & CP, Emily McKay

Me & CP, Emily McKay

Sometime in 1998 I formed a critique relationship with another unpublished romance writer. She wrote short category romance, something I’d not read up until we started working together, and I wrote historicals. We didn’t know each other well initially, but slowly we forged a bond and together found magic. In the beginning neither one of us knew much about what we were doing, so we learned how to write, we studied craft, we found our writing styles and our strengths and weaknesses.

the beach house we used to visit - lost in Hurricane Ike

the beach house we used to visit – lost in Hurricane Ike

In those early years we would go, with two other writer buddies that we worked with, to one said writer buddy’s beach house. We’d go for a long weekend and we’d work and plot and laugh and have more fun than you can imagine while also accomplishing a ton of work. The first night there we’d set our goals for the trip and the rest of the time it was work, work, work, with the occasional nice walk on the beach.

Flash forward to now – 4 kids later (2 for each of us) and we’re back at the beach together, just the 6 of us and we’ll see how much work we can actually get done with a 3, 4, 5 and 8 year old with us. We haven’t set goals, though we’re both on deadline. Instead we plan to spend time together – which is more difficult now with our families – let our kids play together and hope to get work done in the down time.

100_1892I bring all this up not so much to brag on my amazing relationship with my critique partner, though really y’all should be jealous because we work so well together (and she just won a RITA, Go Emily!) but instead to discuss the merits of writing retreats. They’re quite popular these days. I know RWA chapters plan them and host them periodically and lots of critique groups get together for writing retreats.

There’s something quite magical about getting together and spending time focusing on your writing with other writers. Especially when you can do it with a lovely bit of nature near by – the beach, mountains, a lake or forrest. And you know it’s good for our kids to see their moms working and having co-workers, even if our jobs are more unconventional than some of the other parents.

So how about you? Ever been on a writing retreat? What are yours like or what would make the perfect one for you?