The Oculars Update

oculars cover 2

Good morning to you all. It’s a beautiful sunny but very cold day here in the Pacific Northwest. It’s a fine day for getting things done. We’ve made a lot of headway with the final edits on our paranormal thriller, The Oculars, over the last week.

Edits are now done through chapter 57, leaving just five chapters left to go over. Two of those are new material from the rewrites, so we’ll be paying extra attention to those. Once we finish up, our mom, Nancy, will go over formatting and we’ll be one step closer to hitting publish on our latest work. This will be our seventh published book, can you believe it?!?

We’ll keep this short, in the interest of getting back to business. We hope you’ll be getting out into the snow or sunshine depending on where you live. I know we will, once we’ve got our duties discharged. As always, thanks for sticking with us!

Kind regards,

Anne, Nancy, and Eric

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Let’s keep the ball rolling!

oculars cover 1Test Cover for The Oculars

2019 is off to a good start, writing-wise that is. As for the real world, we’ll be spending the morning cleaning up after a wind storm that blew through the Pacific Northwest last night. After we get all the storm debris picked up in the yard and the roof swept clear of branches, we’ll get back to the business of writing.

This past week, we’ve been working on edits for this last round of rewrites for our paranormal thriller, The Oculars. Those are done through chapter 26, and thanks to a New Year’s resolution, we’ll hopefully finish in the next two weeks. It’s been a long slog, uphill both ways, but we’re finally close to the finish line. 

Our mom, Nancy, is heading out to spend time in her mobile writer’s retreat down at the Oregon coast for a few weeks. She does her best writing when she’s there. She hopes to get some new material done on Enoch, our crime thriller. Once the edits on The Oculars are done, she’ll take time out to reformat, and hopefully, we’ll be able to hit publish by the end of the month. As you can see above, we have a pretty good cover mocked up and the back cover synopsis is finished as well. 

Our final project is a new cover and title for our horror novel, Holly Virginia. We’ve always felt that the current title and cover do not adequately convey the genre of this book. So, we’re going to attempt to repackage it and give it the cover treatment that it deserves.

We’re keeping busy and feeling optimistic. We hope you feel the same. Here’s to a brand new year! Now we have to go. We’ve got a lot of things to work on! As always, thank you for your support.

Kind regards,

Anne, Nancy, and Eric

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Happy Holidays!

cold snow holiday winter

Happy Holidays! We hope that this winter season finds you happy and healthy. This year, we have given ourselves a writing break until the New Year. Come January, we’ll kick off our comfy pants and get back to the business of writing. But for now, it’s time for us to bond with our families and remember why we started this business in the first place, because there is joy in the act of creation. We just have to find it.

This time of year, almost to the day five years ago, we hit publish on the first of our six books, The Safe Harbor. It’s been a bumpy road since then and many things have changed in our lives, and in the publishing business, but we are still committed to writing together.

We have three projects currently in progress. The Oculars, our paranormal thriller is almost finished, just waiting on another round of edits. Enoch, a crime fiction novel, is approximately a third finished. And our final WIP is the third book in our New Mother Earth science fictions series, Servants of Gaia. We’ve only just begun writing on that one.

We thank you all for sticking with us. Best wishes to you all this holiday season.

Kind regards,

Anne, Nancy, and Eric

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The Oculars Rewrites – Done!

Blog Pic 18 DEC

So, it’s been a while since our last blog post, and for that, we apologize. But, to make up for it, we have good news! We’re done with rewrites on our latest paranormal thriller, The Oculars. After we received our feedback from our beta reader in August, we knew we had quite a bit of work to do. (This, of course, is our royal “we” as we all knew it would be our mom, Nancy, doing the heavy lifting.)

Our mom is the main writer on this manuscript. She took the time to go over each one of our beta reader’s comments, line by line, making corrections and changes as she went. After she finished with the detailed notes, it was time to fill in a few plot holes and so she has added a ton of new material to the back half of the story. It’s all to the good and should make our story stronger.

Next up, Anne will do another round of edits for both the changes and the new material. She made an aborted attempt at NaNoWriMo this year but only made it two days before succumbing to life and procrastination. After The Oculars edits, she plans on working on Servants of Gaia, the third and final book in our New Mother Earth science fiction series.

Eric is currently juggling his job and full-time schooling. He’s here to help us but on a limited basis for the next few months. If all goes well, and there’s no reason it shouldn’t, he should be working a more regular schedule by next summer, and that should give him more time to write with us. Nancy will be jumping into our crime thriller, Enoch, again (at least, that’s the plan).

So, that’s it for the Litzos. We will be trying to attend The Portland Book Festival (formerly known as Wordstock) at the Portland Art Museum together this Saturday. It’s been a while since we’ve met up to do something bookish and fun outside of family gatherings.

Thank you all for sticking with us. We appreciate the support. We’ll keep you posted on our progress. It shouldn’t be long now before we are ready to release our latest book.

Kind regards,

Anne, Nancy, and Eric

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The Oculars Back from Beta Read

Blog Pic 18 DEC

We got our latest work-in-progress, The Oculars, back from our beta reader last week. It wasn’t the news were hoping to hear but it was the news we were expecting. It was rough and we have a bit of work to do on The Oculars, mainly fixing a major disconnect between the first and second half of the book. What started as a monster-centric tale of horror morphs into a paranormal tech-thriller in the second half. Put plainly, our monster disappears. We touched on this problem during our final edits but it didn’t really sink in until our dear beta reader let us know how much it affected the story.

We know what happened. We started this book several years ago and then it languished, half-finished, for months. By the time we picked it back up again, our concept had grown hazy and our chapter map was only partial. We should have taken the time to really flesh out our chapter map but we never did. Let me tell you, when you have a project that’s been in the works for a year or more, there comes a time when you just want to get it done and off of your to-do list. And that’s what happened to us. We rushed the finish and it shows.

So what’s next? Nancy and Eric are reworking the manuscript. We know what we need to do and we know how we need to do it. Nancy is away in her mobile writer’s retreat for  a few weeks. She’ll be going through our beta reader’s comments one at a time to clean up the nitnoid stuff. Then the real work will begin. Thankfully, we can keep the bones of the second half, but the ending needs some heavy revision. We know where it needs to go, which is a bit of a relief as we don’t need to completely throw out our previous work. This will take some time.

We hope you are heading into Fall with a clear path and renewed enthusiasm. I know we are. As always, thanks for sticking with us!

Kind regards,

Anne, Nancy, and Eric

 

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Summer 2018 Wrap-up

Blog Pic 18 DEC

Another summer is in the books (no pun intended). It wasn’t our most productive summer as far as writing goes but it was still good, nonetheless. We ran a giveaway or Kindle countdown deal every weekend with some downloads and sales but no reviews. We finished up final edits on The Oculars and sent it off to our beta reader. We queried an agent to no response. And we reaffirmed our pledge to give of our time and creativity to this writing venture of ours.

Fall is coming, and with it, school. Anne has a new space for writing and crafting. Nancy also has a new space in her backyard, a place to think and create. Eric is pursuing a new career. His program classes have started and he is feeling optimistic. This should bring a new level of predictability to his schedule, something he desperately needs.

We’ll be diving into our other projects while we wait for The Oculars to come back from our dear reader. These projects include Servants of Gaia, the third book in our New Mother Earth science fiction series, and Enoch, our serial killer thriller.

We hope you all had a great summer. Get ready for the pumpkin spice lattes! As always, thanks for sticking with us.

Kind regards,

Anne, Nancy, and Eric

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Final edits are done on The Oculars!

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Oh, happy day! We’ve finally finished our last round of edits on The Oculars, our paranormal thriller, and we’ve sent it off to our awesome beta reader. Whew, this has been another labor of love. There’s still a bit of work to do, as a tricky problem was spotted with our ending but it should be a quick fix…once we agree on the fix.

As for the rest of it, we’ve all ready knocked out a few of the pre-publishing details. It’s been formatted for Kindle print and e-book versions. The back blurb is done as well. Last major requirement is a kick-ass cover, which we’re working on. And then, a quick polish after we get our feedback from our beta reader. We hope he likes it, fingers crossed.

We also sent off an agent query letter at the end of July. Not surprisingly, we’ve gotten no response, and when the 30 days is up, we’ll have to decide if we want to continue the query process or just self-publish as usual.

Here’s a peek at the back cover blurb. We appreciate feedback!

     What Ethan Owenby wants is a normal life. Years earlier, a misguided and alcohol-fueled decision to take his Uncle Jonno’s place as the driver in a car crash had terrible repercussions. Unbeknownst to Ethan, an innocent young woman lost her life in that same instant.

     Now, Ethan has served his time and come home to Riverside Oregon, but his newly discovered peace is shattered when he receives a mysterious package containing research and designs for a radical new optical technology. Amongst the nearly incomprehensible information is a rambling and confusing video from his reclusive yet brilliant, Uncle Wilson warning him – tell no one about the Oculars.

     Little does Ethan know that there are dark forces that will stop at nothing, even murder, to get their hands on the Oculars. The Oculars allow the wearer to see the denizens and landscapes of the Dark Spectrum, the abode of spirits and ghosts, but not without a price. As old secrets are uncovered and strange enemies roam the small town of Riverside, Ethan must find a way to protect his friends, old and new, from those who will stop at nothing to possess the Oculars.

We’ll keep you posted as we move along with the process of publishing, and of course, we have several other projects we continue to work on. We hope you all are having a great summer. Thanks for sticking with us!

Kind regards,

Anne, Nancy, and Eric

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