Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!


I just wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a happy new year! May 2015 be filled with lots of happy new memories, time spent with friends and family, and lots of books!

~~ H. S. Contino

Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Few Updates

Hello fellow bookaholics!
It's been a while since I updated this blog, so I decided to take a few minutes to share a few updates on my fledgling writing career.
Writing Projects
Although it's been a quiet year on the publishing front, I have spent a great deal of time working on writing projects. I have several fictional manuscripts in various degrees of completion on my hard drive. One of them is coming close to completion. I'm hoping to self publish it in the spring of 2015. I'll share more details when I'm closer to a final draft, but it's a futurist science fiction novel. I'm tentatively calling it "New World," but the title will probably change as I get closer to publication.
I've also been spending a great deal of time researching local history for a non-fiction project. I've been working on the manuscript for over a year; but, due to the large amount of research involved, my progress has been slow. Ideally, I'd like to eventually publish the book through a traditional publisher (since self-published history books don't tend to do well). It's just a matter of finding the right publisher. Once again, I promise to keep my readers updated as I continue to work on this project.


4th Annual Florence Festival of Books

On Saturday, September 27th, 2014, I attended the annual book festival in Florence, Oregon. Every year, the event gets bigger. This year, there were more than 70 authors and seven publishers in attendance. As always, I enjoyed having the opportunity to meet and chat with readers and fellow writers. I look forward to attending the event again next year.

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)
November is just a few days away. I've been jotting notes in preparation for NaNoWriMo 2014. This year, I'm going to try my hand at writing a fictional romance story. But, since this is me, there'll be a twist. The story will be set slightly in the future. In addition to the romantic storyline, there will also be a 2nd storyline. It's science fiction in nature and ideally, it'll give readers something new to think about. A moral dilemma of-sorts.
I'm tentatively calling the story "Someone That I Used to Know." My goal is to complete the rough draft during NaNoWriMo (so by the end of November). I'll then set the manuscript aside for a few weeks before returning to it with "fresh eyes" to begin the long process of editing and refining the story. I tend to go through multiple drafts before I'm ready to publish my work.
As always, thank you for following this blog and supporting my writing career.
~~ H. S. Contino

Sunday, August 31, 2014

4th Annual Florence Festival of Books

Hello all!

     I'm happy to announce that I've reserved my booth at the upcoming 4th annual Florence Festival of Books. This year the event will be held on September 27th at the Florence Events Center. The doors open to the public at 10 am. The event runs until 4 pm.


      This annual event is a lot of fun. It's free to the public to attend. There will be both authors and publishers available to answer questions and sign copies of their books. There'll be a combination of fiction and non-fiction writers. For additional detail, please visit the Florence Events Center webpage:

I hope to see you there!

Monday, April 7, 2014

2014 Market Season

The 2014 Farmers Market season is almost here. Woo-hoo! 

I've been working hard lining up markets and festivals. The following is what I have so far:

The Coquille Farmers Market is under new management this year. It'll still be held on Thursdays at the Community Center, but many of the vendors will be setting up inside (in the small auditorium). The market begins this week. The hours have also changed. We'll be setting up at 10 am and open to the public from 11-3.

A different group has formed a new Saturday market in Coquille this year. It's being called the Coquille Valley Farmers Market. I'm still looking into the details. I believe the market opens next Saturday.

Finally, I will be returning to the Coos Bay Farmers Market. We'll be selling on Central Avenue on Wednesdays beginning in May.

I will not be selling at the Bandon Old Town Marketplace this year.

I'm excited about the new season and I look forward to seeing everyone-- both shoppers and fellow vendors-- again soon. I'll be selling my usual combination of hand made crafts and autographed books.

As always, thank you for supporting my little business. You're all awesome people! :)

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

Hello internet community,

I just wanted to take a moment to thank all of you for helping support and encourage me and my writing career over the last year. I can't even begin to describe how much your support means to me. Thank you!

I also wanted to wish everyone a happy and wonder filled new year!

Happy 2014!

Best wishes,

~ H. S. Contino, author

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

NaNoWriMo 2013 Update


A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) which takes place every November. I'm happy to announce that for the 3rd year in a row, I succeeded in reaching my NaNoWriMo goal. I wrote over 50,000 words in my new manuscript, a science fiction novel titled "The Surge." Woo-hoo! I'm a winner.

However, the story has taken on a life of it's own. I hit my goal of 50K words, but the story isn't finished yet. So, I continue to plug away at it. It's a work in progress, but I'm happy with what I've written so far. Past experience has taught me that the editing process usually takes twice as long as the initial writing process, so it'll be a while before the book is available for the public to read. But, I'm excited. Writing is all about the practice after all.

Once again, thank you all for continuing to support my writing career. It means a lot to me. Thank you!

Oh, and since tomorrow is the big day, I'd like to take a moment to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving.

~ H. S. Contino, author in training

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

NaNoWriMo 2013

Happy November, everyone!

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is in full swing! I'm happy to report that as of 11:15 last night, I hit 30,000 words. So, I'm 3/5 of the way to my goal. Yea!

I look forward to NaNoWriMo each year. In addition to motivating me to roll up my sleeves and type up some of the ideas that have been percolating in my imagination, I enjoy hanging out on the NaNo webpage. Each year, thousands of writers around the world take part in NaNoWriMo. The webpage offers forums and a message center where we can chat and e-mail with each other. We can also organize local get-togethers or "write-in's" where groups of writers can get together to write and motivate each other.

The webpage also offers pep talks and other useful features to help motivate, inspire, and encourage writers as they battle self-doubt and writer's block.

One of my favorite features of the webpage is the "stats" section. It allows you to keep track of your word count as you write. There's a chart that helps you stay on track in order to reach the 50K word goal. There are also running tallies of how many words you've written per day, your daily average, and a prediction of when you'll finish (at your current rate).

Now, to be clear, I'm not expecting to have a masterpiece by the end of the month. Instead, my goal is simply to have a rough draft of my current project. I love the feeling of accomplishment that I get when I complete a rough draft. I know that once I get the story to that point, I'll still have months (maybe even years) of editing, revisions, and polishing ahead of me before the book is ready for publication. However, I see completing a rough draft as a major milestone. Prior to that point, all I have is some mental images stored in my imagination and pages of scribbled notes in one in a notebook. But, a rough draft is a starting point. It gives me something concrete to work with.

2013 is my third year participating in NaNoWriMo. I'm tentatively calling this November's book "The Surge," and it's a science fiction story. The following is the text I created for the back cover. Just like the manuscript, the following is a rough draft. I'll edit and revise it later.

Tentative back cover text for "The Surge":

When the capital cities around the world are simultaneously attacked, disillusioned veteran, Lisa, assumes that a terrorist group is responsible. Instead of volunteering to help fight back, she packs her camper with supplies and heads into the woods. Using a portable radio, she monitors the progress of the war.

Lisa doesn't want to get involved, but things are far worse than she initially thought. As the unknown enemy continues to destroy major cities, millions of people are killed. It soon becomes clear that the enemy is not from this planet and Earth's weaponry is completely ineffective against the superior technology.

With the humans facing extinction, Lisa discovers an ancient secret. One that is capable of saving her planet. She realizes that she alone is capable of stopping the alien attackers; but, in doing so, she'll alienate herself even further from the people around her. The only people she's ever known.
Please feel free to leave me feedback. "The Surge" is definitely a "work in progress" at this point!
Happy reading (and writing)!