Sunday, March 19, 2017

New Website is Now Live

I'm very excited to announce my new-and-improved author website has just gone live (check it out at www.chrisvonhalle.com)! It's got the same background pic as before, but now it has a new layout, a new "About My Writing" tab, and revamped bio and contact pages, among other things. Concerning the "Contact" page, you can now join my mailing list to be updated about any new releases or exciting announcements. Yay! So if you get the chance, feel free to stop on by and check it out. Until next time, happy reading and/or writing!

Friday, March 3, 2017

Back from Hiatus & New Website

So some of my health issues have at least subsided a bit, and I’ve been back in the groove of the writing thing. I’m working on a new project, too. I wound up scrapping the young adult science fiction novel I was working on before. I’d made it to about 30,000 words (for those of you who aren’t publishing-industry-insiders, that’s a little over a hundred pages), and now I’ve started a new YA sci-fi book.

Why am I scrapping the old one? Well, quite simply, I don’t know where to go with it. Sometimes this happens with us writers. We pour loads of time and effort into a project, and it winds up just simply not working out. (Sounds like some other things in life, eh? Like my quest of beating all the cups in Mario Kart 8 on 200CC mode. Just kidding. Well…I wish I was.) I got about halfway through the story, but it was too short, and I couldn’t think of a way to extend it that’s both original and compelling enough to me personally to write. And, believe me, it’s VERY important that I find my own stories compelling enough to write hehe.

Anyway, I’ll keep the story file on my computer, of course, in case I ever have a burst of revelation in the future as to how to continue it. You know, a subconscious one that’s sure to happen when I’m eighty years old and am watering a ficus in my backyard and – BOOM! – I realize I can add a vengeful, mutated ficus into the second half of the story, woven among a brilliant plot line, of course, that’ll extend the story to a natural conclusion. OK, I’m being ridiculous, but you get the point. Maybe at some point in the future I’ll have a random light-bulb moment, and I’ll be able to continue the story. But for now, it’s in my best interest to put my efforts into a new tale, which, coincidentally, is another YA sci-fi. This one has to do with time-travel, though, whereas the one I scrapped is an alien story.


In other news, I’m planting a ficus in my backyard. Just kidding – I’m working on a new author website (a revamped version of the existing site - www.chrisvonhalle.com). It’s going very well, thanks for asking. In all seriousness, it’s going to be bigger and better and more fun. It’s not quite ready yet, but I’ll be sure to post when it is. Until then, back to watering that ficus!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Hiatus

So it's been a while since I've last posted and that's because, well, life has taken a couple unexpected turns that require pretty much all of my attention at the moment. Because of said turns, I have been on a bit of a writing fiction hiatus as of late. Other than the fact I need to focus on a couple things (and unfortunately one of those is health-related), this hiatus has actually been a bit refreshing. I think I needed a break to replenish the ol' creative juices and perhaps gain a little perspective on the whole writing journey in general (and perhaps even the whole life journey as well).

In any case, I hope to be back in the writing chair as well as posting more regularly on this blog at some point in the near-ish future, but I'm still not anticipating that being anytime soon. I haven't been TOTALLY absent, however, as I've been doing a tad bit of writing-related work here and there, but it's been quite sparse, and there hasn't been any actual drafting or revising of manuscripts or anything of that more fiction-nuts-and-bolts-type nature.

Anyway, until next time! Hopefully I'll be back here with more updates and kernels of writing-related awesomeness soon-ish.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A Short YA: Potential Change of Plans

Ha! Well, looks like after only a few days of writing that last post, I'm having a bit of a change of heart regarding The Castle in the Girl, and the reason for that is twofold.

One of them is that, upon doing more research, I've discovered that a 30K-word YA book might really not be allllllll that marketable. I mean, there are definitely fairly short YA books on the shelves, but The Castle in the Girl is VERY short for speculative fiction (it's sci-fi). If I leave it as planned, I might more accurately be looking at a novella versus a novel.

On the other hand, I just had a random idea that would extend the length of the book a considerable amount. If it indeed winds up making sense and working out, then that means that what I THOUGHT would be the entire book is really only Part One, and the new idea I had would constitute Part Two. I think it only makes sense, overall, not only in terms of beefing up the length of the book, but also in terms of the story.

It's funny how stories work. Just when we think we've got one all figured out - or mostly figured out - something comes along and surprises us, giving the story a whole new/different trajectory. And usually when we least expect it. I feel like that's happened to me at least once per book I've written.

Anyway, so that's the new plan. I'm going to have to do a lot of brainstorming to flesh out Part Two and see if it truly makes sense and will work, but I have a strong hunch that it will, and that my story will be all the better for it.

So, if you need me for anything, I'll be brainstorming - so BUG OFF!!! JK. But I'll definitely keep you in the loop on The Castle in the Girl's evolution. Given its sudden departure from the original plan, there may yet be more twists in store...(How's that for a cliffhanger?)

Thursday, July 14, 2016

A Short YA

So I have been plugging away on my new novel, a young adult science fiction currently called The Castle in the Girl (it's an eerie sci-fi with a bit of an M. Night Shyamalan feel to it). It's been going pretty well so far with very few hiccups (knock on wood!), although there's still a good deal of the first draft left to be paved. And of course that's all before another human being - be it a beta reader or critique partner - even lays their fresh pair of eyes upon it and lovingly rips it to shreds.

In any case, I am just encroaching on the 20K-word mark, and it has suddenly occurred to me (although I admit I suspected it all along) that this is going to be a pretty short book. In fact, I'd be surprised if it ebbs its way much past 30K.

[a collective gasp]

Wait - was that just a collective gasp from all of you that I just heard? I'm pretty sure it was. After all, I know what you're thinking - "A young adult book - only 30K words long! That's madness, I tell you. Sheer madness! Is that even......possible?"

Well, I believe it is. Sure, YA books run between 45-80K on average, and can even push a bit beyond that, especially in the speculative area. Heck, my own debut YA dystopian novel, The Fourth Generation, clocks in at a hearty 76K. But YA books can also run on the slimmer side as well. I did a little research just to be sure (and to stop myself from freaking about the marketability of my book) and discovered that some published YA books have indeed been as low as 30K or even somewhere in the 20Ks. And it looks like my new book is going to join that very exclusive, very celebrated (at least in my eyes now that I'm writing one around that length) crew.

The thing is, my book's not nearly as epic as The Fourth Generation. It's a lot quieter, though still packs a punch, I think (I hope!). The bottom line is the story really doesn't call for more than 30K words, and, really, it's all about what the story calls for, right ("Yes, it is," I can hear you all say collectively).

So, there you have it. A short YA. (See what I did there? I just put the post title right in the middle of the post - pretty cool, huh?) Of course, now that I've said that, the story will probably completely surprise me and demand to be much, much longer and more epic, but I severely doubt that. But, as we all know, stories have a way of both surprising us writers and telling us what it truly needs. So, well, I guess I'll be figuring that all out for sure before long. And, on a side note, I plan on posting its working back-cover blurb soon on the blog to really whet the collective appetite.

Until then, have a very collective day!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Debut Author Giveaway Hop - The Fourth Generation

UPDATE: The winner of this giveaway has been randomly selected and has received their free e-book copy of The Fourth Generation. Thanks for participating in the giveaway hop, everyone! :)

debut author hop

Welcome to my stop on the Debut Author Giveaway Hop hosted by BookHounds! I'm giving away a free e-book copy of my young adult dystopian novel The Fourth Generation. Just leave a comment with your email address below for a chance to win (your email will not be retained nor will it be added to a newsletter).



In the future, no adults exist. Ever since the plague swept the world 100 years ago, no one has lived past seventeen.

Sixteen-year-old Gorin, a collector of curious artifacts left over from the pre-plague civilization, is on the verge of perishing from that deadly epidemic. And his last wish is to find a way to visit the rulers’ reputedly magnificent, off-limits mansion.

Up against the clock, he and his friend Stausha steal into the mansion and discover a secret more horrifying than they ever could’ve imagined—a secret that holds the key to the survival of the whole human race.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Children's Book Week Giveaway Hop - The Fourth Generation


UPDATE: The winner of this giveaway has been randomly selected and has received their free e-book copy of The Fourth Generation. Thanks for participating in the giveaway hop, everyone! :)














































Welcome to my stop on the Children's Book Week Giveaway Hop, hosted by BookHounds. I'm giving away a free e-book copy of my young adult dystopian novel The Fourth Generation. Just post a comment that includes your email address (your email will not be saved or included in a newsletter or anything) on this blog entry, and I will randomly choose somebody to receive a free copy :)




In the future, no adults exist. Ever since the plague swept the world 100 years ago, no one has lived past seventeen.

Sixteen-year-old Gorin, a collector of curious artifacts left over from the pre-plague civilization, is on the verge of perishing from that deadly epidemic. And his last wish is to find a way to visit the rulers’ reputedly magnificent, off-limits mansion.


Up against the clock, he and his friend Stausha steal into the mansion and discover a secret more horrifying than they ever could’ve imagined—a secret that holds the key to the survival of the whole human race.

Here are all the blogs participating in the blog hop: http://www.linkytools.com/basic_linky_include.aspx?id=267580