Author’s Log: The Ballad of Nellie Bly (#amwriting, #ROW80)

Back in 1889, an investigative journalist by the name of Nellie Bly travelled around the world in 72 days in honor of Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days. This was also smack dab in the middle of the golden age of the American railroads.

Put these two things together with airships and the youngest Carlisle sister and a story begins to form. But it’s only the beginning–a premise, if you will. Put this together with characters–including an antagonist who’s a little too close to home for one of them–and a race for supremacy between air travel and railways, and there’s nearly enough to tease out a plot.

So that’s where Book 3 of my Blood & Steam series stands as of now. The next step is to go through my research and highlight information that might prove pertinent to the story. Even if I don’t end up using a particular tidbit, it will still inform the rest.

This is what happens when I jack up my knee in the middle of a workout and am forced to slow down. My brain perks right up and gets to work, now that it’s not focusing on other things. And it came from character–my hero comes from a wealthy family in San Francisco whose money comes from railroad money. And, on her return journey to New York, Nellie Bly stepped foot back in the States in–you guessed it–San Francisco. Conspiracy theory, anyone? 😀

So between that and some nifty drafting on Sweet Home #1 I had a busy week. Revisions on Blood & Steam #2 are also going well, though I’ve already come across one or two things I need to clarify, plot-wise. I should have the final book uploaded in a couple of weeks.

Project Insanity


Project Insanity is my mad scheme to publish one novella per month for the next FIVE years, beginning in 2016 (which means I have to draft like a banshee NOW). Behold, as I apply lightning to The Monster of my Production Schedule, and probably fall flat on my face whilst so doing. Let the games begin!

*dons fez*

*blows noisemaker*

​Blood & Steam #2 (Drafted!)

Sweet Home #1 (In Production)

Blood & Steam #3 (In Pre-Production)

Sanity Check


1.  Draft Sweet Home #1: In Process

Oh, this is going to be a fun one. I’m loving these characters, especially my heroine. She’s sassy, talks to her violin (who she’s named Lola), and makes references to cheesy eighties movies (the best kind). It also took her all of ten minutes to get the hero all turned about so he doesn’t know whether he’s coming or going–and enjoying it.

2. Revise Blood & Steam #2: In Process

I think I might have too much mention of Acacia (my heroine from Book 1) in the second installment, especially seeing as she comes on for a supporting role in Act III. (I can’t help–Cass is just WAY too much fun, and she kind takes over everything, even when she’s not there.)

So I’m going to have to weed some of that out, in case it negates some of Becca’s own brand of awesome. There’s definitely some sibling rivalry going on there, but Becca needs to triumph on her own terms instead of letting Cass fix everything. She needs to be the star of her own story, dammit.

3. Plan Blood & Steam #3: In Process

Now that I have characters and a premise, I need a plot. One involving at least one explosion, for preference. Because explosions are fun.

4. Optimize!

I’ve only got one new cover left to complete, but I’m still working on updated front and back matter for all my self-published stuff. My website  updates are coming along, though I think I might be updating my theme at some point.

I’m also working on new cover copies and getting those updated everywhere as well.

That’s the list for me–what you are guys up to?


2 thoughts on “Author’s Log: The Ballad of Nellie Bly (#amwriting, #ROW80)

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