Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Feelin' Philosophical

Well the dust has settled, the books are published, and in many ways I'm back where I was four years ago, trying to scrape together a novel and hoping it'll be good enough to get accepted. It's funny how the whole giddy ride of editing manuscripts and signing books and speaking at conferences seems like a distant memory, perhaps even a dream I had once that blurred into reality. At least I can look up at the books on my shelf and know it was real. 

And the writing goes on. I'm about to hit 50K words on the first draft of the new project. I've even managed to con a couple of beta readers into taking a look at it for me when it's ready. I'm happy to report that the excitement is still there, that wonderful feeling you get when you see a story begin to move beyond a few notes on a page into a living, breathing entity, with a life well beyond what you had originally envisioned. I'm looking forward to seeing where it ends up over the next few months.

It has zombies. Lots and lots of zombies.

But not quite how you're used to seeing them.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Plot Thickens

I'm in the middle of plotting a new story at the moment, using a whiteboard and notebook. I bought the whiteboard about two years ago exactly for this purpose, but so far the only people who've used it are my three sons, mostly to surreptitiously write rude words on when nobody's looking. I can't believe how useful it is to be able to set out ideas and sit back and look at them on a board, as well as to be able to easily rub them out and write new thoughts in. It gives a sort of bird's eye view in a way that staring at a page doesn't (for some reason).

So now I have the first germs of an outline. My next step is do something potentially a bit odd. At some point in the past I read some advice that went along the lines of this: if your story isn't worth telling in a pub, it's not worth telling. And no, the next stage in my plotting process isn't me going to the local pub and boring people senseless with my outline (although the idea is tempting). Instead, what I'll do is tell myself the story, out loud, as I would if I were in a pub, or around a camp fire, or wherever. I haven't done it yet, but I suspect it will be a useful exercise in testing the flow of events and the level of tension as the story progresses. If it's not, I've learned a lesson and nothing's been lost.

So if you live in Adelaide and you see someone driving down the road in the next few days talking to himself in an animated manner, with no blue-tooth headset in existence, it could be me. Please feel free to wave, and to offer any plot advice you may happen to have up your sleeve.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Not Dead Yet

Well my golly gosh it's been a while. So much for the New Year's resolution to be more consistent here and so forth. Anyway, here I am again as another year grinds rapidly to its conclusion.

And it's certainly been a busy one. By my count I've written two first draft's of two separate novels, plus 20,000 words of another, as well as 2 junior novels at 7,000 words each. None of them are finished, and I won't be submitting any of them anytime soon. Instead I'm busily plotting yet another story, which I'm hoping to be substantially into by Christmas.

Why so many different stories? It probably has something to do with the fact I have difficulty making my mind up. Or do I? No, maybe I don't. No, scratch that, I think I probably do. It also has something to do with the fact that the second book or series an author publishes is fairly important in the scheme of things for cementing a readership and a "brand", and to be honest I'm still trying to work out exactly what that brand is.

That's not to say all those other stories are wasted. At least one of them will be revisited in coming years, and elements from the others might turn up in one form or another. And even if I never use any of it, there's nothing like writing thousands of words for polishing up your craft.

And speaking of craft, I stumbled across (Ha! Not really, I found it by obsessively searching on Google) this excellent review of Jeweller of Rassylon this morning. There's nothing quite as gratifying for an author as when a reviewer 'gets' your story, as this lovely person certainly has.

Enjoy, and I hope it won't be months before I post another update.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Time is Ticking Away .... Tick Tick Ticking Away....

There's only about 7 hours left in the Jeweller of Rassylon giveaway (see widget on the right hand side of this blog). If you live in Australia and you haven't entered, you best get in fast (as the sales people say: "Hurry! Time is running out!").

I thought I should briefly explain why the giveaway is only for people in Australia. My aim in doing a giveaway is to raise a little bit of awareness of the book, but seeing as at this stage the book is only available in Australia in New Zealand, it seemed sensible to focus on that market only. And yes, I forgot New Zealand. I went to add it afterwards but Goodreads said I would have to restart the giveaway and I didn't want to do that. Apologies to anyone over the Tasman who missed out. I promise next time to include you! 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Video Interview

I did an interview on camera recently at Pegi Williams Bookshop. You can see it here if you're interested. I push waffling to new limits, but it's a neat summary of my process of getting Blue Jade into print. Thanks to Rebecca and James for inviting me to come.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Giveaways Galore

Well, only one really, but still worthy of your attention, I hope.

I'm doing a Goodreads giveaway of 3 copies of Jeweller of Rassylon, although practicalities mean it's only for people who abide here in Oz (AKA Australia). You have until August 6th to indicate your interest, and if Goodreads' mysterious algorithm picks you out as one of the lucky recipients you'll be getting a signed copy sent to your very own mailbox, post-haste. It's easy! It's free! It's book three! So why not toddle on over to Goodreads and put yourself in the running, or just zap there magically using the link on the right hand side of the blog, over thataway ---->

(In case you don't know, Goodreads is an online community for book nuts, where you can share reviews, recommendations, hang out, chill, etc. It's free to sign up. Just check out www.goodreads.com and follow the prompts).

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Book 3

Book 3 should be out by now, though I haven't had a chance to slip into the local bookshop and check. So if you've been desperate to get your hands on it your long and agonizing wait should now be over ... or will be in a day or so. I hope you find it worth the wait.

It's always a good feeling when that big box of books comes in the post and you can stack them all on the shelf and admire them. It's a goal achieved and a dream come true. I'll be proud of it for the rest of my life.