Friday, 30 March 2012

There are two kinds of writer:

There are two kinds of writer: those that make you think, and those that make you wonder.

- Brian Aldiss
Well the Abingdon Writers event at Abingdon Library went well. Its funny but going to listen to authors talk and sign books etc is pretty good and I am going to go to more author talk events- You get to speak to teh writer - and writers should speak to other writers - you realsie the difference between a published writer and an unpublished one is just that - I always kind of assumed that published writers were in another realm - no theya are everyday people - it just shows you how ignorant I can be for a writer I guess. That aside... Ali Shaw seems like a lovely guy and well into his third novel. I dream of being able to write full time... One day...maybe. It also shows you that all types of authors (self pubbed or not- or even just writers who havent broached publishing- they need to get out there and circulate-because when people meet to you and talk to you they are more likely to buy your book because there is some connection- unless youare a vile person- and writers never are - are they?) and clearly if they dont like you theya re hardly likely to like your book. Just a thought.

Ali said as have so many writers - that if you are a writer you feel compelled to do so and whether you were getting paid or not you would still do it. very true - ah but to earn a living and do what you love wouldnt that be bliss?

Its the Oxford Literary festival at the moment and I will be listening to Sophie Hannah on Saturday which I am looking forward to.

Apart from that not much else is happening - I am 90 pages into to draft 4 of The Bittersweet Vine (thats normal draft 1 to most writers- due to my impatience) and 5000 words into Under The Coconut Tree. I can see light at the end of the tunnel now for The Bittersweet - I wanted to work on it tonight but I dont think that is going to happen - flu has me in its grasp - although I hauled my bones into work today!

And another thing taht I must share- I was drafting Bittersweet the other day and I was so impressed with one line I wroe _ I had to google it to check it was actually my work and I hadnt stolen it!! It made me laugh- but tehre you go - maybe my writing is improving.

Have a fabuloso Easter if I dont blog before then- I will be reading Tess Gerritson Body Double

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Under the Coconut Tree...

What a glorious day… If only I had word on my notebook I could sit in the garden and work on my two WIP’s. Let me start with The Bittersweet Vine. I am making progress the fourth draft is plodding along. The other evening when H was out I took it as an opportunity to edit like a crazy person. At 10:30 (bearing in mind I have been at work all day at a computer) my eyes, bloodshot (okay so I exaggerate a little) my eyes tired I scrambled to bed – H walks in and laughs at my need to edit!!! He just doesn’t know how time consuming and laborious it is. Anyway I don’t think I am going to make much progress over the next couple of weeks but I am definitely hoping to get it done for the end of April!!!!

On to book number 3 – Under The Coconut Tree – since the launch of my website I have had quite a bit of interest in The Chupplejeep Mysteries and it has motivated me to get a move on with it – I am a mere 4000 words in but hey once I hit the 10,000 word mark I am usually on a role! They are not going to be hugely long books – approx 60,000 words perhaps. What I have written I am happy with (that’s a first! – in fact I probably wont like it when I start editing it but anyway 4000 words is a start.

I am also reading The Man who Rained by Ali Shaw before our event on Thursday – soooo much to do! Ali Shaw has an amazing talent and creates beautiful imagery… the story is pretty good as well but I will let you know when I finish!

My final thoughts are on Microsoft word – you see I have a notepad without Word and I clearly need it to write. If I had this we wouldn’t have to share a computer in our house and perhaps I could edit at lunchtime! ( I hate having to email versions back and forth- especially as we are on 2007 at work and something from the dark ages at home) – decision made I am going to have to bite the bullet and purchase word (so the business of writing is not so free after all) and its £100 well blow me down!!!

Monday, 19 March 2012

The time to begin writing an article...

The time to begin writing an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction.  By that time you begin to clearly and logically perceive what it is you really want to say.  ~Mark Twain
The above quote is so true- not that I write articles but with sometimes I finish a short story and reliase I could have done it another way....

I have finished my website which I am very happy about - take a look by clicling on the link on the right or click here spread the word! - at first I was concerned about the site because looking at it at work - the text did not appear as it should have done - I dont know if it is the resolution of the work computers I was a bit worried that it was just the site but after having a couple of friends check it out it seems to be okay so I have strated to publicise it. So far quite a few hits on my blog have come through from my site since friday so it must be working okay...

The website also appears to be banned by some work places---- bit odd but maybe because it is a personal address. That is all my news. I have started on draft 4 of The Bittersweet Vine- Can I just say it needs major work! I am making the chapters short and snappy and cutting out quite a bit of the telling- chapters I thought were great have now been cut to within an inch of their lives. I have reached chapter seven but have to start again on chapter five because it just wasnt very good and I got a bit tired at that point. Will I finish draft number 4 by the end of April?!I hope so. That will give me 3 months to perfect my submission which is just the first 20 pages perhaps. I know I keep repeating this and sorry if itsgetting on your nerves - its a bit of an OCD thing with me. You would think that by writing this down on a yellow postie and it being stuck on my work computer I wouldnt have to keep mentioning it but no I have to.

I finished reading Out of sight by Elizabeth grey - I rate it a 3 out of 5. I found I was annoyed with the characters at the end which wasnt a way I wanted to leave the book- never the less this has made the characters memorable. I am now reading The Man who Rained by Ali Shaw as he is doing a talk on the 29th March for abingdon writers. I will let you know how it goes in the meantime take a look at my new site, send me some feedback and if you havent done so already buy a copy of Goa Traffic!!!!!

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Metaphors have a way of holding the most truth...

Metaphors have a way of holding the most truth in the least space.  ~Orson Scott Card

So I have ordered a copy of The Man who rained by Ali shaw so will get stuck into that as soon as it arrives. Also I need to finish it by the 29th March which is when we are having the talk- see Yesterdays post. I also bought RHS gardening Month by Month - I am hoping it will help me in our garden which is currently barren!!! Winter killed most things off... My plan is to start of like I did with cooking. I read delia's book - well all the info stuff and let it absorb into my mind before I started venturing in the kitchen- It worked- you cant cook if you dont know how ingredients work- and Yes I am a geek I know this. I am not teh sort of person that reads the instructions before I go about putting something together in fact I am the complete opposite - but I struggled with cooking to begin with and this technique helped so thats what I am going to do gardening wise.

Anyway that isnt what you are interested in. Whetehr my garden is in bloom or not is highly irrelevant... what is relevant is writing... the 'India' flash fiction stories to accompany Urmi's beautiful photos will be on The Lens and The Quill (see link on the right) soon! Excited about these - I think I have relaised taht I am better at writing about India than I am about England... I suppose I find the stories more interesting as they give the reader an insight into a different world... on to The Chupplejeep Mysteries then.

My goal is to finish the first draft by the end of the year of the first in the series so I need to get started - how is it March already?!

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Ali Shaw

Well bloggees I know I said I am almost there over a week ago now but now I really am almost there- with the website that is. Basically I just have to read through it and H needs to check the punctuation and grammar – he is much better than me and then we are good to go. I reckon it will be done by Friday!!! So there you have it you can create your own website to market your book. Did you get a copy of Simon Howes – The Storyteller? I can tell you that will be my first purchase on Kindle.

In more exciting news I am half way through Isabelle Greys Outside and its very good – well it took me a while to get into but it is pretty good now. Makes you think- what would you do if you killed a child unintentionally- your own child at that?! Scary stuff.. it wouldn’t be nice.

Anyway if you are in the Oxfordhire area and fancied yourself as a writer or if you like Oxford based writer Ali’Shaws work come along to the event below:

I will be doing a bit of a talk as well about self publishing and you can pick up a copy of Goa Traffic…

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Excellent News

really quick blog today as its the Weekend and H will be in a mard if he finds me blogging. Anyway the news in Friend Simon Howes has released his first novel today on kindle. Its called Storytelling and it sounds like a gripping read. I will of course be purchasing it when I eventually purchase a kindle. Simon has also founded a new website for authors and readers called Novel Reads...
Check it out if you find the time. I will be adding it to my links. This week has been good publicity wise for Goa Traffic and for the first time in a long while  feel like I have acheived something.... so 31 wont be so bad afterall. All I can say is that the hard work has paid off.
H has just passed me a glass of wine now so I'll be logging off but tonight I shall sleep with a well deserved smile on my face!

Friday, 9 March 2012

The Press page now has something on it!

Just a quick post to let you know that I have fianlly put a little bit of press on my press page!!! More to follow

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Its just nice...

You can tell when I am in a real hurry to blog because I dont bother with a quote - Lazy isn't it? I know.... but time is precious. H is being slow with the website - I nab the computer for one night to finish draft three of The Bittersweet Vine and he loses all momentum... that brings me onto another subject ... How am I a writer without my own PC? I guess I should get onto that...maybe for my next birthday.. ahhhh the dreaded 31 is fast approaching. Weirdly I dont mind 31. It sound better than 30. Well no it doesnt but I feel more myself now. I have got one book under my belt and another three in the pipeline.

Someone at work the other day said they read my blog and liked it (And yes I think it was a genuine comment) - which was rather nice because it made me feel all happy inside. It also made me think how often do we think things and not say them for example 'I like your top' would you say that to a stranger? Probably not but why not. Pay it forward I say it will make the world a nicer place.

So back to my writing and can I just say I have finished draft 3 of The Bittersweet Vine (Can I just say at this point my draft three is like other writers draft 1 - the reason being I like to be speedy and my thoughts run at a hundred miles an hour so I have to be speedy) anyway next plan is to re-shuffle the chapters with any luck I will have done that by this time next week.

Oh and I listened to my Radio Oxford Interview the other day - well I had to or H said he wasnt going to put it on my website- and lets be honest I couldnt put something on my website I hadnt listened to. It wasnt as bad as I thought. The first part was a bit shaky and I jumbled my words in places - not good for a writer but hey thats just me - I do better at physically writing than talking- well thats what I tell myself (clearly no grammar improvements)

I also feel I have been hard done by from Authorhouse who have sent me a royalty cheque for Q4 but not 3 - stating I had no sales - mmmm so I had sales in quarter two and 4 but not three- maybe but funny how it coincides with their technical glitches.

Another thing is I am starting to wane on the marketing of Goa Traffic. I know I need to call the airport shops and visist my local Waterstones but really I want to put all my energies into The Bittersweet Vine and The Chupplejeep Mysteries. I know I am putting it off and that isnt something I normally do... anyway until next time.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Almost there...

Well I am almost thre with a lot of things. For starters my webiste is nearly there. I listened to my radio interview yesterday (cringe worthy) so that can no go on teh site and just a few other bits and bobs to do and its done.

And yes I have changed my "A pointing" or whatever that means and now my web address links up with my website---- A.Mazing yes so now I can add webiste creation to my CV. Well H did most of it - all of it to be honest.

And last night I did quite a bit fo editing on The BitterSweet. Basically I am ten pages away from completing draft three.... It will still need another ten drafts its currently like draft one for most writers I am sure.

My plan is to fnsih the last ten pages... re-shuffle chapters (by End March)...complete draft 4 (by June) then work on the pitch, synopsis and first three chapters for Submission by well lets say August now.... I feel like I am writing my life away and this doesnt leave me with much time to complete Under the Coconut Tree with has now taken precedence over Living the Dream due to the success of Goa Traffic....

In Otehr news still not Q3 statement from Authorhouse... must chase!!!

Thursday, 1 March 2012

A word is not the same with one writer as with another.

A word is not the same with one writer as with another.  One tears it from his guts.  The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket.  ~Charles Peguy
Where do I begin? Well H is working on my website which is all very well and good but not when we only have one decent compueter in the house. So yesterday - my allocated writing day - was hijacked by H wanted to do some stuff to my site (which by the way is coming along nicely) - I cant wait till its done.

I also had to try and link up my domian name with the site H is creating. Nightmare. Anyway I called up go daddy and tehy talked me through it so hopefully in 72 hours my website will be linked with my domain- that will teach me not to do things way in advance ( I bought a while ago)

Anyway I am using Moonfruit to create the website - well Yeoman Publishing is... It seems pretty user friendly to use but you need time and patience to use it (both of which I have none) so glad I amnot doing it myself. It will be anotehr string to my bow I suppose once it is done.

A lot of the publicity and marketing advice I have got out there has said a website is a must so thats great. And good news is taht Goa Traffic has sold really well on amazon in February (which gives me hope as it is the shortest month) 64 copies this month - I hope to improve the sales next month - I have now sold about 400 copies which is great for the limited marketing that I have done. But the hard work.... writing is for the love and not the money!!!!

If you havent got your copy make my day and get one.... links to amazon are on the side and its available on paperback on most on-line retailers... and I may as well plug everything whilst I am here - check out

I have also started reading The Devotion of Suspect X - Sorry I am terrible at author names- It has been converted from japanese apparently has sold 2 million and has a bit of a cult following. I am really enjoying it - and will have probably finished it by the end of the week. People in glass houses should throw stones - but it is a lot of telling rather than showing in the writing. BUT it works - really it does because of the fast paced nature of the story - its a thriller. Anyway because of this I have not got far with Outside or The 6th Lamentation but they are waiting for me by my bedside.

I have also looked into KDP select.... However to join this scheme of lending your book through Amazon- it has to be exclusive to amazon- I cant do that so hey ho.... maybe with teh Chupplejeep Mysteries I will. who knows. I do like the way Kindle works - And I got my first payment statement yesterday that is pretty efficient. Whereas I am still waiting for June-September sales reprot from Author house.... no instant gratification there then... anyway enough ramblings from me. My next task is to ask H to convert Goa Traffic to e-pub so that I can make it available on good reads etc... watch this space