Can I hide from me?

pseudonyms-wordplayI did something brave at the weekend, well, brave for me. I gave a friend my recent work to read. Obviously People read my work all the time, when I submit to agents for example but they are strangers to me. Their negative or constructive feedback can’t hurt me in the same way as the people I know and have respect for.

Being naturally paranoid, makes me very closed off from sharing with the people close to me, my friends. It’s the fear of judgement from people whose opinion matters to me. You should think that they are the people I should feel most comfortable with but that’s never been the case, I can give speeches in front of a room of strangers with no issues what so ever, you put me in a room with colleagues, friends and family, I fall to pieces.
This has caused me to think further about the concept of writing under a Pseudonym. I’ve always been intrigued by authors who write under a different pen name. Why do they do it? What’s the benefit? Do they like the anonymity? Does it protect them from feeling vulnerable? Would it have stopped me feeling so hesitant about self publishing had I had written under a pseudonym with my first book?
I recently started to build a persona I would write under should i choose to make the decision to go down the Pseudonym route. It’s a strange concept because right now, I can become anyone, it’s like I’m writing my own character in to my own story, it’s quite an exciting concept. At the same time there’s something nagging at me, although this is fun, I am hiding from what makes me vulnerable, which is why I carefully considered handing over my work to a friend. It becomes a question of trust, a person can hold a lot of power over you when you expose yourself but I guess that’s what we do every time we lay down words to page, writing exposes us. It exposes your desires and demons, your dark side and your inner hero.
These doubts and hesitations are surely the things that ordinarily a person would take and use, to grow, to build on confidence and skills. Realising where your weaknesses are and accepting them does not make that a weakness in itself. Right?
To be honest as I self published a book to understand the process of doing so, publishing under a pseudonym sounds like something I would do as an experiment, just to see, how different it is. I don’t mean different in the physical process I mean different psychologically as a writer, that could be a fun. Maybe I’ll try it with my next one. How else do I get answers to my questions. If anyone out there does have an opinon on this, or does write under a pseudonym please do contact me, I’d love to pick your brain.

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?

Doesn’t Time Fly

My new view from our bedroom window!

I’m back people and I must say it doesn’t feel like it’s been nearly a month since I warned you all I would need to go radio silent due to the big move, which did not go as planned but we’re in now that’s all that matters, so people keep saying, I say, how do you sue a solicitor but that story is for another day! On a more positive note I’m now surrounded by the most inspiring scenery, I’ve seen my first barn owl that wasn’t in a book or on TV, in fact it likes to land on our back fence now and again!!! and I’m loving the rural life, I can’t wait to own chickens once the jungle of the garden has been sorted!!!

It’s very strange in this day and age not having the internet around all of a sudden, I mean I’ve been able to check my e-mails on my smart phone (modern technology amazes me!) but it hasn’t been the same to just sit down at the computer and surf. I do however find it disturbing how much we rely upon it, it has quite obviously become part of everyday life. We ended up using a family members computer so we could set up all our utility bills online for the new house. This was because it was the fastest way to do it, when we phoned these places you had to go through a zillion automated messages, press 1 for this press 3 for that by the time you’d finished punching in numbers you were left on hold for half an hour before you could speak to a human being, yet on the internet we’d set up all our utility bills in 20 mins. It’s almost like the company’s don’t want to speak to you anymore and set up all these barriers to force you to do it online!!

It wasn’t like I didn’t have plenty of distractions to deal with in my absent weeks from the blogging world, there was Wimbledon, where I cried when Andy Murray made it to the final and cried some more when he lost to Federer in the final. Yep I admit I cried at sports, is there a group I can attend for this??? Well there’s still the Olympics and next year’s Wimbledon!!

However as I set up this blog to promote/discuss my writing projects I guess the biggest thing I should share with you all is I now have a completed first draft of my sequel, granted it’s a little all over the place as first drafts tend to be!! but now I’ll just do what I always do put it away for a few weeks and go back to it with a fresh head ready to rip it to shreds!! I think the most difficult stage of any writing project is to be able to go over that completed first draft and be objective, I mean you’ve spent weeks and months creating this baby you’ve poured your entire soul into it and then when you re-read it in full you realise, actually chapter 6 is crap, I don’t like how that character got from A to B in chapter 12, why did I write character X into the story she has to go she’s useless and also to think about the reader as opposed to how you read it. I find this the hardest because its hard to get the balance between being a little cryptic to keep your audience intrigued and making it way to over complicated that it confuses your audience, alternatively you’ve dumbed it down so much you realise you’ve written a book for primary school kids!!!!! I’ve also managed to gather some great material for the book with extras idea I had a while back, I have several alternative endings I would like to try out so naturally they’ve all gone in the folder for that project.

Anyway, naturally now I’m back and I’ve finished my first draft, you can expect to see more posts ranting about similar things from the beginning of the year, I need to start thinking about cover design and most importantly who I can go to for editing this time around so I don’t get conned again as I did with The Break!

WARNING: Today’s Post Will Be A Rant of Rampaging Rage….

I can see now why you don’t see any first time buyers on the property market anymore. It actually has nothing to do with the “Double Dip” recession, the problem is Solicitor’s. I would even go so far as to say our Solicitor has made Estate Agents (Re-named Hell Hounds, explanation here) look like Guardian Angels/Kind Samaritans/Heroes/Gods, you get the general picture! Since we had our offer accepted on the house we’re buying and instructed our solicitor to proceed we’ve been met with nothing but Brick Walls and silence, the word USELESS springs to mind frequently. I’m curious to know what the role of a conveyancing solicitor entails because so far ours has had two holidays in nine weeks. This brings me to my next question what do you pay extortionate rates for? I tried to work it out and managed to break it down to this:

Basics:

Our Charges:

Cost [£]

For Your Purchase

465

For acting for your mortgage lender

100

No move no fee insurance

35

+ VAT

120.00

Total:

720.00

Extras:

Communications(e-mails/correspondence etc)

200

To be able to transfer deposit for mortgage direct to their bank account

30

Holiday to theCaribbean

1500

New Jimmy Choos

2000

New Audi

30000

Manicure

50

Which roughly totals £33,900,  Ah Ha mystery solved we are actually secretly funding her social life because I can assure you we are not paying for her Amazing communication skills, advice and expertise. In fact she’s probably not even qualified and has achieve her first class qualifications from fakequalificationsneededquick.com

On the plus side all this rage makes for great creative inspiration, the fact that I feel like I’m going to quadruple in size rip my clothing and turn bright green with rage every three minutes has created impressive progression for my current project, which is what I originally found when we had Estate Agent issues (Mentioned above) these characters make for great story arcs, incidentally the character I then based said Estate Agent on has since been killed off!!!!!

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

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???

The Block

So I’ve let my imagination run riot for the last two days and have come up with a few rather interesting narrative developments my problem is I’ve kind of written A and B but have no idea about the journey, that’s right I’ve been attacked by “The Block”. I’ve read a lot of writers think writer’s block is a myth, I myself have on occasion concluded that if you have writer’s block then your original idea was never that great in the first place and more often than not scrapped the idea in favor of a new direction. Which I’ve decided is the key, direction. Now I find myself stuck as I refuse to believe this time “The Block” is a result of a bad idea, I quite like this idea but the direction in which to take to get from A to B is what’s causing the block. I think the reason for my most recent conundrum is introducing new characters, in The Break there are six major characters who carry the story and obviously you have a few narrative devices thrown in to move things along and help you get from one place to another, yep that’s what we’re calling the irritating under age drinker at the bar in chapter 11 a “narrative device”!!!! But whilst working on my current project the narrative has been blown wide open and to get from A to B our main characters are going to need a little help, now the readers have had a whole book to get used to The Big 4 (this is what we’re calling them to avoid spoilers!!!) and I have to say I’ve personally become quite attached to them but I find myself writing new main characters for this particular part of the story and neglecting the others which I hate doing.

Basically it’s hard trying to find a balance between keeping my main characters interesting and feeling so inspired to write the new ones that I’m giving them all the action. I guess like I said though, the reader has had a whole book to get used to the others the trick is trying to give a handful of new people depth in half the number of pages but how do you do that? I don’t want my reader to get caught up in the same trap I have and start to forget about The Big 4 and draw the attention away from the main story line but I guess you always have favorites in a story, whether that be the main characters or not or maybe your favorite is the bad dude but hence “The Block” do I continue with my current newly inspired story line or do a attribute “The Block” to just another bad idea???? Oh Decisions, they’re so not a strong point of mine!!

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!!!!