February 10, 2014

Tara’s February Update

Update on Mask

I have good news and bad news.

Awhile ago, I finished the draft of Mask, Book 7 in The Unfinished Song series. That’s the good news….

The bad news is that I loathed it.

Now, most writers hate the book they are working on by the time they finish it. This is a perfectly natural stage of writing, so I set it aside, to get some distance from it. This week, I re-read it, hoping that when I came to it with fresh eyes, I’d realize it was not so bad.

No such luck.

The draft has serious flaws, my friend. It’s not so much that what it includes is bad, as that it doesn’t include enough FANTASTIC. As you know, I never want to publish a book that is merely, “meh.” Okay, I realize tastes differ, and even if you love all the books in the series so far, you have your favorites, and that’s fine. But for me, as the author, I must love my book and genuinely believe it is absolutely awesome before I will put it out there. My rule is this: No book can be the Perfect and Best Book Ever, compared to all other possible books in the universe… having that kind of standard means a book will never be finished, never mind published.

All I ask is that each book be the best that book can be. Be the best version of itself. Fulfill the promise of its reason for existing.

And I’m sorry, but Mask isn’t there yet. IT CAN BE BETTER.

There were a lot of fun scenes that were meant to go into Mask, and somehow, they didn’t get included. Instead, some merely “blah” scenes were there, hogging all the wordcount. Not acceptable! Those boring scenes need to step aside, so the sizzling scenes can step into the spotlight where they belong. Sure, I could let you read Mask now, but would you really want to slog through a bunch of yawnage? Nah. You deserve better than that. Dindi and Kavio deserve better than that too.

I am working on revisions now. So if you are wondering, “When is Book 7 going to be published?” the answer is still, “As soon as possible!”

Update on the rest of The Unfinished Song series

While I was letting the draft of Mask cool off so I could re-evaluate it, I did move forward on three other projects. Actually, one of those projects was just an extension of my work on Mask, i.e. planning and doing detailed outlining on Mirror and Maze, which will be books 8 and 9, and are part of the same trilogy as Mask. Just as there are flaws in Mask, there are flaws in the outlines for these books. I hope that when I fix Mask, I can fix those flaws as well.

By the way, the detailed outline for the final trilogy is also complete, everything except the actual blow by blow accounts of the final battle in Book 12. (I need to consult my military adviser to block those out on the map before I know exactly what will go into that). And, hot damn, I CANNOT WAIT to write the final trilogy! (Every time you get mad at me for making you wait on the next book, just realize that I feel the same way! I know it sounds crazy, but I can’t read the book until I write it either!)

The final trilogy is going to take the series to a darker place than any of the previous books, so I hope you’re okay with that, but there’s a rainbow at the end of the night…. I can’t tell you any more than that without spoilers, but if you could see me now, I’m jumping up and down with excitement.

Update on Other Projects

The second project is my upcoming Urban Fantasy series, The Daughters of Little Red Riding Hood. I am only on the world-building stage of that series. I also worked a bit on beat sheets, but have not yet completed full outlines. I also wrote a few seed scenes, though they probably won’t appear in any of the published books, just to get a feel for the voice of the main character. It’s going to be fun. First person, cynical and sarcastic, saucy and sexy… quite a different main character than Dindi, I think, but I hope you’ll like her too.

The third project I worked on was a Paranormal Romance series that I’ll be working on with a co-author (I will reveal who later on), probably to be called: Tarot Temptations. So far, it’s going really well, although it’s early stages yet. I’ve ALWAYS wanted to do a series based on Tarot Cards and this is my chance. There are potentially 78 novels we could write! It’s intimidating, but the way we’re going to tackle it is to divide the deck (grin) and create individual series within our larger “Tarot world.” So the first series will be a modest quartet, based upon the Royal House of Cups.

Princess of Cups

Prince of Cups

Queen of Cups

King of Cups

Each of those books will be related to one another, but completely stand-alone, with their own Heroine and Hero and HEA. Yes, this will be a bit departure for me, with my love of Cliff-hanger endings. None of that here, Tara! Behave yourself! Heh.

All of this is still In The Works, so series names and book title might change, everything might change… but that’s where things are headed for now.

Reading

To get in shape for my new series and also to help me spice up the romance in Mask-Mirror-Maze, I’ve been reading great examples of the Paranormal Romance genre. I read about 20 novels a month, and this month, it’s been almost all Paranormal Romance or Urban Fantasy. I only started two new epic fantasies, Garden of Stones last month and The Iron Elves this month. (Both great as well!) Last year, I read a ton of Young Adult, including a lot of the books featured on this blog, but so far 2014 has been all adult fantasy. I also haven’t read much non-fiction lately. Usually, I read non-fiction to research new books, and I do have a few such books on my To Be Read list, but I haven’t gotten around to them yet. Basically, I have a budget for books and I ran out of money! Not to mention, it DOES take me longer to read nonfiction than fiction, and, as you may have noticed, I’ve been pretty busy. So many books, so little time! But there’s always next month….  🙂

Some of these books might make you scratch your head. What?! You’ve never read that before, Tara?!  Nope, every one of these is a First Time Read for me, even those I should have read a long time ago. Unless otherwise noted, I read kindle version on my beloved Paperwhite. Here’s my January reading list:

Urban Fantasy

  1. Shapeshifted by Cassie Alexander
  2. Storm Front by Jim Butcher
  3. Guilty Pleasures by Laurel Hamilton
  4. Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison
  5. The Iron Hunt by Marjorie M. Liu (paperback)
  6. Kitty and the Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn
  7. Priceless by Shannon Mayer
  8. Beahrly Breathing by Elizabeth A. Reeves
  9. Dead Spots by Melissa F. Olson
  10. Trail of Dead by Melissa F. Olson
  11. What’s a Ghoul to Do by Victoria Laurie
  12. Realm Walker by Kathleen Collins
  13. Crimes Against Magic by Steve McHugh

Paranormal Romance

  1. Prophecy: Child of Light by Felicity Heaton
  2. Night Pleasures by Sherrilyn Kenyon
  3. Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison
  4. Knight After Night by Jackie Ivie
  5. Dark Wolf Rising by Rhyannon Byrd
  6. Once Upon a Tiger by Kat Simons
  7. Wolf Protector by Milly Taiden
  8. Deal With A Demon by Celeste Easton
  9. The Scribe by Elizabeth Hunter

Epic Fantasy

  1. Garden of Stones by Mark T. Barnes

Ebooks: 22

Print: 1

Total

23 books

 

 

 

Tara Maya

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Jill McCormick - February 13, 2014 Reply

I love Dindi and Kavio too and can’t wait for them to hopefully to eventually be together (your comment about going darker has me worried though) I wanted to share my version of a theme song for them. Falling Slowly by the Frames. Let me know what you think. Did I get it right.

Thanks for sharing their story with us.

Sandra - June 8, 2014 Reply

I just love Unfinished Song, I’m just finished book 3 so I’m on tenderhooks to find out what happens in the next book. I swore I’d pace myself while reading becuse the rest of the story (books 7 to 12) are not yet written, but I couldn’t help myself. I started reading book 1 and somehow by the time I stopped reading I was at the end of book 3. I got so drawn in to the story and the magic that I totaly lost track of time and had spent 11 hours reading. I swear the only reason I managed to stop reading was I have yet to buy books 4 to 7 lol.

Stacy - January 2, 2015 Reply

I wish you the best in writing the 7th book in the Unfinished Song Series. I have read all 6 and am waiting on the edge of my seat for how it all works out.

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