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.

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.

Second volume is now finished

Last night I typed those immortal words ‘The End’ and breathed a sigh of relief and satisfaction.  Yes, I just finished the first draft of the second novel in the Sinclair V-Logs series and I’m proud.

I’m proud not only at having finished it but also because of the way my main character, Sam Sinclair, is evolving.  In this second novel in his story we find out more about him as a man and what his mind is like, his fears and drives, motivations and his achilles heel.  In this new story, Sam suffers some mental and emotional anguish but a lot of growth takes place because of it and I believe we get a much closer and intimate relationship with him as he allows us deeper into his psyche.  For me, this is a necessary part of a series and is closer to the way we interact with real, living people in our daily lives.  When you meet someone, whether it be via work or socially, you don’t know the whole person right away.  It takes time for the other person to open up and allow you in to get to know the real person inside and I believe a series of novels should reflect this.  If you knew everything about the main character from the very first book, there would be no more to discover about them and you wouldn’t have that growing intimacy with them that you feel as you read each subsequent book.

As we go through our life, we face challenges and trials which teach us stuff and offers us a chance to grow emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  Life doesn’t stand still for us so why should it for my character?  His life is the same sort of continuous growing process as ours are and he faces challenges and trials too, albeit different ones to ours.  I try to make my characters believable and although their lives and experiences are set into a science fiction and very futuristic environment, I want readers to be able to relate to them, to recognise them as real people, to see themselves in them.  Making a bond with someone is a slow process in real life and I like to bring that to my series’ as I feel it makes the characters real and allows readers to believe in the whole setting, science fiction, monsters, space travel and all.

Of course, in my stand alone novels, which aren’t part of a series, I have to do things a little differently.  In those books I have to bring the character out much quicker so readers can go through the ‘getting to know you’ phase before the last page.  In a way it’s more challenging to write a stand alone because this whole process has to be done so quickly.  The next novel I shall be publishing, in June, is a stand alone I wrote for November 2012 NaNoWriMo and it was quite a task to bring the main character, Jake, out fully in one volume.

I’d be very interested to hear your opinions on this process of getting to know our characters.  Do you take it slow in a series or do you like to bring your character out fully in the first volume?

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.