Hey, kids.

It’s been a while. A lot has happened. And by ’a lot’ I mean... a book.

She Is the End is almost done.

Release date: March 1st.

I’ve toiled over it, shared it with people I trust, and brought it to a state where I’m really proud to share it with you. I think it’s pretty darn good.

Hey, remember that time when I organized the production of a coloring book promoting 12 different authors in just 10 days during the first Nerdist Contest? Good times! Or when I coordinated the Review-a-Thon? That was so fun! Plus a whole year of the Drinkshares podcast... I’ve met an amazing group of authors here and I will always be incredibly grateful for that.

I’m parting ways with Inkshares now to self-publish, and I wish everyone there all the best. You should be getting your refunds promptly if you ordered via credit card. I sincerely hope you’ll re-order when the book is released.

My book! MY ACTUAL BOOK!!!

I’m sorry, I really am writer, I just got excited. This draft took seven years, people. SEVEN YEARS! Full-time work, grad school, three babies - and now, it’s finally done.

I really hope you love it as much as I do.

Find me on Twitter @acwestonwrites and keep an eye out for the book on Amazon, B&N.com, or ask your local indie bookstore to stock it - they’ll be able to order it through Ingram. I’ll be sending out updates via email from now on, which you’ll be able to opt out of if you want.

Thank you all so much for your support. I’m sorry the journey took so long... I think it’ll be worth it.



(did I already do this reference in a previous update? whatever, my memory is shot to hell right now so i’m gonna go with it)




...The world has shifted, a new human exists that didn’t exist outside my body before, and I’m BACK. 

Here’s the peanut that has been taking up all of my time and energy and brain power:

This is Eleanor. She’s the bee’s knees.

Now that I’ve gotten through a few weeks of recovery, I’m back to editing my book! The crazy postpartum hormones left me wanting to read a ton of emotional books, watch a ton of science fiction movies, and listen to a bunch of new music. I think I’m filling up my creative tank while I rest my brain and body, and soon I’ll be able to make those next-level edits that really polish my book into something special.

I’ve been listening to these songs over and over again, for reference (sorry not sorry to all the pop music haters):

Let’s Hurt Tonight by OneRepublic

I’ll Be Good by Jaymes Young

I Found by Amber Run

Go listen to those while eating oatmeal cookies and crying, and you will have insight into my brain right now. 

I’ll let you all know as soon as I send out the second half of my book to beta readers (because no, I didn’t get it done before the baby came... the end of pregnancy is hard, my friends) and then I’ll tell you when the thing is done done. 

And then I’ll cry some more!

Hello friends!

The air is getting chillier, the leaves show a hint of change, and I just lit my first blackberry cider candle. Could it be... fall?

TIME FOR FALLCON!! Er, I mean, MSP Fall Comicon, October 8th at the MN State Fairgrounds!!

(last year, when I had no idea what I was doing)

I have secured a table for the second year in a row, and though I don’t have a physical copy of my book to offer for sale (like I’d hope I would by now) I might have my manuscript in to Inkshares by then! So we’re going to take that as a win.

I’ll be selling various art prints, handing out more of the free coloring book pages we created during the first Nerdist Inkshares contest, and perhaps even selling print copies of other Inkshares books. Stop by and say hi if you’re in the area!


There’s a new indie bookstore coming to Minneapolis called Milkweed Books, and they’re crowdfunding their opening on Kickstarter. They will be stocking their shelves and super-cool gallery entirely with independently published books... which could be a match made in heaven for Inkshares authors, no?

So here’s what I’m proposing: if you’re an Inkshares author, go back this project and leave a comment saying you’re an Inkshares author who loves indie bookstores. If you’re not an author, go back it anyway and let them know you’d like to see Inkshares books on their shelves. We crowdfunded people have to stick together, so let’s show support!

They reached their goal while I was typing this message, so there’s no doubt about the project being successful. We all know opening a new business can be precarious, and the more backer funds the better. The project closes in 9 days, so go check it out now!

You know how in Parks and Rec when they’re in city council meetings, and Jeremy Jamm says something like,

"Let the record show, there was a standing ovation," and there wasn’t?

Well... let the record show, I sent out my manuscript to my beta readers on the 1-year anniversary of my joining Inkshares!

Haha jk no I didn’t, I sent the first half of it out LAST NIGHT!

I’m so excited, you guys. SO. EXCITED. And nervous. But mostly excited. I really think there are at least a few people out there who will end up truly loving my story and characters, and my brilliant and generous beta readers will increase my book’s chance of reaching those people.

The first half of my book is 82K words long, so it’s plenty for them to chew on. (My book is long, okay? It is full of wonder and emotion and excitement, so I’m hoping it is the good kind of long - the kind where you don’t want it to end, even after 150K words.)

Here are the episode titles for the entire book, for your intrigue:

Episode I: Wake
Episode II: Ally
Episode III: Foe
Episode IV: Earth
Episode V: Consequences
Episode VI: Tower
Episode VII: Prophecy
Episode VIII: Rest
Episode IX: Rescue
Episode X: Whole
Episode XI: Dock
Episode XII: Wake


Alex and I will be finishing up the second half of She Is the End in the next few weeks and sending them out to betas, as well. Then... while we wait... I will be doing the illustrations for the book! I think I’ll do one illustration per episode, maybe two here and there, and it’s going to be a lot of work. I’ll keep you updated on my progress and probably give away a few more of the originals as a prize.

Stay tuned!

Dear reader, can we agree that beta readers are necessary for a book’s excellence?

Sure! But we need rules for the process to work, sir.

Hang on, is there a way we can bring Hamilton into this?

Okay, so we’re doing this...

One two three four five six seven eight nine

It’s the Ten Beta Commandments
It’s the Ten Beta Commandments!

Number one:
The challenge: invite a reaction
If they accept, set a date for the transaction

Number two:
Push it back, let’s be real, you need more time
You might lose a few but in the end it will be fine

Number three:
Get your words into a narrative flow
Plot holes, clichés, confusion gotta go

First draft, worst draft, you know it’s true
We need beta readers to do what they do!

Number four:
If they’re not writers too, that’s all right
You need your target audience to be on site

You pick ‘em for their love of the genre or themes
You have ‘em go in cold so their feedback’s clean

Send your book in the form that they prefer
If you don’t, face the fact that they’ll defer

Number six:
Let it go, spend time with family and friends
Tell ‘em where you been, promise your book is near its end


Accept it all, critique and praise
Don’t just debate and argue your case

Number eight:

Take your time to clarify
You don’t have to agree, just understand (or try)

Number nine:

Fix your book, it was great but aim higher
Put in all the work that it requires

Then tell

one two three four five six seven eight nine (maybe) ten readers:



A notable day is approaching: on August 18th, 2015, I discovered Inkshares and entered the first Nerdist contest. That means my one-year Inkshares anniversary is almost here!

So, to celebrate (and give myself a deadline), I will be sending out my manuscript to beta readers on August 18th!!

My beta readers will have four weeks to get their comments back to me. I will incorporate their input over the course of another two weeks. Then...

Production on my book will begin!!


In the meantime, if you like Terry Pratchett, whimsy, or murder mysteries, order Jay Lockwood’s A Beast Requires immediately and help him win the current Geek & Sundry Fantasy contest!

Here is my review:

"Inkshares won’t let me recommend this more than once, which is a sad limitation when I like it at least ten times over. A Beast Requires mixes the wit of Douglas Adams and the whimsy of Jasper Fforde in a fairy tale land of forest slums, skeevy elf landlords, and murder. Every moment is layered in world building gold. If this book were food, it would be chocolate and I would eat it. (I may eat it anyway.)"

Nom nom.

Hi everyone! I have things to tell you about!

First, Kris Calvin’s One Murder More is currently 99cents for Kindle. This was the first Inkshares book I read and I enjoyed it! I love murder mysteries, and I bet some of you do, too.

Amazon allows ebooks to be gifted via the wonders of the internet... so the first FIVE of my readers who like this update will receive the ebook of One Murder More as a gift! (Just readers who have purchased my book, not followers; this is a thank-you gift! And if you don’t have a Kindle, apparently Amazon has a free app so you can read it on your computer. I’ve never tried it, though.)

We all want to relax and chow down on a political thriller while we lounge on the beach (or something), right?!

Also, there’s a new syndicate in town, and it’s a book club!

For those who don’t know, syndicates are a sort of book-of-the-month thing where you pledge $10 (ebook) or $20 (print) to purchase a book agreed upon by the syndicate each month. If the price is different from the pledge, you are refunded the difference.

Elan Samuel’s Inkshares Book Club Syndicate will select and read a currently available Inkshares book every other month and discuss it together! Syndicates have mainly aimed to support currently funding books to help them get published, so one that selects available books is a new angle to take. Since it has to be monthly at this point, the syndicate will support funding books on the off months.

Consider checking it out!

FINALLY, a She Is the End update:

I have untangled the disaster that was Episode VIII, and Alex is currently doing developmental edits on Episode VII. I solved a problem in the final climax that was leaving the ending too weak, and in general we’re tightening things up, cutting like mad, and I AM SO. EXCITED. TO SEND THIS BOOK TO BETA READERS SOON.

And when I do, I will be taking a little break from writing. It will be... Art Time. I’m going to be sketching out the illustrations for my

Until next time, my space-faring friends...

Hey friends, guess what today is?


Rebekka S. Leber brings you a gritty tale of modern Gods battling for the most precious resource on Earth - the human soul. It’s like Jessica Jones crashed into American Gods and they got along so well they ended up buying each other drinks.

Bekki is one of the co-hosts of the Drinkshares podcast, and tonight will be all about her campaign launch. Watch us this evening at 8pm CT to get an inside look at her book and all the excitement of starting an Inkshares campaign after a thoughtful, deliberate draft period.

And if you’re interested in dark fantasy, order her book!

If you’re wondering how She Is the End is coming along... the answer is, GREAT. I am very close to sending the book out to my beta readers. I got a little sidetracked with morning sickness and exhaustion, but the second trimester is here and I’m back to work. It’s really important to me that I do the entire book justice, not just the major action scenes or emotional moments. I want you all to be gripped by the entire book, start to finish. And you will be...

*Yoda voice* You will be.

Hi friends!! I have missed you!

Welcome to all of my new followers - I’m so glad you’re here, and I hope to soon put out a book that will satisfy your wildest sci-fi entertainment dreams. I’m getting very close to sending my manuscript out to my beta readers... it always takes longer than you think it will.

I’ve been pretty sick over the last few weeks, but I’m hoping to get back to hardcore editing and sending regular updates now. Never think I don’t love you all, okay?


  • I’m at 399 pre-orders! That’s fantastic! I can’t wait to see who my order #400 will be from... will it be you?
  • I managed to trip and fall into co-hosting a podcast with a few other Inkshares authors - Joe Terzieva, Christine Brenneke, and Rebekka Leber - called Drinkshares: Last Call. We get together every other Monday night and share cocktails via the magic of the internet while discussing books and writing and laughing far too much. Check us out on Youtube, Twitter, and Facebook!
  • I am attending WisCon in Madison, WI over Memorial Day weekend! This year I am just attending so that hopefully next year I’ll be ready to have more of an artist/writer presence with my first book published and the sequel on the way. If you’re attending, too, LET ME KNOW SO WE CAN SAY HI TO EACH OTHER!

The Geek and Sundry Hard Science Fiction Contest

There are ten days left in the current Inkshares contest, and there’s one book I want everyone to go support immediately:

The Pirates of Montana by Erin S. Evans!

For 65 million years, the badlands of Montana have held a secret hidden in their depths. Now, this creature will irrevocably change the way humans look at their past, blurring the lines between fact and mythology.

This book sends Jurassic-Park-like shivers down my spine, and the hero is a 15-year-old girl! Help Erin become the first woman to ever place in an Inkshares contest. Pre-order her book!

Until next time...



Join me and three other epic ladies of Inkshares on a LIVE Google Hangout as we discuss our science fiction stories, answer age old questions about women’s roles as creators in the genre, and probably make at least a dozen Firefly references.


Me!, author of She Is the End

Elayna Mae Darcy, author of They Are the Last

RH Webster, author of Lucky

Amanda Orneck, author of Deus Hex Machina and others

Submit your questions as a post on the facebook event page here, or message any of us on twitter! Follow the action using #WomenSlayingScifi! You can always watch later, if you can’t make the live event.

I hope you’ll check it out!

:) :) :)


Lucky by RH Webster is an amazing space opera book starring a smart, complex woman on an adventure hauling freight across the galaxy.

I love the idea of the book and I want it to place in the current Nerdist contest!


The next 20 new readers to pre-order Lucky will have a 50/50 chance of winning a copy of my book, She Is the End, FREE! Those are some pretty good odds... I hope you’re feeling lucky.

That’s right, two books for the price of one! Two space operas about strong, interesting women and dashing, conflicted men in space!

If you’re a follower who hasn’t ordered my book or her book yet, now is the best time EVER to do it. Go on, GET LUCKY!

Notable Readers

Userphoto3 original
Monica Phantharath