Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Awesome review, and zombies

So this week, Emily Lamontagne over at Tea and Tales reviewed Theory Train's latest issue. I almost didn't make it in that issue (because I didn't submit anything, and the deadline passed), but I won a contest with a short story I wrote, and made it in at the last minute. Emily had this to say about it:

". . . And Let The Apocalypse Happen by Laura E. Bradford comes next in line and once again, I expected something completely different from what I read. It wasn't a bad surprise, though -- this piece is my favourite of the whole lot. A man who is nearly a victim to a sudden and unexpected zombie apocalypse goes about his day, including an appointment with a dentist who would rather see clean teeth than panic and go for a gun or whatever dentists grab during the apocalypse. Brilliant, highly enjoyable, and the kind of story you aim straight for whenever you go back to your bookshelf."

Woohoo! So that's awesome. And today I mentioned to someone I know that I was working on my next book, and her eyes lit up and she said, "The one about the zombies?!" I said no, the one about the detective, and she gave a disappointed "Oh." So maybe I should revisit the idea of writing a zombie novel.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

New page - free stories

I am going to start putting free stories up on the page that is titled, enigmatically, "Free Stories."

Two of them are available in one of my ebooks, but some people don't like ebooks. They think Smashwords can't supply downloads for the Kindle or Nook (not true), or they had a dream last night that the next ebook they read was going to get magically transformed into a dinosaur and eat them. Whatever their concerns, I aim to please. So just click that and you can read them right on your screen.

A Round of Words & other writing tools

It's time I talk about A Round of Words in 80 Days, or #ROW80 on Twitter. It's a writing challenge similar to NaNoWriMo, but is more fluid--you set the goal, and can check in twice a week. Pat Thunstrom made an awesome spreadsheet for tracking progress during it.

This round (June 4th onward) has been kind of a test round for me. I came in three weeks late due to the fact that before then, I had no idea ROW80 existed. But it's good to have the spreadsheet open because it's a visual reminder of progress (or lack of progress, as evidenced by at least 7 days having 0 for their word count...).

For my first book, I kept track of my daily word count in a Textpad file. So I'd manually type in, say, "June 4 +586 words" and have a chart that way. The spreadsheet is much more interactive and gives a lot more data.

For my last book, I also filled up a OneNote notebook with lots of information, but for this one I just have a plot treatment, and I leave notes in italics as I go along. This is partly because I'm rewiting the book from a previous draft, so I don't really need to leave a lot of notes about characters and so forth, as I already have the characters solidified; I just have to keep writing.

I am kind of off track from ROW80, but I hope to catch the next round right when it starts and stay on track for about 500 words a day.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Did I write a romance novel?

Yesterday I remarked to a friend of mine that I'm puzzled about my book. Women seem to love it, while men tend to dislike it.

I was really surprised by this, because Flyday is technically a science fiction novel. It has all the staples: robots, time travel, flying cars. But those tend to be in the background, and the focus is mainly on the protagonist's relationship with his fiancee--and of course, a subplot about a rock star who's hopelessly (and ridiculously) in love.

I wondered, did I write a romance?

I looked at my bookshelf and I have only three novels that are strictly romance: Save My Soul by Zoe Winters (which is on my list of books to read), The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (which I've read and thought was fine), and Love in the Time of Cholera (one of my favorite books ever). Two of these are "love in strange circumstances" novels like Flyday.

I thought about Flyday's plot and realized the main characters' relationship follows all the beats of a traditional romance (albeit with a few more assassins). So I'm wondering if I should switch from marketing Flyday as a strictly sci-fi novel, to more of a "romance with a sci-fi backdrop."

My next book in the series will be a thriller, and I'm already thinking of it as "James Bond with a wife"--the main character is a spy and a detective, but he's also very much in love. What do you think?