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Challenge extended, Ms. Hawthorne? Challenge accepted.

(Or as L.D. Blakeley most cogently quipped, “Bring the Payne!”)

So I’m sure that many of you have heard of a certain kerfluffle regarding an indie author who put up a GoFundMe fund to support herself while she wrote. I actually have no problem with people being patrons of a writer. That’s been a perfectly functional income stream for centuries, and in fact Patreon exists for creators who want to use it.

Unfortunately, this indie writer made it clear that she was in possession of, let us say, a rose-colored worldview on writing, publishing, and all that comes along with the scribbling dodge. Things became more fraught when her call for funding was then picked up by social media, bloggers, and writers (the awesome Jenny Trout did a marvelously fair-handed analysis of the situation). Many people pointed out the worst of her impractical expectations, often in some rather harsh terms. In response Indie Author lashed out, first on her GoFundMe page and then on her FB page.

(By the way, never do this. Never. Just no. Write nasty letters to your critics and then delete the letters, burn the critics in effigy, make voodoo dolls of them, whatever makes you feel better. But do not go on social media to lambaste them with phrases such as “cock-juggling thunder cunts.” Although I did like the use of that line in Blade Trinity. But I digress.)

Now, I’m not going to criticize the lashout — I don’t know the lady, I don’t know what challenges she faces, yadda yadda. But I was particularly intrigued by one comment of hers, to wit:

“I’d like to challenge each and every one of these wonderful women to a writing contest. How about an 80K (that’s 80,000 words people, not dollars!) novel. It needs to be fully edited, proofed and a professional cover designed for it. Oh, and they have only 6 months to do all this. Ok, go.”

*blink*blink*

*pauses to look at WIP list*

*nods to self*

Challenge accepted. In fact, I’m gonna go one better. I hereby state to the internet at large than I am going to finish an 80K fantasy erotic romance novel and have it fully edited, proofed, and provided with a professional cover in six weeks. And just to make this totally fair, that novel will be Navigator’s Star, since I only have 3K of it done and a vagueish outline so total word count will be 83K.

UPDATE: I’ve renamed the novel to Empress of Storms. You’ll see why.

Official start date is September 21st, release date will be November 1st, and I’ll be posting daily updates on word count, editing process, cover reveal, et al on FB and Twitter with a weekly roundup here. So stay tuned. This should be fun.