What’s going down?

Yeah, I’ve been a little quiet; OK, I’ve been a bit of a recluse for some time now and I’ll be honest with you, at this point in time I can’t promise I will blog regularly but I will try and make it more than once a year!!! (Note, these images are what distracts me!!)

I was always very open about my self publishing being an experiemnt to me. I wanted to understand the process. I’m obssesed by understanding processes, how something works; to me, everything has an explanation and a reason for being and working and the A to B stuff fanscinates me. I like questions and problem solving.

But, the only thing I love more is a good story, a story that makes people feel something, anything and I think my self published work did achieve that. Even now if you’ve read one or both stories and thinking they were rubbish, you’re still feeling something aren’t you??!!!

However, in my haste to tell a good story as stated in one of my previous blogs Lessons Learnt, I neglected other things which is what caused so many mixed reviews. People loving the story but hating the insanely pour spelling, grammar and sentance structure which distracted from the story. I hear you, not good, not professional.

I’m currently working on a new project. In fact, even though I have been completely dormant in the world of blogging over the last year, I have actually been working on said project. It’s different to The Break and Concordia it’s not Fantsy/Sci-fi. I made the decision to write those stories based on my personal prefences and fan girl personality I Love Fantasy and Sci-fi and anyone who knows me would describe me as a Geek (loud and proud!!) but this new project is something I have been wanting to write since I was younger, it is my soul.

That’s why, I want to pitch to agents with this one. I want to go traditional and to do that I want to do something i never did with my maiden voyage of The Break nor Concordia for that matter. I would like to engage with Beta readers. Now, I could go down the professional Beta Reader route but I think what I want to do is open it up to you guys. You guys that have purchased, read and been honest about my previous attempts. You guys that will probably want to be the first to read my next attempt.

The only question now is how do I do that? Should I randomly select some followers and ask if you would like to give your feedback on my material, do I want me to just post the first three chapters I would send to agents on my blog for you all to comment on or do you want to voluenteer to help me out? Obviously I would site any beta readers in my acknowledgements, should I be successful in securing an agent and ultimately a publisher this time round.

Bottom line, I have a new perspective and a new goal to keep me focused, I’ve rebranded the blog and will be working on building back up my online platform which I have neglected over the last couple of years and I need your help. So, who’s game?

Planned Journey Against Actual Journey

I was chatting to a good friend today and our conversation started me thinking about how we made it to certain places/stages in our lives. Compared to where we thought we wanted to go

When you’re a kid you have this picture in your head of what you want to be when you grow up; which we innocently act out by dressing up or role playing. Then in school, our focus is manipulated towards broader career choices based on our academic strengths. Those strengths become more concentrated as we start applying to universities and ultimately graduate in to a job connected to our degree subject or if you didn’t go to Uni, towards those subjects you were basically good at in school.

I’m curious to know who out there had the passion and dedication to stick with that initial first feeling of joy when you were role playing your ideal career choice and how many of you ended up somewhere you least expected.

I know that’s the case with me. I’ve ended up here by the forces of nature not by my own will. In fact I would go so far as to say I began lacking the will to be so determined whilst in school. I wanted to learn everything but had no interest in being good at any of those things. What actually happened was the more I found interesting the more indecisive I became. A trait that probably led me to allow fate to nudge me in other directions; although I’ve seen fate blatantly bullying people to go in the direction they don’t want to, such as those who aren’t fortunate enough to get a job in there related Uni/school subjects (again first-hand experience with that scenario), so with that in mind I’m quite content with just being nudged.

My mind only wonders in this direction now I’m older and wiser (debateable!) and find myself curious as to how my life would’ve been had I been more determined to bend fate to my will and the question; is it still possible?

I should point out that I am by no means miserable at this point, I’m merely musing. I just find the idea of your planned journey against your actual journey rather fascinating. Especially in light of the fact that when I was younger I never contemplated other aspects of my life. For example I was never interested in settling down, I was far too manic for stability and wanted to meet so many interesting people. Yet, here I am celebrating ten years of a relationship that completely blindsided me.

It is the strength of this relationship which makes me wonder if, now, I could make my make believe become a reality. Was the missing component to succeed all those years ago that piece that makes me whole now? Or is it a lost cause and those notions should be left in the hands of the younger minds.

If that’s the case should we stop dreaming? Do our old dreams hold us back now, unable to fulfil a different potential we’ve found through the unexpected path we took?

I think at the moment the answer to all the above questions is nobody knows. The best we can do is enjoy the journey in the moments we have and try to take something positive and educational out of every one of those moments. Most importantly respect our younger selves for once having that fearless attitude and dreaming so big in the first place because somewhere it’s still part of us.

Lesson Learnt…. maybe

Evening to you all.

Concordia has been available for a couple of months now and so far so good. Which has pleased me greatly especially after the Concordia Book Cover v0.1disappointment I felt after discovering so many mistakes got published in The Break.

As previously mention since changing my job role last year I have started to construct my writing projects in much the same way as I would do my job which has proved useful.

So, as anybody who works in projects knows there’s a little exercise towards the end called Lessons Learnt and after putting out two “Indie” novels I thought I would sit down with a nice spiced rum and construct something similar; expressing my own lessons learnt from experiencing Indie Publishing for all you other budding “Indies” out there.

1 – DON’T try and save money when it comes to the important stuff.

(YES I do know my first book was full of grammatical and spelling errors and NO I wasn’t happy about it). When it comes to editing don’t take the chance.

2 – DON’T take bad reviews personally. Most reviews are actually quite useful as they show you where you need to improve for next time. Occasionally they are just a bad review just because it’s that persons opinion. To me writing/reading is just like every other creative medium, it all comes down to personal taste.

3 – DON’T worry if you have a bad first outing as a writer, you would have still made an impression on somebody and as long as they believe in your work they will be your free advertising to convince sceptics your second outing is much improved.

4 – Do ask people to be honest with you. You need constructive criticism.

5 – ALWAYS go with your gut. I know people say you have to keep writing to improve but I wrote three different beginnings and six different endings to Concordia because I kept over thinking it. In the end what you’ve read is beginning number two and ending number one.

6 – ALWAYS be true to your characters. You should know these people like they were your own friends and enemies. In The Break I did something that I know in reality the character of that person would never have done. So I knew I either had to correct it or explain it in book two.

7 – ALWAYS have a plan but don’t let that plan hinder your creativity, the plan can be subject to change but know your end goal

8 – Know your audience, I don’t mean invite them around for tea or anything but understand who you want to read your work. I didn’t get this right with book one bwriters blockut I would like to think I was closer with book two.

9 – If you don’t know ask. You would be amazed at the resource available out in the Internet abyss, use it, it’s there for a reason.

10 – ENJOY. Don’t force yourself to write if you’ve got “The Block” if something is not working ditch it and save it for a rainy day or another project. If you get hung up on something you can’t work out, you will drive yourself crazy thinking you need to sort out that one thing, you’ll start to hate it which will seriously hinder your creativity. Take a break if you need to.

Well, that’s my top ten to contribute to the world of Indie Authors. I hope somebody somewhere finds it helpful.

I have started on a new writing project, something different to the others I have previously mentioned starting, watch this space for updates.

Once again thanks for reading and for your support.

 

 

It’s Here!

Concordia Book Cover v0.1So here we are again, Judgement Day.

You can now purchase on Amazon Kindle UK the sequel to The Break entitled Concordia.

So tell your friends and anyone who will listen we are live and to get reading!

I hope you enjoy this one as much as the first, I actually really enjoyed writing the sequel, it was quite a ride again!!

I look forward to reading your reviews and as always Thank you for your support.

 

For you guys in the states click here

I Am Alive, Honest!

Well happy 2014 to you all!

I know, we’re in May but it has been too long and I never wished you all Happy New Year as I did in 2013 so I thought it would be the best place to start!

I won’t bore you with excuses of my absence but suffice to say life interrupted me somewhat, some good, mostly bad and most definitely Concordia Book Cover v0.1difficult but I’m here now and as you can probably deduce from last night’s post entitled ‘Tease’ I am almost ready to bring you the sequel to The Break and yes I stuck with the working title, Concordia, it just seemed right.

Just to reassure you when I say almost ready I do mean it, I am currently working on the formatting for the Kindle version and as soon as that is complete you will have the finished product. I am toying with the idea of a Beta reader though just to make sure it’s as good as it can be, any volunteers?

Through my previous and first experience of self publishing I did learn a considerable amount, the main thing being my decision making process. Now I won’t bore you with any personal details but just to give you a little context last year I got a new job, a job which I fell into by necessity and was incredibly happy to realise it was a perfect fit, very me shall we say but what it has taught me and made me confront in new ways is the art of my decision making process (my previous decision making process was NEVER an art!). Now, from my first outing as a self published, indie writer I learned many lessons the hard way, one being my consistently ranted about mistake about skimping in areas that need the most attention. So this time I have invested properly in an editor as I do not want to be equally as devastated by the comments regarding the appalling grammatical errors in the first for which I may never forgive myself.

DecisionsMy new found decision making process has also lead me to consider my creative process, a process which changed half way through this book and which I will continue to future projects (Possibly Screenwriting, as it’s something I am keen to get back to).

One of the things which I have discussed before and hope someday to compile all of this information as part of my idea for Books with special features, is the soundtrack, I realised I wasn’t just using certain songs to write certain scenes or whole chapters but I had practically constructed a whole sound track which told the story in the same way as if you were reading it.

I am a massive lover of music, my collection is as diverse as me, (I have deduced I have a distinctive 6 personalities all with varying degrees of geek, normal and weirdness: Me, friends, family, work, strangers and people I haven’t seen for years and bump into in the street) . Anyway, I digress, as music-head-convertedalways; my point is, music is a distinctive part of my creative process, it moulds my imagination as much as that initial first idea. People have asked me, if The Break was ever made into a movie who would play the parts? I have to say just for the record one of the important things to me is, if it was ever a movie it would have to have the same soundtrack as when I wrote it (Not that this will ever occur!!). So as a challenge to you, my readers, if I was to ever revisit Annabel’s adventures and the world of Concordia, something I haven’t quite figured out is what would be the main characters theme tune. I have songs for situations and atmosphere but not people. So tell me what song suits their character.

Moving on from this, another decision I have taken for the sequel is, I will only be releasing on the Kindle, I have no immediate plans to release a paperback at this stage, it doesn’t mean I won’t it just means not right now. I love reading an actual book we have a room in our house just full of them but I am becoming ever intrigued by new media and technology and want to explore the possibilities it can offer.

So on that note I will leave you to ponder and hopefully eager await the release of Concordia. As always if you have any questions or want to comment please do contact me.

Tease

COMING SOON

Concordia Book Cover v0.1

Pitch & Put

OK, Hello there guys, it’s been a long time.

We have loads to discuss, don’t worry I haven’t been Procrastinating that much! I have in fact been a busy little Bee. I’m currently putting the finishing touches to the sequel to The Break before it gets whisked away for proof reading and editing, with, I might add, a much more reliable person. I still get angry about all the mistakes in The Break but hey it’s all a learning curve and thankfully it hasn’t affected the narrative and you guys have all loved it, (So you tell writingme anyway and that actually makes me ecstatic!!)

I’m also working on a New project which I am about to start pitching to agents and publishes. Don’t worry I’m not abandoning my Indie roots but I thought I would give it a whirl! The new project’s current working title is “The Jenson West Journals” and that’s all I’m going to tease for the time being but watch this space!

Finally I also have a third project on the go, something completely different. For those of you who have known me for many years or have actually read my rantings on this site you will know that many many moons ago when one was a mere teenager I had some success with a screenplay, sadly this never amounted to anything but I originally started seriously writing by writing Screenplays.

Its funny what stays with you over the years but the reason I started off writing scripts and screenplays came from something my English teacher said to me in Year 9. Her name was Mandy Barfoot and the assignment she gave was based on the book we were studying at the time, William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, we had to take a scene of the play and re-write it in modern day English an assignment which prompted my love of Shakespeare. Incidentally, My Favorite became Macbeth, which I’m sure will surprise nobody. Insanity, blood, guts, medieval battles, witchcraft lets face it it’s got it all but I digress!

So I spent ages on this assignment and when the day came to get our grade for it I did pretty well and Miss Barfoot turned around and said to me “Well Done, that’s the best piece of work I’ve seen from you, have you thought about writing more scripts” And that is how it started, so It seemed a natural progression from that one inspired sentence to the success I nearly had with Channel 4 when I was 18 years old.

So yes you’ve guessed it my third current project is script based but not for the screen. I keep telling anyone who will listen to me, I’d love to be in a musical, I love them, I can’t help it, it’s my guilty pleasure! So I thought I would try my hand at writing a musical, don’t ask me how it’s going though as I’m only in the beginning stages I’ve pretty much sorted out the narrative it’s figuring out the rest now, mainly being the music side of it!!

The problem with starting lots of different projects is time. I don’t know about anybody else but when I feel inspired I want the finished product in front of me NOW, NOW, NOW. I tend to work really quickly and then when I look over it at a later date think what a pile of …… (Please insert word of your choice!) and that’s why I went back and re-wrote the first half of The Sequel, working title of which is still, Concordia, at the moment. So because I was so eager to continue the story, the ideas that came out on the page were a little mismatched to say the least!

So the next thing I really need to start seriously considering is a cover for Concordia, I still love the idea I cover DSCF3985design something myself but my artistic skills are seriously lacking. So I guess it’s between do I look for a graphic designer and do something digital or should I look for an artist/illustrator and go with something more intricate.

So I’ll leave you with this question, what do you look for in a book cover? I know they say don’t judge a book by its cover but let’s face it it’s the first thing that catch’s our eye, not the synopsis, not the title but the design.