Updates: Awards, Sales and 2019 Speaking Events

One of the ads I will be running December 16-26.

A quick update before we start with a series of blog posts on Christmas traditions tomorrow:

Awards
Mistress of Legend is a semi-finalist in the Chaucer Awards for historical fiction pre-1700. We will find out the final results in April.

There is another award I know about, but can’t announce yet…

Sales
Madame Presidentess got an international BookBub ad for December 21 to celebrate its film option, so it will be on sale all over the world December 17-26 for only $0.99 in ebook. (Don’t forget that it is available in audio and print as well!)

2019 Events
2019 is shaping up to be a busy year. Here is my schedule so far:

Book Signing with Missouri Romance Writers of America
February 9, 7 p.m.
The Novel Neighbor
7905 Big Bend Blvd. 
Webster Groves, MO 63119

Presentation: Victoria Woodhull: Forgotten by History
Monday, March 4, 7 p.m.
Eureka Hills Branch Library
156 Eureka Towne Ctr
Eureka, MO 63025

IBPA Publishing University
April 4-6
Chicago, Illinois

Historical Novel Society Conference
June 20-22
National Harbor, Maryland
Nicole will be presenting three times during the Reader’s Festival on June 22:

  1. 1:15-2:15 p.m. – Dynamic Duos: Husbands and Wives Who Worked Together During the Women’s Suffrage Movement (presenting with Hope Tarr)
  2. Time TBA – THE TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGIN’: Historical Fiction Joins the Protest March (pannel with Glen Craney, Diane McPhail, and Charles Degelman)
  3. Time TBA – GASLAMPS, GHOSTS, AND TROPES: Writing the Neo-Gothic Novel (panel with Kris Waldherr, Leanna Renee Hieber and Hester Fox)

Novelists Inc. Conference
September 25-29
Tradewinds Resort
St. Petersburg, FL

Update: Awards, Google Play, Writing and More!

Grinning like a fool, but I do love my awards.

Yes, I’m still here. Quick update for everyone.

What I’ve been doing

  1. Traveling to the Chanticleer Author’s Conference (see photo) and visiting Seattle (OMG, that Pike’s Place Market…I would give anything to have something like that here!).
  2. Writing on The Once and Future Queen, my debut non-fiction book tracing the evolution of the character of Guinevere from her Celtic roots to today.
  3. Auditioning actresses to narrate the audio book version of Madame Presidentess.

Award updates

  • Daughter of Destiny and Been Searching for You took home Silver in their categories at the Independent Book Publishers Association’s (IBPA) Benjamin Franklin Awards last weekend.
  • Camelot’s Queen won First in Category (Mythic and Legendary Fantasy) in the Ozma Awards, sponsored by Chanticleer Reviews.
  • Camelot’s Queen and Been Searching for You are both nominees for In D’Tale Magazine’s RONE Awards. Voting starts Monday and I need your help to get into the finals. Look for a post on Monday with directions on how to vote.

One thing you can do now: You MUST be registered at www.indtale.com in order to vote for the RONE Awards, so please sign up today. It’s a two-step process:

  1. Register at www.indtale.com. 
  2. Click the verification link sent to you via email. (If you don’t verify, you won’t be able to vote.)

Book news

More from me soon, I promise!

Updates and I Admit to Being a 1st Person POV Author

Sometimes this is how I feel when writing in first person POV. Plus, I love this movie. And it    IS all about me, darn it!

Sometimes this is how I feel when writing in first person POV. Plus, I love this movie. And it IS all about me, darn it!

  1. I’ll be attending the Chicago River North RWA Chapter’s Spring Fling event next May. Because I’m hoping to do a signing there (it is the city where the book takes place, after all – Annabeth will be so happy!), I’ve moved the publication date of Been Searching for You up from May 23 to May 16. That doesn’t really affect anything now, but thought you would want to know.
  2. On Friday, I’ll have a guest post at Daemons Domain about the All Souls Convention that was September 12 in Los Angeles. It was so much fun! Be sure to check it out. I’ll post a link here once it’s live.
  3. Been Searching for You (under its old title, He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not) made the final-final found in the Molly contest! Results will be announced in October.
  4. I have the proofread copy of Daughter of Destiny back and as soon as two more sets of eyes (and mine) read through it one more time, it goes off to the formatter. It’s starting to look like a real book..

Okay, so my point in writing was really to finally admit I’m a first-person POV author and likely always will be. I think I’ve just gotten used to it after writing Guinevere’s books for so many years. Plus, I tend to write fictional biographies, so it makes sense that my characters would tell their stories in their own words.

I tried third person with Victoria in Madame Presidentess mainly because it came out of my fingers that way – plus I didn’t want to look like a one-trick pony – but I’m now planning on changing the POV of the whole book to first person. A lot of work? Yes. But I feel that it’s necessary.

I came to this conclusion after several rejections from agents saying they just didn’t connect to Victoria emotionally. I think some of that may be due to the narrative distance that third person (even deep POV) gives you. So I’ve decided to go back and change the whole thing, plus take another agent’s advice and add in a section at the beginning showing you her early years. I think that will help you understand why she does some of the things she does later in life. Thank God this one doesn’t come out until July!

Looking forward, I envision a few books that will have multiple first-person POVs. I’ll use the person’s name at the beginning of each chapter so you know whose head you are in. I can think of three off the top of my head. One will have only his and hers chapters that will likely alternate and another will have *counts on fingers* four different POV characters (well, five, but one takes over after another one dies…). That will be an interesting experience to write, especially when I get into the male first person characters. The other will also be dual time period, so that might get tricky, but I’ll figure it out.

Long story short, if you pick up a book from me, it’s 99% likely it’s going to be written in first person. I’m just not good at third. But hey, they are my stories and I have to do what’s best for them, right? And I’m likely to write in past tense. Present tense doesn’t make sense to me for historical fiction and irritates me a lot even in contemporary books.

Do you have a POV preference as a reader? Do you care or are you more interested in the story? Personally, I think there’s an intimacy to first person that third usually lacks in all but the most skilled of hands. Agree or disagree? Why? Do you think an author should write in a range of POVs or stick to what he/she knows? Discuss.

What’s Been Going on and What’s Coming Up

AllWriteeventHi all! Tonight’s post is a bit of a mish-mash of what’s been going on and what’s coming up, so please bear with me.

  1. I had a great time at the Webster Groves High School All-Write event on Thursday. The kids were incredibly engaged. They asked thoughtful questions and I was amazed at the number who asked about historical fiction: how to pick a topic, what kind of research it takes, the writing processes etc. It really gives me hope for the future writers of this wonderfully rich genre.
  2. It doesn’t appear that He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not finaled in the most recent contest to be announced. Finalists were supposed to be notified yesterday and I haven’t heard anything. Oh well, can’t win them all. Congratulations to all who did final! (Many more contest results to come over the next few months.)
  3. I am leaving for vacation on Thursday and already have vacation brain. I’m going to Sedona, Arizona, to see my favorite musician, Wrongchilde (aka, Mat Devine, frontman of Kill Hannah), perform at a winery. But more than that, I’m going because I need time off. I haven’t stopped writing in about two and a half years. I need time to get away and think. Sedona is supposed to be a very spiritual place, so I’m looking forward to seeing what messages the Divine has for me.
  4. Speaking of the Divine, I’m reading this incredible novel called A Map of Heaven by Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson. It’s about a 34-year-old woman who finds out she only has two weeks to live because of an inoperable brain tumor. But it’s not a depressing book; it’s actually very uplifting, and the questions she asks very closely mirror ones I’m asking about my own life (so much so, it’s creepy). I’ll do a full review once I’ve finished it, but it’s made such an impact on me I had to mention it.
  5. I’m halfway through my short story for the RWA anthology. Not sure if I’ll get it done in time to submit by March 12, but I really want to, especially since it’s in honor of my grandfather (even though it’s not his actual story).
  6. Still waiting to get edits back on my current historical fiction book. Once I do, I’ll tell you more about it.
  7. Characters are appearing in my head for my next book all the time. I can tell you this: It’s set during WWII in France. There are two main characters, one who is historical and the other I’m making up but placing in semi-historical circumstances. Of the minor characters, a few are just names, but one is quite clear, thanks to me finding the actress who would play her. It’s going to be interesting doing something totally different for this book.
  8. I am obsessed with Orphan Black. If you haven’t watched it, remedy that immediately! I watched the first season free with Amazon Prime and immediately got the second from the library. The third season starts April 18 on BBC America. I don’t have cable, but if Amazon offers it, I’m willing to pay for each episode. The writing is so intricate – I stand in awe of the writers, really. And the acting! Tatiana Maslany is amazing. She plays several different characters and I keep thinking they are all individual people! And in case you’re wondering, I’m team Cosima. (And Felix!)
  9. March is Women’s History Month. I wish I would have known that ahead of time so I could have arranged a series of posts. Maybe I’ll still come up with something. You never know.
  10. Come back here on Thursday to see the cover reveal for Age of Blood by my friend, Shauna Granger.

Enough about me. How are all of you doing?