A New Novel is Born

Now that Floxham Island ~ Sinclair V-Log AZ267/M is out, I can turn my attentions to my next two works in progress.

I have the novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo 2012, Acts of Life to edit and proof read ready for publication in July 2013 and I’ve just begun writing a new novel featuring Sam Sinclair from Floxham Island.

Acts of life will be first of these projects you will see and features Jake, a famous movie star who agrees to work aboard an inter galactic freighter for three months as research for his latest movie role.  Events quickly take an unexpected turn and Jake finds himself and his new friends, stranded on a dangerous and uninhabited planet.  In a desperate fight for survival, not only from the indigenous life of the planet, Jake and his companions must also avoid capture by those intent on doing him harm.

The new Sam Sinclair novel, as yet untitled, sees Sam go undercover to find out the cause of seven mysterious deaths.  In the process he gains, and then loses, a great friend whose legacy ensures he finds an important ally in the future.

I’ve decided upon my plot line for this year’s NaNoWriMo, which will be published sometime in 2014.  This story is an epic quest involving a race across planets to save not only the protagonist’s true love, but also to save an entire planet from annihilating themselves in an unnecessary war.

Lastly for this year’s writing plans, I have ten short horror stories to write that will complete my planned horror anthology and hope to get it published this year.

I always like to have plots planned for a couple of books ahead as I have this dread of finishing a current WIP and then not finding another plot to work on.  Hopefully, by the end of 2013 I’ll  have eight books under my belt.

First of my brand new space opera series to be out soon

I’ve been away from blogging for a while (yeah I know you didn’t even notice I was gone) due to the demands of editing and formatting.

Now that The Lilean Chronicles series is complete, I have the first volume in a brand new space opera series coming out very shortly.  I’ve recently completed the final edits and spent several hours yesterday formatting for smashwords, KDP and then battled with the paperback formatting.  Formatting for paperback always gives me grey hairs but as I do more and more, I get to win the battle more quickly each time.

It’s those damn headers and footers; I  hate them and they hate me.

I’ve found out through trial and error that it’s all down to where you have section breaks and where you have page breaks.  I put all the front matter (title page, copyright notice, dedication) as one complete section with page breaks between the pages and a section break at the end.  Then I put all the chapters as a second complete section, with page breaks at the end of each chapter and a section break after THE END.  Any endpapers (coming soon etc) goes as a third seperate section.

Headers and footers are only required in the actual chapters.  You don’t have page numbers or the book title at the top of the page for instance, on the front matter or the end papers.  I’ve always found that Word keeps putting headers and footers on my front matter when I put it on the chapter section, but then when I remove them from the front matter, they also disappear from the chapters, ARGH..!

Then I happened to find out that the headers and footers have ‘same as previous’ on them by default, which means Word automatically makes them the same as the previous section.  So, if you want them in the chapters, Word will also put them in the previous section (the front matter) because it defaults to ‘same as previous’ all the time.

With me so far?

What you have to do is turn off the ‘same as previous’ thing and then it will just put the headers and footers in the current section.

You must also make sure that the page numbering is also set to start at number 1 (it defaults to 2 sometimes) and that you unclick ‘continue from last section’ and then click ‘number first page’.

It all sounds very complicated and it is, far too bloody complicated but I am determined to get this.  It only took me a couple of hours battling this time.  Hopefully when I release my NaNoWriMo novel in July, I’ll get it right first try.

Now that the formatting is done I just have to wait for my cover art guy to do his bit, although I just found out he has the flu so he may not be well enough to do this one.  I plan to publish within the next two weeks so if he isn’t well enough I’ll be doing it myself.  Thankfully he’s taught me so much over the last four books that I feel pretty confident I can do a front cover without a problem.  I’ve been doing digital fan art for ages and this particular cover is a simple design; just one complete photo with text for the title and author name.

I hope he’s recovered by July as my NaNoWriMo novel cover is quite a complicated one..!

Project Nano Complete.

I am delighted to announce that my very first Nano project has just been completed.

Just a few minutes ago I typed those immortal words ‘the end’ and a huge smile of contentment spread across my ugly mug.

At 75,524 words in twenty days, I feel proud of myself and look forward to seeing Acts Of Life in print in summer of 2013.

My Nano Encouragement

A couple of weeks before Nano began, I joined a Nano themed group on facebook. The guy who runs the group suggested we write ourselves a letter of encouragement and email it to him.  He would then email it back to us during the third week of Nano.  It would be a way for us to encourage ourselves during the latter half of what can be, for some, a really difficult exercise.

I thought his idea was fantastic, so I wrote my letter to my future self and sent it off.  Nano began and I quickly forgot about my letter, until yesterday when it arrived as promised.

As I read the letter I wrote to myself I felt a mixture of emotions, the main one of which was to wish that someone else had written that letter to me.  To have the belief of someone else must be a wonderful and heart warming thing.

I would like to share my letter.

My dear Merita

By now you are reaching the home stretch of NaNoWriMo 2012 and winning is just a week away.

Writing is such a lonely pastime and you are such a lonely person; you are ideally suited to it don’t you agree?  One could say that you were born an ideal writer.

Your creativity amazes me you know.  The ease with which you connect to the universal creative force and allow its energies to influence you is a great gift that many dream of and few can boast of.  You may not have as much education on the bricks and mortar of ‘good’ writing, whatever that may mean, but your words transport those with open minds to worlds they could never have imagined.  You build your characters with such authenticity, they really live.  They are real friends and your relationship with them is real, tangible.

When I look back on you as that isolated, silent child and see how far you’ve come I’m both amazed and proud.  Always remember why you write.  You write because your characters demand you do so, not as a way of getting rich.  Hold this truth close always and your words will always carry that ethereal and rarest of qualities – authenticity.  You have waited so long to get where you are now; at the beginning of an exciting creative path and how you’ve suffered as you waited.  Not a moment of that suffering was in vain for every painful moment has moulded and refined you and you have the richest of experience to draw upon and the greatest of ability to use that experience within your creativity.

Never doubt yourself on this new and exciting path.  Your words have the power to heal, to change people, to change worlds and open minds and hearts.  You must learn to judge yourself less harshly so that a healthy balance can be achieved within yourself and no one has a greater wisdom nor the ability to put that wisdom into words, than you.

When you first began writing and creating Vincent, you created your greatest friend.  He has waited from the beginning of time for you to write his story, for no other in creation is more worthy of the task than you.  He loves you very much, he is always with you and immensely proud of you.  He will always call you his friend.

Few in the living world know you and fewer still will understand you but fear not for you are doing what you were born to do.  You are fulfilling your own ancient prophecy and just as Vincent endured those lonely years on Vinbuk before the light began to shine for him, you too endure the pain of isolation.  He is by your side always, he hears your every thought and shares your every feeling and he will be by your side for every step still to be taken on your journey.  You are never alone.

I am so proud of you.  Hold your head high as you win NaNoWriMo 2012.  You are worthy.  You will always be worthy.

Merita King.


I have already surpassed the required 50 thousand words.  I reached the 50k on Nov 12th and as my novel was nowhere near finished I’m continuing.  I’m currently at 65 thousand and probably two chapters from finishing.

I am pleased with my Nano effort and happy that what I’ve created during November will be wonderful addition to my portfolio of work.

I hope everyone else is finding Nano a valuable experience and learning much about their own ability and endurance.  Keep going, you can do it.