It’s started….. the nerves

BLOG 1I’ve done it, I’ve started the, approaching agents process. It’s strange, I feel incredibly sick!! I actually feel like I do before a job interview. Which is crazy because I’m not going for an interview. I’m not talking directly to these individuals. I’m simply sending a covering letter, synopsis and the first three chapters of my new project, Ward Five. (I know, I’ve revealed nothing about it to you guys until now and for now that’s all you’re getting, the Title!!)

So why do i feel so nervous? If I had to guess I would say it is because of the nature of the work. It is not Fantasy/Sci-fi which we all know I geek over as a way of life. It is just normal life stuff, no other worlds, no special powers, no weird creatures. Just regular human beings, a drama I guess, very different to my self published works of The Break and Concordia. They were an element of my imagination and fun; Ward Five is my heart.

I would say the experience of self publishing has taught me a significant amount, not only about the process of publishing but about my writing. Ward Five has allowed me to use a different voice for the protagonist that i would never has normally have chosen. It allowed me to know them more and this has made me a better writer. Even I see, not only a new style to my writing, but a higher quality.

I will revisit fantasy again at some point but I thought to be a good writer, you should be able to explore different genres and different styles. Find your own voice as well as your characters.

I think that’s why I feel nervous putting it out there to be judged by agents because it means something to me and it should. Everything that makes you feel passion, should mean something to you.

I just wanted to update you all on where I’m at. Watch this space for more updates, maybe even a snippets of Ward Five or maybe just ranting and off loading about all the rejections that inevitably come with this process. There’s going to be some some blood and tears on the way folks.

As always thanks for reading!!!

Disaster Recovery, Furniture And Sequels

Well the weekend is finally here, time for a nice, calm reflective moment, a plan of action is needed. When I set out on this little adventure I didn’t think a disaster recovery plan would need to be implemented so naturally I don’t have one but after my little rant on Wednesday and the kind words of support from you guys (Thank you for that) I’m working on a back up plan, I too hate reading a book with typo’s, my problem is I’m not in a financial situation to re-edit and put out a new edition at this moment in time but rest assured I’m working on a plan as I type, don’t write me off just yet!!

Also this weekend the new house/moving saga continues, all official stuff has now been instructed so we should soon have a date!! Next on the agenda is furniture as we have none to move in with, it’s kind of nice it’s like starting over having a blank canvas so to speak but as a date draws closer the urgency to actually have things like a bed grows!

Frantic furniture shopping and a back up editing plan are also at the moment over shadowing my second project which for those of you who’ve already read The Break will obviously now know it is a sequel, now to me sequel’s are really hit or miss but for the story I had planned it would never have fit in to one book, despite the grammatical errors missed by the incompetent editor I spent a lot of time before I even started to write The Break, detailing worlds and characters that it became to extensive not to continue with it. At the same time I’m interested to know how the reader thinks it should progress, I’ve read books in the past where I already know there’s a sequel in place and tend to think Oh I hope they do this with this character or kill this person off etc etc so if you’ve read The Break feel free to post some ideas about what you think will occur!

Now I can relax!

As previously discussed (See Blog “Day Of Rest“) Sunday’s are supposed to be for Chilling Out as are Bank Holiday’s (See Blog “Aren’t Bank Holiday’s Meant To Be Relaxing??“), so after all the excitment I finally get my lay in and Chill Out day, Happy Easter!

A day of good food, good drink!, good DVD’s and good video games, currently we’ve decided to reply Harry Potter Lego Years 5-7, LOVE it!! And this is all because of the madness of Good Friday, where I do belived we must have covered aroud 100 miles in total from one end of county to the other viewing houses but I’m happy to say I think we have  winner but having learnt from previous experience in the house buying adventure we will not be getting our hopes up!! Instead I will be focusing on the release of The Break and narrowing down a final date, at the moment it’s looking like either the 19th or the 26th of April so if you still have no idea what I’ve been chatting about for the last three months I suggest you start reading the back catalogue!!! Or head over to www.thebreakbooksite.com where you can read the first chapter or you can watch the trailer on YouTube!!

I’m kind of thankful it’s been a little crazy with the House Hunting and my Day Job because it’s managed to keep my mind occupied long enough to not go insane with the wait. I don’t know how these professionals do it, unless if you’re a professional author, you’re already use to the waiting and there’s probably no excitement left any longer. I hope not, I’d like to think if I ever went pro (Which I will still try to do read The Secret’s Out) then every book will be just as exciting and as much of an adventure as the first, unless of course people start burning your work in the streets!!!!!!!

Well just wanted to wish you all Happy Easter and continue to watch this space because we’re gonna have a real book out real soon!!!

Day Of Rest

Sunday, the day of rest… How wrong they are, there’s no rest here. As I continue my little adventure to become an author it is quite apparent that there will be no rest, which is fine as the end result is bound to be rewarding.

So yesterdays little outing was rather productive, I investigated book shops and purchased various magazines and general stuff to help me in my quest for good, cheap advertising ideas and then this morning I find out that I need to deal with some formatting issues for the ebook version of The Break. This sounded simple enough in theory but in fact it took me and my better half! around three hours, I now officially have square eyes but now at least all formatting errors have been corrected, I even popped a copy on my iPod touch it looks pretty cool well worth the time!!!

Meet Lillian The Attention Seeker

So now my waiting checklist looks something like this: Waiting for paperback to go live, waiting for ebook to go live, waiting for copies of paperback to send with press packs and in the meantime I’m trying to give this Facebook fan page malarkey a go. Maybe it’s my age but so far I think I’m making it all a lot more complicated than it needs to be and unless I’m going mad I’m sure Facebook pages never used to look like this one does at the moment, so I’m either doing something drastically wrong or they have actually up dated something or other!!!

What’s also annoying is one of my cats keeps trying to get my attention by Vogueing, she does this quite often, couldn’t tell you why it’s not like she doesn’t get spoilt rotten but as her technique seems to work I’ve been trying to think of ways to adapt it for book advertising purposes but I’m pretty sure if I started rolling around on the floor I will either be committed or arrested so this will be a last resort!!

No Blossom here!

Although I have needed to question my sanity a few times this weekend, it’s amazing how wrapped up in the whole book process I’ve been. Only today I realised there was blossom on the trees, how long has blossom been out? last time I paid any attention there was snow on the ground! I think whilst researching for the best marketing ideas I also need to set aside some time to start doing real things again before I become a third Tron movie!!!!!

The Secrets Out

Out Spring 2012

So my second proof arrived today and guess what, it’s perfect! So all that’s left to do is OK it then it’s back to waiting but this time waiting for it to come out for real!!

I guess at this point I should really start by confessing that it’s not really a big secret I need to reveal but as I draw closer to the launch of my book, The Break, I feel I must explain something to you guys. This book is being published by ME!! I have ventured in to the realm of self publishing, a realm I must admit I was very sceptical and apprehensive about especially considering the stereotype and reactions that go with self publishing.

I guess there’s two pinnacle moments that has lead me to this point in time, the first is way back in the day when my thirst for writing began and the moment when I was eighteen years old and had some success with a screenplay I had written, which piqued the interest of a casting director, a producer and a commissioning editor at Channel 4. I couldn’t even begin to describe the rollercoaster ride I continued on, which unfortunately lasted all of four months as the project fell through due to funding. What I can describe to you is the devastating effects something like that has on the soul of an eighteen year old, to have all your dreams handed to you in a stroke of fate only to experience a mere smell of them before they’re whisked away just as quickly as they arrived. With the exception of journalism pieces for the student magazine of which I was editor of whilst at college I didn’t write a single thing for four years. I think this is why I get so annoyed at reality shows like the X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent and American Idol etc because some of the contestants are too young, you can’t possibly comprehended the manipulative ways of the entertainments industry at the ages of fifteen to eighteen. Grown adults seem to find it amusing to play with kids hopes and fears. Anyway that’s a different rant for a different day! So once I started writing again I still couldn’t find my “Mojo” I was continuing to write screenplays still because that’s what I had had success with before but none of those projects felt right. Incidentally, I now have a huge pile of them I now use as a door stop!

Then the second pinnacle moment occurred just after I turned thirty, I started to lose my hearing. Now without meaning to sound incredibly clichéd but it is incredible what we take for granted. I never expected in a million years to hit thirty and start going deaf, over the course of a year I completely lost the ability to hear out of my right ear and now wear a hearing aid in my left, without out which I’m a little useless to you!! It was in this moment that I sat down and started writing, writing an actual story, a novel, not a screenplay. Why do people need life altering moments to motivate them to do something they would never have dared try? I’ve always loved crazy, wild, unbelievable stories based in imaginary worlds and fictional crazy characters ultimately the fantasy/Sci-fi genre so that’s where my crazy imagination took me, to a complete fantasy.

After finishing my first completed draft, I went back and started to focus on the first three chapters and formatted them in accordance with “industry standards”, I wrote a covering letter and started sending them to literary agents, I figured I didn’t need to know the ins and outs of the world of publishing I’d get an agent and they’ll do it all for me. I was so naive back then I look back and I’m convinced that attitude belonged to a different person. The thing is everyone said no but the annoying part was it wasn’t because they didn’t enjoy the work. I think it was because of the genre I was writing in. I think nowadays if you’re writing a fantasy novel and you’re not on Team Vampire you don’t stand a chance.

It seems in this current economic climate nobody wants to take a risk everybody wants a sure thing. I was on the verge of scrapping the idea completely to attempt perhaps something more main stream a romantic comedy maybe!! Or to conform and throw in a vampire or two but I’d grown a little attached to my characters and to not see it through to the end would’ve reminded me of how close I’d come before and writing and telling stories is the only thing that has stayed with me since I learnt to read, write and draw, it’s the only thing I’ve never kept changing my mind about, I’ve always wanted to be an author. Then somebody suggested self publishing and to be honest I turned my nose up. I spent about an hour Googling and realised it consisted of dodgy looking companies with dodgy looking websites asking you to give them about fifteen hundred quid and they’ll print your book and get it in the shops (yeah right), it just all looked like one big SCAM. Then my partner suggested I do some more research “Buy a book about it”. So I did I purchased a book called Self Printed: a sane person’s guide to self publishing by Catherine Ryan Howard. I think it was the “Sane” part that was the biggest selling point for me! Anyway as I read it, it just all made sense and there wasn’t a dodgy looking Scam company in sight, it’s become my bible and the biggest thing it opened my eyes to was, self publishing in this way is much like running a small business, basically you have a product you would like to sell and that was my problem before, how could I expect literary agents and publishers to take a chance on me financially if I wasn’t willing to do it myself. So I have taken a leap of faith, for the experience, for the understanding, for the business woman in me, for the creative woman in me, for the deflated eighteen year old still left in there somewhere. I will always continue to go down the traditional publishing route (this is the dream after all!)  but now, I’m better armed with better knowledge, I am my own boss and I’m not scared of the hard work, the hard work I’ve already put in and the hard work that’s still to come, I’ve got a strong stomach and thick skin and I can’t wait for the new challenges around the corner, I’m not delusional, I’m not going to suddenly quit my day job and expect to be in the top 20 of The Times best sellers list in The Saturday Review but I’m up for an adventure and I hope you guys will come along for the ride.