Category Archives: Publishing

The Year of Dare

The Celtic year ends on Halloween/Samhain, so November 1 is my New Year’s Day. (Although I celebrate the other one as well because hey, any excuse for a celebration!) And for at least five years now, I’ve been picking a word for my year. Something I want to take in, to embrace, to expand into my life. It’s generally geared towards my career, but usually applies to other areas of my life as well. Previous words have included Joy, Focus, Create, and last year’s Trust.

Trust ended up having a profound effect. I first started thinking about it at the annual publishing summit Master Class I go to most every year on the Oregon Coast. It’s a week of intense learning about making a living as a writer and keeping up with the whiplash-inducing changes that are happening in the publishing world nearly every day. I realized at the workshop last year that I was letting fear hold me back in a lot of areas. If something seemed “too hard” or “too much to learn,” I never let it rise to the top of my To Do list—and that clearly had to stop. Avoidance is not the way to success.

It took me a while to find the right word. I knew I wanted to opposite of Fear, but Courage wasn’t right, nor Fearless (which hides the negative in the positive), nor Bravery. I actually found Trust by looking at thesaurus.com on November 1, after a Samhain ritual the night before where we talked about what I was trying to embody, and brought it in as best I could.

I told a writer/publisher friend about Trust, and a few weeks later, a surprise showed up in the mail for me: she’d made me a ring that said Trust. I started wearing it every day. Alas, one day it disappeared (no idea how), but I ordered myself one from Etsy, and now I wear that every day.

I trusted myself to have the skills to figure difficult things out. I trusted the smart, savvy people around me to help me when I asked for assistance or explanation. I trusted my subconscious, my creative core. So many things stopped being scary, and started being fun—and surprisingly easy once I got out of my own way.

This year’s word hit me like a cosmic two-by-four a month or so ago, although in the wrong form at first. And since then, the universe has been showing me again and again that it’s the right word at the right time. It’s absolutely what I need.

I thought it would be Challenge, but I realized I might be inviting the universe to throw challenges in my way, and that’s not what I meant at all. I wanted to challenge myself. Not necessarily big challenges, but little ones, too. It might be challenging myself to write an especially high number of words on a day when I don’t have any freelance work. It might be challenging myself to try something new (now that Trust is firmly engrained).

Since Challenge wasn’t quite it, I meditated some more, and it came to me: Dare. Not only to be daring, but to dare myself. Big dares, little dares, double-dog dares if it comes to that. In August, to reboot myself after a few months of a mini-depression, I dared myself to write a minimum of 500 words a day. I wouldn’t go to bed until I’d done them. At the end of the month, I had a nice chunk of words. That was my first cosmic two-by four. There were more to come at this year’s Master Class.

In this spirit of that, I’m not exactly doing National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), but I’m doing my own personal dare version. I have two novels to finish (one coauthored, one solo), as well as a novella, and other projects if I can get to them. In the spirit of NaNoWriMo, I’m gunning for 50K words this month.

This will be a challenge, because my mom’s still in town until Saturday morning, I’ve got three days of Orycon plus a friend coming early to help me with website stuff, and I’ve got a slew of freelance work on the schedule. But I also wrote 1200 words on several of the days at the Master Class, in between sessions, and 500+ on a couple other days, so I know I can get words out even when I’m busy—and I know that I’ll have days when I get fewer words written than the average, so I’ll just have to have days where I write more.

I won’t be posting all my dares throughout the year, but I’ll talk about them on and off, if anyone’s interested. Just be prepared to see more words, more projects, and more fun. I dare you!

(The image above is of the necklace I’m waiting to arrive from Etsy…)

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Fancy a romp under the skies?

Naughty in Nature: Sizzling Stories of Sex in the Great Outdoors

NaughtyinNaturecoverAReNAUGHTY IN NATURE is a sizzling collection of stories by prolific erotic scribe Andrea Dale. Prepare to be both aroused and charmed by these delicious tales of sex and romance under the open sky, which appeared in such notable anthologies as Sweet Love, Fast Girls, and Lambda Literary Award finalist Best Lesbian Erotica 2005. In NAUGHTY IN NATURE you’ll find out why Violet Blue calls Andrea Dale a “legendary erotica heavy hitter”!

Contains the following al fresco stories:

  • End of Season
  • Storming the Castle
  • After the Rain
  • Water
  • Undoing the Laces
  • Return to Wildwood
  • Flash!
  • Just Be
  • Outside in the Rain
  • Artistic License
  • Frozen

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Also available in ebook format:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords | iBooks | AllRomanceEbooks

Brain…full…

Last week I was at a week-long business of writing workshop, during which I was too busy to blog or write (except a couple of times) or do much of anything else besides hang out with writer-friends and try to get a decent amount of sleep. I took 60+ pages of notes—hard to say how many, exactly, because at some point I started breaking out notes into different files on different topics. My main file is 60+ pages.

My to do list is 4 pages long. Although I managed to do a few of the things on it at the workshop, like set up a proper contact page on my website and finally after two years figure out how to set up my professional email address (dayle@dayledermatis.com).

We covered everything from accounting and taxes to websites and cover design to distribution and marketing to corporations and copyright. My brain is full.

Business stuff for the most part isn’t fun for me, nor does it come easy. I don’t like negotiation, for example, or things involving numbers (like, say, taxes). But in the weeks before the workshop, I successfully negotiated two contracts (thank you, previous workshops), and the bottom line is, even though writing is an art, if I want to be a working artist, I need to put on a business hat a fair amount of the time.

That said, my hat is off to all the instructors, and I hope I don’t forget any of them… Dean Wesley Smith, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, ML Buchman, Lee Allred, Allyson Longueira, J. Daniel Sawyer, Christina York, Scott William Carter, Kim Mainord, Billy Reese, and Sheldon MacArthur.

Here’s a perspective from the other side of the workshop, with bonus! pictures of the classroom. No people are in it, though, and my table is boring so why would I point it out?

I thought I had more to say about this, but apparently not. See, e.g., my brain being full. Besides, I need to do some website design and cover rebranding…after my writing is done for the day, that is!

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New SFF collection available!

I’m really excited to announce I have new collection available. It’s ten short-short fantasy and science fiction stories, spanning twenty years (!) of my writing career. (Holy moly.)

Here are the deets:

SWcover webThe ten stories in Small Wonders: A Delightful Collection of Ten Short-Short Speculative Fiction Stories each runs no longer than 1500 words, making each one a perfect little bonbon of speculative fiction. Whether you savor a morsel at a time or gobble up the whole collection, you’ll walk away satisfied. (But unlike a box of chocolate, you can always come back and enjoy this collection again and again.) In Small Wonders, you’ll find out why Dayle A. Dermatis’s short fiction has been called “really, really good”!

Includes the following stories:

  • The Power to Change the Shape of the Land
  • The Pumpkin-Carving Contest
  • Cycles
  • Creative Arsenal
  • The Sultan’s Sons
  • A Matter of Perspective
  • Accidental Victim
  • Return
  • The Devil Went Down to the Sunset Strip
  • What Dragons Prefer

Order from Amazon
Order from Powell’s (coming soon!)
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Also available in ebook format:
Amazon
 | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | OmnilitSmashwords

Praise for Dayle A. Dermatis

“…One of the best writers working today.”
USA Today bestselling author Dean Wesley Smith

“Another awesome flash piece is, ‘The Return’ by Dayle A. Dermatis. This coming of age flash blends ancestor worship and lunar travel through a poetically inventive conceit of ‘speaking trees’. This piece is a flash SF triumph, recommended for both theme and technique.”
—sfreader.com

“I was particularly struck by the little gem, ‘Sultan’s Sons’ by Dayle A. Dermatis. This was, in my opinion, the…strongest story in the entire collection.”
—horrorreader.com

“You want something new and something fresh and I think I got that when I accepted [‘The Sultan’s Sons’] from…Dayle Dermatis.”
—Armand Rosamilia, Editor of Clash of Steel

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In which I make my mom happy

Woodcliff cover webMystery at Woodcliff Hall

When 17-year-old Alyssa Reed takes a job as a teacher’s aide at an exclusive private school in upstate New York, she looks forward to revisiting the Adirondack Mountains she loved as a child.

But now the woods seem less sunny…and more sinister.

Because Woodcliff Hall’s past conceals a murder, and the deeper Alyssa digs, the greater her chances of becoming the next victim.

Available in print: Amazon
and at many online retailers:
Kindle  |  Nook  |  Smashwords

~~~

I started writing my first novel when I was 12 or 13. Well, really, I’d started earlier ones, but junior high was when I got to about 100 handwritten pages (as opposed to a chapter, maybe two), so that’s when I count it.

I received my first professional rejection (from Seventeen magazine) on my 16th birthday, and somewhere around that time, I took a community college class on fiction writing. One session, we had a guest speaker: a bestselling romance author named Judy Simpson (she wrote with a coauthor as Rosalind Foxx). Judy was from the South and took up the whole room with her personality, her big coiffed very blond hair, her wide, heavily lipsticked mouth. She was my first writing mentor, and I love her to this day. Anyway, she realized that we newbs in this small town in upstate NY were largely clueless about publishing, and so she volunteered to teach a class at the local library on how to write and submit a novel.

Because I was 16 and couldn’t drive at night, my mom took me to the classes that summer. (Thanks, Mom! It changed my life!) Wednesday nights, I want to say. Judy taught us about basic fiction writing concepts, but also how to format a manuscript, how to get ahold of publisher guidelines, how to submit a manuscript…the works. The stuff that, in the mid-1980s, wasn’t easy to find.

But this is not about me! This is about my mom!

My mom, a former journalist, was thus inspired to write romance. (Judy was inspirational, boy howdy.) But for some reason, publishers never bit.

Although I wish they had, their loss is my gain—and now it’s your gain as well! It is with the most puffed-up pride and great joy that I can announce that Soul’s Road Press has just released The Mystery at Woodcliff Hall, a historical gothic YA written by Virginia Jones (the writing team of Joan L. Dermatis—my mom—and Virginia Farinacci).

This was a labor of love for me, so Mom, happy birthday/Mother’s Day/Christmas/whatever other holiday you want to include!

Virginia Jones is working on her next book, I’m assured. So grab this one while it’s hot, and Soul’s Road Press will get the next one to you as soon as we can!

May stats and June goals

I think I missed a month or two of reports. Oh well. Onwards!

May Stats

Short Stories:

  • wrote “The Madness of Survival” for Magical Motorcycles
  • wrote and submitted “Casting the Net” to S&S29 (rejected, and mailed elsewhere)
  • wrote “Old Loom, New Tapestry” for the Valdemar anthology

Publishing:

  • uploaded SFF stories to Omnilit
  • published “The Sound of My Own Voice”
  • designed ebooks for two short stories, “Lost Souls” and “Penny Dreadful”
  • worked on the ebook and POD for my mom’s first book, The Mystery of Woodcliff Hall

Other:

  • Lucky Bat Books work
  • sold “Blame It on the Dog” to To Love a Soldier
  • dealt with contracts for “The Scent of Amber and Vanilla” (Pulse Pounders)
  • reviewed proofs for “Pool Girl: California Dreamin’” (Nine-to-Five Fantasies: Tales of Sex on the Job)
  • continued to scheme on the Uncollected Anthology Series
  • OWN cookbook work as needed
  • read The Valdemar Companion in preparation for writing short story
  • signed up for the California Dreamin’ 2015 conference

June Goals

I’ve had a wee epiphany that I don’t do well making word count goals. I think in terms of project (this short story, this novel scene), plus sometimes the beginning of a project is slower because I’m figuring things out (with a recent short story, I found the actual beginning on the fourth try). I know, in the back of my head, how long something should take to write, so there is kind of a word count thought in there, but…it’s better if I don’t make the number of words The Goal.

Novels:

  • Ghosted: do some brainstorming, order the random scenes, and write 10-20K to patch it all together…and then get it out to the beta readers
  • finish Love, in Stitches (the next Sophie Mouette book): with Teresa
  • possible novellas: On Her Lips, Under Her Skin, The Lord of Wildwood (not sure I can write all three—we’ll see how the month progresses)

Short Stories:

  • there are a couple of possible anthologies I might write for, but I need to focus on novels and novellas, so only if I feel there’s time.

Publishing:

  • PUM print book
  • Woodcliff Hall print and ebook
  • set up Little Kisses Press account at ARe and upload Sophie stuff
  • learn Audible and get one novel set up

Other:

  • two copyediting jobs
  • Lucky Bat Books work
  • prepare to launch the Uncollected Anthology Series
  • OWN cookbook work as needed
  • read and do exercises: Who Dares Wins, Bob Mayer

 

At the End of a Perfect Day

Sunday, I had what came pretty close to a perfect day. A truly happy day.

But let me backtrack. For the last week plus, Ken has been out of town. He flew to Atlanta, spent a day helping out a friend of mine with some work that needed doing on her house, then headed off to be there for my niece and my sister. After that, he drove my mom home (she winters in South Carolina, and had drive from there to Atlanta) and then took care of stuff in upstate NY, like getting her brakes fixed, getting her set up with real Internet (she’d been on dial-up up ‘til now), defrosting her fridge, etc.

Yeah, he’s awesome like that.  🙂

The plan was that he’d fly from there (well, from Burlington, VT, because the local airport is tiny and flying from there can be crazy-expensive) to Oregon last Friday, where he’d do the last few tweaks on a motorcycle he was rehabbing, pop in to a work customer, and then sometime during this week ride the bike home in preparation for selling it.

Except, on Friday, he got to Burlington and they blinked in confusion and told him that his flight to JFK had been delayed such that he not only couldn’t make his connection to Portland, but the next flight to Portland available was Monday.

And he said, screw that, I’m going home. So Saturday evening, I got to pick him up from the airport, and after a stop at our favorite hole-in-the-wall Thai place on the way (amazing food, amazingly cheap), I got to bring him home.

He crashed pretty much as soon as we got home (jet lag, etc.) and so got up before me on Sunday, which meant Grimoire didn’t stomp all over the bed crying for me to get up and feed him at o’dark early (which he does even though there may be food in his bowl downstairs , because I don’t know WTF). So when I got up on Sunday, after a rare night of full sleep, I went down and found him in the TV room and cried “You’re here! It wasn’t a dream!”

‘Cause, yeah, I miss the shit out of him when he’s away, y’know?

So we had breakfast and whatnot, and I did some admin work, and then I headed off to Thousand Oaks to hook up with the most wonderful Christine, and there was hugging and squees and eating and gabbing and even a little writing. She gave me a lavender plant for my birthday, and I vowed not to kill this one.  😉  I mostly brainstormed and researched for an anthology story, and ended up with two ideas, both of which I’ll probably write.

I stopped at Trader Joe’s for a couple of things on the way home, and when I got home, Ken and I threw the water bottles in the car for refilling. But first we went for a long and glorious walk on the beach. Talk about refilling the well.

Once home again, I finished up a copyediting job and sent it off, and prepped the next job, and set up my schedule for the coming week.

Of course, the best laid plans, and all that. (Cue Eddie Izzard and mice plans.) Ken and I had dinner and watched some TV, and I think I got to bed around 1 am, and then at 5 am Grimoire decided to yark on the bed and floor, which involved Ken cleaning up while I went downstairs to get yet another comforter (this is the second time in a couple of days that we’ve had cat puke on the bed, hurrah. I think his new food isn’t agreeing with him). I didn’t sleep well after that, and spent most of yesterday in a brain fog.

Thankfully it was an admin day for me, which takes a different sort of brain power than writing, so I managed to muddle through. Although republishing 10 short stories and 2 collections (more on that soon) meant my right hand and arm were kinda sore by the end of the day. Unfortunately, all of this also meant I didn’t get to the new copyediting job…

With this job, I have three CE jobs back-to-back, which means none of them can slip more than a day. This coming weekend is my birthday, and I’d hoped to take the weekend off (Friday night through Sunday night), but now that’s looking less likely. I’ll see how the week progresses and how efficiently I’m working through my scheduled projects (two novels, a couple short stories, the CE job, etc.), and reevaluate towards the end of the week.

Phew! At least I had trouble sleeping again this morning, so I was up an hour and a half before the alarm, and I’ve done some more publishing work, and now I’m going to…write, I think.

Let me leave you with the song has been going through my head the past couple of days: Chris deBurgh’s “At the End of a Perfect Day.”  🙂