Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

I Turned Down a Book Deal!

Colored PencilsDid I get your attention?

The offer came at the end of last year for a novel that I’ve been shopping for a long time. It was from a highly respected company, and one I’d been courting for a while.

But the offer was bad. I had to walk away from it.

Why am I telling you this now?

Well…it explains the inactivity here on the blog, and gives me a chance to tell you about some changes.

The reason for the inactivity: I’ve been working hard to complete a three-book urban fantasy series. It’s a bit of departure for me, since I usually like my fantasy in a fantasy world. But this character called to me.

As a result: I’ll have an urban fantasy novel coming out at the end of May, just in time for Balticon. And because I’m not going to publish these books traditionally, I’ll have the second book in the series out before the end of the year. (Maybe in time for your Thanksgiving pleasure. It all depends on how quickly I can get the manuscript back from the editor!) The third book is about one-third written–I hope to have it published by May 2015. (If not sooner.)

The first book has been copy edited and proof read, and I’ve been working with an artist for the cover. In fact: I made a decision tonight, and I’m just waiting on the artist to hand over the files.

When he does, I’ll post the cover here to give you all an idea of what’s coming in May.

So what does that mean for this blog?

It’s going to be a lot more irregular, I think, until all the parts of this series are out. I’ve stopped my Friday Writing Prompts until I can get the series publishing bits under control.

(I’m planning a writing prompt book, too: but it’s going to have to wait.)

And this Web site is likely to get a facelift, too: one where the front page becomes more static and the blog moves to a secondary page.

But everything is secondary to the novel. Thanks for your patience while we get that done!

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Recording Done for Audio of Blood Soup!

Audio Book Cover Art for Blood SoupThe narration is complete for the audio version of Blood Soup! I’ve listened to all the files and notified Audible that I approved them.

Now, we wait for Audible to do their own quality checks. This could take anywhere from fourteen to twenty days, according to Audible — but my narrator Edoardo Camponeschi of menestrandise.com tells me that it’s been running about a week. I’m hoping that’s the case.

I’ve pictured the new cover art here. Audible requires the square, ‘jewel case’ format. I was able to put Eduardo’s name on the cover, too.

Spread the word! (And cross your fingers for a February release!)

Saturday, January 25th, 2014

Audio Book, Coming Soon!

Cover of Blood Soup by Kelly A. HarmonI’m very pleased to announce that I’ll very shortly have an audio version of my book, Blood Soup available!

It’s a short novel, and the timetable is happening so quick, that it’s likely it will be available from Audible (and elsewhere) by the end of February!

I’m even more tickled to announce that the reader is none other than Edoardo Camponeschi of menestrandise.com who has read so far the first three of Christopher Paolini’s “Inheritance Cycle” books to much acclaim.

When I submitted the book for audition, I requested someone who could read with both Italian and German accents since the two warring families in Blood Soup are modeled after Italy and Germany. I am (indescribably) excited that Edoardo submitted an audition. His voice is rich and luscious, and I know his reading will bring the story to life.

If you want a sneak preview of what the reading may sound like, check out Edoardo’s catalog which features many samples of his work — all in Italian at this time. I could listen for hours. :) My Italian is rusty, but I’m feeling a definite need to brush up…

Do let me know if you’re as excited as I. In the meantime, I’ll work on getting the cover reformatted for Audible…

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

Happy New Year!

ChampagnePoppingHappy New Year!

Wishing everyone a safe, happy, healthy and prosperous new year!

Friday, December 27th, 2013

Writing Prompt – Soured Relationships

dreamstimefree_242066eIt’s that time of year where you’re hitting party after party and seeing friends and family you might not have seen for years–or at least about a year.

You know them: the folks you wouldn’t associate with otherwise.

Seeing them turns an otherwise delightful party into a so-so affair. (Or maybe, a total bust.)

Having to socialize with folks like that reminds me of a book I remember a friend reading in high school. I can’t remember the name of it, or who wrote it, but the pages were full of pithy essays and quotes designed to help you get over a dramatic break up.

My favorite (paraphrased) went something like this:

Being with him/her wasn’t a drain–it was a sewer.

I love it! It comes sailing back into my brain each time I see those relations I would rather do without.

Here’s Your Prompt:

  • Pretend you’re heading off to a party where you’ll see folks you just don’t want to see. Imagine how the conversation would go if you ignored proprieties and told these people how you really felt about them. Write a nice cathartic scene.
     
  • Re-imagine the same scene. How would the dialogue go–this is tricky–if you just decided not to speak to the other person? Walk out of the room when they walk in, ignore any commentary or questions launched in your direction, allow dreaded “dead air” to accumulate after they speak until they feel so uncomfortable they’ll rush to fill it.
     
  • Write either of the above two scenarios into your latest work of fiction.
     
  • Write a book based on a horrible relative. (The beauty of this is that folks rarely see the bad side of themselves: they won’t realize you’re writing about them. And even if they figure it out, what are they going to do? Take it public and admit they’re a bad person? On the other hand, I recommend you consult with a good lawyer before doing this…unless you intend only to keep the novel on your hard drive.)

Good luck!

 
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Image Copyright © Zakidesign | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Writing Prompt – The Personal Essay

dreamstimefree_63535-eI rarely explore prompts categorized as “personal essay.” I include them in a lot of suggested prompts, but they aren’t often the focus of my blog since I generally talk about fiction.

But personal experiences bolster fiction. It’s these experiences that allow authors to write what they “know.” They lend realism to an otherwise imaginative tale.

When you choose a suggested prompt below, spend some time remembering the details of what occurred or visualizing events or objects before you start to write. Have things clear in your mind so they can be clearly articulated in the writing.

Here’s Your Prompt:

  • Write about an event in your life that you considered bad – but turned out to have a good impact. Use a chronological format to pinpoint when your negative feelings turned to positive ones. Spend some time exploring your state of mind and what brought about the change.
     
  • Write about one day in your life which is particularly memorable: something that is so burned into your memory, you’ll never forget. Tell what happened, but expound on the reasons it’s so meaningful.
     
  • Have you ever been involved in a discussion or argument where you thought of the most right or perfect thing to say after it was all over? Here’s your chance to change history: re-write the event as it should have gone, if you’d said the right thing at the right time.
     
  • Write about a time that weather impacted your life. In the essay, include details of the weather by using your senses: sight, sound, smell, taste and touch.
     
  • Write about a family tradition or heirloom. Has something been handed down for generations – or is something celebrated in a distinct or unusual way? Visualize the artifact, or recount the details of the celebration in general, or one in particular. Write a letter as though you were explaining these things to a younger family member. What makes them so important?
     
  • Write about a day in your life when nothing went right from the moment you got up in the morning until you pulled the covers over yourself in the evening at bedtime. How did you feel? (Frustrated? Angry? Powerless?) Think about one thing which could turned the day around. What would that be? How would you do things differently?
     
  • Good luck!

     

    Cover of Sky Lit Bargains by Kelly A. Harmon depicts a woman dressed in armor, leaning against a stone wall.

    Have you read Sky Lit Bargains?

    Forced to leave home when her twin sister marries because her new brother-in-thinks he’s gotten a ‘two for one’ deal, Sigrid takes up arms to make her own way.

     
     
    Photo Copyright © Randall White | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Saturday, December 14th, 2013

Dear Family: Your Christmas Cards Are In the Mail

wedding-invitations-stamps-galoreHey Friends and Family!!

I finally got my Christmas Cards out this morning.

Mom taught me that my Xmas cards should be perfect and beautiful, that I should use a Christmas stamp, that I should take my time so that you know I did my very best for you…

Sorry, Mom. Here’s the deal:

This year, some of you will receive cards that I’ve used in the past. I got rid of all those leftover ones and twos that have been hanging out for years. Apologies in advance if you received the same card you got last year – I did my best to remember.

Also: With this Christmas mailing, I was able to get rid of my entire stash of 32 cent stamps, 37 cent stamps, 42 cent stamps, and a variety of “make up” stamps such as the “H” class, as well as nearly all my 1 cent, 2 cent, 3 cent, 4 cent and 5 cent denominations.

Some of your cards will have an excess of seven stamps on them to make up the difference. (The stamp collectors among you should be salivating.)

I actually had to buy 4 cent stamps at the post office this morning! Please note that it is a sign of how much I care about you, that I actually stepped foot into the Hell which is the post office during Christmas season.

The good news is: I get to buy all new holiday cards next year for you to receive. And since I own only “forever” stamps now, they’ll all have a single, pristine Christmas stamp on them.

See how much I care about you? Love to you all…and Merry Christmas!

 
 
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Image ‘borrowed’ from: www.storkie.com.

Friday, December 13th, 2013

Writing Prompt – A Little “Best Of”

dreamstimefree_251887-eI’ve been traveling.

Last week it was a convention and this past week it was out of state for a friend’s book launch.

Since I don’t know whether I’m coming or going, I figured we’d do a little “best of” the writing prompts this week.

In honor of Friday the 13th, you could revisit the Attack of the Phobias Writing Prompt.

Here’s one for poets: Structured Poetry, The Tanka

Here’s a writing prompt about collections: What do your characters collect?

Writing Prompt: Lost

For something unthemed, you might try the Random Words Writing Prompt.

Have Fun!

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Writing Prompt – Something Wrapped

dreamstimefree_149098-eAre you buying gifts for the holidays?

I am.

(I’ve got about half my gifts bought and wrapped already–though I’m a bit behind this year. It makes me crazy to be this behind.)

I plan to do a bunch of online ordering in order to save time and effort. And internet shopping is the best!

I can’t stand crowds, I hate to browse, and I like the idea of being able to comparison shop from my desk chair. I can shop for almost everyone in the course of a single afternoon!

Here’s Your Prompt:

  • What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the phrase “something wrapped?” Write about it. (You could write a story, an essay, a poem…whatever!)
     
  • If you journal, write about “something wrapped.” This could be a gift you received, a gift you gave – or something that was not a gift, but about something you only discovered once it was “unwrapped” or unveiled.
     
  • Write about receiving a surprise gift, or being surprised by the gift. Write abou unwelcome gifts or gifts cloaked in mystery. Write about the best gift you received, or the worst. Write about gifts from lovers, or ex-lovers, or from someone in the past.
     

Good luck!

 

Image Copyright © Simon L | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Dr. Seuss and Sandwiches

I’m in Massachusetts for the next day or so, celebrating with my friend Trisha Wooldridge for the launch of her debut novel, The Kelpie.

Since I’ve never been to Massachusetts before, she’s taking me around and seeing the sites (in between book stuff and writing) and it’s been loads of fun.

First we went to The Doctor Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden to see some sculpture created of the characters in his books. (I LOVE Dr. Seuss!) The Gardens are part of the Springfield Museums, so we got a chance to tour there also.

Despite the terrible fog, I managed to grab a few photos.

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The natural structure behind the lorax here–not really part of the Seuss exhibit– was created by planting and weaving saplings together. I’m told that in the spring and summer it’s beautifully green. It’s large enough to wander through. There’s a lovely little arbor in the center that would be perfect for a wedding.

This ‘stickwork’ sculpture was created by artist Patrick Dougherty and contains over eight tons of saplings. Doesn’t it look like something Dr. Seuss would have drawn?

Yertle!!
Yertle!

But the best part of last night was dinner. I experienced a culinary delight the likes of which I’d never experienced before! “The Burger” was topped with bacon, 1000 Island dressing, red onion, lettuce, tomato, pickle, Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses AND a fried egg.

Yum!

Apparently, it’s a Massachusetts thing. I loved it. I can totally see this as a breakfast food.

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