NYC Midnight. For those of you that have never seen this name, NYC Midnight hosts a series of micro to short fiction contests. I've entered my first with this 250 word micro-fiction challenge. When the contest opens you are assigned a genre and two words that you must include in the piece, and given 24 hours to come up with something that will get you through to the next round.
Here's my entry. Bolds are the required words. Fairy Tale/Fantasy was the genre.
Sixteen years had passed since Odessa last laid eyes on the iridescent shimmer of reflected sunlight off dragon scale. The creature had grown, terrifyingly so, though her eyes still sparkled with the same love and kindness Odessa had known as a child, when they had played and giggled together before the dragon’s fire came, before they were to play never more.
Now she watched as her friend was marched against her will, shackled in steel and muzzled, along cobblestone streets toward the castle gates, towards a lifetime of slavery and control. Dragon-breath was a most valuable resource, those who controlled it grew to be powerful rulers. She knew it well, her father was most powerful of all.
Days passed, each morning the dragon marched past, each night she returned, soot staining her nostrils, blood caking her claws. Those eyes no longer shone with love like they once had, and in time, Odessa began to see a darkness creep into their shared glances that once shone with such hope.
Years before, in innocence and youth Odessa lived without rules. The daughter of a king knows no boundaries. Who else could play with a newborn dragon? But the dragon had wings, and sought the sky, and Odessa thought to help, releasing her friend made prisoner., unlocking the chains, watching her fly. A child sees only the good.
The time had come once more to share the freedom she had known in her youth. To be the child that knows only good.
I am extremely proud to report that The Sequence has found some shelf space in my hometown bookstore, Armchair Books. Nestled in nicely between Tchaikovsky and Tolkien, the red and purple looks cozy and comfortable. I'm not sure why this placement is so important for me, and without diminishing other bookstores who have happily stocked my book, Armchair represents something more for me. Like winning on home ice, it's just somehow better.
I’m pleased to announce the physical placement of The Sequence in stores! Fincher’s books in Kincardine, Ontario; Möbius Books in Port Alberni, BC; and WindowSeat Books in Nanaimo, BC. Some exciting times for me as I posed with my book on display for the first time. These placements came alongside a few rejections, but overall I have been met with positivity and support for local authors, and having moved past the moments of dread that preceded each of these meetings, I now look forward to many more. Bookstore owners are an intriguing and charismatic group I’m finding, and I’m excited for what the next encounters bring!
It’s all happening but very little is happening.
Amazon continues to juggle their pricing (Note I have zero control over this) and I eagerly await the appearance of the kindle edition. Good news is that they have reduced the hardcover price from over $100 CAD!
Hardcovers are best purchased through the FriesenPress bookstore, and offer the most financial support for the author.
I feel this is the proverbial calm before the storm. Having re-read my promotions strategy document I most certainly have some catching up to do. Electronic Press Kit? Ummm a work in progress. For you other authors out there, read your documentation thoroughly and ask tons of questions of your promotions team, they are there to help!
One day soon a large quantity of books are going to arrive at my door, and I will need to begin the process of becoming a salesman, peddling my books to indie bookstores across the province. I’m looking forward to the unboxing, check back here for the video in the coming weeks.
Just a few additions from the Reedsy newsletter and making their best of the week lists!
I got a cool writeup in the Reedsy Discovery weekly email, but I'm not sure what to do with it.
Will discuss options with promotions next week, however for your previewing pleasure, here it is:
"In the dystopian future of Lucien Telford’s The Sequence, scientists have started editing the human genome. Leading geneticist Kit McKee is hiding out in China, having faced backlash for her startling discoveries. Now, she’s working on a secret project that could change humanity forever — but for better or worse? When two detectives discover a string of genetically edited corpses, they suspect the latter. As the mystery unravels and combines multiple narratives, the morality of scientific innovation is brought into question: Does the betterment of mankind justify any means? What happens when innovation falls into the wrong hands? Trust me, you won’t be able to put this thrilling sci-fi down."
It's happening. Day 4 of 6 starts tomorrow morning. High drama in the skies as we save the simulated aircraft from exploding engines, fires, and failed critical systems, over and over again.
It's exciting/stressful to be back in the seat, but I am enormously grateful to be returning to the air after a long and arduous hiatus on the ground. I don't know how you groundies do it :)
The Sequence should be available for purchase later this week! Check back here often! As soon as you can buy it, there will be 'buy now' buttons right here on this website.
My first ever live stream Q & A is accessible here, with Vince from Boomers On Books.
I feel like it went fairly well, largely due to Vince's kind demeanour. Have you ever been interviewed online, broadcast live? I was terrified. Imposter syndrome ran cold through my veins, leaked from my pores, chilled me from the inside. I shivered throughout the entire discussion.
I'm getting close to publication. Maybe two weeks to go now. A small miscommunication has meant further but minor delays.
Check back soon, there's plenty more to come...
I’m proud to announce a positive Kirkus review!
This moment of letting go, of relinquishing control is mind-bending and much more difficult than I envisioned. Now it’s up to the opinions of others to decide if they have enjoyed my book. Reading a professional review of your own work is unnerving to say the least. And now that I have them in my back pocket (one review was positive one was neutral) I feel as though the work I’ve put into this novel is beginning to see some real world payoffs.
It’s an odd day. Mixed emotions doesn’t begin to describe it. This afternoon I received my advance physical copy, and to date the only physical copy in existence, of The Sequence. Yet I’m anxious. I look at the book, I pick it up, flip through pages and put it down, out of easy reach. I could rewrite it again and again. I know that my writing has progressed since the submission of the final draft. Perhaps it’s because I am so intimately aware of every page. Perhaps it’s because I am so elbow-deep in the sequel, False Ignition, that the story now reads as historical. At any rate, I am also over the moon to be in possession of this physical representation of my active and ongoing imagination. Release date, August 2021.