Guess what? I have something to talk about for once!
This last weekend was productive. Saturday morning, I browsed through Facebook and noticed a comment left by Brandon Sanderson about "Authorpalooza!" - a gathering of local authors in a single Barnes and Noble bookstore. This just happened to be a few blocks away from my place. Abandon an otherwise lazy Saturday afternoon to mingle with a bunch of writers? Why not? So my wife and I went and had a good time interacting with friends, authors, and making new friends. My wife was finally able to get her Jessica Day George books signed - yay! She is so wonderful in so many ways; laughs, advice, encouragement, you name it.
I'd like to welcome two new Laire followers, fellow aspiring author Shallee McArthur and avid reader Kari Wendt. I met Shallee at Authorpalooza while waiting in line to meet with Brandon Sanderson. So far, she's accomplished three novels in the genre of YA Science Fiction and has a rather "stellar" blog herself. Check it out here: http://shalleemcarthur.blogspot.com.
Kari is the sister of my soon-to-be in-law Katie (her sister is about to marry my wife's brother). Though I felt that The Dragon's Heart was better left on my dusty shelve, Katie had a read and liked it enough to pass it along to Kari, who reads tons. And I mean TONS. She has books, books, and more books! Sadly, we've yet to meet, but she liked my book enough to mention it on her blog! http://scottandkarijean.blogspot.com. Thanks for the endorsement! Welcome to the Laire, you two.
In light of this unexpected praise and Mr. Sanderson's mentioning that a book entering a publisher's review board is "excellent," (which has happened twice for The Dragon's Heart), I've decided that maybe it's not such a dead-end project after all. Thanks to Jessica Day George's advice, I have a new goal - finish my current novel and revamp The Dragon's Heart before the next Writers and Illustrators for Young Reader's conference. That's 10 months away. Do you think I can ready two books by then? Let's get to work!
Update: Chapter 13 of my current project is drafted (awaiting polish) and The Dragon's Heart has a new prologue. I see now that this novel would work best as a Middle-Grade fantasy, but it's currently at 120k words. That's a bit long for Middle-Grade, huh? The goal is to cut the fluff and make it more like 90k words, and fix a few subtle flaws along the way (beginning/ending, villain, character's main problem). So far, so good.
I wish to thank my readers, my family, my friends and new friends for your support at a time when I was really beginning to think that I couldn't hack it as a writer any more. Because of you, my resolve has been toughened and my determination enhanced. I'm doing this for you and all who love to read!
I'm David, and I'm getting off at this exit!