Guns & Smoke, Mental Health, Writing

Why You Gotta Be So Rude?

As spring comes upon us, that time has returned: what’s been up?

First and foremost, in February, Lauren and I revealed the cover for our upcoming novel, Guns & Smoke!

It was SUCH a joy to see everyone’s excitement for the cover reveal! We officially started our pre-order promotions. If you’re interested in finding out more, head over to my Guns & Smoke page for more information! We hope to have the paperback available for preorder soon. 🙂

Guns & Smoke was out for copyedits during the month of February. Being as this is my first time working with an editor, I was slightly nervous. I didn’t know what to expect. Guns & Smoke has seen many iterations and been edited and drafted what feels like a hundred times by this point. When the edits arrived, I was almost afraid to look. But, then… it was mostly clean up! The majority of our editor’s notes were punctuation (which I’ve learned I’m terrible at), word repetitions, and suggestions on how to make sentences more succinct.

At the same time, our novel was out to beta readers. This was the first time we’d put the project in front of readers since changing the genre from YA to Adult, and straight dystopian, to dystopian-western-romance. I usually don’t get nervous when it comes to a small group of people reading my books. I didn’t really this time. It’s only as we get further into the process that my fears and imposter syndrome start creeping up on me. Anyway, the point to this is to talk about our wonderful beta readers and the feedback that they gave to us. While it wasn’t all good, I really felt like the suggestions that we were given made a lot of sense.

We had a marathon work day recently where we finished up copyedits and did rewrites. As always, those days are physically and mentally exhausting, but they are also a ton of fun. The only problem is sometimes we get off task. What do you expect though? We have fun together!

Now, let’s take a list at my to do list from last month, and I’ll let you know how I did.

  1. Finish A Shield of Stars Rewrites
  2. Read The Anatomy of Prose: 12 Steps to Sensational Sentences (DONE) and 13 Steps to Evil: How to Craft Superbad Villians by Sacha Black
  3. Film videos for Lauren’s Authortube Channel
  4. Get marketing emails for indie bookstores sent
  5. Clean up edit of A Shield of Stars
  6. Film TikTok content
  7. Read A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J Maas
  8. Read A Vow So Bold & Deadly by Brigid Kemmerer
  9. Read Lore by Alexandra Bracken
  10. Social Media/Blog Prep for Guns & Smoke marketing

While I didn’t finish everything on my list, I did accomplish a lot. A Shield of Stars has been a bit of a thorn in my side because it seems once I find my stride, I hit another roadblock. A lot of it has been because I’m really struggling with my health and mental health lately. That’s part of why I titled this post “Why You Gotta Be So Rude?” Because my brain tries to trick me, and it’s really, really rude.

The biggest thing I’m trying to do right now is remind myself that I’m not some super human that can do everything, and to give myself a little grace. I’m also trying to sort out therapy right now, because my therapist had to take a professional break. I need to get myself back into it so I can be sure I’m taking care of me come time for the launch of Guns & Smoke!

I’ve taken on the task of proofreading Guns & Smoke. I just finished my first pass via a printed copy, and now I have to upload everything into the final draft so we can make those changes. She’s thicc yall.

So what does the next month hold?

I’m so glad you asked! (Just…go with it, eh? :))

  1. Create a realistic timeline for A Shield of Stars to have queries ready to go by the end of the year.
  2. Start my rewrites/developmental edits for A Shield of Stars
  3. Genre research reading (I have several books in the docket, so I won’t list them)
  4. Film a bunch of promo videos and create a coherent schedule of promo graphics
  5. Finish proofreading Guns & Smoke
  6. Create a coherent plan for partnership w/indie bookstore
  7. Schedule book tour(s) for G&S launch
  8. Build ARC team for G&S
  9. More marketing work for G&S
  10. Get back in the gym!
  11. Remember to take a breath!
  12. Writer’s Retreat Weekend!

I am especially excited for the last item on that list! Guns & Smoke is only the first book in a series (and sequel series, prequels, various novellas, it goes on and on and on), and we already have a base outline for the sequel novel! While we aren’t sure exactly when we plan to publish it, I’m hopeful it’ll be sometime next year.

That being said, Lauren and I booked an AirBnB in the middle of nowhere about an hour or so away from home where we can lock ourselves up for three and a half days and try to pump out as much of a draft as we can. It’s going to be a lot of fun!

Thanks for coming along on this crazy ride, my friends. It’s a pleasure.

Always,
Abbie

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