Updates

The Windsor International Writers Conference is THIS WEEKEND!!!

So I have an incredibly busy week ahead of me, culminating in the Windsor International Writers Conference this weekend at the Holiday Inn Ambassador Bridge. If you’d like to join me, there’s still space available for last minute registration, wink wink.

I’m currently working on a number of projects, the main one being preparing Karen McCreedy’s Unreachable Skies, Vol. 1, which releases August 17th and has a cover reveal coming up July 17th! I’m super excited for this release because it’s Karen’s first novel and she’s written a remarkable and beautiful blend of Sci-fi and Fantasy. Set entirely on another planet, without a human in sight, Unreachable Skies is the story of an apprentice fate-seer named Zarda who is tasked with guiding her people through a difficult time following a plague that has left the new generation of their kind without wings. This will be the first installment in a planned trilogy and we should see the second book in 2019. 

I’m also working on our September release, the much-anticipated Mixter Twizzle’s Breakfast written by Regan W.H. Macaulay and illustrated by the talented Lulu. I’ve just received the art and it is ADORABLE. Partner that with Regan’s really clever and unique writing style, and I just know you’re all going to fall in love with the egg-thieving Mixter Twizzle like we did!

And last but not least this year, I’ll soon be starting work on The Gimmal Ring by Windsor’s very own Karen Koski. I’m looking forward to diving in to this middle grade urban fantasy, but first it has to go through Robert’s very capable hands and I think it’s fair to say I have enough on my plate at the moment!

So this week I’ll be looking over some submissions I’ve received in preparation for meeting one on one with some conference attendees, and judging some contest entries, then on Friday I’ll be hosting a round-table intensive where I’ll help a facilitate a group of writers as we review and critique the samples of their work they’ve brought with them. I’m also looking forward to listening to all the great workshops and keynote speakers and of course, participating in the panel discussions. It’s going to be a lively weekend. So if you can make it, even to one of the days, I recommend it!

Thanks for reading!

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It’s time for an update…

Hello readers!

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It’s March already and I don’t know how 2018 is getting away from me so quickly. As you may know, Murandy and I signed up to participate in this years #85K90 writing challenge. The challenge is to write 85,000 words from January 1st to March 31st. This is our third year participating in the challenge, but unlike previous years, it is not going well for us. In 2016, we wrote the first draft of Uncharted, in 2017, Mirror’s Deceit, and this year we’re supposed to be working on Mirror’s Despair, the 4th in the Mirror World series. Unfortunately, we discovered that in retrospect we probably weren’t ready to dive into writing Mirror’s Despair, especially at the speed needed to complete the challenge. What we were missing were the final changes and editorial notes being made to Mirror’s Deceit. Without them, our plans for Mirror’s Despair were incomplete. You might be wondering how two veterans like ourselves could make such a mistake, and the answer becomes pretty clear when you remember that Murandy and I are not plotters, we usually write by the seat of our pants. (For an explanation of how that works, read this blog post.) Unfortunately when you’re writing a complicated series like this, plotting and taking notes becomes not only helpful, but extremely necessary. Live and learn, I suppose.

Well, it’s March, so one more month left to catch up and see if we can complete the challenge. I’m not overly optimistic about our chances anymore, but the great thing about the #85K90 cycle is that April is left open as a 30-day finish in case you need it to wrap things up. Don’t fret either way, Murandy and I WILL get Mirror’s Despair done and you’ll likely see it launch in 2019.

In other news, we are currently looking for beta readers to give us a hand in reading a middle grade manuscript. You may have read our announcement about Karen Koski’s The Gimmal Ring? (Find that here.) Well, as part of the publishing process, we’d like a small dedicated team of readers to read and review the manuscript for us. If you’d like to volunteer, please get in touch with us through email or Facebook.

Coming up, we’d like to invite you to participate in two local events. If you are near enough, or can get to Windsor to visit us, you might want to consider attending this unique literary event: A Taste of Literature. This month’s book is a mystery by local author John Schlarbaum and included in your ticket is musical entertainment, a live interview/Q&A/Signing with the author, along with a gourmet five-course meal by a trained chef. Go to the restaurant’s website to book your ticket now, space is limited!28168499_907024422811919_9145286208312990388_n

And last, but certainly not least, Mirror World will once again be attending The Windsor International Writers Conference. This year the event is being held July 6-8 at the Holiday Inn on Huron Church Rd. You can find everything you need to register and attend this great event on their website, but if you’re a writer and you want to improve your writing career and have the chance of a lifetime to network with other writers and industry professionals, the Windsor International Writers Conference is your chance to do so! You can register here. If you have any questions about this event, you can leave them in the comments and I would be happy to answer them.

 

It’s 2018 and we’re off with a bang!

Ok, well it’s not quite 2018 yet. Still a few more days to go. But we’re ready to start our fifth year with a bang!

We’re ready to write 85,000 words by the end of March, 2018.

First up, Murandy and I will be participating in the #85K Challenge for the 3rd year in a row. If you’d like to join us on this adventure, you’re more than welcome to. If you don’t know what the #85K Challenge is, it’s a community of writers working to complete 85,000 words, (approximately the length of your average adult novel) in 90 days. You can read more about it and sign up to complete the challenge on their website 85k90.com or on Facebook. Murandy and I have competed each year since the challenge was founded and we’ve found it to be a reasonable, though still challenging, pace and a great community to be a part of. And the community support doesn’t stop in March! The website has details for what to do the rest of the year to stay focused on your writing goals and complete your novel. It works for us, and I highly recommend the program.

We’re ready to announce our 2018 line up and will be doing so over the next few weeks! 

We’ve got some really great books coming your way in 2018 and we’re really excited to be able to announce them. We’re going to do so one at a time, starting next week, so subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already so you don’t miss any of the exciting announcements. We’ve got two new authors we’ve added to the family and six new books for the year. It’s going to be fun.

We’re ready to make edits to the third book in the Mirror World series, Mirror’s Deceit.

Mirror’s Deceit has come back from the beta readers and over the next month or so, I’ll be working on edits and rewrites. The cover art is done and we’re on target to have this book in your hands for May (or earlier if you’re a member 😉 Learn more about membership and its benefits here.)

And we’re looking forward to seeing those of you who can make it to A Taste of Literature event on January 15th to celebrate Sharon Ledwith’s Lost and Found: Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls. 

Click here to get your tickets now! Space is limited.

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Thank you for your submissions!

Just a heads up: our submission period for 2017 is now closed!

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If you were one of the many, many people who submitted to us this year, thank you. We had the pleasure of looking over a truly varied and unique selection of manuscripts. Currently we are not accepting any more general submissions, but if you submitted to us and haven’t heard back, don’t worry, we’re still finishing up with what we have left. You WILL hear from us. We strive to provide feedback on each and every submission we receive.

If you submitted to us and your manuscript was not selected for publication, please understand that we are a small (very small) press and we are only able to produce a limited number of books each year. There were some tough decisions made. Also, if you take a look at our feedback and find it to be of value to you, you can always make the necessary changes and re-submit to us next season. At the very least, we’ll keep providing you with feedback on how you can improve, or we will let you know why your manuscript is not the right fit for us.

I would like to take a moment to thank the people who dedicated so much time and effort to reading through, compiling feedback, and responding to the frankly overwhelming amount of submissions we received this year.

Robert Dowsett – Thank you, as always, for acting as our Acquisitions Editor. Your keen eye and abundant patience are an asset. I know the submissions period keeps you away from your hobby of reading from your to-be-read pile for longer than you would like, but I hope you’ll agree that it’s worth it.

Sarah Jane – A big welcome back to you, Sarah! Thank you for coming back year after year to read with us. We really appreciate it. Your comments are always thoughtful and insightful and we’re grateful to have your continued assistance.

Sabrina Wiese – Last, but not least, welcome to the team, Sabrina! As I’m sure you know, you were a BIG help this year. I think between the two of us we were determined to put Rob out of work! But in all seriousness, thank you for helping us to find those diamonds in the rough and I hope you had enough fun to want to stay on and help us again next time.

If you’d like to read a little about these helpful members of the Mirror World Team, you can check out our About Us page here. Otherwise, keep an eye out ( or subscribe to this blog)  for our announcement of the 2018 lineup, coming soon!

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Don’t forget about the HOLIDAY2017 Sale! Use code HOLIDAY2017 in our STORE for 25% off ALL TITLES, paperbacks and ebooks alike!

Wrapping up 2017 – Here’s what you have to look forward to!

November 1st, 2017

images3‘Tis the season… for Submissions! Here’s another reminder, we’re opening our submissions season November 1st, so if you have a manuscript you think we’ll love, send it our way! We’ve written a whole blog post on this topic and what we’re looking for this year here, so go over and check that out or head over to our website to read over our submissions page. Our whole team is itching to start reading what you have to send us! Submissions will remain open until we’ve found our 2018 line up or the year ends, whichever comes first!

 

November 4th and 5th, 2017

This weekend we’ll be in London, Ontario for the Southwesto Book Expo! We’ll have our entire collection with us, so if there are any books you are looking to pick up and you’re in the region, this is a great opportunity to come out and see us! Also, we’ve been asked by the Expo and the London Writers’ Society to make ourselves available to listen to queries and pitches from authors, so if you’d like to speak to us or hand your submission in IN PERSON this is your opportunity to do so! Either way, we look forward to meeting you!

 

terriblemightycrystal-5101 (1)November 9th, 2017

If you’ve been enjoying the short serial fiction stories on this blog lately, you’ll be pleased to learn that Sharon Ledwith is the author of the next one starting November 9th! Titled The Terrible Mighty Crystal, Sharon’s short serial is a prequel to her well-loved time travel series, The Last Timekeepers.

 

wg1November 13th to 17th, 2017

As you may or may not know, we’ve recently released the finale to Joshua Pantalleresco’s epic series, The Watcher. The third and final book is called The Wandering God and is now available in our store and online wherever you buy books. And, on November 13th, we’re kicking off a blog tour for The Wandering God, so you can learn more about it, read excerpts, get sneak peeks at the art, and read guests posts and interviews from Joshua Pantalleresco about his epic journey in writing this epic series.

 

November 17th to 24th, 2017

Following the blog tour for The Wandering God, we’re pleased to be able to celebrate the launch and blog tour for the fourth installment in the Nikki Landry Swamp Legends Series! Nikki and Snooper are back and this time they’re on an adventure THROUGH TIME in The Mystery on Lost Lagoon! We’ll reveal the cover for this book next week on November 6th,  so keep your eyes open for that!

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Date TBA, 2017

We haven’t yet hammered out an official release date, but we’re pleased to announce that Nate Friedman, author of The Coffee Monster, has another book coming soon! The Last Hockey Fight is a short chapter book for children who like both reading and hockey! Illustrated and written by the author and set in our hometown of Windsor, this book is sure to be hit this holiday season!

 

The Months of November and December, 2017.

It’s that time of year again! We’re hosting our very own holiday SALE!!! So if there are any titles you are waiting to pick up, December is the time to do it! Use code HOLIDAY2017 in our bookstore for 25% off ALL TITLES, paperbacks and ebooks alike!

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The Moment you’ve been waiting for… Submissions open November 1st, 2017.

It’s that time of year again! We’re pleased to announce that our submissions will open again for a brief window starting November 1st, 2017. How brief of a window, you may ask? Well, that depends how quickly we find what we’re looking for! But submissions will be open at least through the month of November, if not until the end of the year. However, if you’re considering submitting to us this year, I feel I must warn you that we expect the competition will be fierce. See, the thing is, we’ve almost got a full line-up picked out for 2018, so at most we’ll be looking to pick one, possibly two more books and that’s it.

wg1If you want to see what kind of books we publish to see if yours fits in, please have a look at our store. You can try one of our books for free with the discount code: MWFREETRIAL

And if you want to see what new books we have coming up, take a look at our new releases page here. 

We’re looking for Escapism Fiction. Children’s, Middle Grade, Young Adult, or Adult, any target age will do, but please inform us in your query letter who the target audience is. We’ll also want to know the genre, either fantasy, romance, science fiction, adventure, mystery, paranormal, speculative, or some combination of those I just listed. Your manuscript’s word count is also important to include, because it tells us at a glance the length of the project we’re looking at. Is it a novel, a novella, or something else? Are you writing a series? If so, tell us. Tell us how many books we are to expect to receive from you if we take you on.

If you submit to us, we expect to see a query letter filled with the information mentionedSpellhaven cover above as well as a quick description of your book. We’d also like a 1 page synopsis that includes the ending of your story so we can see if you can craft a satisfactory ending. Send both of those things along with a 3 chapter (or equivalent) sample – Please do not send the full manuscript if it is longer than 25 pages.

When we receive your submission, we’re going to be looking very closely at your opening. We’re looking for stories within our theme and preferred genres that have strong engaging openings. In order for us to request your entire manuscript you will have to catch our attention and prove your writing is interesting, relatively error-free, and engaging in the first scene. If your writing compels us to read the whole sample and want to read more, you’re on the right track.

Regardless of whether we accept your manuscript for publication or not we PROMISE to send you our thoughts with advice for how to improve your manuscript or which direction to try next. Because crafting personal responses takes time, we ask that you allow us six to eight weeks to respond. We WILL respond to all queries we receive, so there’s no need to follow up with us. 418obP8qfdL._SL500_AC_SS350_

So get your submission packages ready! And remember, if you need help, to check out our YouTube Channel and this blog for writing and publishing advice!

For details on how to submit and what we are and aren’t looking for, please see our Submissions Page. Thank you!

So Many New Worlds to Explore…

I know I just did one of these update kind of posts, but I’ve been so busy there’s more to tell. Here’s what we’re currently working on at Mirror World in no particular order:

Sandra Unerman’s Spellhaven: I got my first shipment of Spellhaven paperbacks yesterday and they look phenomenal. I can’t wait to share the cover with you on July 13th! Spellhaven is now also available for pre-order. You can order your copy from your favourite book retailer, or directly from us. Or, if you’re a reviewer, you might be interested in the copies we’ve allocated to Library Thing to give away as ARCs. You can claim one of those, here.

Leigh Goff’s Bewitching Hannah: This book is next on our new release list, launching September 17th, with a cover reveal coming in August. I’ve just finished creating the ebook and formatting the print interior and I’m now working hard on finalizing the cover layout. Again, I’m really excited to share this one with you! You can read about this book on our website, or subscribe to this blog or our newsletter to be the first to hear more details as we announce them.

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Rita Monette’s Nikki Landry Swamp Legends Series: We’re pleased to announce that Nikki is back again! Author/Illustrator, Rita Monette, has outdone herself with The Mystery on Lost Lagoon, the fourth installment of the series. We’ve tentatively scheduled this for a November 2017 release and we’re currently working on ideas for the cover.

Joshua Pantalleresco’s The Wandering God: Joshua was the first outside author to join the Mirror World family with his epic poem, The Watcher. Last year, he followed that up with Stormdancer and this year we’re bringing you the stunning conclusion to this epic post-apocalyptic tale. Currently in the editing phase as we wait for Florence Chan to work her magic, we expect this will be ready to launch October 2017.

mixterIn addition to all this, we’re also already looking ahead to 2018 with the children’s book, Mixter Twizzle’s Breakfast by Regan W. H. Macaulay and the quasi-sequel to Spellhaven, Ghosts and Exiles by Sandra Unerman. We’re also looking forward to Book Two of Sharon Ledwith’s Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls, Blackflies and Blueberries.

And last but not least, we have Mirror’s Deceit by Justine Alley Dowsett and Murandy Damodred, the third in the Mirror World series. Currently Mirror’s Deceit is being given a once over by our Editor, Robert Dowsett, but will soon be available for beta readers. Whether you’ve read Mirror’s Hope and/or Mirror’s Heart or not, if you’d like to beta read Mirror’s Deceit, please get in touch with us. We expect to be able to have the beta readers start in August.

Here’s the description:

Mirror’s Deceit by Justine Alley Dowsett and Murandy Damodred

Dark Fantasy/Romance – Coming in 2018!

In a seeming utopia, Mirena, a gifted student of majik, is on the verge of graduating from a secret college that will give her a leg up in her political career, when her achievements are overshadowed by the arrival of a mysterious woman with an unknown agenda.  Desperate to keep what she sees as her rightful place in the spotlight, Mirena goes to astounding lengths including taking it upon herself to pose as a double agent to investigate a rebel force plotting to destabilize the government. Unfortunately, her actions cost her the trust of those around her, so when she is proclaimed the Dark Avatar of the Destroyer, she finds she has nowhere to turn.

Up next: Uncharted by Justine Alley Dowsett and Murandy Damodred

In anticipation of our 2017 releases, I wanted to interview each of the authors, but I’ve tried, and I simply can’t interview myself. So, instead let me just tell you a little bit about where I’m at now and what my upcoming new release is all about.

07bcdcc12df687f02e58c2def519f9a9There’s less than two months left until Uncharted is released into the world and I’m excited and nervous and experiencing all the other feelings that come with sending a labour of love out into the world.

Next month, on March 20th, we’ll reveal the cover right here on the blog. I can’t wait to show it to you. Sara Biddle, www.salizabeth.net, is the extremely talented digital artist behind the Mirror World series, Unintended and now, Uncharted. As always, she has gone above and beyond any expectations we had and created something truly lovely.

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Uncharted, in case you’re wondering, is a love story set in the multi-cultural historical/fantasy world of Ismera (the same as Unintended). In it, a woman named Meredith questions her future as a priestess of the Order of Saegard and runs away. On the night she leaves, a legendary artifact is stolen from the temple and she’s blamed for it. Suddenly a fugitive, Meredith stows away on a ship belonging to an off-duty naval officer and a ex-con man posing as his business partner. Together the three of them must evade the law while they work to clear Meredith’s name and track down what was stolen and why.

Uncharted will soon be available for pre-order and will launch on April 17th, 2017. We’re in the midst of planning what we’ll do to celebrate, so subscribe to this blog or our mailing list to be kept informed.

As you may or may not know, Murandy, my sister and co-conspirator… I mean, co-writer, is on maternity leave with her four-month old, but we’re still writing. We’re in the middle of this years’ #85K Challenge (that’s 85,000 words in 90 days) and we’re a little over halfway through two different projects. The first is the next installment in the Mirror Series, working title, Mirror’s Redemption. And the other is the much-anticipated sequel to our first novel ever written together, Neo Central.

1usWith a passion for media and sales, Murandy has a strong background in public relations and promotions as well as an education in Drama and Communications. Justine is an author herself and has worked in a multitude of industries, including publishing. She comes to Mirror World Publishing after acting as Producer and Business and Marketing Director for First Age Studios, a video game design company.

 

My Writing Goals: 2017

I see a lot of people announcing their goals for 2017. I’m not sure I’m wired that way, but I do have several projects on the go (at all times) and even while super-busy with everything Mirror World, I always make time for writing projects and this year will be no exception.

You may remember that last year, Murandy and I participated in the #85K Writing Challenge with our upcoming release, Uncharted.. What is the #85K Writing Challenge? Well, you can find everything you need to know on the website 85K90.com, but essentially the goal is to write 85,000 words over 90 days. Last year, it took us from Jan 1st to mid-April to finish Uncharted, which came in at about 96,000 words.

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This year, things are a little different. Murandy is a new mom and has gone back to school to switch careers. We’re still writing together, but I know Murandy can’t dedicate as much time as before, so I’m participating in the #85K alone, but counting the words written across all the projects I’m currently working on.

So what are those projects? I’m glad you asked.

  1. While Uncharted is being edited by Robert Dowsett and the cover designed by the fabulous Sara Biddle, Murandy and I are going back to the Mirror World. Those of you who have read our Mirror World Series are no doubt eagerly awaiting the next installment in the series and we will not disappoint.
    Starting with Mirror’s Hope, and continuing with Mirror’s Heart, the next book in this dark fantasy romance series is as yet unnamed, but we’re hard at work. So for those of you who have questions unanswered from the first two books, like, who the heck is Abraxas?! And what’s the deal with Caralain? Just wait… it will all be made clear.ncbook
  2. The second book I’m working on concurrently is another eagerly awaited sequel, this one a young adult sci-fi/romance. I wasn’t sure I was ever going to write a sequel or revisit this world, but the fans have demanded it! (You know who you are.) That’s right, Neo Central 2: The Guild Wars is in the works. No promises yet on if or when it will be completed, but Murandy Damodred and another friend of ours (who is still working on her pen name) are having a blast with it and look forward to being able to share it with you. There are three of us co-writing this one, in the same way the original Neo Central was written all those years ago (2008, if you’re wondering)
  3. And in case I wasn’t busy enough with those two, I’ve got a smaller project of my own on the go. I’m constantly trying to master the short story or novella as I find it a challenge to write anything other than a novel (I know, I’m weird.) In this case, I’m working on a shorter story that will be a follow up to Uncharted. It’s called Unfinished, and takes place immediately after the novel. Murandy and I have plans to one day go back to these characters and write a sequel, but for now, this will have to tide me (and you) over.

And that’s it… for now, anyways! What are you working on? What are your goals? Do you think I’ll have any trouble with the #85K? Please leave your thoughts below and thanks for reading! 

2016: A Year in Review

Well, I said we would publish 5 books in 2016. We actually published 6.

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Black Lightning Cover FinalIn May, we released Black Lightning by the exceptionally talented and award-winning
author, K.S. Jones.  We certainly love this middle grade adventure into another world, and hopefully you did too. If you haven’t read it, you can learn more about it here.

TNSCovertestwhitened copySoon after we brought you Elizabeth J.M. Walker’s hilarious teen vampire comedy This Night Sucks, which if you haven’t read it, you are certainly missing out.

In the summer we prepared for the rest of our releases, bringing you book three and book two respectively of Rita Monette’s Nikki Landry Swamp Legends Series and Sharon Ledwith’s The Last Timekeepers Time Travel Series. You can find both in our storelightertkdscoverwithfont

We launched our membership program, which you can learn
contrastSMSymore about here. We attended a host of local events and we also made it to Toronto for The Word on the Street Festival, which was a great new experience for us. Murandy had a baby and named him Hunter Creston. Creston, for a lovable character in our book, Unintended, for those of you who haven’t read it.

In the fall, David McLain and Felix Eddy ran a gofundme coverimagettrmcampaign for their illustrated novel, The Time Traveller’s Resort and Museum, which was a huge success and in November we launched the book in ebook, paperback and also in hardcover, which we had never done before.

On September 30th we announced our partnership with Sho Art Spirit and Performance, and held Worlds Collide Gala, where we introduced our new imprint, Adventure Worlds Press, run by Christian Laforet and Ben van Dongen.

coverfixsmall2016 brought the closure of a few local stores where Mirror World Books were sold, but we added some new ones, like Story Tellers Books on Ottawa St, and From the Heart (also on Ottawa St). And we took a chance on a local artist, Owen Swain, and together created an adult colouring book/ode to Windsor, #tourdesketch Windsor, which has been selling out all across the city since we launched it a week ago. Next week, on December 15th will be our final hoorah of 2016 as we host a book launch / open house christmas party for Owen Swain’s #tourdesketch Windsor Colouring Book at Sho Art Spirit and Performance 628 Monmouth Rd, in Windsor.

All in all, 2016 was a busy year, full of growth and trying new things. Stay tuned for our plans to make 2017 even bigger and better and for the announcement of our 2017 line up of new books!