Wednesday, 28 November 2012

The Next Big Thing Blog Tour

As you may well know the 'Next Big Thing' blog tour is well under way and thanks to Gabrielle Aquilina it has made a stop here. If you haven’t visited Gabby’s blog – take a look- it’s a brilliant read. Gabby was one of the founder’s of Abingdon Writers and you can read the answers about her book, Rock-a-Lillie, here

What is the working title of your book?

The Bittersweet Vine. 

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I love reading psychological thrillers and as a result I see story lines develop from the most mundane of thoughts and I also have really random thoughts. One day, at work, I thought to myself: what if I blacked out in an empty office and woke up two days later?   And what if I woke in my own bed, with no recollection of where I had been or what had been done to me?  It was the perfect idea to explore. 

What genre does your book fall under?

Psychological Thriller 

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Mmm…that’s a tough one. I would like the main character, Maria, to be played by someone like Selena Gomez or Katie Holmes; sweet on the inside but tough at the same time. Alice, her estranged sister, by Rose McGowan; Owen, Maria’s ex-lover, who is now Alice’s fiancĂ© would be played by Ewan McGregor. Other characters would include Hugh Grant, Kate Moss, Mark Ruffalo Jay Kay… Yes it would be star studded!  

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Traumatized abduction victim, Maria Shroder, wakes physically unharmed, but suffering from hysterical amnesia. Desperate to pull into consciousness the secrets her mind has buried, Maria must first uncover the lies hidden in her past.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I am currently in talks with a literary agency. If I don’t succeed in publishing traditionally, I will definitely self-publish as I did with my first novel, Goa Traffic

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

About 6 months, but the end product was really rough!! It took about a year to get a decent draft together.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I love psychological thrillers and I aspire to write like Sophie Hannah. I grew up reading books by Minette Walters. She  writes great thrillers revolving around obscure topics. In The Bittersweet Vine the unfamiliar topic of hysterical amnesia is brought into centre stage, and the reader is held in suspense as Maria struggles to unravel the cause of her abduction.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

After publishing Goa Traffic, I was keen to start writing a second novel. Writing is in my blood, and when I had the idea for The Bittersweet Vine I couldn't stop until I had written the last word. Sibling rivalry plays a huge part in my novel as well and something readers can easily identify with.  Having an older sister myself I had a lot of experience to draw on!

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

There is a subplot that runs through the book; between Penelope (a researcher by day; stripper by night) and a mysterious post-grad student, Jason. They are desperately in love, but not everything is as it appears.  The reader soon discovers both Penelope and Jason have secrets which will change the course of their relationship forever.  

Well I hope the 'Next Big Thing' Blog tour doesn't stop here! Clearly I need more friends that write! keep checking back for links to other writing blogs for their answers! 

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Words can be like X-rays...

“Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly -- they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

I think I made a breakthrough with commas this week. And it's only Tuesday. For my whole existance, up until now, comma's have evaded me. I drew a mental blank - but not anymore.

I hope you will notice that my punctuation has improved. As usual I am still always in a rush so maybe I wont check so much. But I now know I must take the time to do so. Maybe that means less blog posts and more grammatically correct sentences.

If you go back to my first blog post or there abouts you will see that I was anti- grammar and punctuation. My theory was that I didnt have time for commas. And I didnt have the inclination to learn about them eitehr. All that is largely true. I still dont have the patience for punctuation but if I keep at it and take time with my writing - then one day it will come to me as naturally as breathing. I now also understand why people get annoyed with grammatically in-correct statements. Of course you would if you knew the difference.

So there you go - I was wrong. I am hoping that by eating my words it makes me sound like I'm a better person. Quite frankly I am the same as before. I just now know what a comma splice is.

You may be reading this thinking that my grammar is all wrong. But yes I will still put full stops before the words But and And - because I believe that this is a point of style and that times have changed.

Anywa, if like me you struggle with punctuation have a look at the this site: , which is fantastic and definately get this book:

I am still going to enroll in a grammar course next year but in the interim these resources have been super helpful.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Even grown-ups need Crayons

Even grown-ups need crayons

November, November!!! Well I have now hit my target and sold over 1000 copies of Goa Traffic. 1091 to be exact. I am happy. If you told me to define success for Goa Traffic at the start of this whole process I would have said – when I sell 1000 copies- I probably said it somewhere on this blog. It seemed like it would never happen. The paper copy sales have not been great – but decent – so I cant complain – I would have estimated hitting 1000 copies in 10 years time. With self publishing and then Kindle – the whole ebook market has really taken off! I mean if you look at Amazons projected target sales of Kindles it only stands to reason that ebook sales will increase.

I must have mentioned that I am now tracking my website hits as well – Hits to my website have gone up as have sales and I think that is partly due to the fact I have a website (that was the advice I was given by someone reading this blog actually – so –thank you) We’ll see if sales increase even more once H sorts out the mobile site. Blog hits remain sroughly the same each month but my hits on it have always been relatively high. What I don’t get is how I am selling so many copies in the UK and only 2 a month in the USA. Is that because there is so much available in the USA?  – Apparently 235000 + books are self published every year. That’s a crazy amount. No wonder some don’t even surface.

So how do you market your ebook? Tweet me @marissadeluna #ebookmarketing

But books and book selling aside I must tell you about the crayon comment. The other day I went to a Creative Meditation session. Yes - I too was dubious but I really enjoyed it. What is creative meditation? I hear you ask. Well it’s simple really it’s meditating after which you get some crayons and draw what you feel- or write- or sing I suppose if that’s what you want to do.

I enjoyed it. Meditation (which I have never done before) shows you how to switch off if anything and well worth it- Apparently I really did need someone to tell me to stop thinking. We are so busy concentrating on doing, doing, doing that we never stop to 1) do nothing 2) just think about ourselves – not ourselves in relation to this person or that person and 3) do something childish- like use crayons. The feel of a crayon in your hand will take you back and colouring into- not between the lines but anyhow on your blank piece of paper. It may even get rid of any writers block!

Expressing our feelings and emotions through creativity is a good idea- of course we have our writing but sometimes only a crayon will do!