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.

 

 

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.

To Kill Off Or Not To Kill Off????????

I know, I didn’t Blog at the weekend, I apologise but if it helps I had a really constructive weekend, personally and writing wise!!! We’ve now pretty much got everything we need for the house apart from a completion date, why do these things take forever when you’re desperate to move in WHY???

So I managed to get six chapters written of my current project which is pretty amazing for me in a short space of time clearly this time management malarkey is paying off! My issue now is, I know there’s always something!!! Anyway I’m toying with the idea of killing off a major character. In the “pro” corner I have Justified this by telling myself that it suits the narrative, it works well and seems to be a natural progression of the story, I mean really how many times can somebody survive these random near death experiences??? However in the “Con” corner I have, I would be heart broken to see this character leave (Completely selfish reasons!!!). Anyway it got me thinking about other books I’ve read where the author killed of a key character and although very sad it still worked out fine, let’s take The Harry Potter series JK Rowling killed off loads (Still think the most devastating was Dobby)and it worked well as part of the story, Suzanne Collins did it in the Hunger Games, actually I guess if you made it in too the Games you were always pretty much doomed but I’m talking about the significant one in book three (I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t read it and are waiting for the movies!!), Tolkien killed off Boromir, I guess you’re getting the general picture now, my point was it works, when you kill off a significant person my question is, actually I have two, one is how can you justify it to yourself and two how can you justify it to your readers? I guess if I really wanted to I could find a way to save this character but what if that’s the wrong move?

Maybe I should do both and the reader can decide like a choose your own adventure book, do you remember those? Turn to page 156 if ?????? Dies to continue the story or turn  to page 256 if ????? lives to continue the story!!! Books should be like DVD’s we should figure our a way for them to come with special features. You could market it as a box set it could include a copy of the original story, a copy of the story with an alternative ending, extra pages that were cut, character bios, concept art, hey I’m really getting in to this idea, I’d buy something like that!!!

I don’t know, maybe the sun has gone to my head today, what do you guys think???

Who????What book????

I know I’ve been a little radio silent this last week I won’t bore you with the details but it’s been MENTAL!!!!

Needless to say because of my crazy week there hasn’t been much time for writing but I have to say taking a break from my current project has been some what refreshing. I never really understood authors who get books out really quickly one after the other but I think, especially now, it’s easy to feel like you should rush a second book. Not intentionally rush it because there’s a particular demand for it but because you can get so caught up in its momentum and in the excitement of wanting to complete the story, do you know what I mean? As you know by now there is a sequel on the horizon to The Break and I have already been asked by a few people when can they expect it but after my little week of no writing I’ve decided I’m going to take my time with it, I’d like to develop my characters in to memorable people and that won’t happen if all I’m focused on is how quickly I can finish.

Everyone has characters that stay with them, when I was little and was naughty my mother would tell me I was as naughty as Amelia Jane from the Enid Blyton books (I loved those books) as a teenager it was all about The Hardy Boys or the Point Horror series and through my 20’s there were too many to keep count but every book I read at least one character would stay with me, someone to relate to, someone you could compare others to, when my sister was little she was so Hermoine Granger it used to freak me out! You could have the most amazing narrative with the most surprising twists but if your characters are boring then it doesn’t even matter.

So if my little break has taught me anything, it’s taught me to look more closely at my characters, it’s not that I ignored this key element to story telling in my first book but because of the nature of the story these people are thrown together pretty quickly and have to deal with the situation the best way they know how but now the sequel will show them, hopefully in a little more depth and explain why they behaved the way they did in the beginning…… Well that’s the plan!!!

Finally A Proper Bank Holiday

At last a three day weekend I can enjoy but what to do? Obviously they’ll be writing involved there always is I decided in the end to continue with the idea that caused my writers block earlier in the week and just let it play out, still working through it but I decided it’s better to have something to work with than not at all.  It’s my Brother’s 30th so there’s going to be family things to do (Still want to keep his birthday present I got him!) and of course mine and my partners anniversary, we’ve been together for 7 years now, we keep saying we’re going to sort out a wedding put we keep doing other stuff instead like buying a house, publishing a book, getting promotion (that one’s not me!!!). Weddings are a pretty big deal though aren’t they, well to the guests, we’d be quite happy to elope to Paris and tie the knot in secret but I’m pretty sure we would then be shot the moment we stepped off the Euro Star! (And my mother would probably take the first shot!!!)

Anyway that’s a thought for another day right now I’m more concerned with making the most from this 3 day weekend. I believe a while ago I blogged that I would really love to work with an illustrator as I lack in the necessary artistic skills, maybe I’ll finally attempt something myself this weekend? There’s going to also have to be some serious video gaming going on I have a stack of games for the PS3 and the Wii where I’ve played the first level then ever had the time to go back and finish and with some more pretty awesome games coming out this summer I should really get a move on!!!

And of course time to get some reading done the only problem with that is, I have nothing to read and I’ve been so preoccupied of late I don’t even no what’s out at the minute, I should be ashamed. So I find myself blogging on a Friday night to ask you all, to bare in mind I have the attention span of a toddler but does anyone have any good recommendations???

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!

It’s Here, We Are Live

OUT NOW!

Hello there fellow Blog readers! Today is the day, the release of my first fictional novel The Break, if you haven’t been a part of the journey and had the pleasure of my ramblings for the last three months then it’s a little project I’ve been working on for nearly two years, a project I decided to self publish in the end. A project which involved not only the writing of the story but the cover design, the proof reading, the editing, the formatting of both the paperback and eBook (nightmare!!), the promotion, the trailer (now loving this concept!) and loads of other little things that go on behind the scenes, all of which I can say with absolute certainty if I had traditionally published I would’ve took for granted! I’ve learned what works best and certainly what not to do in the future and yes there will be more in the future, I’m already working on a second project!!

So I guess all that’s left to say is Thank You to guys for all your support and please follow the following link which will tell you all you need to know about where to buy a copy of The Break

Oh and please feel free to retweet etc to spread the word!!!!

The Arc’s are Here!!!

Two posts in one day. Now you’re getting spoilt!!! Actually this one will be incredibly short I just wanted to share my news with you all! My Advanced Reader copies of my book arrived today which means I can start sending off the press packs as of Monday morning! Until then they’re being well Guarded as you can see, even I can’t get near them!! I have to admit I’m impressed with delivery they’ve arrived in really good time considering they’ve flown in from the US, I wasn’t expecting them until the Middle of April to coincide with the release which should, hopefully be the end of April (Fingers and Toes crossed pleased!) so it’s all looking rather Groovy!

Oh I decided to try my luck with the Book Trailer, I posted it on my Facebook page feel free to have a ganders, drop me a comment, “Like” it if you want!!! If it seems to be something people enjoy I might try my hand at something a little better and pop it on You Tube!!

Books And Power Ballards

Good Books are a bit like power ballads you either love them and jump around your kitchen singing along into a whisk air grabbing every chance you get (Never done this!) or you hate them to the point where you want to throw your stereo out the window when you hear one. It’s like anything a piece of art, a movie a TV show, poetry oh and Marmite (Hate It by the way!). These sorts of things are an acquired taste and people know what they like. I’m not delusional enough to believe that every person who picks up my book and manages to make it to the end will enjoy it or like it and I completely respect that. My issue is with the people who go on and on about something, lets take art as an example when I was little a good piece of art was a Constable replica! Maybe a Monet or two, do you know what I mean, basically traditional paintings. When I was in my late teens I took an interest in the art world, in fact by then I took an interest in anything creative, art, theatre, dance, writing, acting, singing and I know a lot of these type of people (people looking for inspiration) anyway I was fortunate to see part of the Saatchi collection in ’98 and got interested in Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst and I remember the controversy they caused in the papers and the on going debate as what constitutes as art. Well it was the same principle you either liked it because you got it or you hated it because you didn’t understand it, what I don’t get is why there’s no common middle ground where even if its not your thing you can respect it and the effort that went in to it by the creator of that piece. Like I said I know my own creative piece won’t please everyone but there’s 7 billion people in this world someone’s going to like it.

So the reason for my little observation of people’s opinion of the creative world is, well you’ve probably guessed it by now, my proof has finally arrived, that’s right, I hold in my hand a physical copy of my first novel which I can tell you is very exciting, now like any creative process I have to sift through it highlighting all the errors still left and it occurs to me, I wonder how these creative types really react to their reviews, I wonder if after so many trial runs and proofs and planning I wonder how it feels to them to see their finished article. Do they agree with all the bad press, do they sit there and wonder if they should’ve gone in a different direction, with all the different opinions and tastes in the world how do you really know you did the right thing for you??