Friday, January 23, 2015

Publishing news and the future of my books . . .


 If you follow me on Instagram, you probably noticed that I've been holed up in my deadline cave for the last few weeks, working on book 3 of my Into The Dark series. The first draft was supposed to be due on February 1st, and Wednesday morning I was riding high on having written 4300 words the day before and was just settling into my writing routine . . . when my phone rang. I jumped to answer it as I do any time a call comes in from New York, just in case it's my editor or agent is calling. This time it was my editor, but what she had to say was wholly unexpected.

Egmont USA, my publisher, will be closing its doors on January 30th.


The word heartbroken doesn't even seem to cover how I am feeling right now. I sold my very first book to Egmont USA in January 2009, and I was working on my sixth book for them when I got the news. It feels like I am losing part of family. I have so much respect and gratitude for the wonderful staff who will all be out of jobs at the end of the month. I am grief struck for all of the authors who have had books canceled (including myself), utterly upset over what this means for my characters and their stories, and disappointed on behalf of my readers who have so graciously invested themselves in my writing.

I find myself rotating through the stages of grief, but most of all, I feel determined to make sure this is not the end of the road for me or my books. I am also immensely grate for all the calls, texts, emails, messages, flowers, and offers of support and help. The best thing about bad news is the outpouring of love that comes afterwards.

So what exactly does this all mean? I don't know a lot at this point, but here is what I do know:

1. The paperback edition of THE SHADOW PRINCE and the hardcover of THE ETERNITY KEY will still be published within the next few months.  They were originally scheduled to be released in April and May respectively, but those dates may move up. (So hurray, you may get to read THE ETERNITY KEY even sooner than originally planned!) However, with my publisher leaving, that means most of my marketing and publicity will go with it. I will be brainstorming ways to spread the word on my own.

2. My backlist books (THE DARK DIVINE, THE LOST SAINT, THE SAVAGE GRACE, ant THE SHADOW PRINCE hardcover) will continue be available through one of Egmont UK's distributors. However, I don't know exactly for how long. (So if you ever wanted to buy one of my books but haven't yet, now is the time to do it.) I'll keep you posted if anything changes with my books' availability. The same goes for THE ETERNITY KEY--it will be available, but I don't know for how long.

3. As far as the future of Into The Dark Book 3, that's all up in the air right now. I have 2/3rds of a first draft written of the book so far--and I have to admit, I really love how the story is going so far. I love Haden and Daphne, and I will be absolutely devastated if I don't get to finish their story. Right now, I am exploring options for getting Book 3 into the hands of my readers. 

4. A lot of people have been asking how they can help and I am so incredibly grateful for this. So here is how people can help: pre-order, post, tell a friend, spread the word of mouth about THE SHADOW PRINCE and THE ETERNITY KEY.  I have gotten so many sweet messages from friends telling me that Book 3 will certainly find a new home with a new publisher--but the reality of this is unlikely. Most traditional publishers won't be interested in picking up a third book in a series. However, the better THE ETERNITY KEY sells, the better those slim chances get. And on the other hand, if I decide to self publish Book 3, the better THE ETERNITY KEY sells, the more likely I will be able to afford the expenses of going it alone. So yeah, if you've ever had the inclination to buy either THE SHADOW PRINCE or THE ETERNITY KEY, now is the time to do it. I hate asking people to buy my books, but if you can spare a pre-order, please do so. If buying a book isn't something you can do, that's totally cool. Requesting the books from your local library is also very helpful. Tweeting, reviewing, Facebooking and Goodreads-ing (is that a word? it should be) makes a big difference. Word of mouth is vital in this business, and right now I could use every word I can get.

5. I'll probably be looking to set up a blog tour and reviews for THE ETERNITY KEY soon. If you're interested, please let me know either through the comments or by clicking that contact button in my header.

Thank you so much to everyone who has ever bought, read, or shared one of my books. My stories exist because of YOU. 






Monday, October 6, 2014

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

The YA Scavenger Hunt has come to an end--and it was the biggest and best hunt yet! Winners of the team contest will be posted on the official YASH site on Wednesday, October 8th.

Meanwhile, the winner of my bonus giveaway of a $25 Amazon giftcard and a signed advanced copy of THE ETERNITY KEY is: Jessica Kent.

Winner, please send me your shipping address within the next 30 days in order to claim your prize.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Introducing LEVEL UP: NOVEL WRITING INTENSIVE with Bree Despain

Edit: Postponed! Due to overwhelming feedback from interested parties, we've determine that this fall is not going to work for most people. We've decided to postpone the class for now and revisit the idea in the spring or summer. Look for updates then.


Are you a writer? Do you want to be a published novelist? Do you feel like many conferences offer the same-old-same-old beginner information you've heard half a dozen times? Are you looking to take your writing to the next level?

Are you tired of reading this thing that sounds like a cheesy infomercial?

Then one last question . . . Do you live in (or near) Utah?

If so, then I am pleased to tell you that I am offering an in-person, four session writing intensive for intermediate to advanced writers--taught by yours truly! I've learned quite a bit about writing in the last fourteen years and now I want to pass that information on to you.


LEVEL UP: NOVEL WRITING INTENSIVE

Go beyond the basics and jumpstart your writing to the next level. This course is designed for intermediate to advanced writers who want to dive deep into techniques for characterization, plotting, and connecting readers with your story. Level up with these fun and informative presentations and workshops. PLUS - get a personal critique of your first chapter from your current work in progress!

Details:
  • 4 two hour sessions, one night a week (Thursdays @ 7pm)
  • Personal first chapter critique by Bree Despain included (up to 15 pages)
  • Located at the Daybreak Community Center
    • 4563 Kestrel Ridge Rd, South Jordan, UT 84095
    • Conference Room A
  • Runs October 30th through November 20th, 2014 
  • Cost is only $250!
     
Want to win free tuition? Refer a friend! For every friend who puts you down as a reference when they register, you will earn an entry into a drawing for a tuition reimbursement scholarship. ***

Who is this course ideal for? All ages are welcome, but please be aware that this is intended for intermediate to advanced writers so a basic understanding of writing and story mechanics will be assumed. LEVEL UP is ideal for writers who have been writing for a few years and have finished at least one manuscript (or have one well underway) but have found that their writing isn't quite ready for publication yet. I hope to help you push your writing to that next level.


Seats are limited so click HERE to register today! 
{Edit: link has been removed because the class has been postponed. See note at the top of the post.} 


About the instructor:  Bree Despain is the award winning author of both the Dark Divine trilogy and the Into the Dark trilogy. Her books have been traditionally published in over seventeen countries and have earned both critical and fan acclaim. Bree has taught in workshops and on panels about writing in conferences all over the United States. She currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband, two young sons, and her beloved TiVo.

***Only one tuition reimbursement scholarship will be awarded per course. You must refer a friend to enter and they must record you as their reference in the indicated spot when registering. Your friend must register and attend the course in order for your entry to be eligible. You may refer as many friends as you want but space is limited so don't delay.  


Friday, August 29, 2014

Bree Despain's Salt Lake Comic Con 2014 Schedule


Next week is going to be a blast because I get to spend it as a panelist at Salt Lake Comic Con! Here's my schedule if you feel like dropping in on one of my panels or getting a book signed:

 Thursday, September 4, 3:00 pm Katniss Revealed: A Closer Look at The Hunger Games on Film and in Print, Room 251A

Thursday, September 4, 7:00 pm Writing Suspense, Room 355D

Friday, September 5th, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm Signing* at the Shadow Mountain booth on the main expo floor (#111)

Friday, September 5, 6:00 pm Comic Con Writer's Retreat Part 2: Writing Your Novel, Room 255B

Friday, September 5, 8:00 pm Why We Love the Winchester Brothers: Supernatural and the Art of Characterization, Room 255B

Saturday, September 6th 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm Signing* at the Shadow Mountain booth on the main expo floor (#111)

Saturday, September 6, 6:00 pm  My Favorite Disney Princess Villain, Room 251A

Saturday, September 6, 7:00 pm  The Whedonverse: Why Writers and Creators Love Buffy, Angel, Firefly and the Rest, Room 251A

Saturday, September 6, 8:00 pm Dark and Dangerous: The Appeal of the Bad Boy Hero, Room 255F
 * Autographs from me are always free. You can bring books from home to have signed or there will be books for purchase at the Shadow Mountain booth. (And I'll have bookmarks to sign as well.)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Yet Another Ice Bucket Challenge Video!

I was called out to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by the ladies of Writers Cubed (who put on the most excellent Teen Author Bootcamp). I accepted their challenge and here are the results.




Luckily my kids couldn't lift the bucket all that high, but they sure did think it was funny.

KidA: "Mom, can we do this every day???"

I hereby nominate Natalie Whipple, Elana Johnson, and Colleen Houck to take the challenge next. You have 24 hours!