Saturday, April 02, 2011

The prodigal blogger

Oh, I've been very bad, haven't I? This is the first time I've been back here since my happy news. I might as well fess up: I hate blogging with the burning passion of a thousand fiery suns. ;)

I've been trying to spend my few blogging brain cells on the official author blog:, but to bring you up to date, I spent most of December revising the manuscript of The House of Arkhangel'sk, which went out on submission in early January. We've had a few passes so far, but there are several editors we're still waiting to hear from, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that at least one of them will fall madly in love with Anazakia and the boys. The print publishing world moves at a snail's pace, and fantasy tends to move even more slowly than other genres due to the limited number of editors dedicated to it at each house, but I've waited this long to reach my goal; what's a few more months?

In the meantime, my other happy news that I may have overlooked on this blog is that my novella The Devil's Garden was accepted by Carina Press (Harlequin's fledgling e-only imprint) in October. TDG had a false start earlier last year when it was initially accepted by a different publisher who later dropped it because I wouldn't change the character's age, so I was very happy that it finally found a home.

So after THOA went out on submission, I spent the next several weeks on edits and revisions on TDG. The final copy went to production at the end of February, and  a few weeks ago the cover was finalized. Is that not the most awesome cover ever?? Okay, maybe I'm a little biased. ;) The release date for TDG is June 27, 2011.

If you want to read more about it, check out my post A Book By Its Cover on the Jane Kindred blog, and the blurb on the TDG page. (I also have a Facebook page for it, if you want to see the same information in several places. LOL.) And if you really can't get enough of me ~snort~ I also blog as Jane Kindred at Here Be Magic.

But I promise to be better about keeping up with—oh, hell, who am I kidding? I'm the world's worst blogger. I may have to start posting random "man candy" like my friends Allison Pang and Marie Sexton to get you all to come back. ;D (Or girl candy; I can go either way.)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Get me, I'm givin' out wings!

Yes, that's what all those bells are you're hearing: me giving out wings. Or kisses under the mistletoe, if you prefer, 'cause there's not a Nargle in sight. (Um, you are all hearing those bells, aren't you? Hello?)

If you read my last post, you know I was expecting a phone call. Now, I've read other writers' posts about "The Call" with much trepidation. What the heck were they all talking about for an hour or more?? I am not a phone person. I hate the phone. The phone might as well be a Nargle.

But somehow, I spent over an hour on the phone with the aforementioned agent, and I didn't even notice how much time had gone by. I can't tell you how awesome it is to talk to someone who loves your book. (Really; even when my betas love my books, though they can't get me a publishing deal, it's just awesome. I my betas.)

Writers are a largely narcissistic lot (yeah, I know, you're shocked), but we are, for the most part, weirdly introverted narcissists. If we weren't, I guess we'd just put lampshades on our heads and dance a jig on your table. (And perhaps some of us have; I'm not going to be the one to break the secret oath of the writers' vory v zakone. Oh, crap. Did I just write that out loud?) But instead we scribble in silence, hunched over the notebooks tucked into our Bibles in church (um, maybe that was just me), and then hope someone will ask what we're doing. (But not our parents. At least not in church. At least not what I was writing.) And then when that poor someone takes the bait, we haunt them forever: "But I've rewritten the first chapter again. It's so much better now. C'mon! Read it!"

(Wow; look at all the semicolons and parenthetical clauses and sentences starting with conjunctions in this thing! And exclamation points! Aw, who cares! I have an agent!)

Yes, you read that right. I have an agent: Sara Megibow at Nelson Literary Agency has signed me. And she squeed, you guys. Let me quote from her email: "SQQQUUUUUEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!" I kid you not. I have an awesome agent, who squees! :D

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I Suspect Nargles

At 9:30am Saturday morning, after I'd stayed up until 4am working on The Palace of Wisdom, my phone began buzzing across my nightstand. I growled and snarled at it and slapped my palm around on the flat surfaces in the near vicinity in search of my glasses. I didn't recognize the number and I growled some more. I'm always getting long distance wrong numbers. I pulled the covers over my head, attempted to regain lost ground from the cats who ooze into any abandoned bed space like a liquid seeking its own level, and tried to go back to sleep.

A few minutes later, the phone chirped at me. A message had been left. Curious thing for a wrong number to do, I thought.

Now, due to a clever mishap on my part, I no longer get my voicemail on my phone. Instead, I get garbled text messages from Google Voice, the most recent of which managed to tell me "Hey babe, scared" instead of "Hey babe, it's Jack." This one said "Unable to transcribe message." Still grumbling, I dragged my laptop over and googled the area was a certain city where I only know two people. One of them is a literary agent who was reading my manuscript. My heart started hammering. I told it to shut up so I could think. Clearly, this was just a wrong number that was coincidentally in that same city, and furthermore it must have been a bot call, resulting in a message Google Voice couldn't transcribe.

I opened up Google Voice. There was a minute-and-a-half message waiting. I clicked play, and heard complete silence for several seconds. Calling myself many names for imagining things, I reached over to click stop. And then heard the only four words that got recorded: "from the literary agency...."


After I regained consciousness, my e-mail announced a new message in that special folder set up for such unlikely scenarios as someone actually responding to a query. And there it was: from the literary agency.

An actual call is now scheduled for tomorrow morning. It better not be Nargles.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

And the truth shall set you free

Just got the rejection on the last outstanding full, from the agent I really, really wanted. I was expecting to be devastated until I read this:

"But when it switched up to the fallen angels and their love story, it just didn't work at all for me and it didn't seem to lend anything to the book as a whole."

And my brain exploded. I suddenly realized that it isn't me, it's them. I've been taking every bit of criticism to heart, thinking I had failed as a writer, failed these characters, but the love story between Belphagor and Vasily is the one thing I absolutely know is right about this book. So for this smart, terrific agent to simply not feel it, and to like the parts I was so uncertain about, the parts I was sure I had failed at...well, really IS all subjective!

As sad as I am about this rejection, I feel like I have a new lease on life as a writer. I can just keep querying until I find the agent that loves all of it. I don't have to crawl in a corner and berate myself for my failure and try to rewrite the entire story every time someone criticizes it.

Hell, I may just start querying on the other two books I had given up on. Someone, somewhere, may just finally get them.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Gathering rosebuds

My spring hypomania seems to be here early, and I'm taking full advantage of it. These moments are so rare, when my head is full of words and I'm not too exhausted to put them down on virtual paper. I've returned to my 1,000-word daily goal to try to finish the first draft of The Prince of Tricks by the end of May. I'd love to have it done in time for the cruise, but I don't know if I'm quite that hypomanic.

I'm listening again to Kate Bush's Aerial as I write and work through plot points while walking to and from work or riding on Muni. I've never listened to any other album this much. I keep waiting to get tired of it, but every time I play it, Kate takes me spinning up into the St. Petersburg White Nights on the wings of my demons (and I'm sure she would never have thought to invoke anything of the sort with this music). One night during my trip in 2006, I sat in the late-evening light and listened to both disks while watching the sun pretend to set outside the balcony of my little room in the Lesnoy Prospekt flat, and it transports me there when I close my eyes.

Because I listened to it while writing the last three books, it also sometimes transports me to places I've never been with images of things I have never seen: like the Aurora Borealis over the Arkhangel'sk skies across fields of rime frost, or the monastery on Solevetsky in the White Sea. Sometimes it's a ride on the Trans-Siberian rail. But everywhere it takes me, it's full of rosebuds, and I'm gathering them while I may.

Sunday, February 28, 2010


This word seems to define many aspects of my life right now. Though I've decided to go ahead with Prince of Tricks, I'm afraid to write anything on it. I write a paragraph, then delete it. There's so much back story now that I don't know where to begin, and my MC doesn't know most of the back story herself, so I have to be careful not to put things in that she isn't aware of in her first-person narrative.

Then there's the subplot about the Prince of Tricks himself. Is there really room for that in this story? Maybe it deserves its own book. Can I pull this off? Will I be able to do either of these stories justice if I include them both? And should I really be putting time into this project when I still don't know whether the first book will even get representation, let alone a publisher?

One agent has the full, one has passed on the partial, and I have one query outstanding with no response yet. I can't decide whether to continue querying. What if the story is fatally flawed, and I'm sending out queries to agents I can never query again? Should I wait until I get the rejection on the full and hope it isn't a form rejection so I can get some insight into what isn't working? Or am I just allowing my fear to keep me from taking any action? Maybe I should work on more rewrites before submitting again—but maybe that's just another form of not doing anything.

Meanwhile, I've been wanting to get physically active again, after spending a year embedded in these books and sitting on my ass. It seems like a simple thing: just go outside and start walking. But I think about it, I mean to do it, and then I just...can't. The mild agoraphobia plays a role, I suppose, and the weather (though the rain has not been constant, so that's just an excuse). If I don't start moving, however, the writers' cruise in May is going to be here before I know it, and I'll be heading to the Bahamas unable to fit into my bathing suit. Then I'll have to go bathing suit shopping again. I'd rather cut off my pinky toes with pruning shears.

I can't even decide whether this post is worth posting. My hand is hovering over the delete button. Who wants to read this self-indulgent whinging? And why am I still sitting here at my computer messing with my blog while dreaming of cinnamon buns? I should go out and get some. But do I really need cinnamon buns? Why does every action I think of taking feel so supremely self-indulgent and wasteful that I just slip back into paralysis...which is ultimately more self-indulgent and wasteful than anything I can't quite decide to do?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Papa Don't Preach

All righty then. As I intimated in my last post, I've had this discussion in "real life" (i.e., the one I don't write), and I've come to the same conclusion today about my WIP (work in progress) as I did those 19 years ago: maybe it's rash of me, but I'm keeping my baby.

Last night as I was falling asleep, I had one of those pokes on the shoulder by a character where they start telling you what they want. For reasons only she knows, this one wants to look like Rumer Willis. (In case anyone wants my opinion, I think Rumer is gorgeous. No one in the world looks like her. Yes, she has a very unusual face, but thank Heaven, because I think Hollywood has enough bland, cookie-cutter Barbies. *Stepping off soapbox*)

I'm not one to "cast" my books with actors as I write. They look how they look in my head, and it never occurs to me to find pictures of models or actors that look like them, or to think about who I'd want to play them in a movie. But when a character steps up and says, "Hey, in case you were wondering, the daughter of Demi Moore and Bruce Willis? I look a lot like her"...I listen.

So my "baby" now has a face. And it's a fabulous one. I'm attached. It's too late for sensible decisions.