As of this morning I hit 200,000 words on Widow. I’m now on the downwards slope towards the ending, where I’m tying all the loose threads from the entire book while adding insight for the books to come.
Since I published Integrated, I took a step back to reevaluate myself as a writer. I am determined to eliminate my bad habits, writing-wise, and slow down. A major thread of Widow is regret, and that is channeled from its author. My biggest regret is rushing a story.
When Good Girl was first published, I was proud of it. I thought it complete. I was wrong. I had written 70% of Widow shortly after Good Girl’s completion. I then took a step back and wrote KING, Faithless, The Hunter, Integrated, Hero, and found myself back to square one with Good Girl.
The foundation of the entire Blended series wasn’t right, which made me rethink all of my choices.
The day I had to delete over 200 pages of Widow… was a sad day, indeed.
Originally Widow began where Good Girl ended- that explosive cliffhanger of a scene that changed their family dynamic. I will prove a point now: Rushing would have killed the book and the subsequent books if I had released it over a year ago. All 200,000 of Widow’s words thus far, are before that end scene. It is the entirety of the book itself, with only a handful of scenes wrapping up the novel. Widow, as it is now, with the way the family’s lives have evolved, would never have been written. Warped would have been dead in the water, unable to be written.
After this major change, Warped will be one of my most challenging books. Picking up with Devon in rehab and showing the aftermath of Widow for the entire Blended family.
I’ve had some flack over Good Girl for a few things, things I wish to address now.
DRUG USE: I’m not advocating it, nor am I preaching about it. I’m showing it from both perspectives, and both are very real. I don’t write fairy tales. Drug and alcohol abuse are very present in our everyday lives. It’s not pretty because it’s reality. If this presses a trigger for you, then perhaps you’ve been affected by it at some point, and you should continue to read to see how I show it from the different angles. If you believe I’m advocating use, then perhaps you should continue to read to find out that is not the case. If you don’t believe drugs are everywhere, and as such, they shouldn’t be in books, then perhaps you are living in a world of your own creation. If you just don’t like reading about reality, then the Blended series isn’t for you, so don’t penalize me for it.
S-E-X: If you are on this earth, you were created through sex. If sex offends you, see above post in DRUG USE about reality. I DO NOT write closed-door romance. Nowhere do I say I do. Everywhere I say I don’t. 2 seconds of research through the reviews or my backlist will inform you that I write contemporary romance, erotic romance, suspense, LGBT, and BDSM. Unless I’m living in an alternate universe, I’d expect those to have sexual situations, and I wouldn’t expect the author to be penalized because of it. To me, it makes about as much sense as buying Science Fiction, reading Science Fiction, and then writing a 1 star review because it was Science Fiction. NOTE: for my deviants, Widow is more mild because of its characters. If you are a long-time reader of mine, you know I don’t write sex-fests.
Length: I’ve had readers complain of the length of Good Girl, with the irony being those same readers complain about spending their hard earned money buying what I call episodic series. (a series of novellas or short stories, all ending with a cliffhanger, forcing readers to wait for what comes next while it’s being written or to buy the next episode to see what happens next) While as lucrative for those authors as it is frustrating for its readers, I am not those authors. As a writer, the only thing I can do is write the way my muse programmed me. For me, a book has a beginning, middle, and an ending, and I will write that book the way it tells me to write it.
Yes, I’ve had cliffhangers. But the ending was to change the POV of the character, optimizing the readers’ experiences by telling the story in the voice best to relay the story. Good Girl was the length it was because it chose its length, ending because it was Clover and Malcolm’s turn to voice their story. Widow is the length it is to give you an entire story from start to finish, where the children will pick up the story to show you a new side in this journey.
As a reader, if long books aren’t for you, that is not my issue. I know there are so many amazing stories being written, and we, as readers, will never read them all. So we rush like kids trying to earn BOOK-IT points for Pizza Hut. But there is no gold star for reading the most books the fastest. I used to rush-read as well, until I realized I was short-changing my own entertainment. Reading isn’t a job; it’s for pleasure. A pleasure we pay for, so the faster you read, the more expensive the hobby. So when I get negative flack for a 700 page book you received for free or for only 99 cents, I get insulted. So if my writing style isn’t for you… I will not change, nor be penalized for it.
3rd person vs 1st person: I’ve heard this one many times: If only Ms. Chilson wrote in 3rd person… usually followed by, the book would be much shorter, and we’d know what so&so was thinking. 1st: I’ll let you know what they were thinking when I want you to know. Otherwise, it ruins any surprises, and I’m all about the surprises. Second: Well, that’s great that you enjoy 3rd person, but Ms. Chilson is the one who has to write the book. Ms. Chilson doesn’t write 3rd person. She also isn’t a fan of 3rd person narratives.
As a reader, you can choose what you read. As a writer, you CAN’T choose what you write.
This works for both my reading and writing styles: I must become one with the narrator, so 1st person present tense draws me into them. An overview isn’t intimate enough for me to connect with the characters. I’m in too many characters’ heads, and not deep enough. There is no deep connection when the internal monologue is disconnected from the readers. Also, past tense confuses me. I feel like saying, “I’m reading this RIGHT NOW, but it’s past tense.” I want to be walking around with the character, not hearing about how they walked around five minutes ago or ten years ago.
We all read differently because we are different people. Since I am the one writing the book, I can only write it the way I write. To each their own. To the joys of individual expression. *cheers*
Long story short: expect Widow to be a 700 page book in 1st person narrative in the present tense. Whether you find that boring, drawn-out, is not my issue. There are no unnecessary scenes written as filler in these pages. I don’t have time for that, not with all the characters screaming in my head. No shopping trips, car rides, or incessant decorator or fashion descriptions. Every scene is to propel the story or character development. There will be no doubting who the characters are on a soul-deep level. You, as the reader, will be able to predict their future actions as if they were your own. Why? Because I’ve bared their souls to you while you read, connected you, through the 1st person, present tense narrative.
Angry diatribe complete!
In other news. Widow will be released mid-June. Angela is organizing a Blog tour for Widow’s release, with ARCs for both Good Girl and Widow for review, as well as a Blitz and cover/blurb reveal. (All foreign language to me) So if you wish to join the fun, I’ll post the information when it becomes available.
As of mid-June, I will have publish 1,500 pages in the first half of 2014. I am stepping back again, reevaluating how Warped should proceed. In my leisure, I will be editing the M&M series, as well as writing a novella titled Wanton. Wanton is a (for Amber, who requested a BBW) BBW Lesbian romance centered around two females in Blended’s cast of characters. I will release the details on this title after Widow’s release. This book is my version of a test- a test to see if I can write about two people, centering the entire book around their connection, and manage to fit it into 120 pages or less.
Gauntlet thrown down: the Deviants over at M&M of Restraint don’t think I can do it. Anyone who reads my books knows I’m a challenge-taker. I’ll do it because you guys think I can’t, whether said in jest or not (I wasn’t offended. First, it made me laugh, and then it made me get down to business. As I end Widow, that novella has been writing itself in my head)
Off to finish Widow’s draft in the next week or so, and then the betas will work their magic while I put my editor hat on… and then things get really serious.
Katya Waters is aging gracefully, as her book has reached its 2nd year in publication milestone. If you’re a fan of the Mistress & Master of Restraint Series, tell your friends about this limited-time discounted rate of 99 pennies: April 23-30th only. Mistress & Master of Restraint Series is filled with dark twists and suspense-filled plots that keep you guessing and hungry for more. Restraint is book #1 of the 11 books currently in release.
Good Girl is Restraint’s less dark, but no less twisted, little sister. The debut in the contemporary/erotic romance Blended Series is free for a limited-time only: April 24-28th.
This birthday promotion is the best way to take a chance on author Erica Chilson, the Wicked Writer, without wasting a penny. Sample her writing style by delving in, and experience her warped sense of emotional torture while shining a bright light of hope within the shadowy darkness, promising a brighter future for her characters.
***Check price before you one-click***
Restraint: .99 cents 4/23-4/30
Save $3.00 on this 300 page wicked read by buying today.
Good Girl: FREE 4/24-4/28
Discount price at 99 cents in anticipation of its sequel, Widow, list price will be $4.99 as of July. Save $4.99 by downloading this 700 page saga for free today.
***Support Indie Authors by sharing promotions, and reading and reviewing. & Most importantly, word of mouth, by telling your book buds about this amazing steal***
Good Girl’s revamped edition is now available on Amazon at a special republish sale price of 99 pennies. *limited time only* List Price: $4.99 **Purchase on Amazon**
Do I need to reread the revamped edition if I previously read Good Girl: Yes. GG’s 1st edition was 120,000 words & 50 chapters. GG’s Revamped edition is 220,000 words and 86 chapters. Storyline threads have been deleted. Every scene has been rewritten with many deleted. The main premise has been changed. Characters have evolved. The genre has changed from Erotica to Romance. The series title has changed from Playroom to Blended. Major editing. My apologies. GG is the foundation of the Blended series, and while writing Widow I hit major roadblocks that needed eliminated. GG will go through one more major edit when I edit the print proof for publishing into paper, but nothing will change other than those pesky errors. So if you find mistakes… after thousands of hours of staring at GG, sorry, I’m not touching it for at least a month.
Do I need to repurchase a copy of Good Girl: NO! Please, do not repurchase. I don’t wish to be paid twice for the same book, even though it is vastly different. Repurchasing GG will NOT give you the latest edition. Even if you delete GG off of your Kindle Library/Account, Amazon’s database still sees it as just re-downloading the previous copy while taking your hard-earned money. DO NOT REPURCHASE!!! I tried this myself, and was saddled with the same copy after spending a buck.
Will deleting the copy off of my device and re-downloading update my copy: No. I also tried this in the past.
Will an update be available through Amazon: Yes. Patience, please. At the bottom of this posting, I will c/p my email correspondence with Amazon to keep you informed.
Is there a way to update my copy until Amazon issues an official update: Yes. Manually through Amazon’s customer service. I will list a tutorial that Angela prepared for us from her experience. She said it took a total of 8 minutes from start to finish. So do not be intimidated by the steps.
How will I know if I have the updated edition: The title page will list that this is the Revamped/revised Edition February, 2014 & the Kindle Copies will say this on top of every page: Good Girl (Blended)
What do I do if I want to keep my old edition of Good Girl but also obtain the revamped edition: Screen shot your kindle library with Good Girl showing as proof of purchase, email me the image at: firstname.lastname@example.org. I will email you the newest copy.
Here is my email from Amazon:
We received your request to provide updated content to customers who purchased your book. Thanks for providing specific details about the changes made. We’ll perform a review of the changes to determine the most appropriate way to describe the updates to your customers. This review will complete within four weeks, and the possible results of our review are listed below.
1. If the changes made to your content are considered critical, we’ll email all customers who own the book to notify them of the update and improvements made. These customers will be able to choose to opt in to receive the update through the Manage Your Kindle page on Amazon.com. www.amazon.com/gp/digital/fiona/manage
2. If the changes made to your content are considered minor, we won’t be able to notify all customers by email, but we will activate their ability to update the content through the Manage Your Kindle page on Amazon.com.
3. If the changes made to your content have caused unexpected critical issues with the book content, we’ll temporarily remove your book from sale. We’ll notify you of any issues found so you can fix them. Once the improvements are made, just let us know and we’ll then email customers as in case 1.
While researching, I also see that you’ve already purchased the book “Good Girl” and a content update is available for your device.
At this time, customers who have purchased a Kindle book cannot automatically download the revised content. Our technical team is aware of this issue, and are working towards automating this process.
In the meantime, we can manually send the updated content to your device. Before we send it, you should be aware that once the new content is received, features such as Highlights, Last Page Read and Bookmarks will be removed and the locations of notes may not match in the updated copy of your book.
Erica again: as you can see from my email, you can manually have Amazon update your edition for you. Below will be the steps in how to go about this. You can do chat as below, or call Amazon for assistance. Please give Angela a huge thank you for writing this up for us. 😀
OK Everyone, here is the tutorial. It took me longer to write it up than it did to actually do the steps.
How to get Amazon to Push a Revised Edition of a book to your Kindle via Chat
1. Delete Good Girl from your Kindle device. Do NOT delete it from your Kindle Library.
2. Go to Manage Your Kindle (Link on Your Account drop down menu)
3. Allow Your Kindle Library to load for a minute and then type in “Good Girl” in the Search your library box.
a. “Good Girl (Blended) – Chilson, Erica” should appear in the drop down menu & click on it.
b. Right Click on the Order Details link & Open in a New Window or Tab
c. Go back to the Your Kindle Library page and move your mouse to hover over the Kindle Help link (located on the upper right side of the page below your Wish List tab).
d. Click on the Contact Us link. This should take you to the Help & Customer Service for Kindle page.
e. On the left side of that page, there is a Quick Solutions menu. Click on the Contact Us button. (You may be prompted to log into your account again.)
4. On the Contact Us Page,
a. Section 1 should have the Kindle tab active, so chose your Kindle Device.
b. Section 2, make the following selections:
i. Select an issue: My Kindle Books & Periodicals
ii. Select issue details: Managing/transferring content
iii. Select additional details: Using Archived Items
iv. Ignore the Did You Know? Section that pops up.
c. Section 3, Click on the “Start Chatting” Tab
5. When the Chat Window pops up and prompts you to explain your issue, enter the following info.
a. Hi, I need the revised edition of Good Girl by Erica Chilson pushed to my Kindle Account. Here is the corresponding Digital Order Summary #
D01 -5255260-6444807. I have deleted the previous version from Angela’s 2nd FIRE.
b. Be sure to change the Digital Order # to your order number (which can be found in the other open window or tab from step 2b) and your Kindle’s Nickname.
6. You should be connected with a Kindle Customer Service Rep rather quickly who can help you out.
a. Warning: I have on one occasion gotten a CS rep who did NOT know what he was doing. If the CS rep asks you to delete the book from your Kindle Library, tell him/her NO, that you need the revised edition pushed to your Kindle and ask for a different rep if necessary.
b. Be sure to open the newly arrived copy of Good Girl and make sure the header at the top of the page reads GOOD GIRL (BLENDED) before you end your chat.