Tag Archives: WTF

Dissent Cover Reveal

It’s Friday and I’ve had one heckuva busy week! I’ve got the plague and more work to do than one person should.  I’ve been writing on Dissent mostly and it’s coming along.  Well, except for the part where I cut 1K words from it yesterday. 🙂

For motivation and procrastination, I like to peruse cover art.  I saw this photo and knew it would be perfect for Dissent.  Here is the cover:


Bwahahahahaha!  Is that mysterious enough for you?  Don’t worry, it will all make sense once you start reading the story.

So, you’re probably wondering when you get to read the story? End of February. I’ve got a bunch of Valentines/ Anthology stuff coming up and then Dissent will be out.  Not much longer!  And, as always, thanks for your patience. I write as fast as I can, but I also have this whole other life where I’m a mom/wife/sister/daughter/friend. Yeah, the mom stuff takes up the most time, but all you parents out there know about that!

Today is also my day to blog over at the Indelibles. I wrote my post for them on Monday, so it’s a lot funnier and more coherent than this one. 🙂

Have a swell Friday.



Pantser 4-ever and #ROW80

Last Wednesday a few of us PacNWYA authors gave two talks at a middle school in Portland. Lisa Nowak spoke about writing rules, left brain vs. right brain and how to turn off your internal editor and let creativity come through. (Expect a lot more 8th graders to be participating in NaNoWriMo next year.) Then Angela Carlie and I led a writing exercise that involved writing dialogue and coming up with ideas on the fly.  Finally, we did a Q & A.

It’s been my experience that the first question people ask is, “How long did it take for you to get published?” This is when we all share that our first books took years.  We explain that most of us went the traditional route at first, why we got fed up with it and how we made the decision to self-publish.

The second question we get is, “Do you outline?” Some of us do and some of us don’t and we each speak a little bit about our writing process.

What I find most interesting about these two questions – that have been asked of us by kids, teens, teachers, other writers and book bloggers – is that they don’t hear what we say past “My first book took five years to finish and another two to publish” and “Yes, I meticulously outline before I write.”

I feel like the general consensus is that folks want authors to have suffered for their art. That the books we outlined for a year and took five years to write are somehow better because we worked harder on them.

So, as you can imagine, people stop listening to me when I tell them that after I published Glimpse, Glimmer was out eight months later and Glow was out eight months after that. They definitely stop hearing me when I explain that I have no use for outlines because I won’t follow them.

Now, there are a ton of writers and readers to defend the self-published, to rally behind those that put books out on their own schedule.

But who, I ask you, stands for the pantser?

Uh, I guess it will be me.

No one wants to admit to being a pantser, they will say they’re  “reformed” or a “hybrid.” I’ve used the hybrid term to describe myself, but I’ll come clean and admit that scribbling a page full of half sentences and characters names is not an outline. Writing down Epic Battle or Showdown or Then they get it on are not decisive plot points. I’ve been known to say that I “know what’s going to happen next” or “I have a solid beginning and ending.”

Nope. I don’t.

In fact, if I write down a plan I can almost guarantee that none of the things listed in the plan will end up in the manuscript.

The only thing that works for my pantserin’ self is to write a sentence, read it, and write another sentence. As far as I can tell, this method still requires creativity and perseverance.  I am still, a really real writer.

This method may be your writerly version of hell. I can respect that. Everyone works differently. My method isn’t better than yours and yours isn’t better than mine.  We’re all in the business of making stuff up for a living; we’ve all had our characters “speak” to us. We’ve all had those weird moments of inspiration that derailed and then bettered our books.

Those things happen because we’re writers, not because we’re pantsers or plotters. If the end product is awesome, who cares how we got there or who properly suffered more?

One final thought: Pantser is a weird name, but I think we should own it.  Let’s not be embarrassed anymore. It’s like the whole indie/self-published thing. Yeah, indie sounds cooler and it will make for a better tattoo, but there’s nothing wrong with saying you’re self-published either. I’m kind of over being embarrassed about how I write and publish.

Self-published pantser.


#ROW80 update: My 300 words a day plan fell apart after the first day. Go figure. I wrote 306 words on Monday and 1,628 words on Friday – both days on the DBC anthology story.

This post is cross-posted to the Death By Chocolate blog.

#Row80 round four goals

I’m setting simple goals for myself this round. I already have a ton of things planned for the next three months – I’m doing a book tour this month, will be out-of-town twice in November, with my son’s birthday and Thanksgiving happening in between, and December is holiday madness and then my daughter’s birthday.  These are all things I know about.

Since I had so many unplanned things occur during the last two rounds – two car accidents, lots of doctor visits, flea infestation of epic proportions, my hard drive crashed – I ‘m expecting some sort of obstacle to pop up during this one.

My goal is to make Tuesdays Day of Sacrifice Day and Thursday Glimpse TV pilot day.  There are two more DoS stories left to write and I’d love to have one more out in time for the holidays, but I’m not going to bank on it.  The Glimpse pilot will be finished before the end of this round, simply because it’s half done already.  Then Thursdays will switch to editing or more DoS.

I want to write two novels, a short story, the last DoS novelette and a novella in 2012 and get the TV pilot sent to SOMEONE.  So, this round I’m going easy on myself.

Best of luck to all the ROW80 participants !  I’ll “see” you all at the Twitter party on Wednesday!

Confessions of a, uh, confessioner

I was reading a funny thread on Kindleboards the other day where they were talking about the most overused words and phrases in titles.  Confessions of a…was one of them.

But wait, I really do have a confession.

Since the Day of Sacrifice stories are serialized, I always reread them before I start writing another one.  It helps me get back into the world and I make notes for continuity.  Every once in a while, though, something sneaks past me.

After I finished Dormant and was putting together the DoS Vol. 1-3, I realized that Edgar Grant wasn’t called Edgar in Day of Sacrifice.  I believe I called him George.

I’ve also had to go back and change the ages of some of the characters.  When you’re dealing with angels and vamps and they can be hundreds of year old, well, sometimes I get carried away and make them, like, 500 or something.  Realistically (? !) the oldest of them are in their 200’s.

So, when I sat down to make the list of characters and terms for DoS today I found that I’d written there were six Gods in Day of Sacrifice and then only written four God characters in Takeover. I immediately fixed this problem and uploaded Takeover everywhere again, but just so ya know, some of you ended up with the *special* 4 Gods edition.

What can I say?  I don’t get enough sleep and I’m constantly interrupted by apple juice swilling toddlers.  I decide to cater parties and publish books at the same time.

Not your problem.

If you’ve got a 4 Gods version and aren’t notified when the correct one uploads to whichever site you purchased it from, let me know and I’ll see what I can do to get you a new copy.

I realize this is one of those things that if I hadn’t said anything 99 percent of you wouldn’t have noticed, but it’s embarrassing for me and makes me feel lame when I make dumb mistakes.

End of confession. 🙂

Check out the new DoS Characters and Terms page.  I had a lot of fun making it.  I think I’m also going to add a Couples and a Who Killed Who list.  With a great big ol’ spoiler warning before it, of course.

Where is Takover ? and #ROW80

First thing’s first, here is photographic evidence that I was at BEAST on Friday night:

We had the best meal I’ve ever eaten.  It was all very fancy in a Portlandia sort of way.  Eating fancy wee food is about the only fancy social situation I feel comfortable in.  I cannot, for instance, make a decent toast at a wedding or attend the ballet and act right.

After dinner we came back over to our side of town and went to our local bar, where we ran into a group of folks that were also from Missouri.  My comfort level increased considerably.

Now on to writerly things.

Some people have been asking where Takover is because I’d said it would be out in July.  I made this announcement when I thought that Glow would be out at the beginning of June, therefore giving me all of June and July to write Takeover.

It’s not done yet.  In fact, I’m not even a quarter of the way finished with it.  It’s frustrating for me too that it’s not done.  All I can say is that I’m working on it!

Summer sucks for writing.  There are just too many little things to be done.

It also doesn’t help that I keep getting  into car accidents.

That’s right.  Got  rear-ended again! On my wedding anniversary.  This time the kids were with me.  Extra super-duper good times.

So, now I’ve got to take the van in to get the back door replaced again and I have more chiropractic appointments on the horizon. (My last one for the other accident was supposed to be last Friday.)

This afternoon I start teaching an intro. to acting class for kids 8-12.  So, there’s prep for that.  And swimming lessons, and flea killing, and house cleaning, and laundry, and visiting with friends from out-of-town.

You see what I mean?  Every day I seem to have several things that have to be done and they all don’t take up that much time by themselves, but put them together and…I need more than fifteen minutes a day of writing time to get anywhere on Takeover.

I’m going to see what happens if I cut down on internet time this week.  Maybe I have more time than I think I do.

I didn’t meet my goal I made this week of getting Takeover to 6K, obviously.  If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!

Let’s all have the chillest week ever, shall we?

A dream come true! Sorta.

Well, my books are up at Powells.com.

Glow comes up immediately when you type Glow into the search feature. Same with Zellie Wells trilogy. Of course, they’re only available in paperback.

Glimpse and Glimmer come up if you change your search parameters to Electronic.  They aren’t available in paperback.

There aren’t any synopses on any of them, but all the Goodreads reviews transferred over for Glow.

If you’re a fan of random pricing, you can get Glimpse for $2.99, Glimmer for $4.43, Glow for $10.75 and the trilogy for $24.75.

Needless to say, I’m a bit underwhelmed with accomplishing this particular dream.  Therefore, I think I’m going to wait a while longer to post links until all the formats and prices even out. (Dear God, help a girl out. Surely you’ve got some pull at Google, those people owe you big time.)

I do get a kick out of seeing the books on the Powell’s site, though.

Now over at Google ebooks (which is responsible for all of this weirdness, as they are the distributor) I’m not so forgiving.  They deserve the WTF of the year award.  They’ve managed to import the reviews and synopsis for Glimpse from Amazon… along with the old cover, a random price and the predominant keyword of “death.”

Say you’re perusing Google books and you feel like reading about death.  Glimpse comes up.  You’re confused by the synopsis, but you see that it has lots of good reviews and a strangely alluring cover with a picture of a diner on it.  You click on it.  What you find is a different cover (although just as alluring) with a smiling girl on the front.  What does this chick have to do with death?  The description indicates that she’s the stalker of a boy named Avery, but it doesn’t appear that he dies or that she tries to kill him.  Hmm.  Maybe this keyword cloud at the bottom here will give me some insight.  Who the hell is Jenny Pox?  Why is I’ll highlighted? Why is Zellie’sZellie’s what?

Your guess is as good as mine, strange person that wants to read about death.

Your guess is as good as mine.

Grumble, grumble and #ROW80 update

Let’s get the update I’ve been putting off all day out of the way first. 🙂

I have yet to write a word on Takeover.  This is really annoying me, but I have other things I have to finish first.

Grumble, grumble…

I’m having massive problems getting the Zellie trilogy formatted for Kindle.  I have no idea why, I’ve done this a bazillion times and didn’t even have this much trouble the first time!

I’ve tried to copy it to Open Office and it won’t let me copy it. I’ve saved it as a webpage (my second choice for HTML) and none of my scene breaks are sticking.  If you’ve ever read any of my books, you know that the scene breaks are pretty important! 🙂

Ima just about to rip all my hair out.

Also, Facebook is all screwed up and I can’t comment on anything.  Did I break the internet again?


If you would like to purchase an e-book copy of the Zellie Wells trilogy, Smashwords and Barnes and Noble were nice to me and published them without repeatedly kicking me in the ladyballs.

Grumble, grumble…



To the person(s) who has Googled “Glimmer by Stacey Wallace Benefiel PDF” six times in the last week, you can find the PDF version at Smashwords and All Romance e-books.

Sure, you can also find it for free all over the interwebs at sucktastic pirating sites, but I thought I’d give you the benefit of the doubt and let you know where you can get a legal copy. 🙂

In less snarky news, the print version of the complete Zellie Wells trilogy has a cover and is in the review process at Createspace.

I’ll let you all know when it’s available.  It’s priced at $24.99, which is higher than I wanted to price it, but still a discount from buying all three books separately.  It might also help you to know that if you buy any of my print books through Barnes and Noble or Borders, that I make $0.00.

Yup.  Zero dollars.

I do a little better on Amazon and my Createspace e-store.

Of course, right now you can’t get any of the books in print because they’re all in review, but that should change by the end of the week and I’ll post fresh links.

The complete trilogy should be available in e-book form (at a much more reasonable price) at the end of this week as well.

Last bit of info, it’s free Slurpee day at 7-11.  Get on that.

New covers, an interview and #ROW80

Behold.  The Zellie Wells trilogy has all new covers!

I finally gave in to all the pressure from the road and transparent building haterz and put Zellie on the covers. 🙂  I’m quite pleased with them and think my sister did an awesome job.

I’d been reluctant to put a person on the cover because I didn’t want to influence reader’s ideas of what the characters looked like. (That’s also why I don’t spend much time describing them except initially.)

For me, I know that when I’m reading a book, most of the time what I picture the characters looking like and the suggestion of what they look like on the cover don’t jibe.  Maybe I’m weird that way. (In my mind, Peeta from the Hunger Games is the brunette and Gale is the blonde.)

But, then I got this Land’s End catalog in the mail and there was Zellie right on the front.  The exact Zellie that’s in my head and she was posing with a cute brunette Avery-in-his-twenties to boot! My sister had someone to model her drawings after.

It was meant to be.

Thank you, Universe!

Another great thing that happened to me this week (don’t worry, it hasn’t all been roses) is that author Angela Carlie asked if she could interview me on her blog.  She does a series on Fridays called (Someday) Famous YA Author.  She asked great questions and is a super cool person.  You guys should totally read her books. You can read my interview here.

And now for the dandelion part of my week.

ROW80 update: Glow’s not finished yet.  I had my butt in the chair writing on it all week, but I hit a wall on Thursday. Chapter 19 made the Chapter 11 debacle look like a day at the fair. I rewrote it seven times between Thursday and Friday and then I had to give up and watch Kyle XY and eat cookies.

Things went better on Saturday.  I managed to get my act together and fix 19 and then bust out 20 and 21.  I’m halfway through 22, which is the big action-y showdown and then all that’s left is the epilogue.

I really wanted to get Glow out in June because my sales are tanking, (I’ve sold as many books this month as I was selling per day in March) but it looks like it will be out in July. This means the next DoS story will probably be out in August instead of July.

And then I’m taking a three-week vacation because I be burnt out.

On the upside, the tanking sales have forced me to do some actual marketing. 🙂 I tweeted about The Toilet Business in a, hopefully, not annoying way all day today.  That effort garnered me a new review and two copies sold. Yay!

Okay, that’s all the blabbing I can handle for today. I apologize for the paragraph I used the word “out” in 16 times. I was going to schedule this post to go live at midnight and it’s 12:13. Time for bed!

Back to work! and #ROW80

I had an excellent weekend at the coast!  The weather was beautiful and my first ocean fishing trip was a success. I managed to catch several granite Grouper  before catching my first actual fish, but I would have been happy had I not caught a single one.  It was just great to be out on the boat with my family soaking up the sunshine and learning to do something new.

Me, my sister and our dad waiting on the dock.  I’m the short one.  I’d love to say that my sister and I are dressed for fishing, but we kind of always look like that.

Dad, me and my BIL.  Note that I am enjoying the breakfast of champions, Diet Coke. I am used to being up this early, but I’m usually wearing my pajamas and sitting in front of my computer.

The first and only fish I caught!  I’m very proud.  Thanks to my BIL for showing me how to fish (I, like, didn’t even know how to use the fishing rod) and for taking my fish off of the hook for me. (The deckhands were busy helping my sister get her 6th and 7th fish into the tote.)

We also put in three crab pots that we had to pull out at the end of the trip.  My BIL warned us that they were hard to pull back up and he wasn’t kidding.  My sister and I pulled one in together and I got covered in shredded jelly fish.  Good times.

My BIL pulled in the other two pots.  It was completely awkward watching everyone struggle with the crab pots.  Even the big strong guys had a difficult time.  The only one that seemed to have an easy time of it was this lady from Idaho that was sporting full on camo gear.  After I’d pulled up my pot, I commented to her how hard it was and she looked at me like I was a disgrace to womankind.

Hey, at least I didn’t whine about how icky it was being covered in jellyfish.  Nor did I hurl.  I thought that was pretty dude-ish of me. 🙂

On to the ROW80 stuff:

Obviously, I didn’t get any writing done. I do feel confident in saying that the first draft of Glow will done this week.  Also, my sister and I decided that we’d be rolling out the new covers for the trilogy with Glow.  So, expect to see a new look!

Time to get back to work!  Have a great week you all!