Happy July to all of my amazing followers. I hope that all of you are having a lovely summer.
Getting down to the wire folks! The publishing date is less than two months away, and so much has been happening between each update. Galleys have been printed, and we have already received 33 goodreads reviews from NetGalley reviewers and early readers, with an average of 4.55 stars. With the underlying political themes present in the novel, I’ve steeled myself for a wide range of reactions, but overall the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Below are a few of my favorite snippets from NetGalley reviewers.
"Wow what a ride! The Seclusion was a mixture of The Giver, 1984 and V for Vendetta all rolled into a nice package with a little touch of Trump thrown in. WOW again." "This book was so scarily wonderful. I will be asking every teen and fan of YA to read this book when it comes out... The premise is engaging, the characters are wonderful and well developed and the writing flows. As soon as I finished reading it, I wanted to start it again, I cannot wait until others can read and start talking about this book! It has an ending that leaves the reader satisfied. I sure do hope that the author writes a sequel soon, though, because I want more more more!"
"Wow what a ride! The Seclusion was a mixture of The Giver, 1984 and V for Vendetta all rolled into a nice package with a little touch of Trump thrown in. WOW again."
"This was a quick read for me because once I started it, I couldn’t put it down! With the political themes it hit very close to home... I believe teens and adults that enjoy dystopian story lines will enjoy this book and those that see the comparisons with the current political climate in our country right now. I highly recommend..."
Press releases have started to go out to local as well as national outlets. The official launch party has been set, and will be held at:
Malaprops Bookstore and Cafe
Tuesday, September 4th at 6:00pm
The launch will include a reading, signing, and refreshments. It would be my honor to meet as many of you in person as possible. The book will be avaible for preorder directly from Malaprop’s, and also through Indie Bound (support your local bookstore), Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.
The kids are almost done with school for the year, and then before we know it summer will be in full swing. Our family will be kicking it off with a week on the South Carolina coast with good friends - playing in the ocean, eating seafood, and hopefully I’ll be making progress on my massive to-be-read pile.
With June just a few days away, I’m realizing that in just over three months, my book will be out in the wild. We’ve almost made it people! I realize that this update is coming a few days earlier than usual, but that is because a lot has been happening on this end. So, today I have an exciting production update for you, and interviews with authors Jason Pomerance and Christopher Huang to share.
The book is finished with copy edit and layout, and Advanced Reader Copies are being printed shortly. I have received a couple of amazing blurbs from authors that I respect greatly! These will be printed on the galleys, and possibly on the final books as well.
“Jacqui Castle’s new novel sets the hook in a wickedly-quick heartbeat. Not only does her eerily prescient story keep that hook in place throughout, it often leads to moments where you feel a chill that’s driven not only by her words, but also by the words we hear in the news and social media every day.” —Mike Rich, author of Skavenger’s Hunt and screenwriter of The Rookie, Radio, and Finding Forrester “If you love The Giver, you will love The Seclusion. Castle paints a well-developed world in a realistic possible future with a pair of unlikely heroes you want to cheer for. There are no easy victories in this dark, gritty dystopian that checks all the right boxes.” —David Estes, bestselling author of The Dwellers Saga and The Fatemarked Epic
“Jacqui Castle’s new novel sets the hook in a wickedly-quick heartbeat. Not only does her eerily prescient story keep that hook in place throughout, it often leads to moments where you feel a chill that’s driven not only by her words, but also by the words we hear in the news and social media every day.” —Mike Rich, author of Skavenger’s Hunt and screenwriter of The Rookie, Radio, and Finding Forrester
“If you love The Giver, you will love The Seclusion. Castle paints a well-developed world in a realistic possible future with a pair of unlikely heroes you want to cheer for. There are no easy victories in this dark, gritty dystopian that checks all the right boxes.” —David Estes, bestselling author of The Dwellers Saga and The Fatemarked Epic
One of the secrets to a strong launch is early reviews. A while back I promised that those who have already preordered a copy of the book and would like to receive an early PDF version, would be offered that opportunity as soon as review copies were ready. Well, that day has come. I need as many of you as possible to be on my early review team!!!
What would being on the early review team mean?
Well, Goodreads allows reviews any time, including before the publication date, and Amazon begins allowing reviews on the date of publication. So, the goal would be to post Goodreads reviews asap, and then mark your calendars with a reminder to leave an Amazon review on September 4th. My personal goal will be fifty Goodreads reviews prior to publication, and fifty Amazon reviews within the first week after publication. This accomplishment will change the way Amazon ranks the book, so it will start showing up in the "if you like this, you might like this" section when people are browsing.
Remember, reviews don’t need to be incredibly detailed, they just need to exist. Detailed is great! But, a simple star rating is better than nothing. Have I told you recently how much I appreciate all of you?
I am hoping in the next few weeks to finalize my travel plans for my trip out to the west coast to sign all of the backer copies. If any of you are in the San Franscisco area and would like to grab a cup of coffee, let me know.
This month I’m joining up with 27 other authors(including fellow Inkshares author Robert Batten) to offer a prize package with over $250 of Star Wars goodies!
A quick February update!
1)Edits continue to move along, we’re on track to move onto copy edits by April 1st, and I should have some fun developments to share in March (possibly including the finished cover reveal).
2)To amp up my media presence and mailing list numbers before the launch this fall, I’ve teamed up with several other authors to offer a fantastic giveaway!
If you’re a fan of Stephen King or know someone who is, you won’t want to miss this. We’re giving a ton of Dark Tower swag to one lucky winner!
Russell Nohelty, Devyn Jayse, Shane W. Smith, Russell Newquist, Caleb Thusat, Kyrun Silva, Eli Constant, Katrina Kunstmann, Shane Thomas, Frankie Blooding, Jacqui Castle, Christopher Lee, J.L. Gipson, Susan May, Jason Franks, Joshua Robertson, JD Oliva, Andre Gonzalez, Big Tim Stiles, Dani Dixon, Scott Austin, James Mascia, Craig Taillefer, RJ Blain, and Deborah Munro!
I’m sitting at my desk this lovely morning, watching the snow fall out the window of my mountainside home and feeling very grateful for all of you. This update is coming a little later than usual, and for that, I apologize. I was waiting to hear back on a few points so that this update could be a bit more substantial than the last few. And, it will be!
I have multiple exciting updates to share with you!
1) Developmental Edit Progress
Since my update at the end of October, I have concluded another round of developmental edit rewrites. The book is now back in the hands of my editor. He is going through one more time (he estimates this will take about two weeks), and then he plans to send the book to a beta-reader to get some third-party, objective feedback. We will then use that feedback to do one more pass before forwarding the book to a copy-editor.
2) Title change
While I like The Walls are Closing In (and we may still use it as a tagline for the book), we have decided that a different title is more marketable, provides a bit of mystery, and is catchier for the future selling of property rights (fingers crossed).
So, without further ado, the new title is:
3) Genre Change
We are making a few changes to the plot and market the book as YA(Young Adult). This will only marginally change the story but will double the audience. It allows us to not only market the book to fans of books such as 1984, Fahrenheit 541, and The Handmaid’s Tale, but also to fans of books such as The Hunger Games and Divergent.
3) Release Date!
The book has been assigned a tentative release date and an ISBN number (this second part is probably not exciting to anyone but me).
The Seclusion is currently set to publish on:
October 2, 2018!
This is a bit later than I had hoped, but I am beyond thrilled that there is an official trajectory. Between now and then I will be doing everything in my power to ensure that the launch is a success.
One last note - the first two chapters on the book’s page have been updated to reflect the changes that we have been making. Feel free to check them out!
Until next time,
Another month has come and gone, and it’s time for another reader update. The Walls are Closing In is still voyaging through the production process. The entire first round of rewrites is wrapped up and has been submitted to my editor.
Portions of my precious story were difficult to part with, and some rewrites flowed easier than others. But, out of the ashes of my murdered darling came a stronger, more piercing novel that I am incredibly happy with and eager to share with all of you.
Matt has already marked up Act 1 (of 3) for round 2 of the developmental edit, and I have completed those changes as well. I am now waiting for him to return Acts 2 and 3 with notes. It will likely be about two weeks before he gets those back to me. So, in the meantime, I am going to dive into National Novel Writing Month.
Every November, authors around the globe strive to write 50,000 words of the first draft of a novel within the month of November, and I have jumped on board.
Someone stop me, please.
The rewrites of The Walls are Closing In will take priority whenever it is in my hands, but when the manuscript is with Matt, I am going to strive to meet the quota (1,667 words per day).
During this time, I’ll likely resemble the undead roaming the streets this all hallows’ eve, and will accept all offers of free caffeine and chocolate.
Until next time,
Autumn is here, and the cogs are steadily turning...
In my last update, I explained that the developmental editor and I were working on the rewrite 100 pages at a time. He edits one section while I rewrite the next... Well, I am pleased to report that I am roughly half-way through with the third and final segment. I hope to have that turned over in about two weeks. I’ve combed through and rewritten all of the existing text, and am now drafting a brand spanking new ending that will get the blood pumping a bit more than the original.
There will be at least one more round of developmental edits as I address the notes that Matt makes on the new draft. Each run-through should be swifter than the previous. After that, we move on to copy editing, then proofreading, then ARC printing and marketing. Cover design will take place alongside the final steps.
I am crossing my fingers that an estimated release date will be assigned once we have an idea of how long the rest of the developmental edit will take. My best guess is Summer ’18 (based on the trajectory of other books further along in the production process). If the last two months are any indication, I will be hard at work until the last minute (and after). As always, thank you for your support.
Just a quick update to let everyone know that the beginning stages of the developmental editing process are proceeding nicely. I promised a behind-the-scenes look, so read on if you’re interested in hearing more....
My developmental editor, Matt Harry, and I have spent the past month passing an 11-page outline back and forth. At this point, we have settled on the arc for the story as a whole, and the arcs of the main characters.
I am thrilled with the tweaks to the original storyboard and feel that the alterations and additions to the initial plot will serve to reinforce the themes. I am eager to see where it leads.
Now that the outline is complete, we are moving on. I am currently spending a few hours a day working on rewriting and editing the first 100 pages to turn over to Matt so that he can provide page-specific notes. As of now, I have worked through about 60% of the first section, and hope to complete it within a week.
Matt will then work through the first 100 pages as I edit and rewrite the next 100 pages. We will then do this with a final section (the book will likely end up between 250 and 300 pages). Because we are adding new scenes and drastically altering others, the second and third segments will take a bit longer to work through.
After the first round is complete, we will rinse and repeat a couple of times until we are both happy with the story.
So, there you have it. As always, thank you for the support. Every day that I sit down and write, I think of all of you. I am forever grateful for this opportunity.
Glorious news! The Walls are Closing In has begun developmental edits.
I received a thorough twelve-page document with insights, as well as several notes within the body of my manuscript, from the Head of Story Development at Inkshares, Matt Harry.
I was so pleased to read Matt’s feedback and suggestions, as he certainly seems to understand what I am striving to accomplish with this novel. I know that he and the rest of the team at Inkshares will guide me in strengthening the story, ensuring that all of you receive the best version possible.
Matt has worked on Tal Klein’s Punch Escrow, which recently signed a deal with Lionsgate, and JF Dubeau’s recently released A God in the Shed, optioned by Skydance. Matt’s own book, Sorcery for Beginners, will be out in October.
Check out a recent video with Matt Harry, discussing the development of A God in the Shed.
Over the next several weeks I will be hard at work incorporating Matt’s suggestions, and then I will send the revised manuscript to him for round two. It also sounds like Inkshares has started kicking around some ideas for the cover. I will keep you posted on all fronts.