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Thursday, December 29, 2005

And This Is Why I Have An Agent

Number of years I've been writing with serious intent to publish: 3
Number of books purchased by publisher: 3
Number of pages in contract for said three books: 18

Tuesday, December 27, 2005


Ten months after submitting an entry to the Wizards of the Coast Open Call 2004, I finally received my form letter rejection. :-) Better late than never, I always say.

I'm actually sort of glad it was turned down. This is the neverending Book 1, my contemporary fantasy. Once I'm done with the HELL series (the three books that have sold, woot, and then the remaining two in the five-part story arc), I want to pick up Book 1 again and see if I can salvage any of it. I've come to the conclusion that I hit most, if not all of the cliches expected in epic fantasy with that book--in and of itself, that's damned impressive--so it will need a major rewrite just to strip away the "been there, done that" stuff. But I think I've got good characters and a unique system of magic. So...overhaul the plot (get rid of the darn Quest To Find The Magic Item, natch) and start the action immediately. Okay...no problem.

I still have a few short stories out there circulating, but for now my main focus is the next in the Hell series (HB2). I finished the very (very, very, VERY) rough outline for the novel. Twenty chapters--and nary a prologue in sight!

Just chilling to Cirque du Soleil...

Ten days to new episodes of Battlestar Galactica!

Okay, done babbling.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


And now, ramblings.

I'm reading George Martin's A Feast for Crows, which I'm greatly enjoying--except for one thing. Because Martin's original manuscript for this book clocked in at something like a million pages, instead of publishing AFFC Part I and AFFC Part II, he instead tells the full story of half the characters in AFFC, and in his next book, To Dance With Dragons, he'll tell the full story of the other half of the characters. The events in the two novels take place simultaneously. So, three-fourths of the way through AFFC, I already know that certain characters are doing to die in the next book. Meh. I think he should have done the Part I and II thing. But points for trying something new.

Battlestar Galactica will return on January 6. WOOT!!!

Nip/Tuck season finale is tonight! The Carver will be revealed! Yowza!!!

HB2 is s-l-o-w-l-y progressing. Up to ((cough)) 2,000 words. Scrapped approximately 500 words. But...the story is moving.

Just found out that Jim Butcher's fun Harry Dresden series (about a Chicago-based wizard who is also a private eye) is going to be a movie. Fun! I like Jim's style and wit. ((Note to self: Beg Jim for a blurb.))

I still have Channukah and Christmas presents to wrap and cards to send. ARGH.

And Backspace is still down. *sigh*

Off to bed, off to bed...

Monday, December 19, 2005


I officially have 1,700 words (read: 7 pages) of my next book. Yowza! Just...78,300 words to go.


But hey, it's a beginning. Even God had to start with a beginning.

(No, that's not blasphemy. Really.)

Friday, December 16, 2005

Waking Dream

I crashed earlier today for a nap, when the Tax Deductions were also in Slumberland for their mid-day snooze. And I had a very odd dream. I was trying to wake up (in the dream), because people came to look at the house. (We're on the market, and God willing, we'll sell the darn house soon.) So while they were looking, I was in bed, trying to wake up. A dog came upstairs and went into my bathroom and started drinking water from the toilet. This was odd because (A) we have two cats, no dogs, and (B), I wouldn't have my worst enemy drink the water from the toilet--yuck!

Any interpretations?

Meanwhile, Backspace is temporarily offline, I haven't written a thing today, and I'm feeling grumpy. But I did come up with an idea for HELL'S BELLES cover art, and I started the brainstorming thing for the next book, affectionately referred to as HB2. Yay, me!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Write! Now, Now, Now!

Gotta start writing the next book! Already hate the opening! ARGH!!!

But I had an epiphany last night. There are many series out there in which the first book just blew everyone away, and the rest were good, but not on the same level. And those authors STILL got published. And they STILL have readers. And SciFi STILL makes really, um, interesting movies based on those books.

So I'm not going to worry about how to make HB2 bigger, better, faster, more. Instead I'm just going to write. And hopefully have a blast while doing so.

Oh, who'm I kidding? Damn straight I'm going to worry. It's what I do. Jackie Kessler, worrier. But hell, at least I'll have some fun along the way.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Special message to my Backspace buds

As you Backspace folks know, the server is wonky today. So here's the message I was going to post, following the news about my novel sale:

Thanks once again to everyone at Backspace who's helped me along the way--from listening to me hit my head against the keyboard over my 16-year affair with Book 1; who encouraged me with the failed Book 2; and who cheered me on and offered such amazing advice and feedback for Book 3, which became HELL'S BELLES.

A number of folks at Backspace were kind enough to read the prologue and first chapter (I ditched the prologue completely, and that first chapter is now chapter 5), and your reader feedback was inspirational. Some read the entire beast, and your enthusiasm and criticism were instrumental in getting the revision done in record time. And a whole bunch of you weighed in during the query go round, from the query letter all the way through the whirlwind of agent offers, and then again during the submissions process.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to each and every one of you. Guys, I really couldn't have done this without you. Thank you so much.

Excuse me, I have to get emotional and have a good, happy cry. Then it's back to the happy dance!


I'm thrilled to announce that Kensington will be publishing my novel HELL'S BELLES, along with the next two books in the HELL ON EARTH series. WOOT! The offer was made to my agent, Ethan Ellenberg, in a pre-empt, and we accepted. The terms of the contract have been hammered out...and it's official. WOOT, AGAIN!

Kensington will be publishing the book as a trade paperback, as well as a mass market paperback. DOUBLE WOOT!

Holy cow...I have to get started writing the next two books! What am I doing here, blogging? I have to write, write, write!

HELL'S BELLES, Kensington, 2007. Take note. :-)

I'm a Daring Female!

Check it out, folks -- I'm a Daring Female!

I'm one of the featured authors--woot! (You'll note I wasn't daring enough to include a photo.)

The interview is about my second-ever novel, HEY, CHARLES--YOUR SLIP IS SHOWING. Sadly, this book remains unpublished. However, I'll be revisiting it in the very near future...and probably incorporating it into my paranormal romance series.

(What's that? Series? Heh, heh, heh. Stay tuned.)

Major thanks to Natasha Kogan.

Second Rung In Sight

It's been a hell of a few days. All I'll say here is agents are worth their weight in gold.

It's almost 2 am, and I haven't gone to bed yet. Well, untrue. I did go to bed. But the sleeping thing? Not so much. After an hour of tossing and turning, I walked into the computer room and started mucking about online. And here I am, still.

Stress sucks. Even good stress. (Bad stress REALLY sucks.)

Okay, so I have to figure out how to turn off my brain when it's time to sleep. Of course, I'm too damn tired to think straight, so it's difficult to come up with ideas. Rats.

Separate from my non-sleep thing, my short story "Giving the Devil His To-Do's" has finally been published in FROM THE ASYLUM! Woot!!! When I'm more awake, I'll do the link thingie.

Uploaded a new fantasy story for WILD CHILD. A humorous, fun romp with a junior wizard who must find and banish a demon. Author's name is Martin Owton. Talented man. Story will be live by December 15. Mark your calendars. Go read it.

Currently reading A FEAST FOR CROWS by George Martin and ANANSI BOYS by Neil Gaiman. Enjoying both very, very much. There's not enough time in the day for reading everything I want to. Note to self: Figure out way to stop time.

Alrighty. Maybe I'll give the whole sleep thing another shot. And if that doesn't work, there's always AFFC and AB to read...

Saturday, December 03, 2005

One Rung Up The Ladder of Success!

I'm thrilled to announce that I have a literary agent. Third time's the charm, it seems--Book Three may be the one that really launches my career as a novelist.

Separately, my short story "Reflections" was published in RUTHIE'S CLUB. It's written under the pseudonym J.M. Kaye. The story is dark erotica; basically, a horror story with warm, tingle you-know-what scenes.

Look at that...I'm really on my way!

Okay, I admit, I've fallen behind on my WCP submissions. I have three more that are on my plate, then I'll be caught up. Apologies, authors! I'm working on it.