Monday, November 23, 2015

It's here!

This is one of those posts that writers dream about writing:

My book published today.

Like Holy Cow, didn’t someone know they were supposed to shut the door before I got out?

Well, it’s too late. My book is out, and you can buy it here!

Need a little more convincing? How about this awesome cover?

Oh yeah, that’s amazing! (Thanks again to Amalia, her stuff is Ah-Maz-ING!)

And here’s the back cover for those still in need of convincing!

Allyson fights acne, not trolls. As an inhaler-carrying member of the asthma society, she just wants to meet the father who turned her mother into a paranoid, move-across-the-nation freak. Now she’s trying to fit in at yet another school, but for the first time in her life, she has a best friend, Beth. When Allyson accidentally spits fire at kidnappers in the mall, she realizes why her father isn’t in the picture: she’s half dragon. Her acne? Emerging scales. Her asthma? The side effects of her dragon’s fire breath. Instead of freaking out, unflappable Beth reveals her own troll heritage and explains how things work with the supernatural creatures hiding within the modern world of smartphones and skyscrapers.

When trolls kidnap a unicorn, Beth gets blamed. Allyson is determined to prove Beth’s innocence and keep her friend off the unicorn chopping block. When they start looking for the kidnappers, they get a call from the last person they expect: Allyson’s father. He tries to warn them off, but he’s been put under a spell by the kidnappers to keep the victims from escaping. Nothing short of death can stop him. Now Allyson must choose between killing the father she’s always dreamed of, or letting her best friend die for a crime she didn’t commit.

I'll be having a Facebook party here later today (between 1 and 5 Pacific time).  Stop by and say "Hi!"

Sunday, November 22, 2015

More from the Writing and Remodeling chronicles

Another installment of Writing and Remodeling, or in this particular case, just remodeling. Yeah, the lighting isn't that great, but it's the words that are important. Also, did you know I have a book releasing this week?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Sweet Mother of Science, it's starting!

OMG, people, I don't even know how to let you know how excited I am about this. I always dreamed that I would be friends with people who wrote amazing books. I dreamed that my colleagues would be exceptional writers, and that their books would be brilliant. Those were my dreams, and now they are coming true!!!! Today is the release of Michelle Hauck's beautiful and powerful epic fantasy, Grudging!

Author: Michelle Hauck
Pub. Date: November 17, 2015
Publisher: Harper Voyager Impulse
Format: eBook
Find it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Goodreads

A world of chivalry and witchcraft…and the invaders who would destroy everything.

The North has invaded, bringing a cruel religion and no mercy. The ciudades-estados who have stood in their way have been razed to nothing, and now the horde is before the gates of Colina Hermosa…demanding blood.

On a mission of desperation, a small group escapes the besieged city in search of the one thing that might stem the tide of Northerners: the witches of the southern swamps.

The Women of the Song.

But when tragedy strikes their negotiations, all that is left is a single untried knight and a witch who has never given voice to her power.  And time is running out.

A lyrical tale of honor and magic, Grudging is the opening salvo in the Book of Saints trilogy.


Shortly after the combat, Ramiro made his excuses to the men at the wall and left, returning to the citadel and taking the stairs to the roof. Some alcalde’s wife from the past had turned this spot into an outdoor garden and dining room, making it a favorite retreat for many. A peaceful place when he felt anything but.
Other people’s blood spotted his white shirt. Had things gone differently, it could easily have been his own. He needed a bath and a rest, but his mind hummed from the conflict, leaving him unable to stop pacing. Cold chills claimed his limbs. His stomach was sourer than when alcohol had filled it. With no clear single-combat victory, he hadn’t earned his beard. The night reeked of disappointment.
How long? How long could they keep the Northerners out?
Stars spotted the night sky here, where the citadel met the top of the world. Or so it had always seemed to him as a child. Life was no longer so certain now that he was older.
He drew in the cool scent of creeping jasmine, carefully tended and watered by hand in pots across the rooftop. Colina Hermosa spread before him, a humbling sight. The city stretched away from the citadel on all sides, a jewel shining with lights. It spread down the hill, becoming wider and grander as it sprawled, with imposing avenues and white-clad stucco buildings whose thick walls and small windows kept out the noonday heat. There was squalor and dirt as well, fits of temper, rudeness, and often impatience. But the darkness hid all that, washing the city of its faults and giving it a fresh life until it tumbled like the sea against the immovable stone walls that now held out the Northerners.
His heart swelled with love. Something worth defending. Home.
Outside the high, white walls, well beyond arrow shot, was a sight not so welcoming. There, jammed between the city and a deep, old quarry used to build the city walls, campfires burned. A red swarm of rage and death, brimstone and smoke, offering a grim contrast with the peaceful firmament. Not by the hundreds did they burn, but by the thousands, mirroring the stars in the sky. How many peasants’ houses did they demolish to feed so much hungry fire? They must be down to burning cacti. How they kept it up night after night, he couldn’t begin to comprehend. Salvador had talked on about supply trains and quartermasters, but Ramiro had let his imagination dwell on his first ride instead. An indulgence he regretted now.
If only each fire meant a single enemy, but that was wishful thinking. Each fire contained tens of men. Tens and thousands. And behind them, the siege machines waited their turn. A lethal combination for Colina Hermosa.
He touched the spot above his spleen, and whispered, “Santiago, don’t let me give in to despair.”

About Michelle: 
Michelle Hauck lives in the bustling metropolis of northern Indiana with her hubby and two teenagers. Two papillons help balance out the teenage drama. Besides working with special needs children by day, she writes all sorts of fantasy, giving her imagination free range. A book worm, she passes up the darker vices in favor of chocolate and looks for any excuse to reward herself. Bio finished? Time for a sweet snack.

She is a co-host of the yearly contests Query Kombat and Nightmare on Query Street, and Sun versus Snow.

Her epic fantasy, Kindar's Cure, is published by Divertir Publishing. Her short story, Frost and Fog, is published by The Elephant's Bookshelf Press in their anthology, Summer's Double Edge. She's repped by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary.

Monday, November 9, 2015

They say all roads lead to Rome

I'm sure there are a few roads that don't lead to Rome, but there is some truth to that especially when it comes to publishing. I've been seeing a lot of the faerie tale type stories bouncing around the internet, and I wanted to offset those with another type of story, my story.

For me, life has never quite panned out with the faerie tale moment where it was clear the Faerie Godmother had been through and made all of my dreams come true. I suspect that's because making all the dreams come true was never the real purpose of a Faerie Godmother, but more on that some other time. In my life, my experiences are always filled with how the world said "nope" and I said, "No really, I'm doing this until it kills me." It's possible I have a stubborn streak.

So there I was in late 2010 having just finished querying a book that... let's not talk about that. I didn't query my first novel. I queried my third. It wasn't pretty. And because we all do those things you really shouldn't, well, I wrote sequel number one and two to that first sacrifice to the Query Trenches.

I learned a lot, which was good because if there was a rookie move, I made it. I loved my first query bait. LOVED. I dreamt in that world for the longest time. Heart still a bit achy (okay, I cried, a lot) from all the pain of not being instantly AMAZING, I went back to the drawing board. I wasn't sure I had another book in me, and at the time, I maybe listened to a ton of Dan and Leland (check out their stuff here, here, and especially this one).

Humbled from a cold dose of reality, I decided I would need practice picking myself up out of the darkness I created with my own impossible expectation. So I decided I should practice building a novel from scratch. Up until that point, my novels had all come on the fully formed wings of, well, faeries for all I knew, and by golly, it was time to figure out where novels really came from. I started with an idea and carefully cultivated it until it grew up to be the special little snowflake--NOPE!

I don't like to do things the easy way, but more on that next time.

Yes, I'm putting this cover on everything I can.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

IWSG: Building a map through murky territory

 Be sure to visit the linky at the Ninja Captain's and sign up if you haven't already. This month's cohosts for the blog hop are Stephen Tremp, Karen Walker, Denise Covey, and Tyrean Martinson!

Insecurities have sort of become a way of life. Not that it’s something we need to spend all of our time trying to hideto be clear, I think a little airing of the wounds we take on as writers is good for the soulbut at some point I feel like maybe there’s a line we need to draw in the sand and step over. Let me explain:

I’m releasing a book. This has me nervous and more than a little bit anxious. This is totally normal. There’s only one real problem with the nervousness: I want to do this again. Specifically, I want to release a book again in the future.

And if I’m really lucky, I’d like to do it again.

And again.

And again. ETC.

You get the idea. I want to be releasing books until I’m old and grey. And if releasing books turns me into a wreck, well, that’s no good, so it’s time for some new perspectives. I’m trying to remember how I handled all those years of standing up in front of large groups of people when it scared me. How did I get through giving talks at conferences, playing solos in the band, putting on plays? What did I use to survive those?

Is this the same kind of anxiety?

Sort of, but there seems to be this feeling around a book release, the all or nothing feeling. It feels like my whole writing career rests on this one release. Of course, to be fair, I will be judged on this. I know that. I know that people will forever associate my name with this book, so if it flops, well, I might be shopping for a new pen name in a couple of months. But, more likely, this book will be average, giving me an opportunity to try again with the next book. And if that one is average, or fair, I might be lucky enough to try again.

Part of what made the performances so nerve smashing was the idea that it was a one shot chance, and that just isn’t the case with books. I’m not saying ignore the book and do no marketing. I’m saying that even if this book doesn’t break the world record for debut sales, there is almost certainly going to be other opportunities, opportunities that I will need to capitalize on.

So for this one, I’m going to try to do the things that everyone told me to do before a playing in a concert: take a breath. Take a look around at what’s happening, maybe remember some of these sign posts for next time so it’s easier to navigate the sea of misplaced emotions, and enjoy the moment. That’s right, enjoy it. How many times am I going to get to release a book in my life? Hopefully a lot, but there’s no guarantee, so I should probably spend some time actually enjoying it.

Anyhow, that’s what I’m working on this month. How about you?