Monday, 30 January 2012

No one means all he says, and yet...

No one means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is viscous.  ~Henry Brooks Adams, The Education of Henry Adams, 1907
Well I have started the edit on The Bittersweet Vine. I have done 40 pages over a couple of days only 139 left then - Not that I am counting. It is going okay - not as stressful as Goa traffic because its more coherent at this stage. GT needed 20 edits before it was it this stage but then it was my first.

In other news Assistant superintendant of Police - Detective Chupplejeep is now called Detective Chappalmukhi - why? because Chappalmukhi means Sandal (Chappal) Face(Mukhi) and given the comic nature of this book I reckon it will work just fine.

The plot line and character profiles have been set for my first in the Chappalmukhi mysteries - Under The Coconut Tree. And I am just about to draw a plan of the village and how everything is located- See this is planning. I am getting better at the planning with each book I write. Remember though I still need to finish the draft of book number three - Living the Dream before I get carried away with Under The Coconut Tree.... so much to do so little time. I am looking forward to it and very excited about UTCT!

Anyway I will bore you no further...  I have given myself a new deadline for this edit of TBV - and thats March!!!!

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Writing is a product of silence.

Writing is a product of silence.  ~Carrie Latet

So I am supposed to be editing The Bittersweet Vine- ave I ek?! No not at all. I need to get started once I start I wont stop- How many edits can I do before July- Two at least I think.
Writing group yesterday was good I didn’t read- clearly I have nothing to read (but hoping to do something next time) but it motivated me again.
The short stories too and coming along well. I have a meeting next week with my friend to sort out the layout etc and I think I have done at least eight  stories so far so that’s a good start. I do hope you all take a look at it once its up and running. Now I am blog savvy I will add a link when its done.
The good news is that on my way to workthe other day I had a bit of a brain wave and came up with a story idea for my first mystery novel set in rural Goa. Remember this is lighthearted stuff. The working title is “Under the Coconut Tree” remember its Alexander Mc Call Smith meets Aravind Adiga or something like that – I can only wish that I am able to write as well as them. I am aiming for 60,000 words . Again I want short snappy chapters that keep the reader amused, entertained and informed oflocal Goan life. I can really see The Chupplejeep Mysteries taking off!  This book is ahead of my time scale but when inspiration strikes… I basically need to spend at last a month in Goa to complete the first one and hope to do this in 2013. I need to live and breathe rural Goa to write well enough to transport my readers there. Watch this space!!!!
Whilst I have taken a breather from Jodi Picoult’s The Tenth Circle (the print on the copy I have is so small) although the story is interesting – Huckleberry Finn is really got me racing to the end. I reckon I will have finished it by Friday. It is written in English Obviously but in dialect which can be difficult to understand but once you get into it – its really rather good and a good choice. Hemmingway said it was one of America’s all time greats well so maybe you should give it a go. It is worth it. Definitely read it- it will add to your classics knowledge if nothing else. My friend and I said the name reminded us of Huckleberry Hound- How true!!!!
I haven’t even started reading out of sight by Elizabeth Grey but I will start that this weekend.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Novelists...fashioning nets to sustain and support the reader...

Novelists... fashioning nets to sustain and support the reader as he falls helplessly through the chaos of his own existence.  ~Fay Weldon
Having a manic day at work and suddenly starting on my editing journey for the Bittersweet Vine sounds like something relaxing and peaceful - the labour of love seems appealing right now. But that is beacuse I am at work - snatching my lunch hour to do this.
I am getting quite a few hits on my blog in America but this does not turn into sales in America (They say its tough to crack). I have seen this statement/question whatever you call it written on thousands of forums - How can I turn blog hits into sales?

Sales in England are steady so then how come they are so low in America- is it because I have more of a prescence here? Hardly- One kind soul did say Americans are keen to read fiction by English Authors. I guess there is a lot moer choice in America? I dont know. What I do know is that I rather get USA hits and no sales from USA than no hits and no sales. At least it gives my blogs a purpose- Somebody, somewhere is reading what I write.

Can I just also say that my Twitter experience is not doing so great. Yes I have tried Tweeting about mundane things, profound sayings and writing - to no avail- the followers are limited.

With the sale of Goa Traffic - I have to think - is it because of the name GOA - that I am getting sales. I know its a place loved by all and people want to read about it - I have classed it under travel books for India and I'll be honest I think that is where most of my sales are being generated from. This fills me with slight disillusionment  for The Bittersweet Vine - failing to find an agent or a publisher could mean back to self publishing - now this is something I am familiar with and happy about because I know it- Who knows if I can stump up the costs to get the book edited but hey - its my dream I am not writing it so that it can sit on my hard drive for the rest of eternity!

Vanity publishing- yes and what? I say - anyway rant over. Even though Goa Traffic was a huge experiement of sorts I am confident taht oen day (maybe when I am 50! it will break even) - maybe sooner. I am slowly chipping away at the total figure - which would have been much lower without the full edit (damn my bad grammar)

Anyway this weekend - well starting from yestersday is a huge push for Goa Traffic before I expend all my energy on The Bittersweet Vine.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is...

To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it's about, but the inner music the words make.  ~Truman Capote

Well I finished reading 'Max MacCauley: All he ever wanted was a quiet life.' by Mary Cavanagh and can I say what a good read it was. She really knows how to bring characters to life. It was definately worth the read and for under £3.00 no wonder everyone is going kindle.

Although I must say - Kindle for PC is not so good- well its okay- the trouble is its backlit like a PC is so its not as kind to your eyes as the kindle is.

Today is the day I start edit 3 of The Bittersweet Vine. I can wait- It is aa laborious task in front of me but have to get started if I want to send out query letters by July and that is on my new years resolutions.

I am making great sales on Goa Traffic so at least I can put that in my query letter. I also have an action plan if I dont get a publisher. But I will disclose that later.

In other news. We have come up with a name for our new Blog: my friend is setting it up so cant reveal the name until I know its ours- most of the blog names we wanted were taken. Highly annoying and we cant affor to lose this one. But watch this space I have been writing several short stories so will be good to see what you think of them!

Its odd but all of a sudden I feel like a writer- I feel too that someday my writing will take off. I suppose all writers have to believe in themselves- well I hope my dreams come true. I am astounded by the nice comments I have received from readers. Particularly somone who bought a book at my book signing in Goa - sent me a mssg on my facebook page to say that she enjoyed it- Now thats effort- but that is what makes it all worthwhile- not the writing because we would do that no matter what- that is for ourselves and only costs time- Its the effort of publishing and marketing etc....

Anyway this weekend is a major marketing (free marketing push) for Goa Traffic Kindle- spread the word- look at teh links on the right and tell your friends go on.

I am waiting for Huckleberry Finn to arrive in the post (thank you Amazon) and am also reading Out of Sight Elizabeth Grey. The Tenth Circle - Jodi Picoult.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Writing is both mask and unveiling.

Writing is both mask and unveiling - E. B White

So last Tuesday I got a call from BBC Radio Oxford- Am I free to do an Author Interview about Goa Traffic. I remember sending stuff off last year to a contact a friend gave me at Radio Oxford but as per all my press releases - big fat nothing. 'Yeah Sure' I say to the producer - ever though I am petrified. Friday afternoon she asks- Yeah sure I respond- meanwhile up in my head alarm bells are ringing. Is this live? I am too scared to ask - so she gives me the details tells me to email over some info about myself and thats it. Basically after a half week of fretting I rock up to the studio- go early- my friend in TV says- you'll feel more relaxed.... I got there like half an hour before I should have and I was still waiting in reception when I was introduced. 'Errr should I go in?' I asked the receptionist- "no You're fine there. They'll come and get you..."

It was scary. I am glad I did it and I am glad its over. It was a great experience- I was flummoxed by all the questions about Goa- because I didnt really expect them. I still havent listened to the interview back as I am too scared but those who have heard it say it was good and sounded professional- Its scary but amazon sales did pick up that afternoon. In fact Amazon sales are doing well.... Big thank you to all those who have bought- continue to spread the word!!!!!!

I dont have much else to say but that was pretty huge for me and the most publicity Goa Traffic has got in the last year. It's also an achievement... I am happy. Have a listen but the link is only live till Thursday ..... I have put it under links you may be interested in- you need to get into hour two of the show-unless you want to learn how to make Rabbit Stew first!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it.

Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it.  ~Hannah Arendt

Where to start? It has been one of those weeks - and its only Wednesday. I have been compiling short stories for my friends photos - we want to start the new blog with abstract photos - and I desperately need inspiration to come up with stories. I have done about 5 so far- its a good lunch hour exercise. I started with a blank wondering which way to go but now I am in teh flow of things I seem to be improving. I dont know about you but I find that everytime I write my writing changes slightly- ever so slightly! but it does- it improves I think.

FYI- I recommended The White Tiger by Aravind  Adiga to my book club and much to my relief they all enjoyed it!!! that was a bonus. I have also just finised The Legacy by Katherine Webb- Now my motehr who knows my reading taste well said that I wouldnt enjoy it. I absolutely loved it .... I wonder if my taste is changing. It is one book that I found hard pressed to put down.

I am now reading Mary Cavanagh's : Max Macauley... So far so good. It has me hooked and she has described teh characters so well I am really connecting with them- going through what they are. It is a rare talent to be able to do that so succintly.

The next reading group choice (urghh I am such a geek) is Huckleberry Finn - I am looking forward to that actually. I have also started reading Out of sight - I dont know who that is by.

And one final piece of information.... I will be doing a live radio interview on local Radio on Friday afternoon- scary or what!!! I will post the libnk once its done but it really is daunting. I suppose in my quest for marketing I have to do it.....

Thursday, 5 January 2012

The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say...

The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.  ~Ana├»s Nin

Well you may or not know that Wednesday is my official writing day. When I slope off to sit infrom of my computer for hours - or sometimes in front of the TV. Yesterday I didnt write, insteaad I downloaded Kindle for PC- which is great if you dont want the expense of a kindle but want to read some new books by new authors at really cheap prices. I bought

I have started it and had to drag myself away - Its good!! Another good read is :

well I had to give my book a plug as well. Its slipping down the charts and I'm not happy especially the paperback version. How to boost sales? There is no putting it off now- I have to approach the airport shops and my local Waterstones. Have to, Have to .... anotehr thing to add to my list of things to do. Its tiring though isnt it? All I want to do is get on with The Bittersweet Vine and book number Three 'Living the Dream' - ohhhh having a full time job does get in the way!

Apart from that I have found a good site to unite readers and authors:

I am seeking out things on Twitter and all teh Hashtags- I have only just got the hang of that. remeber follow me on Twitter too @marissadeluna

go on....

FYI - I am going to put some pictures up of the book Launch in Goa ...... watch this space!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

The day we decide to act...

The day we decide to act it is our lucky day - Paulo Coelho

Happy New Year all

I'm back - after ten days or more even of festivities I feel fat and un-productive. This is not how I should feel- after all it is a new year - the world is my oyester and all that. I have been doing something though- for starters I am setting myself a few deadlines:
1) To get The Bittersweet Vine ready for submissions in July- too ambitious? I hope not.
2) To finish Work in Progress- Living The Dream (yes I know its a bad title) first draft by the end of teh year- Its an epic book- I am only 10,000 words in
3) To launch new blog with Creative consultant Urmi Kenia - who did both the front covers for Goa Traffic. The idea is that she takes Photos and I write a short story to go with. It is going to be an interesting collaboration
4) To get my website of the ground
5) To sell lots more copies of Goa Traffic- Thank you for all the kind words about the book and the recent surge in purchases of the Kindle Copy- My thanks to everyone
6) Travel - a must on my list!!!!

Anyway on to other thoughts and musings.... I have started reading The Legacy (well thats a lie- its in my bag- I just need to start reading it) Dont ask me who it's by- thats bad isnat it - Authors should know whose books they are reading- I hope I dont sound too conceited?! I'm not lie taht really- I'm just trying to get my words out as fas as I am thinking them

Another thing is that I was watching Endeavour last night.... The pre-inspector morse show- If you dont already know I love a good sunday eveing murder mystery- any way - It got me thinking why are so many murder mysteries set in Oxfordshire- is it because of the beautiful surroundings- is it more unsightly and opposing to find a dead body amidst the beauty of the Cottswold stone buildings that take your breath away? I dont really know- but it seems to be a winning formula!

I am also boosting my Twitter account- lots more tweets about writing and my general thoughts.... Follow me @marissadeluna