All Future Ramblings Are Of My Own Opinion

So I’ve been kind of sucky of late with this whole blogging business haven’t I? Don’t worry folks no answer needed! I go AWOL I come back with a blog promising not to do it again so naturally I go AWOL again. I wish I had some amazing excuse prepared like I’ve finished my polished version of my sequel to The Break and it’s going to be out soon but that would be a lie as after finishing reading my first draft I decided to scrap the lot and start again, a hundred and two thousand words deleted in a flash. Best way really I want something fresh and new I don’t want old ideas to taint the new ones. Alternatively I wish I could tell you I had an entirely new amazing project completed my water lilies, my 9th symphony, my thinker, my Bohemian Rhapsody but who am I kidding I have one chapter of a new idea and another four chapters of a different idea to that.

The truth is I have an attention span of a small child (and some might argue a mentality to match) but there are just too many distractions around me over the last six months to be able to really sink my teeth in to my writing and blog about it. Then I got to wondering about why I set up the blog in the first place and concluded that it was initially only to promote my debut self published novel The Break but as I look about over my previous posts I realised I would blog about more than just that process, then I realised I like ranting aimlessly to the void of cyber space about nothing particular. I did after all call my blog The Eccentric Ramblings of an Amateur and so I present to you a new look, I was going to go with a new title to The Eccentric Raging’s of an Amateur but as my rage would only last for around two sentences and then turn in to ramblings I thought the title was well suited as it was!

So with this new look WILL come more frequent ramblings but not just of the writing kind this time, I’m just going to ramble and you guys can read along or not this time, they’ll be no holding back, please note all ramblings will be of my own opinions but feel free to join in being opinionated.

So on the subject of rambling and being opinionated I offer you this simple piece of advice in the event that something makes you extremely angry, engage your Brain and think before reacting, unlike myself who has just sent a complaint E-mail to the NHS without consulting the person who has been affected by their appallingness. In fact I’ve never really been trained in the art that is think before you act/speak which I’m sure one day will land me in some serious knee deep Shite but until that day I’m here for entertainment purposes and pre written speeches!!! Besides surely holding back results in missed opportunities does it not?

Anyway to conclude this eccentric “I’m Back For Good” blog I’m rewarding all my faithful readers/followers with cheapness!!! All the ranting aside I do actually plan to have the Sequel to The Break (Working title Concordia) out for next spring. I thought it would be a good idea to get yourselves acquainted with the first book first and so if you boogie on down to your Amazon Kindle store you will see it is currently retailing at 77p for you UK folks and a groovy 99c for you USA chaps or if your more iTunes you can hop on over there where it’s 99p. This will be the case until the end of the year, have a read let me know what you think, leave a review and all that Jazz and before you say anything newbie’s I am aware there are some grammatical/spelling errors(check out previous rantings for an explanation)

But cheers for the support and cheers for hanging in there with me in my absences’ it’s been a crazy 2012 and it’s not quite over yet!

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.

The Ball Is Rolling

So you know those incredibly happy people, who walk around smiling all the time, who think everything is amazing and beautiful blah blah blah? Well I think I’m becoming one of them! I’ve gone from wanting to punch the above described type and being incredibly grumpy to grinning like a lunatic 24/7 and frankly it’s making my cheeks hurt.

You know people say the three most stressful things you’ll do is move house, get married and have kids, I’m going to add a fourth, publish a book and I’m going to tell you I’m currently in the process of doing two of these, Gee I bet you can’t guess which two by now! For those of you that are visiting for the first time it’s the house and the book!! Yes, I am a self confessed Nutter.

So what’s happy about being stressed? Well for one, the Hell Hounds (Estate agents!) came back with their tails between their legs, which means we got the house we wanted which equals celebration number one! And then my book went live on Amazon Kindle which clearly equals celebration number two! And despite the headache of formatting, proofreading, endless editing, crazy sleepless nights thinking how to tell your editor you’ve made yet more changes and they’ll need to read the infernal thing again, not to mention it’s bound to still contain errors that everyone missed so I’ll look like a complete Idiot, I’m still Ecstatic and despite, the crazy estate agent negotiations, depressing solicitors’ fees, having to sort out surveys and mortgages and loads of other stuff I haven’t a clue about, I’m STILL ecstatic.

I remember when I was younger and all grownups were so serious about everything, I vowed never to be like that but now I’m way too old for that and it’s weird because now I’m here, I’m loving the grown up stuff, I’m sure there’s people out there who’ve been like, “Buying a house? How ten years ago!” Well then you must surely remember the rush of your offer being accepted, meeting with your solicitor, making it official, getting the keys, (I’m going to be a nightmare when this happens!). As someone who is only at the beginning stages of this adventure I can tell you already it feels like it’s Christmas Eve everyday!!!! And that’s why I never wanted to grow up and do grown up things because I never wanted to lose that feeling of excitement, that every day is an adventure and it wasn’t that grownups were so serious it’s just that when we grow up our adventures change.

I’m sure you’re probably thinking “what about the book? She’s barely said anything about it. tell me about the book” Well people, I intend to, just not quite yet, I will start breaking out the balloons and party poppers, especially when we go live on ibooks and obviously we have the printed paperback, so watch this space for more info it’s coming soon!