Saturday, March 24, 2018

Author Q&A: Querying, Word Counts, and Series

It seems about every six months or so ends up being a good time to do another Author Q&A.  I've had enough questions roll in recently that now it's time for another one!  I plan to round these all up into a F.A.Q. section soon.

So, without further ado, here's what you guys have been wanting to know!

Q1.  What tips or advice do you have for querying books?

There are a lot of great resources already out there on this topic that will guide you through a professional structure for actually writing a query.  So, my advice is to do a little research first.  Write a "generic" one and then put the rest of your time into really exploring different publishers or agents that you'd like to contact.  Don't just send them out to everyone you find.  Truly make sure you feel that your book and their company or agency would be a good fit.  DON'T send them the "generic" query.  Make it personal from there.  Tailor your query to that publisher/agent in a relevant and meaningful way.  Almost always, they will have guidelines on their website that they want you to follow.  After you've done that, be sure to include why you want to work with them specifically and how your book will either fit or even improve their catalog of titles.

Q2.  I read both ROAM and HUNTER when they were originally posted on Wattpad.  With the re-release of ROAM coming, I have to wonder, do you have a time-frame for a release on the third book?

First of all, I want to say a huge THANK YOU with many hearts and hugs to you (and anyone else) who has stuck with me over the past few years.  It's extremely exciting to have you all along for this journey with me!  Now, onto the answer... It's probably not one that you will want to hear.  Most of you may have noticed that with the announcement of ROAM being picked up by NineStar Press for an official re-release later this year (October 1st), I pulled both titles from the market.  For now, ROAM is contracted as a stand-alone novel but I do hope that they will end up picking up the entire series.  If such occurs, it is reasonable to expect HUNTER will have a re-release date another year out from ROAM's and, in turn, the third book would be at least another year out from that.  However, if I end up self-publishing the rest of the series then there is a chance you might get it sooner but, even then, you're still looking at sometime around Autumn 2019-Winter 2020.  I hope that isn't too discouraging!  I'm just trying to be realistic.  But there is a silver lining.  While waiting for that final book to reach fruition, I do plan to publish another ROAM series prequel (The draft is 75% complete as I type this.) and several short stories that include the same characters.  So you will still have fresh ROAM universe material to read while you wait.

Q3.  I really enjoy your M/M books but do you have any plans to write F/F?

The short answer is: YES!  But when?  I can't give an exact date.  I do have two F/F stories on my TBW (To Be Written) list that I am excited to tackle in the future.  One is YA and the other is Gaslamp Fantasy.  And while we're on the topic, I suppose I'll go ahead and divulge that I also have another Gaslamp Fantasy novel about an asexual main character in the works as well.

Q4.  The word count per chapter for my story is 1500-3000, with some shorter ones sprinkled around.  For Wattpad & Tapas, is this scroll hell, especially on the phone?  This contest I entered has a 500 word min. per chapter, so would 500-1000 be more ideal for every story?

In general, posting chapters on a platform like Wattpad is definitely a different beast than self-publishing an ebook.  With an ebook, I think anywhere from 2500-4000 words is acceptable for a chapter but, in my experience, Wattpad readers insist that they prefer shorter chapters so that they can get their fix in smaller doses.  So, for Wattpad, yes.  I would say 1000 per chapter is probably the sweet spot and, if more are needed to flesh out the scene, then I'd try staying under at least 2000.  That is my opinion anyway.  Other authors might have a different point of view.

Q5.  How many books do you plan to write for the Dead Oaks series?

As of now, it's looking like it will be a five book series.  But I am open to writing more if I feel inclined to after that fifth book is released.

That's it for this round of questions!  I'll do more Q&A's in the future and I'm also planning on doing a few "writer tips" style blog posts.  So, if you have more questions to send my way then please feel free to contact me any time on social media or through email at dezschwartzauthor[at]gmail[dot]com.  I always love to hear from you guys!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Character Highlight: Jasper Jelinek

(Fan Cast Inspiration)

Jasper Jelinek, aka "J.J.", is a supernaturally obsessed teen swathed in melancholy and misanthropy.  He only recently has begun to come out of his shell after meeting Wesley Shain.  He's one of the founders of the Dead Oaks Paranormal Society, which doesn't do much to help him dispel his unwanted local nickname "Casper".


What's On His Playlist
(Links to YouTube)

Favorite Book

Favorite Movie

You can get to know Jasper better in: 

The Dead Oakes: Ghost Stories - Available on Kindle and Wattpad

Saturday, March 10, 2018

UPDATES: March 2018

I'm a few days later on my monthly update than usual due to being extremely busy and also not feeling 100% the past week.  Today has been great for catching up on things and so now I'll get you caught up!


Life has kept me pretty tied up with tedious tasks so this morning was the first time in nearly two weeks that I'd had a chance to write.  Thankfully, though, my muse returned and I'm back to working on The Dead Oaks: Book Two.  I know I'm making you wait a long time for this one and I apologize but it's still in the works, so don't worry.  One major difference between this follow-up to the original that I can let you in on early is that the characters are becoming more of an ensemble cast, which is quite fun.  You can sample a small preview on Instagram.

I also finally made a decision about Grady's Case Files (A prequel to ROAM).  As much as I would love to turn it into a webcomic, I have to be realistic.  I don't have the time or resources to tackle a massive project like that in the way that I would want to.  So, I'm going to write it as a series of short stories for Wattpad.  I'm very excited to get started on it. (Hence Grady making an appearance on my new blog banner!)


I feel like my art is always in flux.  haha  And in all honesty, I will probably stop posting about it here unless it ties into one of my books.  If you'd like to keep up with it, I post pretty regularly on my Art Account.  Mostly now, it's just a way for me to relax at the end of the day.  I do still sell my work on Etsy or Redbubble, though, if you see something you like.


I did get a chance to catch up on the newest season of Voltron: Legendary Defender!  This weekend is for working on personal projects and, very importantly, relaxing.  Going to bake cupcakes and do some journaling with my daughter.  I hope you all have a great weekend!