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?

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.

Pitch & Put

OK, Hello there guys, it’s been a long time.

We have loads to discuss, don’t worry I haven’t been Procrastinating that much! I have in fact been a busy little Bee. I’m currently putting the finishing touches to the sequel to The Break before it gets whisked away for proof reading and editing, with, I might add, a much more reliable person. I still get angry about all the mistakes in The Break but hey it’s all a learning curve and thankfully it hasn’t affected the narrative and you guys have all loved it, (So you tell writingme anyway and that actually makes me ecstatic!!)

I’m also working on a New project which I am about to start pitching to agents and publishes. Don’t worry I’m not abandoning my Indie roots but I thought I would give it a whirl! The new project’s current working title is “The Jenson West Journals” and that’s all I’m going to tease for the time being but watch this space!

Finally I also have a third project on the go, something completely different. For those of you who have known me for many years or have actually read my rantings on this site you will know that many many moons ago when one was a mere teenager I had some success with a screenplay, sadly this never amounted to anything but I originally started seriously writing by writing Screenplays.

Its funny what stays with you over the years but the reason I started off writing scripts and screenplays came from something my English teacher said to me in Year 9. Her name was Mandy Barfoot and the assignment she gave was based on the book we were studying at the time, William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, we had to take a scene of the play and re-write it in modern day English an assignment which prompted my love of Shakespeare. Incidentally, My Favorite became Macbeth, which I’m sure will surprise nobody. Insanity, blood, guts, medieval battles, witchcraft lets face it it’s got it all but I digress!

So I spent ages on this assignment and when the day came to get our grade for it I did pretty well and Miss Barfoot turned around and said to me “Well Done, that’s the best piece of work I’ve seen from you, have you thought about writing more scripts” And that is how it started, so It seemed a natural progression from that one inspired sentence to the success I nearly had with Channel 4 when I was 18 years old.

So yes you’ve guessed it my third current project is script based but not for the screen. I keep telling anyone who will listen to me, I’d love to be in a musical, I love them, I can’t help it, it’s my guilty pleasure! So I thought I would try my hand at writing a musical, don’t ask me how it’s going though as I’m only in the beginning stages I’ve pretty much sorted out the narrative it’s figuring out the rest now, mainly being the music side of it!!

The problem with starting lots of different projects is time. I don’t know about anybody else but when I feel inspired I want the finished product in front of me NOW, NOW, NOW. I tend to work really quickly and then when I look over it at a later date think what a pile of …… (Please insert word of your choice!) and that’s why I went back and re-wrote the first half of The Sequel, working title of which is still, Concordia, at the moment. So because I was so eager to continue the story, the ideas that came out on the page were a little mismatched to say the least!

So the next thing I really need to start seriously considering is a cover for Concordia, I still love the idea I cover DSCF3985design something myself but my artistic skills are seriously lacking. So I guess it’s between do I look for a graphic designer and do something digital or should I look for an artist/illustrator and go with something more intricate.

So I’ll leave you with this question, what do you look for in a book cover? I know they say don’t judge a book by its cover but let’s face it it’s the first thing that catch’s our eye, not the synopsis, not the title but the design.

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!

First Draft Entertainment

Hello there, trust me when I mentioned in my previous blog that after completing my first draft of the sequel to The Break I was going to have a break from writing before going back to it, I didn’t actually mean I would also be having another long break from blogging also!! Seriously I don’t know how some of these guys who I follow do it. Some post everyday, some can post twice a day, I know I blogged about time management but considering the crazy distractions over the last couple of months I have to admit no amount of time management can help you plan for spanners in the works. So from illness & home improvements to a fourth birthday celebration and a new born niece things have been a little mental.

However, I won’t lie mental has been a wicked distraction as it has only been in the last few days I have managed to break out that first draft. I love reading my first drafts I find it incredibly entertaining, so far I’m only a third of the way through and I’ve already decided to ditch the entire first chapter and decide to not kill off the person I’d killed off and kill someone else instead!!!

One of my favorite things to do when I’m ripping apart a first draft is invent a sound track, certain songs just put me in a certain mood for writing specific scenes. In fact I thought it would be an awesome idea to add to the Book’s with extra’s plan, for those of you who haven’t been around, many moons ago I asked why don’t books have have extra’s like DVD’s & Blu Rays So why not a sound track aswell, it would be so cool to realese the sequal of The Break with a sound track of music which lent to the inspiration of certain scences…. How Cool???? Maybe it’s just me!! Besides that just opens up a whole load of copyright issues which I could tell you right now I couldn’t aford to licence!!!

So we have a few new characters floating around in the Sequel, six in total to be precise, obviously characters that play a key role in the narrative not your average coffee shop owner!!!!!! As you know I was rather concerned previously about enjoying writing the new characters too much that I would gradually focus more on them than the ones that the story is actually about. I no longer have this worry, after now completing the first draft I found that the balance just comes naturally. I think it comes from knowing your material, especially since the sequel visits a completely fictional environment, as the place is unfamiliar and the reader can’t relate to it you find yourself using your characters more effectively than just telling the story so the challenge was never introducing new characters the challenge became introducing the new environment but by using the charcaters I was able to interpret that world from my own head through them to you!! I’m sure when you read it you’ll no what I mean!!! But don’t get your hopes up we’re a long way away from publishing still.

I’ve been thinking about the cover and as you know I keep going on about wanting to learn to draw and keep saying I was going to post something to show you. This is so not going to happen people!!! My drawing skills are reminisent of something I did in Primary school age 6!!!! So naturally I will be hiring a professional!!!
So on that note I’m off to do some more re-writes providing the sun doesn’t come out and I get distracted by the garden again!!! Just wanted to let you guys know I’m still alive!! and the sequel is still in the works!!!

The Fun Never Stops… Or Was That Stress??

I’ve had the most amazing reaction to The Break since we went live on Thursday, so Thank You very much for all your support and to those who have purchased a copy on Paperback and on eBook/Kindle and if you still haven’t got a copy go check out where you can acquire one here!!

So you’d think with all the hard work that goes into writing and self publishing a book by the time it goes Live you can just kick back, relax with a nice bottle of Bordeaux maybe treat yourself and order some Chinese food, go on holiday etc etc. Let me set the record straight, NO, NO You Can’t!! There’s still publicity to consider, how’s a girl meant to get a fantasy fictional novel exposure?? I guess we have several options here, local press, national press, flyers, posters, give aways, selling your soul the usual sort of stuff really!! But how do you stand out from the crowd? When do you begin to become too pushy, when you’ve set up your tent outside a major national newspaper and refuse to move until they’ve read your book and published a five star review (Now there’s a thought)!! Or do you simply give it some time let the work gather it’s own momentum and see where it takes you?? If you do this how long should you leave it before you start making more of an effort a week, a month, six months?

Truthfully, I think the answer to all of the above questions is, nobody knows what’s best, you’ve just got to do what’s right for you. As you know I made up press release packs which were sent with an advanced readers copy of the book to various places but ultimately it’s down to them if they decided to run it, or part of it or none of it, you can’t control that decision making process all you can do is put your work out there and get it on the map and find a way of doing that which suits you. I’d love every follower to Retweet the links to my Blogs (Hint!!!) But again ultimately that decision belongs to them I have no control over that, which is fine because this is all one big learning curve and I will find a way to get that exposure but I would just like to share to anybody who thinks you can put your book out there and your contribution stops guess again, the hard work well never stop now you’ve started that ball rolling, it’s keep the ball rolling that’s going to cause blood, sweat and tears.

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!!!!!