Trying Something Different. No Resolutions This Year.

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I know I’m late, but I’ll say it anyway: HAPPY 2019!!!

I’m open to changes for the new year. Hence, my haircut. I literally got all my hair chopped off, shorter than my pixie.

Even though I didn’t plan any writing resolutions, I’ve been pretty productive this month. I was asked to do a book signing in March, and I signed up to be part of a horror anthology.

And, the biggie…I took my books out of KDP select (Six Plus One will be finished in February). This means I’m going wide. My books will be available on all book platforms like Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, etc.

Yesterday, I received my sketchbook from the Brooklyn Art Library. I’m participating in the Sketchbook Project, and I’m very excited! If I ever open an Instagram account, it’ll be for my art.

Did you guys make any New Year resolutions? What are they?

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

 

 

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2018 Writing Goals

HAPPY 2018!!!

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It’d be awesome to see readers holding my books 🙂

My 2018 Writing Goals:

  1. Try different promotional and marketing ideas to get my books in hands of readers. Instead of always blogging, I’m going to try YouTube and getting on podcasts too.
  2. Continue learning the craft of writing and learning the business side of self-publishing. Right now, I’m taking a free online course: AZ of Self-Publishing by bestselling horror author Iain Rob Wright. Trust me, when I say, I’m absorbing all of the information he’s willing to share.
  3. Utilize websites like Critique Circle more, plus join writer forums to meet authors looking for beta-readers and critique partners, so we can swap works-in-progress.
  4. Instead of working on multiple projects at once, I’m going to try a different approach of writing one story at a time. This way I can stay focused. I’m going to draw a mock cover of my work-in-progress as motivation to finish in a timely manner.
  5. If Createspace ever ceases to exist, then I’ll have to rethink my strategy with paperbacks. I love doing local book signings, but I may have to stop if there’s nothing affordable. Createspace allows author discounts. I’ll have to do research on other companies. As of know, KDP Print does not have author discounts.
  6. Submit short stories (I just finished a 52 week challenge of writing a story each week!) to magazines, anthologies, and online journals. I also hope to share more shorts with my newsletter subscribers and this blog.
  7. My biggest wish is to one day have a book of mine in a multi-author box set. I’ll have to research how other authors do this. And, I had so much fun working with Avrin Kelly on The Glass Witch. I’ll look into collaborating with other horror and suspense authors with stories.
  8. I joined the 365 Writing Club for 2018. This Facebook group keeps me motivated to write at least 15 minutes a day. In 2018, I’ll push myself to write at least an hour or an 1 1/2 hour each day. Much longer on the weekends. Wish me luck 🙂

For all the writers out there, what’s your goals for 2018?

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

My Writing Board of Inspiration

If you’re a writer, do you have an inspiration board?

I do.

Here’s mine:

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Before long, I’ll also add bulletins of character sketches, storyboards, and plot outlines for every novella I write. My plan is to turn my bedroom into a writing room. Right now, I still rely heavily on Daily Grind and other public places to get anything accomplished. Soon, I hope my desk in my bedroom will be enough. It sits in front of my window–what I like to call my ‘Secret Window’ view.

I just thought it’d be fun to share a part of my writing process with you guys. Now, I’m off to write a short story. My writing buddy Melissa and I have been challenging ourselves to write 52 short stories in 52 weeks based off of Ray Bradbury’s advice. So far, we’re at the halfway mark with 26 shorts to our names. 26 weeks straight without a break!

I’m also still editing Six Plus One. I’m sorry for being slow, but I want to make sure I have everything right.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Six Plus One Completed During Women’s Horror Month

Celebrating Women’s Horror Month really motivated me to get my butt into gear with editing Six Plus One, not only edit the darn thing, but finish. Last month, I spent 7.5 hours editing my thriller horror novella. In February, I’ve spent 14.25 hours so far.

Tonight, I can say I’m finally finished! Now, it’s in the hands of my writing buddy Meka. She’s been awesome, already looking over my story once before. We’re both in the 365 Writing Club and keep each other accountable in reaching our writing goals. I don’t know what I would’ve done without her. She had reached out to me when I was in a dark place. My health was plummeting. I was depressed. It seemed like no critique partner would stick around after they got feedback on their own work. I was lost, thinking I’d never be able to publish again. I’m one of those writers who value feedback from critique partners and beta-readers to help improve my WIPs before submitting to editors.

My novella is at 32,326 words right now. When an editor gets ahold of it, hopefully by their comments, my word count will increase. If not, that’s fine too.

When I published my debut novel, One By One, it was meant to be a standalone novel. That was back in 2013. Man, time flies! But, I felt like I wasn’t done with the concept of characters getting terrorized and killed in the woods, one by one. So my sequel idea was born. Alta and her friends are from Voy, the place Kenan and Rae had horrible memories of. First, psycho hillbillies murdered their parents in front of them 10 years ago in their vacation home. Then, their friends are tortured and killed years later.

Alta and her friends are well aware of Voy’s tragic past. What happened 4th of July weekend is mentioned quite often. I’m hoping people will have read One By One first before buying Six Plus One. Otherwise, spoiler alerts!

I’m proud of myself. I’ve been through a lot, taking everything in stride. With Meka’s help, I realized I didn’t need part of the story back in Voy. A decent ending was right after the massacre finding out who the killer(s) is. So, I deleted all of that extra section. It had a different tone than the rest of the story, more quiet, more depressing. I don’t want readers getting bored over mopey situations. I want them sitting on the edge of their seats ’til the very end.

Hopefully, the editor I want will be available when I need her, and hopefully my funds will be okay. Hospital bills are no joke! I’ll find a book cover soon, then it’ll be almost time to publish Six Plus One! I can’t wait. I see all these awesome authors releasing books back to back. I want to join them. 🙂

Soon, I’ll write another post giving more insight into Six Plus One‘s plot and characters. I may even share an excerpt. I’ll also mention how my DIY MFA helped me stay on track with editing my story at a later date. If I can keep up with this schedule, then I’ll be able to release more than one book a year.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Writing Goals For 2014!!!

It seems like only yesterday I created New Year’s Resolutions for 2013.  Geez Louise, time flies by!!! I’m looking forward to 2014 and I hope you all do the same.

WRITING GOALS FOR 2014

  • Finish editing my previous novels for publication
  • Write 2 new novels or novellas
  • Focus on my blog more
  • Attend at least 1 writer’s conference
  • Be a competent critique partner/beta-reader for other authors

For all the writers out there, what are your goals for the new year?

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Embracing My Author Identity

I’m on hiatus with One By One until I can afford an editor. Unfortunately, I haven’t found a second job yet (trust me, it’s not for lack of trying), so it’s taking much longer to save up for one. Plus, my lease is up April 1st–I’m looking for a more affordable place, opting to save up for that instead. I need a roof over my head, right :)?

I refuse to be one of those authors who publishes books without hiring an editor/proofreader first. Unless I find someone free or really cheap, I’m at a standstill.

That doesn’t mean I can’t do anything at all. Freelance writing can be my second job–of course, I have realistic goals about payment and publication. Some magazines I researched are non-paying markets, saying exposure should be good enough.

Over the weekend, I submitted three short stories to three online magazines! I compiled a thorough list of markets to submit to, so if I get rejected, then I have other options. Here’s my list so far (if anyone has any others to share, please let me know; my short stories tend to focus on suspense, drama (literary?), mystery):

  • Jersey Devil Press
  • One Story
  • Glimmer Train Press
  • Spinetingler Magazine
  • Suspense Magazine
  • The Write Place At The Write Time
  • Fluent Magazine
  • Every Day Fiction
  • Cemetery Dance
  • Black Bird
  • Literary Juice
  • Pithead Chapel
  • The Shaded Pen
  • Evergreen Review
  • Stirring
  • Fail Better

For 2013, Melissa and I plan to write/edit two short stories each month, plus submit to magazines/journals. Hopefully, I can pique someone’s interest, enough to take a chance on me. If not, Trapped could use company on my blog. I found some markets that will accept stories from blogs, online forums, etc.

Today, I set up a PayPal account (seems like freelance writers’ majority forms of payment are by check or PayPal). Over the weekend, I set up a Short Story Submissions Tracker on Excel. My different sheets are: General Submissions, By Title, By Publications. The categories are: Submission #, Date Submitted, Title, Publication, Response Date, Results. According to experts, it’s a good idea to keep submitting to the same magazines, so editors remember your name. If you get more personalized rejections, then you’re almost ready for publication–you just have to find that right story. Some markets allow multiple and simultaneous submissions. This tracker will keep my bases covered.

Things I’ve learned so far:

  • Don’t refer to an editor by his or her full name. Use Mr. or Ms.
  • Follow submission guidelines to the tee
  • If require cover letter, keep it very brief (don’t embellish)
  • With author bios, keep information that pertains to your writing career (don’t embellish and don’t use first person point-of-view)

On Friday, I had my writing group help me create my author bio. It seems like my blog and book reviews are publishing credits. Cool beans!

Now, it’s nothing but a waiting game. I’ll keep writing while submitting other short stories until I hear a rejection or acceptance. Besides 24 short stories, in 2013, I want to self-publish One By One (also focus on promoting the thriller), edit my 90 day novel, participate in NaNo in November (producing another novel), and create a couple of novellas. Plus, keep up with blogging and maintaining an Author Website and Author Facebook Page.

It’s fun embracing my author identity. It’s like I’m being more productive instead of just setting up shop. When people ask, I don’t shy away from talking about my goals and projects (like I used to do).

How have you transitioned from being a writer to being an author?

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Looking Forward To 2013!!!

Happy 2013 everyone!!! Thanks for the Mayans being wrong, we get to live another day! Usually I’m not big on making New Year’s Resolutions, but this year it’ll be different. I have two lists: 1) for my writing life 2) for everything else.

My Writing Resolutions for 2013:

  1. Embrace my author identity.
  2. Start my publishing company.
  3. Write everyday.
  4. Finish at least two novels, several short stories, and a few novellas.
  5. Keep meeting local writers and stay motivated with The Procrastinators goals.
  6. In November, participate in NaNo–so absolutely, positively don’t stress myself out before then. I want a chance to win an award!
  7. Promote my books but DON’T SPAM!!!
  8. Keep up with blogging.
  9. Be a good critique partner and beta-reader to other writers I engage with.

My Resolutions for everything else 2013:

  1. Embrace my quirky side (wait, I already do that hee hee).
  2. If an opportunity arises, be open to dating or starting a relationship. I enjoy being single, but it’d also be cool to meet a special someone. Friends first, of course 🙂
  3. Try to think less with my head and more with my heart.
  4. Be less of a couch potato and create a more social life.
  5. Embrace change. Don’t be afraid of it.

For everyone out there, what’s your New Year’s Resolutions? Good luck with keeping them!

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby