New Title and Blurb!

The third book in the Lintang series has an official title and blurb!

From the Penguin website, read the blurb for Lintang and the Brightest Star below:

A prophecy has been spoken. A monster has awoken.

As the conquering hold of the United Regions continues to spread, time is running out for Lintang, Captain Shafira and the crew of the Winda to find allies in their quest for peace.

But when they arrive in the war-torn country of Kaneko Brown, the rebels who were supposed to help turn them away. The rebels are scared – the Vierzans have summoned a category ten mythie that devours the star of anyone who dares stand against them. Worse, the mythie has been prophesied to mean the end of Captain Shafira.

Lintang must find a way to stop the most dangerous mythie in the guidebook … or she’ll lose her beloved captain forever.

Where You Can Find Me At PWF

Perth Writers Week Family Day is next Sunday, and I'll be at the University of Western Australia all day. Here's where you'll find me:

10am-10.45am - Lintang and the Forbidden Island storytelling session with Glenn Swift (Uni Club - Seminar Room 3)

10.46am - Signing books (Signing Marquee)

11.30am-12pm - Lintang and the Pirate Queen Storyland session (Uni Club - Upper Colonnade)

2pm-2.45pm - Curated by Kids (Courtyard)

Hope to see you there!

Lintang on TV!

Lintang and the Pirate Queen was featured on Cover to Cover ep 32! Starts at 16.32 minutes. Jennifer Jackson from Paper Bird said some wonderful things about it. (Unfortunately, at this time, Lintang is only a three-book series.)

Lintang was in great company - there are so many amazing West Australian authors. I'm lucky to be in this region.

Update!

I have been so sick these past two weeks. It's been a long time since I've been bedridden with a cold and a sore throat. I didn't miss it!

Lintang and the Pirate Queen is well and truly out in the world. I've been doing phone interviews with various newspapers, blogs, and magazines, and I've done my first school visit. I've also been invited to some writers festivals! I'm planning on doing a lot more promotion next year, too.

I've gone through first pass pages for Lintang and the Forbidden Island, which means A4 pages have been printed up and typeset to look like how the real book pages are going to appear. The cover is absolutely gorgeous - I hope to be able to reveal it soon!

Book 3 still doesn't have a title. I received structural edits back but have decided it needs a major overhaul, plot-wise. I'm working hard to rewrite many scenes. Perks of being a writer, right? But I'm looking forward to making it the best it can be. Luckily school holidays are coming up!

As for the super secret project, I've been working on that, too. I've sent the first twenty pages to my editor for some feedback, and once she gets back to me I'll pitch it to my agent. Fingers crossed!

Working Towards Goals Without Deadlines

It's all very well and good when you have a writing deadline to meet, because you have to have your manuscript finished by a certain date.

But what happens when you don't have a publishing contract? Or any way to force yourself to be accountable for completing a first draft?

If you already understand why it's important to complete the first draft (you can't edit a blank page, people), you're a step there. The next part - the setting a self-appointed goal - can be harder. If you want to start querying by December, say, how do you make sure you've done a first draft and an editing round by that stage? It's even harder with first drafts because you have no idea how many words the manuscript will end up being.

For Lintang 3, I didn't have a deadline because at that point I didn't have a contract. I wanted to write a first draft of it just in case, though. While I was waiting on copyedits for Lintang 1 and structural edits for Lintang 2, I set myself a goal of 500 words a day. Not much, but with full-time work and other manuscripts to think about, this was the perfect amount. I could get that done if I woke up early, or churn it out after school, even if my brain was fried.

I'm not saying it was easy. That first draft was an uphill climb the whole way through. Some days the words were so difficult to get out, I had to tally each hundred words to get myself to make the target. The next few drafts were better, but that first one was awful. I'm not sure I would've made it through if I hadn't given myself such a small, achievable goal. This kind of strategy is good for when you just want a draft finished, regardless of when it's finished.

For the Super Secret Project I'm working on now, again, I don't have a deadline, but I want to submit it to my agent by the end of the month. (My agent has a book-by-book contract, rather than taking clients on for life.) Now, I won't be anywhere near finished this book by the end of the month, but I'll be a solid chunk of the way through the first act and she'll have a good idea what kind of story she's looking at. I'll also have a synopsis prepared, telling her where the plot's going.

How I've set the goal this time is based on the advice of my crit partner, who warned me to write at least 50 pages before pitching it to anyone. That way I know whether it's going to last, or whether this Shiny New Idea will fizzle out (as so many Shiny New Ideas have in the past). So I need 50 pages written by August 31st. I currently have 21. I need to think about work, bookstore tours, and Lintang edits. The way I'm writing this manuscript is slow and careful, so I need to pace myself, too.

My goals are: by the end of this weekend I'll be up to 28 pages. By the end of next weekend, I'll be at 35 pages. The weekend after that, 48 pages. By the Thursday - last day of the month - I'll have hit 50.

From there I'll see what my agent has to say, whether she has any suggestions, and whether she'll take this project on. From there I can reevaluate my goals without necessarily giving myself a word count.

Note: buying pretty, goal-orientated things from places like Kikki-K have never not helped!

Do you have your own way of getting that draft done?

I'm Officially a Published Author!

I did it! I'm exhausted, but I did it!

It was the perfect weather for pirates - stormy and freezing. That didn't deter many from coming, thank goodness. We were all crammed in the school library and I signed book after book.

And now Lintang and the Pirate Queen is out!

You can find it in Australian bookstores. Here is a list of places you can buy it from online.

Hooray!