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The Stealth Lovers will be published by Renaissance!

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I know, right? WHEEEE!!! I’m so excited that the folks who believed in Life in the ’Cosm have also agreed to take on The Stealth Lovers, which is the origin story of Xax and Viv.

We learned from ’Cosm that these two warriors were also known as a formidable duo called The Stealth, but how did it all begin for them? Why were they Dragal legends? What was their life like years before they landed on Cinneh? I mean, who the hay were Commanders Xaxall Dwyer Knightly and Vivoxx Nathan Tirowen anyway? (Other than flippin’ awesome!)

What’s so cool for me is that I wrote the first words for this book in October 2017. And now, one year later, the manuscript has been accepted. What a great manuscriptversary present!

A huge vat of thanks goes to Renaissance’s Acquisition Committee. I’m so grateful to you for choosing my story. (I kept whispering, “Pick me, pick me!”)

I’m really looking forward to working with Renaissance again. They really are an amazing team who makes their authors feel so involved in the process. I can’t wait to collaborate on the cover design with Nathan! We’re already discussing it!

In the meantime, I’ll keep you updated on the progress of where the book is at. Stay tuned, folks!

While you’re waiting for TSL, you can read Life in the ’Cosm first, if you like!

And many thanks to all the fans of Xax and Viv who got really excited to hear their story would be told. You people fueled me to complete the book. Readers are the best!

Wow. This is really happening.

SQUEE!


Cait Gordon

Cait Gordon is the author of Life in the ’Cosm, a story about a little green guy who’s on a quest to save half the person he loves. Her latest WIP, The Stealth Lovers, is a military space opera about legendary warriors Xaxall Dwyer Knightly and Vivoxx Nathan Tirowen. When she’s not writing, Cait’s editing manuscripts and running The Spoonie Authors Network, a blog whose contributors manage disabilities and/or chronic conditions. She’s also working with Renaissance and co-editor Talia C. Johnson on the Nothing Without Us anthology (call for submissions are ongoing until Dec 31, 2018.)

Mockup cover

Picking Up a WIP After Life Got in the Way

Mockup cover

So, the other day I announced the title of Book Two in my post called Life in Another ’Cosm: Jinny from the Blog. While I am not accidentally writing this novel as I did with Life in the ’Cosm, I did accidentally start this story. You see, I had no idea there’d be a second book, let alone a third. My first book was originally just supposed to be a writing exercise, but I became so attached the characters that I decided to have beta readers review it . . . and you know the rest of the story.

What you might not ken is that during the summer of 2015, I created a single blog entry by a teen named Jinny, because I was restless from waiting for reader comments on the first book. I reread the entry, thought it was not so great, and left it for dead. The beta comments came in for Life in the ’Cosmand I continued on with editing and submitting that work.

Sometime that fall, I looked at the blog entry again, and snickered to myself. It wasn’t that bad after all. So, I messed around with it. Then I had three chapters. Again, I had no idea who the characters would be, or any clue about the plot. I truly don’t plan my stories. I just jump into the swimming pool of life without first checking if there’s water. (I wish that quote were mine, but I heard it in an episode of Perfect Strangers, in the 80s.)

I hoped to finish the manuscript’s first draft by December 31 of this year, but there was no way. Life smashed me upside the head with too many potentially serious health things. I’ve been very distracted. So far, two out of the three health issues have tested fine in the end. One more to go. I’ve found it difficult to concentrate on this book while in Alert Status Red mode for most of 2017.

However, I’m feeling a bit more optimistic now. The manuscript is at 53K+ words, and I’m going back to the beginning to read what I’ve done. Yesterday I went through the first three chapters and laughed to myself a few times. If anything, my books make me laugh. (I was happy to know the first one made others laugh, too. Whew.) I think what I like most about myself is that I choose to be funny. Even if the world is falling around my head, I want to be a humorous author. I’m like that when I’m not writing, so why should my books be any different? Like I’ve said many times: My life is hard science, so I need to go to the whacky place.

What my close friends keep telling me is not to impose rigid deadlines on myself during this season in my life. I get it. I don’t want to accept it, but I will. Health and sanity come first. The good news is that writing calms me, and now that I can concentrate much better, I’m up for tickling the keys of my new laptop.

My goal is to have a beta-reader draft (or, a slightly less ugly second draft) by the spring of 2018, if all goes well. Hopefully, this will happen. If not, it will be later. It’s okay. I’m a spoonie with a disability and chronic illnesses. I know I’m doing my best.

Will keep you posted on my progress!


cgauthorCait Gordon is the author of Life in the ’Cosm, a comedic space opera where boy meets girl, but girl doesn’t notice boy because she’s sharing a body with another boy. She is also the creator and editor of the Spoonie Authors Network. You can follow Cait on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Insecurity, Thy Name is Writer

Boing, boing, boing! There goes my confidence as it bounces out the door. I assumed colossal bouts of insecurity would only happen during the writing of my first book and there was no need for me to repeat those feelings the second time round. Surely, I’ve learned so much from the previous experience, right?

Wrong. And don’t call me Shirley.

The love-hate relationship with your work

Writing my first novel went something like this:

  • I love this book!
  • This is so much fun!
  • Hahahaha, it’s funny, too!
  • Huh, at second glance, it’s really not that well written.
  • Actually, it reads pretty poorly.
  • Crap!
  • I NEED TO HIDE IN A COUCH FORT BECAUSE I SUCK!
  • OTHER WRITERS ARE SO MUCH BETTER THAN I’LL EVER BE!
  • NO, I’M NOT READY TO LEAVE THE COUCH FORT YET!
  • Can someone bring food to my couch fort?
  • Maybe I’ll re-read those chapters again.
  • Oh, they just need a little filling out.
  • I’ll clean up some other things while I’m at it.
  • It reads much better now!
  • Hahahaha, this is funny!
  • I love this story!

(I won’t even get into the sheer panic of sending the manuscript to beta readers.)

When I expressed my emotional roller-coaster to my friends who are writers, they knew exactly what I was going through. Apparently hating your writing is a thing. It seems if you write, you most assuredly think you suck. No matter how much effort you put into creating your manuscript, no matter how otherwise confident you are, you just want to run and hide and never show your book to anyone who can comprehend your language.

Thanks. I feel much better now. Sorta.

History repeats itself, I guess

And now onto the journey of writing book 2. So far, it’s gone like this:

  • I love my new protagonist!
  • I love these new characters!
  • Hahahaha, this is funny and cute.
  • Oh wait, is it too dialogue-y?
  • I’m not sure.
  • Never mind, just finish the first draft. You’re only on chapter 10.
  • Neil Gaiman writes so much better than me. Maybe I should read his books and live vicariously through him.
  • Nobody would want to read my book.
  • No, keep going, you need to keep going.
  • Maybe it’s not that dialogue-y.
  • I have no idea what to write for chapter 11.
  • Those pillows look like they would make a good couch fort.

So I suppose I’ve learned exactly nothing. Or perhaps the lesson is this: keep writing no matter how badly you think you suck!

Because maybe, just maybe, you don’t suck at all.

How does anyone ever get published if we’re so horrible?

I had a discussion at an art studio the other day about people who get published. Are they lucky? Or is it that they put themselves out there? A woman who works at the studio was confident that the artists who push themselves are the ones who get published or, in the art world, exhibited. This brought up memories of people like Walt Disney, who I believe was rejected hundreds of times for the concept of Disneyland. I also think of J.K. Rowling, whose life was no bed of roses. Yet, we think of the Disney and the Harry Potter franchises as massive success stories. I’m realizing they are only successes because their creators did not back down in the face of rejection. The key is to never give up.

But wow, imagine believing in yourself so much that you keep going despite hundreds of rejections? This takes guts and a half.

Thankfully nowadays we writers have the option to self-publish. We also have access to free marketing tools like social media to help promote ourselves. However, even with self-publishing, we still need the self-belief to keep pushing ourselves to finish our books and to think them worthy of publication. We need that smidge of confidence not to back down.

When anxiety strikes, what do we do then?

Accepting we might be scared to bits is the first step. The next step is to complete the work. We write, get feedback, incorporate edits—the whole shebang. After that, we submit the work. Yes, even though we want to breathe into a paper bag—while wearing our Rainbow Dash onesie with a plate of cupcakes at our sidefrom the comfort of our couch fort—we must submit the work to a publisher or we must publish it ourselves.

Because heroes are made from risk takers, right? Right!

OK, good.

So, I still have no idea what to write for chapter 11. And I’ll make a note to check my dialogue balance, after I eat some pickle chips. I think I might want to wear my Rainbow Dash onesie, too. Or my minion feet pyjamas. What? This is important to the process, trust me.

Keep writing, fellow scribes! I bet dollars to doughnuts that you don’t suck! Just get yourselves out there despite the fear. I’m cheering you on! *waves pom-poms enthusiastically*

/cg

CGAuthorCait Gordon has been a senior technical writer for high tech and government organizations. Her first novel is being sent to the universe. She hopes the universe likes it. (The second book has begun and a third will happen, too!)

Image, “Panic Calm Buttons Show Worrying Or Tranquility” by Stuart Miles.