Cherie Priest

Tiny Godzilla since 1975

But blessed with beauty and rage

22 hours, 6 minutes ago, in the early afternoon

It’s been an adventuresome weekend – marked primarily by a whole crap-ton of yardwork and a dog-playdate. Never mind the yardwork, for I don’t have any pictures; but on Saturday, Cujo (the wildly misnamed) came over with his person, Vanessa, and the boys had a hell of a time bopping around the yard, lounging around the house, and begging for cookies.

Much cuteness ensued. Cuteness will ensue again in another couple of weeks, when Cujo joins us for a sleepover – while his people are out of town catching a football game. (I think.) I predict two days of fluffy-ass dog hijinks, I do.

Other than the pooches and the hedge-clippers, my weekend was eaten up with writing work.

Yes! I’m actually, properly underway on my projects, and I’m feeling good about it…even though I realized today that I owe a Draft One of Chapelwood on the first of next month (rather than the 15th). Whoops. Well, I’ll get it all sorted out one way or another. I always do.

So here’s recent progress on my modern gothic ghost story about a salvage crew trapped in a doomed southern mansion – now with a crunchy murder ballad center and Bonus! clandestine cemetery where the stones don’t match the bodies (and were never meant to). As inspired by a (semi)true local legend:

    Project: The Family Plot
    Deadline: January 15, 2015
    New words written: 3780 (cumulative since Friday)
    Present total word count: 5731

    Things accomplished in fiction: Assembled team, emptied out the trucks, plotted a strategy, and hit the road for the old Withrow place.

    Things accomplished in real life: Neighborhood jaunts with dog; inbox: zero; grocery shopping; went to Ace and got a rake; cut back HedgeHenge and cleaned up after myself; weeded the rose bed, because it was awful; cleaned out/weeded the little bed beside the gate, for it was sad and overgrown; cut back the clematis around the mailbox, for it had turned into Swamp Thing while I wasn’t looking; still barely put a dent in all the end-of-summer yardwork that needs to be done. Dammit.

    Other Project: Got another 1500 words on the other project’s sample content, but I’ve got time–and other priorities right now. This one’s on the stove, but it ain’t on the front burner.

    Number of fiction words so far this year: 156,817

Yet further thanks and admiration to all the nice people who’ve been kind enough to drop Maplecroft reviews across the internet! So far the feedback is good and I’m feeling pumped about this thing, so the rallying cry over here is “Go book, go!”

So…um…keep those reviews coming! Please? I’d be forever grateful:

It’s not unusual it happens every day

3 days, 22 hours ago, around lunchtime

No new word metrics to report yet, though I do hope to get some writing done later on today. Yesterday was a wash, because I took the afternoon off to go hang with my cousin – who I hadn’t seen in awhile, and who loves shopping for Halloween doo-dads as much as I do. Unfortunately, we were a little early for most of the local hot spots; though I did pick up the necessities for my costume at Halloween Express. I’ll tell you about it later.


Today was housework day, and I got a really late start to that – because both of my 4-footed alarm clocks failed me. I wasn’t up and around until after ten, and then there was dog-walking and lunch, and then I had errands to run, and then housework, and okay – yes, there’s always an excuse. But it was one of those days that just keeps happening, in the wake of lots of out-of-town-ness.

Boring regular-life stuff. It piles up, and needs attending.

BUT. While I’ve been away from the ‘net and/or the keyboard, Maplecroft has continued to rack up the friendly reviews. Here are some highlights:

    Badass Book Reviews – “I highly recommend this book — especially for readers looking for a Lovecraftian creepfest!”

    Bitten By Books – “Priest excels at exploring some of our deepest, darkest fears by weaving together a realistic setting and historic events with a frightening, visceral supernatural element.”

    Adventures Fantastic – “I really enjoyed Maplecroft and am looking forward to the next volume in the series [...] I’ve read a few of Cherie Priest’s other books a few years ago and was impressed. She’s only gotten better.”

Thanks so much, all you wonderful readers and reviewers who take the time to post about my weird little book. You are amazing! And if you’ve read it, and you enjoyed it, and if you’re feeling kind enough to take the time – please consider leaving a review at one of the usual places. (Or alternately, if your interest has been piqued in any regard, then by all means please take a chance on it.)

But unrelated, and altogether warmer and fuzzier than Maplecroft, I offer you critter pictures!

First up, one crazy little old cat who is a big fan of wee feather boas. Following that, you’ll see one Very Concerned Dog who watched me brush the aforementioned cat…and seemed concerned that there wasn’t any kitty left for him to snorgle.

At any rate, I’ll try to be more productive over the weekend.
Wish me luck!

My time was running wild

5 days, 21 hours ago, in the early afternoon

You could write it off to my move back to Tennessee, I suppose. After all, it was a logical progression: I bought a Victorian house, I settled in to a historic neighborhood … and I started itching to write a haunted house story.

Coincidentally, last month I began work on my next contracted project and realized that (a). the idea/material isn’t nearly as strong as I’d originally thought, and (b). it’s not a haunted house story. Both of these things made me sad.

So I had a chat with my editor, who is awesome.
And then…with her help and blessing…plans changed.

To sum up in a less cryptic fashion: Contrary to previous announcements, my next book with Tor will be a haunted house story called The Family Plot. So let the record reflect!*

I got it underway today – and at the risk of saying something corny, it feels like coming home. Check out the first word metrics below. [:: ahem ::]

So here’s today’s progress on my modern gothic ghost story about a salvage crew trapped in a doomed southern mansion – now with a crunchy murder ballad center and Bonus! clandestine cemetery where the stones don’t match the bodies (and were never meant to). As inspired by a (semi)true local legend:

    Project: The Family Plot
    Deadline: January 15, 2015
    New words written: 1951 (not bad, for starters)
    Present total word count: 1951

    Things accomplished in fiction: Meet Chuck Dutton, owner of Music City Salvage in Nashville. He’s just been granted salvage rights to the old Withrow Estate, and that’s totally going to go well for him. I’m pretty sure.

    Things accomplished in real life: Neighborhood jaunt with dog; inbox: zero; cooked a big lunch; finished up some laundry; played catch-up vis-a-vis yesterday, when a dog derailed my work day and other plans; prepared to draw up some sample content on another project, but didn’t quite get to writing on it yet.

    Other: The other project mentioned above is a YA thing which might or might not happen – but it definitely won’t get off the ground unless I can give the editor the couple of chapters she requested. I’ll try to squeeze that material out in the evenings, but won’t be adding it to the word count below [total for the year] until I know it’s going anywhere. For superstitious reasons, that’s why.

    Number of fiction words so far this year: 153,037

And just like that, The Family Plot is officially underway! I am relieved, proud, and delighted – and I can’t wait to share this one with readers next year. It’s the kind of thing I’ve been dying to work on for ages, and I can’t believe I’m finally getting the chance!

[:: happydance ::]

In other news, once again, thanks to everyone leaving Maplecroft reviews here, there, and everywhere. I appreciate it more than I can say, and it helps more than you know; so if you’ve been reading, and if you like what you find, then please take a moment to tell the world!

* Though I do plan to recycle the original project’s title [Godbothering] for 2016’s release. It never quite fit the project in question, I fear – but I’ve found a better one, much closer to the heart of it. I’m looking forward to doing that one, too.