Friday, April 13, 2012

On Deadline

The other lovely ladies of this blog have experienced this particular hell on numerous occasions, but as the "baby" of the group with only one book currently under my belt, this is my first time.

The deadline!

(I sort of hear scary music in my head when I read that last line.)

It's not exactly a secret that after getting tired of waiting for NY to call, I listened to my biggest cheerleaders (writing friends like the fabulously talented Gemma Halliday, Kristen Painter, Rhonda Stapleton, Gwen Hayes, and Melissa Francis) and took matters into my own hands last year and self-published my debut novel, Codename: Dancer. I've never hidden that fact.

So if I'm my own publisher, why am I tearing my hair out about a particular release date for my sophomore effort? Why don't I just suck it up and say "Gee, I've overpromised and underperformed. Mea culpa" and bump that sucker back a month or two? Any reasonable person would do that, especially when they have a newborn in the house. (Although I guess he's not really a newborn anymore at this point...going on 4 1/2 months!)

I guess all those pregnancy and new mama hormones must have messed with my system, because I'm clearly not reasonable. Or sane. Or maybe I never was.

I'd originally intended for Pointe of No Return to be a November 2011 release, just in time for Christmas. Would have been perfect, since it takes place behind the scenes of Nutcracker rehearsals. But one year ago this Sunday I got a little surprise. A wonderful one. About an hour after hitting "publish" on Codename, my husband and I found out we were expecting our second child. So between working full time as an attorney, raising a toddler, and baking the new bun, I was all tapped out. No time left for writing.

Needless to say, I missed that release date. By six months.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I have a new release date. May 14, 2012, as given to me by the awesome marketing team at Barnes & Noble. Upon Gemma's encouragement, I applied for -- and was accepted into -- the NOOKFirst program, which means that Pointe will be released exclusively for the NOOK for a period of 30 days before it's available elsewhere. They only select 4 titles per month, so I'm super excited about it.

So here I am at the tail end of my maternity leave, totally stressed out. I'm going through the book one more time before sending it to the editor. I've never written on deadline before, and frankly, I'm not sure I like it. Yeah, it got me to type THE END whereas I might have meandered and wasted even more time if I didn't have a concrete target date. But man, the stress sucks.

So besides writing a decent chunk of the new book, what else have I been doing since I gave birth? I also wrote a short story called "Barre Hopping at Midnight" which appears in the super cool FREE young adult anthology, Eternal Spring.

Yes, I said "free." It will be at all the major retailers next month, but for now you can download it from Smashwords. We hope you like it!

Did I mention it's free?

The anthology includes stories from such awesome YA authors as RITA finalist Stephanie Dray, Diana Peterfreund, Tawny Stokes, Juli Alexander, Rhonda Stapleton, and others. It's got something for everyone, with contemporary, paranormal, urban fantasy, and historical stories.

Here's the blurb:
Flowers, vacation, baseball, prom…what does spring mean to you? From unicorn hunters and teenage exorcists to Egyptian princesses and aspiring ballerinas, this collection of thirteen stories by some of the most exciting authors in Young Adult fiction explores young love and new beginnings during the most beautiful time of the year.

And here's the description of mine:
“Barre Hopping at Midnight” by Amanda Brice
How can aspiring ballerina Dani Spevak concentrate on performing at a spring arts festival when her not-quite-boyfriend is in town filming the lead in a hot new vampire movie and he was seen kissing his costar?

Yes, this short story is part of my Codename world, and fits chronologically between Books 2 and 3, although it stands alone and can be read in any order.

Oh, and it's free.

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