Writing Progress Report

I’m going to try to do monthly-ish writing progress reports (they may happen every month or every 3 weeks or every 5 weeks, one just never knows with me).  This is where I’m at now:

  • Terrorific Tales has published in ebook form and the paperbacks are in progress.  Just waiting on the final edits from my editor.  It has one Amazon review…
  • Triggered Reality is with the editor.  I have her notes on Eric Clachan’s story and am now awaiting her notes on the other serial killer story in it.
  • Flawless Dreams is about half done and I suspect I will send it to the editor the first week of April.  I am planning May release.
  • Movement in the Shadows has one story done.  So far, it is making me broaden my writing horizons.
  • Death Demon Trilogy Book 1:  Legacies Awakened has six chapters done.  These are the continuation of the Brenna Strachan novels and will center on an adult Callie Strachan.
  • The next Dysfunctional Chronicle has begun to take shape in my head.
  • Ritual Dreams has a plot and a serial killer.  I’ll begin work on it pretty soon (after I finish Flawless Dreams).
  • The second Reality book doesn’t have a title, but will feature the character stories for Brent Timmons, aka the Tallahassee Terror, and Turkish Jack.
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What is Triggered Reality & Terrorific Tales?

I’ve had a couple of people ask me what the two newest books coming out are.  Sometimes, descriptions are intriguing, but they don’t explain the book and I get that better than most.  So here’s my take on them.

Triggered Reality is the start of the Dreams & Reality novels.  It tells two stories about two killers, both linked by time and a series of events.  The first is Eric Clachan the day he took aim and got justice for the murders of Donnelly and Isabella.  It also provides some insight into his early days in custody.  The second is what’s known as a random shooter serial killer.  However, he’s important because he’s the first case worked by the SCTU.  All the Reality novels will be told from the serial killer’s point of view. (I can only stay inside the head of a psychopath in small bursts, which is why these become serial killer books not Malachi Blake books)

Terrorific Tales is a hodge podge of short stories and flash fiction pieces.  Some are horror, some are humorous, it just depended on my mood when I wrote it.  A handful were prompts given to me by readers.  There’s also an Aislinn story, a Nadine story, and a Callie Strachan story in it.

Finally, I’m working on a book of monster and ghost stories.  I got the cover for it a week ago and love it.  Another masterpiece by Covered Creatively!Haunted house

Preorder Links: Triggered Reality & Terrorific Tales

Terrorific Tales by Hadena James

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triggered-reality-by-hadena-james

 

Amazon

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Google

iBooks

Kobo

Terrorific Tales

I have always enjoyed writing short stories and flash fiction pieces.  They require me to rethink my writing approach.  Which if you have read any of my novels, you’ll know can be quite wordy.  I don’t use a great deal of long, big words, there’s rarely a need, because with a novel why use one long word that half the people on the planet will have to look up when you have the space for two or three much more common words…

This is why Terrorific Tales and Tales to Read Before the End of the World both exist.  I enjoy writing those sorts of things.  They push my boundaries.  I’ve already started thinking about my next short story project; a book of ghost and monster stories – not like Terrorific Tales.

However, Terrorific Tales did give me the ability to do something I had never done before.  I asked readers for prompts and got some.  Then I constructed stories around them.  That was both fun and challenging.  Every prompt I used is credited to the reader who gave it to me.

As I continue to work on Triggered Reality, I realize that taking the time to write Terrorific Tales gave me a bit of a break that I was needing.  I didn’t know I needed a break from the D&R world or the Dysfunctional world, but I did.  That has annoyed most creative writing teachers and mentors I have had over the years.  They always told me to pick a genre or a series or a style and stick with it.

Only, I can’t.  I’m sorry.  Occasionally, my brain just needs to shift gears.  Because keeping my brain focused on one thing or one genre or one set of characters lulls it into a sense of complacency.  Especially since for every novel I have written I have at least one novel, maybe six or seven short stories, and a few dozen flash fiction pieces not written.  Call it Writer’s ADD if you need to have a term for it.

Even when I’m not plopped in front of my computer, my brain is still writing.  It is either composing prose, coming up with new ideas, or creating new characters.  This is why sometimes, projects stall.

Of course, my life factors into it as well.  Innocent Dreams and Flawless Dreams both stalled due to my having a great nephew born and the decision to get married, along with some health setbacks.  I tried to write around them, but I stress out really easily – meditation makes me anxious, so don’t suggest it, I have a fear of boredom and clearing my mind is like to trying to contain a nuclear reactor during a meltdown, so meditation actually stresses me out more – so I had to move away from them for a short while.

Triggered Reality only sort of stalled.  I got the first part written, started the second and decided I hated it after putting nearly 8,000 words on it, and decided to revisit it after writing the third part.  The third part gave me very little trouble, but that second part is still annoying the shit out of me.  It just isn’t right.  I’m going to scrap it and do another story.  That one may be revisited at another time, I don’t know yet.

However, since I know everybody is jonesing for a fix of Aislinn Cain, Nadine Daniels, and the promised Death Demon Trilogy, I added a story for each of them to Terrorific Tales.  Two are explanatory stories that will probably surprise you.  Consider the third a prologue and taste of things to come.

Also, keep in mind that as I move forward with Movements in the Shadows, I might go ahead and ask for more prompts.  What sorts of ghost or monster stories do you want to read?  Not just what ones do I like to write.

 

Jude the Great Nephew, Innocent Dreams, No Order Necessary

For the last couple of weeks, I have been spending about 10 hours a day with Jude the Great Nephew.  My mom is acting as his primary babysitter right now and I work from home.  I didn’t understand what this meant at first.  I mean, I did, I was going to be spending time with the great nephew, but I didn’t know it would affect me psychologically.

Innocent Dreams focuses on child killers.  Some of the children are very young.  Since Jude the Great Nephew has been born, I’ve seen some psychological blocks arise from trying to reconcile how much I want to see him thrive and the fact that I am killing children, even if it is just fiction.

I have some issues with child killers anyway.  The hardest D&R book for me to write was Cannibal Dreams and I got it written by wussing out and switching my serial killer focus from August to Patterson.  In some ways, I resent that weakness, but I just couldn’t stomach it.  I can write, read, and watch blood and gore all day long but one of the movies that disturbs me the most is Mercury Rising.  It’s a good movie, but it makes me cringe.  The plot is excellent, the fact that a child is the target of assassination because he broke a code hits a nerve with me.  Second is Darkness Falls, again it has more to do with the children than it does the graphic nature of the film (which isn’t that graphic and I think got a raw deal from critics).  As a general rule, I try to avoid books and movies that feature violence against children, even if the violence is implied, not shown.

Now that I get to be with him for most of the week, Innocent Dreams has come to a grinding halt.  I’ll get past it, but it may take a little longer than expected.

But never fear!  I have other serial killers waiting in the wings.  I have several serial killers built and plotted out.  Their stories just need to be put to paper or rather, computer screen, and they will be done.  And the important front Cain chapters where the SCTU is dealing with the aftermath of Fortified Dreams can easily be moved to one of these other books.

So, as much as I hate to do it, Innocent Dreams will not release this year.  In its place, Flawless Dreams will be published in November.  Thankfully my stockpiling of serial killers has found a purpose and I can easily make the necessary adjustments and move on with Flawless Dreams without destroying the order of the books… because I like to have options available for just such an incident.  I didn’t know if I would ever use my emergency plan, but after writing Cannibal Dreams, I was smart enough to make one.

Oddly, now that the decision to hold off on Innocent Dreams has been made, The Dysfunctional Wedding is actually flowing at a great pace and will release October 15, 2016.  It will be followed by Flawless Dreams in November and Triggered Reality in December.  I might even make my goal of putting out Terrorific Tales this year too.

I plan to have The Dysfunctional Wedding finished in six days.  I will immediately start Flawless Dreams which has been mapped out well enough that I should have it written in two weeks.  Triggered Reality is actually half done.  I just need to add some stuff to it.  The same is true of Terrorific Tales.

However, knowing that I don’t have to write Innocent Dreams after I finish The Dysfunctional Wedding did something amazing for me.  For the first time since July 8th, I sat down at my computer and wrote 6,000 words in a single day.  I had been struggling to get 1,000.  Today, I suspect my word count will increase even more.  If I keep this pace, DW will be done in three days or less.  I can live with that.

An Assortment of Things

I have several draft blog posts started, none finished.  However, I have an assortment of things to mention, so here goes (most of this is self promotion, feel free to ignore):

  • All ebooks on my Etsy site are either $0.99 or $3.25 (freebies are unfortunately, $0.20 because I must charge the listing fee, Etsy makes me).
  • Speaking of Etsy, there is now a “Tips for Authors” Section.  You can decide how much you want to tip me from $1 to $5.  In return, you get PDF versions of 2 short stories: Talked Too Much and Donnelly Clachan.
  • I do intented to get a webpage up and running that will feature a store for ebooks & print books as well as some other stuff.  I’m not sure what the other stuff will be and I can’t offer a launch date because I hate dealing with building websites.
  • Innocent Dreams and Triggered Reality will both release before the end of this year.  The Dysfunctional Wedding will release in October.  I may do a November & December release for the other two.
  • I’m still taking opening lines, scenario prompts, twist ending prompts, and ending lines for flash fiction and short stories.  These will be turned into pieces I write and put inside Terrorific Tales.
  • I will not be able to publish a book a month next year, but my goal is still six (so every 2 months). Between health issues, Lola the Destroyer, and Jude the Great Nephew there just aren’t enough hours in a day.
  • Now for the weird one:
    • I am hosting a Jamberry party to raise money for my dart league and the Springfield dart league.  The money will be used in our charity efforts (adopting families, donating to research organizations like DD Dunlop, and if we get enough, hopefully Camp Wonderland or another organization like them.  So, if you love Jamberry and want to help, contact Trista Roberts (this will give you her Facebook contact) or shop her Jamberry Site and select “CDA Fundraiser” as the party you attended at check-out.

Now I’m off to pack and work!

Your Story – Sort Of

I’ve been working on several books; Innocent Dreams, The Dysfunctional Wedding, Disillusioned Reality, and Terrorific Tales.  I’ve kinda hit blocks with the first three, but the short fiction pieces that will fill Terrorific Tales is showing promise.  It has 30 stories right now.  It needs more, but I’m running on fumes for writing prompts.

Then I had a Eureka! moment.  I love interacting with readers.  What if I let my readers give me a scenario, a line or two, or a character and I used their suggestions to build flash and short fiction pieces?

In other words, you guys would be providing the writing prompts and seeing where they go with my imagination.  It would be fun.  It would definitely be challenging.  I know I would enjoy it.

So, leave a prompt in the comments on this post with , Tweet it to me, post it to my Facebook page, private message me/direct message me on social media, or if you have my email, you can email it to me.  I’m excited to get my readers involved in the actual creative writing process.

Freebie Books

I’m a huge fan of freebie ebooks.  Most authors put up with freebies because they know if X amount of freebies are downloaded then Y amount of readers will buy the next one.  Not me, I’m actually just a fan of the freebie.

If indie publishing was less expensive and I did not want to write books for a living (not just a hobby), I’d have more freebies in my catalogue.  Unfortunately, I hate working in offices or outdoors.  I like wearing my pajamas, like it’s almost an addiction and a problem.  And each book costs me around $1,000 to publish before it ever gets to a reader.  So, I can’t offer every book I write as a freebie.  But if I won the lottery, I’d have a lot more freebies.

I have been a reader all my life.  My mom read to me before I could read.  I read to her once I learned how.  Then I outgrew reading books aloud and started reading them silently.  I know from experience that reading is not a cheap hobby.

Yes, libraries help.  Without libraries, the world would be a sad place because we would all be forced to buy every book we read (sort of).  However, when I was young, it was hard to keep me in books, even from the library.  My local has a limit and I would check out the max every other week, but I would be done long before I could return to the library to get more (I was a freak as a kid… Still am, but it’s more acceptable now).  The school library supplemented my reading habits when it was in session.

Of course, I buy a lot of used books (thank goodness for used book stores).  Once I started having money, I could supplement my library trips with used books.  And owning books makes me happy.  Then I ran out of room for book ownership… Which meant I had to start trading in books to buy other books.  That made me less happy, but at least I could still read a great deal.

Now, there’s ebooks.  At first, I balked at the idea of an ereader and ebooks.  I love physical books.  I love the look, the feel, the smell, and seeing my crowded bookshelves first thing in the morning.  However, I don’t have to return books to buy more books with ebooks.  But, buying ebooks, even at $3.99, can get expensive.  And I hate paying the same amount for an ebook as I do a physical book, so I won’t even consider paying $6.99 or higher for one unless I desperately want it (the most recent was The Scarlet Gospels by Clive Barker… I broke down and pre-ordered the ebook and my bestie got me the hardback as a gift since I am no longer allowed to buy physical books unless I agree to clean out my bookshelves first – if I do that, Village Books is going to hate me).

Back on point.  So, even at the cheap prices of ebooks, it can get expensive.  I read an average of 10 ebooks a week.  Less if I’m really really busy writing, more if I’m not writing at all.  Subscription services help and I do subscribe to Kindle Unlimited – I used to subscribe to Scribd, but I didn’t like the Android interface for some reason and the limitations.  But those also cost money, Kindle Unlimited is $119.88 per year and Scribd is $107.88 per year.

So, the freebie ebooks are a staple.  These are the ones that are free regardless of whether you subscribe to a reading service or not.  I find a ton of new authors this way and even read books I would have normally passed on because it really didn’t look or sound like my type of book (Angela Roquet’s Graveyard Shift was one of these surprises!  I didn’t think I’d like it, but it was free and I decided to give it shot and I actually enjoyed it).

Now, the writer in my has to keep making money, so I can keep publishing, but I’m working on getting a new freebie short story/flash fiction compilation together.  Some of the stories have appeared on my blog, some will be brand new to the readers, all of them will be short, fun bits that I wrote.  Right now, I’m releasing some of them on WattPad (accounts for readers are free and all ebooks on their site are also free, just FYI), but it will eventually make it into print, hopefully before the end of the year.  Because we all need more freebie ebooks.

Interesting Comments & Questions

I get a lot of questions in a week or a two because I try to make myself available to all my readers across multiple platforms.  However lately, they’ve been getting a little different and because my better judgment flew the coop, I’ve decided to compile some of them.

  • Do you practice these kills before you write about them to make sure it works? – Regarding the D&R novels and the answer is no, I don’t want to go to prison.
  • Is Nadine related to Jeff Daniels? – Regarding The Dysfunctional Chronicles.  I’m guessing since Jeff Daniels is a real person and Nadine Daniels is a fictional one, they are in no way related.
  • Do you worry that a serial killer will read your book and hunt you down to make you a statistic? – Regarding D&R novels.  I didn’t until this exact moment.  You don’t know where I live, right?
  • Am I going to enjoy this book? – Regarding Dark Cotillion.  Beats me.  Do you like long, rambling, urban fantasy novels with lots of backstory and demons?  If you answered yes!, you might enjoy it…  But I’m not going to guarantee it.
  • Why didn’t Sean and her have an affair? – Regarding the short story series in Tales to Read Before the End of the World.  Because then I wouldn’t have had the plot arc for the short story series.
  • I liked this short story, but it was too short.  What motivated the cat to hide in the closet?  How’d he get trapped once inside?  Why can’t the 12 year old grow up and go investigate?  Who leaves a 12 year old boy home alone? – Regarding flash fiction piece After Dark in Terrorific Tales.  This is not Schrodinger’s Cat.  It’s a normal pet cat.  It went into the closet because cats do that, there was no motivation.  And cats get trapped in things all the time; rooms, closets, jars, etc.  They are genetically predisposed to being stuck in things.  Why is leaving a 12 year old boy home alone a problem?  And why do you expect him to man up and check out creepy noises?
  • You have names wrong; Anubis was the Greek God of Love.  Astros was the Egyptian God of Death.  – Regarding the Brenna Strachan series.  I’m fairly certain that Astros is a baseball team in Houston and Eros was the Greek God of Love.
  • I feel bad for the lady that faked her vacation.  Does she have a GoFundMe page that I can donate to and help her have a real vacation? – Regarding a short story in Tales to Read Before the End of the World.  No, she doesn’t, it’s fiction.  Note to Self: Maybe I should set her up a GoFundMe page, I could use a vacation.
  • Why do your characters throw up when they have a migraine?  Why can’t they get diarrhea? – Regarding Aislinn Cain’s migraines in the D&R novels.  If I had to take a wild stab in the dark, I’d say it’s because vomit is easier to clean up and I don’t want to write scenes where Cain needs to change clothes because of anal leakage.
  • Why is there so much blood? – Regarding Fortified Dreams.  Because there are approximately 100 serial killers not to mention cops and other people in it.  I can’t have all 100 serial killers be stranglers.  Besides, this is book 11… they’ve all had blood in them.
  • Your characters shouldn’t smoke cigarettes, it promotes bad habits and poor health.  They should do something else, like smoke pot or drink cups of tea. – Regarding D&R.  Well, if they smoked pot, which is not legal in every state, they might go to jail and they probably wouldn’t catch as many serial killers.  With regards to drinking cups of tea, it’s really hard to sit down and brew a pot of tea when you’re staking out a house waiting for signs that you have a serial killer on your hands.  Also, Aislinn would break a ton of cups using them as weapons.  Plus, none of my characters should be role models.
  • I don’t remember hearing about this on the news.  Do you have the article? – Regarding Tortured Dreams.  Nope, because it’s fiction.
  • Asexual is the same as bisexual so why doesn’t Aislinn have a girlfriend/boyfriend? – Regarding D&R.  Because asexual is pretty much the antonym of bisexual, not the synonym.  I think you have the definition of asexual confused with something else.

Ok, back to work or something like it.

 

 

 

Book Publishing 2016: An Update

I have decided to try to get Fortified Dreams ready for a July release date.  I’m also working on 2 Dysfunctional Chronicles at this time and hope to release them this summer as well (June & August if Fate works with me).

There will be one more novel released this year and if I can get it finalized, Terrorific Tales.  I’m aiming for autumn for the novel to release.

Terrorific Tales has taken a back burner to some other stuff that needed to be finished.  It will still be of interest to fans of the Dysfunctional Chronicles and Dreams & Reality books.  The reason for the hold up is Malachi Blake, as usual, he is being uncooperative.  I’m considering having Aislinn Taser him into playing nicely.

That’s my year, plotted and planned.

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