Release Day: Fire to Dragon

RED SLAVES: Fire to Dragon, by Tonya CannariatoIt’s been a few years coming, but I’m proud to say that FINALLY, the Red Slaves trilogy is complete. Not without a bit of drama, as my newest laptop decided to crap out last night in the midst of my final editing push. Luckily, I’m an avid DropBox user, so the majority of the edits I’d done prior to that fatal “can’t find boot drive” error had already been saved to the cloud. My older, super-slow-mo laptop was able to pinch hit for me, and an all-night marathon resulted in the shiny, new story being available in AmazoniTunes, and Kobo as of this morning, with links underway at B&N, Scribd, Overdrive, and Tolino.

(It’s also now available for reviewers for free via the Reviewer Roundup.)

This has been a several-year odyssey for me, but I’m thrilled to cross this huge task off my ROW80 to-do list.

🙂

Apart from the heavy focus on editing, I read two articles related to my writing efforts. The first was from Vox, “This is what love does to your brain” and talked about how brain structures and chemistry around love are some of the most well-developed of that system. The other was a blog post from one of my favorite authors who blogs about writing, Jami Gold, who had a guest blogger writing about realistic ways to redeem your story’s villain.

Then there was the Rolling Stone interview with Janelle Monae, on the occasion of her latest album release. She is so thoughtful on the topic of love connections and other things that inspire her, she gained a fan. On the horrifying side of the ledger, I read an article about companies in Japan that are hiring highly educated women to perform mere menial women’s tasks. In a related trend, Chinese tech start-ups are hiring “programmer motivator” ladies who are intended to help relax the developers who are doing the heavy lifting for those companies.

More in line with my career trajectory was an article on LinkedIn about Agile learning as a mindset.

With all of that, hubs and I averaged 1.8 miles of walking per day and over 9 hours of sleep.

To make up for the hard push at the computer for job search and editing, we’re going for a late-night date night to see Avengers tonight. So I caught up with the complete MCU timeline to prepare myself. I’m already guessing I’ll be wrecked by the ending. I think this week we’ll focus on catching up with The Expanse, season 3, and Lost in Space, before I consider starting on my next story. I still need to do all the print lay-outs for the three novels in my series… and hope that my laptop can be easily fixed, so there’s plenty to keep me occupied.

In the meantime, enjoy Red Slaves, completed in eBook versions, and check in with my ROW80 cohorts.

Cover Reveal: Fire to Dragon

RED SLAVES: Fire to Dragon, by Tonya CannariatoFinally, for the real excitement that is driving me to edit, the new cover for the third in my Red Slaves series, Fire to Dragon. Once again, I have to thank Kelley York for coming up with the branding conceit that carries across all three novels, includes dragons, and has the photo-reality that was always my goal for this series. When you’re writing in a world that is mostly real and certainly recognizable, that last needs to be reflected in the cover. Given the paranormal component, though, that was not easy until Kelley pointed out that this is ultimately a personal story, told from Anne’s perspective alone. I’m very pleased with this evolution in my covers, and look forward to releasing the updated books over the next few months.

With the new cover art established, you will also note I’ve updated my Facebook and Twitter header images, as well as gained a new Twitter icon–also all courtesy of Kelley. I’ve already written her a Facebook review, but seriously… if anyone needs a freelance graphic designer, she’s the one you want.

Cover Reveal: Blood to Fire

RED SLAVES: Blood to Fire, by Tonya CannariatoMy lovely cover artist extraordinaire, Kelley York, has been a busy lady this week, coming up with the fully rebranded series of covers for my Red Slaves trilogy. I’m still slogging through edits, but am happy to unveil the results of this new collaboration to whet your appetite for the re-edited series–and the conclusion to it, which is one step closer to release with my editor’s guidance firmly in hand. Enjoy!

No Rush, But Done Now

Don't try to rush things that need time to grow. @ForSelfSuccessIt was the week that felt like a year. It started very well with an intimate evening of music, listening to Eddie Jobson and Marc Bonilla pay tribute to prog rock greats John Wetton and Keith Emerson by telling stories about them and interpreting their songs rather impressively for a two-person gig. An actual date night with hubs, so one of my weekly goals met immediately in an environment entirely conducive to getting the creative juices flowing.

🙂

By Wednesday, though, the cold I thought I was getting over morphed into laryngitis with a burning sore throat. So I spent two days sleeping. Thursday, I began panicking: I had four days to write 7K words to meet my editor’s deadline. Thursday night, I managed 400. Friday night, I reconnected with my #wordmongering buddy and managed 1,810 words. It was the first time I’d been that productive since I’d begun my MBA in September 2012. Last night… I blew that effort out of the water and wrote 3,052 words. I woke up this morning knowing that I could finish the story I’ve been promising my readers for at least four years.

I did it.

😀

The story only needed another 1,393 words to reach its end, and then there was much rejoicing. I’ve had finishing Fire to Dragon as a ROW80 goal for longer than I care to admit. I did a cover reveal for it almost exactly two years ago. The second book in the series came out in March of 2013, so it’s taken more than four years of teeth-gnashing to get myself to a completed manuscript.

I’ll tease you with the page I had open to spur on my creativity to blast through the final stretch.

(Pro tip: Finish what you start when you start it, and don’t go chasing after plot bunnies. I’ve released five other stories in the interim.)

That I would manage to finish on Mother’s Day, when a component of the transformation Anne undergoes includes becoming a mother, is bittersweet to me. (It’s not a coincidence that the three Russian dragons she meets have the initials IVF.) I ran across a reference to artist Martin Hudáček, a Slovakian who created a memorial to the child who was never born. It blew the scab off of my recent sorrow, and reinforced the irony that the woman who campaigned for the creation of the holiday died hating how commercialized it had become.

On the other end of that spectrum, I learned about Brene Brown this week, and the quote from her book: “We are the brave and brokenhearted. We are rising strong.”

Which leads me directly to an article hubs shared about the current American psychiatric dogma that labels anti-authoritarian folks as mentally ill. It makes a lot of sense when you consider how hard it is to follow a herd when there’s an outlying voice drawing your attention away from the common conclusions of your society. So I’ll pour fuel on that fire and point you to a link that helps you submit a comment to the FCC to advocate for a free and open Internet.

For my final weekly goal, I still kept my average daily step count over 3K–despite two days of barely leaving my bed. It’s a testament to how much Tashie has improved that she races out the door with as much enthusiasm as the two younger ones these days, and has the stamina to keep going for well over a mile. On one of our walks this week, we learned that one of our neighbors is originally from Tibet. When she heard me calling Tashie’s name (because Tashie was DETERMINED to be the family ambassador and meet this lady!), she told me that in Tibetan, Tashie means “joy”. A nice congruence for how much happiness she brings our family.

I’m at such loose ends having completed my major goal for this round I’m almost light-headed. I’m not sure which project I’ll pick up next, either. (If you want to vote, I have an idea for another in the Katarr universe; I have the trilogy that builds on Wytchfire; I have the option of a follow-on to Dementional; or even follow-ons to The Builders; or a story based on a dream about sentient caves that needed humans to give voice to their needs; or some more nebulous, entirely new ideas…) This week, though, I think I’ll give myself space to breathe. We’re talking about a date night to go see Guardians of the Galaxy 2, which has me entirely too excited. I have a number of big deadlines at the office, though, too, so it will be good not to be worrying about personal deadlines for once. In the meantime, here’s the link to the rest of the ROW80 crew. I’ll be back next week to let you know if I’ve come to any decisions.

Dragon’s Pursuit Cover Reveal

As I mentioned in a post in January, I have signed up to be one of the authors participating in the Hotel Paranormal series. This week, I got the final version of the cover for my book. I’m so stoked I can hardly contain myself, so I wanted to share it with you:

Hotel Paranormal: Dragon's Pursuit, by Tonya Cannariato

The story is slated for release in early January, so it’s along way off–and I need to finish the Red Slaves trilogy that inspires the events in the story, too. It will be a stand-alone spin-off about one of the next-generation dragon shifters that I’ve already half plotted. I’m looking forward to writing the story, and with such a glorious cover to help me keep my eyes on the prize, it should be an easy one to write.

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