Tag Archives: fantasy

Chapter Seven of The Gold in the Dark and a Writing Update!

The seventh chapter of The Gold in the Dark drops today! If you need to catch up on past chapters, no problem, since you can do that right here. New chapters post every other Sunday at 11 AM EST, each one accompanied by a beautiful, custom illustration.

These past two weeks have all been social media work in preparation for Specter. I have a brand spanking new Instagram (@katiejanegallagher), where I post bookish stuff and dog stuff. (Did you guys know that I have a boxer dog? And that she is the naughtiest, cutest dog ever?) I’ve been pretty anti-social media in the past, but Instagram feels different to me somehow—less drama-filled, a lot happier. Plus I really like how it’s such an easy, fun way to connect with other artists, writers, and small business owners. So I’m having fun with Instagram, even though I’m a bit of a noob. 😉

Also, we are so close to a cover reveal that I can taste it. (Eeeeeee!!!!!!) If anyone is interested in an ARC, drop me a line.

Finally, I want to give a big, huge thank you to Joanna Penn, whom I don’t know personally but has been a big help to me in the last few weeks as I get closer and closer to Specter‘s release. For any authors out there, especially indie authors,she has a podcast called The Creative Penn that is just filled to bursting with writing and publishing advice. Every time I listen to her show I’m inspired by her energy and enthusiasm for all things independent publishing. Highly, highly recommend—and as an added bonus, her voice is incredible.

And that’s all from me! Have a good rest of your weekend, and enjoy Chapter Seven!

Chapter Six of The Gold in the Dark and a Writing Update!

The sixth chapter of The Gold in the Dark drops today! I’m especially excited that this chapter is posting, since it’s the first POV switch of the book. Don’t worry if you need to catch up with past chapters, since you can do that right here. New chapters post every other Sunday at 11 AM EST, and each one is accompanied by a beautiful, custom illustration. Just look at this week’s illustration; isn’t it gorgeous? The care and thought my illustrator puts into these chapter illustrations steals my breath every time. It’s one thing to envision these scenes in your head, and another to see them pictured on a page. ❤ Really surreal.

In writing update news, this week brought a major victory for me: the formatting of Specter is finally finished. I thought I was done with it a week ago, then received my physical proof and realized I needed to make font size adjustments, as well as bring in the inner margin. And it’s not so simple as changing those things and then submitting the final manuscript, wham bam thank you ma’am, since any formatting change can have a huge cascading effect in terms of page length, paragraph widows and orphans, etc. Cue rushing to get these changes made in a span of three days so I could rush order another proof, so I could finally confirm my page count, so I could hire a cover artist. And let me tell you, the proof arrived yesterday and… the formatting is perfect, at last.

Which means that there will be a cover reveal soon. I don’t really know any other way to put this: I’M SO EXCITED!!!!!!! Everything is coming together, it’s going to look fantastic, and soon Specter will be a real thing, out in the world for others to read.

I can’t wait. I hope you guys can’t wait, too.

Anyway, hope everyone’s having a great weekend, and enjoy reading Chapter Six.

Chapter Five of The Gold in the Dark and a Writing Update!

The fifth chapter of The Gold in the Dark drops today! If you need to catch up with the last few chapters, you can do that right here. New chapters post every other Sunday at 11 AM EST, and each one is accompanied by a beautiful, custom illustration drawn by a mysterious illustrator. I promise you’ll get to meet her soon enough—exciting stuff is in the works!

The new book I’m working on is on hold again, shelved in favor of putting the final touches on Specter. I know, I know, it feels like I say that same thing every week, and it’s getting frustrating to me. Do all the little formatting details really make a difference? I definitely feel guilty about not drafting for so long, but I try to keep reminding myself that I am working on writing, just the more editing/business side of things. Fortunately, I happen to really enjoy the entrepreneurial side of self-publishing, so it’s not like this is a slog. Well, maybe it is a slog, but a strangely enjoyable one. :/ I’m actually putting together a blog post all about the formatting and typesetting choices I made for Specter—it’s already loooong and getting longer. Maybe no one wants a post like that except for me, but at least it will be a reminder of all the steps I took for Specter so that when I have to do all this again for the next book it won’t be quite so labor-intensive.

There will be some fun reviews coming up in these next few weeks, as well as the introduction of #TSOOSI. I’m having fun with Short Tuesday, too, so expect more of those. (Though here’s hoping the next short story is a little bit more satisfying than the Edgar Allan Poe one!)

Anyway, let’s keep it short and sweet for this week. Have a great rest of your weekend, and enjoy Chapter Five!

Chapter Four of The Gold in the Dark and a Writing Update!

The fourth chapter of The Gold in the Dark drops today! If you need to catch up with the last few chapters, you can do that right here. New chapters post every other Sunday at 11 AM EST, and each one is accompanied by a beautiful, custom illustration drawn by a mysterious illustrator. I especially love Chapter Four’s illustration this week, so I just had to put it down below—isn’t it just gorgeous?

You know, it’s really funny reading back through these old chapters—gives me a sort of a “high school reunion” feeling, if I’m being honest. I absolutely love The Gold in the Dark, don’t get me wrong, but some of the phrasing and sentence-craft is just a bit different than my current voice. I’m drafting a blog post right now about how to write close POV, and I’m finding that as I do final edits on The Gold in the Dark chapters that I’m stopping every so often to make use of some of the techniques in that post.

This week I’ve gotten back into drafting, at long last! The book I’ve been working on has a lot of sad details requiring research in the opening few chapters, and it’s been hard to find the motivation to do the research to make sure all the details are accurately and sensitively portrayed. But I’m pushing through, and even though there’s been a long gap from when I started drafting the book, I really do like what I wrote originally. The voice is pretty different for me… but in a good way, I think.

As for Specter, I’m still mired in formatting hell. As I comb the web for the absolute perfect fonts, sometimes I wonder if I’m too particular about the little things, but I do think these tiny details add up to a world of difference in terms of making the final book look professional. Like I said a few weeks ago, Specter is tentatively slated for release in late May or early June, so if anyone wants to be part of my ARC team, drop me a line.

I also wanted to mention a couple cool things that are happening on the blog right now. You may have noticed that I’ve started a new blog series called Short Tuesday, where I review short fiction and link to the piece if at all possible. The first couple posts have been some really eerie short stories by Kelly Link, so if you’re a magical realism or weird fiction fan, check them out!

There’s also a Saint Patrick’s Day themed post coming up, as well as bookcase spring cleaning and the introduction of #TSOOSI. What’s that mean? you may ask. You’ll just have to wait and see. 😉

So those are all my updates; exciting stuff is in the works! Have a great rest of your weekend, and enjoy Chapter Four!

Chapter Three of The Gold in the Dark and a Writing Update!

The third chapter of The Gold in the Dark drops today! If you need to catch up with the first two chapters, you can do that right here. New chapters post every other Sunday at 11 AM EST, and each one is accompanied by a beautiful, custom illustration drawn by a mysterious illustrator. (She’ll unveil herself eventually.)

I don’t have much in terms of a writing update this week, unfortunately. I won’t go into details, but suffice it to say that there are some personal circumstances that are eating up a lot of my time and energy right now. I’ll make it through, probably sooner rather than later, but it’s been hard recently to conjure up the right head space for writing.

So instead I’m focusing a lot on reading, especially ARCs. When I made an account on NetGalley around a month ago, I requested a bunch of books with the expectation that I’d be turned down for most of them. How wrong I was! So far I’ve been approved for all but two of them, so I now have quite the stack to read and review.

I’ve also started working on getting Specter off the ground again. It’s a lot of document formatting and admin work—you know, super thrilling stuff. Hopefully that will all be done soon so that I can move onto the actual fun tasks, like securing a final cover. Specter is tentatively slated for release in late May or early June, so if anyone wants to be part of my ARC team, drop me a line.

All right, that’s all for now, folks. Enjoy Chapter Three, and have an awesome rest of your weekend. ❤

An Unexpected Romance: Recommendations for Genre Fiction Fans Who Don’t Read Romance

If you’ve been around KJG Incorporated for a while, you might know that I have some struggles with the romance genre. Full disclosure: my honest, perhaps controversial opinion is that romance is most satisfying as a book sub-plot, rather than as the primary focus.

But this doesn’t mean I hate the romance genre!!! In fact, I’m eager for my aforementioned opinion to be proven wrong, which is why I’ve made it my mission this year to dive deeper into the romance genre as a whole and do my best to discover some authors whom I really connect with. I want this, truly I do, and I’ll probably have a post going up this Thursday that may surprise you! (And me!)

So in honor of fast-approaching Valentine’s Day, I offer you my top suggestions for fans of genre fiction who don’t read romance. All of these are five-star books for me, and each one is completely different from the others.

Sirena by Donna Jo Napoli

This 210-page book is perfect for anyone looking for a quick, moving read with a Greek mythology focus. It’s YA, but YA from before Twilight exploded the scene. If you’re looking for a book with a small cast and intimate atmosphere, you should definitely pick up a copy.

Plus there are beautiful mermaids. Need I say more?

Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters

If you want a master class in character voice and slow burn, read this book. First published in 1975, Crocodile on the Sandbank sparked Peters’s cozy Egyptology mystery empire. It reads as an older book, but a hilarious older book. Amelia and Emerson are two of the greatest characters I have ever read, and, and, and… It’s just the best. Get it. Read it. The End.

Green Rider series by Kristen Britain

Is it too mean to include the Green Rider series in this post? It’s been a long while since I read the first book, but if memory serves correct, then heed this warning: I believe there’s hardly any hint of the true romantic pairing in the first book. If you want the slowest of burns (and I’m talking thousands of pages), then read this series.

But it’s worth it. I have never cared so much about two people ending up together so much as the MC Karigan and her beau. (Trying to avoid spoilers here.) Twilight got nothing on this. But again, it takes forever for any real pay-off, so… Yeah. You’ve been warned.

Sunshine by Robin McKinley

Consider this a last-minute addition to the list. Sunshine is not so much romantic as sexy, but I do think it deserves to be here.

First up, you gotta like vampires. If you are a fan of paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and hilarious stream-of-consciousness 1st POV, then this is one for you. Perfect atmosphere, excellent world-building… If any of this is calling you, buy this right stat now.

So those are my unconventional Valentine’s Day picks. I’d love to hear your own unexpected romance recommendations. Slow-burn Western? Sweet and tender sci-fi? Feel free to leave a comment down below with your own romance picks.

Chapter Two of The Gold in the Dark and a Writing Update!

The second chapter of my debut novel, The Gold in the Dark, drops today! If you missed the first chapter, click here to read it! New chapters release every other Sunday at 11 AM EST, accompanied by beautiful, custom illustrations.

I also wanted to write a quick blog post with an update about what I’m currently writing! Now that the serial release of The Gold in the Dark is smoothly underway, as well as the fact that the edits for my second book, Specter, are complete, this allows me to finally start drafting a new book! I don’t want to give too much away, but I will say that this next story will be set in a modern-day school with a fantastical horror element. I’m in love with the story, but it’s sort of high-concept, and I’m hoping to pull it off successfully. I think I’ll have to especially pay attention to story structure and character development. Maybe it’s because this next book seems so daunting that I’ve had an idea in the last couple days for another story, one that’s relatively pared-down and simple, with a character relationship focus. The places our minds go when we’re scared of diving into a difficult task, amiright? But my writing buddies convinced me to let that one marinate a little longer and focus on the story that I’ve only been planning for, oh, six months or so. They’re good peeps, my writer friends. 🙂

(By the way, does anyone know of any human-alien love stories, less emphasis on sex and more emphasis on sweet romance? Asking for a friend…)

It feels good to be drafting again in a painful sort of way, like stretching stiff muscles. This new book, at least right now, feels a little bit more poetic than my normal, perhaps more stream-of-consciousness as well. My first chapters tend to differ a lot in tone from later chapters, so we’ll see if that voice sticks around. I’ve done enough planning; now I get to see where the words take me. That might sound weird, but anyone who writes will know what I’m talking about.

Anyway, enough blabbering. Enjoy the second chapter. I’ll see you guys on Tuesday for a Valentine’s Day-themed post. ❤

The Queen’s Wing by Jessica Thorne

You know when you read a fantastic first chapter and you get that sinking feeling? That the rest of the book can’t possibly keep this up type of feeling? The Queen’s Wing keeps the momentum going. By the last few chapters, I was stopping every couple of pages to shake my head at my husband and mutter, “How is she doing this? This is just so good.”

He called me jealous. I’m just happy to have discovered a new favorite author.

I’ve seen some comparisons online between The Queen’s Wing and Sarah J. Maas. I actually don’t think that comparison is apropos. I’d pitch this as science-fantasy à la Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series, with voice and pacing similarities to Uprooted by Naomi Novik. Don’t let the cover fool you; this book doesn’t read as over-the-top, fluffy YA. It is NOT The Selection. Sure, there’s a princess and a love triangle, but the MC has such a deep sense of duty and self-awareness that this really should be classed in that mystical “new adult” realm that never really materialized in the way we thought it would.

And the romance is perfect. If you want a love triangle done right, this is it. You won’t end up hating the MC for being a selfish asshole, and nothing feels forced.

Plus there are loads of crazy plot twists and surprises—surprises that actually surprise you. So many books like this are predictable; this one is not. Yet none of the plot twists broke my immersion.

Once again: it’s perfect. Read it. I’d be shocked if this isn’t a top book of the year for me. And by the way, Thorne is coming out with a sequel in a couple weeks, and she also writes under the names R. F. Long and Ruth Frances Long, so there’s a back list for fans of The Queen’s Wing to catch up on. Thanks to Lauregalie for turning me on to this book, and happy almost weekend, everybody!

DEBUT: Chapter One of The Gold in the Dark

Guys, the first chapter of my debut novel, The Gold in the Dark, drops today! Right now! Read it while it’s hot!

Can you tell I’m excited? This baby’s been gathering dust on Dropbox for years, giving me sad puppy dog eyes. And finally, finally I get to drag it out into the light, dust it off, and hand it over to readers.

We got a gorgeous cover. We got a pronunciation index. We got stunning illustrations courtesy of a mystery artist. We even got a Spotify playlist, in case you want to know the music I was listening to as I wrote the damn thing.

I mean, look how adorbs.

Don’t you want to know a little bit more about this critter? Don’t you want to know what all the fuss is about? Then click on through and give it a read. New chapters release every other Sunday at 11 AM EST, accompanied by stunning, custom chapter illustrations.

And if you enjoy what you read, then please consider buying me a coffee or subscribing to my newsletter to stay up-to-date with what’s happening at KJG Incorporated.

Happy reading, everybody.