Thursday, 29 December 2011

Kindle for Christmas?

Hello...... I am still on leave from blogging until the new year- no writing or reading is taking place at the moment. Just a quick reminder that if you got a kindle for Christmas try downloading Goa Traffic- its doing well in the charts and thank you America for buying copies!!!!

Click on the new cover to take you to the link on the right!!!!!

Seasons greetings everyone

..... For the new year- a new collaborative blog on art and writing and... watch this space for more writing news. I need to up my game this year!

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

word of mouth...

I am giving myself a holiday from books and writing.... Just till the new year. Dont get me wrong I dont find it a chore (well marketing I do) I just need some time out. Before I sign off I must tell you that I had an impromptu book signing whilst in Goa. At Calangute's Capricorns from 5-8 last Friday we had drinks and canpes and I signed some books. The Goan Press were there and hopefully I will get some coverage. Not only was Goa a holiday but I now have books in Mandovi bookshop and Broadway in Panjim as well as soon be in the resort of Cidade de Goa. They will be in Fiesta (a great restaurant on the Tito's strip) and Emmanuels Beach Shack in Baga, also Bina Pujani's hair salon near the Marriott (near Cocoa Berry ) and Sachas shop in Panjim. All are great places to visit so if you are going on a trip take a look.

The recent reviews I have recieved for Goa Traffic from Complete unknowns have been the best Christmas present ever.

My one last request before I sign off for the holidays is that if you buy one book for your kindle this week buy this :
The author has written previous published books. Mary Cavanagh - I recently read the Crowded Bed and it was great. Try this book its only £2.99 or there abouts - go on....
I still dont have a kindle but want to get one on my PC so I can read it! I am currently reading Sophie Hannah - the otehr half lives and so far its good. I like her style and it is inspiring to read otehr psychological thrillers especially when I am writing one at the moment!
2012 is going to be big people watch this space...
Thank you again for all your support!

Friday, 9 December 2011

If music be the food of love

...goaaaaaa okay so back on the food theme there is one more dish to share with you and that's caldene - almost like a green Thai curry very coconut based and made with prawns and okra - it's delicious but not on every menu- its very traditional - worth a try.

You may be able to tell that my heart is not in this blog-truth be told I'm tired....sorry bloggers

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Tis the season...

Its cold outside and you need a holiday- Have I mentioned that Goa is the place to be (book aside)? It is warm (weather wise) the people are genuine and friendly and the food is fantastic - if you like indian/Goan food. Maybe I shouldnt plug Goa so much because it is a little over-run by tourists but as it is my home I'm going to share a few things about the wonderful little state with you. 

Lets take food for instance - you have to try a goan curry - being coastal it has to be prawn or fish. The fish is abundant - Pomfret (very buttery texture), Tomaso (or red snapper), Kingfish, skate - this makes a good curry because the texture is such that it absorbs the curry and flavours the fish. The scale of hotness for a Goa Curry can vary from mild to hot but never too hot. It really depends on the chef. Goans love putting chilli in everything.  And why not- it adds flavours. Sometimes they put bimleys in the cury. They are small green fruit that are extremely sour - delicious they add a certain depth to the curry. 

A good accompanyment to Goan rice and curry is water pickle - which is raw mango in brine with chillis- slice it up and serve it with your meal - its pretty much perfect. Also you can get raw mango slice it up finely add some salt and chilli to the bown and put it in the fridge for a day or two - then use it with your food - it is nothing short of amazing- extremely sour but amazing. 

And what should you drink with this meal- A Lassi - a cool yoghurt drink with salt and sugar- it replenishes your salts and sugars but although I used to drink it when I was younger - now I find it too heavy. A better all day drink is a fresh lime soda. It it what it is - fresh lime, soda and either sugar, salt or both - again to replenish your salts and sugars when you are sitting in the heat all day. 

The food in Goa is amazing  and thats just the start... Caldene, ambotic, prawns with chilli and garlic, chicken cafreal - they are amazing dishes that must be tasted - and after that... you can read Goa Traffic on the beach under an umbrella sipping a tender coconut in its shell. what could be better. 

Friday, 2 December 2011

An engaging love story that sweeps you into the vibrant landscape of Goa

An engaging love story that sweeps you into the vibrant landscape of Goa and the excitement of an exotic affair, Goa Traffic ends with a brutally callous betrayal and the bitter consequences of rash and naive choices.
Lisa Higgins takes a rare chance in her very ordered life and books a solo Christmas vacation to Goa where she meets Terrence and her life is forever changed. 

Ms. De Luna's sobering tale of very realistic events and the incredible build up of the love story makes the betrayal visceral and complete. It was my great pleasure to read this book.

Today I was feeling glum... so much work to do etc and as well as that I (being a little OCD) had to double check ,y contract with Authorhouse that I could re-publish - even though I have checked twice and called them about it. Anyway I did and them some kind soul ona social networking site suggested that Amazon may have an issue with having the same book on at the same price. They also pointed out that the new cover didnt show up for kindle and that that copy was linked into the Author house one- what a mess- maybe it is better not to try and self publish (joke- as they say if its easy everyone would do it and it wouldnt be worth having)

Being impatient I have just updated the edition- to edition 2- I am hoping this combats all teh changes. It is the second edition I suppose. My worry was that the reviews would come off- I dont know - lets wait and see.

The above quote is from a review  on amazon that I just happened to see- mid trying to chnage editions etc. (yes I like to multi task) .... new years resolutions - A new Website!!!!

Oh FYI - The new kindle edition is now available in Italy and Spain, france and denmark...... get christmas shopping!!!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Writing and Office cannot be combined...

"Writing and office cannot be reconciled, since writing has its center of gravity in depth, whereas the office is on the surface of life," - Kafka
So following my post the other day linking up to an article on Theatlantic .com I found an interesting article on When is a writer called a writer. Yes there was that same discussion about how anyone can be a writer these days with the birth of the e-book but there were two quotes that stood out at me. One was from Kafka- I still haven’t read any of his works yet I am ashamed to admit! But I have read Kafka on the shore by Haruki Murakami – I suppose it doesn’t count. Anyway I digress- back to the article. The first point as I ponder whether to start a career in life coaching is the following:
Kafka came to feel bogged down by the daily grind. "Writing and office cannot be reconciled, since writing has its center of gravity in depth, whereas the office is on the surface of life," he wrote to his fiancée in 1913. "So it goes up and down, and one is bound to be torn asunder in the process."
Very true. It is difficult to do both. Interesting never the less. Anotehr comment made by Charlotte Bronte
Charlotte Brontë was working as a governess, miserable, and wrote in a letter, "I shall soon be 30 and I have done nothing yet." That was two years before Jane Eyre was published. Brontë was 31—she had Jenni beat by 17 years (or 164, depending on your count).  And in spite of the anxious determination of those who work to write, or the casual persistence of the Sunday writers, there is something "very liberating" in having yet to be discovered, Von Arbin Ahlander remarked. "Okay, you haven't gotten recognition. But at the same time, you don't have expectations."  
Both quotes quite relevant to my life at the moment and found on a day when I don’t know which way to go. Someone I know suggested that I just write as a hobby and then do the life coaching on the side. To work is a must… I have to continue with that.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

The best time for planning a book...

The best time for planning a book is while you're doing the dishes.  ~Agatha Christie

I did it- I finally finished editing my manuscript for The Bittersweet Vine yesterday. I was at it till eleven but at least its done before the festive season. I think it needs another three edits at least before I contemplate sending it off to publishers. I want to see how Goa Traffic does on the Kindle (new edition) before I contemplate uploading TBV. But basically it needs an edit and after the expense of the Goa Traffic Edit I want to give traditional publishing a go first. I think that would provide an all rounder experience for me.

The problem with Goa Traffic is the marketing - once I have exhausted Facebook, Twitter, Linked in and this blog- and I have sent countless press releases where do I go? Do I look to start spending money on advertising – would it be cost effective given that I have to re-coup the costs of the publishing in the first place (back to the editing I guess)

What are my options? I mull this over for a few minutes and realise – I need to put in some leg work- you hear sayings everywhere that say 1) good things come to those who wait and 2) its not worth having if it is easy- you know what I mean … I know deep down that I have to start approaching book stores- and what happened to the retail buyers that I was supposed to call? A big fat nothing- is this because I am lazy? Is this because I inherently feel this is not my department? I am a mere writer not a marketer – in fact marketing was my worst subject back in business school- but hang on I do have a degree in business studies- surely Goa Traffic and marketing a book is just business.

My whole life (i’m talking grown up here) I wanted my own business. Right now I am considering training as a life coach so that I can set up my own business life coaching people – yes there is a market- I am a good listener- yes I actually think I would be quite good at it. But after Iyla Grace (a handbag company a friend and I started that did not get off the ground) I know just how hard having a business can be… It needs your time and dedication. Where I am finding it difficult to fit in a full time job (that is getting busier and busier) writing (and the laborious process of editing – it takes more time than actually writing the first draft –plot and all) and reading – I cant lose that – to be a writer and not read- well that’s not right is it? Plus giving time to my family (people always want time remember that and you have to give it- writing is a solitary hobby and you have to break away from that sometimes)

So I now have a dilemma- basically my plan was to train as a life coach this year so that by April next year (yes a month before the dreaded birthday) I would be able to start my own business in Life coaching – I’m thinking a website … etc but it is going to be hard work and do I have time to train to get a diploma in life coaching as well as doing all the things mentioned above. Will I fit it in with my job? I mean lets be honest I am not going to be able to give up my job and be a life coach full time. And then the marketing of GT and the editing of TBV willl go down the drain but I have to consider this. Writing – my one true passion – yes I now have my own business you could say- the business of writing- I have Goa Traffic under my belt and even Yeoman Publishing, a facility for my publishing my own works.

Ohhhh dilemmas…

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

brilliant read for any budding authors out there

One of my best friends sent this link to me ... a bit of writing inspiration:


If I dont write to empty my mind, I go mad

If I don't write to empty my mind, I go mad.  ~Lord Byron

So Why do you write?

To entertain
To make people think
To Inspire

Your story will fit the needs of a certain group but often writers don’t think about why they write – they just do it because they love it- Think about it… Just for one moment.

I write for all of the above. With GT I wanted to entertain people as well as highlight a huge issue that happens in developing countries. I also wanted to make people think- what if they were in the shoes of the protagonist- would they do the same thing?

Maybe Goa Traffic was not to inspire – well I hope it inspires people to pick up a pen and write but it is not a story about inspiration.

With TBV the story is largely to entertain – it is after all a psychological thriller and it will highlight some issues surrounding siblings and interpersonal relationships between friends and lovers. – Most of us can identify with falling for you friends mate or fighting with your sister. Sisters and brothers can sometimes be worlds apart. I like my readers to identify with little traits of my characters. If they identify with them they will believe more in the story and really feel the plight of the protagonist.

With GT several people asked me if I based the character on them – to me it was a bit of a compliment- there was some sort of recognition.

Anyway after my last blog, here is a short back story of one of my characters from TBV – so if this happened to Leanne- how would this reflect on her personality now that she is in her mid twenties?

  The Last Glass of Squash – Leanne’s Tale
She was only ten when it happened. It was late. Her  bedside clock told her in bright red that it was three in the morning. Did she need to go or didn’t she? She should never have had that glass of squash just before bed. She didn’t even want it but the last inch of syrup in the bottle called out to her.

“Don’t touch that squash, its mine” Suki had said as she answered the telephone. She held the plastic burger up to her ear and smiled.

Leanne saw her chance then. Why should she be the one to get the last of everything? Just because Suki was the eldest she thought she could do whatever she pleased.  It was time that Leanne made a stand after all her father had told her that it was time for her to fight her own battles the last time she had complained about her big sister’s behaviour.

Leanne made her drink and defiantly walked past her sister trying to provoke a reaction. Her mother rolled her eyes.  Leanne smirked. There was not much Suki could do whilst she was on the telephone. 

“ur, hmm” Leanne made like she was clearing her throat as she walked past her sister but there was no reaction.  She looked at Suki – a lone tear rolled down her cheek. Who was she talking to?  Disheartened by her failed attempt to get one up on her sister she had finished the squash. But now in the middle of the night it was coming back to haunt her.

Of course you need the toilet. Leanne heard her subconscious say. You wouldn’t be awake if you didn’t.  Leanne counted down the hours till it was time to get up; four. Too long; she would have to leave the warmth of her bed.

She walked to the bathroom and stood outside. The light was on. Leanne looked around ; her parents and Suki’s doors were firmly shut.  She waited in the silent hallway until she was desperate. Then she knocked. Nothing. She tried a whisper, “Hello. Can you hurry up I really need to go.”  There was no response. Yes. Maybe someone had just left the light on. Leanne opened the door just a little and waited. Still silence.

Finally she pushed the door open. It was then that she saw her. The bath was filled with a deep crimson her sisters white skin breaking through the surface. Leanne stood next to the bath. Her mouth was open but she was unable to make a sound as a warm liquid tickled down her leg and onto the bathmat

Okay so its not brilliant writing – I did it in ten minutes and its just a first draft it needs working on- but it is a bit of back story – it gives you the central motivation of the character. I think it does. But as I start to write these short back stories I learn more about my characters and to me that is a huge bonus. 

Monday, 28 November 2011

Every writer I know has trouble writing

Every writer I know has trouble writing.  ~Joseph Heller

Well I finally formatted my kindle book and uploaded it- about 48 hours later I have a £1.14 or $1.80 version of Goa Traffic available for Download on Kindle. Check out the link on the right or the link below:

It has the new cover, the formatted text and the new price. Someone I know has bought it and has said that the formatting is fine. The only tragedy is that the amazon ‘look inside’ application looks like is all over the place. The basic HTML doc really without the code. I have heard this happens – To be honest I don’t have the time this side of Christmas to trawl through internet sites and find out how to change it- well maybe tomorrow lunch time.

I have just 8 pages to edit on TBV. I have to do this nowish – or with the hubbub of Chirstmas I will lose my train of thought and that too may become a bit of a soup.

My plan for the next edit is to keep a running plotline of TBV in a book so that I can verify dates and timings- It starts in late September and finished in two months- I never mention Christmas- is that feasible- maybe in the last scenes I should – I mean the Protagonist does go shopping – maybe she could see some christmasy things.

Back to writing tips, here is something I am trying at the moment:

I started writing character profiles so that I would get inside their heads a bit more. Let me take a character from The Bittersweet Vine. She helps the story move along and reveals things to the reader by being the protagonists confidante. In my head she is a little like Suki from the Gilmore Girls. She is bubbly, vivacious, full of life. She had short brown hair and blue eyes and she just wants to find a bit of happiness, maybe a nice man who will treat her right, but no she is going out with Jason who she has an inkling is cheating on her. She lost her sister when she was young (she committed suicide) and so the protagonist and her sister are like her sisters. Although she is the best friend of my protagonist she therefore has her own issues. Leanne is not very good at keeping secrets. She is also not very good at dealing with complicated problems – she normally relies on the protagonist to help her out there. So now she knows the protagalists struggle what does she do?

I write out her details and her back story (for my reference only)  and I think this is enough but then I get an idea from a writing workshop on-line – it says write short stories about your characters that reveals something about them- like for yourself – not for the general public and as I started writing a bit of flash fiction the other day I thought to myself- why not? So that’s What I plan to do- I suppose it would be a little Chaucer –esk – Like the Canterbury tales!

Maybe I will post one on here- a short back story (Maybe I’ll change names so when you read the book you don’t immediately guess the storyline)….. watch this space.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

It is impossible to discourage the real writers...

It is impossible to discourage the real writers - they don't give a damn what you say, they're going to write.  ~Sinclair Lewis

Today I feel like that!!! Today I want to write from the heart and not care about what people say... because after all we are only here for a short time - and its all subjective anyway.

I will update on Kindle in a couple of days!

Friday, 25 November 2011

Publication - is the auction of the Mind of Man.

Publication - is the auction of the Mind of Man.  ~Emily Dickinson
So I read the other day to be a good novelist you should awlays write said after speech. i.e Sonya said as opposed to Sonya responded. Said is apparently an invisible word. Try it the next time you read you book- you dont notice it. So I am now getting rid of the literary trash in The Bittersweet Vine and removing anything like Sonya responded.

If you have read Goa Traffic - dont worry there is no Sonya in The Bittersweet Vine.

Thats another thing- names. I read an online article on naming you characters - apparently they should be names that are suitable ( i.e have a look on line for names people were called if they were born in the 80's if your character is in their 30's -simple and a good tip) more reality strikes true with readers. They will identify more.  But the article also said not to use difficult names the reader cant pronounce - I dont know but a couple of books I have read with difficult names I havent minded.... I suppose the majority do.

I am nearly there with Goa Traffic for kindle- I put the picture up yesterday - what do you think?  I did a quick read through this morning and I am ready to upload it now. With any luck I am going to do it tonight!!!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Storytelling reveals meaning without committing...

Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it.  ~Hannah Arendt
Kindle formatting = nightmare. Really it is. I know you read about this everywhere but its true. After realising HTML was not my friend and not knowing how to add code and save it to a notepad document (dont ask) I tried the traditional word method. Below I will detail an idiots guide to uploading a kindle book. I wont go into the finer points just the basics to get you on the path to sanity.
1) yes Kindle will automatically indent each first line of each paragraph for you- if you like it keep it (but generally take out the line inbetween paragraphs then)
2)To get rid of indentation- in the paragraph settings of word type 1 px for formatting paragraphs- first line only- apparently kindle picks up 0 as something or the otehr so 1 px is just right- too small for a kindle reader to notice - you will have eliminated the indent
3) make sure there are only two hard returns at any gfiven point (thats the enter bar that gives you a new paragraph)
4) dont justify things from the main buttons up top- instead highlight entire text (ctrl A) and then make sure all your text is normal- Times roman and 12. Only use fonts up to 14- do not use fancy ones
5) Use the backward P button on microsoft to reveal the formatting marks. Check for consistant hard returns and spaces between words
6)upload to mobi pocket and preview on the free kindle previewer. Check for errors
7) My remaining issue is that some lines are ragged. Kindle will justify all your text but some lines remain ragged. I dont know how or what can be done- I have googled it and scored everything but no! so I am going to have to live with it
8) the cover - the image uploaded on mobi-pocket must be 600x800 pixels - although Mobi pocket sometimes says the image is too small it still uploads- go figure. I havent overcome that yet.
9) If it all still isnt working - strip all your formatting copy entire text into a notebook page and then copy that back into a clean word document. Hey presto- no bold, no italics - but thats life you will need to add all of that back in- I tried this and still didnt get rid of my ragged lines!!!

Anyway Goa Traffic has been a huge learning curve for me on kindle now as well!!!!!! I will let you know how I go- If I manage to upload it and charge as little as possible for it as well. My deadline is the 1st December ---- wish me luck

A brilliant blog I came across was CJ's easy as pie on blogspot- oddly I couldnt leave a message to thank him but I have started following him. If you are struggling with your kindle formatting check out his blogspot-

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

The Blue Cardigan

Okay so here goes the first of the two short stories:

The Blue Cardigan - A short story by Marissa de Luna   - if the hyperlink doesnt work click on the following link  or cut and paste this into your browser:  <a href=""><img src="" alt="Click to view the full digital publication online" style="border: 0;" target="_blank" /></a><br /><a href="">Read The Blue Cardigan</a><br /><a href="">Publisher Software from YUDU</a>

Monday, 21 November 2011

The first goal of writing...

The first goal of writing is to have one's words read successfully.  ~Robert Brault,

When I did my author interview for Diverse Traveller one of the questions was “Did you attend any writing classes?” No was my reply- well a bit more padded out than that but that was the crux of it. But it made me think – should I have attended a class to improve my writing technique? Again today I spoke to someone about this and he said – surely learning how to write went against being creative- putting your freedom back into a box so you lean like the rest of them. He went on to say that most writers write for themselves and develop through their own work- true I thought happy with his deduction but I am an academic. The problem is – everything I have learned I prefer not to continue with. So enrolling in a creative writing course I decided was not for me. I love writing I don’t want education to take that away from me. But there are snippets of technique that you can and perhaps should learn. Today for instance I leaned that it was better to provide just jey pieces of description when describing a characters looks- such as mention brown hair and let the reader fill in the blanks. Something I didn’t do in GT. I wanted to really paint a picture but I think readers prefer characters looks of which they can create in their imaginations. I think the images they create is much more vivid then. So I am using this tip in The Bittersweet Vine.

I will explore further writing tips that I have discovered recently – learning on line through various websites but first can I just tell you about part one of my kindle experience.

So I have heard that formatting is a pain- and I though as GT was professionally edited it would be almost there- well it is kind of but there are so many other bits to do. The image size is too small for the cover and my friend who did the image is now on holiday- so annoying for someone with no patience like me!
Each para is indented on kindle – I have to change each one if I don’t want it that way- indenting is fine for me!!!
Kindle changes the format from when it is in HTML format to kindle so you have to do a trial run to see where these format changes are- sooooooo frustrating. I really hope that I can achieve creating GT kindle (cheaper version) in the next two weeks- maybe I will need to start getting up earlier!

The only good thing is amazons quick guide to the process- and mobi pocket creator and the kindle previewer- downloaded in seconds ( and my computer is generally slow)- even if you are technically illiterate like me you will be able to down load and use the two applications. If only to see just how difficult it is. However in saying that I realise that I have only had an evenings worth of frustration (and remember I am impatient) so maybe in another few tries I will be there and then you have to ask- was it that difficult if it only took a week to get right.

With many technical things such as this most of it is the knowing how- Once you have mastered the art of the formatting- it is probably as easy as writing your own name. And I suppose it depends on how fussy you are. I may be impatient but I am not pedantic. Therefore do I really mind that each paragraph is indented? No not really- is it going to hamper the readers experience? No I don’t think it will. If anything on the kindle previewer it is kind of easier to read that way--- after all its just a format!

I am going to persist this week and then wait patiently for my friend to resize the cover image! Will I be able to sell it on Kindle for the Christmas rush…. I just don’t know. Watch this space.

Just to let you know I have decided on which short story I am submitting for my writing groups flash fiction competition. The Blue Cardigan. Both the Blue Cardigan and Stealing Mangoes will be posted here shortly.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

The belly rules the mind.

The belly rules the mind.  ~Spanish Proverb

Very excited indeed. I have just seen the new kindle cover for Goa Traffic and it looks great. The front cover on this edition is a bit more abstract but we’ll see – now the fun part converting it all onto e-pub and formatting and uploading to Amazon!!! Very exciting! I am hoping I can upload it all to Good reads as well for people to download if it all goes well.

It is quite exciting knowing that so much is available to the self publisher by the way of e-publishing! And surely it’s a great way to get some reviews and test the market!

I have decided to publish this edition under my new publishing name Yeoman Publishing. I have an edited copy of Goa Traffic (The acknowledgements slightly changed) in word format ready to go. Thanks to my pound this has already been formatted (I think) by the good people at Author House- well I presume that this was included in the whole editing process. I hope so – or it could take me forever!!

Wish me luck – I hope to get this all finalised and up on to kindle by the end of next week!!!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

No man in the world has more courage...

No man in the world has more courage than the man who can stop after eating one peanut.  ~Channing Pollock

Today I ate so much I thought my sides were going to split! really I did. I should have stopped when I was full but I didnt. 

Tomorrow is another editing/writing day. Fingers crossed I get at least half done. Time in running out now. Still loving Aravind Adiga's Last Man in Tower- go out and buy it now if you are thinking about it- its a good one for the christmas list- you will be right there on the streets of Bombay! 

In other news I need to get the Christmas shoping done- early I hate being - and I am entering my writing groups writing competition - a five hundred word pice - I have written - two . One entitle The Blue cardigan- a murder - the other - Stealing Mangoes - a comedy sketch set in Goa. 

I will post them on here after some refinement. I have never written a short story before. It is pretty hard to stick to 500 words, and because it is so short I am not sure how meaty it should be- How meaty can it be? 

nevertheless I did it because I have time- I normally never consider entering short story competitions- mmmmm would be good to get a critque on them either way - and a good way to kill some time! 

until next time...

Saturday, 12 November 2011

There is no mistaking the dismay ...

There is no mistaking the dismay on the face of a writer who has just heard that his brain child is a deformed idiot.
L. Sprague de Camp

As you can see I have been busy trying to improve my Blog- Make it a bit more user friendly.... I hope you like it- I even added pink to it to increase the friendly nature. I hate pink... but it works. 

So apart from looking at shoes on line I am hoping to edit another chapter today... Blogging right now =stalling. 

I can no longer stall. I have a chapter to edit before I start on Lunch... Ministrone - it certainly is a soup day and maybe a prawn bagel.... 

Friday, 11 November 2011

My eyes hurt

My eyes hurt and its not a quote!!! They do- I have spent the evening editing - only 20 pages by my reckoning but it has taken time!!!!! The Bittersweet Vine is coming along nicely but I really need to go back (on edit number 2) and do more showing less telling- but remember there has to be a balance you cant have all showing and no telling!

So I have about 40 pages left to edit- Can I do it in three weeks? Lets see that is my target... I need to get it done its my target.

I have to say that Aravind Adiga is amazing!!!!! Last Man in Tower is brilliant - I love his work- He is inspiring me to write a detective series set in Goa. You have got to admit it- India is a fascinating place there is lots to write about. You may have noticed as well that my grammar is terrible STILL... I know need to get back to reading my grammar book.

I feel it in my bones though... The Bittersweet Vine is going to make it!!!!!!!

If you havent read Goa Traffic - pick up a copy now- available on pretty much most on-line retailers!!!! go on....

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Have something to say, and say it as clearly as you can.

Have something to say, and say it as clearly as you can. That is the only secret. 
Matthew Arnold

Okay so feeling a bit more normal today. (well kind of) So i was at my writing group and someone mentions new authors and that as budding authors we should know who is emerging. Yes of course we should this is a given- am I too self absorbed for this as I wondered as I sat there thinking what?!!! I should be more concerned about who else is out there and their trials and tribulations to getting published... I should and I will... maybe lunch hour tomorrow. I will report my findings so that we are all in the know! 

Also I am reading Last Man in Tower- by my absolute favourite author- Aravind Adiga who wrote White Tiger. 

I have just finished reading Netherland by Joseph O'neill which was take it or leave it stuff for me. And I read The house of the Hanged by Mark Mills - pretty good- a light read - a bit of a Poirot style- good to get lost into. 

there is not much out there in terms of self publishing at the moment and new things... but I will trawl and keep you all updated 

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

The only test of work of literature...

The only test of work of literature is that it shall please other ages than its own. 
Gerald Brenan

Today I feel... urgh!!! I dont know since attending my writing group yesterday which I havent been to in ages- I feel down. This wasnt the fault of the writers group but my own high expectations of myself. Today was my first wednesday in ages that I have had time to write. I should be elated. Instead I juts keep thinking that my work is not good enough!!! the title is not good enough... sales need to increase for Goa Traffic. speaking of which...

Have a look... a great Christmas present or stocking filler!! 

I dont know I am just not feeling the vibe today! I think my editing (I managed two chapters) was fruitless and I will have to go back and sort it out on edit number three!!! 

Maybe I will be feeling better tomorrow- I guess good things come to those who wait. 

This year for Christmas support someone new!!! Someone who is trying to make it- try sites like ... go on.... I know I will be - my eyes have been opened!!! 

Okay rant over- I promise I will be more sane tomorrow! 

Monday, 7 November 2011

And there never was an apple...

And there never was an apple, in Adam's opinion, that wasn't worth the trouble you got into for eating it.
Neil Gaiman

America!!! My ratings are slip slip slipping on Amazon - I need you guys to boost it! Have you read Goa Traffic? It would make a brilliant Christmas present or perhaps a generous stocking filler. 

Know anyone going to India next year- again a brilliant present. Check out the reviews on - its a page turner. Okay enough of the shameless plug. 

Marketing is tough I realize- even when you have had your press release featured- it may not even generate a single sale!! I dont know I wait in anticipation for the next quarters results. 

Gosh writing can be sould destroying- well not the writing but the whole publishing, marketing stuff- yes I know we write because  we love it, because we have to, because there is no other way... I know I know. 

I have settled on a name for what was called The Book Club: It is now to be called The Bittersweet Vine... watch this space. Although I am riddled with flu so I have not progressed with is as yet. 

And if you fancy writing a review on - or please do... please do 

Friday, 28 October 2011

I dont wait for moods.

I don't wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that. Your mind must know it has got to get down to work.~ Pearl S. Buck

I wish I could say the same. I havent blogged in ages and I havent even managed to edit any of my book- time has just dissapeared and I dont know where it went. But some progress has been made on Goa Traffic - my interview came through from Diverse traveller magazine. About 15 questions all pretty good. I think it will make an interesting read and I hope it will encourage more people to start writing!!! They also want to give the book away in a competition for a book review- it will be good to see what becomes of that. 

That is all my news so far. I think I have a new name for The book Club- The Bittersweet Vine- what do you think? and also I have a new image for the new kindle version I am doing for Goa Traffic- I guess I have been doing something productive - I just need to get back to Book number two - I have 5 weeks to get draft number two complete and I am only a quarter way through.... Help!!!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day.

Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don't see any.
Orson Scott Card

What have I been doing? Too busy to do anything. I did however go to a literary festival the other Saturday where I heard two authors speak. One being traditionally published and the other being self published. Both books seemed interesting – ‘A Diamond in the sky’ by Margaret Pelling and ‘Invisible’ by Frank something or the other- he actually teaches creative writing somewhere in Oxfordshire.

It was my first literary festival experience- and it was more of a library talk than an actual festival but I really enjoyed it- Its good to know there are other authors out there and unless you have hit it big- whether you are traditionally published or not- it’s a struggle.

‘The Book Club’ for want of a better name is on hold- although from next Wednesday I will continue the edit. It has just been so busy I have not had any time with it- Maybe the space will invigorate my writing!

The literary festival gave me some ooompf to promote Goa Traffic- It was nice to hear from Authors that marketing was a struggle as they just wanted to get on with their next book.

More great reviews on amazon and has given me inspiration and I have contacted my two local branches of Waterstones (I dropped off copies of the book months ago)

I am also sending a copy to Rick Stein- well he loves Goa and the book is full of food descriptions too! And maybe the Richard and Judy book club! Also I need to call all those book shop buyers as well and get cracking with my new kindle version of Goa Traffic!!!!! I am meeting with my creative consultant to discuss the new front cover next week! So much to do.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

All that we are is the result of what we have thought.

All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think, we become.

I apologise- I havent blogged in how long? I dont know a long time. I have been swamped by family things and work.... ughhh. Dont you just hate it when work takes over and you have less time to concentrate with the things you love doing?! Well work has taken over a bit and family like I said and a short trip as well to Budapest and Vienna... both beautiful in their own magical ways I might add. 

First an update on Goa Traffic- I think I blogged that the book giveaway on was a huge success with a couple of 4/5 star reviews coming from the site which is great. the feature in the Ocelot magazine was a bonus as well and today Diverse traveller magazine called to say they want to do an author interview! 

So the fruits of my labour are paying off!!! I am still working on a cheaper kindle version too.

In regards to the un-named book number two- well lets stick to the original name for the moment- The Book Club. I am still working on it- I am ashamed to say that I have not done much editing on it as yet. I am a quarter way through and itching to carry on with it - I just need to find the time. 

I have finished The Slap- longlisted for the booker prize- I cant say that I was that impressed. It was a bit too 'in your face' for me. I am now reading Netherland by Joseph O'neill- I will let you know how it goes!!!!

Sunday, 2 October 2011

There's no secret about success.

There's no secret about success. Did you ever know a successful man who didn't tell you about it?
Kin Hubbard

So today I got a plug on the Ocelot Magazine!!

Take a look- its on page 28! very excited about it. Goa Traffic is on its way up. Its funny writing a book and then promoting it. It is such a journey and a learning curve but I am glad to be on it. 

On the reading front. I have just read One Day- a modern day great - it has been deemed to be. I didnt think so. I know that people in glass houses shouldnt throw stones but I just have to... I didnt like it. I didnt identify with the characters when I should have and so reading it became a chore because I didnt really want to know what was happening to them. I suppose one good thing I did learn - is that your audience have to identify and like the characters within the novel. Of course many people did in One Day - after all it has sold over a million copies etc... I personally didnt like it. But then again that is the beauty of books... different types for different people. 

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Prose is architecture, not interior decoration.

Prose is architecture, not interior decoration.
Ernest Hemingway

So I did a book give away for Goa Traffic. I would have published details of it here on my blog.. but truth be told I thought I had more time on it left. is a great way to not only publicize your stuff but to apply for a good new book to read. 

very happy that 1192 people applied for Goa Traffic and the lucky winners will be receiving a book in the post shortly! 

If you are a member on my book club on facebook... you will see that One Day by David Nicholls is the book for September. It is the 25th and I still haven't started it. So I have put down The Slap and have picked up one day. Do I have time to finish it before the 1st?! It is a good 400 odd pages lets see how I go

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Novelists...fashioning nets to sustain...

Novelists... fashioning nets to sustain and support the reader as he falls helplessly through the chaos of his own existence.  ~Fay Weldon

So I bought a website.... check it out and now I need to create a website for this domain name. Take a look it has my name and says under construction. I am aiming to get it up and running by the end of October- it will be a little project. 

I feel a bit lame... I havent done much with my books to blog about lately... family taking over, cleaning the house, work being busy (i hate that!) and writing kind of slips. Went to my writing group yesterday that was good. 

I feel a little under the weather as well which could have something to do with it. I feel tired. Must rest. 

Tomorrow I am going to call all the head offices of the main book stores, next week I am going to my local Waterstones to ask if they have considered my book.... Now that I have said this I am going to do it. No more complaining... no more lethargy.

If I knew someone who had a published book and who wasn't doing everything they could to promote it- I would wonder why- I would say 'I wish I had a book in print. I would publicize it like there is no tomorrow.' and therefore I should be ashamed for not doing more. 

Tomorrow I start!!!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

It is impossible to discourage real writers...

It is impossible to discourage the real writers - they don't give a damn what you say, they're going to write.  ~Sinclair Lewis

So today I felt a little blue. Really blue about the state of affairs and getting published and self publishing and the complexities of promotion. It’s a tough world out there. Let me tell you even if you go out into the world with the expectation of not selling many copies etc etc you still feel slightly dejected sometimes.

Apparently the average self published book will sell 150 copies- well I have at least reached that target but will I sell any more? Oh how the mind changes ! The other day I was elated that just someone bought my book and read it. Well today feeling blue I had not a lot to do so I went on and under the kindle review I saw something that absolutely made my day. An American review on

There were no reviews for this book on So I was skeptical initially to buy it. But I found 8 reviews on and all of them said "I could not keep this book down once I picked it" and so on. So I got this book. And now I know all of the comments were so true. Even I completed this book in one sitting. 

The story/plot in the book is amazing. The way Marissa has explained Goa is superb. I myself being from Goa felt very nostalgic. The story takes you through the vibrant and colourful Goan life, you really enjoy every bit of it. I vicariously enjoyed Lisa's (the protagonist) holidays in Goa. The romance is also very well portrayed. Folks, go ahead buy this will only enjoy the read!

I was so chuffed with this I cant begin to explain! But the  main reason for my gloomyness was because I googled tips on writing a novel. It was a bad move! The tips seemed to take out any joy of writing. Do this and do that and never do this- surely there isn’t a formula to writing- and if there is – there shouldn’t be.

For some reason it has really annoyed me. I get there there are basic do’s and don’ts such as the showing and telling – but the tips I read well they were just… I don’t know! Annoying!! Anyway enough of my rant.

I have also discovered that creating a website is going to be hard work! really hard work and there isn’t an easy option- unless I want to pay someone to do it!

Oh and a little tip to keep the world ticking- if you feel like writing a review - make the effort dont push it to the back of your pile! do it! you may just make someones day. 

Monday, 12 September 2011

Intuition is the conception of the whole at once

Intuition is the conception of the whole at once - Johann Kaspar Lavater
So the other day I promised the moon the a stick - not really- I promised big news for authors and photographers- well you will have to wait and it may well amount to nothing. I am working on an idea and if it comes off I will let you know.

In the meantime I have created a website- well not exactly created but I have bought my domain name: Take a look- It just says it is under construction but it is better than nothing. It took me a while to spend the cash (not a lot) on a website and now I just need to build it up - i.e pay for a webpage package and create my own website.

I have my writing group tomorrow and have done very little- not something I can read out- whilst I am still going through changing the telling to showing. slightly annoying as I promised myself I would always have something to read.

Also the book I am reading: House of the Hnaged by Mark Mills is taking me a while to get into. I think I over read in the last couple of weeks.

Anyway if you do one new thing this week- find my page Goa Traffic - A Novel by Marissa de Luna on facebook!!!!! and like it......

until tomorrow....

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Thank you!

Thank You!

Well I received my royalties statement and I am super happy with it! In total the sales I have made myself and the royalties add up to 150 sales in the first quarter. That’s 150 people reading Goa Traffic !!! Here is what I hope to achieve with GT:
1)   Goa Traffic is not a crusade but there are topics I wanted to explore with the book. Cruel realities that happen in far flung places that we just don’t take notice off. If you are a regular reader of my blog you will see that I am not the crusading type- my motto is live and let live. I wanted to make people aware of the topics (I wont mention for fear of it turning into a spoiler)- This leads to point two
2)   I really wanted to make the reader think. Don’t you love it when you pick up a book and read it and it makes you think about what the protagonist has done or about to do. I think as readers we get so drawn in by the protagonist (after all we are following their journey) that I wanted the reader to ask him/herself- Would I do what Lisa Higgins did? Would I do it – if I knew the truth? Would I have told?
3)   Goa Traffic gets into the depths of Goa, how it is to live there, the sights the smells, the food the people. Having lived in Goa when I was younger and still going back quite frequently- to me Goa is home. I hope I have conveyed the true Goa to readers

This Blog comes with a huge THANK YOU to everyone who bought the book, is going to buy the book and whoever is spreading the word or just even reading my blog. It has been amazing to see since the release of Goa Traffic my ‘stats’ steadily increase!!! So big love for that as well. It would be a bit pointless if I was blogging and nobody was reading (although it can be quite cathartic)

Anyway back to normal on my next blog. In fact I have big news – a must read for any author or photographer!!!!!!