Monday, January 23, 2012

New Project? I think so!

Hello, pretties! I hope this finds all of you well!

I'd like to start by cursing Mother Nature. Today was spectacularly beautiful outside! A tad overcast, windy, but I found that a light jacket was more than enough to keep me comfy. Reminiscent of Spring.
It's only January. I have at least 3 more months of cold, nasty weather waiting for me. Cruel. Just cruel. Still, I was determined to make the most out of my afternoon.

I was visiting my best friend in another city, so after I slept in (till 11am!), I had to pack up and prepare to head back home. Although I'll see him in only a few short days when he comes to visit me this weekend, I still wanted to say a proper goodbye. I'll admit, I hate being apart from him--not fun. He was scheduled for a meeting at work and promised he would text as soon as the meeting was done, so I decided to sit at Starbucks (on the patio to enjoy the day, naturally!) and study for a bit. Oh, yeah...I've decided to finish school, so I'm a week behind classes since I signed up late this semester. Never fear, I'm plunging into the subject fervently! I love it!

But today, after taking only 2 pages of notes--waiting for Matt's text--I found myself writing something else that had been on my heart for a long time. I have already written the first three chapters and I have never been so pleased. It wont be the chunky novels I have been spitting out and it isn't a Paranormal Romance. I don't even think it's a Young Adult's cup of tea.
But it will have it's place in the world of novels. And I've already titled it. Releasing Kayleigh.

I promise to keep everyone updated on the projects I am working on. ShadowShifter is in the last stages before its release date. Lycanthrope (the sequel book to ShadowShifter) has just started being edited and will hopefully get a 1st edition release in October of this year. I'm scratching away at book #3 (which I may actually hold a contest/poll for you to come up with the title!!), and I'm still messing with my untitled zombie apocalypse book as well. Releasing Kayleigh, I feel, will be taking a top priority through the next few months. I am also in talks about turning "My Mid-Life Do Over" blog into a book. I almost feel like my projects are all in a race to see who will finish first.

Till then, keep reading, keep watching this blog and my website (www.MelissaDEllis.com), or follow me on twitter. I'm also on Facebook...but then again, who isn't?

Friday, January 13, 2012

ShadowShifter Update!

Happy Friday the 13th!
As my best friend Matt says (in reference to Jason Voorhees): "Nothing like a night of lumber-jacking after a hockey game." - That guy makes me laugh at even the dumbest of things. Everyone should have someone in their life who makes them laugh easily.

I usually spend this holiday in front of the television watching a few of my favorite Friday the 13th movies. (Yes, I just called it a holiday.) Of course, the remake would make it in that mix. I can't pass up an opportunity to watch Jared Padelecki! *Swoon*
But no. Today I will not be sacking out like a bump on a log, watching stupid blondes being hacked by a machete. First off, it's a snow day; my boys have claimed the television for their Wii-time. Secondly, I'm in the last round of edits for ShadowShifter!!

Here are a few of the things I have learned about myself in this particular round of the editing process.
1. I have put my editor through ellipsis hell, using those wonderful little "dot, dot, dots" everywhere - even when it wasn't used correctly. I had no idea how truly fond I was of those little guys...
2. I can't decide (apparently) if Joey's last name is spelled Baret, Barrett, or Barret. I need to pick one and stick with it.
3. However his [Joey] last name is spelled, I need to stick with it in Lycanthrope (book #2) as well.
4. If art is any indication of life - you know that whole "the truth is stranger than fiction" thing - I'm a horrible kisser. The few paragraphs have been taped off as "disaster areas", it's the romance/kissing paragraphs.
The horror sections are perfect.No wonder my love life is almost non-existent.

Truthfully, I have very few revisions to make. Very few. ShadowShifter, though no date has been officially confirmed yet, will be released in late Spring/early Summer. Right now, along with ShadowShifter revisions and early editing of Lycanthrope, I'm scheduling book-signing dates and planning out swag, such as bags, bookmarks and book thongs. I pray that my release is a huge success and really makes a huge impacting dent in the Young Adult/Paranormal Romance community. So here is my quest to those reading this blog or who have read ARCs - PLEASE, spread the word about my book. It's not so much for my success, though I'll admit that a paycheck for my 3 1/2 years of dedication to just book 1 would be nice, but I believe in this story. I think it offers so much more than many Young Adult books that have been made available and want to give readers some awesome entertainment. Time and again, the general consensus is that this is a FRESH STORY in an OVERCROWDED MARKET. That is my ultimate goal. But extra money would be nice too.

I finished my first draft of Lycanthrope back in November and then felt as though it was missing something. So I went back to finish it (again?). Found what was missing! I added it and now I am completely done with the STORY. Is it novel ready? Nooooooo. Three of the new chapters needs flesh on its bones and that is what I'm currently doing now. I'm not sure how other authors work, but I approach my writing much like I do life - blindly, all in a disarray and spur of the moment. (ha, ha!)
Since ShadowShifter's release has been pushed, it will now only precede Lycanthrope's 1st edition release by about 6 months. Exciting about the double whammy in 2012!

Until then, I will keep plugging away - taking out a million ellipsis and many em dashes from ShadowShifter. Learn how to kiss (apparently). Choose Joey's last name. Throw some meat on Lycanthrope's bones.
2012 is going to be a huge year for Julie Taylor and Broderick "Brody" Cooper, so stay glued to this blog, my official website, my tweets, or my Facebook for continued updates.

Remember, it's not about my name getting out there or gaining fans. It's about telling and sharing a good story and that's what I am doing with you!

And speaking of sharing. If you have not read The Hunger Games, then do yourself the favor. That book should be the staple of Young Adult novels, not Twilight - in my humble opinion. An amazing story that should be experienced before the movie comes out in March!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Still Waiting in the Shadows: A First Look at Lycanthrope

Last night was a full moon.
Last night, I finished the manuscript of Lycanthrope, book 2 of the ShadowShifter series.

I can't believe that it has only been less than a year since I self-published my first novel (and even attempt at a novel), ShadowShifter. I was too insecure to send it out to any publishers but wanted my story to be heard, just the same. After only one month of sales as an self-published author, I saw the potential the book really had, so I began sending it out as I continued to sell it. After sixteen rejections, a small independent  publishing company out of Indianapolis took interest - Passionate Writer Publishing. I signed the contract and had to take ShadowShifter off sale while they edited accordingly and prepped it for an even bigger released for late winter 2012.
Along with my many edits, I worked on the second book of the series, Lycanthrope. I finished it last night. *insert squeal*

Let me introduce you to my inner-nerd. I always viewed ShadowShifter as the foundation of a bigger story, much like Star Wars: A New Hope. You meet the characters, get pieces of their back story and see how they initially come together. Throw in a conflict here and there and create a resolution. The end.
I am well aware of the unanswered questions in this book. It wasn't by accident. Nothing in my books will ever be by accident; there is always a purpose, even if it's currently unclear. Life is much like this. Everything you think you know, you really don't. And for the questions left unanswered, you press forward to find the answers... unless you suspect that those answers will destroy you and that's one of our main conflicts in Lycanthrope.
Julie Taylor needs to be a strong character that women can look up to - but strong characters aren't born, they are created by circumstance. She must be weak before she gains power of herself and her destiny.

And my heroine must do this independently. Love is great! Everyone should experience it and have someone by their side in life, but dependency is unhealthy. I love Brody just as much as Julie does, but in order for her to be perfect for him, she's going to have to love herself, take care of herself and fight her most fearsome demons - internally and tangibly.
My goal is that Julie and Brody do not become the other's half. They should be two wholes that become a greater one. That is the only way to overcome evil in the end.

To give you a premise, Julie has taken cues from those that doubt her account of The Incident that occurred in book #1 by sweeping it all under the proverbial rug. The truth coming out and being proven can only make matters worse in her eyes, but like an untreated sore, it festers and creates a life of its own.
And we all know that ignoring situations never make them go away.
Her greatest battle is facing her fears and accepting her past before it comes back and bites her in the ass.
This book will not, in any shape or form, be soft. Much like reality, the characters age and grow. The danger increases as does the love between people. Alliances are formed and bonds are broken. Secrets exposed.
Trust is put to the test.

Lycanthrope will be ready for your eyes in 2012. Stay glued here, to my official website, Facebook, or Twitter for continuing updates on a release for the re-publication of ShadowShifter, my book signing dates, and for the ultimate release of Lycanthrope!

This book continually moves, so fasten your seat belt and hold on tight! Horror waits in the shadows, even when you're closing your eyes.