Monday 27 November 2017

My NaNoWriMo17 Adventure

Last year I did NaNoWriMo and wrote The Rose Thief. Admittedly I had 20k before I went in so felt a little bit smug at reaching target. And then it took me a good year to get my editing butt in gear but the book was finished and now it's out there in the verse.

So when November rolled around again I figured I should give it another go. Despite not having 20k of anything hidden under a pillow somewhere. I was going to go in fresh. It would be fantastic. I would write and create and build and it would be wonderful. After all, I was going to write a sequel, how hard could that be? I refer you to my post 'The Thing About Sequels Is...'

I decided early on that I wouldn't be shooting for the 50,000 words goal. After all, my baby was due on 26th November so I should really give myself a break. Instead, I aimed for 1000 words a day. The first three days went great then I missed a couple, then hit goal a few more days, then missed a few. Then realised at this rate I probably wouldn't even make it to halfway.

Do you know what has been different about NaNo this year? The fantastic, amazing support I've received across Facebook and Twitter from fellow writers. All churning out hundreds and hundreds of words AND encouraging others to do likewise. But the really interesting thing is that despite everyone working to a different schedule, with different life obstacles and differing motivation, whether you've written 1000 words or 75000 words everyone is there ready to throw you a little party. It feels great!

And you know what? I might not make it to 50k and that's ok. I'm currently hovering around the 38k ish mark with two days to go. Who knows what will happen? The storyline is snaking around wonderfully, I have vague notions of what will happen next and no idea as to how the book ends. The characters are only being reticent in groups of two and so I get to rotate storylines regularly. It's exciting.

As for the baby, well, apparently she'll get here when she gets here and I'll just 'know' when I go into labour. Fun times.

Monday 20 November 2017

You're only a writer if...

Which ones have you heard? If you write prolifically every day? If you read within your genre substantially? If you work through as many how-to guides as humanly possible?

You're a writer

I'm afraid I'm going to put the proverbial cat amongst the pigeons and say, quite loudly, piffle!

If you are writing, then you are a writer. Sometimes life is not conducive to writing huge volumes on a daily basis. Sometimes the very thought of trying to edit your first draft leaves you in a cold sweat, hiding under the duvet, thinking that facing the monsters from the Upside Down might be easier.

If you read regularly then kudos to you. Some adults don't read at all. Doesn't mean they can't also be writers. Just means they aren't looking to see what else is out there or indeed how well others have done it before you. I happen to be a huge book lover so I would always recommend reading a good book but some people are just not wired that way. Obviously, having a good grasp of literature equips you with a decent vocabulary and if you're really lucky, a semi-understanding of the basics of grammar.

If you have the additional time to work through how-to guides, the ability to attend writers workshops, a local writing group, access to writer conferences and even the opportunity to escape from it all to a writers retreat then quite frankly, lucky you. Take full advantage of all those opportunities and make the absolute most of them. It may be that you come away from all of them with some half decent writing.

I am six days away from the due date of my second baby. I have been plagued with killer heartburn, total brain and body exhaustion that honestly leaves me wondering how I'm going to get through the day, a swollen disc in my back reducing me to tears of pain and hobbling everywhere on a pair of crutches. So no, I haven't written every day. I have done what I can. After the birth of my baby, I expect I won't write every day either. This does not make me a non-writer.

I am a published author. I intend to write more books. I plan to continue to be a published author. And despite my somewhat leftfield approach to writership, I am dedicated, I do put in as much as I can and I most definitely take it seriously. I do, however, refuse to feel guilty for not conforming to the 'You're only a writer if..' mindset.

By the way - if you do write every day, read expansively and attend all manner of writerly courses and events then I doff my hat to you, well done, have a piece of cake.

To keep up to date with my writerness during new motherhood, sign up for my newsletter. I will be giving books away!

Slice of cake

Monday 13 November 2017

The thing about sequels is...

Where do I start? No really, where do I start? And I'm not even talking about movie sequels or follow up TV seasons. I'm talking books. More specifically, my book. My first book, The Gaia Effect.

The Gaia Effect

The definition of a sequel is the 'published, broadcast or recorded work that continues the story or develops the theme of an earlier one.'

So we must have continuity. If I were a clever little writer girl I would've written The Gaia Effect trilogy as one long book then split it into three and gone aha! Look at how awesome my continuity is. But I didn't, so I haven't and I can't.

Not only am I attempting to write a sequel nearly three years after the first book was written, I am also pushing myself to be a winner by doing it through NaNoWriMo. Because we all know there's nothing like pressure to reach a daily word count to keep you highly focused, motivated and on track. Ahem.

Well, it's day 13 and I should be on something ridiculous like 21667 words. I'm looking at 9693 and my own inner personal target had been 1000 a day so it should look more like 13000. Clearly, everything is going very well.

In my rough draft of 16 pages, I currently have at least 5 pages of me typing in caps, vomiting out my inner questioning monologue. This is a good thing because my memory is terrible at the moment so there could be some excellent gems of story development in there. Or at least some highly critical, pertinent points that I must not forget to include.

In addition, I may have made a rather large error today. I re-read the reviews I've received for The Gaia Effect and made a note of everything everyone asked for. Now I am really bricking the sequel. It's not something I can just sit down and write. I have a duty to the characters I've already created, the world they inhabit and the events that have proceeded. I can't just go in there, willy-nilly, and turn everything on its head. I have to try and emulate the same style, the same pace, the same atmosphere. And most importantly of all continue to avoid all the dystopian tropes.

No pressure then.

Wednesday 8 November 2017

The Rose Thief

This Friday - the 10th November 2017 - is the official launch day for my new novel The Rose Thief.

The Rose Thief

It's a humorous fantasy set in a world where magic and fae exist and nefarious going-ons occur. Ned Spinks, Chief Thief-Catcher, has a problem. Someone is stealing the Emperor's roses. But that's not the worst of it, in his infinite wisdom and grace, the Emperor magically imbued his red rose with love so if it were ever removed from the Imperial Rose Gardens then love would be lost, to everyone, forever. It's up to Ned and his band of motley catchers to apprehend the thief and save the day. But the thief isn't exactly who they seem to be, neither is the Emperor. Ned and his team will have to go on a quest defeating vampire mermaids, illusionists, estranged family members and an evil sorcerer in order to win the day. What could possibly go wrong? 

Watch the book trailer here:

I'm having a launch party on Friday 10th November at 7.30pm GMT on Facebook - everyone's welcome! There'll be snippets from the book, a competition to win a signed copy, author chat with me and fellow indie authors plus lots of cake of course! Please do drop in and say hi, I'd love to see you there, click here to join in. 

The Rose Thief Intro

Early reviews are starting to arrive on Amazon and Goodreads. If you haven't read the first chapter yet, it's available here on my website.

You can buy the paperback right now on Amazon and the ebook is available for pre-order which means it will download to your Kindle device on the 10th November.

I had a lot of fun writing this book and can't wait to come back to this world for future instalments. I really hope you enjoy reading The Rose Thief as well, get in touch and let me know what you think. Happy reading!