Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Voodoo Butterfly now available




Camille Faye's new book, Voodoo Butterfly, is now available on Amazon as an ebook. She found the muse for this novel during a family trip to New Orleans where she dreamt of a woman who had the power to change evil people good. I asked her some questions about her writing process, and what's next!

1)      What is your writing process? Do you have a routine, or does it vary according to the limited time you have available with two kids at home?
As a busy mom, I have to write things down. That goes for my fiction writing too. I keep notepads everywhere: in my bedside table, my kitchen junk drawer, my desks in the living room and basement, and in my car. Whenever a scene, plot twist, or bit of dialogue comes to mind, I jot it down. This method has eliminated writer's block from my life. (Hallelujah!) I always have something to write because I have a gazillion pieces of paper with ideas on them.
My routine is to commit to 15 minutes a day of writing time, which doesn't sound like much but I was able to, over the course of one year, write a draft of Voodoo Butterfly that was ready to submit to New York editors and agents. Normally the 15 minutes will stretch into an hour, but sometimes I could only make time for the 15 minutes.
 The best times to work are during my toddler's nap time or after the kids go to sleep. Now that school's in session, my son goes all day and my toddler goes to preschool two mornings a week, so I try my hardest to make those two days my "work days." But I'm a SAHM, so many times I will have to use the preschool time to make appointments, run errands, and catch up on housework. 
The support of family and friends is crucial. My husband is amazing at stepping in to cook a meal or watch the kids so I can go on a weekend writing retreat. My good friend, Karla, watches my toddler one day a week so I can write and catch up on mom business. My parents live four hours away, but they'll come watch the kids so my husband and I can get a weekend away. Happiness at home and connection with my husband is essential so that I can focus on my work when it's time to work. Sometimes I'll try to force myself to work at every free moment and then I really get no rest, so I don't think that's productive. 

2)      Are you an outlinter or a pantser? Do you plan or fly by the seat of your pants? Why does that work for you (or not!)?
For Voodoo Butterfly, I was a pantser. A scene would flash in my mind, I'd jot it down, and then deal with it during my writing time. When I had enough of these bits and pieces, I worked them into a loose outline.
With the second book in the series, I decided to try an outline. I like knowing the overall structure, but I give myself flexibility to move chapters and scenes around. And if I'm working on chapter 6 and then get an idea for chapter 17, I allow myself to bounce around. I must be more of a holistic thinker rather than a linear thinker, but that's okay.


3)      Do you edit as you go, or write a draft or two before the editing process begins?
During the first draft, I really resist the internal editor. When I feel a bit stuck, I'll do a freewrite, which is a technique I've taught as a university Composition instructor and when teaching to writing groups. Basically, you write for 1-5 minutes and there are only two "rules":
            1) Don't stop writing
            2) Don't edit
When I have a chapter ready, I'll submit to my critique group,
The Lit Ladies. Being a part of a critique group helps you grow so much as a writer, plus we help support the careers of the others in the group when one of us has a book published. So far, 3 out of 6 of us have earned traditional publishing contracts, and all of us have had submission requests from agents and editors who work in NYC.
Based on The Lit Ladies' critiques, I'll revise the chapter. When I've worked through every chapter in the book, I'll do one final revision of the book as a whole. Then it's ready to submit.

4)      How long did it take to write this book? What would you do differently now, knowing what you know?
Five years from the start of writing to publication. I began writing Voodoo Butterfly in October 2009 and submitted the manuscript to an NYC agent (at his request) in late 2010. Since then, I've been learning everything I can about the businesses of writing and publishing from books, attending writing conferences, and joining writing organizations (in person and online). As well as getting about a dozen partial or full requests (for submission of the manuscript) from agents and editors.
In October of 2013, I became a finalist in the paranormal category of the Northwest Houston Romance Writers of America writing competition. One of the judges of my submission was Debby Gilbert, who owns Soul Mate Publishing out of New York state. She offered me a contract, I accepted, and we got the novel out for the Halloween season of 2014.
I don't know that I could have done anything different. In the midst of writing the novel, our family moved twice, my son and I had surgeries, my husband took a new job, and we had a baby. So life was carrying on. My hope is to be able to feel comfortable churning out a book a year. I think as my kids grow, that will become more realistic.

5)      Where can we buy it?
Voodoo Butterfly is available on Amazon as an ebook for $2.99. If you don't have a Kindle, you can still download the Kindle app on your smart phone or e-reader and get the book that way. It will be available as a print book at a later time, but I don't have that release date yet.


6)      What’s next?
Right now I'm working on book two in the Voodoo Butterfly series while balancing home life and marketing the first book as well. It's a roller coaster, but I love roller coasters!

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About Voodoo Butterfly:
When twenty-five-year old Sophie Nouveau inherits her grandmother's voodoo shop she knows nothing about voodoo. Or her family's history of Mind Changers who have the power to change evil people good. To complicate matters, someone doesn't want Sophie in New Orleans and sends a series of death threats to scare her away from her new enchanted life. 
Tipped off by her grandmother's ghost, Sophie realizes her mind changing spell's been missing one magic ingredient: true love. If Sophie cannot experience transformative love, she cannot make her spell work, and she will be powerless to fight back when confronted by the one who wants her dead.


About the Author:
Camille Faye lives in Missouri, loves on her family, and writes during the baby’s nap time. She grew up in a haunted house, which sparked her fascination with the paranormal. Before becoming a writer, she reported for an NBC affiliate and taught writing at universities in Missouri and Illinois. She found the muse for her debut novel, Voodoo Butterfly, during a family trip to New Orleans where she dreamt of a woman who had the power to change evil people good. The Northwest Houston RWA named her novel, Voodoo Butterfly, a 2013 Lone Star Contest finalist. Camille's stories are inspired by her travels to 27 countries and counting! Follow her journey at www.camillefaye.com.


Monday, November 3, 2014

Stoner



Have you read “Stoner,” by John Williams? It’s next on my list, due to Brooklyn Magazine’s The Literary United States: A Map of the Best Book for Every State. One review called it “the best novel you’ve never heard of.”


Write soon,
Mary

Sunday, October 26, 2014

In honor of Halloween



Q: What slang term for “mouth” came from a Stephen King novel?
A: Piehole! The word "piehole" dates to the 1983 horror movie Christine, in which a character says "Then shut your pie-hole."

Write soon,
Mary

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Advice from Theodore Roosevelt!

In honor of the Roosevelt documentary that began tonight on PBS, I found a quote by Teddy that applies to writers struggling to get their thoughts on paper (or computer screens).

"In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst this you can do is nothing."

Theodore Roosevelt

Write soon, (and don't worry if it's the right thing!)

Mary


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Horner's Law of pre-press blindness

I’ll never forget a phone call I received a few days after the magazine I worked on was delivered to its subscribers. A woman’s voice asked me if I had read the issue she just received. Now, as managing editor, I read everything cover to cover, more than once, mind you, and many articles five or more times throughout the publication process. I wanted to answer her question in numerous ways that were neither professional nor courteous, but alas, I refrained. I told her that I had.

She proceeded to tell me about an error on page 47, and I was mortified and embarrassed and I thanked her for her call and told her I would look into it and run a correction if necessary. When I hung up the phone I cursed a blue streak, followed by an afternoon of self-loathing accompanied by feelings of worthlessness, which were somewhat diluted later that evening with alcohol.

The funny thing is, my boss wasn’t upset, and said we could run a correction, and reminded me that overall we had had very few mistakes. I was proud of my relatively “clean” record, but it took just one little error to throw me into a tailspin. Even as I sit here writing this years later, I still feel frustrated. What could I have done to catch it? Why hadn’t I read that article one more time?  

I’m feeling that same frustration now as the second printing of my book “Strengthen Your Nonfiction Writing” is just around the corner. I’ve worked with my publisher, Lou Turner of High Hill Press, to correct some minor errors and update information about search engines that no longer exist (good-bye Alta Vista!).

For me, those are easy fixes, and I like doing them. I’ve worked in publishing for many years, and have written and edited hundreds of articles and chapters. But it’s still frustrating that I can miss something on the galleys, or proofs, only to find it EASILY once it comes out in print. Why is that, anyway? 

Let’s call it Horner’s law of pre-press blindness (PPB). It’s a thing, now, and it has a name. Since the first step is to admit the problem, now all we need is an awareness campaign and a fundraiser. How about we discuss this at happy hour, and although we may not find a cure, we can offer support and refills. And if you can't come to the meeting, then share your stories here so I don't have to suffer alone!

Write soon,
Mary