A Long-Overdue Update!

I’ve been neglecting this blog for way too long, and I’m hoping to change that this fall.

A few updates:

I’ve been doing a ton of screenwriting lately, which means some of my other projects have been neglected. I’m still working on the edits to the fourth and final book in The Steam and Steel Chronicles, which might actually be done before the end of the year. No promises though.

I’m moving! After nearly 12 years living in the same house (the longest I’ve ever lived anywhere, over a third of my lifetime!), I’m moving about 30 minutes away, to a much smaller, more manageable house with more land (2 acres rather than .13!). That move will be happening late this month and early next month, which means you likely won’t be hearing much from me during that time! But the new place should provide me with a lot more opportunities and inspiration to write. I may do a little photo tour of the place when I get all moved.

I have another blog that I started this summer, but that quickly fell by the wayside as other projects took over (including house-hunting). Once I’m moved, I’m definitely going to start that one back up (it’s more lifestyle, less writing-focused). I’ll post here when that happens.

I’m still actively involved with Stowe Story Labs, now helping out by volunteering and taking care of some of the logistics. It’s so rewarding, I’ve met such amazing people, and it’s always inspiring. If you’re a screenwriter, I highly recommend applying next year!

And the big update: I’m currently in the process fo creating a writing course! This one will be about writing a non-fiction book, aimed specifically at professionals who want to write to further their career or business (though it could also be useful to those who want to write about a hobby or passion). It’s a 6-week-long course that I’ll be doing via email, and will be open to a limited number of people (I’m thinking 20 per session, but it might be lower). I’ll post when that’s all up and running (it’s nearly done, I’m just working on some additional materials and then need to decide on the final format).

So that’s what’s been going on in my world! Hopefully everyone out there is having a great summer!

Book Three in The Steam and Steel Chronicles is Now Here!

So it’s been almost two years since I released anything in The Steam and Steel Chronicles, but the third novella is now live on Amazon! The Quest for the Demon Disconcerter is only $2.99! Here’s the blurb:

The American West has been a new frontier for Captain Stig Rayner and Miss Isabelle Feeney Hemsworth and their joint business venture. And the fact that they can work together and yet still avoid one another is a nice bonus.

But unexpected news drives a wedge between them that just might push them apart for good. The return of am estranged family member only adds to the tension.

An attack on Isabelle’s life and livelihood may not be enough to bring them back together, though counsel from a wise elder just might be. In the end, the chance they’ve always wanted might finally come, but is the price too high?

The Quest for the Demon Disconcerter follows Stig and Isabelle through what could be the most tumultuous time in their years-long journey to find peace together.

Check it out and leave a review if you want!

It should be live on Barnes & Noble in another day or two. It will be available on Smashwords soon (I still have to do the formatting for that one).

Writing Again

Just taking a minute for a quick update. The third and fourth Steam and Steel Chronicles novellas are currently with my beta reader. She’s usually really quick with notes for me, so I may start with revisions on them later this week. Still no idea what the titles will be, but I’ll post here when I come up with them.

I’m working on an urban fantasy novel I started last year. I had about 25,000 words done on it, mostly just bits and pieces of scenes. And then I got distracted with other things and dropped it, though always with the intention to go back and finish it. So I’m going to try to finish it soon. It will be the start of a loose series I’m working on, with books all set in the same world, and possibly with some reoccurring characters. I have one other book planned for sure, but it’s going to be a big world, so there will be a lot of room for new stories in the future. Continue reading

A Hiatus & Some Book News

So, I’ve gone through some major, life-changing personal things during the past few weeks. The direction of my life is very much up in the air at the moment, and I have to admit it’s kind of scary. Actually, it’s really scary.

There are a couple things I do know:

  1. I’m going to keep writing, both fiction and non-fiction. This is not something I’m ever going to give up if I can help it.
  2. I’m still working to get the last two books of The Steam and Steel Chronicles out. I had hoped to get book three out at the end of January and the fourth out in February, but that’s probably going to be pushed back by about a month. I still hope they’ll both be out before spring.

But basically everything else in my life is completely in limbo at the moment. To say it sucks is an understatement, but much of what is happening is beyond my control.

So that brings me to my next point: I’m going to be blogging a lot less for probably a few months, at least on this blog. I need to focus on my work, my books, and my life at the moment, and that means something’s got to give. I may still blog occasionally, when I find the time or have something I feel is important to say, but mostly it’s going to just be announcements about when my books will be available.

On that note, Hold My Hand is now available through the Kindle Owners Lending Library on Amazon, and will be available for free to everyone via Amazon from January 12-14, and then again later this month or next month (I’ll announce that when I finalize the dates). So if you haven’t read it (and based on my sales figures, most of you haven’t), take this opportunity to get it for free!

Transparency in Indie Publishing, Month 10

Wow, it’s hard to believe that I’ve been self-publishing for ten months now! I hit a big milestone this month: I sold my 1,000th ebook! This is a huge deal to me, since most self-published books never sell more than a couple hundred copies. I’ve also had my best sales month to date.

As far as marketing this month, I’ve been plugging a little bit on Google+ and Twitter, which I know has generated a few sales. And I had a couple of new reviews on Amazon (if you’ve read either of the books and feel like leaving a review, I really do appreciate them!), some of which were really favorable. One of my favorite quotes from a review of The Great Healion Race:

This is not Edward and Bella, living in perfection for all eternity. These are two adults with overwhelming baggage as the ballast for their journey. I especially appreciated how Ms. Chapman allowed her protaganists to be messy, angry and human.

Seriously, that’s one of the nicest things anyone has ever said about my books. Because that’s exactly what I was going for: complicated people who have messy, screwed-up lives, and find a way to love each other anyway.

Below are my sales numbers for this month. I saw a drop in sales for the second book, but a big jump in the first book. Hopefully that will translate to more sales for the second book in the next couple of months. Continue reading

Pushing for 200 Sales!

There’s less than 10 hours left in November (in the EST time zone anyway), and I’m having my best sales month yet for The Steam and Steel Chronicles. I would really LOVE to break 200 sales this month, but I’m still a ways away from that. Not so far that I don’t think it’s possible, though.

But I need your help! If you haven’t bought the books yet, now’s your chance. They’re only 99¢, available for a variety of ebook reader platforms (including Kindle and Nook), and are sure to entertain you (I hope).

Here are the links to buy them:

Aboard the Unstoppable Aerostat Fenris:

Barnes & Noble | Kindle/Amazon US | Kindle/Amazon UK | Smashwords | Goodreads

The Great Healion Race:

Barnes & NobleKindle/Amazon USKindle/Amazon UKSmashwordsGoodreads

If you’ve already purchased them, then please pass along the links to someone you think might enjoy them. Post a link on your Facebook page or on Twitter. Send out an email. Or even buy them as Christmas gifts for family members.

What am I offering in return, you might ask? My unending gratitude. And it will give me more motivation to get the third and fourth books finished (the first draft of the third book is already done, and I’m about 75% of the way through the fourth book). Nothing extraordinary. (Though I am planning some pretty awesome stuff for the release of books three and four…)

See? I’m not at all above begging for sales! I just think it would be really awesome to end this month on an even higher note than it’s already at, since winning NaNoWriMo and having great sales anyway.

NaNoWriMo Day #28: I Won!

I hit the 50,000 word mark last night and have now officially “won” NaNoWriMo. I’ve still got about 8,000 words left to write for the fourth book in The Steam and Steel Chronicles, but I’m going to push to finish it by the end of the month. I’m really loving the way this series is turning out, and hope everyone who’s read the first two books will like the second two.

I’m also going to work on a short story that will fit in between books one and two, and will focus entirely on Stig. Since book four focuses mostly on Isabell, I feel like it’s only fair!

So, I’ll be finishing up soon and will put the books away for a few weeks before I begin editing them, and hopefully will have them out in January or February. I’m aiming to release them about a month apart, and I’m 99% sure that I’ll be pricing both at 99¢ each. I feel like that’s a good/fair price for these books.

Once the series is finished, I’ll also be releasing a print version of all four books combined, and possibly a special, limited edition print book. I’ll keep everyone updated on those.

Happy Thanksgiving and a NaNoWriMo Update!

Here in the U.S., today is Thanksgiving. I’m taking a rare day off of work (I even went so far as to close my email program) and hosting Thanksgiving dinner for my husband’s family and my father. We haven’t hosted a family dinner at our house in a number of years, so it’s a nice change. And a lot less stressful than the first year we hosted Thanksgiving for twelve or thirteen people less than two weeks after we bought our house. That was quite the holiday!

So today I’m spending time cooking and writing whenever I can. My NaNoWriMo word count stands just shy of 39,000 words at the moment, and I’m hoping to push it up over 42,000 today. That will put me slightly ahead. I’m working on book four at the moment. Book three came in at around 32,000 words, though that will probably decrease during editing.

There are a lot of loose ends from the first two books that I’m tying up in the third and fourth books. I left a lot of things open-ended because I knew this was going to be a series, and I’ve had some negative feedback due to some of those things. But I promise that all of it will be tied up one way or another, and pretty much all of it will be explained in one way or another.

Book four is going to be the most adventurous book of the series, and will bring us back to some of the same places we went in book one. Characters that first appeared in books two and three will become vital parts of the resolution to the series (even if they only had cameos in earlier books).

Writing a series is a completely different animal than a stand-alone novel. Especially when they’re being written a year apart. There’s a lot to keep track of, and I think with the next series I’m planning, I’ll spend some time putting together a story bible to keep track of everything.

I guess I should spill the beans on the next series I’m planning. I was going to take some time to work on a gothic romance novel (a complete overhaul of part of a very early novel I wrote, the same one that Steam and Steel was inspired by) after I finished Steam and Steel, but now I’m thinking I’m going to write another steampunk series instead. The working title (and I’ll be coming up with something better before it’s done) is Clockwork Colony. It’s steampunk set in an entirely different world than The Steam and Steel Chronicles, and will take place in India around 1910. It’s going to require a lot more research than other books I’ve tackled, but I’m really excited about it.

This series won’t be a continuous series like Steam and Steel, but instead will be a number of books loosely set in the same world. This means I can write in that world when I want to, and when I have a story to tell, but I’ll have the flexibility to write other things in between, without worrying about alienating fans of the series. I’ll likely start working on this one in December. We’ll see.

Anyway, happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the US, and happy Thursday to everyone else!

Over 1,000 Sales Since February!!! (And a NaNoWriMo Update)

As of today, I have sold more than 1,000 ebooks since February! This is a big deal for me, as it means over 1,000 sales in less than 10 months, for an average of more than 100 books sold per month.

To celebrate, I’m making Aboard the Unstoppable Aerostat Fenris available for free for a couple of days through Smashwords. If you haven’t started reading the series yet, here’s a great way to start! All you need to do is enter the coupon code HN48E at checkout and you’ll get it for free (the coupon code expires on the 19th, though I’m not sure at what time). All I ask in return is that after you’ve read it, leave a review on Smashwords, Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, or elsewhere if you feel like it. I’m not asking for positive reviews, just honest ones.

It’s said that most self-published books don’t sell 100 copies total, so I feel like the fact that I’ve sold over 1,000 so far this year is a big accomplishment, and one worth celebrating. So, please, feel free to pass this coupon code along to others, or share this post on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or wherever else you want.

I’m also at over 28,000 words on book 3 of The Steam and Steel Chronicles, which I should be finishing up either today or tomorrow. Then it’s on to book 4, which will be packed with adventure, more so than any of the other books in the series. I’m really excited about writing it!

NaNoWriMo 2011: Day 12 & Another Little Excerpt

I’m still on track for NaNoWriMo this year. I’m currently sitting between 19k and 20k words, and the goal for today is 20,000. So I’ll be there in another hour or so. I have to say, and this might seem a little pompous, but I’m LOVING this book. I love where it’s going. I love the twists the characters have thrown up in my face. I love the new character who has made himself an integral part of the plot.

Sure, there are some spots that will need quite a bit of work (or that might be cut all together) for the final draft, and it needs plenty of polishing, but overall I really love it. Continue reading