I first met Bec McMaster at the Romance Writers Conference on the Gold Coast last year. I was standing around swilling wine when this tall gorgeous girl dressed up as a character from Alice in Wonderland came and stood next to me and said 'hey'. I've never seen anyone rock a funky little fascinator/hat and short frilly skirt quite like Bec. She is mighty in her ways. Apart from being nice as pie, she also writes awesome good Steampunk. Take it away, Bec...
Just noticed, looks like Kiss of Steel is currently at the reduced price of around $2 for Kindle. Go get it!
What did you learn in 2012?
Ah, 2012… What a huge year. I feel like I’ve blinked and somehow the year slipped by. Of course, since my first book was released last year, there was a lot of learning to do.
Number One – How to be organized. Or, ah, more organized. Or even slightly organized. Heck, what can I say? I’m a pantser, in life and in my writing. I got a new Mac last year and it has its own sticky note function, so I can finally remove all the little yellow notes fluttering off my computer that seem to wind up in the weirdest places (like stuck to your butt when you race up to the post office to get the mail). I even have schedules, to-do lists and calendars on my pinboard now.
Number Two – I have learned to be patient. Publishing seems to be all about waiting. Waiting for that contract to arrive, waiting for edits, cover art, the publicity schedule… On the other hand, things will arrive in my inbox that need attention yesterday. Like a synopsis request or blog post. It keeps me on my toes.
Number Three – Anything that can go wrong, will. Like your internet going AWOL for two months right before your book is due to be released and your computer crashing (hence the new Mac)*. This is great fun when you have over thirty blog posts due, emails coming in left and right, a blog tour to promote and your third book due.
*Note to anyone out there: Backup your work. Your emails. Everything.
Number Four – To look after myself. 2012 was the year of not getting enough sleep, taking on a bit too much and not eating right. The kiev may be your friend when it comes to the meals-that-cook-themselves variety but you can give yourself an iron deficiency with too many of those kind of meals. Trust me. I know. It doesn’t matter if it takes a half hour away from the computer, a proper meal is worth its weight in gold.
What were some of your highlights of 2012?
The entire month of September. My first book, Kiss of Steel, came out on the 4th of September and I swear I spent the whole month wandering around in a daze. My MIL helped arrange a release night at the local library – well, actually she insisted on it since I prefer not to be in the limelight – and I was surprised how much I enjoyed myself. My step-mum organized an enormous cake that was designed like my book and we had 130 people show up. The local support has been amazing.
And yes, that entire thing is made of awesome chocolate mud goodness.
Also, I cut back to working part-time in order to focus on my writing career. It’s been great having the extra time to write, though it amazes me that my productivity levels are roughly the same. I think the increased focus on social media and promotion are to blame for that however.
And I always love attending the RW of Australia conference. This year it was the Gold Coast, though I’ll admit I didn’t leave the hotel for the entire five days I was there. Living in a small country town makes it difficult to catch up with other people who think like I do (aka writers), so five days of talking and laughing with old and new friends is the best fun.
What have you got planned for 2013, publishing or otherwise?
The second book in my London Steampunk series, Heart of Iron, is due out in May 2013, followed by book three (The-Book-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named) in October. I’m hoping to come up with a name for that book sometime between now and October. Writing a 100,000 word manuscript is the easy part, trust me. It’s naming the suckers that’s tough. Oh, and synopses.
I’m also hoping to release a novella in e-book form sometime in March-April. Featuring a secondary couple from Kiss of Steel, it is also available on my blog at http://www.becmcmaster.com/2012/12/05/tarnished-knight-chapter-one/ in serial form if anyone is interested.
As for the future, I’m hashing out the details on Book Four and Five of the London Steampunk series, which will close this story arc. I can’t wait to start book four. It’s all about friends-to-lovers and my hero finally noticing what’s been under his nose all along, so I’m having a lot of fun bringing him to his knees.
In March, I’ve got a writers retreat with a handful of friends which I can’t wait to attend. We’re trying to plan a schedule at the moment so that it is remotely productive and not all eating-champagne-celebrating awards nominations and general achievements.
I’m also hoping to attend the RWA conference in America in July. My mum has a milestone birthday this year and wants to climb Machu Pichu for it, so I’m hoping to do that on my way to America, attend the conference and then finish with a tour of the northern states. I may be sick of two-minute noodles by the time I get there, but it will be worth it.
Any movies, books and suchlike being released in 2013 that you're really looking forward to?
There are so many awesome movies that are coming in 2013. I can’t wait for Warm Bodies (zombie romance, seriously, how can you not?), the next Riddick, Wolverine, The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug and the latest seasons of Game of Thrones, Vampire Diaries and Walking Dead.
As for books… I’m going to try and get through my TBR shelf this year (see abovementioned America trip, two minute noodles and severe book budget slash). Mind you, there are some books I NEED to get my hands on: Nalini Singh’s untitled hopefully-ghost novel, Allegiance Forged by Kylie Griffin (because everyone needs some Arek in their life), Winterblaze by Kristen Callihan and Meljean Brook’s final Guardian novel. Of course, I’ve probably missed dozens, but I’m not even going to look at online reviews and catalogues until at least September! I promise. *crosses fingers*