Edits, Salt Lake City, and a Book Rec

I’m still deep in edits for Polaris Rising and will be for a while. I know I’m supposed to be all jaded and cynical and tired of looking at it, but I love this book to pieces and I can’t wait for you all to read it. Even reading and revising it for the umpteenth time hasn’t dimmed my enthusiasm.

In other writing news, I sent off my XPRIZE short story, Materials Girl. It clocked in at 3,967 words, just 33 words shy of the 4k limit. Concise I am not. I had a lot of fun writing it, but I’m realistic about my chances of actually winning—let’s politely call them “slim.” :)

Yesterday I spent the day buried in laundry so I will have clean clothes to pack for a business trip to Salt Lake City. I’ve never been, so if you have any recommendations of what to see or where to eat, I’d love to hear them. I won’t have a huge amount of time to sightsee, unfortunately, but I’m going to sneak in what I can.

And finally, today is the release day for Tessa Dare’s The Duchess Deal. First, a disclaimer: I haven’t read it yet. Amazon isn’t delivering my copy until tomorrow and I’m terribly sad about it.

I normally wouldn’t recommend a book I haven’t read, but I love Ms. Dare’s books and I was hooked from the first chapter she posted on her site. I’ve been waiting impatiently for the release date. RT also gave it 4.5 stars and made it a Top Pick. If you like historical romance, you at least owe it to yourself to check out a sample.

Tiny Snippet

This week has been awful, so here’s a tiny snippet for your Friday afternoon:

Loch snagged my wrist as I walked past him. With him sitting on the barstool, we were the same height. He usually moved so quickly and quietly that it was easy to overlook his size, but standing next to him, he was a solid wall of muscle.

“Will you give me a judgement-free minute?” I asked him softly.

His expression went guarded but finally he nodded. I stepped closer until I was standing between his legs. Desire lit his eyes. I felt it too, but he was about to be disappointed. I needed this more right now.

Slowly I wrapped my arms around him and rested my head against his shoulder. He froze. After a few seconds, I whispered, “You’re supposed to hug me back.”

His arms came around me like I was made of spun glass. I gave him a little squeeze. “I’m not that fragile,” I said. “Give me a real hug.”

A rough draft excerpt from Polaris Rising by Jessie Mihalik. All rights reserved. Coming early 2019 from Harper Voyager.

Killing My Darlings

As far as writing advice goes, “kill your darlings” is a phrase that gets slung around more often than pints in a pub. However, unlike some other advice (I’m looking at you, “write every day”), killing your darlings is something every writer has to do sooner or later.

Right now, I’m getting a double-dose of darling killing because I’m revising both Polaris Rising and my XPRIZE short story. And it hurts. The phrases and characters that I have to cut were my darlings for a reason.

For Polaris Rising, it’s starting with some actual darling killing because, based on editorial feedback, I’m simplifying Ada’s family. Some of her sisters and brothers will be axed into the ether. I liked those characters. I had stories planned for them. And now they are unmade. Ouch. Continue reading “Killing My Darlings”

XPRIZE Short Story Contest and Free Fiction

The XPRIZE Foundation is running a science fiction short story contest with something for both writers and readers.

Writers can enter short story between 2,000 and 4,000 words about a passenger on a plane that flies through a time wrinkle and comes out twenty years in the future. The deadline is August 25, so check the official rules to see if it’s right for you, then get cracking!

Not a writer? No worries, you can read stories about the plane’s passengers from some of the biggest names in science fiction—for free. Yay! You can get a glimpse at how Margaret Atwood, Bruce Sterling, Hugh Howey, and many others think the world is going to change in the next twenty years.

I’ve written my own little story for the contest. In the exceedingly likely event that it does not win, I’ll put it up for you all to read later this fall. :)

It’s Officially Official!

From the tiny bit I’ve seen so far, publishing seems a little more old-fashioned than some other industries, with deals moving forward based on one’s word and a (virtual) handshake. For example, news of Harper Voyager acquiring Polaris Rising was announced well before the contract was officially signed.

In fact, the deal was announced before I even saw the contract. I knew the overall terms, of course, but the nitty gritty details were hashed afterwards by my agent and the publishing house.

Last week I received the super-duper-official signed contract and my very first advance check! I’m officially a Harper Voyager author! It still feels a little unreal and I can’t believe how incredibly lucky I’ve been.

I also got the initial edits back from my editor, so the next step is for me to dive back in and make Polaris Rising even better!