blogging

To blog or not to blog?

I made a decision recently to blog more often.   The reason was the lack of visits and comments which had almost made me give up the blog.  Up until then, I’d blog when I had something definite in mind to blog about but then I noticed that many others blog far more frequently than I do, sometimes several a day.  So I decided I would make an effort to blog every day, which may mean you’ll sometimes get little more than rubbish but hey, it’s worth a try.

Is it simply a matter of quantity over quality that gets readers and comments?  It’s not for lack of followers as I  have around a hundred (approx) so maybe it’s just that I get lost amongst the others who spam the feed with multiple daily posts.  Social networking, if blogging can really be labelled as such, is a rather unpredictable thing.  There doesn’t appear to be any hard and fast rules to rise up the ladder and get yourself noticed.  It’s all a bit hit and miss.

There’s a lot talked about SEO, which as far as I can gather, is a way of manipulating the way your blog appears when people do google searches so that your blog is higher up the list.  I know zip about such things as SEO so I won’t be fiddling with that side of things, although I do take care to do the ‘tag’ thing before posting.  And I have categories, which I also gather are important.  Sometimes I wonder if my blog is visible at all and I’ve thought maybe there’s a button I haven’t clicked yet and no one is seeing my shit at all.  That would be so me..!

Writing is what I do.  It’s my thing.  I find it easier to write a 100,000 word novel than to speak to a group of people face to face for five minutes.  Funny then, that I should so often be stuck for an idea to blog about.

On a brighter note, I got $25 today from Smashwords for 1st quarter royalties, which is delightful.  I also did another short story for my planned horror anthology which will be released later this year. My Saturday hasn’t been a total washout then.

New guest blog post

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I was honoured to be asked to do a guest blog post by Steven Ramirez on his blog, The Glass Highway.  I chose to write about world building for space opera writers, a huge subject but great fun.

Click here to read my guest blog post – World Building for Space Opera Writers.

I hope you enjoy the blog.

 

On being invisible

It’s really nice being the invisible one. I can say and do anything I like, content in the knowledge that no one takes a blind bit of notice and therefore cannot be offended. I can come and go as I please without having to worry about whether someone is put out because I haven’t replied or commented. I can write anything I like on my blog and be as outspoken as I like without fear, as no fucker reads it anyway.

It’s like my own personal diary except I don’t have to hide it under the pillow or worry about some fucktard little brother finding it and reading it.

It’s also kinda cool to think that maybe, in a hundred years or so, some researcher will be trawling the ancient technology known as ‘Internet’ and may stumble across my blog and think, “Fuck me this chick was cool.”

Dream Project

Someone over on facebook had a great idea for a blog hop.  Taking place every day of February, one person blogs each day and answers questions relating to your own personal ‘dream project.’

You’re supposed to tag the person who is due to blog the next day and so it continues etc.

Maybe you’d like to join in and do your own blog with these questions.  Leave your link in the comments.

Writers dream. Now it’s time to dream BIG.

You have the opportunity to hire anybody as your cover artist, who would you get for the interior artwork?

I write space opera/science fiction so for my space opera series, The Lilean Chronicles, I would need an experienced concept artist. I don’t know the names of any and don’t have a favourite but I like what I’ve seen of Lik Studios in Taiwan. As you can see in the pictures below, the realism is amazing. To have these guys working on my books would be simply awesome.

Visit Lik Studios on this link.

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Who would you co-write your next novel with? What genre? Why?

I couldn’t imagine ever writing in any genre other than space opera. All the books and movies I love are space opera/science fiction/fantasy and all of my own daydreams and personal imaginings are in based in such a world. I’m a very creative person and have always had a very vivid imagination and a yearning to escape from this world, this life and everything within it. It stands to reason therefore that my creativity takes me as far away from this reality as it’s possible to go and that is the only place I find joy and fulfilment.  If I could co write a space opera/science fiction novel I’d love to work with Dave Twohy, the movie Director of Pitch Black and Chronicles of Riddick fame.  He wrote the Riddick story and directed all three movies and he has great imagination and the ability to bring the imagined into being.  I believe he would help me to make my story more real.

Visit Dave on this link

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Your publisher wants to do an audiobook version of your novel and they’re not sparing any expense. Who do you think can narrate your masterpiece?

Well certainly not Morgan Freeman..! Seriously though, my narrator would need a deep velvet voice with a calm flow and not too strong an accent. The Lilean Chronicles, although basically a space opera novel, has a strong spiritual thread running through it and some of the main characters are deeply wise spiritual guides and nothing else but a deep, warm and slow voice will do. A warm deep voice relaxes you and allows your mind to absorb the words more easily and really live the story. My choice would be James Earl Jones, without doubt the best voice for my project.

Visit James on this link.

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They’re really going all out! Your novel is getting a full soundtrack. Who should compose it? If your novel uses a lot of songs, list your compilation here.

Now this is one of the easiest questions to answer. Without a second’s hesitation I choose Heart of Courage by Two Steps to Hell, closely followed by Asimov, Archangel and Dragon Rider, all by Two Steps to Hell. Bringing up the rear would be Bravest of the Braves by Kosinus Music. I was halfway through writing the first of The Lilean Chronicles series when I first heard Heart of Courage and the moment I heard Heart of Courage, I knew it was perfect for the soundtrack of the movie. When I’m writing or editing, I take regular breaks and during those times I often listen to it a few times, to keep me in the right zone.

Congratulations! Your novel is being turned into a major motion picture. As the creator of the original work, you get to pick the director.

Easy peasy, Dave Twohy for all the reasons mentioned above in the co writing question. To have this amazing man direct The Lilean Chronicles movie would be mind blowing. His ability to bring what I see in my mind into reality, to create the imagination in physical form is simply awesome. If anyone could bring my characters to life, it’s Dave Twohy.

The director has some ideas on who to cast, but you get to cast one character. What role/character is it and who portrays them?

Well ideally I’d like to cast two characters, but if I had only one, I would have to lay claim to first choice of actor to play my main male protagonist. The Lilean Chronicles’ main male character is called Vincent Richard Domenico and there is only one man alive suitable to play him and that is Dwayne The Rock Johnson. The main reason is his size; Vincent is a very big and muscular man and therefore needs a very big actor to play him but also for his racial look. Vincent comes from a planet called Lilea and their physical appearance is what we would term ‘mixed race’ – light brown skin and black eyes. When I was a few chapters into writing the first volume of The Lilean Chronicles and just getting to know Vincent, he began to show me the kind of look he wanted to have and by the time I’d finished chapter ten, it was Dwayne I saw in my mind whenever I wrote about Vincent. I tried to change this image, to make it go away because I originally had another actor in mind for his look but Vincent knew what he wanted and he laid the law down, so Dwayne it is.

Visit Dwayne’s facebook page on this link.

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 You’ve been hired to write a novel based on a preexisting character or franchise from another medium. Which character or franchise is it?

It would be Riddick. I would give my right arm to write a Riddick story and that is in fact how I first began writing. I wrote short fan fiction pieces, new adventures for Riddick and that’s how I was first inspired to write my own character and story. It was great fun and satisfied my need to connect with the character as a fan of his but pretty soon I realised that it would be so easy to just carry the story on and let it run. Once I got to twenty thousand words I realised that this could be a whole book if I just kept going and let it have it’s head and lead the way. I then had a dilemma though; Riddick has already been invented. He’s a copyrighted trademark and I’d probably end up in trouble if I wrote a book with him in it. I almost gave up but then I thought “oh what the hell, just start again with my own character.” The background could stay the same and the peripheral characters could stay but the main protagonist must be new. So Vincent was born.

It’s the anniversary of your favorite literary character’s debut. You’ve been hired (yay, work!) to write an anniversary novel. Who is the literary character?

This would have to be Willis E Davidge, one of two main protagonists from Enemy Mine by Barry B Longyear. The movie that was made from this book is one of my favourite space operas and the character Davidge is everything I love my protagonists to be; fearless and flawed but with an over riding sense of what is right and a willingness to give his life in the quest for justice and truth. He’s not bad looking, funny and the adventure he has with his co protagonist, the Drac, is heartwarming and emotional. Writing an anniversary novel of Willis E Davidge would be huge fun and something of an homage to one of my favourite movies.

Visit Enemy Mine on this link.

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Visit the next stop in the Dream Project Blog Hop with this link.

Facebook Fan Pages – heralding the imminent exodus

Over the past few weeks I’ve noticed something troubling going on over at facebook.  I have my own personal page there (doesn’t everyone?) but also a fan page for my books and I’ve taken the trouble to trawl for fans and managed to achieve a none too shabby 447 fans.  Like a lot of people I felt it would be a more professional way to present my books and writing without the personal stuff that goes on at my personal page.

Several weeks ago those of us with facebook fan pages noticed an innocuous little thing at the bottom of everything we posted which at first we ignored until the truth of its function made us sit up and scream WTF..?  At the bottom of each post it says “seen by” and then a number.

This tells you how many of your fans actually saw this post, and it’s never anywhere near the number of fans you actually have.  As I say above, I have 447 fans on my facebook fan page, but my posts usually get “seen by” no more than 30 or 40.  In order to ensure your post is seen by all of your fans you have to – yeah you’ve guessed it – pay..!  Facebook charges $10 to ensure your post is seen by up to 3000 fans and that cost is PER POST, not a once in a lifetime thing.

There is a way around it and it’s very simple to do.  All you have to do is hover your mouse over the ‘Like’ button and wait for the drop down box.  Then click on ‘add to interests lists’ and voila, all of that page’s posts will be visible to you.  I’ve been posting this information for ages now, and so have a lot of other fan page owners but the problem is that no one can be bothered to take the 5 seconds to actually do it.  This is what fucks me off more than anything, more than facebook expecting us to pay.  The simple truth that people are too selfish and lazy to take 5 seconds to ensure they can see your posts, dismays and troubles me but doesn’t surprise me.    People are selfish and book people are notorious in their lack of desire to help out other authors.  They’re violently competitive, which I find, well frankly rather uncouth.

This makes the recent trend for facebook ‘like parties’ rather redundant now.  What’s the use of having thousands of fans if only 50 of them see your posts?  This also makes fan pages themselves almost redundant because there’s no way people are going to be persuaded to actually give those 5 seconds to click on the add to interests button unless you pay them.  With this rather sad realisation comes a decision – I’m giving up my facebook fan page.

I simply cannot see the point in maintaining the page when only 20 to 30 people will see my effort and rest just can’t be fucked.

Yes I’m annoyed.  I’m constantly amazed and annoyed at people’s capacity to be unhelpful, insincere, greedy, snooty and selfish.  So I’ve decided that since people don’t have the intelligence to be led by my example of helpfulness and giving, I’m going to do exactly what they do.

I spent over an hour last night ‘unliking’ every single writer’s fan page I’d taken the time and trouble to like and ‘add to interest lists’ and I shall never ‘like’ a writer’s fan page ever again.

I love writing my books and I’m good at it, better than many others I’ve seen and read and I will always write.  I love writing, it’s writers I hate..!