Queen of Souls

Who wants to beta read Queen of Souls?

Now that I’ve finished my obligations with Carina and the Rebels of Adalonia trilogy, this means I can turn more attention this year to what I’m going to work on next. I have a few remaining obligations for the 2012 Kickstarter backers–I’ve got to finish owed novellas, and I’m still pondering as to whether I’m going to release those individually to the public, or do a collected volume so that I can also print it. More on this in another post.

This post, however, is about what’s likely to be my next novel release at this point–my Greek mythology-based story Queen of Souls.

I had to put it on hold though while I was dealing with the Kickstarter and with the Rebels trilogy. Now, though, since it’s the next actual finished manuscript I’ve got, it’s finally time for this book to pop off the queue.

Tomorrow, I’ll be having a conversation with my agent (words I’m still not used to saying, ha!), and I’ve sent her a copy of the current QoS draft. I’ve offered her first shot at it, to see if she likes it and would like to try to sell it. If she does, what will happen next is that I’ll turn QoS over to her and let her see if she can find it a home.

If she declines to take it on, I will be moving forward with publishing it myself, similar to how I did Faerie Blood and Bone Walker.

Either way, I’m also in talks with the editor I worked with at Carina, to engage her freelance to take on an edit pass through this story. Since I already know I can work with her, and that she’s really good at tightening up my prose, I think QoS will benefit from her eyes on it. I’m already working on doing a light edit pass through the book myself, based on what I’ve learned from my experiences working with Deb on the Rebels books.

But before I turn the book over to Deb for editing (currently roughly scheduled for some time in April), I’m going to want beta reader eyes on it too. This is where y’all come in, Internets!

Who wants to beta read the next draft of Queen of Souls?

Some of you out there have seen the first draft, and I did get in beta commentary for that that I never did finish looking at either. But I think a totally fresh beta pass is called for, especially given that I’ve expanded the beginning of the story. There’s now a Part One, three chapters long, laying down the setup for what’s going on here amongst my Olympians, and to give us a transition from ancient times to the current day. Part Two, starting with Chapter Four, picks up where the original first draft started, with Kori in Pike Place Market.

I’ve also decided that the chapters of this story actually need titles. This is because I really liked the idea of a chapter called “The Horse of the North Wind”–so I figured I’d better go ahead and give titles to all the chapters, too. Chapter titles don’t seem to be in vogue as much anymore, at least not in the books I’ve read over the last few years. But there’s something of an old-school classical feel to having named chapters for me, and that’s an appropriate overall feel to invoke for this story and the mythology involved.

What I will need out of potential beta readers:

  • As always, look for typos. You don’t need to go over the whole manuscript with a fine-toothed comb necessarily–remember, this story IS going to get handed to an editor–but if you feel ambitious and WANT to go over the whole book looking for typos, you have my gratitude in advance.
  • Commentary along the lines of “this chapter ends weirdly because X and Y” or “I’m a Greek mythology geek and you’ve invoked this particular detail wrong/weirdly” or “oh hey you have a continuity error about A and B between this chapter and that chapter” is helpful.
  • If you’re feeling really ambitious, commentary about story structure is also welcome. Though again–that’s usually the kind of commentary I expect to get from an editor, so that’s not required for a beta pass.

It would be easiest on me if people who want to beta for me have access to Microsoft Word, so that they can go through the manuscript file and mark things with Word’s comments feature. Then the file can be handed back to me and I can have Word in revisions mode so that I can whip quickly through proposed revisions. In the past, I’ve done things like let people just send me email about this or that typo, or post comments to me here on my blog on a locked post–but I’ve found that that actually creates extra work for me. This time, I’d like to make it a bit easier on myself so that I can focus more time on the actual revisions.

If you want to beta and you don’t have access to Word, please note also that a quick google indicates to me that revisions comments in both LibreOffice and Pages should come back to me successfully in Word.

If you want in on the beta effort, I will be releasing QoS to beta probably some time in the first week of February. So talk to me! Drop me a comment here, or in email, or on the various social networks.

Looking forward to unleashing this story on you all. 😀

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