Okay, I've been sitting on some big news for a while, but I couldn't announce it until now. I just signed the contracts for a new series called THE MIST TORN WITCHES. This is a high/dark fantasy series, very similar in tone and style to the first three Noble Dead books (and it's set in Droevinka). It's about a pair of orphaned sisters (kind of gypsy-ish), one of whom can read people's futures, who become obligated to the local nobility and have to use their own abilities to solve supernatural murder mysteries. The first book probably won't hit the shelves until spring of 2013. But I'm really excited!
Barb and J.C. will attend “Authorfest” at the Beaverton Powell’s bookstore. This is a fun event where many local SF/Fantasy authors will be in attendance and signing their books. Since it is a bookstore (and one of our favorite local chains), of course books are on sale during the event. The store staff makes a great effort to be certain all current books by attending authors are available. Please join us if you can!
Date: Sunday 11/13/2011
Time: 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm
Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills Crossing
3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd.
Beaverton, OR 97005
JC and I are often asked questions by hopeful, young writers, and I've kept a mental list of the most common ones. Here is a surprising question I get asked . . . well, a lot.
"How long should each chapter in a book be?"
The frequency of this question has surprised me over the years because I think some writers really struggle with this--and they worry. But honestly, there is no right or wrong answer here. Some writers prefer very short chapters to try and keep the pace quick. Some writers alternate the point of view between characters by giving only one character the entire "chapter" and then another character the next entire chapter and so on. Others, like me and JC, use multiple scenes inside a chapter, and often, each chapter tells a small story of its own inside the larger plot, so the length of our chapters depends upon what needs to "happen."
In the current Noble Dead book we are drafting, the longest chapter so far is 39 pages, and the shortest chapter is 11 pages. If we go longer than 50 pages, we normally take another look at the arc in the chapter and see if we might break it up.
But I think my best answer to this question would be, "It depends on the kind of book you're writing. It depends on the structure you've chosen. Follow your instincts, and really, don't worry about it."
However . . . now, we live just a tad off the beaten path in Oregon (nowhere near a bookstore), so we have to rely on other folks to let us know how our books are being displayed in the stores. I've been hearing reports on VM4: In Memories We Fear, and it seems the best place to find it in a Barnes & Noble is to look in the New SF/Fantasy section, on the "new" mass market shelf. It should be there!
I just went through the Kindle e-version for In Memories We Fear, and it looks good — very clean. I always do this when a new book comes out. The e-version for S1B6: Child of a Dead God came out with no scene breaks — none. Anyone who reads our books, and knows that we switch character point of view in each new scene, can imagine how difficult it would be a read a Noble Dead book with no scene breaks. Once we alerted her, our fabulous editor jumped on this and got it fixed. But I still like to check the e-versions when they come out and just make sure.
JC created a spiffy new website for me for the publication of In Memories We Fear. I’m excited about this novel. Even though it is book four, I’ve had this story rolling around inside my head since I first pitched the series.
You can view excerpts from this novel on the Books page.