Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Imagination is more important than knowledge.

Imagination is more important than knowledge. 
Albert Einstein

I figure there are are few readers out there that have always wanted to write but have never done so. The following blog post is dedicated to you, to inspire (and I hope not patronize) If you want to write but have not written... you are like me but 5 years ago- and believe me writing has changed me. There are three things so far that have had the most profound effect on my life- working in social housing, travelling and writing. Writing has matured me and made me see things in a different light, more intricately and in more detail, with more colour- I never thought I had it in me (some people may still think I dont) - to be creative to write words and words that make me happy if no-one else. 

I have learnt several things in the last couple of years but most importantly I learnt that if you can change one persons life (in a good way) then your life was worth it- and what does this have to do with writing? I hear you say. It has lots to do with writing- If you write it is because you have something to say- it may be stuff you know like the back of your hand but I guarantee you that someone, somewhere does not know it and they may read your material now and it may change the way they think- for the better (hopefully) anything is an education- even if its just a theory- even if its just your imagination! 

For those who want to write but have never had the guts to do it- what is holding you back? Is it fear of failure? fear of rejection? fear that you will write ten thousand words and then dry up? I experience two of those things most mornings- but I still write- why? because I started and I'll tell you for free if its in your blood it will make you happy. You dont have to put your work out there- but you might just have the courage to do so- and so what if a million poeple hate it- like I said , you affect one person and bingo! 

This week, for just one week only, give into that inherent urge, that little voice inside your head, that tiny being deep within you that always wanted to write and just do it. Look out of the nearest window to you and imagine the life of the person you see that walks past- or if it is really quiet, what happens in the house opposite to you, or even if you are in the middle of a field- think about who was in that field yesterday and why and what were they thinking- feel their feelings- were they happy, were they numb with fear were they anxious, did they want the ground to open up and swallow them whole, were they scared? was it cold or a glorious summers day? And in the house opposite you are the family happy? or when the doors are closed does the wife drink until she cannot feel anymore because of what happened? and what did happen to make her feel like this? 

So for one week only write just write - and if you do let me know- because I would like to know if this has inspired just one person even!!! 

Monday, 30 May 2011

To avoid criticism...

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. 
Elbert Hubbard

I have started reading my English Grammar for dummies- and frankly it is quite hard, between past participles and linking verbs I have left the book, face down on the stairs over this bank holiday weekend- I feel like I am back in school, where I used to think - If I just leave this one bit out that I don't quite get maybe there wont be any questions about it in an exam. Thats not to say that I am completely stupid- I do get most of it- its the actual names that are confusing! 

Anyway the bank holiday is over- I am progressing favorably with novel number 2-The Book Club, I received some good ideas and feedback from my writing group so we'll see- they are so motivating and encouraging. I have also had two call backs from press releases asking for the book itself- we will see if I hear anything following this. At least I got a call back- I guess. I am also going to target some 'in-flight' magazines surely 'Goa Traffic' will appeal to travelers. I think it will- it does explore Goa like a locale would. 

Happy reading and writing- on my book review note- The hare with amber eyes is really improving, I am now travelling along with the author following the journey of the 'netsuke' I'll let you know ultimately if it is to my liking. 

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

I went for years not finishing anything. Because...

I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged... I had poems which were re-written so many times I suspect it was just a way of avoiding sending them out.
Erica Jon

Yesterday I had my writing group and again I exposed my soul by showing them a chunk of first draft writing. This is for my new novel "The Book Club" - I was scared - of course you are when you can be judged but it was okay- very productive indeed. I came away full of positive things to write- if you are a writer, and just starting out- if you do one thing- join a writing group- its motivational and stimulates ideas! 

On other things... The hare with amber eyes is still a bit slow and I have sent out many more press releases for Goa Traffic. In fact yesterday a delivery arrived with my books! So going to start selling them myself - at work. Lets see how that goes. 

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Obstacles are those frightful things...

Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal. 
Henry Ford

Writers out there will know sometimes you look at your work and think- This is just not good- you basically want to rip it up and start again- or not start because you know you cant really do it- but you stop yourself because you have dedicated so much time to it already- even if it does sit at the bottom of your wardrobe- you did it- so you keep it- and then later you back to it and take a look and start working on it again - and it continues like this - even when you have finished the first draft, the second draft..... the tenth draft. 

I think it happens to most creative people- the eccentrics and perfectionists probably do tear up their work, who knows. But sometimes I think that its good to think that way- it means you are not over-confident- it means that you are willing to still learn - it means that you are doing something valuable with your life- Why? you ask- because you wouldn't be doing it if it wasn't for yourself and because you are passionate about it- and thats important because without passion what would we be?! 

But sometimes just sometimes- any kind of artist needs some time out- a week free of writing, or painting or whatever just to catch your breath- just to make you realise that you do love it and want to get back to it- just to live! 

Monday, 23 May 2011

We are storied folk...

We are storied folk. Stories are what we are; telling and listening to stories is what we do.
Arthur Kleinman

When you have to work- Mondays are devilish! If only I could stay at home all day and write and do other stuff- but I cant work beckons! Maybe if I was a successful writer I would have a writing retreat in Italy or Spain and be continually inspired by the variety of life! 

If anyone out there is reading this blog and is thinking of starting to write or is writing I have a few website suggestions for you that may be of some interest.


Just to whet your appetite for all stuff writing. And also just to let you know I have joined a book club as well ( yes I am a geek) - I have not been yet my first one is towards the end of June and the book is Edmund de Waal's the Hare with Amber eyes- I have not started yet but it looks a little like Wild Swans, which was not my cup of tea- a difficult book to get me started, But I think i am going to add my own book reviews to my blog too- Just to keep you in the loop! 

Sunday, 22 May 2011

If you write one story, it may be bad...

If you write one story, it may be bad; if you write a hundred, you have the odds in your favor.
Edgar Rice Burroughs

Firstly a big thank you to Anonymous who commented on my last post with some very helpful ideas! 

I write today from my kitchen table musing my next novel (a brief interlude from marketing the current one) The working title of which is called "The Book Club"- it is quite different from Goa Traffic as this time I have a bit of a plan. That is I have written some chapter headings of what is going to happen- there are plots and subplots and further plots within the subplots and there are lots of characters. Lets see how it goes. I have even drawn out a spider diagram telling me stuff about the characters- it is hard for an author to remember the intricate details of their characters- like where they grew up, what university they went to etc. I guess as I continue writing they will become more meaningful to me and perhaps I will remember the intricate details! 

Just to keep you updated - I walked into Waterstones and handed over a copy of my book, with contact details and a letter explaining the story as well as that I was a local writer and would they consider stocking it in their store- What are the chances??? Watch this space!

Anyway it is Sunday, and I have things to do - perhaps I will take the day off signing up to different websites and marketing Goa Traffic- maybe I should think about tidying the house! 

Saturday, 21 May 2011

You don't have to be great to get started....

You don't have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great.
Les Brown

I have just come across this quote and I really like it, it is true- it gives me hope. Anyway... I have had a bit of a revelation thanks to Mary Cavanagh. I have just finished reading her book "A seriously Useful Authors guide to Marketing and Publicising Books" - she carries with her a wealth of information as she has pretty much done it all - been traditionally published and self published. If you are thinking of self publishing or have already done it- the book is brilliant and I finished it in one sitting. It has given me much to think about in regards to marketing- It also gave me some valuable pieces of information. One is that only 5% of published authors sell over 3000 copies! Wow it just shows you what todays writer faces if you are not a huge JK Rowling type- which is probably the majority of us! In my opinion is it more luck at some TV book club recommending your book or some publishing house thinking you are the next big thing- The rest- the so called mid-list authors need to go out there and plug themselves. 

Another great term that I have now proceeded to share with Mary is the way she calls herself a "Kitchen Table Author" - It is so apt, that is what we are- we do write because we have it in us- the money - yes it would be lovely to make money and live our dream of writing for a living - but for now we juts have to do it for love! 

Armed with my new book, I have compiled a very useful list of websites to tackle and register with- plug my book a bit more and apparently Waterstones have a managers discretion policy on ordering in books, so today i am off to that very store with a copy of Goa Traffic! I'll let you know how it goes- oh and another thing my copy of English Grammar for beginners has arrived so when I get some time to start reading it I will be practicing on this blog! 

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Write what you want to read. The person you know best...

Write what you want to read. The person you know best in this world is you. Listen to yourself. If you are excited by what you are writing, you have a much better chance of putting that excitement over to a reader.
Robin McKinley

So another day goes by, today my amazon profile should be up! after a few technical hitches. I even managed to upload the picture that is on the back of my book. Its not the best picture in the world. My family have kindly pointed that out... but I like it, I think I look like an author in in. Is that wrong? to want to look like an author- just thinking that makes me think that I am a fraud! but I am not for anyone following my blog you will know that I am not - I may try and make some bits sound light hearted but it has been a struggle, a really eye opener amongst other things. But most importantly it is my passion and so I know I am not a fraud.

Anyway back to amazon and after stalking my ratings- which today have fallen massively to 73,000 (if you are reading this and haven't bought a copy- think about it- Goa Traffic is the name)  I came across sugar and spice- well it wasnt a pure accident I was told about it, and so I checked it out and apparently the author Saffina Desforges has published this book herself on kindle and sold over 50,000 copies- no agent, no publisher. Wow I say my jaw dropping to the floor! I am jealous of course I am I wont deny that but I am impressed- there you have it pure success from doing her own thing- did she try and get published who knows? Maybe she will write a book about it someday - but amidst the jealousy- and there isnt much jealousy let me just point out! - there is a small sense of pride for another one of us- that has accomplished something  herself without the subjectivity of an agent or a publishing house! Good for her... which makes me think I need to get an e-book out there and I need to buy a kindle! 

Lets see 

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Writing is communication...

Writing is communication, not self-expression. Nobody in this world wants to read your diary except your mother. 
Richard Peck

I have been busy the last two days finalising my press release which I will blog at some point in the next week or so. It is short and sweet and now complete- I rather like it, its to the point and gives all the information it needs to. I have sent it out today to about 8 sources- a mixture of e-zines and local newspapers and one magazine. But surely I need more than eight if I am to get the publicity I require. So I will research more sources to send it to. I am hoping for just one response even- do they even do that - respond to you if they are going to print it? I hope so I would like to know-maybe I will google it! 

But that is as far as I have got with the marketing side of things! But I'll let you know how I get on- I am currently printing a whole list of independent book stores to tackle- wish me luck and any media contacts pass them my way!  

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder...

Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don't try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It's the one and only thing you have to offer - Barbara Kingsolver

Just a short blog today to say this- It is hard, trying to market you dream, your book, the thing you have created completely by yourself! I have moved up the ratings in Amazon only to fall back again- a constant flow of purchases is required!!!!

But its late and I'm tired and tomorrow is a new day and I have books to sell!! 

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Better to write for yourself...

Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self - Cyril Connoly

So I have started the Marketing campaign! Yes it has begun and I must say that I am very impressed with the number of sites that are selling "Goa Traffic." From the usual Waterstones, Barnes and Nobel, WHsmith and Amazon, it is available at Flipkart in India and Emporium is Oz. Very impressed indeed- a big thumbs up to Authorhouse.

I dont think I have actually mentioned Authorhouse but they were very good- I can see where you could go wrong with it though if you were not quite sure what you were going to do with your novel- it could cost you because apart from the first change the rest all cost you!

But enough of that-- I am not marketing them! I have today opened a twitter account in the name of promotion, shamelessly my first tweet has been my ISBN number! ha that wont get followers I must change that. My twitter name is @marissadeluna - I need followers so please start following me. I have also created a facebook page for Goa traffic and an author center bio on Amazon- sadly this is only available on amazon.com and not .co.uk but hey ho! book readers are everywhere.

I have even written a press release which I need to start sending out to people and finally on my list of things to do is start a new FB page - for fans (I hope to have just one even) and so that I can start a group!

A group to give self publishing a voice! Why cant other authors go down that route- I know many are scared because it may discredit them in the long run - but why not make self publishing more mainstream, which should in theory reduce costs to the author and then more books will be available- maybe some new talent too! so thats my plan thats my slant on things, thats what I am going to set out to do.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

No one is able to enjoy such feast than the one...

No one is able to enjoy such feast than the one who throws a party in his own mind. 
Selma Lagerlöf

So Goa Traffic, my long awaited book has been released into the world! Here's the plug ISBN 978-1-4567-7527-8. Available at all good online retailers such as Amazon, Waterstones, Whsmith. Yes its out there and I want to see copies bought! but who knows - whether you self publish or not you need to do some marketing of your own, so as my journey to get the book published finishes, another starts and this time to market it- follow my progress as I try and get it stocked in shops, write press releases and ruthlessly try and sell it and yes as I said in my first blog post it all comes back to that quote that- writing is like prostitution! 

Make my day- buy a copy- tell me what you think- dont let me just feat in my own mind. More than that join my crusade to give self publishing a voice!!! So that hundreds of new authors can release their work without having to change this or that just to please that one person reading your book in the publishing house. Let the masses decide!!!