Tuesday, 19 February 2013

No fathers or mothers think their own children ugly;

No fathers or mothers think their own children ugly; and this self-deceit is yet stronger with respect to the offspring of the mind.

-Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra 

I am in one of those moods. I came home from work all ready to get to grips with Chupplejeep and then I got distracted. I have started watching Hot in Cleveland - which for some strange reason I am addicted to as well as Girls. Anyway Hot in Cleveland distracted me and even though H is not around this evening I couldn't bring myself to write. I hope this is not the dreaded writers block. I don't think it is. Personally I think I have overwhelmed myself with things to do. Yes we need a plumber and someone to fix our leaky roof, plus cleaning, cooking, washing - quite frankly with a full time job as well I am tired. Tired of thinking. I wonder how other writers do it. So much for wanting 'calm' in 2013!  

Then I read a book (yes, I had time to do that - I know wake up half an hour earlier to extend my day- I know I am sad). The book - which is excellent - and I recommend it to all new and established authors is called 100 ways to market your ebook. Its full of good ideas which do not cost the earth - in fact most are free and even advises on pricing your book. For a couple of quid its worth it. I found out about the book from my agent who represents Conrad Jones and basically it's their trial and error in marketing so that you don't have to go through the hard slog. Although don't get me wrong marketing is a hard slog- especially when all you want to do is write - but let me tell you - It's worth it!  

Anyway I read this book and I realised that I haven't been doing half of the things I should be for my book. I also realised to do all of them I would need to work part time! I will have to be content with doing some I suppose.   

I should be elated because last week I received my first traditional publishing contract offer for The Bittersweet Vine. Yes this was the moment I have been waiting for!  But because I am who I am - instead I though  "Mmm... Really?" I was looking for fault. I don't know why. Is it because it has happened so quickly? Basically it is an independent publishing house and once the contract is all signed etc I will be super excited. I guess its the interim bit that makes me feel all unsure. It has got me thinking about the pro's and con's of self publishing. You see with GT I had complete control. I can see my sales yada yada. This is stepping into the unknown. I wont have control - how many changes will they want me to make? Will they change the title? What if I don't like the front cover? But that is the small stuff- surely publishers know better. They do! I am sure of that. And if it had happened to someone else I would be like "when will I get a break?" or "I wish that were me!" 

Its funny how things turn out. It has boosted my confidence no end and I feel very comfortable with the way The Bittersweet Vine has panned out. I hope it does well. My agent reckons it will hit stores (not all but some ) in December this year. Clearly traditional publishing does nothing for my lack of patience! 

Anyway, thought I would share my news with you! Its exciting times ahead and I will keep you all posted. If it has taught me anything it's that hard work, perseverance and most importantly having a dream will eventually get you where you want to go! So don't give up.  I have also started working on Indian Diaries with Urmi Kenia. Its going to be a selection of short stories to accompany photographs - all set in - yes you guessed it India. I am hoping we can publish to Kindle in early May! So watch this space. And if you are wondering about the quality of the pictures on e-readers - we have tried a few and they look just fine - they are all black and white. I hope the stories shed light on the underbelly of India. I am certainly excited about writing this book!!!! 

Anyway blog! You have made me feel worthwhile again and perhaps I will get back to Chupplejeep now!! Oh and a note about the quote: Writer's isn't it true? 

P.S I have also had a bit of a break through on book number 4 (originally book no.3) - WIP title: Living The Dream. But I'll tell all later! 

Friday, 1 February 2013

I dont care if a reader hates one of my stories...

“I don’t care if a reader hates one of my stories, just as long as he finishes the book.”
—Roald Dahl, WD

Where do I begin? It has not been long since my last post but I have been busy (not writing unfortunately) busy with work and it feels like it has been an age since I blogged or ranted - should I say!

Well I have done a bit of writing and more character development on Under The Coconut Tree. I am now up to approx 45,000 not that I am counting- that is the worst thing you can do- to me it means you are struggling to write- the words aren't flowing and you'll probably end up with a mess. No I am looking at word count because this genre is different and I know the book will be short - but I dont want it to be too short if you know what I mean. At the moment I think I will reach 60,000 words and I am comfortable with that- in any event how often do you read a book and think- well that could have been longer- and on kindle to you even know how long a book is.

My other thoughts this week have been about writing about Goa again- well not about, but set in- although where else could I set the book?  Write what you know is a good piece of advice - researching Goa on Google I probably know more about it now then when I lived there. Goa is a big character in this next book and I suppose some of my apprehension stems from this. I was trying to get too many bits about Goa into Goa Traffic which on hindsight I shouldn't have done.  Great for readers that have been to Goa - not so great for others I guess. Although I haven't had that much criticism about that in particular. Anyway I hope I don't make the same mistake twice. I would like to say that I am older and wiser now.

Today is also the 1st of the month- the day I check sales. All is well the negative review didn't have a huge impact- in fact sales have gone up and I have received more reviews which have taken the edge of the really bad one. Anyway as of today no more reading reviews- with sales increasing so are the reviews which I guess is inevitable and I suppose a good thing. Time to concentrate on book 3!

And what of The Bittersweet Vine? I hear you ask. Baby number 2 - well that is still with publishers. I am hoping right now someone at Headline is saying: lets give this girl a chance. Well that is what my 'glass half full' side is saying. The 'glass half empty' side is saying 'Start picking a front cover for Kindle' - although that is not so glass half empty because self pubbing is not a bad thing. Kindle is a god-send.

As you can tell from the terrible grammar I really need to start that grammar course. I will before Feb is out - Promise.

My resolutions for 2013 are going well- did I tell you I want to introduce colour into my life- Yes I am always in dark colours. So far I have worn a bright yellow scarf and an orange handbag - dont look so alarmed- I didn't wear them together  - both sister and H are slightly worried- I tell them its my boho writers style. I have even introduced Wellbeing sessions at work and on the Pay-it-forward rule I have invited fellow writer to give staff at work a session on colour therapy. Want to know how colour can change your life visit her site at www.audrinapaisley.co.uk I have also added another resolution which is SOOTO. This is to do Something Out Of The Ordinary every month. I start this month so watch this space. It will broaden my horizons and make me (I believe) a better writer and person.

In other news I am pleased to say Mary Cavanagh from my writing group, who has published many successful novels will now be publishing three more and is writing another. Yes she has a publisher so that is fantastic news.  I look forward to reading them all!

Anyway must get back to Chupplejeep who is currently buying patties and potato chops for lunch at the bakers. But a final note about todays quote before I go. I recently read a good blog post (don't shout but I cant remember who wrote it- someone retweeted someone I was following on twitter- yep I don't even know who- I am a terrible person) saying how we sometimes love to read something just to be annoyed- we love to be annoyed by that person or something- we cant stop ourselves from reading the thing thats annoyed us. It was called something like hate reading. We all do it. I am sure some people read this blog and think - "what the hell is she on about? and her grammar is abysmal!" but they still read it just to get annoyed with what I write.  Anyway I am glad this issue is recognised and now has a term. This blog post is especially dedicated to all those hate readers out there. I think RD was on to this a long time ago - this quote is the very proof of it!