THE FOURTH PIECE

thefourthpiececover

 

Yaaaaas, I can finally share it! This is the cover for my first novel, The Fourth Piece, Book I in the Order’s Last Play series. I love looking at it and seeing my pen-name on there. I mean look at that. That is mine. I really think I’ll cry when I finally have this book in hand. It has truly been a long journey. I almost didn’t think it would happen traditionally and that I was going to have to go the self-pub route, but here we are!

What is this book (my precious baby) about? Here’s the official summary on Goodreads! (Please click on the link and like, follow, or just look at it :).

Admitting what you are will end everything you know. Embracing who you are will start a war…

Life is great when you’re good-looking and popular…so long as no one knows you’re a vulatto. Being half-alien gets you labeled “loser” quicker than being a full vader. So it’s a good thing Devon, Lyle, and Lawrence can easily pass for human—until the night of the party. Nothing kills a good time faster than three brothers sharing a psychic vision of a fourth brother who’s off-world and going to die unless they do something. But when your brother’s emergency happens off-planet, calling 9-1-1 really isn’t an option.

In their attempt to save a brother they barely remember, Devon, Lyle and Lawrence expose themselves to mortal danger and inherit a destiny that killed the last four guys cursed with it. In 2022, there are humans and aliens, heroes and monsters, choices and prophecies—and four brothers with the power to choose what’s left when the gods decide they’re through playing games.

I don’t have an official book release date yet. I’m still in the final editing phase of the manuscript, but hopefully I’ll have a summer release date. I will definitely keep you all posted. I just wanted to share this cover with you! 😀  I’m so excited and ready to see this on Amazon with a pre-order link. And then will come the next stage in the journey: author visits and talks, doing paid ads and making book trailers. I can’t wait!

Until next time!

 

 

plateau point

A writing plateau, I mean. A month ago, my fingers were flying over the keys. The flow of my sequel was non-stop. I couldn’t spend enough time writing. Then, I took a break to do some editing, and the flow stopped. I was very smart–because I know myself–and got the sequel to a good plot point before I stopped to edit. I did it mainly because I knew this would happen. I still have a goal of finishing before my birthday, but I am much farther behind than I’d planned to be.

I’ve got about 10 new pages now, but it’s not the flow I had before. I started scheduling writing marathons and such, wanting to meet up with people and write. I’m going to start kidnapping myself after work again and going to cafes to write. I swear my apartment is like a black hole that sucks up all energy when I arrive. I open my laptop and end up surfing the web. On a high note,  I did finish a fan fiction chapter for a story that’s been dead in the water for 6 months :D. Happy about that? Yes, I am. But is it what I’m supposed to be doing? No, lol.

I think my problem with the sequel is, as I’ve said before, that I’ve never gotten this far in the story I’m telling. I’ve always had the plan for The Fourth Piece in mind. There are so many drafts of it. But making it to Book II and knowing all the ground I have to cover? Maybe I’m intimidated. I don’t know. I really like what I have. I think it’s exciting, and I think it has the potential to be better than The Fourth Piece, but I have to deliver. It does make me nervous. I slurp in all the feedback I can get as I write The Third Gambit (Book II). I want to know how it’s doing, if it’s losing people, if I’m drowning the audience in backstory or leaving them too thirsty for knowledge.

I miss having deadlines. When I was in grad school, once a month, I had to have 25 pages of something to submit. I’m a member of multiple writers groups, but I’m cheating. I have so much of The Third Gambit already written that I have materials for two months worth of meetings. So, there’s no pressure there. But you know what, I should respect my personal deadlines the same way I’d respect an assignment’s deadline. I’m really going to shape up and do this. I will write something on my book everyday, even if it’s only a few words. Who knows, those few words might be what turns the flow back on. I still have another round of editing to do on The Fourth Piece, but this time I won’t stop writing new stuff while I’m going through edits.

New news (hah!) for The Fourth Piece. I got to do some sketching. I haven’t sketched in years, but I’m not terrible at it. My main characters, the Ladreth brothers, have strange markings on their spines that end up being very important to the story. I describe the marks, and then was asked to draw them because they might look cool on the cover. I sent over a rough sketch, which will be redesigned, and I might get to see a version of it on the new cover mock-ups. What else? Networking is awesome. I know some fabulous people and authors who are imparting me with their knowledge…and connections for promotion. It’s all so exciting!

New news (haha!) for me? I just got Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare. Somebody did spoil a little of it for me, but I’m still looking forward to reading it. I’m not quite ready to leave the world of the Shadow Hunters just yet. Do I hope to read some cameos of Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood? Yes! Do I want to see Jem and Tessa wander into the plot and never leave? YES. But I’m also happy for a new story too. So, I’m sure I’ll love it. Other news? I’m moving to a new place! Totally renovated, which is what I like. Maybe a new space will spark some creativity (here’s for hoping!)

So, back to writing… and reading!… and editing. Until next time! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

the book of flash

 

I’ve realized something after my reading on Thursday. It’s something I’ve known, but it’s really funny to actually see it in action. I talk fast, I read faster. I used to get frustrated listening to audio books because I could have read a page twice over before the narrator finished it once.  Then a genius friend said: “Um… why don’t you increase the speed?” As a result, I always listen to audio books at double speed. So, when I got up to my reading, I practiced vocal inflection, voices, being animated, using my stomach voice to keep from being nasal, but I read the section as fast as I read things to myself or listen to audio books.

Watching the playback, I found it simply amazing how fast I could act out a section. It was like watching a video in semi-fast forward. My mouth was going at 60 mph. I thought the reading went well, I got some giggles, had some folks interested, but yeah, it was FAST. I will start practicing with a metronome. (Yes, I’m a dork and was in band for 6 years. I know all about tapping your foot to a clicking beat to keep tempo. 😛 )  I wonder if there’s a metronome app. Heck, there’s an app for everything. I’m going to look into it.

Overall, I love reading aloud. A few people who didn’t know me well mistook my fast reading for nervousness and a need to practice before an audience to get comfortable with reading. When you tell people that’s not the case, they all give you that “oh sure” or the “you’re getting defensive” look. But it really isn’t the case. I used to do story times for kids, and I used to read to the high school classes I taught (for one year before I ran screaming for the door and another profession, lol. Teachers you are saints with a higher calling.) I’m comfortable reading to people. I just haven’t done it in a two years and have developed Quicksilver/Flash tendencies. I need to set a beat.

Now, here’s some publishing news! Cover art for my book… the cover artist who initially had the job was dismissed and a new artist has taken over. I’m really excited to get to see some new cover designs. I also received my second round of edits from the publisher, so I’m getting started on that. I also think I’m ready to submit the first two chapters of the sequel to the publisher. I wanted to let my writers groups go through them first, and they finally have.

Okay, to close this entry out, if you go to the category, The Fourth Piece Readings, you’ll find pictures and links to the speedy reading of a selection from The Fourth Piece. I’ll see if I can actually upload the video onto the blog, but I think it may be too big. If it is, as I said before, there will be links :).

Until next time, take care!

my books

The third and final book in the Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown came out today. The closest Barnes and Noble to me is 45 minutes away, but that didn’t stop me from hitting the road after work and driving out to get my book on its release date. There’s something special about getting a thing you’ve been waiting for right when it comes out. It’s the same as needing to see a movie on its opening night.

Yes, I’m one of the people who went to the midnight Harry Potter releases, in costume. Graduate robes look a lot like Hogwarts robes. I thought of myself as a role model to all the kiddies who saw me and said: “Great robe! Where did you get it?” Well, little one, if you get a master’s degree, you too can have a Hogwarts robe.

Yes, I completed my MFA in the same year Deathly Hallows came out. It was a milestone–and not just because of Harry Potter, lol. As always, these posts always have to come back to writing. Where am I right now in the publishing process? Languishing over creating just the right summary. Summaries are harder than writing the book, ugh! Also, I’m looking at cover models and their clothing and facial expressions, and objects to be used in the background art. (FUN!) I might have a book cover to preview soon. And, it’s time to make promotional materials. (YAY!)

I’m setting aside little chunks of change from my paycheck, so that I can help promote myself too. Last night, I went to an author networking dinner where we talked about marketing plans and social media. I got some great ideas and I’m ready explore and research them further.

When I was in grad school getting my degree, we had a panel of professors, all published authors, who were asked how hard it was to be a full-time writer and hold down a regular job. Most of them said the equivalent to: marry well, because if you really want to take this writing thing as far as it can go, it needs to be your only job.

Well, I know a lot of folks who still work and do fine, but I see why someone might want to say the heck with it, let me get on E-Harmony and find a rich hubby! It’s like having two jobs, and it hasn’t even gotten hard yet. But you know what, bring it on. I can take it.

Until next time, note that I’m going to start reading Morning Star tonight. I will resurface when I have finished and know Darrow’s fate. (…still grumbling about how stupid Darrow is… and Roque better live…and Cassius and Darrow better make up…)

Oh, let me just go read. Take care!

 

 

 

e. ardell

I’m on a mission to get on everyone’s nerves. I can’t help it. I want to show off. Everything that’s going on right now is so amazing. Editing, discussing cover art and tag-lines and back-cover summaries. Also, if you follow this link you can visit the publisher’s site to see ME at: https://48fourteen.com/profile/E.+Ardell/

So let me tell you how much it is to discuss cover art. First, I got to find a bunch of covers of other books in my genre that I really like and think could translate well to the series. Then I got to think about concepts like what scene or image do I want on the cover, and do I want cover models, a symbol, and what not. Of course I want cover models. 😀 I love books with realistic looking people on the cover. So then I got to send in pictures of actors and models who look like my characters to give the cover artist ideas. Surfing the web for cutie pies that fit my characters’ descriptions was awesome sauce. I even got my sister involved. Next thing I know, it turned into a project to find models and actors for ALL of the characters in the series. I only sent in images of the main characters, so four guys (all cutie pies), but it was a blast finding all those other pictures and making graphics and name plates for them. I think Pinterest and I are going to be best buddies from here on out :D. I can’t wait to see some drafts of what this book cover is going to look like.

The other thing I did was come up with tag-lines. Tag-lines are hook phrases on the front of your book. I made a list of different phrases, some funny, some serious, some cute, and paraded them around my social circles, letting people vote on their favorites. I ranked the tag-lines according to popularity and shipped them out to the publisher. She liked a lot of them.

Now we’re just working on the summary for the back of the book (which I tell you is harder than writing a book itself), and I’m coming up on another round of editing for the manuscript. This has really been a learning process and I love being so involved with everything.

I’m going to close this by saying, if you’re not a Facebook buddy of mine (you should be, jk), the image above is what you missed out on seeing! Click the image and get taken to the link! I appreciate any visits and participation I can get :).