GHOST TALKERS and my annual NaNoWriMo call for beta readers

It’s that time of year, when I once again participate in NaNoWriMo. For those of you who don’t know this, I’ve written all of my novels either during NaNo or using the NaNoWriMo model in another month.

This year, I’m writing Ghost Talkers, which is coming out from Tor in winter 2015. I like having people read along as I go. Think of it like running clinical trials on a new drug. I’m testing to see if the story is producing the effect on my readers that I want it to. As such, I like having beta-readers who report their symptoms as they go along. Specifically:

  • Awesome! (Important, so I don’t ‘fix’ it accidentally)
  • Bored
  • Confused
  • Disbelief

That’s all I need, a report of your symptoms. You don’t have to try to diagnose the problem or provide a prescription to fix it. Just tell me how the story is playing.

Here’s the teaser of the first chapter.

16 July 1916

“The Germans were flanking us at Delville Wood when I died.”

Ginger Stuyvesant had a dim awareness of her body repeating the soldier’s words to the team’s stenographer. She tried to hold that awareness at bay, along with the rest of the warehouse. She ached with fatigue, even with a full circle supporting her, and that would pull her back into her body before her shift was finished. It wouldn’t be fair to force Helen to assume control of the circle early. The other medium was just as exhausted. Around her, the currents of the spirit world swirled in slow spirals. Past events brushed her in eddies of remembrance. Caught in those memories, scent and color floated with thick emotion. The Battle of the Somme had kept the entire Spirit Corps working extra shifts trying to take reports from the dead, and the air was frigid with souls.

The young soldier in front of her had been with the 9th Scottish Division, 26th Brigade, the Black Watch. Pte. Graham Quigley technically still was until his unfinished business was completed and he could cross beyond the Veil. Belatedly, Ginger realized what he’d said. “So you could see the Germans? You know their positions?”

His aura rippled black with remembered pain, but a flash of amber satisfaction shot through it. “Oh, ma’am. Don’t I just. The shell that got me made it clear as all that I’d not live through the day, so I had the boys prop me up.” Quigley grinned. “I saw the Huns set their guns up, not fifteen feet from where I lay bleeding.”

“When did you die? The time. Did you see the time?”

“11:47.” His spirit winked at her. “I had one of the blokes hang up my watch so I could see the time. Remembered my training, I did.”

Want to read along? Just fill out this form.


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11 thoughts on “GHOST TALKERS and my annual NaNoWriMo call for beta readers”

  1. Normally I would love to, but doing my own NaNoWriMo, so I reluctantly pass.

    I’m sure you’ll have more than enough readers, and best of luck.

  2. I was going to do NaNo this year, but my mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer last week and I’m not sure what my life is going to be like.

    Plus I’m a huge fan of this story from our first look at it.

  3. Gosh I wish, wish, wish upon a start to write anything coherent in a month’s time.
    Will start with reading yours.

  4. Michael Jennings

    I can’t promise I’ll be prompt with reading, but I’d love to read along. We’re moving cross country shortly and finishing a grad school semester at the same time, so I’ll likely be in the second time through group with most of my comments, but from Kiss Me Twice and others I know that is helpful to you as well.

    Speaking of Kiss Me Twice any news on that project?

  5. I really loved it. The historical references of the battle made me want to Wikipedia it so I could get some background, I assume more of that will come later though. I’m intrigued by the cryptostenographers though. If that’s the right term?

  6. Hi.

    I signed the form but wanted to just say that my experience with your writing is limited to “A FIRE IN THE HEAVENS” from “Shadows Beneath”.- which I thoroughly enjoyed.

    I’m a bit of a klutz with people so hopefully this is ok to ask – but is it a romance (just from looking at the covers)? If so, I’m liable to be less useful as I’ll probably skip chapters.

    I leaped huge sections of Twilight -which my wife, nieces and every other woman on her side of the family read- so I could get to the action parts.I’m not sure if this is because I’m not a romantic, or because I’m secretly afraid I may end up buying a pirate shirt and wearing it home like Steve Carell but figured I’d let you know.

    Otherwise I’ve enjoyed and benefited from your partipation in Writing Excuses and some videos you did with Patrick Rothfuss so my opportunity to pay it back.

  7. I was just thinking a few days ago (thanks to the email glitch) that I’d like to see more of Ginger. My wish comes true!

    1. Except I screwed up on a refresh and lost the password.

      As the Japanese apologize online


      (that’s me kowtowing towards the reader)

      I can haz again?

  8. I would love to do this, but the links not working for me.

    I’ve read all your glamour novels, and I a big fan of novels set in WWI

    And I’m Charlotte’s mom.

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