Lizzie, Preterhumans


I’m planning on doing a video post sometime this week (before I go barbecue myself at Saint George Island), but I want to say a bit of this ahead of time.

First off, I won JulNoWriMo with flying colors: just under 51,000 words (about 120 pages). The novel is still ongoing, but I passed the writing challenge. The novel now has a title, more than “Untitled #011a”: Biscayne Beginnings. It’s even part of a series: The Seekers. I have high hopes for this series. When it’s done, I’m hoping to sell it to a great publisher — like Ace/ROC, Samhain, or Juno. Yes, I’m aiming high.

Next, I passed German 1120 with a 95% or an A. Because I rock. I’ll be taking at least one class again next semester, but it will be another one towards my Publishing and Editing certificate: Designing and Editing Newsletter.

And no, I don’t have the edits for Verdant: The Preterhumans Book 2 yet. Therefore, I have no idea when it will be out.

I will not be at Dragon*Con this year. It’s just completely out of my budget. And it really blows, since they’re doing casting calls for a TV series based on a book series I loved: The Vampire Diaries, by LJ Smith. (I do have to give Ms. Smith some props here: her writing, along with Mercedes Lackey and Maggie Shayne, is what inspired me to really want to write.) However, since I won’t be at Dragon*Con, I’m hoping to be at Necronomicon, if everything goes well between now and then. Hope to see some of you there!

And that’s about all my news for now. I’ll be doing a video post again soon. Because the world would be miserable without more of me.

Lizzie, Preterhumans

West Bend and burning books

As a writer, I suppose I'm a little sensitive on the whole literary censorship issue. It pushes buttons I would rather stay unpushed. But alas that doesn't seem to be the case.

CNN is finally* covering the situation in West Bend, Wisconsin, and certain people's call to burn books they disagree with. Stop for a second there, and read that again. "Burn books they disagree with" should be the key phrase that jumps out there. Does this sound familiar to anyone?

I have a novel approach in mind in remedy to your children being exposed to books or subject matter you don't want them reading. It's something that should be familiar, as it's what parents should be doing with their children's television intake, unless you're of the "TV as babysitter" mindset. It should even be familiar from menu selection and knowing what is and isn't good for your child. Here it is: go with your children to the library and decide with them what books they can and cannot read.

Now obviously my kids aren't exactly big readers, though the grey one is fond of sitting close enough to a computer monitor to burn anyone's eyes out. I can't cast any stones in that regards. But I do know that, for instance, certain foods would be things I didn't want them to have. I don't try to make the grocery store stop carrying them. Instead, I just don't give them to the kids. In other words, my kids' weird digestive systems should not dictate what other people's kids have access to.

I won't even comment on "sue happy" people. I'm just going to give you a simple opinion: censorship is wrong, especially for places like public libraries. I leave you now with a quote to consider, from Heinrich Heine:
“Wherever they burn books they will also, in the end, burn human beings.”

* I say "finally" here because I read about this on the ALA website over the last month. I even saw it on UK's The Guardian newspaper and author Neil Gaiman's personal blog a month and a half ago. CNN's running a little late on this one.
<video>, MacBook

A small bit of amazement

And a very good afternoon to everyone. Normally, I would save this kind of post for tonight — but it’s slow.

Normally these blogs are reserved for me to discuss what’s going on with The Preterhumans and such. Unfortunately, there have been no changes since the last post regarding that. I still don’t even have the edits for Verdant, so it’s almost definitely pushed back; it was supposed to come out this month.

On the Amaranth front, it should be available to order from your local bookstore starting Thursday. Yes, it’s almost six months after it was released on Amazon. No, I don’t know why. I can’t get answers on that one. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

I’m still taking German 1120. Class ends August 8th; Fall Semester . So far I’m doing fairly well in it. My lowest grade has been an 80 — and that was on a quiz I had forgotten was going to take place. The perils of taking classes, working, and doing JulNoWriMo all at the same time. Oh yes, I am still doing JulNoWriMo. I’m hanging on, might be a better way to put it; I’m running a wee bit behind on my word count. Maybe now that today’s test is over, I can start playing catch up. I have 19,046 words left to write for the month and ten days left to write them in. I think it’s workable. I also think that, if I didn’t have classes, there would be a possibility that I might already be done. But there’s more on that here…



Lizzie, Preterhumans

An entry that actually isn't crossposted

So, let's try this one again, since LiveJournal decided to eat the other one.

I got asked once why I don't use  katherinebell or even katherine_bell (something that more closely resembles my name) for my writing account. Go ahead, have a look at those two usernames. I can wait.

Yeah, I can't use either of them because they've been taken. That wouldn't have been too bad, if it weren't for the fact that they're both taken for Harry Potter roleplaying journals. Now, don't get me wrong: I have nothing against Harry Potter  or online roleplaying journals; I've had a few of the latter myself. It just bugs me that neither have been used in at least 4 years. I even emailed them both to see if they would be willing to part with the journal names: no answer.

So that's why I use katherinewrites here on LJ.

And in other news, I'm a little over 25000 words (or 66 pages) into the story I mentioned last entry. Of the 16 character, the following have appeared so far: Ava, Vivien, Quentin, Beth, Alice, and Kyle. Harry, Desiree, and Jesse have all been mentioned but haven't appeared just yet, not do I yet know if they will.

It still has no title, and that annoys me a bit. I already had Amaranth and Verdant named by this point. Otherwise, I'm rather happy with this story, but I still have some concerns regarding the pacing of it, if maybe it's going too slowly. Aside from that, I'm pleased as punch with it.

I still need to figure out a few things, such as what kind of immortal (or what kind of something) is Harry. I know that he's not a wizard, that's for sure! (And that's more out of respect to Harry Dresden than Harry Potter. I couldn't finish the 5th, 6th, or 7th books of the Harry Potter series without going into a boredom coma. However, I buy the Dresden Files books the week they come out and usually finish them within a few days -- and then reread.) I also need to figure out the following: who is the Conquistador and why is everyone so afraid of him; and am I going to keep Ava human the entire series? I'm told human main characters/narrators in urban fantasy are very rare; my own reading supports this. So it's tempting to break tradition and keep her human. I'll probably even keep her an "unpowered" baseline human.

The history geek in me is loving getting to research various events around the time of when this history diverges from the real world history: July 1863. The horror geek in me is loving getting to research various hauntings and strange events around the country and especially in Florida. And the travel geek in me is anxiously awaiting getting to go to PCB for photos -- and is wanting to go to Fort Jefferson for additional photo taking. I haven't been to PCB in about 10 years except for business, and I've never been further south in Florida than Orlando, so Fort Jefferson could be/will be a lot of fun.

I'm hoping to pitch and sell this to Samhain Publishing or Juno Books once it's done. I think it fits their genre specifications. It's sort of an urban fantasy/alternate history title, with vague steampunk hints (yay for bronze and brass!) and so on. There's also the story of one woman's journey to being in control of her own life and destiny.

But that's the brace of everything that I was trying to say when LJ decided to eat my entry. 
Lizzie, Preterhumans

I should be writing

So, it's come to my attention that I should be writing right now, since I have actual ideas flowing. However, I'm updating the world in regards to said ideas.

There's nothing quite like a deadline to get my brain going. JulNoWriMo tends to be just that very deadline. I'm about 15,000 words into a new novel in a new series. Currently, The Preterhumans is locked to Cacoethes. I want something I can take to another company, before I start taking The Hunter's Chronicles around.

I don't have a title on it yet, but anyone who has been watching my video updates has heard me whinge about "16 characters in search of a story". The story finally arrived, and like I said, I'm about 15,000 words into it. Roughly, that translates to about 38 pages. There's still a long way to go, but I am making progress. At last, progress!

More on this as it develops. I'm trying to get some of my prereaders to help me think up a title. So far, we're all striking out a blank.

<video>, MacBook

A few new videos to share

So, somehow I've made two video posts that never made it here. Imagine that! Mostly they're me babbling, the latter about my 16 characters in search of a story. But without further ado, here they are!

Since I started naming off the characters in the second video, I guess I'll share the whole list: Ava, Vivien, Sabine, Michael, Harry, Quentin, Kyle (who is going to make it through this book -- every time I write a story with a character named Kyle, he ends up dying!), Corrine, Alix, Jesse, Desiree, Elena, Gregory, Nick, Daniel, and Beth. I have one vote for Ava as narrator -- and I'm digging that. I like Ava.

And now to study for my oral quiz in German tomorrow.
Lizzie, Preterhumans

Why the writing is slowing down

Yesterday, I looked at D. Marie and said, "I don't know why I'm proud of myself for writing less than 200 words. It's not even a quarter of a page." The sad fact is, I am proud of those 170-something words. Between class and homework, work, house work, and health issues, finding time to get some writing in has been a chore to say the least. I guess I could do the old "stay up till all hours" thing, but see again the bit about health issues.

Mostly the health issues are dealing with a crappy immune system, migraines, depression, and things of those likes. In the last month or so, though, I've been dealing with a painful hand and wrist. Since it is, of course, in my dominant right hand, holding a pen without a brace on has been... troublesome, to say the least. Well, I finally managed to get in to see my doctor yesterday, to find out I apparently have a Ganglion cyst in that wrist. We're trying some medications to try to head it off before it gets bad, but if it does, surgery will be the next option. We're hoping the medications work, though.

So keep your fingers crossed for me.

Lizzie, Preterhumans

Mid-May Updates

I only have a few updates, which is why I didn't go with a video post today. Well, that and the fact I'm still playing around trying to figure out how to record with iMovie. More on that later.

I should be hearing from an editor, Lisa Reader, on Friday regarding the edits to Verdant at long last. So at last, that's starting to come together. There shouldn't be any change in the release date with the edits arriving, but if there is, I'll be sure to keep everyone up to date.

Apparently, Amaranth has sold down to 5 copies on Amazon. There are no reviews there, yet, but apparently, it's sold well. I know a lot of that has been word of mouth, and I really appreciate you guys stepping up and telling people about the book! You rock!

There is, however, a review on Shelfari, which you can read here. Many thanks, Dirj, for being my first review, as well as giving me a perfectly lovely review.

Finally, I'm in the process of switching my recording program. Up until now, I've been using Photobooth, mainly because it's easiest and I can do some light adjustment. However, Photobooth displays all video images as reversed, so that if I hold up something with text, it reads backwards. Supposedly, switching to iMovie should fix this error, but I haven't quite made it there yet. I will, no worries. I'm just not there yet. Soon, though, I will be there soon, when I have a night without German homework.

Lizzie, Preterhumans

Another Amazon update

As of right this moment, Amaranth: The Preterhumans Book 1 is finally showing as in stock on It’s been a long wait, but now people who ordered from Amazon should be getting their copies very soon. Anyone who hasn’t ordered yet, now would be the perfect time. Let’s see if we can’t make it go back out of stock!

After some trial and error, I got a wee bit written on Hunter’s Path — and when I say “a wee bit”, I definitely mean a wee bit: less than 200 words. I’m still working on it, though. I’m trying to get myself back out of the hole I wrote myself into. I just have to get this situation the characters are currently in dealt with, then I can plunge myself back into the story itself. I have so many ideas for this book and its sequel, but I’m having so many issues getting past this one scene.

I’m still asking that you drop me an email at katherine @ katherinebell dot net (fix the spaces and dot, obviously) if you’ve purchased a copy of the book. I want to keep a running tally.

Lizzie, Preterhumans

Amazon update

So, up until now, I've been hearing from people who ordered Amaranth off Amazon. To a person, they've been saying that it keeps getting pushed back. When the book went to press on March 27, they were told April 1 it would ship. Then it got pushed back to mid-April, then mid-May.

Now I'm hearing that some people's Amazon orders are starting to ship. In fact, I know of at least one person whose book shipped yesterday and should arrive tomorrow. That's pretty good -- and definitely really quick turn around, once it finally got ready to ship.

The site itself, though, is still showing 2 to 4 weeks before the book is ready to ship. Barnes and Noble and Books-A-Million both still show July 23rd as its release date. Borders is finally showing it in its system, but it likewise shows the July 23rd date.

And in other news, there is a possibility that I might be going to do a contest of some sort with at least one copy of the book. For a runner-up prize, I might do a Amazon gift certificate. This is all coming out of my pocket, nothing from the publisher, so it's limited to what I can afford out of pocket.

Right now, until Amazon shows something sooner than 2 to 4 weeks for shipping on Amaranth, the best place to get it is probably still through the publisher itself. You stand the most chance of getting the book in with something resembling celerity.

I'm within a few pages of edits (barring the two sections I need to do some major additions to) of being ready to throw myself back into writing on Hunter's Path. I might try to do it for MayNoWriMo, but it could be as late as JulNoWriMo, depending on how classes end up going for me during Summer Semester.