NaNoWriMo

No rest for the wicked (or the writer)

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Christmas is a busy time of year for most people.  The rush of present buying, food preparing, house decorating and relative visiting is enough to wear anyone out.  It’s the same for  me, though on a smaller scale.  Mother is coming to stay this year and I’ve already got her presents bought and wrapped.  I’ve got presents bought and sent to my friend in Florida and have just one more present to buy.  Food shopping will be done online once mother arrives and I never bother with decorations.  Yes I’m a bit of a humbug, sue me.

Christmas is busy for me this year for another reason, I’m an author.  I’ve been bent, nose to grindstone during November, writing a novel for Nanowrimo.  This was finished yesterday, yippee.  I’ve also been editing, formatting and publishing an anthology of my horror stories, which came out a few days ago, double yippee.  Now I have to set to work on proofing and editing the next novel, which I wrote during this summer’s camp Nano and which I hope to release in March.  I will also have a book to format and cover design for an author friend over Christmas.  I also have a part time job to hold down.  Phew, I thought the holiday season meant you got a rest.

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Nano 2013 update, Promotion decision, and other stuff

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How’s everyone getting on with nano?  I’ve passed the 50k and feel justly proud of myself.  The third volume in The Sinclair V-Logs is taking shape nicely and I estimate that I’m three quarters the way through.  Doing nano is great for self discipline, and it’s wonderful to see how creative you can be, even when you’re forcing yourself.  This book will, I hope, be published in early Summer 2014.

Promotion, sorry for swearing, is a dirty word for indie authors.  It’s worse than fuck, whore, balls and cunt combined and I wince every time I read it, hear it or have to write it.  I’m not a natural saleswoman and don’t pretend to be.  I find selling myself, my brand and my books, very hard indeed.  I have tried though but being financially destitute has prevented me from taking advantage of most internet promotion options.

For a while  now, I’ve welcomed other authors to this blog for tours, spotlights and releases, but until recently, I’d never done one myself.  A few weeks ago, I decided to try my first blog tour to promote my last release, Bygora Vandos and advertised for hosts all over my social media.  I even did a blog here asking for hosts or help.

Here are the results.

I wanted to do the tour for fourteen days, with a different blog on each day, as has become the norm for such tours.  I had two weeks notice before the start date and up until the first day, just five (5) people offered to host me.  Of those five, only two offered me the link to the piece voluntarily; all of the others didn’t bother and I had to go searching for the post.  Another person of the five didn’t bother to do the post at all, and only one further person updated me with blog stats (number of visits etc) and promised to promote the post on other social media.  One of the people who did the post, didn’t bother to put up the post until late afternoon, leaving me with just a couple of hours to find it and then post the link on my own social media.  All but one, didn’t bother to promote the post on their other social media.  None of the people I have ever hosted were among the five mentioned above who offered to host me.

The blog I posted here asking for help got no response at all.  Thanks for nothing..!

To put it mildly, I was extremely disappointed in the lack of interest and help by other authors, and this experience has led me to make two decisions.

I shall never host another author on my blog, ever again.

I shall no longer bother trying to promote my own work.

I shall concentrate on writing books.  I shall publish them as I usually do on all the usual platforms, and I shall do a blog here announcing it, facebook and twitter.  Beyond that, I shall do no promotion at all.  There is no point in trying to get my voice heard above all the bored housewives with money who churn out trash erotica and romance by the bucket load, when other authors actively try to block my voice by boycotting me.  I shall put my energies into writing, and since I write books worth reading, a rarity in this compost heap that is the self published world, my total focus will be put to good use.

In short, what I want to say to other authors is, Fuck You..!

The third bit of news is that my horror story anthology will hopefully be released on Dec 6th.  I’m waiting for cover art at this very moment, everything else is done and finished.  I’m looking forward to this, it’s been a long time in the making and it has been done with the help of my facebook friends, many of whom star in the stories.  I dedicate this book to them, my murderers, psychos, weirdos, crazies and victims.

Nanowrimo 2013

This coming Friday, millions of writers across the world will stop their lives and spend the entire month writing as if their lives depend upon it and I will, once again, be one of them.  This will be my second November Nano and I’m looking forward to it very much.

I will be writing the third volume in my Sinclair V-Logs series, starring Sam Sinclair and he will be on the trail of a man who has stolen an ancient artifact from the museum where he worked.  Hot on the heels of the fleeing thief, Sam finds himself facing things he would never have imagined himself facing, and finds his own reality and belief system called into question as events unfold.

This will be the fourth time I’ve written with Sam, and he’s a good friend now.  I know everything about him now and feel comfortable writing with him, and, I hope he feels comfortable telling me his story.  He does, I’m sure he wouldn’t be here passing his experiences to me if he didn’t feel happy about it.

I don’t yet know how long The Sinclair V-Logs series will be, but I am enjoying writing them and this third volume will keep the excitement going at a cracking pace.

Are you taking part in nano this year?  I’d be interested to hear of your plans.

Camp Nanowrimo July 2013

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I am pleased to have completed July Nano.  It was not as quick to write this book as some of my others have been, due in part because it’s done in 3rd person but from just one character’s POV.  I usually do 3rd person omniscient and feel most comfortable with that, but I like to challenge myself and this was a very interesting experience.  It’s also a bit of a romance, which is not my favourite genre but again, I try not to limit myself.

Quest for the Ta’ali will hopefully be out in the new year 2014.

Science Fiction, an alien language

I’m two thirds the way through my Camp Nano science fiction novel and have just passed my nano goal of 50k words, so I’ve officially ‘won’ although the book isn’t yet finished.  I’m aiming to get it to around 75k or thereabouts.

I’m doing two things in this book that I’ve never done before and it’s both interesting and good discipline.  I like to challenge myself and see how far I can achieve something.

I’m doing this book from 3rd person POV but, unlike my preferred style, I’m not doing it as omnipresent.  The story is told in 3rd person but only from one character’s POV.  I like 3rd omni but this book just demanded it be in one character’s POV, so who am I to argue with my muse?

This makes it slower to write and I’m finding, as I did when I wrote in 1st person for the first time for Floxham Island, that the book is growing a little slower and I’m having to go deeper into my main character’s personality.  This is good practice in character development.  I can’t hop POV to ‘pad it out’ any more, I have to let this main character lead the story all the way through.

I’m also inventing an alien language for this book, which is something I never imagined I would ever do.  I must admit, when it became obvious that this was necessary for the story, I was dumbfounded and scared.  The only other person I know of who has done this is Tolkien and he was a language expert and spent ten years building his languages.  I’m not prepared to spend that long, so I had to find a quicker way to do it.

Without boring you with the minutiae of building a language, what I did first was to decide upon my verb conjugations and tenses.  I copied the Spanish language for this, inasmuch as I decided to have three standard verb endings – AN, AKSI and IEL.  I then decided how many tenses I was going to have, and I chose just 3, present, past and future and then worked out how to change the endings for each conjugation.  It was just a case then of inventing the verbs, making sure they had one of my three chosen endings and giving them the appropriate conjugation for the tense in which they are used.  I toyed with the idea of having a preterit tense, but for simplification I decided to use the full, unconjugated verb for the preterit.

After that, with nouns, pronouns etc, I just invented them and made sure the language has a common sound that runs through it.  I also decided upon a rule for pluralisation, which in this case is achieved by adding ISI at the end of the noun.  I’m not bothering with silent letters or anything like that, I’ve done mine so it is pronounced as it’s written, which will make it easier for the reader to follow.

I wasn’t sure about the correct way to display this alien language with its translation and I worried about it for a while, until asking around and settling on having the alien language in italics, with the translation directly after.  I feel this is likely to be the easiest way for the reader to follow and understand it.

There isn’t a lot of the new language in the book, just short snippets of conversation here and there between the three characters who speak it, so it shouldn’t be an overload.  I’ll be interested to see how the book is received and whether people like the language or not.  Have you ever invented a new language?  I’d be interested in hearing how you approached it.

This book should be out in the new year 2014, hopefully February.

The campfire is lit

Woohoo, Camp Nano has begun and all the happy little campers are busy tootling away on their keyboards creating their next masterpiece.  Me included.  I’ve begun a novel that I’m so far calling, my quest story.  It does have a proper title but I’m a bit funny about not revealing stuff like titles or cover art until the book is published.  I once had a cover art idea stolen so I keep things pretty close to my bosom now.

This novel is still, essentially, a space opera but it is also a love story.  Yeah yeah, I know all those sci fi men will be groaning about ‘those damn women in sci fi’ and all I can say to them is “fuck you.”  Love happens in spaceships and on other worlds and it’s going to happen in my book.  So there.  Stick that in your FTL drive and blow it.

This story is something of a classic storyline.  Girl loves boy secretly.  Boy loves girl equally secretly.  Other girl is jealous and pretends boy loves her, not so secretly. Girl believes other girl and runs away.  Boy returns and finds girl gone. Boy goes after girl.  Boy has lots of adventures on the way, nearly dies and all sorts of other sci fi shit.  You know the one.

Now, aside from that classic storyline, it will be a futuristic space opera with spaceships, gadgets and gizmos, creatures and aliens.  In fact Boy is an alien (not from Earth) whereas girl is genetically from Earth, although she’s never been there (lucky cow.)  There won’t be any sex in this one; it’s a love story not porn.

There is also a strong thread running through the storyline about war and peace and the internal political strife that causes a world to wage war upon itself, neighbour against neighbour and this is interwoven through the love story and both will reach their climax together.

I’m glad to be starting a new novel; it seems like ages since I’ve written one.  It’s all new and exciting and we (me and my characters) have the whole adventure stretching out ahead of us to do with as we want.  I’m getting to know my gorgeous hero and he seems like a really nice guy.  The first day of Camp Nano is done and I managed a none too shabby 4334 and finished chapter 1.

Going Camping?

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I’m going to be doing Camp Nano next month.  After successfully completed last November’s novel in twenty days, I’m fired up and ready for Camp.

I’ve had what I’ve called ‘my big quest’ novel in the wings for months now, and Camp Nano is the perfect time to devote my attention to it.  As I have, up to now anyway, done series’, stand alones have taken a back seat so the Nanos are the obvious times to do them.

This novel will be another space opera, of course, but it’s also a tale of global strife, inter galactic intrigue and all consuming love.

Brand new release – Acts of Life

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I have great pleasure in being able to finally announce that my latest science fiction novel is finally out.  It will take a day or two or Amazon links to go live, but paperbacks can be purchased now from Lulu.com and e-books from smashwords,com

I wrote Acts of Life in twenty days during last November’s NaNoWriMo and am very proud of it.  I hope you enjoy it.

Here is the link to the Acts of Life page, where the blurb and buy links can be found.

Here is the link to the page where you can read 3 excerpts from Acts of Life.

Acts of Life – new space opera adventure coming soon

I have a new page here, all about my new novel, Acts of Life which will be available mid June.  The big edits have now been completed and there are just a few bits and bobs to check before it can be formatted, ready for upload.  Meanwhile, my cover art genius, JL Stratton is working on the cover.  All will be revealed in time.

This is the novel I wrote in twenty days during NaNoWriMo, November 2012.

Click here to read about Acts of Life, starring Jake Elloway.

New Release Coming Soon

Hey folks, it’s been a while I know but I’ve been catching up with all the episodes of Stargate SG1 and Stargate Universe I’ve never seen.  I made it through to season 8  of SG1 in about a week before I got sick of it and stopped watching.  The first couple of seasons were great but then it got all p0litical and I began to lose interest.  By season 8 all the old bad guys were being magically brought back to life time after time and I couldn’t bear it any longer.  Thankfully there are only 2 seasons of Universe and I loved every single episode.

So now I’ve got that out of my system it’s back to editing my next release.

Acts of Life stars Jake Elloway, a handsome but arrogant movie star who reluctantly agrees to spend 3 months aboard an inter galactic freight liner to research the work and lifestyle of a character he is to play in his next movie.  Things rapidly take a turn for the worse and he finds himself in a fight for survival he may not win.  Along the way he is forced to face up to his character flaws and acknowledge the emotional baggage from his past that he locked away years ago.  With few friends amongst the frieght liner’s crew he soon realises the privileged lifestyle he enjoys is built upon lies and fakery.  As his companions fight for their lives and his, Jake realises that being a famous movie star does nothing to help them all survive.

I wrote Acts of Life in 20 days during last November’s NaNoWriMo and I’m really looking forward to its release in June.  I’ll keep you all updated regularly.