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MCD FAQ: early 2018

January 30, 2018

*Pinning a post here, on Facebook, and on Twitter with answers to some of the most frequent questions I get asked.*

What is MCD currently working on?

I’m currently writing the first draft of Dowser 8, as well as outlining Dowser 9 and two short stories that MIGHT be released between Dowser 8 and 9 (no promises). I’m also brainstorming a new urban fantasy series that takes place in the Adept Universe but features all new characters.

In between writing stints, I’m recording/narrating the audiobooks for the Oracle and the Reconstructionist Series. Once Oracle 1 is ready, I hope to release one audiobook a month. They should be available on Amazon, Audible, and iTunes.

When will Dowser 8 be available?

I just released Dowser 7 on January 18, 2018. I tend to release a book every 4 to 6 months.

What is MCD’s 2018 release schedule?

Dowser 8 – late Spring 2018

Dowser 9 – late Summer 2018

First book in the new urban fantasy series – late-Fall/early-winter 2018

Where else can I find MCD?

New Release Mailing List

Monthly Mailing List

Facebook and/or the Reader Run Facebook Fan Group

Twitter

Instagram (Warning: copious pictures of knitting, cats, and chocolate)

Where can I buy/find …

Dowser/Oracle Series T-shirts

The Dowser Series Cookbook – sign up for either of my newsletters (see the links above or on the top right of this page) to get a free PDF of the cookbook. There is no ebook/paperback currently available and no plans to release one in the near future.

Autographed paperbacks – on rare occasions (usually around November/December) I make paperbacks available for anyone who’d like to buy them directly from me. I usually announce this on my blog, Facebook, and Twitter. Other than that, you have to win one of my giveaways. 🙂

What are MCD’s favourite…

Books

Chocolate (post to come, but generally anything I’ve written into the books is a good bet).

Let me know if I’ve missed anything!!

In Michael’s studio, getting set up to record the audiobook of Oracle 1.

Daily writing schedule, 2018 edition

February 19, 2018

So I’ve decided to change up my daily writing schedule in 2018. Normally, I work on one project/novel/screenplay at a time, taking it through three drafts, then story edit, then another draft and polishing pass, then content/line edit, then final read through, then proofreaders, and then the book is released. Meaning that after I write the first draft, I don’t really write any ‘new’ words until the story is with the editor (I add a ton of words, and move them around, but I’m still working within the same main story). So this often results in me struggling to get back into the habit of daily writing when a book is being released – at a time that I often feel a bit tired (if not actually a little burned out).

So! For 2018, I’ve decided to try something new. I’ll write two thousand words a day, every morning, five days a week. And in the afternoon, I’ll work on the 2nd/3rd drafts or edits of the novel that is next to be released. Setting Saturdays aside for audiobook recording.

So this will likely mean that the period of time between Dowser 7 and Dowser 8 releasing will be slightly longer than normal, but it should also mean that Dowser 8.5 and Dowser 9 actually release quicker. If all goes as planned and I can actually write two novels at once (that does remain to be seen).

Anyway, this is long way of saying – YAY! I get to start writing Dowser 8.5 today, as well as the second draft of Dowser 8 this afternoon.

A pile of Kleenex is all that marks the final words of the first draft of Dowser 8. Let the second draft commence!

Oh, FYI. I seriously hope the test prints of the new T-shirt designs from Dowser 7 arrive at Elizabeth’s this week. But they still haven’t shipped. Yes, the ones I ordered on January 12. 🙁 Fingers crossed! I’ll do a couple of giveaways when they’ve been approved! And hopefully Elizabeth will take some modelling shots. 🙂 I will also write up a post about getting a good fit (using your chest measurement, not the size printed on the T-shirt) and how international readers can get their hands on the designs (since the T-shirts themselves still only ship to US addresses).

Dowser 8: Valentine’s Day mini excerpt

February 14, 2018

I couldn’t let Valentine’s Day pass without sharing a glimpse of my (current) favourite couple, Jade and Warner.

Dowser 7: paperback giveaway scavenger hunt

February 9, 2018

GIVEAWAY CLOSED. WINNERS HAVE BEEN NOTIFIED.

  1. Blog – 74 comments – random number: 17 = Melissa
  2. Facebook – 86 comments – random number: 85 = Venetia
  3. Instagram – 60 comments – random number: 5 = Christina

Okay! I promised I’d post a paperback giveaway on Tuesday, and then I didn’t. So … since it is now Friday, I thought I’d post THREE chances to win an autographed paperback of Champagne, Misfits, and Other Shady Magic (Dowser 7) to make up for my tardiness.

And, to make it even more fun, I’ve scattered the paperbacks about like a scavenger hunt.

There are three steps to play along.

First, comment below on this blog post to enter to win this beauty (paperback #1):

A lovely reader, Billie, made me this tatted dragon!! Isn’t it gorgeous? [But it’s not part of the giveaway].

Second, head over to my Facebook page, then find and comment on photo #2 to enter to win that paperback.

And third, pop over to my Instagram feed, find and comment on photo #3 to enter to win the final paperback!

Fun! Fun!!

Likes and shares are always welcomed and appreciated.

Notes/Rules: OPEN INTERNATIONALLY. One entry per person (on all three platforms). One winner will be selected by random number generator (on each platform). Email addresses are not collected for any purpose other than to contact the winner. No purchase necessary.

Giveaway closes SUNDAY FEBRUARY 11, 2018 at midnight PST.

Are you new to the Adept Universe? Book one is Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic (Dowser 1).

Click here for the reading order of the Adept Universe.

Ah, the muse …

February 8, 2018

I’ve been working through the first half of Dowser 8 for the last couple of weeks, having gotten derailed writing the first draft by editing Dowser 7, the holidays, and the rather lengthy to-do list that comes with releasing a book. I’ve been only getting 600-800 newish words a day. But the idea is that these ‘easy’ second draft words were supposed to ease me back into the writing.

But the muse is a funny thing … I can write without it, without the words and ideas flowing, but it feels heartless and ungrounded. Eventually the idea that the story will never flow again starts to take hold and erode my sense of how the writing is supposed to be. Yes, there are often a few tough days in a row that I need to weather, but I’ve just gone through the longest period of feeling like I had nothing in my head that I’ve ever experienced. Dowser 8, Dowser 9, Necromancer 1 are all plotted out, with detailed outlines, and before I hit this drought I was also working on a brand new series that will launch this fall.

But, even with all that story worked out, nothing was flowing.

And between you and me (and poor Michael who was probably getting tired of me yammering on about being in a weird ‘nothing’ headspace), it was starting to freak me out. I needed NEW words, not just rewritten ones. I desperately needed the muse to visit.

So, yesterday I reached the end of what I had written for the first draft of Dowser 8. I wasn’t exactly staring at a blank page (I rarely do because I outline) but I was daunted. So I complained a bit on social media. I fussed around. Yadda, yadda.

Then I wrote. I told myself all I needed was 2000 words. I reminded myself that they didn’t need to be brilliant, because there are many, many stages to writing a novel (at least 5 to 6 drafts on my part alone, not including all the work the editor does) and I just needed words to get me through to the third act – aka the ending that I’ve been running in my head for over a year now.

So I got 2400 words. This number is in no way brilliant in and of itself, and should be easily achievable. But it hasn’t been. And I yet managed it. Satisfied with that solid day, I put the chickies to bed and started a new knitting project.

And this morning?

The muse came rolling back, specifically while I was cleaning out the litter box. But hey, I’m not complaining!

Taking a little tidbit from the new scene I wrote yesterday (a scene I thought was pretty throw away at the time), the muse dropped a bloody, dark deed on me – an idea that expanded a beat set up in Dowser 7 and Dowser 8 but was actually more fully exploitable in one of the short stories that I’ve been muttering about possibly writing.

And the muse wasn’t done, because in order to share this new deviously dark idea with Michael, I needed to explain how it came about and where it fit. And in doing so, I realized that the two short stories were actually two parts of a novella (if not a novel) that fits between Dowser 8 and Dowser 9. And that’s not all … it’s actually THREE parts, not just the two shorts I’ve been toying with writing.

So there you go. You may now make chocolate sacrifices to the muse, she’s just given you Dowser 8.5.

But!

Here’s the twist.

It’s not a Jade book.

Oh, no. *insert evil grin*

It’s Mory, Rochelle, and Jasmine’s tales. All outlined and interconnected, thanks to the muse this very morning.

I will now have a hot chocolate in celebration.

The muse is back and she’s full of wicked ideas!

Monthly Newsletter: Feb 2018 – cancelled

February 6, 2018

Sorry, as you might have noticed already, there is no newsletter from me in your inbox this morning. I was planning to ‘launch’ the new T-shirt designs from Dowser 7 but the final test prints haven’t even shipped (three weeks and counting) so apparently whatever annoying curse I have going with T-shirts is still holding strong. Oh, well. It will eventually sort itself out.

Anyway, I didn’t want to clutter your inboxes without any new or exclusive content, so I’ve decided to skip the February newsletter. I’ll try to get my act together in March … with something that doesn’t hinge on T-shirts being available. Promise.

To make it up to you I’ll be posting a paperback giveaway for Dowser 7 later on today. Yay!

Have no idea what I’m talking about? Click here to subscribe to my monthly newsletter (which is separate from the new release mailing list).

Dowser 8: the ‘girls’ go hunting

February 5, 2018

Jasmine glanced between us. “You two are a little crazy, you know.”

Kandy shrugged. “You’ll get it, baby girl. When you’re all grown up and never meet your match.”

Jasmine twisted her lips wryly, tugging her phone of out her jacket pocket. “I’ve already met him.”

Kandy laughed huskily, shaking her head. “The nearly immortal are more vulnerable than us three, darling. They’ve forgotten they can die. And it’s the possibility of death than keeps us sharp.” Kandy tapped on her temple.

Jasmine raised one eyebrow at the green-haired werewolf, texting without looking at her screen. “Thanks for the life lesson, wolf.”

Kandy snapped her teeth. “You can owe it to me, vampire.”

I laughed. “Shall we continue?”

– Dowser 8, first draft [unedited and unproofed]

Click here for the reading order of the Adept Universe.

Dowser 8 to be released late-spring 2018.

 

The difficult task of negotiating an itinerary with my significant other …

February 1, 2018

Obviously, that’s my initial request in blue.

 

 

Dowser 7: early reviews

January 25, 2018

Champagne, Misfits, and Other Shady Magic (Dowser 7) has been officially released for a week today. Yay! And many of my lovely readers have lovely things to say about the newest Jade book, so I thought I’d share a few snippets here:

A solid 5 star series – Outstanding plot continues and gets richer and more exciting with each book. Similar to the other books in series, you won’t want to stop reading until you’re forced to because you have reached the end. –  Liz via Amazon USA

More, more more – I just want to keep reading and never stop! – Randi via Amazon USA

Brilliant as always – Love this series. It incorporates magical beings with sass and superpowers within the modern world. With a cupcake or two thrown in. – Inka via Amazon UK

Left me wanting more – As usual this was a smart, sassy and engaging book that I couldn’t put down. I love the interplay between the characters and how Meghan weaves the different series in the Adept Universe together. – Carmen via Amazon CANADA

5 stars – I love how these characters are so well rounded – it was a real pleasure to join them on another adventure! …and the cupcakes! – Maggie via Kobo

5 stars – If you are a fan of snark, cupcakes, and kick a$$ strong female characters then this book is a must!!! – Shawna via Goodreads

Thank you so, so much for reading and reviewing. I’ve yammered on about this before, but supporting any author – indie or traditionally published – in the first 30 days of a book release is not only great for the author but it also does all sorts of the good things behind the scenes, such as ‘juicing’ algorithms on retailers, getting titles on best-seller or hot new release lists, etc. All of which calls attention to the book. So, thank you, thank you!

Now back to writing Dowser 8 …

[No release date yet, for anyone who was about to ask. 😉 ]

The day after the day after a new release.

January 20, 2018

Warning: this post diverges from my usually positive offerings.

Yesterday I set out to write a massively joyful post about Dowser 7’s great release – biggest release day ever, great store rankings, fun live release day party. I wanted to thank my amazing and supportive readers. And to tell you how blessed I am to have you all in my life.

Then I got blindsided.

Tagged. On Facebook. By a reader who just had to let me know how lacklustre she thought my new book was – less than 24 hours after its release. A reader who’s name I recognized. A reader who I’d had positive, fun interactions with previously. She decided that the first thing I should see the morning after I’d released a new book – the accumulation of months and months of my life – was just how bored she was with my newest effort.

Of course, I answered her politely, as is my default. And I shook it off. Not everyone likes every book (I certainly don’t). And I’ve had people be nasty to me before, though usually in a private message.

I went to work. I spend my entire morning boxing up giveaways. Hundreds of dollars of giveaways. Happily. Because I do love to give things away.

Then a couple of hours later another reader decided to comment here on my blog, expressing his disappointment in the book. He was rather detailed, including informing me (the lowly writer) that my FEMALE character had learned her greatest lesson from an OLDER MALE character and that she should just stick with that. I imagined I was supposed to reply with gushing gratitude. What with me being a FEMALE writer and him being MALE, he was totally in his rights to tell me – in my personal space – everything I could be doing better. Right?

Nope.

Fortunately the comments are moderated on this blog aka my personal space. So, yeah, I deleted that message. And then went on with my day.

I must, must mention that positive after positive message was also filtering in through all of this – lovely reviews, lovely readers who seemed to understand and appreciate the tenor of the new book and what it was setting up.

But, of course, I’m exhausted.

I’m empty.

Drained.

I just didn’t realize just how tired I am. So the nasty messages are what stuck to me (as they do to any of us). And by the end of the day I just shut down. Far, far down. As in needing to be in a dark room with my head pressed against the wall with Michael trying desperately to figure out was wrong and how to fix it.

And, after he coaxed me out of the dark and got some food in me, we made a plan. A plan that has me working less, and buffering myself from nasty people more. And that is sad. It is sad that because a few people are nasty, I have to pull back on all my relationships, that I have to pull back on my level of commitment to keeping up those relationships.

But, eager to keep moving ever forward, I started my new routine this morning – namely, half days rather than full days, on Saturdays. Yes, I’ve been working six, often seven days a week, for over three years now. No vacations that last longer than two days, and I had only one of those in 2017. But this morning was a new day, a new plan. I headed out and got my driver’s license renewed – only 3 months after it had expired – and I helped Michael with errands instead of working like I usually do.

Because if I’m balanced, I shouldn’t be so thin skinned, right? I shouldn’t allow myself to get so empty that someone can make me cry after a great release day because she tags me on Facebook just to make certain that I read and understand her opinion.

Anyway.

Moving forward.

I did errands this morning. I bought myself some new seeds. I reminded myself that there is life away from the writing.

I’m sure the names of these tomato seeds speak for themselves and why they caught my eye this morning.

After I made my hot chocolate, I happily wandered back into the office, ready to box up the last of the giveaways (I had to buy padded envelopes to do so).

And in my inbox sits an email. Another male reader. This time complaining about the preorder giveaway.

Now – unfortunately – readers do like to complain about my giveaways.

Yes.

People complain about how I GIVE things away.

This has happened in some form or another many times. Usually it has to do with shipping – over which, as I’m sure you understand, I have no control. Occasionally, I also apparently make giveaways ‘too difficult’ to enter.

But the reader who felt compelled to email me this morning informed me that I’d disappointed him – funny how men always seem to need to express their utter disappointment in me when giving me a scolding. He was disappointed because I hadn’t given him enough time to enter the preorder giveaway. Yes, the giveaway announced on my blog over a month ago, then mentioned weekly (sometimes more) on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Google Plus, then mentioned in my monthly newsletter on January 2. That giveaway.

Apparently, I needed to make a bigger effort so that he’d had more time to enter.

So …

I’m starting a Shit List. Yep. For the first time in my long writing career, I’ve been pushed too far. Three straws in less than twenty-four hours have dented my resolve to be perpetually positive. I opened a Word document and I wrote three names in it. It’s titled: shit list and saved to my desk top.

And now I’m writing this blog post, publicly admitting that I’m tired of being treated badly by people who just expect me to suck it up.

So here it is, for everyone to see and understand, if you are nasty to my face in my space – my inbox, this blog, or any of my personal social media pages – I’m putting you on my shit list.

Because no.

Just no.

You can’t be nasty to me and expect to enter and win giveaways. I might have always adhered to the random number generator in the past. I might be Canadian. I might love to laugh. But I just cannot do it any longer. I cannot be quiet about rude, inappropriate behaviour. I cannot reward nastiness.

Be nasty about me or my books in your own space, in your reviews. That is your business, and your right to your own opinion.

I will not be mentioning this again. I don’t want to mention it ever again. But try to make me cry? To make me feel like I’m worthless? I’m putting you on the shit list.

And now I will post this, then happily go back to addressing giveaway packages.

Oh! There are new T-shirt designs coming. That’s fun. And Dowser 7 paperback giveaway, of course. I just ordered copies.

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