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One Month Countdown to THE SUFFERING (GR giveaway, and other books)

One month before the sequel to THE GIRL FROM THE WELL hits bookstores, which is exciting news for me! Here’s a bunch of social media badges to celebrate!

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That said, there’s also a pretty fantastic GoodReads giveaway happening right now, should you like a chance to win a copy of THE SUFFERING!

Also, another milestone; expect some upcoming news about my latest series (and more about the first book in said series) which, due to some behind-the-scenes negotiating, I am still unable to say much about. But stay tuned!

That Post Where I List Down my Current Novels in Progress

When I first started this blog, I thought that I ought to write entries at every opportunity. As time went on, I scaled back that wishful thinking, and proposed to blog whenever I could. Now, with more things to juggle both online and off, I’ve been wiser and have decided to blog only when I ought to, when I have something pertinent to say.

I think this is one of those days.

THE SUFFERING, the sequel to THE GIRL FROM THE WELL, is moving according to schedule. Once the final copy has been sent on its way to the editors-that-be, I find that I have very little to do with the things that come after, excepting the occasional promotions and interviews. Instead, I’ve spent most of that time running after Ezio, who’s just celebrated his first birthday and has now discovered what legs are for. That doesn’t sound very promising, writing-wise, given the number of works in progress and half-drafts I’ve talked about to date. So I figured some updates are in order.

As all my manuscripts have only working titles (I am horrible at naming them), I’ll be referring to each according to their protagonist’s names.

The Ryker. I’ve been editing this one for years – over two, to be exact. This is because I’ve been working on its potential as a series more than I’ve been working on it as a novel, and that means putting certain plots down in place that would only bear fruit a couple more books down the line – and keeping track of them all on a mental mindmap. It’s a juggling act that helps me understand just what sort of genius George R. R. Martin is to keep so many balls going in the air all at once (or knowing when to cut them down, as was the case with Theon. Ha, ha, ha).

The fact that the manuscript already has a Goodreads page is alarming, as no one else but a cousin (whose favorite characters are the pigeons, to give you a hint of what sort of fantasy this is) has seen its most recent draft. It’s a lot different than what most people will expect of me, but I think it’s written in a tone familiar to the people who know me best. Ensemble casts are hard to get right, and I wanted to brush the characters with personality, using as little strokes as possible. But now that my latest manuscript has been completed (see the Tea), I am planning on returning to work, and can hopefully put things into motion by the end of the year.

The Rory. The manuscript I talked about the most post-THE GIRL FROM THE WELL series. My gritty urban Princess Mononoke mythology. As of this writing it’s currently on hold – not because I have been stuck in a rut, but because I realized that the story is heavily anchored on its setting – Manila, Philippines – and interpreting said setting for an international audience will take some time to do right. Corruption – literal, metaphorical, spiritual – is an important part of the plot, and it’s difficult to write about something I so blatant see everyday, and not turn it into a parody. And as someone who gets frustrated by the local politics on a frequent basis, I need constant distancing from this novel, to return to when I’m in a better, more forgiving state of mind. (There is also that niggling local law around these places that states you can be jailed for ‘hurting someone’s feelings’, especially if that someone is a government official. This novel will definitely hurt a lot of local feelings. This alone might give you an idea of the kind of frustration I’m struggling with.)

The Tea. This one came out of nowhere, the one I abandoned Rory to write. It’s Memoirs of a Geisha, but with runes and corpses. People wear hearts like jewelry. Clothes can be magical. It’s fantasy with Zoroastrianism influences. It’s a planned trilogy. My agent loves it so far, so this is what we’re working to submit. And it took me only three months to write, in between baby naps and feedings and four hours of sleep a day. Tea is also the WIP I’d been tweeting about these last few weeks:

The Sandy. The baby of the bunch. Nothing more than a couple of paragraphs to date but, unlike THE GIRL FROM THE WELL and THE SUFFERING, I already know how it’s going to end. It’s another YA horror. It’s an extremely YA horror creepypasta in novel form. At least, that’s what I hope to achieve once I am done.

Quick Updates!

I haven’t been posting here as much as I’d like to, and that is sad. A quick summary of reasons:

Baby Ezio is thriving, and we are awesome. I haven’t had sleep longer than three hours since May 2014, and there are checkups and shots and baby food and baths and nap times that mostly consist of getting stepped on, for some reason, that have been getting in the way of writing. Like his namesake, he’s been learning to climb – mostly up bed headboards and over playpen gates and other things he’s not supposed to. He insisted on walking at eight months, though not always succeeding, and he has the most penetrating voice of any baby I’ve ever heard. I am enjoying myself tremendously.

Ezio

The “I didn’t do it, nobody saw me do it, you can’t prove anything” look he inherited from his father.

 

BUT! I’ve still been writing. The two manuscripts I’ve been shuttling back and forth between have now ballooned to three, with Manuscript #1 (aka The Firebird) STILL being revised, Manuscript #2 (aka the Summoner) at 50k words, and new Manuscript #3 (aka the Witch) at 40k. Juggling three stories at once seems like a mindboggling feat, but it helps; when I’m drawing a blank at one, I switch to one of the other two. The Summoner needs research on local modern history and customs to get things accurate, and The Firebird, while more or less completed, needs more fleshed out layers – less Édouard Manet light paints, and more Vincent van Gogh Impressionist splattering. (Look at me, using great painters as an analogy to what is essentially a book equivalent of a kid’s drawing!) The Witch is my life’s despair at the moment, but I think it’s going to pay off in the one more month or so I would need to finish.

Let’s not forget that the Suffering is due to arrive later this year. There’ll be more news for this coming soon!

 

 

YA Halloween Book Trail Giveaway!

Welcome to the Halloween Book Trail blog hop! You’re here possibly because you’re following the Cemetery Trail edition of this game (or because you’re one of the maybe two people who always visits this blog.) which means you get to read me rambling on about Halloween and things but then you get to win prizes afterward!

This is the first ever Halloween Book Trail, featuring your favorite YA & MG authors! This trail is based on the YAmazing Race with MGnificent Prizes presented by the Apocalypsies. In THIS trail, you’ll find all kinds of posts, and discover new authors and their word.

How do you play? Every post contains information that will lead to killer prizes! Books, swag, skype sessions, locks of hair (jk jk)! At the end of each blog you’ll find a link that will take you to the next stop in the trail. By the end, you’ll find a quiz. Now you’ll be happy you read all the posts! Submit your entry to the quiz for a change to win a grand prize! Accuracy matters here, so take your time, or go back and refresh your memory! One quiz entry per trail.

Here’s my Q&A!

If your MC went trick or treating, what would they dress up as and why?

The bad news is that my MC, Okiku, isn’t into dressing up for holidays that she knows nothing about, so she’d refuse to dress up. The good news is, she’s already the poster child for undead ghouls with her black stringy hair, rotting grey skin, and unblinking stare, so coming in costume is pointless when creepy undead girl costumes are already based off of you to begin with. In Okiku’s life, everyday is a lot like Halloween, except with less candy and more corpses.

What scares the pants out of you?

I. Hate. Roaches. I was accidentally trapped in a storeroom full of them as a kid once, and it’s given me trauma for life. Spiders are fine. Grasshoppers, beetles, centipedes – all good. I’ve spent nights in old buildings, allegedly haunted schools, and mirrored rooms, and I can cope with all that. Scare me with a roach though, and I assure you I will use anything and anyone I can get my hands on as a baseball bat to beat it the hell away. I would probably prefer to face ghosts than a flying roach, that’s how bad it’s gotten.

Do you legit believe in ghosts and things that bump in the night? (We won’t think you’re cray)

It’s odd, because I’ve loved ghost stories ever since I was a kid, and I enjoy writing ghost stories – but I don’t believe in ghosts. I think I’m a little too practical to think that every unexplained happening can be alluded to ghosts or the paranormal. That’s not to say I’m not going to be convinced if someone can produce irrefutable evidence in support of the supernatural. I love poking through ghost photos and watching ghost hunting shows in the hopes of seeing proof. (I’ve gone on a couple of ghost hunts myself.) So far though, nothing’s convinced me otherwise, and so I remain a curious skeptic.

If the zombie apocalypse happened (and it will), what would be your weapon of choice?

I am very partial to large tanks. I am very good at bumper cars, so I feel this would give me a good advantage. For melee combat though, don’t ever underestimate a really long shovel!

What is your most embarrassing Halloween costume malfunction?

This actually isn’t a costume malfunction, because it was technically a part of the costume. But I am a former cosplayer (for the curious, this is a person who goes to conventions dressed up as fandom characters) and have been doing it way before Comic Con made it look nerdycool. I was part of a Super Robot Wars group cosplay – which means a lot of Voltron, Daimos, Getta Robot, Mazinger Z mecha robot costumes. (think of it as what a Transformer bot might look like if they were Japanese, except more awesome.) I cosplayed the only female robot in the group, called Aphrodite Ace. Sounds all cool and women’s lib, right?

Wrong. Remember that Aphrodite Ace was created by Japanese dudes who played with toy robots for a living, and so her main weapons included boob missiles.

Let me repeat. Boob missiles.

And because we’re the kind of cosplayers who want to follow the original robot armor as accurately as possible, I wound up wearing a costume that had detachable boob missiles.

We had a stage show and everything where all the other robots fell to the evil kaiju monster and it was Aphrodite Ace’s boob missiles that wound up saving the world. There’s even a Youtube of it here.

It was embarrassing, but I loved it because I was doing something I enjoyed with crazy, weird friends who loved the same weird things I did. Plus, we bagged second place in the group cosplay category.

Please share a photo of your favorite Halloween costume you’ve worn.

Also see the most embarassing Halloween costume malfunction question for the context of the photo.

groupThat’s me in pink (and also in the lower left corner with missiles in fact) not regretting any of this at all.

Go to the next author, E.C. Meyers, to continue on the next path!

Plus, it’s Rafflecopter time!

Because everyone enjoyed my previous Rafflecopter, I’m giving away the same prizes again this time around for those of you who didn’t win, for another shot! Here are the prizes again:

 

104Signed bookmarks!
book
Signed bookplates!
And a handmade ghost keychain with signed tags!

Please note: if you’ve already joined my previous Rafflecopter giveaway and had already followed me on my social networks, you can still join! All you need to do is add in your respective Twitter / Pinterest / etc. usernames again when prompted for it by the Rafflecopter app!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Who Killed the YA Scream Queens?

I feel like this post is necessary, mostly because I am being maligned by certain people who’ve been going about claiming that I am a murderer of at lest one of the YA Scream Queens. I take much offense at this remark and would like to stress most strenuously that I am innocent of these accusations.

I mean, I post kitten gifs on my blog! Would a murderer do that?

(You must admit that this is a very good point.)

I’m innocent!

Really.

(To make sense of this post, head on to the YA Scream Queens for the contest details!)

I Hate Rain: the Typhoon Mario edition

I am exhausted.

I know I should probably be running in circles more and dancing to the idea that I HAVE A BOOK PUBLISHED NAO, but it is hard to do that when your book was published at the onset of the typhoon season here in the Philippines, where you can literally drown walking along your own street because the sewage system is crap and government officials don’t care. Add in the fact that there are intermittent power outages happening all over, that we are getting hit by a new typhoon every week or so, and that I now have a little baby to look after, and the only drainage going on is to my strength.

(A note why I sound angry: flood control projects were supposed to begin as early as 2010 for the metro, but was cancelled by President Noynoy Aquino and Department of Public Works and Highways head Rogelio Singson likely only because the projects were created by the previous president Gloria Arroyo, whom the former hated and blamed for everything.)

To quote a friend: “I rode the bus home until it got to Bacoor [city], and then it became a ferry.”

It is ironic, because I am currently working on the first book of a new series set in Manila where things like stormy weather will play important parts in the story. Hopefully it will sound plausible and reasonable because I am, after all, writing all this from experience.

So, to wit re: updates on my end –

Will THE GIRL FROM THE WELL have a sequel?

Yes, it will, but from a completely different perspective and with a completely different tone of voice, because I am not one to write the same book twice, no matter how experimental TGFTW’s style was.

What’s your new series about? 

At this point, all I can describe it as is a darker Hayao Miyazaki (more Princess Mononoke than My Neighbor Totoro) with a slight, neo-noir theme. If you think that sounds weird, then you obviously don’t know me yet. I expect to have the first book done within the year!

And since I’m still somewhat exhausted, especially after the killer typhoon last night, here are a few pictures instead of the past couple of days that, I think, speak a better thousand words each than I can right at the moment.

 

[GMA]

[Southsnippets]

[ABS-CBN News]

[JohnsonManabat]

Stay safe, all!

 

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