All posts by Karen Diem

Karen is a nonfiction author now writing urban fantasy mixing trouble with independent heroines, superpowers, and the endless search for pants. She is also a bibliophile and fangirl.

Beta Readers Are Awesome

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I don’t have very many beta readers… but when I do, they are awesome! My beta readers are awesome, in case you missed that point.

They got the latest draft of Super last week. So far, one has completed reading and handed in all their comments, a second will be giving their comments tomorrow, and the third has started and will be done soon.The comments they’ve made so far – and all of them have said a few things – have been invaluable.

So things are steaming along on schedule! Many thanks to my brave beta readers!

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Super Progress Extraneous Exclamation Points

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Things! Things are happening! Woo! Admiring my grasp of language yet? It’s late here, so forgive me. Here’s the latest Super progress and a bit more:

  • If things work out, Super will release on May 5, 2016. It seems like an auspicious date for Zita Garcia. If it misses, I will post the new release date and make it as close to then as possible. The most likely reason for it to miss is if I have trouble converting it to the necessary formats.
  • The cover artists have the details of Super in their hands, and have told me to expect the cover in mid to late April. I can’t wait to see how they interpret the book; they’ve received excellent reviews from other writers. This site will also receive a style update when those cover images come out.
  • Additionally, my friendly neighborhood beta readers will be getting the latest draft of the book at the end of the week. With any luck, they’ll have some feedback to make it a better book.
  • I’ve hooked up a newsletter for anyone interested in keeping track of the latest updates, and getting some freebies specifically for my subscribers. I’m outlining a free short story now for those who sign up – if people sign up before I finish it, it’ll be available in the first newsletter after completion.
  • Book Two is getting the final touches on its outline. Writing will begin during the beta reader review period. I’ll switch between writing that and the freebie short story dependent on which is progressing better. I’m trying not to get distracted by a Halloween novella, but that might happen too.
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Cutting Room Floor: Super 1

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With regret, I had to reduce one character’s role – he was fun, but did not add enough to some scenes. He’ll show up more in later books in the series. However, here’s a snippet of a Super cut scene from the first draft. Be gentle.

Warned through their mental link, Wyn had the car ready to go when they piled in.

“My sword is crooked,” Jerome complained, plopping into the front passenger seat. His saber caught the light as he held it up to check it.

“Dude, things we don’t need to know,” Zita said. Leather stuck to her leg through one of the rips in her pants. She declined to think too much about the stupid grin sitting on her face.

Beside her in the cramped backseat of the Porsche, Andy concurred. “I’m with her on that one.” Being thrown through that window had not been kind to his clothing, and he tried to arrange the tatters to conceal more.

Wyn shrugged, both hands on the steering wheel. “Some women like that.” She giggled.

Opening her mouth and then closing it, Zita considered. “I suppose it depends on the angle.”

“The girls are on their own now.” Andy retreated, but not before poking her in the side. His question was silent. Am I flying us home?

A snort came from the front seat. “I meant my saber, perverts.” Jerome’s tone held the laughter his words lacked.

“You should clarify these things,” Wyn teased. “So did you get the notebook?”

His voice glum, Jerome answered first. “No. And I don’t know how much of the computer drive was wiped, but at least I had it deleting the medical files first, so hopefully those are gone.” The big man shifted position, and must have given up his examination of the weapon, as light no longer reflected off the blade.

I’ll get us back to my place once we’re clear of Jerome’s surveillance setup. Zita offered silently.

“It could have been worse,” the witch offered, “at least you destroyed the relevant data. If someone has the notebook, but no data, all they have are some names other sources would have given them anyway. The hospital conflagration destroyed enough that it might be sufficient to keep us from involuntary confinement.” Wyn changed lanes and took a merge onto the Beltway.

He let out a bark of amusement. “Oh, that doesn’t bother me. Plans are just wishful thinking. T-Bird, though, I’m disappointed in you, man. You need to bone up on what a real friend is.”

“What?” Andy asked. “What did I do?” He looked at Zita. OK, but I prefer flying, he sent mentally.

She shrugged. Then we’ll get you out to do that again soon.

The other man sulked, missing the silent byplay. “A real friend would’ve gotten me as soon as the chick fight started, especially once clothing started getting torn off.”

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Releasing Summer 2016!

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Aww… The first blurb for my urban fantasy novel. It warms the soul.

Adrenaline junkie and almost-respectable accountant Zita Garcia would not know a superhero from that guy down the street getting the mail in his pajamas. The second-to-last thing she expected was to wake from a spontaneous coma, quarantined, and with super powers she needed to hide from everyone, including her family. Now Zita must master her new abilities while dodging kidnappers, evading government inquiries, and finding her missing brother. Keeping her clothes on all day would be a nice bonus. The only thing weirder would have been if the blind date had gone well.

Super is the first in the Arca series and will be releasing summer 2016.

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