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Frequently Asked Questions

1.) When is Forge (The Children of Man, #3) coming out?
Forge is out now! For more info, please see: AVAILABLE NOW!
2.) Wait. There's a book four coming out in 2021?

           Yes! Resolve (The Children of Man, #4) will be released in 2021. More info here.

3.) What literary agency and agent represents you?
My agency is Barry Goldblatt Literary. I love them. My agent is Barry Goldblatt.
4.) How'd you get signed with your literary agency?
Here's the real story.
 5.) Would you recommend self-publishing?
Maybe. I don't think there's one RIGHT PATH OF RIGHTNESS for getting your stories to readers. I've personally had really good experiences with self-publishing, but I never went into it with any illusions that it was the easy way or that it was the path to overnight success. It's like any other entrepreneurial venture. It requires some money up front and a LOT of time. So much time. To self-publish well, you have to work hard, and you need a good editor. Clean copy editing and an attractive design are NECESSARY. People judge books by their covers and their typos--brutally and without fail.
I think that any writer needs to first research publishing, both traditional and self, and then determine which will help him or her accomplish his or her goals as a writer. But I would never recommend anyone emulate my journey as a model for how-to-get-an-agent. There were a lot of things that just lined up with the right people at the right time.
But I will give this warning, self-publishing is not an easy alternative to traditional querying. I've worked extremely hard over the last three years to get where I am. I would finish a full day of teaching and do rewrites until I crawled into bed at midnight, only to repeat the process the next day. You don't work 16-18 hour days unless you love what you're doing, unless you can't do anything else.
Think carefully about what you want and then find out how best to get it. The best advice I can give, for what it's worth, is don't concentrate on self-publishing versus traditional. Instead, concentrate on writing the best story you can possibly write. Once you have, revise it again.
6.) Who did your self-published cover art?
 The lovely, lovely Claudia McKinney. She is worth EVERY penny. Find her art here.
7.) Did you go to school for writing?
Yes, I did. One of my degrees is in Creative Writing. But it did not teach me to write fiction. My writing program taught me to find my voice as a writer, it took me from an instinctual writer to an intentional one, it taught me to let go of bad writing to find the GOOD writing, and it taught me to crave constructive criticism. HOWEVER, it did NOTHING to teach me to write fiction. I learned to write novels BY WRITING NOVELS.
8.) What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
1) Read WIDELY--fiction, nonfiction, all genres, all markets.
2) Be sensitive to your life experiences and be aware of people.
3) Write. A lot. 
Also, watch this:
Also, read this. Then write and write and write. Then rewrite and rewrite and rewrite. (Warning: that post is seasoned with vulgar language and imagery. Also, it's super blunt. If you have delicate sensibilities, don't read it.) 
Also, listen to this. "Writing Excuses" is my favorite writing podcast. It's hosted by Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Dan Wells, and Howard Taylor. As they like to say, "15 minutes long, because you're in a hurry, and we're not that smart." 
9.) What's your writing process?
Camping out at Panera or Starbucks and drinking a lot of coffee and tea. While this is true, it's probably not a very helpful answer. Here's a compilation of posts over the years about my thoughts on my writing process.
**Most importantly, find what works for YOU. Each writer's process is different, and that is OKAY.
10.) What books would you recommend while we wait for Forge?
I'm always shocked when I hear people say there's nothing good to read. I have a queue of over 220 books, and it's always getting longer. And these are books written by spectacularly talented authors or books recommended by spectacularly talented authors.
For some of my favorite reads, visit my goodreads recommended reading shelf: here. All of those books are amazing.
 11.) What does the name of your blog, Color Beyond Shade, mean?
Good question. Read my post about renaming my blog: here.

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