• Daily Life

    The Hugo Post

    People have asked me, as they do every year, to put together a list of what I had published last year that could qualify for a Hugo nomination. I don’t normally get my act together enough to do this, but a combination of elements, including

    1. Worldcon is in Dublin this year!
    2. I’m very proud of last year’s novel! and
    3. Somebody else did the hard lifting and I’m able to use that for the basis of my post

    means I’m doing a proper one this year. I’ll put the cold hard facts up front, and then go into greater detail below.

    The following books & stories are suitable for Hugo nominations in the listed categories.

    Best Novel:
    REDEEMER by C.E. Murphy
    Kobo || iTunes || Amazon || Barnes & Noble

    Best Novella:
    Kiss of Angels by C.E. Murphy
    Kobo || iTunes || Amazon || Barnes & Noble

    Best Short Story:
    Family Ties (collection: KISS OF ANGELS)
    21st Century Ghost (collection: KISS OF ANGELS)

    Best Novelette
    Threnody (collection: KISS OF ANGELS)

    Best Series:
    The Old Races by C.E. Murphy (KISS OF ANGELS qualifying collection)

    Best Cover Artist:
    Tara O’Shea (for KISS OF ANGELS art, & for REDEEMER design)
    Lindsey Look (REDEEMER art)

    Okay, that’s the cut & dry version, up above. What follows are more details and my own thoughts about the works, I guess.

    Suggestion for Best Cover Artist nominee: Lindsey Look

    The war is over…but for Rosie the Redeemer, the homefront battle is just about to begin!

    It’s July 1945, and more than just the boys are coming home from war–monsters are coming with them, and Rosie Ransom learns she can redeem a damned soul–but she may lose her own in the process. And yet, without her Redeeming ability, the scare started by a few demons may turn into a full-fledged nightmare…

    This was a very difficult book to write, partly because I challenged myself to several things that I’d never done before in terms of writing (not just ONE, oh no, but SEVERAL, because let’s NEVER DO ANYTHING THE EASY WAY, CATIE), and also (not to lean in to a personal sob story in awards season or anything @.@) because my mom, after whom the main character was partially named, died while I was working on it.

    I honestly didn’t think, while I was working on it, that I had done well, or that I would ever want to return to the Redeemer world. Then my copy editor emailed, 3 chapters in, and said, “If the rest of this is as good as the opening, WOW,” which is not…normal. :)

    Then my book designer, who is normally very, very fast, took *weeks* to lay the book out, because she was actually reading it as she laid it out, which, she says, she never ever does.

    Despite all that, honestly, I still wasn’t at all sure of the book until I did the final round of copy edits on it, and I gradually realized I’d done what I wanted to with it. The writing challenges I’d set myself–no semi-colons! (the horror!!!!) limited use of ‘was’ in non-dialogue prose! (oh god that’s hard) improving my descriptions!–had succeeded, and the kind of story I wanted to tell, one about female friendships, one that reflected not just the social expectations and restrictions of the era but also shone light on the same problems today…had made it onto the page.

    And then it turned out that because the book was so very late, with the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement, with the huge surge of women elected to Congress, with the upheaval of the past few years…REDEEMER had become timely in a way it wouldn’t have if I’d turned it in when it was due. Heh. Go figure. :) So in the end I’m actually really proud of this book, and I’d honestly love to see it nominated for a Hugo.

    REDEEMER is available here:
    Kobo || iTunes || Amazon || Barnes & Noble


    Suggestion for Best Cover Artist nominee: Tara O’Shea

    The laws that governed the Old Races for time immemorial have been broken. Ancient rivals are scattered. Friendships are ended. What was hidden begins to step out of shadow and into the light.

    And after millennia of imagining this moment, even the Old Races discover they are unprepared for what it brings….

    KISS OF ANGELS is covering a loooooooot of territory for this year’s Hugo nominations, carrying, as it does, the possibility for nomination of the titular “Kiss of Angels” as best novella; for best short story with “Family Ties” and “21st Century Ghost”; best novelette with “Threnody”, and, finally, best series for the entire collection as part of the ongoing saga of the Old Races, which, with the publication of KISS OF ANGELS is now some 650K words long.

    The KISS OF ANGELS collection is set after the Old Races trilogy, and the titular novella, Kiss of Angels, is the teased-at and long-promised story of Grace O’Malley (yes, that Grace O’Malley). I think it stands alone reasonably well, but it also brings the entire Old Races saga to a point where I could, and someday will, write more full-length books in the world. (!)

    “Threnody”, at an 8800 word ‘novelette’ length, is possibly my favourite of the collection. I think it stands alone pretty well, and I’d be thrilled to bits to see it nominated. ♥

    “21st Century Ghost” is a first date story about the difficulties of dating the supernatural, and amuses me. :) “Family Ties” is a short Janx story and honestly belonged in the BABA YAGA’S DAUGHTER collection, but I didn’t write it for like two years after that book was published, so… :)

    Seeing the whole book nominated as part of the Old Races series would be REALLY COOL, I’m not gonna lie. That would be…REALLY COOL. :) :) :)

    And I would really, really like to see Lindsey Look and Tara O’Shea nominated for their cover art work, which is reliably fabulous! ♥

  • CEMurphy

    Launch Day: REDEEMER

    At long, LONG last, REDEEMER has been released into the wild!

    I’ll start out with the links, just in case that’s all you’re here for. REDEEMER is currently available in e-book, and will be available in print within the next few days!


    July, 1945.
    Soldiers are coming home from the war…and monsters come with them.

    Rosie wants to keep her job as a riveter, even with her boyfriend returning from World War II. But there’s defying convention, and then there’s executing a demon on the factory floor. Rosie is ready to roll with the demon-slaying power awakened inside her—if she can figure out how to make it work on command.

    Crippled by monsters in wartime Europe, Hank is home and searching for evidence of a demonic insurgence in Detroit—or better yet, a Redeemer, one of the rare women capable of freeing demons from their torment. Rosie could be his ticket to proving himself…if she would just play along.

    Rosie can’t fight. Hank won’t talk. But the demons are coming for them, so they’d better learn to work together—and avoid getting arrested as the bodies pile up. Unfortunately, Rosie’s already on the police radar, and Hank has a few hometown secrets that could end up killing their investigation before it begins.

    Not to mention killing Hank and Rosie, too….

    This book been a very long time coming, and has leaned heavily on the patience of my Kickstarter supporters, to whom I owe a profound emotional debt of thanks. I am so pleased to be launching this book today, and I hope you all enjoy reading it! &heart; &heart; &heart;

    REDEEMER, available now!

  • Ducking

    an avalanche of ducks

    I’ve had this to-do list for…ever. Forever. Very little of it is the fun kind of to-do, which for me is YAY WRITE A WHOLE NEW BOOK YAY THIS IS MY FAVOURITE PART. It’s all the other stuff. It’s edits and copyedits and guilting over unwritten short stories

    (I was going to really try to focus on writing…I was going to say ‘good’, but I write good enough short stories. But twisty, deep ones, perhaps. I want to add that to my skill set. So I was going to try focusing on learning how to write those. And then I realized I’ve got so much else actually *due* that it would be moronic to try to add that to my plate. It’s probably mostly a reaction to admiring people who win Hugos or sell short stories independently, anyway, and sort of vaguely wishing I was Like Them, and I usually get over that. Even if I really would like to be able to write more independent, clever, intelligent short stories. I’ll stop being parenthetical now and try to get back to the point.)

    and all the little details of self publishing that I haven’t, for one reason or another, managed to hand off to Ted, and anyway, I usually have a Thinks To Do list but this has been my Nibbled To Death By Ducks list, and I’m about two years behind on all of it. Which is a lot of catching up to do.

    But I am THIS CLOSE to being caught up/done with TWO projects, and it’s starting to be a Big Psychological Relief.

    I’m finalized-cover-art away from launching BEWITCHING BENEDICT, my adorkable magic-free Regency romance, and I’m copy-edits-and-book-layout away from delivering REDEEMER to my insanely patient backers, toward whom I feel so much guilt I want to cry every time I think about it. Those projects are almost done, and, just…*weeps* It’ll be such a relief to have those out.

    And although the To Do list just…keeps…going…on…after that, I’m…I’m trying not to think that far ahead, honestly. I’m trying to just keep one project at a time in mind. If I think about it all I despair. Right now I just gotta get through Nibbled To Death.

    September’s Nibbled To Death project is writing KISS OF ANGELS, which absolutely has to be done in September so I can get it into a general release launch in December (Patreon supporters will get it the instant it’s finished). I’m trying pretty desperately here to get myself into a quarterly release schedule, BUT I CANNOT THINK ABOUT THAT RIGHT NOW IT WILL LEAD TO DESPAIR

    But once KISS OF ANGELS and three or four short stories are done, I’m…done, I think, with Nibbled To Death By Ducks. And that will be so. nice. *weeps*

  • CEMurphy

    counting the words

    I’m sure you’ll all be surprised to hear I didn’t manage 5K a day for the entirety of January. I did about 70K, which is quite good, if not my Best Month Ever. ROSES IN AMBER has gone through copy edits and I’ll be putting those in on Friday (tomorrow is a rest day) and hopefully it’ll drop early next week.

    I finished another revision pass on REDEEMER, which I think involved writing about 3-5K but only netted me 1K on the book. It has one more pass to go, then back to the editor.

    This month I’m all about revisions, not just on REDEEMER, but on BEWITCHING BENEDICT, my little Regency romance that I’m hoping to release in May. I’m hoping revising BENEDICT will inspire me to write the synopsis for the next book, so I can get that series really rolling.

    I also have to re-read the Negotiator Trilogy, which, frankly, I’m not looking forward to. They were very difficult to write and I’ve never had any urge to go back and re-read them from the top. All I’ve ever done is look stuff up in them. But needs must, because I’m now writing Patreon short stories set in the aftermath of the Negotiator Trilogy, and I have Ambitions to get KISS OF ANGELS, Grace’s story, synopsized this month and written in March. It will be a novella.

    (I hope to god it’ll be a novella, she said, grimly looking at both NO DOMINION and ROSES IN AMBER, both of which were meant to be 30K & both of which ended up 60K. But I’ve got 40K of Old Races Aftermath stories right now, so if it turns out to be 60K, the collection will be…just right. She said, planning for the kind of failure she usually experiences….)

    All that, and I have two short stories to write.

    I might go take a nap…

    ytd wordcount: 70,000

  • Magic and Manners cover
    Redeemer Wars,  Writing

    many edits. such revision.

    I’m trying to keep my nose to the grindstone while also being caught in this frustrating window of hurry up and wait.

    I put in an order for a proof for MAGIC & MANNERS on the 6th and it still hasn’t arrived, so I went and looked up why and the damned thing says it’s still ‘pending’. I don’t understand why, unless I’m supposed to tell the system that it’s print-approved, except as far as I can tell that will propagate it into the publication system and I don’t want to do that until I’m sure the cover is okay. So I emailed them to ask what’s going on, but I’d really, really wanted it out this week and so I’m kind of sad and frustrated about that right now.

    I’m also trying to get first-pass revisions done on a book I wrote almost 20 years ago. It’s interesting going back to it, because I can see a lot of what I was trying to do but wasn’t very good at, like some really terrible chapter transitions where I was clearly trying to inject drama and cut fat, but instead I injected confusion, even to myself (albeit, yes, 20 years later, but still). Other places I can see, again, what I was trying to do, but mostly it just needs to be rewritten entirely to achieve that. It’s like: “Good try, little writer.” And then there are the dialogue tags and adverbs, dear gods. But in a *few* places, it’s actually quite good. :) I thought I might be able to revise it all in two passes, but at this stage I’m afraid it’ll probably take three.

    Anyway, I do have to get through the first pass this week so next week I can write the next Old Races short story next week. I’m at about 76K on the collection of pre-Negotiator-trilogy short stories, and would like somewhere between 85-100K to fill it out, so I’m like SO CLOSE on that that I can practically taste it, but I do have to get another…well, 1-4 stories, really, to reach that wordcount. If I didn’t already have 2 10K Biali stories in it I’d write another one of those to fill it out because apparently he lends himself to long stories. :) Anyway, this is a good time to mention it if you’ve got a particular pre-trilogy story you’d really like me to tell, because who knows, I might. (“Anything involving X” is not specific enough, and there are already 3 Janx & Daisani stories in the book, so unless you come up with something VERY clever for them I’m not likely to put a fourth in. :))

    *stares at the to-do list* Yeah. So revisions, short story, and then I’d really *like* to hit that revision pass again before…doing more revisions. REDEEMER needs to be whipped into shape so I can submit it to my editor, and then I’ve got BEWITCHING BENEDICT to revise for hooooopefully a June publication. Maybe August. IDK.

    I would really, really like to have all the heavy lifting on revisions done for EVERYTHING by the middle of the year so I can really concentrate on writing in the second half. But man, there’s a lot of work to be done.

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