“The End” Is Only The Beginning


Carrie Morgan shares her decision to pursue traditional publishing as part of our Behind The Book collaborative series. The flip side of the publishing coin to my self-publishing pursuit.

Originally posted on Wages of War:

When I was sixteen, I got my first real job. My first introduction to the working world of W-2s, withholding and fifteen-minute breaks was as a retail sales clerk for the now-defunct B. Dalton Bookseller. For a teenager whose nose was always buried in a book, it was the perfect first job, even if it did pay only a nickel more than the minimum wage of $3.80 an hour.

I loved working at the bookstore, which was tucked into a busy corner of the old Southglenn Mall in Littleton, Colorado. Being surrounded by books, seeing the new ones come in and handling the stripping or return of older titles that didn’t sell—it was a great gig for a young bibliophile.

That same year, I started to write a book of my own—a long, aimlessly rambling monstrosity called TheFour Horsemen that told the story of a Scottish soldier during Henry…

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Behind The Book: A New Feature

Power of Words

I am thrilled to announce an exciting joint blogging venture with fellow writer Carrie Morgan.

On Twitter, Carrie and I subscribe to the philosophy of Writers Helping Writers:  that is, we believe that as a community, we should strive to support and lift each other up, sharing our mistakes and lessons learned.  Writers understand the demands of time, energy and belief in oneself and one’s work to survive this business, and that makes us natural cheerleaders for each other.

Where we diverge, however, is the path we’ve each chosen towards our goals.  I opted years ago to take the self-publishing route, having spent my life being a storyteller and valuing the ability to share my words on my terms above all else.  Blame it on years of school newspaper columns and fanfiction that resonated with people so deeply, their reviews sometimes made me cry:  while a traditional book deal would be wonderful, the ability to connect with others mattered more for me.  Carrie, on the other hand, is currently pursuing traditional publishing for her debut novel, The Road Back From Broken.  In admiring her candor and transparency throughout the process of writing, editing and now querying, I realized that self-publishing carries its own hoops, quirks and pitfalls — lessons learned I could also share via a similarly transparent approach.

We both have a desire to help other writers as they embark on their own path — traditional or self-published — while also giving readers a glimpse behind the finished project you can eagerly devour in paperback or on your ereader of choice.  In the spirit of this, we’ve come up with a collaborative venture.

For the next while, we’ll be cross-posting our parallel journeys, revealing the reality of creating a story and sharing it with the world.  I personally look forward to learning about traditional publishing, as I’m considering it for a future standalone novel.  I also hope that similar to a director’s commentary on a film, knowing how a novel comes to be will enrich the reading experience.

Carrie’s journey:  Currently querying agents for her powerful debut, The Road Back From Broken.
Twitter: @C_T_Morgan

My journey:  The simultaneous re-release of a second edition for Change of Season and the editing and publishing of its sequel, Waiting for a Star to Fall.
Twitter:  @dillonac

Come join us and share your own journey.  We’re in this together, after all.

Sneak Peek: Waiting For A Star To Fall

source: wallpaper-kid.com

Autumn Brody thought it was a one-time thing.  A haunted dorm room, with restless spirits seeking justice for the crimes committed against them.  For seventeen months, she’s been able to move forward, believing it to be true.

Autumn, it turns out, was very wrong.  She’s not the first in her family to see the dead, and the dead are far from done with her.

In this sneak peek of the second book in the Autumn Brody series, Autumn is confronted by her great-grandmother’s spirit — a woman who learned the hard way how dangerous their gift could be.

Change of Season, the first book in the series, re-releases in a reworked ‘Director’s Cut’ on March 14th, 2015.  Waiting For A Star To Fall is slated for summer 2015 publication.

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On Autumn Brody And Mental Health

Via CMHA website - no infringement intended

At one point in Change of Season, Professor St. James gives Autumn some advice:  “Write what you know, and write when you need to let go.

This is a variation of advice writers have heard time and time again.  At times, it’s almost annoying.  Many of us write to heal, to share hard lessons learned along the way.  Maybe we choose to write of divorce because we ourselves are children of divorce.  Maybe we want others to feel less alone in the turmoil of life.  Even Courtney Summers noted in discussing her protagonist in Cracked Up To Be that she was channeling a bit of her own experiences with depression.

A recurring theme in many of my stories is mental health:  the ways we handle — or don’t handle — trauma and varying conditions, and how we survive to then thrive.  With one in five people around you being impacted by mental illness, there is a huge group of people out there seeking compassion and support.

In fact, you’re looking at one of them.

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Change Of Season Re-Release Slated For March 14, 2015

Power of Words

It’s been a busy month of edits and creative oversight, all leading to a final release date for the Change of Season “Director’s Cut”.  You can expect it to be available exclusively on Kindle and Createspace on March 14th, 2015.

“What do you mean by ‘Director’s Cut’?”

The closest comparison I can liken it to is Donnie Darko.  If you’ve watched the theatrical cut and director’s cut, you’re aware that the majority of the story remains unchanged.  There are expanded moments, moments that have shifted, and new scenes/editing that add a different clarity to the film.  There are also some strange changes to the soundtrack in my opinion, but that’s for another blog.

With this edition, I have taken a similar approach.  Certain scenes have expanded to reveal new insights into characters and events.  Certain moments are reconstructed – alternate takes, if it were a film.  This isn’t a dramatic expansion — I elected for a longer novel from the first edition — but it is refined and refocused.

“Have there been any changes to accommodate Waiting For A Star To Fall (the sequel)?”

That would be cheating, wouldn’t it?  I don’t believe in cheating.

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Announcing: Waiting For A Star To Fall

source: wallpaper-kid.com

A day late (and at this time of year, always a dollar short), but here it is:  the second announcement I promised!  Have you pieced together the musical teasers?

Connected to my discussions about Change of Season and feedback from readers, I have mulled over the possibility of turning Change Of Season into a series.  Repeatedly, I sat the notion aside:  first, to focus on completing and releasing Collide; next, to focus on other creative projects; and of late, focus on my music site, Open ‘Til Midnight.

In a fitting coincidence, an impulsive decision to jump in on NaNoWriMo for the second time opened the door to the possibility of continuing the story of Autumn Brody and her friends.  Like Collide nearly a decade prior, I threw myself into the world of frantic word sprints and writing around a day job (and sometimes, a night job as well!).  The result:  the second book in the Autumn Brody series.

Slated for a tentative summer 2015 release, Waiting For A Star To Fall picks up approximately seventeen months after the events of Change of Season.  You can read the synopsis below for now, but stay tuned; as I work to finalize the re-release of Change of Season and Star‘s debut, I’ll be sharing pieces of the process.

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