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.

The First Review Is In!!! (and it isn’t all bad!)

OUT NOW!

Well, well, well, my first review is in my friends and I was pleasantly surprised, strike that I’m bloody ecstatic!!! Especially after my mad panic when I realised the person I had hired to edit/check grammar/sentence structure etc was actually an idiot and I probably could’ve done a better job myself, to re-cap on the full rant click HERE!

Obviously I’m not an idiot (Depending on who you talk to!!!) I realise to counter act the good means a bad review is just around the corner but as I said it’s my first so I’m going to enjoy this happy feeling for as long as possible and continue to grin like a lunatic!!!
“The Break by Kerry Stanley is a novel which breaks all genre barriers. To begin reading the book, one might wonder whether it was a love story, mystery, romance, or thriller. As it turns out, the story is all of these. Although the story in written in present day circumstances, the style of writing is much like what one might read one hundred years ago – descriptive, dramatic and heavy on the emotions. The main characters are three incredibly strong women who are fighting evil. Each has specific powers, which will assist them and their companions in time of crisis – sort of like real life Power Puff Girls.
The main goal of the women, especially Annabelle, is to prevent a gateway, the Break, from opening into this orld which would allow death and destruction masked as natural disasters to occur and the travels of unsavory characters into our system. All three women themselves are from another world but have the characteristics of this one. The story begins with background on most of the characters and Anabelle’s protected life overseen by Jessica becomes clear. We are uncertain where the story is headed but the intrigue is there. At first thought, it seems to be a mystery – and it is. Characters such as Rose begin appearing in the story who were thought to be dead, or Christian, Anabelle’s adopted brother, who was believed to be on their side of the battle against adversity.
 Rapidly the novel turns into a thriller with many twists and turns – the supernatural powers of the young women come to light as they face enemy after enemy. How the women fight the evil forces, which threaten the world, is unique and forceful. As abruptly as the book became a thriller halfway through, it becomes a love story as the book begins to wind down. The growing attraction between Annabel and Jessica is revealed – very unexpected but not inappropriately portrayed. The story ends with many questions left unanswered and battles still to be fought and won but this endings purpose is made clear when a portion of the sequel, Concordia is made available for review at the end of the volume. It is clear that this story, although not perfect in style and structure, would make a wonderful movie. The main characters make Charlies Angels look like Josie and the Pussycats – it is a story that keeps moving and definitely would keep an audience, as it does the readers, on the edge of their seats waiting for the next shoe to drop.” – GoodbooksToday.com Reviews
So if this as piqued your interest further and want to know where you can purchase a copy of The Break just follow this link

The Vulnerability Of Self Publishing

Ah, Wednesday, Blogging day, the thing that keeps me sane mid week when I’m too stressed at work and can’t wait for the weekend it holds me together!…That’s on a “Normal” week anyway, this week however is added stress; tomorrow The Break will have officially been out and live for a full 7 days. Now while this fact still brings me great happiness it also brings me a great Headache, Why you may ask because although I’ve had really positive feedback in regards to characters and story etc the editing of the work leaves much to be desired. I guess I only have myself to blame, you get what you pay for and all that jazz and as I was only just starting out I wanted someone cheap and cheerful but who knew what they were doing, this however would be a prime example of when Google has not been my friend. I think my editor had to have been on drugs whilst reading my material, I can see the reviews now, “After negotiating our way through the mountain of grammatical errors and meandering through lazy spelling mistakes we decided to give The Break zero out of 100…” needless to say said editor will be FIRED. I guess it’s hard to know what to do right when starting out and although I’d like to say this is a learning curve (which it is) it doesn’t change the fact that people would have already judged the book on the negatives, it’s human nature, I am ashamed to admit I do it myself, it just seems programmed in to us since birth, since the big flaming bang, we must focus on the negatives, the flaws of an individual. Why do we do that? Writing is personal enough what with baring your soul, along with a hidden cruelty or warped sadistic mind you’d been hiding for years without getting beat up about the little things that you thought had been taken care of, that you trusted someone to correct on your behalf. I blame myself for not doing that final check when it came back to me the final time when I was convinced nothing else needed doing because I’d already read it myself 500 times. I mean was this person secretly just out of school and needed quick cash to feed an actual drug habit? I’m starting to wonder if this individual could actually even read. Well one things for sure I will be hiring somebody on recommendation only next time regardless of cost, if I manage to now drum up enough interest for another book by yours truly that is.

So to those of you who haven’t published yet I say to you get an AMAZING Editor and to those of you who clearly already know what you’re doing, have you got any recommendations??

Here ends the angry ranting thanks for listening (well reading!!!)

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.